Williams, Stephen. Diary

Collection History

Please note that as of January 2022, the Stephen Williams diary, 1754-1755, and all future digital collections are now hosted on the library's new digital archive.

This collection consists of handwritten diary entries, memoranda, and sermon notes kept by the Rev. Stephen Williams. Rev. Williams grew up in Deerfield, Massachusetts and was captured by French and Indigenous allies during their raid on the town in 1704 when he was eleven years old. He was liberated after almost two years in captivity, and both he and his father, Rev. John Williams, wrote accounts of their experiences. Rev. Williams went on to graduate from Yale College in 1713 and subsequently ministered to the Congregational Church of Longmeadow, Mass. He also served as a chaplain during the French and Indian War.

In his diary below Rev. Williams focuses mainly on religious matters, recording both happenings at church and personal prayers. The original manuscripts in this collection are owned by our project partners, the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Further information about the collection can be found in the NEHGS catalog.


Digital Materials

Diary, 1716-1782

In his diary Rev. Williams focuses heavily on ecclesiastical matters. Many of the entries consist of written prayers and brief meditations on bible verses. Much of the text is incorporated vertically in the gaps between horizontal lines, filling almost all free space on the page.


Special Thanks

These digital resources have been made possible in part by the Council on Library and Information Resources, through a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this resource do not necessarily represent those of the Council on Library and Information Resources.