In this assignment you will transport yourself back in time to a period between 1820 and 1860 through the diary entries of several groups of Americans:

Reading diaries written by people living during a historical time period is one way to learn about the past. Diaries are primary sources and reading them can help you understand that there are many different perspectives and reactions to historical events. Historians find diaries useful for that reason.

Diaries are often more interesting than official documents because of their intimacy. They allow you to come closer to the private thoughts of an individual and to understand more about the details of daily life during a time period. However, it must also be remembered that a diary presents only the viewpoint of its author.  Click on the tabs for Rural Slave, Plantation Owners, and Abolitionists above to read three different diaries.