Boise State’s Special Collections and Archives recently digitized and made available online a diary from 1866. Kept by W. H. Chapman while he lived and worked on William J. McConnell’s Ranch near Horseshoe Bend, Chapman documents daily life and his thoughts about his time in Idaho. (McConnell would go on to serve as Idaho’s third governor from 1893-1897.)
Spanning the winter, spring, and early summer of 1866, Chapman details his overland journey on horseback back to the Midwest and social life and work in Jackson, Michigan, and Elgin, Illinois, with family and friends on his return. He also includes descriptions of pack train trips from the ranch into the mountains to supply potatoes and produce to the mining camps of Placerville, Centerville, Pioneerville, and Idaho City, Idaho.
Archives student assistant Aimee Rollins and Marnie Nichole scanned and transcribed the entire diary, which is now available to read online. In fact, both the transcription and the original diary can be viewed side by side. While you can read the diary online anytime, visit us in person to see the actual diary. Special Collections and Archives is located on the second floor of Albertsons Library.
Archivist/Librarian & Assistant Professor