Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

King, Chester H.
Chester H. King Diaries
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box B-000005


Consists of three diaries, two of which chronicle Chester H. King's overland journey to the southwestern frontier from Kansas along the Santa Fe Trail from 1881 to 1883.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of three diaries, two of which chronicle King's overland journey to the southwestern frontier from Kansas along the Santa Fe Trail. They include observations about various towns that King passes through and important landmarks, such as Starvation Rock and the Great Salt Lake, as well as commentary on various ethnic groups, including Native Americans, Scots-Irish immigrants, Mexicans, and Mormons, and the clashes between them. The diaries also include self-described "field notes," sketches, and illustrations.

Collection Creator Biography:

King, Chester H.

Chester H. King, who was born circa 1855, lived and went to school in Kankakee County, Illinois; for a time, King also lived in Earl Park, Benton County, Indiana, and Kansas. He was a member of the Grant Park (Kankakee County) Good Templars Lodge; and beginning in 1876, wrote for the Kankakee Gazette.

A self-described "Easterner" suffering from rheumatism and neuralgia, King sought recuperation and invigoration in the southwestern frontier. He documented his overland journey from Kansas along the Santa Fe Trail, which he began around the summer of 1881. "A distinguished journalist once said 'go West young man, go West' and poor as that advice is I sorrowfully prepare to follow it," writes King. "The Terminal of the A. & P. R.R. in Arizona is at Sanders at present and that is my destination." (Fall 1881)

Collection History


Purchase, 2015 . (AM 2015-100)


No materials were separated during 2015 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Faith Charlton in June 2015. Finding aid written by Faith Charlton in June 2015.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Chester H. King Diaries; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box B-000005