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 copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

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