The Alfred Doten Diaries, 1849-1903

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Alfred Doten began his daily diary at the age of 19 on the day he left his home in Plymouth Massachusetts for the gold fields of California aboard the ship Yeoman. His last entry was written the day before he died, cold, penniless and alone, in Carson City, Nevada 53 years later. During the intervening years he tried his luck in California and Nevada at mining, ranching, and journalism, as a reporter and publisher in Virginia City, Gold Hill, and Austin, Nevada. The 79 volumes of Doten's diary provide details about his public and private life, his challenges and pastimes, family, lovers, friends and acquaintances, including Mark Twain and Artemus Ward. Doten's fortunes rose and fell along with Nevada's silver boom and the aftermath. His diaries provide a full and rare view into daily life in the last half of the 19th century in the American West. Diaries requiring transcription begin with his Book 56, written in 1883 shortly after he left the Comstock for Austin, Nevada to be able to support his young family. Click on our Website to read an abridged version of his earlier diaries. Transcriptions will be enhanced and prepared for presentation on the web where they will be freely available to all. It is a major project that cannot be accomplished without the help of volunteers.
Diary 56, 01/1883

Diary 56, 01/1883

January, 1883. Austin, Nevada. In which the Doten family continues to settle into their new life in Austin. Alf attempts, unsuccessfully, to become the warden of the Nevada State Prison, and Mary begins teaching school. Blizzards make life difficult.

20 pages: 0% transcribed
Diary 56, 02/1883

Diary 56, 02/1883

February, 1883. Austin, Nevada. Alf straightens out his finances and buys clothes for Alf Jr. aged 5. The weather warms, and Alf writes articles for the Territorial Enterprise about the celebration of Chinese New Year, Valentines Day, and Washington's Birthday in Austin.

14 pages: 0% transcribed
Diary 56, 03/1883

Diary 56, 03/1883

March, 1883. Austin, Nevada. A big St. Patrick'sDay ball, the baby (Mary Goodwin) has the croup. Alf dusts off his old fiddle.

21 pages: 0% transcribed
Diary 56, 04/1883

Diary 56, 04/1883

April, 1883. Austin, Nevada. The Dotens order 400 lbs. of groceries from Sacramento. Snow storms persist, as does the croup. Alf cuts the hair of his four children and gets a haircut himself.

15 pages: 0% transcribed
Diary 56, 05/1883

Diary 56, 05/1883

May, 1883. Austin, Nevada.

17 pages: 0% transcribed
Diary 56, 06/1883

Diary 56, 06/1883

June, 1883. Austin, Nevada.

15 pages: 0% transcribed
Diary 56, 07/1883

Diary 56, 07/1883

July, 1883. Austin, Nevada.

17 pages: 0% transcribed
Diary 56, 08/1883

Diary 56, 08/1883

August, 1883. Austin, Nevada.

18 pages: 0% transcribed
Diary 56, 09/1883

Diary 56, 09/1883

September, 1883. Austin, Nevada.

15 pages: 0% transcribed
Diary 56, 10/1883

Diary 56, 10/1883

October, 1883. Austin, Nevada.

16 pages: 0% transcribed
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