Alfred Doten Diaries, 1849-1903



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 53 years later on the day before he died, cold, penniless and alone, in Carson City, Nevada. 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. He kept detailed notes on the theater, music, and society that surrounded him.

The diaries previously posted on this site for transcription (vols. 58-77) have now been completely transcribed. Visit to read an abridged version of all 79 volumes. Note: a login is now required on this site. The username and password are both doten.

Transcripts of the complete diaries will be annotated, enhanced and prepared for presentation on the web where they will be freely available to all. It is a major project that can not be accomplished without the help of volunteers.

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