Jeremiah Evarts diary
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Jeremiah Evarts diary

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Evarts, Jeremiah, 1781-1831.
Title: Jeremiah Evarts diary
Dates: 1822
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 0240

Biographical/Historical Note

Jeremiah Evarts (February 3, 1781-May 10, 183 1) was a New England lawyer and philanthropist who abandoned his law career to become publisher of the Congregationalist paper Panoplist. Evarts was one of the founders of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions and was the editor to the board's paper, Missionary Herald. In 1798, he graduated from Yale College and he received his Masters degree from Yale in 1805. In 1810, he assumed editorship of the Panoplist and devoted himself entirely to missionary work. He was a manager of the American Bible Society and vice-president of the American Education Society. On several occasions he visited the south and investigated the condition of the Indian tribes east of the Mississippi. He was strongly opposed to the removal of Cherokees to western reservations and wrote numerous essays condemning state and federal governments for their treatment of the Indians. The National Intelligence published his Essays on the Present Crisis in the Condition of the American Indians in 1929. The Jeremiah Evarts diary reflects on his continuing health problems and foreshadows his death from consumption in Charleston, South Carolina, while on his way home from a stay in Cuba where he had gone on a quest to restore his health.

Scope and Content Note

The Jeremiah Evarts diary, dated March 13, 1822 to May 4, 1822, was written during a trip through Georgia and includes descriptions of his visits to Savannah, Daufuskie, Ebenezer, Jacksonborough, Waynesborough, Augusta, Washington, Athens, and Jefferson. Evarts pays a great deal of attention to the weather, vegetation, and residents as he travels. He describes the social life and customs of the people and particular emphasis is given to their religious activities. Evarts also notices the appearance, customs, and living conditions of African Americans and condemns slavery. The Cherokee country and certain Indians encountered by Evarts are discussed. Throughout the diary, Evarts comments on his poor health, repeatedly stating that part of the reason for his trip was to recover from his pulmonary problems. The Jeremiah Evarts diary was published in Through the South and the West with Jeremiah Evarts in 1826 by J.O. Oliphant, ed. and the original diary is housed in the Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

Index Terms

Cherokee Indians--Georgia--Social life and customs.
Evarts, Jeremiah, 1781-1831.
Georgia--Description and travel.
Georgia--Social life and customs.

Location of Originals

Original diary housed at the Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

Jeremiah Evarts diary, MS 240, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, 1935.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.