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Special Collections Online at The University of Tennessee

Charles Henry Shriner Diary

Identifier: MS-3458

Charles Henry Shriner wrote the bulk of this diary while traveling through Tennessee between October of 1843 and April of 1844. The entries mention his sales activities and the weather as well as recording conversations, speeches, gossip, and legislative activities. Of particular note are entries describing a visit to Andrew Jackson at the Hermitage and Jackson's negative opinion of abolitionists (November 18), a slave who craved freedom even though he had a good mistress (February 14), and a Jackson Jubilee where ex-governors William Carroll and James K. Polk told stories (March 15).

Shriner resumed writing in 1882, giving a summary of his rise from poverty to wealth and political position. He describes buying and trading several properties, being appointed an Inspector of Philadelphia, and becoming Collector of Internal Revenue for the 14th Congressional District of Pennsylvania during President Lincoln's term. The events described in the summary are indexed at the end of the book.

Interspersed throughout the diary are lists of quotes and vocabulary words, financial records, a list of Shriner's parents' and siblings' birth and death dates, a letter to the editor explaining the 1852 Union County dispute over railroad bonds, an essay about the passage of time, and a Mifflinburg Inventory from January 6, 1874.


  • 1843-1890 (bulk 1843-1844)

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


0.2 Linear Feet


Charles Henry Shriner wrote the bulk of this diary while traveling through Tennessee between October of 1843 and April of 1844. During this trip, he stayed in the Nashville area, visited Andrew Jackson, learned about slavery and abolition, and participated in political activities. Shriner added a brief biographical sketch (including an index of major events) at a later date at the end of the book.

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Henry Shriner was born on February 25, 1822 to Samuel and Joanna (Wheeler) Shriner. He was one of six children, including William Babb (1819 November 20-1862 September 26), Sarah Jane (1820 July 15-1821 February 25), Joseph Wheeler (1824 November 12-1897 November 15), Caroline Matilda (1826 October 27-1827 August 4), and Samuel (1828 October 9-1868 January 17). After returning to Pennsylvania from his trip to Tennessee, he continued his political activities, being appointed an inspector for the city of Philadelphia and later a Collector for Internal Revenue. He was also involved in the Railroad Bond dispute that resulted in Union County, Pennsylvania splitting into Union and Snyder Counties. During the Civil War, Major Shriner was an effective recruiter in his area. Shriner was married twice. He had three children (Mary, Sarah, and Anne) with his first wife and three children (Shell, Frank, and Nelli) with his second. Charles H. Shriner died on January 19, 1899 at his residence in Chicago, Illinois and was buried in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania.


This collection consists of a single box.

Acquisition Note

Special Collections purchased this diary in 2010.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA