What can historians learn from historic documents?
The Vermont Historical Society collects papers from Vermont's history. These documents include letters, diaries, brochures and posters. These primary sources help tell us what was happening in Vermont at the time the documents were written. If you have trouble reading the writing, look for the transcription, a typed version of the document.
Erastus Williams Diary, 1834
On June 7, 1834, Erastus Williams wrote "Very warm and pleasant. The ground is getting rather dry. Corn and everything else grows fast."
Williams' diary describes his life as a farmer in Vermont from 1830-1843. Read a transcription of his diary.
Morgan Horse poster, 1853
This advertisement shows the pedigree(list showing an animal's parents and grandparents) of Coos Morgan. This Morgan horse was directly related to the first Morgan horse.
Explore More: Justin Morgan
Barnum's Circus Poster, 1885
Barnum's Circus is coming to town! What can this poster tell us about entertainment in Vermont in 1885?
Explore More: The Circus and Fair: A Summertime Delight (PDF)
Diary of Laura Freeman, 1893
Laura Freeman was 10 years old when she started this diary on January 1, 1893. She writes about her family, school, and other activities in South Royalton. Diaries like this help tell the stories of ordinary Vermonters.
Explore More: Diary of a Vermont Schoolgirl (PDF)
Can you read some of the text that the printed version leaves out?
Greetings from Vermont Postcard, 1939
This is a postcard that a tourist might send while on vacation in Vermont. It was never mailed because there is no writing on the back. Sometimes historic postcards have interesting pictures on the front and interesting messages on the back.
Why do you think it has small holes at the top? Maybe someone hung this postcard on a bulletin board.
Copy and paste this citation to show where you did your research.
Vermont Historical Society. "Papers." Vermont History Explorer. Accessed April 14, 2021. https://vermonthistoryexplorer.org/papers