Commonplace Book of Captain Walter P. Snow of Maryland

Thanks to the generosity of Mrs. Laura K. Lawrence of Williamsburg, the commonplace book of Captain Walter Snow of Maryland, a prominent ship captain and lawyer during the nineteenth century, has found a permanent home in William and Mary’s Special Collections Research Center, where it has been digitized and will be preserved for future generations of students and scholars to use and enjoy.

Title page of Captain Walter P. Snow's Commonplace Book, 1831-1848

Title page of Captain Walter P. Snow’s Commonplace Book, 1831-1848

Dating from 1831 to 1848, the commonplace book consists of poetry and other writings. Most of the entries are from Snow Hill and Baltimore, Maryland, New Orleans, Nantucket Island, and the Tortugas. Some of the subjects described in the entries include love, everyday life, battles fought during the Seminole War and the Mexican War, and life on the sea. A digitized copy is available in the William & Mary Digital Archive at https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/21045.

Before donating the volume in October 2014, Mrs. Lawrence worked with high school students, Greta Berckmueller and Emma Curtis, to transcribe the volume. The transcribed volume was published by Outskirts Press in December 2014. To purchase a copy, go to: http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478747789.

Mrs. Laura K. Lawrence donates Captain Walter P. Snow's Commonplace Book to Special Collections. With student transcribers, Greta Berckmueller and Emma Curtis.

Mrs. Laura K. Lawrence donates Captain Walter P. Snow’s Commonplace Book to Special Collections. With student transcribers, Greta Berckmueller and Emma Curtis.

To learn more about the commonplace book of Captain Walter P. Snow and how it came into the possession of Mrs. Lawrence, please read the article, “Daughter’s Labor of Love Preserves History for Generations,” written by Leah Price for the Daily Press:
http://www.dailypress.com/entertainment/books/dp-fea-writers-block-0310-20150309-story.html.

The original volume is currently undergoing conservation, but when conservation is completed it will be available for use in the Special Collections Research Center at the Earl Gregg Swem Library of the College of William & Mary. For more information, please call us at 757-221-3090 or email spcoll@wm.edu.

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