Loammi Baldwin diary, 9 September 1823 - 29 November 1823


Date: 1823 | Size: 1 volume(s), 1 volume, 109 p.


This diary records the travels of Loammi Baldwin in the Netherlands (then including Belgium), England, and France, with detailed observations and careful pen-and-ink sketches of canals and canal machinery.

Background note

Loammi Baldwin was a civil engineer and constructed Fort Strong in Boston Harbor (1814), as well as the Union Canal in Pennsylvania (1821).

Collection Information

Physical description

1 volume, 109 p.


Gift from Jean Hoopes Epstein and accessioned, 03/30/1976 (1976 440ms).

Early American History Note

The Diary of Loammi Baldwin (September 9 – November 29, 1823) chronicles a portion of Baldwin's trip to Europe where he observed European canals and other internal improvements. Baldwin was a leading civil engineer in antebellum America, and he traveled to Europe to learn about tested methods and good practices that he could bring back to America. The journal begins with Baldwin departing London for Dover and follows his trip through Holland and France. The diary contains numerous sketches of machinery, including carriages, canals, locks, boats, and steam-engine parts. There are also observations on European cities, towns, and customs. Many of the canal sketches are elaborate and detailed.

Loammi Baldwin Jr. was a prominent engineer in nineteenth century America. His father, Loammi Sr., was born in Massachusetts, served in the Revolutionary War, and held various political offices after the war. In the 1790s, he participated in the Middlesex Canal, one of the earliest attempts at a significant project of internal improvement. As the principal engineer of the 28-mile canal, Baldwin Sr. earned a reputation as an expert civil engineer. He studied other canal projects in Virginia and Pennsylvania and was involved in the implementation of canal projects throughout New England.

Loammi Jr. studied under his father. At first forgoing engineering for law, Baldwin Jr. eventually began publishing tracts advocating internal improvements. During the War of 1812, he was appointed the engineer for Fort Strong in Boston. After this service, Baldwin dedicated himself to the engineering profession, advising on numerous projects, publishing widely, and traveling throughout Europe to observe other projects.

Indexing Terms


  • Art
  • Diaries.
  • Scientific Data
  • Sketchbooks
  • Sketches.
  • Travel Narratives and Journals

Personal Name(s)

  • Baldwin, Loammi, 1780-1838
  • Epstein, Jean Hoopes
  • Epstein, Jean Hoopes


  • Americans Abroad
  • Business and Skilled Trades
  • Canals -- Belgium.
  • Canals -- Design and construction.
  • Canals -- England.
  • Canals -- France.
  • Canals -- Netherlands.
  • Engineering
  • International Travel
  • Science and technology
  • Technology - History
  • Travel