Slade and Kelson Diaries

The Slade and Kelson diaries contain a day to day account of the business firm's daily activities at Trinity as well as general information on the state of the fishery, shipping, weather and the comings and goings of the various vessels and people. The diaries were kept by William Kelson, the manger for the company at Trinity from 1809-1851. The diaries that make up this virtual exhibit cover the time period 1822-1852, the earlier years will be forthcoming, however were not included as part of this current exhibit due to their current fragile condition.

Through these diary entries you will be told and will be able to interpret for yourself, the distinctive class system that was set up in Trinity, like in most rural areas of Newfoundland, whereby the merchant set up the business, brought the required artisans and tradesmen and then fishermen/labourers came and settled to be close to services that were being provided.

You will learn how they along with the other large mercantile firm, operated by Benjamin Lester, controlled the fishery on the northeast coast of Newfoundland and how they were able to regulate everything from fish prices to the structure of society.

Download a full text PDF transcription