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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Silas B. Silver Diary

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1863
Creator: Silver, Silas B. (1863)
Extent: 1.00 linear inch.
Collection Number: MSC0012
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Maryland physician. Diary includes his observations on the Civil War and politics, farming, and medicine.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: This diary was a gift of Philip D. Sang in 1955.

Preferred Citation: Silas B. Silver Diary, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Silas B. Silver was a physician in Glenville, Harford County, Maryland, in the mid-nineteenth century. Silver's political leanings, while not blatantly anti-Union, were decidedly Copperhead. He owned slaves (one of whom ran away and joined a black regiment in Baltimore) and was very much opposed to the Emancipation Proclamation. He opposed martial law in Maryland, was anti-draft, and was appalled by Maryland's unopposed Union Party ticket of 1863. A gentleman farmer, Dr. Silver hired a man to work his land. However, Silver kept close track of his investment, recording farm prices as well as the specific activities of "my farmer.

Dr. Silvers diary for the year 1863, includes his observations on the Civil War and politics, farming, gold prices, social events, and medicine. Dr. Silver often mentioned social gatherings, church meetings, and trips. One trip to the oceanside at Cape May, New Jersey, was described in some detail, from their swimming costumes and people they met to their travel arrangements and expenses. Finally, Dr. Silvers medical practice was noted in his diary. He listed each patients illness, his prescribed treatments, and often made some personal comment about the patients life.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: DIARY

  • Series 1: DIARY
  • Box 1:
  • Diary, November 25-December 2. Entries have been torn and removed from the diary, and newspaper clippings have been glued into the back of the book. - 1863

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

American Civil War, 1861-1865
Copperhead (Nickname)
Gold standard


Geographic Names:
United States -- New Jersey -- Cape May
United States -- Maryland

Genre/Form of Materials:
Personal narratives

Civil War