This 127-page journal reflects the experiences of Hiram B. Crosby, a New York City lawyer, during his trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula in the fall of 1872. As part of a prospecting party, Crosby analyzed the potential for iron mines near Iron Mountain, Michigan. Crosby began the journal on September 26, 1872, as he left New York City, traveling by railroad to Menominee, Michigan, via Sandusky, Ohio, and Chicago, Illinois. While in Ohio, he visited Jay Cooke on Lake Erie's Gibraltar Island (September 30, 1872), and pasted a pressed flower from the island onto the journal's first page.
After his arrival in Menominee, Crosby joined the members of his party and together they started out for Iron Mountain, where they planned to inspect specific areas for iron mining potential. In daily journal entries, Crosby recorded details of the group's travels along the Sturgeon and Menominee Rivers, particularly regarding local scenery and people. A few days into the trip, he fell from his horse while attempting to shoot a partridge, and suffered a fractured wrist (October 4, 1872); despite his injury, the trip proceeded smoothly, aided by the expertise of local Native Americans the group hired to make camp and guide the mining party. Crosby and the others frequently traveled by canoe, and he often described the guides and local Native American settlements, particularly at "Bad Water," near Iron Mountain.
On October 10, 1872, the explorers reached Iron Mountain and proceeded to examine the area. They set out again for Menominee shortly thereafter, and reached the town on October 15. There, Crosby inquired about the prices of shipping iron ore to Cleveland by boat (October 16). From Menominee, Crosby traveled to Escanaba, Marquette, and Houghton, Michigan, before heading to Detroit, which he described in several entries in late October. Crosby wrote the final entry in Detroit on October 26, 1872.
Three items are inserted into a flap in the front cover of the journal: 2 assurance tickets for Hiram B. Crosby from the Railway Passengers Assurance Company (November 14, 1872) and an advertising card for the Douglass House in Houghton, Michigan. A printed view of Marquette, Michigan, is pasted onto page 108 of the journal.
The journal also includes 24 pencil and ink drawings depicting scenes from Crosby's travels in the Upper Peninsula. See the Additional Descriptive Data section of this finding aid for an index of the illustrations.