Diary Of William Byrd

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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The Secret Diary of William Byrd of Westover , 1709-1712 Every morning, William seems to wake up and eat his milk for breakfast.

After his meal, often but not always, he reads a chapter in Hebrew or some other language and proceeds with his day. In some entries in his diary, he usually has a problem with his slaves and has to punish them quite frequently and does not have a problem with the severity of the punishment. Slaves are being burned by irons and whipped till they are no longer to stand anymore. It was a very sorrowful and harsh life that the slaves lived at that time.

William Byrd usually had the same day over and over again, and I am wondering how he can go through the same routine every time he writes in his diary.

After he commits a sin, such as drinking, fornication, or some type of unruly act, he asks God for his forgiveness.

Byrd seemed to know a lot of people. It might have come from his occupation and he was a wealthy man. When his sister-in-law and her friends came over, it was a shock to me that he would try to cheat on his wife. But knowing that he did wrong he did not pray that night because he was thinking too much of his fault. At the end of his entry he thanks God for his day. He never seems to take his life for granted as though some people do not thank the Lord for such a promising day. People usually live their lives knowing that they would actually live to see the next day. In some cases, it's not the way it goes. I think that you live a more healthy life and not just mental but also spiritual. It gives you this feeling of joy in your life that no matter who you are or what you do, if you ask the Lord for forgiveness, he will undoubtedly give you forgiveness of your sins, this is why Byrd prays so much.

The night of what it seems to be a meteor, was a very bad sign of which his slaves died. He thinks it was a sign from God to "lay the smackdown" upon his servants. After this freak incident, his wife dreamt of an angel which averted God's judgment of their country.

It looks like throughout the diary entries, the dates are so far off, it was either Byrd didn't really like to write everyday, or it was the highlight of the day which triggered him to write to himself. I personally think that he had a boring life which once every 2-5 months something "˜exciting' comes around for him to write about.

In all, this was an interesting piece of writing, its not all the time you get to see someone's diary which they want to be kept a secret.