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These journals of Nathan Tanner Porter, 6th child and 3rd son of Sanford Porter and Nancy Warriner, were transcribed from photocopies of microfiche by typists from the Porter Family Organization Historical Committee and others of the Porter family. Our intent was to reproduce the text. Where we could not read a word or even a group of words because of torn page, stained page, faded writing, etc., we typed _____ to show that something was there but unreadable. Where [gaps] appear in the text, usually where a person's name is involved, it is because he left the gap (hoping, perhaps, to fill in the full name later). We did not attempt to reproduce the appearance of his pages and did not attempt to preserve his spacing of words on a line or his spacing between lines. We tried to reproduce the text. Insofar as we could read his handwriting accurately, we typed capital letters and small letters where he wrote them. We punctuated or did not punctuate as he wrote. We spelled as he did. In reading his journal you should understand that he was 20 years old before the first authentic US dictionary was published and that only after its publication was there a serious effort to standardize spelling. Therefore, his spelling, like the spelling of others of his time, was partly from what he was taught or read and partly phonetic. If you have difficulty reading his journal because the strange spelling of some of his words confuses you, have some one read it to you phonetically and you should understand. Additionally, he was a farmer and many of the farm terms he used may not be familiar to modern readers.

Yearly journals
Generally, except for his missionary journals and the time he was "in exile" (in parts of 1887 and 1888), he used a pre-printed diary book published by Excelsior. We included the Excelsior pre- printed headings in our typing. In the summary section at the end of each year, where he kept his financial records, the pre-printed headings often have nothing to do with what he used the page to record. He did not always get a new Excelsior Diary before the new year began. On those years, he included some January entries for the new year in the summary section at the back of the diary book for the just-past year; then when he got his new journal book, he filled in the entries based on what he had already written--some times copying the entry exactly, other times writing it differently.

Missionary journals
It became apparent (from reading what we typed) that he kept two missionary journals. One he called a pocket journal in which he wrote, perhaps, daily. The other he called [just] his journal and it is clear from his entries that he did not write in it every day but took time to catch it up, perhaps once a week or so as he had private time, apparently using his pocket journal as a guide to what happened and when. Thus, in the typing, which we present in the order in which it appeared on the microfiche, there will be found days when there are two entries for the same day spaced pages apart (apparently because one journal was filmed completely and then the other). Sometimes the two entries are almost word-for-word, but other times one entry will contain information that the other one does not. In the pocket journal, he sometimes wrote two kinds of entries (city information in one entry and what he did there as another entry, for example) on the same page or pages with a horizontal line between them, carrying both kinds to following pages (if too long for one page) by continuing the horizontal line onto the next page. In typing these entries, we did not type by page (which would be confusing because it would mix 2 kinds of entries) but typed each entry completely (even if was on multiple pages) since that is the way one would read his pocket journal anyway. The city information is enclosed in parentheses to indicate that it was separated from the activities by a horizontal line.

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