1766: In a daybook kept by Robert Wormley Carter, grandson of Robert “King” Carter. Carter kept a daybook in the same fashion as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson – written in the interspersed blank pages of the Virginia Almanack, published every year in Williamsburg. According to this account in the Virginia Historical Society’s Journal, “When in 1766 the Almanack was not published as a protest against the Stamp Act, Carter complained bitterly [in a notation at the front of the book] that he was ‘obliged to make this Book to sypplye the place of an Allmanack.’ ”
As the VHS republication notes:
Carter’s daybook is interesting to the student of colonial history for the picture it presents of the daily life of the Virginia planter. There is ample evidence that gambling was common among the planters and that the breeding and racing of horses occupied much of their time. But it is equally clear that they worked hard in the management of their plantations. Carter grew tobacco, corn, wheat, an other crops; raised cattle for his own use and for sale; fed, housed, and clothed his slaves; and rented land to tenants in the Shenandoah Valley. Despite this, he found time to engage in politics, to entertain and be entertained frequently by his fellow planters. Muh of the time he was away from home, on business and pleasure, and the daybook acquires an added value from his references to the places he visited and the people he met.”
From “The Daybook of Robert Wormeley Carter of Sabine Hall, 1766,” reprinted in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 68, No. 3 (Jul., 1960), pp. 301-316. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4246673.