This collection consists of two diaries written by William Pearce Moss of Twillingate. The first and smaller diary is from April 1, 1854 to December 31, 1854. The second diary covers the period from August 24, 1875 to December 13, 1876. Both diaries are a daily record of the weather, births and deaths, along with accounts of arrivals and departures of shipping vessels at Twillingate.
William Pearce Moss was born in 1838 in Twillingate, Newfoundland. We do not know any more about him then what is contained in these two diaries. The first of his diaries was written when he was 16 years old and the second, when he was 37. During these years, Twillingate was the major mercantile centre for Notre Dame Bay, and a fishing centre. It was ofter referred to as " the capital of the north." Fishing and merchant vessels were entering and exiting the harbor daily and Moss records the names of some of these ships in his diaries. Provisions were brought to Twillingate on schooners, many of which were owned by the Slades, an English family running their mercantile business from Poole, England, to Newfoundland.
The end of the 1800's marked an end to the boom. Sailing ships made way for steamers. The Bank Crash of 1894 and the Labrador fishing crisis saw an end to Twillingate's prosperity