Guide to the Charles H. Durham Diaries

Anne Wiederhold
Stanford University. Libraries. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Stanford, California
August 2013
Copyright © 2015 The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. All rights reserved.


Call Number: SC1166
Creator: Durham, Charles Howard, 1858-1943
Title: Charles H. Durham diaries
Dates: 1883-1896
Physical Description: 0.75 Linear feet
Summary: Three diaries kept by homosexual academic, Charles H. Durham, chronicling his relationship with Stanford University Classicist, Samuel Walter Miller, span the years 1883-1896.
Language(s): The materials are in English.
Repository: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Green Library
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6064
Phone: (650) 725-1022

Administrative Information


Purchase, 2013.

Information about Access

The materials are open for research use.

Ownership & Copyright

The materials are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use.

Cite As

Charles H. Durham Diaries (SC1166). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

Biographical/Historical note

A romantic Christian homosexual man, Charles Howard Durham (1858-1943) graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1882. He was a studious individual, conscientious teacher, and diligent letter writer.
During his years as a student at the University of Michigan in the early 1880s, Durham met and fell in love with Samuel Walter Miller (1864-1949). They shared a passionate relationship and exchanged many letters until their eventual split in 1885.
Upon his graduation from the University of Michigan, Charles Durham taught languages at Daughter’s College in Platte City, Missouri in 1883. He then traveled abroad in Germany with Miller, but he returned to the United States alone on June 16, 1885. He later relocated and worked in Ravenna, Ohio.

Biographical/Historical note

Samuel Walter Miller (1864-1949), a renowned American linguist and scholar, is most famous for conducting the first American excavation in Greece in 1885 and for founding the Stanford University Classics department in 1894.
Miller graduated from the University of Michigan in 1884, where he met and shared a relationship with Charles Howard Durham (1858-1943). Together they traveled to Germany, but they split in Europe and did not return to the United States together. Miller later married Jennie Emerson (1860-1946), niece of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and together they raised two daughters.
Following his excavation work in Greece, Miller returned to the United States and began a fifty-year career as a college professor. He taught at the University of Michigan, the University of Missouri, Stanford, and Tulane.

Scope and Contents

The materials consist of three manuscript quarto diaries kept by homosexual academic, Charles H. Durham (1858-1943), chronicling his relationship with renowned Stanford University Classicist, Samuel Walter Miller (1864-1949).
The three diaries cover a total of five years. The volumes labeled 10 and 11 span the dates November 1, 1883 to May 22, 1887, while the volume labeled 16 covers the eighteen months between November 1894 and May 1896.
Durham’s first notebook in this trilogy graphs his travels in Germany with Miller in 1884 and their eventual separation. From Germany, Durham traveled alone to Greece, Italy, Switzerland, France, and England, completing a melancholy Grand Tour not exactly as originally planned.
His diary entries following the termination of his relationship with Miller are greatly depressed, but his spirits lightened months after the rupture as he met other men.

Access Terms

Miller, Samuel Walter, 1864-1949
Homosexuality --United States.
Stanford University--Faculty.
Universities and colleges--Faculty.

Collection Contents

Box 1

Diaries (3 volumes) 1883-1896