John goldie was one of the company of eighteenth and nineteenth century naturalists whose journals and diaries bring pleasure to us today. Trained to minute Observation, yet compelled by Nature to take the long view and the slow pace, they left vivid narratives filled with detailed sketches of places and people. One reason Why these journals never cease to fascinate us is that they afford us a glimpse of the wilderness world we will never know; another is the contrast between the acutely Observed detail and the limitless landscape. John Goldie's diary of his North American journey, from Montreal around Lake Ontario and on to Pittsburgh, is one of these wonderful narratives. It has never been published as it was written; the only previous edition, privately printed in 1897, omitted or toned down the political and social commentary which is of the greatest interest to today's reader. The present edition is published by the kindness of Goldie descendants from his diary now preserved at the Toronto Public Library. The botanical notes, kept separately from the diary, are believed to have been lost. Their lack will distress the botanist, but every reader will find plenty of interest in Goldie's day-to-day narra tive, spiced with comments. John Goldie was a Scot, born on the 2lst of March, 1793, in the parish of Kirkoswald in Ayrshire. Having served his apprenticeship as a gardener and displayed an interest in the collecting and classifying Of plants, he entered the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, then under the direction of William J. (afterward Sir William) Hooker, where he received a thorough scientific training in botany. In addition he studied languages at the University, Latin and Greek of course, with some Hebrew and modern languages as well.