The papers consist of diaries, weather journals, commonplace books, reading notes and other material documenting the life, work, and intellectual interests of the Jamaican planter and slaveowner Thomas Thistlewood. Thistlewood's 37 diaries, in Series I, contain daily entries dating between 1750 and 1786. Topics include Thistlewood's work as an overseer, and later owner, of slaves, including his methods of assigning work, alloting provisions, and discipline; his personal and sexual relationships with several, including his lengthy relationship with Phibbah; and slave rebellions and rumors of rebellions, including Tacky's Revolt (1760). Other topics include personal and professional relationships with other white Jamaicans, including his first employer, John Cope, and his family; purchases and expenses; meals and other entertainments; and recreational activities. The diary for 1763 is bound with A manuscript treatise on planting, by Mr. John Palley Edwards. There is one diary by Thistlewood's nephew, John Thistlewood (d. 1768).