James Dinsmore kept sporadic journals during his life. He was born in New Hampshire in 1790 and began his first journal when he took a trip to pick up his brother, John, in Kentucky, in 1813. After moving to Natchez, Mississippi, he kept several journals. In 1829 he purchased a plantation in Louisiana with a friend, John Minor. Although he kept no similar journals in Louisiana, he did maintain work journals. Following his move to Kentucky in 1842, James wrote even less but still kept detailed accounts with neighbors and tenants.