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The Canoe Diary
June 15- August 27, 1922
Dr. Milton H. Erickson

I’m going to be “that boy will make good.”

Everybody with even the slightest interest in the work and person of Dr. Milton H. Erickson has heard of his famous 1200-mile canoe trip. During his trip, the severely handicapped 21-year-old Milton wrote a detailed diary. Outside of the Erickson family, almost nobody has ever seen it, let alone read it.

The content of the canoe diary was totally unknown until Betty Alice Erickson published excerpts in her book ‘Milton H. Erickson, An American Healer’ (2006).

For decades the actual diary was kept in a drawer in Dr. Erickson’s office. In 1956 Dr. Erickson gave the diary to his son Bert and daughter-in-law Lillian because they –as suggested in the Canoe Diary- made their honeymoon trip in a canoe.

We are happy that Bert and Lillian Erickson, the owners of the diary along with Betty Alice and Allan Erickson, understood the value of sharing this wonderful document.

Now you can enjoy the complete manuscript of this important ‘coming of age’ document.

The intimate words depict a sensitive, proud, caring, ambitious, warmhearted, self-confident yet doubting youngster that chooses to undertake the ordeal of an arduous trip in order to strengthen his physical health, hone his psychological observations and practice his relational skills. You are offered an unprecedented insight into the mind and heart of the young Milton.

The Canoe Diary shows glimpses of the resilient man, responsible and caring father, attentive husband and creative professional that Milton H. Erickson will grow into. Many passages in The Canoe Diary show glimpses of the genius in the boy that became Dr. Erickson.

We have taken great care to juxtapose a facsimile that is as close to the original diary as possible with a book that offers both elucidation and background information.

This (extremely) limited bibliophile edition comes in a luxury box that contains two volumes.

Volume one: we have recreated the original handwritten diary as a facsimile.


Volume two: The CANOE DIARY: context & pictures & transcription.


The foreword is a salute to the Erickson family members who made this edition possible.

The introduction contextualizes the Canoe Diary as an intimate coming of age document in which many defining aspects of the person and professional that Dr. Erickson grew into, are foreshadowed.

A recently discovered document that Milton wrote a few months after his trip is included. These pages are published for the first time ever. They offer deeper insight not only in the details of his trip but also –and in particular- in the way the young Milton experimented in social relations.

Excerpts of the letter that Bert and Lillian wrote as encouragement for this edition are printed along with parts of Allan’s letter concerning his memories of the Canoe Diary.


Many never published photographs from the Erickson family album offer a very short yet illustrated biography.

To finish we present a transcription of the full text so that it can be studied more easily,


Buy Diary of Canoe Trip Publication

This project aims to create an object of art to honor the life and work of Dr. Milton Erickson.

The Canoe Diary limited edition gives the reader a never-before and never-again possibility to look into the mind and heart of the young Milton and discover glimpses of his later genius.

So PLEASE VISIT us here www.miltonericksoncanoediary.com  for more details about the content of this project.

You can also watch the video we made with Betty Alice and Allan Erickson about their father on Youtube: ‘Erickson on Erickson Louis Cauffman

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