The digitization and homogenization of a record with four daily thermometer and two daily barometer readings is described for the meteorological journal of Dr. E. A. Holyoke of Salem (Massachusetts). These records begin in January 1786 and span the period to March 1829 for temperature, and the period to December 1820 for pressure. The records are reconstructed and some inhomogeneities are identified and corrected for. The temperature data compares favourably with monthly temperature data from New Haven (Connecticut) and a comparison with independently reconstructed daily pressure data for nearby Cambridge (1780–1789) show that the temporal variations of the data agree very well. It is shown that the number of extremely cold days was considerably greater during 1786–1829 than recent times, while the number of warm days in the early and modern records are comparable. A probability distribution of daily winter pressure values shows a mean of the distribution which is 3 to 4 hPa lower during 1786–1820.