Alexander Wilson's time spent as a pedlar in east Scotland is described in his prose piece “Journal as a Pedlar, 1789-90”.

The account, by turns humorous and despondent, is keenly observant, evidence that the 23 year old Wilson had found his voice as a writer.

One of the objectives of his trip was to hussle up subscribers to his forthcoming volume of poems. The outcome proved to be a disappointment for Wilson.