1837 ORIGINAL TRAVEL DIARY OF A MAN’S 3 MONTH TRIP FROM NEW JERSEY TO ILLINOIS, ON HORSEBACK, COACH AND FOOT, AND COMING BACK BY RIVER STEAMERS ON THE ILLINOIS AND OHIO RIVERS

By: UNIDENTIFIED.

Price: $7,455.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is a fascinating diary of one man’s 3-month trip from New Jersey to Illinois and back in 1837. The content in this journal is unique; an early 19th Century 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles'. The unnamed man travels from Six Mile River, New Jersey with a group of people across 5 states, finally ending in Liverpool, Illinois on the banks of the Illinois River. This part of the trip is accomplished through the only means of over land transportation available at the time: horseback, wagon, and foot. A few days later, he boards a steamboat and sails back home on the Illinois and Ohio River most of the way back, finally taking a stagecoach at the end of the trip. The last day of his diary shows that he is just outside of Philadelphia and it is now January 11th, 1838; one day shy of 3 months. The journey is a fascinating look at travel and life in pre-civil war America. The man describes a tremendous amount of what he sees, hears, and does during the three month journey, including descriptions of many of the towns and cities themselves, many of which no longer exist. As well, there are mentions of the historical movement of people going West (known as ‘movers’) as well as a mention of Joseph Smith and the Mormon religion slowly making their way west. There is also a passage about time spent digging in Indian burial mounds, and finding bones and trinkets of Native Americans buried there. The book consists of 52 handwritten pages in a handsewn journal. The author is a fairly detached narrator of his life, not putting much emotion into the words, but presenting a fairly straightforward view of what he sees and does. The sample text below will illustrate what I mean. The pages are frayed at the end and a few pages at the beginning and end are slightly detached from the binding. There are also a few pages in which foxing has occurred. However, for the most part, the book is in good structural shape. The handwriting is mostly in pencil, though with some passages written in pen, and is legible and easily readable. The pages in which there is more foxing make the words harder to read, but still legible with slight effort. The journal entries continue to about halfway through the book, and then the reader must turn the diary around and start at the other end in order to continue reading. The journal measures about 4” x 6 1/4”. TEXT: “October 12th, 1837. Left Six Mile River for the West. Lodged at Lambertville New Jersey. 13th Rainy morning. Bill at L. Carhart’s N. Hope $1.06. N. Hope Bridge .18 ¾. 7 miles to Wilkinson, 4 to Doylestown. Doylestown has the appearance of Princeton. Good Country. Apples plenty. Good S. Clover...Pleasant day. Finest corn I ever saw. Fine Country. Altho we saw log houses and log barns. Crossed one branch of the Brandywine at Downington and the second branch...To Lancaster, fine corn and plenty of apples. Crossed the Conestoga, larger than Milltown, few churches...Lancaster County fine. Saw water reservoir. Butter and bread scarce. Fine day. Log houses in Lancaster. Population 8 or 9,000...To Gettysburg...Has 6 churches, 2,000 inhabitants. Land not so good from Abbottstown...To Fairfield, South Mountain. Scrubs and barren. Good corn in valley. We are surrounded by ridges which appear to be with the clouds. 6 Rail R. 12 R. Stake fence.”; “October 19th, Hancock. The Potomac appears to have forced its way through the mountains. The mountains in Maryland has pine upon them. Timber stunted and Virginia shore appears to be one continuous scene of bluffs. Hancock has 12 or 7500. 2 churches. It lays between the hills and canal. Chesapeake Ohio bill .44 Black drinking out of the Potomac, full at the first house at Hancock, the 2nd no great ketch. A few bed bugs. Saw dog houses, one old fashion roof, all mountains. Pine on them. Look back saw three mountains we crossed, South, North and (written on a rock) Conclover Hill.”; “October 21st, We crossed the line of Maryland into Pennsylvania. To Smithfield or Somersfield, has 30 houses...It is surrounded by hills which is full of coal. Crossed Barren, ____ and Laurel Ridges. Laurel ridge solid stone. Natural bridge, cave &c. To Union Town, passing through Monroe, a small village 3 miles east of Union...Warm day, almost suffocating. Building mostly brick yet the village is filthy. Owing the manure. Rested on Sunday.”; “To Wheeling, inhabitants, 7,000, passing a monument to Henry Clay by Moses and Lydde Sheppard in 1820.”;“At Zanesville we crossed the Muskingum River, a fair stream. Log houses plenty. Snow laid yet since day before yesterday. All these villages have sprung up in a few years and mostly lie too low. At Hebron I think a chance for speculation, as a depot on the canal. All in Licking, north of us good land.”; “October 29th. Columbus on the Scioto River. A lovely place, wide streets and elegant buildings. It is the Capital of Franklin. Seat of State. Large penitentiary. 5 deep, 380. Hold 700. Lunatic Asylum, deaf and dumb institution. Also institution for educating the blind.”; “November 5th, Bad road. Mare fell in ditch, heavy wood. Distressing Sunday. Good land yet very slippery. People moving from York, 8 children. No eats. Two more for dinner. Movers name Samuel Richards.”; “November 19th, Sunday dull. Prayer meeting at P. Davis. It’s affects my own feelings as regarded my duty for moving to the west are open door for usefulness…..Monday dull day. John G. Daniel brought Abner Williamson, also F. Traded blacks for lots.”; “November 23rd...To Liverpool. Many in number. Hard to find lodging and provisions. Slept on floor, house open….Crossed in canoe, 15 in a log. A lake before us, come to the river 1 ½ miles wide. Antiquities...This island 1,000 acres. Clear and cool day. Beds for keeping mosquitoes but gauze. My whole expenses to Illinois was 41.81. deduct 25.00.”; “Fine day. Spent some time in digging in mound. Found Indian bones. Saw kettle dug out of landlords cellar. Graves 18” deep. Landlord told of big skull in Missouri. Time tedious. Took turns at night to watch. My turn came from 12 to 2. Boat came ¼ after 12. On board ½ after 12 o’clock. On board the steamboat ‘Tide’. Berths full, double decker. Havana.”; “November 25th, Seven o’clock at Beardstown. Indian mound dug down. Found Indian trinkets...Passed by Naples, a small town on the East of Illinois River as the others were also. High and sandy banks. Steam, saw mill, one fine house. A healthy looking place. Passed Philips Ferry, an island. An unhealthy place. River in two. High bluffs on the west river but little bottoms on east side, much bottoms.”;...St. Louis 11 o’clock. Did not see the mouth of Missouri River. Nov. 26th, Bill 1.00. Passage to Louisville 12.00. Sabbath fine. Disappointed in Presbyterian Church. Went to Catholic church. Their church likes their doctrine kept dark a heartless form of worship. On Sunday in St. Louis along the docks. All week day saw a bible on our boat the first I saw. River water was as thick as mud. God forgive this day. Oh how I long to sit in my own seat in church and hear Mr. ____. Afternoon steam boat St. Louis for N. Orleans left. Crowded and hurried on shore to witness her departure while in the evening few had time to go to church. This the largest and finest I ever saw. Fine Day.”; “November 27th. Streets in St. Louis narrow sidewalks also. No posts in the streets but rings in the stones to tie on docks. 209 miles from Fairview to St. Louis. Saw one Indian but he was dressed in English stile and so he attracted no attention. …Half after 4 o’clock a sudden shock. Main shaft broke quite a consternation. We drifted ashore. Bless the Lord for his preserving care. This accident took place 25 miles below St. Louis. Passage money refunded. A rainy dark night. Altho disappointed still my trust is in the Lord.”; “December 6th, To Frankfort. Fine day. Rolling land and some good roads outside the stage. Passed Simpsonville and Shelbyville. This is a pleasant place and fine situations. Frankfort capital of Kentucky. It lies below the hills and you can’t see it till you are close by it. Legislature in session. Came by railroad to Lexington. Bill 1.50. Saw Henry Clay’s plantation and stock. Delightful place. By stage to Frankfort, fine country. Rolling land and natural grass.” “December 11th, Fine morning. Moderate. Four o’clock left Middletown. Louisville. Cool day. Came on board L. B. Reliance 4.00. Fine boat, cabin 125 ft. long. 11 ½ A.M. left for Cincinnati. Louisville a pretty place. Fine buildings and a place for business. Streets wide and square. Building a fine courthouse, a fine tavern. Creek, canal and rapids. Boat on rapids. Jeffersonville, opposite Indiana.”; “January 11, 1838. “Cold. R. Road. Scared horses. Fine buildings and land. 62 miles from Lancaster to Philadelphia. Eagle Tavern.” OVERALL: G

Title: 1837 ORIGINAL TRAVEL DIARY OF A MAN’S 3 MONTH TRIP FROM NEW JERSEY TO ILLINOIS, ON HORSEBACK, COACH AND FOOT, AND COMING BACK BY RIVER STEAMERS ON THE ILLINOIS AND OHIO RIVERS

Author Name: UNIDENTIFIED.

Categories: 19th Century Manuscript, Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 19th Century Diary,

Publisher: SIX MILE RIVER, NEW JERSEY to ILLINOIS and Back, 1837

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 16mo - over 5¾" - 6¾" tall

Seller ID: 0009161

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