Sunday, August 28, 2011

Letter from Provincetown, MA, Sep 1831

With Hurricane Irene bearing down on the northeast, you will read of a similar occurrence and what it was like on board a fishing vessel in Boston Harbor in 1831 in this letter from Lawrence to his mother.

                                             "Provincetown Harbor      August Sept 13th 1831

"Dear Mother -- It was with the greatest pleasure I received yours dated the 3d Sept from Hartford. I have been waiting along time & expected a host of news but I got but little = How did you get to granby what boat or stage did you go on what did it cost you &c I left Boston August 16th at 3 in the afternoon reached Provincetown about midnight. The next two days we took in stores for the fishing Season = On Saturday the 28th we bought our Oil Clothes &c. I bought a Suit of Oil Clothes a plate Spoon Knife & Fork - After fitting out we all Signed the Shipping paper & hauled out into the Harbour where we lay over Sunday - This place is one of the greatest curiosities I have Seen -- There is nothing but Sand, Wind Mills Salt works Bowers for drying fish & Fishing Craft -- I have counted 71 wind mills from the wharf & most of them in operations -- the whole place is one heap of Sand -- They canot Step out the door without Sinking in nearly over Shoe & horses Sink nearly half knee dep in main Street -- After leaving the Harbour we went out a few miles from the cape caught 36 wash bbls the first week the next about 30 - I caught a bbl Barrel in 3 or 4 hours one day & the Second day after that another = Fishing is something like hunting Some days we find plenty of Fish have to work all day Some times till in the evening but more than half the time we have nothing to do - We generally have [Suehy?] or breakfast before daylight & one at out [and are at] fishing posts by day break Our principal food is Curley bread, Chowder, Dough Nuts - Furniture Bloaters, White Cakes, Rice Beans Pilot-brad & Salt beuf & [ ? ] the worst kind of food for a Dyspeptic - - I was Sea Sick Several times so as to vomit a little but it has done no good I have been half froze every time I am Sick have had no appetite Stomach seems constantly foul Have felt very week & Stupid almost the whole time have been very Costive had to Take a good deal of Physic - Expected when I cam abord it would right the averse - It is now three weeks Since I cam abord & I am not as well as I was then - The other young man who is unwell has been affected in the same way Says he has been growing weak ever Since come on bourd - The food is the worst kind - I have bought Some Rye meal am now living principally on Course Bread -- Think I shal not Stay on board loner than the first of October do not know where to go then perhaps to New Haven -- I forgot to day we Shall not probabaly go to the bay of Shiloe [?] that we have been only 20 = or 30 miles from Provincetown have been in the Harbour once a week = Last Wednesday & Thursday lay in the Harbour during the Storm which lasted two days it blew a real gale vessels came in with reefed gibs & fore sails the waves rooled into the Harbour So as to make the vessel role & pitch dreadfully = Sometimes the waves would brak over Deck & come into the Cabin - If we shut the doors the Smoke would not Suffer us to Stay in the Cabin - So we left the Doors open all turned in & covered up to try to keep warm = we have to take turns in Cooking Each one Cooks one day in Eight = One of our men is now Sick on Shore with a Diarhrea I think The Dyspeptic from Boston Says he has been growing week ever Since he cam one Board & cannot Stand it much longer = He has been trying the Graham System of living entirely on vegitables & bathing daily & recommends it very highly for dyspeptics - Thinks it has helped him has lived principally on Sago & gruel while on bourd = I received a number of the Graham Journals from a young man in Boston, think I shal adopt the System & live principally on Dyspeptic Bread & milk - Perhaps I shal try traveling on foot = Think by the time I had walked from Boston to New Haven I should [word missing] much better but if I walk you will know it when I get there -- Write to me when you receive this & tell me everything that thing that has taken place since I left you = I want to know all about how is your helath how is grandma = I think you had better Stay untill Justin comes by all means this is the last time you will ever come here perhaps = I think if you & gandma would partially adopt the Grahm System live on Bread made of unbolted wheat or Rye flour potatoes Rice Oisters Clams & fish leave of Tea & Coffee eat no greasy food & none than all get a large tita sponge or Flesh brush & a very course towel & use them every morning when you first get up Cold or warm weather you would soon get used to it & I think you would find a decided advantage from it = Walk out more; don't stay Shut up all the time because you are weak that is the way to remain so = you can walk a short distance & gradually increase the distance = I have written this by ad spels just as I could cattch them when the Skipper & the most of the others were alseep & the vessel not rolling much = There are 5 or 6 now in their bunks snoozing & I am tucked up to a little board shelf which they call the Table with my feet on the Skippers Chest trying to scribble a letter - I forgot to mention that Frank a methodist man is one of our number he has a family has lately experienced Religion is almost constantly talking of religion & his experince is a nice man - Write as soon you get this & direct to Provincetown = I have not heard from home since we left the little you wrote - I think I shall not go to Boston before your letter reaches here but am not certain = It will probably take 12 days for a letter to go & return -----
                                                          I am your Son -
                                                          L. B. ________"

Being an old swabby, I enjoyed reading about his travails and fishing. It doesn't sound like he is cut out to be a sailor, but he's gaining some good experience in seamanship, etc. The gale that whipped through there may have been the remnants of a hurricane similar to Irene. Hang on, Lawrence, it'll soon be over!  What are curley bread, furniture bloaters, and pilot bread? I think furniture bloaters are biscuits, similar to what we called bloaters. The Navy was still serving beans and corn bread for breakfast when I was in.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Correspondence of the 1830's

"I find the medicine worse than the malady." - Beaumont and Fletcher--Love's Cure

"I firmly believe that if the whole materia medica as now used, could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind and all the worse for the fishes." - Holmes--Lecture, Medical Society

"His antidotes are poison, and he slays more than you rob." - Shakespeare--Timon of Athens, Act IV. Sc. 3.

I have selected some excerpts from the correspondence instead of copying complete, boring letters. These relate to the Doctors, Medicine, and Health of the writers and friends. Note: English and spelling is same as in the letter.

"The night before I got to Utica I staid to Mr. Barton's who married a cousin of mine he told me of a Celebrated botanist Doctor ----(?)----- non-apothecary who lived near him he advised us to return to his house and make a trial of his medicine I went to see the Doct told him hur complaint, he said he could help hur we returned to Mr. Bartons on Monday last.

"This Monday July 19th - Dear Friends as We had informed you above we are here in York state - waiting a blessing on some barks roots and herbs made into sirrups with adition of best brandy I began taking it Wednesday the effect has not ben just as I could have desired but the Doct thinks it favorable so far hope to start Wednesday for Unkle Phelps if my health will allow. --------------------The Doct who prepares the recipe practices almost altogether on old lingering complaints has a peculiar talent for judging and his success is wonderful in curing Consumptions Cancers Liver Complaints fever-sores Hreumatism etc. proofs and scars of which may be seen any time. He was a regular bred physician practiced a few years- - - he seldom undertakes fevers - This is a miserable little village here immediately on the Canal which is all that keeps a single inhabitant here low warm and muddy tis not very pleasant but many are glad to put up here and wait on the boat. For healing the blood or rather his medicines to cleanse the blood the medicine had reduced me a trifle but nor more than was expected I had gained considerable when I got to Utica. There I was detained 3 days have not been quite as well since -- awhole sheet would not contain all I should like to tell you about Capt Griswolds family They have buried 5 children within the last 5 years 2 most promising sons over 20 and 3 little children. She says the loss of the little ones cannot compare with the others. The sons were most affectionate pleasant genteel young men both in persons dispositions and manners perfectly resigned to their lot met death with calmness. - The 6 children that remains appear to me the nearest perfection of any I have seen before. ----------- Mrs. G's friends father mother and sisters have all died lately with consumption.

"I do not recollect but 2 places where we did not have a great many fleas and bed bugs till we got to this place except at Utica ----- I have not yet found you a treatment Sophronia but shall some time ---- The small pox is said to be about not far off. -----------when we come home if that should ever be we shall bring Recipes for Cancers and so forths. This Doc Corson is an old flashy cross eyed rather ill looking man and has been known to take to much spirits many times ---- but never when attending business - he has a miserable shiftless family but all this does not affect me. Him and his assistant have more 300--patients all old chronic disceases and all doing well"

In another letter, the same person makes some more remarks on health:

"A number are dying around with Cholera Morbus & dysentary but Doc C--has not lost one and has many under his care The preparation of his medicine requires considerable labor and the carriage of kegs bottles budgets back and side plaster is something ----3 men are imployed in this W. has sometimes assisted in............. of carying him and his medicine--and you no doubt have guess by this time that W is well pleased with this manner of doctering or we should not have staid here 5 weeks and more and he is still desirous of staying longer-- The Doctor passes here about 3 times a week so we have an opportunity of seeing and getting medicine"

Well, I hope she regained her health, but life expectancy in those days was about 40! Maybe if the people returned to that type of health care, the health care problem would take care of itself. Yeah, sure. The canal mentioned is the Erie Canal and boat transport. It traveled about five miles an hour and some people walking would get to a destination before the boat.

The next post will be a complete letter from a son to his mother. The son, Lawrence, goes to Provincetown to try his luck at fishing and life on the sea.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

1812 and '13 correspondence

"We give up the fort when there's not a man left to defend it." - General Croghan. At Fort Stevenson. (1812)

"But war's a game, which, were their subject wise,
Kings would not play at."
   Cowper---The Task

"Carry his body hence!
  Kings must have slaves:
Kings climb to eminence
  Over men's graves:
So this man's eye is dim;
  Throw the earth over him!"
       Henry Austin Dobson -- Before Sedan

STOP IT, I say. Enough with the quotations today.  No, by golly, we must have one more.

"There is a divinity that shapes our
Rough-hew them how we will."
     Hamlet, Act V. Sc 2.

And the following is rough-hewn for sure. Here are a couple of letters written in 1812 and 1813 during the war against the British. I transcribed them from a copy of the original handwritten letters provided me by the Ohio State Historical Society with all their cross-outs and mis-spellings. This first one was from (Joel?) Buttles to his sister, Julia, who married one of my distant relatives about two hundred years ago.

"Camp near Detroit             July 7th 1812

"Dear Sis,

     After a fateaguing march of 25 days we arived[crossed out] pitched our tents on the pleasant bank[crossed out] long saut for bank of Detroit River within three miles of the Town and a butiful situation it is. We are oposite Sandwige a small Britsh Town on the other side of the River, but I expect it will be smaller before another day is at an end, for we calcilate to  give them a hundred or two cannon balls for their brefast in the morning which will undoubtedly destroy it. When we arive at the rapids of the Maumee the army put their most precious plunder aboard a small Skooner which had come up for that purpose, likewise thee ware about 30 sick persons on board, them the vessel and plunder all fell into the hands of the British at Fort (Mauldin?), had on board 15 dollers being the money I sold the sword for which was all I had and every rag of clothes except what I had on my back, and them was the very poorest I had. having to go throw the brush and swamps I thot it best to put on the poorest I had, so I am in a ----(?) sore situation without either money, or clothes even to exchange to cash, The money ..... (illegible, including signature}."

This one is to Miss Julia Buttles, Granby, Connecticut, from Cynthia Barker, Montague, Ohio:

"Montague     September 19th, 1813

"Dear friend

     "I this moment have received your letter dated June 11th and am rejoiced to hear that you are pleased with your relations & acquaintances; and I hope and trust you are in good health, and dear Julia, remember that health is the greatest of blessings, and while you are in possession of it, tis easier to keep it; than it is regained when once lost, be very careful about taking cold, from the unhealthy evening air as much as possible; when you go out be sure and pout on cloaths so as to prevent taking cold, but why should I write this since you so often have heard this from my mouth, and if you had not certainly it would be needless - - If you stay this winter you must have wollen cloaths, remember you cannot wear cotton as you have done in Ohio. I hope you will be provided for; besure if you go the journey which you mention --- I shall not see Worthingon this winter, brother Noah intends going in the course of 3 or 4 weeks Betsy talks of going with him, ----(illegible) Case, he expects to carry, and one Mr. Bradley, his wife, and one child talk of going with him, I think it probable they will go, as they are wishing to move to that Country - - Noah had a letter this day from his father Griswold, he makes no mention of your mother or any of the family (Quintha's?) babe is very sick. Emily Griswold is taken again with the fever, Nancy Taylor lay at the point of death, Hezekiah Benedict's wife is dead; (Hiry?) Wilcox had moved down from the forks of Whetstone for fear of the Indians; his wife was taken stone blind, ands lay at the pooiint of death. Luther Case's wife sent for the doctor the day before he wrote - he says that Doctor Wills has more business than he can do - - The Indians are getting to be thick very ner them; they have come as near as Lewis Settlement on Athen Creek not ten miles for Worthington (3 nights before he wrote, which was August, 30th) guns have been fired on both sides but not any of our people killed, it is supposed that one or two of the Indians were killed by the appearance of blood, the days after, for thee wre to differnt times, and places that they were fired at; but (Tyre, Tyne??) G. says that our people are in full chase after them, and he believes they will soon be glad to clear out; just as he had finished his letter, news arrived of the defeat of our fleet on the lower lake with the loss of two of our vessels sunk and two taken -  - - WORSE & WORSE - - -

"I have not had any letter from Worthington since Mr. Barker left here, if your Mother had not been better I think Capt Griswold would have mentioned it, as to your returning this fall you you are the best judge  You recollect undoubtedly our converstions the day we parted. I can say no more now, if you should wish to return write to me immediately - if not write to your deat Mother, if she has recovered she will be pleased to have you visit your Uncle in Newport(?)

"I expect soon to hear from L.C.L. M, and this day I finished writing to the Harmony Society - when I hear anything particular I shall write to you - which I go to Branford is uncertain ; should you go to Newport let me know where to direct my letterrs for I must write to you often and you must do the same - I have been perhaps ten minutes writing this, but must stop for to morrow morning it must go to the office - - I remain in health yiour sincere and unalterable friend - etc. - Cynthia Barker


"Monday evening - -

      "Dear Julia I expected to have sent this early this morning to the Office but was disappointe - - Now Julia I must beg your pardon for the above scratch ; I knew not how bad it was written, until day light appeared but as I have not time to coppy it; to you it will go, you have seen my writing before, and I know Sister Julia will accept it, as soon as though it was ever so neat and handsome.. - O! Julia what a beautiful evening it is and now I expect the girls are sitting in Harmony can I think of this without a thought of past days - but am I not ungrateful for the blessings which I have received, and am still receiving; while I was there sickness; nor any work ever prevented me from attending every meeting, and is there another one in the society which can say the same? I think you will say; not one - but this evening I feel rather lonesome - Julia is gone; when if you was here we could sing Harmony songs, but now I am two melancholly to sing, my thoughts wander all over the arth, wherever I was, or my friends, but now I will center them here and tell you something respecting our family - my father is very well; Mother had a sore come on her fore finger, on her right hand which took away her strength so that for several days she was confied to her bed (this sore began to appear a day or two after I cam from Branford but did not confine her until the week after) she has now _______[word missing] much better but cannot do any thing with her hand as yet; and the finger still looks very bad; she can ride about; and has for a week past gained strength very fast - Betsey is weaving, Nancy spinning, and Cynthia prepares something for them to eat, when you left here our wool was just begun, now it is most done; and some of our mens wear will be ready to make next week, after that we prepare for Noah and Betsey I think will be ready for them to start, a fortnight from this; - - the more I think of your Mother; the more I think she has recoverd from her sickness, or so as to be confortabel, Julia it appears to me that I must see you this fall; and should I go to Branford through Granby I shall go and find you; if not, I shall write to you which will perhaps be within 3 weeks from this, though I cannot tell certain; - - write me lengthy letters, tell me every thing which concerns you, and while so doing remember ____________[illegible], your friend, Cynthia Barker
My friends send their love to you, wish you happiness & prosperity."

That was the first two letters of the series and I can't see much difference in the personal thoughts of these two than between two people in today's times. Ohio was on the frontier in those days and a formal education was at a premium, although some people received a good education in the east before traveling to the West. I feel sorry for Joel Buttles losing all his clothes and cash to the British, and can't help but think that their trek to Detroit was a miserable one. The letters jump ahead to the 1830's of which I will post a couple of the more interesting ones next time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Heading

There is no new thing under the sun. - Ecclesiastes, I.9

Is there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us. - Ecclesiastes, I.10

And so I found out when I thought about changing the name of this blog to depersonalize it. I was going to use the following:

But, I thought I'd better check to see if it had been used, and it had. I already knew it, as this is a real common title of a popular western song sung by our third grade class in elementary school in the '30's. I think most of the hillbilly singers have recorded a version of it at one time or another. The named blog is very nice, though, and can be checked out here: A lot of good info on gun-handling and shooting, mostly for women, but men can take advantage of it.

So I moved on to this:

And was going to use it, but it was just too dark, and someone else has probably already used it somewhere. I might add it to the heading if I can figure out how to super-impose it. What the heck is he doin' out there in the middle of the night? I hope he don't get any on his boots.

That left only this:

Spurs! Actually, fake spurs that couldn't be worn even if a person tried. Besides,there is already a blog with Spurs in the name, so that's out. (See

I could use all three and call it something like "The Cowboy and Spurs at Home on the Range." Don't like it, too long, and besides, I ain't no dern cowpoke, even though I have ridden a horse a couple of times or two. I know what "gee" and "haw" is or was. Do they still use those terms?

Guess we'll have to wait and see if there will be a name change.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Otherwise Occupied

These past couple of weeks I've been busier than a two-tailed horse ankle deep in a swamp brushing flies and mosquitoes from its flanks. First, it was looking after two great-grandsons, ages 7 and 8, for the last three weeks, and second, it was company from out of town. Don't get me wrong, if I'm going to be over-busy, I would just as soon do it this way. We had barrels of fun bowling, eating, movie-going, eating, antiquing, zoo-ing, shopping, eating, and what have you, but it left no time for much else, other than a glass of red wine before and during dinner.  Just following the doctor's orders with the wine. I'm re-aquiring my alcoholic taste, or is it taste for alcohol? Anyway, we had a blast.

 I haven't reported much about my book-signing and sales activity recently, or forever for that matter. I may have mentioned it in passing, but in June I sold six books while camped out on a Mesa sidewalk watching the people go by at the 2nd Friday Night Out event from six to ten PM. After the sun went down behind the cactus to the west, the temperature dropped all the way down to about ninety degrees. What a welcome relief! Six books sold is better than six books still in the box, but I don't expect to become a mill---- to make much money at this, yet.

The next event was in July at some new shops opening up in Surprise, AZ. The setup was inside and not bad - at least it was cool. Traffic hadn't been built up yet, it being too new, but all-in-all, it was tolerable and about half the people who came walking by during the two eight-hour days bought a book, running the total sold clear up to SIX again. Like I said, I don't expect to become a milli----to make much money at this, yet. Six books sold is better than six books in the box in the closet.

The next big event will be in Sedona, AZ, on October 1 at the Yavapai College site there, the Sedona Book Festival. Maybe I can run up the sales to seven or even eight books sold. If I can set up a signing before then somewhere that would spur me on to the October Event and pacify my senses, maybe, and my cents's. This is courtesy of the Arizona Authors Association, which will bring out the people. The weather will be nice and what else do you need in Sedona among the red rocks?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

End of Trip to Illinois

"January 1st 1830
"Got up and proposed to have horse for the Captain to ride to W MColla' on the St Louis road as they informed us, the road was not open from that place to Vandalia, disantce 57 miles but on hearing the amount they were about to charge the sum of the $4. we came to the conclusion we would go till our legs dropped off and then ....(?).... -- We paid our bill each 37 cents - and put off on foot - a SW direction across prairie continued so for about 8 miles, came to Post Oak timber and scrubby underbrush continued some distance until sunset and did not make road as we calculated came into Open prairie, saw a smoke about a mile west of us and put to it found ourselves 5 miles from M Calla's where we calculated to get to, put up for the night a dish of tainted pork sporbs(?) venison and fried cabbage without either salt or vinegar, Slept on the floor. 3 or 4 bottle shaped females (girls) as dirty as sin as lazy as the devil, paid at the Hog pen where we stayed last night - 12 1/2 cents

"Jan 2d 1830
"Started across prairie ad woods to M. M Callas stated to be only 5 miles found it to be 7. got there 10 o'clock AM. On the S. Louis road whee it crosses the Little Wabash. made a bargain with M Calla to carry us to Vandalia 50 miles paid stage here $3.33 1/2
          Breakfast  .25
and started across woods by an old road left the little village of maysville to our left get there in 2 mi to 6 mi. Prairie then a point of timber then 12 miles to Mr. Dunham on the edge of grand prairie 22 miles from M Callas on a rise of gournd a delightful looking place. Couldn't help in crossing the prairie of thinking how many poor worthless devils that live in my native place, might with a small spice of enterprise come here and live rent and tax free like kings.

"January 3d 1830
"Paid Dunham 31 1/4 cents
 Crossed the Grand Prairie called 13 miles, nigher 16. Looked delightful dry rolling hills with small ravines running through it land said to be good, marsh and road muddy 12 o'clock breakfasted on the west edge of prairie a poor breakfast, paid 25 cents.
With the exception of two mile prairies from thence to Vandalia all timbered land and the last 2 miles very muddy on the Kaskaskia river bottom about impossible some good rail timber on the last 12 miles, Sunset Vandalia poeple from all parts of the state -
Delivered letter to Mr Tillson of Hillsboror
Do to D. E. Cuyler of St Louis
               Mr Sanburn
All the above introduced themselves, Mr Tillson informed me he has written brother Leonard 4 weeks ago. Stopped at M. Duncans called at the Post office no letters or papers -
Bills up to this time $24.89 3/4

"January 4th 1830 -
             Paid Duncan .75
             Barber - .06 1/4
Rather a gloomy day my boots worn out took them to the Shoemakers to mend left Col Duncans and took lodgings at Mr Lees where matters and things looked a little more neat than at Col Duncans and less crowded . Called at the Auditors office with the Corporal where he has business took special notice of the people and especially all who appeared to act in the office. lst a young stripling of a boy 21 or 2 years of age and as pompous a young lad as I ever saw - Chief Steward and Book Keeper --
2d - a man say about 30 years of age a thin spare man with a roll(?) foot"

[Well, that's where he stopped writing about this trip. Did he ever make it to Illinois or is he in Illinois? Hell, I don't know. From there he went into his family history. Himself, Zophar, was born in 1804, married Mary E. Halstead Mar 20th 1833 - had children - Elizabeth who married Robt L. Moore Oct 28, 1857, Henry, Augusta, Edward, Hardin, Zophar, Warren, Ellen, Leonard, Mary, Dan'l who died in infancy, Eckstein and Georgeanna who got burned and died. 13 kids. I'm assuming he returned to Ohio (or Pennsylvania where his mother was born Oct 16th 1761 in the forks of Youlhagany - Westmoreland Co Pa.) His brother Leonard born July 29, 1786 was an interesting story, which I might get into in a future post or you can read about it in the history of Case Western Reserve University if you are so inclined. This is NOT my branch of the Case family.]

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Journal Continues

"Dec 27th 1829 After havaing paid bill passed down the river country not very pleasant, rather a gloomy day being Sunday did not row very hard at 25 miles Attica on the East Bank of the Wabash 2 o'clock PM Continued down river 8 miles to Portland. Sunset calculated to stop 9 miles further down at Covington in the dark out of humor but Mr. Clark and Capt Wilkinson were on the lookout and did not see it, or were a little obstinate and would not see it at 7 miles further down Terrysville 9 o'clock PM. on the West bank of the Wabash a very small town did not see it - Am in rather ill humor on account of running so late at night.
"Expenses $0.93 3/4 Bought shirt $1.50 (calico)

"December 28 - 1829
" Mr.English, Store and Tavern Keeper Started at 5 o'clock AM across the country 7 miles to Eugene a little village on on the Vermillion 3 miles from the mouth to collect a debt for Mr. J. L. Congor (...?...) against Dock Richard Taylor crossed the Vermillion West to the Doctor Doctor not at home keeps tavern fine prarie farms from Terrysvill to Eugene Mills at Eugene, thence down the Vermillion to the mouth to wait for Capt Wilkinson and Mr Clarke to come up with the canoe 9 miles by the river they arrived at the mouth of the Vermillion's after 10 o'clock Continued down the river to Montezuma on the East Bank of the river 30 miles from Perrysville Continued down the river to Clinton on the West Bank of the river. went 15 miles further to Ferry Mr. Davis & co. at 7 o'clock very dark stopped 10 miles nothing very remarkable land not very pleasing along the river except very rich bottoms overflow. Saw some paraquetes the first I ever saw it is said they may be tamed and will imitate sounds
"Expenses 50 cents

"December 29. 1829. Tuesday
"Paid Mr. Davis for sleeping on the floor and his wife blowing her nose in the bread as she mixed it up that night - Thence down the river 11 miles to Terrehaute at 6 miles above Terre Haute on the East bank of the river fork Harrison, Terre Haute 21 miles below Clinton and on the East bank of the river land rather better than above. The population of Terre Haute about 600 from actual census, one year ago 550, on rise of ground, a fine looking Court House Breakfasted at Dolis paid .25 Thence down the river 25 miles to Darwin some altercations about leaving canoe and going on foot by land Stopped for the night at Mr. Motts a girl or doxy the most lewd appearing female I ever saw concluded to go by land from the place. Paid Mr. Mott at Darwin 15 cents. 

"December 30th 1829 -----
"Started by land on the road to York a small village on the Wabash below 9 miles by land and 18 by water, left a little to the left, some very good prairie farms from Darwin to York, Saw some geese of a mixed breed, said to produce a greater quantity of feathers than the common tamed geese but will not increase any Farms already cleared producing corn cotton and tobacco will produce wheat, rather dry and sandy no water excepting wells proceeded onward from York southerly direction to intersect the road leading from Palestine to Vandalia Some small wet prairie not very pleasant, timber of what is generally called Post Oak, soil not very good - scrub oak plains occasionally People up & about some of them had never heard of Vandalia the seat of Government, and others reconed [sic] it to be a considerable distance off but did not know whether it was in the United States or not made the road about sunset at Mr Woods 12 miles from York a real Hog and Hominy concern putting up pork for New Orleans market people live more like article they deal in than Human beings

"December 31st 1829 
Left Mr. Woods after paying bill 25 cents, washing 20 cents. Thence West on the Vandalia road crossed some small prairies at 10 1/2 mi. an old Block heads to breakfast, had stinking pork Crout Indian bread and some burned coffee paid for breakfast 12 1/2. Continuation same course some miles further to a house paid contingent 6 1/4 tried to get horses - but no has not any but soar backs and gone from home, 12 miles further to be Embassads(? ) After dark some prairies, a good deal displeased with the people, more like heathen than otherwise hallowed for ferryman. Came crossed over to house 3/4 of a mile tried to get horse but could not consent until after telling them that the Capt had rheumatism they consented to go to the St Louis road at the little Wabash, (a heathenish set of devils

[One more post of the journal coming up next. The diarist seems to be growing tired of the journey and hasn't met any people he liked for awhile. I can't blame him as the conditions at the rest stops were not exactly luxurious. Since the bought the canoe, they've made good time - much better than walking.]