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A Tour Through Indiana in 1840 Kate Milner Rabb

A Tour Through Indiana in 1840

Kate Milner Rabb

Published
ISBN : 9781406773606
Paperback
428 pages
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 About the Book 

. A TOUR quot THROUGH INDIANA IN 1840 The Diary of John Parsons of Petersburg, Virginia Edited by KATE MILNER RABB NEW YORK ROBERT M. McBRIDE CO. 1920 JOHN PARSON From a daguerreotype INTRODUCTORY NOTE JOHX PABSONS graduated from tlie University ofMore. A TOUR quot THROUGH INDIANA IN 1840 The Diary of John Parsons of Petersburg, Virginia Edited by KATE MILNER RABB NEW YORK ROBERT M. McBRIDE CO. 1920 JOHN PARSON From a daguerreotype INTRODUCTORY NOTE JOHX PABSONS graduated from tlie University of Virginia in 1839 and began the study of the law. Not finding the profession to his taste, however, he made a tour of Indiana in the spring of 1840, with the intention of visiting a cousin, who had gone there three years before, and of purchasing land and settling there if he found conditions to his liking in quot the Wabash country. quot He was 23 years old at the time, handsome, intelligent, a keen observer and possessed of a charming personality. The time of his journey is one of unusual interest, being the year of the Harrison campaign, the be ginning of our modern presidential campaigns. That it was a time when the traveler used the stage coach, the canal boat, the steamboat, the horse s back, to say nothing of an occasional day s journey on the latest novelty In transportation, the railroad, gives variety and interest to his travels. Carrying some letters of introduction from East ern friends, he gained entry into what were known as quot the most respectable families quot of the various Indiana towns he visited, and his observations on family life, as well as on the country, are of suf ficient interest and value to warrant their publica tion, EPJTQB, Special thanks are due to Mr. Lee Burns of Indianapolis for the selection and preparation of the pictures in this volume, and to the Indiana State Library for the use of the Play Bill, the Harrison campaign poster and for other courtesies. EDITOR. THE ILLUSTRATIONS JOHN PARSONS Frontispiecefacing Page A. STAGE COACH ON THE NATIONAL ROAD .... 10 AN OHIO RIVER STEAMBOAT 28 THE RIVER FRONT, CINCINNATI, IN 1840 .... 34 THE EGGLESTON HOMESTEAD, VEVAY 52 AN OLD HOUSE AT MADISON 60 TOMBSTONE OF JESSE VAWTER 70 THE TUNNEL MILL AT VERNON ...... 84 ANNOUNCEMENT OP TIPPECANOE RALLY, 1840 . . 88 AN OLD HOUSE NEAR CENTKBVJLLLE 136 THE GOVERNOR S HOUSE, INDIANAPOLIS, IN 1840 . 178 A PIONEER S CABIN IN 1840 226 A VINCENNES PLAY BILL OF 1839 340 ST. FRANCIS XAVIER S CATHEDRAL, YINCENNES . . 352 THE OLD STATE CAPITOL AT CORYDON -. . . . . 358 VIEW OF NEW ALBANY IN 1840 ...., -. 364 CHAPTER I MAY 9, 1840. I WILL seize the opportunity offered for an hour or so of quiet while our steamboat lies at the landing of the city of Wheeling, to chronicle the account of my happenings since starting on my journey, an act impossible on the long way by stage coach. Having decided on my trip to the Western coun try I made a careful study of quot The Western Tourist or Emigrant s Guide Through the States of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Missouri and the Terri tories of Wisconsin and Iowa a book published only last year by J. H. Golton of New York, which purports to give a concise and accurate description of each state with principal stage routes, canals, railroads, etc., together with much other informa tion gathered from the letters of my cousin Jonathan-Parsons, who went three years ago to the Wabash country and whom it is my intention to visit. I left Petersburg, Virginia, for Eichmond by rail the morning of May 3, 1840. My father accom panied me to the railroad depot in the family chariot driven by old Uncle Peter and, quot wise and grave man quot that he is, occupied the time, like the elder Crusoe, in giving me quot serious and excellent coua i 2 A TOUR THROUGH INDIANA IN 1840 sel quot as to the conduct of one, like Robinson, of quot a wandering inclination quot though hitherto Tin traveled. My mother, after some tears shed when the part ing was imminent, troubled herself over a luncheon she would have me pack in my carpet bag. This I refused, however, having secretly determined to dine in state at the Powhatan House in Richmond, whose beautiful situation on the hill fronting the capitol I had frequently admired on my visits to that city...