Mrs. Lydia B. Bacon's Journal, 1811-1812

Mary M. Crawford; Lydia B. Bacon


Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 367-386

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Edited by Mary M. Crawford

Practically all of the contemporary accounts of travel between the eastern seaboard and the West in the early nineteenth century were written by men. For this reason, it is interesting to find letters and a journal written by a woman at that time. The author, Mrs. Lydia Bacon, accompanied her husband, Lieutenant Josiah Bacon, a quartermaster of the Fourth Regiment of the United States Infantry, from Fort Independence on Castle Island in Boston Harbor to Vincennes, Indiana Territory, and back to Massachusetts by way of Detroit.2 On their way to Vincennes, the couple stopped at Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and at Newport, Kentucky. They spent the winter of 1811-1812 at Vincennes, where Mrs. Bacon waited for her husband while he took part in the campaign led by Governor William Henry Harrison against hostile Indians along the Wabash. This campaign ended with the Battle of Tippecanoe, November 7, 1811. Following that engagement, Lieutenant and Mrs. Bacon set out on horseback with the troops for Detroit by way of Kentucky. As they neared Detroit, Mrs. Bacon was sent on by boat with the sick and wounded soldiers and other wives who accompanied the troops. On the way they were captured, but the ladies were released and sent to Detroit. When General William Hull surrendered, they were again taken prisoners by the British. After the surrender of the post, Lieutenant Bacon and his wife were taken as prisoners on a British ship to Erie. After a journey of thirty-six miles in a carriage provided for General Hull by British officers, Lieutenant Bacon was paroled at Newark, a village in Canada directly opposite Fort Niagara.3 He was excused from proceeding to Quebec with the other men in his regiment

  • 1 Permission to publish Mrs. Bacon's journal was granted by the New York Historical Society, which owns the manuscript, and the Pilgrim Press, the present representative of the Massachusetts Sabbath School Society, which published the journal in The Biography of Mrs. Lydia B. Bacon (Boston, 1856).
  • 2 Mrs. Lydia Bacon was born in Boston on May 13, 1786. She was the oldest child of Levi and Mary Stetson.
  • 3Newark was once the capital of Upper Canada. It has also been known as Loyal Village, Butlersbury, Nassau, and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Archer Butler Hulbert, The Niagara River (New York, 1908), 227-30.
because he was accompanied by his wife. Shortly after he was released, he left Newark with Mrs. Bacon for their home in Massachusetts.

During her journey to Vincennes and while she waited for her husband when he was in active combat, Mrs. Bacon wrote frequently to her mother and fifteen-year-old sister Abby, who had remained in Massachusetts. Homesickness and a consciousness of the sharp contrast between the patterns of living of the people among whom she was traveling and that which prevailed in New England made her eager to share her experiences with her relatives at home. This purpose and the fact that she saw what was taking place around her through the eyes of a woman caused Mrs. Bacon to include many details that would probably have been either overlooked by a man or considered too trivial to mention.4

About twenty years after her return to the East, Mrs. Bacon arranged the letters and entries in the journal which she kept on her trip to Vincennes in chronological order and copied them in the manuscript, published below, which is now owned by the New York Historical Society. In 1856, this journal was published in Boston by the Massachusetts Sabbath School Society (the Pilgrim Press) in a book entitled The Biography of Lydia B. Bacon. As it appeared in that book, the journal was extensively edited, some portions were omitted or summarized, the spelling and punctuation improved, and parts of it entirely rewritten. These changes, the failure to locate a copy of the book, The Biography of Mrs. Lydia B. Bacon, in the state and the interest of the contents of Mrs. Bacon's journal seemed to warrent publishing the copy of the original manuscript which follows.

Persons interested in Indiana history will find interesting references to Vevay and its early settlers, to the Falls of the

  • 4 Following their return to Massachusetts, Mr. and Mrs. Bacon stayed in Boston for three years. At the end of that time, they settled at Sackett's Harbor, New York, where Mr. Bacon entered business as a commission merchant. In 1829, after his business at Sackett's Harbor failed and he had suffered serious financial losses, Mr. Bacon took his wife to Sandwich, Massachusetts. There, he held several responsible civil offices and was sent as a representative to the state legislature at Boston. In the early spring of 1841, Mr. Bacon was appointed steward of the United States Marine Hospital at Chelsea by President Harrison, under whom he had served along the Wabash in 1811. He held this position until his death in 1852. After her husband's death, Mrs. Bacon continued to live in Chelsea. She died in Brookline in 1853, while visiting at the home of her brother-in-law, Joseph Bacon.
Ohio, to the Prophet and his followers, to the Tippecanoe Campaign and. the Indian council which followed at Vincennes, and to the earthquake of 1812. The journey to Detroit and the events connected with the surrender of the outpost are included in the second half of the journal, which will probably appear in the next issue of this Magazine.

Mrs. Lydia Bacons journal, while traveling with her Husband, when he was engaged, in the service of his Country, as Leiut. & Quarter Master, of the 4 Regiment, United States Intry. Written at the oft repeated request of her Nephew James J. Jarves.5

My Dear James, Your Uncle B. having a Military taste, saw fit to enter the Armey, about the commencement of the last War, & he obtain'd a commission, in the 4. U.S. Re. Intry, then commanded by Col John P Boyd, & after being station'd, at Fort Independence for a season, the Regiment was ordered to Pittsburg. Accordingly, on the 9th of May, 1811, we embarked on board Vessels, provided by Government, for the Transportation, of the Troops & prooeded to Philadelphia-from thence we were to cross the Alleghany Mountains to Pittsburg.

May 9th 1811.

Having obtain'd Mothers Consent, that Sister Abby should accompany us as far as Phil,ia, we proceded to the Fort in the Barge, which had been sent, to convey us to the Vessel, which was there waiting for the Troops to embark. We arrived safe on board, about 8 oclock A.M., & commenced our Voyage, with a fair Wind & fine weather, the second day I was very sea Sick, but Sister Abby proved an excellent Sailor, not being affected, at all, by the motion of the Vessel, the 3d day we arrived at Marthas Vineyard, where we were detained several days by head winds, which was not unpleasant to us, as we had acquaintances, with whom we passed our time agreably.

May 16 continued our Voyage which was pleasant, altho my former companion [seasickness] returned, the moment we left the Land, & remained with me till we saw it again, which was several days. I kept on deck, as much as possible, thinking it the best medicene, for Sea Sickness, going up Delaware Bay had a Thunder Gust,

  • 5 James Jackson Jarves was born August 20, 1820, about eight years after Mrs. Bacon returned from Vincennes. He was the son of Mrs. Bacon's sister, Anna Smith Stetson Jarves, and Deming Jarves, a glassmaker at Sandwich, Massachusetts. During his early twenties, Jarves went to the Hawaiian Islands where he founded and published the Polynesian, a weekly newspaper that was made the official state paper of the Hawaiian government. Two years after his return to the United States, in 1849, Jarves went to Europe and after several months settled in Florence where he collected art treasures which he later brought to the United States and placed in museums. From 1879 to 1882 he served as vice-consul and consul for the United States at Florence. He died June 28, 1888, at Tarasp, Switzerland, and was buried in the English Cemetery at Rome. Theodore Sizer, "James Jackson Jarves," Dictionary of American Biography (20 vols., New York, 1928-1936), IX (1932), 618-20.
violent but of short duration, sickness confined me to the Berth but Abby enjoyed the sublimity of the scene very much, being the first Storm she had ever witnessed on the Water, & did not leave the deck till the Capt thought it imprudent for her to expose herself any longer.

(I ought to have mentioned that Uncle B. went by land having business to transact ere the Troops arrived) When we entered Delaware River, I was releived of the Sea Sickness & enjoyed the scenery very much, beautiful Farms, on each side of the river delighted our eyes, with the plenty, & comfort, which they exhibited. The contrast was great with that we had left, for at that early season in New England, vegetation, had just made its appearance, & here all the first fruits were rapidly advancing to Maturity, & when we went ashore at the Lazaretto, where we were to stop a short time, & which is a few miles from the City, we thought it enchantment, every thing looked so luxuriant, we amused ourselves with examining, all that was curious, among which were some old trees that had been wounded in the revolutionary War, & some of the shot remained beded in their trunks. At this place we found other companies of Troops, who had been ordered to meet us there, belonging to the same Regiment, & who had been stationed at New London, & Portsmouth, or at New Castle, below Portsmouth. The Capt of the Company from New Castle, was accompanied by his Wife, a lovely woman, with whom I formed a Friendship, which solaced, many an hour, while our Dear Husbands were on duty, seperated from us, & which continued while life remain'd. She died some years since, preceded by her beloved Husband, only a very short time.

The first night we stoped at the Lazaretto, it not being convenient to go to the City, to see our Friends, as we had anticipated, & being crowded with the additional Troops we were obliged to put up with any accommodations we could get, & for the first time in our lives, Abby & myself reposed or rather tried to repose on the floor of Doctor Heilimans Parlor with a Blanket & pillow, this felt rather hard to those who had been accustomed always to a soft bed, but I was young then &, blest with a share of health, spirits, & enthusiasm which made me surmount many difficulties. The next morning we went to the beautiful City Phillm which I had long wish'd to behold, & was received by our Dear Cousin Penroses, with all that cordialaty which we desired & expected, they did all they could to make our time pass pleasantly, & profitably, the time flew very swiftly, & the Period, too soon arrived, when we must be seperated, from our Dear Sister, & Cousin. The remembrance of those days, will ever be retain'd by me, they were among the few, White days, which fall to the Lot of man. I never saw these dear Cousins again for they paid the debt of nature a few years after, Uncle B saw them once or twice after we were there together. Among many things worthy of observation was the Penia Hospital founded by William Penn. Cousin William was one of the managers, & going with him we had a fine Opportunity, to examine every thing in & about the establishment, as I have keep no account of it, except in my mind, I shall not attempt to describe it, as no doubt you will ere long have the pleasure of vewing this noble edifice yourself. I recollect, the beauty, Order, neatness & convenience, of the establishment, filled me with wonder, & with pleasure.

From this Period I shall give you extracts from letters written at the time, & which your Dear Grand Mother has preserved, & from a journal keep some part of the time. & while reading you must keep in mind, Dear James, that these events, transpired, more than twenty years since.

June 1st 1811.

The Troops took up the line of March from Philia. Mrs. P. [Mrs.] MG. & Myselfe went in the Stage, under the care of a Nephew of the Cols, who was travelling with us for his health, the weather was serene, the roads good, all nature appeared in its richest dress. the Land from Philm to Chambersburg, which is at the foot of the Alleghany Mountains, is rich & highly cultivated, large farms with Barns of spacious dimensions built of stone, meet the eye in all directions, & what particularly attracted our attention was the Hogs up to their backs feeding in rich clover, & the Dutch Girls working in the fields performing the labour of Men. The Hogs appear'd the most favour'd. I had often heard the remarks of Pigs in Clover, & here I saw it, realized.

Pittsburg June 26 We arrived here 10 days since after a tedious yet delightful journey, tedious in consequence of the extreme roughness of the road, but rendered delightful by the beauty of the surrounding landscap. On every side was exhibited, to our admiring eyes, a constant succession, of scenery, at once grand, sublime, awful & sweet. A variety of emotions, fill my mind, at the survey of God works, everything is calculated, for our instruction, comfort, & pleasure, & while we contemplate the wonderful variety, of naturs works, our dependence on the Author, is more firmly fixed in our hearts, could we be sensible of our obligation to him, & of his goodness to us, we should not let a murmuring thought arise, but be wholy resigned, to his will, & pleasure, what ever that should be.

The Stages were very bad, obliged to walk the horses up the Mountains several miles together, & sometimes for a change we would all get out, & walk ourselves, at one time the seats were taken out, plenty of straw put in the Dottom of the Stage, & the Passingers stowed in, like baggage. This did very well for a little while, but to those who wish'd to view, the landscape, as we passed along, it soon became wearisome, & we concluded we should rather endure the pounding than be deprived of this pleasure, just imagine, to yourselfe, Lydia, seated on one side of stage, for the benefit of the view, holding on with both hands, exerting every nerve to maintain my Equilibrium, on one side of me, my neighbours elbow pushing in to my side, on the other, the side of the stage which was not stuffed, rubing against me, till I was black & blue, & then bounce would go my poor head, against the top of the Stage, till my brains were ready to fly. but all this, I could bear, for the sake of beholding, the scenery. at a distance the Mountains would tower to the clouds, on our side & within a foot or two of the Carraige wheels, an awful precipice, at whose base a beautiful river, glided along, unmindfull alike of the danger, or admiration, of. the beholder, after a little, we would ride through this stream, or cross a rude Bridge thrown over it, then again we would see it at a distance, we were obliged to lock the wheels decending the Mountains, & when we came to a very narrow place, the driver would sound a tin horn to warn any who might be approaching to stop in a safe place till we passed. It is 160 miles across these Mountains the way we went, which took us several days to accomplish, there are some pretty & thrifty Villages among the Mountains, we stoped at several, but the one which attracted my attention most, was called Bedford we lodged there the second night, it was situated in a beautiful Valley watered by a very lovely stream called the Junitta [Juniata], it reminded me of Johnsons Eassellas [Rasselas], who was born & educated, in a similar valley, surrounded so entirely by mountains, that he lived, to the age, of man, ere he learnt, there was any other world, beside the spot he inhabited, & then prompted by curiosity he climbed, one of the mountains, when lo, another world, burst upon his view, which he explored, but return'd, (if I recollt fight) not much delighted, with his discovery.

Pittsburg is a pleasant Village surrounded by Mountains. On one side, the Monongahala [Monongahela] river, laves its banks, on the other the pure Waters of the Alleghany unite & mingle with the Majestic & beautiful Ohio This Village is famed for its manufactories, the people appear very industrious & engrossed with the all important business of accumulating wealth, coal is used here which gives the Village a very dirty appearance, & the Children appear neglected, we visited Grants Hill a place, rendered conspicious, and not so much from the loftiness of its summit as from having been the scene of Battle between the enemy & our people in the old War. we have visited, a number of Factorys, & a large flour Mill, which are worth seeing, saw them blow Glass at the Factory, also saw some cut glass, the first I ever saw manufactured in our own country. The first steam boat, ever built on these Western Waters, is now on the stocks, & will soon be launched, if it were ready now, we might have the pleasure of going in her. had a terrible thunder gust to day the thunder was tremendous, accompanied with vivid lightining, & rain, which drenched the street like a flood, the Thunder is always more violent among the mountains than in a level country, the heat is oppressive but does not make me sick, all kinds of provision is cheap & of a good quality.

The Military Quarters are small & do not accommodate all our Regiment, the Col with his staf reside at the quarters, while the rest of us board out, or live in hired houses, Leiut G & wife with Husband & myselfe & some of our Brother Officers have hired a new Brick building in market Street & have one table, Josiah provids & I see that it is cook'd & served up in proper order, which is not much trouble as we have plenty of servents & those that are pretty good. The Military Quarters here resemble an elegant country Seat, they were built by General Wilkinson who no doubt you have heard of, in the rear of the house, which is commodious & elegant, is a large Garden, arranged with much taste, all kinds of Fruit trees, shrubbery, & flowers, regale the eye, & please the palate, while the odours which is emitted from the whole, leave nothing wanting which a person of tast could desire. A Canal runs thro the grounds, over which is a Chinese bridge, with seats round, & about it. the Col has tea parties frequently, & entertains his company, in the Garden while the Band plays at a distance hid from our view. I was highly entertain'd, the other day at one of these Parties. I was siting on the bridge, under the shade of some beautiful trees, conversing with some of the companey, when casting my eye into a walk at a little distance, I saw our gallant Col on his knee presenting a glove to a beautiful damsel, which she had let fall (perhaps on purpose) you recollect he is 50, she I presume was 16. the inhabitants treat us with every attention, our next door neighbours are Irish, we find them all we could wish, they are extremly kind & attentive, they have a family of little Children one of whom is quit a pet with Josiah. Mr. Richardson has a great desire that Josiah should leave the Army & settle here.

July 27 Since writting the above, we have received Orders to go to Newport, Kentucky, on the Ohio river, its 500, miles from this place. We go in keel boats covered like Houses, & stope at night if we like, the river is narrow, in most places you can call across & be heard quit plain. We are told it is very pleasant going down the River, but we should prefer stoping here, for the present, we are much pleased with the people, & have just got comfortably fixed, but go we must, the Evenings here are delightful, after the excessive heat of the day. soon as the Sun retires, you see the inhabitants in the Streets, siting at their doors or walking with heads uncovered, that they may enjoy the soft breezes of twilight, sometimes Our Band of Music will play a part of the Eve, they take a Boat & go up the rivers each side the Village, the Music has a fine effect among the Mountains, some beautiful Ec/ios. The whole together reminds me of something I have read but never expected to realize.

The cause of our proceding is this, the Indians are committing depradations upon the White inhabitants who are located on our Frontiers, & the Govener of Indiana has requested some regular Troops to keep them quiet.

August 2d 1811. 10. A.M.

Embarked on board the Boats. The fleet (if I may so term it) consisted of 11 Boats. Our family are Mr & Mrs A. Mr G & wife. Capt S. Husband & selfe, & two little Brothers of Mrs A We went 40 miles to day. Stoped at Custard Island, the ground not being good we sleep in the Boats, Cut a curious figure I assure you, we were obliged to put our beds on the floor of the Cabin, & we females slept together, while our Husbands spread Blanketts on the seats on the sides of the Cabin which answer'd for Sophas & chairs, & thus enjoyed a comfortable repose, after the novelty of the scenic, situations, & circumstances, allowed us composure, to court the drowsey God.

Mrs P & her Husband are in another boat they have a small Cabin to themselves. We are as comfortable as if in a House, it is a very pleasant way of travelling we have our meals as regular as if in a Hotel.

We have just passed a small Villiage on the Banks of the river. it is very pretty, this is a beautiful River but extremely crooked, in some of the bend it appears as if we were enclosed in a Pond, & I can not help the association in my mind of the Indians with their Tomahawks, & scalping knives, peeping at us, from behind the bushes, & yet Admiration & astonishment seize the mind on beholding the wonderful works of an Almighty hand.

We were awake at day light by the revualle. left Custard Island at 5 oclock AM. passed the Towns of Stubenville & Charlestown, both are handsome, fair weather, & a fine breeze on the water. 8 oclock, PM. Stoped at the foot of a beautiful bank on which are several Log Houses, with large famlies of Children happy as they need be, it is a lovely Eve the Moon is as bright as day, tents are pitched on the side of the river, & fires made for the Soldiers to prepare their suppers, plenty of business going on-Mrs A is making up her Husbands bed, & reprimanding Mrs G. who being a little offended will not do the same for hers. I wish you could take a peep at us.

August 4th we were aroused this morning by the Drums beating the tune which accompanies these words, "Dont your hear your General say strike your Tents & march away." Our Pilot has a Bugle Horn on which he plays some good tunes, which echo & reecho among the Hills & sound more delightful than you can possibly imagine. One Infant has died to day-happy Child, taken from this scene of sin & sorrow-

Our boat is 70 feet long, 12 wide, 7 high & without Sails, it is propeled by 22 oars, the top is boarded & shingled like a House, the sides are tow cloth which we can put up & down at our pleasure, the river is perfectfully smooth, & we are going with the Stream, of course we pass along very rapidly.

1 oclock PM. Obliged to stop, Squal coming on, it-looks rather gloomy. It is past, and no damage done. We are under way again. 7. PM. It has been delightful weather since the shower. I wish you was with us, I can not express my feelings better than in these lines I have just been reading. "On such a blessed night as this I often think, if Friends were near, How we should feel, & gaze, with bliss, upon the moon bright scenery here." There are many small Islands in this River which adds much to its beauty.

5th August Stoped at Marietta, it lies on the Ohio & Muskimgum, the Inhabitants are principally New Englanders, whose employment was building Vessels, which they found very lucrative but the embargo put a stop to this business, & injured the place in walking about the Town which I did this morning accompanied by my Husband, we struck with the stillness that prevail'd, it is now so thinly inhabited that the clover is quit high in some of the principal Streets, indeed in some of them, there is hardly a foot path, it reminded us of Goldsmiths deserted Villiage. It is well laid out & beautifully situated, I walk'd till fatigue compelled me to return to the Boat, then Josiah with some Brother Officers, went to examine some Indian Mounds, which were at a little distance.

We are passing some beautiful places, to look at which, I must put away my writing.

The weather is unpleasant & the rain prevents my going ashore on Blannerhassetts Island, which I regret excedingly, for it must be worth examining, if the description, which I will give in an extract, taken from the Western Tour if it be correct.

On ascending the bank, from the landing, a quarter of a mile, below the eastern end, we entered a handsome double Gate, with hewn Stone Piliaster. A gravel walk lead us about 150 paces to the House, With a Meadow on the left a Shrubbery on the right, seperated by a low hedge of Privy Sally, thro which, innumerable Columbins, & various, other hardy flowers were displaying, themselves, to the Sun. The House is handsome & large, the Shrubbury, well stocked with flowering Shrubs, & all the variety of evergreens, natural to this Climate, as well as several exotics, surround the Garden, & has gravel walks, Labyrinth fashion, winding through it. the Garden is not large, but seems to have had, every delicacy, of fruit, vegetables, & flowers, which this fine Climate, & luxurious soil produces, in short Blannerhassetts Island, is a most charming retreat, for any man of fortune fond of retirement, & it is a situation perhaps not exceeded for beauty in the world, it wants however, the variety of Mountains-precipice-Cataract-distant prospect, & ccc [sic] which constitute, the grand, & sublime.6 This description was given several years ago. Since then Blannerhassett was concerned with Burr, in his attempt to sever the Union, and was obliged to abscond from this charming retreat, at present its inhabitants are a few Slaves who raise hemp, the entrance is choked with bushes & the whole has a romantic appearance.

The farther we procede down the river, the Country grows more cultivated, & more level, we have almost lost sight of the Mountains.

August 6th 6. AM. Last night the boats were locked together, the current drifted us 40 miles, dark drizly night, but the Col, being anxious, to reach Newport, thought it best to continue on through the night. Went over Letarts falls, which I did not see, for Morphus had taken posession of me. us females suffered no inconvenience from this arrangement but our Husbands were obliged to take their watch on deck & got wet to their skins, We are this moment opposite to a log House situated in a corn feild, the corn is rather higher than the House. A dozn Children are playing about the yard.

Aug.st 7 A M7 Drifted last night. Stoped this morning a halfe hour, found a Boston man settled on the Banks of the Ohio, his name is Gardener

  • 6 Mrs. Bacon's statement that she is including an "extract" from Western Travel is the only indication she gives that the preceding part of this paragraph is a direct quotation from that book.
  • 7Biography of Mrs. Lydia B. Bacon (Boston, 1856), 19, gives the following paragraph in this form:

    "August 7th. We drifted much last night, and this morning stopped half an hour and landed at a thrifty farm. Here we found a son of old Justice G-, of Boston. In early life he married a

dener (a Son of old Justice Gardener of Boston) he married a young Lady in Saint Domingo, & was residing there when the Slaves rebelled & massacred a great part of the White Population, Mr G with his Wife & her Mother, escaped & came to this country, & has lived here 12 years, We took him & two interesting Children in our boat 30 miles to a School where he left the Children we found him an intelligent pleasant Man.

Last Night lashed the boats, two together, & drifted all night, two boats run ashore, in consequence of the fog, A Soldier sleeping on deck fell over & was drowned, poor fellow summon'd, in an unexpected moment, into an unknown world he had a thick watch Coat & a blanket round him which weighed him down. Our boat got on to what they call a Sawyer which are trees blown down, the freshets take them into the river, they catch in the bottom of the river, & when the Water is low, (which is generally the case, at this season of the Year) they are very dangerous, the tops are just above the waters, & if the Boat is not very strong, these Sawyers split holes in the bottom, & they sink, the jar and noise awoke, us out of a sound sleep, & alarmed us considerably, you may well imagine, but a kind providence preserved us from danger & damage.

Aug.si 8 PM. Stoped this Eve at a beautiful place, took a walk on the bank, & went into a House to purchase butter, & on enquiring of the Lady if she had any to spare, she very carlessly observed, that they had been making soap that day & not having quit grease enough, had made up the deficiency, by putting in Butter, fine Country thought I where people take butter for soap grease, we are in the habit of buying Eggs butter &ccc as we go along, we get them cheap & good.

9th Augst A M. Arrived at Newport, found decent qua[r]ters in a beautiful place, this is a Military depot. Cincinnati lies directly opposite, it is a flourishing town, I intend going to see it today the view of it from this side reminds me of Boston more than any place I have seen yet. 30 years ago it was almost a wilderness, but you will the more readily account for its rapid growth, when I tell you the settlers are principally Yankeys.

Thus, you see Mr Dear Mother, & Sisters, I have endeavoured, to give you an account, such as it is, of our proceedings thus far, & if it contributes to your ammusment I shall be amply repaid. Altho I wish much to see you yet as my Husband was obliged to come, I never have for a moment regretted accompanying him, It is a great

  • young lady in St. Domingo, and they were happily residing on that island when an insurrection among the blacks obliged him to flee with his wife and mother. They succeeded in reaching this country with a remnant of their property, and settled upon the Ohio. Here they have remained twelve years; they work hard but sleep sound. Their greatest trouble is the want of educational privileges for their children, who are very intelligent and promising. Having heard of a good school about twenty miles from their location, (this was the nearest within their reach,) the father with two of his children accompanied us in our boat. We found him a very intelligent and agreeable companion."
source of happiness that we can be together, & I have the satisfaction of knowing I am performing my duty.

At Newport we became acquainted with a very interesting family by the name of Taylor, who treated us with great hospitality, often sending us the most delicious fruit, they owned a beautiful plantation a little distance from the Military Quarters on the bank of the river, very pleasant is the recollection of the hours passed in their society, when in the brilliant twilight, we seated ourselves on the Piazza, which overlooked, the lovely Lawn, in front of the House, that spread its verdant Carpet, to the edge of the river, while the trees loaded with fruit, not only delighted the eye but refreshed the Palate.8

Newport, Kentucky August 11th 18119

In my last I mentioned our being ordered here. We arrived the 9th, & are now waiting further Orders, which I hope will be to stay here or return to Pittsburg, we hope for the best, & expect the worst, Our journey so far has been very pleasant, do not Dear Mother make yourself uneasy on our account, the place is healty & we are well, the season is delightful, all kinds of fruit in abundance & very cheap, This is the Country for poor people, there are a great many Yankeys here. I think of you & my Sisters often & with the thought the wish arises, that I may behold you once more, but I dare not flatter myselfe

September 2d 1811 Well My Dear Mother here we are again on the Ohio, speeding our way, further & further, from the place of our Nativity, we have much to engage our time & attention, but amid all the variety & bustle incident, to our present situation, my thoughts dwell much, with you, & I trust time nor place will ever diminish, the affection I have for you. I have no Lady Companion, with me* in the Boat this time, Our family consists of Ct S Husband. & myselfe. Our Cabin is quit large, we are very well accommodated, we stope every night, & those who chose sleep in Tents on shore. The lowness of the Water renders it dangerous to procede in the night.

  • 8Biography of Mrs. Lydia B. Bacon, 21-22, gives this paragraph as follows:

    "At Newport, Capt. and Mrs. Bacon formed the acquaintance of a family by the name of Taylor. The gentleman was a brother of General Taylor, afterwards President of the United States. He owned a beautiful plantation a short distance from the military quarters, upon the bank of the river, and treated Mr. and Mrs. B. with the utmost attention and hospitality. He often sent them delicious fruit, aud [sic] frequently invited them to his house. Years afterward, Mrs. Bacon writes, 'Very pleasant is the recollection of the hours passed in their society. Sweet was our social converse when seated in the calm twilight, on the front piazza, overlooking the splendid lawn which spread its green carpet to the edge of the river. The; fruit trees on either side of the mansion were loaded with their rich treasures which not only delighted the eye but regaled the palate.'"

  • 9 In Mrs. Bacon's manuscript, the following letter was copied after the entry in her journal for July 29. To avoid confusion for the reader, it has been omitted from its original position and given here instead.

Septb 3

Last Might Our Boats were anchored under a very high bank whose Summit presented nothing very inviting, so much so, that we hardly thought of taking the trouble to ascend it, but our minds were soon changed by the report of some whose curiosity had led them to reconnoiter a little distance, they returned with some beautiful straw Hats, which they purchased of a Swiss family, whom they found settled a short distance from the River, About 30 families had taken up their residence here, being driven from their own country by the troubles in France they fled to our peaceful shores, & purchasing some land of Government have planted Vineyards, the produce of which, enables them to realize what they had fondly anticipated in an exchange of Countries, their Wine made from the Maderia & Clarret Grapes is excellent. We purchased some. This place is called Veva, it is in New Swiss.10

We went into one of the Vineyards, it was a delightful sight, the House appertaining to this Vineyard, was sweetly situated, the yard fronting the House was laid out with taste, we approached the House through rows of Grape vines, supported, by poles about 5 or 6 feet high loaded with ripe grapes. While the peach and nectrine trees swept the ground with their branches notwithstanding many had been proped up to prevent their breaking so loaded were they with the most delicious fruit, the family were dressed in their best, it being the Sabbath, a number of fine healthy Children ornamented, the yard, the Grass had been newly mown, & perfumed the air with its fragrance, It was twilight, & one of the most brilliant, I ever beheld, we tarried till the full Orbed Moon, arising in Mild Majesty, reminded us it was time to depart, which we did with much reluctance, & like Our Mother Eve, on leaving Eden, we cast a long a lingering look behind. I had often read of such places, & thought they existed only in the Authors brain, but my eyes have been gratified with a sight, equal to anything I ever read.

Septb 4 Read by L.A. B in 1841 Arrived at Jeffersonville this morning at 9 oclock, the boats are preparing to go through the rapids, the water is very low which makes it necessary to take all the Bagage out & send it by land, the distance is Three miles & takes 13 Minutes to go by Water. Leiut. Gs boat has gone safe with his Wife, & Mr and Mrs A. We could go by land, as Josiah has charge of all the Bagage, but we had a desire to go the same way as the rest, of the Officers & their wives, each Boat obliged to have two Pilots one at the bowes and the other at the stern.

4.th PM. we are safe through the rapids, it is frightful indeeed it seemed like being at sea, in a storm, surrounded by breakers, the Clouds heavy, the wind high, threatening a thunderstorm which actually took place just as we got in to port, No person in our Boat but Capt P & Lady & ourselves. The Soldiers went by land, we stood, while passing this tremendous place with our eyes stretched to their utmost width, & hardly daring to fetch a long breath, expecting

  • 10 This was the settlement now known as Vevay, Indiana.
every moment when we should dash against a rock. We wished to see the whole, in perfection & we did. We have laid below the falls these two days, & have been highly entertain'd viewing the Petrifactions which are abundant, & extremely curious, we took some peices with us in, hopes you might have the pleasure, of seing them, some future day, I often wish I could transport you here to behold with me the wonderful works of Nature.

We are fast approaching the lowland from Pittsburg so far, there has been a constant succession, of Hills & dales, in a few hours more a vast extent of level country will open to our view-We have come to the lowlands, the contrast is great, now not a Hill or mountain meets the eye.

This is a pleasant way for traveling, every thing goes on as regular is [as] if at housekeeping, We had to dismiss Brown for misconduct, & in his place, have got an excellent waiter, who cooks well & washes admirably. We drink the river water it is very good, but I have some qualms when I see the dirt that is thrown in to it. I have endeavoured to give you some idea of the Boats we are in, in a rude sketch I have drawn in this letter, No doubt, you will laugh, at the elegance of the drawing, & I don't think you can very well help it.

Mrs Weir, one of the Soldiers wives, had a daughter last night, it was born in a tent, on the Banks of the Wabash.11

We have left the Ohio & are assending the Wabash, It is very difficult to assend these rivers, the current is against us & is very strong, We make as much progress with the current in our favour, in two days, as we do against it in twelve, & what makes it more difficult the river Wabash, is full of snags, sawyers & Sandbars. The night air is very damp & if exposed to it we are in danger of fever Ague.

October 1st, 1811 We have arrived at Vincennes, Indiana Tery all are engaged in preparation for a Campaign against the Indians. Our health is very good at present but we have been quit sick, I with the dreadful fever-Ague, & Josiah has been burnt with powder, which might have destroyed his life, but a kind providence, preserved him, he was priming his gun for the purpose of shooting some wild fowl which are plenty on the river, the flint of the gun being rather long-the powder in the pan took fire from the flint coming in contact by shutting & the Flask which held a half pound & which was nearly full, exploded, & the contents went immediatly into his face, he shrieked & putting his hands to his face took the skin entirely off, his eye brows & lashes burnt close & he could not see for a fortnight, & we sometimes fear'd he never would see again but a simple curd made of new milk & Vinegar cured his eyes, the application to his face was oil & brandy

  • 11Biography of Mrs. Lydia B. Bacon, 25, gives the following paragraph in this form:

    "Last night we had a recruit added to our number, in the shape of a bit of female mortality born in a tent on the banks of the Wabash, which river we are now ascending."

    In the original manuscript at this point appears a rude sketch of the boat. It is omitted here.

alternatly, which healed it very rapidly. I took cold, viewing the Comet, which has just made its appearance, We were two pitiable objects I assure you, neither able to wait on the other & both needing assistance, When we arrived at Vinncennes both of us had to be led to the house, as for myselfe I was hardly able to step, from debility &

poor Josiah could not see at all, & no carraige could be procured, the night was dark, the weather very unpleasant, amid all these difficulties we reached our lodgings, which for the present we engaged, in the only Tavern the Villiage could furnish, it is keept by a Mr Jones12 & proves to be a very good House, at present we are rather crowded but shall be better accommodated when the other Officers are gone, there are a number from Ohio & Kentuckey who put up here We share our sleeping appartment which is a large Hall, with the family-I find this fever Ague, a tedious painful desease, have lost flesh, they gave me some medicene to vomit me, mixed in a pint bowl, I put it by my bed side, & did not find it necessary to tast it, for the sight & smell had the desired effect, Governer Harrison called on me today, equiped for the March, he had on what they call a hunting Shirt, made of calico & trimed with fringe & the fashion of it resembled a woman Short gown, only the ends were pointed instead of square & tied in a hard knot to keep it snug around him, on his head he wore a round beaver hat ornamented with a large Ostrich feather, he is very tall & slender with sallow complexion, & dark eyes, his manners are pleasing, he has an interesting family,

October 5th The Troops have left Vincennes. It was a sad sight to see them depart, a great many fine young men, a number of Volunteers from Ohio & Kentuckey, some very young, left their studies at Colledge, to go on this Campaign, my Husbands sight continuing weak it was not thought prudent or proper for him to go with the troops, the charge of Fort Knox is assigned him with the care of the Invalied Soldiers.13

8 October, What a changing scene is my life at present, here we are at Fort Knox, a stockade or military depot on the Wabash, not a female to associate with, no companion but my Husband, I walk sometimes outside the Picketts, but altho a Soldiers wife dare not venture far, for I do not like the thought of being scalped by our red Brethern, I read write & think of you my Dear Mother & Sisters, Josiahs eyes are getting strong fast, & he is determin'd to

  • 12 Peter Jones, the owner of the Tavern, was a member of the House of Eepresentatives of Indiana Territory and at one time acted as judge of common pleas and quarter sessions at Vincennes. His shop at the ferry was patronized by the gentry. John B. Dillon, A History of Indiana (Indianapolis, 1859), 448; Logan Esarey (ed.), Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison (2 vols., Indiana Historical Collections, VII and IX, Indianapolis, 1922), I, 256.
  • 13 On September 26, 1811, Governor William Henry Harrison, accompanied by members of the Militia of Indiana Territory, troops and officers of the 4th U.S. Regiment of Infantry, and volunteers from Ohio and Kentucky, left Vincennes to scatter the hostile Indians who gathered at a village known as the Prophet's Town located on the Wabash River near the mouth of the Tippecanoe River.
join the Troops, as soon as the Physician will permit him, he has written the Col requesting Mm, to order him to join his regiment. Josiah has received orders to join the Regiment very much to his satisfaction, tho not to mine, we have been here just a week, what a charming variety, now must Pack up our goods, & go back to Vincennes,

Vincennes, October 10. My Husband is gone & I am boarding with Mrs Jones, here I have a very pleasant companion, an Officers wife by the name of Whitlock, she is extremely kind to me, we chum together for the sake of company.14 I have had a return of feverAgue & she has waited on me like a Sister.

The Troops are 80 miles from here, building a Fort, the Indians as yet, have not manifested any hostility towards our Troops, but they are deceitful in the extreme, the British furnish them with Arms, ammunition & rations.15

Col Miller has been very ill, but is better, was obliged to lie in a tent on the ground, I assure you they see service now, if they never did before, I want very much to ask them how they like their new situation.

We have had no cold weather till within a few days, have not set by a fire for the last six months. I expect we shall stay here all Winter, which will be very disagreable to me, for I do not like the place or people much-Dear New England I love the better then ever, 0 that I may be so happy, as to visit thy blessed land once more, for blessed it is, endeed. The land in this Western Country needs but little labour compared with ours, & the produce does not command so good a price. This place was first settled by the French, one hundred years ago, but from the appearance of it, & its original inhabitants, they never had much interprise or industry, they are Roman Catholic in their religion, but in their habits & appearance not much superior to the Indians, the local situation of the place is very pleasant, lying on a clean stream of Water which affords them a variety of fish & facilitates their intercourse with the Neighbouring States & Territories. it is perfectly level, with the exception of three Mounds, situated in the back of the Villiage, supposed to be raised by the Indians some Centuries ago, they are quit Ornamental, the Center one is the highest & easy of access, having a smooth foot path at the Back of it. 1 rode to the tope on horse back, doubtless future generations may see this a flourishing place, there are some American families here, emigrants, chiefly from Kentuckey, & Virginia, slavery is tolerated here.

Adieu My Abby! nev'r forget, that far beyond the Western Sea, is one, whose heart remembers thee.

  • 14 This was probably the wife of Lieutenant Ambrose Whitlock, Virginian and an old acquaintance of Governor Harrison. In 1811, Governor Harrisson recommended that Lieutenant Whitlock be placed in command of Fort Knox. Esarey, Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison, I, 341, 355.
  • 15 This fort was called Fort Harrison. It was built on the east bank of the Wabash River at a point about two miles above the old Wea village where the city of Terre Haute now stands. Dillon, A History of Indiana, 461.

I am anxiously expecting news, from, My Dear Josiah, may he be protected from danger.

November 30th 1811 Still new mercies, call for our loudest, songs, of praise & gratitude, to him, who is our constant Benefactor & presever. My Husband has returned in safty after being exposed in the most horrid of all Battles, an Indian one, Oh my Mother, could I describe my feelings I would, but words cannot do it. I hope this great mercy may be a means, of raising my thoughts to God, who has watched over us ever since we have had a being, is it not strange that Beings so dependent should have so little Idea of their own weakness. We live, constantly recipients of the divine bounty, but it makes often no impression on our hard unfeeling hearts, could we be made sensible of our own frailty & the immutability of him, who died for our redemption, we should be happy here & hereafter.

I do not regret that Josiah was in this Battle, for I trust the kindness of God in thus sparing his life, has left impressions on his mind, that will not readily be effaced, His duty as Quarter Master is particularly ardious on a March, of course he was not attached to any company, but equally exposed to danger with those who were. While bridling his Horse a Ball hit his hoof & his own boot & at another time his hat, the Army was encamped in a Hollow Square on a rising piece of ground the tents all facing out-ward beyond which a guard was placed. The Indians attacked them a little before day which is their usual method. The Regular Troops not being accustomed to Indians & being assured by Govr. H. that there was no danger, had retired to, rest but not without some suspicions of the hostile intentions of the Enemy & taking the precaution to lay down already to start, with their Weapons of War by their side. their slumbers not very sound you may well suppose. The Indians do not fire regularly like well traind troops, the first gun was heard, & the regulars at their Post in a moment, the enemy, had their faces painted black, as is their custome, this our troops could only see by the light caused by the flashing of the guns, & this added to the tremendous war hoop with the groans of the wounded rendered the scene terrific endeed. our troops answered the war-Hoop with 3 cheers, the Battle lasted till day light, when the Indians were compeled to retire with great loss.16 Leiut Peters relates an affecting circumstance. Among the Malitia from Kentuckey was a Capt Spencer who had been in 12 Indian Campaigns, he had a Son 12 years old which he had suffered to accompaney him on the present expedition, he had a gun adapted to his size, he behaved extremely well, went on guard in his turn & fought in the Battle as well as a man, the darkness of the night prevented anyone from knowing who had fallen in the contest, each one fear'd for his fellow.17 This poor Boy soon as the Battle was over sought his

  • 16 The Battle of Tippecanoe was fought on the border of Burnett's Creek about seven miles northeast of the present site of Lafayette, Indiana.
  • 17 For a more detailed account of Captain Spencer's death, see Dillon, A History of Indiana, 471.
Father & found him among the slain, Lt Peters meet A Gentleman leading the Dear Child by the hand both were in tears, he enquired the cause, the Gentleman answered that in searching among the slain he had found this afflicted Child weeping Over the mangled body of his Father. The situation of his Mother is truly distressing being left poor, with a great number of Children to support. Many Widows, & Orphans, are made so, by this dreadful fight, when will Brother cease to lift his hand against his Brother, & learn War no more, there were but two married men killed from the 4th & those were soldiers, only one married Officer wounded. O what a day was that, we heard of the Battle, hearing only the report without receiving any Official communication, our feelings were harrowed to the quick, each one expecting to hear sad news from their dearest Friend, At length the express arrived, with letters for many of us, but his feelings were so wrought up that he could not compose himselfe sufficiently, to select the different letters, but put them all into my hand, & I could neither see, nor read, and passed them into the hands of a Lady who stood by me, & who not having her Husband among the Troops felt a little more composed & was enabled to find mine, & when I saw the writting & held the letter in my hand I could hardly believe my own eyes. My bodily weakness was great, being just recovered from another attack of the fever ague, & my anxiety so intense respecting my Dear Husband, that I could hardly keep from fainting. I sunk down on the first chair I could find and with Mrs G, kneling on one side & Mrs W, on the other & Mrs J, before me, I opened the letter & began to read, but proceded only to the third or fourth line, when we all burst into tears which relieved our aching hearts & I was enabled to read my letter, & to my great joy, found that my beloved Husband & others, whom I valued, had escaped without injury, how often have I read, & heard of Indian fights, till my blood chilled, in my viens, & little thought I should ever be so personally interested in one. Our situation was very exposed while the Troops were absent, for every thing went that could carry a musket & left us Women & Children without even a guard, Mrs W. & myselfe had loaded Pistols at our bedside but I some doubt if we should have been able to use them had we found it necessary, had the Indians known our situation a few of them could have Massacred the Inhabitants & burnt the Village, but was not permitted, a kind providence prevented.

Capt Bain whom no doubt you reccallect, was tomahawked in a most shocking maner.18 It was thought by the distance, in which he was found from Camp, that the Indians attempted to take him Prisoner, & he chose death rather than submit to them, he was a fine man & is much lamented by his Brother Officers, he was buried on or near the scene of action, & his grave disguised, that he may not be disentered & his bones left to bleach upon the plains, this has been done to the rest, they being all consigned to one grave, the Indians have dug up the bodies, & left them exposed to the wild animals who roam in that region.

  • 18 This may have been Captain Baen wose activities are described by Dillon, A History of Indiana,468, 471.

The 4 Regiment acquited themselves with much honor, & from what I can learn, it seems to be the general opinion, but for them, the Indians would have conquered-I refer you, to the last chapter, of the 3 Vol. of Washingtons life for a more distinct Idea of Indians & their treachery. My Husband was gone 4 weeks & in that time only took of his clothes to put on clean ones,

Some Indian Cheifs have been to the Governer, desirous of peace, they are much exasperated with one, whom they style their Prophet & who urged them to fight, assureing them they would be victorious, the event proved he was but a mere Man, & their confidence in him is shaken.19

We are keeping house with Mr & Mrs Whitlock, & are very comfortably & pleasantly situated, as much so, as is possible, among intire strangers, they are excellent people, we eat together, but have our seperate Parlors with fires, of course shall not fatigue each other with being too much in each others company,

A number of Soldiers have died of their wounds since their return, funerals often, sometimes two a day, very solemn is the sight & sound, for the coffins are followed by Soldiers, with their Arms reversed, marching to the tune of Roslin Castle beat upon Muffled drums, poor fellows, thou hast paid the debt of nature, with no kind Mother, or Sister to alleviate thy distress, or wipe the cold sweat from thy brow, strangers have performed the last sad offices for thee, & among them, thy bones shall rest, till sommoned, by the last trump, to stand before the judge, of quick & dead.

January 29th 1812 Vincennes I cannot discribe to you my Dear Mother, how anxiously I look forward, to the time, when I shall once more, behold you, God grant that your precious life may be spared, & that we may be permitted to pass many happy hours together, it is 9 months since I left you, this is a long time to be seperated from those we love, but the variety of scenes through which we have passed, has of course made it appear to fly with rapidity. I long to be in a place where some respect is paid to the Sabbath, There is an excellent Preacher here, of the Presbyterian Order, we attend his preaching, & are much pleased with him he is an excellent Man & has an interesting family, but few keep holy time here, the generality are intirely engrossed with the world, Our Friends with whom we reside attend with us & are pleased with going.

  • 19 The Prophet, a brother of the Shawnee warrior Tecumseh, preached against drunkenness, witches, and the type of civilization that the white men had brought to the frontier. Both he and Tecumseh urged the Indians to return to the customs of their forebears rather than adopt the white man's culture. Their influence on the Indians in the Indiana Territory, especially on those at the Prophet's Town, was believed by Governor Harrison and others to be in a large part responsible for the hostility and violation of treaties of the Indians in the area. The Battle of Tippecanoe resulted in the breaking up of the Indian settlement of Prophet's Town and a decline in the prestige and influence of the Prophet among the more important northwestern tribes. It temporarily relieved the frontier settlements from the threat of hostile Indians and defeated Tecumseh's plan.

We were very much alarmed the other night with a violent shock of an earth quake. We were awoke out of a sound sleep by the House shaking in a most strange maner, at first we could not imagine what it was, my first impression was that the Indians were trying to get into the house, for I never thought of an Earth quake, but we soon discovered what it was, it was truely alarming, they have continued since, some times two a day, a few chimineys have been thrown down & the ceiling of some houses cracked considerably the feelings excited by them are different from any thing I ever experienced. The judgments that are abroad in the world all tend to shew us the falibility, of earthly enjoyments, & the nescessity of religion, to make us happy, & enable us to veiw these judgments, as we ought, how mild are they compared with what our sins deserve. Dear Abby youth is the time for preparation, Piety in youth is delightful, the Poet says, "religion never was designed to make our pleasures less."

I felt a little vexed, with those wives you mentioned, in your letter, who would prefer, staying at home, rather than suffer a little inconvenience, what did they get married for. Never, no never, for a single instant, have I been sorry that I came with mine, on the contrary, I feel grateful to him who is the Author of all our blessings, that I was enable to accompaney him, to take care of him when he is sick, & to console him under the various ills incident to human nature, some might say this was enthusiasm, but I do think we have been married long enough to find out whether the attachment, that grow, with our growth, & strengthed with our strength is real or imaginary.

Vincennes March 11, 1812 We expect to leave this place soon, but where our destination is, we know not yet, we hope it will be towards you, the boats are reparing to convey us hence, We continue to feel repeated shocks of the Earth, I often rise in the night & go to the door to examine the Weather, for the most severe ones have been felt in calm lowering weather.

There was an Indian Counsel here last week which curiosity prompted me to attend, there were about 70, painted & ornamented in various ways & no doubt to their own admiring eyes, appeared very beautiful, one, had one side of his face, red, the other green, with nose and ear jewels, Some with silver Bands on their arms, & meddles suspended from their necks, one had a pair of cows horns on his head, they are good Orators but all they said, had to be interpreted, after the council the Calmut of peace was smoked, which is a long pipe made especally for this purpose, each one smoking the same, in turn, Mrs G smoked with them, but I keept out of sight in a small room adjoing, as I felt not the least inclination to taste it, after so many red Brethern, before they left the Village, they gave the inhabitants a specimen of their agility, in danseing before each house, their music is a keg, with deers skin drawn over it, it makes a direful humdrum noise, they wear nothing, on such occasions, but a peice of cloth round their waist, their squaws & papposes came with them, the Ladies ride astride, they are perfect slaves to the Men, When will their condition be ameliorated by their becoming subjects to the meek & lowly Jesus.

I visited a sugar Camp as it is called, last week, & was gratified with viewing the process, holes are bored in large trees, called the Sugar Maple, with which this part of the country abounds, & tubes put in, which conveys the liquor into a trough, it is very clear, & pleasant, to the taste, those who take pains with it, make very excellent sugar suitable for any use, the labor is performed by blacks and superintended by their Mistress, the person whom we saw, was a Lady of great respectability & very rich, it was a beautiful after noon, all nature smiled, the air was soft & sweet, delightful riding horseback. This climate is mild, have put on no extra clothing this Winter, except when walking or riding, & then a coat or large shawl, was sufficient, in the coldest weather, a very little snow has fallen, which disappeared, as soon as it touched the ground, trees blossom in Febuary, & the gardens are quit forward at present, lettuce, Radishes, & asparagus, we have now without the assistance of hot beds.

March 31. We have received orders to procede to Detroit I shall go the rounds, ere I am permitted to see My Dear Mother & Sisters, I understand the place is gay & dissapated, this makes it objectionable to us. the Climate is like New England, The troops are to go by land & not by Water as was first thought, they will have to march 600 Miles, this being the distance, from Vincennes, to Detroit, & sleep on the ground, in tents every night, it will take us some days to accomplish it, we shall procede to Newport Ke'ny from thence cross the river to Cincinnati & through Ohio to Michigan, a part of the way will be thro woods & Praries where as yet none but the Indians foot has penetrated. Mrs F Mrs G, & myself will perform our journey on horse back, & my Husband being in the Staf will have this privilege also, so I shall be spared the distress of seeing him encounter difficulties, which those who march must nescessariely endure, I have been learning to ride horse back, & like it much, but how I shall succede in going through swamps & fording rivers experience will alone determine.

[To be continued in the next issue.]

Published by theĀ Indiana University Department of History.