Ohio History Journal

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Leisurely trips of today have too much hurry--hurried trips

of a past century had too much leisure! If Mr. William Fitch

of Schodack, Rensselaer County, New York, on a business expe-

dition to Licking County, Ohio, in May and June, 1836, could

have had access to automobile and macadam, he might have made

the journey and back in four days with time to spare. Instead,

being forced to utilize canal boat, lake steamer, stage, carriage,

horse and wagon, packet, ferry and railroad--all eight--he had

to spend about four weeks. He was traveling with dispatch too,

for his errand was to purchase a farm, and he was anxious to get

back at once to set about moving his family and his effects. His

expense account of the trip, preserved in the Alexandria, Licking

County, local history records, now offers an interesting sampling

of characteristic travel routine in Ohio during the 1830's.1

The first leg of Mr. Fitch's journey took him from the Hud-

son Valley via Erie Canal and the lake to Cleveland. His memo-

randum reads:

$16.70 Erie Canal

.50 Breakfast at Buffaloe

10.00 Steam Boat

.75 Breakfast at Cleveland


Having reached the edge of the West, he planned a few

explorations into the hinterland using Cleveland as a base, his

object being to locate a purchasable farm. His first sally took him

down the Ohio Canal a few miles, over to Hudson, to Shalersville,

to Windham, to Ellsworth, and then back to Cleveland:

1.00 passage to H. Livingstone

1.00 paid H. Livingstone

1.00 expenses at Hudson


1 Original memorandum in Bryant Papers (local history records of the Alexandria

Community Council).