Ohio History Journal




edited by

edited by

JOSEPH E. WALKER

 

The Travel Notes of

Joseph Gibbons, 1804

 

 

Introduction

 

With General Anthony Wayne's victory over the Indians of the

Northwest Territory in 1794 and the resultant Treaty of Greene Ville,

settlement in eastern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania became

relatively safe. A stream of migrants moved across the mountains and

up from the South in sufficient numbers that Ohio could claim state-

hood in 1803.

Why did a family leave the security of eastern Pennsylvania to take

their chances in the more remote West? What questions did they ask

about the land on which they hoped to settle? What did a man tell

his wife about the frontier communities to persuade her to leave her

home and family and take her young children so far away?

A young man who signed himself "J. Gibbons" took some "notes"

during a horseback trip to eastern Ohio and the Beaver River Valley

in northwestern Pennsylvania during the autumn of 1804. His obser-

vations gave a partial answer, for one family at least, to the above

questions. He recorded what he saw as well as what he heard in

conversations with settlers already there. A reader may suspect at

times that some information stemmed more from the enthusiasm of

the convert than from provable fact; [e.g.], the size of catfish in the

Ohio River. But Gibbons displayed evidence of an honest attempt to

provide for his wife a full and accurate account of the disadvantages

along with the advantages of migration.

J. Gibbons was a member of a distinguished Quaker family1

 

 

 

Joseph E. Walker is Professor Emeritus of History at Millersville State College, Millers-

ville, Pennsylvania.

 

1. Joseph Gibbons and his wife Sarah, daughter of William Milhaus (Milhouse,

Millhouse, Milhous), lived on a 126-acre farm in Uwchlan Township, Chester County,

Pennsylvania, from 1801 to 1804. In 1803 the valuation of his land, buildings and live-



Travel Notes, 1804 97

Travel Notes, 1804                                                 97

 

which had resided in Westtown and East Bradford Townships of

Chester County, Pennsylvania, for more than a century before he

made the journey recorded here. In 1765 James Gibbons was the

largest landowner in Westtown Township. Fifteen years later he was

the owner of a grist mill, as also were Joseph and Jacob Gibbons.

Since our diarist wrote that he was the father of a young family in

1804, he may have been a son or grandson of one of these millers.

From the distances he recorded on both legs of his journey, he

probably was residing in Uwchlan Township of Chester County.

On this trip to the West, Gibbons was accompanied by his father-

in-law, W. Milhaus of Uwchlan Township, and Edward Bonsall, Jr.,

of Berks County who may have been related to Mr. Milhaus through

marriage. They met along the way a number of other Chester County

persons and visited in the homes of several former Chester County

families, chiefly Quakers.

Joseph Gibbons married Sarah Milhaus and became a resident of

Uwchlan Township, probably in 1801. He is not in the 1800 census of

that township and appears as a taxpayer for the first time in the tax

returns of 1802 when he owned 126 acres of land. He must have sold

his land in 1804 because in the returns for 1805 he was listed as an

"inmate" with no land. His name did not appear in the listing for

1806 or subsequent years. These facts identify him as the J. Gibbons

of this journal.

Gibbons recorded characteristics of the country through which

they passed and gave a lengthy evaluation of the assets and liabilities

of the Short Creek Settlement and surrounding communities in east-

ern Ohio. He also made incisive comments on the people he met and

the accommodations for travelers along the way. Gibbons and his

companions did not intend to settle on virgin land. They took with

them money to buy farms which had been at least partially devel-

oped by earlier immigrants in the Quaker communities.

 

 

stock was placed for tax purposes at $1832 upon which he paid a tax of $3.84. The tax

returns for 1805 listed Joseph Gibbons as "an inmate" with no valuation and a tax of

$0.30, and in 1806 his name was not listed. It is evident that he had sold his Pennsyl-

vania farm shortly after his return from Ohio on the tour described in this journal. Jo-

seph and Sarah became the parents of a daughter, Mary P. Gibbons, born in Ohio on

November 26, 1807. The Gibbons and Milhaus families were listed in Pease Township,

Belmont County, Ohio in 1820. Chester County, Pennsylvania, Tax Returns for Uwchlan

Township for the Years 1800-1806, Chester County Historical Society, West Chester,

Pennsylvania; William Wade Hinshaw (editor), Encyclopaedia of American Quaker Gen-

ealogy (6 volumes, Ann Arbor, 1938), I, records of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting; Cen-

sus Bureau of the United States, return for Uwchlan Township, Chester County,

Pennsylvania, in 1800; Ibid., return for Pease Township, Belmont County, Ohio, in 1820;

C. W. Heathcote, Sr., A History of Chester County, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, 1932), 211.



98 OHIO HISTORY

98                                                         OHIO HISTORY

 

Gibbons's good Quaker education resulted in an effective writing

style. The editor found little need to add to or interpret the text as it

was written. The penmanship is not classical, but it can be read with

a minimum of difficulty and with reasonable assurance that it was

written as it is recorded in this volume.

The original manuscript for these travel notes is in the manuscript

collection of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The editor

wishes to acknowledge the assistance of The Historical Society of

Pennsylvania for permission to publish this manuscript, and Nicholas

B. Wainwright, John D. Kilbourne, and Conrad Wilson of the Socie-

ty Staff; The Economic History Association and the Eleutherian

Mills-Hagley Foundation and its director, Richmond D. Williams, for

research grants.

 

NOTES made during a tour, through some of the Western

parts of Pennsylvania and part of the State of Ohio in the fall

of 1804 by J. Gibbons

 

Having some time ago concluded to take a view of part of the state

of Ohio & some of the western parts of Pennsylvania, particularly

about the Big Beaver Creek; in order to judge of the propriety of a

contemplated removal to one of those places _ and the time fixed

upon being arrived         on the first day of 23d of the 9th mo. 1804

left home &   went to my father in law W. Milhous's2 to breakfast

when taking leave of the family, set out on our intended journey, be-

ing 3 in company viz. my father in law, Edward Bonsall Junr3. and

 

 

2. W. Millhaus, father-in-law of Joseph Gibbons, both purchased farms not far

apart in Pease Township, Belmont County, Ohio. In 1800 William Milhaus owned 100

acres in Uwchlan Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, and headed a household

of two males and four females. Twenty years later his Ohio household consisted of four

males and four females. He sold his Pennsylvania farm in 1805, and the tax returns for

1806 had this note: "The land and Building changed to Conrad & Mathias Kelly."

Heathcote, 197; J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope, History of Chester County, Pennsyl-

vania (Philadelphia, 1881), 658; Census Bureau of the United States, return for Uwchlan

Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, for 1790, 1800; Ibid., Pease Township, Bel-

mont County, 1820, 237; descendants of Samuel Lightfoot and Rachael Milhous, 1966,

manuscript at the Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, Pennsylvania;

Chester County Tax Returns for 1798-1806; Joseph E. Walker, "Plowshares and Pruning

Hooks for the Miami and Potawatomi: The Journal of Gerard T. Hopkins, 1804, Ohio

History, 88 (Autumn, 1979), 361-407.

3. In 1790 Edward Bonsall, Senior, was a resident of Caernarvon Township, Berks

County, Pennsylvania. It is not clear from Gibbons's account whether Bonsall pur-

chased a farm in Ohio after he was disappointed in his hopes of buying one belonging to

S. Potts. His name does not appear in the records of the counties of Belmont, Jefferson,



Travel Notes, 1804 99

Travel Notes, 1804                                                       99

 

myself         attended west Cain meeting4             went to Abraham

Jeffries's5 to dinner & arrived that Evening at uncle Jas Gibbons's,

Mill Creek6__

34 Miles

24th Proceeding on our journey, we passed through Lancaster and

Columbia & after crossing the Susquehanna River fell in with Eli &

Amos Evans, John Mechem Junr Jonathan & Noble Butler7 _ all

of whom were going out to the Western Country                we now trav-

 

 

 

 

and Harrison as reported in the Census of 1820, the earliest one now available. There

were, however, two Bonsall families in the Short Creek settlements in that year. Joseph

was in Mt. Pleasant Township of Jefferson County and Samuel in Short Creek Township

of Harrison County. One or both of these men could have been sons of Edward Bonsall,

Jr. Samuel's age would make this more of a possibility than Joseph who was over forty-

five years old. Isaac Bonsall married Mercy Milhaus, which suggests a possible tie be-

tween the two families represented in this diary. Futhey and Cope, 49, 61, 485; Census

Bureau of the United States, return for Mt. Pleasant Township, Jefferson County, Ohio,

for 1820; Ibid., Town of Harrisonville, Short Creek Township, Harrison County, Ohio for

1820, 25A.

4. West Cain Meeting, established on August 9, 1796, is still serving as a place of wor-

ship a short distance north of Coatesville in Chester County, Pennsylvania. After at-

tending First Day meeting at West Cain, Gibbons rode west on Lancaster Turnpike to

Lancaster city. Beyond that point, until he reached the summit of the Allegheny Moun-

tain, he was following the approximate present route of U.S. 30, the Lincoln Highway.

Heathcote, 340; Futhey and Cope, 240.

5. Abraham Jeffries was a fellow member of the West Cain Meeting. In 1800 he re-

sided in West Cain Township of Chester County with his wife and five young children.

Census Bureau of the United States, return of West Cain Township, Chester County,

Pennsylvania, for 1800.

6. James Gibbons and his wife Deborah Hoopes Gibbons came to Lancaster Coun-

ty in 1756 from Westtown Township in Chester County where their ancestors' estates

were side by side. They built a log cabin on Mill Creek near Bird-in-Hand and the next

year built a large house. He was a miller, tavern keeper, surveyor, scrivener and justice of

the peace. During the Revolutionary War he was elected colonel of a regiment of militia

but reluctantly refused the office when the Friends Meeting at Bird-in-Hand refused to

give permission for him to fight. His mill is still standing along Mill Creek. Biographical

Annals of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1903), 659; Franklin Ellis and

Samuel Evans, History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1883), 892;

George Smith, History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1872), "Map of

Early Settlement."

7. Amos Evans, John Mechem, Jonathan Butler and Noble Butler were residents of

Uwchlan Township. Eli Evans lived in nearby East Nantmeal Township. These five men

joined Gibbons's group for part of the westward trip, but their ways separated in the

journey over the mountains. The Evanses were headed for Pittsburgh and had a near-

fatal accident on the way, according to a report Gibbons received at Beaver. All three of

these family names are common in Chester County. Noble Butler, the son of Noble But-

ler of Uwchlan Meeting, was said to have gone to Kentucky. Census Bureau of the Unit-

ed States, returns for Uwchlan and East Nantmeal Township, Chester County, Pennsyl-

vania, for 1800; Chester County Tax Returns for 1798; Futhey and Cope, 492, 538-44;

Heathcote, 394-97.



100 OHIO HISTORY

100                                                      OHIO HISTORY

 

elled together, that night reached Kings tavern, Sign of the Unicorn8

11 Miles beyond York, through which we passed, making about 37

Miles

25th Rode 8 Miles to Oxford,9 part of the way through heavy rain,

breakfasted at the Sign of the Bull, then 20 Miles further to Haum's

tavern10 on the top of the South Mountain            where we fed &

reached Chambersburgh (12 miles) in the Evening, making in all 40

miles-put up at the Green tree tavern kept by        Hydrick

We found on our arrival at Mill Creek, that the Ague & fever, and

Bilious remitting fevers, prevailed generally through that neighbour-

hood & by Accounts as far as 300 Miles back, along the back part of

Virginia, up the Susquehanna & all round for a very considerable ex-

tent of Country      at a Town called Manheim11 about 10 Miles from

Mill Creek, which is said to contain about 100 houses, it was com-

puted there was 500 Persons lay sick ______at Berlin,12 another town,

not a house Escaped - and at some of the Taverns along the roads

by reports from Travellers no accommodations could be had, the

families being all down with the fever   _  we heard of some fields of

Grain that were not cut __                 and generally through the Country very

backward about Seeding                     Some fields were only broke up

and others which were part Sowed, were left             such a general

complaint throughout the Country was never known before         _   but

considering the number sick, there were but few deaths from Mill

Creek to this place 77 Miles    _   all along the Road, the fever pre-

vails, & how much further we don't know

26th left Chambersburg         crossed the Blue Mountains,13 Cove

 

 

8. Kings Tavern, Sign of the Unicorn, was between Thomasville and Abbottstown in

York County, Pennsylvania. Joshua Gilpin stopped there five years later. Joshua Gilpin,

Journal for 1809, Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

9. Oxford is now the borough of New Oxford in Adams County, about ten miles east

of Gettysburg. It was founded in 1793. Thaddeus Mason Harris, The Journal of a Tour

into the Territory Northwest of the Allegheny Mountains . . . 1803, Thwaites, III, 369.

10. Haums Tavern was the halfway point between Gettysburg and Chambersburg.

The top of the ridge was a good place to stop to rest the horses.

11. Manheim, about ten miles north of Lancaster, had been the location of the fa-

mous Stiegel Glass works. Gibbons did not go through it on his journey west but was

reporting on conditions there as he had heard of them.

12. Gibbons later passed through a village named Berlin, in Somerset County, but

the reference is not clear as to whether it was that Berlin which had the epidemic of

ague or a village in Adams County which is now called East Berlin but in 1804 was Berlin.

James Weston Livingood, The Philadelphia-Baltimore Trade Rivalry, 1780-1860 (Harris-

burg, 1947), 53.

13. The first ridge encountered was the Tuscarora Mountain between Fort Loudon

and McConnellsburg. Cove Mountain was west of the Tuscarora. James Flint, Letters

from America, 1818-1820, Thwaites, IX, 69.



Travel Notes, 1804 101

Travel Notes, 1804                                                   101

 

Mountain & a number of very Steep hills, between that and Sideling

hill,14 which is in fact a very considerable mountain       long, Steep

and Stony, and great part of it entirely paved with Rocks & Stones

__   on Sideling hill we overtook a Waggon & Cart with several fami-

lies of Swiss, moving out to Greensburg        there was between 20 &

30 Men Women & Children, mostly of the 2 latter descriptions, they

appeared much exhausted with climbing the hill, and were strag-

gled in companies of 2 or 3 together all the way up to the top, some of

them near a mile from the Waggon                           I took notice of two women

sitting by the road        one of them                         crying &   seemed much dis-

heartened        but not understanding their language we could not

converse with them _ they were then, at near Sundown, almost 3

miles from a tavern, which we thought they could not reach, but

would have to encamp on the top of the hill       _   this would be an

uncomfortable Situation, as the wind blew Cold, & it looked likely

for Rain        _   but we could do no more than pity their hard lot & Jog

on __            our Stages to day were, 9 miles to Breakfast at the Spread Ea-

gle, Campbells,15 11 miles to Connellsburg16            fed at Davis's

(Gen1 Washington) & 17 miles to B. Martins,17 to Lodge           making

in all 37 miles this was a hard days Journey, we did not reach our in-

tended Stage till after night, very much tired & with keen appetites,

but after partaking of some Excellent Coffee, Beef Stakes &c.- felt re-

freshed __     three of our Company gave out & halted at a mean look-

ing house about two miles back

27th Rode 10 Miles to breakfast at Captn Graham's tavern18 (for-

 

 

 

14. Sideling Hill is a long steep ridge in the western part of Fulton County. Fortescue

Cuming, Sketches of a Tour to the Western Country ... 1807-1809, Thwaites, IV, 57-60.

15. Campbells or Campbellstown was the original name for the village of St. Thomas

in Franklin County. I. H. M'Cauley, Historical Sketch of Franklin County, Pennsylvania

(Harrisburg, 1878), 217; Harris, Thwaites, III, 369.

16. This village is now McConnellsburg. The tavern was about ten-years old in 1804

and is still operated as a hotel on the Lincoln Highway. Several Davis Families were

listed in this part of Bedford County in 1790; but, because Bedford County was not di-

vided by Townships in recording this census, it is not possible to determine which one

ran the inn. John Davis was the only member of that family named in the census of 1800.

Census Bureau of The United States, return for Bedford County, Pennsylvania, for 1790,

20, 22; Ibid., Dublin and Air (Ayr) Townships, Bedford County, Pennsylvania, for 1800.

17. B. Martin's Tavern was at the foot of the western slope of the Sideling Hill, near

the present town of Breezewood. Benjamin Martin resided there in 1790 in a household

of three males and three females. In 1783 Col. James Martin operated a tavern at the

crossing of the Juniata River. Ibid., Bedford County, Pennsylvania for 1790, 20; Ibid.,

Providence Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania, for 1800; Harris, Thwaites, III,

367; John Tyler, "Juniata Crossings: Frontier Outpost," Pioneer America, II (July, 1970),

4-10.

18. Capt. Grahams Tavern (formerly Hartleys) was at Bloody Run, now Everett.



102 OHIO HISTORY

102                                                       OHIO HISTORY

 

merly Hartleys) an Excellent Stage _        one miles from our last nights

lodging we crossed the Juniatta River (Rays town branch) and after

rising a very high hill, we rode along the ridge of that & several other

hills with the River in view at Intervals, on both sides of us _       af-

fording a delightful prospect of the different windings of the River at

a great depth below, on both sides & to appearance not more than

100 yards apart in some places        in others a mile or more _      this

branch is about as large as Brandywine19 at Milltown.20

pursuing our journey along the Juniatta, 6 miles from this place we

came to Bedford21 a small town situate in a kind of bason, nearly sur-

rounded with hills        here we left the River and began to climb

the mountains     _   our Road to day was much better than yester-

day, though the general face of the Country was uncommonly rough

& uneven __        we fed our horses at an Ordinary on "middle dry

Ridge"22 and in the Evening put up at the foot of the Allegeny Moun-

tain, at an old Shackling house which did not promise much when

we first came in view of it, and on nearer approach found the Compa-

ny in it were fiddling & Carousing, but they stopt on our coming up

the company round about the house looked but ordinary

& the inside of the house was exceeding dirty            as we had no

better chance, put up our horses & ordered Supper, though doubt-

ful it would be so dirty we could not eat it-They bustled about,

 

 

 

William Hartley entertained George Washington overnight at Mt. Dallas near Bloody

Run in 1794. In 1800 William Graham resided at Everett. T. M. Harris called this tavern

the best between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Census Bureau of The United States,

return for Bedford County, Pennsylvania, for 1790, 21; Ibid., Providence and Colrain

Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania, for 1800; William P. Schell, The Annals of

Bedford County, Pennsylvania (Bedford, 1907), 67; Thaddeus Mason Harris, Thwaites,

III, 324; Edwin Adams Davis and John C. L. Andreassen (editors), "A Journey from

Baltimore to Louisville in 1816: Diary of William Newton Mercer," Ohio State Archaeo-

logical and Historical Quarterly, XLV (October, 1936), 351-64.

19. The reference was to the East Branch of the Brandywine River which was near

Gibbons's house.

20. Milltown was the early name for Downingtown, Pennsylvania, near where Gib-

bons lived. Futhey and Cope, 173.

21. Bedford was a well-known stopping place on the highway. An early fort had

been built there, and Bedford Springs resort hotel was about two miles south of the

town. Washington had his headquarters at the Espy House in Bedford in 1794 during

the Whiskey Insurrection. F. A. Michaux found it a noisy, brawling town in 1802. Schell,

45-46; Davis and Andreassen, 351-64; William H. Koontz (editor), History of Bedford and

Somerset Counties (3 volumes, New York,), 1906; F. A. Michaux, Travels to the West of

the Allegheny Mountains in the States of Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee . . . 1802,

Thwaites, III, 142-46; Harris, Thwaites, III, 325; Cuming, Thwaites, IV, 61-70.

22. "Middle Dry Ridge" was given the name because there were no streams on its

side. Joshua Gilpin made several references to this dryness. Harris found the ridge

beautiful and magestic. Gilpin, Journal for 1809; Harris, Thwaites, III, 366-67.



Travel Notes, 1804 103

Travel Notes, 1804                                                     103

 

Seized a couple of Chickens & twisted their heads off __           and got

us a tolerable supper          better than we expected &      tho we be-

lieved it to be dirty, yet being hungry, eat hearty        the house was

so crowded that we could scarcely all get chairs to set on, and as

soon as a seat was vacated _        there was 2 or 3 ready to seize it

there were several other Travellers besides ourselves, a dutch family

moving back & a number of workmen & people of the neighbour-

hood, which altogether made a throng house                we had pretty

comfortable beds & upon the whole fared much better than we ap-

prehended         it is the best house within many miles but by no

means a desirable stage if it could be avoided. __       40 Miles

28th We rose before day, fed our horses & at daybreak began to

Asscend the Allegheny Mountain, at 1 mile distant, on the top, at the

white horse tavern23 the Road forks, the Right leading to Pittsburg,

and the left through the Glades to Redstone,24 here 2 of our Compa-

ny Eli & Amos Evans left us, going for Pitt-& the remainder being 6 in

number rode 9 miles &              breakfasted at the "Blue Ball,"25 an Ordi-

nary in the Glades __                we passed through a little town called Ber-

lin,26 2 miles back, the Road over the Allegeny being 3 miles, was

very good, & there are divers farms on the top            15 miles further

we crossed Laurel hill Creek27 & fed our horses at the foot of Laurel

Hill, at Jones's Mill & tavern,28 a very ordinary place        then went

12 miles further to B. Davis's tavern29 __       here we had good Quar-

 

 

23. White Horse Tavern was the place where the highway forked. Gibbons's party

took the left fork known then as the Glade Road. In 1816 the Bedford and Somerset

Turnpike Road Company was incorporated to build a turnpike along this route. It con-

nected with the Bedford-Stoyestown road four miles west of Bedford. Schell, 52;

Koontz, II, 205-06; Flint, Thwaites, IX, 77.

24. The Stony Creek Glades near Stoystown were mentioned by Veeche, 131; and

Schell, 52; Thaddeus Mason Harris, Thwaites, III, 371.

25. Blue Ball Ordinary was in Somerset County.

26. Berlin is nine miles southeast of the county seat town of Somerset. See Note 12.

27. Laurel Hill Creek is a branch of the Youghiogheny River. It provided the power

for several iron works. Gilpin, Journal for 1809.

28. The Jones Family was active in early industry in Western Pennsylvania. Robert

and Benjamin Jones built Springhill Furnace in Fayette County in 1794. William and An-

drew were residents of Bedford County in 1790. Westmoreland County contains a town

which is still called Jones Mills. The description of the road and distances, however,

shows that the Jones plantation which Gibbons visited was on Laurel Hill Creek near

the corner where the counties of Somerset, Fayette and Westmoreland meet. It was at

the eastern entrance to a pass over Laurel Hill that William Jones built a mill. Myron B.

Sharp and William H. Thomas, A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces in Western

Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, 1966), 51; Census Bureau of The United States, return for

Bedford County, Pennsylvania, for 1790, 20; Reading Howell, Map of Pennsylvania,

1792, Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Koontz, II, 193-94; Harris, Thwaites, III, 327.

29. The distance given would place the B. Davis Tavern stop at or near Normalville.



104 OHIO HISTORY

104                                                         OHIO HISTORY

 

ters for ourselves & horses, considering the part of the country we

were in, being newly settled, & generally by people in low circum-

stances                                                         36 Miles_

29th Rode    12 Miles to     "Connellsville"30 on the banks of the

Yoxhiogeni,31 a pretty Stream of water, over which there is a toll

bridge, 3 of us stopt at Thomas Gibsons,32 he was not at home, but

his wife and daughter Phebe received us with kindness                  here

we Breakfasted & then crossed the River which was now low, not

more than knee deep, but an exceeding rough bottom, being entirely

covered with Stones like those used for paving Streets         _     rode 11

miles to Union or Beeson town,33 here we parted with the young man

who had hither-to been with us & we stopt & refreshed ourselves &

horses at Jacob Beeson's then proceeded 5 miles further to William

Dixons,34 where we put up for the night           making        28 miles.

first day 30th Rode 9 Miles to Robert Millers,35 left our horses and

 

 

Benjamin Davis was listed as the owner of four slaves when the enrollment of slaves was

made in Fayette County in 1780. Veech, 99.

30. Zechariah Connell was listed as a resident of Tyrone Township, Fayette County,

in 1772 and the owner of two slaves in 1780. He had a residence in Connelsville in 1800.

Veech, 99, 203; Harris, Thwaites, III, 364.

31. The Youghiogheny River is one of the main branches of the Monongahela.

Harris described its flow in some detail. Ibid., 330-34.

32. The Gibson Family had been engaged in the iron business in Fayette County

before 1800. J. Gibson and Company started the Laurel Furnace in 1797. Thomas and

Joseph Gibson erected the Etna Furnace on Trumps Run, one mile from Connellsville, in

1813. John lived in Bullskin Township in 1800. Halliday Jackson visited John in 1816 and

held a Friend's meeting in his home. Arthur Cecil Bining, Pennsylvania Iron Manufac-

ture in the Eighteenth Century (Harrisburg, 1938), 32, 191; Jackson, Memorandums;

Sharp and Thomas, 46-47; Census Bureau of The United States, return for Connellsville

Town and Dunbar Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, for 1800; Ibid., Bullskin

Township, 501.

33. Uniontown or Beeson Town. The Beeson Family was living in this area as early as

1766; Jacob Beeson was listed as resident of Springhill Township, Fayette County,

Pennsylvania, in 1772. Henry Beeson laid out the town now called Uniontown in 1778. He

was residing in Union township in 1800. A traveler wrote in 1797 that Beeson Town had a

brick court house, two large mills and several iron works. A Journey to the Northwestern

Territory, 1797. Manuscript written by an anonymous resident of Ellicotts Mills, Mary-

land, Friends Historical Library, Swathmore College; Veech, 100, 133, 200; Hugh

Cleland, George Washington in the Ohio Valley (Pittsburgh, 1955), 198; Census Bureau

of The United States, return for Union Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, for

1800, 616.

34. William Dixon operated a tavern west of Uniontown on the road to Brownsville.

In 1790 a William Dixon was a resident of Franklin Township and ten years later in

Menallen Township, both in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Ibid., Fayette County,

Pennsylvania, for 1790, 104, 106; Ibid., for 1800, 568.

35. Robert Miller is not in the census record for Redstone Township, Fayette Coun-

ty, in either 1790 or 1800, which would indicate that he had become a householder in

that place not long before Gibbons visited him. Possibly he had come from Chester

County and was known to these travelers. Thomas Milhaus of Chester County was mar-



Travel Notes, 1804 105

Travel Notes, 1804                                                       105

 

walked to Redstone Meeting about 1/4 of a mile from his house, and

on a high bank       which   overlooks the towns of Brownsville36 &

Bridgeport,37 which are only separated by Dunlaps Creek                  we

did not go into the towns, but after Meeting returned to R. M.'s to

Dinner_         here we met with Ann Taylor38 from       Short Creek over

the Ohio, who was on a visit to the families of friends belonging to

Redstone Quarter &       nearly got through           she concluded after

deliberating on the Subject, to go with us to Wm Hillas's,39 and if

Easy in the morning, return with us & finish her visit at another time

_  we called a little while at Jonas Cattle's,40 and after crossing the

Monongalia River41 went to W. Hillas's to lodge, 4 Miles. from                                 R.

Millers        here we were kindly received &         Entertained &                                    next

morning

10thm° 1. we set out, Ann and her Companion (Christiana Hall)42

being with us __       we rode over an exceeding rough & uneven coun-

try which is the case all throughout Redstone              passed through

the Town of Washington 21 Miles from W. Hillas's & about 2 hours

after night put up at the Cabbin of an honest dutchman43 12 miles

 

 

ried to Sarah Miller, daughter of a large landowner in New Garden Township, Chester

County. Thus there may have been a relationship between the Miller and Milhaus Fam-

ilies which prompted this visit. Heathcote, 204; Futhey and Cope, 660; Census Bureau

of The United States, return for Redstone Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, for

1790 and 1800.

36. Brownsville is at the point where the National Highway descended from the

high plateau, on which Redstone Old Fort was located, and crossed the Monongahela

River.

37. Dunlaps Creek divided Brownsville from Bridgeport. Veech, 81.

38. Ann Taylor was the wife of Jonathan Taylor of Short Creek, Ohio. She had been

hostess to the Gerard T. Hopkins party earlier in the year 1804 when the Baltimore men

had stopped at Short Creek. She attended The Miami Monthly Meeting in Waynesville,

Ohio, in 1803. See Hopkins, Journal, note 35; Jonathan F. Linton, 117-24; H. E. Smith,

35-85.

39. William Hillas (or Hillis) was living on land on Miller's Run near Canonsburg

which George Washington claimed. Washington visited him in 1784 in an effort to se-

cure a settlement from Hillas and many others who were living on the tract. The Hillas

home which Gibbons visited, however, was not on the Washington claim but farther

south near Centerville. He may have moved after Washington won his suit, against the

settlers in 1786. Cleveland, 294, 298.

40. Jonas Cattles was a resident of Luzerne Township, Fayette County, in 1790 and

supported a household of three males and five females. By 1800 his family had in-

creased to ten members, Census Bureau of The United States, return for Fayette County,

Pennsylvania, for 1790, 107; Ibid., Luzerne Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, for

1800, 558.

41. The Monongahela is one of the main branches of the Ohio.

42. Henry and John Hall were residents of Springhill Township, Westmoreland

County, in 1772. This was a family which had been in the area of Redstone for many

years and Christiana Hall may have been visiting relatives there. Veech, 200.

43. At Washington, Pennsylvania, the travelers left the main trail and went across



106 OHIO HISTORY

106                                             OHIO HISTORY

 

further  _ we had pretty good quarters for our horses. but fared

poorly ourselves. the women had a bed in a cold kitchen and us 3

had a Chaff bed spread on the floor, in the room with the Old man

& his wife, where we made shift to pass the night  though with-

out much sleep     we might have stopt at a tavern, but as there

had been three several robberies committed there lately, we did not

think best to call at it _  some Tongue, Cakes and Cheese brought

with us, was our Supper, with the addition of a little ordinary tea for

such of the company as wuld drink it __   but as I never use Tea, I

fared poorly after such hard riding, in the morning

l0thm° 2d we breakfasted in the same manner we had supped &

proceeded on our Journey    the road we now travelled was a bye

road but being reckoned shorter our pilots took it  though what

we gained in distance was amply made up by the badness of the

road              the best road from Washington is through Middletown 12

miles             Charlestown on the Ohio 12 miles    then there is 7

miles of level Road along the banks of the River, to the mouth of

Short Creek  _  but we came through the very roughest part of the

country & to the banks of the River at the mouth of Short Creek

there is a Creek on each side of the river nearly opposite to each oth-

er & both go by the same name, except for distinction, that over the

Ohio is called "Indian Short Creek" from our last Stage, through a

small town called "West Liberty" to the River, is 13 miles __

The Ohio is a beautiful Stream of water. I think the handsomest I

ever saw _     it was a very calm still time, not a breath shook the

tremulous leaf, nor the smooth expanse in the least ruffled; the water

was clear and glided silently & slowly along. I stood for some time on

the bank beholding with delight a stream I had so often heard tell

of, and wished to see    the banks on both sides covered with

virdure & from 15 to 30 feet high, in some places more __   the reflec-

tion in the water of the Lofty timber which grew on the banks & of

the banks themselves, was truly pleasing _ and as I stood gazing

at it, I contemplated in Idea the future grandeur of this western world

___ when this Stream should be covered with vessels spreading

their canvass to the wind, to convey the produce of this fertile coun-

try to New Orleans and across the Atlantick Ocean __   I had full

time to revolve these things in my mind, as the ferry boat could not

convey over all that wanted a passage    father & I therefore

 

 

country through what is even today a sparsely settled area of southwestern Pennsylva-

nia. They could not, of course, find taverns for this section of their itinerary and stopped

at houses they found in the late afternoon.



Travel Notes, 1804 107

Travel Notes, 1804                                            107

waited till her return __      we then crossed & landed at a small new

town called "Warren town"44 at the mouth of "Indian Short Creek"

whilst our horses were feeding I sat on a pile of boards on the bank &

made these notes __        then rode 5 miles to our friend Joseph Steer45

who has a Grist & Saw Mill on Short Creek __           here we were hospi-

tably received & next morning-3d he accompanied us to Concord

Meeting46 8 miles _

 

 

 

44. The village at the mouth of Short Creek is now called Rayland. Flint, Thwaites,

IX, 104.

45. Joseph Steer was a miller on Short Creek. His mill and residence was five miles

above the mouth of that stream at the Ohio River. This distance places his mill at Mt.

Pleasant, where he resided in 1820. He had previously lived at Bird-in-Hand, Lancaster

County, Pennsylvania, where his land adjoined that of James Gibbons. He sold that

land in 1768 and moved to Virginia from which state he had come to Ohio. In 1820 an-

other Joseph Steer, possibly a son, was a near neighbor of John Gibbons in Belmont

County. Ellis and Evans, 891-92; Census Bureau of the United States, return for Mount

Pleasant Township, Jefferson County, and Pease Township, Belmont County, Ohio, for

1820; Daniel J. Ryan, "From Charter to Constitution," Ohio Archaeological and Histori-

cal Quarterly, V (November, 1895), 1-164.

46. The Quaker center at Concord Meeting, begun in 1799, did not develop into the

metropolis which Gibbons anticipated for it. He stated later that the inhabitants ex-

pected the state capitol to be built there because Concord was nearly halfway between

the Western Reserve and Cincinnati. The meetinghouse was about six miles from St.

Clairsville, but no modern town has survived to preserve the high hopes of the early

settlers. Correspondence with Richard C. Knopf; Downes, 97-99; H. E. Smith, 35-85.



108 OHIO HISTORY

108                                                        OHIO HISTORY

 

our intention being to attend as many of friends Meetings as we con-

veniently can, take a general view of the Country for a considerable

distance round, and endeavour as we go along to feel after the propri-

ety of removing here __       of which for some time past we have had a

prospect       but being anxiously desirous to be guided by best wis-

dom, have a hope I shall be preserved from running into any thing in

my own will or time, which would occasion uneasiness hereafter

therefore intend to wait for clearness how to proceed in this very im-

portant & interesting concern

from  meeting we went home with Horton Howard,47 a valuable

friend where we now are, and feel much at home.

3 miles.

in the afternoon Joseph Steer & Horton Howard rode with us about 6

miles round the Country, to view several tracts of land for Sale

and returned in the evening with our kind host

10 mo. 4th took a view of some land for Sale and attended Short

Creek Meeting,48 it was not large, say from     60 to 70 Persons of both

Sexes & about as many at Concord yesterday, but we were informed

they were much larger on first days           H. H. accompanied us to

meeting & then to Jonathan Taylors49 to dinner, we were kindly re-

 

 

47. Horton Howard came to Short Creek in 1799 with two other men from the

Coresound Monthly Meeting in Carteret County and the Trent Monthly Meeting in Jones

County of North Carolina. Their purpose was to select a site for a settlement of Carolina

Quakers. The migration took place in 1800. In 1823 Horton J. Howard began publishing a

semimonthly journal called Juvenile Museum at Mount Pleasant and in 1827 became

publisher of a newspaper called The National Historian and St. Clairsville Advertiser. He

was also a mapmaker and publisher of botanic medical books. In 1820 two Howard Fam-

ilies were near neighbors of William Milhaus in Belmont and Jefferson Counties, and

four years later Henry Howard was a Belmont County supporter of John Quincy Adams

for president. Harry R. Stevens, The Early Jackson Party in Ohio (Durham, N.C., 1957),

170; Bond, 1, 255, 286, II, 525; Francis C. Hibbard, "Origin of Some Early Belmont

County Newspapers," Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, LV (April,

1946), 178-82; James H. Rodabaugh, "The Friends Yearly Meeting House at Mount

Pleasant," Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society Museum Echoes, XXIX (April,

1956), 27-30; Census Bureau of The United States, returns for Pease Township, Belmont

County and Warren Township, Jefferson County, Ohio, for 1820, 239, 475.

48. Short Creek Meeting was the center of a growing Quaker community in eastern

Ohio. Gerard T. Hopkins had attended meeting at Mount Pleasant in 1804 and Halliday

Jackson, Letitia Ware and Martha Ross stopped at Short Creek and attended meetings

at Plainfield and Goshen in 1816. Settlement at Short Creek is reported to have begun

with the Biggs Family about 1770. The monthly meeting was organized in 1803. Jackson,

Memorandums; Thwaites, III, 360n; Downes, 99; Gerard T. Hopkins, Journal, note 35;

H. E. Smith, "The Quakers - Their Migration to the Upper Ohio, Their Customs and

Discipline," Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, XXXVII (January, 1928),

35-85.

49. Jonathan Taylor served as clerk of the Short Creek Meeting. He was a resident of

Mount Pleasant Township, Jefferson County, in 1820. Isaac Taylor was a large landowner



Travel Notes, 1804 109

Travel Notes, 1804                                              109

 

ceived by Jonathan & his wife Ann there we rested till the next day

5 miles

5th Intending to take a view of the Country and particularly of some

lands on the heads of Still Water & Captena,50 where a new settle-

ment of friends is forming, and some of fathers relatives & friends

had lately removed from Georgia         we set out in the morning,

though it rained, which increased & continued 'till about noon

the roads were exceeding Slippery and disagreeable travelling which

is always the case in this country after a little rain __   the horses

would Slip & Slide about as if the road had been coated over with

soft Soap; and it was with difficulty they could keep their feet &

Climb up or descend some of the Steep hills __     we rode about 19

Miles, & after baiting our horses pursued our journey     one mile

from this we came to what is called "Morris town"51 consisting of 3

or 4 log Cabbins with puncheon Roofs __     one of them a tavern

but there is a town laid out & one or two more Cabbins building

about 7 or 8 Miles from this town we came into the Settlement,52 hav-

ing passed through an entire wilderness, except one farm __    in the

last mentioned distance

in this days ride we passed over some very good land for the first 8

or 10 Miles __    after which the quality was we thought much inferi-

or, though chiefly well timbered, with White & black oak, but

scarely any other kind to be seen; and here we observed there was a

great deal of underwood, which is not the case in the Walnut & Sug-

ar maple land __     but we could not form an accurate Judgment re-

specting the general situation of the Country from this days ride, as it

was principally along a ridge, which of course was inferior in quality

to the land on each side __    however from the best information we

could obtain, there is no considerable quantity of good land in either

of those directions; and that all of it was taken up_

we arrived at dusk, at the Cabbin where fathers couzin Robert

 

 

in Pennsbury Township, Chester County, in 1780; and Joseph Taylor was an early miller

in Pocopson Township of that county. Heathcote, 206-07; The Friends Library (14

volumes, Philadelphia, 1838-1848), 111, 155-59; Census Bureau of The United States, re-

turn for Mount Pleasant Township, Jefferson County, Ohio, for 1820, 208; H. E. Smith,

35-85.

50. Stillwater Creek, west and south of Short Creek, is a branch of the Muskingum

River. Captena Creek is a small stream flowing into the Ohio below Bellaire, Ohio.

51. Morristown is a small community on Alternate U.S. 40 about twenty miles west of

Wheeling, in Union Township of Belmont County. Cuming, Thwaites, IV, 231-32; Faux,

Thwaites, XI, 172; William P. Overman, "Early Ohio Postal Routes," Ohio State Archae-

ological and Historical Quarterly, LV (January, 1941), 21-29.

52. The settlement was the area of farmed lands which Gibbons reached after

passing some miles of uncleared land in Union and Richland Township.



110 OHIO HISTORY

110                                                    OHIO HISTORY

 

Milhous53 lived with a brother in law, not yet having a house ready

for himself      they invited us to alight, but finding Robert's wife

had lain in but 2 or 3 days, we concluded, two families in that situa-

tion, with a considerable number of small Children __       in a little

Cabbin of one room without any loft, was quite enough without the

addition of 3 traveller; therefore grouped our way in the dark, some-

times in the path & sometimes out, about a mile further to the widow

Williams's,54 their mother in law, who lived in a Cabbin similar to

the other, with another Son in law; here we found a throng house, 3

men, 3 women, & 3 or 4 Children, which with us 3 made a considera-

ble family, to sleep together in one little room, but we made out very

well, they were kind, did the best they could, we were contented &

slept sound_

They have laboured under great inconvenience in this Settlement

on account of Mills, having to go part of the time 27 Miles, and now

they have 8 or 9 Miles to a Horse mill at Morris town, but 'tis ex-

pected a Mill will Shortly be erected in their neighbourhood      it

was only last fall & this Spring that these friends removed there

we rode this day about 29 miles

6th taking leave of friends here we went to R. Milhous's, Stopt a

little while, then rode across the Country about 31/2 miles & turned

into a farm house to procure some oats for our horses as we were fear-

ful of giving them new corn & nothing else could be had among the

new Settlers   _   here we first saw the hand Mill at work grinding

new Corn, but it is a tedious opperation      and here we learned a

new method of washing potatoes          a woman threw a parcel of

them into a hommony mortar, poured a little water over them, then

jumped in & after dancing on them & tumbling them about a few

times with her feet, gathered them out & put in the pot for boiling

from this place we went to Wm Hodgins's, then a mile further to

 

 

 

53. A Robert Milhaus was born at Richland in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in

1733. Robert did not appear in the 1820 census, but there was a Jacob Milhaus, farmer

and father of two young children, both females, in Coldrain Township of Belmont Coun-

ty, which is the area in which Robert lived. However, Robert Milhaus signed a mar-

riage certificate at Mount Pleasant in 1832. Census Bureau of The United States, return

for Coldrain Township, Belmont County, Ohio, for 1820, 118; H. E. Smith, 35-85.

54. There were two areas in which Williams and Hodgins Families remained neigh-

bors sixteen years after Gibbons visited these people. William Williams and Robert

Hodgins lived close to each other in Somerset Township, Belmont County. In Warren

Township of the same county, Daniel Williams, Henry Williams and Stephen Hodgins

were all neighbors. The Hodgins family migrated from Georgia in 1803. Census Bureau

of The United States, return for Warren and Somerset Townships, Belmont County,

Ohio, for 1800, 150, 277; H. E. Smith, 35-85.



Travel Notes, 1804 111

Travel Notes, 1804                                               111

 

Joseph Middletons55 _       after getting feed for our horses & some

refreshment ourselves, we concluded from what we had seen herea-

way, it was not worth while to look much more in this part, as we

thought the land was much inferior in quality to that about Short

Creek & Concord          tho' good land, and people here endeav-

oured to persuade us was far superior to any other __     it is chiefly

white oak land, Shallow soil & Clay underneath, which they alledge

it the best & most lasting kind of land in this Country, for Small

Grain, and not subject to wash __     but they are of the opinion that

the rich Walnut & Sugar maple land tho' better for Corn at present, is

too Strong for wheat, Rye &c which grows so rank it lodges & that it

will wash more, and wear away faster This however is I think merely

conjecture      I can see no reason for drawing such a conclusion

and there has not been time since the settlement of the country

to prove it      besides, we were informed, that the best land here

was already taken up, and if it had not been; 30 or 35 Miles seemed

quite too far from market, which must always be the case here, as the

Trade undoubtedly will Center at the Ohio, and the trouble & Ex-

pense of so much land Carriage along a bad road, would very much

reduce the value of the produce, these with many other reasons

weighed with us to decline any further thoughts of fixing here

but the most weighty reason of all with me is, that no part hereaway

felt like home, nor could I think it the place designed for me;

in the afternoon we left J. Middletons and found our way through

difficult, winding & intricate paths 9 miles to Joseph Wrights,56 in

Plainfield Settlement,57 on the heads of McMans Creek          This

friend, with his wife, and a number of Children, 3 of them nearly

young men grown, came over from Ireland & settled down in the

woods about two years ago       he was a Shopkeeper in Dublin

none of them knew any thing of farming, of course they were a raw

Sett for such an undertaking; they have now 50 or 60 Acres of land

 

 

55. Joseph Middleton was a resident of Warren Township, Belmont County. Census

Bureau of The United States, return for Warren Township for 1820, 276.

56. In 1820 there were two men named Joseph Wright in Belmont County. It is possi-

ble that Gibbons met the resident of the town of Belmont who was a merchant and the

head of a household of ten males and three females. The Joseph Wright of Flushing

Township was a farmer and a younger man. The merchant was the Belmont representa-

tive for Charles Osborn's anti-slavery newspaper, The Philanthropist, in 1818. Census

Bureau of The United States, return for Flushing and Goshen Townships, Belmont

County, Ohio, for 1820, 158, 182; C. B. Galbreath, "Anti-slavery Movement in Ohio,"

Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, XXX (October, 1921), 355-96.

57. Plainfield Settlement was another Quaker center about six miles west of St.

Clairsville and twelve miles from the Short Creek Meeting. Halliday Jackson reported a

well-filled meeting house on August 4, 1816. Jackson, Memorandums.



112 OHIO HISTORY

112                                                       OHIO HISTORY

 

cleared & fenced in         their crops they say have been good, &

they have the largest & best Cabbin we have seen, appear to be in-

dustrious & I think will make out very well                             they received us with

hospitality & treated us with much kindness                               14 miles

7th being first day we went with J. Wright & family to Plainfield

Meeting, 31/2 miles. & from    thence to Saml. . . Gregg's58 to dinner, I

mile from Meeting on the Wheeling or Chilocothe Road,59 and then

along that road 5 Miles to St. Clairs ville60 (or Newells Town)

This is a new & flourishing town (about 11 miles from Wheeling on

the Ohio) built on the Chilocothe Road, which is the main leading

Road down to Hockhockin, New Lancaster, Scioto, the Miami's &

Kentucky

This is the County town, consists of about 30 Houses already built,

besides several others now erecting, mostly hewn log & frame, and

underpinned with Stone, & brick Chimneys             They are detached

from one another on each Side of the road, for about half a Quarter

of a mile   _     observed as I rode through, there was 8 Taverns, a

Post office, 2 Stores, a Physician, Apothecary, a Sadler, Joiner, Shoe-

maker, Blacksmith &c &c _          and there are 2 or 3 Grist mills, be-

sides Saw Mills, within 2 or 3 miles __       so that this Settlement has

many conveniences and advantages, which others are deprived of,

but we did not esteem     the land hereabouts to be equal to that at

Concord & Short Creek __          the former of which is about 6 Miles

from this __            what we rode over to day is mostly white Oak land,

but as we draw         nearer to the river __      the timber is more mixed

with black & Red Oak, Sugar Maple, Beech &c.

 

58. The name Gregg was fairly common at that time in Belmont and Jefferson Coun-

ties. Halliday Jackson was entertained in the home of Abner Gregg at Plainfield during

August of 1816. Jackson, Memorandums.

59. The Wheeling Road was the Zane Trace west through Ohio and into Kentucky.

This part of it became a section of the National Road a few years after Gibbons saw it.

Hopkins, Journal, note 37; Clement L. Martzolff. "Zane's Trace," Ohio Archaeological

and Historical Quarterly, XIII (July, 1904), 297-331; Archer B. Hulbert, "The Old Na-

tional Road," Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, IX (April, 1901), 405-519.

60. St. Clairsville was laid out in 1803 by David Newell of Pennsylvania and originally

called Newellstown. Here Benjamin Lundy organized Ohio's Union Humane Society in

1815 to work for abolition of slavery. Halliday Jackson thought the town looked prosper-

ous in 1816 and found "a small but neat brick meeting house which was well filled" for

the meeting on August 2. The next year, Morris Birkbeck said the town had 150 houses,

stores, taverns, doctors' and lawyers' offices. The long main street was not paved and

very dusty. But he thought, "the Court House, a handsome brick structure on the sum-

mit, has a cheerful and rather stricking appearance." Thomas H. Smith, "Ohio Quakers

and the Mississippi Freedmen - 'A Field to Labor,' " Ohio History, LXXVIII (Sum-

mer, 1969), 159-71; Jackson, Memorandums; Downes, 82; Cuming, Thwaites, IV, 232-33;

Faux, Thwaites, XI, 172; Morris Birkbeck, Notes on a Journeyfrom the Coast of Virginia

to the Territory of Illinois (Dublin, 1818), 57.



Travel Notes, 1804 113

Travel Notes, 1804                                                   113

 

We went home with Thomas Smith61 (who came here from

Virginia, his father formerly removed there from Bucks County) and

staid with him that night, intending to look at some places in this

neighbourhood to morrow.                                       10 miles.

8th This morning Thomas went with us, we rode about 8 Miles

round the lines and through divers adjoining tracts of land near to

St. Clair's ville      Some of the land we thought good and pos-

sessing singular advantages, but upon the whole could not feel easy

to enter into any contract for them __     as to myself my mind seemed

more particularly bound to the neighbourhood of Concord and

Short Creek __       so that it was with reluctance I could drag myself

along from place to place to view land in other parts         and espe-

cially at this time I felt so little interested in the objects before me,

that I could scarcely keep awake, or bear to go any further about

being well satisfied, this was not a home for me __         therefore re-

turned to St. Clairs ville, dined at Barns's tavern62 & then proceeded

on about 6 miles to Frans Townsend's,63 here we were kindly re-

ceived & entertained, ourselves & horses fared well _

14 Miles

9th Having an inclination to see the town of Wheeling,64 what nec-

essaries might be procured there, and at what price also what kind

of a road we should have there, if we removed into these parts

Edward & myself concluded to go, while Father & Francis viewed

some land in the neighbourhood

about 1 1/2 mile of the road was very hilly, but the remainder good,

 

 

 

61. Thomas Smith of St. Clairsville was a farmer and father of seven children by

1820. He had migrated from Virginia. Census Bureau of The United States, return for St.

Clairsville, Richland Township, Belmont County, Ohio, for 1820, 218; Jackson, Memo-

randums.

62. Barns Tavern at St. Clairsville, Ohio, was opened in 1803 by John Barns. Census

Bureau of The United States, return for Richland Township, Belmont County, Ohio, for

1820, 217; Hulbert, 405-519.

63. The Townsend Family was descended from Joseph Townsend who came to

Pennsylvania with William Penn in the seventeenth century and settled near West

Chester, Pennsylvania. Francis and his brother Benjamin moved to Redstone in 1786,

but neither remained there very long. Francis moved to Ohio, and Benjamin was a resi-

dent of South Beaver Township of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, in 1800 where David

Townsend was one of the early settlers. Sherman Day, Historical Collections of the State

of Pennsylvania, (Philadelphia, 1843), 107; Census Bureau of The United States, return

for South Beaver Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for 1800; Futhey and Cope,

735-38; The Biographical Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania of the Nineteenth Century (Phila-

delphia, 1874), 172.

64. Wheeling, on the Ohio River, was the terminus of the first segment of the Nation-

al Road. It was one of the most important crossing places on the Ohio for travelers going

west. For a description in 1803 see Harris, Thwaites, III, 349.



114 OHIO HISTORY

114                                                   OHIO HISTORY

 

down to the Ohio, following the meanders of Wheeling Creek to its

mouth        we left our horses on this side at a tavern, and were

ferried over one branch of the Ohio to an Island, containing about

400 Acres of extraordinary rich bottom land      but the banks suffi-

ciently high to prevent its being overflowed (This Island lies opposite

the town of Wheeling in the middle of the river) the timber all

cleared off except the border of the Banks, and the land divided

into fields & meadows         we were informed it belongs to Colo.

Zane65 & his brother; that 50 dolls per acre had been offered for it

10 years ago, and that 100 would not now purchase it _    here was a

great abundance of apples, which to us was a rarity: and 2 Peach or-

chards, Containing we were told 30 Acres; we walked across the Is-

land about half a mile wide, and after regaling with apples and some

sweet Cider       were ferried over the other branch of the River,

about a quarter of a mile wide, & landed in Virginia,66 (part of the

Territory of Virginia runs along the East side of the Ohio, which river

divides it from the State of Ohio)      here on a high bank is the

town of Wheeling, Containing about 90 houses          most of them

built of frame or logs, some few, of bricks & one of handsome Stone,

the residence of Colo. Zane      The Town appears to be a considera-

ble place of trade & Sufficient to Supply the Settlers with most of the

Articles they stand in need of_    though not at quite as low a price

as could be wished67        Dry Goods one third advance for Cash

on the Phila Price, & 50 per Cent in barter __   Hard ware & Cutlery

at the same rate, Castings 5d 1/2 per lb. Salt 4 1/2 to 5 Dollars per bushel,

Coffee 3/. per lb. Sugar 1/. Crockery pretty high (but a Potter is ex-

pected at St. Clairs ville from Philada shortly) Queens ware high,

Plates l ld to 5d1/2 a piece according to the Size     wrought Nails

18d per lb  _  the prices of country Produce at the towns & Mills &c

is as follows - fresh beef 2d1/2 to 3d per lb. Butter 7d to 1/. per lb.

wheat 4/3 to 5/71/2 per bushel Rye 3/. Corn 2/ to 3/. sometimes 3/9. but

most commonly 2/6 -    Sugar [?] to [?] per lb -  Dried Apples 7/6 &

Dried Peaches 5/. per bushel.

 

 

65. Colonel Ebenezer Zane was the founder of Wheeling and builder of Zane's

Trace. He laid out the town in lots in 1793. Downes, 77-82; Faux, Thwaites, XI, 169,

176-77, 181-82; Bond, I, 446; Harris, Thwaites, III, 33; Martzolf, 297-331.

66. Of course, this is now the western panhandle of West Virginia.

67. Wheeling prices were given by Gibbons in a mixture of the United States deci-

mal system and the British pounds (), shillings (/) and pence (d). It was common in

Pennsylvania to use the latter pricing system until the War of 1812. A Pennsylvania pound

usually converted into dollars at the rate of 1:$2.67. Joseph E. Walker, Hopewell Vil-

lage: A Social and Economic History of an Iron-Making Community (Philadelphia,

1966), 173.



Travel Notes, 1804 115

Travel Notes, 1804                                          115

 

after walking through the town & pricing a number of Articles, we

Re-Crossed the River, which from the high wind that had prevailed

all day and the boat being loaded with a waggon & a number of

horses, seemed likely to be a difficult passage; but we got over safe &

returned to Frans. Townsends, having travelled

10 miles

From what we have hitherto seen & heard in travelling through

this Country, it appears, that the general face of it, from the River

Ohio westward to the river Muskingum, which is from 40 to 60 miles

between the two Rivers, is mostly hilly, and some Ridges run Across

in different directions that are but thin land in comparison with the

other __    but on the head waters of the different Creeks the land is

mostly of an Excellent quality          It is computed, the best

land is a Strip that lays along the Ohio, of 8 or 10 Miles in width, for a

considerable Extent up & down; but even in this there are Excep-

tions: some of it being thin & Stony  though principally clear of

Stone, rich and fertile __   a great deal of it too hilly and full of waves

to be pleasant to the Eye, or desirable for agreeable farming land, yet

many very handsome farms & Sufficiently level, may be picked out

on the flats, after rising considerable hills, & Contrary to what is usu-

al in many other places, the roughest & most hilly land, is the richest

and best; & always the best watered __   all of it very fine for grass

__    the bottoms formed between the Hills & along the margins of

Creeks are exceeding rich, & yet they do not appear to be highly

prized, as all the land will answer for meadow __   This Country

abounds with the Sugar Maple tree, a considerable quantities of

Sugar is made by almost every family, some of it appeared equal in

colour, grain and taste to the west india Sugar - we met with no oth-

er during our residence here, except - at one place, Loaf Sugar was

on the Table for tea

some of these trees particularly in the rich bottoms grow very large

- they yield variously according to their growth and Situation, from

2 to 10 pounds, Each. __   N. Updegraf68 tapped a tree which ran 90

Gallons of Juice in one day, but how much goes to make a pound of

Sugar we could obtain no certain information of- it is supposed

about 6 Gallons __   the time of making Sugar is the latter End of the

 

 

 

68. Nathan Updegraff, farmer and manufacturer, was one of five delegates from

Jefferson County to the State Constitutional Convention in 1803. He helped to establish

the Mount Pleasant Meeting. In 1824 he supported Henry Clay for President. Caleb

Atwater, A History of the State of Ohio (Cincinnati, 1838), 359; Harry R. Stevens, 176;

Downes, 99.



116 OHIO HISTORY

116                                            OHIO HISTORY

 

2d & beginning of the 3d Months _   from the Sap of this tree is

also procured, excellent Molasses and Vinegar

The land is mostly very well timbered and a great deal of it extraor-

dinary fine, consisting chiefly of White and Black oaks, Red, Spanish

& Chesnut, Oaks, Sugar Maple, Hickory, Black & White Walnut

Beech in some places plenty & large, Wild Cherry, Honey & Common

Locusts, Pawpaw or Custard tree, black & white Mulberry, very fine

Ash, Some Chestnut, but not plenty, a good deal of large Shell bark

Iron tree, Buck-Eye, Elm, Lynn, Gum, Ash Sassafrass _   in

some place the Cucumber tree & a tree called Mahogony, Crab Ap-

ple, Plumb trees, nine bark, Spice, and leather wood bushes - with

other trees & Shrub common with us

When the land is cleared, which is easily done in a common way,

as there is no underwood, except Spice wood bushes in some places

with little labour it will produce great Crops of Corn, Wheat,

Rye, Barley, Oats, Buckwheat, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Squashes, Mel-

ons, Turnips, Cabbage &c and in short every thing that our Country

produces, grows here with a luxuriance unknown to us _   it is ex-

traordinary for Hemp, Flax & Tobacco __   The Country is so new

there has not yet been an oppurtunity of making a full & fair trial of

what the land will produce per acre  but there has been raised

as much as 30 to 40 bushels of Wheat & Rye  30 to 70 bush. of

Corn, 80 bushels of Oats per acre & so in proportion of other things

_ the Corn grows to a great heighth in some places  a person

lately removed here (Jn° Strall) informed us he had been assisting

one of his neighbours to top Corn, some of which measured 12 feet

from the Ground to the uppermost Ear, & I have heard of some since

taller

Weeds grow so fast that it is almost impossible to keep Corn

Ground clean they are of various kinds, but the most common are the

Iron weed (which grows to the heighth of from 10 to 15 feet) Butter-

weed, and Spanish needles; of the latter there is a Super-abundance

- besides others common with us _  We found in walking out in

the woods & other places; our cloaths would be covered with little

burs, known by the name of beggars lice, which stick so tight to

woolen it was troublesome picking them off    The Cattle and

Sheep that range in the woods, get covered over from head to foot

with these burs, which occasions them to make a droll appearance

__    the Sheep at a distance appear black                         _  and I had Supposed

it would be impossible to get them out                             they were so matted in

the wool, it would be Spoiled; but I was told that was not the case,

some of it rubs off  some is picked out, and the chief of the re-



Travel Notes, 1804 117

Travel Notes, 1804                                        117

 

mainder comes out in dust __   it is however, by no means a desira-

ble method of raising Sheep, to let them range the woods, and in a

general way, the Country is so improved that pasture can be spared

for them __

The Climate here is very healthy and milder than with us, the Air

pure & freed from noxious vapours    the Inhabitants not Subject

to any particular disease, except such as all neighbourhoods are lia-

ble to - vizt Small Pox, Measles &c but no instance of Flux, Fever &

Ague or other Fevers in the present settlement __   it is however al-

lowed to be sickly further down the River __   at Scioto, Hawkin,69

Miamis and Mad Rivers, and also on some of the Waters & along the

flats & low Ground 40 or 50 Miles back from the Ohio __

It is not as subject to violent Storms, Thunder or Lightening as it is

in our country, and no instance of a Sugar tree being Struck __   the

winter does not set in till late, say the middle or latter End of the

twelfth month & early frosts in the fall are not common __   the land

generally clear of Stone and from what we seen & heard, Stone can-

not be had, except in some places, for building                                    I saw but two

kinds in this Country, Lime Stone and free Stone                                but there does

not appear to be any difficulty in procuring Clay for Bricks, when the

Country is sufficiently improved to require it   many of the

Chimnies are topped with Bricks, some of which looked well, others

ordinary, owing to bad choice in the Clay  The Waters here are

subject to fail, so that there are few running Streams in comparison

with Pennsylvania, but a great number of Springs, which appeared to

us good, tho small, & we were invariably informed they did not fail,

but remained sufficient for the purposes of the farm __   and it is not

apprehended there will be much want of water for Mills - some of

them can grind all day at this season of the year; and such as do fail,

it is only for a few months __   this inconvenience 'tis supposed may

be obviated - either by getting a quantity of Grain ground when

Water is plenty, which is found upon trial keeps very well __           or by

resorting to the Horse Mills, of which there are several                       and

should there be occasion for it Mills may, & I think it highly proba-

ble they will, be erected to go by Steam, as it could be done at a

much less Expense here than in other places where a fuel is not so

plenty

Coal & Limestone, is frequently seen on the Surface of the Ground,

sides of banks, & in the Creeks, the beds of which are often paved

with limestone __   but in a general way I apprehend the limestone

 

69. Hawkin River is evidently intended to be the Hocking or Hockhocking River.



118 OHIO HISTORY

118                                            OHIO HISTORY

 

lies deep, which it is supposed is the occasion of the waters sinking

__    in some parts of the Creeks there will be a considerable quantity

of water and perhaps 10 or 20 Rods below, the Creek will be nearly

dry    then the water breaks out again a piece further down; so it is

with some of the Springs, they will not run far 'till they disappear and

break out in a fresh place

There has not yet much trial of sinking Wells, but I seen several &

were informed water could be had without going deep  say 30 to

35 feet

Peach trees appear to grow luxuriantly & we were told many of

them had been full of fruit, but it was all gone before our arrival,

which appeared a little strange, as the trees on the other side of the

River were loaded with fruit from the time we began to Cross the

Mountains & through the Redstone Country to the borders of the

Ohio, but here the quantity being small in proportion to the number

of Inhabitants, it was soon consumed;

There are few Apple orchards yet planted out, but in many places

there are small nurseries of young Apple trees _ and trees for plant-

ing may be had without going a great distance  Apple trees at 9d,

& Peach trees at 3d & 4d a piece

The Country abound with several sorts of Game, particularly Deer,

Bear & wild turkies _ the latter are exceding plenty, a respectable

friend informed me that three persons went one day a few miles be-

yond the Settlements, and in the course of that Evening & the next

morning, they Shott 90 odd & took home __                            there are also Wild

Cat, Racoon & Rabbits, but not so plenty                                Squirrels, Grey &

black, likewise Pidgeons, Pheasants & Partridges in great numbers

__    but the game must necessarily grow Scarcer every year, as the

Settlements extend, so that hunters will have to go a little further

back, beyond the improvements, if they expect to procure much

game     The Creeks & small streams have not many Fish in them,

and it is impossible they should, unless they were Amphibious, or

grew very fast, as they would be destroyed every fall when the

waters sink; though I heard of some pretty clever fish being caught

this Season in Short Creek __   I suppose it must be in some part of it

not so subject to sink as other places   but the Ohio River

abounds with very fine fish   they tell us of Cat fish that will

weigh 80, 100 and 120 lbwt of an excellent Quality  Salmon 5 to

101b. _   White Perch 1 to 201b Bass or yellow Perch from 5 to 201b.

Pike from 3 to 5 feet long & 10 or 15lbwt.  some few Eels

these are all caught with the hook and line __

In some neighbourhoods Girls may be had to assist in the house



Travel Notes, 1804 119

Travel Notes, 1804                                      119

 

and men to work on the farms _   Girls wages 5/. per week mens 3/.

to 3/9 per day, and 9 or 10 dollars per Mo. The price of clearing land is

various, from 4 to 6 Dollars per Acre, for which Sum they will clear

according to the Custom here, which is to Cut down all the timber

under a foot diameter, Girdle the large trees, cut the logs into lengths

fit for rolling, fence the land, Grub what is necessary and pile up the

brush ready for burning

It does not appear that Grain is Subject to any kind of insect after it

is reaped, but the Hessian fly has been found in some places in the

Grain that was growing

It is probable that different kinds of Tradesmen will be plenty -

but at present there is more want of Carpenters than Masons

The Settlement and improvement of this Country is progressing

with great rapidity  about 4 years ago many of the Inhabitants

came into the then wilderness & pitched their tents, where they

sometimes lived for 2 or 3 weeks untill they cleared a small piece of

Ground and built a cabbin, barely sufficient to shelter from the

inclemencies of the weather as it was seldom plastered with mud -

and frequently not even chunked between the logs  so that there

was no want of fresh air __   their attention was then turned to sup-

ply the wants of the family, this was fatigueing & Expensive; at first,

they had the Ohio to Cross and bring their provisions from the

Redstone Country    every trip would take them 3 or 4 days from

home      by degrees as the Country settled, Mills were erected on

this side of the River & the difficulties of Early Settlers decreased

__   but as nearly all the land is now taken up for 25 or 30 miles from

the River and the Mills already built are generally built a few Miles

from the Ohio, the remote settlers have to Experience Similar diffi-

culties with the first adventurers, as I observed before with respect

to those settled on Still water who had from 20 to 27 miles to go to

Mill__

It is truly cause of Astonishment to the traveller through this Coun-

try, when he reflects, that 4 years ago it was almost an entire

Wilderness, and now he cannot often go two miles or even one, and

very frequently not half a one, before his attention is arrested by a

fine Crop of Corn growing among the deadened Trees __   Stacks of

Grain and Hay near the simple lot of the contented husbandman,

Fields cloathed with beautiful verdure, rendered more pictureisk &

pleasing to the Eye by the uneveness of thee Country, which still

presents something novel to the view  some beauty not before

discovered and beyond this another & another_

In viewing this Country in its Embryo state, some judgement may be



120 OHIO HISTORY

120                                            OHIO HISTORY

 

formed what maturity will bring forth  already, in some places,

the first Effort at accommodation in a small rude Cabbin, has given

place to a second, larger, better built, and more convenient inside,

this in its turn has been succeded by a third, still more spacious

logs neatly hewn, well plastered between; Stone or brick Chimnies,

Shingled Roofs, and as by this time Saw Mills are erected, boards

are procured for flooring, Partitions &.c &.c - so that many of them

are comfortable dwellings  and but a very few years will Elapse,

ere this now comfortable dwelling, must give place to one of Brick or

Stone, according to the fancy or ability of the owner of the Soil

There has been a great rise in the price of land in particular neigh-

bourhoods __   In the little town of St. Clairs, lots of a quarter of an

Acre Sell for 130 to 150 Dollars, Each and 40 Acres near the town,

which two years ago could have been purchased for 400 Dollars,

lately sold for 2000  _  a large farm a Mile from the town Sold for

13 1/2 Dollars per Acre __ and I did not hear of any (that was im-

proved) between that and the River; under 7 and from that to 12 dol-

lars per acre __   but a considerable number of this description may

be had from the first Settlers who took it up at 2 dollars, and for this

advance are willing to encounter the wilderness a second time

There does not appear to be the least apprehensions of being dis-

turbed by the Indians   the right of Soil being Extinguished by

Congress and they upon friendly terms with the whites   but

Should they ever become hostile, the frontier Settlements would

have to bear the brunt, they are extensive and remote from this place

 

The Seat of Government was fixed by the Constitution of the State,

at Chilocothe, on the Scioto River, 50 Miles from the Ohio & 150

Miles from this place, until the year 1808  _  and that no money

should be appropriated during that time for the Erection of Public

Buildings, but where it will be after, depends upon the Population of

the Country, from present appearance there is little doubt of its being

in the neighbourhood of Concord __

I have examined the Constitution & some of the Laws, from which

and from information, it appears, our Society are not exempt from Mil-

itary fines, which amounts to Six dollars per annum __   but no de-

mands have yet been made on any friends notified to attend muster

Nothing else appears particularly to affect us, except in respect to

Marriages    but this 'tis thought will not amount to anything, as it

is conceived the Spirit of the Law is complied with, 'tho not the let-

ter__

There are 10 Particular meetings and 4 Monthly Meetings of



Travel Notes, 1804 121

Travel Notes, 1804                                           121

 

Friends __ vizt. __

Concord Monthly Meeting held the 3d. day after the third Sev-

enth day in every month & Preparative 4th. day preceeding at Con-

cord in the even months & at Plainfield in the odd months _ pre-

parative at plainfield 5th. day preceeding  is Composed of

 

Concord            held of a 4th. day        Estabd.

Plainfield                                             5"                      do

Still Water                                           4"                      Indulged

Wheeling                                             4"                      do __

Short Creek monthly meeting held the 3d. Seventh day in every

month __     at Short Creek in the Odd months, and at Plymouth in

the even months __ is composed of__

Short Creek        held of a 5th. day      Estabd.

Plymouth                                            4"                      Es

Cross Creek                                        5 "                     Indulged

Plymouth preparative the 4th. day preceeding the 2d. Seventh day

_ Short Creek the 5th. day preceeding the 3d. Seventh day

Miami Monthly Meeting70 held at Miami the 2d. Seventh day in

the month      particular meeting of a 5th. day

Middleton Monthly Meeting71    held the 2d  seventh day in every

month at Middleton       is composed of Middleton _       5th. day

[and] Salem (in Pennsylva.) 4th.

Preparative meetings at each of those places, on the 4th. & 5th. days

preceeding the monthly meetings

Middleton Meeting is in what is called Bull Creek Settlement, and

the nearest for Friends at Beaver72 to attend __  about 20 or 22 miles

_ all of these Meetings belong to Redstone quarter, and Baltimore

yearly Meeting, at present, but friends expect Shortly to be allowed a

quarterly Meeting, to be held at Short Creek or Concord _

The distances between the Meetings are nearly as follows __   vizt.

 

 

 

 

70. Miami Monthly Meeting was centered at Waynesville near Lebanon, Ohio. It is

still in existence. The Friends Library, III, 460; Hopkins, Journal, March 23, 1804.

71. Middleton Monthly Meeting was in Middleton Township of Columbiana Coun-

ty, Ohio. Gibbons associated the Middleton and Salem meetings and located Salem in

Pennsylvania.

72. Big Beaver Creek (or River) is a branch of the Ohio River. A Quaker settlement

had been made along this stream. The town of Beaver, at the mouth of the river, was

incorporated as a borough on March 29, 1802. Day, 106; Cuming, Thwaites, IV, 99.



122 OHIO HISTORY

122                                               OHIO HISTORY

 

from Short Creek to Concord  _                              5 Miles

Plainfield             12

Still Water           12

Wheeling              14

from Short Creek to Plymouth_                     7

to Cross Creek          12

Middleton

or        38

Salem

and they are about 12 miles apart

from Concord to Miami Meeting                       240 miles.

10th. mo. IOth. Left Fr Townsends, him & his wife accompanying us to

Concord Meeting, which was I thought a poor low time

after Meeting went to view divers farms that were for sale, but did

not fix on any, though one of them, I thought I could be contented

with (being a rich fertile Spot) could I have been Satisfied in my own

mind that it was right for me to purchase & remove here, but the Ev-

idence of this being wanting, could not determine on any thing at

present      H. Howard was with us           dined with Josiah

Bundy73 who lives on the place and in the Evening went home with

Horton to lodge

8 miles

11th. Horton accompanied us to day to examine a considerable

number of farms offered for Sale, at noon called at a Cabbin and got

some feed for our horses, and asked for some for ourselves, being

hungry; it was an Irish family lived in the house & very dirty

the woman of the house said she had plenty of Potatoes boiled but

no meat _      nor any bread made, but offered to make some if we

would wait      from the outside appearance of the house, a full

Barn, besides 8 or 10 Stacks of Grain &c. I had expected better fare,

but now concluded if the bread was made I could never Stomach to

eat it, therefore proposed if we eat anything to take the Potatoes, as

most likely to be Clean    accordingly we all paraded on wooden

Stools round a dirty table, on which was set a large dish of Potatoes,

a plate of butter, some knives & Salt; we set too and eat heartily of the

 

 

73. Josiah Bundy was the tenant on one of the farms Gibbons considered purchas-

ing. By 1820 he was no longer a resident of this immediate area; but Benjamin Bundy,

William Bundy, Thomas Bundy and Moses Bundy were farmers in Pease and Warren

Townships of Belmont County. Their ages were in a range which would be possible for

Josiah's children. The Bundy family were in the migration from North Carolina. Census

Bureau of The United States, return for Pease Township and Warren Township, Belmont

County, Ohio, for 1820, 237, 272, 274; H. E. Smith, 35-85.



Travel Notes, 1804 123

Travel Notes, 1804                                           123

 

Potatoes, but spared the butter, She brot. each of us a tin of milk, this

I could not force down ______ paid 11d. a piece for dinner & departed

we proceeded on to view divers other places, but could not de-

termine upon taking any of them  _  for my part I did not feel at lib-

erty to go into a purchase at this time, went to Jonathan Taylors to

lodge, having travelled about on the different places  say

15 Miles

Shortly after we got there 3 other persons from Chester County,

came to see this part of the world, (one was Jacob Tyler74 of West

Cain;) in the Evening we had a sitting in the family, which to me was

Satisfactory; wherein I felt more Openness in the prospect of Settling

in this Country than I had hitherto done

Having now been 8 or 9 days in these parts and rid about in differ-

ent directions we thought we could form a judgment respecting the

various Soils & different neighbourhoods, and upon what condi-

tions we might be suited in either, had thought when we parted

with H. Howard, to defer purchasing until we went home, consulted

with our friends and heared what they had to say, after giving them

as Just an account as we could, how we found things in this country

and if it was concluded to remove, then write out to him to se-

cure some particular Tracts of land for us, which we thought would

answer      pursuant to this conclusion we Expected when we went

to bed, to Set off in the morning for Beaver, on our way home

12th. After Breakfast took leave of our friends Jona. Taylor and wife

and went to Horton Howards, where by appointment Frans. Town-

send was to meet with us & accompany us to Beaver __     I did not

feel easy to leave the neighbourhood now the appointed time was

arrived, without making a Purchase & yet could not see my way as

clear as I wished, was therefore in a Strait, being fearful of going to

fast upon conferring with my Companions and with Horton &

Francis, we concluded to defer going as intended, and spend a little

more time in viewing some other places we had heard of, and fully

Satisfying ourselves before we left these parts, fearing we might have

to take another long Journey, to do that which ought to be done now

 

 

 

74. There were many Jacob Taylors in several different generations of the family in

Chester County; so it is difficult to identify positively the one to whom Gibbons refers at

this point. In 1790 there were men by this name in Sadisbury and New Garden Town-

ships but not in West Cain. The Census of 1800 also fails to show a Jacob in West Cain

Township. Perhaps he was a young man living in his father's household at that time.

The Taylor Family was prominent and numerous in Chester County. Futhey and Cope,

735-38; Census Bureau of The United States, return for Chester County, Pennsylvania,

for 1790, 68, 70; Ibid., West Cain Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, for 1800.



124 OHIO HISTORY

124                                                    OHIO HISTORY

 

__     we therefore set out upon a fresh ramble through the Country,

and tho' it was very uncertain what might come of it, yet I felt myself

relived from some anxiety and was much more easy and Cheerful, as

soon as we came to this conclusion

previous to leaving Hortons, E. Bonsall agreed with him, to pur-

chase a farm we had looked at a few days before, Which belongs to

S. Potts75 at Yellow Creek,76 but as he declined removing to it, had

desired Horton to dispose of it, Containing 160 Acres of Excellent

land; about 40 of which is cleared, fenced & render tillage at 8 Dol-

lars per acre __   it is allowed by Judges to be one of the best quarter

Sections in the Settlement

We went to See another place, which it was thought would please

me, and allowed to be equal in quality to Edwards __    liked it pret-

ty well, and as I sat on my Horse viewing the prospect around me; en-

deavoured with the small portion of light & understanding I was fur-

nished with, to feel after the propriety of removing here: being

resigned (as I thought) to remove here or any where else, that I could

believe was my proper allottment        perhaps I looked for greater

clearness, than was in wisdom seen meet to be dispensed to me, and

which I hoped I should be furnished with to enable me with cheer-

fulness to undertake a wearisome Journey to a Strange land, with a

tender wife and helpless offspring, over so many terrible mountains,

which I have dreaded from the time I crossed them, and often, very

often, reflected on since      but tho' no great clearness was fur-

nished, yet feeling peaceful and easy in the prospect, concluded I

might safely go so far as to purchase-and if afterwards it should ap-

pear best not to remove to it-I could dispose of it without less [loss?]

__     this conclusion I kept to myself till next day  there is about

30 acres cleared & under fence __     a good Spring near to a Suitable

place for building     the land lays well for this Country, is of an ex-

cellent quality & well timbered _ among which is a great quantity

of Sugar Maple black walnut & wild Cherry        there are 3 Cabbins

 

75. The Potts Family in Chester County is discussed in Futhey and Cope, 683-88.

From the information given, Gibbons does not indicate that S. Potts was known to him.

He was evidently a resident of Yellow Creek Township, Columbiana County, Ohio. In

1824 Samuel Potts of Belmont County was secretary of a state convention of Henry Clay

supporters held at Columbus. Harry R. Stevens, 131, 172.

76. There are several streams in the area named Yellow Creek. Gibbons mentioned

that this one was between Short Creek and the Beaver River. It was probably the one

Caleb Atwater showed flowing into the Ohio River near Liverpool about twelve miles

above Steubenville. The township there is also called Yellow Creek. Caleb Atwater,

"Descriptions of the Antiquities discovered in the State of Ohio and other Western

States," Transactions and Collections of the American Antiquarian Society, I,

MDCCCXX, map- opposite 109; Cuming, Thwaites, IV, 103.



Travel Notes, 1804 125

Travel Notes, 1804                                                  125

 

_  two of them tolerably good and I think may be made a hansome

agreeable place;       We went also to see Several other farms in ex-

pectation of meeting with one to please father, but after riding back

and forward about         20 miles returned to Hortons without doin

any thing

13th. Set off this morning to see a place which was highly recom-

mended as an extraordinary good one, and better improved than

common, which had not been offered for Sale             but the owner

had consented on being spoken to the Evening before, to let go at 10

Dollars per acre __     there is between 80 & 100 Acres under excellent

new fence, 50 or 60 acres of it cleared; about 20 Apple trees & a great

number of young peach trees planted out            a good Cabbin & a

large new Barn, built of logs, floored & Shingled Roof_          a hand-

some place & well timbered          he agreed to purchase it __      and

now I agreed to take the other if it could be had @ 8 Dollars per acre

_  the owner B. Stanton77 sent for & came in the Evening as also

Joseph Satterthwaite78 of whom     Father purchased; my offer being

acceeded to        I drew articles of Agreement between him & me

_  Articles were also drawn between Satterthwaite & father, & a

Lean from Father to the Tenant __       it was late in the Evening before

the Prelimmary Conditions & payments were all adjusted & the writ-

ings drawn        and now being quiet & making these notes, I feel

satisfied in having proceeded so far, let the issue be as it may    H.

Howard & Fras. Townsend took abundance of pains & troubles in go-

ing about with us to the different places        no doubt in part, be-

cause they wished us to settle here        but independent of this. H.

 

 

77. B. Stanton sold his farm, located in Pease Township, Belmont County, Ohio, to

Gibbons. Benjamin Stanton, member of Congress and governor of Ohio, was born at Mt.

Pleasant, Jefferson County, in 1809. He may have been a son as the Gibbons farm was

only a few miles from Mt. Pleasant. Edward M. Stanton was born at nearby Steubenville

of a Quaker family. His father's name was David, but his grandparents were Benjamin

and Abigail Stanton who in 1803 were among the first settlers of Mount Pleasant. B.

Stanton was an Anti-slavery Society officer for Belmont County in 1836. Who Was Who in

America, Historical Volume, 1607-1806 (Chicago, 1963), 501-02; Rodabaugh, 27-30; H.

E. Smith, 35-85; W. H. Hunter, "The Pathfinders of Jefferson County," Ohio Archaeo-

logical and Historical Quarterly, VI (June, 1898), 95-313; Robert Price, "The Ohio Anti-

slavery Convention of 1836," Ohio Slate Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, XLV

(April, 1936), 173-88; James L. Burke and Donald E. Bensch, "Mount Pleasant and the

Early Quakers of Ohio," Ohio History, 83, 4 (Autumn, 1974), 220-55.

78. Joseph Satterthwaite owned the farm which Milhaus purchased in Pease Town-

ship, Belmont County, Ohio. In 1820 Joseph "Shadowthite" was engaged in farming

and manufacturing in Richland Township just west of Pease. He headed a household of

five white males, five white females and a free Negro male. Census Bureau of The United

States, return for Richland Township, Belmont County, Ohio, for 1820, 206; Jonathan

Linton, 117-24; Jackson, Memorandums.



126 OHIO HISTORY

126                                            OHIO HISTORY

 

Howard is a worthy kind hearted friend, and I trust we feel united in

Christian fellowship  rode this day

5 miles

first day 14th. Intending for Beaver Settlement, concluded to go to

Short Creek Meeting, Spend the rest of the day with friends in that

neighbourhood, and set out in the morning homewards; H.H. & F.T.

who staid all this time 'till we were ready  accompanied us, and

after meeting went home with Ann Taylor to dine, & proposing to go

to Joseph Steers to lodge, he also went with us  here Horton

recd. an accot. from S. Potts the owner of the place Edwd. had pur-

chased, that he declined setling & intended coming to it himself

 

This was a considerable disappointment to all of us, but particular-

ly Edwd. now on the Eve of our departure and when we thought we

were all fixed with places that pleased us __   and we had designed

to call on S. Potts in our way to Beaver to get articles drawn between

him & Edwd. this appeared now unnecessary,     after consulting

together he concluded to return with Horton & look at some other

place this Evening, & come to us in the morning _ this plan fixed,

they returned & we set forward, calling at Nathan Updegraffs in our

way, who came with us __    we got to Joseph Steers & staid there

that night      7 miles 15th. Last night it came on to rain which

continued most of the day    Horton & Edwd. did not return till

near noon, the place he went to look at did not please him  _  and

as he was disappointed in the other, he now agreed with N.

Updegraff for a Section of land he had in the neighborhood of Short

Creek, which we had twice looked at & Examined pretty thoroughly

_     I drew articles between them & by the time the business was

fully adjusted it was near night  therefore concluded to defer set-

ting off 'till morning

It occurs to make some further remarks, before we leave this coun-

try; The land as has already been observed, is generally exceeding

rich & fertile, even on the highest hills, and the timber on them ex-

traordinary fine, but as there is no underwood Except in particular

places, it is easily cleared _   a hand will clear an Acre in a week

__    the common method after the logs & brush is burned, is to har-

row the ground over, if intended for grass and sow it with timothy or

Clover Seed __   or if for Corn, plow it  People here are much in

the method of seeding among Corn & they Sow later than in any oth-

er place I have Seen; though it was now the middle of the tenth

month, very few had seeded & some had not got the ground cleared

which they designed to sow    they seemed to be under no con-



Travel Notes, 1804 127

Travel Notes, 1804                                            127

cern about it, telling us the Custom was to continue Sowing untill near

New Year's, or the winter Sets in Clover answers exceeding well,

and there is no need of Plaster of Paris __   either Timothy or Clover

will do to mow the year it is sown, and frequently two good Crops

may be taken __   it grows so luxuriantly  in many places dung is

considered as unnecessary if not a nuisance, but Some few have tried

a little on Corn Ground & they say it was the better for it __

The best timber for fencing (when Chesnut cannot be had) is

white Oak, wild Cherry, Locust, White and black walnut but

the common method is to fence with what grows on the ground at

the first clearing  I have seen a good deal of fence made of wild

Cherry, Ash, and Shell bark hickory, which 'tis said lasts very well

__    the price for Splitting Rails, if found their Diet, is 3/. per hun-

dred __    3/9 to find themselves  and 5/. per hundd. for Splitting

& making fence

Horses & Cattle sell lower here than with us, therefore the fewer

are brought out the better Horses 20 to 30, a yoke of Oxen 50

to 60 Dollars __   Milch Cow & Calf 12 to 14 Dollars __

In respect to what might be necessary for New Settlers to bring

with them __   as a general Rule, they should bring their Cloathing,



128 OHIO HISTORY

128                                             OHIO HISTORY

 

Beds & Bedding, some tools, such Articles of Household furnitur as

they would want immediately on their arrival here, & which would

not Sell so as to allow them to be replaced here by new ones at 50 per

Ct. advance __   or to take it in another way -   the price of hauling

a hundred Wt. to this Country is (say) 6 Dollars     now if a

hunddWt. of those Articles are worth paying the freight, and they

could be conveniently brought it would answer better, than being at

the trouble immediately on arriving here to hunt them up through

the Country             it would also be well to bring out the Mountings for

furniture                    I have before mentioned that Tradesmen of different

kinds was likely to be plenty, I still made Enquiry as opportunity of-

fered     and do not find there is much lack except of Carpenters

_     how it may be in building with brick or Stone, is as yet uncer-

tain, but 'tis apprehended there will be a difficulty in many places to

procure Sand for mortar

This Country has hitherto been deemed inland, & inaccessable

by water from the Ocean  _  it is probably it will continue to be the

case for large Craft, but Sail boats very frequently come up from New

Orleans, the Lead mines & other places loaded with Cotton, Lead

&c. to Wheeling                when they have a fair wind they can Stem the

tide very well                     but there is a Considerable Trade down the Riv-

er, when the water is high, which continues for Several Months in

the Spring    sometimes during the Summer and in the fall _  as

many as 20 arks may be seen at one time floating along  divers of

them large     50 feet long, 15 feet broad & 7 or 8 feet high, and

some larger, they will carry from 300 to 350 barrels of flour                                 large

vessells are also built and completely fitted out for Sea _                                           we saw

one Brig building at Charleston, Several other vessells at Pitt79 &

some floating in the River

In these new Settlements women assist in the agricultural & manu-

facturing part more than with us, it is very common for them to help

about gathering & burning brush planting Corn, Swingling flax &c.

and I saw in many places women weaving and was informed

there was 2 or 3 women for one man in that Business

I was near omitting one remark which to me proves more in favour

of this Country than volumes written in its praise, which is the gener-

al Contentment that reigns through every neighbourhood    all

seem to think their part of the Country the best _  we made much

 

 

79. Gibbons had not passed through Pittsburgh on the way west; so this probably

was a reference to the eastward journey. If this is true, some revision of his original notes

must have been made after he reached home.



Travel Notes, 1804 129

Travel Notes, 1804                                       129

 

enquiry but could not find any that murmured or were dissatisfied or

wished they had nor removed here, none that were willing to return,

or looked back to the flesh Pots of Egypt  they voluntarily (for

the present) and with great Cheerfulness undergo hardship and

deprivation of some of the Conveniences & Luxuries of life they had

been accustomed to, expecting and with great reason that in the turn

round of a very short time they will live comfortably  and this

with the early settlers is already realized, we found no lack among

these of the good things of this life, they lived full and plenty

on the other hand thousands might be found who were lavish in

praise of this New Canaan and when we mentioned the hardships &

Difficulties of moving out they treated it as a very trifling thing, I en-

quired particularly of many of the women (as possessed of most feel-

ing & Sensibility) on this Subject, but they uniformly declared they

did not mind at all __   those who were weakly increased Strength

by the Journey and the timid became more courageous     they

told me of a woman friend (Joseph Vanlaws wife) from Jersey who re-

moved out there and drove a light waggon herself all the way to

Ohio, with a young Child in her lap, her husband was along; but he

had the heavy waggon with their Goods to Attend to __   therefore

she had to drive herself_

I have very little doubt but some may suppose the account I give of

this Country exaggerated, it may be so; but I am not sensible of it; it

appeared in my Eyes in pleasing Colours, and in this I have many

companions     even some who at first entertained an unfavourable

opinion respecting it, yet had the Curiosity to see a land so much

Spoken of  _   tho' almost predetermined not to like it  but

when they saw the Richness and fertility of the Soil, the Luxuriance

of the herbage _    the loftiness and variety of the timber                                           the

Charming Landscapes which every where Strike the Eye                                           they

could not resist a desire of becoming purchasers & Settling in a Coun-

try where with so little labour & at so small an Expense the necessa-

ries & Comforts of Life may be procured   as far as my slender

knowledge extends Travellers all unite in praise of the western Coun-

try    in Morse's Geography may be found a particular description

of the then North west Territory in more flattering Colours than I

have set forth __   will transcribe a Small Extract from that Work as

a Specimen

 

"The Country on

"the Ohio is every where pleasant, with the large level Spots of rich land

"and remarkably healthy  One general remark of this nature will Serve

"for the whole Tract of the Globe comprehended between the western



130 OHIO HISTORY

130                                             OHIO HISTORY

 

"Skirts of the Allegany Mountain thence running Southwestwardly to the

"distance of 500 Miles to the Ohio Falls, then crossing them North wardly to

"the head of the Rivers that empties themselves into the Ohio thence along

"the Ridge that Separates the Lakes & Ohio Streams to French Creek

"this Country may from a proper knowledge be Affirmed to be, the most

"healthy the most pleasant, the most comodious, and most fertile Spot of

"Earth known to the European people"

 

But notwithstanding all that can be Said in favour of this Country,

there remains three serious objections, vizt. - first, the Scarcity of

water at some seasons _    Secondly   The Roughness and une-

venness of the Country which in some places will make unpleasant

Plowing & must for a considerable length of time cause bad roads

Thirdly _      The distance from a good market, or if the pro-

duce is sold at home, the low price it will bring

The two first objections may be dispensed with __   as it appears

from all the information we could obtain that there is a Sufficient

number of never failing Springs in most places (and where these are

wanting water can be procured by digging) to answer all the purposes

of the farm  _                    there is also water for Mills through the greater part

of the year                and with a little foresight and care Grinding may be

done in the Wet Season to last through the dry    and as the

Country comes to be opened, improvements will Still be made in the

Roads __    and the uneveness of the Surface which now causes un-

pleasant travelling, may be so helped, by winding round some of the

Hills, digging down little nobs  filling up or bridging over some

narrow breaks and Chusing the most favourable Ground as to be

rendered agreeable   and as the land is so fertile Hills that are too

steep to plow may be put in with Grass for mowing or pasture  but

the last and most serious objection Respecting markets remains to be

answered     and this will require an abler pen than mine, guided

by a person possessed of more accurate knowledge than I could pos-

sibly obtain in so short a time, as it would embrace __   the means of

obtaining materials, and the Expence of building and Equipping

vessells for conveying produce not only down the River but across

the Atlantick   the facility of or obstructions to navigation what

new Channels of Commerce will probably be opened _ or how far

we may reasonably calculate upon the present ones being enlarged

with many other things which I shall leave and give my simple

opinion & thoughts on the Subject    I have Supposed from the

great emigrations to this Country and from the Apparent and pro-

fessed contentedness among the Western People _ they must cal-

culate upon advantage in some way or other to compensate for the



Travel Notes, 1804 131

Travel Notes, 1804                                      131

 

loss of Friends & Relatives left behind; the fatigues of a long Journey

and the difficulties to be surmounted in settling a wilderness Country

_ now, how far these calculations are realized is the next thing to

be examined

The Early Settlers having overcome their first fatigues and difficul-

ties, now find themselves pretty comfortably fixed _   their fields

smile around them _    the Earth with little labour produces more

than they can consume _   the Surplus they sell, (at present) at a low

rate _  but they consider that their country is in its infancy and as

Population and Agriculture increases, Commerce will also increase -

_ as the land is so natural to Grass, Grazing will become a

profitable business, some Essay has already been made _   droves

of fat Cattle have been taken from thence, and as the raising of Cattle

becomes more general, it will be more of an Object for drovers to go

there _  this would be a Cash Article __   and it is likely that con-

siderable advantage may be made by raising Horses       the

Expence & trouble would be small _ they are easily taken to mar-

ket & would bring a good price

It is also Supposed if in clearing of land, the bark of the trees was

saved, Ground & put in Casks, it would be a valuable Article for Ex-

portation                And it is probable other Channels of Trade will be

opened                    If the population should continue to progress for a series

of years with the same rapidity it has for 3 or 4 years past  many

large towns and villages will be built __   the Inhabitants of these

must be supplied by the Country and by this means a good Market

may be had for what fresh meat, Poultry, Butter &c. the farmer may

have to Spare who in return will be Supplied with Such Articles as

he cannot raise __   If by these and other means he makes a comfort-

able living it is certainly doing much better than is usual in older Set-

tled Countrys for this (Supposing it to be done) is upon a farm which

will not cost one fourth part as much as an Equal quantity of land with

us _   the land will produce 3 or 4 fold more than our land __   and

the farm is daily rising in value _  and it is of no consequence to the

farmer whether the advance is made by the land or by the produce

 

Suppose, for Example, a person possessed of an Estate in Pennsylva.

worth 2000 near to a good market, if from this Estate with all its ad-

vantages he cannot do more than make a living, or Evenn Suppose he

laid by 50 a year which is supposing a thing that don't commonly

happen     Still he would be a gainer by selling that Estate & laying

out 600 for a farm in this country on which he might make a living,

perhaps something more    he would then have 1400 left which if



132 OHIO HISTORY

132                                            OHIO HISTORY

 

put to Interest would produce 84 per annum or if judiciously laid out

in land would double itself in a few years  This calculation is for

an improved farm at 8 or 9 Dollars per acre but the advantage would

be much greater in favour of those who could content themselves

with purchasing unimproved land at 2 dollars per acre __   as things

appear to me in this point of view, I note them, in order to prove (if my

calculations are not Erroneous) to the satisfaction of those who have

thoughts of removing to this Country, that there is a fair prospect of

living comfortably there & of being able to make more ample provi-

sion for a rising family than could be done by remaining in our old

Settled Country

But whether such accumulation would be eventually promotive of

their best Interests must be left and it is very possible I may be mis-

taken in my Ideas respecting this Country, but I would not willingly

either gloss over its defects or magnify its advantages, neither do I

wish to use one persuasive argument to induce any to emigrate thither

_     I made much observation and Enquiry and was diligent in inves-

tigation (as far as time & my slender Capacity would allow) to come at

the truth __   the result I commit to writing & leave others to judge,

and Act as they think best

As to myself it is in my view a matter of very great consequence to

remove with a family to such a distance and though there appears to

be a fair prospect of temporal advantage, this is not Sufficient without

something more to induce me to come to this conclusion __   that

many have already removed and others will under the direction of

best wisdom I have no kind of doubt and it may be right for us

and I have often & earnestly wished for myself & my dear relatives in

an especial manner that we may be favoured to see what our proper

business is & act accordingly                             following that which makes for

Peace either in going or staying                          then the blessing will rest upon

us __    and Short of this there is no true happiness to be enjoyed

10 mo. 16th, This morning was foggy & the Road wet & Slip-

pery, but as it did not rain, after breakfast we left our friend Joseph

Steers where we have been kindly entertained and provided with

provisions for our Journey & following Short Creek down to its mouth

5 miles we rode up along the banks of the Ohio which as the water

was now low, was from 30 to 50 feet high        most of it a beautiful

level Road through exceeding Rich land               the border of the

bank at our right was lined with large trees of various kinds amongst

which were a great number of Sycamore trees __   I measured the

Stump of one that had blown down & found its Circumference at the

height of 3 feet from the Ground was 28 feet _ another one which



Travel Notes, 1804 133

Travel Notes, 1804                                              133

 

was growing & appeared to be perfectly Sound measured 40 feet __

We passed through the land which the Mingoes and Shawanese In-

dians were formerly Settled on & had their towns         at the dis-

tance of 7 miles from Short Creek is Charlestown80 Standing on the

East bank of the Ohio, it appeared to contain about 70 houses

some of them built with bricks   _   7 miles further up on the west

Side is Steubenville81 this is a County town of between 80 & 100

houses a considerable number of them     are of brick       large &

handsomely finished __      it Stands on a high bank _    the Streets

are wide & Cross each other at right Angles     it is in this town the

land office for the State is kept    here all the Entries for land, &

the payments are made __      after feeding our horses we crossed the

River to the Virginia Shore, about one mile above the town, all along

the border of the River is rich bottom land, in some places narrow in

others half a mile or a mile wide to the foot of a ridge of hills which

extends up & down the river on both sides __       we were informed

the water rises 25 or 30 feet above its present heighth, at which time

it is navigable for large vessels to go down and out to Sea there being

no obstructions in it except a trifling falls82 several hundred miles be-

low this __    it is a Smooth bottom, chiefly small Gravel with scarce-

ly any rocks or stones,

we left the River when we crossed it & Seen it no more for the day,

travelling a rough road & in some places very thin land for about 10

miles further & put up at a private house          _    making

30 miles

The family was Methodists __      after we had eat Supper they en-

tertained us with an account of the many difficulties they had en-

countered since their first Settlement in this Country 35 years ago83

from  the incursions of the Indians       they had often beset the

house & tried to take them alive, but they had always made out to

Escape

The Old man seemed to feel the renewed vigor of Youth and much

 

 

80. The location and distances place this community at Wellsburg, West Virginia.

81. Steubenville, Ohio, is about twenty miles northeast of Short Creek. The town

was founded about 1798 by James Ross and Bazaleel Wells. Cuming, Thwaites, IV,

107-08; Flint, Thwaites, IX, 101-03; Nathaniel Dike, "Nine Letters of Nathaniel Dike on

the Western Country, 1816-1818," edited by Dwight L. Smith, Ohio State Archaeologic-

al and Historical Quarterly, LXVII (July, 1958), 189-226.

82. The Falls of the Ohio are at Louisville, Kentucky. Boats were removed from the

water and rolled on logs around the falls.

83. If it is true this couple had settled there thirty-five years earlier, they would have

come west in 1769. They were, therefore, early in the settlement of the region northwest

of Pittsburgh.



134 OHIO HISTORY

134                                            OHIO HISTORY

 

animated whilst relating the bloody Encounters and Hair breadth

Escapes he and others of his neighbourhood had experienced, in

which his wife joined (who by the bye put us in mind of the Vulgar

Proverb, that the Grey mare was the better horse) so that it was to

me very evident, notwithstanding all their pretensions to Religion

that the same unmortified Spirit was still alive in them __

Father & I retired early from their company and conversation &

went to bed in a room adjoining the one we had sat in _                                                    & Francis

& Edward into a bed in one corner of the Sitting room                                   _  in the

presence of the Old couple

as soon as we had all got settled in our nests, the old woman (being

the head) first tuned her pipes, then the old man joined in chaunting

forth a lengthy Hymn, with so loud a voice and so melodiously, that

there was no danger of our Sleeping whilst this lasted __   when it

was ended she made a long prayer in the course of which I was un-

der some little concern least she should leave nothing in Store for

themselves for she made so many requests;

first that the Strangers who were cast upon them this Evening

might be endued with All the Graces of the Spirit, that their Sins

might be cast into the Sea of Obillion, that they might be preserved

to return in Safety to their families and prayed for their families &c.

&c. &c. __    then for the Country at large, for their particular Neigh-

bourhood & for themselves, that the inhabitants hereabouts might

become diligent hearers of the word and eminent for Piety & virtue

&c. &c. to all which her Clerk added a long Amen

This being concluded they came into our Chamber (the door of

which was open all the time) undressed before us & went into a bed

in another corner of the room  _  At this farm we met with abun-

dance of Apples & Peaches the owner of it said he had 2 orchards of

about 800 bearing Apple trees & above 1000 Peach trees, from these

he distills large quantitites of Whiskey and I leave others to deter-

mine, whether the work of Righteousness in their neighbourhood

will be more advanced by their Prayers, than retarded by the distri-

bution & consequent use of so much Spiritous Liquors

17th. We fed our horses and Started pretty early and after riding over

a rough uneven Country & extreme poor land for about 14 miles Stopt

at an Irish Slab Cabbin Tavern, we fed our horses, but the Cabbin

was so exceeding filthy & dirty we had no desire of ordering break-

fast_    but applied to our Saddle bags which furnished us with

Beef & Cakes, this with a little milk we got at the house served to

satisfy our present wants __   some of us were hard set to drink the

milk having no doubt but it was very dirty  however we forced it



Travel Notes, 1804 135

Travel Notes, 1804                                     135

 

down & went on __   the land over which we travelled continued ex-

ceeding poor until we arrived at the borders of the River

The reason of our taking this Rout & having the River to cross

twice instead of going up to Beaver on the west side of the Ohio was

to avoid a great bend in the River & by taking this way, F. Townsend

supposed it was 10 miles shorter & 5 miles better

We had rode all along upon a very high ridge which in our part of

the Country would be denominated a Mountain __   it gradually be-

came narrower until it terminated in a point just wide enough and

nothing to Spare for a waggon to pass along, here the Road began to

descend __    We paused a moment to view the prospect before us

_ this was the Spot for the pencil of the Limner, or the Pen of the

Poet, to delineate some of the wonderful works [of] nature & form a

Landscape which would Strike the astonished Eye with wonder &

delight   the ground on either side descended (to appearance) al-

most perpendicularly to a tremendous Gulph below the lofty timber

which grew in the vallies beneath - might from our present heighth

have been mistaken for the Small Shrubbery of the plains

whose leafy honours were of many different Shades & hues, being

changed by the chilling hand of frost; on our left was a valley of con-

siderable Extent and at the distance of a mile or more gently glided

the beautiful Ohio __   the Prospect on either side & before us was

terminated by a long range of very high hills _

We dismounted and led our horses down a long hill, at the foot of

which ran Raccoon Creek this we crossed just above where it emp-

ties into the Ohio & Soon after crossed the River in a boat __   3 or 4

miles from this we passed through the town of Beaver containing

about 20 houses    all of them frame or logs except one built of

hewn Stone     this town is laid out upon a large Scale  2000

Acres of land being appropriated for the purpose __   it is in a beauti-

ful situation, on a large level piece of Ground just below the mouth of

the "Big Beaver Creek," on the Banks of the Ohio which is here at

least 100 or 120 feet high, from whence there is a fine prospect of the

Surrounding Country    the windings of the River & of Beaver

Creek __    the plan of the town extends over the Creek __   and if

any means could be devised to supply it with Wholesome water, it

would no doubt ere long become a thriving handsome place  but

in this there is a difficulty, as water cannot be procured by digging,

and there is but one Spring near from which the water is conveyed in

trunks, [bored logs] & this in the fall of the year is very ordinary

it is Supposed, and from appearances is probable, that where the

town now Stands & for many miles round, has at some age of the



136 OHIO HISTORY

136                                                     OHIO HISTORY

 

world been a Lake; this high bank is principally Gravel & the whole

Surface covered with Paving Stones, which must have been brought

to their present round Shape by rubbing & driving about in the

water      admitting this Spot to have been a Lake, will furnish a rea-

son why water cannot be found by digging, though they have went

to the depth of 100 feet, as that did not go beyond what is termed

"made" Earth of course there are no Springs in it___but is it not

probable if it was dug through this & into the Original soil, that

water would be found

about a mile up Beaver Creek is a Small town on Bradys Run

here we stopt at Joseph Hoops's 84 who keeps Store __          were re-

ceived with kindness & after partaking of some Excellent Coffee &c.

which by this time (3 oClock) we had a good Appetite for      _  went

about a mile further up the Creek to Evan Pughs85 _ having rode

this day-27 miles

our friends here received us cordially and were glad to see us

fearing from our long detention down the River that we had gone

home        they informed us that one of our former company Amos

Evans had a narrow Escape for his life __      as his Cousin Eli & him

were crossing a bridge over a race his horse took fright, ran back-

wards over the Side of the bridge & fell with him about 15 feet in the

water       the horse's hip struck first against a Stake which broke

the fall, otherwise it was thought Amos would have been killed, as

the horse would have fell on him but this stop in it enabled him to

disengage himself, and 'tho they both went into the water they were

several feet apart; he did not receive any hurt himself   _   but had

 

 

 

84. Joseph Hoops, or Hoopes, was probably a relative of the Gibbons Family. Uncle

James Gibbons was married to Deborah Hoopes, and the Gibbons and Hoopes' ances-

tral estates were side by side in Westtown Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

The Census of 1800 lists a Joseph Hoops as a resident of South Beaver Township of Bea-

ver County, Pennsylvania, with a wife and two young daughters. Hoopes, Townsend &

Company erected an iron furnace at Brighton in 1803. Census Bureau of The United

States, return for South Beaver Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for 1800; Bio-

graphical Annals of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 659; Day, 107-08; George Smith,

"Map of Early Settlement"; Heathcote, 192.

85. Evan Pugh was of a Chester County family known to Gibbons. One Pughtown is

in northern Chester County and another is in northern West Virginia, a few miles west of

the Beaver Settlement. There was an Evan Pugh in Coventry Township of Chester Coun-

ty with a wife and four young children in 1800, but no Evan Pugh appears in the Beaver

County report for that year. However, several pages are unreadable. In 1780 Jonathan

Pugh owned several mills in Coventry Township in the northern part of Chester County.

Futhey and Cope, 699; Heathcote, 188; Census Bureau of The United States, return for

Chester County, Pennsylvania, for 1790, 61; Ibid., Chester and Beaver Counties, Penn-

sylvania, for 1800.



Travel Notes, 1804 137

Travel Notes, 1804                                          137

 

to procure another horse to return home, leaving his own so crippled

as not likely to recover

[The following sentence was written at this point in the NOTES but

was stroked out lightly: Our friends here received us with cordiality

and were glad to see us, fearing from our long detention down the riv-

er that we had gone home _]

There are a considerable number of members of our Society here

but they have no meeting nearer than Middleton __   about 22 miles

distant

18th After a comfortable nights lodging we felt refreshed & having

breakfasted took a walk out to see the Grist & Saw Mills & from

thence a small distance up the Creek to the first falls, as the water

was low, I went without much difficulty from Rock to Rock near half-

way over, the Bed of this Creek appears to be one entire Rock, or at

least paved with Rocks, and 'tis said at very low times __   Acres of it

may be seen with Scarce a vein in it, so smooth and level, that by

some persons it is used as a threshing floor, at the Second falls a mile

higher up, and had we went yesterday might have seen them at

work

The Beaver is a fine Stream of water, nearly as large as Schuylkill at

Reading      and at low times not above knee deep

There are many curious cavities in the Rocks at the falls, some cir-

cular and others of different shapes and figures  some perpendic-

ularly down to the depth of 2, 3 or 4 feet, and from a foot to 3 feet

wide, like wells filled with water _ in others the water had Es-

caped through Subterraneous passages, I walked about from one

place to another viewing these different appearances and works of na-

ture performed by means of the various Currents & Eddies of water

which will some times twist & whirl a Stone round on the face of the

Rock till by the continual friction a complete circular hole is bored

__    Edward & I procured Hooks & lines to fish at the falls, but after

trying about half an hour without Success we returned to John

Pugh's86 to dinner    then rode up to David Hoops87 at the Sec-

ond falls __   here is a Saw mill & on the opposite side of the Creek

A Grist Mill __   the Race for the Saw mill was singular  the low-

er side being a Stone wall built on the Solid bed of the Creek parallel

 

 

86. John Pugh was evidently a brother of Evan. John and Sara Pugh are mentioned

as man and wife in Futhey and Cope, 699. No John Pugh was found in the Census report

of Beaver County in 1800. This is not conclusive, however, as several pages of this report

are too faded to be readable.

87. See note 84. For the Hoops family history in Chester County, see Futhey and

Cope, 605; Day, 107-08.



138 OHIO HISTORY

138                                                     OHIO HISTORY

 

with its banks for about 250 feet, after which the Race was in the

usual way       here we staid all night

19th. Elizabeth Cadwallader88 (widow of Reese) and Eli Hillis89

(son of Wm. of Redstone) came up in the morning to D. Hoops's and

we all Set off to go up to the place where Joseph Townsend90 & the

Hoops's are building a Mill _       on the Canneconece which empties

into the Beaver        most of the Road was very Stoney and Hilly

after traveling 7 miles we crossed the Beaver which is here a

deep and rapid Stream I held the bridle of Elizabeths Horse as she

was timid about crossing & said her head would Swim; we had not

proceeded far into the Stream, 'til she halloed out she was going,

and going she was, this obliged me to let go the bridle & seize hold

of her, it was with difficulty I could keep her from falling over until

Edward came up on the other side to assist me                when we

brought her safe to Shore   _   rode a mile further to the Mill & farm

after dinner went to view a large body of Land adjoining which be-

longs to the Washington Academy, & which we designed to examine

when we left home

We rode several miles, perhaps 4, in divers directions on the land

& 'tho we thought it pretty good, yet did not esteem it by any means

equal to the land about Concord; it is chiefly White Oak land & we

thought lay too flat, more fit for meadow than winter Grain, very few

Springs on it, and we were of the Opinion it was a cold clay Soil

however we were not disposed to take a full view of it __    this would

have been a work of several days         and as we felt nothing to in-

duce us to alter our former prospect or to think this was the place for

us to Settle __    concluded it was spending time unnecessarily to go

 

 

 

88. Rees Cadwallader received title to the land on which he founded the town of

Bridgeport in 1783 from Captain Lemuel Barrett. He owned land in Brownsville as early

as 1781 and was the founder of a number of mills where he was also residing in 1790.

Cadwallader and Rees (or Reese) were both common names among the Welsh Quakers

of Uwchlan Township, Chester County. See Gilpin, Journal for 1809; Census Bureau of

The United States, return for Luzerne Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, for

1790, 107; Hopkins, Journal, note 24; Veech, 81; Heathcote, 209.

89. The Gibbons party stopped at his father's home on their way west. Many of the

early settlers on Beaver Creek had moved there from Redstone. It is probable, there-

fore, that Hillis (or Hillas) was visiting former neighbors or relatives at Beaver. Cleland,

294.

90. There were many Joseph Townsends in Chester County. This one may have

been Joseph Townsend, son of Francis and Rachael Talbet Townsend. Francis is men-

tioned in note 63. There were two Townsend Families in the same township with Joseph

Hoops in 1800. They were David and Benjamin, each with a wife and several small chil-

dren. Census Bureau of The United States, return for South Beaver Township, Beaver

County, Pennsylvania, for 1800; see also notes 63 and 84.



Travel Notes, 1804 139

Travel Notes, 1804                                               139

 

about any more _       we had some thoughts of going about 20 Miles

further to Bull Creek Settlement91 __     and friends here were urgent

for us to look about and fix amongst them, but our way seemed

hedged up        therefore turned about and came down to Evan

Pugh's, intending to set off homewards in the morning        having

rode about __     21 miles

20th. Lydia Pugh92 having kindly offered to wash our Cloaths we

had left some out when we went up the Country           which being

now done & some Cakes & Cheese provided by her & Sally Pugh93

for our accomodation over the mountains __                        we took leave of them

& friends here  _   who had been kind to us                            _   and many of them

had built so much upon our coming to reside amongst them that it

was hard to relinquish the idea  _   Some of them shed tears when

we parted

Francis Townsend who had been waiting upon us since the 12th.

went about a mile to shew us the ford over the "Big Beaver" we then

parted & proceeded on our Journey        our Road was mostly along

& near the Banks of the beautiful Ohio __     saw three Deer feeding

in a little valley     these were the only wild Animals we found

whilst out _     after riding about 8 or 10 miles __   came to the Spot

where Genl. Wayne94 lay with his Army in the winter of 1793 when

out against the Indian I counted 19 or 20 Stacks of Chimneys in 2

Rows with 2 fire places in each, built of Stone __                         & one Stack con-

structed with brick  _  had 4 fire places in it _                                     to every fire place

a Cabbin was built all of which, save one, are now destroyed this

Encampment was on the banks of the River which are here very

high & level __    the timber all cut down for a considerable distance

round __     4 or 5 miles from this we stopt at the house of a son of Ca-

 

 

 

91. The Bull Creek Settlement was the locale of the Middleton Meeting which

served the Quakers of the Beaver Valley. They traveled over twenty miles to attend.

Gibbons did not visit that settlement. But it is possible, also, that Gibbons here had

reference to another Bull Creek which flows into the Allegheny River at Tarentum,

Pennsylvania.

92. Lydia Pugh, wife of Evan. See note 85.

93. Sally Pugh, wife of John. See note 86.

94. Wayne received his appointment to command the Western Army on March 5,

1793, and immediately assembled his men for drill at Legionville, Pennsylvania, and

moved down the Ohio River to Cincinnati by May, 1793. Lockwood Barr, editor, "Let-

ters from Dr. Joseph Strong to Captain John Pratt," Ohio State Archaeological and His-

torical Quarterly, LI (July, 1942), 236-42; Richard C. Knopf, editor, "A Surgeon's Mate at

Fort Defiance: The Journal of Joseph Gardner Andrews for the Year 1795," Ohio State

Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, LXVI (January, 1957), 57-86; B. F. Prince,

"Early Journeys to Ohio," Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, XXX (January,

1921), 54-70.



140 OHIO HISTORY

140                                              OHIO HISTORY

 

leb Way95 (of Cain) and fed our horses, then proceeded on

there is only a horse path from Beaver to Pitt on this side [of] the riv-

er (the Waggon Road is on the other side) several miles of the way is

dug out of the side of a high hill, which projects out close to the Riv-

er, and if a horse was to Stumble or Start a little to one side him and

the Rider must inevitably go down a very steep bank onto the Shore,

if not into the River _  on the other hand, Rough Craggy Rocks,

were piled one upon another perpendicularly and in some places

hanging as it were over our heads to the heighth of 100 feet or more

threatning destruction to the poor traveller below   who

finds ample employment, between watching that his horse makes

strait Steps, and Eyeing the Rocks above, which from their number-

less Cracks & Cavaties, Shapes & figures, are continually varrying

and presenting something new & Strange to view

after passing this place we had a pretty good Road for several Miles

& arrived before Sundown at the Allegeny River __   the late Rains

had caused it to rise, it was now from 8 to 10 feet deep and about as

wide as Schuylkill is at Reading, we were ferried over & landed in

Pittsburg, rode through the town and put up at "the Pure Fountain"

on the banks of the Monongalia also a beautiful Stream and quite as

large as the other

we took a walk down to the point where the two Rivers form a junc-

tion & it then takes the name of Ohio, we also saw the Remains of the

old fort Banks_

there were a large number of Arks & boats along the Shore, some

loaded & others waiting for load; divers others building, and some

Sea Vessells on the Stocks __   this is a very thriving place & Con-

tains above 200 Houses most of them Brick large & well build, a

Court house, Market House &c. &c.  __    30 miles

First day 21st Left Pittsburg, rode 71/2 miles to Breakfast

121/2 to feed & 12 more to "Greensburg" _ nothing remarkable

in this days ride, except, that we met several movings  One rath-

er singular    a small Cart drawn by a little Pony contained I sup-

pose the wardrobe & furniture belonging to 14 Men, Women, and

Children who accompanied it _   there was three small Children in

the Cart & 6 or 7 walking by

 

 

 

95. Caleb Way of Cain was another Chester County man. He was listed among the

landowners of West Cain Township in 1774. In 1780 he had a tavern, and in 1790 his

household consisted of six males and five females. Futhey and Cope, 169; Heathcote,

186; Census Bureau of The United States, return for Chester County, Pennsylvania, for

1790, 73; Ibid., West Cain Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, for 1800.



Travel Notes, 1804 141

Travel Notes, 1804                                                  141

 

Just before we entered the town we came to a small Swampy run,

father was foremost & rode in to let his mare drink __         she soon

sunk up to her knees & it appeared to be deeper further in __         he

therefore turned her head round to get out but she could not disen-

gage her hind feet, they stuck fast       after Strugling a little to no

purpose she gave out and squatted down like a dog on her hind quar-

ters __    he dismounted hastily in the mud, fearing she was going to

lay down and got her out without any other damage, than having the

Boots, Saddle bags and great Coat a good deal dirtied __        and one

of her feet Sprained

put up at the Sign of Genl. Wayne           32 miles Greensburg is a

County Town __        contains 60 or 70 houses many of them     built of

brick

22d Rode 11 miles to Breakfast at Skyles's tavern then 11 more and

fed in West Liberty96 a small Village at the foot of Laural hill con-

taining a dozen log houses         crossed the Mountain 7 miles over

and about an hour after night put up at Grahams Tavern in Stoyes

town97       38 Miles, much fatigued, most of the Road being very

bad, but after a good Supper and resting well at night felt refreshed

and able to pursue our Journey in the morning        this town contains

19 log and frame houses

23d. Rode 9 miles to breakfast at Statlers tavern98 on the Allegeny

Mountain    _   then crossed the remainder of the mountain (about 12

miles over) both this and the Laural hill are very rough and owing to

the late rains exceeding miry, (even on the top) for many miles togeth-

er __     it is much worse for waggons or horseman than the road we

went out _

we baited our horses at MCCullochs99 (formerly Bonnets) where

 

 

96. West Liberty was in Pennsylvania and, of course, not the village earlier men-

tioned in West Virginia. It may have been the present town of Laughlintown, near Fort

Ligonier, which was the stage stop in 1815. Michaux, Thwaites, III, 148: Pittsburgh Di-

rectory for 1815, 152.

97. Stoyestown was a well-known stopping place on the Pittsburgh Road at Stony

Creek. Ibid., 152.

98. Statlers Tavern was operated by Casper Statler on the top of the Allegheny

Mountain. It was noted for its huge twelve-foot fireplace before which thirty or forty

persons had been known to sleep. Statler had been an ensign in Forbes's army. He mar-

ried Rebecca Walter who was captured by the Indians in 1755 and scalped. She was

rescued in 1762. Morris Birkbeck found cherry trees in bloom outside the inn on May 27,

1817. Schell, 53, and appendix, 12-13; Clement B. Buckley, Diary, note 170; Michaux,

Thwaites, III, 147; Harris, Thwaites, 111, 372; Birkbeck, 38.

99. McCullochs was at the fork of the two roads going to Pittsburgh and Redstone.

On the way west Gibbons had mentioned the White Horse Tavern at this place. In

earlier records Bonnet's Tavern identified this fork in the road. See note 23; Howell,

Map of Pennsylvania, 1792, Historical Society of Pennsylvania.



142 OHIO HISTORY

142                                             OHIO HISTORY

 

the two Roads unite __   16 Miles & in the Evening got to Grahams

tavern100 (formerly Hartleys) 10 miles  making for to day  36

Miles

about 4 miles from Bonnetts we passed through Bedford, we had

rode in the rain all day and over much bad road in order to reach

this place, fully expecting good Quarters  but we found a throng

house 4 men & 3 women occupied the Parlour into which we were

ushered (besides a considerable number in other parts of the house)

the Landlady said the house was so full she did not know what to

do with us __   we regretted we had not stopt at Bedford __   but it

was now too late to look out for other quarters therefore concluded to

Stay if we had to Sleep on the floor __   The Company in the Parlour

looked with Jealous Eyes at us, and no doubt were as sorry to see us

come, as we were to find them there                          they kept a long silence and

except one man were very reserved                            he did Condescend after

about an hour to enter into conversation with me

Father & I had a bed in the kitchen Chamber, where I passed an

uneazy night, being several hours before I got to Sleep  owing to

Fleas, or Bugs, or both, or something, I could not tell what it rained

most of the night, but holding up in the morning 24th we set out and

rode 10 miles to Breakfast at Martins Tavern101 between these places

we met 6 movings-I enquired of 3 of the Companies & they were

from Jersey going to the Miamis _   one of the families were friends

of the name of Silver we also met 3 men who had a large Box fixed on

a waggon Carriage, drawn by 3 horses    Containing they said a

Lion weighing 6001b.Wt.  which they were taking about for a Shew

It has been frequent cause of admiration to us to meet so many Peo-

ple moving back, one would be ready to suppose our thick settled

parts of the Country would be very much thinned, the roads are so

throng'd not only on this side of the River Ohio, but on the other,

we could not go many miles on any main Road without meeting some

of them     when we were at Beaver, we were informed there had

100 families passed by in one day; chiefly New Englanders going out

to New Connecticut102 on Lake Erie we met divers of them with two

Yoke of Oxen to each Waggon, the Oxen were Shod & appeared to

have stood the Journey well     after Breakfast we pursued the

same Rout we had taken in coming up for about 4 miles then took an-

 

 

100. Grahams Tavern at Everett (Bloody Run) was a stopping place for the Gibbons

party on their way west. See note 18.

101. Martin's Tavern was also a place visited on the way west. It was near Juniata

Crossing. Pittsburgh Directory for 1815, 152; Harris, Thwaites, III, 372; See also note 17.

102. New Connecticut on Lake Erie was the Western Reserve of Connecticut.



Travel Notes, 1804 143

Travel Notes, 1804                                               143

 

other main road leading to Philada. 103 by the way of Strasburg,

Shippensburg Carlisle &.c       in order to Judge which would be

the best way for a waggon if we should conclude to remove to Ohio

_  in the evening put up at the Burnt Cabbins104 (Jamesons tavern)

22 miles from our last stage making in the whole for the day     32

miles

The Road for 15 or 17 Miles back pretty good      we met between

the last Stage & this 13 movings, which with 6 in the morning, is 19 to

day      10 or 12 of these were from Jersey      some from Morris's

River & some from East Jersey       going out to the Miami's __   we

also came across Wm. Rodgers of Jersey, who informed us he was ac-

companying John Hunt105 on a religious visit to the Meetings belong-

ing to Redstone __     we did not see John    they had broke one of

the Axle trees of their waggon and he was gone with another person

into the woods to search a suitable Stick to make a new one

many of those who remove back appear to be in low Circumstances

some being on foot, some on horseback __       and very often a

single horse and Cart, or a waggon and two horses would be at-

tended by from 10 to 15 Persons. many of them Children, so that

they must have to walk a great part of the way let the weather be as it

may

The Evening we came through Bedford it rained fast, and the

Roads were very Sloppy, a short distance on this side the town we

met a Cart and one horse       the Cart was nearly filled with furni-

ture, in the hind part was a Bed on which a Child of about 18

months old, was fixed, it has neither hat or bonnet on and the rain

pouring on its little head __   2 men were with the Cart an Elderly

woman and 4 or 5 daughters (I suppose) walked behind           they

were pretty well dressed        with Joseph's and Dunstable Hatts

_  some had stockings on, others without but it made little odds in

 

 

 

103. On Sideling Hill, Gibbons turned left on the Three Mountain Road toward Fort

Littleton. This was a shortcut to Shippensburg and Carlisle which had been built

eighteen years earlier by John Skinner of Horse Valley, Franklin County, under a con-

tract with the Commonwealth and was largely used by drovers of cattle, sheep, hogs,

horses, mules and turkeys on their way to Philadelphia. John Skinner Papers, privately

owned by Fred W. Shearer, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; John G. Orr, "Three Moun-

tain Road," unpublished paper written in 1905. The editor has a typescript.

104. Burnt Cabins is a small village at the foot of the western slope of the Tuscarora

Mountain. George Washington spent the night of October 21, 1794, at the Red Tavern in

Burnt Cabins when he was traveling east from Bedford. Fortescue Cumings stopped at

Ramsey's. Cuming, Thwaites, IV, 57-58; Orr paper.

105. John Hunt was from Darby, Pennsylvania. He married Rachel Gibbons in 1777.

Futhey and Cope, 565.



144 OHIO HISTORY

144                                                       OHIO HISTORY

 

the looks, as all of them were mudded half way up the leg & shoes

and Stocking and legs were all of a colour

25th. We started pretty early & about 2 miles from our lodgings began

to Assend the Blue mountains           they appeared to be very steep

and Stony, but by twisting & winding about on the sides of the hills

a much better Road is made than we expected; after gaining the

Summit of the first ridge we descended on the other side into a deep

valley about a mile in width _        in this valley is a small village of

about 40 log and frame houses & 1 good Stone house __          it is called

"Fannetsburg"106 we passed through and immediately began to

Assend the second ridge         from the top of which we saw still an-

other before us and a deep Valley107 lying between of about half a

mile in width, some of it under cultivation __         after descending into

this second valley and rising the third ridge             an extensive pros-

pect opened to view         beneath us was a large valley108 of many

miles in width and further in length, westward, than the Eye could

reach _      on the East and North the valley appeared bounded by a

chain of Hills __     but the prospect of the town of Strasburg109 and

of the farms around, from    our present heighth was pleasing          it

looked like a finely cultivated Garden        perhaps it afforded more

satisfaction at this time than it would at another              we had

breathed so much pure air on the top of the Mountains and fasted so

long, that by this time we had keen appetites         and this was our

intended Stage for breakfast _                                                  11miles-The town of Strasburg

contains about 70 Houses           from                     hence we went to Shippens-

 

 

 

 

 

106. Fannettsburg is on the Conococheague Creek in Path Valley which lies be-

tween the Tuscarora and Kittochtinny Mountains. The village was about a decade old

when Gibbons saw it. Local reports relate that a "Liberty Pole," emblem of sympathy

with the Whiskey Rebels, was removed from the center of the village just in time to pre-

vent President Washington's being offended when he passed there on October 22,

1794. F. A. Michaux said it contained 29 or 30 houses in 1802. John Walker Papers, pri-

vately owned by the editor; Michaux, Thwaites, III, 141-42; Cuming, Thwaites, IV,

55-57.

107. The valley mentioned here is Horse Valley. They passed the tavern owned by

John Skinner, builder of the Three Mountain Road; but they were probably unaware of

this and did not stop. Cuming found Skinner a good conversationalist and his tavern

clean and serving good food. Skinner Papers; Census Bureau of The United States, re-

turn for Letterkenny Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, for 1800, 927; Cuming,

Thwaites, IV, 53-54.

108. The large valley is the Cumberland Valley.

109. Strasburg is a small village at the foot of the last ridge to cross on this route, now

called Upper Strasburg to distinguish it from the Lancaster County borough. Pittsburgh

Directory for 1815, 152; Michaux, 141.



Travel Notes, 1804 145

Travel Notes, 1804                                                      145

 

burg110 11 miles, Stopt at couzin P. Cochran's111 dined & fed then

went 10 Miles further to Lotshaws tavern112 to Lodge                      32

Miles

26th. Rode to Carlisle to Breakfast 9 miles __                          to the River Susque-

hanna at Chambers's ferry113             18 miles &                        to Middleton114 to

Lodge 7 miles         making 34 to day

We found it exceeding Cold riding in the morning & when we got

the River it began to hail which increased for some time, with Rain

when it changed to Snow __         but cleared up Cold in the night

10 mo. 27th. The Ground and Trees covered with Snow which begin-

ning to thaw added to the Rain made the Roads Sloppy & disagreea-

ble travelling       crossed Sweetara River which was now          rideable

& went 9 miles to breakfast at Elizabeth town115 then 27 miles to

New Holland to Lodge, a[t] Ellmakers tavern _________Edwd.   had left us &

gone for Lancaster in the morning          116

28th. Rode 9 miles to breakfast, 12 to Fathers & four home __           mak-

ing       26 miles

 

 

 

110. Shippensburg was, in 1804, an old trading town in the Cumberland Valley. It

was named for the celebrated merchant family of Shippen. Michaux stopped here on

his way west in 1802. Michaux, Thwaites, III, 140-41.

111. Patte Cochran was a cousin of Gibbons who furnished a meal for men and hors-

es but did not detain the homeward-bound travelers very long. The 1790 census of

Chester County lists a Patrick Cochran in West Cain Township. But in 1800 the Cumber-

land County census listed among the residents of Shippensburg the tavern-keeper Patte

Cochran. Clement A. Buckley stopped at Cochran's Inn in 1818. Clement A. Buckley,

Diary, note 9; Census Bureau of The United States, return for Chester County, Pennsyl-

vania, for 1790, 73; Ibid., Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, for 1800.

112. Latshaws Tavern, at Walnut Bottom on the road to Carlisle, was on the Harris-

burg to Chambersburg segment of the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia Road. Peter Ladshaw

was listed as a resident there in 1800. Ibid., Dickinson Township, Cumberland County,

Pennsylvania, for 1800; Schell, 51.

113. Chamber Ferry over the Susquehanna River was twenty miles from Carlisle and

fourteen miles from Elizabethtown. It was near the present site of the Harrisburg-York

Airport at the mouth of the Yellow Breeches Creek. In 1804 it was operated by General

Michael Simpson who lived on the York County side of the river. The Scotch-Irish in

America, (Nashville, 1897), 139; Cuming, Thwaites, IV, 38; Pittsburgh Directory for

1815, 152; Census Bureau of The United States, return for Cumberland County, Pennsyl-

vania for 1790, 90.

114. Middletown is eight miles down the Susquehanna River from Harrisburg. It

was on the Harrisburg to Dowington Turnpike and the Harrisburg to Lancaster Turnpike.

Schell, 51; Ellis and Evans, 830.

115. Elizabethtown is a college community between Harrisburg and Lancaster.

116. Gibbons and Milhaus passed to the north of Lancaster and reached New Hol-

land about twelve miles beyond Lancaster. They were on the Downingtown to Harris-

burg Turnpike. Nathanial Ellmaker was elected to the Pennsylvania Senate from New

Holland (Earl Township) in 1796, and nominated for Vice President of The United States

in 1832. Ellis and Evans, 810, 814.



146 OHIO HISTORY

146                                             OHIO HISTORY

 

We had been out 5 weeks and 1 day, and travelled 847 Miles

180 of which was in the State of Ohio __

From the time we left the mountains until we got within 15 Miles of

home, the fever still prevailed (as mentioned in the fore part of these

notes) in all the towns, and in every house we could get to _  it was

not agreeable to lodge or Stop at such places, but we could not do

otherwise  _  there has been a considerable number of Deaths and

some persons have recovered after 4 or 5 Attacks of this disorder.