This document can be found at the Joint Free Public Library of Morristown and Morris Township, Morristown, NJ.
The attached document is Phebe Ford Marvin's diary, documenting the trip from Dover N.J. to Harrison, Ohio in 1805.
Phebe is the daughter of Grace Kitchell Ford and Samuel Ford (the counterfeiter that escaped to Virginia in 1773). Grace Kitchell Ford made the trip, with her daughter, but returned to N.J. several years later, and died in Madison, N.J. in 1818.
Some of the wording is a challenge. I left it with the spelling as Phebe wrote it. You can figure it out yourself. I'll help you with one that I wondered about for a while. I think that Phebe uses the word use, - as in the phrase "they use us very well" . I think that means "they treat us very well. You're on your own for the rest of it.
I think Phebe hits her worse few days around May 23rd, when she has to stay in the same place as a bunch of irishmen. Note that whenever Marvin (Phebe's husband is Robert Marvin) goes to town, he comes back with "wesky".
Think of it. It took about 40 days to get from Dover, N.J. to Cincinnati (600 miles) in 1805. Now you can drive it in 11 hours.
Samuel Ford and Grace Kitchell are my 6th G-Grandparents. Phebe Marvin is the sister of my 5th G-GF, William Ford.
This is a copy of the Diary kept by Phebe Ford Marvin during the journey of herself and her family (including her mother, Grace Kitchell Ford) from Morris County N.J., to Harrison, Ohio. The trip started May 9,1805. The description of the journey is not complete, as the last part of the diary has been lost.
* note: first page of manuscript is worn and torn, and some words not legible
This day we have got redy to go to the ------* but our muny not being of the bank that we ---- it, we got it changed and think to go to-morrow if the rain does not prevent. It rains now quite hard. We have just counted our muney. We have got 153 dollars in cash.
May 9 - in the morning
it rains very fast; we are looking out and watching the clouds, wishing for fair wether. 9 o’clock in the evening at the Duch valley, Washington County.
We set off this afternoon at 1 o’clock. The sun shined out, but there have been several showers. We found the roads quite rough, but we go over them very well. We have got 14 mile ----- at the Dutchman’s house. Tha use us very well. we find our provision, and our lodging: - all but mama and Mrs Sampson. We are in good sperrits. To-morrow I will tell you what it cost us this night.
Two and sixpence tha asked us last night. Tha found us hay for our teem and mama’s lodging, 6 pence for corn, 1 shilling for hay to-day; all 4 shillings. Mrs. Carn was the woman’s name where we staid. She talked Dutch in her family-inquired where we come from and mena other thins and when we told her, she would pay grate attention and would say, yes-yes. We set off from thare a little after sunrise, all well, in good sperrits. Com on about one mil and oh, the mounts that appearid before us, but all in good hart sit out to travel to the top, but to our grat surprise, one of Mr. Sampson’s horses refused to walk up the hill, fastened to the waggon. tha whipped him hartely but to no purpose. tha took our teem and helped up the mountain into marcannecconk and it smelt like a pole cat and so we com on. I think thay say it is 23 miles to-day. the name of this place is mansfield township, at the house of one Mr. Crevland (Creoland?).
our bill was six shillings. This morning we eat our breckfast and set of. It looked very cloudy and about eleven o’clock it rained very hard a little while. we stopped at a tavern, put our teems under a shed and fed them. we got some cider and rolls and eat some vittels, and by that time it cleared up and we went on our way. 6 pence for the drink, 5 pence for hay - whole
0-0-11d. About 4 o’clock we got to East town (Easton?) we put up 6 mils this side of East town to-night. We got 1 shilling in bred, 1 shilling in beer, 15 pence in tobacka - paid 5 shilling for ferridge. We have com about 18 mils today. It took some time to cross the river, or we should have com further. Our people is all gone to bed now. I am sitting here all alone awriting in the bar-room. I feel a little ugly in a strain (strange) place all alone. The wind blose, it lightens and looks like a shower. the men sleep in the waggons, but the rain does not wet them. the clock strikes 10. I will go to bed. we talk of going very arely in the morning.
12th day (May)
we pay 2 shillings apece for keeping horses to hay last night, sixpence for loging - total 4s.6 pence. We git up and go two miles and there git our breckfast and hay for our oxen. Tha would not eat the hay where we stayed last night. we have got some to this tavern - Mr Butz tavern - hay and 2 bushel of corn, 3 shilling 6 pence. then com on to the ferry the other side of allentown. cost of ferrige 3 shillings. stopped in allentown to git drink. we could git no water, only cistern water. We fed our teem - eat some vittels siting in our wagon - drinked some poor water and com on. We put up at a large house to-night. The road is very muddy. we have come 18 mils to-day we judg. The man’s name I have forgot where we put up.
13th day (May)
it has cleared up. it is quite cold. The going is bitter. Cost for keeping oxen and horses 6 shillings. 3 pence for cider-total 6s.3d. We set out, com 12 mils, stop to feed-git one lofe of Bred, baiting for oxen, half pint of cider - total 2s.6d. Then com on - put up six mils before we git to Reading at a tavern where is a grate deal of noys, quereling with men and dogs. I fear we shall sleep but little. The last town we com thrue was Cutztown (Cuttstown). The farms is very good. Thair houses is the best in ginrel that I ever see. The women looks as harty as the horses, and all drest in a shift and petticoat and and hancerchief. Out maken fences, planten corn, shearing sheep. We have com fore and twenty mi to-day.
Tuesday, the 14th (May)
we git up, set of for Reading. In a little time we see the town, but a bad hill to go down and a bad won to rise. The town is the nandsomest that we have com threw. The men stop to buy rifels. Tha go to try them, and I went to git me a coffapot. I left mine in a tavern. I git one and git some soap, som fine thread and come back to the waggons. The men dus not com and we all go to the Market and git cake and beer. The women and little boys in abundance, and calling out “cakes and beer”. The men com back and we all set of to cross the Skullkill - inquire the way of the durn Duchmen and go down the rong street, but luckily found out that it was rong and soon turned. Two wagons got there just before us and so we have to waight som time to craws. Then the men went to the mill to git some feed and we had to stay some time for the teems to eat. But as soon as we got over the ferry, the worst road, crooked, narrow, rough, up and down hill, in the edge of river between rocks, very bad. We rise the hill, the road very much cut up, very rocke. We com on - how far I cannot tell, but put up at a private house - very clever people.
May 15, Wednesday morning
it is cloudy - looks like for rain. A little before noon it begins to rain. We com on to Wimbleton - - a little town. Thare stop - feed and stay two or three ours. It stops raining but looks thick and heavy. The men gears up and we com on three mils, put up at a duch tavern, at Daniel Mirs. Tha apear very clever. I have maid my bed. I will put up my buck (book) so Good Night.
May 16, Thursday night
We got up this morning, all well, but one of Mr. Sampson’s children. He had a sore throat. We feered he giting the quinsy, but he is better to-night. We eat our breakfast and set off. It was cloudy and looked for rain. The first town we com threw was Mirstown. Then we come to Lebanon - from there to Millerstown and there we put up - but the poorest place we have got into at any time. Thare (they are) all duch, and very ill bred people. The house is cold and durty, no fire to boyl our teacittle - nobuddy to make one. We set our boys to making fire. The girls, little and big, run and laugh after the boys, look into the windows. Such behavior I have not seen before. The lanlord and lanlady ses little but dus less.
Friday the 17th (May)
We got up, walked out. It rained, looked like to be a bad day for traveling. But the place was so disagreeable that we was determined to go. We eat our breakfast, went to gear up and our oxen stepped into a lane unperserved and tha looked som time before tha found them. But after som time we got redy and set of in the rain, the roads very muddy. But toward noon it begun to brake away. We all was glad to see it. We com threw two towns. One was calamstown, the other I have forgot. But it is a little mean looking place, so I don’t care much. The next place was sweet arry. There we crossed the ferry, then come on to Harrisburg and put up all night, the people very civil, very soceble - youse us as good as we could wish. It has cleared up very pleasant which gives us good hart. Our teem is good. We have com above twenty miles to-day. Today makes nine days since we left dover, and we have had but two clear days.
Satterday the 18th (May)
This morning is very clear we came to suskhannah (Susquehannah) river. It tis one mile wide. It runs quite smooth. I went overmin a boat with two waggons and seven horses and oxen and a good many people. We have crossed five ferris. Delaware River the first - Lahy (Lehiegh?) the next - Skuilkill Next- Sweet Aarra (Arrow?) Next - Suscahannah Next. We come within one mile of Carlisle and thare put up at a poor tavern. We got our breckfirst and got into Carlisle aerly in the morning. That is quite a hansom town. The streets is paved, som, anough for wolks each sid and Carrudges in the Middle, Then com on to Shippesburd. Got thare at sundown. Jest at the entering in of the town we heard a terrible Noys. What it was I could not tell. Marvin stopped the teem, and it was men, women, and children. Tha was Methados preaching, praying, slapping thair hands, hollowing glory. I thought tha was children crying, cats fighting, but the dredfulest Noys that I ever heard. We com on to the middle of the town, then put up. There was no teems when we got thare, but before 9 o’clock, thare was seven teems. Tha brought in thair beds as we did - maid them on the floor. There was a large room spread over with beds. We lay down and slep very well. The town is one mile long we judge. The houses is mainly log. Som is stone and them is very good looking ones.
Monday morning, 21st May
We set off at shippisburg, and com on to strawsburg (Stresburg?). It rained quite hard when we got thare. It was in the afternoon and we concluded to put up all night, rest our teems and rise the mountain in the morning. The landlord is sick. The landlady appears to be very clever.
May 22nd, Tuesday
strawsburg - in the morning. It has cleared up. We all set out to rise the mountain. It was very wet and muddy under feet. The first mountain, the roads was tollerable good. We went over dry and very well. But the second was tollerable good rising. When we got to the top thare come up a shower and rained very hard. We all got into the wagon and kep dry. When it stopped raining, we set of again, but the worst road that I ever saw. But we got down without any damage. Then com on about a quarter of a mile and come in fanesburg - a little village - but a few houses, two stores, two taverns. But a very bad hill to rise when we went out. We set of about the middle of the afternoon to cross the last of the three brothers - for so tha are called. That one proved not so bad roads as the others. We got over at a tavern about sundown. The people is very civil - youse (use) us very frenly. I got a lofe of bread and a very good one. Tha toll us that our roads is good the next day and that we should not have but one mountain to cross that day.
Wednesday morning - May 23d
We set out for to find the good roads. Tha was very rough, stony and muddy, up hill and down all the way for fifteen miles. Then for our ease we had a mountain to rise wich was called sideling hill - about two miles to the top of it. But the road was pirty good. It has not rained any today. This means three days since we com from home that has been clear without rain. At the top of the hill is a tavern which we have put up at a very disagreeable place. The people of the house apear clever enough - but the home is full of travellers, teamsters, irishmen, and we all have to be together in the evening. But at bedtime the teamsters take another room. So we make our beds on the floor and lay down. Mama sometimes has a bed in the hous to sleep on, but in a common way, she chuses to lay down with me - for her loging has been poor when she has called for it. Our men people sleep in the waggons. I brought butter enough from home to last till to-night and meet till we git to the water, I think. We have our tea twice a day and dinner we eat in the wagon.
Thursday night - 23 May
It has been very clear and pleasant to-day. The tavern on sideling hill is a very poor one. We had to pay a quarter of a dollar apeece for horses to stand to hay, and the racks made so tha could not git the hay. We set of in the morning to go down the hill. Tha said it was two miles down the mountain. I wished for the bottom of the hill as it is called. I call it a mountain and very rocky. We have com between fifteen and twenty miles to-day and it was all the way up hill and down. We com down a very steep ditch into a place that is called the shades of death - a very gloomy valley between two mountains and then we com to the river Juanita. The water was so low that we went over in the wagons. I thought that we should have good roads when we got up the hill, but no better. We have put up nine miles this side of Bedford at a private house - a very clever man - his wife died last April. The people is very jint ell - sit a nice table and here we met with one - Anderson, a minister that lives in persipany (Parsippany, N.J.) with Mr. Benedick. He is very glad to see Mama. He come here upon a visit. Tha git tee for him. He give Mama and me an invatation to drink tee with him. We had been to tee and refused. The old gentleman and his daughter insisted that we should drink tee. We drank tee. He sit and talked a long time. I mended billes (Billie’s) pantalloons. It tis late. Anderson read a chapter in the Bible - went to prare (prayer) and we all went to bed. Thare is one place we com past to-day, we all got out of the waggons to go and see it. The men judged that it was fore hundred feet down a very steep bank. The river Juniattee run at the bottom. The ground was best hard where people went to look over. It tis very hilly all the way we have com to-day. The man’s name whare we stay to-night is Richerson.
Friday, the 24th of May
fine pleasent morning - nine miles before we git to Bedford. The roads is called purty good by the people, but I don’t call them so. Bedford is a little town - a market in it, some very good buildings in it, but the largest part is log houses like all the other towns I come threw. From Bedford we com to a place called dry ridge, that is a good road, but up hill and down. We com on tenn miles from Bedford and put up at one Bowers - a loose place. We got our suppers - conclude to go from here before breckfist. We make our beds in the kitchen for to git clear of the company in the barroom. My bed was made before the fire. There was more fire on the hearth than I wished when I went to bed. I thought it would be covered up soon so I said nothing. But not long after I went to bed, the landlady com and put on a dry backlog and dry small wood. Made up a good fire. I told hir it was very warm to lay there by the fire. She said it was one mile to a house and that she must keep fire. So I lay very uncomfortable. The landlord was groggy so that he said or did but little. Marvin bought some hay of the landlord for the team. Tha told him whare to put his team, and in the morning there com some men and had thare horses put up. So tha turned out our oxen from the hay - put thair horses to it. In the morning Marvin told the lanlord what was done and he said, I am glad the boy has cheated you. We could not git feed thare, so we sit off arely in the morning for the next tavern, thare to feed and eat our breckfist.
Satturday, the 25th May
We find the people very clever at this place, and this place is called the dry ridge. I sopose what give it the name is want of water. No streems for a grate manny miles. The wells is deep and the water poor. The dry ridge is purty good roads, but up hill and down all the time, and so it has been ever since we crossed the three brothers. We put up to-night at the foot of the Blue mountains. It is not so bad a mountain as any of the three brothers. we are in a tavern and a Griss mill all together. Tha are Duch people. Tha apear tobe very clever. Thare all at work out door when we come. We go into the house. Find it not very nice, but all there dishes very nice and clean. After we eat supper the family eats there supper. Tha stood up and the biggest said over something in Duch about two minutes long. And then the other boy said as much. Whether it was the same or not, I dont no. Then they all went to eating and when tha was done, tha two boys stood up and did as before.
Sunday, 26th May
This morning is quite cool. Thare is frost here. It tis very clear. This makes five days that has been clear since we left Dover. We set off from the mill. Tha tell us that the roads is purty good. We have come seventeen miles to-day, and the worst roads that we have had. Tha are stony, but not so bad upon that account. But tha are very much cut to pieces with wagons. A great many stumps in the road and very deep mud holes - imposible to shun them. We come on tenn miles - then stopped to feed at a duch tavern. Thare I got three quarts of milk and we had bred and mild (milk) for dinner. Then we went on and com on threw a pine swoomp - the tallest trees that I ever see. We have put up to-night at another Duch tavern. The lanlord was not at home when we come hear. His wife could not understand anything that we said. I watched her when she milked her kows and made sins for som and got some. But the main part of the time I could git no milk but skim milk for tee, and a hard matter to git that. At some places we by bread and rusk, butter, cider, beer, unions, and what ever we wont we git for our comfort on the road. Bred is from sixpence to fourpence per pound, but I gave one and sixpence per pound for butter on the dry ridge. Now we can git it for one shilling.
Munday evening, 27th May
At Laurel hill the place is called whare we put up to-night. We have com on as fast as we could - stopped often. The day is very warm. We put up - sun about one hour high at a poor log tavern. The people apear to be very clever, old fashioned and dirty. The oldest manis quite ailing. The lanlord has but one eye and that is allmost out. Thare is two jentlemen to apearance puts up hear to-night. The four men all talks together as fast as tha can. Thare is another man puts up heer to-night. He looks like Samson when he carried off the Gats of Gaza, as if no rasor had ever com to his hed. My baby is not very well to-day. He has got a cold. The rest of us is quite tired. We have the pleasing prospect of gitting to the water Wednesday. My baby is very good - better than he was before we come on our journey. Tha two men that was put up here to-night talks very foolish - makes a grate noise. Beside thare is three or four dogs a barking, and all together make such a clammer, I shall quit riteing.
Tuesday, 28th May
We now come into Chestnut Ridg. The roads is much the same, tho more hilly. We com on to a tavern at the foot of a very steep, stony hill. We all went in the house. The men got oats to feed thair teems. Gits two quarts of cider boiled. We eat our dinner - then set off for Cornellsville and there we cross the Yelegany (Alleghany?) on a towl bridge. The water is high enough sometimes to go down the river in boats. We com on threw a flat, smooth peece of meadowland. My baby was not well that day. He went to sleep in the afternoon - waked up towards night very well. My baby is very sick all night. In the morning his fever abats. He is better. We set off thinking to reach the water before night.
Wednesday, 29th May
On the road to Redstone. The roads is better but up and down all the time. We come on to a plumpsot it tis called, and likewise is called middletown. The houses is log - little and meen. Eight miles from Redstone it beggins to rain. We fear that we will not git to redstone to-day. In about two hours it breaks away, and sun about one hour high we git to Redstone. We put up at a tavern whare tha keep boats for sale. We all went to the water to look at the boats. Marvin got a boat. Mr. Sampson could not get one to his liking. He thinks that he will go further by land and take water at another place.
Thursday, 30th May
Mr. Sampson conclude to take a boat - all go on together. We git sum flower and go to baking. The men go to loading the boats. Our things is all put in the boat but the teem. Tha go to getting the teem in but allmost impossible to git the oxen in the boat. After a grate deal of trouble tha git them in the boat. Tha cari on so tha are obliged to turn them out. Then tha conclude one of them to go by land with the teems and put all our loading in one boat and all our fameleys go together in one boat. Mr. Sampson, his Thomas, and my Billy gose with the teem. The rest of us sits off in the boat. Thare is a man going with us. We find him, he works his passage. Thare is a boat sits off with us. The water is too low to go in this river. The boats strikes the stones sometimes. The men has had to jump out into the water to pry her loose. Just at dark after we got over that place, we lashed our boats together and went on all night. One of the men in the other boat was groggy and arowing the boat, rocked off one of the sideboards with his ors. Tha was put to some trouble to find nails, hammer, gimblet, for our candle burnt out when we was asleep.
Fryday, 31st May
On the river it tis very cool and quite foggy. We come eight mils in the night. Tha judg we have a milldam to go over this morning. Tha take the boats apart to go over. We wait to see the first boat go over. Tha go clear. We then go, but git a little to the left. We go on stedy and slow. It is very plesent wether. There is another boatful of people long side of us. Tha think not to go on all night to-night as we did last night. We sail five mils in the evening, then put up at Williamsport at the mouth of Piggin (Pigeon) Crick.
June, the 1st
It was very foggy this morning. The men went to the villidg, bought milk, ham, eggs, wesky. We mad a fire - got our breckfirst. As soon as the fog went off so that we could see we set off. Thare was logs and roks in the river. We was all looking out which way to shun them. Got threw very well. Com on a mil or two. Com to a mill dam. We had to be very particular to git threw but got threw very well. We all looked over the boat for fish and saw two, but tha was alligators. Tha had heds like a cat fish and short legs - a very ugly looking creature. Our stranger Ellezur and one of the men in the other boat gose ashore for to git some drink. Tha take a cag (keg) and teakettle. Git them full. Our stranger is a religious man. My baby is quite unwell. Has a very hard coff. I give him lixer every day. The wether is plesent. The water is low. We go on very slow. I shall be glad when we git to Pittsburg. Tha tell us that we shall have water plenty then.
Fore o’clock in the afternoon we com to Riffles (ripples or rapids?). We see some boys on the shore. Asked them whare to go. Tha said, Close to shore and that thare was a keel boat fast. The boat that sit off with us from Redstone went on furst. In the middle of the river stuck fast. We went the other side of the keel boat and got fast. Then thare was a large boat hevy loaded acoming on behind. The water run very rapid. The keel boat called tothem to go ashore and make fast to a log. Tha tryed - but all impossible. Thair boat large and hevy- loaded com on like a harry Cane (hurricane). The keel boat was first to it loaded. If it come against that, the boatman said that the keel boat would a run threw it. If the large boat had come against us, it would a stove us. But Providence ordained it otherways. The men that belonged to the boats was out at work to pry loos. The keel boat men run to the large boat, pushed off hollowing “keep off” - put their serving ore against the large boat. It snapped it like a thread - nocked down one man and com very near going over him. If it had it would have killed him in a minute. The boat went off clear, but three boats was fast - ours and the man’s that was with us in another boat. Soon got loos. Rowed over the river, made fast and then took a small boat and went to git the Ceel boat loos. It begun to be dusk. Tha could not git her loos. Tha partly unloaded her and com off. Tha said that tha would unload in the morning and get off themselves. Marvin staid - made a fire in our boat and made a good fire on land for the men to dry themselves. But just before we all got fast our boat run on a rock and stuck fast. The large boat run against us - broke our ore - stove in a side above - raked our roof. Tha chained and nailed it so that tha thought it would do. We than com on apeace and come to a little settlement called Elizabeth town. It was on the rite side of the river. The left side was a large brick house. Tha keep a ferry thare.
Sabeday the 2nd June
It rained a little last night. It was clear wether this morning. We sit off pirty aerly. Com on about three hours and com to McKeesport. Thare the men went ashore. Got som butter, wisky. Then we sit off again. Jest before we got to the port, mama, Mrs. Sampson and the children went ashore. Our stranger carried them in the canoe. Tha walked a long piece on the bank of the river. We went to the shore and took them in. While we were thare the keel boat com in site and stuck fast. We all lashed fast to the shore and the men went back to pry her loos. Tha staid a good while. Marvin said that it would not answer to wait for her, for she run so deep in the water that she would be fast often. He com back and we pushed off from shore. In a little while the boats com in sight and we com to a very bad place in the river. Thare was bars almost across the river. We went to the shore. Just before we git to it, Marvin went to the house and inquired. Tha told him whare to go. It was so difficult that the men got out and steered it through the riffles (rapids?). This is a very pretty river. Thare is farms and settlements each side of the river. A river puts into this at McKeesport. This is called Monongahela. The river was very high this spring. We can see whare it has washed up the trees by the roots. E left all our company behind - com on very well. At sunset we put up to the shore - got some water - made our tee. Eat our suppers. All very still - only toods (toads) - tha made the greatest singing heard for them in my life. The water was very deep where we lay. Thare was a ferry close by us. The people told us it was five miles from Pittsburd. We were nearer than we thought, for we all went to bed in good hart thinking to see pittsburg in the forenoon the next day. My baby has a very bad cough. Has a feavous everaday.
Monday, June 3rd
This morning was very plesant. Our nabour boats come on in the night allmost to us. Put up in sight. We see them - called to them and pushed off. Tha followed after. We got to Pitsburg about ten o’clock. Tha did not overtake us. Our people went into town - got bread, unions, radishes, apples, greens, a viel of parrigorrick - gave half a dollar for it. We set off from Pittsburgh - the wind begun to rise. We had not gone but a little way before we come to an island. We went to the left side. We see two men on the bank - asked them about the river. Tha told us that we should have gone the other sid of the island - that thare was a fish dam that we could not git over. Our passenger took the conue (canoe) and went ahead to see which way was the best. The water run so swift that the canoe could not git back. He took the sittinpool (sitting-pole?) and staid whare he was as much as he could till we com to him. He got in the boat and we went over the dam cleer, but very swift. A little before we com to this island, the wind begun to blow. It rained, thundered and lightened. We rode to shore - made fast till the shower was over. On the bank against us was very high rocks. I got out of the boat - went to them - picked gooseberries. Around them the banks was very high. We com on till allmost sundown very well. Then we com to a island, not nowing which side to go. We got fast on the point. The men jumped out and while thay was prying her loos thare was a man and his son come to us in a canoe and hilped them; but we should have got loos in a few minutes if tha had not a come to us. The man’s name was John Young. We rowed over the river and made fast. It soon begun to thunder and lighten and so kept on the bigest part of the night. Just above us was a brig that had run aground two weeks before and had to stay till high water before tha could git hir off. The name of this place is called middletown. Marvin went into town - got milk and wisky. The children got fire and water - we got our tee and then got over som ham to byle (over the fire?) and went to bed. This town had three houses in it. Two was taverns.
Thesday, the 4th June
This morning was very pleasant. We set off. Got a few rods off the shore. A man called to us - said there was a very bad riffle a little lower in the river and if tha would com and fetch him to the boat, he would pilate them threw. Tha went with the canue and brought him. The man said thare had been a grate many people drowned thare. But we found that the man was drunk and that he new nether about the river. He took us whare the water was so shallow that our boat run on the gravil and stones raked it and rumbled like thunder over them. We then see another boat made fast. We went to it. It was a merchant boat. He said that the water was deep enough the other side of the river whare he come and that he was a going in a little while and if we would wait, we could go together. We all went into his boat and he had shelvs all round his boat all full of goods of all kinds that you wished for, and as cheep as at Dover. We bought one loaf sugar 2 and 6 pance per pound - one pound of green tee two dollars - a looking glass 4 and six - one bottle snuff six shillings - and some brown sugar. Towards twelve o’clock he steered off to a little town at the mouth of Big Beaver and we had not gone long before we had so strong a head wind that we could not git along. So we put to the shore and jist behind us we see two boats lashed together. Tha go to shore, made fast a few rods behind us. That unload and go on the bank. We go out to see them. Tha ware all Duch people. Thare was six famalyes - forty people in the hole (whole) - but on that could talk inglesh. So we com home again. In a little while the wind fell so that we set of and overtook a boat that had lay by for the wind. Tha ware Jarsey people. Tha had four in the famaly. Tha had three horses in it. We lasked to them and went all day together. The other duch boat, all the women went into the water - went to washing in the river. Pulled up thair Close above thair nees - all of us looking at them and tha cared nothing for it. We went on till after sunset; then we run to the shore, made fast. In about one hour the two boats come along that we left a Sabeday in Monongahela. We called to them to come ashore. Tha asked if we ware the desarters that had left them. Tha com up - made fast and we had quite a nabourhood.
Wensday, the 5th June
The wether very plesant, but foggy in the morning. We all set out - come to an Isleand in the river. Got on the rong side before we could see to turn, and had to go on. The stream looked very narrow as if we could not get but a little further. But it run round the Isleand made it look narrower. We went on very well, but the two boats that was lashed together got fast. But in a little time tha com on again. We all went on without any trouble - only we had a strong head wind the greatest part of the day so that we could not go very fast. About twelve o’clock we come to Georgetown - a little town with a few indifferent looking houses. The men went into town - got some butter. Our nabour boats had bisness thare and we waited for them a little while - then we all set out again - went on very well - sun half an hour high. At night, Marvin said that he would go ashore in the canoe and git some wood. I told him tee would be redy in a little while. He said that he would not be gone more than tenn minutes. He took the canue and went, and one of Mr. Sampson’s suns went with him. He got his wood and we had got som peece ahead and com into water that run very strong and fast. Thare was a fall in the river. We could not stop if we had tried. Marvin rowed with all his might for as near as two miles before he com up to us. He lashed the canue fast to the boat and said that he would not go again to the shore in such a place. He was all in a sweet and very tired. We went on till in the evening some time and heard a man on the shore. Asked him about the water. He said that we had better put up for thare was rocks in the river, and shallow places that we could not pass over in the night. So we put to shore. Our strainger that was with us said that thare was robbers on the shore and that tha wanted us to put up so that tha could com upon us. We did not beleave him. We put to shore and found no difficulty.
Thursday 6th June
The wether cleer but foggy. We all set out and found the water deep and good and that thare was no rocks nor bad places as the man had told us. We got to breakfast and i went to washing. About twelve o’clock thare was a surcle around the sun. Tha say that it tis a sine of a storm. In a little time we come to Stuebenville - a town on the bank of the river. Marvin said that it was a very hansom town - larger than Morristown - very hansom buildings - laid out very hansom for a town. We com on seven miles - then come to Charlestown. The houses is on the bank of the river in plain sight. It tis a very hansom town - large houses painted red and white - some brick. The town makes a hansom appearance in the water. We see little children in the water swimming. About half way between Steubenville and Charlestown was the hansomest place that I see in all these parts for a farm. There was two very Lelgant Houses on the bank - very level land - frute trees and shade trees set out (one thing I forgot to mention - that is whare we put up night before last and our strainger was afraid of the Robbers - thare was a bullfrog that called out all night saying “Keep off the shore - keep off the shore”). Night coming on the men concluded to go on by moonlite, till twelve o’clock, so as to get to Wheeling as soon as possible - expecting Mr. Sampson thare waiting on us. We ware lashed to another famaly boat and sailled together for the sake of company. Marvin stood at the ore. Our strainger had lain down and was asleep. The other famaly just on before. Marvin called out that we was fast - that we did not move - called to the men in the other boat to come to the ore. The man had sit down and was asleep. He called to our men. He jumped up - onlashed the boats. He was on the roof between the boats. Our swung off. The man had a like to fell into the water, but he spring on the top of the other boat, and we left them. In a minute tha had run on a log. Tha pryed off in a little while. Com on and we overtook the other boats and we all put up the remainder of the night.
Fryday the 7th June
Foggy morning. I waled out on the bank and see a hansom improvement. The bank is very high. I called to our people to bring some money and a vesil and I would go and git som milk. Tha brought them to me. I walked a little peece - see fine improvement - a hansom peach orchard. In it a log house but noboddy liveing thare. I went on further - met an old woman and a boy. I asked them whare I could git some milk. Tha said - keep on that way, a little way, I should come to a house and thare I should git some. I walked fast. The horn blue for me to come before I got thare. I went and asked them for milk. Tha black woman said that she would go to to her mistress. She went. I followed hir. She got me two quarts. I offered hir money. She said that she would not take it and that I was welkom to it. She said that she never sold any milk in hir life and she gave to all that asked hir. I thanked hir and went to the boat. We set off. Got to Wheeling about twelve o’clock. We was nine days agoing from Redstone for to Wheeling. Mr. Sampson and Billy and his sun stood on the bank at Wheeling looking for us. Sampson swong his hat and hollowed. Marvin swong his, and we was glad to meet again. Tha had been thare two days waiting. Billy was took with the plurasy jest before tha got to Wheeling but got into town - sent for the doctor - was bled and blistered and got about before we got there. Sampson said that he was a mind to go by land -a boat cost so much. So he come in the boat and staid with us all night. In the morning he took out his things and we laid in our store of bred and butter, ham, fresh beef, unions, horsefeed, put our horses aboard, sold our oxen, and took peach brandy for them - took it in the boat - bought two chairs - made us a good table, and set out at tenn o’clock in the morning, satterday the 8th day June. All our Nabour boats set off a little before us. We had not gone but one mile before the wind blue so hard ahead that we had to put to shore. We looked ahead and saw the other boats lay by. We staid some time. The wind fell and we all set out. It rained in showers all day. at night we all made fast to shore and it rained very hard. Our fireplace was wet and Marvin went on the bank under a basswood tree - made a fire - boiled the tea kettle - lit a candle. We kept pirty dry. My baby is a grate dea better to-day than he has been in two weeks. While we lay by for the wind this morning, Sampson see us. He had a pewter plate in his wagon of ours. He com and brought it to us. He left a scythe in the boat and got it. He said he wishes he was afloat with us. Sampson crossed the Ohio at Wheeling in a float and whare he is going to settle he knows not. The Ohio banks is very high - mountains on one side or the other of the river all the way, and for the most part of the way the land is good bottom land on one side or the other.
Sabafay the 9th June
We git up. It tis cloudy. In a little time it begins to rain in showers - braks away about twelve o’clock. We run to shore - made fast. Marvin went to a hourse and got some hay for the horses and some water. It begins to rain before we go off the from shore and heer I see the bigest tree that I ever see in all my life. I stood by it. It was as high as I could reach to the top of the log after it was cut down. This day is showery and cold.
Munday the 10th June
Very cool and a hed wind so hard that we can carsley go. We put to shore a little while and the wind fell some and we set out again. The river is full of people moving. We can count four or five boats in the river at once. Some gose all night and then tha over take us. Thare is a good many keel boats that gose up the river loaded.
Tuesday the 11th June
We put to shore last night by the side of two orleens boats and one Ceel (keel) boat. Started arely this morning. The water ris three feet last night. The inhabatants say that the rain back in the mountains raises the streams. We com on very fast and come to Mariettee about twelve o’clock. We went in town - got provisions and horsefeed. This town is most Elegant - far before all the others that we have past. The river ohio ris so high last spring that the water overflowed the banks and was three feet upon a level in the houses. All over town tha moved into thair upper rooms. Some and a grate many went in Canoes out of town. The water has two or three days before it run off so that people went in to thair houses. We sit off from this town at two o’clock - the water rising very fast. We run thirty-eight miles this day and stopped two ours in town.
Wensday the 12th June
Fine plesant morning - tho cold and foggy - the water rising. It rose six inches last night whare we lay. We put up last night by the side of an island. Marvin went to git som milk and Billy with him. He said that he never saw such a grand house and everything so grand and costly in his life. It was an old countryman that was very rich that he had com and settled thare. We go on very fast to-day. We are just a coming to Bellvill. Now below Bellville, I see a floating mill built in two boats - the water wheel in between the boats. It is moved anywhere on the water. People sais that the freshet carried off a grate many mills last spring. We come on fifty mils this day. Put up at Mill Crick.
Thursday the 13th June
fore miles above Letarts Falls. It was foggy and we lay by to have a good prospect to go over the falls as it is a dangerous place sometimes. But the water was so high that we could go anywhere. Thare was no rocks neer the top of the water to strike upon nor no alteration - only a boyling in the water for some rods in length. Thare was seven orleens boats com along and went on before as tha have a grate many men in thair boats to row them. We com on and just up at a town called Point Pleasant we went into town to git som bred and milk - indion corn. But we could git nothing. It tis a very poor place and the people very lazey. I see no gardens or frute trees. Tha told us that we could git bred at Gallipoles for miles below. I had flower. I made a cake for supper.
Fryday the 14th June
We sit off. Got to Gallipolis a little after sunrise. Went into town - got som bred and corn for our horses - gave a half-dollar a bushel for corn. This place looked as if the people eet bred and did som work. Tha had fine gardens and frute trees. Tha are mainly french people that live hear. We go on but slow. We have a head wind and when the wind blows it tis ahead almost allways. We put up at night.
Saterday the 15th June
We sit of this morning. Went nine miles before brake a day. About twelve o’clock left Virjinah and come to Caintucka. There is a creek that divides the states called Big Sandy. We put to shore. I went to git some milk. I got a point for half of a five penabit - the change tha give me in bread called pone. I brought it to the boat and it looked so droll that we all laughed hartely. We went on. Put up by a house close on the bank of the river where the dogs com out and barked at a grate rate.
Sundy the 16th June
We sit of about 1 o’clock this morning and com to Elexandry. I could git no good bred and no water in the place. We com on all very dry (thirsty?) for som good cool water for this day is very warm. Towards night the boys a fishing hollow to us to no if we wanted fish. Tha brought fish to us. We bought two pirch - gave a quarter of a dollar for them.
Monday the 17th June
Our men got up in the night - pushed of the boat and took turns a watching. Bently - the man that was with us went to watch his turn and I sopose lay down and went to sleep (for we had found him doing so before) and the boat run on the pint of a Island and struck. We were all asleep but as soon as we felt the shock we ware out in a minute. What to do we did not no, for the lazy man nue not whare he was or whether we had com by any island or not. Our fire was out and thare we ware in the middle of that grate river expecting every minute to stick fast and knew not what the consequence would be. But in a little time we got into the main current and rowed to shore and put up till light, for we new not whare we was till we could see some buddy - but we had to watch the islands and creeks. Sunrise we sit of - went very well - Com to old Linnsome town a little after noon and thare our lazy self important man com to his journey’s end and I was glad to git cleer of him. We went into town - get bread and horsefeed and water and sit of. Com seven miles. Put up by a hous whare I got three quarts of milk - Gave four pence happenny. The milk looked as if it was half water.
This is the end of the document. Note at the end says Mrs. Phebe Marvin - Rev. Dr. Snow’s grandmother.