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Title: Historic Highways of America (Vol. 11) - Pioneer Roads and Experiences of Travelers (Volume I)
Author: Hulbert, Archer Butler, 1873-1933
Language: English
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  [_See page 105, note 19_]]


  Pioneer Roads and
  Experiences of Travelers
  (Volume I)


  _With Illustrations_






  PREFACE                                                           11
   II. A PILGRIM ON THE PENNSYLVANIA ROAD                          106
  III. ZANE'S TRACE AND THE MAYSVILLE PIKE                         151
   IV. PIONEER TRAVEL IN KENTUCKY                                  175


    I. A MILESTONE ON BRADDOCK'S ROAD                   _Frontispiece_
   II. INDIAN TRAVAIL                                               19
  III. OLD CONESTOGA FREIGHTER                                      50
   IV. EARLIEST STYLE OF LOG TAVERN                                 87
    V. WIDOW MCMURRAN'S TAVERN (Scrub Ridge, Pennsylvania Road)    134
        AT ZANESVILLE, OHIO                                        162


The first chapter of this volume presents an introduction to the two
volumes of this series devoted to Pioneer Roads and Experiences of
Travelers. The evolution of American highways from Indian trail to
macadamized road is described; the Lancaster Turnpike, the first
macadamized road in the United States, being taken as typical of roads
of the latter sort.

An experience of a noted traveler, Francis Baily, the eminent British
astronomer, is presented in chapter two.

The third chapter is devoted to the story of Zane's Trace from Virginia
to Kentucky across Ohio, and its terminal, the famous Maysville Pike. It
was this highway which precipitated President Jackson's veto of the
Internal Improvement Bill of 1830, one of the epoch-making vetoes in our
economic history.

The last chapter is the vivid picture of Kentucky travel drawn by Judge
James Hall in his description of "The Emigrants," in _Legends of the

The illustrations in this volume have been selected to show styles of
pioneer architecture and means of locomotion, including types of
earliest taverns, bridges, and vehicles.

                                                              A. B. H.

MARIETTA, OHIO, December 30, 1903.

Pioneer Roads and Experiences of Travelers

(Volume I)



We have considered in this series of monographs the opening of a number
of Historic Roads and the part they played in the development of the
most important phases of early American history. But our attitude has
been that of one asking, Why?--we have not at proper length considered
all that would be contained in the question, How? It will be greatly to
our purpose now to inquire into the methods of road-making, and outline,
briefly, the evolution of the first trodden paths to the great highways
of civilization.

From one aspect, and an instructive one, the question is one of width;
few, if any, of our roads are longer than those old "threads of
soil"--as Holland called the Indian trails; Braddock's Road was not
longer than the trail he followed; even the Cumberland Road could
probably have been followed its entire length by a parallel Indian path
or a buffalo trace. But Braddock's Road was, in its day, a huge, broad
track, twelve feet wide; and the Cumberland Road exceeded it in breadth
nearly fifty feet. So our study may be pursued from the interesting
standpoint of a widening vista; the belt of blue above our heads grows
broader as we study the widening of the trail of the Indian.

To one who has not followed the trails of the West or the Northland, the
experience is always delightful. It is much the same delight as that
felt in traversing a winding woodland road, intensified many fold. The
incessant change of scenery, the continued surprises, the objects passed
unseen yet not unguessed, those half-seen through a leafy vista amid the
shimmering green; the pathway just in front very plain, but twenty feet
beyond as absolutely hidden from your eyes as though it were a thousand
miles away--such is the romance of following a trail. One's mind keeps
as active as when looking at Niagara, and it is lulled by the lapsing
of those leaves as if by the roar of that cataract.

Yet the old trail, unlike our most modern roads, kept to the high
ground; even in low places it seemed to attempt a double-bow knot in
keeping to the points of highest altitude. But when once on the hills,
the vista presented varied only with the altitude, save where hidden by
the foliage. We do not choose the old "ridge roads" today for the view
to be obtained, and we look continually up while the old-time traveler
so often looked down. As we have hinted, elsewhere, many of our pioneer
battles--those old battles of the trails--will be better understood when
the position of the attacking armies is understood to have been on lower
levels, the rifles shooting upward, the enemy often silhouetted against
the very sky-line.

[Illustration: INDIAN TRAVAIL]

But the one characteristic to which, ordinarily, there was no exception,
was the narrowness of these ancient routes. The Indian did not travel in
single file because there was advantage in that formation; it was
because his only routes were trails which he never widened or improved;
and these would, ordinarily, admit only of one such person as broke them
open. True, the Indians did have broader trails; but they were very
local in character and led to maple-sugar orchards or salt wells. From
such points to the Indian villages there ran what seemed not unlike our
"ribbon roads"--the two tracks made by the "travail"--the two poles with
crossbar that dragged on the ground behind the Indian ponies, upon which
a little freight could be loaded. In certain instances such roads as
these were to be found running between Indian villages and between
villages and hunting grounds. They were the roads of times of peace. The
war-time trails were always narrow and usually hard--the times of peace
came few and far between. As we have stated, so narrow was the trail,
that the traveler was drenched with water from the bushes on either
hand. And so "blind"--to use a common pioneer word--were trails when
overgrown, that they were difficult to find and more difficult to
follow. Though an individual Indian frequently marked his way through
the forest, for the benefit of others who were to follow him or for
his own guidance in returning, the Indian trails in native state were
never blazed. Thus, very narrow, exceedingly crooked, often overgrown,
worn a foot or more into the ground, lay the routes on which white men
built roads which have become historic. Let us note the first steps
toward road-building, chronologically.

The first phase of road-making (if it be dignified by such a title) was
the broadening of the Indian path by the mere passing of wider loads
over it. The beginning of the pack-horse era was announced by the need
of greater quantities of merchandise and provisions in the West to which
these paths led. The heavier the freight tied on either side of the
pack-horse, the more were the bushes bruised and worn away, and the more
the bed of the trail was tracked and trampled. The increasing of the
fur-trade with the East at the beginning of the last half of the
eighteenth century necessitated heavier loads for the trading ponies
both "going in" and "coming out"--as the pioneers were wont to say. Up
to this time, so far as the present writer's knowledge goes, the Indian
never lifted a finger to make his paths better in any one respect; it
seems probable that, oftentimes, when a stream was to be crossed, which
could not be forded, the Indian bent his steps to the first fallen tree
whose trunk made a natural bridge across the water. That an Indian never
felled such a tree, it is impossible to say; but no such incident has
come within my reading. It seems that this must have happened and
perhaps was of frequent occurrence.

Our first picture, then, of a "blind" trail is succeeded by one of a
trail made rougher and a little wider merely by use; a trail over which
perhaps the agents of a Croghan or a Gist pushed westward with more and
more heavily-loaded pack-horses than had been customarily seen on the
trails thither. Of course such trails as began now to have some
appearance of roads were very few. As was true of the local paths in
Massachusetts and Connecticut and Virginia, so of the long trails into
the interior of the continent, very few answered all purposes. Probably
by 1750 three routes, running through southwestern Pennsylvania,
central Pennsylvania, and central New York, were worn deep and broad. By
broad of course we mean that, in many places, pack-horses could meet and
pass without serious danger to their loads. But there were, probably,
only these three which at this time answered this description. And the
wider and the harder they became, the narrower and the softer grew
scores of lesser trails which heretofore had been somewhat traversed. It
is not surprising that we find the daring missionary Zeisberger going to
the Allegheny River like a beast on all fours through overgrown trails,
or that Washington, floundering in the fall of 1784 along the upper
Monongahela and Cheat Rivers, was compelled to give up returning to the
South Branch (of the Potomac) by way of the ancient path from Dunkards
Bottom. "As the path it is said is very blind & exceedingly grown up
with briers," wrote Washington, September 25, 1784, in his Journal, "I
resolved to try the other Rout, along the New Road to Sandy Creek; ..."
This offers a signal instance in which an ancient route had become
obsolete. Yet the one Washington pursued was not an Appian Way: "... we
started at dawning of day, and passing along a small path much enclosed
with weeds and bushes, loaded with Water from the overnights rain & the
showers which were continually falling, we had an uncomfortable
travel...."[1] Such was the "New Road."

The two great roads opened westward by the armies of Washington,
Braddock, and Forbes, whose history has been dealt with at length in
this series, were opened along the line of trails partially widened by
the pack-horses of the Ohio Company's agents (this course having been
first marked out by Thomas Cresap) and those of the Pennsylvania
traders. Another route led up the Mohawk, along the wide Iroquois Trail,
and down the Onondaga to the present Oswego; this was a waterway route
primarily, the two rivers (with the portage at Rome) offering more or
less facilities for shipping the heavy baggage by batteaus. It was a
portage path from the Hudson to Lake Ontario; the old landward trail to
Niagara not being opened by an army.[2]

Yet Braddock's Road, cut in 1755, was quite filled up with undergrowth
in 1758 as we have noted. It was "a brush wood, by the sprouts from the
old stumps."[3] In those primeval forests a road narrowed very fast, and
quickly became impassable if not constantly cared for. The storms of a
single fall or spring month and the heavy clouds of snow on the trees in
winter kept the ground beneath well littered with broken limbs and
branches. Here and there great trees were thrown by the winds across the
traveled ways. And so a military road over which thousands may have
passed would become, if left untouched, quite as impassable as the
blindest trail in a short time.

Other Indian trails which armies never traversed became slightly widened
by agents of land companies, as in the case of Boone blazing his way
through Cumberland Gap for Richard Henderson. For a considerable
distance the path was widened, either by Boone or Martin himself, to
Captain Joseph Martin's "station" in Powell's Valley. Thousands of
traces were widened by early explorers and settlers who branched off
from main traveled ways, or pushed ahead on an old buffalo trail; the
path just mentioned, which Washington followed, was a buffalo trail, but
had received the name of an early pioneer and was known as "McCulloch's

But our second picture holds good through many years--that trail, even
though armies had passed over it, was still but a widened trail far down
into the early pioneer days. Though wagons went westward with Braddock
and Forbes, they were not seen again in the Alleghenies for more than
twenty-five years. These were the days of the widened trails, the days
of the long strings of jingling ponies bearing patiently westward salt
and powder, bars of bended iron, and even mill-stones, and bringing back
to the East furs and ginseng. Of this pack-saddle era--this age of the
widened trail--very little has been written, and it cannot be passed
here without a brief description. In Doddridge's _Notes_ we read: "The
acquisition of the indispensable articles of salt, iron, steel and
castings presented great difficulties to the first settlers of the
western country. They had no stores of any kind, no salt, iron, nor iron
works; nor had they money to make purchases where these articles could
be obtained. Peltry and furs were their only resources before they had
time to raise cattle and horses for sale in the Atlantic states. Every
family collected what peltry and fur they could obtain throughout the
year for the purpose of sending them over the mountains for barter. In
the fall of the year, after seeding time, every family formed an
association with some of their neighbors, for starting the little
caravan. A master driver was to be selected from among them, who was to
be assisted by one or more young men and sometimes a boy or two. The
horses were fitted out with pack-saddles, to the latter part of which
was fastened a pair of hobbles made of hickory withes--a bell and collar
ornamented their necks. The bags provided for the conveyance of the
salt were filled with feed for the horses; on the journey a part of this
feed was left at convenient stages on the way down, to support the
return of the caravan. Large wallets well filled with bread, jerk,
boiled ham, and cheese furnished provision for the drivers. At night,
after feeding, the horses, whether put in pasture or turned out into the
woods, were hobbled and the bells were opened [unstuffed].... Each horse
carried [back] two bushels of alum salt, weighing eighty-four pounds to
the bushel." Another writer adds: "The caravan route from the Ohio river
to Frederick [Maryland] crossed the stupendous ranges of the ...
mountains.... The path, _scarcely two feet wide_, and travelled by
horses in single file, roamed over hill and dale, through mountain
defile, over craggy steeps, beneath impending rocks, and around points
of dizzy heights, where one false step might hurl horse and rider into
the abyss below. To prevent such accidents, the bulky baggage was
removed in passing the dangerous defiles, to secure the horse from being
thrown from his scanty foothold.... The horses, with their packs, were
marched along in single file, the foremost led by the leader of the
caravan, while each successive horse was tethered to the pack-saddle of
the horse before him. A driver followed behind, to keep an eye upon the
proper adjustment of the packs." The Pennsylvania historian Rupp informs
us that in the Revolutionary period "five hundred pack-horses had been
at one time in Carlisle [Pennsylvania], going thence to Shippensburg,
Fort Loudon, and further westward, loaded with merchandise, also salt,
iron, &c. The pack-horses used to carry bars of iron on their backs,
crooked over and around their bodies; barrels or kegs were hung on each
side of these. Colonel Snyder, of Chambersburg, in a conversation with
the writer in August, 1845, said that he cleared many a day from $6 to
$8 in crooking or bending iron and shoeing horses for western carriers
at the time he was carrying on a blacksmith shop in the town of
Chambersburg. The pack-horses were generally led in divisions of 12 or
15 horses, carrying about two hundred weight each ...; when the bridle
road passed along declivities or over hills, the path was in some places
washed out so deep that the packs or burdens came in contact with the
ground or other impending obstacles, and were frequently displaced."

Though we have been specifically noticing the Alleghenies we have at the
same time described typical conditions that apply everywhere. The
widened trail was the same in New England as in Kentucky or
Pennsylvania--in fact the same, at one time, in old England as in New
England. Travelers between Glasgow and London as late as 1739 found no
turnpike till within a hundred miles of the metropolis. Elsewhere they
traversed narrow causeways with an unmade, soft road on each side.
Strings of pack-horses were occasionally passed, thirty or forty in a
train. The foremost horse carried a bell so that travelers in advance
would be warned to step aside and make room. The widened pack-horse
routes were the main traveled ways of Scotland until a comparatively
recent period. "When Lord Herward was sent, in 1760, from Ayrshire to
the college at Edinburgh, the road was in such a state that servants
were frequently sent forward with poles to sound the depths of the
mosses and bogs which lay in their way. The mail was regularly
dispatched between Edinburgh and London, on horseback, and went in the
course of five or six days." In the sixteenth century carts without
springs could not be taken into the country from London; it took Queen
Henrietta four days to traverse Watling Street to Dover. Of one of Queen
Elizabeth's journeys it is said: "It was marvelous for ease and
expedition, for such is the perfect evenness of the new highway that Her
Majesty left the coach only once, while the hinds and the folk of baser
sort lifted it on their poles!" A traveler in an English coach of 1663
said: "This travel hath soe indisposed mee, yt I am resolved never to
ride up againe in ye coatch."

Thus the widened trail or bridle-path, as it was commonly known in some
parts, was the universal predecessor of the highway. It needs to be
observed, however, that winter travel in regions where much snow fell
greatly influenced land travel. The buffalo and Indian did not travel
in the winter, but white men in early days found it perhaps easier to
make a journey on sleds in the snow than at any other time. In such
seasons the bridle-paths were, of course, largely followed, especially
in the forests; yet in the open, with the snow a foot and more in depth,
many short cuts were made along the zig-zag paths and in numerous
instances these short cuts became the regular routes thereafter for all
time. An interesting instance is found in the "Narrative of Andrew J.
Vieau, Sr.:" "This path between Green Bay [Wisconsin] and Milwaukee was
originally an Indian trail, and very crooked; but the whites would
straighten it by cutting across lots each winter with their jumpers
[rude boxes on runners], wearing bare streaks through the thin covering
[of snow], to be followed in the summer by foot and horseback travel
along the shortened path."[4]

This form of traveling was, of course, unknown save only where snow fell
and remained upon the ground for a considerable time. Throughout New
York State travel on snow was common and in the central portion of the
state, where there was much wet ground in the olden time, it was easier
to move heavy freight in the winter than in summer when the soft ground
was treacherous. Even as late as the building of the Erie Canal in the
second and third decades of the nineteenth century--long after the
building of the Genesee Road--freight was hauled in the winter in
preference to summer. In the annual report of the comissioners of the
Erie Canal, dated January 25, 1819, we read that the roads were so
wretched between Utica and Syracuse in the summer season that
contractors who needed to lay up a supply of tools, provisions, etc.,
for their men, at interior points, purchased them in the winter before
and sent the loads onward to their destinations in sleighs.[5] One of
the reasons given by the Erie Canal commissioners for delays and
increased expenses in the work on the canal in 1819, in their report
delivered to the legislature February 18, 1820, was that the absence of
snow in central New York in the winter of 1818-19 prevented the handling
of heavy freight on solid roads; "no hard snow path could be found."[6]
The soft roads of the summer time were useless so far as heavy loads of
lumber, stone, lime, and tools were concerned. No winter picture of
early America is so vivid as that presented by the eccentric Evans of
New Hampshire, who, dressed in his Esquimau suit, made a midwinter
pilgrimage throughout the country lying south of the Great Lakes from
Albany to Detroit in 1818.[7] His experiences in moving across the
Middle West with the blinding storms, the mountainous drifts of snow,
the great icy cascades, the hurrying rivers, buried out of sight in
their banks of ice and snow, and the far scattered little settlements
lost to the world, helps one realize what traveling in winter meant in
the days of the pioneer.

The real work of opening roads in America began, of course, on the
bridle-paths in the Atlantic slope. In 1639 a measure was passed in the
Massachusetts Bay Colony reading: "Whereas the highways in this
jurisdiction have not been laid out with such conveniency for travellers
as were fit, nor as was intended by this court, but that in some places
they are felt too straight, and in other places travelers are forced to
go far about, it is therefore, ordered, that all highways shall be laid
out before the next general court, so as may be with most ease and
safety for travelers; and for this end every town shall choose two or
three men, who shall join with two or three of the next town, and these
shall have power to lay out the highways in each town where they may be
most convenient; and those which are so deputed shall have power to lay
out the highways where they may be most convenient, notwithstanding any
man's propriety, or any corne ground, so as it occasion not the pulling
down of any man's house, or laying open any garden or orchard; and in
common [public] grounds, or where the soil is wet or miry, they shall
lay out the ways the wider, as six, or eight, or ten rods, or more in
common grounds." With the establishment of the government in the
province of New York in 1664 the following regulation for road-making
was established, which also obtained in Pennsylvania until William
Penn's reign began: "In all public works for the safety and defence of
the government, or the necessary conveniencies of bridges, highways, and
common passengers, the governor or deputy governor and council shall
send warrents to any justice, and the justices to the constable of the
next town, or any other town within that jurisdiction, to send so many
laborers and artificers as the warrent shall direct, which the constable
and two others or more of the overseers shall forthwith execute, and the
constable and overseers shall have power to give such wages as they
shall judge the work to deserve, provided that no ordinary laborer shall
be compelled to work from home above one week together. No man shall be
compelled to do any public work or service unless the press
[impressment] be grounded upon some known law of this government, or an
act of the governor and council signifying the necessity thereof, in
both which cases a reasonable allowance shall be made." A later
amendment indicates the rudeness of these early roads: "The highways to
be cleared as followeth, viz., the way to be made clear of standing and
lying trees, at least ten feet broad; all stumps and shrubs to be cut
close by the ground. The trees marked yearly on both sides--sufficient
bridges to be made and kept over all marshy, swampy, and difficult dirty
places, and whatever else shall be thought more necessary about the
highways aforesaid."

In Pennsylvania, under Penn, the grand jury laid out the roads, and the
courts appointed overseers and fence-viewers, but in 1692 the townships
were given the control of the roads. Eight years later the county roads
were put in the hands of the county justices, and king's highways in the
hands of the governor and his council. Each county was ordered to erect
railed bridges at its expense over rivers, and to appoint its own
overseers and fence-viewers.

Even the slightest mention of these laws and regulations misrepresents
the exact situation. Up to the time of the Revolutionary War it can
almost be said that nothing had been done toward what we today know as
road-building. Many routes were cleared of "standing and lying trees"
and "stumps and shrubs" were cut "close by the ground"--but this only
widened the path of the Indian and was only a faint beginning in
road-building. The skiff, batteau, and horse attached to a sleigh or
sled in winter, were the only, common means of conveying freight or
passengers in the colonies at this period. We have spoken of the path
across the Alleghenies in 1750 as being but a winding trace; save for
the roughness of the territory traversed it was a fair road for its day,
seek where the traveler might. In this case, as in so many others, the
history of the postal service in the United States affords us most
accurate and reliable information concerning our economic development.
In the year mentioned, 1750, the mail between New York and Philadelphia
was carried only once a week in summer and twice a month in winter.
Forty years later there were only eighteen hundred odd miles of post
roads in the whole United States. At that time (1790) only five mails a
week passed between New York and Philadelphia.

It may be said, loosely, that the widened trail became a road when
wheeled vehicles began to pass over it. Carts and wagons were common in
the Atlantic seaboard states as early and earlier than the Revolution.
It was at the close of that war that wagons began to cross the
Alleghenies into the Mississippi Basin. This first road was a road in
"the state of nature." Nothing had been done to it but clearing it of
trees and stumps.

Yet what a tremendous piece of work was this. It is more or less
difficult for us to realize just how densely wooded a country this was
from the crest of the Alleghenies to the seaboard on the east, and from
the mountains to central Indiana and Kentucky on the west. The pioneers
fought their way westward through wood, like a bullet crushing through a
board. Every step was retarded by a live, a dying, or a dead branch. The
very trees, as if dreading the savage attack of the white man on the
splendid forests of the interior, held out their bony arms and fingers,
catching here a jacket and there a foot, in the attempt to stay the
invasion of their silent haunts. These forests were very heavy
overhead. The boughs were closely matted, in a life-and-death struggle
for light and air. The forest vines bound them yet more inextricably
together, until it was almost impossible to fell a tree with out first
severing the huge arms which were bound fast to its neighbors. This
dense overgrowth had an important influence over the pioneer traveler.
It made the space beneath dark; the gloom of a real forest is never
forgotten by the "tenderfoot" lumberman. The dense covering overhead
made the forests extremely hot in the dog days of summer; no one can
appreciate what "hot weather" means in a forest where the wind cannot
descend through the trees save those who know our oldest forests. What
made the forests hot in summer, on the other hand, tended to protect
them from winter winds in cold weather. Yet, as a rule, there was little
pioneer traveling in the Allegheny forests in winter. From May until
November came the months of heaviest traffic on the first widened trails
through these gloomy, heated forest aisles.

It can be believed there was little tree-cutting on these first pioneer
roads. Save in the laurel regions of the Allegheny and Cumberland
Mountains, where the forest trees were supplanted by these smaller
growths, there was little undergrowth; the absence of sunlight
occasioned this, and rendered the old forest more easily traversed than
one would suppose after reading many accounts of pioneer life. The
principal interruption of travelers on the old trails was in the form of
fallen trees and dead wood which had been brought to the ground by the
storms. With the exception of the live trees which were blown over,
these forms of impediment to travel were not especially menacing; the
dead branches crumbled before an ax. The trees which were broken down or
uprooted by the winds, however, were obstructions difficult to remove,
and tended to make pioneer roads crooked, as often perhaps as standing
trees. We can form some practical notion of the dangerous nature of
falling trees by studying certain of the great improvements which were
early projected in these woods. The Allegheny Portage Railway over the
mountains of Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, and the Erie Canal in
central New York, both offer illustrations to the point. The portage
track was sent through an unbroken, uninhabited forest wilderness from
Hollidaysburg to Johnstown in the twenties. In order to render the
inclines safe from falling trees and breaking branches, a swath through
the woods was cut one hundred and twenty feet wide.[8] The narrow
trellis of the inclines scaled the mountain in the center of this
avenue; wide as it was, a tree fifty feet long could have swept it away
like paper. The Erie Canal was to be forty feet in width; a clean sixty
foot aisle was opened through the forests before the digging could

Of course nothing like this could be done for pioneer highways; when the
states began to appropriate money for state roads, then the pioneer
routes were straightened by cutting some trees. It was all the scattered
communities could do before this period to keep the falling trees and
branches from blocking the old roads. Travelers wound in and out on one
of the many tracks, stumbling, slipping, grinding on the roots, going
around great trees that had not been removed, and keeping to the high
ground when possible, for there the forest growth was less dense.

The question immediately arises, What sort of vehicle could weather such
roads? First in the van came the great clumsy cart, having immensely
high and solid wooden wheels. These were obtained either by taking a
thin slice from the butt of the greatest log that could be found in good
condition, or by being built piecemeal by rude carpenters. These great
wheels would go safely wherever oxen could draw them, many of their hubs
being three feet from the ground. Thus the body of the cart would clear
any ordinary brook and river at any ford which horses or oxen could
cross. No rocks could severely injure such a massy vehicle, at the rate
it usually moved, and no mere rut could disturb its stolid dignity. Like
the oxen attached to it, the pioneer cart went on its lumbering way
despising everything but bogs, great tree boles and precipices. These
creaking carts could proceed, therefore, nearly on the ancient
bridle-path of the pack-horse age. On the greater routes westward the
introduction of wheeled vehicles necessitated some changes; now and then
the deep-worn passage-way was impassable, and detours were made which,
at a later day, became the main course. Here, where the widened trail
climbed a steeper "hog-back" than usual, the cart-drivers made a
roundabout road which was used in dry weather. There, where the old
trail wound about a marshy piece of ground in all weathers, the
cart-drivers would push on in a straight line during dry seasons.

Thus the typical pioneer road even before the day of wagons was a
many-track road and should most frequently be called a route--a word we
have so frequently used in this series of monographs. Each of the few
great historic roads was a route which could have been turned into a
three, four, and five track course in very much the same way as railways
become double-tracked by uniting a vast number of side-tracks. The most
important reason for variation of routes was the wet and dry seasons; in
the wet season advantage had to be taken of every practicable altitude.
The Indian or foot traveler could easily gain the highest eminence at
hand; the pack-horse could reach many but not all; the "travail" and
cart could reach many, while the later wagon could climb only a few. In
dry weather the low ground offered the easiest and quickest route. As a
consequence every great route had what might almost be called its "wet"
and "dry" roadways. In one of the early laws quoted we have seen that in
wet or miry ground the roads should be laid out "six, eight, or ten rods
[wide]," though elsewhere ten or twelve feet was considered a fair width
for an early road. As a consequence, even before the day of wagons, the
old routes of travel were often very wide, especially in wet places; in
wet weather they were broader here than ever. But until the day of
wagons the track-beds were not so frequently ruined. Of this it is now
time to speak.

By 1785 we may believe the great freight traffic by means of wagons had
fully begun across the Alleghenies at many points. It is doubtful if
anywhere else in the United States did "wagoning" and "wagoners" become
so common or do such a thriving trade as on three or four
trans-Allegheny routes between 1785 and 1850. The Atlantic Ocean and the
rivers had been the arteries of trade between the colonies from the
earliest times. The freight traffic by land in the seaboard states had
amounted to little save in local cases, compared with the great industry
of "freighting" which, about 1785, arose in Baltimore and Philadelphia
and concerned the then Central West. This study, like that of our postal
history, throws great light on the subject in hand. Road-building, in
the abstract, began at the centers of population and spread slowly with
the growth of population. For instance, in Revolutionary days
Philadelphia was, as it were, a hub and from it a number of important
roads, like spokes, struck out in all directions. Comparatively, these
were few in number and exceedingly poor, yet they were enough and
sufficiently easy to traverse to give Washington a deal of trouble in
trying to prevent the avaricious country people from treacherously
feeding the British invaders.

These roads out from Philadelphia, for instance, were used by wagons
longer distances each year. Beginning back at the middle of the
eighteenth century it may be said that the wagon roads grew longer and
the pack-horse routes or bridle-paths grew shorter each year. The
freight was brought from the seaboard cities in wagons to the end of the
wagon roads and there transferred to the pack-saddles. Referring to this
era we have already quoted a passage in which it is said that five
hundred pack-horses have been seen at one time at Carlisle,
Pennsylvania. For a longer period than was perhaps true elsewhere,
Carlisle was the end of the wagon road westward. A dozen bridle-paths
converged here. Here all freight was transferred to the strings of
patient ponies. Loudon, Pennsylvania, was another peculiar borderland
depot later on. It will be remembered that when Richard Henderson and
party advanced to Kentucky in 1775 they were able to use wagons as far
as Captain Joseph Martin's "station" in Powell's Valley. At that point
all freight had to be transferred to the backs of ponies for the climb
over the Cumberlands. In the days of Marcus Whitman, who opened the
first road across the Rocky Mountains, Fort Laramie, Wyoming, was the
terminus of wagon travel in the far West. Thus pioneer roads unfolded,
as it were, joint by joint, the rapidity depending on the volume of
traffic, increase of population, and topography.


The first improvement on these greater routes, after the necessary
widening, was to enable wagons to avoid high ground. Here and there
wagons pushed on beyond the established limit, and, finding the way not
more desperate than much of the preceding "road," had gone on and on,
until at last wagons came down the western slopes of the Alleghenies,
and wagon traffic began to be considered possible--much to the chagrin
of the cursing pack-horse men. No sooner was this fact accomplished than
some attention was paid to the road. The wagons could not go everywhere
the ponies or even the heavy carts had gone. They could not climb the
steep knolls and remain on the rocky ridges. The lower grounds were,
therefore, pursued and the wet grounds were made passable by
"corduroying"--laying logs closely together to form a solid roadbed. So
far as I can learn this work was done by everybody in particular and
nobody in general. Those who were in charge of wagons were, of course,
the most interested in keeping them from sinking out of sight in the
mud-holes. When possible, such places were skirted; when high or
impassable ground prevented this, the way was "corduroyed."

We have spoken of the width of old-time bridle-paths; with the advent of
the heavy freighter these wide routes were doubled and trebled in width.
And, so long as the roadbeds remained in a "state of nature," the
heavier the wagon traffic, the wider the roads became. We have described
certain great tracks, like that of Braddock's Road, which can be
followed today even in the open by the lasting marks those plunging
freighters made in the soft ground. They suggest in their deep outline
what the old wagon roads must have been; yet it must be remembered that
only what we may call the main road is visible today--the innumerable
side-tracks being obliterated because not so deeply worn. In a number
of instances on Braddock's Road plain evidence remains of these
side-tracks. Judging then from this evidence, and from accounts which
have come down to us, the introduction of the freighter with its heavier
loads and narrower wheels turned the wide, deeply worn bridle-paths and
cart tracks into far wider and far deeper courses. The corduroy road had
a tendency to contract the route, but even here, where the ground was
softest, it became desperate traveling. Where one wagon had gone,
leaving great black ruts behind it, another wagon would pass with
greater difficulty leaving behind it yet deeper and yet more treacherous
tracks. Heavy rains would fill each cavity with water, making the road
nothing less than what in Illinois was known as a "sloo." The next
wagoner would, therefore, push his unwilling horses into a veritable
slough, perhaps having explored it with a pole to see if there was a
bottom to be found there. In some instances the bottoms "fell out," and
many a reckless driver has lost his load in pushing heedlessly into a
bottomless pit. In case a bottom could be found the driver pushes on;
if not, he finds a way about; if this is not possible he throws logs
into the hole and makes an artificial bottom over which he proceeds.

We can hardly imagine what it meant to get stalled on one of the old
"hog wallow" roads on the frontier. True, many of our country roads
today offer bogs quite as wide and deep as any ever known in western
Virginia or Pennsylvania; and it is equally true that roads were but
little better in the pioneer era on the outskirts of Philadelphia and
Baltimore than far away in the mountains. It remains yet for the present
writer to find a sufficiently barbarous incident to parallel one which
occurred on the Old York (New York) Road just out of Philadelphia, in
which half a horse's head was pulled off in attempting to haul a wagon
from a hole in the road. "Jonathan Tyson, a farmer of 68 years of age
[in 1844], of Abington, saw, at 16 years of age, much difficulty in
going to the city [Philadelphia on York Road]: a dreadful mire of
blackish mud rested near the present Rising Sun village.... He saw there
the team of Mr. Nickum, of Chestnut hill, stalled; and in endeavoring
to draw out the forehorse with an iron chain to his head, it slipped and
tore off the lower jaw, and the horse died on the spot. There was a very
bad piece of road nearer to the city, along the front of the Norris
estate. It was frequent to see there horses struggling in mire to their
knees. Mr. Tyson has seen thirteen lime wagons at a time stopped on the
York road, near Logan's hill, to give one another assistance to draw
through the mire; and the drivers could be seen with their trowsers
rolled up, and joining team to team to draw out; at other times they set
up a stake in the middle of the road to warn off wagons from the
quicksand pits. Sometimes they tore down fences, and made new roads
through the fields."[9]

If such was the case almost within the city limits of Philadelphia, it
is not difficult to realize what must have been the conditions which
obtained far out on the continental routes. It became a serious problem
to get stalled in the mountains late in the day; assistance was not
always at hand--indeed the settlements were many miles apart in the
early days. Many a driver, however, has been compelled to wade in,
unhitch his horses, and spend the night by the bog into which his
freight was settling lower and lower each hour. Fortunate he was if
early day brought assistance. Sometimes it was necessary to unload
wholly or in part, before a heavy wagon, once fairly "set," could be
hauled out. Around such treacherous places ran a vast number of routes
some of which were as dangerous--because used once too often--as the
central track. In some places detours of miles in length could be made.
A pilot was needed by every inexperienced person, and many blundering
wiseacres lost their entire stock of worldly possessions in the old bogs
and "sloos" and swamps of the "West."

A town in Indiana was "very appropriately" named Mudholes, a name that
would have been the most common in the country a century ago if only
descriptive names had been allowed.[10] The condition of pioneer roads
did, undoubtedly, influence the beginnings of towns and cities. On the
longer routes it will be found that the steep hills almost invariably
became the sites of villages because of physical conditions.
"Long-a-coming," a New Jersey village, bore a very appropriate name.[11]

The girls of Sussex, England, were said to be exceedingly long-limbed,
and a facetious wag affirmed the reason to be that the Sussex mud was so
deep and sticky that in drawing out the foot "by the strength of the
ancle" the muscles, and then the bones, of the leg were lengthened! In
1708 when Prince George of Denmark went to meet Charles the Seventh of
Spain traveling by coach, he traveled at the rate of nine miles in six
hours--a tribute to the strength of Sussex mud. Charles Augustus Murray,
in his _Travels in North America_, leaves us a humorous account of the
mud-holes in the road from the Potomac to Fredericksburg, Maryland, and
his experience upon it:

"On the 27th of March I quitted Washington, to make a short tour in the
districts of Virginia adjacent to the James River; comprising Richmond,
the present capital, Williamsburgh, the former seat of colonial
government, Norfolk, and other towns.

"The first part of the journey is by steam-boat, descending the Potomac
about sixty miles. The banks of this river, after passing Mount Vernon,
are uninteresting, and I did not regret the speed of the Champion, which
performed that distance in somewhat less than five hours; but this rate
of travelling was amply neutralized by the movement of the stage which
conveyed me from the landing-place to Fredericsburgh. I was informed
that the distance was only twelve miles, and I was weak enough (in spite
of my previous experience) to imagine that two hours would bring me
thither, especially as the stage was drawn by six good nags, and driven
by a lively cheerful fellow; but the road bade defiance to all these
advantages--it was, indeed, such as to compel me to laugh out-right,
notwithstanding the constant and severe bumping to which it subjected
both the intellectual and sedentary parts of my person.

"I had before tasted the sweets of mud-holes, huge stones, and remnants
of pine-trees standing and cut down; but here was something new, namely,
a bed of reddish-coloured clay, from one to two feet deep, so adhesive
that the wheels were at times literally not visible in any one spot from
the box to the tire, and the poor horses' feet sounded, when they drew
them out (as a fellow-traveller observed), like the report of a pistol.
I am sorry that I was not sufficiently acquainted with chemistry or
mineralogy to analyze that wonderful clay and state its constituent
parts; but if I were now called upon to give a receipt for a mess most
nearly resembling it, I would write, 'Recipe--(nay, I must write the
ingredients in English, for fear of taxing my Latin learning too

  Ordinary clay                     1 lb.
  Do. Pitch                         1 lb.
  Bird-lime                         6 oz.
  Putty                             6 oz.
  Glue                              1 lb.
  Red lead, or _colouring_ matter   6 oz.

    Fiat haustus--ægrot. terq. quaterq. quatiend.'

"Whether the foregoing, with a proper admixture of hills, holes, stumps,
and rocks, made a satisfactory _draught_ or not, I will refer to the
unfortunate team--I, alas! can answer for the effectual application of
the second part of the prescription, according to the Joe Miller version
of 'When taken, to be well shaken!'

"I arrived, however, without accident or serious bodily injury, at
Fredericsburgh, having been _only_ three hours and a half in getting
over the said twelve miles; and, in justice to the driver, I must say
that I very much doubt whether any crack London whip could have driven
those horses over that ground in the same time: there is not a sound
that can emanate from human lungs, nor an argument of persuasion that
can touch the feelings of a horse, that he did not employ, with a
perseverance and success which commanded my admiration."

Fancy these wild, rough routes which, combined, often covered half an
acre, and sometimes spread out to a mile in total width, in freezing
weather when every hub and tuft was as solid as ice. How many an anxious
wagoner has pushed his horses to the bitter edge of exhaustion to gain
his destination ere a freeze would stall him as completely as if his
wagon-bed lay on the surface of a "quicksand pit." A heavy load could
not be sent over a frozen pioneer road without wrecking the vehicle. Yet
in some parts the freight traffic had to go on in the winter, as the
hauling of cotton to market in the southern states. Such was the
frightful condition of the old roads that four and five yoke of oxen
conveyed only a ton of cotton so slowly that motion was almost
imperceptible; and in the winter and spring, it has been said, with
perhaps some tinge of truthfulness, that one could walk on dead oxen
from Jackson to Vicksburg. The Bull-skin Road of pioneer days leading
from the Pickaway Plains in Ohio to Detroit was so named from the large
number of cattle which died on the long, rough route, their hides, to
exaggerate again, lining the way.

In our study of the Ohio River as a highway it was possible to emphasize
the fact that the evolution of river craft indicated with great
significance the evolution of social conditions in the region under
review; the keel-boat meant more than canoe or pirogue, the barge or
flat-boat more than the keel-boat, the brig and schooner more than the
barge, and the steamboat far more than all preceding species. We
affirmed that the change of craft on our rivers was more rapid than on
land, because of the earlier adaptation of steam to vessels than to
vehicles. But it is in point here to observe that, slow as were the
changes on land, they were equally significant. The day of the freighter
and the corduroy road was a brighter day for the expanding nation than
that of the pack-horse and the bridle-path. The cost of shipping freight
by pack-horses was tremendous. In 1794, during the Whiskey Insurrection
in western Pennsylvania, the cost of shipping goods to Pittsburg by
wagon ranged from five to ten dollars per hundred pounds; salt sold for
five dollars a bushel, and iron and steel from fifteen to twenty cents
per pound in Pittsburg. What must have been the price when one horse
carried only from one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty pounds?
The freighter represented a growing population and the growing needs of
the new empire in the West.

The advent of the stagecoach marked a new era as much in advance of the
old as was the day of the steamboat in advance of that of the barge and
brig of early days.

The social disturbance caused by the introduction of coaches on the
pioneer roads of America gives us a glimpse of road conditions at this
distant day to be gained no other way. A score of local histories give
incidents showing the anger of those who had established the more
important pack-horse lines across the continent at the coming of the
stage. Coaches were overturned and passengers were maltreated; horses
were injured, drivers were chastised and personal property ruined. Even
while the Cumberland Road was being built the early coaches were in
danger of assault by the workmen building the road, incited, no doubt,
by the angry pack-horse men whose profession had been eclipsed. It is
interesting in this connection to look again back to the mother-country
and note the unrest which was occasioned by the introduction of
stagecoaches on the bridle-paths of England. Early coaching there was
described as destructive to trade, prejudicial to landed interests,
destructive to the breed of horses,[11*] and as an interference with
public resources. It was urged that travelers in coaches got listless,
"not being able to endure frost, snow or rain, or to lodge in the
fields!" Riding in coaches injured trade since "most gentlemen, before
they travelled in coaches, used to ride with swords, belts, pistols,
holsters, portmanteaus, and hat-cases, which, in these coaches, they
have little or no occasion for: for, when they rode on horseback, they
rode in one suit and carried another to wear when they came to their
journey's end, or lay by the way; but in coaches a silk suit and an
Indian gown, with a sash, silk stockings, and beaver hats, men ride in
and carry no other with them, because they escape the wet and dirt,
which on horseback they cannot avoid; whereas in two or three journeys
on horseback, these clothes and hats were wont to be spoiled; which
done, they were forced to have new very often, and that increased the
consumption of the manufacturers; which travelling in coaches doth in no
way do." If the pack-horse man's side of the question was not advocated
with equally marvelous arguments in America we can be sure there was no
lack of debate on the question whether the stagecoach was a sign of
advancement or of deterioration. For instance, the mails could not be
carried so rapidly by coach as by a horseman; and when messages were of
importance in later days they were always sent by an express rider. The
advent of the wagon and coach promised to throw hundreds of men out of
employment. Business was vastly facilitated when the freighter and coach
entered the field, but fewer "hands" were necessary. Again, the horses
which formerly carried the freight of America on their backs were not of
proper build and strength to draw heavy loads on either coach or wagon.
They were ponies; they could carry a few score pounds with great skill
over blind and ragged paths, but they could not draw the heavy wagons.
Accordingly hundreds of owners of pack-horses were doomed to see an
alarming deterioration in the value of their property when great, fine
coach horses were shipped from distant parts to carry the freight and
passenger loads of the stagecoach day.

The change in form of American vehicles was small but their numbers
increased within a few years prodigiously. Nominally this era must be
termed that of the macadamized road, or roads made of layers of broken
stone like the Cumberland Road. These roads were wider than any single
track of any of the routes they followed, though thirty feet was the
average maximum breadth. To a greater degree than would be surmised, the
courses of the old roads were followed. It has been said that the
Cumberland Road, though paralleling Braddock's Road from Cumberland to
Laurel Hill, was not built on its bed more than a mile in the aggregate.
After studying the ground I believe this is more or less incorrect; for
what we should call Braddock's route was composed of many roads and
tracks. One of these was a central road; the Cumberland Road may have
been built on the bed of this central track only a short distance, but
on one of the almost innumerable side-tracks, detours, and cut-offs, for
many miles. At Great Meadows, for instance, it would seem that the
Cumberland Road was separated from Braddock's by the width of the
valley; yet as you move westward you cross the central track of
Braddock's Road just before reaching Braddock's Grave. May not an old
route have led from Great Meadows thither on the same hillside where we
find the Cumberland Road today? The crookedness of these first stable
roads, like many of the older streets in our cities,[12] indicates that
the old corduroy road served in part as a guide for the later
road-makers. It is a common thing in the mountains, either on the
Cumberland or Pennsylvania state roads, to hear people say that had the
older routes been even more strictly adhered to better grades would
have been the result. A remarkable and truthful instance of this (for
there cannot, in truth, be many) is the splendid way Braddock's old road
sweeps to the top of Laurel Hill by gaining that strategic ridge which
divides the heads of certain branches of the Youghiogheny on the one
hand and Cheat River on the other near Washington's Rock. The Cumberland
Road in the valley gains the same height (Laurel Hill) by a longer and
far more difficult route.

The stagecoach heralded the new age of road-building, but these new
macadamized roads were few and far between; many roadways were widened
and graded by states or counties, but they remained dirt roads; a few
plank roads were built. The vast number of roads of better grade were
built by one of the host of road and turnpike companies which sprang up
in the first half of the nineteenth century. Specific mention of certain
of these will be made later.

Confining our view here to general conditions, we now see the Indian
trail at its broadest. While the roads, in number, kept up with the
vast increase of population, in quality they remained, as a rule,
unchanged. Traveling by stage, except on the half dozen good roads then
in existence, was, in 1825, far more uncomfortable than on the
bridle-path on horseback half a century previous. It would be the same
today if we could find a vehicle as inconvenient as an old-time
stagecoach. In our "Experiences of Travelers" we shall give pictures of
actual life on these pioneer roads of early days. A glimpse or two at
these roads will not be out of place here.

The route from Philadelphia to Baltimore is thus described by the
_American Annual Register_ for 1796: "The roads from Philadelphia to
Baltimore exhibit, for the greater part of the way, an aspect of savage
desolation. Chasms to the depth of six, eight, or ten feet occur at
numerous intervals. A stagecoach which left Philadelphia on the 5th of
February, 1796, took five days to go to Baltimore. [Twenty miles a day].
The weather for the first four days was good. The roads are in a fearful
condition. Coaches are overturned, passengers killed, and horses
destroyed by the overwork put upon them. In winter sometimes no stage
sets out for two weeks." Little wonder that in 1800, when President and
Mrs. Adams tried to get to Washington from Baltimore, they got lost in
the Maryland woods! Harriet Martineau, with her usual cleverness, thus
touches upon our early roads: "... corduroy roads appear to have made a
deep impression on the imaginations of the English, who seem to suppose
that American roads are all corduroy. I can assure them that there is a
large variety in American roads. There are the excellent limestone
roads ... from Nashville, Tennessee, and some like them in Kentucky....
There is quite another sort of limestone road in Virginia, in traversing
which the stage is dragged up from shelf [catch-water] to shelf, some of
the shelves sloping so as to throw the passengers on one another, on
either side alternately. Then there are the rich mud roads of Ohio,
through whose deep red sloughs the stage goes slowly sousing after rain,
and gently upsetting when the rut on one or the other side proves to be
of a greater depth than was anticipated. Then there are the sandy roads
of the pine barrens ... the ridge road, running parallel with a part of
Lake Ontario.... Lastly there is the corduroy road, happily of rare
occurrence, where, if the driver is merciful to his passengers, he
drives them so as to give them the association of being on the way to a
funeral, their involuntary sobs on each jolt helping the resemblance;
or, if he be in a hurry, he shakes them like pills in a pill-box. I was
never upset in a stage but once ...; and the worse the roads were, the
more I was amused at the variety of devices by which we got on, through
difficulties which appeared insurmountable, and the more I was edified
at the gentleness with which our drivers treated female fears and

Perhaps it was of the Virginian roads here mentioned that Thomas Moore

  "Dear George! though every bone is aching,
              After the shaking
  I've had this week, over ruts and ridges,
              And bridges,
  Made of a few uneasy planks,
              In open ranks
  Over rivers of mud, whose names alone
  Would make the knees of stoutest man knock."[14]

David Stevenson, an English civil engineer, leaves this record of a
corduroy road from Lake Erie to Pittsburg: "On the road leading from
Pittsburg on the Ohio to the town of Erie on the lake of that name, I
saw all the varieties of forest road-making in great perfection.
Sometimes our way lay for miles through extensive marshes, which we
crossed by corduroy roads, ...; at others the coach stuck fast in the
mud, from which it could be extricated only by the combined efforts of
the coachman and passengers; and at one place we travelled for upwards
of a quarter of a mile through a forest flooded with water, which stood
to the height of several feet on many of the trees, and occasionally
covered the naves of the coach-wheels. The distance of the route from
Pittsburg to Erie is 128 miles, which was accomplished in forty-six
hours ... although the conveyance ... carried the mail, and stopped only
for breakfast, dinner, and tea, but there was considerable delay caused
by the coach being once upset and several times mired."[15]

"The horrible corduroy roads again made their appearance," records
Captain Basil Hall, "in a more formidable shape, by the addition of
deep, inky holes, which almost swallowed up the fore wheels of the
wagon and bathed its hinder axle-tree. The jogging and plunging to
which we were now exposed, and occasionally the bang when the vehicle
reached the bottom of one of these abysses, were so new and remarkable
that we tried to make a good joke of them.... I shall not compare this
evening's drive to trotting up or down a pair of stairs, for, in that
case, there would be some kind of regularity in the development of the
bumps, but with us there was no wavering, no pause, and when we least
expected a jolt, down we went, smack! dash! crash! forging, like a ship
in a head-sea, right into a hole half a yard deep. At other times, when
an ominous break in the road seemed to indicate the coming mischief, and
we clung, grinning like grim death, to the railing at the sides of the
wagon, expecting a concussion which in the next instant was to dislocate
half the joints in our bodies, down we sank into a bed of mud, as softly
as if the bottom and sides had been padded for our express

The first and most interesting macadamized road in the United States
was the old Lancaster Turnpike, running from Philadelphia to Lancaster,
Pennsylvania. Its position among American roads is such that it deserves
more than a mere mention. It has had several historians, as it well
deserves, to whose accounts we are largely indebted for much of our

The charter name of this road was "The Philadelphia and Lancaster
Turnpike Road Company;" it was granted April 9, 1792, and the work of
building immediately began. The road was completed in 1794 at a cost of
four hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars. When the subscription
books were opened there was a tremendous rush to take the stock. The
money raised for constructing and equipping this ancient highway with
toll houses and bridges, as well as grading and macadamizing it, was by
this sale of stock. In the Lancaster _Journal_ of Friday, February 5,
1796, the following notice appeared:

"That agreeable to a by-law of stockholders, subscriptions will be
opened at the Company's office in Philadelphia on Wednesday, the tenth
of February next, for one hundred additional shares of capital stock in
said company. The sum to be demanded for each share will be $300, with
interest at six per cent. on the different instalments from the time
they are severally called for, to be paid by original stockholders; one
hundred dollars thereof to be paid at time of subscribing, and the
remainder in three equal payments, at 30, 60 and 90 days, no person to
be admitted to subscribe more than one share on the same day.

                                       By order of the Board.
                                                 WILLIAM GOVETT,

"When location was fully determined upon," writes Mr. Witmer, "as you
will observe, today, a more direct line could scarcely have been
selected. Many of the curves which are found at the present time did not
exist at that day, for it has been crowded and twisted by various
improvements along its borders so that the original constructors are
not responsible. So straight, indeed, was it from initial to terminal
point that it was remarked by one of the engineers of the state
railroad, constructed in 1834 (and now known as the Pennsylvania
Railroad), that it was with the greatest difficulty that they kept their
line off of the turnpike, and the subsequent experiences of the
engineers of the same company verify the fact, as you will see. Today
there is a tendency, wherever the line is straightened, to draw nearer
to this old highway, paralleling it in many places for quite a distance,
and as it approaches the city of Philadelphia, in one or two instances
they have occupied the old road bed entirely, quietly crowding its old
rival to a side, and crossing and recrossing it in many places.

"You will often wonder as you pass over this highway, remembering the
often-stated fact by some ancient wagoner or stage-driver (who today is
scarcely to be found, most of them having thrown down the reins and put
up for the night), that at that time there were almost continuous lines
of Conestoga wagons, with their feed troughs suspended at the rear and
the tar can swinging underneath, toiling up the long hills (for you will
observe there was very little grading done when that roadway was
constructed), and you wonder how it was possible to accommodate so much
traffic as there was, in addition to stagecoaches and private
conveyances, winding in and out among these long lines of wagons. But
you must bear in mind that the roadway was very different then from what
it is at the present time.

"The narrow, macadamized surface, with its long grassy slope (the
delight of the tramp and itinerant merchant, especially when a
neighboring tree casts a cooling shadow over its surface), which same
slope becomes a menace to belated and unfamiliar travelers on a dark
night, threatening them with an overturn into what of more recent times
is known as the Summer road, did not exist at that time, but the road
had a regular slope from side ditch to center, as all good roads should
have, and conveyances could pass anywhere from side to side. The macadam
was carefully broken and no stone was allowed to be placed on the road
that would not pass through a two-inch ring. A test was made which can
be seen today about six miles east of Lancaster, where the roadway was
regularly paved for a distance of one hundred feet from side to side,
with a view of constructing the entire line in that way. But it proved
too expensive, and was abandoned. Day, in his history, published in
1843,[17] makes mention of the whole roadway having been so constructed,
but I think that must have been an error, as this is the only point
where there is any appearance of this having been attempted, and can be
seen at the present time when the upper surface has been worn off by the
passing and repassing over it."

The placing of tollgates on the Lancaster Pike is thus announced in the
Lancaster _Journal_, previously mentioned, where the following notice

"The public are hereby informed that the President and Managers of the
Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike Road having perfected the very
arduous and important work entrusted by the stockholders to their
direction, have established toll gates at the following places on said
road, and have appointed a toll gatherer at each gate, and that the
rates of toll to be collected at the several gates are by resolution of
the Board and agreeable to Act of Assembly fixed and established as
below. The total distance from Lancaster to Philadelphia is 62 miles.

  Gate No. 1--2      miles W from Schuylkill, collect  3 miles
  Gate No. 2--5      miles W from Schuylkill, collect  5 miles
  Gate No. 3--10     miles W from Schuylkill, collect  7 miles
  Gate No. 4--20     miles W from Schuylkill, collect 10 miles
  Gate No. 5--29-1/2 miles W from Schuylkill, collect 10 miles
  Gate No. 6--40     miles W from Schuylkill, collect 10 miles
  Gate No. 7--49-1/2 miles W from Schuylkill, collect 10 miles
  Gate No. 8--58-1/8 miles W from Schuylkill, collect  5 miles
  Gate No. 9--Witmer's Bridge, collect 61 miles."

There is also in the same journal, bearing date January 22, 1796, the
following notice:

"Sec. 13. And be it further enacted, by authority of aforesaid, that no
wagon or other carriage with wheels the breadth of whose wheels shall
not be four inches, shall be driven along said road between the first
day of December and the first day of May following in any year or years,
with a greater weight thereon than two and a half tons, or with more
than three tons during the rest of the year; that no such carriage, the
breadth of whose wheels shall not be seven inches, or being six inches
or more shall roll at least ten inches, shall be drawn along said road
between the said day of December and May with more than five tons, or
with more than five and a half tons during the rest of the year; that no
carriage or cart with two wheels, the breadth of whose wheels shall not
be four inches, shall be drawn along said road with a greater weight
thereon than one and a quarter tons between the said first days of
December and May, or with more than one and a half tons during the rest
of the year; no such carriage, whose wheels shall be of the breadth of
seven inches shall be driven along the said road with more than two and
one half tons between the first days of December and May, or more than
three tons during the rest of the year; that no such carriage whose
wheels shall not be ten inches in width shall be drawn along the said
road between the first days of December and May with more than three
and a half tons, or with more than four tons the rest of the year; that
no cart, wagon or carriage of burden whatever, whose wheels shall not be
the breadth of nine inches at least, shall be drawn or pass in or over
the said road or any part thereof with more than six horses, nor shall
more than eight horses be attached to any carriage whatsoever used on
said road, and if any wagon or other carriage shall be drawn along said
road by a greater number of horses or with a greater weight than is
hereby permitted, one of the horses attached thereto shall be forfeited
to the use of said company, to be seized and taken by any of their
officers or servants, who shall have the privilege to choose which of
the said horses they may think proper, excepting the shaft or wheel
horse or horses, provided always that it shall and may be lawful for
said company by their by-laws to alter any and all of the regulations
here contained respecting burdens or carriages to be drawn over the said
road and substituting other regulations, if on experience such
alterations should be found conducive of public good."

There were regular warehouses or freight stations in the various towns
through which the Lancaster Pike passed, Mr. Witmer leaves record, where
experienced loaders or packers were to be found who attended to filling
these great curving wagons, which were elevated at each end and
depressed in the centre; and it was quite an art to be able to so pack
them with the various kinds of merchandise that they would carry safely,
and at the same time to economize all the room necessary; and when fully
loaded and ready for the journey it was no unusual case for the driver
to be appealed to by some one who wished to follow Horace Greeley's
advice and "go west," for permission to accompany him and earn a seat on
the load, as well as share his mattress on the barroom floor at night by
tending the lock or brake. Mr. Witmer was told by one of the largest and
wealthiest iron masters of Pittsburg that his first advent to the Smoky
City was on a load of salt in that capacity.

"In regard to the freight or transportation companies," continues the
annalist, "the Line Wagon Company was the most prominent. Stationed
along this highway at designated points were drivers and horses, and it
was their duty to be ready as soon as a wagon was delivered at the
beginning of their section to use all despatch in forwarding it to the
next one, thereby losing no time required to rest horses and driver,
which would be required when the same driver and horses took charge of
it all the way through. But, like many similar schemes, what appeared
practical in theory did not work well in practice. Soon the wagons were
neglected, each section caring only to deliver it to the one succeeding,
caring little as to its condition, and soon the roadside was encumbered
with wrecks and breakdowns and the driver and horses passed to and fro
without any wagon or freight from terminal points of their sections,
leaving the wagons and freight to be cared for by others more anxious
for its removal than those directly in charge. So it was deemed best to
return to the old system of making each driver responsible for his own
wagon and outfit.

"A wagoner, next to a stagecoach-driver, was a man of immense
importance, and they were inclined to be clannish. They would not
hesitate to unite against landlord, stage-driver or coachman who might
cross their path, as in a case when a wedding party was on its way to
Philadelphia, which consisted of several gigs. These were two-wheeled
conveyances, very similar to our road-carts of the present day, except
that they were much higher and had large loop springs in the rear just
back of the seat; they were the fashionable conveyance of that day. When
one of the gentlemen drivers, the foremost one (possibly the groom), was
paying more attention to his fair companion than his horses, he drove
against the leaders of one of the numerous wagons that were passing on
in the same direction. It was an unpardonable offense and nothing short
of an encounter in the stable yard or in front of the hotel could atone
for such a breach of highway ethics. At a point where the party stopped
to rest before continuing their journey the wagoners overtook them and
they immediately called on the gentleman for redress. But seeing a
friend in the party they claimed they would excuse the culprit on his
friend's account; the offending party would not have it so, and said no
friend of his should excuse him from getting a beating if he deserved
it, and I have no doubt he prided himself on his muscular abilities
also. However it was peaceably arranged and each pursued his way without
any blood being shed or bones broken. That was one of the many similar
occurrences which happened daily, many not ending so harmlessly.

"The stage lines were not only the means of conveying the mails and
passengers, but of also disseminating the news of great events along the
line as they passed. The writer remembers hearing it stated that the
stage came through from Philadelphia with a wide band of white muslin
bound around the top, and in large letters was the announcement that
peace had been declared, which was the closing of the second war with
Great Britain, known as the War of 1812. What rejoicing it caused along
the way as it passed!"


The taverns of this old turnpike were typical. Of them Mr. Moore writes:

"Independent of the heavy freighting, numerous stage lines were
organized for carrying passengers. As a result of this immense traffic,
hotels sprung up all along the road, where relays of horses were kept,
and where passengers were supplied with meals. Here, too, the teamsters
found lodging and their animals were housed and cared for over night.
The names of these hotels were characteristic of the times. Many were
called after men who had borne conspicuous parts in the Revolutionary
War that had just closed--such as Washington, Warren, Lafayette, and
Wayne, while others represented the White and Black Horse, the Lion,
Swan, Cross Keys, Ship, etc. They became favorite resorts for citizens
of their respective neighborhoods, who wished at times to escape from
the drudge and ennui of their rural homes and gaze upon the world as
represented by the dashing stages and long lines of Conestoga wagons.
Here neighbor met neighbor--it was the little sphere in which they all
moved, lived and had their being. They sipped their whisky toddies
together, which were dispensed at the rate of three cents a single
glass, or for a finer quality, five for a Spanish quarter, with the
landlord in, was asked; smoked cigars that were retailed four for a
cent--discussed their home affairs, including politics, religion and
other questions of the day, and came just as near settling them, as the
present generation of men, that are filling their places, required large
supplies and made convenient home markets for the sale of butter, eggs,
and whatever else the farmers had to dispose of."

In our history of the Cumberland Road the difference between a
wagonhouse and a tavern was emphasized. Mr. Witmer gives an incident on
the Lancaster Turnpike which presents vividly the social position of
these two houses of entertainment: "It was considered a lasting disgrace
for one of the stage taverns to entertain a wagoner and it was sure to
lose the patronage of the better class of travel, should this become
known. The following instance will show how carefully the line was
drawn. In the writer's native village, about ten miles east of this city
[Lancaster], when the traffic was unusually heavy and all the wagon
taverns were full, a wagoner applied to the proprietor of the stage
hotel for shelter and refreshment, and after a great deal of
consideration on his part and persuasion on the part of the wagoner he
consented, provided the guest would take his departure early in the
morning, before there was any likelihood of any aristocratic arrivals,
or the time for the stage to arrive at this point. As soon as he had
taken his departure the hostlers and stable boys were put to work to
clean up every vestige of straw or litter in front of the hotel that
would be an indication of having entertained a wagoner over night!"

The later history of the turnpike has been sketched by Mr. Moore as

"The turnpike company had enjoyed an uninterrupted era of prosperity for
more than twenty-five years. During this time the dividends paid had
been liberal--sometimes, it is said, exceeding fifteen per cent of the
capital invested. But at the end of that time the parasite that destroys
was gradually being developed. Another, and altogether new system of
transportation had been invented--a railroad--and which had already
achieved partial success in some places in Europe. It was about the
year 1820 that this new method of transportation began to claim the
serious attention of the progressive business men throughout the state.
The feeling that some better system than the one in use must be found
was fed and intensified by the fact that New York State was then
constructing a canal from Albany to the lakes; that when completed it
would give the business men of New York City an unbroken water route to
the west....

"With the completion of the entire Pennsylvania canal system to
Pittsburg, in 1834, the occupation of the famous old Conestoga teams was
gone.[18] The same may also be said of the numerous lines of the stages
that daily wended their way over the turnpike. The changes wrought were
almost magical. Everyone who rode patronized the cars; and the freight
was also forwarded by rail. The farmers, however, were not ruined as
they had maintained they would be. Their horses, as well as drivers,
were at once taken into the railway service and employed in drawing cars
from one place to another. It was simply a change of vocation, and there
still remained a market for grain, hay, straw and other produce of the

"The loss sustained by the holders of turnpike stock, however, was
immeasurable. In a comparative sense, travel over the turnpike road was
suspended. Receipts from tolls became very light and the dividends, when
paid, were not only quite diminutive, but very far between.

"The officers of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company have always been
noted for their foresight, as well as shrewdness in protecting the
business interests of their organization--and none have given more
substantial evidence of these traits than its present chief officer, Mr.
Alexander Cassatt. In the year 1876 the horse cars had been extended as
far west as the Centennial buildings and it became apparent in a year or
two thereafter that they might be still further extended over the
turnpike in the direction of Paoli and thus become an annoying
competitor for the local travel, which had been carefully nurtured and
built up by the efforts of the railroad company. Under the leadership of
Mr. Cassatt a company was organized to purchase the road. When all the
preliminaries had been arranged a meeting of the subscribers to the
purchasing fund was held on the twentieth day of April, 1880. The
turnpike was purchased from Fifty-second Street to Paoli, about
seventeen miles, for the sum of twenty thousand dollars. In the
following June a charter was secured for the 'Lancaster Avenue
Improvement Company,' and Mr. Cassatt was chosen president. The horse
railroad was thus shut off from a further extension over the old
turnpike. The new purchasers rebuilt the entire seventeen miles and
there is today probably no better macadam road in the United States, nor
one more scrupulously maintained than by 'The Lancaster Avenue
Improvement Company.' Some parts of the turnpike road finally became so
much out of repair that the traveling public refused to longer pay the
tolls demanded. This was the case on that portion of the road lying
between Paoli and Exton, a distance of some eight and a half miles. It
traversed parts of the townships of Willistown and East and West
Whiteland, in Chester County and upon notice of abandonment being served
in 1880 upon the supervisors of these townships, those officials assumed
the future care of the road. The turnpike was also abandoned from the
borough of Coatesville to the Lancaster County line, a distance of about
eight and one-half miles. This left only that portion of the turnpike
lying between Exton station and the borough of Coatesville, a distance
of some ten miles, under control of the old company, and upon which
tollgates were maintained. The road was in a wretched repair and many
persons driving over it refused to pay when tolls were demanded. The
company, however, continued to employ collectors and gather shekels from
those who were willing to pay and suffering those to pass who refused.

"Thus the old company worried along and maintained its organization
until 1899, when the 'Philadelphia and West Chester Traction Company,'
made its appearance. This company thought it saw an opportunity to
extend the railroad west over the turnpike at least as far as
Downingtown, and possibly as far as the borough of Coatesville. Terms
were finally agreed upon with the president of the Turnpike Company, and
all the rights, titles and interests in the road then held by the
original Turnpike Company, and which embraced that portion lying between
Exton and the borough of Coatesville, were transferred to Mr. A. M.
Taylor, as trustee, for ten dollars per share. The original issue was
twelve hundred shares. It was estimated that at least two hundred shares
would not materialize, being either lost or kept as souvenirs. The
length of the road secured was about ten miles. The disposition of the
old road may be enumerated as follows:


  To Hestonville Railroad                         3  $10,000
  To Lancaster and Williamstown Turnpike Company 15   10,000
  To Lancaster Avenue Improvement Company        17   20,000
  To A. M. Taylor, trustee (estimated)           10   10,000
                                                 --   ------
    Total miles sold                             45
    Total purchase money received                    $50,000


  Paoli to Exton                         8-1/2
  Coatesville to Lancaster Company line  8-1/2
    Total miles abandoned               17

"The distance from Coatesville to Philadelphia, via Whitford, a station
on the Pennsylvania Railroad ten miles east of Coatesville, thence to
West Chester and over the electric road, is somewhat less than by the
Pennsylvania Railroad. Immediately after the purchase, Mr. Taylor
announced that it was the intention of his company to extend their road
to Downingtown, and, possibly, to Coatesville. But a charter for a
trolley road does not carry with it the right of eminent domain. Upon
investigation, Mr. Taylor discovered that the Pennsylvania Railroad
Company owned property on both sides of the purchased turnpike, and that
without the consent of that organization a trolley road could not be
laid over the turnpike. He further discovered that at a point west of
Downingtown the railroad company, in connection with one of its
employees, owned a strip of land extending from the Valley Hill on the
north to the Valley Hill on the south. The proposed extension of the
trolley road, therefore, had to be abandoned.

"As the turnpike road could not be used by the new purchasers for the
purposes intended, it was a useless and annoying piece of property in
their hands. A petition has already [1901] been filed in the Court of
Quarter Sessions of Chester County looking toward having the road
condemned. Judge Hemphill has appointed jurors to view the said turnpike
road and fix the damages that may be due the present owners. Whatever
damages may finally be agreed upon the county of Chester must pay, and
the supervisors of the different townships through which the road passes
will thereafter assume its care. This will probably be the last official
act in which the title of the old organization will participate. 'Men
may come and men may go,' and changes be made both in ownership and
purposes of use, but whatever the future may have in store for this
grand old public highway, the basic principle will always be: 'The Old
Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike;' and as such forever remain a
lasting monument to the courageous, progressive, and patriotic men whose
capital entered into and made its construction possible."

The principal rivals of the macadamized roads were the plank roads. The
first plank road in America was built at Toronto, Canada, in 1835-36,
during Sir Francis Bond Head's governorship. It was an experiment and
one Darcy Boulton is said to have been the originator of the plan.[18*]

In 1837 this method of road-building was introduced into the United
States, Syracuse, New York, possessing the first plank road this side
the Canadian border. In fifteen years there were two thousand one
hundred and six miles of these roads in New York State alone, and the
system had spread widely through the more prosperous and energetic
states. Usually these roads were single-track, the track being built on
the left hand side of the roadway; the latter became known as the
"turn-out." The planks, measuring eight inches by three, were laid on
stringers, these, in turn, resting on a more or less elaborately made
bed. The average cost of plank roads in New York was a trifle less than
two thousand dollars per mile. It will be remembered that the Cumberland
Road cost on the average over ten thousand dollars per mile in Maryland
and Pennsylvania, and three thousand four hundred dollars per mile west
of the Ohio River. Its estimated cost per mile, without bridging, was
six thousand dollars. It was natural, therefore, that plank roads should
become popular--for the country was still a "wooden country," as the
pioneers said. It was argued that the cost was "infinitely less--that it
[plank road] is easier for the horse to draw upon--and that such a road
costs less for repairs and is more durable than a Macadam road.... On
the Salina and Central road, a few weeks back, for a wager, a team [two
horses] brought in, without any extraordinary strain, six tons of iron
from Brewerton, a distance of twelve miles, to Syracuse [New York]....
Indeed, the farmer does not seem to make any calculations of the weight
taken. He loads his wagon as best he can, and the only care is not to
exceed the quantity which it will carry; whether the team can draw the
load, is not a consideration...." Such arguments prevailed in the day
when timber was considered almost a nuisance, and plank roads spread far
and wide.

Few who were acquainted with primitive conditions have left us anything
vivid in the way of descriptions of roads and road-making. "The pioneers
of our State," wrote Calvin Fletcher, in an exceedingly interesting
paper read before the Indiana Centennial Association, July 4, 1900,
"found Indian trails, which, with widening, proved easy lines of travel.
Many of these afterward became fixtures through use, improvement, and
legislation.... Next to the hearty handshake and ready lift at the
handspike, where neighbors swapped work at log-rollings, was the
greeting when, at fixed periods, all able-bodied men met to open up or
work upon the roads. My child-feet pattered along many of the
well-constructed thoroughfares of today when they were only indistinct
tracings--long lines of deadened trees, deep-worn horse paths, and
serpentine tracks of wabbling wagon wheels. The ever-recurring
road-working days and their cheerful observance, with time's work in
rotting and fire's work in removing dead tree and stump, at last let in
long lines of sunshine to dry up the mud, to burn up the miasma, and to
bless the wayfarer to other parts, as well as to disclose what these
pioneer road-makers had done for themselves by opening up fields in the
forests.... To perfect easily and naturally these industries requires
three generations. The forests must be felled, logs rolled and burned,
families reared, and in most cases the land to be paid for. When this is
accomplished a faithful picture would reveal not only the changes that
had been wrought, but a host of prematurely broken down men and women,
besides an undue proportion resting peacefully in country graveyards. A
second generation straightens out the fields at odd corners, pulls the
stumps, drains the wet spots, and casting aside the sickle of their
father, swings the cradle over broader fields; and even trenches upon
the plans of the third generation by pushing the claim of the reaper,
the mower and the thresher.... The labor of the three generations in
road-making I class as follows: To the first generation belonged
locating the roads and the clearing the timber from them. The wet places
would become miry and were repaired by the use of logs.... The roots and
stumps caused many holes, called chuck holes, which were repaired by
using brush and dirt--with the uniform result that at each end of the
corduroy or brush repairs, a new mud or chuck hole would be formed in
time; and thus until timber and brush became exhausted did the pioneer
pave the way for the public and himself to market, to court, and to
elections. The second generation discovered a value in the inexhaustible
beds of gravel in the rivers and creeks, as well as beneath the soil.
Roadbeds were thrown up, and the side ditches thus formed contributed to
sound wheeling. Legislation tempted capital to invest and tollgates
sprang up until the third generation removed them and assumed the burden
of large expenditures from public funds for public benefit.

"And thus have passed away the nightmare of the farmer, the traveller,
the mover and the mail-carrier--a nightmare that prevailed nine months
of the year.... An experience of a trip from Indianapolis to Chicago in
March, 1848, by mail stage is pertinent. It took the first twenty-four
hours to reach Kirklin, in Boone County; the next twenty-four to
Logansport, the next thirty-six to reach South Bend. A rest then of
twenty-four hours on account of high water ahead; then thirty-six hours
to Chicago--five days of hard travel in mud or on corduroy, or sand....
In the summer passenger coaches went through, but when wet weather came
the mud wagon was used to carry passengers and mail, and when the mud
became too deep the mail was piled into crates, canvas-covered, and
hauled through. This was done also on the National [Cumberland], the
Madison, the Cincinnati, the Lafayette and the Bloomington Roads."

The _corvée_, or required work on the roads of France, has been given as
one of the minor causes of the social unrest which reached its climax in
the French Revolution. American peasants had no such hardship according
to an anonymous rhymester:

  Oh, our life was tough and tearful, and its toil was often fearful,
      And often we grew faint beneath the load.
  But there came a glad vacation and a sweet alleviation,
      When we used to work our tax out on the road.

  When we used to work our tax out, then we felt the joys of leisure,
      And we felt no more the prick of labor's goad;
  Then we shared the golden treasure of sweet rest in fullest measure,
      When we used to work our tax out on the road.

The macadam and plank roads saw the Indian trail at its widest and best.
The railway has had a tendency to undo even such advances over pioneer
roads as came in the heyday of macadam and plank roads. We have been
going backward since 1840 rather than forward. The writer has had long
acquaintance with what was, in 1830, the first turnpike in Ohio--the
Warren and Ashtabula Road; it was probably a far better route in 1830
than in 1900. By worrying the horse you can not make more than four
miles an hour over many parts of it. One ought to go into training
preparatory to a carriage drive over either the Cumberland or the
Pennsylvania road across the Alleghenies. As the trail was widened it
grew better, but once at its maximum width it was eclipsed as an avenue
by the railway and, exceptions aside, has since 1850 deteriorated. Every
foot added in width, however, has contained a lesson in American
history; every road, as we have said, indicates a need; and the wider
the road, it may be added, the greater the need. An expanding nation, in
a moment's time, burst westward through these narrow trails, and left
them standing as open roadways. Few material objects today suggest to
our eyes this marvelous movement. These old routes with their many
winding tracks, the ponderous bridges and sagging mile-posts,[19] are
relics of those momentous days.



The following chapter is from Francis Baily's volume, _A Journal of a
Tour in Unsettled Parts of North America_. It is an account of a journey
in 1796 from Philadelphia to Pittsburg over the Pennsylvania road
treated of in Volume V of this series. Francis Baily was an English
scientist of very great reputation. It is to be doubted whether there is
another account of a journey as far west as Mr. Baily's record takes us
(Cincinnati, Ohio) written at so early a date by an equally famous
foreign scholar and scientist.

The route pursued was the old state road begun in 1785 running through
Pennsylvania from Chambersburg, Bedford, and Greensburg to Pittsburg.
Mr. Baily's itinerary is by ancient taverns, most of which have passed
from recollection.

From Pittsburg he went with a company of pioneers down the Ohio River
to their new settlement near Cincinnati. In his experiences with these
friends he gives us a vivid picture of pioneer travel north of the Ohio

"There being no turnpikes in America, the roads are, of course, very bad
in winter, though excellent in summer. I waited at Baltimore near a week
before I could proceed on my journey, the roads being rendered
impassable. There is, at present, but one turnpike-road on the
continent, which is between Lancaster and Philadelphia,[20] a distance
of sixty-six miles, and is a masterpiece of its kind; it is paved with
stone the whole way, and overlaid with gravel, so that it is never
obstructed during the most severe season. This practice is going to be
adopted in other parts of that public-spirited state [Pennsylvania],
though none of the other states have yet come into the measure.

"From Baltimore to Philadelphia are ninety-eight miles; between which
places there is no want of conveyance, as there are three or four
stages run daily. In one of these I placed myself on the morning of
_March 3rd, 1796_. A description of them perhaps would be amusing. The
body of the carriage is closed in, about breast high; from the sides of
which are raised six or eight small perpendicular posts, which support a
covering--so that it is in fact a kind of open coach. From the top are
suspended leather curtains, which may be either drawn up in fine
weather, or let down in rainy or cold weather; and which button at the
bottom. The inside is fitted up with four seats, placed one before the
other; so that the whole of the passengers face the horses; each seat
will contain three passengers; and the driver sits on the foremost,
under the same cover with the rest of the company. The whole is
suspended on springs; and the way to get into it is _in front_, as if
you were getting into a covered cart. This mode of travelling, and which
is the only one used in America, is very pleasant as you enjoy the
country much more agreeably than when imprisoned in a close coach,
inhaling and exhaling the same air a thousand times over, like a cow
chewing the cud; but then it is not quite so desirable in disagreeable

"We had not proceeded far on our journey before we began to encounter
some of those inconveniences to which every person who travels in this
country _in winter time_ is exposed. The roads, which in general were
very bad, would in some places be impassable, so that we were obliged to
get out and walk a considerable distance, and sometimes to 'put our
shoulders to the wheel;' and this in the most unpleasant weather, as
well as in the midst of mire and dirt. However, we did manage to get
twelve miles to breakfast; and after that, to a little place called
Bush, about thirteen miles farther, to dinner; and about nine o'clock at
night we came to _Havre de Grace_, about twelve miles further, to
supper; having walked nearly half the way up to our ancles in mud, in a
most inclement season. Havre de Grace is a pretty little place, most
delightfully situated on the banks of the Susquehannah river, which at
this place is about a quarter of a mile broad; it is about a couple of
miles above the mouth of the river, where it empties into the Chesapeak
Bay; a fine view of which you have from the town. An excellent tavern is
kept here by Mr. Barney ... and which is frequented by parties in the
shooting season, for the sake of the wild fowl with which the
Susquehannah so plentifully abounds; the canvass-back, a most delicious
bird, frequents this river.... Next morning we got ferried across the
river, and, breakfasting at the tavern on the other side, proceeded on
our journey, encountering the same difficulties we had done the
preceding day. About three miles from Barney's is a little place, called
Principio, situated in a highly romantic country, where there is a large
foundry for cannon and works for boring them, situated in a valley
surrounded by a heap of rocks; the wheels of the works are turned by a
stream of water running over some of these precipices. About three miles
from this is another delightful place, called Charleston; I mean with
respect to its _situation_; as to the town itself, it does not seem to
improve at all, at which I very much wonder, as it is most
advantageously situated at the head of the Chesapeak, of which and the
country adjoining it commands a full and most charming view. We got
about nine miles farther, to a town called Elkton, to dinner. This place
has nothing in it to attract the attention of travellers. I shall
therefore pass it by, to inform you that we intended getting to Newport,
about eighteen miles, to sleep. It was four o'clock before we started;
and we had not proceeded far on these miserable roads, ere night
overtook us; and, as the fates would have it, our unlucky coachman drove
us into a miry bog; and, in spite of all our endeavours, we could not
get the coach out again; we were therefore obliged to _leave it there,
with the whole of the baggage, all night_; and were driven to the
necessity of seeking our way in the dark to the nearest house, which
was about a mile and a half off; there, getting ourselves cleaned and a
good supper, we went to bed. Next morning we found everything just as we
left it; and, getting another coach, we proceeded on our journey, and,
dining at Chester, got to Philadelphia about nine o'clock in the
evening, completely tired of our ride, having been three days and three
nights on the road.

"I would not have been thus particular, but I wished to give you a
specimen of the American mode of travelling, though you will understand
that these difficulties are to be met with only at that season of the
year when the frost breaks up, and the roads get sadly out of order; for
in summer time nothing can be more agreeable, expeditious, and pleasant.
The fare from Baltimore to Philadelphia is 6 dollars, or 27s., and the
customary charges on the road are 1/2 dollar for breakfast, 1 dollar for
dinner, wine not included, 1/2 dollar for supper, and 1/4 dollar for
beds. These are their general prices, and they charge the same whatever
they provide for you. By this, you will observe that travelling in
these settled parts of the country is about as expensive as in England.

"The country between Baltimore and Philadelphia is of a _clayey_ nature,
mixed with a kind of gravel; yet still, in the hands of a skilful
farmer, capable of yielding good produce. The land on each side of the
road, and back into the country, was pretty well cultivated, and (though
winter) bore marks of industry and economy. Hedges are not frequent; but
instead of them they place split logs angular-wise on each other, making
what they call a "worm fence," and which is raised about five feet high.
This looks very slovenly, and, together with the stumps of trees
remaining in all the new-cleared plantations, is a great _desight_ to
the scenery of the country.... From Newark to New York is about nine
miles, and the greatest part of the road is over a large swamp, which
lies between and on each side of the Pasaik and Hackinsac rivers. Over
this swamp they have made a causeway, which trembles the whole way as
you go over it,[22] and shows how far the genius and industry of man
will triumph over natural impediments.

"To New York, which is ninety-six miles from Philadelphia, we were a day
and a half in coming. The roads were not so bad as when we came from
Baltimore. Our fare was 6 dollars, and the charges on the road the same
as between Baltimore and Philadelphia:--viz., 1/2 dollar breakfast, 1
dollar dinner, 1/2 dollar supper, and 1/4 dollar lodging.... The
inhabitants of New York are very fond of music, dancing, and plays; an
attainment to excellence in the former has been considerably promoted by
the frequent musical societies and concerts which are held in the city,
many of the inhabitants being very good performers. As to dancing, there
are two assembly-rooms in the city, which are pretty well frequented
during the winter season; private balls are likewise not uncommon. They
have two theatres, one of which is lately erected, and is capable of
containing a great number of persons; there is an excellent company of
comedians, who perform here in the winter. But the amusement of which
they seem most passionately fond is that of sleighing, which is riding
on the snow in what _you_ call _a sledge_, drawn by two horses. It is
astonishing to see how anxiously persons of all ages and both sexes look
out for a good fall of snow, that they may enjoy their favourite
amusement; and when the happy time comes, to see how eager they are to
engage every sleigh that is to be hired. Parties of twenty or thirty
will sometimes go out of town in these vehicles towards evening, about
six or eight miles, when, having sent for a fiddler, and danced till
they are tired, they will return home again by moonlight, or, perhaps
more often, by _day_ light. Whilst the snow is on the ground no other
carriages are made use of, either for pleasure or service. The
productions of the earth are brought to market in sleighs; merchandise
is draughted about in sleighs; coaches are laid by, and the ladies and
gentlemen mount the _silent_ car, and nothing is heard in the streets
but the tinkling[23] of bells.... I set off on the _1st_ of _September,
1796_, to make a tour of the western country,--that land of Paradise,
according to the flattering accounts given by Imlay and others. Wishing
to go to the new city of Washington, _we_[24] took our route through
Philadelphia and Baltimore, which I have already described. I shall not
trouble you with any further remarks, excepting that as the season was
just the reverse of what it was when I passed through this country last,
it presented quite a different appearance from what I described to you
in my former letters. Besides, there was none of that inconvenience from
bad roads, so terrible to a traveller in the winter. On the contrary, we
went on with a rapidity and safety equal to any mode of travelling in

"From Baltimore to the new city of Washington is forty-five miles, where
we arrived on the _5th_ of _October_ following. The road is well
furnished with taverns, which in general are good, at least as good as
can be expected in this part of the world. Close to Washington is a
handsome town called Georgetown; in fact, it will form part of the new
city; for, being so near the site intended for it, and being laid out
nearly on the same plan, its streets will be only a prolongation of the
streets laid out for the city of Washington: so it will in course of
time lose its name of Georgetown, and adopt the general one of
Washington. Much in the same manner the small places formerly separated
from the metropolis of England have lost their name, and fallen under
the general denomination of London.

"Georgetown is situated on a hill close to the river Potomak; it
presents a beautiful view from the surrounding country, of which also it
commands a fine prospect. It is a seaport town, and some of their
vessels are employed in the London trade. There are stages run daily
between this place and Baltimore, for which you pay four dollars. There
are also stages to and from Alexandria, a handsome and flourishing town
situated on the Potomak, lower down the stream, and about eight miles
off; for which you pay a fare of three quarters of a dollar. We put up
at the Federal Arms whilst we were there. It is a good inn, but their
charges are most extravagantly high.... At about half-past one, _October
7th_, we started on our journey over the Allegany mountains to
Pittsburgh.[25] About fourteen miles on the road is a pretty little town
called Montgomery Court House;[26] it contains some good houses, but
the streets are narrow. About seven miles further is a little
settlement, formed a few years back by Captain Lingham, called
Middlebrook. Captain Lingham has a house on the road, near a mill, which
he has erected; and here (following the example of many of his brother
officers) he has retired from the toils and bustle of war, to spend his
days in the enjoyments of a country life. We arrived here about six
o'clock; the sun was just setting, yet there was time to go another
stage; but, as we got into a part of the country where _taverns_[27]
were not very frequent, we proposed stopping here this night.
Accordingly, putting our horses up at a little tavern, (which, together
with four or five more houses, composed the whole of the settlement,) we
had a comfortable supper and went to bed. About half-past six the next
morning we started from this place, and stopped, about seven miles on
the road, at an old woman's of the name of Roberts.[28] This old woman
(whose house, I believe, was the only one we saw on the road) acts at
times in the capacity of a tavern-keeper: that is, a person travelling
that way, and straitened for provisions, would most probably find
something there for himself and his horse. The old lady was but just up
when we called; her house had more the appearance of a hut than the
habitation of an hostess, and when we entered there was scarcely room to
turn round. We were loath to stop here; but there not being any other
house near, we were obliged to do it, both for the sake of ourselves and
our horses. We soon made her acquainted with our wants, and she,
gathering together a few sticks, (for her fire was not yet lighted,) and
getting a little meal and some water, mixed us up some cakes, which were
soon dressed at the fire, and then all sitting down at the table, and
having mixed some tea in a little pot, we enjoyed a very comfortable
breakfast. The poor old woman, who was a widow, seemed to live in a deal
of distress: the whole of her living was acquired by furnishing
accommodation to travellers. When we were sitting over the fire, and
partaking of our meal-cakes with this old woman, it brought to mind the
story of Elijah and the widow, (I Kings, chap, xvii.,) particularly
where she answers him with, 'As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a
cake, but one handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse:
and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it
for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.' The appositeness of our
situations rendered this passage very striking, and made me look upon my
hostess in a more favourable point of view than when I first saw her. I
gave her something to render her situation more comfortable and happy.

"Leaving this lonely habitation, we continued on our journey, and
crossing the Sinecocy [Monocacy?] river, about eleven miles on the road,
we reached Fredericktown, about four miles farther, at twelve o'clock.
This is a large flourishing place, contains a number of good houses, and
is a place of great trade, owing to its being the thoroughfare to the
western country of Pennsylvania and the Ohio. There is a large
manufactory of rifle-guns carried on here; but so great is the demand
for them, that we could not meet with one in the whole place: they sell
in general from 15 to 25 dollars each, according to their style of being
mounted. The tavern where we stopped was kept by Mrs. Kemble: it is a
tolerably good house. After dinner we left this place, and after going
about three or four miles, we arrived at the foot of the Appalachian
Mountains. And here let me stop a little to make a few observations on
the face of the country we have just passed over. From Georgetown to
this place, it almost wholly consists of a sandy, gravelly soil, with
difficulty repaying the husbandman for the trouble of tilling it. The
face of the country is very uneven, being a constant succession of hill
and dale. Little towns or villages are scattered over the country at the
distance of seven or eight miles, which communicate with each other by
roads which are almost inaccessible during the winter and spring months.
Our charges on this part of the road were half a dollar each for
breakfast and dinner and supper, without any distinction of fare. If
our table were spread with all the profusion of American luxury, such as
ham, cold beef, fried chicken, &c. &c., (which are not uncommon for
breakfast in this part of the world), or whether we sat down to a dish
of tea and hoe-cake, our charge was all the same. The accommodations we
met with on the road were pretty well, considering the short time this
country has been settled, and the character and disposition of its
inhabitants, which are not those of the most polished nations, but a
character and disposition arising from a consciousness of independence,
accompanied by a spirit and manner highly characteristic of this
consciousness. It is not education alone that forms this character of
the Americans: it stands upon a firmer basis than this. The means of
subsistence being so easy in the country, and their dependence on each
other consequently so trifling, that spirit of servility to those above
them so prevalent in European manners, is wholly unknown to them; and
they pass their lives without any regard to the smiles or the frowns of
men in power.

"Nearly the whole of the way from Georgetown to Fredericktown we
preserved a distant view of the Allegany Mountains, at whose feet we
were now arrived. They presented to us one general bluff appearance,
extending as far as our eye could see from the north-east to the
south-west. Our approach to them was in a line perpendicular to that of
their extension, so that they seemed to bid defiance to our progress.
The _Allegany Mountains_ is a name given to a range of several ridges of
mountains stretching from Vermont to Carolina, of which one ridge alone
is properly called the Allegany Mountain. These ridges are nearly 170
miles in width; and the middle one, or the Allegany, forms the backbone
of the rest. The ridge which first presented itself to our view, is
called in Howell's Map the South Mountain. The road (which here began to
be very rocky and stony) is carried over the least elevated part of the
mountain, and from its summit we beheld that beautiful limestone valley
so recommended by Brissot. On our descent from this mountain, we entered
on one of the finest tracts of land in all America. The celebrated
valley, which lies between this and the next ridge of mountains, extends
from the Susquehanna on the north to Winchester on the south, is richly
watered by several navigable streams, and is capable of producing every
article which is raised in the neighbouring countries in the greatest
abundance. It is inhabited chiefly by Germans and Dutch, who are an
industrious race of men and excellent farmers. Their exertions have made
this valley (bounded on each side by barren and inhospitable mountains)
assume the appearance of a highly cultivated country, abounding in all
the conveniences and some of the luxuries of life. Besides a general
appearance of comfortable farms scattered over the face of the country,
it can boast of several large and populous towns, which keep up a
connexion with the cities on the Atlantic, and supply the interior of
this mountainous country with the produce of distant nations. It was
dark before we descended from this mountain; but we had not proceeded
far in the valley when we came to a little place called Boone's-town,
where we were glad to rest ourselves and horses after the fatigues of
so rough a road. Boone's-town is eight miles from Fredericktown: it has
not been settled above three or four years. We met with a very good
tavern and excellent accommodations.

"From Boone's-town, the next morning (_Sunday, October 9th, 1796_) we
passed through Funk's-town, which is another new-settled place; and
immediately on leaving this, Hagar's-town presented itself to our view,
about two miles off: here we arrived to breakfast. Hagar's-town[29] is a
large flourishing place, and contains some good houses. The streets are
narrow, and, agreeably to a barbarous custom which they have in laying
out new towns in America, the court-house is built in the _middle_ of
the principal street, which is a great obstruction to the passage, as
well as being of an uncouth appearance. This place is situated on a fine
plain, and, like Frederick's-town, is a place of great trade, and also a
manufactory for rifle-guns, of which we bought two at twenty dollars
each. Here is a paper published weekly; and assemblies are held here
during the winter. There is also a great deal of horse-racing in the
neighbourhood at stated seasons. We put up at the Indian Queen, kept by
Ragan: it is a good house and much frequented.

"From Hagar's-town we proceeded on to Greencastle, which is a poor
little place, but lately settled, and consisting of a few log-houses
built along the road. We stopped at one of these houses, which they
called the tavern, kept by one Lawrence; it was a poor miserable place.
We were obliged to unsaddle our horses, put them into the stable, and
feed them ourselves; and then, having got something to eat and refreshed
ourselves, we got out of this place as soon as we could. Greencastle is
eleven miles from Hagar's-town; and we had to go eleven miles farther
that evening to Mr. Lindsay's, whom we had engaged at Baltimore to carry
some goods to Pittsburgh in his waggons. His house lay at some distance
from the road we were going, so that we struck across the woods to
approach it; and, after having missed our way once or twice, we struck
on a road which took us down to his house. Here we were hospitably
entertained for two days by Mr. Lindsay and his father-in-law, Mr.
Andrews, who have a very excellent farm, and live very comfortably in
the truly American style. The place at which he resides is called the
_Falling Springs_; for what reason they are called _falling_ springs I
cannot conceive; they _rise_ from under an old tree, and the stream does
not proceed three hundred yards before it turns a cyder-mill; and a
little farther on turns a grist-mill. These mills belong to Mr. Andrews,
as also does a large quantity of the land around; for in this country
_all_ the farmers are landholders; Mr. and Mrs. Andrews are Irish; and
they and their family are all settled in the neighbourhood. Their
children are all brought up in industry, and have their time fully
employed in performing the different necessary duties of the house and
farm. Nevertheless, they appear to live very happy and comfortable.

"_Tuesday, October 11th, 1796._--About eleven o'clock this morning we
set off from Mr. Andrews's, in company with a party of several of the
neighbouring farmers who were going to Chambersburgh to vote at an
election. Chambersburgh is about three miles from Mr. Andrews's, and is
a large and flourishing place, not inferior to Frederick's-town or
Hagar's-town; being, like them, on the high road to the western country,
it enjoys all the advantages which arise from such a continual body of
people as are perpetually emigrating thither. I have seen ten and twenty
waggons at a time in one of these towns, on their way to Pittsburgh and
other parts of the Ohio, from thence to descend down that river to
Kentucky. These waggons are loaded with the clothes and necessaries of a
number of poor emigrants, who follow on foot with their wives and
families, who are sometimes indulged with a ride when they are tired, or
in bad weather. In this manner they will travel and take up their abode
in the woods on the side of the road, like the gypsies in our country,
taking their provisions with them, which they dress on the road's side,
as occasion requires.

"About thirteen miles from Chambersburgh, which we left in the
afternoon, is a place called the _Mill_,[30] which is kept by some
Dutchmen. We understood it was a tavern, but were disappointed; however,
as it was now dark, and no tavern on the road for some distance, we were
under the necessity of begging a lodging here, which was granted us at
last with the greatest reluctance. Here we had rather an unfavourable
specimen of Dutch manners. We were _kindly_ directed to take our horses
to the stables, and take care of them ourselves, which we accordingly
did; and, returning to the house, I was witness to a kind of meal I had
never before experienced. First of all, some sour milk was warmed up and
placed on the table. This at any other time would probably have made us
sick; but having fasted nearly the whole day, and seeing no appearance
of anything else likely to succeed it, we devoured it very soon;
particularly as the whole family (of which there were seven or eight)
partook of it likewise; all of us sitting round _one_ large bowl, and
dipping our spoons in one after another. When this was finished a dish
of stewed pork was served up, accompanied with some hot pickled cabbage,
called in this part of the country "warm slaw." This was devoured in
the same hoggish manner, every one trying to help himself first, and two
or three eating off the same plate, and all in the midst of filth and
dirt. After this was removed a large bowl of cold milk and bread was put
on the table, which we partook of in the same manner as the first dish,
and in the same disorder. The spoons were immediately taken out of the
greasy pork dish, and (having been just cleaned by passing through the
_mouth_) were put into the milk; and that, with all the _sang froid_
necessarily attending such habitual nastiness. Our _table_, which was
none of the cleanest (for as to _cloth_, they had none in the house),
was placed in the middle of the room, which appeared to me to be the
receptacle of all the filth and rubbish in the house; and a fine large
fire, which blazed at one end, served us instead of a candle.

"Wishing to go to bed as soon as possible (though, by the by, we did not
expect that our accommodations would be any of the most agreeable), we
requested to be shown to our room, when, lo! we were ushered up a
ladder, into a dirty place, where a little hole in the wall served for
a window, and where there were four or five beds as dirty as need be.
These beds did not consist (as most beds do) of blankets, sheets, &c.,
but were truly in the Dutch style, being literally nothing more than one
feather bed placed on another, between which we were to creep and lie
down. The man, after showing us this our place of destination, took the
candle away, and left us to get in how we could, which we found some
difficulty in doing at first; however, after having accomplished it, we
slept very soundly till morning, when we found we had passed the night
amongst the whole family, men, women, and children, who had occupied the
other beds, and who had come up after we had been asleep. We got up
early in the morning from this inhospitable and filthy place, and,
saddling our horses, pursued our journey.


"_October 12th, 1796._--At ten o'clock we arrived at McConnell's-town,
in Cove Valley (thirteen miles), having first passed over a high ridge
called, in Howell's Map, the North Mountain; and here we left that
beautiful valley, which is enriched by so many streams, and abounds
with such a profusion of the conveniences of life; a country than which,
if we except Kentucky, is not to be found a more fertile one in the
whole of the United States.

"On our descent from the North Mountain we caught, through every opening
of the woods, the distant view of McConnell's, whose white houses,
contrasted with the _sea_ of woods by which it was surrounded, appeared
like an island in the ocean. Our near approach to it, however, rendered
it not quite so pleasing an object; for it consisted but of a few
log-houses, built after the American manner, without any other ornament
than that of being whitened on the _outside_. There was a pretty good
tavern kept here by a Dutchwoman, where we stopped to breakfast; and,
leaving this place, we crossed a hill called Scrubheath, at the end of
which was Whyle's tavern (ten miles): we did not stop, but went to the
top of Sideling Hill (two miles), where there is a tavern kept by
Skinner, where we dined. Sideling Hill is so called from the road being
carried over this ridge, _on the side of the hill_, the whole way; it is
very steep in ascent, and towards the top appears very tremendous on
looking down.

"From this tavern to the Junietta, a branch of the Susquehannah river,
is eight miles. The hill terminates at the river, and the road down to
it is a narrow winding path, apparently cleft out of the mountain. It so
happened that when we came to this defile, a travelling man with a
number of packhorses had just entered it before us; and as it was
impossible for us to pass them, we were obliged to follow them down this
long winding passage to the river, at their own pace, which, poor
animals, was none of the speediest. The sun, though not set, had been
long hid from us by the neighbouring mountains, and would not lend us
one ray to light us on our melancholy path. We fell into conversation
with our fellow-traveller, and found that he had been to Philadelphia,
where he had purchased a number of articles necessary to those who live
in this part of the country, and which he was going to dispose of in the
best manner possible. The gloominess of our path, and the temper of mind
I happened to be then in, threw me into reflections on a comparison of
this man's state with my own. At length a distant light broke me from my
reverie, and indicated to us a near prospect of our enlargement from
this obscure path; and the first thing that presented itself to our view
was the Junietta river, which, flowing with a gentle stream between two
very steep hills, covered with trees to the very top, the sun just
shining, and enlightening the opposite side, though hid to us, presented
one of the most enchanting and romantic scenes I ever experienced. From
this place to Hartley's Tavern is eight miles, and this we had to go
before night. It was sunset before we had reached the summit of the
opposite hill of the river. From this hill we beheld ourselves in the
midst of a mountainous and woody country; the Junietta winding and
flowing on each side of us at the foot of the hill; the distant
mountains appearing in all the _wildness of majesty_, and extending
below the horizon. The moon had just begun to spread her silver light;
and by her assistance we were enabled to reach our destined _port_. The
road, which was carried along the side of a tremendously high hill,
seemed to threaten us with instant death, if our horses should make a
false step. Embosomed in woods, on a lonely path, we travelled by the
kind light of the moon till near eight o'clock, when we reached our
place of destination. It was a very comfortable house, kept by one
Hartley, an Englishman, and situated in a gap of the mountains, called
in this part of the country Warrior's Gap, and which affords an outlet
or passage for the Junietta river, which here is a fine gentle stream.
The country just about here was very mountainous; yet our landlord had
got a very pleasant spot cleared and cultivated, and which furnished him
with the principal necessaries of life. Finding this an agreeable place,
we stopped here three days, and went up into the mountains to shoot;
but, being very young hands at this diversion, we were always

"On _Saturday, October 15th_, we set off from Hartley's about eleven
o'clock, and proceeded to Redford (six miles), which is a pleasant
place, and agreeably situated, and contains a great many houses. The
town is supplied with water from the neighbouring hills; conveyed in
pipes to each house, and to a public place in the middle of the town. We
left this place about half-past twelve, and proceeded to Ryan's tavern,
at the foot of the Allegany mountain (eleven miles). Here we dined; and
after dinner, we proceeded up the mountain, the top of which we reached
about five o'clock; and here I was surprised to find a number of little
streams of water flowing through some as fine land as is to be met with
in the United States, and abounding with fish. This appearance upon the
top of so high a mountain is not a little remarkable; but I have since
found it to be the case in other ridges of mountains which I have passed
over. We intended to have gone on to Webster's this evening, but the
weather proving so bad, we called at a little house on the road, in
order to stop during the night. But we were informed that they could not
accommodate us; however, they directed us to a person about a mile off,
where they thought we could get accommodated; accordingly, striking
across the woods, we proceeded to this house, and, after some little
trouble, and in a very tempestuous night, we found it out, and here
took up our abode for the night. Our landlord's name was Statler, and
his residence is about eight miles from Ryan's. Here we found a very
comfortable habitation, and very good accommodation; and though situated
at the top of the highest ridge of mountains, we experienced not only
the comforts, but also some of the luxuries of life. From the stone
which forms the base of this mountain they make mill-stones, which are
sent to all parts of the country, and sell from fifteen to twenty and
thirty dollars a pair. Land sells on these mountains for two dollars an
acre. We found this so comfortable a place, that we stopped here to
breakfast the next morning (_October 16th_), and then we proceeded to
Webster's, at a place called Stoystown (nine miles), where there is a
good tavern, and where we stopped to bait our horses. About a mile
before we came to Webster's we passed over Stoney Creek, which has a
great many different branches, and rather large, but most of them were
dry, owing partly to the season, and partly to their lying so very
high. About nine miles further we stopped at Murphy's, where we baited
our horses; but the habitation was so uncomfortable, and their
accommodations so miserable, that we could get nothing for ourselves; we
were therefore obliged to defer till the evening taking any refreshment.
On leaving this place we crossed Laurel Hill, which is near nine miles
long, and which is the highest ridge of the Apalachian mountains: it is
rather a ridge upon a ridge, than a mountain by itself, as it rises upon
the Allegany ridge. The perpendicular height of this ridge is 4,200
feet; and in crossing it we were not a little incommoded by the cold
winds and rain which generally infest the summit. This, together with
the badness of the roads (being nothing but large loose stones), made it
one of the most unpleasant rides I ever experienced. It was near dark
before we descended this mountain; and we had then to go three miles to
a poor miserable hut, where we were obliged to spend the night amidst
the whole family and some other travellers, all scattered about in the
same room.

"About half-past six the next morning (_October 17th, 1796_) we set out
from King's, and crossing Chestnut ridge, we arrived at Letty Bean's to
breakfast (seven and a half miles). After crossing Chestnut ridge we
took our leave of the Apalachian mountains, having passed 170 miles over
them, from the Blue ridge to Chestnut ridge. These mountains are for the
most part very stony and rocky, yet have a great quantity of fine land
on them, even on their very summits. The roads which are carried over
them are much better than I expected; and if from the tops of them you
can (through an opening of the trees) gain a view of the surrounding
country, it appears like a sea of woods; and all those hills which
appeared very high in our passing over them, are lost in one wide plane,
extending as far as the eye can reach, at least fifty or sixty miles,
presenting a view not only novel, but also highly majestic. At other
times, when you get between the declivities of the mountains, they
appear in all the wildness of nature, forming the most romantic scenery
the imagination can picture. It is not to be supposed, that immediately
on leaving the Apalachian mountains the country subsides into a smooth
level; on the contrary, for several miles, both on the eastern and
western side, the country is very hilly, not to say sometimes
mountainous; and it is said that the western side of the mountains is
300 feet above the level of the eastern side.

"From the foot of the mountains to Pittsburgh is about forty miles, and
here we arrived to dinner on the _18th October_, having gone, during our
route, about 297 miles from Philadelphia. The accommodations we met with
were, upon the whole, tolerably good; at least, such as a person
(considering the country he was travelling in) might bear with: charges
rather high. It cost us, together with our horses, two dollars a day
each. The common charges on the eastern side of the mountains were:--For
breakfast, dinner, and supper, 1/2 dollar each; oats, 12 cents. per
gallon. On the western side, dinner and supper were charged sometimes
2s., sometimes 2s. 6d., and breakfasts, 18d., (Pennsylvania currency).
For breakfast we generally used to have coffee, and buck-wheat cakes,
and some fried venison or broiled chicken, meat being inseparable from
an American breakfast; and whatever travellers happened to stop at the
same place, sat down at the same table, and partook of the same dishes,
whether they were poor, or whether they were rich; no distinction of
persons being made in this part of the country....

"The waggons which come over the Allegany mountains from the Atlantic
states, (bringing dry goods and foreign manufactures for the use of the
back-country men,) return from this place generally empty; though
sometimes they are laden with deer and bear skins and beaver furs, which
are brought in by the hunters, and sometimes by the Indians, and
exchanged at the stores for such articles as they may stand in need of."

Passing down the Ohio River Mr. Baily proceeded with a pioneer party the
leader of which, Mr. Heighway, was about to found a town on the banks of
the Little Miami River in Ohio. Leaving the river at the newly located
village of Columbia, Ohio, the party pushed on northward. Mr. Baily
accompanied them out of curiosity, and his record is of utmost interest.

"_Saturday, March 4th, 1797_,--the two waggons started, accompanied with
a guide to conduct them through the wilderness, and three or four
pioneers to clear the road of trees where there might be occasion; and

"_Monday, March 6th_,--Dr. Bean and myself started about noon,
accompanied by several others in the neighbourhood; some of whom were
tempted by curiosity, and others with a prospect of settling there. We
were mounted on horses, and had each a gun; and across our saddles we
had slung a large bag, containing some corn for our horses, and
provision for ourselves, as also our blankets: the former was necessary,
as the grass had not yet made its appearance in the woods. We kept the
road as long as we could; and when that would not assist us any farther,
we struck out into the woods; and towards sundown found ourselves about
twenty miles from Columbia. Here, having spied a little brook running at
the bottom of a hill, we made a halt, and kindling a fire, we fixed up
our blankets into the form of a tent, and having fed both ourselves and
our horses, we laid ourselves down to rest; one of us, by turns, keeping
watch, lest the Indians should come and steal our horses. The next

"_Tuesday, March 7th_,--as soon as it was light, we continued our
journey, and towards the middle of the day overtook our friend H.,[31]
almost worn out with fatigue. The ground was so moist and swampy, and he
had been obliged to come through such almost impassable ways, that it
was with difficulty the horses could proceed; they were almost knocked
up; his waggons had been over-turned twice or thrice;--in fact, he
related to us such a dismal story of the trials both of patience and of
mind which he had undergone, and I verily believe if the distance had
been much greater, he would either have sunk under it, or have formed
his settlement on the spot. We encouraged him with the prospect of a
speedy termination, and the hopes of better ground to pass over; and
with this his spirits seemed to be somewhat raised. We all encamped
together this night, and made ourselves as happy and as comfortable as
possible. My friend H. seemed also to put on the new man; and from this,
and from his being naturally of a lively turn, we found that it was a
great deal the want of society which had rendered him so desponding, and
so out of spirits; for after we had cooked what little refreshment we
had brought with us, and finished our repast, he sang us two or three
good songs, (which he was capable of doing in a masterly style,) and
seemed to take a pleasure in delaying as long as he could that time
which we ought to have devoted to rest. As to my own part, I regarded
the whole enterprise in a more philosophic point of view; and I may say
with the Spectator, I considered myself as a silent observer of all that
passed before me; and could not but fancy that I saw in this little
society before me the counterpart of the primitive ages, when men used
to wander about in the woods with all their substance, in the manner
that the present race of Tartars do at this day. I could not but think
that I saw in miniature the peregrinations of Abraham, or Æneas, &c.,

"The next morning, _Wednesday, March 8th_, by day-light, our cavalcade
was in motion; and some of the party rode on first to discover the spot,
for we were travelling without any other guide than what little
knowledge of the country the men had acquired by hunting over it. I
could not but with pleasure behold with what expedition the pioneers in
front cleared the way for the waggon; there were but three or four of
them, and they got the road clear as fast as the waggon could proceed.
Whilst we were continuing on at this rate, we observed at some distance
before us, a human being dart into the woods, and endeavour to flee from
us. Ignorant what this might mean, we delayed the waggons, and some of
us went into the woods and tracked the footsteps of a man for some
little distance, when suddenly a negro made his appearance from behind
some bushes, and hastily inquired whether there were any Indians in our
party, or whether we had met with any. The hideousness of the man's
countenance, (which was painted with large red spots upon a black
ground,) and his sudden appearance, startled us at first; but soon
guessing his situation, we put him beyond all apprehension, and informed
him he was perfectly safe. He then began to inform us that he had been a
prisoner among the Indians ever since the close of the last American
war; and that he had meditated his escape ever since he had been in
their hands, but that never, till now, had he been able to accomplish

"We could not but look upon the man with an eye of pity and compassion,
and after giving him something to pursue his journey with, and desiring
him to follow our track to Columbia, we separated. At about three or
four o'clock the same afternoon, we had the satisfaction of seeing the
Little Miami river. Here we halted, (for it was on the banks of this
river that the town was laid out,) and we were soon joined by our other
companions, who had proceeded on first, and who informed us that they
had recognized the spot about half a mile higher up the river. We
accordingly went on, and got the goods all out of the waggons that
night, so that they might return again as soon as they thought proper.
And here we could not but congratulate our friend H. upon his arrival at
the seat of his new colony."



In the study of the Ohio River as a highway of immigration and commerce
it was emphasized that in earliest pioneer days the ascent of the river
was a serious and difficult problem. This was true, indeed, not on the
Ohio alone, but on almost every river of importance in the United
States. Of course brawny arms could force a canoe through flood-tides
and rapids; but, as a general proposition, the floods of winter, with
ice floating fast amid-stream and clinging in ragged blocks and floes
along the shore, and the droughts of summer which left, even in the
Ohio, great bars exposed so far to the light that the river could be
forded here and there by children, made even canoe navigation well-nigh
impossible. For other craft than light canoes navigation was utterly out
of the question in the dry seasons and exceedingly dangerous on the icy
winter floods at night--when the shore could not be approached.

Such conditions as these gave origin to many of our land highways. Where
pioneer homes were built beside a navigable river it was highly
important to have a land thoroughfare leading back to the "old
settlements" which could be traversed at all seasons. Many of our "river
roads" came into existence, not because the valleys offered the easiest
courses for land travel, but because pioneer settlements were made on
river banks, and, as the rivers were often worthy of the common French
name "Embarras," land courses were necessary. In the greater rivers this
"homeward track," so to speak, frequently abandoned the winding valley
and struck straight across the interior on the shortest available route.

The founding of Kentucky in the lower Ohio Valley offers a specific
instance to illustrate these generalizations, and brings us to the
subject of a thoroughfare which was of commanding importance in the old
West. We have elsewhere dealt at length with the first settlement of
Kentucky, making clear the fact that the great road blazed by Boone
through Cumberland Gap was the most important route in Kentucky's early
history. The growth of the importance of the Ohio River as a
thoroughfare and its final tremendous importance to Kentucky and the
entire West has also been reviewed. But, despite this importance, the
droughts of summer and the ice-torrents of winter made a landward route
from Kentucky to Pennsylvania and the East an absolute necessity. Even
when the river was navigable, the larger part of the craft which sailed
it before 1820 were not capable of going up-stream. Heavy freight could
be "poled" and "cordelled" up in the keel-boat and barge, but for all
other return traffic, both freight and passenger, the land routes from
Kentucky north and east were preferable. For many years the most
available messenger and mail route from Cincinnati, Vincennes, and
Louisville was over Boone's Wilderness Road through Cumberland Gap. But,
as the eighteenth century neared its close, the large population of
western Pennsylvania and northwestern Virginia made necessary better
routes from the upper Ohio Valley across the Alleghenies; in turn, the
new conditions demanded a route up the Ohio Valley from Kentucky to

In our survey of Indian Thoroughfares, a slight path known as the Mingo
Trail is mentioned as leading across eastern Ohio from Mingo Bottom near
the present Steubenville, on the Ohio River, to the neighborhood of
Zanesville on the Muskingum River.[32] Mingo Bottom was a well-known
Indian camping-place; the name is preserved in the railway junction
thereabouts, Mingo Junction. A distinct watershed offers thoroughfare
southwesterly across to the Muskingum, and on this lay the old trail.
The termini of this earliest known route were near two early settlements
of whites; Mingo Bottom lies eight or nine miles north of Wheeling, one
of the important stations in the days of border warfare. The Mingo
Trail, swinging southward a little, became the route of white hunters
and travelers who wished to cross what is now eastern Ohio. The
Muskingum River terminus of the trail was Wills Town, as far down the
Muskingum from Zanesville as Mingo Bottom was above Wheeling on the
Ohio. It is altogether probable that a slight trace left the Wills Town
trail and crossed the Muskingum at the mouth of Licking River--the
present site of Zanesville. If a trail led thence westwardly toward the
famed Pickaway Plains, it is recorded on none of our maps. We know,
therefore, of only the Mingo Trail, running, let us say loosely, from
Wheeling, West Virginia, to Zanesville, Ohio, which could have played
any part in forming what soon became known as the first post road in all
the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio.

With the close of the Indian War and the signing of the Treaty of
Greenville in 1795, the American possession of the Northwest was placed
beyond question. A flood of emigrants at once left the eastern states
for the Central West, and the return traffic, especially in the form of
travelers and private mail packets, from Kentucky and Cincinnati, began
at once to assume significant proportions, and Congress was compelled
to facilitate travel by opening a post route two hundred and twenty-six
miles in length from the upper to the lower Ohio. Accordingly, the
following act: "_An Act to authorize Ebenezer Zane[33] to locate certain
lands in the territory of the United States northwest of the river
Ohio_" was passed by Congress and approved May 17, 1796:

"_Be it enacted, &c._, That, upon the conditions hereinafter mentioned,
there shall be granted to Ebenezer Zane three tracts of land, not
exceeding one mile square each, one on the Muskingum river, one on
Hockhocking river, and one other on the north bank of Scioto river, and
in such situations as shall best promote the utility of a road to be
opened by him on the most eligible route between Wheeling and
Limestone,[34] to be approved by the President of the United States, or
such person as he shall appoint for that purpose; _Provided_, Such
tracts shall not interfere with any existing claim, location, or survey;
nor include any salt spring, nor the lands on either side of the river
Hockhocking at the falls thereof.

"SEC. 2. _And be it further enacted_, That upon the said Zane's
procuring, at his own expense, the said tracts to be surveyed, in such a
way and manner as the President of the United States shall approve, and
returning into the treasury of the United States plats thereof, together
with warrents granted by the United States for military land bounties,
to the amount of the number of acres contained in the said three tracts;
and also, producing satisfactory proof, by the first day of January
next, that the aforesaid road is opened, and ferries established upon
the rivers aforesaid, for the accommodation of travellers, and giving
security that such ferries shall be maintained during the pleasure of
Congress; the President of the United States shall be, and he hereby is,
authorized and empowered to issue letters patent, in the name and under
the seal of the United States, thereby granting and conveying to the
said Zane, and his heirs, the said tracts of land located and surveyed
as aforesaid; which patents shall be countersigned by the secretary of
state, and recorded in his office: _Provided always_, That the rates of
ferriage, at such ferries, shall, from time to time, be ascertained
[inspected] by any two of the judges of the territory northwest of the
river Ohio, or such other authority as shall be appointed for that

  "APPROVED May 17, 1796."[35]

Zane evidently went at once to work opening the road to Kentucky, his
brother Jonathan, and son-in-law John McIntire, assisting largely in the
work. The path was only made fit for horsemen, particularly
mail-carriers. It is probable that the task was not more difficult than
to cut away small trees on an Indian trace. It is sure that for a
greater part of the distance from the Ohio to the Muskingum the Mingo
Trail was followed, passing near the center of Belmont, Guernsey and
Muskingum Counties. The route to the southwest from that point through
Perry, Fairfield, Pickaway, Ross, Richland, Adams, and Brown Counties
may or may not have followed the path of an Indian trace. No proof to
the contrary being in existence, it is most reasonable to suppose that
this, like most other pioneer routes, did follow a more or less plainly
outlined Indian path. The new road crossed the Muskingum at the present
site of the town well named Zanesville, the Hocking at Lancaster, the
Scioto at Chillicothe, and the Ohio at Aberdeen, Ohio, opposite the
old-time Limestone, Kentucky.


One George Sample was an early traveler on this National Road; paying a
visit from the East to the Ohio country in 1797, he returned homeward by
way of Zane's Trace or the Maysville Road, as the route was variously
known. After purchasing a farm on Brush Creek, Adams County, Ohio, and
locating a homeless emigrant on it, Mr. Sample "started back to
Pennsylvania on horseback" according to his recorded recollections
written in 1842;[36] "as there was no getting up the river at that
day.[37] In our homeward trip we had very rough fare when we had any at
all; but having calculated on hardships, we were not disappointed. There
was one house (Treiber's) on Lick branch, five miles from where West
Union[38] now is." Trebar--according to modern spelling--opened a tavern
on his clearing in 1798 or 1799, but at the time of Sample's trip his
house was not more public than the usual pioneer's home where the
latch-string was always out.[39] "The next house," continues Mr. Sample,
"was where Sinking spring or Middle-town is now.[40] The next was at
Chillicothe, which was just then commenced. We encamped one night at
Massie's run, say two or three miles from the falls of Paint creek,
where the trace then crossed that stream. From Chillicothe to Lancaster
the trace then went through the Pickaway plains. There was a cabin some
three or four miles below the plains, and another at their eastern edge,
and one or two more between that and Lancaster. Here we staid the third
night. From Lancaster we went next day to Zanesville, passing several
small beginnings. I recollect no improvement between Zanesville and
Wheeling, except a small one at the mouth of Indian Wheeling creek,
opposite to Wheeling. In this space we camped another night. From
Wheeling we went home pretty well."

The matter of ferriage was a most important item on pioneer roads as
indicated by the Act of Congress quoted. The Court of General Quarter
Sessions met at Adamsville, Adams County, December 12, 1797, and made
the following the legal rates of ferriage across the Scioto and Ohio
Rivers, both of which Zane's Trace crossed:

_Scioto River:_

  Man and horse           12-1/2 cents.
  Single                   6-1/4   "
  Wagon and team          75       "
  Horned cattle (each)     6-1/4   "

_Ohio River:_

  Man and horse           18-1/2   "
  Single                   9-1/4   "
  Wagon and team       $1.15
  Horned cattle            9-1/4   " [41]

No sooner was Zane's Trace opened than the Government established a mail
route between Wheeling and Maysville and Lexington. For the real
terminus of the trace was not by any means at little Maysville; an
ancient buffalo route and well-worn white man's road led into the
interior of Kentucky from Maysville, known in history as the Maysville
Road and Maysville Pike. On the Ohio side this mail route from Wheeling
and Lexington was known by many titles in many years; it was the
Limestone Road, the Maysville Pike, the Limestone and Chillicothe Road,
and the Zanesville Pike; the Maysville and Zanesville Turnpike was
constructed between Zanesville and the Ohio River. At Zanesville the
road today is familiarly known as the Maysville Pike while in Kentucky
it is commonly called the Zanesville Pike.

"When the Indian trail gets widened, graded and bridged to a good road,"
wrote Emerson, "there is a benefactor, there is a missionary, a
pacificator, a wealth-bringer, a maker of markets, a vent for
industry."[42] The little road here under consideration is unique among
American highways in its origin and in its history. It was demanded, not
by war, but by civilization, not for exploration and settlement but by
settlements that were already made and in need of communion and
commerce. It was created by an act of Congress as truly as the
Cumberland Road, which soon should, in part, supersede it. And finally
it was on the subject of the Maysville Turnpike that the question of
internal improvement by the national government was at last decided
when, in 1830, President Jackson signed that veto which made the name
of Maysville a household word throughout the United States.

In 1825, after a delay which created great suspense in the West, the
Cumberland Road at last leaped the Ohio River at Wheeling. Zane's Trace,
now a wide, much-traveled avenue, offered a route westward to Zanesville
which could be but little improved upon. The blazed tree gave way to the
mile-stone and the pannier and saddle-bag to the rumbling stagecoach and
the chaise. It is all a pretty, quiet picture and its story is totally
unlike that of Boone's rough path over the Cumberlands. For settlements
sprang up rapidly in this land of plenty; we have seen that there were
beginnings at Chillicothe and Zanesville when Sample passed this way in
1797. By 1800, Zane's lots at the crossing of the Hockhocking (first
known as New Lancaster, and later as Lancaster--from the town of that
name in Pennsylvania) were selling; his terms and inducements to
settlers, especially mechanics, are particularly interesting.[43]

As intimated, the Kentucky division of the Maysville Pike--leading from
the Ohio River through Washington, Paris, and Lexington--became famous
in that it was made a test case to determine whether or not the
Government had the right to assist in the building of purely state
(local) roads by taking shares in local turnpike companies.

This much-mooted question was settled once for all by President Andrew
Jackson's veto of "A Bill Authorizing a subscription of stock in the
Maysville, Washington, Paris, and Lexington Turnpike Road Company,"
which was passed by the House February 24, 1830. It read:[44] "_Be it
enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States
of America in Congress assembled_, That the Secretary of the Treasury
be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to subscribe, in the name
and for the use of the United States, for fifteen hundred shares of the
capital stock of the Maysville, Washington, Paris, and Lexington
Turnpike Road Company, and to pay for the same at such times, and in
such proportions, as shall be required of, and paid by, the stockholders
generally, by the rules and regulations of the aforesaid company, to be
paid out of any money in the Treasury, not otherwise appropriated:
_Provided_, That not more than one-third part of the sum, so subscribed
for the use of the United States, shall be demanded in the present year,
nor shall any greater sum be paid on the shares so subscribed for, than
shall be proportioned to assessments made on individual or corporate

"SEC. 2. _And be it further enacted_, That the said Secretary of the
Treasury shall vote for the President and Directors of the aforesaid
company, according to such number of shares as the United States may, at
any time, hold in the stock thereof, and shall receive upon the said
stock the proportion of the tolls which shall, from time to time, be due
to the United States for the shares aforesaid, and shall have and enjoy,
in behalf of the United States, every other right of stockholder in said

In his first annual message to Congress, dated December 8, 1829,
President Jackson stated plainly his attitude to the great question of
internal improvements. "As ... the period approaches when the
application of the revenue to the payment of [national] debt will cease,
the disposition of the surplus will present a subject for the serious
deliberation of Congress.... Considered in connection with the
difficulties which have heretofore attended appropriations for purposes
of internal improvement, and with those which this experience tells us
will certainly arise whenever power over such subjects may be exercised
by the General Government, it is hoped that it may lead to the adoption
of some plan which will reconcile the diversified interests of the
States and strengthen the bonds which unite them.... To avoid these
evils it appears to me that the most safe, just, and federal disposition
which could be made of the surplus revenue would be its apportionment
among the several States according to their ratio of representation, and
should this measure not be found warranted by the Constitution that it
would be expedient to propose to the States an amendment authorizing

In his veto of the Maysville Road bill President Jackson quoted the
above paragraphs from his annual message, and, after citing both
Madison's and Monroe's positions as to internal improvements of pure
local character, continues:

"The bill before me does not call for a more definate opinion upon the
particular circumstances which will warrent appropriations of money by
Congress to aid works of internal improvement, for although the
extention of the power to apply money beyond that of carrying into
effect the object for which it is appropriated has, as we have seen,
been long claimed and exercised by the Federal Government, yet such
grants have always been professedly under the control of the general
principle that the works which might be thus aided should be 'of a
general, not local, national, not State,' character. A disregard of this
distinction would of necessity lead to the subversion of the federal
system. That even this is an unsafe one, arbitrary in its nature, and
liable, consequently, to great abuses, is too obvious to require the
confirmation of experience. It is, however, sufficiently definate and
imperative to my mind to forbid my approbation of any bill having
the character of the one under consideration. I have given to its
provisions ... reflection ... but I am not able to view it in any other
light than as a measure of purely local character; or, if it can be
considered national, that no further distinction between the appropriate
duties of the General and State Governments need be attempted, for there
can be no local interest that may not with equal propriety be
denominated national. It has no connection with any established system
of improvements; is exclusively within the limits of a State, starting
at a point on the Ohio River and running out 60 miles to an interior
town, and even as far as the State is interested conferring partial
instead of general advantages.

"Considering the magnitude and importance of the power, and the
embarrassments to which, from the very nature of the thing, its
exercise must necessarily be subjected, the real friends of internal
improvement ought not to be willing to confide it to accident and
chance. What is properly _national_ in its character or otherwise is an
inquiry which is often extremely difficult of solution....

"If it be the wish of the people that the construction of roads and
canals should be conducted by the Federal Government, it is not only
highly expedient, but indispensably necessary, that a previous amendment
of the Constitution, delegating the necessary power and defining and
restricting its exercise with reference to the sovereignty of the
States, should be made. The right to exercise as much jurisdiction as is
necessary to preserve the works and to raise funds by the collection of
tolls to keep them in repair can not be dispensed with. The Cumberland
Road should be an instructive admonition of the consequences of acting
without this right. Year after year contests are witnessed, growing out
of efforts to obtain the necessary appropriations for completing and
repairing this useful work. Whilst one Congress may claim and exercise
the power, a succeeding one may deny it; and this fluctuation of opinion
must be unavoidably fatal to any scheme which from its extent would
promote the interests and elevate the character of the country....

"That a constitutional adjustment of this power upon equitable
principles is in the highest degree desirable can scarcely be doubted,
nor can it fail to be promoted by every sincere friend to the success of
our political institutions."[46]

The effect of Jackson's veto was far-reaching. It not only put an end to
all thought of national aid to such local improvements as the Maysville
Turnpike, but deprived such genuinely national promotions as the
Baltimore and Ohio Railway of all hope of national aid. "President
Jackson had strongly expressed his opposition to aiding state
enterprises and schemes of internal improvement by appropriations from
the central government," records a historian of that great enterprise;
"from whatever source the opposition may have come, the [Baltimore and
Ohio Railway] company recognized that it must not hope for aid from the
national government."[47] The significance of Jackson's veto could not
be more strongly presented.



The following interesting and vivid picture of early travel in Kentucky
is taken from Judge James Hall's _Legends of the West_ (Philadelphia,
1832); though largely a work of fiction, such descriptions as these are
as lifelike as the original picture.

The place at which the party landed was a small village on the bank of
the [Ohio] river, distant about fifty miles from a settlement in the
interior to which they were destined.

"Here we are on dry land once more," said the Englishman as he jumped
ashore; "come, Mr. Logan, let us go to the stage-house and take our
seats." Logan smiled, and followed his companion.

"My good friend," said Edgarton, to a tall, sallow man in a
hunting-shirt, who sat on a log by the river with a rifle in his lap,
"can you direct us to the stage-house?"

"Well, I can't say that I can."

"Perhaps you do not understand what we want," said Edgarton; "we wish to
take seats in a mail-coach for ----."

"Well, stranger, it's my sentimental belief that there isn't a coach,
male or female, in the county."

"This fellow is ignorant of our meaning," said Edgarton to Logan.

"What's that you say, stranger? I _spose maybe_ you think I never _seed_
a coach? Well, it's a free country, and every man has a right to think
what he pleases; but I reckon I've saw as many of _them are fixens_ as
any other man. I was raised in Tennessee. I saw General Jackson once
riding in the elegantest carriage that ever mortal man _sot_ his eyes
on--with glass winders to it like a house, and _sort o'_ silk
_curtings_. The harness was mounted with silver; it was _drawd_ by four
blooded nags, and _druv_ by a mighty likely _nigger_ boy."

The travellers passed on, and soon learned that there was indeed no
stage in the country. Teams and carriages of any kind were difficult to
be procured; and it was with some difficulty that two stout wagons were
at last hired to carry Mr. Edgarton's movables, and a _dearborn_
obtained to convey his family, it being agreed that one of the gentlemen
should drive the latter vehicle while the other walked, alternately.
Arrangements were accordingly made to set out the next morning.

The settlement in which Mr. Edgarton had judiciously determined to pitch
his tent, and enjoy the healthful innocence and rural felicity of the
farmer's life, was new; and the country to be traversed to reach it
entirely unsettled. There were two or three houses scattered through the
wilderness on the road, one of which the party might have reached by
setting out early in the morning, and they had determined to do so. But
there was so much fixing and preparing to be done, so much stowing of
baggage and packing of trunks, such momentous preparations to guard
against cold and heat, hunger and thirst, fatigue, accident, robbery,
disease, and death, that it was near noon before the cavalcade was
prepared to move. Even then they were delayed some minutes longer to
give Mr. Edgarton time to oil the screws and renew the charges of his
double-barrel gun and pocket-pistols. In vain he was told there were no
highwaymen in America. His way lay chiefly through uninhabited forests;
and he considered it a fact in natural history, as indisputable as any
other elementary principle, that every such forest has its robbers.
After all, he entirely neglected to put flints in his bran new locks
instead of the wooden substitutes which the maker had placed there to
protect his work from injury; and thus "doubly armed," he announced his
readiness to start with an air of truly comic heroism.

When they began their journey, new terrors arose. The road was
sufficiently plain and firm for all rational purposes; that is to say,
it _would do_ very well for those who only wanted to get along, and were
content to make the best of it. It was a mere path beaten by a
succession of travellers. No avenue had been cut for it through the
woods; but the first pioneers had wound their way among the trees,
avoiding obstacles by going round them, as the snake winds through the
grass, and those who followed had trodden in their footsteps, until they
had beaten a smooth road sufficiently wide to admit the passage of a
single wagon. On either side was the thick forest, sometimes grown up
with underbrush to the margin of the _trace_, and sometimes so open as
to allow the eye to roam off to a considerable distance. Above was a
dense canopy of interwoven branches. The wild and lonesome appearance,
the deep shade, the interminable gloom of the woods, were frightful to
our travellers. The difference between a wild forest in the simple
majesty of nature, and the woodlands of cultivated countries, is very
great. In the latter the underbrush has been removed by art or destroyed
by domestic animals; the trees as they arrive at their growth are felled
for use, and the remainder, less crowded, assume the spreading and
rounded form of cultivated trees. The sunbeams reach the soil through
the scattered foliage, the ground is trodden by grazing animals, and a
hard sod is formed. However secluded such a spot may be, it bears the
marks of civilization; the lowing of cattle is heard, and many species
of songsters that hover round the habitations of men, and are never seen
in the wilderness, here warble their notes. In the western forests of
America all is grand and savage. The truth flashes instantly upon the
mind of the observer, with the force of conviction, that Nature has been
carrying on her operations here for ages undisturbed. The leaf has
fallen from year to year; succeeding generations of trees have
mouldered, spreading over the surface layer upon layer of decayed fibre,
until the soil has acquired an astonishing depth and an unrivalled
fertility. From this rich bed the trees are seen rearing their shafts to
an astonishing height. The tendency of plants towards the light is well
understood; of course, when trees are crowded closely together, instead
of spreading, they shoot upwards, each endeavouring, as it were, to
overtop his neighbours, and expending the whole force of the vegetative
powers in rearing a great trunk to the greatest possible height, and
then throwing out a top like an umbrella to the rays of the sun. The
functions of vitality are carried on with vigor at the extremities,
while the long stem is bare of leaves or branches; and when the
undergrowth is removed nothing can exceed the gloomy grandeur of the
elevated arches of foliage, supported by pillars of majestic size and
venerable appearance. The great thickness and age of many of the trees
is another striking peculiarity. They grow from age to age, attaining a
gigantic size, and then fall, with a tremendous force, breaking down all
that stands in their downward way, and heaping a great pile of timber on
the ground, where it remains untouched until it is converted into soil.
Mingled with all our timber are seen aspiring vines, which seem to have
commenced their growth with that of the young trees, and risen with
them, their tops still flourishing together far above the earth, while
their stems are alike bare. The undergrowth consists of dense thickets,
made up of the offspring of the larger trees, mixed with thorns, briers,
dwarfish vines, and a great variety of shrubs. The ground is never
covered with a firm sward, and seldom bears the grasses, or smaller
plants, being covered from year to year with a dense mass of dried and
decaying leaves, and shrouded in eternal shade.

Such was the scene that met the eyes of our travellers, and had they
been treated to a short excursion to the moon they would scarcely have
witnessed any thing more novel. The wide-spread and trackless ocean had
scarcely conveyed to their imaginations so vivid an impression of the
vast and solitary grandeur of Nature, in her pathless wildernesses. They
could hardly realize the expectation of travelling safely through such
savage shades. The path, which could be seen only a few yards in
advance, seemed continually to have terminated, leaving them no choice
but to retrace their steps. Sometimes they came to a place where a tree
had fallen across the road, and Edgarton would stop under the
supposition that any further attempt to proceed was hopeless--until he
saw the American drivers forsaking the track, guiding their teams among
the trees, crushing down the young saplings that stood in their way, and
thus winding round the obstacle, and back to the road, often through
thickets so dense, that to the stranger's eye it seemed as if neither
man nor beast could penetrate them. Sometimes on reaching the brink of a
ravine or small stream, the bridge of logs, which previous travellers
had erected, was found to be broken down, or the ford rendered
impassable; and the wagoners with the same imperturbable good nature,
and as if such accidents were matters of course, again left the road,
and seeking out a new crossing-place, passed over with scarcely the
appearance of difficulty.

Once they came to a sheet of water, extending as far as the eye could
reach, the tall trees standing in it as thickly as upon the dry ground,
with tufts of grass and weeds instead of the usual undergrowth.

"Is there a ferry here?" inquired Edgarton.

"Oh no, sir, it's nothing but _a slash_."

"What's that?"

"Why, sir, jist a sort o' swamp."

"What in the world shall we do?"

"We'll jist put right ahead, sir; there's no dif-_fick_-ulty; it's nice
good driving all about here. It's sort o' muddy, but there's good bottom
to it all the way."

On they went. To Edgarton it was like going to sea; for no road could be
seen; nothing but the trackless surface of the water; but instead of
looking down, where his eye could have penetrated to the bottom, he was
glancing forward in the vain hope of seeing dry land. Generally the
water was but a few inches deep, but sometimes they soused into a hole;
then Edgarton groaned and the ladies screamed; and sometimes it got
gradually deeper until the hubs of the wheels were immersed, and the
Englishman then called to the wagoners to stop.

"Don't be afeard, sir," one of them replied, "it is not bad; why this
ain't nothing; it's right good going; it ain't a-going to swim your
horse, no how."

"Anything seems a good road to you where the horse will not have to
swim," replied the Englishman surlily.

"Why, bless you," said the backwoodsman, "this ain't no part of a
priming to places that I've seed afore, no how. I've seed race paths in
a worse fix than this. Don't you reckon, stranger, that if my team can
drag this here heavy wagon, loaded down with plunder, you can sartainly
get along with that _ar_ little carry-all, and nothing on the face of
the _yeath_ to tote, but jist the women and children?"

They had but one such swamp to pass. It was only about half a mile wide,
and after travelling that far through the water, the firm soil of the
woods, which before seemed gloomy, became cheerful by contrast; and
Edgarton found at last, that however unpleasant such travelling may be
to those who are not accustomed to it, it has really no dangers but such
as are imaginary.

As the cavalcade proceeded slowly, the ladies found it most pleasant to
walk wherever the ground was sufficiently dry. Mrs. Edgarton and the
children might be seen sauntering along, and keeping close to the
carriage, for fear of being lost or captured by some nondescript monster
of the wild, yet often halting to gather nosegays of wild flowers, or to
examine some of the many natural curiosities which surrounded them....

The sun was about to set when the wagoners halted at an open spot,
covered with a thick carpet of short grass, on the margin of a small
stream of clear water. On inquiring the reason, Mr. Edgarton was assured
that this was the best _campground_ on the route, and as there was no
house within many miles, it was advisable to make arrangements for
passing the night there.

"Impossible!" exclaimed the European gentleman; "what! lie on the ground
like beasts! we shall all catch our death of cold!"

"I should never live through the night," groaned his fair partner....

"Don't let us stay here in the dark, papa," cried the children.

Logan expressed the opinion that an encampment might be made quite
comfortable, and the sentimental Julia declared that it would be
"delightful!" Edgarton imprecated maledictions on the beggarly country
which could not afford inns for travellers, and wondered if they
expected a gentleman to nestle among the leaves like Robin Hood's

This storm, like other sudden gusts, soon blew over, and the party began
in earnest to make the best of a bad business by rendering their
situation as comfortable as possible. The wagoners, though highly amused
at the fears of their companions, showed great alacrity and kindness in
their endeavours to dissipate the apprehensions and provide for the
comfort of foreigners; and, assisted by Mr. Logan, soon prepared a
shelter. This was made by planting some large stakes in the ground, in
the form of a square, filling up the sides and covering the tops with
smaller poles, and suspending blankets over and around it, so as to form
a complete enclosure. Mrs. Edgarton had a carpet taken from the wagons
and spread on the ground; on this the beds were unpacked and laid,
trunks were arranged for seats, and the emigrants surprised at finding
themselves in a comfortable apartment, became as merry as they had been
before despondent. A fire was kindled and the teakettle boiled, and
there being a large store of bread and provisions already prepared, an
excellent repast was soon placed before them, and eaten with the relish
produced by severe exercise.

The night had now closed in, but the blaze of a large fire and the
light of several candles threw a brilliant gleam over the spot and
heightened the cheerfulness of the evening meal. The arrangements for
sleeping were very simple. The tent, which had been divided into two
apartments by a curtain suspended in the middle, accommodated all of Mr.
Edgarton's household: Logan drew on his greatcoat, and spreading a
single blanket on the ground, threw himself down with his feet to the
fire; the teamsters crept into their wagons, and the several parties
soon enjoyed that luxury which, if Shakspeare may be believed, is often
denied to the "head that wears a crown."

The light of the morning brought with it cheerfulness and merriment.
Refreshed from the fatigues of the preceding day, inspired with new
confidence, and amused by the novelties that surrounded them, the
emigrants were in high spirits. Breakfast was hastily prepared, and the
happy party, seated in a circle on the grass, enjoyed their meal with a
keen relish. The horses were then harnessed and the cavalcade renewed
its march.

The day was far advanced when they began to rise to more elevated ground
than that over which they had travelled. The appearance of the woods was
sensibly changed. They were now travelling over a high upland tract with
a gently-waving surface, and instead of the rank vegetation, the dense
foliage and gloomy shades by which they had been surrounded, beheld
woodlands composed of smaller trees thinly scattered and intermingled
with rich thickets of young timber. The growth though thick was low, so
that the rays of the sun penetrated through many openings, and the
beaten path which they pursued was entirely exposed to the genial beams.
Groves of the wild apple, the plum, and the cherry, now in full bloom,
added a rich beauty to the scene and a delightful fragrance to the air.

But the greatest natural curiosity and the most attractive scenic
exhibitions of our Western hemisphere was still in reserve; and a
spontaneous expression of wonder and delight burst from the whole party,
as they emerged from the woods and stood on the edge of _a prairie_.
They entered a long vista, carpeted with grass, interspersed with
numberless flowers, among which the blue violet predominated; while the
edges of the forest on either hand were elegantly fringed with low
thickets loaded with blossoms--those of the plum and cherry of snowy
whiteness, and those of the crab-apple of a delicate pink. Above and
beyond these were seen the rich green, the irregular outline, and the
variegated light and shade of the forest. As if to produce the most
beautiful perspective, and to afford every variety of aspect, the vista
increased in width until it opened like the estuary of a great river
into the broad prairie, and as our travellers advanced the woodlands
receded on either hand, and sometimes indented by smaller avenues
opening into the woods, and sometimes throwing out points of timber, so
that the boundary of the plain resembled the irregular outline of a
shore as traced on a map.


Delighted with the lovely aspect of Nature in these the most tasteful of
her retreats, the party lingered along until they reached the margin of
the broad prairie, where a noble expanse of scenery of the same
character was spread out on a larger scale. They stood on a rising
ground, and beheld before them a vast plain, undulating in its surface
so as to present to the eye a series of swells and depressions, never
broken nor abrupt, but always regular, and marked by curved lines. Here
and there was seen a deep ravine or drain, by which the superfluous
water was carried off, the sides of which were thickly set with willows.
Clumps of elm and oak were scattered about far apart like little
islands; a few solitary trees were seen, relieving the eye as it
wandered over the ocean-like surface of this native meadow.

It so happened that a variety of accidents and delays impeded the
progress of our emigrants, so that the shadows of evening began to fall
upon them, while they were yet far from the termination of their
journey, and it became necessary again to seek a place of repose for the
night. The prospect of encamping again had lost much of its terrors, but
they were relieved from the contemplation of this last resource of the
houseless, by the agreeable information that they were drawing near the
house of a farmer who was in the habit of "accommodating travellers."
It was further explained that Mr. Goodman did not keep a public-house,
but that he was "well off," "had houseroom enough, and plenty to eat,"
and that "_of course_," according to the hospitable customs of the
country, he entertained any strangers who sought shelter under his roof.
Thither they bent their steps, anticipating from the description of it a
homestead much larger and more comfortable than the cheerless-looking
log-cabins which had thus far greeted their eyes, and which seemed to
compose the only dwellings of the population.

On arriving at the place, they were a little disappointed to find that
the abundance of _houseroom_ which had been promised them was a mere
figure of speech, an idiomatic expression by a native, having a
comparative signification. The dwelling was a log house, differing from
others only in being of a larger size and better construction. The logs
were hewed and squared instead of being put up in their original state,
with the bark on; the apertures were carefully closed, and the openings
representing windows, instead of being stopped when urgent occasion
required the exclusion of the atmosphere, by hats, old baskets, or
cast-off garments, were filled with glass, in imitation of the dwellings
of more highly civilized lands. The wealth of this farmer, consisting
chiefly of the _plenty to eat_ which had been boasted, was amply
illustrated by the noisy and numerous crowd of chickens, ducks, turkeys,
pigs, and cattle, that cackled, gobbled, and grunted about the house,
filling the air with social though discordant sounds, and so obstructing
the way as scarcely to leave room for the newly-arrived party to
approach the door.

As the cavalcade halted, the foremost driver made the fact known by a
vociferous salutation.

"Hal-low! Who keeps house?"

A portly dame made her appearance at the door, and was saluted with,--

"How de do, ma'am--all well, ma'am?"

"All right well, thank you, sir."

"Here's some strangers that wants lodging; can we get to stay all night
with you?"

"Well, I don't know; _he's_ not at home, and I harly know what to say."

"I'll answer for _him_," replied the driver, who understood distinctly
that the pronoun used so emphatically by the good lady alluded to her
inferior moiety; "he wouldn't turn away strangers at this time of day
when the chickens is jist goin to roost. We've ben a travellin all day,
and our critters is mighty tired and hungry, as well as the rest of us."

"Well," said the woman, very cheerfully, "I reckon you can stay; if you
can put up with such fare as we have, you are very welcome. My man will
be back soon; he's only jist gone up to town."

The whole party were now received into the dwelling of the backwoodsman
by the smiling and voluble hostess, whose assiduous cordiality placed
them at once at their ease in spite of the plain and primitive, and to
them uncomfortable aspect of the log house. Indeed, nothing could be
more uninviting in appearance to those who were accustomed only to the
more convenient dwellings of a state of society farther advanced in the
arts of social life. It was composed of two large apartments or
separate cabins, connected by an area or space which was floored and
roofed, but open at the sides, and which served as a convenient
receptacle to hang saddles, bridles, and harness, or to stow travellers'
baggage, while in fine weather it served as a place in which to eat or

In the room into which our party was shown there was neither plastering
nor paper, nor any device of modern ingenuity to conceal the bare logs
that formed the sides of the house, neither was there a carpet on the
floor, nor any furniture for mere ornament. The absence of all
superfluities and of many of the conveniences usually deemed essential
in household economy was quite striking. A table, a few chairs, a small
looking-glass, some cooking utensils, and a multitudinous array of
women's apparel, hung round on wooden pins, as if for show, made up the
meagre list, whether for parade or use, with the addition of several
bedsteads closely ranged on one side of the room, supporting beds of the
most plethoric and dropsical dimensions, covered with clean cotton
bedding, and ostentatiously tricked out with gaudy, parti-colored

The "man" soon made his appearance, a stout, weatherbeaten person, of
rough exterior, but not less hospitably disposed than his better half,
and the whole household were now actively astir to furnish forth the
evening's repast, nor was their diligent kindness, nor the inquisitive
though respectful cross-examination which accompanied it, at all
diminished when they discovered that their guests were English people.
Soon the ample fire-place, extending almost across one end of the house,
was piled full of blazing logs; the cries of affrighted fowls and other
significant notes of preparation announced that active operations were
commenced in the culinary department. An array of pots and kettles,
skillets, ovens, and frying-pans, covered the hearth, and the astonished
travellers discovered that the room they occupied was not only used as a
bedchamber, but "served them for parlour, and kitchen, and hall."

We shall not attempt to describe the processes of making bread, cooking
meat and vegetables, and preparing the delightful beverage of the
evening meal, a portion of which took place in the presence of the
surprised and amused guests, while other parts were conducted under a
shed out of doors. A large table was soon spread with clean linen, and
covered with a profusion of viands such as probably could not be found
on the board of the mere peasant or labouring farmer in any other part
of the world.[48] Coffee was there, with sweet milk and buttermilk in
abundance; fried chickens, venison, and ham: cheese, sweetmeats,
pickles, dried fruit, and honey; bread of wheat and corn, hot biscuits
and cakes, with fresh butter; all well prepared and neat, and all
pressed upon the hungry travellers with officious hospitality. Had the
entertainment been furnished in regal style at some enchanted castle by
invisible hands, the guests could scarcely have been more surprised by
the profusion and variety of the backwoods repast, so far did the result
produced exceed the apparent means afforded by the desolate-looking and
scantily-furnished cabin.

If our worthy travellers were surprised by the novelties of backwoods
_inn_-hospitality which thus far had pressed upon them, how much was
their wonder increased when the hour for retiring arrived, and the
landlady apologized for being obliged to separate guests from their

"Our family is so large," said the woman, "that we have to have two
rooms. I shall have to put all of you strangers into a room by

The party were accordingly conducted into the other apartment, which was
literally filled with arrangements for sleeping, there being several
bedsteads, each of which was closely curtained with sheets, blankets,
and coverlids hung around it for the occasion, while the whole floor was
strewed with pallets. Here Mr. Edgarton and his whole party, including
Logan and the teamsters, were expected to sleep. A popular poet, in
allusion to this patriarchal custom, impertinently remarks,

  Some cavillers
  Object to sleep with fellow-travellers.

And on this occasion the objection was uttered vehemently, the ladies
declaring that martyrdom in any shape would be preferable to lodging
thus like a drove of cattle. Unreasonable as such scruples might have
seemed, they were so pertinaciously adhered to on the one side, and so
obstinately resisted by the exceedingly difficult nature of the case on
the other, that there is no knowing to what extremities matters might
have gone, had not a compromise been effected by which Logan and the
wagon-drivers were transferred into the room occupied by the farmer's
family, while the Edgartons, the sister, the maid, the greyhound, the
pug-dog, and the parrot, remained sole occupants of the apartment
prepared for them.


[1] _Diary of George Washington, Sept. 2 to Oct. 4, 1784._

[2] Cf. "Journal of Lieut. Robert Parker," _The Pennsylvania Magazine_,
vol. xxvii, No. 108, pp. 404-420.

[3] _Historic Highways of America_, vol. v, p. 93.

[4] _Wisconsin Historical Collections_, vol. xi, p. 230.

[5] _Public Documents Relating to the New York Canals_ (New York, 1821),
p. 312.

[6] _Id._, pp. 352-353.

[7] _A Pedestrious Tour_, by Estwick Evans.

[8] _Historic Highways of America_, vol. xiii, ch. 4.

[9] Watson's _Annals of Philadelphia_, vol. i, p. 257.

[10] See "Hulme's Journal" in W. Cobbett's _A Year's Residence in the
United States_ (1819), p. 490.

[11] D. Hewett's _American Traveller_ (1825), p. 222.

[11*] It is curious to note that while the introduction of coaches is
said here to be injurious to the breed of horses, Macaulay, a century or
so later, decried the passing of the coach and the old coaching days
because this, too, meant the destruction of the breed of horses!--See
_Historic Highways of America_, vol. x, p. 122.

[12] Florida Avenue is said to have been the first street laid out on
the present site of Washington, D. C. As it is the most crooked of all
the streets and avenues this is easy to believe.

[13] _Retrospect of Western Travel_, vol. i, pp. 88-89.

[14] Moore's notes are as follows:

On "ridges" (line 3): "What Mr. Weld [an English traveler in America]
says of the national necessity of balancing or trimming the stage, in
passing over some of the wretched roads in America, is by no means
exaggerated. 'The driver frequently had to call to the passengers in the
stage to lean out of the carriage, first on one side, then on the other,
to prevent it from oversetting in the deep ruts, with which the road
abounds. "Now, gentlemen, to the right!" upon which the passengers all
stretched their bodies half out of the carriage to balance on that side.
"Now, gentlemen, to the left!" and so on.'--_Weld's Travels._"

On "bridges" (line 4): "Before the stage can pass one of these bridges
the driver is obliged to stop and arrange the loose planks, of which it
is composed, in the manner that best suits his ideas of safety, and as
the planks are again disturbed by the passing of the coach, the next
travelers who arrive have, of course, a new arrangement to make.
Mahomet, as Sale tells us, was at some pains to imagine a precarious
kind of bridge for the entrance of paradise, in order to enhance the
pleasures of arrival. A Virginia bridge, I think, would have answered
his purpose completely."

[15] _Sketch of the Civil Engineering of North America_, pp. 132-133.

[16] "The Oldest Turnpike in Pennsylvania," by Edward B. Moore, in
Philadelphia _Press_ or Delaware County _American_, June 22, 1901; and
"The Old Turnpike," by A. E. Witmer in _Lancaster County Historical
Society Papers_, vol. ii (November, 1897), pp. 67-86.

[17] Sherman Day, _Historical Collections of the State of Pennsylvania_
(Philadelphia, 1843).

[18] The rise of the Pennsylvania canal and railway system will be
treated in chapter four of _Historic Highways of America_, vol. xiii.

[18*] For these and other facts concerning plank roads we are indebted
to W. Kingsford's _History, Structure and Statistics of Plank Roads_

[19] The frontispiece to this volume represents a mile-stone which was
erected beside Braddock's old road, near Frostburg, Maryland, during the
Revolutionary War. On the reverse side it bears the legend, "Our
Countrys Rights We Will Defend." On the front these words can be traced:
"[12 ?] Miles to Fort Cumberland 29 Miles to Capt Smith's Inn & Bridge
by Crossings. [Smithfield, Pennsylvania] the Best Road to Redstone Old
Fort 64 M." The stone was once taken away for building purposes and
broken; the town authorities of Frostburg ordered it to be cemented,
returned and set up on its old-time site.

[20] The Lancaster Turnpike.

[21] "In these stages," as Brissot [Jean Pierre Brissot de Warville,
_New Travels in the United States_ (London, 1794)] observes, "you meet
with men of all professions. The member of congress is placed by the
side of the shoemaker who elected him; they fraternise together, and
converse with familiarity. You see no person here take upon him those
important airs which you too often meet with in England."--BAILY.

[22] It consists of several layers of large logs laid longitudinally,
and parallel to each other, and covered at the top with earth.--BAILY.

[23] The sleighs not making any noise when in motion over the snow, the
horses are obliged by law to have little bells fastened around their
necks, to warn foot-passengers of their approach.--BAILY.

[24] I was in company with a gentleman of the name of Heighway, who was
going down to the northwestern settlement to form a plantation.--BAILY.
See p. 144.

[25] By D. Hewett's _American Traveller_, the principal points on the
Washington-Pittsburg route are given as follows:

  Montgomery c. h.          14.
  Clarksburg                13.
  Monocasy River             8.
  Fredericktown              7.
  Hagerstown                27.
  Pennsylvania State line    8.
  M'Connell'stown           20.
  Junietta River            17.
  Bedford                   14.
  Stoyestown                27.
  Summit of Laurel Hill     13.
  Greensburg                26.
  Pittsburg                 32.

    Total                  226.

[26] Mr. Hewett gives this note of Montgomery C. H.: "This village is
also called Rockville. There is an extremely bad turnpike from
Washington to this place, so much so, that the man who keeps the toll
house, _after_ having taken toll, recommends travellers to go the _ola
road_."--p. 51.

[27] All the inns and public-houses on the road are called

[28] Clarksburg.

[29] Hagar's-town is ten miles from Boone's-town.--BAILY.

[30] McDowell's Mill.

[31] Mr. Heighway, an Englishman who settled now at Waynesville, Warren
County, Ohio.--_History of Warren County, Ohio_ (Chicago, 1882), p. 412.

[32] _Historic Highways of America_, vol. ii, p. 109.

[33] The patriot-pioneer of Wheeling, the first settlement on the Ohio
River below Pittsburg, which he founded in 1769, and where he lived
until 1811. He was born in Virginia in 1747.

[34] The importance of the historic _entrepôt_ Limestone Mason County,
Kentucky (later named Maysville from one of its first inhabitants) has
been suggested in Volume IX of this series (pp. 70, 89, 128). It was the
most important entrance point into Kentucky on its northeastern river
shore-line. What it was in earliest days, because of the buffalo trail
into the interior, it remained down through the earlier and later
pioneer era to the time of the building of the trunk railway lines.

[35] _United States Statutes at Large, Private Laws 1789-1845,
inclusive_, p. 27.

[36] _American Pioneer_, vol. i, p. 158.

[37] An exaggerated statement, yet much in accord with the truth, as we
have previously observed.

[38] County seat of Adams County, Ohio.

[39] Evans and Stivers, _History of Adams County, Ohio_, p. 125.

[40] Wilcoxon's clearing, Sinking Spring, Highland County, Ohio.--_Id._,
p. 125.

[41] _Id._, p. 88.

[42] _Society and Solitude_, essay on "Civilization," pp. 25-26.

[43] See Graham's _History of Fairfield and Perry Counties, Ohio_, pp.

[44] _Bills & Resolutions, House Reps., 1st Sess., 21st Cong., Part 2,
1829 & '30_, H. R., p. 285.

[45] Richardson's _Messages and Papers of the Presidents_, vol. ii, pp.
451, 452.

[46] _Id._, pp. 483-493.

[47] Reizenstein's "The Economic History of the Baltimore and Ohio
Railroad," _Johns Hopkins Studies in Historical and Political Science_,
fifteenth series, vii-viii, p. 23.

[48] I cannot resist the opportunity of nailing to the counter a
wretched fabrication of some traveller, who represents himself as
dismounting at a Western house of entertainment, and inquiring the price
of a dinner. The answer is, "Well, stranger--with wheat bread and
chicken fixens, it would be fifty cents, but with corn bread and common
doins, twenty-five cents." The slang here used is of the writer's own
invention. No one ever heard in the West of "chicken fixens," or "common
doins." On such occasions, the table is spread with everything that the
house affords, or with whatever may be convenient, according to the
means and temper of the entertainers. A meal is a meal, and the cost is
the same, whether it be plentiful or otherwise.--HALL.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

1. Passages in italics are surrounded by _underscores_.

2. Obvious errors in spelling and punctuation have been corrected.

3. Footnotes have been moved to the end of the main text body.

4. Images have been moved from the middle of a paragraph to the closest
paragraph break.

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