Diary of Samuel Hastings Stackhouse, 1811
********* Mr. Gardiner **********
P. Hodgson, LTG of Liverpool who promises that I shall receive the balance
of some money in their hands. Dine with Mr. Bradley. Purchase
a pair of saddlebags & leave my trunk to be sent on by the ship Montgomery.
Intended starting tomorrow morning but at the request of Mr. Snodgrass
wait until the day after.
Wednesday, Oct 9. This day I enter
my 32 year. Would that they had been more profitably spent ***********
They have not **** tells me that I have much evil in my heart and so dimly
are the Christian graces reflected through me that to an observer my character
must appear very doubtful. O, Lord, I am unworthy --a sinner indeed-
there is truly nothing good in me my such a one hope to find favor in thy
sight, that saving grace thou hast already vouchsafed to me. Thou
has opened the eyes of my understanding. Thou ************** street
in order to be ready for the stage at 4 in the morning. Spent rather
an uncomfortable night.
Thursday morning, the 10th Oct.
Started in the Lancaster stage & arrived at Lancaster 62 miles at sunset.
We had a very full stage, 16 at one time, not much conversation.
Put up at Mr. Staymaker's, an excellent house, commodious & well furnished.
Wrote my Mary from this town. Remained here until next afternoon
when we took our seats in the mail stage for Pittsburgh. Went this
evening to Eliz town 18 miles, where we lodged rather uncomfortably.
Started ************** to Middletown, thence to Harrisburgh, a distance
of 20 miles, where we breakfasted. This town is pleasantly situated
on the banks of the Susquehannah & is the seat of government of the
State of Pennsylvania. Here we met Mr. & Mrs. White who took
seats in the stage on their way to Georgetown. Cross the river Susquehannah
& arrive at Carlisle 20 miles distant. This is a flourishing
village containing a well established ******* & finely situated ***********
150 miles. Spent the day's journey pleasantly, had most conversation
with Mr. & Mrs. White ******* Georgia. They take their leave
of us in the evening intending to start before daylight on the Washington
route which intersects at this place. Our stage companions were not
unpleasant. They consist of a Mr. Marshall, of a Mr. Lent *******
Riley ** of Bedford, a worthy man of great ***ness of disposition, pleasingly
modest. We have also two Prussians who are merchants in the town
of Cincinnati, orderly well behaved men. The preacher does not discover
his character until the * days journey. I happen ******************
Jesus ***** my only refuge. Without him I am lost. With him
I hope to reach Heaven. Dear Lord, continue with me, guide me, instruct
me, strengthen me by that which is **** in my weakness. Preserve
me from the slippery path of the world, grant me some conformity to thy
blessed image. Form my heart in understanding & in wisdom &
in word & doctrine make me a Christian, a disciple of the blessed Jesus.
Dispose of me as seemeth right in thy sight to the power and glory of thy
name. We know not in ***** keeper is our God.
Spent this day in making preparations
& writing several letters. **** one by William from my dear Mary,
highly consoling, couched in much tenderness, prudence & firmness,
displaying a judicious & pious reflection. My wife certainly
has some superior qualifications but that which is our own are not licensed
to pr*****. The Lord enable me to recompense her love to me in much
fullness ******* conversation. On Monday morning friend Dunning &
****** took leave of Phila***** weakly & hardly able to perform the
journey. Met this morning with my friend Snodgrass who concludes
to accompany me by land & to get ready with all speed. I am now
waiting the arrival of my brother William from New York. Mr. Snodgrass
& myself take a walk to the Scuylkill Bridge, witness a military
parade & sham fight. General Duncan ************* Go this
evening ***** my Uncle Amos Stackhouse ** been some time *******
He is a plain excellent man of the Society of Friends with a temper &
disposition of the finest mould. My aunt is a woman of much gentleness
& industry & comes within the character of an excellent wife.
She is the mother of 11 children & 10 grandchildren & seems not
yet to have passed the meridian of life. Was conveniently accammodated,
everything clean & nice & not inelegant.
& better than a spirit eloquence. This Br. S. I have observed
is generally too rapid; he is not calm & deliberate but seems rather
to give expression to words & sentiments without that knowledge &
understanding which should form the standard of prayer & without which
there is neither solidity nor perspicuity in the matter. Not that
I would take from ********** all prevailing efficacy of the ***********
For the ************** of the heart even where they are rendered without
words is sufficient. Our heavenly parent gives the spirit; it moves
upon the heart and asks in faith for a correspondence with the Divine Will,
being the instrument of many, if not all the blessings we receive.
Public praying is but a solemn mockery if it is not of the spirit, yet
it is also for mutual **********.
Tuesday, 15 Oct. Met Major Denning ***********
no alteration ********** witty with a shrewdness of remark made in a peculiar
manner which has a wonderful currency in the world. He invites me
to dinner, observes in the presence of Mr. Dunning that Deacon D. J. must
come along to say Grace, that S. is too great a bungler.
Dine with the Major. My friend
D. declines going. Mr. D. very clever, the family generally attentive.
Meet with General Duncan at table, the brother of my friend above.
Soon ******** Uncle Robank. The world ************ the things that
are tempted him --popularity -- fame, became darling, seducing, bewitching
darlings who weaned him from his love to God, and so displayed their meritricious
charms that they decoyed him to their embraces. Oh what a root of
bitterness did they implant in his soul. Happiness was now *** as
the morning sun. No divine **************** which hardly his consolation
******* hope his joy since manhood first began to shine upon his countenance
was not now to be found though sought with tears. His seducers became
odious, hateful. He hid himself from society but was yet miserable.
The Lord's countenance was hidden from him. His Redeemer he could
not behold. One look from him in love would have blessed him above
two thousand worlds. But alas such was not the will of God as permitted
to be drawn *************** assured only that he was born of God and that
he should not be separated from him in Eternity ************ and oh to
God that he did find his name written in the Lambs book of life.
General D. is at present much engulfed in politicks. He assures me
that he is anxious to withdraw from them & promised me that he is in
earnest. His wife is a member of the Babtist Church. He thinks
it was his duty to have made a profession five years ******************
Mr. & Mrs. Molder & Miss Molder are all members of the 2nd Babtist
Church over which Mr. Holcomb is to be the future pastor & whom they
are received in the faith with much joy.
On Sunday morning **** 6th was up at
daybreak in expectation of meeting my beloved wife in the Mail Stage but
was disappointed. Went this morning to the 2nd Babtist Church ******************a
sermon abounding in much rich matter ****************** the doctrinal complexion
of the preaching. In the afternoon went to hear D. Staughton was
very excellent. In the evening Mr. Holcomb whose discourse was deep,
searching, clear, animated & elegant & in which Christ was manifested
from beginning to end; notwithstanding it was pronounced armenian by one
of my very esteemed brothers. After meeting went to Mr. Holdens &
spent an hour ****************** Dr. *** says he is high toned.
Mr. S. says something sharp when I was at breakfast the next morning.
After lecture Dr. S. called on Br. Stackhouse to engage in prayer.
This insignificant br. had come in church late & from his distance
from Dr. S. had no idea that he *** to be there. The ** was embarrassing
& to refuse was more so in the situation **************. Learnt
the arrival of Mr. Holcomb from Savannah. Called on him at Mr. Garrets.
Much pleased at the interview. Called on Dr. Staughton who invited
me to stay with him **********. The amiable Dr. S. like many amiable
& great characters seems to prefer his qualificants singly and not
united in the **** of his other half.
Friday evening. Hear Dr. S. lecture
on Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress **************** we accordingly enter the
lists & have a powerful **** in my pocket which I have not at this
occasion to discover. Our Presbyterian friend seems highly gratified
at the conflict, continually giving nods of approbation, even one of the
Prussians seems to have some knowledge of his neighbor. Calvin smiles,
a look of ***************** coolness (some thought for me ) through the
day, which is the Sabbath, having left Chambersburgh after breakfast in
the morning and intending to go only 20 miles over Laurel Hill, a stupendous
mountain, as this day's journey. We walk up the mountain & arrive
safe at Campblister at 3 o'clock in the afternoon where we ******************.
Have had excellent fare at a very cheap rate 12 1/2 Ch only for supper,
20 for dinner and the house kept by Mr. Dryden who certainly furnished
something more substantial for the stomach than poetry.
On Monday morning set out, crossed a
very rough mountain called Sideling Hill. Crossed the river Juniata
where they are erecting a chain bridge & arrived *******************
smart little ***** famous for its mineral springs about an hour after dark
having had a very uncomfortable day. Our fellow traveller, Mr. Ryan
invites us to his house where we are treated with much hospitality.
We return to our quarters at the inn & retire to bed. We have
but little rest. The Merinos, as William calls them are very troublesome
****** us up ******** before we are called. We proceed on our journey.
Crossed the Alleghany Mountain, road pretty good, a wet disagreeable day.
Arrived safe at Somerset, a small county town on the westerly declivity
of the Alleghany. Set out early the next morning (Wednesday) &
traveled over the roughest road we have yet experienced. Got upset
but providentially without any injury. Arrived this evening at Greensburgh,
a thriving little place distant 30 miles from Pittsburgh. Continue
our journey in the morning. Come in sight of the River Monongahela.
Shortly after passed through Braddock ******** where that General with
most of this army lost their lives in an unskillful & imprudent attact
upon the Indians. A small fragment of his army made good their retreat
under the judicious management of young Washington, who here first displayed
those great military talents which shone so qualified him to be the Deliverer
of his country.
At 2 o'clock we arrived at Pittsburgh.
Put up at Mr. Spencer's which proves to be an excellent house. Went
to the Emperor of the West to get shaved. His imperial majesty shaves
roughly. Conclude his title to be misapplied. Wrote to my Mary
to the care of Clay & D.J. Take a run of the town which is extensive
& lively. The inhabitants look rather sooty from the universal
practice of burning coal which is not much used here as in my part of England.
The southern banks of the Mongahela & thence down the Ohio furnish
inexhaustible beds of this fuel & of a very superior quality.
The town of Pittsburgh is situated on a small plain surrounded by mountains
at the confluence of the Monogahela Alleghany Rivers. It contains
about 5000 inhabitants. The streets are narrow & not very regular.
There are three marketplaces, the principal one built with considerable
taste in an excentric form. The markets are abundantly supplied with
beef, mutton, very fat venison, pork, eggs, butter, cheese, honey, poultry,
game & also with a variety of vegetables & fruits in their seasons.
The buildings are mostly inferior, those recently erected are better &
generally of brick. There are 6 or 7 places of worship of every denomination
almost but the Babtists. This town has nothing inviting to an eye
of taste except the beautiful & majestic streams that roll along its
banks and the wild picturesque of the steep & rugged mountain that
rises on the south side from the bed of the Monongahela. As there
are no elegant edifices, no sumptuous mansions, no places of public amusement,
none of the enervating & time spending luxuries of fashion, no splendid
equipages, none of the trappings of a slippery rank & but few of the
gew gaws of extravagance of any kind. All those things which are
at best but deceptive ****** are supplied by industry and zeal in the various
avocations of this people. Everyone, male and female, appears to
have some useful employment. Trade & several branches of the
manufactures appear to flourish in a high degree. The place is already
wealthy, I presume beyond any other in the western country, & I would
venture to predict from its habits that it will become vastly rich.
My Methodist friend Wrinshall has a well assorted store & receives
weekly from 500 to 1000 $ in cash. Mr. Bakewell to whom I had a letter
from my friend Page has a glass manufactory where he makes all kind of
fine glassware, cut & plain, equal to any English.
[Maiden voyage of first steamboat to
go down the Mississippi River]
On Friday we went on board the steamboat
lately built at this place, were treated with much politeness by Mr. &
Mrs Roosevelt. We were invited on board in the afternoon as they
intended making a trial of her speed. We accordingly went & found
ourselves unexpectedly at a tea party, 60 to 70 ladies present. Everything
was very agreeable. The ladies were quite unreserved and very open
and communicative. I received considerable attention, a part of it
no doubt proceeded from their not having a right conception of the plurality
of my character. The steamboat first moved up the Monongahela, then
down the Ohio & up the Alleghany, all in very fine style. They
are now waiting the flooding of the Ohio in order to get over the falls.
We are desirous of going down in her, but on account of our engagement
with our friend Snodgrass who equipped himself at Phila. for a land journey
we are unable to go.
Saturday, the 19 Oct. We are engaged
looking out for horses which are rather scarce. Our Presbyterian
friend Semple is very attentive. Spent this evening with much satisfaction
at Mr. Wrenshall's, am invited to a Methodist class meeting in the morning.
Sunday morning. At 9 o'clock go
to the class meeting. There are about 20 people present, three females
among the number. They are seated round the room. The class
leader, who is generally the best gifted Brother rises, gives out a hymn,
sings & prays. He then turns towards the person nearest him &
inquires what has been his state of mind, whether he has enjoyed
the Divine Presence any trials, joys, etc., embracing what he may have
experienced since the last meeting. He then expatiates to them on
this experience directing & exhorting to thanksgiving for the Lord's
mercies, patience to any trial they may be called to endure, fervency of
prayer in darkness, a near walk with God to overcome the world, the Scriptures
of truth in any ignorance of God's word, looking unto Jesus in the hour
of trouble & temptation. They all appeared much humbled under
a sense of sin & unworthiness, & though the class leader seems
to have much of the Spirit, yet he did not discover Jesus as the all &
in all of the poor sinner. I longed to say something. At length
it came my turn. He observed, "Well, Brother, will thee tell us what
the Lord has done for thee." I commenced by saying, "It has pleased
me that Jesus whom we have met here to worship to reveal himself unto me
to the joy & comfort of my soul. When I was wandering in the
wilderness of this world, an alien from God under the dominion of an evil
& wicked heart the light of truth was communicated to my soul.
I saw that I was a sinner indeed & through divine love was enabled
to fly to Jesus for refuge. Him I found as a hiding place from the
storm, a covert from the tempest, a river of water in a dry place, as the
shadow of a great rock in a weary land. I hope that I have continued
to experience that he is precious to my soul. I have no hope without
him & every hope in him." I had some liberty & said considerable,
touching on the expressions & feelings contained in some of these experiences.
One said that he had received much consolation by being able to apprehend
the figure of the brazen serpent. This I endeavored to enforce, that
so we must continually see Christ as one suspended in the heavens that
we may look upon him & live, that this was living by faith upon the
Son of God. Whatever I said I was obliged to apply to myself, which
shackled me very much. The class leader made but little comment on
what I said. The meeting closed with singing & prayer.
I then went to the covenanters meeting a reformed Presbyterian where I
heard excellent preaching. They profess an exact conformity to the
Scriptures. They expound the Psalm previous to singing as they say
singing would be real praise to God with understanding & knowledge.
They unhappily introduce an interference in civil matters in religion which
I think very exceptionable. They hold no respect to rulers except
they are Christians. In the afternoon I heard a Presbyterian minister
Mr. *** who preaches a very good sermon & is popular, but he had not
the marrow of the covenanter who is the reverse, very unpopular.
Return to my lodgings, find our friend
Snodgrass arrived. In the evening all of us take tea with Mr. Wrenshall
& go to the Methodist meeting. A young man preaches differently
from most of his order & I took opportunity to tell Mr. Wrenshall that
I thought he saw what were the doctrines of the Gospel but that he could
not venture out. He was also rigid in preserving order & discountenancing
things that were unseemly. As soon as he gave out his text an old
member of the church who finds it impossible to keep silence cries out
"Amen." This Brother on a former occasion was chided for the expression
of his feelings during sermon. He accordingly kept silence for some
time. At length something struck his feelings too forcibly.
He could restrain himself no longer. He cries out "Amen" at a venture.
Monday the 21. The water has risen
several feet. The steamboat went down last night. Purchased
a sorrel mare, bridle & saddle for 75$, also a Bay pony for William
for 50$ with bridle & saddle. Leave our other trunk with Mr.
Wrenshall to send down the river. Put in it all our extra clothes,
carrying with us only what is barely necessary.
Tuesday morning, the 22 Oct. Take
our departure from Pittsburgh. Cross the Monongahela & arrive
at the town of Washington, State of Penna, dist. 30 miles, at 7 o'clock
in the evening. This is a lively little town about half the size
of Pittsburgh. Meet here Mr. Clay of Kentucky on his way to Congress.
Start at sunrise in the morning. Mr. Snodgrass's horse lame.
William's pony foundered. Make poor progress. Late in the evening
arrive Wheeling, 32 miles. This town is on the river Ohio in the
state of Virginia & has a considerable trade, suffered much by sickness
the present season. Well accommodated at Mr. Spriggs who knows
all the great men in the country.
Thursday morning take our departure
after breakfast. Detained in crossing the river, a waggoner &
a female brawl, somewhat insolent. Opposite to Wheeling is Zanes
Island in the Ohio which makes a double ferry. On the far side the
flatt is carried over by a rope having elevation enough on one side to
give it a corresponding rise on the other. Two small ropes are attached
to the sides of the flatt which meet & are conjoined to the large rope
by rollers. As soon as all are on board a rope is pulled which sets
her in motions, when she flies to the other side with great speed.
We move on slowly. Horses unpromising. By sunset arrive at
St. Clairville only 11 miles from Wheeling. This is a small town
in the state of Ohio, have entered the state after crossing the river at
Zanes Island. We put up here at a Mr. Groves who is very attentive
& desirous of making us comfortable. We conclude to rest our
horses the next day.
Friday, the 25 Oct. At 12 o'clock
get under way from St. Clairville & proceed on to within 1 mile of
Morristown where we conclude to put up at an honest old Dutchman's by the
name of Holtz. Here we are entertained by the company of several
well behaved females. One of them discovers a very considerable mind
& a knowledge of divine things that strikes me with some astonishment.
Yet she is not sensible of ever having received the word of truth with
power. Friend Snodgrass is unusually gay this evening.
Saturday, the 26th. At daylight
take our departure hoping to do better than we had the two preceding days,
having come only 11 & [9?] miles those days. My mare which hitherto
has held out well appears lame at starting & on going a little distance
perceive that she is foundered. Stop a little at Morristown where
a waggoner bleeds her in the mouth. Proceed on. Meet an itinerant
tinman who highly recommends bleeding in the feet & accordingly performs
the operation. We get on 10 miles where we breakfast at a Mr. Sparings(?)
who has two daughters, one of them bold and forward with much to say, the
other modest & pretty behaved. Our host is very friendly, provides
a concoction of sassfrass root & salt which he administers to my filley
to great advantage. We wish to get on 14 miles further. My
horse improves under the several remedies prescribed. We gain that
distance by twilight at a small village called "Little Washington" or Baumstrown.
Here we are well accommodated. Miss Rosa prepares us an excellent
supper. We have come this day 24 miles.
Sunday, the 27th Oct. We continue
our journey 1. because there is no place of worship & 2. we feel it
necessary to get on & 3. our time would perhaps be even better employed
in journeying than tarrying. At 7 o'clock in the evening we arrive
at Zanesville, the seat of government for the State of Ohio --36 miles
-- a flourishing town situated on the banks of the river Muskingum.
Monday morning, the 28 Oct. Take
an early departure from Zanesville, cross the Muskingum, pass through the
village of Springfield on the opposite banks of the river. The part
of the State of Ohio to Zanesville which we have passed through is very
broken & rugged & some of the land very inferior. We now
come to a level champaigne country, the soil very rich, giving to the husbandsmen
an exuberant production, yielding 70 to a 100 bushels corn & 30 to
45 bushels of wheat to the acre. At 7 in the evening we arrive at the town
of New Lancaster distant 38 miles. We are here well accommodated
at Mr. Greens, find our horses much improved.
Set our early on Tuesday morning, the
29. Ford the river Sciota[?] & arrive at Chilicothe 32 miles
journey before sunset. This is a considerable town & was formerly
the seat government for the State. It appears as large as Pittsburgh,
the streets wide & regular & the buildings tolerable good.
The site of the town on the high banks of the Sciota is handsome &
airy. We put up here at Buchanan Hotel, a house of more style than
accommodation. Conclude to take the Lebanon Road to Cincinatti.
Wednesday, the 30. Make an early
start & pass through a fertile but thinly inhabited country.
Ride 16 miles to breakfast & continue on 23 miles to a Mr. Harris where
we tarry for the night, accommodations on this road indifferent.
Thursday morning the 31 Oct. Proceed
early on our journey & make no stop until we get to the Little Miama
River, 23 miles, where we refresh very comfortablu at a Mr. Rug's.
Near his house there is a Babtist meeting house ***. From some of
the book, about conclude some of the family are members. We proceed
on six miles further which brings us to Lebanon at about 3 o'clock in the
afternoon. This is a handsome little village, well situated &
distant 30 miles from Cincinnati surrounded by the best lands in the state.
About 3 miles from this place there is a large settlement of Shakers, who
are very flourishing in their temporals.
After breakfast in the morning (Friday
1, Nov.) we leave Lebanon. Mr. Snodgrass & William conclude to
go to Hamilton & some other places on the big Miama, to visit some
friends of the former & to rest their horses. The preceeding
evening William exchanges his pony for a chesnut mare, gives 17$ with the
ex. which promises to be a good one. After going 5 miles in company
I turn off to the left toward Cincinnati, the road lonely & thinly
settled. Pass through a little place called Reading & arrive
at Cincinnati about 5 in the evening & put up at the Columbia Inn kept
by Mrs. Willis & her son-in-law Mr. Armstrong. Make inquiry after
Cousin Esek. Smith & ascertain that he resides in town. Called
upon him & much pleased at the interview. His wife appears to
be a fine woman. Spend the evening & promise to breakfast with
them the next morning.
Saturday, the 2nd Nov. Breakfast
with Cousin Smith & afterwards take a view of the town. In the
year 1791 the first tree was felled on the site of this town by the Army
under the command of Gen'l St. Clair which
was afterwards defeated by the Indians near the Great Miama. Gen'l
Wayne the next year made his encampment at this place, which considerably
prepared it for improvement. The town now contains about 4000 inhabitants,
the buildings are generally good & mostly of brick. The streets
run parallel with the river Ohio, crossing again at right angles &
are generally of a good width. About 500 feet from the banks fo the
river the town receives a sudden elevation by the ascent of a steep hill,
on the top of which there is a fine plain for building which is filling
up with excellent improvements & forms a very handsome situation.
The part o the town below the hill is well improved & is the seat of
business which appears thriving. The courthouse is a neat handsome
building with a very tastful cupola. The market house is a good one
& is well supplied with every necessary article of flesh, fowl, bread
& vegetable kind. Wild turkies sell at times for 12 1/2c **,
ducks 18 3/4 ppr., fowls 12 1/2 pp. & butter 8 **12 1/2c, beef 2 1/2-3
per lb, venison the same. They are at present erecting a new marketplace
on a larger scale in the same style as the New York market. There
is at present one bank in operation called the Miama Exporting Compy.
Another one with a capital of 500,000 drs. will soon go into operation.
Upon the whole this is a handsome, well situated & flourishing town
& promises a very rapid increase. Between the great & lesser
Miama Rivers it embraces the richest soil in the western country.
The principal settlers are from the state of New Jersey. On the opposite
side of the river is situated the little town of ___port in the State of
Kentucky. Licking River which runs through that state empties into
the Ohio at the same place. About 30-40 miles down the river is the
settlement of New Switzerland, recently settled by the hardy, industrious,
virtuous & valiant mountaineers of the ill-fated Switzerland in Europe.
They are engaged in the culture of the vine with much success. The
last year their settlement made 2400 [qts?] which they sold at 1.59 pg.
the quantity will be yearly increasing. The quality is about the
same as french claret. They have made some also from the Madiera
grapes. This is an establishment of much importance to this country &
the acquisition of the settlers is still more so. Driven by oppression
from their native country they have sought an asylum under this fair western
sky. Born Republicans they are under laws congenial to their nature.
Here they may develop their vines in peace & obtain the sure product
of their labour. Here with parental fondness may they mark the growth
of their sons & their daughters without the dread anxiety of their
being wrested from them by the ruthless hand of tyranny & force.
And here may they practically sit under their own vines & their fig
trees and none to make them afraid.
The Columbia Inn where we put up at
is one of the best houses of entertainment in the eastern country.
The building is of brick, 3 stories high & very large, about 40 persons
sit down at table each day. Spent Saturday, the 2nd of Nov. in viewing
the town & in writing up my journal, etc.