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ness rather exceeded my expectations. We stopped at the Exchange & took breakfast & fell in with some old Brandon acquaintance. After refixing the top to my waggon we started from Detroit at 1⁄2 past 12 M. & took the Ann Arbour & Ypsilanti road for Lima. Passed over the railroad at D. which is completed to the latter place & took nearly a Sothwesterly direction.

For 5 miles from D. the Country is very low & the appearance gloomy & uninviting. It is principally covered with bushes interspersed with a few trees of large growth & the roads being in many places for a long distance constructed of logs are rough almost beyond description. We passed the Ruse or Rogue a small creek about 11 miles from D. came thro' Dearbornville about 10 miles out whe[re] the U. S. have erected a fine Arsenal. The land there is sandy & poor. We have travelled 20 miles & for almost the entire way the country is a dead level, thinly settled, the land poorly cultivated. But at only 3 or 4 small spots on the way has it appeared at all pleasant or the soil decently cultivated. Water is scarce & poor, no mill privileges & but very little grain raised. The road is exceeding [rough?] almost the entire distance being perfect log-pike. Where we watered our horses at noon 3 pailsful drained the well & the last looked as if it were taken from a mud hole. At one place we saw the geese & hogs contending with the utmost fury for a little water which had been left in a trough. Found many sick on the way & saw many pale faces. If this is a specimen of Michigan I wish to see no more of it. The soil for the most part is a mixture of black sand or muck with loam. It is very light & thin & rests on a bed of yellow sand. The country for the most part is covered with high bushes interspersed with a few trees or larger growth such as ash & elm for the most part with now & then a beech & maple.

Sept. 28. As we approach Ypsilanti the present termination of the railroad the country improves in appearance. This place is 30 ms. from Detroit is flourishing & full of activity. It is rather pleasantly situated on the river Rasin. Here we first begin to enter the Oak openings. They consist of white, black

or red & yellow oak with now & then a hickory. The trees are from 6 to 30 inches in diameter & thinly scattered. Bushes from one to ten feet high usually grow among the trees, but sometimes there are none when the woods present quite a beautiful & romantic appearance. Formerly these bushes were annually burnt by the Indians which probably occasioned what are now called grubs. These are turnip shaped bulbs or roots from which the bushes grow just under the surface of the ground & are destroyed only by grubbing or by plowing them off with a strong team of 4 or 5 yoke of oxen. From Ypsilanti we passed to Ann Arbour 10 ms. through a pretty good country considerably improved. The latter place is the co. seat & the site of the intended University of M. It is a handsome thriving village situated on or near the river Rasin. Thence passed on 12 miles to my brother in law's T. Cooper's in Lima. Found them well & much pleased to see us. The country here is pretty good. The soil is principally loam mixed sometimes with sand, sometimes with muck at others with clay. The country is sufficiently uneven. There are many low pieces of ground of from 5 to 30 acres covered with wild grass which the settlers mow for fodder. These they call wet prairies.

Oct. 3. After spending 4 days very pleasantly with my sister & family resumed my journey about 10 A. M. Whilst at Lima went to Dexter 31⁄2 ms. a small thriving village founded by Judge Dexter also to Sylvan a good farming town. To day passed thro' Sylvan Grass Lake, the small village of Leona Jacksonburgh the Co. Seat of Jackson Co. situate on grand river & have put up for the night about 2 ms. West of the latter place. In Sylvan passed over the Short Hills which run thro' the State from North to South. To Jacksonburgh the surface of the country is quite uneven being full of small short hills & having many marshes & ponds of water. Part of the way the country is quite good but generally did not like it so well as about Lima. The soil is nearly the same as there. There is sufficiency of stone thus far altho' the Country is not stoney. The oak openings continue. Jacksonburgh is a very new & growing place & is the site chosen for the State

penetentiary. They have a fine hewn stone Court house & are building a bank of the same material. They have a fine stone quarry in the neighbourhood. Where I put up it is 40 ms. to Ann Arbour 80 to Detroit & 28 to Marshall.

Dear J.


CHICAGO, March 24th, 1843 We arrived here yesterday all in good health and spirits. We have had a long & tedious journey. The weather has been extremely cold most of the time since we left home, a circumstance by the way which has been greatly to our advantage-indeed but for this fact, it must have been impossible for us to have proceeded. We had as you know 2 double wagons, & two single carriages all of which were heavy loaded and if we had had the weather usual to this season of the year the roads would have been soft & we would have been forced to have sold many of our things. It was unwise in us to have started as we did-but the unprecedented length of the cold weather let us out. It commenced snowing two or three days after we left, and continued to snow for several days. For this reason the roads were heavy for a few days, & we made but slow progress each day-however we got along as you see very well & we are here in good time. We were 16 days on the road.

I will not attempt to give you a detailed history of our daily life on the way, or any kind of a description of the country or villages through which we have passed. The weather has been so cold & some of the time so blustering, that I have not paid much attention to the country. I have looked only to the road & I assure you it has oftentimes required some care to keep that. We passed through Michigan and one corner of Indiana, & I cannot tell how the country would look in its summer garments, but I assure you it looks uncomfortable enough in its winter robes --but I do not intend to describe to you the country-indeed for the reasons I have stated-my description would be but poor if I tried.

I will however give you a slight idea of the people & a few miles of the country through Indiana. I do this because here for These letters were written to his friend James Sargent.

certain reasons I noticed the country & scrutenised the people with more minuteness than elsewhere on my route. The section of Indiana through which we passed is regard[ed] in some respects a dangerous route. I mean that portion of it say 40 miles the other side of Michigan City. This city is about 40 miles from Chicago.

Somewhere in the neighborhood alluded to lives the notorious Bill Lathy [?] formerly of Lathys corners, in Summit Co. & he is supposed to be the head & captain of a gang of horse thieves & counterfeiters & hereabouts they live. We were warned to be on our guard in passing through this country. We had 6 very fine horses & some valuables besides which under existing circumstances we could not well afford to loose. We tried to pass this infested district in one day, but the roads were so heavy from the depth of snow that night overtook us midway the distance, & we were forced to stop at what we had been told was a kind of headquarters for the scamps thereabouts. This was a low rakish dirty looking building, with a rickety sign in front on which was lettered, "Tavern." We drove up to the door, & out came Mr. Landlord. I wish you could have seen him—with his red bushy hair-his big bloated face & this by bad whiskey-which abounds in this neighborhood, & which is commonly called "red eye,” literally dripping from his eyes—which were “red eyes" in truth. He was indifferently dressed yet fantastically, he had on a bright red vest much worn, a pair of green & red striped pantaloons and a big dirty green beige [word illegible] tied by the ends in front, & right at his heels were two big bull dogs that looked fierce & ugly enough—but not so bad as their master.

He said we could stay-he "sposed" whereupon we commenced to unload ourselves, & the little portable traps that we took in with us nightly when we stopped. We hardly commenced this unloading process when out came 5 or 6 of "Mine Hosts" croneys. I will not undertake to describe these characters to you. I will say however, that they reminded me of as many big black snakes, in a kind of half torpid state. Each man looked his part well. Of course we took them to be horse thieves, & our fears were excited that they might have been promoted to the higher

degrees of crime for they certainly looked as if they were ripe for "treason stratagem & murder."

We would have gladly left this place, but stay we must. We determined therefore to pass a sleepless night in that house, & we did. At first they would have placed us in rooms distant from each other, but we declined this arrangement & succeeded in getting two rooms adjoining-Father & Mother & Charles & Lafayette occupied one room & Parsons & I another. Our room looked out to the barn. We each had a big hickory cane & a Pistol; we watched the barn & listened intently all the night long in constant fear that some evil was to befall us. Once or twice during the night we thought we heard some unusual stir in the house & about the barn-but the morning and a bright beautiful cold morning it was found us as safe from harm as if we had been lodged in a Princely Palace-save that we were wearied from watching. Our horses were all safe & they had been well cared for. A comfortable breakfast was prepared for us and about 9 A. M. we left the place where our fears had been so excited & I must say that all of the inmates of the house looked better to us than they did the night before. I have thought of the matter since, & I must do those rough fellows the justice to say that in estimating them we rather reasoned from our fears-they were rough looking men to be sure & what we heard excited our fears & we looked at these men with a distorted vision—at all events they did not molest us & in the morning they all seemed kind & obliging & the landlord assisted us with a will & a grace that would have done honor to "Mine Host" of a more elegant establishment.

We left them there thankful at least that our horses had not been stolen & that we had been permitted to depart in peace.

The country for about 20 miles either side of Michigan City looked to me rough & uninviting, the people all along the way looked rough & inhospitable, and I am inclined to think that this is really the true character of the country & the people in this vicinity. We arrived at Michigan City just at dusk. I will tell you about this place a few words in my next.

Dear J.

CHICAGO, March 28th, 1843

I said in my last that I would tell you in a few words about Michigan City & a few words will tell all about it. This is the

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