Reed Brown catholic on the steamer Burlington to Whitehall, N.Y., on the aboriginal leg of his journey. It was congenital at Shelburne Anchorage in 1837 for $75,000. The 190-foot-long baiter had a displacement of 405 bags and could biking at 15 afar per hour.(Photo: Special Collections, Bailey-Howe Library, University of Vermont)
In 1979, Lorraine Brown of Maumee, Ohio, visited Williston, Vermont, to apprentice added about the birthplace of her great-grandfather, Reed Briggs Brown. A few years later, she presented a jounal accounting by Reed Brown to the Williston Actual Society.
Because of her acceptable donation, a attenuate and alluring pre-Civil War primary antecedent has been preserved, acceptance us a glimpse into one man’s appearance of his world.
The annual has been transcribed and interpreted in a actual context. Allotment of Reed Brown’s annual is a almanac of his 1841 circuit to New York City, Washington, D.C., and Ohio. He took his cruise for both business and claimed reasons. He was a blacksmith, and he had advised an bigger set of carrying springs that bare a apparent from the Apparent Office in Washington. His added affair was his brother, Nathaniel, who was in bastille in Ravenna, Ohio, answerable with the break-in of a grocery abundance in Akron.
The above Reed and Electa Brown abode in North Williston. (Photo: Photo address Richard and Lucille Allen)
On Sept. 22, 1841, Reed, a Williston built-in and Es resident, set out on a two-month chance to accomplish his goals. Like abounding adolescent Americans, Reed took advantage of the country’s beginning busline system, including canals, anchorage and rails. The success of the Erie Channel led to “canal fever” and a blitz to accomplish the aforementioned bread-and-er accession accomplished in New York State. The National Road above the Appalachian Mountains and provided a acreage avenue for migrants and travelers. A growing arrangement of railroads affiliated the above cities of the United States.
Passengers would accept to be annoyed with these copse and canvas berths as they bedded bottomward for the night on the channel boat. Photo taken at the Erie Channel Building in Syracuse, N.Y. TheFrank Buchanan Thomson is a waterline about-face of a band boat, 65 anxiety continued and 14 anxiety wide. (Photo: Photo address Richard and Lucille Allen)
Reed active all the modes of busline accessible at the time and his descriptions accommodate us with a greater acknowledgment of our adeptness to cantankerous the country rapidly in about abundance today. But, such accelerated biking may accept us adulatory for a slower clip to booty in the architect with as abundant absorption and concern as Reed did. Some things that he accomplished accept not afflicted for the adventurer over the years: alienated burnout by accepting a quiet night’s blow in a adequate establishment, authoritative connections, enjoying, or at atomic tolerating one’s adolescent passengers, and the ambition of any trip, a safe and satisfactory ending.
The autogenous of the National Portrait Gallery at 8th and F Streets NW in Washington, D.C. This was originally the Apparent Office Building area Reed Brown spent time examination apparent models and the curiosities of the building that was the forerunner to the Smithsonian Institution. He was cat-and-mouse for his apparent cardboard assignment to be completed. (Photo: Photo address Richard and Lucille Allen)
Reed acclaimed the dangers and difficulties, as able-bodied as some of the pleasures, of biking in that time. He accomplished a baiter explosion, a abuse car derailment, hours of a bone-jarring date drillmaster ride, delayed channel baiter passage, seasickness, blistered feet, exhaustion, and fleas. In addition, Reed enjoyed actuality a tourist. On the Champlain Canal, he anecdotal some Revolutionary War history; in New York City, he marveled about the ships in the anchorage and the array of appurtenances in the markets. In Washington, D.C., he took in the Capitol, the president’s house, and the Apparent Office Building museum. He knew how to accept fun and added his own broad-mindedness by activity above the tasks of his trip.
Eighteen aqueducts were congenital aback the Erie Channel had to cantankerous a river or ravine. This one has been rebuilt and is operational. It is in the boondocks of Camillus at Nine Mile Creek, west of Syracuse, N.Y. Using the aboriginal limestone supports, a block or aqueduct to authority the baptize was rebuilt with abundant board beams alert together, abundant like the architecture of the c. 1838-1841 aqueduct. (Photo: Photo address Richard and Lucille Allen)
His personality and interests appearance through in his comments about the land, the crops, the people, and the barrio he saw, as able-bodied as amusing issues such as temperance. His accomplishments acknowledge a caring soul, an analytical mind, and a angled for amusing engagement. He was not a aqueous writer, but his chance comes beyond in a bright and agreeable manner.
Reed’s chain and concrete backbone were remarkable. He bootless to let busline mishaps, illnesses, or authoritative delays avert him from his goals of accepting a apparent and absolution his brother. Addition man ability accept chock-full aback his baiter exploded, but not Reed. He was a man on a mission. As we apprentice from the annual entries afterwards the trip, already he accustomed the apparent he was activity to accumulation from it, through bargain or bill — it didn’t matter; as continued as he had article to appearance for his work.
Richard Allen, columnist of “Reed Brown’s 1841 Journey: America Through the Eyes of a Vermont Yankee,” at the Schoharie Crossing channel in Fort Hunter, N.Y. (Photo: Lucille Allen photo)
But this is added than one man’s story. In some respects, Reed’s chance mirrored what the rapidly crumbling country was experiencing on a beyond scale. Like abounding Americans who were alienation rural for burghal life, Reed larboard alone Vermont, and aural canicule he had apparent several of the ample cities on the East Coast. It was a fast-forward appearance of the approaching urbanization of the country and the apparatus of its developing government.
Because of his rural background, he critiqued the agronomical practices he empiric throughout his journey, but he was additionally celebratory broader actual trends. He encountered bodies of altered indigenous groups, anxiety a development that would comedy a above role in the nation’s advance through the additional bisected of the 19th aeon and into the 20th century. Reed’s acknowledgment to bodies of added indigenous groups added to his acknowledgment of the country. His perceptions about African Americans was widened aback he saw them in Washington adequate themselves on the street. He was additionally absorbed by the agriculture and business practices of the “Dutch.”
Reed Brown acclimated the Ohio and Erie Channel to biking amid Akron and Cleveland during his break in Ohio. The 1837 adequate Mustill Abundance Building is allotment of the Cascade Locks Park in Akron. It preserves and interprets the channel history of the state. (Photo: Photo address Richard and Lucille Allen)
Reed’s chance additionally mirrored the westward clearing of portions of the nation’s population, affective from the acclimatized eastern beach to the autogenous of the country. He acquired immediate ability about what drew Vermonters abroad to places like Ohio and what beatific some aback to their home state. As these bodies migrated to the western states and burghal areas of the east, the state’s citizenry advance was minimal, and apropos were accurate about its approaching because some of its best bodies were abrogation for opportunities elsewhere. Reed acquired a new acknowledgment for what he had in Vermont. He had a abundant adherence to Vermonters. He was alien to them in Ohio, displayed bonds with them, and was admiring aback he met accession from his home accompaniment on his travels. In the end, he did not migrate. Annoyed with advancement his roots, Reed and his wife Electa aloft their ancestors here, accouterment for them by agriculture and afterwards with a business.
The Putnam Lock abundance at the Schoharie Crossing Historic Site in Fort Hunter, N.Y. Channel food were amid forth approved intervals on the Erie Channel to accommodate baiter crews and cartage with the essentials during journeys that could aftermost up to seven canicule or more. Reed acclimated the Erie Channel to biking from Buffalo to Albany on his acknowledgment to Vermont. (Photo: Photo address Richard and Lucille Allen)
Reed’s acquaintance with accepting a apparent for his bigger carrying springs provides us with a claimed annual of the action that was so important to the advance of America’s abridgement in the 19th century. The abstraction of attention inventors’ rights predates the United States Constitution, area it was encoded into our laws, but the artlessness and democratization in our country’s apparent procedures were unique. These characteristics gave men like Reed, not aloof the accomplished technicians, a adventitious to accept his adapted due afterwards conceiving of a artefact aces of apparent protection.
Besides accepted folk like Reed Brown, abounding others were traveling beyond the land. It took chargeless time and bread-and-er independence, but those who were so blessed, decidedly English men and women, admired to bout the United States. They explored big cities such as Boston, New York, Washington, and Cincinnati, frequently with a ancillary cruise to see Niagara Falls. Literate sojourners produced an estimated 200 travelogues amid 1815 and 1860. Some visitors from the “mother country” were analytical about the American agreement in democracy; others were absorbed in the bodies who were clearing forth the biking routes, abnormally as they headed west to Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois. The mural additionally captivated sightseers. They about larboard brainy annal of their trips in the anatomy of belletrist to newspapers and books.
An 1857 photo of the southside of Main Artery in Ravenna, Ohio with the Portage County courthouse (left) and the 1837 bastille area Reed’s brother, Nathaniel, was captivated answerable with the break-in of a grocery store. (Photo: Portage County Actual Society)
English travelers’ perspectives on American busline afflicted their experiences. They frequently bidding airs adjoin Americans in their description of asperous roads, apathetic channel boats, and bad-mannered citizens. For example, afterwards accession in 1827 from England and active in the United States for several years, Frances Milton Trollope wrote “Domestic Amenities of the Americans.” She was afraid by best of what she empiric and experienced. Though her book became a bestseller, Americans railed deeply adjoin it. Charles Dickens’ 1842 campaign in the United States yielded “American Notes,” in which he, like Trollope, criticized , the acutely classless society, and awkward manners. In addition, his descriptions of busline illustrated the challenges of accepting about at that time.
Dickens had this to say about Trollope: “I am assertive that there is no biographer who has so able-bodied and so accurately (I charge not add entertainingly) declared America.” Trollope and Dickens, as able-bodied as Nathaniel Hawthorne and several added beneath acclaimed writers, accept larboard us with abundant descriptions of the trials and rewards of touring in the United States afore the Civil War.
The folio in Reed Brown’s annual annual his aboriginal day of the chance to New York City, Washington and out to Ohio. (Photo: Williston Actual Society)
Unlike these acclaimed writers, Reed Brown’s adventures were recorded with no anticipation of advertisement in a clandestine annual 8 by 121/2 inches, which beset about 160 pages of business affairs and an annual of the journey. It spans the aeon from Dec. 26, 1837, to 1865 intermittently. Abounding of the pages are covered with items that were added later—greeting cards, column cards, and images cut from books and magazines—turning genitalia of the annual into a scrapbook. The ephemera can baffle with deciphering the entries. Back the cruise pages are about absolved from actuality covered by assorted material, accession anticipation the chance of Reed’s chance was account extenuative and conceivably breeding someday.
After several years of reviewing the abstracts in the Williston Actual Association archives, I was absorbed by Reed’s annual and the chance it told. Obviously, he acquainted that his cruise was important abundant to record, and his birth acquainted the aforementioned way, as it was anesthetized on from bearing to generation. Too about history is accounting by and about the acclaimed movers and shakers. This annual gives us a baby adventitious to alike out the antithesis by exploring a accepted man’s story. Aback accumulated with the observations of added writers, Reed’s annual provides a alluring attending into antebellum activity in America through the eyes of a Vermont Yankee dispatch into the alien area of big cities, altered landscapes, and bodies of added contest and occupations. It additionally offers a immediate appearance of the adversity of biking in the United States at that time, both through Reed’s adventures and those of others authoritative their way beyond a dynamic, accretion country.
“Reed Brown’s 1841 Journey: America Through the Eyes of a Vermont Yankee” by Richard Allen was appear by Onion River Press. (Photo: Courtesy)
Finally, we can brainstorm on the appulse the cruise ability accept had on Reed. He assuredly alternate to Vermont with a broader appearance of his country, his adolescent citizens, and the concrete appearance of the landscape. The burghal areas he visited opened a accomplished new angle for him. The conversations he had with Vermonters who had migrated out of accompaniment provided viewpoints on the pros and cons of abrogation one’s home. He accomplished some of the trials of burghal and westward clearing after all the pitfalls of a abiding move. Given all the places he visited, he ability accept been tempted to accede affective to addition allotment of the country, but he backward put in Vermont with a new affability for his home. It was an eye-opening, 57-day educational experience.
Reed knew he was on an abnormal chance and that a account of his chance was account recording. His birth were apparently entertained for years by account the annual and allurement him to acquaint some belief one added time. The actuality that the anecdotal was anesthetized on in the ancestors for aing to 150 years bears attestant to the accent of Reed’s chance and its actual amount to the Browns. That was evident, as well, aback Lorraine Brown gave the annual to the Williston Actual Association in 1982.
Richard H. Allen is a built-in of Plattsburgh, New York and has lived in Vermont back 1973. He accustomed his B.A. from Harpur College, Accompaniment University of New York at Binghamton, and his M.Ed. from the University of North Dakota. He accomplished elementary academy for 40 years, 37 of those years in Williston. He has authored or co-authored six added books: “The Vermont Geography Book; The History of Williston Central School, 1950-2000;” “Es and Es Junction,” with his wife Lucille; “North Williston: Bottomward Depot Hill; Williston, Vermont: Commemorating 250 Years of Boondocks History;” and “Ambition & Grit: The Activity of Truman Naramore, Civil War Veteran and Entrepreneur.”
There will be a book absolution accident and accelerate appearance on Richard Allen’s “Reed Brown’s 1841 Journey: America Through the Eyes of a Vermont Yankee” at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library in Williston.
The accessible accident is sponsored by the Williston Actual Association and the library. Books will be accessible for acquirement and signing.
Lanterns like this would advice Erie Channel boatmen cross about the clock. This is on affectation at the Schoharie Crossing New York Accompaniment Historic Site. (Photo: Photo address Richard and Lucille Allen)
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