Out of all the possible modes of transportation that my ancestors might have used during their migrations, I find that travel by way of canals to be fascinating and exotic. I have walked, ridden horses, road in wagons, traveled by train, and was once aboard a steamboat going down the mighty Mississippi, but I never been anywhere near a horse-drawn packet boat or the great canal system that once moved thousands of emigrants from the east to the west during the early part of the 19th century. From a number of first-hand (tour book) accounts of travel on the Erie canal, most written in the 1830's -The Great Water Highway through New York State, 1829 - published in a Philadelphia periodical by an unknown author,. Three Years In North America (1833), and Some Account of a Trip to the "Falls of Niagara" (1836), I have reconstructed what Francis Gaume's trek to Ohio from New York must have been like.
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