BACKGROUND OF JOURNAL
Mary Coburn Dewees traveled with her family
by wagon, boat and foot from Philadelphia to relocate in Lexington, Kentucky.
Lexington was newly settled in 1775, so Mary's family would have been
among its earliest residents. The trip took almost five months, and her
journal describes the rigors of the journey, stopping points along the
way, travelers they meet, lodgings and food, the natural surroundings,
and social interactions among the family members. This journal offers
an honest and descriptive view of the difficulties of 18th century travel.
(selections from the journal)
Left Philada. about
5 OClock in the afternoon and tore our selves from a number of dear friends
that assembled to take a last farewell before we set off for Kentucky.
we were Obliged to put up at a Cabin at the foot
of the hill perhaps a dozen logs upon one another, with a few slabs fer
a roof and the earth for a floor. & a wooden Chimney Constituted this
extrodnary, ordinary the people very Kind but amazing dirty, there was
between twenty & thirty of us, all lay on the floor, Except Mrs. Rees
the Children and your Maria, who by our dress or adress or perhaps boath
were favoured with a bed and I assure you we that thought ourselves to
escape being fleaed alive
Went over to the Island to see our new acquaintance
and they insisted on our repeating our visits. while we staid a man came
in that was wounded by the Indians a few days ago about 20 miles from
Pitt - a party of Traders were surprized by them in the night but got
off without any but a little Blood by one who had been wounded in the
head with a Taumahauke.
(in Lexington)...Since I have been here I have
been visited by the genteele people in the place and receivd several Invitations
both in town & Country, the Society in this place is very agreeable
and I flatter my self I shall see many happy days in this Country Lexington
is a Clever little Town with a court house and Jail and some pretty good
buildings in it...
Read the rest of the journal and view an 1871 map of Lexington.