In the fall of 1841, Vermonter Reed Brown set out on a two-month odyssey with two goals: to obtain a patent for his improved carriage springs, and to assist his brother Nathaniel, in jail in Ohio. Reed kept a journal that chronicles the dangers and difficulties, as well as some of the pleasures, of travel in that time.
- a steamboat explosion,
- a rail car derailment,
- hours of a bone-jarring stagecoach ride,
- delightful encounters with fellow travelers,
- unhurried travel on canal boats,
- and warm hospitality along the way.
The journal is transcribed here, and presented in a well-researched historical context that includes reminiscences from more famous writers of the same time period, such as Charles Dickens and Frances Trollope. This is an intriguing look at antebellum life in America through the eyes of a Vermont Yankee stepping into the unfamiliar
territory of big cities, different landscapes, and people of other races and occupations.