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Sunday, 4 May 1828

Harford, Maryland

After a few hours of undisturbed sleep, long before the sun had illuminated the city, we arose and the first thing, as soon as it had got sufficiently light to be attended to, was to find a Barber - a search not attended with difficulty in such places - and in the course of a half hour our object was accomplished. Returned to the Tavern and divested ourselves of our sea-worn dress when breakfast was announced, to partake of which there was no inclination in either of us to decline. As soon as this was dispatched, the morning being clear and the weather agreeable, we commenced a short view of the place. First of all we repaired to the State House and other public buildings adjoining. All are elegant and stand in a pleasant situation. The portico of the Capitol is supported by six large columns, four feet base diameter and three at the top and in elevation thirty feet. The elevated site on which it stands affords a commanding view of the City from the upper stories. Two other Public buildings within forty feet from this one at each end fronting the South; and about twenty rods south of these stands the Arsenal. Back and northeast of these buildings stands the fire engine house. Near the center of the town stands the Court House, and a more elegant or better house I have never seen in any place composed of the same materials. They are made of neat and well-wrought Brick, all having stone pillars supporting the porticos very neatly carved. I very much admired all the public edifices. Standing at the Courthouse you can see Northwest one Roman Church, one Methodist Church and that not entirely destitute of elegance. Southwest an Episcopal Church; East one Unitarian and German Lutheran Church; Southeast another Episcopal presents itself to view, together with a splendid Presbyterian Church not appearing as proud and haughty as I have seen some fo the clergy belonging to that denomination. And near the Bank of the River is an African Church - oh, this I think is of the Methodist order.

There are many elegant buildings in the place and it has every appearance of improving, but as in all cities, towns, or countries, mixed with the rich there are some miserably poor. But all classes of people in this wealthy emporium breathe the same kind of air and as Jacob Myres says, "as Dutch as the d--l."

Having now finished our view of this place we started on our journey. From here to Middletown, a distance of nine miles, we found an excellent road. A few miles before reaching the latter place we crossed the Canal. It is very neatly executed and the Locks are constructed in a very superior manner in several respects to those on the great Erie Canal in the State of New York. Middleton, or town, is an old looking place. It is in Dauphin County. We called here to have our horses fed. The Tavern is owned by a German and it was impossible to preserve our gravity while listening too the old Gentleman's conversation. There was no regularity about this house; there was a place for everything but nothing could be found in the place or in the right place. It contains a Presbyterian and Methodist Meeting houses and if I were permitted to judge from external appearances they must have been erected long before the Revolution. And in opposition to the good that may result from the gospel preached in the two or three houses of worship, there are seven taverns. Five stores I should think sufficient to supply the surrounding country, but people purchase much more now than formerly and many of them to their own injury. Between Harrisburgh and this place, or the greater part of the distance, the country is beautifully situated. Land level and the soil fertile and from every appearance inhabitants industrious - everything bore the semblance of peace, plenty, and contentment. Nature here seemed robed in all her beauty; during the morning ride we breathed the sweet fragrance exhaled from the blooming apple tree and saw the fields richly clothed in heavy robes of verdure. In Middleton we crossed the Swetara. It is probably one hundred feet wide. After leaving this place a few miles the road became very rough and stony and continued so until we came near Elizabethtown in Lancaster County. Elizabethtown is finely situated and in the country immediately around it is most beautiful. The soil is excellent and vegetation most luxuriant, and the inhabitants partake largely of the bounty produced by nature, their houses and Barns, cattle and stock of much wealth. I have never seen as large horses and sheep and as good fields of clover as I saw this day. Cultivation and nature were here so happily combined that the effect was really enchanting. Yet even here in this rich and splendid country we were stopped every seven miles and asked for a gate toll. Union Canal runs down with the River Swetara and is most elegantly executed. As we passed through Marietta and approached the River the road became more broken. The road here in Hampton Township runs close to the beach of the Susquehannah. At the left hand in going down the River road is cut through a rock and a most stupendous pile of stone rises perpendicular to the height of two hundred feet. or as the Indians say a little more - it rather hangs over. The view is really grand.

Soon after, we came to the Columbia Bridge which is one mile 25/64 in length, or four hundred and five rods, or two thousand two hundred seven and a half yards, or six thousand six hundred and eighty-two and a half feet and cost two hundred thousand Dollars. The toll for carriage was one dollar. The whole Bridge is completely enclosed and lighted by windows. Then two paths separated by a strong portion and the traveler must always take the right. A heavy fine is imposed on any individual who rides or drives faster than a walk in crossing the Bridge or even for smoking during the passage. At sundown we crossed the Bridge and cast one long lingering look, probably for the last time, on the Susquehannah on whose waters we had for the last few days been rolled from home and acquaintances. Who is then so destitute of feeling as not to think of home an dthose endeared to them from infancy; indeed to me it seems they cannot be entirely forgotten.

It is now the fourth of May and vegetation is quite forward here. The gardens look beautiful. Potatoes and other culinary vegetables are shooting forth luxuriantly. Wheat at least fourteen inches high. We drove from Whitesville four miles in the night to Wondersmith's Inn at a place called York in Windsor County. Here the landlord did not speak in high terms of the South - to which part we were bound - but shall we suffer his unfavourable representation to dampen our ardor and produce a corresponding depression of mind, or in the least depress our energy? As for myself, I had fully thought of all the difficulties and probabilities of the South not being as good as some had represented, nor as unfavorably as depicted by others. Yet taking both sides and striking as equal a balance as you could, good seemed to me to have the preponderance. We cannot all see alike, and must not expect that every individual will entertain the same favorable or unfavorable views of a place that we do. Consequently, different ideas must not produce a different determination in our own mind, particularly from unreasonable or prejudicial grounds. If, however, our course be opposed from a thorough knowledge of the impracticality of accomplishing our intention, then it may, yes indeed it should, cause us to hesitate and ponder well before we proceeded further. And in coming to a decision we must ask ourselves this important question, are the motives disinterested which produced the opposition to my views? And in case you can discover interestedness in the individual you need not place much reliance on his declaration - at least not sufficient to change your mind. But in the case before me was it possible for such motives to have existed. I believe his opposition arose from prejudice against slavery and consequently indirect interestedness and probably arose from this idea, that the more inhabitants the more slaves. But let his motives be good or the reverse, it produced no discouragement to me and I think to none of us for, says Tyler, when one man can see nothing but poverty and misery another will behold peace and plenty.

Our horses are now snug in a good stable and plenty of good food before them. I have seen much in our passage through this great State, and learned to say Fip, three fips, and a fippany bit, almost as well as a real native. This method, in sound being so unlike that of New York, was a source of much amusement to us and if it had no other advantage it served to drive away the disagreeable sensation which every individual is sometimes tormented with, and our section of the country was known and distinguished by as formidable an appellation as the feeling itself; viz: Horrors. We have now finished a very good supper, made more palletable by long fasting - and have now nearly finished the few notes of the day. Much fatigued, nature calls for repose. I lay down my pen by bidding this noble and great State of Pennsylvania farewell as it is the last night I expect soon to sleep in it again.