Bibliography of Early Travelers Through Central Pennsylvania

Compilation of this Bibliography grew out of my interest in first-hand accounts of travel through Central Pennsylvania. One of my hopes was to trace the common routes, using clues provided by a number of travelers who followed the same roads and paths. The notations at the end of each bibliographic citation stand for the libraries in which I found the account available: PSU – Pennsylvania State University; HCHS – Huntingdon County Historical Society; JC – Juniata College; HCL – Huntingdon County Library. The complete text of some of these accounts is now available online.
Nancy Shedd, 1999.

Plate 14 from Mathew Carey

1761
James Kenny. “Journal of James Kenny,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 37, No. 1: 1-47 (1913). PSU
(www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/digital/pmhb.html)
From Pottsgrove on horseback via Carlisle, Path Valley, Fort Littleton, and Bedford

1775
Philip Vickers Fithian. Journal, 1775-1776, Princeton, 1934. HCHS
Through what is now Centre, Mifflin, Huntingdon, and Fulton counties on horseback, July 31-Aug. 28, 1775 (pages 81-123)

1787
Mary Dewees. Journal from Philadelphia to Kentucky,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 28:182-198 (1904). PSU
By wagon via York, Chambersburg, and Bedford

1788
Rev. Manasseh Cutler. Journal (pp. 391-434) in Life, Journal, and Correspondence of Rev. Manasseh Cutler, by William Parker Cutler and Julia Perkins Cutler, Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co., 1888. PSU
From Ipswich, MA, to the Muskingum (Ohio) by horse-drawn sulky via Easton, Bethlehem, Reading, Harrisburg, Carlisle, and Shippensburg. Abandons the sulky and continues on horseback after crossing Blue Mountain

1788
Israel Shreve. “Journal from Jersey to the Monongahela,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 52, No. 3: 193-204 (1928). PSU, JC [Also available at www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/digital/pmhb.html]
By wagon and horseback via Carlisle, Shippensburg, Fort Littleton, and Bedford

1797
John Heckwelder. “Notes of Travel of William Henry, John Heckwelder, John Rothrock, and Christian Clewell to Gnadenhutten on the Muskingum,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 10:125-157 (1886). PSU, JC
On horseback from Bethlehem via Carlisle, Shippensburg, Fort Littleton, and Bedford

1798
Increase Matthews. “Diary of a Journey from Massachusetts to the Ohio Country,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 86:32-43 (1932). PSU
From Massachusetts to Ohio and back via Carlisle, Shippensburg, Bedford, and Somerset

1803
Thaddeus Mason Harris. The Journal of a Tour into the Territory Northwest of the Alleghany Mountains. Boston: Manning & Loring, 1805. [A facsimile edition has been digitized by Google Books. See partial transcription under Historic Documents.]
By carriage from Boston to New York, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Carlisle, Shippensburg, Strasburg, Fannetsburg, Burnt Cabins, Bedford, and on to Ohio.

1804
John Cadwallader. Letter (from Lancaster) to his wife, Catharine, in Birmingham. JC Treasure Room.
Describes the time required to journey to Washington and Baltimore, then back to Lancaster, and home to Birmingham

1809
Joshua Gilpin. Pleasure and Business in Western Pennsylvania: The Journal of Joshua Gilpin, Joseph E. Walker, Ed., Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1975. HCHS
By carriage via Carlisle, Shippensburg, and Bedford to Pittsburgh, and return through Greensburg, Indiana, Johnstown, and Bedford

1810
Margaret Van Horn Dwight. A Journey to Ohio in 1810, New Haven, 1914. JC
By wagon via Carlisle, Shippensburg, Fannettsburg, Bedford

1815
Timothy Flint. Recollections of the Last Ten Years, Boston, 1826. Reprinted New York, 1932. PSU
By carriage over the mountains between Shippensburg and Bedford

1835
Peregrin Prolix (Philip Nicklin).
Journey Through Pennsylvania by Canal, Rail and Stage Coach, York, 1975.
HCHS
By canal through Lewistown, Huntingdon, Hollidaysburg; by stage coach to Bedford Springs, Somerset and Pittsburgh; return by canal to Philadelphia

1852
Eli Bowen. The Pictorial Sketch-Book of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1852. HCHS, HCL
By railroad through all the counties traversed by the PRR

1938
John W. Harpster, ed. Pen Pictures of Early Western Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1938. PSU, JC, HCL
Excerpts from more than 30 early journals and diaries, with an extensive Bibliography of travel in and descriptions of Western Pennsylvania, 1748-1830

Copyright 2011© Huntingdon History Research Network

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