Early Travelers in 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.

Early Travelers in Central Pennsylvania

1761    James Kenny
“Journal of James Kenny,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 37, No. 1: 1-47 (1913). PSU 
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
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. [Online at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Journal_of_a_Tour_Into_the_Territory.html?id=LQATAAAAYAAJ
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