Letter from Mary Hosmer, in Seville, OH, to her parents in Connecticut.

Traveling in the 1800s –
New York Public Library Picture Collection.

March the 30, 1817

Beloved Parents:

I shall for the first time undertake to inform you a little respecting our journey and present situation...we were five weeks getting to Wadsworth Center. We had a very good road as far as Albany. From there to Canandaigua was very bad.... After staying at Canandaigua four days, to get fresh supplies and recruit ourselves and horses, we set out again on Friday and passed through Buffalo Monday where we found excellent sleighing, but the snow was not deep enough to injure the wagoning. Coming up the Lake was very tedious.... The men froze their ears and Chester froze his toe very bad. We came with our wagon as far as Pennsylvania, where the snow was so deep and drifted that we were obliged to take the sleigh, which we arrived at the end of our journey with.

We stayed in Wadsworth four weeks at the house of Esquire Salmon Warner, where we had every respect and kindness shown us that we could wish for.... It is a town of excellent land and well watered. It is but three years since the first family moved in. Now there are twenty-three and one school house. Besides there are several young men taken up farms.

We moved from Wadsworth the first day of March. I shall never forget that day. The ice had broken up in the River Styx, which made it impossible to cross with our load. Abigail and myself waded through. They then undertook to cross the sleigh. The horses broke through the old ice but the boys sprung in and left them from the harness, which undoubtedly saved their lives. They then felled trees and brought over the sleigh and load with much difficulty and got the horses through the weeds before we reached our habitation. Now here we are all healthy and well pleased with our situation....

Our house is very comfortable. We have no chimney, but we calculate to have one built next week. We have neighbors within three miles, on what is called Congress Lane....We have not been more than a mile from the house since we came here, but we are calculating to go down to the Indians' camps in a day or two...

I have not seen but one woman since I have been here, but there are men traveling past almost every day. Last week a Mr. Horton from Westfield and a Mr. Elsworth from East Windsor stayed all night. They were much pleased with the land. They said it was the best they had seen on the Reserve. We have had no other visitors except Indians. They visit us almost every day. I was a little afraid of them at first, but they appear to be very kind and friendly. I feel as contented as I expected to. I wish you were all here. You cannot think how I want to see you all...

You must not sell things you can possible fetch, for everything is very scarce and dear in this country. Mother, I see the want of you and your counsel and advice every day, but I content myself by thinking that the time will soon come when I shall be blessed with the enjoyment of living once more with you.... Abigail sends her love to you all. You must write as soon as you receive this.

From your Affectionate Daughter Mary

Excerpted with permission from from "1816-1966, A Book About Seville, Ohio" by Lee Cavin, written for the Sesquicentennial Committee.