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Throughout the Ages
A Visual Document Resource

Questions: 1830s

Document 7. Diary of Rachel Wilmer.

Link to Rachel's diary and read about cholera

Link to Rachel's diary and read about the boat trip

"This evening we went on shore and took a long walk in attempting to get on the boat Anna's foot slipped and she fell in and had a narrow escape from getting her feet mashed but with the assistance of two gentlemen got off with only a ducking."

"Still on this great canal 3,300 boats on here and about 6,800 horses...There are about 85 locks. This evening about 11 miles from Utica lying in the canal in company with 40 boats and scows waiting for some repairs in the locks in consequence of which we cannot get along. Oh how tedious and tasteless the ours which hinder me from seeing my children"

"One passenger was taken with the Cholera and left on the road. I was taken very sick on the way but afraid they would think it the Cholera. I did not complain but with the assistance of some opium I got better"

Click here to find out more about cholera and the Erie Canal

Questions to consider:

  1. What two dangerous things does Rachel mention in the passages of her diary quoted above?
  2. Why did Rachel's boat have to wait outside Utica?
  3. Why was Rachel's fellow passenger left on the road?

Document 6 | Intro