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Throughout the Ages
A Visual Document Resource

Questions: 1830s

Image. Erie Canal. Two pages from the diary of Rachel Wilmer.

Diary of Rachel Wilmer
Travel Journal (1834)

Here is more of Rachel Wilmer's diary. Like many others, Rachel toured the Canal to see the marvelous sights.

Rachel was impressed with what she saw, but she found Canal travel slow and boring, and by the end of the trip she was anxious to get home to her family.

What did Rachel say?

Here is what Rachel Wilmer said:

"...We arrived at Rochester before 6. Went immediately on board boat and now in the Canal moving slowly but delightfully one retired and had a tolerable nights rest. Tuesday awoke lying at Palmyra. Now about 12 at a town called Lion which we passed in the night before. In this boat the Ceres we often stop so I amuse myself fishing but oh! how heavily time goes in advancing towards home.

...The gentlemen amuse themselves gunning here there is an advantage in this manner of travel. We have much amusement in the maids who cordially hate each other. We are now at the salt works and have got a piece in the crude state. Now at Syracuse a large and thriving town. Stop to weigh the boat which was curious. Edwin gone shopping for fruit.

...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 on the Canal in company with 40 boats and scows waiting for some repairs in the locke. In consequence of which we cannot get along. Oh how tedious and tasteless the hours which hinder me from seeing my children."

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