18th Century Travel in the New World.
“When one travels on the roads, one constantly travels in bush or forest. Occasionally, there is a house and several miles down the road there is another house.”
John W. Kleiner and Helmut T. Lehman, The Correspondence of Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg, Volume 1, 1740-1747, (Picton Press, Camden, ME, 1986) 118; hereafter cited as Muhlenberg Correspondence.
“…lost their way several times and had to cross several rivers, through one of which, the Nottway, they had to swim, as there was no one at hand to take them across in a boat.”
William J. Hinke, "Diaries Of Missionary Travels Among The German Settlers In The American Colonies 1743-1748," The Pennsylvania German Society Proceedings And Addresses, (Published By The Society 1929) 34:79.
“ The settlements here are totally surrounded by forests.”
Muhlenberg Correspondence, 80.
“the whole country is one continuous woods!”
Benjamin F. Owen, "Letters of Rev. Richard Locke, and Rev. George Craig, Missionaries In Pennsylvania of the Society For Propagating the Gospel In Foreign Parts, 1746-1752," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, (The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa., 1900), 24:470.
“…farmsteads were irregular in their appearance, they were frequently set far back from the roads and most often adjacent to a spring or stream.”
“The land is not really dear. One takes up two-hundred acres, promised to pay by installments in ten years and instead clears off the debt in five years.”
“Reaching a settlement is like a feast for an inexperienced traveler—to see sun shine on some open grounds, to view clear fields. You seem to be relieved from that secret uneasiness and involuntary apprehension which is always in the woods.”
J. Hector Crevecoeur, Letters From an American Farmer And Sketches Of 18th-Century America, (Penquin Books, Ltd., Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England, 1981) 359.
“In this country the chickens are not put in houses at night nor are they looked after but they sit summer and winter upon trees near houses. Every morning many a tree is so full of chickens that the boughs bend beneath them.”