Fall 1999

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Journal of a Traveller

between Auburn and Geneva

contributed by

Richard Palmer

The Geneva Palladium, Sept. 21, 1825

Started at day-light, morning cloudy, saw a distillery and a number of hogs, rather emaciated in their appearance. Suppose it to be from the deleterious effects of whiskey. Toll-gate—handed the change to a good-looking young woman. Quere—would it not increase the number of travellers, if handsome women were appointed toll gathers? Mem.—to submit this idea to the turnpike directors at their next meeting. Came to another toll-gate, and found another woman to take the toll; observed she was not quite so handsome as the last—wonder if the directors have not already anticipated my plan. Cayuga Lake—plaguey long bridge—toll pretty high-enquired for a good tavern—was directed to a house on the hill-found the landlord's name was MOSES—told him to feed my horse, and get a cup of coffee for myself—waited twenty minutes with a keen appetite, was then called into another room, and found my order for a cup of coffee had been literally obeyed, the hot beverage standing solus on the table. Wondered why they had set me nothing to eat—went out to the landlord in a rage and asked him to explain-told me he had taken me for a certain member of congress who always travels with his victuals in his pocket-terribly hungry and out of humor—wished all members of congress at the d---l who do not travel like gentlemen, especially when their expenses are paid. The mistake rectified, and finally got a good breakfast.—Started for Waterloo—arrived at the village—saw two or three sign boards with " CASH PAID FOR HIDES," on them—enquired the reason—was told cow-hides were in great demand and were expected to continue so until after the next election. Could not get my horse past the Post-Office, thought it strange as he is usually very gentle—got a man to lead him—very much frightened myself—arrived at an inn—related the affair to the landlord who burst into a loud laugh, and said that latterly, no Horse, or Ass could pass that particular spot without snorting—thought by naming an Ass he meant me—had a mind to quarrel with him. Started for Geneva—the wind blowing from the East, and the air strongly impregnated with Cow Skin. Entered Geneva with some importance—being in my own carriage—thought to "astonish the natives," and gave my horse a cut with the whip, when the waggon broke, and down I came in the mud, thus for the present putting an end to my journey and journal together.


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