Travel journal, “Tour to Cincinnati in August and September 1848”
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Travel journal, “Tour to Cincinnati in August and September 1848”. The title on the first page reads “Journal of the Journey from Beverly to Cincinnati of Stephens Baker and wife”. The journal consists of 34 pages, with entries dated from August 14- September 1, 1848. Baker describes the cities he visited on the trip, including Niagara Falls. In an entry dated Thursday [August 17], 8 o’clock, he writes “went on board the steamer ‘Maid of the Mist’ and passed within two nods [knots] of the highest Falls, the boat trembled exceedingly from the effect of the fall of water, and the spray was thrown over us so as very much to alarm some of the female passengers. It is impossible to describe the effect produced on the mind by this greatest of natural curiousities. It was truly magnificent. The suspension Bridge from the deck of the Steamer looked like fine network and a man passing over it at the time like a Lilliputian. It rained most of the time, making mortar of the soil which clung closely to our boots making it very difficult to get along, the clay adhering closely and being slippery withal.” He describes the suspension bridge over the Niagara River, writing that “the bridge over the Falls is substantially built and all who will take the trouble to examine the manner in which it is secured on the banks, will not hesitate to cross it.” He also describes the Cataract House in Niagara Falls, New York, stating that “the Cataract House at this place is a noble building filled with visitors. A band of music is constantly employed, which perform while the boarders are at their meals. The servants march on their attendance upon the tables, keeping time with the music and much time is spent at the table.”He also visits Sandusky, Stuebenville, Pittsburg, several towns in Kentucky and Virginia, Baltimore and New York. He describes the factories, churches and public buildings he visited in Cincinnati, as well as his visit with Nicholas Longworth at his mansion. Baker was a Mason, and describes the Masonic temples he visited on his journey.