Semantha Atkeson papers  [1856]-1861
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This journal recounts Boston native George M. Barnard's trips to the Atlantic seaboard and to London, England, in the 1820s and 1830s. The first page contains a list of places that Barnard visited, including England, New England, several Mid-Atlantic states, and three Caribbean islands.

Barnard first traveled from Boston to London, where he met with several acquaintances and toured the Tower of London, London Bridge, and Westminster Abbey. A man fell overboard during his return voyage to the United States (February 22, 1824). Barnard later briefly visited Tiverton, Rhode Island, where he spent much of his time on the beach and saw "some figures of men cut in rocks supposed to have been made by Indians" (June 10, 1824).

Between April 20 and May 31, 1825, Barnard took an extensive trip as far south as Murfreesboro, North Carolina, passing through and commenting on New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Norfolk. He traveled both by steamboat and by carriage, and frequently mentioned routes as well as people he encountered. While in the South, Barnard observed the conditions of slaves, and in Murfreesboro he witnessed "a great many slaves at work on the plantation, they live in wretched little log houses that appear to be but little bigger than a dog's kennel & furnished about the same" (April 29, 1824). He also noticed slave children dressed only in rags (May 1, 1824). He also visited Washington, D. C., and Mount Vernon, where he commented on the state of Washington's tomb (May 8, 1824). He continued to New York City, where he toured a factory, and returned to Boston on May 31.

After discussing a short trip to Goshen, New Hampshire, Barnard detailed a pedestrian trip from Boston to Francistown, New Hampshire, where he was accompanied by George Bond. They passed through Lowell, Massachusetts. After spending around 10 days in Worcester, Massachusetts, Barnard traveled through the wilderness of Maine to St. Andrews, New Brunswick. In Eastport, Maine, he observed a Native American in a birch canoe (August 3, 1830).

On a longer journey from December 1830-July 1831, Barnard voyaged around the West Indies, spending much time in the present-day Virgin Islands, particularly Saint Croix. He described scenery, a funeral, and a foot injury. While traveling home, he visited Puerto Rico and noted several of the island's products. On his final trip in 1832, Barnard went to Norfolk, Virginia, traveling through swamp land. In northern Virginia, he observed local commerce, particularly the cotton trade.

A German-language ticket for passage form Hamburg, Germany, to Boston, Massachusetts, is laid into the volume (1833).

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