Horace Healy journal  1838
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This 88-page journal recounts Healy's travels from his home in Middlebury, New York, to northeastern Illinois between May 30 and July 13, 1838. This diary is a handwritten copy made by Horace Healy in 1841.

Healy departed from Middlebury on May 30, 1838, with a friend, Hosea Wilson, and reached Buffalo the following day, where the men boarded the steamer Anthony Wayne , bound for Chicago via the Great Lakes. Healy kept a brief daily record of distances he traveled and the steamer's stops, until his arrival at Chicago on June 9. There, he took leave of Wilson. Along the way, Healy visited Fort Mackinac, Michigan, and described some of his fellow passengers. Upon his arrival in Illinois, he set out to visit acquaintances living southeast of Chicago, and then traveled westward and northward throughout the area for the rest of the month. A devout man, he recorded his religious activities, his attendance at church services, prayers, and religious thoughts.

The journal also contains brief descriptions of a few settlements, such as Naperville and Rockford, and of life on the Illinois prairie. One man at a camp meeting along the DuPage River mentioned his missionary work with local Native Americans (June 24, p. 38). On June 25, Healy left for home, though he remained in Chicago for several days awaiting a steamer; during this time, he visited Fort Dearborn and other sights. He boarded the Anthony Wayne on June 28, and spent a few days in early July near Detroit, Michigan, where he visited his brother Freeborn's grave in Macomb County (July 6, pp. 66-67). On July 10, he took the Clinton to Buffalo, where he arrived on July 12, his daughter's 14th birthday. The entry for July 12 also contains Healy's lamentation on the sinking of the steamboat George Washington on Lake Erie less than a month before (pp. 81-82). Healy arrived home in Middlebury on July 13, 1838.

Horace Healy transcribed this copy of his journal on October 21, 1841.

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