This is the transcript of the journal kept by Anne Middleton CRAIG MITCHELL of her travel from Abingdon, Washington, Virginia to Randolph County, Missouri in 1836. This was passed to family by John T. MITCHELL of Kansas City, MO, as given by Anne’s son, Rev. J. B. MITCHELL. Mitchell NOLL passed it along to me.
Ann Middleton Craig, b. 1786 March 22 in Abingdon, Virginia, was married to Capt. John Mitchell in 1808 July 26. After his death in 1821, she next married Dr. Stephen Bovell on 1824 Oct 20.
When Ann made her trip to Missouri she was 49 years of age. The trip took two months. She died less than seven months later on 1837 July 12 in Huntsville, Randolph, Missouri.
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ANNE MIDDLETON CRAIG JOURNAL
Monday, September 26th, 1836. This day we left Clover Hill near Abingdon, VA and reached Capt. GIBSON’S and Capt. DAVIS’. Fine weather.
Tuesday, September 27th, 1836. Stayed at Mr. SENIKA’s. Heavy rain in the morning, fine afternoon.
Wednesday, September 28th, 1836. Stayed at Mr. CLARK’s at North Fork River. Fine weather.
Thursday, September 29th, 1836. Stayed at Mr. NEILL’S at Clinch River. Fine weather.
Friday, September 30th,1836. Crossed POWELL’s Mountain and lodged at Mr. ALLEN’s. Fine weather.
Saturday, October 1st, 1836. Crossed WALDEN’s Ridge. Lodged at Jacob FULKERSON’s Less Court House. Fine weather.
Sabbath, October 2nd, 1836. Came to Col. FULKERSON’s. A little rain in the morning. Fine evening.
Monday, October 3rd, 1836. Dined at Joshua EWING’s. Returned to Col. FULKERSON’s. Fine weather.
Tuesday, October 4th, 1836. Col. FULKERSON’s. Very snowy, stormy day.
Wednesday, October 5th, 1836. Left Col. FULKERSON’s. Very clear and cold. Lodged very comfortably with Mr. LAVV’s, fifteen miles.
Thursday, October 6th, 1836. Passed Cumberland Gap and crossed a part of Loaf Mountain. Lodged with Mr. JONES fourteen miles. Very cloudy and raining a little.
Friday, October 7th, 1836. Traveled twenty miles. Lodged comfortably with Mr. CAIN. Crossed Loaf Mountain and Cumberland River. Very cloudy and light cold rain. Turnpike part of the way.
Saturday, October 8th, 1836. Came to Mr. Willis BURTON’s. Passed through Barbersville, crossed big Laurel River. The morning very cloudy and damp. Afternoon clear and moderate. Twenty four miles.
This would be Barbourville, Kentucky, rather than Barbersville
Sunday, October 9th, 1836. Traveled twenty four miles, crossed Little and Big Rock Castle. Passed through London, Laurel County. Lodged with Mr. John GRIFFIN. Clear fine day. Wretched lodging.
Monday, October 10th,1836. Traveled 23 miles. Passed through Mount Vernon, Crab-Orchard and Walnut Flat. Lodged very comfortably with Mr. WOOD. Clear, beautiful day.
Tuesday, October 11th, 1836. Traveled twenty miles. Passed through Stanford and Danville. Fine day. Lodged with Mr. VERBRYCK.
Wednesday, October 12th, 1836. Traveled twenty miles and a quarter. Passed through Harrodsburgh. Visited the celebrated Springs of that place. Passed through Salvicey (sp?) and lodged with Mr. MCCALL. Fine, clear day.
Thursday, October 13th, 1836. Traveled twenty one miles and three quarters. Passed through Lawrenceburgh and Hardensville. Lodged with Mr. SHANNON. Pleasant morning. A little rain at evening.
Friday, October 14th, 1836. Traveled twenty four miles. Passed through Claysville, Shelbyville, Simpsonville, Boston. Clear, pleasant day after a very rainy night. Lodged with Mr. John GORMAN, Floyed’s Fork.
Saturday, October 15th, 1836. Passed through Middletown, Louisville, New Albany (in Indiana). Crossed the Ohio River, in a steam (ferry) boat. Pleasant morning. Very rainy evening. Traveled some time in the night. Lodged very comfortably with Mr. ARMSTRONG on banks of the Ohio.
Sabbath, October 16th, 1836. Traveled twenty miles. Clear, cold morning. Cloudy evening. Passed through Zanesville. Lodged with Mr. James JAMISON.
Monday, October 17th, 1836. Traveled eighteen miles. Clear, cold day. Crossed the Blue River. Lodged with Mr. TOWEL, Quakers.
Tuesday, October 18th, 1836. Traveled fourteen miles. Crossed Lost River. Rainy, stormy morning. Cloudy all day. The worst roads I ever traveled. Lodged with Mr. FRENET.
Wednesday, October 19th, 1836. Traveled twenty miles. Severe blowing rains. Lodged with Mr. MARTIN. Desperate roads.
Thursday, October 20th, 1836. Traveled thirteen miles. Fine, clear, cold day. Bad roads. Lodged with Mr. HAYS. Kindly treated. Crossed the eastern branch of White River.
Friday, October 21st, 1836. Traveled thirteen miles. Crossed North Fork of White River. Passed through Washington, Haysville. Fine weather. Bad roads. Lodged with Mr. John STEEN. Kindly treated.
Saturday, October 22nd, 1836. Illinois, Lawrence County. Traveled thirteen miles. Passed through Vincennes. Crossed the Wabash River. Good weather. The roads still worse. Lodged with Mrs. SHULAR on the bank of the river. Beautiful view of the town and river.
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Sabbath, October 23rd, 1836. Traveled three and half miles. Lodged with Mr. Jacob MAY. Very kindly treated. Crossed over a part of the place called Purgatory which is worse than anything I ever saw to be called a road. Our wagon sunk above the hub of the wheels. Three of the horses mired down. The coupling pin of our carry all broke. We were taken out on a horse. A number of our fellow travelers came to our assistance. With all our help we were until nearly sunset getting out, although we got into it about ten o’clock, notwithstanding all our difficulties we had hired a pilot by the name of Neilson CARPENTER who engaged to take us through safely. We had but little rain until we got in the house. We were all crowded into one little room. Amanda and Louisa both sick.
Monday, October 24th, 1836. Traveled eight miles and a half. Rained all day. The roads no better. Lodged in Lawrenceville with Mr. MARNVEY’s.
Tuesday, October 25th, 1836. Traveled ten miles. Dreadful roads. Got the tongue of our wagon broke and new one made. Lodged with Mr. CHRISTY very comfortably.
Wednesday, October 26th, 1836. Traveled fourteen miles. Crossed Fox River on a bridge. Bad roads still. The tire of our wagon wheel broke and mended again. Lodged with Elijah NELSON.
Thursday, October 27th, 1836. Beautiful morning. Traveled twelve miles. Crossed the muddy fork of the Little Wabash River. In the bottom between the two, know by the name of Hell, which is the worst piece of road I ever saw. Lodged with Mr. McCOLLEY. Very comfortably.
Friday, October 28th, 1836. Traveled fourteen miles. Passed through Maysville and a prairie of twelve miles in length. The roads a little better. Lodged with Mr. Thomas ELLIOTT.
Saturday, October 29th, 1836. Traveled thirteen miles and three quarters. Dreadful roads in the morning. Better in the evening. Our wagon stuck fast. Had to delay some time getting out. Left part of our load at Dr. John DAVENPORT’s. Crossed the Skilletfork of the Wabash. Lodged with Mr. Dunning BAKER. Very well treated.
Sabbath, October 30th, 1836. Traveled twenty four miles. Fine day. Saw the prairie on fire, passed through twelve miles of the Grand Prairie. Lodged with Mr. CONE. In the prairie passed through SALEM.
Monday, October 31st, 1836. Traveled twenty miles. Passed through the Grand Prairie and Carlysle. Crossed a toll bridge over Shoal Creek. Fine roads and beautiful weather. Lodged with Mr. DOYLE.
Tuesday, November 1st, 1836. Traveled twenty five miles. Passed through Lebanon. Very fine day and good roads. Lodged with Mr. STITES. Very well treated.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 1836. Traveled fifteen miles. Bad roads. Crossed the Mississippi River in a handsome steam (ferry) boat. Stayed at Mr. WRIGHTS.
Thursday, November 3rd, 1836. Still at Mr. WRIGHT’s. Visited the Catholic Church. Part of the family went on board of a steam boat. Saw several land and several start.
Friday, November 4th, 1836. Left Mr. WRIGHT’s, traveled sixteen miles. Lodged at Mr. MARTIN’s. Tolerable roads. Good weather.
Saturday, November 5th, 1836. Traveled twenty five miles after our wagon crossed Missouri River in a steam boat. Passed through St. Charles. Good roads. Fine weather. Lodged very comfortably at Mr. BAILEY’s at Pond Fork.
Sabbath, November 6th, 1836. Traveled eight miles to Mr. SPIRES for breakfast. Passed through Warrenton. Traveled thirty miles. Lodged with Mr. JONES. Very kindly treated. Breakfasted there.
Monday, November 7th, 1836. Came to Nathaniel DRYDEN’s seven miles. Met with Cousin Patsy there. All well and glad to see us.
Tuesday, November 8th, 1836. Came to Thomas DRYDEN’s. From there to Danville. Dined at Mr. SHARP’s. Returned to Mr. DRYDEN’s and spent the night.
Wednesday, November 9th, 1836. Mrs. SHARP spent the day with us at Thomas DRYDEN’s. Susan, Ann and Margaret and myself went home with her. Stayed with her in company with Mrs. CARPENTER.
Thursday, November 10th, 1836. Stayed at Mr. SHARP’s until after dinner. Returned to Mr. Thomas DRYDEN’s.
Friday, November 11th, 1836. Mr. BOWELL and Margaret STILL at Thomas DRYDEN’s.
Saturday, November 12th, 1836. Still at Thomas DRYDEN’s.
Sabbath, November 13th, 1836. Attended preaching in Danville.
Monday, November 14th, 1836. Went to our home four miles, directly went from Danville.
Tuesday, November 15th, 1836. Started to John DAVIS’, in company with William MITCHELL and Susan, his wife. Traveled twenty miles. Bad roads. Stayed at old Mr. HARRISON’s. Very hospitably treated. Fine day.
Wednesday, November 16th, 1836. Traveled thirty two miles through prairie. Tolerable roads. Fine weather. Lodged at Mr. PALMER’s. Called at Craig FULKERSON’s twenty miles beyond before reaching Mr. PALMER’s.
Thursday, November 17th, 1836.. Traveled twenty five miles through prairie. Roads good and weather. Lodged in Huntsville at Mr. Walter CHILD’s.
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Friday, November 18th, 1836. Came four miles to breakfast at Mr. DOODING’s. Traveled twenty miles through prairie to what is called the Narrows. Lodged with Mr. CAMMON’s. Rainy, disagreeable day.
Saturday, November 19th,1836. Traveled thirty five miles through Prairie. Rain all day. Lodged at Mr. MYERS’.
Sabbath, November 20th, 1836. Traveled twenty five miles chiefly through prairie. Reached John DAVIS’. Found all well.
Monday, November 21st, 1836. At John DAVIS’. Visited Mr. EASTON’s family.
Tuesday, November 22nd, 1836. Spent the day and night at Mr. EASTON’s.
Wednesday, November 23rd, 1836. Returned to John DAVIS’.
Here the daily journal closes. From November 11th, the date is one day in advance of the real time.
At the close of her little book Mother kept the names of the States, Counties and Towns we traveled in and through.
States: Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri
Counties: Virginia: Washington, Scott, Lee
Kentucky: Harland, Knox, Laurel, Rock Castle, Lincoln, Mercer, Anderson, Shelby, Jefferson
Illinois: Lawrence, Clay, Marion, Clinton, Sinclair
Missouri: St. Louis, St. Charles, Warren, Montgomery, Callaway, Boone, Randolph
Towns: Scott Court House, Jonesville, Barbersville, London, Mount Vernon, Crab-Orchard, Walnut Flat, Stanford, Danville, Harrodsburgh, Salvicey, Lawrenceburgh, Hardensville, Clayville, Shelbyville, Simpsonville, Boston, Middletown, Louisville, New Albany, Greenville, Paolis, Mount Pleasant, Washington, Maysville, Vincennes, Lawrenceville, Salem, Carlysle, Lebanon, St. Louis, St. Charles, Warrenton, Danville, Williamsburg, Huntsville
My mother signs her name N. M. BOVELL in this book. Some years after the death of my father she was married to Rev. Dr. Stephen BOVELL who survived her a few years.
There was one child, a daughter–Juliain, they named Margaret, born to them. She was a sweet spirited child and I loved her as I did my full sisters. She died in early married life.
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Google’s present plot of a trip from Abingdon, Virginia to Huntsville, Howard, Missouri. It will now take all of 13 to 15 hours by car.
Thank you very much for posting the Anne Mitchell 1836 travel journal. The John Davis mentioned in the Nov. 20th- Nov. 23rd entries was Anne’s son-in-law John Davis, son of Robert Davis and Nancy McMillan of Washington Co., VA. John married Sarah H. Mitchell on 28 Aug. 1834 in Washington Co. and left shortly thereafter for Missouri. The Nov. 21 and 22 entries refer to a “Mr. Easton”. This would have been the family of Samuel Goodson Eason and his wife Mary Davis. Mary was John Davis’s sister. John Davis and Sarah H. (Mitchell) Davis spent their married lives in Macon Co., Missouri. I’d love to hear from anyone who is familiar with, or interested in this family.
Diana, thanks for this information. You’ve a very interesting website.
Thanks! I certainly enjoyed yours as well. 🙂 I was so excited to find Anne’s very specific record of her journey. There were a significant number of Washington Co. families who settled in northern Missouri and this no doubt reflects the typical path they followed. I’ve been creating a map to add to my site based on Anne’s journal – will cite the journal and your site and provide a link for anyone who would like to read her specific comments. It is fascinating how closely a modern day road follows most of the path Anne followed 175 years ago.
Thank you for posting this. It gave me an idea of my ancestor’s route from Washington County, Va. to Cass Missouri.It must have been very difficult to travel so far with no protection from nature and depending on the kindness of strangers.
I to have wondered how my 2nd Great Grandfather James Harvey and my 3rd Great Grandfather James Wyatt McGhee left Seven Mile Ford Area Washington Countyin the mid 1820’s…Very interesting time…Great Post
Thanks to Diana P. for posting a link to this wonderful journal. I found it fascinating! My own ancestors’ journey could have been across some of this same path. I marvel at their mental and physical strength and their ability to pack up and go, knowing they’d never be back. Thanks again to all involved in making this available.
Note to Adm:
How would you feel about allowing me to put this link on our Washington County VA Historical Society web site? Email me at martha.keys@ comcast.net. Thanks!