Submitted by scott on
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It took a day, by steamboat and cars, to go from St. Louis to Bloomington, Ill; another day by railroad, from there to Chicago, where I laid over all day Sunday; from Chicago to Monroe, in Michigan, by railroad, another day; from Monroe, across Lake Erie, in the fine Lake palace, “Southern Michigan,” to Buffalo, another day; from Buffalo to Albany, by railroad, another day; and from Albany to New York, by Hudson river steamboat, another day—an awful trip, taking five days, where it should have been only three.I shall wait a day or so for my insides to get settled, after the jolting they received, when I shall look out for a sit for they say there is plenty of work to be had for sober compositors.

SLC to Jane Lampton Clemens, 24 Aug 1853, New York, N.Y. (UCCL 02711), n. 2. 

August 19, 1853, 11am, Sam boarded the sidewheeler steamer Cornelia and traveled to Alton, Illinois. The Cornelia was sunk just two years later, running into a rock at Chain of Rocks. Chain of Rocks is a geological formation just below the confluence of the Missouri River and the Mississippi River.

Sam then took the train from Alton to Springfield. The Alton and Sangamon Railroad, chartered February 27, 1847, in Illinois to connect Alton to Springfield in Sangamon County. The line was finished in 1852. The Chicago & Mississippi Railroad extended to Bloomington in 1854 and Joliet in 1855, not available for Sam’s journey.

Sam took Frink’s stage to Bloomington. Frink’s was first established in 1840 as Frink, Walker and Company. The company came to dominate all stagecoach travel in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri. They used Concord coaches for their routes. The name changed to John Frink and Company in 1849 and the business relationship between the two men was dissolved in 1856.

Saturday, August 20, 1853, Sam boarded the Illinois Central to Lasalle, Illinois, then on to Chicago.  The Chicago and Rock Island railroad took him to Joliet. And the St Louis, Alton and Chicago the rest of the way. He arrived in Chicago at 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 21, 1853: Sam departed Chicago on what would, in 1855,  become the Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana railway, the Northern Indiana Road and the Michigan Southern Railroad. He wrote that he had the whole day as a layover.  Reports are that he departed at 9 p.m. Also, Powers writes that he went first to Toledo and then to Monroe.

Day 4: Monday, 22 August. 8:00 a.m., from Monroe across Lake Erie to Buffalo, New York, by the steamer Southern Michigan.

Tuesday, 23 August. 7:00 a.m., Sam departed Buffalo and traveled to Albany via Rochester and Syracuse on the New York Central. Erastus Corning had created the New York Central Railroad Company, from 10 railroad companies between Buffalo and Albany, just three months previous to Sam’s trip.

7:00 p.m., en route via the Hudson River to New York City on the steamer Isaac Newton.