love to all enquiring friends; write when you receive this, and let this sheet be an example for you, this to my dearest friend.
, I[ndian]a. Oct. 13th, 1837.
Having arrived here last evening in a heavy shower of rain, and calculating to pursue our journey on the morrow, I thought I would occupy part of the day, in wri ting a few lines to you for the Journal.
This place is about five hundred miles from , and about half way from to the city of ; which makes the distance from to the , one thou sand miles.
Part of the way the roads were ex cedingly good, and part of the way, were as bad as they could well be.— The immence travel on the national road is incredible, and this compo sed of all classes, and discriptions of character. Here indeed you may see the rich and the poor, the noble and ignoble, all traveling together a long the same way; just like they have to the grave, the common lot of all.
I observed as I passed through , that there was quite a diversity of both soil and timber, some parts of through which we passed, I think is not surpassed in any part of the coun try, for fertility of soil, beauty of at traction, and splendor of improvements. I have not, as yet, to this point seen any thing to equal it.
Through , there is a much greater uniformity of soil, timber, and surface, than in , I mean in the parts through which we passed. From the time we crossed the state line, until say within 12 or 15 miles from this place, there is a uniformity in soil, timber, and surface, that amounts to a dull monotony in the eye of the obser ver. The timber is principly beech and maple. The surface is very flat; and the soil not above second quality, if it would be considered of that qal ity
as far as I have traveled through it, until I came within a few miles of this place, does not justify the general report which has been given of it; at least, I confess, that I was disap pointed, not finding the country as good as I expected from report.
There are a multitude of villages springing up on the national road, of which Richmond, Indianapolis, and are principle, of these three, I should consider Richmond quite in advance of the others. Indianapolis, the seat of government, is a village of considerable size; but the buildings are generally small, many of them from one, to one story and a half high, and very few excel two storys high.— The greater part of the houses are wood.—The town is built on the east side of White river: the situation is ples ant, and would admit of a city of the largest size.
This vilage () is situated on the east side of the wabash, which is a beautiful river, and flows majesti cally along the west side of the . The steamboats ascend the river to this point. The is situated on a wide spreading prairy of exceeding ly rich soil, and the surface is level, and presents a sublime prospect, to the eye of the traveler as he comes from the east. From where the national road enters the prariy; it is about three miles to the river, where the stands.
The prices of land on the national road is astonishing; take it at any point you will, and you will find, the wild land, from twenty to thirty dollars per acre; while the improved land, is from fifty to a hundred, according to the situation and improvements.
No thinking mind can travel through the country, and observe the ways of man and things, without deep reflection. In passing along you will see wealth, beauty, and eligance, flowing in all richness, and the next minute, you will see poverty, want, and wretched ness, praying like a vulture upon the happiness of their subjects. The wretchedness and sufferings which a bound in many habitations, makes the heart sicken, and throws a gloomi ness over the spirit of the philanthro phist.
A person who is acquainted with the purposes and work of God in the last days, by traveling only increases his desire, that the great work of God may be speadily accomplished; for the amel ioration of the world depends intirely on the accomplishment of the purpo ses of God. For this cause, the intel [p. 7]