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105 Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People  
Pioneering the Upper Midwest Books from Michigan Minnesota and Wisconsin ca 1820 1910

a series of letters, William Darby (1775-1854), who describes himself as a member of the New-York Historical Society, chronicles his journey up the Hudson, across New York to Ogdensburg and Sackett's Harbor (on Lake Ontario), and on to Buffalo and Detroit. Along the way, he spends time in Rhinebeck, Utica, Geneva, Niagara Falls, and other points of scenic or economic interest. He also discusses the St. Lawrence River and its commercial traffic at length, analyzing development on both shores and comparing the United States's and Canada's growth. Darby made the trip across Lake Erie from Buffalo to Detroit on the schooner Zephyr, stopping at such towns as Dunkirk, Cleveland, and Sandusky. His return trip to New York took him back along the American shore of Lake Erie to Buffalo and Albany (by way of Auburn, the Finger Lakes, and Schenectady). Appended to these letters are "general remarks" (which include excerpts of a speech by Governor Clinton to the New York State Legislature), a description of Ballston Spa, a letter Darby received about the not-yet-opened Erie Canal, and long excerpts from Bouchette's Canada. Darby tells us primarily about the geology and natural features of the areas he visits as well as their current and future economic prospects. He provides some demographic information and occasionally mentions local accommodations. The book is accompanied by two colored maps, one of which details the route he took for his journey.

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 Additional Info
 No. 43
 Posted on 7 June, 2006
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