Gregg, Samuel,
"Memorandum Book March 1816 Indiana Teritory"

16 page manuscript, written on a small quarto gathering, of eight leaves, plus plain rear wrapper, measuring 7 ½ x 6 ½ inches, pinned together at one point, the paper is tanned and brittle, and was formerly split down the middle, with no loss of text, and has been professionally restored. Housed in a recent full morocco and chemise slipcase.

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Fascinating travel account, apparently kept by a trader, who journeyed via boat and on foot through present day Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, with descriptions of the topography, soil, water, timber and resources, farms, settlements, towns, forts, salt works, agricultural possibilities, etc., in the months of March and April 1816.

Gregg's account is divided into several sections: "Indiana Teritory" [sic]; "Illinois Territory"; "Spanish Rights"; "Louisiana Territory."

In addition Gregg provides at the end of his account a list of goods he was asked to bring by named individuals, and an apparent complete inventory of the variety of articles he carried on his journey.

      Gregg's account commences when he left "McFaddon's Bluff March 13 for Misouri", and with a description of Indiana Territory, especially portions along the Ohio River, McFaddon's Bluff, Henderson Kentucky, and country between the Little Wabash and Fox River's, and that around the junction of the Wabash and Ohio Rivers, Vincennes, Burrows, and continues to Shawneetown Illinois. Gregg describes the country lying between the Saline and the big and little muddy rivers, noting several fine farms located on the prairies. He then describes the French towns in the area.

Gregg then describes portions of Missouri, then located in Louisiana Territory:

" ...St. Charles is about 80 miles up the Missouri on the west side. It is 20 miles from St. Louis by land over an excellent road and through in Part a rich Fertile Country containing upwards of 100 houses. From St. Charles between the Mississippi and Missouri at Nicholaus Contzes Fort is 25 miles by land to the Junction of the two rivers at which Fort the two rivers is 11 miles a part through a high dry Country and fine for grazing from thence to Mr. Howels Fort where there is a beautiful Priara [sic] and a rich fertile Country and westward from thence to Mr. Stones is 3 miles which place is 16 miles distant from river to river and the country equally watered and fertile and exceeding fine Timber, from thence to Darden Creek 5 miles which produces elegant bottoms and Priaras [sic] of the first quality plenty of large limestone springs which are never failing. From Contzes Fort runs and creeks are plenty with swift keen currents and all great bottoms Timber White and Blue Ash, Walnut Sugar, Black Locust White and Black Oak and exceeding tall. Distance of the two rivers apart at Dardans Creek is 22 miles running a straight line from river to river thence from Dardans to Luthers Lick is 50 miles between which are as fine as before. Between the head of little and big muddy is a fine rich Priara country and also the Turkey Hills Settlement is beautifully situated and rich fine land with good spring.

"Louisiana Territory"

      St. Lewis is Situated on the west side of the Mississippi ..., it indents along the river in 3 paralel [sic] strips each rising above the other which has a very handsome appearance the bank of the river is high and filled with limestone and perhaps 2/3 of the houses built of this material some of them in a grand style and surrounded with galleries almost every house has an excellent garden or park around which high stone walls are built a few American houses excepted. The number of inhabitants are about 3 thousand. One mile from town Mr. A. Chotiau [Auguste Chouteau] has erected a fine mill and Distillery and has an excellent situation for improvement. The country round and west of St. Louis for 9 miles is one extended Priara in which vast herds of cattle graze and fatten in Luxuriance of the Soil- 60 miles South West the Lead Mines of Louisiana are situated on the opposite side of the river is a ferry called Campbell's from thence the main road leads through Illinois Country striking Cahokia about seven miles from St. Lewis this village is handsomely situated at the edge of a Priara the inhabitants mostly French..., Mr. Lemuel Price lives halfway between Dardan and Luther Licks between the Priaras on a creek at which place the Missouri and Mississippi are 70 Miles Distant. From Luther Lick to the grand Priara is 20 miles which place is one extended Priara for 25 miles in length and generally averaging 10 miles in breadth the beauties of it cannot be exceeded. From thence is 15 miles to the above communication of the Rich Lands at which place the two rivers are 150 miles distant the rich lands commences at the first settlement or what is called Daniel Boon's Salt Works 160 miles from the forks of the Misouri [sic] and Mississippi Rivers by land the nearest course that can be laid off taking into view 3 situations Soil Timber and Salt Licks with all other advantages it far surpasses the best of Kentucky or any other Country I have seen. I arrived at Cooper's fort on the 30th of March and traded 3 miles from Boons Salt Works 225 miles by land from St. Louis and 375 miles up Mississippi and misouri by water...,

Cooper's Fort is situated on a Priarae containing about 1000 acres of Beautiful land on the Misouri Bottom where it is about 1 ½ miles wide Back of which are 2 Salt Licks containing 3 or 4 hundred acres...Cooper's Fort is built in the upper Settlement on the Misouri containing 72 Cabins formed in an oblong square attached to a barn field containing upwards of 400 acres under one fence above this Fort 40 miles from within the Misouri and Mississippi are the Mouths of Grand River which has a fine Navigation and is about 150 yards wide..., the country on both sides of the Missouri is filled with Stone Coal and Iron Ore and on the Mississippi side immense Lead Mines the largest and best lime stone springs I ever saw. Colonel Boon has built a saw mill on the East Side of the Missouri within 150 yards of the head of a spring which would be sufficient for a saw mill and grist mill every day in the year...,

McLavin's Fort is a very strong Fort about the same size as Cooper's, and high situation surrounded with delightful land and springs, about 10 miles lower down the river at about 2 miles distant from the Misouri and at present the nearest the centre of the main Settlemt. In what is called Boon' salt works the Misouri cannot be any muddier than it is every day -..., From Cooper's Fort to what is called Hurricane Creek Settlement is about 15 miles..., From Hurricane Creek to Charlotte's sherito [sic] is 6 miles which is a navigable stream emptying itself from Between Mississippi and Misouri ...,

From Cooper's Fort to Kinkade's Fort is 10 miles which is situated on the Misouri Bottom one mile from the river where there is a good landing and beautiful situation. From the 28th March to the 2nd of April the spring grass was as I think growing as meadow from 6 to 8 Inches high and the Misouri bottoms are filled with Rushes generally as I think as high as a Mans head on horseback together with a fine thick growth of winter grass either of which far exceeds cane for wintering stock. I saw a number of horses, cattle and Hogs from the 28th of March to the 4th of April which had wintered themselves without any kind of feed only the range and without salt that were as fat as any Stock I ever saw that were stall fed. Near Kinkade's Fort on the Misouri Bottom where it is about 2 ½ miles wide and perfectly dry I measured one walnut tree that was 16 ½ feet round the Butt and at least 60 feet without a limb and being equal sized as to appearance and very little superior to thousands of others on the same bottom.

John Bale & Co. now rents the United States Saline at 40150 Bushels of salt for which they have at least the priviledge of 18 miles square the United States Reserve is about 13 miles square... Florrisant lies between the Misouri and Mississippi and an elegant little French Town inhabited in and around are immense wealthy people..., Harmon Gregg lives on the Misouri Bottom at Cooper's Fort 3 miles from C. Boon's salt works..." [sic]

Gregg lists an astonishing variety of articles and merchandise which he was asked to bring along on his journey by several individuals named, having apparently been in Missouri in November of 1815, as well as a list of articles which he must have intended to trade or sell. He lists nearly one hundred separate items. Including a variety of ironware, tools, dry goods, spices, plows, paper, books, buttons, looking glasses, cutlery, dishes, men's and women's saddles, surveyor's instruments, as well as apple and other fruit trees, etc.

In addition to the topographical description of Missouri and Louisiana Territories at this early date, 12 years after its acquisition by the United States, Gregg's account is of value for its list of the variety of articles and trade goods a backwoods trader carried into the wilderness settlements.

The survival of this fragile little account is equally noteworthy.