Journal of a tour to the West in 1839: diary, 1839.

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  • UPenn Ms. Coll. 786
  • John Henshaw was born in Middletown, Connecticut to Daniel Henshaw and Sally Prentiss Henshaw on 13 June 1792. The family moved to Middlebury, Vermont, where John attended Middlebury College and graduated in 1808; he then attended Harvard University as a resident graduate for a year. After a visit to Middletown, Henshaw became interested in the Episcopal Church, although he was educated as a Congregationalist, and was baptized by the rector, Rev. Kewley. Henshaw took the name Kewley at the time of his baptism as a token of respect. He was ordained deacon in 1813, served at St. Ann's Church in Brooklyn, New York for three years, married Mary Gorham of Bristol, Rhode Island in 1814, and was ordained a priest in 1816. In the spring of 1817 he became rector of St. Peter's Church in Baltimore, Maryland, where he served for twenty-six years. In 1843 he was elected bishop of Rhode Island, Episcopal Church of the United States, where he served until his death in 1852. Henshaw published numerous sermons and essays. A small leather-bound travel diary from September 1839 to November 1839 written in ink and pencil with 201 numbered pages. Henshaw recorded his journey from Baltimore, Maryland to Louisville, Kentucky, where he was asked to preach at the consecration of the St. Paul's Episcopal Church on 6 October 1839 at the request of his friend and colleague Rev. William Jackson. Henshaw left Baltimore on 24 September, arrived in Louisville on 2 October, and began his return journey to Baltimore on 7 October, reaching home on 7 November. The journal records Henshaw's long and meandering travel from Baltimore to Louisville via stagecoach and steamboat through Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois. Henshaw provides a detailed account of all the portions of his journey, including observations of passengers and their personalities, the names of the steamboats, lodgings, friends whom he stops to see, and scenery such as the Allegheny Mountains in the moonlight. He discusses the Episcopal Church at each town where he disembarks, the people, the culture, historical accounts of certain areas, and places he visited in towns, like the glass works factory in Wheeling, West Virginia and his fascination with the process of its manufacture. Henshaw also discusses the state of the church and visits to other churches where he was asked to preach. A list of cities and the expenses incurred on his journey are written on the end papers. There are two leaves laid in with Henshaw's signature and printed name.

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    Journal of a Tour to the West - in 1839

    In compliance with an urgent request from the Rector & vestry of St. Paul's Church, Louisville, Kentucky, that I would preach at the consecration of their new church on the 6th of October, I left Baltimore on Monday 23d Sept at 4 O'clock in the afternoon in the rail road cars from Fredericktown. Nothing of much interest occur- red in the cars, except a con- versation with Govr Howard, about church affairs. What a pity is it that such men, worldly in spirit & irregular in their habits, should be admitted to the most solemn ordinances

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    2. of our holy religion, hold seats in our ecclesiastical conventions & exercise as they too often do a controlling influence over the measures in which the [we?] of XTo spiritual kingdom are most deeply involved? The adopt -ion of a canon to exclude all but communicants from the office of delegates to conventions as has been done in [[Virginia]] & [[Ohio]], would probably have a [decl?ting] in -fluence in the Diocese of [[Maryland]]. Tho: alas! This would not be a per -fect remedy for the roil for some of the most embittered foes of evangelical religion are con -[?ants] having a form of god -liness beset denying the power therof!

    We arrived at [[Fredrick]] about 9 O'clock, & dropped at the city Hotel. I was glad to find our inquiry of the Landlord that [[Wm Owings]], who had

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    been stabbed by John Ridgely 3. was entirely [illegible] of danger to be walking about quickly. On enter -ing the stage coach after sup -per, I was happy to find [illegible] there passengers besides myself, all intelligent & agreeable gentle -men. With one of them we parted company at Hagarstown about 2 O'clock in the morning the others Wm Wheeler merchant of [illegible] just returned from Eur -ope in the Great Western Lt [B?] of New Orleans, were my sole stage companions to Wheeling & the latter accom -pandied me to Cincinnatti Passing on at a rapid rate through Clear Spring & over the south mountains, & along the banks of the [illegible] & Ohio canal, we arrived to breakfast at [Hancock?] about 6 O'clock in the morning

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    4. of Tuesday 24th. At Han -cock, Recd [Received] Mr. Delaplaine tr [???????] [??????] one of his parishoners [????] [and?] receive no compensation for my breakfast[ed?]. We here entered upon the [mountain??? ?????]

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