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as the most appetizing age for winter bean porridge, but of one thing we may be sure; it was very, very cold.
For short winter trips, or whenever the snow was too soft or deep for horses, snow-shoes were used, and the traveller carried a staff at the bottom of which was fixed a
17.—Winter travel in the northern colonies was performed on foot, or in sleds
drawn by dogs or horses. The New England winter pedestrian, in addition to his snow-shoes, was equipped with a pole having a large wooden disc at its bottom for extra support.
wide, flat piece of wood, usually round or oval in shape, as an additional support. Still another means of travel during the winter season was the dog-sled. This method of conveyance was copied from a similar usage of the Indians, who in times of hostility sometimes also employed sleds for transporting their baggage or feeble captives through the wilderness. The dog-sleds were small and simple affairs, consisting of a flat base of pine or spruce about two feet wide, upcurved in front, and with room for but one person to seat himself. From two to six dogs constituted a team. Although the dog-sled never came into widespread use at any one time or in any given locality, except in the far North and Northwest, it nevertheless persisted in various forms as a vehicle of travel in America for perhaps two hundred years, and is still used in Alaska and Canada.
The establishment of the town of Philadelphia and its rapid growth had exerted a decided influence on the development of land travel in the colonies. By 1690 the place consisted of some six or eight hundred houses, people were journeying to it from all other parts of the country, and there was no longer any doubt that it was on its way toward an assured greatness. Three chief centers of social and commercial activity - New York, the Massachusetts towns and the settlements on the Delaware then existed in the North, and it was inevitable that they should soon become linked by definite and continuous land routes of travel. The Dutch, who had previously held that part of New Jersey between Amboy on New York Bay and the Delaware River, abandoned the region about the year 1675. At that time it was still a wilderness traversed only by Indian paths and but seldom crossed by white men. The main trail of the aborigines extended through the territory from Elizabethport, near New York Bay, and proceeding by way of the future settlements of New Brunswick and Trenton, finally reached the Delaware River. Such, then, was the route by which the colonists travelled overland between New York and Philadelphia in 1675. They made the journey on foot if they went at all, and under ordinary circumstances were from three to five days on the road.
It was this path of the Indians which was adopted as the best line for a steam railroad across New Jersey a hun
dred and sixty years afterward, and it was exactly above the same old historic travel route, two hundred and thirty
years afterward, that a flying-man made the first flight on schedule time ever performed. On that occasion an aeroplane was driven in an uninterrupted journey from New York to Philadelphia in an hour and fifty minutes as announced in advance, or five minutes faster than the running time of the swiftest regular railroad train between the two cities. Such things, however, did not abide within the philosophy of the red men. To them belongs the credit of pointing out the best paths, but we use the information in our own peculiar way. They went beneath the trees. We can go above.
By about the year 1682 the people of the Delaware River towns were beginning to open short roads between their various settlements, and the roads were gradually followed by local vehicle traffic for small distances. The few wagons or carts were very crude and awkward, had immensely wide wheels, and were most used in going to previously arranged gatherings that were sure to be attended by considerable numbers of people. The inhabitants of Burlington, for example, held fairs at stated intervals, to which the inhabitants of other settlements travelled in order to buy or exchange commodities or to visit friends and relatives.
Little by little the roads in all settled parts of the colonies were extended by the coöperation of communities and through individual labor, until in a few years continuous horseback journeys between Boston and Philadelphia were possible with comparative ease. But since all intending travellers did not own horses it often happened that a party of four would set out for a common destination with one horse. In such a case it was the practice for two to mount and ride a couple of miles, leaving the others to follow on foot. Then the riders would dismount, tie the horse by the roadside and continue on foot in their turn until the others, having reached the animal and mounted it, would overtake them. In that manner they proceeded, with considerable satisfaction to all concerned except the
1 Hamilton's flight of June 13, 1910.
18.—The dog-sled, or Indian dog train, was used when the snow was too deep
or too soft to uphold horses. Such a sled was six or seven feet long, and its bottom was made of smooth planks. The title on the original engraving is a misprint.
fifth member of the party. Two travelling together also used the same system if but one horse was available. In the year 1702 a woman went on horseback from Boston to Philadelphia and carried a baby in her lap for the entire distance. That was a notable occurrence. When a man and his wife rode one horse the man, in a saddle, sat as usual, and the woman was perched behind him on a cushion called a pillion. The woman's pillion was strapped to the motive power of the expedition, and below it, on one side, was hung a narrow wooden platform for her feet.
A school-teacher – Mrs. Knight - who travelled from Boston to New York on horseback in the year 1704 wrote a little book describing her trip, and her narrative contains much interesting information regarding the character and manners of the people she met on the way, as well as a recital of the experiences which she encountered. It is related by her that on one occasion she came to an inn late at night, and desiring shelter, summoned the inmates. Finally the landlady appeared, but instead of immediately bustling about to make the guest comfortable, and postponing a manifestation of her interest in the arrival, she planted herself immovably on the solid rock of her feminine curiosity and began:
"Law for me! What in the world brings you here this time of night? I never saw a woman on the Rode so Dreadful late in all my versall life! Who are you? Where are you going?” And so on. But Mrs. Knight, being a schoolmistress, finally passed the examination and
got to bed.
On the same trip she met a man and his daughter, riding on separate horses. The girl had only a bag for a saddle, and Mrs. Knight heard her plaintively say: "Lawful heart, father! This bare mare hurts me dingily. I'm dreadful sore, I vow.” It was small wonder she was uncomfortable, for it developed that she and her father had been jogging along for thirty miles.
Mrs. Knight also gave her opinion of the canoe, whose erratic propensities as a vehicle filled her with misgivings. Coming to a stream she was compelled to embark