October 19, 1832
19 October: Early in the morning, a gentleman who had disembarked with us did some target shooting with his pistol, then loaded it and intended to cover on foot the road to New Harmony, 15 miles from here. I rented a small wagon, on which we loaded our baggage, and at nine o’clock left for Harmony with Dreidoppel while Mr. Bodmer took the shotgun and began the journey on foot with our companion.
At first the road led alternately through cultivated areas with scattered individual habitations and through woods where, today, leaves were falling unusually heavily in the very great heat. The leaves had also largely lost their lovely colors by this time. The road was very bad, for a long period of time often covered with thick pieces of wood against which our poor wagon forcibly struck. With two poor and poorly harnessed horses, a small boy drove us slowly, since we were waiting for those going on foot. Finally we reached magnificent lofty forest where Platanus, Liriodendron, maple, storax (Liquidambar), the gum tree, willow oak (Quercus phellos), and many other kinds of beautiful trees, often with enormously thick trunks like pillars, grew straight, tall, and dense.[1:123] All around, grapes and other vines hung from them. Thick trunks rotted on the ground. Near several habitations I saw for the first time persimmon trees (Diospyros virginiana) with ripe fruit. On the side of a house, we found the very fatty hides of raccoons and the beautiful feathers of a wild turkey, recently killed, which had been shot nearby. For the first time in this tall forest, I saw Amorpha fruticosa as the understory. A rather deep brook, Big Creek, meanders through the tall forests.M32In which, far from all human habitation, one frequently comes upon domestic pigs (with reddish brown and black spots), which often look for food here. They are said frequently to become wild, and one may shoot them if there is no identifying mark on them. Toward the end of the woods, we stopped at a lonely farmhouse whose owners, descendants of Germans, had moved here from Pennsylvania.
At the edge of the forest, one very soon reaches the rather sightly, friendly town of New Harmony on the level land on the bank of the Wabash. We stored our baggage in the inn. Not until several hours later did those who went on foot appear. They had seen quite a few interesting things, particularly a flight of parakeets. These pretty birds are said to live here all year; Mr. Say has observed them at −25°R [−24.3°F, −31.3°C]. They are said never to be found near Pittsburgh. Because I did not feel very well, I did not go out any more today.