1861: May 11-July 11: The Journey West to Minnesota and back.
Horace Mann Jr. spent two weeks getting from Massachusetts to Minnesota, by
rail and by steam. They spent one month exploring the area around the
Twin Cities, and also accompanied a tourist excursion to the Lower Sioux
Agency in Redwood, Minnesota. Then they took to water and rails again
and followed a
more northern route to return home.
Though the intent of the trip was to relieve Henry Thoreau's symptoms of
consumption, it was also his one and only chance to "Go West." He and young
Horace were able to "botanize" at Niagara Falls, N.Y.; on Barn Bluff in
Redwing, Minn.; along the Minnesota River; and on Mackinac Island, Mich.
Here's the route they took.
Click here to follow each step of the trip
and to see the lists of railroad stops.
Click here to see the
transcription of Thoreau's 100-page notebook.
For more details
about The Journey West, see Westward I Go Free: Tracing Thoreau's
Last Journey, by Corinne Hosfeld Smith.