- Category: 1811 Travel Journal of Charity Rotch
- Published on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 16:51
28th took our departure from Pittsburgh, cross'd the Allegany to fulfill an engagement made by my TR when we were at that place in the winter, to visit a company of Germans, who call themselves Harmonists; 27 miles distance in a Northern direction, found the road so poor as almost to produce regret at the undertaking; but on our arrival, finding so much order, industry & good management, in their way, we felt some what compensated for the fatigue.
29th spent in Looking round the village, & visiting the manufactories - 15 Lumes in the Cellar employ'd in Linnen, 4 in Chamber 2 broad ones, for Woolen, three Jennys Billy &c the School room in the same building contain'd a large number of children, learning dutch, said to be abt half their number the village contains near 100 Cabins, ten Brick buildings one of which is their Church; 2 villages abt 2 miles distant, said to contain abt 20 Cabins, their vineyard, Barns, & almost evry thing out of their houses shew them to be a laborious people; & that the plan they have adopted of domestic economy, wou'd much enhance the wealth of any people, particularly those who are active & laborious, the women are not wanting, in lending their aid, it is now abt 6 years, since the first tree was cut down on the place, their plan is truly republican, all things in common; the linnen is spun by each of the families, carried to the weavers & then placed in the Store house, from whence that & all other necessaries is drawn, as they are wanted; their dress & manner of living, being in the Simplest sort, it is reasonable to believe they will have very large resources in time,
they have several mills: & are abt establishing more <<tear>> season, also one or two large brick buildings, & their plan is when the public buildings are accomplish'd, such as boarding house brewery &c to have the Cabins give way to good houses, so that it will be difficult to conceive, what an alteration, in almost every respect, save that of Cleanliness, time will make here; the females, even to the smallest girls wear a quilted piece of Callico on the crowning of the head, tied under the chin with a small string; on which when they have any burden to carry; they place a round cushion, some of them curiously pieced, with many colors Stuff'd with Straw, & on that is the basket of potatoes, tub of water, or hay Sack Seated; many of these have we seen this day, transported to their various abodes with almost Gigantic Strides. Such universal good nature & quietude, I believe is seldom, if ever found in other neighbourhoods of equal sise, & Justly deserves the name of Harmony; the members are in number near 800, the heads of the Society are the Minister George Rapp, & his two Sons Frederick & John, the latter I think quite an interresting man he introduced his little blooming daughter; & seems an affectionate father, his wife was not at home when he invited me into his house; I was so prepossess'd in his favour, I cou'd not help regretting, she had not more of neatness in her composition; I gave him a few garden Seeds, & prepared some tar & sugar for him, he having a complaint at his breast for which I thot it wou'd be useful, he gave me a very interresting acct of the cause of their leaving Germany: which firstly arose from the intemperance of their minister; they being of the serious sort; enterd in to an association, to form a Settlement; wherever they cou'd procure a sufficient quantity of land; his father was commission'd, to take a view in America, & send them his opinion; which accordingly, resulted in their establishment here, he had previously became their minister: & seems to be much respected by them.
30 after visiting their vineyard Maze cottage &c we took our departure, they acknowledging us as frds, & wou'd not be persuaded to receive recompense returnd to Pittsburgh, &
1st of the 5th mo took our departure from thence, & rode 20 miles. Lodg'd at Stewards,
2nd rode on 27 miles for want of a suitable house on the road to stop at over Chesnut Ridge; lodg'd at Backhouses Inn on the Glade road;
3rd pass'd over very stony road, hard to endure, 21 miles; to Summerset a small village 15 years old, containing abt 60 houses; County town &c: Lodg'd at Websters said to be the best house on the road = but I think there are as good = drawing nearer the Allegany Mountains I find my lungs much more affected than more remote from them;
4th, rode 15 miles ascended the Allegany Mountain; & lodg'd at the foot of it, at Im Hoofs inn;