An early traveler’s impression of the Freeport Twp, Harrison County area in the fall of 1819:
“Oct. 19. Left Siers’ at six o’clock a. m. The morning fair and cold. Roads’ extremely rough. Country fertile, but hilly. Log cabins, ugly women, and tall timber. Passed a little flourishing village called Freeport, settled by foreigners, Yankee Quakers, and mechanics. Remarkable, with two taverns in the village, there was nothing fit to drink, not even good water.”
– from the diary of Dr. Richard Lee Mason, as published in Historical Collections of Harrison County, Hanna, Charles A, (New York, New York: private, 1900), p.90
Tomorrow I’m off to Cadiz, OH for a first-time visit to the Harrison County Historical Society’s Library. About 2.5 hours south of here, Cadiz should be a nice drive on a sunny, warm Friday. Having never been to this library, I am having a little trouble focusing in on exactly what I want to find. They have no online catalog or list of holdings, preventing a well-developed list of likely sources to check.
So instead, I have come up with a general list of questions to try to answer. The general focus this visit will be Freeport Twp: 1814-1840. I am hoping to write an article for the Ohio Genealogical Society’s First Families of Ohio publication, and would like to gather more information about what life was like and why people seemed to emigrate en mass from Fayette and Washington Counties in PA. A number of these families, including my own, appear to have New Castle, DE connections as well.
A second goal is to document for future research what original court records the library holds. I still need to find the Common Pleas Appeal in the Jesse Pickering/Edith Staats case, and would be interested to see exactly what other original court records they hold. How about a tavern’s license for the inn ran by John Summers? Other questions that might be answered: What church was Rev. Jacob Lemmon associated with and are there records? Any of the area Quaker records available there? Microfilm?
Full report tomorrow evening. Stay tuned.