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Joseph Hancock

Title: Journal Entry and Reminiscence
Type: Diary
Date: 1850
Source: Goodhue County Historical Society

Description: These two sources describe a trip to Red Wing taken by Hancock and his family. One source is his actual journal entry, the other is his reminiscence of the event years later.


[Journal Entry]

July 10

Left Long Prairie Minnesota town northwest of Red Wing. in a skiff Small, flat-bottomed rowboat. at 10 o-clock a.m. with family and baggage. Had a young man in company with us to help row the boat. Every thing seemed fair for a prosperous Successful. and pleasant journey. But at about 2 o'clock p.m. a cloud arose attended with lightening which brought a drenching shower upon us. We kept on our way however until a second or third shower accompanied by a strong wind drove us to land. Here we unloaded our things and made us a shelter by turning our boat bottom upwards. The rain continuing we were obliged to pass the night in a rather damp condition. The musketoes Alternate spelling of mosquitoes. [sic] were very plenty and showed us no mercy. Bad as it was we had reason to be thankful, for none took cold though our clothes were thoroughly wet before we got under our boat. Had a box of matches in my pantaloons Loose-fitting trousers. pocket, but they were soaked with water and we could make no fire. The morning came and the rain ceased.



The spring had been backward and rainy. Streams and swamps were almost impassable for teams; and therefore, after due deliberation, Careful consideration. we concluded to travel by water. We took the longest way round to be our shortest way home. Obtaining a skiff, we started on the Long Prairie river, which runs northerly and empties into the Crow Wing River. The latter runs easterly, and, we were informed, would convey Take. us to the Mississippi river.

It was a bright morning in June when we went aboard our boat. Besides myself, wife, and our little child, a young man, wishing to leave the place, took passage with us for St. Paul. He was a great help to us, being skillful in the use of oars. With our necessary baggage we took provisions Supplies. for several days, because we could not expect to see any human habitation until we should arrive at Fort Ripley. This fort was at the time occupied by United States soldiers, and was on the Mississippi a few miles below the mouth of the Crow Wing river.

We enjoyed our first day's journey down the winding stream, until the middle of the afternoon. Then we noticed that some clouds had begun to spread over the sky, hiding the sun. Soon muttering thunder was heard, and evidently a shower was near. We turned our boat to shore, and had just time to haul it upon the land and turn it bottom upwards, putting ourselves and lading Cargo. underneath it, when the rain began to pour down in torrents. Shower after shower followed till night came on, and we remained there until the light of another day dawned upon us. The clouds had disappeared, and we launched our boat again.