Map of the United States, 1819. Source: Wikipedia.org April 27, 1819
An old sayeth by the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu tells us that "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Today I--or rather, my horse, Pioneer and I--took the first step from Baltimore, Maryland to Cincinnati, Ohio. Why the journey to a city with a funny name? I have my reasons. First, I grew up in Richmond, Virginia, which is very close to Cincinnati and where most of my family folk still live. Secondly, I long to see our new nation's land opening up out West and believe it's the perfect place for an entrepreneurial man such as myself to lay down some new roots and make a living. Among the goods tucked into my saddlebags you'll find a change or two of clothing, enough minted coins to get me to at least halfway across to Ohio, a shaving razor, dried jerky, and a flask of whiskey--standard traveling fare. But my most prized possessions are prototypes of household goods that I believe will make this hard way of living on American land a little easier for most folks: a contraption for making flour fine
, another for grinding cheese
, and yet another invention that turns corn into tasty popped kernels
. This morning I bade goodbye to friends, neighbors, and Baltimore, the city that was my companion for seven years after the War of 1812 ended. Pioneer and I are on our way to my cousin Nathan's cabin in Hagerstown, Maryland, just near the Pennsylvania line. Here's hoping we'll be both greeted with some good grub, hospitality--and a hot bath!