I actually wrote this post yesterday. That’s because I will be on the road almost all day today without a chance to write a story for January 23rd. Actually, my wife and I will be sort of replicating the trip made by my Schmidt ancestors 180 years ago aboard the Knickerbocker. We will be traveling north, maybe not on the Mississippi River, but more or less following that river until we get to northern Iowa. Then we will veer more to the west and head into Minnesota.
One hundred eighty years ago, the Joachim Schmidt family was aboard the Knickerbocker traveling north on the same river. Aboard that boat was Teacher J.J.F. Winter, who was recording this journey in a journal. I have been placing Teacher Winter’s entries at the bottom of each of my recent posts. I plan to continue writing some blog posts while in Minnesota when I’m not playing with my granddaughter. However, today, you just get this short account from Teacher Winter’s journal.
“On the 23rd, we came to the small but nice little city of Memphis. Here such articles as fabrics, shoes, hemp, glassware, tobacco pipes, and the like, were quite expensive. Up to this point our passage had proceeded very well, but from now on it was to be different. For a loaded boat was attached to our heavily laden steamer, –it was almost the size of a moderately large boat on the Saale or the Elbe, –and so the journey no longer proceeded as fast as heretofore, even though the ship’s engine worked furiously. As the weather grew more raw the farther north we came, illness also increased noticeably among us. This was the case chiefly among the following families. The Putzers of Naumburg, the Koeppels of Kahla, the Hermanns, Boehmes, Muellers of Planena, and others. As to my health during the trip on the steamer, I must say that, after getting over the seasickness, I felt far better, thank God, than had been the case in Germany.”
It just so happens that our granddaughter’s mother was born in Memphis. She, too, would later settle north of Memphis and is now raising her family there. She has adapted to a different Minnesota culture and even joined a curling team recently. My ancestors were moving north to a place they would eventually settle to raise their family. They adapted and became Americans.
This little girl is the main attraction for us in Minnesota these days.
It looks like she needs someone to read to her.
If you’re reading this on January 23rd, I must have gotten the opportunity to punch the “Publish” button on my phone somewhere along my way north.