NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY
Vol. XIV, No. 4, Winter 1958
MRS. GILMAN AND THE ERIE CANAL
TYPICAL perhaps of the 19th century’s travelling female, Mrs. Caroline Howard Gilman is of particular interest to York State by virtue of her voyaging on the Erie Canal.
She took passage on an Erie canal-boat, sampled among other
forms of transportation during a “northern excursion” in the
late 1830s. Like many other writer-travellers, Caroline Gilman
recorded her impressions and published them. Fortunately—and
unlike many of the diary-writing tourists of the times—she could wield a pen fairly well; her prose style is sometimes even engaging.
Her poetry, on the other hand, is often poetry in name only; but she called her little book of impressions Poetry of Travelling.
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