Entry 5 From Virginia to Missouri

8.24.29 Staid in Lewisburg

Staid in Lewisburg until evening. It was a quarterly court and a day of great resort in Lewisburg. Started in the evening and came to Pierce’s [Pierie’s] ten miles over the Muddy Creek Mountain. Fared well.

This journal of a journey from Lexington, in Rockbridge County, Virginia to St. Charles County Missouri, was written in 1829, and includes the story of the enslaved Archer Alexander. Written by William Campbell (1805-1849), it can be found in the Leyburn Library, Special Collections and Archives, located at the Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia. A very special thanks goes to Lisa S. McCown, Senior Assistant and all of the staff there. . This journal is presented here with the spellings as presented by the writer in 1829. All photos by Dorris Keeven-Franke with a special thanks to Donna LaBrayer Sandegren.

William Massilon Campbell graduated in 1825 from Washington College, later Washington and Lee University. As a lawyer, he had a keen interest in the affairs of each County Seat, and would spend several hours visiting and attending the court’s proceedings. This allowed time for those walking, and the slower wagons to catch up. A day of rest was great, however everyone would have still been busy, making any needed repairs to the wagon, laundry, and all of the daily chores that still was needed.

As the roads developed, locations that were good watering holes, became popular stops, which would grow to include other businesses. When a settlement grew, a mill was started, churches were built, and soon a school became the sign of a more perfect settlement. Before long this would develop into a sizable community, and quite often the County Seat Once a Courthouse was built, the local Chancery or County Court would meet routinely twice a month. On other days, the building would not be sitting empty but put to great use for the County Court, or maybe even a City Council meeting. Travel was slow and tedious.


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