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Historic Diaries: Marsh, 1834

More Tolerable to Live amongst Indians

Editor's Note:

Marsh, sick, bored, and excluded while waiting at Phelps' trading post for a chance to meet Sauk chief Appanoose, continued to feel despondent. Probably the laudanum he took for his stomach ailment helped depress his spirits. What with the heat, the opium, illness, and offensive companions, he endured one of the worst days of his journey.

Mon. [July] 21st

Weather very warm, perhaps more so than any one previous this summer. My health better, as it appears to me. Still I have occasional pains in my bowels. During the day and eve took laudanum 3 times. At night rested well.


Spent the day as much as I could in preparing an introductory talk to the Indians.


In the morning after breakfast, the company all left and went up the river, and late in the P.M. returned and stayed some time. The brandy bottle was again resorted to and some used awfully profane language. How much more tolerable to live amongst Indians than such as only use their knowledge of God to blaspheme his holy name! Let my abode rather be in some vast wilderness than with such.


In the [P.M.?] Mr. Phelps being somewhat disgusted with the scenes of the day requested his wife to reprove him whenever he used any more profane language. May some arrow of conviction gracious Savior pierce his heart.

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