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Historic Diaries: Marsh, 1834

Home Again

Editor's Note:

After traveling 1,500 miles in a vain attempt to interest the Sauk and Fox in Christianity, Rev. Marsh was relieved to finally arrive back home in Statesburg (Kaukauna).

"D. Barber" is unidentified. "Mr. Stevens" was Rev. J. D. Stevens, a native of New York who taught in Mackinaw from 1828 to 1833 and officiated among Marsh's Stockbridge congregation on the Fox River while Marsh was away. He later preached at Prairie du Chien and Platteville, and was for 26 years one of the trustees of Beloit College. (Wisconsin Historical Collections 12:186).

Although Rev. Marsh returned safely home on this day, he made one final entry in his pocket notebook a few weeks later, concerning a conversation between his Stockbridge companion John Metoxen and Sauk chief Black Hawk. This concluding entry will appear here tomorrow.

[Fri] Sept. 19th

After supper we lay down to rest, although the night was rather cold, still I rested comfortably, until between 3 and 4 o'clock in the A.M. when my company, Majors Rees and Bushnell, arose and prepared some breakfast, and about 4 we started. It was with peculiar feelings that I set out on my last day's journey towards home.

The past seemed only as a dream in the retrospect and my mind involuntarily glanced upon the scenes through which I had passed with a kind of pleasure and regret. This one desire has pervaded my mind: that the tour might be rendered serviceable to the cause of Christ.

Short interview with Mr. B[ushnell].

Having heard him use much profane language, I felt it to be my duty to reprove him in some way. Popular vices were at first introduced and then incidentally as it were I referred to the use of profane language. He made the application at once to himself, but seemed bitterly opposed to religion and to care for none of these things.

At 7 or 8 o'clock in the eve[ning] in health and safety having been absent 3 mo. and 8 days and travelling during that time over 15 hundred miles, Rev. Dr. Barber and Mr. Stevens came across to meet me, and putting my baggage etc on board the canoe, the horse swam the river and we reached the opposite shore in safety.

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