The Journal of Andrew Ellicott,: Late Commissioner on Behalf of the United States During Part of the Year 1796, the Years 1797, 1798, 1799, and Part of the Year 1800: for Determining the Boundary Between the United States and the Possessions of His Catholic Majesty in America, Containing Occasional Remarks on the Situation, Soil, Rivers, Natural Productions, and Diseases of the Different Countries on the Ohio, Mississippi, and Gulf of Mexico, with Six Maps ... : To which is Added an Appendix, Containing All the Astronomical Observations Made Use of for Determining the Boundary ... Likewise a Great Number of Thermometrical Observations ...
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The itinerary starts September 16th, 1796, in Philadelphia, and on October 24th sets off on the Ohio from Pittsburgh. Arrives Cincinnati November 25, Louisville December. 8, Mississippi River on December 21, and Natchez on February 24, 1797. That whole journey has occupied a mere 40 pages of journal, much of it devoted to discussion of the weather, the only thing the feels called upon to cover in detail. Here is a typical entry at a place of real interest: “Viewed the amazing works thrown up many ages ago by the Indians. They are the most regular of any I have seen. Some smoke and fog in the morning.—Thermometer rose from 31º to 52º." Most of the rest of the book is about the extremely tedious matter of settling the boundary with the Spanish, made still more tedious by the author’s simply reprinting all the correspondence and official documents involved. There is a very brief account of the trip from Natchez to New Orleans, and from there he heads east, out of the western territory. Easily the longest section of the book is the 151-page Appendix of “Astronomical and Thermometrical Observations”; Mr. Ellicott is a constitutionally boring man.