Handwritten letter from Harrison on members of the New York Emigration Society moving west "to purchase some of the Reservations which were made at the last treaty"
Early ALS signed “W. H. Harrison,” one page, 7.75 x 10, November 25, 1819. Addressed from North Bend, Ohio, a handwritten letter to an unnamed doctor, in full: “Messrs. Berdan Roe & Nixon the three gentlemen who will probably hand you this are a committee sent out by a Society that has been formed in New York for the purpose of removing in a body to the Western Country & they are in search of an eligible situation for that purpose they have some thoughts of attempting to purchase some of the Reservations which were made at the last treaty. Be pleased to give them any aid in your power.” In very good to fine condition, with scattered light staining, and old repairs to folds on the reverse.
A fascinating letter from Harrison, who refers to the ongoing expedition of the New York Emigration Society, which included members David Berdan, Sr., Isaac Roe, and George Nixon. The well-maintained journal of Berdan contained a detailed account of an Odyssean journey through New York, Pennsylvania, and the frontier towns and wilderness of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, mostly on horseback. The travelers endured winter blizzards, mud, ice, swollen rivers, and lame horses, in addition to some dramatic moments on the journey, of near-starvation, near-freezing, and near-drowning.
In 1819, David Berdan, Sr., served on the exploration committee of the New York Emigration Society. Berdan and two others were authorized to explore the frontiers of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois to purchase land for society members and lay out a town. The expedition left New York City on October 12, 1818, and traveled 3,244 miles in five months. However, at the end of his arduous journey, Berdan and his companions are not compensated for their exertions. Nothing came of the venture; high land prices and the panic of 1819 combined to discourage the subscribers, and the society was disbanded in 1820. Berdan died the following year.