Jacksonville June 19 1832.
My dear Frances.
I set out as I wrote I should do, from this place on Wednesday the 13th of this month on a little excursion towards the north. John accompanied me. The first day brought us to Springfield the capital of Sangamon County where the land office for this district is kept and where I was desirous of making some inquiries as to the lands in market. Here I put a letter into the post office--the third I have written you since my departure from N. Y. The first I despatched from Cincinnati and the second from St. Louis. 1 Springfield is 35 miles east of Jacksonville. It is situated just on the edge of a large prairie, on ground somewhat more uneven than Jacksonville, but the houses are not so good, a considerable proportion of them being miserable log cabins, and the whole town having an appearance of dirt and discomfort. We passed the night at a filthy tavern and the next morning resumed our journey, turning towards the north. The general aspect of Sangamon County is much like that of Morgan, except that the prairies are more extensive and more level. We passed over large tracts covered with hazel bushes among which grew the red lily and the painted cup, a large scarlet flower. 2 We then crossed a region thinly scattered with large trees principally of black or white oak at the extremity of which we descended to the bottom lands of the Sangamon, 3 covered with tall coarse grass. About 7 miles north of Springfield we forded the Sangamon which rolled its transparent waters through a colonnade of huge buttonwood trees and black maples, a variety of the sugar maple. The immediate edge of the river was muddy but the bottom was of solid rock and the water was up to our saddle skirts. We then mounted to the upland by a ravine and proceeding through another tract of scattered oaks came out again on the open prairie. Having crossed a prairie of seven or eight miles in width we came to a little patch of strawberries in the grass, a little way from the edge of the woodland where we alighted to gather them. My horse in attempting to graze twitched the bridle out of my hand and accidentally setting his foot on the rein became very much frightened. I endeavoured to catch him but could not. He reared, and plunged, shook off the saddlebags which contained my clothing and some other articles, kicked the bags to pieces, and getting onto the road by which we came, galloped furiously out of sight towards Springfield. I now