April 29, 1886
The Olden Time
On the third day of April 1843, just 43 years ago the 3d day of this month myself and my three traveling companions, started on a journey to North Carolina. We traveled on horseback, each of us were provided with an overcoat, an umbrella and a pair of lether [sic] saddle bags, not quite so large but very much like a pair of No. 3 United States Mail Bags.
I remember that we passed up through Fredonia and Princeton and stayed all night in Hopkinsville, passed on through Trenton, Keysburg, Cross Plains on to Galatintown [Gallatin], stayed all night at Castillion [Castalian] Springs, crossed the Cumberland river at Carthage, crossed the Caney fork at Trousdale's Ferry, went up the ridge or mountain by officers Turnpike gate, took the old Emory road by Montgomery on to Knoxville East Tennessee, went up the French Broad River, passed Dandridge and Newport, crossed the line between Tennessee and North Carolina at the Paint Rock, went by the Warm Spring on to Ashville in Buncombe county, crossed the Blue Ridge at the Hickory Nat [Nut] Gap.
At Rutherfordton two of our company took the road to Ralugh [Raleigh], while myself and the other one went by the way of Lincolnton to Charlotte in Mecklinburg [Mecklenburg] county between Lincolnton and Charlotte, we forded the Catawba River at the famous Tuckasego Ford. The Catawba is a wide and rapid stream, but not very deep. The first thing that attracted our attention when we come in sight of Charlotte, was the United States Mint, which has since been burnt down and rebuilt.
Charlotte is noted as being the place where the good people of Mecklingburg [Mecklenburg] county met in convention on the 20th of May, 1775, and declared themselves free and independent and adopted the famous Mecklingburg [Mecklenburg] Resolutions. The good people of Mecklingburg [Mecklenburg] county celebrated the 20th day of May as their Independence day, even down to the present time. The greatest military display that ever I witnessed in my life was on the 20th day of May, 1843.
In time of the Revolutionary War, Charlotte was occupied for a short time by Lord Cornwallis and his army, when they left they set the village on fire and burnt it to ashes.
From a memorandom [sic] that I kept I made the distance from here to Charlotte, Mecklingburg [Mecklenburg] county, N. C., to be 527 miles, this distance we traveled in sixteen days, however, we arrived in Charlotte the sixteenth day, about 12 o'clock. This distance could now be traveled in about so many hours.
D. N. STINSON.
Source: Crittenden Press. (Marion, Ky.) 1879-1907, April 29, 1886, Image 4 - Chronicling America - The Library of Congress.
[My comments are in brackets.]