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When Benjamin Franklin Stone was an old man he began writing down some of the things he remembered about his trip to the Ohio Country and his early life there. When he was ninety-one years old he finished his story. Part of it was published in the New England Magazine in April, 1897, with the title "From Rutland to Marietta." This true story was the framework for Wagons Away!

Descendants of some of the persons you will meet in the book told me the stories that had been handed down to them about this same journey. Other travelers of the time kept diaries which have been loaned to me. Newspapers of that day published letters received from the adventurers of the Ohio Company. Museums and libraries have made it possible for me to read these accounts.

It would be hard to name all the persons to whom I am indebted. But it would be ungrateful, indeed, not to acknowledge the help of Miss Daisy Burlingame, Miss Rowena Buell, Mrs. Laura Curtis Preston, Mrs. Mary Dawes Beach, Mrs. Lucretia Olney Hill, and Mr. Charles Penrose in lending me unpublished manuscript material. For their courtesy and assistance I wish to thank also Miss Mary Louise Otto, Mr. George Blazier, and Mr. Clifford Corwin of the Marietta College Library; Mrs. Edith Reiter, Curator of Campus Martius Museum; Doctor Harlow Lindley, Librarian of the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society; the attendants in the Manuscripts Division of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts; the Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence.

The following are some of the original manuscripts which were consulted:

The Autobiography of Melzar Nye
The Recollections of Ebenezer Nye
Memoirs of Horace Nye
Journal of Ichabod Nye
The Burlingame Family
Journals, letters, and account books of James Backus
The Journal of John Mathews
Recollections of Joseph Barker
Notes on Pioneer Life, by Walter Curtis
Scrapbooks of the Cutler Family
Manuscript Letter-books of the S. P. Hildreth Collection
The Rufus Putnam Papers
The Paul Fearing Papers


Marietta, Ohio

Chapter 1 .. A Letter from Westward