The Journal and Journey of Dr. John Taylor
October 1818 to March 1819
THE JOURNEY OF DR. JOHN TAYLOR AND SAMUEL (Rose/Ross?)
- 24 OCTOBER 1818 to 6 MAR 1819 -
to the Territory / (new) State of Illinois;
Through the States of: New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Indiana, and their return trip.
> 132 days, approximately 2,400 miles <
(Legend to map above: yellow route - trip to Illinois; orange - return trip home)
Dr. John Taylor, b 1763 d July 3, 1839, and is buried in the Stearns Cemetery, also known as: Allen-Stearns Cemetery, Old West Groton Cemetery and Free Cemetery, located on Cobb Street, West Groton, NY, approximately 1/2 mile south of the intersection of West Groton Road and Cobb Street. The cemetery is set back about 600 feet from the road, in a small woods, and is on private property: Town(ship) of Groton, Tompkins County, NY; Latitude: 42.598, Longitude: -76.448.
Dr. John Taylor kept a diary / journal while traveling and preaching as an itinerant minister and doctor. John's journey was with a Samuel (Ross?). The Journal was written between 24 October 1818 and 7 March 1819, during their travels through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and the Illinois Territory, and during their return trip to New York State. The original Journal is in the possession of William J. Montgomery in the Montgomery family archives.
At some time in the early 1900's, J. Ivor Montgomery provided a paraphrased, summarized memorandum of the Journal. J. Ivor was the husband of Mary Lett Montgomery who was a G-Granddaughter of John Taylor. After several passages were later attempted to be transcribed over many years, in the 1980's, the Journal was entirely transcribed, in longhand, by Barbara McMenamin Montgomery, widow of James Robert Montgomery, a grandson of J. Ivor and Mary Lett Montgomery. Barbara was William J. Montgomery's Mother.
In 2006, the Journal was committed to digital text on computer, enabling all descendants who desire a copy of the Journal to have a copy in this format or in printed text.
Dr. John Taylor is a 4th-Great-Grandfather of this website's author,
William J. Montgomery.
THE CHART BELOW represents an itinerary of Dr. John Taylor and Samuel (Ross) as extracted from the Journal, in the following column order: Date of travel; Number of Days out from Home; Page Number information found in the Journal (i.e.; index = not all pages were numbered by Dr. John Taylor); Name of home owner visited / stayed with overnight; Town / Township / Miles traveled.
Morris Birkbeck (1764-1825) and George Flower (1780-1862) established somewhat of a utopian
English settlement at Albion (IL) called "The Prairie Settlement", in 1817. The above map was produced by John Melish in 1818 to illustrate Birkbeck's Journey from Roanoke, VA, through Pittsburgh, PA, to the Territory of Illinois. Dr. John Taylor enjoined nearly the same route (yellow) at Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) west to the Illinois Territory, and almost identically the same route on the return trip (orange) to New York State to his home near West Groton, NY.
THE VAST PRAIRIE SYSTEM: DARK BROWN AREAS INDICATE EXTENT OF PRAIRIES AT TIME OF SETTLEMENT.
NOTE: Dr. John Taylor was semi-literate. His handwriting was analyzed for a generations and, when combined with his phonetic spelling attempts, transcription was difficult. In most cases, the below chart ACCURATELY reflects his phonetic, and inconsistent, spelling of names and places, etc. (SOME CORRECTED IN PARENTHESES)
NOTE: The Illinois Territory became a State on December 3, 1818, before their arrival there, most likely unknown to Dr. John Taylor and Samuel Ross until their return home to New York State.
^ 1820 Map of Northwest Pennsylvania: (east to west on route:) Elmira, Canisteo, Olean, Waringtown (Warren), Allegheny River, Franklintown (lower left)
1819 Map of
State of Illinois
1825 Map of New York State: Tioga Point (Athens), east on Susquehanna River, north on Chenango River, Chenango Township
1825 Map of Central Pennsylvania: Bellefont (lower left), West Branch Susquehannah River, Shoger Creek, Sheshekin, Tioga Point (New Athens), Susquehannah (east from Tioga Point)
NOTE: A more comprehensive explanation of The Journey and Journal of Dr. John Taylor is available on Google, only by invitation from this website's Author. Email your request to view this stunning visualization of Dr. John Taylor's 1818-1819 journey to:
Ten 11X17 pages include detailed maps from all legs of John Taylor's journey to the Illinois Territory and back to the State of New York. It is explained in the Montgomery Messages Newsletter, Vol. 7, also designed and published by the creator of this website.
(A sample page is included below)
A Montgomery Family Genealogy
As recorded and developed by WJ Montgomery
Dr. John Taylor is a Grandfather of the author's G-G-Grandmother, Merilla Jerusha Pease Lett whose mother was a Taylor.