A friend, and Poe relative, introduced me to the personal diary of Isaac T Goodnow. In her research of Rev Adam Poe who was a cofounder of Ohio Wesleyan University, she crosses into the Poe steamboat land.
Isaac T Goodnow helped establish the community of Manhattan, KN in the 185o’s. His diaries are an interesting read. Kansas was the topic of the day. Slavery was the main issue. Isaac T Goodnow traveled from Boston to Kansas at least once a year. Isaac T Goodnow knew Rev Adam Poe who arrived in KN via steamboat to attend a religious conference.
In Issac T Goodnow’s travels, he mentioned steamboats often. However, he rarely named them. Two daily journal entries are listed below where he named the packets built by Georgetown men:
(1) str Financier. At the time of the journal entry, Goodnow would have steamed on str Financier II built for Capt Adam Poe in 1850. Capt Adam ran the str Financier II for three years and then sold it. In 1855, he was commanding the str Ella which was also working on the lower Missouri River.
(2) str Admiral. In 1857 Capt Jackman T STockdale was a partner in the ownership of the str Admiral, At that time it is unclear whether he was its captain or pilot.
The Isaac T Goodnow diaries are a fantastic first hand account of the violence in Kansas in the troubled 1850′s. For me, they also provide source information that confirms my statements that Georgetown steamboats were working at the sharp and dangerous edge of our frontier.
Diary of Isaac T. Goodnow
Transcribed by staff and volunteers of the Riley County Historical Museum from a typescript of the original diary held in the collection of the Kansas State Historical Society.
Br. Wm. E. left this morning in the steamer Financier for Kansas City. Hope to see him back soon. Very rainy. Drove to Judge W-s 7 miles to dinner. P.M. rode on to Mr Roberts’ an Illinois man. Has 120 acres corn.
Bought 2 land warrants $281.60 Saw my old friend Hugh M. Thompson, formerly of Greenfield. Did some considerable business, & at 3. P.M. started by Pacific R.R. for Jefferson City, arriving at 9. & taking the steamer Admiral for Leavenworth City. Lay by till morning on account of the darkness. Rested tolerably well. Rainy, P.M. & Evening.
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