The Road to Philadelphia

Reporter in Residence
Monroe Mouse
Another road trip — how exciting!

My mouse ears really perked up when I heard the destination: Philadelphia. How could I help but recall Daniel Stroud’s journeys there to purchase goods for his home and store. I, of course, definitely intended to go along — invited or not.

Having always found a nice place to nap in Daniel’s saddle bag, I was quite familiar with the route. This group of travelers would need me to keep them on the right path and certainly to make them aware of the few inns to stay overnight.

However, that might be a problem since inn accommodations are for men only. Oh well, maybe the women can stay at a home of friends. Daniel always graciously invited visitors to Stroudsburg into his home.

I had no idea how travel had changed. The trip was nothing like I expected. The Native American trails that Daniel would have followed had been replaced by wide stretches of road. In the first segment of Daniel’s trips, he would have had to dismount and lead his horse along narrow paths. Also, nowhere in sight was the dust or mud that he would encounter

Of course it took some getting used to the number of vehicles on the road with us. We were in Easton in 30 minutes and thus had no reason to stop and spend the night as Daniel often did. Philadelphia in less than two hours! Unbelievable!

I was ecstatic when some familiar sights came into view — the State House (Independence Hall), brick townhouses and cobblestone streets.

Our destination was also in an area that was familiar to me. However, the seaport area has definitely changed since the early 1800s. From the conversations I heard from my traveling companions, we were here to purchase fabric for new window treatments for the Stroud parlor.

Daniel frequently ordered fabric from Philadelphia and was very specific in what he wanted. On June 17, 1804 he wrote requesting that a suit be made for him of jean. “I request the favor of thee to purchase a good piece of *jean of an olive color or as near may be, and make for me a suit of cloathes [sic.].”

Well, after much consideration, fabric was purchased and we were on our way home to Stroudsburg. Daniel would never have dreamed that such a trip could be made in one day.

* Jean is a type of fabric that dates to the 1600s and is named after the sailors of Genoa, Italy, who wore clothes made from it.