Maritime History of the Great Lakes
3-Horse Team from Arabian Nights: Schooner Days MCXXIII (1124) Happier Bride's Diary - 21
Toronto Telegram (Toronto, ON), 26 Sep 1953
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3-Horse Team from Arabian Nights
Schooner Days MCXXIII (1124)
Happier Bride's Diary - 21

By C.H.J. Snider

THE DIARY of Nov. 17, 1805, left poor Anne Smith MacDonell and her brother pining for home at Barrett's Inn between damp walls on a dark snowy day, "our prospect very dull with respect to getting on." But neither Ann nor her diary ever despaired.


"18th . . . My Brother this morn with some trouble got a waggon with three horses. Sorry looking animals, & driver reminded of the story in the Arabian tales of poor Zaboon. He is a perfect Zaboon, he walked on foot jeying & haying (that is, gee-ing and hawing, or starboarding or porting his horses' helm) thro' all the mud over his boots. Harness, horses & driver all correspond exactly. They are black poneys, each lame, their bones sticking up like Don Quixote's Rosinante & to complete all we have a fine topt waggon so high that sitting on top of our baggage we are in danger of being canted over.

"But in this way we got to Onondaga Hollow, 9 miles from Manilus, made further than we had imagined we should get this night it being one o'clock when we set out, and glad indeed to leave a place where we had been so much imposed on.

"Manilus is quite a Village of Yankees from New England. There is no depending on what they say nor can they ever give you a direct answer. We slept at the Hollow, at Adam's Inn. I shall mark it down that they were good natured & attentive & remember that they were from Jersey.

19th...A fatiguing day indeed. The turnpike road is really a mud pike, the holes so deep we were alarmed to sit on the waggon. It was very dangerous with our poneys & Zaboon to drive. He allowed them to go as they pleased, comparing us to crockery, which by-the-way was not a bad comparison. But he thought our limbs broken was of no more consequence than a broken jar - & as he had drove a crate once over this road with safety he thought he could drive us equally safe, so did not mind our cautions.


"We therefore thought it proper to walk. Mrs. McGill was however as well able to bear this fatigue as myself tho' she walked a good deal. I walked 9 miles, which is as good as 18 miles on a smooth road. My Brother we obliged to ride whoever we did, that he might guide the two ponies which Zaboon hayed the foremost one as he had neither harness or bridle & only a chain which fixed him to the wagon & thus we got to [cq] Shemiotlus (Note: Skaneateles) Lake, where we slept at Anderson's Inn.

"20th ... A snow storm & my brother got an open wagon to take us to the Cayuga river, 14 miles. [Note: village of Cayuga at the north end of Cayuga Lake]. We rode it in a few hours, the road being better & left Zaboon to come on with the baggage, and did not arrive till dark. My Brother tried to get another waggon & horses but in vain, so on the 21st we were obliged to jog on with the ponies as well as we could & got to our astonishment 16 miles that night.

"On the 22nd together with walking, riding, fretting & scolding at poor Zaboon & stoping at almost every house to enquire for waggon & horses, we got to Canandagwa, & in and in vain made the same inquiry for horses - the badness of the roads deterred them all - so we could not part with poor Zaboon.

"On the 22nd we got to the Genesee river where, unfortunately & fortunately, poor Zaboon jey'd against a stump & broke the waggon wheel. Two waggons being ahead, hailed them, they civilly took us in, & we left my Brother, who did not arrive with the baggage & Zaboon till 10 o'clock.

23rd...Discharged poor Zaboon & hired an open wagon with one pair of horses to take us thro' the Genesee country, a tolerable road to Capt. Gannon's, 46 miles from Canandagwa, & 50 to Buffalo, where we arrived on the 27th after suffering all the fatigue that it was."

The diary here ends without explanation. But there is still something more to be said about Anne Smith MacDonell, and by God's grace we shall attempt it next week.

Snider, C. H. J.
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Date of Publication
26 Sep 1953
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Geographic Coverage
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.88645 Longitude: -78.87837
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.87423 Longitude: -77.28804
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.91896 Longitude: -76.72634
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.9182874274648 Longitude: -77.7570585620117
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.00201 Longitude: -75.97686
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.94701 Longitude: -76.4291
Richard Palmer
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3-Horse Team from Arabian Nights: Schooner Days MCXXIII (1124) Happier Bride's Diary - 21