It was June and I was ensconced in the Adirondack Museum library, fortuitously avoiding an unusually muggy early summer afternoon. I had gone there to do a little research for a work of historical fiction that I thought I might write. By then my interest in Adirondack history was in full thrall, which made holding the document I had been presented by librarian Jerry Pepper something close to a religious experience.
It was an original letter, written in 1826, well preserved though the paper was a bit brittle and slightly darkened with age. The script was beautiful; fluid and robust but not embellished or overly fussy. The writing was sincere, filled with a youthful wonder and spirit of adventure but at the same time composed with a powerful energy and purpose. Its tone was mellifluous, phrased but unforced, the work of a superb natural writer. All in all it was – and is – a remarkable document, a singular account of a journey from the early written history of the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.