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1796 Diary


Allen Leeper was born about 1773, probably in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, where his family were friends and neighbors to the Appleby family.


Around 1790, a migration was underway to Georgia and many of this group left about that time, among them the William Appleby family. The Leepers followed later, about 1793, and settled among the earlier arrivals in Elbert County, Georgia.


When Allen Leeper was twenty-three years old, he made a trip from Georgia back to Pennsylvania, to claim his share of his grandfather's estate.  He kept a diary during this journey. He wrote:


"Travels of William Appleby, Robert Cowden, James Leeper and Allen Leeper from Elbert County, Georgia to Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, November and December 1796."


The four men traveled on horseback from Georgia to Pennsylvania and returned during the month of January 1797.  They calculated the trip from Elbert County to Carlisle, Pennsylvania to besix-hundred-and-fifty-eight miles.


Excerpts from the Leeper Diary


"A Journal of our time amongst our friends."


"November 1796, left Elbert County, Georgia and crossed into Carolina. Took dinner at Cousin Joseph Gilligly's.


 "Thursday, 17th day:  Horses all foundered except William Appleby's.  Crossed Smith's River at <He..ya> Court House."


"Wednesday 23rd day.  To Woodstock, then lodged at Stonerstown.  This  day we saw the first ice.  41 miles."


On the 28th day the travelers  arrived in Carlisle, Pennsylvania,  where they attended to business matters and visited with family and friends through the month of December.


"December 8:  "Next day we went as far as James McCurdy's.  We stayed all night at McCurdy's.  Met Robert Cowden and father and all went back to John Ewing's, next morning to William Ewings and bade farewell.  Left Robert Cowden and went to Shippensburg, being amazing cold.  Next day returned to Newville and met William Appleby and Robert Cowden.  Next day being the Sabbath and Christmas, we went to hear Mr. Wilson preach."


A week later, Leeper made a journey to Baltimore to ship "six trunks of goods" to Savannah, Georgia, which were then to be freighted up the Savannah River to Augusta, for a total cost of fourteen dollars.  Then Allen Leeper wrote, "Next day to Williamsport.  Lodged at Samuel Porter's met with William Appleby and Robert Cowden."


The details of the return journey home, on horseback from Pennsylvania to Georgia, were not included in the diary.  The Journal  ended with, "Traveled on for home and got home on Tuesday the last day of Jan'y 1797.  Each ones expenses out were about seven dollars."



The above article was published in Appleby Heritage's Newsletter in April 1985.

A research source was the book by Laura Dingle Ewing, titled the "Ewing 

Family",  published in 1979.  The book may be out of print, as Appleby 

Heritage's copy was received, courtesy of  Ms. Ewing,  in 1983.

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page created: 12 August 2001

revised: 10 September 2003