Norfolk Va. 3rd mo 5th 1839Dear Mother, I date my letter at a time and place at which yesterday I had no expectation of doing so, indeed until 9 o’clock this morning. We find great difficulty in obtaining the requisite information concerning the travelling of our proposed route. People will tell us that we can go in such & such a way and we relying upon their information make our calculations accordingly. It was thus with us yesterday. We understood that if we would go to Portsmouth in the steamboat from Baltimore we would there find a line connecting with Charleston on which we could travel very pleasantly without having to stop during the night in the stages. When we got there however this morning we found that this line did not go till tomorrow. So we had our choice either of proceeding immediately on & traveling all tonight over a rough road in stages or of waiting a day. We preferred the latter as we did not perceive any immediate cause why we should inconvenience ourselves by proceeding in such a hurry. And now we had as we thought the choice of two modes of conveyance. The same gentleman who had so correctly informed us about the other mode of conveyance which we had intended to take also told us that tomorrow we should have an opportunity of taking the steamboat route for Charleston. And as his brother was agent on this line we thought that here at least there could be no mistake. But on refering to the papers we discovered that this steamboat did not go till day after tomorrow – and thus we were left without choice as to whether we should travel by land or water. We shall take the same route we proposed to take only with the difference of being detained a day longer than we expected to which detention thee owes this letter. We have spent part of
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