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Richard Lee Mason diary

 Collection — Box: 58
Identifier: MS-SC1008

Scope and Contents

Typescript of Mason's diary. Very descriptive of the cities and countryside that he passes through. Gives descriptions of the buildings, dwellings, inhabitants and their animals, their diets and their general personality. Discusses differences in social and cultural attributes of those he meets. Gives accounts of several robberies and murders he hears of along the way and a murder he witnesses where he tries to help the victim by "bleeding". "Bleeds" several people along the way. When he gets to Illinois he gives a list of names that he has been told engage in criminal activity in the area he will be traveling through and then an account of a sleepless night in an inn with a band of "cut throats". He describes Kaskaskia, his meeting with the "king" and the birthing experience of the Kaskaskia mother and her babies. Includes genealogical material on Cochran and Mason family.


  • Created: October 4 - December 13, 1819

Biographical / Historical

Philadelphia, Penn. physician who traveled to St. Louis, Mo. passing through much of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois to receive a land grant for serving as surgeon in the War of 1812. He traveled with a Dr. Hill, who returned to Philadelphia after a short time in St. Louis. They met with a few sick people, several criminals and some Indians. In Kaskaskia, Illinois Mason met with Pierre Menard and the "king" of the remaining Kaskaskia Indians and observed the birth of twins to a Kaskaskia mother.


1 folder (1 folder: .5 linear inches (.042 linear feet)) : 44 pages

Language of Materials