Peggy Dow is known to us today because of her marriage to the eccentric but effective preacher Lorenzo Dow. Unusual for her day, she traveled with her husband on many of his preaching tours on the American frontier and in England. Her journal was published by Lorenzo Dow after her death, and is the source of the following quotations. Vicissitudes in the Wilderness (Norwich, Conn.: Printed by W. Faulkner, 1833).
“We left [Lorenzo’s] father’s [in Connecticut] on horseback…but as I had not been accustomed to travel in that mode for a long time, it was very fatiguing to me, so that I could not endure it; and when I got within about forty miles of New York, I was obliged to go by water the remainder of the way, while Lorenzo rode one horse, and led the other.”(pp.31-32)
“My heart trembled at the thought of sleeping out in this desert place, with no company but my husband….We stopped for the night, built a fire, and cut a quantity of cane for to last our horses through the night; after that we prepared our supper, which consisted of coffee and hard biscuit….We had no tent to screen us from the inclement weather, but we had blankets on which we slept which made us tolerably comfortable when the weather was clear.” Traveling through the wilderness of Mississippi, around 1809, (pp.55-56)
“January 25, 1813: I this morning have been much relieved from melancholy reflections that employed my mind through the last night, as it relates to Lorenzo; as I had not heard from him for several weeks, which gave me much uneasiness, and made me feel my situation, which is something lonely.”(p.73)
“August 14, 1814: My sister wishes me to stay with her for some time, but I cannot feel reconciled to let my companion go and leave me behind; and on the whole, I think I had rather go and take my chance with him, until it is the will of our God to part us by his Providence.”(p.110)
“July or August, 1815: [Lorenzo] spent a few weeks with us – made preparations to leave me with his father, and start on a long tour which would take him eight or nine months to accomplish. This was something trying to my feelings – but I dare not say, do not go, neither do I feel a disposition to prevent him doing his duty.”(p.130)