Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In the beginning…

Full text available (free) from Ibiblio / Project Gutenberg:
  • The preface and first couple chapters in HTML (work in progress)
  • The whole enchilada in plain old txt


from the August 30, 1884 Harper's Weekly

On this page we give the portrait of Mr. Thomas Stevens, who started from San Francisco, California, April 22, with the avowed intention of riding around the world (barring the Oceans) on his bicycle. He was born at Great Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, England, December 24, 1854. Emigrating to the far West in 1871, he had not been east of the Mississippi until he started out on his famous bicycle ride across the continent. Seven men have within the last three years attempted the same feat, but the great difficulties encountered in crossing the 1500 miles of rocky mountain, barren deserts, and bridgeless streams between California and the Missouri River have invariably turned them back.

More than one-third of the route followed by Mr. Stevens had to be walked. Eighty-three and a half days of actual travel and twenty days stoppage for wet weather, etc., made one hundred and three and a half days occupied in reaching Boston, the distance by wagon-road being about 3700 miles. He followed the old California trail most of the way across the plains and mountains, astonishing the Indians, and meeting with many strange adventures. Mr. STEVENS reached Boston August 4, and is now in New York, where he hopes to make arrangements which will enable him to complete the journey around the globe; through England, France, Germany, Austria, and Turkey, thence through Asia to the Pacific.


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