By Charles H. Titus
Publication via Titus, Charles H., Clark, George P.
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Extra resources for Into the old Northwest: journeys with Charles H. Titus, 1841-1846
It was the purpose declared by another young scholar, Richard Henry Dana, who sailed before the mast a decade earlier to relieve eyes strained in study at Harvard College. '' Titus, despite his Christian devotion, does not tiresomely insist upon his piety, nor does he affect a "literary" style replete with learned allusion and quotation, as his education might have tempted him to do. Far from being the reclusive scholar, he is strikingly outgoing. In the few weeks of his trip, this young bachelor of arts managed to meet and interview and share experiences with an impressive number of memorable people, among them, in Indiana, former Governor David Wallace and Episcopal Bishop Jackson Kemper; and on the trip up the Great Lakes, in addition to John Tanner, General Lewis Cass, Robert Stuart, Dr.
9 Inevitably, his writing also reveals a great Page 9 deal about Titus himself. One sees a devout, unpedantic young scholar, and a venturesome one as well, who dared leave his beloved Maine to seek a new life on the frontier. He has an appraising eye for the farms and forests and the economy of Indiana as well as respect for its people and their history. Perhaps if certain schoolgirls of Madison, Indiana, had not been so "uncultivated and barbarous," he would have remained in Indiana, as did many another visitor from the east, to become a good Hoosier like his mentor William Larrabee; but the disparity between remembered Maine and experienced Indiana proved too great.
Larrabee, an equally prominent son-in-law of Col. Dunn, was principal of Maine Wesleyan Seminary when Titus attended there, and in 1852 became the first Superintendent of Public Instruction Page 4 of the state of Indiana. When, in 1841, he accepted the professorship of mathematics and natural science at Indiana Asbury, and cordially invited Titus to go west with him, it was an invitation his protégé could not refuse, especially, as Titus noted, since "Miss. " 2 The three-week journey to Indiana (narrated in "On Board the Packet-Boat Thomas Jefferson") included every kind of public transportation then available.