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Fips, Bots, Doggeries, and More: Explorations of Henry Rogers' 1838 Journal of Travel from Southwestern Ohio to New York City is partly a journal from one of the author's ancestors, partly a history text.

I got this book free from the author for exchange for an honest review, and I asked to read it mainly because I enjoy genealogy and history.

The book begins with a lengthy introduction which most of probably could have been put to the ending, then the journal, which took up less than half of the book itself.

The journal is written by a man who at first is almost unlikable: pedantic, definitely not PC (remember, this is 1838 - he calls certain rocks "n*gger heads"), and who details (and complains about) just about everything. Plus, he's definitely not a professional writer; it's his journal.

But after a while I warmed up to him - he was, after all, making what to him was an epic journey (!) - and the notations the author adds in the sidebars about what he sees and does helped quite a bit to give context to what I was reading.

The latter half of the book is taken up with historical "expansions" about everything from the clothing to the medicines of the time, and I found this the most interesting part of the book.

It's not structured as a novel or even a story, and some might find it dry or even tedious. But I feel that those interested in history, those genealogists with ancestors in the areas mentioned, and historical fiction authors doing research in the time period will benefit greatly from the insights and details found here. I'm glad such a valuable piece of history was recovered and shared with the general public in this way.

You can pick up a copy here.


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