Brief reminiscences of scenes from 1809 to 1817—Events preliminary to a knowledge of western life—Embarkation on the source of the Alleghany River—Descent to Pittsburgh—Valley of the Monongahela; its coal and iron—Descent of the Ohio in an ark—Scenes and incidents by the way—Cincinnati—Some personal incidents which happened there.
Descent of the Ohio River from Cincinnati to its mouth—Ascent of the Mississippi, from the junction to Herculaneum—Its rapid and turbid character, and the difficulties of stemming its current by barges—Some incidents by the way.
Reception at Herculaneum, and introduction to the founder of the first American colony in Texas, Mr. Austin—His character—Continuation of the journey on foot to St. Louis—Incidents by the way—Trip to the mines—Survey of the mine country—Expedition from Potosi into the Ozark Mountains, and return, after a winter’s absence, to Potosi.
Sit down to write an account of the mines—Medical properties of the Mississippi water—Expedition to the Yellow Stone—Resolve to visit Washington with a plan of managing the mines—Descend the river from St. Genevieve to New Orleans—Incidents of the trip—Take passage in a ship for New York—Reception with my collection there—Publish my memoir on the mines, and proceed with it to Washington—Result of my plan—Appointed geologist and mineralogist on an expedition to the sources of the Mississippi.
Set out on the expedition to the north-west—Remain a few weeks at New York—Visit Niagara Falls, and reach Detroit in the first steamer—Preparations for a new style of traveling—Correspondents—General sketch of the route pursued by the expedition, and its results—Return to Albany, and publish my narrative—Journal of it—Preparation for a scientific account of the observations.
Reception by the country on my return—Reasons for publishing my narrative without my reports for a digested scientific account of the expedition—Delays interposed to this—Correspondents—Locality of strontian—Letter from Dr. Mitchell—Report on the copper mines of Lake Superior—Theoretical geology—Indian symbols—Scientific subjects—Complete the publication of my work—Its reception by the press and the public—Effects on my mind—Receive the appointment of Secretary to the Indian Commission at Chicago—Result of the expedition, as shown by a letter of Dr. Mitchell to General Cass.