The long-distance walking craze of the 1870s.

From the Autumn 1980 issue of VQR:

The United States of America, in those bursting decades after the Civil War, was in the full grip of a long-distance walking craze and didn’t care who knew it. Journeymen printers and mechanics walked 20 to 60 miles a day, looking for work, and Horace Greeley often boasted that he had walked 40 miles from the rising to the setting of the sun.

The entire nation, for a period of many years, found nothing more fascinating than people walking 40, 60 even 100 miles in a single day. Just once I covered 32 miles in a single day, headed north in the vicinity of Buena Vista, and I so I can assure you that 60 miles is a truly staggering distance.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

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