Tom Wilson: Bicyclists trace route of Galesburg settlers

From The Register-Mail:
In the early 1820s the Rev. George Washington Gale was offering instruction and living quarters for young men wishing to prepare for the Christian ministry from his farm near Whitesboro, N.Y. He had a dream of starting a similar institution in the Mississippi River Valley with central Illinois being a possible location…

In May 1975 two recent graduates of Knox College decided to carry out a whim of riding their 10-speed bicycles along the same route, from Utica, N.Y., to Galesburg, taken by a group of original colonists. At the time Mike Briggs was news director at WGIL Radio and Phil Watkins was public relations director at Carl Sandburg College. Watkins suggested the route because of a detailed diary kept during the trek by Mrs. Jerusha (Eli) Farnham, her’s being the only diary kept by any of the original colonists…

Tracking History was fortunate to visit by phone with Mike and Phil during the past week. Phil Watkins lives in East Olympia, Wash., and owns his own public affairs corporation. Mike Briggs is in Washington, D.C,. and is the communications director for Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.