A fascinating book I unearthed in a local thrift store. John Howison was a Scottish medical doctor who visited Upper Canada between 1818 and 1820, after which he traveled for half a year through New York State and Pennsylvania. His Sketches book was originally published in 1821. The book is a remarkable account of what life was like in this area almost 200 years ago. His visit occurred just 4 years after the end of the War of 1812, so feelings were still running high on both sides of the border. Overall, he is generally unimpressed with the people he met, but his observations of homes, buildings, industry and modes of travel (such as the Erie Canal) make for interesting reading.
You can find an electronic copy of the book online.