Running Past | Edward Payson Weston – 19th Century Long Distance Walker.

His fame began at age 22 when he made a boast while dining with a friend that if Abraham Lincoln won the presidential election he would walk the nearly 500 miles from Boston to Washington, DC, to attend the inauguration. In a speech as he was starting out he announced (quoting from his pamphlet) that he “had made no money-bets, but had wagered six half-pints of peanuts” that he could do it in 10 days. He engaged two men to follow him in a carriage to bear witness that he actually walked the entire distance and to carry spare clothing and supplies, together with stacks of advertising flyers which he would leave off at various stops along the way to help defray the expenses of the trip. One of his major sponsors was the Grover & Baker Sewing Machine Co. However, most of the places where he stopped would not charge for food or lodging, presumably because of the publicity which his visit generated.