New Albany, IN
Just by chance, I ran across a link to a digital copy of a book published in the late 1800's about a guy's paddling adventure throughout Europe. Here is the link below:
Europeans call a kayak a 'canoe' and this is pretty much what this fellow used. The author's writing style is similar to what you'd find in Gulliver's Travels or other literature from that period. I read probably 90% of the book's 15 chapters which all in all describe one very long trip report (thus why I put it here and not the main forum).
The book has been turned into HTML pages so it's readable from your browser.
It's not the most exciting thing I've read, but it certainly gives some insight into the early development of the kayak as a pleasure craft vs a subarctic hunting vessel. Interestingly, the author also makes use of a small sail in addition to his double-bladed paddle.