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Title: A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America
Author: Ferrall, S. A. (Simon Ansley), -1844
Language: English
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LONDON, 1832

[Illustration: _Fac-simile of the first two Paragraphs of the Leading
Article in the "CHEROKEE PHOENIX" of July 31, 1830_]


The few sketches contained in this small volume were not originally
intended for publication--they were written solely for the amusement of my
immediate acquaintances, and were forwarded to Europe in the shape of
letters. Subsequent considerations have induced me to publish them; and if
they be found to contain remarks on some subjects, which other travellers
in America have passed over unnoticed, the end that I have in view will be
fully answered.

Although I remained in the seaboard cities sufficiently long to have
collected much information; yet knowing that the statistics of those
places had been so often and so ably set before the public, I felt no
inclination to trouble my friends with their repetition.

In Europe, the name of America is so associated with the idea of
emigration, that to announce an intention of crossing the Atlantic, rouses
the interfering propensity of friends and acquaintances, and produces such
a torrent of queries and remonstrances, as will require a considerable
share of moral courage to listen to and resist. All are on the tiptoe of
expectation, to hear what the inducements can possibly be for travelling
in America. America!! every one exclaims--what can you possibly see there?
A country like America--little better than a mere forest--the inhabitants
notoriously far behind Europeans in refinement--filled with wild Indians,
rattle-snakes, bears, and backwoodsmen; ferocious hogs and ugly negros;
and every other species of noxious and terrific animal!

Without, however, any definite scientific object, or indeed any motive
much more important than a love of novelty, I determined on visiting
America; within whose wide extent all the elements of society, civilized
and uncivilized, were to be found--where the great city could be traced to
the infant town--where villages dwindle into scattered farms--and these to
the log-house of the solitary backwoodsman, and the temporary wig-wam of
the wandering Pawnee.

I have refrained nearly altogether from touching on the domestic habits
and manners of the Americans, because they have been treated of by
Captain Hall and others; and as the Americans always allowed me to act as
I thought proper, and even to laugh at such of their habits as I thought
singular, I am by no means inclined to take exception to them.



Sail for New York in an American vessel--the crew--ostentation of the
Captain--a heavy gale--soundings--icebergs--bay of New York--Negros and
Negresses--White Ladies--climate--fires--vagrant pigs--Frances
Wright--Match between an Indian canoe and a skiff


Depart for Albany--the Hudson--Albany--Cohoe's Falls--Rome--the Little
Falls--forest of charred trees--"stilly night" in a swamp--fire
fly--Rochester--Falls of Gennessee--Sam. Patch--an eccentric
character--Falls of Niagara--the Tuscarora Indians--Buffalo--Lake
Erie--the Iroquois--the Wyandots--death of Seneca John, and its
consequences--ague fever--Wyandot prairie--the Delawares' mode of dealing
with the Indians--the transporting of Negros to Canada


Arrive at Marion--divorces--woodlands--Columbus--land offices--population,
&c. Shaking Quakers--kidnapping free Negros--Cincinnati--the farmers of
Ohio--a corn-husking frolic--qualifications necessary to Senators,
Legislators, and Electors--a camp-meeting--militia officers'
muster--Presbyterian parsons--price of land, cattle, &c.--fever and ague


Set out for New Harmony--the roads--a backwoodsman--the
journey--peaches--casualties--travelling--New Harmony--M. Le
Seur--barter--excursion down the Wabash--the co-operative
community--Robert Owen


Depart for St. Louis--Albion--the late Messrs. Birkbeck and
Flowers--Hardgrove's prairie--the roads--the Grand prairie--prairie
wolf--mode of training dogs--Elliott's inn--inhabitants of
Illinois--ablutions--coal--soil and produce--the American Bottom--St
Louis--monopolies--Fur companies--incivility of a certain Major--trapping
expedition--trade with Santa Fé--lead mines--Carondalot--Jefferson
barracks--discipline--visit to a slave-holder--the Ioway hostages--Indian
investigation--character of the Indians.


Leave St. Louis--Indian mounds--remains of ancient fortifications--burial
caverns--mummies--Flint's description of a mummy--the languages of
America--town making--the Indian summer--population, &c. of Illinois--the
prairie hen--the Turkey buzzard--settlers--forest in autumn--a gouging
scrape--the country--extent and population of Indiana--hogs--a settler in
bottom land--the sugar maple--roads--a baptism


Set out for New Orleans--Louisville--Mississippi steam-boats--the
Ohio--the Mississippi--sugar plantations--the valley of the
Mississippi--New Orleans--Quadroons--slavery--a Methodist slavite--runaway
Negros--incendiary fires at Orleans--liberty of the press--laws passed by
the legislature of Louisiana--Miss Wright--public schools--yellow
fever--the Texas


Depart for Louisville--tellandsea, or Spanish moss--Natchez--the yellow
fever--cotton plantations--Mississippi wood-cutters--freshets--planters,
sawyers, and snags--steam-boat blown up--the Chickesaws--hunting in
Tennessee--electioneering--vote by ballot--trade on the Ohio and
Mississippi rivers--the People--the President's veto--finances--government
banks--Kentucky--the Kentuckians--court-houses--an election--universal
suffrage--an Albino--Diluvian reliqua


The political condition of the Indians--Missionaries--the letter of
Red-jacket--the speech of the wandering Pawnee chief


Kenhawa salt-works--coal--a


"The Workies"--Miss Wright--the opening of the West India ports to
American vessels--voyage homeward--the stormy petrel--Gulf weed--the
remora--the molusca--quarantine



Following the plan I had laid down for myself, I sought and found a goodly
Yankee merchantman, bound for and belonging to the city of New York. Our
vessel was manned with a real _American_ crew, that is, a crew, of which
scarcely two men are of the same nation--which conveys a tolerably correct
notion of the population of the United States. The crew consisted of one
Russian, one German, one Italian, one Scotchman, one Newfoundlander, one
Irishman, two Englishmen, two New Englanders, and two Negros--the cook and
steward. The seamen of America are better paid, and better protected,
than those of any other nation; but work harder, and must understand their
duty well. Indeed if we had not had a good crew, our ship, being old,
might have suffered severely.

In selecting this ship, in addition to accommodations, I only took into
account her build; and so far was not disappointed, for when she _could_
carry sail, she scudded along in gallant style; but with ships as with
horses, the more they _have done_, the less they have _to do_.

I had a strong impression on my mind that a person travelling in America
as a professed tourist, would be unable to form a correct estimate of the
real character and condition of the people; for, from their great
nationality, they would be likely to show him the best side of every
thing. Of this kind of ostentation I very soon had a slight proof. Our
ship left port in gallant trim, but had no sooner gained the open sea,
than all hands were employed in stowing away the finery, and covering the
rigging with mats--even the very cabin doors were taken off the hinges,
and brass knobs and other ornaments which appeared to have been fixtures,
were unshipped and deposited below, where they remained until our approach
to New York, when the finery was again displayed, and all was placed once
more _in statu quo_.

For the first twelve days we had rather pleasant weather, and nothing
remarkable occurred, unless a swallow coming on board completely exhausted
with flying, fatigue made it so tame that it suffered itself to be
caressed; it however popped into the coop, and the ducks literally gobbled
it up alive. The ducks were, same day, suffered to roam about the decks,
and the pigs fell foul of one of them, and eat the breast off it. Passing
the cabouse, I heard the negro steward soliloquising, and on looking in,
perceived him cutting a hen's throat with the most heartfelt satisfaction,
as he grinned and exclaimed, by way of answer to its screams, "Poor
feller! I guess I wouldn't hurt you for de world;" I could not help
thinking with Leibnitz, that most sapient of philosophers, that this is
the best of all possible worlds.

On the thirteenth day we encountered a heavy gale, which continued to
increase for four successive days. During this period we were unable to
carry more canvass than was barely necessary to render the vessel
manageable. A heavy gale, for the first time, is rather interesting than
otherwise: the novelty of the sea's appearance--the anxiety of the crew
and officers--the promptitude with which commands are given and
executed--and the excitement produced by the other incidental occurrences,
tend to make even a storm, when encountered in open sea, by no means
destitute of pleasing interest. During this gale, the sailors appeared to
be more than ordinarily anxious only upon one occasion, and then only for
a minute--the circumstance was not calculated to create alarm in the mind
of a person totally ignorant of nautical affairs, but being somewhat of a
sailor, I understood the danger tolerably well. The helm was struck by a
sea, and strained at the bolts; from the concussion occasioned by the
blow, it was apprehended for a moment that it had been carried away.
Without a helm, in such weather, much was to be feared; for her timbers
being old, she could hardly meet the shock of an ocean wave upon her
broadside without suffering serious injury. The helmsman was knocked
down--the captain and mate jumped aft, to ascertain the extent of the
damage; while the sailors scowled along the deck, as they laid their
shoulders to the weather side of the ship--all was anxiety for the
instant. At length the mate cried, "helm all right," and the crew pulled
away as usual. At the close of the fourth day the storm subsided, and we
approached the banks of Newfoundland.

It is generally supposed that the colour of the sea is a sure indication
of the presence or absence of soundings; that is, that there are
soundings where the water is green, and that there are none where the
water is blue. The former is, I believe, true in every instance; but the
latter is certainly not so, as the first soundings we got here, were in
water as blue as indigo, depth fifty odd fathoms.

We were thirty days crossing these tiresome banks; during which time we
were befogged, and becalmed, and annoyed with all sorts of disagreeable
weather. The fogs or mists were frequently so dense, that it was
impossible to see more than thirty yards from the vessel. This course is
not that usually taken by ships bound for the United States, as they
generally cross the Atlantic at much lower latitudes, but our captain
"calculated" on escaping calms, and avoiding the influence of the Gulf
stream, and thus making a quicker passage; he was, however, mistaken, as a
packet ship that left Liverpool four days after, arrived at New York
sixteen days before us.

We found the thermometer of incalculable service, both for ascertaining
when we got into the stream, and for disclosing our dangerous proximity to
icebergs. That we had approached near icebergs we discovered one evening
to be the case by the mercury falling, suddenly, below 40°, in foggy
weather. We notwithstanding held on our course, and fortunately escaped
accident. Many vessels which depart from port with gallant crews, and are
never heard of more, are lost, I am convinced, by fatal collision with
these floating islands. From the beginning of spring to the latter end of
summer, masses of brash ice are occasionally encountered in these

Towards the evening of the fiftieth day we entered the bay of New York:
the bay is really beautiful, and at this season (summer) perhaps appeared
to the greatest advantage. The numerous islands with which it is
interspersed, were covered to the water's edge with foliage and verdure,
and here and there studded with handsome villas. The city appeared to be
literally surrounded by a thick grove of masts, from which floated the
flags of many nations--the scene, thus gradually unfolding itself to the
eyes of one who had been for so long a time immured within a vessel, was
really fascinating.

While at New York, I staid at the "Pearl-street Boarding-house," and
experienced from Messrs. Haskell and Perry, the proprietors, the most
polite attention. Most Europeans are astonished at the rapidity with which
the Americans despatch their meals; but I, having admitted the
proposition, that there was "nothing new under the sun," had long
previously ceased to be _astonished_ at any thing. On the first day of my
dining at the table d'hôte, one of those gentlemen told me, when we sat
down to dinner, that most of the persons at table were men of business,
who were in the habit of eating much quicker than he knew I was accustomed
to, and requested that that might not in the slightest interfere with my
habits, but that I should entirely suit my own comfort and convenience.
After that preface, I think I should have been most unreasonable to fall
into a passion with the New Yorkers, because they _bolted_ instead of

New York is altogether a trading place, and different from any thing of
the same magnitude in Europe: scarcely a single street is exclusively
filled with private residences;--in a mercantile point of view, it is the
Liverpool of the United States.

The negros and mulattos constitute a considerable portion of the
population. It is impossible to imagine the extreme ugliness of some of
the sooty gentry; a decent ourang-outang might, without presumption, vie
with many of these people, even of the _fair sex_, and an impartial judge
should certainly decide that the said ourang-outang was the handsomer
animal. Many of them are wealthy, and dress remarkably well. The females,
when their shins and misshapen feet are concealed by long gowns, appear
to have good figures. A few days after my arrival, walking down "Broadway"
(the principal street) I was struck with the figure of a fashionably
dressed woman, who was sauntering before me. After passing, I turned
round, when--O angels and ministers of ugliness!--I beheld a face, as
black as soot--a mouth that reached from ear to ear--a nose, like nothing
human--and lips a full inch in diameter! On the following morning, whilst
dressing at my bed-room window, I heard a squeaking sort of voice warbling
forth, "Love was once a little Boy," and "I'd be a Butterfly." The strange
_melody_ and unusual intonations induced me to look out, when, to my
astonishment, I found that the _fair_ songstress was a most
hideous-looking negress! Such are the scenes that constantly present
themselves here, and remind a European that he is in a new region.

The white ladies dress fashionably, generally _à la Françoise_; have
straight figures, and with the help of a little cotton, judiciously
disposed, and sometimes, the smallest possible portion of rouge, contrive
to look rather interesting; in general, they are lamentably deficient in
_tournure_ and _en-bon-point_. The hands and feet of the greatest belle,
are _pas mignon_, and would be termed plebeian by the Anglo-Normans--the
aristocracy of England. Yet I have seen many girls extremely handsome
indeed, having a delicate bloom and fair skin; but this does not endure
long, as the variable nature of the climate--the sudden and violent
transitions of temperature which occur on this continent, destroy, in a
few years, the complexion of the finest woman. When she arrives at the age
of thirty, her skin is shrivelled and discoloured; she is thin, and has
all the indications of premature old age. The women of England retain
their beauty at least ten years longer than those of America.

The inhabitants of that part of New York nearest the shipping, are
extremely sallow and unhealthy looking, and many have a most cadaverous
aspect. Malaria certainly exists here in some degree. A man will tell you
that the city is perfectly healthy, whilst his own appearance most
unquestionably indicates disease. I speak now of the quays and adjacent
streets; and the cause is very apparent. The wharfs are faced with wood,
and the retiring of the tide exposes a rotten vegetable substance to the
action of an almost tropical sun, which, added to the filth that is
invariably found in the neighbourhood of shipping, is quite sufficient to
produce the degree of unhealthiness that exists. On going up the town, the
appearance of the inhabitants gradually improves, and approaching the
suburbs, the difference is striking,--in this district I have seen persons
as stout and healthy looking as any in England or Ireland.

On the night of my arrival, a fire broke out, by which several extensive
warehouses were entirely consumed. There is nothing more remarkable here
than the frequent occurrence of this calamity, except the excellent
arrangements that are made for arresting its progress. The engines,
apparatus, and _corps de pompiers_, are admirably maintained, and the
promptitude and regularity with which they arrive at the scene of
devastation truly astonishing: indeed, were this not the case, the city
must very soon be destroyed; for notwithstanding all their exertions,
every conflagration makes it minus several houses, and few nights pass
without bringing a misfortune of this nature.

There are several theatres, churches, and other public buildings,
dispersed throughout the city. The City Hall, which stands near the upper
end of a small enclosure, called the Park, is considered the handsomest
building in the United States. It was finished in 1812, and cost half a
million dollars.

The police regulations appear not to be so severe as they ought to be, for
droves of hogs are permitted to roam about the streets, to the terror of
fine ladies, and the great annoyance of all pedestrians.

New York was settled by the Dutch in 1615, and called by them New
Amsterdam. In 1634, it was conquered by the English,--retaken by the Dutch
in 1673, and restored in 1674. Its present population is estimated at

Having heard that the celebrated Frances Wright, authoress of "A Few Days
in Athens," was publicly preaching and promulgating her doctrines in the
city, I determined on paying the "Hall of Science" a visit, in which
establishment she usually lectured. The address she delivered on the
evening I attended had been previously delivered on the fourth of July, in
the city of Philadelphia; but, at the request of a numerous party of
"Epicureans," she was induced to repeat it. The hall might contain perhaps
ten or twelve hundred persons, and on this occasion it was filled to
excess, by a well-dressed audience of both sexes.

The person of Frances Wright is tall and commanding--her features are
rather masculine, and the melancholy cast which her countenance ordinarily
assumes gives it rather a harsh appearance--her dark chestnut hair hangs
in long graceful curls about her neck; and when delivering her lectures,
her appearance is romantic and unique.

She is a speaker of great eloquence and ability, both as to the matter of
her orations, and the manner of their delivery. The first sentence she
utters rivets your attention; and, almost unconsciously, your sympathies
are excited, and you are carried onward by the reasonings and the
eloquence of this disciple of the Gardens. The impression made on the
audience assembled on that occasion was really wonderful. Once or twice,
when I could withdraw my attention from the speaker, I regarded the
countenances of those around me, and certainly never witnessed any thing
more striking. The high-wrought interest depicted in their faces, added to
the breathless silence that reigned throughout the building, made the
spectacle the most imposing I ever beheld. She was the Cumaean Sibyl
delivering oracles and labouring under the inspiration of the God of
Day.--This address was chiefly of a political character, and she took care
to flatter the prejudices of the Americans, by occasionally recurring to
the advantages their country possessed over European states--namely, the
absence of country gentlemen, and of a church establishment; for to the
absence of these the Americans attribute a large portion of the very great
degree of comfort they enjoy.

Near Hoboken, about three miles up North river, at the opposite side to
New York, a match took place between a boat rowed by two watermen, and a
canoe paddled by two Indians. The boat was long and narrow, similar in
form to those that ply on the Thames. The canoe was of the lightest
possible construction, being composed of thin hickory ribs covered with
bark. In calm weather, the Indians propel these vessels through the water
with astonishing velocity; but when the wind is high, and the water much
disturbed, their progress is greatly impeded. It so happened on this day
that the water was rough, and consequently unfavourable to the Aborigines.
At the appointed signal the competitors started. For a short distance the
Indians kept up with their rivals, but the long heavy pull of the oar soon
enabled the boatmen to leave them at a distance. The Indians, true to
their character, seeing the contest hopeless, after the first turn, no
longer contended for victory; they paddled deliberately back to the
starting place, stepped out, and carried their canoe on shore. The
superiority of the oar over the paddle was in this contest fully


Having determined on quitting "the London of the States," as my friends
the Yankees call New York, I had bag and baggage conveyed on board a
steamer bound for Albany. The arrangements and accommodations on board
this boat were superb, and surpassed any thing of the kind I ever met with
in Europe, on the same scale; and the groups of well-dressed passengers
fully indicated the general prosperity of the country.

The distance between New York and Albany is about 165 miles. The scenery
on the Hudson is said to be the most beautiful of any in America, and I
believe cannot be surpassed in any country. Many of the beauties of rich
European scenery are to be found along the banks of that noble river. In
the highlands, about fifty miles from New York, is West Point, on which
stands a strong fortress, containing an arsenal, a military-school, and a
garrison. It is romantically situated among lofty crags and mountains,
which rise above the level of the water from 1100 to 1500 feet. There are
many handsome country seats and villages between West Point and Hudson,
where the river is more than a mile wide.

After a passage of about sixteen or seventeen hours, we arrived at Albany.
The charge for passage, including dinner and tea, was only three dollars;
and the day following the cost was reduced, through the spirit of
opposition, to one dollar.

Albany is the legislative capital of New York. It is a handsome city, and
one of the oldest in the Union. Most of the houses are built of wood,
which, when tastefully painted (not often the case) have rather a pleasing
appearance. The situation of this city is advantageous, both from the
direct communication which it enjoys with the Atlantic, by means of sloops
and schooners, and the large tract of back country which it commands. A
trade with Canada is established by means of the Erie and Hudson canal.
The capitol, and other public buildings, are large and handsome, and being
constructed of either brick or stone, give the city a respectable

Albany, in 1614, was first settled by the Dutch, and was by them called
Orange. On its passing into the hands of the English, in 1664, its present
name was given to it, in honour of the Duke of York. It was chartered in

From Albany I proceeded along the canal, by West Troy and Junction, and
near the latter place we came to Cohoe's Falls, on the Mohawk. The river
here is about 250 yards wide, which rushing over a jagged and uneven bed
of rocks, produces a very picturesque effect. The canal runs nearly
parallel with this river from Junction to Utica, crossing it twice, at an
interval of seven miles, over aqueducts nearly fifty rods in length,
constructed of solid beams of timber. The country is very beautiful, and
for the most part well cultivated. The soil possesses every variety of
good and bad. The farms along the canal are valuable, land being generally
worth from fifty to a hundred dollars per acre.

Above Schenectady, a very ancient town, the bed of the canal gave way,
which of course obliged us to come to a dead halt. I hired, for myself and
two others, a family waggon (dignified here with the appellation of
_carriage_) to take us beyond the break, in expectation of being able to
get a boat thence onwards, but unfortunately all the upward-bound boats
had proceeded. We were, therefore, obliged to wait until next morning. My
fellow travellers having light luggage, got themselves and it into a hut
at the other side of the lock; but I, having heavy baggage, which it was
impossible to carry across, was compelled to remain on the banks, between
the canal and the Mohawk, all night. On the river there were several
canoes, with fishermen spearing by torch-light; while on the banks the
boatmen and boys, Mulattos and whites, were occupied in gambling. They had
tables, candles, dice, and cards. With these, and with a _quantum
sufficit_ of spirits, they contrived to while away the time until
day-break; of course interlarding their conversation with a reasonable
quantity of oaths and imprecations. The breach being repaired early in the
morning, the boats came up, and we proceeded to Utica.

Seven miles above Utica is seated Rome, a small and dirty town, bearing no
possible resemblance to the "Eternal City," even in its more modern
condition, as the residence of the "Triple Prince;" but, on the contrary,
having, if one could judge from the habitations, every appearance of
squalid poverty. Fifteen miles further on, we passed the Little Falls. It
was night when we came to them, but it being moonlight, we had an
opportunity of seeing them to advantage. The crags are here
stupendous--irregular and massive piles of rocks, from which spring the
lofty pine and cedar, are heaped in frightful disorder on each other, and
give the scene a terrifically grand appearance.

From Rome to Syracuse, a distance of forty-six miles, the canal is cut
through a swampy forest, a great portion of which is composed of dead
trees. One of the most dismal scenes imaginable is a forest of charred
trees, which is occasionally to be met with in this country, especially in
the route by which I was travelling. It is caused by the woods being
fired, by accident or otherwise. The aspect of these blasted monuments of
ruined vegetation is strange and peculiar; and the air of desertion and
desolation which pervades their neighbourhood, reminds one of the stories
that are told of the Upas valley of Java, for here too not a bird is to
be seen. The smell arising from this swamp in the night, was so bad as to
oblige us to shut all the windows and doors of the boat, which, added to
the bellowing and croaking of the bull frogs--the harsh and incessant
noise of the grasshoppers, and the melancholy cry of the whip-poor-will,
formed a combination not of the most agreeable nature. Yet, in defiance of
all this, we were induced occasionally to brave the terrors of the night,
in order to admire that beautiful insect the fire-fly, or as it is called
by the natives, "lightning bug." They emit a greenish phosphorescent
light, and are seen at this season in every part of the country. The woods
here were full of them, and seemed literally to be studded with small
stars, which emitted a bright flickering light.

After you pass Syracuse, the country begins to improve; but still it is
low and marshy, and for the most part unhealthy, as the appearance of the
people clearly indicates. In this country, as in every other, the canals
are generally cut through comparatively low lands, and the low lands here,
with few exceptions, are all swampy; however, a great deal of the
unhealthiness which pervades this district, arises from want of attention.
A large portion of the inhabitants are Low Dutch, who appear never to be
in their proper element, unless when settled down in the midst of a swamp.
They allow rotten timber to accumulate, and stagnant pools to remain about
their houses, and from these there arises an effluvium which is most
unpleasant in warm weather, which, however, they do not seem to perceive.

We entered Rochester, through an aqueduct thirty rods in length, built of
stone, across the Genessee river. Rochester is the handsomest town on this
line. Some of the houses here are tastefully decorated. All the windows
have Venetian blinds, and generally there are one or two covered balconies
attached to the front of each house. Before the doors there are small
_parterres_, planted with rose-trees, and other fragrant shrubs. About
half a mile from the town are the Falls of Genessee. The water glides over
an even bed of limestone rock, ninety-six feet above the level of the
river below. There is a beautiful regularity in this fall, but its extreme
uniformity divests it of picturesque effect. Here the celebrated diver,
Sam. Patch, subsequently met his fate in diving off this precipice. He had
performed similar feats at the Falls of Niagara, without sustaining any
injury. He was not killed by the fall; but is supposed to have fainted
when midway from, his leap, as his arms were observed to relax, and his
legs to open, before he reached the water.

On my journey I met with an Englishman, a Mr. W----. He dressed _à la Mungo
Park_, wearing a jacket and trowsers of jean, and a straw hat. He was a
great pedestrian; had travelled through most of the southern States, and
was now on his tour through this part of the country. He was a gentleman
about fifty,--silent and retiring in his habits. Enamoured of the
orange-trees of Georgia, he intended returning there or to Carolina, and
ending his days. We agreed to visit the Falls of Niagara together, and
accordingly quitted the boat at Tonawanta. When we had dined, and had
deposited our luggage in the safe keeping of the Niagara hotel-keeper, my
companion shouldered his vigne stick, and to one end of which he appended
a small bundle, containing a change of linen, &c., and I put on my
shooting coat of many pockets, and shouldered my gun. Thus equipped, we
commenced our journey to the Great Falls. The distance from Tonawanta to
the village of the Falls, now called Manchester, is about eleven miles.
The way lies through a forest, in which there are but a few scattered
habitations. A great part of the road runs close to the river Niagara; and
the occasional glimpses of this broad sheet of water, which are obtained
through the rich foliage of the forest, added to the refreshing breeze
that approached us through the openings, rendered our pedestrian excursion
extremely delightful.

Towards evening we arrived at the village, and proceeded to reconnoitre,
in order to fix our position for the night. After having done this
satisfactorily, we then turned our attention to the all-important
operation of eating and drinking. While supping, an eccentric-looking
person passed out through the apartment in which we were. His odd
appearance excited our curiosity, and we inquired who this
mysterious-looking gentleman was. We were informed that he was an
Englishman, and that he had been lodging there for the last six months,
but that he concealed his real name. He slept in one corner of a large
barrack room, in which there were of course several other beds. On a small
table by his bed-side there were a few French and Latin books, and some
scraps of poetry touching on the tender passion. These, and a German
flute, which we observed standing against the window, gave us some clue to
his character. He was a tall, romantic-looking young man, apparently about
twenty-seven or twenty-eight years of age. His dress was particularly
shabby. This the landlord told us was from choice, not from necessity, as
he had two trunks full of clothes nearly new. The reason he gave for
dressing as he did, was his knowing, he said, that if he dressed well,
people would be talking to him, which he wished to avoid; but, that by
dressing as he did, he made sure that no one would ever think of giving
him any annoyance of that kind. I thought this idea unique: and whether he
be still at Niagara, or has taken up his abode at the foot of the Rocky
mountains, I pronounce him to be a Diogenes without a tub. He has read at
least one page in the natural history of civilized man.

We visited the Falls, at the American side by moonlight. There was then an
air of grandeur and sublimity in the scene which I shall long remember.
Yet at this side they are not seen to the greatest advantage. Next morning
I crossed the Niagara river, below the Falls, into Canada. I did not
ascend the bank to take the usual route to the Niagara hotel, at which
place there is a spiral staircase descending 120 feet towards the foot of
the Falls, but clambered along at the base of the cliffs until I reached
the point immediately below the stairs. I here rested, and indeed required
it much, for the day was excessively warm, and I had unfortunately
encumbered myself with my gun and shot pouch. The Falls are here seen in
all their grandeur. Two immense volumes of water glide over perpendicular
precipices upwards of 170 feet in height, and tumble among the crags below
with a roaring that _we_ distinctly heard on our approach to the village,
at the distance of five miles up the river: and down the river it can be
heard at a much greater distance. The Falls are divided by Goat Island
into two parts. The body of water which falls to the right of the island
is much greater than that which falls to the left; and the cliffs to the
right assume the form of a horse-shoe. To the left there is also a
considerable indentation, caused by a late falling in of the rock; but it
scarcely appears from the Canadian side. The rushing of the waters over
such immense precipices--the dashing of the spray, which rises in a white
cloud at the base of the Falls, and is felt at the distance of a quarter
of a mile--the many and beautiful rainbows that occasionally
appear,--united, form a grand and imposing _coup d'oeil_.

The Fall is supposed to have been originally at the table-land near
Lewiston; and indeed, from the nature of the ground, and its present
condition below the Falls, no reasonable objection can be entertained to
that supposition. The upper part of the cliffs is composed of hard
limestone, and underneath is a bed of schistus. Now this schistus is
continually worn away by the water's dashing against it. This leaves the
upper part, or immediate bed of the river, without foundation. When,
therefore, from extraordinary floods, the pressure of the incumbent fluid
becomes more than usually great, the rock gives way; and thus, gradually,
the Falls have receded several miles.

I at length ascended the stairs, and popped my head into the shanty, _sans
ceremonie_, to the no small amazement of the cunning compounder of
"cock-tails," and "mint julaps" who presided at the bar. It was clear that
I had ascended the stairs, but how the deuce I had got down was the
question. I drank my "brandy sling," and retreated before he had recovered
from his surprise, and thus I escaped the volley of interrogatories with
which I should have been most unsparingly assailed. I walked for some
distance along the Canadian heights, and then crossed the river, where I
met my friend waiting my return under a clump of scrub oak.

We had previously determined on visiting the Tuscarora village, an Indian
settlement about eight miles down the river, and not far from Ontario.
This is a tribe of one of the six nations, the last that was admitted into
the Confederation. They live in a state of community; and in their
arrangements for the production and distribution of wealth, approach
nearer to the Utopean system than any community with which I am
acquainted. The squaws told us that no Indian there could claim any thing
but what was contained within his own cabin; that the produce of the land
was common property, and that they never quarrelled about its division. We
dined in one of their cabins, on lean mutton and corn bread. The interior
of their habitations is not conspicuous for cleanliness; nor are they so
far civilized as to be capable of breaking their word. The people at the
Niagara village told us, that with the exception of two individuals in
that community, any Indian could get from them on credit either money or
goods to whatever amount he required.

I here parted with my fellow traveller, perhaps for ever. He went to
Lewiston, whence he intended to cross into Canada, and to walk along the
shores of Ontario; whilst I made the best of my way back through the woods
to Manchester. I certainly think our landlord had some misgivings
respecting the fate of my companion. We had both departed together: I
alone was armed--and I alone returned. However, as I unflinchingly stood
examination and cross-examination, and sojourned until next morning, his
fears seemed to be entirely dispelled. Next day I took a long, last look
at Niagara, and departed for Tonawanta.

At Tonawanta I again took the canal-boat to Buffalo, a considerable town
on the shores of lake Erie, and at the head of the canal navigation. There
are several good buildings in this town, and some well-appointed hotels.
Lake schooners, and steam and canal boats are here in abundance, it being
an entrepôt for western produce and eastern merchandize. A few straggling
Indians are to be seen skulking about Buffalo, like dogs in Cairo, the
victims of the inordinate use of ardent spirits.

From Buffalo I proceeded in a steamer along lake Erie, to Portland in
Ohio, now called Sandusky City; the distance 240 miles. After about an
hour's sail, we entirely lost sight of the Canadian shores. The scenery on
the American side is very fine, particularly from Presqu' Isle onward to
the head of the lake, or rather from its magnitude, it might be termed an
inland sea.

On landing at Sandusky, I learned that there were several Indian reserves
between that place and Columbus, the seat of government. This determined
me on making a pedestrian tour to that city. Accordingly, having forwarded
my luggage, and made other necessary arrangements, I commenced my
pergrinations among the Aborigines.

The woods in the upper part of Ohio, nearest the lake, are tolerably open,
and occasionally interspersed with sumach and sassafras: the soil
somewhat sandy. I met with but few Indians, until my arrival at Lower
Sandusky, on the Sandusky river; here there were several groups returning
to their reserves, from Canada, where they had been to receive the annual
presents made them by the British government. In the next county (Seneca)
there is a reservation of about three miles square, occupied by Senecas,
Cayugas, and part of the Iroquois or six nations, once a most powerful
confederation amongst the red men.[1] In Crawford county there is a very
large reserve belonging to the Huron or Wyandot Indians. These, though
speaking a dialect of the Iroquois tongue, are more in connexion with the
Delawares than with the Iroquois. The Wyandots are much esteemed by their
white neighbours, for probity and good behaviour. They dress very
tastefully. A handsome chintz shawl tied in the Moorish fashion about the
head--leggings of blue cloth, reaching half way up the thigh, sewn at the
outside, leaving a hem of about an inch deep--mocassins, or Indian boots,
made of deer-skin, to fit the foot close, like a glove--a shirt or tunic
of white calico--and a hunting shirt, or frock, made of strong
blue-figured cotton or woollen cloth, with a small fringed cape, and long
sleeves,--a tomahawk and scalping knife stuck in a broad leather belt.
Accoutred in this manner, and mounted on a small hardy horse, called here
an Indian pony, imagine a tall, athletic, brown man, with black hair and
eyes--the hair generally plaited in front, and sometimes hanging in long
wavy curls behind--aquiline nose, and fearless aspect, and you have a fair
idea of the Wyandot and Cayuga Indian. The Senecas and Oneidas whom I met
with, were not so handsome in general, but as athletic, and about the same
average height--five feet nine or ten.

The Indians here, as every where else, are governed by their own laws, and
never have recourse to the whites to settle their disputes. That silent
unbending spirit, which has always characterized the Indian, has alone
kept in check the rapacious disposition of the whites. Several attempts
have been made to induce the Indians to sell their lands, and go beyond
the Mississippi, but hitherto without effect. The Indian replies to the
fine speeches and wily language of the whites, "We hold this small bit of
land, in the vast country of our fathers, by _your_ written talk, and it
is noted on _our_ wampums--the bones of our fathers lie here, and we
cannot forsake them. You tell us our great father (the president) is
powerful, and that his arm is long and strong--we believe it is so; but we
are in hopes that he will not strike his red children for their lands, and
that he will leave us this little piece to live upon--the hatchet is long
buried, let it not be disturbed."

Jackson has lately published a manifesto to all the Indian tribes within
the limits of the United States, commanding them to sell their reserves;
and with few exceptions, has been answered in this manner.

A circumstance occurred a few days previous to my arrival, in the Seneca
reserve, which may serve to illustrate the determined character of the
Indian. There were three brothers (chiefs) dwelling in this reservation.
"Seneca John," the eldest brother, was the principal chief of the tribe,
and a man much esteemed by the white people. He died by poison. The
chiefs in council, having satisfactorily ascertained that his second
brother "Red-hand," and a squaw, had poisoned him, decreed that Red-hand
should be put to death. "Black-snake," the other brother, told the chiefs
that if Red-hand must die, he himself would kill him, in order to prevent
feuds arising in the tribe. Accordingly in the evening he repaired to the
hut of Red-hand, and after having sat in silence for some time, said, "My
best chiefs say, you have killed my father's son,--they say my brother
must die." Red-hand merely replied, "They say so;" and continued to smoke.
After about fifteen minutes further silence, Black-snake said, pointing to
the setting sun, "When he appears above those trees"--moving his arm round
to the opposite direction--"I come to kill you." Red-hand nodded his head
in the short significant style of the Indian, and said "Good." The next
morning Black-snake came, followed by two chiefs, and having entered the
hut, first put out the squaw, he then returned and stood before his
brother, his eyes bent on the ground. Red-hand said calmly, "Has my
brother come that I may die?"--"It is so," was the reply. "Then,"
exclaimed Red-hand, grasping his brother's left hand with his own right,
and dashing the shawl from his head, "Strike sure!" In an instant the
tomahawk was from the girdle of Black-snake, and buried in the skull of
the unfortunate man. He received several blows before he fell, uttering
the exclamation "hugh," each time. The Indians placed him on the grass to
die, where the backwoodsman who told me the story, saw him after the lapse
of two hours, and life was not then extinct,--with such tenacity does it
cling to the body of an Indian. The scalping knife was at length passed
across his throat, and thus ended the scene.

From Sandusky city, in Huron county, I passed into Sandusky county, and
from thence through Seneca county. These three counties are entirely
woodlands, with the exception of a few small prairies which lay eastward
of my course. The land is generally fertile. Some light sandy soil is
occasionally to be met with, which produces more quickly than the heavier
soil, but not so abundantly. I saw in my travels through these counties a
few persons who were ill of ague-fever, as it is here called. The
prevalence of this disease is not to be attributed to a general
unhealthiness of the climate, but can at all times be referred to

I next entered Crawford county, and crossed the Wyandot prairie, about
seven miles in length, to Upper Sandusky. This was the first of those
extensive meadows I had seen, and I was much pleased with its
appearance--although this prairie is comparatively but small, yet its
beauty cannot be surpassed; and the groves, and clusters of trees, _iles
de bois_, with which it is interspersed, make it much resemble a beautiful

Attached to the Wyandot reserve (nine miles by sixteen) is that of the
Delawares (three miles square). On reaching Little Sandusky--Kahama's
curse on the town baptizers of America!--there are often five or six
places named alike in one state: upper and lower, little and big, great
and small--and invariably the same names that are given to towns in one
State, are to be found in every other. Then their vile plagiarisms of
European names causes a Babelonish confusion of ideas, enough to disturb
the equanimity of a "grisly saint;" and, with all humility, I disclaim
having any pretensions to that character. I have frequently heard a
long-legged, sallow-looking backwoodsman talk of having come lately from
Paris, or Mecca, when instead of meaning the capital of _La grande
nation_, or the city of "the holy prophet," he spoke of some town
containing a few hundred inhabitants, situated in the backwoods of
Kentucky, or amidst the gloomy forests of Indiana. The Americans too speak
in prospective, when they talk of great places; no doubt "calculating"
that, one day, all the mighty productions of the old world will be
surpassed by their ingenuity and perseverance.

I reached Little Sandusky about one o'clock in the day, and there learned
that there was a treaty being holden with the Delawares--accordingly I
repaired to the council ground. On a mat, under the shade of seven large
elm trees, which in more prosperous times had waved over the war-like
ancestors of this unfortunate people, were seated three old sachems, the
principal of the tribe. The oldest appeared to be nearly eighty years of
age, the next about seventy, and the last about fifty. On a chair to the
right of the Indians was seated a young "half-breed" chief, the son of one
of the sachems by a white squaw; and on their left, seated on another
chair, a Delaware dressed in the costume of the whites. This young man was
in the pay of the States, and acted as interpreter--he interpreting into
and from the Delaware language, and a gentleman of the mission (a Captain
Walker) into and from the Wyandot. At a table opposite the Indians were
seated the commissioners.

The Lenni Lenapé, or Delawares, as they were called by the English, from
the circumstance of their holding their great "Council-fire" on the banks
of the Delaware river, were once the most powerful of the several tribes
that spoke the Delaware tongue, and possessed an immense tract of country
east of the Alleghany mountains. This unfortunate people had been driven
from place to place, until at last they were obliged to accept of an
asylum from the Wyandot, whom they call their uncle; and now are forced to
sell this, and go beyond the Mississippi. To a reflecting mind, the scene
was touching beyond description. Here was the sad remnant of a great
nation, who having been forced back from the original country of their
fathers, by successive acts of rapacity, are now compelled to enter into
a compact which obliges them, half civilized as they are, to return to the
forest. The case is this,--the white people, or rather Jackson and the
southerns, say, that the Indians "retard improvement"--precisely in the
same sense that a brigand, when he robs a traveller, might say, that the
traveller retarded improvement--that is, retarded _his_ improvement,
inasmuch as he had in his pocket, what would improve the condition of the
brigand. The Indians have cultivated farms, and valuable tracts of land,
and no doubt it will improve the condition of the whites, to get
possession of those farms and rich lands, for _one tenth of their saleable
value_. The profits that have accrued to the United States from the
systematic plunder of the Indians, are immense, and a great portion of the
national debt has been liquidated by this dishonest means.[2]

The reserve of the Delawares contained nine square miles, or 5760 acres.
For this it was agreed at the treaty, that they should be paid 6000
dollars, and the value of the improvements, which I conceived to be a fair
bargain. I was not then aware of the practice pursued by the government,
of making deductions, under various pretences, from the purchase-money,
until the unfortunate Indian is left scarcely anything in lieu of his
lands, and says, that "the justice of the white man is not like the
justice of the red man," and that he cannot understand the honesty of his
Christian brother. The following extract, taken from the New York
American, will give some insight into the mode of dealing with the

"_The last of the Ottowas_.--Maumee Bay, Ohio, Sept. 3, 1831.--Mr. James
B. Gardiner has concluded a very important treaty at Maumee Bay, in
Michigan, for a cession of all the lands owned by the Ottowa Indians in
Ohio, about 50,000 acres. It was attended with more labour and greater
difficulties than any other treaty made in this state: it was the last
foothold which that savage, warlike, and hostile tribe held in their
ancient dominion. The conditions of this treaty are very similar to those
treaties of Lewistown and Wapaghkenetta, _with this exception_, that the
surplus avails of their lands, _after deducting seventy cents per acre to
indemnify the government_, are to be appropriated for paying the debts of
their nation, which amount to about 20,000 dollars." [Query, what are
those debts?--could they be the amount of _presents_ made them on former
occasions?] "The balance, _if any_, accrues to the tribe. Seventy
thousand acres of land are granted to them west of the Mississippi.[3] The
Ottowas are the most depredating, drunken, and ferocious in Ohio. The
reservations ceded by them are very valuable, and those on the Miami of
the lake embrace some of the best mill privileges in the State."

The Delawares were too few (being but fifty-one in number) to contend the
matter, and therefore accepted of the proposed terms. At the conclusion of
the conference, the Commissioners told them that they should have a barrel
of flour, with the beef that had been killed for the occasion, which was
received with "Yo-ha!--Yo-ha!" They then said, laughing, "that they hoped
their father would allow them a little milk," meaning whisky, which was
accordingly granted. They drank of this modern Lethé and forgot for a time
their misfortunes.

On the Osage fork of the Merrimack river, there are two settlements of the
Delawares, to the neighbourhood of which these Indians intend to remove.

Near the Delaware reserve, I fell in with a young Indian, apparently about
twenty years of age, and we journeyed together for several miles through
the forest. He spoke English fluently, and conformed as far as his taste
would permit him, to the habits of the whites. His dress consisted of a
blue frock coat, blue cloth leggings, moccasins, a shawl tied about the
head, and a red sash round his waste. In conversation, I asked him if he
were not a Cayuga--: "No," says he, "an Oneida," placing both his hands on
his breast--"a _clear_ Oneida." I could not help smiling at his national
pride;--yet this is man: in every country and condition he is proud of his
descent, and loves the race to which he belongs. This Oneida was a widow's
son. He had sixteen acres of cleared land, which, with occasional
assistance, he cultivated himself. When the produce was sold, he divided
the proceeds with his mother, and then set out, and travelled until his
funds were exhausted. He had just then returned from a tour to New York
and Philadelphia, and had visited almost every city in the Union. As
Guedeldk--that was the Oneida's name--and I were rambling along, we met a
negro who was journeying in great haste--he stopped to inquire if we had
seen that day, or the day previous, any nigger-woman going towards the
lake. I had passed the day before two waggon loads of negros, which were
being transported, by the state, to Canada. A local law prohibits the
settlement of people of colour within the state of Ohio, which was now put
in force, although it had remained dormant for many years.

There was much hardship in the case of this poor fellow. He had left his
family at Cincinnati, and had gone to work on the canal some eighteen or
twenty miles distant. He had been absent about a week; and on his return
he found his house empty, and was informed that his wife and children had
been seized, and transported to Canada. The enforcement of this law has
been since abandoned; and I must say, although the law itself is at
variance with the Constitution of the United States, which is paramount to
all other laws, that its abandonment is due entirely to the good feeling
of the people of Ohio, who exclaimed loudly against the cruelty of the


[1] De Witt Clinton, speaking of the Iroquois, or five nations, says,
"Their exterior relations, general interests, and national affairs, were
conducted and superintended by a great council, assembled annually in
Onondaga, the central canton, composed of the chiefs of each republic;
and eighty sachems were frequently convened at this national assembly. It
took cognizance of the great questions of war and peace; of the affairs
of the tributary nations, and their negotiations with the French and
English colonies. All their proceedings were conducted with great
deliberation, and were distinguished for order, decorum, and solemnity.
In eloquence, in dignity, and in all the characteristics of profound
policy, they surpassed the assembly of feudal barons, and perhaps were
not inferior to the great Amphictyonic Council of Greece."


Amount of lands sold up to the year 1824     44,229,837

173,176,606 acres unsold, estimated at one
dollar per acre. The Congress price was
then two dollars, but was subsequently
reduced to a dollar and a quarter, and
is now 75 cents.                            173,176,606

Deduct value of annuities, expenses of
surveying, &c. &c., being the amount of
purchase-money paid for same                  4,243,632

Profit arising to the United States from
purchases of land from the Indians          213,162,811
Allowing 480 cents, to the pound sterling, the gross
          profit is £44,408,918. 19_s_. 2_d_.

[3] There are lands west of the Mississippi, which would be dear at ten
cents per hundred acres.


From Little Sandusky, I passed through Marion, in Marion county. This
town, like most others in Ohio, is advancing rapidly, and has at present
several good brick buildings. The clap-boarded frame houses, which compose
the great mass of habitations in the towns throughout the western country,
in general have a neat appearance. I here saw gazetted three divorces, all
of which had been granted on the applications of the wives. One, on the
ground of the husband's absenting himself for one year: another, on
account of a blow having been given: and the third for general neglect.
There are few instances of a woman's being refused a divorce in the
western country, as dislike is very generally--and very
rationally--supposed to constitute a sufficient reason for granting the
ladies their freedom.

I crossed Delaware county into Franklin county, where Columbus, the
capital of the state, is situated. The roads from the lake to this city,
with few exceptions, passed through woodlands, and the country is but
thinly settled. Beech, oak, elm, hickory, walnut, white-oak, ash, &c.
compose the bulk of the forest trees; and in the bottom lands, enormous
sycamores are to be seen stretching their white arms almost to the very
clouds. The land is of various denominations, but in general may be termed

Columbus, the capital of Ohio, is seated on the Scioto river, which is
navigable for keel and flat boats, and small craft, almost to its source;
and by means of a portage of about four miles, to Sandusky river, which
flows into lake Erie, a convenient communication is established between
the lakes, and the great western waters. The town is well laid out. The
streets are wide; and the court-house, town-hall, and public offices, are
built of brick. There are some good taverns here, and the tables d'hôtes
are well and abundantly supplied.

There are land offices in every county seat, in which maps and plans of
the county are kept. On these, the disposable tracts of country are
distinguished from those which have been disposed of. The purchaser pays
one fourth of the purchase money, for which he gets a receipt,--this
constitutes his title, until, on paying the residue, he receives a regular
title deed. He may however pay the full amount at once, and receive a
discount of, I believe, eight per cent. A township comprises thirty-six
square miles (twenty three thousand and forty acres) in sections of six
hundred and forty acres each, which are subdivided, to accommodate
purchasers, into quarter sections, or lots of a hundred and sixty acres.
The sixteenth section is not sold, but reserved for the support of the
poor, for education, and other public uses. There is no provision made in
this, or any other state, for the ministers of religion, which is found to
be highly beneficial to the interests of practical Christianity. The
congress price of land has lately been reduced from a dollar and a quarter
per acre, to seventy-five cents.

Ohio averages 184 miles in extent, from north to south, and 220 miles from
east to west. Area, 40,000 square miles, or 25,600,000 acres. The
population in 1790, was 3000; in 1800, 45,365; in 1810, 230,760; and in
1820, 581,434. White males, 300,609; white females, 275,955; free people
of colour, 4723; militia in 1821, 83,247. The last census, taken in 1830,
makes the population 937,679.

Having no more Indian reserves to visit, I took the stage, and rumbled
over corduroys, republicans, stumps, and ruts, until my ribs were
literally sore, through London, Xenia, and Lebanon, to Cincinnati.

At Lebanon there is a large community of the shaking Quakers. They have
establishments also in Mason county, and at Covington, in Kentucky: their
tenets are strictly Scriptural. They contend, that confessing their sins
to one another, is necessary to a state of perfection; that the church of
Christ ought to have all things in common; that none of the members of
this church ought to cohabit, but be literally virgins; and that to dance
and be merry is their duty, which part of their doctrines they take from
the thirty-first chapter of Jeremiah.

Their ceremonies are as follows:--The men sit on the left hand, squatting
on the floor, with their knees up, and their hands clasped round them.
Opposite, in the same posture, sit the women, whose appearance is most
cadaverous and sepulchral, dressed in the Quaker costume. After sitting
for some time in this hatching position, they all rise and sing a canting
sort of hymn, during which the women keep time by elevating themselves on
their toes. After the singing has ceased, a discourse is delivered by one
of the elders; which being ended, the men pull off their coats and
waistcoats. All being prepared, one of the brethren steps forward to the
centre of the room, and in a loud voice, gives out a tune, beating time
with his foot, and singing _lal lal la, lal lal la_, &c., being joined by
the whole group, all jumping as high as possible, clapping their hands,
and at intervals twirling round,--but making rather ungraceful
_pirouettes_: this exercise they continue until they are completely
exhausted. In their ceremonials they much resemble the howling Dervishes
of the Moslems, whom they far surpass in fanaticism.

Within about ten miles of Cincinnati we took up an old doctor, who was
going to that city for the purpose of procuring a warrant against one of
his neighbours, who, he had reason to believe, was concerned in the
kidnapping of a free negro the night before. This is by no means an
uncommon occurrence in the free states bordering the great rivers. The
unfortunate black man, when captured, is hurried down to the river, thrust
into a flat boat, and carried to the plantations. Such negros are not
exposed for sale in the public bazaars, as that would be attended with
risk; but a false bill of sale is made out, and the sale is effected to
some planter before they reach Orleans. There is, of course, always
collusion between the buyer and seller, and the man is disposed of,
generally, for half his value.

These are certainly atrocious acts; yet when a British subject reads such
passages as the following, in the histories of East India government, he
must feel that if they were ten times as infamous and numerous as they are
in reality, it becomes not _him_ to censure them. Bolts, who was a judge
of the mayor's court of Calcutta, says, in his "Considerations on India
Affairs," page 194, "With every species of monopoly, therefore, every kind
of oppression to manufacturers of all denominations throughout the whole
country has daily increased; insomuch that weavers, for daring to sell
their goods, and Dallals and Pykars, for having contributed to, or
connived at, such sales, have by the _Company's agents,_ been frequently
seized and imprisoned, confined in irons, fined considerable sums of
money, flogged, and deprived, in the most ignominious manner, of what they
esteem most valuable, their castes. Weavers also, upon their inability to
perform such agreements as have been _forced from them by the Company's
agents_, universally known in Bengal by the name of _Mutchulcahs_, have
had their goods seized and sold on the spot, to make good the deficiency:
and the winders of raw silk, called _Nagaards_, have been treated also
with such injustice, that instances have been known of their cutting off
their thumbs, to prevent their being forced to wind silk. This last kind
of workmen were pursued with such rigour, during Lord Clive's late
government in Bengal, from a zeal for _increasing the Company's
investment_ of raw silk, that the most sacred laws of society were
atrociously violated; for it was _a common thing for the Company's
scapoys_ to be sent by force of arms to break open the houses of the
Armenian merchants established at Sydabad (who have from time immemorial
been largely concerned in the silk trade), and forcibly take the
_Nagaards_ from their work, and carry them away to the English factory."

As we approached Cincinnati the number of farms, and the extent of
cultivated country, indicated the comparative magnitude of that city.
Fields in this country have nothing like the rich appearance of those in
England and Ireland, being generally filled with half-rotten stumps,
scattered here and there among the growing corn, producing a most
disagreeable effect. Then, instead of the fragrant quickset hedge, there
is a "worm fence"--the rudest description of barrier known in the
country--which consists simply of bars, about eight or nine feet in
length, laid zig-zag on each other alternately: the improvement on this,
and the _ne plus ultra_ in the idea of a west country farmer, is what is
termed a "post and rail fence." This denomination of fence is to be seen
sometimes in the vicinity of the larger towns, and is constructed of posts
six feet in length, sunk in the ground to the depth of about a foot, and
at eight or ten feet distance; the rails are then laid into mortises cut
into the posts, at intervals of about thirteen or fourteen inches, which
completes the work.

Cincinnati is built on a bend of the Ohio river, which takes here a
semicircular form, and runs nearly west; it afterwards flows in a more
southerly direction. A complete chain of hills, sweeping from one point of
the bend round to the other, encloses the city in a sort of amphitheatre.
The houses are mostly brick, and the streets all paved. There are several
spacious and handsome market houses, which on market days are stocked with
all kinds of provisions--indeed I think the market of Cincinnati is very
nearly the best supplied in the United States. There are many respectable
public buildings here, such as a court-house, theatre, bazaar, (built by
Mrs. Trollope, but the speculation failed), and divers churches, in which
you may see well-dressed women, and hear orthodox, heterodox, and every
other species of doctrine, promulgated and enforced by strength of lungs,
and length of argument, with pulpit-drum accompaniment, and all other
requisites _ad captandum vulgus_.

The city stands on two plains: one called the bottom, extends about 260
yards back from the river, and is three miles in length, from Deer Creek
to Mill Creek; the other is fifty feet higher than the first, and is
called the Hill; this extends back about a mile. The bottom is sixty-five
feet above low water mark. In 1815 the population was estimated at 6000,
and at present it is supposed to be upwards of 25,000 souls. By means of
the Dayton canal, which runs from that town nearly parallel with the "Big
Miami" river, a very extensive trade, for all kinds of produce, is
established with the back country. Steamers are constantly arriving at,
and departing from the wharf, on their passage up and down the river. This
is one of the many examples to be met with in the western country, of
towns springing into importance within the memory of comparatively young
men--a log-house is still standing, which is shewn as the first habitation
built by the backwoodsman, who squatted in the forest where now stands a
handsome and flourishing city.

On arriving at Cincinnati, I learned that my friend T---- had taken up his
abode at a farm-house a few miles from town, where I accordingly repaired,
and found him in good health, and initiated into all the manners, habits,
customs, and diversions of the natives. Farming people in Ohio work hard.
The women have no sinecures, being occupied the greater part of the day in
cooking; as they breakfast at eight, dine at half-past twelve, and sup at
six, and at each of these meals, meat, and other cooked dishes are served
up. In farming they co-operate with each other. When a farmer wishes to
have his corn husked, he rides round to his neighbours and informs them of
his intention. An invitation of this kind was once given in my presence.
The farmer entered the house, sat down, and after the customary
compliments were passed, in the usual laconic style, the following
dialogue took place. "I guess I'll husk my corn to-morrow
afternoon."--"You've a mighty heap this year."--"Considerable of corn."
The host at length said, "Well, I guess we'll be along"--and the matter
was arranged. All these gatherings are under the denomination of
"frolics"--such as "corn-husking frolic," "apple-cutting frolic,"
"quilting frolic," &c.

Being somewhat curious in respect to national amusements, I attended a
"corn-husking frolic" in the neighbourhood of Cincinnati. The corn was
heaped up into a sort of hillock close by the granary, on which the young
"Ohiohians" and "buck-eyes"--the lasses of Ohio are called
"buck-eyes"--seated themselves in pairs; while the old wives, and old
farmers were posted around, doing little, but talking much. Now the laws
of "corn-husking frolics" ordain, that for each red ear that a youth
finds, he is entitled to exact a kiss from his partner. There were two or
three young Irishmen in the group, and I could observe the rogues kissing
half-a-dozen times on the same red ears. Each of them laid a red-ear close
by him, and after every two or three he'd husk, up he'd hold the
redoubtable red-ear to the astonished eyes of the giggling lass who sate
beside him, and most unrelentingly inflict the penalty. The "gude wives"
marvelled much at the unprecedented number of red-ears which that lot of
corn contained: by-and-by, they thought it "a kind of curious" that the
Irishmen should find so many of them--at length, the cheat was discovered,
amidst roars of laughter. The old farmers said the lads were "wide
awake," and the "buck-eyes" declared that there was no being up to the
plaguy Irishmen "no how," for they were always sure to have every thing
their own way. But the mischief of it was, the young Americans took the
hint, and the poor "buck-eyes" got nothing like fair play for the
remainder of that evening. All agreed that there was more laughing, and
more kissing done at that, than had been known at any corn-husking frolic
since "the Declaration."

The farmers of Ohio are a class of people about equivalent to our second
and third rate farmer, inasmuch as they work themselves, but possessing
infinitely more independence in their character and deportment. Every
white male, who is a citizen of the United States, and has resided one
year in the state, and paid taxes, has a vote. The members of the
legislature are elected annually, and those of the senate biennially; half
of the members of the latter branch vacating their seats every year. The
representatives, in addition to the qualifications necessary to the
elector, must be twenty-five years of age; and the senators must have
resided in the state two years, and must be thirty years of age. The
governor must be thirty years of age, an inhabitant of the state four
years, and a citizen of the United States twelve years,--he is eligible
only for six years in eight.

Notwithstanding the numerous religious sects that are to be found in this
country, there is nothing like sectarian animosity prevailing. This is to
be attributed to the ministers of religion being paid as they deserve, and
no one class of people being taxed to support the religious tenets of

The farmers of this state are by no means religious, in a doctrinal sense;
on the contrary, they appear indifferent on matters of this nature. The
girls _sometimes_ go to church, which here, as in all Christian countries,
is equivalent to the bazaars of Smyrna and Bagdad; and as the girls go,
their "dads" must pay the parson. The Methodists are very zealous, and
have frequent "revivals" and "camp-meetings." I was at two of the latter
assemblages, one in Kentucky, and the other in Ohio. I shall endeavour to
convey some idea of this extraordinary species of religious festival.

To the right of Cheriot, which lies in a westerly direction, about ten
miles from Cincinnati, under the shade of tall oak and elm trees, the camp
was pitched in a quadrangular form. Three sides were occupied by tents for
the congregation, and the fourth by booths for the preachers. A little in
advance before the booths was erected a platform for the performing
preacher, and at the foot of this, inclosed by forms, was a species of
sanctuary, called "the penitents' pen." People of every denomination might
be seen here, allured by various motives. The girls, dressed in all
colours of the rainbow, congregated to display their persons and
costumes; the young men came to see the girls, and considered it a sort of
"frolic;" and the old women, induced by fanaticism, and other motives,
assembled in large numbers, and waited with patience for the proper season
of repentance. At the intervals between the "preachments," the young
married and unmarried women promenaded round the tents, and their smiling
faces formed a striking contrast to the demure countenances of their more
experienced sisters, who, according to their age or temperament, descanted
on the folly, or condemned the sinfulness of such conduct. Some of those
old dames, I was informed, were decoy birds, who shared the profits with
the preachers, and attended all the "camp-meetings" in the country.

The psalmodies were performed in the true Yankee style of nasal-melody,
and at proper and seasonable intervals the preachings were delivered. The
preachers managed their tones and discourses admirably, and certainly
displayed a good deal of tact in their calling. They use the most
extravagant gestures--astounding bellowings--a canting hypocritical
whine--slow and solemn, although by no means _musical_ intonations, and
the _et ceteras_ that complete the qualifications of a regular
camp-meeting methodist parson. During the exhortations the brothers and
sisters were calling out--Bless God! glory! glory! amen! God grant! Jesus!

At the adjournment for dinner, a knowing-looking gentleman was appointed
to deliver an admonition. I admired this person much for the ingenuity he
displayed in introducing the subject of collection, and the religious
obligation of each and every individual to contribute largely to the
support of the preacher and his brothers of the vineyard. He set forth the
respectability of the county, as evinced by former contributions, and
thence inferred, most logically, that the continuance of that respectable
character depended on the amount of that day's collection. A conversation
took place behind me, during this part of the preacher's exhortation,
between three young farmers, which, as being characteristic, I shall

"The old man is wide awake, I guess."

"I reckon he knows a thing or two."

"I calculate he's been on board a flat afore now."

"Yes, I guess a Yankee 'd find it damned hard to sell him _hickory_

"It'd take a pretty smart man to poke it on to a parson any how."

"I guess'd it'd come to dollars and cents in the end."

After sunset the place was lighted up by beacon fires and candles, and the
scene seemed to be changing to one of more deep and awful interest. About
nine o'clock the preachers began to rally their forces--the candles were
snuffed--fuel was added to the fires--clean straw was shook in the
"penitents' pen"--and every movement "gave dreadful note of preparation."
At length the hour was sounded, and the faithful forthwith assembled. A
chosen leader commenced to harangue--he bellowed--he roared--he whined--he
shouted until he became actually hoarse, and the perspiration rolled down
his face. Now, the faithful seemed to take the infection, and as if
overcome by their excited feelings, flung themselves headlong on the straw
into the penitents' pen--the old dames leading the way. The preachers, to
the number of a dozen, gave a loud shout and rushed into the thick of the
penitents. A scene now ensued that beggars all description. About twenty
women, young and old, were lying in every direction and position, with
caps and without caps, screeching, bawling, and kicking in hysterics, and
profaning the name of Jesus. The preachers, on their knees amongst them,
were with Stentorian voices exhorting them to call louder and louder on
the Lord, until he came upon them; whilst their _attachées,_ with
turned-up eyes and smiling countenances, were chanting hymns and shaking
hands with the multitude. Some would now and then give a hearty laugh,
which is an indication of superior grace, and is called "the holy laugh."
The scene altogether was highly entertaining--penitents, parsons, caps,
combs, and straw, jumbled in one heterogeneous mass, lay heaving on the
ground, and formed at this juncture a grouping that might be done justice
to by the pencil of Hogarth, or the pen of the author of Hudibras; but of
which I fear an inferior pen or pencil must fail in conveying an adequate

The women were at length carried off, fainting, by their friends, and the
preachers began to prepare for another scene. From the time of those
faintings, the "new birth" is dated, which means a spiritual resurrection
or revival.

The scene that followed appeared to be a representation of "the Last
Supper." The preachers assembled round a table, and acted as disciples,
whilst one of them, the leader, presided. The bread was consecrated,
divided and eaten--the wine served much after the same manner. The
faithful, brothers and sisters, were now called upon to partake of the
Sacrament--proper warning, however, being given to the gentlemen, that
when the wine was handed to them, they were not to take a _drink_, as that
was quite unnecessary, as a small sup would answer every purpose. One
gentleman seemed to have forgotten this hint, and attempted to take rather
more than a sup; but he was prevented by the administering preacher
snatching the goblet from him with both hands. Many said they were obliged
to substitute _brandy and water_ for wine; but for this fact I cannot
vouch. Another straw-tumbling scene now began; and, as if by way of
variety, the inmates of five or six tents got up similar scenes among
themselves. The preachers left the field to join the tenters; and, if
possible, surpassed their previous exhibitions. The women were
occasionally making confessions, _pro bono publico_, when sundry
"backslidings" were acknowledged for the edification of the multitude. We
left the camp about two o'clock in the morning, when these poor fanatics
were still in full cry.

At Hell Town, near this place, there was an officer's muster held about
this time. Every citizen exercising the elective franchise is also
eligible to serve in the militia. There are two general musters held every
year in each county, and several company meetings. Previous to the general
muster there is an officer's muster, when the captains and subalterns are
put through their exercise by the field officers. At this muster, which I
attended, the superior officers in command certainly appeared to be
sufficiently conversant with tactics, and explained the rationale of each
movement in a clear and concise manner; but the captains and subalterns
went through their exercise somewhat in the manner of the yeomen of the
Green Island. When the gentlemen were placed in line, and attention was
commanded, the General turned round to converse with his coadjutors--no
sooner had he done this than about twenty heroes squatted _a l'Indien;_
no doubt deeming it more consistent, the day being warm, to sit than
stand. On the commander observing this movement, which he seemed to think
quite unmilitary, he remonstrated--the warriors arose; but, alas! the just
man _falls_ seven times a day, and the militia officers of Hamilton county
seemed to think it not derogatory to their characters to _squat_ five or
six. The offence was repeated several times, and as often censured. They
wheeled into battalions, and out of battalions, in most glorious
disorder--their _straight_ lines were _zig-zag._ In marching abreast, they
came to a fence next the road--the tavern was opposite, and the temptation
too great to be resisted--a number threw down their muskets--tumbled
themselves over the fence, and rushed into the bar-room to refresh! An
American's heart sickens at restraint, and nothing but necessity will
oblige him to observe discipline.

The question naturally arises, how would these forces resist the finely
disciplined troops of Europe? The answer is short: If the Americans would
consent to fight _à bataille rangée_ on one of the prairies of Illinois,
undoubtedly the disciplined troops would prevail; but as neither their
experience nor inclination is likely to lead them into such circumstances,
my opinion is, that send the finest army Europe can produce into this
country, in six months, the forests, swamps, and deadly rifle, united,
will annihilate it--and let it be remembered, that at the battle of New
Orleans, there were between two and three thousand British slain, and
there were only twelve Americans killed, and perhaps double that number
wounded. In patriotism and personal courage, the Americans are certainly
not inferior to the people of any nation.

There had been lately throughout the States a good deal of excitement
produced by an attempt, made by the Presbyterians, to stop the mails on
the sabbath. This party is headed by a Doctor Ely, of Philadelphia, a
would-be "lord spiritual," and they made this merely as a trial of
strength, preparatory to some other measures calculated to lead to a
church establishment. Their designs, however, have been detected, and
measures accordingly taken to resist them. At a meeting at which I was
present at Cincinnati, the people were most enthusiastic, and some very
strong resolutions were passed, expressive of their abhorrence of this
attempt to violate the constitution of America.

Good farms within about three or four miles of Cincinnati, one-third
cleared, are sold at from thirty to fifty dollars per acre. Cows sell at
from ten to twenty dollars. Horses, at from twenty-five to seventy-five
and one hundred dollars. Sheep from two to three dollars. There are some
tolerable flocks of sheep throughout this state, but they are of little
value beyond the price of the wool, a most unaccountable antipathy to
mutton existing among the inhabitants.

Whilst on the banks of Lake Erie, having heard a great deal of
conversation about the "lake fever," I made several inquiries from the
inhabitants on that subject, the result of which confirmed me in the
opinion, that the shores of the lakes are quite as healthy as any other
part of the country, and that here, as elsewhere, the disease arises from
stagnant pools, swamps, and masses of decayed animal and vegetable matter,
which are allowed to remain and accumulate in the vicinity of settlements.
When at New York, I met an old and wealthy farmer, who was himself,
although eighty years of age, in the enjoyment of rude health. He informed
me that he had resided in Canada, on the shores of Lake Erie, for the last
fifty years, and that neither he nor any one of his family had ever been
afflicted with fever of any description. The district in which he lived,
was entirely free from local nuisances, and the inhabitants he
represented as being as healthy as any in the United States.

My observations, so far, lead me to conclude, that this climate agrees
fully as well with Europeans as with the natives, indeed that the
susceptibility to fever and ague is greater in the natives than in
Europeans of good habits. The cause I conceive to be this: the early
settlers had to encounter swamps of the most pestilential description, and
dense forests through which the sun's rays had never penetrated, and which
industry and cultivation have since made in a great measure to disappear.
They notoriously suffered much from the ravages of malaria, and such as
survived the baleful effects of this disease, escaped with impaired
constitutions. Now this susceptibility to intermittent fever, appears to
me to have been transmitted to their descendants, and to act as the
predisposing cause. I have seen English and Irish people who have been in
the country upwards of thirty years, who look just as you would expect to
find persons of their age at home.

There are situations evidently unhealthy, such as river bottoms, and the
vicinity of creeks. The soil in those situations is alluvial, and its
extreme fertility often induces unfortunate people to reside in them. The
appearance of those persons in general is truly wretched.

The women here, although they live as long as those in the old country,
yet they fade much sooner, and, with few exceptions, have bad teeth.


Having decided on visiting New Harmony, in Indiana, where our friend B----
had been for some time enjoying the delights of sylvan life, and the
refinements of backwoods-society, T---- and I purchased a horse, and
Dearborne, a species of light waggon used in this country for travelling.
We furnished ourselves with a small axe, hunting knives, and all things
necessary for encamping when occasion required, and so set out about the
beginning of September.

We crossed the Big-Miami river, and proceeded by a tolerable road, and
some good farms, to Lawrenceburg, a handsome town on the Ohio, within a
mile of the outlet of the Miami. From thence we drove on towards
Wilmington; but our horse becoming jaded, we found it expedient to "camp
out," within some miles of that town. Next morning we passed through
Wilmington, but lost the direct track through the forest, and took the
road to Versailles, which lay in a more northerly direction than the route
we had proposed to ourselves. This road was one of those newly cut through
the forest, and there frequently occurred intervals of five or six miles
between the settlements; and of the road itself, a tolerably correct idea
may be formed by noting the stipulations made with the contractors, which
are solely that the roads shall be of a certain width, and that no stump
shall be left projecting more than _fifteen inches_ above the ground.

On the night of the second day we reached the vicinity of Versailles, and
put up at the residence of a backwoodsman--a fine looking fellow, with a
particularly ugly _squaw_. He had come from Kentucky five years
before--sat down in the forest--"built him" a log-house--wielded his axe
to the tune of "The Hunters of Kentucky," and had now eighteen acres of
cleared land, and all the _et ceteras_ of a farm. We supped off
venison-steaks and stewed squirrel. Our host told us that there was "a
pretty smart chance of deer" in the neighbourhood, and that when he first
"located," "there was a small sprinkling of _baar_" (bear), but that at
present nothing of the kind was to be seen. There was very little comfort
in the appearance of this establishment; yet the good dame had a
side-saddle, hung on a peg in one of the apartments, which would not have
disgraced the lady of an Irish squireen. This appears to be an article of
great moment in the estimation of West-country ladies, and when nothing
else about the house is even tolerable, the side-saddle is of the most
fashionable pattern.

From Versailles, we took the track to Vernon, through a rugged and swampy
road, it having rained the night before. The country is hilly, and
interspersed with runs, which are crossed with some difficulty, the
descents and ascents being very considerable. The stumps, "corduroys"
(rails laid horizontally across the road where the ground is marshy)
swamps, and "republicans," (projecting roots of trees, so called from the
stubborn tenacity with which they adhere to the ground, it being almost
impossible to grub them up), rendered the difficulty of traversing this
forest so great, that notwithstanding our utmost exertions we were unable
to make more than sixteen miles from sunrise to sunset, when, both the
horse and ourselves being completely exhausted, we halted until morning. I
was awoke at sunrise by a "white-billed woodpecker," which was making the
woods ring by the rattling of its bill against a tree. This is a large
handsome bird, (the _picus principalis_ of Linnaeus), it is sometimes
called here the wood-cock. Pigeons, squirrels, and turtle-doves abound in
all these forests, and my friend being an expert gunner, we had always
plenty of game for dinner. The morning was still grey when we set forward.

We forded the Muskakituck river at Vernon, which stands on its head
waters, and is a country seat. We then directed our course to Brownstown,
on the east branch of White river. We found the roads still bad until we
came within about ten miles of that place. There the country began to
assume a more cultivated appearance, and the roads became tolerably good,
being made through a sandy or gravelly district. In the neighbourhood of
Brownstown there are some rich lands, and from that to Salem, a distance
of twenty-two miles, we were much pleased with the country. We had been
hitherto journeying through dense forests, and except when we came to a
small town, could never see more than about ten yards on either side. All
through Indiana the peaches were in great abundance this year, and such
was the weight of fruit the trees had to sustain, that the branches were
invariably broken where not propped.

From Salem we took a westward track by Orleans to Hindostan, crossed the
east branch of White river, and passed through Washington. At a short
distance from this town, we had to cross White river again, near the west
branch, which is much larger than the east branch. We attempted to ford
it, and had got into the middle of the stream before we discovered that
the bottom was quicksands. The horse was scared at the footing,--he
plunged and broke the traces; however, after a tolerable wetting, we
succeeded in getting safe out. A little above the place where we made the
attempt, we found there was a ferry-flat. The ferryman considered our
attempt as dangerous, for had we gone much further into the stream we
should have shot into the quicksands in the deep current. This day the
fates were most unpropitious to us; and had we had, like Socrates, a
familiar demon at our elbow, he most assuredly would have warned us not
to proceed. We had no sooner got into the ferry-flat, and pushed off from
shore, than the horse tumbled overboard, carriage and all, and was with
difficulty saved from drowning.

We passed through Petersburg to Princeton; but having lost the track, and
got into several _culs de sacs_, an occurrence which is by no means
pleasant--as in this case you are unable to turn the carriage, and have no
alternative but cutting down one or two small trees in order to effect a
passage. After a great deal of danger and difficulty, we succeeded in
returning on the true bridle-path, and arrived about ten at night in a
small village, through which we had passed three hours before. The gloom
and pitchy darkness of an American forest at night, cannot be conceived by
the inhabitants of an open country, and the traversing a narrow path
interspersed with stumps and logs is both fatiguing and dangerous. Our
horse seemed so well aware of this danger, that whenever the night set
in, he could not be induced to move, unless one of us walked a little in
advance before him, when he would rest his nose on our arm and then
proceed. We crossed the Potoka to Princeton, a neat town, surrounded by a
fast settling country, and so on to Harmony.

New Harmony is seated on the banks of the Wabash; and following the
sinuosities of that river, it is distant sixty-four or five miles from the
Ohio, but over land, not more than seventeen. This settlement was
purchased by Messrs. Mac Clure and Owen from Mr. Rapp, in the year 1823.
The Rappites had been in possession of the place for six years, during
which they had erected several large brick buildings of a public nature,
and sundry smaller ones as residences, and had cultivated a considerable
quantity of land in the immediate vicinity of the town. Mr. Owen intended
to have established here a community of union and mutual co-operation;
but, from a too great confidence in the power of the system which he
advocates, to _reform_ character, he has been necessitated to abandon that
design at present.

Harmony must have been certainly a desirable residence when it was the
abode of the many literary and scientific characters who composed a part
of that short-lived community. A few of these still linger here, and may
be seen stalking through the streets of Harmony, like Marius among the
ruins of Carthage, deploring the moral desolation that now reigns in this
once happy place.

Le Seur, the naturalist, and fellow traveller of Peron, in his voyage to
the Austral regions, is still here. The suavity of manners, and the
scientific acquirements of this gentleman, command the friendship and
esteem of all those who have the pleasure of his acquaintance. He has a
large collection of specimens connected with natural history, which the
western parts of this country yield in abundance. The advantages presented
here for the indulgence of retired habits, form at present the only
attractions sufficient to induce him to live out of _la belle France_.

Mr. Thomas Say, of Philadelphia, who accompanied Major Long on his
expedition to the Rocky Mountains, also resides here. He too is a recluse,
and is now preparing a work on his favourite subject, natural history. His
garden contains a tolerable collection of Mexican and other exotic plants.

Harmony is built on the second bottom of the Wabash, and is perhaps half a
mile from the river at low water, the first bottom being about that
breadth. Mosquitos abound here, and are extremely troublesome. There are
several orchards in the neighbourhood well stocked with apples, peaches,
&c.; and the soil being rich alluvion, the farms are productive--so much
as fifty dollars per acre is asked for cleared land, close to the town.
There is a great scarcity of money here, as in most parts of Indiana, and
trade is chiefly carried on by barter. Pork, lard, corn, bacon, beans,
&c., being given, by the farmers, to the store-keepers, in exchange for
dry goods, cutlery, crockery-ware, &c. The store-keepers either sell the
produce they have thus collected to river-traders, or forward it to New
Orleans on their own account.

We made an excursion down the river in true Indian style. Our party,
consisting of four, equipped in a suitable manner, the weather being then
delightfully warm, having stowed on board a canoe plenty of provisions,
paddled down the Wabash. The scenery on the banks of this river is
picturesque. The foliage in some places springs from the water's edge,
whilst at other points it recedes, leaving a bar of fine white sand. The
breadth of the Wabash, at Harmony, is about 200 yards, and it divides
frequently on its course to the Ohio, forming islands of various degrees
of beauty and magnitude. On one of these, about six miles from Harmony,
called the "Cut-off," we determined on encamping. Accordingly, we moored
our canoe--pitched our tent--lighted our fire--bathed--and having
acquired enormous appetites by exertion, commenced the very agreeable
operation of demolishing our provisions. We roamed about that and an
adjacent island, until evening, when we returned to regale. These islands
are generally covered with "cane brakes," and low brush wood, which
renders it difficult to effect a passage across them. Cotton-wood, beech,
maple, hickory, and white oak, are the trees in greatest abundance.
Spice-wood, sassafras, and dittany, are also plenty. Of these a decoction
is made, which some of the woods-people prefer to tea; but it is not in
general repute. The paw-paw tree (_annona triloba_) produces a fruit
somewhat resembling in taste and shape the fig-banana, but certainly much
inferior to that delicious fruit. We saw several deer in the woods, and
some cranes upon the shore. With smoking, &c., we passed the evening, and
then retired--not to bed, for we had none--but to a right good
substitute, a few dry leaves strewn upon the ground--our heads covered by
the tent, and at our feet a large fire, which we kept up the whole night.
Thus circumstanced, we found it by no means disagreeable.

We spent greater part of next day much after the manner of the preceding,
and concluded that it would be highly irrational to shoot game, having
plenty of provisions; yet I suspect our being too lazy to hunt, influenced
us not a little in that philosophical decision.

Whilst at Harmony, I collected some information relative to the failure of
the community, and I shall here give a slight sketch of the result of my
inquiries. I must observe that so many, and such conflicting statements,
respecting public measures, I believe never were before made by a body of
persons dwelling within limits so confined as those of Harmony. Some of
the _ci-devant_ "communicants" call Robert Owen a fool, whilst others
brand him with still more opprobrious epithets: and I never could get two
of them to agree as to the primary causes of the failure of that

The community was composed of a heterogeneous mass, collected together by
public advertisement, which may be divided into three classes. The first
class was composed of a number of well-educated persons, who occupied
their time in eating and drinking--dressing and promenading--attending
balls, and _improving the habits_ of society; and they may be termed the
_aristocracy_ of this Utopian republic. The second class was composed of
practical co-operators, who were well inclined to work, but who had no
share, or voice, in the management of affairs. The third and last class
was a body of theoretical philosophers--Stoics, Platonics, Pythagoreans,
Epicureans, Peripatetics, and Cynics, who amused themselves in _striking
out plans_--exposing the errors of those in operation--caricaturing--and
turning the whole proceedings into ridicule.

The second class, disliking the species of co-operation afforded them by
the first class, naturally became dissatisfied with their inactivity--and
the third class laughed at them both. Matters were in this state for some
time, until Mr. Owen found the funds were completely exhausted. He then
stated that the community should divide; and that he would furnish land,
and all necessary materials, for operations, to such of them as wished to
form a community apart from the original establishment. This intimation
was enough. The first class, with few exceptions, retired, followed by
part of both the others, and all exclaiming against Mr. Owen's conduct. A
person named Taylor, who had entered into a distillery speculation with
one of Mr. Owen's sons, seized this opportunity to get the control of part
of the property. Mr. Owen became embarrassed. Harmony was on the point of
being sold by the sheriff--discord prevailed, and co-operation ceased.

Of the many private and public charges brought against Mr. Owen, I shall
only notice one. It is said that he invited people to throw up their
establishments in other parts of America, and come to Harmony, conscious
at the same time that the community could not succeed, and, indeed, not
caring much about its success, having ultimately in view the increase of
the value of his purchase, by collecting a number of persons together, and
thus making a town--a common speculation in America. Whether these were
his intentions or not, it is impossible for any man to assert or deny; but
the fact is no less true, that such has been the result, and that the
purchase has been increased in value by the failure of the community, so
that _ultimately_ he is not likely to lose anything by the experiment. As
to Mr. Owen's statements in public, "that he had been informed that the
people of America were capable of governing themselves, and that he tried
the experiment, and found they were not so,"--and that "the place having
been purchased, it was necessary to get persons to occupy it." These
constitute but an imperfect excuse for having induced the separation of
families, caused many thriving establishments to be broken up, and even
the ruin of some few individuals, who, although their capital was but
small, yet having thrown it all into the common stock, when the community
failed, found themselves in a state of complete destitution. These
persons, then, forgetting the "doctrine of circumstances," and everything
but the result, and the promises of Mr. Owen, censured him in no measured
language, and cannot be convinced of the purity of his intentions in
_that_ affair. Indeed, they have always at hand such a multiplicity of
facts to prove that Mr. Owen himself mainly contributed to the failure,
that one must be blinded by that partiality which so known a
philanthropist necessarily inspires, not to be convinced that, however
competent he may be to preach the doctrines of co-operation, he is
totally incompetent to carry them into effect.

But Mr. Owen has also declared in public that "the New Harmony experiment
succeeded beyond his most sanguine expectations." Now what may be his
peculiar notions of success, the public are totally ignorant, as he did
not think fit to furnish any explanation; but this the public do know,
that between the former and the latter statement there is a slight

Some of Mr. Owen's friends _in London_ say, that every thing went on well
at Harmony until he gave up the management--that is, that he governed the
community for the first few weeks, the short period of its prosperity, and
that it declined only from the time of his ceding the dictatorship. Now
Mr. Owen _himself_ says, that he only interfered when he observed they
were going wrong; implying that he did not interfere in the commencement,
but did so subsequently. These are contradictions which would require a
good deal of mystification to reconcile in appearance. All the
communicants whom I met in America, although they differed on almost every
other point, yet agreed on this,--that Mr. Owen interfered from first to
last during his stay at Harmony, and that at the time when he first
quitted it nothing but discord prevailed.

Very little experience of a residence in the backwoods convinced Mr. Owen
that he was not in the situation most consonant with his feelings. He had
been, when in Europe, surrounded by people who regarded him as an oracle,
and received his _ipse dixit_ as a sufficient solution for every
difficulty. His situation at Harmony was very different; for most of the
persons who came there had been accustomed to exercise their judgment in
matters of practice, and this Mr. Owen is said not to have been able to
endure. He would either evade, or refuse, answering direct questions,
which naturally made men so accustomed to independence as the Americans
are, indignant. The usual answer he gave to any presuming disciple who
ventured to request an explanation, was, that "his young friend" was in a
total state of ignorance, and that he should therefore attend the lectures
more constantly for the future. There is this peculiarity respecting the
philosophy propounded by Mr. Owen, which is, that after a pupil has been
attending his lectures for eighteen months, he (Mr. Owen) declares that
the said pupil knows nothing at all about his system. This certainly
argues a defect either in matter or manner.

His followers appear not to be aware of the fact, that Mr. Owen has not
originated a single new idea in his whole book, but has simply put forward
the notions of Rousseau, Voltaire, Condorcet, Plato, Sir Thomas More, &c.,
in other language. His merit consists in this, and no small merit it is,
that he has collated the ideas of these philosophers--arranged them in a
tangible shape, and has devoted time and money to assist their

I find on one of his cards, printed for distribution, the following
axioms, in the shape of queries, set forth as being _his_ doctrine,--not
the doctrine which _he advocates_.

"Does it depend upon man to be born of such and such parents?

"Can he choose to take, or not to take, the opinions of his parents and

"If born of Pagan or Mahometan parents, was it in his power to become a

These positions are laid down by Rousseau, in many passages of his works;
but as one quotation will be sufficient to establish my assertion, I shall
not trouble myself to look for others. He says, in his "Lettre à M. de
Beaumont," p. 124, "A l'égard des objections sur les sectes particuliéres
dans lesquelles l'universe est divisé, que ne puis-je leur donnez assez de
force pour rendre chacun moins entêté de la sienne et moins ennemi des
autres; pour porter chacque homme à l'indulgence, à la douceur, par cette
consideration si frappante et si naturelle; que s'il fut né dans un autre
pays, dans une autre secte il prendrait infailliblement pour l'erreur ce
qu'il prends pour la verité, et pour la verité, ce qu'il prends pour

None but a man whose mind had been warped by the too constant
contemplation of one particular subject, as Mr. Owen's mind has been
warped by the eternal consideration of the Utopian republic, could suppose
the practicability of carrying those plans into full effect during the
existence of the present generation. He himself, whilst preaching to his
handful of disciples the doctrine of perfect equality, is acting on quite
different principles; and he has his new lecture-room divided into
compartments separating the classes in society--thus proving that even his
few followers are unprepared for such a change as he wishes to introduce
into society, and that he finds the necessity of temporising even with

Another proof of the variance there is between the theory and the practice
of Mr. Owen, may be found in the constitution of his new community. The
first article says, that, "An annual subscription paid, of not less than
one pound, constitutes _a member_, who is entitled to attend and _vote_ at
all public meetings of the association." These may be termed the
twenty-shilling freeholders of the community.[4] Then follow the other
grades and conditions. A donation of one hundred pounds, constitutes _a
visitor_ for life: a donation of five hundred pounds, _a vice-president_
for life: and a donation of one thousand pounds, _a president_, who, "in
addition to the last-mentioned privileges," will enjoy many others of a
valuable nature.

King James sold two hundred baronetcies of the United Kingdom, for one
thousand pounds each; and Mr. Owen offers an unlimited number of
presidentships in his incipient Utopia on the same advantageous terms. I
by no means dispute that the distinction Mr. Owen will confer on his
purchasers may be quite as valuable, in his eyes and those of his
disciples, as that conferred by King James; yet I cannot help suspecting,
despite of the insatiable yearning the aristocracy have after
vain-glorious titles, that few of them will come forward as candidates for
his Utopian honours.


[4] Since writing the above, I find that the constitution has already
undergone an essential change; but Mr. Owen appears to entertain views of
reformation very different indeed from our present Whig administration,
for he has actually placed both _members_ and _visitors_ in schedule (A)
of _his_ reform bill, and at one fell swoop has deprived this most
deserving class of all political existence. None but vice-presidents and
presidents have now the power of voting.


Having remained about a fortnight at Harmony, we made the necessary
arrangements, and, accompanied by B----, set out for St. Louis, in
Missouri. We crossed the Wabash into Illinois, and proceeded to Albion,
the settlement made by the late Mr. Birkbeck.

Albion is at present a small insignificant town surrounded by prairies, on
which there are several handsome farms. Messrs. Birkbeck and Flowers
purchased large tracts of land in this neighbourhood, for the purpose of
re-selling or letting it to English or other emigrants. These two
gentlemen were of the class called in England, "gentlemen farmers," and
brought with them from that country very large capitals; a considerable
portion of which, in addition to the money laid out on purchase, they
expended on improvements. They are both now dead--their property has
entirely passed into other hands, and the members of their families who
still remain in this country are in comparative indigence.

The most inveterate hostility was manifested by the backwoods people
towards those settlers, and the series of outrages and annoyances to which
they were exposed, contributed not a little to shorten their days. It at
length became notorious that neither Birkbeck nor Flowers could obtain
redress for any grievance whatever, unless by appealing to the superior
courts,--as both the magistrates and jurors were exclusively of the class
of the offenders; and the "Supreme Court of the United States" declared,
that the verdicts of the juries, and the decisions of the magistrates
were, in many cases, so much at variance with the evidences, that they
were disgraceful to the country. A son of the latter gentleman, a lad
about fourteen years old, was killed in open day whilst walking in his
father's garden, by a blow of an axe handle, which was flung at him across
the fence. The evidence was clear against the murderer, and yet he was
acquitted. Whilst I was at Vandalia, I saw in a list of lands for sale,
amongst other lots to be sold for taxes, one of Mr. Flowers'. The fate of
these gentlemen and their families should be a sufficient warning to
persons of their class in England, not to attempt settling _in the
backwoods_; or if they have that idea, to leave aside altogether refined
notions, and never to bring with them either the feelings or the habits of
a _gentleman farmer_. The whole secret and cause of this _guerre à mort_,
declared by the backwoodsmen against Messrs. Birkbeck and Flowers, was,
that when they first settled upon the prairies, they attempted to act the
_patron_ and the _benefactor_, and considered themselves _entitled_ to
some respect. Now a west-country American would rather die like a cock on
a dunghill, than be patronized after the English fashion; he is not
accustomed to receive benefactions, and cannot conceive that any man would
voluntarily confer favours on him, without expecting something in return,
either in the shape of labour, or goods;--and as to respect, that has
totally disappeared from his code since "the Declaration."

Mr. Birkbeck was called "Emperor of the Prairies;" and notwithstanding the
hostility of his neighbours, he seems to have been much respected in the
other parts of Illinois, as he was chosen secretary of state; and in that
character he died, in 1825. He at last devoted himself entirely to gaining
political influence, seeing that it was the duty of every man in a free
country to be a politician, and that he who "takes no interest in
political affairs," must be a bad man, or must want capacity to act in the
common occurrences of life.

From Albion we proceeded towards the Little Wabash; but had not got many
miles from that town, when an accident occurred which delayed us some
time. We were driving along through a wood of scrub-oak, or barren, when
our carriage, coming in contact with a stump that lay concealed beneath
high grass, was pitched into a rut--it was upset--and before we could
recover ourselves, away went the horse dashing through the wood, leaving
the hind wheels and body of the vehicle behind. He took the path we had
passed over, and fortunately halted at the next corn-field. We repaired
the damage in a temporary manner, and again set forward.

After having crossed the Little Wabash, we had to pass through three miles
of swamp frequently above our ancles in the mire, for the horse could
scarcely drag the empty waggon. We at length came out on "Hardgrove's
prairie." The prospect which here presented itself was extremely
gratifying to our eyes. Since I had left the little prairie in the
Wyandot reserve, I had been buried in eternal forests; and,
notwithstanding all the efforts one may make to rally one's spirits, still
the heart of a European sickens at the sameness of the scene, and he
cannot get rid of the idea of imprisonment, where the visible horizon is
never more distant than five or six hundred yards. Yet this is the delight
of an Indian or a backwoodsman, and the gloomy ferocity that characterizes
these people is evidently engendered by the surrounding scenery, and may
be considered as indigenous to the forest. Hardgrove's is perhaps the
handsomest prairie in Illinois--before us lay a rich green undulating
meadow, and on either side, clusters of trees, interspersed through this
vast plain in beautiful irregularity--the waving of the high grass, and
the distant groves rearing their heads just above the horizontal line,
like the first glimpse of land to the weary navigator, formed a
combination of ideas peculiar to the scene which lay before us.

With the exception of one or two miles of wood, occasionally, the whole of
our journey through Illinois lay over prairie ground, and the roads were
so level, that without any extraordinary exertion on the part of our
horse, he carried us from thirty to forty miles a day.

We next crossed the "grand prairie," passing over the Indian trace.
Although this is by no means so picturesque as Hardgrove's, yet the
boundless prospect that is presented on first entering this prairie is far
the more sublime--the ideas expand, and the imagination is carried far
beyond the limits of the eye. We saw some deer scouring the plains, and
several "prairie wolves" skulking in the high grass--this animal is
sometimes destructive to sheep. The size is about that of our fox. Most
farmers keep three or four hounds, which are trained to combat the wolf.
The training is thus--a dead wolf is first shewn to a young dog, when he
is set on to tear it; the next process is to muzzle a live wolf, and tie
him to a stake, when the dog of course kills him; the last is, setting the
dog on an unmuzzled wolf, which has been tied to a stake, with his legs
shackled. The dog being thus accustomed to be always the victor, never
fails to attack and kill the prairie wolf whenever he meets him.

Within thirteen miles of Carlisle, we stopped at an inn, a solitary
establishment, the nearest habitation being more than six miles distant.
The landlord, Mr. Elliot, told us that he was unable to accommodate us
with beds, as his house was already quite full; but that if we could
dispense with beds, he would provide us with every thing else. Having no
alternative, we of course acceded to his proposal. There was then holding
at his house what is termed an "inn fair," or the day after the wedding.
The marriage takes place at the house of the bride's father, and the day
following a party is given by the bridegroom, when he takes home his wife.
The people here assembled had an extremely healthy appearance, and some
of the girls were decidedly handsome, having, with fine florid
complexions, regular features and good teeth. The landlord and his sons
were very civil, as indeed were all the company there assembled.

A great many respectable English yeomen have at different periods settled
in Illinois, which has contributed not a little to improve the state of
society; for the inhabitants of these prairies, generally speaking, are
much more agreeable than those of most other parts of the western country.

When the night was tolerably far advanced, the decks were cleared, and
three feather beds were placed _seriatem_ on the floor, on which a general
scramble took place for berths--we wrapped ourselves in our cloaks, and
lay seventeen in a bed until morning, when we arose, and went out to "have
a wash." The practice at all inns and boarding-houses throughout the
western country, excepting at those in the more considerable towns, is to
perform ablutions gregariously, under one of the porches, either before or
behind the house--thus attendance is avoided, and the interior is kept
free from all manner of pollutions.

An abundance of good stone-coal is found all through this state, of which
I saw several specimens. Were it not for this circumstance, the difficulty
of procuring wood for fuel and fencing, would more than counterbalance the
advantages, in other respects, presented to settlers on the prairies.

The average crops of Indian corn are about fifty bushels per acre, which
when planted, they seldom plough or hoe more than once. In the bottom
lands of Indiana and Ohio, from seventy to eighty bushels per acre is
commonly produced, but with twice the quantity of labour and attention,
independent of the trouble of clearing. There are two denominations of
prairie: the upland, and the river or bottom prairie; the latter is more
fertile than the former, having a greater body of alluvion, yet there are
many of the upland prairies extremely rich, particularly those in the
neighbourhood of the Wabash. The depth of the vegetable soil on some of
those plains, has been found frequently to be from eighteen to twenty
feet, but the ordinary depth is more commonly under five. The upland
prairies are much more extensive than the river prairies, and are
invariably free from intermittent fever--an exemption, which to emigrants
must be of the utmost importance.

Previous to our leaving Elliott's inn, we witnessed a chase of two wolves,
which had the boldness to come to the sheep-pens close to the house.
Unfortunately the dogs were not at hand, and the wolves escaped among the
high grass. Mr. Elliott positively refused accepting of any compensation
in lieu of our supper and lodging: he said he considered our lodging a
thing not to be spoken of; and as to our supper--which by-the-by was a
capital one--he had invited us to that. We merely paid for the horse,
thanked him for his hospitality, and departed. During our journey through
Indiana we had invariably to use persuasion, in order to induce the
farmers to take money for either milk or fruit; and whenever we stayed at
a farm-house, we never paid more than what appeared to be barely
sufficient to cover the actual cost of what we consumed.

At Carlisle, a village containing about a dozen houses, we got our vehicle
repaired. We required a new shaft: the smith walked deliberately out--cast
his eye on a rail of the fence close by, and in half an hour he had
finished a capital shaft of white oak.

The next town we came to was Lebanon, and we determined on staying there
that evening, in order to witness a revival. They have no regular places
of worship on the prairies, and the inhabitants are therefore subject to
the incursions of itinerant preachers, who migrate annually, in swarms,
from the more thickly settled districts. There appeared to be a great
lack of zeal among the denizens of Lebanon, as notwithstanding the
energetic exhortations of the preachers, and their fulminating
denunciations against backsliders, they failed in exciting much
enthusiasm. The meeting ended, as is customary on such occasions, by a
collection for the preachers, who set out on horseback, next morning, to
levy contributions on another body of the natives.

From Lebanon we proceeded across a chain of hills, and came in on a
beautiful plain, called the "American bottom." Some of those hills were
clear to the summit, while others were crowned with rich foliage. Before
us, to the extreme right, were six or seven tumuli, or "Indian mounds;"
and to the left, and immediately in front, lay a handsome wood. From the
hills to the river is about six miles; and this space appears evidently to
have been a lake at some former period, previous to the Mississippi's
flowing through its present deep channel. Several stagnant ponds lay by
our road; sufficient indications of the presence of disease, which this
place has the character of producing in abundance. The beauty of the spot,
and the fertility of the soil, have, notwithstanding, induced several
English families to settle here. Their houses are built of brick, and
their gardens and farms are laid out and fenced tastefully.

After traversing the wood, we at length came in sight of the Mississippi,
which is here about three quarters of a mile broad. There is a steam
ferry-boat stationed at this point, (opposite St. Louis), the construction
of which is rather singular. It is built nearly square, having in the
middle a house containing two spacious apartments, and on each side decks,
on which stand horses, oxen, waggons and carriages of every description.

St. Louis is built on a bluff bank. The _principal_ streets rise one above
the other, running parallel with the river; the houses are mostly built of
stone, the bank being entirely composed of that material, the walls
whitewashed, and the roofs covered with tin: from the opposite side it
presents a very gay appearance. The ascent from the water's edge to the
back of the town is considerable, but regular. The streets intersect each
other at right angles, as do those of most American towns. They are much
too narrow, having been laid down and built on from a plan designed by the
Spanish commandant, previous to the Missouri territory becoming part of
the United States. The population is estimated at six thousand, composed
of Creole-French, Irish, and Americans.

St. Louis must, at some future period, become decidedly the most important
town in the western country, from its local and relative situation. It is
seated on the most favourable point below the mouths of two noble rivers,
the Missouri and the Illinois,[5] having at its back an immense tract of
fertile country, and open and easy communication with the finest parts of
the western and north-western territories. These advantages, added to the
constant and uninterrupted intercourse which it enjoys with the southern
ports, must ultimately make St. Louis a town of wealth and magnitude.

We visited General Clarke's museum, which chiefly contains Indian costumes
and implements of war, with some minerals and fossils, a portion of which
he collected while on the expedition to the Rocky mountains with Lewis;
and also, two sods of good black turf, from the bogs of Allen, in Ireland.
A sight which was quite exhilarating, and reminded me so strongly of the
fine odour which exhales from the products of illicit distillation, that
guagers and potteen, like the phantoms of hallucination, were presenting
themselves continually to my imagination for the remainder of that day.

General Clarke is a tall, robust, grey-headed old man, with beetle-brows,
and uncouthly aspect: his countenance is expressive of anything but
intelligence; and his celebrity is said to have been gained principally by
his having been the _companion_ of Lewis to the Rocky mountains.

The country around St. Louis is principally prairie, and the soil
luxuriant. There are many excellent farms, and some fine herds of cattle,
in the neighbourhood: yet the supply of produce seems to be insufficient,
as considerable quantities are imported annually from Louisville and
Cincinnati. The principal lots of ground in and near the town are at the
disposal of some five or six individuals, who, having thus created a
monopoly, keep up the price. This, added to the little inducement held out
to farming people in a slave state, where no man can work himself without
losing _caste_, has mainly contributed to retard the increase of
population and prosperity in the neighbourhood of St. Louis.

There are two fur companies established here. The expeditions depart early
in spring, and generally return late in autumn. This trade is very
profitable. A person who is at present at the head of one of those
companies, was five years ago a bankrupt, and is now considered wealthy.
He bears the character of being a regular Yankee; and if the never giving
a direct answer to a plain question constitutes a Yankee, he is one most
decidedly. We had some intention of crossing to Santa Fé, in New Mexico,
and we accordingly waited on him for the purpose of making some inquiries
relative to the departure of the caravans; but to any of the plain
questions we asked, we could not get a satisfactory answer,--at length,
becoming tired of hedge-fighting, we departed, with quite as much
information as we had before the interview.

A trapping expedition is being fitted out for the Rocky mountains, on an
extensive scale. The number of persons intended to be employed on this, is
about two hundred. Teams for the transportation of merchandize and
luggage are preparing, which is an accommodation never enjoyed before by
trappers, as pack-horses have always hitherto been substituted. These
waggons may also be found useful as _barricades_, in case of an attack
from the Indians. The expedition will be absent two or three years.

A trade with Santa Fé is also established. In the Spanish country the
traders receive, in exchange for dry goods and merchandize of every
description, specie, principally; which makes money much more plentiful
here than in any other town in the western country.

The caravans generally strike away, near the head waters of the Arkansas
and Red rivers, to the south-west, close to the foot of the Rocky
mountains--travelling above a thousand miles through the Indian country
before they reach the Mexican boundary. These journeys are long and
tedious, and require men of nerve and muscle to undertake them; the
morasses and rivers which they have to cross--the extensive prairies and
savannahs they have to traverse, and the dense forests to penetrate, are
sufficient to subdue any but iron constitutions.

The countries west of the Mississippi are likely to be greatly enriched by
the trade with Mexico; as, in addition to the vast quantities of valuable
merchandize procured from that country, specie to a very large amount is
put in circulation, which to a new country is of incalculable advantage.
The party which lately returned to Fayette in Missouri, brought 200,000
dollars in specie.

The lead-mines of Galena and Potosi inundate St. Louis with that metal.
The latter mines are extensive, consisting of forty in number, and are
situated near the head of Big-river, which flows into the Merrimac: a
water transportation is thus effected to the Mississippi, eighteen miles
below St. Louis. This, however, is only in the spring and fall, as at
other seasons the Merrimac is not navigable for common-sized boats, at a
greater distance than fifty miles from its mouth. The Merrimac is upwards
of 200 miles in length, and at its outlet it is about 200 yards in

The principal buildings in St. Louis are, the government-house, the
theatre, the bank of the United States, and three or four Catholic and
Protestant churches. The Catholic is the prevalent religion. There are two
newspapers published here. Cafés, billiard tables, dancing houses, &c.,
are in abundance.

The inhabitants of St. Louis more resemble Europeans in their manners and
habits than any other people I met with in the west. The more wealthy
people generally spend some time in New Orleans every year, which makes
them much more sociable, and much less _brusque_ than their neighbours.

We visited Florissant, a French village, containing a convent and a young
ladies' seminary. The country about this place pleased us much. We passed
many fine farms--through open woodlands, which have much the appearance
of domains--and across large tracts of sumach, the leaves of which at this
season are no longer green, but have assumed a rich crimson hue. The
Indians use these leaves as provision for the pipe.

We stayed for eight days at a small village on the banks of the
Mississippi, about six miles below St. Louis, and four above Jefferson
barracks, called Carondalet, or, _en badinage, "vide poche."_ The
inhabitants are nearly all Creole-French, and speak a miserable _patois_.
The same love of pleasure which, with bravery, characterizes the French
people in Europe, also distinguishes their descendants in Carondalet.
Every Saturday night _les garçons et les filles_ meet to dance quadrilles.
The girls dance well, and on these occasions they dress tastefully. These
villagers live well, dress well, and dance well, but have
miserable-looking habitations; the house of a Frenchman being always a
secondary consideration. At one of those balls I observed a very pretty
girl surrounded by gay young Frenchmen, with whom she was flirting in a
style that would not have disgraced a belle from the _Faubourg St. Denis_,
and turning to my neighbour, I asked him who she was; he replied, "Elle
s'appelle Louise Constant, monsieur,--c'est la rose de village." Could a
peasant of any other nation have expressed himself so prettily, or have
been gallant with such a grace?

Accompanied by our landlord, we visited Jefferson barracks. The officer to
whom we had an introduction not being _chez-lui_ at that time, we were
introduced to some other officers by our host, who united in his single
person the triple capacity of squire, or magistrate, newspaper proprietor,
and tavern-keeper. The officers, as may be expected, are men from every
quarter of the Union, whose manners necessarily vary and partake of the
character of their several states.

The barracks stand on the bluffs of the Mississippi, and, with the river's
bank, they form a parallelogram--the buildings are on three sides, and
the fourth opens to the river; the descent from the extremity of the area
to the water's edge is planted with trees, and the whole has a picturesque
effect. These buildings have been almost entirely erected by the soldiers,
who are compelled to work from morning till night at every kind of
laborious employment. This arrangement has saved the state much money; yet
the propriety of employing soldiers altogether in this manner is very
questionable. Desertions are frequent, and the punishment hitherto
inflicted for that crime has been flogging; but Jackson declares now that
shooting must be resorted to. The soldiers are obliged to be servilely
respectful to the officers, _pulling off_ the undress cap at their
approach. This species of discipline may be pronounced inconsistent with
the institutions of the country, yet when we come to consider the
materials of which an _American_ regular regiment is composed, we shall
find the difficulty of producing order and regularity in such a body much
greater than at first view might be apprehended. In this country any man
who wishes to work may employ himself profitably, consequently all those
who sell their liberty by enlisting must be the very dregs of society--men
without either character or industry--drunkards, thieves, and culprits who
by flight have escaped the penitentiary, and enlisted under the impression
that the life of a soldier was one of idleness; in which they have been
most grievously mistaken. When we take these facts into consideration, the
difficulty of managing a set of such fellows will appear more than a
little. Yet unquestionably there are individuals among the officers whose
bearing is calculated to inspire any thing but that respect which they so
scrupulously exact, and without which they declare it would be impossible
to command. The drillings take place on Sundays.

Near Carondalet we visited two slave-holders, who employed slaves in
agriculture; which practice experience has shewn in every instance to be
unprofitable. One had thirteen; and yet every thing about his house rather
indicated poverty than affluence. These slaves lived in a hut, among the
outhouses, about twelve feet square--men, women, and children; and in
every respect were fully as miserable and degraded in condition as the
unfortunate wretches who reside in the lanes and alleys of St. Giles' and
Spitalfields, with this exception, that _they_ were well fed. The other
slave-holder, brother of the former, lived much in the same manner;--but
it is necessary to observe that both these persons were hunters, and that
hunters have nothing good in their houses but dogs and venison.

T---- having gone on a hunting excursion with our host, and some of his
friends, B---- and I drove the ladies to the plantation of the latter
gentleman. He had a farm on the bluffs, which was broken and irregular, as
is always the case in those situations. Large holes, called "sink-holes,"
are numerous along these banks; the shape of them is precisely that of an
inverted cone, through the apex of which the water sinks, and works its
way into the river. Cedar trees grow on the rocks, and the scenery is in
many places extremely grand. Wild-geese congregate in multitudes on the
islands in the Mississippi, and at night send forth the most wild and
piercing cries.

Our hostess was one of those sylvan Amazons who could handle any thing,
from the hunting-knife to the ponderous axe; and she dressed in the true
sylph-like costume of the backwoods. Her _robe_, which appeared to be the
only garment with which she encumbered herself, fitted her, as they say at
sea, "like a purser's shirt on a handspike," and looked for all the world
like an inverted sack, with appropriate apertures cut for head and arms;
she wore shoes, in compliment to her guests--her hair hung about her
shoulders in true Indian style; and altogether she was a genuine sample
of backwoods' civilization. We were placed in a good bed--the state-bed of
course--and as we lay, paid our devotions to Urania, and contemplated the
beauties of the starry firmament, through an aperture in the roof which
would have admitted a jackass.

The proprietor assured us that his slaves produced him no more than the
bare interest of the money invested in their purchase, and that he was a
slave-holder not from choice, but because it was the prevailing practice
of the country. He said he had two handsome Mulatto girls hired out at the
barracks for six dollars per month each.

In St. Louis there were seven Indian chiefs, hostages from the Ioway
nation. Their features were handsome--with one exception, they had all
aquiline noses--they were tall and finely proportioned, and altogether as
fine-looking fellows as I ever saw. The colour of these Indians was much
redder than that of any others I had seen; their heads were shaven, with
the exception of a small stripe, extending from the centre of the
crown back to the _organ of philoprogenitiveness_--the gallant
scalping-lock--which was decorated with feathers so as somewhat to
resemble the crest of a Greek or Roman helmet. Their bodies were uncovered
from the waist upwards, except when they wore blankets, a modern
substitute for the buffalo-robe, which they commonly wore over the left
shoulder, leaving the right arm and breast bare. The Ioways are a nation
dwelling in the Missouri territory, and these hostages delivered
themselves up pending the investigation of an affray that had taken place
between their people and the backwoodsmen.

The day previous to our departure from St. Louis, the investigation took
place in the Museum, which is also the office of Indian affairs. There
were upwards of twenty Indians present, including the hostages. The charge
made against these unfortunate people and on which they had been obliged
to come six or seven hundred miles, to stand their trial before _white
judges_, was, "that the Ioways had come down on the white
territory--killed the cattle, and attacked the settlers, by which attack
four citizens lost their lives." The principal chief implicated in the
affair, named "Big-neck," was called upon for his defence. In the person
of this man there was nothing remarkable. He advanced into the centre of
the room, and disengaging his right arm from the blanket, shook hands with
the judges, and then, in succession, with all the officers of the court.
This ceremony being ended, he paused, and drawing himself up to his full
height, extended his arm forward towards the judge, and inclining his head
a little in the same direction, said, "If I had done that of which my
white brother accuses me, I would not stand here now. The words of my
red-headed father (General Clarke) have passed through both my ears, and I
have remembered them. I am accused, and I am not guilty." (The
interpreter translated each sentence as it was delivered, and gave it as
nearly verbatim as possible--observe, the pronoun I is here used
figuratively, for _his party, and for the tribe_). "I thought I would come
down to see my red-headed father, to hold a talk with him.--I come across
the line (boundary)--I see the cattle of my white brother dead--I see the
Sauk kill them in great numbers--I said that there would be trouble--I
turn to go to my village--I find I have no provisions--I say, let us go
down to our white brother, and trade our powder and shot for a little--I
do so, and again turn upon my tracks, until I reach my village."--He here
paused, and looking sternly down the room, to where two Sauks sat, pointed
his finger at them and said, "The Sauk, who always tells lie of me, goes
to my white brother and says--the Ioway has killed your cattle. When the
lie (the Sauk) had talked thus to my white brother, he comes, thirty, up
to my village--we hear our brother is coming--we are glad, and leave our
cabins to tell him he is welcome--but while I shake hands with my white
brother," he said, pointing to his forehead, "my white brother shoots me
through the head--my best chief--three of my young men, a squaw and his[6]
child. We come from our huts unarmed--even without our blankets--and yet,
while I shake hands with my white brother, he shoots me down--my best
chief. My young men within, hear me shot--they rush out--they fire on my
white brother--he falls, four--my people fly to the woods without their
rifles." He then stated that four more Indians died in the forest of cold
and starvation, fearing to return to their villages, and being without
either blankets or guns. At length returning, and finding that their
"great chiefs" had delivered themselves up, he came to stand his trial.

The next person called was an old chief, named "Pumpkin," who corroborated
the testimony of "Big-Neck," but had not been with the party when the
Sauks were seen killing the cattle. When he came to that part of the story
where the Indian comes from his wig-wam to meet the white man, he said,
nearly in the same words used by Big-neck, "While I shake hands with my
white brother, my white brother shoots me down--my best chief"--he here
paused, and lifting his eyes above the heads of the auditors, his lip
curling a little, but resuming again, almost immediately, its natural
position, he pronounced in a low but distinct guttural tone, the Indian
word meaning "_my_ son." His eye seemed fixed for a few seconds, and then,
as if conscious of his weakness, and that the eyes of the great warriors
of his tribe were upon him, he looked slowly round in a kind of solemn
triumph, and resumed his tale. There was a strong feeling excited in the
court by the misfortune of this old man, for the "best chief" of the
Ioways was his _only_ son. The court asked the chiefs what they thought
should be done in the matter? They spoke a few words to each other, and
then answered promptly, that all they required was, that their white
brother should be brought down also, and confronted with them. The
prisoners were set at liberty on their parole.

Nothing could have been more respectable than the silence and gravity of
the Indians during the investigation. The hostages particularly, were
really imposing in their appearance; an air of solemnity overspread their
manly countenances, whilst their eyes bespoke that unquailing spirit which
the habits and vicissitudes of a sylvan life are calculated rather to
raise than depress. The Indians, when uncontaminated by the vices of the
whites, are really a fine people; and it is melancholy to reflect that in
a few centuries the red-man will be known only by name, for his total
extinction seems almost inevitable.

The upshot of this affair proved that the Indians' statement was correct,
and a few presents was then thought sufficient to compensate the tribe for
this most unwarrantable outrage.

The fact of the prisoners being set free on their parole, proves the high
character they maintain with the whites. An officer who had seen a great
deal of service on the frontiers, assured me that, from _experience_, he
had rather fall into the hands of the Indians, than of the
backwoodsmen.[7] Once, while crossing one of the immense prairies in the
Missouri territory during the winter season, this gentleman, Mr. R----,
was seized with rheumatic pains, and unable to proceed. His party,
consisting only of a few men, had no provisions, nor had they any means of
taking him with them, being completely exhausted themselves--he was left
on the plains to die. An old Indian chief, of one of the hostile tribes,
chanced to find him; he carried him home, and nourished him until he was
sufficiently recovered to eat with the warriors; when they came to the hut
of his host, in order as they said to do honour to the unfortunate white
chief. He remained in their village for two months; at the expiration of
which time, being sufficiently recovered, they conducted him to the
frontiers, took their leave, and retired.

Clements Burleigh, who resided thirty years in the United States, says, in
his "Advice to Emigrants," "It may be objected by some that it is
dangerous to go to the frontier country, on account of the Indians, wild
beasts, &c.; this is no more than a scarecrow. Indians in time of peace
are perfectly inoffensive, and every dependence may be placed on them. If
you call at their huts, you are invited to partake of what they have--they
even will divide with you the last morsel they have, if they were starving
themselves; and while you remain with them you are perfectly safe, as
every individual of them would lose his life in your defence. This
unfortunate portion of the human race has not been treated with that
degree of justice and tenderness which people calling themselves
Christians ought to have exercised towards them. Their lands have been
forcibly taken from them in many instances without rendering them a
compensation; and in their wars with the people of the United States, the
most shocking cruelties have been exercised towards them. I myself fought
against them in two campaigns, and was witness to scenes a repetition of
which would chill the blood, and be only a monument of disgrace to people
of my own colour.

"Being in the neighbourhood of the Indians during the time of peace, need
not alarm the emigrant, as the Indian will not be as dangerous to him as
idle vagabonds that roam the woods and hunt. He has more to dread from
these people of his own colour than from the Indians."


[5] Eighteen miles below the mouth of the Missouri, and thirty-six below
that of the Illinois.

[6] In the Indian tongue there is no distinction of masculine or feminine
gender, but simply of animate and inanimate beings.

[7] "The freedom of manners, and the uncertainty of life, from the
various hazards to which it is inevitably exposed, imparts to the
character of savages a species of liberality, under which are couched
many benevolent principles; a respect for the aged, and in several
instances a deference to their equals. The natural coldness of their
temperament, admits of few outward demonstrations of civility. They are,
however, affable in their mode, and are ever disposed to show towards
strangers, and particularly towards the unfortunate, the strongest marks
of hospitality. A savage will seldom hesitate to share with a
fellow-creature oppressed by hunger, his last morsel of
provisions."--Vide _Heriot_, p. 318.


On our return to Illinois from Missouri, we visited the tumuli in the
"American bottom," for the purpose of more closely investigating the form
and disposition of these sepulchral mounds. Their shape is invariably
hemispherical, or of the _mamelle_ form. Throughout the country, from the
banks of the Hudson to a considerable distance beyond the Mississippi,
tumuli, and the remains of earthen fortifications were dispersed. Those of
the former which have been removed, were found to contain human bones,
earthen vessels, and utensils composed of alloyed metal; which latter fact
is worthy of particular notice, as none of the Indians of North America
are acquainted with the art of alloying. The vessels were generally of
the form of drinking cups, or ewer-shaped cans, sometimes with a flange to
admit a cover. One of those which I saw in a museum at Cincinnati, had
three small knobs at the bottom on which it stood, and I was credibly
informed that a dissenting clergyman, through the _esprit de métier_,
undertook to prove from the circumstance, that the people who raised these
mounds and fortifications must have been acquainted with the doctrine of
the Trinity. How far the reverend gentleman is correct in his inference, I
leave for theologians to decide.

The Indians do not claim the mounds as depositories for _their_ dead, but
are well aware of their containing human bones. They frequently encamp
near them, and visit them on their journeys, but more as land marks than
on any other account. They approach them with reverence, as they do all
burial places, no matter of what people or nation. The Quapaws have a
tradition, that they were raised "many hundred snows" ago, by a people
that no longer exists; they say, that in those days game was so plenty
that very little exertion was necessary to procure a subsistence, and
there were then no wars--these happy people having then no employment,
collected, merely for sport, these heaps of earth, which have ever since
remained, and have subsequently been used by another people, who succeeded
them, as depositories of their dead. Another tradition is, that they were
erected by the Indians to protect them from the mammoths, until the Great
Spirit took pity on his red children, and annihilated these enormous
elephants. Most of the Indian nations concur in their having been the work
of a people which had ceased to exist before the red men possessed those
hunting grounds.

The numerous mounds, fortifications, and burial caverns, and the skeletons
and mummies, that have been discovered in these catacombs, sufficiently
establish the fact, that a people altogether different from the present
aborigines once inhabited these regions. At what period this by-gone
people flourished still remains a matter of mere conjecture, for to the
present time no discovery has been made that could lead to any plausible

De Witt Clinton having paid more attention to the antiquities of America
than any other person of whom I am aware, I shall here insert his
description of the forts. He says, "These forts were, generally speaking,
erected on the most commanding ground. The walls, or breastworks, were
earthen. The ditches were on the exterior of the works. On some of the
parapets, oak trees were to be seen, which, from the number of concentric
circles, must have been standing one hundred and fifty, two hundred and
sixty, and three hundred years; and there were evident indications, not
only that they had sprung up since the erection of these works, but that
they were at least a second growth. The trenches were in some cases deep
and wide, and in others shallow and narrow; and the breastworks varied in
altitude from three to eight feet. They sometimes had one, and sometimes
two entrances, as was to be inferred from there being no ditches at those
places. When the works were protected by a deep ravine, or large stream of
water, no ditch was to be seen. The areas of these forts varied from two
to six acres; and the form was in general an irregular ellipsis; in some
of them, fragments of earthenware and pulverized substances, supposed to
have been originally human bones, were to be found."

       *       *       *       *       *

"I believe we may confidently pronounce, that all the hypotheses which
attribute these works to Europeans are incorrect and fanciful: 1st. on
account of the present number of the works; 2d. on account of their
antiquity; having from every appearance been erected a long time before
the discovery of America; and, finally, their form and manner are varient
from European fortifications, either in ancient or modern times.

"It is equally clear that they were not the work of the Indians. Until the
Senecas, who are renowned for their national vanity, had seen the
attention of the Americans attracted to these erections, and had invented
the fabulous account of which I have spoken, the Indians of the present
day did not pretend to know any thing about their origin. They were beyond
the reach of all their traditions, and were lost in the abyss of
unexplored antiquity."

At the Bull shoals, east branch of White river in Missouri, several feet
below the surface of the banks, _reliqua_ were found which indicated that
this spot had formerly been the seat of metalurgical operations. The alloy
appeared to be lead united with silver. Arrow-heads cut out of flint, and
pieces of earthen pots which had evidently undergone the action of fire,
were also found here. The period of time at which these operations were
carried on in this place must have been very remote, as the present banks
have been since entirely formed by alluvial deposits.

Near the _Teel-te-nah_ (or dripping-fork), which empties itself into the
La Platte, and not far distant from its junction with that river, there is
an extensive cavern, in which are deposited several mummies. Some tribes
which roam this region have a tradition, that the first Indian ascended
through this aperture, and settled on the earth's surface.

A few years since, on the Merrimac river in St. Louis county, a number of
pigmy graves were discovered. The coffins were of stone; and the length of
the bodies which they contained, judging from that of the coffins, could
not have been more than from three feet and a half to four feet. The
graves were numerous, and the skeletons in some instances nearly entire.

In the month of June (1830), a party of gentlemen, whilst in pursuit of
wild turkeys, in Hart county, Kentucky, discovered, on the top of a small
knoll, a hole sufficiently large to admit a man's body. Having procured
lights, they descended, and at the depth of about sixty feet, entered a
cavern, sixteen or eighteen feet square, apparently hewn out of solid
rock. The whole chamber was filled with human skeletons, which they
supposed, _from the size_, to be those of women and children. The place
was perfectly dry, and the bones were in a state of great preservation.
They wished to ascertain how deep the bones lay, and dug through them
between four and seven feet, but found them quite as plentiful as at the
top: on coming to this depth, dampness appeared, and an unpleasant
effluvia arising, obliged them to desist. There was no outlet to the
cavern. A large snake, which appeared to be perfectly docile, passed
several times round the apartment whilst they remained.

In a museum at New York, I saw one of those mummies alluded to, which
appeared to be remarkably small; but I had not an opportunity of examining
it minutely. Those that have been found in the most perfect state of
preservation were deposited in nitrous caves, and were enveloped in a
manner so different from the practices of the Indians, that the idea
cannot be entertained of their being the remains of the ancestors of the
present race. Flint gives the following description of one of them which
he carefully examined. He says, "The more the subject of the past races of
men and animals in this region is investigated, the more perplexed it
seems to become. The huge bones of the animals indicate them to be vastly
larger than any that now exist on the earth. All that I have seen and
heard of the remains of the men, would seem to shew that they were smaller
than the men of our times. All the bodies that have been found in that
high state of preservation, in which they were discovered in nitrous
caves, were considerably smaller than the present ordinary stature of
men. The two bodies that were found in the vast limestone cavern in
Tennessee, one of which I saw at Lexington, were neither of them more than
four feet in height. It seems to me that this must have been nearly the
height of the living person. The teeth and nails did not seem to indicate
the shrinking of the flesh from them in the desiccating process by which
they were preserved. The teeth were separated by considerable intervals;
and were small, long, white, and sharp, reviving the horrible images of
nursery tales of ogres' teeth. The hair seemed to have been sandy, or
inclining to yellow. It is well known that nothing is so uniform in the
present Indian as his lank black hair. From the pains taken to preserve
the bodies, and the great labour of making the funeral robes in which they
were folded, they must have been of the 'blood-royal,' or personages of
great consideration in their day. The person that I saw, had evidently
died by a blow on the skull. The blood had coagulated there into a mass,
of a texture and colour sufficiently marked to shew that it had been
blood. The envelope of the body was double. Two splendid blankets,
completely woven with the most beautiful feathers of the wild turkey,
arranged in regular stripes and compartments, encircled it. The cloth on
which these feathers were woven, was a kind of linen of neat texture, of
the same kind with that which is now woven from the fibres of the nettle.
The body was evidently that of a female of middle age, and I should
suppose that her majesty weighed, when I saw her, six or eight pounds."

The silly attempts that have been made to establish an oriental origin for
the North American Indians, have never produced any other conviction in an
unbiased mind, than that the _facts_ brought forward to support that
theory existed only in the imaginations of those who advanced them. The
colour, the form, the manners, habits, and propensities of the Indians,
all combine to establish that they are a distinct race of human beings,
and could never have emanated from any people of European, Asiatic, or
African origin. The notion that climate would be sufficient to produce an
essential change in the appearance of any number of individuals, cannot
now be maintained; since from the discovery of America, Europeans,
Africans, and Indians have inhabited all regions of this vast continent,
without undergoing the slightest characteristic change from the
descendants of the original stock, who have remained in their primitive
locations. The Power that induces the existence of plants and lower
animals indigenous to the different sections of the earth, seems also to
induce the existence of a race of men peculiar to the regions in which
they are found.

The languages of America are radically different from those of the old
world; and no similitude can be traced between the tongues of the red
men, and those of any other people hitherto known. Jarvis, in his Paper on
the Religion of the Indian Tribes of North America, says, "The best
informed writers agree, that there are, exclusive of the Karalit or
Esquimaux, three radical languages spoken by the Indians of North America.
Mr. Heckwelder denominates them the Iroquois, the Lenapé, and the
Floridian. The Iroquois is spoken by the Six Nations, the Wyandots, or
Hurons, the Nandowessies, the Assiniboils, and other tribes beyond the St.
Lawrence. The Lenapé, which is the most widely extended language on this
side the Mississippi, was spoken by the tribes now extinct, who formerly
inhabited Nova Scotia and the present state of Maine, the Abenakis,
Micmacs, Canibas, Openangos, Soccokis, Etchemins, and Souriquois; dialects
of it are now spoken by the Miamis, the Potawatomies, Missisangoes, and
Kickapoos; the Eonestogas, Nanticokes, Shawanese, and Mohicans; the
Algonquins, Knisteneaux, and Chippeways. The Floridian includes the
languages of the Creeks, or Muskohgees, Chickesaws, Choctaws, Pascagoulas,
Cherokees, Seminolese, and several other tribes in the southern states and
Florida. These three languages are primitive; that is to say, are so
distinct as to have no perceivable affinity. All, therefore, cannot be
derived from the Hebrew; for it is a contradiction in terms to speak of
three languages radically different, as derived from a common source.
Which, then, we may well ask, is to be selected as the posterity of the
Israelites: the Iroquois, the Lenapé, or the southern Indians?

"Besides, there is one striking peculiarity in the construction of
American languages, which has no counterpart in the Hebrew. Instead of the
ordinary division of genders, they divide into animate and inanimate. It
is impossible to conceive that any nation, in whatever circumstances they
might be placed, could depart in so remarkable a manner from the idioms of
their native language."

M. Duponceau, a Frenchman settled at Philadelphia, who is perhaps one of
the first philologists of the age, concludes a treatise on the same
subject with the following deductions:

1.--"That the American languages, in general, are rich in words and in
grammatical forms; and that in their complicated construction, the
greatest order, method, and regularity prevail."

2.--"That these complicated forms, which I call polysinthetic, appear to
exist in all those languages, from Greenland to Cape Horn."[8]

3.--"That these forms appear to differ essentially from those of the
ancient and modern languages of the old hemisphere."

We intended to proceed direct from the banks of the Mississippi to
Edwardsville, which lies in a north-easterly direction from St. Louis, but
unfortunately got on the wrong track, an occurrence by no means uncommon
on the prairies, and by this casualty visited Troy, a _town_ containing
two houses, namely, a "groggery," and a farm-house, both owned by the one
person. The only resemblance this trans-Atlantic Ilium can possibly bear
to the city of the ten years' siege, lies in the difficulty of
ascertaining its location; for had we not been informed that here stood
the town of Troy, we should have passed through this, as we did through
many others, without ever suspecting the fact. Town-making is quite a
speculation in the western country; and the first thing a man does after
purchasing a few hundred acres of ground, is to "lay off a town lot:" this
causes the maps to be studded with little circular dots, and great big
names attached to them, which would lead one to suppose the population to
be much greater than it is in reality.

From Edwardsville, we proceeded by Ripley and Greenville, to Vandalia, the
seat of government of the state.

The prairies had lost much of the brilliant green colour which they
possessed when we before crossed them, and they were now assuming rather a
burnt appearance. Towards the close of autumn the grass generally becomes
so dry as to be easily ignited, which formerly took place by accident, or
otherwise, almost every year. The sight must be grand indeed; and we
almost regretted that we were not so fortunate as to be in danger of being
burnt alive--the sight would be worth the risk. There is a penalty
attached to the firing of the woods or prairies, as the plantations are
now becoming too numerously scattered over the country, and property is
likely to be injured by these conflagrations.

Towards the latter end of October, the season peculiar to this country,
denominated the "Indian summer," commences, and lasts for some weeks. At
this period, the atmosphere is suffused with a vapour which at a distance
has the appearance of smoke, arising as it were from fires in the forest.
The air is always calm and mild on those days, and the sun's disk assumes
a broad, reddish appearance.

Vandalia is the capital of Illinois, and is seated on the Kaskaskia river,
which is only navigable to this point during the "freshets" in autumn and
spring. The positions of the capitals are chosen for their centrality
alone, and not with reference to any local advantages they may possess.

Illinois is a free state, and its constitution is but a counterpart of
those of Ohio and Indiana. The extent is 380 miles from north to south,
and about 140 miles from east to west: area, 52,000 square miles, or
33,280,000 acres. The population in 1810, was 12,282; in 1820, 55,211:
white males, 29,401; white females, 24,387; slaves, 917; militia in 1821,
2,031. The present population is, according to the last census, 157,575.
The increase within the last ten years has been nearly 186 per cent.

This state is better circumstanced than any other in the west. It is
bounded on the north by the north-west territory; on the south by the
Ohio; on the east by the Wabash and Lake Michigan; and on the west by the
Mississippi. The Illinois river is navigable at almost all seasons to very
nearly its head waters; and by means of a very short portage a
communication is established between it and Lake Michigan. A canal is
contemplated between this lake and the Wabash.

The heath-hen (_tetrao cupido_), or as it is here called, the
'Prairie-hen,' abounds on the prairies, particularly in the neighbourhood
of barrens. This species of grouse, I believe, is not to be met with in
Europe; nor has it been accurately described by any ornithologist before
Wilson. One habit of the male of this bird is remarkable: at the season of
incubation, the cocks assemble every morning just before day-break,
outside the wood, and there exercise themselves tilting until the sun
appears, when they disperse. Hunters have not failed to note the
circumstance, and take advantage of it.

We were frequently amused with the movements of the "Turkey buzzard"
(_vultur aura_). This bird is well known in the southern and western
states; and in the former is considered of so much utility that a penalty
is inflicted on any person who may wantonly destroy it. It is perfectly
harmless, never attacking even the smallest living animal, and seems
always to prefer carrion when in a state of putrefaction. Except when
rising from the ground, the buzzard never flaps its wings, but literally
floats through the atmosphere, forming graceful ogees.

During our journeys across Illinois, we passed several large bodies of
settlers on their way to Sangamon and Morgan counties in that state. These
counties are situated on the Illinois river, and are said to be fertile
tracts. The mass of those persons were Georgians, Virginians, and
Kentuckians, whose comparative poverty rendered their residence in slave
states unpleasant.

Perhaps there is nothing more remarkable in the character of the Americans
than the indifference with which they leave their old habitations,
friends, and relations. Each individual is taught to depend mainly on his
own exertions, and therefore seldom expects or requires extraordinary
assistance from any man. Attachments seldom exist here beyond that of
ordinary acquaintances--these are easily found wherever one may go,
arising from a variety of circumstances connected with their institutions
and their necessities; and thus one of the great objections that present
themselves to change with Europeans scarcely exists here. Observe, I apply
this remark more particularly to the western and southern states; for the
eastern states being longer settled and more thickly populated, these
feelings, although they exist, yet they do so in a more modified degree.

The appearance presented by the forests at this season is very
beautiful--the trees are covered with leaves of almost every colour, from
bright crimson to nearly snow-white; the admixture of green, brown,
yellow, scarlet, &c., such as is almost peculiar to an American forest,
produces a very pleasing combination.

We again reached Albion, and retraced our steps from thence to Harmony,
where we deposited our friend B----; and after having remained there for a
few days to refresh ourselves and horse, set forward for Ohio. The weather
had now become unfavourable, and the frequent rains and high winds were
shaking the leaves down in myriads--the entire of our journey through
Indiana being across forests, we were under one constant shower of leaves
from Harmony to Cincinnati.

One day while getting our horse fed at a tavern in Indiana, the following
conversation took place between the persons there assembled. We were
sitting at the door, surrounded by captains, lawyers, and squires, when
one of the gentlemen demanded of another if there had not been a "gouging
scrape" at the "Colonel's tavern" the evening before. He replied in the
affirmative; and after having related the cause of quarrel, and said that
the lie had been given, he continued, "the judge knocked the major right
over, and jumped on to him in double quick time--they had it rough and
tumble for about ten minutes--Lord J---s Alm----y!--as pretty a scrape as
ever you _see'd_--the judge is a wonderfully lovely fellow." Then followed
a description of the divers punishments inflicted by the combatants on
each other--the major had his eye nearly "gouged" out, and the judge his
chin almost bitten off. During the recital, the whole party was convulsed
with laughter--in which we joined most heartily.

We of course returned by a different route through Indiana, passing from
Princeton to Portersville, and from thence through Paoli, Salem, and New
Lexington, to Madison. The country about Madison is hilly and broken,
which makes travelling tedious in the extreme. From the mouth of the Big
Miami to Blue river, a range of hills runs parallel to the Ohio,
alternately approaching to within a few perches of the river, and receding
to a distance of one to two miles. Below Blue river the hills disappear,
and the land becomes level and heavily timbered. There is also another
range of hills, extending from the Falls of Ohio to the Wabash in a
south-westerly direction, which are called the "knobs:" to the west of
these are the "flats;" and from the Wabash to lake Michigan the country is

Indianopolis is the capital of Indiana, and is seated on the White river.
This state averages about 270 miles from north to south, and 144 miles
from east to west: area, 37,000 square miles, or 23,680,000 acres. The
population in 1810, was 24,520--in 1820, 147,178: white males, 79,919;
white females, 69,107; slaves, 190; militia in 1821, 14,990. The present
population is 341,582.

Vast quantities of hogs are bred in the state of Indiana, and are suffered
to rove at large in the forests in search of mast. They are in general
perfectly wild, and when encountered suddenly bristle up like an enraged
porcupine. Their legs are long; bodies thin; and tail lengthy and
straight. I was informed that if one of those animals be wounded, its
screams will draw an immense concourse of its brethren around it, and that
the situation of a person under these circumstances, is by no means void
of danger; as they will not fail to attack him _en masse_. We were once
very nigh getting into a scrape of this description. Driving along through
the forest, we had to pass a tract covered with a thick growth of
brushwood--my friend seeing something stirring among the bushes, drew up,
and taking it for a deer, called out to me to fire--I stood up in the
vehicle, and levelled where I saw the movement, when, lo! out starts a
bristling hog, with a grunt just in time to escape with a whole skin.

One night having been accidently separated from my fellow-traveller, I had
to stay in a miserable-looking hut close to a creek, the habitation of a
backwoodsman. This person's appearance was extremely unprepossessing. The
air of ferocity and wildness which characterized his countenance, added to
his unhealthy, cadaverous aspect, would have been sufficient in any other
country to make one feel unpleasant at passing the night alone under his
roof. He resided in this unhealthy situation, because the land was
extremely fertile; but stated that every fall some one of his family was
ill, and none of them enjoyed good health. Now when we summed up the
consequent loss of labour incident to ill health, the balance of profit
seemed to be greatly against bottom land, and much in favour of the
healthful prairies.

The farmers use, almost exclusively, the sugar of the maple (_acer
saccharinum_) which they manufacture themselves. The space in which a
number of these trees are found, they call a "sugar camp." The process of
manufacturing is as follows:--After the first frost, the trees are tapped,
by perforating the trunk in an ascending direction. A spout of alder is
inserted in the perforation, and the sap drips through this conduit into a
trough of wood. The sap is then boiled with a spoonful of slacked lime,
the white of an egg or two, and about a pint of milk, to every fifteen
gallons. An ordinary tree commonly gives four pounds of good coarse brown
sugar, which when refined can be made equal to superior lump sugar.

A great portion of the roads through which we passed were mere horse
paths, full of stumps, with shrubs entangled across them so thickly, that
we were often obliged to dismount in order to cut away part of the
impediment. Large trees which have fallen across the road, frequently
intercept your passage, and you have no alternative but to lift the wheels
of the vehicle over them.

As we approached Cincinnati the difficulty of travelling became greatly
augmented. The rains had cut up the roads into ravines, sometimes full
three feet in depth, which, added to the clayey nature of the soil,
completely exhausted the horse, and rendered him incapable of proceeding
faster than a slow walk, even with the empty carriage.

There are a number of Baptists residing at Cincinnati, who frequently
entertain the inhabitants with public baptisms in the Ohio river. At one
of those ceremonies, about this time, rather a ludicrous occurrence took
place. The baptizing preacher stands up to his middle in the water, and
the person to be baptized is led to him by another preacher. On this
occasion the officiating clergyman was rather a slight man, and the lady
to be baptized was extremely large and corpulent--he took her by the
hands to perform the immersion, but notwithstanding his most strenuous
exertions, he was thrown off his centre. She finding him yield, held
still harder, until they both sowsed completely under the water, where
they lay floundering and struggling for some time, amidst the shouts and
laughter of the multitude assembled on shore. At length their brethren
extricated them from this perilous situation.


[8] M. Duponceau adduces the following examples: "In the Arancanian
language the word '_idnancloclavin_' means 'I do not wish to eat with
him.' There is a similar verb in the Delaware tongue--'_n'schingiwipona_,'
which means 'I do not like to eat with him.' To which may be added another
example in the latter tongue--'_machtitschwanne_,'--this must be
translated 'a cluster of islands with channels every way, so that it is
in no place shut up, or impassable for craft.' This term is applied to the
islands in the bay of New York."


The weather having become cold and disagreeable towards the latter end of
December, I set out for New Orleans. The larger class of steam-boats lay
then at Shippingsport, immediately below the falls of Ohio, the river not
being sufficiently high to enable them to pass over those rapids. Boats
drawing from nineteen to twenty-six inches water can almost at all seasons
ply on the Upper Ohio, and during the periods that the large boats are
detained below the Falls, they are constantly employed in transporting
produce, intended for the markets on the Mississippi, to Louisville, from
whence it is drayed round to Shippingsport and re-shipped. Flat-boats are
also employed for this purpose, and they are preferred, as they pass over
the Falls, and thus land-carriage is avoided.

Louisville is the chief town of Jefferson county, in Kentucky, and at
present it is estimated to contain about 12,000 inhabitants, including
slaves and free people of colour. The store-keepers here are more wealthy
than those of Cincinnati, and their manners less disagreeable. The
inhabitants of the latter town being mostly from the New England states,
have in their dealings and manners that dry shrewdness which is the true
Yankee characteristic. There are also located in Cincinnati some Irish
pedlars, who have by all manner of means acquired wealth, and are now the
"biggest bugs"[9] in the place.

The public buildings of Louisville are few, and the streets are laid out
in the usual style, crossing each other at right angles. It contains a
few good brick dwelling-houses, and a number of excellent hack-carriages
are stationed near the steam-boat landing. A canal round the Falls, from
Beargrass-creek to Shippingsport, is being constructed, which will enable
steam-boats of the largest tonnage to pass through; and thus it will open
an uninterrupted intercourse between the Upper and Lower Ohio, and the
Mississippi. The length of this canal is about two and a half miles, and
the original estimate was 200,000 dollars, but this sum has been found

At Louisville I took a berth on board a boat for New Orleans. The
steam-boats on the Mississippi are large, and splendidly appointed; the
interior has more the appearance of a well fitted up dining-room than the
cabin of a boat. The charge is twenty-five dollars, for which you are
found in every thing except liquors. Meats, fowls, vegetables, fruits,
preserves, &c., are served in abundance, and of the very best quality.
Here you may see tradesmen, "nigger traders," farmers, "congress men,"
captains, generals, and judges, all seated at the same table, in true
republican simplicity. There is no appearance of awkwardness in the
behaviour of the humblest person you see seated at those tables; and
indeed their general good conduct is remarkable--I mean when contrasted
with that of the same class in England. The truth is, the tradesman here
finds himself of some importance in the scale of society, and endeavours
to show that he is fully qualified to be seated at the same table, _en
passant_, with the most wealthy citizen. No doubt the higher classes have
some of that high polish rubbed off by these occasional contacts with
their less-civilized fellow citizens; but the humbler classes decidedly
gain what _they_ lose. All dress well, and are _American_ gentlemen.

The Ohio is formed by the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers
at Pittsburg, that town being seated in the fork--its breadth there, is
between eight and nine hundred yards. From the mouths of those two rivers
it narrows and deepens for some distance; but afterwards, from the
accession of the many tributary streams by which it is supplied, gradually
becomes wider and deeper, until it empties itself into the Mississippi.
The length of the Ohio, following its meanders, is about 950 miles, and it
may be said to be navigable almost the entire year, as the water must be
unusually low when the smaller steam-boats cannot ply to Pittsburg. The
character of this river is somewhat peculiar. But for the improvements on
the banks, when you have seen six or eight miles of this stream, you are
acquainted with the remainder as far as the Falls--that is to say, any
variety that may be in the scenery will occur in any given six miles from
Pittsburg to that point. Below Louisville there are one or two rocky
bluffs, and the face of the country is somewhat different. The channel of
the Upper Ohio lies between hills, which frequently approach the
_mamélle_ form, and are covered with a heavy growth of timber. Where the
hills or bluffs do not rise immediately from the river, but recede some
distance, the space between the river and the hill is called bottom land,
from the circumstance of its being overflown annually; or having at some
former period formed part of the river's bed, which is indicated by the
nature of the soil. The bluffs and bottoms invariably alternate; and when
you have bluffs on one side, you are sure to have bottom on the other. The
windings are extremely uniform, with few exceptions, curving in a
serpentine form in so regular a manner, that the Indians always calculated
the distance by the number of bends.

"The Falls" are improperly so termed, as this obstruction is nothing more
than a gradual descent for a distance of about a mile and a half, where
the water, forcing its way over a rugged rocky bottom, presents the
appearance of a rapid. Below this the country is of various
aspects--hills, bottom-land, and high rocky bluffs; and towards the mouth,
cotton-wood trees, (_populus angulata_), and cane brakes, are interspersed
along the banks. The junction of these two noble rivers, the Ohio and
Mississippi, is really a splendid sight--the scenery is picturesque, and
the water at the point of union is fully two miles broad.

The Mississippi[10] is in length, from its head waters to the _balize_ in
the gulf of Mexico, about two thousand three hundred miles, and flows
through an immense variety of country. The section through which it
passes, before its junction with the Missouri, is represented as being
elegantly diversified with woodlands, prairies, and rich bottoms, and the
banks are lined with a luxuriant growth of plants and flowers. Before
reaching the Missouri, the water of the Mississippi is perfectly limpid;
but, from the mouth of that river it becomes turgid and muddy--flows
through a flat, inundated country, and seems more like an immense flood,
than an old and deep-channelled river. As far as great things can be
compared to small, it much resembles, within its banks, the Rhone when
flooded, as it sweeps through the department of Vaucluse, after its
junction with the Saone.

From St. Louis to New Orleans, a distance of twelve hundred miles, there
are but six elevated points--the four Chickesaw bluffs, the Iron banks,
and the Walnut hills. Numerous islands are interspersed through this
river; and from the mouth of the Ohio, tall cotton-wood trees and
cane-brakes grow in immense quantities along the banks; the latter, being
evergreens, have a pleasing effect in the winter season. The windings of
the Mississippi are, like those of the Ohio, constant, but not so
serpentine, and some of them are of immense magnitude. You traverse every
point of the compass in your passage up or down: for example, there is a
bend near _Bayou Placquamine_, the length of which by the water is upwards
of sixty miles, and from one point to the other across the distance is but

The town of "Baton Rouge" is situated about 190 miles above New Orleans,
and contains a small garrison;--the esplanade runs down to the
water's-edge, and the whole has a pretty effect. Here the sugar
plantations commence, and the face of the country is again changed--you
find yourself in the regions of the south. For a distance of from
half-a-mile to two miles back, at each side, the land is planted with
sugar-canes, and highly cultivated. The planters' houses are tastefully
built, surrounded by gardens full of orange-trees, flowers, and
evergreens, presenting the idea of perpetual spring, which here is indeed
the case. The winters are seldom more severe than a mild spring in
England. I first came in on this region at night, at the season of
planting, when the cast or used canes are burned in heaps on each
plantation. The dark turgid waters--the distant fires, surrounded by
clouds of white smoke ascending in winding columns to the skies--the
stillness of the night, interrupted only by the occasional cry of the
pelican or the crane, and the monotonous thumping of the steam-boat
paddles, formed a strange combination; and had the days of witches and
warlocks not long since passed away, one would have sworn that these
gentry were performing incantations over the mystic cauldrons, casting
"seven bullets," or "raising spirits from the vasty deep."

The Mississippi is in few places more than from half-a-mile to a mile
wide; and were one to judge of its magnitude by its breadth alone, a very
erroneous estimate would be formed. It is only by contemplating the many
vast rivers which empty themselves into the Mississippi that you can form
a correct idea of the immense volume of water that flows through this
channel into the Gulf of Mexico. Many of its larger tributary streams
have the appearance of being as great as itself--the depth alone
indicating the superiority of this mighty river over every other in
America; and, considering its length, perhaps over any other in the world.

The great valley of the Mississippi extends, in length, from the Gulf of
Mexico to a distance of nearly 3000 miles; and is in breadth, from the
base of the Alleghanies to the foot of the Rocky mountains, about 2,500
miles. The soil is composed of alluvial deposits, to a depth of from
twenty to fifty feet; and I have myself seen, near New Orleans, trees
lying in the horizontal position six or seven feet below the surface. This
valley has been frequently visited by earthquakes, which have sometimes
changed part of the channel of the river, and at others formed lakes.
Those which occurred between the years 1811 and 1813, did serious injury,
particularly in the neighbourhood of New Madrid, near the west bank,
below the mouth of the Ohio. At several points the bank is sunk eight or
ten feet below the surface of the adjacent ground, with the trees
remaining upright as before.

New Orleans is seated on the south-east bank of the Mississippi; and,
following the sinuosities of the current, about 109 miles from the Gulf of
Mexico. The river takes here a right-angular sweep, and the city proper is
built on the exterior point of the bend, the _fauxbourgs_ extending at
each side along the banks. At high water the river rises three feet above
any part of the city; consequently, were it not for levées that have been
constructed here, and also along the banks of the river for more than a
hundred miles, at both sides, above and below, the whole country would be
periodically inundated. The fall from the levée to Bayou St. John, which
communicates with _Lac Pontchartrain_, is about thirty feet, and the
distance one mile. This fall is certainly inconsiderable; but I apprehend
that it would be sufficient to drain the streets effectually, if proper
attention were directed to that object.

The city extends only half-a-mile back, and, including the _fauxbourgs_,
about two miles along the river. The streets, being only partially paved,
can never be perfectly cleaned, and stagnant water remains in the kennels
at all seasons; this and the exhalations from the swamps in warm weather,
produce that pestilential scourge with which the place is annually
afflicted. The mortality here last season (the autumn of 1829) has been
variously stated in the public prints at from five to seven thousand, who
died of the yellow fever in the space of about ten weeks. This statement,
however, is erroneous; as, from information which I received from the
sexton of the American grave-yard, and from the number of fresh graves
which I saw there, I am inclined to think that the total amount falls
short of 2500, out of a resident population of less than 40,000 souls.
About 700 were buried in the American grave-yard, and perhaps double that
number in that of the French.

The port of New Orleans presents the most extraordinary medley of any port
in the world. Craft of every possible variety may be seen moored along the
levées, and the markets and adjacent streets crowded with people of almost
every nation in Europe, Africa, and America, who create a frightful
confusion of tongues. A particular part of the quay is appropriated to
each description of craft, and a penalty is enforced for any deviation
from port regulations. The upper part is occupied with flat-boats, arks,
peeroges, rafts, keel-boats, canoes, and steam-boats; and below these are
stationed schooners, cutters, brigs, ships, &c., in regular succession.
The levée is almost constantly filled with merchandize; and the scene of
bustle and confusion which is exhibited here during the early part of the
day, fully proves the large amount of commercial intercourse which this
city enjoys.

When Louisiana was ceded to the United States, in 1803, Orleans was then
entirely occupied by Creole-French and Spanish, consequently the majority
of the habitations and public buildings, are in the French and Spanish
style. The cathedral, which presents a handsome façade of about seventy
feet, the town-hall, and courts, occupy one side of the _place
d'armes,_--these, with the American theatre, the _théâtre d'Orleans,_ or
French opera house, the hospital, and three or four churches, are the only
public buildings in the city. The houses are all flat-roofed, and those in
the back streets and fauxbourgs are seldom more than one story high; the
practice of building houses in this manner was pursued in order to avoid
injury from tornadoes, which occasionally visit the valley of the
Mississippi; latterly they have not been of frequent occurrence, although
when they do arise, they are extremely violent. The town of Urbana, in
Ohio, this year (1830) has been nearly destroyed by a visitation of this

Pharo-banks, roulette-tables, and gambling of all kinds, are publicly
permitted; but the proprietor of each establishment pays a tax of 5000
dollars per annum. The _théâtre d'Orleans_ on Sunday evenings, is
generally crowded with beautiful French women. Every night during the
winter season there is a _bal paré et masqué_, and occasionally "quadroon
balls," which are attended by the young men of the city and their _chères
amies_ quadroons, who are decidedly the finest women in the country, being
well formed, and graceful in their carriage. The Louisianians are
prohibited by law from marrying with quadroons, although this _caste_ is
free, and many of them have been educated in France, and are highly

In the south, slavery exists in its most unqualified condition, wanting
those milder modifications which serve to dress and decorate the person of
this ugly fiend. Here may be seen hundreds of animals of our own genus
exposed in the public bazaars for sale, and examined with as much care,
and precisely in the same manner, as we examine horses. In some of the
slave states the law prohibits the separation of families, but this
prohibition is little attended to, as the slave has no possibility of
coming in contact with any dispensers of justice but the magistrates of
the state, who, being slave-holders themselves, instead of redressing his
grievances, would be more likely to order him a lashing, for presuming to
complain. Many melancholy instances occur here, which clearly illustrate
the evils of slavery and its demoralizing influence on the human
character. The arguments against slavery are deduced from self-evident
propositions, and must carry conviction to every well organized mind; yet
from their application being of too general a character, they seldom
interest the feelings, and in the end leave less impression than the
simple statement of a particular occurrence. During my stay, a Doctor
---- came down the river with thirty slaves, among which were an old negro
and negress, each between sixty and seventy years of age; this unfortunate
old woman had borne twenty-one children, all of whom had been at different
times sold in the Orleans market, and carried into other states, and into
distant parts of Louisiana. The Doctor said, in order to induce her to
leave home quietly, that he was bringing her into Louisiana for the
purpose of placing her with some of her children--"and now," says the old
negress, "aldo I suckle my massa at dis breast, yet now he sell me to
sugar planter, after he sell all my children away from me." This gentleman
was a strict Methodist, or "saint," and is, I was informed, much esteemed
by the preachers of that persuasion, because of his liberal contributions
to their support.

Negresses, when young and likely, are often employed as wet nurses by
white people, as also by either the planter or his friends, to administer
to their sensual desires--this frequently as a matter of speculation, for
if the offspring, a mulatto, be a handsome female, from 800 to 1000
dollars may be obtained for her in the Orleans market.[11] It is an
occurrence of no uncommon nature to see the Christian father sell his own
daughter, and the brother his own sister, by the same father. Slaves do
not marry, but pair at discretion; and the more children they produce, the
better for their masters.

On the Levée at New Orleans, are constantly exhibited specimens of the
white man's humanity, in the persons of runaway slaves. When such an
unfortunate negro is retaken, a log is chained to one of his legs, and
round his neck is placed an iron collar, from which project three sharp
prongs more than a foot in length each.

The evils of this infernal system are beginning to re-act upon the
Christians, who are latterly kept in a constant state of alarm, fearing
the number and disposition of the blacks, which threaten at no far distant
period to overwhelm the south with some dreadful calamity.[12] Three
incendiary fires took place at Orleans, during the month I remained in
that city, by which several thousand bales of cotton were consumed. The
condition of the slaves on the sugar or rice plantations, is truly
wretched. They are ill-fed, ill-clad, and worked in gangs under the
superintendence of a driver, who is armed with a long whip, which he uses
at discretion; and it is a fact, well known to persons who have visited
slave countries, that punishments are more frequently inflicted to gratify
the private pique or caprice of the driver, than for crime or neglect of

In the agricultural states, slave labour is found to be altogether
unproductive, which causes this market to be inundated:--within the last
two months, 5000 negros have been sold here. The state legislature has
just passed a law, regulating the introduction of slaves, and commanding
all free people of colour, who were not residents previous to 1825, to
quit Louisiana in the space of six months. Georgia has enacted a law to
the same effect, with the addition of making penal, _the teaching of
people of colour to read or write_. The liberty of the press is by no
means tolerated in the slave states, as both judges and juries will always
decide according to the local laws, although totally at variance with the
constitution. W.L. Garrison, of Baltimore, one of the editors of a
publication entitled, "The Genius of Universal Emancipation," is now
suffering fine and imprisonment for an alleged libel, at the suit of a
slavite; and a law has been passed by the legislature of Louisiana,
suppressing the Orleans journal called "The Liberal." This latter act is
not only contrary to the constitution of the United States, but also in
direct opposition to the constitution of Louisiana.[13]

The free states in their own defence have been obliged to prohibit people
of colour settling within their boundaries. Where then can the unfortunate
African find a retreat? He must not stay in this country, and he cannot
go to Africa; and although the British government are encouraging the
settlement of negros in the Canadas, yet latterly, neither the Canadians
nor the Americans like that project. The most probable finale to this
drama will be, that the Christians must at their own expense ship them to
Liberia (for Hayti is inundated), and there throw them on barren shores to
die of starvation, or to be massacred by the savages!

Miss Wright lately passed through New Orleans with thirty negros which she
had manumitted, and was then going to establish them at Hayti. These
slaves had been purchased at reduced prices, from persons friendly to
their emancipation, and were kept by Miss Wright until their labour,
allowing them a fair remuneration, amounted to the prime outlay.

Were it not for the danger that might be apprehended from the congregation
of large bodies of negros in particular states or districts, their
liberation would be attended with little inconvenience _to the public_,
for their labour might be as effectually secured, and made quite as
profitable, under a system of well-regulated emancipation. We need only
refer to England for a case in point:--after the conquest and total
subjugation of the people of that country by the ancestors of the
nobility, the gallant Normans, the feudal system was introduced, and
remained in full vigour for some centuries. But, as the country became
more populous, and the attendance of the knights and barons in parliament
became more frequent and necessary, we find villanage gradually fall into
disrepute. The last laws regulating this species of slavery were passed in
the reign of Henry VII; and towards the end of Elizabeth's reign, although
the statutes remained unrepealed, as they do still, yet there were no
persons in the state to whom the laws applied. It cannot be denied that
the labour of the poor English is as effectually secured under the present
arrangements, as it could possibly be under the system of villanage.

I look upon slaves as public securities; and I am of opinion, that a
legislature's enacting laws for their emancipation, is as flagrant a piece
of injustice as would be the cancelling of the public debt. Slave-holders
are only share-holders; and philanthropists should never talk of
liberating slaves, more than cancelling public securities, without being
prepared to indemnify those persons who unfortunately have their capital
invested in this species of property.

As many varieties of countenance are to be found among blacks as among
whites. There are Africans in this city who have really handsome features,
and whose proportions are just, with strong and finely rounded limbs. On
becoming more intimate with the general character of the Africans, I like
it better: I find they steal, cheat, and hate their masters; and if they
were to do otherwise I should think them unworthy of liberty--they justly
consider whatever they take to be but a portion of their own. The policy
is to keep them as much as possible in utter ignorance--that their
indignation should therefore develope itself in the most degrading manner,
is not surprising.

There are two public schools established at New Orleans, which are
supported out of the fund arising from five gaming-houses, they paying a
tax of 25,000 dollars per annum. These schools are conducted on the
Lancastrian system, each having a Principal and a Professor, and the
studies are divided into daily sessions. The morning session is devoted to
reading, spelling, arithmetic, and English grammar; commences at nine
A.M., and closes at one P.M. The evening session commences at three, and
ends at five o'clock; and is devoted to penmanship, geography, and the
French language. This is the arrangement of the English primary school,
which is kept in the Old Poydras House, Poydras-street, in the upper part
of the city; and is called the Upper Primary School, to distinguish it
from the French establishment, which is kept in the lower part of the
city. The English school has an English principal, and a French professor;
and the French school, a French principal and an English professor. Dr.
Kinnicutt, the principal of the Upper Primary School, is a gentleman of
considerable ability, and to his friendly politeness I am indebted for the
above information.

The ravages of the yellow fever in New Orleans are immense; but I am
credibly informed that many deaths occur here from neglect after the fever
has subsided, when the patient is in a totally debilitated condition,
incapable of affording himself the slightest assistance. Orleans is
generally crowded with strangers, who are most susceptible to the
epidemic; and it is decidedly the interest of persons keeping hotels and
boarding-houses that such guests should give up the ghost, for in that
case their loose cash falls into the hands of the proprietor. I do not
mean to insinuate that a knife is passed across the throat of the
patient; but merely that it is the opinion of physicians, and some of the
most respectable people of the city, that every _facility_ is afforded
strangers to die, and that in many cases they actually die of gross

The wealthy merchants live well, keep handsome establishments, and good
wines. The Sardanapalian motto, "Laugh, sing, dance, and be merry," seems
to be universally adopted in this "City of the Plague." The planters' and
merchants' villas immediately in the vicinity are extremely tasteful, and
are surrounded by large parterres filled with plantain, banana, palm,
orange, and rose trees. On the whole, were it not for its unhealthiness,
Orleans would be a most desirable residence, and the largest city in the
United States, as it is most decidedly the best circumstanced in a
commercial point of view.

The question of the purchase of Texas from the Mexican government has been
widely mooted throughout the country, and in the slave districts it has
many violent partizans. The acquisition of this immense tract of fertile
country would give an undue preponderance to the slave states, and this
circumstance alone has prevented its purchase from being universally
approved of; for the grasping policy of the American system seems to
animate both congress and legislatures in all their acts. The Americans
commenced their operations in true Yankee style. The first settlement made
was by a person named Austin, under a large grant from the Mexican
government. Then "pioneers," under the denomination of "explorers," began
gradually to take possession of the country, and carry on commercial
negotiations without the assent of the government. This was followed by
the public prints taking up the question, and setting forth the immense
value of the country, and the consequent advantages that would arise to
the United States from its acquisition. The settlers excited movements,
and caused discontent and dissatisfaction among the legitimate owners; and
at their instigation, insurrections of the Indians took place, which
greatly embarrassed the government. At this stage of the affair, Mr.
Poinsett, the American minister, commenced his diplomatic manoeuvres in
the city of Mexico--fomenting disaffection, encouraging parties, and
otherwise interfering in the internal concerns of the country. He appears,
however, to have carried his intrigues beyond the bounds of discretion, as
they were discovered; and he consequently became so obnoxious to the
government and people of Mexico, that Jackson found it necessary to recall
him, and send a Colonel Butler in his stead, commissioned to offer
5,000,000 dollars for the province of Texas.

Mr. Poinsett's object in acting as he did, was that he might embarrass the
government, and take advantage of some favourable crisis to drive a
profitable bargain; or that, during some convulsion that would be likely
to lead to a change, the expiring executive would be glad to grasp at his
offer, and thereby a claim would be established on the country, which the
United States would not readily relinquish. The policy of the British
government suffering the Mexican republic to be bullied out of this
province would be very questionable indeed, as the North Americans command
at present quite enough of the Gulf of Mexico, and their overweening
inclination to acquire extent of territory would render their proximity to
the West Indian Islands rather dangerous; however, it would be much more
advantageous to have the Mexicans as neighbours than the people of the
United States.

The Mexican secretary of state, Don Lucas Alaman, in a very able and
elaborate report made to Congress, sets forth the ambitious designs of the
American government, and the proceedings of its agents with regard to this
province. He also recommends salutary measures for the purpose of
retaining possession and preventing further encroachments; which the
Congress seems to have taken into serious consideration, as very important
resolutions have been adopted. The Congress has decreed, that hereafter
the Texas is to be governed as a colony; and, except by special commission
of the Governor, the immigration of persons _from the United States_, is
strictly forbidden. So much at present for the efforts of the Americans to
get possession of the Texas; and if the British government be alive to the
interests of the nation, they never shall;--for, entertaining the hostile
feelings that they do towards the British empire, their closer connexion
with the West Indies would certainly not be desirable.


[9] A "big bug," is a great man, in the phraseology of the western

[10] In the Indian tongue, _Meschacebe_--"old father of waters."

[11] I have been informed by a gentleman who has resided in the English
West Indian Islands, that he has known instances there of highly educated
white women, young and unmarried, making black mothers suckle puppy
lap-dogs for them.

[12] Previous to my leaving America, a most extensive and well-organised
conspiracy was discovered at Charleston, and several of the conspirators
were executed. The whole black population of that town were to have risen
on a certain day, and put their oppressors to death.


Extract from "The Liberal" of 19th March, 1830:--

    "Constitution des Etats unis.

    "Art. 1 er. des Amendments.

    "Le Congrés n'aura pas le droit de faire aucune loi pour abreger
    la liberté de la parole ou de la presse, &c.

    "Constitution de L'Etat de la Louisiane.

    "Art. 6, v. 21.

    "La presse sera libre à tous ceux qui entreprendront d'examiner les
    procédures de la legislature ou aucune branche du gouvernement; et
    aucune loi sera jamais faite pour abreger ses droits, &c.

    "Loi faite par la legislature de l'Etat de la Louisiane.

    "Acte pour punir les crime y mentionés et pour d'autre objets.

    "Sect. 1ére. Il et décrété, &c. Que quiconque écrira, imprimera,
    publiera, ou répandra toute pièce ayant une tendance à produire du
    mécontentement parmi la population de couleur libre, ou de
    l'insubordination parmi les esclaves de cet Etat, sera sur
    conviction du fait, pardevant toute cour de juridiction competante
    condamné à l'emprisonnement aux travaux forcés pour la vie ou à la
    peine de mort, à la discretion de la cour!!!!

    "Sec. 2. Il est de plus décrété, que quiconque se servira
    d'expressions dans un discours public prononcé au barreau, au barre
    des Judges, au Théâtre, en chaire, ou dans tout lieu quelconque;
    quiconque se servira d'expressions dans des conversations ou des
    discours particulars, ou fera usage des signes ou fera des actions
    ayant une tendance à produire du mecontentement parmi la
    population de couleur libre ou à exciter à l'insubordination parmi
    les esclaves de cet Etat; quiconque donnera sciemment la main à
    apporter dans cet Etat aucun papier, brochure ou livre ayant la
    même tendance que dessus, sera, sur conviction, pardevant toute
    cour de juridiction competante, condamné à l'emprisonnement aux
    travaux forcés pour un terme qui ne sera pas moindre de trois ans
    et qui n'excédera pas vingt un ans, ou à la peine de mort à la
    discretion de la cour!!!!

    "Sec. 3. Il est de plus décrété, que seront considerées comme
    illegales toute réunions de negres; mulatres ou autres personnes
    de couleur libre dans le temples, les ecoles ou autres lieux pour
    y apprendre à lire ou à ecrire: et les personnes qui se réuniront
    ainsi; sur conviction du fait, pardevant toute cour de juridiction
    competente, seront emprisonneés pour un terme qui ne sera pas
    moindre d'un mois et qui n'excédera pas douze mois, à la

    "Sec. 4. Il est de plus décrété, que toute personne dans cet état
    qui enseignera, permettra qu'on enseigne ou fera enseigner à lire
    ou à ecrire à un esclave quelconque, sera, sur conviction du fait,
    pardevant toute cour de juridiction competante, condamné à un
    imprisonnement qui ne sera pas moindre d'un mois et n'excédera pas
    douze mois!!!!"

       *       *       *       *       *

    From the remarks of the same journal of the 23rd March, it would
    appear that the third and fourth sections of this most enlightened
    and Christian act have been rejected, as being "_too bad_."

    "Nous avons lu la publication officielle de l'acte intitulé: 'acte
    pour empêcher l'introduction des personnes de couleur libres dans
    cet Etat, et pour d'autres objets.' Il est trop long pour que nous
    puissons le publier, nous en donnons l'extrait suivant.

    "1. Toute personne de couleur libre, qui sera rentreé dans cet
    état depuis 1825, sera forcée d'en sortir.

    "2. Aucune personne, de couleur libre, ne pourra à l'avenir
    s'introduire dans cet état sous aucun pretexte quelconque.

    "3. Le blanc qui aura fait circuler des écrits tendant à troubler
    le repos public, ou censurant les actes de la legislature
    concernant les esclaves ou les personnes de couleur libres, sera
    puni rigoureusement.

    "4. L'émancipation des esclaves est soumise à quantité de

    "Tous les noirs, grieffes et mulatres, au premier degré, libres,
    sont obligés de se faire enregistrer au bureau du maire, à Nelle.
    Orleans, ou chez les judges de paroisse dans les autres parties de

    "Nous voyons avec joie, que la partie du bill tendant à empêcher
    l'instruction des personnes de couleur, a été rejeté."


Having spent a month in Orleans and the neighbouring plantations, I took
my leave and departed for Louisville. The steam-boat in which I ascended
the river was of the largest description, and had then on board between
fifty and sixty cabin passengers, and nearly four hundred deck passengers.
The former paid thirty dollars, and the latter I believe six, on this
occasion. The deckers were provided only with an unfurnished berth. The
steam-boats, on their passage up and down the rivers, stop at nearly all
the towns of importance, both for the purpose of landing and receiving
freight, which enabled me to visit most of the settlements along the

For several hundred miles from New Orleans, the trees, particularly those
in the cypress swamps, are covered with tellandsea, or Spanish moss, which
hangs down from the branches so thickly, as to give a most gloomy aspect
to the forest. It is found to be a good substitute for horse hair, and is
universally used by upholsterers for stuffing mattresses, cushions, &c.
The process of preparing it is very simple: being taken from the trees, it
is placed in water for a few days, until the outer pellicle has rotted; it
is then dried, when a long fibre resembling horse hair is obtained.

Natchez, in the state of Mississippi, is about 300 miles above Orleans,
and is the largest and wealthiest town on the river, from that city up to
St. Louis. It stands on bluffs, perhaps 300 feet above the water at
ordinary periods. It contains nearly 4000 inhabitants, and is decidedly
the prettiest town for its dimensions in the United States. Natchez,
although upwards of 400 miles from the sea, is considered a port; and a
grant of 1500 dollars was made by congress for the purpose of erecting a
light-house; the building has been raised, and stands there, a monument of
useless expenditure. There are a number of "groggeries," stores, and other
habitations, at the base of the bluffs, for the accommodation of
flat-boatmen, which form a distinct town, and the place is called, in
contradistinction to the city above, Natchez-under-the-hill. Swarms of
unfortunate females, of every shade of colour, may be seen here sporting
with the river navigators, and this little spot presents one continued
scene of gaming, swearing, and rioting, from morning till night.

The ravages of the yellow fever in this town are always greater in
proportion to the population than at New Orleans; and it is a remarkable
fact, that frequently when the fever is raging with violence in the city
on the hill, the inhabitants below are entirely free from it. In addition
to the exhalations from the exposed part of the river's bed, there are
others of a still more pestilential character, which arise from stagnant
pools at the foot of the hill. The miasmata appear to ascend until they
reach the level of the town above, where the atmosphere being less dense,
and perhaps precisely of their own specific gravity, they float, and
commingle with it.

The country from Baton-rouge to Vicksburg, on the walnut hills, is almost
entirely devoted to the cultivation of cotton, the soil and climate being
found particularly congenial to the growth of that plant. The great trade
of Natchez is in this article. The investment of capital in the
cultivation of cotton is extremely profitable, and a plantation
judiciously managed seldom fails of producing an income, in a few years,
amounting to the original outlay. Each slave is estimated to produce from
250 to 300 dollars per annum; but of course from this are to be deducted
the _wear and tear_ of the slave, and the casualties incident to human
life. On sugar plantations the profit is much more on each individual; but
the risk is greater, and the deaths are generally calculated at one-third
of the gang in ten years: this is the cause why slaves _on sugar
plantations_ are so miserably fed and clad, for their being rendered less
wretched would not make them less susceptible to the epidemic. Each acre
of well-cultivated land produces from one and a half to two bales of
cotton, and even the first year the produce will cover the expenses. A
planter may commence with 10,000 or 12,000 dollars, and calculate on
certain success; but with less capital, he must struggle hard to attain
the desired object. A sugar plantation cannot be properly conducted with
less than 25,000 or 30,000 dollars, and the first year produces no return.
The cotton begins to ripen in the month of October--the buds open, and the
flowers appear. A slave can gather from 100 to 150 lbs. a day. Rice and
tobacco are also grown in the neighbourhood of the cotton lands, but of
course the produce is inferior to that of the West Indies.

Occasionally, along the banks of the Mississippi, you see here and there
the solitary habitation of a wood-cutter. Immense piles of wood are placed
on the edge of the bank, for the supply of steam-boats, and perhaps a
small corn patch may be close to the house; this however is not commonly
the case, as the inhabitants depend on flat-boats for provisions. The
dwelling is the rudest kind of log-house, and the outside is sometimes
decorated with the skins of deer, bears, and other animals, hung up to
dry. Those people are commonly afflicted with fever and ague; and I have
seen many, particularly females, who had immense swellings or
protuberances on their stomachs, which they denominate "ague-cakes." The
Mississippi wood-cutters scrape together "considerable of dollars," but
they pay dearly for it in health, and are totally cut off from the
frequent frolics, political discussions, and elections; which last,
especially, are a great source of amusement to the Americans, and tend to
keep up that spirit of patriotism and nationality for which they are so
distinguished. The excitement produced by these elections prevents the
people falling into that ale-drinking stupidity, which characterizes the
low English.

The "freshets" in the Mississippi are always accompanied with an immense
quantity of "drift-wood," which is swept away from the banks of the
Missouri and Ohio; and the navigation is never totally devoid of danger,
from the quantity of trees which settle down on the bottom of the river.
Those trees which stand perpendicularly in the river, are called
"planters;" those which take hold by the roots, but lie obliquely with the
current, yielding to its pressure, appearing and disappearing alternately,
are termed "sawyers;" and those which lie immovably fixed, in the same
position as the "sawyers," are denominated "snags." Many boats have been
stove in by "snags" and "sawyers," and sunk with all the passengers. At
present there is a snag steam-boat stationed on the Mississippi, which has
almost entirely cleared it of these obstructions. This boat consists of
two hulks, with solid beams of timber uniting the bows. It has a most
powerful engine; and when the crew discover a snag, which always lies with
the stream, and is known by the ripple on the water, they run down below
it for some distance in order to gather head-way--the boat is then run at
it full tilt, and seldom fails of breaking off the projecting branch close
to the trunk.

We arrived, a fine morning about nine o'clock, at Memphis in Tennessee,
and lay-to to put out freight. We had just sat down, and were regaling
ourselves with a substantial breakfast, when one of the boilers burst,
with an explosion that resembled the report of a cannon. The change was
sudden and terrific. Between fifty and sixty persons were killed and
wounded. The scene was the most horrifying that can be imagined--the dead
were shattered to pieces, covering the decks with blood; and the dying
suffered the most excruciating tortures, being scalded from head to foot.
Many died within the hour; whilst others lingered until evening, shrieking
in the most piteous manner. The persons assembled on shore displayed the
most disgusting want of sympathy; and most of the gentlemen passengers
took care to secure their luggage before rendering any assistance to the
unfortunates. A medical gentleman, who happened to be on board (a Doctor
Otis, I think, from Carolina), was an exception. This gentleman--and
gentleman he really was, in every respect--attended with the most
unremitting care on all the wounded without distinction. A collection was
made by the cabin passengers, for the surviving sufferers. The wretch who
furnished oil on the occasion, hearing of the collection, had the
conscience to make a charge of sixty dollars, when the quantity furnished
could not possibly have amounted to a third of that sum.

The boiler recoiled, cutting away part of the bow, and the explosion blew
up the pilot's deck, which rendered the vessel totally unfit for service.
I remained three days at Memphis, and visited the neighbouring farms and
plantations. Several parties of Chickesaw Indians were here, trading their
deer and other skins with the townspeople. This tribe has a reservation
about fifty miles back, and pursues agriculture to a considerable extent.
After the massacre and extermination of the Natchez Indians, by the
Christians of Louisiana, the few survivors received an asylum from the
Chickesaws; who, notwithstanding the heavy vengeance with which they were
threatened, could never be induced to give up the few unhappy "children of
the Sun" who confided in their honour and generosity: the fugitives
amalgamated with their protectors, and the Natchez are extinct.

Some of the Indians here assembled, indulged immoderately in the use of
ardent spirits, with which they were copiously supplied by the white
people. During these drinking fits, there is always one at least of the
party who remains sober, in order to secure the knives, &c. Hence the
Americans derive the cant phrase of "doing the sober Indian," which they
apply to any one of a company who will not _drink fairly_. One of the
Indians had a pony which he wished to sell, having occasion for some
articles, and his skins not bringing him as much as he had anticipated. A
townsman demanded the price. The Indian put up both his hands, intimating
that he would take ten dollars. The pony was worth double the sum; but the
spirit of barter would not permit the white man to purchase without
reducing the price: he offered the Indian five dollars. The Indian was
evidently indignant, but only gave a nod of dissent. After some
hesitation, the buyer, finding that he could not reduce the price, said
he would give the ten dollars. The Indian then held up his fingers, and
counted fifteen. The buyer demurred at the advance; but the Indian was
inexorable, and at length intimated that he would not trade at all. Such
is the character of the Aborigines--they never calculate on _your_
necessities, but only on their own; and when they are in want of money,
demand the lowest possible price for the article they may wish to
sell--but if they see you want to take further advantage of them, they
invariably raise the price or refuse to traffic.

Hunting in Tennessee is commonly practised on horseback, with dogs. When
the party comes upon a deer-track, it separates, and hunters are posted,
at intervals of about a furlong, on the path which the deer when started
is calculated to take. Two or three persons then set forward with the
dogs, always coming up against the wind, and start the deer, when the
sentinels at the different points fire at him as he passes, until he is
brought down. Another mode is to hunt by torch-light, without dogs. In
this case, slaves carry torches before the party; the light of which so
amazes the deer, that he stands gazing in the brushwood. The glare of his
eyes is always sufficient to direct the attention of the rifleman, who
levels his piece at the space between them, and seldom fails of hitting
him fairly in the head.

A boat at length arrived from New Orleans, bound for Nashville in
Tennessee, and I secured a passage to Smithland, at the mouth of the
Cumberland river, where I had a double opportunity of getting to
Louisville, as boats from St. Louis, as well as those from Orleans, stop
at that point. The day following my arrival a boat came up, and I
proceeded to Louisville. On board, whilst I was amusing myself forward, I
was accosted by a deck-passenger, whom I recollected to have seen at
Harmony. He told me, amongst other things, that a Mr. O----, who resided
there, had been elected captain, and added that he was "a considerable
clever fellow," and the best captain they ever had. I inquired what
peculiar qualification in their new officer led him to that conclusion.
Expecting to hear of his superior knowledge in military tactics, I was
astounded when he seriously informed me, in answer, that on a late
occasion (I believe it was the anniversary of the birth of Washington),
after parade, he ordered them into a "groggery," "not to take a _little_
of something to drink, but by J---s to drink as much as they had a mind
to." It must be observed, that this individual I had seen but once, in the
streets of Harmony, and then he was in a state of inebriation. Another
anecdote, of a similar character, was related to me by an Englishman
relative to his own election to the post of brigadier-general. The
candidate opposed to him had served in the late war, and in his address to
the electors boasted not a little of the circumstance, and concluded by
stating that he was "ready to lead them to a cannon's mouth when
necessary." This my friend the General thought a poser; but, however, he
determined on trying what virtue there was--not in stones, like the "old
man" with the "young saucebox,"--but in a much more potent article,
whisky; so, after having stated that although he had not served, yet he
was as ready to serve against "the hired assassins of England"--this is
the term by which the Americans designate our troops--as his opponent, he
concluded by saying, "Boys, Mr. ---- has told you that he is ready to lead
you to a cannon's mouth--now _I_ don't wish you any such misfortune as
getting the contents of a cannon in your bowels, but if necessary,
perhaps, I'd lead you as far as he would; however, men, the short and the
long of it is, instead of leading you to the mouth of a cannon, I'll lead
you this instant to the mouth of a barrel of whisky." This was enough--the
electors shouted, roared, laughed, and drank--and elected my friend
Brigadier-general. Brigadier-general! what must this man's relatives in
England think, when they hear that he is a Brigadier-general in the
American army? Yet he is a very respectable man (an auctioneer), and much
superior to many west country Generals. The fact is, a dollar's-worth of
whisky and a little Irish wit would go as far in electioneering as five
pounds would go in England; and were it not for the protection afforded by
the ballot, the Americans would be fully as corrupt, and would exercise
the franchise as little in accordance with the public interest, as the
English and Irish who enjoy the freedom of corporate towns. Some aspirants
to office in the New England states, about the time of the last
presidential election, tried the system of bribing, and obtained promises
fully sufficient to insure their returns; but on counting the votes, it
was found that more than one half the persons who were paid to vote _for_,
must have voted _against_ the person who had bribed them. It is needless
to say this experiment was not repeated. The Americans thought it bad
enough to take the bribe, but justly concluded that it would be a double
crime to adhere to the agreement. The bravo who takes a purse to commit an
assassination, and does not do that for which he has been paid; is an
angel, when compared to the villain who performs his contract.

The usual time occupied in a voyage from Orleans to Louisville is from ten
to twelve days, and boats have performed it in the surprisingly short
space of eight days. The spur that commerce has received from the
introduction of steam-boats on the western waters, can only be appreciated
by comparing the former means of communication with the present. Previous
to 1812, the navigation of the Upper Ohio was carried on by means of about
150 small barges, averaging between thirty and forty tons burden, and the
time consumed in ascending from the Falls to Pittsburg was a full month.
On the Lower Ohio and the Mississippi there were about twenty barges,
which averaged 100 tons burden, and more than three months was occupied in
ascending from Orleans to Louisville with West India produce, the crew
being obliged to poll or _cordelle_ the whole distance. Seldom more than
one voyage to Orleans and back was made within the year. In 1817, a
steam-boat arrived at Louisville from New Orleans in twenty-five days, and
a public dinner and other rejoicings celebrated the event. From that
period until 1827, the time consumed in this voyage gradually diminished,
and in that year a boat from New Orleans entered the port of Louisville in
eight days and two hours. There are at present on the waters of the Ohio
and Mississippi, 323 boats, the aggregate burden of which is 56,000 tons,
the greater proportion measuring from 250 to 500 tons.

The people of this country cannot properly be compared with the
inhabitants of England; their institutions are different, and their
habits and manners must necessarily be dissimilar. Indeed, they are as
unlike the English as any people can well be, and many of them with whom I
conversed, denied flatly the descent. They contend that they are a
compound of the best blood of Europe, and that the language of England
only prevailed because, _originally_, the majority of settlers were
English; but that since the revolution, the whole number of emigrants from
the other countries of Europe greatly exceeded the proportion from England
and Ireland. Their temperament, organisation, and independent spirit,
appear to bear them out in this assertion.

In England we have all the grades and conditions of society that are to be
found in America, with the addition of two others, the highest and the
lowest classes. There is no extensive class here equivalent to the English
or Irish labourer; neither is there any class whose manners are stamped
with that high polish and urbanity which characterises the aristocracy of
England. The term _gentleman_ is used here in a very different sense from
that in which it is applied in Europe--it means simply, well-behaved
citizen. All classes of society claim it--from the purveyor of old bones,
up to the planter; and I have myself heard a bar-keeper in a tavern and a
stage driver, whilst quarrelling, seriously accuse each other of being "no
gentleman." The only class who live on the labour of others, and without
their own personal exertions, are the planters in the south. There are
certainly many persons who derive very considerable revenues from houses;
but they must be very few, if any, who have ample incomes from land, and
this only in the immediate vicinity of the largest and oldest cities.

English novels have very extensive circulation here, which certainly is of
no service to the country, as it induces the wives and daughters of
American gentlemen (alias, shopkeepers) to ape gentility. In Louisville,
Cincinnati, and all the other towns of the west, the women have
established circles of society. You will frequently be amused by seeing a
lady, the wife of a dry-goods store-keeper, look most contemptuously at
the mention of another's name, whose husband pursues precisely the same
occupation, but on a less extensive scale, and observe, that "she only
belongs to the third circle of society." This species of embryo
aristocracy--or as Socrates would, call it, Plutocracy--is based on wealth
alone, and is decidedly the most contemptible of any. There are,
notwithstanding, very many well-bred, if not highly polished, women in the
country; and on the whole, the manners of the women are much more
agreeable than those of the men.

Early in the summer I proceeded to Maysville, in Kentucky, which lies
about 220 miles above the Falls. Here having to visit a gentlemen in the
interior, I hired a chaise, for which I paid about two shillings British
per mile.

A great deal of excitement was just then produced among the inhabitants of
Maysville by the president's having put his veto on the bill, passed by
congress, granting loans to the "Maysville and Lexington road," and the
"Louisville canal" companies. The Kentuckians were in high dudgeon, and
denounced Jackson as an enemy to internal improvement, and to the western
states. It would appear that the friends of Adams and Clay, had determined
to place Jackson in a dilemma which would involve his character, either as
a friend to internal improvement or an enemy to lavish expenditure.
Accordingly, they passed an unusual number of bills, appropriating money
to the clearing of creeks, building of bridges, and making of canals and
turnpike roads; the amount of which, instead of leaving a surplus of ten
millions to the liquidation of the national debt, would not only have
totally exhausted the treasury, but have actually exceeded by 20,000,000
dollars the revenue of the current year. This manoeuvre was timely
discovered by the administration, and the president consequently refused
to put his signature to those bills, amongst a number of others. He
refused on two grounds. The first was, that although it had been the
practice of congress to grant sums of money for the purpose of making
roads and perfecting other works, which only benefited one or two states;
yet that such practice was not sanctioned by the constitution--the federal
legislature having no power to act but with reference to the general
interests of the states. The second was, that the road in question was
local in the most limited sense, commencing at the Ohio river, and running
back sixty miles to an interior town, and consequently, the grant in
question came within neither the constitutional powers nor practice of

The president recommends that the surplus revenue, after the debt shall
have been paid off, should be portioned out to the different states, in
proportion to their ratio of representation; which appears to be
judicious, as the question of congressional power to appropriate money to
road-making, &c., although of a general character, involves also the right
of jurisdiction; which congress clearly has not, except where the defence
of the country, or other paramount interests, are concerned.

The national debt will be totally extinguished in four years, when this
country will present a curious spectacle for the serious consideration of
European nations. During the space of fifty-six years, two successful wars
have been carried on--one for the establishment, and the other for the
maintenance of national independence, and a large amount of public works
and improvements has been effected; yet, after the expiration of four
years from this time, there will not only be no public debt, but the
revenue arising from protecting tariff duties alone will amount to more
than the expenditure by upwards of 10,000,000 dollars.

A brief abstract from the treasury report on the finances of the United
States, up to the 1st January, 1831, may not be uninteresting.

                                             Dollars. Cts.
Balance in the treasury, 1st January,
1828                                         6,668,286 10

Receipts of the year 1828                   24,789,463 61
Total                                       31,457,749 71
Expenditure for the year 1828               25,485,313 90
Leaving a balance in the treasury, 1st
January, 1829, of                            5,972,435 81

Receipts from all sources during the
year 1829                                   24,827,627 38

Expenditures for the same year, including
3,686,542 dol. 93 ct. on account of
the public debt, and 9,033 dol. 38 ct.
for awards under the first article of the
treaty of Ghent                             25,044,358 40

Balance in the treasury on 1st January,
1830                                         5,755,704 79

The receipts from all sources during the
year 1830 were                              24,844,116 51


Customs                                     21,922,391 39

Lands                                        2,329,356 14

Dividends on bank stock                        490,000 00

Incidental receipts                            102,368 98

The expenditures for the same year were     24,585,281 55


Civil list, foreign intercourse,
and miscellaneous                            3,237,416 04

Military service, including
fortifications, ordnance,
Indian affairs,
pensions, arming the
militia, and internal
improvements                                 6,752,688 66

Naval service, including
sums appropriated
to the gradual
improvement of the
navy[14]                                     3,239,428 63

Public debt                                 11,355,748 22

Leaving a balance in the treasury
on the 1st of January, 1831, of              6,014,539 75

_Public Debt_.

                                             Dollars. Cts.
The payments made on account of the
Public Debt, during the first three
quarters of the year 1831, amounted to      9,883,479  46

It was estimated that the payments to
be made in the fourth quarter of the
same year, would amount to                  6,205,810  21
Making the whole amount of disbursments
on account of the Debt in 1831             16,089,289  67


1. _Funded Debt_.
                                             Dollars. Cts.
Three per cents, per act
of the 4th of August,
1790, redeemable at the
pleasure of government                      13,296,626 21

Five per cents, per act of
the 3rd of March, 1821,
redeemable after the 1st
January, 1823                                4,735,296 30

Five per cents, (exchanged),
per act of 20th of
April, 1823; one third
redeemable annually
after 31st of December,
1830, 1831 and 1832                            56,704  77

Four and half per cents.
per act of the 24th of
May, 1824, redeemable
after 1st of January,
1832                                        1,739,524  01

Four and half per cents.
(exchanged), per act of
the 26th of May, 1824;
one half redeemable
after the 31st day of
December, 1832                              4,454,727  95
                                           24,282,879  24

2. _Unfunded Debt_.

Registered Debt, being
claims registered prior
to the year 1793, for
services and supplies
during the revolutionary war                   27,919  85

Treasury notes                                  7,116  00

Mississippi stock                               4,320  09
                                               39,355  94

Making the whole amount of the Public
Debt of the United States                  24,322,235  18

Which is, allowing 480 cents to the
sovereign, in sterling money            £5,067,132 6_s_. 7_d_.

General Jackson has proposed another source of national revenue, in the
establishment of a bank; the profits of which, instead of going into the
pockets of stock-holders as at present, should be placed to the credit of
the nation. If an establishment of this nature could be formed, without
involving higher interests than the mere pecuniary concerns of the
country, no doubt it would be most desirable. But how a _government_ bank
could be so formed as that it should not throw immense and dangerous
influence into the hands of the executive, appears difficult to determine.
If it be at all connected with the government, the executive must exercise
an extensive authority over its affairs; and in that case, the mercantile
portion of the community would lie completely under the surveillance of
the president, who might at pleasure exercise this immense patronage to
forward private political designs. No doubt there have been abuses to a
considerable extent practised by the present bank of the United States in
the exercise of its functions; but how those abuses are likely to be
remedied by Jackson's plan, does not appear. For, let the directors be
appointed by government, or elected by congress, they must still exercise
discretional power; and they are quite as likely to exercise it
unwarrantably as those who have a direct interest in the prosperity of the
concern. I totally disapprove of the attempt to correct the abuses of one
monopoly by the establishment of another in its stead, of a still more
dangerous character; and I am inclined to think that if two banks were
chartered instead of one, each having ample capital to insure public
confidence, competition alone would furnish a sufficient motive to induce
them to act with justice and liberality towards the public.

In 1766, Kentucky was first explored, by John Finlay, an Indian trader,
Colonel Daniel Boon, and others. They again visited it in 1769, when the
whole party, excepting Boon, were slain by the Indians--he escaped, and
reached North Carolina, where he then resided. Accompanied by about forty
expert hunters, comprised in five families, in the year 1775, he set
forward to make a settlement in the country. They erected a fort on the
banks of the Kentucky river, and being joined by several other
adventurers, they finally succeeded. The Kentuckians tell of many a bloody
battle fought by these pioneers, and boast that their country has been
gained, every inch, by conquest.

The climate of Kentucky is favourable to the growth of hemp, flax,
tobacco, and all kinds of grain. The greater portion of the soil is rich
loam, black, or mixed with reddish earth, generally to the depth of five
or six feet, on a limestone bottom. The produce of corn is about sixty
bushels on an average per acre, and of wheat about thirty-five; cotton is
partially cultivated. The scenery is varied, and the country well

The Kentuckians all carry large pocket knives, which they never fail to
use in a scuffle; and you may see a gentleman seated at the tavern door,
balanced on two legs of a chair, picking his teeth with a knife, the blade
of which is full six inches long, or cutting the benches, posts, or any
thing else that may lie within his reach. Notwithstanding this, the
Kentuckians are by no means more quarrelsome than any other people of the
western states; and they are vastly less so than the people of Ireland.
But when they do commence hostilities, they fight with great bitterness,
as do most Americans, biting, gouging, and cutting unrelentingly.

I never went into a court-house in the west _in summer_, without observing
that the judges and lawyers had their feet invariably placed upon the
desks before them, and raised much higher than their heads. This, however,
is only in the western country; for in the courts at Orleans, New York,
and Philadelphia, the greatest order and regularity is observed. I had
been told that the judges often slept upon the bench; but I must confess,
that although I have entered court-houses at all seasons during the space
of fifteen months, I never saw an instance of it. I have frequently
remonstrated with the Americans, on the total absence of forms and
ceremonies in their courts of justice, and was commonly answered by "Yes,
that may be quite necessary in England, in order to overawe a parcel of
ignorant creatures, who have no share in making the laws; but with us, a
man's a man, whether he have a silk gown on him or not; and I guess he can
decide quite as well without a big wig as with one. You see, we have done
with wiggery of all kinds; and if one of our judges were to wear such an
appendage, he'd be taken for a merry-andrew, and the court would become a
kind of show-box--instead of such arrangements producing with us
solemnity, they would produce nothing but laughter, and the greatest
possible irregularity."

I was present at an election in the interior of the state. The office was
that of representative in the state legislature, and the candidates were a
hatter and a saddler; the former was also a militia major, and a Methodist
preacher, of the Percival and Gordon school, who eschewed the devil and
all the backsliding abominations of the flesh, as in duty bound. Sundry
"stump orations" were delivered on the occasion, for the enlightenment of
the electors; and towards the close of the proceedings, by way of an
appropriate finale, the aforesaid triune-citizen and another gentleman,
had a gouging scrape on the hustings. The major in this contest proved
himself to be a true Kentuckian; that is, half a horse, and half an
alligator; which contributed not a little to ensure his return. After the
election, I was conversing with one of the most violent opponents of the
successful candidate, and remarked to him, that I supposed he would rally
his forces at the next election to put out the major: he replied, "I can't
tell that!" I said, "why? will you not oppose him?" "Oh!" he says, "for
that matter, he may do his duty pretty well." "And do you mean to say,"
continued I, "that if he should do so, you will give him no opposition?"
He looked at me, as if he did not clearly comprehend, and said, "Why, I
guess not."

The boatmen of the Ohio and Mississippi are the most riotous and lawless
set of people in America, and the least inclined to submit to the
constituted authorities. At Cincinnati I saw one of those persons
arrested, on the wharf, for debt. He seemed little inclined to submit; as,
could he contrive to escape to the opposite shore, he was safe. He called
upon his companions in the flat-boat, who came instantly to his
assistance, and were apparently ready to rescue him from the clutches of
this trans-Atlantic bum-bailiff. The constable instantly pulled out--not a
pistol, but a small piece of paper, and said, "I take him in the name of
the States." The messmates of this unfortunate navigator looked at him for
some time, and then one of them said drily, "I guess you must go with the
constable." Subsequently, at New York, one evening returning to my hotel,
I heard a row in a tavern, and wishing to see the process of capturing
refractory citizens, I entered with some other persons. The constable was
there unsupported by any of his brethren, and it seemed to me to be
morally impossible that, without assistance, he could take half a dozen
fellows, who were with difficulty restrained from whipping each other.
However, his hand seemed to be as potent as the famous magic wand of
Armida, for on placing it on the shoulders of the combatants, they fell
into the ranks, and marched off with him as quietly as if they had been
sheep. The rationale of the matter is this: those men had all exercised
the franchise, if not in the election of these very constables, of
others, and they therefore not only considered it to be their duty to
support the constable's authority, but actually felt a strong inclination
to do so. Because they _knew_ that the authority he exercised was only
delegated to him by themselves, and that, in resisting him, they would
resist their own sovereignty. Even in large towns in the western country,
the constable has no men under his command, but always finds most powerful
allies in the citizens themselves, whenever a lawless scoundrel, or a
culprit is to be captured.

At Flemingsburg I saw an Albino, a female about fourteen years old. Her
parents were clear negros, of the Congo or Guinea race, and in every thing
but colour she perfectly resembled them. Her form, face, and hair,
possessed the true negro characteristics--curved shins, projecting jaw,
retreating forehead, and woolly head. The skin was rather whiter than that
of the generality of Europeans, but was deficient in glossiness, and
although perfectly smooth, had a dry appearance. The wool on the head was
of a light flaxen colour, and the iris of the eye was of a reddish-blue
tinge. Her eyes were so weak as to bear with difficulty the glare of day.
Most Albinos are dim sighted until twilight, when they appear to have as
perfect vision as persons with the strongest sight, and in many cases,
even more acute. This individual had evidently weak sight, as the eyelids
were generally half closed, and she always held her head down during day

Near the banks of the Ohio, full three hundred miles from the sea, I found
conglomerations of marine shells, mixed with siliceous earth; and in
nearly all the runs throughout Kentucky, limestone pebbles are found,
bearing the perfect impressions of the interior of shells. The most
abundant proofs are every where exhibited, that at one period the vast
savannahs and lofty mountains of the New world were submerged; and perhaps
the present bed of the ocean was once covered with verdure, and the seat
of the sorrows and joys of myriads of human beings, who erected cities,
and built pyramids, and monuments, which Time has long since swept away,
and wrapt in his eternal mantle of oblivion. That a constant, but almost
imperceptible change is hourly taking place in the earth's surface,
appears to be established; and independent of the extraordinary
_bouleversements_, which have at intervals convulsed our globe, this
gradual revolution has produced, and will produce again, a total
alteration in the face of nature.


[14] Amongst other plans to this effect, there is one proposed, by which
midshipmen on half-pay will be obliged to make at least two voyages
annually, in merchant ships, as mates, and all others must have done so,
in order to entitle them to be reinstated in their former rank. Another
is, that there shall be small vessels, rigged and fitted out in war
style, appropriated to the purpose of teaching pupils, practically, the
science of navigation, and the discipline necessary to be observed on
board vessels of war. The Americans may not eat their fish with silver
forks, nor lave their fingers in the most approved style; yet they are by
no means so contemptible a people as some of our small gentry affect to
think. They may too, occasionally, be put down in political argument, by
the dogmatical method of the quarter-deck; but I must confess that _I_
never was so fortunate as to come in contact with any who reasoned so
badly as the persons Captain Bazil Hall introduces in his book.


The wailings of the Cherokee, the Choctaw, and the Creek, may have been
wafted across the waters of the great salt lake, and the Pale-face in his
own land may have heard their lamentations;--but the distant voice is
scattered by the passing winds, and is heard like the whisper of a summer
breeze as it steals along the prairies of the west, or the cry of the
wish-ton-wish as it faintly reaches the ear of the navigator, when, in the
stilly night, he floats down "the old father of waters."

The present posture of Indian affairs, and the peculiar situation of the
Indian nations east of the Mississippi, have caused that unfortunate
people to be the topic of much political controversy and conversation; a
succinct account of the political condition of these tribes, and of the
policy which has been pursued, and which is being pursued towards them, by
the executive government, may not therefore be uninteresting.

When Georgia, by becoming a member of the Union, ceded part of her
sovereignty to the general executive, that government acknowledged her
claimed limits, and guaranteed to her the protection of the Union against
foreign and domestic violence. Subsequently, in the year of 1802, in
consideration of a certain portion of lands ceded, the United States
became bound to purchase for Georgia, any claim which the Cherokee nation
might have on lands within her boundaries, whenever such purchase could be
made on reasonable terms. On these positions are based the Georgian
claims, which the United States government has hitherto pleaded inability
to satisfy, inasmuch as all efforts to purchase the Indian lands have
proved fruitless.

After the lapse of twenty-seven years, Georgia, finding herself precisely
in the same condition in which she then stood, has determined on forcibly
taking possession of the Cherokee lands, and extending her sovereignty
over the Cherokee people. But as this cannot be effected without doing
manifest violence to the Indian rights, she brings forward arguments to
show, that _she_ never acknowledged the independence of the Cherokee
nation; that that nation, from the time of the first settlement made by
Europeans in America, stood in the position of a conquered people; that
the sovereignty consequently dwelt in the hands of Great Britain; and
that, on the Declaration of independence, Georgia, by becoming a free
state, became invested with all the powers of sovereignty claimed or
exercised by Great Britain over the Georgian territory: and further, that
in November, 1785, when the first and only treaty was concluded with the
Cherokees by the United States, during the articles of confederation, both
she and North Carolina entered their solemn protests against this alleged
violation of their legislative rights. The executive government pretends
not to argue the case with Georgia, and is left no alternative but either
to annul its _conditional_ treaty with that state, or to cancel _thirteen
distinct treaties_ entered into with the Indians, despoil them of their
lands, and rob them of their independence. Jackson's message says, "It is
too late to inquire whether it was just in the United States to include
them and their territory within bounds of new states, whose limits they
could control. That step cannot be retracted. A state cannot be
dismembered by Congress, or restrained in the exercise of her
constitutional powers." Here the executive government acknowledges that it
made promises to Georgia, which it has been unable to perform--that it
guaranteed to that state the possession of lands over which it had no
legitimate control, on the mere assumption of being able to make their

The Cherokees in their petition and memorials to Congress show, that Great
Britain never exercised any sovereignty over them;--that in peace and in
war she always treated them as a free people, and never assumed to herself
the right of interfering with their internal government:--that in every
treaty made with them by the United States, their sovereignty and total
independence are clearly acknowledged, and that they have ever been
considered as a distinct nation, exercising all the privileges and
immunities enjoyed by any independent people. They say, "In addition to
that first of all rights, the right of inheritance and peaceable
possession, we have the faith and pledge of the United States, over and
over again, in treaties made at various times. By these treaties our
rights as a separate people are distinctly acknowledged, and guarantees
given that they shall be secured and protected. So we have also
understood the treaties. The conduct of the government towards us, from
its organization until very lately--the talks given to our beloved men by
the Presidents of the United States--and the speeches of the agents and
commissioners--all concur to show that we are not mistaken in our
interpretation. Some of our beloved men who signed the treaties are still
living, and their testimony tends to the same conclusion." * * * * "In
what light shall we view the conduct of the United States and Georgia in
their intercourse with us, in urging us to enter into treaties and cede
lands? If we were but tenants at will, why was it necessary that our
consent must first be obtained before these governments could take lawful
possession of our lands? The answer is obvious. These governments
perfectly understand our rights--our right to the country, and our right
to self-government. Our understanding of the treaties is further supported
by the intercourse law of the United States, which prohibits all
encroachment on our territory."

The arguments used by the Cherokees are unanswerable; but in what will
that avail them, when injustice is intended by a superior power, which,
regardless of national faith, has determined on taking possession of their
lands? The case stands thus: the executive government enters into an
agreement with Georgia, and engages to deliver over to the state the
Indian possessions within her claimed limits--without the Indians _having
any knowledge of, or participation in the transaction._ Now what, may I
ask, have the Indians to do with this? Ought they to be made answerable
for the gross misconduct of the two governments, and to be despoiled,
contrary to every principle of justice, and in defiance of the most plain
and fundamental law of property? It puts one in mind of the judgment of
the renowned "Walter the Doubter," who decided between two citizens, that,
as their account books appeared to be of equal _weight_, therefore their
accounts were balanced, and that _the constable_ should pay the costs. The
United States government has made several offers to the Cherokees for
their lands; which they have as constantly refused, and said, "that they
were very well contented where they were--that they did not wish to leave
the bones of their ancestors, and go beyond the Mississippi; but that, if
the country be so beautiful as their white brother represents it, they
would recommend their white brother to go there himself."

Georgia presses upon the executive; which, in this dilemma, comes forward
with affected sympathy--deplores the unfortunate situation in which it is
placed, but of course concludes that faith must be kept with Georgia, and
that the Cherokee must either go, or submit to laws that make it far
better for him to go than stay. It is true Jackson says in his message,
"This emigration should be voluntary; for it would be cruel as unjust to
compel the Aborigines to abandon the graves of their fathers, and seek a
home in a distant land." But General Jackson well knows that the laws of
Georgia leave the Indian no choice--as no community of men, civilized or
savage, could possibly exist under such laws. The benefit and protection
of the laws, to which the Indian is made subject, are entirely withheld
from him--he can be no party to a suit--he may be robbed and murdered with
impunity--his property may be taken, and he may be driven from his
dwelling--in fine, he is left liable to every species of insult, outrage,
cruelty, and dishonesty, without the most distant hope of obtaining
redress; for in Georgia _an Indian cannot be a witness to prove facts
against a white man._ Yet General Jackson says, "this emigration should be
_voluntary_;" and in the very same paragraph, with a single sweep of the
pen, he annihilates all the treaties that have been made with that
people--tramples under foot the laws of nations, and deprives the Indian
of his hunting-grounds, one of his sources of subsistence. He says,--"But
it seems to me visionary to suppose that, in this state of things, claims
can be allowed on tracts of country on which they have neither dwelt nor
made improvements, merely because they have seen them from the mountain,
or passed them in the chase." It certainly may be unphilosophical to
permit any man to possess more ground than he can till with his own hands;
yet surely arguments that we do not admit as regards ourselves, we can
with no sense of propriety use towards others, particularly when our own
acts are directly in the very teeth of this principle. There is more land
at present within the limits and in the possession of the United States
than would be sufficient to support thirty times the present
population--yet to this must be added the hunting-grounds of the Indians,
merely because "it is _visionary to suppose_ they have any claim on what
they do not _actually occupy!"_

I have now before me the particulars of thirteen treaties[15] made by the
United States with the Cherokee nation, from the year 1785 down to 1819
inclusive; in all of which the rights of the Indians are clearly
acknowledged, either directly, or by implication; and by the seventh
article of the treaty of Holston, executed in 1791, being the first
concluded with that people by the United States, under their present
constitution, all the lands not thereby ceded are solemnly guaranteed to
the Cherokee nation. The subsequent treaties are made with reference to,
and in confirmation of this, and continually reiterate the guarantees
therein tendered.

To talk of justice, and honour, would be idle and visionary, for these
seem to have been thrown overboard at the very commencement of the
contest; but I would ask the American _people_, is their conduct towards
the Indians politic?--is it politic in America, in the face of civilized
nations, to violate treaties? is it politic in her, to hold herself up to
the world as faithless and unjust--as a nation, which, in defiance of all
moral obligation, will break her most sacred contracts, whenever it
becomes no longer her interest to keep them, and she finds herself in a
condition to do so with impunity? is she not furnishing foreign statesmen
with a ready and powerful argument in defence of their violating treaties
with her? can they not with justice say--America has manifested in her
proceedings towards the Cherokee nation, that she is faithless--that she
keeps no treaties longer than it may be her _interest_ to do so--and are
_we_ to make ourselves the dupes of such a power, and wait until she finds
herself in a condition to deceive us? I could produce many arguments to
illustrate the impolicy of this conduct; but as I intend confining myself
to a mere sketch, I shall dwell but as short a time as may be consistent
on the several facts connected with the case.

That the Aborigines have been cruelly treated, cannot be doubted. The very
words of the Message admit this; and the tone of feeling and conciliation
which follows that admission, coupled as it is with the intended injustice
expressed in other paragraphs, can be viewed in no other light than as a
piece of political mockery. The Message says, "their present condition,
contrasted with what they once were, makes a most powerful appeal to our
sympathies. Our ancestors found them the uncontrolled possessors of these
vast regions. By persuasion and force, they have been made to retire from
river to river, and from mountain to mountain, until some of the tribes
have become extinct, and others have left but remnants, to preserve for a
while their once terrible names." Now the plan laid down by the president,
in order to prevent, if possible, the total decay of the Indian people,
is, to send them beyond the Mississippi, and _guarantee_ to them the
possession of ample territory west of that river. How far this is likely
to answer the purpose _expressed_, let us now examine.

The Cherokees, by their intercourse with and proximity to the white
people, have become half civilized; and how is it likely that _their_
condition will be improved by driving them into the forests and barren
prairies? That territory is at present the haunt of the Pawnees, the
Osages, and other warlike nations, who live almost entirely by the chase,
and are constantly waging war even with each other. As soon as the
Cherokees, and other half-civilized Indians, appear, they will be regarded
as common intruders, and be subject to the united attacks of these people.
There are even old feuds existing among themselves, which, it is but too
probable, may be renewed. Trappers and hunters, in large parties, yearly
make incursions into the country beyond the boundaries of the United
States, and in defiance of the Indians kill the beaver and the
buffalo--the latter merely for the _tongue and skin_, leaving the carcase
to rot upon the ground.[16] Thus is this unfortunate race robbed of their
means of subsistence. Moreover, what guarantee can the Indians have, that
the United States will keep faith for the future, when it is admitted that
they have not done so in times past? How can they be sure that they may
not further be driven from river to river, and from mountain to mountain,
until they reach the shores of the Pacific; and who can tell but that then
it may be found expedient to drive them into the ocean?

The policy of the United States government is evidently to get the Indians
to exterminate each other. Its whole proceedings from the time this
question was first agitated to the present, but too clearly indicate this
intention; and if we wanted proof, that the executive government of the
United States _would act_ on so barbarous and inhuman a policy, we need
only refer to the allocation of the Cherokees, who exchanged lands in
Tennessee for lands west of the Mississippi, pursuant to the treaty of
1819. It was well known that a deadly enmity existed between the Osages
and Cherokees, and that any proximity of the two people, would inevitably
lead to fatal results; yet, with this knowledge, the executive government
placed those Cherokees in the country lying between the Arkansaw and Red
rivers, _immediately joining the territory of the Osages._ It is
unnecessary to state that the result was _as anticipated_--they daily
committed outrages upon the persons and properties of each other, and the
death of many warriors, on both sides, ensued.

The sympathy expressed in that part of the Message relating to the
Indians, if expressed with sincerity, would do much honour to the feelings
that dictated it; but when we come to examine the facts, and investigate
the implied allegations, we shall find that they are most gratuitous; and,
consequently, that the regret of the president at the probable fate of the
Indian, should he remain east of the Mississippi, is grossly hypocritical.
He says, "surrounded by the whites, with their arts of civilization,
which, by destroying the resources of the savage, doom him to weakness and
decay:[17] the fate of the Mohegan, the Narragansett, and the Delaware, is
fast overtaking the Choctaw, the Cherokee, and the Creek. That this fate
surely awaits them, if they remain within the limits of the States, does
not admit of a doubt. Humanity and national honour demand that every
effort should be made to avert so great a calamity." From what facts the
president has drawn these conclusions does not appear. Neither the
statements of the Cherokees, nor of the Indian agents, nor the report of
the secretary of war, furnish any such information; on the contrary, with
the exception of one or two agents _at Washington_, all give the most
flattering accounts of advancement in civilization. The Rev. Samuel A.
Worcester, in his letter to the Rev. E.S. Ely, editor of the
"Philadelphian," completely refutes all the unfavourable statements that
have been got up to cover the base conduct of Jackson and the slavites.
This gentleman has resided for the last four years among the Cherokees,
and has surely had abundant means of observing their condition.

The letter of David Brown (a Cherokee), addressed, September 2, 1825, to
the editor of "The Family Visitor," at Richmond, Virginia, states, that
"the Cherokee plains are covered with herds of cattle--sheep, goats, and
swine, cover the valleys and hills--the plains and valleys are rich, and
produce Indian corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, oats, indigo, sweet and Irish
potatoes, &c. The natives carry on a considerable trade with the adjoining
states, and some of them export cotton in boats down the Tennessee to the
Mississippi, and down that river to New Orleans. Orchards are
common--cheese, butter, &c. plenty--houses of entertainment are kept by
natives. Cotton and woollen cloths are manufactured in the nation, and
almost every family grows cotton for its own consumption. Agricultural
pursuits engage the chief attention of the nation--different branches of
mechanics are pursued. Schools are increasing every year, and education is
encouraged and rewarded." To quote David Brown verbatim, on the
population,--"In the year 1819, an estimate was made of the Cherokees.
Those on the west were estimated at 5,000, and those on the east of the
Mississippi, at 10,000 souls. The census of this division of the Cherokees
has again been taken within the current year (1825), and the returns are
thus made: native citizens, 13,563; white men married in the nation, 147;
white women ditto, 73; African slaves, 1177. If this summary of the
Cherokee population, from the census, is correct, to say nothing of those
of foreign extract, we find that in six years the increase has been 3,563
souls. National pride, patriotism, and a spirit of independence, mark the
Cherokee character." He further states, "the system of government is
founded on republican principles, and secures the respect of the people."
An alphabet has been invented by an Indian, named George Guess, the
Cherokee Cadmus, and a printing press has been established at New Echota,
the seat of government, where there is published weekly a paper entitled,
"The Cherokee Phoenix,"--one half being in the English language, and the
other in that of the Cherokee.

The report of the secretary of war, upon the present condition of the
Indians, states of the Chickesaws and Choctaws, all that has been above
said of the Cherokees. But of the last-mentioned people, the secretary's
accounts appear to be studiously defective. Yet the fact is notorious,
that both the Chickesaws and Choctaws are far behind the Cherokees in

With these facts before our eyes, what are we to think of the grief of the
president, at the decay and increasing weakness of the Cherokees? Can it
be regarded in any way but as a piece of shameless hypocrisy, too glaring
in its character to escape the notice even of the most inobservant
individual. It has been said that the question involves many
difficulties--to me there appears none. The United States, in the year
1791, guarantee to the Indians the possession of all their lands not then
ceded--and confirm this by numerous subsequent treaties. In 1802, they
promise to Georgia, the possession of the Cherokee lands "_whenever such
purchase could be made on reasonable terms_" This is the simple state of
the case; and if the executive were inclined to act uprightly, the line of
conduct to be pursued could be determined on without much difficulty.
Georgia has no right to press upon the executive the fulfilment of
engagements which were made conditionally, and consequently with an
implied reservation; and the United States should not violate _many
positive treaties_, in order to fulfil _a conditional one_.[18]

I shall now advert to some of the charges touching the character of the
Indians. It is said, that they are debauched and insincere. This charge
has been particularly made against the Creeks, and I believe is not
altogether unfounded. Yet, if this be now the character of the once
warlike and noble Creek, let the white man ask himself who has made him
so? Who makes the "firewater," and who supplies the untutored savage with
the means of intoxication? The white-man, when he wishes to trade
profitably with the Indian, fills the cup, and holds it forth--he says,
'drink, my brother, it is good'--the red-man drinks, and the wily white
points at his condition, says he is uncivilized, and should go forth from
the land, for his presence is contamination!

As to the charge of hypocrisy--this too has been taught or forced upon the
Indians by the conduct of the whites. Missionaries have been constantly
going among them, teaching dogmas and doctrines, far beyond the
comprehension of some learned white-men, and to the savage totally
unintelligible. These gentlemen have told long stories; and when posed by
some quaint saying, or answered by some piece of traditional information,
handed down from generation to generation, by the fathers and mothers of
the tribe, have found it necessary to purchase the acquiescence of a few
Indians by bribes, in order that their labours might not seem to have been
altogether unsuccessful. This conduct of the Missionaries was soon
_understood_ by the Indians, and the temptation held out was too great to
be resisted. Blankets and gowns converted, when inspiration and gospel
truths had failed.

Mr. Houston of Tennessee, after having attained the honour of being
governor of his state, and having enjoyed all the consideration
necessarily attached to that office, at length became tired of civilized
life, and retired among the Creeks to end his days. He has resided long
among them, and knows their character well; yet, in one of his statements
made to the Indian board at New York, he says, that the attempts to
Christianize the Indians in their present state, he was of opinion, much
as he honoured the zeal that had prompted them, were fruitless, _or
worse._ The supposed conversions had produced no change of habits. So
degraded had become the character of this once independent people, that
professions of religious belief had been made, and the ordinances of
religion submitted to, "when an Indian wanted a new blanket, or a squaw a
new gown."[19] Thus, according to governor Houston, the only fruits
produced by the boasted labours of the missionaries, have been
dissimulation and deceit; and demoralization has been the result of
teaching _doctrinal_ Christianity to the children of the forest. Yet we
must, in candour, acknowledge that Mr. Houston is not singular in that
opinion, since we find, so far back as the year 1755, Cadwallader Calden
express himself much to the same effect. "The Five Nations," he says, "are
a poor and generally called barbarous people, bred under the darkest
ignorance; and yet a bright and noble genius shines through these black
clouds. None of the greatest Roman heroes have discovered a greater love
of country, or contempt of death, than these people, called barbarous,
have shown when liberty came in competition. Indeed I think our Indians
have outdone the Romans in this particular. Some of the greatest of those
Roman heroes have murdered themselves to avoid shame or torments; but our
Indians have refused to die meanly or with little pain, when they thought
their country's honour would be at stake by it; but have given their
bodies willingly to the most cruel torments of their enemies, to show, as
they said, that 'the Five Nations' consisted of men whose courage and
resolution could not be shaken. But what, alas! have we Christians done to
make them better? We have, indeed, reason to be ashamed that these
infidels, by our conversation and neighbourhood, are become worse than
they were before they knew us. Instead of virtue, we have only taught them
vice, that they were entirely free from before that time."[20] The Rev.
Timothy Flint, who was himself a missionary, in his "Ten Years' Residence
in the Valley of the Mississippi," observes, page 144,--"I have surely
had it in my heart to impress them with the importance of the subject
(religion). I have scarcely noticed an instance in which the subject was
not received either with indifference, rudeness, or jesting. Of all races
of men that I have seen, they seem most incapable of religious
impressions. They have, indeed, some notions of an invisible agent, but
they seemed generally to think that the Indians had their god as the
whites had theirs." And again, "nothing will eventually be gained to the
great cause by colouring and mis-statement," alluding to the practice of
the missionaries; "and however reluctant we may be to receive it, the real
state of things will eventually be known to us. We have heard of the
imperishable labours of an Elliott and a Brainard, in other days. But in
these times it is a melancholy truth, that Protestant exertions to
Christianize them have not been marked with apparent success. The
Catholics have caused many to hang a crucifix around their necks, which
they show as they show their medals and other ornaments, and this is too
often all they have to mark them as Christians. We have read the
narratives of the Catholics, which detailed the most glowing and animating
views of success. I have had accounts, however, from travellers in these
regions, that have been over the Stony mountains into the great missionary
settlements of St. Peter and St. Paul. These travellers (and some of them
were professed Catholics) unite in affirming that the converts will escape
from the missions whenever it is in their power, fly into their native
deserts, and resume at once their old mode of life."

That the vast sums expended on missions should have produced so little
effect, we may consider lamentable, but it is lamentably true; for in
addition to the mass of evidence we have to that effect, from
disinterested white men, we have also the speeches and communications of
the Indians themselves. The celebrated Seneca chief, Saguyuwhaha (keeper
awake), better known in the United States by the name of Red-jacket, in a
letter communicated to Governor De Witt Clinton, at a treaty held at
Albany, says, "Our great father, the President, has recommended to our
young men to be industrious, to plough and to sow. This we have done; and
we are thankful for the advice, and for the means he has afforded us of
carrying it into effect. We are happier in consequence of it; _but another
thing recommended to us, has created great confusion among us, and is
making us a quarrelsome and divided people; and that is, the introduction
of preachers into our nation_. These black-coats contrive to get the
consent of some of the Indians to preach among us; and whenever this is
the case, confusion and disorder are sure to follow, and the encroachment
of the whites on our lands is the inevitable consequence.

"The governor must not think hard of me for speaking thus of the
preachers: I have observed their progress, and whenever I look back to
see what has taken place of old, I perceive that whenever they came among
the Indians, they were the forerunners of their dispersion; that they
always excited enmities and quarrels amongst them; that they introduced
the white people on their lands, by whom they were robbed and plundered of
their property; and that the Indians were sure to dwindle and decrease,
and be driven back, in proportion to the number of preachers that came
among them.

"Each nation has its own customs and its own religion. The Indians have
theirs, given them by the Great Spirit, under which they were happy. It
was not intended that they should embrace the religion of the whites, and
be destroyed by the attempt to make them think differently on that subject
from their fathers.

"It is true, these preachers have got the consent of some of the chiefs to
stay and preach amongst us; but I and my friends know this to be wrong,
and that they ought to be removed; besides, we have been threatened by Mr.
Hyde--who came among us as a schoolmaster and a teacher of our children,
but has now become a black-coat, and refuses to teach them any more--that
unless we listen to his preaching and become Christians, we shall be
turned off our lands. We wish to know from the governor, if this is to be
so? and if he has no right to say so, we think _he_ ought to be turned off
our lands, and not allowed to plague us any more. We shall never be at
peace while he is among us.

"We are afraid too, that these preachers, by and by, will become poor,
_and force us to pay them for living among us, and disturbing us._

"Some of our chiefs have got lazy, and instead of cultivating their lands
themselves, employ white people to do so. There are now eleven families
living on our reservation at Buffalo; this is wrong, and ought not to be
permitted. The great source of all our grievances is, that the whites are
among us. Let _them_ be removed, and we will be happy and contented among
ourselves. We now cry to the governor for help, and hope that he will
attend to our complaints, and speedily give us redress."[21]

This melancholy hostility to the missionaries is not confined to a
particular tribe or nation of Indians, for all those people, in every
situation, from the base of the Alleghanies to the foot of the Rocky
mountains, declare the same sentiments on this subject; and although
policy or courtesy may induce some chiefs to express themselves less
strongly than Red-jacket has expressed himself, we have but too many
proofs that their feelings are not more moderate. On the fourth of
February, 1822, the president of the United States, in council, received a
deputation of Indians, from the principal nations west of the
Mississippi, who came under the protection of Major O'Fallon, when each
chief delivered a speech on the occasion. I shall here insert an extract
from that of the "Wandering Pawnee" chief, more as a specimen of Indian
wisdom and eloquence than as bearing particularly on the subject. Speaking
of the Great Spirit, he said, "We worship him not as you do. We differ
from you in appearance, and manners, as well as in our customs; and we
differ from you in our religion. We have no large houses, as you have, to
worship the Great Spirit in: if we had them to-day, we should want others
to-morrow; for we have not like you a fixed habitation--we have no settled
home except our villages, where we remain but two months in twelve. We,
like animals, rove through the country; whilst you whites reside between
us and heaven. But still, my great Father, we love the Great Spirit--we
acknowledge his supreme power--our peace, our health, and our happiness
depend upon him, and our lives belong to him--he made us, and he can
destroy us.

"My great Father,--some of your good chiefs, as they are called
(missionaries), have proposed to send some of their good people among us
to change our habits, to make us work for them, and live like the white
people. I will not tell a lie--I am going to tell the truth. You love your
country--you love your people--you love the manner in which they live, and
you think your people brave. I am like you, my great Father; I love my
country--I love my people--I love the manner in which we live, and think
myself and warriors brave.[22] Spare me then, my Father; let me enjoy my
country, and pursue the buffalo and the beaver, and the other wild animals
of our country, and I will trade their skins with your people. I have
grown up and lived thus long without work--I am in hopes you will suffer
me to die without it. We have plenty of buffalo, beaver, deer, and other
wild animals--we have also an abundance of horses--we have every thing we
want--we have plenty of land, _if you will keep your people off it_. My
Father has a piece on which he lives (Council bluffs), and we wish him to
enjoy it--we have enough without it--but we wish him to live near us, to
give us good council--to keep our ears and eyes open, that we may continue
to pursue the right road--the road to happiness. He settles all
differences between us and the whites, between the red-skins
themselves--he makes the whites do justice to the red-skins, and he makes
the red-skins do justice to the whites. He saves the effusion of human
blood, and restores peace and happiness in the land. You have already sent
us a father (Major O'Fallon); it is enough--he knows us, and we know
him--we keep our eye constantly upon him, and since we have heard _your_
words, we will listen more attentively to _his_.

"It is too soon, my great Father, to send those good chiefs amongst us.
_We are not starving yet_--we wish you to permit us to enjoy the chase
until the game of our country is exhausted--until the wild animals become
extinct. Let us exhaust our present resources before you make us toil and
interrupt our happiness. Let me continue to live as I have done; and after
I have passed to the good or evil spirit, from off the wilderness of my
present life, the subsistence of my children may become so precarious as
to need and embrace the assistance of those good people.

"There was a time when we did not know the whites--our wants were then
fewer than they are now. They were always within our control--we had then
seen nothing which we could not get. Before our intercourse with the
whites (who have caused such a destruction in our game) we could lie down
to sleep, and when we awoke we would find the buffalo feeding around our
camp--but now we are killing them for their skins, and feeding the wolves
with their flesh, to make our children cry over their bones.

"Here, my great Father, is a pipe which I present to you, as I am
accustomed to present pipes to all the Red-skins in peace with us. It is
filled with such tobacco as we were accustomed to smoke before we knew
the white people. It is pleasant, and the spontaneous growth of the most
remote parts of our country. I know that the robes, leggings, and
moccasins, and bear-claws are of little value to _you_; but we wish you to
have them deposited and preserved in some conspicuous part of your lodge,
so that when we are gone and the sod turned over our bones, if our
children should visit this place, as we do now, they may see and recognize
with pleasure the depositories of their fathers; and reflect on the times
that are past."

I shall now take leave of the Indians and their political condition, by
observing that the proceedings of the American government, throughout,
towards this brave but unfortunate race, have only been exceeded in
atrocity by the past and present conduct of the East India government
towards the pusillanimous but unoffending Hindoos.

    _Note_.--This chapter I wrote during my stay in Kentucky, and the
    first part of it, in substance, was inserted in the "Kentucky
    Intelligencer," at the request of the talented editor and
    proprietor, John Mullay, Esq.


[15] In November, 1785, during the articles of confederation, a treaty is
concluded with the Cherokees, which establishes a boundary, and allots to
the Indians a great extent of country, now within the limits of North
Carolina and Georgia.

In 1791, the treaty of Holston is concluded; by which a new boundary is
agreed upon. This was the first treaty made by the United States under
their present constitution; and by the seventh article, a solemn
guarantee is given for all the lands not then ceded.

On the 7th of February, 1792, by an additional article to the last
treaty, 500 dollars are added to the stipulated annuity.

In June, 1794, another treaty is entered into, in which the provisions of
the treaty of 1791 are revived, an addition is made to the annuity, and
provision made for marking the boundary line.

In October, 1798, a treaty is concluded which revives former treaties,
and curtails the boundary of Indian lands by a cession to the United
States, for an additional compensation.

In October, 1804, a treaty is concluded, by which, for a consideration
specified, more land is ceded.

In October, 1805, two treaties are made, by which an additional quantity
of land is ceded.

On 7th January, 1806, by another treaty, more land is ceded to the United

In September, 1807, the boundary line intended in the last treaty, is
satisfactorily ascertained.

On 22d March, 1816, a treaty is concluded, by which lands in South
Carolina are ceded, for which the United States engage South Carolina
shall pay. On the same day another treaty is made, by which the Indians
agree to allow the use of the water-courses in their country, and also to
permit roads to be made through the same.

On the 14th of September, 1816, a treaty is made, by which an additional
quantity of land is ceded to the United States.

On the 8th of July, 1817, a treaty is concluded, by which an exchange of
lands is agreed on, and a plan for dividing the Cherokees settled.

On the 27th of February, 1819, another treaty is concluded, in execution
of the stipulations contained in that of 1817, in several particulars,
and in which an additional tract of country is ceded to the United

[16] "The white hunter, on encamping in his journeys, cuts down green
trees, and builds a large fire of long logs, sitting at some distance
from it. The Indian hunts up a few dry limbs, cracks them into little
pieces a foot in length, builds a small fire, and sits close to it. He
gets as much warmth as the white hunter without half the labour, and does
not burn more than a fiftieth part of the wood. The Indian considers the
forest his own, and is careful in using and preserving every thing which
it affords. He never kills more than he has occasion for. The white
hunter destroys all before him, and cannot resist the opportunity of
killing game, although he neither wants the meat nor can carry the skins.
I was particularly struck with this wanton practice, which lately
occurred on White river. A hunter returning from the woods, heavily laden
with the flesh and skins of five bears, unexpectedly arrived in the midst
of a drove of buffalos, and wantonly shot down three, having no other
object than the sport of killing them. This is one of the causes
of the enmity existing between the white and red hunters of
Missouri".--_Schoolcroft's Tour in Missouri_, page 52.

[17] Does the General include among the arts of civilization, that of
systematically robbing the Indians of their farms and hunting grounds? If
so, no doubt _these arts of civilization_, must inevitably "destroy the
resources of the savage," and "doom him to weakness and decay."

[18] The Indians apply the term "Christian honesty," precisely in the
same sense that the Romans applied "_Punica fides_."

[19] There is an old Indian at present in the Missouri territory, to whom
his tribe has given the cognomen of "much-water," from the circumstance
of his having been baptized so frequently.

[20] Heriot says (page 320), "They have evinced a decided attachment to
their ancient habits, and have _gained_ less from the means that might
have smoothed the asperities of their condition, than they have _lost_ by
copying the vices of those, who exhibited to their view the arts of

[21] This letter was dictated by Red-jacket, and interpreted by Henry
Obeal, in the presence of ten chiefs, whose names are affixed, at
Canandaigua, January 18, 1821.

[22] "The attachment which savages entertain for their mode of life
supersedes every allurement, however powerful, to change it. Many
Frenchmen have lived with them, and have imbibed such an invincible
partiality for that independent and erratic condition, that no means
could prevail on them to abandon it. On the contrary, no single instance
has yet occurred of a savage being able to reconcile himself to a state
of civilization. Infants have been taken from among the natives, and
educated with much care in France, where they could not possibly have
intercourse with their countrymen and relations. Although they had
remained several years in that country, and could not form the smallest
idea of the wilds of America, the force of blood predominated over that
of education: no sooner did they find themselves at liberty than they
tore their clothes in pieces, and went to traverse the forests in search
of their countrymen, whose mode of life appeared to them far more
agreeable than that which they had led among the French."--_-Heriot_, p.

This passage of Heriot's is taken nearly verbatim from Charlevoix, v. 2,
p. 109.


I left Kentucky, and passed up the river to Wheeling, in Virginia. There
is little worthy of observation encountered in a passage up this part of
the Ohio, except the peculiar character of the stream, which has been
before alluded to. At Marietta, at the mouth of the Muskingum,
ship-building is carried on; and vessels have been constructed at
Pittsburg, full 2000 miles from the gulf of Mexico. About seventy miles up
the Kenhawa river, in Virginia, are situated the celebrated salt springs,
the most productive of any in the Union. They are at present in the
possession of a chartered company, which limits the manufacture to
800,000 bushels annually, but it is estimated that the fifty-seven wells
are capable of yielding 50,000 bushels each, per annum, which would make
an aggregate of 2,850,000 bushels. Many of these springs issue out of
rocks, and the water is so strongly impregnated with salt, that from 90 to
130 gallons yield a bushel. The whole western country bordering the Ohio
and its tributaries, is supplied with salt from these works.

Wheeling, although not large, enjoys a considerable share of commercial
intercourse, being an entrepôt for eastern merchandize, which is
transported from the Atlantic cities across the mountains to this town and
Pittsburg, and from thence by water to the different towns along the

The process of "hauling" merchandize from Baltimore and Philadelphia to
the banks of the Ohio, and _vice versâ_, is rather tedious, the roads
lying across steep and rugged mountains. Large covered waggons, light and
strong, drawn by five or six horses, two and two, are employed for this
purpose. The waggoner always rides the near shaft horse, and guides the
team by means of reins, a whip, and his voice. The time generally consumed
in one of these journeys is from twenty to twenty-five days.

All the mountains or hills on the upper part of the Ohio, from Wheeling to
Pittsburg, contain immense beds of coal; this added to the mineral
productions, particularly that of iron ore, which abound in this section
of country, offers advantages for manufacturing, which are of considerable
importance, and are fully appreciated. Pittsburg is called the Birmingham
of America. Some of those coal beds are well circumstanced, the coal being
found immediately under the super-stratum, and the galleries frequently
running out on the high road. Notwithstanding the local advantages, and
the protection and encouragement at present afforded by the tariff,
England need never fear any extensive competition with her manufactures
in foreign markets from America, as the high spirit of the people of that
country will always prevent them from pursuing, extensively, the sordid
occupations of the loom or the workshop.

The upper parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania are in a high state of
improvement; the land is hilly, and the face of the country picturesque.
The farms are well cultivated, and there is a large portion of pasture
land in this and the adjoining states. I encountered several large droves
of horses and black cattle on their way to the neighbourhood of
Philadelphia and to the state of New York. The black cattle are purchased
principally in Ohio, whence they are brought into the Atlantic states, to
be fattened and consumed. The farmers and their families in Pennsylvania,
have an appearance of comfort and respectability a good deal resembling
that of the substantial English yeoman; yet farming here, as in all parts
of the country, is a laborious occupation.

I crossed the Monongahela at Williamsport, and the Youghaghany at
Robstown, and so on through Mountpleasant to the first ridge of mountains,
called "the chestnut ridge." I determined on crossing the mountains on
foot; and after having made arrangements to that effect, I commenced
sauntering along the road. Near Mountpleasant, I stopped to dine at the
house of a Dutchman by descent. After dinner, the party adjourned, as is
customary, to the bar-room, when divers political and polemical topics
were canvassed with the usual national warmth. An account of his late
Majesty's death was inserted in a Philadelphia paper, and happened to be
noticed by one of the politicians present, when the landlord asked me how
we elected our king in England. I replied that he was not elected, but
that he became king by birthright, &c. A Kentuckian observed, placing his
leg on the back of the next chair, "That's a kind of unnatural." An
Indianian said, "I don't believe in that system myself." A third--"Do you
mean to tell me, that because the last king was a smart man and knew his
duty, that his son, or his brother, should be a smart man, and fit for the
situation?" I explained that we had a premier, ministers, &c.;--when the
last gentleman replied, "Then you pay half-a-dozen men to do one man's
business. Yes--yes--that may do for Englishmen very well; but, I guess, it
would not go down here--no, no, Americans are a little more enlightened
than to stand that kind of wiggery." During this conversation, a person
had stepped into the room, and had taken his seat in silence. I was about
to reply to the last observations of my antagonist, when this gentleman
opened out, with, "yes! that may do for Englishmen very well"--he was an
Englishman, I knew at once by his accent, and I verily believe the
identical radical who set the village of Bracebridge by the ears, and
pitched the villagers to the devil, on seeing them grin through a
horse-collar, when they should have been calculating the interest of the
national debt, or conning over the list of sinecure placemen. He held in
his hand, instead of "Cobbett's Register," the "Greenville
Republican."--He had substituted for his short-sleeved coat, "a
round-about."--He seemed to have put on flesh, and looked somewhat more
contented. "Yes, yes," he says, "that may do for Englishmen very well, but
it won't do here. Here we make our own laws, and we keep them too. It may
do for Englishmen very well, to have _the liberty_ of paying taxes for the
support of the nobility. To have _the liberty_ of being incarcerated in a
gaol, for shooting the wild animals of the country. To have _the liberty_
of being seized by a press-gang, torn away from their wives and families,
and flogged at the discretion of my lord Tom, Dick, or Harry's bastard."
At this, the Kentuckian gnashed his teeth, and instinctively grasped his
hunting-knife;--an old Indian doctor, who was squatting in one corner of
the room, said, slowly and emphatically, as his eyes glared, his nostrils
dilated, and his lip curled with contempt--"The Englishman is a
dog"--while a Georgian slave, who stood behind his master's chair, grinned
and chuckled with delight, as he said--"_poor_ Englishman, him meaner man
den black nigger."--"To have," continued the Englishman, "_the liberty_ of
being transported for seven years for being caught learning the use of the
sword or the musket. To have the tenth lamb, and the tenth sheaf seized,
or the blanket torn from off his bed, to pay a bloated, a plethoric bishop
or parson,--to be kicked and cuffed about by a parcel of 'Bourbon
_gendarmerie_'--Liberty!--why hell sweat"--here I--slipped out at the side
door into the water-melon patch. As I receded, I heard the whole party
burst out into an obstreperous fit of laughter.--A few broken sentences,
from the Kentuckian and the radical, reached my ear, such as "backed
out"--"damned aristocratic." I returned in about half an hour to pay my
bill, when I could observe one or two of those doughty politicians who
remained, leering at me most significantly. However, I--"smiled, and said

"The Chestnut ridge" is a chain of rocky, barren mountains, covered with
wood, and the ascent is steep and difficult. It is named from the quantity
of chestnut trees that compose the bulk of its timber. Being a little
fatigued in ascending, I sat down in a wood of scrub oak. When I had been
some time seated on a large stone, my ear caught the gliding of a snake.
Turning quickly, I perceived, at about a yard's distance, a reptile of
that beautiful species the rattle-snake. He ceased moving: I jumped up,
and struck at his head with a stick, but missed the blow. He instantly
coiled and rattled. I now retreated beyond the range of his spring.
Perceiving that I had no intention of giving him fair play by coming
within his reach, he suddenly uncoiled and glid across a log, thinking to
make good his retreat; but being determined on having--not his scalp, for
the head of a rattle-snake is rather a dangerous toy--but his rattle, I
pursued him across the log. He now coiled again, and rattled most
furiously, thus indicating his extreme wrath at being attacked: the bite
of this reptile is most venomous when he is most enraged. I took up a flat
stone, about six inches square, and lobbed it on his coil. He suddenly
darted out towards me; but, as I had anticipated, he was encumbered with
the stone. I now advanced, and struck him on the head with my stick. I
repeated the blow until he seemed to be deprived of sensation, when I drew
my hunting knife and decapitated him. For a full hour afterwards the body
retained all the vigour and sensitiveness which it possessed previous to
decapitation, and on touching any part of it, would twist round in the
same manner as when the animal was perfect. Sensation gradually
disappeared, departing first from the extremities--more towards the
wounded extremity than towards the other, but gradually from both, until
it was entirely gone. The length of this reptile was about four feet, and
the skin was extremely beautiful. Nothing could exceed the beauty of his
eye. A clear black lustre characterizes the eye of this animal, and is
said to produce so powerful an effect on birds and smaller animals, as to
deprive them of the power of escaping. This snake had eight rattles, so
that he must have been at least eleven years old. I understood afterwards
that there was a rattle-snakes' den in the neighbourhood. They appear to
live in society, and the large quantities that are frequently found
congregated together are astonishing. The Jacksonville (Illinois) Gazette
of the 22d April, 1830, says, "Last week, a den of rattle-snakes was
discovered near Apple Creek, by a person while engaged in digging for rock
in that part of our country. He made known the circumstance to the
neighbours, who visited the place, where they killed 193 rattle-snakes,
the largest of which (as our informant, who was on the spot, told us)
measured nearly four feet in length. Besides these, there were sixteen
black snakes destroyed, together with one copper-head. Counting the young
ones, there were upwards of 1000 killed." There are two species of
rattle-snake, which are in constant hostility with each other. The common
black snake, whose bite is perfectly innoxious, and the copper-head, have
also a deadly enmity towards the rattle-snake, which, when they meet it,
they never fail to attack.

The next ridge of mountains is called the "laurel hills," which are
covered with an immense growth of different species of laurel. Between
these and the Alleghany ridge are situated "the glades"--beautiful fertile
plains in a high state of cultivation. This district is most healthy, and
fevers and agues are unknown to the inhabitants. Here the "Delawares of
the hills" once roamed the sole lords of this fine country; and perhaps
from the very eminence from whence I contemplated the beauty of the scene,
some warrior, returning from the "war path" or the chase, may have gazed
with pleasure on the hills of his fathers, the possessions of a long line
of Sylvan heros, and in the pride of manhood said--'The Delawares are
men--they are strong in battle, and cunning on the trail of their foes--at
the 'council fire' there is wisdom in their words. Who counts more scalps
than the Lenni Lenapé warrior?--he can never be conquered--the stranger
shall never dwell in his glades.' Where now is the "Delaware of the
hills?"--gone!--his very name is unknown in his own land, and not a
vestige remains to tell that _there_ once dwelt a great and powerful
tribe. When the white man falls, his high towers and lofty battlements are
laid crumbling with the dust, yet these mighty ruins remain for ages,
monuments of his former greatness: but the Indian passes away, silent as
the noiseless tread of the moccasin--the next snow comes, and his "trail"
is blotted out for ever.

I toiled across the Alleghanies, which are completely covered with timber,
and passed on to a place within about thirty miles of Chambersburg, on a
branch of the Potomac. Here, coming in upon _civilization_, I took the
stage to Baltimore. In my pedestrian excursion the road lay for several
miles along the banks of the Juniata, which is a very fine river. The
scenery is romantic, and is much beautified by a large growth of
magnificent pines. The Alleghany ridge is composed chiefly of sand-stone,
clay-slate, and lime-stone-slate, sand-stone sometimes in large blocks.

I encountered several parties of French, Irish, Swiss, Bavarians, Dutch,
&c. going westward, with swarms of children, and considerable quantities
of household lumber:--symptoms of seeking _El dorado_.

In the neighbourhood of Baltimore there are many handsome residences, and
the farms are all well cleared, and in many cases walled in. The number of
comparatively miserable-looking cabins which are dispersed along the road
near this town, and the long lists of crimes and misdemeanours with which
the Journals of Baltimore and Philadelphia are filled, sufficiently
indicate that these cities have arrived to an advanced state of
civilization. For, wherever there are very rich people, there must be very
poor people; and wherever there are very poor people, there must
necessarily exist a proportionate quantity of crime. Men are poor, only
because they are ignorant; for if they possessed a knowledge of their own
powers and capabilities, they would then know, that however wealth may be
distributed, all real wealth is created by labour, and by labour alone.

Baltimore is seated on the north side of the Patapsco river, within a few
miles of the Chesapeak bay. It received its name in compliment to the
Irish family of the Calverts. The harbour, at Fell Point, has about
eighteen feet water, and is defended by a strong fort, called Mc Henry's
fort, on Observation Hill. Vessels of large tonnage cannot enter the
basin. In 1791 it contained 13,503 inhabitants; in 1810, 46,487; and at
present it contains 80,519. There are many fine buildings and monuments in
this city; and the streets in which business is not extensively
transacted, are planted with Lombardy poplar, locust, and pride-of-china
trees,--the last mentioned especially afford a fine shade.

A considerable schooner trade is carried on by the merchants of Baltimore
with South America. The schooners of this port are celebrated for their
beauty, and are much superior to those of any other port on the Continent.
They are sharp built, somewhat resembling the small Greek craft one sees
in the Mediterranean. A rail-road is being constructed from this place to
the Ohio river, a distance of upwards of three hundred miles, and about
fourteen miles of the road is already completed, as is also a viaduct. If
the enterprising inhabitants of Baltimore be able to finish this
undertaking, it must necessarily throw a very large amount of wealth into
their hands, to the prejudice of Philadelphia and New York. But the
expense will be enormous.

I left Baltimore for Philadelphia in one of those splendid and spacious
steam-boats peculiar to this country. We paddled up the Chesapeak bay
until we came to Elk river--the scenery at both sides is charming. A
little distance up this river commences the "Chesapeak and Delaware
canal," which passes through the old state of Delaware, and unites the
waters of the two bays. Here we were handed into a barge, or what we in
common parlance would term a large canal boat; but the Americans are the
fondest people in the universe of big names, and ransack the Dictionary
for the most pompous appellations with which to designate their works or
productions. The universal fondness for European titles that obtains here,
is also remarkable. The president, is "his excellency,"--"congressmen,"
are "honorables,"--and every petty merchant, or "dry-goods store-keeper,"
is, at least, an esquire. Their newspapers contain many specimens of this
love of monarchical distinctions--such as, "wants a situation, as
store-keeper (shopman), a gentleman, &c." "Two gentlemen were convicted
and sentenced to six months' imprisonment for horse-stealing, &c." These
two items I read myself in the papers of the western country, and the
latter was commented on by a Philadelphia journal. You may frequently see
"Miss Amanda," without shoes or stockings--certainly for convenience or
economy, not from necessity, and generally in Dutch houses--and "that
_ere_ young lady" scouring the pails! An accident lately occurred in one
of the factories in New England, and the local paper stated, that "one
young lady was seriously injured,"--this young lady was a spinner.
Observe, I by no means object to the indiscriminate use of the terms
_gentleman_ and _lady_, but merely state the fact. On the contrary, so far
am I from finding fault with the practice, that I think it quite fair;
when any portion of republicans make use of terms which properly belong to
a monarchy, that all classes should do the same, it being unquestionably
their right. It does not follow, because a man may be introduced as an
_American gentleman_, that he may not be simply a mechanic.

The Chesapeak and Delaware canal is about fourteen miles in length; and
from the nature of the soil through which it is cut, there was some
difficulty attending the permanent security of the work. On reaching the
Delaware, we were again handed into a steamer, and so conducted to
Philadelphia. The merchant shipping, and the numerous pleasure and
steam-boats, and craft of every variety, which are constantly moving on
the broad bosom of the Delaware, present a gay and animated scene.

Philadelphia is a regular well-built city, and one of the handsomest in
the states. It lies in latitude 39° 56' north, and longitude, west of
London, 75° 8'; distant from the sea, 120 miles. The city stands on an
elevated piece of ground between the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers, about
a mile broad from bank to bank, and six miles from their junction. The
Delaware is about a mile wide at Philadelphia, and ships of the largest
tonnage can approach the wharf. The city contains many fine buildings of
Schuylkill marble. The streets are well paved, and have broad _trottoirs_
of hard red brick. The police regulations are excellent, and cleanliness
is much attended to, the kennels being washed daily during the summer
months, with water from the reservoirs. The markets, or shambles, extend
half-a-mile in length, from the wharf up Market-street, in six divisions.
In addition to the shambles, farmers' waggons, loaded with every kind of
country produce for sale, line the street.

There are five banking establishments in the city: the Bank of North
America, the United States Bank, the Bank of Pennsylvania, the Bank of
Philadelphia, and the Farmers' Bank.

The principal institutions are, the Franklin library, which contains
upwards of 20,000 volumes. Strangers are admitted gratis, and are
permitted to peruse any of the books. The Americans should adopt this
practice in all their national exhibitions, and rather copy the liberality
of the French than the sordid churlishness of the English, who compel
foreigners to pay even for seeing the property of the nation. The other
institutions are, the University of Pennsylvania, a College, Medical
Theatre, College of Physicians, Philosophical Hall, Agricultural and
Linnean Societies, Academy of Fine Arts, and the Cincinnati Society, which
originated in an attempt to establish a sort of aristocracy. The members
were at its formation the surviving officers of the revolution; they wear
an eagle, suspended by a ribbon, which, at their death, they have
appointed to be taken by their eldest sons. There are besides, the
Academies of the Philadelphian Friends, and the German Lutherans; Sunday
and Lancasterian schools; and, of course, divers Bible and Tract
Societies, which are patronized by all the antiquated dames in the city,
and superintended by the Methodist and Presbyterian parsons. The Methodist
parsons of this country have the character of being men of gallantry; and
indeed, from the many instances I have heard of their propensity in this
way, from young Americans, I should be a very sceptic to doubt the fact.

There are also St. George's, St. Patrick's, St. David's, and St. Andrew's
Societies for the relief and colonization of British emigrants; a French
and a German Emigrant Society, and several hospitals. There are two
theatres and an amphitheatre. Peal's Museum contains a large collection,
which is scientifically arranged; among other fossils is the perfect
skeleton of a mammoth, found in a bed of marle in the state of New York.
The length of this animal, from the bend of the tusks to the rump, was
about twenty-seven feet, and the height and bulk proportionate.

The navy-yard contains large quantities of timber, spars, and rigging,
prepared for immediate use, as also warlike stores of every description.
There is here, a ship of 140 guns, of large calibre, and a frigate. Both
are housed completely, and in a condition to be launched in a few months,
if necessary. They are constructed of the very best materials, and in the
most durable and solid manner. There are now being constructed, seriatim,
twenty-five ships of the line--one for every state in the Union. The
government occasionally sells the smaller vessels of war to merchants, in
order to increase the shipping, and to secure that those armed vessels
which are afloat, may be in the finest possible condition. A corvette,
completely equipped, was lately sold to his majesty the autocrat of the
Russias; but was dismasted in a day or two after her departure from
Charleston. She was taken in tow by the vessel of a New York merchant, and
carried into the port of that city. The merchant refused any compensation
from the Russian minister, although his vessel was, when she fell in with
the wreck, proceeding to the Austral regions, and her putting about was
greatly disadvantageous. The minister returned thanks publicly, on the
part of his master, and expressed his majesty's sense of the invariable
consideration and friendship with which his majesty's subjects are treated
by the citizens of America. There appears to be a universal wish among the
Americans to cultivate an alliance, offensive and defensive, with his
majesty of Russia. The cry is, "all the Russians want is a fleet, and
we'll lend them that." In fact, a deadly animosity pervades America
towards Great Britain; and although it is not publicly confessed, for the
Americans are too able politicians to do that, yet it is no less certain,
that "_Delenda est Carthago_," is their motto. Let England look to it. Her
power is great; but, if the fleets of America, France, and Russia, were to
combine, and land on the shores of England hordes of Russians, and
battalions of disciplined Frenchmen--if this were to be done, with the
Irish people, instead of allies as they should be, her deadly enemies, her
power is annihilated at a blow! For let it be remembered, that there is no
rallying principle in the temperament of the mass of the English people;
and that formerly one single victory,--the victory of Hastings, completely
subjugated them. Hume, who was decidedly an impartial historian, is
compelled to say of that conquest, "It would be difficult to find in all
history a revolution more destructive, or attended with a more complete
subjection of the ancient inhabitants. Contumely seems even to have been
wantonly added to oppression; and the natives were universally reduced to
such a state of meanness and poverty, that the English name became a term
of reproach; and several generations elapsed before one family of Saxon
pedigree was raised to any considerable honours, or could so much as
obtain the rank of baron of the realm."--Yet the English people owe much
to the ancestors of the aristocracy, who introduced among them the arts
and refinements of civilization, and by their wisdom and disciplined
valour have raised the country to that pitch of greatness, so justly
termed "the envy of surrounding nations." I do not contend, that because a
nation may have acquired the name of great, that therefore _the people_
are more happy; but am rather inclined to think the contrary, for
conquests are generally made and wealth is accumulated for the benefit of
the few, and at the expense of the many.

A law has been lately passed by the legislature of Pennsylvania, taxing
wholesale and retail dealers in merchandize, excepting those importers of
foreign goods who vend the articles in the form in which they are
imported. This act classes the citizens according to their annual amount
of sales, and taxes them in the same proportion. Those who effect sales to
the amount of fifty thousand dollars, constitute the first class; of forty
thousand dollars, the second class; of thirty thousand dollars, the third
class; of twenty thousand dollars, the fourth class; of fifteen thousand
dollars, the fifth class; of ten thousand dollars, the sixth class; of
five thousand dollars, the seventh class; and all persons effecting sales
not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars, constitute the eighth
class. The first class shall pay for license, annually, fifty dollars; the
second class, forty dollars; the third class, thirty dollars; the fourth
class, twenty-five dollars; the fifth class, twenty dollars; the sixth
class, fifteen dollars; the seventh class, twelve dollars and fifty cents,
and the eighth class ten dollars.

Direct taxation has been found in all cases to be obnoxious, and this
particular mode, I apprehend, is calculated to produce very pernicious
effects. The laws of a republic should all tend to establish and support,
as far as is practicable, the principle of equality, and any act that has
a contrary tendency must be injurious to the community. Now this act draws
a direct line of demarcation between citizens, in proportion to the extent
of their dealings; and as in this country a man's importance is entirely
estimated by his supposed wealth, the citizens of Pennsylvania can
henceforth only claim a share of respectability, proportionate to the
_class_ to which they belong. The west country ladies have shewn a great
aptitude for forming "circles of society," and the promulgation of this
law affords them a most powerful aid in establishing a _store-keeping

The large cities in America are by no means so lightly taxed as might be
supposed from the cheapness of the government; the public works, public
buildings, and police establishments, requiring adequate funds for their
maintenance and support; however, the inhabitants have the consolation of
knowing that this must gradually decrease, and that their money is laid
out for their own advantage, and not for the purpose of pensioning off the
mistresses and physicians of viceroys, as in Ireland.[23] Another thing is
to be observed, that in addition to the _national_ debt, each state has a
_private_ debt, which in many cases is tolerably large. These debts have
been created by expenditures on roads, canals, and public buildings. The
mode of taxation latterly adopted by the legislature is not popular, and
many of the public prints have remonstrated against the system. "The
Philadelphia Gazette," of the 24th Sept. 1830, makes the following
remarks--"The subject of unequal and oppressive taxation deserves more
attention than it has hitherto received from our citizens. The misery of
England is occasioned less by the amount of revenue that is raised there,
than by the manner in which it is raised. In Pennsylvania we are going on
rapidly, making our state a second England in regard of debt and taxation.
Our public debt is already 13,000,000 dollars; and before our canals and
rail-roads shall be completed, it will probably amount to 18 or 20
millions. The law imposing taxes of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 dollars on
retailers, is not the only just subject of complaint. The _collateral
inheritance_ tax is equally unjust. The tavern-keepers are besides to be
taxed from 20 to 50 dollars each. Nor does the matter end here. At the
next session of the legislature, it will, in all probability, be found
necessary to lay on additional taxes: and when the principle of unjust
taxation is once admitted in legislation, it is difficult to say how far
it will be carried."

Whilst staying at Philadelphia an account of the French revolution
arrived, and the merchants, there and at New York, were in high spirits,
thinking that war was inevitable. A war in Europe is always hailed with
delight in America, as it opens a field for commercial enterprise, and
gives employment to the shipping, of which at present they are much in

During the long and ruinous war in Europe, the mercantile and shipping
interests of the United States advanced with an unexampled degree of
rapidity. The Americans were then the carriers of nearly all Europe, and
scarcely any merchandize entered the ports of the belligerent powers, but
in American bottoms. This unnatural state of prosperity could not last:
peace was established, and from that era the decline of commerce in the
United States may be dated. The merchants seem not to have calculated on
this event's so soon taking place, or to have overrated the increase of
prosperity and population in their own country, as up to that period, and
for some years afterwards, there does appear to have been no relaxation of
ship-building, and little diminution of mercantile speculations. At
present the ship-owners are realizing little beyond the expenses of their
vessels, and in many cases the bottoms are actually in debt. The frequent
failures in the Atlantic cities, of late, are mainly to be attributed to
unsuccessful ship speculations; and I am myself aware of more than one
instance, where the freight was so extremely low, as to do little more
than cover the expenditure of the voyage. On my return to Europe, while
staying at Marseilles, twelve American vessels arrived in that port within
the space of two months; and before my departure, nine of these returned
to the United States with ballast (stones), and I believe only two with
full cargos.

In a national point of view, the difficulty of obtaining employment for
the shipping of America may not have been so injurious as at first view
it appears to be; on the contrary, I am of opinion that it has been
advantageous. Whilst a profitable trade could with facility be carried on
with and in Europe, the merchants seldom thought of extending their
enterprises to any other parts of the world; but since the decline of that
trade, communications have been opened with the East Indies, Africa, all
the ports of the Mediterranean, and voyages to the Pacific, and to the
Austral regions, are now of common occurrence. The museums in the Atlantic
cities bear ample testimony to the enterprising character of the American
merchants, which by their means are filled with all the curious and
interesting productions of the East. This has encouraged a taste for
scientific studies, and for travelling; which must ultimately tend to
raise the nation to a degree of respectability little inferior to the
oldest European state.


[23] An Irish viceroy lately paid his physician by conferring on him a
baronetcy, and a pension of two hundred pounds a year, of the public


Having sojourned for more than three weeks at Philadelphia, I departed for
New York. The impressions made on my mind during that time were highly
favourable to the Philadelphians and their city. It is the handsomest city
in the Union; and the inhabitants, in sociability and politeness, have
much the advantage of any other body of people with whom I came in

The steamer takes you up the Delaware river to Bordentown, in New Jersey,
twenty-four miles from Philadelphia. The country at either side is in a
high state of cultivation. It is interspersed with handsome country seats,
and on the whole presents a most charming prospect. There is scarcely a
single point passed up the windings of the Delaware, but presents a new
and pleasing variety of landscape--luxuriant foliage--gently swelling
hills, and fertile lawns; which last having been lately mown, were covered
with a rich green sward most pleasing to the eye. The banks of the river
at Bordentown are high, and the town, as seen from the water, has a pretty
effect. Here a stage took us across New Jersey to Amboy. This is not a
large town, nor can it ever be of much importance, being situated too near
the cities of New York and Philadelphia. At Amboy we again took the
steam-boat up the bay, and after a delightful sail of thirty miles,
through scenery the most beautiful and magnificent, we arrived at New

When I was at New York about fifteen months before, I was informed that
the working classes were being organized into regular bodies, similar to
the "union of trades" in England, for the purpose of retaining all
political power in their own hands. This organization has taken place at
the suggestion of Frances Wright, of whom I shall again have occasion to
speak presently, and has succeeded to an astonishing extent. There are
three or four different bodies of the "workies," as they call themselves
familiarly, which vary somewhat from each other in their principles, and
go different lengths in their attacks on the present institutions of
society. There are those of them called "agrarians," who contend that
there should be a law passed to prohibit individuals holding beyond a
certain quantity of ground; and that at given intervals of time there
should be an equal division of property throughout the land. This is the
most ultra, and least numerous class; the absurdity of whose doctrines
must ultimately destroy them as a body. Various handbills and placards may
be seen posted about the city, calling meetings of these unions. Some of
those handbills are of a most extraordinary character indeed. I shall
here insert a copy of one, which I took off a wall, and have now in my
possession. It may serve to illustrate the character of those clubs.


The Mechanics and other working men of the city of New York, and
of _these_ such and such only as live by their own useful
industry, who wish to retain all political power in their own


A just compensation for labour,      Banks and Bankers,

Abolishing imprisonment for debt,    Auctions and Auctioneers,

An efficient lien law,               Monopolies and

A general system of education;       Monopolists of all descriptions,
  including food, clothing
  and instruction, equal for all,    Brokers,
  at the public expense, _without
  separation of children from_       Lawyers, and
                                     Rich men for office, and to all
Exemption from sale by execution,      those, either rich or poor,
  of mechanics' tools and              who favour them,
  implements sufficiently
  extensive to enable them to        Exemption of Property from
  carry on business:                   Taxation:

Are invited to assemble at the Wooster-street Military Hall, on
Thursday evening next, 16th Sept., at eight o'clock, to select by
Ballot, from among the persons proposed on the 6th Instant,
Candidates for Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Senator, and a New
Committee of Fifty, and to propose Candidates for Register, for
Members of Congress, and for Assembly.

By order of the Committee of Fifty.

JOHN R. SOPER, _Chairman_. JOHN TUTHILL, _Secretary_.

So far for the "Workies;" and now for Miss Wright. If I understand this
lady's principles correctly, they are strictly Epicurean. She contends,
that mankind have nothing whatever to do with any but this tangible
world;--that the sole and only legitimate pursuit of man, is terrestrial
happiness;--that looking forward to an ideal state of existence, diverts
his attention from the pleasures of this life--destroys all real sympathy
towards his fellow-creatures, and renders him callous to their sufferings.
However different the _theories_ of other systems may be, she contends
that the _practice_ of the world, in all ages and generations, shews that
this is the _effect_ of their inculcation. These are alarming doctrines;
and when this lady made her _debût_ in public, the journals contended that
their absurdity was too gross to be of any injury to society, and that in
a few months, if she continued lecturing, it would be to empty benches.

The editor of "The New York Courier and Enquirer" and she have been in
constant enmity, and have never failed denouncing each other when
opportunity offered. Miss Wright sailed from New York for France, where
she still remains, in the month of July, 1830; and previous to her
departure delivered an address, on which "the New York Enquirer" makes the
following observations:--

"The parting address of Miss Wright at the Bowery Theatre, on Wednesday
evening, was a singular _melange_ of politics and impiety--eloquence and
irreligion--bold invective, and electioneering slang. The theatre was very
much crowded, probably three thousand persons being present; and what was
the most surprising circumstance of the whole, is the fact, that about
_one half of the audience were females--respectable females_.

"When Fanny first made her appearance in this city as a lecturer on the
'new order of things,' she was very little visited by respectable females.
At her first lecture in the Park Theatre, about half a dozen appeared; but
these soon left the house. From that period till the present, we had not
heard her speak in public; but her doctrines, and opinions, and
philosophy, appear to have made much greater progress in the city than we
ever dreamt of. Her fervid eloquence--her fine action--her _soprano-toned_
voice--her bold and daring attacks upon all the present systems of
society--and particularly upon priests, politicians, bankers, and
aristocrats as she calls them, have raised a party around her of
considerable magnitude, and of much fervour and enthusiasm."

       *       *       *       *       *

"The present state of things in this city is, to say the least of it,
very singular. A bold and eloquent woman lays siege to the very
foundations of society--inflames and excites the public mind--declaims
with vehemence against every thing religious and orderly, and directs the
whole of her movements to accomplish the election of a ticket next fall,
under the title of the 'working-man's ticket.'[24] She avows that her
object is a thorough and radical reform and change in every relation of
life--even the dearest and most sacred. Father, mother, husband, wife,
son, and daughter, in all their delicate and endearing relationships, are
to be swept away equally with clergymen, churches, banks, parties, and
benevolent societies. Hundreds and hundreds of respectable families, by
frequenting her lectures, give countenance and currency to these startling
principles and doctrines. Nearly the whole newspaper press of the city
maintain a death-like silence, while the great Red Harlot of Infidelity is
madly and triumphantly stalking over the city, under the mantle of
'working-men,' and making _rapid progress_ in her work of ruin. If a
solitary newspaper raise a word in favour of public virtue and private
morals, in defence of the rights, liberties, and property of the
community, it is denounced with open bitterness by some, and secretly
stabbed at by them who wish to pass for good citizens. Miss Wright says
she leaves the city soon. This is a mere _ruse_ to call her followers
around her. The effect of her lectures is already boasted of by her
followers. 'Two years ago,' say they,--'_twenty persons_ could scarcely be
found in New York who would openly avow infidelity--now we have _twenty
thousand_.--Is not that something?'

"We say it is something--something that will make the whole city think."

On the day of my departure for Europe, is was announced to the merchants
of New York, that the West India ports were opened to American vessels.

This is a heavy blow to the interests of the British colonies; and it does
not appear that even Great Britain _herself_ has received any equivalent
for inflicting so serious an injury on a portion of the empire by no means
unimportant. The Canadians and Nova Scotians found a market for their
surplus produce in the West Indies, for which they took in return the
productions of these islands--thus a reciprocal advantage was derived to
the sister colonies. But now, from the proximity of the West Indies to the
Atlantic cities of the United States, American produce will be poured into
these markets, for which, in return, little else than specie will be
brought back to the ports of the Republic.

It may be said, that an equivalent has been obtained by the removal of
restrictions hitherto laid on British shipping. This I deny is any thing
like an equivalent, as the trade with America is carried on almost
exclusively in American bottoms. I particularly noted at New Orleans,
Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, the paucity of British vessels in
those ports; and ascertained that it was the practice among American
merchants, who it must be observed are nearly all extensive ship-owners,
to withhold cargos, even at some inconvenience, from foreign vessels, and
await the arrival of those of their own country. I do not positively
assert that the ships of _any other_ nation are preferred to those of
England; but, as far as my personal observations on that point have gone,
I am strongly inclined to think that such is the fact.

The mercantile and shipping interests of Great Britain must continue to
decline, if the government suffers itself continually to be cajoled into
measures of this nature, and effects treaties the advantages of which
appear to be all on one side, and in lieu of its concessions receives no
just equivalent; unless a little empty praise for "liberal policy" and
"generosity," can be so termed. I am well aware that it may have been of
some small advantage to the West Indies to be enabled to obtain their
supplies from the United States; but with reference to the policy of the
measure, I speak only of the empire at large. Nearly all the Canadians
with whom I conversed, freely acknowledged that they have not shaken off
the yoke of England, only because they enjoyed some advantages by their
connexion with her: but as these are diminished, the ties become loosened,
and at length will be found too weak to hold them any longer. Disputes
have already arisen between the people and the government relative to
church lands, which appropriations they contend are unjust and dishonest.

No doubt the question of tariff duties on the raw material imported into
England, is one of great delicacy as connected with the manufacturing
interests of the country; yet it does appear to me, that a small duty
might without injury be imposed on American cottons _imported in American
bottoms_. This would afford considerable encouragement to the shipping of
Great Britain and her colonies, and could by no means be injurious to the
manufacturing interests. The cottons of the Levant have been latterly
increasing in quantity, and a measure of this nature would be likely to
promote their further and rapid increase; which is desirable, as it would
leave us less dependent on America, than we now are, for the raw material.
The shipping of America is not held by the cotton-growing states; and
although the nationality of the southerns is no doubt great, yet their
love of self-interest is much greater, and would always preponderate in
their choice of vessels. It would be even better, if found necessary, to
make some arrangement in the shape of draw-back, than that a nation which
has imposed a duty on our manufactured goods, almost amounting to a
prohibition, should reap so much advantage from our system of "liberal and
generous" policy. I shall conclude these _rambling_ sketches by
observing, that there are two things eminently remarkable in America: the
one is, that every American from the highest to the lowest, thinks the
Republican form of government _the best;_ and the other, that the
seditious and rebellious of all countries become there the most peaceable
and contented citizens.

We sailed from New York on the 1st of October, 1830. The monotony of a sea
voyage, with unscientific people, is tiresome beyond description. The
journal of a single day is the history of a month. You rise in the
morning, and having performed the necessary ablutions, mount on
deck,--"Well Captain, how does she head?"--"South-east by east"--(our
course is east by south).--"Bad, bad, Captain--two points off." You then
promenade the quarter-deck, until the black steward arrests your
progress--grins in your face, and announces breakfast. Down you go, and
fall foul of ham, beef, _pommes de terre frites_, jonny-cakes, and _café
sans lait;_ and generally, in despite of bad cooking and occasional
lee-lurches, contrive to eat an enormous meal. Breakfast being despatched,
you again go on deck--promenade--gaze on the clouds--then read a little,
if perchance you have books with you--lean over the gunwale, watching the
waves and the motion of the vessel; but the eternal water, clouds, and
sky--sky, clouds, and water, produce a listlessness that nothing can
overcome. In the Atlantic, a ship in sight is an object which arouses the
attention of all on board--to speak one is an aera, and furnishes to the
captain and mates a subject for the day's conversation. Thus situated, an
occasional spell of squally weather is by no means uninteresting:--the
lowering aspect of the sky--the foaming surges, which come rolling on,
threatening to overwhelm the tall ship, and bury her in the fathomless
abyss of the ocean--the laugh of the gallant tars, when a sea sweeps the
deck and drenches them to the skin--all these incidents, united, rather
amuse the voyager, and tend to dispel the inanity with which he is
afflicted. During these periods, I have been for hours watching the
motions of the "stormy petrel" (_procellaria pelagica_), called by
sailors, "mother Carey's chickens." These birds are seldom seen in calm
weather, but appear to follow the gale, and when it blows most heavily
they are seen in greatest numbers. The colour is brown and white; the size
about that of the swallow, whose motions oh the wing they resemble. They
skim over the surface of the roughest sea, gliding up and down the
undulations with astonishing swiftness. When they observe their prey, they
descend flutteringly, and place the feet and the tips of the wings on the
surface of the water. In this position I have seen many of them rest for
five or six seconds, until they had completed the capture. The petrel is
to be seen in all parts of the Atlantic, no matter how distant from land;
and the oldest seaman with whom I have conversed on the subject, never saw
one of them rest. Humboldt says, that in the Northern Deserta, the
petrels hide in rabbit burrows.

A few days' sail brought us into the "Gulf stream," the influence of which
is felt as high as the 43° north latitude. We saw a considerable quantity
of _fucus natans_, or gulf weed, but it generally was so far from the
vessel, that I could not contrive to procure a sprig. Mr. Luccock, in his
Notes on Brazil, says, that "if a nodule of this weed, taken fresh from
the water at night, is hung up in a small cabin, it emits phosphorescent
light enough to render objects visible." He describes the leaves of this
plant as springing from the joints of the branches, oblong, indented at
the edges, about an inch and a half long, and a quarter of an inch broad.
Humboldt's description is somewhat different: he calls it the "vine-leaved
fucus;" says, "the leaves are circular, of a _tender_ green, and indented
at the edges, stem brown, and three inches long."--What I saw of this
weed rather agrees with that described by Humboldt--the leaves were
shaped like the vine leaf, and of a rusty-green colour. That portion of
the Atlantic between the 22d and 34th parallels of latitude, and 26th and
58th meridians of longitude, is generally covered with fuci, and is termed
by the Portuguese, _mar do sargasso_, or grassy sea. It was supposed by
many, from the large quantities of this weed seen in the Gulf stream, that
it grew on the Florida rocks, and by the influence and extension of the
current, was detached and carried into this part of the Atlantic. However,
this position is not tenable, as a single branch of fucus has never been
found on the Florida reef. Humboldt, and other scientific men, are of
opinion that this weed vegetates at the bottom of the ocean--that being
detached from its root, it rises to the surface; and that such portion of
it as is found in the stream, is drawn thither by the sweeping of the
current along the edge of the weedy sea. Moreover, the fuci that are
found in the northern extremity of the Florida stream are generally
decayed, while those which are seen in the southern extremity appear quite
fresh--this difference would not exist if they emanated from the Gulf.

We stood to the north of the Azores, with rather unfavourable winds, and
at length came between the coast of Africa and Cape St. Vincent. Here we
had a dead calm for four entire days. The sky was perfectly cloudless, and
the surface of the ocean was like oil. Not being able to do better, we got
out the boat and went turtle fishing, or rather catching, in company with
a very fine shark, which thought proper to attend us during our excursion.
In such weather the turtles come to the surface of the water to sleep and
enjoy the solar heat, and if you can approach without waking them, they
fall an easy prey, being rendered incapable of resistance by their shelly
armour. We took six. Attached to the breast of one was a remora, or
"sucking fish." The length of this animal is from six to eight
inches--colour blackish--body, scaleless and oily--head rather flat, on
the back of which is the sucker, which consists of a narrow oval-shaped
margin with several transverse projections, and ten curved rays extending
towards the centre, but not meeting. The Indians of Jamaica and Cuba
employed this fish as falconers do hawks. In calm weather, they carried
out those which they had kept and fed for the purpose, in their canoes,
and when they had got to a sufficient distance, attached the remora to the
head of the canoe by a strong line of considerable length. When the remora
perceives a fish, which he can do at a considerable distance, he darts
away with astonishing rapidity, and fastens upon it. The Indian lets go
the line, to which a buoy is attached to mark the course the remora has
taken, and follows in his canoe until he thinks the game is exhausted; he
then draws it gradually in, the remora still adhering to his prey. Oviedo
says, "I have known a turtle caught by this method, of a bulk and weight
which no single man could support."

For four days we were anxiously watching for some indications of a breeze,
but were so frequently deceived with "cat's paws," and the occasional
slight flickering of the dog vane, that we sank into listless resignation.
At length our canvass filled, and we soon came within sight of the Straits
of Gibraltar. On our left was the coast of Spain, with its vineyards and
white villages; and on our right lay the sterile hills of Barbary.
Opposite Cape Trafalgar is Cape Spartel, a bold promontory, on the west
side of which is a range of basaltic pillars. The entrance to the
Mediterranean by the Straits, when the wind is unfavourable, is extremely
difficult; but to pass out is almost impossible, the current continually
setting in through the centre of the passage. Hence, onwards, the sail was
extremely pleasant, being within sight of the Spanish coast, and the
Islands of Yvica, Majorca, and Minorca, successively, until we reached
the Gulf of Lyons. When the northerly wind blows, which, in Provence, is
termed the _mistral_, the waves roll against the coast of Provence, and
the recoil produces that ugly chopping sea for which this gulf is
renowned. In the Mediterranean, even in the calmest weather, a light
pleasant breeze springs up after sunset; this and the cloudless sky, and
unobscured brilliancy of the stars, are attractions sufficient to allure
the most somnolent and unromantic mortal to remain on deck.

The molusca, or oceanic insect, which emits a phosphorescent light,
appeared here in vast quantities, which induced me to try experiments. I
took a piece of black crape, and having folded it several times, poured
some sea water taken fresh in a bucket, upon it: the water in the bucket,
when agitated by the hand, gave out sparkling light. When the crape was
thoroughly saturated with water, I took it to a dark part of the cabin,
when it seemed to be studded with small sparkling stars; but more of the
animals I could not then discern. Next day I put some water in a glass
tumbler, and having exposed it to a strong solar light, with the help of a
magnifying glass was enabled distinctly to discern the moluscae. When
magnified, they appeared about the size of a pin's head, of a yellowish
brown colour, rather oval-shaped, and having tentaculae. The medusa is a
genus of molusca; and I think M. le Seur told me he reckons forty-three or
forty-four species of that genus.

We crossed the Gulf of Lyons, and came within the road of Marseilles,
where we were taken charge of by a pilot. When we reached the mouth of the
basin, a boat came alongside of us, and a man handed up a piece of wood,
and said, "Mettez sur cela le nom du capitaine et du batiment;"--we were
to perform quarantine. Whoever has performed quarantine can commiserate
our condition. No one can quit the quarantine ground, or rather the space
in the harbour alloted to vessels performing quarantine. If it be
necessary to send any papers from the ship on shore, they are taken with a
forceps and plunged into vinegar. If the sails of any other vessel touch
those of one in quarantine, she too must undergo several days' probation.
Our time was five days; but as we had clean bills of health, and had lost
none of our crew on the passage, we were allowed to count the day of our
entering and the day of our going out of quarantine. The usual ceremonies
being performed, I again stepped on European ground, and felt myself at


[24] The "Education ticket," that of the "workies," carried every thing
before it in New York and the adjoining states, at the election of
members of congress, &c.



An abstract of a "careful revision of the enumeration of the United States
for the years 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, and 1830," compiled at the
Department of State, agreeably to law; and an ABSTRACT from the Aggregate
Returns of the several Marshals of the United States of the "Fifth

STATES.             1790.     1800.     1810.     1820.      1830.
Maine              96,540   151,719   228,705   298,335    399,463
New Hampshire     141,899   183,762   214,360   244,161    269,533
Massachusetts     378,717   423,243   472,040   523,287    610,014
Rhode Island       69,110    69,122    77,031    83,059     97,210
Connecticut       258,141   231,002   262,042   275,202    297,011
Vermont            85,416   154,465   217,713   233,764    280,679
New York          340,120   586,756   959,049 1,372,812  1,913,508
New Jersey        184,139   211,949   245,555   277,575    320,778
Pennsylvania      434,373   602,365   810,091 1,049,458  1,347,672
Delaware           59,096    64,273    72,674    72,749     76,739
Maryland          319,728   341,548   380,546   407,350    446,913
D. Columbia           --     14,093    24,023    33,039     39,588
Virginia          748,308   880,200   974,622 1,065,379  1,211,266
N. Carolina       393,751   478,103   555,500   638,829    738,470
S. Carolina       249,073   345,591   415,115   502,741    581,458
Georgia            82,548   162,101   252,433   340,987    516,504
Kentucky           73,077   220,955   406,511   564,317    688,844
Tennessee          35,791   105,602   231,727   422,813    684,822
Ohio                  --     45,365   230,760   581,434    937,679
Indiana               --      4,875    24,520   147,178    341,582
Mississippi           --      8,850    40,352    75,448    136,806
Illinois              --        --     12,233    55,211    157,575
Louisiana             --        --     76,556   153,407    215,791
Missouri              --        --     20,845    66,586    140,084
Alabama               --        --        --    127,902    309,206
Michigan              --        --      4,762     8,896     31,123
Arkansas              --        --        --     14,273     30,383
Florida               --        --        --        --      34,725
                3,929,827 5,305,925 7,289,314 9,638,131 12,856,437


                   Per Cent.                       Per Cent.
Maine                 33,398         S. Carolina      15,657
N. Hampshire          10,391         Georgia          51,472
Massachusetts         16,575         Kentucky         22,066
Rhode Island          17,157         Tennessee        62,044
Connecticut            8,151         Ohio             61,998
Vermont               19,005         Indiana         132,087
New York              39,386         Mississippi      81,032
New Jersey            15,564         Illinois        185,406
Pennsylvania          25,416         Louisiana        40,665
Delaware               5,487         Missouri        110,380
Maryland               9,712         Alabama         141,574
D. Columbia           20,639         Michigan        250,001
Virginia              13,069         Arkansas        113,273
N. Carolina           15,592         Florida              --
          Average                       32,392




OF JULY 31, 1830.

_The following is part of a Letter written by a Creek Chief, from the
Arkansas territory._

"The son of General M'Intosh, (an Indian chief), with the M'Intosh party,
held a treaty with the government, and were induced, by promises, to
remove to Arkansas. They were promised 'a home for ever,' if they would
select one, and that bounds should be marked off to them. This has not
been done. They were assured that they should draw a proportionate part of
the annuity due to the Creek nation every year. They have planted corn
three seasons--yet they have never drawn one cent of any annuity due to
them! Why is this? They were promised blankets, guns, ammunition, traps,
kettles, and a _wheelwright_. They have drawn some few of each class of
articles, and only a few--they have no wheelwright. They were poor;--but
above this, they were promised pay for the improvements abandoned by them
in the old nation. This they have not received. They were further assured
that they should receive, upon their arrival on Arkansas, _thirty dollars_
per head for each emigrant. This they have not received. But the acting
sub-agent, in the spring 1829, finding their wants very pressing (indeed
many of them were in a famishing condition), gave to each one his due
bill, in the name of the agent, for the amount of bounty due them, and
took their receipts for the amount, as vouchers for the agent, to settle
his account by with the government. The consequence was, that the Indians,
not regarding paper as of any real value, would go to the traders, and
sell the due bills at what they could get for them. And the traders having
no confidence in the promises of the government through its agents, united
with the hazard of delay at all events, would not give the real value of
the amount promised by the due bills. If the Indians attempted to trade
them to the whites for cattle, or any thing which they stood in need of,
the consequence was, that they were compelled to make a discount upon
them. Not finding them worth as many dollars as they purported to be for,
they were willing to let them go upon any terms, rather than keep them in
their possession. The due bills amounted, in all, to about _twenty-one
thousand dollars_, which due bills are now in the hands of the original
holders, or the purchasers, but not lifted by the agent according to his
promise. (Is not the government bound by the acts of its agent or
attorney?). It is but fair to estimate the loss of the Indians at one
third of the sum above stated, and this loss owing entirely to the
government, by its agent's withholding the fulfilment of its contract with
the M'Intosh party.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Mr. Joseph Brearly was left here by his father, the agent, in charge of
his affairs, and being apprised of a party of _emigrants_ about to arrive,
was making preparations to obtain the provisions necessary to subsist them
for one year; and for that purpose had advertised to supply six thousand
bushels of corn. The day came for closing the contract, when Colonel
Arbuckle, commanding Cantonment Gibson, handed in a bid, in the name of
the Creek nation, to furnish the amount of corn required at _one dollar
and twelve cents_ per bushel; the next lowest bid to his was _one dollar
and fifty cents_; so that Colonel Arbuckle saved the government 2,280

       *       *       *       *       *

"Mr. Blake, the sub-agent sent by Colonel Crowell, had superseded Mr.
Brearly, and was engaged in giving his receipts for the corn delivered
under the contract. A speculation was presented; and as the poor Indians
were to be the victims of rapacity, why, it was all very well. The
aforesaid Major Love, to secure the speculation, repaired to St. Louis,
with _letters of credit_ from Mr. Blake, the sub-agent of Colonel Crowell,
and purchased several thousand dollars' worth of merchandize, and so soon
as he could reach the Creek agency, commenced purchasing the corn receipts
issued by the sub-agent. It is reasonable to suppose that the goods were
sold, on an average, at two hundred per centum above cost and carriage;
and by this means the Indians would get about one third of the value of
their corn at the contract price!--they offered to let the receipts go at
twenty-five per cent. discount, if they could only obtain cash for them.

"The United States owe the Creeks money--they have paid them none in three
years--the money has been appropriated by congress. It is withheld by the
agents. The Indians are destitute of almost every comfort for the want of
what is due to them. If it is longer withheld from them, it can only be
so, upon the grounds that the poor Indian, who is unable to compel the
United States to a compliance with solemn treaties, must linger out a
miserable degraded existence, while those who have power to extend to him
the measure of justice, will be left in the _full_ possession of _all_ the
_complacency_ arising from the solemn _assurance_, that they are either
the _stupid_ or _guilty_ authors of his degradation and misery.


"P.S. The Creeks have sent frequent memorials, praying relief from the War
Department; also a delegation, but can obtain no relief!!"

_Extract from a Communication made by a Cherokee Chief._

"A company of whites was in this neighbourhood, with forged notes and
false accounts to a very considerable amount upon the Indians, and
forcibly drove off the property of several families. This, Sir, is the
cause of our misery, poverty, and degradation, for which we have been so
much reproached. This is what makes us _poor devils_. If we fail to make
good crops, some of the white neighbours must starve, for many of them are
dependent upon us for support, either by fair or foul means. Some of the
poor creatures are now travelling among us, almost starved, begging for
something to eat--they are actually worse than Indians. If they can't get
by begging, they steal. To make us clear of these evils, and make us happy
for ever, the unabating avarice of some of the Georgians, by their
repeated acts of cruelty, point us to homes in the west--but as long as we
have a pony or a hog to spare them, we will never go, and not then. This
land is heaven's gift to us--it is the birthright of our fathers: as long
as these mountains lift their lofty summits to heaven, and these beautiful
rivers roll their tides to the mighty ocean, so long we will remain. May
heaven pity and save our distressed country!


The following Extracts may serve to show the state of the country to which
the Indians are compelled to emigrate:


_Extract of a Letter, dated Prairie du Chien._

"January 15, 1830.

"There is a prospect, I think, that the Indian department in this part of
the country will soon require efficient officers. There is little doubt
that there will be a general and sanguinary war among the Indians in the
spring. The outrages of the Sauks and Foxes, can be endured no longer.
Within a short time, they have cut off the head of a young Munomonee
Indian, at the mouth of Winconscin river--killed a Winnebago woman and
boy, of the family of Dekaree, and a Sioux called Dixon. The whole Sioux
nation have made arrangements for a general and simultaneous attack on the
Foxes; the Winnebagoes, and probably the Munomonees will join them."

"Little Rock, Ark. Ter. Feb. 5.

"_Murderous Battle._--A gentleman who arrived here yesterday, direct from
the Western Creek agency, informs us that a war party of Osages returned
just before he left the agency, from a successful expedition against the
Pawnee Indians. He was informed by one of the chiefs, that the party
seized a Pawnee village, high up on the Arkansas, and had surrounded it
before the inmates were apprised of their approach. At first the Pawnees
showed a disposition to resist; but finding themselves greatly outnumbered
by their assailants, soon sallied forth from their village, and took
refuge on the margin of a lake, where they again made a stand. Here they
were again hemmed in by the Osages, who throwing away their guns, fell
upon them with their knives and tomahawks, and did not cease the work of
butchery as long as any remained to resist them. Not one escaped. All were
slain, save a few who were taken prisoners, and who are perhaps destined
to suffer a more cruel death than those who were butchered on the spot.
Our informant did not learn what number of Pawnees were killed, but
understood that the Osages brought in sixty or seventy scalps, besides
several prisoners.

"We also learn, that the Osages are so much elated with this victory, that
another war party were preparing to go on an expedition against some
Choctaws who reside on Red river, with whom they have been at variance for
some time past."

_Extract of a Letter from an Officer of the Army, dated Prairie du Chien._


"May 6, 1830.

"_Indian Hostilities._--When coming down the Mississippi, on the raft of
timber, a war party of Sioux came to me and landed on the raft, but did
not offer any violence. They were seventy strong, and well armed; and when
they arrived at the Prairie, they were joined by thirty Menominees, and
then proceeded down the river in pursuit of the Sauks and Foxes, who lay
below. This morning they all returned, and reported that they had killed
ten of the Foxes and two squaws. I saw all the scalps and other trophies
which they had taken; such as canoes, tomahawks, knives, guns, war clubs,
spears, &c. A paddle was raised by them in the air, on which was strung
the head of a squaw and the scalps. They killed the head chief of the Fox
nation, and took from them all the treaties which the nation had made
since 1815. I saw them, and read such as I wished. One Sioux killed, and
three wounded, was all the loss of the northern party. The Winnebagoes
have joined with the Sioux and Menominees, and the Potawatomies have
joined with the Sauks and Foxes. We shall have a great battle in a day or

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