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Title: Voyage of the Paper Canoe - A Geographical Journey of 2500 miles, from Quebec to the - Gulf of Mexico, during the years 1874-5.
Author: Bishop, Nathaniel H. (Nathaniel Holmes), 1837-1902
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Voyage of the Paper Canoe - A Geographical Journey of 2500 miles, from Quebec to the - Gulf of Mexico, during the years 1874-5." ***

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[Illustration: Cover]


    If thou art borrowed by a friend,
      Right welcome shall he be
    To read, to study,--not to lend,
      But to return to me.

    Not that imparted knowledge doth
      Diminish learning's store,
    But books, I find, when often lent,
      Return to me no more.

    Would readers all this rule obey,
      For good requite not ill,
    These hints need not be penn'd that they
      Its dictates should fulfill.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Read slowly,--pause frequently,--
    Think seriously.--
    Keep cleanly,--return duly,
    With the corner of the leaves not turn'd down.


FOUR MONTHS IN A SNEAK BOX: A Boat Voyage of Twenty-six Hundred Miles
down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and along the Gulf of Mexico. With
numerous Maps and Illustrations. $2.50.

VOYAGE OF THE PAPER CANOE: A Geographical Journey of Twenty-five Hundred
Miles from Quebec to the Gulf of Mexico. With numerous Illustrations and
Maps, specially prepared for this work Crown 8vo. $2.50.

A THOUSAND MILES' WALK across South America, over the Pampas and the
Andes. Illustrated. A new edition. _In press._


[Illustration: HOME OF THE ALLIGATOR.]








                          TO THE
                      EMPLOYÉS OF THE
                 "VOYAGE OF THE PAPER CANOE"


The author left Quebec, Dominion of Canada, July 4, 1874, with a
single assistant, in a wooden canoe eighteen feet in length, bound for
the Gulf of Mexico. It was his intention to follow the natural and
artificial connecting watercourses of the continent in the most direct
line southward to the gulf coast of Florida, making portages as seldom
as possible, to show how few were the interruptions to a continuous
water-way for vessels of light draught, from the chilly, foggy, and
rocky regions of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the north, to the
semi-tropical waters of the great Southern Sea, the waves of which
beat upon the sandy shores of the southernmost United States. Having
proceeded about four hundred miles upon his voyage, the author reached
Troy, on the Hudson River, New York state, where for several years
E. Waters & Sons had been perfecting the construction of paper boats.

The advantages in using a boat of only fifty-eight pounds weight, the
strength and durability of which had been well and satisfactorily
tested, could not be questioned, and the author dismissed his
assistant, and "paddled his own canoe" about two thousand miles to
the end of the journey. Though frequently lost in the labyrinth of
creeks and marshes which skirt the southern coast of his country,
the author's difficulties were greatly lessened by the use of the
valuable and elaborate charts of the United States Coast Survey
Bureau, to the faithful executers of which he desires to give
unqualified and grateful praise.

To an unknown wanderer among the creeks, rivers, and sounds of the
coast, the courteous treatment of the Southern people was most
gratifying. The author can only add to this expression an extract
from his reply to the address of the Mayor of St. Mary's, Georgia,
which city honored him with an ovation and presentation of flags
after the completion of his voyage:

    "Since my little paper canoe entered southern waters upon her
    geographical errand,--from the capes of the Delaware to your
    beautiful St. Mary's,--I have been deeply sensible of the value
    of Southern hospitality. The oystermen and fishermen living
    along the lonely beaches of the eastern shore of Maryland and
    Virginia; the surfmen and light-house keepers of Albemarle,
    Pamplico, and Core sounds, in North Carolina; the ground-nut
    planters who inhabit the uplands that skirt the network of
    creeks, marshes, ponds, and sounds from Bogue Inlet to Cape
    Fear; the piny-woods people, lumbermen, and turpentine
    distillers on the little bluffs that jut into the fastnesses
    of the great swamps of the crooked Waccamaw River; the
    representatives of the once powerful rice-planting aristocracy
    of the Santee and Peedee rivers; the colored men of the
    beautiful sea-islands along the coast of Georgia; the Floridians
    living between the St. Mary's River and the Suwanee--the wild
    river of song; the islanders on the Gulf of Mexico where I
    terminated my long journey;--all have contributed to make the
    'Voyage of the Paper Canoe' a success."

After returning from this paper-canoe voyage, the author embarked alone,
December 2, 1875, in a cedar duck-boat twelve feet in length, from the
head of the Ohio River, at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and followed the
Ohio and Mississippi rivers over two thousand miles to New Orleans,
where he made a portage through that city eastwardly to Lake
Pontchartrain, and rowed along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico six or
seven hundred miles, to Cedar Keys, Florida, the terminus of his
paper-canoe voyage.

While on these two voyages, the author rowed over five thousand miles,
meeting with but one accident, the overturning of his canoe in Delaware
Bay. He returned to his home with his boats in good condition, and his
note-books, charts, &c., in an excellent state of preservation.

At the request of the "Board on behalf of the United States Executive
Department" of the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia, the paper
canoe "Maria Theresa," and the cedar duck-boat "Centennial Republic,"
were deposited in the Smithsonian Department of the United States
Government building, during the summer and fall of 1876.

The maps, which show the route followed by the paper canoe, have been
drawn and engraved by contract at the United States Coast Survey Bureau,
and are on a scale of 1/1.500,000. As the work is based on the results
of actual surveys, these maps may be considered, for their size, the
most complete of the United States coast ever presented to the public.

Much credit is due to Messrs. Waud and Merrill for the artistic results
of their pencils, and to Messrs. John Andrew & Son for their skill in
engraving the illustrations.

To the readers of the author's first book of travels, "The Pampas and
Andes: a Thousand Miles' Walk across South America," which journey was
undertaken when he was but seventeen years of age, the writer would say
that their many kind and appreciative letters have prompted him to send
forth this second book of travels--the "Voyage of the Paper Canoe."

           JANUARY 1, 1878.




SAGUENAY RIVER.--WHITE WHALES.--QUEBEC.                       1



TOWN OF SOREL.                                               12






LITTLE FLEET IN ITS HAVEN OF REST.                           42









LIGHTS OF CAPES MAY AND HENLOPEN.                            98



AT NORFOLK.--THE "LANDMARK'S" ENTERPRISE.                   114



ARRIVES AT CAPE HATTERAS.                                   148



PLANTATION.--THE ROUTE TO CAPE FEAR.                        180






SHOOTING-PARK.                                              261



MARY'S RIVER.--FAREWELL TO THE SEA.                         291



SERMON.                                                     313



LAST CAMP.--THE VOYAGE ENDED.                               334





       *       *       *       *       *


    STATE,                                                   12

 3. FROM PLATTSBURGH TO ALBANY,                              42

 4. FROM ALBANY TO NEW YORK CITY,                            71


    VIRGINIA,                                               114

    CAROLINA,                                               148

    BAY, SOUTH CAROLINA,                                    180

    SOUND, GEORGIA,                                         261

    FLORIDA,                                                317




HOME OF THE ALLIGATOR.                          (Frontispiece.)

GREAT AUK (_Alca impennis_). Extinct.                        11

ANCHORED AT LAST,                                            56

A FULL-RIGGED NAUTILUS CANOE,                                57

THE ROB ROY CANOE,                                           68

THE ABORIGINAL TYPE,                                         74

       *       *       *       *       *

Photographed at Disco, Greenland.


A CAPSIZE IN DELAWARE BAY,                                  108

DELAWARE WHIPPING-POST AND PILLORY,                         147

BODY ISLAND LIGHT HOUSE,                                    179

CROSSING HATTERAS INLET,                                    190

RECEPTION AT CHARLESTON POST-OFFICE,                        259

THE PANTHER'S LEAP,                                         345

THE VOYAGE ENDED,                                           351

[Illustration: General Map of Routes followed by the Author during two
Voyages made to the Gulf of Mexico.

_Copyright, 1878 by Lee & Shepard_]


       *       *       *       *       *




While on his passage to the ports of the St. Lawrence River, the mariner
first sights the little island of St. Paul, situated in the waste of
waters between Cape Ray, the southwestern point of Newfoundland on the
north, and Cape North, the northeastern projection of Cape Breton Island
on the south. Across this entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence from cape
to cape is a distance of fifty-four nautical miles; and about twelve
miles east-northeast from Cape North the island of St. Paul, with its
three hills and two light-towers, rises from the sea with deep waters on
every side.

This wide inlet into the gulf may be called the middle portal, for at
the northern end of Newfoundland, between the great island and the coast
of Labrador, another entrance exists, which is known as the Straits of
Belle Isle, and is sometimes called "the shorter passage from England."
Still to the south of the middle entrance is another and a very narrow
one, known as the Gut of Canso, which separates the island of Cape
Breton from Nova Scotia. Through this contracted thoroughfare the tides
run with great force.

One hundred years ago, as the seaman approached the dangerous entrance
of St. Paul, now brightened at night by its light-towers, his heart was
cheered by the sight of immense flocks of a peculiar sea-fowl, now
extinct. When he saw upon the water the Great Auk (_Alca impennis_),
which he ignorantly called "a pengwin," he knew that land was near at
hand, for while he met other species far out upon the broad Atlantic,
the Great Auk, his "pengwin," kept near the coast. Not only was this now
extinct bird his indicator of proximity to the land, but so strange were
its habits, and so innocent was its nature, that it permitted itself to
be captured by boat-loads; and thus were the ships re-victualled at
little cost or trouble. Without any market-value a century ago, the
Great Auk now, as a stuffed skin, represents a value of fifteen hundred
dollars in gold. There are but seventy-two specimens of this bird in
the museums of Europe and America, besides a few skeletons, and
sixty-five of its eggs. It was called in ancient days Gare-fowl, and was
the _Geirfugl_ of the Icelander.

Captain Whitbourne, who wrote in the reign of James the First, quaintly
said: "These Pengwins are as bigge as Geese, and flye not, for they have
but a little short wing, and they multiply so infinitely upon a certain
flat island that men drive them from thence upon a board into their
boats by hundreds at a time, as if God had made the innocency of so
poor a creature to become such an admerable instrument for the
sustenation of man."

In a copy of the English Pilot, "fourth book," published in 1761, which
I presented to the library of the United States Coast Survey, is found
this early description of this now extinct American bird: "They never go
beyond the bank [Newfoundland] as others do, for they are always on it,
or in it, several of them together, sometimes more but never less than
two together. They are large fowls, about the size of a goose, a
coal-black head and back, with a white belly and a milk-white spot
under one of their eyes, which nature has ordered to be under their
right eye."

Thus has the greed of the sailor and pot-hunter swept from the face
of the earth an old pilot--a trusty aid to navigation. Now the
light-house, the fog-gun, and the improved chart have taken the place
of the extinct auk as aids to navigation, and the sailor of to-day sees
the bright flashes of St. Paul's lights when nearly twenty miles at sea.
Having passed the little isle, the ship enters the great Gulf of St.
Lawrence, and passes the Magdalen Islands, shaping its course as wind
and weather permit towards the dreaded, rocky coast of Anticosti. From
the entrance of the gulf to the island of Anticosti the course to be
followed is northwesterly about one hundred and thirty-five nautical
miles. The island which divides an upper arm of the gulf into two wide
channels is one hundred and twenty-three miles long, and from ten to
thirty miles wide. Across the entrance of this great arm, or estuary,
from the high cape of Gaspé on the southern shore of the mainland to
Anticosti in the narrowest place, is a distance of about forty miles,
and is called the South Channel. From the north side of the island and
near its west end to the coast of Labrador the North Channel is fifteen
miles wide. The passage from St. Paul to Anticosti is at times
dangerous. Here is an area of strong currents, tempestuous winds, and
dense fogs. When the wind is fair for an upward run, it is _the_ wind
which usually brings misty weather. Then, from the icy regions of the
Arctic circle, from the Land of Desolation, come floating through the
Straits of Belle Isle the dangerous bergs and ice-fields. Early in the
spring these ice rafts are covered with colonies of seals which resort
to them for the purpose of giving birth to their young. On these icy
cradles, rocked by the restless waves, tens of thousands of young seals
are nursed for a few days; then, answering the loud calls of their
mothers, they accompany them into the briny deep, there to follow the
promptings of their instincts. The loud roarings of the old seals on
these ice rafts can be heard in a quiet night for several miles, and
strike terror into the heart of the superstitious sailor who is ignorant
of the origin of the tumult.

Frequently dense fogs cover the water, and while slowly moving along,
guided only by the needle, a warning sound alarms the watchful master.
Through the heavy mists comes the roar of breaking waters. He listens.
The dull, swashy noise of waves meeting with resistance is now plainly
heard. The atmosphere becomes suddenly chilled: it is the breath of
the iceberg!

Then the shrill cry of "All hands on deck!" startles the watch below
from the bunks. Anxiously now does the whole ship's company lean upon
the weather-rail and peer out into the thick air with an earnestness
born of terror. "Surely," says the master to his mate, "I am past the
Magdalens, and still far from Anticosti, yet we have breakers; which
way can we turn?" The riddle solves itself, for out of the gloom come
whitened walls, beautiful but terrible to behold.

Those terror-stricken sailors watch the slowly moving berg as it drifts
past their vessel, fearing that their own ship will be drawn towards it
from the peculiar power of attraction they believe the iceberg to
possess. And as they watch, against the icy base of the mountain in the
sea the waves beat and break as if expending their forces upon a rocky
shore. Down the furrowed sides of the disintegrating berg streamlets
trickle, and miniature cascades leap, mingling their waters with the
briny sea. The intruder slowly drifts out of sight, disappearing in the
gloom, while the sailor thanks his lucky stars that he has rid himself
of another danger. The ill-omened Anticosti, the graveyard of many
seamen, is yet to be passed. The ship skirts along its southern shore,
a coast destitute of bays or harbors of any kind, rock-bound and

Wrecks of vessels strew the rocky shores, and four light-houses warn
the mariner of danger. Once past the island the ship is well within
the estuary of the gulf into which the St. Lawrence River flows,
contributing the waters of the great lakes of the continent to the
sea. As the north coast is approached the superstitious sailor is
again alarmed if, perchance, the compass-needle shows sympathy with
some disturbing element, the cause of which he believes to exist in
the mountains which rise along the shore. He repeats the stories of
ancient skippers, of vessels having been lured out of their course
by the deviation of the guiding-needle, which succumbed to the potent
influence exerted in those hills of iron ore; heeding not the fact
that the disturbing agent is the iron on board of his own ship, and
not the magnetic oxide of the distant mines.

The ship being now within the estuary of the St. Lawrence River, must
encounter many risks before she reaches the true mouth of the river,
at the Bic Islands.

The shores along this arm of the gulf are wild and sombre. Rocky
precipices frown upon the swift tidal current that rushes past their
bases. A few small settlements of fishermen and pilots, like Metis,
Father Point, and Rimousky, are discovered at long intervals along
the coast.

In these St. Lawrence hamlets, and throughout Lower Canada, a patois is
spoken which is unintelligible to the Londoner or Parisian; and these
villagers, the descendants of the French colonists, may be said to be a
people destitute of a written language, and strangers to a literature.

While holding a commission from Francis the First, king of France,
Jacques Cartier discovered the Gulf of St. Lawrence, during his first
voyage of exploration in the new world. He entered the gulf on St.
Lawrence's day, in the spring of 1534, and named it in honor of the
event. Cartier explored no farther to the west than about the mouth of
the estuary which is divided by the island of Anticosti. It was during
his second voyage, in the following year, that he discovered and
explored the great river. Of the desolate shores of Labrador, on the
north coast, he said, "It might as well as not be taken for the country
assigned by God to Cain."

The distance from Quebec to Cape Gaspé, measured upon a course which a
steamer would be compelled to take, is four hundred and seven statute
miles. The ship first enters the current of the river St. Lawrence at
the two Bic Islands, where it has a width of about twenty miles. By
consulting most maps the reader will find that geographers carry the
_river_ nearly two hundred miles beyond its usual current. In fact,
they appropriate the whole estuary, which, in places, is nearly one
hundred miles in width, and call it a river--a river which lacks the
characteristics of a river, the currents of which vary with the winds
and tidal influences, and the waters of which are as salt as those of
the briny deep.

Here, in the mouth of the river, at the Bics, secure anchorage for
vessels may be found; but below, in the estuary, for a distance of more
than two hundred and forty-five miles, to Gaspé, there is but one port
of refuge, that of Seven Islands, on the north coast.

As the ship ascends the river from Bic Islands, a passage of about one
hundred and sixty statute miles to Quebec, she struggles against a
strong current. Picturesque islands and little villages, such as St.
André, St. Anne, St. Rogue, St. Jean, and St. Thomas, relieve the
monotony. But very different is the winter aspect of this river, when
closed to navigation by ice from November until spring. Of the many
tributaries which give strength to the current of the St. Lawrence and
contribute to its glory, the Saguenay River with its remarkable scenery
is counted one of the wonders of our continent. It joins the great river
from the north shore, about one hundred and thirty-four statute miles
below Quebec. Upon the left bank, at its mouth, nestles the little
village of Tadousac, the summer retreat of the governor-general of the
Dominion of Canada.

American history claims for the Roman Catholic church of this settlement
an age second only to that of the old Spanish cathedral at St.
Augustine, Florida. For three hundred years the storms of winter have
beaten upon its walls, but it stands a silent yet eloquent monument of
the pious zeal of the ancient Fathers, who came to conquer Satan in the
wilderness of a new world. The Saguenay has become the "Mecca" of
northern tourists, ever attracting them with its wild and fascinating
scenery. Capes Eternity and Trinity guard the entrance to Eternity Bay.
The first towers sublimely to a height of eighteen hundred feet, the
other is only a little lower. A visit to this mysterious river, with its
deep, dark waters and picturesque views, will repay the traveller for
the discomforts of a long and expensive journey.

Where the turbulent current of the Saguenay mingles angrily with that of
the St. Lawrence, there may be seen disporting in the waves the white
whale of aquariums, which is not a whale at all, but a true porpoise
(_Delphinopterus catodon_, as he is now called by naturalists), having
teeth in the jaws, and being destitute of the fringed bone of the
whalebone whales. This interesting creature is very abundant in the
Arctic Ocean on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides, and has its
southern limits in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, although one is
occasionally seen in the Bay of Fundy, and it is reported to
have been observed about Cape Cod, on the Massachusetts coast.

As the ship nears the first great port of the St. Lawrence River, the
large and well cultivated island of Orleans is passed, and the bold
fortifications of Quebec, high up on the face of Point Diamond, and
flanked by the houses of the French city, break upon the vision of the
mariner. To the right, and below the city, which Champlain founded,
and in which his unknown ashes repose, are the beautiful Falls of
Montmorency, gleaming in all the whiteness of their falling waters and
mists, like the bridal veil of a giantess. The vessel has safely made
her passage, and now comes to anchor in the Basin of Quebec. The sails
are furled, and the heart of the sailor is merry, for the many dangers
which beset the ship while approaching and entering the great water-way
of the continent are now over.

[Illustration: GREAT AUK.]




[Illustration: From Quebec, Canada, to Plattsburgh, New York State.

Route of CANOE MAYETA From Quebec Canada to Plattsburgh
N.Y. via St. Lawrence and Richelieu Rivers Followed by N. H. Bishop
in 1874
_Copyright, 1878 by Lee & Shepard_]

The canoe traveller can ascend the St. Lawrence River to Lake Ontario,
avoiding the rapids and shoals by making use of seven canals of a total
length of forty-seven miles. He may then skirt the shores of Lake
Ontario, and enter Lake Erie by the canal which passes around the
celebrated Falls of Niagara. From the last great inland sea he can visit
lakes Huron, Michigan, and, with the assistance of a short canal, the
grandest of all, Superior. When he has reached the town of Duluth, at
the southwestern end of Superior, which is the terminus of the Northern
Pacific Railroad, our traveller will have paddled (following the
contours of the land) over two thousand miles from salt water into the
American continent without having been compelled to make a portage with
his little craft. Let him now make his first portage westward, over
the railroad one hundred and fifteen miles from Duluth, to the
crossing of the Mississippi River at Brainerd, and launch his boat on
the Father of Waters, which he may descend with but few interruptions to
below the Falls of St. Anthony, at Minneapolis; or, if he will take his
boat by rail from Duluth, one hundred and fifty-five miles, to St. Paul,
he can launch his canoe, and follow the steamboat to the Gulf of Mexico.
This is the longest, and may be called the canoeist's western route to
the great Southern Sea. In St. Louis County, Minnesota, the water from
"Seven Beaver Lakes" flows south-southwest, and joins the Flood-Wood
River; there taking an easterly course towards Duluth, it empties into
Lake Superior. This is the St. Louis River, the first tributary of the
mighty St. Lawrence system. From the head waters of the St. Louis to the
mouth of the St. Lawrence at Bic Islands, where it enters the great
estuary, the length of this great water system, including the great
Lakes, is about two thousand miles. The area thus drained by the St.
Lawrence River is nearly six millions of square miles. The largest craft
can ascend it to Quebec, and smaller ones to Montreal; above which city,
navigation being impeded by rapids, the seven canals before mentioned
have been constructed that vessels may avoid this danger while voyaging
to Lake Ontario.

The southern and shorter coast route to the gulf leaves the great river
at the Acadian town of Sorel, where the quiet Richelieu flows into the
St. Lawrence River. Of the two long routes offered me I selected the
southern, leaving the other to be traversed at some future time. To
follow the contours of rivers, bays, and sounds, a voyage of at least
twenty-five hundred miles was before me. It was my intention to explore
the connecting watercourses southward, without making a single portage,
as far as Cape Henlopen, a sandy headland at the entrance of Delaware
Bay; there, by making short portages from one watercourse to another, to
navigate along the interior of the Atlantic coast to the St. Mary's
River, which is a dividing line between Georgia and Florida. From the
Atlantic coast of southern Georgia, I proposed to cross the peninsula of
Florida by way of the St. Mary's River, to Okefenokee Swamp; thence, by
portage, to the Suwanee River, and by descending that stream (the
boundary line of a geographical division--eastern and middle Florida),
to reach the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, which was to be the terminal
point of my canoe journey. Charts, maps, and sea-faring men had informed
me that about twenty-three hundred miles of the trip could be made upon
land-locked waters, but about two hundred miles of voyaging must be done
upon the open Atlantic Ocean.

As I now write, I smilingly remember how erroneous were my advisers;
for, while prosecuting my voyage, I was but once upon the open sea, and
then through mistake and for only a few minutes. Had I then known that I
could have followed the whole route in a small boat upon strictly
interior waters, I should have paddled from the Basin of Quebec in the
light paper canoe which I afterwards adopted at Troy, and which carried
me alone in safety two thousand miles to the warm regions of the Gulf of
Mexico. The counsels of old seamen had influenced me to adopt a large
wooden clinker-built, decked canoe, eighteen feet long, forty-five
inches beam, and twenty-four inches depth of hold, which weighed, with
oars, rudder, mast and sail, above three hundred pounds. The Mayeta was
built by an excellent workman, Mr. J. S. Lamson, at Bordentown, New
Jersey. The boat was sharp at each end, and the lines from amidships to
stem, and from amidships to sternpost, were alike. She possessed that
essential characteristic of seaworthiness, abundant sheer. The deck was
pierced for a cockpit in the centre, which was six feet long and
surrounded by a high combing to keep out water. The builder had done his
best to make the Mayeta serve for rowing and sailing--a most difficult
combination, and one not usually successful.

On the morning of July 4, 1874, I entered the Basin of Quebec with my
wooden canoe and my waterman, one David Bodfish, a "shoreman" of New
Jersey. After weeks of preparation and weary travel by rail and by
water, we had steamed up the Gulf and the River of St. Lawrence to this
our most northern point of departure. We viewed the frowning heights
upon which was perched the city of Quebec with unalloyed pleasure, and
eagerly scrambled up the high banks to see the interesting old city. The
tide, which rises at the city piers eighteen feet in the spring, during
the neaps reaches only thirteen feet. Late in the afternoon the incoming
tide promised to assist us in ascending the river, the downward current
of which runs with torrent-like velocity, and with a depth abreast the
city of from sixteen to twenty fathoms. Against this current powerful
steamers run one hundred and eighty miles up the river to Montreal in
eighteen hours, and descend in fourteen hours, including two hours'
stoppages at Sorel and Three Rivers. At six o'clock P. M. we pushed off
into the river, which is about two-thirds of a mile wide at this point,
and commenced our voyage; but fierce gusts of wind arose and drove us to
the shelter of Mr. Hamilton's lumber-yard on the opposite shore, where
we passed the night, sleeping comfortably upon cushions which we spread
on the narrow floor of the boat. Sunday was to be spent in camp; but
when dawn appeared we were not allowed to build a fire on the lumber
pier, and were forced to ascend the St. Lawrence in quest of a retired
spot above the landing of St. Croix, on the right bank of the river. The
tide had been a high one when we beached our boat at the foot of a
bluff. Two hours later the receding tide left us a quarter of a mile
from the current. The river was fully two miles wide at this point, and
so powerful was its current that steamers anchored in it were obliged to
keep their wheels slowly revolving to ease the strain on their anchors.
Early on Monday morning we beheld with consternation that the tide did
not reach our boat, and by dint of hard labor we constructed a railroad
from a neighboring fence, and moved the Mayeta on rollers upon it over
the mud and the projecting reef of rocks some five hundred feet to the
water, then embarking, rowed close along the shore to avoid the current.
A deep fog settled down upon us, and we were driven to camp again on the
left bank, where a cataract tumbled over the rocks fifty or more feet.
Tuesday was a sunny day, but the usual head wind greeted us. The water
would rise along-shore on the flood three hours before the downward
current was checked in the channel of the river. We could not place any
dependence in the regularity of the tides, as strong winds and freshets
in the tributaries influence them. Earlier in the season, as a writer
remarks, "until the upland waters have all run down, and the great
rivers have discharged the freshets caused by thawing of the snows in
the spring of the year, this current, in spite of tides, will always run
down." To the uninitiated the spectacle is a curious one, of the flood
tide rising and swelling the waters of a great river some eight to ten
feet, while the current at the surface is rapidly descending the course
of the stream.

Finding that the wind usually rose and fell with the sun, we now made it
a rule to anchor our boat during most of the day and pull against the
current at night. The moon and the bright auroral lights made this task
an agreeable one. Then, too, we had Coggia's comet speeding through the
northern heavens, awakening many an odd conjecture in the mind of my old

In this high latitude day dawned before three o'clock, and the twilight
lingered so long that we could read the fine print of a newspaper
without effort at a quarter to nine o'clock P. M. The lofty shores that
surrounded us at Quebec gradually decreased in elevation, and the tides
affected the river less and less as we approached Three Rivers, where
they seemed to cease altogether. We reached the great lumber station of
Three Rivers, which is located on the left bank of the St. Lawrence, on
Friday evening, and moved our canoe into quiet waters near the entrance
of Lake of St. Peter. Rain squalls kept us close under our hatch-cloth
till eleven o'clock A. M. on Saturday, when, the wind being fair, we
determined to make an attempt to reach Sorel, which would afford us a
pleasant camping-ground for Sunday.

Lake of St. Peter is a shoal sheet of water twenty-two miles long and
nearly eight miles wide, a bad place to cross in a small boat in windy
weather. We set our sail and sped merrily on, but the tempest pressed us
sorely, compelling us to take in our sail and scud under bare poles
until one o'clock, when we double-reefed and set the sail. We now flew
over the short and swashy seas as blast after blast struck our little
craft. At three o'clock the wind slackened, permitting us to shake out
our reefs and crowd on all sail. A labyrinth of islands closed the lake
at its western end, and we looked with anxiety to find among them an
opening through which we might pass into the river St. Lawrence again.
At five o'clock the wind veered to the north, with squalls increasing in
intensity. We steered for a low, grassy island, which seemed to separate
us from the river. The wind was not free enough to permit us to weather
it, so we decided to beach the boat and escape the furious tempest. But
when we struck the marshy island we kept moving on through the rushes
that covered it, and fairly sailed over its submerged soil into the
broad water on the other side. Bodfish earnestly advised the propriety
of anchoring here for the night, saying, "It is too rough to go on;" but
the temptation held out by the proximity to Sorel determined me to take
the risk and drive on. Again we bounded out upon rough water, with the
screeching tempest upon us. David took the tiller, while I sat upon the
weather-rail to steady the boat. The Mayeta was now to be put to a
severe test; she was to cross seas that could easily trip a boat of her
size; but the wooden canoe was worthy of her builder, and flew like an
affrighted bird over the foaming waves across the broad water, to the
shelter of a wooded, half submerged island, out of which rose, on piles,
a little light-house. Under this lee we crept along in safety. The sail
was furled, never to be used in storm again. The wind went down with the
sinking sun, and a delightful calm favored us for our row up the
narrowing river, eight miles to the place of destination.

Soon after nine o'clock we came upon the Acadian town, Sorel, with its
bright lights cheerily flashing out upon us as we rowed past its river
front. The prow of our canoe was now pointed southward toward the goal
of our ambition, the great Mexican Gulf; and we were about to ascend
that historic stream, the lovely Richelieu, upon whose gentle current,
two hundred and sixty-six years before, Champlain had ascended to the
noble lake which bears his name, and up which the missionary Jogues had
been carried an unwilling captive to bondage and to torture.

We ascended the Richelieu, threading our way among steam-tugs,
canal-boats, and rafts, to a fringe of rushes growing out of a shallow
flat on the left bank of the river, just above the town. There, firmly
staking the Mayeta upon her soft bed of mud, secure from danger, we
enjoyed a peaceful rest through the calm night which followed; and thus
ended the rough passage of one week's duration--from Quebec to Sorel.




Quebec was founded by Champlain, July 3, 1680. During his first warlike
expedition into the land of the Iroquois the following year, escorted by
Algonquin and Montagnais Indian allies, he ascended a river to which was
afterwards given the name of Cardinal Richelieu, prime minister of Louis
XIII. of France. This stream, which is about eighty miles long, connects
the lake (which Champlain discovered and named after himself) with the
St. Lawrence River at a point one hundred and forty miles above Quebec,
and forty miles below Montreal. The waters of lakes George and Champlain
flow northward, through the Richelieu River into the St. Lawrence. The
former stream flows through a cultivated country, and upon its banks,
after leaving Sorel, are situate the little towns of St. Ours, St.
Rock, St. Denis, St. Antoine, St. Marks, Beloeil, Chambly, and St.
Johns. Small steamers, tug-boats, and rafts pass from the St. Lawrence
to Lake Champlain (which lies almost wholly within the United States),
following the Richelieu to Chambly, where it is necessary, to avoid
rapids and shoals, to take the canal that follows the river's bank
twelve miles to St. Johns, where the Canadian custom-house is located.
Sorel is called William Henry by the Anglo-Saxon Canadians. The paper
published in this town of seven thousand inhabitants is _La Gazette de
Sorel_. The river which flows past the town is called, without
authority, by some geographers, Sorel River, and by others St. Johns,
because the town nearest its source is St. Johns, and another town at
its mouth is Sorel. There are about one hundred English-speaking
families in Sorel. The American Waterhouse Machinery supplies the town
with water pumped from the river at a cost of one ton of coal per day.
At ten o'clock on Monday morning we resumed our journey up the
Richelieu, the current of which was nothing compared with that of the
great river we had left. The average width of the stream was about a
quarter of a mile, and the grassy shores were made picturesque by
groves of trees and quaintly constructed farm-houses.

It was a rich, pastoral land, abounding in fine herds of cattle. The
country reminded me of the Acadian region of Grand Pré, which I had
visited during the earlier part of the season. Here, as there, were
delightful pastoral scenes and rich verdure; but here we still had the
Acadian peasants, while in the land of beautiful Evangeline no longer
were they to be found. The New Englander now holds the titles to those
deserted old farms of the scattered colonists. Our rowing was frequently
interrupted by heavy showers, which drove us under our hatch-cloth for
protection. The same large, two-steepled stone churches, with their
unpainted tin roofs glistening like silver in the sunlight, marked
out here, as on the high banks of the St. Lawrence River, the site
of a village.

Twelve miles of rowing brought us to St. Ours, where we rested for the
night, after wandering through its shaded and quaint streets. The
village boys and girls came down to see us off the next morning, waving
their kerchiefs, and shouting "_Bon voyage!_" Two miles above the town
we encountered a dam three feet high, which deepened the water on a
shoal above it. We passed through a single lock in company with rafts of
pine logs which were on the way to New York, to be used for spars. A
lockage fee of twenty-five cents for our boat the lock-master told us
would be collected at Chambly Basin. It was a pull of nearly six miles
to St. Denis, where the same scene of comfort and plenty prevailed.
Women were washing clothes in large iron pots at the river's edge, and
the hum of the spinning-wheels issued from the doorways of the
farm-houses. Beehives in the well-stocked gardens were filled with
honey, and the straw-thatched barns had their doors thrown wide open, as
though waiting to receive the harvest. At intervals along the highway,
over the grassy hills, tall, white wooden crosses were erected; for this
people, like the Acadians of old, are very religious. Down the current
floated "pin-flats," a curious scow-like boat, which carries a square
sail, and makes good time only when running before the wind. St. Antoine
and St. Marks were passed, and the isolated peak of St. Hilaire loomed
up grandly twelve hundred feet on the right bank of the Richelieu,
opposite the town of Beloeil. One mile above Beloeil the Grand Trunk
Railroad crosses the stream, and here we passed the night. Strong winds
and rain squalls interrupted our progress. At Chambly Basin we tarried
until the evening of July 16, before entering the canal. Chambly is a
watering-place for Montreal people, who come here to enjoy the fishing,
which is said to be fair.

We had ascended one water-step at St. Ours. Here we had eight steps to
ascend within the distance of one mile. By means of eight locks, each
one hundred and ten feet long by twenty-two wide, the Mayeta was lifted
seventy-five feet and one inch in height to the upper level of the
canal. The lock-masters were courteous, and wished us the usual "_bon
voyage!_" This canal was built thirty-four years prior to my visit. By
ten o'clock P. M. we had passed the last lock, and went into camp in a
depression in the bank of the canal. The journey was resumed at half
past three o'clock the following morning, and the row of twelve miles to
St. Johns was a delightful one. The last lock (the only one at St.
Johns) was passed, and we had a full clearance at the Dominion
custom-house before noon.

We were again on the Richelieu, with about twenty-three miles between us
and the boundary line of the United States and Canada, and with very
little current to impede us. As dusk approached we passed a dismantled
old fort, situated upon an island called Ile aux Noix, and entered a
region inhabited by the large bull-frog, where we camped for the night,
amid the dolorous voices of these choristers. On Saturday, the 18th, at
an early hour, we were pulling for the United States, which was about
six miles from our camping-ground. The Richelieu widened, and we entered
Lake Champlain, passing Fort Montgomery, which is about one thousand
feet south of the boundary line. Champlain has a width of three fourths
of a mile at Fort Montgomery, and at Rouse's Point expands to two miles
and three quarters. The erection of the fort was commenced soon after
1812, but in 1818 the work was suspended, as some one discovered that
the site was in Canada, and the cognomen of Fort Blunder was applied. In
the Webster treaty of 1842, England ceded the ground to the United
States, and Fort Montgomery was finished at a cost of over half a
million of dollars.

At Rouse's Point, which lies on the west shore of Lake Champlain about
one and one-half miles south of its confluence with the Richelieu, the
Mayeta was inspected by the United States custom-house officer, and
nothing contraband being discovered, the little craft was permitted to
continue her voyage.

At the northern end of the harbor of Rouse's Point is the terminus of
the Ogdensburg and the Champlain and St. Lawrence railroads. The Vermont
Central Railroad connects with the above by means of a bridge twenty-two
hundred feet in length, which crosses the lake. Before proceeding
further it may interest the reader of practical mind to know that a very
important movement is on foot to facilitate the navigation of vessels
between the great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, and Champlain, by the
construction of a ship-canal. The Caughnawaga Ship Canal Company,
"incorporated by special act of the Dominion of Parliament of Canada,
12th May, 1870," (capital, three million dollars; shares, one hundred
dollars each,) with a board of directors composed of citizens of the
United States and Canada, has issued its prospectus, from which I
extract the following:

    "The commissioners of public works, in their report of 1859,
    approved by government, finally settled the question of route,
    by declaring that, 'after a patient and mature consideration of
    all the surveys and reports, we are of opinion that the line
    following the Chambly Canal and then crossing to Lake St. Louis
    near Caughnawaga, is that which combines and affords in the
    greatest degree all the advantages contemplated by this
    improvement, and which has been approved by Messrs. Mills,
    Swift, and Gamble.'

    "The company's Act of Incorporation is in every respect complete
    and comprehensive in its details. It empowers the company to
    survey, to take, appropriate, have and hold, to and for the use
    of them and their successors, the line and boundaries of a canal
    between the St. Lawrence and Lake Champlain, to build and erect
    the same, to select such sites as may be necessary for basins
    and docks, as may be considered expedient by the directors, and
    to purchase and dispose of same, with any water-power, as may be
    deemed best by the directors for the use and profit of the

    "It also empowers the company to cause their canal to enter into
    the Chambly Canal, and to widen, deepen, and enlarge the same,
    not less in size than the present St. Lawrence canals; also the
    company may take, hold, and use any portion of the Chambly
    Canal, and the works therewith connected, and all the tolls,
    receipts, and revenues thereof, upon terms to be settled and
    agreed upon between the company and the governor in council.

    "The cost of the canal, with locks of three hundred feet by
    forty-five, and with ten feet six inches the mitre-sill, is now
    estimated at two million five hundred thousand dollars, and the
    time for its construction may not exceed two years after
    breaking ground.

    "Probably no question is of more vital importance to Canada and
    the western and eastern United States than the subject of
    transportation. The increasing commerce of the Great West, the
    rapidity with which the population has of late flowed into that
    vast tract of country to the west and northwest of lakes Erie,
    Michigan, Huron, and Superior, have served to convince all
    well-informed commercial men that the means of transit between
    that country and the seaboard are far too limited even for the
    present necessities of trade; hence it becomes a question of
    universal interest how the products of the field, the mine, and
    the forest can be most cheaply forwarded to the consumer. Near
    the geographical centre of North America is a vast plateau two
    thousand feet above the level of the sea, drained by the
    Mississippi to the south, by the St. Lawrence to the east, and
    by the Saskatchewan and McKenzie to the north. This vast
    territory would have been valueless but for the water lines
    which afford cheap transport between it and the great markets of
    the world.

    "Canada has improved the St. Lawrence by canals round the rapids
    of the St. Lawrence, and by the Welland Canal, connecting lakes
    Erie and Ontario, twenty-eight miles in length with a fall of
    two hundred and sixty feet, capable of passing vessels of four
    hundred tons. The St. Lawrence, from the east end of Lake
    Ontario, has a fall of two hundred and twenty feet, overcome by
    seven short canals of an aggregate length of forty-seven miles,
    capable of passing vessels of six hundred and fifty tons. The
    Richelieu River is connected with Lake Champlain by a canal of
    twelve miles from Chambly. A canal of one mile in length, at the
    outlet of Lake Superior, connects that lake with Lake Huron, and
    has two locks, which will pass vessels of two thousand tons. New
    York has built a canal from Buffalo, on Lake Erie, and from
    Oswego, on Lake Ontario, to Albany, on the Hudson River, of
    three hundred and sixty and of two hundred and nine miles,
    capable of passing boats of two hundred and ten tons; and she
    has also constructed a canal from the Hudson River into Lake
    Champlain of sixty-five miles, which can pass boats of eighty

    "Such is the nature of the navigation between tide-water on the
    Hudson and St. Lawrence and the upper lakes. The magnitude of
    the commerce of the Northwest has compelled the enlargement of
    the Erie and Oswego canals from boats of seventy-eight to two
    hundred and ten tons, while the St. Lawrence and Welland canals
    have also been enlarged since their first construction. A
    further enlargement of the Erie and Champlain canals is now
    strongly urged in consequence of the want of the necessary
    facilities of transport for the ever increasing western trade.
    The object of the Caughnawaga Ship-canal is to connect Lake
    Champlain with the St. Lawrence by the least possible distance,
    and with the smallest amount of lockage. When built, it will
    enable the vessel or propeller to sail from the head of lakes
    Superior or Michigan without breaking bulk, and will enable such
    vessels to land and receive cargo at Burlington and Whitehall,
    from whence western freights can be carried to and from Boston,
    and throughout New England, by railway cheaper than by any other

    "It will possess the advantage, when the Welland Canal is
    enlarged and the locks of the St. Lawrence Canal lengthened, of
    passing vessels of eight hundred and fifty tons' burden, and
    with that size of vessel (impossible on any other route) of
    improved model, with facilities for loading and discharging
    cargoes at both ends of the route, in the length of the voyage
    without transshipment, in having the least distance between any
    of the lake ports and a seaport, and in having the shortest
    length of taxed canal navigation. The construction of the
    Caughnawaga Canal, when carried out, will remedy the
    difficulties which now exist and stand in the way of an
    uninterrupted water communication between the western states
    and the Atlantic seaboard."

From Rouse's Point we proceeded to a picturesque point which jutted into
the lake below Chazy Landing, and was sheltered by a grove of trees into
which we hauled the Mayeta. Bodfish's woodcraft enabled him to construct
a wigwam out of rails and rubber blankets, where we quietly resided
until Monday morning. The owner of the point, Mr. Trombly, invited us to
dinner on Sunday, and exhibited samples of a ton of maple sugar which he
had made from the sap of one thousand trees.

On Monday, July 20th, we rowed southward. Our route now skirted the
western shore of Lake Champlain, which is the eastern boundary of the
great Adirondack wilderness. Several of the tributaries of the lake take
their rise in this region, which is being more and more visited by the
hunter, the fisherman, the artist, and the tourist, as its natural
attractions are becoming known to the public. The geodetical survey of
the northern wilderness of New York state, known as the Adirondack
country, under the efficient and energetic labors of Mr. Verplanck
Colvin, will cover an area of nearly five thousand square miles. In his
report of the great work he eloquently says:

    "The Adirondack wilderness may be considered the wonder and
    the glory of New York. It is a vast _natural_ park, one immense
    and silent forest, curiously and beautifully broken by the
    gleaming waters of a myriad of lakes, between which rugged
    mountain-ranges rise as a sea of granite billows. At the
    northeast the mountains culminate within an area of some
    hundreds of square miles; and here savage, treeless peaks,
    towering above the timber line, crowd one another, and,
    standing gloomily shoulder to shoulder, rear their rocky crests
    amid the frosty clouds. The wild beasts may look forth from the
    ledges on the mountain-sides over unbroken woodlands stretching
    beyond the reach of sight--beyond the blue, hazy ridges at the
    horizon. The voyager by the canoe beholds lakes in which these
    mountains and wild forests are reflected like inverted reality;
    now wondrous in their dark grandeur and solemnity, now glorious
    in resplendent autumn color of pearly beauty. Here--thrilling
    sound to huntsman--echoes the wild melody of the hound,
    awakening the solitude with deep-mouthed bay as he pursues the
    swift career of deer. The quavering note of the loon on the
    lake, the mournful hoot of the owl at night, with rarer forest
    voices, have also to the lover of nature their peculiar charm,
    and form the wild language of this forest.

    "It is this region of lakes and mountains--whose mountain core
    is well shown by the illustration, 'the heart of the
    Adirondacks'--that our citizens desire to reserve forever as a
    public forest park, not only as a resort of rest for themselves
    and for posterity, but for weighty reasons of political economy.
    For reservoirs of water for the canals and rivers; for the
    amelioration of spring floods by the preservation of the forests
    sheltering the deep winter snows; for the salvation of the
    timber,--our only cheap source of lumber supply should the
    Canadian and western markets be ruined by fires, or otherwise
    lost to us,--its preservation as a state forest is urgently
    demanded. To the number of those chilly peaks amid which our
    principal rivers take their rise, I have added by measurement a
    dozen or more over four thousand feet in height, which were
    before either nameless, or only vaguely known by the names given
    them by hunters and trappers.

    "It is well to note that the final hypsometrical computations
    fully affirm my discovery that in Mount Haystack we have another
    mountain of five thousand feet altitude. It may not be
    uninteresting also to remark that the difference between the
    altitudes of Mount Marcy and Mount Washington of the White
    Mountains of New Hampshire is found to be quite eight hundred
    feet. Mount Marcy, Mount MacIntyre, and Mount Haystack are to be
    remembered as the three royal summits of the state.

    "The four prominent peaks are--

    Mount Marcy {Mount _Tahawus_--"I cleave}
                {  the clouds,"            }      5,402.65
    Mount Haystack,                               5,006.73
    Mount MacIntyre,                              5,201.80
    Mount Skylight,                               4,977.76."

If the general reader will pardon a seeming digression to gratify the
curiosity of some of my boating friends, I will give from the report of
the Adirondack Survey Mr. Colvin's account of his singular boat,--one of
the lightest yet constructed, and weighing only as much as a hunter's
double-barrelled gun.

Mr. Colvin says:

    "I also had constructed a canvas boat, of my own invention, for
    use in the interior of the wilderness on such of the mountain
    lakes as were inaccessible to boats, and which it would be
    necessary to map. This boat was peculiar; no more frame being
    needed than could be readily cut in thirty minutes in the first
    thicket. It was twelve feet long, with thin sheet brass prows,
    riveted on, and so fitted as to receive the keelson, prow
    pieces, and ribs (of boughs), when required; the canoe being
    made water-proof with pure rubber gum, dissolved in naphtha,
    rubbed into it."

Page 43 of Mr. Colvin's report informs the reader how well this novel
craft served the purpose for which it was built.

    "September 12 was devoted to levelling and topographical work at
    Ampersand Pond, a solitary lake locked in by mountains, and
    seldom visited. There was no boat upon its surface, and in order
    to complete the hydrographical work we had now, of necessity, to
    try my portable canvas boat, which had hitherto done service as
    bed or tent. Cutting green rods for ribs, we unrolled the boat
    and tied them in, lashing poles for gunwales at the sides, and
    in a short time our canvas canoe, buoyant as a cork, was
    floating on the water. The guides, who had been unable to
    believe that the flimsy bag they carried could be used as a
    boat, were in ecstasies. Rude but efficient paddles were hastily
    hewn from the nearest tree, and soon we were all gliding in our
    ten-pound boat over the waves of Ampersand, which glittered in
    the morning sunlight. To the guides the boat was something
    astonishing; they could not refrain from laughter to find that
    they were really afloat in it, and pointed with surprise at the
    waves, which could be seen _through_ the boat, rippling against
    its sides. With the aid of the boat, with prismatic compass and
    sextant, I was able to secure an excellent map of the lake; and
    we almost succeeded in catching a deer, which was driven into
    the lake by a strange hound. The dog lost the trail at the
    water, and desiring to put him on the track, we paddled to him.
    He scrambled into the boat with an air of satisfaction, as if he
    had always travelled in just such a thing. Soon we had regained
    the trail, and making the mountains echo to his voice, he again
    pursued the deer on into the trackless forest.

    "Continuing our work, we passed down into the outlet, where, in
    trying to effect a landing, we suddenly came face to face with a
    large panther, which had evidently been watching us. He fled at
    our approach.

    "Our baggage was quickly packed, and the temporary frame of the
    canoe having been taken out and thrown away, we rolled up our
    boat and put it in the bottom of a knapsack.... The same day by
    noon we reached Cold Brook again, here navigable. In an hour and
    a half we had re-framed the canvas, cut out two paddles from a
    dry cedar-tree, had dinner, loaded the boat, and were off,
    easily gliding down stream to the Saranac River. Three men, the
    heaped baggage in the centre, and the solemn hound, who seemed
    to consider himself part of the company, sitting upright near
    the prow, forming in all a burden of about one third of a ton,
    was a severe test of the green boughs of which we had made the

    "Ascending the Saranac River, we struck out into the broad
    Saranac Lake, some six miles in length, and though the winds and
    the waves buffeted us, the canvas sides of the boat responding
    elastically to each beat of the waves, we got safely along till
    near the Sister Islands, when, the wind blowing very fresh, the
    white-capped rollers began to pitch into the boat. The exertions
    of the guides brought us under the lee shore, and at evening we
    disembarked at Martin's."

Geographies, guide-books, and historical works frequently give the
length of Lake Champlain as one hundred and fifty, or at the least one
hundred and forty miles. These distances are not correct. The lake
proper begins at a point near Ticonderoga and ends not far from the
boundary line of the United States and Canada. Champlain is not less
than one hundred nor more than one hundred and twelve miles long. The
Champlain Canal, which connects the river that flows from Whitehall into
the lake with the Hudson River, is sixty-four miles long, ending at the
Erie Canal at Junction Lock, near Troy. From Junction Lock to Albany,
along the Erie Canal, it is six miles: or seventy miles from Whitehall
to Albany by canal route. This distance has frequently been given as
fifty-one miles.

From the United States boundary line southward it is a distance of seven
miles to Isle la Motte, which island is five and a half miles long by
one and three quarters wide, with a light-house upon its northwest
point. From the New York shore of Monti Bay, across the end of Isle la
Motte to St. Albans, Vermont, is a distance of thirteen and a half
miles. Two miles south of the island, on the west shore, is Point au
Roche light; and two miles and three quarters south of it is Rocky
Point, the terminus of Long Point. Next comes Treadwell Bay, three miles
across; then two miles further on is Cumberland Head and its
light-house. West from Cumberland, three miles across a large bay, is
Plattsburgh, at the mouth of the Saranac River, a town of five thousand
inhabitants. In this vicinity Commodore Macdonough fought the British
fleet in 1814. These are historic waters, which have witnessed the scene
of many a bloody struggle between French, English, and Indian
adversaries. Off Cumberland Head, and dividing the lake, is Grand Isle,
twelve miles in length and from three to four in width.

The village of Port Kent is near the mouth of the Ausable River, which
flows out of the northern Adirondack country. A few miles from the lake
is the natural wonder, the Ausable Chasm, which is nearly two miles in
length. The river has worn a channel in the Potsdam sandstone formation
to a depth, in places, of two hundred feet. Between high walls of rock
the river is compressed in one place to ten feet in breadth, and dashes
wildly over falls and rapids on its way to Lake Champlain. It is said to
rival the famous Swiss Gorge du Triant.

Schuyler's Island, upon the shore of which we passed Tuesday night, is
nearly in the latitude of Burlington, Vermont. The distance from Port
Douglass on the west, to Burlington on the east side of Champlain, over
an open expanse of water, is nine miles and three quarters. We
breakfasted by starlight, and passed Ligonier's Point early in the day.
One mile and a half east of it is the group of little islands called
Four Brothers. The lake grew narrower as we rowed southward, until,
after passing Port Henry Iron Works, and the high promontory of Crown
Point, upon which are the ruins of the French Fort Frederic, built in
1731, it has a width of only two miles.

At eight o'clock P. M. we dropped anchor under the banks of Ticonderoga,
not far from the outlet of Lake George. It is four miles by road between
the two lakes. The stream which connects them can be ascended from
Champlain about two miles to the Iron Works, the remainder of the river
being filled with rapids.

A railroad now (1867) connects lakes George and Champlain, over which an
easy portage can be made. The ruined walls of Fort Ticonderoga are near
the railroad landing. A little south of this the lake grows so narrow as
to resemble a river. At its southern end, twenty-four miles from
Ticonderoga, is situated the town of Whitehall, where the Champlain and
Hudson River Canal forms a junction with Lake Champlain. This long
river-like termination of Champlain gave to the Indians the fancy of
calling it _Tisinondrosa_--"the tail of the lake;" which in mouths
inexperienced with the savage tongue became corrupted into Ticonderoga.

Wednesday broke upon us a glorious day. Proceeding three miles to
Patterson's Landing, into the "tail of the lake," I left the Mayeta to
explore on foot the shores of Lake George, promising Bodfish to join him
at Whitehall when my work should be finished.




In the last chapter I gave, from seemingly good authority, the
appellation of the narrow terminal water of the southern end of Lake
Champlain, "the tail of the lake." Another authority, in describing Lake
George, says: "The Indians named the lake, on account of the purity of
its waters, _Horican_, or 'silvery water;' they also called it
_Canderi-oit_, or 'the tail of the lake,' on account of its connecting
with Lake Champlain." Cooper, in his "Last of the Mohicans," says: "It
occurred to me that the French name of the lake was too complicated, the
American too commonplace, and the Indian too unpronounceable for either
to be used familiarly in a work of fiction." So _he_ called it

[Illustration: From Plattsburgh to Albany.

Route of CANOE MAYETA From Plattsburgh to Albany Via
Lake Champlain and Champlain Canal Followed by N. H. Bishop in 1874
_Copyright, 1878 by Lee & Shepard_]

History furnishes us with the following facts in regard to the discovery
of the lake. While journeying up the St. Lawrence in a fleet of twelve
canoes, on a mission to the friendly Huron aborigines, Father Isaac
Jogues and his two friends, _donnés_ of the mission, René Goupil and
Guillaume Couture, with another Frenchman, were captured at the western
end of Lake of St. Peter by a band of Iroquois, which was on a marauding
expedition from the Mohawk River country, near what is now the city of
Troy. In the panic caused by the sudden onslaught of the Iroquois, the
unconverted portion of the thirty-six Huron allies of the Frenchmen fled
into the woods, while the christianized portion defended the white men
for a while. A reinforcement of the enemy soon scattered these also, but
not until the Frenchmen and a few of the Hurons were made captive. This
was on the 2d of August, 1642.

According to Francis Parkman, the author of "The Jesuits in North
America," the savages tortured Jogues and his white companions,
stripping off their clothing, tearing out their finger-nails with their
teeth, and gnawing their fingers with the fury of beasts. The seventy
Iroquois returned southward, following the River Richelieu, Lake
Champlain, and Lake George, _en route_ for the Mohawk towns. Meeting a
war party of two hundred of their own nation on one of the islands of
Champlain, the Indians formed two parallel lines between which the
captives were forced to run for their lives, while the savages struck at
them with thorny sticks and clubs. Father Jogues fell exhausted to the
ground, bathed in his own blood, when fire was applied to his body. At
night the young warriors tormented the poor captives by opening their
wounds and tearing out their hair and beards. The day following this
night of torture the Indians and their mangled captives reached the
promontory of Ticonderoga, along the base of which flowed the limpid
waters, the outlet of Lake George. Here the party made a portage through
the primeval forests, carrying their canoes and cargoes on their backs,
when suddenly there broke upon their view the dark blue waters of a
beautiful lake, which Mr. Parkman thus eloquently describes:

    "Like a fair naiad of the wilderness it slumbered between the
    guardian mountains that breathe from crag and forest the stern
    poetry of war. But all then was solitude; and the clang of
    trumpets, the roar of cannon, and the deadly crack of the rifle
    had never as yet awakened their angry echoes. Again the canoes
    were launched and the wild flotilla glided on its way, now in
    the shadow of the heights, now on the broad expanse, now among
    the devious channels of the Narrows, beset with woody islets
    where the hot air was redolent of the pine, the spruce, and the
    cedar,--till they neared that tragic shore where, in the
    following century, New England rustics baffled the soldiers of
    Dieskau, where Montcalm planted his batteries, where the red
    cross waved so long amid the smoke, and where, at length, the
    summer night was hideous with carnage, and an honored name was
    stained with a memory of blood. The Indians landed at or near
    the future site of Fort William Henry, left their canoes, and
    with their prisoners began their march for the nearest Mohawk

Father Jogues lived among his captors until the fall of 1643, when he
escaped in a vessel from the Dutch settlement of Rensselaerswyck
(Albany), to which place the Iroquois had gone to trade with the
inhabitants. He arrived at the Jesuit college of Rennes, France, in a
most destitute condition, on the 5th of January, 1644, where he was
joyfully received and kindly cared for. When he appeared before Queen
Anne of Austria, the woman who wore a diadem thought it a privilege to
kiss his mutilated hands. In the Roman Catholic church a deformed or
mutilated priest cannot say mass; he must be a perfect man in body and
mind before the Lord. Father Jogues wished to return to his old
missionary field; so, to restore to him his lost right of saying mass,
the Pope granted his prayer by a special dispensation. In the spring of
1643 he returned to the St. Lawrence country to found a new mission, to
be called the Mission of Martyrs. His Superior at Montreal ordered him
to proceed to the country of the Mohawks, and in company with Sieur
Bourdon, a government engineer, and six Indians, he followed the
Richelieu and Champlain, which the savages called "the doorway of the
country," until the little party stood on the northern end of Lake
George, on the evening of Corpus Christi; and with the catholic spirit
of the Jesuit missionary he christened it Lac St. Sacrement, and this
name it bore for a whole century. On the 18th of October, 1646, the
tomahawk of the savage ended the life of Father Jogues, who, after
suffering many tortures and indignities from his Iroquois captors, died
in their midst while working for their salvation in his field of
Christian labor.

The right of a discoverer to name new lakes and rivers is old and
unquestioned. A missionary of the cross penetrated an unexplored
wilderness and found this noblest gem of the lower Adirondacks, unknown
to civilized man. Impressed with this sublime work of his Creator, the
martyred priest christened it St. Sacrement. One hundred years later
came troops of soldiers with mouths filled with strange oaths, cursing
their enemies. What respect had _they_ for the rights of discoverers or
martyred missionaries? So General Johnson, "an ambitious Irishman,"
discarded the Christian name of the lake and replaced it with the
English one of George. He did not name it after St. George, the patron
saint of England, of whom history asserts that he "was identical with a
native of either Cappadocia or Cilicia, who raised himself by flattery
of the great from the meanest circumstances to be purveyor of bacon for
the army, and who was put to death with two of his ministers by a mob,
for peculations, A. D. 361;" but he took that of a sensual king, George
of England, in order to advance his own interests with that monarch.

For more than a century Lake George was the highway between Canada and
the Hudson River. Its pure waters were so much esteemed as to be taken
regularly to Canada to be consecrated and used in the Roman Catholic
churches in baptismal and other sacred rites. The lake was frequently
occupied by armies, and the forts George and William Henry, at the
southern end, possess most interesting historical associations. The
novelist Cooper made Lake George a region of romance. To the young
generation of Americans who yearly visit its shores it is an El Dorado,
and the very air breathes love as they glide in their light boats over
its pellucid waters, adding to the picturesqueness of the scene, and
supplying that need ever felt, no matter what the natural beauty,--the
presence of man. I believe even the Garden of Eden itself could not
have been perfect till among its shady groves fell the shadows of our
first parents. The cool retreats, the jutting promontories, the
moss-covered rocks against which the waves softly break,--if these had
tongues, they would, like Tennyson's Brook, "go on forever," for surely
they would never have done telling the tender tales they have heard. Nor
would it be possible to find a more fitting spot for the cultivation of
love and sentiment than this charming lake affords; for Nature seems to
have created Lake George in one of her happiest moments. This lake is
about thirty-four miles long, and varies in width from one to four
miles. Its greatest depth is about the same as that of Champlain. It
possesses (like all the American lakes when used as fashionable
watering-places) the usual three hundred and sixty-five islands.

When I left the Mayeta I followed a narrow footpath to a rough mountain
road, which in turn led me through the forests towards Lake George. In
an isolated dell I found the home of one Levi Smith, who piloted me
through the woods to the lake, and ferried me in a skiff across to
Hague, when I dined at the hotel, and resumed my journey along the
shores to Sabbath Day Point, where at four o'clock P. M. a steamer on
its trip from Ticonderoga to the south end of the lake stopped and took
me on board. We steamed southward to where high mountains shut in the
lake, and for several miles threaded the "Narrows" with its many pretty
islands, upon one of which Mr. J. Henry Hill, the hermit-artist, had
erected his modest home, and where he toiled at his studies early and
late, summer and winter. Three goats and a squirrel were his only
companions in this lonely but romantic spot.

During one cold winter, when the lake was frozen over to a depth of two
feet, and the forests were mantled in snow, Mr. Hill's brother, a civil
engineer, made a visit to this icy region, and the two brothers surveyed
the Narrows, making a correct map of that portion of the lake, with all
its islands carefully located. Mr. Hill afterwards made an etching of
this map, surrounding it with an artistic border representing objects of
interest in the locality.

Late in the afternoon the steamer landed me at Crosbyside, on the east
shore, about a mile from the head of the lake, resting beneath the shady
groves of which I beheld one of the most charming views of Lake George.
Early the following morning I took up my abode with a farmer, one
William Lockhart, a genial and eccentric gentleman, and a relation of
Sir Walter Scott's son-in-law. Mr. Lockhart's little cottage is half a
mile north of Crosbyside, and near the high bluff which Mr. Charles
O'Conor, the distinguished lawyer of New York city, presented to the
Paulist Fathers, whose establishment is on Fifty-ninth Street in that
metropolis. Here the members of the new Order come to pass their summer
vacations, bringing with them their theological students. The Paulists
are hard workers, visiting and holding "missions" in Minnesota,
California, and other parts of the United States. They seem to feel
forcibly the truth expressed in these lines, which are to be found in
"Aspirations of Nature," a work written by the founder of their order,
Father Hecker: "Existence is not a dream, but a solemn reality. Life was
not given to be thrown away on miserable sophisms, but to be employed in
earnest search after truth."

Mr. Lockhart kindly offered to escort me to the convent of St. Mary's of
the Lake; and after following the mountain road for a quarter of a mile
to the north of the cottage of my companion, we entered the shady
grounds of the convent and were kindly received on the long piazza by
the Father Superior, Rev. A. F. Hewit, who introduced me to several of
his co-laborers, a party of them having just returned from an excursion
to the Harbor Islands at the northern end of the Narrows, which property
is owned by the Order. I was told that the members of this new religious
establishment numbered about thirty, and that all but four were converts
from our Protestant faith. Their property in New York city is probably
worth half a million of dollars, and the Sunday schools under their
charge contain about fifteen hundred scholars. Here, among others, I saw
Father D----, who gave up his distinguished position as instructor of
the art of war at the Military Academy of West Point, to become a
soldier of the Cross, preferring to serve his Master by preaching the
gospel of peace to mankind. Under an overhanging rock at a little
distance were conversing, most happily, two young priests, who a few
years before had fought on opposite sides during the civil strife which
resulted in the preservation of the Great Republic.

A mathematician and astronomer from the Cambridge and also from a
government observatory, who had donned the cassock, gave me much
valuable information in regard to the mountain peaks of Lake George,[A]
which he had carefully studied and accurately measured. Through his
courtesy and generosity I am enabled to give on the preceding page the
results of his labors.

The interesting conversation was here interrupted by the tolling of the
convent bell. A deep silence prevailed, as, with uncovered heads and
upon bended knees, the whole company most devoutly crossed themselves
while repeating a prayer. I felt much drawn towards a young priest with
delicate and refined features, who now engaged me in conversation. He
was an adept in all that related to boats. He loved the beautiful lake,
and was never happier than when upon its mirrored surface, except when
laboring at his duties among the poor of the ninth district of New York.
The son of a distinguished general, he inherited rare talents, which
were placed at his Saviour's service. His Christianity was so liberal,
his aspirations so noble, his sympathies so strong, that I became much
interested in him; and when I left the lake, shortly after, he quietly
said, "When you return next summer to build your cottage, let me help
you plan the boat-house." But when I returned to the shores of Lake
George, after the completion of my voyage to the Gulf of Mexico, no
helping hand was there, and I built my boat-house unassisted; for the
gentle spirit of the missionary Paulist had gone to God who gave it,
and Father Rosencranz was receiving his reward.

When I joined my travelling companion, David Bodfish, he grievously
inveighed against the community of Whitehall because some dishonest
boatmen from the canal had appropriated the stock of pipes and tobacco
he had laid in for his three or four days' voyage to Albany. "Sixty
cents' worth of new pipes and tobacco," said David, in injured tones,
"is a great loss, and a Bodfish never was worth anything at work without
his tobacco. I used to pour _speerits_ down to keep my speerits up, but
of late years I have depended on tobacco, as the speerits one gets
nowadays isn't the same kind we got when I was a boy and worked in old
Hawkin Swamp."

Canal voyaging, after one has experienced the sweet influences of lakes
George and Champlain, is indeed monotonous. But to follow connecting
watercourses it was necessary for the Mayeta to traverse the Champlain
Canal (sixty-four) and the Erie Canal (six miles) from Whitehall to
Albany on the Hudson River, a total distance of seventy miles.

There was nothing of sufficient interest in the passage of the canal to
be worthy of record save the giving way of a lock-gate, near Troy, and
the precipitating of a canal-boat into the vortex of waters that
followed. By this accident my boat was detained one day on the banks of
the canal. On the fourth day the Mayeta ended her services by arriving
at Albany, where, after a journey of four hundred miles, experience had
taught me that I could travel more quickly in a lighter boat, and more
conveniently and economically without a companion. It was now about the
first week in August, and the delay which would attend the building of a
new boat especially adapted for the journey of two thousand miles yet to
be travelled would not be lost, as by waiting a few weeks, time would be
given for the malaria on the rivers of New Jersey, Delaware, and
Maryland, and even farther south, to be eradicated by the fall frosts.
David returned to his New Jersey home a happy man, invested with the
importance which attaches itself to a great traveller. I had
unfortunately contributed to Mr. Bodfish's thirst for the marvellous by
reading to him at night, in our lonely camp, Jules Verne's imaginative
"Journey to the Centre of the Earth." David was in ecstasies over this
wonderful contribution to fiction. He preferred fiction to truth at any
time. Once, while reading to him a chapter of the above work, his
credulity was so challenged that he became excited, and broke forth
with, "Say, boss, how do these big book-men larn to lie so well? does it
come nat'ral to them, or is it got by edication?" I have since heard
that when Mr. Bodfish arrived in the pine-wood regions of New Jersey he
related to his friends his adventures "in furrin parts," as he styled
the Dominion of Canada, and so interlaced the _facts_ of the cruise of
the Mayeta with the _fancies_ of the "Journey to the Centre of the
Earth," that to his neighbors the region of the St. Lawrence has become
a country of awful and mysterious associations, while the more knowing
members of the community which David honors with his presence are firmly
convinced that there never existed such a boat as the Mayeta save in the
wild imagination of David Bodfish.

Mr. Bodfish's fictitious adventures, as related by him, covered many
thousand miles of canoe voyaging. He had penetrated the region of ice
beyond Labrador, and had viewed with complacency the north pole, which
he found to be a pitch-pine spar that had been erected by the Coast
Survey "to measure pints from." He roundly censured the crews of
whale-ships which had mutilated this noble government work by splitting
much of it into kindling-wood. Fortunately about two-thirds of Mr.
Bodfish's audience had no very clear conceptions of the character of the
north pole, some of them having ignored its very existence. So they
accepted this portion of his narrative, while they rejected the most
reasonable part of his story.

The Mayeta was sent to Lake George, and afterwards became a permanent
resident. Two years later her successor, the Paper Canoe, one of the
most happy efforts of the Messrs. Waters, of Troy, was quietly moored
beside her; and soon after there was added to the little fleet a cedar
duck-boat, which had carried me on a second voyage to the great southern
sea. Here, anchored safely under the high cliffs, rocked gently by the
loving waters of Lake George, rest these faithful friends. They carried
me over five thousand miles, through peaceful rivers and surging seas.
They have shared my dangers; they now share my peace.

[Illustration: ANCHORED AT LAST.]


[A] Heights of mountains of Lake George, New York state, obtained by
Rev. George M. Searle, C. S. P.

    _Finch_, between Buck and Spruce, 1595 feet.
    _Cat-Head_, near Bolton, 1640 feet.
    _Prospect Mountain_, west of Lake George village, 1730 feet.
    _Spruce_, near Buck Mountain, 1820 feet.
    _Buck_, east shore, south of Narrows, 2005 feet.
    _Bear_, between Buck and Black, 2200 feet.
    _Black_, the monarch of Lake George, 2320 feet.

From another authority I find that Lake Champlain is ninety-three feet
above the Atlantic tide-level, and that Lake George is two hundred and
forty feet above Lake Champlain, or three hundred and thirty-three feet
above the sea.




Inquiries regarding the history and durability of paper boats
occasionally reach me through the medium of the post-office. After all
the uses to which paper has been put during the last twenty years, the
public is yet hardly convinced that the flimsy material, paper, can
successfully take the place of wood in the construction of light
pleasure-boats, canoes, and racing shells. Yet the idea has become an
accomplished fact. The success of the victorious paper shells of the
Cornell College navy, which were enlisted in the struggles of two
seasons at Saratoga, against no mean antagonists,--the college crews of
the United States,--surely proves that in strength, stiffness, speed,
and fineness of model, the paper boat is without a rival.


When used in its own peculiar sphere, the improved paper boat will be
found to possess the following merits: less weight, greater strength,
stiffness, durability, and speed than a wooden boat of the same size and
model; and the moulded paper shell will retain the delicate lines so
essential to speed, while the brittle wooden shell yields more or less
to the warping influences of sun and moisture. A comparison of the
strength of wood and paper for boats has been made by a writer in the
Cornell Times, a journal published by the students of that celebrated
New York college:

    "Let us take a piece of wood and a piece of paper of the same
    thickness, and experiment with, use, and abuse them both to the
    same extent. Let the wood be of one-eighth of an inch in
    thickness--the usual thickness of shell-boats, and the paper
    heavy pasteboard, both one foot square. Holding them up by one
    side, strike them with a hammer, and observe the result. The
    wood will be cracked, to say the least; the pasteboard, whirled
    out of your hand, will only be dented, at most. Take hold and
    bend them: the wood bends to a certain degree, and then splits;
    the pasteboard, bent to the same degree, is not affected in the
    least. Take a knife and strike them: the wood is again split,
    the pasteboard only pierced. Place them on the water: the wood
    floats for an indefinite time; the pasteboard, after a time,
    soaks, and finally sinks, as was to be expected. But suppose we
    soak the pasteboard in marine glue before the experiment, then
    we find the pasteboard equally as impervious to the water as
    wood, and as buoyant, if of the same weight; but, to be of the
    same weight, it must be thinner than the wood, yet even then it
    stands the before-mentioned tests as well as when thicker; and
    it will be found to stand all tests much better than wood, even
    when it weighs considerably less.

    "Now, enlarging our pieces, and moulding them into boats of the
    same weight, we find the following differences: Wood, being
    stiff and liable to split, can only be moulded into comparative
    form. Paper, since it can be rendered perfectly pliable, can be
    pressed into any shape desirable; hence, any wished-for fineness
    of lines can be given to the model, and the paper will assume
    the identical shape, after which it can be water-proofed,
    hardened, and polished. Paper neither swells, nor shrinks, nor
    cracks, hence it does not leak, is always ready for use, always
    serviceable. As to cost, there is very little difference between
    the two; the cost being within twenty-five dollars, more or
    less, the same for both. Those who use paper boats think them
    very near perfection; and surely those who have the most to do
    with boats ought to know, prejudice aside, which is the best."

An injury to a paper boat is easily repaired by a patch of strong paper
and a coating of shellac put on with a hot iron. As the paper boat is a
novelty with many people, a sketch of its early history may prove
interesting to the reader. Mr. George A. Waters, the son of the senior
member of the firm of E. Waters & Sons, of Troy, New York, was invited
some years since to a masquerade party. The boy repaired to a toy shop
to purchase a counterfeit face; but, thinking the price (eight dollars)
was more than he could afford for a single evening's sport, he borrowed
the mask for a model, from which he produced a duplicate as perfect as
was the original. While engaged upon his novel work, an idea impressed
itself upon his ingenious brain. "Cannot," he queried, "a paper shell
be made upon the wooden model of a boat? And will not a shell thus
produced, after being treated to a coat of varnish, float as well,
and be lighter than a wooden boat?"

This was in March, 1867, while the youth was engaged in the manufacture
of paper boxes. Having repaired a wooden shell-boat by covering the
cracks with sheets of stout paper cemented to the wood, the result
satisfied him; and he immediately applied his attention to the further
development of his bright idea. Assisted by his father, Mr. Elisha
Waters, the enterprise was commenced "by taking a wooden shell, thirteen
inches wide and thirty feet long, as a mould, and covering the entire
surface of its bottom and sides with small sheets of strong Manila
paper, glued together, and superposed on each other, so that the joints
of one layer were covered by the middle of the sheet immediately above,
until a sheet of paper had been formed one-sixteenth of an inch in
thickness. The fabric thus constructed, after being carefully dried, was
removed from the mould and fitted up with a suitable frame, consisting
of a lower keelson, two inwales, the bulkhead; in short, all the usual
parts of the frame of a wooden shell, except the timbers, or ribs, of
which none were used--the extreme stiffness of the skin rendering them
unnecessary. Its surface was then carefully water-proofed with suitable
varnishes, and the work was completed. Trials proved that, rude as was
this first attempt compared with the elegant craft now turned out from
paper, it had marked merits, among which were, its remarkable stiffness,
the symmetry of the hull with respect to its long axis, and the
smoothness of the water-surface."

A gentleman, who possesses excellent judgment and long experience in all
that relates to paper boats, furnishes me with the following valuable
information, which I feel sure will interest the reader.

    "The process of building the paper shell-boat is as follows: The
    dimensions of the boat having been determined upon, the first
    step is to construct a wooden model, or form, an exact
    fac-simile of the desired boat, on which to mould the paper
    skin. For this purpose the lines of the boat are carefully drawn
    out of the full size, and from the drawings thus made the model
    is prepared. It is built of layers of well-seasoned pine,
    securely fastened together to form one solid mass; which, after
    having been laid up of the general outline required, is
    carefully worked off, until its surface, which is made perfectly
    smooth, exactly conforms to the selected lines, and its beam,
    depth, and length are those of the given boat. During the
    process of its construction, suitable rabbets are cut to receive
    the lower keelson, the two inwales, and the bow and stern
    deadwoods, which, being put in position, are worked off so that
    their surfaces are flush with that of the model, and forming, as
    it were, an integral part of it. It being important that these
    parts should, in the completed boat, be firmly attached to the
    skin, their surface is, at this part of the process, covered
    with a suitable adhesive preparation.

    "The model is now ready to be covered with paper. Two kinds are
    used: that made from the best Manila, and that prepared from
    pure unbleached linen stock; the sheets being the full length of
    the model, no matter what that may be. If Manila paper is used,
    the first sheet is dampened, laid smoothly on the model, and
    securely fastened in place by tacking it to certain rough strips
    attached to its upper face. Other sheets are now superposed on
    this and on each other, and suitably cemented together; the
    number depending upon the size of the boat and the stiffness
    required. If linen paper is used, but one sheet is employed, of
    such weight and dimensions that, when dry, it will give just the
    thickness of skin necessary. Should the surface of the model be
    concave in parts, as in the run of boats with square sterns for
    instance, the paper is made to conform to these surfaces by
    suitable convex moulds, which also hold the paper in place
    until, by drying, it has taken and will retain the desired form.
    The model, with its enveloping coat of paper, is now removed to
    the dry-room. As the paper skin dries, all wrinkles disappear,
    and it gradually assumes the desired shape. Finally, when all
    moisture has been evaporated, it is taken from the mould an
    exact fac-simile of the model desired, exceedingly stiff,
    perfectly symmetrical, and seamless.

    "The paper is now subjected to the water-proof process, and the
    skin, with its keelson, inwales, and deadwoods attached, is then
    placed in the carpenter's hands, where the frame is completed in
    the usual manner, as described for wooden boats. The paper decks
    being put on, it is then ready for the brass, iron, and varnish
    work. As the skins of these boats (racing-shells) vary from
    one-sixteenth of an inch in the singles, to one-twelfth of an
    inch in the six-oared outriggers, the wooden frame becomes
    necessary to support and keep them in shape. In applying this
    invention to gigs, dingys, canoes, and skiffs, a somewhat
    different method is adopted. Since these boats are subjected to
    much hard service, and must be so constructed as to permit the
    occupant to move about in them as is usual in such craft, a
    light and strong frame of wood is prepared, composed of a
    suitable number of pairs of ribs, with stem and stern pieces cut
    from the natural crooks of hackmatack roots. These are firmly
    framed to two gunwales and a keelson, extending the length of
    the boat; the whole forming the skeleton shape of the desired
    model. The forms for these boats having been prepared, as
    already described for the racing-shells, and the frame being let
    into this form, so that the outer surface of the ribs, stem and
    stern pieces will conform with its outer surface, the paper skin
    is next laid upon it. The skin, manufactured from new,
    unbleached linen stock, is carefully stretched in place, and
    when perfectly dry is from one-tenth to three-sixteenths of an
    inch thick. Removed from the model, it is water-proofed, the
    frame and fittings completed, and the boat varnished. In short,
    in this class of boats, the shape, style, and finish are
    precisely that of wooden ones, of corresponding dimensions and
    class, except that for the usual wooden sheathing is substituted
    the paper skin as described.

    "The advantages possessed by these boats over those of wood are:

    "By the use of this material for the skins of racing-shells,
    where experience has demonstrated the smooth bottom to be the
    best, under-water lines of any degree of fineness can be
    developed, which cannot successfully be produced in those of
    wood, even where the streaks are so reduced in thickness that
    strength, stiffness, and durability are either wholly sacrificed
    or greatly impaired. In the finer varieties of 'dug-outs'
    equally fine lines can be obtained; but so delicate are such
    boats, if the sides are reduced to three-sixteenths of an inch
    or less in thickness, that it is found practically impossible to
    preserve their original forms for any length of time. Hence, so
    far as this point is concerned, it only remains for the builder
    to select those models which science, guided by experience,
    points out as the best.

    "The paper skin, after being water-proofed, is finished with
    hard varnishes, and then presents a solid, perfectly smooth, and
    horny surface to the action of the water, unbroken by _joint_,
    _lap_, or _seam_. This surface admits of being polished as
    smooth as a coach-panel or a mirror. Unlike wood, _it has no
    grain to be cracked or split, it never shrinks_, and, paper
    being one of the best of non-conductors, no ordinary degree of
    heat or cold affects its shape or hardness, and hence these
    boats are admirably adapted for use in all climates. As the skin
    absorbs no moisture, _these boats gain no weight by use_, and,
    having no moisture to give off when out of the water, they do
    not, like wooden boats, show the effect of exposure to the air
    by leaking. They are, therefore, in this respect always prepared
    for service.

    "The strength and stiffness of the paper shells are most
    remarkable. To demonstrate it, a single shell of twelve inch
    beam and twenty-eight feet long, fitted complete with its
    outriggers, the hull weighing twenty-two pounds, was placed on
    two trestles eight feet apart, in such a manner that the
    trestles were each the same distance from the centre of the
    cockpit, which was thus entirely unsupported. A man weighing one
    hundred and forty pounds then seated himself in it, and remained
    in this position three minutes. The deflection caused by this
    strain, being accurately measured, was found to be one-sixteenth
    of an inch at a point midway between the supports. If this load,
    applied under such abnormal conditions, produced so little
    effect, we can safely assume that, when thus loaded and resting
    on the water, supported throughout her whole length, and the
    load far more equally distributed over the whole frame, there
    would be no deflection whatever.

    "Lightness, when combined with a proper, stiffness and
    strength, being a very desirable quality, it is here that the
    paper boats far excel their wooden rivals. If two shells are
    selected, the one of wood and the other with a paper skin and
    deck, as has been described, _of the same dimensions and equally
    stiff_, careful experiment proves that the wooden one will be
    _thirty per cent. the heaviest_. If those of the _same
    dimensions and equal weight_ are compared, the paper one will be
    found to exceed the wooden one in stiffness and in capacity to
    resist torsional strains in the same proportion. Frequent boasts
    are made that wooden shells can be and are built much lighter
    than paper ones; and if the quality of lightness _alone_ is
    considered, this is true; yet when the practical test of _use_
    is applied, such extremely light wooden boats have always
    proved, and will continue to prove, failures, as here this
    quality is only _one_ of a number which combine to make the boat
    serviceable. A wooden shell whose hull weighs twenty-two pounds,
    honest weight, is a very fragile, short-lived affair. A paper
    shell of the same dimensions, and of the same weight, will last
    as long, and do as much work, as a wooden one whose hull turns
    the beam at thirty pounds.

    "An instance of their remarkable strength is shown in the
    following case. In the summer of 1870, a single shell, while
    being rowed at full speed, with the current, on one of our
    principal rivers, was run into the stone abutment of a bridge.
    The bow struck squarely on the obstacle, and such was the
    momentum of the mass that the oarsman was thrown directly
    through the flaring bow of the cockpit into the river. Witnesses
    of the accident who were familiar with wooden shells declared
    that the boat was ruined; but, after a careful examination, only
    the bow-tip was found to be twisted in a spiral form, and the
    washboard broken at the point by the oarsman as he passed
    between the sides. Two dollars covered the cost of repair. Had
    it been a wooden shell the shock would have crushed its stem and
    splintered the skin from the bow to the waist."

[Illustration: ROB ROY CANOE.]

Old and cautious seamen tried to dissuade me from contracting with the
Messrs. Waters for the building of a stout paper canoe for my journey.
Harvard College had not adopted this "new-fangled notion" at that time,
and Cornell had only begun to think of attempting to out-row other
colleges at Saratoga by using paper boats. The Centennial year of the
independence of the United States, 1876, settled all doubts as to the
value of the result of the years of toil of the inventors of the paper
boat. During the same year the incendiary completed his revengeful work
by burning the paper-boat manufactory at Troy. The loss was a heavy one;
but a few weeks later these unflinching men were able to record the
following victories achieved that single season by their boats.

The races won by the paper boats were:

    The Intercollegiate Championship:
                              Freshmen and University.

    The International Championship at Saratoga:
                              Singles, Doubles, and Fours.

    The National Championship, N. A. of A. O.:
                              Singles, Doubles, and Fours.

    The World's Championship at Centennial Exhibition:
                              Singles, Doubles, and Fours.

    The Professional Championship of the United States.

And every other important race of the season, besides receiving the
highest honors at the Centennial Exhibition. The right to make boats of
paper in Canada and in the United States is exclusively held by the
Messrs. Waters, and they are the only manufacturers of paper boats in
the world.

It is not many years since Mr. Macgregor, of London, built the little
Rob Roy canoe, and in it made the tour of interesting European waters.
His example was followed by an army of tourists, and it is now a common
thing to meet canoe voyagers in miniature flotillas upon the
watercourses of our own and foreign lands. Mr. W. Baden-Powell, also an
Englishman, perfected the model of the Nautilus type of canoe, which
possesses a great deal of sheer with fullness of bow, and is therefore a
better boat for rough water than the Rob Roy. The New York Canoe Club,
in 1874, had the Nautilus for their model. We still need a distinctive
American type for our waters, more like the best Indian canoe than the
European models here presented. These modern yacht-like canoes are
really improved _kyaks_, and in their construction we are much indebted
to the experience of the inhabitants of the Arctic Circle. Very few of
the so-called Rob Roy canoes, built in the United States, resemble the
original perfected boat of Mr. Macgregor--the father of modern canoe
travelling. The illustrations given of English canoes are from imported
models, and are perfect of their type.




[Illustration: From Albany to New York City.

Route of Paper Canoe MARIA THERESA From Albany to New
York City Via Hudson River Followed by N. H. Bishop in 1874
_Copyright, 1878 by Lee & Shepard_]

My canoe of the English "Nautilus" type was completed by the middle of
October; and on the cold, drizzly morning of the 21st of the same month
I embarked in my little fifty-eight pound craft from the landing of the
paper-boat manufactory on the river Hudson, two miles above Troy. Mr.
George A. Waters put his own canoe into the water, and proposed to
escort me a few miles down the river. If I had any misgivings as to the
stability of my paper canoe upon entering her for the first time, they
were quickly dispelled as I passed the stately Club-house of the
Laureates, which contained nearly forty shells, _all_ of paper.

The dimensions of the Maria Theresa were: length, fourteen feet; beam,
twenty-eight inches; depth, amidships, nine inches; height of bow from
horizontal line, twenty-three inches; height of stern, twenty inches.
The canoe was one-eighth of an inch in thickness, and weighed
fifty-eight pounds. She was fitted with a pair of steel outriggers,
which could be easily unshipped and stowed away. The oars[B] were of
spruce, seven feet eight inches long, and weighed three pounds and a
quarter each. The double paddle, which was seven feet six inches in
length, weighed two pounds and a half. The mast and sail--which are of
no service on such a miniature vessel, and were soon discarded--weighed
six pounds. When I took on board at Philadelphia the canvas deck-cover
and the rubber strap which secured it in position, and the outfit,--the
cushion, sponge, provision-basket, and a fifteen-pound case of
charts,--I found that, with my own weight included (one hundred and
thirty pounds), the boat and her cargo, all told, provisioned for a
long cruise, fell considerably short of the weight of three Saratoga
trunks containing a very modest wardrobe for a lady's four weeks'
visit at a fashionable watering-place.

The rain ceased, the mists ascended, and the sunlight broke upon us as
we swiftly descended upon the current of the Hudson to Albany. The city
was reached in an hour and a half. Mr. Waters, pointing his canoe
northward, wished me _bon voyage_, and returned to the scene of the
triumphs of his patient labors, while I settled down to a steady row
southward. At Albany, the capital of the state, which is said to be one
hundred and fifty miles distant from New York city, there is a tidal
rise and fall of one foot.

A feeling of buoyancy and independence came over me as I glided on the
current of this noble stream, with the consciousness that I now
possessed the right boat for my enterprise. It had been a dream of my
youth to become acquainted with the charms of this most romantic river
of the American continent. Its sources are in the clouds of the
Adirondacks, among the cold peaks of the northern wilderness; its
ending may be said to be in the briny waters of the Atlantic, for its
channel-way has been sounded outside of the sandy beaches of New York
harbor in the bosom of the restless ocean. The highest types of
civilized life are nurtured upon its banks. Noble edifices, which
contain and preserve the works of genius and of mechanical art, rear
their proud roofs from among these hills on the lofty sites of the
picturesque Hudson. The wealth of the great city at its mouth, the
metropolis of the young nation, has been lavished upon the soil of the
river's borders to make it even more beautiful and more fruitful. What
river in America, along the same length of coast-lines as from Troy to
New York (one hundred and fifty-six miles), can rival in natural beauty
and artificial applications of wealth the lovely Hudson? "The Hudson
River," says its genial historian, Mr. Lossing, "from its birth among
the mountains to its marriage with the ocean, measures a distance of
full three hundred miles."



Captain John Smith's friend, the Englishman Henry Hudson, while in the
employ of the Dutch East India Company, in his vessel of ninety tons,
the Half-Moon, being in search of a northwest passage south of Virginia,
cast anchor outside of Sandy Hook, September 3, 1609, and on the 11th
passed up through the Narrows into the present bay of New York. Under
the firm conviction that he was on his way to the long-sought Cathay, a
day later he entered the Hudson River, where now stands the proud
metropolis of America. As the Half-Moon ascended the river the water
lost its saltness, and by the time they were anchored where the city of
Albany now stands all hopes of Cathay faded from the heart of the
mariner. Englishmen called this river in honor of its discoverer, but
the Dutch gave it the name of North River, after the Delaware had been
discovered and named South River. Thus, while in 1609 Samuel Champlain
was exploring the lake which bears his name, Hudson was ascending his
river upon the southern water-shed. The historian tells us that these
bold explorers penetrated the wilderness, one from the north and the
other from the south, to within one hundred miles of each other.

The same historian (Dr. Lossing) says: "The most remote source of the
extreme western branch of our noble river is Hendricks Spring, so named
in honor of Hendricks Hudson. We found Hendricks Spring in the edge of
a swamp, cold, shallow, about five feet in diameter,--shaded by trees,
shrubbery, and vines, and fringed with the delicate brake and fern. Its
waters, rising within half a mile of Long Lake, and upon the same
summit-level, flow southward to the Atlantic more than three hundred
miles; while those of the latter flow to the St. Lawrence, and reach
the same Atlantic a thousand miles away to the far northeast."

Since Dr. Lossing visited the western head of the Hudson River, the
true and highest source of the stream has probably been settled by a
gentleman possessing scientific acquirements and inflexible purpose.
On the plateau south of Mount Marcy, State-Surveyor Colvin found the
little Lake Tear-of-the-Clouds to be the loftiest sheet of water in
the state,--four thousand three hundred and twenty-six feet above the
sea,--and proved it to be the lake-head of the great river Hudson. A
second little pond in a marsh on a high plateau, at the foot of Mount
Redfield, was also discovered,--"margined and embanked with luxuriant
and deep sphagnous moss,"--which was named by the party Moss Lake. It
was found to flow into the Hudson. A beautiful little bivalve shell,
three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, of an undescribed species, was
found in the pellucid water, and thus a new shell was handed over to
conchology, and a new river source to geography, in the same hour. This
pool is four thousand three hundred and twelve feet above tide-water,
and only a few feet lower than its sister, Tear-of-the-Clouds--the
highest source of the Hudson.

Should the state of New York adopt Mr. Colvin's suggestion, to reserve
six hundred square miles of the Adirondack region for a public park, the
pool Tear-of-the-Clouds will be within the reservation. The waters of
these baby fountains are swollen by contributions from the streams,
ponds, and lakes of the Adirondack wilderness, until along the banks of
Fishing Brook, a tributary of the Hudson, the water is utilized at the
first saw-mill. A few miles lower down the forests are vexed by the axe
of the lumbermen, and logs are floated down the river one hundred miles
to Glens Falls, where the State Dam and Great Boom are located. Half a
million logs have been gathered there in a single spring.

It was upon the Hudson that the first successful steamboat, built by
Robert Fulton, made its voyage to Albany, the engine having been built
by Watt & Bolton, in England.

From Mr. Lossing we obtain the following.

    "The Clermont was one hundred feet long, twelve feet wide, and
    seven feet deep. The following advertisement appeared in the
    Albany Gazette on the 1st of September, 1807:

    "The North River steamboat will leave Paulus Hook (Jersey City)
    on Friday, the 4th of September, at 9 in the morning, and arrive
    at Albany on Saturday at 9 in the afternoon. Provisions, good
    berths, and accommodations are provided. The charge to each
    passenger is as follows:

    To Newburgh,         3  Dollars    Time, 14 hours.
     "  Poughkeepsie,    4     "         "   17   "
     "  Esopus,          5     "         "   20   "
     "  Hudson,          5-1/2 "         "   30   "
     "  Albany,          7     "         "   36   "  ."

The trip, which was made against a strong head wind, was entirely
successful. The large steamers can now make the trip from New York to
Albany in about twelve hours.

       *       *       *       *       *

As I pulled easily along the banks of the river, my eyes feasted upon
the gorgeous coloring of the autumnal foliage, which formed a scene of
beauty never to be forgotten. The rapid absorption of oxygen by the
leaves in the fall months produces, in northern America, these vivid
tints which give to the country the appearance of a land covered with a
varied and brilliant garment, "a coat of many colors." A soft, hazy
light pervaded the atmosphere, while at the same time the October air
was gently exhilarating to the nervous system. At six o'clock P. M. the
canoe arrived at Hudson City, which is on the east bank of the river,
and I completed a row of thirty-eight statute miles, according to local
authority; but in reality forty-nine miles by the correct charts of the
United States Coast Survey. After storing the Maria Theresa in a shed, I
repaired to a dismal hotel for the night.

At seven o'clock the next morning the river was mantled in a dense fog,
but I pushed off and guided myself by the sounds of the running trains
on the Hudson River Railroad. This corporation does such an immense
amount of freighting that, if their freight trains were connected, a
continuous line of eighty miles would be constructed, of which sixteen
miles are always in transit day and night. Steamboats and tugs with
canal-boats in tow were groping about the river in the misty darkness,
blowing whistles every few minutes to let people know that the pilot was
not sleeping at the wheel. There was a grand clearing up at noon; and as
the sun broke through the mist, the beautiful shores came into view like
a vivid flame of scarlet, yellow, brown, and green. It was the
death-song of summer, and her dying notes the tinted leaves, each one
giving to the wind a sad strain as it softly dropped to the earth, or
was quickly hurled into space.

A few miles south of Hudson City, on the west bank, the Catskill stream
enters the river. From this point the traveller may penetrate the
picturesque country of the Appalachian range, where its wild elevations
were called _Onti Ora_, or "mountains of the sky," by the aborigines.

Rondout, on the right bank of the Hudson, is the terminus of the
Delaware and Hudson Canal, which connects it with Port Jervis on the
Delaware, a distance of fifty-four miles. This town, the outlet of the
coal regions, I passed after meridian. As I left Hudson on the first of
the flood-tide, I had to combat it for several hours; but I easily
reached Hyde Park Landing (which is on the left bank of the stream and,
by local authority, thirty-five miles from Hudson City) at five o'clock
P. M. The wharf-house sheltered the canoe, and a hotel in the village,
half a mile distant on the high plains, its owner. I was upon the river
by seven o'clock the next morning. The day was varied by strong gusts of
wind succeeded by calms. Six miles south of Hyde Park is the beautiful
city of Poughkeepsie with its eighteen thousand inhabitants, and the
celebrated Vassar Female College. Eight miles down the river, and on the
same side, is a small village called New Hamburg. The rocky promontory
at the foot of which the town is built is covered with the finest arbor
vitæ forest probably in existence. Six miles below, on the west bank, is
the important city of Newburg, one of the termini of the New York and
Erie Railroad. Four miles below, the river narrows and presents a grand
view of the north entrance of the Highlands, with the Storm King
Mountain rising fully one thousand five hundred feet above the tide.
The early Dutch navigators gave to this peak the name of _Boter-burg_
(Butter-Hill), but it was rechristened Storm King by the author
N. P. Willis, whose late residence, Idlewild, commands a fine view of
Newburg Bay.

When past the Storm King, the Crow-Nest and the almost perpendicular
front of Kidd's Plug Cliff tower aloft, and mark the spot where Kidd (as
usual) was supposed to have buried a portion of that immense sum of
money with which popular belief invests hundreds of localities along the
watercourses of the continent. Now the Narrows above West Point were
entered, and the current against a head-wind made the passage unusually
exciting. The paper canoe danced over the boiling expanse of water, and
neared the west shore about a mile above the United States Military
Academy, when a shell, from a gun on the grounds of that institution,
burst in the water within a few feet of the boat. I now observed a
target set upon a little flat at the foot of a gravelly hill close
to the beach. As a second, and finally a third shell exploded near
me, I rowed into the rough water, much disgusted with cadet-practice
and military etiquette. After dark the canoe was landed on the deck
of a schooner which was discharging slag or cinder at Fort Montgomery
Landing. I scrambled up the hill to the only shelter that could be
found, a small country store owned by a Captain Conk who kept
entertainment for the traveller. Rough fellows and old crones came
in to talk about the spooks that had been seen in the neighboring
hills. It was veritable "Sleepy Hollow" talk. The physician of the
place, they said, had been "skert clean off a bridge the other night."

Embarking the following morning from this weird and hilly country, that
prominent natural feature, Anthony's Nose, which was located on the
opposite shore, strongly appealed to my imagination and somewhat excited
my mirth. One needs a powerful imagination, I thought, to live in these
regions where the native element, the hill-folk, dwell so fondly and
earnestly upon the ghostly and mysterious. Three miles down the river,
Dunderberg, "the thundering mountain," on the west bank, with the town
of Peekskill on the opposite shore, was passed, and I entered Haverstraw
Bay, the widest part of the river. "Here," says the historian, "the
fresh and salt water usually contend, most equally, for the mastery; and
here the porpoise is often seen in large numbers sporting in the summer
sun. Here in the spring vast numbers of shad are caught while on their
way to spawning-beds in fresh-water coves." Haverstraw Bay was crossed,
and Tarrytown passed, when I came to the picturesque little cottage of
a great man now gone from among us. Many pleasant memories of his tales
rose in my mind as I looked upon Sunnyside, the home of Washington
Irving, nestled in the grove of living green, its white stuccoed walls
glistening in the bright sunlight, and its background of grand villas
looming up on every side. At Irvington Landing, a little further down
the river, I went ashore to pass Sunday with friends; and on the Monday
following, in a dense fog, proceeded on my route to New York.

Below Irvington the far-famed "Palisades," bold-faced precipices of
trap-rock, offer their grandest appearance on the west side of the
Hudson. These singular bluffs, near Hoboken, present a perpendicular
front of three hundred or four hundred feet in height. Piles of broken
rock rest against their base: the contribution of the cliffs above from
the effects of frost and sun.

While approaching the great city of New York, strong squalls of wind,
blowing against the ebb-tide, sent swashy waves into my open canoe, the
sides of which, amidships, were only five or six inches above water; but
the great buoyancy of the light craft and its very smooth exterior
created but little friction in the water and made her very seaworthy,
when carefully watched and handled, even without a deck of canvas or
wood. While the canoe forged ahead through the troubled waters, and the
breezes loaded with the saltness of the sea now near at hand struck my
back, I confess that a longing to reach Philadelphia, where I could
complete my outfit and increase the safety of my little craft, gave
renewed vigor to my stroke as I exchanged the quiet atmosphere of the
country for the smoke and noise of the city. Every instinct was now
challenged, and every muscle brought into action, as I dodged tug-boats,
steamers, yachts, and vessels, while running the thoroughfare along the
crowded wharves between New York on one side and Jersey City on the
other. I found the slips between the piers most excellent ports of
refuge at times, when the ferry-boats, following each other in quick
succession, made the river with its angry tide boil like a vortex. The
task soon ended, and I left the Hudson at Castle Garden and entered the
upper bay of New York harbor. As it was dark, I would gladly have gone
ashore for the night, but a great city offers no inducement for a
canoeist to land as a stranger at its wharves.

A much more pleasant reception awaited me down on Staten Island, a
gentleman having notified me by mail that he would welcome the canoe and
its owner. The ebb had ceased, and the incoming tide was being already
felt close in shore; so with tide and wind against me, and the darkness
of night settling down gloomily upon the wide bay, I pulled a strong
oar for five miles to the entrance of Kill Van Kull Strait, which
separates Staten Island from New Jersey and connects the upper bay with
Raritan Bay.

The bright beams from the light-house on Robbin's Reef, which is one
mile and a quarter off the entrance of the strait, guided me on my
course. The head-sea, in little, splashy waves, began to fill my canoe.
The water soon reached the foot-rest; but there was no time to stop to
bale out the boat, for a friendly current was near, and if once reached,
my little craft would enter smoother waters. The flood which poured into
the mouth of Kill Van Kull soon caught my boat, and the head-tide was
changed to a favorable current which carried me in its strong arms far
into the salt-water strait, and I reached West New Brighton, along the
high banks of which I found my haven of rest. Against the sky I traced
the outlines of my landmark, three poplars, standing sentinel-like
before the house of the gentleman who had so kindly offered me his
hospitality. The canoe was emptied of its shifting liquid ballast and
carefully sponged dry. My host and his son carried it into the main hall
of the mansion and placed it upon the floor, where the entire household
gathered, an admiring group. Proud, indeed, might my dainty craft have
been of the appreciation of so lovely a company. Her master fully
appreciated the generous board of his kind host, and in present comfort
soon forgot past trials and his wet pull across the upper bay of New
York harbor.

My work for the next day, October 27th, was the navigation of the
interesting strait of the old Dutch settlers and the Raritan River, of
New Jersey, as far as New Brunswick. The average width of Kill Van Kull
is three-eighths of a mile. From its entrance, at Constable's Point, to
the mouth of Newark Bay, which enters it on the Jersey side, it is three
miles, and nearly two miles across the bay to Elizabethport. Bergen
Point is on the east and Elizabethport on the west entrance of the bay,
while on Staten Island, New Brighton, Factoryville, and North Shore,
furnish homes for many New York business men.

At Elizabethport the strait narrows to one eighth of a mile, and as
the mouth of the Rahway is approached it widens. It now runs through
marshes for most of the way, a distance of twelve miles to Raritan Bay,
which is an arm of the lower bay of New York harbor. The strait, from
Elizabethport to its mouth, is called Arthur Kill; the whole distance
through the Kills, from Constable's Point to Raritan Bay, is about
seventeen statute miles. At the mouth of Arthur Kill the Raritan River
opens to the bay, and the city of Perth Amboy rests on the point of
high land between the river and the strait.

Roseville and Tottenville are on the Staten Island shores of Arthur
Kill, the former six miles, the latter ten miles from Elizabethport.
The tide runs swiftly through the Kills. Leaving Mr. Campbell's
residence at nine A. M., with a tide in my favor as far as Newark Bay,
I soon had the tide against me from the other Kill until I passed the
Rahway River, when it commenced to ebb towards Raritan Bay. The marshy
shores of the Kills were submerged in places by the high tide, but
their monotony was relieved by the farms upon the hills back of the

At one o'clock my canoe rounded the heights upon which Perth Amboy is
perched, with its snug cottages, the homes of many oystermen whose fleet
of boats was anchored in front of the town. Curious yard-like pens
constructed of poles rose out of the water, in which boats could find
shelter from the rough sea.

The entrance to the Raritan River is wide, and above its mouth it is
crossed by a long railroad bridge. The pull up the crooked river
(sixteen miles) against a strong ebb-tide, through extensive reedy
marshes, was uninteresting. I came upon the entrance of the canal which
connects the rivers Raritan and Delaware after six o'clock P. M., which
at this season of the year was after dark. Hiding the canoe in a secure
place I went to visit an old friend, Professor George Cook, of the New
Jersey State Geological Survey, who resides at New Brunswick. In the
morning the professor kindly assisted me, and we climbed the high bank
of the canal with the canoe upon our shoulders, putting it into the
water below the first two locks. I now commenced an unexciting row of
forty-two miles to Bordentown, on the Delaware, where this artificial
watercourse ends.

This canal is much travelled by steam tugs towing schooners of two
hundred tons, and by barges and canal-boats of all sizes drawing not
above seven feet and a half of water. The boats are drawn through the
locks by stationary steam-engines, the use of which is discontinued when
the business becomes slack; then the boatmen use their mules for the
same purpose. To tow an average-sized canal-boat, loaded, requires four
mules, while an empty one is easily drawn by two. It proved most
expeditious as well as convenient not to trouble the lock-master to open
the gates, but to secure his assistance in carrying the canoe along the
tow-path to the end of the lock, which service occupied less than five
minutes. In this way the canoe was carried around seven locks the first
day, and when dusk approached she was sheltered beside a paper shell in
the boat-house of Princeton College Club, which is located on the banks
of the canal about one mile and a half from the city of Princeton.

In this narrow watercourse these indefatigable collegians, under great
disadvantages, drill their crews for the annual intercollegiate
struggle for championship. One Noah Reed provided entertainment for man
and beast at his country inn half a mile from the boat-house, and
thither I repaired for the night.

This day's row of twenty-six miles and a half had been through a hilly
country, abounding in rich farm lands which were well cultivated. The
next morning an officer of the Princeton Bank awaited my coming on the
banks of the sluggish canal. He had taken an early walk from the town to
see the canoe. At Baker's Basin the bridge-tender, a one-legged man,
pressed me to tarry till he could summon the Methodist minister, who had
charged him to notify him of the approach of a paper canoe.

Through all my boat journeys I have remarked that professional men take
more interest in canoe journeys than professional oarsmen; and nearly
all the canoeists of my acquaintance are ministers of the gospel. It is
an innocent way of obtaining relaxation; and opportunities thus offered
the weary clergyman of studying nature in her ever-changing but always
restful moods, must indeed be grateful after being for months in daily
contact with the world, the flesh, and the devil. The tendency of the
present age to liberal ideas permits clergymen in large towns and cities
to drive fast horses, and spend an hour of each day at a harmless game
of billiards, without giving rise to remarks from _his own_
congregation, but let the overworked rector of a _country_ village seek
in his friendly canoe that relief which nature offers to the tired
brain, let him go into the wilderness and live close to his Creator by
studying his works, and a whole community vex him on his return with
"the appearance of the thing." These self-constituted critics, who are
generally ignorant of the laws which God has made to secure health and
give contentment to his creatures, would poison the sick man's body with
drugs and nostrums when he might have the delightful and generally
successful services of Dr. Camp Cure without the after dose of a bill.
These hard-worked and miserably paid country clergymen, who are rarely,
nowadays, treated as the head of the congregation or the shepherd of the
flock they are supposed to lead, but rather as victims of the whims of
influential members of the church, tell me that to own a canoe is indeed
a cross, and that if they spend a vacation in the grand old forests of
the Adirondacks, the brethren are sorely exercised over the time wasted
in such unusual and unministerial conduct.

Everywhere along the route the peculiar character of the paper canoe
attracted many remarks from the bystanders. The first impression given
was that I had engaged in this rowing enterprise under the stimulus of a
bet; and when the curious were informed that it was a voyage of study,
the next question was, "How much are you going to make out of it?" Upon
learning that there was neither a bet nor money in it, a shade of
disappointment and incredulity rested upon the features of the
bystanders, and the canoeist was often rated as a "blockhead" for
risking his life without being paid for it.

At Trenton the canal passes through the city, and here it was necessary
to carry the boat around two locks. At noon the canoe ended her voyage
of forty-two miles by reaching the last lock, on the Delaware River, at
Bordentown, New Jersey, where friendly arms received the Maria Theresa
and placed her on the trestles which had supported her sister craft, the
Mayeta, in the shop of the builder, Mr. J. S. Lamson, situated under the
high cliffs along the crests of which an ex-king of Spain, in times gone
by, was wont to walk and sadly ponder on his exile from _la belle

The Rev. John H. Brakeley, proprietor as well as principal of the
Bordentown Female Seminary, took me to his ancient mansion, where Thomas
Paine, of old Revolutionary war times, had lodged. Not the least
attraction in the home of my friend was the group of fifty young ladies,
who were kind enough to gather upon a high bluff when I left the town,
and wave a graceful farewell to the paper canoe as she entered the
tidal current of the river Delaware _en route_ for the Quaker city.

During my short stay in Bordentown Mr. Isaac Gabel kindly acted as my
guide, and we explored the Bonaparte Park, which is on the outskirts of
the town. The grounds are beautifully laid out. Some of the old houses
of the ex-king's friends and attendants still remain in a fair state of
preservation. The elegant residence of Joseph Bonaparte, or the Count de
Surveilliers, which was always open to American visitors of all classes,
was torn down by Mr. Henry Beckett, an Englishman in the diplomatic
service of the British government, who purchased this property some
years after the Count returned to Europe, and erected a more elaborate
mansion near the old site. The old citizens of Bordentown hold in
grateful remembrance the favors showered upon them by Joseph Bonaparte
and his family, who seem to have lived a democratic life in the grand
old park. The Count returned to France in 1838, and never visited the
United States again. New Jersey had welcomed the exiled monarch, and had
given him certain legal privileges in property rights which New York had
refused him; so he settled upon the lovely shores of the fair Delaware,
and lavished his wealth upon the people of the state which had so kindly
received him. The citizens of neighboring states becoming somewhat
jealous of the good luck that had befallen New Jersey in her capture of
the Spanish king, applied to the state the cognomen of "New Spain," and
called the inhabitants thereof "Spaniards."

The Delaware River, the Makeriskitton of the savage, upon whose noble
waters my paper canoe was now to carry me southward, has its sources in
the western declivity of the Catskill Mountains, in the state of New
York. It is fed by two tributary streams, the Oquago (or Coquago) and
the Popacton, which unite their waters at the boundary line of
Pennsylvania, at the northeast end of the state, from which it flows
southward seventy miles, separating the Empire and Keystone states. When
near Port Jervis, which town is connected with Rondout, on the Hudson
River, by the Hudson and Delaware Canal, the Delaware turns sharply to
the southwest, and becomes the boundary line between the states of New
Jersey and Pennsylvania. Below Easton the river again takes a
southeasterly course, and flowing past Trenton, Bristol, Bordentown,
Burlington, Philadelphia, Camden, Newcastle, and Delaware City, empties
its waters into Delaware Bay about forty miles below Philadelphia.

This river has about the same length as the Hudson--three hundred miles.
The tide reaches one hundred and thirty-two miles from the sea at Cape
May and Cape Henlopen. Philadelphia is the head of navigation for
vessels of the heaviest tonnage; Trenton for light-draught steamboats.
At Bordentown the river is less than half a mile wide; at Philadelphia
it is three-fourths of a mile in width; while at Delaware City it widens
to two miles and a half. Delaware Bay is twenty-six miles across in the
widest part, which is some miles within the entrance of the Capes.

October 31st was cool and gusty. The river route to Philadelphia is
twenty-nine statute miles. The passage was made against a strong
head-wind, with swashy waves, which made me again regret that I did not
have my canoe-decking made at Troy, instead of at Philadelphia. The
highly-cultivated farms and beautiful country-seats along both the
Pennsylvania and New Jersey sides of the river spoke highly of the rich
character of the soil and the thrift of the inhabitants. These river
counties of two states may be called a land of plenty, blessed with
bountiful harvests.

Quaker industry and wise economy in managing the agricultural affairs of
this section in the early epochs of our country's settlement have borne
good fruit. All praise to the memory of William Penn of Pennsylvania and
his worthy descendants. The old towns of Bristol on the right, and
Burlington on the left bank, embowered in vernal shades, have a most
comfortable and home-like appearance.

At five o'clock P. M. I arrived at the city pier opposite the warehouse
of Messrs. C. P. Knight & Brother, No. 114 South Delaware Avenue, where,
after a struggle with wind and wave for eight hours, the canoe was
landed and deposited with the above firm, the gentlemen of which kindly
offered to care for it while I tarried in the "City of Brotherly Love."

Among the many interesting spots hallowed by memories of the past in
which Philadelphia abounds, and which are rarely sought out by visitors,
two especially claim the attention of the naturalist. One is the old
home of William Bartram, on the banks of the Schuylkill at Grey's Ferry;
the other, the grave of Alexander Wilson, friends and co-laborers in
nature's extended field;--the first a botanist, the second the father of
American ornithology.

William Bartram, son of the John Bartram who was the founder of the
Botanic Garden on the west bank of the Schuylkill, was born at that
interesting spot in 1739. All botanists are familiar with the results of
his patient labors and his pioneer travels in those early days, through
the wilderness of what now constitutes the southeastern states. One who
visited him at his home says: "Arrived at the botanist's garden, we
approached an old man who, with a rake in his hand, was breaking the
clods of earth in a tulip-bed. His hat was old, and flapped over his
face; his coarse shirt was seen near his neck, as he wore no cravat nor
kerchief; his waistcoat and breeches were both of leather, and his shoes
were tied with leather strings. We approached and accosted him. He
ceased his work, and entered into conversation with the ease and
politeness of nature's nobleman. His countenance was expressive of
benignity and happiness. This was the botanist, traveller and
philosopher we had come to see."

William Bartram gave important assistance and encouragement to the
friendless Scotch pedagogue, Alexander Wilson, while the latter was
preparing his American Ornithology for the press. This industrious and
peaceable botanist died within the walls of his dearly-loved home a few
minutes after he had penned a description of a plant. He died in 1823,
in the eighty-fifth year of his age. The old house of John and William
Bartram remains nearly the same as when the last Bartram died, but the
grounds have been occupied and improved by the present proprietor, whose
fine mansion is near the old residence of the two botanists.

Without ample funds to enable him to carry out his bold design,
Alexander Wilson labored and suffered in body and mind for several
years, until his patient and persistent efforts achieved the success
they so richly merited. All but the last volume of his American
Ornithology were completed when the overworked naturalist died.

The old Swedes' Church is the most ancient religious edifice in
Philadelphia, and is located near the wharves in the vicinity of
Christian and Swanson streets, in the old district of Southwark. The
Swedes had settlements on the Delaware before Penn visited America. They
built a wooden edifice for worship in 1677, on the spot where the brick
"Swedes' Church" now stands, and which was erected in 1700. Threading
narrow streets, with the stenographic reporter of the courts, Mr. R. A.
West, for my guide, we came into a quiet locality where the ancient
landmark reared its steeple, like the finger of faith pointing
heavenward. Few indeed must be the fashionable Christians who worship
under its unpretentious roof, but there is an air of antiquity
surrounding it which interests every visitor who enters its venerable

The church-yard is very contracted in area, yet there is room for trees
to grow within its sacred precincts, and birds sometimes rest there
while pursuing their flight from the Schuylkill to the Delaware. Among
the crowded graves is a square brick structure, covered with an
horizontal slab of white marble, upon which I read:

                     ALEXANDER WILSON,
             ON THE 23 AUGUST, 1813, AGED 47.
             _Ingenio stat sine morte decus._"

Philadelphia has been called the "city of homes," and well does she
merit that comfortably sounding title, for it is not a misnomer. Unlike
some other large American cities, the artisan and laborer can here own a
home by becoming a member of a building association and paying the
moderate periodical dues. Miles upon miles of these cosy little houses,
of five or six rooms each, may be found, the inmates of which are a good
and useful class of citizens, adding strength to the city's discipline
and government.

The grand park of three thousand acres, one of, if not _the_ largest in
the world, is near at hand, where the poor as well as the rich can
resort at pleasure. I took leave of the beautiful and well laid-out city
with a pang of regret not usual with canoeists, who find it best for
their comfort and peace of mind to keep with their dainty crafts away
from the heterogeneous and not over-civil population which gathers along
the water-fronts of a port.


[B] NOTE TO PAGE 72.--The author has been criticised by technical
canoeists for using oars on a canoe. On this cruise, experience proved
that the paddle could be used effectively only two miles out of every
three. Head winds and seas frequently drive the paddler into camp, while
the adaptive cruiser pushes on with oar and outrigger, and avoids the
loss of many hours. Many canoeists exploring our broad watercourses have
adopted the oar as an auxiliary,--the paddle properly taking the
precedence. We are progressing. The canoeist of 1882 may follow the
teachings of common-sense _vs._ unauthorized technical criticisms. Oars
on a light paddling canoe are out of place; but are a most effective
power on a heavy cruising canoe, insuring a successful voyage.




Monday, November 9, was a cold, wet day. Mr. Knight and the old,
enthusiastic gunsmith-naturalist of the city, Mr. John Krider, assisted
me to embark in my now decked, provisioned, and loaded canoe. The stock
of condensed food would easily last me a month, while the blankets and
other parts of the outfit were good for the hard usage of four or five
months. My friends shouted adieu as the little craft shot out from the
pier and rapidly descended the river with the strong ebb-tide which for
two hours was in her favor. The anchorage of the iron Monitor fleet at
League Island was soon passed, and the great city sank into the gloom
of its smoke and the clouds of rainy mist which enveloped it.

[Illustration: From New York City to Cape Henlopen, Delaware.

Route of Paper Canoe MARIA THERESA From New York City
to Lewes, Del. Via Arthur Kill, Del. & Raritan Canal Followed by
N. H. Bishop in 1874
_Copyright, 1878 by Lee & Shepard_]

This pull was an exceedingly dreary one. The storms of winter were
at hand, and even along the watercourses between Philadelphia and
Norfolk, Virginia, thin ice would soon be forming in the shallow coves
and creeks. It would be necessary to exert all my energies to get south
of Hatteras, which is located on the North Carolina coast in a region of
storms and local disturbances. The canoe, though heavily laden, behaved
well. I now enjoyed the advantages resulting from the possession of the
new canvas deck-cover, which, being fastened by buttons along each
gunwale of the canoe, securely covered the boat, so that the occasional
swash sent aboard by wicked tug-boats and large schooners did not annoy
me or wet my precious cargo.

By two o'clock P. M. the rain and wind caused me to seek shelter at
Mr. J. C. Beach's cottage, at Markus Hook, some twenty miles below
Philadelphia, and on the same side of the river. While Mr. Beach was
varnishing the little craft, crowds of people came to _feel_ of the
canoe, giving it the usual punching with their finger-nails, "to see if
it were truly paper." A young Methodist minister with his pretty wife
came also to satisfy their curiosity on the _paper_ question, but the
dominie offered me not a word of encouragement in my undertaking. He
shook his head and whispered to his wife: "A wild, wild enterprise
indeed." Markus Hook derived its name from Markee, an Indian chief,
who sold it to the civilized white man for four barrels of whiskey.

The next morning, in a dense fog, I followed the shores of the river,
crossing the Pennsylvania and Delaware boundary line half a mile below
the "Hook," and entered Delaware, the little state of three counties.
Thirty-five miles below, the water becomes salt. Reaching New Castle,
which contained half its present number of inhabitants before
Philadelphia was founded, I pulled across to the New Jersey side of
the river and skirted the marshy shore past the little Pea Patch
Island, upon which rises in sullen dreariness Fort Delaware. West of
the island is Delaware City, where the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal,
fourteen miles in length, has one of its termini, the other being on
a river which empties into Chesapeake Bay. Philadelphia and Baltimore
steamboat lines utilize this canal in the passage of their boats from
one city to the other.

After crossing Salem Cove, and passing its southern point, Elsinborough,
five miles and a half below Fort Delaware, the inhospitable marshes
became wide and desolate, warning me to secure a timely shelter for the
night. Nearly two miles below Point Elsinborough the high reeds were
divided by a little creek, into which I ran my canoe, for upon the muddy
bank could be seen a deserted, doorless fish-cabin, into which I moved
my blankets and provisions, after cutting with my pocket-knife an ample
supply of dry reeds for a bed. Drift-wood, which a friendly tide had
deposited around the shanty, furnished the material for my fire, which
lighted up the dismal hovel most cheerfully. And thus I kept house in a
comfortable manner till morning, being well satisfied with the progress
I had made that day in traversing the shores of three states. The
booming of the guns of wild-fowl shooters out upon the water roused
me before dawn, and I had ample time before the sun arose to prepare
breakfast from the remnant of canned ox-tail soup left over from last
night's supper.

I was now in Delaware Bay, which was assuming noble proportions. From
my camp I crossed to the west shore below Reedy Island, and, filling
my water-bottles at a farm-house, kept upon that shore all day. The
wind arose, stirring up a rough sea as I approached Bombay Hook, where
the bay is eight miles wide. I tried to land upon the salt marshes,
over the edges of which the long, low seas were breaking, but failed
in several attempts. At last roller after roller, following in quick
succession, carried the little craft on their crests to the land, and
packed her in a thicket of high reeds.

I quickly disembarked, believing it useless to attempt to go further
that day. About an eighth of a mile from the water, rising out of the
salt grass and reeds, was a little mound, covered by trees and bushes,
into which I conveyed my cargo by the back-load, and then easily drew
the light canoe over the level marsh to the camp. A bed of reeds was
soon cut, into which the canoe was settled to prevent her from being
strained by the occupant at night, for I was determined to test the
strength of the boat as sleeping-quarters. Canoes built for one person
are generally too light for such occupancy when out of water. The tall
fringe of reeds which encircled the boat formed an excellent substitute
for chamber walls, giving me all the starry blue heavens for a ceiling,
and most effectually screening me from the strong wind which was
blowing. As it was early when the boat was driven ashore, I had time to
wander down to the brook, which was a mile distant, and replenish my
scanty stock of water.

With the canvas deck-cover and rubber blanket to keep off the heavy
dews, the first night passed in such contracted lodgings was
endurable, if not wholly convenient and agreeable. The river mists
were not dispelled the next day until nine o'clock, when I quitted my
warm nest in the reeds and rowed down the bay, which seemed to grow
broader as I advanced. The bay was still bordered by extensive
marshes, with here and there the habitation of man located upon some
slight elevation of the surface. Having rowed twenty-six miles, and
being off the mouth of Murderkill Creek, a squall struck the canoe
and forced it on to an oyster reef, upon the sharp shells of which
she was rocked for several minutes by the shallow breakers. Fearing
that the paper shell was badly cut, though it was still early in the
afternoon, I ascended the creek of ominous name and associations to
the landing of an inn kept by Jacob Lavey, where I expected to
overhaul my injured craft. To my surprise and great relief of mind
there were found only a few superficial scratches upon the horn-like
shellacked surface of the paper shell. To apply shellac with a heated
iron to the wounds made by the oyster-shells was the work of a few
minutes, and my craft was as sound as ever. The gunner's resort,
"Bower's Beach Hotel," furnished an excellent supper of oyster
fritters, pan-fish, and fried pork-scrapple. Mine host, before a
blazing wood fire, told me of the origin of the name of Murderkill

"In the early settlement of the country," began the innkeeper, "the
white settlers did all they could to civilize the Indians, but the
cussed savages wouldn't take to it kindly, but worried the life out of
the new-comers. At last a great landed proprietor, who held a big grant
of land in these parts, thought he'd settle the troubles. So he planted
a brass cannon near the creek, and invited all the Indians of the
neighborhood to come and hear the white man's Great Spirit talk. The
crafty man got the savages before the mouth of the cannon, and said,
'Now look into the hole there, for it is the mouth of the white man's
Great Spirit, which will soon speak in tones of thunder.' The fellow
then touched off the gun, and knocked half the devils into splinters.
The others were so skeerd at the big voice they had heard that they were
afraid to move, and were soon all killed by one charge after another
from the cannon: so the creek has been called Murderkill ever since."

I afterwards discovered that there were other places on the coast
which had the same legend as the one told me by the innkeeper. Holders
of small farms lived in the vicinity of this tavern, but the
post-office was at Frederica, five miles inland. Embarking the next
day, I felt sure of ending my cruise on Delaware Bay before night, as
the quiet morning exhibited no signs of rising winds. The little pilot
town of Lewes, near Cape Delaware, and behind the Breakwater, is a
port of refuge for storm-bound vessels. From this village I expected
to make a portage of six miles to Love Creek, a tributary of Rehoboth
Sound. The frosty nights were now exerting a sanitary influence over
the malarial districts which I had entered, and the unacclimated
canoeist of northern birth could safely pursue his journey, and sleep
at night in the swamps along the fresh-water streams if protected from
the dews by a rubber or canvas covering. My hopes of reaching the
open sea that night were to be drowned, and in cold water too; for
that day, which opened so calmly and with such smiling promises, was
destined to prove a season of trial, and before its evening shadows
closed around me, to witness a severe struggle for life in the cold
waters of Delaware Bay.

An hour after leaving Murderkill Creek the wind came from the north in
strong squalls. My little boat taking the blasts on her quarter, kept
herself free of the swashy seas hour after hour. I kept as close to the
sandy beach of the great marshes as possible, so as to be near the land
in case an accident should happen. Mispillion Creek and a light-house on
the north of its mouth were passed, when the wind and seas struck my
boat on the port beam, and continually crowded her ashore. The water
breaking on the hard, sandy beach of the marshy coast made it too much
of a risk to attempt a landing, as the canoe would be smothered in the
swashy seas if her headway was checked for a moment. Amidships the canoe
was only a few inches out of water, but her great sheer, full bow, and
smoothness of hull, with watchful management, kept her from swamping. I
had struggled along for fourteen miles since morning, and was fatigued
by the strain consequent upon the continued manoeuvring of my boat
through the rough waves. I reached a point on Slaughter Beach, where
the bay has a width of nearly nineteen miles, when the tempest rose to
such a pitch that the great raging seas threatened every moment to wash
over my canoe, and to force me by their violence close into the beach.
To my alarm, as the boat rose and fell on the waves, the heads of
sharp-pointed stakes appeared and disappeared in the broken waters. They
were the stakes of fishermen to which they attach their nets in the
season of trout-fishing. The danger of being impaled on one of these
forced me off shore again.

There was no undertow; the seas being driven over shoals were irregular
and broken. At last _my_ sea came. It rolled up without a crest, square
and formidable. I could not calculate where it would break, but I pulled
for life away from it towards the beach upon which the sea was breaking
with deafening sound. It was only for a moment that I beheld the great
brown wave, which bore with it the mud of the shoal, bearing down upon
me; for the next, it broke astern, sweeping completely over the canoe
from stern to stem, filling it through the opening of the canvas round
my body. Then for a while the watery area was almost smooth, so
completely had the great wave levelled it. The canoe being water-logged,
settled below the surface, the high points of the ends occasionally
emerging from the water. Other heavy seas followed the first, one of
which striking me as high as my head and shoulders, turned both the
canoe and canoeist upside-down.

Kicking myself free of the canvas deck, I struck out from under the
shell, and quickly rose to the surface. It was then that the words of
an author of a European Canoe Manual came to my mind: "When you
capsize, first right the canoe and get astride it over one end,
keeping your legs in the water; when you have crawled to the well or
cockpit, bale out the boat with your hat." Comforting as these
instructions from an experienced canoe traveller seemed when reading
them in my hermitage ashore, the present application of them (so
important a principle in Captain Jack Bunsby's log of life) was in
this emergency an impossibility; for my hat had disappeared with the
seat-cushion and one iron outrigger, while the oars were floating to
leeward with the canoe.

The boat having turned keel up, her great sheer would have righted her
had it not been for the cargo, which settled itself on the canvas
deck-cloth, and ballasted the craft in that position. So smooth were her
polished sides that it was impossible to hold on to her, for she rolled
about like a slippery porpoise in a tideway. Having tested and proved
futile the kind suggestions of writers on marine disasters, and feeling
very stiff in the icy water, I struck out in an almost exhausted
condition for the shore. Now a new experience taught me an interesting
lesson. The seas rolled over my head and shoulders in such rapid
succession, that I found I could not get my head above water to breathe,
while the sharp sand kept in suspension by the agitated water scratched
my face, and filled my eyes, nostrils, and ears. While I felt this
pressing down and burying tendency of the seas, as they broke upon my
head and shoulders, I understood the reason why so many good swimmers
are drowned in attempting to reach the shore from a wreck on a shoal,
when the wind, though blowing heavily, is in the victim's favor. The
land was not over an eighth of a mile away, and from it came the sullen
roar of the breakers, pounding their heavy weight upon the sandy
shingle. As its booming thunders or its angry, swashing sound increased,
I knew I was rapidly nearing it, but, blinded by the boiling waters, I
could see nothing.


At such a moment do not stop to make vows as to how you will treat your
neighbor in future if once safely landed, but strike out, fight as you
never fought before, swallowing as little water as possible, and never
relaxing an energy or yielding a hope. The water shoaled; my feet felt
the bottom, and I stood up, but a roller laid me flat on my face. Up
again and down again, swimming and crawling, I emerged from the sea,
bearing, I fear, a closer resemblance to Jonah (being at last pitched
on shore) than to Cabnel's Venus, who was borne gracefully upon the rosy
crests of the sky-reflecting waves to the soft bed of sparkling foam
awaiting her.

Wearily dragging myself up the hard shingle, I stood and contemplated
the little streams of water pouring from my woollen clothes. A new
danger awaited me as the cold wind whistled down the barren beach and
across the desolate marshes. I danced about to keep warm, and for a
moment thought that my canoe voyage had come to an unfortunate
termination. Then a buoyant feeling succeeded the moment's depression,
and I felt that this was only the first of many trials which were
necessary to prepare me for the successful completion of my undertaking.
But where was the canoe, with its provisions that were to sustain me,
and the charts which were to point out my way through the labyrinth of
waters she was yet to traverse? She had drifted near the shore, but
would not land. There was no time to consider the propriety of again
entering the water. The struggle was a short though severe one, and I
dragged my boat ashore.

Everything was wet excepting what was most needed,--a flannel suit,
carefully rolled in a water-proof cloth. I knew that I must change my
wet clothes for dry ones, or perish. This was no easy task to perform,
with hands benumbed and limbs paralyzed with the cold. O shade of
Benjamin Franklin, did not one of thy kinsmen, in his wide experience as
a traveller, foresee this very disaster, and did he not, when I left the
"City of Brotherly Love," force upon me an antidote, a sort of spiritual
fire, which my New England temperance principles made me refuse to
accept? "It is old, _very_ old," he whispered, as he slipped the flask
into my coat-pocket, "and it may save your life. Don't be foolish. I
have kept it well bottled. It is a pure article, and cost sixteen
dollars per gallon. _I use it only for medicine._" I found the flask;
the _water_ had not injured it. A small quantity was taken, when a most
favorable change came over my entire system, mental as well as physical,
and I was able to throw off one suit and put on another in the icy wind,
that might, without the stimulant, have ended my voyage of life.

I had doctored myself homoeopathically under the _old practice_.
Filled with feelings of gratitude to the Great Giver of good, I
reflected, as I carried my wet cargo into the marsh, upon the wonderful
effects of my friend's medicine when taken _only as medicine_. Standing
upon the cold beach and gazing into the sea, now lashed by the wild
frenzy of the wind, I determined never again to do so mean a thing as to
say a _bad_ word against _good_ brandy.

Having relieved my conscience by this just resolve, I transported the
whole of my wet but still precious cargo to a persimmon grove, on a spot
of firm land that rose out of the marsh, where I made a convenient
wind-break by stretching rubber blankets between trees. On this knoll I
built a fire, obtaining the matches to kindle it from a water-proof safe
presented to me by Mr. Epes Sargent, of Boston, some years before, when
I was ascending the St. Johns River, Florida.

Before dusk, all things not spoiled by the water were dried and secreted
in the tall sedge of the marshes. The elevation which had given me
friendly shelter is known as "Hog Island." The few persimmon-trees that
grew upon it furnished an ample lunch, for the frosts had mellowed the
plum-like fruit, making it sweet and edible. The persimmon (_Diospyrus
Virginiana_) is a small tree usually found in the middle and southern
states. Coons and other animals feast upon its fruit. The deepening
gloom warned me to seek comfortable quarters for the night.

Two miles up the strand was an old gunners' inn, to which I bent my
steps along Slaughter Beach, praying that one more day's effort would
take me out of this bleak region of ominous names. A pleasant old
gentleman, Mr. Charles Todd, kept the tavern, known as Willow Grove
Hotel, more for amusement than for profit. I said nothing to him about
the peculiar manner in which I had landed on Slaughter Beach; but to his
inquiry as to where my boat was, and what kind of a boat it was to live
in such a blow, I replied that I found it too wet and cold on the bay to
remain there, and too rough to proceed to Cape Henlopen, and there being
no alternative, I was obliged to land much against my inclination, and
in doing so was drenched to the skin, but had managed to get dry before
a fire in the marshes. So the kind old man piled small logs in the great
kitchen fireplace, and told me tale upon tale of his life as a
school-master out west; of the death of his wife there, and of his
desire to return, after long years of absence, to his native Delaware,
where he could be comfortable, and have all the clams, oysters, fish,
and bay truck generally that a man could wish for.

"Now," he added, "I shall spend my last days here in peace." He
furnished an excellent supper of weak-fish or sea trout (_Otolithus
regalio_), fried oysters, sweet potatoes, &c.

This locality offers a place of retirement for men of small means and
limited ambition. The broad bay is a good sailing and fishing ground,
while the great marshes are the resort of many birds. The light, warm
soil responds generously to little cultivation. After a day of hunting
and fishing, the new-comer can smoke his pipe in peace, to the music of
crackling flames in the wide old fireplace. Here he may be
_comfortable_, and spend his last days quietly vegetating, with no
criticisms on his deterioration, knowing that he is running to seed no
faster than his neighbors.

The wind had gone to rest with the sun, and the sharp frost that
followed left its congealed breath upon the shallow pools of water
nearly half an inch in thickness by morning. From my bed I could see
through the window the bright flashes from Cape May and Cape Henlopen
lights. Had not misfortune beset me, a four-hours' pull would have
landed me at Lewes. There was much to be thankful for, however. Through
a merciful Providence it was my privilege to enjoy a soft bed at the
Willow Grove Inn, and not a cold one on the sands of Slaughter Beach. So
ended my last day on Delaware Bay.




[Illustration: From Cape Henlopen, Delaware, to Norfolk, Virginia.

Route of Paper Canoe MARIA THERESA From Lewes, Del. to
Norfolk, Va. Followed by N. H. Bishop in 1874
_Copyright, 1878 by Lee & Shepard_]

My first thought the next morning was of the lost outrigger, and how I
should replace it. My host soon solved the problem for me. I was to
drive to the scene of the late disaster in his light, covered wagon,
load it with the canoe and cargo, and take the shortest route to Love
Creek, six miles from Lewes, stopping on the way at a blacksmith's for a
new outrigger. We drove over sandy roads, through forests of pine and
oak, to the village of Milton, where a curious crowd gathered round us
and facetiously asked if we had "brought the canoe all the way from Troy
in that 'ere wagon." The village smith, without removing the paper boat
from her snug quarters, made a fair outrigger in an hour's time, when we
continued our monotonous ride through dreary woods to a clearing upon
the banks of a cedar swamp, where in a cottage lived Mr. George Webb, to
whom Bob Hazzle, my driver, presented me. Having now reached Love Creek,
I deposited my canoe with Mr. Webb, and started off for Lewes to view
the town and the ocean.

Across the entrance of Delaware Bay, from Cape Henlopen Light to Cape
May Light on the southern end of New Jersey, is a distance of twelve
statute miles. Saturday night and Sunday were passed in Lewes, which
is situated inside of Cape Henlopen, and behind the celebrated stone
breakwater which was constructed by the government. This port of refuge
is much frequented by coasters, as many as two or three hundred sails
collecting here during a severe gale. The government is building a
remarkable pier of _solid_ iron spiles, three abreast, which, when
completed, will run out seventeen hundred feet into the bay, and reach
a depth of twenty-three feet of water. Captain Brown, of the Engineers,
was in charge of the work. By the application of a jet of water, forced
by an hydraulic pump through a tube down the outside of the spile while
it is being screwed into the sand, a puddling of the same is kept
up, which relieves the strain upon the screw-flanges, and saves
fourteen-fifteenths of the time and labor usually expended by the
old method of inserting the screw spile. This invention was a happy
thought of Captain Brown.

The government has purchased a piece of land at Lewes for the site of a
fort. Some time in the future there will be a railroad terminating on
the pier, and coal will be brought directly from the mines to supply the
fleets which will gather within the walls of the Breakwater. Here, free
from all danger of an ice blockade, this port will become a safe and
convenient harbor and coaling-station during the winter time for
government and other vessels.

At dusk on Sunday evening the collector of the port, Captain Lyons,
and his friends, took me in their carriage back to Love Creek, where
Mr. Webb insisted upon making me the recipient of his hospitality for
the night. A little crowd of women from the vicinity of the swamp were
awaiting my arrival to see the canoe. One ancient dame, catching sight
of the alcohol-stove which I took from my vest-pocket, clapped her
thin hands and enthusiastically exclaimed, "What a nice thing for a
sick-room--the best nuss-lamp I ever seed!" Having satisfied the
curiosity of these people, and been much amused by their quaint
remarks, I was quietly smuggled into Mr. Webb's "best room," where,
if my spirit did not make feathery flights, it was not the fault of
the downy bed in whose unfathomable depths I now lost myself.

Before leaving Delaware I feel it an imperative duty to the public to
refer to one of her time-honored institutions.

Persons unacquainted with the fact will find it difficult to believe
that one state of the great American Republic still holds to the
practice of lashing men and women, white and black. Delaware--one of the
smallest states of the Union, the citizens of which are proverbially
generous and hospitable, a state which has produced a Bayard--is, to her
shame we regret to say, the culprit which sins against the spirit of
civilization in this nineteenth century, one hundred years after the
fathers of the Republic declared equal rights for all men. In treating
of so delicate a subject, I desire to do no one injustice; therefore I
will let a native of Delaware speak for his community.

    "DOVER, DELAWARE, August 2, 1873.

    "EDITOR CAMDEN SPY: According to promise, I now write you a
    little about Delaware. Persons in your vicinity look upon the
    'Little Diamond State' as a mere bog, or marsh, and mud and
    water they suppose are its chief productions; but, in my
    opinion, it is one of the finest little states in the Union.
    Although small, in proportion to the size it produces more grain
    and fruit than any other state in the country, and they are
    unexcelled as regards quality and flavor. Crime is kept in awe
    by that best of institutions, the _whipping-post and pillory_!
    These are the bugbear of all the northern newspapers, and they
    can say nothing too harsh or severe against them. The
    whipping-post in Kent County is situated in the yard of the
    jail, and is about six feet in height and three feet in
    circumference; the prisoner is fastened to it by means of
    bracelets, or arms, on the wrist; and the sheriff executes the
    sentence of the law by baring the convict to the waist, and on
    the bare back lashing him twenty, forty, or sixty times,
    according to the sentence. But the blood does not run in streams
    from the prisoner's back, nor is he thrown into a barrel of
    brine, and salt sprinkled over the lashes. On the contrary, I
    have seen them laugh, and coolly remark that 'it's good
    exercise, and gives us an appetite.' But there are others who
    raise the devil's own row with their yells and horrible cries of
    pain. The whipping is public, and is witnessed each time by
    large numbers of people who come from miles around to see the
    culprit disgraced.

    "A public whipping occurred not very long ago, and the day was
    very stormy, yet there were fully three hundred spectators on
    the ground to witness this wholesome punishment! A person who
    has been lashed at the whipping-post cannot vote again in this
    state; thus, most of the criminals who are whipped leave the
    state in order to regain their citizenship. The newspapers can
    blow until they are tired about this 'horrible, barbaric, and
    unchristian punishment,' but if their own states would adopt
    this form of punishment, they would find crime continually on
    the decrease. What is imprisonment for a few months or years? It
    is soon over with; and then they are again let out upon the
    community, to beg, borrow, and steal. But to be publicly whipped
    is an everlasting disgrace, and deters men from committing
    wrong. Women are whipped in the same manner, and they take it
    very hard; but, to my recollection, there has not been a female
    prisoner for some time. I did not intend to comment so long upon
    the whipping-posts in the state of Delaware.

    "The pillory next claims our attention. This is a long piece of
    board that runs through the whipping-post at the top, and has
    holes [as per engraving] for the neck and arms to rest in a very
    constrained position. The prisoner is compelled to stand on his
    toes for an hour with his neck and arms in the holes, and if he
    sinks from exhaustion, as it sometimes happens, the neck is
    instantly broken. Josiah Ward, the villain who escaped
    punishment for the murder of the man Wady in your county, came
    into Delaware, broke into a shoe-store, succeeded in stealing
    one pair of shoes,--was arrested, got sixty lashes at the post,
    was made to stand in the pillory one hour, is now serving out a
    term of two years' imprisonment,--and _he never got the shoes_!
    The pillory is certainly a terrible and cruel punishment, and,
    while I heartily favor the whipping-post, I think this savage
    punishment should be abolished.

    "Since writing the above, I have heard that a colored woman was
    convicted of murder in the second degree last May, and on
    Saturday the 17th of that month received sixty lashes on her
    bare back, and stood in the pillory one hour.

    "What do you think of Delaware law, after what I have written? I
    have written enough for the present, so I will close, ever

    "Yours very truly,
                      P. P."

For twenty years past, Delaware and Maryland farmers have given much
attention to peach culture, which has gradually declined in New Jersey
and states further north. There are said to be over sixty thousand acres
of land on the peninsula planted with peach-trees, which are estimated
to be worth fifty dollars per acre, or three million dollars. To harvest
this crop requires at least twenty-five thousand men, women, and
children. The planting of an acre of peach-trees, and its cultivation to
maturity, costs from thirty to forty dollars. The canners take a large
portion of the best peaches, which are shipped to foreign as well as to
domestic markets.

The low lands and river-shores of the peninsula exhale malaria which
attacks the inhabitants in a mild form of ague. During the spring,
summer, and early fall months, a prudent man will not expose himself to
the air until after the sun has risen and dispelled the mists of
morning. The same caution should be observed all through the low regions
of the south, both as to morning and evening exercise. Chills and fever
are the bane of the southern and middle states, as this disease affects
the health and elastic vigor of the constitution, and also produces
great mental depression. Yet those who suffer, even on every alternate
day, from chills, seem to accept the malaria as nothing of much
importance; though it is a well-known fact that this form of
intermittent fever so reduces the strength, that the system is unable to
cope with other and more dangerous diseases for which it paves the way.

Upon a little creek, tributary to St. Martin's River, and near its
confluence with the Isle of Wight Bay, a long day's pull from the swamp
of Love Creek, was the old plantation home of a friend of my boyhood,
Mr. Taylor, who about this time was looking out for the arrival of the
paper canoe. It was a question whether I could descend Love Creek three
miles, cross Rehoboth and Indian River sounds, ascend White's Creek,
make a portage to Little Assawaman Bay, thread the thoroughfare west of
Fenwick's Island Light, cross the Isle of Wight Bay, ascend and cross
St. Martin's River to Turval's Creek, and reach the home of my friend,
all in one day. But I determined to attempt the task. Mr. Webb roused
his family at an early hour, and I rowed down Love Creek and crossed the
shallow waters of Rehoboth Bay in the early part of the day.

From Cape Henlopen, following the general contour of the coast, to Cape
Charles at the northern entrance of Chesapeake Bay, is a distance of one
hundred and thirty-six miles; from Cape Charles across the mouth of
Chesapeake Bay to Cape Henry is thirteen miles; from Henlopen south, the
state of Delaware occupies about twenty miles of the coast; the eastern
shore of Maryland holds between thirty and forty miles, while the
eastern shore of Virginia, represented by the counties of Accomac and
Northampton, covers the peninsula to Cape Charles.

Commencing at Rehoboth Bay, a small boat may follow the interior waters
to the Chesapeake Bay. The watercourses of this coast are protected from
the rough waves of the ocean by long, narrow, sandy islands, known as
beaches, between which the tides enter. These passages from the sea to
the interior waters are called inlets, and most of them are navigable
for coasting vessels of light draught. These inlets are so influenced
by the action of storms, and their shores and locations are so changed
by them, that the cattle may graze to-day in tranquil happiness where
only a generation ago the old skipper navigated his craft. During June
of the year 1821 a fierce gale opened Sandy Point Inlet with a foot
depth of water, but it closed in 1831. Green Point Inlet was cut through
the beach during a gale in 1837, and was closed up seven years later.
Old Sinepuxent Inlet, which was forced open by the sea more than sixty
years ago, closed in 1831. These three inlets were within a space of
three miles, and were all north of Chincoteague village. Green Run
Inlet, which had a depth of about six feet of water for nearly ten
years, also closed after shifting half a mile to the south of its
original location. The tendency of inlets on this coast is to shift to
the southward, as do the inlets on the coast of New Jersey.

Oystermen, fishermen, and farmers live along the upland, and in some
cases on the island beaches. From these bays, timber, fire-wood, grain,
and oysters are shipped to northern ports. The people are everywhere
kind and hospitable to strangers. A mild climate, cheap and easily
worked soils, wild-fowl shooting, fine oysters and fishing privileges,
offer inducements to Northerners and Europeans to settle in this
country; the mild form of ague which exists in most of its localities
being the only objection. While debating this point with a native, he
attacked my argument by saying:

    "Law sakes! don't folks die of _something_, any way? If you
    don't have fever 'n' ague round Massachusetts, you've got an
    awful lot of things we hain't got here--a tarnashun sight wuss
    ones, too; sich as cumsempsun, brown-critters, mental
    spinageetis, lung-disease, and all sorts of brown-kill
    disorders. Besides, you have such awful cold winters that a
    farmer has to stay holed four months out of the year, while we
    folks in the south can work most of the time out of doors. I'll
    be dog-goned if I hadn't ruther live here in poverty than die up
    north a-rolling in riches. Now, stranger, as to what you said
    about sickness, why we aren't no circumstance to you fellows up
    north. Why, your hull country is chuck-full of pizenous
    remedies. When I was a-coasting along Yankeedom and went ashore,
    I found all the rocks along the road were jist kivered with
    quack-medicine notices, and all the farmers hired out the
    outsides of their barns to advertise doctor's stuff on."

In no portion of America do the people seem to feel the burden of
earning a livelihood more lightly. They get a great deal of social
enjoyment out of life at very little cost, and place much less value on
the "mighty dollar" than do their brother farmers of the northern
section of the states. The interesting inquiry of "Who was his father?"
commences at Philadelphia, and its importance intensifies as you travel
southward. Old family associations have great weight among all classes.

It was six miles from the mouth of Love Creek across the little sound to
Burton's marshy island at the entrance of Indian River Sound. Indian
River supplies its bay with much of its fresh water, and the small inlet
in the beach of the same name with the salt water of the ocean. Large
flocks of geese and ducks were seen upon the quiet waters of the sound.
Pursuing my southward course across Indian River Sound three miles, I
entered a small creek with a wide mouth, which flows north from the
cedar swamp, known as White's Creek, which I ascended until the stream
became so narrow that it seemed almost lost in the wilderness, when
suddenly an opening in the forest showed me a clearing with the little
buildings of a farm scattered around. It was the home of a Methodist
exhorter, Mr. Silas J. Betts. I told him how anxious I was to make a
quick portage to the nearest southern water, Little Assawaman Bay, not
much more than three miles distant by road.

After calmly examining my boat, he said: "It is now half-past eleven
o'clock. Wife has dinner about ready. I'll hurry her up a little, and
while she is putting it on the table we will get the cart ready." The
cart was soon loaded with pine needles as a bed for the canoe. We lashed
her into a firm position with cords, and went in to dinner.

In a short time after, we were rattling over a level, wooded country
diversified here and there by a little farm. The shallow bay, the east
side of which was separated from the ocean by sandy hills, was bounded
by marshes. We drove close to the water and put the Maria Theresa once
more into her true element. A friendly shake of the hand as I paid the
conscientious man his charge of one dollar for his services, with many
thanks for his hospitality, for which he would accept nothing--and the
canoe was off, threading the narrow and very shallow channel-way of this
grassy-bottomed bay.

The tall tower of Fenwick's Island Light, located on the boundary line
of Delaware and Maryland, was now my landmark. It rises out of the low
land that forms a barrier against which the sea breaks. The people on
the coast pronounce Fenwick "Phoenix." Phoenix Island, they say, was
once a part of the mainland, but a woman, wishing to keep her cattle
from straying, gave a man a shirt for digging a narrow ditch between
Little and Great Assawaman bays. The tide ebbed and flowed so strongly
through this new channel-way that it was worn to more than a hundred
feet in width, and has at high tide a depth in places of from ten to
fifteen feet of water. The opening of this new thoroughfare so
diminished the flow of water through the Little Assawaman Inlet to the
sea, that it became closed. The water was almost fresh here, as the
nearest inlet which admits salt water at high tide is at Chincoteague
Island, some fifty miles distant.

Passing to the west of the light-house through this passage, I thought
of what a woman could do, and almost expected to hear from the rippling
waters the "Song of the Shirt," which would have been in this case a
much more cheerful one than Hood's. I now entered Great Assawaman Bay,
the waters of which lay like a mirror before me; and nearly five miles
away, to the southwestern end, the tall forests of the Isle of Wight
loomed up against the setting sun. Ducks rose in flocks from the quiet
waters as my canoe glided into their close vicinity. If I could have
taken less cargo, I should have carried a light gun; but this being
impossible, a pocket revolver was my only fire-arm: so the ducks and
other wild-fowl along my route had reason to hold the paper canoe in
grateful remembrance.

Upon reaching the shores of the Isle of Wight I entered the mouth of St.
Martin's River, which is, at its confluence with Isle of Wight Bay, more
than two miles wide. I did not then possess the fine Coast Chart No. 28,
or the General Chart of the Coast, No. 4, with the topography of the
land clearly delineated, and showing every man's farm-buildings, fields,
landings, &c., so plainly located as to make it easy for even a novice
to navigate these bays. Now, being chartless so far as these waters were
concerned, I peered about in the deepening twilight for my friend's
plantation buildings, which I knew were not far off; but the gloomy
forests of pine upon the upland opened not the desired vista I so
longed to find.

Crossing the wide river, I came upon a long point of salt-marsh, which I
hoped might be Keyser's Point, for I knew that to the west of this point
I should find Turval's Creek. While rowing along the marsh I came upon
two duck-shooters in their punt, but so enveloped were they in the mist
that it was impossible to do more than define their forms. I, however,
ventured a question as to my locality, when, to my utter astonishment,
there came back to me in clear accents my own name. Never before had it
sounded so sweet to my ears. It was the voice of my friend, who with a
companion was occupied in removing from the water the flock of decoys
which they had been guarding since sunrise. Joyful was the unexpected

We rowed around Keyser's Point, and up Turval's Creek, a couple of miles
to the plantation landing. Here, upon the old estate in the little
family burial-ground, slept, "each in his narrow cell," the children of
four generations. Our conversation before the blazing wood-fire that
night related to the ground travelled over during the day, a course of
about thirty-five miles. Mr. Taylor's father mentioned that a friend,
during one week in the previous September, had taken upon his hook,
while fishing from the marshes of Rehoboth Bay, five hundred rock-fish,
some of which weighed twenty pounds. The oysters in Rehoboth and Indian
River bays had died out, probably from the decrease in the amount of
salt water now entering them. A delightful week was spent with my
friends at Winchester Plantation, when the falling of the mercury
warned me to hurry southward.

On Wednesday, November 25, I descended the plantation creek and rowed
out of St. Martin's River into the Bay. My course southward led me past
"the Hommack," an Indian mound of oyster-shells, which rises about seven
feet above the marsh on the west side of the entrance to Sinepuxent bay,
and where the mainland approaches to within eight hundred feet of the
beach. This point, which divides the Isle of Wight Bay from Sinepuxent,
is the terminus of the Wicomico and Pocomoke Railroad, which has been
extended from Berlin eastwardly seven miles. A short ferry conveys
the passengers across the water to a narrow island beach, which is
considered by Bayard Taylor, the author, the finest beach he has ever
visited. This new watering-place is called Ocean City; and my friend,
B. Jones Taylor, was treasurer of the company which was engaged in
making the much-desired improvements. The shallow bays in the vicinity
of Ocean City offer safe and pleasant sailing-grounds. The summer
fishing consists chiefly of white perch, striped bass, sheep's-head,
weak-fish, and drum. In the fall, blue-fish are caught. All of these,
with oysters, soft crabs, and diamond-backed terrapin, offer tempting
dishes to the epicure. This recently isolated shore is now within
direct railroad communication with Philadelphia and New York, and
can be reached in nine hours from the former, and in twelve hours
from the latter city.

From the Hommack to South Point is included the length of Sinepuxent
Bay, according to Coast Survey authority. From South Point to below
the middle of Chincoteague Island the bay is put down as "Assateague,"
though the oystermen do not call it by that name. The celebrated
oyster-beds of the people of Chincoteague commence about twenty miles
south of the Hommack. There are two kinds of oysters shipped from
Chincoteague Inlet to New York and other markets. One is the long
native plant; the other, that transplanted from Chesapeake Bay: this
bivalve is rounded in form, and the most prized of the two. The
average width of Sinepuxent was only a mile. When I turned westwardly
around South Point, and entered Assateague Bay, the watery expanse
widened, between the marshes on the west and the sandy-beach island
on the east, to over four miles.

The debouchure of Newport Creek is to the west of South Point. The
marshes here are very wide. I ascended it in the afternoon to visit
Dr. F. J. Purnell, whose attempts to introduce the pinnated grouse
and California partridges on his plantation had attracted the
attention of Mr. Charles Hallock, editor of "Forest and Stream";
and I had promised him, if possible, to investigate the matter.
This South Point of Sinepuxent Neck is a place of historical
interest, it being now asserted that it is the burial-place of
Edward Whalley, the regicide.

Early in 1875, Mr. Robert P. Robins found in a bundle of old family
documents a paper containing interesting statements written by his
great-great-grandfather, Thomas Robins, 3d, of South Point, Worcester
County, Maryland, and dated July 8, 1769. We gather from this reliable
source that Edward Whalley left Connecticut and arrived in Virginia in
16--, and was there met by a portion of his family. From Virginia he
travelled to the "province of Maryland, and settled first at ye mouth
of ye Pokemoke River; and finding yt too publick a place he came to
Sinepuxent, a neck of land open to ye Atlantic Ocean, where Colonel
Stephen was surveying and bought a tract of land from him and called it
Genezar; it contained two thousand two hundred acres, south end of
Sinepuxent; and made a settlement on ye southern extremity, and called
it South Point; to ye which place he brought his family about 1687, in
ye name of Edward Middleton. His own name he made not publick until
after this date, after ye revolution in England, (in ye year of our
Lord 1688,) when he let his name be seen in publick papers, and had
ye lands patented in his own name."

The writer of the above quotation was the great-grandson of Edward
Whalley (alias Edward Middleton), the celebrated regicide.

Four miles from South Point I struck the marshes which skirted Dr.
Purnell's large plantation, and pushing the canoe up a narrow branch of
the creek, I waded through the partially submerged herbage to the firm
ground, where the doctor was awaiting me. His house was close at hand,
within the hospitable walls of which I passed the night. Dr. Purnell has
an estate of one thousand five hundred acres, lying along the banks of
Newport Creek. Since the civil war it has been worked by tenants. Much
of it is woodland and salt-marshes. Five years before my visit, a
Philadelphian sent the doctor a few pairs of prairie-chickens, and a
covey of both the valley and the mountain partridge. I am now using
popular terms. The grouse were from a western state; the partridges had
been obtained from California. The partridges were kept caged for
several weeks and were then set at liberty. They soon disappeared in the
woods, with the exception of a single pair, which returned daily to the
kitchen-door of a farm tenant to obtain food. These two birds nested in
the garden close to the house, and reared a fine brood of young; but the
whole covey wandered away, and were afterwards heard from but once. They
had crossed to the opposite side of Newport Creek, and were probably
shot by gunners.

The prairie-chickens adapted themselves to their new home in a
satisfactory manner, and became very tame. Their nests, well filled with
eggs, were found along the rail-fences of the fields in the close
vicinity of the marshes, for which level tracts they seemed to have
strong attachment. They multiplied rapidly, and visited the cattle-pens
and barn-yards of the plantation.

The Maryland legislature passed a law to protect all grouse introduced
into the state; but a new danger threatened these unfortunate birds. A
crew of New Jersey terrapin-hunters entered Chincoteague Inlet, and
searched the ditches and little creeks of the salt-marshes for the
"diamond-backs." While thus engaged, the gentle grouse, feeding quietly
in the vicinity, attracted their attention, and they at once bagged most
of them. A tenant on the estate informed me that he had seen eighteen
birds in a cornfield a few days before--the remnant of the stock.

The Ruffled Grouse (_Bonasa umbellus_), so abundant in New Jersey, is
not a resident of the peninsula. Dr. Purnell's first experiment with the
Pinnated Grouse (_Cupidonia cupido_) has encouraged others to bring the
ruffled grouse to the eastern shore of Maryland. That unapproachable
songster of the south, the American Mocking-bird (_Mimus polyglottus_),
is becoming scarce in this region, from the inroads made by
bird-catchers who ship the young to northern cities. This delightful
chorister is only an accidental visitor in the New England states.
Indeed, as far south as Ocean County, New Jersey, I saw but one of these
birds, in a residence of nine years on my cranberry plantations; though
I have heard that their nests are occasionally found about Cape May, at
the extreme southern end of New Jersey.

My time being limited, I could enjoy the doctor's hospitality for but
one night. The next morning the whole family, with tenants both black
and white, assisted me to embark. By dusk I had crossed the division
line of two states, and had entered Virginia near the head of
Chincoteague Island, a locality of peculiar interest to the student of
American character. The ebb-tide had left but little water around the
rough pier abreast of the town, and heaps of oyster-shells rose from the
mud flats and threatened the safety of my canoe. I looked up through the
darkness to the light pier-head above me, and called for assistance. Two
men leaned over to inquire, "What's the row now, stranger?" To which I
replied, "I wish to land a light boat on your pier; and as it is made of
paper, it should be carefully handled." For a moment the oystermen
observed a silence, and then, without one word of explanation,
disappeared. I heard their heavy boots tramping up the quay towards the
tavern. Soon a low murmur arose on the night air, then hoarse shouts,
and there came thundering down the wharf an army of men and boys. "Pass
her up, stranger!" they cried. "Here, give us your bow and starn
painters, and jest step overboard yourself, and we'll hist her up." Some
of the motley crew caught me by the shoulders, others "histed away," and
the canoe and its captain were laid roughly upon the ground.

There was a rush to _feel_ of the paper shell. Many were convinced
that there was no humbug about it; so, with a great shout, some of the
men tossed it upon their shoulders, while the rest seized upon the
miscellaneous cargo, and a rush was made for the hotel, leaving me to
follow at discretion and alone. The procession burst open the doors
of the tavern, and poured through the entrance to a court-yard, where
they laid the boat upon a long table under a shed, and thought they
had earned "drinks." This was the spontaneous way in which the
Chincoteague people welcomed me. "If you don't drink, stranger, up
your way, what on airth keeps your buddies and soulds together?"
queried a tall oysterman. A lady had kindly presented me with a peck
of fine apples that very morning; so, in lieu of "drinks," I
distributed the fruit among them. They joked and questioned me, and
all were merry save one bilious-looking individual, not dressed, like
the others, in an oysterman's garb, but wearing, to use a term of the
place, "store clothes."

After the crowd had settled in the bar-room, at cards, &c., this
doubting Thomas remained beside the boat, carefully examining her. Soon
he was scraping her hull below the gunwale, where the muddy water of the
bay had left a thin coat of sediment which was now dry. The man's
countenance lighted up as he pulled the bartender aside and said, "Look
ahere; didn't I tell you that boat looked as if she was made to carry on
a deck of a vessel, and to be a-shoved off into the water at night jest
abreast of a town to make fools of folks, and git them to believe that
that fellow had a-rowed _all_ the way ahere? Now see, here is _dust, dry
dust_, on her hull. She ahain't ben in the water mor'n ten minutes, I
sware." It required but a moment's investigation of my Chincoteague
audience to discover that the dust was mud from the tide, and the
doubter brought down the ridicule of his more discriminating neighbors
upon him, and slunk away amid their jeers.

Of all this community of watermen but one could be found that night who
had threaded the interior watercourses as far as Cape Charles, and he
was the youngest of the lot. Taking out my note-book, I jotted down his
amusing directions. "Look out for Cat Creek below Four Mouths," he said;
"you'll catch it round there." "Yes," broke in several voices, "Cat
Creek's an awful place unless you run through on a full ebb-tide. Oyster
boats always has a time a-shoving through Cat Creek," &c.

After the council with my Chincoteague friends had ended, the route to
be travelled the next day was in my mental vision "as clear as mud." The
inhabitants of this island are not all oystermen, for many find
occupation and profit in raising ponies upon the beach of Assateague,
where the wild, coarse grass furnishes them a livelihood. These hardy
little animals are called "Marsh Tackies," and are found at intervals
along the beaches down to the sea-islands of the Carolinas. They hold at
Chincoteague an annual fair, to which all the "pony-penners," as they
are called, bring their surplus animals to sell. The average price is
about ninety dollars for a good beast, though some have sold for two
hundred and fifty dollars. All these horses are sold in a semi-wild and
unbroken state.

The following morning Mr. J. L. Caulk, ex-collector of the oyster port,
and about fifty persons, escorted me to the landing, and sent me away
with a hearty "Good luck to ye."

It was three miles and three quarters to the southern end of the island,
which has an inlet from the ocean upon each side of that end--the
northern one being Assateague, the southern one Chincoteague Inlet.
Fortunately, I crossed the latter in smooth water to Ballast Narrows in
the marshes, and soon reached Four Mouths, where I found _five_ mouths
of thoroughfares, and became perplexed, for had not the pilots of
Chincoteague called this interesting display of mouths "Four Mouths"? I
clung to the authority of local knowledge, however, and was soon in a
labyrinth of creeks which ended in the marshes near the beach.

Returning over the course, I once more faced the four, or _five_ mouths
rather, and taking a new departure by entering the next mouth to the one
I had so unsatisfactorily explored, soon entered Rogue's Bay, across
which could be seen the entrance to Cat Creek, where I was to experience
the difficulties predicted by my Chincoteague friends. Cat Creek
furnished at half tide sufficient water for my canoe, and not the
slightest difficulty was experienced in getting through it. The
oystermen had in their minds their own sloop-rigged oyster-boats when
they discoursed to me about the hard passage of Cat Creek. They had not
considered the fact that my craft drew only five inches of water.

Cat Creek took me quite down to the beach, where, through an inlet, the
dark-blue ocean, sparkling in its white caps, came pleasantly into view.
Another inlet was to be crossed, and again I was favored with smooth
water. This was Assawaman Inlet, which divided the beach into two
islands--Wallops on the north, and Assawaman on the south.

It seemed a singular fact that the two Assawaman bays are forty-five
miles to the north of an inlet of the same name. In following the creeks
through the marshes between Assawaman Island and the mainland, I crossed
another shoal bay, and another inlet opened in the beach, through which
the ocean was again seen. This last was Gargathy Inlet. Before reaching
it, as night was coming on, I turned up a thoroughfare and rowed some
distance to the mainland, where I found lodgings with a hospitable
farmer, Mr. Martin R. Kelly. At daybreak I crossed Gargathy Inlet.

It was now Saturday, November 28; and being encouraged by the successful
crossing of the inlets in my tiny craft, I pushed on to try the less
inviting one at the end of Matomkin Island. Fine weather favored me, and
I pushed across the strong tide that swept through this inlet without
shipping a sea. Assawaman and Gargathy are constantly shifting their
channels. At times there will be six feet of water, and again they will
shoal to two feet. Matomkin, also, is not to be relied on. Every
northeaster will shift a buoy placed in the channels of these three
inlets, so they are not buoyed.

Watchapreague Inlet, to the south of the three last named, is less
changeable in character, and is also a much more dangerous inlet to
cross in rough weather. From Matomkin Inlet the interior thoroughfares
were followed inside of Cedar Island, when darkness forced me to seek
shelter with Captain William F. Burton, whose comfortable home was on
the shore of the mainland, about five miles from Watchapreague Inlet.
Here I was kindly invited to spend Sunday. Captain Burton told me much
of interest, and among other things mentioned the fact that during one
August, a few years before my visit, a large lobster was taken on a
fish-hook in Watchapreague Inlet, and that a smaller one was captured in
the same manner during the summer of 1874.

Monday was a gusty day. My canoe scraped its keel upon the shoals as I
dodged the broken oyster reefs, called here "oyster rocks," while on
the passage down to Watchapreague Inlet. The tide was very low, but the
water deepened as the beach was approached. A northeaster was blowing
freshly, and I was looking for a lee under the beach, when suddenly the
canoe shot around a sandy point, and was tugging for life in the rough
waters of the inlet. The tide was running in from the sea with the force
of a rapid, and the short, quick puffs of wind tossed the waves wildly.
It was useless to attempt to turn the canoe back to the beach in such
rough water, but, intent on keeping the boat above the caps, I gave her
all the momentum that muscular power could exert, as she was headed for
the southern point of the beach, across the dangerous inlet.

Though it was only half a mile across, the passage of Watchapreague
taxed me severely. Waves washed over my canoe, but the gallant little
craft after each rebuff rose like a bird to the surface of the water,
answering the slightest touch of my oar better than the best-trained
steed. After entering the south-side swash, the wind struck me on the
back, and seas came tumbling over and around the boat, fairly forcing
me on to the beach. As we flew along, the tumultuous waters made my
head swim; so, to prevent mental confusion, I kept my eyes only upon
the oars, which, strange to say, never betrayed me into a false stroke.

As a heavy blast beat down the raging sea for a moment, I looked over
my shoulder and beheld the low, sandy dunes of the southern shore of
the inlet close at hand, and with a severe jolt the canoe grounded
high on the strand. I leaped out and drew my precious craft away from
the tide, breathing a prayer of thankfulness for my escape from
danger, and mentally vowing that the canoe should cross all other
treacherous inlets in a fisherman's sloop. I went into camp in a
hollow of the beach, where the sand-hills protected me from the
piercing wind. All that afternoon I watched from my burrow in the
ground the raging of the elements, and towards evening was pleased
to note a general subsidence of wind and sea.

The canoe was again put into the water and the thoroughfare followed
southward for a mile or two, when the short day ended, leaving me
beside a marshy island, which was fringed with an oyster-bed of
sharp-beaked bivalves. Stepping overboard in the mud and water, the
oars and paddle were laid upon the shell reef to protect the canoe,
which was dragged on to the marsh. It grew colder as the wind died
out. The marsh was wet, and no fire-wood could be found. The canvas
cover was removed, the cargo was piled up on a platform of oars and
shells to secure it from the next tide, and then I slowly and
laboriously packed myself away in the narrow shell for the night. The
canvas deck-cover was buttoned in its place, a rubber blanket covered
the cockpit, and I tried to sleep and dream that I was not a sardine,
nor securely confined in some inhospitable vault. It was impossible to
turn over without unbuttoning one side of the deck-cover and going
through contortions that would have done credit to a first-class
acrobat. For the first time in my life I found it necessary to get
_out_ of bed in order to turn over _in_ it.

At midnight, mallards (_Anas boschas_) came close to the marsh. The soft
_whagh_ of the drake, which is not in this species blessed with the loud
quack of the female bird, sufficiently established the identity of the
duck. Then muskrats, and the oyster-eating coon, came round, no doubt
scenting my provisions. Brisk raps from my knuckles on the inside shell
of the canoe astonished these animals and aroused their curiosity, for
they annoyed me until daybreak.

When I emerged from my narrow bed, the frosty air struck my cheeks, and
the cold, wet marsh chilled my feet. It was the delay at Watchapreague
Inlet that had lodged me on this inhospitable marsh; so, trying to
exercise my poor stock of patience, I completed my toilet, shaking in my
wet shoes. The icy water, into which I stepped ankle-deep in order to
launch my canoe, reminded me that this wintry morning was in fact the
first day of December, and that stormy Hatteras, south of which was to
be found a milder climate, was still a long way off.

The brisk row along Paramore's Island (called Palmer's by the natives)
to the wide, bay-like entrance of Little Machipongo Inlet, restored
warmth to my benumbed limbs. This wide doorway of the ocean permitted me
to cross its west portal in peace, for the day was calm. From Little to
Great Machipongo Inlet the beach is called Hog Island. The inside
thoroughfare is bounded on the west by Rogue's Island, out of the flats
of which rose a solitary house. At the southern end of Hog Island there
is a small store on a creek, and near the beach a light-house, while a
little inland is located, within a forest of pines, a small settlement.

At noon, Great Machipongo Inlet was crossed without danger, and Cobb's
Island was skirted several miles to Sand Shoal Inlet, near which the
hotel of the three Cobb brothers rose cheerfully out of the dreary waste
of sands and marshes. The father of the present proprietors came to this
island more than thirty years ago, and took possession of this domain,
which had been thrown up by the action of the ocean's waves. He refused
an offer of one hundred thousand dollars for the island. The locality is
one of the best on this coast for wild-fowl shooting. Sand Shoal Inlet,
at the southern end of Cobb's Island, has a depth of twelve feet of
water on its bar at low tide.

In company with the regular row-boat ferry I crossed, the next day, the
broad bay to the mainland eight miles distant, where the canoe was put
upon a cart and taken across the peninsula five miles to Cherrystone,
the only point near Cape Charles at which a Norfolk steamer stopped for
passengers. It was fully forty miles across Chesapeake Bay from
Cherrystone Landing to Norfolk, and it was imperative to make the
portage from this place instead of from Cape Charles, which, though more
than fifteen miles further south, and nearer to my starting-point on the
other side, did not possess facilities for transportation. The slow
one-horse conveyance arrived at Cherrystone half an hour _after_ the
steamer N. P. Banks had left the landing, though I heard that the
kind-hearted captain, being told I was coming, waited and whistled for
me till his patience was exhausted.

The only house at the head of the pier was owned by Mr. J. P. Powers,
and fortunately offered hotel accommodations. Here I remained until the
next trip of the boat, December 4. Arriving in Norfolk at dusk of the
same day, I stored my canoe in the warehouse of the Old Dominion
Steamship Company, and quietly retired to an hotel which promised an
early meal in the morning, congratulating myself the while that I had
avoided the usual show of curiosity tendered to canoeists at city piers,
and above all had escaped the inevitable reporter. Alas! my thankfulness
came too soon; for when about to retire, my name was called, and a
veritable reporter from the Norfolk Landmark cut off my retreat.

"Only a few words," he pleadingly whispered. "I've been hunting for you
all over the city since seven o'clock, and it is near midnight now."

He gently took my arm and politely furnished me with a chair. Then
placing his own directly before me, he insinuatingly worked upon me
until he derived a knowledge of the log of the Paper Canoe, when leaning
back in his chair he leisurely surveyed me and exclaimed:

    "Mr. Bishop, you are a man of _snap_. We like men of snap; we
    admire men of snap; in fact, I may say we _cotton_ to men of
    snap, and I am proud to make your acquaintance. Now if you
    will stop over a day we will have the whole city out to see
    your boat."

This _kind_ offer I firmly refused, and we were about to part, when he
said in a softly rebuking manner:

    "You thought, Mr. Bishop, you would give us the slip--did you
    not? I assure you that would be quite impossible. Eternal
    Vigilance is our motto. No, you could not escape us. Good
    evening, sir, and the 'Landmark's' welcome to you."

Six hours later, as I entered the restaurant of the hotel with my eyes
half open, a newsboy bawled out in the darkness: "'Ere's the 'Landmark.'
Full account of the Paper Canoe," &c. And before the sun was up I had
read a column and a half of "The Arrival of the Solitary Voyager in
Norfolk." So much for the zeal of Mr. Perkins of the "Landmark," a
worthy example of American newspaper enterprise. Dreading further
attentions, I now prepared to beat a hasty retreat from the city.





[Illustration: From Norfolk, Virginia, to Bogue Inlet, North Carolina.

Route of Paper Canoe MARIA THERESA From Norfolk, Va. to
Bogue Inlet, N.C. Followed by N. H. Bishop in 1874
_Copyright, 1878 by Lee & Shepard_]

On Saturday morning, December 5, I left the pier of the Old Dominion
Steamship Company, at Norfolk, Virginia, and, rowing across the water
towards Portsmouth, commenced ascending Elizabeth River, which is here
wide and affected by tidal change. The old navy yard, with its
dismantled hulks lying at anchor in the stream, occupies both banks of
the river. About six miles from Norfolk the entrance to the Dismal Swamp
Canal is reached, on the left bank of the river. This old canal runs
through the Great Dismal Swamp, and affords passage for steamers and
light-draught vessels to Elizabeth City, on the Pasquotank River, which
empties into Albemarle Sound to the southward. The great cypress and
juniper timber is penetrated by this canal, and schooners are towed into
the swamp to landings where their cargoes are delivered.

In the interior of the Dismal Swamp is Drummond's Lake, named after its
discoverer. It is seven miles long by five miles wide, and is the feeder
of the canal. A branch canal connects it with the main canal; and small
vessels may traverse the lake in search of timber and shingles. Voyagers
tell me that during heavy gales of wind a terrible sea is set in motion
upon this shoal sheet of water, making it dangerous to navigate. Bears
are found in the fastnesses of the swamp. The Dismal Swamp Canal was dug
in the old days of the wheelbarrow and spade.

The Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal, the entrance to which is sixteen
miles from Norfolk, on the right or east bank of the Elizabeth River,
and generally known as the "new canal," was commenced about the year
1856, and finished in 1859. It is eight miles and a half in length, and
connects the Elizabeth and North Landing rivers. This canal was dug by
dredging-machines. It is kept in a much better state for navigation, so
far as the depth of water is concerned, than the old canal, which from
inattention is gradually shoaling in places; consequently the regular
steam-packets which ply between Elizabeth City and Norfolk, as well as
steamers whose destinations are further north, have given up the use of
the Dismal Swamp Canal, and now go round through Albemarle Sound up the
North River, thence by a six-mile cut into Currituck Sound, up North
Landing River, and through the new canal to the Elizabeth River and into
Chesapeake Bay. The shores of the Elizabeth are low and are fringed by
sedgy marshes, while forests of second-growth pine present a green
background to the eye. A few miles above Norfolk the cultivation of land
ceases, and the canoeist traverses a wilderness.

About noon I arrived at the locks of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal.
The telegraph operator greeted me with the news that the company's agent
in Norfolk had telegraphed to the lock-master to pass the paper canoe
through with the freedom of the canal--the first honor of the kind that
had fallen to my lot. The tide rises and falls at the locks in the river
about three feet and a half. When I passed through, the difference in
the level between the ends of the locks did not reach two feet. The old
lock-master urged me to give up the journey at once, as I never could
"get through the Sounds with that little boat." When I told him I was on
my second thousand miles of canoe navigation since leaving Quebec, he
drew a long breath and gave a low groan.

When once through the canal-gates, you are in a heavy cypress swamp.
The dredgings thrown upon the banks have raised the edge of the swamp
to seven feet above the water. Little pines grow along these shores,
and among them the small birds, now on their southern migrations,
sported and sang. Whenever a steamer or tugboat passed me, it crowded
the canoe close to the bank; but these vessels travel along the canal
at so slow a rate, that no trouble is experienced by the canoeist from
the disturbance caused by their revolving screws. Freedmen, poling
flats loaded with shingles or frame stuff, roared out their merry
songs as they passed. The canal entered the North Landing River
without any lockage; just beyond was North Landing, from which the
river takes its name. A store and evidences of a settlement meet the
eye at a little distance. The river is tortuous, and soon leaves the
swamp behind. The pine forest is succeeded by marshes on both sides of
the slow-flowing current.

Three miles from North Landing a single miniature house is seen; then
for nearly five miles along the river not a trace of the presence of man
is to be met, until Pungo Ferry and Landing loom up out of the low
marshes on the east side of the river. This ferry, with a store
three-quarters of a mile from the landing, and a farm of nearly two
hundred acres, is the property of Mr. Charles N. Dudley, a southern
gentleman, who offers every inducement in his power to northern men to
settle in his vicinity. Many of the property-holders in the uplands are
willing to sell portions of their estates to induce northern men to come
among them.

It was almost dark when I reached the storehouse at Pungo Ferry; and as
Sunday is a sacred day with me, I determined to camp there until Monday.
A deformed negro held a lease of the ferry, and pulled a flat back and
forth across the river by means of a chain and windlass. He was very
civil, and placed his quarters at my disposal until I should be ready to
start southward to Currituck Sound. We lifted the canoe and pushed it
through an open window into the little store-room, where it rested upon
an unoccupied counter. The negro went up to the loft above, and threw
down two large bundles of flags for a bed, upon which I spread my
blankets. An old stove in a corner was soon aglow with burning light
wood. While I was cooking my supper, the little propeller Cygnet, which
runs between Norfolk and Van Slyck's Landing, at Currituck Narrows,
touched at Pungo Ferry, and put off an old woman who had been on a two
years' visit to her relatives. She kindly accosted the dwarfed black
with, "Charles, have you got a match for my pipe?"

"Yes, missus," civilly responded the negro, handing her a light.

"Well, this _is good_!" soliloquized the ancient dame, as she seated
herself on a box and puffed away at the short-stemmed pipe. "Ah, good
indeed to get away from city folks, with their stuck-up manners and
queer ways, a-fault-finding when you stick your knife in your mouth in
place of your fork, and a-feeding you on _China_ tea in place of dear
old yaupon. Charles, you can't reckon how I longs to get a cup of good

As the reader is about entering a country where the laboring classes
draw largely upon nature for their supply of "the cup that cheers but
not inebriates," I will describe the shrub which produces it.

This substitute for the tea of China is a holly (_ilex_), and is called
by the natives "yaupon" (_I. cassine, Linn._). It is a handsome shrub,
growing a few feet in height, with alternate, perennial, shining leaves,
and bearing small scarlet berries. It is found in the vicinity of salt
water, in the light soils of Virginia and the Carolinas. The leaves and
twigs are dried by the women, and when ready for market are sold at one
dollar per bushel. It is not to be compared in excellence with the tea
of China, nor does it approach in taste or good qualities the well-known
_yerba-maté_, another species of holly, which is found in Paraguay, and
is the common drink of the people of South America.

The old woman having gone on her way, and we being again alone in the
rude little shanty, the good-natured freedman told me his history,
ending with,--

    "O that was a glorious day for me,
    When Massa Lincoln set me free."

He had too much ambition, he said, deformed as he was, to be supported
as a pauper by the public. "I can make just about twelve dollars a month
by dis here ferry," he exclaimed. "I don't want for nuffin'; I'se got no
wife--no woman will hab me. I want to support myself and live an honest

About seven o'clock he left me to waddle up the road nearly a mile to a
little house.

"I an' another cullo'd man live in partnership," he said. He could not
account for the fact that I had no fear of sleeping alone in the shanty
on the marshes. He went home for the company of his partner, as he
"didn't like to sleep alone noways."

Though the cold wind entered through broken window-lights and under the
rudely constructed door, I slept comfortably until morning. Before
Charles had returned, my breakfast was cooked and eaten.

With the sunshine of the morning came a new visitor. I had made the
acquaintance of the late slave; now I received a call from the late
master. My visitor was a pleasant, gentlemanly personage, the owner of
the surrounding acres. His large white house could be seen from the
landing, a quarter of a mile up the road.

"I learned that a stranger from the north was camped here, and was
expecting that he would come up and take breakfast with me," was his
kindly way of introducing himself.

I told him I was comfortably established in dry quarters, and did not
feel justified in forcing myself upon his hospitality while I had so
many good things of this life in my provision-basket.

Mr. Dudley would take no excuse, but conducted me to his house, where I
remained that day, attending the religious services in a little church
in the vicinity. My kind host introduced me to his neighbors, several of
whom returned with us to dinner. I found the people about Pungo Ferry,
like those I had met along the sounds of the eastern shore of Maryland
and Virginia, very piously inclined,--the same kind-hearted, hospitable

My host entertained me the next day, which was rainy, with his life in
the Confederate army, in which he served as a lieutenant. He was a
prisoner at Johnson's Island for twenty-two months. He bore no malice
towards northern men who came south to join with the natives in working
for the true interests of the country. The people of the south had
become weary of political sufferings inflicted by a floating population
from the north; they needed actual settlers, not politicians. This
sentiment I found everywhere expressed. On Tuesday I bade farewell to my
new friends, and rowed down the North Landing River towards Currituck

The North Carolina line is only a few miles south of the ferry. The
river enters the head of the sound six or eight miles below Pungo Ferry.
A stiff northerly breeze was blowing, and as the river widened, on
reaching the head of the sound, to a mile or more, and bays were to be
crossed from point to point, it required the exercise of considerable
patience and muscular exertion to keep the sea from boarding the little
craft amidship. As I was endeavoring to weather a point, the swivel of
one of the outriggers parted at its junction with the row-lock, and it
became necessary to get under the south point of the marshes for

The lee side offered a smooth bay. It was but a few minutes' work to
unload and haul the canoe into the tall rushes, which afforded ample
protection against the cold wind. It was three hours before the wind
went down, when the canoe was launched, and, propelled by the double
paddle, (always kept in reserve against accidents to oars and
row-locks,) I continued over the waters of Currituck Sound.

Swans could now be seen in flocks of twenties and fifties. They were
exceedingly wary, not permitting the canoe to approach within rifle
range. Clouds of ducks, and some Canada geese, as well as brant, kept up
a continuous flutter as they rose from the surface of the water. Away to
the southeast extended the glimmering bosom of the sound, with a few
islands relieving its monotony. The three or four houses and two small
storehouses at the landing of Currituck Court House, which, with the
brick court-house, comprise the whole village, are situated on the west
bank; and opposite, eight miles to the eastward, is the narrow beach
island that serves as a barrier to the ingress of the ocean.

At sunset I started the last flock of white swans, and grounded in the
shoal waters at the landing. There is no regular hotel here, but a kind
lady, Mrs. Simmons, accommodates the necessities of the occasional
traveller. The canoe was soon locked up in the landing-house.
Fortunately a blacksmith was found outside the village, who promised to
repair the broken row-lock early upon the following morning. Before a
pleasant wood fire giving out its heat from a grand old fireplace, with
an agreeable visitor,--the physician of the place,--the tediousness of
the three-hours' camp on the marshes was soon forgotten, while the
country and its resources were fully discussed until a late hour.

Dr. Baxter had experimented in grape culture, and gave me many
interesting details in regard to the native wine. In 1714, Lawson
described six varieties of native grapes found in North Carolina. Our
three finest varieties of native grapes were taken from North Carolina.
They are the Scuppernong, the Catawba, and the Isabella. The Scuppernong
was found upon the banks of the stream bearing that name, the mouth of
which is near the eastern end of Albemarle Sound. The Catawba was
originally obtained on the Catawba River, near its head-waters in
Buncombe County. The Long Island stock of the Isabella grape was brought
to New York by Mrs. Isabella Gibbs: hence the derivation of the name.

Of the six varieties of North Carolina grapes, five were found in Tyrrel
County by Amadas and Barlow. Tradition relates that these travellers
carried one small vine to Roanoke Island, which still lives and covers
an immense area of ground. There are five varieties of the grape growing
wild on the shores of Albemarle Sound, all of which are called
Scuppernong,--the legitimate Scuppernong being a white grape, sweet and
large, and producing a wine said to resemble somewhat in its luscious
flavor the Malmsey made on Mount Ida, in Candia.

The repairing of the outrigger detained me until nearly noon of the next
day, when the canoe was got under way; but upon rowing off the mouth of
Coanjock Bay, only four miles from Currituck Court House, a strong
tempest arose from the south, and observing an old gentleman standing
upon Bell Island Point, near his cottage, beckoning me to come ashore,
I obeyed, and took refuge with my new acquaintance, Captain Peter L.
Tatum, proprietor of Bell Island.

"The war has left us without servants," said the captain, as he
presented me to his wife, "so we make the best of it, and if you will
accept our hospitality we will make you comfortable."

Captain Tatum drew my attention to the flocks of swans which dotted the
waters in the offing, and said: "It is hard work to get hold of a swan,
though they are a large bird, and abundant in Currituck Sound. You must
use a good rifle to bring one down. After a strong norther has been
blowing, and the birds have worked well into the bight of the bay, near
Goose Castle Point, if the wind shifts to the south suddenly, gunners
approach from the outside, and the birds becoming cramped in the cove
are shot as they rise against the wind."

More than forty years ago old Currituck Inlet closed, and the oysters on
the natural beds, which extended up North Landing River to Green Point,
were killed by the freshening of the water. Now winds influence the
tides which enter at Oregon Inlet, about fifty-five miles south of the
Court House. The difference between the highest and lowest tide at
Currituck Court House is three feet. The sound is filled with sandy
shoals, with here and there spots of mud. The shells of the defunct
oysters are everywhere found mixed with the debris of the bottom of the
sound. This is a favorite locality with northern sportsmen. The best
"gunning points," as is the case in Chesapeake Bay, are owned by private
parties, and cannot be used by the public.

Thursday, the 10th of December, was cold, and proved as tempestuous as
the previous day; but the wind had changed to the north, and I embarked
amid a swashy beam-sea, with the hope of reaching Van Slyck's Landing at
Currituck Narrows. The norther, however, proved too much for my safety.
My course would be easterly until I had passed the mouth of Coanjock Bay
and Goose Castle Point, then following the trend of the west shore
southerly down the sound; but the wind raised such a rough sea that I
was obliged to turn southward into Coanjock Bay, ascend it five miles,
and seek for a crossing-place overland to the sound again, which I found
near the entrance of the lockless canal that is used by steamers to pass
from North Landing River to North River and Albemarle Sound.

A fire was soon built, upon which I placed long, light poles taken from
the drift-wood, and burning them in pieces of the required lengths, (no
axe being at hand,) I was prepared to make the portage. Laying these
pieces of wood on the ground, I drew my canoe over them to the shore of
Currituck Sound; then, by making up back-loads of the cargo, transported
everything to the point of embarkation, which was just inside the mouth
of a little creek.

The row to Currituck Narrows was not difficult, as the north wind was a
fair one. Along the west shore of the sound there were many little
houses upon the high banks, and a wind-mill supplied the place of a
water-power for grinding corn. The improvements made by Mr. Van Slyck,
of New York, were in cheering contrast to what had been seen since
leaving Norfolk. Here a comfortable hotel welcomes the northern
sportsmen, few of whom, for lack of accommodations and travelling
conveniences, go much south of this locality, in this state, to shoot
wild-fowl. Currituck Sound has an average width of four miles. Its
length is about thirty-five miles. At the Narrows, a group of marshy
islands divides it into two sections, the northern one being the

The keen, cold air of the next day made rowing a pleasant exercise.
After passing through the tortuous channel, I should have crossed to the
beach and followed it; but this part of the bay is very shallow, and
deeper water was found on the west side. It was an enjoyable morning,
for gunners were passed, secreted behind their "blinds," or pens, of
pine brush, which looked like little groves of conifera growing out of
the shoal water. Geese were honking and ducks were quacking, while the
deep booming of guns was heard every few minutes. Decoy-birds were
anchored in many places near the marshes. Every sportsman gave me a
cheering word as the canoe glided over the smooth water, while here and
there the violet-backed swallow darted about over the marshes as though
it were summer.

When opposite Dew's Quarter Island, several men hailed me from a newly
constructed shanty. When the oldest man in the company, who had never
seen a shell like the paper canoe, had examined it, he shook his head
ominously; and when I told him Nag's Head must be reached that day, he
grew excited, exclaiming, "Then be off now! now! Git across the bay
under Bald Beach as soon as ye can, and hug the shore, _hug_ it well
clean down to Collington's, and git across the sound afore the wind
rises. Sich a boat as that aren't fit for these here waters."

Taking this kindly meant advice, I pulled to the east side, where there
was now a good depth of water for the canoe. On this high beach the
hills were well covered with yellow pines, many of which were noble old
trees. On a narrow point of the shore was the comfortable house of
Hodges Gallup, the Baptist minister, a generous old gentleman, who
seemed to be loved by all the watermen along the sound. He was described
as being "full of fun and hospitality." His domain extended for several
miles along the beach, and, with deer quietly browsing in his grand old
woods, formed a pretty picture.

The beach shore now became more thickly settled, while out in the water,
a few rods from each little house, arose the duck-blind, with the gunner
and his boat inside, anxiously watching for birds, while their decoys
floated quietly on the surface of the water. A few miles below Mr.
Gallup's estate the canoe entered upon the broad waters of Albemarle
Sound, and at dusk I approached Roanoke Island. The large buildings of
the hotels of Nag's Head on the beach rose up as boldly to the eye as a
fortification. The little sound between Roanoke Island and the beach was
traversed at dusk as far as the first long pier of Nag's Head, upon
which with great difficulty I landed, and was soon joined by the keeper
of the now deserted summer watering-place, Mr. C. D. Rutter, who helped
me to carry my property into a room of the old hotel.

Nag's Head Beach is a most desolate locality, with its high sand-hills,
composed of fine sand, the forms of which are constantly changing with
the action of the dry, hard, varying winds. A new and very large hotel
was located south of the first one, and was inhabited by the family of
Captain Jasper Toler, who furnished me with lodgings. A few fishermen
have their homes on this dreary beach, but the village, with its one
store, is a forlorn place.

The bright flashes of Body Island Light, ten miles distant, on the north
side of Oregon Inlet, showed me my next abiding-place.

The beach from Nag's Head to Oregon Inlet is destitute of trees, and the
wind sweeps across it, from the ocean to the sound, with great violence,
forcing the shallow waters to retire, and leaving the bottom dry as far
out as three miles.

The next day was very windy, and the long, finger-like, sandy shoals,
which extended one or two miles out into the sound, were covered with
only from three to eight inches of water. I could not hug the beach for
protection, but was forced to keep far out in the sound. Frequently it
became necessary to get overboard and wade, pushing my boat before me.
Then a deep channel between the shoals would be crossed; so, by _walking
and rowing_ in Roanoke Sound, with the wind blowing the water over the
canoe and drenching its captain, the roundabout twelve miles' passage to
Oregon Inlet was at last accomplished, and a most trying one it was.

Body Island Light House was erected in 1872, on the north side of Oregon
Inlet, to take the place of the old tower on the south shore. It is in
latitude 35° 48', and longitude 75° 33'. Captain William F. Hatzel, a
loyal North Carolinian, is the principal keeper, and a most efficient
one he is.

The temperature was falling rapidly when I crawled into the high rushes
of the wet marsh near the light-house to seek shelter from the strong
wind that was blowing. As this treeless beach was destitute of
fire-wood, or natural shelter of any kind, necessity compelled me to
have recourse to other means for procuring them. I carried in my pocket
a talisman which must open any light-keeper's door; from Maine to the
Rio Grande, from Southern California to Alaska, even to the vicinity of
the Arctic Circle, wherever the Light-house Establishment of the United
States has planted a tower or erected a light. While shivering in wet
clothes on this desolate beach, most thankfully did I remember that kind
and thoughtful friend, who through his potent influence had supplied me
with this open sesame to light-keepers.

There resides in Washington, when not engaged elsewhere in the important
duties of the Commission of Fisheries, a genial gentleman, an ardent
naturalist, a great scientist. To him the young naturalists of America
turn for information and advice, and to the humblest applicant Professor
Spencer F. Baird never turns a deaf ear. How this distinguished author
can attend to so many and such varied duties with his laborious
investigations, and can so successfully keep up a large correspondence
with perhaps one thousand scientific associations of nearly every nation
of the universe, is a difficult thing to imagine; but the popular and
much beloved Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution,
seemingly ubiquitous in his busy life, does all this and much more.
America may well feel proud of this man of noble nature, shedding light
and truth wheresoever he moves, encouraging alike old and young with his
kindly sympathy;--now taking his precious moments to answer with his own
busy hand the question in the letter of some boy naturalist about
beasts, birds, reptiles, or fishes, with which epistles his desk is
always covered; now stimulating to further effort the old man of science
as he struggles with the cares of this world, striving, sometimes
vainly, save for this ever ready aid, to work out patiently theories
which are soon to blaze forth as substantial facts. The young generation
of naturalists, which is soon to fill the place of their predecessors,
have in this man the type of all they need ever strive to attain. How
many, alas, will fall far short of it!

Since boyhood the counsels of this friend had guided me on many a
journey of exploration. He had not deserted me even in this experiment,
which my friends called "your wildest and most foolish undertaking." He
had obtained from the Light House Board a general letter to the
light-keepers of the United States, signed by the naval secretary, Mr.
Walker, in which the keepers were authorized to grant me shelter, &c.,
when necessary. I did not have occasion to use this letter more than
twice during my journey. Having secreted my canoe in the coarse grass
of the lowland, I trudged, with my letter in hand, over the sands to the
house of the light-keeper, Captain Hatzel, who received me cordially;
and after recording in his log-book the circumstances and date of my
arrival, conducted me into a comfortable room, which was warmed by a
cheerful fire, and lighted up by the smiles of his most orderly wife.
Everything showed discipline and neatness, both in the house and the
light-tower. The whitest of cloths was spread upon the table, and
covered with a well-cooked meal; then the father, mother, and two sons,
with the stranger within their gates, thanked the Giver of good gifts
for his mercies.

Joining the night-watch of the chief light-keeper, I also joined in the
good man's enthusiasm for his wonderful "fixed white light," the bright
beams of which poured out upon the surrounding waters a flood of
brilliancy, gladdening hearts far out at sea, even though twenty miles
away, and plainly saying, "This is Body Island Beach: keep off!" How
grand it was to walk out on this gallery in the sky! Looking eastward,
a limitless expanse of ocean; gazing westward, the waters of the great
sound, the shores of which were low marshes miles away. Below me could
be heard the soft cackle of the snow-goose (_Anser hyperboreus_), which
had left its nesting-place on the barren grounds of arctic America,
and was now feeding contentedly in its winter home in the shallow
salt-ponds; while the gentle shur-r-r-of the waves softly broke on the
strand. Above, the star-lit heavens, whose tender beauty seemed almost
within my grasp.

Perched thus upon a single shaft, on a narrow strip of sand far out in
the great water, the many thoughts born of solitude crowded my mind,
when my reverie was abruptly broken by an exclamation from Captain
Hatzel, who threw open the door, and exclaimed, with beaming eyes
peering into the darkness as he spoke, "I see it! Yes, it _is_! Hatteras
Light, thirty-five miles away. This night, December 13th, is the first
time I have caught its flash. Tell it to the Hatteras keeper when you
visit the cape."

From Captain Hatzel I gleaned some facts of deep interest in regard to
the inhabitants of the sound. Some of them, he told me, had Indian blood
in their veins; and to prove the truth of his assertion he handed me a
well-worn copy of the "History of North Carolina," by Dr. Francis L.
Hawks, D. D. From this I obtained facts which might serve for the
intricate mazes of a romance.

It had been a pet scheme with Sir Walter Raleigh to colonize the coast
of North Carolina, then known as Virginia, and though several
expeditions had been sent out for that object, each had failed of
successful issue. One of these expeditions sent by Sir Walter to Roanoke
Island consisted of one hundred and twenty-one persons, of whom
seventeen were women and six children. Of all these souls only two men
returned to the old country, the fate of the remainder being unknown,
and shrouded in the gloom which always attends mystery. England did not,
however, leave her children to perish on a barren shore in the new land
without at least an effort to succor them.

On March 20, in the year 1590, there sailed from Plymouth three ships,
the Hopewell, John Evangelist, and Little John, taking in tow two
shallops which were afterwards lost at sea. In those days the largest
vessels of a fleet did not exceed one hundred to one hundred and forty
tons burden. This expedition was under the charge of Admiral John White,
governor of the colony of Sir Walter Raleigh on Roanoke Island, and who
had left the feeble band on the island in 1587. In thirty-six days and
eight hours these small vessels arrived off "Hatorask"--Hatteras Beach.
The fleet dropped anchor three leagues off the beach, and sent a
well-manned boat through an inlet to Pamplico Sound.

There existed in those days passages from the ocean through the beaches
into the sounds, which have since been filled up by the action of the
sea. Old Roanoke Inlet, now closed, which was about four miles north of
the modern Oregon Inlet, is supposed to be the one used by Sir Walter
Raleigh's expeditions. It is only four miles from the site of this
closed inlet to Shallowbag Bay, on Roanoke Island. At the southern
entrance of the bay, near Ballast Point, some vessel evidently grounded
and threw overboard her stone ballast; hence the name of the point.
Captain Hatzel has examined this stone, and gives his opinion, as an old
pilot, that it is foreign in character. He never met with similar
stones, and believes that this ballast was deposited at Shallowbag Bay
by some of the vessels of Sir Walter's expeditions.

As the boat's crew above mentioned rowed northward to Roanoke
Island--made famous two hundred and seventy-two years later by the
National and Confederate struggles--they sounded their trumpets and sang
familiar songs, which they hoped might be borne to their countrymen on
the shore; but the marshes and upland wilderness returned no answering

At daybreak the explorers landed upon Roanoke Island, which is twelve
miles long by two and a half wide, and found the spot where Admiral
White had left the colony in 1587. Eagerly searching for any tokens of
the lost ones, they soon traced in the light soil of the island the
imprint of the moccasin of the savage, but looked in vain for any
footprint of civilized man. What had become of their countrymen?

At last some one spied a conspicuous tree, far up on a sandy bank,
blazed and carved. There were but three letters cut upon it, C. R. O.,
but these simple symbols possessed a world of meaning. Three years
before, when the sad farewells were being spoken, and the ships were
ready to set sail for England, this feeble band, left to struggle in the
wilds of the new land with sad forebodings of their possible fate, had
agreed upon a signal, and had promised Admiral White that if driven to
starvation upon the island, they would plant their colony fifty miles
inland, near a tribe of friendly Indians. Indeed, before the ships
sailed for England, they were making preparations for this move. Admiral
White requested them to carve upon a tree the name of the locality to
which they should remove, and if distress had overtaken them they were
to add a _cross_ over the lettering. Anxiously gathering round this
interesting relic of the lost Englishmen, the rude chirography was
eagerly scanned, but no vestige of a cross was found.

Much relieved in mind, the little company continued their
investigations, when, farther on, almost in their very pathway, there
rose a noble tree, pointing its top heavenward, as though to remind them
in whose care their lost ones had been. Approaching this giant, who had
stood a silent sentinel through winter storms and summer skies, they
found he bore upon his body a message for them. Stripped of its bark,
five feet upward from the ground there appeared upon the bare surface in
bold lettering the word so full of hope--_Croatan_; and now also, as in
the last case, without the graven cross. Cheered by these signs, and
believing that the lost colonists had carried out their early
intentions, and were now located among the friendly tribe of Croatans,
wheresoever their country might be, the boat's company decided to go at
once to the ships, and return the next day in search of the lost colony.

One of the ships, in moving its position from the unprotected
anchorage-ground, parted its cable and left an anchor on the bottom--the
second that had been lost. The wind drove the ships towards the beach,
when a third anchor was lowered; but it held the little fleet so close
in to the breakers, that the sailors were forced to slip their cable and
work into a channel-way, where, in deeper water, they held their ground.

In debating the propriety of holding on and attempting to wear out the
gale, the scarcity of their provisions, and the possession of but one
cask of water, and only one anchor for the fleet to ride at, decided
them to go southward in quest of some favorable landing, where water
could be found. The council held out the hope of capturing Spanish
vessels in the vicinity of the West Indies; and it was agreed that, if
successful, they should return, richly laden with spoils, to seek their
exiled countrymen. One of these vessels returned to England, while the
Admiral laid his course for Trinidad; and this was the last attempt made
to find the colonists.

More than a century after Admiral White had abandoned his colony,
Lawson, in writing about the Hatteras Indians, says: "They said that
several of their ancestors were white people, and could talk in a book
as we do; the truth of which is confirmed by grey eyes being frequently
found among them, and no others. They value themselves extremely for
their affinity to the English, and are ready to do them all friendly
offices. It is probable that the settlement miscarried for want of
supplies from England, or through the treachery of the natives; for we
may reasonably suppose that the English were forced to cohabit with them
for relief and conversation, and that in process of time they conformed
themselves to the manners of their Indian relations."

Dr. Hawks thinks, "that, driven by starvation, such as survived the
famine were merged into the tribes of friendly Indians at Croatan, and,
alas! lost ere long every vestige of Christianity and civilization; and
those who came to shed light on the darkness of paganism, in the
mysterious providence of God ended by relapsing themselves into
the heathenism they came to remove. It is a sad picture of poor
human nature."

It needed not the fierce gusts of wind that howled about the tall tower,
causing it to vibrate until water would be spilled out of a pail resting
upon the floor of the lantern, blowing one day from one quarter of the
compass, and changing the next to another, to warn me that I was near
the Cape of Storms.

Refusing to continue longer with my new friends, the canoe was put into
the water on the 16th, and Captain Hatzel's two sons proceeded in
advance with a strong boat to break a channel-way through the thin ice
which had formed in the quiet coves. We were soon out in the sound,
where the boys left me, and I rowed out of the southern end of Roanoke
and entered upon the wide area of Pamplico Sound. To avoid shoals, it
being calm, I kept about three miles from the beach in three feet of
water, until beyond Duck Island, when the trees on Roanoke Island slowly
sank below the horizon; then gradually drawing in to the beach, the two
clumps of trees of north and south Chicamicomico came into view. A
life-saving station had recently been erected north of the first grove,
and there is another fourteen miles further south. The two Chicamicomico
settlements of scattered houses are each nearly a mile in length, and
are separated by a high, bald sand-beach of about the same length, which
was once heavily wooded; but the wind has blown the sand into the forest
and destroyed it. A wind-mill in each village raised its weird arms to
the breeze.

Three miles further down is Kitty Midget's Hammock, where a few red
cedars and some remains of live-oaks tell of the extensive forest that
once covered the beach. Here Captain Abraham Hooper lives, and occupies
himself in fishing with nets in the ocean for blue-fish, which are
salted down and sent to the inland towns for a market. I had drawn my
boat into the sedge to secure a night's shelter, when the old captain on
his rounds captured me. The change from a bed in the damp sedge to the
inside seat of the largest fireplace I had ever beheld, was indeed a
pleasant one. Its inviting front covered almost one side of the room.
While the fire flashed up the wide chimney, I sat inside the fireplace
with the three children of my host, and enjoyed the genial glow which
arose from the fragments of the wreck of a vessel which had pounded
herself to death upon the strand near Kitty Midget's Hammock. How
curiously those white-haired children watched the man who had come so
far in a paper boat! "Why did not the paper boat soak to pieces?" they
asked. Each explanation seemed but to puzzle them the more; and I found
myself in much the same condition of mind when trying to make some
discoveries concerning Kitty Midget. She must, however, have lived
somewhere on Clark's Beach long before the present proprietor was born.
We spent the next day fishing with nets in the surf for blue-fish, it
being about the last day of their stay in that vicinity. They go south
as far as Cape Hatteras, and then disappear in deep water; while the
great flocks of gulls, that accompany them to gather the remnants of
fish they scatter in their savage meals, rise in the air and fly rapidly
away in search of other dainties.

On Thursday I set out for Cape Hatteras. The old sailor's song, that--

    "Hatteras has a blow in store
    For those who pass her howling door,"

has far more truth than poetry in it. Before proceeding far the wind
blew a tempest, when a young fisherman in his sailboat bore down upon
me, and begged me to come on board. We attempted to tow the canoe
astern, but she filled with water, which obliged us to take her on
board. As we flew along before the wind, dashing over the shoals with
mad-cap temerity, I discovered that my new acquaintance, Burnett, was a
most daring as well as reckless sailor. He told me how he had capsized
his father's schooner by carrying sail too long. "This 'ere slow way of
doing things" he detested. His recital was characteristic of the man.

    "You see, sir, we was bound for Newbern up the Neuse River, and
    as we were well into the sound with all sail set, and travelling
    along lively, daddy says, 'Lorenzo, I reckon a little yaupon
    wouldn't hurt me, so I'll go below and start a fire under the
    kittle.' 'Do as you likes, daddy,' sez I. So down below he goes,
    and I takes command of the schooner. A big black squall soon
    come over Cape Hatteras from the Gulf Stream, and it did look
    like a screecher. Now, I thought, old woman, I'll make your
    sides ache; so I pinted her at it, and afore I could luff her up
    in the wind, the squall kreened her on to her beam-ends. You'd a
    laughed to have split yourself, mister, if you could have seen
    daddy a-crawling out of the companion-way while the water was
    a-running down stairs like a crick. Says he, ruther hurriedly,
    'Sonny, what's up?' 'It isn't what's _up_, daddy; but what's
    _down_,' sez I; 'it sort o' looks as if we had capsized.' 'Sure
    'nuff,' answered dad, as the ballast shifted and the schooner
    rolled over keel uppermost. We floundered about like porpoises,
    but managed to get astride her backbone, when dad looked kind
    of scornfully at me, and burst out with, 'Sonny, do you call
    yourself a keerful sailor?' 'Keerful enough, dad,' sez I, 'for a
    _smart_ one. It's more credit to a man to _drive_ his vessel
    like a sailor, than to be crawling and bobbing along like a
    diamond-backed terrapin.' Now, stranger, if you'll believe me,
    that keerful old father of mine would never let me take the
    helum again, so I sticks to my aunt at the cape."

I found that the boat in which we were sailing was a dug-out, made from
two immense cypress logs. Larger boats than this are made of three logs,
and smaller ones are dug out of one.

Burnett told me that frame boats were so easily pounded to pieces on the
shoals, that dug-outs were preferred--being very durable. We soon passed
the hamlet of North Kinnakeet, then Scarsborough with its low houses,
then South Kinnakeet with its two wind-mills, and after these arose a
sterile, bald beach with Hatteras light-tower piercing the sky, and west
of it Hatteras woods and marshes. We approached the low shore and
ascended a little creek, where we left our boats, and repaired to the
cottage of Burnett's aunt.

After the barren shores I had passed, this little house, imbedded in
living green, was like a bright star in a dark night. It was hidden away
in a heavy thicket of live-oaks and cedars, and surrounded by yaupons,
the bright red berries of which glistened against the light green
leaves. An old woman stood in the doorway with a kindly greeting for her
"wild boy," rejoicing the while that he had "got back to his old aunty
once more."

"Yes, aunty," said my friend Lorenzo, "I am back again like a bad penny,
but not empty-handed; for as soon as our season's catch of blue-fish is
sold, old aunty will have sixty or seventy dollars."

"He has a good heart, if he is so head-strong," whispered the motherly
woman, as she wiped a tear from her eyes, and gazed with pride upon the
manly-looking young fellow, and--invited us in to tea--YAUPON.





Cape Hatteras is the apex of a triangle. It is the easternmost part of
the state of North Carolina, and it extends farther into the ocean than
any Atlantic cape of the United States. It presents a low, broad, sandy
point to the sea, and for several miles beyond it, in the ocean, are the
dangerous Diamond Shoals, the dread of the mariner.

[Illustration: From Bogue Inlet, North Carolina, to Bull's Bay,
South Carolina.

Route of Paper Canoe MARIA THERESA From Bogue Inlet,
N.C. to Bull's Bay, S.C. Followed by N. H. Bishop in 1875
_Copyright, 1875 by Lee & Shepard_]

The Gulf Stream, with its river-like current of water flowing northward
from the Gulf of Mexico, in its oscillations from east to west
frequently approaches to within eighteen or twenty miles of the cape,
filling a large area of atmosphere with its warmth, and causing frequent
local disturbances. The weather never remains long in a settled state.
As most vessels try to make Hatteras Light, to ascertain their true
position, &c., and because it juts out so far into the Atlantic, the
locality has become the scene of many wrecks, and the beach, from the
cape down to Hatteras Inlet, fourteen miles, is strewn with the
fragments of vessels.

The coast runs north and south above, and east and west south of the
cape. The old light-house had been replaced by the finest light-tower I
had ever examined, which was completed in 1870. It is one hundred and
ninety feet in height, and shows a white, revolving light.

Body Island Light, though forty feet less in elevation, is frequently
seen by the Hatteras light-keeper, while the splendid Hatteras Light had
been seen but once by Captain Hatzel, of Body Island. One nautical mile
south of Hatteras Light is a small beacon light-tower, which is of great
service to the coasting-vessels that pass it in following the
eighteen-feet curve of the cape two miles from the land inside of
Diamond Shoals.

While speaking of light-houses, it may be interesting to naturalists who
live far inland to know that while (as they are well aware) thousands of
birds are killed annually during their flights by striking against
telegraphic wires, many wild-fowls are also destroyed by dashing against
the lanterns of the light-towers during the night. While at Body Island
Beach, Captain Hatzel remarked to me that, during the first winter after
the new light-tower was completed, the snow-geese, which winter on the
island, would frequently at night strike the thick glass panes of the
chamber, and fall senseless upon the floor of the gallery. The second
season they did not in a single instance repeat the mistake, but had
seemingly become educated to the character of the danger.

I have seen one lantern damaged to the amount of five hundred dollars,
by a goose breaking a pane of glass and striking heavily upon the costly
lens which surrounds the lamp. Light-keepers sometimes sit upon the
gallery, and, looking along the pathway of light which shoots into the
outer darkness over their heads, will see a few dark specks approaching
them in this beam of radiance. These specks are birds, confused by the
bright rays, and ready to fall an easy prey to the eager keeper, who,
quickly levelling his double-barrelled gun, brings it to bear upon the
opaque, moving cloud, and with the discharge of the weapon there goes
whirling through space to the earth below his next morning's breakfast
of wild-fowl.

I found Mr. W. R. Jennett and his first assistant light-keeper, Mr. A.
W. Simpson, intelligent gentlemen. The assistant has devoted his time,
when off duty, to the study of the habits of food-fishes of the sound,
and has furnished the United States Commission of Fisheries with several
papers on that interesting subject.

Here also was Mr. George Onslow, of the United States Signal Service,
who had completed his work of constructing a telegraph line from Norfolk
along the beach southward to this point, its present terminus. With a
fine telescope he could frequently identify vessels a few miles from the
cape, and telegraph their position to New York. He had lately saved a
vessel by telegraphing to Norfolk its dangerous location on Hatteras
beach, where it had grounded. By this timely notice a wrecking-steamer
had arrived and hauled the schooner off in good condition.

A low range of hills commences at Cape Hatteras, in the rear of the
light-house, and extends nearly to Hatteras Inlet. This range is
heavily wooded with live-oaks, yellow pines, yaupons, cedars, and
bayonet-plants. The fishermen and wreckers live in rudely constructed
houses, sheltered by this thicket, which is dense enough to protect
them from the strong winds that blow from the ocean and the sound.

I walked twelve miles through this pretty, green retreat, and spent
Sunday with Mr. Homer W. Styron, who keeps a small store about two miles
from the inlet. He is a self-taught astronomer, and used an ingeniously
constructed telescope of his own manufacture for studying the heavens.

I found at the post-office in his store a letter from a yachting party
which had left Newbern, North Carolina, to capture the paper canoe and
to force upon its captain the hospitality of the people of that city, on
the Neuse River, one hundred miles from the cape. Judge I. E. West, the
owner of the yacht "Julia," and his friends, had been cruising since the
eleventh day of the month from Ocracoke Inlet to Roanoke Island in
search of me. Judge West, in his letter, expressed a strong desire to
have me take my Christmas dinner with his family. This generous
treatment from a stranger was fully appreciated, and I determined to
push on to Morehead City, from which place it would be convenient to
reach Newbern by rail without changing my established route southward,
as I would be compelled to do if the regular water route of the Neuse
River from Pamplico Sound were followed.

On this Saturday night, spent at Hatteras Inlet, there broke upon us one
of the fiercest tempests I ever witnessed, even in the tropics. My
pedestrian tramp down the shore had scarcely ended when it commenced in
reality. For miles along the beach thousands of acres of land were soon
submerged by the sea and by the torrents of water which fell from the
clouds. While for a moment the night was dark as Erebus, again the
vivid flash of lightning exposed to view the swaying forests and the
gloomy sound. The sea pounded on the beach as if asking for admission to
old Pamplico. It seemed to say, I demand a new inlet; and, as though
trying to carry out its desire, sent great waves rolling up the shingle
and over into the hollows among the hills, washing down the low sand
dunes as if they also were in collusion with it to remove this frail
barrier, this narrow strip of low land which separated the Atlantic
from the wide interior sheet of water.

The phosphorescent sea, covered with its tens of millions of animalcula,
each one a miniature light-house, changed in color from inky blackness
to silver sheen. Will the ocean take to itself this frail foothold?--we
queried. Will it ingulf us in its insatiable maw, as the whale did
Jonah? There was no subsidence, no pause in the storm. It howled,
bellowed, and screeched like a legion of demons, so that the crashing of
falling trees, and the twisting of the sturdy live-oak's toughest limbs,
could hardly be heard in the din. Yet during this wild night my
storm-hardened companion sat with his pretty wife by the open fireplace,
as unmoved as though we were in the shelter of a mountain side, while he
calmly discoursed of storms, shipwrecks, and terrible struggles for life
that this lonely coast had witnessed, which sent thrills of horror to
my heart.

While traversing the beach during the afternoon, as wreck after wreck,
the gravestones of departed ships, projected their timbers from the
sands, I had made a calculation of the number of vessels which had left
their hulls to rot on Hatteras beach since the ships of Sir Walter
Raleigh had anchored above the cape, and it resulted in making _one
continuous_ line of vessels, wreck touching wreck, along the coast for
many, many miles. Hundreds of miles of the Atlantic coast beaches would
have been walled in by the wrecks could they have come on to the strand
at one time, and all the dwellers along the coast, outside of the towns,
would have been placed in independent circumstances by wrecking their

During this wild night, while the paper canoe was safely stowed in the
rushes of the marsh at the cape, and its owner was enjoying the warmth
of the young astronomer's fire at the inlet, less than twenty miles
from us, on the dangerous edge of Ocracoke shoals, the searching party
of the yacht Julia were in momentary expectation of going to the
bottom of the sound. For hours the gallant craft hung to her anchors,
which were heavily backed by all the iron ballast that could be
attached to the cables. Wave after wave swept over her, and not a man
could put his head above the hatches. Then, as she rolled in the sea,
her cabin-windows went under, and streams of water were forced through
the ports into the confined space which was occupied by the little
party. For a time they were in imminent danger, for the vessel dragged
anchor to the edge of the shoal, and with a heavy thud the yacht
struck on the bottom. All hopes of ever returning to Newbern were
lost, when the changing tide swung the boat off into deeper water,
where she rode out the storm in safety.

Before morning the wind shifted, and by nine o'clock I retraced my steps
to the cape, and on Tuesday rowed down to Hatteras Inlet, which was
reached a little past noon. Before attempting to cross this dangerous
tidal gate-way of the ocean I hugged the shore close to its edge, and
paused to make myself familiar with the sand-hills of the opposite side,
a mile away, which were to serve as the guiding-beacons in the passage.
How often had I, lying awake at night, thought of and dreaded the
crossing of this ill-omened inlet! It had given me much mental
suffering. Now it was before me. Here on my right was the great sound,
on my left the narrow beach island, and out through the portal of the
open inlet surged and moaned under a leaden sky that old ocean which now
seemed to frown at me, and to say: "Wait, my boy, until the inlet's
waves deliver you to me, and I will put you among my other victims for
your temerity."

As I gazed across the current I remarked that it did not seem very
rough, though a strong ebb was running out to the sea, and if crossed
immediately, before the wind arose, there could be no unreasonable risk.
My canvas deck-cover was carefully pulled close about my waist, and a
rigid inspection of oars and row-locks was made; then, with a desire to
reserve my strength for any great demand that might be made upon it a
little later, I rowed with a steady stroke out into Hatteras Inlet.
There was no help nearer than Styron's, two miles away on the upper
shore, while the beach I was approaching on the other side was
uninhabited for nearly sixteen miles, to the village at its southern
end, near Ocracoke Inlet. Upon entering the swash I thought of the
sharks which the Hatteras fishermen had told me frequently seized their
oars, snapping the thin blades in pieces, assuring me, at the same time,
that mine would prove very attractive, being so white and glimmering in
the water, and offering the same glittering fascination as a
silver-spoon bait does to a blue-fish. These cheerful suggestions caused
a peculiar creeping sensation to come over me, but I tried to quiet
myself with the belief that the sharks had followed the blue-fish into
deeper water, to escape cold weather.

The canoe crossed the upper ebb, and entered an area where the ebb from
the opposite side of the inlet struck the first one. While crossing the
union of the two currents, a wind came in at the opening through the
beach, and though not a strong one, it created a great agitation of the
water. The dangerous experience at Watchapreague Inlet had taught me
that when in such a sea one must pull with all his strength, and that
the increased momentum would give greater buoyancy to the shell; for
while under this treatment she bounced from one irregular wave to
another with a climbing action which greatly relieved my anxiety. The
danger seemed to be decreasing, and I stole a furtive glance over my
shoulder at the low dunes of the beach shore which I was approaching, to
see how far into the inlet the tide had dragged me. The white water to
leeward warned me of a shoal, and forced me to pull hard for the sound
to escape being drawn into the breakers. This danger was hardly passed,
when suddenly the waters around me seethed and foamed, and the short
waves parted and closed, as great creatures rose from the deep into the
air several feet, and then fell heavily into the sea. My tiny shell
rocked and pitched about wildly as these animals appeared and
disappeared, leaping from the waves all around me, diving under the boat
and reappearing on the opposite side. They lashed the current with
their strong tails, and snorted or blowed most dismally. For an instant
surprise and alarm took such possession of me that not a muscle of my
arms obeyed my will, and the canoe commenced to drift in the driving
stream towards the open sea. This confusion was only momentary, for as
soon as I discovered that my companions were porpoises and only old
acquaintances, I determined to avoid them as soon as possible.

With a quick glance at my stern range, a sand-hill on the shore of the
inlet, and another look over my shoulder for the sand dunes of the other
side, I exerted every muscle to reach the beach; but my frisky friends
were in no mood to leave me, but continued their fun with increased
energy as reinforcements came up from all directions. The faster I rowed
the more they multiplied, ploughing the sea in erratic courses. They
were from five to seven feet in length, and must have weighed from two
hundred to four hundred pounds each. Though their attentions were kindly
meant, their brusqueness on such an unsteady footing was unpardonable. I
most feared the strong, shooting movements of their tails in the sudden
dives under my canoe, for one sportive touch of such a _caudality_ would
have rolled me over, and furnished material for a tale the very
anticipation of which was unpleasant.


The aquatic gambols of the porpoises lasted but a few minutes after
they had called in all their neighbors, and had chased me into
three feet depth of water. They then spouted a nasal farewell, which
sounded more catarrhal than guitaral, and left me for the more
profitable occupation of fishing in the tideway of the inlet, while I
rowed into a shallow cove, out of the ebb, to rest, and to recover
from the effects of my fright.

As I pulled along the beach the tide receded so rapidly that the canoe
was constantly grounding, and wading became necessary, for I could not
get within several feet of the shore. When five miles from Hatteras
Inlet I espied an empty grass cabin, which the fishermen used in
February while catching shad; and, as a southerly wind was now blowing
from the sea, and rain was falling, it offered a night's shelter for the
traveller. This Robinson Crusoe looking structure was located upon the
low land near the sound, while bleak, sharp-pointed, treeless and
grassless sand-hills, blown into shape by the winds, arose in the
background, and cut off a view of the ocean, which, judging from the
low, melancholy moaning coming over the dunes, was in a sad mood.

The canoe was hauled into the bushes and tied securely for fear a
deceptive tide might bear it away. The provisions, blankets, &c., were
moved into the grass hut, which needed repairing. The holes in the south
wall were soon thatched, and a bed easily prepared from the rushes of
the marsh. It mattered not that they were wet, for a piece of painted
canvas was spread over them, and the inviting couch finished.

As fresh water can usually be obtained on all these low beaches by
digging two or three feet into the sand, I looked for a large
clam-shell, and my search being rewarded, I was soon engaged in digging
a well near the cabin.

Upon looking up from my work a curious sight met my gaze. In some
mysterious way every sharp-pointed sand-hill had been covered by a black
object, which swayed about and nodded up and down in a strange manner.
As I watched the development of this startling phenomenon, the nodding,
black objects grew in size until the head, body, and four legs of a
horse were clearly cut against the sky. A little later every crest was
surmounted by the comical figure of a marsh-tacky. Then a few sheep came
out of the hollows among the hills and browsed on the coarse grass near
the cabin, as though they felt the loneliness of their situation so far
removed from mankind. With the marsh-ponies, the sheep, the wild-fowls
of the sound, and the sighing sea for companions, the night passed away.

The bright moonlight roused me at five o'clock in the morning, and I
pushed off again in shoal water on an ebb-tide, experiencing much
difficulty in dragging the canoe over shallow places until deep water
was entered, when the row to Ocracoke became an agreeable one. The
landing-place at Ocracoke, not far from the light-house, was reached at
noon, and the people gathered to see the paper boat, having been
notified of my proximity by fishermen.

The women here can pull a pretty good stroke, and frequently assist
their husbands in the fisheries. These old dames ridiculed the idea of
having a boat so small and light as the canoe. One old lady laid aside
her pipe and snuff-paddle (snuff-rubbing is a time-honored institution
in the south), and roughly grasping the bow of the craft, lifted it high
in the air, then, glancing at the fine model, she lowered it slowly to
the ground, exclaiming, "I reckon I wouldn't risk my life acrossing a
creek in her."

These people told me that the yacht Julia had stopped there to make
inquiries for me, and had departed for Newbern.

It was more than a mile from the landing to Ocracoke Inlet, and a mile
and three quarters across it to the beach. A straight course from the
landing to the village of Portsmouth, on the lower side of the inlet,
was a distance of five miles, and not one of the hardy watermen, who
thumped the sides of my boat with their hard fists to ascertain its
strength, believed that I could cross the sound to the other village
without rolling over. One kind-hearted oysterman offered to carry
myself and boat to Portsmouth; but as the day was calm, I rowed away
on the five-mile stretch amid doleful prognostications, such as: "That
feller will make a coffin for hisself out of that yere gimcrack of an
egg-shell. It's all a man's life is wurth to go in her," &c.

While approaching the low Portsmouth shore of the sound, flocks of
Canada geese flew within pistol-shot of my head. A man in a dug-out
canoe told me that the gunners of the village had reared from the egg
a flock of wild geese which now aggregated some seven or eight hundred
birds, and that these now flying about were used to decoy their wild

Near the beach a sandy hill had been the place of sepulture for the
inhabitants of other generations, but for years past the tidal current
had been cutting the shore away until coffin after coffin with its
contents had been washed into the sound. Captain Isaac S. Jennings, of
Ocean County, New Jersey, had described this spot to me as follows:

    "I landed at Portsmouth and examined this curious burial-ground.
    Here by the water were the remains of the fathers, mothers,
    brothers, and sisters of the people of the village so near at
    hand; yet these dismal relics of their ancestors were allowed to
    be stolen away piecemeal by the encroaching ocean. While I gazed
    sadly upon the strata of coffins protruding from the banks,
    shining objects like jewels seemed to be sparkling from between
    the cracks of their fractured sides; and as I tore away the
    rotten wood, rows of toads were discovered sitting in solemn
    council, their bright eyes peering from among the debris of
    bones and decomposed substances."

Portsmouth Island is nearly eight miles long. Whalebone Inlet is at its
lower end, but is too shallow to be of any service to commerce. Hatteras
and Ocracoke inlets admit sea-going vessels. It is thirty-eight miles
from Whalebone Inlet to Cape Lookout, which projects like a wedge into
the sea nearly three miles from the mainland, and there is not another
passage through the narrow beach in all that distance that is of any use
to the mariner. Following the trend of the coast for eleven miles from
the point of Cape Lookout, there is an inlet, but, from the character of
its channel and its shallowness, it is not of much value.

Leaving Portsmouth, the canoe entered Core Sound, which grew narrower as
the shoals inside of Whalebone Inlet were crossed, partly by rowing and
partly by wading on the sand-flats. As night came on, a barren stretch
of beach on my left hand was followed until I espied the only house
within a distance of sixteen miles along the sea. It was occupied by a
coasting skipper, whose fine little schooner was anchored a long
distance from the land on account of the shoalness of the water. Dreary
sand-hills protected the cottage from the bleak winds of the ocean.

While yet a long distance from the skipper's home, a black object could
be seen crawling up the sides of a mound of white sand, and after it
reached the apex it remained in one position, while I rowed, and waded,
and pulled my canoe towards the shore. When the goal was reached, and
the boat was landed high up among the scrub growth, I shouldered my
blankets and charts, and plodded through the soft soil towards the dark
object, which I now recognized to be a man on a lookout post. He did not
move from his position until I reached the hillock, when he suddenly
slid down the bank and landed at my feet, with a cheery--

    "Well, now, I thought it was you. Sez I to myself, That's him,
    sure, when I seed you four miles away. Fust thinks I, It's only
    a log, or a piece of wrak-stuff afloating. Pretty soon up comes
    your head and shoulders into sight; then sez I, It's a man,
    sure, but where is his boat? for you see, I couldn't see your
    boat, it was so low down in the water. Then I reckoned it was a
    man afloating on a log, but arter a while the boat loomed up
    too, and I says, I'll be dog-goned if that isn't him. I went up
    to Newbern, some time ago, in the schooner, and the people
    there said there was a man coming down the coast a-rowing a
    paper boat on a _bet_. The _boat_ weighed only fifty-eight
    pounds, and the _man_ had a heft of only eighty pounds. When pa
    and me went up to the city agin, the folks said the man was
    close on to us, and this time they said the man and his boat
    together weighed only eighty pounds. Now I should think you
    weighed more than that yourself, letting alone the boat."

Having assured the young man that I was indeed myself, and that the
Newbern people had played upon his credulity, we walked on to the house,
where the family of Captain James Mason kindly welcomed me to a glowing
wood-fire and hearty supper. Though I had never heard of their existence
till I entered Core Sound, the kindness of these people was like that of
old friends.

Half a mile below Captain Mason's home, a short time before my visit, a
new breach had been made by the ocean through the beach. About twenty
years before a similar breach had occurred in the same locality, and was
known during its short life as "Pillintary Inlet." The next day I
crossed the sound, which is here four miles in width, and coasted along
to the oystermen's village of Hunting Quarters, on the mainland. The
houses were very small, but the hearts of the poor folks were very
large. They came to the water's edge and carried the canoe into the
only store in the neighborhood. Its proprietor, Mr. William H. Stewart,
insisted upon my sharing his bachelor's quarters in an unfinished room
of the storehouse. My young host was hardly out of his teens. In his
boyish way he kindly remarked:

    "I am here all alone. Father told me, before he died, never to
    let a stranger pass my door but to make him share my lodgings,
    humble though they are; and now, any way, you're just in time
    for the fun, for we are to have three weddings to-night, and all
    the boys and girls of the neighborhood will be at Hunting

I entered a mild protest against joining in the festivities, on the plea
of not having received an invitation; at which the handsome youth
laughed heartily.

"Invitation!" he exclaimed; "why, no one ever gives out invitations in
Hunting Quarters. When there is to be a 'jollification' of any sort,
everybody goes to the house without being asked. You see we are all
neighbors here. Up at Newbern and at Beaufort, and other _great_ cities,
people have their ways, but here all are friends."

So we went to the little house in the piny forest, where two hearts were
to be made one. The only room on the first floor was crowded with
people. The minister had not arrived, and the crowd was gazing at the
young groom and his pretty bride-elect as they sat in two chairs in the
middle of the company, with their arms around each other, never speaking
a word to any one. The heavy weight of people began to settle the floor,
and as two joists gave way I struggled to escape through an open window,
thinking we would be precipitated into the cellar below. But the
good-natured company took no notice of the snapping timbers, only
ejaculating, "She'll soon touch bottom;" and to my inquiries about the
inconvenience of being pitched through to the cellar, a rustic youth,
with great merriment depicted upon his countenance, replied:

    "Sullers, captain, why, there ain't a suller to a buildin'
    within thirty miles of the Quarters. We never uses sullers

By my side was a young fisherman, who had got home from a cruise, and
was overflowing with affection towards every girl present. "O, gals," he
would cry, "you don't know how nice I feels to get back to you once
more!" Throwing his arms around a bright-eyed girl, who vainly tried to
escape him, he said, "O, weary mariner, here is thy rest! No more shall
he wander from thee."

This sentimental strain was interrupted by an old lady, who reached her
arm over my shoulder to administer a rebuke. "Sam, ye're a fool!" she
cried; "ye're beside yourself to-night, and afore this paper-canoe
captain, too. Ef I was a gal I'd drap yere society, wid yere familiar
ways right in company."

The blow and the admonition fell harmlessly upon the head and the heart
of the sailor, who replied, "Aunty, I knows my advantages in Hunting
Quarters--_wimen is plenty, and men is few_."

The crowd roared with laughter at this truism, but were quieted by the
shout of a boy that the preacher was a-coming; whereupon the reverend
gentleman elbowed his way through the guests to the quiet couple, and
requested them to stand up. A few hurried words by the clergyman, a few
bashful replies from the young people, and the two were made one. The
crowd rushed outside of the house, where a general scramble took place
among the boys for their girls. Then a procession was formed, headed by
the clergyman, which marched along the sandy road to another house in
the woods, where the second marriage was to be celebrated.

It was amusing to see the young men dash away from the procession, to
run to the village store for candy at twenty-five cents per pound,
containing as much _terra alba_ (white clay) as sugar. With well-filled
pockets they would run back to the procession and fill the girls' aprons
with the sweets, soon repeating the process, and showering upon the fair
ones cakes, raisins, nuts, and oranges. The only young man who seemed
to find no favor in any woman's eyes invested more capital in sweetmeats
than the others; and though every girl in the procession gave him a
sharp word or a kick as he passed, yet none refused his candies as he
tossed them at the maidens, or stuffed them into the pockets of their

The second ceremony was performed in about three minutes, and the
preacher feeling faint from his long ride through the woods, declared he
must have some supper. So, while he was being served, the girls chatted
together, the old ladies helped each other to snuff with little wooden
paddles, which were left protruding from one corner of their mouths
after they had taken "a dip," as they called it. The boys, after
learning that the preacher had postponed the third marriage for an hour,
with a wild shout scampered off to Stewart's store for more candies. I
took advantage of the interim to inquire how it was that the young
ladies and gentlemen were upon such terms of pleasant intimacy.

"Well, captain," replied the person interrogated, "you sees we is all
growed up together, and brotherly love and sisterly affection is our
teaching. The brethren love the sisteren; and they say that love begets
love, so the sisteren loves the brethren. It's parfecly nateral. That's
the hull story, captain. How is it up your way?"

At last the preacher declared himself satisfied with all he had eaten,
and that enough was as good as a feast; so the young people fell into
line, and we trudged to the third house, where, with the same dispatch,
the third couple were united. Then the fiddler scraped the strings of
his instrument, and a double-shuffle dance commenced. The girls stamped
and moved their feet about in the same manner as the men. Soon four or
five of the young ladies left the dancing-party, and seated themselves
in a corner, pouting discontentedly. My companion explained to me that
the deserters were a little stuck-up, having made two or three visits on
a schooner to the city (Newbern), where they had other ways of dancing,
and where the folks didn't think it pretty for a girl to strike her
heels upon the floor, &c.

How long they danced I know not, for the prospect of a long row on the
morrow sent me to rest in the storehouse, from which I was called by a
kind old couple sending for me to take tea with them at half an hour
after midnight. Unwilling to wound the sensitive feelings of these
hospitable people, I answered the summons _in propria persona_, and
found it was the mother of bride No. 1, to whom I was indebted for the
invitation. A well-filled table took up the space in the centre of the
room, where a few hours before the timbers creaked beneath the weight
of the curious crowd; and there, sitting on one side in the same
affectionate manner I have described, were the bride and groom,
apparently unmoved by the change of scene, while the bride's mother
rocked in her chair, moaning, "O John, if you'd taken the other gal, I
might have stood it, but this yere one has been my comfort."

At dawn the canoe was put into Core Sound, and I followed the western
shore, cheered by the bright sun of our Saviour's natal day. At noon the
mouth of the thoroughfare between Harker's Island and the mainland was
unintentionally passed, and I rowed along by the side of the island next
Fort Macon, which is inside of the angle made by Cape Lookout.

Finding it impossible to reach Newbern via Morehead City that day, the
canoe was beached upon the end of Harker's Island, where I breakfasted
at the fashionable hour of two P. M., with men, women, and children
around me. My mode of cooking the condensed food and liquid beef, so
quickly prepared for the palate, and the remarkable boat of _paper_, all
filled the islanders with wonder. They were at first a little shy,
looking upon the apparition--which seemed in some wonderful way to have
dropped upon their beach--with the light of curiosity in their eyes.

Then, as I explained the many uses to which paper was put, even to the
paying off of great national debts, my audience became very friendly,
and offered to get me up a Christmas dinner in their cabins among the
groves of trees near the strand, if I would tarry with them until night.
But time was precious; so, with thanks on my part for their kind offers,
we parted, they helping me launch my little boat, and waving a cheerful
adieu as I headed the canoe for Beaufort, which was quietly passed in
the middle of the afternoon.

Three miles further on, the railroad pier of Morehead City, in Bogue
Sound, was reached, and a crowd of people carried the canoe into the
hotel. A telegram was soon received from the superintendent of the
railroad at Newbern, inviting me to a free ride to the city in the first
train of the following morning.

The reader who has followed me since I left the chilly regions of the
St. Lawrence must not have his patience taxed by too much detail, lest
he should weary of my story and desert my company. Were it not for this
fear, it would give me pleasure to tell how a week was passed in
Newbern; how the people came even from interior towns to see the paper
canoe; how some, doubting my veracity, slyly stuck the blades of their
pocket-knives through the thin sides of the canoe, forgetting that it
had yet to traverse many dangerous inlets, and that its owner preferred
a tight, dry boat to one punctured by knives. Even old men became
enthusiastic, and when I was absent from my little craft, an
uncontrollable ambition seized them, and they got into the frail shell
as it rested upon the floor of a hall, and threatened its destruction.
It seemed impossible to make one gentleman of Newbern understand that
when the boat was in the water she was resting upon all her bearings,
but when out of water only upon a thin strip of wood.

"By George," said this stout gentleman in a whisper to a friend, "I told
my wife I would get into that boat if I smashed it."

"And what did the lady say, old fellow?" asked the friend.

"O," he replied, "she said, 'Now don't make a fool of yourself, Fatness,
or your ambition may get you into the papers,'" and the speaker fairly
shook with laughter.

       *       *       *       *       *

While at Newbern, Judge West and his brother organized a grand hunt, and
the railroad company sent us down the road eighteen miles to a wild
district, where deer, coons, and wild-fowl were plentiful, and where we
hunted all night for coons and ducks, and all day for deer. Under these
genial influences the practical study of geography for the first time
seemed dull, and I became aware that, under the efforts of the citizens
of Newbern to remind me of the charms of civilized society, I was, as a
travelling geographer, fast becoming demoralized.

Could I, after the many pleasures I was daily enjoying, settle down to a
steady pull and one meal a day with a lunch of dry crackers; or sleep on
the floor of fishermen's cabins, with fleas and other little annoyances
attendant thereon? Having realized my position, I tore myself away from
my many new friends and retraced my steps to Morehead City, leaving it
on Tuesday, January 5th, and rowing down the little sound called Bogue
towards Cape Fear.

As night came on I discovered on the shore a grass cabin, which was on
the plantation of Dr. Emmett, and had been left tenantless by some
fisherman. This served for shelter during the night, though the
struggles and squealings of a drove of hogs attempting to enter through
the rickety door did not contribute much to my repose.

The watercourses now became more intricate, growing narrower as I rowed
southward. The open waters of the sound were left behind, and I entered
a labyrinth of creeks and small sheets of water, which form a network in
the marshes between the sandy beach-islands and the mainland all the way
to Cape Fear River. The Core Sound sheet of the United States Coast
Survey ended at Cape Lookout, there being no charts of the route to
Masonboro. I was therefore now travelling upon _local_ knowledge, which
proves usually a very uncertain guide.

In a cold rain the canoe reached the little village of Swansboro, where
the chief personage of the place of two hundred inhabitants, Mr. McLain,
removed me from my temporary camping-place in an old house near the
turpentine distilleries into his own comfortable quarters.

There are twenty mullet fisheries within ten miles of Swansboro, which
employ from fifteen to eighteen men each. The pickled and dried roe of
this fish is shipped to Wilmington and to Cincinnati. Wild-fowls abound,
and the shooting is excellent. The fishermen say flocks of ducks seven
miles in length have been seen on the waters of Bogue Sound.
Canvas-backs are called "raft-ducks" here, and they sell from twelve to
twenty cents each. Wild geese bring forty cents, and brant thirty.

The marsh-ponies feed upon the beaches, in a half wild state, with the
deer and cattle, cross the marshes and swim the streams from the
mainland to the beaches in the spring, and graze there until winter,
when they collect in little herds, and instinctively return to the piny
woods of the uplands. Messrs. Weeks and Taylor had shot, while on a
four-days' hunt up the White Oak River, twenty deer. Captain H. D.
Heady, of Swansboro, informed me that the ducks and geese he killed in
one winter supplied him with one hundred pounds of selected feathers.
Captain Heady's description of Bogue Inlet was not encouraging for the
future prosperity of this coast, and the same may be said of all the
inlets between it and Cape Fear.

Rainy weather kept me within doors until Friday, the 7th of January,
when I rowed down White Oak River to Bogue Inlet, and turned into the
beach thoroughfare, which led me three miles and a half to Bear Inlet.
My course now lay through creeks among the marshes to the Stand-Back,
near the mainland, where the tides between the two inlets head. Across
this shoal spot I traversed tortuous watercourses with mud flats, from
which beds of sharp raccoon oysters projected and scraped the keel of my

The sea was now approached from the mainland to Brown's Inlet, where the
tide ran like a mill-race, swinging my canoe in great circles as I
crossed it to the lower side. Here I took the widest thoroughfare, and
left the beach only to retrace my steps to follow one nearer the strand,
which conducted me to the end of the natural system of watercourses,
where I found a ditch, dug seventy years before, which connected the
last system of waters with another series of creeks that emptied their
waters into New River Inlet.

Emerging from the marshes, my course led me away from New River Inlet,
across open sheets of water to the mainland, where Dr. Ward's cotton
plantation occupied a large and cultivated area in the wilderness. It
was nearly two miles from his estate down to the inlet. The intervening
flats among the island marshes of New River were covered with natural
beds of oysters, upon which the canoe scraped as I crossed to the narrow
entrance of Stump Sound. Upon rounding a point of land I found, snugly
ensconced in a grove, the cot of an oysterman, Captain Risley Lewis,
who, after informing me that his was the last habitation to be found in
that vicinity, pressed me to be his guest.

The next day proved one of trial to patience and muscle. The narrow
watercourses, which like a spider's web penetrate the marshes with
numerous small sheets of water, made travelling a most difficult task.
At times I was lost, again my canoe was lodged upon oyster-beds in the
shallow ponds of water, the mud bottoms of which would not bear my
weight if I attempted to get overboard to lighten the little craft.

Alligator Lake, two miles in width, was crossed without seeing an
alligator. Saurians are first met with, as the traveller proceeds south,
in the vicinity of Alligator Creek and the Neuse River, in the latitude
of Pamplico Sound. During the cold weather they hide themselves in the
soft, muddy bottoms of creeks and lagoons. All the negroes, and many of
the white people of the south, assert, that when captured in his winter
bed, this huge reptile's stomach contains the hard knot of a pine-tree;
but for what purpose he swallows it they are at a loss to explain.

In twelve miles of tortuous windings there appeared but one sign of
human life--a little cabin on a ridge of upland among the fringe of
marshes that bordered on Alligator Lake. It was cheering to a lonely
canoeist to see this house, and the clearing around it with the season's
crop of corn in stacks dotting the field. All this region is called
Stump Sound; but that sheet of water is a well-defined, narrow,
lake-like watercourse, which was entered not long after I debouched from
Alligator Lake. Stump Inlet having closed up eighteen months before my
visit, the sound and its tributaries received tidal water from New
Topsail Inlet.

It was a cold and rainy evening when I sought shelter in an old
boat-house, at a landing on Topsail Sound, soon after leaving Stump
Sound. While preparing for the night's camp, the son of the proprietor
of the plantation discovered the, to him, unheard-of spectacle of a
paper boat upon the gravelly strand. Filled with curiosity and
delight, he dragged me, paddle in hand, through an avenue of trees to
a hill upon which a large house was located. This was the boy's home.
Leaving me on the broad steps of the veranda, he rushed into the hall,
shouting to the family, "Here's a sailor who has come from the north
in a PAPER boat."

This piece of intelligence roused the good people to merriment.
"Impossible!" "A boat made of paper!" "Nonsense!"

The boy, however, would not be put down. "But it _is_ made of paper, I
tell you; for I pinched it and stuck my nails into it," he replied

"You are crazy, my boy," some one responded; "a paper boat never could
go through these sounds, the coon oysters would cut it in pieces. Now
tell us, is the sailor made of paper, like his boat?"

"Indeed, mother, what I tell you is true; and, O, I forgot! here's the
sailor on the steps, where I left him." In an instant the whole family
were out upon the veranda. Seeing my embarrassment, they tried, like
well-bred people, to check their merriment, while I explained to them
the way in which the boy had captured me, and proposed at once returning
to my camp. To this, however, they would not listen; and the charming
wife of the planter extended her hand to me, as she said, "No, sir, you
will not go back to the wet landing to camp. This is our home, and
though marauding armies during the late war have taken from us our
wealth, you must share with us the little we have left." This lady with
her two daughters, who inherited her beauty and grace of manner, did
all in their power to make me comfortable.

Sunday was the coldest day of the season; but the family, whose
hospitality I enjoyed, rode seven miles through the woods, some on
horseback, some in the carriage, to the little church in a heavy pine
forest. The next day proved stormy, and the driving sleet froze upon the
trees and bound their limbs and boughs together with an icy veneer. My
host, Mr. McMillan, kindly urged me to tarry. During my stay with him I
ascertained that he devoted his attention to raising ground-peas, or
peanuts. Along the coast of this part of North Carolina this nut is the
chief product, and is raised in immense quantities. The latter state
alone raises annually over one hundred thousand bushels; while Virginia
and Tennessee produce, some years, a crop of seven hundred thousand

Wednesday opened with partially clearing weather, and the icy covering
of the trees yielded to the softening influences of a southern wind. The
family went to the landing to see me off, and the kind ladies stowed
many delicacies, made with their own hands, in the bow of the boat.
After rowing a half-mile, I took a lingering look at the shore, where
those who four days ago were strangers, now waved an adieu as friends.
They had been stript of their wealth, though the kind old planter had
never raised his hand against the government of his fathers. This
family, like thousands of people in the south, had suffered for the rash
deeds of others. While the political views of this gentleman differed
from those of the stranger from Massachusetts, it formed no barrier to
their social intercourse, and did not make him forget to exhibit the
warm feelings of hospitality which so largely influence the Southerner.
I went to him, as a traveller in search of truth, upon an honest errand.
Under such circumstances a Northerner does not require a letter of
introduction to nine out of ten of the citizens of the fifteen ex-slave
states, which cover an area of eight hundred and eighty thousand square
miles, and where fourteen millions of people desire to be permitted to
enjoy the same privileges as the Constitution of the United States
guarantees to all the states north of Mason and Dixon's line.

From Sloop Landing, on my new friends' plantation, to New Topsail Inlet
I had a brisk row of five miles. Vessels drawing eight feet of water can
reach this landing from the open sea upon a full tide. The sea was
rolling in at this ocean door as my canoe crossed it to the next marsh
thoroughfare, which connected it with Old Topsail Inlet, where the same
monotonous surroundings of sand-hills and marshes are to be found.

The next tidal opening was Rich Inlet, which had a strong ebb running
through it to the sea. From it I threaded the thoroughfares up to the
mainland, reaching at dusk the "Emma Nickson Plantation." The creeks
were growing more shallow, and near the bulkhead, or middle-ground,
where tides from two inlets met, there was so little water and so many
oyster reefs, that, without a chart, the route grew more and more
perplexing in character. It was a distance of thirty miles to Cape Fear,
and twenty miles to New Inlet, which was one of the mouths of Cape Fear
River. From the plantation to New Inlet, the shallow interior sheets of
water with their marshes were called Middle, Masonboro, and Myrtle
sounds. The canoe could have traversed these waters to the end of Myrtle
Sound, which is separated from Cape Fear River by a strip of land only
one mile and a half wide, across which a portage can be made to the
river. Barren and Masonboro are the only inlets which supply the three
little sounds above mentioned with water, after Rich Inlet is passed.

The coast from Cape Fear southward eighty miles, to Georgetown, South
Carolina, has several small inlets through the beach, but there are no
interior waters parallel with the coast in all that distance, which can
be of any service to the canoeist for a coast route. It therefore became
necessary for me to follow the next watercourse that could be utilized
for reaching Winyah Bay, which is the first entrance to the system of
continuous watercourses south of Cape Fear.

The trees of the Nickson Plantation hid the house of the proprietor from
view; but upon beaching my canoe, a drove of hogs greeted me with
friendly grunts, as if the hospitality of their master infected the
drove; and, as it grew dark, they trotted across the field, conducting
me up to the very doors of the planter's home, where Captain Mosely,
late of the Confederate army, gave me a soldier's hearty welcome.

"The war is over," he said, "and any northern _gentleman_ is welcome to
what we have left." Until midnight, this keen-eyed, intelligent officer
entertained me with a flow of anecdotes of the war times, his
hair-breadth escapes, &c.; the conversation being only interrupted when
he paused to pile wood upon the fire, the chimney-place meantime glowing
like a furnace. He told me that Captain Maffitt, of the late Confederate
navy, lived at Masonboro, on the sound; and that had I called upon him,
he could have furnished, as an old officer of the Coast Survey, much
valuable geographical information. This pleasant conversation was at
last interrupted by the wife of my host, who warned us in her courteous
way of the lateness of the hour. With a good-night to my host, and a sad
farewell to the sea, I prepared myself for the morrow's journey.




To reach my next point of embarkation a portage was necessary.
Wilmington was twelve miles distant, and I reached the railroad station
of that city with my canoe packed in a bed of corn-husks, on a one-horse
dray, in time to take the evening train to Flemington, on Lake Waccamaw.
The polite general freight-agent, Mr. A. Pope, allowed my canoe to be
transported in the passenger baggage-car, where, as it had no covering,
I was obliged to steady it during the ride of thirty-two miles, to
protect it from the friction caused by the motion of the train.

Mr. Pope quietly telegraphed to the few families at the lake, "Take care
of the paper canoe;" so when my destination was reached, kind voices
greeted me through the darkness and offered me the hospitalities of Mrs.
Brothers' home-like inn at the Flemington Station. After Mr. Carroll had
conveyed the boat to his storehouse, we all sat down to tea as sociably
as though we were old friends.

On the morrow we carried the Maria Theresa on our shoulders to the
little lake, out of which the long and crooked river with its dark
cypress waters flowed to the sea. A son of Mr. Short, a landed
proprietor who holds some sixty thousand acres of the swamp lands of the
Waccamaw, escorted me in his yacht, with a party of ladies and
gentlemen, five miles across the lake to my point of departure. It was
now noon, and our little party picnicked under the lofty trees which
rise from the low shores of Lake Waccamaw.

A little later we said our adieu, and the paper canoe shot into the
whirling current which rushes out of the lake through a narrow aperture
into a great and dismal swamp. Before leaving the party, Mr. Carroll had
handed me a letter addressed to Mr. Hall, who was in charge of a
turpentine distillery on my route. "It is _twenty_ miles by the river to
my friend Hall's," he said, "but in a straight line the place is just
_four_ miles from here." Such is the character of the Waccamaw, this
most crooked of rivers.

I had never been on so rapid and continuous a current. As it whirled me
along the narrow watercourse I was compelled to abandon my oars and use
the paddle in order to have my face to the bow, as the abrupt turns of
the stream seemed to wall me in on every side. Down the tortuous, black,
rolling current went the paper canoe, with a giant forest covering the
great swamp and screening me from the light of day. The swamps were
submerged, and as the water poured out of the thickets into the river it
would shoot across the land from one bend to another, presenting in
places the mystifying spectacle of water running up stream, but not up
an inclined plain. Festoons of gray Spanish moss hung from the weird
limbs of monster trees, giving a funeral aspect to the gloomy forest,
while the owls hooted as though it were night. The creamy, wax-like
berries of the mistletoe gave a Druidical aspect to the woods, for this
parasite grew upon the branches of many trees.

One spot only of firm land rose from the water in sixteen miles of
paddling from the lake, and passing it, I went flying on with the
turbulent stream four miles further, to where rafts of logs blocked the
river, and the sandy banks, covered with the upland forest of pines,
encroached upon the lowlands. This was Old Dock, with its turpentine
distillery smoking and sending out resinous vapors.

Young Mr. Hall read my letter and invited me to his temporary home,
which, though roughly built of unplaned boards, possessed two
comfortable rooms, and a large fireplace, in which light-wood, the
terebinthine heart of the pine-tree, was cheerfully blazing.

I had made the twenty miles in three hours, but the credit of this quick
time must be given to the rapid current. My host did not seem well
pleased with the solitude imposed upon him. His employers had sent him
from Wilmington, to hold and protect "their turpentine farm," which was
a wilderness of trees covering four thousand acres, and was valued, with
its distillery, at five thousand dollars. An old negro, who attended the
still and cooked the meals, was his only companion.

We had finished our frugal repast, when a man, shouting in the darkness,
approached the house on horseback. This individual, though very tipsy,
represented Law and Order in that district, as I was informed when "Jim
Gore," a justice of the peace, saluted me in a boisterous manner.
Seating himself by the fire, he earnestly inquired for the bottle. His
stomach, he said, was as dry as a lime-kiln, and, though water answers
to slake lime, he demanded something stronger to slake the fire that
burned within him. He was very suspicious of me when Hall told him of my
canoe journey. After eying me from head to toe in as steady a manner as
he was capable of, he broke forth with: "Now, stranger, this won't do.
What are ye a-travelling in this sort of way for, in a paper dug-out?"

I pleaded a strong desire to study geography, but the wise fellow

"Geography! geography! Why, the fellers who rite geography never travel;
they stay at home and spin their yarns 'bout things they never sees."
Then, glancing at his poor butternut coat and pantaloons, he felt my
blue woollen suit, and continued, in a slow, husky voice: "Stranger,
them clothes cost _something_; they be _store_-clothes. That paper
dug-out _cost money_, I tell ye; and it _costs_ something to travel
the hull length of the land. No, stranger; if ye be not on a bet, then
somebody's a-paying ye _well_ for it."

For an hour I entertained this roughest of law dignitaries with an
account of my long row, its trials and its pleasures. He became
interested in the story, and finally related to me his own aspirations,
and the difficulties attending his efforts to make the piny-woods people
respect the laws and good government. He then described the river route
through the swamps to the sea, and, putting his arm around me in the
most affectionate manner, he mournfully said:

    "O stranger, my heart is with ye; but O, how ye will have to
    take it when ye go past those awful wretches to-morrow; how they
    will give it to ye! They most knocked me off my raft, last time
    I went to Georgetown. Beware of them; I warn ye in time. Dern
    the hussies."

Squire Jim so emphasized the danger that I became somewhat alarmed, for,
more than anything else, I dreaded an outbreak with rough women. And
then, too, my new acquaintance informed me that there were four or five
of these wretches, of the worst kind, located several miles down the
stream. As I was about to inquire into the habits of these ugly old
crones, Mr. Hall, wishing to give Squire James a hint, remarked that Mr.
B---- might at any time retire to the next room, where half the bed was
at his disposal.

"_Half the bed!_" roared the squire; "here are _three_ of us, and
where's _my half_?"

"Why, squire," hesitatingly responded my host, "Mr. B---- is _my guest_,
and having but _one_ bed, he must have _half_ of it--no less."

"Then what's to become of me?" thundered his Majesty of the law.

Having been informed that a shake-down would have been ready had he
given notice of his visit, and that at some future time, when not so
crowded, he could be entertained like a gentleman, he drew himself up,
wrapped in the mantle of dignity, and replied:

    "None of that soft talk, my friend. This man is a traveller; let
    him take travellers' luck--three in a bed to-night. I'm bound
    to sleep with him to-night. Hall, where's the bottle?"

I now retired to the back room, and, without undressing, planted myself
on the side of the bed next the wall. Sleep was, however, an
unattainable luxury, with the squire's voice in the next room, as he
told how the country was going to the dogs, because "niggers and white
folks wouldn't respect the laws. It took half a man's time to _larn_ it
to 'em, and much thanks he ever got by setting everybody to rights." He
wound up by lecturing Hall for being so temperate, his diligent search
in all directions for bottles or jugs being rewarded by finding them
filled with unsatisfactory emptiness.

He then tumbled into the centre of the bed, crowding me close against
the wall. Poor Hall, having the outside left to him, spent the night in
exercising his brain and muscles in vain attempts to keep in his bed;
for when his Majesty of the law put his arms akimbo, the traveller went
to the wall, and the host to the floor. Thus passed my first night in
the great swamps of the Waccamaw River.

The negro cook gave us an early breakfast of bacon, sweet potatoes, and
corn bread. The squire again looked round for the bottle, and again
found nothing but emptiness. He helped me to carry my canoe along the
unsteady footing of the dark swamp to the lower side of the raft of
logs, and warmly pressed my hand as he whispered: "My dear B----, I
shall think of you until you get past those dreadful 'wretches.' Keep an
eye on your little boat, or they'll devil you."

Propelled by my double paddle, the canoe seemed to fly through the great
forest that rose with its tall trunks and weird, moss-draped arms, out
of the water. The owls were still hooting. Indeed, the dolorous voice of
this bird of darkness sounded through the heavy woods at intervals
throughout the day. I seemed to have left the real world behind me, and
to have entered upon a landless region of sky, trees, and water.

"Beware of the cut-offs," said Hall, before I left. "Only the Crackers
and shingle-makers know them. If followed, they would save you many a
mile, but every opening through the swamp is not a cut-off. Keep to the
main stream, though it be more crooked and longer. If you take to the
cut-offs, you may get into passages that will lead you off into the
swamps and into interior bayous, from which you will never emerge. Men
have starved to death in such places."

So I followed the winding stream, which turned back upon itself, running
north and south, and east and west, as if trying to box the compass by
following the sun in its revolution. After paddling down one bend, I
could toss a stick through the trees into the stream where the canoe had
cleaved its waters a quarter of a mile behind me.

The thought of what I should do in this landless region if my frail
shell, in its rapid flight to the sea, happened to be pierced by a snag,
was, to say the least, not a comforting one. On what could I stand to
repair it? To climb a tree seemed, in such a case, the only resource;
and then what anxious waiting there would be for some cypress-shingle
maker, in his dug-out canoe, to come to the rescue, and take the
traveller from his dangerous lodgings between heaven and earth; or it
might be that no one would pass that way, and the weary waiting would be
even unto death.

But sounds now reached my ears that made me feel that I was not quite
alone in this desolate swamp. The gray squirrels scolded among the
tree-tops; robins, the brown thrush, and a large black woodpecker with
his bright red head, each reminded me of Him without whose notice not a
sparrow falleth to the ground.

Ten miles of this black current were passed over, when the first signs
of civilization appeared, in the shape of a sombre-looking, two-storied
house, located upon a point of the mainland which entered the swamp on
the left shore of the river. At this point the river widened to five or
six rods, and at intervals land appeared a few inches above the water.
Wherever the pine land touched the river a pig-pen of rails offered
shelter and a gathering-place for the hogs, which are turned loose by
the white Cracker to feed upon the roots and mast of the wilderness.

Reeve's Ferry, on the right bank, with a little store and
turpentine-still, twenty miles from Old Dock, was the next sign of the
presence of man in this swamp. The river now became broad as I
approached Piraway Ferry, which is two miles below Piraway Farm.
Remembering the warnings of the squire as to the "awful wretches in the
big pine woods," I kept a sharp lookout for the old women who were to
give me so much trouble, but the raftsmen on the river explained that
though Jim Gore had told me the truth, I had misunderstood his
pronunciation of the word _reaches_, or river bends, which are called in
this vicinity _wretches_. The reaches referred to by Mr. Gore were so
long and straight as to afford open passages for wind to blow up them,
and these fierce gusts of head winds give the raftsmen much trouble
while poling their rafts against them.

My fears of ill treatment were now at rest, for my tiny craft, with her
sharp-pointed bow, was well adapted for such work. Landing at the ferry
where a small scow or flat-boat was resting upon the firm land, the
ferryman, Mr. Daniel Dunkin, would not permit me to camp out of doors
while his log-cabin was only one mile away on the pine-covered uplands.
He told me that the boundary-line between North and South Carolina
crossed this swamp three and a half miles below Piraway Ferry, and that
the first town on the river Waccamaw, in South Carolina, Conwayborough,
was a distance of ninety miles by river and only thirty miles by land.
There was but one bridge over the river, from its head to Conwayborough,
and it was built by Mr. James Wortham, twenty years before, for his
plantation. This bridge was twenty miles below Piraway, and from it by
land to a settlement on Little River, which empties into the Atlantic,
was a distance of only five miles. A short canal would connect this
river and its lumber regions with Little River and the sea.

For the first time in my experience as a traveller I had entered a
country where the miles were _short_. When fifteen years old I made my
first journey alone and on foot from the vicinity of Boston to the White
Mountains of New Hampshire. This boyish pedestrian trip occupied about
twenty-one days, and covered some three hundred miles of hard tramping.
New England gives honest measure on the finger-posts along her highways.
The traveller learns by well-earned experience the length of _her_
miles; but in the wilderness of the south there is no standard of five
thousand two hundred and eighty feet to a statute mile, and the watermen
along the sea-coast are ignorant of the fact that one-sixtieth of a
degree of latitude (about six thousand and eighty feet) is the
geographical and nautical mile of the cartographer, as well as the
"knot" of the sailor.

At Piraway Ferry no two of the raftsmen and lumbermen, ignorant or
educated, would give the same distance, either upon the lengths of
surveyed roads or unmeasured rivers. "It is one hundred and sixty-five
miles by river from Piraway Ferry to Conwayborough," said one who had
travelled the route for years. The most moderate estimate made was that
of ninety miles by river. The reader, therefore, must not accuse me of
over-stating distances while absent from the seaboard, as my friends
of the Coast Survey Bureau have not yet penetrated into these interior
regions with their theodolites, plane-tables, and telametre-rods. To the
canoeist, who is ambitious to score up _miles_ instead of collecting
geographical notes, these wild rivers afford an excellent opportunity
to satisfy his aims.

From sixty to eighty miles can be rowed in ten hours as easily as forty
miles can be gone over upon a river of slow current in the northern
states. There is, I am sorry to say, a class of American travellers who
"_do_" all the capitals of Europe in the same business-like way, and if
they have anything to say in regard to every-day life in the countries
through which they pass, they forget to thank the compiler of the
guide-book for the information they possess.

There was but one room in the cabin of my new acquaintance, who
represented that class of piny-woods people called in the south--because
they subsist largely upon corn,--Corn Crackers, or Crackers. These
Crackers are the "poor white folks" of the planter, and "de white trash"
of the old slave, who now as a freedman is beginning to feel the
responsibility of his position.

These Crackers are a very kind-hearted people, but few of them can read
or write. The children of the negro, filled with curiosity and a
new-born pride, whenever opportunity permits, attend the schools in
large numbers; but the very indolent white man seems to be destitute of
all ambition, and his children, in many places in the south, following
close in the father's footsteps, grow up in an almost unimaginable

The news of the arrival of the little Maria Theresa at Piraway Ferry
spread with astonishing rapidity through the woods, and on Sunday, after
"de shoutings," as the negroes call their meetings, were over, the
blacks came in numbers to see "dat Yankee-man's paper canno."

These simple people eyed me from head to foot with a grave sort of
curiosity, their great mouths open, displaying pearly teeth of which a
white man might well be proud. "You is a good man, capt'n--we knows
dat," they said; and when I asked why, the answer showed their
child-like faith. "'Cause you couldn't hab come all dis way in a _paper_
boat if de Lord hadn't helped you. _He_ dono help only good folks."

The Cracker also came with his children to view the wonder, while the
raftsmen were so struck with the advantages of my double paddle, which
originated with the inhabitants of the Arctic regions, that they laid it
upon a board and drew its outlines with chalk. They vowed they would
introduce it upon the river.

These Crackers declared it would take more than "de shoutings," or any
other religious service, to improve the moral condition of the blacks.
They openly accused the colored preachers of disturbing the nocturnal
rest of their hens and turkeys; and as to hog-stealing and cow-killing,
"Why, we won't have any critters left ef this carpet-bag government
lasts much longer!" they feelingly exclaimed.

    "We does nothing to nobody. We lets the niggers alone; but
    niggers will steal--they can't help it, the poor devils; it's in
    'em. Now, ef they eats us out of house and home, what can a poor
    man do? They puts 'em up for justices of peace, and sends 'em to
    the legislature, when they can't read more'n us; and they do say
    it's 'cause we fit in the Confederate sarvice that they razes
    the nigger over our heads. Now, does the folkes up north like to
    see white people tyrannized over by niggers? Jes tell 'em when
    you go back, stranger, that we's got soulds like yours up north,
    and we's got feelings too, by thunder! jes like other white men.
    This was a white man's country once--now it's all niggers and
    dogs. Why, them niggers in the legislature has spit-boxes lined
    with gold to spit in! What's this country a-coming to? We wish
    the niggers no harm if they lets our hogs and chickens alone."

After this tirade it was amusing to see how friendly the whites and
blacks were. The Crackers conversed with these children of Ham, who had
been stealing their hams for so long a time, in the most kindly way,
realizing, perhaps, that they had various peculiar traits of their own,
and must, after all, endure their neighbors.

A traveller should place facts before his readers, and leave to them the
drawing of the moral. Northern men and women who go to the southern
states and reside for even the short space of a year or two, invariably
change their life-long views and principles regarding the negro as a
moral and social creature. When these people return to their homes in
Maine or Massachusetts (as did the representatives of the Granges of the
northern states after they had visited South Carolina in 1875) a new
light, derived from contact with _facts_, dawns upon them, while their
surprised and untravelled neighbors say: "_So you have become Southern
in your views._ I never would have thought that of _you_."

The railroad has become one of the great mediums of enlightenment to
mankind, and joins in a social fraternity the disunited elements of a
country. God grant that the resources of the great South may soon be
developed by the capital and free labor of the North. Our sister states
of the South, exhausted by the struggles of the late war which resulted
in consolidating more firmly than ever the great Union, are now ready to
receive every honest effort to develop their wealth or cultivate their
territory. Let every national patriot give up narrowness of views and
sectional selfishness and become acquainted with (not the politicians)
the people of the New South, and a harmony of feeling will soon possess
the hearts of all true lovers of a government of the people.

The swamp tributaries were swelling the river into a very rapid torrent
as I paddled away from the ferry on Monday, January 18. A warmer
latitude having been reached, I could dispense with one blanket, and
this I had presented to my kind host, who had refused to accept payment
for his hospitality. He was very proud of his present, and said,
feelingly, "No one shall touch this but me." His good wife had baked
some of a rich and very nice variety of sweet-potatoes, unlike those we
get in New Jersey or the other Middle States--which potatoes she kindly
added to my stores. They are not dry or mealy when cooked, but seem
saturated with honey. The poor woman's gift now occupied the space
formerly taken up by the blanket I had given her husband.

From this day, as latitude after latitude was crossed on my way
southward, I distributed every article I could spare, among these poor,
kind-hearted people. Mr. Macgregor went in his Rob Roy canoe over the
rivers of Europe, "diffusing cheerfulness and distributing Evangelical
tracts." I had no room for tracts, and if I had followed the example of
my well-intentioned predecessor in canoeing, it would have served the
cause of truth or creed but little. The Crackers could not read, and but
few of the grown negroes had been taught letters. They did not want
books, but tobacco. Men and women hailed me from the banks as I glided
along in my canoe, with, "Say, captain, hab you eny 'bacca or snuff for
dis chile?" Poor humanity! The Cracker and the freedman fill alike their
places according to the light they possess. Do we, who have been taught
from our youth sacred things, do more than this? Do we love our neighbor
as ourself?

For twenty miles (local authority) I journeyed down the stream, without
seeing a human being or a dwelling-place, to Stanley's house and the
bridge; from which I urged the canoe thirty-five miles further, passing
an old field on a bluff, when darkness settled on the swamps, and a
heavy mist rose from the waters and enveloped the forests in its folds.
With not a trace of land above water I groped about, running into what
appeared to be openings in the submerged land, only to find my canoe
tangled in thickets. It was useless to go further, and I prepared to
ascend to the forks of a giant tree, with a light rope, to be used for
lashing my body into a safe position, when a long, low cry engaged my

"Waugh! ho! ho! ho! peig--peig--pe-ig--pe-ig," came through the still,
thick air. It was not an owl, nor a catamount that cried thus; nor was
it the bark of a fox. It was the voice of a Cracker calling in his hogs
from the forest. This sound was indeed pleasant to my ears, for I knew
the upland was near, and that a warm fire awaited my benumbed limbs in
the cabin of this unknown man. Pushing the canoe towards the sound, and
feeling the submerged border of the swamp with my paddle, I struck the
upland where it touched the water, and disembarking, felt my way along
a well-trodden path to a little clearing. Here a drove of hogs were
crowding around their owner, who was scattering kernels of corn about
him as he vociferated, "pe-ig--pe-ig--pe-ig--pig--pig--pig." We stood
face to face, yet neither could see the face of the other in the
darkness. I told my tale, and asked where I could find a sheltered
spot to camp.

"Stranger," slowly replied the Cracker, "my cabin's close at hand. Come
home with me. It's a bad night for a man to lay out in; and the niggers
would steal your traps if they knew you had anything worth taking. Come
with me."

In the tall pines near at hand was a cabin of peeled rails, the chinks
between them being stuffed with moss. A roof of cypress shingles kept
the rain out. The log chimney, which was plastered with mud, was built
outside of the walls and against an end of the rustic-looking structure.
The wide-mouthed fireplace sent forth a blaze of light as we entered the
poor man's home. I saw in the nicely swept floor, the clean bed-spreads,
and the general neatness of the place, the character of Wilson Edge's

"Hog and hominy's our food here in the piny woods," said Mr. Edge, as
his wife invited us to the little table; "and we've a few eggs now and
then to eat with sweet potatoes, but it's up-hill work to keep the
niggers from killing every fowl and animal we have. The carpet-bag
politicians promised them every one, for his vote, forty acres of land
and a mule. They sed as how the northern government was a-going to give
it to um; but the poor devils never got any thanks even for their votes.
They had been stuffed with all sorts of notions by the carpet-baggers,
and I don't blame um for putting on airs and trying to rule us. It's
human natur, that's all. We don't blame the niggers half so much as
those who puts it in their heads to do so; but it's hard times we've
had, we poor woods folks. They took our children for the cussed war,
to fight fur niggers and rich people as owned um.

"We never could find out what all the fuss was about; but when Jeff
Davis made a law to exempt every man from the army who owned fifteen
niggers, then our blood riz right up, and we sez to our neighbors, 'This
ere thing's a-getting to be a rich man's quarrel and a poor man's
fight.' After all they dragged off my boy to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania,
and killed him a fighting for what? Why, for rich nigger owners. Our
young men hid in the swamps, but they were hunted up and forced into the
army. Niggers has been our ruin. Ef a white man takes a case before a
nigger justice, he gives the nigger everything, and the white man has to
stand one side. Now, would you folks up north like to have a nigger
justice who can't read nor count ten figgurs?"

I tried to comfort the poor man, by assuring him that outside of the
political enemies of our peace, the masses in the north were honestly
inclined towards the south now that slavery was at an end; and that
wrong could not long prevail, with the cheerful prospect of a new
administration, and the removal of all unconstitutional forces that
preyed upon the south.

The two beds in the single room of the cabin were occupied by the
family; while I slept upon the floor by the fire, with my blankets for
a couch and a roll of homespun for a pillow, which the women called
"_heading_." They often said, "Let me give you some heading for your
bed." We waited until eight o'clock the next day for the mists to
rise from the swamps. My daily trouble was now upon me. How could I
remunerate a southerner for his cost of keeping me, when not, in the
true sense of the word, an invited guest to his hospitality?

Wilson Edge sat by the fire, while his wife and little ones were
preparing to accompany me to see the paper boat. "Mr. Edge," I
stammered, "you have treated me with great kindness, your wife has been
put to some inconvenience, as I came in so unexpected a manner, and you
will really oblige me if you will accept a little money for all this;
though money cannot pay for your hospitality. Grant my wish, and you
will send me away with a light heart." The poor Cracker lowered his head
and slowly ran his fingers through his coal black hair. For a moment he
seemed studying a reply, and then he spoke as though HE represented the
whole generous heart of the south.

"_Stranger_," he slowly articulated, "_Stranger, I have known white men
to be niggers enough to take a stranger's money for lodgings and
vittles, but I am not that man_."

We found the canoe as it had been left the night before, and I was soon
pulling down the river. The great wilderness was traversed thirty miles
to the county town of Conwayborough, where the negroes roared with
laughter at the working of the double paddle, as I shot past the
landing-place where cotton and naval stores were piled, waiting to be
lightered nine miles to Pot Bluff,--so called from the fact of a pot
being lost from a vessel near it,--which place is reached by vessels
from New York drawing twelve feet of water. Though still a long distance
from the ocean, I was beginning to feel its tidal influences. At Pot
Bluff, the landing and comfortable home of its owner, Mr. Z. W.
Dusenberry, presented a pleasant relief after the monotony of the great
pine forests. This enterprising business man made my short stay a very
pleasant one.

Wednesday, January 20th, was cold for this latitude, and ice formed in
thin sheets in the water-pails. Twenty-two miles below Pot Bluff, Bull
Creek enters the Waccamaw from the Peedee River. At the mouth of this
connecting watercourse is Tip Top, the first rice plantation of the
Waccamaw. The Peedee and its sister stream run an almost parallel course
from Bull Creek to Winyah Bay, making their debouchure close to the city
of Georgetown. Steam saw-mills and rice plantations take the place of
the forests from a few miles below Tip Top to the vicinity of

Mr. M. L. Blakely, of New York, one of the largest shingle manufacturers
of the south, occupied as his headquarters the Bates Hill Plantation, on
the Peedee. This gentleman had invited me, through the medium of the
post-office, to visit him in the rice-growing regions of South Carolina.
To reach his home I took the short "cut-off" which Bull Creek offered,
and entered upon the strongest of head-currents. The thick, yellow,
muddy torrent of the Peedee rushed through Bull Creek with such volume,
that I wondered if it left much water on the other side, to give
character to the river, as it followed its own channel to Winyah Bay.

One and a half miles of vigorous paddling brought me to a branch of the
watercourse, which is much narrower than the main one, and is
consequently called Little Bull Creek. This also comes from the Peedee
River, and its source is nearer to the Bates Hill plantation than the
main Bull Creek. To urge the canoe up this narrow stream three miles and
a half to the parent river Peedee, was a most trying ordeal. At times
the boat would not move a hundred feet in five minutes, and often, as my
strength seemed failing me, I caught the friendly branches of trees, and
held on to keep the canoe from being whirled down the current towards
the Waccamaw. After long and persistent efforts had exhausted my
strength, I was about to seek for a resting-place in the swamp, when a
view of the broad Peedee opened before me, and with vigorous strokes of
the paddle the canoe slowly approached the mighty current. A moment more
and it was within its grasp, and went flying down the turbulent stream
at the rate of ten miles an hour.

A loud halloo greeted me from the swamp, where a party of negro
shingle-makers were at work. They manned their boat, a long cypress
dug-out, and followed me. Their employer, who proved to be the gentleman
whose abiding-place I was now rapidly approaching, sat in the stern. We
landed together before the old plantation-house, which had been occupied
a few years before by members of the wealthy and powerful rice-planting
aristocracy of the Peedee, but was now the temporary home of a northern
man, who was busily employed in guiding the labors of his four hundred
freedmen in the swamps of North and South Carolina.

The paper canoe had now entered the regions of the rice-planter. Along
the low banks of the Peedee were diked marshes where, before the civil
war, each estate produced from five thousand to forty thousand bushels
of rice annually, and the lords of rice were more powerful than those of
cotton, though cotton was king. The rich lands here produced as high as
fifty-five bushels of rice to the acre, under forced slave labor; now
the free blacks cannot wrest from nature more than twenty-five or thirty

Fine old mansions lined the river's banks, but the families had been so
reduced by the ravages of war, that I saw refined ladies, who had been
educated in the schools of Edinburgh, Scotland, overseeing the negroes
as they worked in the yards of the rice-mills. The undaunted spirit of
these southern ladies, as they worked in their homes now so desolate,
roused my admiration.

A light, graceful figure, enveloped in an old shawl, and mounted on an
old horse, flitted about one plantation like a restless spirit.

"That lady's father," said a gentleman to me, "owned three plantations,
worth three millions of dollars, before the war. There is a rice-mill on
one of the plantations which cost thirty thousand dollars. She now
fights against misfortune, and will not give up. The Confederate war
would not have lasted six months if it had not been for our women. They
drove thousands of us young men into the fight; and now, having lost
all, they go bravely to work, even taking the places of their old
servants in their grand old homes. It's hard for them, though, I assure

On Tuesday, January 25th, I paddled down the Peedee, stopping at the
plantations of Dr. Weston and Colonel Benjamin Allston. The latter
gentleman was a son of one of the governors of South Carolina. He kindly
gave me a letter of introduction to Commodore Richard Lowndes, who lived
near the coast. From the Peedee I passed through a cut in the marshes
into the broad Waccamaw, and descended it to Winyah Bay.

Georgetown is located between the mouths of the Peedee and Sampit
rivers. Cautiously approaching the city, I landed at Mr. David Risley's
steam saw-mills, and that gentleman kindly secreted my boat in a back
counting-room, while I went up town to visit the post-office. By some,
to me, unaccountable means, the people had heard of the arrival of the
paper boat, and three elaborately dressed negro women accosted me with,
"Please show wees tree ladies de little paper boat."

Before I had reached my destination, the post-office, a body of men met
me, on their way to the steam-mill. The crowd forced me back to the
canoe, and asked so many questions that I was sorely taxed to find
answers for these gentlemen. There were three editors in the crowd: two
were white men, one a negro. The young men, who claimed the position of
representatives of the spirit of the place and of the times, published
"The Comet," while the negro, as though influenced by a spirit of
sarcasm, conducted "The Planet." The third newspaper represented at the
canoe reception was the "Georgetown Times," which courteously noticed
the little boat that had come so far. The "Planet" prudently kept in the
dark, and said nothing, but "The Comet," representing the culture of the
young men of the city, published the following notice of my arrival:

    "Tom Collins has at last arrived in his wonderful paper boat. He
    has it hitched to Mr. Risley's new saw-mill, where every one can
    have a view. He intends shooting off his six-pounder before
    weighing anchor in the morning. Hurrah for Collins."

I left Mr. Risley's comfortable home before noon the next day, and
followed the shores of Winyah Bay towards the sea. Near Battery White,
on the right shore, in the pine forests, was the birth-place of Marion,
the brave patriot of the American revolution, whose bugle's call
summoned the youth of those days to arms.

When near the inlet, the rice-plantation marshes skirted the shore for
some distance. Out of these wet lands flowed a little stream, called
Mosquito Creek, which once connected the North Santee River with Winyah
Bay, and served as a boundary to South Island. The creek was very
crooked, and the ebb-tide strong. When more than halfway to Santee River
I was forced to leave the stream, as it had become closed by tidal
deposits and rank vegetation.

The ditches of rice plantations emptied their drainage of the lowlands
into Mosquito Creek. Following a wide ditch to the right, through fields
of rich alluvial soil, which had been wrested by severe toil from
nature, the boat soon reached the rice-mill of Commodore Richard
Lowndes. A little further on, and situated in a noble grove of
live-oaks, which were draped in the weird festoons of Spanish moss, on
the upland arose the stately home of the planter, who still kept his
plantation in cultivation, though on a scale of less magnitude than
formerly. It was, indeed, a pleasant evening that I passed in the
company of the refined members of the old commodore's household, and
with a pang of regret the next day I paddled along the main canal of the
lowlands, casting backward glances at the old house, with its grand old
trees. The canal ended at North Santee Bay.

While I was preparing to ascend the river a tempest arose, which kept
me a weary prisoner among the reeds of the rice marsh. The hollow
reeds made poor fuel for cooking, and when the dark, stormy night shut
down upon me, the damp soil grew damper as the tide arose, until it
threatened to overflow the land. For hours I lay in my narrow canoe
waiting for the tidal flood to do its worst, but it receded, and left
me without any means of building a fire, as the reeds were wet by the
storm. The next afternoon, being tired of this sort of prison-life,
and cramped for lack of exercise, I launched the canoe into the rough
water, and crossing to Crow Island found a lee under its shores, which
permitted me to ascend the river to the mouth of Atchison Creek,
through which I passed, two miles, to the South Santee River.

All these rivers are bordered by rice plantations, many of them having
been abandoned to the care of the freedmen. I saw no white men upon
them. Buildings and dikes are falling into ruins, and the river
freshets frequently inundate the land. Many of the owners of these
once valuable estates are too much reduced in wealth to attempt their
proper cultivation. It is in any case difficult to get the freedmen to
work through an entire season, even when well paid for their services,
and they flock to the towns whenever opportunity permits.

The North and South Santee rivers empty into the Atlantic, but their
entrances are so shallow that Georgetown Entrance is the inlet through
which most of the produce of the country--pitch, tar, turpentine, rice,
and lumber--finds exit to the sea. As I left the canal, which, with the
creek, makes a complete thoroughfare for lighters and small coasters
from one Santee River to the other, a renewal of the tempest made me
seek shelter in an old cabin in a negro settlement, each house of which
was built upon piles driven into the marshes. The old negro overseer of
the plantation hinted to me that his "hands were berry spicious of ebbry
stranger," and advised me to row to some other locality. I told him I
was from the north, and would not hurt even one of the fleas which in
multitudes infested his negroes' quarters; but the old fellow shook his
head, and would not be responsible for me if I staid there all night. A
tall darkey, who had listened to the conversation, broke in with, "Now,
uncle, ye knows dat if dis gemmum is from de norf he is one of wees, and
ye must _du_ fur him jis _dis_ time." But "Uncle Overseer" kept
repeating, "Some niggers here is mity spicious. Du not no who white man
is anyhow." "Well, uncle," replied the tall black, "ef dis man is a
Yankee-mans, Ise will see him _froo_."

Then he questioned me, while the fleas, having telegraphed to each other
that a stranger had arrived, made sad havoc of me and my patience.

"My name's Jacob Gilleu; what's yourn?" I gave it. "Whar's your home?"
came next. "I am a citizen of the United States," I replied. "De 'Nited
States--whar's dat? neber hurd him afore," said Jacob Gilleu. Having
informed him it was the land which General Grant governed, he exclaimed:
"O, you's a _Grant_ man; all rite den; you is one of wees--all de same
as wees. Den look a-here, boss. I send you to one good place on
Alligator Creek, whar Seba Gillings libs. He black man, but he treat you
jes like white man."

Jacob helped me launch my boat through the soft mud, which nearly
stalled us; and following his directions I paddled across the South
Santee and coasted down to Alligator Creek, where extensive marshes,
covered by tall reeds, hid the landscape from my view. About half a mile
from the mouth of the creek, which watercourse was on my direct route to
Bull's Bay, a large tide-gate was found at the mouth of a canal. This
being wide open, I pushed up the canal to a low point of land which rose
like an island out of the rushes. Here was a negro hamlet of a dozen
houses, or shanties, and the ruins of a rice-mill. The majority of the
negroes were absent working within the diked enclosures of this large
estate, which before the war had produced forty thousand bushels of rice
annually. Now the place was leased by a former slave, and but little
work was accomplished under the present management.

Seba Gillings, a powerfully built negro, came to the dike upon which I
had landed the canoe. I quickly told him my story, and how I had been
forced to leave the last negro quarters. I used Jacob Gilleu's name as
authority for seeking shelter with him from the damps of the
half-submerged lands. The dignified black man bade me "fear nuffing,
stay here all de night, long's you please; treat you like white man.
I'se mity poor, but gib you de berry best I hab." He locked my boat in a
rickety old storehouse, and gave me to understand "dat niggers will
steal de berry breff from a man's mouff."

He took me to his home, and soon showed me how he managed "de niggers."
His wife sat silently by the fire. He ordered her to "pound de rice;"
and she threw a quantity of unhulled rice into a wooden mortar three
feet high planted in the ground in front of the shanty. Then, with an
enormous pestle, the black woman pounded the grains until the hulls were
removed, when, seating herself upon the floor of the dark, smoky cabin,
she winnowed the rice with her breath, while her long, slim fingers
caught and removed all the specks of dirt from the mass. It was cooked
as the Chinese cook it--not to a glutinous mass, as we of the north
prepare it--but each grain was dry and entire. Then eggs and bacon were
prepared; not by the woman, but by the son, a lad of fourteen years.

All these movements were superintended by old Seba, who sat looking as
dark and as solemn and as learned as an associate judge on the bench of
a New Jersey county court. On the blackest of tables, minus a cloth, the
well-cooked food was placed for the stranger. As soon as my meal was
finished, every member of the family made a dash for the fragments, and
the board was cleared in a wonderfully short space of time.

Then we gathered round the great, black-mouthed fireplace, and while the
bright coals of live-oak spread a streak of light through the darkness,
black men and black women stole into the room until everything from
floor to ceiling, from door to chimney-place, seemed to be growing
blacker and blacker, and I felt as black as my surroundings. The scant
clothing of the men only half covered their shiny, ebony skins. The
whole company preserved a dignified silence, which was occasionally
broken by deep sighs coming from the women in reply to a half-whispered
"All de way from de norf in a _paper_ canno--bless de Lord! bless de

This dull monotony was broken by the entrance of a young negro who,
having made a passage in a sloop to Charleston through Bull's Bay, was
looked upon as a great traveller, and to him were referred disputes upon
nautical matters. He had not yet seen the boat, but he proceeded to
tell the negroes present all about it. He first bowed to me with a
"How'dy, how'dy, cap'n," and then struck an attitude in the middle of
the floor. Upon this natural orator Seba Gillings' dignity had no
effect--was he not a travelled man?

His exordium was: "How fur you cum, sar?" I replied, about fourteen
hundred miles. "Fourteen hundred miles!" he roared; "duz you knows how
much dat is, honnies? it's jes _one tousand_ four hundred miles." All
the women groaned out, "Bless de Lord! bless de Lord!" and clapped their
shrivelled hands in ecstasy.

The little black tried to run his fingers through his short, woolly hair
as he continued: "What is dis yere world a-coming to? Now, yous ere
folks, did ye's eber hear de likes o' dis--a _paper_ boat?" To which the
crones replied, clapping their hands, "Bless de Lord! bless de Lord!
Only the Yankee-mens up norf can make de _paper_ boats. Bless de Lord!"

"And what," continued the orator, "and what will the Yankee-mens do
next? Dey duz ebery ting. Can dey bring a man back agen? Can dey bring a
man back to bref?" "No! no!" howled the women; "only de Lord can bring a
man back agen--no Yankee-mens can do dat. Bless de Lord! bless de Lord!"
"And what sent dis Yankee-man _one tousand_ four hundred miles in his
_paper_ boat?" "De Lord! de Lord! bless de Lord!" shouted the now highly
excited women, violently striking the palms of their hands together.

"And why," went on this categorical negro, "did de _Lord_ send him down
souf in de _paper_ boat?" "Kase he couldn't hab cum in de _paper_ boat
ef de Lord hadn't a-sent him. O, bless de Lord! bless de Lord!" "And
what duz he call his paper boat?" "Maria Theresa," I replied. "Maria
Truss Her," cried the orator. "He calls her Maria Truss Her. Berry good,
berry good name; kase he truss his life in her ebry day, and dat's why
he calls his little boat Truss Her. Yes, de Yankee-mans makes de
gunboats and de paper boats. Has de gemmin from de norf any bacca for
dis yere chile?"

As the women had become very piously inclined, and were in just the
state of nervous excitement to commence "de shoutings," old Uncle Seba
rudely informed them that "de Yankee-mans wants sleep," and cleared the
room of the crowd, to my great relief, for the state of the atmosphere
was beyond description. Seba had a closet where he kept onions, muskrat
skins, and other pieces of personal property. He now set his wife to
sweeping it out, and I spread my clean blankets with a sigh upon the
black floor, knowing I should carry away in the morning more than I had
brought into Seba's dwelling.

I will not now expatiate upon the small annoyances of travel; but to the
canoeist who may follow the southern watercourses traversed by the paper
canoe, I would quietly say, "Keep away from cabins of all kinds, and you
will by so doing travel with a light heart and even temper."

When I cast up my account with old Seba the next morning, he said that
by trading the rice he raised he could obtain "bout ebbry ting he
wanted, 'cept rum." Rum was his medicine. So long as he kept a little
stowed away, he admitted he was often sick. Having been destitute of
cash, and consequently of rum for some time, he acknowledged his state
of health remarkable; and he was a model of strength and manly
development. All the other negroes were dwarfish-looking specimens,
while their hair was so very short that it gave them the appearance of
being bald.

When the canoe was taken out of the storehouse to be put into the canal,
these half-naked, ebony-skinned creatures swarmed about it like bees.
Not a trace of white blood could be detected in them. Each tried to put
a finger upon the boat. They seemed to regard it as a Fetich; and, I
believe, had it been placed upon an end they would have bowed down and
paid their African devotions to it. Only the oldest ones could speak
English well enough to be understood. The youths chattered in African
tongue, and wore talismans about their necks. They were, to say the
least, verging on barbarism. The experience gathered among the blacks of
other lands impressed me with the well-founded belief, that in more than
one place in the south would the African Fetich be set up and worshipped
before long, unless the church bestirs herself to look well to her
_home_ missions.

In all my travels, outside of the cities, in the south it has not been
my good fortune to find an educated white man preaching to negroes, yet
everywhere the poor blacks gather in the log-cabin, or rudely
constructed church, to listen to ignorant preachers of their own color.
The blind leading the blind.

A few men of negro extraction, with white blood in their veins, not any
more negro than white man, consequently _not_ negroes in the true sense
of the word, are sent from the negro colleges of the south to lecture
northern congregations upon the needs of _their_ race; and these
one-quarter, or perhaps three-quarters, white men are, with their
intelligence, and sometimes brilliant oratory, held up as true types of
the negro race by northerners; while there is, in fact, as much
difference between the pure-blooded negro of the rice-field and this
false representative of "his needs," as can well be imagined.

An Irishman, just from the old country, listened one evening to the
fascinating eloquence of a mulatto freedman. The good Irishman had never
seen a pure-blooded black man. The orator said, "I am only half a black
man. My mother was a slave, my father a white planter." "Be jabbers,"
shouted the excited Irishman, who was charmed with the lecturer, "if you
are only half a nigger, what must a _whole one_ be like!"

The blacks were kind and civil, as they usually are when fairly treated.
They stood upon the dike and shouted unintelligible farewells as I
descended the canal to Alligator Creek. This thoroughfare soon carried
me on its salt-water current to the sea; for I missed a narrow entrance
to the marshes, called the Eye of the Needle (a steamboat thoroughfare),
and found myself upon the calm sea, which pulsated in long swells. To
the south was the low island of Cape Roman, which, like a protecting
arm, guarded the quiet bay behind it. The marshes extended from the main
almost to the cape, while upon the edge of the rushy meadows, upon an
island just inside of the cape, rose the tower of Roman Light.

This was the first time my tiny shell had floated upon the ocean. I
coasted the sandy beach of the muddy lowlands, towards the light-house,
until I found a creek debouching from the marsh, which I entered, and
from one watercourse to another, without a chart, found my way at dusk
into Bull's Bay. The sea was rolling in and breaking upon the shore,
which I was forced to hug closely, as the old disturbers of my peace,
the porpoises, were visible, fishing in numbers. To escape the dangerous
raccoon oyster reefs of the shoal water the canoe was forced into a
deeper channel, when the lively porpoises chased the boat and drove me
back again on to the sharp-lipped shells. It was fast growing dark, and
no place of refuge nearer than the upland, a long distance across the
soft marsh, which was even now wet with the sea.

The rough water of the sound, the oyster reefs which threatened to
pierce my boat, and a coast which would be submerged by the next
flood-tide, all seemed to conspire against me. Suddenly my anxiety was
relieved, and gratitude filled my heart, as the tall masts of a schooner
rose out of the marshes not far from the upland, telling me that a
friendly creek was near at hand. Its wide mouth soon opened invitingly
before me, and I rowed towards the beautiful craft anchored in its
current, the trim rig of which plainly said--the property of the United
States. An officer stood on the quarterdeck watching my approach through
his glass; and, as I was passing the vessel, a sailor remarked to his
mates, "That is the paper canoe. I was in Norfolk, last December, when
it reached the Elizabeth River."

The officer kindly hailed me, and offered me the hospitality of the
Coast-Survey schooner "Caswell." In the cosiest of cabins, Mr. W. H.
Dennis, with his co-laborers Messrs. Ogden and Bond, with their
interesting conversation soon made me forget the discomforts of the last
three days spent in the muddy flats among the lowland negroes. From
poor, kind Seba Gillings' black cabin-floor, to the neat state-room,
with its snowy sheets and clean towels, where fresh, pure water could be
used without stint, was indeed a transition. The party expected to
complete their work as far as Charleston harbor before the season

The Sunday spent on the "Caswell" greatly refreshed me. On Saturday
evening Mr. Dennis traced upon a sheet of paper my route through the
interior coast watercourses to Charleston harbor; and I left the pretty
schooner on Monday, fully posted for my voyage. The tide commenced
flooding at eleven A. M., and the flats soon afforded me water for their
passage in the vicinity of the shore. Heavy forests covered the uplands,
where a few houses were visible. Bull's Island, with pines and a few
cabbage palms, was on my left as I reached the entrance of the southern
thoroughfare at the end of the bay. Here, in the intricacies of creeks
and passages through the islands, and made careless by the possession
of Mr. Dennis' chart, I several times blundered into the wrong course;
and got no further that afternoon than Price's Inlet, though I rowed
more than twenty miles. Some eight miles of the distance rowed was lost
by ascending and descending creeks by mistake.

After a weary day's work shelter was found in a house close by the sea,
on the shores of Price's Inlet; where, in company with a young
fisherman, who was in the employ of Mr. Magwood, of Charleston, I slept
upon the floor in my blankets. Charles Hucks, the fisherman, asserted
that three albino deer were killed on Caper's Island the previous
winter. Two were shot by a negro, while he killed the third. Messrs.
Magwood, Terry, and Noland, of Charleston, one summer penned beside the
water one thousand old terrapin, to hold them over for the winter
season. These "diamond-backs" would consume five bushels of shrimps in
one hour when fed. A tide of unusual height washed out the terrapins
from their "crawl," and with them disappeared all anticipated results of
the experiment.

The next day, Caper's Island and Inlet, Dewees' Inlet, Long Island, and
Breach Inlet were successively passed, on strong tidal currents.
Sullivan's Island is separated from Long Island by Breach Inlet. While
following the creeks in the marshes back of Sullivan's Island, the
compact mass of buildings of Moultrieville, at its western end, at the
entrance of Charleston harbor, rose imposingly to view.

The gloomy mantle of darkness was settling over the harbor as the paper
canoe stole quietly into its historic waters. Before me lay the quiet
bay, with old Fort Sumter rising from the watery plain like a spectral
giant, as though to remind one that this had been the scene of mighty
struggles. The tranquil waters softly rippled a response to the touch of
my oars; all was peace and quiet here, where, only a few short years
before, the thunder of cannon woke a thousand echoes, and the waves were
stained with the lifeblood of America,--where war, with her iron throat,
poured out destruction, and God's creatures, men, made after his own
image, destroyed each other ruthlessly, having never, in all that
civilization had done for them, discovered any other way of settling
their difficulties than by this wholesale murder.

The actors in this scene were scattered now; they had returned to the
farm, the workshop, the desk, and the pulpit. The old flag again floated
upon the ramparts of Sumter, and a government was trying to reconstruct
itself, so that the Great Republic should become more thoroughly a
government of the people, founded upon equal rights to all men.

A sharp, scraping sound under my boat roused me from my revery, for I
had leaned upon my oars while the tide had carried me slowly but surely
upon the oyster-reefs, from which I escaped with some slight damage to
my paper shell. Newspaper reading had impressed upon me a belief that
the citizens of the city which played so important a part in the late
civil war might not treat kindly a Massachusetts man. I therefore
decided to go up to the city upon the ferry-boat for the large mail
which awaited my arrival at the Charleston post-office, after receiving
which I intended to return to Mount Pleasant, and cross the bay to the
entrance of the southern watercourses, leaving the city as quietly as I
entered it.

My curiosity was, however, aroused to see how, under the new
reconstruction rule, things were conducted in the once proud city of
Charleston. As I stood at the window of the post-office delivery, and
inquired through the narrow window for my letters, a heavy shadow seemed
to fall upon me as the head of a negro appeared. The black post-office
official's features underwent a sudden change as I pronounced my name,
and, while a warm glow of affection lighted up his dark face, he thrust
his whole arm through the window, and grasped my hand with a vigorous
shake in the most friendly manner, as though upon his shoulders rested
the good name of the people.


"_Welcome_ to Charleston, Mr. B----, _welcome_ to our beautiful city,"
he exclaimed. So _this_ was Charleston under reconstruction.

After handing me my mail, the postmaster graciously remarked, "Our rule
is to close the office at five o'clock P. M., but if you are belated any
day, tap at the door, and I will attend you."

This was my first welcome to Charleston; but before I could return to my
quarters at Mount Pleasant, members of the Chamber of Commerce, the
Carolina Club, and others, pressed upon me kind attentions and
hospitalities, while Mr. James L. Frazer, of the South Carolina Regatta
Association, sent for the Maria Theresa, and placed it in charge of the
wharfinger of the Southern Wharf, where many ladies and gentlemen
visited it.

When I left the old city, a few days later, I blushed to think how I had
doubted these people, whose reputation for hospitality to strangers had
been world-wide for more than half a century.

While here I was the guest of Rev. G. R. Brackett, the well-loved pastor
of one of Charleston's churches. It was with feelings of regret I turned
my tiny craft towards untried waters, leaving behind me the beautiful
city of Charleston, and the friends who had so kindly cared for the
lonely canoeist.




Captain N. L. Coste, and several other Charleston pilots, drew and
presented to me charts of the route to be followed by the paper canoe
through the Sea Island passages, from the Ashley to the Savannah River,
as some of the smaller watercourses near the upland were not, in 1875,
upon any engraved chart of the Coast Survey.

[Illustration: From Bull's Bay, South Carolina, to St. Simon's Sound,

Route of Paper Canoe MARIA THERESA From Bull's Bay, N.C.
to St. Simon's Sound, Ga. Followed by N. H. Bishop in 1875
_Copyright, 1878 by Lee & Shepard_]

Ex-Governor William Aiken, whose rice plantation on Jehossee Island was
considered, before the late war, the model one of the south, invited me
to pass the following Sunday with him upon his estate, which was about
sixty-five miles from Charleston, and along one of the interior water
routes to Savannah. He proposed to leave his city residence and travel
by land, while I paddled my canoe southward to meet him. The genial
editor of the "News and Courier" promised to notify the people of my
departure, and have the citizens assembled to give me a South Carolina
adieu. To avoid this publicity,--so kindly meant,--I quietly left the
city from the south side on Friday, February 12th, and ascended the
Ashley to Wappoo Creek, on the opposite bank of the river.

A steamboat sent me a screaming salute as the mouth of the Wappoo was
reached, which made me feel that, though in strange waters, friends were
all around me. I was now following one of the salt-water, steamboat
passages through the great marshes of South Carolina. From Wappoo Creek
I took the "Elliot Cut" into the broad Stono River, from behind the
marshes of which forests rose upon the low bluffs of the upland, and
rowed steadily on to Church Flats, where Wide Awake, with its landing
and store, nestled on the bank.

A little further on the tides divided, one ebbing through the Stono to
the sea, the other towards the North Edisto. "New Cut" connects Church
Flats with Wadmelaw Sound, a sheet of water not over two miles in width
and the same distance in length. From the sound the Wadmelaw River runs
to the mouth of the Dahoo. Vessels drawing eight and a half feet of
water can pass on full tides from Charleston over the course I was
following to the North Edisto River.

Leaving Wadmelaw Sound, a deep bend of the river was entered, when the
bluffs of Enterprise Landing, with its store and the ruins of a burnt
saw-mill, came into view on the left. Having rowed more than thirty
miles from the Ashley, and finding that the proprietor of Enterprise, a
Connecticut gentleman, had made preparations to entertain me, this day
of pleasant journeying ended.

The Cardinal-bird was carolling his matin song when the members of this
little New England colony watched my departure down the Wadmelaw the
next morning. The course was for the most part over the submerged
phosphate beds of South Carolina, where the remains of extinct species
were now excavated, furnishing food for the worn-out soils of America
and Europe, and interesting studies and speculations for men of science.
The Dahoo River was reached soon after leaving Enterprise. Here the
North Edisto, a broad river, passes the mouth of the Dahoo, in its
descent to the sea, which is about ten miles distant.

For two miles along the Dahoo the porpoises gave me strong proof of
their knowledge of the presence of the paper canoe by their rough
gambols, but being now in quiet inland waters, I could laugh at these
strange creatures as they broke from the water around the boat. At four
o'clock P. M. the extensive marshes of Jehossee Island were reached, and
I approached the village of the plantation through a short canal.

Out of the rice-fields of rich, black alluvium rose an area of higher
land, upon which were situated the mansion and village of Governor
Aiken, where he, in 1830, commenced his duties as rice-planter. A hedge
of bright green casino surrounded the well-kept garden, within which
magnolias and live-oaks enveloped the solid old house, screening it with
their heavy foliage from the strong winds of the ocean, while flowering
shrubs of all descriptions added their bright and vivid coloring to the
picturesque beauty of the scene.

The governor had arrived at Jehossee before me, and Saturday being
pay-day, the faces of the negroes were wreathed in smiles. Here, in
his quiet island home, I remained until Monday with this most
excellent man and patriot, whose soul had been tried as by fire
during the disturbances caused by the war.

As we sat together in that room where, in years gone by, Governor
Aiken had entertained his northern guests, with Englishmen of noble
blood,--a room full of reminiscences both pleasant and painful,--my
kind host freely told me the story of his busy life, which sounded
like a tale of romance. He had tried to stay the wild storm of
secession when the war-cloud hung gloomily over his state. It broke,
and his unheeded warnings were drowned in the thunders of the
political tempest that swept over the fair south. Before the war he
owned one thousand slaves. He organized schools to teach his negroes
to read and write. The improvement of their moral condition was his
great study.

The life he had entered upon, though at first distasteful, had been
forced upon him, and he met his peculiar responsibilities with a true
Christian desire to benefit all within his reach. When a young man,
having returned from the tour of Europe, his father presented him with
Jehossee Island, an estate of five thousand acres, around which it
required four stout negro oarsmen to row him in a day. "Here," said
the father to the future governor of South Carolina, as he presented
the domain to his son,--"here are the means; now go to work and
develop them."

William Aiken applied himself industriously to the task of improving the
talents given him. His well-directed efforts bore good fruit, as year
after year Jehossee Island, from a half submerged, sedgy, boggy waste,
grew into one of the finest rice-plantations in the south. The new lord
of the manor ditched the marshes, and walled in his new rice-fields with
dikes, to keep out the freshets from the upland and the tides from the
ocean, perfecting a complete system of drainage and irrigation. He built
comfortable quarters for his slaves, and erected a church and
schoolhouse for their use. From the original two hundred and eighty
acres of cultivated rice land, the new proprietor developed the wild
morass into sixteen hundred acres of rice-fields, and six hundred acres
of vegetable, corn, and provender producing land.

For several seasons prior to the war, Jehossee yielded a rice crop which
sold for seventy thousand dollars, and netted annually fifty thousand
dollars income to the owner. At that time Governor Aiken had eight
hundred and seventy-three slaves on the island, and about one hundred
working as mechanics, &c., in Charleston. The eight hundred and
seventy-three Jehossee slaves, men, women, and children, furnished a
working force of three hundred for the rice-fields.

Mr. Aiken would not tolerate the loose matrimonial ways of negro life,
but compelled his slaves to accept the marriage ceremony; and herein lay
one of his chief difficulties, for, to whatever cause we attribute it,
the fact remains the same, namely, that the ordinary negro has no sense
of morality. After all the attempts made on this plantation to improve
the moral nature of these men and women, Governor Aiken, during a
yellow-fever season in Savannah after the war, while visiting the poor
sufferers, intent upon charitable works, found in the lowest quarter of
the city, sunk in the most abject depths of vice, men and women who had
once been good servants on his plantations.

In old times Jehossee was a happy place for master and for slave. The
governor rarely locked the door of his mansion. The family plate, valued
at fifteen thousand dollars, was stored in a chest in a room on the
ground-floor of the house, which had for its occupants, during four
months of the year, two or three negro servants. Though all the negroes
at the quarters, which were only a quarter of a mile from the mansion,
knew the valuable contents of the chest, it was never disturbed. They
stole small things, but seemed incapable of committing a burglary.

When the Union army marched through another part of South Carolina,
where Governor Aiken had buried these old family heirlooms and had added
to the original plate thirty thousand dollars' worth of his own
purchasing, the soldiers dug up this treasure-trove, and forty-five
thousand dollars' worth of fine silver went to enrich the spoils of the
Union army. Soon after, three thousand eight hundred bottles of fine old
wines, worth from eight to nine dollars a bottle, were dug up and
destroyed by a Confederate officer's order, to prevent the Union army
from capturing them. Thus was plundered an old and revered governor of
South Carolina--one who was a kind neighbor, a true patriot, and a
Christian gentleman.

The persecutions of the owner of Jehossee did not, however, terminate
with the war; for when the struggle was virtually ended, and the fair
mansion of the rice-plantation retained its heirlooms and its furniture,
Beaufort, of South Carolina, was still under the influence of the
Freedman's Bureau; and when it was whispered that Aiken's house was full
of nice old furniture, and that a few faithful servants of the good old
master were its only guards, covetous thoughts at once stirred the evil
minds of those who were the representatives of law and order. This house
was left almost without protection. The war was over. South Carolina had
bent her proud head in agony over her burned plantations and desolate
homes. The victorious army was now proclaiming peace, and generous
treatment to a fallen foe. Then to what an almost unimaginable state of
demoralization must some of the freedmen's protectors have fallen, when
they sent a gunboat to Jehossee Island, and rifled the old house of all
its treasures!

To-day, the governor's favorite sideboard stands in the house of a
citizen of Boston, as a relic of the war. O, people of the north, hold
no longer to your relics of the war, stolen from the firesides of the
south! Restore them to their owners, or else bury them out of the sight
of your children, that they may not be led to believe that the war for
the preservation of the Great Republic was a war for _plunder_;--else
did brave men fight, and good women pray in vain. Away with stolen
pianos, "captured" sideboards, and purloined silver! What but this petty
plundering could be expected of men who robbed by wholesale the poor
negro, to protect whose rights they were sent south?

The great political party of the north became the pledged conservator of
the black man's rights, and established a Freedman's Bureau, and
Freedman's banks to guard his humble earnings. All know something of the
workings of those banks; and to everlasting infamy must be consigned the
names of many of those conducting them,--men who robbed every one of
these depositories of negro savings, and left the poor, child-like
freedman in a physical state of destitution, and in a perfect
bewilderment of mind as to who his true friend really was.

A faithful negro of Jehossee Island was but one among thousands of such
cases. While the tumult of war vexed the land, the faithful negro
overseer remained at his post to guard his late master's property,
supporting himself by the manufacture of salt, and living in the most
frugal manner to be able to "lay by" a sum for his old age. Having saved
five hundred dollars, he deposited them in the nearest Freedman's bank,
which, though _fathered_ by the United States government, failed; and
the now destitute negro found himself stripped in the same moment of his
hard-earned savings, and his confidence in his new protectors.

As the war of the rebellion was slowly drawing to its close, Mr.
Lincoln's kind heart was drawn towards his erring countrymen, and he
made a list of the names of the wisest and best men of the south, who,
not having taken an active part in the strife, might be intrusted with
the task of bringing back the unruly states to their constitutional
relations with the national government. Governor Aiken was informed that
his name was upon that list; and he would gladly have accepted the
onerous position, and labored in the true interests of the whole people,
but the pistol of an assassin closed the life of the President, whose
generous plans of reconstruction were never realized.

In the birth of our new Centennial let us eschew the political
charlatan, and bring forward our statesmen to serve and govern a people,
who, to become a unit of strength, must ever bear in mind the words of
the great southern statesman, who said he knew "no north, no south, no
east, no west; but one undivided country."

On Monday, at ten A. M., two negroes assisted me to launch my craft
from the river's bank at the mouth of the canal, for the tide was very
low. As I settled myself for a long pull at the oars, the face of one of
the blacks was seemingly rent in twain, as a huge mouth opened, and a
pair of strong lungs sent forth these parting words: "_Bully for

"How did you know I came from Massachusetts?" I called out from the

"I knows de cuts ob dem. I suffered at Fort Wagner. Dis chile knows

Two miles further on, Bull Creek served me as a "cut-off," and half an
hour after entering it the tide was flooding against me. When Goat
Island Creek was passed on the left hand, knots of pine forests rose
picturesquely in places out of the bottom-lands, and an hour later, at
Bennett's Point, on the right, I found the watercourse a quarter of a
mile in width.

The surroundings were of a lovely nature during this day's journey. Here
marshes, diversified by occasional hammocks of timber dotting their
uninteresting wastes; there humble habitations of whites and blacks
appearing at intervals in the forest growth. As I was destitute of a
finished chart of the Coast Survey, after rowing along one side of
Hutchinson's Island I became bewildered in the maze of creeks which
penetrate the marshes that lie between Bennett's Point and the coast.

Making a rough topographical sketch of the country as I descended
Hutchinson's Creek, or Big River,--the latter appellation being the most
appropriate, as it is a very wide watercourse,--I came upon a group of
low islands, and found upon one of them a plantation which had been
abandoned to the negroes, and the little bluff upon which two or three
rickety buildings were situated was the last land which remained
unsubmerged during a high tide between the plantation and the sea.

I was now in a quandary. I had left the hospitable residence of Governor
Aiken at ten o'clock A. M., when I should have departed at sunrise in
order to have had time to enter and pass through St. Helena Sound before
night came on. The prospect of obtaining shelter was indeed dismal. Just
at this time a loud shout from the negroes on shore attracted my
attention, and I rested upon my oars, while a boat-load of women and
children paddled out to me.

"Is _dat_ de _little_ boat?" they asked, viewing my craft with curious
eyes. "And is dat boat made of paper?" they continued, showing that
negro runners had posted the people, even in these solitary regions, of
the approach of the paper canoe. I questioned these negro women about
the route, but each gave a different answer as to the passage through
the Horns to St. Helena Sound. Hurrying on through tortuous creeks, the
deserted tract called "the Horns" was entered, and until sunset I
followed one short stream after another, to its source in the reedy
plain, constantly retracing the route, with the tide not yet ebbing
strong enough to show me a course to the sound. Presently it ebbed more
rapidly, and I followed the tide from one intricacy to another, but
never found the principal thoroughfare.

While I was enveloped in reeds, and at a loss which way to go, the soft
ripple of breaking waves struck my ear like sweet music. The sea was
telling me of its proximity. Carefully balancing myself, I stood up in
the cranky canoe, and peering over the grassy thickets, saw before me
the broad waters of Helena Sound. The fresh salt breeze from the ocean
struck upon my forehead, and nerved me to a renewal of my efforts to get
within a region of higher land, and to a place of shelter.

The ebbing tide was yet high, and through the forest of vegetation, and
over the submerged coast, I pushed the canoe into the sound. Now I rowed
as though for my life, closely skirting the marshes, and soon entered
waters covered by a chart in my possession. My course was to skirt the
coast of the sound from where I had entered it, and cross the mouths of
the Combahee and Bull rivers to the entrance of the broad Coosaw. This
last river I would ascend seven miles to the first upland, and camp
thereon until morning. The tide was now against me, and the night was
growing darker, as the faithful craft was forced along the marshes four
miles to the mouth of the Combahee River, which I had to ascend half a
mile to get rid of a shoal of frisky porpoises, who were fishing in the

Then descending it on the opposite shore, I rowed two miles further in
the dark, but for half an hour previous to my reaching the wide
debouchure of Bull River, some enormous blackfish surged about me in the
tideway and sounded their nasal calls, while their more demonstrative
porpoise neighbors leaped from the water in the misty atmosphere, and so
alarmed me and occupied my attention, that instead of crossing to the
Coosaw River, I unwittingly ascended the Bull, and was soon lost in the
contours of the river.

As I hugged the marshy borders of the stream to escape the strong
current of its channel, and rowed on and on in the gloom, eagerly
scanning the high, sedge-fringed flats to find one little spot of firm
upland upon which I might land my canoe and obtain a resting-spot for
myself for the night, the feeling that I was lost was not the most
cheerful to be imagined. In the thin fog which arose from the warm water
into the cool night air, objects on the marshes assumed fantastical
shapes. A few reeds, taller than the rest, had the appearance of trees
twenty feet high. So real did these unreal images seem, that I drove my
canoe against the soft, muddy bank, repeatedly prompted to land in what
seemed a copse of low trees, but in every instance I was deceived. Still
I pulled up that mysterious river, ignorant at the time of even its
name, praying only for one little spot of upland where I might camp.

While thus employed, I peered over my shoulder, into the gloom, and
beheld what seemed to be a vision; for, out of a cloud of mist rose the
skeleton lines of a large ship, with all its sails furled to the yards.
"A ship at anchor, and in this out-of-the-way place!" I ejaculated,
scarcely believing my eyes; but when I pointed the canoe towards it, and
again looked over my shoulder, the vision of hope was gone.

Again I saw tall masts cutting through the mists, but the ship's hull
could not be distinguished, and as I rowed towards the objects, first
the lower masts disappeared, then the topmasts dissolved, and later,
the topgallant and royal masts faded away. For half an hour I rowed
and rowed for that mysterious vessel, which was veiled and unveiled to
my sight. Never did so spectral an object haunt or thwart me. It seemed
to change its position on the water, as well as in the atmosphere, and
I was too busily employed in trying to reach it to discover in the
darkness that the current, which I could not distinguish from smooth
water, was whirling me down stream as fast as I would approach the
weird vessel.

Drawing once more from the current, I followed the marsh until the canoe
was opposite the anchorage of a real ship; then, with hearty pulls, I
shot around its stern, and shouted: "Ship ahoy!"

No one answered the hail. The vessel looked like a man-of-war, but not
of American build. Not a light gleamed from her ports, not a footfall
came from her decks. She seemed to be deserted in the middle of the
river, surrounded by a desolate waste of marshes. The current gurgled
and sucked about her run, as the ebb-tide washed her black hull on its
way to the sea. The spectacle seemed now even more mysterious than when,
mirage-like, it peered forth from a cloud of mist. But it was real, and
not fantastic. Another hail, louder than the first, went forth into the
night air, and penetrated to the ship's forecastle, for a sailor
answered my call, and reported to the captain in the cabin the presence
of a boat at the ship's side.

A quick, firm tread sounded upon the deck; then, with a light bound, a
powerfully-built young man landed upon the high rail of the vessel. He
peered down from his stately ship upon the little speck which floated
upon the gurgling current; then, with a voice "filled with the fogs of
the ocean," he thundered forth, as though he were hailing a man-of-war:
"What boat's that?"

"Paper canoe Maria Theresa," I replied, in as foggy a voice as I could

"Where from, and where bound?" again roared the captain.

"_From_ Quebec, Canada, and _bound_ to sleep on board your vessel, if I
can ever get up there," I politely responded, in a more subdued voice,
for I soon discovered that nature had never intended me for a

"Ah, is it you?" cheerily responded the captain, suddenly dispensing
with all his fogginess; "I've been looking for you this long time. Got a
Charleston paper on board; your trip all in it. Come up, and break a
bottle of wine with me."

"All hands" came from the forecastle, and Finland mates and Finland
sailors, speaking both English and Russian, crowded to the rail to
receive the paper canoe, which had first been described to them by
English newspapers when the vessel lay in a British port, awaiting the
charter-party which afterwards sent them to Bull River, South Carolina,
for a load of phosphates.

The jolly crew lowered buntlines and clewlines, to which I attached my
boat's stores. These were hoisted up the high sides of the ship, and,
after bending on a line to the bow and stern rings of the canoe, I
ascended by the ladder, while Captain Johs. Bergelund and his mates
claimed the pleasure of landing the paper canoe on the deck of the
Rurik. The tiny shell looked very small as she rested on the broad,
white decks of the emperor of Russia's old steam yacht, which bore the
name of the founder of the Russian empire. Though now a bark and not a
steamer, though a freighter and not a royal yacht, the Rurik looked
every inch a government vessel, for her young captain, with a sailor's
pride, kept her in a thorough state of cleanliness and order. We went to
supper. The captain, his mates, and the stranger gathered around the
board, while the generous sailor brought out his curious bottles and put
them by the side of the still more curious dishes of food.

All my surroundings were those of the country of the midnight sun, and I
should have felt more bewildered than when in the fog I viewed and
chased this spectral-looking ship, had not Captain Bergelund, in most
excellent English, entertained me with a flow of conversation which put
me at my ease. He discoursed of Finland, where lakes covered the country
from near Abo, its chief city, to the far north, where the summer days
are "nearly all night long."

Painting in high colors the delights of his native land, he begged me to
visit it. Finally, as midnight drew near, this genial sailor insisted
upon putting me in his own comfortable state-room, while he slept upon a
lounge in the cabin.

One mile above the Rurik's anchorage was the phosphate-mill of the
Pacific Company, which was supplying Captain Bergelund, by lighters,
with his freight of unground fertilizer.

The next morning I took leave of the Rurik, but, instead of descending
the Bull River to the Coosaw, I determined to save time by crossing the
peninsula between the two rivers by means of two short creeks which were
connected at their sources by a very short canal near "the mines" of the
Phosphate Company. When I entered Horse Island Creek, at eleven o'clock,
the tide was on the last of the ebb, and I sat in the canoe a long time
awaiting the flood to float me up the wide ditch, which would conduct me
to the creek that emptied into the Coosaw. Upon the banks of the canal
three hours were lost waiting for the tide to give me one foot of water,
when I rowed into the second watercourse, and late in the afternoon
entered the wide Coosaw. The two creeks and the connecting canal are
called the Haulover Creek.

As I turned up the Coosaw, and skirted the now submerged marshes of its
left bank, two dredging-machines were at work up the river raising the
remains of the marine monsters of antiquity. The strong wind and
swashing seas being in my favor, the canoe soon arrived opposite the
spot of upland I had so longed to reach the previous night.

This was Chisolm's Landing, back of which were the phosphate works of
the Coosaw Mine Company. The inspector of phosphates, Mr. John Hunn,
offered me the hospitality of Alligator Hall, where he and some of the
gentlemen employed by the company resided in bachelor retirement. My
host described a mammal's tooth that weighed nearly fourteen pounds,
which had been taken from a phosphate mine; it had been sent to a public
room at Beaufort, South Carolina. A fossil shark's tooth, weighing four
and a half pounds, was also found, and a learned ichthyologist has
asserted that the owner of this remarkable relic of the past must have
been one hundred feet in length.

Beaufort was near at hand, and could be easily reached by entering
Brickyard Creek, the entrance of which was on the right bank of the
Coosaw, nearly opposite Chisolm's Landing. It was nearly six miles by
this creek to Beaufort, and from that town to Port Royal Sound, by
following Beaufort River, was a distance of eleven miles. The mouth of
Beaufort River is only two miles from the sea. Preferring to follow a
more interior water route than the Beaufort one, the canoe was rowed up
the Coosaw five miles to Whale Branch, which is crossed by the Port
Royal railroad bridge. Whale Branch, five miles in length, empties into
Broad River, which I descended thirteen miles, to the lower end of Daw
Island, on its right bank. Here, in this region of marshy shores, the
Chechessee River and the Broad River mingle their strong currents in
Port Royal Sound. It was dusk when the sound was entered from the
extreme end of Daw Island, where it became necessary to cross
immediately to Skull Creek, at Hilton Head Island, or go into camp for
the night.

I looked down the sound six miles to the broad Atlantic, which was
sending in clouds of mist on a fresh breeze. I gazed across the mouth of
the Chechessee, and the sound at the entrance of the port of refuge. I
desired to traverse nearly three miles of this rough water. I would
gladly have camped, but the shore I was about to leave offered to
submerge me with the next high water. No friendly hammock of trees could
be seen as I glided from the shadow of the high rushes of Daw Island.
Circumstances decided the point in debate, and I rowed rapidly into the
sound. The canoe had not gone half a mile when the Chechessee River
opened fully to view, and a pretty little hammock, with two or three
shanties beneath its trees, could be plainly seen on Daw's Island.

It was now too late to return and ascend the river to the hammock, for
the sound was disturbed by the freshening breeze from the sea blowing
against the ebb-tide, which was increased in power by the outflowing
volume of water from the wide Chechessee. It required all the energy I
possessed to keep the canoe from being overrun by the swashy,
sharp-pointed seas. Once or twice I thought my last struggle for life
had come, but a merciful Power gave me the strength and coolness that
this trying ordeal required, and I somehow weathered the dangerous
oyster reefs above Skull Creek, and landed at "Seabrook Plantation,"
upon Hilton Head Island, near two or three old houses, one of which was
being fitted up as a store by Mr. Kleim, of the First New York
Volunteers, who had lived on the island since 1861. Mr. Kleim took me to
his bachelor quarters, where the wet cargo of the Maria Theresa was
dried by the kitchen fireplace.

The next day, February 18, I left Seabrook and followed Skull Creek to
Mackay's Creek, and, passing the mouth of May River, entered Calibogue
Sound, where a sudden tempest arose and drove me into a creek which
flowed out of the marshes of Bull Island. A few negro huts were
discovered on a low mound of earth. The blacks told me their hammock was
called Bird Island.

The tempest lasted all day, and as no shelter could be found on the
creek, a darky hauled my canoe on a cart a couple of miles to Bull
Creek, which enters into Cooper River, one of the watercourses I was to
enter from Calibogue Sound. Upon reaching the wooded shores of Bull
Creek, my carter introduced me to the head man of the settlement, a
weazened-looking little old creature called Cuffy, who, though
respectful in his demeanor to "de Yankee-mans," was cross and
overbearing to the few families occupying the shanties in the
magnificent grove of live-oaks which shaded them.

Cuffy's cook-house, or kitchen, which was a log structure measuring nine
by ten feet, with posts only three feet high, was the only building
which could be emptied of its contents for my accommodation. Our
contract or lease was a verbal one, Cuffy's terms being "whateber de
white man likes to gib an ole nigger." Cuffy cut a big switch, and sent
in his "darter," a girl of about fourteen years, to clean out the
shanty. When she did not move fast enough to suit the old man's wishes,
he switched her over the shoulders till it excited my pity; but the girl
seemed to take the beating as an every-day amusement, for it made no
impression on her hard skull and thick skin.

After commencing to "keep house," the old women came to sell me eggs and
beg for "bacca." They requested me never to throw away my
coffee-grounds, as it made coffee "good 'nuf for black folks." I
distributed some of my stores among them, and, after cutting rushes and
boughs for my bed, turned in for the night.

These negroes had been raising Sea-Island cotton, but the price having
declined to five cents a pound, they could not get twenty-five cents a
day for their labor by cultivating it.

The fierce wind subsided before dawn, but a heavy fog covered the
marshes and the creek. Cuffy's "settlement" turned out before sunrise to
see me off; and the canoe soon reached the broad Cooper River, which I
ascended in the misty darkness by following close to the left bank. Four
miles up the Cooper River from Calibogue Sound there is a passage
through the marshes from the Cooper to New River, which is called Ram's
Horn Creek. On the right of its entrance a well-wooded hammock rises
from the marsh, and is called Page Island. About midway between the two
rivers and along this crooked thoroughfare is another piece of upland
called Pine Island, inhabited by the families of two boat-builders.

While navigating Cooper River, as the heavy mists rolled in clouds over
the quiet waters, a sailboat, rowed by negroes, emerged from the gloom
and as suddenly disappeared. I shouted after them: "Please tell me the
name of the next creek." A hoarse voice came back to me from the cloud:
"Pull and be d----d." Then all was still as night again. To solve this
seemingly uncourteous reply, so unusual in the south, I consulted the
manuscript charts which the Charleston pilots had kindly drawn for my
use, and found that the negroes had spoken geographically as well as
truthfully, for Pine Island Creek is known to the watermen as "Pull and
be d----d Creek," on account of its tortuous character, and chiefly
because, as the tides head in it, if a boat enters it from one river
with a favorable tide, it has a strong head current on the other side of
the middle ground to oppose it. Thus pulling at the oars at some parts
of the creek becomes hard work for the boatmen; hence this name, which,
though profane, may be considered geographical.

After leaving the Cooper River, the watercourses to Savannah were
discolored by red or yellow mud. From Pine Island I descended New River
two miles and a half to Wall's Cut, which is only a quarter of a mile in
length, and through which I entered Wright's River, following it a
couple of miles to the broad, yellow, turbulent current of the Savannah.

My thoughts now naturally turned to the early days of steamboat
enterprise, when this river, as well as the Hudson, was conspicuous; for
though the steamer Savannah was not the first steam-propelled vessel
which cut the waves of the Atlantic, she was the first steamer that ever
crossed it. Let us examine historical data. Colonel John Stevens, of New
York, built the steamboat Phoenix about the year 1808, and was
prevented from using it upon the Hudson River by the Fulton and
Livingston monopoly charter.

The Phoenix made an ocean voyage to the Delaware River. The first
English venture was that of the steamer Caledonia, which made a passage
to Holland in 1817. The London Times of May 11, 1819, printed in its
issue of that date the following item:

    "GREAT EXPERIMENT.--A new vessel of three hundred tons has been
    built at New York for the express purpose of carrying passengers
    across the Atlantic. She is to come to Liverpool direct."

This ship-rigged steamer was the "Savannah," and the bold projector of
this experiment of sending a steamboat across the Atlantic was Daniel
Dodd. The Savannah was built in New York, by Francis Ficket, for Mr.
Dodd. Stephen Vail, of Morristown, New Jersey, built her engines, and on
the 22d of August, 1818, she was launched, gliding gracefully into the
element which was to bear her to foreign lands, there to be crowned with
the laurels of success. On May 25th this purely American-built vessel
left Savannah, and glided out from this waste of marshes, under the
command of Captain Moses Rogers, with Stephen Rogers as navigator. The
port of New London, Conn., had furnished these able seamen.

The steamer reached Liverpool June 20th, the passage having occupied
twenty-six days, upon eighteen of which she had used her paddles. A son
of Mr. Dodd once told me of the sensation produced by the arrival of a
smoking vessel on the coast of Ireland, and how Lieutenant John Bowie,
of the king's cutter Kite, sent a boat-load of sailors to board the
Savannah to assist her crew to extinguish the fires of what his
Majesty's officers supposed to be a burning ship.

The Savannah, after visiting Liverpool, continued her voyage on July
23d, and reached St. Petersburg in safety. Leaving the latter port on
October 10th, this adventurous craft completed the round voyage upon her
arrival at Savannah, November 30th.

I pulled up the Savannah until within five miles of the city, and then
left the river on its south side, where old rice-plantations are first
met, and entered St. Augustine Creek, which is the steamboat
thoroughfare of the inland route to Florida. Just outside the city of
Savannah, near its beautiful cemetery, where tall trees with their
graceful drapery of Spanish moss screen from wind and sun the quiet
resting-places of the dead, my canoe was landed, and stored in a
building of the German Greenwich Shooting Park, where Mr. John Hellwig,
in a most hospitable manner, cared for it and its owner.

While awaiting the arrival of letters at the Savannah post-office, many
of the ladies of that beautiful city came out to see the paper canoe.
They seemed to have the mistaken idea that my little craft had come from
the distant Dominion of Canada over the Atlantic Ocean. They also
looked upon the voyage of the paper canoe as a very sentimental thing,
while the canoeist had found it an intensely practical affair, though
occasionally relieved by incidents of romantic or amusing character. As
the ladies clustered round the boat while it rested upon the
centre-table of Mr. Hellwig's parlor, they questioned me freely.

"Tell us," they said, "what were your thoughts while you rowed upon the
broad ocean in the lonely hours of night?"

Though unwilling to break their pleasing illusions, I was obliged to
inform them that a sensible canoeist is usually enjoying his needed rest
in some camp, or sleeping in some sheltered place,--under a roof if
possible,--after it is too dark to travel in safety; and as to ocean
travelling, the canoe had only once entered upon the Atlantic Ocean, and
then through a mistake.

"But what subjects occupy your thoughts as you row, and row, and row all
day by yourself, in this little ship?" a motherly lady inquired.

    "To tell you honestly, ladies, I must say that when I am in
    shallow watercourses, with the tides usually ebbing at the wrong
    time for my convenience, I am so full of anxiety about getting
    wrecked on the reefs of sharp coon-oysters, that I am wishing
    myself in deep water; and when my route forces me into the deep
    water of sounds, and the surface becomes tossed into wild
    disorder by strong currents and stronger winds, and the
    porpoises pay me their little attentions, chasing the canoe,
    flapping their tails, and showing their sportive dispositions, I
    think longingly of those same shoal creeks, and wish I was once
    more in their shallow waters."

"We ladies have prayed for your safety," said a kind-looking German
lady, "and we will pray that your voyage may have a happy and
successful end."

When the ladies left, two Irish laborers, dressed in sombre black, with
high hats worn with the air of dignity, examined the boat. There was an
absence of the sparkle of fun usually seen in the Irish face, for this
was a serious occasion. They did not see any romance or sentiment in the
voyage, but took a broad, geographical view of the matter. They stood
silently gazing at the canoe with the same air of solemnity they would
have given a corpse. Then one addressed the other, as though the owner
of the craft was entirely out of the hearing of their conversation.

Said No. 1, "And what did I tell ye, Pater?" "And so ye did," replied
No. 2. "And didn't I say so?" continued No. 1. "Of course ye did; and
wasn't me of the same mind, to be sure?" responded No. 2. "Yes, I told
ye as how it is the men of _these_ times is greater than the men of ould
times. There was the great Coolumbus, who came over in three ships to
see Americky. What did he know about _paper_ boats? Nothing at all, at
all. He cum over in big ships, while this young feller has cum all the
way from Canada. I tell ye the men of ould times was not up to the men
of these times. Thin there's Captain Boyton, who don't use any boat or
ship at all, at all, but goes a-_swimming_ in rubber clothes to keep him
dry all over the Atlantic Oshin. Jis' look, man, how he landed on the
shores of ould Ireland not long since. Now what's Coolumbus, or any
other man of the past ages, to him? Coolumbus could not hold a candle to
Boyton! No, I tell ye agen that the men of this age is greater than the
men of the past ages." "And," broke in No. 2, "there's a Britisher who's
gone to the River Niles in a canoe." "The _River Niles_!" hotly
exclaimed No. 1; "don't waste your breath on that thing. It's no _new_
thing at all, at all. It was diskivered a long time ago, and nobody
cares a fig for it now." "Yet," responded No. 2, "some of those
old-times people were very enterprising. There was that great traveller
Robinson Crusoe: ye must confess he was a great man for _his_ time."
"The same who wint to the South Sea Islands and settled there?" asked
the first biographer. "The _very same man_," replied No. 2, with

This instructive conversation was here interrupted by a party of ladies
and gentlemen, who in turn gave their views of canoe and canoeist.




On February 24th, the voyage was again resumed. My route lay through the
coast islands of Georgia, as far south as the state boundary, Cumberland
Sound, and the St. Mary's River. This part of the coast is very
interesting, and is beautifully delineated on the Coast Charts No. 56-57
of the United States Coast Survey, which were published the year after
my voyage ended.

Steamers run from Savannah through these interesting interior water-ways
to the ports of the St. John's River, Florida, and by taking this route
the traveller can escape a most uninteresting railroad journey from
Savannah to Jacksonville, where sandy soils and pine forests present an
uninviting prospect to the eye. A little dredging, in a few places along
the steamboat route, should be done at national cost, to make this a
more convenient and expeditious tidal route for vessels.

Leaving Greenwich, Bonaventure, and Thunderbolt behind me on the upland,
the canoe entered the great marshy district of the coast along the
Wilmington and Skiddaway rivers to Skiddaway Narrows, which is a
contracted, crooked watercourse connecting the Skiddaway with the
Burnside River. The low lands were made picturesque by hammocks, some of
which were cultivated.

In leaving the Burnside for the broad Vernon River, as the canoe
approached the sea, one of the sudden tempests which frequently vex
these coast-waters arose, and drove me to a hammock in the marshes of
Green Island, on the left bank and opposite the mouth of the Little
Ogeechee River. Green Island has been well cultivated in the past, but
is now only the summer home of Mr. Styles, its owner. Two or three
families of negroes inhabited the cabins and looked after the property
of the absent proprietor.

I waded to my knees in the mud before the canoe could be landed, and, as
it stormed all night, I slept on the floor of the humble cot of the
negro Echard Holmes, having first treated the household to crackers and
coffee. The negroes gathered from other points to examine the canoe,
and, hearing that I was from the north, one grizzly old darky begged me
to "carry" his complaints to Washington.

"De goberment," he said, "has been berry good to wees black folks. It
gib us our freedom,--all berry well; but dar is an noder ting wees
wants; dat is, wees wants General Grant to make tings _stashionary_. De
storekeeper gibs a poor nigger only one dollar fur bushel corn,
sometimes not so much. Den he makes poor nigger gib him tree dollars fur
bag hominy, sometimes more'n dat. Wees wants de goberment to make tings
_stashionary_. Make de storekeeper gib black man one dollar and quarter
fur de bushel of corn, and make him sell de poor nigger de bag hominy
fur much less dan tree dollars. Make all tings _stashionary_. Den dar's
one ting more. Tell de goberment to do fur poor darky 'nodder
ting,--make de ole massa say to me, 'You's been good slave in ole
times,--_berry_ good slave; now I gib you one, two, tree, _five_ acres
of land for yoursef.' Den ole nigger be happy, and massa be happy too;
den bof of um bees happy. Hab you a leetle bacca fur dis ole man?"

From the Styles mansion it was but three miles to Ossabaw Sound. Little
Don Island and Raccoon Key are in the mouth of the Vernon. Between the
two flat islands is a deep passage through which the tides rush with
great force; it is called Hell Gate. On the south side of Raccoon Key
the Great Ogeechee River pours its strong volume of water into Ossabaw

I entered the Great Ogeechee through the Don Island passage, and saw
sturgeon-fishermen at work with their nets along the shores of Ossabaw,
one of the sea islands. Ossabaw Island lies between Ossabaw and St.
Catherine's sounds, and is eight miles long and six miles wide. The side
towards the sea is firm upland, diversified with glades, while the
western portion is principally marshes cut up by numerous creeks. All
the sea islands produce the long staple cotton known as sea-island
cotton, and before the war a very valuable variety. A few negroes occupy
the places abandoned by the proprietor, and eke out a scanty livelihood.

There are many deer in the forests of Ossabaw Island. One of its late
proprietors informed me that there must be at least ten thousand wild
hogs there, as they have been multiplying for many years, and but few
were shot by the negroes. The domestic hog becomes a very shy animal if
left to himself for two or three years. The hunter may search for him
without a dog almost in vain, though the woods may contain large numbers
of these creatures.

The weather was now delightful, and had I possessed a light tent I
would not have sought shelter at night in a human habitation anywhere
along the route. The malaria which arises from fresh-water sinks in many
of the sea islands during the summer months, did not now make
camping-out dangerous to the health. Crossing the Great Ogeechee above
Middle Marsh Island, I followed the river to the creek called Florida
Passage, through which I reached Bear River, with its wide and long
reaches, and descended it to St. Catherine's Sound.

Now the sea opened to full view as the canoe crossed the tidal ocean
gate-way two miles to North Newport River. When four miles up the
Newport I entered Johnson's Creek, which flows from North to South
Newport rivers. By means of the creek and the South Newport River, my
little craft was navigated down to the southern end of St. Catherine's
Island to the sound of the same name, and here another inlet was crossed
at sunset, and High Point of Sapelo Island was reached.

From among the green trees of the high bluff a mansion, which exhibited
the taste of its builder, rose imposingly. This was, however, but one of
the many edifices that are tombs of buried hopes. The proprietor, a
northern gentleman, after the war purchased one-third of Sapelo Island
for fifty-five thousand dollars in gold. He attempted, as many other
enterprising northerners had done, to give the late slave a chance to
prove his worth as a freedman to the world.

"Pay the negro wages; treat him as you would treat a white man, and he
will reward your confidence with industry and gratitude." So thought and
so acted the large-hearted northern colonel. He built a large mansion,
engaged his freedmen, paid them for their work, and treated them like
_men_. The result was ruin, and simply because he had not paused to
consider that the negro had not been _born_ a freedman, and that the
demoralization of slavery was still upon him. Beside which facts we must
also place certain ethnological and moral principles which exist in the
pure negro type, and which are entirely overlooked by those
philanthropic persons who have rarely, if ever, seen a full-blooded
negro, but affect to understand him through his _half_-white brother,
the mulatto.

Mud River opened its wide mouth before me as I left the inlet, but the
tide was very low, and Mud River is a sticking-point in the passage of
the Florida steamers. It became so dark that I was obliged to get near
the shore to make a landing. My attempt was made opposite a negro's
house which was on a bluff, but the water had receded into the very
narrow channel of Mud River, and I was soon stuck fast on a flat.
Getting overboard, I sank to my knees in the soft mud. I called for
help, and was answered by a tall darky, who, with a double-barrelled
gun, left his house and stood in a threatening manner on the shore. I
appealed for help, and said I wished to go ashore. "Den cum de best way
you can," he answered in a surly manner. "What duz you want 'bout here,
any way? What duz you want on Choc'late Plantation, anyhow?"

I explained to this ugly black that I was a northern man, travelling to
see the country, and wished to camp near his house for protection, and
promised, if he would aid me to land, that I would convince him of my
honest purpose by showing him the contents of my canoe, and would prove
to him that I was no enemy to the colored man. I told him of the maps,
the letters, and the blankets which were in the little canoe now so fast
in the mud, and what a loss it would be if some marauder, passing on the
next high tide, should steal my boat.

The fellow slowly lowered his gun, which had been held in a threatening
position, and said:

    "Nobody knows his friends in dese times. I'se had a boat stealed
    by some white man, and spose you was cumin to steal sumting
    else. Dese folks on de riber can't be trussed. Dey steals
    ebryting. Heaps o' bad white men 'bout nowadays sens de war.
    Steals a nigger's chickens, boats, and ebryting dey lays hands
    on. Up at de big house on High Pint (norfen gemmin built him,
    and den got gusted wid cotton-planting and went home) de white
    folks goes and steals all de cheers and beds, and ebryting out
    ob de house. Sens de war all rascals."

It was a wearisome and dangerous job for me to navigate the canoe over
the soft, slippery mud to the firm shore, as there were unfathomed
places in the flats which might ingulf or entomb me at any step; but the
task was completed, and I stood face to face with the now half
tranquillized negro. Before removing the mud that hung upon me to the
waist in heavy clods, I showed the darky my chart-case, and explained
the object of my mission. He was very intelligent, and, after asking a
few questions, said to his son:

"Take dis gun to de house;" and then turning to me, continued: "Dis is
de sort ob man I'se am. I'se knows how to treat a friend like a white
man, and I'se can fight wid my knife or my fist or my gun anybody who
'poses on me. Now I'se knows you is a gemmin I'se won't treat you like a
nigger. Gib you best I'se got. Cum to de house."

When inside of the house of this resolute black, every attention was
paid to my comfort. The cargo of the paper canoe was piled up in one
corner of the room. The wife and children sat before the bright fire and
listened to the story of my cruise. I doctored the sick pickaninny of my
host, and made the family a pot of strong coffee. This negro could read,
but he asked me to address a label he wished to attach to a bag of
Sea-Island cotton of one hundred and sixty pounds' weight, which he had
raised, and was to ship by the steamboat Lizzie Baker to a mercantile
house in Savannah.

As I rested upon my blankets, which were spread upon the floor of the
only comfortable room in the house, at intervals during the night the
large form of the black stole softly in and bent over me to see if I
were well covered up, and he as noiselessly piled live-oak sticks upon
the dying embers to dry up the dampness which rose from the river.

He brought me a basin of cold water in the morning, and not possessing a
towel clean enough for a white man, he insisted that I should use his
wife's newly starched calico apron to wipe my face and hands upon. When
I offered him money for the night's accommodation and the excellent
oyster breakfast that his wife prepared for me, he said: "You may gib my
wife whateber pleases you for _her cooking_, but nuffin for de food or
de lodgings. I'se no nigger, ef I is a cullud man."

It was now Saturday, and as I rowed through the marsh thoroughfare
called New Tea Kettle Creek, which connects Mud River with Doboy Sound
near the southern end of Sapelo Island, I calculated the chances of
finding a resting-place for Sunday. If I went up to the mainland
through North and Darien rivers to the town of Darien, my past
experience taught me that instead of enjoying rest I would become a
forced exhibiter of the paper canoe to crowds of people. To avoid this,
I determined to pass the day in the first hammock that would afford
shelter and fire-wood; but as the canoe entered Doboy Sound, which, with
its inlet, separates Sapelo from the almost treeless Wolf Island, the
wind rose with such violence that I was driven to take refuge upon Doboy
Island, a small marshy territory, the few firm acres of which were
occupied by the settlement and steam saw-mill of Messrs. Hiltons, Foster
& Gibson, a northern lumber firm.

Foreign and American vessels were anchored under the lee of protecting
marshes, awaiting their cargoes of sawed deals and hewn timber; while
rafts of logs, which had been borne upon the currents of the Altamaha
and other streams from the far interior regions of pine forests, were
collected here and manufactured into lumber.

One of the proprietors, a northern gentleman, occupied with his family a
very comfortable cottage near the store and steam saw-mill. As the Doboy
people had learned of the approach of the paper canoe from southern
newspapers, the little craft was identified as soon as it touched the
low shores of the island.

I could not find any kind of hotel or lodging-place in this settlement
of Yankees, Canadians, and negroes, and was about to leave it in search
of some lone hammock, when a mechanic kindly offered me the floor of an
unfinished room in an unfinished house, in which I passed my Sunday
trying to rest, and obtaining my meals at a restaurant kept by a negro.

A member of the Spaulding family, the owners of a part of Sapelo Island,
called upon me, and seeing me in such inhospitable quarters, with fleas
in hundreds invading my blankets, urged me to return with him to his
island domain, where he might have an opportunity to make me
comfortable. The kind gentleman little knew how hardened I had become to
such annoyances as hard floors and the active flea. Such inconveniences
had been robbed of their discomforts by the kind voices of welcome
which, with few exceptions, came from every southern gentleman whose
territory had been invaded by the paper canoe.

There was but one place of worship on the island, and that was under the
charge of the negroes. Accepting the invitation of a nephew of the
resident New England proprietor of Doboy Island to attend "de
shoutings," we set out on Sunday evening for the temporary place of
negro worship. A negro girl, decked with ribbons, called across the
street to a young colored delinquent: "You no goes to de shoutings, Sam!
Why fur? You neber hears me shout, honey, and dey _do_ say I shouts so
pretty. Cum 'long wid me now."

A few blacks had collected in the small shanty, and the preacher, an old
freed man, was about to read a hymn as we entered. At first the singing
was low and monotonous, but it gradually swelled to a high pitch as the
negroes became excited. Praying followed the singing. Then the black
preacher set aside "de shouting" part of the service for what he
considered more important interests, and discoursed upon things
spiritual and temporal in this wise:

"Now I'se got someting to tell all of yese berry 'portant." Here two
young blacks got up to leave the room, but were rudely stopped by a
negro putting his back against the door. "No, no," chuckled the
preacher, "yese don't git off dat a-way. I'se prepared fur de ockasun.
Nobody gits out ob dis room till I'se had my say. Jes you set down dar.
Now I'se goin' to do one ting, and it's dis: I'se goin' to spread de
Gospel all ober dis yere island of Doboy. Now's de time; talked long
'nuf, too long, 'bout buildin' de church. Whar's yere pride? whar is it?
Got none! Look at dis room for a church! Look at dis pulpit--one
flour-barrel wid one candle stickin' out ob a bottle! Dat's yere pulpit.
Got no pride! Shamed o' yeresefs! Here white men comes way from New York
to hear de Gospel in dis yere room wid flour-barrel fur pulpit, and
empty bottle fur candlestick. No more talk now. All go to work. De mill
people will gib us lumber fur de new church; odders mus' gib _money_.
Tell ebbry cullud pusson on de island to cum on Tuesday and carry
lumber, and gib ebbry one what he can,--one dollar apiece, or ten
cents if got no more. De white gemmins we knows whar to find when we
wants dar money, but de cullud ones is berry slippery when de hat am
passed round."

At the termination of the preacher's exhortation, I proposed to my
companion that I should present the minister with a dollar for his new
church, but with a look of dismay, he replied: "Oh, don't give it to the
_preacher_. Hand it to that other negro sitting near him. We never trust
the _preacher_ with money; he always spends the church-money. We only
trust him for _preaching_."

Monday, March 1st, opened fair, but the wind arose when the canoe
reached Three Mile Cut, which connects the Darien with Altamaha River. I
went through this narrow steamboat passage, and being prevented by the
wind from entering the wide Altamaha, returned to the Darien River and
ascended it to General's Cut, which, with Butler River, affords a
passage to the Altamaha River. Before entering General's Cut, mistaking
a large, half submerged alligator for a log on a mud bank, the canoe
nearly touched the saurian before he was roused from his nap to retire
into the water. General's Cut penetrates a rice plantation opposite the
town of Darien, to Butler's Island, the estate of the late Pierce
Butler, at its southern end. Rice-planting, since the war, had not
proved a very profitable business to the present proprietors, who
deserve much praise for the efforts they have made to educate their
freedmen. A profitable crop of oranges is gathered some seasons from
the groves upon Butler's Island.

From the mouth of General's Cut down Butler River to the Altamaha was
but a short row. The latter stream would have taken me to Altamaha
Sound, to avoid which I passed through Wood's Cut into the South
Altamaha River, and proceeded through the lowland rice-plantations
towards St. Simon's Island, which is by the sea. About the middle of the
afternoon, when close to Broughton Island, where the South Altamaha
presented a wide area to the strong head-wind which was sending little
waves over my canoe, a white plantation-house, under the veranda of
which an elderly gentleman was sitting, attracted my attention. Here was
what seemed to be the last camping-ground on a route of several miles to
St. Simon's Island.

If the wind continued to blow from the same quarter, the canoe could not
cross Buttermilk Sound that night; so I went ashore to inquire if there
were any hammocks in the marshes by the river-banks between the
plantation and the sound.

The bachelor proprietor of Broughton Island, Captain Richard A. Akin,
posted me as to the route to St. Simon's Island, but insisted that the
canoe traveller should share his comfortable quarters until the next
day; and when the next day came round, and the warm sun and smooth
current of the wide Altamaha invited me to continue the voyage, the
hospitable rice-planter thought the weather not settled enough for me to
venture down to the sound. In fact, he held me a rather willing captive
for several days, and then let me off on the condition that I should
return at some future time, and spend a month with him in examining the
sea islands and game resources of the vicinity.

Captain Akin was a successful rice-planter on the new system of
employing freedmen on wages, but while he protected the ignorant blacks
in all their newly-found rights, he was a thorough disciplinarian. The
negroes seemed to like their employer, and stuck to him with greater
tenacity than they did to those planters who allowed them to do as they
pleased. The result of lax treatment with these people is always a
failure of crops. The rivers and swamps near Broughton Island abound in
fine fishes and terrapin, while the marshes and flats of the sea islands
afford excellent opportunities for the sportsman to try his skill upon
the feathered tribe.

On Monday, March 9th, the Maria Theresa left Broughton Island well
provisioned with the stores the generous captain had pressed upon my
acceptance. The atmosphere was softened by balmy breezes, and the bright
sunlight played with the shadows of the clouds upon the wide marshes,
which were now growing green with the warmth of returning spring. The
fish sprang from the water as I touched it with my light oars.

St. Simon's Island,--where Mr. Pierce Butler once cultivated sea-island
cotton, and to which he took his English bride, Miss Kemble,--with its
almost abandoned plantation, was reached before ten o'clock. Frederica
River carried me along the whole length of the island to St. Simon's
Sound. When midway the island, I paused to survey what remains of the
old town of Frederica, of which but few vestiges can be discovered.
History informs us that Frederica was the first town built by the
English in Georgia, and was founded by General Oglethorpe, who began
and established the colony.

The fortress was regular and beautiful, and was the largest, most
regular, and perhaps most costly of any in North America of British
construction. Pursuing my journey southward, the canoe entered the
exposed area of St. Simon's Sound, which, with its ocean inlet, was
easily crossed to the wild and picturesque Jekyl Island, upon which the
two bachelor brothers Dubignon live and hunt the deer, enjoying the free
life of lords of the forest. Their old family mansion, once a haven of
hospitality, where the northern tourist and shipwrecked sailor shared
alike the good things of this life with the kind host, was used for a
target by a gunboat during the late war, and is now in ruins.

Here, twenty years ago, at midnight, the slave-yacht "Wanderer" landed
her cargo of African negroes, the capital for the enterprise being
supplied by three southern gentlemen, and the execution of the work
being intrusted, under carefully drawn contracts, to Boston parties.

The calm weather greatly facilitated my progress, and had I not missed
Jekyl Creek, which is the steamboat thoroughfare through the marshes to
Jekyl and St. Andrew's Sound, that whole day's experience would have
been a most happy one. The mouth of Jekyl Creek was a narrow entrance,
and being off in the sound, I passed it as I approached the lowlands,
which were skirted until a passage at Cedar Hammock through the marsh
was found, some distance from the one I was seeking. Into this I
entered, and winding about for some time over its tortuous course, at a
late hour in the afternoon the canoe emerged into a broad watercourse,
down which I could look across Jekyl Sound to the sea.

This broad stream was Jointer Creek, and I ascended it to find a spot of
high ground upon which to camp. It was now low water, and the surface of
the marshes was three or four feet above my head. After much anxious
searching, and a great deal of rowing against the last of the ebb, a
forest of pines and palmetto-trees was reached on Colonel's Island, at a
point about four miles--across the marshes and Brunswick River--from the
interesting old town of Brunswick, Georgia.

The soft, muddy shores of the hammock were in one place enveloped in a
thicket of reeds, and here I rested upon my oars to select a convenient
landing-place. The rustling of the reeds suddenly attracted my
attention. Some animal was crawling through the thicket in the direction
of the boat. My eyes became fixed upon the mysterious shaking and waving
of the tops of the reeds, and my hearing was strained to detect the
cause of the crackling of the dry rushes over which this unseen creature
was moving. A moment later my curiosity was satisfied, for there emerged
slowly from the covert an alligator nearly as large as my canoe. The
brute's head was as long as a barrel; his rough coat of mail was
besmeared with mud, and his dull eyes were fixed steadily upon me. I was
so surprised and fascinated by the appearance of this huge reptile that
I remained immovable in my boat, while he in a deliberate manner entered
the water within a few feet of me. The hammock suddenly lost all its
inviting aspect, and I pulled away from it faster than I had approached.
In the gloom I observed two little hammocks, between Colonel's Island
and the Brunswick River, which seemed to be near Jointer's Creek, so I
followed the tortuous thoroughfares until I was within a quarter of a
mile of one of them.

Pulling my canoe up a narrow creek towards the largest hammock, until
the creek ended in the lowland, I was cheered by the sight of a small
house in a grove of live-oaks, to reach which I was obliged to abandon
my canoe and attempt to cross the soft marsh. The tide was now rising
rapidly, and it might be necessary for me to swim some inland creek
before I could arrive at the upland.

An oar was driven into the soft mud of the marsh and the canoe tied to
it, for I knew that the whole country, with the exception of the hammock
near by, would be under water at flood-tide. Floundering through mud and
pressing aside the tall, wire-like grass of the lowland, which entangled
my feet, frequently leaping natural ditches, and going down with a thud
in the mud on the other side, I finally struck the firm ground of the
largest Jointer Hammock, when the voice of its owner, Mr. R. F.
Williams, sounded most cheerfully in my ears as he exclaimed: "Where
_did_ you come from? How did you get across the marsh?"

The unfortunate position of my boat was explained while the family
gathered round me, after which we sat down to supper. Mr. Williams felt
anxious about the cargo of my boat. "The coons," he said, "will scent
your provisions, and tear everything to pieces in the boat. We must go
look after it immediately." To go to the canoe we were obliged to follow
a creek which swept past the side of the hammock, opposite to my
landing-place, and row two or three miles on Jointer Creek. At nine
o'clock we reached the locality where I had abandoned the paper canoe.
Everything had changed in appearance; the land was under water; not a
landmark remained except the top of the oar, which rose out of the
lake-like expanse of water, while near it gracefully floated my little
companion. We towed her to the hammock; and after the tedious labor of
divesting myself of the marsh mud, which clung to my clothes, had been
crowned with success, the comfortable bed furnished by my host gave rest
to limbs and nerves which had been severely overtaxed since sunset.

The following day opened cloudy and windy. The ocean inlet of Jekyl and
St. Andrew's sounds is three miles wide. From the mouth of Jointer
Creek, across these unprotected sounds, to High Point of Cumberland
Island, is eight miles. The route from the creek to Cumberland Island
was a risky one for so small a boat as the paper canoe while the weather
continued unpropitious. After entering the sounds there was but one spot
of upland, near the mouth of the Satilla River, that could be used for
camping purposes on the vast area of marshes.

During the month of March rainy and windy weather prevail on this coast.
I could ill afford to lose any time shut up in Jointer's Hammock by bad
weather, as the low regions of Okefenokee Swamp were to be penetrated
before the warm season could make the task a disagreeable one. After
holding a consultation with Mr. Williams, he contracted to take the
canoe and its captain across St. Andrew's Sound to High Point of
Cumberland Island that day. His little sloop was soon under way, and
though the short, breaking waves of the sound, and the furious blasts of
wind, made the navigation of the shoals disagreeable, we landed quietly
at Mr. Chubbs' Oriental Hotel, at High Point, soon after noon.

Mr. Martin, the surveyor of the island, welcomed me to Cumberland, and
gave me much information pertaining to local matters. The next morning
the canoe left the high bluffs of this beautiful sea island so filled
with historic associations, and threaded the marshy thoroughfare of
Cumberland and Brickhill River to Cumberland Sound. As I approached the
mouth of the St. Mary's River, the picturesque ruins of Dungeness
towered above the live-oak forest of the southern end of Cumberland
Island. It was with regret I turned my back upon that sea, the sounds of
which had so long struck upon my ear with their sweet melody. It seemed
almost a moan that was borne to me now as the soft waves laved the sides
of my graceful craft, as though to give her a last, loving farewell.




I now ascended the beautiful St. Mary's River, which flows from the
great Okefenokee Swamp. The state of Georgia was on my right hand, and
Florida on my left. Pretty hammocks dotted the marshes, while the
country presented peculiar and interesting characteristics. When four
miles from Cumberland Sound, the little city of St. Mary's, situated on
the Georgia side of the river, was before me; and I went ashore to make
inquiries concerning the route to Okefenokee Swamp.

My object was to get information about the upper St. Mary's River, from
which I proposed to make a portage of thirty-five or forty miles in a
westerly direction to the Suwanee River, upon arriving at which I would
descend to the Gulf of Mexico. My efforts, both at St. Mary's and
Fernandina, on the Florida side of Cumberland Sound, to obtain any
reliable information upon this matter, were unsuccessful. A settlement
at Trader's Hill, about seventy-five miles up the St. Mary's River, was
the geographical limit of local knowledge, while I wished to ascend the
river at least one hundred miles beyond that point.

Believing that if I explored the uninhabited sources of the St. Mary's,
I should be compelled to return without finding any settler upon its
banks at the proper point of departure for a portage to the Suwanee, it
became necessary to abandon all idea of ascending this river. I could
not, however, give up the exploration of the route. In this dilemma, a
kindly written letter seemed to solve the difficulties. Messrs. Dutton &
Rixford, northern gentlemen, who possessed large facilities for the
manufacture of resin and turpentine at their new settlements of Dutton,
six miles from the St. Mary's River, and at Rixford, near the Suwanee,
kindly proposed that I should take my canoe by railroad from Cumberland
Sound to Dutton. From that station Mr. Dutton offered to transport the
boat through the wilderness to the St. Mary's River, which could be from
that point easily descended to the sea. The Suwanee River, at Rixford,
could be reached by rail, and the voyage would end at its debouchure on
the marshy coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Hon. David Yulee, president and one-third owner of the A. G. & W. I. T.
C. Railroad, which connects the Atlantic coast at Fernandina with the
Gulf coast at Cedar Keys, offered me the free use of his long railroad,
for any purpose of exploration, &c., while his son, Mr. C. Wickliffe
Yulee, exerted himself to remove all impediments to delay.

These gentlemen, being native Floridians, have done much towards
encouraging all legitimate exploration of the peninsula, and have also
done something towards putting a check on the outrageous impositions
practised on northern agricultural emigrants to Florida, by encouraging
the organization of a railroad land-company, which offers a forty-acre
homestead for fifty dollars, to be selected out of nearly six hundred
thousand acres of land along their highway across the state. A man of
comparatively small means can now try the experiment of making a home
in the mild climate of Florida, and if he afterwards abandons the
enterprise there will have been but a small investment of capital,
and consequently little loss.

The turpentine distillery of Dutton was situated in a heavy forest of
lofty pines. Major C. K. Dutton furnished a team of mules to haul the
Maria Theresa to the St. Mary's River, the morning after my arrival by
rail at Dutton Station. The warm sunshine shot aslant the tall pines as
the teamster followed a faintly developed trail towards the swamps.
Before noon the flashing waters of the stream were discernible, and a
little later, with paddle in hand, I was urging the canoe towards the
Atlantic coast. A luxurious growth of trees and shrubs fringed the low,
and in some places submerged, river shores. Back, on the higher, sandy
soils, the yellow pine forests, in almost primeval grandeur, arose,
shutting out all view of the horizon. Low bluffs, with white, sandy
beaches of a few rods in extent, offered excellent camping-grounds.

When the Cracker of Okefenokee Swamp is asked why he lives in so
desolate a region, with only a few cattle and hogs for companions, with
mosquitoes, fleas, and vermin about him, with alligators, catamounts,
and owls on all sides, making night hideous, he usually replies, "Wal,
stranger, wood and water is so _powerful_ handy. Sich privileges ain't
met with everywhar."

As I glided swiftly down the dark current I peered into the dense woods,
hoping to be cheered by the sight of a settler's cabin; but in all that
day's search not a clearing could be found, nor could I discern rising
from the tree-tops of the solitary forest a little cloud of smoke
issuing from the chimney of civilized man. I was alone in the vast wilds
through which the beautiful river flowed noiselessly but swiftly to
the sea. Thoreau loved a swamp, and so do all lovers of nature, for
nowhere else does she so bountifully show her vigorous powers of growth,
her varied wealth of botanical wonders. Here the birds resort in flocks
when weary of the hot, sandy uplands, for here they find pure water,
cool shade, and many a curious glossy berry for their dainty appetites.

[Illustration: From St. Simon's Sound, Georgia, to Cedar Keys, Florida.

Route of Paper Canoe MARIA THERESA From St. Simon's Sd.
Ga. to Cedar Keys, Fla. Followed by N. H. Bishop in 1875
_Copyright, 1878 by Lee & Shepard_]

As the little Maria Theresa sped onward through the open forest and
tangled wild-wood, through wet morass and piny upland, my thoughts dwelt
upon the humble life of the Concord naturalist and philosopher. How he
would have enjoyed the descent of this wild river from the swamp to the
sea! He had left us for purer delights; but I could enjoy his "Walden"
as though he still lived, and read of his studies of nature with
ever-increasing interest.

Swamps have their peculiar features. Those of the Waccamaw were indeed
desolate, while the swamps of the St. Mary's were full of sunshine for
the traveller. Soon after the canoe had commenced her river journey, a
sharp sound, like that produced by a man striking the water with a
broad, flat stick, reached my ears. As this sound was frequently
repeated, and always in advance of my boat, it roused my curiosity. It
proved to come from alligators. One after another slipped off the banks,
striking the water with their tails as they took refuge in the river
from the disturber of their peace. To observe the movements of these
reptiles I ran the canoe within two rods of the left shore, and by rapid
paddling was enabled to arrive opposite a creature as he entered the
water. When thus confronted, the alligator would depress his ugly head,
lash the water once with his tail, and dive under the canoe, a most
thoroughly alarmed animal. All these alligators were mere babies, very
few being over four feet long. Had they been as large as the one which
greeted me at Colonel's Island, I should not have investigated their
dispositions, but would have considered discretion the better part of
valor, and left them undisturbed in their sun-baths on the banks.

In all my experience with the hundreds of alligators I have seen in the
southern rivers and swamps of North America, every one, both large and
small, fled at the approach of man. The experience of some of my friends
in their acquaintance with American alligators has been of a more
serious nature. It is well to exercise care about camping at night close
to the water infested with large saurians, as one of these strong
fellows could easily seize a sleeping man by the leg and draw him into
the river. They do not seem to fear a recumbent or bowed figure, but,
like most wild animals, flee before the _upright_ form of man.

Late in the afternoon I passed an island, made by a "cut-off" through
a bend of the river, and, according to previous directions, counted
fourteen bends or reaches in the river which was to guide me to
Stewart's Ferry, the owner of which lived back in the woods, his cabin
not being discernible from the river. Near this spot, which is
occasionally visited by lumbermen and piny-woods settlers, I drew my
canoe on to a sandy beach one rod in length. A little bluff, five or
six feet above the water, furnished me with the broad leaves of the
saw-palmetto, a dwarfish sort of palm, which I arranged for a bed. The
provision-basket was placed at my head. A little fire of light-wood
cheered me for a while, but its bright flame soon attracted winged
insects in large numbers. Having made a cup of chocolate, and eaten
some of Captain Akin's chipped beef and crackers, I continued my
preparations for the night. Feeling somewhat nervous about large
alligators, I covered myself with a piece of painted canvas, which
was stiff and strong, and placed the little revolver, my only weapon,
under my blanket.

As I fully realized the novelty of my strange position in this desolate
region, it was some time before I could compose myself and sleep. It was
a night of dreams. Sounds indistinct but numerous troubled my brain,
until I was fully roused to wakefulness by horrible visions and doleful
cries. The chuck-will's-widow, which in the south supplies the place of
our whippoorwill, repeated his oft-told tale of "chuck-will's-widow,
chuck-will's-widow," with untiring earnestness. The owls hooted wildly,
with a chorus of cries from animals and reptiles not recognizable by me,
excepting the snarling voices of the coons fighting in the forest. These
last were old acquaintances, however, as they frequently gathered round
my camp at night to pick up the remains of supper.

While I listened, there rose a cry so hideous in its character and so
belligerent in its tone, that I trembled with fear upon my palm-leaf
mattress. It resembled the bellowing of an infuriated bull, but was
louder and more penetrating in its effect. The proximity of this animal
was indeed unpleasant, for he had planted himself on the river's edge,
near the little bluff upon which my camp had been constructed. The loud
roar was answered by a similar bellow from the other side of the river,
and for a long time did these two male alligators keep up their
challenging cries, without coming to combat. Numerous wood-mice attacked
my provision-basket, and even worked their way through the leaves of my
palmetto mattress.

Thus with an endless variety of annoyances the night wore wearily away,
but the light of the rising sun did not penetrate the thick fog which
enveloped the river until after eight o'clock, when I embarked for a
second day's journey upon the stream, which had now attained a width of
five or six rods. Rafts of logs blocked the river as I approached the
settlement of Trader's Hill, and upon a most insecure footing the canoe
was dragged over a quarter of a mile of logs, and put into the water on
the lower side of the "jam." Crossing several of these log "jams," which
covered the entire width of the St. Mary's, I became weary of the task,
and, after the last was reached, determined to go into camp until the
next day, when suddenly the voices of men in the woods were heard.

Soon a gentleman, with two raftsmen, appeared and kindly greeted me.
They had been notified of my approach at Trader's Hill by a courier sent
from Dutton across the woods, and these men, whose knowledge of
woodcraft is wonderful, had timed my movements so correctly that they
had arrived just in time to meet me at this point. The two raftsmen
rubbed the canoe all over with their hands, and expressed delight at its
beautiful finish in their own peculiar vernacular.

"She's the dog-gonedest thing I ever seed, and jist as putty as a new
coffin!" exclaimed one.

"Indeed, she's the handsomest trick I ever did blink on," said the

The two stalwart lumbermen lifted the boat as though she were but a
feather, and carried her, jumping from log to log, the whole length of
the raft. They then put her gently in the water, and added to their
farewell the cheering intelligence that "there's no more jams nor
rafts 'twixt here and the sea, and you can go clar on to New York if
you like."

Trader's Hill, on a very high bluff on the left bank, was soon passed,
when the current seemed suddenly to cease, and I felt the first tidal
effect of the sea, though many miles from the coast. The tide was
flooding. I now laid aside the paddle, and putting the light steel
outriggers in their sockets, rapidly rowed down the now broad river
until the shadows of night fell upon forest and stream, when the
comfortable residence of Mr. Lewis Davis, with his steam saw-mill, came
into sight upon Orange Bluff, on the Florida side of the river. Here a
kind welcome greeted me from host and hostess, who had dwelt twenty
years in this romantic but secluded spot. There were orange-trees forty
years old on this property, and all in fine bearing order. There was
also a fine sulphur spring near the house.

Mr. Davis stated that, during a residence of twenty years in this
charming locality, he had experienced but one attack of chills. He
considered the St. Mary's River, on account of the purity of its
waters, one of the healthiest of southern streams. The descent of this
beautiful river now became a holiday pastime. Though there were but
few signs of the existence of man, the scenery was of a cheering
character. A brick-kiln, a few saw-mills, and an abandoned
rice-plantation were passed, while the low salt-marshes, extending
into the river from the forest-covered upland, gave evidence of the
proximity to the sea. Large alligators were frequently seen sunning
themselves upon the edges of the banks.

At dusk the town of St. Mary's, in its wealth of foliage, opened to
my view from across the lowlands, and soon after the paper canoe was
carefully stored in a building belonging to one of its hospitable
citizens, while local authority asserted that I had traversed one
hundred and seventy-five miles of the river.

One evening, while enjoying the hospitality of Mr. Silas Fordam, at his
beautiful winter home, "Orange Hall," situated in the heart of St.
Mary's, a note, signed by the Hon. J. M. Arnow, mayor of the city, was
handed me. Mr. Arnow, in the name of the city government, invited my
presence at the Spencer House. Upon arriving at the hotel, a surprise
awaited me. The citizens of the place had gathered to welcome the paper
canoe and its owner, and to express the kindly feelings they, as
southern citizens, held towards their northern friends. The hotel was
decorated with flags and floral emblems, one of which expressed, in its
ingeniously constructed words, wrought in flowers, "_One hundred
thousand Welcomes_."

The mayor and his friends received me upon the veranda of the hotel with
kind words of welcome. Bright lights glimmered at this moment through
the long avenue of trees, and music arose upon the night air. It was a
torchlight procession coming from the river, bearing upon a framework
structure, from which hung Chinese lanterns and wreaths of laurel, the
little paper canoe. The Base-ball Club of the city, dressed in their
handsome uniform, carried the "Maria Theresa," while the sailors from
the lumber fleet in the river, with the flags of several nationalities,
brought up the rear.

When the procession arrived in front of the hotel, three hearty cheers
were given by the people, and the mayor read the city's address of
welcome to me; to which I made reply, not only in behalf of myself, but
of all those of my countrymen who desired the establishment of a pure
and good government in every portion of our dear land.

Mayor Arnow presented me with an engrossed copy of his speech of
welcome, in which he invited all industrious northerners to come to his
native city, promising that city ordinances should be passed to
encourage the erection of manufactories, &c., by northern capital and
northern labor. After the address, the wife of the mayor presented me
with two memorial banners, in the name of the ladies of the city. These
were made for the occasion, and being the handiwork of the ladies
themselves, were highly appreciated by the recipient. When these
graceful tributes had been received, each lady and child present
deposited a bouquet of flowers, grown in the gardens of St. Mary's, in
my little craft, till it contained about four hundred of these refined
expressions of the good-will of these kind people. Not only did the
native population of the town vie with each other to accord the lonely
voyager a true southern welcome, but Mr. A. Curtis, an English
gentleman, who, becoming fascinated with the fine climate of this part
of Georgia, had settled here, did all he could to show his appreciation
of canoe-travelling, and superintended the marine display and flag corps
of the procession.

I left St. Mary's with a strange longing to return to its interesting
environs, and to study here the climatology of southern Georgia, for,
strange to say, cases of local "fever and chills" have never
originated in the city. It is reached from Savannah by the inside
steamboat route, or by rail, to Fernandina, with which it is connected
by a steamboat ferry eight miles in length. Speculation not having yet
affected the low valuation placed upon property around St. Mary's,
northern men can obtain winter homes in this attractive town at a very
low cost. This city is a port of entry. Mr. Joseph Shepard, a most
faithful government officer, has filled the position of collector of
customs for several years.

As vessels of considerable tonnage can ascend the St. Mary's River from
the sea on a full tide to the wharves of the city, its citizens prophesy
a future growth and development for the place when a river and canal
route across the peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of
Mexico shall have been completed. For many years Colonel Raiford has
been elaborating his plan "for elongating the western and southern
inland system of navigation to harbors of the Atlantic Ocean." He
proposes to unite the natural watercourses of the coast of the Gulf of
Mexico by short canals, so that barges drawing seven feet of water, and
freighted with the produce of the Mississippi River and its tributaries,
may pass from New Orleans eastward to the southern ports of the Atlantic
States. The great peninsula of Florida would be crossed by these vessels
from the Suwanee to the St. Mary's River by means of a canal cut through
the Okefenokee Swamp, and this route would save several hundred miles of
navigation upon open ocean waters. The dangerous coral reefs of the
Florida and Bahama shores would be avoided, and a land-locked channel
of thirty thousand miles of navigable watercourses would be united in
one system.

Lieutenant-Colonel Q. A. Gilmore's report on "Water Line for
Transportation from the Mouth of the St. Mary's River, on the Atlantic
Coast, through Okefenokee Swamp and the State of Florida to the Gulf
of Mexico," in which the able inquirer discusses this water route, has
recently been published. I traversed a portion of this route in
1875-6, from the head of the Ohio River to New Orleans, and along the
shores of the Gulf of Mexico to Cedar Keys, in a cedar duck-boat; and
as the results of my observations may some day be made public, I will
at this time refer the reader, if he be interested in the important
enterprise, to the Congressional reports which describe the
feasibility of the plan.

Another portage by rail was made in order to complete my journey to the
Gulf of Mexico, and Rixford, near the Suwanee River, was reached via the
A. G. & W. I. T. C. Railroad to Baldwin, thence over the J. P. & M.
Railroad to Live Oak, where another railroad from the north connects,
and along which, a few miles from Live Oak, Messrs. Dutton & Rixford had
recently established their turpentine and resin works.

At Rixford I found myself near the summit, or backbone of Florida, from
which the tributaries of the water-shed flow on one side to the Atlantic
Ocean, and on the other to the Gulf of Mexico. It was a high region of
rolling country, heavily wooded with magnificent pine forests, rich in
terebinthine resources. The residence of the proprietor, the store and
the distillery, with a few log cabins inhabited by negroes and white
employés, made up the establishment of Rixford.

The Crackers and negroes came from long distances to see the paper boat.
One afternoon, when a number of people had gathered at Rixford to behold
the little craft, I placed it on one of those curious sheets of water of
crystal purity called in that region a _sink_; and though this nameless,
mirror-like lakelet did not cover over an acre in extent, the movements
of the little craft, when propelled by the double paddle, excited an
enthusiasm which is seldom exhibited by the piny-woods people.

As the boat was carefully lifted from the silvery tarn, one woman called
out in a loud voice, "Lake Theresa!" and thus, by mutual consent of
every one present, did this lakelet of crystal waters receive its name.

The blacks crowded around the canoe, and while feeling its firm texture,
and wondering at the long distance it had traversed, expressed
themselves in their peculiar and original way. One of their number,
known as a "tonguey nigger," volunteered to explain the wonder to the
somewhat confused intellects of his companions. To a question from one
negro as to "How did dis yere Yankee-man cum all dis fur way in de
_paper_ canoe, all hissef lone?" the "_educated_" negro replied: "It's
all de Lord. No man ken cum so fur in a _paper_ boat ef de Lord didn't
help him. De Lord does eberyting. He puts de tings in de Yankee-man's
heads to du um, an' dey duz um. Dar was de big Franklin up norf, dat
made de telegraf. Did ye eber har tell ob him?"

"Neber, neber!" responded all the negroes.

Then, with a look of supreme contempt for the ignorance of his audience,
the orator proceeded: "Dis great Franklin, _Cap'n_ Franklin, he tort
he'd kotch de litening and make de telegraf; so he flies a big kite way
up to de heabens, an' he puts de string in de bottle dat hab nufing in
it. Den he holds de bottle in one hand, an' he holds de cork in de udder
hand. Down cums de litening and fills de bottle _full up_, and Cap'n
Franklin he dun cork him up mighty quick, and kotched de litening an'
made de telegraf. But it was de Lord--de Lord, not Cap'n Franklin--dat
did all dis."

It was amusing to watch the varied expression of the negroes, as they
listened to this description of the discovery of electricity, and the
origin of the telegraph. Their eyes dilated with wonder, and their thick
lips parted till the mouth, growing wider and wider, seemed to cover
more than its share of the face. The momentary silence was soon broken
by a deep gurgle proceeding from a stolid-looking negro, as he
exclaimed: "Did he kotch de bottle _full_ ob litening, and _cork_ him
up. Golly! I tort he wud hab _busted_ hissef!"

"So he wud! so he wud!" roared the orator, "but ye see 'twas all de
Lord--de Lord's a-doing it."

While in Florida I paid some attention to the negro method of conducting
praise meetings, which they very appropriately call "de shoutings." If I
give some verbatim reports of the negro's curious and undignified
clerical efforts, it is not done for the purpose of caricaturing him,
nor with a desire to make him appear destitute of mental calibre; but
rather with the hope that the picture given may draw some sympathy from
the liberal churches of the north, which do not forget the African in
his native jungle, nor the barbarous islanders of the South Seas. A
well-informed Roman Catholic priest told me that he had been
disappointed with the progress his powerfully organized church had made
in converting the freedmen. Before going among them I had supposed that
the simple-minded black, now no longer a slave, would be easily
attracted to the impressive ceremonies of the Church of Rome; but after
witnessing the activity of their devotions, and observing how anxious
they are to take a conspicuous and a leading part in all religious
services, it seemed to me that the free black of the south would take
more naturally to Methodism than to any other form of Christianity.

The appointment of _local preachers_ would be especially acceptable to
the negro, as he would then be permitted to have ministers of his own
color, and of his own neighborhood, to lead the meetings; while the
Roman Catholic priest would probably treat him more like a child, and
would therefore exercise a strong discipline over him.

In one of their places of worship, at my request, a New York lady, well
skilled in rapid writing and familiar with the negro vernacular,
reported verbatim the negro preacher's sermon. The text was the parable
of the ten virgins; and as the preacher went on, he said: "Five ob dem
war wise an' five of dem war foolish. De wise jes gone an' dun git dar
lamps _full up ob oil_, and git rite in and see de bridegoom; an' de
foolish dey sot dem rite down on de stool ob do-noting, an' dar dey sot
till de call cum; den dey run, pick up der ole lamps and try to push
door in, but de Lord say to dem, 'Git out dar! you jes git out dar!' an'
shut door rite in dar face.

"My brudders and my sisters, yer must fill de lamps wid de gospel an' de
edication ob Moses, fur Moses war a larned man, an' edication is de _mos
estaminable blessin'_ a pusson kin hab in dis world.

"Hole-on to de gospel! Ef you see dat de flag am tore, get hole
somewhar, keep a grabblin until ye git hole ob de stick, an' nebah gib
up de stick, but grabble, grabble till ye die; for dough yer sins be as
black as scarlet, dey shall be white as snow."

The sermon over, the assembled negroes then sung in slow measure:

    "Lit-tell chil-ern, you'd bet-tar be-a-lieve--
     Lit-tell chil-ern, you'd bet-tar be-a-lieve--
     Lit-tell chil-ern, you'd bet-tar be-a-lieve--
           I'll git home to heav-en when I die.

     Sweet heav-en ain-a-my-ain,
     Sweet heav-en ain-a-my-ain,
     Sweet heav-en ain-a-my-ain,
           I'll git home to _heav-en_ when I die.

     Lord wish-ed I was in heav-en,
     Fur to see my mudder when she enter,
     Fur to see her tri-als an' long white robes:
           She'll shine like cristul in de sun.

     Sweet heav-en ain-a-my-ain,
     Sweet heav-en ain-a-my-ain,
     Sweet heav-en ain-a-my-ain,
           I'll git home to heav-en when I die."

While visiting a town in Georgia, where the negroes had made some
effort to improve their condition, I made a few notes relating to the
freedman's debating society of the place. Affecting high-sounding
words, they called their organization, "De Lycenum," and its doings
were directed by a committee of two persons, called respectively, "de
disputaceous visitor," and "de lachrymal visitor." What particular
duties devolved upon the "lachrymal visitor," I could never clearly
ascertain. One evening these negroes debated upon the following theme,
"Which is de best--when ye are out ob a ting, or when ye hab got it?"
which was another form of expressing the old question, "Is there more
pleasure in possession than in anticipation?" Another night the
colored orators became intensely excited over the query, "Which is de
best, _Spring-Water_ or Matches?"

The freedmen, for so unfortunate a class, seem to be remarkably well
behaved. During several journeys through the southern states I found
them usually temperate, and very civil in their intercourse with the
whites, though it must be confessed that but few of them can apply
themselves steadily and persistently to manual labor, either for
themselves or their employers.




Some friends, among whom were Colonel George W. Nason, Jr., of
Massachusetts, and Major John Purviance, Commissioner of Suwanee County,
offered to escort the paper canoe down "the river of song" to the Gulf
of Mexico, a distance, according to local authority, of two hundred and
thirty-five miles. While the members of the party were preparing for the
journey, Colonel Nason accompanied me to the river, which was less than
three miles from Rixford, the proprietors of which sent the canoe after
us on a wagon drawn by mules. The point of embarkation was the Lower
Mineral Springs, the property of Judge Bryson.

The Suwanee, which was swollen by some recent rains in Okefenokee Swamp,
was a wild, dark, turbulent current, which went coursing through the
woods on its tortuous route with great rapidity. The luxuriant foliage
of the river-banks was remarkable. Maples were in blossom, beech-trees
in bloom, while the buckeye was covered with its heavy festoons of red
flowers. Pines, willows, cotton-wood, two kinds of hickory, water-oak,
live-oak, sweet-gum, magnolia, the red and white bay-tree, a few
red-cedars, and haw-bushes, with many species not known to me, made up a
rich wall of verdure on either side, as I sped along with a light heart
to Columbus, where my _compagnons de voyage_ were to meet me. Wood-ducks
and egrets, in small flocks, inhabited the forest. The limestone banks
of the river were not visible, as the water was eighteen feet above its
low summer level.

I now passed under the railroad bridge which connects Live Oak with
Savannah. After a steady row of some hours, my progress was checked by a
great boom, stretched across the river to catch the logs which floated
down from the upper country. I was obliged to disembark and haul the
canoe around this obstacle, when, after passing a few clearings, the
long bridge of the J. P. & M. Railroad came into view, stretching across
the now wide river from one wilderness to the other. On the left bank
was all that remained of the once flourishing town of Columbus,
consisting now of a store, kept by Mr. Allen, and a few buildings.
Before the railroad was built, Columbus possessed a population of five
hundred souls, and it was reached, during favorable stages of water, by
light-draught steamboats from Cedar Keys, on the Gulf of Mexico. The
building of railroads in the south has diverted trade from one locality
to another, and many towns, once prosperous, have gone to decay.

The steam saw-mills and village of Ellaville were located on the
river-bank opposite Columbus, and this lumber establishment is the only
place of importance between it and Cedar Keys. This far-famed river, to
which the heart of the minstrel's darky "is turning eber," is, in fact,
almost without the "one little hut among de bushes," for it is a wild
and lonely stream. Even in the most prosperous times there were but few
plantations upon its shores. Wild animals roam its great forests, and
vile reptiles infest the dense swamps. It is a country well fitted for
the hunter and lumberman, for the naturalist or canoeist; but the
majority of people would, I am sure, rather hear of it poured forth in
song from the sweet lips of Christina Nilsson, than to be themselves
"way down upon the Suwanee Ribber."

On Monday, March 22d, Messrs. Nason, Purviance, and Henderson joined me.
The party had obtained a northern-built shad-boat, which had been
brought by rail from Savannah. It was sloop-rigged, and was decked
forward, so that the enthusiastic tourists possessed a weatherproof
covering for their provisions and blankets. With the strong current of
the river, a pair of long oars, and a sail to be used when favorable
winds blew, the party in the shad-boat could make easy and rapid
progress towards the Gulf, while my lightly dancing craft needed
scarcely a touch of the oar to send her forward.

On Tuesday, the 23d, we left Columbus, while a crowd of people assembled
to see us off, many of them seeming to consider this simple and
delightful way of travelling too dangerous to be attempted. The smooth
but swift current rolled on its course like a sea of molten glass, as
the soft sunlight trembled through the foliage and shimmered over its
broad surface.

Our boats glided safely over the rapids, which for a mile and a half
impede the navigation of the river during the summer months, but which
were now made safe by the great depth of water caused by the freshet.
The weather was charming, and our little party, fully alive to all the
beautiful surroundings, woke many an echo with sounds meant to be sweet.
Of course the good old song was not forgotten. Our best voice sang:

    "Way down up-on de Suwanee Rib-ber,
           Far, far away,
     Dere's whar my heart is turn-ing eb-ber,
       Dere's whar de old folks stay.
     All up and down de whole creation
           Sadly I roam,
     Still longing for de old plantation,
       And for de old folks at home.

    "All round de little farm I wander'd
           When I was young;
     Den many happy days I squan-der'd--
       Many de songs I sung.
     When I was playing wid my brud-der,
           Hap-py was I.
     O! take me to my kind old mud-der,
       Dere let me live and die!

    "One little hut among de bushes,--
           One dat I love,--
     Still sadly to my mem'ry rushes,
       No matter where I rove.
     When will I see de bees a-hum-ming
           All round de comb?
     When will I hear de ban-jo tum-ming
       Down in my good old home?"

We all joined in the chorus at the end of each verse:

    "All de world am sad and dreary
       Eb-ry-whar I roam.
     O, darkies, how my heart grows weary,
       Far from de old folks at home."

We soon entered forests primeval which were quiet, save for the sound of
the axe of the log-thief, for timber-stealing is a profession which
reaches its greatest perfection on the Florida state lands and United
States naval reserves. Uncle Sam's territory is being constantly
plundered to supply the steam saw-mills of private individuals in
Florida. Several of the party told interesting stories of the way in
which log-thieves managed to steal from the government _legally_.

"There," said one, "is X, who runs his mill on the largest tract of pine
timber Uncle Sam has got. He once bought a few acres' claim adjacent to
a fine naval reserve. He was not, of course, able to discover the
boundary line which separated his little tract from the rich government
reserve, so he kept a large force of men cutting down Uncle Sam's
immense pines, and, hauling them to the Suwanee, floated them to his
mill. This thing went on for some time, till the government agent made
his appearance and demanded a settlement.

"The wholesale timber-thief now showed a fair face, and very frankly
explained that he supposed he had been cutting logs from his own
territory, but quite recently he had discovered that he had really been
trespassing on the property of his much-loved country, and as he was
truly a loyal citizen, he desired to make restitution, and was now ready
to settle.

"The government agent was astonished at the seeming candor of the man,
who so worked upon his sympathy that he promised to be as easy upon him
as the law allowed. The agent settled upon a valuation of fifty cents an
acre for all the territory that had been cut over. 'And now,' said he,
'how many acres of land have you "logged" since you put your lumbermen
into the forest?'

"Mr. X declared himself unable to answer this question, but generously
offered to permit the agent to put down any number of acres he thought
would represent a fair thing between a kind government and one of its
unfortunate citizens. Intending to do his duty faithfully, the officer
settled upon two thousand acres as having been trespassed upon; but to
his astonishment the incomprehensible offender stoutly affirmed that he
had logged fully five thousand acres, and at once settled the matter in
full by paying twenty-five hundred dollars, taking a receipt for the

"When this enterprising business-man visited Jacksonville, his friends
rallied him upon confessing judgment to government for three thousand
acres of timber more than had been claimed by the agent. This true
_patriot_ winked as he replied:

"'It is true I hold a receipt from the government for the timber on
five thousand acres at the very low rate of fifty cents an acre. As I
have not yet cut logs from more than one-fifth of the tract, _I intend
to work off the timber on the other four thousand acres at my leisure_,
and no power can stop me now I have the government receipt to show it's
paid for.'"

The sloop and the canoe had left Columbus a little before noon, and at
six P. M. we passed Charles' Ferry, where the old St. Augustine and
Tallahassee forest road crosses the river. At this lonely place an old
man, now dead, owned a subterranean spring, which he called
"Mediterranean passage." This spring is powerful enough to run a
rickety, "up-and-down" saw-mill. The great height of the water allowed
me to paddle into the mill with my canoe.

At half past seven o'clock a deserted log cabin at Barrington's Ferry
offered us shelter for the night. The whole of the next day we rowed
through the same immense forests, finding no more cultivated land than
during our first day's voyage. We landed at a log cabin in a small
clearing to purchase eggs of a poor woman, whose husband had shot her
brother a few days before. As the wife's brother had visited the cabin
with the intention of killing the husband, the woman seemed to think the
murdered man had "got his desarts," and, as a coroner's jury had
returned a verdict of "justifiable homicide," the affair was considered

Below this cabin we came to Island No. 1, where rapids trouble boatmen
in the summer months. Now we glided gently but swiftly over the deep
current. The few inhabitants we met along the banks of the Suwanee
seemed to carry with them an air of repose while awake. To rouse them
from mid-day slumbers we would call loudly as we passed a cabin in the
woods, and after considerable delay a man would appear at the door,
rubbing his eyes as though the genial sunlight was oppressive to his
vision. It was indeed a quiet, restful region, this great wilderness of
the Suwanee.

We passed Mrs. Goodman's farm and log buildings on the left bank, just
below Island No. 8, before noon, and about this time Major Purviance
shot at a large wild turkey (_Meleagris gallopavo_), knocking it off a
bank into the water. The gobbler got back to land, and led us a
fruitless chase into the thicket of saw-palmetto. He knew his ground
better than we, for, though wounded, he made good his escape. We stopped
a few moments at Troy, which, though dignified in name, consists only of
a store and some half dozen buildings.

A few miles below this place, on the left bank of the river, is an
uninhabited elevation called Rolins' Bluff, from which a line running
north 22° east, twenty-three miles and a half in length, will strike
Live Oak. A charter to connect Live Oak with this region of the Suwanee
by means of a railroad had just passed the Florida legislature, but had
been killed by the veto of the governor. After sunset the boats were
secured in safe positions in front of a deserted cabin, round which a
luxuriant growth of bitter-orange trees showed what nature could do for
this neglected grove. The night air was balmy, and tremulous with
insect life, while the alligators in the swamps kept up their bellowings
till morning.

After breakfast we descended to the mouth of the Santa Fé River, which
was on the left bank of the Suwanee. The piny-woods people called it the
Santaffy. The wilderness below the Santa Fé is rich in associations of
the Seminole Indian war. Many relics have been found, and, among others,
on the site of an old Indian town, entombed in a hollow tree, the
skeletons of an Indian adult and child, decked with beads, were
discovered. Fort Fanning is on the left bank, and Old Town Hammock on
the right bank of the Suwanee.

During the Seminole war, the hammock and the neighboring fastnesses
became the hiding-places of the persecuted Indians, and so wild and
undisturbed is this region, even at this time, that the bear, lynx,
and panther take refuge from man in its jungles.

Colonel J. L. F. Cottrell left his native Virginia in 1854, and
commenced the cultivation of the virgin soil of Old Town Hammock. Each
state has its peculiar mode of dividing its land, and here in Florida
this old plantation was in township 10, section 24, range 13. The estate
included about two thousand acres of land, of which nearly eleven
hundred were under cultivation. The slaves whom the colonel brought
from Virginia were now his tenants, and he leased them portions of his
arable acres. He considered this locality as healthy as any in the
Suwanee country. The old planter's home, with its hospitable doors ever
open to the stranger, was embowered in live-oaks and other trees, from
the branches of which the graceful festoons of Spanish moss waved in the
soft air, telling of a warm, moist atmosphere.

A large screw cotton-press and corn-cribs, with smoke-house and other
plantation buildings, were conveniently grouped under the spreading
branches of the protecting oaks. The estate produced cotton, corn, sweet
potatoes, cattle, hogs, and poultry. Deer sometimes approached the
enclosed fields, while the early morning call of the wild turkey came
from the thickets of the hammock. In this retired part of Florida,
cheered by the society of a devoted wife and four lovely daughters,
lived the kind-hearted gentleman who not only pressed upon us the
comforts of his well-ordered house, but also insisted upon accompanying
the paper canoe from his forest home to the sea.

When gathered around the firesides of the backwoods people, the
conversation generally runs into hunting stories, Indian reminiscences,
and wild tales of what the pioneers suffered while establishing
themselves in their forest homes. One event of startling interest had
occurred in the Suwanee country a few weeks before the paper canoe
entered its confines. Two hunters went by night to the woods to shoot
deer by firelight. As they stalked about, with light-wood torches held
above their heads, they came upon a herd of deer, which, being
bewildered by the glare of the lights, made no attempt to escape.
Sticking their torches in the ground, the hunters stretched themselves
flat upon the grass, to hide their forms from the animals they hoped to
kill at their leisure. One of the men was stationed beneath the branches
of a large tree; the other was a few yards distant.

[Illustration: THE PANTHER'S LEAP.]

Before the preconcerted signal for discharging their rifles could be
given, the sound of a heavy body falling to the ground, and an
accompanying smothered shriek, startled the hunter who was farthest from
the tree. Starting up in alarm, he flew to the assistance of his friend,
whose prostrate form was covered by a large panther, which had pounced
upon him from the overhanging limb of the great oak. It had been but the
work of an instant for the powerful cougar to break with his strong jaws
the neck of the poor backwoodsman.

In this rare case of a panther (_Felis concolor_) voluntarily
attacking man, it will be noted by the student of natural history that
the victim was lying upon the ground. Probably the animal would not
have left his perch among the branches of the oak, where he was
evidently waiting for the approach of the deer, if the _upright_ form
of the man had been seen. Go to a southern bayou, which is rarely, if
ever, visited by man, and where its saurian inhabitants have never
been annoyed by him,--place your body in a recumbent position on the
margin of the lagoon, and wait until some large alligator slowly rises
to the surface of the water. He will eye you for a moment with evident
curiosity, and will in some cases steadily approach you. When the
monster reptile is within two or three rods of your position, rise
slowly upon your feet to your full height, and the alligator of the
southern states--the _A. Mississippiensis_--will, in nine cases out
of ten, retire with precipitation.

There are but few wild animals that will attack man willingly when face
to face with him; they quail before his erect form. In every case of the
animals of North America showing fight to man, which has been
investigated by me, the beasts have had no opportunity to escape, or
have had their young to defend, or have been wounded by the hunter.

It was nearly ten o'clock A. M. on Friday, March 26th, when our merry
party left Old Town Hammock. This day was to see the end of the voyage
of the paper canoe, for my tiny craft was to arrive at the waters of the
great southern sea before midnight. The wife and daughters of our host,
like true women of the forest, offered no forebodings at the departure
of the head of their household, but wished him, with cheerful looks, a
pleasant voyage to the Gulf. The gulf port of Cedar Keys is but a few
miles from the mouth of the Suwanee River. The railroad which terminates
at Cedar Keys would, with its connection with other routes, carry the
members of our party to their several homes.

The bright day animated our spirits, as we swept swiftly down the river.
The party in the shad-boat, now called "Adventurer," rowed merrily on
with song and laughter, while I made an attempt to examine more closely
the character of the water-moccasin--the _Trigono cephalus-piscivorus_
of Lacepede,--which I had more cause to fear than the alligators of the
river. The water-moccasin is about two feet in length, and has a
circumference of five or six inches. The tail possesses a horny point
about half an inch in length, which is harmless, though the Crackers and
negroes stoutly affirm that when it strikes a tree the tree withers and
dies, and when it enters the flesh of a man he is poisoned unto death.
The color of the reptile is a dirty brown. Never found far from water,
it is common in the swamps, and is the terror of the rice-field negroes.
The bite of the water-moccasin is exceedingly venomous, and it is
considered more poisonous than that of the rattlesnake, which warns man
of his approach by sounding his rattle.

The moccasin does not, like the rattlesnake, wait to be attacked, but
assumes the offensive whenever opportunity offers, striking with its
fangs at every animated object in its vicinity. All other species of
snakes flee from its presence. It is found as far north as the Peedee
River of South Carolina, and is abundant in all low districts of the
southern states. As the Suwanee had overflowed its banks below Old Town
Hammock, the snakes had taken to the low limbs of the trees and to the
tops of bushes, where they seemed to be sleeping in the warmth of the
bright sunlight; but as I glided along the shore a few feet from their
aerial beds, they discovered my presence, and dropped sluggishly into
the water. It would not be an exaggeration to say that we passed
thousands of these dangerous reptiles while descending the Suwanee.
Raftsmen told me that when traversing lagoons in their log canoes, if a
moccasin is met some distance from land he will frequently enter the
canoe for refuge or for rest, and instances have been known where the
occupant has been so alarmed as to jump overboard and swim ashore in
order to escape from this malignant reptile.

The only place worthy of notice between Old Town Hammock and the gulf
marshes is Clay Landing, on the left bank of the river, where Mrs.
Tresper formerly lived in a very comfortable house. Clay Landing was
used during the Confederate war as a place of deposit for blockade
goods. Archer, a railroad station, is but twenty miles distant, and to
it over rough roads the contraband imports were hauled by mule teams,
after having been landed from the fleet blockade-runner.

As the sun was sinking to rest, and the tree-shadows grew long on the
wide river's bosom, we tasted the saltness in the air as the briny
breezes were wafted to us over the forests from the Gulf of Mexico.
After darkness had cast its sombre mantle upon us, we left the "East
Pass" entrance to the left, and our boats hurried on the rapidly ebbing
tide down the broad "West Pass" into the great marshes of the coast. An
hour later we emerged from the dark forest into the smooth savannas. The
freshness of the sea-air was exhilarating. The stars were shining
softly, and the ripple of the tide, the call of the heron, or the whirr
of the frightened duck, and the leaping of fishes from the water, were
the only sounds nature offered us. It was like entering another world.
In these lowlands, near the mouth of the river, there seemed to be but
one place above the high-tide level. It was a little hammock, covered by
a few trees, called Bradford's Island, and rose like an oasis in the
desert. The swift tide hurried along its shores, and a little farther
on mingled the waters of the great wilderness with that of the sea.

Our tired party landed on a shelly beach, and burned a grassy area to
destroy sand-fleas. This done, some built a large camp-fire, while
others spread blankets upon the ground. I drew the faithful sharer of
my long voyage near a thicket of prickly-pears, and slept beside it
for the last time, never thinking or dreaming that one year later I
should approach the mouth of the Suwanee from the west, after a long
voyage of twenty-five hundred miles from the head of the Ohio River,
and would again seek shelter on its banks. It was a night of sweet
repose. The camp-fire dissipated the damps, and the long row made
rest welcome.

A glorious morning broke upon our party as we breakfasted under the
shady palms of the island. Behind us rose the compact wall of dark
green of the heavy forests, and along the coast, from east to west,
as far as the eye could reach, were the brownish-green savanna-like
lowlands, against which beat, in soft murmurs, the waves of that sea I
had so longed to reach. From out the broad marshes arose low hammocks,
green with pines and feathery with palmetto-trees. Clouds of mist were
rising, and while I watched them melt away in the warm beams of the
morning sun, I thought they were like the dark doubts which curled
themselves about me so long ago in the cold St. Lawrence, now all
melted by the joy of success. The snow-clad north was now behind
me. The Maria Theresa danced in the shimmering waters of the great
southern sea, and my heart was light, for my voyage was over.

[Illustration: NO. 14. THE VOYAGE ENDED.]

|                                                    |
|Transcriber's Note:                                 |
|                                                    |
|Roundout in Chapter VI page 79 has been changed     |
|to Rondout.                                         |
|                                                    |
|GRAVE-YARD in the introduction to Chapter X page 180|
|has been changed to GRAVEYARD.                      |
|                                                    |
|CALIBOQUE SOUND in the introduction to Chapter XII  |
|page 261 has been changed to CALIBOGUE SOUND.       |
|                                                    |
|The use of quotation marks in the original when     |
|block quoting verse has been retained.              |
|                                                    |

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