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Title: Early Western Travels 1748-1846, Volume X
Author: Various
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Early Western Travels 1748-1846, Volume X" ***

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Early Western Travels


Volume X

Early Western Travels


A Series of Annotated Reprints of some of the best and rarest
contemporary volumes of travel, descriptive of the Aborigines and
Social and Economic Conditions in the Middle and Far West, during the
Period of Early American Settlement.

Edited with Notes, Introductions, Index, etc., by

Reuben Gold Thwaites, LL.D.

Editor of "The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents," "Original
Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition," "Hennepin's New
Discovery," etc.

Volume X

Hulme's Journal, 1818-19; Flower's Letters from Lexington and the
Illinois, 1819; Flower's Letters from the Illinois, 1820-21; and
Woods's Two Years' Residence, 1820-21


  Cleveland, Ohio
  The Arthur H. Clark Company



  The Lakeside Press


  PREFACE. _The Editor_                                              9


  OF AMERICA: September 30, 1818-August 7,
  1819. _Thomas Hulme_

      Dedication. _William Cobbett_                                 19

      Preface. _William Cobbett_                                    21

      Author's Introduction to the Journal                          23

      Text                                                          35


  [August 16, 1819], containing a Brief Account of the English
  Settlement in the Latter Territory, and a Refutation
  of the Misrepresentations of Mr. Cobbett. _Richard

      Author's Preface                                              89

      Text                                                          91


  LETTERS FROM THE ILLINOIS, 1820, 1821. Containing an
  Account of the English Settlement at Albion and its
  Vicinity, and a Refutation of Various Misrepresentations,
  Those more particularly of Mr. Cobbett. With
  a Letter from M. Birkbeck; and a Preface and Notes by
  Benjamin Flower. _Richard Flower_

      Publisher's Advertisement                                    114

      Editor's Preface. _Benjamin Flower_                          115

      Text                                                         121

      Extract of a Letter. _Morris Birkbeck_                       149

      Editor's Notes. _Benjamin Flower_                            153


  PRAIRIE, in the Illinois Country, United States
  [June 5, 1820-July 3, 1821]. With an Account of its
  Animal and Vegetable Productions, Agriculture, &c. &c.
  A Description of the Principal Towns, Villages, &c.
  &c. With the Habits and Customs of the Back-Woodsmen.
  _John Woods_

      Text                                                         179

      Appendix                                                     353


  Facsimile of title-page to Flower's Letters from Lexington
  and the Illinois (1819)                                           87

  Facsimile of title-page to Flower's Letters from the Illinois
  (1822)                                                           113

  Facsimile of title-page to Woods                                 173

  Map of the Allotments, from Woods                                175

  Map of the Illinois, from Woods                                  177


During the second decade of the nineteenth century, a colony of
English emigrants was established in southeastern Illinois, at a place
in Edwards County known afterwards as English Prairie. Interesting
in itself as being a typical experiment in transplantation and in
assimilation to frontier conditions, this settlement has attracted
unusual attention because of the war of pamphlets it evoked, and the
political prominence of some of its detractors.

Agricultural emigration was, at that period, a subject of much
importance in Great Britain, and the English Prairie settlement became
the nucleus around which the contention was waged. At the close of the
Napoleonic wars, England's rural interests were much depressed. Hopes
had been entertained that, with the return of peace, conditions for
the farmer would improve, but these expectations proved fallacious,
prices continually lowered, rents and wages increased, distress was
widespread, and agrarian discontent alarming. Added to this, the
political situation was grave. The domination of the Tory party, the
reactionary tendency of foreign affairs, and the general national
impoverishment led to the growth of a strong Radical party, which
demanded manhood suffrage, abolition of the Corn Laws, and abrogation
of the time-honored privileges of the upper classes. Mobs and
disturbances were frequent, and there was developed a strong sentiment
in favor of emigration to the United States, where political freedom,
combined with the prospects of cheap lands, offered an enticing
prospect to the harassed rural population of England.

The emigrants were not merely of the laboring classes, but frequently
were men of substance and property, who sold good estates to reinvest
in uncultivated lands in America, and to pave the way for the removal
thither of large colonies of Englishmen. Among the promoters of such
enterprises were Morris Birkbeck and George Flower, both of them
owners of considerable estates not far from London. The former was of
Quaker origin, and his growing dissatisfaction with affairs in England
made him open to the suggestion of emigration. Meeting in London the
well-known American diplomat, Edward Coles, returning from a mission to
Russia, the latter's account of the wide stretches of virgin prairie
lands in the then Territory of Illinois fired his imagination, and
determined him to transplant himself and family thither, purchase a
considerable area, and found an English colony for the relief of the
island's distressed agriculturists. His friend Flower joined him in
this resolution, and in the summer of 1816, went out in advance to the
United States, where Birkbeck and his family followed him the next

Nothing daunted by the difficulties and hardships of frontier
conditions, Birkbeck and Flower bought a large tract of unbroken
prairie in southeastern Illinois, began the building of log huts and
the importation of furniture, and established themselves and their
delicately-reared families on this border-land of civilization. Their
optimistic, and even enthusiastic, reports, soon led to the accession
of a considerable number of their English friends and neighbors.
Some of the newcomers were disappointed in the situation. After
the long, tedious ocean voyage, and the still longer and far more
tiresome westward journey by land, they would fain have returned to
the comparative ease and comfort of their English homes. Detractors
arose, who took advantage of the sometimes ill-considered letters of
the discontents, and utilized these to decry all English emigration to
America. Others urged the intending English emigrant to go no farther
than the Eastern part of the United States, where civilized conditions
already existed. Prominent in the ranks of the latter was William
Cobbett, the famous Radical leader and pamphleteer. Self-exiled from
England to avoid prosecutions for libel and consequent fines, Cobbett
was employed in rutabaga culture on Long Island. It was commonly
reported by his enemies that he had been subsidized by land speculators
in the vicinity of New York and Philadelphia to attract and retain in
that neighborhood the well-to-do English emigrant who was proposing
to make investment in American lands. Be that as it may, Cobbett
began an attack upon the Birkbeck-Flower Illinois settlement, which
at once brought it into notoriety. Wielding one of the most popular
and trenchant pens of his day, the political oracle of thousands of
Englishmen, he certainly was a formidable antagonist.

Birkbeck had recently (1817) published _Notes on a Journey in America_,
and (1818) _Letters from Illinois_--honest, straightforward books, if
somewhat optimistic in tone. Cobbett replied with _A Year's Residence
in the United States of America_ (New York, 1818, and many subsequent
editions), in which he made a savage attack on English Prairie,
using as a weapon the journal of his follower, Thomas Hulme, lately
returned from a visit to Illinois. Birkbeck and Richard Flower (father
of George, the first founder), answered the strictures of Cobbett;
and various other emigrants added their testimony. From this mass of
controversial literature, we have chosen for inclusion in volume x of
our series those publications which appear to us best to exemplify
Western life and conditions, and contain the most varied descriptions
of an English immigrant's impressions and experiences.

Thomas Hulme was an honest English farmer, with strong Radical
tendencies, and in earnest sympathy with democratic institutions as he
found them in America. The Introduction to his _Journal of a Tour in
the Western Countries of America_--which we herein extract and reprint
from Part III of his friend Cobbett's _A Year's Residence_--contains
some autobiographical material. In explaining his object in coming
to America, he declares: "I saw an absence of human misery. I saw a
government taking away a very small portion of men's earnings. I saw
ease and happiness and a fearless utterance of thought everywhere
prevail." The only question with him was, in what region of America
would it be best for him to settle. His visit to the "Western
Countries" was undertaken with a view to examining agricultural and
social conditions there. Travelling over the usual Pennsylvania road to
Pittsburg, he voyaged down the Ohio, and thence went through Illinois.
His notes along the way contain shrewd but useful observations on the
route, the people he encountered, prices, and wages. Hulme has nothing
adverse to say of the West. Cobbett, who first published this journal,
uses it as a text; but in making it serve this purpose of detraction,
he obviously wrests Hulme's words from their meaning. We have thought
it desirable to reprint Hulme's _Journal_ apart from the mass of
diatribe with which Cobbett originally enveloped it.

Richard Flower, whose _Letters from Lexington and the Illinois_
(London, 1819), and _Letters from the Illinois_ (London, 1822), herein
reprinted, were first published in reply to Cobbett, was a man of
culture and refinement, owner of a considerable estate in Hertford.
In 1818, at the age of sixty-three, he sold his property and joined
his eldest son, George, in promoting the colony to Illinois. The first
winter in America was passed at Lexington, Kentucky, awaiting the
preparation of a residence at Albion, the new Illinois town founded
by his son in Edwards County. After his removal thither (July, 1819)
he passed the rest of his life at this settlement, holding religious
services for the infant colony, and in many ways serving as a medium of
enlightenment and refinement in this distant region. He died in 1829.
His _Letters_ are eminently sane and sensible. His comments upon the
American character are appreciative and kindly, his chief strictures
being upon the subject of slavery.

The major portion of our volume is devoted to a reprint of John Woods's
_Two Years' Residence ... in the Illinois Country_ (London, 1822),
detailing with precision the experiences of a well-to-do English
farmer seeking a home in the new world. Woods was a matter-of-fact
person, whose book has no pretensions to literary style; but it does
present faithfully the average Englishman's impressions of persons and
things in the United States of 1819-21. Landing in Baltimore, Woods
bought conveyances that transported his family and goods over the new
National Road to Wheeling, whence a flat-boat furnished their means
of carriage down the Ohio River to Shawneetown, then the principal
port of Illinois. From this point the immigrants walked overland to
English Prairie, sending the baggage around by way of the Wabash and
its tributaries. Arrived at the settlement, Woods bought of American
pioneers lands that had already received some cultivation, and settled
contentedly to build up a new farm in these rich regions. His
experiences were typical; and while he expressly disclaims attempting
to influence others intending to remove from England, yet his favorable
pictures could not have failed of their effect.

His comments upon American life are shrewd and kindly. On the whole, he
says, "we have received as good treatment as we should have in a tour
through England; but the manners of Americans are more rough than those
of Englishmen." Gifted with penetration that permitted him to discover
the good qualities beneath the rude exterior, he makes an interesting
portrayal of the backwoodsman, giving us an amusing although not a
sarcastic record of an imaginary conversation imbued with some of the
peculiar Americanisms of his time. More interesting, perhaps, from
the point of view of our series, is the account he gives of the towns
on the Ohio, and the progress of settlement, compared with those of
the travellers of 1803-09. He finds older towns falling into decay,
new ones springing into existence, and over it all the trail of the
speculator. The extent and cheapness of public lands is a subject for
comment, and the land laws and methods of survey are minutely detailed.

In view of the strictures of later English writers, their flippant
comments and inappreciative criticisms, the plain, straightforward
descriptions of these farmers of English Prairie give a just and
wholesome account of the American West at the beginning of the third
decade of the nineteenth century. One further service the English
settlers performed for Illinois, and civilization. When a new
constitution for the state was agitated--one that should admit slavery
to its borders--it was the sturdy opposition of the English leaders
that turned the scale in favor of freedom. In this struggle (1824-25),
Morris Birkbeck once more met his friend Edward Coles, now become
governor of Illinois. Although a Virginian, Coles was opposed to the
extension of slavery, and stood shoulder to shoulder with Birkbeck in
this great fight. Largely to English devotion to free institutions, it
was due that the attempt to foist the "peculiar institution" upon the
new West failed, and the state which was to shelter and train Abraham
Lincoln was made a free land.

In the preparation of notes to this volume, the Editor has had the
assistance of Louise Phelps Kellogg, Ph.D., Edith Kathryn Lyle, Ph.D.,
and Mr. Archer Butler Hulbert.

  R. G. T.

MADISON, WIS., November, 1904.


Extracted and reprinted from William Cobbett's _A Year's Residence in
the United States of America_: London, 1828.




  _North Hempstead, Long Island,
  10th Dec. 1818._


THE little volume here presented to the public, consists,
as you will perceive, for the greater and most valuable part, of
travelling notes made by our friend HULME, whom I had the
honour to introduce to you in 1816, and with whom you were so much

His activity, which nothing can benumb; his zeal against the twin
monster, tyranny and priestcraft, which nothing can cool; and his
desire to assist in providing a place of retreat for the oppressed,
which nothing but the success in the accomplishment can satisfy; these
have induced him to employ almost the whole of his time here in various
ways all tending to the same point.

The Boroughmongers have agents and spies all over the inhabited globe.
Here they cannot _sell blood_: they can only collect information and
calumniate the people of both countries. These vermin our friend _firks
out_ (as the Hampshire people call it); and they hate him as rats hate
a terrier.

Amongst his other labours, he has performed a very laborious journey
to the _Western Countries_, and has been as far as the Colony
{260} of our friend BIRKBECK. This journey has produced a
JOURNAL; and this Journal, along with the rest of the volume,
I dedicate to you in testimony of my constant remembrance of the many,
many happy hours I have spent with you, and of the numerous acts of
kindness which I have received at your hands. You were one of those,
who _sought acquaintance with me_, when I was shut up in a felon's
jail for _two years_ for having expressed my indignation at seeing
Englishmen flogged, in the heart of England, under a guard of German
bayonets and sabres, and when I had on my head _a thousand pounds fine
and seven years' recognizances_. You, at the end of the two years,
took me from the prison, in your carriage, home to your house. You and
our kind friend, WALKER, are _even yet_, held in bonds for my
_good behaviour_, the seven years not being expired. All these things
are written in the very core of my heart; and when I act as if I had
forgotten any one of them, may no name on earth be so much detested and
despised as that of

    Your faithful friend,
              And most obedient servant,
                         WM. COBBETT


IN giving an account of the United States of America, it
would not have been proper to omit saying something of the _Western
Countries_, the Newest of the New Worlds, to which so many thousands
and hundreds of thousands are flocking, and towards which the writings
of Mr. Birkbeck have, of late, drawn the pointed attention of all those
Englishmen, who, having something left to be robbed of, and wishing to
preserve it, are looking towards America as a place of refuge from the
Boroughmongers and the Holy Alliance, which latter, to make the compact
complete, seems to want nothing but the accession of His Satanic

_I could not go_ to the Western Countries; and the accounts of others
were seldom to be relied on; because, scarcely any man goes thither
without some degree of partiality, or comes back without being tainted
with some little matter, at least, of self-interest. Yet, it was
desirable to make an attempt, at least, towards settling the question:
"Whether the Atlantic, or the Western, Countries were the best for
_English Farmers_ to settle in." Therefore, when Mr. HULME
proposed to make a Western Tour, I was very {262} much pleased, seeing
that, of all the men I knew, he was the most likely to bring us back
an _impartial_ account of what he should see. His great knowledge
of farming as well as of manufacturing affairs; his capacity of
estimating local advantages and disadvantages; the natural turn of
his mind for discovering the means of applying to the use of man all
that is furnished by the earth, the air, and water; the patience and
perseverance with which he pursues all his inquiries; the urbanity of
his manners, which opens to him all the sources of information; his
inflexible adherence to _truth_: all these marked him out as the man on
whom the public might safely rely.

I, therefore, give his Journal, made during his tour. He offers no
_opinion_ as to the _question_ above stated. That _I shall_ do; and
when the reader has gone through the Journal he will find my opinions
as to that question, which opinions I have stated in a Letter addressed

The American reader will perceive, that this Letter is intended
principally for the perusal of _Englishmen_; and, therefore, he must
not be surprised if he finds a little bickering in a group so much of a
_family_ cast.


_North Hempstead,
10th December, 1818._


  _Philadelphia, 30th Sept. 1818._

IT seems necessary, by way of Introduction to the following
_Journal_, to say some little matter respecting the author of it, and
also respecting his motives for wishing it to be published.

As to the first, I am an Englishman by birth and parentage; and am of
the county of Lancaster. I was bred and brought up at farming work,
and became an apprentice to the business of _Bleacher_, at the age of
14 years. My own industry made me a master-bleacher, in which state I
lived many years at Great Lever, near Bolton, where I employed about
140 men, women, and children, and had generally about 40 apprentices.
By this business, pursued with incessant application, I had acquired,
several years ago, property to an amount sufficient to satisfy any man
of moderate desires.

But, along with my money my children had come and had gone on
increasing to the number of _nine_. New _duties_ now arose, and
demanded my best attention. It was not sufficient that I was likely
to have a decent fortune for each child. I was bound to provide, if
possible, against my children being stripped of what I had earned for
them. I, therefore, looked seriously at the situation of England; and,
I saw, that the incomes of my children were all _pawned_ (as my friend
Cobbett[1] truly calls it) to pay the Debts of the Borough, or seat,
owners. I saw that, of whatever I might be able to {264} give to my
children, as well as of what they might be able to earn, _more than one
half_ would be taken away to feed pensioned Lords and Ladies, Soldiers
to shoot at us, Parsons to persecute us, and Fundholders, who had lent
their money to be applied to purposes of enslaving us. This view of the
matter was sufficient to induce the father of nine children to think of
the means of rescuing them from the consequences, which common sense
taught him to apprehend. But, there were other considerations, which
operated with me in producing my emigration to America.

[1] For a brief biography of William Cobbett, see Flint's _Letters_,
volume ix of our series, note 4.--ED.

In the year 1811 and 1812 the part of the country, in which I lived,
was placed under a _new sort of law_; or, in other words, it was placed
out of the protection of the old law of the land.[2] Men were seized,
dragged to prison, treated like convicts, many transported and put to
death, without having committed any thing, which the law of the land
deems a _crime_. It was then that the infamous _Spy-System_ was again
set to work in Lancashire, in which horrid system FLETCHER of
Bolton was one of the principal actors, or, rather, organizers and
promoters. At this time I endeavoured to detect the machinations of
these dealers in human blood; and, I narrowly escaped being sacrificed
myself on the testimony of two men, who had their pardon offered them
on condition of their _swearing against me_. The men refused, and were
transported, leaving wives and children to starve.

[2] In 1811 the growing hostility of those employed in the manufacture
of stockings to the introduction of knitting frames, culminated in
the Luddite Riots, and in Nottingham over six hundred stocking frames
were broken. The riot spread rapidly among the artisans in the cotton
and woolen industries in Lancashire and Yorkshire, mills were burned,
machinery of all kinds destroyed, and it became necessary to call
out seven regiments before quiet was restored. The government became
alarmed, especially as the mobs had stormed the militia depots and
secured arms for themselves, and several repressive measures were
hurried through Parliament. The first, passed March 5, 1812, made
frame-breaking a capital offense; the second, the Nottingham Watch
and Ward Bill, passed the same month, enabled the lord-lieutenant
or sheriff to establish watch and ward if further riots occurred;
and the third, the Preservation of Public Peace Act, passed July 27,
1812, empowered any magistrate in the disturbed district to search for
secreted arms, and to call upon the people to give up their weapons.
See _Parliamentary Debates_, xxi, pp. 859, 1166; xxiii, pp. 1099,

Upon this occasion, my friend DOCTOR TAYLOR, most humanely, and with
his usual zeal and talent, laboured to counteract the works of FLETCHER
and his associates. The DOCTOR published a pamphlet on the subject,
in 1812, which every Englishman should read. I, as far as I was able,
co-operated with him. We went to London, laid the real facts before
several members of the two houses of Parliament; and, in some degree,
checked the progress of the dealers in blood. I had an interview with
Lord Holland, and told him, that, if he would pledge himself to cause
the _secret-service money_ to be kept in London, I would pledge myself
for the keeping of the peace in Lancashire. In {265} short, it was
necessary, in order to support the tyranny of the seat-sellers, that
_terror_ should prevail in the populous districts. _Blood_ was wanted
to flow; and _money_ was given to spies to tempt men into what the new
law had made crimes.

From this time I resolved _not to leave my children in such a state
of things_, unless I should be taken off very suddenly. I saw no hope
of obtaining _a Reform of the Parliament_, without which it was clear
to me, that the people of England must continue to work solely for
the benefit of the great insolent families, whom I hated for their
injustice and rapacity, and despised for their meanness and ignorance.
I saw, in them, a mass of debauched and worthless beings, having at
their command an army to compel the people to surrender to them the
fruits of their industry; and in addition, a body existing under the
garb of _religion_, almost as despicable in point of character, and
still more malignant.

I could not have died in peace, leaving my children the slaves of such
a set of beings; and I could not live in peace, knowing, that at any
hour, I might die and so leave my family. Therefore I resolved, like
the Lark in the fable, to _remove_ my brood, which was still more
numerous than that of the Lark. While the war was going on between
England and America, I could not come to this country. Besides, I had
great affairs to arrange. In 1816, having made my preparations, I set
off, _not with my family_; for that I did not think a prudent step. It
was necessary for me to _see_ what America really was. I therefore,
came for that purpose.

I was well pleased with America, over a considerable part of which I
travelled. I saw an absence of human misery. I saw a government taking
away a very small portion of men's earnings. I saw ease and happiness
and a fearless utterance of thought every where prevail. I saw laws
like those of the _old laws_ of England, every where obeyed with
cheerfulness and held in veneration. I heard of no mobs, no riots, no
spies, no transportings, no hangings. I saw those very _Irish_, to keep
whom in order, such murderous laws exist in {266} Ireland, here good,
peaceable, industrious citizens. I saw no placemen and pensioners,
riding the people under foot. I saw no greedy Priesthood, fattening
on the fruits of labour in which they had never participated, and
which fruits they seized in despite of the people. I saw a _Debt_,
indeed, but then, it was so insignificant a thing; and, besides, it
had been contracted for _the people's use_, and not for that of a set
of tyrants, who had used the money to _the injury of the people_.
In short, I saw a state of things, precisely the reverse of that in
England, and very nearly what it would be in England, if the Parliament
were reformed.

Therefore, in the Autumn of 1816, I returned to England fully intending
to return the next spring with my family and whatever I possessed
of the fruits of my labours, and to make America my country and the
country of that family. Upon my return to England, however, I found
a great stir about _Reform_;[3] and having, in their full force, all
those feelings, which make our native country dear to us, I said, at
once, "My desire is, not to change country or countrymen, but to change
slavery for freedom: give me freedom here, and here I'll remain."
These are nearly the very words that I uttered to Mr. COBBETT, when
first introduced to him, in December 1816, by that excellent man,
MAJOR CARTWRIGHT.[4] Nor was I unwilling to _labour myself_ in the
cause of Reform. I was one of those very _Delegates_, of whom the
Borough-tyrants said so many falsehoods, and whom SIR FRANCIS BURDETT
so shamefully abandoned. In the meeting of Delegates, I thought we went
too far in reposing confidence in him: I spoke my opinion as to this
point: and, in a very few days, I had the full proof of the correctness
of my opinion. I was present when MAJOR CARTWRIGHT opened a letter
from SIR FRANCIS, which had come from _Leicestershire_. I thought the
kind-hearted old Major would have dropped upon the floor! I shall never
forget his looks as he read that letter. If the paultry Burdett had
a hundred lives, the taking of them all away would not atone for the
pain he that day gave to Major Cartwright, not to mention the pain
{267} given to others, and the injury done to the cause. For my part,
I was not much disappointed. I had no opinion of Sir Francis Burdett's
being sound. He seemed to me too much attached to his _own importance_
to do the people any real service. He is an _aristocrat_; and that is
enough for me. It is folly to suppose, that such a man will _ever_ be
a real friend of the rights of the people. I wish he were _here_ a
little while. He would soon find his proper level; and that would not,
I think, be very high. Mr. HUNT[5] was very much against our confiding
in BURDETT; and he was perfectly right. I most sincerely hope, that my
countrymen will finally destroy the tyrants who oppress them; but, I am
very sure, that, before they succeed in it, they must cure themselves
of the folly of depending for assistance on the _nobles_ or the

[3] The year 1816 was a time of intense suffering among the working
classes in England. Corn reached famine prices, and at the same time
the return of peace, by reducing the foreign demand for manufactured
articles, created an over supply of labor. Riots again occurred,
but the general discontent found a new outlet in the demand for
parliamentary reform. In this, Cobbett was the leader, and under his
direction Hampden Clubs were established all over the country. Sir
Francis Burdett, president of the London Hampden Club, was first chosen
to further the cause in the House of Commons. A graduate of Oxford, he
entered Parliament in 1796, when twenty-six years of age, and served
almost continuously until his death, in 1844. He was throughout an
earnest advocate of parliamentary reform, of freedom of speech in the
House, and of other liberal measures. Cobbett, Hulme, and the Radicals
disliked him because his methods were too moderate for them. The
incident mentioned by Hulme refers to a large meeting held at London
at the end of the year (1816), to which all the Hampden Clubs sent
delegates; and to avoid which Sir Francis, who had a horror of popular
demonstrations, fled to Leicestershire, and sent a letter stating his
inability to be present. See Cobbett, _Weekly Political Register_,
September 13, 1817.--ED.

[4] Next to Cobbett, the most important leader of the reform movement
during this period was Major John Cartwright. Born in Nottinghamshire
(1740), he had entered the navy and was being promoted rapidly when
he refused to join his commander, Lord Howe, against the American
colonies, thus putting an end to his professional advancement. Turning
his attention to politics, he began (1780) the agitation which earned
for him the title of Father of Reform. He was a frequent contributor
to Cobbett's _Register_, in the cause of parliamentary and other

[5] Henry Hunt, familiarly known as Orator Hunt (1773-1835), belonged
to a Wiltshire family. He was engaged in farming near Bristol when,
during a visit to London (1807), he became interested in the Radical
cause, and immediately set to work to organize the Radical party in
Bristol and the surrounding country. An eloquent speaker, and of
magnetic personality, he exerted his influence by addressing popular
meetings, undergoing two years' imprisonment for a speech delivered
at a Manchester meeting in 1819. After several unsuccessful attempts
to enter Parliament, he was elected in 1831, but held his seat only
two years, when, becoming estranged from the other Radical leaders, he
retired from politics.--ED.

After witnessing this conduct in Burdett, I set off home, and thought
no more about effecting a Reform. The _Acts_ that soon followed were,
by me, looked upon as _matters of course_.[6] The tyranny could go on
no longer _under disguise_. It was compelled to shew its naked face;
but, it is now, in reality, not worse than it was before. It now does
no more than rob the people, and that it did before. It kills more
now out-right; but, men may as well be shot, or stabbed or hanged, as
starved to death.

[6] December 2, 1816, a large mob collected at Spa-fields, London,
and after addresses by certain Radicals and Spencean Philanthropists
(members of a society which aimed to abolish private property), it
proceeded to take possession of the Tower, but disbanded before much
damage had been done. Feeling confident that sedition was being plotted
in all the newly-organized clubs throughout England, Parliament (March
3, 1817) authorized the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. March
25, the Seditious Meetings Act was passed, prescribing the death
penalty for refusal to discontinue any meeting when required to do so
by a magistrate (see _Parliamentary Debates_, XXXV, pp. 795, 826, 1083,
1227). The reformers regarded these laws as subversive of all liberty;
Cobbett headed the articles in his _Register_, "A History of the
Last Hundred Days of English Freedom, ending with the passing of the
Absolute-Power-of-Imprisonment Act, in the Month of March, 1817."--ED.

During the Spring and the early part of the Summer, of 1817, I made
preparations for the departure of myself and family, and when all was
ready, I bid an everlasting adieu to Boroughmongers, Sinecure placemen
and placewomen, pensioned Lords and Ladies, Standing Armies in time of
peace, and (rejoice, oh! my children!) to a hireling, tithe-devouring
Priesthood. We arrived safe and all in good health, and which health
has never been impaired by the climate. We are in a state of ease,
safety, plenty; and how can we help being as happy as people can be?
The more I see of my adopted country, the more gratitude do I feel
towards it for affording me and my numerous offspring protection from
the tyrants of my native country. There I should have been in constant
anxiety about my family. Here I am in none at all. Here I {268} am in
fear of no _spies_, no _false witnesses_, no _blood-money men_. Here no
fines, irons, or gallowses await me, let me _think_ or say what I will
about the government. Here I have to pay no people to be ready to shoot
at me, or run me through the body, or chop me down. Here no vile Priest
can rob me and mock me in the same breath.

In the year 1816 my travelling in America was confined to the Atlantic
States. I there saw enough to determine the question of emigration or
no emigration. But, a spot _to settle on myself_ was another matter;
for, though I do not know, that I shall meddle with any sort of trade,
or occupation, in the view of getting money, I ought to look about me,
and to consider soberly as to a spot to _settle on_ with so large a
family. It was right, therefore, for me to see the _Western Countries_.
I have done this; and the particulars, which I thought worthy my
notice, I noted down in a _Journal_. This Journal I now submit to
the public. My chief motive in the publication is to endeavour to
convey useful information, and especially to those persons, who may
be disposed to follow my example, and to withdraw their families and
fortunes from beneath the hoofs of the tyrants of England.

I have not the vanity to suppose myself _eminently_ qualified for
any thing beyond my own profession; but I have been an attentive
observer; I have raised a considerable fortune by my own industry and
economy; I have, all my life long, studied the matters connected with
agriculture, trade, and manufactures. I had a desire to acquire an
accurate knowledge of the Western countries, and what I did acquire I
have endeavoured to communicate to others. It was not my object to give
flowery descriptions. I leave that to poets and painters. Neither have
I attempted any _general_ estimate of the means or manner of living, or
getting money, in the West. But, I have contented myself with merely
noting down the facts that struck me; and from those facts the reader
must draw his conclusions.

In one respect I am a proper person to give an account of the Western
Countries. I have _no lands there_: I have no _interest_ there: I
have nothing to warp {269} my judgment in favour of those countries:
and yet, I have as little in the Atlantic States to warp my judgment
in their favour. I am perfectly impartial in my feelings, and am,
therefore, likely to be impartial in my words. My good wishes extend to
the utmost boundary of my adopted country. Every particular part of it
is as dear to me as every other particular part.

I have recommended most strenuously the encouraging and promoting of
_Domestic Manufacture_; not because I mean to be engaged in any such
concern myself; for it is by no means likely that I ever shall; but,
because I think that such encouragement and promotion would be greatly
beneficial to America, and because it would provide a happy Asylum
for my native, oppressed, and distressed countrymen, who have been
employed all the days of their lives in manufactures in England, where
the principal part of the immense profits of their labour is consumed
by the Borough tyrants and their friends, and expended for the vile
purpose of perpetuating a system of plunder and despotism at home, and
all over the world.

Before I conclude this Introduction, I must observe, that I see with
great pain, and with some degree of shame, the behaviour of some
persons from England, who, appear to think that they give proof of
their _high breeding_ by repaying civility, kindness, and hospitality,
with _reproach and insolence_. However, these persons are _despised_.
They produce very little impression here; and, though the accounts they
send to England, may be believed by some, they will have little effect
on persons of sense and virtue. _Truth_ will make its way; and it is,
thank God, now making its way with great rapidity.

I could mention numerous instances of Englishmen, coming to this
country with hardly a dollar in their pocket, and arriving at a state
of ease and plenty and even riches in a few years; and I explicitly
declare, that I have never known or heard of, an instance of one common
labourer who, with common industry and economy, did not greatly better
his lot. Indeed, how can it otherwise be, when the average wages of
{270} agricultural labour is _double_ what it is in England, and when
the average price of food is not more than half what it is in that
country? These two facts, undeniable as they are, are quite sufficient
to satisfy any man of sound mind.

As to the _manners_ of the people, they are precisely to my taste;
unostentatious and simple. Good sense I find every where, and never
affectation. Kindness, hospitality and never-failing civility. I have
travelled more than four thousand miles about this country; and I have
never met with one single insolent or rude native American.

I trouble myself very little about the party politics of the country.
These contests are the natural offspring of freedom; and they tend to
perpetuate that which produces them. I look at the people as a _whole_;
and I love them and feel grateful to them for having given the world a
practical proof, that peace, social order, and general happiness can be
secured, and best secured, without Monarchs, Dukes, Counts, Baronets,
and Knights. I have no unfriendly feeling towards any Religious
Society. I wish well to every member of every such society; but, I love
the Quakers, and feel grateful towards them, for having proved to the
world, that all the virtues, public as well as private, flourish most
and bring forth the fairest fruits when unincumbered with those noxious
weeds, hireling priests.



PITTSBURGH, _June 3_.--Arrived here with a friend as
travelling companion, by the mail stage from Philadelphia, after a
journey of six days; having set out on the 28th May.[7] We were much
pleased with the face of the country, the greatest part of which was
new to me. The route, as far as Lancaster, lay through a rich and
fertile country, well cultivated by good, settled proprietors; the
road excellent: smooth as the smoothest in England, and hard as those
made by the cruel _corvèes_ in France. The country finer, but the road
not always so good, all the way from Lancaster, by Little York, to
Chambersburgh; after which it changes for mountains and poverty, except
in timber. Chambersburgh is situated on the North West side of that
fine valley which lies between the South and North Mountains, and which
extends from beyond the North East boundary of Pennsylvania to nearly
the South West extremity of North Carolina, and which has limestone
for its bottom and rich and fertile soil, and beauty upon the face
of it, from one end to the other. The ridges of mountains called the
Allegany, and forming the highest land in north America between the
Atlantic and Pacific oceans, begin here and extend across our route
nearly 100 miles, or rather, _three days_, for it was no less than
half the journey to travel over them; they rise one above the other
as we proceed Westward, till we reach the Allegany, the last and
most lofty of all, from which we have a view to the West farther than
the eye can carry. I can say nothing in commendation of the road over
these mountains, but I must admire the drivers, and their excellent
horses. The road is every thing that is bad, but the skill of the
drivers, and the well constructed vehicles, and the capital old English
horses, overcome {272} every thing. We were rather singularly fortunate
in not breaking down or upsetting; I certainly should not have been
surprized if the whole thing, horses and all, had gone off the road and
been dashed to pieces. A new road is making, however, and when that
is completed, the journey will be shorter in point of time, just one
half.[8] A fine even country we get into immediately on descending the
Allegany, with very little appearance of unevenness or of barrenness
all the way to Pittsburgh; the evidence of good land in the crops, and
the country beautified by a various mixture of woods and fields.

[7] For a description of this route through western Pennsylvania at the
beginning of the century, see F. A. Michaux's _Travels_, volume iii of
our series, pp. 132-156.--ED.

[8] For the Cumberland Road, see Harris's _Journal_, volume iii of our
series, note 45.--ED.

Very good accommodations for travellers the whole of the way. The
stage stops to breakfast and to dine, and sleeps where it sups. They
literally feasted us every where, at every meal, with venison and good
meat of all sorts: every thing in profusion. In one point, however,
I must make an exception, with regard to some houses: at night I was
surprized, in taverns so well kept in other respects, to find bugs in
the beds! I am sorry to say I observed (or, rather, _felt_,) this too
often. Always good eating and drinking, but not always good sleeping.

_June 4th & 5th._--Took a view of Pittsburgh. It is situated between
the mouths of the river Allegany and Monongahela, at the point where
they meet and begin the Ohio, and is laid out in a triangular form
so that two sides of it lie contiguous to the water. Called upon Mr.
Bakewell, to whom we were introduced by letter, and who very obligingly
satisfied our curiosity to see every thing of importance. After showing
us through his extensive and well conducted glass works,[9] he rowed
us across the Monongahela to see the mines from which the fine coals
we had seen burning were brought. These coals are taken out from the
side of a steep hill, very near to the river, and brought from thence
and laid down in any part of the town for 7 cents the bushel, weighing,
perhaps, 80 lb. Better coals I never saw. A bridge is now building over
the river, by which they will most probably be brought still cheaper.

[9] The glassworks of Bakewell, Pears and Company were established in
1808. For the beginning of this industry in Pittsburg, see Cuming's
_Tour_, volume iv  of our series, note 28.--ED.

This place surpasses even my expectations, both in natural resources
and in extent of manufactures. {273} Here are the materials for every
species of manufacture, nearly, and of excellent quality and in
profusion; and these means have been taken advantage of by skilful and
industrious artizans and mechanics from all parts of the world. There
is scarcely a denomination of manufacture or manual profession that
is not carried on to a great extent, and, as far as I have been able
to examine, in the best manner. The manufacture of iron in all the
different branches, and the mills of all sorts, which I examined with
the most attention, are admirable.

Price of flour, from 4 to 5 dollars a barrel; butter 14 cents per lb.;
other provisions in proportion and mechanic's and good labourer's wages
1 dollar, and shipbuilder's 1 dollar and a half, a day.

_June 6th._--Leave Pittsburgh, and set out in a thing called an ark,
which we buy for the purpose, down the Ohio.[10] We have, besides, a
small skiff, to tow the ark and go ashore occasionally. This ark, which
would stow away eight persons, close packed, is a thing by no means
pleasant to travel in, especially at night. It is strong at bottom, but
may be compared to an orange-box, bowed over at top, and so badly made
as to admit a boy's hand to steal the oranges: it is proof against the
river, but not against the rain.

[10] See Harris's _Journal_, volume iii of our series, p. 335, for a
description of an Ohio River "ark."--ED.

Just on going to push off the wharf, an English officer stepped on
board of us, with all the curiosity imaginable. I at once took him for
a spy hired to way-lay travellers. He began a talk about the Western
Countries, anxiously assuring us that we need not hope to meet with
such a thing as a respectable person, travel where we would. I told
him I hoped in God I should see no spy or informer, whether in plain
clothes or regimentals, and that of one thing I was certain, at any
rate: that I should find no Sinecure placeman or pensioner in the
Western country.

The Ohio, at its commencement, is about 600 yards broad, and continues
running with nearly parallel sides, taking two or three different
directions in its course, for about 200 miles. There is a curious
contrast between the waters which form this river: that of the Allegany
is clear and transparent, that of the Monongahela {274} thick and
muddy, and it is not for a considerable distance that they entirely
mingle. The sides of the river are beautiful; there are always rich
bottom lands upon the banks, which are steep and pretty high, varying
in width from a few yards to a mile, and skirted with steep hills
varying also in height, overhanging with fine timber.

_June 7th._--Floating down the Ohio, at the rate of four miles an hour.
Lightning, thunder, rain and hail pelting in upon us. The hail-stones
as large as English hazelnuts. Stop at Steubenville all night. A nice
place; has more stores than taverns, which is a good sign.[11]

[11] For the towns along the Ohio mentioned by Hulme, see A. Michaux's
_Travels_, volume iii of our series: Wheeling, note 15; Marietta, note
16. Cuming's _Tour_, volume iv of our series: Steubenville, note 67;
Cincinnati, note 166; Shippingport, note 171. Bradbury's _Travels_,
volume v of our series; Vevay, note 164. Croghan's _Journals_, volume i
of our series: Louisville, note 106.--ED.

_June 8th._--Came to Wheeling at about 12 o'clock. It is a handsome
place, and of considerable note. Stopped about an hour. Found flour to
be about 4 to 5 dollars a barrel; fresh beef 4 to 6 cents per lb., and
other things (the produce of the country) about the same proportion.
Labourers' wages, 1 dollar a day. Fine coals here, and at Steubenville.

_June 9th._--Two fine young men join us, one a carpenter and the
other a saddler, from Washington, in a skiff that they had bought at
Pittsburgh, and in which they are taking a journey of about 700 miles
down the river. We allow them to tie their skiff to our ark, for which
they very cheerfully assist us. Much diverted to see the nimbleness
with which they go on shore sometimes with their rifles to shoot
pigeons and squirrels. The whole expenses of these two young men in
floating the 700 miles, will be but 7 dollars each, including skiff and
every thing else.

This day pass Marietta, a good looking town at the mouth of the
Muskingham River. It is, however, like many other towns on the Ohio,
built on too low ground, and is subject to inundations. Here I observe
a contrivance of great ingenuity. There is a strong rope put across
the mouth of the river, opposite the town, fastened to trees or large
posts on each side; upon this rope runs a pulley or block, to which is
attached a rope, and to the rope a ferry-boat, which, by moving the
helm first one way and then the other, is propelled by the force of the
water across the river backwards or forwards.

{275} _June 10th._--Pass several fine coal mines, which like those at
Pittsburgh, Steubenville, Wheeling and other places, are not above 50
yards from the river and are upwards of 10 yards above high water.
The river now becomes more winding than we have hitherto found it.
It is sometimes so serpentine that it appears before and behind like
a continuation of lakes, and the hills on its banks seem to be the
separations. Altogether, nothing can be more beautiful.

_June 11th._--A very hot day, but I could not discover the degree of
heat. On going along we bought two Perch, weighing about 8 lb. each,
for 25 cents, of a boy who was fishing.[12] Fish of this sort will
sometimes weigh 30 lbs. each.

[12] The common American perch is the _Perca americana_ or

_June 12th._--Pass Portsmouth, at the mouth of the Scioto River. A sort
of village, containing a hundred or two of houses. Not worthy of any
particular remark.

_June 13th._--Arrived at Cincinnati about midnight. Tied our ark to a
large log at the side of the river, and went to sleep. Before morning,
however, the fastening broke, and, if it had not been for a watchful
back-woodsman whom we had taken on board some distance up the river,
we might have floated ten or fifteen miles without knowing it. This
back-woodsman, besides being of much service to us, has been a very
entertaining companion. He says he has been in this country forty
years, but that he is an Englishman, and was bred in Sherwood Forest
(he could not have come from a better nursery). All his adventures he
detailed to us very minutely, but dwelt with particular warmth upon
one he had had with a priest, lately, who, to spite him for preaching,
brought an action against him, but was cast and had to pay costs.

_June 14th and 15th._--Called upon Doctor Drake[13] and upon a
Mr. Bosson, to whom we had letters. These gentlemen shewed us the
greatest civility, and treated us with a sort of kindness which must
have changed the opinion even of the English officer whom we saw at
Pittsburgh, had he been with us. I could tell that dirty hireling
scout, that even in this short space of time, I have had the pleasure
to meet many gentlemen, {276} very well informed, and possessing great
knowledge as to their own country, evincing public spirit in all their
actions, and hospitality and kindness in all their demeanour; but, if
they be pensioners, male or female, or sinecure place lords or ladies,
I have yet come across, thank God, no _respectable people_.

[13] For a brief biography of Dr. Drake, consult Flint's _Letters_,
volume ix of our series, note 61.--ED.

Cincinnati is a very fine town, and elegantly (not only in the
American acceptation of the word) situated on the banks of the river,
nearly opposite to Licking Creek, which runs out of Kentucky, and is
a stream of considerable importance. The country round the town is
beautiful, and the soil rich; the fields in its immediate vicinity bear
principally grass, and clover of different sorts, the fragrant smell of
which perfumes the air. The town itself ranks next to Pittsburgh, of
the towns on the Ohio, in point of manufactures.

We sold our ark, and its produce formed a deduction from our expenses,
which, with that deduction, amounted to 14 dollars each, including
every thing, for the journey from Pittsburgh to this place, which is
upwards of 500 miles. I could not but remark the price of fuel here;
2 dollars a cord for Hickory; a cord is 8 feet by 4, and 4 deep, and
the wood, the best in the world; it burns much like green Ash, but
gives more heat. This, which is of course the highest price for fuel
in this part of the country, is only about a fifth of what it is at

_June 16th._--Left Cincinnati for Louisville with seven other persons,
in a skiff about 20 feet long and 5 feet wide.

_June 17th._--Stopped at VEVAY, a very neat and beautiful
place, about 70 miles above the falls of the Ohio. Our visit here was
principally to see the mode used, as well as what progress was made, in
the cultivation of the vine, and I had a double curiosity, never having
as yet seen a vineyard. These vineyards are cultivated entirely by a
small settlement of Swiss, of about a dozen families, who have been
here about ten years. They first settled on the Kentucky river, but did
not succeed there. They plant the vines in rows, attached to stakes
like espaliers, and they plough between with a one-horse plough. The
grapes, {277} which are of the sorts of Claret and Madeira, look very
fine and luxuriant, and will be ripe in about the middle of September.
The soil and climate both appear to be quite congenial to the growth
of the vine: the former rich and the latter warm. The north west wind,
when it blows, is very cold, but the south, south east, and south west
winds, which are always warm, are prevalent. The heat, in the middle
of the summer, I understand, is very great, being generally above 85
degrees, and sometimes above 100 degrees. Each of these families has a
farm as well as a vineyard, so that they supply themselves with almost
every necessary and have their wine all clear profit. Their produce
will this year be probably not less than 5000 gallons; we bought 2
gallons of it at a dollar each, as good as I would wish to drink. Thus
it is that the tyrants of Europe create vineyards in this new country!

_June 18th._--Arrived at Louisville, Kentucky. The town is situated at
the commencement of the falls, or rapids of the Ohio. The river, at
this place, is little less than a mile wide, and the falls continue
from a ledge of rocks which runs across the river in a sloping
direction at this part, to Shippingport, about 2 miles lower down.
Perceiving stagnant waters about the town, and an appearance of the
house that we stopped at being infested with bugs, we resolved not to
make any stay at Louisville, but got into our skiff and floated down
the falls to Shippingport. We found it very rough floating, not to say
dangerous. The river of very unequal widths and full of islands and
rocks along this short distance, and the current very rapid, though
the descent is not more than 22 feet. At certain times of the year the
water rises so that there is no fall; large boats can then pass.

At Shippingport, stopped at the house of Mr. Berthoud,[14] a very
respectable French gentleman, from whom we received the greatest
civility during our stay, which was two nights and the day intervening.

[14] James Berthoud in 1803 purchased the town of Shippingport from the
original proprietor, Colonel John Campbell.--ED.

Shippingport is situated at a place of very great importance, being the
upper extremity of that part of the river which is navigable for heavy
steam-boats. All the goods coming from the country are re-shipped, and
every thing going to it is un-shipped, here. Mr. Berthoud {278} has
the store in which the articles exporting or importing are lodged: and
is, indeed, a great shipper, though at a thousand miles from the sea.

_June 20th._--Left the good and comfortable house of Mr. Berthoud,
very much pleased with him and his amiable wife and family, though I
differed with him a little in politics. Having been taught at church,
when a boy, that the Pope was the whore of Babylon, that the Bourbons
were tyrants, and that the Priests and privileged orders of France were
impostors and petty tyrants under them, I could not agree with him in
applauding the Boroughmongers of England for re-subjugating the people
of France, and restoring the Bourbons, the Pope, and the Inquisition.

Stop at New Albany, 2 miles below Shippingport, till the evening.[15] A
Mr. Paxton, I am told, is the proprietor of a great part of the town,
and has the grist and saw-mills, which are worked by steam, and the
ferry across the river. Leave this place in company with a couple of
young men from the western part of the state of New York, who are on
their way to Tennessee in a small ferry-boat. Their whole journey will,
probably, be about 1,500 miles.

[15] The site of New Albany was owned by three Scribner brothers of
New York, who in 1813 had a town surveyed and offered lots for sale.
In 1819 it contained about one hundred and fifty houses and a thousand
inhabitants. Charles Paxson removed from Philadelphia (1817) and opened
a store at New Albany. For many years he owned the only brick house in
the village.--ED.

_June 21st._--Floating down the river, without any thing in particular

_June 22nd._--Saw a Mr. Johnstone and his wife reaping wheat on the
side of the river. They told us they had come to this spot last year,
direct from Manchester, Old England, and had bought their little farm
of 55 acres of a back-woodsman who had cleared it, and was glad to
move further westward, for 3 dollars an acre. They had a fine flock of
little children, and pigs and poultry, and were cheerful and happy,
being confident that their industry and economy would not be frustrated
by visits for tithes or taxes.

_June 23rd._--See great quantities of turkey-buzzards and thousands of
pigeons. Came to Pigeon Creek, about 230 miles below the Falls, and
stopped for the night at Evansville, a town of nine months old, near
the mouth of it.[16] We are now frequently met and passed by large,
fine steam-boats, plying up and down {279} the river. One went by us as
we arrived here which had left Shippingport only the evening before.
They go down the river at the rate of 10 miles an hour, and charge
passengers 6 cents a mile, boarding and lodging included. The price is
great, but the time is short.

[16] The first log cabin on the site of Evansville was built in 1812 by
Hugh McGary of Kentucky. Four years later, General Robert Evans, having
purchased the land in the vicinity, surveyed and laid out a town which
he named Evansville. It did not attract settlers until 1818, when Evans
succeeded in having it made the seat of the newly-erected Vanderburgh
County. In 1819 it contained one hundred inhabitants; but Hulme's
expectation of its future importance was slow in being realized, for in
1830 the population was but five hundred. It was incorporated in 1847,
and from that date its growth has been rapid.--ED.

_June 24th._--Left Evansville. This little place is rapidly increasing,
and promises to be a town of considerable trade. It is situated at a
spot which seems likely to become a port for shipping to Princeton and
a pretty large district of Indiana. I find that the land speculators
have made entry of the most eligible tracts of land, which will
impede the partial, though not the final, progress of population and
improvement in this part of the state.

On our way to Princeton, we see large flocks of fine wild turkeys, and
whole herds of pigs, apparently very fat. The pigs are wild also, but
have become so from neglect. Some of the inhabitants, who prefer sport
to work, live by shooting these wild turkeys and pigs, and indeed,
sometimes, I understand, they shoot and carry off those of their
neighbours before they are wild.

_June 25th._--Arrived at Princeton, Indiana, about twenty miles from
the river.[17] I was sorry to see very little doing in this town. They
cannot _all_ keep stores and taverns! One of the storekeepers told me
he does not sell more than ten thousand dollars value per annum: he
ought, then, to manufacture something and not spend nine tenths of his
time in lolling with a segar in his mouth.

[17] As early as 1800 settlement began in the vicinity of the present
town of Princeton. Gibson County being organized in 1813 and the county
seat located there, the following year a public square was cleared of
timber, and town lots were offered for sale. It was named in honor of
William Prince, a lawyer and Indian agent who had settled at Princeton
in 1812; he later became a circuit court judge, and a member of

_June 26th._--At Princeton, endeavouring to purchase horses, as we had
now gone far enough down the Ohio. While waiting in our tavern, two men
called in armed with rifles, and made enquiries for some horses they
suspected to be stolen. They told us they had been almost all the way
from Albany, to Shawnee town[18] after them, a distance of about 150
miles. I asked them how they would be able to secure the thieves, if
they overtook them, in these wild woods; "O," said they, "shoot them
off the horses." This is a summary mode of executing justice, thought
I, though probably the most effectual, and, indeed, only one in this
state of society. A thief very rarely escapes here; not nearly so
{280} often as in more populous districts. The fact was, in this case,
however, we discovered afterwards, that the horses had strayed away,
and had returned home by this time. But, if they had been stolen, the
stealers would not have escaped. When the loser is tired, another will
take up the pursuit, and the whole country is up in arms till he is

[18] For the founding of Shawneetown, see Croghan's _Journals_, volume
i of our series, note 108.--ED.

_June 27th._--Still at Princeton. At last we get suited with horses.
Mine cost me only 135 dollars with the bridle and saddle, and that I am
told is 18 dollars too much.

_June 28th._--Left Princeton, and set out to see Mr. Birkbeck's
settlement, in Illinois, about 35 miles from Princeton.[19] Before
we got to the Wabash we had to cross a swamp of half a mile wide; we
were obliged to lead our horses, and walk up to the knees in mud and
water. Before we got half across we began to think of going back; but,
there is a sound bottom under it all, and we waded through it as well
as we could. It is, in fact, nothing but a bed of very soft and rich
land, and only wants draining to be made productive. We soon after
came to the banks of the great Wabash, which is here about half a
mile broad, and as the ferry-boat was crossing over with us I amused
myself by washing my dirty boots. Before we mounted again we happened
to meet with a neighbour of Mr. Birkbeck's, who was returning home; we
accompanied him, and soon entered into the prairie lands, up to our
horses' bellies in fine grass. These prairies, which are surrounded
with lofty woods, put me in mind of immense noblemen's parks in
England. Some of those we passed over are called _wet prairies_, but,
they are dry at this time of the year; and, as they are none of them
flat, they need but very simple draining to carry off the water all
the year round. Our horses were very much tormented with flies, some
as large as the English horse-fly and some as large as the wasp; these
flies infest the prairies that are unimproved about three months in the
year, but go away altogether as soon as cultivation begins.

[19] Morris Birkbeck (1763-1825) was a native of England, being
born at Wanborough. He received a classical education and became a
successful, practical farmer. Having become acquainted with a number of
Americans, especially with Edward Coles, later governor of Illinois,
Birkbeck emigrated (1817) to America. He purchased sixteen thousand
acres in Illinois, upon which he located the widely known "English
settlement" in Edwards County, whose chief town was Albion. Birkbeck
and family settled a few miles distant, naming their point of residence
Wanborough. Having considerable literary ability, he assisted Governor
Coles in the latter's fight against admitting slavery into Illinois.
In 1824 he was appointed secretary of state by Coles, but the senate,
being pro-slavery, refused to confirm the nomination. In 1825, while
returning from a visit to the New Harmony settlement, Birkbeck was
drowned in Fox River. He was the author of _Notes on a Journey Through
France_ (London, 1815), _Notes on a Journey in America_ (London, 1818),
and _Letters from Illinois_ (London, 1818), and some controversial

Mr. Birkbeck's settlement is situated between {281} the two Wabashes,
and is about ten miles from the nearest navigable water; we arrived
there about sunset and met with a welcome which amply repaid us for
our day's toil. We found that gentleman with his two sons perfectly
healthy and in high spirits: his daughters were at Henderson (a town
in Kentucky, on the Ohio) on a visit.[20] At present his habitation is
a cabin, the building of which cost only 20 dollars; this little hutch
is near the spot where he is about to build his house, which he intends
to have in the most eligible situation in the prairie for convenience
to fuel and for shelter in winter, as well as for breezes in summer,
and will, when that is completed, make one of its appurtenances. I like
this plan of keeping the old loghouse; it reminds the grand children
and their children's children of what their ancestor has done for their

[20] Birkbeck brought four children with him to Illinois: his second
son, Bradford, aged sixteen; his third son, Charles, aged fourteen;
his daughter Eliza, who later married Gilbert Pell; and his daughter
Prudence, who married Francis Hanks. Soon after their father's death,
the family left Illinois, the two sons and Mrs. Hanks going to Mexico,
and Mrs. Pell to England to educate her children.--ED.

Few settlers had as yet joined Mr. Birkbeck; that is to say, settlers
likely to become "_society_;" he has labourers enough near him, either
in his own houses or on land of their own joining his estate. He was
in daily expectation of his friends, Mr. Fowler's family,[21] however,
with a large party besides; they had just landed at Shawnee Town, about
20 miles distant. Mr. Birkbeck informs me he has made entry of a large
tract of land, lying, part of it, all the way from his residence to the
great Wabash; this he will re-sell again in lots to any of his friends,
they taking as much of it and wherever they choose (provided it be no
more than they can cultivate), at an advance which I think very fair
and liberal.

[21] George Flower, born about 1780, was an Englishman of means who
emigrated to America in 1816 in search of the famed prairies of
Illinois, of which so much was being said. Visiting the Middle West
in that year, he returned to Virginia and spent the winter, chiefly
with Thomas Jefferson, to whom he had letters of introduction from
Lafayette. In 1817, Morris Birkbeck arrived, and, as the two were old
friends, Flower joined Birkbeck's movement and took part in founding
the "English settlement." In 1818, on returning from a voyage to
England, Flower was accompanied by his father (Richard, who wrote the
letters reprinted in this volume), his mother, two sisters, and two
brothers. After spending the winter in Lexington, the newcomers of the
family removed to English Prairie in the spring of 1819. George Flower
championed the movement against admitting slavery into Illinois, and
lived to see Albion become a prosperous and beautiful town. He was
financially unfortunate, and for many years lived in retirement with
his children in Illinois and Indiana. Shortly before his death (1862)
he completed a _History of the English Settlement in Edwards County,
Illinois_ (Chicago, 1882).--ED.

The whole of his operations had been directed hitherto (and wisely in
my opinion) to building, fencing, and other important preparations.
He had done nothing in the cultivating way but make a good garden,
which supplies him with the only things that he cannot purchase, and,
at present, perhaps, with more economy than he could grow them. He is
within twenty miles of Harmony;[22] in Indiana, where he gets his flour
and all other necessaries (the produce of the country) and therefore
employs himself much better in making barns and houses and mills for
the reception and disposal of {282} his crops, and fences to preserve
them while growing, _before he grows them_, than to _get the crops
first_. I have heard it observed that _any_ American settler, even
without a dollar in his pocket, would have _had something growing by
this time_. Very true! I do not question that at all; for, the very
first care of a settler without a dollar in his pocket is to get
something to eat, and, he would consequently set to work scratching up
the earth, fully confident that after a long summering upon wild flesh
(without salt, perhaps) his own belly would stand him for barn, if
his jaws would not for mill. But the case is very different with Mr.
Birkbeck, and at present he has need for no other provision for winter
but about a three hundredth part of his fine grass turned into hay,
which will keep his necessary horses and cows: besides which he has
nothing that eats but such pigs as live upon the waste, and a couple
of fine young deer (which would weigh, they say, when full grown, 200
lb. dead weight) that his youngest son is rearing up as pets.

[22] Harmony (or Harmonie as it was first known) was the famous
settlement of the German Lutherans led by George Rapp. In 1813 Rapp
purchased thirty thousand acres along the Wabash, on a part of which
New Harmony was built. "Contrary to the general idea, Rapp's colony
was a great success, so far as the accumulation of property was
concerned, and when Rapp sold out, in 1825, it was said the wealth per
capita was ten times greater than the average wealth throughout the
United States."--E. B. Washburne, editorial note to Flower's _English
Settlement in Edwards County, Illinois_, p. 61. The town was purchased
by Robert Owen, a manufacturer of New Lanark, Scotland, for the purpose
of putting into practice his communistic ideas. After a few years the
communistic plan was abandoned, and Owen returned to Scotland, leaving
the property in charge of his two sons.--ED.

I very much admire Mr. Birkbeck's mode of _fencing_. He makes a ditch
4 feet wide at top, sloping to 1 foot wide at bottom, and 4 feet deep.
With the earth that comes out of the ditch he makes a bank on one side,
which is turfed towards the ditch. Then a long pole is put up from the
bottom of the ditch to 2 feet above the bank; this is crossed by a
short pole from the other side, and then a rail is laid along between
the forks. The banks were growing beautifully, and looked altogether
very neat as well as formidable; though a live hedge (which he intends
to have) instead of dead poles and rails, upon top, would make the
fence far more effectual as well as handsomer. I am always surprised,
until I reflect how universally and to what a degree, farming is
neglected in this country, that this mode of fencing is not adopted in
cultivated districts, especially where the land is wet, or lies low;
for, there it answers a double purpose, being as effectual a drain as
it is a fence.

I was rather disappointed, or sorry, at any rate, not to find near
Mr. Birkbeck's any of the means for machinery or of the materials for
manufactures, such as the water-falls, and the minerals and mines,
{283} which are possessed in such abundance by the states of Ohio and
Kentucky, and by some parts of Pennsylvania. Some of these, however, he
may yet find. Good water he has, at any rate. He showed me a well 25
feet deep, bored partly through hard substances near the bottom, that
was nearly overflowing with water of excellent quality.

_July 1st._--Left Mr. Birkbeck's for Harmony, Indiana. The distance
by the direct way is about 18 miles, but, there is no road, as yet;
indeed, it was often with much difficulty that we could discover the
way at all. After we had crossed the Wabash, which we did at a place
called Davis's Ferry,[23] we hired a man to conduct us some part of the
way through the woods. In about a mile he brought us to a track, which
was marked out by slips of bark being stripped off the trees, once in
about 40 yards; he then left us and told us we could not mistake if we
followed that track. We soon lost all appearance of the track, however,
and of the "_blazing_" of the trees, as they call it; but, as it was
useless to go back again for another guide, our only way was to keep
straight on in the same direction, bring us where it would. Having no
compass, this nearly cost us our sight, for it was just mid-day, and
we had to gaze at the sun a long time before we discovered what was
our course. After this we soon, to our great joy, found ourselves in a
large corn field; rode round it, and came to Johnson's Ferry, a place
where a Bayou (_Boyau_) of the Wabash is crossed. This Bayou is a run
out of the main river round a flat portion of land, which is sometimes
overflowed: it is part of the same river, and the land encompassed by
it, an island. Crossed this ferry in a canoe, and got a ferry-man to
swim our horses after us. Mounted again and followed a track which
brought us to Black River, which we forded without getting wet, by
holding our feet up.[24] After crossing the river we found a man who
was kind enough to shew us about half a mile through the woods, by
which our journey was shortened five or six miles. He put us into a
direct track to Harmony, through lands as rich as a dung-hill, and
covered with immense timber; we {284} thanked him, and pushed on our
horses with eager curiosity to see this far-famed Harmonist Society.

[23] Davis's ferry across the Wabash was twelve miles from Albion.--ED.

[24] Black River, or Creek, rises in the southern part of Gibson
County, Indiana, and flows westward, emptying into the Wabash a few
miles above New Harmony.--ED.

On coming within the precincts of the Harmonites we found ourselves at
the side of the Wabash again; the river on our right hand, and their
lands on our left. Our road now lay across a field of Indian corn, of,
at the very least, a mile in width, and bordering the town on the side
we entered; I wanted nothing more than to behold this immense field
of most beautiful corn to be at once convinced of all I had heard of
the industry of this society of Germans, and I found, on proceeding a
little farther, that the progress they had made exceeded all my idea of

The town is methodically laid out in a situation well chosen in all
respects; the houses are good and clean, and have, each one, a nice
garden well stocked with all vegetables and tastily ornamented with
flowers. I observe that these people are very fond of flowers, by the
bye; the cultivation of them, and musick, are their chief amusements. I
am sorry to see this, as it is to me a strong symptom of simplicity and
ignorance, if not a badge of their German slavery. Perhaps the pains
they take with them is the cause of their flowers being finer than any
I have hitherto seen in America, but, most probably, the climate here
is more favourable. Having refreshed ourselves at the Tavern, where we
found every thing we wanted for ourselves and our horses, and all very
clean and nice, besides many good things we did not expect, such as
beer, porter, and even wine, all made within the Society, and very good
indeed, we then went out to see the people at their harvest, which was
just begun. There were 150 men and women all reaping in the same field
of wheat. A beautiful sight! The crop was very fine, and the field,
extending to about two miles in length, and from half a mile to a mile
in width, was all open to one view, the sun shining on it from the
West, and the reapers advancing regularly over it.

At sun-set all the people came in, from the fields, workshops, mills,
manufactories, and from all their labours. This being their evening
for prayer {285} during the week, the Church bell called them out
again in about 15 minutes, to attend a lecture from their High Priest
and Law-giver, Mr. George Rapp.[25] We went to hear the lecture, or,
rather, to see the performance, for, it being all performed in German,
we could understand not a word. The people were all collected in a
twinkling, the men at one end of the Church and the women at the other;
it looked something like a Quaker Meeting, except that there was not a
single little child in the place. Here they were kept by their Pastor
a couple of hours, after which they returned home to bed. This is the
quantum of Church-service they perform during the week; but on Sundays
they are in Church nearly the whole of the time from getting up to
going to bed. When it happens that Mr. Rapp cannot attend, either by
indisposition or other accident, the Society still meet as usual, and
the _elders_ (certain of the most trusty and discreet, whom the Pastor
selects as a sort of assistants in his divine commission) converse on
religious subjects.

[25] George Rapp (1757-1847) was a weaver in Iptingen, Wurtemburg,
and was noted for his biblical knowledge and piety. He proposed to
reform society on the plan of the New Testament, gathering around him
a community of persons who, in imitation of the early Christians at
Jerusalem, held everything in common. This brought them into disfavor
with the government, and he, with a portion of his followers, emigrated
to the United States (1803), settling first on Conequenessing Creek,
Butler County, Pennsylvania. In 1815, he established Harmony, on the
Wabash, but ten years later led the colony back to Pennsylvania, and
founded the town of Economy, about seventeen miles north-west of
Pittsburg. See also, note 22, _ante_.--ED.

Return to the Tavern to sleep; a good comfortable house, well kept by
decent people, and the master himself, who is very intelligent and
obliging, is one of the very few at Harmony who can speak English. Our
beds were as good as those stretched upon by the most highly pensioned
and placed Boroughmongers, and our sleep, I hope, much better than the
tyrants ever get, in spite of all their dungeons and gags.

_July 2nd._--Early in the morning, took a look at the manufacturing
establishment, accompanied by our Tavern-keeper. I find great attention
is paid to this branch of their affairs. Their principle is, not to
be content with the profit upon the manual labour of _raising_ the
article, but also to have the benefit of the machine in preparing it
for _use_. I agree with them perfectly, and only wish the subject was
as well understood all over the United States as it is at Harmony. It
is to their skill in this way that they owe their great prosperity;
if they had been nothing but farmers, they would be now at Harmony in
Pennsylvania, poor cultivators, getting a bare subsistence, instead of
having doubled their property two or three {286} times over, by which
they have been able to move here and select one of the choicest spots
in the country.

But in noting down the state of this Society, as it now is, its
_origin_ should not be forgotten; the curious history of it serves as
an explanation to the jumble of sense and absurdity in the association.
I will therefore trace the Harmonist Society from its outset in Germany
to this place.

The Sect had its origin at Wurtemberg in Germany, about 40 years ago,
in the person of its present Pastor and Master, George Rapp, who,
by his own account, "having long seen and felt the decline of the
Church, found himself impelled to bear testimony to the fundamental
principles of the Christian Religion; and, finding no toleration for
his inspired doctrines, or for those who adopted them, he determined
with his followers to go to that part of the earth, where they were
free to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience." In
other words (I suppose), he had long beheld and experienced the slavery
and misery of his country, and, feeling in his conscience that he was
born more for a ruler than for a slave, found himself imperiously
called upon to collect together a body of his poor countrymen and
to lead them into a land of liberty and abundance. However allowing
him to have had no other than his professed views, he, after he had
got a considerable number of proselytes, amounting to seven or eight
hundred persons, among whom were a sufficiency of good labourers and
artizans in all the essential branches of workmanship and trade,
besides farmers, he embodied them into a Society, and then came himself
to America (not trusting to Providence to lead the way) to seek out
the land destined for these chosen children. Having done so, and laid
the plan for his route to the land of peace and Christian love, with
a foresight which shows him to have been by no means unmindful to the
_temporal_ prosperity of the Society, he then landed his followers in
separate bodies, and prudently led them in that order to a resting
place within Pennsylvania, choosing rather to retard their progress
through the wilderness than to hazard the discontent that might arise
from want and fatigue {287} in traversing it at once. When they were
all arrived, Rapp constituted them into one body, having every thing in
common, and called the settlement _Harmony_. This constitution he found
authorised by the passage in Acts, iv. 32, "And the multitude of them
that believed were of one heart, and of one soul: neither said any of
them that aught of the things he possessed was his own, _but that they
had all things common_." Being thus associated, the Society went to
work, early in 1805, building houses and clearing lands, according to
the order and regulations of their leader; but the community of stock,
or the regular discipline, or the restraints which he had reduced them
to, and which were essential to his project, soon began to thin his
followers and principally, too, those of them who had brought most
substance into the society; they demanded back their original portions
and set out to seek the Lord by themselves. This falling off of the
society, though it was but small, comparatively, in point of numbers,
was a great reduction from their means; they had calculated what they
should want to consume, and had laid the rest out in land; so that the
remaining part were subjected to great hardships and difficulties for
the first year or two of their settling, which was during the time of
their greatest labours. However, it was not long before they began to
reap the fruits of their toil, and in the space of six or seven years
their settlement became a most flourishing colony. During that short
space of time they brought into cultivation 3,000 acres of land (a
third of their whole estate), reared a flock of nearly 2,000 sheep,
and planted hop-gardens, orchards, and vineyards; built barns and
stables to house their crops and their live stock, granaries to keep
one year's produce of grain always in advance, houses to make their
cyder, beer, and wine in, and good brick or stone warehouses for their
several species of goods; constructed distilleries, mills for grinding,
sawing, making oil, and, indeed, for every purpose, and machines for
manufacturing their various materials for clothing and other uses; they
had, besides, a store for retailing Philadelphia goods to the country,
and nearly 100 good dwelling-houses of wood, a large stone-built
tavern, {288} and, as a proof of superabundance, a dwelling-house
and a meeting-house (alias the parsonage and church) which they had
neatly built of brick. And, besides all these improvements within
the society, they did a great deal of business, principally in the
way of manufacturing, for the people of the country. They worked for
them with their mills and machines, some of which did nothing else,
and their blacksmiths, tailors, shoe-makers, &c. when not employed by
themselves, were constantly at work for their neighbours. Thus this
everlastingly-at-work band of emigrants increased their stock before
they quitted their first colony, to upwards of two hundred thousand
dollars, from, probably not one fifth of that sum. What will not
unceasing perseverance accomplish? But, with judgment and order to
direct it, what in the world can stand against it![26]

[26] A more detailed account of this society, up to the year 1811, will
be found in Mr. Mellishe's _Travels_, volume ii.--HULME.

In comparing the state of this society as it now is with what it was
in Pennsylvania, it is just the same as to _plan_; the temporal and
spiritual affairs are managed in the same way, and upon the same
principles, only both are more flourishing. Rapp has here brought
his disciples into richer land, and into a situation better in every
respect, both for carrying on their trade, and for keeping to their
faith; their vast extent of land is, they say, four feet deep of rich
mould, nearly the whole of it, and it lies along the banks of a fine
navigable river on one side, while the possibility of much interruption
from other classes of Christians is effectually guarded against by
an endless barricado of woods on the other side. Bringing the means
and experience acquired at their first establishment, they have of
course gone on improving and increasing (not in _population_) at a much
greater rate. One of their greatest improvements, they tell me is the
working of their mills and manufacturing machines by steam; they feel
the advantage of this more and more every year. They are now preparing
to build a steam boat; this is to be employed in their traffick with
New Orleans {289} carrying their own surplus produce and returning with
tea, coffee, and other commodities for their own consumption, and to
retail to the people of the country. I believe they advance, too, in
the way of ornaments and superfluities, for the dwelling-house they
have now built their pastor, more resembles a Bishop's Palace than
what I should figure to myself as the humble abode of a teacher of the
"fundamental principles of the Christian Religion."

The government of this society is by bands, each consisting of a
distinct trade or calling. They have a foreman to each band, who rules
it under the general direction of the society, the law-giving power
of which is in the High Priest. He cannot, however make laws without
the consent of the parties. The manufacturing establishment, and the
mercantile affairs and public accounts are all managed by one person;
he, I believe, is one of the sons of Rapp. They have a bank, where a
separate account is kept for each person; if any one puts in money, or
has put in money, he may on certain conditions as to time, take it out
again. They labour and possess in common; that is to say, except where
it is not practicable or is immaterial, as with their houses, gardens,
cows and poultry, which they have to themselves, each family. They also
retain what property each may bring on joining the concern, and he may
demand it in case of leaving the society, but _without interest_.

Here is certainly a wonderful example of the effects of skill,
industry, and force combined. This congregation of far-seeing,
ingenious, crafty, and bold, and of ignorant, simple, superstitious,
and obedient, Germans, has shown what may be done. But their example, I
believe, will generally only tend to confirm this free people in their
suspicion that labour is concomitant to slavery or ignorance. Instead
of their improvements, and their success and prosperity altogether,
producing admiration, if not envy, they have a social discipline, the
thought of which reduces these feelings to ridicule and contempt: that
is to say, with regard to the _mass_; with respect to their leaders
one's feelings are apt to be stronger. A fundamental of their religious
creed ("_restraining_ {290} _clause_," a Chancery Lawyer would call it)
requires restrictions on the propagation of the species; it orders such
regulations as are necessary to prevent children coming but once in a
certain number of years; and this matter is so arranged that, when they
come, they come in little flocks, all within the same month, perhaps,
like a farmer's lambs. The Law-giver here made a famously "restraining
statute" upon the law of nature! This way of expounding law seems to be
a main point of his policy; he by this means keeps his associates from
increasing to an unruly number within, while more are sure not to come
in from without; and, I really am afraid he will go a good way towards
securing a monopoly of many great improvements in agriculture, both as
to principle and method. People see the fine fields of the Harmonites,
but, the prospect comes damped with the idea of bondage and celibacy.
It is a curious society: was ever one heard of before that did not
wish to increase! This smells strong of policy; some distinct view in
the leaders, no doubt. Who would be surprised if we were to see a
still more curious society by and bye? A _Society Sole_! very far from
improbable, if the sons of Rapp (for he has children, nevertheless, as
well as Parson Malthus)[27] and the _Elders_ were to die, it not being
likely that they will renounce or forfeit their right to the common
stock. We should then have societies as well as corporations vested in
one person! That would be quite a novel kind of benefice! but, not the
less fat. I question whether the _associated_ person of Mr. Rapp would
not be in possession of as fine a domain and as many good things as the
_incorporated_ person of an Archbishop: nay, he would rival the Pope!
But, to my journal.

[27] Robert Malthus (1766-1834), an English economist, who held the
theory that the increase of population is more rapid than the increase
of the means of subsistence, and consequently must be held in check,
was himself a married man and had a son and daughter. Earlier in life
he had held a curacy; the title "Parson Malthus" was sneeringly given
to him by Cobbett, as his later doctrines were considered unsuitable
for a clergyman.--ED.

Arrive at Princeton in the evening; a good part of our road lay over
the fine lands of the Harmonites. I understand, by the bye, that the
title deeds to these lands are taken in the name of _Rapp and of his
associates_. Poor associates: if they do but rebel! Find the same
store-keepers and tavern-keepers in the same attitudes that we left
them in the other day. Their legs _only a little_ higher than their
heads, and {291} segars in their mouths; a fine position for business!
It puts my friend in mind of the Roman posture in dining.

_July 3rd._--At Princeton all day. This is a pretty considerable place;
very good as to buildings; but is too much inland to be a town of any
consequence until the inhabitants do that at home which they employ
merchants and foreign manufacturers to do for them. Pay 1 dollar for a
set of old shoes to my horse, half the price of new ones.

_July 4th._--Leave Princeton; in the evening, reach a place very
appropriately called Mud-holes,[28] after riding 46 miles over lands
in general very good but very little cultivated, and that little very
badly; the latter part of the journey in company with a Mr. Jones
from Kentucky. Nature is the agriculturist here; speculation instead
of cultivation, is the order of the day amongst men. We feel the ill
effects of this in the difficulty of getting oats for our horses.
However, the evil is unavoidable, if it can be really called an evil.
As well might I grumble that farmers have not taken possession as
complain that men of capital have. Labour is the thing wanted, but, to
have that money must come first. This Mud-holes was a sort of fort, not
4 years ago, for guarding against the Indians, who then committed great
depredations, killing whole families often, men, women and children.
How changeable are the affairs of this world! I have not met with a
single Indian in the whole course of my route.

[28] "Mud-holes" was located near the White River, in the northwestern
part of the present Du Bois County. It was on an old trail called
"Mud-hole trace," which led from Vincennes to Jeffersonville. As early
as 1802, before the land had been ceded by the Indians, two McDonald
brothers from Virginia settled there. They were soon followed by other
pioneers, and a blockhouse was built as a refuge in case of an Indian

_July 5th._--Come to Judge Chambers's,[29] a good tavern; 35 miles.
On our way, pass French Lick, a strong spring of water impregnated
with salt and sulphur, and called _Lick_ from its being resorted to by
cattle for the salt; close by this spring is another still larger, of
fine clear limestone water, running fast enough to turn a mill.[30]
Some of the trees near the Judge's exhibit a curious spectacle; a
large piece of wood appears totally dead, all the leaves brown and
the branches broken, from being roosted upon lately by an enormous
multitude of pigeons. A novel sight for us, unaccustomed to the
abundance of the back-woods! {292} No tavern but this, nor house of any
description, within many miles.

[29] This is now Chambersburg, in Orange County, about thirty-eight
miles northwest of New Albany. It was named in honor of Samuel
Chambers, who emigrated from North Carolina (1811) and established the
first store and tavern at this place. When Orange County was organized
(1816), he was appointed a county judge.--ED.

[30] French Lick is about fifty miles northwest of New Albany. The
springs were donated to the state by Congress on the supposition that
salt could profitably be manufactured therefrom; but this did not prove
practicable. In recent years French Lick and West Baden Springs, a
half-mile distant, have won attention as health resorts.--ED.

_July 6th._--Leave the Judge's, still in company with Mr. Jones. Ride
25 miles to breakfast, not sooner finding feed for our horses; this
was at the dirty log-house of Mr. ---- who has a large farm with a
grist-mill on it, and keeps his yard and stables ancle deep in mud and
water. If this were not one of the healthiest climates in the world,
he and his family must have died in all this filth. About 13 miles
further, come to New Albany, where we stop at Mr. Jenkins's, the best
tavern we have found in Indiana, that at Harmony excepted.

_July 7th._--Resting at New Albany. We were amused by hearing a
Quaker-lady preach to the natives. Her first words were "_All the
nations of the earth are of one blood._" "So," said I to myself,
"this question, which has so long perplexed philosophers, divines and
physicians, is now set at rest!" She proceeded to vent her rage with
great vehemence against hireling priests and the trade of preaching in
general, and closed with dealing out large portions of brimstone to
the drunkard and still larger and hotter to those who give the bottle
to drink. This part of her discourse pleased me very much and may be a
saving to me into the bargain; for, the dread of everlasting roasting
added to my love of economy will (I think) prevent me making my friends
tipsy. A very efficacious sermon!

_July 8th._--Jenkins's is a good tavern, but it entertains at a high
price. Our bill was 6 dollars each for a day and two nights; a shameful
charge. Leave New Albany, cross the Ohio, and pass through Louisville
in Kentucky again, on our way to Lexington, the capital. Stop for the
night at Mr. Netherton's, a good tavern. The land hitherto is good,
and the country altogether healthy, if I may judge from the people
who appear more cheerful and happy than in Indiana, always excepting
Harmony. Our landlord is the picture of health and strength: 6 feet 4
inches high, weighs 300 lb. and not fat.

_July 9th._--Dine at Mr. Overton's tavern, on our way to Frankfort; pay
half a dollar each for an excellent dinner, with as much brandy and
butter-milk {293} as we choose to drink, and good feed for our horses.
In the afternoon we have the pleasure to be overtaken by two ladies on
horseback, and have their agreeable company for a mile or two. On their
turning off from our road we were very reluctantly obliged to refuse an
obliging invitation to drink tea at their house, and myself the more
so, as one of the ladies informed me she had married a Mr. Constantine,
a gentleman from my own native town of Bolton, in Lancashire. But, we
had yet so far to go, and it was getting dark. This most healthful
mode of travelling is universal in the Western States, and it gives me
great pleasure to see it; though, perhaps, I have to thank the badness
of the roads as the cause. Arrive at Frankfort, apparently a thriving
town, on the side of the rough Kentucky river.[31] The houses are built
chiefly of brick, and the streets, I understand, paved with limestone.
Limestone abounds in this state, and yet the roads are not good, though
better than in Indiana and Ohio, for there there are none. I wonder
the government of these states do not set about making good roads and
bridges, and even canals.[32] I pledge myself to be able to shew them
how the money might be raised, and, moreover, to prove that the expense
would be paid over and over again in almost no time. Such improvements
would be income to the governments instead of expense, besides being
such an incalculable benefit to the states. But, at any rate, why not
_roads_, and in _this_ state, too, which is so remarkable for its
quality of having good road materials and rich land together, generally
all over it?

[31] For the early history of Frankfort, see F. A. Michaux's _Travels_,
volume iii of our series, note 39.--ED.

[32] The first macadamized road in Kentucky, and the first to receive
state aid, was the Maysville and Lexington turnpike. It was begun in
1829, the state subscribing for $25,000 worth of stock. Congress, also,
voted to subscribe for fifteen hundred shares; but the now famous
Maysville Road Bill was vetoed by President Jackson. The state then
made further contributions amounting to half the cost of the road. A
great interest in road building was now aroused; by November, 1837, 343
miles of macadamized road had been completed with the aid of the state,
and 236 additional miles were under contract, the total contribution of
the state being about two and a half million dollars.--ED.

_July 10th._--Leave Frankfort, and come through a district of fine
land, very well watered, to Lexington; stop at Mr. Keen's tavern. Had
the good fortune to meet Mr. Clay, who carried us to his house, about
a mile in the country.[33] It is a beautiful residence, situated near
the centre of a very fine farm, which is just cleared and is coming
into excellent cultivation. I approve of Mr. Clay's method very much,
especially in laying down pasture. He clears away all the brush or
underwood, leaving timber enough to afford a sufficiency of shade to
the grass, which does not thrive here exposed {294} to the sun as in
England and other such climates. By this means he has as fine grass
and clover as can possibly grow. I could not but admire to see this
gentleman, possessing so much knowledge and of so much weight in his
country's affairs, so attentively promoting her not less important
though more silent interests by improving her agriculture. What
pleased me still more, however, because I less expected it, was, to
hear Mrs. Clay, in priding herself on the state of society, and the
rising prosperity of the country, citing as a proof the decency and
affluence of the trades-people and mechanics at Lexington, many of
whom ride about in their own carriages. What a contrast, both in sense
and in sentiment, between this lady and the wives of Legislators (as
they are called), in the land of the Boroughmongers! God grant that
no privileged batch ever rise up in America, for then down come the
mechanics, are harnessed themselves, and half ridden to death.

[33] Henry Clay's country seat near Lexington was called Ashland. Some
of his descendants still reside there.--ED.

_July 11th._--This is the hottest day we have had yet. Thermometer at
90 degrees, in shade. Met a Mr. Whittemore, from Boston, loud in the
praise of this climate. He informed me he had lately lost his wife
and five children near Boston, and that he should have lost his only
remaining child, too, a son now stout and healthy, had he not resolved
instantly to try the air of the west. He is confident that if he had
taken this step in time he might have saved the lives of all his
family. This might be however, and yet this climate not better than
that of Boston. Spent the evening with Colonel Morrison, one of the
first settlers in this state; a fine looking old gentleman, with colour
in his face equal to a London Alderman.[34] The people here are pretty
generally like that portion of the people of England who get porridge
enough to eat; stout, fat, and ruddy.

[34] Colonel James Morrison, born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania,
was the son of an humble Irish immigrant. After serving in the
Revolutionary War, he came to Kentucky, and in 1792 settled at
Lexington. He was successively state representative from Fayette
County, president of the Lexington branch of the United States Bank,
and chairman of the board of trustees of Transylvania University.
Having acquired considerable wealth, he contributed liberally to
educational objects, and at his death (1823) left a fund for the
establishment of Morrison College, Lexington.--ED.

_July 12._--Hotter than yesterday; thermometer at 91 degrees.

_July 13._--Leave Lexington; stop at Paris, 22 miles.[35] a fine
country all the way; good soil, plenty of limestone and no musquitoes.
Paris is a healthy town, with a good deal of stir; woollen and cotton
manufactures are carried on here, but upon a small scale. {295} They
are not near enough to good coal mines to do much in that way. What
they do, however, is well paid for. A spinner told me he gets 83 cents
per lb. for his twist, which is 33 cents more than it would fetch at
New York. Stop at Mr. Timberlake's, a good house. The bar-keeper, who
comes from England, tells me that he sailed to Canada, but he is glad
he had the means to leave Canada and come to Kentucky; he has 300
dollars a year, and board and lodging. Made enquiry after young Watson,
but find he has left this place and is gone to Lexington.[36]

[35] For the early history of Paris, see A. Michaux's _Travels_, volume
iii of our series, note 39.--ED.

[36] James Watson and his father, James Watson, senior, were both
leaders of the Spenceans and by their inflammatory speeches stirred
up the mob at the Spa-fields meeting (see note 6, _ante_). The elder
Watson was tried for high treason, but he was acquitted. The son
escaped to America before he could be arrested.--ED.

The following is a list of the wages and prices of the most essential
branches of workmanship and articles of consumption, as they are here
at present.

                                                Dls. Cts.      Dls. Cts.

  Journeymen saddlers' price for drawing on men's
    saddles                                        1  25[37] to   2  50
  Journeymen blacksmiths, per day                  1  ..     --   1  25
    --Per month                                   25  00     --  30
  Journeymen hatters (_casters_)               1  25         --
  Ditto _rorum_                                1  ..         --
  Ditto for finishing, per month, and found       30  ..     --
  Journeymen shoe-makers (_coarse_)           ..  75         --
    Ditto, _fine_                              1  25         --
    Ditto, for boots                               3  25     --
  Journeymen tailors, by the coat                  5  ..     --
  Stone-masons or bricklayers, per day             1  ..     --   1  50
  Carpenters, per day, and found                   1  ..     --
  Salary for a clerk per annum                   200  ..     -- 500
  Beef, per 100 lb                                 6  ..     --
  Flour, per barrel                                6  ..     --

[37] Or 5_s._ 7½_d._ to 11_s._ 3_d._ _sterling_. At the present rate
of exchange, a _dollar_ is equivalent to 4_s._ 6_d._ sterling, and a
_cent_ is the hundredth part of a dollar.--HULME.

_July 14th._--Hot again; 90 degrees. Arrive at Blue Licks, close by the
fine Licking Creek, 22 miles from Paris.[38] Here is a sulphur and salt
spring like that at French Lick in Indiana, which makes this a place of
great resort in summer for the fashionable swallowers {296} of mineral
waters; the three or four taverns are at this time completely crowded.
Salt was made till latterly at this spring, by an old Scotsman; he now
attends the ferry across the Creek. Not much to be said for the country
round here; it is stony and barren, what, I have not seen before in

[38] For the early history of Blue Licks, see Cuming's _Tour_, volume
iv of our series, note 117.--ED.

_July 15th._--To Maysville, or Lime-stone, 24 miles. This is a place
on the banks of the Ohio, and is a sort of port for shipping _down_
the river to a great part of that district of the state for which
Louisville is the shipping port to and from New Orleans.[39] Still
hot; 90 degrees again. This is the fifth day; rather unusual, this
continuance of heat. The hot spells, as well as the cold spells, seldom
last more than three days, pretty generally in America.

[39] See A. Michaux's _Travels_, volume iii of our series, note 23, for
a brief account of Maysville.--ED.

_July 16th._--Hot still, but a fine breeze blowing up the river. Not a
bit too hot for me, but the natives say it is the hottest weather they
recollect in this country; a proof to me that this is a mild climate,
as to heat, at any rate. Saw a cat-fish in the market, just caught out
of the river by a hook and line, 4 feet long and eighty pounds weight,
offered for 2 dollars. Price of flour, 6 dollars a barrel; fresh beef,
6½ cents, and butter 20 cents per lb.

_July 17th._--Set out again, crossing the Ohio into the state of that
name, and take the road to Chillicothe, 74 miles from Maysville. Stop
about mid-way for the night, travelling over a country generally
hilly, and not of good soil, and passing through West Union,[40] a
place situated as a town ought to be, upon high and unlevel lands; the
inhabitants have fine air to breathe, and plenty of food to eat and
drink, and, if they keep their houses and streets and themselves clean,
I will ensure them long lives. Some pretty good farms in view of the
road, but many abandoned for the richer lands of Indiana and Illinois.
Travelling expenses much less, hitherto, than in Indiana and some parts
of Kentucky; we had plenty of good buttermilk at the farm-houses all
along the road, free of expense, and the tavern-keepers do not set
before us bread made of Indian corn, which we have not yet learned to
like very cordially.

[40] West Union, the seat of Adams County, is situated on Zane's Trace,
seventeen miles from Maysville and fifty-five from Chillicothe. It
was established by an act of legislature (January, 1804), which fixed
the county seat at that point, and ordered the land for a town to be
purchased and paid for out of the county treasury.--ED.

{297} _July 18th._--Come to Chillicothe,[41] the country improving
and more even as we proceed. See some very rich lands on passing
Paint Creek, and on approaching the Scioto river; these, like all the
_bottom_ lands, having a coat of sediment from their river in addition
to the original soil, are by far the richest. Chillicothe is a handsome
town, regularly laid out, but stands upon a flat. I hate the very sight
of a level street, unless there be every thing necessary to carry
off all filth and water. The air is very fine, so far as it is not
contaminated by the pools of water which stand about the town as green
as grass. Main sewers, like those at Philadelphia, are much wanted.

[41] For the early history of Chillicothe, see F. A. Michaux's
_Travels_, volume iii of our series, note 35.--ED.

_July 19th._--Called upon Mr. Bond, being introduced by letter, and
spent a very pleasant evening with him and a large party of his
agreeable friends.[42] Left them, much pleased with the society of

[42] William Key Bond was born in St. Mary's, Maryland, in 1792.
Educated in Connecticut, he came to Chillicothe (1812) and was admitted
to the bar. In 1841 he removed to Cincinnati, where he practiced law
until his death in 1864. He was a member of the 24th, 25th, and 26th
congresses, and was appointed by President Fillmore surveyor of the
port of Cincinnati.--ED.

_July 20th._--We were introduced to Governor Worthington, who lives
about 2 miles from the town.[43] He took us to his house, and showed us
part of his fine estate, which is 800 acres in extent, and all of it
elevated table land, commanding an immense view over the flat country
in the direction of Lake Erie. The soil is very rich indeed; so rich,
that the governor pointed out a dung heap which was bigger than the
barn it surrounded and had grown out of, as a nuisance. The labour
of dragging the dung out of the way, would be more than the cost of
removing the barn, so that he is actually going to pull the barn down,
and build it up again in another place. This is not a peculiarity of
this particular spot of land, for manure has no value here at all. All
the stable-dung made at Chillicothe is flung into the river. I dare
say, that the Inn we put up at does not tumble into the water less than
300 good loads of horse-dung every year.

[43] For a brief biography of Governor Worthington, see Cuming's _Tour_
volume iv of our series, note 142.--ED.

I had some conversation with Governor Worthington on the subject of
domestic manufactures, and was glad to find he is well convinced of
the necessity of, or at least of the great benefit that would result
from, the general establishment of them in the United States. He has
frequently recommended it in his public capacity, he informed me, and I
hope he will {298} advocate it with effect. He is a true lover of his
country, and no man that I have met with has a more thorough knowledge
of the detestable villainy of the odious Boroughmongering government of
England, and, of course, it has his full share of hatred.

_July 21st._--Leave Chillicothe. A fine, healthy country and very rich
land all the way to New Lancaster, 34 miles from Chillicothe, and 38
from Zanesville.[44] Stop at the house of a German, where we slept, but
not in bed, preferring a soft board and something clean for a pillow to
a bed of down accompanied with bugs.

[44] For the early history of New Lancaster, see Cuming's _Tour_,
volume iv of our series, note 145.--ED.

Nothing remarkable, that I can see, as to the locality of this, town
of _New Lancaster_; but, the name, alas! it brought to my recollection
the horrid deeds done at _Old Lancaster_, the county town of my native
country! I thought of _Colonel F----r_, and his conduct towards my
poor, unfortunate townsman, Gallant! I thought of the poor, miserable
creatures, men, women, and children, who, in the bloody year of 1812,
were first instigated by spies to commit arson, and then pursued into
death by the dealers in human blood. Amongst the sufferers upon this
particular occasion, there was a boy, who was silly, and who would at
any time, have jumped into a pit for a halfpenny: he was not fourteen
years old; and when he was about to be hanged, actually called out for
his "_mammy_" to come and save him! Who, that has a heart in his bosom,
can help feeling indignation against the cruel monsters! Who can help
feeling a desire to see their dreadful power destroyed! The day must
come, when the whole of the bloody tragedies of Lancashire will be
exposed. In the mean while, here I am in safety from the fangs of the
monsters, who oppress and grind my countrymen. The thought of these
oppressions, however, I carry about with me; and I cannot help its
sometimes bursting forth into words.

_July 22nd._--Arrived at Zanesville,[45] a place {299} finely situated
for manufactures, in a nook of the Muskingham, just opposite to the
mouth of Licking Creek. It has almost every advantage for manufacturing
of all sorts, both as to local situation and as to materials; it
excels Wheeling and Steubenville, in many respects, and, in some, even
Pittsburgh. The river gives very fine falls near the town, one of them
of 12 feet, where it is 600 feet wide; the creek, too, falls in by a
fine cascade. What a power for machinery! I should think that as much
effect might be produced by the power here afforded as by the united
_manual_ labour of all the inhabitants of the state. The navigation
is very good all the way up to the town, and is now continued round
the falls by a canal with locks, so that boats can go nearly close up
to Lake Erie. The bowels of the earth afford coal, iron ore, stone,
free stone, lime-stone, and _clays_: all of the best, I believe, and
the last, the very best yet discovered in this country, and, perhaps,
as good as is to be found in any country. All these materials are
found in inexhaustible quantities in the hills and little ridges on
the sides of the river and creek, arranged as if placed by the hand
of man for his own use. In short, this place has the four elements in
the greatest perfection that I have any where yet seen in America. As
to manufactures, it is, like Wheeling and Steubenville, nothing in
comparison to Pittsburg.

[45] For a more particular account of this place, as well, indeed, as
of most of the other towns I have visited, see Mr. Mellish's _Travels_,
volume ii.--HULME.

Nature has done her part; nothing is left wanting but machines to
enable the people of Ohio to keep their flour at home, instead of
exporting it, at their own expense to support those abroad who are
industrious enough to send them back coats, knives, and cups, and

_July 23rd._--All day at Zanesville. Spent part of it very agreeably
with Mr. Adams the post-master, and old Mr. Dillon who has a large iron
foundery near this.

_July 24th._--Go with Mr. Dillon about 3 miles up the Creek, to see
his mills and iron-factory establishment. He has here a very fine
water-fall, of 18 feet, giving immense power, by which he works a {300}
large iron-forge and foundery, and mills for sawing, grinding, and
other purposes.

I will here subjoin a list of the prices at Zanesville, of provisions,
stock, stores, labour, &c. just as I have it from a resident, whom I
can rely upon.

                                             Dls. Cts.      Dls. Cts.

  Flour (superfine) per barrel of 196 lb.
      from                                       5  0      to   5 75
  Beef, per 100 lb                               4  0      --   4 25
  Pork (prime), per 100 lb.                      4 50      --   5  0
  Salt, per bushel of 50 lb                      2 25
  Potatoes, per bushel                           0 25      --   0 31½
  Turnips, ditto                                 0 20
  Wheat, ditto of 60 lb. to 66 lb                0 75
  Indian corn, ditto shelled                     0 33⅓     --   0 50
  Oats, ditto                                    0 25      --   0 33⅓
  Rye, ditto                                     0 50
  Barley, ditto                                  0 75
  Turkeys, of from 12 lb. to 20 lb. each         0 37½     --   0 50
  Fowls                                          0 12½     --   0 18¾
  Live Hogs, per 100 lb. live weight             3  0      --   5  0
  Cows, (the best)                              18  0      --  25  0
  Yoke of Oxen, ditto                           50  0      --  75  0
  Sheep                                          2 50
  Hay, per ton, delivered                        9  0      --  10  0
  Straw, fetch it and have it.
  Manure, ditto, ditto.
  Coals, per bushel, delivered                   0  8
  Butter, per lb. avoirdupois                    0 12½     --   0 18
  Cheese, ditto, ditto                           0 12½     --   0 25
  Loaf Sugar                                     0 50
  Raw ditto                                      0 31¼
  Domestic Raw ditto                             0 18¾
  Merino Wool, per lb. avoirdupois, washed       1  0
  Three-quarter Merino ditto                     0 75
  Common Wool                                    0 50
  Bricks, per 1000, delivered                    6  0      --   7  0
  Lime, per bushel, ditto                        0 18¾
  {301} Sand, in abundance on the banks of the
  Glass is sold in boxes, containing 100 square
    feet; of the common size there are 180
    panes in a box, when the price is           14  0
    The price rises in proportion to the size
    of the panes.
  Oak planks, 1 inch thick, per 100 square
      feet, at the saw-mill                      1 50
  Poplar, the same.
  White Lead, per 100 lb. delivered             17  0
  Red ditto                                     17  0
  Litharge                                      15  0
  Pig Lead                                       9 50
  Swedish Iron (the best, in bars)              14  0
  Juniatta, ditto, ditto                        14  0
  Mr. Dillon's, ditto, ditto                    12 50
  Castings at Mr. Dillon's Foundery per ton    120  0
  Ditto, for machinery, ditto, per lb.           0  8
  Potash, per ton                              180  0
  Pearl Ashes, ditto                           200  0
  Stone masons and bricklayers, per day, and
    board and lodging                            1 50
  Plasterers, by the square yard, they finding
    themselves in board and lodging and in
    lime, sand, laths and every thing they use.  0 18¾
  Carpenters, by the day, who find themselves
    and bring their tools                        1 25
  Blacksmiths, by the month, found in board,
    lodging and tools                           30  0      to  40  0
  Millwrights, per day, finding themselves       1 50      --   2  0
  Tailors, per week, finding themselves and
    working 14 or 15 hours a day                 7  0      --   9  0
  Shoemakers the same.
  {302} Glazier's charge for putting in each pane
    of glass 8 in. by 10 in. with their own putty
    and laying on the first coat of paint        0  4      to   0  5
  Labourers, per annum, and found              100  0      -- 120  0
  The charge of carriage for 100 lb. weight
    from Baltimore to Zanisville                10  0
  Ditto for ditto by steam-boat from New Orleans
    to Shippingport, and thence, by
    boats, to Zanesville, about                  6 50
  Peaches, as fine as can grow, per bushel       0 12½     --   0 25
  Apples and pears proportionably cheaper;
    sometimes given away, in the country.

Prices are much about the same at Steubenville; if any difference,
rather lower. If bought in a quantity, some of the articles enumerated
might be had a good deal lower. Labour, no doubt, if a job of some
length were offered, might be got somewhat cheaper here.

_July 25th._--Leave Zanesville for Pittsburgh, keeping to the United
States road; stop at Cambridge, 25 miles. During the first eight miles
we met 10 wagons, loaded with emigrants.

_July 26th._--Stop at Mr. Broadshaw's, a very good house on the road,
25 miles from Cambridge.[46] This general government road is by no
means well laid out; it goes strait over the tops of the numerous
little hills, up and down, up and down. It would have been a great deal
nearer in point of time, if not in distance (though I think it would
that, too), if a view had been had to the labour of travelling over
these everlasting unevennesses.

[46] When in 1798 Zane's Trace was laid out from Wheeling to
Zanesville, a ferry and tavern were established where the road crossed
Wills Creek. Eight years later the town of Cambridge was planted. Among
the early settlers were fifteen or twenty families from the Island of
Guernsey, who happened to be travelling through the West in search of
homes when the town lots were offered for sale.

Bradshaw's tavern was in the village of Fairview.--ED.

_July 27th._--To Wheeling in Virginia, 31 miles. They have had
tremendous rains in these parts, we hear as we pass along, lately; one
of the creeks we came over has overflown so as to carry down a man's
house with himself and his whole family. A dreadful catastrophe, but,
certainly, one not out of the man's {303} power to have foreseen and
prevented; it surprises me that the people will stick up their houses
so near the water's edge. Cross Wheeling Creek several times to-day; it
is a rapid stream, and I hope it will not be long before it turns many
water-wheels. See much good land, and some pretty good farming.

_July 28th._--Went with a Mr. Graham, a quaker of this place, who
treated us in the most friendly and hospitable manner, to see the new
national road from Washington city to this town.[47] It is covered with
a very thick layer of nicely broken stones, or stone rather, laid on
with great exactness both as to depth and width, and then rolled down
with an iron roller, which reduces all to one solid mass. This is a
road made for ever; not like the flint roads in England, rough, nor
soft or dirty, like the gravel roads; but, smooth and hard. When a road
is made in America it is _well_ made. An American always plots against
labour, and, in this instance, he takes the most effectual course to
circumvent it. Mr. Graham took us likewise to see the fine coal mines
near this place and the beds of limestone and freestone, none of which
I had time to examine as we passed Wheeling in our ark. All these
treasures lie very convenient to the river. The coals are principally
in one long ridge, about ten feet wide; much the same as they are at
Pittsburgh, in point of quality and situation. They cost 3 cents per
bushel to be got out from the mine. This price, as nearly as I can
calculate, enables the American collier to earn upon an average, double
the number of cents for the same labour that the collier in England
can earn; so that, as the American collier can, upon an average, buy
his flour for one third of the price that the English collier pays for
his flour, he receives _six times the quantity of flour for the same
labour_. Here is a country for the ingenious paupers of England to
come to! They find food and materials, and nothing wanting but their
mouths and hands to consume and work them. I should like to see the old
toast of the Boroughmongers brought out again; when they were in the
height of their impudence their myrmidons used to din in our ears, "Old
England for ever, and those that do not {304} like her let them leave
her." Let them renew this swaggering toast, and I would very willingly
for my part, give another to the same effect for the United States of
America. But, no, no! they know better now. They know that they would
be taken at their word; and, like the tyrants of Egypt, having got
their slaves fast, will (if they can) keep them so. Let them beware,
lest something worse than the Red Sea overwhelm them. Like Pharaoh and
his Boroughmongers they will not yield to the voice of the people, and,
surely, something like, or worse than, their fate shall befall them!

[47] For an account of the National Road, see Harris's _Journal_,
volume iii of our series, note 45.--ED.

They are building a steam-boat at Wheeling, which is to go, they
say, 1800 miles up the Missouri river. The wheels are made to work
in the stern of the boat, so as not to come in contact with the
floating trees, snaggs, planters,[48] &c., obstructions most likely
very numerous in that river. But, the placing the wheels behind only
saves _them_; it is no protection against the _boat's sinking_ in case
of being pierced by a planter or sawyer.[49] Observing this I will
suggest a plan which has occurred to me, and which, I think, would
provide against sinking, effectually; but, at any rate, it is one
which can be tried very easily and with very little expense.--I would
make a partition of strong plank; put it in the broadest fore-part
of the boat, right across, and put good iron bolts under the bottom
of the boat, through these planks, and screw them on the top of the
deck. Then put an upright post in the inside of the boat against the
middle of the plank partition, and put a spur to the upright post.
The partition should be water-tight. I would then load the fore-part
of the boat, thus partitioned off with lumber or such loading as is
least liable to injury, and best calculated to stop the progress of
a sawyer after it has gone through the boat.--By thus appropriating
the fore-part of the boat to the reception of planters and sawyers,
it appears to me that the other part would be secured against all

[48] Trees tumbled head-long and fixed in the river.--HULME.

[49] The same as the planter only waving up and down.--HULME.

{305} _July 29th._--From Wheeling, through Charlston, changing sides
of the river again to Steubenville.[50] My eyes were delighted at
Charlston to see the smoke of the coals ascending from the glass-works
they have here. This smoke it is that must enrich America; she might
save almost all her dollars if she would but bring her invaluable black
diamonds into service. Talk of independance, indeed, without coats to
wear or knives or plates to eat with!

[50] Charleston, on the Kanawha River, about sixty miles from its
mouth, is located on the military grant made by Lord Dunmore to Colonel
Thomas Bullitt (1772), in recognition of his services in Braddock's and
Forbes's campaigns. Five years thereafter, the land was purchased by
George Clendenin, one of the commissioners for laying out a road from
Lewisburg to the Kanawha. Clendenin constructed (1788) a fort on the
present site of Charleston, and soon other pioneers built log cabins
under its shelter. In 1794 the town of Charleston was established by
legislative enactment.--ED.

At Steubenville, became acquainted with Messrs. Wills, Ross, and
company, who have an excellent and well-conducted woollen manufactory
here. They make very good cloths, and at reasonable prices; I am sorry
they do not retail them at Philadelphia; I for one, should be customer
to them for all that my family wanted in the woollen-way. Here are
likewise a Cotton-mill, a Grist-mill, a Paper-mill, an Iron-foundery
and Tan-yards and Breweries. Had the pleasure to see Mr. Wilson,[51]
the editor of the Steubenville Gazette, a very public-spirited man,
and, I believe, very serviceable to this part of the country. If the
policy he so powerfully advocates were adopted, the effects would
be grand for America; it would save her dollars while it would help
to draw the nails of the vile Boroughmongers. But, he has to labour
against the inveterate effects of the thing the most difficult of all
others to move--habit.

[51] James Wilson, who had been on the staff of the Philadelphia
_Aurora_, came to Steubenville (1815) to edit the _Herald_, changing
the name to the _Western Herald and Steubenville Gazette_, and the
politics from Democratic to Whig. Wilson was elected to the state
legislature in 1816 and again in 1820, and was an associate justice of
the court of common pleas. He died in 1852.--ED.

By what I have been able to observe of this part of the country, those
who expect to find what is generally understood by _society_, pretty
much the same that they have been accustomed to it on the Atlantic
side, or in England, will not be totally disappointed. It is here upon
the basis of the same manners and customs as in the oldest settled
districts, and it there differs from what it is in England, and here
from what it is there, only according to circumstances. Few of the
social amusements that are practicable at present, are scarce; dancing,
the most rational for every reason, is the most common; and in an
assemblage for this purpose, composed of the farmers' daughters and
sons from 20 miles round, an Englishman (particularly if a young one)
might very well think his travels to be {306} all a dream, and that he
was still in a Boroughmonger country. Almost always the same tunes and
dances, same manners, same dress. Ah, it is that same _dress_ which is
the great evil! It may be a very pretty sight, but, to see the dollars
thus danced out of the country into the hands of the Boroughmongers,
to the tune of national airs, is a thing which, if it do not warrant
ridicule, will, if America do not, by one unanimous voice, soon put a
stop to it.

_July 30th._--From Steubenville, crossing the Ohio for the last time,
and travelling through a slip of Virginia and a handsome part of
Pennsylvania, to Pittsburgh.

_August 1st._--Sold my horse for 75 dollars, 60 dollars less than I
gave for him. A horse changes masters no where so often as in this
Western country, and no where so often rises and falls in value. Met a
Mr. Gibbs, a native of Scotland, and an old neighbour of mine, having
superintended some oil of vitriol works, near to my bleach-works on
Great Lever, near Bolton, in Lancashire. He now makes oil of vitriol,
aquafortis, salt, soap, &c. at this place, and is, I believe, getting
rich. Spent a pleasant evening with him.

_August 2nd._--Spent most part of the day with Mr. Gibbs, and dined
with him; as the feast was his, I recommended him to observe the latter
part of the good Quaker Lady's sermon which we heard at New Albany.

_August 3rd._--Leave Pittsburgh, not without some regret at bidding
adieu to so much activity and smoke, for I expect not to see it
elsewhere. I like to contemplate the operation by which the greatest
effect is produced in a country. Take the same route and the same stage
as on setting out from Philadelphia.

_August 4th, 5th, and 6th._--These three days traversing the romantic
Allegany Mountains; got overturned (a common accident here) _only_
once, and then received very little damage: myself none, some of my
fellow travellers a few scratches. We scrambled out, and, with the
help of some wagoners, set the vehicle on its wheels again, adjusted
our "_plunder_" (as some of the Western people call it), and drove on
again {307} without being detained more than five minutes. The fourth
night slept at Chambersburgh, the beginning of a fine country.

_August 7th._--Travelled over the fine lime-stone valley before
mentioned, and through a very good country all the way, by Little York
to Lancaster. Here I met with a person from Philadelphia, who told me a
long story about a _Mr. Hulme_, an Englishman, who had brought a large
family and considerable property to America. His property, he told
me, the said Mr. Hulme had got from the English Government, for the
invention of some machine, and that now, having got rich under their
patronage, he was going about this country doing the said Government
all the mischief he could, and endeavouring to promote the interest of
this country. After letting him go on till I was quite satisfied that
he depends mainly for his bread and butter upon the English Treasury,
I said, "Well, do you know this Mr. Hulme?" "No, he had only heard of
him." "Then I do, and I know that he never had any patent, nor ever
asked for one, from the English government; all he has got he has
gained by his own industry and economy, and, so far from receiving a
fortune from that vile government, he had nothing to do with it but
to pay and obey, without being allowed to give a vote for a Member of
Parliament or for any Government officer. He is now, thank God, in a
country where he cannot be taxed but by his own consent, and, if he
should succeed in contributing in any degree to the downfall of the
English Government, and to the improvement of this country, he will
only succeed in doing his duty." This man could be no other than a
dependant of that boroughmongering system which has its feelers probing
every quarter and corner of the earth.

_August 8th._--Return to Philadelphia, after a journey of 72 days. My
expenses for this journey, including every thing, not excepting the
loss sustained by the purchase and sale of my horse, amount to 270
dollars and 70 cents.

As it is now about a twelvemonth since I have {308} been settled in
Philadelphia, or set foot in it, rather, with my family, I will take a
look at my books, and add to this Journal what have been the expenses
of my family for this one year, from the time of landing to this day,

                                                            Dls.  Cts.
  House-rent                                                600     0
  Fuel                                                      137     0
  Schooling (at day-schools) for my children viz.; Dolls.
      for Thomas, 14 years of age                     40
  Peter and John, ages of 12 and 10                   48
  Sarah, 6 years of age                               18 -- 106     0
  Boarding of all my family at Mrs. Anthony's Hotel
      for about a week, on our arrival                       80     0
  Expenses of house-keeping (my family fourteen in
      number, including two servants) with every other
      out-going not enumerated above, travelling incidents,
      two newspapers a day, &c., &c.                       2076    66
  Taxes, not a cent                                           0     0
  Priest, not a cent                                          0     0
                                                     Total 2999    66

"What! nothing to the Parson!" some of my old neighbours will exclaim.
No: not a single stiver. The Quakers manage their affairs without
Parsons, and I believe they are as good and as happy a people as any
religious denomination who are aided and assisted by a Priest. I do
not suppose that the Quakers will admit me into their Society; but,
in this free country I can form a new society, if I choose, and, if
I do, it certainly shall be a Society having a Chairman in place of a
Parson, and the assemblage shall discuss the subject of their meeting
themselves. Why should there not be as much knowledge and wisdom and
common sense, in the heads of a whole congregation, as in the head of
a Parson? Ah, but then there are the profits arising from the trade!
Some of this holy Order in England receive upwards of 40,000 dollars
per {309} annum for preaching probably not more than five or six
sermons during the whole year. Well may the Cossack Priests represent
Old England as the bulwark of religion! This is the sort of religion
they so much dreaded the loss of during the French Revolution; and this
is the sort of religion they so zealously expected to establish in
America, when they received the glad tidings of the restoration of the
Bourbons and the Pope.


(AUGUST 16, 1819)

Reprint of the original edition: London, 1819










  _Printed by C. TEULON, 67, High Street, Whitechapel_,



  [_Price One Shilling._]


VARIOUS have been the reports respecting the _Illinois_
Settlement, as they relate to the health of the climate, and the state
of agriculture. The following Letters contain a simple narration of
facts, the result of real observation, and an accurate survey; and
will appear time enough to counteract the evil impression of false
information by persons who have not been on the spot, or who appear to
be interested in writing down the settlement.

As to the various reports about the state of health, they may be easily
accounted for by comparing dates. On the arrival of emigrants in the
summer of 1818, there were no cabins to shelter them from the heat of
the sun by day, or from the dew, by night; neither a cow or pig for
food, and scarcely a sufficiency for human subsistence to be procured:
sickness to a considerable degree prevailed; but not more than three
or four cases of death ensued. Since these inconveniences have {iv}
been overcome, few places, I believe I may say in the world, have been
healthier than the English settlement in the Illinois.

I trust my friends and acquaintance in England, who interest themselves
in our concerns, retain that good opinion of me, as to believe me
incapable, from _any_ motive, of laying before them inducements to
emigrate to a station, where their existence or comfort would be likely
to be threatened by diseases not prevalent in the same degree, at
least, as in their own country.

A difference of opinion as to eastern or western settlements may
prevail, as differences of opinion in England respecting Essex or
Hertfordshire, which may be most healthy or profitable. I have only to
request the attention of the reader to the facts I have stated.

The miscellaneous matter relative to the state of _Kentucky_, &c. will
not, I hope, be found to be entirely destitute of interest to my old
acquaintance in my native country.



  _Lexington, June 25, 1819._


IT is natural you should have made those enquiries of me which
you did in your last, and which it shall be my business to answer in
their respective order.

1st.--How I like America in general, and Lexington in particular?

2nd.--Whether I have been disgusted with the American character and
habits, as many have been? or whether I dare invite others to follow
the course I have taken? but above all, how I, whose notions of liberty
run so high, can endure to reside in a state where personal slavery

{6} Your first enquiry I am yet incompetent to answer to the extent
you make it; for, although I have travelled from New York to
Pittsburgh,--down the Ohio to this place,--I have only had a sample
of this extensive country; and as you, my dear Sir, are in the habit
of purchasing your goods by sample, and to my knowledge are often
disappointed in the bulk, so you may not, perhaps, have a fair sample
of entire America by the information I send you.

As to the great cities, they have no charms for me. You know, great
cities in England, as places of residence, were the objects of
my aversion; and if there is any thing in those of New York and
Philadelphia which I dislike, it is because they approximate so much
to similar cities of England, without those rare shows which please
both infants and children of larger growth, in London.

Here are few public buildings worthy of notice. No kings going to
open Parliament with gilded coaches and cream-coloured horses, with a
train of dragoons at their heels.--No Lord Mayor's show.--No Towers
filled with royal tigers and lions.--No old castles which beautify
the rural scenes of the country, whose melancholy history informs the
curious traveller, that their foundation was bedded in {7} tyranny,
and their superstructure the retainers of weeping prisoners, often of
rank, as well as oppressed plebeians. No cathedrals or old churches
to ornament the cities as well as the counties of England,--monuments
of superstition when erected, and of injustice and oppression even
to this day, having for their support tithe-proctors, and surveyors,
continually obstructing the progress of agriculture, and exciting
contentions and law suits to an extent for which all the preaching of
the clergy of England cannot present an equivalent, or balance the evil
produced by a worldly and avaricious priesthood.

America has none of these costly ornaments or beautiful monuments of
oppression. I thank God she has not; and hope she may be exempt from
them, although strange to tell, I have found amongst both clergy and
laity some few who wish for these degradations, and am even informed
there are those who sigh after a religious establishment, and revenues
besides those collected by the voluntary donations which flow from
affectionate and religious hearers.

The episcopalian clergy in this country, have an enjoyment seldom known
in England, that is, being chosen by the people, and supported {8}
according to their respective merits; and it is my duty to add that
episcopalians, as well as the ministers of most other sects, are in
general "labourers worthy of their hire," virtuous in their conduct,
exemplary in their deportment, exhibiting christianity in their every
day conduct and intercourse with mankind, and enjoying the esteem of
their congregations. There are none of those divines in the busy hive
of America, which you know by the name of _dignified clergy_, partaking
of the largest revenues, and doing the least possible service,--conduct
which one would think must make their hearts shudder at the thoughts of
a judgment day!

As to the travelling in America, you are already informed of its
conveniences and inconveniences; you dine at a fixed hour, as at our
ordinaries in England; and you have abundance of provision of every
kind the country affords. Poultry in every shape, with the standing
dish, ham or bacon: but you must be aware, that in a country so
extensive as I have already traversed, there must be as much difference
in accommodations, as there is between the best inns on the great
roads of England, and those in the remote villages. The beds generally
cleanly; but although I have {9} not suffered the inconveniences so
magnified in England from musquitoes, the often-brought charge of being
infested with that ugly and sleep-destroying insect the bug, is indeed
too true. Also, the many-bedded rooms found in most taverns, as you
travel westward, is more than an inconvenience, as often being the
sleeping-place of those who fall sick, as of those who are in health;
and, in this respect, the Americans are criminal, and instrumental in
spreading infection, which might be avoided by a little expense in the
division of sleeping-rooms; but there are many happy exceptions; and,
as civilization advances, this evil will be cured.

As to the general character of the Americans, it is sober, industrious,
and hospitable; although drunkenness, idleness, and gambling, are vices
in existence, they are kept in the back ground, and are by no means so
conspicuous as amongst what are called the lower class in England.

It is remarkable, that in the houses of the wealthy, as well as in
store or shop-keepers back-rooms, it is the common practice to ask you
to take a glass of water, cool fresh water, as a refreshment; at which
offer no one is offended; and when wine or liquors are on the {10}
salver, water is often preferred; but our countrymen would think it a
sad insult to be invited to so simple a refreshment.

I have, my dear sir, met with no instances of a rude ruffian-like
character, that will apply to Americans generally; and, I believe, much
less than I should have met with in England, had I travelled her roads
and rivers to the extent I have done in this country.

The American notion of liberty and equality is highly gratifying to me.
The master or employer is kept within the bounds of reason and decency
towards his labourer. No curses or oaths towards their servants, or
HELPS as they choose to call themselves; (for every one
who takes money or wages, is, after all, a servant;) he obeys all
reasonable orders for his remuneration; and when this obedience ceases,
the contract of service is at an end. I have often been surprised at
the highmindedness of American labourers, who are offended at the name
of _servant_.

With respect to this place, I have, in former letters, stated it to
be a phenomenon in the history of the world; twenty-five years since
it was trodden only by the foot of the savage; now it contains about
three thousand inhabitants. A college, at which are already one {11}
hundred and forty students; its professors, chosen purely for their
talents, without any requirement of unanimity of religious opinions, as
in the colleges with you: professors so chosen, not being confined to
any particular sect, are likely to fill their stations with ability;
and, as far as I am capable of judging, are eminently calculated for
their respective situations to which they are chosen. This institution
promises to be in the moral world, what the sun is in the natural
world, and is calculated to illuminate, civilize, and bless mankind.

To the inhabitants of Lexington, wherever I may reside in future, I
shall ever feel grateful: their hospitality, their kindness to me, as a
stranger, and their sympathy in the hour of affliction, are never to be
effaced from my memory.

Their politeness and liberality are perhaps, unequalled. Balls,
at which the fair sex are never allowed to share any expence,--an
Atheneum and a considerable museum, the benefits of which the stranger
is invited to partake _gratis_,--may be mentioned as not being very
customary in England. Tea-parties are a continual festival from the
time you enter to the time of your departure, which however, are too
much like our routs in England; and in time, I should fear would, as
they have in England, become {12} a substitute for hospitality. I have
known collected at these parties from one to two hundred persons.
Thus, my dear Sir, you see, instead of being in continual broils, and
exposed to the affronts and insults of rude Americans, I have received
nothing but civility and hospitality. It will hardly be credited when I
assure you I have not yet met with a single annoyance in the whole of
my journey from New York to Pittsburgh by land; nor from thence down
the Ohio to Louisville,--a distance of six hundred miles by water, and
five hundred miles by land: thus you see, my dear friend, I am in no
danger at present, of being disgusted by American rudeness, irreligion,
or fanaticism.

To your last question,--How can you reside in a state where personal
slavery is in existence? I, with regret, reply, this is the spot which
clouds the American sun of liberty; and I confess I know not which
are most excited in me, the risible or the sorrowful feelings, when
I hear a _Kentuckyan_ boasting, in lofty terms, of the liberty of
his country, when that country is divided into two classes, and two
classes only--the master and the slave! The term of _master_ implies
the willing servitude of _free men_: the term _slave_, includes in
it the admission {13} of tyrants or tyranny; and a Kentuckyan has no
more right to talk of freedom than the _legitimates_, whose determined
purpose it is to blot liberty and happiness from the face of the earth.
The one talks of liberty and social order, and it appears that by it is
meant the increasing trappings of monarchy; the other does the same of
liberty, and the rights of men.

The legitimates, who have high notions of regal authority, attempting
to subjugate the minds of men, is perfectly consistent with their
notions of power, their education and habits; but to hear the
republicans of slave states point to the _Declaration of Rights_, who
inform the coming traveller that they are now blazoned forth on satin
and velvet;--an American republican pointing to the _Rights of Men_
with his left hand, while his right is obliged to hold the whip, and
with watchful eye to subjugate the minds and bodies of a large share
of the population of his state:--this, indeed is worthy the taunts
and derision of kings. It is this that keeps the wealth of Europe
from pouring its treasures into the fertile region of Kentucky, and
the industry of thousands from approaching the state. It would be
painful to relate all the horrors I have beheld in slavery under {14}
its mildest form. Whites full of whiskey, flogging their slaves for
drinking even a single glass! Women, heavy with young, smarting under
the angry blow, or the lash, and with babes at the breast, which one of
our writers calls "_Nature's passport_ through the world," lacking food
in the midst of abundance, and cloathing insufficient to satisfy the
demands even of common decency. Avarice, which our Poet _Young_ calls
"Earth's greatest blunder--Hell's loudest laugh;"--avarice, which seems
to be the source of all this mischief, now comes to the relief of the
ragged lingering wretch. If they are miserable, they must not die, for
a mother and infant are worth from six hundred to a thousand dollars:
but in a slave state, avarice has preserved life, clothed the wretched,
and fed the hungry; it has fattened and made fine, the slave that he or
she may fetch at the hammer, one or two hundred dollars more. "Lord,
what is man!" Was it for this that your heroes fought, bled, and died?
Was it for this, that the brave and virtuous Washington, to whom so
many memorials in the way of oration and praise are delivered on each
succeeding anniversary of his birth, spent his long and glorious course?
Oh! youth of Kentucky, when you speak of his {15} fame with the
enthusiasm of a republican, speak of his humanity, read his will; see
his ardent desire to let the captive go free: imitate his virtues, and
fall not into the errors of tyrants, who suppose military glory to be
the glory of a christian.

It is worthy of enquiry, whether it is likely that Americans will
escape the judgments with which God has afflicted other nations, while
their land is infected with personal slavery, and whether the liberties
of America are not endangered by the increase of its black population.
Perhaps some ambitious military chief may take the work from the
hands of republicans, and "proclaim liberty to the captives," and
make them the instruments of political slavery: let it be the work of
crowned despots to subjugate the minds and bodies of men, but let not
republicans assist in such a work.

Whenever you take Freedom's sacred name into your lips--whenever you
unfurl the standard of partial liberty--you stand self-condemned.
Despots keep men's minds in ignorance, that the voice of slavery and
abject dependance may not be heard even in its defence. Do ye not
the same: both your efforts will be in vain; the minds of men are
in progressive march, and your united efforts will not stop their

    {16} "No, bless'd with freedom, unconfin'd,
      Dungeons can ne'er contain the soul;
    No one can chain th' immortal mind,
      No one but Him who spans the pole."

  I remain, yours, sincerely,
  R. F.


  _Illinois, near Albion, Aug. 16._


AFTER many interruptions I removed from Lexington to this
place, at which we arrived on the 2nd of July, spending in our way a
week at _Harmony_, that wonder of the west.

You have heard this settlement mentioned, and it is worth visiting to
see, and observe the effect of united industry, regulated by sound
wisdom and discretion: here perfect equality prevails, and there
are no servants; but plenty of persons who serve. Every man has his
station appointed him according to his ability, and every one has his
wants supplied according to his wishes. He applies to the mill for his
supply of flour; to the apothecary for medicine; {17} to the store for
cloaths, and so on for every thing necessary for human subsistence.
They do not forbid marriage, as some have represented; but it is
one of their tenets that the incumbrance created by families is an
hindrance to the spirituality of christians, and it is this opinion
which discourages marriage amongst them. They have also an aversion to
bear arms; this would not allow them to remain in Germany, and they
emigrated to live in the manner they have adopted, and have certainly
the outside appearance of contentment and happiness.

After travelling through the woods of Indiana, the hills divide to
the right and left, and a fine valley opens to your view in which the
town stands. The hills assume a conical form, and are embellished with
fine cultivated vineyards; and the valleys stand thick with corn.
Every log-house is surrounded by a well cultivated garden, abundantly
supplied with vegetables, and ornamented with flowers. It was the
beginning of wheat harvest when I arrived, and the entire company of
reapers retired from the fields in a body, preceded by a band of music:
their dress is like the Norman peasants, and as all are of the same
form and colour, may properly be designated their {18} costume. The
men marched first, the women next, and the rear rank composed of young
women, with each a neat ornament of striped cedar wood on their head,
formed one of the prettiest processions I ever witnessed. The sound of
French horns awakened them in the morning to their daily labour, which
is moderate, and performed with cheerfulness; the return of evening
appears to bring with it no fatigue or symptoms of weariness.

Besides the gardens of individuals, there is a public garden of five
acres, the outside square planted with fruit trees and vegetables,
the inside with herbs medicinal and botanical. In the centre is a
rotunda of the rustic kind, standing in the midst of a labyrinth, which
exhibits more taste than I supposed to be found amongst the Harmonites.
It is from this hive of industry that Albion and its vicinity have
drawn their supplies, and its contiguity to such neighbours has been of
great advantage.

Having given you this account, I arrive at the point at which, my
dear friend, I know you feel most interest, and proceed to give you
an account of the state in which I found my friends, and the English
settlement in general. I have great satisfaction in being able to
inform you that almost every individual I {19} knew in England, was
much improved in appearance, all enjoying excellent health. The same
blessing is also our lot, and if I can form a proper estimate from six
weeks residence, I must pronounce this to be as healthy a situation
as any America affords, and much preferable, in this respect, to the
eastern states. What travellers have recorded, that the thermometer
does not rise so high as in the east, is true, and we are never many
hours without a fine breeze. The nights are cool, the thermometer
dropping 10 degrees, and you can obtain refreshing sleep. In the
eastern states the thermometer being at 98 in the day, remained at 96
at night, a suffocating heat. The average of our days are from 80 to
86, but we have had a day or two at 90, which produces a thunder gust
and a cooler atmosphere.

Now, my dear sir, as to the questions which agitate the minds of
thousands in your country. The advantages of emigration to America, and
the comparative advantages of eastern and western climates. I am, most
decidedly, for settling in the west, on account of the prairies, and
the facility with which they are cultivated.

The cultivation of new land, incumbered with heavy timber, presents
a formidable feature; {20} labour incessant and unremitting, before
a small tract of land can be tolerably cleared; but here I can enter
either as a farmer or a grazier immediately; fine wide spreading fields
of grass, inviting the flocks and herds to come and partake of the
bounty with which they are loaded. In answer to the enquiry as to the
proper mode of farming, I sit, and from the place I am now writing,
see a beautiful herd of cattle of nearly two hundred in number. I
have one hundred tons of fine hay collected for spring provision.
Every head of cattle, the expence of herdsmen deducted, on a moderate
calculation, promises a fair profit of at least five dollars per head;
and yet Mr. Cobbett, in his weekly letters, very _modestly_ asserts,
"There is no farming for profit in the west!"-- I state these facts
for the information of those who may wish to join us, and in direct
contradiction to the ill-founded assertions of this writer on the

It is also stated by Mr. Cobbett, that "the obstruction by bush
and briar are such as to prevent early or easy cultivation."--In
contradiction to this assertion, I affirm, that I can put the plough
into thousands of acres where there is no such obstruction. One
{21} gentleman in our settlement has grown eighty acres of fine
corn, although he only arrived last year; this alone is a sufficient
contradiction to all Mr. C. has said on this subject. There is also a
sufficiency of corn and grain grown this first harvest to supply the
wants of the settlement: next year there will be a surplus for brewing
and distilling.

If a person enters heavy timbered land, it is by great exertion he
clears ten acres the first year; but he has only here to enclose and
take his choice of farming and grazing, or enclose enough for corn and
pasture, his cattle feeding on the unoccupied range of grass which
the neighbouring cultivator cannot stock himself, and which is much
improved by the feeding of cattle.

Now, my dear Sir, as to the persons who come here or to any other part
of America, I would have them consider for what purpose and intent they
emigrate. It is certain as regards farming, that there are only two
ways in which it can be performed: the one, labouring by his own hands;
the other, by his capital, stocking his farm, and hiring his labourers.
It is thoughtlessness and folly to tell any person, if he bring with
him one hundred pounds, he can place himself in comfort; but, it is
certain, that a {22} hundred pounds here will go as far as five hundred
pounds in England; and that the person who has that sum in possession,
is certainly five times better off than in that country. The person
who has this sum may enter his quarter section of land, build his
cabin, enclose his garden, keep his cows and pigs; but then he must
be a man of that description who has been in the habit of milking his
cows and tending his pigs: all such persons will find vast advantage
in emigrating to this place. Every farmer in England (of which there
are thousands) who holds the plough, or his sons for him, will find
an easy life, and the abundant supply of every good thing. As to the
reward of his industry, every farmer who can stock a farm in England,
may here become the proprietor of his own soil with that capital which
affords him only a tenant's station, a precarious subsistence in
his own country; an inducement, I should think, sufficient to make
thousands follow our steps, and taste the blessings of independence
and the sweets of liberty. Let all who are bending under the weight of
taxation, and trembling at the approach of every quarter-day, come here
and partake of ease and abundance. If the affluent, also, are tired of
the system of the British government, {23} and feel the effect it has
upon their fluctuating property, here they will find the wide domain,
the natural park, whose hills and boundaries are beautifully capped
with woods, inviting them to build their dwellings and sit down in ease
and content. These parks are already stocked with deer, all which they
may purchase, where previous entry has not taken place, at the land
office price, two dollars per acre. These prairies appear as if that
eminent improver of parks and grounds--_Repton_, had been consulted in
laying them out to their taste.[52]

[52] Humphrey Repton (1752-1818) was a well-known English landscape

It has been reported that we can get no servants: this is true in a
degree, because the price of service is such, as soon to elevate the
servant to a state of independance: but I have found no want of persons
to work for hire, even in domestic stations; those that are most wanted
are farming labourers; good ploughmen are in request, and can obtain
twelve dollars per month and their board. Female servants from eight
to ten dollars, according to their respective merits; these are in
great request; and what perhaps is to them still more pleasing, their
industry is the certain road to marriage. Our young females are almost
all engaged in this way, and we certainly lose good servants, {24} but
have the pleasure of seeing them well settled.

Now, my dear Sir, as to the state of the settlement and the progress it
has already made.

On a tract of land from the little Wabash to the Bonpar[53] on the
Great Wabash, about seventeen miles in width, and four to six from
north to south, there were but a few hunters' cabins, a year and a
half since, and now there are about sixty English families, containing
nearly four hundred souls; and one hundred and fifty American,
containing about seven hundred souls, who like the English for their
neighbours, and many of whom are good neighbours to us. We have nothing
here like loneliness. In our circle of English acquaintance, as well as
in that of American settlers, we find companions who are often found
interesting and intelligent. In good deed and in truth, here is, to
the industrious, a source of wealth more certain and productive than
the mines of Golconda and Peru. Industry of every kind has its ample
reward: but for the idle, the drunkard, and the vicious, there is no
chance; spirits are cheap, and a short existence is their certain
portion. All persons feeling anxieties that attend agricultural
pursuits may be released {25} from those anxieties by emigrating to the

[53] A misprint for Bonpas. This stream flows almost directly south
and forms the present eastern boundary of Edwards County. It joins the
Wabash about forty-five miles below Vincennes.--ED.

Your newspapers, the Farmer's Journal in particular, relate the
particulars of the distress of the farmers, and the ruin in which many
of them are involved. It is in vain that you petition for relief. By
your own account your ruin is inevitable, and your destruction sure.
Escape then to a land where the efforts of your industry will be
rewarded, and the produce of your labour will be your own. You will
escape, not only from the tax-gatherer and tithe-collector, but from
the expence attending the frightful system of pauperism, which is
constantly making demands, not only on your pecuniary resources, but
calling you to the most painful personal exertions.

In the extensive region from New York to this place, I have had but
one application for relief, and that was from an Englishman. In this
country peace and plenty reign.

I have mentioned a scarcity of servants: this arises much from
emigrants bringing out with them a better sort, or confidential
servants: the only sort wanting are females who can work in the
kitchen, milk the cow and attend to the dairy. All above this class can
earn too high wages by their needle. A good sempstress, {26} earning
a dollar per day, will soon quit servitude, and put on the airs of
American independance, with an addition of some little insolence; but a
cure is not unfrequently wrought, and that by various easy methods.

A gentleman hired a female servant of this sort, who would insist, as
a condition, on sitting down at the dinner table, with the family;
her christian name was _Biddy_, the condition was consented to, and a
project for cure at the same time engaged in:--A party was invited to
dinner, and Biddy took her place at the table, being above waiting,
or being in any degree more than a HELP. When anything was wanting, a
gentleman arose from table and offered it to Miss Biddy. Miss Biddy
was asked to drink a glass of wine, first by one gentleman and then
by another. Miss Biddy was desired not to trouble herself about any
thing, and was ceremoniously treated, till she felt the awkwardness
of her situation, and said, the next day to her mistress,--"Madam, I
had rather give up dining at your table,"--which she did, continuing
in their service for some time. I have had to do with people of the
same cast, though not quite so foolish as Miss Biddy:--I have hired
persons to certain employments, and they have been discontented {27}
and spoiled by their notions of equality: "Very good," said I; "we,
then, are equal; I like the idea much; it pleases me greatly: you, of
course, mean to take no money of me for what you please to do for me;
and, if that is the case, I shall be as perfectly satisfied with your
notion of things, as you appear to be; but, if you take my money, you
must perform the service I have pointed out to you."--This perfect
notion of equality does not suit, although it is too reasonable to be
much objected to.

It is generally supposed, that this high notion is of republican
origin; but it is the contrary, and originates in the insolence of
those who keep and domineer over slaves. Any thing that a black is made
to perform, is pronounced unfit for whites; and, although many who
have held slaves as their property, are far inferior in understanding
to the slaves they hold, and are sometimes reduced to poverty, they
deem it degrading to perform any work that a slave can perform; and
those persons who, like myself, are far from thinking all men equal
in character, are little disposed to engage with such persons in any
service. With our superiority in our consistent love of freedom, and
our having escaped from political {28} slavery, we shall never fail to
oppose the extention, and even the continuance of personal slavery.

The arguments for a state of slavery, urged by Americans, are just
such as might be urged by Algerines for taking the ships of America,
and making slaves of her seamen. Both consist in the right of force,
and not of reason or justice; and when a person hears members of
congress pleading the cause of slavery,--personal slavery,--with the
pretence _they are my property_, one cannot help blushing for human
nature. Those who appear to love freedom, both personal and political,
making use of such a pretence, forces the tear of sorrow from the eye
of humanity. One human being the property of another. No! the whole
race of mankind is the sole property of their great universal parent;
and he who enslaves another, whether his skin be black, white, or
intermediate, insults the right of his God, and blasphemes the name of
his Creator.

I rejoice, my dear friend, in the choice the English have made of a
free state; and am certain we shall be able to cultivate from the
services of free men, cheaper than those who cultivate them by slaves.

But to return to our settlement and its infant {29} capital
_Albion_. Log houses, those cabins unpleasant to the cleanly habits
of Englishmen, the receptacles of the insect tribe, are no longer
erected. I have had the pleasure of laying the first brick foundation
in Albion; it is for an inn where travellers I hope may find rest
without disturbance from insects. We have also nearly completed our
market house which is sixty feet by thirty. A place of worship is
began. Religion, I mean the outward form, has not been unattended
to: a selection from the Church of England service, and a sermon has
been read on the sabbath to a few persons assembled in a log room:
our psalmody is excellent, having some good musicians, and singers
amongst us. The Americans here think all who take money for preaching,
_hireling_ ministers, and several well-intentioned farmers preach to
small assemblies in the neighbourhood. The worship of God, and the
keeping his commands is the thing which I believe all will agree in,
as being the end to be produced by public worship. As we have not,
and I trust never shall have, that grand corruption of Christianity,
an establishment formed and supported by statesmen and politicians,
I hope christianity in its original purity, will for ever flourish
in the Illinois. We intend also our place of worship for a library,
{30} and to open it on a Sunday afternoon; a day when all persons
have leisure to read, and are clean in their dress and persons. The
strict sabbatarians will doubt the propriety of this proceeding; but
any thing which will have a tendency to promote moral and intellectual
improvement, and keep men from the vices of idleness and drinking, is
justified by him who put the question,--"Is it lawful to do good on the

But to return from spiritual to temporal things. I spoke of our market
house being finished. The price of provisions in this place is as

A fine turkey, a quarter of a dollar.--Fowls, twelve cents each.--Beef
four to five cents per pound.--Mutton none yet at market.--Eggs twelve
and a half cents per dozen.--Cheese thirty cents per pound.--Butter
scarce, owing to the heat of the climate, sixteen cents per
pound.--Bacon at this time fifteen cents per pound, half the price
in winter.--Flour nine dollars per barrel.--Deer, a fine fat buck
from one dollar to one dollar and a half including skin.--Melons,
such as cannot be procured in England, twelve and a half cents each
in great abundance.--Honey of the finest flavour, one dollar per
gallon.--Whiskey one dollar per gallon {31} retail.--Fine Hyson tea two
dollars per pound.--Moist sugar thirty one cents.--Coffee sixty-two
cents per pound: wholesale from New Orleans much cheaper.--Fine fish
three cents per pound.

We leave it to the public to judge of our danger of starving, as some
writers have hinted.

Here then you have the situation of our rising settlement; progressing
with rapidity in the eye of Americans, though to Englishmen, setting
and watching for fresh intelligence, but slowly.

You ask me, dear Sir, whether there is any sale for books here? We
have no bookseller yet, and the writings of your favourite authors, in
defence of civil and religious liberty, would not sell here: the love
of civil and religious liberty is unbounded in every Illinois heart;
there are none to dispute the truth of the principles of complete and
perfect freedom; and when controversy ceases, controversial writings
must of course lose their interest.

I would not for the world invite persons, no! not a single individual,
if I did not think that his happiness would be encreased: it may be
said that I am an interested person, and so are those who take such
pains to prevent persons from coming westward. Emigration {32} from the
eastern states, has already reduced the price of lands there.

When I passed New York, I heard a popular writer say, "I'll be d----d
if I don't write down Birkbeck and the settlement:" those who are
familiar with this writer's usual phraseology in conversation, cannot,
I think, be in any great danger of mistake as to the person alluded
to:[54] how far he has succeeded, the public will be a proper judge
when they carefully peruse the facts I have stated, and compare the
evidence they receive from time to time through the various channels
from the Illinois. We have here plenty of scribes, and the truth--the
whole truth will appear before both an American and British public.

[54] This statement was made by Cobbett; see Flower's note, _post_, p.

  I remain,
      Your sincere friend,
              RICHARD FLOWER.



Reprint of the original edition: London, 1822




  1820. 1821.




    _Thou shall bless the_ LORD _thy_ GOD _for
    the_ GOOD LAND _which he hath given thee:--beware that
    thou forget not the_ LORD _thy_ GOD.

    _Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour._




  _By C. Teulon, 67, Whitechapel_.


  [_Price Two Shillings and Sixpence._]


Price One Shilling

Letters from Lexington and the Illinois, 1819; containing a Brief
Account of the English Settlement in the latter territory, and a
Refutation of the misrepresentations of Mr. Cobbett.


[55] This pamphlet was seen through the press by Benjamin Flower
(1755-1829), a brother of the author; he also contributed the Preface
and the concluding Notes. Benjamin had started in life as a London
tradesman; but having failed, travelled for several years on the
European continent as agent for a Tiverton firm. Being in France
during much of 1791, "the most innocent part of the revolution," he
became imbued with some of the ideas of the French revolutionists;
and although not a revolutionist in England, he entered the lists as
a Radical pamphleteer, bitterly attacking the English government for
engaging in war with France. Richard, a man of substance, and although
a Radical rather moderate in his views, was largely concerned in
establishing the Cambridge _Intelligencer_, a Radical organ. Benjamin
was chosen editor, and became widely known as a controversialist,
Cobbett being one of his especial _bêtes noires_. In 1799 he suffered
six months' imprisonment in Newgate and the payment of a fine of
£100 for libelling the bishop of Llandaff, a political opponent.
When released, he married a young admirer, set up as a printer, and
conducted the _Political Register_ (1807-11). He wrote a life of
Robert Robinson, a famous Baptist minister and hymn writer, prefixed
to editions of the latter's works (Harlow, 1807, 1812), also several
pamphlets on political and family matters. He was esteemed for his
honesty and courage, but the vehemence of his temper largely nullified
his influence. Two of his daughters became well known as musical
composers--Eliza Flower (1803-46) wrote several political hymns, and
Sarah Flower Adams (1805-48) was the author of "Nearer to Thee," often
wrongly attributed to Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe.

A review of the pamphlet here reprinted will be found in the _London
Quarterly Review_, xxvii, p. 71.--ED.

TWO of the following letters have before appeared in a
respectable periodical publication, in which the editor has impartially
inserted the communications of writers of different opinions, on the
subject of emigration;[56] but as they may be said to be a continuation
of former letters, and connected with those now for the first time
published, I have thought proper to insert them.

[56] _Monthly Repository_, August and October, 1820.--B. FLOWER.

Readers who are desirous of forming just opinions on this subject, are
requested to bear in remembrance the precise stations described in the
following pages. However unworthy or base may have been the motives of
certain writers, who have grossly calumniated the English Settlement,
there are others, {iv} to whom it would be uncandid to impute such
motives, but who are chargeable with misrepresentation, which appears
to have arisen from their not having considered that the spots they are
describing are not those described by others; and that, of course, it
is not fair to charge others with statements they have never made.

I have publications before me in which Mr. Birkbeck and my brother are
charged with unfairness in their statements, because they do not apply
to the situations the writers had chosen, one of which was fifty, and
the other four hundred miles from the English Settlement. There are at
the Illinois as in almost all other countries, situations pleasant and
unpleasant, healthy and unhealthy, and that emigrant does not act a
very wise part, who fixes on a station unless he had carefully examined
it himself, or at least had the recommendation of some intelligent
friend who would scorn to mislead him.

Emigration to America, after all that has {v} been written on the
subject, and the various advantages it certainly presents to different
classes of society, is an affair of such importance, that those who
propose it should seriously reflect on the turn of their own mind,
their disposition, habits, circumstances, &c. Some who have emigrated
to America find themselves as unhappy there as they were in their own
country. Those who are averse to labour, fond of luxuries, and whose
minds are rivetted to the artificial distinctions of society in Europe,
have found to their cost, that America is not the country for them;
and unless they can learn wisdom, and form resolution sufficient to
alter some of their habits, and if not to despise, to regard with
indifference most of those distinctions, they can never be reconciled
to Republican manners and institutions. Respecting a few persons
of this description at the Illinois, one of the principal settlers
exclaimed:--"What are such people come here for?"

For the Notes to the following letters, with "all their imperfections
on their head," I am {vi} solely responsible.--I am not without
apprehensions that there may be even candid readers, who may think that
in my Reflections on _Infidelity, Civil Establishments of Religion,
&c._ I have somewhat wandered out of my way: to such readers I beg
leave to offer a word or two by way of apology. True religion, I
consider as the most important concern of life; and were I, when
reflecting on the state of society which too generally characterizes
this globe, even its most civilized parts, and on the various follies
and vices which have so sadly deformed mankind--on the adversity of
the righteous, and the prosperity of the wicked,--were I not, amidst
such reflections, supported by divine consolations, suggested by a
firm belief in the _Being_ and _Providence_ of God, and of the truth
of the christian system which assures us that "all things shall be
subdued and reconciled to HIM," I should indeed be "of all men the
most miserable;" and, as I am firmly persuaded that the success of
the gospel is not more hindered by open infidelity than by {vii} the
corruptions of christianity, I have from the circumstances which are
stated in the following letters respecting the state of religion at the
Illinois, thought proper to express myself on the subject with my usual
freedom. So little has been done towards the restoration of primitive
christianity in this country for the two past centuries, although
there has been of late, an unusual bustle in the religious world,--so
inveterate are the evils resulting from STATECRAFT and PRIESTCRAFT
united, that although I believe with a firm and unshaken faith, _that
the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of
his Christ_, I confess my ignorance as to the period, and the means
by which those glorious events predicted in the sacred writings will
be accomplished. I cannot however but indulge the hope that mankind
will, by observation and experience, under the blessing of heaven grow
wiser; and that in the formation of new settlements, many of the evils
referred to, may with proper care be avoided. With this hope, I {viii}
have endeavoured to give a helping hand, however feeble, to those who
have at heart the best interests of their fellow creatures.

For the language I have made use of in exposing bad men, and more
particularly a notorious political impostor, who when indulging his
deep-rooted prejudices and violent passions, cares not how he throws
off the common feelings of humanity, or sets truth and decency, or the
principles of honour and honesty at defiance, scarce any apology is
necessary. Should any one think my language too strong, I might plead
the example of some of the greatest and best men in different ages; but
I shall confine myself to that of the sacred writers. The prophets and
apostles, yea, our Saviour himself, when describing the COBBETTS of
_their_ day, have used much stronger language than I have done; and if
it be a duty at any time to _rebuke sharply_, or as critics inform us
the words should be rendered, with _a cutting severity_, or _cutting to
the quick_, it is when we have to do with men of such a description.

{ix} In conclusion, I ask I hope no great favour in claiming on
behalf of Mr. Birkbeck, my brother, and myself, that credit for our
statements, until they are refuted by evidence, to which persons who
have little character to lose, cannot lay claim; and that we may on
the present occasion obtain belief when we have nothing to contradict
us but the confident language of a man "known to be wholly indifferent
to truth;" and who has, in the compass of three months only, for his
scandalous libels on private characters,--on one of those occasions
for having invented the atrocious charge of FORGERY against a former
associate--most deservedly smarted in a court of justice. Should I,
however unintentionally, have committed any mistake, I shall deem
myself bound to acknowledge it.

  B. F.

_Dalston, Jan._ 16th, 1822.

       *       *       *       *       *

P. S. Mr Cobbett somewhere remarks--"That he would sooner join the
fraternity of _gypsies_ in this country than the settlement at the
Illinois." This is not so extravagant as some of his assertions,
as he has proved himself pretty {x} well qualified, in one respect
at least, for a member of that fraternity; namely, by his numerous
_gipsy_ prophecies. To select one class only:--How frequently has he
in terms the most unqualified and confident, predicted that the Bank
of England would _never_ return to cash payments; how frequently has
he fixed the _period_ beyond which it was impossible for bank-notes to
preserve their value! Perhaps he had in his eye the accomplishment of
his favourite plan,--a general forgery of those notes, as the grand
means of bringing about his predictions. Notwithstanding the complete
failure of those predictions, (and I could produce numerous instances
of similar failure) he, although apparently sadly mortified, goes on
with his prophecies, and renews the senseless and injurious advice to
the farmers, which he has been giving them for many years past, but
which he knows, alas! they cannot follow--to hoard up the gold "because
in two years it will buy twice as much land as it will buy now!" It
was not many months since he gave them the same advice respecting
silver, assuring them "that a bundle of silver would _shortly_ prove
a mine of wealth."--_Address to the Farmers._ (_Register Dec. 15_).
In which publication Mr. C. has, in his language applied to Mr.
Webb Hall, so justly drawn his own picture, that I hope the farmers
will keep it constantly in view.--"The truth is, Mr. [Cobbett] is a
conceited man with a great deal of loose and indistinct stuff in his
head; and, having great power of front, he puts the stuff forth without
hesitation. A modest man may be a weak man and yet not deserve our
contempt; but impudence and folly joined claim as much of contempt as
man can bestow."--If the farmers can swallow such "stuff," they have
indeed, what Dr. South {xi} calls an "iron digesting faith," and should
the Jesuits visit this, as they are now visiting other countries, they
will doubtless consider Mr. Cobbett's boasted "disciples" as well
prepared to swallow down the doctrine of _Transubstantiation_!



  _Albion, Illinois, Jan. 18_, 1820.


My whole family, I think enjoy, since we have been here, much better
health than in England, and we have enjoyed the fine Indian summer,
which has lasted full two months, of most charming temperature,
the thermometer varying from 70 to 75. We had only two wet days in
November, and one sudden change to 35 degrees; the weather in December
was equally fine till Christmas-day, when we had frost and snow much as
in England, and since that time some very cold days, the thermometer
being below freezing, 22 degrees. We have now milder weather, but frost
and snow on the ground, and the thermometer again at freezing, but
gently thawing.

Our settlement has been remarkably healthy, and every thing is
going on tolerably well. You {10} will say _tolerably well_ has a
suspicious sound; I will therefore allude to that term in future, and
state the inconveniences as well as the pleasures of the autumn. We
have experienced considerable inconvenience from drought, and been
obliged to draw water by carriage to the town, as the wells did not
supply the inhabitants with a sufficiency, and the people, like the
Israelites, murmured at us, the town proprietors, as much as ever that
stiffnecked people did at Moses. I had no rock to strike, or power to
raise water by miracle of any kind, and therefore applied industry and
perseverance to make up this deficiency, and offered to supply them
with fine spring water at a quarter-dollar per barrel, from a most
delightful spring, found on my son George's estate, only eight feet
deep, and inexhaustible. I had nearly two miles to draw it, but I lost
nothing by my contract, and murmuring was allayed. This want of water
would have been a serious objection to our settlement if it had been
local, but it has been an unusual drought throughout the whole of the
Western country, such as has been rarely experienced, and we have been
much better off than the people of Kentucky: it has also awakened our
energies, and within half a mile of the town an excellent well has
been opened, besides two {11} others at a mile and a half, so that no
lasting want has been known, only a temporary inconvenience suffered.

I am rather particular on this subject, as report had spread that our
town had broke up, our people scattered, and disease prevailed for want
of water, all which was notoriously false; and through mercy, I think
there have been fewer deaths in the number of inhabitants than in any
part of England.

Another inconvenience from this drought was, the burning of the
prairies much earlier than usual. There is a grandeur in this scene
almost indescribable and somewhat alarming. We see whole prairies,
containing thousands of acres, like a sea or lake of fire ascending;
columns of smoke so affect the air, that it is a complete fog, and
painful to the eyes; but after a few days all is over; the sky clear,
and the air serene, but our herbage is gone. At this season the cattle
go into the barn: we pay a herdsman to look after them, and if the
weather is not immoderately wet, they come out as fat as sheep from
coleseed, and afford profit to the grazier. Our bullocks, which were
bought at sixteen or seventeen dollars last year, are now selling at
Albion Market, from twenty-eight to thirty-one dollars each, paying
nearly cent per {12} cent, for nine month's keeping; thus we are this
year principally graziers, having two hundred acres enclosed, and more
enclosing. George will have a fine farm opened, an excellent garden and
young trees, and vegetables of the most luxuriant growth.

It ought not, however, to be concealed that we are much in want
of farming labourers; we with difficulty get a regular ploughman,
and a ploughboy is still a scarcer commodity; and till we can get
our prairies once broken, and go with two horses without a driver,
ploughing will be difficult to be performed. Our people put on the
independent airs of Americans, without either their natural or noble
independence, which disdains any thing like servitude; but, as if
delighting to teaze us gave them great pleasure, they quit their
work suddenly and without reason; but we greatly counteract this by
keeping them out of employ, and our money in our pockets, and pay the
Americans who come out and are always migrating for a job of work, and
then return to their farms. We are also, in many instances, destitute
of female servants, but then we have plenty of helps, or _charwomen_,
who will come and work by the day or half-day, and then return to
their families. My wife has managed this business {13} admirably well:
observing their disposition, she hires them by the hour, sees well to
them for the time being, and generally gets a usual day's work done in
a few hours. This occasional assistance, in addition to the services
of Mrs. C. who we brought with us, and a woman servant, makes us
comfortably served.

On the return of Christmas day, we invited our party as at Marden, my
late residence in Hertfordshire: we assembled thirty-two in number. A
more intelligent, sensible collection I never had under my roof in my
own country. A plentiful supply of plumb pudding, roast beef and mince
pies were at table, and turkeys in plenty, having purchased four for
a dollar the preceding week. We found among the party good musicians,
good singers; the young people danced nine couple, and the whole party
were innocently cheerful and happy during the evening. The company were
pleased to say I had transferred Old England and its comforts to the
Illinois. Thus, my dear Sir, we are not in want of society; and I would
not change my situation for any in America, nor for _disturbed_ or
_tumultuous_ England.

My efforts to assemble the people to public worship have been
successfull; our place is well attended, from forty to fifty people,
{14} and amongst our congregation we often number a part of Mr.
Birkbeck's children and servants. Our singing is excellent; our prayers
the reformed Unitarian service. The sermons which have been read are
from an author I never met with in England, Mr. Butcher; they are;
without exception, the best practical sermons I have ever seen. Our
Library-Room is well attended in the afternoon; the people improving
in cleanliness and sobriety, recover the use of their intellectual
faculties, and interest themselves in moral and christian converse.

When I arrived at Albion, a more disorganized, demoralized state of
society never existed: the experiment has been made, the abandonment
of christian institutes and christian sabbaths, and living without God
in the world has been fairly tried. If those theologians in England
who despise the Sabbath and laugh at congregational worship, had been
sent to the English settlement in the Illinois at the time I arrived,
they would, or they ought to have hid their faces for shame. Some
of the English played at cricket, the backwoodsmen shot at _marks_,
their favourite sport, and the Sunday revels ended in riot and savage
fighting: this was too much even for infidel nerves. All this also
took place at Albion; but when a few, a very few, {15} better men met
and read the Scriptures, and offered prayer at a poor contemptible
log-house, these revellers were awed into silence, and the Sabbath at
Albion became decently quiet. One of its inhabitants, of an infidel
cast, said to me, "Sir! this is very extraordinary, that what the law
could not effect, so little an assembly meeting for worship should have
effected." "Sir," said I, "I am surprised that you do not perceive
that you are offering a stronger argument in favour of this Christian
institute than any I can present to you. If the reading of the
Scriptures in congregation has had such efficacious and such wonderful
effects, you ought no longer to reject, or neglect giving your
attention to its contents, and its excellent religious institutions."

Thus, my dear Sir, my efforts for the benefit of others have been
greatly blessed. I appear at present more satisfied with my lot,
because I appear to be more useful than ever: in England all my
attempts at usefulness were puny compared to what they are here. Many
people here openly express their gratitude to me as the saviour of this
place, which, they say must have dispersed if I had not arrived. This
is encouraging to a heart wounded with affliction as mine has been, and
is urging me {16} on to plans of usefulness. A place for education, a
Sunday-school, and above all, a Bible-society, if we increase, shall
be my aim and endeavour. I have already abundant testimony that God
will bless his word, and if the rest of my life should be spent in such
useful employment, my deathbed will be more calm than if I had been
taken from life before I had arrived at this period of utility. You
will, I trust, be able to appreciate the station Providence has placed
me in, and feel pleasure at this communication.

My house, which is nearly finished, is a comfortable one, and can
boast a roof that neither Hertford nor Marden could. It stands the
most drenching rains and drifting snows without letting in any wet. I
described it in my former letters; and while I am satisfied with the
comfort it affords, the Americans behold it with surprise.

You would have been much amused if you had been with us a few weeks
since, when I had a visit from Captain Burke,[57] a sensible and
intelligent backwoodsman. He paid me a short visit, put off his
business that he might fetch his wife, which he did; we thought we
saw through the plan; he returned with her the next day, and we felt
disposed to gratify their {17} curiosity. "There wife," said he, "did
you ever see such fixings?" He felt the paper, looked in a mirror
over our chimney-piece which reflected the cattle grazing in the
field before the house, and gazed with amazement. But turning from
these sights to the library,--"Now," said he to my wife, "does your
old gentleman" (for that is my title here) "read those books?" "Yes,"
said she, "he has read most of them."--"Why if I was to read half of
them, I should drive all the little sense in my head out of it." I
replied that we read to increase our sense and our knowledge; but this
untutored son of nature could not conceive of this till I took down a
volume of Shaw's Zoology.[58] "You, Mr. Burke, are an old hunter, and
have met with many snakes in your time. I never saw above one in my
life; now if I can tell you about your snakes and deer, and bears and
wolves, as much or more than you know, you will see the use of books."
I read to him a description of the rattle-snake, and then shewed him
the plate, and so on. His attention was arrested, and his thirst for
knowledge fast increasing. "I never saw an Indian in my life, and yet,"
said I, "I can tell you all about them." I read again and shewed him
a coloured plate. "There," said he, "wife, is it not {18} wonderful,
that this gentleman, coming so many miles, should know these things
from books only? See ye," said he, pointing to the Indian, "got him to
a turn." In short, I never felt more interested for an hour or two, to
see how this man's mind thirsted after knowledge; and though he dreaded
the appearance of so many books, he seemed, before he left us, as if he
could spend his life amongst them.

[57] Captain Jeremiah Birk shared with Daniel Boone and many other
pioneers in the Western wilderness, the feeling that life in a
settlement was too crowded. Emigrating from Tennessee, he lived with
his family alone on the prairies until the arrival of the English
settlers. He obtained his title of captain by commanding a company of
scouts along the Canadian frontier during the War of 1812-15. Illinois
becoming too thickly settled to please him, he soon moved across the
Mississippi River.--ED.

[58] George Shaw (1751-1813), the well-known English naturalist. His
great work was _General Zoology_, or _Systematic Natural History_
(London, 1800-26), which after his death was extended to a total of
fourteen volumes.--ED.

Our library is now consolidated; and that the kind intentions of
yourself and others may not be lost, and that your names may live in
our memories and be perpetuated to future generations, I have conveyed
all the books presented to us, in trust to the proprietors of the town,
for the use of the Albion Library; writing the names of the donors in
them; and in my next letter I shall, _pro forma_, be able to convey to
you our united thanks for the books presented. Our little library is
the admiration of travellers, and Americans say we have accomplished
more in one year, than many new settlements have effected in fifty--a
well supplied market, a neat place of worship, and a good library.


  _Park House, Albion, June 20, 1820._

I HAVE not written many letters to my friends in England,
because I was determined not to state any thing on presumption,
or of mere opinion, but only matters of fact, which must stand
uncontradicted, and bear the test of examination.

I proceed to state to you the circumstances which we are now in; and
you will my dear Sir, feel satisfaction at my being able to give you
the pleasing account, that, after nearly a twelvemonth's residence,
there is no foundation for reasonable complaint. Every workman or
artificer has abundance of employment at a price that will procure him
a plentiful subsistence; and at this time our little town is amply
supplied, with not only the necessaries of life, but even its luxuries.
I have a comfortable habitation, containing four rooms and a hall on
the ground floor, and five chambers above: two wings are added which
contain kitchen, china closet, dairy, and an excellent cellar. My farm
produces, as it did at Marden, good beef and mutton, with abundance of
{20} poultry, eggs, milk, cream, butter, and cheese. I am quite at home
again, and am writing to you surrounded by the same library standing
in the same relative situation, in my large easy chair, and enjoying
every earthly comfort. I have the happy absence of tax-gatherers, and
am never galled with tithe or poor-rate collectors.

Our settlement, thank God, is remarkably healthy, and my family and
self have never enjoyed better health than in the situation which some
of your reviewers and critics call "the swamps of the Wabash." There is
no situation in the habitable globe in which less sickness and fever
have taken place in the given period of twelve months, and the evil
reports that have been spread about, applied only, in a small degree,
to the large party of settlers who, on their arrival, took shelter in
the woods, finding none of the conveniences prepared for them which
they had reason to expect. All is going on here to the full as well
as can be expected or hoped; and if the British settlement does not
prosper, it will be the fault of the _settlers_ only.

As to religion, the form of it is now regularly attended to by many,
and all have the {21} means of assembling on the Sunday at our small
but neat place of worship. We read the _Reformed_ or _Unitarian_
Liturgy, the _Scriptures_, and _Sermons_ from our best English authors.
Our place of worship is likewise our library-room. Religion in the
outward form is by no means ostentatious, notwithstanding which, we
have a large portion of good, sober and industrious people amongst
us, who, I trust, by a virtuous example and keeping alive religious
feelings, will be ultimately successful in preserving true religion
amongst the people of the Illinois.

But to return from spiritual to temporal concerns: I imagine you
asking,--Are there then no inconveniences? There are. We have not
a sufficiency of female servants, on account of the frequency of
marriage, which is constantly depriving us of those we have; and
although I have hitherto been well off, yet I am fearful we may be as
others are, inconvenienced for want of them. Boys for either plough or
house work are scarce, but the entire absence of pauperism more than
amply compensates for these privations. How much I regret that more of
the overflowing population of England cannot find {22} their way here,
exchanging their poverty for plenty of employment and good fare.

We have East and West India produce in abundance; silks, crapes, &c.
such as you in England only can procure by a breach of the laws. On the
first day that I dined at the tavern which I had just finished building
in Albion, I drank bottled porter as cheap as in London, and had fine
English salt at half the price I paid for it in England. Thus I find I
have escaped the ruinous system of taxation which has reduced so many
thousands to beggary or the workhouse, and so many of the middling
classes to a state of pinching want, whom I have seen shivering through
the winter over a few coals called a fire, because their limited means
would not afford a cheerful blaze.

A great advantage in settling in the Illinois, rather than many other
parts of America, is the state of society amongst us. Most of the
persons who emigrate here, are those who have diminished their former
fortunes; persons who have received good education, but are unable to
sustain their stations in England. There is no arrogance in saying
our circle of society is far superior to that in most of the villages
in our native country. Except the parson, the {23} squire, and the
principal farmers, what is the society of many of the English hamlets
but rude and uncultivated? Here it is different; for within the circle
of a few miles, there is more good company (I mean well-educated
persons) than in the same circle in most parts of England.

We frequently find superior education and intelligence among the sons
of the plough and the axe, to those in like situations in England.
A person lately offered me his services to split boards for me: we
agreed for price. I observed a correctness in his pronunciation and
manner of speaking, apparently far above his situation. I attended him
to the woods; he had with him two younger men than himself. The first
singularity that appeared was, after taking off their clothes, (having
first ground their axes) a nail or two were driven into a tree, on
which were hung handsome _gold_ watches. These men were well educated,
understood geography, history, European politics, and the interesting
events that now so much excite the attention of mankind. I went into
my field the other day, and began a conversation with my ploughman:
his address and manner of speech, as well as his conversation {24}
surprised me. I found he was a colonel of militia, and a member of the
legislature; he was indeed a fit companion for men of sense; and where
will you find persons of this class in England with equal intelligence?

Of the particular news of this place, there is one piece of
intelligence that will surprise you; the author of "Letters from the
Illinois," (Mr. Birkbeck) has opened a place of worship at Wanborough;
he officiates himself, and reads the _Church of England Service_, so
that Wanborough is the seat of _orthodoxy_, and our place stands, as a
matter of course, in the ranks of _heresy_?

There is an opinion prevailing amongst many in England, that the
marriage ceremony in America is considered lightly of, and but loosely
performed; but there never was a greater mistake. A minor cannot marry
without the consent of his or her guardian or parent. A license must
be applied for at the county court, and a declaration accompanying it
from the parent, that it is with _his_ consent. This license is taken
to a magistrate who performs the ceremony, that is, the legal part of
it, at either his own house or that of the parties; which is simply
asking if they are willing to become man and wife, and their answer of
consent. This is registered at the magistrates, and recorded by him
at the county court: if {25} either neglect to make this register, a
heavy fine is the punishment of their negligence, and the marriage is
considered illegal. This is legal marriage in the Illinois; but both
the magistrates inquire of the parties, and the law allows of any
addition of a religious kind, that they may choose, and we adopt the
vows of the marriage service of the Church of England, which are as
solemnly put and answered, as if performed by a person in canonical
habits before the altar.

Marriages here take place so frequently, that _we_ are certainly in
want of female servants; even our Mrs. C., who lived with us upwards
of twenty-five years, and is turned of fifty, has not escaped; she
is married to a Mr. W., having first refused Monsieur R., an Italian
gardener, of very polite manners, and who may be said to have seen
a _little_ of the world, as he marched from Italy to Moscow with
Bonaparte, back to France, and proceeded from thence to this place: he
was tall and majestic in person, made very elegant bows to _Madame_ C.,
and spoke English enough to assure her he had the highest esteem for
her, and would marry her to-morrow if she would consent; but all in
vain, plain _John Bull_ {26} carried the day. We have had ten or twelve
marriages within three or four months. This, I think, is settling the
Illinois pretty fast, and a good proof that _Cobbett_ has not, as he
threatened, 'written us down;' nor is there any sign of abandonment,
but a good prospect, of increase of population, even if emigration
should diminish.

We hear news from England sufficient to appreciate the wretched
situation of our native country, and the disturbed state of Europe
in general. We see, or think we see most plainly, the phial of God's
wrath pouring forth on guilty nations; and England, notwithstanding its
pulpit flatterers, in the church and out of the church, is tasting of
that wrath. It appears to me that we have great cause for gratitude in
escaping divine judgments, and finding an asylum where we may, I hope,
rest in peace.

I see, on looking from my window, the golden harvest waving before me;
a beautiful field of wheat, the admiration of the country, the first
fruit of my son's industry in this kind of grain.

My wife and family enjoy excellent health, and spirits, and had not
the Almighty hand {27} smote me in my tenderest part, by sending his
awful messenger to call my dear son William away,[59] the days of my
emigration would have been the happiest of my life.

  R. F.

[59] William Flower, second son of Richard, died at Lexington,
Kentucky, apparently of heart disease, in the winter of 1818-19. See
George Flower's "English Settlement in Edwards County, Illinois," in
Chicago Historical Society _Collections_, i, p. 131.--ED.


  _March 26, 1821._

As to the settlement in general, I consider it most prosperous, making,
comparing it with many new ones, the most rapid strides to comfort
and prosperity: our little town, now the capital of the English
Settlement[60] has a store which supplies us with luxuries. A market
with abundance of meat, poultry, and vegetables, so that persons with
very limited incomes might live here in comfort. A person with 100
per Annum would be in affluence, which you will say is owing to the
cheapness of provisions;[61] and freedom from tythes, taxes, poor's
rates, &c. The labourer or mechanic who is steady, can work himself
into plenty. {28} We are relieved entirely from the dreadful state of
pauperism witnessed before I left England. My wife, with others of our
acquaintance, have not had such good health for twenty years past. Mrs.
Flower rides twenty miles a day, on horse back, with ease. I wish you
could visit my old servant T. S. on one of the pleasantest situations
in the world, with his nice garden, his cows, pigs, and poultry about
him; his wife and children contented and happy. Perhaps were you to
come suddenly upon him, eggs and bacon with a hastily got up chicken
might be your fare; but if you gave him a day's notice, you would see a
haunch of venison, or a fine cock turkey on the table. How long would
Tom have fagged in England, although he had double his wages, before
he could have possessed himself of two hundred acres of good land, and
been placed in such affluence. Here, indeed, it may be truly said that
the hand of the diligent maketh rich. We have here and there an idle
person, but Providence has given them an industrious help-mate; and I
know two instances of females earning from six to eight dollars a week
by their needles; enough for them to keep comfortable tables.

[60] Albion was made the county seat of Edwards County in 1821.--ED.

[61] Flower's Letters from [Lexington and] the Illinois, 1819.--B.

I have felt great satisfaction in never having {29} invited any one
to emigrate, and still greater in finding those who came here out of
regard to my opinions, in such situations of ease and comfort, as not
only to contribute to their own happiness, but to add greatly to mine.
I may say that those who have asked and taken my advice have succeeded
to their wishes; and in all cases which have come to my knowledge,
where affairs have been conducted with industry and tolerable
discretion, they have occasion to be thankful for the change they have
made from the old world to the new. Our population increases. We want
in particular more tailors and shoemakers: any one understanding the
coarse earthen-ware manufactury would meet with great success.--I have
just finished a flour mill on an inclined plane, which has given fresh
spirit to agriculture. Distilleries are also building. It is a happy
circumstance that while industry is attended with certain success,
vice, drunkenness, and idleness are no better off than in Europe; the
effect of this will be to give the virtuous that natural ascendancy
over the vicious which they ought always to have. We read in the
newspapers of all the bustle you have had about your queen;[62] but if
it ends without the people regaining their long lost liberties, between
the {30} collision of the different factions, you will only be worse
off; and if the regaining of those liberties will not rouse the people
to the same exertions for themselves as they have made for their queen,
we must smile at their oppressions and say they deserve them.

[62] Flower here refers to the excitement in England in favor of the
Queen, upon George IV's attempt to divorce her. See Walpole, _History
of England_, i, pp. 573-606.--ED.


  _Park House, Albion, Aug. 20, 1821._


Some of my letters, written in 1819, appeared through the medium of the
press; and some of the English Reviewers, after a candid criticism,
observed, that they should be glad to hear from me at some future
period. Several other persons also have expressed a strong desire to
have an account of our _present_ situation and future prospects. In
compliance therefore, with their wishes, I most cheerfully resume my
pen, with the assurance that what I have written may be relied upon as
an impartial and candid statement of facts.

Various are the reports which have been circulated in the private
circle, and by means of the press, concerning the state of this
settlement; {31} and great has been the anxiety which many friends have
expressed on our account. It is my purpose therefore, to examine the
principal reports which travellers have given of us.

When any one returns to England, though he may have visited us but a
few days, he obtains a credence far above those who have only hear-say
reports to communicate; whether his visits were made during the
winter, amidst rains or snows, or in the summer, when an unparalleled
drought pervaded the whole western country. Is so transitory a view
to be considered as a just description of the soil, the climate, the
advantages or disadvantages of the British Settlement in the Illinois?
Surely not. I am informed even of some accounts which have been written
from settlements above fifty miles distant from us, where circumstances
are so very different, that they bear no resemblance to the situation
in which we have located. These statements have been brought forward
in opposition to the indisputable facts which have been given by
us, and they no more apply to this place, than a description of the
lowlands of Essex and Lincolnshire can apply to the high and dry
situations of Shooter's-hill or Blackheath. I therefore request the
reader's {32} attention to a few observations on the various reports
which travellers have circulated of the _English_ settlements at the

I must first be allowed to remark on the want of competency of some
very confident writers to form any judgment of our real situation;
they appear to be wholly unacquainted with the history of the new
settlements, and from this defect are unfitted to form a right
judgement of our comparative and relative advantages. Hence the
incongruous and contradictory accounts which have been given of
our soil, climate, and agricultural concerns. Of the many who have
visited us there are two individuals whose reports I hear gain some
credence amongst my country men; I shall therefore confine my attention
chiefly to the accounts they have given of us, and then examine those
reports which have been raised from deep-rooted enmity and determined
self-interest. These, with a brief account of our present situation and
future prospects shall be the remaining subject of this letter.

One of these travellers visited us when the snows were melting, and
the rains descending: he reports us to be dwelling upon the swamps of
the Wabash; and our lands to be so wet that they are unfit for either
cattle or sheep to {33} thrive on; and on that account unsuitable for
the purposes of an English farmer.

Another passed through our country in an unparalleled drought, and
reported us to be in a sad situation for want of water. There was some
degree of truth in this, but a very partial degree, owing to his not
stating the circumstances of the case. _Our_ town is situated very
high, and till we had experienced some drought we knew not that we
should want to dig deep for water, and of course could not provide for
an exigency that was not known to exist. "_Dig deep_" I have said;
but one hundred feet is thought, by a western American, to be a vast
and dangerous enterprise; we have however with us Englishmen who
have been far into the bowels of the earth in England, and have no
sort of fear of there not being abundance of water in Albion; already
have we experienced the benefit of these exertions; but while our
dry-weather traveller was reporting our inconveniences, he should
have stated it was an unusual season which pervaded the whole of the
western country: that Kentucky and Ohio were worse than the Illinois;
and that in Indiana, in the best watered districts, springs, rivulets,
and wells were exhausted. Such an instance has never before occurred
{34} during the memory of the oldest inhabitants. The same person
(who I know would not willingly give a false account) has stated that
so short was the water that we were obliged to send our cattle into
Indiana.--That our herds were in Indiana is very true, but that they
were sent there on account of want of water, is equally untrue. We have
in Indiana about twelve miles distant, some high ground in the midst
of low land, subject to be overflowed; on this low ground grows the
most luxuriant cane, springing to an extraordinary height; the tender
shoots of which, affording excellent food for cattle, we send them in
the winter season, with the exception of milch cows and working oxen,
to fatten. Our custom is somewhat similar to that of the farmers of
the upland districts in England, who send their stock into the fens
of Lincolnshire to fatten on coleseed and superabundant grass. So we
dispose of our herds when the winter draws to a close. To this may be
added, that the cane in the low river bottoms, growing naturally is the
most luxuriant pasturage for summer feeding: and as we only pay the
expense of the herdsman, the food either there or in the cane costing
nothing: and the herdsman living there we leave our herds; so it was
true that they {35} were in the cane, but were not sent there on
account of the want of water. When this person reported that there was
shortness of water amongst us, he should have added, that fine wells
were no rarity in the vicinity of Albion; that he drank as fine water
from our well as he ever tasted in his life; and that from the grounds
of Richard and George Flower, Albion, and even a part of Wanborough
were supplied.

It will therefore appear that this person, as well as many others, told
the truth, but very partially, and not the whole truth, and on that
account are not to be depended on. At the very time he was visiting us
a person from Kentucky, assured us that we were better off than they
were at Kentucky and Ohio.[63]

[63] See _Note_ A.--B. FLOWER.

Another person who visited us on purpose to examine and spy out the
land of evil report, went back to Baltimore and brought his family,
stating in his travels that he had not met with such good water as
at this place. This same traveller has reported our soil to be poor,
and our inability to raise a sufficient quantity of provisions for
ourselves, and that we are still dependant on the Harmonites: in
this he only shews his {36} want of knowledge of the history of new
settlements and their progress. Every person knows that the second year
is the most unprofitable: the first year being spent in building and
fencing, little produce is raised: but then all settlers of property
bring a supply with them to make up for this certain deficiency;
but capital being somewhat exhausted, and an increase of population
still continuing, must of necessity keep a new settlement short of
self-supplies; but when to this was added an extraordinary drought,
is it a matter of surprise that the crops should in some degree have
been scanty; but at the time I am writing, almost every thing these
travellers have said of the Illinois, is happily reversed: they are
the remarks of very superficial observers; though they may be in
some degree true at the moment they were written, they are no fit
representations [of] the Illinois; either as to its soil, climate, or
general character; could I but set these very travellers down here at
this moment, how would their astonished senses give contradiction to
their own accounts!

We have now what the Americans tell us is a usual specimen of the
seasons of the Illinois. Frequent rains, with the heat more moderate
than the last year. Agriculture is beaming forth {37} in its glory. If
some of our travellers to whom I have alluded were now here, they would
see some of the finest wheat crops their eyes ever beheld: they would
witness the most luxuriant crops of natural grasses, now gathering
for the supply of winter food; also fine plants of artificial grasses
well set in our inclosures; they would acknowledge that the corn crops
were as abundant, or more so than any they had before witnessed in the
United States; but as they are not here I must inform you that our corn
crops upon good tillage have the appearance of from sixty to eighty
bushels; and in some instances the Americans, who are the best judges,
say one hundred bushels _per_ acre. If this is the usual season of the
Illinois, which can scarcely be doubted, as it answers the character
given by those longest resident, then is the Illinois one of the finest
countries under heaven for human beings to dwell in; one of the most
delightful given to man for his residence.

Another traveller has stated that the Illinois is in general low and
swampy, but that Mr. Flower's family, with one or two others, had
placed their houses upon rising ground. This gentleman must either
be naturally or willfully {38} blind. He might have found, within a
circuit of five miles round Albion, numerous pleasing elevations, all
so inviting that the beauty which they presented to the admiring eye
of the settler, would be the only difficulty in the way of instant

Then comes another objector, armed with an _un answerable_
question?--"But what will you do with your produce?" This objection
only needs to be examined to be refuted. The answer is, that for the
present our home market will take all we raise, and if our population
increases in future as it has done during the present year, and the
probability is that, it will increase much faster, no foreign market
will be wanted for ten or a dozen years to come. Our infant town has
taken root, and is growing luxuriantly. It has increased one hundred in
the number of inhabitants since last September, and its vicinity has
added seventy to their number. Our mill is at work, and can grind the
produce now raised; and a distillery and brewery will shortly be at
work, so that the su[r]plus of several years will not raise more than
a sufficiency for the population. We have also in the settlement some
small plantations of tobacco, hemp, and cotton, articles which we {39}
at present import; it will therefore be a work of some time to raise a
sufficiency for our own consumption.

Another article of produce is wool. Since I have been here I have
turned my attention to an important object which engaged much of
my attention in my native country--the breeding of sheep, and have
succeeded to the utmost of my wishes and expectations. My flock
consists of about four hundred sheep and lambs; and although the first
winter there were unexpected difficulties to encounter, I can assure
my countrymen that it has been more healthy this last year than any
I ever had, or ever heard of in England; but as I intend giving an
account of my success in this branch of agriculture in some future
letter, it will be sufficient to say, that although I can grow in the
Illinois a profitable export, at present its produce is wanted, and all
that can be raised for years to come, will be wanted at home. We have
therefore not only a market for our extra produce around us, but we
have also a foreign market at New Orleans, and through it to the market
of the world. If it be said that owing to our situation, we labour
under peculiar disadvan[ta]ges, all is reduced to the price of land
carriage, of about nine miles to the Wabash, {40} at sixteen _cents_
per hundred pounds. If therefore it is said that our surplus produce
cannot be disposed of, it is not applicable to local circumstances
alone; but to all America. Whenever the United States in general can
dispose of their produce advantageously, the Illinois can do the same;
and we are more contiguous to navigation than the great proportion of
the interior of America.

The report which has injured us most is the want of that blessing,
without which all that this world can give is but of little
avail--_Health_. Reports of sickness which never existed, and of
deaths which happily never took place, have been most industriously
circulated; the fact is, that there has seldom been a new settlement
which has suffered so little loss by death; or which has been so free
from sickness. The number of deaths has been in the ratio of four in
ninety-five each year, and this is a smaller number than in most places
in the habitable globe, where the records of such events have been
preserved. Many of its inhabitants have with myself, enjoyed far better
health, than in their native country; so that I may safely conclude,
after two years residence, with the information of those who were here
a year and a half before me, that {41} there scarcely existed in the
habitable globe, a place where the inhabitants have enjoyed so large a
share of this invaluable blessing.

As to our future prospects they are truly flattering, in the
probability of increasing population, now the clouds and mists which
malignity has spread abroad are disappearing, before the light of
truth, as the mists of morning disappear before the light and the heat
of the sun: the well-grounded hopes of future harvests, arising from
the rich abundance of the present; the perseverance and industry of a
large portion of our settlers; the excellent materials for building,
and the increasing number of fine wells of water, all present a most
encouraging and delightful prospect.

Another testimony in favour of our situation is, that some of our
countrymen who have settled in other places, have visited us,
expressing their surprise and regret that they had been the dupes of
false reports, and had stopped short of the Illinois. While others more
prudently came down from Cincinnati, and even Baltimore to visit this
land of evil report, minutely examined for themselves, returned to
bring their families, and are contented with their lot.

Another remark was made by certain writers, {42} that although we had
improved our situation as to animal enjoyments, we had sacrificed
intellectual pleasures, because I stated, in one of my letters, that
there were no booksellers here, and that the necessary business which
could not be avoided in a new settlement, left us but little time for
reading. Hasty conclusion! Many of us brought out ample libraries of
our own, and we have also a standing library in our little town; which
is supplied with newspapers and periodical publications. Those who
emigrated to the Illinois were not altogether illiterate; a majority
of them were quite of a contrary description; and as to agricultural
knowledge, there are very few spots on the face of the earth, where it
is so much concentrated, as at the Illinois, having farmers from almost
all the different counties in England. There are likewise, several
American, Dutch, and French farmers, gardeners, and vine dressers in
our neighbourhood.

The reports of the wickedness and irreligion of our settlement, with a
view to prevent individuals from joining us, have been industriously
spread far and near. That there is a diversity of character in every
part of the globe, will not be denied; that this diversity exists here
is equally true; and that a portion of its inhabitants {43} is of an
immoral cast, will be as readily admitted; that we have not left human
nature with its infirmities and propensities behind us is equally a
fact; and even if it should be admitted, that unhappily, a larger
portion of the dissipated, the idle, and the dissolute are to be met
with in new countries than is usually to be found in old ones, yet we
have the same antidote for these mischiefs:--the _light shining in a
dark place_. We have public worship and ample supplies of sermons from
pious practical preachers, from the Catholic to the Socinian Creed,[64]
which are read on the Sabbath. But above all we have the _incorruptible
seed of the word of God which liveth and abideth for ever_; and it is
with pleasure I can assure my readers, that there is an increasing
congregation, and I trust, increasing religion amongst us. But if it
was otherwise, surely this should be rather an argument for persons
of religious zeal to join us, who have emigration in view; _to come
over to Macedonia and help us_, rather than shrink from such a task.
At least it is not apostolic or evangelic feeling that would draw a
different conclusion.

[64] Socinianism was belief in the tenets or doctrines of Faustus
Socinus, an Italian theologian of the sixteenth century, who denied
the trinity and divinity of Christ, affirming that Christ was a man
divinely commissioned.--ED.

When I was at Philadelphia a lady of the Society of _Friends_ addressed
me most emphatically on the subject:--"Wilt thou, friend {44} Flower,
take thy family to that infidel and wicked settlement in the Illinois?
Thou appearest to be a christian; how wilt thou answer to thy God for
endangering the precious souls of thy dear children?" Madam, answered
I, my destiny appears to be in the Illinois settlement; and rather
than turn from thence on the account you have mentioned, you have
furnished me with a forcible argument to proceed. I trust I am as you
have supposed a sincere christian, and as it is my special duty to go
where reformation is so necessary, I will endeavour to perform it, and
hope for the blessing of the Most High. It is for us to use the means.
We know who it is to command success in our present state and future

[65] See _Note_ B.--B. FLOWER.

It may be worth while to make a few remarks on the characters,
situations, and apparent motives of some of those persons by whom we
have been misrepresented and reviled.

The first class that opened their batteries of illiberal abuse, were
the ministerial and hireling writers in England.[66] The emigration
of Englishmen, in the Illinois it appears did not please the masters
whom these writers serve; and this is sufficient to account for _their_
{45} conduct: as usual, they were not very nice, in the means they
made use of. Private characters were assailed indiscriminately, and
motives imputed to the emigrants which never entered their minds. The
grand reason for emigration was to escape that overwhelming system
of taxation which had diminished the property of the emigrants, and
threatened if they staid much longer, to swallow up the whole. Their
conduct has proved their discernment, and justified their proceedings.

[66] Regarding the attitude of the English government, at the time,
towards emigration to America, see Preface to the present volume.--ED.

How many of my brother farmers have lost their all! How many have
been added to the list of paupers since we left our beloved country,
newspapers and private letters, agricultural meetings and parliamentary
proceedings and reports, sufficiently declare. Happy had it been for
many others, if they had accompanied us: some who have followed us
have lamented their indecision, and have felt the fatal consequences
of their lingering in their own country. The motives and views of this
first class of revilers, is too obvious to need fa[r]ther notice.

Another writer, who is, or rather who was once popular, whom I met
at New York, passionately expressed his determination _to write us
down_: amongst much false reasoning which {46} he made use of for this
purpose, it is greatly to be feared he also cared but little for truth;
and I have often wondered what could be his motive? Whether he had some
other settlement at heart; or whether he wished to keep all emigrants
near him to persuade them to enter into his grand plan of inundating
England with forged Bank of England notes!!--One thing however is
decidedly clear; that he knew nothing about what he was writing; and
our present success, surrounded by so many comforts, is a sufficient
proof he did not do us all the harm he intended. Were he to ride over
our fine prairies, viewing our flocks, herds, and corn fields, such
ocular demonstration of the falsehood of his statements would be to him
a sufficient mortification.[67]

[67] See _Note C_.--B. FLOWER.

But there is another class of men of a very different sort; those
who were raising rival settlements, in various parts of America, and
who had lands for sale: who longed to stop the cash which seemed to
be pouring into the lap of the Illinois. It was natural for them, as
human nature is constituted, to attempt to arrest its progress; they
therefore joined the hue and cry against the Illinois, and spread
reports {47} of sickness, starvation, famishing for thirst, frequent
deaths, and the consequent abandonment of our settlement. In this
they in some instances succeeded, and as I have before hinted, some
have visited us who speak of their having been _entrapped_, and
express the deep regret that they did not join us. Facts however soon
began to dispel the illusion: one gentleman brought his family to
Cincinnati, several families visited Baltimore, who notwithstanding
the evil tidings that they had heard ventured, although with fearful
apprehensions, to the English settlement: but singular as it may
appear to our calumniators, after a most minute investigation into our
situation and circumstances, in the autumn of the year they could not
find a sick person throughout the settlement: nor was the drought which
certainly inconvenienced us, peculiar or local; it raged throughout the
western country. They were satisfied, and went to fetch their families,
who are now residents amongst us to their entire satisfaction. It is
no wonder then, that the falsehoods and calumnies which have been
so industriously spread, are at length found to be such; and that
the character and motives of the persons who have assailed us are
duly appreciated: and, as a consequence of these and {48} other
circumstances one hundred individuals have joined the town of Albion,
and about twenty have settled in its environs since last August.

Notwithstanding all I have stated, I would not have my countrymen
consider me as inducing them to emigrate, without serious and due
consideration of their own circumstances; but rather consider me
as advising them if they do emigrate to America, to come and unite
with us in the Illinois; resting assured that what I have stated is
truth--_impartial truth_.

It is a trial of no mean sort to quit one's native country, and
separate ourselves from those for whom we have the sincerest friendship
and regard. The privations however of a first settlement are at an end:
we may now indeed say "the way is smoothed for them;" and it rests with
us who are now settled to be prosperous, contented, and happy. It is
equally our duty and our interest, to consider well the blessings we
enjoy at this place of abounding plenty. Many of you my countrymen,
can look back on the frightful abyss of pauperism and starvation which
you have escaped, and should lift up your hearts in gratitude to God
for his mercies vouchsafed to you. Forget not who it is that has
preserved your lives and prolonged {49} your days; blessed you with so
much health; preserved you _from the arrow that flieth at noon day;
and the pestilence that walketh in darkness_. Remember that it depends
upon your virtuous endeavours, how great, how good, and how happy the
settlement in the Illinois shall be. Eradicate the stain which report
has cast on your moral and religious characters; and may your example
be such as to influence the formation of character of this place;
that your _ways may be ways of pleasantness, and all your paths be
peace_. Remember that without virtue happiness cannot exist. Let future
generations rise up and call you blessed; so that you may, on your
departure from this life, rest satisfied that your emigration to the
Illinois proved the means of your increasing welfare and happiness in
time and eternity.

  R. F.


  _Wanborough, May 7, 1821._


REGARDING the abuse which people have indulged in about
my undertakings, and my accounts of them, I find little difficulty
in taking it quietly. I have spent four years in this country, and
now every day furnishes fresh proofs of the correctness of my early
impressions, so complete as to excite a degree of astonishment at my
good fortune _in conjecturing rightly_, and occasionally something of
self-congratulation, under the hope that partial friends may give me a
little credit for sagacity.

A statistical account of this country, by the time I had finished it,
and long before it could reach you, would need correction. Satisfied
as I am, to a degree of occasional exultation, with the condition of
my own farm, and my prospects as an American cultivator, so rapid and
certain is the progress of improvement, that I should not be flattered
by your reading, six months hence, an account of its present state.
Besides, enough has been already written to shew the _candid_ public
that all our {51} reasonable expectations are satisfied: for the rest,
who _enjoy_ our imaginary reverses, and rely more on the superficial
accounts of such people as C. F. &c. who have never seen the country,
or if they have seen it, are incapable of judging, it really is a waste
of labour to write for _them_. Those wretched people who indulge their
malevolence in personal abuse are unworthy of my notice. It would
indeed be to our advantage, and is the only harm I wish them, that
their ignorance and their prejudices should continue, lest they should
follow us.

We are on the eastern limits of a country differing essentially from
all that has hitherto been cultivated in the United States. The
people to the east of us are incapable of imagining a dry and rich
wholesome country, where they may enter at once on fine lands prepared
for cultivation, without the enormous expence of time and labour in
_clearing_, which has been bestowed on every acre between this and
the Atlantic. The inhabitants of the old States are profoundly and
_resolutely_ ignorant of the advantages of our prairie country. Books
are written in the east to prove the wretchedness of the prairies, by
persons who have never approached them within five hundred miles; and
English writers of the same {52} description, some with names and some
without, can obtain more credence than is granted to me, from that
description of readers. On the whole, I do not think it worth while
to undertake the conviction of these people. The settlers here _who
prosper_, that is to say, those who possess good morals and common
discretion, will, in course, tell their experience to their friends and
connections in England, and invite them to follow their example; these
again will invite others. This is now going on in all directions. Some
_write_ for their former neighbours or the residue of their families,
others push back to the old country, to conduct them out. Numbers who
come to try their hands at a _new_ settlement are wholly unfit for
_any_ place in this world, _new_ or _old_, unless it be to supply the
requisite quota of evil, which in this imperfect state, adheres to all
places. These are the people sometimes most likely to be heard, whilst
those who go on well and wisely are little noticed. Their _adventures_
are at an end: they "keep a pig" and live happily. A volcano is a fine
subject when in action, but the interest ceases with the eruption. At
some future day,--some "still time, when there is no room for chiding,"
should my life be spared, I may lay before my countrymen a statement
{53} of our condition: but the suitable time, I think, is not yet. It
is, however, a pleasing office to transmit to an intelligent friend an
occasional sketch of the settlement; and to receive, as I have from
you, and I hope you will repeat the obligation, a return of liberal

The various attacks upon my reputation will be repelled, _surely_,
though perhaps _slowly_, by time. Among my neighbours, who are
now numerous, their effect has ceased already. The accuracy of my
statements become daily more evident, and my errors are found to be on
the opposite side to _exaggeration_; a style which I dislike: it is
offensive to my taste, as well as my moral feelings: is not a written
lie to the full as abominable as one that is spoken?

The telescope which you have had the goodness to procure for me is
an object of pleasant anticipation. This climate is favourable for
astronomical observations, and it will add to our rational amusements.
I shall therefore be obliged by your forwarding it as before directed,
as soon as convenient.

  M. B.


{55} NOTES[68]

[68] As already explained in note 55, _ante_, the writer of these Notes
was Benjamin Flower, brother of the author of the Letters.--ED.

[_Note_ A, _page_ 139.]

The following Remarks respecting the want of water, and the account
of the English settlement at the Illinois, are taken from a most
entertaining, interesting, and elegant work, lately published, and
of which a _second_ edition is in the press. I here insert them, as
they tend to confirm the correctness of the accounts published by Mr.
Birkbeck and my brother, and contain some excellent advice to emigrants,

"You have expressed in your late letters, some curiosity regarding the
condition of the English settlement, in the Illinois, adding, that the
report has prevailed that those spirited emigrants had been at first
too sanguine, and had too little foreseen the difficulties which the
most fortunate settler must encounter. This report, I believe, to have
originated with Mr. Cobbett, who thought proper to pronounce upon the
condition of the farmer in the Illinois, in his own dwelling upon Long
Island. Feeling an interest in the success of our countrymen in the
West, I have been at some pains to inform myself as to their actual
condition. The following statement is chiefly taken from the letters
of two American gentlemen, of our acquaintance who have just visited
the settlement; they inform me that its situation possesses all those
positive advantages stated by Mr. Birkbeck; that the worst difficulties
have been surmounted; and that these have {56} always been fewer than
what are frequently encountered in a new country.

"The village of Albion, the centre of the settlement, contains at
present thirty habitations, in which are found a bricklayer, a
carpenter, a wheelwright, a cooper, and a blacksmith; a well supplied
shop, a little library, an inn, a chapel, and a post office, where the
mail regularly arrives twice a week. Being situated on a ridge, between
the greater and little Wabash, it is from its elevated position, and
from its being some miles removed from the rivers, peculiarly dry and
healthy. The prairie on which it stands, is as exquisitely beautiful;
lawns of unchanging verdure, spreading over hills and dales, scattered
with islands of luxuriant trees, dropped by the hand of nature, with
a taste that art could not rival--all this spread beneath a sky of
glowing and unspotted sapphires. The most beautiful parks of England,
would afford a most imperfect comparison. The soil is abundantly
fruitful, and of course has an advantage over the heavy timbered lands,
which can scarcely be cleared for less than from twelve to fifteen
dollars per acre, while the Illinois farmer, may in general clear his
for less than five, and then enter upon a more convenient mode of
tillage. The objection that is too frequently found to the beautiful
prairies of the Illinois, is the deficiency of springs and streams
for mill seats. This is attended with inconvenience to the settler,
though his health will find in it advantage. The nearest navigable
river to Albion is the Wabash, eight miles distant: the nearest running
stream, that is not liable to fail at Midsummer, the Bonpaw, four
miles distant. The stock of water in ponds for cattle, was liable to
run dry in a few weeks, and the settlement apprehended some temporary
inconvenience from {57} the circumstance. The finest water is every
where to be raised from twenty to twenty-five, or thirty feet from the
surface, these wells never fail, but are of course troublesome to work
in a new settlement.

"The settlement at Albion, must undoubtedly possess some peculiar
attractions for an English emigrant, promising him, as it does, the
society of his own countrymen, an actual or ideal advantage, to which
he is seldom insensible. Generally speaking, however, it may ultimately
be as well for him, as for the community to which he attached himself,
that he should become speedily incorporated with the people of the
soil: many emigrants bring with them prejudices and predilections which
can only be rubbed away by a free intercourse with the natives of the
country. By sitting down at once among them, they will more readily
acquire an accurate knowledge of their political institutions, and
learn to estimate the high privileges which these impart to them, and
thus attaching themselves to their adopted country, not for mere sordid
motives of interest, but also from feeling and principle, become not
only _naturalized_, but also _nationalized_. I have met with but too
many in this country, who have not advanced beyond the former. I must
observe, also, that the European farmer and mechanic, are usually far
behind the American in general and practical knowledge, as well as
enterprise. You find in the working farmer of these states, a store of
information, a dexterity in all the manual arts, and often a high tone
of national feeling, to which you will hardly find a parallel amongst
the same class elsewhere. His advice and assistance always freely given
to those who seek it, will be found of infinite service to a stranger;
it will often save him from many rash speculations, at the same time
that it will dispose {58} him to see things in their true light, and to
open his eyes and heart to all the substantial advantages that surround

_Views of Society and Manners in America, in a series of Letters from
that Country to a Friend in England during the years 1818, 1819, 1820.
By an Englishman, 8vo._[69]

[69] The last word of the title should be _Englishwoman_. The author,
Miss Frances Wright, was born in Dundee, Scotland (1795) and at an
early age became interested in sociological questions. She came to
America in 1812 and made one of the earliest attempts to solve the
slavery problem; but her practical experiment in employing negro labor
on a Tennessee plantation ended in failure. Removing to New Harmony,
she conducted, with the assistance of Robert Dale Owen, a socialistic
journal. From 1829 to 1836 she lectured throughout the United States,
being one of the earliest women lecturers on the American platform.
Returning to Europe, she married M. Darusmont (1838), and did not again
appear in public life.--ED.

The above as the reader will notice, was written two years ago, since
which the settlement, as appears by the letters now published, has
considerably increased, and for the time it has been established, is in
a very flourishing state.

[_Note_ B, _page_ 145.]

The address of the worthy female, one of the Society of _Friends_
to my brother, respecting the "infidel wicked settlement at the
Illinois," proceeded from that principle of fear for the interests
of christianity, which an enlightened christian, by which I mean one
who understands the principles, imbibes the spirit, and follows the
example of the primitive christians, need not indulge. To all sincere
christians who may have indulged similar fears, may be applied what
the Psalmist remarks of certain pious persons of his day, who appear
to have been placed in a very "infidel, wicked settlement;"--"_There
were they in great fear where no fear was._" (Ps. liv. 5.) Infidelity,
or unbelief in the divine mission of Christ; a rejection of those
grand truths, essential to the salvation of a lost world, where
the gospel can be read and examined, as it may easily be in the
present enlightened age--enlightened, with respect to the means of
instruction for the attainment of knowledge the most important,--is
so inexcuseable, that I know not how any man, even if his capacity
be below mediocrity, and more especially any man whose capacity {59}
is above mediocrity, can, remaining an unbeliever, rationally hope
to escape the awful sentence pronounced by our Saviour:--"_He that
believeth not the Son, shall not see life:--he that believeth not is
condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only
begotten Son of God._" (John iii.) Passages as equally applicable to
unbelievers of the present day, as to those of old, as the evidences
of christianity are equally bright and convincing as in our Saviour's
time, if not more so. We have no such gross prejudices to combat as the
Jews had, as no persons are so stupid as to expect a temporal Messiah,
to imitate those grand pests of society, who, in all ages, have ravaged
the world--despotic kings, and wholesale murderers commonly called
conquerors! And if we have not the evidence of sense, the personal
presence of Christ, we have _a more sure word of prophecy_, not of a
temporary nature, but more suitable to succeeding ages, even to the
end of time,--the fulfillment of Divine predictions. Men who after
reading the various relations of travellers of the first reputation,
concerning the fall and present state of ancient states and cities,
Babylon, Tyre, Egypt, &c. can reject the evidence of the truth of
revelation arising from such a source, may be pronounced without
breach of charity, wilfully blind. If it be said, there is no general
rule without exceptions,--I allow it, but only so far as there may be
exceptions to other important general rules: for instance, that justly
called the _golden rule_, delivered by our Saviour in his sermon on
the mount. But let it be seriously recollected, that the very word
_exceptions_ implies the generality of the rule, and that the man
cannot be very wise, who endeavours to persuade himself, that he shall,
in the great day of final account, be included in these exceptions.
For myself, I {60} must profess, that after some acquaintance with
several of our principal infidel writers, English and foreign, I have
never met with any who dared meet the distinguishing evidences of
christianity fairly; and that in general, the description of writers
alluded to, have been men whose moral conduct has been so defective,
as to afford just reason to apprehend they were not sincere inquirers
after truth. The infidel public may safely be challenged to answer, not
only the writings of Locke, Newton, Lardner, Paley, &c. but even some
of our shilling or sixpenny pamphlets. Let any unbeliever exert his
energies in refuting that admirable tract entitled--_An Answer to the
Question_, WHY ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN? by the late Dr. Clarke of Boston,
in America, of which there have been published numerous editions, but
to which, if an answer has been written, I will thank any person to
inform me, and where it can be procured. But so long as the enemies of
revelation consider misrepresentation, arising from wilful ignorance,
sneering, jesting, and ribaldry, lawful weapons to effect the purpose
they have at heart--the destruction of christianity--I shall certainly
suspect they do not possess that indispensable qualification in all
inquiries concerning revelation,--_an honest and good heart_, and that
of course they are not sincere in their inquiries; but let all such men
take warning from the numerous declarations in scripture concerning the
rejectors of the gospel, as they will most assuredly find, that with
respect to threatenings, as well as promises, _it is impossible for God
to lie_!

Should it be asked,--How is it that so many men of talents, and who
may possess qualities, which may render them in different ways, and
to a certain degree useful to the world and ornamental to the social
circle reject christianity; various {61} causes may be assigned. I
must confine myself to a few. The principal reason is assigned by the
divine author of Christianity:--_This is the condemnation; light is
come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because
their deeds are evil._--The love of applause in favourite circles is
assigned by the same authority as another reason. Our Saviour demanded
of the Pharisees,--_how can ye believe who receive honour one of
one another, and not the honour which cometh from God only._ They
rejected our Saviour's doctrines because _they loved the praise of
men, more than the praise of God_.--How often has _pride_ determined
men to reject truths the most important? The _doctrine of the cross_,
although the brightest display of the _wisdom and power of God_ to
the world, is to the _carnal_ man, that is the man whose belief and
practice are determined by worldly motives, _foolishness_. The remark
of Dr. Priestley on this subject, deserves the most serious attention
of men, who are by their talents and learning, elevated above the rest
of the world. "Learned men have prejudices peculiar to themselves, and
the very affectation of being free from vulgar notions, and of being
wiser than the rest of mankind, must indispose them to the admission of
truth, if it should happen to be with the common people!"

Although if the opinions I have expressed be true, they want not the
sanction of the learned, yet knowing the influence of names, I will in
their support add two, who although men of very different opinions,
are by their respective admirers, considered _masters in Israel_. The
first is Dr. Johnson who, as his biographer Mr. Boswell informs us,
remarked on this subject,--"_No honest man could be a deist_; for no
man could be so after a fair examination of the proofs of christianity.
Hume owned {62} to a clergyman, in the bishopric of Durham, _that he
had never read the New Testament with attention_!" Another example of
the truth of Johnson's remark is the famous Thomas Paine, who in a work
misnamed "the Age of _Reason_," but which is a disgrace to any man
possessing his reason, at the very moment of pretending to criticise
the bible, and of glorying in having destroyed its credit, acknowledged
"that he had not read it for several years!" This may, in part at
least, account for the numerous misstatements and falsehoods which
deform his pages. This work has been the more injurious to society, as
thereby the author lost much of that fame he had justly acquired by his
admirable, and popular political writings, but to which the world has
since shewn a comparative indifference.

To Dr. Johnson's opinion I only add that of Mr. Belsham, who in his
_Calm Inquiry_, &c. observes:--"The Unitarians acknowledge that the
scriptures were written for the instruction of the illiterate as well
as of the learned, and they believe--that ALL _which is essential to
doctrine or practice is_ SUFFICIENTLY INTELLIGIBLE _even to the meanest

From these premises I conclude, that there is little danger of the
spread of that _absurdity of absurdities_--INFIDELITY, where it is not
supported by more plausible reasons than are contained in the writings
of its votaries; but it is with pain, that I am obliged in justice to
the subject to add, that its principal support has been the corrupt
systems and lives of its professors.--Those ANTICHRISTIAN CHURCHES
under whatever denomination, and in every country under heaven, which
have been established by the civil magistrate:--THE ALLIANCE BETWEEN
CHURCH AND STATE, which has displayed its brazen front _in the temple
of God, exalting itself above all that is called God_; robbed {63} the
great head of the church of his peculiar prerogative, the sovereignty
over conscience; and plundered countless millions of their rights and
properties, thus turning the church into _a den of thieves_,--These
ecclesiastical corruptions constitute a more formidable argument
against christianity, although by no means an honest reason for
rejecting it, than the writings of the whole infidel world united.[70]

[70] A modern divine gives us the following curious description of
the Church of England.--"The governors of this society form a kind of
aristocracy respecting the community at large, but each particular
governor in his proper district is a sort of monarch, exercising his
function both towards the inferior ministers and laity, according to
the will of the supreme head of the church."--_The English Liturgy a
Form of Sound Words; a Sermon delivered in the Parish Churches of St.
Benet, Gracechurch Street, &c._ by George Gaskin, D.D.

How any man, with the New Testament before him, could possibly call
such an _aristocratical_ and _monarchical_ church, one "formed
according to the will of the Supreme Head," when he well knew that
it was diametrically opposite to the letter and spirit of the most
solemn, particular, and repeated directions of the Great Head of the
Church on this subject:--"_Call no man your master on earth; one is
your master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren, &c._"--I shall not
stay to inquire; but it may amuse the reader just to observe how this
clerical pluralist exercises "_his function towards the laity_," and
more especially as it relates to _tythes_:--that species of property
which was first voluntarily given by the people for various benevolent
purposes, but of which they were afterwards robbed by the clergy,
who appropriated them to their own sole use. How they are sometimes
raised, even in the present enlightened age, I lately discovered in a
catalogue, at a sale of pawnbroker's unredeemed pledges, where, amongst
other names and descriptions of property, I read as follows:

"_Lots sold under a distress for tythes due to the Rev. Dr. Gaskin,
Rector of the United Parishes of St. Benet, Gracechurch Street, of St.
Leonard, Eastcheap, [and of St. Mary, Newington"]._

Then follow eight lots of writing paper, silver table and tea spoons,

"_The following sold under a distress for tythes due to the Rev. Mr.
Parker, (son in law of Dr Gaskin) Rector of St. Ethelburga._"

Then follow five lots of yellow and mottled soap!

Whether the body of the clergy, who have for so many ages been
supported by these and by other means scarcely less obnoxious, come
nearer to the description of the primitive apostles and pastors for
independence, disinterestedness and benevolence, or to that description
predicted by one of them of those who should come after him,--_grievous
wolves not sparing the flock_, I leave to the reader to determine.

Dr. Gaskin, I was informed, ranks amongst the clergy who have arrogated
to themselves the epithet _evangelical_; but I have since been informed
otherwise; and I am inclined to believe, as those do who best know him,
that he is _not_ an evangelical clergyman!

I cannot help expressing my surprise that my countrymen will not, on
this subject, take a hint from that great and liberal minded statesman,
the late Lord Chatham, at the commencement of the American war, when
our debt and taxes were not _one fifth_ of what they are at present.
His lordship in a speech in the House of Lords, turning to the right
reverend bench, exclaimed,--"Let the bishops beware of war; for should
the people be pressed for money, _they know where to look for it_!"
It is a pity that amidst so much nonsense, with which the nation is
pestered at our agricultural meetings, and in agricultural reports,
and so much injustice as is proposed for relieving the public, by Mr.
Webb Hall on the one side, Mr. Cobbett and others on the other, such
as new corn laws, and breaking public faith, &c. ruining thousands by
the reduction of interest of the national debt, our real resources
should not be even hinted at. Is there no patriot to be found in either
House of the Legislature, following the excellent example of Mr. Hume
respecting _state_ abuses, who will recommend, "_An inquiry into the
nature and amount of our church revenues?_" Would christianity suffer
if a Bishop of Winchester, or a Bishop of Durham, had not 30 to £40,000
a year! or if our overgrown church revenues in England, and more
especially in that still more oppressed country, Ireland, where the
bishoprics are in general richer, and many thousands are wrung from
a long oppressed and impoverished people, not unfrequently in places
where little or no duty is performed, were inquired into? Let Britain
look at the church reformation which has taken place in France, and is
now going forward in Spain and Portugal, the abolition of tythes, and
the resumption of the useless and hurtful revenues of the church, and
blush at her _bat_ and _mole_-like stupidity!--B. FOWLER.

{64} But as America is not disgraced with an established church,
supported by penal laws, the work of statecraft and priestcraft united,
infidelity has, in that country, lost {65} its chief support, and
cannot, to any extensive degree, flourish. Let that favoured quarter
of the globe carefully preserve her only establishment--LIBERTY AND
EQUALITY, and her religious interests are safe. Christianity left to
itself will, by its own internal excellence, and by the lives of its
sincere professors, have _free course, and be glorified_.

The English settlement in the Illinois already affords an illustration
of the truth of these sentiments. In the first stage of its
infancy, reports, as it appears by the remonstrance and admonitions
of the female _friend_ at Philadelphia to my brother, have been
industriously and widely circulated, of its being a "wicked infidel
settlement;" where "a christian parent" could not "answer it to his
God for endangering the precious souls of his dear children!" Three
years have scarcely passed since this solemn warning was given; and
what is the present state of this "Infidel settlement?" The friends
to Christianity have exerted themselves, and although without the
assistance of _Priests_, or even _Reverends_ of any denomination, two
places within the distance of as many miles, have been erected for
public worship; one on the moderate candid _Unitarian_ plan,--I mean
that which according to the only accurate import of the word includes
in its communion, all christians who dissent from that contradiction
in terms--"THREE divine PERSONS in ONE GOD:"--The other for the
members of the Episcopal Church of England, which in America, by
losing its antichristian sting, has lost its principal deformities;
and what deserves peculiar notice--the service in the latter is read
by the very person who was supposed to have been the chief promoter
of infidelity!--A third chapel is now erecting for the use of the
Calvinistic baptists. These different denominations, with any others
{66} which may hereafter appear, have only to follow the example
of their brethren throughout America; to meet in civil society, as
friends, perfectly equal as to political, civil, and religious rights,
no one allowed to have any ascendancy over the other, christianity will
then triumph, and infidelity will be ashamed to shew its face.

To the excellent admonitions on the subject of religious and moral
conduct with which my brother concludes his letters, I cannot help
adding my ardent hopes, that as the English settlement appears to
be increasing in prosperity, and to present an happy asylum for
those, who from various circumstances, are induced or compelled to
emigrate from their native country, the inhabitants will prove an
example of that true religion and virtue, which constitute the only
sure foundation and preserver of states and communities:--my wishes
are equally ardent, that as christians, they would not only avoid
the errors of antichristian established churches, but of those which
although professedly dissenting from them still retain a strong
attachment to many of their follies. Primitive christianity, how
seldom is it aspired after! The unnecessary division of christians
into clergy and laity; the distinctions of dress, habits, and titles,
so calculated to please the fancy of our grown babies in the christian
church; the objectionable manner in which christian pastors are too
frequently ordained and supported:--these with other follies which
might be mentioned, all innovations on the simplicity and purity
of the primitive churches will at the Illinois, it is hoped, be
avoided. Let the English seriously recollect, that in their native
country priestcraft prevails, not only in the established church,
but in different degrees amongst those who dissent from it, where
I fear it is increasing; and that those who are distinguished for
their {67} attachment to _weak and beggarly elements_, are in general
equally distinguished for their indifference to the grand principles
of LIBERTY, for their servility to the ruling powers, and for their
support of that ruinous system of war and corruption, which has so
peculiarly disgraced the British nation for the past sixty years.--May
the office of pastor of a christian church be no longer deemed a
_trade_, but let every christian teacher aspire to the honour of being
equally independent with the apostles and pastors of the primitive
churches, who are chiefly if not wholly dependant on their own
exertions in the pursuit of some honest calling. May all denominations,
uniting with each other in the bonds of christian friendship, no longer
consider their peculiar explanation of doctrines as necessary to
christian communion. May their only grand essentials be, _sincerity in
the search of truth_, _and honesty in practising it_. Thus may they, in
the full enjoyment of political, civil, and religious liberty _go on
unto perfection_.[71]

[71] That I may not be misunderstood, I beg leave to remark, that
I intend no reflection on those who may have been educated solely
with a view to the ministry, and of whose habits we cannot expect an
alteration. It is an evil attending the present system, that while
men of very moderate talents, and judging by their conduct, who have
made no great advancement in the christian life, who possess a few
superficial qualifications which captivate the ignorant and unthinking,
are living in luxury, there are men of fine talents, and transcendent
virtues, who are living in comparative poverty. The grand error is
the mechanical transformation of youths into ministers at seminaries,
instead of their being brought up to some trade or profession in which
their independence might rest on themselves.

I have, on this subject, expressed myself more at large in the MEMOIRS
OF ROBERT ROBINSON, prefixed to his Works. See also an excellent
Sermon in his incomparable VILLAGE DISCOURSES, entitled, "_Any one who
understands Christianity may teach it_." And another in the Posthumous
volume of his works, entitled, "_The Corruptions of Christianity_."--B.

{68} [_Note_ C, _page_ 147.]

Mr. Cobbett's former calumnies respecting the English settlements in
the Illinois were amply refuted by Mr. Birkbeck and my brother, in two
pamphlets, published in 1819, and to neither of which, although he has
alluded to a private letter, since written by the former, and inserted
in a provincial paper, has he dared to reply. He has however, had the
effrontery in a late _Register_, (_July_, 7th, 1821,) not only to
repeat those calumnies, but to invent others still more atrocious; and
as the parties concerned are five thousand miles distant, I deem it my
duty on the present occasion, to add a few observations to those of my
brother, that the character of the calumniator may appear in its true
colours, and that my countrymen may no longer be the dupes of a man who
has so frequently deceived them.

This writer has in his rage against the settlements at the Illinois,
not only shewn his usual disregard of truth and decency, but thrown off
the common feelings of humanity. Yes!--This marble-hearted reprobate
has impiously dared to reproach an affectionate,--a peculiarly
warm-hearted father with the death of a favourite son. Addressing
himself to Mr. Birkbeck, he states as follows:--"As to English
farmers, yours, or any like yours, is the _very worst spot_ they can
go to." Of the falsehood of this assertion, the reader has before
him demonstrative evidence. Then, alluding to Mr. William Hunt and
his qualifications for farming, the writer adds:--"With great sorrow
I heard of his untimely end, from one of those terrible fevers that
never fail to haunt new settlements for years. One of Mr. Flower's
sons is _dead also_, in the bloom of life. Now, had Mr. F. followed
my advice given him at New York; if he had purchased a farm or two
on the Atlantic side, _this son would in all probability have been
alive_!" {69} To this atrocious paragraph I reply:--_It is false_
that "terrible fevers haunt the English settlements" more than is
common in either England or America. I am well acquainted with some
who were born, and had previous to their emigration, lived in one of
the finest counties in England, Devonshire, who were not unfrequently
subject to fevers in general, but to such "terrible fevers," as had
nearly terminated their earthly existence. These very persons have
lately written me, that during a twelvemonth's residence near Albion,
succeeding a long and fatiguing voyage and journey, they had been less
subject to fevers, and have enjoyed better health than when breathing
their native air. As to the climate in general, its healthy state has,
after four years experience, been proved, by the evidence of persons,
whose characters for veracity more particularly, are as superior to
that of their calumniator, as light is to darkness.--_It is false_
that Mr. W. Hunt was brought to an untimely end by "a terrible fever."
At the moment I am writing I have a gentleman at my elbow, who during
his late residence at the Illinois was well acquainted with Mr. H. and
with the circumstances attending his death; and he has authorized me
to state:--That Mr. Hunt's disorder was a common pleurisy, attended
with but a slight degree of fever; that he was fast recovering; but as
is not uncommon in other countries, not taking proper care of himself,
and negligent in following medical advice, he had a relapse which
terminated fatally.

_It is false_, that my amiable and excellent nephew _died also_ in
consequence of one of those "terrible fevers." Being intimately
acquainted with the circumstances of his case, from the very best
authority I assure the reader, that his death was occasioned by a
common complaint {70} in all countries, and to which young people
are more peculiarly subject: a cold, caught on a journey, (it is not
necessary to detail the particulars) which, without any alarming
symptoms of fever, terminated in a decline, and as is frequently the
case in such disorders, suddenly, when his parents and family were
flattering themselves he had nearly recovered. Thus has Mr. Cobbett
impiously represented an affecting visitation of Providence;--a
visitation common to every spot on the habitable globe,--as a judgment
inflicted on my brother for not following _his_ advice, although he
_forgot_ to add, that this advice was enforced with a denunciation,
clothed in his favourite phraseology, "I'll be d----d if I do not
write down Birkbeck and his settlement."[72]--Thus has he strove to
transpierce the heart of a father, and to tear open a wound, which
time, a flourishing situation, with those ample means of enjoyment with
which the favour of providence has surrounded him, together with those
"strong consolations," which a true christian only can feel the force
of, was healing; and I trust, that the same supports will enable him to
triumph over the fiend whose deadly aim has been to send him a mourner
to the grave.

[72] Flower's Letters from the Illinois, 1819, p. 32.--B. FLOWER.

Mr. C. warns my brother and his family "to retreat in time," which
if they do not, he dooms them for their lives "to pass their days
principally amongst the fellers of trees, and the swallowers of
whiskey." After the reader has attended to the evidence respecting the
state of society at the English settlements, in the pamphlet before
him, (I might refer him to additional respectable evidence) it is only
necessary to warn Mr. C. in return, should he again cross the Atlantic,
and take it into his head to reside at the Illinois, to be careful to
leave his vicious habits of {71} _swearing_ and _lying_ behind him, as
he will otherwise find not only English society, but even the society
of "fellers of trees, and swallowers of whiskey" too humane, too
civilized, too virtuous to be very fond of _his_ company.

The _hypocrisy_ of Mr. Cobbett, in his professions of respect for
Mr. B. and my brother can only be equalled by his _falsehood_. His
inhuman attack on the latter I have already noticed; and his eagerness
in the same _Register_, to expose and misrepresent private matters
with which the public have no concern, for the sole purpose of making
mischief, must be too obvious to its readers to require farther notice.
I might quote from a subsequent _Register_, the manner in which he
has endeavoured to ridicule both my brother and Mr. B. but it is too
contemptible for a reply.

Mr. Birkbeck, in the letter quoted by Cobbett observes, "I suppose you
have seen Cobbett's attack on me, and laughed at the ridiculous posture
in which he has contrived to place me." On this Mr. C. indignantly
demands--"Pray Sir, by what rule known amongst men, are you justified
in imputing to me _an attack_ on you. I addressed to you two letters
while I was in Long Island, dated in the latter part of the year
1818:--now throughout the whole of those letters _there is not to be
found one single expression to warrant_ this charge of having made
an attack on you; from one end to the other I speak of you with the
greatest respect." Of the _sincerity_ of these professions the reader
will judge, by a short extract or two from the letters referred to.
"It is of little consequence," observes Mr. C. "what wild schemes
are formed by men who have property enough to carry them back; but
to invite men to go to the Illinois, with a few score of pounds in
their pockets, and to tell them that they can become farmers with
those pounds, appears to me to admit of no other apology {72} than an
unequivocal acknowledgment that the _author is_ MAD! Yet your fifteenth
letter from the Illinois really contains such an invitation. This
letter is manifestly addressed to an _imaginary_ person, it is clear
that the correspondent is a _feigned_ or _supposed_ being. It is, I am
sorry to say, a mere trap to catch poor creatures with a few pounds in
their pockets." Mr. Birkbeck in reply, after stating that his letter
was not addressed to an "imaginary person," but to one with whose
circumstances he was intimately acquainted, a relation by marriage,
adds:--"You have posted me over England and America as _mad_, as a
_simpleton_, and a _boaster_, and in one or two instances as _something
worse_. _So great a liberty with truth, you say, never was taken by any
mortal being_; and having made the discovery, you are in great haste
to conclude your letter to me, _that your son William might take it to
England with him, and publish it there six months before I could hear
of it_!"--So much for Mr. Cobbett's _sincerity_ in his high professions
of respect for Mr. B. his _veracity_ in declaring he made "no attack
on him," and that his letter, "_was not written_ to be circulated
_in Europe_!" It is a pity that he did not adduce his ever-memorable
denunciation against Mr. B. and his settlement uttered a short time
before he wrote his letters, as an additional proof of his _sincerity_
and _veracity_![73]

[73] Cobbett's Register, July 7, 1821. Birkbeck's Letters, printed for
Ridgway, 1819, second edition.--B. FLOWER.

The _conceit_ of this writer is as intolerable as his other vicious
qualities. Speaking of the House of Commons, he thus expresses
himself:--"I am well aware of all the feelings that are at work in that
assembly with regard to me and my writings. I have not mock modesty
enough, to pretend not to perceive the power that I have in the {73}
country; and it is out of the power of that assembly to disguise from
me that they are well aware of the extent of that power. Neither am I
ignorant of the power that I have with regard to _their_ actions, and
of the great reluctance that they have to suffer the public to perceive
that they feel the effects of any such power. I manage my matters
adroitly: but the power I have, and the power I will have; and this
I repeat it, the public know full as well as I do; and I only state
the facts here in order to let those who grudge me the power know,
that the possession of it gives me great satisfaction." How _adroitly_
this bankrupt in fortunes and character has "managed his matters," the
_London Gazette_ and our courts of justice have recently afforded
ample evidence; and should he profess modesty, that it will be "mock
modesty," no man will dispute: as to the rest of the paragraph, surely
the ravings of the poor bedlamite, with his crown of straw, brandishing
his straw scepter, and fancying himself a king, appears rationality
itself compared with this display of bloated pride and intoxicated
vanity! What particular _power_ this writer possesses over the country,
or over parliament, I know not: that he may impose upon some people by
his acknowledged talents as a writer, whose style is so well calculated
for the lower classes more particularly, and by his confident
assertions, I do not deny; but in justice to Mr. C. I must observe,
that I do not believe his powers for wickedness are so gigantic as he
has laboured to persuade us they are. How often has he boasted of his
power at any time totally to ruin the Bank of England by his favourite
project of a general forgery of bank notes; and which he could easily
put in execution at any time; but notwithstanding he proves his _good
wishes_ on the subject, he has not had that {74} confidence in his
own marvellous powers, as to risk his neck in the acquisition of that
_exaltation_, which the attempt to put such a project in execution
would most assuredly be his reward!

Mr. Birkbeck has drawn a most correct miniature likeness of his grand
enemy, in describing him as a man,--I copy the sentence as printed by
Mr. C.--"KNOWN _to be wholly indifferent to truth_." This description
is so terribly galling as to provoke him to give additional proof of
its justice. How numerous are the proofs,--how vast the evidence which
might be collected from his writings! How many of the most useful
and ornamental characters, and of the greatest and best men in the
political, social, and literary world has he not libelled! It is not
only Birkbeck, and Flower, but Waithman, Burdett,[74] {75} and Fox,
Priestley, Franklin, Locke, and Addison, with many others whom this
general libeller has calumniated. But to wade through his innumerable
pages, and to collect the numberless proofs of the truth of this
statement would be a more Herculean task than that of cleansing the
Augean stable. To the number of his _Register_ already quoted I must
confine myself: and indeed _that_ may be produced as a fair specimen of
many others. Many years since, and early in his political career, he
poured forth his abuse on Dr. Franklin; the fit has lately revisited
him; and it has happened to him, to use the language of St. Peter,
when describing similar characters of his time, _according to the
true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again_. Speaking of
this friend of his country, and of the world, Mr. C. observes:--"Dr.
Franklin's maxims are childish, if not trivial; a still greater number
of them are false, _the whole tenor of them tends to evil_, for it
constantly aims at strengthening selfishness, and at enfeebling
generosity."--Yes reader! such is the description of the luminous pages
of this illustrious American philosopher, statesman, and patriot,
and which abound equally with lessons of philanthropy and prudence,
enforced by his own example, and which have instructed, improved, and
adorned, not only his own country, but almost every civilized spot on
the habitable globe.

[74] In my Mr. C.'s treatment of Sir Francis Burdett, INGRATITUDE seems
the crowning vice. The benevolent and patriotic baronet, deceived by
him as many others have been, lent him a large sum of money, which just
as he was setting out for America he declined paying, under the pretext
that as government had by their oppressive measures injured him, he
did not consider himself bound to discharge his debts till it suited
his convenience! Sir Francis, alluding to this letter, remarked, that
he did not know whether such a principle had ever before been acted
upon, but he believed it was the first time it had ever been openly
professed! As those letters are I find, very imperfectly recollected
by many of Mr. C.'s readers, if he will reprint them in his _Weekly
Register_, they will consider it as a favour.

Mr. C. commenced his notice of the worthy baronet by reviling him, and
all men of his principles; in his usual style he afterwards veered
about to the opposite point of the compass, and panegyrised him in the
highest terms; but although he had partly gained his ends, finding
that he could not completely transform Sir Francis into one of his
tools, and by his means, accomplish his darling, but uniformly defeated
project, of procuring a seat in the House of Commons, he in his rage,
and under that prophetic impulse with which "The angel he so long has
served," not unfrequently inspires him, pledged himself that in the
course of a few months he would so expose the baronet, as to hurry
him to his fate:--_That of committing suicide, and of being buried in
a cross road, with a stake driven through his body_! If Dr. Young's
sentiment--"He that's ungrateful has no crimes but ONE" be correct, Mr.
C.'s character appears to have reached its climax.--B. FLOWER.

But although there is much more offensive matter in the _Register_ I
have quoted, I must draw to a close. Mr. C. on some subjects shews
considerable talents and industry, and he might have been useful to
society, had he confined himself to his peculiar forte,--ferretting
out {76} public abuses, and making every class understand their nature.
It is indeed to be lamented how little he feels himself, what he has
made others feel. But, as there is no system, men nor measures, but he
has equally panegyrised and reviled, as it has suited his caprice, or
weathercock opinions; his own conduct has, in a great degree, destroyed
the effects of the best parts of his writings.--But as he has lately
turned his attention to that best of books,--the bible,--which he has
frequently sneered at, and reviled the successful exertions of those
who have extended its circulation;--as his prolific pen has lately
produced SERMONS, in which he has displayed his usual energies, I will
not despair of him; and I hope he will take in good part my friendly
and concluding hints. I will help him to one or two subjects for his
succeeding sermons. The first shall be--THE SIN AND DANGER OF PROFANE
SWEARING, from _Exodus_ xx. 7. _Thou shalt not take the name of the
Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that
taketh his name in vain._ The other,--GOD'S ABHORRENCE OF FALSEHOOD,
from _Prov._ xii. 22. _Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord._ No
man is capable of doing these subjects more ample justice; and I will
promise him that, as I have distributed _some_ of his writings, I will
so exert myself respecting these proposed sermons, as that he may add
to his recent boastings of their extensive sale. It is impossible that
in reading and studying the Bible, he can prevent it from _flying in
his face_, and I most sincerely hope his reflections will terminate in
his repentance and reformation: that he may no longer remain in the
_gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity_; but that it may be
his fervent prayer to God,--_That the thoughts of his heart may be
forgiven him_.


PRAIRIE--JUNE 25, 1820-JULY 3, 1821

Reprint of the original edition: London, 1822








  AGRICULTURE, &c. &c,











[Illustration: _MAP of the_ ALLOTMENTS]

[Illustration: _MAP OF_ ILLINOIS.]



  _June 5th, 1820._

AS I was much pressed to write to many of my friends in
England, to give them my opinion of emigrating to America, and as I
promised to write to several, to give them my sentiments of America,
and of my situation here; I will now endeavour to give them the best
description in my power of our voyage and journey to this place, and
how I am now situated, and of my future prospects.

As to the propriety of any person's leaving England, I must decline
giving any advice on the subject.

{2} As I was conscious but little information could be conveyed in the
short space of a letter to any particular friend, I shall, therefore,
present them, (that is, all those who requested me to write to them,)
with some extracts from my Journal.

_Extracts of a Journal, kept from April 29th to September 25th, 1819_

We left Killinghurst about noon, on April 29, and arrived at Portsmouth
in the evening. Our party consisted of nine persons, including Mr. C.
and a female servant.

30th. Our luggage, in a waggon, arrived at Portsmouth at noon, and we
got a permit from the Custom-House, and embarked it on board a vessel
for East Cowes, in the Isle of Wight, where it arrived in the evening,
but too late to enter it at the Custom-House. We slept at East Cowes.

May 1st. Entered our luggage at the Custom-House, and were ourselves
examined, {3} and afterwards put our luggage on board the brig
Resolution, of Newcastle, Captain Clarke. From that time till the 9th,
we were employed in procuring provisions and conveniencies for our
voyage, and in stowing our luggage, &c. When about noon, the wind and
tide being favourable, we sailed from East Cowes; but before we reached
the Needles' rocks, the wind and tide both failed, and we cast anchor
for a short time; but the wind again rising, we passed them, and before
dark got a few miles to the westward. The pilot left us as soon as we
had passed the Needles, and so did some friends of the passengers. They
gave us three cheers at parting, which was returned by firing a salute
with some small arms on board. The same was done at West Cowes, when we
heaved our anchor.

The brig Resolution was of five hundred tons, and had seventy-one
passengers on board, a small cargo of salt, the luggage of the
passengers, to a considerable amount, {4} with the following live
stock: a bull, two cows, a calf, three horses, with pigs, dogs, fowls,
and ferrets. Mr. Pittis, who chartered the Resolution, with Mr. Edney,
his son-in-law, and their families, occupied the cabin, but their young
man slept in the fore part of the steerage, with the young men of the
other parties. The females of my family, with myself, and some other
passengers, occupied the hind part of the steerage, divided into ten
separate births, with two bed-places in each birth; they were six feet
square, and about five feet nine inches high.

10th. In the afternoon, part of the coast of Dorsetshire in sight.

11th. A great swell of the tide, and much sea-sickness on board;
Berry-Head in Devonshire in sight in the morning, and land near
Plymouth seen in the evening.

12th. Land seen in the morning, the last we saw of England; as the wind
was north and north-west we stood to the southward, and it prevented
our touching {5} at the Land's End, as our captain intended.

13th. We supposed ourselves opposite to the Land's End about noon.

15th. A good wind from the south-east, but the ship rolling much during
the night; most of the passengers got but little rest. Weather fine,
but cold.

16th. Being Sunday, two of the passengers read some chapters from the
Testament, and a sermon.

22d. A good shower of rain, just as we had got our bedding on deck to
air it. In the evening, I observed, for the first time, the water at
the bows of the vessel to look like sparks of fire.

23d. Being nearly in the latitude of the Western Isles, many on board
were on the look-out for them, in the hopes of getting some fish and
fruit, and sending letters to England; but we were disappointed, as we
saw nothing of them.

24th. The ship's carpenter tried a girdle {6} made of tin, and water
tight, called a life-preserver; he found he could not sink, but at the
same time he could not make any way in the sea with it on.

25th. Early in the morning we got sight of the island of St. Mary's;
it was seen at a great distance. We had seen no land since the 12th,
when we last saw the coast of Cornwall. In the afternoon, we passed the
island 15 or 18 miles to the north of us, so we did not get any fruit,
to the great disappointment of many on board.

27th. The sea ran high, and once cleared the fore-part of the vessel of
every thing that was moveable. When the waves broke over the deck, some
of the passengers generally got a wetting, which caused a hearty laugh
from those who escaped.

29th. At noon, by observation, we were in latitude 33 deg. 58 min.
north, which is three degrees south of Cape Henry, at the entrance of
Cheasepeake Bay, to which we were bound. The weather warm, though not
more so than a fine May-day in {7} England, although we were upwards of
a thousand miles south of it.

30th. Some of the passengers bathed, till one of them got stung in the
leg by a sea-nettle, or what the sailors called a Portuguese man of
war; he was in great agony, but by rubbing it with vinegar, the pain

June 6th. There were four ships in sight in the morning, and in the
afternoon another was seen, and, at four o'clock, she sent a boat, with
an officer and five men. They proved to be Russians, from a frigate of
thirty-six guns, the Kamtschatka, from Kamtschatka, and the north-west
coast of America; they had been round Cape Horn in their way out, and
returned by Manilla, the Cape of Good Hope, and St. Helena, where only
the captain was suffered to land. The inhabitants know but little of
Bonaparte, as the governor was extremely jealous of all intercourse
with his prisoner; most that they knew of him was from the English
newspapers. {8} The officer eagerly enquired for news from Europe, they
having been out two years. We gave him some English newspapers, and he
in return took some letters for our English friends, as they intended
to touch at some port in England, before they proceeded to Russia. The
officer was regaled in the captain's cabin, and the men were treated
with plum-pudding and strong beer, but they refused to taste it,
till one of the passengers had first partaken of it; they then seemed
to relish it extremely well. Some large fish and porpoises were seen
round the ship, and two rifles were fired at them, without effect. A
sea-snake was also seen in the evening, it appeared to be six or seven
feet long.

7th. We saw some sea-weed that had much the appearance of the tops of
dead juniper bushes, with many small berries on them; we took some
pieces out of the sea, and found many little crabs in them, and a few
small shrimps; the crabs from a quarter to two inches long. Most of the
{9} passengers were now in good health. A pleasant evening, and the
young people had a dance on the deck.

8th. Some dolphins taken by the sailors, with hooks and lines; they
were from 18 to 30 inches long, and very beautiful fish. I bought one
of the small ones, it weighed six or seven pounds, and proved very good

9th. A small Swedish brig, the Dryade, sent a boat to enquire for
a surgeon, their captain being ill; our surgeon went on board, and
afterwards sent some medicines, for which, through a speaking trumpet,
their captain thanked ours. They took some letters from us for England,
as they proposed going thither, before they proceeded to Copenhagen.
Our water being got very bad, it caused a little commotion on board,
as there was but little water belonging to the captain. The passengers
were found water by the person who chartered the Resolution; and the
badness of {10} the water appeared to be occasioned by its being put
into foul casks.

13th. Many flying fish seen; they flew from twenty to thirty yards at a
time, some of them about the size of a herring, and others not larger
than a chafer; when they rose near the vessel, the water that ran from
them, had the appearance of a white string behind them; and when it
ceased, they dropt into the sea again.

14th. We made 186 miles in 24 hours, being a great deal more than we
had sailed, in the same space of time, since we left Cowes.

23d. We had a strong gale that blew down one of our sails.

26th. In the evening the main-sail boom broke, and spoiled a dance just
began on deck. The accident was owing to the sailor at the helm being
intoxicated, and letting the vessel get out of her course.

27th. All eagerly looking out for the gulf stream. In the evening we
saw a sea-gull; {11} these birds are said never to fly far from land.

30th. We had a rough windy night, and it continued stormy through the
day, and about six o'clock we had a tempest that split one of our
sails. About noon we saw a ship that proved to be the Commodore Rogers,
a pilot vessel of Baltimore, and from her we received a pilot, who
informed us that Cape Henry, at the entrance of Cheasepeake Bay, was
distant 25 miles. But a storm coming on, the wind changed just as we
had sight of land, supposed to be Smith's Island, just at the entrance
of the bay; this was the first land we saw after we lost sight of the
island of St. Mary's.

July 1st. A wet night: we got upwards of 20 miles from Cape Henry. In
the evening we again stood out to sea, the wind against us.

2d. In the evening, it being calm, we anchored two miles from Cape
Henry light-house, and one mile and a half from the shore; which was
very low land and covered {12} with trees to the water's edge, mostly
pines of a barren appearance, resembling a furze hedge in the poor
heaths of England. We had a good view of the shores for several miles.
The weather being pleasant, there was a dance on deck; and as the night
was calm and the moon shone brightly, it was kept up till a late hour.

3d. The captain and some passengers went on shore in a boat; when
they returned, they brought on board a branch of wild vine, with some
small grapes on it, a bough of myrtle, and some honeysuckles like the
trumpet one in leaf and flower. They likewise brought some crab fish,
of different sorts, unlike any I had ever seen before; one of them had
a long tail, and was much larger than the rest; this the pilot called
a sea-crab. They also brought a few sea-shells. The land, near the
light-house, very sandy and barren, mostly covered with woods, composed
chiefly of pines and a few oaks. The very little that was cultivated,
was Indian corn.

{13} Cape Henry light-house is built of wood, and stands on the west
side of the bay of Cheasepeake, and is in latitude 37 degrees north,
longitude 85 degrees west. The bay, at its entrance, is upwards of 20
miles wide. On the opposite side is Cape Charles. At one o'clock we
entered the bay opposite the mouth of James River.

4th. In the night there was a riot with the sailors; they quarrelled
amongst themselves and with the captain; it was owing to the former
having drank too freely; it was happily made up without any effusion
of blood: I was in bed at the time, and heard nothing of it. We were
much disappointed in not reaching Baltimore by this day, as it was the
anniversary of American independence, and, as such, is always kept as
a high holiday. We much wished to see their manner of celebrating it,
but, for this year, we were disappointed in so doing.

5th. A little before day-break the mate discovered a comet. The
bay much narrower, and both banks full in view, the land {14} much
higher than before, and covered with trees. Early in the morning, the
captain and some passengers went on shore, on the west side of the
bay. They went four miles through the woods; but little cultivated
land; wheat mostly harvested; Indian corn just come into ear; tobacco
in a green state. The land poor, the woods mostly pines with a few
oaks, &c. The country round was thinly peopled, no towns, villages,
churches, or mills, for many miles. It is in Maryland, and the land
is mostly cultivated by negro slaves, of whom they saw several, and
their habitations. They shot a sea-eagle, as large as a goose, with
very long wings, the quills of which were too hard for pens. They also
shot a bird something like an English blackbird, except that the wings
were crimson. They likewise killed a small dove, and were informed
many wild ducks frequented the creeks in winter; and heard of two men
killing a hundred and ten in one day. They brought on board some ripe
cherries, and some apples nearly so; they saw great quantities {15} of
the latter; also peaches and nectarines in a green state. They saw a
few sheep, oxen, and cows, but no horses, oxen being worked instead of

6th. We anchored near Kent Island, said to be good land, but we could
see but little of it. At eight o'clock we again proceeded, and at ten
got sight of Baltimore, eight or ten miles distant. As we approached
Baltimore the bay became narrower, and the land, on both sides, so
very low, the trees seemed to grow out of the water. The country more
cultivated, and the people employed in getting in their harvest. We met
a large steam vessel, and passed her at about twenty yards distance.
There were two chimnies, from which issued a large quantity of smoke,
a wheel on each side forced her forward; the forecastle was much like a
common ship; the stern was covered with a canvas awning, to shelter the
passengers from sun or rain; it was open on the sides: she moved along
very majestically.

{16} Shortly after, a surgeon came on board, to examine the health
of the passengers and crew; he expressed much satisfaction at their
appearance. He was a venerable looking old man, of about 70 years of
age, and a native of Britain.

At three o'clock we anchored near Fell's Point, Baltimore, and in the
evening went on shore; but returned on board to sleep. The weather fine
and very hot.

7th. At noon we went to the Custom-House to enter our luggage; in the
afternoon some of our fellow-passengers, with ourselves, engaged a
house at Fell's Point, at 10 dollars per month.

8th. We removed to our house, and hired a cart to take our luggage from
the vessel, at 25 cents a load. Paid at the Custom-House, 37 dollars,
75 cents; expences, one dollar, 40 cents.

Trade at Baltimore extremely dull, and paper credit very bad, except
some few banks.

Accounts are kept in dollars and cents; {17} a dollar is of the value
of 4_s._ 6_d._ English; but in Maryland and Pennsylvania, it is called
7_s._ 6_d._; in New York, 8_s._; and in all the western country, 6_s._;
but it is of equal value in all the states; it is the shilling that
differs; 100 cents make a dollar; a cent is a trifle more than an
English half-penny. Dollars are divided into halves, quarters, eighths,
and sixteenths, thus 100 cents make a dollar, 50 cents half a dollar,
25 cents a quarter of a dollar, 12½ cents the eighth of a dollar,
and 6¼ cents the sixteenth of a dollar. The shillings are different,
as follows:--

                                   1_s._ is        The dollar
Illinois, Virginia, Kentucky, &c.  16⅖ cents -----  6_s._ 0_d._
Pennsylvania, Maryland, &c.        13⅓ cents -----  7_s._ 6_d._
New York, &c.                      12½ cents -----  8_s._ 0_d._

These different denominations of the parts of a dollar are troublesome
to strangers, and might be avoided, by counting in dollars and cents
only; as there are no shillings in America, but only dollars, halves,
quarters, eighths, and sixteenths, mostly Spanish coin, and some 10 and
20 cent {18} pieces of American and Spanish coin. Cents and half cents
of copper are used in the eastern, but not in the western states; few
cents being to be found west of the mountains.

The morning after we were settled at Baltimore, we opened some of our
packages, and found them in good order. In the afternoon, I took a walk
with a person I had known in England; he went to purchase some milch
cows; we went three or four miles through the woods, to a Mr. Slater's,
who had a 100 oxen and cows, of good size and shape, but of different
sorts; his stock ran mostly in the woods, as he had but little cleared
land. When we arrived, we found Mr. Slater with his men cutting wheat
in a field of 25 or 30 acres; the wheat was of good quality, but not
a large crop, not more than 14 or 16 bushels per acre. They cut it
with scythes, some follow to tie it up and set it up in heaps, rather
than shocks; the cutting, binding, and setting up, all done in a very
slovenly manner. The wheat, {19} after Indian corn, was ploughed in
ridges of about four feet wide, and sown before the Indian corn was got
in, a practice very common in America; and the stalks of Indian corn
cut down in the winter or spring, and left in the wheat. The land, a
poor clay, very wet in winter. As Mr. Slater purposed bringing his cows
to Baltimore market, the next day we returned, and passed his house, a
very good brick building, pleasantly situated, having a fine view of
the bay of Baltimore, a quarter of a mile distant. The out-houses and
negroes' houses much out of repair. The manure was but little attended
to, being scattered in all directions, although the soil stood so much
in need of it. We saw one field of very poor oats and some weak Indian
corn. The orchard contained much fruit, apples, peaches, and late
cherries, the early ones were over. We had a fine view of the bay and
part of the city; and the mouth of the Patapses River and a fort near
it;[75] and the {20} numerous vessels sailing up and down the bay.

[75] Woods probably here refers to Fort McHenry, at the mouth of the
north-west branch of the Patapco. This star-shaped brick fort was begun
in 1794, when war with England seemed imminent. It was named in honor
of James McHenry, secretary of war under Washington. During the War of
1812-15 (September 13, 1814) it was bombarded by the British; and his
joy at seeing the flag wave from the ramparts throughout the attack,
inspired Francis Scott Key to write the "Star-Spangled Banner."--ED.

We passed a fishing party of ten or twelve; they were taking some
refreshment on the shore; one of the gentlemen was a native of England;
but his parents left Cornwall when he was an infant: we took some
whiskey and water with them. The woods we passed resembled English
pleasure grounds, except there was a greater variety in the trees and
shrubs. In this walk a greyhound dog that accompanied us, attracted
much notice from all we met; few of whom had ever seen one before. One
of the passengers in the Resolution brought over some ferrets; they
also excited much attention, and a person wished to purchase one, to go
into a collection of animals, and offered a great price for it; but no
bargain was made when we left Baltimore. I have never seen or heard of
any other ferrets in America.

There are many new buildings in Baltimore, and some now going
on. Baltimore {21} street is a noble one, wide, straight, and of
great length, crossed at right angles by many other good streets;
Baltimore-street running east and west, the cross streets north and
south. As the city was planned before the buildings had made much
progress, it is very regular, and should the plan ever be completed, it
will be a large and noble city. There are some good shops, (in America
called stores), but not equal to those of London.

As no burial grounds, butcher's shops, or slaughter houses, are allowed
in the city or at Fell's Point, many of them are on a hill, north east
of Fell's Point. There are three burial grounds, all badly kept, one
belonging to the catholics; I did not learn to what sects the other
two belonged. The butcher's shops are on the top of the hill, in an
airy situation; here they kill their meat, and carry it to the daily
markets. At some distance from the burial grounds, there is a noble
looking hospital, some rope walks, and brick yards.

{22} Across the top of the hill, some intrenchments were thrown up
during the late war, to stop the progress of the British troops when
they landed near Baltimore, but they did not advance so far as these

A man on the hill with porter for sale recommended it as of good age,
it having been brewed _three whole_ days. Malt liquor not much drank,
except by the English.

Towards the north-west, the land better than to the north-east, but
still poor and rocky. Yet there is a great variety of soils in and near
Baltimore. I was informed by a person who belonged to the society
of Friends, that he had lived here a great many years, and had been
concerned in most of the buildings; he said he believed there was not
so convenient a place for building a city in the universe, as far as
regards the finding the materials on the spot. Trees of many sorts grew
where the city now stands, fit for building; {23} free-stone in great
plenty; also shells and lime-stone for mortar; abundance of sand and
clay, that made excellent bricks. The land being uneven, it required
some labour to form the streets, but as most of the little hills were
composed of sand or free-stone, a great part of them came into use, and
the remainder served to raise the streets against the bay.

I was informed, there were thirty thousand inhabitants or upwards, but
the number did not increase as during the war.

Trade being bad, most of the new buildings at a stand, to the great
disappointment of many of the emigrants from Europe. But to those who
came in the Resolution, it was of no great moment, as we most of us
intended going westward before we left England, and not to stop in the
sea-ports; and there were but few mechanics on board. Several vessels
with emigrants arrived a short time before us, and there were three a
few days after us; amongst them, one small American vessel from Havre
with a {24} hundred and sixty-nine English, chiefly from Portsmouth
and its neighbourhood; fifty-four days from Havre to New York, where
some of them landed; the remainder came on to Baltimore, which place
then contained many emigrants in want of work; some without money to
take them up the country; and some with no inclination to go up; and
some without either. A person who comes to America is most likely to
succeed by moving from the sea-ports, they being very full of people.
Labourers in agriculture, and many trades, are sure of work in the
western country; but some from Europe have very erroneous opinions of
America, in thinking that, when they arrive, they shall find every
thing without any trouble; others think they cannot ask too much for
their labour. I have known men dissatisfied with 6_s._ per day, who in
England must have worked much harder for 2_s._

Many hackney-coaches and one-horse carts for hire, with very fine
horses in {25} them, much better than the horses for the same purposes
in England. The horses have much blood in them, and would not disgrace
a nobleman's carriage; those that bring provisions to market are of the
same description, light and active, and would make good hunters. The
hackney-coaches are open on the sides, on account of the heat of the
climate, with leather curtains, to let down in wet weather; the drivers
principally negroes. But the carmen mostly English, Scotch, or Irish,
but most of the latter.

The person with whom I went to Mr. Slater's, purchased of him at the
market two cows and calves for 71 dollars, (15_l._ 19_s._ 6_d._), the
cows young and very kind, and when fat, might weigh about 560 lbs.
each; the calves eight or ten days old.

There is a market for horses and beasts, &c. twice a-week at Baltimore,
and one every day, except Sunday, there and at Fell's Point, but there
are two on Saturday, one in the morning, the other in the {26} evening,
at each place, for the sale of flour, meal, meat, fish, butter, cheese,
vegetables, and fruit, consisting of pine-apples and cocoa-nuts from
the West Indies. Sweet and water-melons, apricots, peaches, prunes,
plums, limes, lemons, oranges, cherries, currants, whortleberries,
blackberries, fox-grapes, apples, pears, earth-nuts, and walnuts. The
fruit in general good and reasonable; and vegetables the same, with
the exception of cabbages, and they were very dear, owing to the dry
season. Pine-apples 3¼_d._

Fell's Point has many pumps, but few of them possess good water; there
was one near us a very good one, called Jackson's pump. The badness of
the water, its low situation, and the quantity of stagnant water, were,
I think, the chief, if not the only causes of the fatal fever that
broke out soon after we left it; nay, I rather suppose it had commenced
before we quitted it, as many people were ill, and some died most days
during our stay. But the city {27} standing higher, with good springs,
it is much healthier.

The first Sunday after our arrival, we went to the episcopal church,
the building was lofty, light, and airy, with five stoves to warm it in
winter; the pews were painted a light colour, with mahogany coloured
rails. The service much as in England. The psalms for the day, or a
selection at the choice of the minister. Prayers for the president and
general government, instead of the king, &c. There was a fine organ.
The congregation was a very genteel one, and as the heat was great,
all the ladies used fans, mostly made of feathers. In the afternoon
there was a thunder-storm and some rain, preceded by a very high wind,
for about ten minutes; and as the weather had been extremely dry, the
dust was driven in such clouds, as almost to make it totally dark.
Much colder in the evening; and some of us went to the Methodist
meeting; it was numerously attended, the manner much the same as in
{28} England; the preacher, who had a strong voice, made the most of
it. Towards the close of the service, two men, each with a bag at the
end of a long stick, made a collection for the minister, &c.; and
while they were so employed, a man with a long beard, and a leather
girdle about his loins, (as the prophet Elijah), stood up, and begged
to say a few words. First, he reproved the minister for taking money,
and then declared himself a preacher sent from God to warn the world of
its wickedness, and to inform the people, that before the crop of the
year 1818 was consumed, "Time should be no more." I sat very near him,
and he stood on one of the seats, that he might be heard the better,
but he spoke so rapidly, I could not hear all he said, but I heard him
reprove the minister, and all present; at length he was persuaded to
sit down, and the preacher again went on. It being late we went home,
as did some others. This man was deranged, constantly attending the
markets, preaching and {29} prophesying the end of the world. He was
often surrounded by a large concourse of people, to hear him; but few,
if any, gave any credit to his testimony. He often got insulted by the
crowd, but the magistrates did not interfere, but left him to do or
say what he pleased. Some of our party went to the African meeting.
There are many different religions in Baltimore, and all appear to
live together in great harmony. As there is no religion established by
law, all are equal in this respect, except the poor negroes, who are
not allowed to attend divine worship with the white inhabitants. And
although I disapprove of slavery in every point of view, in none so
much as in their not being allowed to worship the Almighty with the
other inhabitants, I think the treatment of the slaves at Baltimore was
mild, but still they were slaves, and at the mercy of their owners, if
fellow-creatures and Christians can be called the property of others.
But thank God, I never yet considered any person had that right; {30}
and as that was my opinion, I could not settle in a slave state, to
disgrace myself and family by the horrid practice of slave keeping.

On the 15th there was a very heavy thunder-storm, the thunder was
extremely loud, attended by heavy rain, the streets near us looked like
rivers; indeed, when the rain ceased, the boys waded in the one before
our house for some time. I was informed by several of the inhabitants,
that they had seldom heard such thunder, or seen such rain before. This
evening, and two other evenings, we had a very disagreeable scene in
an alley near us. It was that of an Irish howl or wake, in which the
mourners made a dreadful noise, crying and howling; we could hear them
enquire, "Why their dear sister died;" "whether she wanted any thing;"
"whether her friends were unkind to her," &c. &c. As the mourners made
pretty free with whiskey, the noise increased as the night advanced.
The watch several times {31} ordered them to be quiet, and they always
obeyed for a short time, but soon began again.

Many of the principal people in Baltimore are Catholics, as well as
numbers of the lower order of Irish, many of whom were recently arrived
from Ireland. Irishmen are numerous every where in the States, but I am
informed generally of a higher description than those in Baltimore and
in the sea-ports.

One of our company, going out one morning before it was light, to call
some of his fellow-passengers to go for a day's shooting, was taken
into custody by the city-watch, and taken to the watch-house, but
finding he was a stranger, he was liberated; he staid till day-light,
and then called his companions and went out, but found no game.

The Americans are not reserved in their manners, they do not scruple
asking a stranger any question, nor do they appear to mind answering
any that may be asked {32} them. Many of them seemed to like the
English amongst them very well, others are more jealous of strangers.
On the 14th, I put some letters in the post for England, for which I
paid 18¾ cents., about 10_d._ each. I saw a beggar in Baltimore
street, the first I saw in America. We did not purchase any fruit,
although it was very cheap, on account of its being unwholesome for
people just arrived from Europe.

As I could not settle all my business, several who came over with
us, and had been residing in the same house, left us on the 17th for
Pittsburg; they hired a waggon to take them and their luggage, for four
dollars and a quarter per hundred pounds weight. As they purposed going
to the English settlement in the state of Illinois, we expected to see
them when we got there; but they stopped at Evansville in Indiana,
and hearing of an English settlement ten miles distant,[76] they went
there; and I have seen nothing of them since, except one, who has
arrived at Wanborough.

[76] This English settlement centered about the present town of
Inglefield. Its name is a tribute to the memory of the first Englishman
to settle in the region, John Ingle, who in 1818 emigrated from
Huntingdonshire. Englishmen came in increasing numbers during the years
1818-20, but soon thereafter hard times put an end to immigration to
this part of Indiana.--ED.

{33} In one of my walks, I saw upwards of twenty very fine red and
white oxen, belonging to a butcher on the hill above Fell's Point, fine
and clear in their horns, though most of the beasts I have seen in
America are rather thick in their horns; they were very fat, and might
weigh from 600 lbs. to 700 lbs. each, of the value of from 30 to 35
dollars each.

As we understood it was difficult for large boats to go from Pittsburg
to Wheeling, the water being low, we agreed with a Mr. Merchant, for
the carriage of ourselves and luggage to the latter place, a distance
of 280 miles, for the sum of 350 dollars, (78_l._ 15_s._); this was
for nine people, and upwards of 6000 lbs. of luggage. We had two
waggons, with six horses and one driver to each waggon; the manner of
travelling in them is very different from that of England. Here they
are hired to take passengers, luggage, goods, &c. to any part of the
United States, by the 100 lbs. weight. The drivers look after their own
horses,-- {34} buying hay, Indian corn, chopped straw, ground rye, &c.
at the taverns. Looking after their own horses prevents their setting
out early in the morning, so they take their breakfasts before they
commence their journey. They then travel till noon, when they stop for
a short time, and then go on till sun-set or after; therefore they have
no time in an evening to clean their horses. The waggons are lighter
than English waggons, with a pole instead of shafts. The drivers ride
the left-wheel horse, with reins to the other two pair; they seldom
walk, and when they do, they always mount should a bad piece of road,
or a difficult log-bridge come in their way, as they can see to guide
their horses much better than when on foot. A trough is screwed behind
the waggon, containing a small mattress, a blanket or two rolled up,
and a water-pail. When stopping to bait, or for the night, the trough
is placed on the pole of the waggon, and the horses are tied up to it,
where they stand in all weathers. They mostly water {35} their horses
out of their pails, seldom letting them go into the water to drink, if
ever so convenient.

Having settled all my money transactions, and got our luggage ready,
we took leave of our fellow-passengers, not expecting ever to see them
again; and in the afternoon of the 22d of July we left Baltimore. The
country but little cultivated, but many fruit trees; for some distance
from Baltimore, the land poor and stony; we first took a turnpike road,
but soon quitted it. We saw many waggons to and from Baltimore to the
westward. We had our own bedding with us, which we generally made use
of at the taverns, never hiring more than one or two beds. The weather
very hot.

23d. Breakfasted at the tavern, charge for nine breakfasts, a gallon
of tea the evening before, beds, &c. 4 dollars 31¼ cents., nearly
(19_s._ 6_d._) We passed this day a poor, rocky, hilly country, many
huckleberries in the woods, 23 miles to a {36} tavern, where we slept.
Wheat and rye mostly harvested. Hay, some housed, and some cutting;
it was timothy grass, and extremely ripe; it was put up in very small
ricks, and not thatched. The fences were of rails, laid on each other
in a zig-zag form, thus, [Illustration]; having laid one row, they
begin again on the first, and rise up from six to nine rails high;
which make a strong fence against all sorts of cattle. The expense of a
rail fence is not great where timber is plentiful. The price of cutting
and splitting rails is from 3_s._ to 4_s._ 6_d._ a hundred. Generally
a hundred, laid eight rails high, will make about six rods of fence,
so that including cutting, casting, and putting up, the expense may
average at 14_d._ a rod.

24th. We were charged for breakfasts, beds, &c. 3 dollars 31¼ cents.
We passed through a country similar to that on the preceding day, till
near the town of Liberty, 40 miles from Baltimore, a small neat place,
of fifty or sixty houses. This was {37} the first town or village we
had passed, by the road we came. From Liberty to Frederic town, a
much better country; Frederic town is a large place, with many good
brick buildings in it.[77] It is said to be the largest town in the
States, that does not lie on a navigable river. From thence to Elders
town, soil pretty good. This day we travelled 22 or 23 miles. We now
mostly provided our own dinners and suppers, and took our breakfasts
at the taverns. These breakfasts consisted of several of the following
articles: chickens, hams, veal-cutlets, beef-steaks, roast pork, and
several sorts of fish; various kinds of hot bread, viz. wheat and corn
bread, buck wheat cakes, and waffles, a sort of soft cake, said to be
of German origin; butter, honey, jelly, pickles, apple-butter, and the
following dried fruits: peaches, cherries, apples, &c. And for one of
these breakfasts they generally charged us 25 cents, (1_s._ 1½_d._)
In the above, I should have included tea or coffee.

[77] For the early history of Frederick, see A. Michaux's _Travels_,
volume iii of our series, note 70.--ED.

{38} 25th. We travelled, a hilly country, to Trap town, a very small
place, mostly of log-houses. From near Trap town, to the Potomac river,
it still continued rocky. We passed 2 or 3 miles, up the side of the
river, along a very sandy road, the river to our left, and some very
high rocks on our right; many of which had, at different times, rolled
down into the river. On the south side of the river, was a high ridge
of rocky hills, and the sun shining on them; and, as we were passing
through a deep sandy road, the heat was more intense than I had ever
felt it before. The Potomac river is upwards of 250 yards wide, but
shallow at the time we passed it, and full of large rocks. We saw some
people fishing, in canoes, but what kind of fish they were fishing
for, we did not learn. Many papaw trees on the banks of the river: as
we approached near to Harper's Ferry, the rocks on our right rose to
an immense height; we passed close under one, much larger and higher
than St. Paul's church, London. {39} We were told it was a quarter of
a mile high; but this, I think, was an exaggeration. Some small pines
and cedars grew on these rocks; the cedars, on the highest points of
them. We crossed the Potomac at Harper's Ferry,[78] in a ferry-boat;
one waggon and its horses passed over at a time, the river was so full
of rocks, it was difficult for the ferryman to find a passage for their
boat. The river, at the ferry, was about 200 yards wide; we passed it
just above its junction with the Shadanoak.[79] We had now entered
the State of Virginia; hitherto we had been travelling in Maryland.
We saw many large birds on the river, but of what sort we did not
learn, but supposed them to be fish-eagles. At Harper's Ferry, there
is a manufactory of fire-arms, at which many of our countrymen were
employed. I saw eight or ten of them, and they informed me there were
about sixty men, women, and children; but as it was Sunday, they were
most of them walking out. Four miles from this place, we stopped {40}
for the night, at Brick Mill tavern; here was a mill of five stories
high, but short of water in a dry season, and this was the case when we
were there. We passed a mill two days before, seven stories high, with
more than fifty sash windows, the water-wheels more than twenty feet
high, said to be well supplied with water at all seasons of the year.
This day we travelled 19 miles.

[78] For a brief account of Harper's Ferry, consult A. Michaux's
_Travels_, note 69.--ED.

[79] The Shenandoah River.--ED.

26th. We proceeded 4 miles, through a hilly country, to Charles
town,[80] Virginia, a long place of eighty or a hundred houses,
mostly of wood, but some good brick ones. A small creek, at the end
of the town, then nearly dry; the land tolerably good. Here I saw a
small piece of flax; it was the first I saw; but we had passed three
or four small pieces of tobacco, very well cultivated, being planted
in squares, at eighteen or twenty inches apart. At noon, we stopped
at Cook's tavern, during a storm of thunder and rain, and afterwards
proceeded up a rocky hill, of good limestone land, {41} on which there
were the best farmhouses and out-buildings, and the most manure we
had hitherto seen. Dung, in this country, is but little attended to
in general; indeed, they seem to try who shall get rid of it with the
least trouble. At Brick Mill, the stable was placed over the mill
stream, the horses standing on a plank floor; indeed, where there
are stables, the horses stand on plank floors, without litter; but
generally, through the country we passed, they tied them up in the open
air in a road, or any other place. As this hill lies high, the corn on
it was rather backward; the wheat and rye were cut, but not harvested;
the former, as fine as any I ever saw. The road from Harper's Ferry is
situated high, and we were now on what is called the South, or Blue
Mountains.[81] Leaving the hill, we passed some woods down a road more
rocky, if possible, than ever, to a small clear river, about twenty
yards wide, and eighteen inches deep. There were some fine springs
where we passed the river; {42} then, for two miles, through a country
uncommonly sterile, covered with scrubby pines, to a new tavern, where
we intended to sleep. But some words arising between one of our drivers
and the mistress of the tavern, we went forward half a mile to another;
this tavern miserably dirty, and the accommodations uncommonly bad.
On some of our party complaining, the landlord told us, he was sorry
we came to his house, as he liked people to be satisfied or stay away.
This was, by far, the most filthy tavern we ever met with; in fact,
it was but little preferable to an English pig-sty. This day we only
travelled 15 or 16 miles.

[80] See A. Michaux's _Travels_, note 68, for the early history of

[81] The Blue Ridge Mountains.--ED.

27th. We provided the greater part of our breakfast, not much wishing
to partake of the landlord's accommodations. We then went forward,
through a poor country, till we passed some woods, and then into some
good limestone land, but much encumbered with large rocks; some of
them upwards of 100 yards long, many yards wide, and {43} some feet
above the surface of the earth. What with these rocks, and the stumps
of trees, full one-fourth part of the land could not be cultivated.
A great deal of very stout wheat and rye cut, but remaining on the
ground; it was cut very high from the ground, in a very slovenly
manner, and set up in large heaps, almost without form. We had seen but
few oats, and no barley, since we left Baltimore; the oats not good.
Indian corn in general slight, owing to the drought. The after-crop of
clover short, but well set, the first cut had been mostly stout and
very ripe; the meadow grass now cutting, and also very ripe. The hay
ricks, we had passed, extremely small, with little or no covering.
Small ricks are most convenient to the Americans, as they do not cut
their hay, but begin at the top, and so continue taking off till the
rick is gone, a little waste not being much regarded. We passed a
little fallow land, but it is not common to make fallows for wheat,
as by keeping the Indian corn {44} ploughed between, it is left in a
good state for wheat or rye. A negro was ploughing for turnips, on some
land, where a slight crop of flax had grown this summer; the land very
kind for once ploughing. This negro said, some very _elegant_ potatoes
grew on this land last year. They plough with a light swing-plough,
and use two horses, except when ploughing between their Indian corn,
and then they only use one. They do not generally use harrows, but
when they do, they are made with wooden teeth; nor have I any where in
America seen iron tined ones, except in the English Prairie. They use
a large hoe to cover in their corn: I have not seen a roller in this

Near this, we saw some mulberry and plum-trees. We then passed a creek,
and afterwards some hilly pine woods; soil very barren till near Pew's
town, a small place, mostly log houses. Here we saw some buck wheat
just come up; we had seen some before equally backward, and {45} we
were told, it was common to sow it after a crop of wheat or rye was
taken off the ground. The gardens here better kept than most we had
seen, but these were far from neat. In the afternoon, we met two droves
of fat beasts, from the south branch of the Potomac river, going to
Baltimore. The first, a drove of handsome fat oxen and heifers; the
other, a larger one, all oxen, young and handsome, but not so fat as
the first, some of which were too fat for the hot weather. These beasts
only travel mornings and evenings, often stopping to graze, and going
but a short distance in a day; they do not lose so much flesh as might
be expected in so long a journey. Just as we had passed the last drove,
we had a heavy storm of thunder and rain, so that we got wet through,
but our clothes were nearly dry by the evening, when we stopped at
Mr. Dent's tavern, at a place called, "the Pine Hills." Here our
accommodations were excellent; our progress {46} this day was 16 miles;
the weather warm in the morning, but colder after the rain.

28. Early in the morning I looked over Mr. Dent's garden. It was pretty
good land, though most that lay round it was very barren. This garden
was kept in tolerable good order, and had a little manure bestowed
on it. There was some fine water-melons, nearly ripe, a few small
horse-beans; I had not seen any before, and these were very weak; but
there were some turnips, just come up, that looked well.

The evening before, a poor old man begged for a lodging. Mr. Dent
ordered him into the house, and gave him a hot supper, and provided a
bed for him; and on his going off early in the morning, Mr. Dent seemed
to blame himself for not giving him a dram before he started. This was
the second beggar we saw in America. After breakfast, we paid 3 dollars
31¼ cents, and left the tavern well pleased with our accommodations
and our landlord; {47} and then proceeded through a sterile mountainous
country. There were pines and cedars on the hills, and large oaks and
chesnuts in the valleys. We afterwards went down a long rocky valley,
with a small stream of water running in it, which we crossed ten or
twelve times in our progress down. We then came to a more open country,
and the stream was lost in a larger one, thirty or forty yards wide;
very shallow at that time, and the bed of it full of rocks. In the
afternoon, we met a drove of 120 oxen, from the State of Kentucky, for
the Baltimore and Philadelphia markets. They were large kind beasts,
mostly young, not over fat, except two or three, which were very fat
indeed; one was equal to any beast I ever saw, and might weigh upwards
of 1200 lbs. weight. But most of them would weigh from 600 to 800 lbs.;
they were chiefly red and white, but not all of one breed.

We saw a partridge fly from a tree, the first game we saw, though
we had now advanced {48} 120 miles into the country. We were told
pheasants, turkeys, and deer, were plentiful in many places, but we had
not seen any. We saw many huckleberries, and some fern; this was the
first fern we saw, but we afterwards saw much of it on the mountains:
some of this fern had stalks of a bright mahogany colour. The fern on
the east of the mountains, grew like the English, on poor land; but
in the State of Illinois, at least, where I have been, it generally
denotes a good soil; and the same may be said of beech trees, on the
banks of the Ohio, the richer spots are often covered with a heavy
growth of them; and in the western country, beech land is called
excellent. In the evening, we reached Mr. Vannosdeln's tavern, in a
poor high country; his garden was in a much better state than any we
had seen before. He gave us a fine water-melon, but none of us relished
it much, as it was the first we had ever tasted, nor was it quite ripe.

29th. We paid at Mr. Vannosdeln's {49} excellent tavern, 3 dollars
33 cents.; and went on to Springfield town,[82] through a barren
country, called the South Branch Mountain. We passed the south branch
of the Potomac river, forty yards wide, shallow when we crossed it,
but sometimes it rises to a great height. After passing the river,
we went up its bank close under a ridge of hills, and many fragments
of the rocks had rolled down into the river, and large masses hung
over our heads that threatened to bury us as we passed. Some large
sycamore-trees lined the banks of the river; these trees always grow
on land liable to be overflowed, and are the same that are called
plane-trees in England. The red or water-maple most resembles the
sycamore of England, but scarcely any tree or plant is exactly the
same. Cedars and pines grow mostly on the tops of rocky hills; the
latter are of several sorts, pitch, spruce, and white; the first a
little like the Scotch fir; the last, much resembles the Weymouth pine;
but the spruce bore but little {50} similarity to any I had ever seen.
There was a large sort of berry that our drivers called gooseberries,
but totally unlike the fruit of that name I had been accustomed to; but
as they were not ripe, we did not taste them. Leaving the banks of the
river, we passed a small mill, and followed the course of its stream up
a valley till we reached Springfield town, a place of forty log-houses,
and stopped at Mr. Piper's tavern. The weather being extremely hot, the
country hilly, and the roads bad, we only travelled 16 or 17 miles.

[82] Springfield, in Hampshire County, West Virginia, about sixty miles
west of Harper's Ferry was established by law (1790), and named after
Springfield, Massachusetts.--ED.

30th. Early in the morning I walked round the town, and went into a
tan-yard; the owner was an old man, 48 years since from Ireland. He
told me he was not troubled with excisemen. He bought his bark mostly
by the cord, but sometimes by the hundred pounds weight, price half
a dollar. Only the body and the large limbs are barked. The bark is
shaved, but not chopped, before it is sold to the tanners; it is ground
in a kind of coffee-mill.

{51} At this place, I saw a few sheep of the Leicestershire breed, very
poor. Mr. Piper's tavern was a neat log-house, lined with pine boards,
and ceiled with the same. We left this place for Frankfort, a small
place of near forty log-houses. We then passed Patterson's Creek,[83]
thirty yards wide, but not deep. The land near it much overrun with
pennyroyal, of which we had seen much during our journey, and also a
great deal of mint; in many of the small streams which we passed, it
grew in a very luxuriant manner; we frequently gathered some of the
latter, and put it into the water we drank, to take off its rawness,
and found it far more palatable for so doing. Most of the briers we had
passed were of the scented kind, and they continued from Baltimore to
the Allegany Mountains, a distance of more than 150 miles; but on the
mountains, and on the west side of them to Wheeling, and from thence
to the Prairies, a distance of 1100 miles, I did not see one scented
one, but {52} many that were not. From Patterson's Creek, a short
distance, to Crisepsburg's town, a very small place of log-houses;[84]
and soon afterwards reached the north branch of the Potomac river, 200
yards wide, rocky, and not deep. The land, on the banks of the river,
much better than any we had seen of late. Having crossed the river, we
were again in the State of Maryland. The country between this place
and Harper's Ferry, which we passed on the 25th, all in the State of
Virginia. From the north branch of the Potomac river, we passed a
very hilly country, to a new road, called the National Turnpike.[85]
This road is to extend from Cumberland on the Potomac, to Wheeling on
the Ohio, a distance of more than 120 miles; the first 62 miles, from
Cumberland to Union town, on the west side of the Allegany Mountains,
was just finished, and is a good road, though hilly. The road west
from Union town to Wheeling, was begun in many places, and many men
were employed on {53} it when we passed along it. This grand national
road is intended to connect all the western country with the seat of
government, as there is water communication from Cumberland to the
city of Washington, on the east by the Potomac, and from Wheeling on
the Ohio, with the States of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana,
Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and all the western
country, by the means of the Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri, Cumberland,
Tennessee, and other rivers. This national road is free, as there are
no gates on it; for as it was made by the nation, so it is to be kept
in repair by it. We entered this road, five miles west of Cumberland,
and soon after stopped at Mr. Carter's tavern, called "the Travellers'
Rest," at the foot of the Allegany Mountains.

[83] Patterson's Creek rises in Grant County, West Virginia, and
flowing parallel to the south branch of the Potomac, empties into the
north branch a few miles west of Cresapburg.--ED.

[84] Cresapburg is the oldest town in Allegany County, Maryland, a
frontier post having been established there by Colonel Thomas Cresap
in 1741, and named Skipton, after his native town in Yorkshire.
For further details concerning the life of Cresap, see Croghan's
_Journals_, volume i of our series, note 56.--ED.

[85] For the early history of the National Road, see Harris's
_Journal_, volume iii of our series, note 45.--ED.

We had lately seen fewer fruit-trees, and much less fruit on
them, except on the apple-trees, these being generally well hung.
Blackberries had been very plentiful all the way, and so they continued
over the mountains. {54} I ate large quantities of them, liking them
much better than I did the cherries, of which we often had plenty given
us: these blackberries were much better than any I had before tasted.

We saw but few birds on our journey; woodpeckers of several sorts, a
handsome yellow bird, something like a goldfinch, a few crows, and some
small birds, much like tom-tits. As my youngest daughter was carrying
some flowers in her hand, a humming bird settled on them, it made her
start, thinking it was a large insect; it was not larger than a chafer,
but a beautiful bird.

The country, from Harper's Ferry, mostly rocky to the mountains,
generally of slate, but some limestone, free stone, and coarse marble.
Most of the valleys had streams of water and good springs. The soil,
chiefly poor, but well watered. But little cultivated land, and much
of that only partly cleared of trees. They grub up the underwood, and
most of the small {55} trees; they then either cut down the large ones,
within three feet of the ground, and leave the stumps standing, or else
chop them round the stems, and take off a small strip of bark, which
kills them, leaving them to decay, and fall down of themselves. It is
common to see eight or ten acres of land, in cultivation, with some
hundreds of dead trees standing in it. They collect the small trees,
underwood, and roots, into heaps, and then burn them; and thus the
fire often communicates itself to the standing trees, running up to
the top of the highest of them, leaving them half burnt. These trees
have a very dismal appearance at first, but people get reconciled to
it in time. It is much the quickest method of clearing land for corn,
as it enables a man to begin with very little strength of money, men,
and horses. The hogs, on the mountains, were not so handsome as those
nearer Baltimore, being in general badly kept.

In our journey thus far, we had seen but {56} few gardens, and those
indifferently kept; they contained a few peas, parsnips, carrots,
onions, shalots, sweet, and other potatoes, lettuce, and a large flat
sort of cabbage, with a few sorts of herbs. Our landlord, Mr. Carter,
had a farm of 700 acres; 100 cleared, the rest in a state of nature.

31st. We proceeded, by the turnpike road, up a valley of the mountains;
the road good. As we ascended, we found vegetation much later; the
blackberries not ripe, a little rye not cut, oats quite green, no wheat
or Indian corn to be seen. A few gooseberry-bushes, no fruit on them;
some strawberry-plants; I had noticed a few raspberry-bushes, the fruit
small and hard, of a dark red colour. A great variety of wild flowers,
almost all new to me. Much timber in the hollows of the mountains, oak,
chesnut, and pine; the pines of an immense height. I measured one that
was cut in making the turnpike; it was 102 feet to the broken top, and
there it was seven inches in diameter. {57} Some that were standing
appeared much longer; I thought the highest, at least, 140 feet high.
The oaks and chesnuts were also very high, but they grew too close
together to be very large, but many of them might contain from 50 to
150 feet of solid timber. Many thousands of trees, that were cut for
making the turnpike, lay rotting by the sides of it, besides the vast
quantities of dead trees in the woods. This day only, we passed some
thousand loads of timber, thus decaying. I believe I have seen more
timber in this wasting state, than all the growing timber I ever saw in
my life in England. We saw no heath on the mountains, nor have I ever
seen or heard of any in America.

In the forenoon, we passed a village of good houses, most part of them
lately built: a flour and saw mill, and a noble tavern, the Globe; it
equalled many English inns in outward appearance. We stopped to dinner
at a poor log-tavern, but the landlord was building a new log one,
on a large scale. Here we saw a poor little negro {58} boy, he was
a cripple; the landlord had bought him some months before, out of a
_drove_ of negroes going westward for sale. The landlord treated him
with great humanity, and the child seemed as much attached to him,
as he could have been to his own relations. I was much pleased to
see a poor negro child so well treated, but as to buying or selling
human beings, I utterly abhor it. In the evening, we arrived at Mr.
Kimberley's tavern; here we took our supper, our provisions being now
exhausted. In the forenoon, it was extremely hot; in the afternoon,
a little thunder and rain, and afterwards much colder: we travelled
seventeen miles, mostly up hill, the road good, but rough, the stones
being laid on rather large.

August 1st. Having breakfasted, and paid five dollars, we set out and
crossed the little Yougany or Cressing river,[86] by a new stone bridge
of one arch of 76 feet span, and very high. We passed many ridges and
small valleys; but little cultivated land, a small quantity of rye cut;
only one piece {59} of wheat, nearly ripe. Oats here form the chief
crop, some nearly ripe, others just coming out in haw. A little Indian
corn, but we were told the summers on the mountains were too short for
it to ripen; and, therefore, they only planted a little to cut green.
Some healthy-looking apple trees in the valleys, but with little fruit
on them, owing to the spring frosts being later than usual. Some new
land bringing into cultivation, potatoes or fallows first. The oats and
potatoes, much better on the mountains, than those seen between them
and Baltimore; indeed, the land in the hollows of the mountains was
much better than a great deal of that we had passed before we arrived
at the foot of them, but backward, the winters being severe, and the
springs late.

[86] Little Crossing was the name given to the place where the road
crossed Castleman's Creek, a small branch of the Youghiogheny, and at
this point about fifteen miles distant from the crossing of the latter,
or Big Crossing.--ED.

We called at a cabin, to get some bread, where we found a woman with
six small children; she said her husband worked 40 miles off, and only
came home once in two or three weeks; they lived in this place {60}
before the turnpike was begun, four years since; no stores nearer than
six or seven miles. They procured most of their tea, coffee, whiskey,
and other necessaries from the waggons, that traded to, and from
Baltimore, to the westward. She said, she had never been molested in
this lonely situation. She was born in the state of Jersey, but near
Philadelphia. Her great grandfather of the name of Wood, emigrated from
England, being oppressed with tithes, he being a Quaker; he founded a
small town in the state of Jersey, and called it Woodbury, after his
own name, and the place he left in England, which was Bury. But whether
it was a town, village, or farm, she did not know, only, that it was in

Sixteen miles from the Little Cressing or Yougany, we came to the Big
Cressing, and the small town of Smithfield, placed in a very romantic
situation.[87] It had three taverns, viz. a stone house, the Globe;
a frame one, the Rising Sun; and a good {61} log one, the Yougany;
and about twenty other houses, mostly of logs. A noble stone bridge
over the river, the centre arch ninety feet span, said to be the
largest in the United States. The Yougany is one of the head streams
of the Monongahela. Leaving the river, we followed the course of a
small stream, to the Elephant tavern, kept by Major Paul, (late in
the American service), where we slept. This town is noted as a waggon
house; there were eight stopped there at the time we were there, mostly
drawn by six horses each, and none less than five.

[87] This crossing-place of the Youghiogheny River is the present
Smithfield, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. The old name was "Big
Crossings," and from this account, might have been contracted to
Cressing. Applying the name to the river was probably a tourist's

At noon this day, we passed the line between the states of
Pennsylvania and Maryland,[88] and found ourselves in a state where
slavery is not admitted; but still negroes were treated with much
contempt, as we witnessed at Major Paul's. A negro drove one of the
waggons, that stopped for the night; he was not allowed to sit at table
with any one, but had a table to himself: I believe he was a free
negro, but of this I am not certain. We had come seventeen {62} miles,
weather very hot, with much thunder at a distance, but no rain. Mr.
Paul's house was surrounded by some of the best meadows we had then
seen in America;[89] the hills inclosed them on both sides, and the
valleys were narrow.

[88] On the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania, consult A.
Michaux's _Travels_, note 73.--ED.

[89] Great Meadows was near Farmington, Fayette County, Pennsylvania,
and was the site of Washington's Fort Necessity, raised in the campaign
of 1754 against Fort Duquesne. These rich meadows became one of
Washington's first land possessions in the West.--ED.

2d. We advanced up a valley for a great distance, and passed a mine of
coal; it lay twelve or fifteen feet below the surface of the earth; the
veins about three feet thick; several hundred bushels lay dug; it had
a strong sulphureous smell. We afterwards passed over a large flat, of
thin, weak, black, wettish soil, covered with dwarf alders and large
weeds; a little of this land cleared and planted with potatoes, they
looked well. What little timber there was, was short and scrubby.

We now again ascended, and at length reached the top of Laurel Hill,
the last ridge of the mountains. Much laurel on this eminence,
resembling the Portugal laurel. Here we had the first, and a most
extensive view of the west side of the mountains. {63} As the air was
clear, we could see objects distinctly; much cleared land in sight, and
many fine springs; indeed, they were numerous all over the mountains,
but there were but few houses. This day we descended gently down the
hill; the road was steep and winding. As we advanced, the timber
increased in size, mostly oak, and towards the bottom it was immensely
large. From the summit to the town of Monroe,[90] at the foot of the
hill, is full three miles, most of the way very steep. Monroe was two
years old, named in honour of the president of the United States. It
contains two large stone taverns, and about twenty log houses, and
a saw mill on a small stream near it. Much land cleared of timber
and laid down to grass, of a better sward than any I saw east of the
mountains. From Monroe to Union town, two miles; here we stopped for
the night.[91] I passed a meadow between these towns, it was of timothy
grass, and higher than any I ever saw before; it was not so thick
on the ground as {64} I have seen English meadow grass, but a most
productive crop. This day our waggons were separated a considerable
distance, the first reached Union at sunset, the other not till two
hours after. We came twenty-one miles.

[90] John Hopwood, having purchased a patent of land from Richard
Penn, laid out a town which he called Woodstock, at the foot of Laurel
Hill on the old Braddock Road. A son, Moses Hopwood, was planning
to enlarge it (1816), when James Monroe passed along the road on a
campaign tour and was entertained as his guest. In accordance with
Monroe's suggestion, when the addition was platted the name was changed
to Monroe. It was a bustling place during the prosperous days of the
National Road, its taverns being crowded with travellers who remained
over night to get an early start over the mountains the following

[91] For the early history of Uniontown, see Harris's _Journal_, volume
iii of our series, note 47.--ED.

3d. We had now entered the western country, but we were still in the
old settled part of it, Union town having been built more than thirty
years. It is a large place, mostly of brick buildings; it has a bank,
twelve or fourteen taverns, a flour, a saw, and a carding mill, on
a small stream near the town. On this stream there were some good
meadows, but in a bad state, there being many docks and other weeds in
them. The Indian corn luxuriant; a great many orchards, with a good
show of apples in them. Paid charges for supper, beds, and breakfast, 4
dollars 75 cents, (1_l._ 1_s._ 4½_d._ sterling.)

From Union town, the turnpike was only begun at different places, but
many men were employed on it. Near the town, the {65} land was of
good quality. We afterwards passed a rocky ridge of hills, perhaps
a spur of the mountains. Here the land was rather poor, a clay on a
slate-rock; but many fine orchards well stored with good apples, and
some morello-cherries still on the trees. A woman, at a small cabin,
offered us some, if we would take the trouble to gather them; we
took two or three pounds; they were small but palatable, being very
ripe. But cherries, in general, are not so good as in England, as the
Americans seldom bud or graft any fruit-trees, only planting the stone.
Land better as we approached Brownsville, on the Monongahela.[92]
Brownsville is a thriving place, with some iron-works: at high water
many people embark here for Pittsburg. As the national road crosses
the Monongahela at this place, there is a bridge to be built over the
river; it was about 300 yards when we forded it, but it is much wider
when the water is high.

[92] Consult F. A. Michaux's _Travels_, in volume iii of our series,
note 23, for the founding of Brownsville.--ED.

From the river we went six miles, mostly through woods, to the Golden
Lion Tavern. {66} A woman milking her cow, on the side of the road,
gave us some milk, and offered us some apples, of which there were
large quantities in their orchard. She said they purchased their farm
for 2700 dollars, 900 of which they paid down at the time, and the
remainder by instalments, most of which were now paid; and when the
whole were paid, she would not give a cent to call King George her
uncle. A large wooden building, by the side of the road, in ruins,
and a new stone-chapel, belonging to the Methodists, built to supply
the place of the old one. Here the Methodists are numerous: we passed
a wood on the east side of the mountains, where a camp-meeting had
recently been held; these meetings often continue four or five days,
during which they have prayers four times a day.

4th. I proceeded on foot to Pittsburg, having some business to transact
there, the rest went on towards Wheeling; I should have left the
national road at Brownsville, as I was there at an equal distance from
{67} Pittsburg. I went five or six miles through a poor country, to
Bentleyville;[93] a place with several taverns, a large public school,
a grist and a saw mill on a very large creek, then low, but much
subject to floods in wet weather. I then went two miles up a valley,
full of sugar-maple trees, most of them had been tapped for procuring
the sweet liquor to make sugar. February, in general, is the month for
making it; they catch the sap in wooden troughs, and most of them are
left under the trees from one season to another. After leaving this
valley, at a little distance, I entered the road from Brownsville to
Pittsburg; here I first saw some water-meadows, although I had passed
many pieces of land that might easily have been irrigated. The water
was taken along the side of the hill for some distance; it was not done
in a good manner, yet still it was a great improvement: I have seen
but few water-meadows since. I slept at a tavern, five or six miles
from Pittsburg. This day I travelled twenty-five miles.

[93] Bentleyville, on Pigeon Creek, was laid out (March, 1816) by
Shesbazzer Bentley. It was of little importance, not being incorporated
until 1868.--ED.

{68} 5th. I reached Pittsburg at nine o'clock in the morning, after
having crossed the Monongahela in a ferry-boat, for which I paid three
cents. Having concluded my business at the bank, I took a walk round
the town: it is a large place with upwards 7000 inhabitants. It is well
situated for trade on the Ohio, at the junction of the Monongahela
and Allegany rivers. A large bridge is nearly finished over the
Monongahela, and another partly built over the Allegany; both these
bridges have stone-piers above high water-mark, but the remainder of
them is of wood. The bridge, that was nearly finished, was divided into
four passages; two for carriages and horses, the other two for foot
passengers. Contrary to the English practice, each takes the right-hand
side; so there is no meeting on the bridge, as there are two passages
for coming out, and two for going into Pittsburg. These passages are
covered over, with holes in the sides to admit air and light. As the
whole is covered, the bridge is kept dry in {69} all weathers, and
the timber is prevented from rotting. They are longer and higher than
London-bridge, at least at the ends, being quite level. The streets
are laid out in straight lines, from the Monongahela to the Allegany
rivers, and crossed by others mostly at right angles. There are many
handsome brick-buildings, but there are also a great number of log
and frame-houses. There are several places of public worship, a large
market house, several banks, numerous taverns, and large stores; yards
for building steam and other boats. Several steam ones were building,
and others laid up, the water being too low for them or large
flat-bottom boats to get down the river, when I was there. Trade of
all kinds extremely dull. Owing to the quantity of iron-works, it has
a black and dismal appearance; and from the account I had heard of it,
I was, on the whole, rather disappointed in Pittsburg. It was a desert
until about the year 1756, when the French, from Canada, built a fort
near it.[94] But a few {70} years after it was taken by the British,
and the name of Du Quesne changed to Pittsburg. From that time till the
revolutionary war it was held by them, and during that war it increased
much, being made a place for the manufactory of arms. Yet as the
Indians remained near it for some years, they were very troublesome;
but now they are removed to a greater distance, except a few, who are
settled near, and have adopted the manners of the Americans. It will
always be a place of considerable consequence from its situation. It
is 1100 miles from the mouth of the Ohio, and more than 2000 from
New Orleans. Steam-boats, in high water, come from New Orleans to
Pittsburg, in seventy or eighty days; but from the latter to the former
place in much less time.

[94] Fort Duquesne was built in 1754. For a brief historical account,
see F. A. Michaux's _Travels_, note 20.--ED.

Having purchased a new rifle for 18 dollars, and taken a place in the
Wheeling stage for Washington, for which I paid 2 dollars 50 cents; I
supped and slept at {71} the Pittsburg Hotel; charge for supper and bed
50 cents.

August 6th. I left Pittsburg, in the stage, before day-light, and
crossed the Monongahela, by the new bridge. Then up a very steep hill,
the passengers all walking; we passed a very rough country, for nine
or ten miles, to a tavern, kept by the driver of the stage, where we
breakfasted; they charged us 2_s._ 3_d._ each, instead of the usual
charge of 1_s._ 1½_d._, yet our fare was very indifferent. From
this tavern to Cannonsburg,[95] eight miles; the country still rough,
but better as we approached this town. Here is a college, a large
brick-building, where most of the principal people of Pittsburg send
their sons to finish their education. This town was begun twenty years
since by a Mr. Cannon. It is pleasantly situated on the side of a steep
hill. From this town, seven miles, to Washington (Pennsylvania), along
a rough road with many log-bridges; but some of my fellow passengers,
from the state of Kentucky, called them corderoy. The {72} stage-coach
was very different from an English one, it was much more like a light
waggon; it was covered at the top, but open on the sides, with leather
curtains to let down in case of rain or cold. The road being rough, we
could not keep these curtains down, as there was no sort of fastenings
to them; and as it rained very hard several times, we got wet. We were
much crowded with luggage; the seats were placed across the carriage,
and the luggage under them. At Washington we dined, and I drank some
spruce-beer (for the first time in my life), and I found myself very
unwell from it. I left the room, and went into the air; in a few
minutes I was better; but as the stage still stood at the door, I did
not return for about twenty minutes, when I found they had changed
coaches, and were gone. I endeavoured to recover my money, but there
was no bookkeeper to be found.

[95] For brief notes on the early history of Canonsburg and Washington,
see Harris's _Journal_, notes 31, 32.--ED.

Wishing to rejoin my family at Wheeling, I set off on foot; the
afternoon was excessively hot. The road was good for {73} the first
ten miles, to Claysville, a new town.[96] Then six miles of hilly
country to Alexandria;[97] here I took some refreshment, and again set
forward: near this place I left the state of Pennsylvania, and again
entered the state of Virginia. Then six miles farther to a tavern,
where I intended to sleep; but the house being full, they recommended
me to go two miles farther on. It was very dark, and thundered much;
when I arrived at this tavern I could not make any of the family
hear, but I roused two or three great dogs, and I was again forced
to proceed. My road lay up a long valley, part of the national road
to Wheeling. I passed over several large stone-bridges, but partly
finished; at length it began to rain, and I put up at the first
building I could find; it proved to be a stable. This day I travelled
twenty-five miles by the stage, and about the same distance on foot.

[96] John Purviance opened up a tavern, soon after 1800, on the present
site of this town on the old Wheeling Road. When the preliminary
surveys made it certain that the National Road would pass that way, he
laid out a town (1817), and advertised lots for sale. Claysville was
incorporated in 1832.--ED.

[97] For further information concerning Alexandria, consult Harris's
_Journal_, note 33.--ED.

7th. From my lodgings, in the stable, I proceeded up a valley to some
houses, and enquired the way to Wheeling. I found I {74} was in the
right road, and that it was only seven miles distant. I found much
excellent land on the sides of a creek; the meadows were particularly
so: I saw twelve small hay-ricks in one large meadow. The Indian corn
was much larger than any I had before seen.

I met the two men who had driven our waggons; from them I learnt where
my family were, and that they had settled with them for the carriage
of our luggage. It is but justice to them to say, we had every reason
to be satisfied with their conduct during our journey; Marchant, in
particular, was in his manners much above his station in life. At seven
o'clock I reached Wheeling.[98]

[98] For the history of Wheeling, see A. Michaux's _Travels_, in our
volume iii, p. 33 and note 15.--ED.

After breakfast we entered into an agreement with Messrs. Knox and
Pemberton, of Wheeling, for the conveyance of ourselves and luggage
to Louisville, in Kentucky, 600 miles, for 50 dollars, on condition
we should help to navigate the boat down the river. We hired a horse
and dray, for a dollar and {75} a half, to convey our luggage on
board, and paid one dollar for the room where our goods were lodged.
We laid in some provisions for our voyage, as we expected to sail in
the afternoon, but a thunder storm coming on, we stopped till the next
morning: we slept in the ark or flat boat. There were twelve tons of
store-goods, for Cincinnatti and Louisville, besides our luggage of
about three tons. The ark was about 36 feet long and 10 feet wide, with
a fire-place in the centre; it was covered with boards, as a protection
from the weather.

Wheeling is a thriving place, with some iron-works. As the national
road is to terminate at this place, it bids fair to rival Pittsburg
in the trade of the western country. In a dry time it has greatly the
advantage of Pittsburg, being nearly a 100 miles lower down, and below
the shallowest parts of the Ohio. At any rate, the great road for all
the western country, crossing the Ohio at this place, will always add
much to its importance. The country round {76} Wheeling is very fine,
and I have seen no part of America I should like better than the valley
above it. But all the land is taken up, and sells for a high price;
and, what is still worse, it is situated in a slave-state, where every
thing is done by the negroes, while the whites look on.

8th. At break of day we sailed, or rather floated, from Wheeling; Mr.
Pemberton went part of the way with us, and a Mr. Ferris had the charge
of the boat and the store-goods: these two gentlemen boarded with us.
The wind being against us, we made but little progress, although we
rowed the greater part of the day. We passed several islands in the
river: the banks were steep and high, the country very hilly, and
mostly covered with timber; the flats of the river generally cleared,
and planted with Indian corn. The land would be too rich for wheat,
were it not flooded in the winter and spring. We passed many small
cabins, several of them were on the banks. We only advanced 20 miles
this day, {77} and anchored on the Ohio side: the right, or north-west
side of the river, is the state of Ohio; the state of Virginia lies on
the left, or south-east side. The weather very warm.

9th. The land much as yesterday, except that the hills lay farther
back. In the evening we anchored on the same side, 46 miles from
Wheeling. We landed, and went to a cabin for some milk, where we
purchased five chickens for fifty cents.

10th. We proceeded with caution, the morning being misty, as there are
many sunk trees in the river sometimes. A man we had seen the evening
before, came to us and offered to sell his skiff, as he was near his
journey's end; I purchased his skiff, and an old iron shovel, for two
dollars; Mr. C. bought of him a hand-saw, for thirty-seven and a half
cents. As soon as we had paid him, he went off into [the] woods; from
that, and other circumstances, we then concluded he had stolen them.
Mr. Pemberton took the skiff and followed {78} him on shore, but could
see nothing of him. Mr. Pemberton purchased five large melons for half
a dollar, but as we had not been accustomed to melons, we could eat
but little of them; but after a few days, most of us could eat them
without sugar as well as the Americans. We passed Sistersville, a small
place of Virginia.[99] The wind being in our favour we made 30 miles.

[99] Sistersville, about thirty-five miles above Marietta, is now the
river port for an oil-producing region; "great red oil tanks and smoky
refineries are its chiefest glory." See Thwaites, _On the Storied Ohio_
(Chicago, 1903).--ED.

11th. We passed the mouth of the Little Muskingham river, thirty
or forty yards wide, but very low. About four miles lower down we
anchored at the Great Muskingham, close by the town of Marietta,[100]
of about a hundred houses, many of them good brick-buildings. There
are, also, between thirty and forty houses on the other side of the
Muskingham. Marietta is well situated for trade; but being subject to
floods, it does not appear to increase at all rapidly. It contains
two meeting-houses, a bank, several taverns, a jail, a stream-mill,
and several rope-walks. Ship-building is {79} carried on, on a small
scale; some years ago, a ship of a hundred and twenty tons was built
here, fit for the sea, although nearly 2000 miles from it by the
Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The country, between the Great and
Little Muskingham, very hilly; but the bottoms, on the Ohio and Great
Muskingham, particularly rich land. The latter river runs far across
the state of Ohio, from north to south; it is upwards of two hundred
yards wide at its mouth. We were informed some English families were
settled at the back of Marietta, but we did not see any of them; I
have since heard that one of our fellow-passengers in the Resolution
is residing there. Mr. Pemberton did not proceed any farther with us,
he having business at Marietta. We proceeded four miles, when Mr.
Ferris landed, and went to see his mother and brothers, who lived two
or three miles back from the river. Whilst he was gone, I landed, with
one of my sons, on the Ohio side; we walked a short distance into the
{80} country; the soil excellent, but not much of it cultivated. Some
apple and peach orchards, containing vast quantities of fruit; there
were more peaches than I ever saw before; single trees had bushels on
them. In the afternoon we passed the town of Parkersburg, in the state
of Virginia, at the mouth of the Little Kenaway, fifty or sixty yards
wide.[101] There is a ferry established here. We made 20 miles, and
after we anchored we laid in some lines, and caught a cat-fish; it
weighed six or seven pounds, and was excellent eating. As they have no
scales, they are stripped like eels; they are often taken of a large
size; they sometimes weigh a hundred pounds; they take their name from
having whiskers like a cat.

[100] For a description of Marietta at the beginning of the century,
see A. Michaux's _Travels_, pp. 33, 34, and note 16.--ED.

[101] For the Little Kanawha River, see Croghan's _Journals_, volume i
of our series, note 98.

The site of Parkersburg was held under patent by Adam Parker, who in
1817 laid out the town. Incorporated in 1820, it grew but little until
the discovery (1864) of petroleum in the immediate vicinity gave it new
life, and it is now one of the wealthiest cities in West Virginia.--ED.

12th. Passed the mouth of the Little Hockhocking, near thirty yards
wide.[102] The Ohio is here wider than at Wheeling. We passed several
islands in the river, some of them cultivated. Generally the houses
on the banks were of logs, but there were {81} some good brick and
frame ones; some large orchards. We met several keel-boats going up
the river, drawn by eight or ten men to one boat; sometimes they push
them up the river with long poles, and at other times, when the wind
is favourable, make use of a sail. At almost every house we passed on
the banks of the river, there was either a skiff or a canoe. We saw
some large wild ducks. About noon we passed the mouth of the great
Hockhocking river, fifty or sixty yards wide; this river runs through
the State of Ohio, between the Scioto and Muskinghum rivers. It is
said to be navigable to Athens, forty miles up. I landed and went to a
cabin to purchase provisions. The owner told me a bad fever prevailed
at Cincinnatti, and cautioned me against going there: being newly
settled, he had nothing to spare. In the afternoon we passed the town
of Belleville, in Virginia, a very small old place. This evening we
anchored on the Ohio side. Some of my {82} family crossed over to the
other side, and bought six chickens for 50 cents (2_s._ 3_d._) This day
we advanced twenty-five miles; weather extremely hot.

[102] For the historical associations connected with the Hockhocking
River, see Croghan's _Journals_, volume i of our series, note 99.--ED.

13th. We were detained some time by anchoring on some rocks over-night,
and the water had fallen a few inches in the night; we got out of the
boat, and pushed it into deep water. The banks were high and rocky,
some of the rocks had the appearance of an old castle. We passed
several islands and sand-banks, the current always much brisker near
them than where the river is wider. The country more settled at some
distance back than on the banks of the river, as it is said to be
more healthy. In the afternoon we passed the falls of Letart;[103]
these falls are only a sharp run over some rocks for near half a mile;
nowise dangerous, even in low water, to those acquainted with the
navigation of the river, but to strangers a little so. In high water
there is only a sharp run, sometimes hardly perceptible. There is a
floating {83} mill on these falls, it had then most of the grist-work;
the other mills for many miles standing still for want of water. We
could not procure any flour, they being fully employed in grist-work.
We afterwards landed at several cabins to get some butter; but there
was not any to be had, being almost all new settlers, many of them in
the Spring. Seven or eight miles below the falls, we anchored for the
night, after making about twenty-six miles.

[103] For Letart's Falls, see Flint's _Letters_, in our volume ix, note

14th. The moon shining brightly, we started soon after midnight; the
banks high and rocky until we passed an island, when the country became
more level and open. In the forenoon the country again more hilly, with
many veins of pit-coal under the rocks; some of them opened, and some
coal lay dug on the sides of the river. In the afternoon we passed the
mouth of the Great Kenhaway; there are some salt-works on this river,
and much salt is sent from thence to many towns on the Ohio.[104]
This river comes from the south, through {84} part of Virginia. Point
Pleasant is situated near the Big Kenhaway; it is a small town, and
does not appear to flourish.[105] A great battle was fought here when
it was first settled, between the Americans and Indians, in which
neither party had much cause for triumph. About four miles below we
came to the town of Galliopolis, in Ohio.[106] It is pleasantly
situated on a high bank that is never overflowed. This town was first
settled by a colony of French, in 1790; but having bought their land
of speculators, their titles were not so good as they wished, and
some of them left it; but many of the inhabitants are still French
and other Europeans, and some Americans. It contains two places of
public-worship, a post-office, a large court-house, a printing-office,
a market-house, some good stores and taverns, and about a hundred
houses of brick, frame, and log. On a green of good land, near the
town, a motley flock of sheep was feeding; many of them had a rotten
appearance. I was told they {85} belonged to the inhabitants, who kept
them in common. The green on which they were was good sound land;
but as they had free access to the river-banks, they often fed on
herbage that was frequently under water. I was much pleased with the
situation of Galliopolis; more so than with any place I had seen west
of the Allegany Mountains. We made thirty-two or three miles; the heat
intense, with a little rain in the evening.

[104] The manufacture of salt in the Kanawha Valley, for more than half
a century its leading industry, is now a thing of the past. The Salt or
Great Buffalo Lick on the Kanawha River, near the mouth of Campbell's
Creek, was visited in succession by buffaloes, Indians, and pioneers to
obtain salt. As early as 1797 a certain Elisha Brooks began in a crude
way to manufacture salt, but it was first established as a profitable
industry by the Ruffner brothers in 1808. In 1817 coal was substituted
for wood as fuel. At that time there were about thirty furnaces and
fifteen or twenty wells in operation, producing between 600,000 and
700,000 bushels annually. The maximum of prosperity was reached about
1850, when the output was 3,000,000 bushels for the year.--ED.

[105] For the Great Kanawha River and the battle of Point Pleasant, see
Croghan's _Journals_, volume i of our series, note 101.--ED.

[106] For an account of the settlement of Gallipolis, see F. A.
Michaux's _Travels_, volume iii of our series, pp. 182-185, and note

15th. Started by moon-light and got six or seven miles by day-light,
and four or rather more afterwards; till the wind being against us, we
anchored on the Virginia side. I landed, and went through the woods to
a poor log-cabin; but could get no provisions or fruit. The inhabitants
looked extremely miserable; they had a female negro-slave, that
appeared to do what little was done. The soil very rich; but little of
it cultivated, and that little very badly. The trees in the woods I
passed through were sycamore, ash, honey-locust, {86} poplar, buck-eye,
black walnut, beech, and sugar-maple, &c. Many of the trees were
overrun with grape vines. The black walnut and sugar-maple trees were
larger than any I had before noticed. Most of the sugar-maple trees had
places chopped in them to let out the sap, instead of being tapped.
Many of the troughs that were used last Spring were still remaining
under the trees. After dinner the wind shifted, and we proceeded for
a short time; but a thunder-storm coming on we again anchored, as do
most of the flat boats or arks, for fear of being driven on shore,
as the wind is generally high at the commencement of a tempest. We
had but little wind or rain, and therefore again proceeded. We passed
an ark sunk in the river, and also the Little Guyandot river, forty
yards wide; and then went over a very rapid part of the river. After
dark we anchored on the Virginia side, with a store-boat and a light
ark that contained a rather numerous family of English from {87} the
neighbourhood of Manchester, going, like ourselves, to look for a
home in the western country. The master of the store-boat was also a
fellow-countryman; he had been settled a short time at Marrietta, but
now purposed going further westward. He had freighted his boat with
store-goods and fruit, to pay his expenses down the Ohio. He intended
settling in the neighbourhood of Cincinnatti, or of going down to the
State of Indiana. He said that, in April last, near a thousand boats
of different descriptions passed Marietta going westward; most of them
with emigrants, and but few of them Europeans, it being too early for
them to come from Europe, Spring being generally the season they leave
their native countries. We almost daily saw boats with Europeans,
chiefly from England or Ireland. Numerous skiffs had passed us since we
left Wheeling, and we afterwards saw many more. The wind being against
us, we only advanced about twenty-four miles. Weather much colder.

{88} 16th. Started two hours before sun-rise; the hills lower, and
lay farther back from the river. We passed the mouth of the Great
Guyandot,[107] and the town of Bordenton, a small place which is
situated near it. At dusk we passed Big Sandy river, 200 yards wide,
it rises in the Allegany Mountains, and runs east and north-east,
separating the States of Virginia and Kentucky for more than 200 miles.
This day we made twenty-six miles.

[107] The Guyandotte River rises in Logan County, West Virginia, and
flowing northwestward for about one hundred and fifty miles, joins the
Ohio a few miles above the Kentucky line.--ED.

17th. Towards noon we reached Greenup, in Kentucky, a small place;[108]
here we staid some hours to get our pump repaired. Here I conversed
with a native of Kent, who had resided fourteen years in America, three
or four of which he had spent at this place. He said he was doing well
in his business as a cabinet-maker and carpenter. He informed me much
confusion prevailed here in regard to the titles of land, owing to the
lots having been entered without the boundaries of each individual
being distinctly marked out; so that land was often {89} claimed by
two or more individuals.[109] Indeed disputes frequently occur in the
old States of America, in regard to the titles of land, as the first
settlers often took it without any title. Others obtained grants for a
certain space from some river, or other given mark; but as the country
was but little known at the time of these grants, they often clash
with each other, and many boundaries yet remain to be settled. In
the greater part of the new States the country is first surveyed, and
then laid out in sections of a mile square; but this I shall mention
hereafter. We left this place late in the afternoon, and anchored a
few miles below, on the Ohio side. We ran twenty-two or three miles.
Weather temperate.

[108] Greenup, the seat of the county of that name, is seventy-two
miles above Maysville. It was incorporated in 1818, and named in honor
of Governor Greenup.

Christopher Greenup, born in Virginia, about 1750, served throughout
the Revolutionary War, and in 1783 came to Kentucky to practice law.
He was elected a member of Congress (1792), and in 1804 governor of
Kentucky. At the expiration of his gubernatorial term, he represented
Franklin County in the legislature, continuing in public life until his
death, in 1818.--ED.

[109] For further information on this point, see Flint's _Letters_,
volume ix of our series, note 89.--ED.

18th. Passed the Little Sciota, a small stream of Ohio. At noon we
reached the town of Portsmouth, in Ohio, at the mouth of the Big
Sciota;[110] a considerable stream, said to be navigable upwards of two
hundred miles towards the north. Portsmouth {90} is an improving place,
containing a court-house, a bank, several good taverns and stores, with
more than one hundred houses, many of them of brick: we could get but
few provisions here. Alexandria is situated opposite, on the other side
of the Sciota; it is a small place. We found change at these towns very
scarce; what there was, was mostly cut-money; that is, when change is
wanted they often cut dollars, half-dollars, and quarter-dollars, into
smaller pieces, with an axe or chisel; and some of them are so expert
and _honest_, as to make five quarters out of a dollar. We advanced
twenty-two or three miles this day.

[110] For the early history connected with the Scioto River, see
Croghan's _Journals_, volume i of our series, note 102.--ED.

19th. We passed a very swift riffle without any danger. About three
miles farther on, we were in danger of losing our boat on Twin Riffle,
by not going towards the Kentucky side soon enough; but by hard rowing,
we got over with only five or six inches to spare. These riffles are
occasioned by the water's running rapidly over {91} a rough hard
bottom; they resemble the Falls, only they are much less. We saw many
wild ducks while passing this riffle; I believe they often feed on
these sharp runs, as I noticed they generally frequented them. A
little below, we saw three hunters with several dogs; they had just
killed a fine young deer in the river, and were skinning it on the
bank. We bought a hind-quarter, it weighed fifteen or sixteen pounds,
for 50 cents, (2_s._ 3_d._) sterling. The quarter was as much as we
could consume while good, the weather being so extremely hot, or we
might have had the whole deer for a dollar. In the afternoon we passed
a bad riffle, called Bush Riffle, opposite a creek of the same name.
This riffle was full of sunk logs, that made it difficult to pass, as
the river was so low; at high water these riffles are not perceptible.
We passed Salt Creek, Ohio. Some saline-works here; also a small town,
of which I did not learn the name. As we floated after dark, the ark
got stuck on a sand-bank, {92} in the middle of the river; but some of
us getting out into the water, we pushed it off, and then anchored on
the Ohio side.

This day we made about twenty-six miles, according to the "Pittsburg
Navigator,"[111] also by our pilot's account; but I believe the Ohio
has never been surveyed or measured, except that on the Ohio side the
land has been surveyed and laid out into sections, from the upper part
of the State of Ohio to the mouth of the Ohio river. But the lines
running north and south, and east and west, make many small fractions
on the edge of the river that have never been measured very correctly,
so as to know the exact length of it. We often went in a very circular
direction; much more so than the banks; and as the river is full half
a mile wide, we sometimes stood nearly right across it, as an ark is
difficult to keep out of the current, should it get too near it when
the draught is strong. Thus the measurement of the {93} banks of this
river cannot be accurate, in the distance it takes to navigate it.

[111] For the Pittsburg _Navigator_, see Cuming's _Tour_, volume iv of
our series, note 43.--ED.

20th. Passed the Manchester Islands;[112] and a little below a town of
the same name, a small place of about thirty houses. Two of our company
landed, opposite the islands, on the Kentucky side. A woman, where they
went for milk, gave them some peaches, nearly ripe; she told them they
had only apples and peaches for their pigs, a hundred and forty in
number. She said they did not get fat on this diet, nor did they expect
them to thrive much till the beech-masts fell. Beech the prevailing
timber, except on the banks of the river; there mostly sycamore,
water-maple, and willows. In the afternoon we reached the town of
Maysville, in Kentucky;[113] it is frequently called Limestones, from
a small creek of that name that here empties itself into the Ohio.
Maysville is a considerable place, and enjoys a good trade with the
back country. It lies high; but part of it is subject to floods from
the {94} creek. Much good building going forward. A large ferry-boat,
worked by horses, plies between Maysville and a small town opposite;
it takes over passengers, horses, carriages, and stock; as a road on
the opposite side takes most of the land-travellers through the state
of Ohio,[114] that cross so low down as this place. We sent a letter
from here, that reached Godalming, in Surrey, in fifty-seven days; but
letters from England are usually three months in reaching the Prairies,
and sometimes much longer. This day twenty miles: the weather sultry,
with much thunder, but no rain. The river falling very fast.

[112] In 1790, Nathaniel Massie, the surveyor of the Virginia military
tract, who played so prominent a part in early Ohio history, contracted
with twenty-one Kentuckians to settle a town which he would lay out
on his land along the Ohio River. The following year a stockade was
built on the mainland, ten miles above Maysville, and one of the three
islands opposite was cleared and planted with corn. He called the
settlement Manchester, but for years it was known in Kentucky and Ohio
as Massie's Station.--ED.

[113] For the early history of Maysville, see A. Michaux's _Travels_,
volume iii of our series, note 23.--ED.

[114] This road was Zane's trace. See Cuming's _Tour_, volume iv of our
series, note 135.--ED.

21st. Passed Ripley, a new town of Ohio: it seems likely to
thrive.[115] A gentleman who had joined us at Maysville, and my eldest
son, went on shore near this place. My son purchased two quarts of
milk, for which they charged him 25 cents: he demanded his money again,
and offered to return the milk; this they refused; {95} he then gave
them, as he called it, a good _blowing up_, and came on board in a very
bad humour, not being at all pleased with his bargain.

[115] Ripley, in Brown County, fifty-five miles above Cincinnati, was
platted about the year 1812 by Colonel James Poage of Virginia. It
continued to thrive in a mild way; twenty years after Woods's visit the
inhabitants numbered about seven hundred.--ED.

We afterwards passed a small place, on the Ohio side, of only seven
or eight houses, although laid out before Ripley. In the afternoon
we passed the town of Augusta in Kentucky; it appears a flourishing
place.[116] It was built to rival Maysville in the back-country trade,
and it is likely to come in for a full share of it, as the roads are
said to be much better than in the rear of Maysville. A considerable
deal of land brought into cultivation in its neighbourhood: some round
hills cleared quite to their tops, and planted with Indian corn, the
growth of which seemed to bespeak a good soil. These hills have a
fine appearance from the river. In the evening we passed the town of
Mechanicsburg (Ohio), a small place, mostly of log-houses. At dark we
anchored on {96} the Kentucky side; our progress twenty-five or six

[116] For a brief account of Augusta, see Flint's _Letters_, volume ix
of our series, note 69.--ED.

22d. Much rain during the night; and as the ark was far from being
weather-proof, we got very wet in our beds. At noon we anchored near
the towns of Richmond[117] and Susanna (Ohio); they are rising places,
containing several taverns and stores. A great deal of land round these
towns laid down in grass: the soil rich. But few gardens, and these
much neglected; the weeds seven or eight feet high, and completely
concealed the vegetables. This day we only made thirteen or fourteen
miles, and anchored on the Kentucky side. The weather much colder.
After we got to bed, two men and a boy came close to us, and began
fishing, by torch-light, striking the fish with a gig, or grig, like a
dung-prong, with barbed points: I believe they had also some hooks and
lines over the sides of their canoe. After fishing about two hours,
they anchored, and hung their fish over the {97} side of their canoe,
and went on shore and made a fire to dry themselves; then spreading
some small boughs under a tree, they laid down till daylight.

[117] On the founding of New Richmond, consult Flint's _Letters_,
volume ix of our series, note 70.--Ed.

23d. At dawn the fishers offered us some cat-fish, of between thirty
and forty pounds weight each, for 25 cents a piece, but as we had a
store of provisions we did not purchase any. They then started for
Cincinnatti with their fish. At sun-rise we also proceeded, the wind
much against us. After going four miles we passed a large steam-boat
a-ground, and had been for some time, and must so remain till the
water should rise three or four feet; this did not occur till after
Christmas. Soon after we passed a new town, of a few houses, its name
I did not learn. We then went over some sand-bars where the water was
very shallow; the wind rising, we put in close to the Kentucky side,
where the water was deeper, and most of us going on shore, we hauled
our boat along, with a towing line, for about two miles. We passed the
town {98} of Columbus, at the mouth of the Little Miami.[118] This
river crosses the state of Ohio, from the north, and is sometimes
upwards of 100 yards wide. Columbus is a small old place, with but
few good buildings. Late in the afternoon we reached the city of
Cincinnatti; and, with great difficulty, anchored close to four
steam-boats that were laid up, the water being too shallow for them
to go up and down the river. We had about 14,000 lbs. weight of store
goods, on board the ark, to be left at this place. Cincinnatti is the
capital of the state of Ohio,[119] and is situated in the richest part
of the state, seven miles below the Little Miami, and twenty miles
above the Great Miami. Much of the country, between these rivers,
brought into culture for a considerable distance from the Ohio; and
land sells very high, from five to a 100 dollars per acre. The city is
extensive and the buildings are increasing. It is a noble looking town,
by far the best I have seen in the western country. It is built on
{99} ground rising to a great height from the river. The streets cross
each other at right angles. It has several large woollen and cotton
manufactories; some glass and iron-works, also a steam-mill, built on a
limestone rock, close to the water; the walls of this noble mill are
of stone; it contains nine stories, and is upwards of a 100 feet high.
The machinery is said to be good, and will manufacture 700 barrels of
flour weekly, that is, upwards of 500 sacks. It is represented to have
cost 120,000 dollars, or 27,000_l._ sterling in erecting.

[118] This was Columbia, not Columbus. It was the first settlement in
the Symmes Purchase, Major Stiles of Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and
twenty-five others having established a blockhouse there in 1789. For
several years it rivalled Cincinnati in importance.--ED.

[119] Cincinnati was no longer the capital. Columbus, then a complete
wilderness, was in 1812 made the capital by legislative enactment. For
the early history of Cincinnati, see Cuming's _Tour_, volume iv of our
series, note 166.--ED.

The streets of Cincinnatti are very wide; and the stores well stocked
with European, East and West Indian, and American merchandize, but in
general dear. Articles of dress are much dearer than at Baltimore;
yet the principal inhabitants are very gay in their appearance,
particularly the ladies, who are equally so with those of London. But
the females of the middle and lower orders, though gaily dressed, often
go without shoes and stockings; indeed, most of the {100} females in
the western country go without them, at least in the summer, and some
of the English women, of the lower class, follow their example.

Trade very dull and paper credit extremely low, the banks issue notes
as low as 6¼ cents, less than 3½_d._; but these notes are far
from being current with strangers, nor were the large ones in good
credit, being much below the value of state notes or specie. No copper
money to be seen here. There are two large market houses, one in the
upper, and one in the lower part of the town; there is a daily market
held alternately at one of them. It was the upper market day when we
were there; it was well supplied, and most articles were good and
cheap, but the tradesmen perfect Jews in their dealings. Meat from 6 to
10 cents per pound; bacon from 8 to 12½ cents a pound; flour from 4
to 5 dollars per barrel, of 196 lbs., average less than 6_s._ a bushel;
very fine peaches for 6¾_d._ per peck; melons in vast quantities,
both sweet and {101} water, the latter of immense size, weighing
from ten to twenty pounds each, for 6¾_d._ Poultry and eggs very

The number of inhabitants supposed to be upwards of 12,000, from every
part of the Union, and from most of the countries of Europe. Many
English, Irish, and Scotch amongst them. I heard of some being there,
that I knew, but I did not see any of them. There is a ferry-boat,
worked by horses, between Cincinnatti and the towns of Newport and
Coverly;[120] these towns, in Kentucky, lie opposite to Cincinnatti,
and are separated from each other by the mouth of the Licking; a
considerable stream, of Kentucky, during the winter, but very low in
dry weather. The streets of these towns are laid out to correspond with
those of Cincinnatti, so that at the upper part of the city you see the
streets of Newport and Coverly, without perceiving the river between
them, and thus the whole appears but one town.

[120] Newport was platted by the proprietor, General James Taylor,
about 1791, and upon the organization of Campbell County was
incorporated (1795) and made the county seat. In 1803 the United States
government established an arsenal at the confluence of the Licking and
Ohio rivers; it consisted of a two-story brick armory, a magazine, and
wooden barracks sufficient for the reception of two or three regiments,
the whole being enclosed with a stockade. General Taylor emigrated to
Kentucky (1791) from Caroline County, Virginia. In the War of 1812-15,
he was quartermaster-general of the Northwestern army, and was present
with Hull at the surrender of Detroit, but refused to assist in drawing
up the articles of capitulation.

Until 1815, the mouth of the Licking below Newport was known as
Kennedy's Ferry. In that year Covington was established by legislative
enactment, and named in honor of General Covington.--ED.

There is a fort at Newport, with an {102} arsenal of arms, and a
magazine for gun-powder; and a garrison of the states' troops are kept
here in case of a war with the Indians, as the Indian territories are
within 100 miles to the north. We saw some of these troops, they were
good looking; their uniform blue.

Newport contains some good houses, and near it there is a large
building, in the castle style, belonging to General Taylor, the
proprietor of the town.

Coverly is newly laid out, the building but just begun: these two towns
may contain about 100 houses.

24th. In the afternoon, having laid in a few provisions for our voyage,
we prepared to go off, but found some _honest_ person had made free
with the oars belonging to our skiff, and also with a skiff belonging
to some person of Cincinnatti. We saw two men go off, about 10 o'clock
the night before, with a skiff, but supposed it belonged to them, nor
did we know they had borrowed our oars; but this did not detain us
{103} long, as we made some more with some boards we had on board.
We went about eight miles, and then anchored on the Ohio side of the
river. I found myself troubled with very bad boils, that continued for
several days; in other respects I was in perfect health, as was the
whole of our party. The gentleman, who joined us at Maysville, left us
at Cincinnatti.

25th. We passed the mouth of the Big Miami, a considerable stream of
Ohio, the boundary between that state and Indiana, at least at its
mouth; as a meridian line runs from the middle of the mouth of this
river north, to a parallel line, from the south end of Lake Michigan.
This river is 200 yards wide at its mouth, and is navigable for a
considerable distance up the country. We saw a waggon with four horses,
also six or seven men and women fording it, the water up to their
middles, and the current so strong they could hardly stand against it.
We passed Petersburg,[121] a small place in Kentucky, and also a little
{104} town of Indiana, its name unknown to us. We only made 20 miles.
Mr. C. shot two turkey-buzzards at one shoot. These birds are of great
utility in a warm climate, as they live on carrion; and should you see
several of these birds hovering about, you may be certain something
is dead near. I understand, that on the Mississippi river, people
are liable to a fine of several dollars for killing one of them. Nor
is there any temptation to destroy them, having so strong a scent as
scarcely to be bearable, and any thing only just touching them retains
a very strong smell for some time. The quills of their wings are larger
than those of a goose, and too hard to write with.

[121] The present site of Petersburg, twenty-two miles below Covington,
was for many years known as Tanner's Station, being settled by and
named after Reverend John Tanner, the first Baptist preacher resident
in that part of Kentucky. It has not become a place of any size or

The hills on the river lower with round tops. Some tobacco on the
Kentucky side, but none on the other; it is never cultivated on an
extensive scale except in the slave states. In the free states cotton
and tobacco are only raised for home consumption.

{105} 26th. We passed Lories Island, and afterwards a small town of
Kentucky; its name we did not learn. The river banks much lower, and
the bottoms much wider, as the hills were further back. Not many houses
on the banks. We saw some wild ducks, woodpeckers, and snipes. We
advanced twenty-two miles; weather warm.

27th. The country less cultivated. About noon we landed at
Fredericksburg, in Kentucky, a place of about forty log-houses; we
purchased some butter at eighteen cents per pound. At dusk we passed
the Kentucky, a river of the state of the same name, and navigable
some distance up the country. After dark we passed Vevay and New
Switzerland,[122] and soon after got stuck on a sand bank; some of
us got into the water and turned the ark round, and then we floated
off again, and about midnight anchored. This day, twenty-five miles.
I regretted passing Vevay after it was dark, as I much wished to land
to inspect the vineyards belonging to a Swiss colony settled {106}
there, who cultivate the vine on a considerable scale, in the manner
of their native country. In the twilight we had a glimpse of their
vineyards, but too far off to see much of them. I have since learnt
that a few Swiss emigrants settled at New Switzerland in 1805, and in
1810 they had eight acres planted with vines, and in full bearing, and
from which they made two thousand four hundred gallons of wine, then
said to be very good. Since that time their vineyards are considerably
extended, but their wine of an inferior quality. They also cultivate
wheat, Indian corn, hemp, and flax. They are represented to be a sober,
industrious people, and much respected in the country. They speak the
French language, most of them having come from the frontiers adjoining

[122] For the Swiss settlement at Vevay, see Bradbury's _Travels_,
volume v of our series, note 164.--ED.

28th. We landed at Port William,[123] Kentucky, a small place, and
procured some very excellent bread. As we proceeded slowly I landed on
the Indiana side, and went to two or three cottages; at one of {107}
them I got a peck of fine peaches, for which the inhabitants would not
take any money. They were hardly ripe, but made very good puddings; as
the settlements were new, none of the trees were six years old. At one
cabin a man showed me a tree on which there was then growing at least a
bushel of peaches; he had planted the stone from which this tree sprung
in the spring of 1816. We landed at a cabin in Indiana, where there
were a few vines cultivated after the Swiss method; viz. in rows about
six feet each way, and tied up to a stick four or five feet high. I was
told their appearance promised a productive crop, but a heavy shower of
rain prevented my examining them. The soil was rich, but very broken.
Only made sixteen miles; the weather showery, and much colder.

[123] Port William, now Carrollton, is situated at the mouth of the
Kentucky River. In 1789-90, General Scott built a blockhouse at that
point, which was occupied until 1792, when the town of Port William was
laid out.--ED.

29th. Early in the morning we reached the town of Madison in
Indiana,[124] capital of the county of Jefferson, of sixty or seventy
houses, a mixture of brick, frame, and log; {108} it has a steam-mill,
&c. The country less settled, and on the banks a much less number of
horses, cows, sheep, pigs, geese, &c. to be seen. This day we made
thirty miles or upwards.

[124] For the early history of Madison, Indiana, see Flint's _Letters_,
volume ix of our series, note 128.--ED.

30th. Both sides of the river more hilly, and but little land brought
into culture. In the forenoon we passed an island eighteen or twenty
miles above Louisville; the river much wider, the banks lower, with
but little space between them and the hills. We passed another island
twelve miles above Louisville, and, after sun-set, anchored opposite a
small town of Indiana.

Many new places are continually springing up on the bank, and numbers
of them soon go to decay, having nothing to recommend them except the
opinion of the proprietors. These are often a set of speculators, who
purchase land and attempt to puff it off as one of the best spots in
the western country; in short, in the whole world. A speculator like
those is a nuisance wherever he sets his foot.

{109} 31st. Passed six mile islands; keeping between them we got
sight of Louisville, which at that distance had a fine appearance.
We could see far beyond it, as the country below the falls is very
flat for many miles. The wind rising, we anchored four miles above
it, and some of us went to it by land. Louisville is a considerable
town of Kentucky, at the head of the Falls of the Ohio.[125] Many
boats unload here for the back country, others stop here to get a
pilot to take them over the Falls, and sometimes at low water to get
part of their lading carried by land to below the Falls. It possesses
some manufactories, and is a place of considerable trade, and with
the exception of Cincinnatti, is by far the best town I have seen in
the western country. It is seven hundred and six miles by water from
Pittsburg, and by the course of the river near fourteen hundred miles
from New Orleans. The river, opposite Louisville, is a mile wide, being
bent back by an island and a chain of rocks that runs {110} through the
river. These rocks are the cause of the Falls, as they pen back the
water about twenty-two feet above the level of the flat country below.
The town of Jeffersonville lies opposite,[126] on the Indiana side, and
many boats stop there for a pilot. We did not visit it, but we were
informed it was an elegant place, of a hundred and forty houses.

[125] Consult Croghan's _Journals_, in volume i of our series, note
106, for the history of Louisville.--ED.

[126] A brief account of Jeffersonville may be found in Flint's
_Letters_, volume ix of our series, note 80.--ED.

The best boat channel to pass the Falls is on the Indiana side, it
is called the Indian shoot; the next is called the middle, and the
other the Kentuckian shoot; the last was dry when we were there.
In high water they may all be passed without danger, but in a dry
season, as when we passed, it requires a skilful pilot, and even then
is attended with some danger. Some English from Puttenham in Surrey,
near Godalming, passed these Falls during the night in a small skiff,
without perceiving any of them, the water being then very high. In the
morning they enquired how far they had to the Falls, and could hardly
{111} be persuaded they had passed them. There is an opposition between
the towns of Louisville and Jeffersonville, as to making a canal for
vessels to pass the Falls by the means of locks, each wanting it on
their side, as most of the traffic would of course be on that side
where the canal was.

As we returned to our boat, we passed the stump of a sycamore, lately
cut, that three feet from the ground measured eleven feet one way and
ten feet the other; the tree was gone, so we could not ascertain the
length of it, but the trees on the banks were of an immense size. In
the evening we anchored within a mile of Louisville. Made only seven
miles; weather very warm.

Sept. 1st. Early in the morning we anchored at the mouth of Bear Grass
Creek, that joins the Ohio on the upper side of Louisville. The store
goods were here unloaded, to the amount of ten thousand pounds weight.
I purchased the ark of Mr. Ferris for twenty-five dollars, and {112}
hired two men for eighteen dollars and their board, to take us to
Shawnestown, in Illinois, a distance of near three hundred miles. One
man was an Englishman, the other a Scotchman. Having trimmed our boat,
we expected to go over the Falls in the evening, but the pilot having
another boat to take over first, he did not return till too late for
us to go over, so we remained at Louisville all night. We purchased
a few articles for our voyage, but we should have done better, if we
had bought more at Cincinnatti, instead of afterwards doing it at
Shawnestown; but the difference was not very material. The heat very
oppressive, and in the evening, for the first time, we were annoyed
by mosquitoes. We saw great quantities of rats; the quay where we lay
was much infested with them. They were most likely brought from Europe,
as they are the same as the English rat. I have not seen one at the
Prairies, but there being plenty on the Ohio; and I suppose on the
Wabash, {113} most likely we shall soon receive a visit from them.

2d. Soon after sun-rise our boat proceeded to go over the Falls. Mr.
Ferris was so kind as to go with it; Mr. C. and my eldest son also
went. We hired two more men, besides the two going to Shawneetown,
as our boat drew twelve inches of water, and there were only fifteen
or sixteen inches for some distance over the Falls in the middle,
and less, if ever so little on either side. The rest of us walked to
below the Falls. They rowed the ark some distance up the stream on
the Kentucky side, and they then crossed into the middle shoot, and
proceeded to Shippingport, a small town of Kentucky, at the end of
the Falls.[127] They passed them with perfect safety, except that the
rocks cut the rope of the skiff by which it was tied to the ark, and
it was lost on them. We breakfasted at Shippingport, in company with
Mr. Ferris, with whom we settled all accompts; he then took leave of
us, and {114} returned to Louisville on foot, purposing to walk to
Wheeling. It is but justice to Mr. Ferris to say, he was very obliging
during the time he was with us, and most attentive to the care of the
boat and the store goods committed to his charge.

[127] For the early history of Shippingport, consult Cuming's _Tour_,
volume iv of our series, note 171.--ED.

We started, and soon passed an island where we got a hard rap on some
rocks; we now found we had lost our pilot with Mr. Ferris; both our
new men were much intoxicated, and this they most times continued to
be afterwards, whenever they could get liquor; Thomas, the Englishman,
in particular. We landed at New Albany,[128] a small town of Indiana,
and procured a few provisions which were short at Louisville and
Shippingport, and at every other place we touched at till we reached
Shawneetown, most of the bacon, pork, &c. having been sent off to New
Orleans in the spring. We came thirteen or fourteen miles. In the
evening the mosquitoes were very troublesome.

[128] A note on the settlement of New Albany is given in Hulme's
_Journal_, _ante_, note 15.--ED.

3d. We found our ark had sprung {115} a leak from hitting on the
rocks yesterday, so that we were obliged to be frequently pumping.
The country below New Albany less settled than above, but most on the
Indiana side.[129] At noon we passed Salt river; it crosses Kentucky
from north to south, and in a wet season, at least, it is navigable a
good distance. We afterwards passed Otter creek, and found the country
more cultivated; and at dusk, Doe creek; our progress thirty miles. We
purchased at Louisville "The Pittsburg Navigator," to serve instead
of a pilot. We found much difference, in regard to distances, between
the book and the accounts we received on the river; but the directions
respecting sand-banks and islands we found pretty correct; and these
were of some use to us.

[129] Salt River, Kentucky, rises in Mercer County, and flowing
northward and then westward, enters the Ohio at West Point, twenty
miles below Louisville. Fifteen miles from its mouth, it receives a
branch nearly as large as itself, called the Rolling Fork.--ED.

4th. At ten o'clock, we reached the town of Northampton, in Indiana; a
place of twenty-five or thirty log-houses. We landed for some whiskey;
for our men would do nothing without, and but little with too {116}
much of it. The river narrower than above Louisville, and the current
brisker; this was generally the case where the river was narrow, as by
islands, sand-banks, &c. In the evening we passed Little Blue river and
two islands. Thirty miles this day.

5th. At nine o'clock we passed the Big Blue river, sixty or seventy
yards wide; it rises in the north of Indiana, and runs south and south
east, till it enters the Ohio, eighty-seven miles below Louisville. The
country much resembles that below Wheeling, rocky, and the hills close
to the river, first on one side then on the other. We landed at several
cabins to procure provisions, but found them very scarce, most of the
settlements being new. We met a keel-boat, the people on board greatly
in want of provisions; they applied to us, but our stock was too low
to supply them with any. At dark we passed Flint island, without any
difficulty; this is said to be a bad place. We made about thirty miles.

6th. At nine o'clock we reached Rome, {117} the capital of Perry
county,[130] a town of Indiana, laid out in 1818; about twenty houses
built, and building; a stone jail begun, the second floor laid with
solid logs, ten or twelve inches thick, the roof not put on. We
purchased sixteen pounds of very lean beef for a dollar; it was killed
the evening before, and salted immediately, yet such was the heat of
the weather it was scarcely eatable. No bacon, pork, or vegetables
to be procured. A garden is the last thing that is thought of by the
generality of the Americans. We landed at several cabins and procured
a few small potatoes, and some ears of green Indian corn, (here called
roasting ears,) but we boiled them; they ate something like green
peas, but not quite so good. We bought an old skiff for a dollar, to
supply the place of the one we lost on the Falls. Our progress nearly
seventeen miles.

[130] This town, a hundred miles below Louisville, was settled in 1808
by two pioneers named William Taylor and Joseph Wright. For many years
it was the seat of Perry County, but in half a century did not acquire
more than two hundred inhabitants.--ED.

7th. We started at sun-rise, as we generally did, but the wind was so
much against us we were obliged to anchor at eight {118} o'clock, at
Clover creek. We landed in Indiana, and got near a bushel of peaches
for ten-pence. Here we saw some children setting off to school; one boy
came to the cabin to light his segar, that he might take a whiff going
along to school. The men smoke segars, and many of the women (at least
the married ones) pipes; we frequently saw women nursing their children
with pipes in their mouths. And we often saw them washing on the banks
of the rivers, as there is plenty of drift-wood. It saves the trouble
of carrying fuel and water; and it is colder on the banks of rivers
than near their cabins. Most of the women were surrounded by a number
of young children; indeed, the first thing that strikes a traveller
on the Ohio is the immense number of children, many of them almost
naked. They do not appear healthy; but they look happy, rolling in the
water and dirt. We often saw very little boys swimming in the river,
sometimes leading others that could not walk: thus {119} the dread of
water wears off while they are very young: I never heard of any of
these children being drowned.

At ten o'clock we again set forward till two o'clock, when we passed
Doe creek; the wind still getting higher, we anchored till near
sun-set, when we again floated on. We found it was often the case for
the wind to rise or sink with the sun; and that it was almost always
from the south, south west, or west; and very seldom from the north, or
east; and as the Ohio runs towards the south west, it was but seldom in
our favour. And from what I have heard and read, the wind is generally
the same as we found it; and this is the reason why vessels are so long
descending the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, at least in low water.
At high water they descend much more rapidly, as the current is then
a great deal swifter, and the wind makes but little difference. But
vessels with sails, often proceed as quickly up the Ohio as those do
that float down; so that the advantage that is lost one way is {120}
gained the other. This day only seven miles.

8th. At day light we grounded on a sand bar for a few minutes; and at
eight o'clock reached Troy, a small town of Indiana; and afterwards
passed Anderson's river, from fifty to sixty yards wide.[131] The wind
rising, obliged us to anchor a short distance below. I landed on the
Indiana side, and walked three or four miles down the bank. I found a
little cabin, situated on a small plantation, surrounded on all sides
with high rocks, except against the river. The soil was so rich that
the Indian corn was the largest I have ever seen; the owner said, it
was eighteen feet high, but I think he made the most of it. I picked
up a stick about six feet long, and, by measuring it with that and
my own height, I should judge the highest of it was from fourteen to
sixteen feet. There were great quantities of beans, pompions, and
melons, running on and between the corn, all very luxuriant; in short,
much larger than I ever {121} saw before or since. I then went to the
next cabin; most of the way very rocky, but there the country more
open; the owner was winnowing wheat, by the wind without any fan. The
wheat was very coarse; it was sown in the spring; he said the land on
the river was too rich for wheat, and subject to floods in the winter
and spring; and when sown in the spring subject to rust or blight.
But Indian corn came to high perfection. I saw a bear skin hanging up
to dry; he informed me the country some distance back was rough and
unsettled, and abounded with bears, wolves, deer, racoons, opossums,
polecats, and other wild animals; and that they had frequently hunting
parties. I asked him if a wounded bear was not a dangerous animal; he
said he had frequently wounded them, and never saw one attempt to turn.
He had, during the course of his life, killed more than a hundred.
In their hunting parties they have always some stout dogs with them;
but, he said, it was common for one man to {122} go alone, but never
without dogs. Here I tasted the ripe fruit of the pawpaw or papaw, an
extremely rich fruit, in flavour something like a pine-apple. I did not
relish it; this they told me was often the case at first tasting it,
but when accustomed to it people were fond of it. We did not see any
more of these trees on the Ohio, but my son and Mr. C. saw a great many
of them on the Wabash, in their voyage up that river. From this cabin
I walked two miles, mostly through woods, to another; no provisions to
be procured here, the people being newly settled. In this walk I passed
fourteen or fifteen wild turkeys, in a field. As they only gently
walked into the woods, I did not suspect they were wild ones; but
mentioning them at the cabin, I was told there were no tame turkeys
for many miles, but plenty of wild ones.

[131] Anderson's Creek, rising in Crawford County, serves in the latter
part of its course as the dividing line between Spencer and Perry
counties. In high water it is navigable for flatboats for about thirty
miles. Thomas Lincoln came with his family to Anderson's Creek in 1815,
and with the help of Abraham ran a ferry until the fall of 1817.

Troy, near the mouth of the creek, was laid out in 1818.--ED.

We returned to our ark, but, the wind continuing high, we could not
proceed. At sunset we had a heavy tempest; the storm increased after
we were a-bed. The {123} thunder and lightning, and the wind equally
strong, and afterwards the rain poured down in torrents; and, driven on
by the winds, came into our ark in every direction; so that most of us
got completely wet in our beds. It continued for an hour, and was, by
far, the most awful storm I ever knew. It made our ark shake very much,
as we lay in shallow water, the wind driving us against the sand; but
we were in no danger of being driven on shore, as the water shallowed
very gradually, and we were a considerable distance from the bank.
We had no large trees near us; and indeed it is advisable to avoid
anchoring, during a thunder storm, near heavy timbers, as old trees
frequently then fall.

9th. In the morning we set forward; afterwards some of us landed in
Kentucky, and went about a mile to a horse-mill, where we procured
some flour and vegetables. We continued on the river banks for near
five miles; the country mostly in a state of nature. In the afternoon
we {124} went to a cabin, and purchased some provisions; here we saw
a small piece of land planted with cotton, just beginning to ripen.
The person who belonged to it was from South Carolina; he said this
cotton was as good, if not better, than that in Carolina. But most I
have heard speak on the subject, say that the southern cotton is much
better than that on the Ohio; and that it will not pay for raising in
Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, except a little for home use. In the
evening we passed some very high rocks named "The Lady Washington," and
near them the small town of Rockport, in Indiana.[132] We met with a
bad sand-bar, that took us two hours strong exertion to get over. This
day twenty-five miles. Weather warm and pleasant; mosquitoes a little

[132] As Woods intimates, Rockport, known also as Hanging Rock,
received its name from an immense boulder which projected into the
Ohio, since removed as an impediment to navigation. The settlement of
Rockport began about 1808, and it is now the seat of Spencer County,
and the only Indiana town which Woods has mentioned for some pages
past, which is of any importance at the present time.--ED.

10th. Soon after day-light we passed Yellow Banks, but we did not see
the town. We afterwards passed an island, called in the "Pittsburg
Navigator," number seventy. In the evening the men landed, at a small
place {125} in Indiana, to get some whiskey, but none to be had, to
the great disappointment of our two men, who did not stay to learn the
name of the place, but came away in a great rage because there was no
whiskey to be had. This was pleasing intelligence to us, as they had
been very troublesome when in liquor, especially Thomas. About thirty
miles this day.

11th. We had a little rap from a log sunk in the river, and twice we
got a-ground before sun-rise. Very early in the morning we passed
Green river, 200 yards wide, navigable for many miles; it rises far
up in Kentucky; it runs west and south west. At sun-rise we passed
Green island, and at eight o'clock reached Evansville,[133] Indiana;
it is the county town of Vanderburg; it is not three years old. It
is situated near Pigeon creek, a middling size stream in winter, but
nearly dry in summer. There is a settlement of English emigrants
eight or ten miles back from Evansville, called Saundersville.[134]
Several of our fellow-passengers {126} in the Resolution had reached
it about a week before, and are now settled there. This morning I
first noticed cane growing on the banks; it is an evergreen, and much
sought after by cattle in the winter. In the afternoon we reached the
town of Hendersonville, or Red Banks, capital of Henderson county,
Kentucky.[135] There are about 100 houses, a jail, a court-house, some
large tobacco warehouses, and a steam-mill, &c. &c. Here we procured
some bread, but no meat to be had. It is situated on a high bank, above
high-water mark. The size of the apple-trees showed it had been settled
some years. There is much tobacco cultivated in the country to the back
of it, and sent to distant markets; but I saw none on the banks of the
river. This day 26 miles by water, but very few by land, the river
making nearly a circle. The weather extremely hot at night, and much
tormented with sand-flies and mosquitoes; the stings of the latter made
some of my family swell, and produced great {127} itching, which, if
rubbed, occasioned small sores, and made them much worse.

[133] For the history of Evansville, see Hulme's _Journal_, _ante_,
note 16.--ED.

[134] See _ante_, note 2. Saundersville, which was platted by John
Ingle, did not contain an inhabitant by 1830. Inglefield now occupies
the same site.--ED.

[135] A brief account of Hendersonville may be found in Cuming's
_Tour_, volume iv of our series, note 175.--ED.

12th. At ten o'clock the wind obliged us to anchor a little above
Diamond island. We landed in Indiana, but found no cabins. The woods
mostly oak, sugar-maple, hiccory, with but little underwood; a few
hazels without nuts; we had seen but few hazels on the river or any
where else, except once near the mountains. Near mid-night, one of the
men and myself being up, we discovered something near us, which we took
for a log, and began pulling from it, when we found our mistake; it was
a bear swimming in the river; he came close to that part of the boat
where I was standing, and then made off up the river in great haste.
We could hear him blow in the water longer than we could see him. Made
this day 16 or 17 miles. We continued floating till near two o'clock,
when we stuck on the top of a fallen tree, and we were obliged to cut
off a bough before we could extricate the ark.

{128} 13th. Passed Straight island, and afterwards Slim island; near it
we saw a large flock of pelicans, perhaps near eighty; they were on a
sand bar; they were larger than a swan, and of a heavy appearance. Some
of us went on shore, in Indiana, and purchased some peaches, pompions,
and three fowls for 2_s._ 6_d._, which were paid for in English silver,
with which they seemed much pleased, saying they should keep it for a
curiosity. They said two little boys, a short time before, killed a
large bear in the river, with the paddles of their canoe, having first
almost drowned him by rowing round him. At seven o'clock we grounded
close to the Wabash island, one mile above the mouth of the Wabash,
after coming about 24 miles.

14th. At day-light we got off the sand-bar and passed the mouth of
the Wabash, a large river that separates the states of Indiana and
Illinois for many miles.[136] Having passed this river, we had Kentucky
on the left, and Illinois on the right. When we {129} reached Browns'
Island, five miles from the Wabash, and four from Shawneetown; the wind
obliged us to anchor on the left side, close to three large flat boats,
loaded with flour, bacon, whiskey, tobacco, horses, and pine and cherry
planks, for the Orleans' market. They had been 24 days from the falls
of Louisville to this place, owing to the state of the water. This day
we only came nine miles.

[136] For the Wabash River, see Croghan's _Journals_, volume i of our
series, note 107.--ED.

15th. In the morning we moved opposite to Shawneetown, and anchored
close to some rocks, amongst keel-boats, arks, &c., some of them for
sale. Many disembark here to go by land to Kaskaskia, and St. Louis,
on the Mississippi river; and some for the English settlement at the
Prairies. It is subject to floods, and that retards its growth. It is
the nearest inhabited spot below the mouth of the Wabash, and in the
neighbourhood of the United States Saline works, where about 300,000
bushels of salt are made annually. It is the county town of Gallittin,
and has a land office for the {130} sale of the government lands,
situated in the south east part of the state of the Illinois; extending
80 or 90 miles from the Ohio river towards the north; these united
causes draw many to it, and make it a brisk place. There is a bank
called the "Bank of Illinois," in good repute, many stores, and several
taverns; the principal one, the Steam-boat Hotel, kept by Mr. Hobson
from the north of England. There are about 80 houses, mostly of wood,
and a wooden jail. The situation of the town is handsome; but being
surrounded by low land, that is liable to be inundated, it is rather
unhealthy, at least it was so when we were there. We paid off our two
men, who soon hired themselves to go with a keel-boat to Nashville, in
Tennessee, 200 miles up the Cumberland.

16th. We still remained in our ark, but landed to get some beef, but
were too late except for the head and tongue, for which they charged
1_s._ 1½_d._; they killed three beasts the evening before, but all
the beef {131} was gone by seven o'clock in the morning; price from
three to four and a half cents a pound: the beasts young but not half

Having thus completed our second voyage in safety, we set out to look
for a conveyance to the English Prairie, but could not hear of any. I
forgot to mention, that, on the ninth of September, whilst I was on
shore, those in the ark were offered peaches at 25 cents per bushel, or
if they would take five bushels they should have them for a dollar.

17th. In the morning we agreed with Captain Hagan, master of a
keel-boat belonging to Vincennes, to take our luggage to the mouth
of the Bonpas, about 11 miles from the English Prairie; for the sum
of 37½ cents per hundred weight. He agreed to take it at 6000 lbs.
without weighing, which came to 5_l._ 1_s._ 3_d._ We could not agree
for a waggon to convey us to the Prairies, as I thought they demanded
too much.

We took a walk, and just above the town {132} saw a cypress swamp. The
cypress is a singular tree, having a great many conical knobs growing
round it, at some distance from the stem; they are called cypress
knees, and are sometimes used for pails and bee-hives. This tree, at a
distance, resembles the yew, but it is not an evergreen. The country
round not much settled.

18th. We purchased a few articles to take with us, as we understood
they were difficult to be procured at the Prairies; they consisted of
an iron oven, some articles of grocery, &c. Many of the store-keepers
were very obliging, but the boatmen the very reverse; a rough set of
men, much given to drinking whiskey, fighting, and gouging, that is,
they fight up and down, trying to put out each others eyes with their
fingers and thumbs, and sometimes biting off each others noses or ears.
A man, who resides near me, had the top of his nose bitten off, in one
of these brutal frays, some years since. This is their common manner of
fighting; but it is said that the neighbourhood {133} is improving in
buildings and manners.

19th. This was the Sabbath, but not much observed at Shawneetown,
there being no place of public worship. The Methodists sometimes hold
meetings in a private house, but they are not well attended. There was
much drinking and fighting, nor was work wholly laid aside, as we saw
several teams out.

20th. I sold our ark for 14 dollars, but gave our skiff in the bargain;
the purchaser was going to New Orleans, with fruit and vegetables.

21st. We removed our luggage from the ark, to Mr. Hagan's keel-boat.
Captain Hagan had been waiting for some salt from the Saline, but as it
did not arrive he would not wait any longer for it; as the water kept
falling, he was afraid he should not get up the Wabash if he staid much
longer. They went off at three o'clock with our luggage, and a small
quantity of salt. Mr. C. and my second son went {134} with them. They
took some provisions with them. The rest of us took our dinner and
supper at Mr. Hobson's hotel, and slept there. The next day we intended
to commence our journey on foot towards the Prairies, although the
news just received from thence was unfavourable, that of three deaths,
the wife of an Irish gentleman, and two Englishmen. Report said, much
sickness prevailed at the Prairies, but this we had heard all the way
from Wheeling, of most of the places in advance of us; but, except at
Shippingport and Shawneetown, we found none at any place we called
at. We, therefore, concluded this might be the case at the Prairies;
and, even should the report be correct, we should be no better off by
remaining where we were, as many of the inhabitants at Shawneetown were

22d. Having procured some directions from Mr. Hobson concerning our
road, at ten o'clock we commenced our journey; we first went through
some low rich land, {135} mostly woods. The country not much settled;
after walking 10 miles, we stopped at a cabin, and procured some water
to make us some tea; this we had brought with us. From this cabin
the soil not so good, and but few habitations. On the right of the
road there was a marsh; this, most probably, had formerly been the
bed of the Wabash. The heat being very great, and the road close, my
daughters were greatly fatigued, and their feet being very sore they
nearly gave out. In the evening we reached Robinson's or Boon's Mill,
otherwise Newhaven, 18 miles from Shawneetown. We found the people at
the tavern too ill to take in travellers, but we procured a lodging at
the mill. The master and mistress from home on account of ill health;
some servants were left at home to take care of the house and business;
however, we fared pretty well. Newhaven is situated on the Little,
and three miles from the Great Wabash. There is a grist and saw mill,
and another large one building, {136} but for what purpose I did not
learn; a tavern, and three or four other houses, comprise the whole of
the town. The situation is unhealthy, owing to the mills penning back
the water so much as to make it stagnant, the land being low between
Newhaven and the Great Wabash.

23d. We passed the Little Wabash on the mill dam, it was only a few
inches wide on the top, but slanting two or three feet to the water on
the upper side, and ten feet or more on the lower side to the water.
The water was low, and I did not much like crossing a river, near 100
yards wide, on so narrow a bridge; besides, some of the top was broken
away, and there we had to crawl on the slanting timber. But most of my
family did not appear to be alarmed. We proceeded slowly, my daughters'
feet being very tender. At noon we stopped at the Rev. Samuel Slacum's
to dinner; here we met four English and Scotch gentlemen, who had left
Shawneetown the afternoon before. After dinner {137} we proceeded with
them to the Big Prairies, 12 miles from Newhaven. At the entrance
of the Prairies we separated, there being too many of us to hope to
be accommodated at one tavern; we procured a lodging at the house
of Mr. Hamilton, in the middle of the Prairie. The Big Prairie is a
fine-looking place; and as we had been travelling generally surrounded
by woods, it looked pleasant to see an open plain, of several miles
extent in each direction. Just as we reached Mr. Hamilton's, I found a
small land tortoise of about five inches over; the shell was strong,
and beautifully clouded. I had never seen one before, or heard there
were any in America; but I have seen several since.

Mr. Hamilton had only Indian corn bread, and as we had not been
accustomed to it, we did not relish it; but he gave us some good fresh
pork, and we had every reason to speak well of our treatment. Mr.
Hamilton did not keep a tavern or boarding-house, but only occasionally
lodged {138} travellers. It is customary, when travelling in America,
to get a lodging at the first house we come to in an evening, for which
a charge, (generally a reasonable one,) is made. Mr. Hamilton informed
me, this Prairie had been settled eight or nine years; that the soil
was very fertile but unhealthy, being surrounded by ponds and swamps.
Warm, but no musquetoes.

24th. We arose before day-light, intending to go some distance to
breakfast, and to travel leisurely in the middle of the day. We went
two miles, through the Prairie, and joined the company we had parted
with the preceding evening, and proceeded to the house of Captain
Phillips, eight miles to breakfast. Our road was chiefly through
woods, and part of it lay through the Hurricane-track, that is where a
strong wind, some years back, opened a passage through the woods for
a mile in breadth, and some hundred of miles in length; I have heard,
from the upper part of the state of Ohio, to the Mississippi river,
or {139} beyond it. This Hurricane-track is a great harbour for wild
animals and game, as it keeps a large tract of country unoccupied. But
as the hunters generally set fire to the weeds, &c. in the autumn, many
of the trees are burnt; but, in other places, they lie on each other,
and mostly in one direction. Mr. Phillips is a native of Ireland, an
officer in the American service, a distiller of whiskey, a farmer,
and a cattle dealer. After breakfast our road lay through woods, the
country not much cultivated, to Mr. Paine's tavern at Bonpas, a place
of six or seven houses, a quarter of a mile from the Big Wabash. The
land fertile, and the timber extremely fine near the Bonpas; but much
of the land we had passed this day was of very middling quality. Walked
17 miles, the weather not so warm, and no mosquetoes. Here we were
informed, that the three deaths we had heard of at the Prairies all
proceeded from different causes, and not from any prevalent disorder
raging there.

{140} The town of Bonpas not likely to thrive, at least at present, as
Oxford is laid out about a mile from it, at the mouth of the Bonpas,
on the banks of the Big Wabash; and thus it is better situated for the
trade of the Wabash, and equally so for that of the country; for should
the Prairies ever be fully settled, their spare produce must find a
market by this river, and one of these towns is the only place they can
get to it.

25th. After breakfast we went on towards the Prairies; after walking
two miles we took the wrong road, being deceived by the marks on the
trees, viz. three notches, the road to Palmyra being marked the same.
We afterwards inquired and got into the right road; passing through
the woods we found many dwarf hazles, with vast quantities of nuts on
them; and we soon loaded ourselves with them. We called at a cabin,
and there found the gentlemen who had been our companions for the last
two days, but we left them there. Two {141} of them are since settled
in the English Prairie. About half a mile from the cabin we passed a
small Prairie, and soon entered the woods again, and then some barrens.
A barren is land nearly destitute of timber, but much overrun with
scrubby underwood. A great deal of the land we had passed from Bonpas
was good, and some of the timber very fine: I thought these barrens a
poor sample of the country. After passing these barrens for more than a
mile, we got sight of the Prairies. We first entered the long Prairie,
and crossed one corner of it; then passed a small strip of timber, and
then entered the English Prairie towards the east corner. Here we had a
fine view towards the south-west and north-west, and it was extremely
pleasant to see so much open land, with a few trees scattered over it.
As we advanced, we saw some men making hay for Mr. Flowers, of Albion;
the grass was coarse, and very ripe. We saw some large hay-ricks made
in the English manner. Mr. Flowers's {142} flock, of more than 200
hundred sheep, were feeding near the road. I went and looked at them;
they were poor and coarse, of different sorts, having been collected
from the several places, and on the whole an indifferent flock. We
saw the houses of Mr. Flowers and Mr. Birkbeck, and we entered the
enclosures of the latter, about a mile from his house. There was a good
deal of his land fenced in, but a piece of fallow, of upwards of 20
acres, was all I saw of cultivation. It was towards evening when we
reached Mr. Birkbeck's house; we met with a friendly reception from him
and his family; we supped with them, and slept at a cabin near.

Having arrived at the end of our journey, I have ceased to keep a
regular journal.

On reviewing a journey of this length, we find we have much to thank
the Almighty for, in conducting us in safety to the end of it, and in
preserving us in health through such changes of climate and difference
{143} of diet. As we did not leave England till the 9th of May, it
was late in the season for crossing the Atlantic ocean; our ship
sailed badly too, and the wind, as is usual in the summer, was from
the south and west; and thus it took us 58 days to reach Baltimore
from Cowes. Yet, with the exception of sea-sickness, we were all in
perfect health. At Baltimore, we remained 16 days; here most of us had
a slight bowel-complaint, but we left it perfectly recovered; yet at
Fell's Point, where we resided, a very malignant fever broke out while
we were there, or, at least, very shortly after we left it. In our
journey, of 16 days, from Baltimore to Wheeling, 280 miles, we met with
no accident of any kind, and our health continued equally good. In 38
days, from Wheeling to Shawneetown, 906 miles, we had no accident or
sickness of any kind, although, from Louisville to Shawneetown, we had
two very drunken and troublesome boatmen {144} to deal with. At the
latter place we staid seven days, and still continued well, though many
of the inhabitants were ill. Four days more took us to the Prairies,
where we had the satisfaction of arriving well, and of finding the
settlement was healthy, there being only two or three people unwell
with agues. In our journey, if we asked the road, we received the best
information in the power of the person of whom we inquired to give
us. The Custom-house officers, who did not neglect their duty, behaved
with great civility. Mr. Macgan, a native of Ireland, of whom we took
a house in Baltimore, behaved in a most friendly manner, as did his
wife also. The men who drove our waggons I have before spoken highly
of, but not more so than they deserved. The same is due to Mr. Ferris,
and his employer, Mr. Pemberton. The tavern-keepers were very civil,
but not so polite as in England, but I must not forget Mr. Dent and Mr.
Vannosdeln; {145} in short, we met with as good treatment as we should
in a tour through England; but the manners of the Americans are more
rough than those of Englishmen.

For several days I looked over the surrounding land with the intention
of purchasing some. I found there were several quarter-sections
belonging to the Congress, (as the public land is here called,) but
these quarters were not in very good situations; and I had the offer
of some entered land, some on which there were a few improvements,
and some in its natural state. The first I had offered was at Birks'
Prairie, four miles south-west of Wanborough. It belonged to Mr.
Jeremiah Birks, the first settler in that prairie, and named after
him.[137] Mr. Birks was from home, and his father-in-law, Hugh Collins,
Esq. showed me the land; there were upwards of twenty acres of Indian
corn, the rest all wood-land, except two or three acres of prairie; the
land rich, but rather wet. Mr. Collins, who lived near, also offered me
his land; it was a {146} quarter-section, that is, a hundred and sixty
acres. Fifteen or sixteen acres were fenced in, fifty acres prairie,
the rest wood-land; this land drier than the other, but not so well
timbered; that enclosed was partly wood-land and partly prairie, with
some dead trees on it. He also offered me his crop and stock, and
on the 30th of September I purchased it for nine hundred and forty
dollars--two hundred and eleven pounds ten shillings; he received seven
hundred of the dollars, and two hundred and forty were due at the
land-office. My purchase included on the land two cabins, a stable, a
well partly dug, nine acres of Indian corn, from which I had upwards
of four hundred bushels; more than three hundred bushels of pompions;
a small quantity of cotton; some shalots, and some small beans, much
like French beans.[138] The live stock consisted of three cows, three
calves, three sheep, upwards of thirty pigs, and a considerable deal of
poultry: I afterwards bought of him a heifer for four dollars.

[137] For a brief notice of Captain Birk, see Flower's _Letters from
the Illinois_, _ante_, note 57.--ED.

[138] Pompions are pumpkins; shalots are a kind of small onion.--ED.

{147} Mr. C. and my son arrived on the first of October with our
luggage, in three waggons, from the mouth of the Bonpas river, or
rather creek; for in a dry time it hardly runs, but in the winter it
is a tolerably large stream. By their account they had rather a rough
trip up the Wabash. The day they left Shawneetown they did not reach
the Wabash, but entered it the next day; the water was so low they
proceeded very slowly. The crew of the keel-boat were mostly Canadian
Frenchmen from Vincennes; they soon consumed their own provisions,
likewise those belonging to Mr. C. and my son; and as there were but
few habitations on the river banks, they were forced to land and
hunt for a living; they killed a few geese and some turkeys; these
they were obliged to eat without bread, but once they procured a few
potatoes at a cabin. In four or five days they reached Harmonie in
Indiana, and procured a fresh supply of provisions and some whiskey, of
which the crew made pretty free till it was {148} gone. Two days from
Harmonie took them to the Bonpas, and in two more they arrived at the
prairies, in health, and the luggage in good order. They described the
Frenchmen as much the same as those of Europe, merry, good-natured,
and thoughtless, enjoying the present moment, with but little thought
for to-morrow. They lived on their provisions till they were gone,
and then, in a manner perfectly good-natured, gave part of that they
procured in hunting to their companions.

On the second of October, there was a game of cricket played at
Wanborough by the young men of the settlement; this they called
keeping Catherine Hill fair,[139] many of the players being from the
neighbourhood of Godalming and Guildford, &c.

[139] A large pleasure-fair in the vicinity of Guildford,

On the third of October, I set out to walk to Shawneetown; I lost my
way in the course of the day, by taking the road to {149} Carmi,[140]
this road being marked the same as the other; and went about four miles
wrong before I discovered my mistake, but by inquiring I got directed
right. Before sunset I reached the house of Mr. Slocum, thirty-four
miles from Wanborough, where I slept. Very early in the morning I
reached the Little Wabash, and forded it below the mill, the water
nowhere higher than my knees. I arrived at Mr. Hobson's at two o'clock,
twenty-four miles from Mr. Slocum's. On the following morning I settled
with Mr. Collins, and also with the land-office, by paying up the
remainder of the money due on the land. As Mr. Sloo, the register of
the land-office, was from home, Mr. Collins was forced to sign the
transfer of the land to me before a justice, (here called an esquire,)
and also to get the county clerk's signature, and the county seal put
to it, signifying the magistrate is a regular one for that county. But
its being done before the register of the land-office saves all this
trouble and expense. I returned {150} to Newhaven to sleep. The next
morning I bought of my landlord a horse for seventy dollars; I applied
to a store for a saddle and bridle, but neither was to be procured; at
length the landlord found the bit of an old bridle, and we made a rein
with some tow; so I mounted and set forward. Towards evening it began
to rain very fast, and I stopped at the house of Mr. M., sixteen miles
from Wanborough. He was one of the first settlers in this part of the
country; he had lived nine or ten years in the Illinois; most part of
the time where he now resides; but he had been driven off three times
by the Indians. He was once shot through the thigh by a rifle-ball,
as he was in a house one evening with seven or eight others. One of
his companions was killed: the Indians fired through the holes between
the logs; they soon put out their light, and the Indians did not enter
the house, of which, he said, they were very glad, as they were not
well armed to receive them; having only three rifles and as {151} many
axes. The reason why so many of them were together was, they had sent
off their wives and children, and they were met to shell some corn to
take with them, intending to remove the next day. These back-woodsmen
have a strong dislike to the Indians, and having been brought up with
sentiments of antipathy towards them from their childhood, many of them
declare they should not mind shooting an Indian more than a wild cat
or racoon. Some of the back-woodsmen have been following the Indians
from the frontiers of Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia,
through the States of Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois,
without being much more settled than the Indians themselves. Mr. M.
said, the Indians had not disturbed him for some years, and he did not
think he should go again to molest them.

[140] Carmi is situated on the Little Wabash, about twenty miles above
its mouth, and is the seat of justice for White County.--ED.

About a week afterwards I made a purchase of 162 acres, of Mr. Samuel
Anderson, for 480 dollars, 108_l._ sterling. This {152} land was also
at Birks' prairie, one mile north from the other; it was all prairie,
except 40 or 50 acres of wood-land. It lies well to cultivate, and
by some is called as good a quarter section as any on the prairie;
but I prefer my first purchase, and think it was much cheaper. On the
13th I settled at the land-office at Shawneetown, but not having the
transfer signed by the county clerk of Edwards county, I could not
send the certificate on to Washington for the President's signature. A
certificate, with the land-office receipt, being sent to Washington, a
patent is made out, and signed by the President of the United States,
which is a complete title. I sent the transfer from Mr. Anderson to me
to Palmyra,[141] the county town of Edwards county, and got the county
clerk's signature; for this I paid 75 cents, 3_s._ 4½_d._ And on
the 30th I again visited Shawneetown, and lodged my two certificates
at the land-office, to be sent on to Washington for the President's
signature. On my return {153} I had a most disagreeable journey, owing
to the fires in the woods, that filled the air so full of smoke, that
the sun could scarcely be seen through it. In the autumn, (here called
the fall,) the hunters always set fire to the grass and weeds, for
the benefit of hunting. These fires do much damage to the woods, and
sometimes to the plantations; but clear the country of weeds, and
destroy much of the harbour for wild beasts.

[141] This town, on the Wabash River twenty miles southwest of
Vincennes, proved so unhealthful (see _post_, p. 328) that in 1821 the
county seat was transferred to Albion.--ED.

Thus having purchased all the land I intend to buy at present, and
having taken the cabin we lodged in on our arrival at Wanborough, I
purpose to remain here at least for some time, and to take in a few
boarders, as such a house is much wanted. But part of my family have
removed to Birks' prairie.

I shall now take a short survey of the state of Illinois, and the
country round the prairies; with some account of its animal and
vegetable productions, agriculture, &c. &c.

The state of Illinois, where I have {154} pitched my tent, is one of
the youngest of the states, as it has been a state only about two
years. But some parts of it have been settled upwards of 100 years;
near Vincennes, the town of Kaskaskia, and a few other places near the
Mississippi river. These settlements were formed by the French, from
Upper Canada.[142]

[142] For an account of the French settlements in Illinois, see A.
Michaux's _Travels_, volume iii of our series, notes 132-135.--ED.

In 1783 it was settled this part of the country belonged to the United
States; from that time till within a very few years, the Americans made
but few settlements in Illinois, but of late many have been formed.
And the inhabitants amounting to more than 60,000, it was raised into
a state; and admitted into the union, as the 21st state. Three others
have since been admitted, viz. Missouri, Alabama, and Main, so that
the union now consists of 24 states, whereof 13 were the original
ones, and two formed from them, Vermont and Main; and nine new ones,
namely, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, {155}
Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois; also a large tract of country
equal in extent to all the 24 states, under the names of Michigan,
North Western, Mississippi, and Missouri territories. These immense
territories extend from the gulf of Mexico towards the Spanish
territories; and north and westward to the rocky mountains and the
Pacific Ocean; north eastward towards Canada and the Lakes.

The state of Illinois had its boundaries established by an act of
congress. The Ohio river washes its southern border for 160 miles, from
the mouth of the Wabash to the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi
rivers, and separates it from the state of Kentucky. The Mississippi
river bounds its western side to the rocky hills, in latitude 41 deg.
50 min. north, a distance, by the river, of 600 miles; and separates
it from the state of Missouri. The Wabash washes its eastern border,
from its mouth to near Fort Harrison,[143] where the division line
leaves the river, and runs due north till {156} it reaches 41 deg. 50
min. north, and separates it from Indiana. An imaginary line, from
east to west, in latitude 41 deg. 50 min. north, divides it from the
north western territory. The length of the Illinois state, from north
to south, is more than 300 miles; and its mean breadth upwards of 200
miles. Its southern point, the mouth of the Ohio river, is in latitude
36 deg. 57 min. north. It is calculated to contain 52,000 square miles,
or 33,280,000 acres, which is nearly as large as England and Wales. Its
present population is estimated at 70,000, but it is fast increasing.
It is well situated as to navigation, the Wabash running on its eastern
side 240 miles. The Ohio, on its southern, 160; and the Mississippi, on
its western side, upwards of 600 miles. The noble river, the Illinois,
runs through the state upwards of 300 miles, and the Kaskaskia 150;
besides many other considerable streams, as the Mine, Sagamond, Demi
Quain, Seseme Quain, Fox River, Plein, and Theakiki; these two last
{157} form the Illinois river.[144] The rest of these rivers, with some
others, fall into the Illinois, which river runs into the Mississippi
200 miles above the mouth of the Ohio, and 20 above the Missouri
river. Au Vase, or muddy river, and Wood river, also fall into the
Mississippi; as does Rocky river, 300 yards wide: this is the largest
river on the western side of Illinois, except the Illinois river, which
is more than 400 yards wide. The rivers emptying into the Ohio are but
few and small, but the Saline is much noted for its salt-works; it
enters the Ohio about 15 miles below Shawneetown. On the eastern side
of the state are several rivers that run into the Big Wabash, and are
of considerable note; such as Rejoicing, Duchat, Mascoutin, Embarres,
Little Wabash, and some others.[145] The Big Wabash is 300 yards wide
at its entrance into the Ohio, in latitude 37 deg. 20 min. north. There
are some small lakes towards the north part of the state; and the
northern boundary-line is supposed to touch the {158} south end of Lake
Michigan; but this line has not yet been run, so that it is not certain.

[143] Setting out upon his Tippecanoe campaign (September, 1811),
General Harrison advanced up the Wabash to the Wea village, now the
site of Terre Haute, and there built Fort Harrison, marching thence
against the Indians at the end of October. A year later, Captain
Zachary Taylor, then in charge of the fort, successfully defended it
against a fierce Indian attack. It was a strongly built stockade, about
one hundred and fifty feet square, and was occupied as a military post
until about 1822, when it was dismantled.--ED.

[144] Woods appears to have obtained his information from Cumings's
_Western Pilot_, which, in turn, was taken from Patrick Kennedy's
_Journal_, written in 1773 (see Flint's _Letters_, volume ix of our
series, note 101). All these rivers are branches of the Illinois. Migne
is Crooked Creek, which empties into it from the northwest; about
fifteen miles farther up, Sangamon River discharges into it from the
southeast; Demi Quain is Spoon River, a considerable stream one hundred
and fifty miles in length, flowing southward into the Illinois, about
thirty miles above the mouth of the Sangamon; Seseme Quain is probably
Copperas Creek, a few miles farther up; Plein and Theakiki are the Des
Plaines and Kankakee branches respectively.--ED.

[145] The Rejoicing (Rajounisance, of Arrowsmith's map, London, 1796)
is apparently the Big Vermilion. The Duchatt is a small stream emptying
into the Wabash a few miles below the Little Vermilion. Mascoutins is
probably the present Macon Creek, which joins the Wabash midway between
Vincennes and Terre Haute. The Embarras River rises near the source of
the Kaskaskia, and flowing southeastward empties into the Wabash, about
six miles south of Vincennes. The Editor is indebted to W. E. Henry,
librarian of the Indiana State Library, for the substance of this

This state contains more prairie land (prairie means meadow-land) than
any, if not as much as all the other states east of the Mississippi,
but very little, if compared with the west side of that river. The
land on the Missouri being mostly prairie for many hundred miles. The
prairies of Illinois vary in size from a few acres, to one called the
Grand Prairie, which is upwards of 200 miles in length, and from 20
to 30 in breadth. I have been informed, by a person who lives in the
Long Prairie, an arm of the grand one, that he has been 25 miles along
his own prairie, but had never seen the Grand Prairie; but understood
he was near it. The arm comes within 10 miles of the English prairie,
but on the other side of the Little Wabash, to the north-west of the
English prairie. The English prairie was first called Boltinghouse
prairie, from a young man of that name, who was killed by the Indians
a few {159} years ago. It is situated towards the east side of the
state, about 45 miles, almost due north, from the mouth of the Big
Wabash; so that it lies about 38 deg. 26 min. north latitude; and about
five miles east of the Little Wabash, and about 10 miles north-west,
from the nearest point of the Big Wabash, which is at the mouth of
the Bonpas. It may, I suppose, be five miles by four, but of a very
irregular figure, and may contain 16 square miles, that is, about
10,000 acres. It is one of the largest prairies near which the English
are settled, but there are some in many others, namely, Village, Long,
Bonpas, Burnt, Bushy, French Creek, and some others, and Birks: this
last is long and narrow, with several arms to it, and, I suppose, it
may contain nearly 4000 acres. The irregular form of the prairies makes
it difficult to ascertain accurately their size; but the prairies
enumerated above, take one with another, are, I suppose, as large
as Birks. Long Prairie, here mentioned, is not the arm of {160} the
Grand Prairie noticed before. All these prairies are situated between
the Bonpas to the east, and the Little Wabash to the west, and are
separated from each other by woods; but in many places are nearly
contiguous, and some of them, I believe, do join. They are destitute of
timber, except a few strips on the water-courses, and a few groves in
them. They produce a coarse grass, which although full of weeds, and
the stalks of many large flowers, the cattle seem fond of it: it is
made into hay, and eaten by them during the winter.

Mr. Birkbeck's settlement, called Wanborough, is situated at the
north-west corner of the English Prairie, and contains 25 cabins,
a tavern, a store or two, and several lodging houses; and several
carpenters, bricklayers, brick-makers, smiths, wheelwrights, and
sawyers; also a taylor and butcher.

A horse or ox mill is building, a malt-house planned out, and a new
brick building for a tavern, and several new houses {161} began. As
water is scarce, there are some more wells digging. Mr. Birkbeck, in
July, found a tolerable good spring, by digging only six feet, about
300 yards from his house; but several of the wells lately dug have but
little water in them.

Mr. Birkbeck's house is situated south of the village, a frame and log
building of good size; it stands pleasantly, and commands a fine view
of the prairie.

The building lots, at Wanborough, are some of five, and others of two
and a half acres, laid out, like most of the American towns, in streets
that cross each other at right angles, running north and south; the
cross ones east and west. The lots are in the woods, but a considerable
quantity of the wood is now cleared.

Albion, Mr. Flower's settlement, lies two miles east of Wanborough; it
is also situated in the woods, a little north of the English Prairie.
It has about 20 cabins, a place of worship, a market-house, two
taverns, two stores, a surgeon, several carpenters, brick-makers, {162}
bricklayers, wheelwrights, smiths, sawyers, and a shoemaker. Several
wells have lately been dug in and near it, but water is still scarce.

Mr. Flower's house is to the south-east of Albion, a large
log-building, well placed to enjoy the prospect of the prairie.

Many cabins are built round the prairies, but mostly just in the woods.
The English that do not reside in the two villages, are scattered round
the different prairies, mostly in single cabins.

About four miles to the east of Albion, at Bonpas-bridge, there is a
saw-mill lately built, but it is not yet got to work, having had the
mill-dam carried away by a flood in February. I believe it is a place
very short of water; it is the property of Messrs. Le Serre and Grutt,
late of Jersey or Guernsey, I do not know which: it has a tavern and
store also.

The country round us is not well watered but very healthy. The creeks
in the woods and prairies dry up in a dry season, {163} except a few
deep holes that are shaded by trees; nor are there many of the wells
that possess good springs. As the weather has been very dry ever
since the first of April, water is now (August the sixth) extremely
low in most of the wells and creeks; but there are some wells that
still afford a good supply; and some of the large holes in the creeks
have plenty of water in them. The soil found in digging wells, is,
first, a vegetable mould, next loamy clay, then sand-stone, and lastly
clay-slate, through which no one has yet penetrated, though some have
dug 50 or 60 feet without finding water. Many are of an opinion, that,
if the clay-slate was once dug through, water would be found in great
abundance underneath; others, that pit-coal lies below the clay-slate.
I am rather of the latter opinion, and my reason for so thinking
is, that very thin veins of coal have frequently been found in the
clay-slate; and on the bank of the Little Wabash, where the country
is considerably lower, there are {164} large mines of coal. The water
that is found in the wells, mostly rises between the sand-stone rocks,
but often in too small quantities to be of much service for domestic
uses. I have dug two; one at Wanborough, the other at Birks' Prairie;
the first is 11 feet deep, it has but little water: the latter is quite
without, though 23 feet down to the slate-rock. As most of the wells
dug out in Birks' Prairie have produced water, I have begun another, at
some distance from the cabin, that promises to afford a good supply:
the two I have finished cost me about 15 pounds. I have stopped a creek
at Wanborough that has supplied us with water for many uses. Our well,
though very short of water, has been very convenient; we let meat down
in the bucket, it prevents the flies getting at it, and keeps it much
better than any safe in this hot climate.

The clay-slate lies from 5 to 30 feet below the surface of the earth.
No lime-stone near us; a little free and soap {165} stone; but
sand-stone is the prevailing stone for many miles round us. A well at
Birks' Prairie is strongly tinctured with glauber salts, and another
with sulphur. And there are several salt-licks: a salt-lick is a place
where the earth is strongly impregnated with salt; horses, cattle, and
pigs often frequent them, and the earth is worn away in a great degree
by their licking it. It is supposed by some, that salt-water might be
obtained by digging at these places, from which salt might be made,
but no one has yet attempted it. These places were first used by the
buffaloes, that some years ago used to frequent the prairies: a man,
who resides at Birks' Prairie, informed me, that eight or nine years
since, he often visited the Prairies, as he was then employed, with
many others, during a war with the Indians, to be on the look-out for
them, and then he often saw both elks and buffaloes, but they were not
numerous. As the country became settled, they moved off to the large
prairies, to the {166} north and west. Deer at that time were in vast
quantities, and in these expeditions they lived mostly on venison;
sometimes for a fortnight or three weeks at a time without any bread.
And I have been told, by the first English settlers, that deer were
much more numerous in 1818, than they now are 1820.


The buildings round us being chiefly of logs, I will give the best
description in my power of a log-cabin; as I could form no idea of it
till I saw one, that was at all like it. They are of various widths,
lengths, and heights, but generally only one story high. The usual
shape a long square, some are made of round, and others of hewn logs.
In building a cabin, suppose 30 feet long and 20 wide; first, two logs,
30 feet long, are placed on the ground on a level, and about 18 feet
from each other, these two logs are then notched in, near their ends,
for a few inches; and then two more logs of 20 feet long, having their
undersides also notched, are laid on the two first, forming {167} a
long square of the following figure, about 26 feet long, and 16 feet
wide on the inside. One square being thus formed, they next proceed
to place on two more of the longest logs on the sides, notched as
before, and then two of the shortest, as before; this they continue
till the building is nine or ten logs high on each side, when the two
last cross-logs are laid on three or four feet longer than the other
cross ones; this is to form a sort of eaves to drip the logs; two more
of the longest logs are then laid on, and this completes the upright
of the building. Two cross-logs, cut slanting at the ends, are next
placed on, just the length of the width of the building, and then
two more of the side-logs on the cross-logs, but not to the end of
them by some distance; then two more, cut slanting at the ends, are
placed just to reach to the last side-logs; thus drawing in the sides,
till the side-logs meet in a point at the top of the building. {168}
A cleft piece of a tree is next placed on the outer end of the long
cross-logs, and pegged on to prevent the cleft boards from sliding off,
this is done on each side of the building. The whole is then covered
with cleft-boards, (here called clap-boards;) they are about four feet
long and six inches wide, laid on nearly double, so as to cover the
joints; the boards at the top of the cabin on one side come a little
over those on the other. When the roof is thus covered, some poles are
laid along the building to keep the boards on; these poles are kept
at about three feet distance from each other, by some short pieces of
wood placed on the boards, to keep up the weight-poles as they are
called. When they have done thus far, they call the cabin "raised."
But no door-place, window, fire-place, floor, or ceiling is yet made,
nor is the house very close on the sides, but looks something like a
bird-cage. Next a door-place, of the usual size, is cut through the
logs, and two pieces of wood are nailed or pegged up to the ends of
the sawed logs, to keep them in {169} their places, and to serve for
door-posts; frequently two doors are made opposite to each other. The
windows are made in the same manner as the door-places. The chimney is
generally placed at the end of the building, and is made as follows:
first, four or five logs are cut out the same as for a door-place, of
what width people chuse, and then some logs are cleft and placed in
the following form on the outside, [Illustration] so that the ends of
them are let in between the ends of the end-logs of the cabin that
were sawed. The cleft-logs are thus continued, till they rise as high
as the logs that were sawed out. The chimney is then carried up thus,
[Illustration] exactly in the form of the cabin, but of much smaller
logs, till it rises above the roof of the building; it is drawn in and
made smaller from the bottom to the top. It is then chunked, that is,
cleft pieces of wood are driven in between the logs, to fill up the
open places. The next thing to be done, is to mud the cabin on the
outside {170} between the logs; that is, it is plastered with loam or
clay: this is sometimes done on the inside also, but more frequently
cleft boards are pegged on to cover the joints on the inside. A few
pieces of timber are next laid to lay the floor on, which is most
commonly made of cleft-logs, hewn smooth on one side, and notched a
little on the under side to lie level on the sleepers or joists. A
ceiling is then made; some small saplings are cut and put in between
the side-logs of the building, just under the roof, about three feet
apart; and these ceiling joists are then covered with cleft boards,
beginning at one end of the cabin, and laying a line across the end
on the two joists, and then another row with their ends just resting
on the first; and this is continued till the whole is covered. Most
times the chimney is walled up several feet on the inside, the stones
are laid in loam or clay instead of mortar; and above the wall it is
plastered on the inside, and sometimes on the outside to the top of
the chimney. The hearth is {171} made of stone or clay. The doors are
generally made of cleft boards, nailed or pegged on some ledges, with
wooden hinges, made in the following manner. A piece in the back part
of the door is left longer than the door, and enters a hole in the
sill; and at the top of the door a piece is also left to rest against
the top of the door-place, which is covered with a piece of wood,
either nailed or pegged over it. The windows are always sash ones;
the usual size of the glass is eight inches by ten; the windows are
sometimes made to open with hinges, and others to slide backwards and
forwards, while others take out and in. When the doors are made of
sawed boards they have eight or ten panes of glass in them, and then
it is seldom there is any other window in the cabin. A porch is often
made before the cabin, the whole length of it, and covered with cleft
boards; which cost seventy-five cents a hundred, cutting the trees and
cleaving out; they are always made from large trees, mostly the black
{172} oak. Cabins are frequently made double; that is, two are built
from 10 to 20 feet a-part, with a roof laid over the space between
them. A shelter like this is very convenient, and, in the summer, it is
more comfortable than a close room in so warm a country.

Many cabins, belonging to the Americans, have no ceiling nor windows,
and some of them have no floor, nothing but the bare earth; and some
are not mudded, but open on all sides. Locks to doors are nearly
unknown, but wooden bolts are common with the English: many of the
American houses have only a latch, and some have not even that.

A double cabin, with a 20-feet porch between, with floor and ceiling,
finished as above described, may be built for the sum of 150 dollars,
33_l._ 15_s._, or something less. But with ceiling, floor, and doors,
made of sawed boards, will come, I suppose, to near 50_l._ Sawing comes
very high, being 9_s._ per hundred feet; but the sawyers cut {173} down
the trees and go with the horses that draw them to the pit.

The cabin I inhabit first consisted of a double one, with a porch 20
feet wide between them: this I have since converted into two rooms;
the end rooms are of logs, the centre ones of frame and board, with
a brick chimney. At the back of the cabin I have added a cellar, &c.
Smoke-houses are very common, and built much as dwelling-houses, only
slighter, and not often mudded. Some cross-pieces are put on the joists
to hang the bacon on. I have built one; it cost 23 dollars; it is about
eighteen feet square and nine feet high. We are obliged to cut our
flitches asunder, as we have not sufficient height above the fire. Old
wood, nearly rotten, is best for drying bacon, as it makes much smoke
and but little strong fire. The fires are kept burning a considerable
length of time, as bacon, in this warm climate, requires to be well
dried, to keep. The Americans, do not, in general, I think, allow
sufficient {174} salt. The average price of salt near three pence per
pound; bacon from eight to twelve and a half cents per pound; in summer
it is sometimes rather higher; now (August) from ten to twelve and a
half cents.

Farm-buildings are not yet numerous. Corn-cribs are built the same as
cabins, except that they are placed on logs, so as to stand hollow for
some distance from the earth; the bottom is made of cleft pieces, laid
pretty close. They are built of different lengths and widths, but about
six feet on the inside is deemed wide enough, as corn will dry in them
better than if wider. The roof is only drawn in on one side, which two
lengths of boards will cover. As they lay the top pretty flat, they
most times take off the greater part, or the whole of the boards, when
filling them with Indian corn ears, as they only gather the ears. When
full, or the whole growth of the year is put in, the boards are put
on, and the weight poles again laid on. Should a heavy {175} shower,
or even a set rain, come on whilst the corn-crib is filling, as the
bottom and sides are not close, not being mudded, it will soon dry out
again without damaging the corn. I had one built, for 15 dollars, that
will hold upwards of 600 bushels of corn in the ear. I suppose, it
would hold near 1000 bushels of cleared corn. The Americans never shell
theirs till it is wanted for use or market; but most of what is sold,
is in the cob or ear. They measure it by barrels; that is, they fill an
old flour-barrel, then shell and measure it, and from the produce of it
they calculate on the whole number of barrels sold.

Cow and pig pens, with cart and waggon lodges, are yet scarce. When
pigs are shut up for fatting, it is common to make a fence for them
of rails, in the same manner as for fields; sometimes one corner is
covered over for a lodging place for them, but it is more common for
them to be left to the mercy of the winds and weather. But as they
are hardy animals, and accustomed {176} to hard living and lodging,
it does not appear to hurt them. There are but few cattle-yards and
sheds; and the cattle are mostly left abroad in winter, with no shelter
but what the leafless trees afford. I have seen no barn in any part of
the English settlement, although several of our American neighbours
grew some wheat last year. A person at Birks' Prairie has built a
threshing-floor, to which he purposes adding a barn. Mr. Birkbeck, Mr.
Flower, and other wheat-growers of this year, have put up their wheat,
in the fields where it grew, in very small stacks, with little or no
covering; this I think hazardous to the wheat, but the Americans say
no: but they do not stand on trifles; however, time will show.

I have seen barns at a distance from the English settlement, that
would hold, perhaps, six loads of wheat, (forty bushels to the load,)
in the straw, supposing it to yield tolerably well; with a large
threshing-floor, for threshing or treading out the {177} grain with
horses. One similar to these might be built for a hundred dollars
(twenty-two pounds ten shillings).

There are no granaries or store-houses except corn-cribs, a few
poultry-houses, mostly built the same as the cabins; as are stables
also, but they are sometimes carried higher, to allow room for a
hay-loft; some have a rack, but this is not common among the Americans,
as, generally, they only have a manger, which is frequently made out of
a hollow tree, the ends being stopped with wood or clay.

I shall now proceed to give a short description of the domestic and
wild animals. Most of the horses are of Spanish origin; they are light
and clean, but not very handsome; their coats are fine, when kept
up and well cleaned, but this is seldom the case; active, but not
good in the collar, being too light for heavy draught. I have bought
three since my arrival, for two hundred and ten dollars (forty-seven
pounds five shillings): the first {178} was six years old, for which
I gave seventy dollars; the second eight years, sixty dollars; and
the last four years old, eighty dollars. The first and the last very
good bargains, but the other a very indifferent one, as she has given
me much trouble, for she will leap any rail-fence like a greyhound
dog. Times being dull, horses are getting cheaper; but still they
are much dearer than any other kind of stock. Oxen and cows are now
more plentiful, but hitherto they have been fetched from the states
of Indiana and Kentucky. They are of various sorts, but on the whole
pretty good; some of them are handsome, and with a little care and
expense an excellent breed might be raised. The price of beef from four
to six cents a pound; it is now selling at five cents, but expected
to be soon cheaper. Calves are not often killed. Cows are generally
suffered to run in the woods, and return to their calves mornings
and evenings, when they are partly milked, and the calves have the
remainder of the milk. If {179} calves are killed or die, the cows
often go dry for the remainder of the season, as it is very difficult
to get the cows to come home to be milked; and as many of them take a
long range, it is troublesome to find them. The price of veal nearly
the same as beef. A good cow and calf may be had for from sixteen to
twenty dollars.

Besides the cows and calves I bought of Mr. Collins, I purchased nine
beasts of a drover from Kentucky, for eighty-four dollars and a half
(2_l._ 2_s._ 3_d._ each); my stock now consists of sixteen beasts, of
different ages, and three calves. I shall not increase my number till
we get water in the fall, as new cattle are apt to stray for want of
it. We often give them salt; a handful will do for twelve or fifteen.
If given twice a-week, it is said to be wholesome for stock of all
kinds, and I concur in this opinion. The reason I have heard why stock
require salt in this country, is, that being at so great a distance
from the ocean, there is no salt in the air, as in countries nearer
the sea. I {180} believe they give their beasts salt on the shores
of the Atlantic; and as it is there said to be serviceable to them,
perhaps salt is beneficial to cattle in all situations, at least in
hot climates. Beasts are much lighter here than in England, as their
flesh is not so firm as in a colder country; the difference, perhaps,
one-sixth or one-seventh part, in two beasts of the same size.

No great quantity of butter, and but little cheese, has been made in
this settlement. Mr. Birkbeck has lately begun a dairy of twenty cows;
he intends to make cheese; the dairy is managed by a woman from the
New England States. He has weaned fourteen or sixteen of his calves,
and his cows appear to keep well together. As Mr. Birkbeck has much
land under fence, and some of it sown with timothy grass, and several
good wells, and some creeks running through his enclosures, I hope he
will soon establish a good cheese-dairy. The present price of butter is
twelve cents and a half; but during the {181} winter it was twenty-five
cents, and difficult to be procured. Cheese is now sixteen cents.

Beasts, sheep, and pigs are all marked in their ears, by cutting and
notching them, in all possible directions and forms, to the great
disfigurement of many of them; yet these marks are absolutely necessary
in this wild country, where every person's stock run at large; and they
are not sometimes seen by their owners for several months, so that
without some lasting mark it would be utterly impossible to know them
again. Most people enter their marks with the clerk of the county in
which they reside, and no person is then allowed to use the same marks,
if living in the same county, and within five miles of the person who
has previously entered the same marks. The county clerk's fee for
entering a mark is twelve cents and a half. And no person is allowed to
dispute his marks with another of the same marks, unless his are also
entered at some county office.

{182} The sheep of this country, and indeed of the whole of America,
as far as I have seen, are mean, when compared to those of England.
They are of different sorts, but much mixed. If I can judge of their
origin, I think the Lincolnshire and Welsh sheep are the nearest to
their original breeds; but many of them have had a little Merino blood
mixed with them of late years. I have seen no sign of the South-down
sheep. There are but few sheep at the prairies, and the greater part
of them are very mean ones. But there a few good Merinoes, and some
few others tolerable; but in general they are coarse, with very hollow
coarse wool; and there are some that have a hairy kind of wool. Nor do
I think sheep will be of much service in this part of the country, till
more land is brought into culture, and laid down in cultivated grasses,
as prairie grass is of a coarse nature, and will not bear much feeding,
as it is apt to die if eaten down very bare.

Few of the American flocks exceed {183} twenty; but most of those who
keep a few, shut them up at night to protect them from the wolves.
Bears, I believe, never destroy sheep, at least I never heard of it.

The Americans keep sheep for the sake of their wool, which is
manufactured into various articles of clothing; and at most of their
cabins you may see carding, spinning, and weaving going forward; for to
give the American women their due, many of them are truly industrious,
as they manufacture most parts of their dress; and as they grow the
cotton, flax, and wool, it comes reasonable.

These Americans hold mutton in the utmost contempt, and I have heard
them say, people who eat it belong to the family of wolves. And many
of them, who in the summer are sometimes short of meat, when their
bacon is exhausted, would live on corn-bread for a month, rather than
eat an ounce of mutton, veal, rabbit, goose, or duck. Their dislike
arises from prejudice, {184} as many of them have never tasted these
things. But I have heard a few of them say they like mutton; but even
if fond of it, they will never purchase it, for fear of the scoffs of
their neighbours. I do not intend to keep any sheep till I am better
prepared for them. Wool sells, on a small scale, for half a dollar a
lb., without much regard to its fineness, which is the reason why sheep
are higher than mutton, as a sheep of fifty lbs. weight will fetch from
two dollars fifty cents to three dollars; whereas, at five cents per
lb., the very top price for mutton, the same sheep would only fetch two
dollars fifty cents. Very few sheep are therefore killed here, as the
butcher cannot afford to sell for five cents per lb., the same as beef,
as their skins are of little or no value. Fat for candles sells high,
ten cents a lb., twice the price of meat.

Pigs are numerous, being easily raised: they are of various sorts; but
many of them {185} are of a sandy colour, and some with wattles; that
is, a piece of flesh, about two inches long and half an inch thick,
growing out on their cheeks. They are of middling size, but from very
hard keep, they do not rise to much weight. It is not uncommon for one
person to have from sixty to a hundred running in the woods, and left
to shift for themselves, except giving them now and then a little salt.
During the summer, when grass and herbs are dry, and before the masts
begin to fall, it is almost impossible to describe how excessively
poor they are. Most of them run till they are two, and sometimes three
years old, before they are killed; and, in general, they have but
little fattening. Some years, when there is a large quantity of acorns,
hiccory-nuts, &c., they are said to get good pork. A hog of two hundred
lbs. weight is here called a _fine chunk of a fellow_, and few exceed
that weight; though many, if well kept and made fat, would weigh three
hundred lbs. weight, {186} and some of them are large enough to weigh
four hundred lbs. weight. They do not, in general, produce many at a
time; I do not recollect I ever saw more than nine, and this number is
very unusual. We frequently lose some, as the bears and wild cats make
free with them. Many of the Americans tie a bell round the neck of one
of their old hogs, to keep the gang, as they call it, together. It is
also common to bell horses and cows, when running at large. The price
of pigs varies very much: it is generally very low; but much dearer
in September and October than in any other part of the year, as the
masts are then near falling. Pork last year from four to five dollars
per hundred lbs. weight, which, on an average, is less than two-pence
halfpenny a lb.; and in Indiana it was cheaper than with us. Pigs are
generally killed by the seller, and after they are scalded, they are
carried to the buyer, as it is very difficult to drive wild pigs in a
country like this. And as to the fattening bestowed on them, it only
{187} enables them to run much faster than ever they could before.

A farrier and cow-leech are here nearly unknown, as most people doctor
their own horses and cattle; they are subject to many disorders unknown
in England, particularly to sore mouths; it first comes in the tongue,
and proceeds towards the throat. The first mare I purchased was taken
with it soon after I had her; I was on a journey; I found it first by
her foaming much at the mouth; I examined her tongue, and found it was
getting a little sore. I had heard of a remedy for this complaint, and
I determined to apply it as soon as possible. I called on Mr. Slocum,
whom I knew, and procured some alum and copperas, and pounding a small
quantity of each, I tied it in a rag round the bit of my bridle, and
when I got home I renewed the application. As horses with this disease
can seldom eat corn, I tied mine up out of doors on a piece of timothy
grass, and gave her as many pompions as {188} she would eat. Once a-day
I put on her bridle, as before, and kept it on an hour. She soon got
well, without losing any flesh; but many horses that have had it have
been reduced almost to skeletons before they were cured, and some have
died of it. I think it is a very dangerous disorder if neglected at
first; and it is catching, by horses eating at the same manger. Some
cows and pigs have caught it by eating the remainder of the corn left
by horses. Some geese likewise had it. The fret is sometimes fatal.
I have not seen one broken-winded, and but very few blind horses in

The poultry are--fowls, geese, and ducks; I have seen but few turkeys
or guinea-fowls. Fowls are in very great abundance, and now sell for
12½ cents, (6¾ _d._) A dozen of eggs is, generally, the price of
one chicken. Geese and ducks are kept by the Americans for the sake
of their feathers, and not for sale or to eat. They pick them six or
eight times in a year, nearly naked {189} except their wings; they look
extremely bad for some time after they are picked, but, in the summer,
they get full feathered in about a month. I last year saw some very
naked late in November. We have not picked ours, at which the Americans
express much surprise, as the feathers are their only motive for
keeping them. The geese are, I think, finer flavoured than in England,
as they are not so strong tasted.

Fowl-feathers the Americans do not save, but scald their fowls to fetch
them off. Geese and duck feathers are 50 cents per pound. We brought
several beds with us, and we have purchased three since we have been
here; they cost us 5_l._ 12_s._ 6_d._ each; it is, therefore, cheaper
to buy them here than to bring them from England; but a person might,
perhaps, have some time to wait before any could be procured, as, I
believe, not ten beds have been offered for sale, in this settlement,
since September last.

I have now given an account of all the {190} live stock, with the
exception of dogs and cats; the latter we find very useful, having
plenty of mice; and as to dogs we have a numerous collection of every
size, sort, and colour, lap-dogs, I believe, only excepted; and as we
have no dog-tax in this country, we much miss that useful thing.

The woods and prairies contain the following wild animals (but
there are but few of those that are most dangerous);--viz. bears,
wolves, panthers, wild-cats, foxes, opossums, racoons, ground-hogs,
ground-squirrels, tree or common squirrels, deer, buffaloes, elks,
beavers, otters, and rabbits. Bears and wolves are not numerous; but
the latter, sometimes, kill pigs and sheep; a person at Birks' Prairie
lately lost several sheep by the wolves. I have never heard of a wolf
being killed, but I have frequently heard them howl of a night, and
sometimes near us. Parties are frequently formed to hunt the bears, and
some are often killed; yet I have never seen one, except that one in
the Ohio. Their skins sell from one to two {191} dollars. Of panthers
I have seen nothing, and heard but little; a noted hunter told me, he
had followed hunting steadily (an American phrase) for twenty years,
and had never seen one; but that others, who had hunted but little, had
sometimes killed one. It is said to be a very fierce animal.

Wild cats are often destructive to young pigs; it is a bold animal,
about twice the size of the common cat. Foxes are very scarce; I saw
one near Robertson's Mill, it was much like an English fox. Racoons are
numerous, and frequently destroy poultry; my sons have killed several;
they are larger than a large cat; their skins, when good, sell for 25
cents each. Opossums are plentiful, and also destructive to poultry.
They are easily taken, as they will not run away; but they are hard to
kill, and often get away after they are left for dead.

The pole-cat is an offensive animal, and some dogs will not touch
them, and those that do are frequently obliged to put their noses into
the earth to get rid of the scent; {192} they are not so numerous as
the two last mentioned. Ground-hogs are scarcer; I have seen but one;
it was larger than a large cat; it had a large head, that a little
resembled the head of a pig; in colour like an English badger; the
legs very short, with long strong claws. It was fat, and said to be
good eating; the person who had it did not eat it, but stripped it for
the sake of its skin, which he was going to tan, to make shoes for his
wife. He put it into some very strong lye, to take off the hair, and
afterwards he intended to put it into a vat with some oak-bark. I have
seen several of the Americans tanning hides and skins, in a trough made
from a large tree, the inside hollowed out, and the skins put in and
covered with some small pieces of oak-bark and water. These troughs are
covered to keep off the sun and rain. I do not know how long they are
in tanning their skins, but I have not, any where in America, seen any
good leather of their own manufacturing.

{193} Ground-squirrels are handsome little animals, mostly running on
the earth, fallen trees, and rails, and are as mischievous as rats.
Tree-squirrels are of two or more sorts, and are eaten here. A party of
eight Americans, in May this year, had a squirrel hunt, for a trifling
wager. They were equally divided, and started at day-light with their
rifles; and that party which produced most squirrels by the middle of
the next day, was to win the wager. They each took a different ground
to hunt on, each had a man to attend him to see all was fair. Three of
them hunted on and near my land. I knew them all; and I saw one of them
several times during the hunt; he was of the winning side, he killed
41; the whole number killed by his party was 152; by the other, 141;
total 293. Although more than 100 squirrels were killed on my farm and
near it, it did not appear greatly to lessen them.

Deer are not very numerous. I suppose, I have seen about 100, but never
more than {194} five or six together. I bought several in the winter,
the greater part without their skins, at one dollar each, but one or
two higher; one weighed more than 100 lb. weight. They generally weigh
from 60 lb. to 100 lb. A good skin is worth 50 cents: their horns,
though large, are of no value here.

To the north of us there are buffaloes and elks; also beavers and
otters on the rivers.

Rabbits are tolerably plentiful, smaller than the English rabbit; their
skins are weaker, and their flesh is not so white, but it is more moist
and tender. They do not burrow in the earth, but when hunted run into
the hollow trees, so that an axe is necessary in rabbit hunting. The
weakness of their claws is, I suppose, the reason they do not burrow in
the earth.

I before mentioned picking up a land-tortoise in my journey to the
Prairies, but tortoises are not numerous by any means. I have never
seen one more than seven {195} inches over. Their shells are hard,
strong, and beautifully clouded. I kept one several days in a tub; it
had a young one, about an inch over; but somebody overturned the tub,
and I lost my tortoises. There are a few moles, much like the English.

We have the following reptiles; namely, rattle-snakes, copper-heads,
black, garter, and water-snakes; and a great quantity of frogs in wet
places, and they make a great noise in a warm evening, but in a dry
season we see or hear but little of them.

A few rattle-snakes and copper-heads are sometimes seen, but I have not
heard of any person or animal being hurt by them.

The black, water, and garter-snakes, all said to be harmless: the
black snakes are often six feet long. I have heard of their twining
themselves round a man's leg so hard that he could scarcely move. I
have seen many of them, and two dead rattle-snakes. But wild beasts
and reptiles are but little more thought of or dreaded than in England.

{196} The birds are turkeys, turkey-buzzards, prairie-fowls, quails,
pigeons, doves, wild-geese, wild-ducks, wood-cocks, snipes, blackbirds,
mocking-birds, red-birds, yellow-birds, humming-birds, wipperwills,
blue-jays, paroquets, larks, wood-peckers, black-martins, and a few
other small birds. But birds are not so numerous as in England; some
of them have very beautiful plumage, but not many of them are birds of

Turkeys are of a large size; we bought many during the winter for 25
cents each. At that time they were, in general, thin, but in the spring
they get very fat; we bought one in April that weighed more than 20 lb.
for 1_s._ 8¼ _d._ Prairie-fowls visit us in cold weather, but go to
the north in the summer. They are nearly as large as a pheasant, and
quite as heavy; they are short legged, their colour brown, with some
feathers that look like ears. They are sometimes difficult to get near,
but in severe weather they are very dull; their flesh is dark, but
extremely palatable: they are a kind of grouse.

{197} Quails are here called partridges; they are small, and uncommonly
fine flavoured. Pigeons are sometimes in immense flocks, smaller than
the wild pigeons, but larger than the tame ones of England. A great
number of doves, much like turtle doves.

Wild geese frequent the Prairies in a wet season; they much resemble
some I saw at the Earl of Egremont's, at Petworth, in Sussex. Wild
ducks also, in a wet season, larger than English wild-ducks. There are
woodcocks and snipes on the creeks.

Blackbirds,--often seen in large flocks, much like starlings.
Mocking-birds;--all I know of them is, they mock the notes of others.
Red-bird,--a most beautiful scarlet bird, the size of a blackbird.
Yellow-bird,--a handsome yellow bird with dark wings. Humming-birds are
scarce; I mentioned one on our journey. Wipperwill, or whip-poor-will,
or wippervill,--a brown bird that is named from the cry it makes, of
"whip-poor-will;" it is generally heard of an evening in spring and

{198} Paroquets are the same as are seen in cages in England,--a
mischievous bird.[146] Blue-jays are a very noisy busy bird. The larks
are much larger than those of England; but the most common birds are
wood-peckers, of many sorts.

[146] See Cuming's _Tour_, volume iv of our series, note 108.--ED.

The Americans frequently fix boxes on poles, or on the cabin, in which
the black-martins build. I have seen them begin their nests in a few
minutes after the boxes were fixt up.

Having given a short account of the animal, I shall now proceed
to the vegetable, productions of this country; and, first, begin
with the different sorts of natural grasses. Prairie-grass,--a very
coarse strong grass; cattle are fond of it, but feeding or mowing it
soon destroys it. Nimble-will,--a kind of fiorin-grass, or running
couch-grass; it springs up in land that is fed bare of prairie-grass;
cattle do not much like it.

Crab-grass comes on ground that is cultivated, (a soft kind of
meadow-grass,) {199} likely to succeed as a meadow-grass for hay.

Yard-grass comes on land that has been much trodden; it is something
like cock's-foot-grass, except the seed. Horses and cattle are fond of
it, and, I think, it will answer as a cultivated grass, as it bears
drought. Buffalo-clover resembles white-clover, but does not run on
the ground; the leaf as large as red-clover. Cattle will eat it, if
cut and given them, but they are not fond of it, as I have often seen
bunches of it left where the other wild grasses have been eaten bare.
The seed, like clover-seed, but chiefly of a pale yellow. There are
a few other sorts of wild grasses, but I do not know their names or
qualities; I believe they are of no great value.

Red or white-clover I have not seen; but I have heard there are some
small patches of the latter in the prairies. Both sorts are said to
be extremely pernicious to horses, cattle, and pigs. I have not seen
trefoil, rye-grass, saintfoin, and cock's-foot, {200} or any English
grass, with the exception of a little lucern, just come up, which I
think likely to succeed. Saintfoin and cock's-foot are, in my opinion,
most likely to answer, and bear the heat of the climate, of any English

The grass that is most commonly cultivated here, is timothy-grass. It
belongs to the English meadow-grass, but grows here to a larger size;
it does not appear to be a good pasture-grass.

Blue-grass is highly prized, but as a pasture-grass is, I believe,
unknown in England. It resembles young rye-grass more than any other
English grass; the seed is much like fiorin seed: cattle are fond of
it. It comes early in the spring, and dies early in the fall. Timothy
and blue-grass are the only sorts cultivated near us; but I think
yard-grass would improve our pastures, as it keeps green much longer
than blue-grass. In my opinion, crab-grass would answer well for
pasture-grass in moist situations.

{201} But little cultivation amongst the English settlers took place
till this year, but most of the Americans raised some Indian corn from
their first settling; and this year a little wheat, oats, &c. This
year, perhaps, 200 acres of wheat have been harvested in the different
prairies; that which was sown in good time, and with good seed,
produced a productive crop, and of good quality; but as good seed-wheat
was difficult to be obtained last season, many were forced to put up
with such as they could procure, and some from Vincennes and Indiana
turned out very bad: those who sowed it had but little come up; and the
wheat at spring being very thin on the ground, it branched out in a
very extraordinary manner. I heard from several people, to whom I think
credit might be given, that, in cutting a piece of wheat, they found a
root that had 66 ears of corn on it; and that 40 and upwards were very
common. I went over the field, after the wheat was cut, and saw many of
the stems {202} of an immense size, but I did not count any of them.
The wheat was, however, much too thin; it was blighted with the black
and red blight, and of little value. I have been much surprised with
the smallness of the quantity of wheat and oats sown per acre, and yet
found the corn, (or as it is here called, grain,) thick enough on the
ground. One bushel of wheat, or two of oats, is the quantity usually
sown, and I have seen wheat thus sown too thick. I suppose the dryness
of the seed, newness of the land, and its kindness in working, are the
causes of so much less seed being required than I had been accustomed

Most of the wheat sown in 1819 by the Americans, was after Indian
corn: it was sown before the corn was gathered, and plowed in between
the rows of corn; it was sown in September or early in October. They
sowed some after oats or flax, and for some they made fallows. That
they sowed after the three last, was generally better than that after
Indian-corn, when sown in {203} good time. Most of the backward wheat
was touched with the blight, more or less, chiefly according to its
thickness on the ground. I have not yet heard of any being thrashed for
sale near us; but 75 cents per bushel is expected to be the price for
good wheat. Most of that sown by the English, was after fallows; they
having, in general, no other land to sow it on. The price given for
reaping this year was about 11_s._ 3_d._ an acre, where paid in money;
but some was cut to receive three bushels of wheat per acre, and some
was cut by the day. The Americans usually help each other to cut their
wheat, as they are fond of company when at work: this they return at
some future time in the same way.

I believe much more wheat will be sown this autumn than last, possibly
a double quantity. As I did not buy my land till October, and none
of it being prepared for wheat, I could not sow any with a prospect
of success if I could have {204} obtained seed wheat. This year, I
think of sowing a few acres; probably, six or seven. I have bespoke
some seed-wheat of the bearded kind; this is generally sown in this
neighbourhood, and said to answer the best of any sort.

But few oats sown, as seed was not to be procured for money for many
miles; but I think sufficient to raise seed for another year. I did
not try much to get any seed, as I wished to see how they succeeded,
particularly on new prairie-land. I have bespoke some seed for next
year. The oats I have seen this year were but indifferent; they were
much hurt by the dry weather, and the quality of them was bad. I think
they will never be much cultivated in this country, unless it be on new
prairie-land; and that for the sake of mellowing it, to prepare it for
a crop of wheat or Indian corn another year.

The Americans reap and bind their oats the same as wheat, and stack
them in very small stacks, without any covering. I have {205} heard no
price for oats lately, but 37½ cents was the price per bushel some
time ago. Wheat was begun cutting this year about the 20th of June, and
oats the 26th of July. I believe no barley has yet been cultivated near
us, nor have I seen any growing any where in America; but I saw some
winter barley in a barn, at Harmonie, in Indiana, and I understood some
was cultivated by the Harmonic society, for the purpose of making malt.
I hope to procure a little seed barley and rye the next time I go to

I have seen no rye or peas near us, except garden peas, which do
not grow so strong as in England, but yield well. I saw some fit to
gather on the 10th of May; how early they were planted I do not know.
Vegetation is much quicker here than in England. Some peas I planted on
the 1st of April, were quite ripe for seed by the middle of June; and
French-beans were also fit for seed in June. There was some snow and a
smart frost, with scarce {206} any thing green on the 1st of April, yet
on the 6th of May there were ripe strawberries in Birk's Prairie.

Flax is cultivated, on a small scale, by most of the Americans near us,
for home-use. It is sown in April; and after the flax is pulled, the
land is often ploughed and sowed with turnips, about the end of July or
the beginning of August: this year, the land was too dry to plough it
at that time.

I have seen no buck-wheat at the Prairies, with the exception of about
20 rods of my own. I dug a piece of prairie-land to sow it on; part of
it had some hazle-brush on it; and where it was grubbed, it looks well,
but where it was only dug it is but indifferent; however, I hope to
raise enough for seed another year: I sowed it the 5th of July.

Cotton is planted in rows, near four feet apart, the end of April or
the beginning of May. It soon comes up, and at first looks much like
buck-wheat, except that the {207} leaves are larger, and it continues
to grow much like it, only it has a larger blossom. Some round pods
are afterwards formed, as large as a fine walnut in its husk. When
ripe, the pods burst open, and the cotton then appears like white wool.
When they gather it, the cotton contains many seeds, about the size
of a large pea, either blue or green. The seeds are so light, it is
very troublesome to separate them from the cotton by hand. Where it is
cultivated on a large scale, they have machines to clear it from the
seeds, which, I believe, are of no value only to plant again. I planted
a little this year, but rather too late, and, as the weather was dry at
the time, but little of it came up. It now looks pretty well, and is
in full blossom. Here it seldom exceeds two feet in height, but in the
southern states, it grows much higher. A dry soil is said to suit much
better than richer land. I have heard, from those who came from South
Carolina and Georgia, that it is there common to see several hundred
{208} acres of it in one field; and from one to six hundred negroes
working together, in the planting and gathering season. One thousand
pounds of cotton, in the seed, is a good average crop. I suppose it
will lose half of its weight in getting out the seeds; therefore, about
500 lbs. of cleaned cotton is thus raised per acre. I think half that
quantity is as much as we can raise, as we are not warm enough for

Some few Americans, near us, raise tobacco in small quantities, for
home consumption. It is thought the land round us is as good for
tobacco as in any part of the United States. I have a little of it in
my garden; but, as the first I sowed failed, it is rather backward.
The seed is sown in February or March, and transplanted in June, in
rows like cabbages; it requires to be kept very clean. I know but
little of the manner of curing it, but understand it is attended with
some difficulty, at least to strangers.

{209} Hemp is cultivated in this country, but I have not seen any in
this neighbourhood, with the exception of a few rods of my own; I
brought the seed from the Big Prairie, as I thought a small quantity
would be useful for lines, &c.

I now come to the most important article of this country's growth, I
mean Indian corn, which, with the Americans, is cultivated on a far
more extensive scale than any thing else; and, I believe, it is rising
much in the estimation of the Europeans, except as a bread corn. The
corn I took of Mr. Collins was on new Prairie-land, thin on the ground,
had been badly cultured, and much injured by cattle and pigs getting
into it; yet I had very near 50 bushels per acre. I have heard of 132
bushels per acre, but from 60 to 80 is considered a good crop. The
husks that cover the corn-ears, and the flags or leaves, are all good
for fodder. Horses, cattle, and sheep, all seem as fond of it as of the
best {210} hay. Horses and cattle will eat part of the stalk after the
corn is ripe; but in a green state, they, and pigs, will eat it all
up. Horses and pigs will eat the corn, and leave the cob or inside of
the ear; but cattle will eat inside and all. The time of planting is
from April to the middle of June; the middle of May is considered the
most proper season. It is planted in rows, of about four feet in each
direction; and after it is up they plough between the rows, first one
way, and in a week or two in the other direction; a third ploughing is
sometimes given to it. An extremely light plough, drawn by one horse,
is used. Between the corn they hoe up the weeds left near the corners
that escape the plough; so that the land is made very clean. Generally
two or three plants are left at each angle. Pompions are often planted
at the angles with the corn, but only in every fifth or sixth row, and
at some distance apart in the rows. They also plant a small {211} kind
of French-bean with part of their corn, the stalks serving instead of
sticks for the beans to run on.

There are several sorts of Indian corn, and of different colours;
namely, white, red, yellow, mixt, &c. A small sort of yellow corn is
ripe much sooner than most of the other sorts, but yields a smaller
produce. White and yellow are the most common sorts, but there are
several kinds of these. A good ear of corn contains from 14 to 20 rows,
and from 40 to 50 grains of corn in each row. A hundred middling ears
of corn will yield a bushel of clear corn. The Americans live mostly
on corn-bread; the English eat but little of it. I have now growing
12 acres of it; it is in general very stout, but, from the dryness of
the season, I do not expect it will yield well. I planted some of it
six feet between the rows, and the plants near three feet apart, as I
wished to keep it particularly clean and in good order for wheat; and
so ploughed it all one way, and ran a harrow {212} between the rows. I
do not see but it comes on as well as that I planted on the square. I
have not seen any corn near us so large as mine; much of it is upwards
of twelve feet high. It was planted between the 10th and 20th of May,
but the weather being dry, it did not come up very soon.

The green ears are eaten boiled or roasted, the latter mostly by the
Americans, who call all green ears roasting ears. The price of corn
last fall was mostly 50 cents a bushel delivered, and now 50 cents
in the place. But near us there is very little to be procured at any
price. On the Wabash, where the country has been longer settled, it
is lower and plentiful. It is gathered in October and November, when
they only take off the ears; but as the ears are covered with a large
husk, they carry them as they are to the corn-crib, and then all the
neighbours collect together to help to husk it, and put it into the
corn-crib. This is a high day with the Americans, and is called a
Husking Frolic; plenty of whiskey {213} is generally to be found at
one of these frolics. I never was present but at one; I suppose there
were near forty people present; I did not stop, but I understood it
concluded with a dance. We did not make any frolic in husking our corn,
but did it ourselves; but the Americans seldom do any thing without
having one. Thus, they have husking, reaping, rolling frolics, &c. &c.
Among the females, they have picking, sewing, and quilting frolics.
Reaping frolics, are parties to reap the whole growth of wheat, &c. in
one day. Rolling frolics, are clearing wood-land, when many trees are
cut down, and into lengths, to roll them up together, so as to burn
them, and to pile up the brushwood and roots on the trees. I think this
one is useful, as one man or his family can do but little in moving a
large quantity of heavy timber. Picking cotton, sewing, and quilting
frolics, are meetings to pick cotton from the seeds, make clothes, or
quilt quilts; in the latter, the American women pride {214} themselves.
Whiskey is here too in request, and they generally conclude with a

Raisings, are a number of men getting together to raise a piece of
building, that is, to lift the logs on each other; this is practised
by the English as well as the Americans; nor is whiskey here omitted.

Pompions, or pumpkins, is another highly prized production of this
country; they often grow to an immense size, and weigh from 40 to
60 lbs. I have heard of a single vine that, in 1818, grew a load of
pumpkins. It grew in the Big Prairie, about 30 miles to the south of
us, on some rotten chaff, where some wheat had been trodden out the
year before. I find they do best where the ground is moved or very
mellow to run on, as they strike root at every joint as they run. A
load is forty bushels; I have never seen them measured, but I judge
from the waggons I have seen them in. I last year sold three waggon
loads, in the place, at four dollars {215} a-load. Cattle of all
descriptions, pigs, and poultry, are fond of them; but all prefer the
inside and seeds to the outside. They make good sauce and excellent
pies, and are much eaten here; they are sliced and dried for winter
use, for pies and sauce. They will keep till the frosts come, but will
soon rot when frozen. At Major Phillips's, I once tasted some molasses
made from them, and liked them very much, not being so sweet as the
real molasses, but very pleasant flavoured.

Swede turnips but little known here; a person who resides at Birk's
Prairie, sowed an acre in May, on a piece of land that had been in
cultivation for two or three years; they are thin on the ground, but
seem likely to be of a good size, notwithstanding the dryness of the
season. They have been twice hoed, but were sown on one ploughing only.

Common turnips are sometimes sown after a crop of flax; the time of
sowing the beginning of August, but many of the {216} Americans are
very particular as to the age of the moon, in this and many other
things; and if they should be put by in doing it, they will not do it
that year, as many of them are very superstitious, having great faith
with regard to the moon's age, &c. Hoeing turnips is not practised by

Broom-corn; the seed is much like the seed of crop-weed: it is planted
in rows on the sides of corn-fields, and is frequently ploughed
between. It resembles Indian corn, but is slighter. I have seen
it upwards of ten feet high, the corn comes on the top of it, on
long slender fibres that unite at the stalk. The corn is useful for
poultry, and the stalks or fibres make excellent brooms, the same as
carpet-brooms. I have a large quantity of it growing at Birk's Prairie.
Many of the English have none; and as brooms are much wanted, I shall
soon dispose of all I have to spare.

We have some uncommonly fine hops in the woods, and in some of the
prairies; {217} we found them very convenient for making yeast. They
are of the white-bine sort, like the grape-hop of England. I intend to
plant a few hills in the spring, as I can get plenty from the woods;
and I have saved a few seeds, to see if it will improve them or not.
They usually grow on the sides of creeks, and on low rich bottoms that
are not liable to be flooded, that is always on the best soil.

The wild flowers of the prairies are numerous, and many of them are
beautiful; and there is a succession of them from April to October or
November. Most of them are new to me, and as I am no botanist I can
give but a poor description of them. I have noticed the following,
but not exactly like those of England: sun-flowers, goldenrod,
larkspurs, sweet-williams, pinks, lilies, blue cowslips, roses, briers,
persicaries, and violets, white, blue, and yellow, but without scent.

My daughters brought some flower-seeds from England, but few of them
grew; {218} some of them came up, but did not in general flourish.
Stocks, sweet-peas, &c. were weak; on the contrary, princes-feathers
and convolvulus grew stronger than in England. Mignonette grew, but not
very strong, nor was the scent so fine or powerful; which, I believe,
is generally the case with flowers in America: this I attribute to the
heat of the climate. But the prairie-roses, balm, here called bergamot,
and sassafras-wood, are exceptions, and have all powerful scents.

I have seen sun-flowers near twelve feet high, and I have heard in Ohio
they plant them for the seed, from which they extract oil; and there
are some in the prairies, from which turpentine distils, in the same
manner as from fir-trees. I have also seen growing, in some gardens
near us, a plant from which an oil may be extracted, like castor-oil. I
had some marigold plants that came into blossom, of a very pale colour,
and did not produce any seed.

{219} There are many small flowering shrubs that are new to me, in the
woods and prairies.

The herbs I have met with are balm, horehound, pennyroyal, fennel,
coriander, peppermint, and spearmint; but the last two are scarce; sage
is extremely plentiful, but unlike English sage of any kind. I have not
seen any thyme or wormwood.

The following trees and herbs are used in medicine--snake-root,
gentian, genseng, Columbia-root, and sumach, and sassafras trees.

We found many morels in the spring, but the weather has been too dry
for mushrooms, and I have seen but few.

Most of the weeds are new to me; and I believe to most of the Americans
they are but little known, as this part of the country is almost as
little known to the American settlers as to the European, and many
of its productions differ from those to the eastward or southward. I
have seen a few docks, sow-thistles, plaintain, dunghill-weed, {220}
and water-pepper; but land in cultivation here is easily kept clear of

I have seen no sweet potatoes; but Irish, or common potatoes, grow
tolerably in a wet season, but in a dry summer come to little. The
early ones are planted in April, but those intended for winter use
not till June; but neither will answer this season. In this year, at
different times, I have planted about sixty rods, but I shall have
but little more than the seed again. They are not so good here as in
England; their present price is fifty-five cents a bushel, and not
many to be procured for that. Last fall they were from thirty-three to
fifty cents. Very few parsnips or carrots; but they are said to be good
in a wet season. Indian corn ears, I have before said, are eaten as a

Small beans, of the kidney kind, are cultivated by the Americans; they
are generally planted to climb on the corn, and are of many sorts, and
different colours. There are some dwarf ones, {221} called bunch-beans,
and they all appear to do better than in England. I brought some
scarlet-runners, and some dwarf ones with me; the climate appears
too warm for the former, the latter succeeded much better. Beans and
vegetables require to be planted thinner here than in England, that
the earth may be moved between them, as they then receive much more
benefit from the heavy dews of this country than when the ground is
hard. Here are a few Indian peas in growth, leaf and blossom, much like
a kidney-bean; the pods are very long, and contain from nine to sixteen
peas in each; but they resemble but little either peas or beans. I had
a very few given me; and when first planted they grew but slowly, but
afterwards rapidly.

Cabbages grow well; the Americans plant a large backward sort, and make
but one sowing and planting out in a year. In the fall they dig them
up and bury them in the ground, or rather, they plant them underneath
{222} it; as they dig a deep trench, and set a row of cabbages with
their roots in it, then, bending the outward leaves over the top of the
cabbage, cover them with earth, and thus preserve them, in the most
severe frosts of this country. I believe, the great heat of the sun
in the day, falling on the frozen vegetables, is the principal cause
of their dying, as it completely scorches every thing that is green.
Broad-beans fail in a great measure; they may sometimes succeed, but, I
believe, the seed again is the usual crop.

Onions are two years coming to perfection; the first year they are sown
very thick, and the next they are transplanted, at about eight inches
apart, when they grow to a middling size. Prairie onions are common
in moist situations, and are very good early in the spring, but soon
get hard; the root is very small. As they come up early in the spring
before other vegetables, cows eat them with great {223} avidity, and it
gives their milk and butter a disagreeable flavour; this lasts for two
or three weeks.

Shalots grow to great perfection, and are planted by the Americans in
preference to onions.

I have a few asparagus plants that look well; I have heard they succeed
admirably more to the eastward. Here the plants are all young. Squashes
are a sort of gourd frequently boiled for sauce, and much relished by
many. There are a variety of gourds, but, I believe, of little use,
except one sort, which has a hard rind or shell, which serves for
many uses; as bottles, pans, ladles, and tunnels. Their form is round,
tapering off towards the tail. By cutting off the end next the tail,
a bottle is formed; the pulp and seeds may be easily shaken or washed
out, and the top being flat, it will stand upright. By cutting off the
neck, a pan or jar is made. By cutting a slice from one side it makes
a ladle, much used to lade water with, and to drink out {224} of; and,
lastly, by cutting off the top, and the end of the neck near the tail,
a tunnel is formed: they hold water well, and will last a considerable

Cucumbers grow well, and, I believe, are more wholesome than in
England, and far more productive.

Parsley and radishes thrive; and, I believe, lettuce, but I have seen
but few of them; horse-raddish is very scarce. Capsicum is cultivated
for seasoning soups, &c.

The woods round the prairies are not so thick, nor the timber so large,
as on the river bottoms, but they contain a great variety of trees;
viz. oak of many sorts, as, white, black, red, post, swamp, laurel,
pin, Spanish, and blackjack, and some others; three kinds of hiccory;
two of ash; two of elm; two of maple; black-walnut, cherry, sycamore,
persimon, gum, hack-berry, cotton-wood, mulberry, serve, honey-locust,
sassafras, dog-wood, crab, &c. On the creek bottoms, coffee-berry,
poplar, pecan, white walnut, &c. &c. The undergrowth {225} in the woods
is, hazel, spice-wood, red-bud, haws, sumach, plum, and brambles.
Willows grow on the water-courses.

The woods and prairies produce many fruits; some of them excellent,
others but indifferent: I will briefly describe them. The grape-vines
run over the tallest trees in a very extraordinary manner, sometimes
reaching from the ground to the boughs of trees forty or fifty feet
high, without touching the bodies of the trees. I suppose they must
have first fixed to the boughs when the trees were very young, and
continued growing with them; otherwise I cannot think how they could
reach so great a height without support. These vines are of so strong
a nature, that I have frequently seen them fixed on a high sweep to
draw water from wells, some of them 30 feet deep, and they seem to
answer as well as a rope. This method of drawing water is common
with the Americans near us, and is the same that is practised by the
market-gardeners in the neighbourhood of London. {226} There are
several sorts of grapes, but not in general very good; soon after our
arrival we found some, nearly dried to raisins, good eating, and we
used some for tarts and sweet-sauce. I suppose they would make wine,
with sugar; but I do not know that any one has tried the experiment.
Pomegranates grow on a vine much like a cucumber, the size of an orange
or rather larger: a beautiful fruit, of a yellow or orange colour,
of a most fragrant smell, but I have never tasted one; they are said
to be most delicious when preserved. There are many sorts of sweet
melons, and much difference of size in the various kinds. I have only
noticed musk, of a large size; and nutmeg, a smaller one; and a small
pale-coloured melon of a rich taste; but there are other sorts with
which I am unacquainted. Watermelons are also in great plenty, of
vast size; some, I suppose, weigh twenty pounds: they are more like
pumpkins, in outward appearance, than melons; they are round or oblong,
generally green, {227} or a green and whitish colour on the outside,
and white or pale on the inside, with many black seeds in them; very
juicy; in flavour, like a rich water; not sweet and mawkish, but cool
and pleasant. After people are accustomed to them, they generally
prefer them to sweet melons; they are considered extremely wholesome
in warm climates, as they quench thirst, and are not feverish.

Persimon is a fruit many people are fond of; it is something like a
medlar. Papaws, or pawpaws, grow in clusters of three or four on a
shrub 20 feet high; the fruit is three inches long and about an inch
thick; in shape something like a cucumber, of a yellow colour; in
flavour something like a pine, but not so rich. Strawberries nearly the
same as scarlets, excellent, and in some places in great abundance.
We one day gathered more than a peck of beautiful strawberries in my
orchard, and we got a great many at other times: they made excellent
pies. Raspberries are small and {228} dry. Cherries grow in bunches,
the same as currants, very small and bitter. May-apple is a yearly
plant, of only two leaves; the stalk one foot high; the fruit the
size of a small apple, of a straw-colour, with some small seeds; very
pleasant tasted. Plums are mostly small and sour; but there are some
whose flavour resembles that of a gooseberry. I have before remarked
on the excellence of the blackberries. The elderberries are fine, but
generally eaten by the birds as soon as coloured. Pecan is a sort of
walnut, said to be the finest nut in this country. White-walnut, or
butter-nut, and black-walnut, are not so good as the English walnut.
Hazel-nuts are in vast quantities; the shells hard, but the kernels
good. I have some earth-nuts growing in my garden; the green of them
something like clover, or rather lucern; they blow with a small yellow
blossom: I planted them in rows, and earthed them like potatoes; they
have two kernels inclosed in a husk, about one inch long, and as large

{229} Fruit, and all other trees, are of much more rapid growth here
than in England. There are not many orchards yet planted, and none of
them yet come to bear much, as the oldest settlement round the prairies
has not been made more than four years. I planted, in March and April,
a hundred and twenty apple, twenty-five peach, and eight cherry trees;
the summer having been so dry, it has killed many of my apple and
cherry trees, but my peach-trees are all alive. I suppose, I have about
hundred live trees. I have some peach-trees, two years old, to put out
in the autumn.

Having thus fulfilled my promise, by a brief description of the animal
and vegetable productions, I will now mention a few particulars
respecting the land. The soil is a light vegetable mould, of no great
depth in general; the under soil is a fat loam or clay, of considerable
depth, that retains moisture, and prevents the land from burning. The
land is easy of culture, much more so than any I was ever accustomed
{230} to, and dry enough to plough in a day after heavy rain; this is
the case with most of the land round the prairies. Prairie land is
hard to break up the first time, and requires four horses to do it
effectually, it being so full of strong roots; in particular, one,
called red-root, that runs a great deal: and, in moist places, there
is a small shrub, named white-root, which must be grubbed up before
it can be ploughed; and sometimes there is a little brushwood, of
different sorts, to clear off. Land planted with corn is attended with
some trouble the first year of breaking it up, as the furrows are too
tough to work with a plough, but it is managed with a hoe. When it
has been thoroughly broken up, in a wet or dry season, it will work
well; but it is injurious to work it in very wet weather. The land
differs, in several particulars, from any I ever saw before: if used
with wheel-carriages, in wet weather, it retains no sign of ruts for
any length of time; and, although the soil is light, it is firm to walk
on; as it contains but {231} little sand, and that little of so fine a
grain, as scarce to be found to grit, if handled ever so closely.

The roads are all natural roads, yet always free from ruts, and
perfectly smooth when dry. I have heard the land round us is much like
some in Lincolnshire; but of this I cannot judge, as I never was there.
I never found any land in Surry that hoed or dug so light as this
does, when it has once been well broken up. The colour of it is rather
brown, but much blacker when wet; and in appearance it bears the most
resemblance to peat-mould, of any soil I ever saw in England.

Many of the people here have been extensive travellers; and to have
resided in three or four states, and several places in each state, is
not uncommon. A man, who boarded a short time at my house, said, he
was born in Old Virginia; that he removed, with his father, over the
mountains into New Virginia, but left his father before he was twenty;
that he married, and took up {232} his abode in the wild parts of South
Carolina, and built a cabin, the first in that part of Carolina. People
settling round him, he sold his land, and removed into Kentucky; and
on the land he disposed of in Carolina, a town soon sprang up of 300
houses and seven large stores. In Kentucky he staid some years; but
settlers arriving and seating themselves near him, he again moved off
into the wild part of Indiana, near Rockport, where he now resides; but
expressed a wish to come into the Illinois, as, he said, the country
round him was not healthy for cattle.

A person who lives in Birks' Prairie, who has been there four years,
and who has planted a small orchard, had a few apples last year, the
first he ever grew, although he had planted six orchards before the
present one. His wife says she has had twelve children, but never had
two born in one house; and does not remember how many houses they have
inhabited since they were married: yet they think they are now fixed
{233} for life; but several of their sons are gone to the Red River,
700 miles to the south-west. Since I have been here, I have travelled
more than I ever did in the same space of time in England. In a journey
I took to Palmyra, to record my own and my sons cattle-marks, I saw a
muster of Edwards' county militia, near Bonpas bridge. They amounted to
several hundred men, under the command of Colonel Jourdan; there were
five or six companies, but much the largest one was from our township,
under Captain Cadwalleder Jones. The militia, at this muster, did not
cut a very warlike appearance, being all drest in their customary
clothes, except some of the officers, who had uniforms. They all find
their own arms, mostly rifles; a few had fowling-pieces, and a very few
only sticks. There are four musters, besides this general yearly one,
of the whole county. Captain Jones's company mustered in the English
Prairie, on the 1st of April, upwards of one hundred strong, from a
township, where, {234} four years before, there were not six families
in the whole township.

I have been several times to Shawneetown, and in these journeys I have
lodged at the houses of a clergyman, a judge, a colonel, a justice, and
a captain. First, at the Reverend S. Slocum's, a clergyman and justice;
next, at Major Pomeroy's, late a judge in the state of Indiana; at
Captain, now Major Phillips's; and lastly, at Colonel Williams's, a
native of Wales, but he left it when an infant, with his father. He is
a colonel in the militia.

In February, accompanied by my wife and two gentlemen from the English
Prairie, I paid a visit to Harmonie. We set out late in the day, and
only reached Bonpas that night; here we found the waters of the Big
Wabash so much out we could not get to the ferry, but were told we
might go to another, 10 miles lower down the river. This we did, by
passing a slue, or bayou (that is, where the water breaks out over a
low place, and again enters the river several {235} miles lower down),
on a drift-wood bridge, formed of fallen trees and drifted together;
our horses swimming the bayou: two of the horses ran away, as soon as
they were over the bayou, and obliged our companions to walk three
or four miles before they could catch them. Mrs. W. and myself were
well loaded with their saddles, bridles, great coats, blankets, and
saddle-bags. We caught their horses near the ferry, and passed the Big
Wabash, in the ferry-boat, and had a watery road to Harmonie, which we
reached at dark. In passing some woods, we saw some sugar-maple trees
that were tapped, with the liquor then running into some troughs;
we dismounted, and had a good draught or two of the liquor; it was

Harmonie belongs to a society of Germans, here called Dutch, under the
direction of Mr. Rapp. This society first took its rise in Germany, but
being opposed by the Lutheran clergy, they emigrated to America, and
settled in Pennsylvania; but {236} removed to this place, in Indiana,
five or six years since. Here they have purchased some hundred acres of
land: much is now cleared, but a great deal still remains in a state of
nature. This society now consists of upwards of eight hundred members;
they carry on many branches of business; amongst which are carpenters,
wheelwrights, smiths, tanners, saddlers and harness-makers,
shoe-makers, linen and woollen manufacturers, curriers; distilleries,
malt and brew-houses, two water-mills, and one steam one.

They have planted a considerable number of acres with apple and peach
trees; and several acres of vineyards, from which they make a small
quantity of wine, not of the best quality. They have 2000 sheep, and
a large quantity of stock of every description. Their store-goods are
of very considerable value, and report estimates their property at
1,000,000 of dollars: this belongs to the society in general, as they
have all things in common, like the Apostles; {237} and their society
is said to be formed on that part of Scripture. Each lives at his own
house; but all dine at the same hour, and, I believe, all take their
meals in the same manner. Most of them only speak German, and divine
service is performed in that language: the Reverend George Rapp is
their priest; but their business is carried on in the name of his son
Mr. Frederick Rapp; all accompts being made in the name of F. Rapp
only. Many of the buildings are of logs; but there are some good brick
houses, and a neat frame-church painted white, with a large clock.
There are many brick-buildings going on; and the log-cabins are so
placed, that they will serve for outhouses to the new brick-houses.
Each cabin has a small garden to it; most of them are in good order,
much more so than American gardens generally are. I understand
brick-houses are built for those to whom the lot falls, without any
regard to persons; with the exception of Mr. Rapp, who has a {238}
large one. The tavern, stores, and a few others, are also brick.

The next day the tavern-keeper showed us the manufactories,
distilleries, malt and brew-houses, steam, corn, and fulling
mills; also a large barn, in which was a powerful eight-horse
threshing-machine, with a winnowing one attached to it, so that the
grain was cleaned at one operation. Many men were employed putting
up the wheat and taking away the straw. Near the barn there was a
capacious granary, that would contain some thousand quarters of grain.
We saw more than fifty women and girls breaking flax in the streets,
and all seemed fully employed. They are a most industrious people;
but the greater part of them are not very enlightened. We staid two
nights, and on the third morning set out for the prairies; one of the
gentlemen, who accompanied us to Harmonie, we left there; and on our
return a fine journey we had of it. As the water had risen much, we
could {239} not reach the ferry by the same road we went by, but were
forced to climb a steep hill much over-run by brush-wood; nor was the
descent on the other side much better. We reached and passed the ferry:
here we found the water had risen so much, as to have carried away the
drift-wood bridge we had crossed in our road out, so that we could not
proceed home that way. We then had the choice of returning to Harmonie,
and remaining there till the water abated, which might be a fortnight
or more; or agree with the ferryman to take us and our horses, nine
miles down the river, and land us on the side of a pond, below the
bayou, and just above another that there runs out of the river and
continues out some miles. For this the man demanded eight dollars, and
with this extravagant demand we were under the necessity of complying.
We proceeded briskly down the river, and soon reached the entrance of
the pond; where we found some large trees stumped down to keep back
the fish. It took us two hours {240} to move the trees before we could
enter the pond; but we at length got in, and rowed up above the bayou;
where we landed, and proceeded through a wild country for some miles.
We passed many small slues, and an hour after sunset reached the house
of Major Phillips, only five miles west of Harmonie; but, I think, we
made thirty miles of it, as we left Harmonie at eight o'clock in the
morning. Here we slept, and the next day reached home, having only
twenty-two miles to go. In March I visited it a second, and in May a
third time, when I took a nearer road; the water was now low; it was
not any where deep enough to swim my horse, but in two places nearly so.

The Wabash, at the ferry, is, I think, as wide as the Thames at London
Bridge. In my two journeys I saw a great number of wild-ducks and
pigeons on the banks of the Wabash; although a bad shot, I think if I
had had a gun, I could have killed a great many. I was much pleased
with the appearance of the gardens at this season, {241} at Harmonie.
They were in excellent order, and filled with a variety of vegetables
and fruit-trees; and some of them contained some beautiful flowers.
Among the fruit-trees, I observed wild plum-trees grafted with prunes.

In July, I went again, and crossed the Big Wabash, by a new ferry, near
the mouth of the Bonpas. The land on the Indiana side is extremely
low, and I went four miles through the woods, before I saw a house,
or any kind of cultivation. Some cane, an evergreen, grew the greater
part of the way; it is the only evergreen in this part of the State,
save mistletoe; but I have heard there are pines in the north of the
Illinois. I saw in these wilds numbers of turkeys. As I approached
Harmonie, I met their plow-teams, sixteen in number, just entering a
field of wheat-stubble; I was much pleased with their appearance, all
the horses looking well; nor did I see one blemish in the thirty-two

I took a look at their vineyards; part {242} of the vines were trained
on frames, and part tied up to small poles; there was a good show of
grapes on many of them. The vineyards are on a steep hill, and planted
round the hill, so as to have several different aspects. Trees are laid
to keep the earth from washing down. The paths between the trees are
sown with blue-grass.

As I returned from the vineyards to the town, I met their milch-cows
going out to field; I counted eighty-seven, most of them were but
indifferent cows, with a few good ones mixed with them. The dress of
the Harmonites is uncommonly plain, mostly of their own manufacturing.
The men wear jackets and pantaloons, with coarse hats. The women a kind
of jacket and petticoat, with a particular kind of skull-cap, and a
straw hat made peculiarly flat.

There is a hat-manufactory, both of fur and wool hats; they also make
their straw ones. As this society do not marry, I suppose they must
depend on emigration from Germany to keep up their number; as the {243}
Americans are not likely to join them, as most of them regard them with
jealousy, on account of their engrossing most of the business of this
part of the country.

I will now give a slight and very brief sketch of the American
character; but in speaking of our American neighbours, it must be
recollected, that the greater part of them are backwoodsmen. Mr.
Collins, of whom I bought some land, behaved in the most honourable
manner, for which I shall ever respect him. Mr. Anderson, of whom I
purchased my other farm, I never saw; Mr. Birkbeck transacting the
business while I was at Shawneetown. My family have several American
neighbours at Birks' Prairie, from whom they have received the most
friendly treatment; and those with whom I have had dealings, have been
uniformly civil and obliging. As we live at the entrance of Wanborough,
we have frequently the first offer of game and other provisions brought
for sale, and whether we buy or not, we never receive the {244}
slightest incivility from them. In selling, they always take care to
ask enough, as they can fall their price with a good grace; in short,
they are Jews in this respect, nor are they very punctual in their

Most of them are well acquainted with law, and fond of it on the most
trifling occasions: I have known a law-suit brought for a piggin or
pail, of the value of 25 cents. (1_s._ 1½_d._) Another failing in
their character is drunkenness; and they are extremely quarrelsome when
intoxicated. Many of them are sometimes truly industrious, and at other
times excessively idle. Numbers of them can turn their hands to many
things, having been accustomed to do for themselves in small societies.
They are a most determined set of republicans, well versed in politics,
and thoroughly independent. A man who has only half a shirt, and
without shoes and stockings, is as independent as the first man in
the States; and interests himself in the choice of men to serve his
country, as much as the {245} highest man in it, and often from as pure
motives,--the general good, without any private views of his own. Most
of them are from the south, from North and South Carolina, Georgia,
and Tennessee; and though now living in a free State, they retain many
of the prejudices they imbibed in infancy, and still hold negroes in
the utmost contempt; not allowing them to be of the same species of
themselves, but look on _negers_, as they call them, and Indians, as an
inferior race of beings, and treat them as such.

Those of whom I purchased my farms, and some others, are moved off to
the Red River, 700 miles to the south-west, and, as I have said before,
many of our neighbours are true backwoodsmen, always fond of moving:
there are others, who wish to sell their land, with its improvements,
to go to the Sagamond river, 150 miles towards the north-west. This
river runs into the Illinois river, and the country near it is highly
spoken of, as to soil, timber, and water. {246} They have but few
diversions amongst them except hunting and shooting, here both called
hunting; they use rifles, and many of them are excellent shots. In this
employment or amusement, they spend much of their time, and depend
partly on what they kill in making a livelihood.

I will now mention something of the religion of this part of the
United States. At Albion, there is a place of worship in part of the
market-house, in which divine service is performed every Sunday in the
forenoon; prayers and a sermon are read by one of the inhabitants. I
twice attended; the service was from the church of England, with some
variations: I think they style themselves Unitarians. At Wanborough,
a Baptist held meetings at his own house, but few of the inhabitants
attended them. An American of the Methodist persuasion, who resides
near Wanborough, holds meetings at his house; but none of the English,
and but few of the Americans ever frequent them. Many {247} people
wished for a place of worship; but being of different religions, it was
some time before there was one established; but in April 1820, it was
agreed to have public worship at Wanborough; and on Sunday, the 25th of
April, divine service was first held in a log-cabin, that was built for
a school-room. Prayers from the service of the church of England, with
a few omissions, were read by one of the inhabitants, and a sermon by
another. This meeting was well attended, and has been continued every
Sunday, in the forenoon, at eleven o'clock; and those of the church of
England and Quakers both frequent it. It was proposed to erect a brick
meetinghouse, and a subscription was set on foot, in May, but falling
short of the estimate, it was agreed to continue the use of the present
room, till a sufficient sum can be collected for a brick one. There is
a piece of ground set apart for a burial-ground, and several persons
have been interred in it; three since I have been here.

{248} There have been four or five weddings, and five or six births, so
that the English have rather increased, exclusive of new arrivals from

At Albion there have been several marriages, births, and deaths.

The Americans most commonly bury their dead near the place where they
die, and erect a small pale fence round the grave, to prevent its being
disturbed. I believe it is seldom they have any service read over them,
except the Methodists, who have prayers at their funerals.

As there is no church established by law, of course there are no
tithes. I was much struck at Baltimore, to find in what harmony people
of different religions lived together, and I have since had no reason
to alter my opinion. I have had much conversation with Baptists,
Methodists, and Quakers. They all expressed much charity for those of
other sects, although most of them seemed to have a high opinion of
their own.

I will now give a few of my reasons for {249} my fixing in the
Illinois. I set out with the intention of visiting it, and had my
luggage with me. In my journey, from Baltimore to Wheeling, I saw but
few places I should like to settle at, till near Wheeling. I was much
pleased with the country a few miles above it, but that being in a
slave State, I could not think of settling there; besides, the land was
taken up: this was the case with many of the most desirable situations
on the Ohio river; and I had no opportunity of seeing the interior of
the States of Ohio and Indiana, but, I understood, much of the best
parts of them were occupied.

When I reached the Prairies, I was greatly pleased to find myself in an
open country, with a great deal of pretty good land for sale, at a low
rate, and not very distant from water-carriage: and having the offer
of some of the first selected quarter-sections, at a small advance of
price, in an extremely healthy situation, containing both wood and
prairie, with {250} some of it brought into cultivation, I took a
situation much to my satisfaction, and still remain well pleased with

Our land is not so rich, nor the timber so large as on the
river-bottoms; but it will bear as good wheat, corn, and grass, as a
person would wish; besides having that great advantage, health. It is
true we are not so well watered as in some situations, yet through an
unusually dry and hot summer, our stock have found plenty of water,
in some creeks, about a mile below us, and have done uncommonly well.
Our having plenty of open prairie-land, for pasture or breaking up,
is, in my estimation, far preferable to clearing of woodland, which
is attended with much trouble and expence. Had I removed to the west
side of this State, on the Mississippi river, I might, perhaps, have
found as good or better land, and nearer water-carriage; but, by all
accounts, not so favourable to health. Then the expence of getting my
luggage there would have been considerable, and I should, {251} most
probably, have been surrounded by total strangers: it is true, I knew
but few at the prairies, but I had heard of many of them; and here
my family were not quite in the midst of people they had never seen
or heard of, as they would have been, in almost every other part of

There is an English settlement in Indiana, about ten miles back from
Evansville, I have heard, better watered, and nearer markets than we
are; but it is in the woods, and the land is inferior to ours. This is
the account I have received of it, but I know nothing, only from the
report of those who had no interest in either settlement. I have no
personal knowledge of Mr. Hornbrook, or Mr. Maidlow, the heads of that
settlement; and should any person see my account of this part of the
country and come to America, I would advise him to see both settlements
before he fixed in either. But I do not invite any one to leave England
and come hither; for, although well pleased with the exchange of
countries myself, another {252} might not be so. And many Englishmen,
if they were to come here, would be much disappointed, as there is
no want of tradesmen. A man with some property, and a large family,
may, perhaps, do better here than in England; and a person with a
considerable property might here lay the foundation of a noble fortune
for his descendants, provided he laid out his money with caution, and
lived on a moderate establishment. But this is not the country for
fine gentlemen, or those who live in a grand style, nor for tradesmen
at present; but hard-working people, who are sober, may do well, and
settle their families in a plain way.

On the 7th August we had an election in this county, for the following
offices, (in conjunction with Wayne county, formerly part of Edwards
county):[147]--one member of congress, one member of the senate, and
two members of the assembly of the State of Illinois; one sheriff,
three county commissioners, and a coroner for Edwards county.

[147] Wayne County was formed in 1819 from the western part of Edwards

{253} The State of Illinois returns one member to congress, but it
is supposed it will shortly return two; the number of the members
depending on the population of the State. There were two candidates
for congress, namely, Daniel P. Cooke, the present member, and Mr. K.
Kane;[148] as Mr. Cooke had given general satisfaction, it is supposed
Mr. Kane did not expect to come in at this election, but that he might
be known at another, as a second member to congress. As the counties
are divided into districts, there is an election in each district, all
held on the same day. In ours there were 168 people who voted, but not
all for every office. Mr. Cooke had 136 votes, Mr. Kane 18; so there
remained 14 who did not vote for a member of congress. Here every
person, who has attained the age of 21 years, has a vote; and there can
be no perjury, as there is no oath required. All strangers or emigrants
from Europe, or elsewhere, have a vote, if resident six months before
the election. There was but {254} one vote refused, and that was of a
person under age.

[148] Daniel P. Cook (1793-1827) was a native of Kentucky. He began to
practice law in Kaskaskia in 1815, and three years later was appointed
judge of the western district of the state. Elected to Congress in
1820, he served until 1826, when he was defeated by the Jackson party.

Elisha Kent Kane was also a lawyer of Kaskaskia, having removed thither
from New York in 1814. He was appointed secretary of state (1818),
and elected to the United States senate (1824). He died in Washington
(1835), near the expiration of his second term.--ED.

Three judges are appointed by the magistrate to receive the votes,
which each person delivers in writing to the judges, who have two
assistants to record the names of the voters, as they deliver in their
lists, as the voters do not sign their names to the lists. When a list
is delivered to the judges, it is folded up and put into a locked
box, by a hole in the lid, and there remains till six o'clock in the
evening, when the election closes; and afterwards the box is opened,
and the votes are counted up.

There were three candidates for the senate, seven or eight for the
assembly, and the same number for county commissioners, two for
sheriff, also two for coroner.

The voters for a member of congress are from all the counties of the
state of Illinois; but for the senate and assembly, from the counties
of Edwards and Wayne only; and for county commissioners, sheriff, and
coroner, from Edwards county {255} only; Wayne county choosing its own
coroner, &c.

I think there are about twelve districts in Wayne and Edwards county
where elections were held. I was present, in the evening, at the
opening of the box and counting up the votes. The two assistants to
the judges had each a paper with the names of the several candidates
written thereon, one of the judges took out a list, and proclaimed
aloud the names of the candidates mentioned therein, and then delivered
the list to the other judges, who retained the same. And the assistants
each entered the votes against the name of the candidate voted for, in
the following form:--

"D. P. Cooke: Congress.[149]

[149] Mr. Cooke's votes, as marked above, answer to thirty-five.--WOODS.


When a vote is told out, one of the assistants calls out "One," "two,"
"three," "four," or "tally," and so continues till the whole number is
counted out. When the box that contains the lists is empty, the {256}
number of names of the voters kept by the assistants is compared with
the lists, to see if they agree. And then all the lists, and one of the
papers with the candidates' names, and the number of voters, are again
locked up in the box, and kept by the judges in case of a scrutiny.
But the other papers with the names of the voters, &c. are sent to the
county seat; where all the districts send their lists, and from these
a general one is made out, and those candidates who have the highest
number of votes are elected to their respective trusts.

The election was held at the house of Allen Emerson, Esq., a mile west
of Wanborough, in an arm of Birks' Prairie.

One unpleasant circumstance is the paper currency of this part of the
United States, and it requires some experience to know what notes
to take. The paper money is of two kinds, called land-office and
current money; land-office money is bank paper that will pass at the
land-office, but this money frequently changes. Current-money {257}
is bank-paper that will pass in trade, but is not payable at the
land-office, and is often from 10 to 20 per cent. below the value of
land-office money. It is common to make a price according to the sort
of money to be paid, and there are some articles in most stores that
are only sold for land-office money.

The United States bank notes and silver are mostly sought for, as the
credit of that bank is better than that of any other, and they will
sometimes bear a premium of two per cent. above the price of silver,
as notes are more convenient to send to the eastern states to pay for
merchandise, &c.

But there are many people who prefer silver, and I find I can purchase
many articles a great deal more reasonable with silver than with the
best paper money.

I have never yet lost but one dollar-note, nor have I discounted a
single one. Discounting of notes is called shearing, and is sometimes
much practised.

As I have before described the boundaries {258} of the state of
Illinois, and mentioned most of the rivers in it, I will now attempt
to show you our situation with regard to other places; but having
no map of the Illinois, I shall place them according to the best
accounts I have heard of them, but I do not pretend to be exact as to
distances, &c. I have, however, been more particular on the east side
of the state, as that shows our situation with regard to the Wabash
rivers, and also our road to Shawneetown on the Ohio, to Harmonie and
Princetown in the state of Indiana. And northward, by Palmyra, the
seat of justice for Edward's county, to Vincennes in Indiana. My map
should extend much further to the left or west side, as Kaskaskai town
is upwards of 100 miles west, and Coffee Island only 18 miles east of
Wanbro'; but the country between Wanbro' and Kaskaskai is but little
settled, and much of it is prairie or open land.

Kaskaskai is at present the seat of the legislature of Illinois; but
its next meeting {259} is expected to be at the town of Vandalia,[150]
on the Ochka river, as being a more central situation; that place, or
rather spot of land, was fixed on for the seat of government, for the
Illinois, two years ago. The country near it was then a wilderness,
with a single cabin inhabited by a person of the name of Vandalia. A
town is now laid out, and much building begun. The town lots sell very
high. One thousand dollars and upwards for the best lots of only a few
rods of land.

[150] As in the case of Columbus and Indianapolis, the legislature
fixed upon a site in the wilderness for the seat of government.
Vandalia, situated on the mail route between Vincennes and St. Louis,
and about seventy miles from the latter city, was laid out in 1819
under the authority of the state. It remained the capital until

Vandalia, by the Ochka, Kaskaskai, and Mississippi rivers, has a water
communication with New Orleans, the grand outlet of all the western

I will now mention a few of the places of most note at present, and
those reported likely to rise into notice.

Kaskaskai is at this time of most consequence in the state, and is
said to be situated in the richest spot of land in the United States,
called the American Bottom, but is said to be unhealthy; and the {260}
removing the seat of government to Vandalia has much checked the growth
of the town. It has a land-office for the sale of public land: it is
six miles in a direct line from the Mississippi river. A road from it
runs through the state of Illinois, to Vincennes in Indiana: this lies
higher than it is placed in my map.

The inhabitants are many of them of French origin, as it was first
settled by the French from Lower Canada. There are also several
villages on the Mississippi river, that were also settled by the French
many years ago; and the inhabitants still speak the French language,
and profess the Roman Catholic religion. But within the last ten years,
many Americans are settled amongst them, and the English language
begins to be spoken.

By an order of congress a road is to be surveyed from Wheeling, on the
Ohio, through the states of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, to the mouth
of the Illinois river, or near it, and to the town of St. Louis on
{261} the Missouri river.[151] This road is expected to pass by or near
to Cincinnatti, Vincennes, and Vandalia, and to go about 30 miles north
of the English Prairie.

[151] This was the extension of the National Road. In 1820, Congress
appropriated $10,000 for laying out the road from Wheeling to a point
on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and the mouth of the
Illinois. Construction was begun in 1825, the road being completed
to Columbus in 1833, and to the Indiana line in 1838. The last
congressional appropriation was made in the last-mentioned year; when
Indiana and Illinois received the road from the government it was
not finished, although graded and bridged as far as Vandalia. In the
former state it was completed by 1850, but was never completed in the

Shawneetown, I have noticed before, as a place likely to be of some
consideration, notwithstanding its low situation.

Golconda is a town, on the Ohio river, upwards of 30 miles below
Shawneetown; said to be a thriving place, as many people cross the Ohio
from the lower parts of the states of Kentucky and Tennessee, for St.
Louis, and the Missouri states.

America is a new town, near the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi
rivers; being out of the reach of the floods, and in a good situation
for trade; it is a rising place, and people are fast settling at it.

Edwardsville, near the Mississippi river, has a land-office. I never
heard the place highly spoken of.[152]

[152] Golconda is a small town on Lusk Creek, about eight miles above
the mouth of the Ohio.

America, a few miles farther up the Ohio, was laid out (1818) by a land
company. Its situation back from the river proved to be a disadvantage
instead of an advantage. In 1821 the Ohio was unusually low and boats
could not land near the settlement; this, together with an epidemic
of cholera which occurred the same year, dealt a death blow to the
prospects of the place.

For Edwardsville, see Flint's _Letters_, volume ix of our series, note

Carmi, on the Little Wabash, is an unhealthy place, and so is Newhaven,
a few miles further down the same river; and, I {262} believe, most low
situations on sluggish streams are so.

Palmyra, though placed on a high sandy bank of the Wabash, a county
town, and settled six years since, does not contain more than twelve
houses, and not more than half of them inhabited, owing to its being
so unhealthy; this arises from some rocks that lie in the bed of the
river, some distance below it, and by thus penning the water back it
becomes stagnant. I saw a man who said he came there six years before,
with several others; that most of them were taken ill soon after their
arrival; that they then removed about three miles into the fork,
between the Wabash and White rivers, but their illness increasing, they
returned to Palmyra, and continued there for twelve months, during
which time most of his family continued very unwell; he then removed
with them into a prairie, a few miles to the north, where he had
remained ever since; where they recovered, and continued in good health.

{263} Oxford is a fine situation for a town, being on a high bank of
the Wabash, that is never inundated; the land good, and the timber
fine, with some springs of excellent water. The road from it to the
prairies is a good natural road, there being no creeks of any account
between them and Oxford; as it is on the Wabash, and near the Bonpas
river; it is well situated for trade; but this I have mentioned before.
Bonpas possesses many of the same advantages, and is near a mile from

Carlisle is a town on the road from Shawneetown to Kaskaskai; its
inhabitants are mostly English. The greater part of the land round it
is rich prairie land, and report says it is likely to succeed well.[153]

[153] Oxford seems to have passed out of existence. Carlyle was platted
as a town site in 1818, and incorporated the following year. It was
advantageously located, being on the Vincennes-St. Louis road and
on the Vandalia-Shawneetown road. It is now the seat of justice for
Clinton County.--ED.

In the state of Illinois there are a great number of other towns of
late date, but I know nothing of them. Towns are often rising up in
this new country, as almost every person, who imagines he has a good
site for one on his land; has it surveyed and laid out for a town, and
offers the lots {264} for public sale. Many of these speculations are
extremely wild, and often fail, but those that succeed are a source of
great profit to the proprietors. As a lot of half an acre of land, that
cost the purchaser one dollar, frequently sells from 50 to 500 dollars,
and in a few instances much higher.

As Edwards' county is very large, it is expected to be divided; and
should a division take place, it is supposed the county-town will be
near the prairies, for the southern division; and for the northern
division, in some of the prairies to the north of Palmyra, as most of
the inhabitants dislike Palmyra for the county seat, as it is situated
on the eastern side of the county, besides its being so unhealthy.

Shawneetown, is the seat of justice for Gallatin county.

Carmi, for White county.

Fairfield, for Wayne county.

Palmyra, for Edward's county.

Many of the American towns are named {265} from Scripture, Ancient
and Modern History; and many of them are French, viz. Mount Carmel,
Lebanon, Galliopolis, Athens, Herculaneum, Troy, Greece, Paris,
Madrid, Vienna, Newport, York, Venice, Terre Haute, St. Louis,
Vincennes, Illinois, &c. &c.

In surveying the land on the north side of the Ohio river, a point was
taken on the river, and a line run from that point due north, till
it reached the north side of the United States, as far as the Indian
title to the land was extinct. This line was called the first principal
meridian, and was begun somewhere in the state of Ohio. The second
principal meridian, I believe, was in the state of Indiana; and the
third principal meridian, in the state of Illinois, at the mouth of
the Ohio. This third meridian was first run north till it reached the
Indian boundary line, about seven miles to the north of the English
Prairie. And the land was laid out into ranges of six miles wide, on
the east and west side of the meridian {266} line; these ranges running
from the Ohio river to the Indian boundary line, and the ranges are
called first, second, third; and range east or west, as the case may be.

Next the ranges were ran into townships, six miles wide, beginning at
the Indian boundary, called the base line, the townships running the
width of the ranges, and the first line of townships from the base line
is called town one. The second line town two, and so on to the Ohio

The townships are then laid out in sections of one mile square; thus
a township contains six square miles, and thirty-six sections in each
township: they are named section one, two, three, and so on. If the
sections are in the woods, they are marked near the corners on the
trees, and if in the prairies by stakes.

They are offered for sale in quarter sections, of a hundred and
sixty acres; and are called north-east, north-west, south-east, and
south-west quarters.

{267} When a part of the country is surveyed and offered for sale,
notice is given in the public papers, for some months previous, with
the time and place of sale. At the sale the lots are put up, beginning
with the lowest number, at two dollars per acre; and if there be no
bidder, another lot is put up, and so continued till the sale is ended.
If a bidding be made the lot is sold; if more than one bidder, then
the highest is the purchaser. He must then pay down one fourth part
of the purchase money, one fourth more at the end of two years, one
fourth more at the end of three years, and the remaining fourth at the
end of four years; and if it be not then paid the land reverts to the
government, and the money paid down forfeited. At the time of sale the
purchaser receives a certificate of the quarter purchased, and of the
money paid thereon, with the times of payment of the other instalments.
These instalments bear interest, from the day of purchasing, at six
per cent., but if they be paid on or {268} before they respectively
become due, no interest is demanded thereon. But should the payment
be delayed, only one day, after it becomes due, interest is demanded
from the day of sale. If a person at the time of sale should pay the
whole of the instalments, after the first, he receives eight per cent.
discount on the sum so paid, according to the length of time of each
instalment; or if at any time before the instalments are due, discount
is allowed according to time.

As many people, who have speculated in land, have let their interest
run, much will be due at the end of four years; but should the
instalments and interest be paid on the day the last instalment becomes
due, the interest will be saved on the fourth instalment; but four
years' interest are due on the second and third instalments, that is
38 dollars 40 cents, but one day later will make it 57 dollars 60

If not paid at the end of four years, I have reason to think some time
is allowed {269} before the land reverts to the government. But the
interest still runs on till the day of payment; and if the arrears be
not paid, the land and all its improvements, if any, return to the

The above was the plan on which the public lands were disposed of; but
by an act of congress passed last spring,[154] a new plan has been
adopted, and took place on the 1st of July, by which all credit on
public land is done away, and the price reduced to 1 dollar 25 cents
per acre, or 200 dollars for a quarter-section; that is, for land that
has been offered by public auction.

[154] This act was approved April 24, 1820. See _Annals of Congress_,
16th Congress, 1st session, p. 2578.--ED.

I have every reason to conclude, that much remains due on the land
entered in most of the western states, and some will, most probably, be
forfeited to government, as much of it was entered on speculation, and
still remains in a state of nature.

The alteration in the price of land, the large quantities lately
offered for sale, with the shortness of money, will, I think, prove
{270} extremely hurtful to some of the large speculators; but, in my
opinion, will in the end be beneficial to the country at large, as
it will oblige those who enter land to bring it into cultivation,
instead of taking up large quantities, as it will now require a greater
capital to speculate than it has hitherto done. Many of the speculators
calculate to sell again without paying any of the instalments, after
the first deposit, but some of them are now greatly dispirited, and
would be happy to dispose of their land on almost any terms, at least
to recover what it at first and since has cost them.

I will now endeavour to give a small sketch of the plan of the survey
of the country near us, and likewise of the township in which we live.

       *       *       *       *       *

From the third principal meridian, which begins at the mouth of the
Ohio river, and runs north to the Indian boundary, called the Base
Line, there is one range to {271} the west called Range 1, West of the
3d Principal Meridian; eleven ranges east, called Range 1, 2, 3, 4,
5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, East of the 3d Principal Meridian; and three
ranges, called Range 12, 13, 14, West of the 2d Principal Meridian;
this survey was continued from the State of Indiana, and met the survey
from the 3d Meridian at Range 11 East, which was the reason Range 11
was so narrow, and is called a fractional range.

The townships run from east to west, beginning at the Base Line; the
upper line of townships, called Town 1, the second line Town 2, and
so on down to Town 15, near the mouth of the Ohio; and the Townships
and Ranges are called as follows; suppose at Albion, as marked in the
map, in looking on the top is seen Range 10 and Town 2, East of the
3d Principal Meridian: or at Carmi, on the Little Wabash, Range 10,
Town 5, East of the 3d Principal Meridian: or at Golconda, on the Ohio
River, Range 6, Town 12, {272} East of the 3d Principal Meridian. The
Townships are each six miles square, and are divided in sections of one
mile square, 36 of which make a Township, and are marked and numbered
as in the plate.

The Township, Range 10, East of the 3d Principal Meridian, Town 2,
South of the Base Line, contains the whole of the English Prairie, most
of Birks' Prairie, and a small part of Burnt and Long Prairie.

       *       *       *       *       *

I live near the corner of section ten, the place marked J. W., and
the dots from thence through section three and two, show the road
to Albion; and those through sections nine, eight, seventeen, and
nineteen, mark the road to my farm, in the south east quarter of
section nineteen. My other farm is in the north-west quarter of section
eighteen. Albion is in sections one and two; Wanborough is in section

Sections two, five, twenty, twenty-three, thirty, and thirty-three, in
all townships, may be entered in half quarter-sections, {273} that is,
in eighty acres; but in the other sections not less than a quarter can
be entered. Owing to the land being uneven, some sections will a little
exceed 640 acres, and the overplus is always put to the north-west
quarter. The sixteenth section, in every township, is not sold, but
reserved for the support of a public school. But this section in Town
2, is of little value, as much of it is very wet; but let the sixteenth
section be good or bad, it is always reserved for school-land, because
it is nearly central, should a school ever be opened in that township.

A few years back the United States obtained, by treaty with
Indiana,[155] a considerable space of country, to the north of the base
line; and in 1819, a new survey was made to the north of us, and the
land was put up by auction in December, and in February and April last,
to the amount of near a million of acres; but the greater part of it
remains unsold, at the land-offices of Shawneetown, Edwardsville, and
Kaskaskia. {274} I have heard this land is good; it is partly prairie
and partly woodland; not remarkably well watered, and remote from
water-carriage. It is represented as too much settled for backwoodsmen,
and too remote for Europeans.

[155] This must be a misprint. Woods probably means the treaty signed
by the Kickapoo Indians at Edwardsville, July 20, 1819, and by the
Vermilion Kickapoo at Fort Harrison, August 30, 1819. The Indians ceded
all lands east of the Illinois River lying between the Kankakee River
on the north and a line drawn across the state from the mouth of the
Illinois on the south.--ED.

In our journey, I frequently mentioned the state of the weather: I will
now give a short account of it, from recollection, since our residence
here. It was generally dry and hot till the end of October; November
dry, temperate, and pleasant; this continued till the 14th of December,
then wet and cold. January intensely cold, except from the 6th to the
10th, the thermometer sometimes as low as eight degrees below zero, or
forty degrees below the freezing point; but this was only when the sun
was set, as it is much warmer in the day than night; in this respect,
much more so than in England. The Americans told us, it was the
_toughest spell_ of cold they ever knew. The snow was at least eighteen
inches on a level. The middle and end of February warm and showery;
March generally {275} dry, but colder than the preceding month. On the
first of April a heavy fall of snow, and a few following days cold, the
rest of April dry; and after the middle as warm as July in England.
May variable, hot, temperate, and even cold, but mostly dry. June hot
and dry, except a few thunder showers. On the 4th of July a moderate
rain, the rest of the month extremely hot and dry; and now, (August the
15th,) the thermometer stands nearly up to 100 degrees. The Americans
say, they never knew so little rain as in the last thirteen or fourteen

With a few remarks on the country I left, and the one I reside in, I
shall now conclude.

England has the advantage in climate, both in summer and winter; and
people of large property may have better attendance in England than
here. Clothing, furniture, and many articles of convenience and
comfort are cheaper, and in greater abundance in England than with
{276} us. And, it is true, many young men, who have visited the western
country, have been dissatisfied at first, for want of society and
amusements, and the difficulty of procuring comfortable places to board
and lodge at; with the inconveniences attending getting their clothes
made, washed, &c.: females being scarce with the European settlers, as
three or four men have arrived to one woman. But after a short time,
the greater part of them get reconciled to the country.

I should like to see the climate of this country more temperate, both
in summer and winter, particularly the latter; as the cold is extremely
severe, but of short duration. And if we had some running streams, it
would be much pleasanter in the summer to us, and more beneficial to
the cattle.

With regard to water for the stock, during the summer; in some places
there has been great want of it, as most of the creeks have been dried
up, and some of the cattle of the English Prairie went off to the
Bonpas {277} and Little Wabash. But at Birks' Prairie they have done
well for water, as most of the creeks of English and Birks' Prairie
unite a mile below the south-end of the latter in the woods, and it is
there called the big creek, and it is never dry; and from this creek
some of the inhabitants of Birks' Prairie fetch all their water in a
dry season. But few of these Americans will ever dig a well, and some
of those that do soon lose it again for want of welling up. Among
the English, there are now a number of wells, and many of them have
now a good supply of water. When there are a few more dug, and a few
ponds made, I think the prairies will be pretty well supplied with
water, both for domestic use and cattle; but it will be difficult
to extend it to any manufacturing purpose. This year, great drought
has prevailed, from the 1st of April to the 20th of August; but in
the last week we have had three good showers, each of several hours'
continuance, so that the creeks run again, and the earth is got {278}
well soaked; and, I hope, there will be plenty of water for the
remainder of the summer. As the first part of it was so dry, we had no
buffalo gnats, and but few prairie flies or musquetoes; but a great
quantity of common flies, and they, I believe, are numerous all over
America, at least we found them so all the way from Baltimore.

When better cabins are built, and we get a little accustomed to the
climate, I hope much of the inconveniences we feel from the difference
will be over, as we continue to enjoy as good health as we ever did in
England. We here take three meals a day,--breakfast of bacon, beef,
eggs, butter, honey-bread, with tea and coffee: dinner, some sort of
pudding, with meat or game, and water to drink: supper the same as
breakfast. I never liked my living in England better than I do here,
and I am quite reconciled to the loss of beer or cider at dinner. But
I expect beer will be plentiful enough in a few years, and cider at
some future period. Brandy, rum, {279} and wine can be procured, and
whiskey is in great plenty; and too much of it is drank by many. Beer,
peach-brandy, and persico, are also frequently to be purchased. Tea,
coffee, sugar, spices, &c. &c. to be procured at the stores, and most
articles of clothing; the latter dear. We have most kinds of mechanics,
so that we can have many sorts of furniture made; and we have black
walnut and cherry-tree wood to make it with; these trees are in great
abundance, and we have other sorts for building.

Although I am well pleased with the exchange of countries, I hope no
one will leave England on account of my being favourable to America,
as I should be extremely sorry if any person came here, for any thing
I have said in praise of this country, as, perhaps, another might not
be so fortunate, or so well pleased with it as I am; and the trouble
and the expense of moving so many miles is both considerable. It cost
us nearly three hundred pounds, for nine people, including our luggage
of 6000 lb. {280} weight. We were longer than many in performing our
journey, as we took our luggage on with us; whereas many came forward
and left their luggage to follow them by different conveyances, and
many of them had great difficulty and expense to get it again; and some
had it much damaged, and others never received it at all. We lived very
economically on our journey; and, on the whole, I cannot find any party
came so cheap as we did, considering the quantity of luggage we had:
our expenses amounted to thirty-three pounds each.

Some few who had no luggage reached this place from England for
twenty-seven pounds each; but it cost others, including their luggage,
forty pounds and upwards. But of those who came cabin-passengers, I
suppose, the expenses exceeded fifty, exclusive of their luggage.

Here a man with a family may get a good living, in a plain way, and
leave his children in a situation to do the same. But money is too
scarce for a man to get rich by farming, as produce is low and labour
high, so that {281} it will not do to hire much; but what a man and his
own family do themselves turns to good account; for though produce is
low, yet here a man has no rent, tithes, poor-rates, or taxes of any
sort worth mentioning. My taxes, for 320 acres of land, amount to the
sum of four dollars eighty cents, a trifle less than 1_l._ 1_s._ 8_d._
sterling; this for a year's tax to the government and State.

I think that partly cultivation, and part raising of stock, will answer
much better than sowing a large quantity of corn; as stock is reared
without much trouble or expense, but cannot be wintered without some
hay and corn at present. Corn is best; but when the country comes to
be more cultivated, timothy-hay will hold a high place, in a prairie
farmer's estimation, for winter use. I think turnips, carrots, and
mangel-wurzel are too expensive in the present state of the country;
but pumpkins are of great service for the first part of the winter, and
are raised at a {282} trifling expense. I have heard that rye, sown in
July, amongst Indian corn, yields much feed after the corn is ripe, and
also early in the spring. And that land so sown is in good order for
Indian corn, after the rye is fed off in April, but I have not seen any
rye near us.

I have now, I think, given an account of every thing that can be
interesting to any one, and a great deal more than will be so to many
people; but before I left England, I heard numerous enquiries made
as to the most minute circumstances; and, having begun an account
for the entertainment of a few friends, I have noted many trifling
occurrences, to give them an idea of our situation, manner of living,
and the customs in this remote country. And as we are among the true
back-woodsmen, some of whom are much like the late celebrated Colonel
Daniel Boone, always wishing to live remote from society, many customs
here must be different from those of my native country, and new to many
of {283} my old friends; and I hope the foregoing account will at least
give some information, on many subjects they may wish to be acquainted

Though I hope no person will leave England to come here, from any
thing I have said, yet should any one from our old neighbourhood come
to us, I will endeavour to give him all the assistance in my power, as
to choice of situation, &c.

  _Wanborough, Aug. 29. 1820._

P.S. As I have no opportunity to send this account to England at
present, I will add a little more to it.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have seen some wheat thrashed on the earth in dry weather; it was
afterwards put into a cabin, in the chaff; it seemed to me a very
slovenly manner of doing it; but as there was little or no sand where
it was thrashed, perhaps the wheat may not be gritty.

Wheat is much easier thrashed here than in England, owing to the
dryness of the {284} climate. I saw some thrashed without untying the
sheaves, and the straw was quite clean. I was informed a man could
thrash fifteen bushels of that wheat a-day; it appeared to yield well.
Wheat and other grain damage much sooner, in wet weather, in this
country, than in England, from the greater heat of the climate. Indian
corn, on the contrary, will remain out the greater part of the winter,
and sustain but little damage from the weather. I saw some, near us,
that was left out most part of last winter, and was not greatly hurt,
except from birds. This field was much frequented by prairie fowls, and
some other birds, during a great snow in January last, and the greater
part of the corn was eaten by them.

Sept. 1. No bustle to-day as in England, as we have no Game Laws, and
the time of sporting lasts from the 1st of January to the last day of
December; as every person has a right of sporting, on all unenclosed
land, for all sorts of wild animals {285} and game, without any licence
or qualification as to property. The only qualifications required
here are a good rifle and a steady hand and eye. Many of the Americans
will hardly credit you, if you inform them, there is any country in
the world where one order of men are allowed to kill and eat game, to
the exclusion of all others. But when you tell them that the occupiers
of land are frequently among this number, they lose all patience, and
declare, they would not submit to be so imposed on. Here, if game do
a farmer any mischief, he may destroy it by night or by day, in any
manner he may choose, without fear of fines or penalties; and he is
in no danger of offending his neighbour by so doing. And if he should
kill any game, he may dispose of it by public or private sale, if so
inclined. Nor are there here any Excise Laws; a person may make beer,
leather, spirits, soap, candles, &c. &c. and not be troubled with
excisemen; he {286} may likewise turn auctioneer, or any other calling,
without a licence.

I have just finished walling up my well, at Birks' Prairie; the water
rose so fast we had some difficulty to do it. As some of the earth
gave way, it took a large quantity of stones, I suppose from twelve to
fifteen loads. At the depth of 23 feet, we found a small vein of coal
about three inches thick, just above the slate-rock. In digging this
well we found no sand-stone above the clay-slate rock, as is generally
the case. The water had, in the first place, a slight taste of sulphur,
but it wears off, and is now much better flavoured; it stands sixteen
feet deep. It cost 100 dollars (22_l._ 10_s._)

Some began sowing wheat a fortnight ago, but there is but little sown

We have had large flocks of pigeons, from the north, almost continually
passing over us for the last week.

Sept. 25. This day has completed our {287} first year's residence in
the prairies, and between fourteen and fifteen months in America;
during which time, my family have been in as good health as I ever knew
them, for the same length of time, in England. Although much sickness
has prevailed, in many parts around us, among the American settlers,
the Europeans, on the contrary, have generally enjoyed very good
health, with the exception of a few, who have had agues, from which
they are now recovered. This, I think, may be owing to their different
manner of living, as many of the Americans eat but two meals a-day,
and sometimes but one, while the Europeans eat three times a-day. The
change of climate must, of course, be greater to us than to them.

I lately saw a young pointer-dog, belonging to Mr. R. Birkbeck, that
had three days before been bitten by a rattle-snake, in two places
in the nose. A person present killed the snake, and cut it open, and
rubbed some of the fat on the wounds, and afterwards {288} bathed them
with sweet oil, and gave the dog some castor-oil. When I saw it its
throat was a little swollen, but otherwise the dog was well. This is
the only instance I have met with, or heard of, of any thing being hurt
by any reptile.

As trade is dull, and money scarce, in America, we find the times at
the Prairies also dull. But there are several new buildings going
forward at Wanborough; viz. a malt-house, a brewhouse, a horse-mill, on
an improved principle, (that is, an inclined plane,) and a distillery
for making whiskey; there are likewise half-a-dozen men employed in
making bricks for another year.

I have not seen one Indian, although there have been several at
Wanborough at different times, since I have resided there, but I have
always been from home at the time.

I see the American settlers understand the culture of this country
better than the Europeans, and I mean generally to follow the rules
of the former, unless where {289} I see a great defect in their
practice; and should I depart from their plan, I shall do it at first
on a small scale, to try if my method is preferable to theirs; as I
always observed in England, that when a person removed from one part
of the country to another, he almost always adopted the practice of
that neighbourhood, however different to the one he had before been
accustomed to.

An agricultural society was established last year, in the State of
Illinois, and Mr. Birkbeck made president. It held its first meeting at
Kaskaskia; but whether there has been any other meeting I do not know.

I have just received the patents of my farms, from the city of
Washington, where they had been sent for the president's signature.
They are complete titles, of a short and simple form. The following is
a copy of one of them:--

{290} "269. JAMES MONROE, President of the United States of

"To whom these presents shall come, greeting.

"Know ye, that John Woods, assignee of Hugh Collins, of White county,
Illinois, having deposited, at the general land office, a certificate
of the register of the land office at Shawneetown; whereby it appears,
that full payment has been made, for the south-east quarter of section
nineteen; in township, two south; of range, ten east; containing 160
acres of the lands directed to be sold at Shawneetown, by the acts of
Congress relative to the disposal of the public lands in Illinois.
There is granted to the said John Woods, the quarter section of land
above described; to have and to hold the said quarter section of
land, with the appurtenances, unto the said John Woods, his heirs and
assigns, for ever. In testimony whereof, I have caused these letters to
be made patent, and the seal of the general land office to be hereunto
{291} affixed. Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, the
eighteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight
hundred and nineteen, and of the independence of the United States, the


  By the President,

                Josiah Meigs, Commissioner of the
         General Land Office.
  Recorded Vol. ii. page 445."

I received the above, from the land office of Shawneetown, free of all
expence. By the number 269 at the beginning, is meant the number as it
stands in the Shawneetown land-office books; and it is also mentioned
where to find the entry of it in the general land office books, so that
it is easy to find the title of any land that has been sold at any time
by the United States' government.

We have had but few emigrants from England this summer; but there is a
family or two on the Ohio coming on, and {292} some more are expected
from the eastward. And several at the Prairies intend returning to
England, during the winter, to bring back their families with them in
the spring.

With regard to the language of this country, I have found no difficulty
to understand any of the Americans I have met with, a few words only
excepted. I have seen several from England, that came from a distant
part from that in which I resided, that I have had far more trouble to
understand. Yet the manner of discourse among the true Back-woods-men
is rather uncouth to an English ear. I will attempt to give a specimen
of it, in a conversation between two of them, who meet each other on
the road; one an Esquire, the other a Judge.

_Esq._ Well, Judge, how do you do ? I hope you are well.

_Judge._ Well, Squire, I am tolerably bad. How do you do?

_Esq._ Well, I am a heap better than I was; but I have been powerfully
sick lately.

{293} _Judge._ But, Squire, you have a powerful chance of plunder on
your creature. What are you going to do with it?

_Esq._ Well, I am going to town with a tolerable chance of plunder, to
get it carded at the mill.

_Judge._ Well, so you have got your wool to be carded; I could not
calculate what truck you had got.

_Esq._ Well, I fancy you have been to town. How goes times there?

_Judge._ Times are dull; I calculated to sell my creature there, and
then when I got home, to turn in and earn some money to get me another.

_Esq._ Well, as you could not trade away your creature, you must turn
in and work as well as you can. I also must turn in, and build a cabin
or two, to raise a little cash.

_Judge._ Well, Squire, have you done any hunting lately? I have
followed it steadily for some time.

_Esq._ Well, Judge, I also have hunted {294} steadily; and I calculated
to make a heap of money of my truck, but I have got none.

_Judge._ Well, what truck have you got, to trade away to make money?

_Esq._ I have got a few beefs, and a tolerable chance of corn.

_Judge._ Well, I also have got some beefs, and a powerful chance of
corn, and some wool, that I must toat to town and trade away.

_Esq._ Well, Judge, I must go on and toat my truck to mill, and then
get right strait home.

_Judge._ Well, I must also get on, as my woman is powerfully sick and
weak, and I am fetching her some whiskey.

_Esq._ Well, but Judge, where did you get your creature? It is a
powerfully fine looking one.

_Judge._ Well, Squire, mine is a great little horse, I bought him of
our general; but I must be going; farewell.

Well begins most sentences. Plunder {295} and truck include almost
every thing. A horse is generally called a creature. Beefs are cows.
Toat means to carry any thing. Strait and turn in, are words they
frequently use. Woman,--they always call their wives their women. Many
of them, instead of saying yes, make a sort of noise, like "him, him,"
or rather like pronouncing "m, m," with the mouth shut.

In this remote part of America, judges, generals of militia, colonels,
captains, and esquires, are not generally men of property or education;
and it is usual to see them employed in any common kind of labour. Yet
I have seen men among them that possess very good abilities; far from
ignorant, and much better informed than could be expected from their

Oct. 2. This day was kept at Wanborough, as last year, instead of
Catherine Hill fair; but as some of the young men were gone to a county
court at Palmyra, there was no cricket-match, as was intended, only a
game of trap-ball. There have been {296} several cricket-matches this
summer, both at Wanborough and Birk Prairie; the Americans seem much
pleased at the sight of the game, as it is new to them.

The acorns of the white-oak are now falling, and very fine indeed they
are; but the weather is too hot and dry for the swine to thrive as well
as usual. The acorns of the other sorts of oak not yet ripe, nor are
they in so large quantities as the white-oak, except on the post-oak.
The white-oak acorns are much larger than any I ever saw in England.
The post-oak most resembles the English oak in growth, leaf, &c. The
acorns of the other sorts of oaks, differ much from each other, in size
and quality.

26th. I have finished sowing wheat this day. I have only sown six
acres, after Indian corn, potatoes, and buck-wheat; but I intend to get
ready a larger quantity of land another year. Wheat is always sown dry
in this country, and I have never heard of any smut.

I was lately at an auction, of a little live {297} stock and household
furniture, belonging to a person leaving this neighbourhood. The
auctioneer was no less a person than a justice of the peace, and he was
an excellent auctioneer. The terms of sale much the same as in England,
except three months' credit on all purchases above three dollars, on
giving bond and security. But the most striking contrast in this sale
from an English one, was, the auctioneer held a bottle of whiskey in
his hand, and frequently offered a dram to the next bidder. As I made
some biddings, I was several times entitled to a sip out of the bottle.
And though I much dislike the taste of whiskey, I took a sip for the
novelty of the thing. But I found the auctioneer had taken good care
to keep his company sober, by lowering his whiskey considerably with
water. As I only purchased a small lot, under three dollars value,
I had no need to give bond and security; nor did I stop to see their
manner of giving it.

Nov. 15. The weather is much colder {298} now than at the same season
last year, but it is extremely variable. One day lately, at noon, the
thermometer stood at 65 degrees, and the next morning was down to 17
degrees; a difference of 48 degrees in less than 20 hours; almost as
great a difference as you experience between July and December. These
sudden changes are unpleasant, but I do not find them very unhealthy,
as colds are much less frequent here than in England; and, with the
Americans, chilblains seem to be unknown.

A short time since, near a dozen of the inhabitants of the Prairies
went to a court at Palmyra, and a few days after their return, most of
them were taken seriously ill, but none of them died; while those who
remained at home continued in health.

Dec. 8. Most people are busy getting in their Indian corn; the crop
much slighter than last year, as the dry weather injured the early,
and the early frosts the late corn. I have housed mine, and shall not
have more than 30 bushels per acre; not more than {299} half an average
crop, on land of that quality. Nor is the corn so sound and fine as
last year.

9th. As I shall have an opportunity to send this to-morrow, I must
hasten to conclude, as quickly as possible, with a short statement of
the present situation of affairs in this neighbourhood. I have hitherto
avoided saying any thing on the disagreement between Mr. Birkbeck and
Mr. Flowers. Reports are so contradictory, and I have heard so much on
both sides of the question, that I am quite at a loss to judge of the
merits of the quarrel. Nor do I think it is an easy thing to get at the
true origin of it; and could I do so, I have no wish to become a party
therein. This unfortunate dispute was the cause of two settlements near
each other, and most of those who arrived for sometime either joined
one side or the other, which increased the difference. But after a
time, as more settlers arrived, they considered they had nothing to do
with the quarrel between these two {300} gentlemen, and settled in the
prairies round, and in the woods towards the mouth of the Bonpas. Thus
this disagreement was the reason of scattering the English emigrants
for some miles round. But if this had been the only effect, it had
been of no consequence, as many of the settlers so dispersed, have
procured as good situations as they would otherwise have done. But
the evil of two villages so near each other has been great; for had
they been united, there would have been better taverns, stores, &c. In
point of situation and water, Wanborough, in my estimation, has the
advantage; but Albion, at present, appears most likely to succeed best.
Whatever was the origin of this quarrel, it has been the cause of a
much worse name being given to the settlement, in the English Prairie,
than it really deserves. For the land is in general pretty good, such
as in England would be called rich; as it is capable of producing, in
abundance, corn, hay, fruit, vegetables, &c. &c.; and the woods and
prairies are pleasant and healthy.

{301} Bees are numerous in the woods, but mostly at a distance from us;
honey is plentiful, and now sells for 75 cents a gallon. There are some
bees kept in hives, the same as in England, and the same sort; and so
are the wild ones; they are in hollow trees, and when a swarm is found,
they cut down the tree to get at the honey, and sometimes a swarm has
several gallons. The Americans often go a great distance in quest of
bees, camping out for many nights together. Six weeks ago a party of
sixteen, on horse-back, went through Wanborough, towards the north,
and seven or eight days after, two of them came back in the morning,
almost dead with cold, as there was a severe frost, and they had camped
out. They had been about 40 miles, and had met but poor success, having
only found four gallons between the two. They said, they lived on the
Ohio river, upwards of 50 miles south-east of us. They had been out
ten days, and during that time they had not seen a bed. But others
frequently {302} succeed much better, and collect a large quantity of
honey in these bee-hunting expeditions.

The fires in the fall of 1819 were much greater than usual, as every
thing was so excessively dry, and much mischief was done to the woods
and plantations; my rail fences caught fire, but the damage was
trifling. For several days we could scarcely see the sun at noon-day,
the air being so full of smoke, and people, whose eyes were weak, were
much annoyed by it.

It was supposed, that these fires extended many hundred miles. This
year, on the contrary, there has scarcely been any fires in the woods
or prairies, as the weather of late has been much wetter than last year.

Although the last summer was drier than the preceding one, and the
number of settlers greatly increased, and a much greater quantity of
stock, than in 1819, yet as many more wells were dug, water was not so
scarce; and I have every reason to expect, that, should the next, or
any future {303} year, prove ever so dry, there will be much less want
of water than there was this year.

I mentioned before, one of my son's neighbours had a thrashing-floor,
and intended to add a barn to it, which he has now done; and, I
believe, it is the only barn within some miles of us. I have not yet
seen it, but my eldest son informed me, that it is 20 feet square on
the inside, about 16 feet high to the roof. It is built of solid logs,
and covered with cleft boards. There were between thirty and 40 people
employed in raising the logs, as they were uncommonly large, and all
lifted up by main strength, without aid from pullies, &c.

At Baltimore, I saw one _old_ woman begging in the streets, and in
our journey, of upwards of twelve hundred miles, from thence to the
prairies, I also saw one _old_ man apply for relief, and the manner of
his treatment I have mentioned on the 28th of July. These _two_ are
the _only_ beggars I have seen in America; from this I am led {304} to
conclude, that there is much less misery in this country than I had
been in the habit of seeing in England, at least as to beggars.

We have had some difficulty in getting some of our letters from
England, from their being directed near Shawneetown or Princetown, as
all letters are left at the post-office of the town where they are
directed near. The best direction is, English Prairie, Edward's County,
Illinois State, North America.

I would advise those who write to their friends in this remote country,
to say but little of public affairs, (unless any thing of great
consequence has just occurred,) as such news is always sure to reach
us through the public prints; but to fill their letters with local
intelligence, as it is extremely interesting to us to hear of our old
friends and neighbours, and any little circumstance relating to them.


JULY 3d, 1821. I have but little to add to my Journal, and but
few alterations to make, except in the article of grasses. I have there
mentioned yard-grass as a pasture-grass, I now find it is an annual
plant, being killed by the first frosts, and coming up from seed in
the spring: it blossoms almost as soon as it comes up, and produces a
great deal of small seed. It appears to come upon land that has been
much trodden. I spoke of blue-grass as unknown in England, but it much
resembles the natural grass with you; with a light fluey seed. There
are now several sorts of English and American grasses sown round us,
but I have seen too little of them to give any account of them.

The distances in my Journal are computed miles, except on the great
national road, over the Allegany Mountains; that is, from Mr. Carter's,
at "The Traveller's Rest," to Union Town; which distance is measured

July 16th. We are now harvesting, and in two days, I think, we shall
cut all our grain. The wheat is very stout, but somewhat blighted. The
oats are good; the barley tolerably so. Indian corn excellent; at the
beginning of July some of {306} mine was nine feet high, without any
appearance of its coming into ear. Should the weather continue fine,
the wheat will be all harvested in a few days. As the summer has been
wet, the harvest is ten or fifteen days later than last year. Peas,
potatoes, and most garden-vegetables are good. We have no peaches this
season, the bloom being all cut off by the severe frosts in the spring.
I planted out thirty-two in the spring, and I have seventy or eighty
more for next year. There are a few apples round us, and a good show
for most kinds of wild fruits. Last year our pigs got in excellent
condition on acorns, &c. Many of them remained out all the winter. I
lost upwards of thirty, from October till May; when, except three,
they all returned, and in exceeding good order. Our cattle were very
poor early in the spring, but are now got lusty, as cattle thrive much
faster here in the spring than in the best English pastures.

I have raised a number of hop-plants from seed, and think of planting a
small hop-garden. I am also going to make a vineyard, on a small scale.
I have had ten vines from Harmonie, and hope to procure a hundred more
next year, as they will grow in the open fields, and make wine without
sugar. This year some sugar has been made near us, from the white
maple, and it appears to answer nearly as well as the sugar-maple. I
suppose, another season, it will be made in considerable quantities.

{307} Our country is settling pretty fast, and our county was lately
divided into two, when a part of Crawford county was added to the north
part of Edwards' county, and called Laurance county. Our part still
retains the name of Edwards. Albion is made the county town, since
which it is much improved; and many English and American families are
now settled at it.

There is a water-mill on the Little Wabash, six or seven miles to the
south of my farms; and another is building on the same stream, at
nearly an equal distance to the north of them. There is an ox-mill
at Albion that commenced work in March. I have before mentioned one
building at Wanborough. A Mr. Backhouse, an English gentleman, has a
brewery there, and has brewed a considerable quantity of beer this
season. As barley is not to be procured, he has made his malt of
wheat. This beer is far preferable to the Harmonie beer.

Mr. Birkbeck has two dairies of about sixty cows, and makes a large
quantity of cheese. Mr. Flowers is also going to establish one, on
a large scale, so that cheese will soon be plentiful. Butter is so
at 12½ cents, 6¾_d._ per lb. Most kinds of provisions are very
cheap: beef, 4 cents per lb.; bacon, 6 to 8 cents per lb.; flour, 4_s._
6_d._ to 5_s._ per bushel, English weight and money. A good cow and
calf from 12 to 14 dollars. Sheep scarce; mutton, 5 to 6 cents per lb.
Venison and game in general not so plentiful as last year; prices much
the same.

{308} The weather was much milder last winter than the preceding one,
with a great deal more rain. The spring backward, and sometimes very
cold. May and June generally warm, with many thunder-storms,--I suppose
near forty; but none of them very heavy, except one on the 9th of this
month (July). The 10th of June, a particularly hot day: the thermometer
98 in the shade.

As the summer has been wet, the grass and weeds are much higher in
the prairies than I have before seen them; in some places six feet or
higher. We have, therefore, as much prairie hay as we choose to cut.

There was an assize or circuit court held at Albion, on the 7th, 8th,
and 9th of June: there was not a great deal of business,--only two
criminal causes. One for pig-stealing, found guilty: the sentence a
fine of fifty dollars, and twenty-five lashes, which were immediately
inflicted by the sheriff. The other was for stealing peach-trees, but
was acquitted. Four or five counsellors attended: no particular dress
worn by them or the judge. As the heat was great, one of the counsel,
who had the most causes, took off his coat and pleaded without it.
Although no wigs or black gowns are worn, there was no more want of
quirks and quibbles than in Westminster Hall; nor were they deficient
in eloquence; but not so much tied down to forms, nor perhaps quite so
polite as with you.

W---- was of age in January, but his birth-day {309} was not kept till
the middle of April, on account of the illness of Mr. S----. A party of
about thirty young people sat down to supper: and suppose I give you
a description of this Illinois entertainment: a round of beef, from
an ox of 800 lbs. weight; a turkey that weighed 19 lbs.; a large ham,
chickens, rabbits; peach, apple, and pumpkin pies, sweet cakes, &c. &c.
As the night was wet, the dance was kept up till late in the morning.

The following is the return of the American militia laid before
Congress, Feb. 26th, 1821, in which you will find the State of Illinois
stands last, but it is too thin to muster in the greater part of it;
and as 1820 was only the first year of its being mustered, it will
probably be returned nearly treble another year.

  1 State of New York        121,553
  2 Pennsylvania             115,231
 *3 Virginia                  88,915
  4 Ohio                      83,247
 *5 Kentucky                  51,052
  6 Massachusetts             48,140
 *7 North Carolina            46,728
 *8 Tennessee                 36,146
  9 New Jersey                33,240
*10 Maryland                  32,189
 11 Maine                     30,990
*12 Georgia                   29,661
 13 New Hampshire             27,012
*14 South Carolina            23,729
 15 State of Connecticut      22,109
{310} 16 Vermont              20,781
 17 Indiana                   14,990
*18 Missouri                  12,080
*19 Alabama                   11,261
*20 Louisiana                 10,257
 21 Rhode Island               8,665
 22 Delaware                   7,451
*23 Mississippi                5,292
 24 Illinois                   2,031
 25 Michigan Territory         1,707
                   Total     884,457
*26 Arkansaw territory   No return.
 27 North-west  do.          do.
 28 Missouri    do.          do.

In most of the new States and territories the returns are very
imperfect, and much short of the number liable to serve. Those marked
thus * are slave States; but no slaves are liable to serve. The number
of slaves calculated to be upwards of 2,000,000. Whites upwards of
8,000,000. Indians near 300,000. Total supposed to be about 11,000,000,
of all colours. The Floridas are not included in this return.


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[Transcriber's note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.

Page 227, "coal was substituted for wool" changed to read "coal was
substituted for wood".

Page 283, "the Lincolnshire and Welch sheep" changed to read "the
Lincolnshire and Welsh sheep".

Page 329, "Carslisle is a town" changed to read "Carlisle is a town".]

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