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´╗┐Title: Benjamin of Ohio - A Story of the Settlement of Marietta
Author: Otis, James
Language: English
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[Illustration: Map to illustrate the Story of
Benjamin of Ohio]


BENJAMIN OF OHIO

A Story of the Settlement of Marietta

by

JAMES OTIS



[Illustration: logo]

New York -:- Cincinnati -:- Chicago
American Book Company

Copyright, 1912, by
James Otis Kaler.

BENJAMIN OF OHIO.

W. P. I



                               FOREWORD


The author of this series of stories for children has endeavored simply
to show why and how the descendants of the early colonists fought
their way through the wilderness in search of new homes. The several
narratives deal with the struggles of those adventurous people who
forced their way westward, ever westward, whether in hope of gain or
in answer to "the call of the wild," and who, in so doing, wrote their
names with their blood across this country of ours from the Ohio to the
Columbia.

To excite in the hearts of the young people of this land a desire to
know more regarding the building up of this great nation, and at the
same time to entertain in such a manner as may stimulate to noble
deeds, is the real aim of these stories. In them there is nothing of
romance, but only a careful, truthful record of the part played by
children in the great battles with those forces, human as well as
natural, which, for so long a time, held a vast portion of this broad
land against the advance of home seekers.

With the knowledge of what has been done by our own people in our own
land, surely there is no reason why one should resort to fiction in
order to depict scenes of heroism, daring, and sublime disregard of
suffering in nearly every form.

                                                            JAMES OTIS.



                               CONTENTS


                                                                   PAGE

  BENJAMIN'S STORY                                                     9

  THE OHIO COMPANY                                                    10

  RUFUS PUTNAM                                                        13

  COLONEL PUTNAM, THE ENGINEER                                        15

  THE FIRST EMIGRANTS                                                 16

  BUILDING A FLEET                                                    18

  CAMPUS MARTIUS                                                      19

  THE ARRIVAL OF GENERAL PUTNAM                                       21

  THE WORK OF THE FIRST EMIGRANTS                                     23

  CLEARING THE LAND                                                   25

  HOW OUR COMPANY WAS FORMED                                          27

  MAKING READY FOR THE JOURNEY                                        28

  CONCERNING MYSELF                                                   31

  SETTING OUT                                                         32

  MISTRESS DEVOLL'S OUTFIT                                            34

  AT PROVIDENCE                                                       37

  ON THE ROAD TO BLOOMING GROVE                                       39

  PLANS FOR THE FUTURE                                                40

  ON THE WATER ONCE MORE                                              42

  FEASTING ON HONEY                                                   43

  AMONG THE MORAVIANS                                                 45

  THE ROPE FERRY                                                      47

  THE WAY THROUGH PENNSYLVANIA                                        49

  THE SHAME OF THE GIRLS                                              50

  MEETING WITH PARSON CUTLER                                          51

  OHIO CORNFIELDS                                                     53

  THE GOVERNOR AND JUDGES                                             54

  THE NAME OF THE TOWN                                                56

  CAMPUS MARTIUS                                                      58

  INDEPENDENCE DAY                                                    59

  MASTER DEVOLL'S HOUSE                                               62

  THE INDIAN MOUNDS                                                   63

  AT HARRISBURG                                                       64

  ISAAC BARKER'S SPORT                                                66

  UNCLE DANIEL CARTER                                                 67

  UNCLE DANIEL JOINS OUR COMPANY                                      69

  HARD TRAVELING                                                      71

  MUD AND WATER                                                       72

  A STORM OF SNOW                                                     74

  ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS                                                76

  A FRIENDLY DUNKARD                                                  78

  MASTER HIPLES'S KINDNESS                                            80

  A SURLY LANDLORD                                                    82

  ISAAC FLOGS THE LANDLORD                                            83

  A MUCH NEEDED LESSON                                                85

  A TIME OF REST                                                      87

  PACK TRAINS                                                         89

  A NIGHT ADVENTURE                                                   90

  FEARS ABOUT THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN                                  92

  DESCENDING THE MOUNTAINS                                            95

  AT THE FOOT OF THE HILLS                                            96

  NEARING THE END OF THE JOURNEY                                      98

  AT SUMRILL'S FERRY                                                 100

  PARTING WITH UNCLE DANIEL                                          101

  OUR FLATBOAT                                                       102

  THE CATTLE ARE SENT AWAY                                           104

  AT PITTSBURGH                                                      106

  TOO MUCH WATER                                                     108

  ESCAPE OF THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN                                   110

  REPAIRING DAMAGES                                                  112

  OUR PILOT                                                          114

  A CHANGE OF WEATHER                                                116

  NOISY FEAR                                                         117

  A REAL FEAST                                                       119

  FINDING THE CANOE                                                  120

  BUFFALO CREEK                                                      122

  THE MARCH ACROSS THE COUNTRY                                       124

  AT MARIETTA                                                        126

  PLANS FOR THE FUTURE                                               128

  INSPECTING THE TOWN OF MARIETTA                                    130

  A TEMPORARY HOME                                                   132

  BUYING LAND                                                        134

  VISITING THE SAVAGES                                               137

  CAPTAIN HASKELL'S ADVICE                                           140

  A NEW FRIEND                                                       141

  FISHING THROUGH THE ICE                                            142

  THE SABBATH IN MARIETTA                                            144

  A REGULAR BUSINESS                                                 146

  A VISIT FROM THE SAVAGES                                           147

  BUILDING A HOME                                                    149

  A GREAT PROJECT                                                    150

  THE TWO MILLERS                                                    152

  THE SAVAGES ON THE WARPATH                                         153



                           BENJAMIN OF OHIO



                           BENJAMIN'S STORY


           [Illustration: Benjamin leaning on the letter I.]

It seems a very long while since I promised to tell you of what I did
after coming into this Ohio country, and yet even now I cannot well
begin the tale without telling something about the Ohio Company, which
was formed, as you know, by General Rufus Putnam.

Twice I have begun the story, and twice I have stopped, understanding
that you would not be able to make out why we did this or that, unless
you first knew how it chanced that we came to make our homes here.

When you and I, while we were both in Massachusetts, talked about my
journeying into this country, I may have spoken in such a way as to
give you the idea that I believed it would be possible for me to do
much toward the making of a new town.

In fact, I did really then believe that my services would be of great
value to those men who expected to build a village here on the
Muskingum River; but, although only two years have passed, I already
understand that a boy of my age is not of much worth in such an
enterprise, more particularly when men like Parson Cutler and General
Putnam are at the head of affairs.

Do you remember how old I am? Well, there is here in this town of
Marietta a fellow by the name of Jeremy Salter, who has become quite a
friend of mine, and the other day he asked my age.

I told him that I was born in December of the year of the capture of
Ticonderoga and Crown Point, the election of General Washington to be
commander in chief of the armies, and the battle of Bunker Hill, yet,
if you will believe me, the dolt was not able to fix the date.

However, my age has nothing to do with our coming from Mattapoisett
into Ohio, and now let me try to make it plain how it happened that we
of Massachusetts could come so far away and take up land simply because
of having bought shares in the Ohio Company.



                           THE OHIO COMPANY


This is the story as I have heard it from General Putnam himself. It
seems that when our war for independence came to an end, the government
did not have money enough with which to pay the soldiers for their
services, or, as Parson Cutler says, the country was much the same
as bankrupt; General Washington himself declared that a wagonload of
Continental money would be hardly sufficient to purchase a wagonload of
provisions.

Now of course these soldiers must have their wages, and some men in the
Congress proposed that the government sell land in the western country
in order to raise enough money.

[Illustration: Rufus Putnam surveying land with Ben Tupper.]

While this matter was being talked about, Congress ordered that a
survey be made of the western lands, and Rufus Putnam himself received
an appointment as one of the surveyors; but, not being able to attend
to the work personally, he induced an old comrade, by the name of
Benjamin Tupper, to take his place.

[Illustration: Meeting of the citizens of Massachusetts.]

When Master Tupper came back to the eastern colonies, after having
been over the land, he told General Putnam what a great, grand country
it was; and it is said that the two old comrades sat up all night
talking over plans for buying land enough to form a colony, and that
by daybreak they had decided to call a meeting of the citizens of
Massachusetts and the near-by states, to be held at the Bunch of Grapes
tavern in Boston, early in the month of March, 1786. This meeting was
held, and a company was organized, to be known as the Ohio Associates.

The government had decided to use this land, as I have said, to pay
off the soldiers, and this company, formed by General Putnam, employed
Parson Manasseh Cutler and Master Winthrop Sargent to make a bargain
with Congress. These two men offered to buy one million, five hundred
thousand acres of land at one dollar an acre, paying down five hundred
thousand dollars when the contract was signed, with the debts due the
soldiers reckoned as so much ready money.

Those who had banded themselves together could not raise the remaining
million dollars, and the result was that the government cut down the
agreement so that our Ohio Company had at its disposal a little more
than a million acres of land, instead of a million and a half.



                             RUFUS PUTNAM


You surely remember what General Putnam has done for his country,
or, I should say, what he did, even before he came to Ohio. In 1757,
when only nineteen years old, he enlisted as a common soldier in
the Provincial army,--for there was then war between England and
France,--and served faithfully four years, until the surrender of
Montreal, when the army was disbanded. Then he went to his home in New
Braintree and worked at the trade of millwright; but he soon discovered
that his education was not sufficient to enable him to continue the
business to the best advantage, therefore he devoted every moment of
his spare time to the study of mathematics.

[Illustration: Rufus Putnam Studying Mathematics.]

Seven or eight years afterward, when it was believed the British
government would give to those soldiers who had served in the French
war certain lands somewhere in the wild western country, Rufus Putnam
was selected as one of a party to find out where it would be well for
the people to settle.

No sooner had the battle of Lexington been fought than Rufus Putnam was
among the first to enlist; and it shows that he gained a good military
reputation, for he was made lieutenant colonel of the first regiment
raised in Massachusetts.



                     COLONEL PUTNAM, THE ENGINEER


Because of his knowledge of mathematics he was chosen by the leaders of
the American army to lay out the line of defenses round about Boston,
and did more than a full share in forcing the British to evacuate that
city, because of the skill with which he established the fortifications
on Dorchester Heights.

[Illustration: Colonel Putnam, the Engineer.]

Later he was sent to New York, where he took charge of the defenses on
Long Island at Fort Lee, and King's Bridge; and during the year when
our people made their formal declaration of independence, Rufus Putnam
was appointed engineer, with the rank of colonel and pay at sixty
dollars a month.

The next year Colonel Putnam went back to Massachusetts, where he
raised and took command of a regiment which he afterward led in the
battle of Stillwater and again at Saratoga, covering himself with
glory, so I have heard Parson Cutler say.

After the surprise at Stony Point, Colonel Putnam was appointed to the
command of a regiment in General Wayne's brigade, continuing to serve
with credit to himself, and to the best interests of his country, until
1783, when Congress promoted him to the rank of brigadier general; he
remained in the service of the people, filling one position or another,
until this Ohio Company was formed, as I have told you.

Another matter which you should bear in mind while thinking of us so
far away, is that when Parson Cutler made the trade with the government
for land in the Ohio country, he induced the Congress to set aside two
entire townships, of thirty-six square miles each, for the support of
a university, and in each of the other townships one square mile to be
used solely for the support of schools and churches. Therefore, even
before any man had begun the building of a home here on the Muskingum
River, schools and churches were provided for, which is more, I
believe, than can be said regarding most new settlements.



                          THE FIRST EMIGRANTS


You remember all the talk and excitement in Massachusetts at this
time, when so much was being told regarding the beauties of the Ohio
country, and you know how eager I was to set out with that first party
which left Danvers under the leadership of Major Haffield White on the
first day of December, in the year 1787.

[Illustration: The First Emigrants in a Conestoga Wagon.]

As you also know, these men were to halt somewhere on the Youghiogheny
River to build boats, in order to continue the journey by water, and
a second party, under the command of General Putnam himself, was to
leave Hartford in Connecticut shortly afterward, to join those from
Massachusetts.

This second company was really led by Colonel Ebenezer Sproat because
General Putnam was forced to go to New York on some business of his
own, and did not succeed in overtaking the people until they had come
to Swatara Creek in Pennsylvania.



                           BUILDING A FLEET


Major Haffield White's party arrived at Sumrill's Ferry, after a long
and tedious journey over the old Military Road, on the twenty-third day
of January, in the year 1788, and immediately began building boats.

[Illustration: Campus Martius.]

On the fourteenth of February, General Putnam's party, by which I mean
those who set out from Hartford, joined those who were already at the
ferry, and the two companies landed here on the bank of the Muskingum
River the seventh day of April, in the year 1788.

All this is an old and familiar story; but it is well for me to remind
you of it, so that you can the better understand how I, who had
believed and hoped I was coming into a new country to do my full share
in building up a town, found everything, as one might say, ready to
hand.

Instead of cutting through the wilderness in order to build houses, we
found the land so far cleared that we might get about the home making
at once, and during the time the work was being carried on, the people
lived in the fort, which General Putnam calls Campus Martius. It is
situated near Fort Harmar, a fortification standing on the west bank
of the Muskingum River near its mouth, and not far from this town of
Marietta. It was built in 1785, and Colonel Josiah Harmar is now in
command.



                            CAMPUS MARTIUS


What do I mean by Campus Martius, when I claim to be living in the
town of Marietta? When General Putnam and his company arrived here,
the first thing they did was to build a fort for the protection, not
only of themselves, but of those who might come after; concerning this
fort I will tell you later, but first you may be, and probably are, as
curious as I was regarding the name.

I asked General Putnam, and he told me it was named after a certain lot
of land in the city of Rome, which was used for popular assemblies and
military exercises. However, the town itself is called Marietta, after
Marie Antoinette of France, who was so brutally killed by her subjects
during the Reign of Terror.

[Illustration: Men building the Campus Martius fort.]

Perhaps it would be better if I begin this story by telling you how we
got here, for the journey was not only long, but tiresome, and made at
the cost of much labor. But yet it seems best to set down all within
my knowledge concerning those men who first came out, meaning the
party which left Danvers in Massachusetts, and that which started from
Hartford in Connecticut.

All that I know about Major White's company during the march is
that they came over what is called the old Military Road, across
Pennsylvania, until they arrived at the Youghiogheny River, which they
crossed, and then went into winter quarters at Sumrill's Ferry.

There they set about building a flatboat, which they called the
_Mayflower_, making her forty-six feet long and twelve feet wide, with
a roof deck and a sharp bow, to be propelled by either sails or oars;
they built also a smaller flatboat and several canoes.

[Illustration: Men Building a Flatboat.]



                     THE ARRIVAL OF GENERAL PUTNAM


It was while they were building this fleet that General Putnam's
party joined them, and on the first day of April the new _Mayflower_,
together with the smaller craft, began the voyage down the Ohio,
arriving opposite Fort Harmar on the seventh day of April. There were
forty-eight men on board the vessels: four surveyors with twenty-two
others to attend them, six boat builders, four carpenters, one
blacksmith, and eleven so-called common hands.

I myself have heard General Putnam say that when his company arrived
at Swatara Creek it was frozen over, but not sufficiently hard to
bear the weight of the wagon, and they spent one entire day cutting a
passage through the ice. Then, later, he says so great was the quantity
of snow as to block up the roads, and when they got as far as Cooper's,
at the foot of the Tuscarora mountains, they found old snow twelve
inches deep. Nothing save pack horses had passed over it, therefore it
was necessary to build sleds and harness the animals one before the
other, with the men marching in front to break out the roads, and thus
they continued until arriving at the Youghiogheny, as I have already
said.

[Illustration: The New Mayflower (Flatboat) Going Downriver.]

As you know, our town of Marietta is on the Muskingum River at its
mouth where it empties into the Ohio, and I am sending you such a
drawing as I have been able to make, so that you may know just where we
are located.



                    THE WORK OF THE FIRST EMIGRANTS


Most likely General Putnam decided upon this particular place in which
to build a town because Fort Harmar, erected here in the year 1785,
would afford a very timely place of refuge in case the Indians made
an attack upon our people before they were in condition to defend
themselves.

[Illustration: Hand Drawn Map of Marietta.]

Fort Harmar is on the lower bank of the river, while our town of
Marietta is on the opposite side, or what might be called the upper
point of land between the Muskingum and the Ohio.

Allen, who is a son of Captain Jonathan Devoll, and came with the first
party from Danvers, told me that as soon as our people landed they
set about making huts of boards which had been brought with them from
Sumrill's Ferry, and at the same time put up a canvas tent for the
use of General Putnam, wherein he could transact the business of the
new colony, and in such shelters they lived until the fort had been
completed.

[Illustration: Men Reading the Laws Nailed to Tree by River.]

The surveyors immediately began laying out the town lots and the farms
for those people who had bought shares in the company, and many laws
or regulations were made by General Putnam and his friends, which were
nailed to the trunk of a large tree on the river bank where all might
see them.

The place was then, and is now, as beautiful a spot as one could well
imagine. There are fish in the rivers in abundance, and game of every
kind to be found in greatest plenty. Just fancy herds of buffaloes and
deer roaming through the forest and over the plains, while wild turkeys
are found in such numbers as would do your heart good, especially after
a good plump one has been cooked on a spit in front of a roaring fire.

There was very little hunting done for sport, however, so Allen Devoll
told me. Those people who went out in search of game did so only that
they might provide themselves and their companions with food; for the
work on every hand was abundant.



                           CLEARING THE LAND


Enormous trees in the forest were to be girdled and thus killed
that they might the more easily be hewn down, and the soil had to
be prepared for planting. That these newcomers were not idle may be
understood when I tell you that, during the first spring they were
here, one hundred and thirty acres of corn were planted.

Of course there were no cleared fields, such as one might see about
Mattapoisett. The seed was put in among stumps, where only the
underbrush had been cleared away; therefore a plow could not be run to
make a straight furrow.

The greater portion of the work was done with hoes and spades; and
already I have had disagreeable experience in that kind of labor,
which causes one's back to ache woefully and blisters the hands even of
those who are accustomed to such toil.

[Illustration: Man Using a Hoe in a Cornfield.]

And now after all this, which is what you might call the beginning
of my story, I will tell you of our leaving home, and of that long,
wearisome journey across the mountains, when we forded creeks and, if
you please, might be said to have walked from one side of the state of
Pennsylvania to the other.

I have sometimes regretted that I was not with the company led by Major
White, or under the leadership of Colonel Sproat, so that I could say
that I was one of the first to step foot in this Ohio country with the
idea of making a home; but those voyagers were only men who could
perform such work as boat building or surveying, and boys were neither
wanted nor allowed.



                      HOW OUR COMPANY WAS FORMED


First you should know that Captain Jonathan Devoll was a member of the
company that came here under the leadership of Major White, setting out
from Danvers. He had left his family behind in Providence, and because
of that fact perhaps, I was given an opportunity to come.

Having neither father nor mother, and being dependent upon those who
were willing to provide me with work whereby I might gain a livelihood,
there was no one to push forward my claim to become one of the
emigrants, save only Mistress Devoll herself, who needed some one to
aid her in caring for the children during the journey, for she is not a
very strong woman.

Master John Rouse had bought a share in the company and was making
ready to start with his family, when he received word that he should
bring with him all Captain Devoll's family. Then there was Captain
Haskell in our town of Mattapoisett, an old sailor who owned a large
covered wagon and two horses.

Master Rouse had only one team of horses; therefore he proposed to
Captain Haskell that they join forces, and surely it was a good trade
for Master Rouse, since he had a large family to take with him, while
the old captain was alone in the world.

Because of the labor involved in driving four horses during so long a
time as would be required for the journey, it was decided that young
Ben Cushing should be hired as driver, and thus the party was made up,
until Mistress Devoll so kindly interfered in my behalf, claiming that
she had a right to take with her at least one more lad.



                     MAKING READY FOR THE JOURNEY


I wish I could describe to you the excitement under which we all
labored while making ready for the long journey!

Do you remember the Rouse family? First there is Michael, twenty-two
years old; then Bathsheba, who is nineteen or thereabouts; and
Elizabeth, two years younger. Cynthia is two years younger than
Elizabeth; Ruth is only eleven years old; Stephen, six, and the twins,
Robert and Barker, only four.

Now if Mistress Devoll had not needed my services, I should have found
ample opportunity of earning my way across to the Ohio country by
taking care of the Rouse children.

The most important matter was the preparing of the wagon, where the
women would sleep during such nights as we failed to find lodgings in
taverns or farmhouses, and it was with infinite care that Master Rouse
and Captain Haskell almost rebuilt this cart, which was what I believe
is generally called a Conestoga wagon, although why it should be given
such a name I do not understand, unless it may have been made in some
town by the name of Conestoga.

[Illustration: Men Packing the Conestoga Wagon.]

With so many in the company, you can fancy that it was a difficult
matter to decide just what should be taken and what left behind, for
it was of the utmost importance that the baggage be reduced to the
smallest possible amount, and in order that it might be packed with the
greatest economy, boxes were made to fit exactly into the bottom of
the wagon, so that no space would be left unoccupied. On top of these
were stowed the beds and bedding, while cooking utensils hung around
on the inside, where we might get at them handily at mealtime, for,
as it proved, very many days we were forced to do our cooking by the
roadside, with such fireplaces as could be built up with rocks which we
lads gathered.

[Illustration: Boys Preparing a Cooking Fire.]

Two trunks were placed at one end of the wagon, where they served as
a barrier to prevent the twins from falling out when they played on
the bedding, and upon the axles were hung buckets and such tools as
might be needed during the journey, thus giving the outfit a decidedly
comical, but perhaps homelike, appearance.

We took with us only a small amount of grain for the horses, trusting
to buy all that might be needed until we had journeyed as far as
Carlisle in Pennsylvania. After that there would be less chance of
coming upon farms where such things could be purchased, and then the
animals would be forced to subsist only on grass.



                           CONCERNING MYSELF


My part of the outfit consisted of the clothes I wore, for I am
ashamed to say that I did not own a second coat which would have been
presentable in any company. Therefore I did not allow myself to be
troubled when the women complained long and bitterly because they had
so little with which to work or make themselves comfortable, and for
the only time in my life it did seem as if my poverty was really a
blessing.

I lived in a perfect fever of excitement during the three weeks we were
making ready for the voyage, and on the evening before the eventful day
I was so wrought up in my mind that to sleep was an impossibility. From
the time I laid myself down on my bed in Master Rouse's stable, until
the sun rose, I did not close my eyes in slumber; then I acted as if I
had never seen a horse or harness before, for when Ben Cushing called
on me to aid him in putting the animals to the pole, my hands trembled
so that I could not fasten a buckle, let alone arrange the straps to
his liking.

Ben is a careful driver and one who ever looks after the welfare of his
beasts. To him a strap too long or too short, a buckle out of place or
liable to break, is almost the same as a sin.

I need not have allowed myself to be worked up to such an extent,
however, for the first part of our journey was nothing more nor less
than pleasure. Half a dozen young girls, on horseback, set off with
us, expecting to ride as far as the Long Plain, which is six miles out
from Mattapoisett, and the entire population, as it appeared to me,
had turned out to see us get under way with that long Conestoga wagon
covered with canvas, on the sides of which had been painted, "To the
Ohio Country."

[Illustration: Group Setting Out on the Trail.]



                              SETTING OUT


What a cheering and shaking of hands, and what a showering of good
wishes upon us took place in that Mattapoisett street!

If we could have had Parson Cutler with us to give what you might call
an official sanction to the start, as was done when Major White's
party set off from Danvers, then I would have been more content.
Surely, however, there was no need for me to make complaint, because
never before had I witnessed such a scene of excitement as when Ben
Cushing gathered up the reins, and the townspeople stood around the
heavy wagon until Mistress Rouse cried out in alarm lest some of them
be run over. The twins, insisting on going the first mile or more
afoot, ran here and there until it seemed to me at times that they were
under the very feet of the horses during three minutes of every four.

[Illustration: Children in the Conestoga Wagon.]

It was really a relief, when we had drawn out of the town so far
that the more excited ones could no longer call out to say once more
"good-by" or "God bless you." I ought not to have been so impatient,
for many a long day was to pass before I again saw faces on which I
could read expressions of good will and friendliness toward me.

This first portion of our journey was quite like a merrymaking. The
young women rode either side the wagon; the Rouse girls walked, or sat
beside their mother in the big cart, as pleased them best, and the
twins, soon tiring of striving to entangle themselves with the horses'
legs, were ready to come in under the shelter of the canvas.

We drove only six miles, and indeed this was quite a journey for
the first day, because the animals were not accustomed to traveling
together and gave Ben Cushing no little trouble. Besides, our departure
had been delayed so long, owing to the townspeople, that it was nearly
noon before we had left Mattapoisett behind us, and the day was nearly
done when we had come to the Long Plain, and there stopped at the home
of Mistress Devoll's cousin.



                       MISTRESS DEVOLL'S OUTFIT


We had but one wagon for all our party from the time we left
Mattapoisett until coming to Providence. Mistress Devoll and Mistress
Rouse are sisters and were much together at Mattapoisett after Captain
Devoll set off for the Ohio country. It was while the captain's wife
was in our village that she made me the offer to pay my passage to the
Muskingum River by looking after her belongings.

Mistress Devoll expected to join Master Rouse's company at her home in
Providence, where she was to have ready a wagon in which would be all
her household goods that could be transported over the mountains. She
was to have a team of four horses, and her brother, Isaac Barker, was
to act as driver, while I played the part of helper.

[Illustration: Ben Cushing Driving a Wagon with Benjamin Beside Him.]

Therefore on leaving Mattapoisett I ran ahead or behind Master Rouse's
wagon, or clambered up by the side of Ben Cushing when the seat next
to him was not occupied, for he was a good friend of mine and could be
counted on to give me a hint now and then, if I overstepped my bounds.

The stay at the Long Plain overnight was what you might call a friendly
visit for all the members of the company save Ben Cushing and me;
but we two were not lonely, for we laid ourselves down to sleep in
the wagon, after having had a bountiful meal at the home of Mistress
Devoll's cousin, and it is safe to say that during the first night
after starting for the Ohio country we slept more comfortably, if not
more soundly, than on any other during the journey.

[Illustration: Ben Cushing and Benjamin Sleeping in the Wagon.]

We were up at break of day, however, for the horses were to be groomed
and fed, and Master Rouse had decided that we must travel as far as
Providence before nightfall.

The young women who had come out from Mattapoisett with us, went back
some time late in the evening after Cushing and I were asleep, and when
breakfast had been eaten we set off once more, just as the sun was
rising. It seemed as if this was really the beginning of the journey,
for we were alone, plodding over the dusty road which, to look into
the future, seemed as if it would have no end.



                             AT PROVIDENCE


An hour after sunset we halted in front of Mistress Devoll's house.
The horses were unhitched and taken to a stable, where Ben and I were
speedily joined by Isaac Barker, whom we had seen more than once in
Mattapoisett, and we three, while caring for the animals, discussed at
great length the undertaking which lay all before us.

[Illustration: Boys Pushing the Wagon up a Mountain Road.]

A rare hand at making sport was Isaac Barker, and many a time after
leaving Providence it did seem to me that but for his quips and jokes
we might have given up in despair at trying to gain this country, for
the way was hard over the best of the roads we found, and there were
many moments, after we got into Pennsylvania, when all the members
of the company were forced to lay hold of ropes tied to the tops of
the carts to prevent them from oversetting. Then it was that Isaac's
nonsense really served to hearten us.

You can well fancy that when we were once among the mountains the way
was exceedingly hard to travel, and again and again I have laid my
shoulder against the hind end of one of the wagons, straining every
muscle to help the horses on, while every other man and boy was doing
the same, and doing it to the utmost of his power.

We lost no time in leaving Providence next morning. Mistress Devoll's
wagon was packed and ready, and after eating a breakfast which had been
prepared by some of the neighbors, we set off, I walking with the men
either ahead or behind the teams, for there was not sufficient room in
both wagons for all our company to ride. There are five of the Devoll
children: Sally, twelve years old; Henry, two years younger; Charles,
aged eight; Barker, five; and Francis, a baby not much more than a year
old.

Isaac Barker cracked jokes as he swung the whip over the backs of
the horses; the Rouse girls sang until they were hoarse; the smaller
children screamed with delight because we were finally on our way to
the wilderness; and everything went on as if we were still simply bent
upon pleasure during this third day of the journey.



                     ON THE ROAD TO BLOOMING GROVE


Now it is not in my mind to set down an account of every day's journey
while we were in what you might call civilized country, for we simply
drove the horses as far as we could each day, with due care to a
resting place at night, passing through Farmington, Litchfield, and
Ballsbridge, to the Hudson River.

Of course it was necessary to cross the water, and to do this, Master
Rouse and Captain Haskell hired two large boats into which we could
stow the wagons as well as the horses. By the aid of both sails and
oars the clumsy craft were navigated from Fishkill to Newburgh, where
we took to the road again, traveling ten miles to a village called
Blooming Grove. There we stopped at a tavern kept by a man named
Goldsmith.

[Illustration: Benjamin Cleaning Horses Hooves and Talking to Goldsmith.]

There is no particular reason why I should have remembered that man's
name so long, had it not been that seeing me rubbing the legs of
Mistress Devoll's horses, on that evening, he took me kindly by the ear
and said that I was a likely looking lad such as he stood in need of
to help him about the tavern, proposing, if I would remain with him,
to give me my board and clothes during the first year, allowing me to
attend school meanwhile, at the same time promising that when such term
of service had expired he would make another bargain, which should
include a certain sum of money as wages.



                         PLANS FOR THE FUTURE


Perhaps it might have been better for me had I accepted the good man's
offer, and yet there was in my mind such a desire to go out into that
Ohio country where even the poorest lad, if he was willing to work to
the best of his ability, could make a home for himself, that I could
not bring myself to think of remaining at the tavern doing chores for
this farmer or that, and getting no farther ahead in the world.

All of which I told him, and when I had come to an end of my talk, he
replied that he could not blame me for holding to the choice I had
made, and said he hoped it might be possible for me to do all that was
in my mind. At the same time he assured me that if I found this part of
the country different from what I had fancied, and was ready to come
back into civilization, where I might have the comforts of home, I
should present myself to him.

[Illustration: The Ferryman and Captain Haskell.]

Although I have not advanced so far in the world as I had hoped might
have been possible, I have not fallen in the race of life. I am no
worse off than when I landed here at Marietta, and have laid up for
myself some few dollars, in addition to the knowledge that I am of
service in the settlement; therefore I cannot regret the choice I made
at Blooming Grove.

After leaving that village we journeyed over good roads through the
towns of Chester and Warwick, finally crossing the state line into New
Jersey, and coming to the town of Newton.

We had neither adventure nor mishap during this portion of our
travels, for the roads were good, the horses inclined to move at a
reasonably rapid pace, and those who would have walked from choice
found themselves speedily distanced. More than once were Master Rouse,
Captain Haskell, and I so far behind the wagons that the drivers
believed it necessary to halt in order that we might join the company.

From Newton we went past Sussex Court House, or the Log Jail as it is
called, through the towns of Hope and Oxford, to the village of Easton,
which is situated at the forks of the Delaware River.



                        ON THE WATER ONCE MORE


Here we were forced to take to the water once more, in order that we
might cross over into the state of Pennsylvania, and because there was
but one flatboat to be hired at this place, no little time was spent in
making the passage.

It was near nightfall when we were safely landed on the Pennsylvania
shore, and then came the question as to where we might spend the night.

The ferryman had told Captain Haskell that five miles down the
road was a farm owned by an old German who was disposed to care for
travelers who were well-behaved and willing to pay a certain small sum
for the service he rendered. We therefore hastened our pace, moving as
rapidly as possible, until, half an hour after the sun had set, we came
to a farm, the buildings of which would have delighted the eyes of any
man who had a care for such things.

[Illustration: Eating Buckwheat Cakes at the German Farmer's House.]

Surely no one could have been more hospitable than were the old German
and his wife, to say nothing of the four sons and three daughters, all
of whom made us welcome and insisted that we come into their kitchen
to eat supper with them, rather than make any attempt at providing
our own meals, as we had been doing nearly all the time since leaving
Mattapoisett.



                           FEASTING ON HONEY


How Ben Cushing and I did eat that night! The owner of the farm had
given especial attention to the raising of bees and had a large store
of honey on hand. The farmer's wife and daughters baked such cakes of
buckwheat as I never before tasted, and these, plentifully covered with
the golden honey, made up a meal which still lingers in my memory.

[Illustration: Among the Moravians in Bethlehem.]

We passed the night there, all the company except Ben Cushing, Isaac
Barker, and me, sleeping on the floor of the kitchen and living room,
where beds had been spread for their comfort.

Captain Haskell showed how a sailor could take advantage of every inch
of space, for when the women claimed that there was not room in which
to make up beds for all and dispose of their clothing properly during
the hours of the night, the captain turned down the chairs so that the
backs of them would serve as heads for the beds, thus making pillows,
and pointed out that the spaces underneath could be filled with the
clothing where it might be found readily in the morning.

Ben, Isaac, and I found snug resting places for ourselves in the
sweet-smelling hay on the mow, and slept, I dare say, quite as soundly
and sweetly as did those who were sheltered in the house.

When morning came, that is to say, when there was the first evidence of
the dawning of a new day, we three set about making ready the horses
for the journey, and were no sooner come to an end of our labors than
we were summoned by one of the girls to the kitchen, where, the beds
having been removed from the floor, a table was spread most bountifully.



                          AMONG THE MORAVIANS


[Illustration: Girls Coming Home from School.]

The next day of our journey was most entertaining, at least so it
seemed to me, for we came to the town of Bethlehem, which is settled
almost entirely by those ardent Christian men and women who are known
as Moravians and who have already sent out missionaries among the
Indians, doing no small amount of good.

Those Moravian people were exceedingly hospitable, urging us to partake
of food in their houses, insisting on feeding our horses, and allowing
us to wander wheresoever we would.

Indeed there was much to be seen in their town, for at one of the
houses was a pet bear which was most amusing, and the smaller children,
as well as Ben Cushing and I, spent more than an hour watching the
little fellow's clumsy, and at the same time comical, antics. There
were also a number of pet deer wandering about the streets, and when we
had fed them with clover, to our heart's content, we were delighted at
seeing a large throng of little girls coming from school, dressed in
what was to me a most singular fashion, although not unbecoming.

[Illustration: Rope Ferry.]

They all wore short gowns with gayly-colored petticoats, which came
an inch or two below the frock itself, and had small, white linen
caps which caused them to look much like old ladies. Prim and demure
they were while marching in an orderly manner through the streets,
and yet I saw more than one cast a sidelong glance toward our company
of children, with a twinkle in their eyes as token that, were they so
permitted, they could show us that they had in their natures quite as
much love for fun as any other boy or girl.



                            THE ROPE FERRY


We stayed longer in Bethlehem than we were warranted in doing, when
one takes into consideration the length of the journey before us; but
it was all so entertaining, so peaceful, and there was such an air
of friendliness among the people, that I was sorry when we drove out
of the town, hoping to find lodgings for the night at the house of a
German, eight miles beyond.

And so we journeyed on without adventure until we came to the Lehigh
River, and there I saw what I dare say no fellow in Massachusetts has
laid eyes upon. It was called a rope ferry, by means of which we were
to cross the river.

Ben Cushing claims that there is nothing wonderful about this ferry,
for it consists simply of a rope stretched from one bank of the river
to the other; to this, attached by a noose, or, in other words, a
hawser which will readily slip, the ferryboat is made fast in such a
manner that the stern is lower downstream than the bow, and the current
catching this, forces the boat along.

[Illustration: Buying Needed Item from Farmers.]

Perhaps I haven't made this very plain to you, but it is operated on
the principle of force applied to what might be called an inclined
plane; therefore, since the craft cannot be shoved downstream by the
current, it must be urged toward the opposite shore.

At all events to me it was a great curiosity, whether Ben Cushing
thought it so or not, and I studied the general arrangement so
carefully that if we should need anything of the kind in this country,
I am quite certain I could build one.



                     THE WAY THROUGH PENNSYLVANIA


Now our way lay through Allentown and Kutztown to Reading; the roads
over which we traveled were so good, and the horses so willing, that
every member of our company enjoyed himself to the utmost.

[Illustration: German Women Swingling Flax.]

Cynthia Rouse and Sally Devoll visited back and forth from wagon to
wagon during each day, their favorite seat being with the driver, where
they could see what was going on and sing to their heart's content.

We were treated kindly by the people, who sold us bread and butter,
milk or meat, and now and then we came to a store or tavern where we
could lay in additional supplies of provisions, but, as a rule, thus
far we had found it possible to buy from farmers all that we might need.

At night, when we were stopping at a farmhouse, and after the small
children had been put to bed, the older girls would set about
preparing provisions for the next day, perhaps borrowing cooking
utensils, for our own were few in number and fitted rather for use on a
rough fireplace out of doors than in a well-ordered kitchen.

It had become the rule that Isaac Barker, Ben Cushing, and I were to
sleep in the wagons during the night to guard against the possibility
of evil-disposed persons. Up to this time, however, we had had no
trouble of the kind; but Captain Haskell insisted that we remain
constantly on our guard, claiming that the day might come when we would
fall in with people not so friendly as those who had thus far cheered
us on our way.



                        THE SHAME OF THE GIRLS


On the day when we went into Reading, Cynthia Rouse and Sally Devoll
were on the front seat of Isaac's wagon, and as they rode along the
girls saw two old German women swingling, or as they called it,
"scutchelling" flax.

The old ladies presented a most comical appearance, and the girls
laughed loudly, never thinking for a moment that they were being rude;
but when the flax swinglers looked up angrily and saw the legend on our
wagon cover, one of them shouted to the girls that if they were going
into the Ohio country, the day would soon come when they also would be
swingling flax, if they did their duty.

[Illustration]

As may be supposed, this caused the girls no little shame, for being
thus reproved by their elders was not pleasant, more particularly when
they knew they had been guilty of rudeness.

This town of Reading was the most considerable place we had seen
since leaving Massachusetts, and Master Rouse decided that we should
remain there at least one day because of the number of shops where we
could buy such articles as were needed, or otherwise put ourselves in
readiness for the rougher journey which we knew lay before us.



                      MEETING WITH PARSON CUTLER


It was owing to this decision that we got late and trustworthy news
concerning the land where we counted on making our homes, for there we
met Parson Cutler himself.

I despair of making you understand how surprised and delighted we were
at meeting the parson midway in our journey.

[Illustration: Parson Cutler in His Sulky.]

We all knew that during the summer he had set out in his sulky
intending to drive from Ipswich to Marietta; but since we did not leave
until October, we supposed, if indeed we gave very much heed to the
matter, that Master Cutler must have returned long ere this.

The parson appeared quite as well pleased to see us as we were to see
him, and straightway commended Master Rouse and Captain Haskell upon
their spirit in thus going out into the Ohio country, where he assured
them they would find such farming lands as had never been seen in
Massachusetts. In addition to this, he set Mistress Devoll's mind at
rest regarding her husband and spent no little time explaining to her
what the captain had done in the way of building the _Mayflower_ and
the other boats which carried the first settlers down the river.



                            OHIO CORNFIELDS


Among other things, he told us of the enormous fields of corn which
had been planted, described to us the cabins our people had built,
which were little more than low huts covered in with walnut bark, and
declared that the houses and the corn seemed to grow at the same time,
although the corn speedily overshadowed the small dwellings, for it
grew so tall that one had to stand on tiptoes to break off an ear,
while in Massachusetts it was often necessary for a farmer to stoop.

[Illustration: Ohio Cornfields.]

"One could as easily be lost in a cornfield on a cloudy day as in a
cedar swamp," Parson Cutler said, and then went on to tell how much
like a forest were these fields, where the green grain grew above one's
head with leaves so huge as to shut out all rays of light from one
furrow to another.

He rather dampened the ardor of some of the women when he said that the
surveyors were forced to do their work under the protection of a guard
of armed men, for fear of prowling Indians, and the children looked
at each other in alarm as he told of one of the settlers who had been
bitten, when asleep, by a copperhead snake.



                        THE GOVERNOR AND JUDGES


We heard also from Parson Cutler that General Arthur St. Clair had
been appointed governor of the Ohio district. He was a citizen of
Pennsylvania, had been a distinguished officer in the Revolutionary
army, and president of Congress, in addition to which he stood high
in the confidence of Washington. Samuel H. Parsons of Connecticut,
and James M. Varnum of Massachusetts, both of whom were directors in
the Ohio Company, and John Cleves Symmes of New Jersey had been made
judges, with Winthrop Sargent of New Hampshire as secretary of the
territory.

The judges arrived at Marietta in June, and on the 9th of July,
Governor St. Clair joined them. He was escorted by a detachment of
troops under Major Doughty, who had gone up to Pittsburgh from Fort
Harmar some days before to meet him, and was received with military
honors and a salute.

[Illustration: Governor greeted with rounds from fieldpiece.]

One of the soldiers afterward told me that when the governor landed he
was greeted with thirteen rounds from a fieldpiece. When he approached
the garrison, the music played a salute, the troops paraded and
presented their arms, and he was also welcomed by a clap of thunder
and a heavy shower of rain as he entered the fort. It seemed to
this soldier a very pleasant way of receiving the governor of a new
territory.

As might have been expected, Parson Cutler was enthusiastic in his
praise of our town of Marietta, and he read to us that which General
Washington himself had written, which was this:--

"No colony in America was ever settled under such favorable auspices as
that which has just commenced at the Muskingum. Information, property,
and strength will be its characteristics. I know many of the settlers
personally, and there never were men better calculated to promote the
welfare of such a community."

There was little need for Parson Cutler to try to strengthen us in
the determination to continue the journey, for none of our party were
weak-kneed; but it pleased us much to know that such a man as General
Washington could praise so heartily those who had begun the building of
Marietta.



                         THE NAME OF THE TOWN


And now, lest I forget it, and since it is brought to my mind by what
Parson Cutler said to us, let me tell you that this town came very near
being named Adelphia. It was the Parson's idea, and he said much to us
concerning it, complaining, as I thought, because it had been called
Marietta. The meaning of Adelphia is "brethren," so he said, and he
claimed that by having constantly before them the idea that they were
to dwell there as brethren, the people might be more inclined to act as
such.

Later, when he had gone, I heard Master Rouse and Captain Haskell
discussing the matter, and both allowed that the good parson was really
irritated because his suggestion had been cast aside, for one could
readily see that Master Cutler had set his mind stoutly upon the name
Adelphia. In my opinion, however, Marietta is much better.

[Illustration: Four deer eating ripe grapes in Muskingum bottom.]

Among other things, Parson Cutler told us that game was so plentiful
even close about Marietta, that we need have no fear of ever being
hungry. He said that in the course of a walk one morning up the
Muskingum bottom he saw four deer, and there were ripe grapes hanging
in profusion all around him. In addition to that, he found clam beds on
the shores, and, what was not quite so pleasant, killed a rattlesnake
that lay coiled up in his path.

I don't claim to be timorous under ordinary circumstances, and am ready
to stand my chances against Indians or bears; but when it comes to
snakes, I must say that there is a bit of cowardice in me, for a fellow
can't guard himself against such enemies, and it seems to me that they,
with the savages, make up the disagreeable features in all the pictures
that were drawn for us of our new home.



                            CAMPUS MARTIUS


Now listen to this description which Parson Cutler gave us of Campus
Martius, and I have since come to know that he did not set forth its
characteristics any too strongly.

[Illustration: Campus Maritius.]

It is a kind of house, or castle, if you please, instead of a regular
fort, made in the form of a hollow square, of which the sides measure
one hundred and eighty feet, and is surrounded by a heavy line of
palisades,--meaning a high log fence,--as protection against, the
Indians.

This building contains seventy-two rooms, each eighteen feet square or
more, and General Putnam had told the Parson that in case of necessity
nine hundred people could live within its walls.

Surely it seems like a city of itself, when one attempts to go from end
to end inside the broad passages, and sees the doors leading to rooms
in which an entire family might contrive to live with more or less
comfort.

Parson Cutler was twenty-nine days driving from Ipswich to Marietta in
his sulky, so he told us; but do not understand that such a journey may
always be made in so short a time. He took advantage of the best season
of the year in which to make the trip, and returned before the snow
came; consequently, and because of traveling without very much baggage,
and with a stout horse to draw his light sulky, he could make many more
miles in a day than could such wagons as ours.



                           INDEPENDENCE DAY


He told us of the Fourth of July celebration, which was held in
Marietta on that first Independence Day after the settlers arrived
there. They set about making a feast, and verily it must have been one.
There were venison barbecues,--meaning deer roasted whole,--buffalo
steaks broiled over the glowing coals, bear meat cooked in every manner
that could be devised with the few cooking implements our people
possessed, small pigs roasted whole, and, as the greatest delicacy of
all, an enormous pike, more than six feet long, said to be the largest
ever caught in the Ohio River.

[Illustration]

The feast was kept up until twelve o'clock at night, and then the tired
merrymakers went to their cabins and slept until late in the forenoon,
as the parson said, in such a tone as if he believed they were wasting
their time by thus remaining in bed after the sun had risen.

Then came, according to Parson Cutler's story, at a later date, the
opening of the first court in the territory, and it must have been a
wondrous spectacle. The sheriff, who, as you know, is Colonel Ebenezer
Sproat, holding a drawn sword in his hand, marched with a military
escort, ahead of the governor, the judges, the secretary, and others,
to Campus Martius, where the court was held.

[Illustration]

There are Indians in plenty about Marietta, and Parson Cutler said that
when these savages saw Colonel Sproat, who as you know is an unusually
tall man, they at once gave him the name of Hetuck, or Big Buckeye,
which was the same as if they had called him one of the huge trees of
the forest.

[Illustration]



                         MASTER DEVOLL'S HOUSE


Nor was the growth of our town of Marietta the only thing concerning
which the good man told us, for he gladdened Mistress Devoll's heart by
describing to her the house her husband was building, which was to be
forty feet long by eighteen feet wide, and the height of two stories.

Best of all, there was to be a brick chimney, perhaps more than one,
as soon as a kiln had been made and the bricks burned. It was to be by
far the largest building, with the exception of Campus Martius, in the
town.



                           THE INDIAN MOUNDS


Parson Cutler told us during that night, when we sat around him at
Reading, about queer-shaped mounds of earth in various forms, which
had evidently been thrown up many hundred years before, perhaps by the
Indians, perhaps by some race of people regarding whom we know nothing;
but certain it is there were very many about Marietta. In fact, Campus
Martius was built on one of these mounds.

These embankments, as they might really be called, are of various
shapes, some like serpents, many, many hundred feet long and I can't
say how many feet high, and of such huge proportions that they may be
seen from a long distance. There is one, we were told, shaped something
after the fashion of an elephant; others are formed in circles, and
still others appear to have been made for fortifications.

When we went to bed that night Ben Cushing and I talked until well past
midnight concerning what these things might have been, and he announced
that it was his intention to dig beneath them, believing there he
would find much in the way of treasure; but when he saw the enormous
embankments, he soon realized that neither one man nor twenty could
make much headway digging beneath them.

I heard General Putnam say it was his belief these mounds had something
to do with the religious ceremonies of those who had built them; that
they had a certain significance in the worship of the Great Spirit; but
as for there being treasure beneath them, he laughed at the idea.

If I should set down all Parson Cutler told us on that night concerning
the country to which we were going, I might never get further in my
story, for the good man talked long and fast, describing so many things
of interest, such as the trapping of turkeys, the hunting of bears,
and the different methods of killing deer, that my hair would be gray
before I could write it all out fairly.

Therefore, instead of attempting to repeat his stories, I will go on
with my tale of how we journeyed from Massachusetts into the Ohio
country.



                             AT HARRISBURG


It was near the close of October when we arrived at the Susquehanna
River, at a settlement called Harrisburg, and a very slovenly looking
town it was, as I thought, for those who built it, only two years
before, had thus far not taken the trouble to uproot the stumps of
trees which still stood in the roadways and gave the entire place a
wild, neglected appearance.

I was told that the settlement had formerly been called Louisburg, and
the only reason I can think of for the change of name is that there can
be found a ferry in charge of a man named Harris, and before any houses
were built near by it was known as Harris's Ferry.

[Illustration]

We remained at this place all night, the women and children going into
a log tavern to sleep, while we men and boys made our beds in the
wagons, or on the hay in the stable, as best pleased us.

Because of not caring to spend so much money as would be necessary to
buy a supper for all our company, only the women and small children
partook of the tavern fare, the older girls, the men, and we boys
eating our meals in the tavern yard, after having cooked them in the
tavern kitchen.

The next day's journey was only thirteen miles, and then we arrived at
Carlisle, which was a military station during our war for independence,
and where were yet to be found barracks made of bricks, like regular
houses. There were two or three shops, and a number of good dwellings,
better than one would expect to find even in a town that had been
settled so long.

Because we had not been fed overabundantly since leaving that farmhouse
where we feasted on buckwheat cakes, Master Rouse decided that we
should all have dinner at the tavern, and a bountiful meal it was,
although not quite so satisfactory to me as I could have wished,
because of the fact that just then Isaac Barker took it into his head
to play what he considered a funny trick.



                         ISAAC BARKER'S SPORT


When a huge platter of meat was being brought on the table, and we were
all looking at it with most pleasant anticipations, for it appeared to
have been cooked to a turn, Isaac seized the dish in both hands, ran
out of the room as if intending to eat it all himself, and the older
girls followed him, racing around and around the building with shouts
of mirth, while the tavern keeper and his wife looked on in amazement,
until Isaac tired of running.

Then he replaced the meat on the table; but by this time it had grown
cold, and instead of having hot venison steak, we were forced to
eat lukewarm meat, and it is not needed that I should say anything
concerning the disagreeable flavor of deer flesh when it has been kept
too long from the fire.

[Illustration]

There are times when one really wearies of Isaac's sport, and, as Ben
Cushing said when we drove away from Carlisle, a little fun now and
then is relished by the saddest of men; but when one keeps it up from
morning until night, and again from night until morning, it grows
wearisome.



                          UNCLE DANIEL CARTER


When we left Carlisle it was to journey to a settlement called Big
Springs, where, much to our surprise and delight, we came upon Uncle
Daniel Carter with his three yoke of oxen hitched to a Conestoga
wagon, and having as a load all Uncle Daniel's household goods as well
as his family.

[Illustration]

Uncle Daniel was an old acquaintance of ours, for he lived but a few
miles from Mattapoisett and had started for Ohio some two weeks before
we left home.

There had been no expectation in our minds that we should meet him on
the journey, for it was believed that, moving as slowly as he must with
his ox team, he, if not his wife, would grow weary of attempting to
gain the Ohio country, and turn off at some inviting-looking point long
before having arrived thus far in Pennsylvania.

But the old man was not made of such stuff; he had set out to join
Rufus Putnam's company at Marietta, and declared that he would continue
on if it took a year to make the trip.

What a meeting that was with the old man and his family! It was like
coming upon Mattapoisett suddenly. I had never before realized how much
affection one may unwittingly have for his neighbors, until we saw
Uncle Daniel outside the log hut where he had stopped for the night,
watching us with an odd expression on his face as if doubting whether
we should recognize him.



                    UNCLE DANIEL JOINS OUR COMPANY


Mistress Carter insisted that she and her two daughters prepare the
evening meal for all our company, and it seemed much as if we were
doing her the greatest favor, when we consented joyfully to share what
we had every reason to believe was a goodly portion of Uncle Daniel's
scanty store of food.

[Illustration]

When the meal was ended, Isaac and Ben Cushing built a lively fire
outside the hut, for the night was chilly, and with the children
wrapped in their warmest garments, all of us sat, or stretched out at
full length, around the cheering blaze, listening to Uncle Daniel's
story of his journey, or telling him of that which had happened to us
since we left home.

Before we crawled into the wagons that night it was decided, and
without any controversy, that Uncle Daniel should join our company, the
only question being as to whether the horses would not travel so much
faster than his oxen that we could not well keep together.

The old man put an end to any speculation of that kind, however, by
declaring that when night came we should find him not far behind us,
and he laid plans for the journey of future days, by saying that we
were to give no heed whatsoever to him in the morning; he would feed
his cattle and be off, most-like before break of day.

"I'll be on hand when it's time for supper, an' don't make any mistake
about that part of it," he said cheerily. "I'm willin' to agree that
my creeters can't walk as fast as your horses; but they can keep it
up a good while longer, an' you'll find it's the slow an' steady that
comes out ahead in the long run. So look for your Uncle Daniel before
sunset, an' if he fails to show up, then you can set it down as a fact
that his wagon has gone to smash, or the oxen have turned tail for
Massachusetts."



                            HARD TRAVELING


Next morning Ben Cushing would have it that we had come upon bad
luck in meeting Uncle Daniel, for at daybreak the rain came down in
torrents, and speedily the roads, which were none of the best even in
dry weather, became like quagmires. Before we were well on our way the
wheels of the heavy wagons sank deep in the mud; the women were forced
to remain under the covers or withstand the pelting of the rain, and we
men, who walked alongside in order to help the horses with their loads,
were speedily drenched to the skin.

[Illustration]

Mistress Devoll would have insisted that we turn back and remain at
the log shanty until the rain ceased; but both Captain Haskell and
Master Rouse put an end to any such proposition by saying that now had
come the season when we might rightly expect storms, and if we were to
delay our journey save at such times as the weather was fair, winter
would overtake us among the mountains where we might find it impossible
either to go ahead or to retreat.

Therefore we plodded on, and instead of overtaking Uncle Daniel, as
Ben Cushing had predicted we should, before noon, we saw nothing of
him until night came. Then there was no bad luck in having a cheery
blaze in the fireplace of a log tavern, and every arrangement possible
made for our comfort, to all of which the old man had attended before
looking after his own comfort.



                             MUD AND WATER


It seemed to me as if the rain fell incessantly, and you can fancy what
the roads were after eight and forty hours had elapsed.

In Massachusetts we would have said that they were impassable at the
best, and now they had been converted into veritable swamps by the
downpour of water, or filled in places with blocks of sandstone over
which the wagons could not cross save we all put our shoulders to the
hinder part helping the horses along, unless we stopped to clear away
the obstacles.

[Illustration]

Again the ascents were so steep that the horses from both wagons must
be hitched to one in order to get it up the hill, and when we came to
the other side it was necessary to put locked chains on the wheels,
and, in addition, fasten large logs or tree tops to the back of the
vehicles that they might drag behind and thus prevent us from going
ahead too swiftly.

And all this was done in a heavy downpour of rain, when the women and
girls must of necessity remain under cover, except at such times as it
was absolutely necessary for them to alight in order to lessen the load.

As if to add to our discomfort, two of the animals began to show signs
of faltering, and Ben Cushing told me confidentially one night when we
were halted in the foothills, with no shelter save the body of the
wagon, and doing our utmost to keep a fire burning amid the rain, that
it was his belief we should not succeed in gaining the river before the
poor beasts were entirely worn out.

The way lay over a succession of sharp rises and yet sharper descents,
with the road in places falling off so much to one side that we were
obliged to fasten ropes to the tops of the wagons, and all of us men
lay hold, to prevent them from oversetting.

Such work as this might be necessary more than once in half a mile, we
all the while wading knee-deep in the mire, and at times finding it
difficult to raise our feet because of the mud.



                            A STORM OF SNOW


Then came the time when the rain changed to snow, and you can well
fancy that if the road was well-nigh impassable before, it was soon
in such a condition that one might say it would be impossible to go
farther.

Even the children were forced to get out and walk again and again, and
I have seen Mistress Devoll and Mistress Rouse stop many a time to pick
up their shoes which had been pulled from their feet by the clinging
mud.

Fancy such traveling while the snow came down like feathers, weighting
every branch of the trees and every bush until they stood far out over
the narrow roadway, shedding their frosty burdens upon the passer-by!

It seemed to me that I could see the horses grow weaker with each mile
we advanced, and when night came, after we had traveled no more than
six or eight miles at the expense of the most severe labor, it was as
much as we could do to keep them on their feet until the harness was
removed.

[Illustration]

This was the time when Uncle Daniel had the advantage of us, for his
oxen plowed their way through the mire, giving apparently no more heed
to the weight of the wagon than if it had been a child's toy cart, and
again and again did the old man unyoke the patient beasts in order to
bring them back, at times more than half a mile over a hard road, to
help one or the other of our wagons out of the mud, when, but for his
assistance, they might have stayed there until the crack of doom, so
deeply were the wheels embedded.

[Illustration]

I can look back upon many days we spent while journeying from
Massachusetts to the Ohio country with the greatest pleasure; but never
do I think of the time passed among the foothills, when the weather
was so bitter and the way so hard, without real mental distress, for
that journey, during at least eight days, was more like some horrible
nightmare than a reality.



                         ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS


If I were to make any attempt at describing our passage across the Blue
Mountains, the Middle and the Tuscarora Mountains, it would simply be
to repeat what I have already set down. Never once did we find a bit
of the road where there was easy traveling, and it seemed to me that
either the rain or the snow fell incessantly, until, wearied to the
verge of exhaustion by day, we were forced to remain half frozen and
wet to the skin from night until morning.

The women and children, if we camped at night where there were no
houses in which to take shelter, slept in the wagons, while the men
and boys made shift as best they might beneath the carts, getting such
warmth as could be had under the few blankets at their disposal and the
fires built close by, which were not of much avail because we could
find no dry fuel with which to feed them.

[Illustration]

Then came a day which I remember more vividly than any other of all
that long journey, when we descended the last of the Tuscarora Range,
and came to a fruitful valley, which we afterward learned was called
Ahwick, where was a small settlement, while here and there, when we
were on the higher land, could be seen farms which one might almost say
were ready for planting, despite the snow that yet lay deep among the
hills.

Master Rouse's wagon was leading the way and Uncle Daniel with his
plodding oxen brought up the rear. It was Saturday night; we expected
to remain at least two days, at the first place where we might sleep in
comfort, and it was necessary we find housing for all, which might not
be possible at the small log tavern we had heard would be found on the
road a short distance away.



                          A FRIENDLY DUNKARD


Therefore our party came to a halt at the first promising-looking
house, and Master Rouse set about learning what we might expect in the
way of entertainment.

The farm was owned by a German named Christian Hiples, who was of that
religious persuasion known as Dunkard, and a right friendly gentleman
he proved to be.

It really appeared to give him pain because he could not take all our
company in and give us the comforts of home; but it seemed to me that
he was doing even more than his share when he agreed that Master Rouse
and the members of his party should remain there, while the others of
us continued on to the tavern.

I regretted sorely that it was not my good fortune to be one of Master
Hiples's guests, for I had heard much concerning these people who call
themselves Dunkards, during our traveling through the state, and was
most eager to see them at home.

[Illustration]

Captain Haskell had told me that the Dunkards were Baptists who had
been driven from Germany early in the eighteenth century, when they
took refuge in Pennsylvania. So far as I could find out, their religion
consists in condemning warfare, and setting their faces against suits
at law. They have a peculiar belief regarding baptism, which Captain
Haskell said has to do with triple immersion. They wash each others'
feet before the Lord's Supper, and give to all members of their faith
what is called the kiss of charity. It is in their eyes almost the same
as a sin to dress other than plainly and cleanly, and from what I saw
of Master Hiples's house during the short time we halted in front of
it, I came to believe that cleanliness of home and its surroundings is
one of the articles of their belief, for I had not seen so pleasing a
place since we came out of Massachusetts.

When Master Rouse's family were thus comfortably housed, Mistress
Devoll's team, with Uncle Daniel's oxen plodding patiently behind,
continued on to a log tavern a short distance away, and the contrast
between this place and that where Master Rouse's people were staying
was so great that for the first time since leaving Mattapoisett, I was
nearly homesick.



                       MASTER HIPLES'S KINDNESS


We had comfortable quarters, if one judges comfort by being sheltered
from the rain and having sufficient heat; but it was far from pleasant
at the inn, and as soon as the horses had been properly cared for, I,
despite the fact that my legs were weary with long traveling, ran back
down the road to gaze with envy on Master Rouse and his family.

The old German was a kindly-faced man, with a long, white beard
extending to his waist, and a voice as mild and gentle as any woman's.
He had five or six grown daughters, and when I got back to the farm
these young women were doing all they might for the comfort of the
guests, without hope or expectation of being paid for the labor.

[Illustration]

There was, just outside the house, a huge brick oven in the open air,
and these young women, aided by their father, were already heating it
as if for a cooking bee. Sally Devoll told me it was their intention to
bake a large quantity of bread to be given to us when we set off once
more on our journey.

Therefore I came to have a friendly liking for these Dunkards, and
before we left Ahwick Valley I was fully persuaded they were what might
truthfully be called the salt of the earth.

A SURLY LANDLORD


When I got back to the log tavern there was considerable going on in
the way of excitement. The landlord, who had but one eye, having lost
the other, so we heard, during a fight when he was a younger man, was
anything but gentle in manners, and his appearance was such that one
felt as if the lightest word would provoke harsh treatment.

Now it so chanced that the racks in his stable had been built by
nailing slats up and down at the end of the stalls, and into the places
thus formed the hay was thrown from the loft.

Isaac Barker and Ben Cushing were both very careful to see that their
teams were well fed, and more particularly was it necessary now since
we had with us two horses that were ailing.

When the animals were put into the stalls, after having been groomed
and their coats dried, Isaac found that while the innkeeper intended
to charge us for a certain amount of hay, the slats at the end of the
stalls were placed so closely together that the poor beasts could not
get a single wisp, struggle as they might.

Without delay he went to the landlord and told him that some different
arrangement must be made in regard to the racks, if our company was
expected to pay for hay.

The innkeeper declared that he would conduct his tavern as best pleased
him; the hayracks had been built by him, and built to suit him,
therefore they would remain as they were. If our horses and oxen were
stabled there, then would we pay so much money for each head on account
of hay, whether they got it or not, the surly man claiming it was no
fault of his if the animals were unable to get what was before them.

You can well fancy that Isaac's temper was aroused by this injustice,
and straightway he told the man what he thought of such dealing,
claiming that unless the landlord himself was willing to remedy matters
at once, he would take the affair into his own hands.



                       ISAAC FLOGS THE LANDLORD


The landlord threatened, so Uncle Daniel said, to punish severely
whoever dared to damage his property, and I arrived just at the time
when Isaac, with a heavy ax, was breaking out every other slat in
the racks, thereby giving the beasts ample opportunity to feed, the
innkeeper meanwhile standing outside as if it was his purpose to lay
hands on Isaac the moment he left the stable.

As we afterwards learned, the man had been considered, in his younger
days, a skillful fighter, and most likely believed there were few who
could stand against him, so he had no doubt about his ability to
punish Isaac.

I had never heard that Isaac was noted for skill with his fists, and
believed he was likely to suffer severely, if the landlord should
attack him. I therefore entreated Uncle Daniel to stand by with me in
order to lend assistance, for I was not minded that one of our company
come to grief at that place.

[Illustration]

Uncle Daniel grimly said that Isaac Barker could take care of himself,
and that he was not fond of interfering, unless it was absolutely
necessary in order to save life.

Therefore, instead of appearing concerned, Uncle Daniel quietly took up
his station near the door of the stable, where he stood whittling a bit
of pine stick, while the innkeeper raged furiously, and Isaac continued
to break out the slats until he had completed the task.

Then he came out of the last stall where he had been working, threw
the ax on the floor without very much regard as to how it might fall,
and began in a businesslike way to roll up his sleeves, keeping an eye
meanwhile on the movements of the landlord.

The two came together while I was waiting to see how they might begin
the battle, and in a twinkling, as it seemed to me, both were rolling
here and there about the stable floor, but in such a manner that one
with half an eye could see Isaac was by no means getting the worst of
it.



                         A MUCH NEEDED LESSON


As a matter of fact he flogged that miserly innkeeper severely, never
letting up until the fellow cried that he had had enough; then Isaac
said that he counted to be back that way in the spring, and if the
slats in the hayracks had been replaced, he would give him another
flogging compared with which this one would seem like child's play.

[Illustration]

I confess that I was frightened even after Isaac had acquitted himself
in such a manly fashion, for I believed the landlord would contrive in
some way to make the remainder of our party suffer for what had been
done; but, strange as it may seem, he was as mild as one could desire,
and instead of moving about in a surly fashion, finding fault with
everything, as he had done when we first arrived, the fellow seemed
striving earnestly to do all he might for our welfare, whereupon Uncle
Daniel grimly observed that "all he needed in order to make him a
decent kind of a man was a sound flogging every morning."

[Illustration]

I would not recommend this method of insuring good treatment from
landlords in general; but I must say I was sorry Isaac had not been
sufficiently provoked some time before, that he might have tried the
same treatment upon some of those innkeepers who had been so surly to
us. In fact we met more than one so-called landlord during our journey
across the state of Pennsylvania, by the side of whom one of Uncle
Daniel's oxen would have appeared gentlemanly.

On Sunday, all of us, even including Isaac Barker, went to meeting with
Master Hiples's family, and not only were repaid by hearing a goodly
discourse, but received an invitation to take supper with the good
Dunkard's family.



                            A TIME OF REST


The meal was an enjoyable one, although I fear, as I told Ben Cushing,
that he and I came very near disgracing, not only ourselves, but all
our companions, by eating more than was seemly.

It was the most pleasant Sunday we had spent since leaving
Mattapoisett, and a day that seemed more fitting for goodly thoughts
than any other I could remember. As Uncle Daniel said when we stretched
ourselves out to sleep on the floor of the stable, the two rooms in the
tavern having been given up to the women and children, it had been a
very profitable time.

Monday also was a profitable day, for then Master Hiples's daughters
worked with a will, making bread in such quantities that one might have
thought they counted on provisioning an army, and all our women folks
did what they could to assist, while we boys and men cut and lugged
fuel, so that we might not draw too heavily upon the old German's store
of wood.

That night, when it was known we were to set off next day, Master
Hiples laid out a large supply of vegetables for all our company, and
this was a gift, in addition to the bread, since he refused to take
payment therefor, asking only as much in the way of money as would
suffice to pay for the grain and the hay eaten by Master Rouse's horses.

Thanks to this friendly German, we were well supplied with food when we
left Ahwick Valley, Tuesday morning, and flattered ourselves with the
belief that the greater portion of the hardships were passed, for the
ailing horses seemed to be much improved, and traveled with no little
spirit, thus causing us to believe they were rapidly recovering from
their sickness.

During three days we journeyed over roads that were far from good, save
by comparison with those we found while crossing the mountains, and
then we came to the town of Bedford. We had in the meanwhile crossed
Sideling Hill, and forded some of the main branches of the Juniata, not
without considerable difficulty and the assistance of Uncle Daniel's
oxen, for the fords were deep, and in some cases the bed of the river
so soft that had a wagon remained still ever so short a time, it would
surely have been mired.



                              PACK TRAINS


During the last three days we had seen evidences that in this wild
country there was being carried on business of various kinds, for
after leaving Ahwick Valley we met here and there on the road long
lines of pack horses, loaded with furs and ginsing, a root somewhat
like a potato, except that it has branches or roots shooting out from
the upper part, and is sent by our merchants to China, where it is
considered very valuable as a medicine. There were other pack horses
loaded with salt, or bales of dry goods and groceries, which were being
carried to the traders of Pittsburgh.

[Illustration]

These pack trains, as Uncle Daniel called them, were very interesting.
The foremost horse wore bells, and it was he, rather than the driver,
who had charge of the beasts, and who did the guiding, for he went on
as intelligently as could a human being, the remainder of the train,
usually nine or ten horses, following him obediently.

Because there were no roads across the state of Pennsylvania from
Carlisle to Pittsburgh over which heavily loaded wagons could pass, we
were told that all the traffic was carried on by pack horses, and it
was considered that one man could care for no more than ten animals.

One night, when we were told by the landlord of a small tavern about
these pack trains, Uncle Daniel said that we had best put aside from
our minds all thought of buying anything at Pittsburgh, for if all
the goods were carried there on horseback, then the charges must be
so heavy that ordinary people could not afford to pay that which the
merchants would demand.



                           A NIGHT ADVENTURE


On the day of leaving Bedford we had our most disagreeable adventure.
About four miles beyond that town the road divided, one trail leading
directly to Pittsburgh, and the other to Sumrill's Ferry on the
Youghiogheny River, which last was the path we must take, because
it was the place where the _Mayflower_ had been built, and there we
proposed to take boat for Marietta in order to avoid the wearisome
traveling on foot.

[Illustration]

The women and children had been walking for some time, owing to the
miry road, and on coming to this place they decided to remain there
awhile in order to rest. It so chanced that Isaac Barker took it into
his head to loiter with them, leaving Captain Haskell to drive his team.

Master Rouse also stayed behind, for no reason that any one could
give; thus we went on without them, never doubting but that within an
hour they would overtake us, for according to the rate we had been
traveling, those who were on foot could speedily come up with our jaded
horses who were having all they could do to pull the wagons.

Uncle Daniel had on this day, as during the last two or three days,
outstripped us with his slowly moving oxen, because they continued on
steadily, being so strong that the wagon, which was loaded as heavily
as either of ours, was not mired.

The hours passed, and we still remained in advance, with no sign of
the coming of the women and children, yet nothing strange was thought
of it at the time, and when I spoke of the matter to Ben Cushing as if
it might be serious, he laughed at me, declaring that a foot passenger
could make his way without difficulty.

About half an hour before sunset we came to a small log hut which was
called an inn by the man who owned it. It had but one room, which
served alike as kitchen, barroom and a place in which to sleep; but
there was shelter for the tired beasts in the stable, and a huge
fireplace wherein we might pile fuel to our heart's content. We were
therefore not disposed to find fault.

We toasted ourselves well before the fire, wondering meanwhile how soon
we might be able to satisfy our hunger; for we could not have supper
until the women came to cook it, this inn being only a housing place.



                  FEARS ABOUT THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN


One hour passed, and even Captain Haskell began to show signs
of anxiety. Another sixty minutes went by without bringing our
companions; but after a third hour, Captain Haskell declared that some
misadventure must have befallen them, and set off over the road we had
just traveled, refusing to allow any of us to accompany him.

[Illustration]

It was nearly midnight before the captain and the other members
of our party arrived. The poor children could hardly drag one foot
after the other, and the women looked as if nothing save the fear of
remaining in the open air during the hours of darkness had forced them
to continue the journey.

While Ben Cushing and I were cooking supper, for the girls and the
women were far too weary to do any work at the time, we learned that
the party had halted at the dividing of the ways much longer than they
realized, and it was nearly nightfall before the journey was continued.

Then, when the sun had set, it was impossible for them to make their
way along the faintly outlined road, save by clutching the bushes
on either side, and even then they strayed again and again into the
thicket, until, what with this additional traveling and the exertion
of plowing their way through the mire, all save Isaac Barker were
plunged into a most gloomy, disagreeable frame of mind.

[Illustration]

Mistress Devoll declared that but for him who made sport when the
difficulties were the worst, and sang loudly when the others of the
company were too thoroughly exhausted even to speak, they could not
have continued.

One can well fancy how welcome to them was the fire in the log tavern.
The smaller children stretched themselves out at full length on the
puncheon floor in front of the blaze, while their mothers and sisters
gave no heed to anything save the delicious sensation of being able
to rest, enjoying to the utmost, I dare say, the feeling of security
which came to them on arriving at that inn.



                       DESCENDING THE MOUNTAINS


Despite the fact that none of our company had had sufficient sleep, we
continued our journey as soon after daybreak as we could, and it was
during this day that our hearts were cheered by what might seem to some
people a foolish thing.

[Illustration]

On either side of the road could be seen the little green leaves and
bright scarlet berries of the partridge vine, or checkerberry plant,
such as we all had seen each year roundabout Mattapoisett, and it had
such a homelike appearance that it was as if we had suddenly come upon
a friend. The small children loitered behind the wagons to pick the
tiny red berries, while the girls chewed the aromatic leaves, and more
than one of the men followed their example, for it was like being in
Massachusetts again after a long disagreeable dream.

The log inn at which we had slept the night previous was evidently
built on what is generally called the "height of the land," for now we
were descending the Allegheny Mountains, cheered by the fact that the
streams of water from the springs ran with us along our road, telling
that we had come to where the greater portion of the remainder of the
journey would be on descending ground. These streams were to accompany
us on our way now, instead of running in the opposite direction as
during all the time we had been among the foothills.



                       AT THE FOOT OF THE HILLS


When we had come to the base of the mountains we found ourselves on a
broad, level range, which was called "The Glades." Captain Haskell said
it had very much the appearance of a prairie. If this be true, which I
have no reason to doubt, then I have no desire to see a prairie; for
The Glades was a most forlorn place, being but sparsely dotted with
trees and covered with a coarse grass, at which even the oxen turned up
their noses.

Then, having slept in the open two nights, we came to Laurel Ridge,
which bounds the western side of The Glades, and must have been so
named because of the laurel which grows in such profusion on the rocky
cliffs.

Now we were forced to climb once more over a road quite as rough as any
we had come upon, and again all the women and the children were forced
to walk, much to their discomfort, for on this ridge the snow had
fallen in large quantities. Every one was soon wet to the knees, and
plodding through the snow and mud rendered walking quite as difficult
as any we had yet experienced.

[Illustration]

On this day the women and children, remembering what had occurred just
after we left Bedford, went on ahead of the wagons. When the afternoon
was about half spent they came upon a stream of water at the western
foot of the ridge, which was far too deep for them to ford, therefore
they were obliged to wait until we came up.

Luckily for them, however, there was a small log house near by the road
in which dwelt a motherly-looking Irish woman, and with her our people
visited, much to their pleasure and comfort, until we arrived.

Because of the difficulties in the way, the wagons did not come to the
stream until nearly nightfall; but then the passage was quickly made,
and we hurried on two miles farther, to where was an inn, said to be as
good as any other to be found between Sumrill's Ferry and Carlisle.



                    NEARING THE END OF THE JOURNEY


Next day we crossed Chestnut Ridge, the last of the hills, and so named
because of the wondrous growth of chestnut trees which just then were
yielding up their fruit to the nipping frost. Our children and girls
filled their pockets with the nuts, while more than once all three of
the wagons were halted that we might lay in a store of what would, on a
pinch, serve as food.

We had climbed mountain after mountain, crossed ridge after ridge,
until it seemed as if all the earth was a succession of ascents and
descents; we had waded knee-deep through mire or snow, and literally
fought our way along all that weary distance from Mattapoisett to
the Youghiogheny River, until we had come to Sumrill's Ferry, where
it was believed we could make arrangements for a more comfortable
continuation of the long journey.

[Illustration]

Well it was that we arrived at this time, which was near the last of
November, with winter close at hand, for the two horses which had been
ailing now seemingly grew worse, and during the eight and forty hours
before our arrival at the ferry, they were hardly more than able to
keep their feet, let alone doing any portion of the pulling.

I believe that a few days more of traveling would have killed them, and
indeed they were hardly more than dead beasts when we took them out
of the harness at the ferry, congratulating ourselves upon having come
thus far on our journey without mishap.



                          AT SUMRILL'S FERRY


Here we learned of those people who went out from Danvers and Hartford.
We saw where they built the _Mayflower_, and, in fact, we lodged at
the very inn where some of them had lived while making ready for the
journey down the river.

Sumrill's Ferry is not a large settlement, but a thriving one. Here
were boat builders, ready to make any kind of craft needed.

To hear them talk of what they believed must have been our experiences
during the journey, one would have said they looked upon us as more
than foolish to have ventured so much in order to make a settlement in
the wild Ohio country.

Before we had been at this settlement an hour, Uncle Daniel came upon
Benjamin Slocomb and his family, who had left Danvers nearly four weeks
before we started from Mattapoisett. Master Slocomb had waited at the
ferry nine days until a boat could be finished in a manner to please
him, and was on the point of setting off when Uncle Daniel saw him.



                       PARTING WITH UNCLE DANIEL


Master Slocomb's craft was not so well loaded but that he could,
without inconvenience, take on board Uncle Daniel's wagon with all its
belongings, except the oxen, so he urged the old man to finish the
journey with him, the two having been friends for many a long year. The
result was that Uncle Daniel parted company with us before nightfall,
leaving his oxen to our care, but taking everything else he owned.

[Illustration]

"I'll have a farm picked out for you folks, an' made ready to plow,"
the old man cried cheerily, as Master Slocomb's clumsy craft was
poled out into the current. All our company stood on the river's bank
watching the departure, and really sorry to part with our fellow
traveler, who had always shown himself willing to lend a hand when it
was needed, without regard to the labor.

We called after him until he was beyond earshot, Isaac Barker cracking
jokes as usual, and then we set about making arrangements for our own
journey down the river.



                             OUR FLATBOAT


There were several boats already built and for sale, and Master Rouse
and Captain Haskell decided upon one which was not yet finished, so far
as the accommodations for passengers were concerned, since it had no
roof. It was by far the best craft, to my thinking, of all we saw there.

It was about forty feet long and twelve feet wide, of ample size and
depth to carry all our wagons, as well as our people, to say nothing
of as much space as would be required in which to house not only our
horses, but Uncle Daniel's oxen.

It was not our purpose to take the beasts in the boat at that time, but
rather to send them across the land to a settlement called Buffalo, at
the mouth of Buffalo Creek, fifty-three miles from the ferry, whereas
the distance was considerably more than a hundred miles by the waterway.

This was to be done not simply because we wanted to avoid the labor
of caring for them, but because the Youghiogheny River was so shallow
at that season of the year that a boat drawing more than eighteen or
twenty inches of water could not float upon it.

The craft which Captain Haskell and Master Rouse had bought would draw,
perhaps, seventeen inches with all our belongings, save the horses
and oxen, on board, therefore we would send them across the country
in charge of Michael Rouse, Isaac Barker, and Ben Cushing, counting
to take them up when we came to Buffalo Creek, for there the river
was deeper, the current swifter, and we should have no difficulty in
carrying them.

A great time we had of it, packing our goods into the boat in a way
to economize every inch of space, and when this had been done, and we
learned how much of the craft could be given over to our own use, we
set about making arrangements for comfort, first by covering the stern
of the boat with mud to the depth of ten or twelve inches, and then
building around it a fireplace of stone, where the cooking could be
done without danger of setting fire to the timbers.



                       THE CATTLE ARE SENT AWAY


With blankets and sheets we made a covering for the after part of our
ark, so that the women and children would be kept dry in case of a
storm.

When all this had been done, and we had bought as much in the way of
provisions as could be purchased at a reasonable price, Isaac, Michael,
and Ben set off with the beasts.

[Illustration]

It gave me a homesick feeling to see them march away; we had been
together so long and had gone through so many hardships.

Within half an hour after the horses and oxen, with their drivers, had
disappeared, we pushed off from the shore, and very strange did it seem
to be carried along by the current, instead of fighting one's way
through mud.

I said to myself that now it was the same as coming to the end of our
journey, for we had simply to sit still and let the river do the work.

[Illustration]

This, however, I soon understood was a mistake, for although we were
not forced to trudge through mud and snow, there was ample work for men
and boys in holding the clumsy craft out from the shore where she was
like to go aground, or again, in leaping overboard and actually lifting
her off some shoal on which she had grounded, as it seemed to me, in a
very spirit of perverseness.

It is true that we were forced to work quite as hard in navigating the
boat as when we plodded over the miry road, and yet there was this
advantage, we were able to eat our meals at regular times.

What with rowing and poling, and now and then leaping waist deep
into the water to shove her from the shoals, we contrived, after a
considerable time, to get as far as the Monongahela River, where the
water was deeper and the current swifter, permitting us to get some
rest now and then, and for the first time since leaving Mattapoisett
did this journey begin to seem pleasing.

It was Sunday evening when we arrived at Pittsburgh, making our clumsy
craft fast to a stake on the shore at the junction of the Allegheny and
Monongahela Rivers, with the Ohio in full view.



                             AT PITTSBURGH


The town of Pittsburgh, the largest we had seen since coming into the
state of Pennsylvania, appeared to me a most prosperous settlement.
There was the fort called Pitt, and half a dozen shops, in addition
to the houses which I was told sheltered about five hundred people.
Therefore you can understand that it was indeed a place of considerable
consequence.

It was not so late in the day but that Master Rouse and Captain Haskell
went up into the town, after our boat had been made fast to the stake
as I have said, in order to attend to some business, for on the
frontier one does not observe so religiously the Sabbath as at home,
and travelers who must continue their journey with as little delay as
possible, are allowed to make necessary purchases even on Sunday.

[Illustration]

When the two men went on shore there was nothing said as to how soon
they might come back; but we supposed both would return as soon as
their business was done.

Therefore the girls at once set about cooking supper; but when the
meal was ready our gentlemen were not returned, and we waited for them
until the corn cake was nearly cold, while the fish which we had caught
during the day were much the worse for having remained from the fire so
long.

About nine o'clock Mistress Rouse and Mistress Devoll decided that the
younger children must be fed, in order that they might be put to bed
at a reasonable hour, and therefore we ate the meal without waiting
longer.

Well it was that we did so, if we counted on satisfying our hunger that
day, for two hours later the men were yet absent, and then Mistress
Devoll told me we should make our preparations for the night.

Now you know that this was no small task. The beds and bedding were
stowed in the wagons during the day, and when night came, all must
be taken out and spread upon the bottom of the boat for the women
and children, while the boys--and of course I was numbered among
them--slept in one of the wagons.

On this night, however, because Captain Haskell and Master Rouse had
not returned, Mistress Rouse believed that I should make my bed at the
end of the boat near the fireplace, where I could stand guard, or, in
other words, where I might be ready to do whatsoever would be needed
during the hours of darkness.



                            TOO MUCH WATER


I congratulated myself not a little that I was to sleep upon a very
comfortable sack of feathers, which had thus far served Captain
Haskell. Without giving very much heed to the fact that the men yet
remained in town when there was every reason why they should have
come back to the boat, I laid myself down, and was speedily lost in
slumber, for the work during the day had been severe, and I was needing
rest sorely.

I may have slept two or three hours, certainly as long as that, when
suddenly I was awakened by a sense of discomfort, and, turning over,
was brought to my feet very quickly by discovering that the water had
come in even over the top of my bed.

[Illustration]

I cried out, not from fear, but rather from surprise, and on the
instant the women, as well as the older girls, being awakened, started
aft to learn what might be the matter, when they plunged nearly to
their knees in water.

Straightway the outcry was great, for they, as well as I, believed that
the boat was sinking beneath us.

Strangely enough, the women seemed to consider that I was able to play
the part of a man at such a time, and Mistress Devoll asked in a tone
of fear what ought to be done.

During an instant I stood undecided, hardly having my wits about me,
and then, still believing the clumsy craft was going to the bottom, I
urged that we get on shore as speedily as possible.



                   ESCAPE OF THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN


[Illustration]

Fortunately for us the boat had been moored with a short hawser, in
such a manner that when Captain Haskell and Master Rouse left us they
could readily leap from the gunwale to the land, and after the women
were gathered on the shoreward side of the boat, instead of being
obliged to jump, I found that they might readily step over the rail
without wetting their feet in water, although they sank above the tops
of their shoes in mud.

[Illustration]

Once they had what might be called a firm footing, I passed the younger
children over, and while doing so the twins made a great outcry,
whereupon Mistress Devoll and Mistress Rouse commanded them to remain
quiet.

Our cries and shouts awakened a man who proved to be of great
assistance. His house stood on the shore near where our boat was
moored, and he came to the door quickly, calling out to know what was
the matter, whereupon I told him our boat was sinking and that some
half-drowned women and children were shivering on the shore.

All of us were soaked to the skin, for we had floundered about in
the water when first awakened, and the man cried out that we should
remain where we were until he could light a lantern and come to our
assistance, which he did in a very short space of time.

Then, without waiting to learn what might be happening to the boat,
he insisted that all should go to his house, which was hardly more
than a hundred paces away, and once there he built a big fire in the
fireplace, after which he proposed that we older boys go with him to
look after the craft, while the women and children dried their clothing.



                           REPAIRING DAMAGES


When we came to the boat again it was seen that there would have been
no danger of her sinking, even though we remained aboard all night. It
seems that the river had fallen after we made fast to the shore, and
the landward side of the boat rested on the river bank as the waters
receded, thus allowing the outer portion of the craft to settle in the
stream until the water ran through the seams in the planking about the
gunwale, for they were badly calked, having been hurriedly finished
by the builders at Sumrill's Ferry while we were putting our goods on
board.

There was no possibility of our shoving the huge boat into deeper
water, therefore the kindly stranger awakened some of his neighbors,
who, with such small aid as I could give, set about taking out the
bedding and the clothing which had been wetted completely, carrying
the stuff up to the house that it might be dried, and this work served
to keep us busy until sunrise, when Master Rouse and Captain Haskell
came down to the shore.

They had been busy with some people who intended to go to Marietta,
and were so eager to make certain business arrangements that it seemed
best to sleep at the tavern, rather than return at a late hour to the
flatboat, and one can readily imagine their surprise at finding us with
a good third of our cargo on shore.

[Illustration]

The kind man who had labored nearly all night in our behalf lived alone
in a large log hut, and insisted on preparing breakfast for all our
company, not even allowing the girls to do their share of the work,
thereby showing himself to be a skillful cook as well as a friendly
neighbor.

When Master Rouse would have paid him for his labor, as well as for
the food which he had provided, the man refused to take a penny,
claiming that he had done only as he would be done by, and therefore I
still have a kind feeling in my heart for Pittsburgh.

Master Rouse, Captain Haskell, and I soon had the water bailed out of
the flatboat and the bedding, now dried, on board; before the afternoon
was more than half spent, we were ready to set out on the last stage of
our long journey.



                               OUR PILOT


We had, however, a new member of the company, an old trapper and hunter
by the name of Bruce. Our gentlemen had met him at the tavern, and
learned that he was familiar with the river, knowing all the shoals,
or at least claiming that he did, and I have no reason to doubt his
statement in view of what occurred before we arrived at Marietta.

[Illustration]

He had intended to travel in his canoe, which was neither more nor less
than a dugout, by which I mean the trunk of a tree hollowed out to make
a shell-like craft which would carry a very heavy load. It required
delicate handling because of its liability to overset in case any of
the cargo was suddenly shifted. In fact, the old hunter laughingly said
that if he shifted his pipe from one side of his mouth to the other the
canoe would heel.

He had with him flour, half a dozen or more sides of bacon, a number of
beaver traps, his camp kettle and equipage, not to speak of his rifle,
blankets, and ammunition sufficient to last him during the winter
season, while he was in the wilderness far from any other human being.

[Illustration]

His canoe was lashed alongside the flatboat and he stood at the huge
steering oar which swung from the stern, or rather from that end of the
craft which we chose to call the stern, for, it being square at both
ends, we might as well have called one the bow as the other.



                          A CHANGE OF WEATHER


It was about three o'clock when we started. The sky was overcast, and
there were signs of rain in the south, while the wind shifted here and
there until almost any one might have proved himself a weather prophet
by predicting a storm.

Within an hour of sunset the wind swung around to the northwest and
blew fiercely across the bend of the river where we then were, kicking
up such a sea as to send the crests of the waves over the side of the
boat, threatening to sink, if not overset, the unwieldy craft.

We men and boys worked at the oars to the best of our ability, striving
to force the clumsy vessel toward the Pennsylvania shore, for the
opposite bank, or what was called the Indian side, was said to be
infested with savages who, even though they were supposed to be at
peace with white people, robbed flatboats and killed travelers at every
favorable opportunity.

Master Bruce's huge canoe pounded and thumped against the side of
the boat until it seemed certain she would stave in the planks, and
finally, regardless of the fact that all his property was on board, the
old hunter cut her adrift.

Then, while we rode more easily, the danger was lessened but little,
for the wind increased in force, and the waves grew higher, until all
of us boys were forced to work at bailing in order to keep the water
from rising so high as to soak our goods.

I had not realized that there was any actual danger until I heard the
old hunter say to Captain Haskell that we must take our chances of
being attacked by the Indians, because it was impossible to force the
flatboat over to the Pennsylvania shore, therefore we ought to make
harbor wherever we could.



                              NOISY FEAR


Up to this time the women and the girls had remained reasonably quiet,
apparently too much frightened to make any sound; but overhearing what
Master Bruce said regarding the necessity of our taking shelter on the
Indian shore, they set up a great outcry.

Captain Haskell and Master Rouse, although they were needed at the
oars, could do no less than go amidships where the shrieking ones
were gathered, and literally force them to hold their peace, for it was
most distracting to hear the noise while we had as much as we could do
to work the craft.

The old hunter showed that he knew much regarding the handling of such
a boat as we were then aboard; for in a short time, by skillful pulling
at the plank that served as rudder, aided by those of us who tugged at
the oars, she was brought under a high bluff, on the Indian side of
the river, and there made fast by a hawser to trees growing near the
water's edge.

We were no sooner moored than Mistress Devoll sprang over the side of
the boat to the land, declaring that while the storm raged as it did
then she would not trust herself on board even though the Indians might
be near, and her example was speedily followed by the other women and
girls.

[Illustration]

It seemed to me a foolhardy act to go on shore when we knew there was
danger the Indians might make an attack, yet Master Rouse and Captain
Haskell held their peace, allowing the women to do as they pleased,
while the old hunter set about putting up a shelter for them by means
of four poles, with blankets stretched across after the fashion of a
tent.

There the women made beds for themselves and the children, rather than
go back to the boat, even though to my mind it was safely secured and
could not come to any harm.

Master Bruce was not content with having done this. Just before having
landed we saw a thin thread of smoke rising from the trees half a mile
distant, and he set off as soon as the makeshift tent had been put up,
running the chances of coming upon the savages, in order to discover
who our neighbors might be.



                             A REAL FEAST


Now it so happened, fortunately for us, that the smoke had come from
the camp of white men, and of them Bruce begged, or bought, half of a
fat deer, broiling enough steaks on the coals to satisfy the hunger of
the younger members of the party, while he roasted a goodly portion,
hunter-fashion, on a hickory skewer stuck up in the earth in front of
the fire.

[Illustration]

The girls made coffee and corn bread, and we feasted that night.

Captain Haskell and I went on board the boat to sleep, and I was not
sorry we did so, for before morning another storm came up, and when we
looked out from beneath the wagon covers, after sunrise, snow covered
the ground to the depth of two inches.

The sun was shining brightly; the wind had died away until there was
not sufficient air stirring to lift a feather, and nothing prevented
us from continuing the journey without delay, which we did, the girls
broiling venison steaks in our fireplace at the stern of the boat while
we sailed along.

Master Bruce told us we might take no little credit to ourselves, for
we most likely were the first white people to venture on the Indian
shore and remain there all night, since Pittsburgh had become a town.



                           FINDING THE CANOE


It surprised me not a little because the old hunter failed to mourn the
loss of his canoe, for on board was all his equipment for the winter's
work, and, having lost it, he must go back to Pittsburgh to replenish
his stores and procure another craft.

However, it is folly for one to worry and fret over that which cannot
be avoided. Master Bruce might have made himself miserable bewailing
the loss of his goods and nothing would have been changed.

[Illustration]

Near noon we saw the craft on the Pennsylvania side of the river, where
it had been blown by the wind, lying there comfortably ashore, as if
waiting for us to take it in tow.

It was a difficult matter to pull our craft around to get hold of the
canoe; but we finally did so, and would have worked more than one day
rather than allow the old hunter to meet with a loss.

When it was made fast alongside once more, and we were drifting with
the current, Master Bruce went on board to learn what portion of his
goods had been lost during the storm, and to his surprise found that
only one of the traps was missing, although the flour was more or less
wet.

Why the canoe was not overset by the wind, unstable as it was, I could
not understand until Master Bruce explained that the weight of the
flour and the traps, resting on the bottom of the boat, must have
served as ballast to hold it steady, and again, most-like, it went
ashore within a short time after having been cut adrift.

I supposed we had quite a journey before us from Pittsburgh to Buffalo
Creek, and therefore was surprised when at sunset I asked Master Bruce
concerning the distance, and he told me that within an hour we would
arrive at the place where we were to take on the cattle and horses, for
it was Master Rouse's intent to carry with us Uncle Daniel's oxen, if
the old man had not succeeded in loading them on his friend's craft.

[Illustration]



                             BUFFALO CREEK


It was not yet nine o'clock when we came within sight of the few
twinkling lights in the settlement of Buffalo, and I could hear Isaac
Barker's boisterous laugh while we were yet half a mile away, therefore
I knew he was indulging in his quips and jokes.

It must have been that he was on the lookout for us, for before the
flatboat was made fast to the shore, he, with Michael Rouse and Ben
Cushing, was calling out words of welcome, and asking how the journey
had progressed. As soon as they were on board, our craft having been
made fast, we learned without surprise that the two ailing horses had
died during the march.

A few moments later, as I was about to overhaul the bedding in order
to make it ready for the children, whose time for going to sleep had
already passed, Mistress Rouse said to me that she had no intention of
remaining on board the boat during the night.

The fear that another storm might come up, or that we might be
half-swamped as at Pittsburgh, caused the good woman to shrink from
spending the night on the boat when it was possible to sleep ashore.
Isaac was therefore urged to find some shelter, which he speedily did
by proposing that they take possession of a log hut which stood on a
point of land near the mouth of Buffalo Creek, where he, with Michael
and Ben, had slept the night before.

The building had been abandoned, as it seemed, or else its owner
was making a long journey, perhaps on a hunting trip, and would not
complain if we made free with his property, it being the custom on the
frontier for travelers to take advantage of such shelter as they might
find unoccupied.



                     THE MARCH ACROSS THE COUNTRY


I counted on hearing from Ben Cushing and Isaac Barker entertaining
stories that night, concerning the march across the country, but much
to my disappointment they had nothing of interest to tell.

[Illustration]

Forced to accommodate their pace to the slowly moving oxen, they
trudged along hour after hour, starting well before daylight and
continuing as long as it was possible to see at night, in order to
cover the greatest possible distance, with nothing whatsoever to break
the monotony of the march.

We were up long before the sun next morning, for now it was necessary
to take the live stock on board our flatboat. We were forced to embark
Uncle Daniel's oxen, he having passed Buffalo some time before Isaac
and Ben arrived there, and when we had all the beasts on board we were
packed like herring in a box, each in his own special place and with
very little opportunity to move about.

However, we were nearly at our journey's end; the current of the river
ran swiftly as compared with the stream at Pittsburgh, and there was no
longer reason to fear that the Indians might do any harm, even if there
had been cause before.

In exactly four days from the time of leaving Pittsburgh, we arrived at
the mouth of the Muskingum. It was well we had come to an end of our
journey so soon, for ice was already beginning to form in the river,
and before daylight the Muskingum was frozen quite solidly.

Within an hour after we had moored the flatboat to the bank, Master
Devoll came on board.

Although I have not said that this march of ours was attended with
danger, and in fact it was not, yet there were many chances that one
or another of us, if not all, might have fallen by the wayside, owing
either to the roughness of the way, or the fatigue caused by such
incessant labor with insufficient lodging, to say nothing of the poor
food owing to the fact that we had not the necessary vessels in which
to prepare it.



                              AT MARIETTA


Before we had really made the flatboat fast, Mistress Devoll and
Mistress Rouse were almost at their wits' ends with fear, for in the
woods and on the sides of the hill back of Fort Harmar could be seen
hundreds upon hundreds of camp fires, and one of those idlers who are
ever to be found at the riverside of a settlement, told us there were
no less than three hundred savages encamped there, having come to make
a treaty with our people on the 9th of January.

[Illustration]

Master Devoll laughed at his wife's fears, claiming that the savages
were as peaceful as lambs, although at the time I doubted very much
whether he believed his own words.

However, the women and children did not remain aboard our flatboat, for
Master Devoll took them to the _Mayflower_, which was moored near by,
where were better accommodations for sleeping, and in our craft only
Ben Cushing and I were left on guard.

[Illustration]

We two lads spent a full hour that evening, congratulating ourselves
upon having finished the journey and questioning as to what we would do
now we were come into this Ohio country.

We had been more than eight weeks on the road, advancing all the time,
one day after another, except the eight and forty hours which were
spent with Master Hiples in that village where live the Dunkards, and,
save for the death of the two horses, we had come through with no
greater mishap than the loss of a two-quart tin measure and a blanket
belonging to Mistress Rouse. This was doing remarkably well, when you
consider that never one of the party, not even the men, had undertaken
such a journey before.

In the morning we found the Muskingum River frozen from shore to shore,
and until spring came the stream was never so free of ice that we could
have propelled our boat, therefore we arrived, as one might say, just
in the nick of time, for a delay of four and twenty hours would have
found us frozen in at some point above the town, from which it would
have been necessary to continue on foot.



                         PLANS FOR THE FUTURE


Uncle Daniel was on the river bank to meet us next morning, before we
put the animals ashore, and then, very much to my disappointment, he
announced that it was not his intention to remain long in Marietta.

It appears that he, with several others, had decided to go thirteen
miles down the Ohio River, where they had already staked out a town,
and there build for themselves a settlement which should be wholly made
up of those who had been neighbors in Massachusetts. However, he was
forced to remain with us at Marietta during the winter.

Master Devoll took his family from the _Mayflower_ at an early hour
next morning and moved their belongings to Campus Martius, where he
hoped to remain until his house was finished, and there did Mistress
Devoll bid me come, saying I should find a home with them until it was
possible to settle upon plans for the future, while Master Devoll told
me that if I wanted to work at fair wages as a farm hand, he would give
me employment as soon as spring had come.

[Illustration]

It may be that I was a simple for not accepting the offer which was
made in all kindness of heart, and yet I had a desire to become
something more than an ordinary laborer, so, thanking him heartily for
his generosity, I went out into the world on my own account, having as
partner Ben Cushing.

We two young fellows had no idea of what it might be possible for us
to do. This new country was all so different from what we had seen
in Massachusetts; the ways of the people would be different now they
had come so far from home, and we were without means of gaining a
livelihood, save for our willingness to work and the strength of our
bodies.



                    INSPECTING THE TOWN OF MARIETTA


However, penniless and undecided though we were, there was no intention
on our part to force matters, and after the flatboat had been unloaded,
we set about looking the town over, eager to see what had been done in
so short a time, and speculating as to what we might do at some future
day.

[Illustration]

I am free to confess that the fortification with the high-sounding
name of Campus Martius was pleasing to look upon. It was an imposing
building, not such a one as you would expect to find in a wild
country, and it lent to its surroundings a certain sense of security,
because one could readily understand that it was built in a manner to
defy the attacks of the savages.

Outside the palisade, extending in either direction along the river
bank were ten log cabins, very few of which were occupied by their
owners, for those who had built them had not as yet brought their
families to Marietta. The streets were laid out in regular order, but
like those we saw in Harrisburg, they were still filled with the stumps
of trees, and the only signs of highways were the tiny paths looking
much like sheep tracks as they wound in and out among the trees,
avoiding the wet places, and leading where the way was most easy to
travel.

No one gave any heed to us, and we wandered here and there looking into
this house or criticizing another which was but half finished, until
we came to where we could see Fort Harmar with the Indian encampment
behind it. Then we decided upon the next day's entertainment, for Ben
Cushing insisted that since this was our first chance to see a savage,
we should spend at least a few hours there.

While it promised a novelty, I was by no means easy in mind regarding
an inspection of the red men. Nevertheless I kept all these fears to
myself, hoping Ben might give over his excursion when we learned that
the ice was not strong enough to bear us up.

Unfortunately, however, it was possible to gain Fort Harmar, for the
night was very cold, and ice formed of a thickness to render traveling
on the river safe, therefore I was forced to agree to his proposition
again.



                           A TEMPORARY HOME


Before we could inspect these Indian visitors, it was necessary we
should make some provision for food and shelter, for neither of us
wanted to present himself to Mistress Rouse or Mistress Devoll as a
beggar, therefore we set about providing for ourselves a temporary home.

I have no doubt but that we would have been allowed to take possession
of any of the log houses which were not occupied; but that would have
been much like begging a shelter, therefore we proposed to Master
Devoll that we occupy the flatboat during the time that it remained
fast in the ice.

It proved to be a happy idea. He told us that it was his intention to
allow the boat to remain where it was until spring, since he could do
no different because of the ice, and then it could be used by those who
proposed to make a settlement fourteen miles farther down the Ohio.
He also said that we were at liberty to use it as we saw fit during
the entire winter, providing, of course, that we did no damage to the
craft; but at the same time advising that, instead of trying to keep
house by ourselves, we live either with his family or Master Rouse's.

[Illustration]

He said we should find plenty of game in the woods, and proposed that
we borrow his gun whenever we were in need of meat, promising to
supply us with ammunition; but this last we agreed to only with the
understanding that he keep a strict account of what was used, so that
when we had earned sufficient money with which to cancel the debt, we
might pay him.

At this he laughed, declaring that we were indeed high and mighty for
lads who yet had their way to make through the world; but at the same
time clapping us heartily on the shoulders as he vowed he liked our
spirit and had no doubt but that we should succeed in making our way,
for there must be ample opportunity for willing lads to earn fair wages
when spring had come.



                              BUYING LAND


Another thing Master Devoll did for which both Ben and I have good
reason to bless him. He insisted that we make a bargain with Colonel
Putnam for one of the eight-acre lots, agreeing to pay for it within
a year's time, and inasmuch as the price fixed upon for those who had
come to settle was the same as that made by the government, meaning
one dollar an acre, it surely seemed as if we could contrive within
a twelve-month to earn that much money in addition to supporting
ourselves.

Without loss of time we went to the small building which Colonel Putnam
called the "Land Office," and there made application for one of the
lots as Master Devoll had advised. On the instant after Colonel Putnam
spoke, we understood that Master Devoll had not contented himself
simply with giving advice, but had been to the land office before us,
stating who we were and what were our intentions, therefore Colonel
Putnam not only was ready to receive us, but had much to say which
sounded to my ears like unwon praise.

"It is such lads as you that we want here in Marietta," he said
heartily. "Your records are good, so far as I have learned, and it
pleases me to set aside an eight-acre lot for you. Decide upon any one
of those which have not already been taken, and I will enter it in your
names."

[Illustration]

Then he put before us a plan of the town of Marietta, whereon each
piece of land was marked out, and we, instead of going out to look
for ourselves that we might decide which was the most valuable or
desirable, said to him that he should put our names down on whatever
lot he saw fit, whereupon he laughingly did so, and we afterward
learned that we had been, perhaps, wise in leaving to him the selection.

That night after we had become landowners, as you might say, we slept
on board the flatboat with no covering save such a shelter as could be
made with branches of trees, and because we were not disposed to ask
either Mistress Rouse or Mistress Devoll to lend us blankets, we made
a lively blaze in the fireplace, laying ourselves down with our feet
toward it.

The night was cold indeed and we suffered not a little before morning;
but, as Ben said, it was better to be a trifle chilly than to feel
ourselves beholden to any one, even for that with which we covered
ourselves.

[Illustration]

I insisted that our first duty should be to get together a supply of
fuel, and indeed there was no scarcity about. The trees grew so near
the water's edge that we could hew them into four-foot lengths, and
almost toss them into the flatboat.

It was my proposition that we fill the craft entirely with fuel
before doing anything else, but Ben was so set upon seeing the Indian
encampment, that he refused to do more than cut enough to last during
one night, and when I asked him what he intended to do about breakfast,
he quietly announced that he would rather go hungry one day, than miss
the chance of seeing those savages with whom we might, at some time in
the near future, find ourselves fighting for our lives.

I also was eager to see the Indians; but not to such an extent that I
would cross over to Fort Harmar with an empty stomach. I therefore told
him that I should first make it my duty to go into the woods in search
of game.



                         VISITING THE SAVAGES


He, however, was so insistent that we finally agreed that the forenoon
should be spent in looking at the savages, and after that he was to go
with me hunting.

It was odd, when we had come to Fort Harmar, to see so many of the
brown-skinned people dressed in fanciful garb, as if taking part in
some comical festival; but there was about them so much which was
disagreeable, that I could not really enjoy the visit.

I fancied that more than one of them looked in an unfriendly manner at
us, as if taking offense because of our curiosity, and I was willing
to postpone any further acquaintance with them until we were somewhat
familiar with their habits and customs.

Ben was not so eager as he had been, and when noon came was ready to
accompany me on a hunting trip, as had been agreed upon.

[Illustration]

I wish I had the time to tell you all we did during that first
afternoon, for indeed it was most interesting.

Roaming through a dirty Indian encampment was not for a single moment
to be compared with the pleasure of making one's way among the huge
trees, where game was so abundant that a fellow might pick and choose.

Before we had gone half a mile from the fortification, we came upon
pigeons and rabbits in what seemed countless numbers, and more than
once did we get a glimpse of wild turkeys; but as yet we were not
sufficiently versed in hunting to be able to kill them.

[Illustration]

Within two hours we had enough meat for the coming week, and, hastening
back to our flatboat home, were able before sunset to cut so much wood
that Ben declared we might live like gentlemen of leisure during the
next few days.

"If we are to make for ourselves names of worth in this country, there
must be no idleness," I said half laughingly. "You and I have decided
that we will strike out for ourselves, therefore it stands us in hand
to earn money, and that without loss of time."

"We will begin bright and early to-morrow morning," Ben replied
cheerily. "You shall go one way and I another, each seeking to find
some way by which we can earn an honest dollar, and each seeing to it
that whatever business is engaged upon, shall be for two, because, as I
understand it, you and I are to work in one yoke while we remain here
in this town of Marietta."



                       CAPTAIN HASKELL'S ADVICE


We did not do exactly as Ben proposed when another day had come, and it
was none other than Captain Haskell who prevented us from carrying out
our plans.

We met the captain just as we were coming out from beneath our shelter,
he having strolled that way in order to learn how we might be getting
on. Seeing that we were blue and shivering with the cold as we strove
to kindle a fire in the stern of the flatboat, he said to us that it
would be a good idea if we made of the craft a comfortable home during
the winter months.

[Illustration]

Then he showed us how, with a little labor, we could build in the
stern of the flatboat a shelter which would be quite as good as any
hut on shore, save that we might be lodged in one of the best rooms in
Campus Martius, and advised that we set about the work before striving
to find employment. At the same time he assured us there was no doubt
whatsoever in his mind but that two lads who were willing to work, and
who would work, might make for themselves a home and a name.

Having given this advice, he turned squarely about, never waiting to
see whether we might be willing to follow it, and walked rapidly toward
the fortification.

We pondered over his suggestion no longer than it might take a man to
count twenty, and then began to discuss how we had best begin the work,
in the meanwhile warming up what remained of the roasted pigeons we had
cooked for supper.



                             A NEW FRIEND


While we were thus engaged, the lad Jeremy Salter, of whom I have
already spoken, came down to the shore, curious to see who might be
remaining on board a flatboat when there was shelter to be had in the
town, and without waiting for an invitation, joined us at breakfast,
eating considerably more than his share. He told us exactly how we
ought to set about making the shelter, and what it might be possible
for us to do in the way of gaining employment.

At first it nettled me that this boy should presume to advise us, for
he was considerably younger than I; but before he had done with his
suggestions, both Ben and I saw that they were not without merit.

He was the son of one of the Salters who had come out from Danvers, and
considered himself an old resident of the country because of having
been here two months or more. It appeared that he was not very eager to
gain employment for himself, claiming that his father was one of those
who expected to go farther down the river in the spring to make there
another settlement.

However, I must say in his favor that he took hold with us heartily,
borrowing two axes, and advising which trees might be felled the
easiest, performing himself a due share of the labor, with the result
that before two days had passed, thanks to his assistance and advice,
we had as good a hut built over the fireplace in the stern of the
flatboat as one could desire.



                        FISHING THROUGH THE ICE


Then Jeremy Salter told us how we might lay in a store of provisions
without spending powder and ball. His scheme was to go a short distance
from the point, and there fish through the ice.

He not only gave this advice but went so far as to provide us with
fishing tackle, and seemed to enjoy himself hugely while aiding in
laying up a store of food.

It was no labor, but rather sport, to catch fish in this fashion. We
caught them as fast as it was possible to haul in the lines, until when
night came and we had made a sort of sled with branches of trees, we
had as much of a load as we cared to drag over the ice.

By this time they were all frozen, therefore we stacked them up like
fuel in the bow of the flatboat, and I dare say that had we lived on
fish alone, we had in the ten hours' fishing enough food for a month.

During all this time that we were building our hut and fishing, Ben
Cushing was eager to pay another visit to the Indian encampment; but
Jeremy declared that the savages were not in the most friendly mood,
even though they had come to make a treaty, and his father had told him
plainly that he must not venture near the lodges, lest harm might come.

[Illustration]

Such talk as this served to take away Ben's desire to see the wild
savages in their own camps, and I was glad because of it, for instead
of spending half a day when time was precious, we, with Jeremy's aid,
set about laying up a greater store of fuel, until the flatboat had a
full cargo of wood and fish, therefore we need not fear hunger or cold
during the winter.



                        THE SABBATH IN MARIETTA


I was glad indeed when the Sabbath came, for I had worked hard and the
time of rest was what all of us, including Jeremy, who was living with
us rather than in Campus Martius with his parents, most needed.

The greater number of the people assembled in one of the rooms of
Campus Martius during the forenoon, where prayers were read and some of
the older men talked to us in serious fashion.

[Illustration]

The words at that time took even more hold on me than those which I had
heard from Parson Cutler's lips at home, for we were indeed needing the
protection of God, since there were none of this world who could aid
if the savages attacked us suddenly. I believe that both Ben and I came
away from that meeting better in heart and with better resolutions for
the future, than we had ever had before.

Bright and early on Monday morning Captain Haskell made us another
visit and commented favorably upon the shelter we had built, at the
same time that he looked curiously at our stack of fish.

[Illustration]

"I see no reason why you lads should not sell me half a dozen of
these," he said, picking out some of the finest, and Ben Cushing
replied promptly that he might have all he wanted for the carrying away.

The captain refused any such offer, saying that he would buy them,
otherwise he would go without, and declaring that if we wished, we
might sell to the people inside the fortification no small amount of
fish during the winter season, for there were plenty who did not feel
disposed to spend their time on the river while the weather was so
cold.



                          A REGULAR BUSINESS


He gave us a shilling for as many as he could carry, and bade us follow
him to Campus Martius, where within an hour we took orders for as many
as we had in the flatboat, at prices much the same as that paid by the
captain, and straightway without our seeking it, there came to us a
means of earning money sufficient to provide ourselves with ammunition
for hunting.

You would not have the patience to read all I could write about our
work during that winter.

[Illustration]

There was never man nor woman in Campus Martius who could come out and
beckon us, but that we were ready to furnish him or her with as much
fish as was wanted, until we had gathered in no less than seven dollars
and three shillings, by working in a way which was much like sport. Of
this amount we spent a little more than one half to purchase a store
of powder and lead, for it was our intention to add the business of
hunting to that of fishing.

Thanks to Jeremy Salter, we borrowed from a kind man who had come out
with Colonel Sproat two muskets, with the understanding that if at any
time before spring we were ready to pay twelve dollars for each, they
might become our property.

From this time on we fished when the weather was too stormy for
successful hunting, and roamed the woods during pleasant days, coming
back to our flatboat home each night literally laden with game or fish;
and although any man in Marietta could have done the same, we had no
difficulty in selling it all.

Of the ceremony of making the treaty with the Indians we saw nothing,
and for the very good reason that we could not afford to spend the time.



                       A VISIT FROM THE SAVAGES


Just then it seemed as if every man in the settlement was eager to know
what might be going on around Fort Harmar, and therefore the demands
upon us hunters increased to such an extent that we could hardly supply
the food which was desired.

In addition to the fact that we were unable to be present during
the treaty making, save at the price of losing the chance to earn
considerable money, Ben Cushing had lost all desire to see the savages
at close quarters.

One afternoon just before sunset, when we had come in from fishing,
two Delaware braves came over to our flatboat and made themselves very
much at home, without any invitation. In fact, they carried matters
with a high hand, as if having the right to do as they pleased, and
when Ben made a stout protest against their eating the food intended
for our own supper, one of them behaved in such a threatening manner
that for a moment I thoroughly believed he was about to strike the lad
down, therefore I hastily caught up one of the axes, believing I should
be called upon to fight for my life.

[Illustration]

When the Indians had eaten until it was impossible to eat more, they
having literally forced us to cook for them, the two stalked away, and
from that time forth Ben never said anything regarding a desire to
visit the encampment.

We hunted or fished during every moment of daylight while the treaty
making was going on, and when it had come to an end we had so many
dollars in our possession as satisfied us fully for having failed to
witness the ceremony.



                            BUILDING A HOME


It was at this time, when we were so prosperous, that Jeremy Salter
declared we ought to set aside a certain day in each week for the work
of building a house for ourselves on the eight-acre lot, which we now
knew could be paid for at any time, since we had more than sufficient
money in our possession.

[Illustration]

Thus, thanks to Jeremy, we set about building our home, working
whenever the demand for game or fish was light, or when it stormed so
furiously that we could not well go on the river or in the woods. When
spring came and the snow had disappeared, we had as solidly built a
cabin as could be found anywhere in Marietta outside Campus Martius.

Thus far we had accomplished a portion of our purpose. The people had
come to understand that if we promised to provide them with a certain
kind of game or fish, the promise would be kept to the letter. I am
saying this not to praise myself, but simply to show we were making a
name for ourselves as lads who told the truth, and kept strictly to
their bargain.

As I looked at the matter, this was of greatest value to us. We had set
about gaining a good reputation, and verily we had begun aright, though
only in small matters. It remained to show whether we were of such
stuff as settlers in a wild country should be made.

Before the first day of March we had paid for our eight-acre lot, had
built a cabin of two rooms, in which was stored as much frozen game and
fish as would keep sweet until warm weather came, and, in addition, had
nineteen dollars which we could call our own.



                            A GREAT PROJECT


One day, when the rain came down in torrents, and we were not inclined
either to fish or hunt, Captain Haskell came to make a friendly call,
and, in no spirit of curiosity, but rather because of the interest
which he had evidently taken in us, asked how we were progressing.

Without hesitation I told him exactly how we stood in the world,
whereupon he praised us highly, and then proposed a scheme which fairly
caused me to hold my breath in amazement, for it did not seem possible
we could venture so far as his plan led.

[Illustration]

His idea was that we build a water mill by buying from himself and
Master Rouse the flatboat in which we were still living and by putting
alongside of it a second one, the two to be fastened side by side in
such a manner that a water wheel could be worked between them, and the
double craft anchored in the current, where sufficient power could be
had to drive the mill.

As to the stones for grinding and such small pieces of machinery as we
might need, he figured that we could buy them either in Pittsburgh or
from some craft which came up the river, and when I asked him how far
he thought our store of money would go in such a project, he laughingly
replied that Uncle Daniel and he would lend us a sufficient amount to
pay for all we might need, and take from us in return three-quarters of
the entire earnings until the debt, with interest, had been canceled.

When Ben Cushing asked if he believed we should find business enough to
warrant the undertaking, he replied:--

"There are about two hundred people here now and twice as many coming
from Massachusetts during the summer. Now, since there is no mill here
and all the corn must be ground by hand, I am asking whether you do not
believe that by harvest time a single mill such as Uncle Daniel and
I propose you shall build, will be kept running during every hour of
daylight?"



                            THE TWO MILLERS


We discussed the matter earnestly, as you may well suppose, and Uncle
Daniel, coming aboard before we had finished the conversation, did his
share of arguing. Before nightfall it was settled that on the following
morning we should begin work on a second flatboat, and also repair the
old craft in which we had come down from Sumrill's Ferry.

And all this we did, working with a hearty will far into each night,
because it was possible to see before us a way of getting on in the
world faster than we had ever dared to dream, and you may be sure we
wasted no minute of daylight.

We had expected to cultivate our eight acres, and, in fact, when
spring came we did put in a crop of corn; but the making of the mill
and providing ourselves with food occupied so much of our time that we
could not well afford to spend many hours as farmers, more particularly
since both Uncle Daniel and Captain Haskell insisted that as soon as
the mill was in working order we could earn double or treble as much as
it would be possible to get from the ground.

And it all came about as these two good friends of ours predicted. The
mill was a success from the first day we were ready to turn the wheel,
and has continued so until now, when we are in sorest trouble.



                      THE SAVAGES ON THE WARPATH


From the time of our coming into this Ohio country, Marietta had
steadily increased in size, the people coming, as it seemed to me,
from every part of the eastern colonies, and just when Ben and I were
congratulating each other that our lines had been cast in peaceful,
pleasant places, even though we were settled in the wilderness, the
Indians began their bloody work which we now fear may result in wiping
out this settlement.

The treaty which had been made by the savages just after we arrived was
kept only by the white men. Hardly more than two weeks ago news came
that Captain King had been killed at that settlement to which Uncle
Daniel went in the spring, while four others were slain in the forest,
and one taken prisoner.

[Illustration]

The savages are in arms against us. We have been forced to come into
Campus Martius for safety; work of all kinds has been abandoned; our
mill is moored far up the Muskingum River, where we have a faint hope
it may escape destruction.

Although it may be that within the next four and twenty hours both Ben
and I will have fallen beneath the tomahawk, yet must I bear witness
that God has been good to us indeed. He has permitted two lads so to
make their way in the world with nothing save their own hands as stock
in trade, that now, as I have good reason for believing, we are counted
among the responsible citizens of the town.

And of this it seems to me I had good proof no longer ago than
yesterday, when I heard General Putnam say while he and some other of
the men were discussing the possibilities of an Indian war:--

"If evidence were needed that it is well for young, willing workers to
come into the wilderness, then I would point out to you that lad who
journeyed with Mistress Devoll, and who, with his comrade, has laid
up more than a fair share of this world's goods by unceasing work and
unswerving honesty. He has done no more than many another might have
done; but it has pleased me to watch the lad, and when I think of him
it is always as our cheery-faced, upright miller, Benjamin of Ohio."



              BOOKS CONSULTED IN WRITING BENJAMIN OF OHIO


   BALDWIN, JAMES: Conquest of the Old Northwest. American Book
   Company.

   BUEL, MISS ROWENA: Memoirs of Rufus Putnam. Houghton Mifflin
   Company.

   DRAKE, SAMUEL ADAMS: Making of the Ohio Valley States.
   Charles Scribner's Sons.

   EARLE, ALICE MORSE: Home Life in Colonial Days. The Macmillan
   Company.

   ELLET, Mrs.: Pioneer Women of the West. John C. Winston
   Company.

   ELSON, HENRY WILLIAM: History of the United States. The
   Macmillan Company.

   HARPER'S MAGAZINE: Vol. 71, p. 552.

   HILDRETH, S. P.: Pioneer History. H. W. Derby & Co.

   HINSDALE, B. A.: The Old Northwest. Silver, Burdett & Co.

   HOWELLS, WILLIAM DEAN: Stories of Ohio. American Book Company.

   JONES, N. E.: Squirrel Hunters of Ohio. Robert Clarke Company.

   MOWRY, WILLIAM A.: American Pioneers. Silver, Burdett & Co.

   POWELL, LYMAN P.: Historic Towns of Western States. G. P.
   Putnam's Sons.

   ROOSEVELT, THEODORE: Winning of the West. G. P. Putnam's Sons.

   THWAITE, REUBEN GOLD: Early Western Travels (Buttrick).
   Arthur H. Clarke Company.

   WALKER, CHARLES M.: History of Athens County, Ohio. Robert
   Clarke Company.



      *      *      *      *      *      *



Transcriber's note:

Page 9, Benjamin illustration was a dropped capital I illustration in
the original book.

Page 68, uncle changed to Uncle (Uncle Daniel's household goods).

Punctuation silently corrected.





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