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Title: Lafayette in America in 1824 and 1825, Vol. II - or Journal of a Voyage to the United States
Author: Levasseur, A.
Language: English
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                          LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA
                           IN 1824 AND 1825;
                          JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE
                                 TO THE
                             UNITED STATES:

                            BY A. LEVASSEUR,


                                VOL. II.


                             CAREY AND LEA.


  Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to wit:

  Be it remembered, That on the sixth day of November, in the
  fifty-fourth year of the independence of the United States of
  America, A. D. 1829, Carey and Lea, of the said district, have
  deposited in this Office the title of a Book, the right whereof they
  claim as proprietors in the words following, to wit:

    “Lafayette in America in 1824 and 1825; or Journal of a Voyage to
    the United States: by A. Levasseur, Secretary to General Lafayette
    during his journey. Translated by John D. Godman, M. D.”

  In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States,
  entitled “An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the
  copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of
  such copies during the times therein mentioned.” And also to the
  act, entitled, “An act supplementary to an act, entitled, ‘An act
  for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of the
  maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such
  copies during the times therein mentioned,’ and extending the
  benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching
  historical and other prints.”

                            (Signed)      D. CALDWELL,
                      _Clerk of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania_.


                               CHAPTER I.

 Maryland Cattle Show—Indian Deputation introduced to Gen.
   Lafayette—President’s Message—Extraordinary honours paid to the
   Nation’s Guest—National recompense presented by Congress            9

                               CHAPTER II.

 Election of the President—Public character of the President—Public
   Officers—Congress—Grand public dinner on the 1st of January        22

                              CHAPTER III.

 Departure from Washington—American Feelings—Sea-Lion—Family of Free
   Negroes—Raleigh—Fayetteville—North Carolina                        29

                               CHAPTER IV.

 Entrance into South Carolina—Route from Cheraw to Cambden—Monument
   erected to Baron de Kalb—Road from Cambden to
   Charleston—Rejoicing in Charleston—Colonel Huger—History,
   Institutions, and Manners, of the South Carolinians                38

                               CHAPTER V.

 Fort Moultrie—Edisto Island—Alligators—Savannah—Funeral
   Monuments—Augusta—State of Georgia                                 55

                               CHAPTER VI.

 Departure from Milledgeville—Macon—Indian Agency—Meeting with
   Indians during a Storm—Hamley—M’Intosh’s Tribe—Uchee Creek—Big
   Warrior—Captain Lewis—Line Creek—Montgomery—Farewell of
   M’Intosh—Cahawba-State of Alabama—Mobile                           70

                              CHAPTER VII.

 Departure from Mobile—Gulf of Mexico—Passage of the Belize—Landing
   at the entrenchments near New Orleans—Entrance into the
   city—Entertainments and public Ceremonies—Battle of New Orleans    87

                              CHAPTER VIII.

 History and Constitution of Louisiana—Baton-Rouge—Natchez—State of
   Mississippi—Voyage to St. Louis—Reception of General Lafayette in
   that city                                                         102

                               CHAPTER IX.

 Changes produced in the navigation of the Mississippi since the
   introduction of Steam—Arrival at Kaskaskia—The Canadians and
   Indians—Singular meeting with a young Indian educated among the
   Whites, and returned to savage life—Indian Ballad—State of
   Illinois—Departure from Kaskaskia—Separation of General Lafayette
   and the Louisiana deputation                                      129

                               CHAPTER X.

 Cumberland River—Arrival at Nashville—Tennessee Militia—Residence
   of General Jackson—Shipwreck on the Ohio—Louisville—Journey from
   Louisville to Cincinnati by land—State of Kentucky—Anecdote       150

                               CHAPTER XI.

 Arrival at Cincinnati—Entertainments given by that city—Swiss of
   Vevay—State of Ohio—The Vinton family—Journey from Wheeling to
   Uniontown—Speech of Mr. Gallatin—New Geneva—Braddock’s
   field—General Washington’s first feat of arms—Pittsburgh          172

                              CHAPTER XII.

 Route from Pittsburg to Erie—Commodore Perry’s Victory—Night Scene
   at Fredonia—The Indian Chief at Buffalo—Falls of Niagara—Visit to
   Fort Niagara—Appearance of Lockport—Passage from Lockport to
   Rochester—Aqueduct over the Genessee River—Route by land from
   Rochester to Syracuse—Passage from Syracuse to Schenectady, Rome,
   and Utica—Grand Canal                                             184

                              CHAPTER XIII.

 Return to Boston—Reception of Lafayette by the Legislature of
   Massachusetts—Celebration of the anniversary of Bunker’s
   hill—History of the Revolution familiar to the
   Americans—Departure from Boston                                   200

                              CHAPTER XIV.

 Rapid and hasty visit to the states of New Hampshire, Maine, and
   Vermont—Return to New York—Celebration of the Anniversary of
   American Independence—American vessels of war—Patriotism and
   disinterestedness of the Seamen of New York                       208

                               CHAPTER XV.

 Letter of Mr. Keratry on the Anniversary of Bunker’s hill—Fair
   Mount Water Works at Philadelphia—Germantown—Mr. Watson’s
   Historical Box—Field of the Battle of Brandywine—Invocation of
   the Rev. William Latta—Clergy of Lancaster—Return to Baltimore,
   lighted by a fire                                                 223

                              CHAPTER XVI.

 Return to Washington—Character of the new President—Visit to the
   ex-president, become a farmer and justice of the peace—Government
   offers Lafayette a ship of war to return in to France—Presents
   made to Bolivar through Lafayette—New homage from the city of New
   York—Farewell of the President to the Nation’s Guest—Departure
   from Washington city—Embarkation in the
   Brandywine—Voyage—Testimonies of attachment and regret of the
   crew of the Brandywine to Lafayette—Reception at Havre—some hours
   at Rouen—Reception of Lafayette at La Grange by the inhabitants
   of his vicinity                                                   241

                         LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA.

                               CHAPTER I.

  Maryland Cattle Show—Indian Deputation introduced to Gen.
      Lafayette—President’s Message—Extraordinary honours paid to the
      Nation’s Guest—National recompense presented by Congress.

On arriving at Washington, we went to dine with the president; and after
reposing for twenty-four hours, we set out for Baltimore, where we were
invited as members of the Agricultural Society to the annual meeting of
the farmers of Maryland. The object of this society is the distribution
of rewards and encouragements to all, who in the course of the year have
made improvements in agriculture, or the arts of domestic utility. The
different products are exhibited, without the names of their owners, and
examined by a committee, upon whose report the society awards the
prizes. The show appeared to be rich in products of every description. A
great number of horses, cows, and sheep, remarkable for their beauty of
form, proved how careful the Maryland farmers are in improving their
stock. Models of agricultural implements, linen, cotton, canvass and
woollen cloths, wines and grain, so arranged, as to be open to public
examination, attested the spirit of investigation and improvement which
pervades the industrious class of this rich state. General Harper opened
the meeting by a very instructive discourse upon the progress and actual
condition of agriculture in Maryland, and General Lafayette was charged
with the distribution of the premiums. After these were delivered, the
farmers were arranged in two lines, and General Lafayette passed between
them, shaking hands with every one. We then gaily seated ourselves at
table, where numerous toasts were drank, “to the nation’s guest,” “the
farmer of La Grange,” &c. To these tributes of respect, the general
replied by the following toast: “The seed of American liberty
transplanted to other shores, smothered hitherto, but not destroyed by
European weeds; may it germinate and grow afresh, more pure and
vigorous, and cover the soil of both hemispheres.”

Before leaving Baltimore we visited several farms in the vicinity, at
each of which General Lafayette took accurate notes of various
improvements, whose application he thought would prove useful on his
farm at La Grange. He especially admired a fine steam boiler,[1] at
General Harper’s farm, by which numerous flocks could be more abundantly
and economically fed. Mr. Patterson presented him a young bull and two
heifers of rare elegance of form, said to be of the English Devonshire
breed. We also received from several other agriculturists, wild turkeys
for the improvement of the European breed, pigs of singular size,
figure, &c.; in short, every one wished to present some of his produce
to the farmer of La Grange, who accepted them the more gratefully,
because he saw in each of these presents means of rendering service to
French agriculture.

On returning to Washington, we found the city much more animated than
before our departure. The number of strangers and citizens from all
parts of the Union, which usually assemble at the opening of congress,
were collected this season in much greater crowds, attracted by the wish
of being there at the same time with the nation’s guest, and to witness
the inauguration of the recently elected president. The European
ambassadors and ministers of the new states of South America, had
returned to their posts, which they left during the fine season; Indian
deputations had also arrived from the most distant forests, to make
known the wants of their brethren to the American government. These
deputations came to visit General Lafayette the morning after our
return; they were introduced by Major Pitchlynn, their interpreter; at
their head were two chiefs whom we had previously seen at Mr.
Jefferson’s table during our visit to Monticello. I recognised them by
their ears cut into long straps and garnished with long plates of lead.
One of them, named Mushulatubbee, made an address to General Lafayette
in the Indian language; after he had concluded, Pushalamata, the first
of their chiefs, also addressed the general, congratulating him on his
return to the land for which he had fought and bled in his youth, &c.
This chief expired a few days afterwards: feeling the approach of death,
he called his companions around him, requested them to dress him in his
est ornaments and give him his arms, that he might die like a man. He
expressed a desire that the Americans would bury him with the honours of
war, and fire a salute over his grave, which was promised. He then
conversed with his friends until he gently expired. He was very old and
of the Choctaw tribe, as well as part of those who came to see General
Lafayette; the rest were Chickasaws.

On his return to Washington, the general found messages from all the
southern and western states, expressing the desire and hope of the
people of those parts of the Union that he would visit them: the
representatives of the different states who had come to sit in congress,
daily came to see him, and spoke with enthusiasm of the preparations
which their fellow citizens were already making to receive the nation’s

He felt that it would be difficult, not to say impossible, to refuse
invitations so feelingly and honourably expressed, and determined to
accept them all; but on account of the advanced state of the season he
could not re-commence his journey till the end of the winter; during
part of which he would remain at Washington, where he could attend to
the debates in congress. As these debates would not begin for some days,
he determined to profit by the intervening time to visit all the members
of General Washington’s family, residing in the vicinity of the capital.
We first went to the house of one of his nieces, Mrs. Lewis, at Wood
Lawn; this lady was brought up at Mount Vernon with Mr. George
Lafayette, and time had not destroyed the fraternal friendship existing
between them. She received us with great kindness, as did her husband
and family. We remained four days at Wood Lawn, receiving the most
delicate attentions, and departed charged with little presents, of great
value to us, because they were almost all objects which had belonged to
the hero of liberty, the immortal Washington.

As Wood Lawn is but a division of the ancient property of Mount Vernon,
we had but a short walk to Judge Bushrod Washington’s. We then revisited
Arlington, the residence of Mr. Custis, of whom I have heretofore had
occasion to speak. His house, built according to reduced plans of the
temple of Theseus, stands upon one of the most beautiful situations
imaginable; from the portico the eye takes in, at one view, the majestic
course of the Potomac, the commercial movements of Georgetown, the
rising city of Washington, and far beyond the vast horizon, beneath
which lie the fertile plains of Maryland. If Mr. Custis, instead of the
great number of indolent slaves, who devour his produce, and leave his
roads in a bad condition, would employ a dozen well paid free labourers,
I am sure that he would soon triple his revenues, and have one of the
most delightful properties, not only of the District of Columbia, but of
all Virginia.

While General Lafayette was visiting his friends, congress commenced its
session on the 6th of December, according to custom. The president’s
message was received by both houses on the 7th at noon; and, on our
return to Washington on the 8th, we read this political paper, always so
important in the United States, but still more interesting this year,
because it was the last great administrative act of an honest man; and
its influence, perhaps, saved the republics of South America, I do not
say from the intrigues, but at least from the attacks of Europe. Those
who wish to learn how, in a legitimate government, the chief magistrate
elected by the people renders an account of the sacred trust they have
confided to him, should read Mr. Monroe’s message of the 6th December,
1824. They will there see with what candour this wise magistrate informs
congress of all the acts of his administration, with what simplicity he
speaks of his treaties with all the kings of Europe; with what frankness
he exposes the wants, the resources, the situation of the state; but
also with what courage and dignity he declares to the whole world that
the republic, faithful to its engagements, will regard as a personal
offence all attacks directed against its allies, and will always repel,
with its whole power, the unjust principle of foreign interference in
the affairs of the nation.

After the reading of the message committees were immediately appointed
by both houses upon the various articles it contained. The committee
charged with what related to the general, was requested to report with
as little delay as possible. Other committees were appointed to arrange
the ceremonial of the general’s public reception by congress; and, on
the 8th of December the joint committee reported by Mr. Barbour to the
house of representatives, that, in order to avoid difficulties, each
house of congress should separately receive the nation’s guest. The
senate then determined upon the manner in which General Lafayette should
be received, and the committee was authorized to act as intermediary to
the senate and him.

On the 9th Mr. Mitchell, in the name of the committees, proposed
resolutions, which were unanimously adopted, that General Lafayette
should be publicly gratulated by the house of representatives on account
of his accepting the invitation of congress, and assured of the profound
respect felt for his eminent services during the revolution, as well as
of the pleasure caused by his return, after so long an absence, to the
theatre of his exploits.

As soon as these resolutions were made known, the troops wished to
parade, to give the reception of the nation’s guest by congress all the
brilliance of military pomp; but General Lafayette, having learned their
intention, requested them to relinquish it, as he considered it
inconsistent, both with his character and situation, to appear before
the national representatives surrounded by the pomp of arms; the troops,
always delighted to do what was most agreeable to him, immediately laid
aside their project. At half past twelve we went in carriages with the
committee of the senate to the capitol; at ten o’clock precisely the
doors of the senate were thrown open, and General Lafayette was led into
the midst of the assembly by Mr. Barbour, president of the committee. On
arriving at the centre of the hall, Mr. Barbour said, in a loud voice,
“We introduce General Lafayette to the senate of the United States.” The
senators standing uncovered received this annunciation with the most
profound silence. The committee then conducted the general to a seat on
the right of Mr. Gailliard, president of the senate; a motion to adjourn
was made immediately after, that each senator might individually pay his
respects to the general. This motion being carried, the senators
successively left their seats, and approached him for that purpose. Thus
terminated the business of the day.

The next morning, the general was again conducted to the capitol, by a
deputation of twenty-four members of the house of representatives. The
procession consisted of merely twelve coaches, but without escort, pomp,
or decorations; our progress through the city was slow and silent. At
the sight of the first coach, which contained the general, the citizens
halted, removed their hats, but uttered no exclamation. This silence,
this simplicity, was really impressive. We were conducted into the
committee room until the session commenced; the public galleries were
crowded from early in the morning; the seats were occupied by foreign
diplomatists and most distinguished persons of the city. That part of
the hall which is not occupied by the representatives, was, on this
occasion, alone filled by ladies.

When the members had taken their seats, Mr. Condict proposed that the
senate should be invited to attend, and the motion was carried by a
large majority. The speaker then requested the members to pass to the
right, in order to give place to the senators. The senate then entered
and took their seats; a few minutes after, two members came for Mr.
George Lafayette and myself, and conducted us into the hall, to a seat
occupied by the public officers. A signal being then given, the doors
were thrown open, and General Lafayette entered between Messrs. Mitchell
and Livingston, followed by the rest of the deputation: the whole
assembly arose and stood uncovered in silence. When the general reached
the centre of the hall, the speaker, Mr. Clay, thus addressed him:

“_General_—The house of representatives of the United States, impelled
alike by its own feelings, and by those of the whole American people,
could not have assigned to me a more gratifying duty, than that of
presenting to you cordial congratulations upon the occasion of your
recent arrival in the United States, in compliance with the wishes of
congress, and to assure you of the very high satisfaction which your
presence affords on this early theatre of your glory and renown.
Although but few of the members who compose this body shared with you in
the war of our revolution, all have, from impartial history or from
faithful tradition, a knowledge of the perils, the sufferings, and the
sacrifices which you voluntarily encountered, and the signal services,
in America and in Europe, which you performed for an infant, a distant,
and an alien people; and all feel and own the very great extent of the
obligations under which you have placed our country. But the relations
in which you have ever stood to the United States, interesting and
important as they have been, do not constitute the only motive of the
respect and admiration which the house of representatives entertain for
you. Your consistency of character, your uniform devotion to regulated
liberty, in all the vicissitudes of a long and arduous life, also
commands its admiration. During all the recent convulsions of Europe,
amidst, as after the dispersion of, every political storm, the people of
the United States have beheld you, true to your old principles, firm and
erect, cheering and animating, with your well known voice, the votaries
of liberty, its faithful and fearless champion, ready to shed the last
drop of that blood which here you so freely and nobly spilt, in the same
holy cause.

“The vain wish has been sometimes indulged, that Providence would allow
the patriot, after death, to return to his country, and to contemplate
the intermediate changes which had taken place—to view the forests
felled, the cities built, the mountains levelled, the canals cut, the
highways constructed, the progress of the arts, the advancement of
learning, and the increase of population—General, your present visit to
the United States is a realization of the consoling object of that wish.
You are in the midst of posterity. Every where, you must have been
struck with the great changes, physical and moral, which have occurred
since you left us. Even this very city, bearing a venerated name, alike
endeared to you and to us, has since emerged from the forest which then
covered its site. In one respect, you behold us unaltered, and this is
in the sentiment of continued devotion to liberty, and of ardent
affection and profound gratitude to your departed friend, the father of
his country, and to you, and to your illustrious associates in the field
and in the cabinet, for the multiplied blessings which surround us, and
for the very privilege of addressing you, which I now exercise. This
sentiment, now fondly cherished by more than ten millions of people,
will be transmitted, with unabated vigour, down the tide of time,
through the countless millions who are destined to inhabit this
continent, to the latest posterity.”

The profound emotion experienced by the speaker, which had visibly
agitated him throughout his address, rapidly extended to the hearts of
the auditors, each of whom waited, with benevolent anxiety, for the
answer they expected the general would have ready in writing, for so
solemn an occasion. But every one was agreeably surprised, to see him
advance a few steps towards the speaker, cast upon the assembly looks of
feeling and gratitude, and, after a few instants of recollection,
deliver, in a sonorous voice, distinctly audible throughout the house,
the following extempore reply:

“_Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives_—While the
people of the United States, and their honourable representatives in
congress, have deigned to make choice of me, one of the American
veterans, to signify, in his person, their esteem for our joint
services, and their attachment to the principles for which we have had
the honour to fight and bleed, I am proud and happy to share those
extraordinary favours with my dear revolutionary companions; yet it
would be, on my part, uncandid and ungrateful, not to acknowledge my
personal share in those testimonies of kindness, as they excite in my
breast emotions which no words are adequate to express.

“My obligations to the United States, sir, far exceed any merit I might
claim; they date from the time when I have had the happiness to be
adopted as a young soldier, a favoured son of America; they have been
continued to me during almost a half a century of constant affection and
confidence; and now, sir, thanks to your most gratifying invitation, I
find myself greeted by a series of welcomes, one hour of which would
more than compensate for the public exertions and sufferings of a whole

“The approbation of the American people, and their representatives, for
my conduct, during the vicissitudes of the European revolution, is the
highest reward I could receive. Well may I _stand firm and erect_, when,
in their names, and by you, Mr. Speaker, I am declared to have, in every
instance, been faithful to those American principles of liberty,
equality, and true social order, the devotion to which, as it has been
from my earliest youth, so it shall continue to be to my latest breath.

“You have been pleased, Mr. Speaker, to allude to the peculiar felicity
of my situation, when, after so long an absence, I am called to witness
the immense improvements, the admirable communications, the prodigious
creations, of which we find an example in this city, whose name itself
is a venerated palladium; in a word, all the grandeur and prosperity of
those happy United States, who, at the same time they nobly secure the
complete assertion of American independence, reflect, on every part of
the world, the light of a far superior political civilization.

“What better pledge can be given, of a persevering, national love of
liberty, when these blessings are evidently the result of a virtuous
resistance to oppression, and institutions founded on the rights of man,
and the republican principle of self-government?

“No, Mr. Speaker, posterity has not begun for me, since, in the sons of
my companions and friends, I find the same public feelings; and, permit
me to add, the same feelings in my behalf, which I have had the
happiness to experience in their fathers.

“Sir, I have been allowed, forty years ago, before a committee of a
congress of thirteen states, to express the fond wishes of an American
heart; on this day, I have the honour and enjoy the delight, to
congratulate the representatives of the Union, so vastly enlarged, on
the realization of those wishes, even beyond every human expectation,
and upon the almost infinite prospects we can with certainty anticipate;
permit me, Mr. Speaker and gentlemen of the house of representatives, to
join to the expression of those sentiments, a tribute of my lively
gratitude, affectionate devotion, and profound respect.”

I will not attempt to depict the deep impression produced by the reply
of the general, and by this simple yet majestic scene on the spectators.
I fear that it would be understood but by few. As regards my own
feelings, I frankly avow, that I could not avoid drawing a comparison
between this touching picture of national gratitude crowning the civic
virtues, with those pompous ceremonies, in the midst of which the
monarchs of Europe deign to show themselves, surrounded with the glitter
of arms and the splendour of dress: the latter appeared to me only
similar to some brilliant theatrical representation, which it would be
gratifying to behold, if we could forget that they but add to the misery
of the people.

After these testimonies of devotion and feeling, hitherto unknown in the
history of nations, thus tendered by congress to General Lafayette, it
might have been supposed, that all marks of national gratitude were
exhausted. But, in compliance with the message of the president, and
above all, with the expression of public opinion which was daily
manifested in the public prints and in private letters addressed from
all parts of the Union to the members, congress still conceived that
more remained to be done, and hastened to appoint a committee to devise
a mode of presenting to General Lafayette a recompense worthy of the
nation which tendered it. This committee reported a bill on the 20th of
December, in which, after detailing the services rendered by Lafayette
to the American nation, and the sacrifices he had made in the
achievement of its independence, they proposed that the sum of 200,000
dollars, and the fee simple of a tract of land of 24,000 acres, to be
chosen in the most fertile part of the United States, should be offered
as a compensation and testimony of gratitude. This proposition was
received with enthusiasm by the senate, and it was believed that it
would pass without discussion, when at the moment it was about to be
sent to the house of representatives, a senator observed, “that he had
no objections to make either to the sum about to be voted, or to the
services for which it was given; that he yielded to no one in gratitude
and friendship towards General Lafayette, whose virtues and services, he
believed, could not be too highly recompensed; but thought that the
proposed method was defective; that charged with the administration of
the public revenues, he did not believe that congress was permitted to
dispose of them otherwise than for the public service; he thought that
each state might claim with justice, a right to testify its gratitude to
Lafayette; finally, that he voted against the consideration of the
proposition, to avoid establishing a precedent, the consequences of
which might hereafter be fatal.”

The eloquence of Mr. Hayne easily triumphed over this opposition,
arising from a scrupulous attention and care of the public finances, and
the bill having been a third time read, was almost unanimously adopted.
Seven votes only were in the negative; and it was universally known that
even those who opposed the bill, were among the warmest friends and
partizans of the general. Motives of public expediency, and, with some,
the habit of opposing every novel measure of finance, were the only
reasons for their course of conduct.

The proposition was received with equal warmth and good will in the
house of representatives. As soon as the committee presented their
report, all other business was postponed, and the consideration of the
bill commenced. The discussion that ensued, as in the senate, fully
recognized the rights of the general to national gratitude, and only
turned on the legality of the proposed plan. After the third reading the
bill was passed by an overwhelming majority.

During these discussions in congress, General Lafayette, who was wholly
ignorant of their existence, was at Annapolis, whither he had been
invited by the legislature of Maryland. It was not until the day after
his return to Washington, that the two committees of the senate and the
house of representatives waited on him, to acquaint him with the
resolutions of congress.

Mr. Smith, the chairman, presented him the act, and observed that the
congress of the United States, fully appreciating the great sacrifices
made by the general in the cause of American Independence, had taken
that opportunity of repaying a part of the vast debt owed to him by the

General Lafayette was greatly embarrassed on hearing this munificence of
congress towards him. He was at first tempted to refuse it, as he
thought the proofs of affection and popular gratitude which he had
received from the moment of his arrival in the United States, were a
sufficient recompense for all his services, and he had never desired any
other. But he nevertheless felt, from the manner in which this offer was
made, that he could not refuse it without offending the American nation,
through its representatives, and he therefore immediately decided upon
accepting it. He replied to the committee with his usual promptness and
feeling, assuring them of the deep gratitude he felt, as an American
soldier, and as an adopted son of the country, for this as well as other
marks of affection that had been bestowed upon him.

This act of congress was soon spread, by means of the public journals,
through all parts of the Union, and was every where received with
unanimous approbation. Some states even wished to make an addition to
these grants of congress. Thus, for example, Virginia, New York, and
Maryland, were desirous to heap additional favours on the guest of the
nation. It required all the determined moderation of the general to
repress this excess of gratitude, which would have ended in placing at
his disposal all the funds of the United States; for if the states had
once engaged in this struggle of generosity, it is difficult to say
where it would have ended.

Nevertheless, the newspapers, the organs of public opinion, in
applauding these acts of congress, attacked, with a severity which
distressed General Lafayette, those few members of the senate and house
of representatives, who had voted against the national donation. These
attacks, in fact, were the more unjust; for, as I have already said, the
majority of the opponents of the measure were personal friends of the
general, and wholly devoted to his interests; but in voting, not against
the proposition, but against its form, they remained faithful to a
principle they had always adopted, of not disposing of the public funds
for other purposes than those of the public service. Some of them deemed
it proper to explain this to the general. “Not only,” said they, “do we
partake of the gratitude and admiration of our fellow citizens towards
you for the services you have rendered us, but we also think that the
nation can never repay them, and yet twenty-six of us voted against the
proposition in congress.” “Well,” replied the general, in taking them
cordially by the hand, “I can assure you, that if I had had the honour
of being your colleague, we should have been twenty-seven, not only
because I partake of the sentiments which determined your votes, but
also because I think that the American nation has done too much for me.”
This reply soon appeared in all the journals, and, as may be supposed,
only added to the popularity of him who made it.

I have already observed that during the deliberations of congress,
General Lafayette had accepted the invitation of the legislature of
Maryland, who also wished to bestow on him the honour of a public
reception. We left Washington on the 16th of December, accompanied by
Dr. Kent, Mr. Mitchell, members of the house of representatives from
Maryland, and a detachment of volunteer cavalry. On our route, we
visited the family and beautiful farm of Capt. Sprigg, ex-governor of
Maryland, and arrived at Annapolis in the afternoon. The deputies of the
city met the general at a great distance from it, notwithstanding the
badness of the weather, and the troops had advanced as far as Miller’s
Hill. Another corps of militia had marched from Nottingham, which is
thirty miles from Annapolis. The storm had retarded its arrival, but had
not damped the zeal of the citizens. At Carrol’s Lane, about two miles
from the city, the general, notwithstanding the remonstrances that were
made, descended from the carriage, and with his head uncovered, returned
thanks to the troops for the affection they testified towards him. “They
have exposed themselves to the severity of the weather on my account,
and I cannot permit it to deter me from returning them my thanks,”
observed he. At the limits of the district an interesting meeting took
place between him and some soldiers of the revolutionary army, several
of whom had assisted in carrying him from the field of battle at
Brandywine, where he had been wounded. Twenty-four discharges of cannon,
and the display of the national flag on the state house, announced his
arrival in the city.

Conducted into the hall of the legislature, which was filled with
persons of distinction and soldiers of the revolution, he was led to a
seat, where he listened to a discourse from the mayor in the name of the
city. In his reply, he alluded to the fact, that Annapolis had been the
scene of events for ever memorable in the annals of the United States;
it was within its walls that Washington had laid down a power conferred
on him by the nation; and the inhabitants of that city had always been
worthy, by their patriotism, of being the witnesses and participators of
this noble act.

The next day, Friday, 17th December, the militia of the county, the
volunteer battalion of Annapolis, and the United States artillery were
reviewed by him, displaying great discipline and soldierly precision in
their manœuvres.

The following Monday, he received from the legislature of the state, a
repetition of the same honours bestowed on him a few days previous by
the congress of the United States. The day terminated by a public
dinner, at which all the senators and representatives were present, and
by a ball given by the mayor of the city.

Annapolis is a city of about 2500 inhabitants, handsomely situated on
the river Severn, which empties into the Chesapeake Bay. It is the seat
of government of the state of Maryland, but will never become an
important place, at least from its commerce, which is wholly absorbed by
the port of Baltimore.

In returning to Washington, we went by Fredericktown, where the general
was received with enthusiasm by the population, and by a great number of
his former companions in arms, among whom he recognized Colonel
M‘Pherson, with whom we lodged. At the public banquet given him by the
town, the table was lighted by a candelabra supporting an immense
quantity of candles, the base of which was an enormous fragment of a
bomb shell used at the siege of Yorktown.

Fredericktown is, next to Baltimore, the largest city in Maryland. It is
situated in the heart of a fertile country, on the west bank of a small
stream called the Monocacy. Its population, which does not amount to
more than 3000, are generally engaged in manufactures.

                              CHAPTER II.

  Election of the President—Public character of the President—Public
      officers—Congress—Grand public dinner on the 1st of January.

When we landed at New York, in the month of August, the people of the
United States were occupied in the choice of a new political chief. This
choice takes place every four years. It is always accompanied with much
popular excitement, which may be readily conceived, as it equally
interests every individual. Nevertheless, this excitement does not
occasion any tumults. Since the adoption of the constitution, the nation
has at nine different times elected a president, and always without the
occurrence of any serious disturbance. The public prints, it is true, as
organs of the opposing parties, become arsenals in which arms of all
description and temper may be found, and which are oftentimes made use
of in any thing but a courteous manner; but the exaggeration and
violence of these journals are productive of no evil consequences, and
never excite the people to transgress the laws.

The election of 1824 has, in common with the nine preceding, completely
baffled the penetration of European politicians, who, with an assurance
founded on ignorance and duplicity, predicted that the constitution of
the United States was about to experience a shock, which it was
impossible it could sustain, and that from the bosom of the turbulent
democracy of America, would arise civil war and an overthrow of all
civil order. These predictions were founded on the circumstance of the
American nation having, until the present time, been able to restrict
its choice to a few individuals, rendered dear to their country by their
revolutionary services, whilst now it found itself obliged to enter on
another list, and, consequently, to open the door to the ambitious and

It was during the height of the excitement produced by the discussion of
the presidential question that General Lafayette appeared on the
American shores. This event, as if by enchantment, paralyzed all the
electoral ardour. The newspapers, which, the evening before, were
furiously combating for their favourite candidate, now closed their long
columns on all party disputes, and only gave admission to the unanimous
expression of the public joy and national gratitude. At the public
dinners, instead of caustic toasts, intended to throw ridicule and odium
on some potent adversary, none were heard but healths to the guest of
the nation, around whom were amicably grouped the most violent of both
parties. Finally, for nearly two months all the discord and excitement
produced by this election, which, it was said, would engender the most
disastrous consequences, were forgotten, and nothing was thought of but
Lafayette and the heroes of the revolution.

On the evening of the day in which the president had received a
notification that his successor had been appointed, there was a large
party at his house. I had already been present at these parties, which
are very striking from the numerous and various society there assembled,
and by the amiable simplicity with which Mrs. Monroe and her daughters
receive their guests. But, on this occasion, the crowd was so
considerable that it was almost impossible to move. All the inhabitants
of Washington were attracted by the desire of seeing the president elect
and his competitors, who, it was taken for granted, would be present,
and who, in fact, were so, with the exception of Mr. Crawford, who was
detained at home by illness. After having made my bow to Mr. and Mrs.
Monroe, to reach whom I found considerable difficulty, I looked with
impatience for Mr. Adams and the other candidates. It appeared to me,
that their being thus thrown together would prove extremely embarrassing
to them, and I felt some curiosity to see how they would conduct
themselves on the occasion. On entering one of the side rooms, I
perceived Mr. Adams; he was alone in the midst of a large circle which
was formed around him. His countenance was as open and modest as usual.
Every instant persons pressed through the crowd to offer him their
congratulations, which he received without embarrassment, and replied to
by a cordial shake of the hand. At some distance, in the midst of a
group of ladies, was Mrs. Adams. She appeared to be radiant with joy;
but it was easy to be seen that she was more pleased at the personal
triumph of her husband than for the advantages or pleasures that would
result to herself. Whilst I was attentively looking at this interesting
scene, a tumultuous movement was heard at the door, and a murmur of
satisfaction arose from the whole party; I soon ascertained the cause,
in seeing General Jackson make his appearance. Every one pressed forward
to meet him, and endeavoured to be the first to salute him. To all these
effusions of friendship he replied with frankness and cordiality. I
alternately scrutinized both Mr. Adams and the general, being curious to
see how these two men, who the morning before were rivals, would now
meet. I was not kept long in expectation. The moment they perceived each
other, they hastened to meet, taking each other cordially by the hand.
The congratulations offered by General Jackson were open and sincere;
Mr. Adams appeared to be deeply moved, and the numerous witnesses could
not restrain the expression of their satisfaction. Mr. Clay arrived an
instant afterwards, and the same scene was repeated. This, perhaps,
produced less effect than the former, as Mr. Clay having had fewer
chances of success, was supposed to make less effort to maintain his
self-command; but it fully demonstrated the wisdom of the nation in its
selection of candidates. The generosity of character manifested by
General Jackson entirely satisfied me of the futility of the menaces of
the Pennsylvania militia. Whilst these reflections were passing through
my mind, I met in the crowd two officers with whom I had dined at York,
and whom I had remarked particularly for their zeal and excitement.
“Well,” said I, “the great question is decided, and in a manner contrary
to your hopes, what do you intend to do? How soon do you lay siege to
the capitol?” They began to laugh. “You recollect our threats, then,”
said one of them. “We went, in truth, great lengths, but our opponents
disregarded it, and they acted properly; they know us better than we
wished them to do. Now that is settled, all we have to do is to obey. We
will support Adams as zealously as if he were our candidate, but, at the
same time, shall keep a close watch on his administration, and according
as it is good or bad, we will defend or attack it. Four years are soon
passed, and the consequences of a bad election are easily obviated.”
“Yes,” said I, “much easier than that of legitimacy or hereditary
succession.” They left me, laughing heartily, and the next day no body
spoke of the election.

When the ardour and zeal of the parties in favour of their peculiar
candidates are considered, it might be supposed that the president of
the United States was an inexhaustible source of benefit to his friends,
and that his power was such, that he could at will dispense favours,
places, and riches. To remove this error it is only necessary to turn to
that article of the constitution which fixes the duties of the head of
the government, and any one will be convinced that it leaves fewer means
of corruption in his hands than are with us bestowed on the lowest

It will be seen that the constitution, in fixing in a precise manner the
duties and power of the chief magistrate, has rather kept in view the
welfare and interests of the nation, than the gratification of one
individual and his family. Hence, the president is placed in such a
situation, that whatever may be his personal character, it is impossible
for him to injure the liberty, right, or honour of his fellow citizens.
He does not, like some kings on the old continent, enjoy several
millions of revenue, and immense estates. The law only allows him 25,000
dollars as a salary, but it is not by the sumptuousness of his
equipages, by the splendour of a numerous guard, or by the number of his
courtiers, that he maintains the dignity of his station.

As he cannot entrench himself behind the responsibility of his
ministers, nor protect himself under the infallibility of his character,
or the inviolability of his person, which the constitution does not
guarantee, the president of the United States is obliged to be extremely
circumspect in all acts of executive power, which are delegated to him
alone; and the people are so firmly persuaded, that the functions of a
chief magistrate are only to be fulfilled by incessant attention and
labour, that they would be exceedingly astonished, and, perhaps,
indignant, if the newspapers sometimes announced, that the president had
been occupied on a certain day for two or even for three hours with one
of his ministers.

If the difference which exists between the president of the United
States and the kings of Europe are striking, that between the ministers
of that republic and ours is not less remarkable. A minister of the
United States has but 3000 dollars salary, no hotel, no furniture nor
train of servants paid by the nation, no sentries at his door, no
servants in a ridiculous dress to attend him when he goes in public, no
privileges unconnected with his office, but, at the same time, no
responsibility for his actions. Chosen by the president, he is in fact
his instrument, and owes him all his time. As he has not under his
orders a host of directors general, chiefs of division, and clerks of
all kinds, at high wages, he is obliged himself to put his hand to the
wheel, and truly to earn his salary, which is too small, it is true, to
enable him oftentimes to give sumptuous dinners to members of congress;
but is sufficient, nevertheless, for a wise and conscientious man, who
well knows that it is only by his activity and probity, and not by
intrigues and corruption, that he will fulfil the duties of his station,
and repay the confidence reposed in him.

The habits of the American ministers are so simple, and differ so little
from those of their fellow citizens, that nothing, absolutely nothing,
in their exterior serves to mark them in public. During our first visit
to Washington, when we wished to return the visits they had had the
politeness to pay us, we were several times obliged to ask, not for
their hotels, for we should not have been understood, but for their
residences, although situated in the same street in which we were
living. Sometimes, when we had knocked at the door of their houses, they
have themselves opened them. We have often met them with their port
folios under their arms, returning on foot from their offices to their
respective houses, where a modest family repast awaited them. All this,
doubtless, would appear very _bourgeois_ with us, but in the United
States, where the people think more of a good administration than the
luxury and splendour of its administrators, it is thought natural and
proper, and, I believe, with reason.

This extreme simplicity of the ministers extends to all other public
officers, and is the true secret of that economy of government we so
highly praise, and which, in all probability, we shall never attain.

A senate, and a house of representatives form the legislative power of
the United States, power which emanates immediately from the people, and
which counterbalances the executive power, so that if it should happen
that the people, in a moment of error, should bestow the presidency on
an incompetent or ambitious candidate, the injurious influence of such a
man would be neutralized by that of congress.

Congress assembles on the first Monday in the month of December of each
year, and continues in session according to the importance of the
business before it, but rarely beyond the month of May. From the middle
of November, the senators and representatives of the different states
begin to arrive in Washington. Among them there are many who, to fulfil
the duties of their appointment, have been obliged to traverse hundreds
of leagues of uninhabited forests, and over most perilous roads. On
arriving they lodge at a hotel, where they are obliged, in some
instances, to sleep in a room with four or five of their colleagues. The
table is open to all who reside in the house. It is usually there, after
a frugal meal, that those interesting conversations occur, in which most
part of the questions likely to come before congress during the session
are amicably discussed. When the first Monday in December arrives the
session opens, and business commences immediately, for all are at their
posts. During the whole time every day is conscientiously employed by
the representatives of the nation in the discussion of the dearest
interests of the people. As soon as the session closes, each member
returns to his constituents, and finds, in the reception they give him,
the dearest recompense he can hope for, if he should have fulfilled his
duty to their satisfaction.

The first of January was fixed upon by the two houses, for a grand
dinner to General Lafayette. The representatives of the people wished to
consecrate American hospitality, by seating the guest of the nation at a
table at which the whole people could be present in them. Mr. Gailliard,
president _pro tempore_ of the senate, and Mr. Clay, speaker of the
house of representatives, presided at the dinner. Mr. Gailliard had
General Lafayette on his left, and Mr. Monroe the president of the
United States on his right; who, overlooking on this occasion the rule
he had made of never attending any public dinner, had accepted the
invitation; Mr. Clay had on each side of him, the secretaries of the
different departments. Among the guests, were General Dearborn, minister
of the United States to the court of Portugal; Generals Scott, Macomb,
Jessup, and our worthy countryman Bernard, by whose side I had the
honour to be placed; Commodores Bainbridge, Tingy, Steward and Morris,
as well as many other public officers of highest rank. Among the guests,
General Lafayette had the pleasure of finding some of his old companions
in arms. Captain Allyn of the Cadmus, who had recently arrived from
France, was also present. The hall was decorated with great splendour,
and the guests were animated by a feeling of union, which demonstrated
how completely they considered this ceremony as a family festival.

It is in such assemblies, that the public feeling of a people can be
studied, particularly where its representatives, chosen freely, and
having no reason to flatter those in power, or to dissimulate, give a
free vent to all their sentiments. After a variety of toasts, highly
complimentary to the general, and to which he replied with great
felicity, the entertainment was concluded with a universal wish of the
guests that all the American people could have been present at it.

                              CHAPTER III.

  Departure from Washington—American Feelings—Sea-Lion—Family of Free
      Negroes—Raleigh—Fayetteville—North Carolina.

About the first of February, General Lafayette had received from all the
southern and western states such pressing invitations, that he could no
longer hesitate as to what course he should pursue; and immediately we
were all actively employed in determining our order of march, and the
means of surmounting the difficulties which every one assured us, would
be very great in a journey of this nature and length. We had, indeed, a
distance of more than twelve hundred leagues to pass over, in less than
four months, to enable us to be in Boston on the seventeenth of June,
where the general had promised to assist at the celebration of the
anniversary of Bunker’s Hill; and a part of the country through which we
were obliged to travel, was scarcely inhabited, and the roads, rough and
difficult, were imperfectly laid out.

But thanks to the experience of General Bernard, to the information of
the post master general (M’Lean,) and to the assistance of the members
of congress who were in Washington, Mr. George Lafayette was enabled to
trace out an such an excellent itinerary, that his father had no fear of
neglecting in his course any places of importance in the various states
we had to visit, although most of these places were often many miles to
the right or left of our main line of march; and his time was so exactly
proportioned, that, unless prevented by sickness or some serious
accident, we were to arrive in Boston on the day promised.

We neglected no precaution adapted to aid us in surmounting the
obstacles which, in the opinion of every one, threatened us in the
course of this new journey. The general’s friends could not think
without fear of the fatigues and dangers to which, they said, he was
about to expose himself. Mrs. Eliza Custis, of the Washington family,
pressed him to accept of her commodious and easy carriage. We purchased
good saddle-horses to substitute for the coach on very bad roads;
reduced our baggage as much as possible, and on the 23d of February, at
nine o’clock in the evening embarked upon the Potomac, which we
descended to its outlet in the Chesapeake Bay, and thence proceeded to
Norfolk, where we landed early on the morning of the 25th, after a
pleasant passage of two nights and one day. On the day following we went
to dine at Suffolk, a small village, where they waited for the general
with all the eagerness and kindness he had hitherto met with at every

Favoured by a good road and pleasant weather, our march was very rapid.
A few miles from Norfolk we were obliged to stop some time before a
small, solitary inn upon the road, for the purpose of refreshing our
horses. We were sitting in our carriage when the landlord presented
himself, asked to see the general, and eagerly pressed him to alight for
a moment and come into his house. “If,” said he, “you have only five
minutes to stay, do not refuse them, since to me they will be so many
minutes of happiness.” The general yielded to his entreaty, and we
followed him into a lower room, where we observed a plainness bordering
on poverty, but a remarkable degree of cleanliness. _Welcome Lafayette_,
was inscribed with charcoal upon the white wall, enwreathed with boughs
from the fir trees of the neighbouring wood. Near the fire-place, where
pine wood was crackling, stood a small table covered with a very clean
napkin, and covered with some decanters containing brandy and whiskey;
by the side of a plate covered with glasses was another plate filled
with neatly arranged slices of bread. These modest refreshments were
tendered with a kindness and cordiality which greatly enhanced their
value. Whilst we were partaking of them the landlord disappeared, but
returned a moment after accompanied by his wife, carrying her little
boy, about three or four years of age, whose fresh and plump cheeks
evinced the tenderness and care with which he had been cherished. The
father, after first presenting his wife, next took his child in his
arms, and, having placed one of his little hands in the hand of the
general, made him repeat, with much emphasis, the following: “General
Lafayette, I thank you for the liberty which you have won for my father,
for my mother, for myself, and for my country!!” While the child was
speaking, the father and mother eyed the general with the most tender
regard: their hearts responded to the words of their boy, and tears they
were unable to suppress, proved that their gratitude was vivid and
profound. Were I to judge from what I myself felt on witnessing this
simple and yet sublime scene, General Lafayette must have found this one
of the most pleasing moments of his life. He could not conceal his
emotions, but having tenderly embraced the child, took refuge in his
carriage, bearing with him the blessings of this family, worthy of the
freedom they enjoyed.

The same day, shortly before reaching Suffolk, some negroes stopped us
with an invitation to enter their cabin, situated on the road side, to
see a very extraordinary animal, which they told us was a sea-lion. It
was about seven feet long, covered with a hairy skin of the colour of
the fallow deer, spotted with black: the size of its body near the
shoulders was about that of a calf, from whence it diminished gradually
till it terminated at the tail in large fins; its head was small, round,
and slightly flattened, resembling a little that of the tiger; its mouth
was furnished with long, strong and sharp teeth; its extremities were
very short and had the shape of a hand; the fingers were united by a
membrane capable of great extension, and armed with very strong and
sharp claws. The negroes told us that in walking along the shores of
Elizabeth River at low water, they perceived this animal upon the sand,
where it appeared to have been left by the tide. As soon as it saw these
men it moved towards them, but without any apparent hostile intentions.
The negroes, however, ran away at first, whilst it followed them for
some time, but at a slow pace, as it is easy to conceive on examining
its short extremities, which appeared better adapted for swimming than
walking. After having retreated a hundred steps, one of the negroes, who
was armed with a musket, turned and fired at the animal, which received
the charge in the flank, and almost immediately expired.[2]

A few compliments accompanied with some small money made these poor
negroes very happy, and we left them to go and visit a neighbouring
habitation, which was said to belong to a large family of free blacks.
The house was very well kept, both externally and internally; I was
struck with the order and neatness which prevailed, as well as the fine
appearance of the inhabitants, who seemed to enjoy a state of comfort
and ease superior to that of most of our European peasantry. One of our
travelling companions, a citizen of Norfolk, assured us that this family
had more than doubled the value of their property some years, by their
intelligence and industry. I invite those who still persist in believing
that the negroes are incapable of providing for themselves in a state of
freedom, to visit this family, which, however, is not the only one of
the kind which could be found in the state of Virginia.

After stopping a few moments among the citizens of Suffolk, we continued
on our route to Murfreesborough, where we were to lodge. Our late
arrival had the appearance of a nocturnal journey. The bad condition and
length of the road had tired our horses, and we thought for a while that
we should be compelled to sleep at the foot of the hill on which the
town is built. An enormous bonfire, lighted on a neighbouring mountain,
whose light displayed our distressed situation; the illuminations of
Murfreesborough, which exhibited the appearance of a city in flames; the
noise of cannon resounding on our right, with the effect of battery on
our flank; the cries of our escort; the whipping and swearing of our
drivers, all was insufficient to stimulate our horses, which, sunk in
the mud to their knees, appeared to have taken root, refusing to make
the least exertion to draw us out of this sad situation, in which we
remained about an hour. At length we arrived, and were very amply
compensated by the cordial hospitality of the inhabitants of
Murfreesborough, who neglected nothing to prove to General Lafayette
that the citizens of North Carolina were not less sincerely attached to
him than those of the other states.

From Murfreesborough, we went the next day to Halifax, where we crossed
the Roanoak, in a ferry-boat, amidst the thunder of artillery which
awaited the arrival of General Lafayette on the opposite shore. Halifax
was formerly the head quarters of Cornwallis, during his campaign in
North Carolina. It was there that the English chief adopted the
resolution, which proved so unfortunate, of entering Virginia. We only
slept at Halifax, and in two days, after travelling over frightful
roads, reached Raleigh, a pretty little town, situated on the west bank
of the river Neuse. It is the seat of government for North Carolina, and
contains about two thousand seven hundred inhabitants, of which about
fifteen hundred are blacks, both free and slaves. One of the most
precious monuments of this town, is the superb statue of Washington,
executed in marble by Canova. It is preserved, with the greatest care,
in one of the halls of the capitol.

The governor of the state, officers of government, militia, and, in
fine, all the population, were prepared to receive and entertain, with
proper dignity, the guest of the nation. Such was the height of the
prevailing enthusiasm, that, in spite of bad weather, a company of
volunteer dragoons had marched nearly one hundred and fifty miles, to
assist at this family festival. The gallant men who composed it, had
solicited and obtained leave to perform, for this day, the duty of guard
to Lafayette; and they had founded their pretensions upon the
circumstance, that the county of Mecklinburg, to which they belonged,
was the first in the state where independence was declared, during the
revolution. “Whenever it becomes necessary to serve for liberty or
Lafayette,” said they, “we shall always be found among the foremost.”
Nothing was neglected by Governor Burton, in doing the honours of his
dwelling to the national guest.

The morning of our arrival at Raleigh was near being marked by a very
unfortunate accident. In one of the calashes which followed us, was
General Daniel of the militia, and a young officer of his staff; their
horses ran off, and, the driver not being able to guide them, dashed
violently against the trunk of a tree. The force of the shock threw both
the riders and the coachman to some distance, but the one most hurt was
poor General Daniel, who lay almost senseless upon the spot. Our
progress was immediately suspended, and General Lafayette, who, at the
time, was a considerable distance in advance of the procession, hastily
returned to assure himself of the nature of the accident. General Daniel
already began to recover, when the hasty zeal of his friend, General
Williams, was upon the point of placing him in greater danger than arose
from the fall. This gentleman insisted upon his being immediately bled,
and already held the fatal lancet in hand to proceed with the operation,
when Mr. George Lafayette besought him seriously to forbear,
representing that we had just left the table, and that a bleeding
immediately after dinner might be attended with injurious consequences.
After having rendered General Daniel the first attentions which his
situation demanded, we had him carried to the house of a rich planter,
whom we had visited in the morning, some miles off; and, the next day,
our wounded friend joined us at Raleigh, entirely recovered from his
fall, returning his warmest thanks to Mr. George Lafayette, for having
averted the employment of the lancet.

I was, at first, much surprised to see this lancet drawn upon such an
occasion, but one of our travelling companions informed me, that in the
southern and western states, and especially in those where the
population is widely scattered, the art of blood-letting is familiar to
almost all the great planters. The difficulty of finding a surgeon at
the moment of accident, often makes it necessary to bleed themselves,
which they sometimes do so profusely, that the most hardy phlebotomists
of the French school would be alarmed at the sight.

On the 4th of March, we arrived at the pretty little town of
Fayetteville, situated on the western bank of Cape Fear river. The
weather was dreadful, the rain pouring in torrents, notwithstanding
which, the road for many miles in front of the town was covered with men
and boys on horseback, and militia on foot. In the town, the streets
were crowded with ladies elegantly dressed, hurrying, regardless of
consequences, across the gutters, to approach the carriage of the
general, and so occupied with the pleasure of beholding him, that they
did not appear to notice the deluge which seemed ready to engulf them.
This enthusiasm may be more readily conceived, when we consider that it
was manifested by the inhabitants of a town, founded forty years ago, to
perpetuate the recollection of services rendered by him whom they were
this day honouring.

General Lafayette was conducted to the front of the town-house, where,
upon an elevated platform, he was received and addressed by Chief
Justice Troomer, on behalf of the town council. In the course of his
harangue, the orator recapitulated, with enthusiasm, the obligations
which America owed to Lafayette, retraced some of the persecutions to
which he had been exposed in France and Austria, for having remained
faithful to the cause of liberty and the rights of man, which he had
been the first to proclaim in Europe, and concluded by drawing a
forcible parallel between the young republics of the United States and
the old monarchies of the ancient continent of Europe.

After General Lafayette had expressed his gratitude for the reception
given him by the citizens of Fayetteville, and his sympathy for the
sentiments of the orator, we were conducted to the residence of Mr.
Duncan M‘Rae, where, by the attentions of Mrs. Duncan, our lodgings had
been prepared in an elegant and commodious manner. The general was there
received by the committee, appointed to supply all his wants. “You are
here in your own town,” said the chairman of the committee to him, “in
your own house, surrounded by your children. Dispose of all—every thing
is yours.” Every moment of our short stay at Fayetteville was occupied
by festivals of gratitude and friendship. Notwithstanding the bad
weather, which never ceased to oppose us, the volunteer militia
companies, assembled to render military honours to the last surviving
major-general of the revolutionary army, would not quit the little camp
which they had formed in front of the balcony of the house, whence the
general could easily see them manœuvre. They were still under arms, on
the morning of our departure, and we passed in front of their line on
leaving the town. It was then that General Lafayette, wishing to give
them an expression of his gratitude, alighted, and passing through the
ranks, took each officer and soldier affectionately by the hand. This
conduct excited the spectators to such a pitch of enthusiasm, that a
great portion of the population, willing to prolong the pleasure of
seeing him, accompanied his carrage a considerable distance on the road,
and only quitted him when the sun was nearly set.

The commerce of Fayetteville is very flourishing, and must still
increase from the vicinity of Cape Fear river, which is navigable to the
sea. The products of the surrounding country consist principally of
tobacco and grain. Its population is nearly four thousand souls, and
increases with remarkable rapidity. Unfortunately more than a third of
this population consists of slaves, who increase in the same proportion
with the free inhabitants; a circumstance which will probably continue
for some time to retard the full developement of its resources. What I
here say of Fayetteville is applicable to the whole state of North
Carolina, which, in a population of six hundred and forty thousand
souls, has above two hundred thousand slaves.

The climate of North Carolina is said to be healthy, and very well
adapted to every species of culture. Nevertheless, the part through
which we passed did not present an agreeable aspect. We met with
numerous pine forests overflown by the rivers which watered them; many
sand plains, and but little cultivated ground; that which is cultivated
producing only rice and indigo. The mountainous parts of the state are
stated to produce abundant crops of wheat, rye, barley, oats, Indian
corn, tobacco, hemp and cotton. This last article, when prepared for
manufacturing, is produced in the proportion of one hundred and fifty
pounds for each slave.

It is also in the highest grounds where native gold is found in
considerable quantity. It is obtained by simply washing the earth. Its
purity is very remarkable, having been found twenty-three carats fine,
and superior in quality to the American or English gold coins. The
pieces are of various weights. The heaviest yet found weighed nearly
five pounds. In 1810, the mint of the United States received one
thousand three hundred and forty-one ounces, the value of which amounted
to twenty-four thousand six hundred and eighty-nine dollars. In
Montgomery county, many persons live by hunting for this metal. Every
one has permission to seek, upon condition that he gives half he finds
to the owner of the soil.

Notwithstanding all its rich resources, North Carolina appeared to me
one of the least advanced of all the states we have hitherto visited.
Slavery, in my opinion, should be regarded as the principal cause of
this condition. Its constitution, though in general founded upon those
of the other states, differs from them in some points, and retains some
traces of aristocracy. Thus, for example, to be elected a senator, a
person must be owner of three hundred acres of land; to be a
representative, he must possess one hundred: finally, no man can be
elected governor unless he be the free proprietor of an estate yielding
one thousand dollars. In the midst of promises of religious liberty, the
constitution of North Carolina has nevertheless the misfortune to have
preserved an unhappy distinction between sects: thus, any man who denies
the truth of the protestant religion, can have no pretensions to any
public employment.[3] I am well aware that in a government which
supports no established order of clergy, the inconvenience of such a
distinction is not so great, but it is nevertheless a serious blow aimed
at the equality established and recognized by law. A wrong of still more
consequence in this state, is that of having so long neglected the means
of propagating primary instruction. In 1808 the legislature first
ordered schools to be provided at the public expense. But in spite of
the defects which I have pointed out, the inhabitants of North Carolina,
from their patriotism, are unquestionably worthy to form a part of the
great confederate family of the United States. To prove this, it will be
sufficient to cite one fact, which is, that during the revolutionary
war, the enemy could never procure a pilot upon the coast of this state.
I might add, that the brilliant successes which attended the battles of
Briar Creek in 1779, of Waxhaws in 1780, and of Guilford in 1781, were
due to the militia of this state.

                              CHAPTER IV.

  Entrance into South Carolina—Route from Cheraw to Cambden—Monument
      erected to Baron de Kalb—Road from Cambden to Charleston—Rejoicing
      in Charleston—Colonel Huger—History, Institutions, and Manners of
      the South Carolinians.

Twenty-four hours after our departure from Fayetteville, in the midst of
a pine forest, we met the deputation of the state of South Carolina to
General Lafayette. This meeting took place on the confines of the two
states. Our kind and amiable travelling companions from North Carolina
delivered us to their neighbours, with the most lively expressions of
regret at a separation which cost us as much as them, and we continued
our route in new carriages, with a new escort of friends, till we
arrived at Cheraw, a pretty little town, which, three years previous,
had not more than four houses built, and now contains about fifteen
hundred inhabitants. The next day’s journey was long and difficult;
sometimes, indeed, the road was almost impassable, being, in some
places, entirely cut up by the overflow of rivers, whilst in others we
could only cross the marshes by moving gently over a road formed of
badly arranged trunks of trees. In fact, we travelled so slowly, that
night overtook us on the road, and it soon became so dark that many of
the gentlemen of our escort lost the road, and not being able to trace
it in the sand, wandered into the forest. The carriages of the party
also began to stray from each other, and towards ten o’clock Mr. George
Lafayette and myself discovered that the one we rode in was at a great
distance behind the others. A few minutes after we felt a violent shock,
and heard a loud crash. Our carriage tongue was broken, and we were left
in the midst of the marsh. Our situation was extremely disagreeable, and
we should have had some difficulty to escape from it but for the
assistance of two dragoons who had never left us, and who obliged us to
mount their horses, which, after some minutes, brought us in sight of
the fires of the guard surrounding the house that was to serve us for an
asylum, where the general had arrived an hour before. In this house,
which stood altogether alone in the midst of the woods, we were well
accommodated. We had an excellent supper, and good beds, in which we
might probably have slept soundly but for the trumpet, which was sounded
all night for the purpose of rallying our scattered escort.

On arising, an entirely novel scene was presented to my view. We were in
the midst of what is called in America _a new settlement_, that is to
say, a clearing or erection of a new habitation in the woods. The house
in which we had passed the night was the only dwelling in the place, and
it was still unfinished. By its side they had begun to raise the frames
of some other buildings, doubtless intended for granaries and stables.
Numerous trunks of half hewn trees collected together showed that it was
the intention of the owner soon to erect other buildings, and already
the forest was prostrated to a considerable extent. But a few vast trees
were standing in the clearing, whose branches were not only lopped off,
but some of them were deprived of their bark, and blackened for their
whole length by the action of the flames which had been employed to burn
the brush about them. It is difficult to imagine any thing more desolate
than such a scene. “It is, nevertheless, in this way,” said one of our
travelling companions, “that all our little towns, which are so
attractive and lively, begin. Cheraw, where you slept yesterday, and
with which you were so much pleased, but a few years ago resembled this,
and, perhaps, should you return in four or five years, you may here find
another Cheraw. See,” continued he, taking me to a part of the forest
which the axe and the fire had still spared, “with what care and skill
the founder of this future city has laid the basis of a fortune which he
anticipates enjoying in a short time. Look at this lot of several acres,
surrounded by a strong fence, in which his cows, horses, and hogs are
enclosed. These last named animals, raised thus at large, and in the
enjoyment of abundance of food, soon multiply without number, and afford
him a certain part of his subsistence. The next year, that portion of
his land which comes to be cleared, will probably yield him a rich
harvest of corn or rice; but the proprietor, whilst waiting for the
growth of his crops, is obliged to obtain his bread by trading, and pays
for it in turpentine, collected from the enormous pines which surround
him. A small notch cut in the body of the tree, gives issue to a liquid
which is received in a trough. Three thousand trees furnish annually
seventy-five barrels of turpentine. But it is not only the young and
vigorous trees which contribute to his wants; he has recourse also to
those time has destroyed. From the dead trees he extracts tar, obtained
by burning the wood upon a grate, a kettle being placed beneath to
receive the boiling liquid. Sometimes from the plants which he clears
away from around his house, he obtains a considerable quantity of
potash, which still augments his wealth. Every year sees the cleared
land increase around him, and soon other _settlers_, encouraged by his
success, place themselves about him, and assist in erecting the new
village, in which he may be permitted to enjoy the public employments
conferred by his fellow citizens as a tribute to his talents and

Whilst we were thus engaged in casting a rapid glance over the resources
of our host and his future destinies, General Lafayette concluded the
preparations for his departure, and, at a signal given by the trumpets,
we resumed our journey, passing through the sands and pines on our way
to Cambden, where we were to lodge. The weather had changed during the
night, and our march was now favoured by a clear sky. Although it was
the month of March, we felt the heat of the sun considerably, and every
thing around bore the appearance of advanced spring. On approaching
Cambden, where we saw a considerable number of well cultivated gardens,
we were a good deal surprised to find the trees in flower, and the balmy
air perfumed by the plants, as in France during the month of June.

Cambden is not a large town, containing only about two hundred
inhabitants. We nevertheless found there a very numerous population,
collected from more than eighty miles around, to receive General
Lafayette, and assist in laying the corner stone of a monument which
they were about erecting to the memoir of Baron de Kalb. General
Lafayette was received a little in advance of the town, near the old
quarters of Cornwallis, by all the citizens under arms, and was
conducted with great pomp, and in the midst of companies of young
ladies, to the dwelling prepared for him, where he was addressed by
Colonel Nixons, Jr. with a remarkable warmth of feeling. The attentive
crowd applauded the orator with transports, when he told the general
that his visit to the United States had added a new page to history, and
that the splendour of Greek and Roman triumphs faded before the
unanimity and harmony of this popular ovation.

On the morning of the next day, a long procession, formed chiefly of
free masons, followed by the civil authorities and deputations from the
different associations of South Carolina, came to the general’s
lodgings, and conducted him with solemn music towards the spot where De
Kalb’s funeral ceremony was to be performed. There the consecration of
the monument raised by the generous inhabitants of South Carolina to
unfortunate bravery, was performed. An inscription, in a style at once
noble and unaffected, reminds the country of the services and glorious
end of De Kalb.

It is well known that De Kalb was a German, who, after he had served a
long time in France, came to America, like Lafayette and Pulaski, to
offer his services in the cause of liberty. He was second in command in
General Gates’s army during the unfortunate affair of Cambden, where the
Americans were completely defeated. He had performed prodigies of valour
at the head of the Delaware and Maryland troops, when, towards the close
of the battle, he fell from his eleventh wound, an event which deprived
the American cause of one of its most able and devoted defenders.

After his remains, which had been carefully preserved, were deposited in
the monument, and had received military honours, the stone which was to
cover them was laid by General Lafayette. It contained the following
inscription:—_This stone was placed over the remains of Baron De Kalb by
General Lafayette, 1825._

The hand of the general resting upon the stone, followed it as it slowly
and gradually descended, whilst the multitude, in religious silence,
contemplated the French veteran, after almost half a century, rendering
the last offices to the German soldier, in a land which they both had
moistened with their blood, and which their arms had contributed to set
free. How many glorious and painful recollections must this scene have
awakened in the mind of Lafayette! Alas! during his long triumph, how
many tombs was it his lot to visit, from that into which he descended at
Mount Vernon, to the one soon to be raised at Bunker’s Hill!

The ceremony concluded by a discourse from the general, in which he paid
to his old companion in arms, that tribute of esteem which was due to
his civil virtues, his military talents, and undaunted courage, in
defending the cause of freedom.

We left Cambden on the 11th, to go to Columbia, the capital of the state
of South Carolina. This town is pleasantly situated upon a fertile and
healthy plain, on the shore of the river Congaree. We found all the
streets, through which the general and his escort were to pass,
ornamented with flags and triumphal arches. Upon one of these, three
young and beautiful girls supported flags, upon each of which were
inscribed, in letters of gold, the names of Lafayette, De Kalb, and
Pulaski. Under another, placed near the house we were to occupy, the
general was met and addressed by the mayor of the town, a young man of
distinguished talents, who, during our stay at Columbia, paid us the
most kind and delicate attentions. Governor Manning also addressed the
general, in the presence of the people assembled in the legislative hall
of South Carolina, and both the evening and morning were devoted to
public rejoicings.

The first evening, after having passed through the streets, which were
brilliantly illuminated, we paid a visit to the academy, under the
superintendence of the celebrated Dr. Cooper. We were agreeably
entertained by the professors, who are all of the first merit. Two of
them spoke French with great fluency. They informed us, that they had
resided a long time in Paris, where they were proud to have acquired
that knowledge which they were called upon to impart to their pupils.
The next day, several companies of militia, among which a corps formed
by the students of the academy, under the name of Lafayette Guards, were
distinguished, came to exercise under the general’s windows. We passed
the remainder of the day, in the midst of some of Lafayette’s veteran
companions in arms, who took a pleasure in recalling to his memory, the
times in which they had fought and suffered with him for the
independence of their country. In the evening, at a ball, rendered
remarkable by the beauty of the ladies gracing it, as well as for the
good taste displayed in the arrangements, we made acquaintance with a
young lady who inspired us with the most lively interest. She was the
wife of one of the professors. Born in Paris, she had only been
transplanted into this new soil about three months, in the midst of
manners which at first were altogether strange, but with which she now
appeared perfectly reconciled. She was introduced to the general, who
received her with great kindness. Towards the close of the evening, her
French and American feelings, strongly excited by the testimonials of
friendship and admiration she saw lavished upon Lafayette, suddenly
broke forth in transports which she was unable to suppress. “Heavens!”
exclaimed she, “how proud and happy I feel, to-day, in being a native of
France, and of the same country with General Lafayette!” Then, after
having sprung towards the general and kissed his hands, she returned to
me with great animation, and said: “Tell the general’s family, I beseech
you, how happy we should be to receive them here as we have received
him! And say to them, that for myself, I feel for the children of La
Grange the friendship of a countrywoman, and for Lafayette himself the
gratitude of an American.” This scene made a lively impression upon all
who witnessed it, and the general thanked the young lady with all the
ardour of a strongly agitated heart.

On the 14th of March, we set out for Charleston, intending to lodge some
miles from this city, as General Lafayette was not to make his entry
until the 15th. An escort of Columbia volunteer cavalry were formed in
line before the door, at the moment of our departure, anxious to
accompany the general all the way to Charleston; but he thanked them,
and insisted that they should not leave the town, as the road he had to
travel was both long and difficult, and there was moreover the
appearance of a heavy rain. It was, in fact, at a very late hour that we
arrived at our destination. The night and the rain caught us in the
midst of a thick forest, across which it was difficult to find our
narrow and devious way. About nine o’clock in the evening, the carriage
I rode in broke down. That of the general, which went before with the
governor and some officers of his staff, continued its route without
perceiving the accident; but that of Mr. George Lafayette, which at this
time happened to be in the rear, found its passage obstructed, and the
horses taking fright, plunged amongst the trees, where it stuck fast.
Mr. George, and his travelling companions, Colonel Preston and the Mayor
of Columbia, immediately alighted, and, by main strength, dragged their
carriage before mine. They offered me a seat along with them to continue
the journey, directing the servants to mount the horses and go in search
of light and assistance to repair the broken vehicle. I accepted their
offer, but had scarcely joined them, when Colonel Preston, who had taken
the reins, deceived by the darkness, carried us into the thickest of the
woods, and in such a situation, that we must have infallibly upset had
we proceeded a step further. Nothing was left for us now, but to remain
nearly an hour, under a driving rain, for the return of the servants,
who brought with them great pine torches. They now assisted us out of
our embarrassment, and at eleven o’clock at night, wet and extremely
fatigued, we reached the house of Mr. Izard, where we found the general
and his companions, who had arrived a long time before. The hospitable
table of Mr. Izard, his kind reception and that of his family, soon made
us forget our misfortunes, at which we were the first to laugh over the

That the citizens of Charleston, who had made immense preparation to
receive the guest of the nation, might not be kept waiting, we resumed
our journey at a very early hour. At the moment when we were preparing
to take leave of the family of Mr. Izard, we saw an escort of volunteer
cavalry arrive from the city, with which we immediately set out. In
proportion as we advanced towards Charleston, the monotony of pine
forests disappeared. Our eyes now rested with pleasure upon clusters of
verdant and beautifully shaped saplings, among which superb magnolias
were majestically elevated. The entrance to the city appeared to us like
a delicious garden. The coolness of the night had condensed the perfumes
from the orange, peach, and almond trees, covered with flowers, and
embalmed the air. We stopped a few minutes to change the carriage and
allow the procession time to form, when, on a signal given by a cannon,
we commenced our entrance into Charleston.

The inhabitants of Charleston, as residents of the city which had
received the young Lafayette on his first arrival on American ground, in
1776, were eager to prove that no where more than among themselves, had
a stronger recollection of his devotion to the cause of liberty been
preserved. Accordingly, the reception which they gave him may be
compared, for the splendour of its decorations and public enthusiasm, to
the finest we had seen in the principal cities in the United States. The
militia of Charleston were joined by the militia from the most distant
parts of the state. Some companies of volunteer cavalry had, we were
told, marched fifty miles a day to take the post assigned them by their
patriotic gratitude.

Among the various corps which left the city to meet the general, there
was one which particularly attracted our attention. Its uniform was
precisely similar to that worn by the national guard of Paris at the
time of the French revolution. The language in which the men composing
this corps sounded forth their _vivat_, when the general passed before
them, showed us that they were Frenchmen, and we experienced a pleasing
emotion on hearing our countrymen unite their voices with those of
liberty and gratitude.

The French company joined the procession, and, actuated by a sentiment
of extreme delicacy, the Americans ceded to them the place of honour,
near the carriage of the general. The procession was soon increased by a
great number of parties, composed of the clergy, association of
Cincinnati, veterans of the revolutionary army, students of the
different faculties, officers of the United States army and navy, judges
of the different courts, children of the public schools, German, French,
Jewish, and Hibernian beneficent societies, the association of
mechanics, &c. &c. All these detachments were distinguished by the form,
colour, and devices of their flags; and the rest of the population
following on foot and on horseback, made the air resound with cries of
_Welcome, Lafayette_, which sounds, for nearly two hours without
intermission, were mingled with the thunder of cannon from the shipping
in port, and the ringing of all the bells. But amidst all these
expressions of public affection, that which penetrated the general’s
heart most was the touching and generous plan adopted by the citizens of
Charleston to share the honours of his triumph with his brave and
excellent friend Colonel Huger.

It is well known that during his imprisonment in the fortress of Olmutz,
General Lafayette was upon the point of being liberated by the devotion
of two men whom the same generous feelings had associated in this
dangerous enterprize. These were Dr. Bollman, a German physician, and
young Huger, an American, son of a descendant of a French family
proscribed by the revocation of the edict of Nantes, in whose house
Lafayette was received on his first landing in Charleston. A series of
unfortunate incidents caused the failure of this generous attempt, which
nearly cost them their lives, and occasioned Lafayette to be treated, by
his keepers, with increased severity. Upon his release from the Austrian
dungeons, young Huger returned to his country, where he found, in the
esteem of the public, the reward of his noble and perilous enterprize.
At present the father of a family, a planter, and colonel of militia, he
lives retired and generally beloved, on a fine estate within a few
leagues of Charleston. General Lafayette had already enjoyed the
pleasure of pressing him to his grateful heart, upon his arrival at New
York. When we entered Charleston, his fellow citizens insisted upon his
taking a place by the side of the nation’s guest, in his triumphal car,
where he shared the public felicitations and plaudits. At the feast, at
the theatre, or ball, every where, in fact, the name of Huger was
inscribed by the side of that of Lafayette, upon whom the citizens of
Charleston could confer no greater favour, than by testifying such a
high degree of gratitude for one who had formerly exposed himself in
attempting to restore him to liberty.

After the procession had passed through all parts of the town, it halted
at the court-house, where the mayor, at the head of the municipal
authorities, and in the presence of the people, addressed General

The acclamations of the people followed the words of the orator, and the
reply of the general, who, with an eloquence rendered more impressive by
the grateful feelings of his heart, recalled the ancient obligations
which he owed the citizens of Charleston, the noble devotion of the
ladies of this patriotic city, and the courage of the Carolinians during
the whole course of the revolution.

Colonel Drayton also addressed the general on behalf of the association
of Cincinnati, after which we were conducted to the sumptuous lodgings
prepared for us, where, during the whole of the next day, the general
received the visits of all the corporations of the city. The company of
French fusileers we had observed on entering the city, presented
themselves first, the martial music at its head, saluting the general
with the two patriotic airs of _Yankee Doodle_ and the _Marseillois_.
Mr. Labatut and one of his companions then addressed the object of their
homage, after which the company filed off before him, blending with the
military honours they paid him, testimonies of the most tender
affection. When the general complimented the officers on the fineness of
their discipline, and good taste of their uniform, “We could not,” said
they, “have chosen one more honourable. Lafayette and our fathers wore
it in the glorious days of liberty in our country, and it incessantly
reminds us that the first duties of an armed citizen are, the
maintenance of public order, and the defence of the rights of man.” We
passed among these brave men some delicious moments, consecrated to the
recollections of our country. All spoke of it with tenderness and
enthusiasm, all expressed ardent wishes for her happiness. Among them
were some exiles!

Shortly after the French company had retired, we saw all the members of
the clergy arrive, assembled under the direction of the Rev. Dr.
Farnham, whom they had chosen for their orator. Among them were seen
Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Jews, Roman Catholics, and German and
French Protestants. To witness their touching union, and the testimonies
of their reciprocal liberality, one might have thought that they all
belonged to the same communion. I cannot introduce here the long and
eloquent discourse of Dr. Farnham, but I can assert, that, like that
pronounced by Bishop White of Philadelphia, it confirmed what I had
heard of the liberality of the clergy, which, without the support of a
government that seems ignorant of their existence, feels the necessity
of conciliating public esteem by the practice of true virtue.

I pass over the account of the balls, displays of artificial fire-works,
and entertainments given during our stay in Charleston, since it would
be nearly a repetition of what I have already said in relation to so
many cities. But, leaving the general surrounded by his old fellow
soldiers, at the head of whom he still found the worthy General
Pinckney, to be entertained with the glorious recollections of their
youthful days, I shall attempt a rapid sketch of the history of South

This portion of the North American continent was explored for the first
time by Jean Ponce de Leon, the Spanish governor of Porto-Rico. Struck
with the beauty of the vegetation, and the smiling aspect of the
country, he gave it the beautiful name of Florida. But not finding
either gold or silver mines, he gave up the plan of forming a
settlement. For a long time this country was coveted by the kings of
France, England, and Spain; but it was not till the year 1562 that
France decided upon asserting her claims. At the request of Admiral
Coligny, who was desirous of finding an asylum for the protestant party,
a naval officer named Ribaut, a native of Dieppe, was despatched with
two vessels and troops to survey the coast and form a settlement. Jean
Ribaut landed at the mouth of a river, under the thirtieth degree of
latitude, and established the right of possession by the erection of a
stone column, upon which he engraved the arms of France. After remaining
some time upon the coast, during which he entered into treaties of peace
with the natives of the country, he arrived at the mouth of Albemarle
river, where he formed his first settlement, which he called Carolina,
in honour of Charles IX. He raised for its protection a small fort,
which he garrisoned with about forty men, and leaving it under the
command of one of his officers named Albert, returned to France. This
governor being very severe in carrying into effect the discipline he had
established, was soon murdered by his soldiers, who, anxious to return
to their country, very soon embarked, and sailed for France. But
scarcely had they lost sight of the coast when they experienced such a
dead calm as kept them so long at sea that their provisions became
exhausted; and they had already begun to devour each other, when they
were met by an English vessel, which carried them to England, where
queen Elizabeth made them relate to her, with their own lips, the
account of their horrible adventures.

Two years afterwards, a new expedition sailed under the command of Réné
de Landonnière, to establish and protect the colony; but whether owing
to misfortune, or want of knowledge in the leader, the expedition was
attended with the most melancholy results. The complaints of the
colonists against Landonnière reached France, and determined the
government to send out Ribaut to take charge of their affairs. This
person was surprised at the mouth of May river by a Spanish squadron of
six vessels, which attacked him so fiercely that he could only escape by
entering the river. Determined to resist the Spaniards with vigour,
Ribaut landed his men, carefully entrenched them, and going in search of
the best troops of Landonnière, whom he left in Fort Carolina, with all
those who were unable to bear arms, embarked again to pursue the enemy.
But he was assailed during the night by a violent storm which drove his
vessels upon the rocks. It was with the greatest difficulty that he and
his companions gained the shore to surrender themselves to the
Spaniards, by whom they were basely murdered without mercy. The sick,
together with the women and children who remained in the fort, met with
the same fate. Landonnière, and a few of his family, were all that
escaped, and after a long time, succeeded almost by a miracle in getting
back to France, where they carried the news of the melancholy end of
their companions. By the court of France the horrible event was treated
with indifference, but the public did not conceal its indignation, and
many of the most influential men demanded vengeance. One of these, named
Dominic de Gourges, a gentleman of Gascony, resolved upon being the
avenger of his countrymen. He fitted out three vessels at his own
expense, took on board two hundred soldiers and eighty marines, arrived
at the mouth of the river May, where he showed himself under the Spanish
flag, landed under this disguise without being recognized, marched
rapidly upon Fort Carolina, of which, with two others, aided by the
natives, he soon obtained possession, conquered the Spanish garrisons,
razed the fortifications, and returned in triumph to France laden with
booty. This daring enterprise struck terror into the Spaniards, and for
ever disgusted them of Carolina, which, until the reign of Charles II.
of England, was abandoned to all the nations of Europe.

It was at this time that the English government, who had previously made
a settlement at the mouth of May River, under pretext of protecting some
families who had escaped the tomahawk of the Indians in Virginia, took
possession of all the country, situated between the 31st and 36th
degrees of latitude, and granted it to eight gentlemen of the court, the
king, _as proprietary of the royal castle of Greenwich_, reserving to
himself supreme authority, together with the fourth part of all the gold
and silver which might be found within the bounds of the territory. The
celebrated Locke was appointed to prepare a charter for the new colony.
By this constitution a species of royalty was transferred to the oldest
of the colonists, supported by an aristocracy which exhibited the
whimsical assemblage of lords, barons, landgraves and caciques, whose
powers and pretensions incessantly coming into collision, were soon
subjected to the tyranny of the palatine, for such was the title of the
superior officer whose precedence was derived entirely from his age.
This constitution, the abortive conception of a great genius, was
destroyed in 1720. The population of the colony soon increased rapidly,
in consequence of the political and religious persecutions, which at
that period desolated Europe. It received, almost at the same time,
English royalists, the parliamentists, and the non-conformists. France
sent the choicest of her citizens, proscribed by the edict of Nantes. In
1730, the mountains of Scotland saw their vanquished inhabitants going
thither in search of an asylum; and in 1745, it was further enriched by
the arrival of Swiss and German emigrants. From this time Carolina began
to be sensible of its strength, and to resist the abuse of power
manifested by the English government. She refused to pay taxes imposed
without her consent, and gave her sanction to the resolutions of the
colonial congress, to which she sent deputies in 1765. Nevertheless,
when, in 1775, it was resolved to break the chain which united Carolina
to the mother country, a division of opinion occurred among the
colonists, a considerable number of whom armed in favour of the British
government. A civil war was near breaking out, when a very extraordinary
occurrence led to the reconciliation of the parties. On the same day
that hostilities commenced at Lexington in Massachusetts, despatches
from England arrived at Charleston. The revolutionary committee seized
the mail containing the letters addressed to the governors of Virginia,
the two Carolinas, Georgia and East Florida, by which they were directed
to employ the force of arms to reduce the colonies to subjection. About
the same time, intelligence was received at Savannah, of an act of
parliament, authorising these governors to deprive the colonists of the
protection of the law and royal privilege, and confiscate their

These various accounts having been published by the committee, inspired
all the citizens with the same sentiments of indignation, and the
councils being immediately called together, the question was proposed,
_Shall we die slaves, or live free?_ The reply could not be doubtful.
All swore to take up arms and defend their rights. Some indiscreet
tories, who attempted to maintain possession of the country by the
assistance of Indians, whom they had taken into pay, were soon
annihilated by the patriotic militia, who, after a long and painful
struggle against the English troops of Savannah, at length secured the
independence of Carolina by the celebrated victory gained at Eutau
Spring, in the year 1781.

It was in the midst of the troubles of war, in the year 1778, that
Carolina formed her first constitution. This, though very much in
conformity with the principles of the revolution, perhaps exhibited some
indications of the haste with which it was prepared. It was revised,
modified, and adopted in its present form, at Columbia, on the 30th of
June, 1790. Such as it now is, it would be considered in Europe highly
democratic; but, compared with the constitution of Pennsylvania, for
example, and those of some other states in the Union, it appears
altogether aristocratic. The conditions imposed upon the candidates for
governor, senators, and members of the assembly, restrict the eligible
to a very small number. The senators, chosen every four years, to the
number of forty-three, must be at least thirty years of age, have
resided in the state five years previous to the election, and possess an
unincumbered property worth three hundred pounds sterling. Should the
candidate not dwell in the district by which he is supported, his
property must be worth a thousand pounds sterling.

The representatives, to the number of twenty-four, are elected for two
years. They must be free white men, at least twenty-one years of age,
and the owners of property worth one hundred and fifty pounds sterling,
or instead, a plantation containing five hundred acres, and ten slaves.
Should the candidate not reside in the district where he is supported,
the value of his property is required to be five hundred pounds. He must
be a citizen of the state, in which he shall have lived at least three
years previous to the election.

It is obvious that both houses of the legislature are composed of a
portion of the richest proprietors only. It is from this legislative
power, blemished as it is with aristocracy, that the executive authority
springs; for it is by the union of the two houses that the governor, in
whom this power resides, is chosen. The conditions of eligibility for
governor are very high, and restrict the choice to a very small circle.
Every candidate for this office must be thirty years of age, a citizen
of the state, in which he must have resided at least ten years previous
to the election, and possess a clear estate worth fifteen hundred pounds
sterling. The powers of the governor only continue for two years. The
worst condition in the constitution is that imposing an obligation on
the senators to own slaves. I am well aware that it must necessarily
disappear before the abolition of slavery takes place, but does it not
appear to be placed there as an obstacle to abolition? And might not the
repeal of this article prove a salutary effort in favour of abolition?

As in all the other states of the Union, religious organization is in no
way connected with government, which only guarantees to the various
sects the free exercise of their religious rites, so long as such a
privilege is unattended by licentiousness, or is compatible with the
peace and security of the state. Ministers of religion are ineligible to
the office of governor, lieutenant-governor, and member of assembly, so
long as they continue in the exercise of their pastoral functions. The
sects are numerous and variable, as one may easily perceive from the
composition of the religious body that waited upon General Lafayette. It
may, perhaps, have been observed, that it was only whilst speaking of
the sects in South Carolina, that I mentioned the Jews. It is, in fact,
in this state alone, that they appear sufficiently numerous to attract
attention. Their number is computed at about twelve hundred, of whom the
city of Charleston contains about five hundred, who, during the late
war, distinguished themselves by their courage and patriotism,
furnishing a company of sixty volunteers for the defence of the country.
The rest of the United States contains little more than five thousand
Israelites, the most of whom are of English and German origin. Those of
South Carolina are more particularly of French and Portuguese descent.
The synagogue in Charleston was built in the year 1794. Previous to this
time the Jewish congregation of this city had only a small place for the
exercise of their religious rites. According to Dr. Theact’s description
of Charleston, the Israelites began to form into a society about the
year 1750. As soon as ten of them had united, (for this is the number
required by the Hebrew law for the public exercise of their religion,)
they procured a place convenient for their purpose. The present edifice
is spacious and elegant. The society that built it is called _Kalh
kadosh beth Eloem_, that is to say, the religious society of the house
of God. _Kalh_, or _society_, is the name common to the whole Hebrew
congregation. The actual number of subscribing members is about seventy,
which gives rather more than three hundred persons having the privilege
of the synagogue, as well as the other advantages connected with this
privilege. The society of Reformists amount to about fifty members,
which, with their families, make above two hundred of this order.

South Carolina is situated between the 32d and 33d degrees of latitude.
Its superficies contains about twenty-nine thousand square miles, the
soil being very variable. From the coast of the Atlantic to about
twenty-four miles within the interior, the country is a vast plain
rising imperceptibly about two hundred feet above the level of the sea;
its surface is divided into forests of pine, which grow in a sandy soil
of little value; extensive morasses, which render the air insalubrious
during the autumn; savannas, which produce only grass; and higher lands,
which are adapted to the growth of cotton. Rice is cultivated with
success near the rivers, whose inundations fertilize their borders.
Beyond the plain the country is mountainous, productive, and more
healthy than the lower districts, where the humidity of the rivers, and
the changeableness of temperature during the whole season, render
diseases very common.

This state contains 502,741 inhabitants, who may be divided into three
classes; 237,460 free whites, 6,806 free blacks, and 258,465 slaves. It
appears, that the number of slaves considerably surpasses that of the
free whites, so that this state has begun to feel the inconveniences of
slavery to such a degree, that fear has induced them to adopt measures
of safety, which infringe both the laws of humanity and the rights of
property. By a recent law, every traveller, who enters Carolina with a
black servant, finds that he is immediately taken from him, imprisoned,
and only returned to him when he is about to leave the state. What is
the utility of this measure, is a question I find myself very much
embarrassed to answer. It is, say they, to prevent dangerous
communications, between the slaves of that state and the free black
strangers, who never fail to talk to them of liberty.

This state of things in relation to slavery in South Carolina, is the
more distressing from its singular contrast with the character of the
inhabitants of that state. The Carolinians are particularly
distinguished for the cultivation of their minds, the elegance of their
manners, their politeness and hospitality towards strangers. This last
virtue is so common in Carolina, that one finds very few taverns out of
the large towns. Travellers may boldly present themselves at the houses
of the planters which they find on their road, and are sure of being
well received. The disposition to assist the indigent is so great at
Charleston, that besides a great many private associations, they have
five public charitable societies, whose revenues, already very
considerable, are still daily increased by the liberality of the

The three days which General Lafayette passed at Charleston were marked
by entertainments whose brilliancy and refinement delighted him; but of
all the delicate attentions that were paid him, the most touching,
perhaps, was the gift, made him by the city, of a beautiful portrait of
his friend Colonel Huger. This beautiful miniature, of an appropriate
size, unites the merit of perfect likeness with the most admirable
execution. It strongly resembles the style of our celebrated Isabey, and
would not have been disowned by him. It was executed by Mr. Frazer of
Charleston, who already enjoys a great reputation in the United States,
but has probably surpassed himself in this work. The frame of solid
gold, is more valuable for the elegance and delicacy of the workmanship
than the richness of its material. It came from the workshop of two
artists of Philadelphia, and would have done honour to our most
experienced French jewellers.

The governor presented the general, in the name of the state, with a
beautiful map of South Carolina, enclosed in a rich case of silver. Many
other persons came also to offer handsome keepsakes, which he gratefully

On the 17th of March he left Charleston, carrying with him the regrets
of his friends, and the blessings of the people.

                               CHAPTER V.

  Fort Moultrie—Edisto Island—Alligators—Savannah—Funeral
      Monuments—Augusta—State of Georgia.

The roads of South Carolina being generally very bad, the Charleston
committee resolved to conduct the general by sea to Savannah, where he
had been expected for some time. We embarked on the 17th of March, on
board of an elegant steam-boat, prepared and well provisioned by the
attentions of the committee, and took leave of the inhabitants of
Charleston, who, assembled on the wharf and crowding the vessels,
responded, by their acclamations, to the parting salutations of their
guest. Before losing sight of Charleston, we directed our course towards
Sullivan’s Island, upon which stands Fort Moultrie, which saluted
General Lafayette with all its guns. This fort, commanding the pass by
which the vessels are obliged to enter the port of Charleston, was
defended with extraordinary courage by the Carolinian militia, on the
28th of June, 1776, against the English forces, superior both in numbers
and experience.

The militia were commanded by General Moultrie, who, during the
revolutionary war, sustained the highest reputation for the valour and
ability with which he defended this important post. We afterwards
continued our navigation between the continent and the islands which
border it, and extend as far as Savannah. We landed on one of these,
called Edisto, where General Lafayette was expected; but, as it was
impossible for him to remain there more than two or three hours, the
inhabitants, who were collected at one of the principal proprietor’s,
decided to offer him at once all the festivals they had prepared for
several days. We had, at the same time, the harangue, the public dinner,
the ball, and even the baptism of a charming little infant, to which the
name of Lafayette was given. We then rapidly traversed the island in a
carriage, to join our steam-boat, which awaited us on the side next the
ocean. What we saw of the island, in this short ride, appeared to us
enchanting; the vegetation was particularly striking from its variety;
odoriferous shrubs of the most elegant form, were agreeably interspersed
among large forest trees; and, in the downs which border the sea-shore,
we saw some beautiful palm-trees, which gave to the small dwellings they
shaded an aspect altogether picturesque. This island, which lies at the
mouth of Edisto river, forty miles south-west of Charleston, is twelve
miles in length and five broad. It has been inhabited since 1700.

During the rest of our voyage to Savannah, we coasted the islands of
Hunting, Beaufort, Port Republican, Hilton Head, &c.; and often through
passages so narrow, that our vessel almost touched the land on each
side, and had rather the appearance of rolling on the surrounding
meadows, than of gliding on the water which disappeared beneath us It
was nearly midnight when we passed Beaufort, and all on board were
asleep; but we were soon awakened by the acclamations of citizens, who
were waiting on the shore, and General Lafayette having arisen, yielded
with readiness to their desire that he would land for some moments among

At sunrise, as we approached the mouth of the Savannah river, we began
to see some alligators extended on the shore, or swimming round our
vessel. Our captain shot one, and sent the boat for it. It was about
eight feet long, and we were assured that it was but of a middling size;
some of them extend to twelve feet, and sometimes even, it is said, to
fifteen or eighteen. The size of their body is then equal to that of a
horse. When of this size, the alligator is a formidable animal, from its
prodigious power and agility in the water. Its form is nearly like that
of a lizard; it differs from it only by its cuneiform tail, flattened on
the sides, and which, from the root to the extremity, diminishes
insensibly. Like all the rest of the body, it is covered with a scaly
coat, impenetrable to all arms, even to a musket-ball.[4] The head of an
alligator of the largest size is about three feet; the opening of the
jaws is of the same dimensions; its eyes are very small, sunken in the
head, and covered; its nostrils are large, and so much developed at the
summit, that, when it swims its head at the surface of the water
resembles a large floating beam. Its upper jaw, only, is moveable; it
opens perpendicularly, and forms a right angle with the lower jaw.[5] On
each side of the upper jaw, immediately below the nostrils, are two long
and strong teeth, slightly pointed and of a conical form. They have the
whiteness and polish of ivory, and being always exposed, give to the
animal a frightful aspect. In the under jaw, just opposite these two
teeth, are two sockets proper to receive them. When the alligator
strikes his jaws together, it produces a noise absolutely like that made
by slapping a board violently against the ground, and which may be heard
a great distance.

When, on the morning of the 19th, we arrived in sight of Savannah, we
perceived all the population on the shore, and the militia assembled,
who had waited during several hours. We soon heard the majestic salute
of the artillery, and the acclamations of the people. We replied to them
by a salute from the guns of our vessel, and by the patriotic airs with
which our music caused to re-echo from the shore. To this first feeling
of pleasure caused by the reception of the citizens of Savannah, a
sentiment of painful regret suddenly succeeded. We had to separate from
our travelling companions of South Carolina. Among them were the
governor of this state, several general officers, and some members of
the committee who had received us at Charleston. The governor, faithful
to the laws which inhibited his passing beyond the limits of the state,
resisted all entreaties to induce him to land, and bade farewell to the
general with all the emotion of a child who separates himself from a
parent he is to see no more. Some minutes after, we were in Georgia, at
the entrance of Savannah, where the general was received and addressed
by Governor Troup, in the midst of an eager crowd. The triumphal car and
arches, the acclamations of the people, the wreaths and flowers
scattered by the ladies, the sound of bells and cannon, every thing
proved to Lafayette that though he had passed into another state, he was
nevertheless among the same friendly and grateful people.

A commodious lodging had been prepared in the elegant mansion of Mrs.
Maxwell; thither they conducted General Lafayette with a grand escort.
After he had reposed some moments, the mayor and council of the city
came to compliment him, and the day was terminated by a public repast,
at which the civil and military authorities of the state and of
Savannah, the members of the bar, the clergy, and a great number of
citizens, were present. After the thirteen usual toasts, the company
offered many volunteer toasts, all strongly indicative of the patriotic
and republican character which always distinguishes American assemblies.
General Lafayette replied to the toast addressed to him, by the
following: “_To the City of Savannah_—May her youthful prosperity prove
more and more to the old world, the superiority of republican
institutions, and of the government of the people by themselves.” A hymn
to liberty, to the air _la Marseillaise_, terminated the banquet, and we
returned to our quarters by the light of an illumination which blazed
over all the city.

The next day, Sunday, the general received, at an early hour, the visit
of the French and the descendants of Frenchmen residing in Savannah. At
their head was Mr. Petit de Villers, who spoke in their name, and who,
in a discourse fully expressive of the sentiments of his compatriots
towards Lafayette, portrayed with ardour the benefits of American
hospitality towards proscribed Frenchmen, forced by every kind of
despotism successively to demand an asylum in the United States.

To the visit of the French, succeeded those of the officers of the
different bodies; the clergy came afterwards; at their head was the
reverend Mr. Carter, who, in complimenting the general, felicitated him
above all, that his efforts in favour of American independence had also
resulted in the establishment of religious liberty.

To his acknowledgments, general Lafayette joined the expression of his
satisfaction in seeing America giving so good an example of true
religious liberty to old Europe, which still enjoys a very limited
toleration. “In religious, as in political societies,” added he, “I am
persuaded that the election by the people is the best guaranty of mutual

The citizens of Savannah had for a long time cherished the intention of
paying a tribute of gratitude to the memory of General Greene, justly
considered as the southern hero of the revolutionary struggle; and to
that of General Pulaski, the brave Pole, who, despairing of the cause of
liberty in his own country, came to sacrifice his life in the cause of
American independence. They thought that the presence of General
Lafayette would add to the solemnity of the ceremony, and resolving to
profit by his sojourn at Savannah, obtained his consent to lay the first
stone of the funeral monuments they intended to raise. Consequently,
every thing being ready, they made the proposition, which he accepted
with the more readiness and ardour, as he was gratified to have an
occasion of publicly testifying his esteem for the character of General
Greene, to whom he had been particularly attached.

The ceremony was strongly characterized by the association of those
exalted religious and patriotic feelings, which particularly distinguish
the actions of the American people. Agreeably to the resolution adopted
at a meeting of the citizens, of which Colonel John Shellman was
president, the masonic society, which was charged with all the details
relative to the construction of the monument, formed itself into a
procession on the 21st March, at nine in the morning, and moved to the
sound of music, to the lodgings of General Lafayette. The high priest,
the _king_ and other officers of the _royal_ chapter of Georgia, were
decorated with their finest apparel and richest masonic jewels. Before
them was carried a banner elegantly embroidered. When they marched with
the general, the procession was augmented by the militia and citizens.

On arriving at the site of the destined monument, the troops formed a
line to the right and left to receive the procession between them. The
children of the schools uniformly dressed, and carrying baskets filled
with flowers, which they scattered beneath the steps of General
Lafayette, were already assembled. The people, collected in a crowd
behind them, seemed placed there to protect their feebleness, and to
present them to the nation’s guest. After a silence the most profound
was obtained among the attentive crowd, the masons, and the monument
committee arranged themselves at the west of the foundation, and the
other part of the procession occupied the east. General Lafayette then
advanced to the place prepared to receive the corner stone. He was
surrounded by the grand master, the grand keepers, the chaplain, the
grand priest, the king, and the secretary of the chapter of Georgia, the
governor, Colonel Huger, George Lafayette, &c. A national air, executed
by a band of musicians, announced the commencement of the ceremony. Then
the president of the monument committee advanced, and delivered a very
impressive and appropriate address, which he concluded by the following

“Very respectable grand master, in conformity with the wishes of my
fellow citizens, and in the name of the monument committee, I pray you
to celebrate, according to the rites of the ancient fraternity to which
you belong, the laying of the corner stone of the monument we are about
to raise to the memory of General Greene.”

After the orator had made this invitation, General Lafayette made a sign
that he wished to speak, and immediately the silence and attention of
the multitude were redoubled, and all fixing their eyes upon him. He
advanced a little, and said with a solemn voice—

“The great and good man to whose memory we this day pay a tribute of
respect, of affection and profound regret, acquired in our revolutionary
war a glory so true and so pure, that even now the name alone of GREENE
recalls all the virtues, all the talents which can adorn the patriot,
the statesman, and the general; and yet it appertains to me, his brother
in arms, and, I am proud to be able to say, his very sincere friend, to
you, sir, his brave countryman and companion in arms, here to declare,
that the kindness of his heart was equal to the force of his elevated,
firm, and enlightened mind. The confidence and friendship which he
obtained, were among the greatest proofs of the excellent judgment which
characterized our paternal chief. By the affection of the state of
Georgia towards him, the army also felt itself honoured; and I, sir,
present myself before you, before new generations, as a representative
of this army, of the deceased and absent friends of General Greene, to
applaud the honours rendered to his memory, and to thank you for the
testimonies of sympathy which you have accorded me in this touching and
melancholy solemnity, and for the part which your wishes have caused me
to take in it.”

When the aged companion of Greene had ceased to speak, a brother of
Solomon’s Lodge, invested with masonic insignia, advanced from the
crowd, and joining his voice to the grave tones of the music, sung a
hymn, the last strophe of which was repeated in chorus by the assembled
company, and the prayer of the people ascended to heaven with the solemn
reports of the reverberating cannon.

During this time the corner stone had been prepared; and, before placing
it, the grand chaplain, Mr. Carter, pronounced the prayer with a loud

After this prayer, which was heard in religious silence, the grand
master ordered the secretary of the committee to prepare the different
objects which were to be placed in the foundation as memorials of the
event. These were several medals with the portraits of the nation’s
guest, of Washington, of General Greene, and Franklin; some pieces of
money of the United States, struck at different periods, and also some
paper money of the state of Georgia; some engravings, among which were
the portraits of General Charles Pinckney, and Doctor Kollock, and all
the details relative to the ceremony; lastly, a medal, on which were
these words: “The corner stone of this monument, to the memory of
General Nathaniel Greene, was laid by General Lafayette, at the request
of the citizens of Savannah, the 21st of March, 1825.”

The stone was then lowered, amid strains of funeral music, to the bottom
of the excavation. The general then descended to the stone, and struck
it three times with a mallet; all the brethren came successively to
render their duties, and the grand priest of the royal chapter of
Georgia came, with the censor in his hand, to bless the corner stone.
When all these ceremonies were ended, the grand master remitted to the
principal architect all the objects requisite to be employed in the
completion of the monument, charging him by all the ties which bound
companions in masonry to acquit himself of his duty, in a manner
honourable to his workmen and himself.

With these, and other ceremonies common on these occasions, the stone
was then sealed while the music played a national air. The whole was
terminated by a triple volley discharged by the United States’ troops.

The procession then marched back in the same order as before, and
repaired to Chippeway place, where the ceremony was repeated in laying
the corner stone of the monument of Pulaski.

Before returning to his lodgings, General Lafayette went to
Brigadier-general Harden’s to assist at a presentation of colours
embroidered by Mrs. Harden, and presented by her to the first regiment
of the Georgia militia. On these colours, very richly worked, was the
portrait of General Lafayette, and several inscriptions recalling
various glorious epochs of the revolution. The burst of enthusiasm on
receiving them extended alike to the officers and soldiers, who swore
that under these colours, presented by beauty, and consecrated by
Lafayette, they would ever be assured of vanquishing the enemies of
liberty and their country.

Some hours after, notwithstanding the pressing entreaties of the
citizens, and above all, the ladies, who had prepared a ball for the
same evening, the general, pressed by time and his numerous engagements,
was obliged to quit Savannah, and we embarked on board the steam-boat
_Alatamaha_ with the governor of Georgia, and the committee of
arrangement, to visit Augusta, which is situated a hundred and eighty
miles from the mouth of the river Savannah.

We found at Savannah a young man whose name and destiny were calculated
to inspire us with a lively interest; this was Achille Murat, son of
Joachim Murat, ex-king of Naples. On the earliest news of the arrival of
General Lafayette in Georgia, he precipitately quitted Florida, where he
has become a planter, and came to add his homage and felicitations to
those of the Americans, whom he now regarded as his countrymen. Two days
passed in his company, excited an esteem for his character and
understanding, not to be withheld by any who may have the same
opportunity of knowing him. Scarcely twenty-four years of age, he has
had sufficient energy of mind to derive great advantages from an event
which many others, in his place, would have regarded as an irreparable
misfortune. Deprived of the hope of wearing the crown promised by his
birth, he transported to the United States the trifling remains of his
fortune, and sufficiently wise to appreciate the benefits of the liberty
here enjoyed, he has become a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Far from imitating so many fallen kings, who never learn how to console
themselves for the loss of their former power, Achille Murat has become
a cultivator, has preserved his name without any title, and by his
frank, and altogether republican manners, has rapidly conciliated the
regard of all who know him. He possesses a cultivated mind, and a heart
filled with the most noble and generous emotions. For the memory of his
father he cherishes a profound and melancholy veneration. Mr. George
Lafayette, having cited in conversation some traits of that brilliant
and chivalric bravery which Murat so eminently possessed, he appeared to
be much affected by it; and, some moments after, when alone with me, he
said with warm emotion, “Mr. George has caused me a great happiness; he
has spoken well of my father to me.”

The conversation turning upon European politics, he explained himself
with great freedom on the subject of the holy alliance, and, in general,
upon every kind of despotism. I could not avoid saying to him, in
pleasantry, that it was a very extraordinary circumstance to hear such
discourse from the mouth of an hereditary prince. “Hereditary prince,”
replied he with vivacity, “I have found the means to be more than such a
thing—I am a freeman!” One circumstance, however, caused me pain and
surprise, which was, that Achille Murat, free to choose his residence in
the United States, should come to establish himself exactly in the
country afflicted by slavery. This choice could only appear to me
reasonable for a man who had decided to labour all in his power for the
gradual emancipation of the blacks, and to give to his neighbours an
example of justice and humanity, in preparing his slaves for liberty;
but, I believe, this noble project has not entered into the thoughts of
our young republican, who, to judge by some peculiarities of his
conversation, seems but too well prepared to adopt the principles of
some of his new fellow citizens as to the slavery of the blacks. Is it
then, thus, that the original sin of royalty must always show the tip of
its ear?[6]

Savannah is the most important city of the state of Georgia. It is
situated on the right bank of Savannah river, and about seventeen miles
from its mouth. Its large and straight streets cross at right angles,
and are planted on each side with a row of delightful trees, called the
_Pride of India_, and for which the inhabitants of the south have a
marked predilection. Although elevated forty feet above the level of the
river, the situation of Savannah is unhealthy; an autumn seldom passes
without the yellow fever making cruel ravages. Commerce is
notwithstanding very active there; its port, which can admit vessels
drawing forty feet, annually exports more than six millions of dollars
worth of cotton. Its population is 7523 inhabitants, divided thus: 3,557
white individuals, 582 free people of colour, and 3,075 slaves. The
number of persons employed in the manufactories nearly equals that of
those occupied in commerce, which is about six hundred.

On quitting Savannah, we sailed at first for more than sixty miles
between low marshy grounds whence issued many rivulets, and which was
covered by a vegetation the most rich and varied that it is possible to
imagine. Among the tallest trees we observed four or five species of
pines, nine of oak, tulip-trees, poplars, plantains, sassafras, &c.,
beneath which grew more than forty kinds of shrubs, of which the form,
flower, foliage and perfume, constitute the delicacies of our most
brilliant parterres. Beyond this plain, the soil rises rapidly about two
hundred feet above the level of the sea, and presents at intervals fine
table lands, on which are established rich cotton plantations.

As we approached Augusta, two steam-boats, crowded with a great many
citizens of that town, came to meet us, and saluted General Lafayette
with three cheers, and the discharge of artillery. We answered them by
the patriotic air of _Yankee Doodle_, and by three rounds of our guns.
They joining us we ascended the river together, each forcing the steam
in rivalry of speed. There was something frightful in this contest; the
three roaring vessels seemed to fly in the midst of black clouds of
smoke, which prevented us from seeing each other. The _Alatamaha_ was
victorious, which produced a lively joy in our brave captain, who seemed
to be a man who would blow up his vessel rather than be beaten on such
an occasion.

The general, forced to adhere rigorously to his calculations for
travelling, had at first resolved to pass but one day at Augusta; but it
was impossible for him to resist the earnest solicitations of the
inhabitants to remain two days, that the greater part of the
preparations made for him should not become useless. He yielded, and the
entertainments they gave him were so multiplied, that for the first time
since the commencement of this prodigious journey, he suffered a fatigue
which caused us a momentary inquietude.

Among the citizens who received the general on the wharf at Augusta, we
again met our fellow-passenger in the Cadmus, Mr. King, a young lawyer
much esteemed by his fellow citizens. This meeting was to us not only
very agreeable, but also very useful; in leaving the river Savannah, our
communications with the Atlantic would become more difficult; it was
therefore important for us to transmit our despatches from Augusta, that
our friends in Europe might once more have news from us before we should
have entirely passed into the interior of the country; and Mr. King had
the goodness to undertake to forward them after our departure, as well
as some effects which we retrenched from our baggage, in order to
lighten ourselves as much as possible, for we foresaw that we were going
to travel the worst roads that we had yet encountered since leaving

The day after our arrival, the general was engaged to visit, on the
other side of the Savannah river, a sort of prodigy, which proves to
what extent good institutions favour the increase of population, the
developement of industry, and the happiness of man. It is a village
named Hamburg, composed of about a hundred houses, raised in the same
day by a single proprietor, and all inhabited in less than two months by
an active and industrious population. This village is not yet two years
old, and its port is already filled with vessels, its wharves covered
with merchandise, and its inhabitants assured of a constantly increasing
prosperity. Hamburg being on the right bank of the Savannah, belongs to
South Carolina.

On the 25th we left Augusta, which is well built and containing more
than four thousand inhabitants, to visit Milledgeville, passing through
Warrenton and Sparta. The general was very affectionately received in
each of these small towns; but we found the roads every where in a bad
condition, and so much broken up, that we were obliged to travel a part
of the way on horseback. Happily the carriage in which the general rode,
resisted all accidents, but it was near breaking down twenty times. The
first day the jolts were so violent, that they occasioned General
Lafayette a vomiting which at first alarmed us, but this entirely ceased
after a good night passed at Warrenton.

We arrived on the 2d of March, on the banks of little river Oconee, near
to which Milledgeville, the capital of Georgia, is built. This town,
which, from the dispersion of its houses, and the multitude and extent
of its beautiful gardens, rather resembles a fine village than a city,
containing a population of two thousand five hundred souls, among whom
General Lafayette was received as a father and friend. The citizens,
conducted by their magistrates, came to receive him on the banks of the
river, and the aids-de-camp of the governor conducted him with pomp to
the state house, which claimed the honour of lodging him. The day was
passed in the midst of honours and pleasures of every kind. After the
official presentation in the state house, where the general was
addressed by an American citizen of French descent, Mr. Jaillet, mayor
of Milledgeville; after the visit which we made to the lodge of our
masonic brethren, and the review of all the militia of the county, we
dined with Governor Troup, who had assembled at his house all the public
officers and principal citizens, with whom we spent the evening at the
state house, where the ladies of the place had prepared a ball for
General Lafayette; but at this ball there was neither possibility nor
wish for any one to dance; each, anxious to entertain or hear the
nation’s guest, kept near him, and seized with avidity the occasion to
testify gratitude and attachment. Affected almost to tears with the
kindness evinced towards him, the general completely forgot that Georgia
was a new acquaintance. He also forgot, it seemed, that to-morrow we
were to depart early in the morning, and that some hours of repose would
be necessary, as he passed a great part of the night in conversing with
his new friends.

Before continuing the narrative of the subsequent journey, which
conducted us from the bosom of the most advanced civilization, into the
centre of still savage tribes, the aboriginal children of America, I
shall make some observations on the state of Georgia.

This state, situated between the 30th and 35th degrees of north
latitude, and the 3d and 9th of longitude west from Washington, is
bounded on the north by the state of Tennessee, to the north-east by
South Carolina, to the south-east by the Atlantic ocean, to the south by
Florida, and to the west by the state of Alabama. Its surface is 58,000
square miles, and its population 340,989 inhabitants, of which nearly
150,000 are slaves; a proportion truly alarming, and which will, some
day, bring Georgia into an embarrassing situation, if its government
does not adopt some measure to diminish the evil. Here, as in all the
slave states, the blacks are goods and chattels, which are sold like any
other property, and which may be inherited; but their introduction into
the state as an object of commerce is severely prohibited. According to
existing laws, a person who brings into the state a slave, which he
sells or exposes to sale within the year immediately succeeding his
introduction, is subjected to a penalty of one thousand dollars, and an
imprisonment of five years in the state prison. The prejudices against
the coloured race is very strong among the Georgians, and I have not
remarked that they have made any great efforts for the abolition of
slavery; the laws even interpose a barrier to gradual emancipation, for
a proprietor cannot give liberty to his slave without the authority of
the legislature. The ancient code of slavery introduced by the English,
and which was a code of blood, is fallen into disuse, and has been
supplied by some laws protective of the slaves. Thus, for example,
whoever now designedly deprives a slave of life or limb, is condemned to
the same punishment as if the crime had been committed on a white man,
except in a case of insurrection; but we feel that this law is to be
administered by judges who are themselves slave-holders, and under the
influence of the same prejudices as their fellow citizens; thus may one
say with truth, that if the slaves of Georgia do not perish under the
whip of their master, as too often happens in the French colonies, it is
owing solely to the naturally mild and humane dispositions of the
Georgians, and not to the efficacy of the laws, which admit that a slave
_may accidentally die on receiving moderate correction_, without the
author of the infliction being guilty of murder.

Georgia, it is said, was that one of the ancient colonies in which the
revolution obtained the fewest suffrages. The royal party, for a long
time, preserved there a great influence, which, augmented by the
presence of a numerous body of English, under the orders of Colonel
Campbell, maintained the royal government until the end of the war; thus
the patriots had more to suffer in Georgia than elsewhere.

It was not until 1798, that the constitution, which had been adopted in
1785 and amended in 1789, was definitively and vigorously enforced by a
general assembly of the representatives. This constitution is very
nearly similar to that of South Carolina.

If Georgia is not yet one of the richest states of the Union, by the
abundance and variety of its productions, the cause should be attributed
to the influence of slavery alone. No country, perhaps, is more favoured
by nature than this, and all the products of the most opposite climates
may be easily and abundantly drawn from its soil. The seashores and the
adjacent islands produce six hundred pounds of long cotton per acre, of
which the medium price is thirty cents per pound; and the same soil will
produce four crops without manure. Sugar may be cultivated in the same
soil, with an equal success. The white mulberry grows there in such
quantities, that Georgia could easily liberate the United States from an
annual tribute of several millions which they pay to Europe, if the
culture of silk was confided to skilful and interested hands; that is to
say, to the hands of freemen. Tea grows without culture in the
neighbourhood of Savannah; in some choice places, three crops of indigo
are annually produced; and, in the interior, the lands produce
abundantly of grain and maize; finally, pulse and fruits of all kinds
grow here with an unusual facility. But to fertilize the sources of such
abundant riches, there are requisite an industry and activity, rarely
possessed by men accustomed to confide the care of their existence to
the devotedness of unhappy beings brutalised by slavery.[7]

                              CHAPTER VI.

  Departure from Milledgeville—Macon—Indian Agency—Meeting with Indians
      during a Storm—Hamley—M’Intosh’s Tribe—Uchee Creek—Big
      Warrior—Captain Lewis—Line Creek—Montgomery—Farewell of
      M’Intosh—Cahawba—State of Alabama—Mobile.

On the 29th of March, after having taken leave of the citizens of
Milledgeville, and expressed our thanks to the committee of arrangement,
the authorities of the town and the state, for the kindnesses with which
we had been loaded, we resumed our route with some aides-de-camp of
Governor Troup, who, with a skilful foresight, had previously arranged
every thing, so that the general should experience the inconveniences
inevitably to be encountered, as little as possible, in a journey across
a country without roads, towns, and almost without inhabitants; for, to
enter the state of Alabama, we had to traverse that vast territory which
separates it from Georgia, and which is inhabited by the Creek nation; a
people which civilization has blighted with some of its vices, without
having been able to win them from the habits of a wandering and savage

The first day, after travelling for some hours, we arrived at Macon to
dinner, where the general was received with enthusiasm by the citizens,
and a number of ladies, whose elegance and manners formed a singular
contrast to the aspect of the country we had traversed. Macon, which is
a small and handsome village, tolerably populous, did not exist eighteen
months since; it has arisen from the midst of the forests as if by
enchantment. It is a civilized speck lost in the yet immense domain of
the original children of the soil. Within a league of this place, we are
again in the bosom of virgin forests; the summits of these aged trees,
which appear as records of the age of the world, waved above our heads,
and, when agitated by the winds, gave rise alternately to that shrill or
hollow tone, which Chateaubriand has termed the voice of the desert. The
road we pursued was a kind of gulley or fissure, over the bottom of
which the general’s carriage was with difficulty drawn, and often at the
risk of being shattered in pieces; we followed on horseback, and arrived
in the evening at the Indian agency.

This is an isolated habitation in the midst of the forests, built during
the last year for the conferences between the Indian chiefs and the
commissioners of the United States. It was there that the treaty was
formed, by which the tribes inhabiting the left bank of the Mississippi
consented to retire to the right bank, on the payment of a considerable
sum of money to them. The year 1827 was assigned as the time for their
evacuation, and it is not without sorrow that the Indians find that it
is drawing near; they will relinquish with regret the neighbourhood of
civilized man, although they detest him; and accuse their chiefs of
having betrayed them in making this cession, which, it is said, has
already cost the life of M’Intosh, one of the chiefs who signed the

We passed the night at the Indian agency; we had been expected the
evening before by about a hundred Indians, among whom the name of
Lafayette has existed by tradition for fifty years; but the delays we
had met with had exhausted their patience, and they had gone to prepare
for our reception elsewhere. On the second day we had to traverse
thirty-two miles over a road which became more and more difficult. A
storm, such as is never seen in Europe, and which, however, I cannot
pause to describe, now assailed us, and forced us to halt for some
hours. Happily we found a shelter in a cabin built by an American, not
far distant from the road. Some Indian hunters, accustomed, no doubt, to
seek refuge here, were drying their garments around a large fire; we
took our place among them without being known, or attracting any
particular attention. Mine, on the contrary, was strongly excited by
this interview, the first of the kind I had met with. I had heard much
of the manners of these sons of nature, and, like every inhabitant of a
civilized country, I entertained such singular ideas respecting them,
that the slightest of their gestures, and every minutiæ of their dress
and accoutrements, induced an astonishment which the Indians did not
appear to share in seeing us. As far as I could, by signs, I proposed a
multitude of questions, to which they replied by a pantomime, which was
at once expressive and laconic. I had heard much of the apathy of
Indians as a natural faculty, but also singularly augmented in them by
education. I wished to make a few experiments on this point, but did not
know how they would receive them. I provoked one of them by hostile
gestures; but my anger, though tolerably well assumed, did not appear to
excite more emotion than the tricks of a child would have done. He
continued his conversation without attending to me, and his countenance
expressed neither fear nor contempt.

After some other trials of the same kind, always received with the same
calm indifference, I recurred to signs of kindness; I offered to the
Indians a glass of brandy: this succeeded better. They emptied it. I
showed them some pieces of money, which they took without ceremony. I
soon quitted them, and it appeared to me that we separated very good
friends. The termination of the storm now permitted us to resume our
route, and we arrived at a resting place rather better than that of the
preceding evening. This was a group of cabins constructed of logs, and
covered with bark. The owner was an American, whom a reverse of fortune
had forced to take refuge here, where he carried on a lucrative trade
with the Indians by exchanging goods from the coast for furs. His small
farm was composed of some acres in tolerable cultivation, a well
furnished poultry yard, and the dwelling I have spoken of above. On
arrival, we found two Indians seated before his door, one young, the
other middle aged, but both remarkable for their beauty and form. They
were dressed in a short frock, of a light material, fastened around the
body by a wampum belt. Their heads were wrapped with shawls of brilliant
colours, their leggings of buckskin reached above the knee. They arose
on the approach of the general, and saluted him, the youngest, to our
great astonishment, complimenting him in very good English. We soon
learnt that he had passed his youth in college in the United States, but
that he had withdrawn several years before from his benefactor, to
return among his brethren, whose mode of life he preferred to that of
civilized man. The general questioned him much as to the state of the
Indian nations. He replied with much clearness and precision. When the
last treaty of the United States was spoken of, his countenance became
sombre, he stamped on the ground, and, placing his hand upon his knife,
murmured the name of M’Intosh in such a manner, as to make us tremble
for the safety of that chief; and when we appeared to be astonished,
“M’Intosh,” exclaimed he, “has sold the land of his fathers, and
sacrificed us all to his avarice. The treaty he has concluded in our
name, it is impossible to break, but the wretch!” He stopped on making
this violent exclamation, and shortly afterwards quietly entered on some
other topic of conversation.

Hamley, (the name of the young Indian,) when he found we were somewhat
rested, proposed to us to visit his house, which he pointed out to us on
the slope of a hill at a little distance. Two of the governor’s
aides-de-camp and myself accepted the invitation, and followed the two
Indians. On our route they showed to us a fenced enclosure, filled with
deer and fawns, which they called their reserve, and which served them
for food when they had been unsuccessful in the chase. Hamley’s cabin
adjoined this enclosure. We entered it. There was a large fire on the
hearth, and evening having commenced, the whole building was illuminated
by the flame of the burning pine wood. The furniture consisted of two
beds, a table, some rude chairs, whilst wicker baskets, fire arms, and
bows and arrows, with a violin, were hanging on the walls. The whole
arrangement indicated the presence of man in a half civilized state.
Hamley’s companion took down the violin, and handling the instrument
with vigour rather than lightness and grace, played some fragments of
Indian airs, which induced a desire of dancing in Hamley, but whether
from courtesy, or from a wish of inducing a comparison which would
result to his own credit, he begged us to begin. The grave Americans who
accompanied me, excused themselves. Being younger, or less reserved, I
did not wait for a second invitation, and executed some steps of our
national dances; this was all that Hamley desired. I saw him throw off
every thing that might embarrass him, seize a large shawl, and
triumphantly spring into the centre of the apartment, as if he would
say, it is now my turn. His first movements, slow and impassioned,
gradually became animated, his movements, incomparably bolder and more
expressive than those of our opera dancers, soon became so rapid that
the eye could scarcely follow them. In the intervals, or when he halted
for breath, his steps softly beating time to the music, his head gently
inclined, and gracefully following the movements of his pliant body, his
eyes sparkling with an emotion which reddened the coppery hue of his
complexion, the cries that he uttered when he awoke from this reverie in
order to commence his rapid evolutions, had the most striking effect
upon us, which it is impossible to describe.

Two Indian women, whom I afterwards learned were Hamley’s wives,
approached the house, during the time that it resounded with his
exertions, and our plaudits, but they did not enter, and I therefore
merely saw them. They had the usual beauty of this race; their dress was
composed of a long white tunic, and a scarlet drapery thrown over their
shoulders; their long black hair was wholly unconfined. On their neck,
they had a necklace of four or five strings of pearls, and in their
ears, those immense silver rings so generally worn by Indian women. I
believed, from their reserve, that Hamley had forbidden them to enter,
and therefore made no inquiries respecting them. There were also some
negroes about the house, but they did not appear to be slaves. They were
fugitives to whom he had granted an asylum, and who repaid his
hospitality by their labour.

I would willingly have remained several days as Hamley’s guest and
companion in the chase; but we were obliged to continue our journey. We
retired, and the next day, the 31st March, resumed our route. As we
plunged deeper into this country of forests, the Indian soil seemed to
efface from our minds those prejudices which induce civilized man to
endeavour to impose his mode of life on all those nations who still
adhere to primitive habits, and to consider the invasion of districts in
which this pretended barbarity still exists, as a noble and legitimate
conquest. It must, however, be stated, to the praise of the Americans,
that it is not by extermination or war, but by treaties, in which their
intellectual superiority, it is true, exercises a species of gentle
violence, that they pursue their system of aggrandizement against the
Indian tribes to the west and north. With them, civilization is not
sullied by crimes to be compared with those of Great Britain in India,
but in rendering this justice to them, we, at the same time, cannot help
feeling a strong interest in the fate of the unhappy Indians. Thus, in
meeting at every turn the bark cabin of the Creek hunter, now the
habitation of peace and savage yet happy ignorance, we could not think
without sorrow how soon it might be overthrown and replaced by the farm
of the white settler. It was on the banks of the Chatahouche that we met
with the first assemblage of Indians, in honour of the general. A great
number of women and children were to be seen in the woods on the
opposite bank, who uttered cries of joy on perceiving us. The warriors
descended the side of a hill at a little distance, and hastened to that
part of the shore at which we were to disembark. The variety and
singular richness of their costumes presented a most picturesque
appearance. Mr. George Lafayette, who was the first that landed, was
immediately surrounded by men, women, and children, who danced and
leaped around him, touched his hands and clothes with an air of surprise
and astonishment, that caused him almost as much embarrassment as
pleasure. All at once, as if they wished to give their joy a grave and
more solemn expression, they retired, and the men ranged themselves in
front. He who appeared to be the chief of the tribe, gave, by an acute
and prolonged cry, the signal for a kind of salute, which was repeated
by the whole troop, which again advanced towards the shore. At the
moment the general prepared to step on shore, some of the most athletic
seized the small carriage we had with us, and insisted that the general
should seat himself in it, not willing, as they observed, that their
father should step on the wet ground. The general was thus carried in a
kind of palanquin a certain distance from the shore, when the Indian
whom I have spoken of as the chief, approached him and said in English,
that all his brothers were happy in being visited by one who, in his
affection for the inhabitants of America, had never made a distinction
of blood or colour; that he was the honoured father of all the races of
men dwelling on that continent. After the chief had finished his speech,
the other Indians all advanced and placed their right arm on that of the
general, in token of friendship. They would not permit him to leave the
carriage, but dragging it along, they slowly ascended the hill they had
previously left, and on which one of their largest villages was

During our progress I drew near to the Indian chief; I supposed that as
he spoke English, that he, like Hamley, had been educated in the United
States, and this I found to be the case. He was about 28 years of age,
of a middle height; but the symmetry of his limbs was perfect, his
physiognomy noble, his expression mournful; when he was not speaking he
fixed his large black eyes, shaded by a heavy brow, steadfastly on the
ground. When he told me that he was the eldest son of M’Intosh, I could
not recall, without emotions of sorrow, the imprecations I had heard
poured forth against this chief, on the preceding evening. This, in all
probability, occasioned the air of depression and thoughtfulness I
remarked in the young man; but what I afterwards learned in conversation
with him explained it still more satisfactorily; his mind had been
cultivated at the expense of his happiness. He appreciated the real
situation of his nation, he saw it gradually becoming weaker, and
foresaw its speedy destruction; he felt how much it was inferior to
those which surrounded it, and was perfectly aware that it was
impossible to overcome the wandering mode of life of his people. Their
vicinity to civilization had been of no service to them; on the
contrary, it had only been the means of introducing vices to which they
had hitherto been strangers; he appeared to hope that the treaty which
removed them to another and a desert country, would re-establish the
ancient organization of the tribes, or at least preserve them in the
state in which they now were.

When we arrived at the brow of the hill we perceived the glitter of
helmets and swords; troops were drawn up in line along the road. These
were not Indians; they were civilized men, sent by the state of Alabama
to escort the general. The singular triumphal march to which he had been
obliged to submit, now ceased. The Indians saw with some jealousy the
American escort range themselves round the general; but we approached
the village, and they ran on in order to precede us. We there found them
on our arrival, with their garments thrown off, and prepared to afford
us a sight of their warlike games.

We arrived on a large plain, around which were situated about an hundred
Indian huts, crowned by the rich verdure of the dense thickets; one
house was distinguished for its greater size, it was that of the
American agent. He also kept an inn, and his wife superintended a school
for the instruction of the Indian children. All the men were assembled,
deprived of a part of their dress, their faces painted in a grotesque
manner, and some wearing feathers in their hair, as a mark of
distinction. They then announced to us that there would be a mock fight
in honour of their white father. In fact, we soon perceived them
separate into two divisions, and form two camps at the two extremities
of the place, appoint two leaders, and make preparations for a combat.
The cry that was uttered by each of these troops, and which we were told
was the war-whoop of the Indian tribes, is, perhaps, the most
extraordinary modulation of the human voice that can be conceived, and
the effect it produced on the combatants of all ages, was still more so.
The sport began. They explained the plan to us as follows: Each party
endeavoured to drive a ball beyond a certain mark, and that which
attained this object seven times would be the victor. We soon saw the
combatants, each armed with two long rackets, rush after the light
projectile, spring over each other in order to reach it, seize it in the
air with incredible dexterity, and hurl it beyond the goal. When the
ball was missed by a player, it fell to the ground, when every head was
bent, a scene of great confusion ensued, and it was only after a severe
struggle that the players succeeded in again throwing it up. In the
midst of one of these long combats, whilst all the players were bent
around the ball, an Indian detached himself from the group to some
distance, returned on a run, sprung into the air, and after making
several somersets, threw himself on the shoulders of the other players,
leaped into the circle, seized the ball, and for the seventh time cast
it beyond the mark. This player was M’Intosh. The victory was obtained
by the camp which he commanded; he advanced to receive our
congratulations under a shower of applause from a part of the Indian
women, whilst the wives of the vanquished appeared to be endeavouring to
console them.

The general, after this game, which much amused him, visited the
interior of some of the huts, and the Indian school. When we were ready
to resume our journey, young M’Intosh re-appeared dressed as an
European. He requested permission from the general to accompany him to
Montgomery, where he wished to carry his brother, who was about ten
years of age, in order to place him under the care of a citizen of
Alabama, who had generously offered to educate him. The general
consented to it, and we all set out for Uchee Creek, an American tavern,
situated on the banks of a creek of that name. We arrived at that place
at an early hour, and visited the neighbourhood, which was charming.
Accompanied by M’Intosh, I soon made an acquaintance with the Indians of
that district. We found them exercising with the bow. I wished to try my
skill, M’Intosh likewise armed himself; he had the arm and eye of
William Tell. Some proofs of his skill would scarcely be credited were I
to relate them. I was most struck with the skill, with which, whilst
lying on the ground, he discharged an arrow, which, striking the ground
at a few paces distance, made a slight rebound, and flew to an immense
distance. This is the mode employed by the Indians when they wish to
discharge their arrows to a great distance without discovering
themselves. I tried in vain to accomplish it; each time my arrow,
instead of rebounding, buried itself in the earth.

We returned to Uchee Creek, and met an Indian chief on his way to the
tavern. He was on horseback, with a woman behind him. When he arrived
within a few paces of the house, he dismounted and went forward to
salute the general, and to make some purchases. During this time his
wife remained with the horse, brought it to him when he wished to
depart, held the bridle and stirrup when he mounted, and afterwards
sprung up behind him. I asked my companions if this woman was the wife
of the Indian, and if such was the condition of the females of the
nation. They replied, that in general they were treated as we had seen;
in the agricultural districts they cultivated the ground, among the
hunters they carried the game, the culinary utensils, and other
necessary articles, and thus loaded could travel great distances, that
even maternal cares scarcely exonerated them from these laborious
occupations. However, in the excursions I afterwards made in the
environs of Uchee Creek, the condition of the women did not appear to me
as unhappy as I was led to expect. I saw before almost all the houses
the women sitting in circles, engaged in weaving baskets or mats, and
amusing themselves with the games and exercises of the young men, and I
never remarked any signs of harshness on the part of the men, or of
servile dependence on the part of the women. I was so hospitably
received in all the Indian cabins at Uchee Creek, and the country around
was so beautiful, that it yet appears to me as the most beautiful spot I
ever visited. From Uchee Creek to the cabin of Big Warrior, which is the
nearest resting place, is about a day’s journey, through a country
inhabited by Indians. We several times met parties of them, and were
greatly assisted by them in extricating ourselves from dangerous places
in the road, for the storm had encumbered them, and swelled the streams.
On one of these occasions, the general received a touching specimen of
the veneration these sons of nature held him in. One of the torrents we
were to cross had risen above the unnailed wooden bridge over which the
carriage of the general was to proceed. What was our astonishment, on
arriving at the stream, to find a score of Indians, who, holding each
other by the hand, and breast deep in water, marked the situation of the
bridge by a double line. We were well pleased at receiving this succour,
and the only recompense demanded by the Indians, was to have the honour
of taking the general by the hand, whom they called their white father,
the envoy of the Great Spirit, the great warrior from France, who came
in former days to free them from the tyranny of the English. M’Intosh,
who interpreted their discourse to us, also expressed to them the
general’s and our own good wishes. The village of the Big Warrior is
thus named on account of the extraordinary courage and great stature of
the Indian who was its chief. We arrived there at a late hour; the chief
had been dead some time; the council of old men had assembled to name
his successor, and had designated one of his sons, remarkable for the
same strength of body, as worthy of filling his place. This son had much
conversation with Mr. George Lafayette; he expressed himself in English,
and astonished us by the singular apathy with which he spoke of the
death of his father. But the Indians have not the slightest idea of what
we call grief and mourning. Death does not appear an evil to them,
either as regards the person who has quitted this life, or those who are
thus separated from him. The son of Big Warrior only appeared to regret
that the death of his father, which had occurred a short time before,
did not permit him to dispose of his inheritance, and to present one of
the dresses of this celebrated chief to the general.

We only passed one night with the family of Big Warrior; the next day we
arrived at Line Creek, that is to say, at the frontier of the Indian
country. We were received there by an American who had married the
daughter of a Creek chief, and had adopted the Indian mode of life. He
was a Captain Lewis, formerly in the army of the United States; his
house was commodious, and was furnished with elegance for an Indian
cabin. Captain Lewis, who is distinguished for his knowledge and
character, appeared to us to exercise great influence over the Indians;
he had assembled a great number, well armed and mounted, to act as an
escort to the general. One of the neighbouring chiefs came at the head
of a deputation to compliment the general. His discourse, which appeared
studied, was rather long, and was translated to us by an interpreter. He
commenced by high eulogiums on the skill and courage the general had
formerly displayed against the English; the most brilliant events of
that war was recalled and recounted in a poetical and somewhat pompous
strain. He terminated somewhat in these words: “Father, we had long
since heard that you had returned to visit our forests and our cabins;
you, whom the Great Spirit formerly sent over the great lake to destroy
those enemies of man, the English, clothed in bloody raiment. Even the
youngest amongst us will say to their descendants, that they have
touched your hand and seen your figure, they will also behold you, for
you are protected by the Great Spirit from the ravages of age—you may
again defend us if we are attacked.”

The general replied, through the interpreter, to these compliments of
the Indians; he again counselled them to be prudent and temperate;
recommended their living in harmony with the Americans, and to always
consider them as their friends and brothers; he told them that he should
always think of them, and would pray for the welfare of their families
and the glory of their warriors. We now directed our course to the
stream which separates the Creek country from the state of Alabama. The
Indians under Captain Lewis, mounted on small horses as light and nimble
as deer, some armed with bows and arrows, and others with tomahawks,
followed us in a long file, the rear of which was hidden in the darkness
of the forest. On arriving at the brink of the stream, they turned back,
uttering loud cries; some of the chiefs, however, bid us a final adieu
as we left their territory.

We passed the night on the banks of Line Creek, in a small village of
the same name, almost entirely inhabited by persons whom the love of
gain had assembled from all parts of the globe, in the midst of these
deserts, to turn to their own profit the simplicity and above all the
new wants of the unfortunate natives. These avaricious wretches, who
without scruple poison the tribes with intoxicating liquors, and
afterwards ruin them by duplicity and overreaching, are the most cruel
and dangerous enemies of the Indian nations, whom, at the same time,
they accuse of being robbers, idlers, and drunkards. If the limits to
which I had determined to restrain my narrative had not already been
overstepped, I could easily show, that these vices with which they
reproach the children of the forest, are the result of the approach of
civilization, and also in how many instances they are surpassed by the
whites in cruelty and want of faith. I will content myself with citing
but two facts from the thousands, which are an eternal stigma on men so
proud of the whiteness of their skin, and who call themselves civilized.

A short time since, a trader, living in the state of Alabama, went into
the Creek country for the purposes of his business. Having met with one
of the chiefs of the nation, he bargained with him for peltries; but, as
the conditions he proposed were all disadvantageous to the Indian, to
induce him the more readily to consent to them, he intoxicated him with
whiskey. After the bargain was concluded, they set out together for the
nearest village. On the way, the Indian reflected on what he had done,
and perceived that he had been duped; he wished to enter into some other
arrangement with the trader, but the discussion soon caused a violent
quarrel, which ended by the Indian striking his adversary so violent a
blow with his tomahawk, as to stretch him dead at his feet. Twenty-four
hours afterwards, on the first complaint of the whites, the murderer was
arrested by his own tribe, who, after having assembled their great
council, pronounced him guilty of a base assassination, in thus having
killed a white who was without arms or means of defence. They then
conducted him to the banks of Line Creek, where they had requested the
whites to assemble to witness the justice they rendered them, and shot
him in their presence.

The evening of our arrival at Line Creek, I went into a store to make
some purchases, and whilst there, an Indian entered and asked for twelve
and a half cents worth of whiskey. The owner of the shop received the
money, and told him to wait a moment, as the concourse of buyers was
very great. The Indian waited patiently for a quarter of an hour, after
which he demanded his whiskey. The trader appeared astonished, and told
him if he wanted whiskey he must first pay him for it. “I gave you
twelve and a half cents a few moments since,” said the Indian. The poor
wretch had scarcely pronounced these words, when the trader sprung
forward, seized him by the ears, and, assisted by one of his men,
brutally turned him out of the shop. I saw him give the money, and was
convinced of the honesty of the one and the rascality of the other. I
felt strongly indignant, and notwithstanding the delicacy of my
situation, I would have stept forward to interfere, but the whole scene
passed so rapidly that I hardly had time to say a few words. I went out
to see what the Indian would do. I found him a few steps from the house,
where he had been checked by his melancholy emotions. An instant
afterwards, he crossed his arms on his breast, and hurried towards his
own country with rapid strides. When he arrived on the margin of the
stream, he plunged in and crossed it without appearing to perceive that
the water reached above his knees. On attaining the other side, he
stopped, turned round, and elevating his eyes towards heaven, he
extended his hand towards the territory of the whites, in a menacing
manner, and uttered some energetic exclamations in his own language.
Doubtless, at that moment he invoked the vengeance of heaven on his
oppressors; a vengeance that would have been just, but his prayer was in
vain. Poor Indians! you are pillaged, beaten, poisoned or excited by
intoxicating liquors, and then you are termed savages! Washington said,
“Whenever I have been called upon to decide between an Indian and a
white man, I have always found that the white had been the aggressor.”
Washington was right.

The conduct of the American government is of an entirely different
character, as regards the Indian tribes. It not only protects them
against individual persecution, and sees that the treaties made with
them by the neighbouring states are not disadvantageous to them, and are
faithfully adhered to, but it also provides for their wants with a
paternal solicitude. It is not a rare circumstance for congress to vote
money and supplies to those tribes, whom a deficient harvest or
unforeseen calamity have exposed to famine.

We quitted Line Creek on the 3d of April, and the same day General
Lafayette was received at Montgomery, by the inhabitants of that
village, and by the governor of the state of Alabama, who had come from
Cahawba with all his staff and a large concourse of citizens, who had
assembled from great distances to accompany him. We passed the next day
at Montgomery, and left it on the night of the 4th and 5th, after a
ball, at which we had the pleasure of seeing Chilli M’Intosh dance with
several beautiful women, who certainly had little idea that they were
dancing with a savage. The parting of M’Intosh with the general was a
melancholy one. He appeared overwhelmed with sinister presentiments.
After having quitted the general and his son, he met me in the
courtyard; he stopped, placed my right arm on his, and elevating his
left hand towards heaven, “Farewell,” said he, “always accompany our
father and watch over him. I will pray to the Great Spirit also to watch
over him, and give him a speedy and safe return to his children in
France. His children are our brothers; he is our father. I hope that he
will not forget us.” His voice was affected, his countenance sad, and
the rays of the moon falling obliquely on his dark visage, gave a
solemnity to his farewell with which I was deeply moved. I wished to
reply to him, but he quitted me precipitately and disappeared.

At two o’clock in the morning, we embarked on the Alabama, on board the
steam-boat Anderson, which had been richly and commodiously prepared for
the general, and provided with a band of musicians sent from New
Orleans. All the ladies of Montgomery accompanied us on board, where we
took leave of them; and the moment the reports of the artillery
announced our departure, immense fires were lighted on the shore. Our
voyage as far as the Tombigbee was delicious. It is difficult to imagine
any thing more romantic than the elevated, gravelly, and oftentimes
wooded shores of the Alabama. During the three days we were on it, the
echoes repeated the patriotic airs executed by our Louisiania musicians.
We stopped one day at Cahawba, where the officers of government of the
state of Alabama had, in concert with the citizens, prepared
entertainments for General Lafayette, as remarkable for their elegance
and good taste, as touching by their cordiality and the feelings of
which they were the expression. Among the guests with whom we sat down
to dinner, we found some countrymen whom political events had driven
from France. They mentioned to us, that they had formed part of the
colony at Champ D’Asile. They now lived in a small town they had founded
in Alabama, to which they had given the name Gallopolis. I should judge
that they were not in a state of great prosperity. I believe their
European prejudices, and their inexperience in commerce and agriculture,
will prevent them from being formidable rivals of the Americans for a
length of time.

Cahawba, the seat of government of Alabama, is a flourishing town, whose
population, although as yet small, promises to increase rapidly, from
its admirable situation at the confluence of the Cahawba and Alabama.

The state of Alabama, which, like Mississippi, was formerly part of
Georgia, and with which its early history is intimately connected,
received a territorial governor from congress in 1817, and was admitted
into the federation as an independent state in 1816. Its population,
which in 1810 was only 10,000, had risen to 67,000 in 1817, and is at
present 128,000. In this estimate of the population I do not include the
Indian tribes of Choctaws, Cherokees, and Chickasaws, residing in the
east and west of the state.

From Cahawba we descended the river to Claiborne, a small fort on the
Alabama. The general was induced by the intreaties of the inhabitants to
remain a few hours, which were passed in the midst of the most touching
demonstrations of friendship. Mr. Dellet, who had been appointed by his
fellow citizens to express their sentiments, acquitted himself with an
eloquence we were astonished to meet in a spot, which, but a short time
before, only resounded with the savage cry of the Indian hunter.

A little below Claiborne, I remarked that the banks of the Alabama were
much lower; when we had passed the mouth of the Tombigbee, we found
ourselves in the middle of low marshy meadows, but apparently very
fertile. Finally, we arrived on the 7th of April, in Mobile bay, at the
bottom of which is situated a city of the same name.

The distance we had traversed in three days, and which was more than
three hundred miles, on account of the windings of the river, formerly
required a month or six weeks in ascending, and half the time in
descending. This shows what a prodigious revolution the application of
steam to navigation will effect in the commercial relations of a

The city of Mobile, which is the oldest establishment in the state, is
very advantageously situated for commerce, on a beautiful plain,
elevated more than twenty feet above the general level of the water.
This town had languished for a long time, under the despotism of the
Spanish inquisition, and the wretched administration of the French
government. It has often been devastated by the yellow fever. At
present, all its wounds are healed; a few years of liberty have sufficed
to render it prosperous. When the Americans took possession, it did not
contain more than two hundred houses; at present, its population is more
than 1800 souls. Formerly it scarcely exported four hundred bales of
cotton; this year it has despatched upwards of sixty thousand.

The arrival of the steam-boat in the bay, was announced by discharges of
artillery from Fort Conde; and when we reached the wharf at Mobile, the
general found the committee of the corporation and all the population
assembled to receive him. He was conducted to the centre of the town
under a triumphal arch, the four corners of which were adorned with the
flags of Mexico, the republics of South America and Greece. In the
centre was that of the United States. Here he was complimented by Mr.
Garrow in the name of the city, and in presence of the municipal body.
He was then led to an immense hall, expressly constructed for his
reception. He there found all the ladies, to whom he was presented by
the governor; after which Mr. Webb addressed him in the name of the
state. In his speech, the orator retraced with much truth, the debased
situation into which despotism and ignorance had formerly plunged the
city of Mobile, and the rich territory that surrounded it; he then
painted the rapid and increasing progress that liberty and republican
institutions had produced in the arts, in industry and commerce, which
had now rendered these very spots rich and prosperous; he attributed
this happy change to the glorious and triumphant exertions of the
revolutionary patriots, whose courage and constancy had been sustained
by the noble example of Lafayette; and he terminated by expressing his
regret that the efforts of the French patriots had not resulted in
consequences equally beneficial to their country.

In returning his thanks to the orator and the citizens of Alabama, the
general took a rapid survey of the struggles for liberty in which he had
borne so important a part, and concluded by expressing his deep
conviction of the necessity of the closest and most intimate union among
the states.

The inhabitants of Mobile, hoping that the general would pass some days
with them, had made great preparations for entertainments to him, but
the most part were rendered useless. Limited in his time, he was obliged
to yield to the solicitations of the deputation from New Orleans, who
pressed him to depart the next morning. Nevertheless he accepted a
public dinner, a ball and a masonic celebration; after which we went on
board the vessel which was to take him to New Orleans, to obtain a few
hours of that repose, which a day filled with so many pleasant emotions
had rendered absolutely necessary.

                              CHAPTER VII.

  Departure from Mobile—Gulf of Mexico—Passage of the Balize—Landing at
      the entrenchments near New Orleans—Entrance into the
      city—Entertainments and Public Ceremonies—Battle of New Orleans.

The vessel on board of which we had retired, on leaving the ball, was
the Natchez, an excellent and handsome steam-boat, sent by the city of
New Orleans to transport the general from Mobile to the shores of the
Mississippi. An experienced captain, Mr. Davis, commanded her; she had
on board the Louisiania deputation, at the head of which was Mr.
Duplantier, an old friend and companion in arms of the general. At the
break of day, cannon were heard, at which signal we weighed anchor. The
general stationed on the deck, received the farewell of the citizens who
pressed in crowds to the shore, and testified their sorrow by expressive
gestures and a gloomy silence. In half an hour, the city of Mobile
disappeared from the horizon, which enlarged around us, and in a short
time the smoke of the artillery, tinged by the rays of the rising sun,
also became invisible. When night returned, it found us in the Gulf of

To reach New Orleans, we might choose between two routes; either behind
Dauphin, Horn, Dog, Ship, or Cat islands, traversing lakes Borgne and
Pontchartrain, and disembarking a few miles in the rear of the city, or
else boldly cross the gulf to the mouth of the Mississippi, pass the
Balize and ascend the river. Our captain, confident of the solidity of
his vessel, decided on the latter plan, which was not unattended with
danger, but it gained us a whole day. We soon repented of his
determination. A storm arose in a short time. The motion of the vessel
became so disagreeable that we were obliged to lie down to avoid the sea
sickness which attacked almost all of us. During the night, the wind
greatly augmented, and the waves became so high, that several of them
entering the ports, inundated the cabin and our beds. The noise of the
wind, waves, and engine, with the creaking of the vessel, were so
horrible, that we expected to founder every moment. At break of day I
ascended to the deck, from whence I beheld the most imposing and awful
spectacle; we arrived at the Balize. We could not avoid feeling a strong
emotion at the sight of this magnificent river, whose rapid stream and
prodigious breadth announced rather a conqueror than a tributary of the
ocean. Its waves repelling, to a great distance, those of the sea,
heaped on the low islands at its mouth, thousands of immense trunks of
trees, which, after having flourished for ages under the polar circle,
were now decaying under the burning sky of Mexico, and feeding a new
vegetation with their remains. Enormous alligators of a sinister
appearance and sluggish gait, attached to the floating trunks of trees,
menaced the navigator, and seemed to dispute the entrance of the river
with him. For a long time after we had entered the Mississippi we
thought ourselves in another sea, so distant are its shores, and so
tumultuous are its waves. It was not until after some hours that it
became sufficiently narrow for us to perceive its muddy banks, or that
the stream diminished in swiftness.

In the morning we passed fort Plaquemine, from which we were saluted
with thirteen guns, and night again surprised us before we could
perceive the walls of New Orleans. No variety in the vegetation is
perceptible for sixty miles from the Balize. Hitherto nothing was to be
seen but cypresses covered with the sombre tillandsia, called by the
natives of the country, Spanish beard. This parasitic plant, which forms
a long and dense drapery on the trees, has a more melancholy appearance,
from its only growing in countries subject to the yellow fever. It is
said to afford food to those animals which seek a shelter in the woods
during the winter. The inhabitants of Louisiana employ it to stuff
matrasses and cushions; for these purposes, after having washed it in an
alkaline solution, they beat it till the husk is detached; when it is
dry it has the appearance of long black hair. It is so durable as to be
considered incorruptible. It is employed with success in building, mixed
with mortar or tenacious earth.

About midnight, I went on deck for a short time; the night was dark, the
sky charged with thick clouds, and the air filled with a hoarse noise.
The batteries at New Orleans were then firing a salute of a hundred
guns, to announce that the day on which the guest of the nation would
arrive, was commencing.

Next morning we awoke near those famous lines where twelve thousand
picked English troops were overthrown by a few hundred men, the half of
whom bore arms for the first time. Astonished at the cries of Vive la
liberté, vive l’ami de l’Amerique! vive Lafayette! in the French
language, we hastened on deck. What was our surprise on seeing the shore
covered with French uniforms! For an instant we believed that we were
transported back to the bosom of our country, once more freed, and our
hearts beat with joy. General Lafayette disembarked in the midst of the
thunder of artillery, and the acclamations of an immense multitude, who,
regardless of the badness of the weather and the distance from the town,
crowded the levee. He was received by a numerous escort of cavalry, and
by the twelve marshals who had been appointed to direct the procession.
Leaning on the arm of his ancient companion in arms, Mr. Duplantier, and
of General Villeré, he proceeded to the house of Montgomery, which had
been Jackson’s head quarters on the day when he covered himself with
glory by his admirable defence of his lines. The governor of the state
there waited for him, and received him in the name of the people of

The speech of the governor, depicting Frenchmen enjoying a liberty which
is still considered in France as problematical, made a deep impression
on the general, and he replied to it with much emotion.

At the conclusion of his reply, every one that could force an entrance
into the house were presented to him in turn. There were a great number
of the veterans of the revolution, and among others, Colonel
Bruian-Bruin, who had served at the siege of Quebec, where the brave
General Montgomery perished; Judge Gerrard, who fought at Yorktown,
Colonel Grenier, who, after having gloriously assisted in the three
revolutions of America, France, and Colombia, still preserved at seventy
years of age, all the courage and fire of youth. A great number of
ladies also came down to meet the general, and offered him their
congratulations through Mr. Marigny, on his safe arrival in Louisiana.
After all the presentations had been gone through, the procession was
formed, and, notwithstanding the violence of the rain, we took up the
line of march to the city. We advanced but slowly, from the denseness of
the crowd, which, as we approached the city, blocked up both the road
and the levee. When we arrived at the outskirts of the town we met with
bodies of troops drawn up in two lines, through which we passed to the
sound of martial music. Notwithstanding the badness of the weather, the
general proceeded along these lines on foot, and before he again entered
the carriage returned his thanks to the commanding officers. The
procession again moved on, augmented by the troops falling into the
rear, and, as it advanced, the crowd became still greater in spite of
the continuance of the storm. This immense concourse of people, the view
of the triple row of houses adorned with hangings, bordering the river
side, the sound of the artillery and bells, and the prolonged
acclamations of the whole population, produced a sensation which it is
difficult to describe; at last, in the midst of these testimonies of
strong affection, the general arrived at the barrier of the public
square, and was conducted by the committee of arrangement under a
triumphal arch of admirable architecture and excellent design. This
monument was sixty feet in height, forty of which were below the
springing of the arch, by fifty-eight in breadth; the arcade was twenty
feet wide, and twenty-five long; it rested on a socle imitating
Sera-Veza marble; the base, forming a pedestal of green Italian marble,
was decorated with colossal statues of Justice and Liberty. This
allegorical basement supported an arch of the doric order, adorned with
four coupled columns on each face. The key-stones were composed of
twenty-four stones, each decorated with a gilt star, united by a fillet,
on which was engraved the word, _Constitution_, thus representing the
twenty-four states connected by one common tie. The pediment, in
imitation of yellow Verona marble, supported two figures of Fame with
trumpets, and carrying banners entwined with laurel, having on them the
names of Lafayette and Washington; the whole was surmounted by the
national eagle. The upper socle supported an entablature of seven feet,
on which was inscribed, in English and French, “A grateful republic
dedicates this monument to Lafayette.” On the top of the monument was a
group representing Wisdom resting her hand on a bust of the immortal
Franklin, and the four angles were decorated with rich national
trophies. The names of the signers of the declaration of independence,
and those of officers who had distinguished themselves during the war of
the revolution, were inscribed on various parts of the arch. This
beautiful edifice, designed by Mr. Pilié, and executed by Mr. Fogliardi,
presented a striking appearance, and the reliefs had an admirable

Under this monument the general was received by the municipal body, at
the head of whom was the mayor, Mr. Roffignac, who addressed him in the
name of the citizens of New Orleans.

In expressing his thanks to Mr. Roffignac, the general did not permit
such an occasion to escape him, of paying a tribute of esteem to the
memory of the father of this worthy magistrate. “On my entrance into
this capital,” said he, “I feel penetrated with gratitude for the
reception I have met with from the people of New Orleans and its worthy
mayor, whose name recalls to a cotemporary of his father’s,
recollections of courage and loyalty.” Mr. Roffignac appeared extremely
affected by this testimony of the general’s to the exalted character of
his father, and the tears that escaped from his eyes proved the depth of
his feelings.

After leaving the triumphal arch, the general was conducted, amidst the
acclamations of an immense crowd, to the city hall, where he was
complimented by Mr. Prieur in the name of the city council; from here we
went to the hotel of the municipality, where our quarters had been
prepared, and which the people of New Orleans designated by the name of
the “Lafayette house.” After taking a few moments of repose, the general
went out on a balcony to review the troops. All the detachments that
passed were remarkable for the elegance of their uniform, and the
exactness of their discipline. The grenadiers, the voltigeurs, Union
guards, chasseurs, New Orleans guards, Lafayette guards, each in turn
attracted the attention of the general. But when, in the rear of the
riflemen, whose name recalls so many recollections of gallantry, he
perceived a file of a hundred Choctaws, marching, according to the
Indian custom, in a single line, he was much gratified to see, that, by
a delicate attention, they had shown him that his name was familiar to
the warriors of the most distant nations, and that they had admitted
among their troops, these brave Indians, who had been the allies of the
Americans in the Seminole war, and, who, for nearly a month past, had
been encamped near the city, in order to see the “great warrior,” “the
brother of their great father Washington.”

The next day, the general received the visits of the vice president of
the house of representatives, and of those members of the legislature
who were then in the capital, and immediately afterwards the gentlemen
of the bar, headed by Mr. Derbigny, who had been chosen their orator,
were presented to him. In a discourse filled with noble thoughts, and
pronounced with a touching eloquence, Mr. Derbigny eulogised with
delicacy and address, that rectitude of mind, and firmness of character,
which, during political tempests, had always guided Lafayette in the
path of justice, and preserved him from participating in the excesses of

In his reply, the general, carefully avoiding any allusion to the
eulogies that had been heaped upon him, confined himself to the
consideration of the general interests of Louisiana, and the individual
exertions of those who complimented him; he felicitated the citizens of
that state, after having been governed by the criminal laws of France
and Spain, that they gradually ameliorated them, and were still occupied
in perfecting this part of their code, to such a degree, that it might
even serve as a guide to the rest of the United States, whose criminal
laws are already so superior to those of every other people.

Being strongly urged to visit both the French and American theatres on
the same evening, the general decided by lot which he would attend the
first; chance was in favour of the American. We went there at seven
o’clock, and were received with an enthusiasm that cannot be described;
they gave an appropriate piece, of which neither he nor the audience
could appreciate the merit, as every eye was attracted by the hero of
Yorktown, who completely withdrew all attention from the representation
of the Prisoner of Olmutz. He afterwards went to the French theatre,
where they were impatiently expecting his appearance. When he entered,
the violence of the plaudits, and the repeated cries of “_Vive
Lafayette_,” suspended the representation. Every body rose; it was like
Themistocles appearing at the Olympic games: at last, calm being
re-established, the general took his seat in the box that had been
prepared for him, and saw with pleasure the last act of that charming
comedy, _L’Ecole des Vieillards_, which seemed to me to be as much
relished by my former countrymen, the Americans of Louisiana, as by the
inhabitants of Paris. Before he retired, the general heard an ode which
was performed to his honour, all the allusions of which were applauded
with enthusiasm.

In the course of Tuesday morning, a deputation of the Spanish emigrants
and refugees presented themselves to compliment the general; and, above
all, to testify their gratitude for the manner in which he opposed, in
the Chamber of Deputies in France, the invasion of Spain, and the
destruction of the liberal constitution.

The general, whose principles had led him to oppose, with all his
energy, a measure disapproved of by France—a measure which had produced
such disastrous results to Spain, and the heroic victims of which were
now before him, was deeply affected by the expressions of gratitude now
showered upon him; and, in an eloquent and impressive reply, paid his
tribute of esteem, admiration, and regret, to the memory of the
unfortunate Riego; he had already, on more than one occasion, openly
expressed his opinion on the unhappy death of that generous martyr to
liberty, and the whole American nation had partaken of the same
feelings, for the consistent and courageous defender of the revolution
in the peninsula.

On the following day, many other deputations waited on General
Lafayette, and expressed to him their attachment, and devotion to his
principles. Among them were those of the militia staff, of the medical
society, of the clergy, and of the free blacks, who, in 1815,
courageously assisted in the defence of the city; and our two last
evenings were occupied, the one by a public ball, and the other by a
masonic dinner. I will not attempt to describe these entertainments,
which, from the beauty, elegance, and amiability of the ladies, the
enthusiasm and frank cordiality of the citizens, the sedulous and
delicate attentions of the magistrates, the richness and profusion of
the details, equalled any thing we had ever met with.

Nevertheless, in the midst of the pleasures thus afforded him by the
Louisianians, the general experienced moments of inquietude and sorrow.
Sinister rumours reached him; he was told of a serious dispute between
the staff and the officers of the militia, on the subject of certain
prerogatives of the legion, denied by one, and insisted on by the others
with equal warmth, which might produce bloody results after the
departure of him whose presence was a curb even on the most headstrong.
In so serious an affair he did not hesitate on using all his influence
to reconcile citizens, whom a moment of error and a false point of
honour had temporarily divided; he, therefore, invited all the officers
of the different corps to meet at his house. When they arrived, he told
them that they were, doubtless, aware of his reasons in thus bringing
them together; that he was informed of what had passed, and the evil
consequences that would ensue; he observed, that he felt that he was the
cause, however unwillingly, and could he have foreseen such unpleasant
circumstances, he should have written to decline their invitation. He
begged them to consider the injurious reports it would occasion as
regarded all parties, and concluded by begging that they would accept of
him as a mediator.

One of the superior officers immediately advanced, and with an
honourable frankness said to him, “General, I place my honour in your
hands, and now agree to whatever you may dictate.” The eldest of the
complainants then observed, “General, I also confide my honour, and that
of my comrades, who freely agree with me, in your keeping.” The general
took a hand of each of these brave men, and having united them, had the
satisfaction of seeing the happiest concord established between men, who
an instant before had renounced the pleasing title of brothers in arms.
This interesting scene had many witnesses, who soon promulgated the
details. The news of it was received with astonishing enthusiasm, as it
was a sincere reconciliation between all that Louisiana cherished and

General Lafayette had intended to visit the scene of the battle of the
8th of January, but the continuance of stormy weather, and the necessity
for his complying in two or three days to all the kind invitations that
were heaped upon him, obliged him to relinquish the idea. A colonel of
the staff, who witnessed the chagrin this sacrifice occasioned me, had
the goodness to propose that I should accompany him, whilst the general
was paying some private visits. I accepted his invitation with
eagerness, and we immediately set out in a carriage he sent for. On the
way he informed me that he was born in France; that placed, from his
birth, in the privileged class of society, he had, from his infancy,
been brought up in the aristocratic prejudices of his caste; and that,
although very young at the epoch of the French revolution, he believed
it his duty to defend the rights of a few against the natural and sacred
rights of the many, and that he had joined the Vendeans. “Then,” said
he, “I believed in the legitimacy of an absolute monarchy, and in the
hereditary succession of virtue, with all the fervour of ignorance, and
I at first fought for them, with all the courage and devotion of
fanaticism; but the campaign had not terminated before my reason,
bursting the bonds with which education had loaded it, taught me, that
instead of combating, as I had believed, for justice and truth, I was
merely the instrument of a few men, determined to sacrifice every thing,
even their country, to their own private interests, and I sheathed my
sword, which I ought never to have drawn in so unjust, so absurd a
cause.” He went on to say, that he would have re-entered France, but was
deterred by the scenes of bloodshed and confusion then so prevalent in
that country. He, therefore, sought in other lands that happiness he was
denied at home. After traversing all Europe, and every where finding the
same criminal alliance of royalty, nobility, and clergy, against the
welfare and interests of the people, he finally settled in the United
States. He added, “I had only lived at New Orleans a short time, when,
in 1815, the inveterate enemies of the liberty of others in both
hemispheres presented themselves before that city. I flew to arms, happy
in finding an occasion of proving my gratitude to my new country, and my
sincere attachment to the principles which governed it, and I am happy
in being able to say, that my presence was not wholly useless on the
field of battle we are about to visit.”

My companion had scarcely uttered these words, when our carriage
stopped, and we stept out near the extreme right of the lines. Before
examining them, the colonel had the goodness to explain to me the
operations that preceded and brought on the battle of the 8th. I
understood, from these details, how difficult it had been for General
Jackson, with the handful of men he had at his disposition, to oppose
the landing and rapid progress of an army of 15,000 men, or quadruple
his own.

The position chosen by the American general to wait for reinforcements,
and to arrest the advance of so formidable an enemy, appeared to me to
be very judicious. He threw up entrenchments about five miles below the
city, along an old canal, the left of which was lost in the depths of a
swampy wood, whilst the right rested on the river. The total length of
this line was about eight hundred toises, but as three hundred toises of
the left were unassailable, the enemy was confined in his attack to a
front of about five hundred toises, and obliged to advance in full view
over a perfectly level plain. Nevertheless, whether from want of time,
or want of reflection, General Jackson committed two serious errors; the
first was in erecting his entrenchment in a straight line, and at right
angles to the river, so that he not only deprived himself of the
advantage of cross fires, but he also exposed himself, if the English,
more skilful or fortunate, had sent a few vessels up the river in the
rear of his lines; he exposed himself, I say, to the danger of having
had his whole line enfiladed by the enemy’s artillery. The other fault
was, erecting his second line at so great a distance from the first,
that if this had been forced, he would never have been enabled to have
gained the other, and his troops would have been cut to pieces in the
interval. These two faults would have sufficed, as may readily be
supposed, to compromit the safety of an army more numerous and better
disciplined than that of General Jackson; but the destiny of American
liberty, or rather the supernatural courage of the citizens, who, on
that day, fought for the preservation of their independence, and the
safety of their families, with the inflexible firmness of Jackson
himself, shaded with the laurels of a most brilliant victory those
faults which would have destroyed a less patriotic army.

I will record the details, which were given me with great clearness and
precision, of all the operations that preceded that glorious day. I
refer those who wish to study them to the excellent memoir of Mr.
Lacarriere Latour, and to the equally distinguished accounts of Messrs.
Brackenridge and Mac Fee; but I cannot resist the desire of now
retracing some of the most brilliant acts which saved Louisiana, and
immortalized its defenders.

Notwithstanding all his exertions, General Jackson was unable to collect
for the defence of his entrenchments more than 3,200 men, and fourteen
pieces of cannon of different calibers, pressed for time, he had been
obliged to form the upper part of his works with bales of cotton,
brought down from the city. He remained twenty-four hours in this
position, expecting an attack every instant, when, on the 8th of
January, at break of day, he perceived the English army, 12,000 strong,
advancing on him in three columns, the most formidable of which menaced
that part of his left wing, defended by the Tennessee and Kentucky
militia. Each soldier, besides his arms, carried fascines or a scaling
ladder, and marched in the most profound silence. The Americans
permitted them to advance within half cannon shot, and then opened on
them a terrible fire of artillery, to which the English replied by three
cheers, and the flight of some Congreve rockets, and then hurried their
march, closing their ranks as they were mowed down by the shot. This
coolness and determination, which seemed as if it would ensure them a
speedy victory, did not last long. The moment they arrived within musket
shot, the Tennesseans and Kentuckians commenced a fire of small arms,
which instantly broke their columns, and forced them to seek for shelter
behind some thickets, which covered their right. It is true, that
infantry never kept up so constant and destructive a fire, as that of
these intrepid American militia. The men, arranged six deep, loaded the
arms, and rapidly passed them to the front rank, composed of able
marksmen, each of whose balls carried certain death to the enemy.

Whilst the English officers, with a courage worthy of a better cause and
of a happier destiny, endeavoured to rally their scattered troops, to
lead them to a fresh assault, an American artilleryman, in the battery
commanded by Lieutenant Spotts, perceived in the plain, a group of
officers, agitated and dismayed, carrying off some one with some
difficulty. “It is perhaps the commander-in-chief and only wounded,”
exclaimed he, “he must not escape so.” He levelled his piece against
them, fired, and Packenham the English commander was killed in the arms
of his friends. The desire for revenge now rallied the English; officers
and soldiers pressed forward in a new column, led on with fury by Kean
and Gibbs, the successors of Packenham. But the fire of the Americans
redoubled in intensity and precision; Kean and Gibbs successively fell,
the one mortally, the other dangerously wounded, and the column again
broken, disappeared, leaving only its wreck on the plain.

Whilst in the centre of the line the American troops were thus crushing
their adversaries, without the loss of a single man, fortune seemed as
if she wished to try them on the right by a reverse. Twelve hundred
English, led by a daring chief, rapidly advanced along the river, and
unexpectedly fell on a small redoubt, defended by a company of riflemen
and one of the 7th regiment. The Americans, surprised at this point, at
first retired in some disorder. General Jackson, whose vigilant eye let
nothing escape, at this decisive moment perceived an English officer
mounted on the entrenchments, brandishing in one hand his sabre, and
with the other assisting his soldiers to scale the rampart. Jackson
hastened to the spot, met the runaways, arrested their flight, and, in a
terrible voice, demanded of their commander who had given him orders to
retreat. “The enemy has forced our entrenchments,” replied the captain.
“Well,” answered Jackson in a severe voice, “go back and with your
bayonets force them out.” This order was immediately executed. In an
instant the English, who at first thought themselves victors, fell under
the blows of the Americans. Among the slain, was the intrepid Colonel
Rennie, an ancient French emigrant who had entered the English service;
the same that had been seen so boldly surmounting the rampart, aiding
and encouraging his soldiers in the assault.

This battle, which decided the fate of New Orleans, and perhaps even of
Louisiana, only lasted three hours, and cost the Americans but seven men
killed and six wounded, whilst the English left near three thousand men
and fourteen pieces of cannon on the field. General Lambert, the only
one of the English generals in a state to command, ordered a retreat,
and hastened to seek shelter for himself and the wreck of his army, on
board Admiral Cochran’s fleet, who, the evening before, had said with
his accustomed boasting, that if he were ordered to attack the American
lines, he would carry them in less than half an hour, with two thousand
sailors, sabre in hand.

Thus, a small army, composed of citizens hastily collected, and
commanded by a general whose military career had just commenced, beheld
an English army, which passed for one of the bravest and most
experienced in Europe, and which boasted it had expelled the French from
Spain, fall before its patriotic efforts.

When I returned to the city, I found General Lafayette surrounded by
numbers of ladies and citizens of all ranks, who, knowing that he would
leave them the next morning, mournfully came to bid him farewell, and
once more to take him by the hand. In the crowd I remarked some
ecclesiastics, and among them a capuchin, whose dress being new to me
had attracted my attention on the day of our arrival. The account I
heard of him interested me strongly, and may perhaps be equally so to my

Father Anthony, for such is his name, is a venerable capuchin friar of
the order of St. Francis, and has resided in Louisiana for many years.
Animated by an ardent and sincere piety, Father Anthony prays in silence
for all the world without asking prayers of any one. Placed in the midst
of a population composed of different sects, he does not think it right
to trouble their consciences by endeavours to gain proselytes.
Sometimes, as being a capuchin, Father Anthony asks alms, but it is only
when he has some good action in view, and his slender funds, exhausted
by his constant charity, deny him the power of doing it himself. Every
year, when the yellow fever, in stretching its murderous hand over New
Orleans, drives the terrified inhabitants to the country, to seek an
asylum against disease and death, the virtue of Father Anthony shows
itself in all its brilliancy and force. During this time of dread and
grief, how many unhappy wretches, abandoned by their friends or even by
their relations, have owed their recovery and life to his exertions, his
care, his piety. Of all those he has saved, (and there are many,) there
is not one who can say, “before he lavished his care on me, did he ask
of what religion I was.” Liberty and charity, such is the moral code of
Father Anthony; hence he is not in favour with the bishop. When he came
to visit the general, he was dressed, according to the custom of his
order, in a long brown robe, tied about his middle with a thick cord.
The moment he perceived him, he threw himself into his arms, exclaiming,
“O my son, I have found favour before the Lord, since he has thus
permitted me to see and hear the worthiest apostle of liberty!” He then
conversed a few moments with him in a tone of the most tender affection,
complimented him on the glorious and well-merited reception he had met
with from the Americans, and modestly retired into a corner of the room,
apart from the crowd. I took advantage of this, to approach and salute
him. How deeply was I touched by his conversation!—what sweetness! what
modesty! and at the same time what enthusiasm! Every time that he spoke
of liberty his eyes sparkled with a sacred light, and his looks were
fastened on him he termed his hero, on Lafayette. “How happy must he
be,” said he, “how pure is the source of all his glory! with what
transport he must contemplate the result of his labours and sacrifices!
Twelve millions of men happy and free through him! Yes! this man is
certainly beloved by God. He has done so much good to others.” He came
again to see us the morning before our departure. When the crowd had
quitted the room, and he was left alone with the general, he hastened to
him, and pressing him with transport to his bosom, “Adieu, my son,”
cried he, “adieu, best beloved general! Adieu! may the Lord attend you,
and after the termination of your glorious journey, conduct you to the
bosom of your beloved family, to enjoy in peace the recollection of your
good actions and of the friendship of the American people. O, my son,
perhaps you are still reserved for new labours! Perhaps the Lord may
make you the instrument of freeing other nations. Then, my son, think of
poor Spain! Do not abandon my dear country, my unhappy country!” The
tears flowing from his eyes, moistened his long beard, whitened by age;
his voice was interrupted by sobs; and the venerable old man, leaning
his forehead on the shoulder of Lafayette, remained in this attitude a
few moments, still murmuring, “My son, my dear son, do something for my
unhappy country.” It was not without deep emotion that the general tore
himself from the arms of this pious patriot, who, before he retired,
also bestowed his benediction on Mr. George Lafayette.

But the 15th being fixed for our departure, from the dawn of day the
avenues to the general’s apartment were filled with even a greater
assemblage than that of the evening before. There were present a great
number of ladies, and particularly crowds of children brought by their
parents, that they might contemplate the features of the benefactor of
the country, the friend of the great Washington. The general left the
house on foot. Cries of _Vive Lafayette_ were heard on every side. In
crossing the parade ground, on which were several companies of the
legion and troops of the line, lining the avenues, he expressed his
gratitude to all the officers whom he met; he again testified to Mr.
Gally, the captain of artillery, how much he appreciated the merit of
the fine corps he commanded; and, as he understood that this officer
intended going to France in a short time, he begged him, in the most
pressing manner, to have the goodness to carry news of him to his family
at La Grange. He got into a carriage at the extremity of the parade
ground, to proceed to the place of embarkation, where the steam-boat
that was to take him to Baton-Rouge now waited for him. The levee was
crowded by an innumerable concourse of people. The balconies, roofs of
the houses, all the shipping and steam-boats which were near this spot,
were filled with spectators; and, when he went on board, he was saluted
by a prolonged acclamation, but it was not repeated, and more than ten
thousand persons remained in a state of profound silence, until the
Natchez was out of sight. The artillery only was heard at intervals,
giving a solemnity to this separation that was profound and universal.

The governor and his staff, the mayor and municipal body, the committee
of arrangement, to whom we owed so many and great obligations, embarked
with us to prolong for a few moments the pleasure of being with the
general; but at two miles from the city, the most of them were obliged
to leave us. It was not without profound regret that we separated from
these worthy officers, whom we had only known for a few days, it is
true, but yet sufficiently long to appreciate them fully.

                             CHAPTER VIII.

  History and Constitution of Louisiana—Baton-Rouge—Natchez—State of
      Mississippi—Voyage to St. Louis—Reception of General Lafayette in
      that city.

For a long time after the French had founded large and prosperous
establishments in Canada, they were ignorant of the existence of the
Mississippi; when some of their traders learnt from the Indians with
whom they trafficked, that to the westward of their country there was a
great river, that communicated with the Gulf of Mexico. This was in the
year 1660. Three years afterwards Mr. De Frontenac, governor of Canada,
wishing to verify this assertion, sent a Jesuit missionary, father
Marquette, at the head of a small detachment to discover this country.
The Jesuit ascended Fox river to its source, from thence traversing the
Wisconsin, he descended to the mouth of the Mississippi, and found that
the account of the Indians was true.

Twenty years afterwards, Count Robert de la Salle not only proved the
existence of this river, but ascertained that it offered an easy
communication with the ocean. He descended it from the river Illinois to
the Mexican gulf, whilst father Hennepin, a franciscan, ascended it as
far as the falls of St. Anthony, situated three hundred miles above that
river. Count Robert took possession, in the name of the king of France,
his master, of the whole course of the river with the adjacent country,
and erected some forts for the protection of the settlers, which, as the
soil appeared very rich, he expected to see arrive in great numbers.
Nevertheless, it was not until 1699, that the first settlement was made
at Biloxi, by a celebrated French naval officer, Lemoine d’Iberville,
who was the first to enter the Mississippi from the sea, and ascended
the river as far as Natchez, which he chose for the capital of
Louisiana, calling it Rosalie, in honour of the name of Chancellor
Pontchartrain’s lady. To people this new capital, some young girls and
well selected soldiers were sent from France. These last were married to
the girls and exempted from military duty. Each colonist was allowed
some acres of land, a cow and calf, cock and hens, a gun; half a pound
of powder and two pounds of lead, with a month’s provisions, were
distributed to them monthly. Next came missionaries, which, instead of
improving the land by the labour of their hands, or developing the
resources of the colonists by their wisdom and councils, began to preach
to the neighbouring Indians, in order to convert them to the catholic
faith. The fruits of these labours soon began to appear; that is to say,
the Indians pretended to listen to the new doctrines which were spread
before them, and became hypocrites for the sake of obtaining brandy.
This liquor, which was the first reward of their conversion, exasperated
all the passions to which they were unfortunately predisposed; and from
this time they became the most dangerous and cruel enemies of the
settlement, instead of the useful neighbours which they would doubtless
have been, if, without interfering with the manner in which they
worshipped God, their friendly alliance only had been sought.
Nevertheless, in the course of a few years, the cordiality and
gentleness of the French character counteracted the unhappy influence of
the missionaries, and almost all the savage tribes with the exception of
the Chickasaws, made peace with the colonists and rendered them
important services. Mr. de Bienville, the brother of Iberville, and at
that time governor of Louisiana, yielding to his ardour for research,
explored the greater part of the rivers tributary to the Mississippi,
and laid the foundations of some new settlements on its banks. But none
of these succeeded. The number of colonists had considerably diminished,
when, in 1712, Antony Crozat, who by the Indian trade, had amassed a
fortune of forty millions, purchased the grant to the whole of
Louisiana, with the exclusive right of its trade for six years. His
letters patent included all the rivers emptying into the Mississippi and
all the lands, coasts and islands situated upon the gulf of Mexico,
between Carolina on the east and Mexico on the west. But Crozat was not
long in discovering how much the expectations he had founded upon this
country were exaggerated, and hastened to renounce his contract for the
purpose of obtaining another for the period of twenty-five years, in
favour of the Mississippi Commercial Company, of which the celebrated
Law was the projector. But this company was not more fortunate than
Crozat. Instead of enticing into the colony such settlers as would have
added to its prosperity, he received only rich and avaricious
adventurers, who were attracted by the report of the mines of gold and
silver, with which the country was said to abound, and, disappointed in
their hopes, quickly returned to Europe. In spite of the efforts of the
government instituted by the commercial company, the proprietaries were
soon reduced to despair, and established military posts, where they
defended themselves until reinforcements were received. The first
expedition that arrived was composed of criminals and women of abandoned
character, sent out by the French government. The company were justly
indignant at this, and declared, that in future they would not suffer
the colony to be thus morally and physically polluted.

In 1718, New Orleans, consisting of a few cabins built by Illinois
traders, and thus named in honour of the regent Duke of Orleans, passed
under the jurisdiction of the governor-general, M. de Bienville, and
received a considerable number of new settlers. Two villages were built
in its vicinity by Germans, under the command of Arensburg, a Swedish
captain, who, in 1709, had fought by the side of Charles XII. at the
battle of Pultowa. The colony now began really to prosper, and in 1723
swarms of capuchins, missionaries, jesuits, and pious ursulines, began
to arrive from all directions. These last at least were good for
something. They were entrusted with the education of orphan girls, and
the superintendance of the military hospital, with a pension of fifty
thousand crowns per annum. Intolerance, the inseparable accompaniment of
all privileges, and especially those of religion, began to show itself
in the colony, as soon as the capuchins, jesuits, &c. made their
appearance. In 1724, a royal edict expelled the Jews, as declared
enemies to the Christian name, and they were ordered to disappear in the
course of three months, under penalty of imprisonment and confiscation
of property. It was thus that the throne and church watched then, as it
did before, and has done since, to dry up the most abundant sources of
public prosperity. In 1729, the intrigues of England raised the Indians
against the colony, and thus gave a sad blow to its prosperity. The war
then carried on by General Perrier de Salvert, had a fortunate
termination. Meanwhile it was only through the attachment of some Indian
women to a few French officers, that the garrison escaped being totally
massacred one night; which would have led to the entire destruction of
the colony. In consequence of these late hostilities, and the base
intrigues carried on in the metropolis, the colonists lost their time
together with the fruits of their labours. The company, disgusted and
deceived in their hopes of gain, abandoned the country, which, in 1731,
returned under the dominion of the king, without being any better
governed. In 1759, its financial affairs were in such disorder, that the
treasury owed more than seven millions of francs, although the French
government had expended for various services in Louisiana, nearly double
the amount it had derived from it. Louis XV., at the close of a war
badly conceived, and, in 1763, as badly terminated, having lost Canada,
was upon the point of having Louisiana taken from him. But his
ministers, assisted by Madame Pompadour, his mistress, obtained fifteen
millions from the court of Madrid, and this colony was ceded to Spain
with such secrecy and despatch, that the governor of Louisiana had not
yet received information of the affair when the Spanish ships of war
arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi, with the officers appointed to
take possession of this immense territory. The governor and inhabitants
of Louisiana refused to recognise the Spanish authority, so that the
commissioners were obliged to return to Europe. Three or four years
passed in negotiating with the colonists, who persisted in continuing
under the dominion of France. At length, in 1769, Spain becoming
provoked, sent out General Reilly with considerable forces. Arrived
before New Orleans, Reilly manifested the most conciliatory disposition.
His proclamations only spoke of oblivion for the past, and were
completely successful. The commotions ceased, and the Louisianians
surrendered themselves. As a sign of reconciliation, Reilly gave a grand
entertainment on board his fleet, to which he invited the chief officers
of the colony, and principal inhabitants. These accepted the invitation
with confidence, but at the moment when they were about to leave the
table, Reilly caused them to be seized by his soldiers and shot. One of
these, M. De Villeré, had his life spared, but was put on board a
frigate to be transported to the prisons of Navarre. His wife and
children, informed of the fate that threatened him, wished to go and
petition his highness, or at least to receive his farewell. They were
already near the frigate, from which he stretched out his arms to them,
when the unhappy man fell within their sight, pierced by the bayonets of
the villains whom the traitor Reilly had appointed to guard him.

After this horrible execution, the Spaniards, with four thousand troops
of the line, and a considerable train of artillery, entered New Orleans,
the inhabitants of which were struck dumb. The English protestants, and
a few Jews, who had escaped the force of the royal decree of 1724, were
soon banished by the new authorities. All commerce with the colony was
prohibited except with Spain and her possessions. A court martial was
established, and its iniquitous decisions struck at all the French
officers who remained. Of these, five were shot, and seven others
thrown, for ten years, into the prisons of Havana. The infamous Reilly,
having for a whole year gorged himself with blood and plunder, at length
set sail, carrying with him the scorn and hatred of the whole
population. His successors in the government had great difficulty in
doing away the effects of his crimes, and it is due them to say that
they succeeded. During thirty-three years of Spanish dominion, the
colony enjoyed peace and prosperity, and to this very day, the names of
Don Unsuga, Don Martin Navarro, and Don Galvar, are remembered there
with veneration.

During all the changes experienced by Louisiana, its boundaries had
never been determined with accuracy. In 1795, the government of the
United States made a treaty with Spain, in virtue of which the limits
were traced, and the free navigation of the Mississippi secured to the
two contracting parties. But notwithstanding this treaty the owners of
privateers, and crews of vessels of war, made spoliations upon the
commerce of the United States. Free navigation of the Mississippi, and
permission of landing at New Orleans, were refused the Americans.
President Adams, therefore, immediately took measures to obtain redress.
Twelve regiments were raised, and an expedition fitted out upon the Ohio
to descend to Louisiana. But some changes occurring in American politics
caused this project to be abandoned for the moment. The next year, Mr.
Jefferson, then president of the United States, re-demanded of Spain the
fulfilment of the treaty. This power, sensible of its weakness, and
fearing to be compelled to cede the colony, secretly sold it to the
French Republic on the 21st of March, 1801. Upon hearing of this cession
the American government were justly alarmed. It foresaw, that the
activity and intelligence of the French, applied to so rich and
productive a soil, would make them more formidable than the Spaniards;
that their new neighbours might be able to close the navigation of the
Mississippi against them, and possess themselves of the commerce of the
Gulf of Mexico and Antilles. It immediately formed the project of
forcibly opposing the occupation of Louisiana by France, and joined
England against her. But this plan was overthrown by the treaty of
Amiens. At peace with England, France feared no further obstacles to her
projects, and an expedition was fitted out by her to take possession of
Louisiana, and at the same time support her wavering authority in St.
Domingo. The American government immediately had recourse to
negotiations for the purpose of purchasing Louisiana. Affairs, at that
time, changed with such rapidity, that the situation of France had again
altered before these propositions reached her. Threatened with a new war
by England, wearied with the struggle to defend St. Domingo, loaded with
a considerable debt due the United States, the first consul thought that
the sale of Louisiana would prove a good operation, the opportunity of
effecting which might relieve him from one difficulty, at least. He
accordingly sold it. The United States agreed to pay him fifteen
millions of dollars, on condition that three millions seven hundred and
fifty thousand dollars of this sum, should be retained for the purpose
of paying the claims held by the American merchants against France, for
the spoliations they had suffered. This treaty, signed at Paris the 30th
of April, 1803, by Messrs. Livingston and Monroe on the part of the
United States, and Mr. Barbé Marbois for France, was ratified in the
month of October, and the transfer of the colony to the American
commissioners took place on the 20th of December in the same year.

All the parties interested in this bargain had reason to be satisfied
with its conclusion. France, freeing herself from the trouble of a
distant government, more burthensome than profitable, received sixty
millions of francs, which she needed to carry on the war, and, without
expending a cent, discharged a debt due the American merchants of nearly
twenty millions. The United States strengthened their independence,
acquired new frontiers more secure than the old ones, established her
commercial preponderance in the Gulf of Mexico and Antilles, and, by the
free navigation of the Mississippi, increased an hundred fold the value
of the products of the states west of the Allegany. In fine, Louisiana
herself, by entering into the great federal compact, secured an
honourable and independent existence as a body politic, and soon saw her
industry and prosperity freed from the cunning schemes of a capricious

Louisiana was immediately erected into a territorial government, by the
congress of the United States, which appointed Mr. Clayborne its
governor. In 1811, it was admitted a member of the Union, and left to
form its own government and institutions. The representatives of the
people, freely elected and assembled at New Orleans, framed and signed a
constitution, which was laid before, and sanctioned by congress. This
constitution was in conformity with, and very similar to those of the
other states, except that the Louisianians believed it their duty to
adopt every possible precaution against corruption and abuse of power.
Thus, for example, it was decided that every person, convicted of having
given or offered presents to public functionaries, should be declared
incapable of serving as governor, senator, or representative.

If I thought it necessary to seek fresh proofs of the superiority of an
independent over a colonial government, whether this last proceed from a
monarchy or republic, it would suffice to point out Louisiana, at first
a colony for nearly a century, without advancing beyond the stage of
infancy, incessantly taken and retaken, sometimes by the Spaniards, at
others by the French, and always incapable of resisting either the one
or the other, after an expense to its metropolis of one hundred and
eighty-seven thousand dollars per annum; and, in fine, after the
numerous emigrations from Europe, exhibiting but a meagre population of
about forty thousand souls, spread over a vast and rich territory. I
would next show this same Louisiana, after twenty years of independent
republican government, having more than trebled its population,
defeating under the walls of its rich capital, an army composed of the
chosen troops of England; receiving into its ports annually more than
four hundred ships to exchange its valuable products for those of all
parts of the habitable globe; and, in its cities, offering all the
resources, all the enjoyments that can contribute to the happiness of
life, and which are ordinarily the products of a long period of

The state of Louisiana, enclosed within its new limits, is situated
between 29° and 33° n. l. and 12° and 17° of longitude. It is bounded on
the north by Arkansas territory, east by the Mississippi, south by the
Mexican gulf, and west by the Mexican provinces of Texas. It contains
forty-eight thousand square miles, divided into twenty-six parishes or
counties. It has a population of 153,500 souls, among which,
unfortunately, nearly 70,000 slaves are enumerated. The capital of this
state is New Orleans, a city admirably situated in a commercial point of
view, regularly laid out, ornamented with fine buildings, and containing
twenty-eight thousand inhabitants. The greatest inconvenience which New
Orleans labours under, is its situation upon the alluvial shores of the
Mississippi, by whose floods it is often inundated. This is perhaps the
principal cause of the yellow fever which is experienced there almost
every autumn. The impossibility of finding a single stone in all this
alluvial ground, shows why the principal streets have been left unpaved,
so that during the rainy season it is difficult to go about on foot. The
walks made in front of the houses scarcely serve to keep foot passengers
from the mud, and do not prevent the carriages from sinking sometimes to
their axles. The authorities, however, have at length begun to procure
paving stone from up the Mississippi, which the vessels bring as
ballast. This plan, though tedious and expensive, is the only one

The greater number of travellers who have visited New Orleans, pretend
that the manners of the city are strongly influenced by the presence of
the numerous emigrants from St. Domingo. These have the reputation of
loving pleasure to licentiousness, and of treating their slaves badly.
The love of gambling, and the duels so often occasioned by this passion,
give rise, it is said, to much disorder among them. To confirm or
disprove this opinion by my own observation, would be, in me, culpable
arrogance. My too short stay in this city did not permit me to study the
character of its society, and I could only be struck with the patriotic
spirit, the freedom and hospitality, displayed with enthusiasm in the
presence of General Lafayette.[8]

Twenty-four hours after leaving New Orleans, we arrived at Duncan’s
Point, where the citizens of Baton-Rouge, a town situated eight miles
above, had previously sent a deputation to General Lafayette, to request
him to stop a short time amongst them. The general accepted the
invitation with gratitude, and two hours afterwards we landed below the
amphitheatre upon which the town of Baton-Rouge stands. The beach was
crowded with citizens, at the head of whom marched the municipal
authorities, and the first regiment of the Union came to form itself in
line under the same star-spangled banner, which, in defiance of the
greatest dangers, had but lately been planted upon the ruins of Spanish
despotism, by the inhabitants of these parishes. Accompanied by the
people and magistrates, the general proceeded to the room prepared for
his reception, in which he found the busts of Washington and Jackson
crowned with flowers and laurel. There he received the expressions of
kindness from all the citizens, with whom he went to the fort, the
garrison of which received him with a salute of twenty-four guns, and
afterwards defiled before him. We then entered the main building to
examine the interior of the barracks, but what was our surprise, on
entering into the first apartment, to find in the place of beds, arms,
and warlike equipments, a numerous assemblage of elegantly dressed and
beautiful ladies, who surrounded the general and offered him
refreshments and flowers. The general was sensibly touched by this
agreeable surprise, and passed some delightful moments in the midst of
this seducing garrison. On our return to town, we found a great number
of citizens met to offer the general a public dinner, among whom the
frank cordiality of the American, and the amenity of the French
characters prevailed.

It was almost night when we returned on board the Natchez to continue
our voyage. On leaving Baton-Rouge, we had the mortification to part
again with some of those who had accompanied us from New Orleans, and
among others, with Mr. Duplantier, senior, whose active and tender
friendship, as well as that of his son, had been of great service to the

Baton-Rouge stands upon the left bank of the river, one hundred and
thirty-seven miles above New Orleans. In this passage, the navigation of
the river is very interesting. For several miles after leaving New
Orleans, the eye reposes agreeably upon the shores, enriched with fine
cotton and sugar plantations, and embellished with clusters of orange
trees, from the midst of which rise the white and showy dwellings of the
planters. By degrees the gardens and houses become more rare; but all
the way to Baton-Rouge one continues to see fine and well cultivated
lands. These plantations spread along the river, sometimes extending
nearly a mile back to the thick forests, which serve as their limits.
The soil is entirely formed of the fertile sediments deposited by the
ancient inundations of the Mississippi, now confined to its channel by
artificial banks. A special law enjoins it upon each river proprietor to
keep up with care that portion of dike opposite his property, so that
one every where sees the slaves continually engaged in driving down
stakes, interlacing the branches of trees, and heaping earth here and
there where there is danger that the river will force a passage. But
notwithstanding all precautions, the water often rushes furiously over
these obstacles, and spreads devastation and death. Not a year passes
without some proprietor having the misfortune to see snatched from him
in a few minutes the fruits of long and laborious exertions. All the
lands which border the Mississippi, from its outlet to six hundred miles
above, are subject to inundations. Nevertheless, on leaving Baton-Rouge,
the left shore appears sufficiently elevated above the surface of the
water to be free from these accidents.

The distance between Baton-Rouge and Natchez, is two hundred and sixty
miles. This we ran in thirty-two hours, having had a pleasant passage,
in the course of which we met a great many boats of all forms and sizes,
laden with all sorts of productions from the most distant points of the
Union. Those which more particularly attracted our attention were large
and of a square form, without either masts, sails, or oars. They floated
down the river at the mercy of the current, and bore more resemblance to
enormous boxes than to boats. They are called _arks_, and are commonly
manned by Kentuckians, who go in this way to New Orleans, to dispose of
their grain, poultry, and cattle. There, after receiving pay for their
produce, they sell also the planks of their arks, which cannot ascend
the river, and return to their homes on foot, across the forests of the
states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. More than fifteen hundred
persons, it is said, travel thus, every summer, seventeen hundred miles
by water, and afterwards, in returning, eleven hundred on foot.[9]

On Monday, the 18th of April, some distant discharges of cannon, which
we heard at dawn, announced our approach to a city. Some minutes
afterwards, the first rays of the sun gilding the shores of the
Mississippi, which, in this place, rose a hundred and fifty feet above
the surface of the water, showed us the tops of the houses in Natchez.
Our steam-boat stopped a little while previous to arriving opposite the
town, and we went on shore at Bacon’s landing, where the citizens, with
a calash and four horses, and an escort of cavalry and volunteer
infantry, were waiting for the general. We might have landed a little
higher up and entered the city by a more direct road, but the members of
the committee of arrangement had the address to conduct us by a devious
road, along which our eyes were presented with all the beauties of the
country. In proportion as we advanced, the escort increased. It
consisted of citizens on horseback, militia on foot, ladies in
carriages, and nearly the whole population, who came in a crowd to see
their beloved and long expected guest. Two addresses were made to the
general; one by the president of the committee of arrangement, on
entering the city; the other by the mayor, on one of the most elevated
spots on the banks of the Mississippi, within view of the town and the
river, its source of prosperity. At the moment the general finished his
reply, a man suddenly emerged from the crowd, approached the calash,
waving his hat in the air, and cried out, “Honour to the commander of
the Parisian national guard! I was under your orders in ’91, my general,
in one of the battalions of the Filles-Saint-Thomas. I still love
liberty as I loved it then: Live, Lafayette!” The general was agreeably
surprised to meet, on the shores of a distant country, one of his old
citizen soldiers, who recalled to him in so touching a manner the happy
times when he could rationally think of the happiness and liberty of his
country. He affectionately offered him his hand, and expressed to him
the pleasure he felt in thus meeting him in a land of liberty and

At the moment we were preparing to enter our hotel, we observed a long
procession of children of both sexes approaching us. They were led by
Colonel Marshall, who requested of the general for them, and in their
name, permission to shake hands with him. The general willingly complied
with this wish of the children of Natchez, who marched in order before
him, placing successively one of their little hands in that which had
fought for the liberty of their fathers. The parents, spectators of this
scene, contemplated it with silence and emotion. On its termination, I
heard them congratulate each other on the happy influence which this day
would have upon the future characters of their children. “When they have
grown up,” said they, “and come to read their country’s history, they
will find the name of Lafayette intimately connected with all the events
which led to the freedom of their fathers, they will recall the
gentleness of his manners, the mildness of his voice, when he received
them in their infancy, and will feel an increased love for a liberty won
by such a man.”

The inhabitants of Natchez neglected nothing which could contribute to
the pleasure of their guest during the twenty-four hours he remained
with them. The public dinner concluded with toasts, _To the Nation’s
Guest_—_The triumph of Yorktown_—_France fighting for the liberty of the
world_—_The victory of New Orleans_—in fact to all glorious and
patriotic American recollections. It was not until after the ball which
closed about daybreak, that the general could think of embarking. The
ladies employed all the charms of mind and person to retain him as long
as possible, but our minutes were counted; and six o’clock in the
morning found us again on board our vessel.

At the moment when the general was about to leave the shore, an old
revolutionary soldier presented himself, and uncovering his breast
marked with scars, “these wounds,” said he, “are my pride. I received
them fighting by your side for the independence of my country. Your
blood, my general, flowed the same day at the battle of Brandywine,
where we were so unfortunate.” “It was indeed a rough day,” said the
general to him, “but have we not since been amply indemnified?”—“Oh!
that is very true,” replied the veteran, “at present we are happy beyond
our furthest wishes. You receive the blessings of ten millions of
freemen, and I press the hand of my brave general! virtue always has its
reward!” Every one applauded the enthusiasm and frankness of the old
soldier, whom the general cordially greeted.

On leaving Natchez, we parted from the worthy Mr. Johnson, governor of
Louisiana, who would not consent to leave the general whilst within his
own state. He now placed us under the care of the state of Mississippi,
and left with us, for the purpose of doing the honours of Louisiana as
far as St. Louis, Messrs. Prieur, recorder of the councils of New
Orleans, Caire, his private secretary, and Morse and Ducros, his
aides-de-camp. In taking leave of the governor, General Lafayette
evinced the most sincere affection, and desired him to express in his
name all the gratitude with which he was penetrated by his cordial
reception in Louisiana.

Natchez was formerly the capital of the state of Mississippi, but has
ceased to be so in consequence of not being in a central situation. Its
population is nearly three thousand, and its port is the place of rest
and provisioning for vessels passing between New Orleans and the western
states, which gives it a great deal of activity. This city was founded
in 1717, by some French soldiers and workmen who had been in the
garrison of Fort Rosalie, and who, finding the situation good,
established themselves upon it after obtaining their discharge. The most
of them bought their lands from the Indians, who lived at some distance
from the river, where they had five villages situated very near each
other. That which they called the _Great Village_, where the principal
chief of the nation resided, stood on a small stream called White River.
It was to the west of this village that the Frenchmen, led by Hubert and
Lepage, had erected Fort Rosalie.

When one has viewed the environs of Natchez, it is easy to conceive how
readily the first settlers renounced their own country to fix themselves
in these then savage wilds. It is difficult to find a more fertile soil,
a more vigorous vegetation, or more agreeable and varied situations. The
valleys afford fertile pastures, the hills are crowned with sassafras,
catalpas, tulip-trees, and the superb magnolia grandiflora, the tops of
which rise more than one hundred feet high, while their large white
flowers deliciously perfume the air. Nevertheless, one cannot exclude
the thought, that these verdant meadows, cool groves, and cheerful and
vigorous nature, are sometimes visited and rendered melancholy by the
yellow fever.

Natchez is the only town in Mississippi which we visited, so that I have
little to say relative to this state. I shall only mention, that for a
long time, with Alexandria, it formed a part of the state of Georgia,
from which it was separated in 1800; that in 1817 it took its place in
the Union as an independent body politic, and framed for itself a
constitution. The fertility of its soil, and facilities of sending its
productions to market, have contributed, in a singular degree, to the
increase of its population. In 1800, it had only six thousand eight
hundred and fifty inhabitants, while it now contains seventy-six
thousand. If in this number, about thirty-thousand slaves are included,
its prosperity must still be regarded as very great. Many large fortunes
are found in this state, where it is not uncommon to meet with planters
having incomes of seven or eight thousand dollars. The staple products
are cotton and Indian corn.

The state of Mississippi is situated between the 30th and 35th degrees
of north latitude, and the 11th and 14th degrees of west longitude from
Washington. Its surface contains forty-five thousand three hundred and
fifty square miles. It is bounded on the north by the state of
Tennessee, east by Alabama, south by Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico,
and west by Louisiana and Arkansas. Although the population is very much
scattered, the land bears a considerable price, being on the banks of
the river from fifty to sixty dollars per acre. The price lessens in
proportion to the distance which the products have to be transported.

In leaving Natchez, we parted as it were from the civilized world. From
this town to St. Louis, we did not meet with a single assemblage of
houses that deserved the name of town or even village. The banks of the
Mississippi again became flat, and presented nothing but grounds
overflown and covered with thick forests, impenetrable to the rays of
the sun. The swarms of musquitoes which rose out of it and settled in
thick clouds upon travellers, rendered the voyage almost insupportable,
especially during the night, if we had not taken the precaution to
provide musquito curtains. The only habitations we met with were large
cabins, situated upon places a little elevated above the level of the
river. These were inhabited temporarily by hardy speculators from the
north, who, always abandoning the _good_ in hopes of finding _better_,
retreat incessantly before the advance of civilization, and seek their
fortunes in the wilderness. The dangers of the navigation increase with
the monotony of the shores. Every moment presents some evidence of
recent disaster. Here, one beholds the ravages of a hurricane which has
crossed the river, and, in its devastation, has on both shores uprooted
and carried off, as if they had been weak reeds, thousands of trees,
which by their prodigious size were the pride of the forest. There, our
captain showed us a snag or sawyer, the inclined point of which had
pierced the bottom of a boat, immediately afterwards swallowed up by the
flood. Further on, the wood-choppers, in giving us the necessary
supplies of wood, told us of the explosion of a boiler which occasioned
the death of near forty passengers; and it was not long before we
ourselves saw the bank covered with travellers, who were impatiently
waiting until their boat which had been pierced by a snag, should be
repaired so as to be in a condition again to brave the danger from which
they had so narrowly escaped.

These snags and sawyers, so formidable to the navigator, are very
numerous all along the river. Snags are thrown into the stream by high
floods, and, having floated some time, become fixed to the bottom of the
river, with their tops either above or below the surface according to
their length, but always inclining in the direction of the current. The
sawyers differ from snags only in being firmly stuck in the bed of the
river, and in this situation the current keeps them in constant
vibration, alternately raising and depressing their summits. As their
position often changes, it is difficult to avoid them; and, if vessels
in ascending the river are so unfortunate as to strike against them,
their destruction is almost inevitable, for they are pierced in such a
manner, that the water pours through the opening, and sinks them,
sometimes in a few minutes.

But persons are little disposed to be uneasy on account of these
dangers, when, as in our case, they are on board a vessel skilfully
managed, with all the delicacies of life, and inexhaustible resources
afforded by the society of good and agreeable travelling companions. The
committee of New Orleans were joined by two gentlemen from Natchez, as
representatives of the state of Mississippi, near the person of General
Lafayette. To the attentions and gaiety of the members of both these
deputations, we were indebted for not having known a moment of
tediousness or inquietude, during our long voyage. After having sailed
for five days, with the states of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri, on
our left, and the states of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky, on our
right, we arrived at the mouth of Ohio, without any delays but those
necessary to take in wood. This fuel was sometimes supplied us by the
woodmen on the borders of the river, who live by the unlimited forests
which surround them. When we could find no woodmen we often supplied
ourselves. In this case, our captain, after having made his men take in
the necessary quantity, left in exchange a note nailed to a tree, upon
which was inscribed the number of cords he had taken, the name of his
boat, his place of residence, date of his passage, and signature. This
kind of commerce with the Mississippi woodmen is very common, and I have
heard it said that there never has been known an example of bad faith on
the part of the purchasers, who always show themselves most scrupulous
in paying their accounts, which are often presented months afterwards at
Natchez and New Orleans.

When arrived at the mouth of the Ohio, we had come from the city of
Natchez four hundred and fifty miles. Our pilot assured us then, that
the upper part of the Mississippi was too little known to him, to permit
him to conduct us through the midst of dangers which were met with at
every moment. In consequence of this declaration, our good Captain Davis
made us enter the Ohio for the purpose of obtaining a new pilot, at the
distance of four miles from its mouth, whom we were so happy as to
procure immediately. On going thither, we met a steam-boat, whose
narrowness and unsteady motion induced us to think, that, destined for
the navigation of small streams, it only appeared upon the agitated
waters of a large one upon extraordinary occasions. This steam-boat was
the Artizan, bearing the Tennessee deputation, sent to desire the
general to ascend the Cumberland river to Nashville, where he had been a
long time expected, and where his intention of visiting St. Louis was
not then known. After a short conference with the deputies of the state
of Tennessee, who insisted strongly that the general should proceed
immediately to their shores, it was determined that we should continue
our voyage in the Natchez to St. Louis; that a part of the Tennessee
deputation should come with us, and the rest remain on board the Artizan
at the mouth of the Ohio until our return. These arrangements, concluded
to the satisfaction of every one, we left the _beautiful_, to enter
again the _great_ river. We remarked, with surprise, that at the
confluence of these two bodies of water, the current appeared suspended
for several miles, which seems to indicate the equality in volume and
force of the two rivers at this place.

After leaving the mouth of the Ohio, the appearance of the shores of the
Mississippi changes entirely. The lands, more elevated, present a
greater number of houses. From place to place traces of the old French
establishments are visible, and beautiful islands like gardens, often
present themselves to the eye of the navigator, interrupting the
monotony of the river. At first he sees the isle of Birds, charming for
its freshness; next those called the Two Sisters and the Dog’s Tooth;
and then English Island, which recalls the first settlement made by the
English in the midst of these wilds in the year 1765. This was soon
destroyed by the savages, who saw with pain their old French friends
dispossessed by traders whom they had never before seen. At about forty
miles from the confluence, and almost opposite each other, rise capes
Girardeau and Lacroix, both thus named by Mr. De Frontenac, governor of
Canada, sent to ascertain the truth of the assertion made by the
Indians, that _from the north there came a great river which ran neither
in the direction whence the Great Spirit rose, nor towards that in which
he set_. There is at present at Cape Girardeau a small village, recently
founded, which begins to prosper. A little above, on the eastern side,
are seen the ruins of ancient fortifications exhibiting a scene
altogether picturesque. These are the remains of fort Chartres,
constructed at great expense by the French, in 1753, for the defence of
Upper Mississippi, now deserted by the Americans as altogether useless.

Some hours after having passed fort Chartres, whilst we walked the deck,
our captain pointed out in the river a flock of young Louisiana geese,
led by the two old ones. The elegant shape, and beautiful plumage of
these fowls, made me anxious to get possession of the whole family. I
immediately launched into the river a skiff manned with two sailors,
and, going in the direction of the old goose, endeavoured to get the
boat between her and shore. The old geese, taking fright, made their
escape with loud cries, but the young ones, unable yet to fly, or escape
by climbing the steep banks, soon fell into our hands. We carried off
five, which our captain had the goodness to take charge of, promising to
raise them with care, and forward them to New Orleans, whence Mr. Caire
engaged to send them to La Grange, for the benefit of the general’s
farm.[10] As I was returning from this little expedition, I perceived,
in the middle of the river, another very tempting game. This was a
superb deer, which swam with as much calmness and ease as though it were
in its native element. When it heard our cries, mingled with the noise
of our steam-boat, it threw its long branching antlers upon its
shoulders, and sunk in the water to escape our notice, swimming rapidly
for the swiftest part of the current. As soon as it thought itself free
from the danger of pursuit, it re-appeared above water, shook its
antlers proudly, and tranquilly resumed its course. It is by no means
rare, as we were informed, to see many of these animals thus passing
from one shore of the river to the other, and visiting the fertile
islands which adorn its course.

At the distance of one hundred miles from the Ohio, the shores of the
Mississippi suddenly assume a more imposing appearance, rising steeply
eighty or a hundred feet above the level of the water. They are composed
of very hard granite. In their whole height they are impressed with deep
horizontal furrows, which appear to have been caused by the friction of
the water, whilst the river was at the different levels which they
indicate. Some of these furrows are nearly a foot deep. They occur at
unequal intervals, and mark the successive decrease of the water. At the
actual level of the river the furrow is scarcely perceptible. What a
length of time has, therefore, been occupied in the formation of each
furrow by the sole action of the water upon a rock of such hardness? The
solution of this single question would, perhaps, throw a good deal of
difficulty into the calculations of the system-makers, who pretend to
fix the epoch of the creation of our globe.

Some distance above, these steep rocks leave between them and the river
a considerable space, in which is situated Herculaneum. The site of this
village is altogether romantic, the towers, formed upon the rock, which
crowns it irregularly, impart a fantastic character, and attract the
curiosity of travellers. From the height of these towers, which spring
from the steep rock, they throw down melted lead, which cools by rolling
in the air, becomes round, and falls in the form of small shot into
large receivers of water, placed beneath. The large or small size of the
holes in the iron sieve, through which it is thrown while boiling hot,
give the various sizes wanted for hunting. The lead mines found in
abundance upon the shores of the Merrimac river, which empties into the
Mississippi ten miles from this place, have given origin to these
establishments, the prosperity of which increases every day.

On the evening of the 28th, we arrived at a poor little village which
the French formerly founded under the sad name of Empty Pocket, better
known at the present day by the name of Carondelet. Although we were not
above six or seven miles from St. Louis, as we could not get there by
day light, the members of the different committees in attendance upon
the general, resolved to pass the night at anchor in the river, and wait
till next morning to enter the town. No sooner were the inhabitants of
Carondelet informed of the presence of General Lafayette in their
vicinity, than they came in crowds on board the boat to see him. They
were nearly all Frenchmen. For a long time, their settlement has
consisted of only about sixty houses, and does not promise to increase.
Unsuited to commerce, it was only occupied with agriculture, which is
still its chief means of obtaining the necessaries of life. The most of
them came from Canada, and fixed themselves upon a portion of land along
the Mississippi without inquiring who owned it. They laboured, some for
ten, others for twenty years; and none of them thought of securing the
titles to the little farms produced by the sweat of their brows. At
present, whilst the government of the United States are selling much of
the land it possesses in these regions, these unfortunate people run a
constant risk of seeing themselves dispossessed by purchasers who come
to claim their property. They mentioned their inquietudes to the
general, who promised to represent their situation to the federal
government, and interest himself in their behalf. These good people, in
the simplicity of their gratitude, offered him whom they already
regarded as their protector, every thing which they thought would be
agreeable; one of them brought him tame Mississippi geese; another, a
young fawn which he had raised; a third, petrifactions and shells which
he looked upon as precious. The general saw that if he refused these
presents their feelings would be wounded; and therefore hastened to
accept them and return his acknowledgements.

On the morning of the 29th of April, Governor Clark, of Missouri,
Governor Coles of Illinois, and Colonel Benton, came on board; who all
three came to accompany the general to St. Louis. Some minutes after,
the steam-boat Plough Boy, having on board a great number of citizens,
ranged along side the Natchez, and the nation’s guest was saluted by
three cheers, which made the forests of the Missouri resound with
_Welcome, Lafayette_. We then weighed anchor, and at nine o’clock saw a
large number of buildings whose architecture was very fantastical,
rising from the midst of beautiful green shrubbery and smiling gardens,
commanding distant views of the river. This was the city of St. Louis.
Its name, and the language of a great portion of its inhabitants, soon
informed us of its origin. But if we were struck with the diversity of
languages in which General Lafayette was saluted, we were not less so by
the unity of sentiment which they manifested. The shore was covered by
the whole population, who mingled their cries of joy with the roar of
the cannon of our two vessels. The moment the general stepped on shore,
the mayor, Dr. Lane, presented himself at the head of the municipal
authorities, and greeted him with an address.

As the general concluded his reply to the mayor, an elegant calash drawn
by four horses approached the shore, to conduct him to the city, through
all the streets of which he was drawn in the midst of the acclamations
of the people. He was attended by Mr. Augustus Choteau, a venerable old
gentleman by whom St. Louis was founded, Mr. Hempstead, an old soldier
of the revolution, and the mayor. These gentlemen conducted him to the
house of the son of Mr. Choteau, prepared for his reception, which was
thrown open to all citizens without distinction, who desired to visit
the national guest. Among the visiters, the general met with pleasure
Mr. Hamilton, son of General Alexander Hamilton, the former aide-de-camp
to Washington, whom he so much loved, and an old French sergeant of
Rochambeau’s army named Bellissime. This last could not restrain the joy
he felt on seeing a countryman thus honoured by the American nation.

The inhabitants of St. Louis knew that General Lafayette could only
remain a few hours with them, and they took advantage of the short time
he had to dispose of to show him every thing which their city and its
environs contained worthy of notice. While dinner was preparing at Mr.
Peter Choteau’s, we rode out in a carriage to visit on the banks of the
river those remains of ancient Indian monuments which some travellers
call tombs, whilst others regard them as fortifications or places for
the performance of religious ceremonies. All these opinions are
unfortunately equally susceptible of discussion, for these monuments
have not preserved any sufficiently well marked characters to afford
foundation for satisfactory deductions. Those near St. Louis are nothing
but mounds covered with green turf, the ordinary shape of which is an
oblong square. Their common height is little more than eight feet, but
must have been much greater before the earth they are built of was
thrown down during the lapse of ages. Their sides are inclined, and the
mean length of their base is from eighty to a hundred feet, their width
varying from thirty to sixty feet. What leads me to believe that these
fabrics of earth have never been used as strong holds in war, is, that
not one of them is surrounded by ditches, and they are placed too near
together. These mounds are not only met with in the environs of St.
Louis, but all over the states of Missouri, Indiana, and upon the
borders of Ohio, where, we are informed, they meet with much more
interesting traces of the greatest antiquity, indicating that this world
which we call _new_, was the seat of civilization, perhaps long anterior
to the continent of Europe.[11]

From the mounds of Saint Louis to the junction of Mississippi and
Missouri, we should only have had two or three hours ride, but the time
of the general was so calculated that we were obliged to forego the
pleasure we should have derived from visiting the union of these two
rivers, which have their sources in countries where nature yet reigns
undisturbed. Returned to town, we went to see the collection of Indian
curiosities made by Governor Clark, which is the most complete that is
to be found. We visited it with the greater pleasure from its being
shown us by Mr. Clark, who had himself collected all the objects which
compose it, while exploring the distant western regions with Captain
Lewis. Specimens of all the clothing, arms, and utensils for fishing,
hunting, and war, in use among the various tribes living on the sources
of the Missouri and Mississippi, are here to be found. Among the
articles commonly worn by the Indian hunters, collars made of claws of
prodigious size, particularly struck our attention. These claws, Gen.
Clark informed us, are from that most terrible of all the animals of the
American continent, the Grizzly Bear, of the Missouri, the ferocious
instinct of which adds still more to the terror inspired by its enormous
size and strength. The bears of this species meet together to the number
of ten or twelve, and some times more, to chase and make a common
division of their prey. Man is their favourite prey, and when they fall
upon his track, they chase him with _outcries_ like those made by our
hounds in coursing a hare, and it is difficult to escape the steadiness
of their pursuit.[12] This animal is altogether unknown in Europe, even
in the largest menageries. The London Cabinet of Natural History
possesses only a single claw, which is regarded as a great rarity.[13]
Gen. Clark has visited, near the sources of the Missouri and
Mississippi, Indian tribes which, previous to his visit, had never seen
a white man; but among whom he nevertheless discovered traces of an
ancient people more civilized than themselves. Thus, for example, he
brought away with him a whip which the riders of these tribes do not
understand the mode of using on their horses at the present time. The
knots of this are very complex, and actually arranged like the _knout_
of the Cossacks. He presented General Lafayette with a garment bearing a
striking resemblance to a Russian riding coat. It is made of buffaloe
skin, prepared so as to retain all its pliancy, as if dressed by the
most skilful tanner. From these and some other facts, Mr. Clark, and
Captain Lewis, his companion, concluded that there formerly existed,
near the pole, a communication between Asia and America. These two
intrepid travellers published in 1814, an interesting account of the
journeys made by them in 1804, 5, and 6, by order of the American
government, the object being to explore the sources of the Missouri, and
the course of the Columbia river, till it reaches the Pacific ocean.

We could have remained a considerable longer time in Governor Clark’s
museum, listening to the interesting accounts which he was pleased to
give us relative to his great journeys, but were informed that the hour
for dinner had arrived, and we went to the house of Mr. Peter Choteau.
On our way we visited a portion of the town which we had not before
seen, and were surprised at the whimsical manner in which some of the
houses, apparently the most ancient, were constructed. They generally
consisted of a single story, surrounded by a gallery covered with a wide
projecting roof. Some one pointed out to us, that formerly the basement
was not inhabited, and that the stair-way leading to the upper story was
moveable at pleasure. This precaution was used by the first inhabitants
of St. Louis for the purpose of guarding against the insidious nocturnal
attacks of the Indians, who saw with jealousy the whites making
permanent settlements among them. When St. Louis, then a feeble village,
passed under the Spanish authority, the neighbouring Indians were still
so numerous and enterprising, that the inhabitants could scarcely resist
them, or even venture abroad. It is related, that, in 1794, an Indian
chief entered St. Louis, with a portion of his tribe, and having
demanded an interview, spoke as follows: “We come to offer you peace. We
have made war against you for a great many moons, and what has been the
result? Nothing. Our warriors have used every means to fight with yours,
but you will not, and dare not meet us! You are a pack of old women!
What can be done with such people, since they will not fight, but make
peace? I come therefore to you to bury the hatchet, brighten the chain,
and open a new communication with you.”

Since that time the tribes have greatly diminished, and most of them
departed. Those still remaining in the vicinity show the most peaceable
disposition towards the white inhabitants, with whom they carry on a
considerable trade in furs. The inhabitants of St. Louis are, besides,
sufficiently numerous no longer to fear such neighbours. The population
amounts to nearly six thousand souls, which number will probably be
doubled in a few years, for this city has the prospect of a brilliant
destiny in these vast regions, in the midst of which civilization, under
the guidance of American liberty and industry, must run a giant’s
course. St. Louis is already the grand store-house of all the commerce
of the countries west of the Mississippi. Its situation near the
junction of four or five great rivers, all of whose branches, which
spread to the most distant extremities of the Union, furnish an easy and
rapid communication with all those places which can contribute to the
wants or luxuries of its happy inhabitants. Into what astonishment is
the mind thrown on reflecting that such a height of prosperity is the
result of but a few years, and that the founder of so flourishing a city
still lives, and, for a long time, has been in the enjoyment of the
results which he neither could have hoped for, nor anticipated, had it
been predicted to his young and ardent imagination on first approaching
the solitary shores of the Mississippi. This enterprising man, who, with
his axe, felled the first tree of the ancient forest on the place where
the city of St. Louis stands, who raised the first house, about which,
in so short a time, were grouped the edifices of a rich city; who, by
his courage and conciliating spirit, at first repressed the rage of the
Indians, and afterwards secured their friendship; this happy man is Mr.
Augustus Choteau. I have already named him among those appointed by the
inhabitants of St. Louis to do the honours of their city to the guest of
the American nation. It was at the house of his son, Mr. Peter Choteau,
that we partook of the feast of republican gratitude. It was highly
interesting to behold seated at the table the founder of a great city,
one of the principal defenders of the independence of a great nation,
and the representatives of four young republics, already rich from their
industry, powerful from their liberty, and happy from the wisdom of
their institutions. As might be readily supposed, the conversation was
highly interesting. Mr. Augustus Choteau was asked a great many
questions respecting his youthful adventures and enterprises. The
companion in arms of Washington was requested to relate some details of
the decisive and glorious campaign of Virginia, and the members of the
different deputations of Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and
Missouri, drew a pleasing picture of the prosperous advancement of their
respective states. In this company, that which touched General Lafayette
most was the prevailing unanimity among the guests, who, though they did
not all speak one language, agreed perfectly in respect to the
excellence of those republican institutions under which it was their
happiness to live. Before leaving the banquet in order to attend the
ball which the ladies were so kind as to prepare for us, some toasts
were exchanged, all of which bore the impression of the harmony existing
between the old French and the new American population. Mr. Delassus,
formerly lieutenant-governor of Louisiana, drank, “_The United States
and France!_ May these two countries produce another Washington and
another Lafayette, to emancipate the rest of the world!” Governor Coles
drank, “_France!_ dear to our hearts from so many recollections, and
above all for having given birth to our Lafayette.” General Lafayette
finished by drinking the health of the venerable patriarch, who, in
1763, founded the town of St. Louis, and immediately afterwards we left
the table for the ball, where we found the most numerous and brilliant
company assembled, as we were informed, that had ever been seen upon the
western shore of the Mississippi. The splendid decorations of the room,
and the beauty of the ladies who graced it, made us completely forget
that we were on the confines of a wilderness which the savages
themselves consider as insufficient for the supply of their simple
wants, since they only frequent it occasionally. We partook of the
pleasures of the evening until near midnight, the hour at which we were
to return on board the Natchez, for the purpose of taking some rest
before daylight, when we were to depart. At the moment we were about to
embark, many citizens of St. Louis had the goodness to offer us several
objects of curiosity, such as bows, arrows, calumets, and dresses of the
Missouri Indians. We accepted with gratitude these testimonies of
benevolence, which we have preserved as agreeable remembrancers of happy
occurrences so far from our country.

                              CHAPTER IX.

  Changes produced in the navigation of the Mississippi since the
      introduction of Steam—Arrival at Kaskaskia—The Canadians and
      Indians—Singular meeting with a young Indian educated among the
      Whites, and returned to savage life—Indian Ballad—State of
      Illinois—Departure from Kaskaskia—Separation of General Lafayette
      and the Louisiana deputation.

Governor Coles, who had embarked with us, requested of General Lafayette
and obtained his consent, that he would not leave the river Mississippi
without visiting the state of Illinois, along which we were to pass in
descending the river. It was decided that we should stop at Kaskaskia, a
large village of that state, and, although nearly eighty miles distant,
we arrived there a little while before noon, so fortunate and rapid was
our navigation. Since the application of steam to navigation, the
changes produced in the relations of the towns on the Mississippi is
prodigious. Formerly the voyage from New Orleans to St. Louis required
three or four months of the most painful toil that can be imagined; the
action of the oar was not always sufficient to overcome the resistance
of the current. They were often obliged to warp the boat by hand,
advancing from time to time with a small boat to tie a rope to a tree or
stone on the shore.[14] This slow and painful operation, the consequent
privations and bad diet, caused diseases among the boatmen, which
ordinarily destroyed one third of the crew. At present the same passage
which is nearly fifteen hundred miles, is made in ten days, without
fatigue, without privations, between a good bed and a good table, and
often in very good company; the return is commonly made in five days; so
that New Orleans and St. Louis, separated by so great a distance, are
now considered as neighbouring cities, whose inhabitants are better
acquainted and visit each other oftener than those of Paris and Bordeaux
can do.

General Lafayette was not expected at Kaskaskia, and nothing had been
prepared for this unforeseen visit. While we were landing some one ran
to the village, which stands a quarter of a mile from the shore, and
quickly returned with a carriage for the general, who, an instant after,
was surrounded by many citizens, who ran before to receive him. In the
escort which formed itself to accompany him, we saw neither military
apparel nor the splendid triumphs we had perceived in the rich cities;
but the accents of joy and republican gratitude which broke upon his
ear, was grateful to his heart, since it proved to him that wherever
American liberty had penetrated, there also the love and veneration of
the people for its founders were perpetuated.

We followed the general on foot, and arrived almost at the same time at
the house of General Edgar, a venerable soldier of the revolution, who
received him with affectionate warmth, and ordered all the doors to be
kept open, that his fellow citizens might enjoy, as well as himself, the
pleasure of shaking hands with the adopted son of America. After a few
minutes had been accorded to the rather tumultuous expression of the
sentiments which the presence of the general inspired, Governor Coles
requested silence, which was accorded with a readiness and deference
that proved to me that his authority rested not only on the law, but
still more on popular affection. He advanced towards Lafayette, about
whom the crowd had increased, and addressed him with emotion in a
discourse in which he depicted the transports his presence excited in
the population of the state of Illinois, and the happy influence which
the remembrance of his visit would produce hereafter on the youthful
witnesses of the enthusiasm of their fathers, for one of the most
valiant founders of their liberty.

During an instant of profound silence, I cast a glance at the assembly,
in the midst of which I found myself, and was struck with astonishment
in remarking their variety and fantastic appearance. Beside men whose
dignity of countenance, the patriotic exaltation of expression, readily
indicated them to be Americans, were others whose coarse dresses,
vivacity, petulance of movement, and the expansive joy of their visages,
strongly recalled to me the peasantry of my own country; behind these,
near to the door, and on the piazza which surrounded the house, stood
some immovable, impassable, large, red, half naked figures, leaning on a
bow or a long rifle: these were the Indians of the neighbourhood.

After a pause of some seconds, the governor resumed his address, which
he concluded by presenting, with great eloquence, a faithful picture of
the benefits which America had derived from its liberty, and the happy
influence which republican institutions would one day exercise on the
rest of the world. When the orator had finished, a slight murmur of
approbation passed through the assembly, and was prolonged until it was
perceived that General Lafayette was about to reply, when an attentive
silence was restored.

After these reciprocal felicitations, another scene not less interesting
commenced. Some old revolutionary soldiers advanced from the crowd, and
came to shake hands with their old general; while he conversed with
them, and heard them, with softened feelings, cite the names of those of
their ancient companions in arms, who also fought at Brandywine and
Yorktown, but for whom it was not ordained to enjoy the fruits of their
toils, nor to unite their voices with that of their grateful country.
The persons whom I had remarked as having some likeness in dress and
manners to our French peasants, went and came with vivacity in all parts
of the hall, or sometimes formed little groups, from the midst of which
could be heard, in the French language, the most open and animated
expressions of joy. Having been introduced to one of these groups by a
member of the committee of Kaskaskia, I was received at first with great
kindness, and was quickly overwhelmed with a volley of questions, as
soon as they found I was a Frenchman, and accompanied general Lafayette.
“What! are you also come from France? Give us then some news from that
fine, that dear country. Are people happy there? Are they free as they
are here? Ah! what pleasure to see our good Frenchmen from _grand
France_!” and the questions followed with such rapidity, that I knew not
which to understand. I was not long in perceiving that these good men
were as ignorant of the things which concerned their mother country, as
they were enthusiastic. They are acquainted with France only by
tradition from the reign of Louis XIV. and they have no idea of the
convulsions which, during the last forty years, have torn the country of
their fathers. “Have you not had,” said one of them to me, who had just
asked me many questions about General Lafayette, which would not have
been asked by an American child ten years of age, “have you not had
another famous general, called Napoleon, who has made many glorious
wars?” I think if Napoleon had heard such a question asked, his vanity
would have been somewhat shocked by it. He, who believed he filled the
universe with his name, because he had overturned some old thrones of
Europe, and destroyed the liberty of France, was yet hardly known on the
banks of the Mississippi; not more than two thousand leagues from the
theatre of his glory, his name is pronounced with an expression of
doubt! Indeed, there is in this something to damp the most ardent
passion for celebrity: I did my best to reply to the question of my
Canadian, to make him comprehend, as well as those who surrounded him,
who was this _famous General Napoleon_. At the recital of his exploits,
they at first clapped their hands, and assumed an air of superiority, in
saying, “These are our brave Frenchmen. It is only among them that men
like these are to be found!” But when I came to tell them how this
famous general caused himself to be made consul; how he made himself
emperor; how he had successively destroyed our liberty, and paralyzed
the exercise of our rights; how, finally, he had himself fallen, leaving
us, after twenty years of war, nearly at the same point whence we had
started at the commencement of our revolution, they all became sad as if
about to weep, and exclaimed: “And you have suffered all that! How, in
beautiful France, and grand France, are they not free as in the state of
Illinois? Good heavens! is it possible? What, can you not write whatever
you please? Cannot you go every where without passports? Is it not you
who nominate the mayors of your towns and villages? Is it not you who
choose your governors, or your prefects of departments or provinces?
Have you not the right to elect your representatives to the national
assembly? Are none of you called to the election of the chief of the
government, although you pay the whole of such heavy taxes? Alas! our
good Frenchmen of grand France are then more to be pitied than the negro
slaves of Louisiana, who are, indeed, miserable enough! for if these
exercise none of the rights which we all exercise here, they at least
pay no money, and have masters that support them.” During these
exclamations, I did not know what to say. The colour mounted to my
cheeks, and I confess that my national vanity suffered singularly to
hear ignorant Canadians express sentiments of pity for my countrymen,
and draw a parallel to their disadvantage between them and miserable
slaves; but these sentiments were too well founded to admit of my
complaining, and I was silent. I only made a promise to myself to be
more discreet for the future, and not to speak with so much freedom of
the political situation of my country before freemen.

While I was occupied with the Canadians, the crowd, influenced by a
feeling of delicacy and kind attention, insensibly withdrew, to leave
General Lafayette time to take a few moments’ repose while waiting for
the banquet which the citizens had hastily prepared. Wishing to profit
by the short time we had to remain at Kaskaskia, Mr. George Lafayette
and myself went out to view the environs of the village, in company with
some of the inhabitants, and left the general with our other travelling
companions and some old revolutionary soldiers, at Colonel Edgar’s. At
the public square we found nearly all the citizens walking about, and
joyously conversing upon the event of the day. We found in their groups
the same variety of physiognomy that had struck me in the hall. While
Mr. George gathered from an American, the details of the origin and
present situation of Kaskaskia, I approached a small circle of Indians,
in the centre of which was a man of high stature and singular aspect.
His face, without being coppery like that of the Indians, was still very
swarthy. His short dress, his long belt, to which hung a powder-horn,
his long leather leggings, extending above his knees, and all his
equipage, announced a hunter of the forest. He was leaning on a long
rifle, and appeared to inspire by his discourse a lively interest in his
hearers. When he observed me, he came to me without forwardness, but
with marked kindness. He extended his hand, and I gave him mine, which
he shook cordially. I had a moment’s hesitation in addressing him, not
knowing whether he understood English or French; but he spoke to me
first in French, and I soon found myself quite at ease with him. He
informed me that he was of mixed blood, that his mother was of the
Kickapoos tribe, and that his father was a Canadian. He lives among the
Indians of the neighbourhood, who have a great friendship and respect
for him, because, notwithstanding fifty years and fatigue have begun to
whiten his head, he yet equals them in hunting and all the exercises of
the body, and because he often serves them as a mediator between them
and the whites, whose language he perfectly understands, although his
common language is Indian. Those who surrounded him were not all
similarly clothed, nor similarly painted. It was easy to distinguish
some differences in their features and manners. I concluded that they
were not all of the same tribe. The hunter confirmed me in this opinion
by telling me that at this moment, there were about Kaskaskia three or
four camps of Indians, come to sell the furs obtained by their great
hunting during the winter. He named the different tribes who occupied
the camps; but their names were so barbarous, or so badly pronounced,
that I could not comprehend them; I understood distinctly only that of
_Miami_, which, repeated three or four times, roused from his apathy a
little man, who until then stood motionless before me, wrapped in a
blanket; his face, bloated by intemperance, was painted red, blue, and
yellow. At the name of Miami, he raised his head, assumed an air of
ridiculous dignity, and said, “I should be the chief of the Miami
nation. My grandfather was chief, my father was chief; but the Miami
have unjustly decided that I should not succeed my father, and now,
instead of having a great quantity of furs to sell, I have none; I shall
quit Kaskaskia without being able to buy arms, powder, or tobacco.”
While he thus spoke, a man painted in the same way, but of a very lofty
stature and athletic form, regarded him with a disdainful air, and said,
after tapping him on the shoulder, “Dare you to complain of the justice
of the Miami? Thy grandfather was our chief, sayest thou? thy father was
also? But hast thou then forgotten that thy grandfather was the bravest
of our warriors, and that the wisdom of thy father was heard in our
councils as the voice of the Great Spirit? But, by what title wouldst
thou command among men? Feeble as an old woman, thou hast not even the
courage to hunt to satisfy thy wants, and thou wouldst sell us to the
whites for a bottle of whiskey.” A contemptuous gesture terminated this
rude apostrophe, which was translated into French for me at the time by
the stout hunter; and the fallen prince, sadly leaning on a small bow,
similar to those with which the Indian boys exercise, kept silence. His
fate seemed to me truly deserving of pity; I could not, however, avoid
feeling a sentiment of esteem for the Miami nation, who do not believe
that legitimacy in a prince can supply the place of all the virtues.

I was still among the Indians, questioning the hunter as to the
situation and force of their tribes, which civilization is rapidly
diminishing, when I saw the secretary of the governor of Louisiana, Mr.
Caire, approach, who came to propose that I should go with him to visit
an Indian encampment, at a very short distance from the village. I
consented, and we set off immediately, in order to return by the dinner
hour. Leaving Kaskaskia, we crossed a river of the same name, on a
wooden bridge solidly built and firmly connected. We then marched about
twenty minutes on the plain, to the entrance of a forest, which we
penetrated by a straight path traced along a rivulet. As we advanced,
the ground suddenly elevated itself to the right and left, and we
quickly found ourselves in a kind of pass, formed by a succession of
small hills, covered with thickets. After about a quarter of an hour’s
walk, we arrived at a fence, which we climbed, and behind which two
horses attracted our attention by the noise of the bells hung round
their necks. A little further on, the pass enlarging, formed a
delightful little valley, in the middle of which some huts of bark were
raised in a half circle; this was the Indian camp we sought. The
openings of these huts were all towards the centre of the circle, and
the planks elevated about three feet from the ground, were slightly
inclined, like the cover of a field bed. With the exception of a very
old woman cooking at a fire in the open air, we found no person in the
camp. Either from spite, or because she neither comprehended French nor
English, this woman would reply to none of our questions, and saw us
with the greatest indifference, look at, and even handle, all the
objects which attracted our curiosity in the huts. All was arranged with
sufficient order, and it was easy to recognize the places occupied by
the women, by the little utensils of the toilet, such as
looking-glasses, pins, bags of paint, &c. which we remarked there. After
a minute examination of this little camp, we were about to leave it,
when I was arrested on the border of the streamlet which ran through it,
by the sight of a small mill-wheel, which appeared to have been thrown
on the bank by the rapidity of the current. I took it up and placed it
where I thought it had originally been put by the children, on two
stones elevated a little above the water; and the current striking the
wings, made it turn rapidly. This puerility, (which probably would have
passed from my memory, if, on the same evening, it had not placed me
before the Indians, in a situation sufficiently extraordinary,) greatly
excited the attention of the old woman, who, by her gestures, expressed
to us a lively satisfaction.

On returning to Kaskaskia, we found Mr. de Syon, an amiable young
Frenchman of much intelligence, who, on the invitation of General
Lafayette, left Washington city with us to visit the southern and
western states. Like us he had just made an excursion into the
neighbourhood, and appeared quite joyous at the discovery he had made;
he had met, in the midst of the forest, at the head of a troop of
Indians, a pretty young woman, who spoke French very well, and expressed
herself with a grace at which he appeared as much astonished as we were.
She had asked him if it was true, that Lafayette was at Kaskaskia, and
on his replying affirmatively, she manifested a great desire to see him.
“I always carry with me,” said she to Mr. de Syon, “a relique, that is
very dear to me; I would wish to show it to him; it will prove to him
that his name is not less venerated in the midst of our tribes, than
among the white Americans, for whom he fought.” And in speaking thus,
she drew from her bosom a little pouch which enclosed a letter carefully
wrapped in several pieces of paper. “It is from Lafayette,” said she,
“he wrote it to my father a long time since, and my father, when he
died, left it to me as the most precious thing he possessed.” At the
sight of this letter, Mr. de Syon proposed to the Indian girl to go with
him to Kaskaskia, assuring her that General Lafayette would be very much
pleased to see her; but this proposition seemed to embarrass her, and
under various pretexts, she refused to come. “However,” she added, “if
you have any thing to say to me this evening, you will find me in my
camp, which is close by the village; any one can direct you the way, for
I am well known at Kaskaskia. My name is Mary.”

This recital of Mr. de Syon excited my curiosity keenly, and I would
have willingly returned with him immediately to search for Mary; but, at
this moment, a member of the committee of Kaskaskia came to inform me
that they were about to sit down to dinner, and we saw General Lafayette
going out of Colonel Edgar’s, escorted by many citizens and crossing to
Colonel Sweet’s house where we were to dine. We joined the procession
and took our places at table, where the general was seated under a
canopy of flowers prepared by the ladies of Kaskaskia, with much skill
and taste; and which produced, by the blending of the richest and most
lively colours, the effect of a rainbow.

I spoke to General Lafayette of the meeting with the young Indian girl;
and from the desire he manifested to see her, I left the table with Mr.
de Syon, at the moment when the company began to exchange patriotic
toasts, and we sought a guide to Mary’s camp. Chance assisted us
wonderfully, in directing us to an Indian of the same tribe that we
wished to visit. Conducted by him, we crossed the bridge of Kaskaskia,
and notwithstanding the darkness, soon recognized the path and rivulet I
had seen in the morning with Mr. Caire. When we were about to enter the
enclosure, we were arrested by the fierce barking of two stout dogs
which sprang at, and would probably have bitten us, but for the timely
interference of our guide. We arrived at the middle of the camp, which
was lighted by a large fire, around which a dozen Indians were squatted,
preparing their supper; they received us with cordiality, and, as soon
as they were informed of the object of our visit, one of them conducted
us to Mary’s hut, whom we found sleeping on a bison skin. At the voice
of Mr. de Syon, which she recognized, she arose, and listened
attentively to the invitation from General Lafayette to come to
Kaskaskia; she seemed quite flattered by it, but said before deciding to
accompany us she wished to mention it to her husband. While she was
consulting with him, I heard a piercing cry; and turning round I saw
near me the old woman I had found alone in the camp in the morning: she
had just recognized me by the light of the fire, and designated me to
her companions, who, quitting immediately their occupations, rushed
round me in a circle, and began to dance with demonstrations of great
joy and gratitude. Their tawny and nearly naked bodies, their faces
fantastically painted, their expressive gesticulations, the reflection
of the fire, which gave a red tinge to all the surrounding objects,
every thing gave to this scene something of an infernal aspect, and I
fancied myself for an instant in the midst of demons. Mary, witnessing
my embarrassment, put an end to it, by ordering the dance to cease, and
then explained to me the _honours_ which they had just rendered me.
“When we wish to know if an enterprize we meditate will be happy, we
place in a rivulet a small wheel slightly supported on two stones; if
the wheel turns during three suns, without being thrown down, the augury
is favourable: but if the current carry it away, and throws it upon the
bank, it is a certain proof that our project is not approved by the
Great Spirit, unless however a stranger comes to replace the little
wheel before the end of the third day. You are this stranger who have
restored our _manitou_ and our hopes, and this is your title to be thus
celebrated among us.” In pronouncing these last words, an ironical smile
played on her lips, which caused me to doubt her faith in the _manitou_.
“You do not appear to be very much convinced,” said I to her, “of the
efficacy of the service which I have rendered you in raising the
_manitou_?” She silently shook her head; then raising her eyes, “I have
been taught,” said she, “to place my confidence higher;—all my hopes are
in the God I have been taught to believe in; the God of the Christians.”

I had at first been much astonished to hear an Indian woman speak French
so well, and I was not less so in learning that she was a Christian;
Mary perceived it, and to put an end to my surprise, she related to me
her history, while her husband, and those who were to accompany her to
Kaskaskia, hastily took their supper, of maize cooked in milk. She
informed me that her father, who was a chief of one of the nations who
inhabited the shores of the great lakes of the north, had formerly
fought with a hundred of his followers under the orders of Lafayette,
when the latter commanded an army on the frontiers. That he had acquired
much glory, and gained the friendship of the Americans. A long time
after, that is, about twenty years ago, he left the shores of the great
lakes with some of his warriors, his wife and daughter; and after having
marched a long time, he established himself on the shores of the river
Illinois. “I was very young, then, but have not yet, however, forgotten
the horrible sufferings we endured during this long journey, made in a
rigorous winter, across a country peopled by nations with whom we were
unacquainted; they were such, that my poor mother, who nearly always
carried me on her shoulders, already well loaded with baggage, died
under them some days after our arrival; my father placed me under the
care of another woman, who also emigrated with us, and occupied himself
in securing the tranquil possession of the lands on which we had come to
establish ourselves, by forming alliances with our new neighbours. The
Kickapoos were those who received us best, and we soon considered
ourselves as forming a part of their nation. The year following my
father was chosen by them, with some from among themselves, to go and
regulate some affairs of the nation with the agent of the United States,
residing here at Kaskaskia; he wished that I should be of the company;
for, although the Kickapoos had shown themselves very generous and
hospitable towards him, he feared that some war might break out in his
absence, as he well knew the intrigues of the English to excite the
Indians against the Americans. This same apprehension induced him to
accede to the request made by the American agent, to leave me in his
family, to be educated with his infant daughter. My father had much
esteem for the whites of that great nation for whom he had formerly
fought; he never had cause to complain of them, and he who offered to
take charge of me inspired him with great confidence by the frankness of
his manners, and above all, by the fidelity with which he treated the
affairs of the Indians; he, therefore, left me, promising to return to
see me every year after the great winter’s hunt; he came, in fact,
several times afterwards; and I, notwithstanding the disagreeableness of
a sedentary life, grew up, answering the expectations of my careful
benefactor and his wife. I became attached to their daughter, who grew
up with me, and the truths of the Christian religion easily supplanted
in my mind the superstition of my fathers, whom I had scarcely known;
yet, I confess to you, notwithstanding the influence of religion and
civilization on my youthful heart, the impressions of infancy were not
entirely effaced. If the pleasure of wandering conducted me into the
shady forest, I breathed more freely, and it was with reluctance that I
returned home; when, in the cool of the evening, seated in the door of
my adopted father’s habitation, I heard in the distance, through the
silence of the night, the piercing voice of the Indians, rallying to
return to camp, I started with a thrill of joy, and my feeble voice
imitated the voice of the savage with a facility that affrighted my
young companion; and when occasionally some warriors came to consult my
benefactor in regard to their treaties, or hunters to offer him a part
of the produce of their chase, I was always the first to run to meet and
welcome them; I testified my joy to them by every imaginable means, and
I could not avoid admiring and wishing for their simple ornaments, which
appeared to me far preferable to the brilliant decorations of the

“In the meanwhile, for five years my father had not appeared at the
period of the return from the winter’s hunting; but a warrior, whom I
had often seen with him, came and found me one evening at the entrance
of the forest, and said to me: ‘Mary, thy father is old and feeble, he
has been unable to follow us here; but he wishes to see thee once more
before he dies, and he has charged me to conduct thee to him.’ In saying
these words he forcibly took my hand, and dragged me with him. I had not
even time to reply to him, nor even to take any resolution, before we
were at a great distance, and I saw well that there was no part left for
me, but to follow him. We marched nearly all night, and at the dawn of
day, we arrived at a bark hut, built in the middle of a little valley.
Here I saw my father, his eyes turned towards the just rising sun. His
face was painted as for battle. His tomahawk ornamented with many
scalps, was beside him; he was calm and silent as an Indian who awaited
death. As soon as he saw me he drew out of a pouch a paper wrapped with
care in a very dry skin, and gave it me, requesting that I should
preserve it as a most precious thing. ‘I wished to see thee once more
before dying,’ said he, ‘and to give thee this paper, which is the most
powerful charm (_manitou_) which thou canst employ with the whites to
interest them in thy favour; for all those to whom I have shown it have
manifested towards me a particular attachment. I received it from a
great French warrior, whom the English dreaded as much as the Americans
loved, and with whom I fought in my youth.’ After these words my father
was silent, next morning he expired. Sciakape, the name of the warrior
who came for me, covered the body of my father with the branches of
trees, and took me back to my guardian.”

Here Mary suspended her narrative, and presented to me a letter a little
darkened by time, but in good preservation. “Stay,” said she to me,
smiling, “you see that I have faithfully complied with the charge of my
father; I have taken great care of his _manitou_.” I opened the letter
and recognized the signature and handwriting of General Lafayette. It
was dated at head quarters, Albany, June, 1778, after the northern
campaign, and addressed to Panisciowa, an Indian chief of one of the Six
Nations, to thank him for the courageous manner in which he had served
the American cause.

“Well,” said Mary, “now that you know me well enough to introduce me to
General Lafayette, shall we go to him that I may also greet him whom my
father revered as the courageous warrior and the friend of our nations?”
“Willingly,” I replied, “but it seems to me that you have promised to
inform us in what manner, after having tasted for some time the sweets
of civilization, you came to return to the rude and savage life of the
Indians?” At this question, Mary looked downwards and seemed troubled.
However, after a slight hesitation, she resumed in a lower tone: “After
the death of my father, Sciakape often returned to see me. We soon
became attached to each other; he did not find it difficult to determine
me to follow him into the forest, where I became his wife. This
resolution at first very much afflicted my benefactors; but when they
saw that I found myself happy, they pardoned me; and each year, during
all the time that our encampment is established near Kaskaskia, I rarely
pass a day without going to see them; if you wish, we can visit them,
for their house is close by our way, and you will see by the reception
they will give me, that they retain their esteem and friendship.” Mary
pronounced these last words with a degree of pride, which proved to us
that she feared that we might have formed a bad opinion of her, on
account of her flight from the home of her benefactors with Sciakape. We
accepted her proposition, and she gave the signal for departure. At her
call, her husband and eight warriors presented themselves to escort us.
M. de Syon offered her his arm, and we began our march. We were all very
well received by the family of Mr. Mesnard; but Mary above all received
the most tender marks of affection from the persons of the household.
Mr. Mesnard, Mary’s adopted father, was at Kaskaskia, as one of the
committee charged with the reception of Lafayette, and Mrs. Mesnard
asked us if we would undertake to conduct her daughter to the ball which
she herself was prevented from attending by indisposition. We assented
with pleasure; and, while Mary assisted Miss Mesnard to complete her
toilet, we seated ourselves round a great fire in the kitchen. Scarcely
were we seated, when I saw moving in the corner, a black mass, of which
I had at first a difficulty in recognising the nature and form; but,
after an attentive examination, I found it was an old negro doubled by
age. His face was so much wrinkled and deformed by time, that it was
impossible to distinguish in it a single feature, and I guessed the
place of his mouth by the little cloud of tobacco-smoke which escaped
thence, from time to time. This man appeared to give great attention to
the conversation which took place between us and a young man of Mr.
Mesnard’s family; when he understood that we travelled with General
Lafayette, and that we came from St. Louis, he asked if we had found
many Frenchmen there. I replied that we had seen some, and, among
others, Mr. Choteau, the founder of the town. “What!” cried he with a
loud voice, which seemed not to belong to so decrepid a body—“What! you
found the _little Choteau_? Oh! I know him well, so I do, that little
Choteau; we have travelled a great deal together on the Mississippi, and
that at a time when very few of the whites had come this far.” “But do
you know,” said I, “that he whom you call the little Choteau is very
old, that he is certainly more than ninety years of age?” “Oh! I believe
that well! but what of that? that does not prevent that I should know
him well, when a child.” “Of what age are you, then?” “Of that I know
nothing, as they never taught me to count. All that I know is, that I
left New Orleans with my master, who made part of the expedition sent by
the Navigation Company of the Mississippi, under the orders of the young
Choteau, to go and build a fort high up the river. Young Choteau was
hardly seventeen, but he was commander of the expedition, because his
father was, they said, one of the richest proprietors of the company.
After having rowed a long time against the current and suffered great
fatigue, we arrived at last not far from here, where we set about
building Fort Chartres. It seems as if I was now there; I see from here
the great stones which bore the great arches we built. Every one of us
said, ‘Here is a fort will last longer than us all, and longer than our
children.’ I also believed it well, and yet I have seen the last of it;
for it is now in ruins, and I am yet living. Do you know, sir, how many
years it is since we built Fort Chartres?” “At least eighty years, if I
am not deceived.” “Well, count, and you will know very nearly my age. I
was then at least thirty years old, for the little Choteau appeared to
me a child; I have already served three masters, and I have suffered a
great deal.” “According to that account, you are a hundred and ten years
old, Daddy Francis.” “Yes, indeed, I believe I am at the least that, for
it is a long time that I have laboured and suffered.” “How!” said the
young man who was seated near him, “do you suffer now, Francis?” “Oh!
pardon me, sir, I speak not of the time I have lived in this house.
Since I belonged to Mr. Mesnard it is very different; I am now happy.
Instead of serving others, they all serve me. Mr. Mesnard will not even
allow me to go and bring in a little wood for the fire; he says I am too
old for that. But I must tell the truth, Mr. Mesnard is not a master to
me; he is a man—he is a friend.”

This homage of the old slave, rendered to the humanity of his master,
gave us a high idea of the character of Mr. Mesnard. While we were yet
listening to old Francis, Mary and Miss Mesnard came to inform us that
they were ready, and asked us if we would be on our way, as it began to
grow late. We took leave of Mrs. Mesnard, and found our Indian escort
who had waited patiently for us at the door, and who resumed their
position near us at some distance in front, to guide and protect our
march, as if we had been crossing an enemy’s country. The night was
quite dark, but the temperature was mild, and the fire-flies illuminated
the atmosphere around us. M. de Syon conducted Miss Mesnard, and I gave
my arm to Mary, who, notwithstanding the darkness, walked with a
confidence and lightness which only a forest life could produce. The
fire-flies attracted and interested me much; for, although this was not
the first time I had observed them, I had never before seen them in such
numbers. I asked Mary if these insects, which from their appearance seem
so likely to astonish the imagination, had never given place among the
Indians to popular beliefs or tales. “Not among the nations of these
countries, where every year we are familiarised with their great
numbers,” said she to me, “but I have heard that among the tribes of the
north, they commonly believe that they are the souls of departed
friends, who return to console them or demand the performance of some
promise. I even know several ballads on this subject. One of them
appears to have been made a long time since, in a nation which lives
farther north and no longer exists. It is by songs that great events and
popular traditions are ordinarily preserved among us, and this ballad,
which I have often heard sung by the young girls of our tribe, leaves no
doubt as to the belief of some Indians concerning the fire-fly.” I asked
her to sing me this song, which she did with much grace. Although I did
not comprehend the words, which were Indian, I observed a great harmony
in their arrangement, and, in the very simple music in which they were
sung, an expression of deep melancholy.

When she had finished the ballad, I asked her if she could not translate
it for me into French, so that I might comprehend the sense. “With
difficulty,” she said, “for I have always found great obstacles to
translating exactly the expressions of our Indians into French, when I
have served them as interpreter with the whites; but I will try.” And
she translated nearly as follows:

“The rude season of the chase was over. Antakaya, the handsomest, the
most skilful, and bravest of the Cherokee warriors, came to the banks of
the Avolachy, where he was expected by Manahella, the young virgin
promised to his love and bravery.

“The first day of the moon of flowers was to witness their union.
Already had the two families, assembled round the same fire, given their
assent; already had the young men and women prepared and ornamented the
new cabin, which was to receive the happy couple, when, at the rising of
the sun, a terrible cry, the cry of war, sent forth by the scout who
always watches at the summit of the hill, called the old men to the
council, and the warriors to arms.

“The whites appeared on the frontier. Murder and robbery accompanied
them. The star of fertility had not reached its noontide height, and
already Antakaya had departed at the head of his warriors to repel
robbery, murder, and the whites.

“Go, said Manahella to him, endeavouring to stifle her grief, go fight
the cruel whites, and I will pray to the Great Spirit to wrap thee with
a cloud, proof against their blows. I will pray him to bring thee back
to the banks of the Avolachy, there to be loved by Manahella.

“I will return to thee, replied Antakaya, I will return to thee. My
arrows have never disappointed my aim, my tomahawk shall be bathed in
the blood of the whites; I will bring back their scalps to ornament the
door of thy cabin; then I shall be worthy of Manahella; then shall we
love in peace, then shall we be happy.

“The first day of the moon of flowers had brightly dawned, and many more
had passed away, and none had heard from Antakaya and his warriors.
Stooping on the shores of the Avolachy, the mournful Manahella every
evening raised to the evil spirits little pyramids of polished pebbles,
to appease their anger and avert their resistance to her well beloved;
but the evil spirits were inflexible, and their violent blasts overthrew
the little pyramids.

“One evening of the last moon of flowers, Manahella met on the banks of
the river a pale and bloody warrior. ‘Die, poor ivy,’ said he to
Manahella; ‘die! the noblest oak of the forest, that proud oak under
whose shade thou hoped to enjoy repose and happiness, is fallen! It has
fallen under the redoubled strokes of the whites. In its fall it has
crushed those who felled it, but it is fallen! Die, poor ivy, die! for
the oak which was to give thee support is fallen!’—Two days after,
Manahella was no more.

“Antakaya, whose courage had been deceived by fate, had fallen covered
with wounds into the hands of the whites, who carried him far away. But
he escaped; and after wandering long through the forest, he returned to
mourn his defeat and meditate vengeance with Manahella. When he arrived,
she was no more. Agitated by the most violent despair, he ran in the
evening to the banks of the Avolachy, calling Manahella, but the echo
alone replied to the accents of his grief.

“O Manahella! he exclaimed, if my arrows have disappointed my skill, if
my tomahawk has not spilt the blood of the whites, if I have not brought
thee their scalps to ornament the door of thy cabin, forgive me! It is
not the fault of my courage, the evil spirits have fought against me.
And yet I have suffered no complaint to escape me, not a sigh, when the
iron of my enemies tore my breast; I have not abased myself by asking my
life! They preserved it against my will, and I am only consoled by the
hope of one day avenging myself, and offering thee many of their scalps.
O Manahella! come, if but to tell me that thou pardonest me, and that
thou permittest me to follow thee into the world of the Great Spirit.

“At the same instant a vivid light, pure and lambent, appeared to the
eyes of the unfortunate Antakaya. He saw in it the soul of his beloved,
and followed it through the valley during all the night, supplicating it
to stay and to pardon him. At the dawn of the day he found himself on
the border of a great lake; the light had disappeared, and he believed
that it had passed over the water. Immediately, although feeble and
fatigued, he made a canoe of the trunk of a tree which he hollowed, and
with a branch he made a paddle. At the end of the day his work was
achieved. With the darkness the deceptive light returned; and during all
the night Antakaya pursued the delusion on the face of the unsteady
waters. But it again disappeared before the light of the sun, and with
it vanished the slight breath of hope and the life of Antakaya.”

Mary ended her ballad, and I expressed to her my thanks as we arrived at
the bridge of Kaskaskia. There, Sciakape collected his escort, said a
few words to his wife, and left us to enter the village alone. We
approached the house of Mr. Morrison, at which the ball was given to
General Lafayette. I then felt that Mary trembled; her trouble was so
great that she could not conceal it from me. I asked her the cause. If
you would spare me a great mortification, she said, you will not conduct
me among the ladies of Kaskaskia. They are now without doubt in their
most brilliant dresses, and the coarseness of my clothes will inspire
them with contempt and pity, two sentiments which will equally affect
me. Besides I know that they blame me for having renounced the life of
the whites, and I feel little at ease in their presence. I promised what
she desired, and she became reassured. Arrived at Mr. Morrison’s, I
conducted her into a lower chamber, and went to the hall to inform
General Lafayette that the young Indian girl awaited him below. He
hastened down, and several of the committee with him. He saw and heard
Mary with pleasure, and could not conceal his emotion on recognizing his
letter, and observing with what holy veneration it had been preserved
during nearly half a century in a savage nation, among whom he had not
even supposed his name had ever penetrated. On her part, the daughter of
Panisciowa expressed with vivacity the happiness she enjoyed in seeing
him, along with whom her father had the honour to fight for the _good
American cause_.

After a half hour’s conversation, in which General Lafayette was pleased
to relate the evidences of the fidelity and courageous conduct of some
Indian nations towards the Americans, during the revolutionary war, Mary
manifested a wish to retire, and I accompanied her to the bridge, where
I replaced her under the care of Sciakape and his escort, and bade them

At midnight, the general received the farewell of the ladies and
citizens of Kaskaskia, who were assembled at Mr. Morrison’s, and we
returned on board our boat, to continue immediately our navigation
towards the mouth of the Ohio. Governor Coles greatly wished that we
should cross that part of the state of Illinois comprised in the angle
formed by the two great rivers, and meet the boat again at Shawneetown,
where we should have been able to visit the salt mines, which are said
to be very fine; but besides that this would have taken more time than
he could devote to this visit, this route did not accord with the plan
of ascending the Cumberland river to Nashville, where the envoys from
Tennessee were charged to conduct him. Mr. Coles embarked with us to
accompany the general to the state of Tennessee, and we felt a real
pleasure on account of it, for he is a man of agreeable conversation and
extraordinary merit. All persons agree in saying that he fulfils his
duties as governor with as much philanthropy as justice. He owes his
elevation to the office of governor, to his opinions on the abolition of
the slavery of the blacks. He was originally a proprietor in Virginia,
where, according to the custom of the country, he cultivated his lands
by negro slaves. After having for a long time strongly expressed his
aversion for this kind of culture, he thought it his duty to put in
practice the principles he had professed, and he decided to give liberty
to all his slaves; but knowing that their emancipation in Virginia would
be more injurious than useful to them, he took them all with him into
the state of Illinois, where he not only gave them their liberty, but
also established them at his own expense, in such a manner that they
should be able to procure for themselves a happy existence by their
labour. This act of justice and humanity considerably diminished his
fortune, but occasioned him no regrets. At this period, some men, led
astray by ancient prejudices, endeavoured to amend that article of the
constitution of the state of Illinois, which prohibits slavery: Mr.
Coles opposed these men with all the ardour of his philanthropic soul,
and with all the superiority of his enlightened mind. In this honourable
struggle, he was sustained by the people of Illinois; justice and
humanity triumphed, and soon after Mr. Coles was elected governor, by an
immense majority. This was an honourable recompense, and to this there
is now joined another which must be very grateful to him; his liberated
negroes are perfectly successful, and afford a conclusive argument
against the adversaries of emancipation.

Some hours after our departure from Kaskaskia, we were at the mouth of
the Ohio, which we ascended to the mouth of Cumberland river, where we
arrived before night. There we awaited the steam-boat Artizan, to take
us to Nashville. When it was necessary for us to quit the Natchez, and
our travelling companions from Louisiana, we experienced an oppression
of feeling as if we were quitting our family and home. This feeling will
be easily comprehended, when it is understood that we had passed nearly
a month and travelled nearly eighteen hundred miles on board this boat,
in the midst of a society, amiable, intelligent, and obliging, and of
which each individual had become for us an amiable friend. On their
side, Messieurs Morse, Ducros, Prieur, and Caire, manifested to us
regrets not less sincere. Notwithstanding their long absence from New
Orleans, they would have voluntarily prolonged their mission, to pass a
longer time with their dear Lafayette; and our excellent Captain Davis
warmly expressed his regrets at seeing another vessel than his own about
to receive the nation’s guest; but on the other hand, the envoys from
Tennessee were not disposed to cede to others the right of doing the
honours of their state; and even if they had chosen to accept the
services of Captain Davis, they were forced to renounce them, because
the Natchez was unfit to navigate the shallow waters of the Cumberland.
We were, therefore, obliged to take leave of the Louisianian committee,
and that of the state of Mississippi, with great regret, and go on board
of the Artizan, where we were received and treated in a manner that
foretold we would soon experience a renewal of our sorrow in separating
from our new companions.

                               CHAPTER X.

  Cumberland River—Arrival at Nashville—Tennessee Militia—Residence of
      General Jackson—Shipwreck on the Ohio—Louisville—Journey from
      Louisville to Cincinnati by land—State of Kentucky—Anecdote.

On the 2d of May, at 8 o’clock in the evening, we entered Cumberland
river, which we ascended all night, notwithstanding the darkness. This
river, which is one of the largest tributaries of the Ohio, rises to the
westward of Cumberland mountains, waters the state of Kentucky by its
two branches, and Ohio by its main stream, which forms a great bend; it
is navigable for about 400 miles. By daylight we were able to judge of
the richness of the country it traverses, from the great number of
boats, loaded with all kinds of produce, that we passed. As the banks of
Cumberland river are flat, and sometimes swampy, from its mouth to the
vicinity of Nashville, no town is met with on its shores; all the
establishments are situated some distance back, and, therefore, we were
unable to visit them; but many of the inhabitants came in boats to
salute the general, this retarded our progress, as we were obliged to
stop every moment to receive or dismiss the visiters.

Wednesday, May 4th, we remarked that the banks of the river were
considerably elevated above our heads, and presented agreeable and
healthy situations for cities or villages; at 8 o’clock no houses were,
as yet, in sight, but we heard in the distance the sound of bells,
announcing our vicinity to population, and preparations for some
solemnity; a few moments afterwards we perceived on the horizon the
spires of buildings, and on a plain at a short distance from us a dense
crowd of men, women, and children, who appeared to be expecting with
great solicitude the arrival of something extraordinary, and when our
vessel came sufficiently near to be recognized, a joyful shout arose
from the shore, and the air resounded with cries of “Welcome,
Lafayette;” this was the salutation of the inhabitants of Nashville to
the guest of the nation. This welcome was continued without interruption
until we had arrived beyond the city, at the place for disembarking,
where the general was received by the illustrious Jackson, who ascended
a carriage with him to conduct him to Nashville, several corps of
cavalry preceded them, and the procession formed behind them was
composed of all our fellow travellers, joined by a multitude of citizens
from the neighbourhood; we entered the city by a wide avenue, lined on
each side by militia remarkable for the brilliancy of their uniforms,
and their soldier-like appearance under arms; it was easy to recognise
by their martial air, that their ranks contained great numbers of those
intrepid citizen soldiers, by whom the English were overthrown under the
walls of New Orleans. In entering the city, the procession passed under
a triumphal arch, on the summit of which were these words, also repeated
at every moment by the crowd, “_Welcome, Lafayette, the friend of the
United States!_” Above this floated the American flag, attached to a
lance surmounted by a liberty cap. After having traversed the principal
streets, we arrived at the public square, which was decorated with
thousands of flags, suspended from the windows; it was also ornamented
by a triumphal arch, under which was an elevated platform, where the
governor of the state waited to salute the guest of the nation. His
speech was not only touching from the sentiments of affection and
gratitude with which it was filled, but it was also remarkable for the
truth and fidelity with which it sketched the actual situation of
Tennessee, and the rapidity of its growth under the influence of liberty
and wise laws. General Lafayette replied with that heartfelt emotion,
and that happy choice of expression, which so often, during his journey,
excited the astonishment and admiration of those who heard him. Forty
officers and soldiers of the revolution, the most part enfeebled by age,
and some mutilated in war, notwithstanding which they had assembled from
all parts of the state to assist at the triumph of their old general,
now advanced from the two sides of the arch, amidst the acclamations of
the people, and showered upon him marks of affection and patriotic
recollections; among them was one, remarkable above all the others for
his great age, and the vivacity with which he expressed his joy; he
threw himself into the general’s arms, weeping and exclaiming, “I have
enjoyed two happy days in my life, that when I landed with you at
Charleston in 1777, and the present, now that I have seen you once
again, I have nothing more to wish for, I have lived long enough.” The
emotion of this old man was communicated to the whole crowd, and there
was a profound silence for some time. Notwithstanding his infirmities he
had travelled more than fifty leagues to procure this moment of
happiness. We afterwards learnt that his name was Hagy, that he was born
in Germany, and that he had come over to America in the vessel with
Lafayette, and had been under his orders during the whole war of the
revolution. General Lafayette, after devoting a few moments to the
affection of his old companions in arms, re-entered the carriage with
the governor, and went to the beautiful residence of Dr. M’Nairy, who
had prepared accommodations for us, and who, with his whole family,
received us with the most amiable hospitality. The general was received
at the door by the municipal body and the mayor, who addressed him in
the name of the inhabitants of Nashville. After the reply of the general
to this speech, the people gave three cheers, and retired in silence, to
permit their guest to take a little repose before dinner; but the
general profited by this occasion to visit Mrs. Jackson, whom he
understood to be in the town, and to Mrs. Littlefield, the daughter of
his old fellow soldier and friend, General Greene.

At four o’clock another procession came to conduct us to a public
dinner, at which more than two hundred citizens sat down, and which was
presided over by General Jackson. Among the guests was a venerable old
man, named Timothy Demundrune, the first white man who settled in
Tennessee. According to the American custom, the repast was terminated
by the frank and energetic expression of each guest’s opinion on the
acts of the administration, and the public character of the magistrates,
and candidates for the different offices; among these numerous toasts I
will only cite the three following, which appeared to me as peculiarly
well adapted to demonstrate the predominant sentiments of the people of

“The present age—it encourages the reign of liberal principles. Kings
are forced to unite against liberty, and despotism to act on the

“France—republican or monarchical, in glory or misfortune, she always
has claims on our gratitude.”

“Lafayette—tyrants have oppressed him, but freemen honour him.”

After this last toast, the general rose, expressed his thanks, and
begged permission to give the following: “The State of Tennessee, and
Nashville, its capital—may our heritage of revolutionary glory be for
ever united to the unfading laurels of the last war, and thus form a
perpetual bond of union between all parts of the American

The president then gave the signal for departure, and we went to the
masonic lodge, where three hundred brothers, in the most brilliant
costume, received us with the most affectionate cordiality. We passed a
true family evening with them. An eloquent orator, Mr. William Hunt,
delivered an excellent discourse, which, in a masonic form, embodied the
most noble precepts of patriotism and philanthropy; and the meeting
terminated by an elegant collation, at the end of which the general
proposed a toast, which was received with the greatest enthusiasm; it
was to the memory of our illustrious brother Riego, the martyr of
liberty! In retiring to our quarters at Dr. M‘Nairy’s, we found the town
brilliantly illuminated, and a great number of houses decorated with
transparencies representing General Lafayette, with a variety of
ingenious emblems.

The next morning, as soon as we rose, we proceeded to the southward of
the city, where we found all the militia of the adjoining counties
collected in a camp, which they occupied for some days whilst waiting
for the arrival of Lafayette; some of the corps we saw under arms, had
come, we were told, more than fifty miles, to add by their presence to
the solemnity of the reception given to the guest of the nation. The
general, after having seen them manœuvre before him, went through their
ranks to express his admiration of their discipline, and his gratitude
for the proofs of affection they had shown him. During this time, Mr.
George Lafayette and myself conversed with an officer of the staff, who
had the goodness to give us some details as to the organization of the
military force of Tennessee.

This officer might perhaps be thought to have been enthusiastic in his
praises, and to have shown much national vanity, but I am persuaded he
only spoke as he felt. He extolled the military qualities of his fellow
citizens, from conviction, and as he would have praised, in strangers,
any points he thought worthy of commendation. I have often remarked that
the Americans, in general, are little given to the species of hypocrisy
we term modesty, and with which we think we should always veil ourselves
when we are speaking of our own virtues. They believe, and I am of their
opinion, that true modesty does not consist in depreciating ourselves,
but in not speaking with exaggeration or without cause of our own

A frugal repast, prepared and served by the military, under a tent,
terminated this visit to the camp of the Tennessee militia, after which
we returned to the city, where we successively visited an academy of
young ladies of Nashville, and Cumberland college. In both these
establishments, the general was received as a beloved father, and he
left them with the sweet and consoling certainty, that the careful and
excellent manner in which they inculcated learning and a love of
liberty, would greatly augment the glory and perpetuate the happiness of
his adopted country. The committee of instruction of Cumberland college,
presented to him and to General Jackson, a resolution of the trustees,
by which two new chairs, under the names of Lafayette and Jackson, for
teaching the languages and philosophy, were about to be established by a
voluntary subscription of the citizens of Tennessee. They both accepted
this honour with great satisfaction, and subscribed their names at the
bottom of the resolution before leaving the establishment, which,
although recently formed, already promises the most satisfactory

At one o’clock, we embarked with a numerous company, to proceed to dine
with General Jackson, whose residence is a few miles up the river. We
there found numbers of ladies and farmers from the neighbourhood, whom
Mrs. Jackson had invited to partake of the entertainment she had
prepared for General Lafayette. The first thing that struck me on
arriving at the general’s, was the simplicity of his house. Still
somewhat influenced by my European habits, I asked myself if this could
really be the dwelling of the most popular man in the United States, of
him whom the country proclaimed one of her most illustrious defenders;
of him, finally, who by the will of the people was on the point of
becoming her chief magistrate. One of our fellow passengers, a citizen
of Nashville, witnessing my astonishment, asked me, whether in France,
our public men, that is to say, the servants of the public, lived very
differently from other citizens? “Certainly,” said I; “thus, for
example, the majority of our generals, all our ministers, and even the
greater part of our subaltern administrators, would think themselves
dishonoured, and would not dare to receive any one at their houses, if
they only possessed such a residence as this of Jackson’s; and the
modest dwellings of your illustrious chiefs of the revolution,
Washington, John Adams, Jefferson, &c. would only inspire them with
contempt and disgust. They must first have in the city an immense and
vast edifice, called a hotel, in which two large families could live
with ease, but which they fill with a crowd of servants strangely and
ridiculously dressed, and whose only employment, for the most part, is
to insult those honest citizens who come on foot to visit their master.
They must also have another large establishment in the country, which
they call a chateau, and in which they accumulate all the luxuries of
furniture, decorations, entertainments, and dress, in fact, every thing
that can make them forget the country. Then they must have, to enable
them to go from one to the other of these habitations, a great number of
carriages, horses, and servants.” “Very well,” interrupted the
Tennessean, shaking his head as if in doubt, “but who provides these
public officers with all the money thus swallowed up in luxury, and how
do the affairs of the people go on?” “If you ask them, they will tell
you that it is the king who pays them, although I can assure you that it
is the nation, which is borne down by taxes for the purpose; as to
business, it is both well and badly attended to, but generally the
latter.” “And why do you submit to such a state of things?” “Because we
cannot remedy it.” “What! you cannot remedy it? A nation so great, so
enlightened as the French, cannot prevent its officers, magistrates, and
servants, from enjoying, at their expense, a scandalous and immoral
luxuriousness, and at the same time not attending to their duties!
whilst we, who have just assumed our name among nations, are enjoying
the immense advantage of only having for magistrates, men who are plain,
honest, laborious, and more jealous of our esteem than solicitous for
wealth. Permit me to believe that what you have told is only pleasantry,
and that you wished to amuse yourself for a moment with a poor
Tennessean who has never visited Europe. But rest assured, that however
ignorant we may be of what passes on the other side of the water, it is
not easy to make us credit things which militate so strongly against
good sense and the dignity of man.” Do what I could, I could never make
this good citizen of Nashville believe that I was not jesting, and was
obliged to leave him in the belief that we were not worse governed in
France than in the United States.

General Jackson successively showed us his garden and farm, which
appeared to be well cultivated. We every where remarked the greatest
order, and most perfect neatness; and we might have believed ourselves
on the property of one of the richest and most skilful of the German
farmers, if, at every step, our eyes had not been afflicted by the sad
spectacle of slavery. Every body told us that General Jackson’s slaves
were treated with the greatest humanity, and several persons assured us,
that it would not surprise them, if, in a short time, their master, who
already had so many claims on the gratitude of his fellow citizens,
should attempt to augment it still more, by giving an example of gradual
emancipation to Tennessee, which would be the more easily accomplished,
as there are in this state but 79,000 slaves in a population of 423,000,
and from the public mind becoming more inclined than formerly to the
abolition of slavery.

On returning to the house, some friends of General Jackson, who probably
had not seen him for some time, begged him to show them the arms
presented to him in honour of his achievements during the last war; he
acceded to their request with great politeness, and placed on a table, a
sword, a sabre, and a pair of pistols. The sword was presented to him by
congress; the sabre, I believe, by the army which fought under his
command at New Orleans. These two weapons, of American manufacture, were
remarkable for their finish, and still more so for the honourable
inscriptions, with which they were covered. But it was to the pistols,
that General Jackson wished more particularly to draw our attention; he
handed them to General Lafayette, and asked him if he recognized them.
The latter, after examining them attentively for a few minutes, replied
that he fully recollected them, to be a pair he had presented in 1778 to
his paternal friend Washington, and that he experienced a real
satisfaction in finding them in the hands of one so worthy of possessing
them. At these words the face of old Hickory was covered with a modest
blush, and his eye sparkled as in a day of victory. “Yes! I believe
myself worthy of them,” exclaimed he, in pressing the pistols and
Lafayette’s hands to his breast; “if not from what I have done, at least
for what I wished to do for my country.” All the bystanders applauded
this noble confidence of the patriot hero, and were convinced that the
weapons of Washington could not be in better hands than those of

After dinner we took leave of General Jackson’s family, and returned to
Nashville to attend a public ball which was very brilliant; and
afterwards went on board the Artisan to continue our journey. Governor
Carroll of Tennessee and two of his aides-de-camp accompanied us. We
rapidly descended the Cumberland, and on the 7th of May again entered
the Ohio, otherwise called “_la belle rivière_,” for it was thus the
first French who discovered its shores designated this majestic body of
water, which for eleven hundred miles waters the most smiling and
fertile country on the globe. The Ohio is formed by the junction of the
Monongahela and Alleghany at Pittsburgh, and empties itself into the
Mississippi about the 37° of latitude. Its current is usually about a
mile and a half per hour, but when the waters are high, it often equals
that of the Mississippi, whose ordinary swiftness is four miles per
hour. The water of the Ohio is said by the Americans to possess great
prolific powers, and when you demand on what ground they found this
opinion, they proudly point out the numerous dwellings which are
infinitely multiplied on its banks, and the prodigious number of
children who issue forth every morning, with a little basket of
provision on their arms, to spend the day at school, to return in the
evening to the paternal roof, singing the benefits of liberty.

On the 8th at break of day, we arrived opposite Shawneetown, where we
landed with Governor Coles and the other members of the committee from
the state of Illinois, and who, to our great regret, could not accompany
us any farther. General Lafayette accepted a dinner provided for him by
the inhabitants of that town. We continued our voyage, urging the speed
of our small vessel with the whole power of the engine. Notwithstanding
the departure of Governor Coles and his companions, we still had a
numerous company on board. All the beds in the great cabin, were
occupied by the deputations from Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, and by
other persons who had asked permission to accompany General Lafayette to
Louisville. The general, his son, Mr. de Syon, and the author of this
journal, shared in common, what is called the ladies’ cabin, situated in
the stern of the vessel, and which could only be reached by descending
about a dozen steps.

During the whole of the 8th we worked hard. The general replied to a
great number of letters, which were addressed to him every day from all
parts of the Union, and dictated to me some directions to the
superintendant at La Grange; indicating what changes and improvements he
wished made before his return to France. Being somewhat fatigued by this
labour, he retired early to bed, and was already asleep, when at 10
o’clock, Mr. George Lafayette, coming below from the deck where he had
been walking, expressed his astonishment that in so dark a night, our
captain did not come to, or at least abate the speed of the vessel. We
fully agreed in the justice of this remark, but being accustomed for
some months to permit no difficulty to arrest us, and to travel at all
times, we soon began to speak of other things, and Mr. George Lafayette
also laid down and slept with every feeling of safety. I remained
conversing with Mr. de Syon and correcting some notes. With the
exception of the pilot and two men, every body was asleep around us, and
at 11 o’clock the profound silence that reigned on board, was only
broken by the deep grating of the engine and the dashing of the water
against the sides of the vessel. Twelve o’clock struck, and sleep was
beginning to invite us to repose, when our vessel suddenly received a
horrible shock, and stopped short. At this extraordinary concussion, the
general awoke with a start, his son sprung from his bed, half dressed,
and I ran on deck to learn what was the matter. I there found two of our
fellow passengers, whom anxiety had brought up, but who were returning,
saying we had probably struck on a sand bank, and that there was no
danger. Not trusting this opinion, I went into the great cabin; all the
passengers were in a state of great agitation, but still in doubt as to
the nature of the accident; some had not even quitted their beds.
Decided on not going below without positively ascertaining the real
state of things, I seized a light and ran forward, the captain arrived
there about the same time, we opened the hatches, and ran forward; the
hold was already half filled with water, which rushed in torrents
through a large opening. “A snag! a snag!” cried the captain, “hasten
Lafayette to my boat! bring Lafayette to my boat.” This cry of distress
had reached the great cabin, and every mouth repeated it with dismay,
but it had not been heard in our cabin, where I found the general, who
had, by the advice of his son, permitted himself to be partly dressed by
his faithful Bastien. “What news?” said he, on seeing me enter. “That we
shall go to the bottom, general, if we cannot extricate ourselves, and
we have not a moment to spare.” And I immediately began to collect my
papers, which I threw pell-mell into my port-folio; George Lafayette on
his part, hastily collected those objects he thought most necessary to
his father, and begged him to follow us, but his toilet not being yet
made, he wished us to go first and provide means of escape. “What!”
cried his son, “do you think that in such circumstances we will leave
you for a moment?” and immediately we each seized a hand and dragged him
towards the door. He followed us, smiling at our haste, and began to
ascend with us, but had scarcely reached the middle of the stairs, when
he perceived that he had forgotten his snuff-box, ornamented with a
picture of Washington, and wished to return for it; I went to the end of
the cabin, found it and brought it to him. At this time the rolling of
the vessel was so violent and irregular, and the tumult over our heads
augmented to such a degree, that I believed we should not have time to
escape before she sunk. At last, we reached the deck, where all the
passengers were in the greatest confusion, some bringing their trunks,
others looking for the boat, and crying out for Lafayette. He was
already in the midst of them, but owing to the darkness of the night, no
one recognised him; the boat heeled so much to starboard, that it was
with difficulty we could keep our footing on deck. The captain assisted
by two sailors, had brought his boat to this side, and I heard his
sonorous voice crying out, Lafayette! Lafayette! but we could not reach
him on account of the confusion around us. Nevertheless the vessel
heeled more and more, each moment augmented the danger, we felt that it
was time to make a last effort, and pushed into the middle of the crowd,
where I cried, “here is General Lafayette!” This exclamation produced
the effect I anticipated. The most profound silence succeeded to the
confusion, a free passage was opened for us, and all those who were
ready to spring into the boat, spontaneously checked themselves, not
wishing to think of their own safety before that of Lafayette was
ascertained. The difficulty was now to determine the general himself to
depart before all his fellow passengers, and almost alone, for the boat
would only hold a few persons, but he was soon obliged to yield to the
will of all, energetically expressed by each; the irregular concussions
of the vessel, and the rocking of the boat which was more than four feet
lower than our deck, rendered a passage from one to the other extremely
difficult, especially in the dark. The most active young man would not
have hazarded a leap, for from the darkness he would have risked
plunging in the water; great precautions were therefore to be adopted,
as regarded the general. I went first into the boat, and whilst the
captain kept her as near as possible to the vessel, two persons
descended with the general, holding him under the shoulders. I received
him in my arms, but his weight added to my own on the side of the boat,
nearly capsized it, and losing my equilibrium, I should probably have
fallen into the water with him, if Mr. Thibeaudot, formerly president of
the senate of Louisiana, had not given me his support, and thus saved us
both. As soon as we were assured that the general was safely on board,
we pushed off as rapidly as possible, to prevent the other passengers
from overloading our slight batteau. Although the greatest difficulties
were overcome, all danger was not passed. The land was to be made; but
at what distance was it from us? towards what shore should we direct our
course? This the darkness of the night prevented us from ascertaining
with certainty. Our captain soon made up his mind with decision. Holding
the rudder with a firm grasp, he directed us to the left bank, and
ordered his two sailors to row gently. In less than three minutes we
happily reached a bank covered with a thick wood.

In landing, our first care was to count and recognise each other; we
were nine: the captain, two sailors, General Lafayette, Mr. Thibeaudot,
Doctor Shelly, carrying in his arms a child of about seven years of age,
a daughter of a presbyterian clergyman, the father of the child and
myself. It was then only that the general perceived that his son was not
with him, and immediately his habitual coolness in the presence of
danger abandoned him. He was filled with anxiety, and in a state of the
most violent agitation. He began to call, George! George! with all his
strength, but his voice was drowned by the cries which arose from the
vessel, and by the terrible noise made by the steam escaping from the
engine, and received no answer. In vain, to re-assure him, I represented
to him that his son was a good swimmer, and that he doubtless had
remained on board voluntarily, and with his coolness he would escape all
danger. Nothing had any effect; he continued to traverse the shore
calling on George. I then threw myself into the boat with the captain to
go to the succour of those who so much needed it. The vessel still
floated, but almost on her beam ends. The captain mounted on board, and
I received in his place a dozen persons, who precipitated themselves
into the boat, and whom I carried to land, without having been able to
speak to George, Mr. de Syon, or Bastien. I dared not give an account of
this first attempt to the general, and therefore made preparations for
another trip, when a horrible crash and cries of despair announced to me
that the vessel was sinking. At the same instant, I heard the water
agitated in several directions by the efforts of those who were saving
themselves by swimming. Mr. Thibeaudot, who had advanced into the water
in order to judge better of what was passing, and to afford assistance
to those who needed it, perceived a man, exhausted with fatigue,
drowning a few paces from the shore, in a spot where the water was only
three feet in depth. He drew him out with such ease, that a child might
have rendered him the same service, and laid him on the grass. But the
unfortunate man was so agitated by fear, that he continued to make on
land all the movements of swimming, and would perhaps have killed
himself by these useless efforts, if Mr. Thibeaudot had not succeeded in
calming him. At every instant, other persons arrived on shore, and among
them I always expected to recognise Mr. George Lafayette; and the
general demanded news of his son from all, but in vain. I now myself
began to fear for him. Another arrival of the boat informed us that the
vessel had not entirely sunk; that the starboard side was under water,
but that the larboard and gangway were still above it; and that a great
number of passengers had taken refuge there. Thinking that there was an
urgent necessity for succouring those who remained in this critical
situation, I again entered the boat, and aided by a sailor approached
the vessel. I first arrived at the prow; I called George with all my
strength, but there was no answer. I then dropped along her side to the
stern. In passing, I heard a voice over head cry out, “Is that you, Mr.
Levasseur?” I listened and examined attentively; it was our poor
Bastien, who was holding with difficulty to the roof of the upper cabin,
the pitch of which was very great from the oversetting of the vessel. As
soon as I came near him, he slid down and fortunately fell into the
boat. When I arrived at the stern, I again called George; he instantly
answered me. His voice appeared to be perfectly calm. “Are you in
safety?” said I. “I could not be better,” replied he gaily. This reply
gave me much relief, for my fears were really becoming serious. At the
same instant, Mr. Walsh of Missouri, who was near him, gave me every
thing that could be saved of our baggage. This was a small portmanteau
of Mr. George Lafayette’s, a bag of his father’s, my own port-folio,
which I had thrown on the deck when I was aiding the general to descend,
and about sixty out of the two hundred letters we had prepared for the
post, on the preceding days; all the others were lost. I now returned to
land with Bastien and two other persons I had received in the boat, and
hastened to assure the general of the safety of his son.

As I had satisfied myself that the vessel, having found support, could
not sink any deeper, and consequently that there was no farther danger
to those on board, I thought that I might dispense with making other
voyages, and occupy myself a little with the general, for whom we
established a good bivouac around a large fire of dry branches. In the
midst of this occupation, Mr. George and Mr. de Syon, with the remainder
of the passengers, arrived. We then learnt that at the moment of the
wreck, Mr. George, seeing that I was in the boat to watch over his
father, had returned to the cabin, into which the water had already
penetrated, and had made Bastien and Mr. de Syon, who were imprudently
endeavouring to save their effects, leave it. Then, only yielding ground
as the water forced him, he had indefatigably occupied himself with the
care of those around him. At one moment, the water reached to the middle
of his body. But his coolness and presence of mind reassured some
persons, who, without him, would perhaps have been dismayed and exposed
to the greatest danger. Finally, we were told, he would not leave the
vessel, until he was satisfied, that all who remained on board belonged
to her and could dispense with his assistance. “Mr. George Lafayette
must often have been shipwrecked,” said the captain, “for he has behaved
tonight as if he was accustomed to such adventures.”

From other accounts, it appears that almost immediately after the
departure of the general, the water entered our cabin with a violence
which would not have permitted us to leave it, if we had remained there
a few minutes longer.

When we were well assured that no person had perished, we lighted
several large fires as well for the purpose of drying ourselves, as to
discover our situation. The general slept for some moments on a mattrass
which had been found floating, and was nearly dry on one side. The rest
waited impatiently for day, and occupied ourselves in cutting wood to
keep up the fires. A tolerably heavy rain added to our troubles, but
fortunately it was not of long continuance.

At day break, they recommenced their trips to the vessel, to endeavour
to save some of the baggage and to procure food. The captain, Governor
Carrol of Tennessee, and a young Virginian, Mr. Crawford, directed these
researches with great activity. It was a singular and touching event, to
see a governor of a state, that is to say, a first magistrate of a
republic, without shoes, stockings or hat, doing the duty of a boatman
as if it had been his real occupation, and that much more for the
benefit of others than for himself, for he had very little on board to
lose by the shipwreck. Those different searches obtained us a trunk
belonging to the general, in which were his most valuable papers, and a
small part of the passengers’ baggage. They also brought a leg of smoked
venison, some biscuits, a case of claret and a keg of Madeira. With
these provisions, about fifty men, for such was our number, repaired
their strength, exhausted by a night of labour and anxiety.

The day, on its return, shone on an interesting picture. The shore was
covered with wrecks of all kinds, in the midst of which each eagerly
searched for their own property; some mournfully recounted the extent of
their losses, others could not avoid laughing at the nakedness or
costume in which they found themselves; this gaiety soon became
prevalent, and pleasantries circulated around the fires of our bivouac,
and at last smoothed the visages of the most sorrowful, and almost
transformed our shipwreck into a party of pleasure.

At nine o’clock we induced the general to cross the river, and go to a
house we perceived on the other bank, to shelter himself from the storm
which threatened us. Mr. Thibeaudot and Bastien accompanied him. He had
scarcely left us, when one of the party, who was on the look out on the
shore, pointed out to us a steam-boat descending the river, and
immediately afterwards another. This double news filled us with joy and
hope. Soon these two vessels arrived opposite to us and stopped. One of
them, a vessel of large size and remarkable beauty, was the Paragon; she
came from Louisville and was going to New Orleans, with a heavy cargo of
whiskey and tobacco. By a very lucky circumstance for us, one of our
companions in misfortune, Mr. Neilson, was one of the owners of this
vessel, and hastened to put it at the disposal of the Tennessee
committee to transport General Lafayette, generously taking on himself
all the chances of another misfortune and the loss of insurance.
Immediately our whole party, abandoning our bivouac, repaired on board
of the Paragon. Before leaving the captain of the Artisan, who remained
with his vessel to endeavour to save something, we offered him our
services, which he peremptorily refused, assuring us that he had hands
enough for this work. But the poor man was very much depressed, not from
the loss of the vessel, nor that of 1200 dollars he had on board, or
even from any fear of not finding employment; his grief arose from
having shipwrecked the guest of the nation. “Never,” said he, “will my
fellow citizens pardon me for the perils to which Lafayette was exposed
last night.” To endeavour to calm him, we drew up and all signed a
declaration, in which we attested that the loss of the Artisan could not
be attributed either to the unskilfulness or imprudence of Captain Hall,
whose courage and disinterestedness had been experienced by us all
during the accident. This declaration, which was sincere on the part of
all the signers, appeared to give him great pleasure, but did not
entirely console him. As soon as the Paragon got under way, I went with
Mr. George Lafayette in search of his father. After half an hour’s
rowing, we re-joined our new vessel, which in two days, and without
accident, conducted us to Louisville, where we remained twenty-four
hours. It was about 125 miles from that place, near the mouth of Deer
Creek, that we met with our misfortune.

The entertainments given to General Lafayette at Louisville were marred
by the stormy weather; but the expression of public feeling was not the
less pleasing to him. The idea of the danger he had incurred, excited in
all breasts a tender solicitude, which every one testified with that
simplicity and truth of expression only appertaining to freemen. In the
midst of the joy occasioned by the arrival of Lafayette, the citizens of
Louisville did not forget the noble disinterestedness of Mr. Neilson, to
whom they presented the strongest proofs of gratitude. His name was
coupled with that of the general, in the toasts they gave at the public
dinner. The insurance company declared that the Paragon should remain
insured without an additional charge, and the city presented him a
magnificent piece of plate, on which was engraved the thanks of the
Tennesseans and Kentuckians for the generous manner in which he had
risked the greater part of his fortune that the national guest should
receive no delay nor inconvenience in his journey.

The day after our arrival, notwithstanding the badness of the weather,
the general crossed the Ohio to accept the invitation that was sent him
by the citizens of Jeffersonville in the state of Indiana. He remained
there some hours, and returned in the evening to Louisville to attend a
dinner, ball, and various spectacles that had been prepared for him. On
Friday morning, the 12th of May, after having presented a standard to a
corps of volunteer cavalry that had been expressly formed some days
previous, to escort him on his arrival, he began his journey by land to
Cincinnati, passing through the state of Kentucky, as he wished to visit
its principal towns, Frankfort, Lexington, &c. Governor Carrol, who,
after having fulfilled his mission, in placing the guest of the nation
under the care of the Kentucky committee, wished to return home, with
his staff, yielded to the pressing invitations which were given him by
the committee to accompany General Lafayette yet farther. On the day of
our departure, all the militia were under arms. We found, by their
excellent discipline, armament and uniforms, that they strongly
resembled those of Tennessee, with whom they are united in brotherly
feeling, to which the events of the last war gave a new force.

At the end of our first day’s journey, we arrived at Shelbyville, a
large and flourishing village, situated in the midst of a most fertile
and diversified country; the next day, at four o’clock in the afternoon,
the general made his entrance into Frankfort, the seat of government of
Kentucky. The entertainments given on this occasion by the inhabitants
of the town, to which were joined those of the neighbouring counties,
were very brilliant, and strongly impressed with that ardent and
patriotic character which distinguishes all the states of the Union, but
which, among the Kentuckians, is more manifest, and expressed with all
the energy of a young people, enthusiastic in the cause of liberty.

After having traversed the principal streets of Frankfort, we arrived in
the centre of the town, where we stopped in front of a triumphal arch,
under which the governor waited for the guest of the nation; the sound
of a cannon, discharged from a neighbouring hill which overlooked all
the neighbourhood, arrested the acclamations of the people, when the
governor advanced in the midst of a profoundly silent and attentive
crowd, and delivered an eloquent and appropriate address. This discourse
was loudly applauded by the multitude, and I heard it asserted every
where around me that it was impossible to express the sentiments of the
people of Kentucky with greater exactness.

After passing several hours in receiving visits and marks of friendship
from the whole population, the general went to a dinner that had been
prepared for him in the public square. The table was of a semi-circular
form, and contained places for eight hundred persons, in order that all
the detachments of militia that had escorted General Lafayette from
Louisville might be accommodated, as well as a great number of officers
from Tennessee and Kentucky, who had particularly distinguished
themselves during the last war, as General Adair, Colonel M‘Affee, &c.

Notwithstanding his desire to avoid transgressing any of the established
customs of the United States, the general was obliged to travel on
Sunday, for his time was rigorously appropriated until his arrival at
Boston, where he was obliged to be on the 17th of June. We therefore set
out on Saturday, the 14th of May, from Frankfort, and travelling almost
without stopping, till we reached Lexington, which we entered on Monday,
about the middle of the day. On the way, we visited the pretty little
town of Versailles, where we remained some hours, to attend a public
dinner, given by the citizens of the town and the surrounding country;
and we slept on Sunday night about three miles from Lexington, where, on
Monday morning, a large body of militia cavalry, conducted by a
deputation from Lafayette county, arrived to escort the general. The
procession was formed on an eminence from whence we could discover
Louisville in the distance, with the fertile fields that surrounded it.
We took up the line of march about eight o’clock. The rain fell in
torrents, and the sky covered with thick clouds, presaged a bad day; but
at the moment we began to enter the town, a discharge of artillery from
a neighbouring hill announced the arrival of the procession; and at this
signal the rain ceased, as if by enchantment, the clouds dispersed, and
the returning sun discovered to us the neighbouring country, covered
with crowds of people anxiously expecting the arrival of the national
guest. This almost magic scene added still more to the enthusiasm of the
multitude, and their joyful acclamations were mingled with the continued
roar of artillery which surrounded us. The entertainments at Lexington
were extremely brilliant; but of the proofs of public felicity, that
which most attracted the general’s attention, was the developement and
rapid progress of instruction among all classes of people. In fact, is
it not an admirable and astonishing circumstance, to find in a country,
which not forty years ago was covered with immense forests, inhabited by
savages, a handsome town of six thousand inhabitants, and containing two
establishments for public instruction, which, by the number of their
pupils, and the variety and nature of the branches taught, may rival the
most celebrated colleges and universities in the principal towns of
Europe? We first visited the college for young men, superintended by
President Holly, who received the general at the door of the
establishment, and addressed him in an eloquent speech, in which, after
having described what Lafayette had accomplished in his youth, for the
liberation of North America, he expressed a regret that his efforts had
not been equally successful in the regeneration of France. Then
reverting to a more consoling topic, he rapidly sketched a picture of
American prosperity and the happy influence his visit would produce on
the rising generation.

The general replied to the various points of President Holly’s speech
with his accustomed felicity of expression, and afterwards took his
place, in a large hall, prepared for the exercises of the young men;
where, in the presence of the public, he was addressed in Latin, English
and French, by three of the pupils, whose compositions, as eloquently
written as well delivered, merited the plaudits of the auditors. He
replied to each of the young orators in a manner that proved that the
three languages they had used were equally familiar to him, and that his
heart was deeply moved by the expression of their youthful patriotism.
He was not less pleased with his visit to the academy of young ladies,
directed by Mrs. Dunham, and instituted under the name of the Lafayette
academy; one hundred and fifty pupils received him with the harmonious
sound of a patriotic song composed by Mrs. Holly, and accompanied on the
piano by Miss Hammond; several young ladies afterwards complimented him;
some in prose, and others in verse, of their own composition. The
discourse of Miss M’Intosh and the beautiful ode of Miss Nephew,
produced a great effect on the audience, and drew tears from eyes little
accustomed to such emotions.

From so many and touching proofs of esteem and veneration for his
character, General Lafayette experienced feelings it was impossible for
him adequately to express. Surrounded and caressed by these tender and
innocent creatures, he abandoned himself to those sweet emotions, to
which, in spite of age, his heart has not become insensible; and he
could not avoid repeating how much he felt his happiness in having
combated during his youth, for a people whose descendants testified such
affection for him; and the profound knowledge, even the youngest of the
children appeared to possess of every action of his life, penetrated him
with the liveliest gratitude. At last, he tore himself from a scene of
emotion, too violent to be supported for any length of time, assuring
the directress of the academy, that he was proud of the honour of seeing
his name attached to an establishment so beneficial in its aim, and
happy in its results.

In the midst of entertainments of all kinds, the description of which
would be impossible, General Lafayette did not forget what he owed to
the memory and former friendship of his old companions; having
ascertained that the widow of General Scott lived at Lexington, he went
to her house to pay his respects. This visit was highly gratifying, not
only to Mrs. Scott and her family, but also to all who had known General
Scott, whose noble character and patriotic conduct during the
revolutionary war will always be cited with pride by his

General Lafayette did not overlook another friendship, which, although
more recent, was not less sincere. After this visit he went a mile from
Lexington, to Ashland, the charming seat of Mr. Clay; the honourable
secretary of state was absent, but Mrs. Clay and her children performed
all the honours of the house with the most amiable cordiality. This step
of the general’s was very pleasing to the citizens of Lexington, which
was a proof to me, that the popularity of Mr. Clay, which rests on his
talents and services, has not been diminished among his fellow citizens
by the gross and perhaps unwarrantable attacks made on him by some party
journals at the time of the presidential election.

After forty-eight hours of uninterrupted entertainments, we left
Lexington, where we parted with Governor Carrol and almost all our
companions from Tennessee, Louisiana, Frankfort, &c. and only
accompanied by a detachment of volunteer cavalry from Georgetown, we
turned suddenly to the left, and in thirty-six hours arrived at that
point in the Ohio, on which is situated the handsome city of Cincinnati,
in which General Lafayette was expected with the greatest impatience.
This journey, from Louisville to Cincinnati, gave us the advantage of
seeing the prodigies of art effected by liberty, in a country which
civilization has scarcely snatched from savage nature.

In 1775, Kentucky was only known from the reports of some bold hunters,
who had dared to establish themselves among the ferocious tribes who
inhabited that country. Its name alone, formed of the Indian word
Kentucke, signifying river of blood, always recalled to the dismayed
whites the numerous murders committed on the first among them who had
attempted to enter it, and appeared as if it would deter them from ever
establishing themselves there; but the courage, activity, and
perseverance of a Carolinian, named BOON, succeeded, after many
unsuccessful attempts, in forming a settlement of sufficient size to
resist the reiterated attacks of the Indians. Soon after, the
revolutionary war, which gave liberty and independence to the English
colonies, having terminated, the activity of the inhabitants of the
northern states, urging them perpetually to new enterprises, the tide of
emigration flowed towards Kentucky, and in the year 1790, the population
of this country already amounted to near 74,000. Until this time
Kentucky had always been looked upon as a part of Virginia, but then, by
consent of that state, it was separated, and formed into a distinct
state, which was admitted into the Union in 1782; its population is now
560,000. The Indians, either destroyed, or driven back to distant parts,
by civilization, have left the field open to the industry of the whites;
in the place of the ancient forests that served them for an asylum, are
now found populous cities, abundant harvests, and active and prosperous
manufactures; finally, Kentucky, in spite of its ominous name, has
become a hospitable land, and is now one of the most brilliant stars in
the new constellation of the west. The courage displayed by the
inhabitants of Kentucky during the last war is well known, and in what
manner they expressed their patriotic sentiments in the presence of
Lafayette. Nevertheless, I will relate the following anecdote, which
proves how deeply the hatred of despotism is imparted in the breasts of
every class among these happy people.

During a pleasant day of our journey, I ascended a steep hill on foot,
on the summit of which I stopped near an isolated cabin, in order to
wait for the carriages, which slowly followed me, and were still far in
the rear, for I had walked rapidly. A man, who was smoking his segar at
the door of the house, asked me to walk in and rest myself. I accepted,
with gratitude, this polite invitation. The difficulty with which I
expressed my thanks in English marked me for a stranger, and induced a
number of questions, as to the place whence I came, where I was going,
and the motives of my journey. As these questions appeared to be
dictated rather from a feeling of kindness, than from indiscreet
curiosity, I hastened to answer with all possible politeness. “Well!”
exclaimed my host in a joyful tone, “since you have the happiness of
living with Lafayette, you will not refuse to drink a glass of whiskey
with me to his health,” and segars and whiskey were immediately
presented to me, and we began to converse on what appeared most to
interest my Kentucky entertainer, the guest of the nation. After
exhausting this subject, he spoke of my country, and the extraordinary
man who had bestowed upon it fifteen years of glory and despotism. He
seemed enthusiastic on the military exploits of Napoleon, and deeply
afflicted at his unhappy end. “Why,” said he, “had he the folly to give
himself up, in his misfortunes, to his most cruel enemy, to the English
government, whose perfidy he had so often experienced? why did he not
rather seek an asylum on our hospitable shores? Here he would have found
admirers, and what is better, sincere friends, in the midst of whom,
freed from all inquietude, he might have peacefully enjoyed the
recollection of his great actions.” “I suspect,” answered I, “that you
know little of Napoleon’s character; his soul was not formed for the
mild enjoyments of peace; he constantly required new food for the
prodigious activity of his genius; and who knows, that if seduced by new
dreams of ambition, at the view of the resources of a new country, he
would not have attempted to substitute, as he did with us, his own will
for your wise institutions?” “We should have considered such an attempt
as an act of madness,” replied my host with a smile of disdain, “but if,
against all probabilities, we had submitted for a moment to his
tyrannous ascendency, his success would have been fatal to him. Look at
that rifle,” added he, pointing to one in a corner of the room, “with
that I never miss a pheasant in our woods at a hundred yards; a tyrant
is larger than a pheasant, and there is not a Kentuckian who is not as
patriotic and skilful as myself.”

                              CHAPTER XI.

  Arrival at Cincinnati—Entertainments given by that city—Swiss of
      Vevay—State of Ohio—The Vinton family—Journey from Wheeling to
      Uniontown—Speech of Mr. Gallatin—New Geneva—Bradock’s
      field—General Washington’s first feat of arms—Pittsburgh.

On the 19th of May, at 10 o’clock in the morning, we arrived on the left
bank of the Ohio. The first object that attracted my view on the side,
and almost opposite to us, was the handsome city of Cincinnati,
majestically covering a large amphitheatre, at the foot of which, the
river, upwards of half a mile in width, flows peaceably. Several boats,
carrying a deputation from the city of Cincinnati, and some officers of
the staff, had been waiting since morning for the arrival of General
Lafayette. We entered, with our fellow travellers from Frankfort, into
the handsomest of these boats, and rapidly crossed the river. We landed
under a salute of thirteen guns, and cries of “Welcome, Lafayette,”
repeated by thousands of voices in honour of the guest of America. In
presence of the people assembled on the banks of the river, and of
several regiments of militia formed in line, Governor Morrow received
him in the name of the state, and having placed him by his side in a
calash, conducted him to the hotel in the midst of enthusiastic
testimonies which it would be impossible to describe.

It was General Harrison, whose name is so gloriously associated with the
principal events of the last war, who received General Lafayette at his
quarters, and addressed him in the name of the state of Ohio. In a
discourse, filled with sentiments of tenderness and gratitude towards
Lafayette, General Harrison drew a picture of the prodigious increase
and prosperity, of which the state of Ohio and city of Cincinnati
offered a most admirable example.

When the address was concluded, the crowd, which filled the apartments,
pressed with ardour around General Lafayette, each anxious to be
personally introduced to him. Many revolutionary soldiers were present,
who were not the least zealous in claiming the right to shake hands with
their ancient comrade. There was also a citizen of Cincinnati, whose
name and aspect excited the most tender emotions in the general’s heart.
This was Mr. Morgan Neville, son of Major Neville, his former
aide-de-camp and friend, and maternal grandson of the celebrated Morgan,
who, by his talents and bravery, at the head of his corps of partizans,
during the war of independence, gained great reputation. After some
moments devoted to official introductions, and reciprocal felicitations,
the general returned his thanks to General Harrison, and we proceeded
with a numerous train of free masons to the masonic hall, where many
lodges had met to receive the nation’s guest, and offer fraternal
congratulations upon his arrival in the state of Ohio.

A public dinner and display of fire-works from the highest part of the
town, terminated the day, which was only the prelude to entertainments
on the morrow, more splendid than had ever before been witnessed in

The first honours which the general received at sunrise, were from the
boys and girls belonging to the public schools. Assembled to the number
of six hundred, under the superintendance of their teachers, these
children were ranged in the principal street, where they made the air
echo with _Welcome, Lafayette_. When the general appeared before them,
their young hands scattered flowers under his feet, and Dr. Ruter
advancing, delivered him an address in their name, the sentiments of
which sensibly affected the general, who wished to express his
acknowledgements to the doctor, but, at the moment, was surrounded by
the children, who in a most lively manner stretched out their little
hands to him, and filled the air with their cries of joy. He received
their caresses and embraces with the tenderness of a parent who returns
to his family after a long absence, and then replied to Dr. Ruter’s

Whilst this ceremony was going on, the militia were called to arms, and
at eleven o’clock appeared, formed in line of battle, upon the public
square. In front appeared the fine companies commanded by Captains
Harrison, Emerson, and Avery. The general passed them in review.
Immediately afterwards came the mechanics, forming a long procession, in
the midst of which floated the flags representing their various trades.
The barge in which Lafayette had the preceding evening crossed the Ohio,
followed, mounted upon four wheels, with its oars trimmed and flag
floating in the air. A detachment of revolutionary soldiers marched
around her. We were desired to place ourselves in the middle of this
procession, with which we made various turns through the town on our way
to a large square near the court-house. There the general mounted an
elegant platform, decorated with verdure. The people pressed around him,
and the harmony of a fine band of music having gained the attention of
the multitude, Mr. Lee sung, to the air of the Marseillaise, a martial
ode, of which the last words of each stanza were enthusiastically
repeated by the spectators. A discourse upon the solemnity of the day,
succeeded these patriotic songs. The orator who was to pronounce it
arose, advanced towards the expecting multitude, before whom he remained
some moments silent, his countenance depressed, his hand placed upon his
breast, as if overcome by the greatness of the subject he was to treat.
At length his sonorous voice, although slightly tremulous, was heard,
and the whole assembly soon became fascinated by his eloquence. The
benefits and advantages of freedom, the generous efforts made for its
establishment in the two hemispheres by Lafayette, the picture of the
present and future prosperity of the United States, furnished the topics
of Mr. Benham’s address. He took such possession of the imagination of
his auditors, that even after he had ceased speaking, the attentive
crowd remained some time silent as though they still heard his voice.

Popular eloquence is one of the distinctive characteristics of the
Americans of the United States. The faculty of speaking well in public
is acquired by all the citizens from the universality and excellence of
their education, and is developed in a higher degree by the nature of
their institutions, which call upon each citizen for the exercise of
that power in the discussion of public affairs. In each town, in every
village, the number of persons capable of speaking before a numerous
assembly, is truly surprising; and it is not uncommon to meet among them
men, who, although born in obscurity, have justly acquired great
reputation for eloquence. At the head of such speakers, we may mention
the names of Messrs. Clay and Webster, whose parents were, I think,
farmers, and who, at the present day, might appear with advantage in
comparison with our most distinguished European orators.

After the address of Mr. Benham, the people dispersed, and the
ceremonies were suspended until the hour for the public dinner, to allow
the general some repose. We had hardly returned to Mr. Febiger’s, in
whose hospitable house we lodged, when we saw thirty or forty persons
arrive, who entered the drawing room, and requested permission to speak
to Lafayette. “We are citizens of Vevay,” said an old man at their head,
who spoke to me in French, and for whom all the rest seemed to possess
great deference. “We were induced to hope that the friend of America and
of liberty, would come and visit our little town, and that we should
have the pleasure of showing him our vineyards, and inducing him to
taste the wines of our vintage; but his passage through Kentucky
deprived us of this happiness. Nevertheless, we could not miss seeing
the man whose name was dear to us even before we left our country, and
we resolved upon coming here to salute him.”

I communicated this to the general, who, being unable to come down at
the moment, sent his son to request the visiters to wait for him a short
time. They received Mr. George Lafayette with great tenderness, and
after having repeated to him nearly what they had said to me, they
informed us that they were all Swiss, for the most part from the canton
of Vaud; that the persecutions of the local authorities, the desire of
ameliorating their condition, and love of liberty, had determined them
to leave their country and come to settle in the New World; that they
had founded in the state of Indiana, on the banks of the Ohio, about one
hundred and fifty miles from Cincinnati, a town to which they had given
the name of Vevay; and that about one hundred and fifty-six families
lived there, principally by the produce of their vines, the culture of
which they had succeeded in introducing into this portion of the United
States. Whilst we were listening to these details, the general arrived,
and immediately the Swiss of Vevay having formed a semicircle to receive
him, the most aged among them, whom I had heard called Father Dufour,
advanced and welcomed him by an address full of feeling. When he had
finished speaking, all these inhabitants of Vevay threw themselves into
the arms of the general and tenderly embraced him. They had brought with
them some wine of their vintage, which they presented us, and we joined
them in drinking to the prosperity of their new and the regeneration of
their old country.

It must be confessed that the wine of Vevay is by no means exquisite.
Nevertheless, it is quite a pleasant drink, and, according to my taste,
the best of the wines made in the United States.[15] Although the vine
grows naturally in the forests of North America, it nevertheless submits
to cultivation with difficulty, and, to the present time, it is only by
the greatest care that it can be rendered productive. The sudden changes
of temperature cause it to be affected with diseases which show
themselves by the appearance of numerous little black spots on the
leaves; and the cold nights of autumn often prevent the fruit from
arriving at perfect maturity. The vine-dressers of Vevay have however
succeeded tolerably well in acclimating some of the plants of Europe,
which promise an abundant produce. On our way to the dinner, as we
crossed the public square, we saw the gunners stationed at their park of
artillery. Their elegant and martial uniform, was that of the French
artillery. We were informed that this was the Vevay Artillery Company.
It was, in fact, composed almost entirely of Swiss, among whom a great
number had served in the artillery of the French army. Their manœuvres
appeared to be executed with a precision and rapidity altogether

In the ball which succeeded the banquet, the citizens of Cincinnati
displayed the good taste and elegance which characterize a rich city,
fruitful in resources and long polished by civilization. But that which
charmed the general most, was the delicate attentions offered him on all
sides. More than five hundred persons animated this patriotic party, at
which Messrs. Morrow, governor of Ohio; Desha, governor of Kentucky;
Duval, governor of Florida; Scott, major-general of the United States
army; with many other personages of distinguished rank and character,
were present.

At midnight, at a signal given by the Vevay artillery, we took our leave
of the citizens of Cincinnati, and embarked in the Herald to continue
our journey. The general could hardly force himself away from the circle
of his friends, nor could he cease from expressing his admiration at the
prosperity of Cincinnati, and the state of Ohio, which he denominated
the eighth wonder of the world. One cannot, in fact, avoid being struck
with astonishment at the sight of such prodigious creations of liberty
and industry, of which this state offers so many examples. The simple
progress of its population borders on the marvellous. In 1790, there
were in it only 3,000, whilst at present there are nearly 800,000. In
1820, the town of Cincinnati contained only 9,642 inhabitants, now it
has 18,000. Ohio is both an agricultural and manufacturing state. Its
fertile soil produces abundance of grain and a variety of fruits. In the
southern part they raise a little cotton, whilst the northern section is
celebrated for its rich pasturage. Agriculture is said to occupy 112,000
individuals, while only about 19,000 are annually engaged in
manufacturing. Last year the manufactures of wool, cotton, and thread;
of leather, iron, nails, and maple sugar, amounted to nearly two
millions of dollars. All these products, along with those of
agriculture, have a prospect of increasing considerably every year, and
the excess over the internal consumption always finds an easy market,
the state of Ohio being admirably situated as to facilities of
exportation. For more than four hundred miles, the beautiful river which
waters its south and south-east limits is navigable for large vessels.
Its northern frontiers are for seventy-five miles washed by the waters
of Lake Erie, and a canal running across the whole state joins these two
points, so that Ohio stands upon the great line of internal navigation
which connects New York with New Orleans, passing beyond the Alleghany

To all these natural sources of prosperity, Ohio unites another
advantage, which she owes to the happy construction of her constitution;
namely, the abolition of slavery and involuntary servitude. A slave
becomes free as soon as he touches the happy soil of Ohio; and if he
does not enjoy the right of suffrage, and some other political
privileges, he ought not to ascribe it to the partiality of legislators,
but to the melancholy state of ignorance in which his unfortunate race
still exist.

It was on the 22d of May at midnight, when we embarked on board the
Herald, which was to carry us to Wheeling, a small town in Virginia,
situated on the banks of the Ohio, almost on the frontiers of
Pennsylvania. Although we had to run more than three hundred miles, we
nevertheless landed there on the 24th before night. It is true, that,
during our passage, we did not stop except to take in the necessary
supplies of wood, and visit some establishments which we found on the
banks of the river, such as Portsmouth, Galliopolis, Marietta, &c.
which, for the most part, were founded by the French, but the population
is now altogether American, at least with very few exceptions. It was in
one of these small towns, Galliopolis, I believe, that we visited the
family of Mr. Vinton, one of the Ohio representatives to congress, who
was of the small minority that voted against the national recompense
given to Lafayette. Mr. Vinton had not yet returned from Washington
city, but his family received the general in his behalf, with every mark
of tenderness and veneration; and Mrs. Vinton did not leave him until he
returned on board the Herald, whither she wished to accompany him on
foot with all her relatives. This civility in the Vinton family,
sensibly touched the heart of the general, and afforded him a proof,
that the members of the small opposition who had voted against the
proposition of the 20th of December, were not the less his sincere
friends; and that, if they had hazarded their popularity among their
constituents in such a case, it was, as I have before said, only from
motives of public order, and a steady resolution to oppose every
extraordinary measure of finance.

From Wheeling we again entered the state of Pennsylvania, by Washington,
Brownsville, Uniontown, &c. In all this route, the general found the
Virginia and Pennsylvania population in the same dispositions as in the
preceding year; that is to say, the people every where crowding his way,
and conferring upon him the greatest honours. The little town of
Washington, the seat of justice for the county of the same name,
distinguished itself by the brilliancy of its festivals. At Brownsville
we crossed the Monongahela in a batteau, bearing twenty-four young girls
dressed in white, who came to receive the general, and who crowned him
with flowers the moment he came within the limits of the town. At
Uniontown, the seat of justice for the county of Lafayette, he was
received with a simplicity and cordiality calculated to recall the
character of the founders of Pennsylvania. For the purpose of addressing
their national guest, the inhabitants of Uniontown employed, as their
organ of communication, one of his oldest and best friends, Mr.
Gallatin, known in Europe from his diplomatic labours, and whom the
American leaders have always reckoned among the number of their most
able defenders.

Placed upon a stage raised in the centre of the town, Mr. Gallatin
received General Lafayette, and addressed him in the name of the
surrounding people, who listened in silence.

Mr. Gallatin is not of the number, unfortunately too great, of those
foreigners, who, from ignorance or envy, incessantly confound the cause
of legitimacy, and the happy results of the French revolution, with the
horrible and sanguinary excesses afterwards perpetrated by those
wretches, who were only the instruments of the servile partizans of
privilege, and who, for the purpose of checking liberty in its noble
career, thought to bring it into disrepute by the crimes committed in
its name. The justice Mr. Gallatin rendered to the courage and wisdom of
the French patriots of 1789, deeply affected General Lafayette, who
expressed to him his gratitude, in a reply distinguished by its
eloquence and the elevation of its sentiments.

After twenty-four hours passed, I will not say amidst entertainments,
but rather in the reception of the most tender and affectionate
testimonials of attachment from the inhabitants of Uniontown, the
general accepted the invitation of Mr. Gallatin, to repose himself a
short time in the bosom of his family; and we accordingly set out with
him for New Geneva, a charming residence, situated on the high and rocky
banks of the Monongahela, at some miles distance from Uniontown. A
detachment of militia from the county of Lafayette, in whose ranks was a
son of Mr. Gallatin, escorted us; and through the whole route we met
groups of the inhabitants, who, in their joyous acclamations, blended
the name of Lafayette with that of Gallatin, to which were associated
the remembrance of innumerable services rendered to this part of
Pennsylvania. We found at New Geneva all that could contribute to the
pleasure of a visit. To the advantages of a situation happily chosen,
are added the charms of an amiable and intelligent society. But the
general was very far from finding there the solitude which his friend
had promised him. During twenty-four hours which we remained at this
delightful place, the doors remained open, to give free access to the
good people of the neighbourhood, who came in crowds to salute their
well beloved guest.

On the 28th of May Mr. Gallatin reconducted us to Uniontown, when we
took leave of him to go to Elizabethtown, a little village situated on
the banks of the Monongahela. We arrived there about twelve o’clock;
when a boat, propelled by four oars, received us on board, and we
descended the river to the famous Braddock’s Field, which we reached
some time after sunset. We were favoured with delightful weather during
our sail, which was rendered highly interesting by the conversation of
our companions, the members of the committee from Uniontown. We surveyed
the shores, which in times past echoed with the cries of victory from
the adventurous sons of France, and which were also the witnesses of
disasters which the faults of a government as presumptuous as imbecile
drew upon them. The recital of the events of that period, chained our
attention until the moment of our landing. It was nine o’clock when we
arrived at Braddock’s field, where the English troops, under the command
of a general of that name, were completely defeated in the month of
July, 1755, by the French and Indians united. The principal
circumstances of that memorable event are too familiar to all those
whose attention has been directed to American history, for me to relate
them here. I will content myself by only repeating, that, it was on that
day, so fatal to British arms, that the man who has since established
the glory and independence of his country, gave the first proofs of his
military talents, and calm intrepidity in battle. If General Braddock
had not scorned the advice of his young aide-de-camp, Washington, he
would not have fought upon ground where every thing was in favour of the
enemy, and thus have sacrificed his army, his fame, and his life.
Although his advice was rejected, the young Washington did not fight the
less heroically; and it was owing to his courage and coolness that the
wreck of the conquered army was saved.

Upon the field of battle, where, even at this day, the plough could not
trace a furrow without turning up bones whitened by time, and fragments
of arms corroded by rust, is situated the large and elegant mansion of
Mr. Wallace, by whom we, as well as our companions, were received with
the most touching and amiable hospitality. We there found already
assembled a numerous deputation sent by the city of Pittsburg, to meet
the general, and the next morning at daylight, detachments of volunteer
cavalry arrived to serve as an escort on our route to that city.

The road which led from Braddock’s field to Pittsburg, although many
miles long, was soon covered by a considerable crowd, in the midst of
which the cavalcade advanced slowly towards the city. On the road we
visited the United States arsenal, which was about half way. The
discharge of twenty-four guns announced the entrance of General
Lafayette into that establishment, when Major Churchill, and the
officers under his command, invited him to breakfast. After having
examined the armoury and workshops, in which we remarked great
regularity, order, and activity, we continued our route towards
Pittsburg, where the general was received, on his entrance into the
city, by the magistrates, at the head of the people, and the militia in
order of battle.

I have had to describe so many triumphal entries into great and rich
cities, whilst narrating General Lafayette’s incomparable journey
through the twenty-four states of the American Union, that, to avoid
repetition, I am obliged to pass over in silence a great number of
receptions whose principal features were alike. It is for this reason I
omit the account of his reception at the national hotel at Pittsburg;
although that city yielded to no other in the United States in the
splendour of her festivals, and in the expression of her sentiments of
patriotic gratitude. But I have yet before me so long a route to survey,
and so many things to relate, that I am forced to imitate Lafayette, who
was obliged to shorten the delicious moments that friendship had every
where prepared for him on his journey, that he might be present at the
celebration at Bunker’s Hill. I will not, however, quit Pittsburg
without paying my tribute of admiration to the eloquence of Mr. Shaler,
who addressed the general in the name of the citizens, and that of Mr.
Gazzam, charged with the presentation of the children of the public
schools. These two orators, so remarkable for elevation of thought, and
elegance of expression, obtained the approbation of their auditors, and
excited in the heart of him whom they addressed the most profound
sentiments of gratitude.

Among the persons or corporations officially presented to General
Lafayette, was a group of old men, who, by their enthusiasm in speaking
of old times, were easily recognized for soldiers of 1776. One of them
addressing his old general, asked him if he still remembered the young
soldier who first offered to carry him on a litter, when he was wounded
at the battle of Brandywine? Lafayette, after having attentively
surveyed him, threw himself into his arms, crying, “No, I have not
forgotten Wilson, and it is a great happiness to be permitted to embrace
him to-day!” Wilson himself, who asked the question, was much affected,
and the incident penetrated the spectators in the most touching manner.

General Lafayette recognized one of his old companions in arms during
the revolution, in the person of the Reverend Joseph Patterson, who came
to visit him with the ministers of different denominations in the city
and neighbouring counties. Joseph Patterson, although a clergyman, had
shouldered his musket, and fought for the independence of his country
through two terrible campaigns of the revolution, and had assisted at
the battle of Germantown.

After having devoted the day of his arrival at Pittsburg to public
ceremonies, the general wished to employ a part of the next day in
visiting some of the ingenious establishments which constitute the glory
and prosperity of that manufacturing city, which, for the variety and
excellence of its products, deserves to be compared to our
Saint-Etienne, or to Manchester in England. He was struck by the
excellence and perfection of the processes employed in the various
workshops which he examined; but that which interested him above all was
the manufacture of glass, some patterns of which were presented to him,
that, for their clearness and transparency, might have been admired even
by the side of the glass of Baccarat.

Pittsburg is situated on the point where the rivers Alleghany and
Monongahela mingle their waters, forming the majestic river Ohio, which,
flowing towards the western and southern states, and even to the
Atlantic, afford an easy outlet for the products of its industry. These,
with the population, increase each year with wonderful rapidity.
Pittsburg now contains eight thousand inhabitants, and a great many
workmen, strangers, who are drawn hither by the prosperity of the
manufactories, coming every year to communicate to them secret processes
and improvements, brought to light by the activity of the European

                              CHAPTER XII.

  Route from Pittsburg to Erie—Commodore Perry’s Victory—Night Scene at
      Fredonia—The Indian Chief at Buffalo—Falls of Niagara—Visit to
      Fort Niagara—Appearance of Lockport—Passage from Lockport to
      Rochester—Aqueduct over the Genessee River—Route by land from
      Rochester to Syracuse—Passage from Syracuse to Schenectady, Rome,
      and Utica—Grand Canal.

On leaving Pittsburg, the general was obliged to part from his old
friends of the state of Ohio, represented by Governor Morrow, who had
accompanied him with his staff. Conducted by a committee of the city of
Pittsburg, and escorted by a company of militia, we took the route by
way of Franklin, Meadville, Waterford, and Erie, to gain the shores of
the great lake which bears this name. All this western portion of
Pennsylvania, watered by French Creek, is remarkable for the beauty and
variety of its scenery. In each of the villages through which we passed,
the general was detained several hours in receiving the honours which
had been prepared for him by the citizens and public officers.

The trophies suspended over our heads, the name of Perry and the view of
lake Erie, necessarily directed the thoughts of the guests to the events
of the last war; and in a short time the gallant deeds of the American
navy became the subject of general conversation. As it was perceived
that Lafayette took great pleasure in hearing a narration of the glory
of the descendants of his former companions in arms, all the details of
that memorable day were given him, in which, after a combat of three
hours, an American squadron entirely captured a British fleet far
superior in the number of guns.

In hearing the recital of those noble actions, Lafayette cast his eyes
alternately on the numerous English flags that floated over his head, on
the lake, the theatre of such glorious events, and on the seamen who
surrounded him; and his heart was filled with pride, on perceiving that
the Americans of 1813 had shown themselves worthy sons of his old fellow
soldiers, the immortal heroes of the revolution of 1776.

On leaving the table, the general took leave of the inhabitants of Erie,
and departed from this town at three o’clock in the afternoon, with the
committee of Chatauque county, who had come to announce to him that a
steam-boat was waiting at Dunkirk to take him to Buffalo. Before sunset,
we left the territory of Pennsylvania and entered on that of New York.
As we had fifty miles to accomplish, and as the general did not wish to
detain the vessel too long, we travelled until daybreak without
stopping. In this rapid journey, we passed through many large villages,
the population of which, assembled in the public places around large
fires, waited patiently for the arrival of the national guest to salute
him with patriotic acclamations. These nocturnal scenes have left a
strong impression on my mind. I shall never forget the magical effect
that was produced at Fredonia. On leaving Portland, yielding to the
fatigue of the preceding days, we were sleeping in the carriage
notwithstanding the violent jolting occasioned by the trunks of the
trees forming the road over which we were rapidly passing; on a sudden
the startling explosion of a piece of artillery awoke us, and our eyes
were immediately dazzled by the glare of a thousand lights, suspended to
the houses and trees that surrounded us. We were solicited to alight,
and we found ourselves in the middle of an avenue, formed on one side by
men and boys, and on the other by young girls and women holding their
infants in their arms. At the sight of Lafayette, the air resounded with
joyful cries, all arms were stretched out towards him, the mothers
presented their infants to him and begged his benediction on them, and
warlike music uniting its sound to the din of artillery and bells
gladdened all hearts. Struck by so touching a reception, the general was
unable for some time to subdue his emotions; at last, he advanced slowly
through the crowd, at every step shaking affectionately the hands that
were stretched out to him, and replying with tenderness to the sweet
salutation of the children who accompanied his progress with cries of
“_Welcome, Lafayette_.”

On a stage built in the centre of a large place, lighted by barrels of
burning rosin, an orator was waiting to address him in the name of the
people of Fredonia, who afterwards defiled before him in order to salute
him once more. Notwithstanding the striking character of this scene, the
general felt himself obliged to abridge it, that he might not expose to
the cold, for a longer time, the women and young girls, who, slightly
clad, had passed all the night in the open air, waiting for him. It was
three o’clock in the morning, when, after having partaken of a
collation, we left Fredonia. The sun already began to gild the summits
of the forests we left to the right, when we arrived at Dunkirk, a small
port on Lake Erie, when the boat that was to convey us to Buffalo, was
waiting for us. A committee from that town, and a great number of
ladies, had come to meet the general, and received him on board to the
sound of music, the delightful harmony of which accorded deliciously
with the beauty of the morning, and the romantic aspect of the bay in
which we were.

At twelve o’clock we were within sight of the shores of Buffalo; but
retarded in our progress by violent and contrary wind, we were unable to
enter the port for two hours. Although the town of Buffalo was almost
entirely destroyed by the English, who burnt it during the last war, we
were nevertheless struck with its air of prosperity, and the bustle in
its port. We landed near one of the extremities of that grand canal,
whose other extremity we had visited five hundred miles from this, near
Albany, and which serves as a link between Lake Erie and the Atlantic.
After the first ceremonies of the reception of the national guest by the
magistrates and citizens of Buffalo, we went to snatch a few moments of
repose at the Eagle tavern, where our lodgings had been prepared. There,
the general received a great number of persons who desired to be
particularly presented to him; among them we had the pleasure of seeing
an old Indian chief of the Senecas, who had acquired a great reputation
for courage and eloquence, not only among his own people, but also among
the whites, who call him Red Jacket. This extraordinary man, although
much broken by time and intemperance, still preserved, to a surprising
degree, the exercise of all his faculties; he immediately recognised
General Lafayette, and recalled to his recollection that they had been
together in 1784 at Fort Schuyler, where a great council had been held,
in which the interests of all the Indian nations, whether friendly or
otherwise, who could have any relation to the United States, were
settled. The general replied to him that he had not forgotten this
circumstance, and demanded of him if he knew what had become of the
young Indian who had so eloquently opposed “the burying of the
tomahawk.” “He is before you,” replied the son of the forest, with all
the brevity of his expressive language. “Time has much changed us,” said
the general to him, “for then we were young and active.” “Ah,” exclaimed
Red Jacket, “time has been less severe on you than on me; he has left
you a fresh countenance, and a head well covered with hair; whilst as
for me—look!” and untying the handkerchief that covered his head, he
showed us, with a melancholy air, that his head was entirely bald. The
bystanders could not help smiling at the simplicity of the Indian, who
appeared to be ignorant of the means of repairing the injuries of time;
but were cautious not to explain his error; and perhaps did right, for
he might have confounded a wig with a scalp, and wished to have
regarnished his head at the expense of that of one of his neighbours.
Like all the Indians, who have preserved their primitive haughtiness,
Red Jacket obstinately adheres to his native language, and entertains a
great contempt for all others. Although it was easy to see that he
understood English perfectly, he nevertheless refused to reply to the
questions of General Lafayette, before they were translated into Seneca
by his interpreter. The general, having remembered a few Indian words
which he had learned during his youth, pronounced them before him; he
appeared sensible of this politeness, which singularly augmented the
high opinion he already entertained of Lafayette.

The Seneca tribe is one of the six nations known formerly by the name of
Iroquois, and now inhabiting the northern part of the state of New York,
under the protection of the government of that state. These six nations
are the Tuscaroras, Onondagas, Oneidas, Cayugas, Mohawks, and Senecas. I
wished much to have visited a large village inhabited by the latter, a
short distance from Buffalo, but the little time we spent at that place,
was so completely and agreeably taken up by entertainments prepared by
the inhabitants for their guest, that it was impossible for me to spare
the time.

We passed the night at Buffalo, and the next day, at an early hour, we
set out in a carriage for the Falls of Niagara: on our way we
breakfasted with the family of General Porter, at Black Rock, a small
but handsome port which rivals that of Buffalo in bustle; and a few
hours afterwards, a hollow rambling which seemed to shake the earth, and
a thick column of vapour which we saw at a distance rising towards the
clouds, announced to us, that we were about to enjoy the sight of one of
the greatest wonders of nature.

At two o’clock we arrived with our fellow passengers from Buffalo and
Black Rock at Manchester, a small village situated on the right bank of
the Niagara, near the falls, where the general was received and
complimented by a large deputation from the county of Niagara. Full of
an impatience that may readily be conceived, we abridged as much as
possible, the duration of a public dinner, of which we were obliged to
partake on arriving, and at half past three we went over to the island
that divides the Niagara into two unequal parts, at the point where the
waters form the cataracts and precipitate themselves in a gulf of 150
feet in depth. The sight of the bridge which leads to this island,
called Goat Island, admirably prepares the mind for the contemplation of
the imposing scene that presents itself, and gives a nigh idea of the
boldness and skill of those who constructed it. Built on a bed of rocks,
whose numerous points are elevated above the water, and by opposing the
current only increase its violence, its wooden pillars are agitated by a
continued vibration, which seems to announce that the moment approaches
when it will give way and be precipitated in the abyss; some minutes
after having passed the bridge we found ourselves in presence of the
great fall. It is a sublime spectacle, but it must not be expected I
should attempt to describe the sensations that I experienced at the
sight of the gigantic phenomena; they were of a nature that cannot be
expressed: I therefore willingly relinquish the trial, in which, in my
opinion, the most skilful writers have greatly failed. We remained near
half an hour on the edge of the gulf, silently contemplating the rapid
fall of the water, and almost stunned by the noise of its terrible
roaring. We should, in all probability, have remained plunged in a
reverie much longer, had we not been roused by the voice of one of our
companions, doubtless more familiar than us with this fearful sport of
nature, anxious to give us some details, interesting perhaps, but which
we certainly should never have demanded.

Mr. A. Porter, the brother of General Porter, with whom we had
breakfasted at Black Rock, is the owner of Goat Island; he had the
kindness to conduct the general to all the most picturesque points of
this singular property, which is, as it were, suspended above the abyss.
From the upper extremity of the island, we saw a spectacle less terrible
than from the lower point, but which is nevertheless not without
majesty. Our view, extending to a great distance, agreeably reposed on
the beautiful river Niagara, which rolls its waters as smooth as a
mirror, over a large bed unincumbered with obstacles, and between low
and fertile banks: it is only in approaching the superior point of the
island, that the rapidity of the course is accelerated and it prepares
for the terrible fall, whose noise, during the stillness of the night,
is heard, it is said, for more than twenty miles around. Woe to the
animal or man that has the imprudence to enter this irresistible
current, no human power can save him from the insatiable avidity of the
gulf. It is only a few years since a young Indian furnished a lamentable
example. He was sleeping in the bottom of his canoe which he had
fastened to the shore near the small town of Chippewa, when a young girl
who had replied to his love, but whom he had deserted for another,
passed and saw him. At the sight of him the furies of jealousy kindled
in her bosom the desire for revenge. She approached, unfastened the
canoe, and gently pushed it from the shore, the current soon acted on
it, and carried it down the stream with great rapidity. The noise of the
waves soon woke the young Indian, who, on opening his eyes, saw the
imminent danger to which he was exposed; his first movement, inspired by
a desire of preservation, was to seize his paddle to strive against the
current; but he soon perceived the inutility of his efforts, which were
derided by his wicked mistress by cries of cruel joy: then having
nothing to oppose to his fate but a courageous resignation, he enveloped
himself in his blanket, seated himself in the middle of the canoe, and
coolly fixed his looks on the gates of eternity soon to be opened to
him, and in a few seconds disappeared in the profound abyss.

The name of Chippewa, pronounced in the recital of the fate of the young
Indian, awoke our recollection of the glorious deeds of the American
troops, during the last war, on the frontiers of Canada, from which we
were only separated at this time by an arm of the Niagara. With this
recollection were naturally mingled the names of Brown, Van Ransellaer,
Ripley, Scott, Porter, Harrison, Pike, Jessup, Miller, and many others
who rendered themselves illustrious in these spots, by their talents,
their courage, and their ardent love of country.

After two hours of delightful excursion, we left Goat Island, and cast a
farewell look on it from the bridge which unites it to the main land.
From this it appeared to us like a garden in the air, supported by the
clouds, and surrounded by thunder. The general could not tear himself
from this imposing scene, and I believe that when he learnt that Goat
Island and its charming dependencies were for sale for 1000 dollars, he
strongly regretted that the distance from France would not permit him to
purchase it. It would be, in fact, a delicious habitation; the surface
of the soil, of about seventy-five acres, is covered with a vigorous
vegetation, whose verdure constantly kept up by the freshness of the
pure and light vapour that arises from the cataract, presents an
agreeable shelter from the heat of summer. The current of water which
surrounds it offers an incalculable power which may be applied to mills
of all kinds. I do not think that Mr. Porter will wait long before he
disposes of a property which offers so many advantages.

On leaving Manchester and the Falls of Niagara, we went to Lewistown to
sleep: this is a pretty village situated a few miles below the falls;
and the next day, at five o’clock in the morning, we rode to Fort
Niagara, where General Lafayette had been invited to breakfast by Major
Thomson, the commandant of the garrison. We found the major at the head
of his officers, a short distance in advance of the fort, waiting to
receive the general, who was saluted by twenty-four guns as soon as he
entered the works. Some ladies, wives of the officers of the garrison,
assisted their husbands in doing the honours of the entertainment, and
contributed not a little by their politeness, in making the time we
passed at Niagara appear very short.

This fort is built precisely at the point where the river enters into
Lake Ontario, on which Commodore Chauncey reaped laurels, like those
gathered by Perry on Lake Erie. Almost opposite, on the other bank, is
fort George, occupied by the English. Hostilities were frequent between
these two posts in the campaigns of 1813 and 1814, but the
fortifications of both have since been repaired, and it would now be
difficult to trace the ravages of war.

The general shortened his visit to Fort Niagara, in order to arrive
early at Lockport, where we were to embark on the grand canal, to
descend to Albany. On a height near Lockport we met a troop of from
seventy to eighty citizens on horseback, and under this escort entered
the village, where the general was saluted by an extraordinary kind of
artillery. Hundreds of small blasts, charged with powder by the workmen
engaged in quarrying the bed of the rock to form the canal, exploded
almost at the same moment, and hurled fragments of rock into the air,
which fell amidst the acclamations of the crowd. The appearance of
Lockport filled us with astonishment and admiration. No where have I
ever seen the activity and industry of man conquering nature so
completely as in this growing village. In every part may be heard the
sound of the hatchet and hammer. Here, trees are felled, fashioned under
the hands of the carpenter, and raised on the same spot in the form of a
house; there, on a large public square, which exists as yet only in
project, an immense hotel already opens its doors to new settlers, who
have not any other habitation. Scarcely is there to be found in the
whole town a sufficiency of the necessaries of life, and yet, by the
side of a school, in which the children are instructed whilst their
fathers are building the houses that are to shelter them, is to be seen
a printing press, which every morning issues a journal, teaching the
labourers, in their hours of repose, how the magistrates of the people
fulfil the confidence reposed in them. In streets traced through the
forest, and yet encumbered with trunks of trees and scattered branches,
luxury already appears in the light wagons drawn by splendid horses;
finally, in the midst of these encroachments of civilization on savage
nature, there is going on, with a rapidity that appears miraculous, that
gigantic work, that grand canal, which, in tightening the bonds of the
American Union, spreads comfort and abundance in the wilds through which
it passes.

Our carriages stopped opposite to an arch of green branches, and General
Lafayette was conducted to a platform, where he had the satisfaction of
being welcomed by one of his old fellow soldiers, the venerable Stephen
Van Rensellaer, now president of the board of canal commissioners. After
having been officially presented to the deputation from Monroe county,
as well as to a great number of citizens, we sat down to a public
dinner, presided over by Colonel Asher Saxton, at the end of which the
general, induced by the feelings awakened in him by the sight of so many
wonders, gave the following toast: “To Lockport and the county of
Niagara—they contain the greatest wonders of art and nature, prodigies
only to be surpassed by those of liberty and equal rights.”

The free masons of Lockport, not wishing to permit the general to depart
without rendering him the honours due to his high masonic rank, begged
him to keep in remembrance of their lodge, the rich ornaments with which
he had been adorned when he entered the temple. They afterwards
accompanied us to the basin, where the boat was waiting to convey us to
Rochester. Before we embarked, we had great pleasure in viewing the
handsome locks, cut out of the solid rock, to the depth of twenty-five
feet. The moment the general stepped on board the barge, a multitude of
small blasts, dug in the rock, exploded above our heads, and their
deafening detonations added to the solemnity of the farewells of the
citizens of Lockport. Before leaving the basin, we received from Dr. ——
a box containing specimens of the different species of rocks through
which the canal passed; we accepted this interesting collection with
gratitude. Although navigation by steam is not applicable to a canal,
whose banks are not of stone, yet, as the horses and the tow-path were,
excellent, we travelled rapidly and comfortably; for the boat (the
Rochester) that carried us, was much more convenient and better provided
with the comforts of life than could have been supposed.

We left Lockport at 7 o’clock in the evening, and traversed during the
night the sixty-five miles that separate that village from Rochester,
where we arrived at an early hour in the morning. We had not yet quitted
our cabin, when suddenly the name of Lafayette, pronounced amidst
violent acclamations, induced the general to ascend on deck; we followed
him, and what was our astonishment and admiration at the scene that
presented itself! We were apparently suspended in the air, in the centre
of an immense crowd which lined both sides of the canal; several
cataracts fell rumbling around us, the river Genessee rolled below our
feet at a distance of fifty feet; we were some moments without
comprehending our situation, which appeared the effect of magic: at last
we found, that the part of the canal on which we were, was carried with
an inconceivable boldness across the Genessee river, by means of an
aqueduct of upwards of four hundred yards in length, supported by arches
of hewn stone. Our fellow passengers, witnesses of our astonishment,
informed us that, in its long course, the canal passed several times, in
a similar manner, over wide and deep rivers; that above Irondiguot, for
example, it pursued an aerial route for more than a quarter of a mile,
at an elevation of 70 feet. This kind of construction appears familiar
to the Americans. The bridges are usually of an elegance and boldness of
execution that is inconceivable. Not far from Rochester may be seen the
ruins of a bridge that had been thrown over the river Genessee in a
single arch of 320 feet span, and 180 feet elevation above the water; it
gave way a few years since whilst two children were crossing it. It was
said to have been a masterpiece of art, but the want of size and
strength in the timbers prevented its lasting long.

The general left the canal at Rochester, passed a few hours with the
inhabitants of that town, who gave him a reception, which, in affection
and elegance, fully equalled any that I have hitherto witnessed, and
continued his journey by land, passing through the villages of
Canandaigua, Geneva, Auburn, Skeneateles, Marcellus, &c. and re-joined
the canal at Syracuse. This journey confirmed us in the opinion, that no
part of America, or, perhaps, of the whole world, contains so many
wonders of nature as the state of New York. The lakes of Canandaigua,
Seneca and Cayuga, appeared delightful to us from the purity of their
waters, the form of their basins, and the richness of their banks. The
sight of all these beauties, and still more the kindness and urbanity of
the population through which we travelled, often made General Lafayette
regret the rapidity with which he travelled. During this journey of
upwards of one hundred and thirty miles by land, we travelled night and
day, only stopping for a few moments at each village, to enjoy the
entertainments, prepared by the inhabitants in honour of their beloved
guest, who, said they, by the simplicity, the amenity and uniformity of
his manners, towards all classes of citizens, completed the conquest of
all hearts, already devoted to him from his adherence to the cause of
America in particular, and that of liberty in general.

From Rochester to Syracuse, we were constantly struck with the marked
beauty of the horses that formed our relays; and learned that they had
been gratuitously furnished by individuals, whose patriotic
disinterestedness was fully appreciated by the different committees
charged with the care of the general’s journey, and who returned them
public thanks. Among these generous citizens, I heard particularly
cited, Mr. de Zeng, of Geneva, and Mr. Sherwood, proprietor of the
stage-coaches at Auburn.

On arriving at Syracuse at six o’clock in the morning, by the fading
light of the illuminations, and the crowd that filled the streets, we
learned that the people of the village had expected the national guest
all night. The splendid supper that had been prepared for the evening
before, made us an excellent breakfast, and the general passed three
hours amidst the kind congratulations of the citizens, who eagerly
pressed around him. At nine o’clock he took leave of his friends at
Syracuse, and embarked on board the canal-boat, amid the thunder of
artillery, and loud wishes for the happy termination of his voyage.

We resumed this mode of travelling with the more pleasure, as we had
lately suffered much from the heat and dust on our last day’s journey by
land. Always incited by a wish to fulfil the promise he had given to the
citizens of Boston, the general determined to travel day and night as
long as he was on the canal, and only to halt in the towns on his route
a sufficient time to return his thanks to the inhabitants, all of whom
had made preparations for his reception. We often regretted this
necessary haste, especially on seeing the handsome towns of Rome, Utica,
Schenectady, &c. and hearing the patriotic acclamations of their
inhabitants. At Rome, which we passed through in the night by the light
of an illumination, we met with the deputation from Utica, at the head
of which the general had the satisfaction of recognising one of his
fellow soldiers, Colonel Lansing, who fought by his side at Yorktown.

Twenty discharges of artillery announced his arrival in Utica, and at
this signal all the population gathered round him to hear the eloquent
discourse addressed to him by Judge Williams, in the name of the people.
His astonishment was extreme, when the orator informed him that the part
of the country he had traversed in so rapid and commodious a manner, was
that through which he had passed with so much difficulty and danger
during the war of the revolution, to save the garrison of Fort Stanwix
from the tomahawks of the Indian allies of Great Britain. He could
scarcely believe in so great a change, and was unable to express the
happiness he felt. We only spent four hours at Utica; but that time
would not suffice to detail all the marks of attachment that were heaped
upon him. Obliged to divide his time between his old fellow soldiers and
the children of the different schools; between the magistrates and the
ladies; and, finally, between strangers and Indians, collected from
several miles around to pay their respects to him, he still found means
to reply to the enthusiasm of all, and every one that approached him
returned satisfied and persuaded that he was an object of particular
attention. Three chiefs of Oneidas, Taniatakaya, Sangouxyonta, and
Doxtator, asked for a private interview, and recalled to his
recollection some circumstances of the campaigns of 1777 and 1778, in
which they had rendered him some services. He recognized them again, but
was greatly astonished to find, that two of them already advanced in
years at the time of which they spoke, were still living;
notwithstanding their great age, their features still preserved an
energetic expression; they spoke with warmth of the situation of their
tribe. “The chase is no longer productive,” said they; “it does not
supply our wants, and we are obliged to provide for our subsistence by
agriculture, which renders us very unhappy; but it is not owing to our
white brothers of the state of New York; they act generously towards us;
they permit us to live in peace near the bones of our fathers, which
they have not obliged us to transport to a strange land; and the
government often succours us when our harvests fail; hence we sincerely
love our white brothers, the Americans. We formerly fought for them
against the English, and we are still ready to raise the tomahawk in
their favour, whenever occasion requires it.” The general praised them
for the sentiments they expressed; he told them he had not forgotten
their former valuable services; and begged them always to regard the
Americans as good brothers; he then made them some presents of money,
and they returned well satisfied. A deputation from the county of
Oneida, waited on the general to beg him to assist in laying the first
stone of a monument, which the citizens of that county were about
erecting to the memory of Baron de Steuben, whose remains had reposed
since 1795, at Steubenville, without any mark of distinction. But the
time fixed for this ceremony, not according with the public engagements
entered into by the general with the citizens of Boston, he was under
the necessity of refusing this invitation. “If I could associate with
you,” replied he to the deputation, “in rendering to the memory of my
fellow soldier and friend Baron de Steuben, those honours you intend
bestowing and of which no one is more worthy, without my missing the
celebration at Bunker’s Hill, it would not be the fatigues of a long and
rapid journey that would deter me, you may be fully persuaded; but a
single day of delay may occasion my breaking a sacred promise; you must
be aware of this, be good enough therefore to be the bearers of my
regrets to the citizens of Steubenville, and assure them that my heart
will be with them at this melancholy ceremony, which I am obliged to
forego attending in spite of my wishes.”

The regrets of General Lafayette were the more acute and sincere, as he
could, better perhaps than any other, appreciate the rare qualities and
noble character of Baron de Steuben, who had shared with him the toils
and dangers of the Virginia campaign.

Frederic William Steuben was born in Prussia, in 1735. Destined for a
career of arms, his education was entirely military, and he early
entered the service. His knowledge, his well tried courage, and his zeal
in the performance of his duties, did not escape the penetration of
Frederic the Great, who promoted him rapidly, and attached him
particularly to his own person. The young Steuben did not fail to profit
by the lessons of his illustrious master, and obtained a brilliant
reputation among the best generals of the age. But neither the glory he
had acquired, nor the favours of the greatest king of the time, could
counterbalance his love for liberty. As soon as he learned that the
American colonies, shaking off the despotism of England, were ready to
maintain their independence by an appeal to arms, he crossed the ocean
and offered them his services, declaring that he was ambitious of no
other honour than that of acting as a volunteer in a good cause, and
that he would accept neither rank nor pay before he had given proofs of
his valour. This noble disinterestedness, and the services he rendered
the American army, merited him the friendship of Washington, and the
confidence of congress, who elevated him to the rank of major-general.
His candour and moderation equalled his skill and bravery. After the
peace, wishing to enjoy the fruits of that liberty to which he had
contributed so gloriously, he retired to Oneida county, to lands given
him by congress, and there, cultivating in solitude his mind and his
fields, he philosophically waited for death; which suddenly made him its
prey in 1795. He was then about sixty years of age. According to his
wish, expressed in his last will, he was wrapped in his cloak, placed in
a simple wooden coffin, and committed to the earth without a stone or an
inscription to mark the place of his sepulchre. He laid for a long time
in a thick wood near his house, when his remains were menaced with
profanation by the opening of a public road through his property.
Colonel Walker, his former friend, hastened to collect them, and the
inhabitants of Steubenville, and of the county of Oneida, resolved to
enclose them in a durable monument, as an expression of their gratitude
and esteem for the German warrior.

A cannon, the signal of the departure of the guest of the nation, had
already been heard twenty-four times. The boat that was to take him to
Schenectady was ready, and the people assembled on the quays and the
bridges that cross the canal, waited in silence for his departure. When
he embarked, and our light vessel, drawn by superb white horses, had
begun to glide through the water, three cheers expressed to him the last
farewell of the inhabitants of Utica, whilst children placed on the
bridges, showered down flowers upon him as the boat passed beneath.
Standing on the prow of the vessel with his head uncovered, General
Lafayette replied by signs of gratitude to those testimonies of popular
esteem. His son and myself, witnesses of this touching scene, remained
near him, partaking both of the enthusiasm of the people, and the
happiness of him that was the object of it, when our attention was
suddenly attracted by the cries of a man who followed the boat, by
running along the bank, and making signs to us to stop. His copper
colour, half naked body, and grotesque ornaments, marked him for an
Indian. Although his intention to board us was manifest, our captain,
Major Swartwout, did not think it advisable to stop. The Indian,
therefore, exerting all his strength, hastened his pace so much, as to
pass us considerably, and at last waited on the last bridge near the
town. At the moment he passed beneath it, he sprung on the deck, and
fell on his feet in the midst of us, admirably erect. “Where is Kayewla?
I wish to see Kayewla,” cried he with agitation. The general was pointed
out to him. His countenance expressed the greatest satisfaction “I am
the son of Wekchekaeta,” said he, stretching out his hand; “of him who
loved you so well, that he followed you to your country when you
returned there after the great war; my father has often spoken to me of
you, and I am happy to see you.” The general had already learned that
Wekchekaeta had died some years since, and was glad to meet with his
son, who appeared to be about twenty-four years of age. He made him sit
down, and conversed several minutes with him, and rendered him happy by
presenting him with several dollars, when he left us. The young Indian
was as little embarrassed to find a mode of leaving the boat as he had
been to enter it. We were separated from the bank of the canal by about
ten feet; he sprung over this space with the lightness of a deer, and
disappeared in an instant. This singular visit greatly excited the
curiosity of our fellow passengers, and the general hastened to satisfy
it by relating the history of Wekchekaeta, whom he carried to Europe
with him in 1778, and who, soon disgusted with civilization, joyfully
returned to his native wilds.

To describe our voyage from Utica to Schenectady, a distance of about
eighty miles, would be to repeat what has already been said when
speaking of that in the upper part of the canal. We arrived in the
latter town next day, 11th June, about dinner time. We remained there
only a few hours, which the inhabitants rendered very pleasant to the
general, and in the evening set out in carriages for Albany, which is
about sixteen miles distant from it. We lost much, we were told, in not
continuing our route by the canal, which, during the whole of that
route, runs along the river Mohawk, over which it twice passes by
aqueducts of 1800 feet in length, but pressed for time, we were obliged
to choose the shortest road; besides, we had travelled, since leaving
Lockport, for near three hundred miles on the canal, and we had been
able to judge of the beauty and utility of this great channel of
communication, executed in eight years by the state of New York alone,
unassisted by any foreign aid. There are still some few parts to be
finished, before the navigation will be open the whole length of the
canal; but these will be accomplished in a few months, when the boats
passing from Lake Erie to Albany will traverse a length of three hundred
and sixty miles, and descend a height of five hundred and fifty feet, by
means of eighty-three locks built of hewn stone, and whose basin of
thirty feet long by fifteen broad, will admit boats of upwards of one
hundred tons burthen. The total expenses for the construction of this
canal are estimated at ten millions of dollars. This sum appears
enormous at first view, but nevertheless it is trifling, when the
immense advantages that will accrue to the state of New York are taken
into consideration. The tolls demanded for the right of navigation,
although very low, have already produced, during the year 1824, the sum
of 350,761 dollars; and it is believed that the receipts will amount
this year to 500,000 dollars, and that in the nine succeeding years it
will increase at the rate of 75,000 dollars per annum, so that at the
end of ten years, the debt incurred in the accomplishment of this great
work will be liquidated, and also, after deducting 100,000 dollars
annually for repairs, &c., the state of New York will receive from its
canal, a nett revenue of a million of dollars, which is four times more
than the expenses of its government.[16]

The state of New York will then present the new spectacle of a community
of more than two millions of men, not only supporting its government
without taxes, but also having money arising from its own property. The
citizens of that state will always, it is true, have to pay the duties
the general government thinks right to impose on the importation of
foreign products; but the independent farmer, who produces on his farm
all the necessaries of life, may live without paying any tax either
direct or indirect, to the state or the general government.

I present this picture of the public prosperity of the state of New
York, for the consideration of our European politicians and economists.

                             CHAPTER XIII.

  Return to Boston—Reception of Lafayette by the Legislature of
      Massachusetts—Celebration of the anniversary of Bunker’s
      Hill—History of the Revolution familiar to the Americans—Departure
      from Boston.

We arrived at Albany before sunrise, on the 12th of June, and some hours
afterwards we had already crossed the Hudson, and advanced rapidly
towards Massachusetts, whose western border is traced parallel to that
river at about twenty-five miles from the left bank; we had still to
travel one hundred and fifty miles before reaching Boston, but the
excellence of the roads insured us a rapid journey, and hence General
Lafayette was certain of arriving in time to fulfil his engagements.
Nevertheless, he determined to stop only for such time as was absolutely
necessary for repose. We therefore entered Boston on the 15th at a
little before noon. In publishing this happy arrival, the newspapers
caused much astonishment and joy, throughout the Union. Few persons
believed in the possibility of his return for the anniversary of
Bunker’s hill, and every one considered the journey he had performed as
almost magical. In fact, had he not travelled, in less than four months,
a distance of upwards of five thousand miles, traversed seas near the
equator, and lakes near the polar circle, ascended rapid rivers to the
verge of civilization in the new world, and received the homage of
sixteen republics! And our astonishment is increased, when it is
recollected that this extraordinary journey was performed by a man of 67
years of age! The plan of this journey had been, it is true, ably and
skilfully planned by Mr. M’Lean, the postmaster-general, General
Bernard, and Mr. George Lafayette; and had been followed with a
precision and exactness, that could only have resulted from the
unanimity of feeling which animated both the people and the magistrates
of the different states; but, during so long a journey, amidst so many
dangers, it would have been impossible to foresee accidents, one of
which, by delaying us only a few days, would have deranged all our
calculations, and yet our good luck was such that we never lost a moment
of the time so exactly portioned out, and arrived on the precise day
fixed upon.

In returning to the city of Boston, where so many old and firm friends
expected him, General Lafayette would have experienced unalloyed
satisfaction, if he had not been obliged to deplore the loss of two
sincere friends, whom death had snatched away during his short absence,
the ex-governor Brooks and Governor Eustis, who departed this life, in
possession of the esteem and regret of all who knew them, and had
experienced their sage administration. This was the commencement of the
accomplishment of the prophetic words of Lafayette’s companions in arms,
who all, in shaking him by the hand, had exclaimed, “We have again seen
our old general—we have lived long enough!”

The day after our arrival, in accordance with an invitation that had
been given him, the general went to the Capitol, where the new governor,
Mr. Lincoln, the senate, house of representatives, and civil authorities
of Boston, had united to receive and compliment him. After we had taken
our places in this assembly, the governor rose, and in the name of the
state of Massachusetts, congratulated the guest of the nation on the
happy termination of his long journey.

As soon as the general had made his reply, the members of the two houses
left their places, and crowded round him to offer him an individual
expression of their feelings, and sincere congratulations were showered
upon him from the galleries, which were filled by a great number of
ladies anxious to see him once again. Among the strangers of distinction
who were present at this scene, we recognized with much pleasure, Mr.
Barbour, appointed secretary of war since Mr. Adams had entered on his
functions as president; Colonel M‘Lane of the state of Delaware, Colonel
Dwight, Drs. Mitchill and Fisk, General Courtland and Colonel Stone of
New York, who had all arrived within a few days to be present at the
ceremonies of the 17th of June.

On leaving the capitol, the general was reconducted by a numerous escort
of friends to the house of Senator Lloyd, where we found our
accommodations prepared the preceding evening, through the hospitable
attentions of his amiable family.

The sun of the fiftieth anniversary of the battle of Bunker’s hill arose
in full radiance, and thousands of voices uniting with the joyous sounds
of the bells and reports of artillery saluted it with patriotic
acclamations. At seven o’clock in the morning, passing through a crowd,
agitated by glorious recollections of the 17th of June 1775, General
Lafayette went to the grand lodge of Massachusetts, where deputations
from the grand lodges of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island,
Connecticut, Vermont, and New Jersey, had joined the officers of the
chapter and knights of the temple, to receive and compliment him.

At ten o’clock, two thousand free masons, sixteen companies of volunteer
infantry and a corps of cavalry, the different corporation and the civil
and military authorities, assembled at the capitol, where the procession
was formed under the command of General Lyman, whilst the grand master,
and deputies of the masonic order, went for General Lafayette to Mr.
Lloyd’s, where he had retired on leaving the temple.

At half after ten, the procession took up the line of march. It was
composed of about seven thousand persons. Two hundred officers and
soldiers of the revolution marched at the head; forty veterans, the
honourable remains of the heroes of Bunker’s hill, followed in eight
open carriages; they were decorated with a large riband on which was
this inscription: June 17th, 1775. Some wore the cartouch boxes they had
emptied on that remarkable day, and one who had been a drummer, still
carried the instrument whose sound had so often rallied the American
battalions, broken by the English columns; behind them marched a long
array of numerous subscribers to the monument, formed in ranks of six,
and followed by two thousand masons, covered with rich ornaments and
symbols of the order; afterwards came General Lafayette in a superb
calash drawn by six white horses. Following him were a long file of
carriages, in which were his son, his secretary, the governor of
Massachusetts and staff, and a great number of persons of distinction,
both natives and foreigners. This column advanced to the sound of music
and bells, in the midst of two hundred thousand citizens, collected from
all the states in the Union, whilst discharges of artillery and general
acclamations saluted it at short intervals. It arrived at Bunker’s hill
at half after twelve; and in a short time every one was arranged in
regular order on the hill on which the monument was to be elevated, as a
mark of national gratitude to the first heroes of the revolution.

The modest pyramid formerly raised over the remains of Warren and his
companions, and which we had seen on our first visit to Bunker’s hill,
had disappeared. From its principal piece of timber, a cane had been
formed, on the gold head of which was an inscription, alluding to its
origin, and mentioning that it was presented by the masons of
Charlestown to General Lafayette, who accepted it as one of the most
precious relics of the American revolution; and a large excavation
indicated the spot on which the new monument was to be placed.

A short time after we had taken our places around this excavation, and
silence was established throughout the innumerable crowd, who waited in
religious meditation for the commencement of the ceremony, the grand
master of the grand lodge of Massachusetts, accompanied by the principal
dignitaries of the order, brother Lafayette, Mr. Webster and the
principal architect, proceeded to lay the first stone, with the forms
prescribed by masonic regulations; in an iron box were placed medals,
pieces of money, a plate of silver on which was engraved an account of
the foundation of the monument; over this box was laid a stone on which
the grand master poured corn, wine and oil, whilst the Rev. Mr. Allen,
the chaplain of the day, pronounced the benediction. The masonic order
to finish the monument, was then given, and a discharge of artillery
proclaimed that the first part of the ceremony was accomplished.

The procession then marched to a vast amphitheatre constructed on the
north-east side of the hill, in the centre of which rose a platform,
from which the orator of the day could make his voice heard by the
fifteen thousand auditors placed in the amphitheatre; all the officers
and soldiers of the revolution, some of whom had arrived from distant
places to assist at this solemnity, were seated in front of the
platform; the survivors of Bunker’s hill forming a small group before
them. At the head of these, in a chair, was the only surviving general
of the revolution, General Lafayette; and immediately behind, two
thousand ladies, in brilliant dresses, appeared to form a guard of
honour to the venerable men, and to defend them against the tumultuous
approaches of the crowd; behind the ladies, were more than ten thousand
persons seated on the numerous benches placed in a semi-circular form on
the side of the hill, the summit of which was crowded by more than
thirty-thousand spectators, who, although beyond the reach of the
orator’s voice, maintained the most perfect silence. After the agitation
that inevitably accompanies the movement of so large a concourse had
subsided, the melodious voices of a great number of musicians were
heard; these, placed behind the speaker’s stand, chaunted a patriotic
and religious ode, whose sweet and simple harmony prepared all minds for
the deep impressions of eloquence. To this chaunt, succeeded a prayer by
Dr. Dexter. When that venerable pastor, who had the honour of combating
at Bunker’s hill, appeared before the assembly, with his white locks
falling over his shoulders, when he lifted upwards his hands withered by
time, and in a voice which was still strong, implored the benediction of
the Eternal on the labours of the day, all the bystanders were
penetrated with inexpressible emotions. At last, the orator of the day,
Mr. Webster, presented himself; his lofty stature, his athletic form,
noble expression of face, and the fire of his looks, were in perfect
harmony with the grandeur of the scene around. Already celebrated for
his eloquence, Mr. Webster was received by the assembly with strong
marks of satisfaction; the flattering murmur with which he was saluted,
rose from the base to the summit of the hill, and prevented him from
commencing his discourse for some moments. During his speech, the orator
was sometimes interrupted by bursts of applause from his auditory, who
could not restrain the expression of their sympathetic feelings, when
Mr. Webster addressed himself to the revolutionary veterans and General
Lafayette, and they, uncovering their venerable heads, arose to receive
the thanks he bestowed upon them in the name of the people. A hymn
chaunted in chorus by the whole assembly succeeded the discourse, and
terminated the second part of the ceremony.

At a signal gun, the procession was again formed, ascended the hill, and
seated themselves at a banquet, spread on the summit; there, under an
immense wooden building, four thousand persons were accommodated at
table without confusion or discomfort; the tables were disposed with so
much art, that the voice of the president and of those who gave the
toasts or delivered addresses was easily heard, not only by the guests,
but likewise by a great number of the spectators around; the names of
Warren, of the orator of the day, and of the guest of the nation, were
successively proclaimed during the repast. Before leaving the table,
General Lafayette rose to return his thanks to the members of the
association for erecting the monument on Bunker’s hill; and concluded by
offering the following toast: “Bunker’s hill, and that holy resistance
to oppression, which has already disenthralled the American hemisphere.
The anniversary toast at the jubilee of the next half century will be,
to Europe freed.”

This toast was enthusiastically received, and immediately afterwards the
guests left the table in order to return to their homes.

The brilliance and heat of a clear summer’s day was succeeded by a
delicious evening, cooled by a gentle sea breeze; to enjoy it the
better, Mr. George Lafayette proposed to me to return to Boston on foot.
I accepted his invitation, and we mingled with the crowds that were
slowly descending the hill and discussing the ceremonies of the day;
these discussions were always mingled with a mention of the guest of the
nation, and a recital of the principal actions that had entitled him to
the gratitude of the American people. Here, as in all other assemblies
of the people, that I had an opportunity of observing, during our
journey, I was struck with a remarkable peculiarity; the perfect
knowledge of the events of the revolution that is disseminated through
all classes of community, not even excepting the children; I have often
heard boys of from eight to ten years of age, talking to each other of
the events of the revolutionary war with astonishing precision; they
related to each other what they had read or learnt, how, for example,
Lafayette arrived in the United States, his receiving a wound at
Brandywine, what he had done at Rhode Island and Monmouth; that, whilst
he was commander in chief in Virginia, he had, after a campaign of five
months, forced Cornwallis to take refuge in Yorktown, where the French
fleet under Count de Grasse, and Washington at the head of Rochambeau’s
division and that of Lincoln, had joined him and laid siege to that
town, and forced the English and their Hanoverian auxiliaries to
capitulate. I am aware that the arrival of Lafayette in the different
towns, gave rise to a recollection of those facts; I also had constant
proofs, that the other events of the revolution were equally familiar to
all classes of society, from the veterans, with whom they were a never
failing topic of conversation, to school children, who were proud of the
deeds of their ancestors, and of the republican liberty, they had the
happiness to enjoy. Another very remarkable trait in the American
character, is, that the people are not only free and happy, but that
they appreciate this happiness and liberty; and what English travellers
have termed vanity, is only the firm conviction of the superiority of
the institutions and civil dignity maintained by the Americans, as a man
in perfect health returns thanks to heaven for the blessings he enjoys;
this is so true, that American patriotism (we may say the same of French
liberalism, but not of English patriotism) is entirely free from a
jealousy of other nations, whose liberty and prosperity are cordially
hailed by the people of the United States.

Yielding to the wishes of the inhabitants of Boston, General Lafayette
remained several days in their city after the ceremonies at Bunker’s
hill, and divided his time amidst the society of his private friends and
the public, who, till the last moment, bestowed on him testimonies of
their attachment. On the 20th he accepted a dinner given him by the
Mechanics’ Society, where he met all the public functionaries, and the
most distinguished personages of the state, who had accepted the
invitation with equal warmth, so great is the deference paid by every
one in the United States to the useful classes of society.

During his visit to Boston, General Lafayette received and accepted
invitations from the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, where
his presence was impatiently looked for by the people, and one from the
city of New York, who ardently desired that he would celebrate the 4th
of July, the anniversary of American independence, with them. To fulfil
all these engagements in so short a time, appeared difficult, but still
the general did not despair of accomplishing it, for he knew by
experience how much both the magistrates and the people strove to render
his journeys agreeable and rapid. On the 20th he went to take leave of
his old friend, John Adams; and employed all the day of the 21st to
receiving farewell visits in the city; on the 22d he set out,
accompanied by the committee of arrangement and a corps of volunteer

                              CHAPTER XIV.

  Rapid and hasty visit to the states of New Hampshire, Maine, and
      Vermont—Return to New York—Celebration of the Anniversary of
      American Independence—American vessels of war—Patriotism and
      disinterestedness of the Seamen of New York.

In commencing this journal, I had determined to record each day, all the
events of this extraordinary journey, but their multiplicity, and above
all, the rapidity of our movements, often obliged me to forego the
rigorous fulfilment of this plan; and it was in traversing the states of
Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, more especially, that I felt the
utter impossibility of noting all the interesting occurrences, all the
honourable and interesting circumstances that characterised the visit of
General Lafayette to that part of the Union. We travelled through these
states at a speed of eleven miles per hour. We often passed through so
many villages and towns on the same day, that my memory could not retain
their names. I could not therefore find the necessary time to record all
the historic or statistical details, which I had amply gleaned in a
majority of the other states, and shall only be able, in this chapter,
to retrace some of the entertainments given by the Green Mountain boys,
and their neighbours, to the guest of the nation.

I have said that General Lafayette left Boston on the 22d May, early in
the morning. A few hours after his departure, he arrived at Pembroke on
the borders of New Hampshire, where he was received by a deputation from
that state at the head of which was Mr. Webster, brother to the orator
of Bunker’s hill, who complimented him in the name of his fellow
citizens. From Pembroke to Concord, the capital of the state, his
triumphal progress was attended by a large escort of citizens collected
even from distant places. On arriving in that town, he was immediately
conducted to the capitol, where the house of representatives and the
senate, presided over by the governor of the state, were assembled to
receive him. The address delivered by Governor Morrill, was remarkable
for the vivid expression of the feelings of gratitude and attachment
entertained towards him by the people of New Hampshire. He replied to
this speech with great emotion.

After this reception the general was led into another room in the
capitol, where General Pierce was in attendance, and who presented to
him a great number of his old fellow soldiers, who, notwithstanding age
and fatigue, had not hesitated to leave their distant fire-sides to
shake hands and recall with him for a moment, scenes long passed. They,
as well as the senators and members of the house of representatives,
were individually introduced to him; the people joyfully prepared a
dinner in the public square for six hundred guests, to which we were
invited on leaving the capitol. The general had the pleasure of finding
himself seated in the midst of two hundred officers and soldiers of the
revolution, who could scarcely restrain their joy at the presence of
their old friend.

Before leaving the table, several expressed in their toasts their
feelings of philanthropic liberty. One drank “to the holy alliance
between Lafayette and liberty—may it overthrow all plots against the
rights of man.” Another gave “North America as she is, France as she
ought to be.” The general replied to these wishes by the following
toast: “The state of New Hampshire and its representatives, and this
town, the residence of the constituted authorities of the state. May the
citizens of New Hampshire always enjoy civil and religious liberty,
benefits which the elevated souls of their ancestors led them to seek in
a distant land, and which their fathers have founded on the solid basis
of the sovereignty of the people, and the rights of men.” A discharge of
artillery, and the unanimous plaudits of the crowd that surrounded the
tables, attended this toast, and we left the table to proceed to the
capitol square, where the militia were drawn up, waiting until the
general reviewed them.

Our evening was divided between the musical society, who performed an
excellent oratorio, and a party at Governor Morrill’s, at which were
crowds of ladies, wishing to take leave of the national guest, who the
next day left Concord with an escort of a corps of cavalry, and took the
road to Dover, where he arrived before evening, and was received with an
enthusiasm I shall not pretend to describe.

After having quitted Dover, we arrived on the frontiers of Maine, where
General Lafayette was received by a deputation, with which we directed
our course to Portland, the seat of government of that state. On the way
we visited Kennebunk, a small town of about 2,500 inhabitants,
remarkable for the commercial activity of its port. The sound of bells
and artillery announced to the general with what pleasure he was
expected by the people, with whom he resolved to spend some hours. When
he entered the town-house, where the authorities of the state waited for
him, he was received by Dr. Emmerson, who addressed him in the name of
his fellow citizens.

Although the general had but a short time to devote to the citizens of
Kennebunk, he yet accepted the public dinner they had prepared for him,
and took his seat on a chair elegantly decorated with flowers by the
ladies of the town: at the end of the repast each citizen expressed the
feelings he experienced at this patriotic reunion, and Dr. Emmerson gave
the following toast: “Our national guest, General Lafayette—he left
Europe to give liberty to America; he returned to teach his country the
manner of achieving happiness. To-day he comes among us to enjoy the
result of his glorious deeds.”

The general replied to this toast by the following: “The village of
Kennebunk, on the site of which the first tree was felled on the day in
which the first gun was fired at Lexington, the signal of American and
universal liberty! May that glorious date always be a pledge of the
republican prosperity and increasing happiness of Kennebunk.”

On leaving the table, and before departing from the town, the general
repaired to the house of one of the principal citizens, Mr. Storer,
where all the ladies were assembled to be introduced to him. He thanked
them affectionately for the delicate attentions which they had paid him
during his stay at Kennebunk, and at 4 o’clock, P. M. he commenced his
journey to Saco, where he slept.

On the 25th we arrived at Portland, a pretty town on the sea-shore,
between the rivers Saco and Penobscot. It had been for a long time the
seat of government of Maine, and its population, almost entirely
commercial, is about nine thousand souls. The citizens of Portland and
their magistrates had prepared a reception worthy of their love for
Lafayette, and it may be said not to have yielded in magnificence to
that accorded him by the largest cities of the Union; the militia,
assembled from every part of the state, presented an imposing body in
front of the town. The children of the different schools occupied the
streets through which the general was to pass, and strewed flowers upon
his path. The triumphal arches under which he passed, were remarkable
for their good taste, and the delicacy of the inscriptions with which
they were decorated. Upon one of them was a small model of a ship, under
which was written, “_I will purchase and equip a vessel at my own
expense!_” Words which Lafayette addressed, as is known, to the American
commissioners at Paris, in 1777, when the latter acknowledged the
inability of their country to provide the means of transporting him to
the United States. Upon others were the names of the battles in which
the young companion in arms of Washington had fought. Having slowly
traversed the town amidst the acclamations of the crowd, the general
arrived at the state house, where Governor Parris received and addressed
him on behalf of the citizens of Maine, and in the presence of the
representatives and magistrates of the people. The governor, in his
address, recalled with enthusiasm the glorious epoch which commenced the
reputation of Lafayette, and offered a merited tribute of eulogy and
admiration to the soldiers of the revolution.

Replete with a vivid emotion in which all his auditors participated,
General Lafayette briefly replied, but with that aptness and vigour, for
which he was uniformly conspicuous.

From the senate chamber the general went to the house of Mr. Daniel
Cobb, which had been prepared for him. He was there waited upon by a
great number of deputations, who offered him the greetings of the
neighbouring towns and villages. The grand officers of the masonic lodge
of Portland were also there, and the president of the academy, who, in
presence of the professors and students, conferred upon him the title of
LL.D. As soon as he could disengage himself for a moment from the crowd,
he visited Mrs. Thatcher, the daughter of his illustrious companion in
arms, James Knox, with whom he remained until he was informed that the
public authorities waited to accompany him to the dinner prepared by the

From Portland, the general would have been well pleased to continue his
route to the extremity of the state of Maine, but time was wanting; he
therefore retraced his steps towards Burlington, passing through
Windsor, Woodstock, Montpelier, &c. Although Vermont is very
mountainous, which rendered the road more difficult, we travelled with
extreme rapidity, advancing almost all the time more than nine miles an
hour, relays of horses having been well disposed by the inhabitants, in
order that the general might not be retarded in his progress to New
York. On the morning of the 28th, we arrived at Burlington, the
beautiful situation of which, on the delightful shores of Lake
Champlain, excited our admiration. Whilst we were viewing, with pleasure
and astonishment, the beauties of nature spread before us, we heard the
thunder of artillery, and an instant afterwards saw advancing towards us
a body of militia, preceded by a crowd of citizens, who hastened in
front of the national hotel. The good order of this body of troops, the
bold and firm step of the men who composed it, answered perfectly to the
reputation for bravery and patriotism which the inhabitants of Vermont
had acquired in the revolutionary war, and in that of 1814. Every one
knows, that it was the Vermonters who, in 1777, completed, by their
presence, the embarrassment of the English General Burgoyne, who, at
sight of their intrepid bands, presented his capitulation. Some days
before his surrender, he wrote to the British minister: “The inhabitants
of the New Hampshire[17] grants, a territory uninhabited and almost
unknown during the last war, flock together by thousands, and accumulate
upon my left like dense clouds” This letter had not yet been received in
England when already the thunderbolts which these clouds enveloped had
struck him. It was also the soldiers of Vermont, to the number of 800
only, who, led by General Starke, engaged, on the same day, two English
detachments, took from them seven hundred prisoners, four pieces of
artillery, and all their camp equipage. Finally, it was these intrepid
Green Mountain boys who formed the troops which preserved Plattsburg
from pillage by the English, on the 11th of September, 1814; and the raw
crews, who, with vessels built in eighteen days, forced an enemy
superior in number, to strike a flag which claimed the absolute empire
of the sea.

The governor, who had met the general at Windsor, and who had travelled
with him from that city, introduced him to the citizens and magistrates
of Burlington, who received him with the most affectionate addresses. I
shall not insert here, notwithstanding their eloquence, the numerous
speeches addressed to him by the representatives of the different
branches of the administration and government, nor his answers, in which
he congratulated the state of Vermont on their enjoying so nobly the
benefits of the new American social order, so superior to the least
vicious institutions of Europe, and at having replaced European
tolerance by religious _liberty_; _privilege_ by right; a shadow of
representation and an unequal compromise between the aristocratic
families and the people, by a true representation by the principle of
the sovereignty of the nation, and its self-government. But I cannot
refrain from relating some of the patriotic remarks of these veterans,
glorious and living monuments of the revolutionary war, who crowded
around their old chief, the companion of former dangers, privations, and
glory, and repeating with enthusiasm the names of the battles, in which
he had aided them in achieving the independence of their country. Formed
in column in the public square, to the number of more than a hundred,
they listened at first in silence to the discourse addressed to the
general by Mr. Griswold, president of the council; afterwards they
advanced in their turn, conducted by one of their comrades, David
Russel, whom they had chosen to be the organ of their sentiments, and
who performed the office with that eloquence of heart which is inspired
by love of country and of liberty. When the general had answered to the
professions of attachment of his old companions in arms, they all in
turn approached to shake hands with him, reminding him more particularly
of the circumstances under which each had known him, or had fought by
his side. One of them, Sergeant Day, showed him a sword, saying, “It is
nearly half a century since I received this from your hands, general.”
And I heard it said in the crowd, that notwithstanding his great age,
Sergeant Day had not found this sword too heavy for his arm in 1814.

After the public dinner, which was concluded before night, the general
visited the university, where he was invited to lay the corner stone of
a new building intended to be added to the establishment, which an
incendiary had destroyed a year before, and which the zeal of the
inhabitants of Vermont for the diffusion of knowledge had entirely
rebuilt in a few months. In the solidity and elegance of these buildings
it was easy to see the _hand of the people_. The ceremony of laying the
corner stone took place in presence of the pupils of the university,
their professors, the magistrates of the city, and a great concourse of
citizens, who saw with joy the restoration and enlargement of an
institution destined to render more permanent the support of their wise
institutions, by instructing and enlightening the rising generations.
Mr. Willard Preston, president of the university, thanked General
Lafayette for the evidence he had given of his interest in the education
of the youth of Vermont, and we proceeded to the residence of Governor
Van Ness, whose delightful dwelling and gardens arranged with exquisite
taste, were still more charmingly embellished by an assemblage of ladies
and gentlemen, who, during the whole evening, contended for the pleasure
of approaching the nation’s guest, to express their sentiments of
affection and gratitude for the services he had rendered to their
country and forefathers; for, in the state of Vermont, as in all the
rest of the Union, the females are not strangers either to the
principles of government, or to the obligations of patriotism; their
education, more liberal than in any part of Europe, places them in a
condition more worthy the rank of thinking beings, as it is well known
that in all the great events which have agitated the United States at
different periods, the enthusiasm of the women powerfully seconded the
energy of the magistrates, and the devotion of the warriors. One of the
circumstances which contributed most to augment my attachment to the
Americans during my stay among them, is the profound respect that they
pay to females of every rank, and the tender care with which they
protect this sex.

About midnight General Lafayette quitted the town of Burlington,
carrying with him the good wishes and benedictions of the inhabitants,
who accompanied him to the shore, where there were two steam-boats, the
Phœnix and Congress, both having awnings, illuminated and ornamented
with designs and transparencies. He went on board the Phœnix, which
saluted him with thirteen guns on his embarkation, when the anchor was
quickly weighed, amidst the loud farewells of the crowd who lined the
shores. The Congress having on board a deputation from Vermont, and a
large number of citizens, followed the Phœnix, and during the whole
night we ploughed the waters, upon which Commodore M’Donough and his
intrepid sailors covered themselves with glory on the 11th Sept. 1814.
We should have been pleased, before leaving these places, to visit
Plattsburg, where on the same day General M’Comb merited the gratitude
of his country, by repulsing the veteran troops of Britain, with a
handful of raw volunteers, who, at the first rumour of the invasion of
their territory, had flocked around him; but the 4th of July was
approaching, and rendered it necessary for us to hasten our progress.

The following day, June 30, about noon, we arrived at Whitehall, where
General Lafayette disembarked under a canopy formed of two hundred flags
of all nations, to the thunder of artillery, and between two lines of
girls who scattered flowers over him as he passed. Whitehall is
celebrated in the history of the revolutionary war. General Burgoyne
boasted in parliament, at London, that those whom he called the rebels
of America, were so incapable of resisting, that with five thousand
regular troops he would march from Canada to Boston, where he would take
up his winter quarters. He embarked in fact with his army on Lake
Champlain, disembarked at Whitehall, and not far from the latter place,
at Saratoga, he was compelled to capitulate, and passed, it is true, the
winter at Boston, but as a prisoner of war. At the conclusion of the
public dinner which the citizens of Whitehall gave to General Lafayette,
he referred to this remarkable fact, by giving the following
toast:—“Whitehall! May this town for ever enjoy the advantages resulting
to her from the manner in which the English general’s prophecy was

We could remain but a short time with the inhabitants of Whitehall, who
having furnished good carriages, and excellent horses, enabled us to
pass rapidly over the eighty miles that separated us from Albany, where
we were to embark for New York. After sunset we crossed Fish Creek, and
stopped some minutes at the house of Mr. Schuyler, which is built on the
precise spot where General Burgoyne delivered his sword to General
Gates. At Whitehall we were told of the boast of the English general,
and we now found ourselves on the field of battle which humbled his
pride; we should have been exceedingly pleased to visit this theatre of
one of the most glorious events of the revolution; but the night was too
far advanced, and we were compelled to forego this pleasure. To make
amends, as far as he could, Mr. Schuyler had the goodness to give us a
very detailed account of the battle of Saratoga. “The ground,” he told
us “has not undergone any change; the entrenchments, though considerably
effaced by time, are nevertheless easy to be recognised.” In fact, the
old patriots of that period can still show their children the path which
the aid of General Gates took, when he carried the _ultimatum_ to the
English general, and the road by which the English army left their
entrenchments to lay down their arms before rebels, who, almost without
arms, and destitute of equipments, commenced so gloriously the
acquisition of their independence. But these traces will one day
disappear. Why not erect in the midst of them, a more durable monument,
which shall remind future generations of the courage and patriotism of
this glorious generation, which time will soon render extinct?

After a short time passed with the family of Mr. Schuyler, we left them,
to sleep at a neighbouring town, and the next morning we continued our
journey by a road which winds along the Hudson, sometimes to the right,
at others on the left of the northern canal, which latter is constructed
parallel to the river, and a short distance from its right shore; in
crossing Fish Creek we re-entered the state of New York. We crossed the
Hudson at Waterford; this spot is rendered remarkable by the junction of
the northern with the western or great canal, which is just at the
confluence of the rivers Mohawk and Hudson. On the 2d of July, we
visited Lansinburgh, and returned to Troy, but without stopping any
time. A steam-boat had been prepared for us at Albany; on board of which
we went that evening, and at daylight we arrived at New York, where we
disembarked almost unexpectedly.

Nevertheless, there was a great bustle, and a great number of strangers
were observed in the streets; every moment vessels and carriages were
arriving, followed by others which seemed to come from a greater
distance. Detachments of militia from the neighbouring towns,
inhabitants of the surrounding country, were constantly swelling the
population of New York. Night did not interrupt these movements, the
precursors of a great event. Accordingly at midnight, a discharge of
artillery announced the commencement of a day ever glorious in the
records of the history of the New World, and some hours afterwards the
sun of the Fourth of July rose radiantly to illumine the 49th
anniversary of the declaration of independence of a republic, whose
great lessons will not be lost to the human race.

In the morning the militia were under arms, the streets, the public
places, and the entrances to the churches, were thronged with people,
and the air resounded with thanksgiving. At eight o’clock the officers
and magistrates of New York and Brooklyn, with a number of citizens,
visited General Lafayette, and invited him to lay the corner stone of a
building for a mechanics’ library at Brooklyn. The general acceded with
pleasure to the wishes of the magistrates, and proceeded to Brooklyn,
where, assisted by some free masons of Long Island, he laid the corner
stone of the edifice, in presence of a great concourse of citizens,
arranged in front of whom the young mechanics loudly expressed their joy
and gratitude; finally, he returned to New York, followed by companies
of journeymen tailors, shoemakers, bakers, stone-masons, cutlers,
coopers, riggers, &c., who, preceded by their banners, accompanied him
to church, where he attended divine worship. The sermon, the subject of
which was the solemnity of the day, was followed by the reading of the
declaration of independence, which was listened to with profound
attention. This declaration, a monument of fearlessness and wisdom,
whose magic influence saved the colonies at a moment when, without
money, munitions of war, or arms, they engaged in a formidable contest
with the colossal power of Great Britain, affected the Americans even at
the present day, after half a century, as if it were the moment when it
was first proclaimed. Not only is it read every year on the fourth of
July, in public, but also in many families. It is not uncommon to find
the houses of the Americans ornamented with the declaration of
independence, beautifully engraved with facsimiles of the signatures of
the immortal signers attached to it, and splendidly framed. Even
children know it by heart; it is commonly the first object upon which
the youthful memory is exercised; it is their pleasing task to translate
it into the different languages which they study; and when they recite
it in the midst of a circle of their relations or friends, it is easy to
perceive that they are penetrated, as were their fathers, with the
incontestible truth of the principle, that “when a long train of abuses
and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design
to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their
duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their
future security.”

I have often heard children of from ten to twelve years of age recite
this extract in English and French, and it was never without deep
emotion that they enumerated the oppressions and vexations exercised
towards the American colonies by the mother country. It was easy to
perceive that patriotism and liberty had taken deep roots in their young
hearts, when they pronounced the pledge which terminates the concluding

“We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in
general congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world,
for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the
authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and
declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free
and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to
the British crown, and that all political connection between them and
the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and
that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war,
conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all
other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for
the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection
of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our
fortunes, and our sacred honour.”

After leaving church, General Lafayette went to the Park, where all the
militia and firemen were assembled, who manœuvred and defiled before him
with great precision. One of these companies had a splendid flag, on
which was represented an equestrian portrait of the nation’s guest.
After this review he entered the city hall, where the governor presented
him to the senate; by whom he was received with honours never before
bestowed upon any one. On his entrance the members arose and uncovered
themselves; the president of the senate advanced towards him, and
felicitated him on his return, and expressed to him the gratification of
the citizens of New York, at his uniting with them in the celebration of
the anniversary of the glorious fourth of July.

From the council chamber we passed into that of the governor, where the
general was attended by the members of the society of Cincinnatus, the
European consuls, and a great number of distinguished persons, whom the
municipal body had invited to a banquet, the arrangement of which had
been given to a committee, who performed the duty in excellent taste.
Memorials of glory, of patriotism, and of liberty, were assembled in
astonishing numbers in the superb saloon of the city hall, where the
tables were arranged. The busts of Washington and Lafayette, the
portraits of Bolivar and of De Witt Clinton, were arranged in the midst
of trophies, above which always floated united the American and French
flags. The arm chair used by Washington when president, was placed in
the centre, and covered with branches of laurel and evergreens.

The company having seated themselves at table, we observed, amidst the
happy soldiers of 1776, proscribed persons from almost every country of
Europe, to whom places had been assigned by the republican hospitality
of the new world. Among these exiles were members of the Spanish cortes,
driven from their country by despotism; some learned Germans flying from
punishments as singular, as atrocious and unjust;[18] French
officers,[19] compelled to seek, in a foreign land, a repose which they
have had so often sacrificed for their native country, and all,
notwithstanding the miseries they had suffered, appeared consoled, and
their spirits revived by the prospect of the happiness enjoyed by the
freemen among whom they reside.

According to the American custom, after dinner a number of appropriate
toasts were drank. The general, after having received the felicitations
and good wishes of all the company, went to the Park theatre, where the
audience saluted him on his entrance and his departure with three

After the exertions of such a day, the general required rest, and the
citizens, always attentive to his wishes, allowed him, during some days,
freely to enjoy the calmer and not less pleasant attentions of his
private friends. It was with delight that he consecrated this period to
the society of his old companions in arms, among whom were Colonel
Platt, Colonel Willett, Colonel Varick, General Van Cortland, and many
others, whose names, though they dwell in the memory of the general,
have escaped mine.

He did not again leave the sweets of private life except to cross the
river to New Jersey, to pass a short time with his friend, Col. Varick,
who had invited him to dine with some of the principal citizens of New
York. The corporation of boatmen claimed the honour of conveying him
across the Hudson in a boat whose name was rendered popular by a recent
occurrence, which still occupied public attention.

The captain of the English frigate Hussar, which arrived at New York in
December, 1824, had a gig of remarkably light construction, with which
he had won several races in different European ports, especially in
England. Proud of his success, and full of confidence in the speed of
his gig, he challenged the boatmen of New York, and proposed a race for
$1000; this was accepted, the money made up on their side by
subscription, and a beautiful new boat called the American Star, chosen
for the contest. The day, hour, and place were fixed. The English
captain selected four of the most expert oarsmen of his crew, and acted
as cockswain himself. The _Whitehallers_ took four of their number
without much choice, and a youth of fifteen for cockswain. The distance
to be rowed was about three miles, between Castle Garden and the point
of Long Island. The English sailors, stooping violently to their
thwarts, and bending their oars at every stroke, launched forward with
impetuosity, leaving in their wake large whirls of sparkling foam. The
Whitehallers, seated perpendicularly on their thwarts, with motionless
bodies, and their arms also nearly fixed, scarce skimmed the waves with
their slight oars, but pressing and multiplying their pulls, were under
way as soon as their adversaries, scarce disturbing the transparent
water around them. A few minutes decided the victory, sometimes so long
uncertain. Though started at the same time, the two boats were soon
separated. The Englishmen, quickly exhausted by their violent exertions,
could not equal the rapid flight of their rivals, whose prompt arrival
at the goal was announced by the joyful acclamations of the spectators,
whom curiosity had drawn from all points of the city and vicinity to the
shores. Astonished at his defeat, but unable to contest its
completeness, the English captain eagerly acknowledged the superiority
of the American boat to his own, and offered to purchase her for $3,000.
But the Whitehallers refused to sell her. “We wish to keep her,” said
they, “as a monument of the victory we have had the honour of gaining
over you; but to lessen the regrets caused by our refusal, we will run
you another race, for double the stake, in which you shall man our boat
against us, and we will man yours.” But, however the English captain was
surprised, fearing a new defeat, or the loss of his money, he declined
the proposal. In the evening, the victorious boat was drawn on a
triumphal car through the city, and carried to the theatre, where it was
crowned, along with its four oarsmen and young cockswain. The next day
it was placed as a monument on the wharf, with the names of the crew
inscribed on the thwarts, and this legend on her gunwale: AMERICAN STAR,
Victorious, 4th December, 1824.

It was in this boat, and with the same oarsmen who had gained the
victory, that the Whitehallers wished to convey General Lafayette to
Sandy Hook, on the other side of the North river. In this passage we
could judge of their dexterity and skill; the numerous boats which
carried the other guests were compelled to follow at a distance. On his
return, as soon as the general had disembarked, the boatmen in a body,
under the flag of their association, and led by the victors, presented
themselves, to thank him for the services which he had formerly rendered
their country, and the testimonies of esteem accorded them. Then, after
briefly relating the history of the boat in which he had crossed the
river, they begged him to accept, and take it with him to La Grange,
that it might continually recall to him the remembrance of his New York
friends, the perfection of the mechanic arts in America, and the great
motto of American seamen: “_Free trade and sailors’ rights_.”[20]

The nature of the present and the delicacy with which it was offered,
did not permit the general to refuse it.

Meanwhile the period which was to separate us from the citizens of New
York arrived, and our hearts were oppressed with sadness. On the 14th of
July we left that city, to which we should not return previous to
quitting America. The magistrates and the people attended the nation’s
guest. A deep melancholy was evinced in every countenance; and although
the wharves were covered with an immense multitude, a solemn silence was
observed during our embarkation, interrupted only by the last farewell.

                              CHAPTER XV.

  Letter of Mr. Keratry on the anniversary of Bunker’s hill—Fair Mount
      Water Works at Philadelphia—Germantown—Mr. Watson’s Historical
      Box—Field of the Battle of Brandywine—Invocation of the Rev.
      William Latta—Clergy of Lancaster—Return to Baltimore, lighted by
      a fire.

Whilst the citizens of the United States were exhausting every means to
prove their grateful recollections of the ancient friend of their
fathers, of their country, and of their institutions, France was not
indifferent to the honours rendered to one of her sons on a distant
shore. By means of her writers, her poets and her orators, she united
her voice to that of republican America, to celebrate the principal
circumstances of this triumph, honourable alike to the two nations. It
was by means of one of the public journals,[21] printed at Paris and
transmitted to the United States, that Mr. Keratry, inspired by the
solemnity of Bunker’s hill, expressed the aspirations and sentiments of
every friend of liberty in France:—

“Nations acquit themselves of a sacred debt in honouring the memories of
their great citizens; but even by that they perform also an act of
personal preservation, since nothing can better excite a generous
patriotic devotion than the certainty secured to its author, of escaping

“There is in fact, in the acclamations of public gratitude, something
inspiring and almost contagious, which snatches man from himself, and
the interests of daily life. We sacrifice this life to assure ourselves
of another more brilliant and enduring. If told that these plaudits
should be decreed to frigid ashes, one would feel himself revived to
participate in this futurity of glory; and by a miracle of patriotism,
the general safety of a country results from all the sacrifices of

“Nations capable of these sacrifices, even while endeavouring to throw
off a yoke of oppression, the inevitable tendency of which is to degrade
our species, wherever it is submitted to, were never without virtue. We
are entirely convinced, that as God judges men individually, by their
earthly conduct, in a future state, he pronounces also collectively on
nations here below according to their sum of merit, and this is the
providential justice of the present economy. According as he weighs
them, they prosper or they perish! Thus have colonies become
empires—thus have empires been swept away.

“Inhabitants of North America! citizens of an enfranchised world! behold
what has permitted you to become embodied and constitute a nation; see
what has guaranteed to you a perpetuity of ennobled existence! Your
nobility is produced by your habits of laborious exertion, and by your
domestic virtues. These virtues exist amongst you: where women are
chaste, men are brave; where religion is the free and spontaneous motion
of the creature toward the Creator, and is not transformed into a
political lever of worldly interests, salutary faith presides over
social order, and nerves the soul. You have had a Franklin, a
Washington, a Samuel Adams, a Jefferson: if needed, you will find
others. The tree abounds in sap, why then shall it not produce new
fruits? Your prosperity no longer excites my astonishment; it is in the
nature of things both human and divine.

“You do well, however, in enhancing the renown of these supporters of
your liberty; and in raising monuments worthy of those who died in
insuring it. The great citizen, who in 1765 was one of the founders of
the noble conspiracy in Boston, so influential on your destinies; he who
was on two memorable occasions commissioned by that city, to console, by
his eloquence, the shades of your illustrious compatriots, massacred the
2d of March, 1770; he who in 1775 assisted you to win the brilliant
auguries of the battle of Lexington, and who fell by a mortal blow at
Breed’s Hill, in the second engagement of your struggle for
independence, Dr. Warren, merited from yourselves and from your
children, a peculiar distinction.

“It was perhaps sufficient for the glory of this gallant patriot, whose
virtue was attested by the sorrow of his most decided enemies, and to
whose courage the entrenched earth yet bears witness, which received
with his blood his last drawn sigh: it was sufficient I say, that his
collected remains should have found an honourable sepulture in the bosom
of that city whose liberty he was so desirous to behold accomplished.
You have decreed more than this for his heroic companions in arms. Men
of North America, I congratulate you that the services of the brave
remain vivid in your memories: for it were the extreme of rashness, to
expect aught for the future of nations that forget the past, by which
they were established and by which they exist. There are in you the
elements of vigour, and you well know how to cherish them. You have
desired that the hand of one of the earliest defenders of your liberty
might assist you to complete the pious duty. Already have our
imaginations and our eyes followed to the tomb of Washington, this aged
soldier celebrated in the annals of two nations; nor can I believe that
the sun ever shone on a more noble spectacle on this earth. Let us
accompany, him yet farther, when on the 17th of the next month, he
united with you in founding the monument built by the citizens of Boston
to the memory of the brave of Bunker’s hill: fully worthy, indeed, to
solemnize with you this great obligation, his views no doubt were
directed toward his own country, whilst assisting you in the discharge
of your country’s debt. He shall intercede by his prayers for us, and
perhaps without envying the happy situation you owe to the civil and
military talents of your citizens, he will humbly ask of Providence why
those happy days seem to have been withdrawn from France, the dawn of
which she once beheld. No! in his grief he will be silent, lest the
tombstone, and the sacred bones which it protects, should render him a
reply too severe for us, inhabitants of ancient Europe, where,
pretensions to liberty are made without sacrifices, and to happiness
without virtue!

“Happy nation! in thy calendars are found no victories but those which
established thy independence. Nor dost thou desire others, unless a
noble sentiment should dictate to thee to be interested in the cause of
men oppressed by one of the hemispheres; for thou hast been oppressed,
and has received succour.

“Permit no one of thy citizens to become great with a greatness which
would be too personal to him, or which would disparage his compeers: for
a nation should not become a pedestal.

“Grant no distinctions to the living which they have not merited by
their achievements; nor to the dead, such as would retard the excellence
about to arise in competition with the past; for the transmission of
hereditary glory is the act of an unwise people, who alienate their
posterity to the advantage of strangers.

“Simple citizens of another state! I feel encouraged to send you this
address across the sea, whose waves separate us; but my spirit has
wished to commune with yours, and I have believed that the counsel of a
native son of France who rejoices in your fortunes, would not find a
haughty and disdainful reception, even at the moment when one of his own
countrymen is receiving the honours of your gratitude. That man to whom
is accorded the privilege of beholding himself honoured as posterity
will honour similarly great men, is preparing for a return to his native
shore: you know his heart went in search of the great and the happy of
the age, but that to him the cause of the just will ever be the good
cause, whether in triumph or defeat. Blow auspicious, then, ye winds.
Laden with gifts as in ancient days, crowned with flowers gathered by
the hands of your beauteous virgins and of their virtuous mothers, may
he speedily regain his fire-side! Soon may he be restored to expectant,
welcome embrace! Detain no longer the noble visitant on your shores! You
are rich enough in citizens. I shall not assent that they yet enrol
themselves amongst us, for it is permitted to no one to speak evil of
his country; but when the weak feel their own weaknesses and fears, the
presence of the strong is the more important.”

Governed by the feeling of his duties as a citizen, and by his
affections as the head of a numerous family, General Lafayette required
not the expression of these emanations of friendship to insure his
speedy return to France: nevertheless it was not without the kindest
emotions that they penetrated his bosom. This demonstration of his
countrymen’s continued affection contributed to mitigate the sacrifice
he felt himself bound in duty to make, in rejecting the entreaties of
the citizens of the United States, who universally and simultaneously
begged he would fix his residence amongst them.

The intention of the general was, to re-embark previous to the return of
the inclement season, but before quitting the American soil, he wished
to fulfil some engagements which he had made in different places; to
pass some time at the seat of the general government of the Union, and
to make a final visit to the ex-presidents, in their retirement in
Virginia. We were now in the middle of July, and there remained less
than two months for the execution of these designs, and he hastened
immediately to reach Pennsylvania. He passed rapidly through New Jersey,
surrounded by the customary demonstrations of the veneration of the
people. I shall not speak of the entertainments offered him by the
inhabitants of the towns he passed through, nor of his second visit to
Joseph Bonaparte, on his journey to Bordentown, where we had the
pleasure of meeting again, Colonel Achille Murat, who had just returned
from an interview with his brother, recently arrived from Spain. But we
shall pause an instant longer in Philadelphia, to visit the Water Works,
and attend the celebration festival with which the citizens particularly
engaged in these works desired to honour the nation’s guest.

We had visited, during our first stay in Philadelphia, the fine
machinery established on the Schuylkill, for the supplying of water to a
population of one hundred and twenty thousand persons, and we had been
struck with the simplicity of its mechanism, its admirable force, the
elegance and good taste of the building prepared for its protection;
however, being then pressed with other engagements, we but slightly
glanced at its general aspect, without entering into the examination of
details, and it was to supply this defect of our information that we
returned hither a second time with the committee entrusted with the
superintendence of the expenses of the establishment.

The tide in the Delaware extending far above Philadelphia, it followed
that its inhabitants could not employ the water of that stream for
culinary purposes, and heretofore they had no supply of potable water
but that which was furnished by some cisterns, which became exhausted
during the great dryness of the summer, or furnishing but an unwholesome
beverage, a great number of diseases ensued. The rapid growth of the
population soon rendered indispensable the supply of water of a better
quality, and in larger quantity. One pump wrought by steam power was
established on the border of the Schuylkill. The expense of maintaining
this pump in operation was very great, and its power insufficient, being
the only resource for the supply of a population of more than eighty
thousand souls at the end of the year 1818, at which time the watering
committee, composed of citizens distinguished for their skill and their
zeal in the public service, began to devise means for substituting, in
place of the old machinery, other works at once more suited to the
increasing demands of the city, more economical in their structure and
in the cost of continuing them in operation. Fair Mount, on the left
bank of the Schuylkill, seemed the point most favourable for the
execution of the views of the committee. The Schuylkill Navigation
Company having permitted the damming of the river to obtain a fall of
water, on condition that a canal with locks should be constructed at the
expense of the city, on the right bank of the river, in order that the
navigation should not be interrupted; and Messrs. White and Gillingham
having consented to yield, for one hundred and fifty thousand dollars,
their rights in the water courses, the committee, freed from every
obstacle, submitted their plans to the city councils, who approved them,
and voted the sum of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the
commencement of their execution.

The labour was commenced the 19th of April, 1819, under the direction of
Ariel Cooley, engineer, and was completed in four years. At the sight of
the canals it was found necessary to open, the immense piers and
embankments that had to be raised, the reservoirs which must be
excavated to a great depth in the solid rocks, it is almost
inconceivable that so many things could be achieved in so short a time.
Money, it is true, was not withheld, but money is not always sufficient,
we well know amongst us, for the accomplishment of great affairs; to act
well and promptly, we must have agents of promptness and ability, and at
the same time animated with honest zeal for the public welfare: such was
Cooley, who unfortunately forfeited his life in consequence of his
activity in the accomplishment of his duties. Incessantly exposed either
to the heat of the sun or to the freshness of the nights, he contracted
a fatal disease, which did not permit him to enjoy the fruits of his
labour. Philadelphia, to this day, regrets in him a good citizen, an
accomplished and disinterested artist.

As we have now seen them, the Water works at Fairmount can abundantly
supply the demands of the city, and afford to the friends of the useful
arts a monument worthy of their attention. The building that encloses
the machinery, is constructed of stone of a brilliant whiteness. It is
two hundred feet in length and fifty in breadth, and built in the Doric
order of architecture. The interior section is divided into twelve solid
vaulted apartments, designed for the reception of eight forcing pumps,
to be put in operation by wheels of fourteen feet in diameter, and
fourteen feet in length. Each extremity of the building is terminated by
a pavilion of the same order of architecture, the one serving for the
meetings of the watering committee, the other appropriated to the
superintendent of the establishment. Of the eight pumps there are yet
but three in operation, and by these alone there are carried into the
reservoir of distribution, which is more than a hundred feet above the
level of the river, nearly five millions of gallons of water in
twenty-four hours. Each wheel performs thirteen revolutions per minute;
they are formed with buckets perpendicular to the circumference, and
revolve with surprising regularity. Their construction is due to the
talents of Mr. Drury Bromley, who in this circumstance has forfeited no
part of his reputation as an able mechanician.

The pumps are from the establishment of Messrs. Rush and Muhlenburg;
they are castings of sixteen inches diameter, and are placed
horizontally after the plan of Mr. Graff. Their play is so simple and so
easy, that when they are in motion neither the smallest noise nor
friction can be observed. Throughout all the parts of this admirable
monument of American industry have been executed with the same care, and
it is impossible to visit it without a strong excitement of admiration
for all the individuals who have contributed to its design and
completion. Mr. John Moore, mason, and Mr. Frederick Erdman, carpenter,
have an equal share of honour with their collaborators; nor does any one
omit a just tribute of praise to the precision in the calculations of
Mr. Thomas Oaks, respecting the estimate and the application of the
forces requisite to obtain, with the least possible expense, the most
advantageous results. The total sum of expenditure, made in the
construction of this establishment, amounts to four hundred and
twenty-six thousand three hundred and thirty dollars, the interest of
which at five per cent, is twenty-one thousand three hundred and sixteen
dollars. The annual expense for salaries of workmen, repairs of
machinery, fuel, oil, &c. is only fifteen hundred dollars, which added
to the interest makes a total sum of only twenty-two thousand eight
hundred and sixteen dollars, for distributing in the city of
Philadelphia, almost five millions of gallons of water every twenty-four
hours. The original steam engine could not supply more than one million
six hundred thousand gallons of water, in twenty-four hours, and cost
annually thirty-thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight dollars: and in
order to obtain, by steam power, a daily supply of five millions of
gallons, it would have required an annual expense of at least sixty-one
thousand seven hundred and sixteen dollars. Thence there has been
secured, by the introduction of the new machinery, an annual saving of
thirty-eight thousand nine hundred dollars. To this great improvement
must likewise be added many other equally important advantages, such as
the healthfulness of the city, its great security against the ravages of
fire, the embellishment of public places by abundant fountains, the
opportunity afforded to every inhabitant of supplying his residence with
water, at the moderate price of five dollars a year, and the facility of
establishing in the city various factories, &c. by the aid of water

All these details were received with a lively interest by General
Lafayette, who expressed his satisfaction and admiration, saying that
the water works at Fair Mount appeared to him the perfect representation
of the American government, in which were combined simplicity, power and
economy. Just as we were leaving this interesting spot, Mr. Lewis, as
president, and in behalf of the committee, presented the general a mode
of the machinery, and a vertical section of the building perfectly
executed in mahogany. He received it thankfully, and assured Mr. Lewis
that he would have sincere pleasure in exhibiting to his friends in
Europe, this evidence of the perfection of mechanic arts in the United

Although, during the whole period of our second visit to Philadelphia,
the heat was excessive, so that Fahrenheit’s thermometer was generally
at the 98th degree, and rose sometimes to 104°, General Lafayette was
not the less assiduous in employing every day either in uniting with his
friends in the festivities to which he was invited, or in visiting the
environs of the city, nor did his health sustain one moment’s
unfavourable impression.

It was the 20th of June that we went to visit the field of battle at
Germantown and the mansion of Mr. Chew, on the walls of which may yet be
discovered traces of the cannon and musket balls, proving the prominence
of its situation in the battle that raged around it. After having
breakfasted with Mr. Benjamin Chew, the proprietor of this historic
mansion, the general continued his route to Chesnut Hill, in sight of
Barren Hill, where on the 20th of May, 1778, he effected so happily and
so successfully the famous retreat which laid the foundation of his fame
in military tactics: thence he returned to Germantown, to pass a short
time with the inhabitants, who anxiously requested he would visit their
academy, at which he was received by the students with enthusiasm. We
found amongst them the young Fernando Bolivar, adopted son of the
Liberator. General Lafayette spoke to him with pleasure of the hopes
which the friends of liberty and humanity repose in the character of his
uncle, who, until the present moment, had advanced with a firm pace in
the career pursued by Washington; the young man seemed penetrated with
grateful emotions, and expressed himself in such a manner as to excite a
hope, that his having been sent to the United States to study her
political institutions would not be without permanent benefit.

As we were leaving Germantown, Mr. John F. Watson offered for the
acceptance of the general a present of great value, on account of the
recollections it awakened. It was a box formed of many pieces of
different kinds of wood, the origin and history of which he thus

“The body of the box is made of a piece of black walnut, an ancient son
of the forest, that once occupied the spot where Philadelphia now
stands. Cotemporary with the trees which lent their shade to William
Penn and his companions, it continued till 1818, spreading its noble
branches in view of the hall in which our declaration of independence
was ratified.

“The cover is composed of four different pieces.

“The first is of a branch of a forest tree, the last surviving of those
which were removed in order to dig the first foundations of

“The vigour that yet animates the vegetation of this ancient tree, is an
evidence of the rapid growth of the city, which has risen and become
great whilst the tree is still flourishing.

“The second is a piece of oak, broken off the first bridge built in
1683, over the little river Canard. This piece was found in 1823 at
about six feet below the surface of the earth.

“The third is a piece of the famous elm under which Penn’s first treaty
with Shackamaxum was made. It fell from old age in 1810, but a branch
from it is now growing, and in a flourishing state, in the garden of the
hospital, and our fellow citizens delight to recount the story of its
origin whilst protected by its shade.

“The fourth awakens recollections of yet more olden time. It is a
fragment of the first house raised by European hands upon the American
shores! It is a piece of mahogany of the habitation constructed and
occupied in 1496, by the immortal Columbus. Honour to the Haytien
government, which still watches with care for the preservation of this
precious monument.

“I offer you these reliques with confidence,” continued Mr. Watson,
“persuaded, as I am, that it is with interest you receive every thing
connected with the remembrance of the first movements of a nation that
has received so many proofs of your friendship.”

General Lafayette was, indeed, highly flattered by Mr. Watson’s present.
He received it with gratitude, and a pledge that it should find a place
amongst the most precious memorials of his tour. To this first present
Mr. Watson added also another not less valuable; a piece of the American
frigate “Alliance,” in which Lafayette had twice crossed the ocean
during the revolutionary war.

On the 21st, we went to spend the day in the _state_ of Schuylkill. But
before speaking of the honours conferred there on the voyager, a few
words of explanation of this “state,” will be requisite. “In 1731 some
citizens of Philadelphia united themselves into an association having
both pleasure and beneficence for its design. They purchased a large
tract of land near the falls of the Schuylkill, built a house for the
accommodation of their meetings, elected a governor, council, secretary
of state, treasurer, and judge, established a seal, and constituted
themselves the ‘Colony of the Schuylkill.’ More than half a century
passed away without the slightest circumstance transpiring to give
occasion of trouble to the colony: every day was marked by its
benefactions, and delight and mutual confidence presided at all the
periodical festivals, at which the members were assembled at a common
table. But subject to the destiny of states, all of which have their
vicissitudes, the colony of Schuylkill was also to experience a
revolution. In 1783, at the conclusion of a dinner of more than fifty
covers, the colony rose and declared independence: resolved to revise
their constitution, and the Colony of the Schuylkill became, in the
course of a few hours, the ‘republic of the State of Schuylkill,’ and no
attempt was made on the part of the mother country to oppose it. Since
that time the new republic has gone on advancing in strength and riches;
its pleasures and its acts of benevolence followed at an equal rate.
Possessed now of an enlarged estate acquired by a treaty with a farmer,
she has transferred her seat of government, that is, her nets, her
kitchen and cellar, three miles farther down the stream, under the cool
shades on the banks of the river.”

Here it was that General Lafayette was received by the citizens and
magistrates, who in the costume of fishermen, awaited his arrival on the
frontier of their state. In a short and eloquent address, the secretary
of state recounted to him the history of the republic, from its
establishment to the present time, and concluded by announcing to him
that the title and all the rights of citizen had been granted to him by
a unanimous vote. As soon as the general had expressed his acceptance of
the honour and his gratitude, he was invested with the national costume,
and, his head being protected with the large straw hat, he entered into
the occupations of the community. Mr. George Lafayette, Mr. de Syon, and
myself, were also admitted to partake of the duties of the day; people
and magistrates, all with one accord, assisted without distinction in
the work. We embarked in the batteaux belonging to the republic, and
obtained an abundant supply of fish, and in four hours we were seated at
the banquet prepared by our own hands. Never was a repast attended with
greater gaiety, nor cheered by better wine, and long shall we have the
pleasure of remembering the delight and good cheer we found in the state
of Schuylkill.

The week we had just spent in Philadelphia, as it were in his own
family, had entirely composed the fatigue of the general; and although
the heat continued excessive, he undertook, on the 25th, his journey to
Wilmington, where a great number of Pennsylvanians and Virginians were
in waiting to conduct him to the field of the battle of Brandywine. This
field was not rendered illustrious by a victory, as has been said, but
its remembrance is not less dear to Americans, who gratefully recollect
the blood spilled there by their fathers, and by young Lafayette, in the
defence of their rights, and to secure their independence. Happy that
country in which events are appreciated more by their influence on its
destinies than by the eclat of the moment! The men who took the first
steps in procuring the liberties of the United States in the battles of
Bunker’s hill and on the banks of the Brandywine, are at this day not
less honoured in the eyes of the nation than those who sealed it last,
at the battle of Yorktown.

In the beginning of September, 1777, General Howe, at the head of
eighteen thousand men of the British army, embarked on board the fleet
commanded by his brother, and left New York without the possibility of
the Americans ascertaining precisely the object of his expedition. A few
days after it was ascertained that he had entered the Chesapeake, and
had landed at the Head of Elk, for the purpose of marching to attack
Philadelphia, Washington immediately marched through this city, where
the congress were then in session, and advanced to meet the enemy,
annoying him with several attacks between the point of his debarkation
and a small stream, the Brandywine, behind which the American army,
greatly inferior in number, and composed almost wholly of militia, had
just taken their position. Chads-Ford was in front of their encampment,
where it was contemplated to give them battle, but General Howe leaving
a body of troops on the opposite side of the stream, in order to cover
his manœuvre, marched forward to pass another ford on the right of the
Americans. This movement was so much the more difficult to reconnoitre,
as the banks of the stream were densely grown with wood, and, by a
singular fatality, the two parallel roads leading to the two fords were
called by the same name, so that the reports received by Washington from
his scouts, though apparently contradictory, were nevertheless true.
This confusion of names threw the American general into a most painful
anxiety; he hesitated too long on the course he was to pursue, and lost
a most precious moment which might have given him the victory. Had he
been able to procure definite intelligence of the movements of the
enemy, he would have passed the ford before him, and most certainly
would have defeated the British division which remained at Chads-Ford,
commanded by Knyphauzen, and then falling suddenly on the body under
General Howe, surprising him by an attack in flank, would almost
inevitably have succeeded in a complete defeat of the English army; but
the occasion passed rapidly, and the firing of muskets on his right soon
apprized Washington of the danger of his situation. Happily he had
established a position behind the second ford, of three brigades,
commanded by Sullivan and Sterling. These three brigades sustained the
attack with vigour, and for a short time arrested the British by a
deadly fire: but their line being attacked both right and left, by
superior forces, the wings gave way. The centre continued its position
firmly, in defiance of the shower of broken brass that was poured in
upon them. But this centre itself at last began to yield, and was about
to beat a retreat, when young Lafayette, notwithstanding his rank of
brevet-major, was yet serving as a simple volunteer near the
commander-in-chief, dismounted from his horse, and went, sword in hand,
to place himself at the head of a company of grenadiers, who, reanimated
by this noble effort, maintained themselves firmly for a few moments.
Soon, however, Lafayette received a shot below the knee, and was obliged
to retire with his grenadiers; but he had already reaped the reward of
his devotedness, for he had procured the opportunity for Washington to
join the division of General Greene, and of recommencing the action in a
second line. Here the fight raged on either side with obstinate
perseverance, and the astonishing spectacle was exhibited of militia
rallying after a first check, and fronting with firm step an enemy
superior in numbers and in discipline. The event of this second contest
was yet doubtful, when suddenly Washington learned that the pass of
Chads-Ford was forced, and that Knyphauzen was about to fall on his left
flank; he immediately resolved to secure a retreat to Chester, where he
arrived with his army the same evening.

The battle was lost, but the British had paid dear for their victory,
and the moral force of the Americans was augmented even by their defeat.
In this day’s engagement Lafayette had sealed with his blood his
alliance with the principles for which he had crossed the ocean, and
forever secured to himself the gratitude of a nation amongst whom
generous and noble sentiments outlive the ravages of time.

It was once more to evince their gratitude for their long tried friend,
that the revolutionary soldiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia had now
assembled with their sons to conduct Lafayette to the field of the
battle of Brandywine. We left Chester on the 26th of July, with a
retinue, at the head of which appeared the two oldest revolutionary
officers of the neighbouring counties, Colonel M’Lean and Captain
Anderson. Numerous bodies of militia had preceded us, and were already
gone to take their position at the ancient encampment of the American
army, where may yet be discovered traces of one of the redoubts. It was
about noon when we arrived on the borders of the Brandywine, along which
we were to travel to the point at which, as we had been informed, the
army had passed. But on approaching the stream, General Lafayette cast a
glance on the surrounding country and said, “It cannot be here that we
passed in 1777, it must be a little higher up the stream.” It was in
fact ascertained that the passage had been effected just above the spot
we occupied. This accuracy of observation and vivid recollection excited
in a high degree the admiration of the numerous witnesses.

At Chads-Ford the general learned that one of his companions in arms,
Gideon Gilpin, under whose roof he had passed the night before the
battle, was now confined to bed by age and infirmity, and despaired of
being able to join his fellow citizens in their testimony of respect to
the general: he went to visit the aged soldier, whom he found surrounded
by his family. Gideon Gilpin, notwithstanding his extreme weakness,
recognized him on his entrance, and proved by tears of grateful and
tender recollection how much this visit tended to the comfort and
soothing of his last moments.

On arriving at the field of battle, General Lafayette recognised
successively, and pointed out to us himself, all the principal points on
which the two armies had manœuvred and fought on the 11th of September
1777; nor did his recollection wander a single moment. Being arrived at
the spot where the first attack was made, and where he had been wounded,
he paused a moment; his ancient companions pressed around his carriage,
and the militia passed before him, amid the loudest acclamations and the
cry a thousand times re-echoed, “long live Lafayette.” During the whole
of this scene, of profound emotion on his part, and which his modesty
induced him frequently to attempt to abridge, he spoke to those around
him of nothing but the presence of mind evinced by Washington on the
fatal day of the 11th September, and of the courage manifested by the
officers and soldiers in supporting him. But in vain he recalled the
names of the most illustrious chiefs, and attributed to them all the
glory of having saved the army: the reply he received was by pointing
him to the soil on which he had spilled his blood, and the sight of this
indestructible monument exalted to the highest degree the gratitude of
the crowd of spectators who accompanied him. In prolonging our excursion
along the route by which the British had conducted their first attack,
we arrived at the house of Mr. Samuel Jones. It had been for a short
time occupied by General Howe during the battle, and yet retains traces
of the well directed fire of the American artillery. After the elegant
collation with which we were entertained by Mrs. Jones, we had presented
to us various implements and remains of arms found on the field of
battle; and we returned with these precious reliques to West Chester,
where we concluded the day in the enjoyment of festivities prepared by
the inhabitants.

In the multiplied recitals I have made of the public rejoicings at which
I assisted, during my stay in the United States, it was impossible not
to be struck with the constant association of religious ideas and
patriotic sentiments which so strongly characterise the citizens of this
republic: but what is not less remarkable is, that their religion, free
of practical minutiæ, seems as much an uniform sentiment as their love
of liberty resembles an uniform faith. With them a political orator
never terminates a prepared address without an invocation, or grateful
recognition of divine power; and a minister of the gospel on taking the
pulpit commences, by recalling to the notice of his auditors their
duties as citizens, and their peculiar privileges in living under the
wise institutions of their country. It may also be remarked, that this
union of political morals and theology influences all the actions of the
Americans with a gravity and deep conviction, the charm and tendency of
which are wholly inexpressible. How could any one listen to these simple
and touching invocations without being deeply affected, and without
uniting in their humble and pious acknowledgements? We were about being
seated at the hospitable board prepared by the citizens of West Chester
at the National Hotel, when the president of the day remarked that a
minister of the church was in the company, and invited him to ask a
blessing on the assemblage, which was done in the most affecting manner
by the Rev. William Latta.

A committee of the citizens of Lancaster having been deputed to escort
General Lafayette from West Chester, he committed himself to their care
on the 27th, after taking leave of a great number of the soldiers of
1776, who could not receive the last adieu of the aged general without
testifying their emotion with tears.

I have already, I believe, mentioned the remarkable fact, that at the
south, as at the north, and from the east to the west of the United
States, we had met with men of different manners and languages,
submitting for the general good to the same democratic government;
living in harmony, in the enjoyment of domestic happiness and of public
prosperity, under the shield of the same institutions. Having made this
observation, we naturally concluded that neither great wealth nor
diverse habits of the people of this country, are obstacles to the
establishment and the administration of republican government, which is
founded on an equal appreciation of the interests and rights of all.
Nothing perhaps more strongly confirmed General Lafayette in this
opinion, than a view of the city and county of Lancaster, where are
found men from all parts of America and Europe, and of almost every
diversity of religious faith, yet all attached to the wise and excellent
institutions by which they are governed.

I shall not describe the festivities with which the citizens of
Lancaster entertained the man, who, whilst they received him as a guest,
they most warmly claimed as their friend, though they were not inferior
either in elegance or cordiality to those of the largest cities of the
Union. I shall not, however, pass over in silence, events which by their
nature serve to explain the unity of sentiments and principles which
characterise all classes of the American people. I shall, therefore,
relate the proceedings of the clergy of every denomination in the city
and vicinity, who, at the intelligence of the arrival of the general,
spontaneously collected to unite their patriotic felicitations with
those of the other citizens. Their congratulations were conveyed by the
dean on their behalf, without distinction of sect. If the address were
to be given at length, it would give additional weight to the opinion I
have already advanced respecting the American clergy: but it will
suffice, I trust, to relate a portion of the general’s reply, in which
this opinion is expressed with a strength and precision which leave no
doubt of his convictions.

“I accept,” replied he, “with sincere gratitude the proofs of kindness
and regard which the clergy of this city and vicinity have voluntarily
accorded to me, and which you, sir, have expressed in so impressive a
manner. In my happy sojourn in this country, I have often had occasion
to remark the veneration which the clergy of every denomination inspire,
whose individual members, apostles of the rights of man, are the
immediate functionaries of a religion founded on the principles of
liberty and equality, and on the principle of elections by the people of
evangelical ministers.”

On quitting Lancaster, we travelled to Port Deposit, on the shore of the
Susquehanna, where we were met by a deputation from Baltimore, with whom
we embarked, destined for this latter city. On our way we visited
Havre-de-Grace, a small town situated on the Susquehanna, at its
entrance into the Chesapeake. Here we remained several hours, and then
continued our voyage favoured by fine weather, our way being beguiled
also by the pleasures we enjoyed on board. From the deck of our vessel,
we beheld expanded to our view the delightful vallies and the rich hills
of Maryland: the companions of our voyage, pressing around Lafayette,
and designating to him the fields in which, during their struggle for
liberty, he had fought to obtain it: and at short distances on the
shores, groups of the inhabitants attracted by the sounds of national
airs which echoed from our deck, testified, by incessant acclamations,
the delight occasioned by the presence of the adopted son and benefactor
of their country.

The sun had left the horizon some time ere we arrived at the mouth of
the Patapsco, and it was not till midnight that we touched the wharf at
Baltimore. Though at that advanced and unseasonable hour, a large number
of persons were in waiting for the appearance of our vessel, and on
disembarking General Lafayette found himself surrounded by a crowd of
friends. At the moment of placing his foot on shore, an immense burst of
light suddenly illuminated the port, and looking to the southern quarter
of the city we saw volumes of flame rising almost to the clouds.
Instantly the hollow cry of “fire, fire,” resounded in every street.
Anxious to offer the first assistance, we left the general in care of
two members of the committee, who conducted him directly to the hotel
provided for him, and we ran at our utmost speed toward the scene of
conflagration, but we discovered that we had been outstripped by four
engines, which on our arrival were already in full operation. Other
engines arrived from all quarters, directed by young men, volunteers in
this patriotic employment, and commenced their operations with such
promptness and activity, that, although the fire had originated in a
frame building occupied as a store, the flames were very soon subdued,
and indeed wholly extinguished. We found ourselves involuntarily amidst
the inactive crowd of spectators, and returned to our lodgings at two
o’clock in the morning, filled with admiration of the spontaneous
exertions as well as the zeal and ability of the young firemen of

                              CHAPTER XVI.

  Return to Washington—Character of the new President—Visit to the
      ex-president, become a farmer and justice of peace—Government
      offers Lafayette a ship of war to return in to France—Presents
      made to Bolivar through Lafayette—New homage from the city of
      New York—Farewell of the President to the Nation’s
      Guest—Departure from Washington city—Embarkation in the
      Brandywine—Voyage—Testimonies of attachment and regret of the
      crew of the Brandywine to Lafayette—Reception at Havre—Some
      hours at Rouen—Reception of Lafayette at La Grange by the
      inhabitants of his vicinity.

After resting two days at Baltimore we set out for Washington city.
General Lafayette wished to depart privately, and the citizens, always
solicitous to satisfy his desires, contented themselves with calling in
the evening to take leave and express their regrets. This circumstance
employed several hours, and left in our hearts impressions of profound
melancholy. We commenced our journey on the 1st of August, accompanied
by two members of the Baltimore committee. A few miles from Washington
we were met by an elegant carriage, which drew up near us, from which a
young gentleman alighted and inquired for General Lafayette. This was
the eldest son of the new president Mr. Adams, who was sent by his
father to the nation’s guest, to inform him that he had solicited and
obtained from the citizens of the metropolis, permission to offer him
the use of the president’s house. The general accepted the invitation
for himself and travelling companions, entered Mr. Adams’s carriage, and
we continued on our route. Our two members of the Baltimore committee
had not anticipated such an occurrence, which threw them into
considerable embarrassment. They had been zealous “Jackson men,” and had
declared themselves strongly against Mr. Adams, during the election; of
this Mr. Adams was not ignorant, and on this occasion it appeared
difficult to them to present themselves under the auspices of General
Lafayette, without exposing themselves to the chance of being thought
willing to make the _amende honorable_. They determined to separate from
our party, on entering the city, and took lodgings in a hotel.

During the canvass of the presidential election, I had frequently heard
the adversaries of Mr. Adams accuse him of aristocratic habits,
contracted, as they said, in the foreign courts at which he had passed
many years. This accusation appeared to me much opposed to what I had
seen and have related of his conduct in the steam-boat going from
Frenchtown to Baltimore; but, at length, in consequence of hearing the
charge frequently repeated, I began to fear, that, with the exercise of
power, he might fall into what we call in Europe the manners of a
prince; my surprise was therefore the more agreeable, to find, on
reaching Washington, that the president was not changed. It is true, we
found Mr. Adams in the place of Mr. Monroe; but the public man was still
the same. The plainness of the domestics, and facility of access to the
house, appeared not to have undergone the least alteration, and in Mr.
Adams’s reception of us we experienced all the cordiality of his
predecessor. He soon ascertained why our companions had not remained
with us, and hastened to send them an invitation to dinner, which they
accepted without embarrassment or hesitation, as men who understood the
politeness intended them, but who did not consider themselves as being
in any way pledged by accepting it.

The lodgings prepared for us in his own house by the president were
plain, but commodious and in good taste. Anxious to enable General
Lafayette to enjoy the repose he thought him to need after so many and
such long voyages, and after numerous and profound emotions, he secluded
himself with us in entire privacy. Aided by Mrs. Adams, her two sons,
and two nieces, he made us taste, if I may so express myself, the sweets
of domestic life. During the early portion of our stay, there rarely set
down to table or around the hearth more than two or three persons at
once, and usually these were some public officers who, after being
occupied all day with the president in business, were detained by him to
dinner and the familiar conversation of the evening. It was during this
period which glided away so swiftly, that I could appreciate the
character of Mr. Adams, whom I had previously known only by the eulogies
of his friends or the attacks of opponents. I discovered that the first
had but done him justice, and the last been misled by party spirit. It
is difficult to find a more upright and better cultivated intellect than
is possessed by the successor of Mr. Monroe. The beautiful reliefs of
the capitol, to which he is not a stranger; his treatise on weights and
measures, and the numerous diplomatic missions he has discharged with
distinction, bear witness to his good taste in the arts, the correctness
of his scientific judgment, and his skill in politics. As to the
accusation of aristocracy, which some have preferred against him, it is
sufficiently refuted by his manners, which remain unaltered by his
elevation to the chief magistracy of the republic.

Notwithstanding that General Lafayette was daily preparing to return to
Europe, before quitting the American soil, he wished once more to see
some of his old Virginia friends, and especially desired again to
embrace and thank him, who, as head of the government, had first
welcomed him to its capital, and who, at present returned to private
life, continued to give his fellow citizens an example of all the
virtues, in cultivating his modest patrimony. The general mentioned the
subject to Mr. Adams, who offered to accompany him on this visit,
saying, “that he would gladly take this occasion to go and present to
his predecessor his tribute of veneration and attachment.” The 6th of
August was the day fixed upon for this visit, and we set out for Oak
Hill, the seat of Mr. Monroe, which is thirty-seven miles from
Washington, unaccompanied by any escort. Mr. Adams took the general and
Mr. George Lafayette, with one of his friends, in his carriage; I rode
in a tilbury with the president’s son. At the Potomac bridge we stopped
to pay the toll, and the gate-keeper, after counting the company and
horses, received the money from the president, and allowed us to pass
on; but we had gone a very short distance, when we heard some one
bawling after us, “Mr. President! Mr. President! you have given
eleven-pence too little!” Presently the gate-keeper arrived out of
breath, holding out the change he had received, and explaining the
mistake made. The president heard him attentively, re-examined the
money, and agreed that he was right, and ought to have another
eleven-pence. Just as the president was taking out his purse, the
gate-keeper recognized General Lafayette in the carriage, and wished to
return his toll, declaring that all gates and bridges were free to the
nation’s guest. Mr. Adams told him, that on this occasion General
Lafayette travelled altogether privately, and not as the nation’s guest,
but simply as a friend of the president, and, therefore, was entitled to
no exemption. With this reasoning, our gate-keeper was satisfied, and
received the money. Thus, during his course of his voyages in the United
States, the general was but once subjected to the common rule of paying,
and it was exactly upon the day in which he travelled with the chief
magistrate; a circumstance which, probably in every other country, would
have conferred the privilege of passing free.

We did not reach Oak Hill until the morning after we left Washington. We
found the ex-president of the United States, now a farmer, pleasantly
settled with all his family, in a handsome house near his farm. He was
engaged in superintending his agricultural affairs, and endeavouring to
improve his property, which had long been neglected for public business.
Some of Mr. Monroe’s friends had collected to assist him in entertaining
Lafayette. We passed three days in their company, and then the
inhabitants of Leesburg, a small adjacent village, came in company with
the Loudon county militia, to invite the presence of the nation’s guest
at an entertainment prepared for him. The president, ex-president, and
chief justice of the United States, accompanied him, and received their
share of popular attention; but it was easy to perceive that this homage
was inspired by the veneration of their virtues, rather than by any
titles which they possessed.

After the Leesburg and Loudon county festivals we took leave of Mr.
Monroe to return to Washington. Wishing to make the journey in a single
day, we set out very early, but soon had cause to repent of this
arrangement; about two o’clock the heat became so oppressive, that one
of Mr. Adams’s horses was struck down by apoplexy. The driver in vain
attempted to save its life by copious blood-letting, and in a few
minutes the animal expired in the ditch where it had fallen. As soon as
the accident happened, we all alighted to help the horse, but finding
him dead, we took seats on the grass until a waiter went to the nearest
village for another horse. Travellers were passing us continually, and
cast inquisitive glances upon our group, without once suspecting the
presence of the first magistrate of the republic, or that of the adopted
son of a great nation. Having procured another horse, we resumed our
journey, but the delay caused by this accident prevented our arrival at
Washington until long after sunset, which prevented us visiting the
falls of Potomac, near to where we crossed the river. Although these
falls are of slight elevation, their effect is said to be very fine.

A few days afterwards we again left the capital to make a last tour in
Virginia. On this occasion we visited Albemarle, Culpepper, Fauquier,
Warrenton and Buckland. Although in all these towns the progress of
Lafayette was marked by popular festivals, he could not avoid feeling
pained by the recollection that in a few days he was about to leave,
perhaps for ever, a country which contained so many objects of his
affection. At Albemarle we were re-joined by Mr. Monroe, whom we now
found invested with a new public character. Faithful to the doctrine
that a citizen should always be entirely at the service of his country,
he did not think that his title of late president of the republic
withheld him from being useful to his countrymen; and he had therefore
accepted the office of justice of the peace, to which he had been
elected by the confidence and suffrages of the people of his county. Mr.
Madison had also left his retreat and re-joined us on the road to
Monticello, whither the general went to take leave of his old friend
Jefferson, whose enfeebled health kept him at present in a state of
painful inaction. The meeting at Monticello, of three men, who, by their
successive elevation to the supreme magistracy of the state, had given
to their country twenty-four years of prosperity and glory, and who
still offered it the example of private virtues, was a sufficiently
strong inducement to make us wish to stay there a longer time; but
indispensable duties recalled General Lafayette to Washington, and he
was obliged to take leave of his friends. I shall not attempt to depict
the sadness which prevailed at this cruel separation, which had none of
the alleviation which is usually left by youth, for in this instance,
the individuals who bade farewell, had all passed through a long career,
and the immensity of the ocean would still add to the difficulties of a

One of Mr. Adams’s first cares on attaining the head of the
administration had been to decide General Lafayette to accept the use of
a public ship for his return to France. This vessel, built in Washington
navy yard, was launched about the end of June, and was to be ready for
sea by the beginning of September, the time fixed upon by General
Lafayette for his departure. “It is customary,” Mr. Adams wrote to him,
“to designate our frigates by the names of rivers of the United States;
to conform to this custom, and make it accord with the desire we have to
perpetuate a name that recalls that glorious event of our revolutionary
war, in which you sealed with your blood your devotion to our
principles, we have given the name of Brandywine to the new frigate, to
which we confide the honourable mission of returning you to the wishes
of your country and family. The command of the Brandywine will be
entrusted to one of the most distinguished officers of our navy, Captain
CHARLES MORRIS, who has orders to land you under the protection of our
flag, in whatever European port you please to designate.”

This invitation was too honourable, and made with too much delicacy, to
be for an instant refused by General Lafayette; therefore he hastened to
return to Washington to express his gratitude to the president, and
concert with Captain Morris the day of sailing, which was settled for
the 7th of September. When this determination became known, a great
number of persons thronged from the neighbouring cities to take a last
farewell of the nation’s guest; and all the constituted authorities of
the capital determined to take a solemn leave of him. From this time to
the day of our embarkation the general devoted his whole time to the
duties of friendship, and in answering to the invitations of various
cities, which, for want of time and on account of their distance, he had
been unable to visit.

The fame of Bolivar’s exploits in combating for the liberty and
independence of the South American republics, at this time resounded
through the United States, whose citizens applauded with transport his
republican patriotism, which then was free from all suspicion. Mr.
Custis, the adopted son of Washington, whose ardent spirit is ever ready
to sympathise with all that is great and generous, conceived the thought
of presenting to the Liberator, as a testimonial of his admiration, a
fine portrait of General Washington, and a medal of pure gold, which had
been decreed to the great citizen by the American nation, at the
festival of independence. He thought that these presents, although
sufficiently precious on account of their origin, would acquire a still
greater value by passing through the hands of the veteran of liberty in
the two worlds, and General Lafayette consented with pleasure to the
request made him to be the organ of communication. On the 2d of
September these presents were placed in the hands of M. Villenilla,
member of the Colombian Legation, with a letter for Bolivar, from

On the 6th of September, the anniversary of Lafayette’s birth, the
president gave a grand dinner, to which all the public officers, and
numerous distinguished persons then in Washington, were invited. The
company had already assembled and were about to sit down to table, when
the arrival of a deputation from the city of New York was announced,
which came to present to General Lafayette, on behalf of the city
council, a book containing an account of all the transactions and events
occurring during his stay in that city. This magnificent volume, removed
from its case, and exhibited to the company, excited general admiration.
It is in fact a masterpiece that may be compared with the most beautiful
and rich of those manuscripts which formed the glory and reputation of
libraries before the discovery of printing. It contained fifty pages,
each ornamented with vignettes designed and painted with the greatest
skill; views and portraits perfectly executed, completed this work, of
which the writing was done by Mr. Bragg, and the paintings by Messrs.
Burton, Inman, and Cummings. The view of the Capitol at Washington, of
the City Hall of New York, and the portraits of Washington, Lafayette,
and Hamilton, left nothing to be desired; and in order that this
beautiful work should be altogether national, it was upon American
paper, and bound by Mr. Foster of New York with admirable richness and

General Lafayette gratefully accepted this fine present, to which the
president and his cabinet gave additional value by placing their
signatures in it. Although a large company partook of this dinner, and
it was intended to celebrate Lafayette’s birth-day, it was very serious,
I may say, almost sad. We were all too much pre-occupied by the
approaching journey to be joyous: we already felt, by anticipation, the
sorrowfulness of separation. Towards the conclusion of the repast, the
president, contrary to diplomatic custom, which forbids toasts at his
table, arose and proposed the following: “To the 22d of February and 6th
of September, birthdays of Washington and Lafayette.” Profoundly
affected to find his name thus associated with Washington, the general
expressed his thanks to the president, and gave this toast, “To the
fourth of July, the birth-day of liberty in both hemispheres.”

At last the day which we ardently wished for, and whose approach,
however, filled us with profound sadness, the day which would begin to
convey us towards our country, but must, at the same time, separate us
from a nation which had so many claims to our admiration and affection,
the day of our departure, the 7th of September, dawned radiantly. The
workshops were deserted, the stores were left unopened, and the people
crowded around the president’s mansion, while the militia were drawn up
in a line on the road the nation’s guest was to move to the shore. The
municipality collected about the general to offer him the last homage
and regrets of their fellow citizens.

At eleven o’clock he left his apartment, slowly passed through the crowd
which silently pressed after him, and entered the principal vestibule of
the presidential dwelling, where the president, surrounded by his
cabinet, various public officers, and principal citizens, had waited for
him a few minutes. He took his place in the centre of the circle which
was formed on his approach; the doors were open, in order that the
people who were assembled without might observe what took place, and the
slight murmur of regrets which were heard at first among the crowd, was
succeeded by a solemn and profound silence; the president, then visibly
agitated by emotion, addressed him as follows, in the name of the
American nation and government:—

  “GENERAL LAFAYETTE—It has been the good fortune of many of my
  distinguished fellow-citizens, during the course of the year now
  elapsed, upon your arrival at their respective places of abode, to
  greet you with the welcome of the nation. The less pleasing task now
  devolves upon me, on bidding you, in the name of the nation, adieu.

  “It were no longer seasonable, and would be superfluous, to
  recapitulate the remarkable incidents of your early life—incidents
  which associated your name, fortunes and reputation, in imperishable
  connection with the independence and history of the North American

  “The part which you performed at that important juncture was marked
  with characters so peculiar, that, realizing the fairest fable of
  antiquity, its parallel could scarcely be found in the _authentic_
  records of human history.

  “You deliberately and perseveringly preferred toil, danger, the
  endurance of every hardship, and the privation of every comfort, in
  defence of a holy cause, to inglorious ease, and the allurements of
  rank, affluence, and unrestrained youth, at the most splendid and
  fascinating court of Europe.

  “That this choice was not less wise than magnanimous, the sanction
  of half a century, and the gratulations of unnumbered voices, all
  unable to express the gratitude of the heart with which your visit
  to this hemisphere has been welcomed, afford ample demonstration.

  “When the contest of freedom, to which you had repaired as a
  voluntary champion, had closed, by the complete triumph of her cause
  in this country of your adoption, you returned to fulfil the duties
  of the philanthropist and patriot in the land of your nativity.
  There, in a consistent and undeviating career of forty years, you
  have maintained, through every vicissitude of alternate success and
  disappointment, the same glorious cause to which the first years of
  your active life had been devoted, the improvement of the moral and
  political condition of man.

  “Throughout that long succession of time, the people of the United
  States, for whom, and with whom you had fought the battles of
  liberty, have been living in the full possession of its fruits; one
  of the happiest among the family of nations. Spreading in
  population; enlarging in territory; acting and suffering according
  to the condition of their nature; and laying the foundations of the
  greatest, and, we humbly hope, the most beneficent power that ever
  regulated the concerns of man upon earth.

  “In that lapse of forty years, the generation of men with whom you
  co-operated in the conflict of arms, has nearly passed away. Of the
  general officers of the American army in that war, you alone
  survive. Of the sages who guided our councils; of the warriors who
  met the foe in the field or upon the wave, with the exception of a
  few, to whom unusual length of days has been allotted by heaven, all
  now sleep with their fathers. A succeeding, and even a third
  generation, have arisen to take their places; and their children’s
  children, while rising up to call them blessed, have been taught by
  them, as well as admonished by their own constant enjoyment of
  freedom, to include in every benison upon their fathers, the name of
  him who came from afar, with them and in their cause to conquer or
  to fall.

  “The universal prevalence of these sentiments was signally
  manifested by a resolution of congress, representing the whole
  people, and all the states of this Union, requesting the president
  of the United States to communicate to you the assurances of
  grateful and affectionate attachment of this government and people,
  and desiring that a national ship might be employed, at your
  convenience, for your passage to the borders of your country.

  “The invitation was transmitted to you by my venerable predecessor;
  himself bound to you by the strongest ties of personal friendship,
  himself one of those whom the highest honours of his country had
  rewarded for blood early shed in her cause, and for a long life of
  devotion to her welfare. By him the services of a national ship were
  placed at your disposal. Your delicacy preferred a more private
  conveyance, and a full year has elapsed since you landed upon our
  shores. It were scarcely an exaggeration to say, that it has been,
  to the people of the Union, a year of uninterrupted festivity and
  enjoyment, inspired by your presence. You have traversed the
  twenty-four states of this great confederacy: You have been received
  with rapture by the survivors of your earliest companions in arms:
  You have been hailed as a long absent parent by their children, the
  men and women of the present age: And a rising generation, the hope
  of future time, in numbers surpassing the whole population of that
  day when you fought at the head and by the side of their
  forefathers, have vied with the scanty remnants of that hour of
  trial, in acclamations of joy at beholding the face of him whom they
  feel to be the common benefactor of all. You have heard the mingled
  voices of the past, the present, and the future age, joining in one
  universal chorus of delight at your approach; and the shouts of
  unbidden thousands, which greeted your landing on the soil of
  freedom, have followed every step of your way, and still resound,
  like the rushing of many waters, from every corner of our land.

  “You are now about to return to the country of your birth, of your
  ancestors, of your posterity. The executive government of the Union,
  stimulated by the same feeling which had prompted the congress to
  the designation of a national ship for your accommodation in coming
  hither, has destined the first service of a frigate, recently
  launched at this metropolis, to the less welcome, but equally
  distinguished trust, of conveying you home. The name of the ship has
  added one more memorial to distant regions and to future ages, of a
  stream already memorable, at once in the story of your sufferings
  and of our independence.

  “The ship is now prepared for your reception, and equipped for sea.
  From the moment of her departure, the prayers of millions will
  ascend to heaven that her passage may be prosperous, and your return
  to the bosom of your family as propitious to your happiness, as your
  visit to this scene of your youthful glory has been to that of the
  American people.

  “Go, then, our beloved friend—return to the land of brilliant
  genius, of generous sentiment, of heroic valour; to that beautiful
  France, the nursing mother of the twelfth Louis, and the fourth
  Henry; to the native soil of Bayard and Coligni, of Turenne and
  Catinat, of Fenelon and D’Aguesseau. In that illustrious catalogue
  of names which she claims as of her children, and with honest pride
  holds up to the admiration of other nations, the name of Lafayette
  has already for centuries been enrolled. And it shall henceforth
  burnish into brighter fame; for if, in after days, a Frenchman shall
  be called to indicate the character of his nation by that of one
  individual, during the age in which we live, the blood of lofty
  patriotism shall mantle in his cheek, the fire of conscious virtue
  shall sparkle in his eye, and he shall pronounce the name of
  Lafayette. Yet we, too, and our children, in life and after death,
  shall claim you for our own. You are ours by that more than
  patriotic self-devotion with which you flew to the aid of our
  fathers at the crisis of their fate. Ours by that long series of
  years in which you have cherished us in your regard. Ours by that
  unshaken sentiment of gratitude for your services which is a
  precious portion of our inheritance. Ours by that tie of love,
  stronger than death, which has linked your name, for the endless
  ages of time, with the name of Washington.

  “At the painful moment of parting from you, we take comfort in the
  thought, that wherever you may be, to the last pulsation of your
  heart, our country will be ever present to your affections; and a
  cheering consolation assures us, that we are not called to sorrow
  most of all, that we shall see your face no more. We shall indulge
  the pleasing anticipation of beholding our friend again. In the mean
  time, speaking in the name of the whole people of the United States,
  and at a loss only for language to give utterance to that feeling of
  attachment with which the heart of the nation beats, as the heart of
  one man—I bid you a reluctant and affectionate farewell.”

An approving murmur drowned the last words of Mr. Adams, and proved how
deeply the auditors sympathised with the noble sentiments he had
expressed in favour of France, and her children whose whole life and
recent triumph would add still more to his glory and exaltation. General
Lafayette, deeply affected with what he heard, was obliged to pause a
few moments before he was able to reply. At last, however, after having
made an effort to regain his voice, he thus expressed himself:

  “Amidst all my obligations to the general government, and
  particularly to you, sir, its respected chief magistrate, I have
  most thankfully to acknowledge the opportunity given me, at this
  solemn and painful moment, to present the people of the United
  States with a parting tribute of profound, inexpressible gratitude.

  “To have been, in the infant and critical days of these states,
  adopted by them as a favourite son, to have participated in the
  toils and perils of our unspotted struggle for independence, freedom
  and equal rights, and in the foundation of the American era of a new
  social order, which has already pervaded this, and must, for the
  dignity and happiness of mankind, successively pervade every part of
  the other hemisphere, to have received at every stage of the
  revolution, and during forty years after that period, from the
  people of the United States, and their representatives at home and
  abroad, continual marks of their confidence and kindness, has been
  the pride, the encouragement, the support of a long and eventful

  “But how could I find words to acknowledge that series of welcomes,
  those unbounded and universal displays of public affection, which
  have marked each step, each hour, of a twelve-months’ progress
  through the twenty-four states, and which, while they overwhelm my
  heart with grateful delight, have most satisfactorily evinced the
  concurrence of the people in the kind testimonies, in the immense
  favours bestowed on me by the several branches of their
  representatives, in every part and at the central seat of the

  “Yet, gratifications still higher await me; in the wonders of
  creation and improvement that have met my enchanted eye, in the
  unparalleled and self-felt happiness of the people, in their rapid
  prosperity and insured security, public and private, in a practice
  of good order, the appendage of true freedom, and a national good
  sense, the final arbiter of all difficulties, I have had proudly to
  recognise a result of the republican principles for which we have
  fought, and a glorious demonstration to the most timid and
  prejudiced minds, of the superiority, over degrading aristocracy or
  despotism, of popular institutions founded on the plain rights of
  man, and where the local rights of every section are preserved under
  a constitutional bond of union. The cherishing of that union between
  the states, as it has been the farewell entreaty of our great
  paternal Washington, and will ever have the dying prayer of every
  American patriot, so it has become the sacred pledge of the
  emancipation of the world, an object in which I am happy to observe
  that the American people, while they give the animating example of
  successful free institutions, in return for an evil entailed upon
  them by Europe, and of which a liberal and enlightened sense is
  every where more and more generally felt, show themselves every day
  more anxiously interested.

  “And now, sir, how can I do justice to my deep and lively feelings
  for the assurances, most peculiarly valued, of your esteem and
  friendship, for your so very kind references to old times, to my
  beloved associates, to the vicissitudes of my life, for your
  affecting picture of the blessings poured by the several generations
  of the American people on the remaining days of a delighted veteran,
  for your affectionate remarks on this sad hour of separation, on the
  country of my birth, full, I can say, of American sympathies, on the
  hope so necessary to me of my seeing again the country that has
  designed, near a half century ago, to call me hers? I shall content
  myself, refraining from superfluous repetitions, at once, before
  you, sir, and this respected circle, to proclaim my cordial
  confirmation of every one of the sentiments which I have had daily
  opportunities publicly to utter, from the time when your venerable
  predecessor, my old brother in arms and friend, transmitted to me
  the honourable invitation of congress, to this day, when you, my
  dear sir, whose friendly connection with me dates from your earliest
  youth, are going to consign me to the protection, across the
  Atlantic, of the heroic national flag, on board the splendid ship,
  the name of which has been not the least flattering and kind among
  the numberless favours conferred upon me.

  “God bless you, sir, and all who surround us. God bless the American
  people, each of their states, and the federal government. Accept
  this patriotic farewell of an overflowing heart; such will be its
  last throb when it ceases to beat.”

In pronouncing these last words, General Lafayette felt his emotion to
be rapidly increasing, and threw himself into the arms of the president,
who mingled his tears with those of the national guest, in repeating
those heart-rending words, Adieu! Adieu! The spectators, overcome by the
same feelings, also shed tears and surrounded their friend, once more to
take him by the hand. To abridge this scene, which could not be suffered
much longer, the general retired for a short time into his own
apartment, where Mrs. Adams surrounded by her daughters and nieces came
to express their wishes and regrets. On the evening before, this lady,
whose cultivated mind and amenity of character had greatly contributed
to the pleasure of our visit to the president’s house, had presented him
with a fine bust of her husband, and had added to this present a copy of
verses in French, whose charm and elegance proved that this was not the
first occasion in which her muse had spoken in our language.

Detained as if by a magic spell, General Lafayette could not make up his
mind to leave his friends; a thousand pretexts seemed to retard the
definitive moment of separation, but at last the first of the
twenty-four guns, which announced his departure, having been heard, he
again threw himself into Mr. Adams’s arms, expressed to him his last
good wishes for the American nation, and retired to his carriage. The
president repeated the signal of adieu from the top of the steps, and at
this sign the colours of the troops which were drawn up before the
president’s house were bowed to the earth.

Accompanied by the secretaries of state, treasury, and navy, the general
proceeded to the banks of the Potomac, where the steam-boat Mount Vernon
was waiting for him. On a level above the river, were all the militia of
Alexandria, Georgetown, and Washington, drawn up in solid columns,
waiting to defile before the general. In advance of the troops were the
magistrates of the three cities, at the head of their fellow citizens,
to whom numbers of strangers had joined themselves. When the general
arrived at a point from whence he could embrace this scene at a glance,
the family of General Washington and the principal officers of
government, ranged themselves around him, when all the different masses
of men who had hitherto been so motionless, moved on to the sound of
artillery, and advanced melancholy and silent to receive his last adieu.
When the different corps had passed, the general took leave of all the
friends that surrounded him, and went on board of the Mount Vernon, with
the secretary of the navy and those officers of government who were to
accompany him on board of the Brandywine.

During this time, the innumerable crowd which lined the shores of the
Potomac for a great distance, governed by a painful feeling of sorrow
produced by his departure, remained in the most profound silence; but
when the steam-boat had pushed off with the object of their affections,
they gave vent to a mournful cry, which, repeated from echo to echo, was
finally mingled with the deep sound of the artillery of fort Washington.
A few moments afterwards we passed Alexandria, and the general received
the same marks of regret from the population of that city. But it was
when he came in view of Mount Vernon, that he felt most deeply affected,
and experienced the great sacrifice he made to his country in leaving
the American soil, that hospitable, land, where every step he made was
accompanied with heartfelt recollections.

In a few hours we reached the Brandywine, which was anchored at the
mouth of the Potomac, where she only awaited our arrival to set sail.
The general was received on board with the greatest honours, the yards
were manned, the gunners at their posts, and the marines drawn up on
deck. Of the whole company that had attended us from Washington, the
secretary of the navy, Mr. Southard, alone went on board the Brandywine
with the general, to present and recommend him to the care of Commodore
Morris in the name of the American nation and its government. We had
experienced so many marks of kindness from Mr. Southard, that it was
with real grief that we took leave of him. As soon as he had received
our last farewells, he returned on board the Mount Vernon, and our
commander gave orders to weigh anchor; but at this moment another
steam-boat appeared in sight, which apparently wished to speak to us; we
soon recognised her as the Constitution, which had arrived from
Baltimore, carrying a great number of the inhabitants of that city, who
desired once more to see General Lafayette, and to express to him the
good wishes of their fellow-citizens, as well as their own. We
experienced great pleasure in observing among them a majority of those
with whom we were most intimate in our different visits to Baltimore.
Their presence, at this time, in recalling to our minds the happy time
we spent with them, made us forget, for a moment, that we had already
left the American soil, perhaps for ever, and our illusion was prolonged
until the evening gun announced that all communication between us must

The night was now too far advanced to get under sail, and Commodore
Morris waited till next day to weigh anchor. It was the 8th of December
we entered the Chesapeake under full sail, traversing the centre of a
brilliant rainbow, one of whose limbs appeared to rest on the Maryland
shore, and the other on that of Virginia. Thus the same sign that
appeared in the heavens on the day on which Lafayette landed on the
American soil, also appeared when he left it, as if nature had reserved
to herself the erection of the first and the last of the numerous
triumphal arches dedicated to him during his extraordinary journey.[22]

The wind blowing brisk and favourable, we soon passed the capes of
Virginia, and were in a short time out at sea. It was then only that our
captain, disengaged from the care a difficult navigation, near the shore
always induces, made us more particularly acquainted with his officers
and our new abode. From the character of the former and commodious
arrangement of the latter, it was readily perceived that the American
government had neglected nothing that could contribute to the safety or
comfort of Lafayette’s return to his own country. The captain announced
to the general, that the last instructions he had received from the
president, was to put himself entirely at the general’s disposal, and to
conduct him to any part of Europe that he might designate, and to land
him under the protection of the American flag; hence, that he must from
that moment consider himself as absolute master, and to be assured that
his orders would be executed with the greatest readiness. The general
was deeply affected but not surprised at this fresh instance of kindness
in the American government, and declared to the captain, that the only
use he should make of these honourable prerogatives would be a passage
to Havre. Two motives, added he, make me desirous of reentering France
by that city; my family will be there to receive me, and my heart feels
a strong desire to present myself, in the first instance, to those who
received my farewell with such kindness, when I last year left my

The wind blew so violently, that in forty-eight hours from our leaving
Chesapeake bay, we were in the Gulf stream, whose waves, opposed by the
wind, made us experience all the agonies of rolling and pitching
horribly combined. Added to the sea-sickness which attacked nearly all
of us, another source of anxiety arose. The frigate leaked without it
being discovered at what place; the pumps, in spite of their constant
employment, could not keep the vessel clear, and some persons already
regretted we were so far from the land, but our captain and his crew
were not to be intimidated so easily. After a close examination of our
situation, Captain Morris was of opinion that the vessel was too deep in
the water, and should be lighted; he therefore had 32,000 weight of
iron, part of his ballast, thrown overboard. This operation which was
performed in a few hours, remedied every inconvenience. The frigate
being lighter was in better trim, and in rising some inches more above
the surface of the water, discovered the leak, which was just under the
water-mark: from this moment the danger, which had never been serious,
entirely disappeared, and our voyage was accomplished without the
slightest anxiety.

As the president had told the general, in offering him the use of the
Brandywine to carry him to France, we had for commander one of the most
distinguished officers in the American navy. During his youth, Captain
Morris had distinguished himself in several engagements before Algiers,
under the command of Commodore Rogers. At a later period, during the
last war with Great Britain, he had added to his reputation, from his
skill in manœuvring his vessel, in the presence of an overwhelming
force; and his comrades generally attributed to him a great part of the
glory of the victory of the Constitution over the Guerriere, who, proud
of her formidable artillery and the experience of her numerous crew, had
sent a challenge to any American vessel, that had the courage to meet
her, and seemed to wait with impatience for some one to accept her
defiance, when the Constitution appeared and soon made her repent of her

The officers who served under the orders of Captain Morris, on board of
the Brandywine, had also distinguished themselves in the last war, and
each could boast of having added to the glory of the American navy, by
his own gallant deeds. I regret that I cannot record all their names,
and some of the actions by which they merited the gratitude of their
country, and the esteem of their fellow-citizens; but such details would
lead me far beyond all due bounds, and I hope that my silence will be
taken rather as a proof of my incapacity to act as their historian, than
as a proof of my indifference to men, whose society was so delightful to
us, during a voyage which would have appeared very short, if we had not
been returning to our own country.

The government of the United States has no theoretical school for her
marine officers, but each national vessel, when going on service,
receives on board a certain number of midshipmen, and thus forms a
practical school at little expense as to money, and attended with the
happiest results. When it was rumoured, that the Brandywine was destined
to conduct Lafayette back to France, all those parents who intended
their children for the navy, were ambitious to obtain them a birth on
board of this frigate, and the president found himself beset with
petitions from all parts of the Union. Not being able to satisfy all,
but at the same time wishing to amalgamate, as much as possible, private
interests with public good, he decided that each state should be
represented by a midshipman, and hence the Brandywine had on board
twenty-four, instead of eight or ten, as is usual in vessels of her
size. It was gratifying to the general, thus to find himself surrounded
by these young representatives of the republics he had visited with so
much pleasure, not only as their presence recalled spots he loved, but
also as some of them, being sons of old revolutionary soldiers, gave him
an opportunity of speaking of his former companions in arms; and the
young men, on their part, proud of the mission they were engaged in,
endeavoured to render themselves worthy of it, by strict attention to
study, and the performance of their duties. The paternal friendship
testified towards them by the general, during the voyage, so completely
gained their affection, that they could not separate from him without
shedding tears. They begged that he would permit them, to offer him a
durable mark of their filial attachment, that would also recall to his
mind the days passed with them on board the Brandywine.[23]

The wind continued strong during the whole passage, but was very
variable, thus rendering our voyage unpleasant. Nevertheless, in spite
of their inconstancy, Captain Morris found means to make us advance
rapidly; and on the 3d of October we arrived in sight of the coast of
Havre, in twenty-four days after leaving the Chesapeake. This passage
ought to be considered as very short, particularly when it is considered
that it was our vessel’s first voyage, and consequently that she
required to be studied with greater care by those who navigated her.

I will not speak of the feelings that agitated us at the sight of our
country. There are few who have not experienced them on again seeing
their native land, even after a short absence; and to those who have
never known the torments of absence, or the sweet emotions of a return,
I fear that my words would appear exaggerated or ridiculous.

As there was a great swell, and the wind variable, the captain would not
hazard the frigate by approaching too near land in the night; he
therefore sent one of his officers to Havre for a pilot, and stood off
and on until his return. About midnight, a fishing boat boarded us, and
brought letters, by which we learnt, that a great part of General
Lafayette’s family, and numbers of his friends, among whom was my
father, had waited for us at Havre for several days, and would join us
in a few hours.

It may be readily supposed, that such news kept us awake all night,
expecting with impatience the return of day, to restore us to our
friends, our families, and our country. At six o’clock, the pilot being
on board, he cautiously guided the vessel towards Havre, which we saw
gradually becoming more visible on the horizon. At three o’clock we
anchored, from the impossibility of approaching nearer without danger in
a vessel the size of our frigate. Captain Morris then fired a salute of
twenty-four guns, which was answered from the fort a few moments
afterwards. At 11 o’clock, a steam-boat having boarded us, we
experienced the happiness of seeing our friends.

We also received on board some citizens of Havre, among whom was M. de
Laroche, who begged the general to accept of lodgings in his house, as
long as he should remain in the city. Mr. Beasley, American consul at
Havre, was also among our visiters. Our captain and his officers
received them with distinction, and showed them every part of the
frigate, whose beautiful proportions and admirable order excited their

But the time rapidly passed, and the moment of separation from our
fellow passengers arrived. It would be difficult to portray the
expression of grief and regret that was observable on the faces of all
on board, when they advanced for the last time to bid farewell to him
whom they had so proudly conducted across the ocean. The officers
surrounded him for a long time, not being able to permit him to depart.
Their first lieutenant, Mr. Gregory, who had been commissioned by them
to express their sentiments, experienced so much emotion, that his voice
faltered in pronouncing the first words; but, as if suddenly inspired,
the young seaman sprung towards the national flag which floated at the
stern of the vessel, rapidly detached it, and presented it to the
general, exclaiming, “We cannot confide it to more glorious keeping!
Take it, dear general, may it for ever recall to you your alliance with
the American nation; may it also sometimes recall to your recollection
those who will never forget the happiness they enjoyed of passing
twenty-four days with you on board of the Brandywine; and in being
displayed twice a year on the towers of your hospitable dwelling, may it
recall to your neighbours the anniversary of two great epochs, whose
influence on the whole world is incalculable,—the birth of Washington
and the declaration of the independence of our country.”

“I accept it with gratitude,” replied the general, “and I hope that,
displayed from the most prominent part of my house at La Grange, it will
always testify to all who may see it, the kindness of the American
nation towards its adopted and devoted son. And I also hope, that when
you or your fellow countrymen visit me, it will tell you, that at La
Grange you are not on a foreign soil.”

At this moment, the noise of cannon and the huzzas of the sailors on the
yards, prevented any further adieus, and we went on board the
steam-boat, whence we saw the Brandywine spread her sails, and leave us
with the majesty of a floating fortress.

Captain Morris, who was to accompany the general to Paris; Captain Reed,
a distinguished officer of the American navy, charged with a scientific
mission to Europe by his government; and Mr. Somerville, envoy from the
United States to the court of Sweden, left the Brandywine with us; and
this vessel, under the command of Lieutenant Gregory, sailed for the
Mediterranean, to reinforce the squadron there.

On his landing, General Lafayette perceived that the sentiments
expressed towards him by the citizens of Havre, at his departure, had
not changed, and he was much affected at their warmth. As to the
administration, it was what it ought to have been the preceding year,
that is, it permitted a free expression of public opinion, so that in
his passage from the quay to Mr. de Laroche’s, the general had not the
grief of seeing his friends menaced by the sabres of the gens d’armes,
or humiliated by the presence of foreign troops.

General Lafayette ardently desired to see such of his children as could
not come to meet him, and waited for him at La Grange, and he therefore
decided on leaving Havre the day after his arrival. His son embarked on
the Seine with his family and friends, to proceed to Rouen, where he
would wait for him, whilst, accompanied by Captain Morris and the author
of this journal, he went by land. On leaving the suburb, his carriage
was surrounded by a large cavalcade of young men, who asked permission
to accompany him to some distance. After an hour’s march, the general
stopped to thank his escort, who did not separate from him until they
had expressed the most flattering sentiments, through their young
leader, Mr. Etesse, to whom his fellow citizens bad also this day given
a proof of their esteem and friendship in placing themselves under his

On arriving at Rouen, we stopped at M. Cabanon’s, a worthy merchant, who
has always been charged with the interests of his department in the
chamber of deputies, whenever his fellow citizens have been unshackled
in their choice. As an old friend and colleague of the general, he had
insisted on his right of receiving at his table the guest of America,
and had prepared him the pleasure of once more being seated with his
family and a great number of the most distinguished citizens of the
ancient capital of Normandy. Towards the end of the dinner, some one
came to announce to the general that a crowd of persons in the street,
accompanied by a band of musicians, wished to salute him. He eagerly
went out on the balcony to reply to this mark of esteem from the
population of Rouen, but scarcely were the first acclamations heard,
when detachments of the royal guard and gens d’armes appeared from the
extremities of the street, who, without any previous notice, began to
disperse the crowd. The moderation with which the royal guard executed
the orders they had received from an imprudent and blind administration,
proved how repugnant they were to them, but the gens d’armerie, anxious
to prove themselves the worthy instruments of the power that employed
them, _bravely_ charged on the unarmed citizens, and were not to be
checked by the cries of the women and children overthrown by the horses.
A manufacturer of Bolbec, an elderly man of Rouen, and several other
persons, were severely wounded. Many others were illegally and brutally
arrested. After these glorious exploits, the gens d’armes, being
conquerors, waited for the appearance of General Lafayette, and, sabre
in hand, accompanied the carriage to the hotel where we were to spend
the night. But here their success was checked; young men stationed at
the door forbid all entrance into this asylum, where many of those who
were obliged to fly had taken refuge, and where General Lafayette could
receive, in peace, the feeling and honourable congratulations of those
citizens who wished, in spite of the interdict of those in authority, to
testify the satisfaction they felt at the return of a man, who by the
triumphs decreed to him by a free nation had so much added to the glory
of the French name.

This atrocious conduct of the magistrates and their servile instruments
afflicted us the more, from having a few days previous enjoyed the free
expression of the feelings and enthusiasm of the American people, and
which in spite of ourselves forced a comparison that was far from being
favourable to our own country. The presence of Captain Morris and some
of his countrymen who had accompanied him to Paris, added still more to
our sorrow and embarrassment. We seemed to read in their stern
expression, the feelings they experienced in seeing a people once so
energetic in the cause of liberty, now timidly submitting to the
despotism of bayonets. As soon as I found an opportunity of speaking to
them for a moment, I hastened to tell them that they must not confound
prudence and moderation with weakness, which was here only so in
appearance. That, in this instance, the citizens could not have supposed
that the local authorities would have been foolish enough to oppose the
expression of sentiments so inoffensive and natural, and consequently no
one had thought of making preparations for a resistance, whose necessity
had not been foreseen. Some young men who were near us overhearing this
conversation, added with warmth, “we hope our moderation will not be
misinterpreted by those who know us, and that they will understand that
we only submitted to be thus driven back by some gens d’armes, because
we wished to spare our friend General Lafayette the chagrin of being the
cause of a greater disturbance.” The American officers applauded the
courage and delicacy of this feeling, and comprehended that under other
circumstances, the triumph of the police and its gens d’armes over the
citizens of Rouen would not be so easy.

The next morning, October 8th, the court of the hotel was filled by
young men on horseback, intended as an escort to the general as far as
the first post-house. Their countenances, and some words I overheard,
proved to me that they were full of the scene of the evening before, and
were firmly resolved that it should not be renewed with impunity. The
posts of the infantry and gens d’armerie had been doubled during the
night, as if the day was to be productive of great events; but the
magistracy confined itself to those ridiculous demonstrations, and
General Lafayette left the city in peace, receiving on his way numerous
testimonials of the good wishes of the citizens.

At the end of the suburb, the escort was augmented by more young
horsemen, who accompanied him to the first relay of horses, where they
took leave of him, after having presented him with a crown of
“Immortelles,” which was laid in his carriage on the sword given him by
the New York militia.

That evening we slept at St. Germain-en-Laye, and the next day, October
9th, we arrived at La Grange, where, for the three last days, the
neighbouring districts had been occupied in preparations for a fete on
the arrival of one so long and ardently looked for.

At a certain distance from the house, the carriage stopped; and the
general on descending from it, found himself in the midst of a crowd,
whose transports and joy would have deceived a stranger, and led him to
suppose that they were all his children. The house was filled until
evening, by the crowd, who only retired after having conducted the
general, by the light of illuminations and to the sound of music, under
a triumphal arch, bearing an inscription, in which they had dedicated to
him the title of “friend of the people.” There he again received the
expressions of joy and happiness induced by his return.

The next day, the general was occupied in receiving the young girls who
brought him flowers and chaunted couplets in his honour, the company of
the national guard of Court Palais, and a deputation from the town of
Rosay. The inhabitants of the commune in offering a box of flowers to
their friend, congratulated him on his arrival through their leader M.

The following Sunday, the inhabitants of Rosay and its environs gave the
general a brilliant fete, the expenses of which were defrayed by common
subscription. The preparations which had required several days’ labour,
were the work of the citizens, who did not wish to be aided by any
mercenary hands. At five o’clock in the evening, more than four thousand
persons, many of whom had arrived from a distance of some leagues,
filled the apartments and courts of La Grange, to salute him, whom all
voices hailed as the friend of the people. At seven o’clock, a troop of
young girls marching at the head of the population of Rosay, presented a
basket of flowers to the general, and chaunted some simple and touching
couplets; after which Mr. Vigne pronounced in the name of the canton a
discourse filled with noble sentiments. After the general’s reply, which
was received with transports of joy, he was conducted in triumph to the
meadow, where an elegant tent had been erected for him and his family.
Illuminations artfully disposed, fire-works prepared by Ruggieri,
animated dances, a great number of booths of all kinds, and a population
of upwards of six thousand persons, all contributed to recall to
Lafayette some of the brilliant scenes of his American triumph; and with
the more truth, since he found so much conformity in the feelings which
dictated both.

The dancing lasted all night; the cries of “long live the people’s
friend” were to be heard until the next day, when Lafayette, once more
in the bosom of his family, enjoyed that happiness and calm which only
result from the recollection of a well spent life.

                                THE END.


Footnote 1:

  Since our return to France, the general has received a similar boiler
  from Mr. Morris of Baltimore, which is now in use at La Grange.

Footnote 2:

  This animal was a common seal, _phoca vitulina_, vulgarly called
  _sea-dog_. The _sea-lion_ is another species of seal.—T.

Footnote 3:

  See Art. 32 of the Constitution of North Carolina.

  [Whatever may be the condition of the statute on this subject in North
  Carolina, it can be little better than a dead letter or nullity, since
  it is so entirely inconsistent with the Constitution of the United
  States. We do not recollect to have read of any instance in which this
  offensive peculiarity has been productive of practical disadvantage.
  It is unquestionably a blemish that calls for removal.—T.]

  The 31st article excludes from the senate, the house of
  representatives, and the state councils, all members of the clerical
  profession, without distinction of faith or sect, so long as they
  continue in the exercise of their pastoral functions.

Footnote 4:

  This is a common but inaccurate saying; an oblique shot will certainly
  glance from the skin of the alligator, but one striking perpendicular
  to the surface will as certainly penetrate, if within a proper

Footnote 5:

  This is another very common and ancient error, which has been repeated
  from the days of Herodotus, who said it of the Egyptian crocodile, to
  the present. The deceptive appearance is produced by the manner in
  which the lower jaw is articulated; the joint being situated very far
  back, when the mouth is opened, casual observers easily mistake the
  part actually moved. See the article _Alligator_, in the lately
  published Encyclopædia Americana.—T.

Footnote 6:

  See the fable of the ass disguised in the lion’s skin, as related by
  Æsop, Phædrus, or Lafontaine, in explanation of this allusion. T.

Footnote 7:

  See the excellent work of Captain Hugh M‘Call, published in 1811,
  entitled “_The History of Georgia_.”

Footnote 8:

  In speaking of the morals of New Orleans, it is but just to
  discriminate between its _permanent_ and _fluctuating_ population.
  Being the only mart to a vast extent of country, and the most
  frequented port on the Gulf of Mexico, it always contains a large
  number of individuals of the rudest and most licentious class, who can
  scarcely be said to belong to any country, are certainly of no
  religion, and are of every shade of colour. It is therefore by no
  means surprising, that gamblers, brawlers, and stabbers, should be
  numerous where such a class abounds, more especially, as New Orleans
  tolerates, by _license granted_, numerous establishments openly
  devoted to gambling and all its consequences.—T.

Footnote 9:

  Since the establishment of steam navigation, boatmen rarely return by
  land. They pay a trifle for a _deck passage_; find their own
  provisions, and aid the crew to bring wood, &c. on board, at the
  stopping places.—T.

Footnote 10:

  These geese, together with the Mexican hoccos presented by Mr.
  Duplantier; wild turkeys presented by Mr. Thousand, of Baltimore;
  Devonshire cows, given by Mr. Patterson; American partridges,
  presented by Mr. Skinner, etc. at present ornament the farm of La
  Grange, where General Lafayette exerts himself to multiply their

Footnote 11:

  See upon this subject Mr. Warden’s very curious work, entitled Remarks
  upon the Antiquities of North America.

  [No theory, formed from the examination of a few of these mounds, can,
  with any propriety, be resorted to for the purpose of explaining the
  intentions of the ancient tribes in their formation. That they were
  erected for various uses, is sufficiently evident from their
  difference of construction, some being evidently merely monumental,
  while others must have been designed for military, religious, or other
  services. No one has examined the square and circular erections at
  Circleville, in Ohio, (now rapidly disappearing before the industry of
  the brick-makers), or those found near Piqua, or elsewhere in that
  state, without feeling convinced that they were destined to different
  uses from the mounds which occur in their vicinity, and appear to have
  been erected by the same people. Dr. Clarke, and other travellers in
  the north of Asia, inform us, that mounds, in all respects similar to
  those of St. Louis, are very numerous in many places, and that they
  are unquestionably sepulchral is proved by the bones, urns, and
  ornaments found within them. These observations go far also to
  establish the belief of the common origin of the American aborigines
  and the nomadic tribes of the old continent. See Atwater’s very
  interesting Archæologia Americana.—T.]

Footnote 12:

  The grizzly bear is unquestionably a ferocious and sanguinary animal,
  and is so much dreaded by the Indians and traders, that it is not
  surprising they should give currency to endless fables and
  exaggerations concerning it. But we cannot avoid a feeling of
  surprise, mingled with some mortification, to find respectable and
  intelligent travellers repeating, as actually true, statements of the
  habits of our animals, which a very slight effort of reason would show
  to be utterly absurd. Here we have A BEAR, the largest species known,
  coursing after _men_ in _packs_, and _yelping_ like hounds! when we
  have not on record, evidence, perhaps, of more than thirty of these
  animals having been seen since the existence of the species was
  discovered; nor the slightest evidence that any _bear_ ever uttered
  any other sound than a low harsh growl!—T.

Footnote 13:

  Since his return from America, General Lafayette has received a young
  grizzly bear from the Missouri, sent him by Governor Clark. He has
  presented it to the proprietors of the Jardin du Roi, who have placed
  it in the menagerie, where it may now be seen.

Footnote 14:

  Another still more laborious mode of going up stream, was by extending
  a long line from the bow, by which the crew, walking along the margin
  of the river, dragged the boat along. This is what is called
  _cordelling_, and when it is recollected how rugged and irregular the
  shores of the western rivers are, and the necessity of carrying the
  cord clear of trees, rocks, &c., a more painful and exhausting kind of
  labour can scarcely be imagined.—T.

Footnote 15:

  Vevay wine is a perfect nondescript; in colour it slightly approaches
  thin claret; its taste is altogether peculiar; something like it might
  be made by sweetening vin de grave with brown sugar. Nothing but a
  strong effort of courtesy, however, can induce any one seriously to
  call it _wine_, unless the fact of its being made from grapes be
  sufficient to secure it this title. As to its being “the best of the
  wines made in the United States,” we apprehend the author’s experience
  was scarcely sufficient to make his opinion decisive. It is certainly
  far inferior to the best of our cider, in all the requisites of a
  pleasant beverage.—T.

Footnote 16:

  The canal has been completed since this journal was written, and fully
  equals all anticipations.—T.

Footnote 17:

  The territory of Vermont was at first part of the state of New
  Hampshire, from which it was separated in 1764, to be annexed to that
  of New York. It was not until 1791, that Vermont was admitted into the
  confederation as an independent state.

Footnote 18:

  Professor List was condemned to ten years of _hard literary labour_,
  for having consented to be the organ of his fellow citizens to the
  king of Wirtemberg.

Footnote 19:

  Among these was General Lallemand, who is too well known for me to
  eulogise him, and my two friends, my companions in arms, the brothers
  Peregnet, who for a long time followed in Europe by honourable
  persecutions, finally obtained in New York a safe asylum, where
  American hospitality has enabled them to obtain the means of living
  independently. The military academy which they have established upon
  the most extensive and liberal scale, already enjoys popular favour.

Footnote 20:

  The wish of the Whitehallers is accomplished. The _American Star_ is
  now at La Grange, placed with its oars and rudder under an elegant
  building which the general has had built expressly to shelter it,
  worthy of the recollections it represents.

Footnote 21:

  Courrier Français.

Footnote 22:

  The day of our arrival at Staten Island, whilst the general was
  receiving the congratulations of the people, from the balcony of the
  vice president’s house, a rainbow, one of whose limbs enveloped and
  tinged fort Lafayette with a thousand colours, appeared; the
  multitude, struck with the beauty and opportuneness of this
  circumstance, exclaimed, “that heaven was in unison with America in
  celebrating the happy arrival of the friend of the country.”

Footnote 23:

  This present, which was received by General Lafayette a short time
  after his arrival at Paris, is a silver urn, of an antique form and
  beautifully engraved. It rests on a base of the same metal, three of
  the faces of which are ornamented with exquisite sculptures,
  representing the capitol at Washington; the visit of Lafayette to the
  tomb of Washington, and the arrival of the Brandywine at Havre. On the
  fourth face is inscribed, in relief, the offering of the young
  midshipmen to their paternal friend. This magnificent work was
  executed at Paris, under the direction of Mr. Barnet, the American
  consul, who replied to the confidence of the young seamen, with that
  zeal which he always displays, in every thing relating to the glory of
  his country, or the interests of his fellow-citizens.


                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. Silently corrected typographical errors and variations in spelling.
 2. Archaic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings retained as printed.
 3. Footnotes have been re-indexed using numbers and collected together
      at the end of the last chapter.
 4. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

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