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distance below it, the strip of land on each side of the river, that is, above the inundation, is of considerable width, sufficient for a number of cotton plantations, which lie contiguous to each other. A mile or two from the river are thick cane brakes, then a series of lakes, and beyond them immense swamps, filled with the mossy cypress, and covered with a thick coat of floating green matter, animated with the deadly moccasin, and countless millions of the more annoying musquitoes. The people of this territory, our traveller found more rough and untamed than those of the more northern and western regions. He draws a very unfavourable picture of the establishment of the territorial government, which he witnessed, for he found it placed in the hands of evil disposed persons, totally unqualified for the duties, and who had been appointed by favoritism.
The whole period he passed here was one of illness and gloomy dejection. The lives of two of his family were in great danger. His neighbours were sick and dying around him, and the debility induced by the damp and sultry atmosphere, with the irritation of the ever annoying musquito, rendered life a state of continual sufferance. They could talk of nothing but New-England or the upper country, and as soon as their convalescence would admit of it; they determined to return to the latter as the only means of restoring their wasted strength. They accordingly embarked once more on the river, and reached the Mississippi safely.Here they found the river too low for the steam boats, and were obliged to pursue their voyage in their own boat with only two hands against the current of the river. They, however, proceeded securely, though slowly, till after they passed the mouth of the St. Francis, when both the hands were taken down with the fever, and were, of necessity left behind. Our traveller and his sick family were now left alone in the wilderness, with four hundred miles of his voyage against the current before him, and with no prospect of procuring any assistance, as the lowness of the river impeded its navigation. They, however, hoisted their sail when the wind allowed it, occasionally used the cordelle, and endured incredible fatigue. They crept on slowly, and, our traveller says, cheerfully, and arrived at the second Chickasaw Bluff on the 26th of November, where his peculiar distress can only be properly painted in his own colours :
"The country on the shore receives and deserves the emphatic name of " wilderness. At ten in the morning, we perceived indications of a severe approaching storm. The air was oppressively sultry. Brassy clouds were visible
upon all quarters of the sky. Distant thunder was heard. We were upon a wide sand-bar, far from any house. Opposite to us was a vast cypress swamp
At this period, and in this place,
Mrs. F. was taken in travail. My children, wrapped in blankets, laid themselves down on the sand-bar. I secured the boat in every possible way against the danger of being driven by the storm into the river. At eleven, the storm burst upon us in all its fury. Mrs. F. had been salivated during her fever, and had not yet been able to leave her couch. I was alone with her in this dreadful situation. Hail, wind and thunder, and rain in torrents poured upon us. I was in terror, lest the wind should drive my boat, notwithstanding all her fastenings into the river. No imagination can reach what I endured. The only alleviating circumstance was her perfect tranquillity. She knew that the hour of sorrow, and expected that of death, was come. She was so perfectly calm, spoke with such tranquil assurance about the future, and about the dear ones that were at this moment “biding the pelting of the pitiless storm" on the sand bar, that I became calm myself. A little after twelve, the wind burst in the roof of my boat, and let in the glare of the lightning and the torrents of rain upon my poor wife.. I could really have expostulated with the elements in the language of poor old Lear. I had wrapped my wife in blankets, ready to be carried to the shelter of the forest in case of the driving of my boat into the river. About four, the fury of the storm began to subside. At five, the sun, in his descending glory, burst from the
dark masses of the receding clouds. At eleven in the evening, Mrs. F. was safely delivered of a female infant, and, notwithstanding all, did well. The babe, from preceding circumstances, was feeble and sickly, and I saw could not survive. At midnight, we raised a blazing fire. The children came into the boat. Supper was prepared, and we surely must have been ungrateful not to have sung a hymn of deliverance. There can be but one trial more for me that can surpass
agony of that day, and there can never be on this earth a happier period than those midnight hours. The babe staid with us but two days and an half, and expired. The children, poor things, laid it deeply to beart, and raised a loud lament. We were, as I have remarkéd, far away from all human aid and sympathy, and left alone witla God. We deposited the body of our lost babe-laid in a small trunk for a coffin--in a grave amid the rushes, there to await the resurrection of the dead. The prayer made on the occasion by the father, with the children for concourse and mourners, if not eloquent, was to us, at least, deeply affecting." &c. p. 287.
After this disaster, they fortunately procured two hands to work the boat, and proceeding on their voyage, hailed again with rapture the beautiful prairie at St. Charles. They remained here at rest for some time, but by the advice and assistance of their friends, in the autumn of 1822, they descended the river to New-Orleans. After passsing the Arkansas, they found the country for nearly 200 miles, an unbroken and inundated wilderness, with the exception of one settlement called Point Ohico. They floated past the famous Yazoo—the beautiful Walnut Hills—Warrington-Natchez-Point Coupè-St. Francisvilleand the thriving village of Baton Rouge, about 150 miles above
New-Orleans. Of these places much might be said, but our limits will not admit of it. Here the western levee of the Mississippi commences, and the eastern a little below. Were it not for these mounds this beautiful and fertile region, which they call “the coast," would be an unwholesome waste. From this point commences the sugar plantations which alternate with those of cotton.
“Noble houses, massive sugar-houses, neat summer-houses, and numerous negro villages, succeed each other in such a way, that the whole distance has the appearance of one continued village. The houses are airy and neat, some of them splendid, and in the midst of orange groves and pretty gardens, in which are the delicious cape jessamine, a flowering shrub; multitudes of altheas; and bowers of the multiflora rose; and a great variety of vines and flowering shrubs that flourish in this mild climate. Among the noblest of the plantations, is that of General Hampton."--p. 300
Our traveller's account of New Orleans is interesting and favourable. Its great commercial advantages are pointed out, and the manners of its inhabitants generally extolled. He could not shut his eyes entirely on the vices of this great city, but he concludes that, “as it respects people who have any self-estimation, it is about on a footing with the other cities of the Union in point of morals.” In the summer he left the city on account of the yellow fever, and took up his residence at Covington, a village in the county of St. Tammany. He returned in the autumn to New Orleans, and disliking these annual summer removals, he accepted the Presidency of the Seminary of Rapide, at Alexandria, on Red River. He found the society there small, but it embraced some amiable families. The people were attentive to his ministry ; but the climate proved inhospitable. Retirement to the pine-lands for the summer he found absolutely requisite. Health is generally to be obtained there, and may, at any rate, be preserved in such retreats throughout the southern climates of the United States. With a few kind friends who erected houses near his, he spent his summer, and measureably regained his health. His picture of his pine-land recreations is pleasing.
“But our own private way of getting along was still more pleasant. There were three or four intimate and endeared families that had no ceremony in their meeting, and we took our evening tea alternately at each other's houses. In the morning we rose with the sun, breathed the balsamic air of the pines, took our angling rods, followed by our wives and children to the brink of the stream. A carpet was spread under the beeches, and close by a fine spring. We caught the trout,
(which are beautifully mottled with white and gold, and weighed on an average a pound) and threw them over the bank to the black girls, who had kindled a fire for cooking them. It seldom cost us half an hour to take enough for twenty people. During the summer I took more than two thousand trout myself, besides pickerel and other fish. The other necessary articles were supplied, as each guest furnished the proportions most convenient to him. I have never made more delightful repasts; nor have I ever passed a summer more pleasantly. A kind of sad presentiment used to hang over my mind, to embitter even this pleasant summer, an impression that, as it was so delightful, it would be the last pleasant one allotted to me on the earth.”—p. 355.
At the close of the summer he returned to his duties at the seminary. A few weeks exertion, however, reproduced his illness, which resisted the powers of medicine, and left him nothing to try but that last, yet best resource of the invalid, change of climate. He left his family, returned up the river, and retracing his former footsteps to the Atlantic States, once more reached in safety his much loved natal soil.
We have borrowed so largely from these interesting letters, that we must now stay our hand. Yet when we look back on what we are compelled to omit, we cannot but feel regret. We feel sorrow at closing the volume and bidding our frïend adieu, and cannot refrain from sincerely wishing him a re-establishment of his health, and a long life of happiness and utility in the bosom of his amiable family.
It remains that we say a few words on some of the subjects on which he dwells at large. We find him, though a Newa England man, like every other candid and intelligent person who has visited the slave-holding states, and remained there long enough to form a true opinion, viewing the subject of slavery under its correct aspect. That there are evils attendant on it he admits, and exclaims, “would to God, there were not a slave on the earth!” But the evils of life are scattered with a pretty equal hand on all conditions of men. He found the negroes, generally, to possess a gentle, susceptible and affectionate nature. He was astonished after hearing so much of cruel masters, to find the slaves of a cheerful countenance, and apparently the happiest people he saw. They seemed to him to be as well-fed and clothed as the labouring poor of the North. In visiting numbers of plantations, he generally discovered in them affection for their masters, and in the masters, a deep impression that humanity is their best interest, and that cheerful, wellfed and clothed slaves perform so much more productive labour, as to unite speculation and kindness in the same calculation. When,” says he, “the master is really a considerate and kind
man, the patriarchal authority on the one hand, and the simple and affectionate veneration on the other, render this relation of master and slave not altogether so forbidding, as we have been accustomed to consider it.” This voluntary and disinterested testimony of one who is no slave-owner and never was, and who was brought up with all the northern prejudices of his countrymen on this subject, we recommend to their dispassionate consideration. He has heard, and deeply deplores the misrepresentations, inflammatory exhortations and intemperate opinions of the North, put forth for political effect, and he solemnly cautions his deluded countrymen against their certain effect on southern feelings. If they believe not him, “neither would they one who rose from the dead."
Our traveller's report on the subject of the manners of the western people is, upon the whole, not unfavourable. As to refinement, that can only exist in large cities having intercourse with the world. He met with individuals from these cities with their families, who were as polished as any they had left behind; but what influence could they have on the multitude ? This want of refinement, however, was supplied by a rude yet sincere hospitality. Though a respectable traveller may be received with no demonstrations of cordiality or ceremonious observances, yet his wants will be attentively supplied. Many years must revolve before elegance and politeness obtain a permanent habitation in the west. They are the offspring of social intercourse among those who see each other daily and nightly, and who habitually associate with well-bred strangers, and should not be looked for when this intercourse is impossible.
With respect to literature, they are equally deficient. Kentucky alone makes any pretension to it, and slow must be its progress, where liberal studies are neglected for the tavern and gambling-house. But the sun of science must ere long rise upon the West. The immense provision made for their public institutions must ultimately produce some effect. The constant and persevering efforts of many men of learning and science, settled in different parts of that great country, must be at length blessed with success ; though at present their lights shine but a little way in the gloom.
Little is said by our author in favour of the religious feelings of the West, as they existed ten years ago. Since then great, and we trust, beneficial changes have in this respect taken place. In new countries, the erection of churches is not to be looked for except where large numbers of persons are assembled together. In the country where the attention of all is directed to the redemption of the earth from its savage state, both time