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Copyright Statement.


BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the nineteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, and in the fifty-second year of the Independence of the United States of America, TIMOTHY FLINT, of said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author and proprietor in the words and figures following, to wit:

"A condensed Geography and History of the Western States, or the Mississippi Valley, by TIMOTHY FLINT, author of "Recollections of the last ten years in the Mississippi Valley", "Salve Magna Parens," in two volumes."

In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States of America, 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 there in mentioned," and also of the act, entitled, "An act supplementary to an act 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 extending the benefit thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."

Attest, WM. KEY BOND,
Clerk of the District of Ohio.




I have ventured to inscribe this book with your name for the following reasons. I wished to prove, that, much as I have wandered, my heart and affections have still had their stationary points. It is my pride to hope, amidst all the vicissitudes, through which I have passed, that the friends of my youth will be those of my age. Years in their flight will never shed the mildew of oblivion over kindnesses, which have marked every period of my intercourse with you. Those kindnesses are alike associated with the remembrance of scenes, that have passed in the land of my birth, and in distant regions west of the Mississippi. To you and one other friend it is owing, that I ever appeared before the public. I know not, if the public will thank you, or if it ought. I feel, that I at least ought never to forget the kindness and munificence of the motive. While your keels plough every sea, bringing home the rich harvests of commerce, I have always known you the earnest and consistent friend of the sacred soil and the plough. This acquaintance with predilections, apparently so foreign from those, which have governed your pursuits in life, has added an inducement, to inscribe to you a book, which treats upon a country almost solely agricultural,


and naturally richer in resources of that class, as I deem, than any other. In doing this, I beg leave to be allowed to express my affectionate prayers, that the repose of your age, in the midst of your children, may be as long and as happy, as your past life has been honorable and useful.

With feelings of indelible gratitude and respect, I subscribe myself your friend and humble servant,



HAD the author been aware, when he assumed this task, of the amount of labor and difficulty, in which it would ivolve him, he would have shrunk from it in dismay. But he had announced the work, and made no inconsiderable progress in it, before a full view of the difficulties and discouragements opened upon him. One of the difficulties, and that by no means an inconsiderable one, was that of procuring materials for all that part of the work, which could not be supplied by his own personal observation. From a general consciousness of the western people of the incompetence of most of those, who have assumed to collect materials for works of this sort, and an unwillingness, that their names should stand, as authorities, it has happened, that they, who were most capable of furnishing materials, have heard with indifference and neglect, solicitations to furnish such materials.

There seems to be but one sure and adequate avenue to such collection; and that is, to travel from state to state, and from capital to capital, to make it in person. Such is the expense attending this mode, that very few, who belong to the proverbially poor fraternity of authors, can afford it. Such, also, is the length of time, necessary to complete such a tour with the requisite deliberation and delay, that, owing to the rapid changes, effected in the scene by time, the first part of the sketch has become an inadequate representation, before the last is completed. Whatever be the industry, honesty of intention and ability of the author of such a work, he must be content to prepare it under all these disadvantages, and identify his fortunes with a class of writers, whose writings upon similar subjects, however deserving, have rapidly passed into oblivion. In addition to these preliminary difficulties, the author had to encounter that of ill health, which, whether it be an allowed


plea to enter, in palliation of defects, or not, is certainly a very great impediment in prosecuting works of this sort. At the same time, his hands have been filled with laborious avocations of another kind.

But is unnecessary to dwell on these and various other difficulties easy to name. The author had given a pledge, and ‘put his hand to the plough.’ He felt, too, that he had some grounds, on which to assume such a work. He had devoted the best portion of twelve years to exploring the western country. He had remained one or more seasons in each of its great divisions. He had been familiar with Cincinnati, St. Louis and New Orleans, the points most central to the information and resources of their respective divisions, and had resided in each of those capitals. He had traversed this great valley, in all its chief directions, in an employment, which had necessarily brought him in contact with all classes of its people, and all its aspects of society. He had had abundant communications with its scholars and distinguished men. As an earnest lover of nature, he had contemplated nature in the West, in the original, and in all her phases. On foot and alone he had wandered beside her long and devious streams. He had been between two and three hundred days on the Mississippi and its tributary waters. He had published ‘Recollections’ of these journeyings, which had been received by the public with great kindness. His chief efforts, as an author, had been directed to bringing the people of the West acquainted with one another, and the beauty and resources of their own great country. He hopes, it will not be deemed assumption for him to say, that he has done something towards bringing about an acquaintance of good feelings between the elder sister, whose fair domain is the east country, the fresh breeze and the shores of the sea; and her younger sister, whose dotal portion is the western woods, and the fertile shores of the western streams.

A kind of affectionate feeling for the country, where he has enjoyed, and suffered all, that the human heart can be supposed capable of feeling on this side the grave, which contains his children, his charities, and all those ties, which call forth aspirations for its well being, after he shall be in the dust, enlisted his first purpose to commence this work. The general amenity of its aspect, its boundless woods and prairies, its long and devious streams, and its


unparalleled advancement in population and improvement, filled his imagination. He had seen the country, in some sense, grow up under his eye. He saw the first steam boat, that descended the Mississippi. He had seen much of that transformation, as if of magic, which has converted the wilderness to fields and orchard. He has wished to transfer toothers some of the impressions, which have been wrought on his own mind by witnessing those changes. Such were some of the motives, that impelled him to undertake this work.

He has a distinct foresight of the views, which some will entertain, and express in reference to this work. But he can pronounce with perfect simplicity and confidence, that his least fears of criticism are from those, whose candor, experience and ability best qualify them to judge. At any rate, he will cheerfully suffer the sentence, whatever it may be, which the western people shall pass upon this work. To those, who have predicted, that he would draw too largely upon the language and the coloring of poetry an the imagination, he can only say, that it has been his first aim, to compress the greatest possible amount of useful information into the smallest compass. He has, therefore, rather to apprehend, that the intelligent will find it too statistical and laconic, too much abbreviated, and divested of detail.

Something more than half the compass of this work is onginal in the strictest sense of the word, the remarks and details bein the fruit of his own observation or reflection. What has been suggested by the reading and observation of those, who have preceded him in labors of this kind, will be generally found, he think to have been assimilated, to use a medical term, and to have received in his mind the moulding of his own manner. But touching the matter obtained from other books, he claims no othe merit, than that of being a laborious and faithful compiler. In some instances, where the thoughts could not be better, or more briefly expressed, the words of the original authors may have been used. He has referred to at least thirty volumes, and to those, who might feel disposed to suggest, that he has made a book from the labors of others, he would beg leave to remark, that, if hey shall be pleased to think, that they have found the substance of all these volumes in this work, he shall consider it the highest encomium, they can pass upon it.


He feels it to be a duty, once for all, to make the most frank and ample avowal of the sources, to which he has chiefly repaired for compilation. That works of history and geography must necessarily be prepared in this way, no person, at all acquainted with the nature of such writings, need be told. As well might a traveller presume to claim the fee-simple of all the country, which he has surveyed, as a historian and geographer expect to preclude those, who come after him, from making a proper use of his labors. If the former writers have seen accurately, and related faithfully, the latter ought to have the resemblance of declaring the same facts, with that variety only, which nature has enstamped upon the distinct elaborations of every individual mind. Those, who have preceded him, have availed themselves of the observations of their predecessors. The author flatters himself, that his work, in its turn, will be consulted by those, who will come after him. As works of this sort become multiplied, voluminous and detailed, it becomes a duty to literature to abstract, abridge, and give in synoptical views, the information that is spread through numerous volumes. So far from its being the tendency of a work of this kind to undervalue, and preclude the use of works, from which it is compiled, he would hope, that adverting to the original works, by pointing to the sources of his information, would have the contrary effect of inducing those readers, who wish to view the subject in all its details and bearings, to repair to those works, and rescue them from oblivion. Many of them are works of great merit, and have undeservedly passed into disuse.

He has not considered it necessary to give individual quotations, or to disfigure the margin with references and authorities. The reader ought to rely upon the fact, that nothing is here put down, which has not been previously weighed in the author's mind, and admitted, either as matter of his own observation, or on what he conceived to be the competent and credible testimony of others. Sometimes upon a particular point, he has adopted the phraseology of the author entire. At other times, he has adjusted the views of one author by another, endeavoring to settle a just medium from the result of his own observations.

For the topographical and geographical parts, he has chiefly consulted the following authors, viz: Charlevoix, Volney, Bartram, Breckenridge, Darby, Stoddard, Atwater, Ohio and Mississippi


Navigator, Dana, Emigrant's Guide, Nuttall, Long's first and second Expeditions, Pike, Schoolcraft, Beck, Haywood's History of Tennessee, Drake's Picture of Cincinnati, Kilbourn's Gazetter, Drake and Mansfield's Cincinnati, in 1826, and numerous extracts from journals, pamphlets, manuscript letters, &c. He has also consulted no inconsiderable number of journals, voyages and travels in the French language.

For the historical part, which is of course more simply and entirely compilation, he has consulted copious unedited French manuscripts in the archives of state at New Orleans, the early French Canadian writers, Stoddard, Holme's Annals, Marshall's Life of Washington, various histories of the American revolution, Haywood's History of Tennessee, Marshall's History of Kentucky, Eaton's Life of general Jackson, Thompson's History of the late war Dawson's Life of general Harrison, Farnsworth's Cincinnati Directory, Atwater's Notes upon Ohio, and in the appendix, general Lytle's obliging communications; and in the History of Ohio, Notes upon the Political History of Ohio by Mr. Hammond. — General Gaines has politely laid open to him various sources of important information, and his obligations of this sort, to various respectable individuals are too numerous to mention. Among those, whose patronage has cheered him to his laborious task, he takes particular pleasure in naming William Greene, Esq., Henry Starr, Esq., and Mr. John Baker, all of this city. If the work, here offered to the reader, had no other merit, than that of presenting an abbreviated view of the information, spread over these various and dispersed sources, he would hope, that it would not be deemed an useless labor.

He has but too much reason to apprehend, that, after all his earnestness of desire to present none but exact authentic information, in a work of so much magnitude, and embracing such a multiplicity of details, many errors will be found mingled with the facts. In giving topographical information, touching a country, where towns spring up, like the prophet's gourd, it is impossible in the unchangeable information of the dead letter, to give the varying shades, that the fleeting lapse of time is constantly throwing upon the living picture. All, that the reader can reasonably expect, is fidelity to the scene, as it was at the time, when the outlines were taken. The power and resources of the general government in


the national census, are alone adequate to procuring those statistical views, which relate to population, especially in a country so rapidly changing in this respect, as the Mississippi valley, in which entire reliance may be reposed. He would have preferred waiting the census of 1830 for his authorities, in relation to the present numbers of western population in the towns and states. A variety of motives, personal to the author, induced him to anticipate that period. As regards the larger towns described in this work, he places much reliance upon the views here given of the present state of population. But a very limited impression of this work is now issued, in the hope, that at the time of the next census, a new edition may be required, which may receive all the emendations, that observation shall indicate to be necessary, as well as the exact statistical information, which that census may furnish.

But in that part of this work, which has fixed the observation and sustained the interest of the author, more than any other, and which, he is ready to think, is most replete with intrinsic interest, the physical aspect of the country, its amenity, beauty, fertility and resources, it is the same now, that it will be, after an hundred generations. Art and ornament and luxury may have varied the drapery. But substantially the same harvests will wave, the same flowers bloom, the same rivers roll down their courses, the same valleys spread their luxuriant vegetation, the same hills rear their green heads, the same vernal breeze whisper from the sweet south, when the present generation, and he among them shall have reposed beneath its soil. Man, his works, his ambition, his passions, his hopes and fears are transitory. But the features of nature have received from their Divine Author the impress of his own immutability. It is in the hope, that those, who will come after him, will find, and admit, that he has studied these features intensely, and presented them faithfully, that he reposes for right estimates of this work.

He does not entertain the presumption to hope, that this work will settle the orthography of places; though every one must allow, that in such a very copious catalogue of proper names, difficult to pronounce, and chiefly derived from foreign languages, this is a point extremely desirable. What kind of violence has been done, in common parlance and writing, to the proper names in the western country, may be judged from the following samples, which


stand as indexes of a whole catalogue of the kind. In books of topography, which have had the most extensive circulation, Bois Brulé in French, Burnt Wood, has been written Bobruly; Vuide Poche, or Empty Pocket, the familiar name of Carondelet, is written Vite Push; Mauvaise Terre, Bad land, Moovistar, and so of the rest. He would be glad to see the ground of this standing jest against the orthography of backwoodsmen removed. He can only say, that where he has found proper names written, or pronounced differently, he has endeavored, to find a just criterion for settling the discrepancy by consulting the original and tracing the derivation, where that might be done. In the names of towns and places, he has deemed it right, to prefer the orthography of the legislative enactments, touching them; or that, which the common use of the place has assigned to them. Where these considerations did not furnish a clue, he has consulted euphony and the common analogy of our language.

That a compendious Geography and History of a country, as yet but little known abroad, although comprising the far greater portion of the surface of the United States, was necessary, no one, who has examined, what has hitherto been written upon the subject, will deny. That a synopsis of the History of a country, already containing nearly four millions of inhabitants, was needed, he believes, is equally indisputable. Whether this book in any measure supplies the desideratum, it is not for him to say. The western people are both warm hearted and in the main, just. They will not deny him the merit of industry and good intentions, if nothing more. To them and their award, he cheerfully submits the work.

It was found impossible to procure maps, upon which reliance could be placed. Even those, engraved under the authorities of the states, are very defective. As maps of a certain character are every where for sale, he has prefered, to allow readers to consult their own choice, in those, which may be thought necessary to accompany this work. He has selected those, which he considered the best, to be bound with the work for subscribers.



General Features of the Mississippi Valley.

WE designate the country, which we propose to describe, by the general appellation, ‘Mississippi Valley’ It has been said, there is a vagueness In this appellation. We, on the contrary, deem it a very definite and significant term. There is not, probably, on the earth another valley, the features of which are so strongly and distinctly marked. We look in vain over the globe to find another so large. Those, that bear the nearest resemblance to it, in point of size, that of the Ganges in the eastern, and of the Amazon, La Plata, and Orinoco on our own continent, when examined in this point of view, bear no comparison in the extent of country, actually drained by them. Some of these rivers, no doubt, roll greater volumes of water to the sea. But compare the length and breadth of their valleys, and tributary streams, and they dwindle in the estimate. The very striking profile, or physical section of the surface between the Alleghanies and Rocky Mountains, places this fact in a very impressive point of view.

This valley differs, too, from any other of very great extent, in the greater distinctness of its outline. A few


comparatively small rivers, as the Mobile, Pearl, and other rivers of West Florida, on the one side, and the Sabine, Brassos, and Colorado of Texas on the otherwise, and enter the gulf of Mexico within, what we consider, the proper limits of this valley, and on the outer edge of its basin, without mingling their waters with those of the Mississippi. But, when we examine the country, through which they flow, and observe its configuration, in relation to the adjacent regions, we shall find, that they do in fact differ little from those bayous, or outlets of the Mississippi, that, as it approaches towards its debouche, leave it, and diverging more than a degree of longitude, find their own separate channels to the gulf.

The valley of the Mississippi including those of these separate streams is bounded on the south by the very winding shores of the gulf of Mexico. On the southeast, although the country is a dead level, it has a strong outline in cape Florida, commencing the first sweep of its boundary far in the sea. Running along that cape, in a northern direction, it soon finds those flattened and subsiding elevations, in which the Alleghanies seem sinking to plains, before they touch the sea. They are generally broad, table hills, more or less precipitous, where they separate the waters of the Mobile and Tombigbee from those of the rivers of East Florida. Thence, running through the country of what is called the Indian nation, and just touching the northwestern extremity of Georgia, it begins there to be delineated by ridges, that deserve the name of mountains. These mountains separate the head waters of the Tennessee from the Atlantic streams of Georgia. Thence, diverging into the states of Tennessee and Kentucky, and having acquired a craggy and precipitous character, numerous distinct peaks, and in some instances a front of from one to three hundred miles, the


mountains, that bound this valley, continue to stretch along in a northeastern direction through western Virginia, Pennsylvania and the southwestern angle of New York. They subside and flatten, as they approach the lakes, in the same manner, as they did in approaching the gulf of Mexico. By the Allegheny river a portion even of the southwestern extremity of New York is wedded with the waters of the gulf of Mexico. Of the parallel ridges, that constitute what are called the Allegheny mountains, the central ridge, or the chain, that separates the Atlantic from the Mississippi waters, is that one, which is assumed, as bounding this valley in that quarter.

In some instances the table elevations, that separate the waters of this valley from those of lakes Erie and Michigan, are scarcely perceptible. They are uniformly very near those lakes. A thousand circumstances demonstrate, as we shall see in our progress, that the basin of the lakes and of the Mississippi, in this vicinity have nearly the same level. It would probably require but little labor, properly directed, to drain part of the surplus waters of these lakes into the Mississippi. Beside the well known morass at the head of Chicago, a river of lake Michigan, from one end of which that river discharges into that lake, and from the other into a main branch of the Illinois, there are now ascertained to be many small lakes, and marshy receptacles of stagnant waters, which from one extremity discharge into the lakes, and from the other into the waters of the Ohio. The fact, that the lakes and the northwestern waters of the Mississippi are almost in the same basin, is abundantly proved by the circumstance, that in the whole extent of lakes Erie and Michigan, the Ohio, Illinois and Mississippi waters rise within a few miles of the waters of these lakes, and almost interlock with the short streams, that run into them.


The basin of the Mississippi is thence not very distinctly I marked near the western extremities of those Lakes to the high and yet marshy prairies, and shallow lakes on the table ground, whence Red river of the north, the waters of Winnipeek Jake, and those that take directions towards the Arctic sea, are separated from those of the Mississippi. Hearne and Mackenzie have traced their way over these dreary and inhospitable regions to the Western sea. They have been traversed by a hundred half-breed Indians, and Canadian hunters. But we have as yet no very accurate estimates of the distances between these head waters of the Mississippi, that rise in plashy lakes covered with wild rice, and those of the Missouri, which rise in elevated and rock bound mountains. From the head waters of the Missouri along the vast ridge commonly called the ‘Rocky mountains,’ the valley of the Mississippi is still more distinctly and grandly marked, than on its eastern extremity. The waters of the Yellowstone, the Platte, Arkansas and Red rivers wind along between the exterior ridges of these mountains, and having made their escape, meander through the vast and open plains, that spread to the east, until they find a common union in the Mississippi. There is another ridge of the Rocky mountains, which separates the waters of Arkansas and Red rivers from those of the Rio del Norte; and this ridge traverses the Mexican states of Texas and Coahuila, to the low marshes and prairies on the gulf of Mexico.

Such is the Magnificent outline of this immense valley, comprising more than a thousand leagues in its circuit, and extending in its length from the sources of the Mississippi, nearly in the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude, to the gulf of Mexico in 29° north, leaving out of the calculation cape Florida, which extends considerably farther south; that is to say, it extends in length 20° in latitude


and 30° in longitude. Tracing the distance by the meanders of the rivers, from Oleanne point, on the Alleghany, to the highest point of boat navigation on the Missouri, the distance will be nearly five thousand miles. From the highest point of boatable waters on the Tennessee to the highest point, to which boats can ascend on Arkansas and Red rivers, and the distance by the same measure is at least three thousand miles. In short, examined in any of its dimensions, this valley presents to us the extent of a continent. We need only examine this distance, as laid down on the graphic scale, to which we have alluded, to be struck with the prodigious extent of comparative plain between the Alleghanies and the Rocky mountains.

There is another feature, in which this valley differs from most other large basins of rivers. Most of the other long and large rivers rise, and fall into the sea nearly in the same climate. We recollect no other river, but the Mississippi, that rises in frozen regions, and far to the north, and continues to bend its course to the south, still acquiring the temperature of more genial climates, until it discharges its waters into the sea in the region of the olive, the fig, and the sugar cane. From this singular configuration of the valley results, as we shall have occasion to observe, its great diversity of climate.

There is another singular circumstance in the physical character of this valley. The great ranges of mountains, that bound it on its eastern and western extremities, stretch along comparatively near their respective oceans. For instance, no one of the Atlantic rivers, that rises in the Alleghanies, has any thing like so long a course, as the Ohio, or the Tennessee, although neither of these rivers, in reaching their parent channel, has traversed half the width of the Mississippi valley.


Although the brevity of our limits will necessarily exclude much detail, touching the geological structure of this immense valley, we can hardly fail to remark, that it almost every where presents the aspect, of what is called secondary formation. Carbonate of lime, or strata of sand stone, in lamina of wonderful regularity, masses of lime stone, in which sea shells, or organic remains, generally of the class Encrinites and Productus, are imbedded, retaining their distinct and original form, are the prevailing rocks of this valley. The lime stone is for the most part of the class, commonly called blue lime stone, of the metaliferous, or oolitic character. At every step the aspect of a country, once submerged under lakes, or seas, presents itself. The soil, stones, and exuviae of lake and river origin and formation, are, apparently, of comparatively recent origin. Viewing these regions, as nature has left them, they have something of that fresh aspect, which, we may suppose, the earth had, when Noah first deserted the ark The strata of stone, and the layers of earth are of wonderful regularity, and in the mountains and hills the former have a uniform position, either horizontal, or in an angle of regular dip, either to, or from the horizon. Along the courses of the great rivers, the bluffs are generally carbonate of lime, with a considerable proportion of argillaceous matter, alternated with slate, or sand and pudding stone. Smaller masses, or boulders of granitic rock, are seen in many places, but never in position, as though native. Nothing strikes the traveler with more surprise, than the enormous masses of rock, that he sees in these regions, either from their forms, or position, evidencing the cliffs, from which, by some agent, they were detached. In other instances, we see them on alluvial plains, evidently far removed from their native beds. The carbonate of lime, probably, constitutes more than nine tenths of


the whole, and is more or less pure; but generally enough so to be susceptible of being burned into lime. At the depth of the bed of the rivers, it is often a yellowish gray marble, and nearer the surface blue lime stone.

As the great rivers approach the gulf, the bluffs are composed of greater proportions of earth, and less of stone. Harder rocks disappear, and the stone seems an argillaceous matter, apparently in an intermediate state between clay and stone. The inhabitants believe with confidence, that the stones here form in this way. Where the Mississippi has torn down the Chickasaw bluffs, those of Natchez and fort Adams to their base, the regular strata of rod, yellow and white layers, drawn along from point to point, with pleasing and wonderful regularity, strike the eye, as not among the least curious objects on the way down the Mississippi.

The last stones, that are seen on the bluffs of the Mississippi, as we approach Natchez, seem of this intermediate character, between stone and clay. Such is the formation of the first impediment to the navigation of Red river, as we ascend it, at the place called ‘Rapions,’ and such the substance of the rocks at Rapide, on Red river. At about the same distance from the gulf, on the eastern side of the Mississippi, in Florida, and at St. Stephens in Alabama, a similar kind of soft rock, with a base of lime, is found in the rivers and brooks, at a moderate depth from the surface, and spreads over a great extent of country, towards the gulf, called in the vernacular phrase of the country, ‘rotten limestone.’ It is supposed to communicate to the waters a character of unhealthiness. The rock, however, hardens by exposure to the air; and from abundance, the regularity of its strata, and the ease with which it is wrought, becomes a very useful article in building.


Stone coal, as we shall have to remark, in treating of particular sections of this country, of different qualities, and at different depths, is found over all this valley. It abounds on the western slopes of the Alleghanies, as we approach Pittsburgh and Wheeling. In many places in the eastern parts of Ohio, it is the principal fuel used, and it is found in places too numerous to be here specified. — Generally, in the bluffs of the Ohio and the Mississippi, where it is found, the strata become visible, when the waters are low. It is for the most part overlaid with slate, and underlaid with sand stone; and the veins are of all thicknesses from a few inches to many feet. It is generally of a good class, easily combustible, but yielding a strong sulphureous and carbonaceous smell.

Not only these indications of secondary and recent formation are manifest in this coal, often retaining in its structure the distinct appearance of bark, grain, knots, and other traces of its original character, as wood; but in the alluvial soils, at depths of from twenty to an hundred feet, are found pebbles, smoothed by the evident attrition of waters, of porphyritic and amygdaloid characters, having the appearance of those masses of smoothed pebbles, that are thrown on the sea shore by the dashing of the surge, Leaves, branches and logs are found in the alluvial prairies, at great distances from the points, where wood is seen at present; and at great depths below the surface. In the most solid blocks of lime stone, split for building, we have seen deers' horns, and other animal exuviae incorporated in the solid stone. We have remarked, that in various parts of the valley, the lime stone bluffs are found to be composed of rocks, in which marine shells, and organic remains of the Encrini, Terebratulae and Productus classes, form a considerable part of the material, and are in many instances as distinctly visible, as they would be detached, and on the sea shore.


We do not intend in these introductory remarks, to enlarge upon so copious an article, as the geology of this valley. We reserve more particular remarks for sectional heads of this subject. We dismiss the subject here, by observing, that the valley itself is universally, of what gealogists call secondary formation, with here and there boulders of granitic rock, out of place; that the western slopes of the Alleghanies are generally, of what is called the transition character; that the southern extremities of the lakes are transition, and the northern granitic and primitive in their formation; that the Rocky mountains are, for the most part, primitive, until we approach the gulf of Mexico, in the Mexican state of Texas, where the strata of rock again appear to be blue lime stone. Over all the immense valley between these limits, there are marks of recent formation, — apparent indications, as Volney conjectured, that the country was once submerged, and has, not many ages since, emerged from under waters; and that to casual inspection, the vallies, the bluffs and the hills, the regular lamina of stones, and strata of soil, the marine exuviae, and in short, all the physical aspects of the country, wear the appearance of once having been the bed of seas, or fresh water lakes.

From its character of recent formation, from the prevalence of lime stone every where, from the decomposition which it has undergone, and is constantly undergoing, from the prevalence of decomposed lime stone in the soil, probably, results another general attribute of this valley — its character generally for uncommon fertility. We would not be understood to assert, that the country is every where alike fertile. It has its sterile sections. There are here, as elsewhere infinite diversities of soil, from the richest alluvions to the most miserable flint knobs; from the tangled


cane brakes, to the poorest pine hills. There are, too, it is well known, towards the Rocky mountains, wide belts, that have a surface of sterile sands, or only covered with a sparse vegetation of weeds and coarse grass. But of the country in general, the most cursory observer must have remarked, that, compared with lands, apparently of the same character in other regions, the lands here obviously show marks of singular fertility. The most ordinary, third rate, oak lands, will bring successive crops of wheat and maize, without any manuring, and with but little care of cultivation. The pine lands of the southern regions are in many places cultivated for years, without any attempts at manuring them. The same fact is visible in the manner, in which vegetation in this country resists drought. It is a proverb on the good lands, that if there be moisture enough to bring the corn to germinate, and come up, they will have a crop, if no more rain falls, until the harvest. We have a thousand times observed this crop, continuing to advance towards a fresh and vigorous maturity, under a pressure of drought, and a continuance of cloudless ardor of sun, that would have burned up and destroyed vegetation in the Atlantic country.

We have supposed this fertility to arise, either from an uncommon proportion of vegetable matter in the soil; from the saline impregnations mixed with the earth, as evidenced in the numberless licks, and springs of salt water, and the nitrous character of the soil, wherever, as in caves, or under buildings, it is sheltered from moisture; or, as we have remarked, from the general diffusion of dissolved lime stone, and marly mixtures over the surface. In some way, spread by the waters, diffused through the soil, or the result of former decomposition, there is evidently much of the quickening and fertilizing power of lime mixed with the soil.


Face of the Country.

Our prescribed limits will necessarily dictate brevity to us, in touching on this topic. The Alleghany mountains, as is well known, stretch along in ridges, that run parallel to each other, with great uniformity. They form the eastern rampart of this great valley. The middle ridge appears to be generally the most elevated; to separate the waters of the Atlantic from those of the Mississippi; and gives name to the rest. Another of these ridges has the name of the Laurel ridge, from the number of laurels growing on its sides. Approaching these ridges, they are a sublime object, as seen in the distance. They rise before you, apparently an impassable barrier, their blue outlines pencilled, like clouds, on the sky, and their northern and southern extremities both running beyond the reach of vision. The ascent from the Atlantic side is generally more abrupt and precipitous, than is the descent towards the valley of the Mississippi.

The last western range exhibits, very strikingly, the regular distribution of the lamina of lime stone, and the uniformity of their dip, as though they had been laid, stratum upon stratum, by art. The composition is, for the most part, either lime stone, argillite, gray wacke, and combinations of slaty matter with sulphate of iron; in short, those kinds of combinations, which occur between metaliferous lime stone, and inclined sand stone. Between the Alleghany mountain and the last western ridges, the tributaries of the Ohio begin to show themselves in the form of rivers. Their murmur is heard, as they rapidly roll along their rocky beds, breaking the stillness of the mountain forest; and they often wind great distances, before they find their place of escape from the mountains. The scenery on one of the transits over the mountains has arrested the attention of most travellers. A turnpike road leads near,


where the Loyalhanna has divided the Laurel ridge to its base. The view, that appertains to this chasm, is at once striking and sublime. A beautiful mountain stream, overhanging mountains, the breeze sweeping down the sloping forest, profound solitude, the screaming of the jay, and the dash of the river, rolling rapidly along its rocky bed, and its waters hidden under the shade of laurels, conspire to soothe and elevate the mind.

After we descend the last mountain summit towards the valley, the country is still a succession of high hills, generally rounded smoothly down their declivities, and with more or less of table plain on their summits. On the very tops of the Alleghanies we discover the indications of approach towards the region of coal. On the summits of the hills beyond the mountains, the eye not only traces it among the clay slate, by the blackened surface of the road, but the sense of smell detects it in the atmosphere about the houses, and indicates, that in the midst of woods, it is the easiest fuel to procure. Its dark smoke streams from the funnel of the blacksmith's forge. Pittsburgh and Wheeling are blackened with its impalpable effluvia.

Following the course of the Alleghanies, south of the Ohio, and along the foot of the ridges is generally a country of undulating and elevated swells, covered, while in its natural state, with a heavy forest. The country about Pittsburgh may be called hilly, though there are few hills so precipitous, as not to be susceptible of cultivation. — Through the Pennsylvania and Virginia sections of the Mississippi valley, you traverse hill beyond hill, generally with small and fertile valleys between them. Some of these hills have almost the character of mountains. They are for the most part, however, susceptible of good roads. On the national road, as we descend the last mountain towards Brownsville, and the valley of the Monongahela,


the eye takes in an horizon, as broad as it can reach, of hills, valleys, orchards, and pasture grounds of champaigne and rich country in the two states. The contrasts of the open pastures and fields, pencilled by a perfectly straight lino on the edge of the thick forests, and on the rounded summits of the hills, afford a delightful prospect. The finest parts of the interior of New England will scarcely compare with this view. The same may be said of views of Tennessee and Kentucky, as we successively approach them, in coming over the mountains from North Carolina and Virginia. After we have left the immediate vicinity of the mountains, Kentucky is neither hilly, nor level, but has a general surface of delightful undulation. There are beautiful and extensive valleys, with only sufficient irregularity of surface to carry off the waters. Such is that charming valley, of which Lexington is the centre; and such is that, embracing the barrens of Green river.

Tennessee is more generally hilly. The great ranges of the Alleghanies diverge, in separate mountains in this state, and divide it into two distinct sections, called East and West Tennessee.

Keeping parallel with the mountains, and still advancing south, in Alabama the hills begin to subside, although the northern and western parts of this state may still be called mountainous. But, on entering this state, the features of the country begin manifestly to change. On the hills, instead of oaks and deciduous trees, we begin to hear the solemn hum of the breeze in the tops of long leaved pines. We have a long succession of pine hills, and fertile valleys between them. We soon mark another very striking change in the landscape. In coming from the Ohio, we have seen the country, in a state of nature, universally covered with a thick forest, generally of deciduous trees with here and there a rare holly tree, or other evergreen.


We have afterwards traversed extensive pine forests of the black, or pitch pine, with tall, straight trees, and the earth beneath them free from under brush, covered with grass, and almost entirely destitute of stones. In the rich alluvial valleys we remark a considerable portion of laurels. The forests preserve an unvarying verdure through the winter. We begin to notice these forests first giving place to the barrens, with a few sparse trees, arranged, as in an orchard. These barrens are soon succeeded by prairies, or savannahs, as they are here called. The hills have subsided to extensive, level and grassy plains; and this order of landscape continues, until we meet the belt of pine forest, that skirts the gulf of Mexico. Its swampy and equable surface rises but a little above the level of the gulf, and is separated from it by a margin of sand, driven into heaps by the mutual and incessant action of the wind and the sea.

Beginning again on the north side of the Alleghany river, and descending that river between the north bank and the lakes, the first portion of the country is hilly; but, as we descend between the Ohio and the lakes, the country, though in some places, particularly along the Muskingum, hilly, is generally only gently waving, and is on the whole more level, than the south side of the Ohio. — Approaching the lakes, the country becomes quite level; and there are various places on the northern parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, near the lakes, where the country is so level, marshy and low, as in winter and spring to be covered with water from four inches to a foot in depth. The northeastern parts of Ohio may be considered hilly. In passing on the great road from Wheeling to Cincinnati, there are, indeed, near the Scioto, considerable plains. But the general aspect of the country presents fine elevations, often a league across, with rich table land on the


summits, and the declivities susceptible of cultivation. For five or six miles from either bank of the Ohio, there are, almost universally, high hills of a singular configuration, known by the name of the ‘Ohio hills.’

From the Scioto the aspect of the country is more level; and on the waters of this river we begin to discover our approach to the wide prairies of the west. We open upon the fine, level Pickaway prairies, or plains; and thence through the northern parts of this state, advancing west, along the plains of Mad river, and into Indiana, prairies become more common in the same proportion, as we advance farther west. The general surface of the timbered country is more level. As we approach the Ohio, the forest becomes more dense and uniform, and that river, in its whole course, originally rolled through an unbroken forest. In Indiana the proportion of prairie land is far greater, than in Ohio; and in Illinois it has an immense disproportion over the timbered country. Back of Shawneetown, and between the waters of the Saline of the Ohio, and those of the Mississippi, from the base of this level country springs up a singular chain of hills, which a recent traveller has seen fit to dignify with the name of mountains. The remainder of the state of Illinois may be for the most part designated, as a country of prairies and plains.

Beyond the state of Illinois, advancing north on the east side of the Mississippi, pine hills, ponds, lakes, marshes and prairies alternate to the sources of that river. The plashy regions in that quarter are covered with thick wild rice, and there Providence has provided inexhaustible pasture for the countless numbers and varieties of wild water fowls, that migrate to these regions to fatten in the autumn, before their return to the south. Near Rock river of this region we come upon the hills and swells of land on that


extensive district called the mineral country, where the ores of lead are so plentifully found.

The surface of the country west of the Mississippi is generally much more level, than it is east and south of it. There are bluffs, often high and precipitous, near the great water courses. Not far west of the Mississippi there is much country covered with flint knobs, singular hills of conical shape, that with a base of a mile in circumference often rise four or five hundred feet high, and are covered on their sides with fleche, or arrow stones, of a siliceous substance, not unlike flints, and used as substitutes for them. There are, as in the country between the St. Francis and White river, hills, that might almost warrant the designation of mountains, appearing to be continuations of the Alleghanies, whose spurs seem to cross the Mississippi in the Chickasaw bluffs, and to be continued to the west in the St. Francis hills. But the general surface of the country, between the Mississippi and the Rocky mountains, is, comparatively speaking, a vast plain, probably, as we have remarked, the largest one on the globe. Except in the bluffs of the rivers, and on the flint knobs, it is, on the surface, free from stones, to an astonishing degree. The surface of prairie, a hundred leagues west of the Mississippi, is, probably, in comparison with the timbered country, as twenty to one. The little timber, that is seen, occurs only on the skirts of water courses. In proportion, as we recede from the margins of the Missouri, the Platte, the Yellowstone, Arkansas and Red rivers, the prairies become more dry, sterile, and destitute not only of wood and water, but of all vegetation. Travellers wander for days in these desolate wastes, without having either wood or water in their horizon, over sandy deserts, scantily covered with coarse grass and weeds. This is the appropriate range of the buffalo. In


some parts, there are, in fact, wastes of moving sand, like those of the African deserts.

On the lower courses of the Missouri, St. Francis, White, Arkansas and Red rivers, we see extensive alluvions skirting their banks, of great and inexhaustible fertility. The alluvial prairies, too, in these regions teem with vegetation. But on their upper waters, as soon as we have receded from a narrow and fertile belt on their shores, the boundless waste of the prairies beyond seems destined to be the last resort of buffalos, or the region of herds of domestic cattle, attended by migrating shepherds.


We have seen, that the general character of the Alleghany ridges is, to stretch along in continued and parallel lines, the central ridge of which gives name to the rest. The spurs of these ridges, which in Kentucky, and particularly in Tennessee, under the names of die Bald, Iron, Laurel, Yellow, Unaka, Copper, Clinch, Powell's, Cumberland, &c. originate streams, diversify and give grandeur to the scenery in these states, are all in cultivated and populous regions, and will be described under the heads of the states, in which they lie. The cliffs and rocks, of which they are composed, bear, as we have remarked, the general character of transition formation; and the strata have that lamellated regularity, and that uniformity dip or inclination, which have been scientifically described by geologists. These circumstances are so obvious striking, as to produce even in unobservant eves a degree of surprise.

That immense range of lofty mountains, which gives the long rivers, that wind through such an immense extent of prairies and come into the Mississippi on the west side, in almost its whole course runs wide from the limits of cultivation, and the haunts of civilized man —


Their formation, character, and height are comparatively but little known, and present descriptions of them must necessarily be vague and general. They will for ages only attract the gaze and astonishment of wandering hunters, or occasionally a few enterprising travellers, that will scale their summits on their way to the Western sea. Now and then a savage, differently constituted from the rest, will pause on their snowy crags, be impressed with their sublimity, and think of the Great Spirit. The rest will continue to date their eras from the time, when they hunted on their eastern, or western declivities. It will be long, before the detached mountains, and the prominent peaks will be named, classed and described. It does not appear, that many of them rise above the regions of perpetual ice. Though, from the passage of Lewis and Clark over them, and the concurrent testimony of others, in the latitude of 47° north, there appears to have been immense quantities of snow on their summits, between the Missouri and Columbia, in the months of June and July. They are seen, like a vast rampart, rising from the grassy plains, stretching from north to south. Sometimes their aspect is that of continued ranges, of a grayish color, rising into the blue of the atmosphere, above the region of the clouds. A greater number are black, ragged and precipitous; and their bases strewn with immense boulders and fragments of rock, detached by earthquakes and time. From this iron bound and precipitous character, they probably received the appellation, ‘Rocky mountains.’

Whether any of them are volcanic, or not, is not certainly known. We have often seen large masses of pummice stone floating on the Mississippi, and still oftener on the Missouri. They are generally of a reddish yellow, or flume color, and are among the largest and finest specimens of this kind of stone that we have seen. Whether


discharged from volcanic mountains, or, as others assert, from hills of burning coal, is not certainly known. Mica is abundantly carried along by the waters, that flow from these mountains.

There can be no doubt, that these ancient and magnificent piles are of primitive formation. They are much higher, more rugged, and have generally a more Alpine character, than the Alleghanies. They have, apparently, about the same distance from the Western sea, that the former have from the Atlantic. The great rivers, that are discharged from their eastern and western declivities, wind still further between their interior and exterior ridges, in finding their passage through them. The Columbia, or Oregon, on the west, and the Arkansas on the east, wind more than an hundred leagues, in search of a place of escape from the mountains.

As on the Alleghanies, the rivers, that run in opposite directions from these mountains, generally have their sources near each other. In following the beds of these rivers up to their sources in the mountains, we find the easiest paths and the gentlest acclivities, by which to cross them. The character which they had gained, of being continuous, high, and every where alike rugged, and a barrier, almost impassable, between the regions east and west of them, from the descriptions of the first adventurers, who crossed them, seems now to have yielded to a very different impression. Various leaders of expeditions of trappers have crossed these mountains, in directions more southern, than those of Lewis and Clark. They affirm, that they found none of those formidable, and almost insurmountable barriers, which undoubtedly exist on the route of those distinguished travellers. We have at this moment under our eye extracts from the journal of Mr. Ashley, the leader of an enterprising and powerful


association for procuring furs, who has crossed these mountains at different points. This journal narrates the account of a passage over them, from the sources of the Platte to lake Bueneventura, on the western side. It asserts, that he found an easy passage even for loaded carriages; with an ascent no where as sharp, as on the national road over the Cumberland mountains to Wheeling. He even asserts, that the acclivity was so gentle, as no where to have an ascent of more than three degrees; and that nature has provided not only a practicable, but a good road quite to the plains of the Columbia. The testimony of travellers seems to be uniform, that to the eye, indeed, the ranges are unbroken and continuous. But nature seems every where to have indicated her wish, that no part of the earth should be interdicted by unsocial barriers from communication with the rest. Through the loftiest and most continued ranges there are found chasms, natural bridges, ascents along the beds of rivers, and corresponding descents on the opposite side, that render a passage over them comparatively smooth and easy.

We know not exactly on what ground travellers have classed this vast range into the divisions of the Rocky, Chepywan, and the Masserne mountains. The ranges at the sources of the Arkansas, and running thence towards the gulf of Mexico, have so commonly borne the latter name, that they will probably retain it. A single peak of this ridge, seen as a landmark for immense distances over the subjacent plains, has been called, and we think, ought for ever to retain the name of mount Pike. It is of incomparable grandeur in appearance, and has been differently rated at from seven to ten thousand feet in height. On the ridges of this range the Colorado of the Pacific, the Rio del Norte of New Mexico, the Rochejaune, or Yellowstone, of the Missouri, and the Arkansas, and Red


rivers of the Mississippi, that have their outlets at such immense distances from each other, have their sources. It will hence be easily inferred, that this is me highest land of this part of North America.

General Surface.

Geographers have supposed, that it is a circumstance of course, that between all rivers, that have any length of course, there are ranges of hills, more or less elevated, separating the tributary waters of the one river from the other. It is often, but by no means always so, in this valley. Many of the large rivers have no other separating ridge, than a high and marshy plain, that discharges, as has been remarked, its waters from one extremity to the one river, and from the other extremity to the other. But, as a general rule, in the medial regions of this valley, the considerable rivers are separated from each other by ranges of hills, more or less distinctly marked. In this region of plains, where a person may have been born, and travelled to New Orleans, and lived to old age, without ever seeing an elevation, that deserved the name of mountain, these hills become respectable by comparison. These ranges of hills are most considerable in the mineral country in Missouri, between St. Francis and White river, in Arkansas territory, between Washita and Red river, and between the latter river and the Sabine. South and east of the Mississippi, there are considerable ridges of this character in the states of Mississippi and Alabama. These ranges of hills will be more properly noticed, under the description of the states and territories, where they respectively occur.

The general surface of this valley may be classed under three distinct aspects; the thickly timbered, the barrens, the prairie country. In the first division, every traveller has remarked, as soon as he descends to this


valley, a grandeur in the form and size of the trees, a depth of verdure in the foliage, a magnificent prodigality of growth of every sort, that distinguishes this country from other regions. The trees are large, tall, and rise aloft, like columns, free from branches. In the rich lands they are generally wreathed with a drapery of ivy, bignonia, grape vines, or other creepers. Intermingled with the foliage of the trees are the broad leaves of the grape vines, with trunks, sometimes as large as the human body. — Sometimes these forests are as free from undergrowth, as an orchard. Sometimes the only shrub, that is seen among the trees, is the pawpaw, with its splendid foliage and graceful stems. Sometimes, especially in the richer alluvions of the south, beneath the trees, there are impenetrable cane brakes, and tangle of brambles, briar vines, and every sort of weeds. These are the safe retreats of bears and panthers. This undergrowth universally indicates a rich soil.

The country denominated ‘barrens,’ has a very distinct and peculiar configuration. It is generally a country with a surface, undulating with gentle hills, of a particular form, They are long and uniform ridges. The soil is for the most part of a clayey texture, of a reddish or grayish color, and is covered with a tall and coarse grass. In addition to a peculiarity of feature, more easily felt, than described, the trees are generally very sparse, seldom large, or very small. They are chiefly of the different kinds of oaks; and the barren trees have an appearance and configuration, appropriate to the soil they inhabit. The land never exceeds second rate in quality, and is more generally third rate. It is favorable, in the proper latitudes, to the growth of wheat and orchards. On the whole, this country has an aspect so peculiar and appropriate, that no person, at all used to this country, is in doubt for a moment, when he


enters on the region of the barrens. There are large districts of this kind of country in Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama. It is common in Illinois and Missouri, and is seen with more or less frequency, over all the valley of the Mississippi.

In this region, and in the hazle or bushy prairies, we most frequently see those singular cavities, called ‘sink holes.’ They are generally in the shape of funnels, or inverted cones, from ten to seventy feet in depth, and on the surface from sixty to three hundred feet in circumference. There are generally willows, and other aquatic vegetation, at their sides and bottoms. The people here have their own theories, to account for these singular cavities; and as an earthquake is the agent most likely to seize on the imagination, and the most convenient one to solve inexplicable results, they have generally supposed them the work of earthquakes. Others have imagined them the huge wells, from which the domesticated mammoths, and the gigantic races of past generations quenched their thirst. There is little doubt, that they are caused by running waters, which find their way in the lime stone cavities, beneath the upper stratum of soil. We shall see elsewhere, that this stratum generally rests on a base of lime stone; and that between this and the sub-strata, there are often continuous cavities, as we see in the lime stone caverns; and that in these interstices between the different strata of rocks, brooks, and even considerable streams pursue uninterrupted courses under ground. The cause of these sink holes was probably a fissure in the super-stratum of lime stone. The friable soil above found its way through this fissure, and was washed away by the running waters beneath. In this manner a funnel shaped cavity would naturally be formed. In fact, the ear often distinguishes


the sound of waters running beneath, at the bottom of these sink holes.

The remaining, and by far the most extensive surface, is that of the prairies. Although they have no inconsiderable diversity of aspect, they may be classed under three general divisions; the heathy, or bushy, the alluvial, or wet, and the dry, or rolling prairies. The heathy prairies seem to be of an intermediate character between the alluvial prairies and the barrens. They have springs. They are covered with hazle and furzy bushes, small sassafras shrubs, with frequent grape vines, and in the summer with an infinite profusion of flowers, and the bushes are often overtopped with the common hop vine. Prairies of this description are very common in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, and they alternate among the other prairies for a considerable distance towards the Rocky mountains.

The dry and rolling prairies are for the most part destitute of springs, and of all vegetation, but weeds, flowering plants, and grass. To the eye they are so nearly level, and the roundings of their undulations so gentle, that the eye, taking in a great surface at a single view, deems them a dead level. But the ravines, made by the water courses through them, sufficiently indicate, that their swells and declinations communicate a quick motion to the waters, that fall on them. This is by far the most extensive class of prairies. These are the plains over which the buffalos range. It is these plains, without wood or water, in which the traveller may wander for days, and see the horizon oil every side sinking to contact with the grass.

The alluvial, or wet prairies form the last and smallest division. They generally occur on the margins of the great water courses, although they are often found, with all their distinctive features, far from the point, where waters now run. They are generally basins, as regards the


adjacent regions, and their outlines are marked by regular benches. They are for the most part of a black, deep, and very friable soil, and of exhaustless fertility. In the proper latitudes, they are the best soils for wheat and maize; but are ordinarily too tender and loamy for the cultivated grasses. They rear their own native grasses, of astonishing height and luxuriance. An exact account of the size and rankness of the weeds, flowering plants and grass on the richer alluvial prairies of Illinois and Missouri, would seem to those, who have not seen them, an idle exaggeration. Still more, than the rolling prairies, they impress the eye, as a dead level; but they still have their slight inclinations towards their benches, where their waters are arrested, and carried off. But, from their immense amount of vegetation, and from the levelness of their surface, wherever they are considerably extensive, they have small ponds, plashes and bayous, which fill from the rivers, and from rains, and are only carried off, during the intense heats of summer, by evaporation. These ponds, in the alluvial prairies, that are connected with the rivers, when they overflow by bayous, are filled, in the season of high waters, with fish of the various kinds. As the waters subside, and their connecting courses with the river become dry, the fish are taken by cart loads among the tall grass, where the water is three or four feet deep. When the waters evaporate, during the heats of summer, the fish die; and although thousands of buzzards prey upon them, they become a source of pollution to the atmosphere. — Hence these prairies, beautiful as they seem to the eye, and extraordinary as is their fertility, are very unfavorable positions, in point of salubrity. Flocks of deer are seen scouring across these rich plains, or feeding peaceably with the domestic cattle. In the spring and autumn, innumerable flocks of water fowls are seen wheeling their


flight about the lakes and ponds of these prairies. They find copious pasture in the oily seeds of the plants and grasses, that have seeded during the summer.

During the months of vegetation, no adequate idea could be conveyed by description of the number, forms, varieties, scents and hues of the flowering plants, and the various flowers of the richer prairies. In the barrens are four or five varieties of ‘ladies slippers,’ of different and the most splendid colors. The violets, and the humbler and more modest kinds of garden flowers, are not capable of competing with the rank growth of grass and weeds, that choke them on the surface. Some of the taller and hardier kinds of the lilliaceous plants struggle for display, and rear themselves high enough to be seen. Most of the prairie flowers have tall and arrowy stems, and spiked or tassellated heads, and the flowers have great size, gaudiness and splendor, without much fragrance or delicacy. The most striking of these flowers we shall attempt to class and describe, in another place; only remarking here, that during the summer, the prairies present distinct successions of dominant hues, as the season advances. The prevalent color of the prairie flowers in spring is blueish purple; in midsummer red, with a considerable proportion of yellow. In autumn the flowers are very large, many of them of the helianthus form, and the prairie receives from them such a splendid coloring of yellow, as almost to present to the imagination an immense surface of gilding.


There are diffused in the different positions of this valley the common proportion of minerals, oxides, neutral salts, fossils, and the different kinds of earths. Salt springs, as we shall have occasion elsewhere to remark, are found in a thousand places, in all proportions of saline impregnation, from water, that is merely brackish, to that,


is much salter than sea water. It is obvious to remark, the wise and benevolent provision of Providence for the population of the country, in thus providing, at such distances from the sea, an article so essential and indispensable to the comfort and subsistence of civilized man. Hence it results, that there is no point in this valley, far removed from the means of an easy and cheap supply of this necessary article. The cattle have discovered this impregnation in innumerable licks. It is found in form like a hoar frost, in ‘Salt prairie,’ between the Osage and the Arkansas. The Arkansas and Red river are at times perceptibly brackish, from the quantity of salt in solution in the water. Nitre is found almost pure, and is lixiviated from the earths in the lime stone caves, that abound in various places. Muriate of magnesia, or Epsom salts, is found in caves in Indiana. Sulphates of iron and alumine are found in greater proportions, than in most countries; and coperas and alum might be among the manufactures of this region. Carbonate of lime abounds, as we have seen, every where. Sulphate of lime, or gypsum, is found in various places. We have seen most beautiful specimens, striated with needles in stars, and when pulverized and prepared, of a snowy whiteness, — said to have been brought from the Kansas of the Missouri. Quarries of gypsum are affirmed to exist on the upper waters of the Mississippi, in Tennessee, and in various other places. That call for the use of this material, which would alone lead to adequate search for it, has not yet been heard. It has not been required, or used in building, or the arts; and such the universal fertility of the soil, that it will be long, before it will be sought after, as a manure. But that time will come and then, in this region of secondary formation, there can be no doubt, that a sufficiency of this article will be discovered for all the necessities of the country.


On the waters of the Little Sioux of the Missouri, and on a branch of the St. Peters of the upper Mississippi, is found a beautiful species of indurated clay, — constituting a stone of the most singular appearance, commonly called ‘pipe stone,’ from the circumstance, that the savages in all these regions, quite to the Western sea, make their pipes, and sometimes other ornaments, of it. It is said to be cut from the quarry, almost with the ease of wood. It hardens in the air, and receives an exquisite polish of impalpable smoothness. It is nearly of the color of blood; and is a beautiful article for monumental slabs, vases, and requirements of that sort. If it be as abundant, and as easily procured, as has been said, it will one day become an article of extensive use through the country. For, although marble abounds, this is a more beautiful material, than any marble, that we have seen. It has been generally asserted, that an imaginary line of truce extends round the places, where this stone is found, within which the most hostile tribes pursue their business of cutting out stones for pipes in peace.

We have seen frequent specimens of ores, said to be ores of cinnabar. There are, unquestionably, abundant ores of copper and zinc. Copper, it is known, is not found so abundantly on the shores of lake Superior, as it was anticipated it would be. We have seen a vast number of specimens of copper ore, found in different points in this valley. Specimens of pure and malleable copper have been shown to us; one of which, said to have been found in Illinois, thirty miles east of St. Louis, weighed three pounds. There is a river of the upper Mississippi, forty miles above the mouth of the Missouri, called by the French, ‘Cuivre,’ or Copper river, from the supposed mines of copper on its banks. Ores of copper have found at different points on the Illinois. Iron ore is


abundant in too many places to be named. Ores of antimony and manganese are occasionally seen; but the progress of the arts, and the circumstances of the country, not having called for these articles, little note has been taken of the discoveries. Hunters and travellers have asserted, that gold dust is brought down to the Missouri by its upper waters, and has been seen on its sand bars at low water. Whether it be so, or whether the shining particles, which they undoubtedly saw, were only of mica or talc, is not known. On the ranges of the Rocky mountains, continued into Mexico, it is well known, the precious metals abound. A great many mines of silver are wrought on the western spurs of the Masserne mountains, near Santa Fe. It is natural to infer, that the same ranges, when thoroughly explored on the eastern side, in the vicinity of the sources of the Yellowstone, Platte, Arkansas and Red rivers, will be also found to have their mines of silver and gold. It is at present asserted, that a silver mine has been recently discovered in Indiana.

The only mines, that are yet wrought in this country, to any extent, are those of iron and lead. Near Pittsburg, and on the Monongahela, in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri, there are manufactories of iron from native ores, which we shall notice, when we speak of those states. Lead ore is found in different points of this valley with more ease, and in greater abundance, perhaps, than in any other part of the world. The particular sections of country, where these ores are dug in greatest abundance, are in the county of Washington in Missouri, from twenty to fifty miles west of the Mississippi, on the waters of Big Creek, a river of the Maramec; and near Rock river, at Dubuque's mines, in the state of Illinois; and at Fever river, upon the upper Mississippi. We shall naturally


speak of these mines, when we treat of the states, in which they are found.


In a country of such immense extent, the climate must necessarily be various. We must, of course, be brief upon so copious a head. Between the sources of the Mississippi and Missouri, and the gulf of Mexico, there is every variety of temperature, from that of the Arctic regions to that, where flourish the olive and the sugar cane. We may, perhaps, obtain conceptions of some exactness, by inspecting our thermometrical tables of the temperature at different points of the valley. We have resided through the season in the northern, middle and southern regions of it. We are confident, as a general fact, that the climate more exactly and uniformly corresponds to the latitude, than that of any other country. The amount of heat and cold, or the mean temperature through the year, is greater or less, at any place, according as its position is more or less to the south. In ascending the Mississippi from New Orleans to St. Louis, or Cincinnati, in the spring, we take a direction generally north. One of the swifter steam boats will considerably out-travel the progress of spring; and from the region, where the foliage of the trees, and vegetation generally have unfolded into all their verdure, we find the foliage on the banks of the river gradually diminishing, as we ascend; and after we pass the mouth of the Ohio, we shall, perhaps, see the buds on the trees but just beginning to swell. In descending the same river in the autumn, we observe this influence of the climate reversed in a most impressive manner. At Pittsburg the trees are stripped of their leaves by frost. At Cincinnati nature is laying on the last mellow colors of autumn, and the leaves are beginning to fall. At Natchez the forests are still in the verdure of summer. We have


noted this beautifully graduated and inverted scale of the seasons, more than once, in ascending and descending these rivers.

It is very obvious, why climate n this valley should so accurately correspond to latitude. It is an immense basin, spreading from north to south. There are no ranges of mountains, spread across the valley in an eastern and western direction, to change the current or temperature of the winds, or to give a material difference of temperature to places, situated in the same latitude. Hence it is, that in traversing the country from south to north, we discover the diminution of temperature, as marked by that sensible and unerring thermometer, the vegetable creation, very accurately indicating the latitude of the place.

Mr. Jefferson has supposed, that in this valley the temperature is higher, than in the same parallels in the Atlantic country. Dr. Drake and others have successfully combatted this idea. Mr. Jefferson asserts, that the reed cane, myegia macrosperma, and paroquets, are seen farther north on the Ohio and the Mississippi, than on the Atlantic shore. If it be so, the inference, drawn from these facts, might easily be shown to be erroneous, by showing, that their locality along these streams is fixed by other circumstances, than temperature. On the Tennessee, the cane, finding a congenial soil, and circumstances, on the banks of a river running from south to north, will spread its seeds along those banks to a point more northern, than its native residence. The immense numbers of paroquets, that are seen on the lower courses of the Mississippi, will naturally push their colonies far to the north on that river, where they still find all circumstances, but temperature, the same; where there are old, large and hollow sycamore trees, the favorite haunts of this brilliant bird, furnishing it at once food, shelter and a home.


These regions, sheltered from the damp and cold northeastern gales of the Atlantic shores in the spring, will probably have that season milder and more forward, than in the corresponding latitudes of the Atlantic. But in such a vast basin, inclining from north to south, and permeated in its whole extent by such a river, as the Mississippi, an atmosphere of the cold air of the elevated regions of the table lands at its sources will naturally be set in motion at times by atmospheric changes, and be propelled towards the south. The colder air will often rush down to supply the vacuum, made by the rarefaction of southern temperature. Hence north and south winds, — in other words, winds up and down this valley, frequently alternate, and, together with their collateral winds, the northeast and southwest, are the prevailing breezes felt in the valley. Southern and southwestern gales predominate in the summer, and northern and western in winter. Hence the winter is much more changeable, than that of the Atlantic country, frequently softening, even in its northern parts, from weather, in which the mercury stands below zero, to weather of such mildness, as to invite the people to sit at the open windows in January and February.

In the medial regions of this country the winter commences about Christmas. The severest weather is ordinarily between that time and the second week in February. The common snows are from two to eight inches deep, and they seldom lie many days. We have, however, seen the snow at New Madrid, near 36° north, lie more than a fortnight. North of this mean region, as at Prairie du Chien, on the upper Mississippi, and the Council Bluffs, on the Missouri, that is to say, not far from the climate of New York and Albany, the snow does not fall as deep, as at those places, or lie so long. The cold is sometimes as


severe, but oftener intermits, and is followed by mild, and even warm days.

We may class four distinct climates, between the sources and the outlet of the Mississippi. The first, commencing at its sources, and terminating at Prairie du Chien, corresponds pretty accurately to the climate between Montreal and Boston; with this difference, that the amount of snow falling in the former is much less, than in the latter region. The mean temperature of a year would be something higher on the Mississippi. The vegetables raised, the time of planting, and the modes of cultivating them, would, probably, be nearly the same. Vegetation will have nearly the same progress and periodical changes. The growing of gourd seed com, which demands an increase of temperature to bring it to maturity, is not planted in this region. The Irish potatoe is raised in this climate in the utmost perfection. Wheat and cultivated grasses succeed well. The apple and the pear tree require fostering, and southern exposure, to bring fruit in perfection. The peach tree has still more the habits and the fragile delicacy of a southern stranger, and requires a sheltered declivity, with a southern exposure, to succeed at all. Five months in the year may be said to belong to the dominion of winter. For that length of time the cattle require shelter in the severe weather, and the still waters remain frozen.

The next climate includes the opposite states of Missouri and Illinois, in their whole extent, or the country between 41° and 37°. Cattle, though much benefited by sheltering, and often needing it, seldom receive it. It is not so favorable for cultivated grasses, as the preceding region. Gourd seed corn is the only kind extensively planted. The winter commences with January, and ends with the second week in February. The ice, in the still waters, after that time thaws. Wheat, the inhabitant of a variety of climates,


is at home, as a native, in this. The persimon and the pawpaw are found in its whole extent. It is the favored region of the apple, the pear and peach tree. Snows neither fall deep, nor lie long. The Irish potatoe succeeds to a certain extent, but not as well, as in the former climate; and this disadvantage is supplied by the sweet potatoe, which, though not at home in this climate, with a little care in the cultivation, flourishes. The grandeur of vegetation, and the temperature of March and April, indicate an approach towards a southern climate.

The next climate extends from 37° to 31°. Below 35°, in the rich alluvial soils, the apple tree begins to fail in bringing its fruit to perfection. We have never tasted apples worth eating, raised much below New Madrid. Cotton, between this point and 33°, is raised, in favorable positions, for home consumption; but is seldom to be depended upon for a crop. Below 33° commences the proper climate for cotton, and it is the staple article of cultivation. Festoons of long moss hang from the trees, and, darken the forests. The palmetto gives to the low alluvial grounds a grand and striking verdure. The muscadine grape, strongly designating climate, is first found here. — Laurel trees become common in the forest, retaining their foliage and their verdure through the winter. Wheat is no longer seen, as an article of cultivation. The fig tree brings its fruit to full maturity.

Below this climate, to the gulf, is the region of the sugar cane and the sweet orange tree. It would be, if it were cultivated, the region of the olive. Snow is no longer seen to fall, except a few flakes in the coldest storms. The streams are never frozen. Winter is only marked by nights of white frosts, and days of northwest winds, which seldom last longer than three days in succession, and are followed by south winds and warm days. The trees are generally


in leaf by the middle of February, and always by the first of March. Bats are hovering in the air during the night. Fireflies are seen by the middle of February. Early in march the forests are in blossom. The delightful white flowers of the cornus florida, and the brilliant red tufts of the Redbud, or cereis canadensis, are unfolded. The margins of the creeks and streams are perfumed with the meadow pink, or honeysuckle, yellow jessamine, and other fragrant flowers. During almost every night a thunder storm occurs. Cotton and corn are planted from March to July. In these regions the summers are uniformly hot, although there are days, when the mercury rises as high in New England, as in Louisiana. The heat, however, is more uniform and sustained, commences much earlier, and continues much later. From February to September thunder storms are common, often accompanied with severe thunder, and sometimes with gales, or tornados, in which the trees of the forest are prostrated in every direction, and the tract of country, which is covered with the fallen trees, is called a ‘hurricane.’ The depressing influence of the summer heat results from its long continuance, and equable and unremitting tenor, rather than from the intensity of its ardor at any given time. It must, however, be admitted, that at all times the unclouded radiance of the vertical sun of this climate is extremely oppressive. — Such are the summers and autumns of the southern divisions of this valley.

The winters, in the whole extent of the country, are variable, passing rapidly from warm to cold, and the reverse. Near the Mississippi, and where there is little to vary the general direction of the winds, they ordinarily three or four days from the north. In the northern middle regions, the consequence is cold weather, frost,


more or less severe, and perhaps storm, with snow and sleet. During these days the rivers are covered with ice. The opposite breeze alternates. There is immediately a bland and relaxing feeling in the atmosphere. It becomes warm; and the red-birds sing in these days, in January and February, as far north, as Prairie du Chien. These abrupt and frequent transitions can hardly fail to have an unfavorable influence upon health. From 40° to 36° the rivers almost invariably freeze, for a longer or shorter period, through the winter. At St. Louis on the Mississippi, and at Cincinnati on the Ohio, in nearly the same parallels, between 38° and 39°, the two rivers are sometimes capable of being crossed on the ice for eight weeks together.

Although the summers over all this valley must be admitted to be hot, yet the exemption of the country from mountains and impediments to the free course of the winds, and the circumstance, that the greater proportion of the country has a surface bare of forests, and, probably, other unexplained atmospheric agents, concur to create, during the sultry months, almost a constant breeze. It thence happens, that the air on these wide prairies is rendered fresh, and the heats are tempered, in the same manner, as is felt oil the ocean.

There is a circumstance, pertaining to vegetation in the middle and southern regions of this country, that we have not seen noticed by other writers, but which we have often remarked with surprise; and it is, that the same degree of heat in the spring does not advance vegetation as rapidly, as at the north. We have seen a brilliant sun, and felt the lassitude of the warm spring days continued in succession, and yet have remarked the buds to remain almost stationary, and the developement of vegetation almost imperceptible. The same amount of heat at Quebec would have


completely unfolded the foliage, and clothed the earth with verdure.


A satisfactory account of the diseases of this valley would occupy more space, than we have to bestow upon the subject, and could only be expected in treatises, professedly devoted to medicine. General remarks upon the subject can only be expected here. In such a variety of climates and exposures — in a country alternately covered in one point with the thickest forests, and in another spreading out into grassy plains — in one section having a very dry, and in another a very humid atmosphere — and having every shade of temperature, from that of the Arctic regions, to that of the West Indies, there must necessarily be generated all the forms and varieties of disease, that spring simply from climate. Emigrants from the Atlantic country will always find it unsafe, to select their residence near stagnant waters and creeping bayous, on the rich and heavy timbered alluvions. Yet these, from their fertility, and the ease with which they are brought into cultivation, are the points most frequently selected. The rich plains of the Scioto were the graves of the first settlers. They have long since been brought into cultivation, and have their character for insalubrity. A thousand places in the West, which were selected as residences by the first immigrants, on account of their fertility, and which were at first regarded as haunts of disease and mortality, have now a character for salubrity.

On the lower courses of the Ohio, the Wabash, the Tennessee, the Mississippi, and its southern tributaries, — in short, wherever the bottoms are wide, the forests deep, the surface level, and doping back from the river, the vegetation


rank — wherever the rivers overflow, and leave stagnant waters, that are only carried off by evaporation-, wherever there are in the bottoms, ponds, and lagoons, to catch and retain the rains and the overflow, it may be assumed, as a general maxim, that such positions will be unhealthy; and more, or less so, as more or less of these circumstances concur. Wherever these causes of disease exist, there is no part of this valley, which has not a summer of sufficient heat and duration, to quicken these causes into fatal action.

The very rich and extensive alluvial prairies of the upper Mississippi, and of the Illinois, which are covered with a prodigious growth of grass and weeds, generally contain marshy basins, small lakes and plashes, where the water from the bluffs and the high lands is caught and retained. They will ordinarily prove unhealthy, — some think, more so, than the timbered country, — until these reservoirs of stagnant waters are all drained, and the surplus vegetation is burned off, or otherwise removed by the progress of vegetation. These places strike the eye delightfully. Their openness, and exposure to be swept by the winds, seemed to preclude them from the chance of sickliness. Their extraordinary fertility, and their being at once ready for the plough, held out allurements to immigrants. But there seems to be in the great plan of Providence a scale, in which the advantages and disadvantages of human condition are balanced. — Where the lands are extremely fertile, it seems to be appended to them, as a drawback to that advantage, that they are generally sickly.

Emigrants have scarcely ever paused long enough, or taken sufficient elements into the calculation, in selecting their residence, with a view to its salubrity. When the choice is to be made, they are often encumbered with


families, and generally feel stinted both for time and money, and are in a hurry to commence operations for the provision of their families. They are apt to give too little weight to the most important motive of all which ought to determine their election. A deep bottom, a fertile soil, a position on the margin of a beatable or navigable stream; these are apt to be the determining elements of their choice. The heavy forest is levelled. A thousand trees moulder, and putrify about the cabin. The stagnant waters, that, while shielded from the action of the sun by the forest, had remained comparatively innoxious, exposed now to the burning rays of the sun, and rendered more deleterious by being filled with trunks and branches of decaying trees, and all kinds of putrid vegetation, become laboratories of miasma, and emit on every side the seeds of disease. — When we know, that such have been precisely the circumstances, in which a great portion of the immigrants to the western country have fixed themselves in open cabins, that drink in the humid atmosphere of the night, through a hundred crevices, in a new and untried climate, under a higher temperature, under the influence of a new diet and regimen, and, perhaps, under the depressing fatigue of severe labor and exposure; need we wonder, that the country has acquired a general character of unhealthiness?

There can be no doubt, that in the southern and middle regions of this valley, the wide, level and heavy timbered alluvions are intrinsically more or less unhealthy. It can not be disguised, that in these situations, the new resident is subject to bilious complaints, to remitting fevers, and more than all, to intermitting fever, or fever and ague. — This complaint is the general scourge of the valley.

It is an undoubted fact, explained in different ways, and by different theories, by the people, that even in the most unfavorable positions, on the lower waters of the Ohio, or


even the bayous of Arkansas, or Red river, the immigrant is not so much exposed, while his cabin is still under the shade of the unbroken forest. The most dangerous period is, after the trees have been levelled a year or two and while they are still decaying about the dwelling. This well known fact would seem to give plausibility to the doctrine, that these deep and grand forests feed their foliage with an atmosphere, that is adverse to the life of man; and that when the forests are cleared away, the miasma, the noxious air, that used to be absorbed and devoured by the redundant vegetation and foliage of the forests, and incorporated with its growth, thus detached and disengaged, inhaled by the new residents, becomes a source of disease.

Another fact, in relation to the choice of a residence, with a view to its salubrity, has been abundantly and unanswerably proved by experience. It is, that bluffs on the margins of wide bottoms and alluvial prairies are more unhealthy situations, than those, in the bottom or prairie, which they overlook. This fact has been amply demonstrated on the Ohio bottoms and bluffs, on the margins of the alluvial prairies of the upper Mississippi, and, in short, wherever a high bluff overlooks a wide bottom. The inhabitants on the airy and beautiful bluffs, that bound the noble prairies of the upper Mississippi, in an atmosphere, apparently so pure, as to preclude all causes of disease, are far more subject to fever and ague, than the people that inhabit below them on the level of the prairies. The same has been remarked of the Chickasaw bluffs, fort Pickering, or Memphis, fort Adams, Natchez, Baton Rouge, and the bluffs, generally, along the great water courses. Yet, though such is the uniform teaching of experience, so deceptive is the salubrious aspect of these airy hills, that swell above the dun and murky air, that seems to lie, like a mist, over the wide bottoms below them, that most people, in choosing


their residence, will be guided by their senses, in opposition to their experience. We know not, whether the theory, by which this fact is explained, is a sound one, or not. It is said, that the miasma, or noxious air from putrid vegetation, and stagnant water in the swamps and bottoms, is specifically lighter, than atmospheric air; that, of course, it rises from the plains, and hovers over the summits of the bluffs, here finding its level of specific gravity; and that, were it colored, it would be seen overlaying the purer strata of air beneath it.

The slopes of the Alleghanies, the interior of Ohio and Kentucky, of Tennessee and Indiana, where the forest is cleared away, and the land has been for a sufficient time under cultivation, where it is sufficiently remote from stagnant waters — the high prairies of Illinois and Missouri — the dry pine woods of the lower and southern country — parts of the plains of Opelousas and Attakapas — considerable portions of Alabama and Mississippi — and, generally, the open country towards the Rocky mountains, may be considered as healthy, as any other country. As a general remark, the inhabitants of this valley are more subject to bilious complaints, than those of the northern and middle Atlantic states; but, probably, not as much so, as those on the sea board of the southern Atlantic states. — Bilious symptoms, especially in the southern regions, are apt to be complicated with all forms of disease. Intermitting fevers are common through all the country, as they were even in New England, in the earlier stages of its settlement, and while it was still covered with forests. It is seldom a severe disease; and in most instances readily yields to the universally established modes of treatment, by previous evacuations, and bark. Sometimes it becomes complicated with other diseases, and assumes a strongly bilious type; and it is then a formidable disease. It is a


well known symptom of this disorder, that it recurs at regular intervals. When the links of the associated chain of disease are formed, if the disorder be cured, it is apt to recur again. All indisposition is apt to take this form; and it has this advantage in security against other diseases, that when a person has been for a considerable time subject to ague, whatever form of disease may happen to assail him, it ultimately runs into the form of ague. But these agues, when often repeated, and long continued, gradually sap the constitution, and break down the powers of life. The person becomes enfeebled and dropsical. Marasmus, or what is called ‘cachexy,’ ensues. A very common result is, that enlargement of the spleen, vulgarly called ‘an ague cake,’ This order of disease is most perceptible in the southern parts of the valley.

In the summer and autumnal months bilious fevers are apt to prevail, probably to a greater extent, than in the Atlantic country. But, it is believed, they more generally assume the remittent or intermittent form; that they are not so frequently attended with inflammatory symptoms, and that they more readily yield to medicine. The continued bilious fever of this country, as in other countries, is always a formidable disease. In the lower and southern country, in the heats of summer and autumn, when it prevails in towns and compact villages, it often assumes a malignant type. Prevention here, as elsewhere, is found to be better, than remedy; and avoidance of exposure to night air, to rains, and the direct and continued influence of the sun, and strict temperance in eating and drinking, would, no doubt, prevent many of these terrible diseases. Persons, especially, who are passing through the process of acclimation, ought not only to adopt this plan, but occasionally to take cathartics, followed by the use of bark. — The grand remedies of the western country, it is well


known, are calomel and bark. We have no doubt, that the great quantities of calomel, that are administered, equally by quacks and regular physicians, in adherence to a system, that has grown into a fashion, and which levels all skill to the mechanical application of a certain number of grains of that medicine, will eventually yield to a more discriminating mode of practice. The present course of procedure is too often ruinous to the teeth, and even when the patient is cured, must tend to sap and break down the powers of life.

From the variable character of the winters, and from other causes, rheumatism is a common complaint. Severe colds and pneumonic affections are apt to prevail in the winter. There is but too much propriety, in calling the two first months of autumn, in many places in the south, ‘the sickly months.’ But, as if to compensate for the prevalence of bilious affections, and the fever and ague, lung consumption is a very uncommon disease, not often witnessed even in the northern regions of the country. Fifty persons fall victims to this terrible destroyer in the Atlantic country, to one, that dies of it here.

It is a very trite, but true and important remark, that in proportion as the country becomes opened, cultivated and peopled, in proportion as the redundance and rankness of natural vegetation is replaced by that of cultivation, the country becomes more healthy. We shall naturally remark again on the peculiar features of disease, in particular sections of the country, when we treat of those sections. We shall only add in this place, that in the southern regions of this valley, the inhabitants are subject to a common and troublesome affection, called the ‘bowl complaint.’ It is particularly fatal to children. When it is prolonged to a chronic diarrhea, it is sometimes fatal to adults. It is a very different complaint from that disorder,


which sometimes prevails in the Atlantic country, as a sweeping epidemic — the dysentery. The latter is an uncommon disorder in this region.

Trees and Shrubs.

It will not be expected, that we shall dwell on this subject, in relation to this country, as professed naturalists. We propose only to take popular views of the subject, which, after all, we suspect, are best understood, most interesting, and most useful. We refer those, who wish to take more detailed and scientific views of this subject, to the writings of Bartram, Bradbury, Pursh, Michaux and Nuttal. The following is believed to be a tolerably ample and exact enumeration of the trees and shrubs, that are common to the Mississippi valley. The divisions of them according to climate will occur in the account of the regions, where they are found.

In forming this catalogue, we have had to encounter the common difficulty of selecting the Linnaean names from conflicting authorities. It belongs to the foppery of the easy assumption of science in botany, as in geology, that different authors either create, or adopt different nomenclatures, as suits their fancy. We would prefer that nomenclature, by which the trees and shrubs have been longest known. It may be, that there are trees and shrubs known in this valley, which are not included here. But it is believed, that few, if any, that are well or familiarly known, are omitted.

As respects the divisions of these trees, that belong to particular climates, we may remark, that most of the oaks and hickories, and the cotton wood, are common to all the climates. The white, or Norwegian pine, is only found in the north and northwestern and northeastern regions. The


cypress is not often found north of 36°. The long leaved pitch pine, and the laurel magnolia, are not often seen north of 33°. The live oak seldom extends north of 31°.

On the Alleghany, on the waters of the upper Mississippi, between Rock river and the falls of St Anthony, and in some places on the Illinois, the Weymouth, or Norwegian pine — the white pine of New England — is found in all its beauty and perfection. It no where has a larger and taller shaft, or a more beautiful verdure of foliage, than on the Alleghany; and it is from the banks of this distant stream, and, it may be, from its waters in the state of New York, that New Orleans is supplied with white pine plank of the greatest clearness and beauty. On the Gasconade, the Osage, and the southern rivers of the Missouri, in the mine country in Missouri, and from that point to the upper waters of White river, and across to the Arkansas, the common short leaved pitch pine is abundant. It is tall, straight, and of a fine size for the saw mill.

The cypress begins to be seen on the swampy and overflowed lands, near the mouth of the Ohio. It is, along with the swamp gum, the most common tree in the deep swamps from that point to the gulf of Mexico. It is in every respect a striking and singular tree. Under its deep hade arise a hundred curiously shaped knobs, called ‘cypress knees.’ They are regular, cone shaped protuberances, of different heights and circumferences, not unlike and taper circular bee hives. We have often remarked small cypress sprig, that had started from the apex these cypress knees; and we believe, that it will ultimately be found, that each one of these knees is the natural matrix of the tree. The tree itself always has a buttress which has the exact appearance of an enlarged cypress knee.


These noble trees rear their straight columns from a large, cone shaped buttress, whose circumference at the ground is, perhaps, three times that of the regular shaft of the tree. This cone rises from six to ten feet, with a regular and sharp taper, and from the apex of the cone towers the perpendicular column, with little taper, after it has left the cone, from sixty to eighty feet clear shaft. Very near its top, it begins to throw out multitudes of horizontal branches, which interlace with those of the adjoining trees, and when bare of leaves, have an air of desolation and death, more easily felt, than described. In the season of vegetation, the leaves are short, fine, and of a verdure so deep, as almost to seem brown, giving an indescribable air of funereal solemnity to this singular tree. A cypress forest, when viewed from the adjacent hills, with its numberless interlaced arms, covered with this dark brown foliage, has the aspect of a scaffolding of verdure in the air. It grows, too, in deep and sickly swamps, the haunts of fever, musquitos, moccasin snakes, alligators, and all loathsome and ferocious animals, that congregate far from the abodes of man, and seem to make common cause with nature against him. The cypress loves the deepest, most gloomy, inaccessible and inundated swamps; and south of 33°, is generally found covered with the sable festoons of long moss, hanging, as it seems, a shroud of mourning wreaths almost to the ground. It seemst to flourish best, where water covers its roots for half the year. When it rises from eight or ten feet water of the overflow of rivers, the apex of its buttress is just on a level with the surface of the water. It is then, in many places, that they cut it The negroes surround the tree in periogues, and thus get at the trunk above the huge and hard buttress, and fell it with comparative ease. They cut of the straight shaft, as suits their purpose, and float it to a raft, or the nearest


high grounds. Unpromising, as are the places and the circumstances of its growth, no tree of the country, where it is found, is so extensively useful. It is free from knots, is easily wrought, and makes excellent planks, shingles, and timber of all sorts. It is very durable, and incomparably the most valuable tree in the southern country of this valley. It is a fortunate circumstance, that it inhabits the most gloomy and inaccessible regions, which will not come into cultivation for ages. It will of course have a better chance, not to share the fate of the most useful timber on the valuable uplands. The improvident axe soon renders timber difficult to be procured, in a country in the centre of forests. All the cypress forests, however, that are easily accessible, on the lower Mississippi, and its tributaries, have been stripped of their timber by the Mississippi lumberers, who have floated to New Orleans millions of feet of this timber, from the lands of the United States, and who have already created a scarcity of this species on the margin of the Mississippi. There are, however, in the vast swamps of the Mississippi, Arkansas, Red river, and Florida, inexhaustible supplies of cypress still remaining.

The next most useful trees of this region are the oaks, of which there are enumerated in this valley twelve varieties; and there are, probably, more than that number. The most important of these is the upland white oak. It is a larger and handsomer tree, than in the Atlantic country; but is less firm, hard and durable. The same may be said swamp white oak, quercus aquatica, which grows a prodigious height, size and beauty. There is the black oak, with large and small leaves; the yellow oak, and the post oak, growing on cold, level, wet and clayey lands. It receives its name from the durability of posts made of it in the ground. It is said to be the most durable timber of the oak kind in the upper country, for boat and ship


building. The overcup oak receives its vulgar name from the size of the cups of its acorns. The Spanish, willow, red and black oaks, have nothing particular to distinguish them. The black-jack is a scrubby and small kind of oak, growing on plashy, and cold, level lands.

South of 31°, in the lower country along the coast of Florida, extending into the interior from sixty to a hundred miles, and along the shore of Louisiana, for half that depth, is the region of the live oak, quercus sempervirens. It is not found west of the Sabine. It is not a tall, but a spreading tree, with long lateral branches, looking, at a distance, like an immense spread umbrella. It is a tree, extremely hard, compact, and difficult to cut; and when green, is so heavy, as to sink in the water. It is almost incorruptible. The islands on the shore of the gulf furnish this tree in abundance. It is so difficult to cut down, to burn, or otherwise clear from the soil, that in these islands, which have recently began to be in request, as sugar lands, this tree, elsewhere considered so valuable for ship timber, is regarded as an incumbrance. It is, indeed, valuable for its acorns, affording the finest range for swine. The value of this timber in ship building is well known.

There are enumerated in this country ten or twelve varieties of the hickory. More than half of these we have not seen in the Atlantic country. One of these varieties, juglans amara, vel porcina, pignut hickory, is loaded with a nut, whose shell is softer than an acorn, and the meat to the pressure of the fingers yields a copious oil of use in the finer kinds of painting. It is acrid, and bitter to the taste.

The large walnut is a fruit of the size of a considerable apple, and is common in the middle regions of the valley

The peccan is found far up the Mississippi and Illinois and thence to the gulf of Mexico. It is a tree of beautiful


form and appearance, and the most useful of the whole class, except black walnut, for building and for rails. Its nut is long, cylindrical, and olive shaped, with a shell comparatively soft. The meat lies in two oblong lobes, is easily taken out entire, and excels all other nuts in delicacy of flavor. Unfortunately it soon becomes rancid, and is seldom found in the Atlantic country, in its original perfection.

Black locust, acacia triacanthos. This is a common and beautiful tree in the richer soils of the valley. It furnishes a durable and useful timber for rails, and other purposes, and is beginning to be much used in the construction of steam boats, and has been found both stronger and more durable, than any timber, that has yet been used for that purpose. The flowers of this tree yield an exquisite perfume.

The white flowering locust differs in no respect from that of the north.

The sugar maple is very abundant in the northern and middle regions of this valley. The process of obtaining sugar from the sap of this tree is sufficiently well known, and need not be here described. There are various districts, where an ample sufficiency of sugar might be made for the supply of a numerous population. In different parts Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois and Missouri, it is made, not only for consumption, but for sale. The tree is of itself, apart from its uses, a most beautiful one. It is one of the first, that puts on the livery of spring. The season of making it is generally one of festivity and high holiday. We have tasted loaf sugar refined from it, which could in no way be distinguished from that, made from the cane. The cheapness of the latter kind, the abundance and excellence of its growth in the lower country, and the diminished expense of transporting it to the upper states,


in consequence of the multiplication of steam boats, has diminished the demand for what is called ‘country sugar,’ and the manufacture of it has decreased, since the use of steam boats.

The black walnut, juglans nigra, is a splendid tree, and often grows to a great size. Its nuts much resemble those of the white walnut, or what is called ‘butter nut’ in the northern states. It is much used in the middle regions of the country, for ornamental finishing of houses, and cabinet furniture; and when rubbed with a weak solution of nitric acid, can be distinguished from mahogany only by an experienced eye.

The white walnut is abundant. An extract of the bark of this tree furnishes an useful and common cathartic.

The sycamore is the king of the western forests. It flourishes alike in every part of the valley, that we have seen. It is the largest tree of our woods, and rises in the most graceful forms, with vast, spreading, lateral branches, covered with bark of a brilliant white. These hundred, white arms of the sycamore, interlacing with the branches of the other forest trees, in the rich alluvions, where it delights to grow, adds one of the distinguishing traits of grandeur and beauty to the forest. A tree of this kind, near Marietta, measured fifteen feet and a half in diameter. — We have seen one on the Big Miami, which we thought still larger. Judge Tucker, of Missouri, cut off a section of the hollow trunk of a sycamore, and applied a roof to it and fitted it up for a study. It was perfectly circular, and when fitted up with a stove, and other arrangements, made an ample and convenient apartment. We saw this gigantic section of a tree, conveyed on sleds prepared on purpose and drawn by a sufficient number of oxen to its resting place. It is very common to see this beautiful tree, on the margin of rivers, from ten to fifteen feet in circumference.


The yellow poplar, tulipifera liriodendron, is also a most splendid tree, and next in size to the sycamore. It rears into the air a shaft of prodigious height and size. — The leaves are of beautiful forms. It is a very useful timber for plank and rails, and all the purposes of building, and splits with great ease.

The cotton wood is, probably, more abundant on the lower courses of the Ohio, on the whole course of the Mississippi, Missouri, St. Francis, White river, Arkansas and Red river, than any other tree. It is a tree of the poplar class, and in appearance between the Balm of Gilead and the Lombardy poplar. It is a noble and lofty forest tree, and sometimes vies with the sycamore itself for predominance in size and grandeur. It is of singular beauty, when its foliage is but partly unfolded in the spring. We have seen these trees, especially in the valley of Red river, twelve feet in diameter; and there are single trees, that will make a thousand rails. When they are cut in the winter, the moment the axe penetrates the centre of the tree, there gushes out a stream of water, or sap; and a single tree will discharge gallons. On the sand bars and islands of the rivers, wherever the alluvial earth begins to deposit, there springs up a growth of cotton wood, the young trees standing so thick, as to render it difficult for a bird to fly among them, and having, to a person passing at a little distance on the river, a singular appearance of regularity, as though they had been put out to ornament a pleasure ground. The popular name, ‘cotton wood,’ is derived from the circumstance, that soon after its foliage is unfolded, it flowers, and when the flowers fall, it scatters on the ground a downy matter, exactly resembling short, ginned cotton in feeling and appearance.

Catalpa. Some have undertaken to say, that this is not a tree indigenous to the country. For our part, we have


no question on the subject. We have seen, on the waters near cape Girardeau, catalpas much older than the settlements of the whites in this valley. We have seen them, below the chalk banks on the eastern side of the Mississippi, of a very large size, and evidently of natural growth. It is a tree, beautiful from the great size and peculiar shape and deep green of its foliage. When in blossom, its rounded top is a tuft of flowers of great beauty, and unequalled fragrance. One tree in full flower fills the atmosphere for a considerable circumference round it, with its delicious odors. For the gracefulness of its form, for the grandeur of its foliage, and the rich and ambrosial fragrance of its flowers, and for the length and various forms of its knife shaped, pendant seed capsules two feet in length, we have seen no ornamental tree, which in our view equals the catalpa.

Magnolia grandiflora. Bartram and others, by overrating the beauty of this tree, have caused, that when strangers first behold it, their estimation of it falls too low. It has been described, as a very large tree. We have seen it in Florida, where Bartram saw it. We have seen it in its more congenial position for full developement, the rich alluvions of Louisiana; and we have never seen it compare with the sycamore, the cotton wood, or even the ash, in point of size. It is sometimes a tall tree; often graceful in form; but ordinarily a tree of fourth or fifth rate in point of comparative size in the forest, where it grows. Its bark is smooth, whitish, very thick, and something resembles that of the beech. The wood is soft, and for aught we know, useless. The leaves strongly resemble those of the orange tree, except in being larger, thicker, and having a hoary yellowish down upon the under side The upper side has a perfect verdure, and a feel of smoothness, as if it was oiled. The flowers are large, of a pure


white, nearest resembling the northern pond lily, nymphea odorata, though not so beautiful; and are, ordinarily, about twice the size. The fragrance, is indeed, powerful, but to us rather sickly and offensive. We have felt, and we have heard others complain of feeling a sensation of faintness, in going into a room, where the chimney place was filled with these flowers. The tree continues to put forth flowers for two months in succession, and seldom displays many at a time. We think, few have been in habits of examining flowering trees more attentively, than ourselves, and we contemplated this tree for years in the season of flowers. Instead of displaying, as has been represented, a cone of flowers, we have seldom seen a tree in flower, which did not require some attention and closeness of inspection, to discover where the flowers were situated among the leaves. We have not been led to believe, that others possessed the sense of smell more acutely, than ourselves. In advancing from points, where these trees were not, to the pine forest, on the water courses of which they are abundant, we have been warned of our approach to them by the sense of smell, at a distance of something more than half a mile; and we question, if any one ever perceived the fragrance much farther, except by the imagination. The magnolia is a striking tree, and an observer, who saw it for the first time, would remark it, as such. — But we have been unable to conceive, whence the extravagant misconceptions, respecting the size, number, fragrance and beauty of its flowers had their origin.

There are six or seven varieties among the laurels of the magnolia tribe, some of which have smaller flowers, than those of the grandiflora, but much more delicate, and agreeably fragrant. A beautiful evergreen of this class is covered in autumn with berries of an intense blackness, and we remarked them in great numbers about St. Francisville.


The holly is a well known and beautiful tree of this class. But that one, which has struck us, as being the handsomest of the family, is the laurel almond, laurus cerasus, vel Caroliniensis. It is not a large tree. Its leaves strongly resemble those of the peach; and it preserves a most pleasing green through the winter. Its flowers yield a delicious perfume. It grows in families of ten or fifteen trees in a cluster. Planters of taste in the valley of Red river where it is common, select the place of their dwelling amidst a cluster of these trees.

Bois d'arc; maclura aurantica — bow wood — is a striking and beautiful tree, found on the upper courses of the Washita, the middle regions of Arkansas, and occasionally on the northern limits of Louisiana. It inhabits a very limited region; and we do not know, that it is native elsewhere. It has large and beautiful leaves, in form and appearance between those of the orange tree and catalpa; and, taken altogether, is a tree of extraordinary beauty. — It bears a large fruit, of most inviting appearance, and resembling a very large orange. Tempting as it is in aspect, it is the apple of Sodom to the taste. Most people consider it the most splendid of all forest trees. We never saw it in the flowering season. There is a solitary tree, growing in a garden in St. Louis. It was there sheltered by a wall; and we do not know, if it would flourish in a situation so northern, without protection of that kind. We remember to have seen one beautiful tree growing near Natchitoches, apparently native there. It is said, there is no other within a distance of many miles. The wood is as yellow, as that of fustic, and yields a similar die. It is hard, heavy, durable, and so elastic, as to receive its French name from the circumstance, that all the southwestern savages use it for bows. It is thought to be a wood more incorruptible, than live oak, mulberry, or even cedar. We were invited


to visit the hulk of a steam boat, built above the raft on Red river, whose timbers were entirely of this wood.

China tree. This is a tree more cultivated in the southern regions of this valley, as an ornamental shade tree, than any other. It has fine, long, spiked leaves, eight or ten inches in length, set in corresponding pairs on each side of a stem two feet long. The verdure is of the most brilliant and deep in nature. In the flowering season, the top is one tuft of blossoms, in color and fragrance resembling the lilac, except that the tufts are larger. It holds in flower for a long time. It is a tree of the most rapid growth of any known in our country. These trees, planted out in a village, in a few years completely embower it; and from the intenseness of their verdure, they impart a delightful freshness to the landscape, in that sultry climate. Alter the leaves have fallen in autumn, the tree is still covered with a profusion of reddish berries, of the size of haws, that give it the appearance, at a little distance, of remaining in flower. Robins immigrate to this region in the latter part of winter, settle on these trees in great numbers, and feed on the berries. They possess an intoxicating or narcotic quality; and the robins, sitting on the trees in a state of stupefaction, may be killed with a stick. The bark is said to be a powerful vermifuge.

Dog wood, cornus florida. Redbud, cercis Canadensis. Those are both of an intermediate size, between shrubs and trees. The former has a beautiful, heart shaped and crimped leaf, and an umbrella shaped top. It covers itself in spring with a profusion of brilliant white flowers, and in autumn with berries of a fine scarlet. The latter is the first shrub that is seen in blossom on the Ohio. The shrub is then a complete surface of blossoms, resembling those of the peach tree, and a stranger would take it, at that time, to be that tree. The shrubs are dispersed every


everywhere in the woods; and in descending the Ohio early in the spring, these masses of brilliant flowers contrast delightfully with the general brown of the forest The first time that the voyager descends this river, the redbud imparts a charm to the landscape, that he will never forget. These two are at once the most common and the most beautiful shrubs in the Mississippi valley. The dog wood especially, is found every where from Pittsburg to the gulf of Mexico; and, seen through the forests, in blossom, is far more conspicuous for its flowers, than the magnolia. It has been asserted, that the dog wood belonged to the family of the quinquinas. Its bark is certainly a powerful restorative, in cases of the ague.

Pawpaw, annona triloba, ficus Indicus. This, in our view, is the prince of wild fruit bearing shrubs. The leaves are long, of a rich appearance, and green, considerably resembling the smaller leaves of tobacco. The stem is straight, white, and of unrivalled beauty. In fact, we have seen no cultivated shrub so ornamental and graceful, as the pawpaw. The fruit closely resembles a cucumber, having, however, a more smooth and regular appearance. When ripe, it is of a rich yellow. There are generally from two to five in a cluster. A pawpaw shrub, hanging full of fruits, of a size and weight so disproportioned to the stem, and from under long and rich looking leaves of the same yellow with the ripened fruit, and of an African luxriance of growth, is to us one of the richest spectacles, that we have ever contemplated, in the array of the woods. — The fruit contains from two to six seeds, like those of the tamarind, except that they are double the size. The pulp of the fruit resembles egg custard in consistence and appearance. It has the same creamy feeling in the mouth, and unites the taste of eggs, cream, sugar and spice. It is a natural custard, too luscious for the relish of most


people. The fruit is nutritious, and a great resource to the savages. So many whimsical and unexpected tastes are compounded in it, that, it is said, a person of the most hypochondriac temperament relaxes to a smile, when he tastes pawpaw for the first time.

Persimon, dyospyros Virginiana. From the body of this tree, which resembles that of a mazzard cherry, when pierced, exudes a copious gum, not unlike gum Arabic in appearance. The leaves resemble those of the wild black cherry. The fruit is of the size of a common horse plumb. When green, it is astonishingly astringent It is only ripened by the frost of winter. There are varieties in its size, from low shrubs to considerable trees. When the small blue persimon is thoroughly ripened, it is even sweeter than the fig, and is to us a delicious fruit. If the best kinds were cultivated, and purchased from beyond the seas, it would probably be much more known, and used, than it now is.

Wild plumbs. The Chickasaw plumb is common from 34° to the gulf of Mexico. It is found in the greatest abundance, and ripens early in June. Prairie plumbs are most abundant in Illinois and Missouri, on the hazle prairies. They are of various sizes and flavors. Their general color is reddish, and their flavor tart Some of them are large and delicious. For an experiment of the yield, two bushels were gathered from one tree. In places they are found in inconceivable quantities, the surface of acres being red with them. The yellow Osage plumb of this class, when the better kinds are cultivated, are among the most delicious plumbs, we have eaten. So rich and delightful a fruit, and so easily cultivated, well deserves to be transplanted to the Atlantic country.

Crab apple, pyrus coronaria. In the middle regions of the valley, on prairies of a particular description, there


are great tracts, covered with an impenetrable mat of crab apple shrubs. The form, color and fragrance of the blossoms are precisely that of the blossoms of the cultivated apple tree. When the southern breeze comes over a large tract of these shrubs in full blossom, it is charged with a concentrated fragrance almost too strong to be grateful. — They are useful as stocks, in which the cultivated apple and pear tree may be engrafted. Their fruit, when properly prepared, makes the finest of cider; and the apple is much used, as a preserve.

Mulberry. There are said to be two species in the country; the white, and the black. We have never seen the white indigenous; but have so often heard it asserted to exist, as a native, that we are compelled to credit it. — The common mulberry is the black, and it is found in every part of the valley, that we have seen. In some places, it constitutes no inconsiderable proportion of the timber. We have seen whole groves of small and young trees, apparently in the right stage to be useful for feeding the silk worm. Experience has demonstrated, that the worm thrives on these leaves, and that the product is of good quality. The wide diffusion, and the great prevalence of the mulberry, the general temperature of the valley, and the condition and habits of the people, clearly indicate to them, that this country ought to devote itself extensively to the making of silk.

In this country of forests, and where there are such numbers and varieties of trees, we might select many other interesting ones for description; perhaps some of them more so, than those, which we have here attempted to describe. The necessary brevity of our limits forbids our enlarging. From Michaux we learn, that our trees are larger, taller, and more of them useful for timber, than those of Europe. The forest has a general physiognomy,


of luxuriance, which discriminates it to the most superficial observer, from that on the other side of the mountains. We may add, that to us the varieties of trees of the same class appear to be more numerous. We apprehend, that most of the trees of that region are found here, while a number of the trees here are peculiar to this valley. Trees of the same class here are inferior to those, that are there, for the same uses, as timber. They are less tough, elastic and durable. We may add, that the pine forests of the south contain countless millions of tall and straight pines, and would furnish, without sensible diminution, masts and spars for all the navies in the world.

Vines and Creepers.

The common grape vine, vitis sylvestris, is diffused through all the climates. Nothing is so familiar to the eye of a traveller in this country, as soon as he enters on the richer lands, as to see vines, often of a prodigious size, that are perpendicularly attached at the top to branches, sixty or eighty feet from the ground; and at a great lateral distance from the trunk of the tree. It is a standing puzzle to a young man, first brought into these woods, to task his ingenuity, by putting him to account for the manner, in which a vine, perhaps nearly of the size of the human body, has been able to rear itself to such a height. There can be, however, no doubt, that the vine in this case is coeval with the tree; that the tree, as it grew, reared the vine; and that the vine receded from the trunk, with the projection of the lateral branch, until, in the lapse of time, this singular appearance is presented.

In many places, half the trees in a bottom are covered with these vines. In the deep forests, on the hills, in the barrens, in the hazle prairies, and in the pine woods, every form and size of the grape vine presents itself. We presume, there is no scientific and complete description and


arrangement of these vines. The most obvious popular division of them follows.

Winter grape. We suppose this to be the vine above mentioned — the large vine, that so generally clings to the trees in the alluvial forests. The leaves are large, and of a fine, rich green; intermediate, between the size of the leaves of the cultivated grape, and the fox grape. They climb to the top of the highest trees of the forest Probably, not one in fifty of them bears any fruit at all. The fruit, when produced, is a small circular berry, not unlike the wild black cherry. It is austere, sour and unpleasant, until it has been mellowed by the frosts of winter. But it is said, when fermented by those, who have experience in the practice, to make a tolerable wine.

Summer grape, vitis aestiva. We have never seen it in deep bottoms. It is found on the rolling barrens, and the hazle prairies. It has a larger leaf, than the former vine; and the wood of the vine is finely colored of a blueish purple. The grape is more than twice the size of the winter grape, is ripe in the first month in autumn, and when matured under the full influence of the sun, is a pleasant fruit, It grows in the greatest abundance; but is too dry a grape to be pressed for wine.

June grape, vitis vernalis. This is a small, sweet grape, found on the islands of the upper Mississippi and Illinois, that ripens in June. We have seen the vine; but have never tasted the fruit. It is said to be the grape, of which the French, in the early periods of their establishment in this country, used to make wine. Various animals prey upon it; and it has almost disappeared from the country.

Parsley leaved water grape, vitis aquatica. We have never seen this vine in bearing.

Fox grape, vitis riparia, is of the same size, form and quality with the same species op the east side of the mountains, It is very uncommon.


Muscadine grape, vitis verrucosa. This vine strongly designates climate. It is seldom seen north of 34°. South of that, it becomes abundant. It is found in the deep alluvial forests, clinging to the tall trees. The vine is smooth, and of a line olive green; and the leaves are smaller, than those of the cultivated grape. The fruit grows in more sparse clusters, than those of other grapes. Like other fruits, they fall, as they ripen, and furnish a rich treat to bears, and other animals, that feed on them. The grape is of the size of a plumb; of a fine, purple black; with a thick, tough skin, tasting not unlike the rind of an orange. The pulp is deliciously sweet, but is reputed unwholesome.

Pine woods grape. In ignorance of its proper designation, we shall call it vitis humilior, from its habit of creeping on the ground. It is agreed, that there are varieties of this fine grape, which, from the frequent burning of the pine woods, is becoming uncommon. It is surprising, how little curiosity has been excited, even where it grows, by this rich fruit. It has a slender, blueish purple vine, that runs on the ground among the grass. It ripens in the month of June; is large, cone shaped, transparent, with four seeds, reddish purple; and is a fine fruit for eating.

On the sandy plains at the sources of Arkansas and Red river, the gentlemen of Long's expedition concur with hunters and travellers, that we have heard relate, that they found large tracts of sand plain, from which grew a grape, which we infer from the description, to be of the same species of the pine woods grape. They have described the clusters to be large and delicious; and that the sand, drifting about them, covers up the redundant vegetation, performing the best operation of pruning on the vine. The sun, too, strongly reflected from a surface of sand, must have a powerful influence to mature them. It is possible,


that some part of the admiration, which has been felt, in seeing such sterile tracts covered with these abundant and rich clusters, and the high zest, with which they were devoured, may have been owing to the surprise of finding such a phenomenon in contrast with a white and moving sand, and eating the fruit under associations created by hunger and thirst.

The universal diffusion of such numbers and varieties of the vine, would seem to indicate this valley to possess a natural aptitude for the cultivation of the vine. It would be an experiment, it would appear, well worth the trial, to engraft, or bud every variety of the cultivated grape on the stocks of each of these native varieties. It is possible, that the exotics might thus be at once acclimated; and it is not unlikely, that changes might be produced in them favorable to their enduring the climate, and to their flavors and vinous properties.

Bignonia radicans is a creeper, beautiful for its foliage and flowers. It has a vine of a grayish white color, and long and delicate spike shaped leaves in alternate sets. It climbs the largest trees in preference, mounts to their summits, and displays a profusion of large, trumpet shaped flowers, of flame color. Planted near a house, in two or three seasons a single vine will cover a roof, throwing its fibrous and parasitic roots so strongly under the shingles, as to detach them from the roof.

Ivy. There are varieties of this creeper. Every traveller in the rich alluvions has been impressed with the spectacle, exhibited there, of the thousands of large and lofty columns of the cotton wood, wreathed from the ground to the branches with an architectural drapery of this deep verdure. We have seen huge trunks of dead trees so ornamented. It is one of those charms of nature, that never tire on the eye. It is thus, that nature ornaments the


pillars of her great temple, to fit it to inspire delight and adoration in the solitary worshipper.

Supple-jack. We have first remarked this creeper in about latitude 35°. The vine resembles that of the muscadine grape; but the olive color is deeper. It is well known to attach itself so strongly to the shrub it entwines, as to cause those curious spiral curves, and inner flattening, that give its singularity and value to the supple-jack cane. The foliage of the vine is an exact copy in miniature of that of the China tree. The richness of its verdure, the impervious thickness of its dark green foliage, and the profusion of deep black berries, with which it is covered, would render it a beautiful creeper, with which to cover a pavilion, or a piazza.

There is a creeper, which we have not seen noticed by travellers or botanists, and which, indeed, we have not often seen ourselves, and then only on the margin of the Mississippi, between New Madrid and the mouth of the Arkansas. Its vine and foliage somewhat resemble those of the supple-jack. We never saw it climbing shrubs more than ten feet in height. The flowers were long and rich tufted wreaths, on small, flexile, twiny stems, and much resembling the purple blossoms of the pea. They were gathered for the garnishing of the chimney places of the cabins; and we have seen no flowers, that exceeded them in splendor and beauty.

The rich alluvial districts of the lower country of the Mississippi and its tributaries are tangled with creepers, of various kinds, foliage and forms. Some of them are annual, and some perennial. Many of them, as far as our knowledge extends, are non-descripts.


Cane, arundo gigantea, vel myegia macrosperma. Some assert, that the low and bastard cane and the tall


reed cane are of the same species, and differ only in size and height. Others, and it is the prevalent opinion, assert that they are varieties. Every one has seen this reed in the form, in which it is used for angling rods. It grows on the lower courses of the Mississippi, Arkansas and Red river, from fifteen to thirty feet in height. We have seen some, in these rich soils, that would almost vie in size with the bamboo. The leaves are of a beautiful green — long, narrow and dagger shaped, not unlike those of Egyptian millet. It grows in equidistant joints, perfectly straight, almost a compact mass; and to us, in winter especially, is the richest looking vegetation, that we have ever seen. The smallest sparrow would find it difficult to fly among it; and to see its ten thousand stems, rising almost contiguous to each other, and to look at the impervious roof of verdure, which it forms at its top, it has the aspect of being a solid layer of vegetation. A man could not make three miles in a day through a thick cane brake. It is the chosen resort of bears and panthers, which break it down, and make their way into it, as a retreat from man. It indicates a dry soil, above the inundation, and of the richest character. The ground is never in better preparation for maize, than after this prodigious mass of vegetation is first cut down, and burned. When the cane has been cut, and is so dried, as that it will burn, it is an amusement of high holiday to the negroes, to set fire to a cane brake, thus prepared. The rarefied air in the hollow compartments of the cane bursts them with a report, not much inferior to a discharge of musketry; and the burning of a cane brake makes the noise of a conflicting army, in which thousands of muskets are continually discharging. This beautiful vegetable is generally asserted to have a life of five years, at the end of which period, if it has grown undisturbed, it produces an abundant crop of seed, with heads very like


those of broom corn. The seeds are farinaceous, and said to be not much inferior to wheat, for which the Indians, and occasionally the first settlers, have substituted it. No prospect so impressively shows the exuberant prodigality of nature, as a thick cane brake. Nothing affords such a rich and perennial range for cattle, sheep and horses. The butter, that is made from the cane pastures of this region, is of the finest kind. The seed easily vegetates in any rich soil. It rises from the ground, like the richest asparagus, with a large succulent stem; and it grows six feet high, before the body hardens from this succulency and tenderness. No other vegetable could furnish a fodder so rich, or abundant; nor, in our view, does any other agricultural project so strongly call for a trial, as the annual sowing of cane, in regions too northern for it to survive the winter. We suppose, this would be in latitude 39°.

Gooseberry. All its varieties are seen indigenous in all parts of this valley. It grows to a great height and size in the middle regions, and covers itself with fruit. We have seen in Missouri a gooseberry hedge, of a height, compactness and thorny imperviousness, to turn all kinds of annuals. It would have the advantage of attaining its full size in three or four years.

Privet. This beautiful ornamental shrub, too well known, to need description, is indigenous to various parts of the valley. When clipped, it forms a compact wall of verdure, like due box, used for the same purposes at the north.

Hazle bush. Immense tracts of the prairies are covered with this bush; and the nuts are fine and abundant.

The whortleberry is not so common, as in the Atlantic country; but, where it does grow, is of great size. They are found in great abundance, and in full perfection, at the


bases of the flint knobs, in the St. Francis country, and along the upper courses of White river.

We have seldom seen the red raspberry; but it is said to grow, of fine size and flavor, from the middle to the northern regions of the valley. Blackberries, high and creeping, are found in prodigious abundance, from the north to the south.

The prairies, in many places, in the season, are red with fine strawberries.

For the rest, the fruit bearing shrubs and plants do not materially differ from those of the Atlantic country. With the exception of the strawberry and blackberry, they are not so common here, as there.

Herbs, Grasses and Flowering Plants.

The universal, indigenous grass of this country, in all its climates and extent, covering the millions of acres of the prairies, is what is commonly called prairie grass, poa pratensis. It grows equally in the forests and barrens, wherever there is an interval, sufficiently unshaded to admit its growth. — It is tall, coarse, and full of seeds at the top; and when ripe, is rather too wiry for fodder. It is cut for that purpose in September. If it were cut earlier, and before it had lost succulence and tenderness, it would, probably, be excellent fodder. As it is, the prairies yield inexhaustible quantities; and the towns and villages in the prairie regions are copiously supplied. When young, and before it has thrown up its stem, it resembles wheat in appearance. We have seen cattle, turned into the wheat fields in the spring, to eat down the redundant growth of wheat, feed on the grass along the margins of the fields in preferences to the wheat.

The only grass, that yields a fine, soft sward, is called blue grass, and is not unlike the common spear grass of


New England. We are not satisfied, whether it be indigenous, or not. We have constantly observed it growing about deserted houses, and Indian villages. On the upper prairies of Illinois, it is said in many places to be displacing the prairie grass. It seems to be, like the robin-redbreast, attached to the abodes of civilized man.

We have recently read, that in the wet prairies of Illinois and Indiana, the fowl meadow grass of New England was growing in abundance. Whether this be fact, or not, whoever would introduce this valuable grass to notice in the wet prairies of the West would be a benefactor to that region.

The rush, equisetum hyemale, grows on bottoms, in grounds of an intermediate elevation, between those of the cane brake and the deep overflow. It is found, of a humbler growth, quite to the sources of the Mississippi. But it finds its full development between 36° and 33°. We have traveled among this grass, a perfect mat, as high as the shoulders. Nothing can exceed the brilliance of its verdure, especially, when seen in winter, in contrast with the universal brown. Where it grows high and thick, it is difficult to make way through it; and it has a disagreeable kind of rustling, which produces the sensation, that is called setting the teeth on edge. In northern regions its tubular stock is apt to fill with compact icicles. It is well known to be the favorite range of horses and cattle, and is devoured by them with more greediness, than even cane. When filled with ice, and thus swallowed, it produces a chill in the stomach of the cattle, that is apt to prove fatal. To the cattle and horse boats, that descend the Mississippi, it is an invaluable resource. The cattle and horses, pent up and immovable in these floating barns, for many days in succession, are turned loose, and find holiday pasture in this rich range.


Pea vine. This is a small, fibrous vine, that covers the soil in the richer forest lands. It receives its name from the resemblance of its leaves and flowers to those of the cultivated pea. It is a rich and almost universal forest range for cattle; but when once eaten down, is not apt to renew itself. Of course, it disappears in the vicinity of compact population.

Swamp grass. This grass is found in low, wet and miry swamps, on hassocks elevated above the water. It is of the brightest verdure, remaining green through the frosts of winter. It seems to be the same grass, which grows in boggy meadows in New England. Its sharp edges, when drawn rapidly through the fingers, cut them. In the middle regions of the valley, cattle are driven to these swamps, to subsist through the winter.

Wild rice, zizania aquatica, vel fatuis avena. By the French, fals avoines. By the Indians, menomene. It is found in the greatest abundance on the marshy margins of the northern lakes, and in the plashy waters on the upper courses of the Mississippi. It grows in those regions on a vast extent of country. It is there, that the millions of migrating water fowls fatten, before they take their autumnal migration to the south. It is here, too, that the northern savages, and the Canadian traders and hunters, find their annual supplies of grain. But for this resource, they could hardly exist. It is a tall, tubular, reedy, water plant. not unlike the bastard cane of the southern countries. It very accurately resembles the cane grass of the swamps and savannahs on the gulf of Mexico. It springs up from waters of six or seven feet in depth, where the bottom is soft and muddy. It rises nearly as high above the water. Its leaves and spikes, though much larger, resemble those of oats, from which the French give it its name. When it is intended to be preserved for grain, the spikes are


bound together, to preserve them from the ravages of birds and water fowls, that prey upon them in immense numbers. It thus has a chance to ripen. At the season for gathering it, canoes are rowed among the grain. A blanket is spread upon them, and the grain is beaten on to the blankets. It is, perhaps, of all the cerealia, except maize, the most prolific. It is astonishing, amidst all our eager and multiplied agricultural researches, that so little attention has been bestowed upon this interesting and valuable grain. It has scarcely been known, except by Canadian hunters and savages, that such a grain, the resource of a vast extent of country, existed. It surely ought to be ascertained, if the drowned lands of the Atlantic country, and the immense marshes and stagnant lakes of the south, will grow it. It is a mistake, that it is found only in the northern regions of this valley. It grows in perfection on the lakes about Natchitoches, south of 32°; and might, probably, be cultivated in all climates of the valley. Though a hardy plant, it is subject to some of the accidents, that cause failure of the other grains. The grain has a long, slender hull, much resembling that of oats, except that it is longer and darker. In detaching this hull, the Indians use a process of drying, that, probably, in most instances destroys its germinating principle. Those, who have found this grain unpleasant, have, perhaps, eaten it, when smoked, and badly prepared. There is, probably, the same difference in quality, too, as in other grains. The grain, that we have eaten, was as white, as the common rice. Puddings made of it tasted to us, like those made of sago.

Palmetto, chemoerops latanier. This is a perennial plant, strongly marking climate. It commences in the same regions with long moss, — that is to say, about 33°. It throws up from a large root, so tough as to be cut with difficulty by an axe, and hard to be eradicated from the soil,


large, fan shaped palms, of the most striking and vivid verdure, and ribbed with wonderful exactness. It indicates a deep swampy soil, and there grows six feet in height. — The infallible index of swamp, and southern climate, and having no resemblance to any plant, seen at the north, its foreign aspect, and its deep green, unchanged by winter, when first seen by the immigrant from the north, with a surprise connected with rather unpleasant associations, strongly reminds him, that he is a stranger, and in a new climate. It is used by the savages, and the poorer Creoles, as thatch for their cabins; and from the tender shoots of the season, properly prepared, a very useful kind of summer hats, called palmetto hats, is manufactured.

MEDICINAL PLANTS. On this head, but little is yet known of this country; and that little, except the most obvious points, falls within the proper limits of description by a physician. In a climate so various, a soil so prolific, and a flora so immense, as that of the prairies, where such an infinite variety of plants and flowers is renewed, and perishes every season, and in a country so fresh, it may be readily conceived, that the medicinal properties of but very few of the plants have been sufficiently experimented. Most of the medicinal plants of the Atlantic country are found here; and many, that are peculiar to this region.

Varieties of the hop are natives of the country; and the hazle prairies have their clumps of hazle bushes often surmounted with the beautiful wreathings of the clusters of the common hop.

Virginia snake root; a species of ippecacuanna, called Indian physic; American columbo; frasera Caroliniensis, a plant growing six feet high, and covering itself with brilliant flowers; thoroughwort, eupatorium perfoliatum; ginseng; all the varieties of the mints; blood root, sanguinaria


Canadensis; — these plants are common, and widely diffused.

May apple, podophyllum peltatum, is a beautiful plant, that completely covers the ground, where it grows, with the freshest and most cheering verdure of spring. It has a handsome white blossom, and bears a fruit of the appearance and taste of a lemon. Its root is a powerful cathartic, and has been successfully introduced into medicine as a substitute for jalap.

Seneka, polygala seneka; American senna, cassia marilandica; poke weed, phytollacca decandria; Oswego tea, monarda kalmiana; poison sumach, rhus vernix; solanum nigrum, or nightshade; wakerobin, trillium cernuum; golden rod, solidago odora; missletoe, viscum album; horehound, &c. — are common.

Strammony, strammonium datura, a poisonous weed, perniciously common through the western country. On the richest bottoms, it grows fifteen feet in height, and of a size and compactness, to prevent cattle from running among it. It has splendid flowers, and a great quantity of oily seeds. Its smell is nauseous; and it is a common, and annoying tenant of the villages on the alluvial margin of rivers. In some places, no inconsiderable part of the labor on the highways is to cut up this weed from the roads and outlot s of the villages. Its popular name is jimson, — probably, a corruption of Jamestown, the place, whence it was said to have been brought. It is used in medicine, in spasmodic asthma.

The next most common and annoying weed along the roads, especially in Louisiana, is a very tall plant, resembling cassia marilandica. It renders the paths, and the banks of the bayous in that region, almost impassable in autumn, until the cattle have trodden it down.


Cockle burrs, in the same situations, are excessively annoying weeds, filling the outlots and uncultivated places to such a degree, that the burrs attach to the clothes of passengers, and mat the wool of sheep, running among them, with an inextricable tangle.

Virginia snake root, aristolochia serpentaria; wormwood, artemisia, all the varieties; southern wood; wormseed; wild horehound, eupatorium pilosum; black henbane; hyoscyamus nigra, deadly nightshade; atropa belladona; Indian tobacco, lobelia inflata; white horehound, marrubium vulgare; balm, melissa officinalis; among the mints — pennyroyal, mentha pulegium, growing to a great size; sarsaparilla, smilax; Carolina pink, spigelia marilandica; common nettle, urtica, every where annoying to the summer traveller in the woods; valerian officinalis, common on the Ohio; gentian; all the species of the violets; prairie wax weed, common in the prairies, from four to six feet high, when perforated, exuding a yellow terebenthine wax of aromatic smell, and to which many virtues are ascribed by the settlers.

We could easily swell this catalogue with the names of a hundred other plants, to which various and powerful medicinal virtues are ascribed by the people. We could add to it the herbs, which are cultivated, as medicinal. — We have merely attempted a brief outline of the most common indigenous medicinal plants of the valley. Almost every family has its panaceum, in some herb, or plant, which that family has exclusively experimented. A rich harvest for experiment is yet reserved for the scientific botanist and physician.

The common kinds of aquatic plants are found in the still and shallow waters of the swamps; particularly, a beautiful kind of water lily, highly fragrant, and bearing


no resemblance to the nymphea odorata, which we have not seen here, but which is said to be found in the northern regions of the valley. A singular kind of aquatic vegetation, which has given rise to the fictions of floating islands of vegetation on these waters, is seen to cover great extents of shallow lakes and muddy bayous. It appears, indeed, to float on the water; and great masses of it, no doubt, often are detached, and seen floating, as though there were no roots attached to the soil at the bottom. But we have examined it, and found its twiny stem of many yards in length, bound to the bottom by a thousand fibrous roots. It has a small, beautiful, elliptical leaf, and a diminutive, but delicate white flower. We have sailed, when the bow of the vessel made a furrow through fields of this curious plant. Under them fishes dart, alligators gambol, and, in the proper season, multitudes of water fowls are seen, pattering their bills among these leaves. We have seen this plant designated by the name, pistia stratiotes.

Among the flowering aquatic plants, there is one, that for magnificence and beauty stands unrivalled and alone. We have seen it on the middle and southern waters; but of the greatest size and splendor on the bayous and lakes the Arkansas. It has different popular names. The upper Indians call it panocco. We have seen it designated botanists by the name, nymphea nelumbo. It rises from a root, resembling the large stump of a cabbage, and from depths in the water, from two or three to ten feet. It has an elliptical, smooth and verdant leaf, some of the largest being of the size of a parasol. These muddy bayous and stagnant waters are often so covered with these leaves, that the sandpiper walks abroad on the surface of the leaves, without dipping her feet in the water. — The flowers are enlarged copies of the nymphea odorata, or New England pond lily. They have a cup of the same


elegant conformation, and all the brilliant white and yellow of that flower. They want the ambrosial fragrance of the pond lily; and resemble in this respect, as they do in their size, the flowers of the laurel magnolia. On the whole, they are the largest and most beautiful flowers, that we have seen. They have their home in dead lakes, in the centre of cypress swamps. Musquitos swarm above. Obscene fowls wheel their flight over them. Alligators swim among their roots; and moccasin snakes bask on their leaves. In such lonely and repulsive situations, under such circumstances, and for such spectators, is arrayed the most gaudy and brilliant display of flowers in the creation. In the capsule are embedded from four to six acorn shaped seeds, which the Indians roast, and eat, when green; or they are dried, and eaten, as nuts, or are pulverized into meal, and form a kind of bread.

We have seen a large yellow flower on the arid bluffs of that high limestone wall, that runs, like a huge parapet, between St. Genevieve and Herculaneum, on the west bank of the Mississippi. The summit of this parapet has not more than two or three inches of soil, and is bare of all vegetation, but a sparse, seared grass. It was under the burning sun of July, when every thing, but these flowers, was scorched. The cup of the flower was nearly half the size of the common sunflower. It rose only four or five inches from the soil, and covered it, as with gilding We have seen no description of this striking flower, nor have we seen it existing elsewhere.

Missletoe, viscus alba. This is a parasitic plant, which attaches itself to the body and larger limbs of trees, — most frequently the sycamore and the elm. It is common on the trees along the banks of the Ohio, from Cincinnati to New Orleans. The bright green masses of this plant, with copious clusters of transparent, white berries, make a


very singular appearance in winter, when seen clinging to the naked branches. This is the plant, to which the Druids were said to pay divine honors. The agglutinated slim of its berries is used for bird lime.

Long moss, tillandsia usneoides. This parasitic and singular vegetation is first seen in company with the palmetto, about latitude 33°. It hangs down in festoons, like the twiny stems of weeping willow. It attaches itself of choice to the cypress, and, after that, to the acacia. These pendent wreaths often conceal the body of the tree, when bare of foliage, to such a degree, that little is seen, but a mass of moss. These wreaths, waving in the wind, attach themselves to the branches of other trees, and thus sometimes form curtains of moss, that darken the leafless forest of winter. It is in color of a darkish gray, and the wreaths are many yards in length. It has a small, trumpet shaped flower, of peach blow color, and seeds still finer, than those of tobacco. — Associated, as it naturally is, with marshy and low alluvions, where it grows in greatest profusion, and with the idea of sickness, this dark drapery of the forest has an aspect of inexpressible gloom. It is, when fresh, a tolerable fodder for horses and cattle, and the deer feed upon it in winter. It soon dies on dead trees. Prepared, something after the manner of water rotted hemp, the bark is decomposed, and the fibre remains, fine, black, strong, elastic, and apparently incorruptible. In this state, in appearance and elasticity it resembles horse hair, and, like that, is used for mattresses. Most of the people in the lower country sleep on them, and they are becoming an article of commerce in the upper country. The creoles make various articles of harnessing, as horse collars, and saddle stuffing, of this article. For these purposes, considerable quantities are exported to the upholsterers and carriage makers in the Atlantic country.


To the eye of a naturalist, no doubt, the infinite varieties of plants and flowers in the forests and on the prairies, that distract the gaze of a common observer, and confound all his attempts to class them, may all have an easy arrangement, ‘a local habitation and a name,’ To another, an attempt to class them would at first seem like numbering the drops of dew, that fall from them. The friable soil the western country does not naturally cover itself with the fine sward of the northern Atlantic country. It is the region of coarse grass, tall flowering plants, with gaudy flowers; and to an unpracticed eye, presents a flora of great variety. We have not presumed to give the above, as any thing more, than the sketch of a catalogue. Many of the barks of the trees of this valley have medicinal qualities. The numbers, forms and gigantic height of these weeds and plants are not among the least surprising curiosities to an observer of nature.

The following are among the garden flowers, more particularly of the southern regions.

Jessamines, white, cape, Armenian and yellow. Different kinds of sensitive plants. Spanish dagger. Primrose. Jonquils, white and yellow. Iris. Blue and yellow touch-me-not. Violets. Lilies. Roses, monthly, perpetual, moss, scarlet, white, Damascus, multiflora, bell. Honeysuckle. Woodbine. Flowering pomegranate. — Bamboo. Myrtle. Altheas, white and red. Crape myrtle. Daffodil. These are the common flowers, where they are not curious in choice, or varieties.


We deem it useless to go into detail in the account of animals, which this country has in common


with those east of the mountains. We believe, that the catamount, a ferocious animal, formerly seen in New Hampshire and Maine, has not been seen west of the mountains. There is a much greater abundance, if not variety of the deer kind here. The milder winters, the deeper forests, the more luxuriant pastures, the greater abundance and variety of the nut and acorn bearing trees, the more multiplied means of animal subsistence, would give reason to expect a greater profusion of game. Deer, from pairs to twenty together, are so common a sight, even in the settled country, as not to excite much surprise. — Bears, in the middle and settled regions of the valley, are not common; and a bear hunt is there a matter of novelty and excitement. But, high on the Mississippi and Missouri, and on the lower courses of the latter river and its tributaries, in the deep cane brakes and swamps, bears still breed, and range insecurity; and the planters take the frequent amusement of hunting them. We landed at the cabin of a settler, between White river and Arkansas, who showed the skins of twenty bears, which he had killed that season.

In the northern parts of Illinois, towards the sources of the Mississippi, and southwest of the Missouri, on the Osage, and other wooded streams of that direction, bears are still hunted for their skins and their oil. Bears' oil, which is very liquid, transparent, and, when not rancid, mild and agreeable to the taste, is in those regions extensively used, as a substitute for butter. The hunters ascend the streams at the proper season for hunting them, and pursue the bears in the depths of the wilderness. They remain for the summer season in the woods. Late in autumn they return with bear skins, and the flesh cured, as smoked middlings of Pork, and not infrequently as fat. The oil is put into a periogue; and we have seen a hunter


paddling one periogue, and having another lashed and balanced alongside, full of oil.

Venison is an important article of food, and of sale in every village of the western country. The markets in the larger towns are abundantly supplied with it. It furnishes one of the substantial elements in the subsistence of a back settler. Hunting the deer is the standing amusement of the southern planter. A night hunt seldom fails to furnish a number of these animals. In the northern regions, and about the sources of the Mississippi and Missouri, the elk takes the place of the deer. The moose is sometimes seen with the elk.

In the vast prairies on the upper Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas and Red river, and in all the space beyond a belt of a hundred leagues from white settlements, where they are not seen, and the Rocky mountains, the buffalo is the grand object of hunting and subsistence to the savages. The flesh is the chief article of food, not only for the Indians of those regions, but for the white hunters and trappers. The skins furnish their dress, and the couches, the seats, and the ornamental part of the furniture of their cabins. Tanned, and stretched on" tent poles, and erected in neat, cone shaped tents, they shelter the savages in their distant migrations from their villages. The buffalo robe furnish one of their most important articles of commerce. Hunting the buffalo is a business of great solemnity, and one of the most important functions of savage life. Every person, engaged in it, has his proper post of honor, and his point of concert with the rest. They used to hunt with bows and arrows, but are now commonly armed with yagers. The attack is generally on horseback. When the attacking party have approached the drove, the religious rites are renewed, and the cavalcade, in confidence of the aid of the Great Spirit, dashes upon them. To be successful,


the horses must be both fleet, and well managed. It often happens, that the older and more daring animals turn, and make battle; in which case there is danger to the horse of being gored, and of the rider to be slain. — The animal, in its agony and wrath, is terrible. It sometimes, when the animal is feathered with many arrows, or pierced with many balls, becomes a question, who has slain it. But there are so many witnesses, the wound, among many, that was mortal, is so accurately known, and it is so vital to their peace, that all this should be settled by precedent, that in the division of the spoil, disputes seldom occur. Every part of the animal is prepared in some way for use. A part is preserved fresh, for immediate use. The fat from the intestines is melted, skimmed, and put into bladders for future use, and proves an agreeable substitute for butter. A protuberance on the shoulders, called the ‘hump,’ is the choice part of the animal. The return of such a party from a successful hunt is a season of the highest savage holiday. The skins, which, inwrought into all the furniture of their domestic establishment, are so vital to their comfort, and the surplus furnishing their principal article of traffic, are entrusted for preparation, as are all their more laborious kinds of drudgery, to the squaws. This is a very material part of Indian labor. The method of preparing them is primitive and simple, but slow and laborious, and consists, principally, in smoking, drying and rubbing them. When dressed, they are soft, pliant and durable. By the juice of some vegetable, supposed to be sanguinaria Canadensis, fixed by a process, known only to themselves, they paint lines, figures and devices on the buffalo skins, of a beautiful red color, that retains a durable brilliance, unchanged by the sun and air. Among these animals, as among domestic ones, there are the differences of size, age, beauty and


deformity, lean and fat. The males are eatable, only for a part of the year, and the cows are most sought for hunting, as an article of food. No wild animal has a more noble appearance, than a full grown male buffalo. It has been said, that they are of the same species with domestic cattle. From the habits, as well as the appearance of the animal, we should think not. The color is generally of a brownish gray, and much of the wool, or hair, has the fineness of fur, and by the English is wrought into articles of a beautiful fabric, which is becoming an important article of manufacture. They have burly heads, covered with shaggy wool; and this appearance of long and erect hair prevails to the termination of the hump beyond the fore shoulders. They have small and short horns, not more than four or five inches in length, and, compared with domestic cattle, small and fierce eyes; and, viewed all together, have rather a savage and outlandish appearance. But, in fact, they are the same mild animals with the domestic cattle; are easily tamed and domesticated; and the animals, that spring from the mixture of the breeds, are said to unite the desirable properties of both. Their beef is generally preferred to that of the domestic ox. The range of this animal used to extend over all the valley. The eyes of the patriarchal ‘residenters,’ who first fixed themselves in the unbroken wilderness, as they relate, how they used to see countless numbers of these animals scouring through the thickets, brighten in the relation, and view the present order of things with the regrets of hunters. The whites, wherever they have fixed themselves, have waged upon them a gratuitous war of extermination; and these innocent, useful and noble animals instinctively fly their footsteps. They remain in the vicinity of the savages, who destroy no more of them, than subsistence or profit requires. The white hunters have destroyed them for their


tongues only. They still range from Red river of the north to the populous regions of Mexico; — but let the smallest settlement of whites be fixed in their vicinity, and the animals soon draw a line of an hundred leagues of demarcation between them and their enemies.

On the northern waters of the Mississippi, and between that river and the lakes, the muskrat and otter are taken in great numbers for their furs. The flesh of the muskrat is prized in these regions, by the Indians, as a delicacy. We have been present at these highly flavored repasts, when the peculiar smell of the animal perfumed the cabin.

At the sources of the Mississippi, Missouri, Yellowstone, Platte, White, Arkansas and Red rivers, and on all their tributaries, that have courses in the Rocky mountains, the great object of pursuit, both by the hunters and trappers, white and savage, is the beaver. It is the chief mean of gain to the savages; their dependence for their supply from the whites of arms, ammunition, blankets, strouding, traps, whiskey, and all objects of necessity and desire. To these lonely and sequestered regions repair hundreds of white hunters, who hunt for subsistence, and trap for gain. They make their way in companies of armed partnerships, fitted out, as a kind of guerillas. Sometimes a pair of sworn friends hunt together. There are not a few, who repair alone to these solitary streams and mountains. Outlawry, avarice, necessity, and appetite for lawless and unrestrained and unwitnessed roving, constant exposure and danger, the absolute need of relying alone upon their own personal strength and resources, create a very singular compound of astonishing quickness of perception and a reckless confidence in their own prowess. We have seen more than one hunter of this cast incurably attached to a solitude of labor and danger, compared with which Robinson Crusoe's sojourn on his island was but a mere pastoral experiment.


They furnish an impressive proof that there is no mode of life intrinsically so repulsive and painful, but man may become reconciled to it by habit. A lonely hunter, cast upon the elements, with nothing but prairies and mountains in view, without bread or salt, and every hour in jeopardy from beasts and savages, amidst scenery and dangers, that would naturally tend to raise the heart to God, trusting to no divinity, but his knife and his gun, building all his plans for the future on his traps, regarding the footstep of man imprinted in the sand an object of calculating apprehension, and almost equally dreading the face of the white man and the savage, in situations thus lonely and exposed, braves the heat of summer and the ices of winter, the grizzly bear, and robbers of his own race, and the savages, for years. When he has collected a sufficient number of packs of beaver, he fells a hollow tree, slides it into some full mountain stream, and paddles down the thousand leagues of the Missouri, and is seen bustling about the streets of St. Louis, to make bargains for his furs. There are very simple and obvious marks, by which to class these packs, according to their quality and value. The more northern the range of the animal, the more valuable is the fur; and in the same parallel, those that live in mountain streams are more valuable, than those that live on plains. The habits of this valuable and social animal are well known, and are the same in this region, as elsewhere. The packs are rated by the pound, and pass in many places, as a substitute for money. They are, in fact, the circulating medium of Canadian and Missouri hunters, coureurs du bois, and many tribes of savages. St. Louis is the centre of the far trade in this valley.

Gray, grizzly, or white bear, ursus arcticus. His range is on the upper courses of the Missouri, and its tributaries, and along the bases of the Rocky mountains. The


brown bear, except under particular circumstances, does not face man. But this terrible animal, so far from fearing, or flying, pursues him, having less fear of him, than any other beast of prey. Indian warriors, in their vaunting war songs, when they perform what is called ‘striking the post’ or rating the bravery of their exploits, recount the having slain one of these animals, as no mean exploit, and, in fact, as not inferior to having slain a human enemy. It is one of the largest and strongest animals of prey, being out of comparison larger, than the brown bear. Lewis and Clark give the dimensions of one, slain by their party towards the sources of the Missouri. It measured round the head three feet five inches; round the neck three feet eleven inches; length eight feet seven inches and an half; round the fore leg one foot eleven inches; length of talons four inches and an half! The weight is sometimes nearly thirteen hundred pounds. Life the lion and the tiger on the African deserts, he reigns, the ferocious tyrant of these solitudes. The Crow Indians and the Gros ventres, who live in the range of this animal, have lost many of their bravest warriors by him. The white hunters are shy of attacking him, except in companies; and many have been destroyed by him. The skin of those in the more northern regions is very valuable. It is rated in value from thirty to fifty dollars. Fortunately he is not very swift; and as he usually ranges in the timbered regions, and, unlike the brown bear, does not climb, hunters fly him by mounting a tree.

Panther, by the French called tigre, is a ferocious animal the cat family. They range the forests, over all this valley. They are of the size of the largest dogs, of a darkish gray color, marked with black spots. They are in shape much like the domestic cat, with short legs, large paws, and long talons. Their head, too, resembles that of


a cat, with whiskers not quite so long in proportion. They purr in the same way when they are in good humor, and seem to have all the habits of the cat. We have often heard their wild, nocturnal cry at the commencement of twilight in the forests. They are dangerous when wounded, and, under particular circumstances, have been known to attack a man. They conceal themselves among the branches of trees, and thence dart upon their prey. They seldom fail to attack a child, should they meet him alone. In the country west of the lower Mississippi, there is sometimes seen an animal of this kind, but much larger, than the panther. We saw a skin of this animal, killed, we believe, not far from Natchez, and it was of the size of a leopard's skin, and of a color, intermediate between the spots of the leopard and the stripes of the African tiger. — There has, probably, been exaggeration, as to the size and numbers of these animals, in the accounts, that have been published of them. But there can be no doubt, that an animal of the panther species, of great size and fierceness, ranges these forests, probably, an occasional visitor from the Mexican regions.

Wolf. There are two species, that are common — the gray, large, forest wolf, and the prairie wolf. We should judge the former to be larger, than the Atlantic wolf. We encountered an uncommonly large one, in the forests between Natchitoches and the Sabine. A very large dog could not be brought to advance towards him, and he sat, and eyed us, at a few rods distance.

The prairie wolf is of a lighter gray, and not more than half the size of the former. They have sharper noses, and a form more resembling that of the fox. They are bold fierce, cunning and mischievous animals, and, in their bark and howl, not easily distinguishable from the domestic dog. They sometimes travel in packs on the prairies


We have often heard their shrill and sharp bark by night, from a cabin on the prairies. It was evidently a note of defiance to the dogs of the house. The latter retreat towards the cabin, evidencing fear, and diminishing their bark to a whine, and finally pawing at the door for admission within. They are a most annoying scourge to the farmer, and, in fact, the greatest impediment to the raising of sheep on the prairies.

All the American varieties of foxes, porcupines and rabbits are common; the latter so much so, as to be exceedingly annoying to gardens and young nurseries. They breed in vast numbers in the patches of hazles and vines, that skirt the prairies and barrens.

Raccoons are very troublesome to corn fields, and it is a sport, preparatory to more serious hunting, for boys to sally out, and take them by night.

Woodchucks and opossums abound, and are generally so fat, as not to be able to reach their burrows, if overtaken at a little distance from them. These animals are called by the French, ‘cochons du bois.’ They scald off the hair, and dress them, as roasting pigs, and consider them a great delicacy. The singular formation of the opossum is too well known, to need description; but they have one habit, that we have not seen described. They seem to be lazy, reckless and stupid animals; and prove, that the profoundest dissimulation may consist with the greatest apparent stupidity. It is familiar to every one, who has often seen this animal, that when you come upon it, at any distance from its shelter, which is a hollow tree or log, instead of retreating for that shelter, it turns on its side, throws out its legs, and settles its body, its eyes, and its features into the supineness of death. Observers have remarked, that the imitation is perfect in every part of the body, but the tail, and that this retains a living and elastic


coil, that only appertains to life. Even the instinctive shrewdness of the dog is at fault; for he applies his nose to the animal, and turns it over, and passes it by, as a dead animal. This astonishing trait of the instinct, or reasoning of this sluggish animal, is transferred by a figure to men. In the common parlance of the country, any one, who counterfeits sickness, or dissembles strongly for a particular purpose, is said to be ‘oppossuming!’

Squirrels. Gray, black, chesnut, and all the smaller varieties of this animal abound. There is no part of the valley where they do not prey upon corn fields, adjacent to woods, in such a manner, as that in autumn, farmers will not consider it an object to furnish a boy with gun, powder and lead, on condition, that he will shoot only about their corn fields. It is a cheering spectacle in autumn, to walk in the beech and hickory bottoms, where you may often see, at one view, half a dozen of these active and proud little animals, flourishing their erect and spread tails, barking defiance at you, or each other, and skipping, as if by the aid of wings, from branch to branch. It is a fact, to which we can bear occular testimony, that they cross rivers; at some times swimming; at other times on a chip, or piece of bark, raising and spreading their tails, by way of sail. It often happens to these, as to other inexperienced navigators, that they spread too much canvass, and are overset, and drowned. It isolated, as having happened in the year 1811, that they emigrated from the north towards the south by thousands, and with a front of some regularity, along the lower part of the state of Ohio, and the whole front of Indiana. Thousands were drowned, in attempting to cross the Ohio.

The skunk is common, and is oftener met, than east of the mountains; but in other respects is the same bold animal,


and possessing the same reliance upon his peculiar kind of defence.

Gopher, a species of mole, more than twice the size of the common field mole. It burrows in the prairies; and there are immense tracts, covered with the little hillocks, made by the earth, which they have dug from their burrows. They have an exquisitely soft, fine fur, of cerulean color; and they have on each side of their jaws a pouch, or skinny bag, of considerable size, which is usually seen distended with the dirt, which they are transporting from their holes. They prey on the bulbous roots of flowers, on potatoes, and other vegetables, and are particularly destructive to young orchards, killing the trees by gnawing off a complete circle of bark round the body, near the roots. The mounds, which they raise, are serious impediments in the way of driving carts and carriages over the theatre of their operations.

An animal confounded with this, but not the same, inhabits the shores along the gulf of Mexico, and is called the salamander. It is of the size, and in some respects, the appearance of the common rat. It is said never to be seen abroad by day. It is a fierce and fighting little animal, when overtaken in its burrows, and the wounds inflicted with its teeth are severe.

Elk. Large flocks of these animals are found in the northern limits of the range of the buffalo. To our view, an elk is no more, than a very large deer, something exceeding the height of a common horse. Their flesh has the same flavor, as common venison. Their habits are similar to those of the deer. In the country where they range hunting them is an object with the Indians, only secondary to that of hunting the buffalo. We have never seen the moose in this country; but it is found in the northern and northwestern regions.


Antelope, a kind of mountain deer, seen bounding on the summits of the highest and most precipitous hills at the sources of the Missouri. They are described, as being very fleet and beautiful animals, and their flesh is preferred to that of the common deer. Timid as they are, their excessive curiosity lures them to their destruction. — They gaze upon man, until, as if charmed, they seem arrested to the spot, and in this way they are sometimes killed.

Mountain sheep, an animal, that, like the former, inhabits mountains, choosing for its range the most remote and inaccessible at the sources of the Missouri. They have horns of prodigious size; and are rather larger, than the deer. They are covered with a wool, like fur, in some parts white, and in others brownish. Their range is so solitary, and difficult of access, that they are not often killed.

Prairie dog, arctomys Ludoviciana. This animal has received its absurd name from the supposed similarity of its peculiar cry, or note, to the barking of a dog. In other respects there is little resemblance to that animal. It is of reddish brown color, interspersed with some gray and black. The color of the underside of the body is not unlike that of the skunk. It has rather a wide and large head, short ears, black whiskers, and a sharp and compressed nose. It something exceeds twice the size of a common gray squirrel. One of them measured from from the tip of the nose to the extremity of the tail nineteen inches. Like the beaver, they are social and gregarious, living on the dry prairies in large communities, some of which occupy a circuit of miles. They live in burrows; and at the entrance, there is a mound, formed by the earth, which they bring up in the excavation. In whatever direction they move, they have well beaten highways, from which


very impediment is carefully removed. There are several occupants, probably all of the same family, of one burrow. In mild weather they are seen sporting about the mouths of their habitations, and seem to have much of the sprightliness, activity, and spirit of defiance, of the squirrel. At the apprehended approach of danger, they raise that peculiar bark, from which they have derived their name. On the nearer approach of danger, they relinquish their vaporing, and retreat to their dens. They are said seldom to require drink, and to remain torpid in their burrows through the winter. When overtaken, away from its home, this little animal shows all the impotent fierceness of a small cur. But when taken, it easily domesticates, and becomes gentle and affectionate.


This valley, embracing all the varieties of the climate of the country east of the mountains, might be supposed to have the same birds, and those birds the same habits. The former is true, and the latter is not. — We have noted no birds in the Atlantic country, that we have not seen here. We have many, that are not seen there; and those, that are common to both regions, have not the same habits here, as there. We have no doubt, that cultivation and the habitancy of civilized man affect the habits, and even the residence of birds. There are many in the more populous and cultivated regions beyond the mountains, that seem to belong to orchards and gardens, and that appear to exult and be at home only in the midst of fruit arbors, and groves reared by art and luxury. It is remarked in the more populous and cultivated districts of the West, that in proportion, as the wilderness disappears, and is replaced by apple, pear, peach and plumb


trees, and fruit gardens, the birds, which cheered the infancy of the immigrants, and whose notes are associated in recollection with the charms of youthful existence, and the tender remembrances of the natal spot, and a distant and forsaken country, are found among the recent orchards. Every immigrant, especially, who was reared in New England, remembers the magpie, the bird of half formed leaves, of planting, and the freshness of spring — He remembers to have heard them chattering in the woods, almost to tiresomeness. They are occasionally seen in the middle and northern regions of this valley. They are seldom heard to sing, and are only known by the lover of nature, who hears in the air, as they pass over his head, the single note, which they utter at the East, when they are leaving that country. Some years since, in Missouri, we saw a number of the males gathered on a spray, in the midst of a low prairie, of a sunny morning, after a white frost. They were chattering away in their accustomed style. But they did but half carry out the song, that we used to hear in the meadows of New England, leaving a painful break in the middle, and reminding us of the beautiful passage in the psalms, touching the exiles on the streams of Babylon.

Robin, turdus migratorius. The robin-redbreast in the northern Atlantic country is, more than any other, the bird of orchards and gardens, and is there almost identified with the domestic affections of man. This delightful bird, in many places protected from the gun by public feeling, sings there such an unpretending, and yet sweet song that the inhabitants need not regret wanting the nightingale. In the West, this bird makes annual visits; and is seen in the autumn, the winter and spring, but never, at least in the southern parts of the valley, in the summer. Thousands of them winter in Louisiana, and perch by night in the


thick cane brakes, and are killed by hundreds with a stick. In the middle regions, they visit the country in the autumn, to feed on the berries of the spice wood, laurus benzoin. But in no part of the valley, where we have seen them, have we ever heard them once sing those notes of their song in New England, which we can never forget.

The thrasher, turdus rufus, the perwink, turdus furcus and the bluebird, are in numbers, habits and song, as at the north, except that the bluebird is seen on every pleasant day through the winter.

The splendid plumage, the bold habits, and the shrill scream of the blue jay, are alike familiar to the woods of Canada and the Sabine.

Mocking-bird, turdus Orpheus, vel polyglottus is seen in the middle and southern Atlantic states; but is far more frequent in this valley. Its gay, voluble and jerky note, imitating that of all other birds, and heard at all seasons of the year, renders it a delightful tenant of the southern woods. It breeds in thorn bushes, and among arbors of briar vines; and delights to sit on the tops of chimneys, darting perpendicularly, as if in a frolic, high into the air above, and descending by the same movement, singing in its gayest manner, all the while. It is a bird of sober plumage, and from its delicate structure, rather difficult to rear in a cage.

Redbird, cardinalis Virginiana. The range, frequency and habits of this most beautiful bird are the same with the former. Its note has but little range. We have not heard it sing on a stave of more than five notes; but its whistle is clear, mellow and delightful. It appears not to regard orchards, or human habitancy, but pours its song in the deep forests. The traveler is cheered, as he rides along the bottoms, especially in sunny mornings, after frosts in the winter, by hearing this song softening the harsh


screaming of the jay. The male, after moulting, is of a most brilliant purple, with a fine crest, and a bill of the appearance of ivory.

Nightingale sparrow, fringilla melodia, very diminutive sparrow, with plain plumage, but pours from its little throat a powerful song, like that of the nightingale. In the southern regions of the valley, like the mocking-bird, this bird sings, through the warm nights of summer, only during the darkness and the dawn of morning.

Goldfinch, turdus aurocapillus. We have doubted, if this were the same bird with that, so called, in the Atlantic country. It is not so brilliant in plumage, and has not exactly the same whistle; but is here a gay and cheering bird in appearance and note. It builds the same hanging nest, with the bird, so called, at the north.

Parroquet, psittacus Caroliniensis. This is a bird of the parrot class, seen from latitude 40° to the gulf of Mexico. Its food is the fruit of the sycamore, and its retreat in the hollow of that tree; and is a very voracious bird, preying on apples, grapes, figs, and all kinds of fruit. They fly in large flocks, and are seen in greatest numbers before a storm, or a great change in the weather. They have hooked, ivory bills, a splendid mixture of burnished gilding and green on their heads, and their bodies are a soft, and yet brilliant green. Their cry, as they are flying, is shrill and discordant. They are said to perch, by hanging by their bill to a branch. When they are taken, they make battle and their hooked bill pounces into the flesh of their enemy. They are very annoying to fruit orchards, and in this respect a great scourge to the farmer. We have seen no bird of the size, with plumage so brilliant; and they impart a singular magnificence to the forest prospect, as they are seen darting through the foliage, and among the white branches of the sycamore.


Owls. We have noted a great many varieties of this bird. Their hooting and screaming, in every variety of tone and sound, often imitating the cry of human distress and laughter, and sometimes the shrieks of a babe, are heard over all this valley in the deep forests and bottoms. We have heard forty at a time on the lower courses of the Mississippi.

Among the great varieties of the hawk and eagle class, the bald eagle is often seen soaring above the cliffs, or the deep forests.

Swans, geese, ducks of a great many kinds, herons, cormorants, pelicans and sand-hill cranes, are the common and well known migrating water fowls of this country. — The noise of their countless flocks, as they journey through the air in the spring, to the sources of the great rivers and lakes, and in autumn, to the gulf of Mexico, is one of the most familiar sounds to the ear of an inhabitant of the West, and is one of his strongest and pleasantest associations with spring and autumn. The noise of migrating geese and ducks, at those periods, is also familiar to the ear of an Atlantic inhabitant. That of the swans, pelicans and cranes is peculiar to this valley. The swan is well known for its stateliness and brilliant white. Its migrating phalanxes are in perfectly regular forms, as are those of the geese. They sometimes join forces, and fly intermixed with each other. Their noise, on the wing, is like the distant sound of a trumpet. They are killed on the rice lakes at the north, in the summer, and in the gulf and its neighboring waters in the winter. The younger ones are as fine for the table, as geese. The older ones are coarse, tough, and stringy. They are of use for their fine quills, feathers and down.

Sand-hill crane, grus Canadensis, is a fine, stately bird, as majestic in the water, as a swan, and considerably taller;


of a perfectly sleek, compact and oily plumage, of a fine grayish white color; and they are seen in countless numbers, and not being of sufficient use to be the pursuit of the gunner, they, probably, increase. We have seen in the prairie between the Missouri and Mississippi, at the point of junction, acres covered with them, in the spring and autumn. They scented, at a distance, like immense droves of sheep. They migrate in company with the pelicans; and to us it has always been an interesting spectacle, that during their migrations, they are seen for days together, sailing back and forward in the upper regions of the air, apparently taking the amusement of flying evolutions, and uttering at the same time a deep cry, which is heard distinctly, when the flocks are so high in the air, as not to be seen, or only seen when their white wings are discerned, as specks of snow, from their being in a particular position to the rays of the sun.

Pelican is a singular water fowl, with an ivory bill, extremely white plumage, larger in appearance, but not so heavy, as a full grown Canadian goose. They frequent the lakes and the sand bars of the rivers, during their migrations, in inconceivable numbers. Flocks of them, reaching a mile in length, passing over the villages, are no unusual spectacle. Below their beak, or bill, they have a pouch, or bag, which will contain, it is said, two quarts. In the autumn, when associated with the swans, geese, brants, ducks, cranes and loons, on the sand bars of the rivers, from their incessant vociferousness, they are very annoying companions to the inmates of boats, who lie to, and wish to find sleep.

This being a country of long rivers, of frequent lakes and bayous, and sluggish waters, and marshy inlets of the sea, on the gulf of Mexico, it would be expected, as is the fact, that it would be the nursing mother and home of vast


numbers and varieties of water fowls. We believe, that no waters on the globe show greater numbers and varieties, than the gulf of Mexico. In the winter, when these fowls take shelter in the bayous, swamps and prairies of Louisiana they are killed in great numbers by the people, especially by the French and Indians. Water fowls are abundant and cheap in all the markets. Their feathers and quills are an object of some importance in commerce. In the migrations of the water fowls, the inhabitants of the middle regions of the valley have biennial harvests of them. The hunters and savages of the upper regions feed, and prey upon them, during the summer.

Pigeons sometimes are seen in great flocks, as at the north. Their social and gregarious habits incline them to roost together, and their places of resort are called ‘pigeon roosts.’ In these places they settle on all the trees for a considerable distance round, in such numbers, as to break off the branches. In these places they are killed, beyond the wants of the people.

Turkey, meleagris gallipavo. The wild turkey is a fine, large bird, of brilliant, blackish plumage. It breeds with the domestic one; and when the latter is reared near the range of the former, it is sure to be enticed into the woods by them. In some places they are so numerous, as to be easily killed, beyond the wants of the people. We have seen more than an hundred driven from one corn field. The Indians, and the western sportsmen, learn a way to hunt them, by imitating the cry of their young.

Partridge, tetrao perdix, the same bird, which is called quail in New England. They breed in great numbers in the settled regions, and, much as they are hunted, increase with the population. They are brought in great numbers to the markets; and are not infrequently taken, as they are crossing the rivers, on the steam boats. One of the


standing amusements of the country is to take them by driving them into a net. Pheasant is the same bird, which is called partridge in New England. It is not so common in this country, as in that. It is something more brilliant in its plumage. — Though not often seen, it is frequently heard drumming on the logs in the deep forests.

Prairie hen, tetrao pratensis, is seen in great flocks in the prairies of Missouri and Illinois, in the autumn. It is rather larger, than the domestic hen. In flight, it appears like the pheasant and partridge, and is a beautiful bird. It lights on barns, and hovers about corn fields. When the corn is not gathered, until in the winter, as often happens in the West, flocks of these birds are apt to prey upon it. It is easily tamed and domesticated. The flesh has the flavor and color of the wild pigeon.

Hunters assert, that there is another bird of the pheasant class, at the sources of the Missouri, of the size of a turkey.

Humming-bird, trochilus. We have them of two colors — olive and green. It is more common in the middle, than the southern regions, and we believe, is no where so common, as in some parts of the Atlantic country.


Animals of the serpent, turtle and frog class do not materially differ from those, of the same parallels in the Atlantic country.

All the varieties of the rattle snake, crotalus horridus, are seen, in some places in pernicious abundance. The yellow rattle snake is the largest of the species. They are sometimes seen, as large as a man's leg, and from six to nine feet in length. A species of small rattle snake is sometimes seen in great numbers on the prairies. They


are said, in the regions far to the west, to consort with prairie dogs, and to inhabit the same burrows. There is a very troublesome species, called snappers, or ground rattle snakes. They travel in the night, and frequent roads and house paths.

The copper head is a terrible serpent, deemed to inflict a more dangerous bite, than the rattle snake. They inhabit the same region, but are not so common, as the former, They are of a dirty brown color; and when they have recently shed their skin, some parts of their body resemble burnished copper, whence they derive their name. They are of a smaller size, than the rattle snake.

Moccasin snake. There are three or four varieties of this serpent, inhabiting the southern country. The upland moccasin has many aspects in common with the rattle snake, but is a serpent still more repulsive in appearance. We have seen them of great size; and their fang teeth are the largest and longest, that we have seen. They are most often seen basking among the bastard cane. The water moccasins, as their name imports, are water snakes. The largest variety resembles the water snake of the Atlantic country. It has a very large, flat head, and is thence called by the French, ‘tete plat.’ It opens its upper jaw at right angles to the under one. It is a lazy, reckless animal, neither flying, nor pursuing man. It is a serpent of the largest size; has a ground colored, scaly back; and in point of venom, is classed with the rattle snake. There is another species of the moccasin, rarely seen out of the water, of a brilliant copper color, with annular, gray stripes, marking off compartments at equal distances. Brown viper, or hissing snake. It is of a dirty brown color, from six to eight inches long; with a body large in proportion, and terminating abruptly in a sharp tail. When angry, their backs change color, and their heads flatten,


and dilate to twice the common extent, and their hiss is like that of a goose. They are extremely ugly animals; and, though very diminutive, are supposed to be of the most venomous class. We confined one by a stick across its back, and it instantly bit itself in two or three places. We gave it liberty, and observed its movements. It soon became very much swollen, and died.

Horn snake. Judge Bullit, of Arkansas, informed us, that he killed one of these serpents in his smoke house. He described the serpent, as of moderate size, blackish color, and with a thorn in the tail, resembling that of a dunghill cock. From its movements, he judged it to be its weapon of defence. We have heard others, who have killed or seen this serpent, describe it. We have heard many of the common reports of its deadly venom, but never have known a single attested proof; and we consider them all, as entirely fabulous.

We have neither the information, nor space, to enable us to be minute in our catalogue and description of these loathsome and dreaded reptiles. We have seen six or eight species, that we never saw in the Atlantic country; and we consider this region more infested with serpents, than that. Perhaps we might except from this remark the southern Atlantic country. Wherever the population becomes dense, the swine prey upon them, and they quickly disappear. Their most permanent and dangerous resorts are near the bases of rocky and precipitous hills, about ledges and flint knobs, and, in the lower and southern country, along the bayous, and near those vast swamps, that can not be inhabited for ages. People are often bitten by these terrible animals. The pain is excruciating; and the person, that is badly bitten, swells, and soon becomes blind. The more venomous of the serpents themselves become blind, during the latter part of summer. They are then,


of course, less apt to strike their aim; but their bite, at this period, is most dangerous. The people suppose this blindness occasioned by the absorption of their own poison into their system.

Whether it be, that the numerous remedies, that are prescribed here, are really efficacious, or whether, as to us appears more probable, the bite of these venomous reptiles is not fatal, unless the poison is conveyed into some leading vein, from whatever cause it be, it so happens, that few fatalities occur from this cause. We have seen great numbers, that have been bitten by rattle snakes, or copper heads, or moccasins; and we have never seen a fatal case. We read, indeed, of a most tragical occurrence, more horrible in the relation, than the ancient fiction of Laocoon. An immigrant family inadvertently fixed their cabin on the shelving declivity of a ledge, that proved a den of rattle snakes. Warmed by the first fire on the hearth of the cabin, the terrible reptiles issued in numbers, and of course in rage, by night into the room, where the whole family slept. As happens in those cases, some slept on the floor, and some in beds. The reptiles spread in every part of the room, and mounted on every bed. Children were stung in the arms of their parents, and in each other's arms. Imagination dares not dwell on the horrors of such a scene. Most of the family were bitten to death; and those, who escaped, finding the whole cabin occupied by these horrid tenants, hissing, and shaking their rattles, fled from the house by beating off the covering of the roof, and escaping in that direction.

It would be impossible to enumerate all the remedies, that are prescribed here, for the bite of these reptiles. It is the received maxim, that the application of volatile alkali, internally, and to the wound, neutralizes the poison, and is a certain cure.


Of harmless serpents, this country has the usual varieties, — as the green, garter, chicken and coach-whip snakes.

We have often seen the glass snake, with a body of the most lustrous brilliance. A stroke across the back separates the body into a number of pieces. Each of these pieces preserves for some time the power of loco-motion and continues to move. The people believe, that these pieces soon meet, and unite, and become as before the separation.

Bull, or prairie snake, is one of great size, and horrid appearance. They are common on the prairies, live in holes in the ground, and run at the passing traveler with a loud hiss; but if he stands, they instantly retreat to their holes. We believe them to be perfectly harmless; though such is their size, boldness and formidable appearance, that it is long, before the resident in these regions gets over his horror of them.

Lizzards, lacertae. Ugly animals of this kind are seen, in greater or less numbers, in all the climates. They are seen under rotten logs, and are dug from the rich and muddy alluvions. These last are lazy and loathsome animals, and are called ‘ground puppies.’ We never saw any disposition in them to bite. Common, small lizards are frequent in the southern districts, running along the logs, and making just such a sound, as the rattle snake, when he gives his warning.

There are varieties of small chameleons. They are apparently harmless animals; though when we have caught them, they showed every disposition to bite. They will change in half an hour to all the colors of the prism. Green seems to be their favorite color, and when on a green tree, that is their general hue. While in this color, the under part of their neck becomes of a beautiful scarlet. Their throat swells, and they emit a sharp note, like that of one


of the larger kinds of grasshoppers, when singing. We have placed them on a handkerchief, and they have gradually assumed all its colors. Placed on a black surface, they become brown; but they evidently suffer, while under this color, as is manifested by uneasy movements, and by strong and quick palpitations, visible to the eye. They are very active and nimble animals, three or four inches in length.

Scorpions are lizards of a larger class, and flatter heads. They are animals of an ugly appearance, and are deemed very poisonous. We could not learn, however, that any person had been known to be bitten by them. When attacked, they show, indeed, the anger and the habits of serpents, vibrating a fiery and forked tongue, and biting with great fury at the stick, which arrests them.

What is here called tarantula, is a huge kind of spider, estimated to inflict a dangerous bite.

The copper colored centipede is of a cylindrical form, and oftentimes of the size and length of a man's finger. A family is said to have been poisoned, by taking tea, in which one of them had been inadvertently boiled.

Alligator is the most terrible animal of this class. This large and powerful lizard is first seen in numbers, in passing to the south, on the Arkansas, — that is to say, a little north of 33°; and this is its general northern limit across the valley. Vast numbers are seen in the slow streams and shallow lakes of Florida and Alabama; but they abound most on Red river, the Mississippi lakes, and the bayous west of that river. We have numbered forty at one time on a muddy bar of Red river. On these sleeping waters, the cry of a sucking pig on the banks will draw a shoal of them from their muddy retreats at the bottom.

The largest alligator, that we ever saw killed in these regions, measured something more, than sixteen feet from its


snout to the extremity of its tail. They have at times, especially before stormy weather, a singular roar, or bellow, not exactly, as Bartram has described it, like distant thunder, — but more like the half suppressed roaring of a bull. When moving about on their customary vocations in the water, they seem like old logs in motion. In fine weather, they doze in listlessness on the sandbars. Such is their recklessness, that they allow the people on the passing steam boats to come within a few paces of them. The ascent of a steam boat on an alligator stream, at the proper season for them, is a continual discharge of rifles at them A rifle ball will glance from their bodies, unless they are hit in a particular direction and place. We witnessed the shots of a man, who killed them nine fires in ten. They are not, like tortoises, and other amphibious animals, tenacious of life, but bleed profusely, and immediately expire, when mortally wounded. They strike with their tails coiled into the section of a circle; and this blow has great power. The animal stricken, is by the same blow propelled towards their mouth, to be devoured. Their strength of jaws is prodigious, and they are exceedingly voracious. They have large, ivory teeth, which contain a cavity, sufficiently large to hold a musket charge of powder, for which purpose they are commonly used by sportsmen. The animal, when slain, emits an intolerable smell of musk; and it is asserted, that its head contains a quantity of that drug. They will sometimes chase children and would overtake them, were it not for their inability to make lateral movements. Having few joints in their body and very short legs, they can not readily turn from a straight forward direction. Consequently, they, who understand their movements, avoid them without difficulty, by turning off at right angles, and leaving the animal to move forward under its impulse in that direction. Indeed, they are by


no means so dangerous, as they are commonly reputed to be. It is said, they will attack a negro in the water, in preference to a white. But they are chiefly formidable to pigs, calves, and domestic animals of that size. They are rather objects of terror from their size, strength, and ugly appearance, and from their large teeth and strong jaws, than from the actual injuries, which they have been known to inflict. The female deposits a great number of eggs, like a tortoise, in a hole on the sandbars, and leaves them to be hatched by the ardors of the sun upon the sand. When they are hatched, the turkey buzzards and the parents are said alike to prey upon them. Instinct prompts them for self preservation to plunge in the water. The skin of the alligator is valuable for the tanner.

Tortoises. There are the usual varieties of the Atlantic country. The soft shelled mud-tortoise of the lakes about New Orleans, and west of the Mississippi, is said to be not much inferior to the West India sea turtle for the table. Epicures, who are dainty in their food, consider their flesh a great delicacy.

The lower part of this valley is a land of lakes, marshes and swamps; and is, of course, prolific in toads, frogs, and animals of that class.

The bull frog, rana boans, vel pipiens. The deep notes of this animal are heard in great perfection in the swamps back of New Orleans.

Murena siren is a very singular animal, as far as we know, undescribed by naturalists. It somewhat resembles the lamprey, and is nearly two feet in length. It seems intermediate between the fish and the lizard class. It has two short legs, placed near the head. It is amphibious, and penetrates the mud with the facility of crawfish.

Crawfish. There are vast numbers of these small, fresh water lobsters every where in the shallow waters and low


grounds of this country. By penetrating the levee of the Mississippi, they have more than once made those little perforations, that have imperceptibly enlarged to crevasses, by which the inundation of the river has been let in upon the country.

In the pine barrens of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, is found an animal, apparently of the tortoise class, commonly called the gouffre. It has a large and thick shell, and burrows to a great depth in the ground. It is of prodigious power and strength, and resembles in many respects the loggerhead turtle.


The ichthyology of the gulf of Mexico and its waters of the Mississippi, and the waters west of it, and of the northern lakes and their waters, has not been scientifically explored. We are able only to give that of the Ohio and its waters, as explored and described by Mr. Rafinesque We remark, however, that the fishes of all the western waters are very similar, and that the classes of this table include most of the fishes, that are found in the waters of the Mississippi valley.

THORACIC FISHES. Salmon perch, perca salmonea. A fine, spotted fish, from one to three feet long; flesh white, tender and well flavored. Vulgar name, Ohio salmon.

Golden eyed perch, perca chrysops. Rock bass. An excellent table fish, not often taken.

Black dotted perch, perca nigro punctata. Black bass. Found on the lower waters of the Ohio.

Bubbler, amblodon. Buffalo perch. Found in all the waters of the Ohio. Its name is derived from the singular grunting noise, which it makes, — a noise, which is familiar to every one, who has been much on the Ohio. It is a fine fish for the table, weighing from ten to thirty pounds.


Dotted painted tail, calliurus puctatus. Bride perch, or painted tail. A small fish, from four to twelve inches long; not very common in Ohio. More common in the small tributaries.

Gilded sun fish, ichthelis macrochira. A beautiful fish, three or four inches long. Common in the Ohio and its waters.

Blue sun fish, ichthelis cyanella. Hardly so large, as the former.

Red eye sun fish, ichthelis erythrops. Red eyes. — Length three to eight inches.

Eared sun fish, ichthelis aurita. Sun fish. Length from three to twelve inches.

Big eared sun fish, ichthelis megalotis. A fine small fish. Length from three to eight inches. Common in the waters of Kentucky. Vulgar name, red belly.

River bass, lepomis. Common in the Ohio and its waters, and easily taken with the hook.

Pale bass, lepomis pallida. Yellow bass. From four to ten inches.

Streaked cheeks, lepomis trifasciata. Yellow perch. One of the best kinds of table fish. Length from one to two feet. Common in the Ohio and its waters.

Brown bass, lepomis flexuolaris. Black perch. Length from one to two feet. Like the former, a fine fish.

Trout bass, lepomis salmonea. Brown trout. Length from six to twenty-four inches. Delicate and white flesh.

Spotted river bass, lepomis notata. Same vulgar name with the former, and commonly considered the same fish.

Differs from it in many respects.

Sun fish river bass, lepomis ictheloides. White bass. — Length from four to eight inches.

Gold rings promoxis, promoxis annularis. Silver perch. Length from three to six inches.


Red eye, aglocentrus. Green bass. A very beautiful fish, from three to twelve inches long.

White eyed barbot, pogostoma leucops. Bearded sun fish. A very beautiful fish, twelve inches long, and some. times weighs a pound.

Hog fish, etheostoma. Hog bass. Length from three to nine inches.

Bass hog fish, etheostoma calliura. Minny bass.

Fox tail hog fish, etheostoina flabellata. Fox tail.

Black hog fish, etheostoma nigra. Black minny. A very small fish.

Blunt nose hog fish, etheostoma blennoides. A very singular looking, small fish.

Common hog fish, etheostoma caprodes. Length from two to six inches.

ABDOMINAL FISHES. Ohio gold fish, pomolotrus chrysocolor. Ohio shad. Length from twelve to eighteen inches. Is seen in the spring from Cincinnati to the falls of the Ohio.

Spotted gizzard, dorostoma notala. Hickory shad. — Length nine to ten inches.

Ohio gold herring, notemigonus auratus. Gold herring. Length from four to eight inches. Flesh tolerably good.

False herring, hyodon. Herring. Five species. Not at all like the herring of the Atlantic waters. Tolerable fish for the table.

Salmo, trout. This species is found only on the upper waters of the Missouri and the Ohio. The white fish of the lakes has been sometimes classed in this class, and has been said to be found on the head waters of the Wabash and the Miami.

Alleghany trout, salmo Alleghaniensis. Found on the mountain brooks of the Alleghany and Monongahela. —


Length eight inches. Fine for the table. Take the bait, like all this species, with a spring.

Black trout, salmo nigrescens. Rare species. Found on the waters of Laurel hill. Length six inches.

Minny, minnulus. Bait fish. Of these diminutive fish, there are a vast number in the different waters of the Mississippi. Sixteen species have been noted on the Ohio. The larger kinds of them bear the name of shiner.

Gold head shiner, luxilus chrysocephalus. Gold chub. Length six inches.

Kentucky shiner, luxilus Kentuckiensis. Red tail. — Fine bait fish.

Yellow shiner, luxilus interruptus. Yellow chub. — Three inches in length.

Big back chub, semotilus dorsalis. Big back minny. Length three to six inches.

Big head chub, semotilus cephalus. Big mouth. Length from six to eight inches.

Silver side fall fish, rutilus plargyrus. Silver side. —Length from four to six inches.

Baiting fall fish, rutilus compressus. Length from two to four inches.

Anomal fall fish, rutilus anomalus. Length three inches.

Red minny, rutilus ruber. A beautiful, small, red fish, two inches in length.

Black headed flat head. Length three inches.

Ohio carp sucker. Length from one to three feet. Good for the table. Taken with the hook, seine or spear.

Buffalo carp sucker. Found on the lower waters of the Ohio. Vulgar name, buffalo perch. One foot in length. One of the best fish for the table.

Brown buffalo fish, catostomus bubalus. One of the best wishes in the western waters, and found in all of them.


Length from two to three feet, and weighing from ten to thirty pounds.

Black buffalo fish, catostomus niger. Found in the lower waters of the Ohio, and in the waters of the Mississippi. Sometimes weighs fifty pounds.

Olive carp sucker. A variety of the former. Not so good for the table. Commonly called carp.

Sailing sucker, catostomus velifer. Skim back. Length from twelve to fifteen inches. Indifferent for the table.

Mud sucker, catostomus xanthopus. Length from six to ten inches. Flesh very soft.

Black faced sucker, catostomus melanops. Black sucker. Length from four to six inches.

Black back sucker, catostomus melanotus. Blue sucker. Length eight inches.

Red tail sucker, catostomus erythrus. Red horse. — Length one foot.

Kentucky sucker, catostomus flexuosus. Common sucker. Ten to twelve inches long. Bites at the hook, and is fine for the table.

Big mouthed sucker, megastomus. Brown sucker, — Taken with the seine.

Pittsburg sucker, catostomus Duquesni. White sucker. Length fifteen to twenty inches. Found in the Ohio, near Pittsburg, Good for the table.

Long sucker, catostomus elongatus. Brown sucker. Length fifteen to twenty inches. Of the same quality, and found in the same waters with the former.

Black suckrel, cycleptus nigrescens. Rarely seen in the Ohio and Missouri. Fine for the table. Length two feet.

Cat fish, pimelodus. This is the most common fish in all the western waters. Twelve species have already been noted in the Ohio. The varieties are very numerous in the waters west of that river. They are without scales


and of all colors and sizes. Their mouths, when open, are circular. They are easily taken with a hook. They receive their English name from the noise, which they make, when at rest, — a noise very similar to the purring of a cat, and one of the most familiar to those, who are used to the western waters.

Spotted cat fish, silurus maculosus. White cat fish. — Length from one to three feet. Flesh good.

Blue cat fish, pimelodus cerulescens. They have been taken, weighing above one hundred and fifty pounds.

Silver cat fish, pimelodus argyrus.

Clammy cat fish, pimelodus viscosus.

Clouded cat fish, pimelodus nebulosus.

Yellow cat fish, pimelodus capreus.

Black cat fish, pimelodus melas.

Yellow headed cat fish, pimelodus xanthocephalus.

Mud cat fish, pimelodus limosus.

Mud cat, pilodictis. Mud fish. Buries itself in the mud. Sometimes weighs twenty pounds. Bites at the hook, and is good for the table.

Yellow back, noturus flava. Commonly confounded with the yellow cat fish; but is a different fish.

Ohio toter, hypertelium macropterum. Length two to three inches. Makes itself a cell by surrounding its place with pebbles; hence, from the Virginia word ‘tote,’ to carry, called a toter.

Ohio riband fish, sarchisus vittatus. Length from six to twelve indies. Gar fish.

Pike, esox. We have noted a great many species of pikes in the Ohio and Mississippi, and their waters. They are called pike, pickerel and jack fish; and perfectly resemble the fish of the same names in the Atlantic waters. The Indians of the Wabash and the Illinois call them


piccanau. They are of all sizes, from half a pound to twenty pounds.

Esox vittatus, jack fish. White pickerel. Length sometimes five feet.

Gar fish, lepiosteus. There are a great many varieties in the western country. The alligator gar is sometimes eight feet in length; and is strong, fierce, voracious, and formidable not only to the fish, which he devours by tribes, but even to men, who go into the water near him. Their scales will give fire with the steel. They are not used for the table; but whether this be owing to the difficulty of skinning them, or to the badness of the flesh, we know not.

Duck bill gar fish, lepiosteas platostomus. Length sometimes four feet. Taken with the hook, or the spear; and is good for the table.

White gar fish, lepiosteus albus. Length four to six feet Resembles the pike in shape.

Ohio gar fish, lepiosteus oxyeus. Length six feet — Rarely seen; and not good for the table.

Long bill gar fish, lepiosteus longirostris. Length forty inches.

Devil-jack-diamond fish, litholepis adamantinis. This is the monster of the Ohio. It is rarely seen as high, as the falls of the Ohio, and probably, lives in the Mississippi. Length from four to ten feet. One was caught, which weighed four hundred pounds. It is extremely voracious; and, like the alligator gar fish, or lepiosteus ferox, its scales will give fire with the steel.

APODIAL FISHES. Broad tail eel, anguilla laticaude. Length from two to four feet.

Black eel, anguilla aterrima. Same length as the former; and fine for the table.

Yellow bellied eel, anguilla xanthomelas. Length from two to three feet.


Yellow eel, anguilla lutea. Length two feet. This is the best of the species for the table.

ATELOSIAN FISHES. Sturgeon, accipenser. There are six species found in the Ohio.

Spotted sturgeon, accipenser maculosus. Length two feet.

Shovel fish sturgeon, accipenser plalorynchnus. Shovel fob Length two to three feet. Weight twenty pounds. Tolerable for the table.

Fall sturgeon, accipenser serotimus. Length five to six feet. Indifferent for the table.

Ohio sturgeon, accipenser Ohioensis. Length three to four feet.

Big mouth sturgeon, accipenser macrostoma. Length four feet. Good for the table. Very large mouth.

Flat nose double fin, dinectus truncatus. Length two feet. Skin thick and leathery.

Western spade fish, polyodon folium, is not eaten. — Length from one to three feet.

Toothless paddle fish, platinostra edentula. Length three to five feet, and sometimes weighs fifty pounds. Indifferent for the table. The spatula is cuneiform, eight to twelve inches long, and used for digging in the mud.

Gourd fish sturgeon, accipenser lagenarius. Gourd fish. Length two to three feet.

Mississippi saw fish, pristis Mississippiensis. Length three to six feet. Twenty-six long, sharp teeth on either side, in the form of a saw; and is commonly shown in museums.

Spotted horn fish, proceros macculatus. Length two to three feet. Horn one fourth the length of the body.

The fish of the western rivers are generally decried in parison with those of the Atlantic waters. The comparison has not been fairly instituted. The former are all,


except those hereafter described, as belonging to the market of New Orleans, fish of fresh waters; the latter chiefly of the sea. Fresh water fish, in general, will not vie with those of the sea. The comparison being between the fresh water fish of the one country and the other, the latter are as good, as the former. The shad and salmon of the Atlantic waters, it is true, are no where found here, though we have fish, that bear the same name. Those fine fish have their general habitancy in the sea. The trout of Louisiana and Florida is not the same with the fine fish of that name, that is taken in the cold mountain streams of the northern country of the Atlantic. It is a fish of the perch class, beautifully marked with golden stripes, and taking the bait with a spring, like the trout. It weighs from one to four pounds. It is a fine flavored, solid fish for the table. We have never witnessed angling, that could compare with that of this fish in the clear pine woods streams of the southern divisions of this country. With fresh bait, a barrel may be taken in a few hours.

Catfish of the Mississippi, silurus Mississippiensis, differs considerably from that of the Ohio. It is often taken weighing over an hundred pounds.

Buffalo of the Mississippi, bubalus Mississippiensis, is larger, and has a different appearance from that of the Ohio. They are taken in immense quantities in the meadows and lakes of the Mississippi, and greatly resemble the Atlantic shad.

Perch, perca maculata, is a fine fish, weighing from three to five pounds.

Bar fish, perca argentea, are taken with a hook. They go in shoals in the southern running waters. They weigh from one to three pounds, and are beautifully striped with brown and silver.


Drum, rock fish, sheep's head, &c. are large and fine fish taken in the lakes on the gulf of Mexico, that are partially mixed with salt water, and so saline, as not to be potable. They correspond in size to the cod and haddock of the Atlantic country; and are among the most common fish in the market at New Orleans.

Spade, or shovel fish, platirostra edentula, a mud fish of the middle regions of the valley, found in muddy lakes. They weigh from ten to fifty pounds, are without scales, and have in advance of their mouths, a smooth, bony substance, much resembling an apothecary's spatula, from six inches to a foot in length, and two or three inches in width. Its use, apparently, is to turn up the mud in order to find subsistence. They are extremely fat, and are taken for their oil. We have never remarked this fish in any museum, although to us the most strange and whimsical looking fish, we have seen.

The pike of these waters is precisely the same fish, as is taken with that name in the Atlantic streams. A fine fish of this species, called piccannau, is taken in the Illinois and the upper waters of the Wabash.

We have seen one instance of a horribly deformed animal, apparently intermediate between the class testudo, and fishes. We saw it in a water of the Washita, and had not a fair opportunity to examine it. It is called toad fish; has a shell, like a tortoise; but has the other aspects of a fish. It is said to be sufficiently strong, to bear a man on its back; and from the account of those, who have examined it, this animal must be a singular lusus naturae.

Alligator gar, a fish, shaped like a pike; but still longer, rounder and swifter. Its dart equals the flight of birds in rapidity. It has a long, round and pointed mouth, thick set with sharp teeth. Its body is covered with scales of such a texture, as to be impenetrable by a rifle bullet, and, when


dry, to make fire with steel. It is a fish of most outlandish appearance, weighing from fifty to two hundred pounds. It is a terrible and voracious animal, biting asunder whatever it can embrace in its long mouth; and is to us, who have seen it in waters, where we bathed, a far more formidable animal, than the alligator. It is, in fact, the shark of rivers.

The fish of the gulf shore are of a very peculiar character, — being taken in shallow lakes, principally composed of fresh water, but having outlets into the gulf, through which, when the wind blows strongly from the south, the sea water is forced to such a degree, as that they become salt. The fish possess an intermediate character, between those of fresh and salt water.

Some of the kinds and sizes of the cat fish are fine for the table. The fishes of the Mississippi and its tributaries, generally, are tough, coarse, large and unsavory. The trout, so called, and the bar fish, are fine. The piccannau, perch, and other fish of the Illinois, are represented, as excellent; and in that river, they are taken in great abundance. A line, here called a ‘trot line,’ drawn across the mouth of the Illinois, where it enters the Mississippi, with hooks appended at regular distances, took five hundred pounds in a night. We have taken in Big creek, a water of the Washita, seventy five trout in two hours with the hook. Except the trout, the small, yellow cat fish, the pike, the bar fish and the perch, we do not much admire the fish of the western waters.


Under this head we propose to describe the Mississippi only, reserving our description of the other western rivers, until we treat of the states and regions, in which they principally run. The Mississippi imparts a name and a character to the valley. It has been described


with a frequency and minuteness, to give any new attempt at delineating it an air of triteness and repetition. But the very idea of this noble stream is invested with an interest and grandeur, which will cause, that a faithful account of it can never become trite, or tedious. It is, in some respects, the noblest river in the world, — draining, as we have remarked, a larger valley, and irrigating a more fertile region, and having, probably, a longer course, than any other stream. Contrary to the general analogy of very large rivers, it bends from north to south, and traverses no inconsiderable section of the globe. It commences in many branches, that rise, for the most part, in wild rice lakes; but it traverses no great distance, before it has become a broad stream. Sometimes in its beginnings it moves, a wide expanse of waters, with a current scarcely perceptible, along a marshy bed. At others, its fishes are seen darting over a white sand, in waters almost as transparent as air. At other times, it is compressed to a narrow and rapid current between ancient and hoary lime stone bluffs. Having acquired in a length of course, following its meanders, of three hundred miles, a width of half a mile, and having, formed its distinctive character, it precipitates its waters down the falls of St. Anthony. —

Thence it glides, alternately through beautiful meadows and deep forests, swelling in its advancing march with the tribute an hundred streams. In its progress it receives a tributary, which of itself has a course of more than a thousand leagues. Thence it rolls its accumulated, turbid and sweeping mass of waters through continued forests, only broken here and there by the axe, in lonely grandeur to the sea. No thinking mind can contemplate this mighty and resistless wave, sweeping its proud course from point to point, curving round its bends through the dark forests, without a feeling of sublimity. The hundred shores, laved


by its waters; the long course of its tributaries, some of which are already the abodes of cultivation, and others pursuing an immense course without a solitary dwelling of civilized man being seen on their banks; the numerous tribes of savages, that now roam on its borders ; the affecting and imperishable traces of generations, that are gone leaving no, other memorials of their existence, or materials for their history, than their tombs that rise at frequent intervals along its banks; the dim, but glorious anticipations of the future; — these are subjects of contemplation, that can not but associate themselves with the view of this river.

It rises in high table land; though the country at its source has the aspect of a vast marshy valley. A medium of the different authorities, touching the point of its origin, gives it to be in latitude 47° 47°. Travelers, and authorities diner, too, in the name of the lake, or reservoir, where it is supposed to commence. Some name Turtle lake, and some Leech lake, as its source. The truth is, that in speaking of the source of the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Nile and other great rivers, readers are only amused with fictions and names. Of a nameless number of tributaries, it would be impossible to say, which carried the most water, or had the greatest length of course, or best merited the honor of being considered the parent stream. A great number of streams, rising in the same plateau, and interlocking with the waters of Red river, and the other streams of lake Winnipeek, unite to form the St. Peter's and the Mississippi. Different authorities assign to these rivers such different names, that we should rather perplex, than instruct our readers, by putting clown names, as having more authority than others. The St. Peter's, the principal upper branch of the Mississippi, has been scientifically faithfully explored by the gentlemen of Long's expedition. —


They assign to the St. Peter's ten or twelve tributaries, some of them considerable streams, before its junction with the Mississippi. The principal of these are called Spirit Beaver, Yellow, Medicine, Red Wood, Aux Liards and Blue Earth rivers on the west side, and Miawakakong and Epervier from the east. The principal river of the west fork of the Mississippi is the river de Corbeau. The other fork, before its junction with the main river, receives Deer, Meadow, Swan and Savanna rivers. Below Cedar and Muddy rivers, between 45° and 46°, there are strong rapids. Between them and the falls are Crow and Rum rivers.

With the common propensity of travelers to exaggerate, the falls of St. Anthony, until very recently, have been much overrated. Instead of the extravagant estimates of the first French writers, or the fall of fifty feet assigned to them by more modern authorities, the real fall of the Mississippi here is between sixteen and seventeen feet of perpendicular descent. Though it has not the slightest claim to compare with that of Niagara in grandeur, it furnishes an impressive and beautiful spectacle in the loneliness of the desert. The adjoining scenery is of the most striking and romantic character; and as the traveler listens to the solemn roar of the falls, as it sinks into feeble echoes in the forests, a thrilling story is told him of the love and despair of a young Dacota Indian woman, who, goaded by jealousy towards her husband, who had taken another wife, placed her young children in a canoe, and chaunting the remembrances of love and broken rows, precipitated herself and her infants down the falls. Indians are always romancers, if not poets. Their traditions say, that these ill-fated beings, together with their canoe, so perished, that no trace of them was seen. But they suppose, that her spirit wanders still near this spot, and that she is seen on


sunny mornings, carrying her babes in the accustomed manner bound to her bosom, and still mourning the inconstancy of her husband.

Above the falls, the river has a width of five or six hundred yards. Immediately below, it contracts to a width of two hundred yards; and there is a strong rapid for a considerable distance below. Ninety miles below the falls, and between 44° and 45°, it receives Rapid and St. Croix rivers; the former from the west, and the latter from the east. The St. Croix is reputed to have a boatable course of two hundred miles, and rises in lakes not far from the waters of lake Superior.

Near 14°, from the west comes in Cannon river, a tributary, which enters not far above the northern extremity of lake Pepin. This is no more, than an enlargement of the river. It is a beautiful sheet of water, of some miles in length, and broadening in some places from one to three miles in width. Nearly at its lower extremity, it receives the Chippeway from the east, with a boatable course of about an hundred miles. Between lake Pepin and the parallel of 43°, come in three or four inconsiderable rivers, of which Buffalo, Bluff and Black rivers, from the east are the principal. Between 43° and 42° are Root, Upper Iaway and Yellow rivers from the west, and La Croix and Bad Axe rivers from the east.

Ouiseonsin river comes in, from the east, about the parallel of 42°, and near that very noted point on the river, Prairie du Chien. It is one of the most considerable tributaries above the Missouri. It has a boatable course of more than two hundred miles, and interlocks by a very short portage with Fox river, that empties into Green bay of lake Michigan. In its progress towards the Mississippi, this river receives nine or ten considerable streams. It is the liquid highway of passage for the Canadian traders,


trappers and savages, from Mackinaw and the lakes to the immense regions of the Mississippi and Missouri. A little below this, comes in Turkey river from the west, and La Mine from the east. It is so named, from its traversing the country of the Illinois lead mines. Lead ore is dug here at Dubuque's, and other lead mines, particularly on Fever river, probably, with greater ease, and in more abundance, than in any other country. These mines are found on a range of hills, of which the Smoky mountains are the highest points. On the opposite side comes in Tete de Mort. A range of hills, that here stretches across the river towards the Missouri, is probably, all a country of lead mines; for we have seen beautiful specimens of lead ore, dug near the Missouri, where this range of hills strikes that river.

A little below the parallel of 41°, comes in from the west the Wapisipinacon, a river of some magnitude and a considerable length of course. On the same side, a little lower down, comes in the Little Soutoux; and still lower, from the east comes in Rock river, a very considerable, limpid and beautiful river, celebrated for the purity of its waters, and the fineness of its fish. The lands in its vicinity are fertile. Among its principal tributaries are the Kishwake and Pektanons. Near the entrance of this river into the Mississippi is the United States' garrison, fort Armstrong. This river, like the Ouisconsin, has an easy communication by a portage with lake Michigan, and is considered boatable for a distance of two hundred and forty miles. A little below this river, on the west side, comes in the Iaway, a stream of some magnitude. Below the parallel of 41°, come in from the eastern side two or three inconsiderable streams. Near 40°, on the west side, and in the state of Missouri, comes in the Des Moines, the largest tributary from the west above the Missouri. It receives itself a


number of considerable streams, and enters the Mississippi by a mouth one hundred and fifty yards wide. It is supposed to have a boatable course of nearly three hundred miles; and it waters a delightful country. On the opposite side, the waters, for a long distance, which rise near the Mississippi, flow into the Illinois. Between the Des Moines and the Illinois, come in from the west the Waconda, Fabian, Jaustioni, Oahaha, or Salt river, Boeuf, or Cuivre, and Dardenne rivers. These rivers are from fifty to an hundred yards wide at their mouth, and have boatable courses of some length.

In latitude 39°, comes in the Illinois from the east, — a noble, broad and deep stream, nearly four hundred yards wide at its mouth, having a course of about four hundred miles, and boatable almost its whole distance. It is the most considerable tributary of the Mississippi above the Missouri, interlocking at some seasons of the year, by one of its principal branches, the Des Plaines, with the Chicago of lake Michigan, without any portage. On this river, and some of the streams above, the pecan tree is found in its utmost perfection.

A little below 39°, from the west comes in the mighty Missouri, which, being both longer, and carrying more water, than the Mississippi, and imparting its own character to the united stream below, some have thought, ought to have given its name to the river from the junction.

Below the Missouri, omitting the numberless and nameless small streams, that come in on either side, as we have omitted them above, we shall only notice those rivers, that from their magnitude, or other circumstances, deserve to be named. The first river of any importance, that enters the Mississippi on the west side, below the Missouri, is the Maramec, that comes in twenty miles below St. Louis, a little above the parallel of 38°. It is nearly two hundred


yard wide at is mouth, and has a course by its meanders of two hundred miles.

Nearly in 38°, comes in from the other side the Kaskaskia, that runs through a most fertile and beautiful country in Illinois. It is eighty yards wide at its mouth, and has course of nearly two hundred miles, great part of which, at some seasons of the year, is boatable. On the opposite side, enter two or three inconsiderable streams below St. Genevieve; on one of which is a saline, where considerable salt is made. Forty miles below Kaskaskia, comes in from the east Big Muddy. It is a considerable stream, remarkable for having on its shores fine coal banks. — Three miles below, on the west side enters Apple creek, on which used to be a number of villages of Shawnees and Delawares.

Between 36° and 37°, on the east side, comes in the magnificent Ohio, called by the French, ‘La Belle Riviere.’ It is by far the largest eastern tributary of the Mississippi. At the junction, and for an hundred miles above, it is as wide, as the parent stream. From this junction, it is obvious, from the very long course of the Tennessee, that river running into the Ohio in a direction apparently parallel and opposite to the Mississippi, that we can not expect to find any very important tributaries to the latter river, for a considerable distance below the month of Ohio, on that side. We find, in fact, that the Yazoo is the only river, that enters from the east, which deserves mention as a river of importance. Kaskinompee, Reel Foot, Obian, Forked and Hatchy are inconsiderable streams, that enter from the east, between the Ohio and the Chickasaw bluffs. Wolf river is of more importance, has a considerable length of course, and is fifty yards wide at its mouth.


On the west side, between 35° and 34°, enters the St. Francis. It is two hundred yards wide at its mouth, and has a comparative course of four hundred miles; three hundred of which, on one of its forks, are considered boatable.

A little above 34°, enters White river, rising in the Black mountains, separating its waters from those of the Arkansas. It has a comparative course of twelve hundred miles, and enters by a mouth between three and four hundred yards wide.

Thirty miles below, and between 34° and 33°, comes in the Arkansas, — next to the Missouri, the largest tributary from the west. It enters by a mouth five hundred yards wide. Its waters, when the river is full, are of a dark flame color; and its course, including its meanders, is commonly computed at two thousand five hundred miles.

Between 33° and 32°, a little above the Walnut hills, in the state of Mississippi, enters from the east the Yazoo, a river, which rises in the country of the Indians, and passes through the state of Mississippi, entering by a mouth, between two and three hundred yards wide. Below the Yazoo, on the same side, bayou Pierre, Big Black, Cole's creek and Homochitto enter the river.

Eighty miles below Natchez, and a little above 31°, on the west side, enters Red river, which, although not generally so wide, as the Arkansas, probably, has as long a course, and carries as much water. Immediately below this river, the Mississippi carries its greatest volume of water. Even above Red river, in high floods, water escapes from the Mississippi on the west side, in a great many places, which never returns; but not in quantity to carry off as much, as Red river brings in. A league and a half below Red river, on the same side, is seen the first important bayou, or efflux, that begins to diminish, and


convey to the gulf of Mexico by its own separate channel, the surplus waters of the Mississippi. It is the Atchafalaya, which, beyond question, was the ancient bed, by which Red river made its way to the gulf, without mingling its waters with the Mississippi. In high waters, it is now supposed to take off as much, as Red river brings in.

Twenty leagues below, on the east side, comes in bayou Sarah, the only stream of any importance, that enters below the outlet of Atchafalaya. Thence the effluxes receive all the waters, that rise near the Mississippi, and are continually diminishing its volume of waters. The next efflux, below Atchafalaya, is bayou Manshac, or Ibberville, — an outlet from the east bank, a little below Baton Rouge, through which, in high waters, passes off a considerable mass, through lakes Maurepas, Ponchartrain and Borgne, to the gulf of Mexico.

At no great distance below, on the west side, is another considerable efflux, bayou Plaquemine; and at some distance below bayou La Fouche, a still more considerable outlet. Thence to New Orleans, the banks of the river are unbroken, except by crevasses. Below that city, there is no outlet of any importance, between it and the four mouths, by which the Mississippi enters the gulf of Mexico.

It runs but a little distance from its source, as we have remarked, before it becomes a considerable stream. Below the falls of St. Anthony, it broadens to half a mile in width; and is a clear, placid and noble stream, with wide and fertile bottoms, for a long distance. A few miles below the river Des Moines, is a long rapid of nine miles, which, for a considerable part of the summer, is a great impediment to the navigation. Below these rapids, the river assumes its medial width, and character from that points to the entrance of the Missouri. It is a still more beautiful river, than the Ohio, somewhat gentler in its


current, a third wider, with broad and clean sandbars, except in the time of high waters, when they are all covered. At every little distance, there are islands, sometimes a number of them parallel, and broadening the stream to a great width. These islands are many of them large, and have in the summer season an aspect of beauty, as they swell gently from the clear stream, — a vigor and grandeur of vegetation, which contribute much to the magnificence of the river. The sandbars, in the proper season, are the resort of innumerable swans, geese and water fowls. It is, in general, a full mile in width from bank to bank. For a considerable distance above the mouth of the Missouri, it has more than that width. Altogether, it has, from its alternate bluffs and prairies, the calmness and transparency of its waters, the size and beauty of its trees, an aspect of amenity and magnificence, which we have not seen, belonging in the same extent to any other stream.

Where it receives the Missouri, it is a mile and a half wide. The Missouri itself enters with a mouth not more than half a mile wide. The united stream below has thence, to the mouth of the Ohio, a medial width of little more than three quarters of a mile. This mighty tributary seems rather to diminish, than increase its width; but it perceptibly alters its depth, its mass of waters, and, what is to be regretted, wholly changes its character. It is no longer the gentle, placid stream, with smooth shores and clean sandbars; but has a furious and boiling current, a turbid and dangerous mass of sweeping waters, jagged and dilapidated shores, and, wherever its waters have receded, deposits of mud. It remains a sublime object of contemplation. The noble forest still rises along its banks. But its character of calm magnificence, that so delighted the eye above, is seen no more.


From the falls of St. Anthony, its medial current is, probably, less than two miles an hour, to the mouth of the Missouri; and from one point to the other, except at the rapids of the Des Moines, there is four feet water in the channel, at the lowest stages. Below the Missouri, from frequent descents in boats, which floated at the will of the current, we estimate its rapidity considerably higher, than has been commonly done. We consider its medial rate of advance at least four miles an hour. The bosom of the river is covered with prodigious boils, or swells, that rise with a whirling motion, and a convex surface, two or three rods in diameter, and no inconsiderable noise, whirling a boat perceptibly from its track. In its course, accidental circumstances shift the impetus of its current, and propel it upon the point of an island, bend or sandbar. In these instances, it tears up the islands, removes the sandbars, and sweeps away the tender, alluvial soil of the bends, with all their trees, and deposits the spoils in another place. At the season of high waters, nothing is more familiar to the ear of the people on the river, than the deep crash of a land-slip, in which larger or smaller masses of the soil on the banks, with all the trees, are plunged into the stream. The circumstances, that change the aspect and current of the river, are denominated, in the vocabulary of the watermen, chutes, races, chains, sawyers, planters, points of islands, wreck heaps and cypress bends. The divinity, most frequently invoked by boatmen, seems to have imparted his name oftener than any other to the dangerous places along the river. The ‘Devil's’ race paths, tea table, oven, &c. are places of difficult or hazardous navigation, that frequently occur. They are serious impediments to the navigation of this noble stream. Such is its character from Missouri to the Balize; a wild, furious, whirling river, — never navigated safely, except with great caution. On the


immense wreck heaps, where masses of logs, like considerable hills, are piled together, the numerous wrecks of boats, lying on their sides and summits, sufficiently attest the character of the river, and remain standing mementos to caution. Boats, propelled by steam power, which can be changed in a moment, to reverse the impulse and direction of the boat, are exactly calculated to obviate the dangers of this river.

No person, who descends this river for the first time, receives clear and adequate ideas of its grandeur, and the amount of water, which it carries. If it be in the spring, when the river below the mouth of Ohio is generally over its banks, although the sheet of water, that is making its way to the gulf, is, perhaps, thirty miles wide, yet finding its way through deep forests and swamps, that conceal all from the eye, no expanse of water is seen, but the width, that is curved out between the outline of woods on either bank; and it seldom exceeds, and oftener falls short of a mile. But when he sees, in descending from the falls of St. Anthony, that it swallows up one river after another, with mouths, as wide as itself, without affecting its width at all; when he sees it receiving in succession the mighty Missouri, the broad Ohio, St. Francis, White, Arkansas, and Red rivers, all of them of great depth, length and volume of water; when he sees this mighty river absorbing them all, and retaining a volume, apparently unchanged, — he begins to estimate rightly the increasing depths of current, that must roll on in its deep channel to the sea. Carried out of the Balize, and sailing with a good breeze for hours, he sees nothing on any side, but the white and turbid waters of the Mississippi, long after he is out of sight of land.

Touching the features of the country through which it passes, from its source to the falls of St. Anthony, it moves alternately through wild rice lakes and swamps, by lime


stone bluffs and craggy hills; occasionally through deep pine forests, and beautiful prairies; and the tenants on its borders are elk, buffalos, bears and deer, and the savages, that pursue them. In this distance, there is not a civilized inhabitant on its shores, if we except the establishments of Indian traders, and a garrison of the United States'. Buffalos are seldom seen below these falls. Its alluvions become wide, fertile, and for the most part, heavily timbered. Like the Ohio, its bottoms and bluffs generally alternate. Its broad and placid current is often embarrassed with islands, which are generally rich alluvial lands, often containing from five hundred to a thousand acres, and abounding with wild turkeys and other small game. For one hundred miles above the mouth of the Missouri, it would be difficult for us to convey an idea of the beauty of the prairies, skirting this noble river. They impress the eye, as a perfect level; and are in summer covered with a luxuriant growth of grass and flowers, without a tree or a bush. A journey, which we made through them, along the Mississippi, from bayou Sniacarta to the Illinois, in the month of August, can never be forgotten by us. We often made our way with difficulty on horseback through grass and flowers, as high as our head. At other times, we traversed hundreds of acres of a clean, short grass, of the character and appearance of the handsomest meadows, intended for the scythe. When this deep prairie skirted the river on one side, a heavy timbered bottom bounded it on the other. Generally, from the slightest elevation on either side, the sweep of the bluffs, corresponding to the curves of the river, were seen in the distance, mixing with the blue of the sky.

Above the mouth of the Missouri, to the rapids of Des Moines, the medial width of the bottom valley, in which the river rolls, measured from bluff to bluff, is not far from


six miles. Below the mouth of the Missouri, to that of the Ohio, it is not far from eight miles. The last stone bluffs of the Mississippi are seen, in descending, about thirty miles above the mouth of the Ohio. Below these, commences on the Mississippi, as is seen on the Ohio for some distance above its mouth, the aspect of a timbered bottom on either side, boundless to the vision. Below the mouth of the Ohio, the alluvion broadens from thirty to fifty miles in width; still expanding to the Balize, where it is, probably, three times that width. We express these widths in terms of doubt, because three fifths of the alluvion, below the mouth of the Ohio, is either dead swamp of cypress forests, or stagnant lakes, or creeping bayous, or impenetrable cane brakes, great part of it inundated; perhaps traversed in a straight direction from bluff to bluff, scarcely once in a year, and never explored, except in cases of urgent necessity. The bluffs, too, are winding, swelling in one direction, and indented in another, and at least as serpentine, as the course of the river.

Between the mouth of the Ohio and St. Louis, on the west side of the river, the bluffs are generally near it, seldom diverging from it more than two miles. They are, for the most part, perpendicular masses of lime stone; sometimes shooting up into towers and pinnacles, presenting, as Mr. Jefferson well observed, at a distance, the aspect of the battlements and towers of an ancient city. Sometimes the river sweeps the bases of these perpendicular bluffs, as happens at the Cornice rocks, and at the cliffs above St. Genevieve. They rise here, between two and three hundred feet above the level of the river. There are many imposing spectacles of this sort, near the western bank of the Mississippi, in this distance. We may mention among them that gigantic mass of rocks, forming a singular island


in the river, called the ‘Grand Tower;’ and the shot towers at Herculaneum.

On the eastern side in this distance, the bluffs diverge to a considerable distance from the river, and bound the American bottom, leaving an alluvial belt, divided into nearly equal divisions of timbered lands, and smooth prairies. This belt has a medial width of six miles, and is noted for the uncommon fertility of the soil. The bluffs mark the boundary between this belt and the hills. They are as high and as perpendicular, as the bluffs on the opposite side of the river; and, although generally at a distance of five or six miles from its present channel, they bear the same traces of attrition by the waters, the same stripes, marking the rising and falling of the river, which are seen on the opposite side. These seem to be impressive indications, that the Mississippi once swept their bases.

Opposite the mouth of the Missouri, the American bottom terminates, and the bluffs come in to the river. The bluffs bound the eastern bank of the river thence to the mouth of the Illinois. From these bluffs, we contemplate one of the most impressive and beautiful landscapes in the world. On the opposite side, the mighty Missouri is seen, bringing its turbid and sweeping mass of waters at right angles to the Mississippi. The eye traces a long distance of the outline of the Missouri valley, bounded on either side with an indistinct and blue line of hills. Above it is the vast and most beautiful Mamelle prairie, dotted with green islands of wood, and skirted at the farthest ken of the eye with hills and forests. Above you, on the same shore, is the valley of the Illinois, itself bounded by hoary and magnificent bluffs of a peculiar character. The river brings in its creeping waters by a deep bed, that seems almost as straight as a canal. You have in view the valleys and bluffs of two noble streams, that join their waters to the


Mississippi. You see the Mississippi changed to a turbid and sweeping stream, with jagged and indented banks, below you. You see its calm and placid waters above the Missouri. On the opposite prairie, there are level meadows, wheat fields, corn fields, smokes ascending from houses and cabins, vast flocks of domestic cattle, — distinct indications of agriculture and improvement blended with the grand features of nature. There are clumps of trees, lakes, ponds, and flocks of sea fowl, wheeling their flight over them; in short, whatever of grandeur, or beauty, nature can furnish to soothe, and to enrapture the beholder.

From the mouth of the Ohio, the scene shifts, and the bluffs are generally nearest the eastern shore; though on that shore there are often twenty miles between them and the river. They come quite in to the river, which washes their bases at the Iron banks, the Chalk banks, the first, second and third Chickasaw bluffs, Memphis, the Walnut hills, Grand and Petit gulf, Natchez, Loftus' heights, St. Francisville and Baton Rouge. In all this distance, bluffs are only seen in one place on the west bank — the St. Francis hills.

From the sources of the river to the mouth of the Missouri, the annual flood ordinarily commences in March, and does not subside until the last of May; and its medial height is fifteen feet. At the lowest stages, four feet of water may be found from the rapids of Des Moines to the mouth of the Missouri. Between that point and the mouth of the Ohio, there are six feet in the channel of the shallowest places at low water; and the annual inundation may be estimated at twenty-five feet. Between the mouth of the Ohio and the St. Francis, there are various shoal places, where pilots are often perplexed to find a sufficient depth of water, when the river is low. Below that point, there is no difficulty for vessels of any draught, except to


find the right channel. Below the mouth of the Ohio, the medial flood is fifty feet; the highest, sixty. Above Natchez, the flood begins to decline. At Baton Rouge, it seldom exceeds thirty feet; and at New Orleans, twelve. — Some have supposed this gradual diminution of the flood to result from the draining of the numerous effluxes of the river, that convey away such considerable portions of its waters by separate channels to the sea. To this should be added, no doubt, the check, which the river at this distance begins to feel from the re-action of the sea, where this mighty mass of descending waters finds its level.

Below the mouth of Ohio, in the season of inundation, to an observing spectator a very striking spectacle is presented. The river, as will elsewhere be observed, sweeps along in curves, or sections of circles, of an extent from six to twelve miles, measured from point to point. The sheet of water, that is visible between the forests on either side, is, as we have remarked, not far from the medial width of a mile. On a calm spring morning, and under a bright sun, this sheet of water, to an eye, that takes in its gentle descending declivity, shines, like a mass of burnished silver. Its edges are distinctly marked by a magnificent outline of cotton wood trees, generally of great size, and at this time of the year, of the brightest verdure. On the convex, or bar side of the bend, there is generally a vigorous growth of willows, or young cotton wood trees, of such astonishing regularity of appearance, that it always seems to the unpracticed spectator, a work of art. The water stands among these trees, from ten to fifteen feet in height. Those brilliant birds, the black and red bird of this country, seem to delight to flit among these young groves, that are inundated half their height. Nature is carrying on her most vigorous efforts of vegetation below. If there be wind or


storm, the descending flat and keel boats immediately make for these groves, and plunge fearlessly, with all the headway they can command, among the trees. Should they be of half the size of the human body, struck fifteen feet from the ground, they readily bend before even a frail boat. — You descend the whole distance of a thousand miles to New Orleans, landing at night in fifteen feet water among the trees; but, probably, in no instance within twenty miles of the real shore, which is the bluff. The whole spectacle is that of a vast and magnificent forest, emerging from a lake, with its waters, indeed, in a thousand places in descending motion. The experienced savage, or solitary voyager, paddles his canoe through the deep forests, from one bluff to the other. He finds bayous, by which one river communicates with the other. He moves, perhaps, along the Mississippi forest into the mouth of White river. He ascends that river a few miles, and by the Grand Cutoff moves down the forest into the Arkansas. From that river he finds many bayous, which communicate readily with Washita and Red river; and from that river, by some one of its hundred bayous, he finds his way into the Atchafalaya and the Teche; and by that stream to the gulf of Mexico, reaching it more than twenty leagues west of the Mississippi. At that time, this is a river from thirty to an hundred miles wide, all overshadowed with forest, except an interior strip of little more than a mile in width, where the eye reposes on the open expanse of waters, visible between the trees.

Each of the hundred rivers, that swell the Mississippi, at the time of high waters, is more or less turbid. The upper Mississippi is the most transparent of all of them in low water. But, during its floods, it brings down no inconsiderable portion of dark, slimy mud, suspended in its waters. The mud of the Missouri is as copious, as the


water can hold in suspension, — and is whitish in color, much resembling water, in which fresh ashes have been mixed. The river below the Missouri assumes the color of that river. The Ohio brings in a flood, compared with the other, of a greenish color. The mixing of the waters of the upper Mississippi with the Missouri, and afterwards of the united stream with the Ohio, affords an amusing spectacle. The water of the Ohio is not much charged with earth, even at its inundation; but is still perceptibly turbid. The St. Francis and White rivers, at their floods, are not much stained. The Arkansas, when high, is as turbid, and holds nearly as much mud in suspension, as the Missouri; and its waters have a bright reddish color, almost that of flame. Its Indian name, Ozark, implies Yellow river. Red river brings in a turbid mixture of the same thickness, but of a darker red. After it has received these two rivers, the Mississippi loses something of its whiteness. The hills far up the Missouri, Arkansas and Red rivers are washing down. Pillars on their sides, of gigantic dimensions, bright colors, and regular forms, where they have been composed of an indurated earth, or clay, that more strongly resisted the action of rains and descending waters, are left standing. We have seen and admired these mementos of the lapse of time, the changes, that our earth is undergoing, the washing of waters, and the influence of the elements. Lewis and Clark speak of these remains of dilapidated hills far up the Missouri, where they appeared in their grandest dimensions.

The Mississippi, then, may be considered, as constantly bearing beneath its waters a tribute of the finest and most fertile vegetable soil, collected from an hundred shores, hills and mountains, and transported from distances of a thousand leagues. The marl of the Rocky mountains, the clay of the Black mountains, the earth of the Alleghanies,


the red loam, washed from the hills at the sources of the Arkansas and Red rivers, are every year deposited in layers along the alluvion of the Mississippi; or are washed into the gulf of Mexico. We can have little doubt, that this river once found its estuary not far below the present mouth of the Ohio. It was, probably, then thirty miles wide, and grew broader quite to the gulf. — The alluvial country below, must then have been an arm of the sea. The different bluffs on its eastern shore, the Chickasaw bluffs, Natchez, and the other hills, whose bases the river now washes, were capes, that projected into this estuary. The banks of the river are evidently gaining in height above the inundation. The deposits of earth, sand and slime are not as equal in their layers, as we might suppose; but might, perhaps, be assumed, as depositing a twelfth of an inch in the annual inundation.

As soon as the descending mass of waters has swept over the banks, being comparatively destitute of current, and impeded, moreover, by trees and bushes, it begins to deposit a sediment of that mud and sand, which were only held in suspension by the rapidity and agitation of the descending current. It must be obvious, that the sand and the coarser portion of the mixture of earth will subside first; and that near the banks of the river will be the most copious deposition. We find, in fact, the soil contiguous to the rivers most sandy. It becomes finer and more clayey, as we recede farther from the bank, until near the bluffs; and at the farthest distances from the river, the impalpable mixture gradually subsides, forming a very stiff, black soil, called ‘terre graisse,’ and having a feeling, when wet, like lard or grease. Circumstances, such as eddies, and other impediments, resulting from the constant changes of the banks, may cause this earth, in particular positions to be deposited near the river. Where the banks


have fallen in, and discovered the under strata of the soil, we often see layers of this earth directly on the shore. But the natural order of deposition is, first, the sand; next, the marl; and last of all, this impalpable clay, which would of course be longest held suspended.

This order of deposition accounts, too, for another circumstance appertaining to the banks of this river, and all its lower tributaries, that do now, or did formerly, overflow their banks. It always creates surprise at first view, to remark that all these rivers have alluvions, that are highest directly on the banks, and slope back, like a natural glacis, towards the bluffs. There are a thousand points, between the mouth of Ohio and New Orleans, where, at the highest inundation, there is a narrow strip of land above the overflow; and it is directly on the bank. But the land slopes back, and subsides under the overflow; and is, perhaps, twenty feet under water at the bluffs. This deceptive appearance has induced a common opinion, that this river, its tributaries and bayous, in their lower courses, run through their valleys on an elevated ridge, and occupy the highest part of their bottoms. The greater comparative elevation the banks notwithstanding, we have not the slightest doubt, that the path of the rivers is, in fact, the deepest part of their basin, and that the bed of the river is uniformly lower, than the lowest point of the alluvion at the base of the bluffs.

One of the most striking peculiarities of this river, and of all lower tributaries, has not often been a theme of observation in describing it. It is the uniformity of its meanders, called in the phrase of the country, its ‘points and bends.’ In many instances these curves are described with a precision, with which they would have been marked off by the sweep of a compass. The river sweeps round, perhaps, the half of a circle, and is precipitated from the


point, in a current diagonally across its own channel, to another curve of the same regularity upon the opposite shore. In the bend is the deepest channel, the heaviest movement of waters, and what is called the thread of the current. Between this thread and the shore, there are generally counter currents, or eddies; and in the crumbling and tender alluvial soil, the river is generally making inroads upon its banks on the bend side. Opposite the bend there is always a sandbar, matched, in the convexity of its conformation, to the concavity of the bend. Here it is, that the appearance of the young cotton wood groves have their most striking aspect. The trees rise from the shore, showing first the vigorous saplings of the present year; and then those of a date of two and three years; and trees rising in regular gradation to the most ancient and lofty point of the forest. These curves are so regular on this, and all the rivers of the lower country, that the boatmen and Indians calculate distances by them; and instead of the number of miles or leagues, they estimate their progress by the number of bends, they have passed.

We have had occasion to remark this conformation, even on the upper courses of the Mississippi and Missouri; and that, too, where the curve seemed to have been scooped out of solid bluffs of lime stone. These sinuosities are distinguished on the lower course of the Ohio, on the St. Francis and White rivers, and they are remarkable for their regularity on the Arkansas. The curves on Red river are regular, but they are sections of circles comparatively small; and the river is so extremely crooked from them, that its course is generally obstructed from view in a length of two or three miles. All the bayous and effluxes of the Mississippi, and of these rivers, show the same conformation in their courses. A Creole of the lower country would scarcely imagine, that a river could move on in any other


line, than in curves, described first upon one bank, and then upon the other.

There must be, beyond doubt, a general law for this uniformity of conformation; and we have heard various demonstrations, that were intended to explain it, and to show, that a moving mass of waters, on the principle of such a moving force, ought to sweep a curve in one direction be propelled from the point of that curve, and then sweep a similar one on the opposite shore. These demonstrations have appeared unsatisfactory to us. It has always seemed to us, that in a tender and alluvial soil, and under similar circumstances, a moving mass of water, cutting a course for itself would take the direction of a right line. The common solution certainly is not the just one, that is to say, that the river finds an obstacle, which gives it a diagonal direction in the first instance; and that this law, once established, continues to act with uniformity, in producing this alternation of curves. The courses of all the western rivers, in creating points and bends, are far too uniform, to be produced by an accidental cause. It appears clear to us, that the deviations from this rule are owning to accidental causes; but they are so infrequent, that for the first three hundred miles on the Arkansas, we do not remember one; and there are not more than three or four ‘reaches,’ as they are called, or deviations from this rule, in the Mississippi, where the river for a considerable distance preserves a straight course, between the mouth of the Ohio and the Balize.

It follows from this disposition of the river, to take its direction in deep curves, and continually to wear them deeper, that, returning, as it were, on its track, it will often bring its points near to each other. It occurs more than once, that in moving round a curve of twenty-five or thirty miles you will return so near the point, whence you started,


that you can return back to that point in less than a mile. There are at present bends of this sort on the Missouri and the Mississippi, particularly at Tunica bend, where you move round a curve of thirty miles, and come back to the point, where you see through the trees, and at the distance of three quarters of a mile, the point, whence you departed. It might be inferred, that it would so happen, when the waters on the upper point of the bend approach so near those on the lower point, that in high waters a crevasse would be made across the point, or the simple weight of the descending current would burst itself a passage through. In this case, the river soon finds its main channel from point to point; an island is formed; and the river rushes through what is called the ‘cut off,’ with great velocity and power. Such is the ‘Grand cut off,’ that has been formed since we first descended the river. We now pass from one point to another, in half a mile, to a distance, which it formerly required twenty miles to reach. The ‘cut off’ at Fausse riviere, Yazoo, Homochitto and Point Coupee bends are of this sort. Tunica, no doubt, will soon be of the number; and many other bends. Wherever the trees are cleared away from the banks by cultivation, the soil becomes of course more tender and yielding, and is easier perforated by the mass of moving waters. Nature is thus shortening the course of this long river. In process of time, the efforts of industry will yield their aid to the same result.

When these changes take place, the mouths of the ancient course of the river become choked; and long lakes are formed called ‘fausses rivieres,’ which, at the season of high water might easily be mistaken for the river itself, were they not without current, and did they not soon cover themselves with those aquatic plants, that in these climates are always found on still waters. There are an infinite


number of such bayous found on the lower courses of the Mississippi, Arkansas, and more than all, Red river, where they form such an inextricable net work, that in high waters it requires an experienced pilot to determine, which is the river, and which the bayou.

The thread of the main current is, as we have remarked, always near the bank of the bend; and the chief underming of the banks is ordinarily there. As soon as the floods of the river begin to subside, and the waters to sink within the banks, the main thread of the current, which had been diminished in its action on the bank, by the diffusion of its waters over the bank, as soon as they return within the channel, acts with augmented force, and by a more uniform action from the surface to the bottom upon the banks, softened and diluted by the recent overflow. — Hence, immediately upon the subsiding of the river within its banks, is the time, when they are most apt to fall in. Then is the time, that we hear by night the deep crash of the trees, falling, and sinking in the flood. Then it is, that the land-slips carry in acres at a time; and it is then, that the narrow passages between islands become choked with trees, carried along by the current.

With one remark more, we shall close this outline of the Mississippi; which, minute as it may have seemed, is but a brief sketch of the character and circumstances of a river, which, described in detail, would occupy a volume. It is the most turbid river, and has the widest alluvial bottoms of any, with which we are acquainted. We may add, that it is beyond all comparison the narrowest river, that we know, which carries so much water. In width and show of surface, it will hardly compare with the St. Lawrence. We have no doubt, that it carries the greatest mass of water, according to its width, of any river on the globe. From the quantity of earth, which it holds in


suspension in its descending waters, and which it is continually depositing along its banks, it will always be confined within a narrow and deep channel. Were it a clear stream, it would soon scoop itself out a channel from bluff to bluff. In common with most of its great tributaries, it broadens as it ascends, being, as we have remarked, wider above the mouth of the Missouri, with scarce a tenth of its water, than it is at New Orleans. In the same manner, Arkansas and Red river are wider a thousand miles from their mouth, than they are at that point. As the western rivers approach their debouche, and increase their volume of water, they narrow, and deepen their channel.

Indians, or Aboriginal Inhabitants.

Details of the Indians, that belong to the states and territories of this valley, will naturally be given under the accounts of them. — We mean here to bring, if it may be, into one group general views and outlines of the race, as we see it in all the climates from the sources of the Mississippi to the gulf of Mexico. Numerous and voluminous treatises have been written upon this subject, without, as we conceive, throwing much light upon it. We have read these treatises. We have long and attentively studied the Indian character. We have seen enough of that character, to be aware, that very few writers have done more than theorize, and declaim upon the subject. Seldom have they brought to it the only true lights — those of observation and experience. We ought to except from this remark, Charlevoix among the early, and the gentlemen of Long's expedition among the recent writers upon the Indians. The views of the latter, in particular, are calm, philosophical and just, as far as they go. They do not give us the fruit of preconceived prejudices, or theorizing harangues; and we refer those, who would take minute, interesting, and for the most part,


just views of the character and condition of the western Indians, to their narratives.

The greater part of the Indians of the United States dwell in the limits of this valley. Within the bounds of Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee, the southern Indians of this valley inhabit. These nations, without mentioning their subdivisions, are the Seminoles, the Baton Rouges, the Creeks, or Muskogee, the Cherokees, Chactaws and Chickasaws. The Creeks and Seminoles, before the late war were powerful tribes. Their population and power received in that war a withering check. Many of the Chactaws are incorporated with the Quawpaws of Arkansas. About a third of the Cherokee nation has emigrated to the country on the Arkansas, between the Quawpaws and the Osages. Many of the Creeks, or Muskogee, have emigrated west of the Mississippi. All these Indians, that remain east of this river, have adopted more or less of cultivation, and the arts of civilized life. The Cherokees and Chactaws, particularly the former, have been most successful in imitating the habits and institutions of the whites. They have looms, ploughs, blacksmiths' shops, slaves, enclosures, barns, taverns, brick dwellings in some instances, public roads, a census, a code of laws, civil divisions, and magistrates. — Their laws have very little of that delay, of which the whites complain; but are severe, energetic, and promptly administered. They have many municipal regulations, and singular customs; an amusing mixture of savage and civilized views, which afford a study of no common interest to the numerous travelers, that are obliged to pass through their nations, on their way by land from New Orleans and the lower states to the Atlantic country. They have numerous taverns, at regular distances, not much inferior to those in the adjacent country, inhabited by the


Americans. Some of their planters have large enclosures, and fine stocks of cattle and horses; and may be considered rich. We saw a Cherokee chief, who had a dozen slaves, fine teams, ploughs and looms. He had two or three wives, and twenty-seven living children, as he stated. His people were dressed, as are most of these nations, in plain cotton cloths of respectable fabric. The cotton, the dyeing articles, the manufacturing, and the whole fabric, from beginning to end, was within themselves. There are a number of respectable missionary establishments in their limits; and they begin to be deeply impressed with the importance of education. They have been making great efforts to establish a printing press in their country, and it is now in operation.

In the northern parts of Ohio and Indiana, and near lakes Erie and Michigan, is an establishment of the Shawnese, — a tribe formerly so powerful, and now hastening to decay. There was an important missionary station among them, which is removed to Michigan territory. Ohio, that once contained such a numerous Indian population, is computed at present to contain about two thousand, principally Shawnese. The Pottawatomies and Kickapoos, in Indiana and Illinois, are numbered, the former at two hundred and fifty, and the latter at six hundred. The Peorias, Kaskaskias and Cahokias, that figured so much in the early French history of this country, are nearly extinct The Wyandots, Chippeways and Winnebagos hunt farther to the northwest, and extend their range to lake Superior. The Chippeways may be considered a patriarchal nation, of which many of the northern tribes are branches, and of whose language they speak dialects. There are other tribes so nearly extinct, that there are not now, perhaps, six individuals to maintain the name.


In ascending the Mississippi from St. Louis, we meet first with the Sacks, or as they call themselves, Saukies, and Foxes, or Reynards. They inhabit the country above and below Rock river, and claim the territory of the lead mines. The Iaways reside farther up the river, and near the Des Moines. The Winnebagos, or Puants, inhabit from the Ouisconsin to Green bay on lake Michigan. — They have the reputation of being particularly false and treacherous. The Menomene, or Fals avoins inhabit the Menomene to lake Michigan.

Still higher on the Mississippi, and thence to the lakes, and thence to the country on the Missouri, and far up and down that river, wander the Sioux, or Dacotas. They are divided into six or seven tribes, with distinct names, given, as the French often fix appellations, from some poetical associations with natural objects. For instance, one of the most numerous tribes, inhabiting a region of forests, is called Was-pa-tong, Gens des feuilles, or the people of leaves. Each of these tribes has its distinct badge, coat of arms, or what is called ‘totem’ among them. They occupy a vast range, are a very numerous people, and, like the Chippeways, the parent stem of various tribes, whose language, though radically the same with theirs, has in process of time receded so far from it, that the different tribes require an interpreter to converse together. The Dacotas are the Ishmaelites of the West.

Surveying the country west of the Mississippi, and comencing the survey below St. Louis, between that town and the mouth of the Ohio, there used to be a number of villages of Delawares and Shawnees; and with them were mixed a considerable number of renegados from the Creeks, and the Indians of the lower Mississippi. There were in all, three or four hundred souls. They left the country, by an arrangement with the government. We


saw the nation, on their way to the country assigned to them, far up White river, and between that and the Arkansas. They have allied themselves with the Cherokees of the Arkansas.

In ascending the Missouri, we first meet with the Osages, a powerful tribe, who inhabit principally on the Osage river, and who spread themselves across the country to the Arkansas, and even to Red river. Ascending the Missouri, we find, as we advance, Ottos, Missouries, Iaways, Kansas, and Pawnees, divided into three bands — Grand Pawnees, Pawnee Republicans, and Pawnee Loups. After the Dacotas, or Sioux, they are, probably, the next most numerous people in this region. Still farther up, there are the Mandans, Puncahs, Omawhaws, Padoucas, La Plais, or Bald heads, and the Tetans. Still farther up, there are the Minnitarees, or Gros ventres, the Arrapahoe, the Crow, the Arricaree, the Snake, and the Blackfoot Indians. Some of these tribes inhabit, and hunt occasionally on both sides of the Rocky mountains.

On the Arkansas, the first tribe on its lower course is that of the Quawpaws; with whom are incorporated many Chactaws. Still higher, we meet with the Osages. The Cherokees, who have immigrated to this river, seem to be a point of union for the ancient Shawnees and Delawares. The Indians of the Ohio, of these tribes, are immigrating a this region. Above them are the Pawnees and Arrapahoes. At the sources of this river are often seen bands of the Mexican Indians, as the Commanches and the Appaches, who come down from their mountains, to hunt the buffalo and the elk on the subjacent plains.

From New Orleans to Attakapas, and thence along Red river, are the remains of many of the ancient tribes of Louisiana, that will soon have no other memorial, than their names in the French histories of the country. These


are the Natchez, the Appalachies, the Tensas, Alabamas, Pascagoulas, Chetimaches, Biloxies, Tunicas, &c. Near the Sabine are a small number of Carancoahs, clearly cannibals. They are viewed with horror, and pursued with a spirit of extermination, by the adjacent Indians.

Higher on Red river inhabit, and hunt occasionally, many of the tribes, which we have mentioned, as having their more permanent home on the Arkansas. The Cados are a tribe, that dwell chiefly on Red river, and hunt the buffalo on the prairies between it and Arkansas. We might continue to swell this catalogue with the names of tribes, that once existed, but are now extinct; and others, of which there remain, perhaps, a few individuals.

Population. Any exact estimates of the number of Indians, within the limits of the territory of the United States, must necessarily be wanting. The statistical tables rate them at one hundred and eighty thousand. We have before us a detailed table of the estimated numbers of Indians in the Mississippi valley. These tables give the names of sixty tribes; some of them of barbarous orthography, and sufficiently wide from the sounds of the names, by which these tribes choose to call themselves. The whole number is estimated at one hundred and three thousand. This, if we do not include the Indians west of the Rocky mountains, of which we have no certain knowledge, is, probably a large estimate.

The gradual decrease and extinction of these tribes, one the other, has been a theme of copious and melancholy reflection with benevolent and thinking men. By an easy transition, they have passed to charging the cause, as a crime of the darkest die to the whites, and to our country. A Prevalent fashion and theme of declamation have their date, and their period, in our country; and for the time, that they are in fashion, pass unquestioned. We


have thought, the common, loose and bitter charges, which, in contemplating this subject, have been brought against our fathers and our country, ought at least to admit of question. We have always had individuals in our country, who would constantly avail themselves of the opportunity, to distribute among them the poison of ardent spirits. But our government, it must be admitted, has practiced towards them a steady and dignified moderation, and an untiring forbearance. Its provisions, to prevent the sale of whiskey among them, have been severe, and in general faithfully carried into effect. The strictness of our laws in this respect is one of the most incessant themes of complaint on their part; and the manner, in which we withhold whiskey from them, is considered by them, as the result of our covetousness. Our government is exerting a constant effort, to hold the tribes leashed in, and to prevent them from destroying one another. Had it been the policy of our government, to exterminate the race, as it has been taxed, nothing more would have been necessary, than to unkennel the savages, excite their jealousies, and stir up their revenge, and let them destroy each other. — But, on the contrary, it seems to have been the guiding maxim of the government, to do all practicable good, and ward off all possible evil from this devoted and unhappy race.

In the ancient states, in the legislative halls, on then floor of congress, from the pulpit and the press, it has been the favorite theme of eloquence, and the readiest passport to estimation for philanthropy and benevolence, to bring up the guilt of having destroyed the past races of this people, and of having possessed ourselves of their lands. One would think, it had been discovered, that the Population, the improvements, and the social happiness of our great political edifice, ought never to have been erected in place of these habitations of cruelty. Let us pity them. Let us


practice forbearance to the end. Let us send to them instruction, Christianity and the arts. They are not the less objects of our pity, and of our untiring benevolence, because the causes of their decay and extinction are found in their own nature and character, and the unchangeable order of things. It is as unchangeable, as the laws of nature, that savages should give place to civilized men, possessed of he strength, spirit and improvement of the social compact. We conceive, that it is not altogether owing either to the proximity of the whites, to ardent spirits, or small pox, that the Indian tribes are constantly diminishing. — The ten thousand mounds in this valley, the rude memorials of an immensely numerous former population, but to our view no more civilized, than the present races, are proofs, that the country was depopulated, when white men first became acquainted with it. If we can infer nothing else from the mounds, we can clearly infer, that this country once had its millions. We dig up their pottery, where we make our corn fields. We dig up their bones, when we level these mounds. They were, beyond doubt, a very rude people, and very laborious. Where are they now? Their places are occupied by a race, who were depopulating in their turn, when our forefathers first saw the country. We have no other grounds, on which to charge them with the guilt of having destroyed the generations, that are buried in these mounds, than the circumstance, that when we first knew them, they were engaged, as they are now, in constant and interminable wars with each other. Who of them owned the land, that we now inhabit? The races, that lie buried and forgotten on these plains; or the tribes, that advanced to-day, to dispossess the present occupants, to be dispossessed in their turn by another race? We firmly believe, that all ideas of property in the lands, over which they roamed after game, or


skulked in ambush, to kill one another, — ail notions of a local property in these things, have been derived from seeing the value, which lands acquire from the occupancy of the whites. It is out of all question, that ages before they had seen white men, they were divided, as now, into an hundred petty tribes, engaged, as but for the interference of our government they would now be, in endless and exterminating wars, in which they dashed infants into the flames, drank the warm blood of their victim, or danced and yelled round the stake, where he was consuming in the fire. If they found the country, that pleased them, full of game, and unoccupied, they fixed themselves there peacefully. If occupied, they made upon the occupants a war of extermination. When their desires or caprices prompted them to wander to another region, they left nothing, but bark hovels, and a country, where game had become scarce, for one, where they could make new hovels of bark, and find game plenty. War was their amusement, prompted by their instinctive appetite.

It is no crime of the present civilized races, that inhabit these regions, that their forefathers came over the sea, and| enclosed lands, and cut down trees, where the Indians had hunted and fought. If they will not, and can not labor, and cultivate the land, and lead a municipal life, they are in the same predicament with a much greater number of drunkards, idlers and disturbers of society, who are a charge and a burden upon it in all civilized communities. Like them, they ought to be treated with tenderness; to be enlightened and reclaimed, if possible; and, as far as may be, to be restrained from hurting us, and each other. But it is surely as unjust, as it is preposterous, to speak of the prevalence of our race over theirs, as an evil; and from a misjudging tenderness to them, do injustice to our own country, and the cause of human nature.


They are evidently depopulating, not only in the proximity of our people, but in regions too remote, to be affected by our contiguity. Such is the case, as Pike and Long's exploring party, and the Spanish remark, in tribes so remote from our borders, as scarcely to have heard of our government. There are, however exceptions to this rule. The Cherokees and the Chactaws increase in the country east of the Mississippi, almost in a ratio as great, as that of our people. It is earnestly to be wished, that this standing and conclusive proof of the advantage of our habits over theirs, will not be without its impression upon the other tribes. But it is much to be feared, that do what we may, all our schemes of benevolence to preserve them, as a distinct race, will prove abortive; and that they will soon be known only in history.

As we have remarked, some writers number sixty different tribes in this valley. They are scattered over an immense extent of country. They inhabit a great variety of climates. They speak different languages. They live on different kinds of food. There are differences of stature; and tribes of savages larger and smaller, than the ordinary stature of whites. There are differences of character, sensibility, intellect, standards of opinion and morals, and very different usages; and yet, take all the varieties of the races in the different climates into one view, and there is, probably, a greater physical and moral resemblances among them, than is seen among the inhabitants of any other region on the globe. Persons, who have seen the Chippeways of the north, or the Cados of the south, have seen fair samples of the Indians over all this valley.

In stature some tribes exceed, and some fall short of the medial stature of our people. The Dacotas, the Osages, and generally the savages of the middle regions of the


Missouri, are something taller, than our people. We should think the same of the Cherokees. The Shawnees and Delawares, and the Indians of the lakes and the upper Mississippi, appear to us to be shorter, than the whites. Their complexion is generally designated by the term, ‘copper colored.’ It does not convey an exact idea of the complexion of the ‘red skins.’ It is something darker, than untarnished copper, and perhaps nearer the color of well smoked bacon. We have seen full blooded Indians, both of the north and of the south, but more frequently in the latter climate, as black as ordinary negros. But, though the dark tinge was as intense, there is a shade of difference, which the eye catches, and language can not, between the black visage of such an Indian, and a negro. Take the tribes together, there is little difference between the complexion of the northern and southern Indians. The same unchangeable tinge is visible even in the new born children.

There is no part of their external appearance, that more strongly distinguishes them from all other people, than their hair. It is always, in all the tribes, and under all circumstances, and in each of the sexes, black, until changed by age. But contrary to all, that has been asserted by many writers on this subject, we have seen an hundred instances, where they were gray. The hair is generally described by another term, which, perhaps, does not raise very distinct impressions. It is said to be lank. There is a peculiar aspect in an Indian tress, which only speaks to the eye. It hangs in knots, which have a peculiar feeling; and looks, as though greased, which it probably is. It is much finer, than the hair of the horse's mane; but in other respects resembles it. In mixtures with the whites, this singular and characteristic appearance of the hair, described with difficulty, but, when once seen.


always remembered, remains distinctly visible to the third generation.

They are generally erect, and of fine forms, with few instances of anomalous decrepitude and deformity. This, probably, results, partly from the manner, in which the children are reared, unswathed, unspoiled by indulgence and mismanagement of misguided fondness; but more, perhaps, to the circumstance, that feeble children, weak from deformity or want of natural vigor, can not endure the first hardships, with which nature salutes these frail beings on the threshold of existence. Nature cries aloud to them, as Volney has said it, ‘be strong, or die;’ and only the hardy and well formed survive. They have cleaner limbs, not so muscular, and bodies with less tendency to corpulence, than the whites. Corpulent Indians are very rare; but we have seen two or three full blooded Indians as corpulent, as the best fed burghers of our cities. The legs, both of the male and the female, have a remarkable curve, still more distinguishable, than that of the negro. In walking, they are remarkable for placing one foot in a right line before the other, and seldom turn their toes from that right line. In this way they instantly discover the track of their own people, as distinct from ours. They walk, too, the one directly behind the other, in what is called Indian file. We have often seen the husband and wife, the mother and daughter, the father and son, and even two equal aged young men, walking together, engaged, apparently, in earnest conversation; but never advancing abreast. The one is directly behind the other. Their senses are entire, acute, and there are few anomalies from the general analogy of human conformation.

The forehead is broad, and almost invariably retiring in a small. We scarcely remember to have noticed a projecting forehead. The nose is prominent, and


the base of the nostrils has a remarkable expansion; and in the male it is more commonly aquiline, than otherwise. The lips are intermediate between the common thinness of the whites, and thickness of the negros. The cheek bones are high, and marked; and the face, in the line below the eyes, uncommonly wide, — and on this part of the face is strongly impressed the contour, that marks the Indian variety of the human countenance. The eyes are almost invariably black; but of a shade of blackness, very distinct from what We call such in the whites. We have seen the black eye of Italians and Spaniards, which had a color and expression, like the black eye of the Indians. — There is something in their gait, too, apart from the crookedness of their legs, their dress, or their manner of placing their feet the one before the other, which enables us, at a great distance, to distinguish an advancing Indian from a white.

The squaw has a distinctly female conformation, and a delicacy of rounding in the limbs, as distinct from the harsher and more muscular and brawny form of the make, still more strongly marked, than in our race. It seems a refutation, directly in point, of the system of those female philosophers, who have asserted, that the frailer form of the female was only owing to their want of exposure, and the early gymnastic habits of the male. It is notorious, that the squaws are the drudges, the animals of burden, among this race, from their infancy. But they have the female delicacy of limb, and contour of joint, and slenderness of hand and foot, notwithstanding, as distinctly marked, as if they had been reared in indolence and luxury. The legs have the same curve with those of the male. We have scarcely seen an instance, where the female face was not broad and oval. The nose is flattened, scarcely ever aquiline, and for the most part


resembles ,that of the negro. They have a much greater uniformity of face, in this respect, than the male. The effluvia effused from their bodies, both male and female, when in high perspiration, has been often remarked by observers to he less disagreeable, than that of other races, in similar circumstances. Some have supposed this to arise from their almost universal use of unguents from fragrant herbs; others, that they have a less copious and disagreeable perspiration. Be the cause what it may, all people, who have been ranch among the Indians, agree in the fact.

In their moral habits, although no people on the globe will endure severer privation, will be more active, or travel farther, or hunt longer, or perform more incredible exploits of activity and daring, in their wars and in the chase, they must still be pronounced on the whole, a lazy people. They often pass from the extremes of travail and toil to the most perfect indolence. Like their dogs, they will scour their thickets all day in the chase; and like them, as soon as their toils are suspended, they sink either to sleep, or a dozing and half unconscious existence. The history of the life of a warrior, is a history of these constant alternation. But the idea of the steady and unremitting industry of the whites is intolerable to them. The history, of the Indians, from the beginning, is full of this fact. The Spaniards could never bring the Indians of the islands to the steady labors of agriculture. They have been a thousand times enslaved in North America; but the instance is scarcely on record, where an Indian, male or female, became a diligent slave. With them the stimulant effect of the chase, fostered by early training, and associated with the idea, that success in it confers the next honors to those of war, and is one of their means of existence; or the still higher excitements of ambition and revenge, goading them


to war, are the only adequate motives to overcome their natural indolence. These excitements removed, the vagrant propensities of a life without object or pursuit, are with them an overwhelming instinct, in opposition to daily and unremitting industry. Extreme avarice in those, who have become successful cultivators, has supplied a motive of sufficient energy to induce them to mental exertion, in order to procure slaves. But wherever we have passed fields contiguous to Indian villages, the mean and miserable enclosures, the maize, planted out of rows, and crowded together at unequal distances; in short, the whole appearance of their cultivation, was sufficiently indicative of Indian character, that labor was their strange work, and that even their more industrious women and children were but poor and careless cultivators.

In regard to their moral character and dispositions, their modes of existence, their domestic habits, their amiableness, or unamiableness, different writers have taken very different views. Some have extolled their condition, as comprising the highest felicity of human existence; and their manners and morals, as the utmost perfection of human nature. Such were the dreams of Rousseau; and under the pen of Chateaubriand, they were transformed into a kind of amiable and happy Arcadians. Volney described them from observation; and the little, that he has said of them, shows great exactness, and depth of research, and describes more of the real Indian character and condition, than whole volumes, written by others — Heckewelder had lived with a particular tribe, — had identified his feelings, and almost his affections, with them and their interests. Having a very narrow circle of observation, every thing in that circle became magnified out of proportion in his views. Their dim, and probably fabulous traditions, were to him matter of sober history. His


views of them do more credit to the benevolence of his heart, than to the discriminating powers of his mind; and are not exactly the data, on which a philosopher would form his opinions of the Indian character. About this character, scarcely any two writers have been agreed; and we have accounts of them almost diametrically opposite. Charlevoix was one of the first observers of the savages of Canada and the West. He saw them, too, under circumstances favorable for the development of their real character; before their manners were sophisticated, or altered by communication with the whites. He has given us perhaps, the most faithful account of the savages, that has ever been given. It accords with the views, that they have presented to us, at the present day. On the whole, his picture is that of a race, taken as a whole, neither amiable, nor happy. We can not expect to settle the collisions of opinion upon this point. The brevity of our limits confines us to a few passing remarks. We shall give some of their general traits, such as appear to us to be common to the race, and of which all, that have been extensively acquainted with Indian character and manners, will acknowledge the fidelity.

As a race, they have countenances, that are generally unjoyous, stern and ruminating. It is with them either gloomy taciturnity, or bacchanalian revel. When you hear Indians laughing, you may generally infer, that they are intoxicated. An Indian seldom jests; generally speaks low, under his breath; and loquacity is with him an indication of being a trifling personage, and of deeds inversely less, as his words are more. Even the young men and the boys have a sullen, moody and thoughtful countenance; and seem to have little of that elastic gaiety, with which the benevolence of Providence has endowed the first days of the existence of most other beings. From this


general remark, we ought, perhaps, to except the squaw, who shows some analogy of nature to the white female. She has quicker sensibilities, is more easily excited; and when out of sight of her husband, or her parents, to whom these things are matters of espionage and of after reprehension, she laughs, and converses, and seems conscious of a pleasurable existence.

The males evidently have not the quick sensibilities, the acute perceptions, of most other races. They do not easily or readily sympathize with external nature. None but an overwhelming excitement can arouse them. They seem callous to all the passions, but rage. The instances, that have been given in such glowing colors, of their females having felt and displayed the passion of love towards individuals of the whites, with such devoted constancy, have, no doubt, existed. But they were exceptions — anomalies from the general character. We have seen fathers in their cabins, caressing their children; but even their caressing was of their customary moody and stern character, and as though they were ashamed to do it. They are apparently a sullen, melancholy and musing race, who appear to have whatever they have of emotion, or excitement, on ordinary occasions going on in the inner man. Every one has remarked, how little surprise they express for whatever is new, strange, or striking. Their continual converse with woods, rocks and sterile deserts, with the roar of winds and storms, and the solitude and gloom of the wilderness; their apparent exile from social nature their alternations of satiety and hunger; their continua; exposure to danger; their uncertain existence; their constant struggle with nature to maintain it; the little hold, which their affections seem to have upon life; the wild, savage and hostile nature, that incessantly surrounds them; — these circumstances seem to have impressed a


steady and unalterable gloom upon their countenances. If there be, here and there among them, a young man, who feels the freshness and vivacity of youthful existence, and shows any thing of the gaiety and volatility of other animals in such circumstances, though otherwise born to distinction, he is denounced, as a trifling thing; and the silent and sullen young savage will naturally take place of him. They seem to be born with an instinctive determination to be, as much as possible, independent of nature and society, and to concentrate, as much as possible, within themselves an existence, which at any moment they seem willing to lay down.

Their impassible fortitude and endurance of suffering, their contempt of pain and death, invest their character with a kind of moral grandeur. It is to be doubted, whether some part of this vaunted stoicism be not the result of a more than ordinary degree of physical insensibility. It has been said, with how much truth we know not, that in amputation and other surgical operations, their nerves do not shrink, or show the same tendency to spasm, with those of the whites. When the savage, to explain his insensibility to cold, called upon the white man, to recollect how little his own face was affected by it, in consequence of constant exposure, the savage added, ‘my body is all face.’ This increasing insensibility, transmitted from generation to generation, finally becomes inwrought with the whole web of animal nature, and the body of the savage at last approximates the insensibility of the hoofs of horses. Considering the necessary condition of savage existence, this temperament is the highest boon of Providence. Of course no ordinary stimulus excites them to action. Few of the common motives, excitements or endearments operate upon them at all. Most of the things, that move us, they either do not feel, or hold in proud disdain. The


horrors of their dreadful warfare; the infernal rage of their battles; the demoniac fury of gratified revenge; the alternations of hope and despair in their gambling, to which they are addicted, even beyond the whites; the brutal exhilaration of drunkenness; — these are their pleasurable excitements. These are the things, that awaken them to a strong and joyous consciousness of existence. When these excitements arouse the imprisoned energies of their long and sullen meditations, it is like Eolus uncaging the whirlwinds. The tomahawk flies with unpitying and unsparing fury; and the writhing of their victims inspires a horrible joy. Let the benevolent make every exertion to ameliorate their character and condition. Let Christianity arouse every effort to convey her pity, mercy and immortal hopes to their rugged bosoms. But surely it is preposterous to admire the savage character in the abstract. Let us never undervalue the comfort and security of municipal and civilized life; nor the sensibilities, charities and endearments of our own homes. The happiness of savages, steeled against sympathy and feeling, at war with nature, with the elements, and with each other, can have no existence, except in the visionary dreaming of those, who never contemplated their actual condition.

It is curious to remark, that different as are their standards of opinion from ours, in the main they have much the same notion of a good and respectable man, that we have. If we mark the passion for military display among our race, and observe what point is assigned by common feeling, as well as history, to military prowess, we shall hardly consider it a striking difference from our nature, that bravery and daring command the first place in their homage. Their whole training, from their first to their last hour, inculcates the maxim, that courage is every thing. But apart from these views, the same traits of


character that entitle a man to the appellation of virtuous and good among us, have the same bearing upon the estimation of the Indians. In conversing with them, we are struck with surprise, to observe how widely and deeply the obligations of truth, constancy, honor, generosity and forbearance are felt and understood among them.

It has been often observed by foreign writers, and the sentiment has been echoed among philosophers of our own country, that they were less subject to desire, and that the sexual propensities were weaker in their race, than in ours; and they have evidenced the want of beard in the males, as a physical proof. The Indians are as particular, as the Parisians, not to depart from their own modes and fashions. But we have occasionally seen a savage, who had the courage or the affectation to be singular, and such a person has a beard, that would not do discredit to an Oriental. It is well known, that one of the most general and troublesome employments of the young Indians is, to pull out the starting crop of beard with tweezers. We know not if their beard would grow naturally as abundant, as that of the whites. But if it would not, it is unquestionably owing to other causes, than want natural vigor. Labor, a diet often meagre from necessity, exposure, and the indulgence of passions of a deeper character, as ambition, vindictiveness and the appetite for war, would probably weaken, if not extinguish, in whites passions, which are fostered in indolence, plenty and repose. But when savages are placed in situations favorable to the development and indulgence of animal desires, we have seen no indications that they are feebler, or less intense in them, than in the whites. When we look upon the wild and naked elements, upon which, in some sense, their children are cast; when we consider how unfavorable is their situation for rearing children, we are


astonished, at seeing so many in their cabins. Of the squaws, that we have seen, of mature age, a very great proportion of them had their babe, either swinging in its bark cradle, suspended between two trees; or if the mother was travelling, hung to her back by the usual strings, passed over her shoulders, compressed to her back by a bark cage, not unlike the shell of a tortoise. Its copper colored nose is seen peeping from this cage, like that of the tortoise from its shell; and even the infant seems to feel, that crying is to no purpose; and its note of grief is seldom heard.

It is to be lamented, that the intercourse of the whites among them has been calculated to convey any impressions of them, rather than those of the philosophers, of whom we have spoken. Numberless fatal cases of jealousy are recorded of their young warriors, in reference to the deportment of our people towards their women, while among them. The manners of our people, in this intercourse, have too often been an outrage upon decency and humanity. There are but few tribes, among whom the passing American sojourner, if he have any respectability of appearance, does not receive the offer of the daughter, or perhaps the wife, of his host, as a temporary companies. Almost every American trader and resident among them has an Indian wife; and but too often, wives in the region, which they left. In Long's first expedition an instance of this sort is recorded, of the deep and devoted constancy of affection on the part of the young Indian wife, and thrilling proofs of the struggle between maternal and conjugal affection. The whole story is characteristic; and reflects as much honor upon the Indian wife and mother, as it does shame and contempt on the base and cold blooded perfidy of the American husband.


In all the Indian tribes, they have contrived to emulate the most polished and civilized people in the extent of prostitution, practiced among them; and these degraded beings have the same estimation in the one country and the other. Unnatural vices, fornication and adultery prevail among many of the tribes, no doubt, to a great extent; but taking into view the opportunities in the solitude of the desert, the smallness of their societies, and the diminished influence of opinion, that results from it; taking into view, that they have no laws, but indefinite opinion, no religion, and no visible restraints, — the state of morals in these respects is far better, than would naturally be expected. Instead of admiring, that these vices are practiced among them, but, perhaps, not to a greater degree, than in civilized countries, it is to a thinking mind matter of astonishment, that there is so much decorum and restraint in these respects, as there is. We feel constrained, too, to place this decorum among themselves, and that astonishing delicacy, with which they deport themselves towards white females, that fall into their power, to a more honorable cause, than the destitution of passions. When we have passed various Indian tribes encamped near together, in company with ladies, we have observed the same manners, and the same indications of what was passing in their minds, that we should expect to see in untrained and low people among ourselves; nor have we ever believed for a moment, that the propensities of nature are not as strong, under similar circumstances, in them, as in us.

There are different standards of morals among them, as there are among the white nations. With some tribes adultery is a venial offence; and in others it is punished with mutilation, death, or the handing over the degraded female to all the males of the tribe. The instance of a young squaw, who is a mother before marriage, is a very


uncommon occurrence; nor have we as much faith, as others, in their adroitness at procuring abortion. In the case of a young Indian woman the fact of pregnancy could not be hidden.

The modes of managing marriage are as various, as among the whites. If there be any prevalent custom among the tribes, it is, that the parents manage the matter; and the young warrior in the morning finds the squaw, elected by the parents, sitting in his quarters, with whatever she is expected to bring, as dowry, removed with her. It sometimes, but not often, happens, that he enters his dissent, and she returns with her baggage to her mother. It is a universal custom to many as many wives, as the warrior or hunter pleases. This is an affair, accurately prescribed by custom. If a young hunter has been for a length of time very successful in hunting, like a rich Turk, he is authorized by opinion to take as many wives, as he has proved himself able to maintain.

Jealousy in this case, and in all other cases, shows itself under the same forms, which it would naturally assume among our people. In Long's first expedition, we have a very amusing account of the manner, in which a wife deports herself, when her husband happens to manifest a greater fondness for another wife. Sometimes the favorite, to avoid her tongue, teeth and nails, flies with her husband to the campaign or hunt. At others, in dread of her life, she returns to her parents. When the two wives quarrel, whatever be the taciturnity of the husband, there is no want of words between the wives. The husband, squat on his hams, with his pipe in his mouth, and his head half covered, and his eyes half closed, affects to be dozing, while they rate each other. If the contest of words goes on to blows, as is often the case, he arises with the stern air of a judge, and parts them, with a manner, that


indicates which is the favorite. The wives generally find one lodge too narrow for both to inhabit together. The Indian spends his time, perhaps, in equal portions between them.

But if he happen to spend more time with the one, than the other, when he returns to the neglected wife, she manifests her view of the case by kicking his dog, throwing his food on the ground, and letting him with great frankness into her thoughts of him and his favorite. The more our species are studied, the more clearly it is found, that the human heart is every where the same.

It is beyond all question, that some of the tribes now occasionally practice cannibalism; and that before the new world was visited by the whites, it was a custom generally, if not universally prevalent among them. The imperceptible influence of the horror, with which this practice is regarded by the whites, has made its way among them; and, little as they are disposed to confess, that they are swayed by our opinions, the earnestness with which they deny the existence of the practice at present in their tribes, and with which they attempt to vindicate their ancestors from the charge, is an incontestable admission of the influence, which our opinions exercise over them.

It would extend these remarks beyond our object, to give extensive and general details of Indian manners and modes of life. An important era with the youth of all the tribes is that, when they pass from minority to the duties and estimation of warriors and hunters. This period is celebrated with great solemnity. It is well known, that hunting is the serious business, and war the important amusement and pleasure of their lives. The manner, in which they conduct these pursuits, is sufficiently well known. Their modes of constructing their habitations vary, according as they dwell in a country of forests or prairies, or a northern or southern climate. Although


in the very few instances, in which the savages become cultivators in good earnest, they may have constructed good houses, the far greater portion aim at nothing more, than the frailest and rudest cabin. Yet in the construction of these, there are the same differences, as are seen in the cabins of the backwoods men. Some are extremely rude; and some are framed with ingenious and persevering reference to comfort and utility. The same differences are visible in the internal arrangement and keeping of the cabin. Inmost instances the interior is filthy and uncomfortable, beyond the endurance of any but a savage. We have been in others, where the neatly matted floor, or the earth covered with the fresh verdure of the palmetto, and the neatness of all the accompaniments, gave the scene such an air of comfort, as created a train of pleasant associations with the place.

Like all ignorant people, unable to trace the relation between results and causes, they are beyond all other people superstitious. It may be laid down, as an universal trait of the Indian character. The warrior, who braves death a thousand times and in every form in the fury a battle, carries with him to the combat a little charmed bag of filthy and disgusting ingredients, in which he places no little reliance, as security against the balls and arrows that are fired upon him. They are much addicted to faith in dreams. One of the dreamers, the day before alert, confident and intrepid, awakes the next morning, subdued and timid. He paints one side of his face black. He subjects himself to the most rigorous abstinence and fasting. Nothing can induce him to indulge or taste food, until the interdict has passed away. He has dreamed an unfavorable dream. Such astonishing hold have these dreams upon their mind, that a warrior has known to assume the dress, the duties, the drudgery, and, what is


infinitely more humiliating to an Indian, the estimation and standing of a squaw, in consequence of one of these dreams.

This great tendency to superstition in an Indian mind furnishes strong inducements to ingenious and bold impostors among them, to assume the character of jugglers, quacks, medicine men and prophets. Our country had a terrible proof of the efficacy of this assumption, in the case of the ‘Shawnee prophet,’ and inferior men of the same character, during the late war. A chief among the savages of the Missouri exercised, through the influence of fear, a long and severe authority over Indians, by whom he was abhorred. He had a medicine bag of terrible efficacy; and his enemies fell on his right hand and on his left. It was a received opinion in his tribe, that his wish had a withering and fatal influence on whomsoever he directed it. After his death, his grand medicine was found to be arsenic.

Every thing with them, of great efficacy and power, that is inexplicable, is ‘medicine;’ and the medicine men among them have the next degree of consideration to chiefs and noted warriors. We have conversed with Indians, who were atheists, and treated as fabulous all notions of the immortality of the soul; and defended their opinions with as much ingenuity, as abandoned people of the lower orders among ourselves, who profess to hold the same opinions. But in some shape or form, almost all savages admit the being of God, and the immortality of the soul. The Great Spirit is termed in many of their languages, ‘Wahconda,’ or Master of Life. Storm and thunder are manifestations of his wrath; and success in war and hunting, of his favor. Many of the tribes have forms of prayer, in the use of which they are regular and earnest, particularly when starting on expeditions of hunting or war.


Their prophets occasionally give out, that they have had communications with this Spirit, who has made himself visibly manifest to them, in the form of some bird or beast; and they paint their faces black, and observe great mystery on the occasion; and thence derive their claims to prophecy, and to be treated with the deference of ‘medicine men.’ Their notions of the condition of departed spirits are such, as we might expect from their character and condition. In some distant region of a southern temperature, they place the home of the worthy departed in the country of ‘brave and free’ spirits, who pass to that country of game and good cheer over a bridge, scarcely wider than a hair, suspended over a yawning gulf. They, who have firm hearts and feet, and unblenching countenances, — that is to say, who were good warriors in life, pass safely over the bridge; while the timid and trembling fall into the gulf below.

Though they will sometimes talk of these matters with great earnestness and apparent conviction, yet, we believe, of all people, that have been known on the earth, their thoughts, hopes and fears dwell the least on any thing beyond this life. It seems to be inexplicable to them, that any part of their conduct here can have any bearing upon their condition hereafter. If they can be comfortable, and gain their points in this life, they concern themselves very little about what will happen to them in the life to come. Of course adult savages have too often been found hopeless subjects, upon whom to inculcate the pure and sublime truths of our gospel. The days of the Brainerds and Elliotts seem to have gone by; or the western and southern savages are more hopeless subjects for conversion, than those of the north. They have certainly been found utterly destitute of the plastic docility of the Mexican and Peruvian Indians. Charlevoix has given, as a characteristic


trait of the Canadian and western savages of his day, one, that has been found equally applicable to them at the present time. They listen with apparent docility and attention to our expositions of our religion, our faith, and our hopes; and assent to all, and admit, that this may all be true, in relation to individuals of our race. They relate in turn their own fables, their own dim and visionary notions of a God and hereafter; and exact the same docility and complaisance to their creed, which they yielded to ours.

In respect to the lesser morals, all savages in this region are hospitable. Even the enemy, whom they would have sought, and slain far from their cabins, who presents himself fearlessly there, claims, and receives their hospitality. They accord to the cabin hearth the honors and the sanctity of an asylum. A great number of instances are on record, of savages of hostile tribes, obnoxious to the most deadly revenge of particular warriors, presenting themselves on a sudden before those warriors, and offering their bosoms to the knife. This heroism often not only disarms revenge, but with admiration excites more generous feelings, and brings about a peace between the contending tribes. That part of our character, which they are the last to understand, is that when we have received in their villages the most ample hospitality, they, in returning the visit, should find, that our strangers lodged in taverns.

We have not the same plenary faith in their tenacious remembrance of kindnesses, and the certainty of our dependence upon the constancy of their friendship. We consider them a treacherous people, easily swayed from their purpose, paying their court to the divinity of good fortune, and always ready to side with the strongest. We should not rely upon their feelings of to-day, as any pledge for what they will be to-morrow.


They are well known for their voraciousness of appetite. They endure hunger and thirst, as they do pain and death, with astonishing patience and constancy. When they kill a deer, a buffalo, or a bear, after a long abstinence, they will devour an enormous quantity of the flesh. Their fatal and devoted attachment to ardent spirits is matter of melancholy notoriety. In all their councils, and talks and conferences with the officers of the government, from lake Erie to the Rocky mountains, the first and the last request is, ‘whiskey.’ This is the only point, upon which it is useless to appeal to the feelings of honor and shame in an Indian. Declaim, as we may, against the use of it; paint the ill effects of it, as strongly as we choose; speak with as much contempt, as we may, of drunkards; their best and their bravest still clamor for whiskey. Schoolcraft gives us a characteristic anecdote to this effect. A noted Pottawattomie chief presented himself to the American agent at Chicago, as a good man, and a good friend to the Americans, and concluded with the usual request for whiskey. The reply was, that the agent did not give whiskey to good Indians; that such neither asked for it, nor drank it, when offered; that it was bad Indians only, who asked for whiskey. The Indian replied with great quickness, in broken English, ‘Me d—n rascal.’

All words would be thrown away in attempting to pourtray in just colors the effects of whiskey upon such a race. It is, indeed, the heaviest curse, that their intercourse with the whites has entailed upon them. Every obligation of duty, as philanthropists and Christians, imposes upon us all possible efforts to prevent the extirpation of the whole race; the inevitable consequence of their having free access to this liquid poison. We have adverted to the stern and rigorous prohibitions of the general government, and the fidelity with which they are generally carried into effect;


and yet, some way or other, wherever Americans have access, Indians have whiskey. It is understood, that the laws of the state governments and of the general government are not in concert upon this subject. It is matter of undoubted fact, that in the states, the Indians find much less difficulty in procuring whiskey, than in the territories; and of course intoxication is far more common. The duties of the states imperiously call upon them, to frame laws in unison with those of the general government, and to unite with that, to prevent these unhappy beings from exercising their suicide propensities.

It has been inferred, because they make it a point, not to express astonishment, or curiosity, in view of our improvements and arts, that they have little curiosity; and because they seem to hold them in contempt and disdain, that they have nothing analogous to the cupidity, vanity, or pride of the whites. They are, unquestionably, a very proud race; and their pride induces them to affect indifference, and to hold those things in apparent contempt, which they are conscious they can not obtain. As regards their vanity, we have not often had the fortune to contemplate a young squaw at her toilette. But from the studied arrangement of her calico jacket, from the glaring circles of vermilion on her round face, from the artificial manner, in which her hair is clubbed, and from the time, which she occupies in completing these arrangements, we infer, that dress and personal ornament occupy the same portion of her thoughts, that they do of the fashionable woman of civilized society. A young Indian warrior is notoriously the most thorough going beau going beau in the world. Broadway and Bond street, furnish no subjects, that will spend as much time, or endure as much crimping and confinement, to appear in full dress. We think, that we have observed such a character, constantly employed with his paints and


his pocket glass for three full hours, laying on his paints, and arranging his tresses, and contemplating with visible satisfaction, from time to time, the progress of his attractions. The chiefs and warriors in full dress have one, two or three clasps of silver about their arms, generally jewels in their ears, and often in their nose; and nothing is more common, than to see a thin, circular piece of silver, of the size of a dollar, hanging from their nose, a little below their upper lip. This ornament, so horribly inconvenient, seems to be one of the highest Indian taste. Painted porcupine quills are twirled in their hair. Tails of animals hang from the hair behind; or from the point, where they were originally appended to the animal. A necklace of bears' or alligators' teeth, or claws of the bald eagle, or common red beads, or wanting these, a kind of rosary of red hawthorns, hangs about the neck. From the knees to the feet the legs are ornamented with great numbers of little, perforated, cylindrical pieces of silver or brass, that tinkle, as the person walks. If to all this, he add an American hat, and a soldier's coat of blue, faced with red, over the customary calico shirt, he steps firmly on the ground, to give to his tinklers a simultaneous noise, and apparently considers his person with as much complacency, as the human bosom can be supposed to feel. This is a very curtailed view of an Indian beau, and faithful, as far as it goes, to the description of almost every young Indian at a great public dance.

So many faithful prints have recently been presented to the public of the Indian figure and costume, that most of those, who have not seen the living subject, have definite views of it. The males, for the most part, wear leggins, setting closely from the loins to the ankles, generally of smoke-tanned dear skin, sometimes of blue cloth. Those, who inhabit beyond the range of the buffalo, wear a


blanket, thrown loosely over the shoulders; and those, who live in the region of the buffalo, wear a dressed skin of that animal. Their moccasins are ornamented with extreme care, with different colored porcupine quills, arranged in lines and compartments. But in the sultry months, they are often seen with no other dress, than a piece of blue cloth, in the language of the country, ‘strouding,’ passed between the thighs, and brought round the loins. In regions contiguous to the whites, they have generally a calico shirt of the finest colors; and they are particularly attached to a long calico dress, resembling a morning gown.

The women have a calico jacket, leggins, not much unlike those of the men, and wherever they can afford it, a blue broadcloth petticoat. We do not remember to have seen Indians, either male or female, affect any other colors, than red or blue. The thick, heavy, black tresses of hair are parted on the forehead, and skewered with a quill or thorn in a large club behind.

They have various dances, to which they are extravagantly attached; and which often have, as did the dances of the old time, a religious character. The aged council chiefs drum, and the young warriors dance with great verhemence, beating the ground with their feet. They pursue the business with a vigor, which causes the perspiration to pour from their bodies. They have the war, the council, the feast, and the dog dance; and tunes corresponding to the different objects. The tunes are very monotonous, running through only three or four notes, and constantly recurring to the same strain. In most of the tribes, the women take no part in the song or dance. — Among some of the tribes, we have heard the women chime in the last note.


Incredible stories are related of the powers of their jugglers and mountebanks. Many of their alleged feats never took place, except in the imaginations of the ignorant people, who related them. But they have, undoubtedly, a rigidity of muscle, a callousness of nerve, and a contempt of pain and wounds, that enable them to achieve swallowing fire, putting knives and swords down their throats, and such like exploits, with great success. To create admiration is of course a passion with them; and this desire incites them to thought and study, in order to learn the mystic arts of legerdemain, in which they certainly attain no inconsiderable proficiency. Their medicine men are a kind of jugglers; and there is much ceremony and affectation of mystery, in the preparing and administering their medicines. The most amusing part of this business is, that the scaramouch, who has gone through all the ceremonies, and prepared the medicine, generally takes it himself. We have little faith in their boasted acquaintance with remedies, from their own vegetable kingdom. We have remarked, that when they were near our settlements, their sick are in the habit of applying to our physicians.

The Indian head is such, as we would suppose the craniologists would select, us finely moulded for intelligence. In this respect he would probably place them, as a race, beside the homo sapiens Europaeus. We have seen them in every position, to try native acuteness. We have taught their young. We consider them naturally a shrewd, intelligent people, with heads capable of the highest mental development in every department of thought, in as great a degree, as our own race. They have, probably as much curiosity, but a more stern perseverance in the effort to suppress it. The first time, that they witness a steam boat, they never suppress the outward expression of their admiration, and their emphatic ‘ugh!’


Languages. It can not be expected, that we should dismiss this article, which, with every effort to curtail it, has grown up under our hands, without remarking upon their languages. In all their dialects, we suspect, that, like the Chinese, their words were originally but of one syllable. — Every word, then, of more than one syllable, has been formed in the progress of advancing ideas among them, by a corresponding combination of ideas. Having few abstractions among their ideas, and knowing and caring little about our complex combinations of thought, conversable wholly with tangible and visible matters, their expressions are paintings of sensible ideas with the coloring matter of words. Whenever we undertake to convey to them a connected chain of abstract ideas, they turn to us for a while with a complacent inclination of the head, and apply their hand to their ear, with the sign, so readily understood by all Indians to imply, that they are deaf. Their manner of numbering, evidences the extreme simplicity of their language. We have requested of all the tribes, with which we have been conversant, their terms of numbering, as an hundred. In some the terms are simple, as far as ten. In others six is five-one, seven five-two, and so on. Beyond ten they generally count by reduplication of the ten. This they perform by a mechanical arithmetic, intricate to explain, but readily apprehended by the eye. Some of the tribes are said to be perplexed in their attempts to number beyond an hundred. When the questions turned upon any point, that involved great numbers, we have generally heard them avail themselves of an English word, the first, we believe, and the most universally understood by savages — heap! We have read, that in some of their languages, there are subtleties of structure, and nice shades of divisions of time, in the tenses of their verbs, that transcend even the famed exactness and


finish of the Greek. There is something inexplicable, it must be admitted, in the combinations and artificial structure of the language of a people of such extreme simplicity of thought.

We profess to know little of the origin of these languages. We suspect, that a life might be spent in studying them in the closet to very little purpose. The savages vary their meaning by the accent and intonation, which they give their words, still more than the French. We fear, that a printed page of Indian words, most carefully and accurately noted by the marks of accent and sound in our dictionaries, could hardly be read by an unpracticed American so as to be intelligible to the Indian, whose language they purport to be. We suppose the Muskogee and Chelokee to be the patriarchal dialects of the south the Chippeway and Dacota, of the Indians of the lakes and the upper Mississippi; and the Ozadghe and Pawnee, of the savages of Missouri, Arkansas and Red river. We should not forget, that they have a language of signs, — the Latin, or common language, by which all the tribes converse with each other. It is a trite maxim, that necessity is the mother of invention; and it is inconceivable, expect by those who have witnessed it, how copious and expressive a language they have formed with signs. In Long's first expedition a full and accurate vocabulary of this language is given.

After all, that, which has struck us in contemplating the Indians with the most astonishment and admiration, is the invisible but universal energy of the operation and influence of an inexplicable law, which has, where it operates, a more certain and controlling power, than all the municipal and written laws of the whites united. There is despotic rule, without my hereditary or elected chief. There are chiefs with great power, who can not tell when,


where, how they became such. There is perfect unanimity in a question involving the existence of a tribe, where every member belonged to the wild and fierce democracy of nature, and could dissent, without giving a reason. A case occurs, where it is prescribed by custom, that an individual should be punished with death. Escaped far from the control of his tribe, and as free as the winds, this invisible tie is about him; and he returns, and surrenders himself to justice. His accounts are not settled, and he is in debt; he requests delay, till he shall have accomplished his summer's hunt. He finishes it, pays his debt, and dies with a constancy, which has always been, in all views of Indian character, the theme of admiration.

A serious question occurs in conclusion. What is the prospect of bringing to these rugged and comfortless beings, apparently the outcasts of nature and civilization, the moulding, the guidance and hopes of the gospel? — The gloomy fact must be admitted, that but little has yet been done. Pious and devoted Catholic missionaries have carried their lives in their hands, have renounced all earthly hopes, and have lived and died among them, to carry them the gospel. The Protestants have not been behind them in these labors of love. But after the lapse of more than a century, scarcely an adult savage can be found, west of the Mississippi, who will pronounce himself a Christian. There are many, that have crosses suspended from their necks, which they show, as they do their medals. They seem to think, that the profession of Christianity gives them additional claims upon us. While we were writing, some Appalachy Indians applied to the judge of the district, where we resided, for redress. They spoke of the alleged outrage in terms of indignant feeling. ‘Nous sommes baptises,’ we have been baptized, said they; and


appeared to feel, as if this gave the outrage a greater enormity. We are sure, that if any effort can have marks of moral heroism, and nobleness of self-devotion beyond another, the self-devotion of missionaries among the savages is the noblest of all. Surely, if any men merit earnest wishes and prayers for their success, it must be those men, who have left the precincts of every thing, that is desirable in life, to go into these solitudes, and take in hand, these uninformed children of nature.

There are some circumstances, which invest the present missionary efforts with stronger probabilities of success, than any, that have preceded them. The number of Indians, that are half breeds, or mixtures of the blood of the whites, is great, and continually increasing. These generally espouse, either from conviction, or from party feeling, the interests of civilization and Christianity. It is more universally, than it once was, a conviction, that Christianity is the religion of social and civilized man. Instead of relying much on the hope of the conversion of adult hunting and warrior savages, the effort is chiefly directed towards the young. Schools, the loom, the anvil, the plough, are sent to them. Amidst the comfort, stability and plenty of cultivation, they are to be imbued with a taste for our institutions, arts, industry and religion, at the same time. — Every benevolent man will wish these efforts of benevolence all possible success.


The tumuli, or mounds of the western country, are first seen on the southern shores lake Erie. We trace them through the western parts of New York. We find them increasing in numbers and size in the state of Ohio. They are seen thence, with more or less frequency over all the valley; and from Humboldt we learn, that mounds of a similar character abound in Mexico. It


so much had not been already written upon the subject, we should hold it idle to detain the reader a moment, in useless dissertation upon the question, by whom these mounds were formed, and for what purposes? As every opinion on the point must rest entirely upon conjecture, without the slightest rational element, on which to found it, we shall discover at once, that such dissertations could throw no certain light on the subject. Whether the mass of them was constructed for fortifications, observatories, temples, or tombs, it is hopeless to enquire. That some of them served for the last purpose, we have the conclusive evidence, that they abound in human bones. It has been often asserted, that some of the mounds are foil of bones, that are perforated, as though the living subjects were slain in battle; and that the skeletons are heaped together in promiscuous confusion, as if buried after a conflict, without order or arrangement. The bones, which we have seen, were such, and so arranged, as might be expected in the common process of solemn and deliberate inhumation. The mounds show no more art, though infinitely more labor, than might be expected from the present Indians. They are mere erections of earth, exhibiting no other trace of skill, than that most of them are of regular forms, contained under circular or right lines. Iron tools were not used in the formation of them. Stone makes no part of them. Yet many of the squares and parallelograms make a much more conspicuous figure, after the lapse of unknown ages, than the defenses of earth, thrown up on the Atlantic shore, during the revolutionary war.

Some of them are said to be found on hills. We have seen none such. They are generally on fertile wooded bottoms, plains, or the richer alluvial prairies, where wild fruits, game and fish are abundant and at hand. The most dense ancient population existed precisely in the


places, where the most crowded future population will exist in the generations to come. The appearance of a series of mounds generally indicates the contiguity of rich and level lands, easy communications, fish, game, and the most favorable adjacent positions. The only circumstance, which strongly discredits their having been formed by the progenitors of the present Indians, is the immensity of the size of some of them, beyond what could be expected from the sparse population and the indolence of the present race We know of no monuments, which they now raise for their dead, that might not be the work of a few people in a few days. We have seen mounds, which would require the labor of a thousand of the men employed on our canals, with all their mechanical aids, and the improved implements of their labor for months. We have, more than once, hesitated in view of one of these prodigious mounds, whether it were not really a natural hill. But they are uniformly so placed, in reference to the adjoining country, and their conformation is so unique and similar, that no eye hesitates long in referring them to the class of artificial erections. The largest, that has been discovered in the Ohio valley, as far as we know, is in the bottom of Grave creek, near its entrance into the Ohio, and fourteen miles below Wheeling. It is between thirty and forty rods in circumference at its base, with a proportionate diameter. It is seventy feet in perpendicular height; and has a table area on its summit, which is sixty feet in diameter, in the centre of which is a great and regular concavity. A single white oak rises from this concavity, like a flag staff.

The most numerous group of mounds, that we have seen, is near Cahokia, in the American bottom. There are said to be two hundred in all. The largest is on the banks of Cahokia creek. Its form is that of a parallelogram.


Its circumference is commonly given at eight hundred yard, and its height at ninety feet. There is a terrace on the south side of it. The monks of La Trappe had a monastery adjoining it, and their garden was on the terrace. They cultivated the mound. The earth could not have furnished them a place, more in keeping with their profession and avowed objects. In the midst of the American bottom, perhaps the most fertile spot on the globe exerting its exhaustless fertility only in the production of dense forest, or a useless luxuriance of weeds and flowers, all in view of their dwelling is a solitary prairie. A few dreaming men, vowed to perpetual silence, apparently belonging more to another world, than this, seat themselves on one of these lonely and inexplicable monuments of generations, that are now no more, in the midst of gigantic weeds, gaudy flowers, and rank grass. — No noise disturbs them, by day or night, but the chirping of the grasshoppers, or the cry of wolves, or the hooting of owls.

There are very interesting mounds near St Louis, a little north of the town. Some of them have the aspect of enormous stacks. That one of them, called the ‘falling garden,’ is generally pointed out, as a great curiosity. — One of these mounds, and it was a very striking one, was leveled in the centre of Chillicothe. In digging it down, it is said, there were removed cart loads of human bones. The town of Circleville, in Ohio, is principally laid out within the limits of a couple of contiguous mounds; the one circular, the other square. The town has its name from its position, chiefly in the circular mound. In this, and in many other mounds, the singular circumstance is said to exist, and by people, who live near them, and ought to know that, of which they affirm, that the earth, of which they are compose, is entirely distinct from that in the


vicinity. It is of no avail to enquire, why the builders should have encountered the immense toil, to bring these hills of earth from another place?

Our country has been described abroad, as sterile of moral interest. We have, it is said, no monuments, no rums, none of the colossal remains of temples, and baronial castles, and monkish towers; nothing to connect the imagination and the heart with the past; none of the dim recollections of times gone by, to associate the past with the future. We have not traveled in other lands But in passing over our vast prairies, in viewing our noble and ancient forests, planted by nature, and nurtured only by ages; when we have seen the sun rising over a boundless plain, where the blue of the heavens in all directions touched, and mingled with the verdure and the flowers; when our thoughts have traversed rivers of a thousand leagues in length; when we have seen the ascending steam boat breasting the surge, and gleaming through the verdure of the trees; when we have imagined the happy multitudes, that from these shores will contemplate this scenery in the days to come; we have thought, that our great country might at least compare with any other, in the beauty of its natural scenery. When, on an uninhabited prairie, we have fallen at nightfall upon a group of these mounds, and have thought of the masses of human bones, that moulder beneath; when the heart and the imagination evoke the busy multitudes, that here ‘strutted through life's poor play,’ and ask the phantoms who and what they were, and why they have left no memorials, but these mounds; we have found ample scope for reflections and associations of the past with the future. We should not highly estimate the mind, or the heart of a man, who could behold these tombs of the prairies without deep thought.


These regions bear ample testimonials, of another sort, of a world gone by. Beside the human skeletons, found in the nitre caves, and at the Maramec, of which we shall have occasion to speak in another place, there are found at the licks, and, as habitancy and cultivation bring us more acquainted with what is concealed beneath the soil, over all the valley, masses of bones of animals of enormous size, to which the name of mammoth and megalonyx have been given. A ship's cargo could easily be furnished. — The bones of animals of different classes, forms and sizes from any that are now known to exist, and different, too, from the mammoth, are discovered in the same places with these huge remains. While we are writing, they are exhibiting at New Orleans the bones of an animal, to which the mammoth itself must have been a pigmy, found near Plaquemine, on the Mississippi, below that city. — They have been asserted, and denied to be the bones of a whale. A diligent and unwearied antiquarian, in the state of Ohio, affirms, that he has discovered, in laying open the earth in his geological examinations, the wood and the leaves of the bread-fruit tree, and other vegetable tropical remains. Whatever credit this opinion may receive, all admit, that every part of the Mississippi valley is marked with monuments of immense and inexplicable changes in the natural world, and of races of animals and men, that are now no more.

Present Population.

The progress of the population of this country, as every one knows, is without any example or parallel in the records of other colonies, in ancient or modern times; not excepting even the annals of the advancement of the Atlantic country. We can remember, when all this country, except the ancient French colonies in it, was an unknown and an unpeopled wilderness. The


first settlers encountered incredible hardships and dangers. But only open before, Americans a fertile soil, and a mild climate, and their native enterprise, fostered by the stimulant effect of freedom and mild laws, will overcome every impediment. Sickness, solitude, mountains, the warwhoop, the merciless tomahawk, wolves, and panthers, and bears, dear and distant homes, forsaken for ever, will come over their waking thoughts, and revisit their dreams in vain, to prevent the young, florid and unportioned pair from scaling remote mountains, descending long rivers, and finally selecting their spot in the forests, consecrating their solitary cabin with the dear and sacred named of home, and there rearing a family.

The following synoptical view will show, in a few words, the astonishing advance of this population. In 1790, the population of this valley, exclusive of the country west of the Mississippi, and of Florida, which were not then with our territorial limits, was estimated, by enumeration, at little more than 100,000. In 1800, it was something short of 380,000. In 1810, it was short of a million. In 1820, including the population west of the Mississippi, rating the population of Florida at 20,000, and that of the parts of Pennsylvania and Virginia included in this valley at 300,000, and it will give the population of 1820 at 2,500,000. It will be perceived, that this is an increase, in more than a duplicate ratio, in ten years.

Some considerable allowance must be made, of course, for the flood of immigration, which can not reasonably be expected to set this way, for the future, as strongly as it has for the past. There is no doubt, however, that Ohio, with the largest and most dense population of any of the western states, will have double the number of inhabitants, by the census of 1830, which she had by that of 1820. — During that interval, her gain by immigration will not


equal her loss by emigration; and, of course, will be simply that of natural increase. In the rapidity of this increase, we believe, this state not only exceeds any other in the West, but in the world. It is the good natured jest of all, who travel through the western states, that, however productive in other harvests, they are still more so in an unequalled crop of flaxen headed children; and that ‘this is the nobler growth our realms supply.’ The population of this valley at the next census, will no doubt, exceed four millions. It will have by a million, more inhabitants, than the thirteen good old United States, when, at the commencement of the revolutionary war, they threw down the gauntlet in the face of the parent country, then the most powerful empire on the globe.

Notwithstanding the impression, so generally entertained in the Atlantic country, that this valley is universally unhealthy, and notwithstanding the necessary admission, that fever and ague is prevalent to a great and an annoying degree, the stubborn facts, above stated, demonstrate, beyond all possibility of denial, that no country is more propitious to increase by natural population. Wherever the means of easy, free and ample subsistence are provided, it is in the nature and order of human things, that population should increase rapidly. In such a country, though some parts of it should prove sickly, perseverance will ultimately triumph over even this impediment, the most formidable of all. In that fertile region, for the insalubrious districts are almost invariably those of the highest fertility, immigrants will arrive, become sickly, and discouraged; perhaps, return with an evil report of the country. In the productive and sickly sections of the south, allured by its rich products, and its exemption from winter, adventurers will successively arrive, fix themselves, become sickly, and it may be, they will die. Others, lusting


for gain, and with that recklessness to the future, for wise ends awarded us by Providence, and undismayed by the fate of those who have preceded them, will replace them. By culture, draining, the feeding of cattle, and the opening the country to the fever-banishing breeze, the atmosphere is found gradually to meliorate. The inhabitants, taught by experience and suffering, come by degrees to learn the climate, the diseases, and preventives; and a race will finally stand, which will possess the adaptation to the country, which results from acclimation: and even these sections are found, in time, to have a degree of natural increase of population with the rest. Such has proved to be the steady advance of things in the sickliest points of the south. The rapidity of our increase in numbers multiplies the difficulties of subsistence, and stimulates and sharpens the swarming faculties and propensities in the parent hive, and will cause, that in due lapse of time and progress of things, every fertile quarter section in this valley will sustain its family.

Another pleasant circumstance appended to this view is that almost the entire population of the valley are cultivators of the soil. The inhabitants of crowded towns and villages, the numerous artisans and laborers in manufactories, can neither be, as a mass, so healthy, so virtuous, or happy, as free cultivators of the soil. The man, whose daily range of prospect is dusty streets, or smoky and dead brick walls, and whose views become limited by habit to the enclosure of those walls; who depends for his subsistence on the daily supplies of the market; and whose motives to action are elicited by constant and hourly struggle and competition with his fellows; will have the advantage in some points over the secluded tenant of a cabin, or a farm house. But still, taking every thing into the calculation, we would choose to be the owner of half a


section of land, and daily contemplate nature, as we tilled the soil, aided in that primitive and noble employment by our own vigorous children. The dweller in towns and villages may have more of the air and tone of society, and his daughters may keep nearer to the changes of the fashions. But we have little doubt, that, in striking the balance of enjoyment, the latter will be found to be the happier man, and more likely to have a numerous and healthy family. The people of the West, with very small deductions, are cultivators of the soil. All, that are neither idle, nor unable to labor, have a rural abundance of the articles which the soil can furnish, far beyond the needs of the country; and it is one of our most prevalent complaints, that this abundance is far beyond the chances of profitable sale.

Ohio has, palpably, more of the northern propensity to form villages, and condense population, than any other of the western states. Of course, her people have a readier aptitude for an artizan's life, and a manufacturer's condition. We suppose, that at least the half of the manufacturers of the West inhabit the region, of which Pittsburg and the state of Ohio are the centre. Her sons, too, have the New England aspiration to become scholars, and professional men, and merchants and traders. Kentucky and Ohio send abroad their circulating phalanxes of this kind of foragers, to compete with the Yankees for the professions and trade of the more western states. In Ohio this class bears by far the greatest proportion to the cultivators, of any part of the valley. Yet in Ohio, from the returns of the very accurate census of 1820 in this state, it appears, that out of a population of nearly 600,000, there were only 18,956 manufacturers, and 1,459 merchants and traders. Thus it appears, that nearly twenty-nine out of thirty of this whole population were engaged in agriculture.


It would require a separate and distinct article, if we were to trace the influence of slavery upon population and improvement. This discussion, too, would more properly fall under the head of an article, presenting a contrasted view of the condition and progress of the slave holding, compared with the non-slave holding states. It is sufficient for our present purposes to remark, that with the exception of some districts that are particularly sickly, the blacks increase still more rapidly than the whites.

From the general fertility of the soil, and the abundance with which it yields all the supplies of life; from the comparative rareness and small proportion of sterile, mountainous and marshy lands, that can not be easily brought into cultivation; no thinking mind can have failed to foresee, that this country must and will ultimately sustain a great and dense population of farmers. Taking into view soil, climate, and the means of easy communication, the most material and natural elements upon which to calculate, in regard to future increase of population, and no country can be found, which invites increase more strongly, than ours. In half a century, the settled parts of it will, probably, have become as healthy as any other country. In that lapse of time, it can hardly be sanguine to calculate, that by improving the navigation of the existing rivers, by the numerous canals which will be made, in aid of what nature has already done, in a region where there are no mountains, and few high hills, and no intermixture of refractory granite; where the rivers, which rise almost in the same level, interlock, and then wind away in opposite directions; where, from these circumstances, and the absence of granite hills, canals can be made with comparative ease; that the country will be permeated in ever direction, either by steam boats, or sea vessels towed by them, or by transport conducted by rail-road power. No


country it is generally supposed here, can be found, which contains so great a proportion of cultivable and habitable land, compared with the whole extent of its surface. — Humboldt, so well qualified to judge by comparison, has pronounced it the largest valley in the world. It has a less proportion of swamps, sterile plains, and uncultivable mountains, than any other region of the same extent. — When it shall have been inhabited as long as Massachusetts and Virginia, what limits can imagination assign to its population and improvement?

No one can fail to have foreseen, at this time of the day, that the period is not far distant, when the greater mass of the population of our country will be on this side the mountains. We would not desire, in anticipation, to vex the question, where the centre of our national government will then be? We are connected already with the Atlantic country by noble roads. We shall shortly be connected with the Hudson, Delaware and Chesapeake bays, by navigable canals. We already hear of the assumption, by individuals, of the stock of an association for the gigantic project of a rail-road between Baltimore and the Ohio. Our different physical conformation of country, and the moral circumstances of our condition, have assigned to us, as we think, agriculture, as our chief pursuit. Suppose manufactures to flourish among us to the utmost extent, which our most honest and earnest patriots could desire, and we should still, as we think, find ourselves bound by the ties of a thousand wants, to the country north and east of the mountains. The very difference of our physical and moral character contributes to form a chain of mutual wants, holding us to that region by the indissoluble tie of mutual interest. At present, the passage of the mountains, formerly estimated by the Atlantic people something like an India voyage, and not without its dangers, as well as


its difficulties, is no more, than a trip of pleasure of two or three days. We shall soon be able to sail, at the writing desk, or asleep, from New Orleans, fort Mandan, or Prairie du Chien, through the interior forests to the beautiful bay of New York. The time is not distant, when the travelled citizen of the other side the mountains will not be willing to admit, that he has not taken an autumnal or vernal trip of pleasure, or observation, from Pittsburg to New Orleans. The landscape painter and the poet will come among us, to study and admire our forest, river and prairie scenery, and to imbibe new ideas, from contemplating the grandeur and the freshness of our nature.

For us, as a people, we look over the mountains, and connect our affections with the parent country beyond, by the strong ties of natal attachment; for there, to the passing generation at least, was the place of their birth. There still live our fathers and our brethren. There are the graves of our ancestors; and there are all the delightful and never forgotten remembrances of our infancy and our boyhood. We have hitherto been connected to that country, by looking to it exclusively for fashions, models and literature. The connexion will remain, not as we hope, a slavish one; for duty, interest and self-respect imperiously call upon us to set up for ourselves, in these respects, as fast as possible. But as younger members of the family, thrust into the woods, to give place to those, who had the rights of primogeniture, and obliged to find our subsistence by cutting down the trees, we have as yet had but little leisure to think of any thing, beyond the calls of necessity, and the calculations of immediate interest and utility. As soon as we have the leisure for higher purposes, we shall be unworthy of our family alliance, if we do not immediately institute a friendly rivalry in these respects, which will be equally honorable and


useful for each of the parties. We know our rights, and we are able to maintain them. It is only the little minded and puny, that allow themselves to indulge in a causeless and fretful jealousy. There must be a real, palpable and continued purpose to undervalue us, and curtail our rights, and arrest our advancement and prosperity, before we would allow ourselves to remember our great chain of mountains, and our world by itself. Our patriotism has been tampered with, more than once, even in our infancy. We came forth with honor from every trial. Every link of the golden, and, we hope, perpetual chain of the union, will be grasped as firmly by the citizens of the West, as of the Atlantic. We flatter ourselves, that we have had uncommon chances to note the scale of the western thermometer, in this respect. We have every where seen and felt a spirit, which has given us the assurance of conviction, that the popularity of that demagogue would be blasted, and would wither forever, who should for a moment manifest the remotest incipient wish to touch the chain of this union with an unhallowed hand. The interests and affections of the western people hold to that, as strongly, and as proudly, to say no more, as those of the East. From time to time demagogues will spring up, and atrocious and unprincipled editors will be found, to meditate any thing, — and to dare to inculcate, and write, and publish what they meditate. But the strength and virtue of the community will never bear them out.

Wherever attempts may be made to disaffect, alienate and sever one section of this great union from the rest, may God avert the omen! that attempt will not commence with us. They may reproach us with being rough, untrained, and backwoods men. But as a people we are strong for the union, and the whole union. Every true son of the West will join in the holiest aspirations, ‘esto


perpeta.’ May it last as long as the sun and moon shall endure!

National Character of the Western People.

We shall remark upon the character of the French part of our population in describing Louisiana and Missouri, where the greater portion of that people is found. We shall remark upon the distinctive character of the people of Kentucky, in giving the geography of that state. We only wish to catch here, if possible, the slight, but perceptible peculiarities of national character, which our peculiar circumstances and condition have imposed upon us.

The people of this valley are as thorough a combination and mixture of the people of all nations, characters, languages, conditions and opinions, as can well be imagined. Scarcely a state in the Union, or a nation in Europe, but what has furnished us immigrants. Philosophers and noblemen have visited us from beyond the seas; some to study our natural history, or to contemplate a new people rising from the freshness of nature, over the fertile ruins of a once submerged world; or deluded here by the pastoral dreams of Rousseau, or Chateaubriand; or, in the sample of the savages, to study man in a state of nature.

The much greater proportion of the immigrants from Europe are of the poorer classes, who come here from hunger, poverty, oppression, and the grinding vassalage of crowded and miserable tenants of an aristocratic race, born to the inheritance of the soil, and all the comforts and hopes of present existence. They find themselves here with the joy of shipwrecked mariners, cast on the untenanted woods, and instantly become cheered with the nerving hope of being able to build up a family and a fortune from new elements. ‘The north has given to us,


and south has not kept back.’ The puritan and the planter, the German and the Irishman, the Briton and the Frenchman, each with their peculiar prejudices and local attachments, and all the complicated and inwoven tissue of sentiments, feelings and thoughts, that country, and kindred, and home, indelibly combine with the web of our youthful existence, have here set down beside each other. The merchant, mechanic and farmer, each with their peculiar prejudices and jealousies, have found themselves placed by necessity in the same society. Mr. Owen's grand engine of circumstances begins to play upon them. Men must cleave to their kind, and must be dependent upon each other. Pride and jealousy give way to the natural yearnings of the human heart for society. They begin to rub off mutual prejudices. One takes a step, and then the other. They meet half way, and embrace; and the society, thus newly organized and constituted, is more liberal, enlarged, unprejudiced, and of course more affectionate and pleasant, than a society of people of unique birth and character, who bring all their early prejudices, as a common stock, to be transmitted as an inheritance in perpetuity.

The rough, sturdy and simple habits of the backwoods men, living in that plenty, which depends only on God and nature, and being the preponderating cast of character in the western country, have laid the stamina of independent thought and feeling deep in the breasts of this people. A man accustomed only to the fascinating, but hollow intercourse of the polished circles in the Atlantic cities, at first feels a painful revulsion, when mingled with this more simple race. But he soon becomes accustomed to the new order of things, and if he have a heart to admire simplicity, truth and nature, begins to be pleased with it. He respects a people, where a poor, but honest man enters


the most aristocratic mansion with a feeling of ease and equality.

It may readily be supposed, that among such an infinite variety of people, so recently thrown together, and scarcely yet amalgamated into one people, and in a country, where the institutions are almost as fresh and simple as the log houses, any very distinctive national character could hardly yet be predicated of the inhabitants. Every attentive observer, however, discriminates the immigrants from the different nations, and even from the different states of our own country. The people of Ohio and Indiana, for example, have a character somewhat distinct from that of the other western states. That of the former, especially, is modelled, as a very fair sample of the New England and New Jersey patterns. In the latter this character is blended, not merged with the manners, opinions and dialect of Kentucky. Illinois, though a free state, has a clear preponderance of Kentucky nationality. Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, the upper part of Alabama, and all Arkansas, have distinct manners, in which the nationality of Kentucky is the ground color. The country still more south peopled with large planters of cotton and sugar cane, with numerous gangs of slaves, have the peculiar manners, that have naturally grown out of their condition. On these states, too, especially on Louisiana, we begin to discern the distinct impress and influence of French temperament and manners. These shades of difference are very distinctly visible to persons, who have been long and intimately acquainted with the people of the different regions where they are marked.

But young as the country is, variously constituted and combined, as are the elements of its population, there is already marked, and it is every year more fully developed, a distinctive character of the western people. A traveler


from the Atlantic cities, and used only to their manners, descending from Pittsburg, or Wheeling, the Ohio and the Mississippi in a steam boat of the larger class, will find on board, what may be considered fair samples of all classes in our country, except the farmers. To become acquainted with the younger representatives of the yeomanry, he must acquaint himself with the crews of the descending flat boats. Sufficiently copious specimens of the merchants and traders, the artisans, the large planters, the speculators, and last, though not least, the ladies, will be seen on board the different steam boats descending to New Orleans or on their return voyage. The manners, so ascertained, will strike such a traveler as we have supposed, with as much of novelty, distinctness, and we may add, if he be not bigoted and fastidious, with as much pleasure, saving the language, as though he had visited a country beyond the seas. The dialect is different. The enunciation is different. The peculiar and proverbial colloquy is different. The figures and illustrations, used in common parlance, are strikingly different. We regret, that fidelity to our picture, that frankness and truth compel us to admit, that the frequency of profanity and strange curses is ordinarily an unpleasant element in the conversation. The speaking is more rapid. The manner has more appearance of earnestness and abruptness. The common comparisons and analogies are drawn from different views and relations of things. Of course he is every moment reminded, that he is a stranger among a people, whose modes of existence and ways of thinking are of a widely different character from those in the midst of which he was reared.

Although we have so often been described to this traveler, as, backwoods men, gougers, ruffians, demi-savages, a repulsive mixture, in the slang phrase, of the ‘horse and


the alligator,’ we confidently hazard the opinion, that when a little accustomed to the manners of the better class of people among us, he will institute a comparison between our people and his own, not unfavorable to us. There is evidently more ease and frankness, more readiness to meet a wish to form an acquaintance, sufficient tact, when to advance, and how far, and where to pause in this effort, less holding back, less distrust, less feeling as if the address of a stranger were an insult, or a degradation. There is inculcated and practiced on board the steam boats a courtesy to ladies, which is delightful in its proper extent; but which is here, sometimes, apt to overstep the modesty of nature, in the affectation of a chivalrous deference, which would be considered misplaced, or ridiculous, on the Atlantic shores. A series of acquaintances are readily and naturally formed between fellow passengers, in their long descents to New Orleans, very unlike the cold, constrained, and almost repelling and hostile deportment of fellow passengers in the short stage and steam boat passages in the Atlantic country. They are very different from the intimacies of fellow passengers in crossing the Atlantic, and infinitely more pleasant. Putting out of the question ennui, sea sickness, and the constant rolling of the vessel, circumstances so unpropitious to the desire of pleasant intercourse, custom has prescribed a state and distance on shipboard, which cause, that cabin passengers often cross the ocean together, without acquiring any thing more than speaking intimacy at the end of the voyage. Not so on these passages, where the boat glides steadily and swiftly along the verge of the fragrant willows. The green shores are always seen with the same coup d'oeil, that takes in the magnificent and broad wave of the Mississippi. Refreshments come in from the shore. The passengers every day have their promenade. The claims of prescription


on the score of wealth, family, office, and adventitious distinctions of every sort, are laid aside, or pass for nothing. The estimation, the worth and interest of a person are naturally tried on his simple merits, his powers of conversation his innate civility, his capacities to amuse, and his good feelings.

The distinctive character of the western people may be traced in its minuter shades to a thousand causes, among which are not only their new modes of existence, the solitary lives which they, who are not inhabitants of towns, lead in remote and detached habitations, for the greater part of the time, and the greater aptitude and zest, which they will naturally have, when thus brought together, as we have described above, to enjoy society; but it chiefly results from the unchangeable physical formation of the country. For instance, it has been remarked, that the inhabitants of the western country, when thrown upon the blue water, are sailors almost at once. Their long inland water courses, at once the channels of conveyance and communication, place them in primary nautical schools, train them to familiar acquaintance with all the methods of managing and propelling water crafts, and naturally conduct their thoughts from their interior forests, and their rural and secluded abodes, down to the ocean. The skill and facility, thus acquired, in being familiar with the movements of the canoe, the periogue and skiff, almost from the days of infancy, give them the same dexterity and daring on the ocean, when they are at length wafted down to its tempestuous bosom, with those who were reared on the shores of that element. But an inhabitant of the Atlantic shore can have but a faint conception of the sublime emotions with which a young man, reared in the silence and seclusion of the western forests, first beholds the illimitable of the ‘broad, flat sea.’ Every intelligent and


gifted son of the West will be a poet for the first few hours of his sailing on the ocean, if sea sickness do not banish the visitings of the muse.

Their forests and prairies concur with their inclinations and abundant leisure, to give them the spirit-stirring and adventurous habits of the chase. Their early training to leave the endearments and the maternal nursing of home, for an absence of three or four months, on voyages of constant exposure, and often of a length of more than five hundred leagues, will naturally tend to create a character, widely unlike the more shrinking, stationary and regular habits of the people of the older country. Multitudes, perhaps the majority of those in the middle walks of life in the Atlantic country, never extend their travels beyond their metropolis, or their chief mart. Every part of the middle and northern states is traversed in every direction by fine roads, on which are continually passing great numbers of stage coaches. In the West, all this is entirely different. There are roads, indeed, some of which nature, and but a very few, art, has rendered tolerably passable. But the passing on them, even in the most populous districts is very limited. The passages are seldom more than from village to village, settlement to settlement, and for the most, part subservient to arriving at the real roads, the great turnpikes of the West, her long rivers.

These rivers, which bound or intersect every state in the West, are of a character entirely unlike most of those, which flow east of the mountains. They are narrow, deep, and to a person used only to the rivers of the East, and judging them by comparison and by their width, of an inconceivable length of course. Their depth of water resulting from the narrowness of their channels, and the level and alluvial country, through which for the most part they flow, render them almost universally susceptible of


steam boat or at least boat navigation. The instance of a young man of enterprise and standing, as a merchant, trader, planter, or even farmer, who has not made at least one trip to New Orleans, is uncommon. From the upper and even middle western states, before the invention of steam boats, it was a voyage of long duration, and we may add, of more peril, than a voyage across the Atlantic. These rivers are still descended, as before that invention, in boats of every description. In making the descent from Pittsburg to Natchez, last autumn, in an uncommonly low stage of the waters, we noted between two and three hundred descending boats, of different descriptions, and of the larger class. The greater portion, however, were flat and keel boats. Almost all the crews, that descend on these boats, return on steam boats. An ascending steam boat carries from one to three hundred passengers; and the average trip from New Orleans to Louisville, or St. Louis, may be twelve days, and to Cincinnati thirteen. Every principal farmer, along the great water courses, builds, and sends to New Orleans the produce of his farm in a flat boat. — Thus a great proportion of the males of the West, of a relative standing and situation in life, to be most likely to impress their opinions and manners upon society, have made this passage to New Orleans. They have passed through different states and regions, have been more or less conversant with men of different nations, languages and manners. They have experienced that expansion of mind, which can not fail to be produced by traversing long distances of country, and viewing different forms of nature and society. Every boat, that has descended from Pittsburg, or the Missouri, to New Orleans, could publish a journal of no inconsiderable interest. The descent, if in autumn, has probably occupied fifty days. Until the boatmen had passed the mouth of the Ohio, they must


have been in some sense amphibious animals, continually getting into the water, to work their boat off from shoals and sandbars. The remainder of the descent was amidst all the dangers of sawyers, sandbars, snags, storms, points of islands, wreck heaps, difficulty and danger of landing, and a great many anomalous trials and dangers. The whole voyage is a scene of anxiety, exposure and labor.

It follows, that the habits of the whole people of the West must as necessarily receive a peculiar bent and impulse, as those of Marblehead, cape Cod, and Nantucket, in Massachusetts. The influence of these causes is already visibly impressed upon the manners and thoughts of the people. They are the manners of people accustomed, on going on board a steam boat, to see it fitted up with a glaring of splendor and display, perhaps not always in the best taste, but peculiarly calculated to captivate and dazzle the youthful eye. They come to this crowded scene of gaiety and splendor, this little moving city, from the solitudes of forests and prairies, and remote dwellings. They find themselves amidst a mass of people, male and female, dressed as much as their means will allow. There are cards, and wine, and novels, and young and gay people and all conceivable artificial excitements, to stir up the youthful appetite for hilarity. When we consider what temptations these long and necessarily intimate associations present to minds, often not much regulated by religious discipline, or example, to undue gaiety, gallantry, intoxication and gambling, it is as surprising, as it is honorable to the character of the West, that these voyages are generally terminated in so much quietness, morality friendship.

It is true, the gay, the young, dashing and reckless spirits of the community are thus brought in contact, to act, and re-act upon each other and society. But there


are always some graver spirits on the steam boats, whose presence inspires a certain degree of awe and restraint. A keen sense of the necessity of strong and unvarying regulations has created rigid rules, at least upon the better of them, for regulating the temporary intercourse on board the steam boats; and on the whole, there is an air of much more decorum and quietness, than could be inferred from knowing the circumstances of these temporary associations.

In tracing the result of these effects, we discover, that the idea of distance is very different in the head of a west country man from the same idea, as entertained by the inhabitant of Lancaster in Pennsylvania, or Worcester in Massachusetts. The conversation of the former indicates, that his train of thinking is modelled by images drawn from great distances on long rivers, from extensive trips on steam boats, long absence from home, and familiarity with exposure, and the habit of looking danger and death in the face. Were it not foreign to the objects of this article, a thousand amusing examples could be given. The vocabulary of figures drawn from boats and steam boats, the phrases, metaphors, allusions, that grow out of the peculiar modes of life of this people, are at once amusing, singular and copious. The stump speech of a western aspirant for the favors of the people has a very appropriate garnish from this vocabulary, and compared with that of an Atlantic demagogue, would finely illustrate his peculiar modes of thinking.

The point most to our purpose in these remarks is, to enquire what influence this, and other great operating causes have upon the character, manners and morals of the people? It must be admitted, that while these frequent trips up and down the river, and more than all to New Orleans, give to the young people, and those who


impart authority, impulse and tone to fashion and opinion, an air of society, ease and confidence; the young are apt at the same time to imbibe from the contagion of example, habits of extravagance, dissipation, and a rooted attachment to a wandering life.

Religious Character of the Western People.

An experiment is making in this vast country, which must ultimately contain so many millions of people, on the broadest scale on which it has ever been made, whether religion, as a national distinction of character, can be maintained without any legislative aid, or even recognition by the government. If there be any reference to religion, in any of the constitutions and enactments, in the western country, beyond the simple, occasional granting of a distinct incorporation, it manifests itself in a guarded jealousy of the interference of any religious feeling, or influence with the tenor of legislation. In most of the constitutions, ministers of the gospel are expressly interdicted from any office of profit or trust, in the gift of the people. In none of the enactments are there any provisions for the support of any form of worship whatever. But if it be inferred from this, that religion occupies little or no place in the thoughts of the people, that there are no forms of worship, and few ministers of the gospel, no inference can be wider from the fact. It is the settled political maxim of the West, that religion is a concern entirely between the conscience and God, and ought to be left solely to his guardianship and care. The people are generally averse to binding themselves by any previous legal obligation to a pastor for services stipulated to be performed. It is the general impression, that he ought to derive his support from voluntary contributions, after services performed, and uninfluenced by any antecedent contract or understanding. There


are many towns and villages, where other modes prevail; but such is the general standing feeling of the West.

Hence, except among the Catholics, there are very few settled pastors, in the sense in which that phrase is understood in New England and the Atlantic cities. Most of ministers, that are in some sense permanent, discharge pastoral duties not only in their individual societies, but in a wide district about them. The range of duties, the emolument, the estimation, and in fact the whole condition of a western pastor, are widely different from an Atlantic minister. In each case, there are peculiar immunities, pleasures and inconveniencies, growing out of the differences of condition. We do not undertake to balance the advantages in favor of either. It has been an hundred times represented, and in every form of intelligence, in the eastern religious publications, that there were few preachers in the country, and that whole wide districts had no religious instruction, or forms of worship whatever. We believe, from a survey, certainly very general, and, we trust, faithful, that there are as many preachers, in proportion to the people, as there are in the Atlantic country. A circulating phalanx of Methodists, Baptists and Cumberland Presbyterians, of Atlantic missionaries, and of young elves of the Catholic theological seminaries, from the redundant mass of unoccupied ministers, both in the Protestant and Catholic countries, pervades this great valley with its numerous detachments, from Pittsburg, the mountains, the lakes, and the Missouri, to the gulf of Mexico. They all pursue the interests of their several denominations in their own way, and generally in profound peace.

It is true, a serious mind can not fail to observe with regret, the want of the permanent and regular moral influence of settled religious institutions. The regular ‘church going bell,’ to our ear, such a delightful peal on the sabbath,


is not heard with the recurrence of that day; and there is something of tranquil sobriety, of elevated and just notions of morals, the influence of which is so immediately felt in a country, where regular worship prevails, that, in the more unsettled districts of this country is felt as a painful privation. But if we except Arkansas and Louisiana, there is everywhere else an abundance of some kind of preaching. The village papers on all sides contain printed notices, and written ones are affixed to the public places, notifying what are called ‘meetings.’ A traveler in a clerical dress does not fail to be asked, at the public houses, where he stops, if he is a preacher, and if he wishes to notify a meeting.

There are stationary preachers in the towns, particularly in Ohio. But in the rural congregations through the western country beyond Ohio, it is seldom that a minister is stationary for more than a few months. A ministry of a year in one place may be considered beyond the common duration. Nine tenths of the religious instruction of the country is given by people, who itinerate, and who are, with very few exceptions, notwithstanding all that has been said to the contrary, men of great zeal and sanctity. These earnest men, who have little to expect from pecuniary support, and less from the prescribed reverence and influence, which can only appertain to a stated ministry, find at once, that every thing depends upon the cultivation of popular talents. Zeal for the great cause, mixed, perhaps imperceptibly, with a spice of earthly ambition, and the latent emulation and pride of our natures, and other motives, which unconsciously influence, more or less, the most sincere and the most disinterested, the desire of distinction among their cotemporaries and their brethren and a reaching struggle for the fascination of popularity goad them on to study all the means and arts of winning


the people. Traveling from month to month through dark forests, with such ample time and range for deep thought, as they amble slowly on horseback along their peregrinations, the men naturally acquire a pensive and romantic turn of thought and expression, as we think, favorable to eloquence. Hence the preaching is of a highly popular cast, and its first aim is to excite the feelings. — Hence, too, excitements, or in religious parlance ‘awakenings,’ are common in all this region. Living remote, and consigned the greater part of the time, to the musing loneliness of their condition in the forests, or the prairie; when they congregate on these exciting occasions, society itself is to them a novelty, and an excitement. The people are naturally more sensitive and enthusiastic, than in the older countries. A man of rude, boisterous, but native eloquence, rises among these children of the forest and simple nature, with his voice pitched upon the tones, and his utterance filled with that awful theme, to which every string of the human heart every whore responds; and while the woods echo his vehement declamations, his audience is alternately dissolved in tears, awed to profound feeling, or falling in spasms. This country opens a boundless theatre for strong, earnest and unlettered eloquence; and the preacher seldom has extensive influence, or usefulness, who does not possess some touch of this character.

These excitements have been prevalent, within the two past years, in the middle western states; chiefly in Tennessee, and for the most part under the ministry of the Cumberland Presbyterians. Sometimes it influences a settlement, or a town; and sometimes, as there, spreads over the state. The people assemble, as to an imposing spectacle. They pour from their woods, to hear the new preacher, whose fame has traveled before him. The


preaching has a scenic effect. It is a theme of earnest discussion, reviewing, comparison, and intense interest.

None, but one who has seen, can imagine the interest, excited in a district of country, perhaps, fifty miles in extent, by the awaited approach of the time for a camp meeting; and none, but one who has seen, can imagine how profoundly the preachers have understood what produces effect, and how well they have practiced upon it. Suppose the scene to be, where the most extensive excitements and the most frequent camp meetings have been, during the two past years, in one of the beautiful and fertile valleys among the mountains of Tennessee. The notice has been circulated two or three months. On the appointed day, coaches, chaises, wagons, carts, people on horseback, and multitudes travelling from a distance on foot, wagons with provisions, mattresses, tents, and arrangements for the stay of a week, are seen hurrying from every point towards the central spot, It is in the midst of a grove of those beautiful and lofty trees, natural to the valleys of Tennessee, in its deepest verdure, and beside a spring branch, for the requisite supply of water.

The ambitious and wealthy are there, because in this region opinion is all-powerful; and they are there, either to extend their influence, or that their absence may not be noted, to diminish it. Aspirants for office are there, to electioneer, and gain popularity. Vast numbers are there from simple curiosity, and merely to enjoy a spectacle. The young and the beautiful are there, with mixed motives, which it were best not severely to scrutinize. Children are there, their young eyes glistening with the intense interest of eager curiosity. The middle aged fathers and mothers of families are there, with the sober views of people, whose plans in life are fixed, and waiting calmly to hear. Men and women of hoary hairs are there, with


such thoughts, it may be hoped, as their years invite. — Such is the congregation consisting of thousands.

A host of preachers of different denominations are there, some in the earnest vigor and aspiring desires of youth, waiting an opportunity for display; others, who have proclaimed the gospel, as pilgrims of the cross, from the remotest north of our vast country to the shores of the Mexican gulf, and ready to utter the words, the feelings and the experience, which they have treasured up in a traveling ministry of fifty years, and whose accents, trembling with age, still more impressively than their words, announce, that they will soon travel, and preach no more on the earth, are there. Such are the preachers.

The line of tents is pitched; and the religious city grows up in a few hours under the trees, beside the stream. Lamps are hung in lines among the branches; and the effect of their glare upon the surrounding forest is, as of magic. The scenery of the most brilliant theatre in the world is a painting only for children, compared with it. Meantime the multitudes, with the highest excitement of social feeling added to the general enthusiasm of expectation, pass from tent to tent, and interchange apostolic greetings and embraces, and talk of the coming solemnities. Their coffee and tea are prepared, and their supper is finished. By this time the moon, for they take thought, to appoint the meeting at the proper time of the moon, begins to show its disk above the dark summits of the mountains; and a few stars are seen glimmering through the intervals of the branches. The whole constitutes a temple worthy of the grandeur of God. An old man, in a dress of the quaintest simplicity, ascends a platform, wipes the dust from his spectacles, and in a voice of suppressed emotion, gives out the hymn, of which the whole assembled multitude can recite the words, — and an air, in which


every voice can join. We should deem poorly of the heart, that would not thrill, as the song is heard, like the ‘sound of many waters,’ echoing among the hills and mountains. Such are the scenes, the associations, and such the influence of external things upon a nature so ‘fearfully and wonderfully’ constituted, as ours, that little effort is necessary on such a theme as religion, urged at such a place, under such circumstances, to fill the heart and the eyes. The hoary orator talks of God, of eternity, a judgment to come, and all that is impressive beyond. He speaks of his ‘experiences,’ his toils and travels, his persecutions and welcomes, and how many he has seen in hope, in peace and triumph, gathered to their fathers; and when he speaks of the short space that remains to him, his only regret is, that he can no more proclaim, in the silence of death, the mercies of his crucified Redeemer.

There is no need of the studied trick of oratory, to produce in such a place the deepest movements of the heart. No wonder, as the speaker pauses to dash the gathering moisture from his own eye, that his audience are dissolved in tears, or uttering the exclamations of penitence. Nor is it cause for admiration, that many, who poised themselves on an estimation of higher intellect, and a nobler insensibility, than the crowd, catch the infectious feeling, and become women and children in their turn; and though they ‘came to mock, remain to pray.’

Notwithstanding all, that has been said in derision of these spectacles, so common in this region, it can not be denied, that the influence, on the whole, is salutary, and the general bearing upon the great interests of the community, good. It will be long, before a regular ministry can be generally supported, if ever. In place of that, nothing tends so strongly to supply the want of the influence, resulting from the constant duties of a stated


ministry, as the recurrence of these explosions of feeling, which shake the moral world, and purify its atmosphere, until the accumulating seeds of moral disease require a similar lustration again.

Whatever be the cause, the effect is certain, that through the estate of Tennessee, parts of Mississippi, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, these excitements have produced a palpable change in the habits and manners of the people. The gambling and drinking shops are deserted; and the people, that used to congregate there, now go to the religious meetings. The Methodists, too, have done great and incalculable good. They are generally of a character, education and training, that prepare them for the elements, upon which they are destined to operate. They speak the dialect, understand the interests, and enter into the feelings of their audience. They exert a prodigious and incalculable bearing upon the rough backwoods men; and do good, where more polished, and trained ministers would preach without effect. No mind, but His, for whom they labor, can know, how many profane they have reclaimed, drunkards they have reformed, and wanderers they have brought home to God.

The Baptists, too, and the missionaries from the Atlantic country, seeing such a wide and open field before them, labor with great diligence and earnestness, operating generally upon another class of the community. The Catholics are both numerous and zealous, and, perfectly united in spirit and interest, form a compact phalanx, and produced effect of moral union. From their united exertions it happens, that over all this country, among all the occasions for public gatherings, which, from their rareness excite the greater interest, religious meetings are by far the most numerous.


That part of Pennsylvania and Virginia west of the mountains has a predominance of Presbyterians. The great state of Ohio is made up of such mixed elements that it would be difficult to say, which of all the sects prevails. As a general characteristic, the people are strongly inclined to attend on some kind of religious worship. Presbyterians and Baptists strive for the ascendency in Kentucky. Methodists and Cumberland Presbyterians are numerous. They, probably, have the ascendency in Tennessee, and they are making great efforts in Alabama and Mississippi. Methodists are the prevailing denomination in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama. Catholics have an undisputed ascendency in Louisiana and Florida. They have many societies in Missouri and Illinois. They are prevalent in a portion of Kentucky, and have a respectable seminary at Bairdstown. Methodists, Presbyterians and Catholics are the prevailing denominations of the West.

Pursuits of the People.

Manufactures, &c. Western Pennsylvania is a manufacturing region, and along with Ohio, is the New England of the West. The people bring down the Alleghany, clear and fine pine plank; delivering them along the whole course of the Ohio, and sending great quantities even to New Orleans. These pines, of which the houses in New Orleans are finished waved over the streams of New York, and are despatched in rafts and flat boats, after being sawed into plank, from Oleanne point. From the Monongahela is sent the rye whiskey, which is so famous in the lower country. On the Youghiogheny and Monongahela, at Connelsville the former, and Brownsville on the latter, are important


manufactories, chiefly of iron. Pittsburg has been called the Birmingham of America; though that honor, it is believed, at present as properly belongs to Cincinnati. There are numerous manufacturing towns in Ohio, of which, after Cincinnati, Zanesville and Steubenville are the chief. All this region, in numerous streams, calculated for water power, in a salubrious climate, in abundance of pit coal, in its position, and the genius and habits of its inhabitants, is naturally adapted to become a manufacturing country, Materials for articles of prime necessity, as salt, iron and glass, exist in the most ample abundance. Pittsburg, blackened with the smoke of pit coal, and one quarter of Cincinnati, throwing up columns of smoke from the steam factories, may be considered as great manufacturing establishments. If we except the cordage, bale rope, bagging, and other articles of hempen fabric, manufactured in Kentucky, the chief part of the western manufactures originates in west Pennsylvania and Ohio. There are some indications, that Indiana will possess a manufacturing spirit; and there are separate, incipient establishments of this kind, more or less considerable, in every state, but Louisiana and Mississippi.

These manufactures consist of a great variety of articles prime necessity, use and ornament. The principal are iron, as castings of all sorts; and almost every article of ironmongery, that is manufactured in the world. This manufacture is carried on to an immense extent. Glass is manufactured in various places, at present, it is supposed, nearly to an amount, to supply the country. Manufactures in woollen and cotton, in pottery, in laboratories, as white and red lead, Prussian blue, and the colors generally, the acids, and other chemical preparations, in steam power machinery, saddlery, wheel irons, wire drawing, buttons, knitting needles, silver plating, Morocco leather, articles


in brass and copper, boots and shoes, breweries, tin and other metals; in short, manufactures subservient to the arts, and to domestic subsistence, are carried on at various places in the western country with great spirit. Ohio has imbibed from her prototype, New England, manufacturing propensities; and we have heard it earnestly contested that her capabilities for being a great manufacturing country, were even superior to those of New England. It is affirmed, that, taking the whole year into consideration, her climate is more favorable to health; and there can be no question, that in her abundance of fuel, pit coal, and the greater profusion of the raw material of manufactures in general, she has greatly the advantage.

In the state of Kentucky, hemp is raised to a considerable extent; and in the different manufactures constitutes a material article in her exports. Salt is manufactured through all the western country in sufficient abundance for home consumption. Shoes, hats and clothing, to a considerable extent, are yet imported from abroad into some of the western states. But, as we have remarked, the far greater part of the people are farmers. In west Pennsylvania and Virginia, in Ohio and Kentucky, in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and a part of Tennessee, the same articles are grown, and sent abroad, to wit: flour, corn, and the small grains; pulse, potatoes, and the other vegetables; fruit, as apples, fresh and dried, dried peaches, and other preserved fruits; beef, pork, cheese, butter, poultry venison hams, live cattle, hogs and horses. The greater part of the flour is sent from Ohio and Kentucky; though Indiana, Illinois and Missouri are following the example with great vigor. Wheat is grown with more ease in Illinois and Missouri, than in the other states. Ohio has gone considerably into the culture of yellow tobacco. — Tobacco is one of the staples of Kentucky export. Cattle


and horses are sent to New Orleans extensively from Illinois and Missouri, as are, also, lead and peltries. In Arkansas, part of Tennessee, all Alabama and Mississippi, cotton is the chief object of cultivation. Grains, and other materials of nutriment, are only raised in subservience to this culture. The cultivation of Louisiana, and a part of Florida, is divided between cotton and sugar.

The cultivation in all the states, except Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, is chiefly performed by slaves, of whose character, habits and condition we have yet to treat. The farms in Ohio and Indiana are generally of moderate size, and the cultivators do not materially differ in their habits from those of the northern Atlantic states. In Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri, they are more given to what is called ‘cropping,’ or raising a crop; that is, devoting the chief attention to the cultivation of one article. In all the states, save those, that cultivate cotton and sugar, they make, on an average, sixty bushels of maize to the acre; and the cultivation consists in ploughing two or three times between the rows, during the growing of the crop. From eighty to an hundred bushels are not an uncommon crop, and manuring is scarcely yet thought of even for the cultivation. The good lands in Illinois and Missouri yield from thirty to forty bushels of wheat to the acre. The cultivation is on praire, or bottom land; and as the soil is friable, loose, and perfectly free from stones, and on the prairies from every other obstruction, farming is not laborious and difficult as in hard and rocky grounds. The ease and abundance, with which all the articles of the country are produced, is one of the chief objects of complaint. The necessary result is, that they are raised in such abundance, as to glut the market at New Orleans, and often not to bring enough to pay the expenses of transportation. It is believed that a fair average price of corn, for the three


past years, in the market in Cincinnati, by the quantify has not exceeded twelve and a half cents a bushel. Were an Ohio farmer sure of three dollars a barrel for any quantity of good flour, that he could carry to the market, it is believed, that five times the present amount could be made in that state.

From the cheapness of corn, and the abundance of ‘mast,’ as it is called, in the woods, hogs, too, are easily multiplied, beyond the wants of the people, or the means of profitable sale. By the quantity, it is believed, that pork may generally be had for a cent and a half a pound. Cattle, when carried to New Orleans alive, generally command a tolerable price, as do hogs. Horses are an important and increasing article of export. Orchards north of 36° prosper, perhaps, better, than in any other country, and apples and cider are already important articles of exportation, and will soon he more so; for no where do apple trees grow with more rapidity and beauty, and sooner, and more amply load themselves with fruit. Venison and deer skins, honey and beeswax are commonly received in the country stores, in pay for goods. In Illinois, furs begin to be an article of exportation. From Missouri, peltries, furs and lead, from the Illinois mines, and from those in the Missouri mine region, are the chief articles of present export. The amount of export of these articles, together with the cotton and sugar of the southern country, and the prodigious quantities of whiskey from all the western states will be seen by recurrence to the table of exports.

Modes of conveyance to market. Water carriage, &c. From the northern and eastern parts of this valley, considerable amount of the produce and articles of the West finds its way to the eastern country over the lakes


Cleveland and Sandusky, on lake Erie, are deriving importance from being places of shipment from Ohio over the lakes. The northern garrisons are beginning to be supplied from Illinois and Missouri, by the way of Chicago and lake Michigan. Horses and cattle, to a large amount, are driven over the mountains from Ohio and Kentucky. In the years 1813-14, in one year, four thousand and fifty-five wagons were numbered from Philadelphia to Pittsburg. Many of them find a return load of articles of the West. When the contemplated canals between Illinois and Michigan, and the commenced ones between Ohio and Erie on one hand, and Ohio and the Potomac on the other, shall be completed, incalculable amounts of produce will find their way to the eastern marts by these channels.

At present, however, almost the whole commercial intercourse of the country is with New Orleans, by the rivers and the Mississippi, in boats. These are so various in their kinds, and so curious in their construction, that it would be difficult to reduce them to specific classes and divisions. No form of water craft so whimsical, no shape so outlandish, can well be imagined, but what, on descending from Pittsburg to New Orleans, it may some where be seen lying to the shore, or floating on the river. The New York canal is generating monstrous conceptions of this sort; and there will soon be a rivalry between the East and the West, which can create the most ingenious floating river monsters of passage and transport.

The barge is of the size of an Atlantic schooner, with a raised and outlandish looking deck. It had sails, masts to a rigging unlike a sea vessel, and carried from fifty to an hundred tons. It required twenty-five or thirty hands to work it up stream. On the lower courses of the Mississippi, when the wind did not serve, and the waters were


high, it was worked up stream by the operation, that is called ‘warping,’ — a most laborious, slow and difficult mode of ascent, and in which six or eight miles a day was good progress. It consisted in having two yawls, the one in advance of the other, carrying out a warp of some hundred yards in length, making it fast to a tree, and then drawing the barge up to that tree by the warp. When that warp was coiled, the yawl in advance had another laid, and so on alternately. From ninety to an hundred days was a tolerable passage from New Orleans to Cincinnati. In this way the intercourse between Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville and St. Louis, for the more important purposes of commerce, was kept up with New Orleans. One need only read the journal of a barge on such an ascent, to comprehend the full value of the invention of steam boats. They are now gone into disuse, and we do not remember to have seen a barge for some years, except on the waters above the mouth of the Ohio.

The keel boat is of a long, slender and elegant form, and generally carries from fifteen to thirty tons. Its advantage is its small draft of water, and the lightness of its construction. It is still much used on the Ohio and upper Mississippi in low stages of water, and on all the boatable streams, where steam boats do not yet run. Its propelling power is by oars, sails, setting poles, cordelle, and when the waters are high, and the boat runs on the margin of the bushes, ‘bush-whacking,’ or pulling up by the bushes Before the invention of steam boats, these boats were used in the proportion of six to one at the present time.

The ferry flat is a scow-boat, and when used as a boat of descent for families, has a roof, or covering. These are sometimes, in the vernacular phrase, called ‘sleds.’ The Alleghany or Mackinaw skiff is a covered skiff, carrying


iron six to ten tons; and is much used on the Alleghany, the Illinois, and the rivers of the upper Mississippi and Missouri. Periogues are sometimes hollowed from one very large tree, or from the trunks of two trees united, and fined with a plank rim. They carry from one to three tons. There are common skiffs, canoes and ‘dug-outs,’ for the convenience of crossing the rivers; and a select company of a few travellers often descend in them to New Orleans. Hunters and Indians, and sometimes passengers, make long journeys of ascent of the rivers in them. Besides these, there are anomalous water crafts, that can hardly be reduced to any class, used as boats of passage or descent. We have seen flat boats, worked by a wheel, which was driven by the cattle, that were conveying to the New Orleans market. There are horse boats of various constructions, used for the most part as ferry boats; but sometimes as boats of ascent. Two keel boats are connected by a platform. A circular pen holds the horses, which by different movements propel wheels. We saw United States' troops ascending the Missouri by boats, propelled by tread wheels; and we have, more than once, seen a boat moved rapidly up stream by wheels, after the steam boat construction, propelled by a man, turning a crank.

But the boats of passage and conveyance, that remain after the invention of steam boats, and are still important to those objects, are keel boats and flats. The flat boats are called, in the vernacular phrase, ‘Kentucky flats,’ or ‘broad horns.’ They are simply an oblong ark, with a roof of circular slope, to shed rain. They are generally about fifteen feet wide, and from fifty to eighty, and sometimes about an hundred feet in length. The timbers of the bottom are massive beams; and they are intended to be of great strength; and to carry a burthen of from


two to four hundred barrels. Great numbers of cattle, hogs and horses are conveyed to market in them. We have seen family boats of this description, fitted up for the descent of families to the lower country, with a stove, comfortable apartments, beds, and arrangements for commodious habitancy. We see in them ladies, servants, cattle, horses, sheep, dogs and poultry, all floating on the same bottom; and on the roof the looms, ploughs, spinning wheels and domestic implements of the family.

Nine tenths of the produce of the upper country even after the invention of steam boats, continues to descend to New Orleans in Kentucky flats. They generally carry three hands; and perhaps a supernumerary fourth hand, a kind of supercargo. This boat, in the form of a parallelogram, lying flat and dead in the water, and with square timbers below its bottom planks, and carrying such a great weight, runs on to a sandbar with a strong headway, and ploughs its timbers into the sand; and it is, of course, a work of extreme labor to get the boat afloat again. Its form and its weight render it difficult to give it a direction with any power of oars. Hence, in the shallow waters, it often gets aground. When it has at length cleared the shallow waters, and gained the heavy current of the Mississippi, the landing such an unwieldy water craft, in such current, is a matter of no little difficulty and danger.

All the toil, and danger, and exposure, and moving accidents of this long and perilous voyage, are hidden, however, from the inhabitants, who contemplate the boats floating by their dwellings on beautiful spring mornings, when the verdant forest, the mild and delicious temperature of the air, the delightful azure of the sky of this country, the fine bottom on the one hand, and the romantic bluff on the other, the broad and smooth stream rolling calmly down the forest, and floating the boat gently forward,


present delightful images and associations to the beholders. At this time there is no visible danger, or call for labor. The boat takes care of itself; and little do the beholders imagine, how different a scene may be presented in half an hour. Meantime one of the hands scrapes a violin, and the others dance. Greetings, or rude defiances, or trials of wit, or proffers of love to the girls on the shore, or saucy messages, are scattered between them and the spectators along the banks. The boat glides on, until it disappears behind the point of wood. At this moment, perhaps, the bugle, with which all the boats are provided, strikes up its note in the distance over the water. These scenes, and these notes, echoing from the bluffs of the beautiful Ohio, have a charm for the imagination, which, although we have heard them a thousand times repeated, at all hours and in all positions, even to us present the image of a tempting and charming youthful existence, that almost inspires a wish, that we were boatmen.

No wonder, that the young, who are reared in these remote regions, with that restless curiosity, which is fostered by solitude and silence, who witness scenes like this so frequently, no wonder, that the severe and unremitting labors of agriculture, performed directly in the view of such scenes, should become tasteless and irksome. No wonder, that the young, along the banks of the great streams, should detest the labors of the field, and embrace every opportunity, either openly, or, if minors, covertly to escape, and devote themselves to the pernicious employment of boating. In this view we may account for the detestation of the inhabitants, along these great streams, towards steam boats, which are continually diminishing the number of other boats and boatmen, and which have already withdrawn, probably, ten thousand from that employment. We have seen, what is the character of this employment,


notwithstanding all its seductions. In no employment do the hands so soon wear out. It is, comparatively, but a few years, since these waters have been navigated in any way Yet at every bend, and every high point of the rivers, where you go on shore for a moment, you may expect to see the narrow mound, and the rude monument, and the coarse memorial carved on an adjoining tree by a brother boatman, to mark the spot, where an exhausted boatman yielded his breath, and was buried.

The bayou at New Madrid has an extensive and fine eddy, into which boats float, almost without exertion, and land in a remarkably fine harbor. It may be fairly considered the central point, or the chief meridian of boats, in the Mississippi valley. This bayou generally brings up the descending and ascending boats; and this is an excellent point of observation, from which to contemplate their aspect, the character of boating, and the descriptions and the amount of produce from the upper country. You can here take an imaginary voyage to the falls of St. Anthony or Missouri; to the lead mines of Rock river, or Chicago of lake Michigan; to Tippicanoe of the Wabash, Oleanne point of the Alleghany, Brownsville of the Monongahela, the Saline of the Kenhawa, or the mountains, round whose bases winds the Tennessee; or, if you choose, you may take the cheap and rapid journey of thought along the courses of an hundred other rivers; and in the lapse of a few days' residence in the spring, at this point, you may see boats, which have arrived here from all these imagined places. One hundred boats have landed here in a day. — The boisterous gaiety of the hands, the congratulations of acquaintances, who have met here from immense distances the moving picture of life on board the boats, in the numerous animals, large and small, which they carry, their different ladings, the evidence of the increasing agriculture


above, and, more than all, the immense distances, which they have already traversed, afford a copious fund of meditation. In one place there are boats loaded with pine plank, from the pine forests of the southwest of New York. In another quarter there are numerous boats with the ‘Yankee notions’ of Ohio. In another quarter are landed together the boats of ‘old Kentucky,’ with their whiskey, hemp, tobacco, bagging and bale rope; with all the other articles of the produce of their soil. From Tennessee there are the same articles, together with boats loaded with bales of cotton. From Illinois and Missouri, cattle, horses, and the general produce of the western country, together with peltry and lead from Missouri. Some boats are loaded with corn in bulk, and in the ear. Others are loaded with pork in bulk. Others with barrels of apples and potatoes, and great quantities of dried apples and peaches. Others have loads of cider, and what is called ‘cider royal,’ or cider, that has been strengthened by boiling, or freezing. Other boats are loaded with furniture, tools, domestic and agricultural implements; in short, the numerous products of the ingenuity, speculation, manufacture and agriculture of the whole upper country of the West. They have come from regions, thousands of miles apart. They have floated to a common point of union. — The surfaces of the boats cover some acres. Dunghill fowls are fluttering over the roofs, as invariable appendages. The piercing note of the chanticleer is heard. — The cattle low. The horses trample, as in their stables. The swine utter the cries of fighting with each other. The turkeys gobble. The dogs of an hundred regions become acquainted. The boatmen travel about from boat to boat, make enquiries and acquaintances, agree to ‘lash boats,’ as it is called, and form alliances to yield mutual assistance to each other on the way to New Orleans. After an hour


or two passed in this way, they spring on shore, to ‘raise the wind’ in the village. If they tarry all night, as is generally the case, it is well for the people of the town, if they do not become riotous in the course of the evening; in which case, strong measures are adopted, and the proceedings on both sides are summary and decisive. With the first dawn all is bustle and motion; and amidst shouts and trampling of cattle, and barking of dogs, and crowing of the dunghill fowls, the fleet is in a half an hour all under way; and when the sun rises, nothing is seen, but the broad stream rolling on, as before. These boats unite once more at Natchez and New Orleans; and although they live on the same river, it is improbable, that they will ever meet again on the earth.

In passing below, we often see a number of boats lashed, and floating together. In travelling over the roofs of the floating town, you have a considerable walk. These associations have various objects. Boats so united, as is well known, float considerably faster. Perhaps the object is to barter, and obtain supplies. Perhaps to kill beef, or pork, for fresh provisions. Apples, cider, nuts, dried fruit, whiskey, cider and peach brandy, and drams, are retailed; and the concern is for a while one of great merriment and good will. Unforeseen moral storms arise; and the partnership, which began in a frolic, ends in a quarrel. The aggrieved discharge a few mutual volleys of the compliments, usually interchanged on such occasions, unlash, and each one manages his boat in his own way.

The order of things in the western country naturally fosters a propensity for a floating life on the water. The inhabitants will ultimately become as famous, as the Chinese, for having their habitancy in boats. In time of high waters at the mouth of the Ohio, we were on board an immensely large flat boat, on which was ‘kept a town,’


which had figured in the papers, as a place, that bade fair to rival the ancient metropolis of the Delta of the Nile. — The tavern, the retail and dram shops, together with the inhabitants, and no small number of very merry customers, floated on the same bottom. We have seen a large tinner's establishment floating down the Mississippi. It was a respectable manufactory; and the articles were sold, wholesale and retail. There were three apartments, and a number of hands. When they had mended all the tin, and vended all, that they could sell in one place, they floated on to another. We have heard of a large floating blacksmith's establishment; and of another, in which it was contemplated to work a trip hammer. Beside the numerous periogues, or singular looking Spanish and French trading retail boats, commonly called ‘chicken thieves,’ which scour the rivers within an hundred leagues of New Orleans, there are on all the waters of the West retail trading boats. They are often fitted up with no inconsiderable ingenuity and show. The goods are fancifully arranged on shelves. The delicate hands of the vender would bear a comparison with those of the spruce clerk behind our city counters. Every considerable landing place on the waters of the Ohio and the Mississippi has in the spring a number of stationary and inhabited boats, lying by at the shores. They are too often dram shops, and resorts of all kinds of bad company. A severe enquiry ought to be instituted at all these points, respecting the inmates and practices of these floating mansions of iniquity.

There is no portion of the globe, where the invention of steam boats ought to be so highly appreciated, as in the valley of the Mississippi. That invention ought to be estimated the most memorable era of the West; and the name of the inventor ought to be handed down with glory


to the generations to come. No triumph of art over the obstacles of nature has ever been so complete. But for this invention, this valley might have sustained a nation of farmers and planters; and the comforts, the arts, refinements and intelligence of the day would have made their way slowly from New Orleans to the lakes, the sources of the Mississippi, and the Rocky mountains. Thousands of boatmen would have been slowly and laboriously warping and rowing, and poling, and cordelling their boats, in a three months trip up these mighty and long streams, which are new ascended by steam boats in ten days. It may be safely asserted, that in many respects, the improvements of fifty years without steam boats, were brought to this country in five years, after their invention. The distant points of the Ohio and the Mississippi used to be separated by distances and obstacles of transit more formidable, in the passing, than the Atlantic. These points are now brought into juxtaposition. Distances on the rivers are not indeed annihilated; but they are diminished to about an eighth of their former extent; and their difficulties and dangers are reduced even more than that All the advantages of long rivers, such as variety of soil, climate, productions, remain divested of all the disadvantages of distance and difficulty of ascent. The day, that commemorates this invention ought with us to be a holiday of interest, only second to that, which gave birth to the nation.

It is, perhaps, necessary to have something of the experience, which we have had, of the slowness, difficulty and danger of propelling boats against the current of these long rivers, fully to estimate the advantages of this invention We have ascended the Mississippi in this way for fifty days in succession. We have had but too much of the same kind of experience on the other streams. We considered ten miles a day, as good progress. It is now refreshing


and it imparts a feeling of energy and power to the beholder to see the large and beautiful steam boats scudding up the eddies, as though on the wing. When they have run out the eddy, and strike the current, it is a still more noble spectacle. The foam bursts in a sheet quite over the deck. The boat quivers for a moment with the concussion, and then, as though she had collected her energy, and vanquished her enemy, she resumes her stately march, and mounts against the current five or six miles an hour. We have travelled ten days together, between New Orleans and Louisville, more than an hundred miles in a day against the stream. The difficulty of ascending used to be the only one, that was dreaded in the anticipation of a voyage of this kind. This difficulty has now disappeared, and the only one, that remains, is to furnish money for the trip. Even the expense, considering the luxury of the fare, and accommodation, is more moderate, than could be expected. A family in Pittsburg wishes to make a social visit to a kindred family on Red river. The trip, as matters now stand, is but two thousand miles. Servants, baggage, or ‘plunder,’ as the phrase is, the family and the family dog, cat and parrot, all go together. In twelve days they reach the point proposed. Even the return is but a short voyage. Surely we must resist strong temptations, if we do not become a social people. You are invited to a breakfast at seventy miles distance. You go on board the passing steam boat, and are transported, during the night, so as to go out in the morning, and reach your appointment. The day will probably come, when the inhabitants of the warm and sickly regions of the lower points of the Mississippi will take their periodical migrations to the north, with the geese and swans, and with them return to the south in the autumn.


We have compared the most beautiful steam boats on the Atlantic waters with those of the Mississippi; and we have seen none, which in splendor and striking effect upon the eye, and the luxury and comfort of accommodation, could equal theWashington, Philadelphia, Lady of the Lake Florida, and some others, on these waters. We have been amused in observing an Atlantic stranger, who had heard us described by the phrase ‘backwoods men,’ taking his first survey of such a steam boat. If there be any ground of complaint, it is, that so much gorgeousness offends good taste, and seems to be in opposition to that social ease and comfort, which one would desire in such a place. Certainly, there can be no comparison between the comfort of the passage from Cincinnati to New Orleans in such a steam boat, and a voyage at sea. The barren and boundless expanse of waters soon tires upon every eye, but a seaman's. And then there are storms, and fastening of the tables, and the necessity of holding to something, to keep in bed. There is the insupportable nausea of sea sickness, and there is danger. Here you are always near the shore, always see the green earth; can always eat, write, and study undisturbed. You can always obtain cream, fowls, vegetables, fruit, fresh meat, and wild game, in their season, from the shore.

A stranger to this mode of travelling would find it difficult to describe his impressions upon descending the Mississippi for the first time in one of these steam boats, which we have named. He contemplates the prodigious construction, with its double tiers of cabins, and its separate establishment for the ladies, and its commodious arrangements for the deck passengers and the servants. Over head, him, and below him, all is life and movement. He contemplates the splendor of the cabin, its beautiful finishing of the richest woods, its rich carpeting, its mirrors


fine furniture, its sliding tables, its bar room, and all its arrangements for the accommodation of eighty cabin passengers. The fare is sumptuous, and every thing in a style of splendor, order, quiet and regularity, far exceeding that of most city taverns. You read. You converse, or walk or sleep, as you choose. Custom has prescribed that every thing shall be ‘sans ceremonie.’ The varied and verdant scenery shifts about you. The trees, the green islands, the houses on the shore, every thing has an appearance, as by enchantment, of moving past you. The river fowl, with their white and extended lines, are wheeling their flight above you. The sky is bright. The river is dotted with boats above you, beside, and below you. You hear the echo of their bugle reverberating front the woods. Behind the wooded point you see the ascending column of smoke, rising over the trees, which announces, that another steam boat is approaching you. The moving pageant glides through a narrow passage, between an island, thick set with young cotton woods, so even, so beautiful, and regular, that they seem to have been planted for a pleasure ground, and the main shore. As you shoot out again into the broad stream, you come in view of a plantation, with all its busy and cheerful accompaniments. At other times you are sweeping along for many leagued together, where either shore is a boundless and pathless wilderness. A contrast is thus strongly forced upon the mind, of the highest improvement and the latest pre-eminent invention of art with the most lonely aspect of a grand but desolate nature, — the most striking and complete assemblage of splendor and comfort, the cheerfulness of a floating hotel, which carries, perhaps, two hundred guests, with a wild and uninhabited forest, it may be an hundred miles in width, the abode only of bears, owls and noxious animals.


The Mississippi may be fairly considered, as the grand trunk of water communication, and the Missouri, Illinois Ohio, White, Arkansas and Red rivers the main arteries, Each of these has again its own system of circulation. In looking, from the lakes, the highest beatable waters of the Alleghany, Monongahela, Kenhawa, Cumberland, Tennessee, Yazoo, upper Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas and Red rivers, at the immense distances, thus brought into boatable communication; in contemplating two canals, one of three hundred miles in extent, and the other nearly seventy, which will shortly be boatable, and considering that these will be the precursors of multitudes of future connections of boatable waters, united in the same way, and we may safely assert, that this valley is a sample entirely by itself on our globe of the ease and extent of inland water communications. New Orleans can not have less than 40,000 miles of interior navigation on all her lakes, bayous, and hundreds of boatable streams; without taking into view the added extent of the northern lakes, which will be connected with her by the Ohio canal. For water communication she has no rival nor compeer; and she may be justly denominated the queen of rivers; and the whole western country is as strongly marked off from any other region by the number and extent of its navigable waters as it is by the greater magnitude of its valley.

We annex the subjoined table, as a complete list of the names and the tonnage of the steam boats at present on the western waters.



It will be obvious to the smallest degree of reflection, that the limits prescribed to us will prevent our treating this article with the copiousness and minuteness


which ordinarily characterizes history. The origin and progress of the disputes and contests of the Spanish, French and Anglo-American colonies in the valley of the Mississippi, thus treated, would alone form a very considerable work. Our object is, to give a connected and synoptical view of the commencement and progress of the population of the whites in these forests down to this time; and we shall condense the article, as far as possible, and give it in the unpretending form of annals, premising, that, having compared different authorities for the French and Spanish part of it, we have mostly relied on the manuscript, and as yet untranslated authority of M. de La Harpe.

Settlement of Florida.

The English and the Spanish dispute the honor of the discovery of this country. There seems to be sufficiently authentic testimony to the fact, that Sebastian Cabot sailed along the shores of the country, since called Florida, but a few years after America had been discovered by Columbus. The Spanish contend, that it was discovered in the thirtieth degree of north latitude by Juan Ponce de Leon, in 1512. This Spanish navigator is said to have been led to undertake this voyage, in consequence of a tradition,which he had heard at Cuba, probably derived from the intercourse of the Indians of that island with those of Florida, that there existed, somewhere in this region, a fountain, which had the property of operating rejuvenescence upon old age, and afterwards perpetuating youth. This would have been a discovery still more precious, than the gold of Montezuma and the Incas. He fitted out a small squadron, and directed his path over the ocean to the supposed point of these precious waters. He discovered land on Easter day, and gave it the name of Florida, from the Spanish name that festival, pasqua de flores — the festival of flowers, or, according to Herrerra, from the appearance of the country, the trees of which at that time were covered with


abundant and beautiful blossoms. The name imports the country of flowers.

He wandered in the flowering forest, searching in vain for the fountains of rejuvenescence. Instead of those fountains, he encountered fierce and determined savages, very different from the timid and effeminate Indians of Cuba He was glad to escape, and return to Puerto Rico, whence his expedition was fitted out.

Between 1518 and 1524, Grijalva and Vasques, both Spaniards, landed on the shore of Florida. One of the two, and authorities do not agree which, treacherously carried off a number of the natives, as slaves. Grijalva returned again to the country, and received the just retribution of such perfidy. He landed with a considerable number of men, of whom two hundred were slain by the savages, in remembrance, and in retaliation of the injury of enslaving and carrying off their friends. He made another attempt to land on these shores, and was again attacked by the savages; and on his return to Hispaniola, he lost one of his ships, having been unfortunate in his whole enterprize. He returned, gave himself up to despair, and died of a broken heart. Francis de Garay obtained the first grant of Florida; but died without entering upon his grant. De Allyon succeeded to his grant; and as history says nothing of him, it only proves, that little was thought of the country at this period.

In 1528, Pamphilo de Narvaez obtained a grant of Florida, and the boundaries of his grant were specified. He fitted out a considerable armament, with four or five hundred men. With this force he landed, and marched into the interior; and we first begin to hear the names of the tribes and villages of the natives from his journal. — The extent of his march was to Appalacha, a village with forty cabins. He had been decoyed thus far by the natives,


who, finding that the grand object of the Spaniards was to obtain gold, pretended, that there were mines in their vicinity. On their own ground, they turned upon him, defeated him, and harassed him on his retreat. On his return voyage, somewhere not far from the mouth of the Mississippi, his fleet was attacked by a storm, in which most of his ships were wrecked, and in which he, and many of his men perished.

He was succeeded by Ferdinand de Soto, governor of Cuba. He was a man of great bravery and boldness, and of a chivalrous and enterprizing spirit. He contemplated the conquest and colonization of Florida. His powerful armament sailed from Havanna, and consisted of nine ships, nearly a thousand men, between two and three hundred horses, and live stock of different kinds; indicating a purpose to establish a colony. He landed this formidable force, and was attacked immediately on landing; but he was one of those early ad venturers in America, who rather coveted glory, than gold. He marched far into the interior, penetrated the Indian country, as far as that of the Chickasaws, fought many battles with them, rather courting, than avoiding danger; and he was, probably, the first white man, who saw the Mississippi, which he crossed on this expedition, not far from the entrance of Red river. He had already passed a winter in the country, in continual rencontres with the Indians. On Red river he sickened, died. He had rendered himself such an object of terror and hatred to the Indians, that in order to preserve his remains from violation, or prevent the knowledge of his death, his body was enclosed in the hollow section of an oak tree, and sunk in Red river. His followers, reduced to two or three hundred men, in want and despair, felt but too happy to get away from these inhospitable


shores, and once more to leave Florida without a white inhabitant.

Settlement of Canada.

The great and illustrious Protestant, Admiral Colligny had formed the project of establishing a colony of hugunots, as the Protestants were called in France, on these remote shores, that they might find an asylum from persecution in the wilderness. Charles of France was anxious to get rid of his hugunot subjects, and furthered the project. An expedition was fitted out, and the command given to Francois Ribault. The settlers were landed not far from the present position of St. Augustine. To the eastward of the bay of St. Joseph he built a fort, which the French contend, was the first fortification erected in the country. It was called fort Charles, in honor of the king. It was in the year 1564; and a number of families were established here.

This colony suffered various disasters from disaffection, and mutiny, and hunger, and desertion by the parent country. After a considerable interval of time, Ribault arrived with seven ships and large reinforcements from France, but it was only to draw from the new settlement all the men, that could be spared, for an attack upon the Spanish fleet in those seas. M. de Laudoniere was left in the new fort without an adequate force, to defend it. In the absence of Ribault, it was attacked by Don Pedro Menendez, who commanded a Spanish force in that region, charged by the king of Spain, to root out the French heretics from Florida, and plant good Spanish Catholics in their place. He attacked the fort, and carried it by storm. All, that caped the sword, were immediately hung, with this inscription labelled on their backs — ‘Not as Frenchmen but as heretics, enemies of God and the Virgin.’

A private Gascon gentleman in France, of good family and fortune, named Dominique de Gourgues, determined


to avenge the massacre of his countrymen by his own private means. He fitted out a small armament, proceeded to the country, enlisted a number of the natives, as allies, attacked the Spaniards, and, after some severe fighting, carried the fort. All, that survived the capture, were hung on the same trees, where the French had so miserably perished, with this retaliating label on their backs — ‘Not as Spaniards, or soldiers, but as traitors, and assassins.’ — But the vicinity of powerful Spanish colonies in the islands, so near to the shores of Florida, gave them such advantages for retaining possession of that country, that Gorgeus and his friends soon felt themselves compelled to abandon it; and it was left to the undisturbed occupancy of the Spaniards for nearly half a century.

Almost fifty years elapsed, before we hear any thing more of the French in North America. In 1608, a fleet arrived in the St. Lawrence, commanded by Admiral Champlaine, and founded the important city of Quebec. There is one surprising coincidence in the discovery and first settlements of the three great colonizing powers in this division of North America, the Spanish, French and English. The Spaniards fixed their first colony east of the Mississippi on the barren sands of Florida. The first French establishment in the north was in the icy and inclement climate of Quebec. Their first southern colonial experiments were in Florida, and on Biloxi, both as sterile regions as could have been selected. The English first planted a colony at Jamestown, in Virginia, no way remarkable for its comparative promise of fertility; and at Plymouth, in Massachusetts, as discouraging a point, from its appearance at the time of landing in the depth of winter, and from its natural sterility, as little inviting, as could well be imagined. Providence seems to have settled the


arrangement, that the most dreary and sterile region should be the first settled.

Even after the French were established on the fertile borders of the Mississippi, where the prodigious power of vegetation, constantly in operation before their eyes, must have taught them the prolific character of the soil, they long drew from France, or the Spanish colonies, supplies of provisions: which the earth under their feet was much more capable of producing. We are told, that the first Dutch settlers of Albany and Schenectady brought the bricks for the first houses from Holland, which might have been made of a better quality from the earth, which was thrown up in the excavation of their cellars. Such is the force of prejudice; and so slow are the advances of reason.

The Spanish at this period were less enlightened, than the French; but in their projects of establishing colonies, they had been taught by experience, and their reasonings touching the proper measures and arrangements for the permanence and prosperity of colonies, were based not on fancy and theory, but on what they had learned by observing the order of events in their new settlements. Hence when they founded a colony, they generally laid its foundations on such sure and reasonable calculations, that is remained. The perseverance and steady enterprize of the English effected for them what experience taught the Spaniards. Most of their first founded colonies were permanent.

The French had a clear advantage over both the other nations, in a point most vital to the prosperity of colonies founded in the North American wilderness; a much greater facility, to assimilate themselves to the habits and inclinations of the savages, and to gain their alliance and good will. There is scarce an instance on record, where success depended on superior power and adroitness of


winning the affections of the savages, that the French did not carry it. And yet the French were by no means so successful, as either of the other powers, in establishing colonies. It is still more surprising, that the French colonies, planted on the Mississippi, in a mild climate, and which at that time was not particularly insalubrious and in the most fertile soil, and in one of the most favorable positions in the world, were abandoned, broken up and renewed, more than once, before they became permanent; while the first colony founded on the inclement shores of the St. Lawrence prospered, became flourishing, and soon extended itself to the lakes. It is proverbial, that the human powers, bodily and mental, are best developed by difficulty and opposition.

Canada had become populous, strong and enterprizing. The French aptitude to be well with the savages had manifested itself The immigrants had begun to take themselves wives from among the Indians, and to display that inclination to hunting, and trapping, and inhabiting among them, for which they have been distinguished in these regions ever since. They soon discovered the astonishing natural shrewdness of the Indians, as manifested particularly in their facility in obtaining accurate knowledge of the vast countries and rivers around and beyond them. In their hunting advances to the region of the lakes, the French were not long, in getting an account of a river of great size, and immense length, which pursued a course opposite to that of the St. Lawrence, and emptied into an unknown sea.

Settlement of Louisiana.

If the Spanish had seen and crossed the Mississippi, it was without knowing its name, or having any adequate idea of the country watered by it. In a narrative, written with great interest, and apparent simplicity, father Hennepin claims for La Salle the honor of this discovery; and


he gives details of the outfit of the discovering party from Quebec, the building of a vessel, called the ‘Griffin,’ the first, it should seem, that ever navigated the lakes, and the subsequent wanderings, misfortunes and assassination of La Salle, in his impressive journal.

But from a comparison of authorities we deem, that peres Marquette and Joliette, two French missionaries from Canada, deserve the honor of being considered the first discoverers of the Mississippi. They commenced their journey of discovery from Quebec, with five men; traversed the rivers, and forests, and immense inland seas, They made their way from lake Michigan, it is supposed by the present route, to the Ouisconsin, and down that river to the Mississippi.

The day of its discovery, an era, which should be so memorable to this country, was June 15, 1673. We can imagine their sensations, when they first saw that broad and beautiful river from the mouth of the Illinois. We can fancy, how the imaginations of Frenchmen would kindle at the view of the romantic bluffs, the grand forests, the flowering prairies, the tangle of grape vines on the trees, the beautiful birds, that flitted among the branched the swans sailing in their stateliness on the stream, and as yet unterrified at the view of man, the fishes darting in the pellucid wave, and nature in the array of June. We can fancy them looking up and down this calm and majestic wave, and painting every thing above and below the cope of their vision, just as beautiful, as they could wish it. Of course, we rather attribute the wonderful accounts of the height of the Illinois bluffs, the descent of the falls of St. Anthony, the rapidity of the current of the Missouri, and the terrible monsters painted on the Grand Tower, together with their exaggerations of the fruits, flowers, birds, beasts and every thing they saw, which we meet with in accounts


of the first French voyagers on the Mississippi, to the influence of an imagination naturally and highly kindled, than to any allowed intention to deceive. They descended the Mississippi to the mouth of the Arkansas; that is, nearly a thousand miles. From their journal, exaggerated as it is, we clearly trace the progress of their descent by the present order of things.

It may be supposed, that these fathers, on their returns, would not undervalue their discovery, or underrate the beauty of the river and country, which they had explored. M. de La Salle, commandant of fort Frontiniac on lake Ontario, a man of standing, courage and talents, and besides a needy adventurer, gave up his imagination and his thoughts to this discovery. To complete it promised fame, money, and success of every sort. The exhausted state of his finances offered formidable obstacles to an enterprize, which could not be prosecuted without money. At the close of the summer of 1679, he had by the greatest exertions equipped a small vessel, called the Griffin, at the lower end of lake Erie. His company consisted of father Louis Hennepin, a Franciscan friar, and thirty-four men. In their progress over the lakes, they were joined by many of those ‘coureurs du bois,’ those woods' men, of which Canada thus early had begun to furnish specimens. On reaching the waters of Michigan, their vessel was despatched back with a valuable cargo of peltries. She was arrested on her return by the savages. Her crew was massacred, and she was burned.

By this disaster the crew was reduced to thirty-two in number. They made their way to the western end of lake Michigan, up the Chicago, and down the Des Plaines and the Illinois by the same route, which is now travelled. They wintered the banks of the Illinois, near Peoria lake, and built a fort, at once for winter quarters, and security


against the savages. They called the fort ‘Creve-coeur,’ or Heart-break, either from their own misfortunes suffered here, or from the circumstance, that it was the site of a bloody battle between the Iroquois and Illinois Indians, in which the latter had been defeated, and had suffered a loss of eight hundred prisoners carried into slavery. M. de La Salle, with three men, returned to Canada to procure supplies and reinforcements.

In the absence of M. de La Salle, father Hennepin was instructed to ascend the Mississippi to its sources; while the former was to return, and descend the river to its mouth, that between them the discovery might be complete. The father departed from Creve-coeur, with only two companions, to fulfil his part of the instructions. But when he arrived at the Mississippi, which he reached March 8th, 1680, he found it easier to descend, than to ascend, and he reached the mouth, if his word may be taken, on the 25th of the same month; nor is it incredible, that three men could work a canoe with the rapid current of the Mississippi from the mouth of the Illinois to the Balize in sixteen days. On his return, he asserts, that he ascended the river to the falls of St. Anthony. He revisited Canada and embarked immediately for France. He there published his travels in the most splendid manner, dedicating his work to the great Colbert. In this work the country is called Louisiana, in honor of Louis XIV., the reigning monarch of France.

Various attempts have been made, from the discrepancies and exaggerations in this book, to throw doubt upon the whole asserted fact of his having ever descended the Mississippi to its mouth. Be that as it may, M. de La Salle, delighted with the country on the Illinois, made use of every exertion, which his exhausted means would allow to furnish another expedition for the Mississippi. A number


of adventurers were found willing to push their hopes and fortunes in the discovery of unknown countries. With them he arrived, in 1683, on the Mississippi. He founded the villages of Cahokia and Kaskaskia, and some other small establishments on this descent, and these are the oldest places in the western world. He left his friend, M. de Tonti, in the command of these establishments. He returned to Canada, and thence made all haste to France, in order to procure the co-operation of the French ministry with his views.

One of his first objects was to convince the ministry of the existence of that astonishing inland water communication, which nature has furnished between the river St. Lawrence and the gulf of Mexico, which binds these distant points together by an almost unbroken chain of nearly four thousand miles in length. He first comprehended the plan, upon which the French government afterwards so steadily acted, of drawing a strong line of communication from one point to the other, and thus insulating the English settlements within this impassable barrier. As establishments were thus already formed on the upper Mississippi, it was a part of this plan to commence establishments at the mouth of this river.

He obtained from the king an order to fit out an armament for discovering the mouth of the Mississippi, and the command was given to him. It sailed in the month of August, 1684. He steered too far to the westward, to reach the mouth of the Mississippi, and made land in a bay, which he called St. Louis, and which is now called the bay of St. Bernard. It is something more than one hundred leagues west of the Balize, in latitude 29° 20' N. He lost one of his vessels on the bar at the entrance of this bay. He finally succeeded in landing his followers on the banks of the river Guadeloupe, a stream of the present


province of Texas. The adventurers were protected in some measure from the continual assaults of the savages by a fort, which he erected for them. But in addition to their exposure to the Indians, they were assailed by sickness, and their situation was inconceivably lonely and desolate.

The efforts, which this brave man made, to rescue this little colony, which had thus followed his fortunes over the sea, and into the wilderness, from impending destruction, are almost incredible. Once he started, with twenty men, in hopes they might reach the Mississippi, and the settlement under M. de Tonti, in the Illinois. He advanced a great distance among the Indians. They received his men kindly, and four of them deserted, and joined the savages. He was compelled by sickness and desertion to return to the fort, discouraged, and weakened But he soon regained courage, to renew the attempt to make his way over land to the Illinois. They wandered through the unknown prairies and forests, and crossed the lakes and rivers, for two months. De Salle halted, to allow his men some repose from their incessant toils. They encamped in a beautiful place, where game abounded, and where the Indians welcomed their arrival. The soldiers had heard of the desertion of their companions, on the former trip. They contemplated, on the one hand, the life of toil before them, and on the other, the fancied happiness of those, who had already deserted to dwell among the Indians. The indolence and licentiousness of a life, so passed among the savages, contrasted in their minds with the incessant toil of civilized life. They were of the hungry rabble from the populace of a French city They determined to desert, and join the Indians. To treachery they added the most cruel assassination. They ambuscaded a party, sent out by La Salle to hunt — among


whom was his nephew, and slew them, to prevent their opposing any obstacle to their desertion. La Salle observed the mutinous spirit of these men, and became uneasy about the fate of the hunting party, which had delayed its return beyond the appointed time. With gloomy presentiments he departed, to search for his lost companions. He soon found their dead bodies. The mutineers fired upon him, and he fell. But history has not clearly ascertained, where this patriarch of Louisiana, illustrious by his merits, his misfortunes, his adventures, and his discoveries, laid his bones. Of his colony planted at St. Bernard, we may here remark, that of those that remained, part fell by the savages; and the remainder was carried away, in 1689, by a detachment of Spaniards from Coahuila, in New Leon.

The mutineers, as might be expected, soon quarrelled among themselves. In the quarrel, the two murderers of M. La Salle experienced the re-action of justice, and were slain in their turn. Two priests of the party became penitent at having winked at the assassination, and have furnished us with the account, which we have given. Seven only remained. With the two priests at their head, and aided by various savage tribes on their way, they finally reached the Arkansas, where they found a French colony, consisting of emigrants from Canada, already settled. — Charlevoix throws a melancholy interest over the fate of the other great discoverer of Louisiana, father Marquette. Previous to his discovery of the Mississippi, he had been a laborious and faithful missionary in Canada. After that discovery, he was still prosecuting his travels with great ardor. On his way from Chicago to Michilimackinack, he entered a river, which bore his name. He requested his followers to land, intimating, that he had a presentiment that he should end his days there. He landed, erected


an altar, said mass, and retired a little distance, as he said, to offer thanks to God; and requested, that he might be left alone for half an hour. When they returned, he had expired. The place is not known, where Marquette is interred.

It is sufficiently obvious, with how much jealousy the Spaniards regarded the progress of the French in Louisiana. A number of Spanish establishments in East Florida had existed for a considerable time. They afterwards founded Pensacola, in West Florida. It was evidently intended simply as a military post, and its erection was an obvious indication, that they intended to watch, and over, awe the French in that quarter.

Every circumstance, tending to illustrate the actual progress of founding French colonies in Louisiana, must have a certain degree of interest in the history of that country. We come now to an era, in which that founding may be said to have been fairly commenced. In touching on this period, omething more of detail seems to be requisite.

On the 16th of September, 1698, two frigates left Rochefort for Louisiana; the Badine, of 30 guns, commanded by M. Ibberville, and manned with 200 men, and the Marin, of 30 guns, commanded by M. le Compte de Lugere On the 4th of December, they arrived at St. Domingo, at the French post commanded by M. Ducasse. There they found M. Ie Marquis de Chateau Merant, who commanded a vessel of 50 guns. He was shown instructions, by which he was ordered to escort the two frigates to the mouth of the Mississippi. By order of the king, Ibberville took with him Laurencillo, a man, who had rendered himself famous, by having taken Vera Cruz, by surprise, some years before. They set sail on the first day of the year, 1699, and on the 25th of the month of January, they


reached the Isle de St. Rose. On the 26th, they reconoitered the bay of Pensacola, and saw there two Spanish ships. On sending two officers to them, it was found, that the Spanish had established themselves there, some months before, and immediately after it had been known to them, that a French armament was fitting out for this coast. The Spanish commandant at Pensacola received them well, but would not permit their vessels to enter the harbor. The fleet continued its voyage; and on the 31st of the month, came to anchor near Dauphine island. This place they called Isle de Massacre, from the circumstance, that they found it strewed with the bones of savages, who had been slain in a great recent battle with their enemies. They saw, and named the Isle de la Chandelier, on this coast. On the 11th of February, Ibberville despatched a felucca with a canoe to the main land, which was about four leagues distant. They found a bay, in which were seven canoes filled with savages, who fled with the greatest consternation at their approach.

On the 12th, they contrived to intercept a woman of the savages, by whom they were enabled to open an intercourse with her nation, which was the Biloxis, which name they gave to the bay. They took on board four of these savages, M. de Bienville remaining on shore, as a hostage for their safety. On the same evening, there arrived at the bay a party of eighty Pascagoulas, who were then at war with the Mobile Indians. All, that they could learn of these latter, was what the Indian language of signs always enables them to explain, that they dwelt on the shores of a large river, farther to the southwest. Ibberville and Bienville embarked again in a felucca, with thirty men, accompanied by pere Anastase, who had been the companion of La Salle in his discoveries. Their object was to find the mouth of the Mississippi.


On the 2d day of March, they entered the mouth of a great river, in which, from its turbid and boiling waters the father thought he recognized the Mississippi. They immediately began to ascend the river, and at the end seven days had mounted forty leagues. Here they discovered three periogues of savages, who fled at their approach. One of them was overtaken; and they made him some trifling presents, which gained his good will, and induced him to bring back his comrades. They were the Pascagoulas, and very readily conducted the French to their villages. On the 13th, they met, on a stream of the Mississippi, some periogues of Indians, belonging to tribes settled on this stream. Their numbers amounted to seven or eight hundred men. On the 14th, they arrived among the Pascagoulas, whose force was about one hundred warriors. Among them were found stuffs of European fabric, given them by La Salle. These Indians received them kindly; and among other things gave them some fowls, which they said had been reared from those, which they had received from nations west of the Mississippi, near the sea shore. The tradition of their origin was, that, four years before, a ship had been cast ashore on that part of the coast, whose crew had all perished, but three, who had been destroyed by the savages. A few domestic fowls had gained the shore from that ship, from which these among the savages had originated.

Ibberville was still uncertain, whether the river, which he was ascending, was actually the Mississippi, or not He had not yet seen the tribe of the Tangipoos, of whom memorable mention had been made by La Salle. It was soon found, that this tribe had been destroyed by another called the Monsoulachas. Bienville found in the basket of one of these savages a paper, upon which the names of many individuals, belonging to the detachment of La


Salle, were written, and a letter, addressed to M. de Tonti, from which he learned, that having heard from Canada of his departure from France, he had descended to the sea with twenty Canadians and thirty Shawnese from the river Wabash. This discovery dissipated all uncertainty, respecting the river, they were on; and they ascertained, that La Salle had supposed the mouth of the river to be nearly in latitude 30°. Among these nations they found a suit of Spanish armor, inscribed Ferdinand de Solo.

On the 18th, they passed the Baton Rouges, where was established a limit, which bounded the hunting grounds of the Pascagoulas. Further up they came to a point, where the river made a bend, or circuit of twelve leagues. Ibberville cut down trees, and crossed his periogues to the other point. The river has since cut itself a passage through this point, and it is now the well known ‘Point Coupee.’ On the 20th, they arrived at a village of the Houmas, who welcomed them with dances; and in token of amity made them acquainted with the Indian ceremony, since so well known, of smoking the calumet of peace. This village was composed of three hundred and sixty warriors; and here, too, were found domestic fowls, though the Indians had not yet begun to use them, as an article of food.

Here Ibberville, learning that there was a bayou, which he might reach by a small portage from the river, and down which he might descend through lakes and streams to the sea, left the river with two canoes and a guide, sending Bienville down the river with the periogues, to meet him again at Isle de Vasseau. On the 29th, he arrived at Isle de Vasseau, and met M. D'Ibberville, who had arrived at the same place before him, through the bayou Ibberville or Manshac, and the two lakes, which lie named Maurepa and Ponchartrain.


On the 12th of April, Ibberville explored a bay, situated nine leagues from Isle de Vasseau, to which he gave the name of St. Louis. He would have planted his colony here; but there was not water enough at the entrance of the bay for vessels of much draft. He concluded to plain his establishment at Biloxi, — a healthy spot, but, as we have remarked, comparatively sterile. Here he built a fort of four bastions of logs, upon which he mounted twelve pieces of cannon; and this is the era of the commencement of French establishments in this quarter. With this colony he left provisions for four months, twenty-five soldiers, and a few Canadians and Buccaneers, leaving the command of it to M. de Sarol and M. de Bienville, and set sail for France. On the 22d of May, Bienville set out on an exploring trip, in the course of which he learned, that two hundred Chickasaws, with two white men, supposed to be English, had fallen upon, and destroyed a village of the Collapissas, in their neighborhood.

On the 9th of June, he set out with two canoes, and passed Pascagoula river and Mobile point, and approached so near Pensacola, that he could perceive, it was still occupied by the Spaniards.

On the 1st of July, the fort was gladdened with the arrival of two canoes of birch bark, in which were many Canadians, under the command of two priests de la mission. They came from Canada by the way of the Illinois; and having learned from the Houmas, that the French were established near the sea, they concluded to descend the river, and seek them. On the 11th, the two priests, named Montiguy and Davion, departed to establish a mission among the Conicas, who inhabited banks of the Yazoo.

About this time, Bienville discovered in the Mississippi at a distance of twenty-eight leagues from the sea, an


English vessel, commanded by captain Ban, and which had left a consort at the mouth of the river. Their intention was to explore the country, and in the course of the season to return with a larger armament and plant a colony board this vessel, there was a Protestant Frenchmen who gave in secret a pacquet to Bienville, addressed to the king of France, in which he assured his majesty, that if he would accord liberty of conscience to a colony in this country, more than four hundred families would emigrate from Carolina. This pacquet was sent to M. de Pontchartrain, who returned for answer, that his majesty had not expelled heretics from his kingdom, to establish them in a republic in the new world. The English captain was in doubt, whether he was in the Mississippi, or not; and Bienville, glad to avail himself of his ignorance, assured him, that this was not the Mississippi, and that the river, which he sought, was much farther to the westward, and that the river, in which he was sailing, was within the limits of a country, of which he had taken possession, in the name of his most Christian majesty, and that the whole country was called Canada. By this policy, Bienville induced the English to desist from taking possession, and to turn about; and this point has borne the name of the ‘English turn’ from that circumstance.

On the 8th of December, M. de Ibberville arrived at Isle de Vasseau with two ships, the Renomme of 50 guns, and the Gironde of 46. There came with them sixty Canadians, intending to explore the country more fully. By them also, M. de Bienville received a commission, as lieutenant commandant of the colony. There arrived, also, in these vessels a Mr. de Seuer, with thirty miners. He had been an extensive traveller in Canada, and was sent here on the part of M. de Shuillier, to form an establishment near the sources of the Mississippi. The object was to


dig from a mine of ‘terre verte,’ which M. de Shuillier had discovered. M. de Seuer, by order of M. Frontignae, governor general of Canada, constructed a fort on an island in the Mississippi, 200 leagues above the mouth of the Illinois. This fort was intended to awe, and keep in order the different tribes of savages, who inhabit the western shores of lake Superior, and the sources of the Mississippi On his return to Montreal, he took with him a chief of the Sauteurs, and one of the Sioux, or Dacotas. They were the first of their respective nations, who had ever been seen in Canada. They were received with great kindness by the governor, who hoped to be able to open a useful commerce with them. Two days after their arrival, they presented the governor as many arrows, as they had warriors in their tribe. It is astonishing, how soon the French had an influence over the savages in all the valley of the Mississippi.

Ibberville, having been informed of an attempt of the English, to form an establishment on the Mississippi, determined to anticipate them in this purpose. He took with him fifty Canadians, two small vessels loaded with provisions, and two small chaloupes, and embarked on the 15th of January for the Mississippi. In a favorable position, and on a point of the bank above the inundation, he built a fort eighteen leagues above the Balize.

On the 8th of March, Ibberville and Bienville set out for the Natchez, and another nation of Indians, situated on a lake southwest of the Mississippi. On the 11th, they reached the Natchez, and found there a missionary, who had just arrived among them from Canada. The great sun-chief of the Natchez came in great state to the French borne on a litter, and accompanied by 600 men. They observed in this chief a higher degree of native politeness and dignity, than they had yet observed among any of the


savages. His authority seemed to be despotic. It was the custom, on the death of a chief of his standing, for his wives and domestics to devote themselves to death, in order to serve him in the other world. There were then among them seventeen of this high rank, supposed to be descended from the sun. Their traditions stated, that there had formerly been 1900 such. They stated, that their population had once exceeded two hundred thousand. They preserved in the temple of the sun perpetual fire; and on the rude altar of this temple they offered the first fruits of their harvests and their huntings. They believed, that after death brave warriors, who had killed many men and buffalos, would dwell in a delightful country in the land of souls, where buffalos were plenty, and all kinds of provisions in abundance. While they, who had never killed a man, would be condemned to a country of marshes and lakes, where all their subsistence would be upon alligators and fish. — We may remark in passing, that the whole course of the Mississippi at this period was through a country full of buffalos and other game; and this accounts for the easy manner, in which the French voyageurs supplied themselves with provisions.

It happened, that while the French were among the Natchez, the lightning struck their temple, and destroyed it. In order to appease the ‘Great Spirit,’ whose anger, they inferred, was thus directed against them, they sacrificed four children in the flames, and would have offered up more victims, but for the determined opposition of the French.

On the 22d, Bienville commenced an exploring expedition westward, to discover, if possible, the distance between establishments and those of the Spanish. Ibberville started on the same day for the sea. When he had arrived at Isle de Vasseau, he learned, that the Spanish governor


of Pensacola had been there with a 24 gun ship, manned with 140 men, and some chaloupes, intending to drive the French from the coast. Finding himself unable to execute his design, he had entered a formal protest in writing against the establishment of the French in this part of the country. He alleged, that it was included within the limits of his Catholic majesty's dominions in Mexico.

About the middle of May, Bienville returned from his western expedition. He had ascended the Ouachitta to a considerable distance; had crossed from that river to Red river; and had returned by the latter river, without having seen any traces of the Spanish on his route. He had passed through a fertile country, and a great many small tribes of Indians, particularly the Natchitoches. On the 28th of May, Ibberville set sail for France, having previously appointed Bienville commander of the fort, which he had constructed on the Mississippi.

On the 18th of December, Ibberville arrived in these waters from France, with an armament, consisting of the Renomme, a 50 gun ship, and the Palmier of 44; and a brigantine. It was a most fortunate event to the colony at Biloxi, whose numbers were diminished to 150, and had been reduced to such straits, as to have lived for some time entirely on maize. By these vessels, Bienville had orders to evacuate the establishment at Biloxi, and create one in place of it on Mobile river. Accordingly, on the 5th January, 1702, he departed for Mobile, leaving only 20 soldiers at Biloxi. On the 16th of the month, Bienville fixed the projected establishment, about 18 leagues from the sea, on Mobile river, where he formed a depot, and erected a fort.

About this time, an important exploring trip was undertaken from Canada to a point of the Mississippi, as high as the St. Peter's. The object was to discover mines. —


Incredible stories were in circulation, respecting the abundance of copper and copper ore in those regions. The ‘terre verte,’ had been supposed to be an ore of that metal. The imaginations of all the European people had been inflamed by the Spanish success in obtaining the precious metals in Mexico and Peru. Most of the expeditions, that had yet been undertaken in the Mississippi valley, had originated, more or less, in the hope of finding mines. The history of these times relates an amusing story of an impostor, who took advantage of the eager credulity of the people, on the score of mines, and pretended to have discovered one of unexampled richness on the Missouri. The French had long been perfectly acquainted with the lead mines of that region. But their imaginations had not yet been sufficiently corrected by experience, to be satisfied with the slow but certain gains of lead mines. The expedition in question to St. Peter's had for object, to dig the ‘terre verte,’ and make further discoveries in that quarter.

In the journal of this establishment we have a tolerably, accurate account, as it has been subsequently corrected by experience, of the Sioux, and the barbarous names of their tribes and divisions; and we have very striking evidences of the politic and judicious measures, by which the French acquired such a surprising ascendency over savages a thousand leagues from their establishments.

On the 19th of March, M. de La Salle established himself the fort on Mobile river, and transported thither all the provisions and munitions, which had hitherto been kept on Dauphine island. At this time, Ibberville was enabled to make peace between the Chactaws and Chickasaws. — on the 24th of June, a Spanish chaloupe arrived from Pensacola at the fort on the Mobile, having on board the son of the viceroy of Mexico, who brought a letter from Don Francisco Martin, governor of Pensacola, stating that


his garrison was in a state of famine, and requesting a supply of provisions. On the 1st of October, arrived at the fort M. Davion, a missionary, with two Canadians from, the Yazoo river, accompanied also with pere Limoge whose colleague missionary had been recently assassinated by some young savages, whom he had taken for guides On the 11th November, Don Martin arrived from Pensacola with the news, that France and Spain were at war with England. He requested provisions and munitions; and in consequence of the union of the two powers in the old world, they were granted him.

On the 28th of November, two Spanish officers arrived from St. Augustine, in East Florida, with a letter from the governor of that colony, stating that St. Augustine was besieged by an English force, with a fleet of 17 vessels, and aided by 2,000 savages. Blenville sent him an ample supply of munitions of war. On the 2d of January, 1703, they learned by letter from Pensacola, that this town, which had also been assailed by the English, still held out against them. It was afterwards succored by a fleet from Havanna; and the English, in sailing away from the coast, lost two of their largest vessels. Notwithstanding the jealousies of rival colonies, so near each other, and with conflicting claims, it appears, that the French and Spanish mutually aided each other with provisions, munitions, and van helps, for a considerable period. The greatest scourge of the Spaniards about this period was the hostility of the Indians, aided, and sometimes headed by the English from Carolina.

On the 24th of July, 1704, arrived from France the Pelican, a 50 gun ship. She brought out two companies of soldiers, four priests, and twenty-four poor girls, who were all immediately married to Canadian colonists. The colony suffered severely, the next month, from sickness and


mortality. On the 27th of November, news arrived from pensacola, that the fort there was reduced to ruin, and their clothes, stuffs and provisions destroyed by fire; and with a request, that the French would aid them with a schooner, to carry tidings of their disaster to Vera Cruz. On the 11th of December, news arrived, that the English were fitting out an armament at Charlestown against the French establishments on the Mobile and vicinity. On the 28th of January, 1705, M. de Lambert arrived from the French post on the Wabash, which he had abandoned, in consequence of the dread of the hostile incursions of the savageg. On the 13th of February, they were informed, that the Chickasaws had enslaved and sold a number of families of the Chactaws, who had visited them in good faith, and in time of peace, to the English, and that this treachery had brought on a war between those two tribes. There were at this time more than seventy Chickasaws of both sexes at the post on the Mobile. They found themselves in a state of the greatest embarrassment, inasmuch, as they were obliged to traverse the country of the Chactaws, in returning to their own country. In their distress, they besought Bienville to escort them with a detachmemt of soldiers; and he consented. With a captain and 25 French soldiers to protect them, the savages set out on their return, and reached the Chactaw village, about the last of the month. The Chactaw chiefs assured them, that they would not oppose their return to their homes; and only claimed the privilege of reproaching them for their perfidy, in the hearing of the French. The Chactaw chief then placed himself in the centre of a large, open space, and invited the Chickasaws to come out, and seat themselves round him, and hearken to what he should say to them. They were permitted to hold their knives in their hands, and their guns in readiness. Three thousand Chactaw warriors


then surrounded them, in an immense circle. The chief began his harangue, reproaching them in cutting terms with their crimes and perfidy; informing them that if the French still took any interest in their concerns, they would cease to do it, when they should have become acquainted with their falsehood and cruelty. When he had poured out all his invectives, he gave the signal for their death. He lowered his calumet, which he had hitherto held erect; and they were all instantaneously despatched. Many of the Chactaws were killed by the shots of their own people, from their having formed too narrow a circle. Bienville himself was slightly wounded by a chance ball; and was escorted back to the Mobile by 300 Chactaw warriors.

On the 16th of January, 1706, pere Garcia, a Jesuit, arrived from the Illinois with the intelligence, that the Illinois Indians had shown so much hostility, that he was obliged to abandon his establishment. On the 21st, a peace was brought about between the Chiekasaws and Chactaws by Bienville. About this time, died Ibberville, who had been a great benefactor and patron to this colony. He died on an expedition from France to the West Indies.

On the 1st of January, 1707, intelligence was brought. that the French missionary among the Natchez had been slain, together with three other Frenchmen, by the Chettimaches, as they were descending to the sea. Presents were immediately sent to all the surrounding nations, to induce them to declare war upon that tribe.

M. de La Salle died in the beginning of the year 1710 About this time, an English Buccaneer, with a party, made a descent upon Isle au Dauphine, and pillaged it, to the amount of 50,000 dollars. March, 1711, was remarkable for an inundation of the river Mobile, by which the site of


the fort was overflowed. The establishment was moved, consequence, eighteen leagues higher up the river. In May, 1713, a vessel arrived from France, bringing out M. de La Motte Cadilla, who had been appointed governor of Louisiana, and with him the other officers of his government. At this time, the census of the colony gives about 400 souls, among whom were 20 blacks, — and about 300 horned cattle. This arrival of La Motte would have had a most salutary bearing on the interests of the rising colony, if he and Bienville had acted in concert. But they were mutually jealous of each other, and each had his party. A spirit of jealousy was thus originated, fatal to the interests of the establishment.

About this time, the French began to suffer from the encroachments of the English from Carolina, who had been successful in insinuating themselves into the affections of the savages, and in stirring them up in opposition to the French. Mr. Young, an English officer from Carolina came through all the nations to the Natchez by land, con trading alliances with the Indians on his route. Learning this, the commandant at the Mobile post despatched a Military guard in a periogue, which met Young at Manshac, and brought him prisoner to Mobile; from which place he was sent to Pensacola.

On the 15th of August, 1715, a vessel arrived from France with provisions for the colony, and two companies of infantry. In February, 1716, Bienville, according to an order, received from the king of France, departed up Mississippi to establish forts at Natchez, and even as high as the Wabash. At Natchez he learned, that five French had been slain, and that six more were still prisoners in the hands of that nation. He dissembled his knowledge of the matter, until he had persuaded the sun andwar chief to meet in conference, in which they gave up


their six prisoners. He then reproached them with their murders, and refused to treat with them, until the authors should be given up to him. They replied, that it was impossible for sun-chiefs and men of valor thus to give up their people. Upon this they were immediately imprisoned and thrown into irons. The next day, the prisoner chief to the number of seventeen, requested permission to send deputation to their brother, the grand chief, desiring him to send the head of the chief, White-head, who was the principal murderer. To this Bienville consented. The deputation returned, not with the head of the chief, but with another chief, who was willing to devote himself to death, instead of that chief. This and similar offers Bienville refused.

By one of these embassies he received a letter from a Canadian among the Natchez, informing him, that six periogues of his comrades were on their way down the river, and that, ignorant of this rupture, they would fall into the hands of the savages. Bienville immediately despatched a canoe up the river, which passed the village unperceived, and advertised the Canadians of their danger. In this interval numbers of the Natchez came and offered themselves, to die with the chiefs, that they might attend them in the other world. Bienville finally proposed peace to them on condition, that they would put to death Big-beard one of the murderers, and build a fort for the French with which terms they complied.

On the 26th of October, M. de St. Dennis, after having traversed the country to Mexico, arranged a plan in concert with the viceroy of that country to establish missions among the savages at Nacogdoches, Adayes and Ayche, among the several nations of those names. In the month of January, 1717, M. de La Motte sent a sergeant and six soldiers, to take possession of the island of Natchitochos,


Red river, upon which, it was supposed, the Spaniards had a design. On the 9th of March, M. de La Motte was relieved from command by M. de L'Epignai, who arrived from France with three ships, and three companies of infantry. In August, a census gave the colony 700 souls, and 400 horned cattle. Hitherto agriculture, the most essential of all the interests of a colony, had been almost totally neglected, and the colony had felt the ruinous effects of such neglect. It was now proposed to settle on the Mississippi, and raise provisions for the consumption of the colony. — The growing of articles for export, such as silk, indigo, rice, tobacco, and other articles, was also proposed. It was thought, too, that they could furnish the parent country with pitch, tar, and other naval supplies.

During this year, 1717, Bienville, in searching for a suitable place on the Mississippi, to be the central spot of the new agricultural colony, selected the spot, on which New Orleans now stands, at something more than thirty leagues from the sea. He left fifty men there, to make a clearing, and to put up buildings. In August, an armament arrived from France, bringing, besides the officers, nearly 800 settlers and soldiers, intended to settle various concessions, or land grants. In October, M. de Bois Brildant started to establish a post on the Illinois; and at the same time, M. de La Harpe went to establish one on Red river, and to explore the country west and north.

Bernard de La Harpe.

In January, 1719, an armament arrived from France, and brought 250 persons to swell the force of the colony. At the same time, intelligence was brought, that war existed between France and Spain. It was immediately decided to make an attack upon Pensacola. Bienville concentered the force of the colony at Mobile; and having assembled 400 savages and a considerable body of Canadians,


he marched by land for Pensacola. At the same time the Marshal Villars and two other vessels were despatched for the same place; and on the 14th of May, it was invested by sea and land. The Spanish governor, seeing himself in danger of an immediate assault, surrendered, on condition, that the garrison should be transported to Havanna.

On the 6th of June, 1719, two ships, Duc de Maine and Aurore, arrived from the coast of Guinea, commanded by Laudoin and Herpin, bringing 500 negro slaves. On the 5th of August, a small Spanish fleet appeared before Pensacola. The garrison was partly Spanish, and inclined to yield. In the general confusion and insubordination, the French commander was obliged to surrender the place; obtaining, however, the most honorable terms. The former Spanish commander was reinstated governor. The Spaniards, flushed with this success, undertook the siege of Dauphine island; and after various efforts and assaults, were compelled to abandon it About this time, a French squadron arrived off Dauphine island, bringing various officers for the colony, and 200 settlers.

It was determined to re-take Pensacola, before an expected squadron could arrive from Vera Cruz. Bienville mustered 500 savages and Canadians, and departed by land for that post. A French squadron sailed at the same time for the same destination; and Pensacola was again invested by sea and land. It was taken by storm, in which the French met with a small, and the Spanish a considerble loss. The whole Spanish force of all nations was 1800. On the 28th, a Spanish brigantine from Havanna entered the harbor, unconscious that the place had changed masters, and was taken. Forty-seven French deserters were found among the Spanish garrison. Twelve of them


were hung from the yard-arm of a ship, and thirty-five condemned to hard labor, as slaves.

In 1719, intelligence arrived, that the South Sea Company, that of China, and that of the West Indies had been merged in one. The garrison, which had hitherto been kept at Dauphine island, was ordered to be removed to Biloxi. It seems as if, in the confusion, which reigned in the colony at this time, it had been forgotten, that it was the intention of the French government to advance the cultivation of the soil as fast as possible, and thereby render the colony independent. This could not be done, unless the colonies were stationary. By the same conveyance the colony received an ordonnance, or decree, regulating the sale of merchandize, and settling the rate of profit. At the different ports, where the vessels were to be unloaded, the articles were to be delivered at a fixed profit. For instance, at New Orleans they were to be delivered at five per cent, advance; at Natchez at ten; at Yazoo at thirteen; at Natchitoches at twenty; and at Illinois and Missouri at fifty per cent.; and so of the rest Bernard de La Harpe, in giving his narrative of his proceedings, according to his instructions, on Red river, lays down its mouth as being in latitude 31° 15'; and Natchitoches in 32° 30'. He established a post, eighty leagues above Natchitoches, on Red river, in latitude 33° 10'; and attempted to open a trade with the Spaniards. He thoroughly explored the country between Red river and Washita; and made himself particularly acquainted, according to the usual French policy, with the various tribes of Indians. His narrative shows much simplicity and credulity; but is otherwise amusing. He describes, probably from the ill-understood accounts of the Indians, an animal, which he calls a lion, with one horn, and other incredible circumstances, which no after information


has confirmed to exist. Many of his barbarous names of savage tribes in that quarter, are the names which they bear at present; and the general impression of the savages at this day confirms the statement of La Harpe, that the Carancoahs of Texas were cannibals.

He ascended the Arkansas, according to his narrative to the mountains; and found a number of savage tribes, associated, and living in one town, which contained, as he asserts, 4,000 souls. Their cabins were contiguous, and running in a parallel line for nearly a league. The situation was delightful beyond description. They were allies of the Pawnees, who dwelt forty leagues to the north of them, and were then at peace with the Osages and most of the wandering nations about the sources of Arkansas and Red river. Their old men related, that the Spaniards had traded for the precious metals with the Padoucas, whose villages were situated at the distance of fifteen days' journey from them. They asserted, that they knew where these metals were found, but fearing their enemies, they seldom crossed the mountains, over which they were discovered. They showed him rock-salt, which they said, they obtained on this side the mountains. They represented the Arkansas, as navigable for a great distance above them, although they admitted themselves to be so ignorant of navigation, as not even to have periogues. — They presented the calumet of peace to him with great ceremony. There were present on the occasion more than 500 savages. Some venerable old men performed the ceremony. Their harangue was of the same cast with those, which the Indians give at present. It touched upon the advantages, which they hoped from an alliance with the French, the benefits of their merchandize, their warlike character, and generosity. After this, all the chiefs and principal warriors recounted the great deeds and exploits,


which themselves had performed, and particularly dwelling on the number of scalps, that they had taken. It was a gorgeous ceremonial; but, as such things are apt to be, before the termination it began to be wearisome. It lasted nearly three days, — during which time, the savages continued to dance, and sing without intermission.

When he retired to repose, several warriors attended with eagle feathers to drive away the flies and musquitos, and to fan him through the night. They still continued their harangues, dances and songs by day; casting from time to time buffalo robes at his feet. They made him presents of rock-salt, corn bread, tobacco, and a rock of a beautiful blue and red color, to which they added a young slave, eight years old. They regretted, that they had not received his visit one moon earlier; declaring, that they could then have given him seventeen slaves, instead of this one; but averred, that they had eaten them all at a public festival!

They were in the habit of leaving their village, in the month of October, to hunt the buffalo, and returning from the hunt in March. At that time, they planted beans, corn and pumpkins, which formed their chief sustenance during the summer. They had beautiful horses, which they rode with bridles and saddles of leather, after the Spanish fashion. They, also, wore a kind of armor made of leather, which was proof against arrows. Each of these nations had its own peculiar coat of arms, answering to the present Indian ‘totem.’ This was painted on a piece of leather, and suspended above their doors. Some bore the sun, moon, or stars; and some different kinds of birds and beasts. What is most singular is, that many languages were spoken in this single village.

To return to the colony: On the 28th of February, 1720, a French squadron arrived at Dauphine island. It came


to assist the colony, and guard its commerce. It convoyed a number of smaller vessels, and brought an addition of nearly 400 persons to it; among whom were many girls from the general hospital of Paris. On the 29th, letters were received from De Bois Brillant, informing, that he had planted his establishment eight leagues above Kaskaskia, on the shores of the Mississippi. On the 8th of June news were received of a truce between France and Spain About this time, the commandant at New Orleans was removed from office, on charge of misdemeanor; and a new one appointed. The French made an attempt to incite the savages generally to make war on the Chickasaws; but succeeded only with the Chactaws.

French vessels were now in the habit of arriving frequently, with provisions, munitions and settlers for the colony. On the 24th of August, 1720, arrived on board the St. Andre 260 men. On the 3d of September, the Profond with 240. On the 10th, the Marin with 186. Oh the 20th, on board the Loire 156. On the 14th December, on board the Elephant 250.

On the 20th December, a council, civil and military, was held, in which, after much disputing between Bienville and the director general, it was determined to consolidate the strength of the colony at New Orleans, on the Mississippi. The vessel Dromedary was despatched there with these orders. To this measure the director general entered a solemn protest. On the 3d of January, 1721 ihe Gironde brought 300 persons to the colony. On the 5th, the Baleine brought eighty-one girls, under the direction of the sisters Gertrude and Maine. On the 7th, the Seine brought eighty souls, among whom were twenty artificers. The establishment at Kaskaskia received the name of fort Chartres; that at Biloxi fort Louis; and that at Mobile fort Conde.


On the 17th February, 1721, arrived L'Africaine with 180 black slaves, out of 380, with which the vessel started. On the 93d, Le Due de Maine with 346, the remainder of 450. On the 16th of April, M. de Lugere sounded the bar at the mouth of the Mississippi, and found it to be 500 toises in width, and reaching 900 toises from the entrance of the river. About this time, arrived many vessels from Africa with slaves, and from France with passengers. On the 4th of June, arrived the ship Port Paix with 230 passengers, almost entirely Germans. About this time, a new establishment was attempted at St. Bernard, by M. de La Harpe. Hostilities were almost constantly kept up with the English of the Carolinas, by the aid of the savages.

The colony was divided into quarters, as follows: New Orleans, Biloxi, Mobile, Alabama, Natchez,Yazoo, Natchitoches, Arkansas, and Illinois. The inhabitants were informed by the council general of Louisiana, to which quarter they respectively belonged. In the chief place of each quarter, there was a commandant, — a judge, from whose decisions appeals were carried to the superior council at Biloxi. The salary of the commandant, Bienville was 12,000 livres; Bois Brillant, first lieutenant, 5,000; second lieutenant 4,000; major general 2,000; inspector general 3,000. The whole expenditures of the government for one year was 1,227,104 livres.

The details, which we have here given, of the progress of the colony of Louisiana, in the form of a journal, are chiefly from the unedited manuscript of M. Bernard de La Harpe. The whole work is of great extent, and pursues this kind of information in much greater detail. He was himself a gentleman, a scholar, and a chief actor in the transactions, which he describes. He had, also, the advantage of the inspectionof the journals of Ibberville and Bienville. —


We have selected these details from the mass, as being curious for their simplicity; and furnishing French documents of the progress of a very interesting colony, and the basis of the existing establishments west of the Mississippi; and affording us materials for a comparison of the English and French modes of advancing colonies. We now resume the history of the country in the more compendious form of annals.

The advancing power of the French on Red river was naturally calculated to alarm the Spanish, on the score of their possessions in Mexico. In order to anticipate the French in this quarter, they created a nominal and uninhabited province, called Texas, east of Rio del Norte, called in those days Rio Bravo, and between that river and the Sabine, or Adayes, a point still nearer the actual French settlements at Natchitoches. The French met this effort by establishing a small fort at the mouth of the Sabine, and another within the limits of Texas, among a tribe of Indians called the Assinais, not far distant from the present site of Nacogdoches.

St. Dennis.

A struggle in this quarter was foreseen by both parties to be inevitable. Both nations exhausted their efforts to enlist the savages on their side. But, as we have seen, the French were generally unrivalled at this game. Perceiving that the French were sure to circumvent them in this effort, they conceived a plan, by which both French and savages became subservient to their views. As the savages were the grand instruments of French policy priests and religion were generally the lever of the Spanish A Spanish friar, named Ydaldo, addressed a letter to the French governor of Louisiana, in the name of their common Saviour and religion, to invite him to co-operate with them in founding an extensive mission among the Indians,


between their respective colonies. The Spanish were at once more zealous and more successful in forming these establishments, than the French. If the latter could be brought to concur in this measure, the former hoped in this way to acquire the chief influence in the mission, and ultimately among the savages connected with it; and by those savages to expel the French from that quarter, and from Red river. Ydaldo, a bold, artful and intriguing man, was the ostensible manager of the Spanish in this affair. He was afterwards head of the famous Spanish mission of Texas. He was reputed a saint by the colonists and savages in that region, while he lived; and was actually canonized after his death.

La Motte, the French governor, penetrated his motive, and hoped to be able to circumvent him at his own game. In answer to the letter, requesting his concurrence to form a mission, he despatched an embassy to Mexico, at once to arrange this matter, and to procure, if it might be, a re-opening of the Spanish ports, for a supply of provisions to the French colonists, which for some time past had been closed against them. M. de St. Dennis, a man of high standing, great personal influence, and talent, was sent on this mission. He was favorably received in Mexico, was universally caressed, and soon married a lady of the first rank and fortune in that country. The viceroy promised to open the Spanish ports for a supply of provisions to the French, as soon as the French should have concurred with them in establishing a mission among the Indians of Natchitoches, — a post, which in fact belonged to the command of St. Dennis. They gave the command of their troops, who were to escort the missionaries among the Indians, to this gentleman. The French governor, being consulted for permission, gave it; and St. Dennis hastened to carry it into effect. He conducted the Spaniards


from New Mexico into his own government among the Indians, by whom he was feared, and reverenced, almost as a divinity. This was the first appearance of the Spanish east of the Rio del Norte in the present province of Texas, except in the case already narrated, in which they took away the remnant of the French colony at Bernard's bay. St. Dennis acted on the principle of the highest honor. He availed himself of his unbounded influence among the savages, to introduce favorably among them, the Spanish priests and soldiers of the mission. He persuaded them, bitterly against their own will, to allow these stern and haughty strangers a place in their country.

Having fulfilled his part of the contract in good faith, he hastened back to Mexico, to induce the Spaniards to carry into effect their part of the contract. During his absence every thing had been changed. The viceroy was on his death bed. St. Dennis was seized, and plunged in a prison, on the double charge of being a spy, and dealing in contraband trade. This insult to a privileged envoy, together with the influence of the high family, with which he was connected by marriage, produced such a re-action among the populace in his favor, that the authorities found it for their interest to release him from his dungeon, and only confine him to the limits of the city. He was aided by his friends with the means of escape. He fled by night dismounted a stranger, whom he accidentally met; seized his horse, and traversed the prodigious distance between that city and Louisiana, where he arrived in safety.

But the Spanish, meanwhile, had attained their object. They had strongly reinforced their missionary garrison and the French, who were settled among the Assinais. Indians, in the vicinity of the present Nacogdoches, saw too clearly their fate, now that the Spaniards were stronger than themselves. They left the Spaniards to nurture


new converts after their own fashion, and fled over the Sabine. This was the mode, by which the Spanish became possessed of the country on this side the Rio del Norte.

We have seen from the notes of La Harpe, that the French had already established themselves at Natchez, and had built fort Rosalie, which Chateaubriand has rendered so interesting a place. About this time, La Motte died, and was succeeded by Bienville, as chief commandant. He was a man of talents, a soldier, and a statesman; and no man was better qualified to struggle with the peculiar difficulties, to which the advancing colony was exposed. But they were so numerous and complicated, that they seemed at times almost insuperable. They had to contend with disease, savages, hunger, the Spanish, the English, and what was worse than all, the grossest mismanagement of the interests of the colony at home. Every quarter, except old France, was closed against their obtaining provisions. The colonists generally hated agriculture; and loved nothing, but to live in compact villages by the proceeds of the chase, or to make distant excursions among the savages. There is nothing so astonishing in the annals of that period, as the number and extent of the distant voyages of discovery to the remotest points of this immense valley, which had been made by the French. On the Whole, the colony was a heavy tax to the parent country. In five years, preceding 1717, the balance against the country had been 125,000 livres. The government had been for a long time a monopoly in the hands of Crozat, a man immensely rich, but unable with all his wealth long support such a losing concern. Under these circumstances, he gladly relinquished his patent, selling it, in 1717, to the Mississippi company. This company is well known in history to have had its origin in the famous bubble,


which the celebrated projector, John Law, had just blown up.

The mania of that scheme spread like an epidemic and infected all France in its progress. The bubble soon burst, and that country rung with the groans of beggary ruin and despair. But this monstrous mischief wrought great benefits to Louisiana. During the excitement of this scheme, which was to turn every thing into gold, 4044 colonists were added to the inhabitants; and 1446 African slaves were brought into the country, efficiently to commence agricultural labors. To furnish wives for the colonists, the charity and correction houses were emptied of their females, and poor girls were taken from the streets, Such kinds of colonists were not those, most calculated to struggle with the difficulties of a new colony in the woods, An added number of mouths were to be filled with food; and the inhabitants, in the supineness of their indolence, had been accustomed to receive it from beyond the seas.

The most gloomy year, which the colony had seen, was 1721, just after it had received the numerous recruits from the influence of the Mississippi company. Hunger, sickness, disappointment, despair and death assailed the crowded population. No chance for supplies from the Spanish colonies remained; for, in 1719, war had been proclaimed between France and Spain. The capture of Pensacela from the Spanish, and its re-capture by them has been related from the annals of La Harpe.

The only wise measure of French policy at this time was, to scatter the compact population into distinct and remote settlements. This policy they adopted. Some settlements were attempted, as we have seen, far up the Mississippi. Fort Chartres was established in the Illinois La Harpe planted a colony on Red river. He made, too an unavailing attempt to establish a colony on the bay of


St. Bernard. The steady and unconquerable hostility of savages in that quarter prevented the success of this attempt. They had even become so well acquainted with upper country, as to be sensible of the importance of securing a strong position on the Missouri.

This progress of the French in Louisiana could not but alarm the jealousy of the Spaniards, whose settlements in New Mexico had now advanced to the immediate vicinity of the French on Red river. They had been so successful in the missionary stratagem, by which they had expelled the French from Texas, that they were now determined by similar means to expel them from Red river and the Missouri.

The French, with their peculiar felicity in ingratiating themselves with the savages, had already secured the friendship of many nations far up the Missouri, particularly of the powerful tribe of the Missouries, from whom that river has its name. The Missouries were engaged in a war with the Pawnees, who inhabited still higher up the river. The policy of the Spanish was to add their force to that of the Pawnees, and destroy the Missouries, the allies of the French, as a necessary preliminary to obtaining the ascendency of the Missouri. A Spanish force set forth from Santa Fe, a Spanish town on a branch of the Rio del Norte, in the remote northern interior of New Mexico, towards the Missouri. They mistook their way, and instead of reaching the Pawnee towns, as they thought they had, they fell unconsciously on the chief town of the Missouries. The mistake was a natural one; for the two tribes speak the same language. They communicated their purpose without reserve, as thinking the Pawnees were their audience, and requested the co-operation of the Missouries to their own destruction. The crafty savages instantly penetrated the mistake of their enemies. They


preserved their customary unchangeable gravity of manner and countenance, and betrayed not the slightest surprise They only requested time to call in their warriors, to consult them on the scheme. At the end of forty-eight hours, they had assembled 2,000 warriors, and fell upon the unsuspecting Spaniards, not only reposing in security, but meditating the destruction of these very Indians; and they murdered the whole company, with the exception of the priests, who escaped on horseback, and alone remained to report the destruction of the rest.

But although the project of the Spaniards was thus marred in this instance, it taught the French what enterprize and boldness of conception might accomplish another time, and warned them to anticipate their plans. — M. de Bourgemont was despatched with a considerable force, and made the first establishment on the Missouri, above the mouth of the Osage river, probably, near what is now called Cote sang Dessein, where he built a fortification, called fort Orleans. In 1724, the French succeeded in bringing about a general peace among the savages of the Missouri. Soon after this peace, fort Orleans was attacked, destroyed, and all the French massacred. It was never known, by whom this bloody deed was instigated, or accomplished.

Of the only annals, that have come down to us, of the history of the intrigues with the savages by the French, Spanish and English, it can hardly escape the reader to reflect, that these records are apt to be colored according to the interests, prejudices and partialities of the different nations, by whom the accounts are preserved. Each nation will charge the instigation of crimes, assassination and guilt upon the other. The Chickasaws, a powerful nation on the frontiers of the Carolinas, and between them and the French settlements of Natchez and the Yazoo, were


invariably allies of the English. The Seminoles of Florida were generally in the interests of the Spanish at St. Augustine. Most of the tribes of Canada and the Mississippi valley were usually in the interests of the French.

Massacre of the French, by the Natchez.

One of the most memorable events in the early history Lousiana is the massacre of the French among the Natchez, by that tribe of Indians, and the final extirpation of that tribe by the French. The history of this interesting tribe has been given us by their destroyers. We may therefore presume, that at least all the amiable traits, that are given of them, are true. They inhabited those delightful and fertile hills, that now constitute the better part of the state of Mississippi. Their traditions lead to the impression, that they had emigrated in ancient days from countries far to the southwest, probably from Mexico. — They were in many respects, compared with the tribes about them, a polished people. A few barbarous customs among them only indicate, that a cruel and bloody superstition can stain the manners of a people, in other respects peaceable and humane. They had laws, subordinate ranks, and institutions of various kinds. They were considerably acquainted with the use of their own medicinal herbs. They had an established worship, and a temple dedicated to the ‘Great Spirit,’ on the altar of which burned a perpetual fire. Their chiefs, like the Incas of Peru, derived their origin from the sun; and were held in such idolatrous veneration, that when about to be condemned to death, as we have seen, numbers of their subjects were still ready to offer themselves, as voluntary substitutes for them. They were a numerous people, commanding respect, and giving the law far up and down the Mississippi. Amidst the ancient forests of these fertile hills, they had wandered for the most part in peace, content


with the simple gifts of nature. The admission of white men among them was the era of their doom.

The French both courted, and dreaded this formidable people; and of all their allies they had been most perseveringly faithful. They had aided them in all their projects; and, more than once, by the supplies, which they had furnished the French, had saved them from famine The outrage, that is now to be related, is the more memorable from the circumstance, that the French were generally noted for being lenient, faithful and just in their intercourse with the savages. No doubt, that these were the true secrets of their general ascendency among them.

The cause of the quarrel, that ensued between the French and Natchez, was of the most trivial character, A soldier of the garrison of fort Rosalie alleged, that an old Natchez warrior owed him corn, and demanded immediate payment, The Indian replied, that the corn was yet green in the fields; and that as soon as it was sufficiently ripe, he should be paid. The soldier persisted to demand prompt payment, threatening him with a beating, if he refused. Even the threat of being struck is ever insupportable to an Indian. The old man sprang incensed from the fort, and challenged the soldier to single combat. The soldier, alarmed by the rage of the Indian, cried, murder! The warrior on this, and seeing a crowd collecting; retired slowly towards his village. One of the guard fired upon him, and he was mortally wounded. No enquiry was made, or at least no punishment inflicted on him, who had committed the outrage. All the revengeful feelings, natural to savages, were called up on the occasion. The Natchez flew to arms, and the French were assailed on every side, and many of them fell. The Stung Serpent, an influential chief, interposed his authority, and the slaughter ceased. A new treaty of peace was the result of the discussion,


that ensued, and the whole affair seemed to be buried in oblivion.

Soon after this, in the year 1723, under different pretexts, several hundred soldiers were secretly introduced into the settlement, and the defenceless and unsuspecting Natchez were slaughtered in their huts. The head of the first chief was demanded, as the price of peace, and the wretched Natchez were obliged to yield to the demand. The slaughter had continued four days, before peace was granted them. This was a deed, of course never to be forgotten, nor forgiven by the savages. They saw at once, that there now remained no alternative between their own destruction or that of their enemies. They were moody, pensive, timid and slow; but they were sure in devising the means of vengeance.

Things remained in this situation, until 1729. At this time, M. de Chopart, who had been the chief agent in these transactions, and who was excessively obnoxious to the savages, had been ordered to New Orleans, to meet an investigation of his conduct, touching this affair. The joy of the savages was great; for they hoped, at least to be delivered from his enmity and oppression. To their despair they learned, that he was justified, and reinstated in his authority. He seemed on his return more vindictive towards them, than ever. To manifest his ill feelings, he determined to build a town, two miles below the present site of Natchez, on ground occupied by a large and ancient village of the Indians. Accordingly he sent for the sun chief, and ordered him to have the savage huts cleared away, and the inhabitants dispersed. The chief replied, that their ancestors had dwelt there for ages; and that it was good, that their descendants should dwell there after them. The order was repeated, with a threat of destruction, if not obeyed.


The Indians dissembled; and remarking, ‘that the corn had just come out of the ground, and that their hens were laying their eggs, and that to abandon their village at that time would bring famine both on them and the French,’ requested delay. All, that they could obtain of the haughty commandant was, to delay until autumn, on condition that each hut should bring a basket of corn, and a fowl a tribute for this forbearance. The savages met, and held councils in private; and the unanimous result was, to make one final effort, to preserve their independence and the tombs of their ancestors inviolate. The Chickasaws, the allies of the English, and the natural enemies of the French, were invited to take a part with them in their meditated vengeance upon the French. The Chickasaws eagerly consented; but by the treachery of one of their women, probably, in the interest of the French, were deceived as to the day, and did not arrive, until after the blow was struck. The massacre of the French was arranged to take place on the time, when the Natchez should be admitted among them, to pay their tribute of corn and fowls. M. de Chopart was warned by a woman, probably attached to some Frenchman, of their approaching doom But the evil star of the French prevailed, and the commandant, instead of arousing to caution, punished the informer.

The fatal period for the breaking forth of the smothered vengeance of the savages came. The last day of November, 1729, the ‘grand sun’ with his warriors repaired to the fort, with the promised tribute of corn and fowls. The soldiers were abroad in perfect security. The savages seized the gate, and other passages, by which the soldiers were excluded from their arms. The garrison was filled with warriors. The houses in the country were occupied by previous concert, at the same time. It was a general


massacre. None were spared, but the slaves, and some of the women and children. Such was the abhorrence and contempt of M. de Chopart, that the chiefs would not kill him, and he was slain by one of the meanest of the Indians. Of seven hundred people, scarcely enough survived to carry the tidings of the destruction to the capital. All the forts, settlements and inhabitants on the Yazoo and Washita shared the common fate of massacre and the flames.

Retaliation of the French.

Consternation at first pervaded the capital. But the French soon put every engine in operation, to retaliate. The Chickasaws, thinking themselves mocked by the Natchez, in being deceived as to the time, when the blow was struck on the French, in resentment for not being at the massacre of the French, were ready to join the French to extirpate the Natchez. Fifteen hundred Chickasaws joined themselves to a detachment of French troops, aided by cannon. The Natchez had fortified themselves; but on the appearance of this formidable force, and the discharge of the cannon, they humbled themselves, to sue for peace. They offered to restore the French prisoners in their possession; and forsake their country for ever. M. de Lubois, anxious to save the prisoners, consented to put off the attack until the next day, provided that the prisoners were given up. The following night, they deserted the fort in a silence so profound, as not to disturb their enemies. They crossed the Mississippi, and ascended Red river to a point, not far from where Natchitoches is now situated. The French pursued them, headed by M. de Perrierer, with cannon. They had fortified themselves; and in their last fastnesses they fought with the desperation of men who were ready to die. They sallied out, and attempted to cut their way through the besieging force in vain. It was useless to contend with the strength, that


surrounded them. The women and children were enslaved at home; and the males were sent, as slaves, to St. Domingo. Thus utterly perished the once powerful tribe of the Natchez.

The Spaniards had been long in the habit of using multitudes of Indians of the islands, as slaves. The practice had been far from being common among the French, in regard to the Indians of Canada and Louisiana. For some time even the Spaniards had desisted from the practice. The benevolent Las Casas had labored with the Spanish monarch and the priests, until his reasonings, or his eloquence had convinced them, contrary to their pre-conceived opinions, that the Indians had souls. Millions of these persecuted beings had been slain; and other millions reduced to bondage, before the Spanish government acted upon this conviction. The planters and cultivators, in the sultry climates of the Spanish colonies, conceived that they must have slaves. The guardian and patron of the Indians had caused the practice to be suspended, in relation to them. The consequence was, that the curse fell upon another race, equally unoffending, in another hemisphere; and the blacks were torn from Africa, to sweat, not for themselves in these burning climates. Yet horrible as this traffic is, it is a striking fact, that it had its origin in perverted and misapplied humanity. Las Casas preached humanity to the Indians; and the fetters were knocked off from one race only to be rivetted upon another. This detestable traffic was started, indeed, by the Spanish. We find their evil example soon followed by the French. Even our own ancestors, pious and humane, as we esteem them were no way behind their Catholic examples, in their readiness to introduce black slaves into our hemisphere.

The Mississippi bubble, which had embraced the king the nobles, the priests and the populace, the banks and the


mint, in short all France, and filled the whole country with the frenzy of avarice, and the mad credulity of speculation, when it burst, spread misery and bankruptcy on every side. The amount of stock created, and on which there was almost an entire failure, amounted to more than 310,000,000 of dollars. The public treasury, indeed, by a management, that would not, perhaps, bear a strict examination, gained from the general ruin. To Louisiana this scheme, on the whole, was highly beneficial. While its credit was still at its height, and the fictitious capital in abundance, this country, on which the plan was based, increased in inhabitants, means, consequence and estimation; and when the bubble burst, the colony was already erected on such stable foundations of prosperity, that it went on to increase, by the developement of its own natural resources.

We have remarked, that the first settlements of the French were on the Perdido, at Biloxi, and oil the Mobile. After the founding of New Orleans, it could not but happen, that the more fertile country, connected with that town, would grow more rapidly, than the country first settled. But although the Mississippi country grew at the expense of the Perdido, garrisons were still kept up on those waters, and a new one established on the Tombigbee. It was designed to awe the Chickasaws, and prevent the encroachment of their allies, the English, from Carolina. The French spread their posts on all sides. An extensive trade with the Indians began to acquire system. A lucrative trade was opened with the islands. The rich products of Louisiana began to find their way to foreign markets. A war with the Chittimaches, and a conspiracy of the African slaves, were both quelled by the promptitude and energy of the colony.


Meanwhile the Chickasaws, whose country bounded the English settlements in Carolina, and who had been steadily attached to their interests, had been long obnoxious to the French, who were waiting for an opportunity to make them feel the weight of their resentment. A double motive stimulated them to this wish. The one was, to drive the English from among them, and secure their trade. The other, to abridge the concurrent influence of the English and the Chickasaws among the other tribes in their vicinity. A pretext offered, and the French seized it with avidity. A few of the Natchez Indians, who had escaped the general massacre, had fled to the protection of the Chickasaws, and were incorporated with that tribe. These Indians, in 1736, were demanded by Bienville, and, as he foresaw, the demand was refused. He marched up the Mobile against them, with a very considerable force. It came to a battle, and the French had the worst of the conflict, and were obliged to make a disgraceful retreat. At the same time, the Chickasaws had been assailed on their northern borders by the French from the Illinois, to make a diversion in favor of Bienville. These, also, were compelled to fly. It is related as a ludicrous circumstance, that the Illinois French, when they marched up to fight the Chickasaws, suspended wool sacks in front of their bodies, as a shield against the arrows and balls of the Chickasaws. The circumstance excited great glee among the English and Indians, who fired at the legs of these pastoral people, who evinced their value of legs, and the uselessness of wool sacks, by running with their best speed.

Bienville undertook another campaign against them with a still greater force. It was as unsuccessful, as the former. It is said, that his force on this occasion was the largest, and best appointed, which had ever been seen in


Louisiana. So completely was it reduced, chiefly by famine and desertion, that he was compelled to sue for peace.

He obtained a tolerable one only through the ignorance of the enemy of his weakness.

From this peace to the commencement of the war between France and England, in 1754, few events occured in Louisiana, that properly belong to these annals. The French government had become sufficiently aware of the value of the fertile soil and mild climate of upper Louisiana. There were few disastrous ruptures with the Indians. The colonists were enabled to extend their settlements without interruption. The French fixed their villages in the shade of deep forests, on the fertile prairies, the banks of streams, or at spring sources, as best suited their fancies. The wilderness and the prairies presented a boundless choice. They negotiated marriages, or temporary connexions with the young women of their red brethren; and the mixed races, which we now see in their settlements, were the fruit. Their ambition was gratified by managing their influence, so as to keep up a balance of power among the savage tribes, of such a kind, that their weight in the opposite scale was sufficient to make it preponderate. Unlike the English cultivators, who generally preferred range, or a wide space in the wilderness, the French commonly established themselves in compact settlements, with such narrow and huddled streets, that they could carry on their nimble conversations across them. — The grand business of the young men was to navigate the almost interminable rivers, to hunt small adventures, trade and consort with the Indians to procure furs. They were mostly clad in skins. Their houses were furnished, their couches made, and their tables supplied from the spoils of the chase. Their evenings, on their return, were spent in dancing, in intercourse with the savages, and


in relating long stories of their voyages, adventures and exploits. Such is a brief outline of the modes of existence in Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Vincennes, St. Genevieve, the post of Arkansas, Natchitoches on Red river, and Natchez on the Mississippi. At the capital there were always a certain number of people of family and education. There was a kind of court, a theatre, and the semblance of amusements of a higher order. The people contemplated their rural countrymen in the woods about at the same distance and with the same estimation, with which themselves were contemplated by the circles of Paris.

Many of the immigrants had been gentlemen; and most of them had been military characters. Some of them were of noble origin. The first settlers were, probably, of better family, as that matter was then rated, than those of any other colony in North America, save the colonists of Mexico. It is, perhaps, a fortunate trait in the French character, — certainly it was an amiable one, that such men could so readily associate with savages; and make themselves so gay and happy in these remote and unpeopled deserts, where they only heard from France once or twice in a year. They had their packs of clogs, their guns, their Indian beauties, and the range of an unexplored world, to fill their desires and their imaginations. Their descendants speak of these ancient ‘residenters,’ as a superior race of mortals, and of these times, as a kind of golden age.

From New Orleans and Mobile, at this period, the exports were considerable, and consisted of cotton, indigo, peltry, furs, hides, tallow, pitch, tar, ship timber, and other raw materials. The Mississippi coast was beginning to be that beautiful and cultivated country, which it has since become. The agriculture and exports were steadily advancing, until the country was ceded to Spain.


The origin of the war between France and England was a dispute about the boundaries of their respective claims in this country. The English claimed from the Atlantic to the St. Lawrence. The French claimed all the country west of the Alleghanies, or the valley of the Mississippi. Mutual collisions of boundaries, jealousies, encroachments, intrigues with the Indians, and attempts to supplant each other in their affections, were sufficient grounds of war. The French, with great sagacity of foresight, had at once explored, and opened the communications between Canada and Louisiana. An almost unbroken water communication, of an extent without a parallel on any other part of the globe, existed between these distant regions. This communication seemed to offer the means of hedging in the English power, and of prostrating their growing empire in the new world. This chain seemed the string of a bow, which they could draw upon their enemy. They had strengthened, and extended this communication by a chain of posts, portages, and intermediate roads, and by alliances with the savages. These measures might have a natural pretext of being intended only for a necessary and peaceful intercourse between the distant points of their colonies. They were silent and unostentatious measures, and not intended to alarm the jealousy of the English. Before the latter power was aware, there was a chain of communication between Quebec and New Orleans, affording such a quick and easy transit from the one place to the other, as can hardly be conceived, except by a person intimately acquainted with the country.

Ohio Company and Fort du Quesne.

The possession of no point in the West was so vital to the success of the plan of circumscribing the English for ever within the limits of the country east of the Alleghany mountains, as that, where the Alleghany and the Monongahela


meet to form the Ohio. This river had been thoroughly explored by the French, and its proximity to the English settlements ascertained, so early as 1749. To secure this point, their chief reliance here, as elsewhere, was upon extending their influence among the savages, securing their trade and alliance, and thus supplying the means of wealth and power to themselves, and annoyance to their enemies The English, more liberal, abundant and constant in the supply of articles for the Indian trade, had, from that circumstance, very considerable facilities of counteracting that influence. With a view to extend an influence of this sort, the English formed the Ohio Company, as a counterpoise to the influence of the French traders in that quarter. To cover the designs of this company, an impolitic grant of lands to a considerable extent was made to it; and both the grant and the charter were sanctioned by the British government. The jealousy of the Indians was alarmed by the prospect of losing their lands; and the settling among them of such powerful neighbors was a circumstance, that the French would not fail to paint in its most alarming light. Violent charges of encroachment were first made; and soon after, the traders of the Ohio Company were seized, and their property confiscated. The French availed themselves of this event, to anticipate the purposes of the English in this quarter, and to establish new forts and settlements at Niagara, and Riviere au Boeuf, a water of the Alleghany; and at the point, most important of all, where that river joins the Monongahela, and forms the Ohio.

These measures at length aroused the English cabinet Orders were sent, in 1754, to the governors of the different colonies, to furnish their respective quotas of men, to drive the French from the Ohio. The charge was entrusted to our Washington; and here he commenced his career of


honor. With the rank of colonel, he was detached from Virginia, with 400 men, to secure and fortify a position on Ohio, He was met, and attacked by a superior force of French and savages; and was obliged to capitulate. — He suffered severely from the Indians, on his return from this expedition. Both nations complained. Both saw, that war was inevitable; and the French prepared themselves by sending out forces to Canada, and putting their forts there, and in Louisiana, in the best possible state of defence.

Braddock's Defeat.

In 1755, general Braddock arrived from England with a considerable body of troops. They were aided by a force of provincials, under the command of Washington. The united force marched over the Alleghany mountains by slow and laborious marches, to attack the French fort at the head of the Ohio, called fort Du Quesne, Braddock advanced in the practice of all the tactics, and blinded by all the prejudices of a general, accustomed to the systematic warfare of the level and cultivated countries of continental Europe. Thus he moved his square battalions over the logs and the ravines, and through the deep forests west of the mountains, until he arrived within a few miles of the fort. The French and Indians had spread an ambuscade, like a concealed net, which was covered from view by the frees. The British general, rejecting the advice of his Provincial allies, and of Washington, who were better acquainted with the wiles and perils of Indian warfare, marched in proud and undoubting reliance upon his regular tactics, into this ambuscade. The first conviction of his temerity was in a general discharge upon his advance, from behind trees, and other coverts, from an invisible enemy. A more murderous action has seldom occurred, in proportion to the numbers engaged. It was to no purpose, that the British formed themselves into hollow


squares, and drove their concealed enemy by the bayonet a little before them into the forest. They retreated only to present themselves in front anew. A great proportion of the regulars were either killed, or wounded. Such was the fate of almost all the officers. Among them was general Braddock, who paid for his temerity by receiving a mortal wound, of which he died in a little time, Washington exhibited presages of his future character, as a general. He was calm, fearless, and self-possessed. Two horses were killed under him; and four balls passed through his coat. ‘I expected, said doctor Craik, an eye witness, every moment to see him fall. His duty and situation exposed him to every danger. The superintending care of Providence seemed to have saved him from the fate of all around him, that he might accomplish the great achievements, which were before him.’ It seems to be generally admitted, that the bringing off any part of the forces from this murderous battle was owing to the skill and management of Washington.

The disasters and defeats, that attended the British efforts, stimulated them to redouble their exertions. Under a popular ministry, the war was conducted with different auspices. On the plains of the heights of Abraham, the great question was soon decided, which should be the dominant power in North America, France, or England. Both the brave men, who led the troops of their respective nations, fell, — Wolfe in the blaze of victory and glory, and Montcalm, equally heroic in his misfortune and his fall, though far less known to British and American story. — Both nations have perpetuated the remembrance of these great men by monuments of marble, and the more glorious and durable records of history. Who can tell the color of the events, that were suspended on the issue of that memorable combat? Who can foretell the consequences,


that would have resulted from a different issue of the battle?

As it was, this battle was decisive of the fate of Canada. But though the French lost their whole ascendency in the north, they neither ceased to possess, nor exercise their influence over the savages in Louisiana. In 1760, the Cherokees were instigated to fall on the English traders and settlers among them, whom they pillaged, and slaughtered without mercy. A force of 1200 provincials from the Carolinas marched into the Cherokee country, and severely avenged this massacre. They defeated the savages, burned their habitations, and destroyed their provisions. As soon as the American force had left their country, the savages assembled in their turn, and laid siege to fort Loudon, on their frontiers, and as has generally happened in such capitulations with the Indians, the terms of the capitulation were violated, and most of the brave men, comprised in it, put to death. Attack and reprisal, on the face of it, are the ordinary aspects of Indian warfare. But history can seldom go into the details of this dreadful business. They form the background of the picture. The sickening terrors of apprehension, fashioning uncertain ills, the nightly listening of women and children to the noises of the forest, the horrible reality of the savage war-whoop, the insatiate fury of the scalping knife, the infant dashed into the flames, the male parent roasted at a slow fire, the mothers carried into a captivity worse than death; some, or all of these horrors, were but too common circumstances of these wars, that have perished from history. That we might exercise forbearance and justice towards the savages, perhaps it were better forgotten, that all the beginnings, in this great land, both east and west of the mountains, were under all these apprehensions, and often under these endurances.


The war closed in Europe and America between the three great contending powers; and a treaty of peace war concluded between France and Great Britain, February the 10th, 1763. France, defeated both by sea and land, had never been so completely humiliated. She had solicited peace, and it was dictated to her on the terms of Great Britain, She ceded Canada, and all her possessions east of the Mississippi, — that is to say, her most ancient and opulent possessions in America, to that power. It appeared, that on the November preceding, she had ceded all the country west of the Mississippi, with the city and territory of the island of Orleans, to Spain. Prior to this, the whole region east of the Rio del Norte, north of the gulf of Mexico, west of the Alleghanies, and south of the lakes, together with the country at the sources of the Mississippi, Missouri and their tributaries, had been called by the general name of Louisiana. That part of the country, ceded to the English, lost the name. That part of it, ceded to Spain, and west of the Mississippi, still retained the name. The fate of the Louisianians was made known to them, April 21st, 1764, in a letter addressed to them by the French commandant, M. de Abaddie. It was couched in affectionate terms; and assured them, that the functions and offices, civil, judicial and ecclesiastical were guaranteed to continue, as they had been.

This letter produced a great excitement, and the people were thrown into a general ferment. When Don Ulloa arrived, in 1766, with Spanish troops, to take possession of the country, Aubry, who at that time exercised the functions of French governor, refused to acknowledge him. — The people, attached by every sentiment to their own country, complained, that they were transferred without their consent; and in these moments of irritation, Aubry gave countenance to their opposition. Ulloa was opposed by the people in arms; and was obliged, with his forces,


to measure back his steps to Havanna. Things remained this situation, until the 17th of August, 1769; when O'Reilly arrived, and took peaceable possession of the government for the Spaniards. He selected twelve of the most distinguished partizans, who had opposed the Spanish occupation of the government. Six of them were consigned to the halter. The other six, whom he affected to consider less guilty, were doomed to the more terrible punishment of the dungeons of Cuba. This commencement of his government, in the spirit of a Turkish despot, who had dispossessed a rival, will never be erased from the remembrance of the French of this country.

Notwithstanding the horror excited by this deed, the Spanish authorities were quietly established to the remotest points of the colony. As governor general, O'Reilly had supreme authority, civil and military. As intendant, he granted lands, and prescribed the forms and the amount of concessions of lands, to be made by the subordinate authorities. He was, also, supreme in the treasury and Indian department. His power, in short, was absolute in all respects.

In 1764, the English took possession of Florida, according to the stipulations of the treaty of peace. A British regiment, on its way to Natchez, was attacked by the Tunica Indians, near where fort Adams now is, and was entirely defeated. Major Loftus, who commanded this regiment, was killed in this affair, and gave name to the conspicuous heights, where he fell. The bones of those, who were slain in this action, were long after brought to light by the crumbling and washing of the bluffs.

The Spanish, as we have seen, commenced their regime in Louisiana under auspices of ill omen. Their first acts of wanton cruelty excited sensations of terror and abhorrence. But the French, seeing no prospect of escape from


this government, and finding themselves connected with a people, whose laws were nearly the same as their own, and united by the strong tie of a similar worship, and abandoned by the mother country, settled down to the quietness of submission to their lot. In fact, the Spanish governor showed himself deficient neither in energy, activity nor capacity in the organization of the government, and in taking measures for its protection and advancement. The French code was partly abolished, and the Spanish colonial system introduced with modifications. The subordinate offices were filled with Frenchmen. This generosity was, indeed, a matter of necessity; for there were no Spanish, capable of filling these offices, in the country. But it had the desired tendency to soothe the feelings of the people, and secure their fidelity.

Eight or nine tranquil years succeeded in the annals of Louisiana, of which history has little to record. The French in the upper country were, as formerly, paddling their hunting crafts along their streams; and their wives and daughters engaged in their voluble conversations and rural pursuits at home. Their settlements were quietly and slowly expanding in the wilderness. The English settlers about Natehez had begun to grow cotton to a considerable extent; and the cultivation was beginning to be a source of ample revenue. Some time about the year 1772, sugar cane was introduced into the Delta of the Mississippi, at first, as an agricultural experiment; but it was soon found to thrive. An additional number of slaves was introduced, and sugar became one of the principal exports of Louisiana. The amount of peltries exported was a very considerable item; and the Indian trade generally was prosperous.

At this time, the inhabitants of these remote forests began to hear of the American revolution. It placed the


people of Louisiana in a perplexing dilemma. England was their natural enemy, and they must rejoice in the prospect of her humiliation. The French government held out, too, as lures to induce them to make common cause, the prospect of regaining their lost possessions in the old world, and the Floridas in the new. On the other hand, the new doctrines of freedom and independence broached by the British colonies, were words of ill omen in the ears of Spanish colonists, placed in a position of peculiar exposure to the contagion of their example. The desire of conquest prevailed over fears, which were merely speculative. They commenced the war, as allies of France. The British colonies of Florida were thus placed between two fires, — the new states on the one hand, and the Spanish colonies on the other. These colonies, isolated, and expensive beyond their value, involved no British interest, but honor. But the British government has not been used to relinquish useless colonies, merely from considerations of interest. Mobile, Pensacola, St. Augustine, Baton Rouge, Natchez, and some posts of less importance, were fortified, and reinforced; but not, as it afterwards appeared, to a sufficient extent. Past events had taught the British to entertain a contempt for Spanish prowess, which after events showed, in this case, to be ill-founded.

Galvez, the Spanish commandant of Louisiana, was daring, ambitious, prompt, and the issue of his movements proved him to be intelligent. He meditated the conquest of Florida; and he took his measures with secresy and address. He presented himself on a sudden before Baton Rouge, with 2,300 men, and a train of battering cannon. The garrison consisted of 500 British, under colonel Dickson. Such a movement, by an enemy so despised, must have excited the utmost surprise in the English. Galvez


proved, that he was in earnest. His cannon played upon the fortress. The British troops were sickly. After small loss in killed and wounded, the garrison capitulated including Natchez in the capitulation; and the captured troops were allowed to pass to Pensacola.

Flushed with this success, Galvez sailed, in 1780, with a considerable armament against Mobile. His fleet was overtaken by a storm in the gulf. One of his armed vessels stranded, and his provisions and ammunition were wet, and rendered useless. In this wretched plight he did not despair; but landed, with as much show as possible, near Mobile. Had the English attacked him, at this juncture of weakness, the expedition must have been defeated and ruined. Galvez had even made preparations to abandon his artillery and munitions, and retreat on New Orleans. Surprised and encouraged by the want of foresight, or the timidity of the English, he began to resume courage. His stores and ammunition had been carefully dried; and he boldly marched against Mobile. The place was defended by militia and regulars. Six batteries were erected by the Spanish, which played upon the town and fort. A practicable breach was soon made in the fort, and the garrison capitulated. The English, in this quarter seem to have been guilty of unwonted indolence and indecision. General Campbell was at Pensacola, distant short of sixty miles, with a force sufficient to have driven the Spanish into the sea. When at length he was aroused to march to the defence of Mobile, it was in the hands of the enemy, before he arrived.

The capture of Mobile, it should seem, almost unexpected to themselves, induced great exertion on the part of the Spanish, to finish the conquest of Florida by the capture of Pensacola, the only place of any importance now remaining to the British in West Florida. A formidable


fleet, under admiral Solano, sailed from Havanna, with 12,000 troops on board. It was the most powerful armament, that had yet appeared in these seas. Sickness and storms caused this fleet to experience a catastrophe, almost like that of the famous Spanish ‘grand armada.’ Meanwhile, Galvez had made two unsuccessful attempts upon Pensacola, and had repaired to Havanna for forces and supplies. He obtained them from the remains of the fleet of Solano; and in February, 1781, he set sail with a strong military and naval force. The ill-fated fleet was again assailed by a violent storm. Some of the heavy ships were sunk, and he was compelled to return with the fleet to Havanna. The fortunate arrival of some store ships from Spain enabled him to repair his losses. On the 9th of March, the Spanish fleet entered the bay of Pensacola. The ships of war were repulsed in their first attempts to enter the harbor. Notwithstanding a severe cannonade by the English, they finally succeeded. Some Spanish troops, who arrived the following day, were severely handled, in attempting to enter the harbor. The town was soon invested by sea and land. The British were exposed to a most destructive cannonade, which sometimes drove the soldiers from their guns. They conducted, however, with great gallantry, and no thoughts of capitulation were entertained, until one of their magazines was blown up, by the explosion of a Spanish shell. This so destroyed their works, that a free passage was opened into the town. The Spanish had suffered so severely by the British fire, that they were willing to offer favorable terms of capitulation; which were accepted. The prisoners retired where they pleased, only engaging not to serve again during the war. The Spanish lost a considerable number of men during the siege. The British had one


hundred killed, and a much greater number wounded. — The capitulation included a thousand prisoners.

While the siege was pending, a fleet appeared in the offing. Besiegers and besieged supposed it to be an English fleet. So entirely was Galvez persuaded of it, that he meditated to abandon all that he had gained, and to retreat to Mobile. He soon discovered the fleet to be French. But the news of the relief of Pensacola had flown through the country to Natchez; and the people were so confident that the Spanish would be compelled to relinquish all, which they had gained, that they rose on the Spanish garrison in Natchez. Intelligence of the fall of Pensacola soon undeceived them. The leading men in the insurrection fled, and a reward was offered for their scalps; but it does not appear, that any were brought in.

Upper Louisiana had, for the most part, reposed in profound peace, during all this turmoil. An expedition was started from Michilimackinack, in 1780, against that country. It was composed of hordes of savages, amounting to 1,500, and one or two companies of English. It was chiefly destined against St. Louis; and is still remembered with shuddering recollections by the peaceful French inhabitants of that country, under the name of ‘l'annee du coup!’ Sixty of the inhabitants had been slain, and thirty made prisoners, when the gallant American, general Clark, appeared on the opposite shore of the Mississippi, with a considerable force. The view of this respectable armament of Americans struck the Indians with astonishment. They had no idea of meeting, or fighting any people, but French; and they charged their allies with deception, in thus leading them to combat with a people, who spoke the same language with the English. In terrors, lest the jealous savages would turn upon them, the English secretly abandoned them, and both parties made the best of their


way to their homes. Unfortunate projects are apt to be disavowed. The British government disavowed the expedition, and the private property of the commander was seized to defray the expenses of it.

This general war terminated in 1783. The issue of it to Great Britain was far different from the war, so glorious to that country, which preceded it. While the country along the Atlantic shore was acknowledged free and independent, East and West Florida in this quarter were relinquished to Spain. The British only retained Canada.

The incident of the appearance of general Clark, on the eastern bank of the Mississippi, in pursuit of the English and savage expedition against St. Louis, recals our attention to events of interest, that occurred during the American revolution, in the country on the Ohio. The legislature of Virginia, under whose jurisdiction this country was considered to be, voted, in 1778, to raise a regiment of infantry and a troop of cavalry, for the defence of the wide frontier of that state. They gave the command of it to George Rogers Clark, a kinsman of the distinguished companion of Lewis to the sources of the Missouri, and afterwards governor of that territory. He marched with the force assigned to him, through the wilderness of the Ohio, to Kaskaskia; and surprised, and took the town The French settlements, in what had hitherto been called the Illinois, placed as they were between enemies on every side, and accustomed to long habits of peace, had preserved a kind of doubtful neutrality; yet, as they were considered British possessions, and as they were resorts for hostile savages, it was deemed a matter of wise precaution, to subject them to the American governrnent.

At Kaskaskia, general Clark received intelligence, that governor Hamilton, from Detroit, had arrived at Vincennes,


one of the most ancient settlements, which the French had made east of the Mississippi, with a force chiefly composed of Indians, amounting to 600 men, and destined against the settlements of Pennsylvania and Virginia, west of the mountains. Hamilton was unconscious, that general Clark was between him and the Mississippi. He reposed in perfect security in Vincennes; and had detached his Indians in marauding parties among the American settlements on the Ohio, reserving for the defence of the town only one company, and a few cannon. General Clark determined to surprise him, although it was mid-winter and the weather uncommonly severe. He fitted out a barge with two small cannon and four swivels. The barge was obliged to make her way through floating ice, under circumstances, that would have deterred any other man from making the attempt. In February, he set out, amidst the storms and deep snows, with 130 men, to make his way by land, to unite with the force, that he had sent round by water. The hardships, that he endured, and the difficulties he surmounted, can be credible only to those, who know the habits of backwoods men. In crossing the drowned lands of the Wabash, they were forced to wade five miles through the water and ice, sometimes as high as their breasts. They appeared at length before Vincennes; and as fortune awarded it, almost simultaneously with their barge. Their appearance was so unexpected, and their array so formidable, that Hamilton, in surprise and consternation, at beholding such an enemy at such a season, surrendered the garrison prisoners of war, without firing a gun. This commander had been justly detestable for the atrocities, practised by the Indians, either by his instigation, or permission. General Clark was ordered by the governor of Virginia to detain him, and his subordinate instruments


and counsellors in these nefarious transactions, close prisoners in irons.

This daring and successful achievement drew after it a train of important consequences. It broke the chain, which the British were attempting to form behind our frontiers. It awed the French inhabitants, and gave us the command of the country quite to the Mississippi. It unkennelled the savages from their lurking places, and detached them from their alliances; and it gave us a fair claim in the definitive treaty to the boundary, which we obtained to the eastern bank of the Mississippi.

At this period, Kentucky had begun to be settled. — There was a general impulse in the Atlantic country to explore the fertile regions of the West. But all the present countries of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, except the ancient French establishments, was one wide and unbroken wilderness, inhabited only by savages and wild beasts. The few settlers on the south side of the Ohio, during the revolutionary war, suffered every thing, but death, from attacks, and apprehensions of attacks from the savages. They had escaped the ravages of the British troops from Canada, only by their remoteness and estimated insignificance. The inhabitants of these regions very soon occupy, as we shall see, the principal place in the history of the West. Those brief notices, which the conciseness of our plan admits, of the origin and progress of the American settlements in this valley, will best be given under the head of the states, where they were made. To bring these concise annals down to the present time, we shall hasten to relate the more prominent historical incidents of the Mississippi valley.

The terms of the peace opened a wide field of controversy between Spain and the United States, which continued to be agitated with no small degree of asperity for


twelve years. Great Britain ceded the Floridas to Spain, without any specific boundaries; and by another treaty of the same date, ceded to the United States all the country north of the thirty-first degree of north latitude. But the northern boundary of West Florida, at the peace of 1783 was the Yazoo, in 32° 28' north. This boundary had no existence under the French government. What was afterwards called West Florida was included under their regime in Louisiana. Besides, in the treaty of 1763, the Spaniards possessed West Florida, a conquest from the English. Hence the Spanish claimed, that the English had made an antecedent conveyance to them of all the country south of the Yazoo.

Another point of more vital importance to the West was left involved in dispute. The United States claimed a common right with the Spanish to the navigation of the Mississippi. The latter power contested that right. The United States averred, that Great Britain had vested in them all her previous rights in the country ceded to them. By the treaty of 1763, it was stipulated, that the British and Spanish were to possess the right to navigate that river equally, and in common. Spain rebutted this claim, by asserting, that the conquest of West Florida from the British had acquired for her the sole jurisdiction in that river, in its whole distance below the northern limits of West Florida. She utterly denied, that the United States possessed the least shadow of claim to the common navigation of that river from the point, below where it ran wholly in her territories. On such wretched cavils are generally founded the quarrels of states.

Many other reasons may easily be imagined, why Spain should wish to exclude the Americans from those waters. She was aware, that the country on the Ohio, which was peopling with great rapidity, would pour down an amount


and quality of produce, to exclude her own subjects from market. It would furnish an opportunity, to imbue them with revolutionary principles, and sow among them the seeds of revolt. She dreaded their rapid increase in population, power and resources. The Ohio and Mississippi were broad and open highways, by which they might assail her. The navigation of the Mississippi would show the wealth and the weakness of the country. It would not only point out the way of approach to it, but would bring down a mass of the hardy and adventurous boatmen among them, to furnish the materials of assault and conquest. Besides, in the general anarchy, which she predicted would prevail in the newly severed British provinces, she contemplated the annexation of some or all our western territories to her dominions. So long as she held the exclusive navigation of the Mississippi, she had it in her power, at any time, to offer an immense boon to that part of these territories, which should first attach themselves to her,

Settlement of Kentucky.

Kentucky, in 1785, contained 12,000 souls. The number was increasing with unexampled rapidity. In her delightful soil and climate, a rapid accumulation of produce, far beyond consumption, was the natural order of things, There were no roads to the Atlantic market. Even had there been, they could raise nothing west of the mountains, that would pay the expenses of transport. A vast wilderness, a wide range of mountains, and six hundred miles interposed between them and the capital of their state. — The ‘occlusion’ of the Mississippi by the Spanish barred their descent to New Orleans. There were not wanting enough to state to them, in this state of things, and the irritated and impatient temper of their minds, that the United States were disposed to acquiesce in this order of things at least for a term of years.


A convention had already assembled at Danville, in Kentucky, to deliberate on the project of forming a new state out of that part of Virginia, which was west of the mountains. The parent state, instead of wishing to retard generously manifested a wish to accelerate the event. A majority of the members of this convention was not yet disposed to accede to the measure. A second convention was formed, in 1788. It agreed to petition congress. The petition demanded a redress of their grievances; particularly that, which shut them from the navigation of the Mississippi. The warm remonstrance of congress, weak and inefficient, as the confederation then was, produced from Spain a temporary relaxation of that restriction. But she took care, that it should be understood, that it was granted partially, for an uncertain time, and as an indulgence, and not as a right. The western people justly considered this a very inadequate concession; and it was far from removing the causes of discontent and complaint. Among a hardy, full fed race of hunters, with warm blood in their veins, abandoned in their forests by the mother country, and left to think and act for themselves, — that is to say, among such a people as the Kentuckians, it was not to be expected, that there would not be fierce disputes, and very different remedial projects contemplated.

Some have undertaken to enumerate no less than five distinct parties among the people at this time. The first party advocated an independent government in the West, and a commercial treaty with Spain.

The second proposed to annex Kentucky to Louisiana. This scheme had of course all the aid of Spanish influence, intrigue and gold.

The third proposed to make war with Spain, and seize on New Orleans.


A fourth party wished to continue a part of the American confederacy, and advocated such a semblance of menace and invasion, as would extort from the fears of Spain, permission to navigate the Mississippi.

The fifth wished Louisiana to become again a colony of France, and that Kentucky should make a part of that government.

Jt was clear, that all the relaxation of the Spanish government, exercised from time to time, on the restrictions of the navigation of the Mississippi, was extorted simply from her fears, or her sense of her interest. She equally feared, and disliked the western people; and could not but contemplate their rapid march to consequence with jealous apprehension. She occasionally varied her mode of operations, adopting such measures, as would excite jealousy and disunion among the people themselves; carefully avoiding bringing things to a crisis. As a last resource, she made an experiment of lenient measures, and the effect of largesses and bribery on such as she supposed leading men. The exclusive privilege of trading to New Orleans was extended to Kentucky. Grants of this privilege were restricted to a few influential individuals. As these would be unable to bring all the surplus produce to market themselves, they were allowed to grant passports to such of their friends, as wished to descend the river. The Spanish had handled gold abundantly, and had discovered its efficacy, as an engine of government. They distributed it with a lavish hand in this emergency, hoping that it would have the same influence, in chaining and subduing this hardy and independent race of men, that they had seen it exercise elsewhere.

But a new and powerful engine, which had scarcely as yet made an element in Spanish calculation, began to develope its operations. The federal government, administered


by Washington, and exercising the charmed influence of his great name, began to unite American strength and opinion. It began to be seen and felt, at home and abroad, what we were about to become, as a people. The government, conscious of its powers and rights, adopted another tone, which was heard. It peremptorily claimed an adjustment of our territorial limits, and the free navigation of the Mississippi. After long discussion and dispute, these points were both accorded.

The French and English had both been long accustomed to look on these regions, as their own; and they were not inattentive spectators of this order of things. — Both had an eye upon Louisiana and the Floridas. Both wished to detach the western people from the American union. Spain not only had her own interests in the turmoil, but earnest wishes to defeat the machinations of both these powers. She carefully watched both; and held intrigue in one hand and gold in the other, waiting the occasions for their use.

English emissaries opened before the avarice of the Kentuckians the rich possessions and products of the Spanish, as a prey ready to fall into their hands. New Orleans, in their possession, was to be freely opened to the people of the West. They were to have the exclusive privilege of this trade; and a golden reflux of wealth was to roll back to the head sources of the western rivers. To neutralize this influence among the western people, there was a natural and strong antipathy to the British, growing out of the remembrance of the recent cruelties of the war There was the unbroken tie and kindness of kindred between them and their fathers on the east side of the mountains. Other feelings, compounded of pride and patriotism no doubt, had a powerful influence, in holding them back from such an alliance.


The French, on the contrary, had a deep hold upon their feelings. A busy and intriguing French agent in the United States called on them, to remember the blood and treasure, which, he averred, the French had lavished for as in the war of the revolution. He appealed to their generous sympathies in favor of a people, who were stated, like us, to have thrown off their chains, and to be engaged with tyrants in a common struggle for their own freedom, and that of the world. Genet, the French ambassador, took advantage of the strong current of French partiality in the West, to start in that country the plan of an attack upon Louisiana, to be carried into effect by an armament of American citizens, descending the Mississippi. The wisdom, forbearance and firmness of our government carried us safely through these different trials, and procured the recal of that minister by his government

Spain, meanwhile, viewed the movements of both the French and English with equal jealousy and apprehension. She complained to our government, that an expedition was forming in Canada, to be carried into effect against Louisiana through our country. She demanded of our government a vindication of our sovereignty, and a refusal of permission for the passage of foreign troops through our territories. Whether the apprehensions of Spain were founded, or not, our government strengthened the frontier posts, and gave strict orders, to prevent the transit of British troops through our territories. The Spanish, too, fortified the approaches to Louisiana, at once to be guarded against the English, to prevent the occupation by the United States of the territory, which we claimed in Florida, and to interdict to us the navigation of the Mississippi.

At length, in 1795, was concluded the Spanish treaty, so long and ardently desired by the people of the West. It had the effect at once to put an end to the intrigues both


of France and England; and opened to the people of the West full scope for the developement of all their resources Measures were promptly taken by our government to carry the treaty into effect. Andrew Ellicott, esq. arrived, February, 1797, with a small guard of soldiers, at Natchez as a commissioner on the part of the United States, to % a line of demarcation between us and the Spanish territories.

It is questionable, if Spain were ever in earnest to carry into effect a treaty, which would remove all grounds of dispute, and take from her all chance to tamper with the western people. Their clamors had extorted the treaty from her terrors. But she was fruitful in expedients to delay the fulfilment of its stipulations. Month after month wore away in idle pretexts for delay. The first object was to prevent our commissioner from descending with his troops. Mr. Ellicott was requested to leave his guard above Natchez. This was refused. A second detachment descended, under lieutenant Pope, and was detained by Don Manuel Gayoso, the Spanish commissioner. He complained, that the treaty had not guaranteed public and private property. He alleged, that the English still contemplated the invasion of Louisiana through our territories, and that the posts at Walnut Hills and Natchez were necessary to cover New Orleans. Redoubled efforts at intrigue and bribery in Kentucky and Tennessee were made, as an expiring effort upon the patriotism of the people.

A long series of bickerings, criminations and recriminations ensued between the two commissioners. The people were with Ellicott, and they took the business into their own hands. Wearied and disgusted with the tergiversations and quibbles of the Spanish government, Ellicott was not displeased with this agency of the people assumed by and for themselves. Proclamations and rescripts


in abundance passed between the parties. Meanwhile, Baron Carondelet was transferred from the government of Louisiana to that of Quito, in South America. Gayoso succeeded him, as governor, and Grandpre was appointed governor of Natchez. Owing to the strong opposition of the people, he never made his appearance there. The Spanish authority was exercised by Mr. Minor, a wealthy planter, originally from Pennsylvania.

In December, 1797, captain Guion arrived at Natchez, with a considerable detachment of United States' troops; and took command of the whole force. He had instructions for his course from the government, in view of the disputes between Ellicott and Gayoso; and he seems to have considered them both to have been reprehensible in managing this discussion. He spoke in strong terms against the measures, that had been adopted by the people. The decisiveness of his tone and the impartiality of his conduct put an end to the disputes. The Spanish authorities were restored; and they prepared to evacuate the contested posts. They were evacuated in the summer of 1798. The demarcation line was completed in 1799. — Messrs. Dunbar and Minor were commissioners on the part of Spain.

Our triumph in this dispute did not diminish the dislike of Spain to us. As early as 1787, the Spanish intendant of Louisiana prepared an elaborate memoir to his court, on the ambitious and restless character of the American people, alleging that nothing would satisfy us, but an extension of our limits to the Pacific; and that our revolutionary spirit would be communicated by example to Mexico. Bribery, pensions, and exclusive privileges to the western people were recommended, as measures, that would be favorable to Louisiana, or procure the dismemberment of the western part of the Union, from the eastern. Such counsels


easily subsequent Spanish conduct, and account for her delays in carrying the treaty into effect, They still hoped, and waited to see the dismemberment of the Union They complained of our treaty with England, as unfavorable to their interests; and they sent secret missions to the West to foster discontents.

War was now raging in Europe. The privateers and armed ships of Spain plundered our commerce. She renewed the ‘occlusion’ of New Orleans. These acts were the more outrageous, as she had just concluded a treaty with us, which stipulated the free navigation of the Mississippi, and the admission and deposit of our produce at New Orleans. This proof of the want of all faith on the part of Spain was the more irritating, from the circumstance of the prodigious increase of the population of the upper country, and from the possession of the right to navigate the Mississippi just long enough to prove to the people, how vital it was to their interests, and in consequence to render the deprivation of it so much the more bitter.

To remedy all these difficulties, and to yield to the ardent wishes of the West, our government concerted a plan of redress, not less bold in conception, than difficult in the execution. Twelve regiments were added to our army in 1799. The spoliations of France upon our commerce, and her menacing attitude in other respects, furnished sufficient pretexts for this measure. Three of the old regiments were ordered to descend to a station near the mouth of the Ohio. It is understood, that the intention was, that these troops should descend the Mississippi, be joined by the new levies from the Atlantic, and seize New Orleans, before it could be reinforced by Spanish troops. But a change in the presidency took place. Mr. Adams was superseded by Mr. Jefferson, and the twelve regimens,


raised under the former presidency, were immediately disbanded.

Spanish Treaty.

One of the first acts of Mr. Jefferson's administration was a remonstrance to Spain, against the violation of her treaty, and a demand of redress. While Spain restored us the right of deposit at New Orleans, we were informed, that she had by a treaty, in 1801, receded Louisiana to the French republic.

The French army, that had been raised for the occupation of Louisiana was blockaded in a Dutch port by a British squadron. Pressed on every side, and without a navy, the French republic wanted money more than colonies; and she ceded Louisiana to the United States by treaty, bearing date April 13th, 1803, in consideration of fifteen millions of dollars.

The Spanish authorities, in December of the same year, transferred the government of lower Louisiana to M. Laussat, the French commissioner; and on the 20th of the same month, he transferred it to governor Claiborne and general Wilkinson, commissioners on the part of the United States. Mr. Stoddart, constituted agent of the French republic, received the transfer of upper Louisiana from Spain, March 9th, 1804; and the next day, duly transferred it to the United States.

Puchase of Louisiana.

It is well remembered, that the purchase of this county by our government was a theme of party crimination at the time; that the measure was strongly reprobated by many, as tending only to give an useless and dropsical extension to a country, already too large. Our limits and our inclinations equally forbid our dwelling on these painful remembrances. At this day, there is but one opinion about the wisdom and necessity of this measure. Louisiana, independent of its intrinsic value, would have been the apple of eternal discord between us, and whatever


power retained it. That power would have been able always to keep alive dissension and disunion in the West. Either the western states must have been perpetually barred from the ocean; or the whole course, and the entire command of the Mississippi must have been ours. But independent of political considerations, at this day a single territory, beyond the states already formed, is worth to the treasury of the United States, more than the whole purchase cost.

Ridicule at the same time was cast upon the mode of acquiring the country by purchase, and by money, and not by arms. It is not true, as was then alleged, that this was the first precedent of a purchased country. Even had it been, our government deserved credit for the first example. The conquest of the country, had that not been in the nature of things a contingent event could not have cost less money, laying the price of human blood, that must have been shed in acquiring it, out of the question, than we gave for the purchase. It is useless to enlarge. Whoever looks on these fair and fertile regions, now, and as we hope for ever, the domain of freedom, and which have already had their influence, in diffusing that boon to the vast extents of country beyond them, will hail the era of the purchase of this country, as long as the Mississippi shall roll to the sea.

A new scene opens before us. The wide and fertile country of the ‘father of streams’ is all a land of freedom; and that mighty river, from its source to its mouth, only sees the American standard. The Atlantic population poured in a stream of immigration from beyond the mountains. As presages of the empire, that was one day spring up in these deserts, towns and settlements began to appear on the courses of the Ohio, as by enchantment. In


order to preserve something like an unbroken chain of events in Louisiana, we have a little preceded the order of events in other parts of this valley. We return, to contemplate the condition of the country on the Ohio at the close of the war of the revolution.

The savages had generally taken part with Britain in that war. That power still held posts within our ceded limits, whence her traders issued the means of influence and corruption among them. These posts were central points, from which they marched upon our incipient settlements on the frontier, armed with the tomahawk and the scalping knife. One of the earliest objects of the attention of our government, after that war, was either to pacify the Indians, or restrain and punish their cruelties. The Creeks, a powerful nation in the centre of the southern country, were in a position, to be excited to enmity both by Britain and Spain. They were headed at this time by M'Gillivray, a man, who united in his character the strong points both of the savage and the civilized life. He was at first refractory, and indisposed to terms. A second effort with him was more successful. Colonel Willet, who was charged with the negotiation, induced M'Gillivray to repair to New York; and a treaty was signed, which bears his name along with that of Washington.

Harmar's Defeat.

Attempts to pacify the Indians of the Wabash and the Miami were not equally successful. The measures of Washington were soon taken. As soon as he saw, that the ordinary motives would have no effect, in bringing them to terms, he felt that policy and humanity alike called for strong measures. An expedition against the hostile tribes, northwest of the Ohio, was planned. The Object was to bring the Indians to a general engagement; or if that might not be, to destroy their establishments on the waters of the Scioto and the Wabash. General Harmar


was appointed to the command of this expedition. Major Hamtranck, with a detachment, was to make a diversion in his favor up the Wabash.

On the 13th of September, 1791, general Harmar marched from fort Washington, the present site of Cincinnati, with 320 regulars, and effected a junction with the militia of Pennsylvania and Kentucky, which had advanced twenty-five miles in front. The whole force amounted to 1,453 men. Colonel Hardin, who commanded the Kentucky militia, was detached with 600 men, chiefly militia, to reconnoitre. On his approach to the Indian settlements, the Indians set fire to their villages, and fled. In order, if possible, to overtake them, he was detached with a smaller force, that could be moved more rapidly. It consisted of 210 men. A small party of Indians met, and attacked them; and the greater part of the militia behaved badly, — leaving a few brave men, who would not fly, to their fate. Twenty-three of the party fell, and seven only made their escape, and rejoined the army. Notwithstanding this check, the army succeeded so far as to reduce the remaining towns to ashes, and destroy their provisions.

On their return to fort Washington, general Harmar was desirous of wiping off in another action the disgrace which public opinion had impressed upon his arms halted eight miles from Chillicothe; and late at night detached colonel Hardin, with orders to find the enemy, and bring him to an engagement. Early in the morning, detachment reached the enemy, and a severe engagement ensued. The savages fought with desperation. Some the American troops shrunk; but the officers conduct with great gallantry. Most of them fell, bravely discharging their duty. More than 50 regulars and 100 militia, including the brave officers, Fontaine, Willys and Frothingham, were slain.


Harmar, in his official account of this affair, claimed the victory, although the Americans seem clearly to have had the worst of the battle. At his request, he was tried by a court martial, and honorably acquitted. The enemy had suffered so severely, that they allowed him to return unmolested to fort Washington.

The terrors and the annoyance of Indian hostilities still hung over the western settlements. The call was loud and general from the frontiers, for ample and efficient protection. Congress placed the means in the hands of the executive. Major general Arthur St. Clair was appointed commander in chief of the forces to be employed in the meditated expedition. The objects of it were, to destroy the Indian settlements between the Miamies, to expel them from the country, and establish a chain of posts, which should prevent their return during the war. This army was late in assembling in the vicinity of fort Washington. They marched directly towards the chief establishments of the enemy, building and garrisoning in their way the two intermediate forts, Hamilton and Jefferson. After the detachments had been made for these garrisons, the effective force, that remained, amounted to something less than 2,000 men. To open a road for their march was, of course, a slow and tedious business. Small parties of Indians were often seen hovering about their march; and some unimportant skirmishes took place. As the army approached the enemy's country, sixty of the militia deserted in a body. To prevent the influence of such an example, major Hamtranck was detached with a regiment, in pursuit of the deserters. The army, now consisting of 1,400 men, continued its march. On the 3d of November, 1792, it encamped fifteen miles south of the Miami villages. — Having been rejoined by major Hamtranck, general St. Clair proposed to march immediately against them.


Half an hour before sunrise, the militia was attacked by the savages, and fled in the utmost confusion. They burst through the formed line of the regulars into the camp. Great efforts were made by the officers, to restore order; but not with the desired success. The Indians pressed upon the heels of the flying militia, and engaged general Butler with great intrepidity. The action became warm and general; and the fire of the assailants, passing round both flanks of the first line, in a few minutes was poured with equal fury upon the rear. The artillerists in the centre were mowed down; and the fire was the more galling, as it was directed by an invisible enemy, crouching on the ground, or concealed behind trees. In this manner they advanced towards the very mouths of the cannon; and fought with the infuriated fierceness, with which success always animates savages. Some of the soldiers exhibited military fearlessness, and fought with great bravery. Others were timid, and disposed to fly. With a self-devotion, which the occasion required, the officers generally exposed themselves to the hottest of the contest, and fell in great numbers in desperate efforts, to restore the battle. The commanding general, though he had been for some time enfeebled with severe disease, acted with personal bravery, and delivered his orders with judgment and self-possession. A charge was made upon the savages with the bayonet; and they were driven from their covert, with some loss, a distance of 400 yards. But as soon as the charge was suspended, they returned to the attack. General Butler was mortally wounded; the left of the right wing broken, and the artillerists killed almost to a man. The guns were seized, and the camp penetrated by the enemy. A desperate charge was headed by colonel Butler, although he was severely wounded; and the indians were again driven from the camp, and the artillery


recovered. Several charges were repeated with partial success. The enemy only retreated, to return to the charge, flushed with new ardor. The ranks of the troops were broken, and the men pressed together in crowds, and were shot down without resistance. A retreat was all that remained, to save the remnant of the army. Colonel Darke was ordered to charge a body of savages, that intercepted their retreat. Major Clark, with his battalion, was directed to cover the rear. These orders were carried into effect; and a most disorderly flight commenced. A pursuit was kept up four miles, when fortunately for the surviving Americans, the natural greediness of the savage appetite for plunder called back the victorious Indians to the camp, to divide the spoils. The routed troops continued their flight to fort Jefferson, throwing away their arms on the road. The wounded were left here, and the army retired upon fort Washington.

In this fatal battle fell 38 commissioned officers, and 593 non-commissioned officers and privates. Twenty-one commissioned officers, many of whom afterwards died of their wounds, and 242 non-commissioned officers and privates, were wounded.

St. Clair's Defeat.

This severe disaster to an expedition, which had been deemed sufficient to look down all opposition, was as humiliating, as it was unexpected. Public opinion was unfavorable, in regard to the management of general St. Clair. He solicited a trial by a court martial; but owing to the circumstance, that there was no officer in the army of a grade, to be authorized by the usages of war to preside over the trial, he did not receive one. The Indian war now assumed a more formidable aspect than before. Flushed with their success, there was all reason to believe, that the savages would receive new accessions of strength, and that blood would flow on the


frontiers anew. The reputation of the government was now committed in the fortunes of the war. Three additional regiments were directed to be raised. On the motion in congress, for raising these regiments, there was an animated, and even a bitter debate. It was urged on one hand, that the expense of such a force would involve the necessity of severe taxation; that too much power was thrown into the hands of the president; that the war had been badly managed, and ought to have been entrusted to the militia of the West, under their own officers; and with more force they urged, that no success could be of any avail, so long as the British held those posts within our acknowledged limits, from which the savages were supplied with protection, shelter, arms, advice and instigation to the war. On the other hand, the justice of the cause, as a war of defence, and not of conquest, was unquestionable. It was proved, that between 1783 and 1790, no less than 1,500 people of Kentucky had been massacred by the savages, or dragged into a horrid captivity; and that the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia had suffered a loss not much less. It was proved, that every effort had been made to pacify the savages, without effect. They showed, that in 1790, when a treaty was proposed to the savages at the Miami, they first refused to treat, and then asked thirty days for deliberation. It was granted. In the interim, they stated, that not less than 120 persons had been killed, and captured, and several prisoners roasted alive; at the term of which horrors, they refused any answer at all to the proposition to treat. Various other remarks were made in defence of the bill. It tried the strength of parties in congress, and was finally carried.

General St. Clair resigned, and major general Anthony Wayne was appointed to succeed him. This officer commanded the confidence of the western people, who confided


in that reckless bravery, which had long before procured him the appellation of ‘mad Anthony.’ There was powerful party, who still affected to consider this war unnecessary; and every impediment was placed in the vay of its success, which that party could devise. To prove to them, that the government was still disposed to peace, two excellent officers and valuable men, colonel Hardin and major Truman, were severally despatched with propositions of peace. They were both murdered by the savages. These unsuccessful attempts at negotiation, and the difficulties and delays, naturally incident to the preparation of such a force, together with the attempts, that had been made in congress, to render the war unpopular, had worn away so much time, that the season for operations for the year had almost elapsed. But as soon as the negotiations had wholly failed, the campaign was opened with as much vigor, as the nature of the case would admit. The general was able, however, to do no more this autumn, than to advance into the forest towards the country of the savages, six miles in advance of fort Jefferson. He took possession of the ground, on which the fatal defeat of St. Clair had taken place, in 1791. He here erected a fortification, with the appropriate name of fort Recovery. His principal camp was called Greenville, In Kentucky, meanwhile, many of the people clamored against these measures, and loudly insisted, that the war ought to be carried on by militia, to be commanded by an officer taken from their state. It was believed, too, by the executive, that the British government, by retaining their posts within our limits, and by various other measures, at least countenanced the Indians in their hostilities. That government took a more decisive measure early in the spring. A British detachment from Detroit advanced near fifty miles south of that place, and fortified themselves


on the Miami of the lakes. In one of the numerous skirmishes, which took place between the savages and the advance of general Wayne, it was affirmed, that British were mingled with the Indiana.

Wayne's Victory.

On the 8th of August, general Wayne reached the confluence of the Au Glaize and the Miami of the lakes. The richest and most extensive settlements of the western Indians were at this place. It was distant only about thirty miles from the post on the Miami, which the British had recently occupied. The whole strength of the enemy amounting to nearly 2,000 warriors, was collected in the vicinity of that post. The regulars of general Wayne were not much inferior in numbers. A reinforcement of 1,100 mounted Kentucky militia, commanded by general Scott, gave a decided superiority to the American force. The general was well aware, that the enemy were ready to give him battle, and he ardently desired it. But, in pursuance of the settled policy of the United States, another effort was made for the attainment of peace, without the shedding of blood. The savages were exhorted by those, who were sent to them, no longer to follow the counsels of the bad men at the foot of the Rapids, who urged them on to the war, but had neither the power, nor the inclination to protect them; that to listen to the propositions of the government of the United States would restore them to their homes, and rescue them from famine. To these propositions they returned only an evasive answer.

On the 20th of August, the army of general Wayne, marched in columns. A select battalion, under major Price, moved, as a reconnoitering force, in front. After marching five miles, he received so heavy a fire from the savages, concealed, as usual, that he was compelled to retreat. The savages had chosen their ground with great


judgement. They had moved into a thick wood, in advance of the British works, and had taken a position behind fallen timber, prostrated by a tornado. This rendered their position almost inaccessible to horse. They were formed in three regular lines, according to the Indian custom, very much extended in front. Their first effort was to turn the left flank of the American army.

The American legion was ordered to advance with trailed arms, and rouse the enemy from his covert at the point of the bayonet, and then deliver its fire. The cavalry, led by captain Campbell, was ordered to advance between the Indians and the river, where the wood admitted them to penetrate, and charge their left flank. General Scott, at the head of the mounted volunteers, was commanded to make a considerable circuit, and turn their right. These, and all the complicated orders of general Wayne, were promptly executed. But such was the impetuosity of the charge made by the first line of infantry, so entirely was the enemy broken by it, and so rapid was the pursuit, that only a small part of the second line, and of the mounted volunteers, could take any part in the action. In the course of an hour, the savages were driven more than two miles, and within gunshot of the British fort.

General Wayne remained three days on the field of battle, reducing the houses and corn fields, above and below the fort, and some of them within pistol shot of it, to ashes. The house and stores of colonel M'Kee, an English trader, whose great influence among the savages had been uniformly exerted for the continuance of the war, was burned among the rest Correspondence on these points took place between general Wayne and major Campbell, who commanded the British fort. That of general Wayne was sufficiently firm; and it manifested,


that the latter only avoided hostilities with him, by acquiescing in this destruction of British property within the range of his guns.

On the 28th, the army returned to Au Glaize, destroying all the villages and corn within fifty miles of the river In this decisive battle the American loss, in killed and wounded, amounted to 107, including officers. Among those, that fell, were captain Campbell and lieutenant Towles. The general bestowed great and merited praise, for their bravery and promptitude in this affair, to all his troops.

The hostility of the Indians still continuing, their whole country was laid waste; and forts were erected in the heart of their settlements, to prevent their return. This seasonable victory, and this determined conduct on the part of the United States, rescued them from a general war with all the nations northwest of the Ohio. The Six Nations had manifested resentments, which were only appeased for the moment, by the suspension of a settlement, which Pennsylvania was making at Presqu' Isle, within their alleged limits. The issue of this battle dissipated the clouds at once, which had been thickening in that quarter. Its influence was undoubtedly felt far to the south. The Indian inhabitants of Georgia, and still farther to the south, had been apparently on the verge of a war, and had been hardly restrained from hostility by the feeble authority of that state.

No incidents of great importance occurred in this quarter, until August 3d, of the next year; when a definitive treaty was concluded, by general Wayne, with the hostile Indians northwest of the Ohio. By this treaty, the destructive war, which had so long desolated that frontier, was ended in a manner acceptable to the United States. An accommodation was also brought about with the southern


Indians, notwithstanding the intrigues of their Spanish neighbors. The regions of the Mississippi valley were opened on all sides to immigration, and rescued from the dread of Indian hostilities.

It is necessary to turn our attention for a moment from these bloody combats, to contemplate the more alarming prospect of discord among our own citizens. Portents of this sort began about this time to show themselves in different points of the Union. In the counties of Pennsylvania, west of the mountains, arose a dark and menacing cloud, which required the most decisive interposition of the government to disperse. Congress had passed a law imposing duties on spirits distilled within the United States. Much whiskey was distilled and consumed in these counties, and a violent and systematic opposition to the law was formed. This duty was peculiarly obnoxious to them from local considerations. These people from the beginning had been of the number of those, who were most opposed to the measures of the general government. They had listened to the bitter language of party spirit in congress, and were encouraged to extreme measures by the tone of party there. A powerful, influential and active party, pervading the whole Union, had been organized, which, in addition to other measures, that they reprobated, considered the whole system of finance, adopted by the general government, as hostile to liberty. The people of these counties had strongly identified their opinions and their feelings with this party. With such dispositions, a tax law, which had a local bearing upon them, and which had been declared on the floor of congress unnecessary and tyrannical, and which tended to enhance the price of the only kind of ardent spirits consumed among them, could not but be viewed with abhorrence by a people, who had not been much used to the restraints of law, and in


whose minds, by various circumstances, the awful apprehensions, which are usually occasioned by attempts to resist the laws, had been lessened to such a degree, as to induce the hope, that these combinations, persisted in might finally prove successful.

On first introducing the act, discontents had been manifested in various parts of the Union, which by the prudent firmness of the government had been dissipated. But in this region a regular spirit of resistance was developing. Meetings and resolutions, in opposition to the law, had been adopted, and plans of resistance organized. In September, 1791, a meeting of delegates from the malecontent counties was held at Pittsburg. The resolutions were violent, countenancing the acts and outrages, that had already been committed, and giving a more general and organized sanction to what had been already resolved in the county assemblies. These resolutions were fortified with the general charges against the government, to which we have alluded. The deputy marshal had been entrusted with process against those, who had committed acts of violence on the revenue officers; and they were not a few. Unfortunately, this officer was intimidated, and returned without performing his duty; by his retreat, adding confidence in their strength to the disaffected.

Congress, in their next session, made a revision of the system; and took great pains to alter such parts of it as were considered most exceptionable in this quarter. But this conciliatory measure had no effect. The malecontents, for a considerable time, deterred every person from consenting to permit an office to be held at his house. Threats of the infliction of violence and death were held out, to intimidate the officers of the revenue. Another meeting was convened at Pittsburg. Correspondencies were appointed with the disaffected elsewhere. Mutual pledges


of perseverance were given by the malecontents; and mutual promises interchanged, that they would hold, as enemies, those, who were appointed to collect the revenue; that they would withhold from them all the kind offices of life, and would every where treat them with contempt. They earnestly recommended to the people generally a similar line of conduct.

Prosecutions were instituted against the delinquents, and proclamations and pacific measures adopted without effect. The spirits, distilled in the non-complying counties, were seized by the revenue officers on the way to market; and the agents for the army were directed to purchase only those spirits, on which the duties had been paid. Such measures, it was hoped, would operate, as motives of interest, to detach many from their opposition. But laws are generally unavailing against the combined spirit of a people, especially, when obedience is found more dangerous, than resistance.

Western Insurrection.

But it was found by the malecontents, that something more must yet be done, to prevent the operation of the laws. Notwithstanding the outrages, which they had committed upon the revenue officers, notwithstanding their resolutions and menaces, the law was visibly gaining ground; and several distillers in the disaffected country were induced to comply with its requisites. They perceived, that the certain loss of an article for the market, added to the penalties, to which delinquents were liable, might finally induce a compliance on the part of distillers, unless they could, by a systematic and organized opposition, deprive the government of the means employed for carrying the laws into execution.

It was the avowed opinion of the executive, that this open and undisguised opposition imperiously required, that the strength and efficacy of the laws should be tested.


Processes were directed against a number of non-complying distillers. The marshal charged himself with the service of the processes, and repaired in person to the scene of the disorders. On the 15th of July, while employed in the execution of his duty, he was beset, and fired upon by armed men. Fortunately he was not hurt. Next morning, the house of general Neville, where he staid, was beset; but he defended himself resolutely, and obliged the assailants to retreat. The marshal applied to the militia officers and magistrates for protection. The answer was, that the combination was too general, to have the laws executed, so as to afford protection.

On the following day, the insurgents assembled to the number of 500. On finding that no protection could be expected from the civil authority, he next applied to the officer commanding at fort Pitt, and obtained eleven men from that garrison, who were joined by major Kirkpatrick. It was in vain to contend with 500 men, A parley was proposed, and the marshal with his guard was required, among other things, to march out, and give up their arms. This being refused, the malecontents commenced their assault. During the affray, they fired several adjacent buildings. Suffering from an intense heat, and apprehending that the building, which sheltered them, would soon be in flames, major Kirkpatrick and his party surrendered themselves.

The marshal and colonel Neville were seized on their way to general Neville's house. The marshal, especially, was treated with great rudeness. His life was repeatedly threatened. He and the inspector having both retired to Pittsburg, the insurgents deputed two of their body, one of them a justice of the peace, requiring that the former should surrender all his processes, and the latter resign, — threatening, in case of refusal, to attack men, and seize


their persons. Not acceding to these demands, and finding no security at Pittsburg, they escaped down the Ohio. We hasten to cut short this unpleasant narrative. The outrages of the insurgents were now repeated in various forms. The mails were arrested, the letters taken out, and the persons ascertained, who had expressed themselves unfavorably, in regard to these measures. Delegates were assembled; a general meeting of the people invited; and a formal and organized opposition to the general government announced itself. By the unanimous advice of the cabinet, the evidence of an insurrection, which had been transmitted to the president, was laid before one of the associate judges of the supreme court of the United States, who gave the certificate, required by the constitution, to enable the president to employ the militia in aid of the civil power. There was a difference in opinion among the officers consulted by the president, in respect to the ulterior measures, that ought to be adopted. The insurgent counties contained 16,000 men, capable of bearing arms; and it was thought, they might bring 7,000 men into the field. It was deemed, that 12,000 would be a force sufficient to look down all opposition, and render resistance desperate. This was the opinion of the president. To allow the laws and authorities to be trampled upon in one quarter, was to invite resistance in another, and was an indignity, to which the chief magistrate never could submit.

He finally resolved to issue that proclamation, which, according to law, must precede the employment of force. The proclamation was a firm and manly state paper. On the same day, a requisition was made on the governors of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, for their several quotas of militia, to compose an army of 12,000 men. As a last effort at conciliation, judge Yates,


the attorney general, who was a citizen of Pennsylvania and Mr. Ross, representing that state, as a senator in congress, and who was particularly popular in the western country, were deputed by the government, to be the bearers of a general amnesty on the sole condition of future obedience to the laws. Governor Mifflin, of Pennsylvania issued a proclamation, in concert with that of the president; and commissioners were appointed by him, to unite their influence with that of the general government.

Meanwhile, the insurgents omitted nothing, to spread the circle of disaffection in the adjacent counties of Virginia, and the contiguous ones of Pennsylvania east of the mountains, The publications of that period, and the furious language of party at the time, were but too well calculated to inspire in them a confidence, that the resistance might spread so widely, as to terminate in a revolution. The insurgents had a grand committee of conference, whose object was to confer and correspond with commissioners from their own state and the United States. But they were only empowered to receive propositions, and to act on nothing.

Ambitious men of intelligence, who had helped to kindle the flame, saw that it is easier to do this, than to regulate the heat, or set limits to the conflagration. After it had spread beyond the power of keeping it in, they began to think of controlling it. The committee of conference were desirous of accepting the terms of the government, and it was carried by a small majority to do it; but not deeming themselves armed with sufficient power, they afterwards resolved, that it should be referred to the people.

The prospect of obtaining the quota of troops from Pennsylvania was at first unpromising. Some feeble attempts were made in the legislature of that state, to lay impediments in the way of an appeal to force. A majority


expressed strong abhorrence of the insurrection; and the general sense of the nation loudly proclaimed, that the laws must and would be supported. The governor acted with great ardor and decision. The quota was to be filled up in part with volunteers. The governor visited different places, and addressed the militia; and so prompt and efficient was this mode of appeal, that the quota was furnished.

On the 25th of September, the president issued a second proclamation. The troops of the different states assembled, partly at Bedford in Pennsylvania, and partly at Cumberland in Maryland. Governor Lee, of Virginia, was commander in chief, and the governors of New Jersey and Pennsylvania commanded under him. From Bedford and Cumberland the army marched in two divisions into the insurgent country. As was foreseen, the greatness of the force prevented the effusion of blood. A few were arrested; and a Mr. Bradford, who had rendered himself conspicuous by his violence, made his escape into the Spanish country.

Thus, without shedding a drop of human blood, was the first, and may it be the last insurrection in the western country, finally suppressed. An example of dignified forbearance, mixed with vigor and firmness on the part of the government, was placed before the eyes of the people. The western country, meanwhile, continued to fill with People with a rapidity, as we have seen, without parallel in the annals of any other colony. The Ohio no longer rolled through an unbroken forest. Incipient towns and villages sprung up among the deadened trees; and the sound of the woodsman's axe was heard in a thousand places in the forest. The advance of this region in prosperity and population had now nothing to check it. The surplus produce of the West began, to descend in all those


whimsical varieties of boats, that float on the bosom of the Ohio. Occasional murders of the frontier people, by the Indians, continued to keep up the feelings of resentment and vengeance against them. From the nature of things these occurrences will always take place, wherever numerous savages surround sparse and growing settlements of the whites. It is astonishing, to remark how little influence the recurrence of these events had, in preventing immigrant families from making their way into the forests, in the immediate vicinity of these dreaded neighbors.

The attempt of Blount, to tamper with the fidelity and patriotism of the western people, had been the wonder of a day. A more serious attempt was made at this time by the celebrated Aaron Burr, who had sustained the high dignity of vice-president of the United States. He is represented to have been smooth, plausible, eloquent, and his words of persuasion dropping like dew. Under an exterior of mildness was concealed burning and disappointed ambition. There can be little doubt, that he was impressed, that the materials of insurrection and political change existed on the courses of the Ohio and Mississippi, in ample abundance; and that he expected to find here, as elsewhere, great numbers ‘above the dull pursuits of civil life,’ who would be ready to embrace any project, that promised to gratify ambition and avarice. Considerable funds had been procured for an expedition, which was cloaked with the pretext of conveying settlers to lands on the Washita, The real objects appear to have been, to obtain the countenance or co-operation of the influential men in the western country; to seize on the bank in new Orleans; and shake, if it might be, the confederation in the Atlantic country to its centre; detach the West from the Union; and then indulge in ulterior dreams of the conquest of Mexico. His correspondence with the leading men evinces


that some of them did not look through the mystery and concealment of his avowed purpose, to his real one; that others amused him with answers, as wily and as enigmatical, as his own correspondence; and that others were prepared to fall in with his purposes, or hunt them down, according as they promised to be successful, or not

‘That treason never prospers, what's the reason?
Why, when it prospers, none dare call it treason.’

This maxim, founded on such accurate acquaintance with history, appears to have been the motto of some of the chief men of the country, on this occasion. If his object really was to overturn the government, never was any one predicated more entirely on moonshine, or more stupidly managed. Surely, if he calculated to effectuate such vast projects, with such slender and inefficient means, he must have been the wildest of all the votaries of visionary ambition, and little entitled to that high character for intellect, which he had hitherto borne. It is as little our desire, as it would be useful or interesting, to go into the details of this affair, which excited so much interest and feeling at the time. Burr and Ogden were arrested by the constituted authorities, as they were on their way to New Orleans, and sent round from that city, as prisoners, to Washington. Burr was tried before the senate of the United States, on the charge of treason, and was acquitted. The implication of Blannerhasset and his beautiful wife in the projects of Burr, furnished on the trial some brilliant sprinklings of romance over the interesting pleadings on that occasion. We are impressed, that the western people, generally, participated as little in any project to detach them from the Union, as though all this had happened in another planet.


First Steam Boat Used in the West.

The year 1811 was a memorable one in the annals of the West. Steam boats, the most astonishing invention of modern times, and more than any other calculated to change the face of society, and more peculiarly adapted to the physical character and wants of the western country, than any other on the globe, had been abundantly experimented on the Hudson. This year the echos of the Ohio forest were awakened by the noise of the first steam boat, that ever descended the Ohio. She was called the New Orleans and carried between three and four hundred tons. She was extremely slow, compared with the progress of some of the swifter steam boats of this time. But the first experiment was fortunate, and successful; and strongly tended, by immediately showing the advantages of this mode of navigating the western waters, over all others, to bring about the striking change in this respect, which has taken place on these rivers within the last fifteen years. There was now a short interval of those peaceful and happy days of which history has little to record. The census of 1810 gave us nearly a million inhabitants, and more than eight times our number in 1790.

Battle of Tippicanoe.

Our political horizon had long been lowering, in regard to our relations with France and England, as a neutral power, subject to be plundered, and ill-treated by both nations. It was a question, discussed in congress with no little asperity, which of these powers we should select, upon which to make war. It was ultimately determined to declare war with England. For some time, her ancient influence with the Indians on the lakes, and our northern and western borders, had begun to excite the savages against us, as formerly. At length their long smothered hostilities burst upon us in a flame, in the battle of Tippecanoe.


At the close of the year 1811, the savages, instead of confining themselves to solitary depredations and individual murders, began to harass the frontier settlements in the West with incessant incursions, and the murder of whole families. The several tribes seemed to emulate each other in deeds of horror and blood. These incursions were either countenanced, or instigated by the usual influence and arts of the British traders, as had been the case in former days. It was ascertained, too, on a solemn investigation, that the savages were thoroughly armed, and equipped with new guns. The influence of a savage, called the ‘Shawanese prophet,’ had been particularly efficacious, in stirring up the tribes of the lakes and the Wabash against the United States. General Harrison, governor of Indiana territory, and general Boyd, commanding a regiment of United States' infantry in that quarter, were ordered to march to the prophet's town, high on the Wabash, to demand reparation for the past, and security for the future.

In November, 1811, after a long march of more than thirty days, these troops encamped in the vicinity of the prophet's town. General Harrison, anxious to prevent the effusion of blood, made various unsuccessful efforts at negotiation. An officer, who was despatched to them with terms, narrowly escaped from them, with his life. The troops were ordered slowly to approach the town, in order of battle. They were met by a deputation of Indians, with the usual crafty protestations of friendship, and enquiries respecting the object of his march into their country. They promised to hold a council next day, to discuss and settle all founds of complaint. The prophet by night consulted his grand medicine, and pronounced, ‘that the enemy was now in their power, fast asleep, and should never wake.’


Happily for the result of this battle, little reliance had been placed upon the avowal of pacific intentions by the savages. The troops had been ordered to lie upon their arms, to be ready at a moment's warning. The prophet's forces have been differently estimated from 400 to 600 warriors. The American force amounted to about 800 men.

The 7th of November, before four in the morning, the Indians attacked the American camp with a general discharge, and the most horrid yells. Favored by the profound darkness, they had broken into the camp. At the clear and distinct voice of general Harrison, the troops rallied, and a fierce engagement of man with man commenced, amidst the confusion of darkness, and the horrid yells of the Indian war-whoop. The militia at first recoiled; but the exertions of colonel Geiger rallied them to the charge. During the darkness, it is obvious, under such circumstances, that the savages would have the advantage. The troops were soon formed in a parallelogram. The militia poured upon them a sheet of flame. As soon as it was possible to see their position, the fourth regiment charged them with the bayonet, with all the precision and effect of their admirable discipline. They were immediately cleared from the camp, and the field, and fled. The mounted men cut down many of them on the retreat. It was a Woody victory obtained by the loss of 188 men killed and wounded. Of the Indians, 53 were found dead in and about the camp; and their whole loss was calculated nearly to equal that of the Americans. General Harrison narrowly escaped, having had the hair of his head cut with a ball. He was distinguished for his exertions and gallantry on the occasion. The officers in this affair merited, and received the highest praise. Some of the bravest of


them fell. In short, officers and men gained the meed of having done their duty.

Immediately after the battle, the town was deserted by the Indians. In the precipitancy of their flight, they left their provisions, and almost every thing they possessed, behind them. An incontestable proof, that they had been supplied with arms by the British, appeared in our finding a great many guns here, which had never been removed from the cases, in which they had been imported, and a quantity of fine, English-glazed gunpowder. A number of the northern tribes, consisting of the Pottowatomies, Miamies, Shawanese and Winnebagos, had sent their warriors to this place. They were headed by Stone Eater, White Loon, Winnemac and Ellskwatawa, commonly called ‘the prophet,’ and brother of Tecumthe. That celebrated warrior, who makes so conspicuous a figure in the subsequent battles, was absent on this occasion.

After the army retired from the field, the savages, infuriated by their losses, dug up the dead bodies of the officers, scalped, and otherwise mutilated them; and they left a small force to hover on the rear of the Americans, to scalp those, who fell behind, or died of their wounds.

On the 18th of June, 1812, war was declared by the United States against Great Britain. A small army, consisting of the fourth regiment of the United States' infantry, and three regiments of Ohio volunteers, under the command of general Hull, governor of the Michigan territory, was ordered to march for the protection of the frontiers against the incursions of the savages. After a long and tedious march of thirty-five days, followed by British and Indians, who constantly hung upon their flanks, these troops arrived at Detroit. They amounted to 2,500. The British immediately began to defend the opposite shore. Their works were easily destroyed; and general Hull


crossed his troops over the river to the Canada side, and with much menace in vaporing proclamations, proposed to invade the country. The fall of Michilimackinack was the first in a series of disgraces and misfortunes, that befel the American arms in this quarter, at the commencement of the war. We can only go into these unpleasant details, as far as the troops and the great local interests of the West were immediately concerned.

After a series of skirmishes, in which colonel Cass, commanding the third regiment of Ohio volunteers, and colonel M'Arthur, commanding another regiment of volunteers from Ohio, were most honorably engaged, and a series of mismanagements, or misfortunes on the part of general Hull, there was a considerable skirmish at Magagua. The American force was commanded by colonel Miller. Against great odds, the Americans obtained an undisputed victory in which many Indians, and some British were slain.

Massacre of the Troops Under Captain Heald.

At the same time, that this slight success was obtained, captain Heald, who commanded at Chicago, at the head of lake Michigan, received orders to march immediately from that place, and proceed with his command to Detroit by land. He commenced his march, accompanied by fifty-four regulars and twelve militia, escorted by captain Wells, of fort Wayne, and a few friendly Indians of the Miami tribe. The inhabitants in that quarter, chiefly women and children, accompanied them, through terror of the savages. They were attacked on their way by 500 Indians. Twenty-six of the regulars and the militia to a man were killed. Among the officers slain were captain Wells, and ensign Roman, both of them officers of great gallantry. Two women and twelve children were also killed. The rest were made prisoners. Captain Heald and his lady escaped alive to a British post, and were


kindly received. Mrs. Heald was wounded by six shot, and the captain by two; but they both survived.

Hull's Surrender.

General Hull made a quick return from Canada; and things on his part were soon so far from invasion, that he was summoned by general Brock to surrender. In the most disgraceful manner, and almost without fighting, he did surrender. The men, who had conducted so nobly at Brownstown, the heroes of the fourth regiment, the brave volunteers at Raisin, the whole territory, and every thing appertaining to it, were surrendered with Detroit. Ohio had many brave officers and troops there. They had suffered severely in the skirmishing, that preceded this disastrous and disgraceful event. Never was astonishment and humiliation more extreme, than in the case of these surrendered troops. The British and Indians, to whom general Hull surrendered, amounted to nearly 1,400. The force, that surrendered to them, amounted to about 1,800. No event had ever occurred, that produced such a burning sense of shame and disgrace in me west. Many of the bravest of that region were men feelingly alive to the honor of their country, and ambitious of returning to their secluded homes, covered with glory. They were dishonored captives in a far distant country. An immense territory was surrendered; and a horde of infuriated savages, flushed with success, was ready to pour upon the western frontier, now left without any shelter.

This disastrous intelligence was distributed by the northern Indian runners, quite to the southern extremity of the union, with great celerity. The southern Indians were invited to take up the hatchet, in combination with those of the north. The Creeks and Seminoles soon became parties in the war; and not a few of the other tribes either joined them, or evidently wished well to their cause. The whole frontier from Tennessee to the bay of Mobile was


laid open to their incursions. The British sent implements and munitions of war to Florida; and they were put into their hands by the Spaniards. To meet these formidable aspects of danger, the people of the contiguous states made great and patriotic exertions. The Seminoles uniting with stolen or fugitive negros, made incursions into Georgia; and they commenced their accustomed course of cruelty and murder.

A most brave and desperate exploit was performed against them by colonel Newman, of the Georgia volunteers, with 117 men. He was on his march for the Lotchway towns, and was met by 150 hostile, mounted Indiana The meeting was unexpected on both sides. Seldom has a more desperate struggle been recorded. The Indians retreated, and were reinforced to nearly double the number of the whites; and returned to the assault. They were beaten again, retreated a little distance, and entrenched themselves around this little, gallant band, to make sure of them. They preserved a profound silence; and the Indians, thinking them fled, approached their camp with confidence. They received a deadly fire, which killed a wounded thirty warriors. They were now allowed to treat unmolested. The Indians lost three of their principal chiefs. Their young leader, and Bow-legs, their second in command, were slain.

In 1812, the famous Tecumthe arrived among the Creek Indians, availing himself of the superstitions of the savages and the predictions of his brother, the prophet, calculated at once to exasperate, and give confidence to them. The Creeks soon began to perpetrate a series of outrages along the Alabama frontier. The crafty Tecumthe had enjoined secresy, as regarded the predictions and movements. The smothered thirst for vengeance was too strong among these savages, rendered confident by these prophecies, to


be long concealed. The red war-clubs were soon seen in every part of the nation. Their first fury spent itself on those of their own people, who were desirous of peace with the United States. These were obliged to fly for their lives to the forts and settlements of the whites.

Infatuated by the prophets, with the persuasion that the ‘Great Spirit’ was on their side, and that they should be found invincible, they made their first assault upon fort Minims, situated in the Tensaw settlement, in Mississippi; and here they terribly signalized their cruelty and vengeance. It was crowded with women and children,who had fled to it from terror of the savages, as a place of protection. It was garrisoned by 150 men, under the command of major Beasly. The savages obtained their ammunition and supplies from the Spanish at Pensacola; and in 1813, to the number of six or seven hundred, commenced their attack upon the fort. They were fatally successful, and carried it by storm. About 300 persons, more than half of them women and children, were massacred. Never was savage character more fully developed. The mother and the child were slain with the same stroke of the tomahawk. But seventeen of the multitude, that had crowded into the supposed protection of the fort, escaped to relate the catastrophe. The abominable cruelties of the savages previous to this, were merged at once in the excitement, created by this monstrous and most unprovoked atrocity. As soon as the news reached the adjoining states, a just spirit of resentment was aroused. A campaign had been already planned the governor of Tennessee, in conformity to instructions from the secretary of war, against them. The feelings universally excited on this occasion, naturally accelerated these operations. General Jackson was selected by public sentiment as the commander in this campaign.


General Jackson, though suffering from a severe wound which he had received in a private rencontre, accepted the command. Colonel Coffee, in whom, also, the Tennesseeans reposed great confidence, commanded under him; and in case the general government should not see fit to adopt the expedition, and defray its expenses the state voted 300,000 dollars for its support.

In preparing for this campaign, and in marching to the scene of action, general Jackson encountered every difficulty and delay, that could arise from the opinions of opposite factions, from false alarm and intelligence, from the refractory spirit of men, generally unused to control, and much more so to the stern control of a camp; and more than all, from hunger, and an uncertain supply of provisions, He seemed precisely the man, to meet, and obviate all these difficulties. Uniting in an uncommon degree perseverance with promptitude, no opposition stood in his way, but that, which was in the nature of things insurmountable. He soon marched, with such as these circumstances allowed him to collect.

In the vicinity of the Creek settlements, colonel Dyer was detached to attack Littafutchee-town, one of their villages. He destroyed the village, and returned with a considerable number of its inhabitants prisoners. General Jackson had been for some time anxiously waiting the arrival of general Cocke from East Tennessee, with reinforcements and provisions. Learning that a considerable body of the enemy had posted themselves on the Tallushatchee, on the south side of the Coosa, thirteen miles distant, he detached general Coffee, with 900 men, to attack and disperse them.

General Coffee was so fortunate, as to find a fordable point of the Coosa, and there crossed his troops; directing them to encircle the town, and unite their fronts beyond it


The enemy announced their preparation for action, by beating their drums, and the customary yells and war-whoops. The Indians, in the first instance, assailed an advance party with great fury. The action soon became general, and the savages retreated to their houses. Here they fought to desperation, as long as they could stand, or sit; neither evincing fear, nor asking for quarter. Their loss was 186 killed; among whom, unfortunately, and in the accidental fury of the conflict, were some women and children. Of the prisoners, eighty-four were women and children, who were treated with the utmost humanity. Of the Americans, five were killed, and forty-one wounded. Two were killed with arrows. Most of the warriors had quivers filled with arrows, which they used after the first fire, until they could reload.

On the northern frontier, the effect of the fall of Michilimackinack, Chicago, and more than all, Detroit, was appalling through the Union. It had an electric effect upon the West. An offer was made to receive volunteers for the organization of a new army; and there has not often been on record an instance of an army, formed, equipped, and ready to march, with more celerity. From Pennsylvania, 2,000 volunteers, under brigadier general Crooks, general Tupper's brigade of Ohio volunteers, and the 17th regiment, under colonel Wells, were soon on their march, and at the place of rendezvous. The command was assigned to general Harrison, who was highly popular among the troops, and under him in command was general Payne, of Kentucky.

Immediately after the disasters of Detroit, the prophet's Indians marched to invest forts Harrison and Wayne, which were garrisoned only by a few regulars and voluneers. They murdered, burned and destroyed every thing in the vicinity of these forts. They fired fort Harrison;


and the shrieks of women and children, contemplating on one hand the sheet of flame, rolling towards them, and on the other hearing the horrid yells of the merciless savages afford us one of those scenes, that were so common during the war. Both of these places were defended with desperate bravery, until they were relieved; the one by a considerable force of mounted volunteers from Illinois, and the other by the forces of general Harrison. He divided his force, in the first instance, into scouting parties, and made these merciless and deluded beings feel, by retaliation, something of the horrors, which themselves had perpetrated. Those Indian tribes, that had remained faithful to the United States, and whose wish to join our standard had been hitherto refused, by an arrangement with the executive, were permitted to take a part in the war. Logan, a warrior of distinguished reputation, joined general Harrison with 700 warriors. Volunteers, more than were demanded by the expedition, poured in from all quarters. The zeal and patriotism of the western states were manifested by the most active exertions, and by sacrifices of every sort, such as the occasion required, — sacrifices of endurance, treasure and blood. Few were more conspicuous in the manifestation of this spirit, than Return J. Meigs, then governor of Ohio.

Capture of General Winchester.

A separate command had been assigned to general Winchester, as it appears, to the dissatisfaction of the troops confided to him. The troops of general Payne and colonel Wells, by this arrangement, were placed at his disposal. He was directed to push forward in a parallel advance, at some distance from general Harrison, and in concert with him regain the country occupied by the Indians, retake the lost posts, and, if possible, capture Malden, and all the places near our frontiers, that were central coverts for the Indians. General Winchester advanced


until he found himself in front of an enemy of superior numbers. The advance of his force, under captain Ballard, had already had severe skirmishing with them. A few brave and inexperienced young volunteers, who had rashly ventured beyond the main body, under ensign Liggit, were slain, and caused deep regret at their untimely fall. General Winchester immediately sent despatches to general Harrison, requesting aid. General Tupper, with his mounted men, directly commenced his march, to yield the required assistance.

There was some severe skirmishing of the enemy with the advance of general Winchester's force, in which Logan, the friendly chief, after conducting with great personal bravery, was mortally wounded. Colonel Campbell was detached by general Harrison, with a considerable force, against the Missisineway towns. In an attack upon one of these towns, a severe engagement ensued, in which the Indians were defeated, and that, and some other towns destroyed. Next morning the Indians were reinforced, and attacked him. They were again defeated; but a number of brave officers fell in the charge. The detachment behaved with great coolness and fortitude; and what was still better, with humanity to the wounded, and those, who fell into their power. Colonel Campbell, having accomplished his object, commenced his march for Greenville. The terrible Tecumthe was reported to be lurking in the vicinity, with 500 warriors. The weather was severe, and nearly the half of his men were disqualified from duty, by being frozen in some part of their limbs. The men expected an attack, and would, probably, have been destroyed. Their exemption from attack has been by some attributed to the absence of the prophet, who is supposed to have been slain in the attack upon colonel Campbell.


A brigade of Kentuckians, under general Hopkins had been sent into Indiana territory against the savages of the Wabash and the Illinois. They destroyed a number of towns, and had some skirmishing with the enemy. A company of cavalry, belonging to this detachment, advanced to bury one of their slain companions, and fell into an Indian ambuscade. Eighteen of their number were killed, and wounded, and among them were several promising young officers.

Massacre of the Raisin.

Exasperated by these repeated successes of the American troops against the different Indian posts and villages, the enemy resolved to advance with their combined arms to Frenchtown, to intercept the American forces marching upon Detroit. The inhabitants of that village expected to be massacred; and they implored the protection of general Winchester. This expedition appears to have been undertaken without any concert with general Harrison. General Winchester, according to their request, marched to their aid with 600 men. After some hard skirmishing, in which the Americans were victorious, the concentrated forces of general Winchester, amounting to about 750 men, found themselves in the vicinity of the British general Proctor, and Tecumthe, with 2,000 men. These forces attacked the American camp, and were bravely repulsed, though with severe loss. In a second attack, general Winchester, colonel Lewis, and some other persons, by some unaccountable inadvertence, were made prisoners. The American force, deprived thus of its chief officers, repelled every attack with the bravery of desperation, until a flag from the enemy promised quarters and protection if they would surrender; at the same time menacing the town with conflagration, and the inhabitants with the uncontrolled fury of the savages, if they refused these Twenty-two officers, and 275 non-commissioned officers


and privates, had already been slain, or wounded. Thirty-five officers, and 487 non-commissioned officers and privates, surrendered on the faith of general Proctor. The enemy's loss had, probably, been not much inferior to that of the Americans.

The events, that followed, have lost something of their dark coloring by the effect of time, that extinguishes revenge, and softens the remembrance of injuries. But the infamous name of Proctor will never be forgotten in the West. Fathers still repair to the empty monuments of their high spirited and promising sons, who fell in the dastardly treachery of that surrender. Many officers of the first respectability, and young men of the best families and the highest promise, were massacred by the savages, after they had surrendered. The deportment of the British was little short of that of the savages, in regard to the prisoners in their possession. General Proctor, when charged with these enormities, did not attempt to deny them. He only affirmed, that no promise of protection had been given, and no obligation to control the savages incurred. These transactions are commonly known in the West by the name of the ‘massacre of the Raisin.’

Siege of Fort Meigs.

General Harrison, though his plans were wholly disconcerted by these disasters of general Winchester's troops, set himself immediately to organizing them anew. In this he was strongly aided by the indefatigable Meigs, who promptly forwarded two regiments of Ohio militia, as reinforcements, and by the troops generally, who burned to avenge the loss of their brave brethren in arms. He again advanced to the Rapids, and built a fort, which has since been famous under the name of fort Meigs. He then set out on his return to Ohio, to consult with the governor, and to accelerate the march of the recruits. The fort was


besieged in his absence by the enemy. He was soon apprized of the circumstance, and returned. Great exertions were made, alike in the attack and the defence. The British and Indians manifested extreme rancor, and were unsparing in their labors and assaults. The roar of cannon and bombs discharged upon the fort was continual. The defence was gallant and determined, and a number of men were slain in it.

At length a despatch arrived, with forty-seven men, from general Clay's brigade, informing, that he was at hand, with 1,100 Kentuckians. The besiegers were attacked by him. Their batteries were carried, and their cannons spiked. In the ardor of pursuit, colonel Dudley was led into an ambuscade, and an attack commenced upon the brave, but indiscreet Kentuckians, which terminated in the death, or capture, of almost the whole detachment The barbarities of the river Raisin were here acted over again, though not to the same extent. The Indians massacred forty-five of the prisoners, and the gallant colonel Dudley among them. He is said to have killed one of the assailing Indians, after he was himself mortally wounded In the meantime, there was a sortie from the fort, which was intended to have been simultaneous with the assault of colonel Dudley. The troops, that composed it, experienced hard fighting. They were assailed by four times their number, and would have been cut off, had not lieutenant Gwynne, at the critical moment, come to their aid, and gallanty charged the Indians. On the 6th of the month, hostilities seemed suspended, as if by mutual consent Terms, in relation to the prisoners and wounded, were mutually settled between besiegers and besieged. — On the 9th, the enemy abandoned his works, and the siege, which had lasted thirteen days, and in which he had exhausted his efforts, was raised.


Proctor had vaunted to his Indian allies, that he would capture the garrison, and deliver it over to them, no doubt, to share the fate of those, who had before fallen into their hands. In the course of the siege, 1,800 shells and balls had been fired upon the fort, and a continual discharge of small arms been kept up. The American loss in the siege and sortie was 270 killed and wounded. Kentucky here, as elsewhere, suffered most severely. The gallant, but indiscreet impetuosity of her sons led them to select the points of peril.

In the month of June, the Seneca Indians offered their services to general Harrison, and they were accepted. The incursions of the hostile savages upon our frontiers were frequent and bloody. Many of the inhabitants were killed, or made captives, and the remainder were of course in a state of continual alarm. In one of these assaults, colonel Ball, with a small detachment, was attacked from an ambush. There were about twenty in each party. In the hottest of the fight, colonel Ball, whose horse had been shot down, was engaged in personal contest with an Indian of great strength and prowess. He was relieved by an officer of his party, who shot the Indian. The savages then made a desperate onset with the usual yell, indicating that they would neither take, nor give quarter. The band of savages was destroyed to a man.

In his general orders after the raising the siege of fort Meigs, general Harrison spoke in the highest terms of the conduct of his men during the siege. To majors Todd, Ball, Lodwick, Ritzer and Johnson he made the public expression of his warmest satisfaction. In speaking of the Kentuckians, he said — ‘It rarely happened, that a general had to complain of the excessive ardor of his troops; but this seemed to be generally the case, when the Kentuckians were engaged; and that they appeared to think,


that valor alone could accomplish every thing.’ Of the conduct of the general himself, it appears to be generally conceded, that he merited entire praise. During the seventh day of the siege, of which we have just spoken, he received from general Proctor a summons to surrender the fort, making much parade of his own force, and avowing the usual desire to prevent the effusion of blood. The proper answer was returned, and the summons was not repeated.

Gallant Defence of Fort Stephenson.

After the raising the siege effort Meigs, general Harrison transferred his head quarters to Seneca town, on the Lower Sandusky. It was now generally supposed, that general Proctor would unite his forces with those of the main Canadian army, engaged in another quarter. General Harrison better understood his purposes. Fort Meigs had been placed in an excellent state of defence. Great exertions were made to fortify fort Stephenson, as it appears, against the counsels of general Harrison. During the month of July, the congregated tribes of savages under Tecumthe, who was reported to have received the rank and emoluments of brigadier general under general Proctor, together with a considerable force of regulars, proceeded on an expedition, the object of which was the capture of forts Meigs and Stephenson. Tecumthe was despatched with 2,000 warriors, to make a diversion favorable to the British, while they advanced to the attack of fort Stephenson. Proctor made a feint, meanwhile, to keep the attention of general Harrison occupied with fort Meigs. Proctor immediately appeared before fort Stephenson, with 700 Indians under Dixon, and 500 regulars. A number of gun boats had been brought round to bear upon the fort. Major Croghan was in it, with no more than 160 men. He had already disobeyed the orders of his commander in chief, in not destroying the works and


abandoning the place, as indefensible. It was immediately vested with a force of such immense superiority, as left him but a dark prospect, of being able to maintain a siege, and little hope of relief, but by the desperate expedient of cutting his way through the enemy. He chose to defend it. He hastily cut a deep ditch, and raised a stockade round it.

General Proctor attempted to gain the place by artifice. He sent a flag, accompanied with the noted renegado, colonel Elliott, well remembered for his conduct towards the Americans at the river Raisin. Parade, artifice and menace were alike unavailing, to procure the surrender. The steady answer of major Croghan was, ‘that he should never surrender the place, as long as there were any men in it, to defend it.’ General Proctor then opened batteries upon his works, and commenced a furious cannonade. This was continued a long time without much effect. Colonel Short, of the besiegers, then led up a force of 350 regulars, in close column, to storm the fort. The fire, which the besieged opened upon them, threw them into confusion, and induced a hasty retreat. Colonel Short rallied them, and they advanced so far the second time, as to gain the ditch. They leapt into it, and filled it. A concealed six pounder had been so placed, as to rake the ditch in a line. It was charged with slugs, and discharged upon them. The front of this column was only thirty yards from the piece. Colonel Shorthand almost every man in the ditch, was killed A volley of musquetry at the same time was fired with fatal execution, upon those, who were standing on the outer edge of the ditch. The officer, who succeeded colonel Short, rallied the broken column, and led it again into the ditch. A second discharge of the fatal six pounder was made with the same effect as the first; and the volley of musquetry, that followed, completed the confusion. A


retreat ensued, and an army retired from a garrison that contained not a tenth part of their numbers, and which a the commencement of the siege, had taken counsel only from their despair. No inconsiderable quantity of baggage and arms was left by the besiegers; and their loss was reported to have been not less than 150 men. That of the garrison was only one killed and seven wounded Major Croghan gained, and received imperishable honors Captain Hunter, lieutenants Johnson, Bayle, Meeks, and ensigns Shipp and Duncan, acquired great and deserved praise.

Commodore Perry's Victory.

The brilliant and complete victory of lake Erie, by the fleet under the gallant Perry, followed. The result of this splendid action placed the whole lake under the American control. Then first the masts of a captured British fleet were seen among the trees on the shores of Ohio. These foresters of the shores of Erie gazed on the impressive array of ships, which is usually seen only on the ocean. Six hundred British prisoners were conducted to Chillicothe. The flush of success and the animation of hope were infused into the country. Governor Meigs made an appeal to the militia of Ohio for volunteers, and 15,000 were soon under arms. Their original object was the relief of fort Stephenson; but they now entertained other hopes. The governor of Kentucky, colonel Isaac Shelby, arrived with 4,000 mounted volunteers. The greater part of the garrison of fort Meigs, under general M'Arthur, joined him. General Harrison immediately determined upon invading the enemy's shores. The troops were received on board the victorious fleet of commodore Perry, increased by the captured ships of the enemy. From sixteen vessels of war and 100 boats, they were landed in perfect order, a league below Maiden. It must have been


a voyage, as novel and impressive, as it was cheering to these sons of the West.

General Proctor immediately abandoned Maiden; and having first set fire to the fort, and destroyed the public property, he retreated with his Indians towards the Thames. The American army entered Amherstburg, amidst the smoke of the conflagration of the public works. The women of the place came out in a body, and begged that protection, which Americans could never refuse. The place was, indeed, in many respects obnoxious to every feeling of retaliation and vengeance. Here the savages had been fostered. Here they had held their horrid orgies of exultation, on their return from successful expeditions. Hence, loaded with presents and munitions of war, they had marched to plunder, massacre and destroy. Scarcely a volunteer, who entered this odious place, but had suffered in his person, property, relations, or friends, by the outrages and massacres, which had been spirited, and instigated from this place. But it was determined, that the British and Indians should see the difference between the Amrican troops, and those, who had enacted the bloody tragedy of the river Raisin. Even the house of the renegado, colonel, colonel Elliott, was spared.

Proctor's Defeat.

General Proctor and his army made all speed to Sandwich. They were followed by the American army by land, and the fleet through the river Detroit. General Harrison directed general M'Arthur to remain, with most of the regular troops, to occupy Detroit, and to watch the motions of the celebrated chief, Split-log, who had retired witha body of savages to the woods, near the Huron of lake St. Clair. He continued the pursuit of Proctor up the Thames. He was joined by the regiment of dragoons, and the whole of governor Shelby's volunteers. General Cass


and commodore Perry acted as his aids. The fortunate capture of a British lieutenant of dragoons and eleven privates, who had been left to destroy the bridges, enabled him to save a bridge, and to learn, that the enemy had no certain advices of his destination up the Thames. During this rapid pursuit, the American army captured a quantity of clothing, 2,000 stands of, arms, and a number of cannon. They easily dispersed the Indians from their path. In a skirmish, the rear of the enemy suffered a considerable loss. Two gun boats, and several barges loaded with provisions, were taken.

On the 5th of the month, the pursuit was eagerly renewed, and intelligence was brought, that the enemy was waiting for them, in order of battle, at lour miles' distance. Their position was well chosen. On one side was a swamp, and on the other a river. Between the swamp and the river was a level plain, the approach to which was defended by a thick wood. The British were posted in a line across this plain. Their left rested upon the river, and was supported by most of their artillery. Their centre was protected by two heavy pieces of cannon. Their force numbered about 1,200 Indians, and 600 regulars. The arrangements of general Harrison for the several corps of his army were formed with great judgment. They were entrusted to lieutenant colonel James Johnson, colonel Paul, and colonel R. M. Johnson, major Thompson, and captain Stricker. A division was commanded by general Desha. The American troops moved to the attack, and received the fire of the British. In a moment, the line of the enemy was broken by 1,000 horsemen, who dashed through the centre, and either cut, or trampled down, all that opposed them. The shock was irresistible. There was an immediate surrender of 472 men, with their officers.


General Proctor was aware of his deserts, and escaped with all possible speed.

The Indians contested the battle with much more pertinacity, than their British allies. Tecumthe put forth all his courage and powers in this battle. He awaited the shock of the American cavalry, and dealt it a prodigious fire, as it advanced. The first effort, although a desperate one, to break the Indian line, failed. Colonel Johnson then ordered his men to dismount, and fight the Indians after their own fashion. The fight was fierce and obstinate. Part of the American line faltered; but at the critical moment, colonel Shelby came up with a reinforcement, and turned the scale. A personal contest ensued between colonel Johnson and Tecumthe. The former had been wounded five times, was covered with blood, and was smarting with the agony of his wounds. He had been mounted on a beautiful white charger, through the action, which rendered him a conspicuous mark for the direction of the savage shots. He had received a shower of bullets, which pierced every part of his dress and accoutrements. His horse was wounded, and in staggering back, exposed him to the tomahawk of his savage antagonist. It missed him. He drew his pistol, shot his enemy in the head, and they both fell together. Major Thompson, on whom the command devolved, after the fall of colonel Johnson, continued to direct the fight. It was long and obstinate. The savages finally fled, and numbers of them were cut down by the cavalry in their flight.

Among the singular trophies of this victory were several pieces of brass cannon, which had been taken from Burgoyne at Saratoga, surrendered by general Hull with Detroit, and now returned again to the Americans. The victory was complete, and the result was all that could be expected, or desired from it. Michigan was recovered.


The British force in Upper Canada was broken down. The savages, that had depended upon the British there, were intimidated, and their connexion with them broken up, and destroyed. The prophet, a most powerful and inveterate enemy of the United States, Tecumthe, the remorseless and intrepid leader, whose steady hostility had wrought so much mischief to us, — these chiefs no longer in being, to lead them to battle, the confidence of the Indians sunk at once, and most of them made terms with the conquering general. The general result to the West was, that the frontier people were relieved from their well founded apprehensions. They no longer mistook by night the howl of the wild beasts for the war-whoop of the savages. They returned in peace to their habitations, their confidence and accustomed pursuits.

While these events were occurring on the northern frontier, the Indians of the west and of the upper Mississippi were not idle. There can seldom be a movement of the savages in one quarter, without exciting a simultaneous movement of them in another quarter. The incursions of the northern and western Indians were so severe upon frontiers of Illinois and Missouri, that many of the incipient settlements in both those territories were broken up. The Indians often extended their ravages to the central villages of those regions. A band of Sacs, Foxes and Pottawattomies ranged through Missouri, and committed a great number of the most atrocious murders. In some instances, whole families were destroyed, and their accustomed fury was let loose upon women and children. A considerable force of mounted rangers was raised in two territories. They were active and vigilant, in scouring the frontiers, and in repressing the savage incursions.

Battle of Talladega.

Meanwhile, the war with the Creeks still raged in the south. After the battle of Tallushatchee, general Jackson


was still waiting in the Indian country for the junction of the troops from East Tennessee. Intelligence was despatched to him, that the hostile Indians had arrived before Talladega, a fort, or town of friendly Indians. These Indians had incurred their peril, by their fidelity to the United States. Honor and policy alike forbade, that they should be sacrificed. General Jackson, although painfully disappointed in his expectations of the junction of forces from East Tennessee, marched directly to the aid of the friendly Indians. The force of the Americans was not far from 1,800.

On the 8th of December, 1813, at one in the morning, the army began crossing the river, behind which the Indians were posted. It was here 600 yards wide, and of course to cross it was a work of difficulty, as well as time. The next day, at four in the morning, the army was again in motion. The infantry proceeded in three columns; the cavalry in the same order. The advance, consisting of a company of artillerists, with musquets, two companies of riflemen, and one of spies, marched about 400 yards in front, under the command of colonel Carroll, with orders, after commencing the action, to fall back on the centre, and draw the enemy after them. Lieutenant colonel Dyer was placed in the centre with 250 cavalry, as a corps of reserve. The remainder of the mounted troops were directed to advance on the right and left, after encircling the enemy, by uniting the fronts of their columns, and keeping their rear rested on the infantry, to face and press towards the centre, so as to leave the savages no possibility of escape. The remainder of the army advanced by heads companies, general Hall's brigade occupying the right, and general Roberts' the left.

At eight in the morning, the advance, within eighty yards of the enemy, received a severe fire from them, concealed as they were, behind a thick shrubbery. They


returned it, and according to their instructions, fell back upon the centre. The enemy, with their customary yells and whoops, rushed upon general Roberts' brigade a few companies of which recoiled in alarm, and fled at the first fire. To fill the chasm created by this desertion, the commanding general directed a volunteer regiment Bradley, which appeared to linger, to advance, and occupy the vacant space. This order was not executed by Bradley. Owing to this failure, it became necessary to dismount the reserve, which met the rapid approach of the enemy with great firmness. This example inspirited the retreating militia, who rallied, and assisted in checking the advance of the savages. On the left, they were met and repulsed by the mounted riflemen. But, owing to the dilatory movements of the volunteer regiment, and the too extensive circuit made by colonel Allcorn, who commanded the cavalry of that wing, the intended circle was not so closed but that a number of the enemy escaped in the interval.

The savages fought with determined spirit for some time, and then retreated for the adjacent hills. Many of them fell in this retreat, and the slaughter did not cease, until they were sheltered among the hills, at the distance of three miles. General Jackson, in his report, bestowed the highest commendations on the officers and soldiers generally. He mentioned colonel Carroll and lieutenant colonel Dyer in terms of high praise, for the spirited gallantry, with which they met and repulsed the enemy; — stating, that both officers and privates had answered his highest expectations, and merited the gratitude of their country.

The enemy brought 1,080 to this battle, of whom 293 were killed on the field. It is supposed, that many were killed in the flight. Few escaped unwounded. Their whole loss, as since stated by themselves, was about 600.


American force lost fifteen killed and eighty wounded, of whom many afterwards died.

A scene ensued this victory, that would be difficult to describe. The friendly Indians had been besieged closely several days. They were a handful, surrounded by infuriated enemies. Torture and the most horrible death were in reserve for them, as the certain consequence of surrender. In their siege, they endured every privation, particularly the dreadful one of water. They were relieved on the very day, when an assault was to have been made upon them, which would, almost inevitably, have resulted in the destruction of every one of them. Their deliverance was one of the few occasions, that melts even the savage heart to tenderness and joy. The manifestations were affecting. Famished, as they had been, they sold their provisions for the supply of the famished troops of general Jackson.

Imagination can scarcely conjure up more difficulties, than those, which the general had to encounter in this campaign. General Cocke, who commanded the troops from East Tennessee was, like general Jackson, a major general, having apparently a separate and independent command, and charged with precisely the same objects; to avenge the injuries of the country, and punish the savage foe. He seems to have been equally hearty in the cause. His reasons for attempting a separate campaign were, that on joining his troops to those of general Jackson, adding the number of so many mouths to be filled, would cause the famine, that already prevailed in his camp, to press still more heavily on the troops of both generals; and that in an united command the former would gain all the laurels.

Looking in vain for aid from that quarter, suffering personally from famine at his own table, and still more from


witnessing the privations of the camp, and the mutinous and complaining spirit of insubordination, so natural to men situated as were the troops from Tennessee, the general was obliged to turn his back upon all the advantages already gained, and to retreat under the aspect of defeat, rather than of victory.

All these difficulties were increased by the arts of some officers among his troops, who, believing that the campaign was about to break up, wished to be the first to return home, and render themselves popular by being the heralds of their own exploits, and by taking part in the complaints of the soldiers. The officers and soldiers of the militia, collecting in their tents, and talking over their grievances, finally determined to abandon the camp, and return home. The general had immediate warning of their purpose, and was determined at every hazard to prevent it. At the moment, when they had determined to carry their intentions into effect, they beheld the volunteers, with the general at their head, in front of them, with positive commands to prevent their advancing, and to compel them to return to their camp. This decision and energy overawed them, and they returned to their camp, not only without murmuring, but extolling the unalterable firmness of their general

The next day presented a different spectacle. The volunteers, who had been the day before the instruments of compelling the militia to return to their duty, participating with them in the same discontents, and secretly wishing well to the cause, began in turn to mutiny themselves. — Knowing the disaffection of the militia, they deemed, that when their discontents were manifest, there would be no power in the hands of the general, to prevent their carrying their plans into effect. To their surprise, they found the militia disposed to return the good offices, which they


had received; and When they had made all their arrangements to move off, they found the militia between them and their purpose, manifesting a fixed determination to obey the orders of their general. They fell in with the example, which had been placed before them the day before, and moved back in quietness to their quarters.

Part of these amusing results may be ascribed to pique, and the gratification, which the parties alternately felt, in being able to thwart the views of those, who had so lately crossed their own. Added to this, they were conscious, that they had complained beyond their causes for complaint. They were anxious, from a great and mixed variety of motives, to return to their homes. But the militia appear to have stopped short in their mutinous spirit sooner, than the volunteers. To the latter there seemed no alternative between carrying their point and dishonor. They were anxious that their cause should prosper, that it might seem to be founded in justice. The wishes of the cavalry to return had such a just foundation, from the impossibility of procuring forage, that on a solemn pledge by their platoon and field officers, that they would return, as soon as their horses were recruited, and themselves furnished with winter clothing, general Jackson granted their request, and they immediately set out on their return.

The discontent was smothered for the moment, but it was not quenched; and the general was aware, that on a favorable occasion, it would be sure to burst forth again.

His prospects of supply were brightened by letters, just received from the contractors, that provisions for the army were then on the road, and would shortly arrive in the camp. Under these circumstances he assembled his troops, and addressed them in the most energetic and animating terms, imploring them by every consideration, to


follow up the blow, they had struck; promising them that if supplies did not arrive in two days, he would himself march back with them; requesting them to reflect seriously upon the subject during the following night, and let him know the result of their intentions on the succeeding morning. On retiring to their tents, and deliberating on the measures proper to be adopted on this emergency, the officers of the volunteers concluded, that nothing short of marching the army immediately back to the settlements could prevent the disgrace, which must attend a forcible desertion of the camp by the soldiers. The officers of the militia determined differently, and were willing to remain, until it could be ascertained whether a supply of provisions could be had. ‘If it can’ said they, ‘let us proceed with the Campaign. If not, let us be marched back, where it can be procured.’ The general, who greatly preferred the latter opinion, was nevertheless disposed to gratify those, who appeared unwilling to submit to further hardships, and he ordered general Hall to march his brigade to fort Deposit, where a supply of provisions was collected, and after satisfying their own wants, to return, as an escort to the provisions. The second regiment, however, unwilling to be outdone by the militia, consented to remain, and the first proceeded alone. On this occasion, the general could not forbear to remark, ‘that men, for whom he had cherished so warm an affection, and for whom at all times he would have been willing to make any sacrifice, desiring to abandon him at a moment, when their presence was so particularly necessary, filled him with emotions, which language was too feeble to express.’

The two days had elapsed, since the departure of the volunteers, and no supplies had arrived. The militia demanded, that the pledge, which had been given them, that they should be marched back, should be redeemed. The


pledge had been given under the confident expectation, that the provisions would arrive within the two days. — Nothing now remained, however, but to redeem the pledge. It was a moment of deep dejection to the general. All the objects, on which his heart had been so earnestly fixed, were apparently about to escape him, if his men should abandon him, and he be compelled to relinquish his conquests to the possession of the enemy. While indulging these gloomy meditations, he exclaimed earnestly, and aloud, ‘If only two men will remain with me, I will never abandon this post.’ Captain Gordon, of the spies, facetiously replied, ‘You have one, general. Let us see, if we can not find another;’ and immediately, with a zeal suited to the occasion, he undertook with some of the general staff to raise volunteers, and in a little while succeeded in procuring 109, who pledged themselves to remain, and protect the post. The general, delighted with the idea, that he should not be compelled to abandon his position, marched towards fort Deposit with the remainder of the army, with the distinct understanding, that on meeting supplies, they were to return and prosecute the campaign. They had not marched more than twelve miles, when they met 150 beeves. A sight, which gave the general so much delight, was to the discontented equally unwelcome. Their faces were towards home, and the prospect of returning back to the war was hateful. As soon as their devouring appetites were appeased, they were ordered to return to their encampment. Low murmurings ran along the lines, and presently broke out into open mutiny. One company was already moving off in a direction towards home. As soon as the general was informed of this, he pursued them with a part of his staff, and a few soldiers with general Coffee, who had halted a quarter of a mile in advance. He ordered them immediately to form across the road, and to


fire on the mutineers, if they attempted to proceed. Snatching up their arms, these faithful adherents presented front, which awed the deserters, and caused them to retreat precipitately on the main body. But the example of mutiny was contagious. He soon ascertained, that a whole brigade was in the attitude of marching back by force. In this crisis, having taken his ground, he determined to triumph, or perish. Seizing a musquet, and resting it on the neck of his horse, for he was disabled by a wound from the use of his left arm, he threw himself in front of the mutinous column, and declared, that he would shoot the first man, who should venture to advance. In this situation he was found by major Reid and general Coffee, who judging from the length of his absence, that some disturbance had arisen, hastened to his side, and waited the result of his perilous determination, in the anxious suspense of expectation. For many minutes the column preserved a sullen, yet hesitating attitude, at once fearing to proceed, and reluctant to retreat. In the meantime, those, who remained faithful to their duty, amounting to about two companies, were collected and formed in rear of the general, and in advance of the troops with positive orders, to imitate his example in firing, if they attempted to advance. The timidity, resulting from the consciousness of a bad cause, prevailed. They returned quietly to their posts. — This firmness at this critical moment undoubtedly saved the campaign, and perhaps determined the issue of the war. There are but few men, who could have adopted such a course with safety.

Shortly after the battle of Talladega, the Hillabee tribes, who had suffered most severely on that occasion, sued for peace. General Jackson sternly demanded the proper reparation and submission, assuring them, that fort Mimms should long be remembered by them in bitterness and


tears, but informing them, that on manifestation of sincerity in their desires for peace, he was not disposed to make war on those, who were willing to become our friends.

But before this answer arrived among them, general White had attacked, and destroyed their town, killing 60, and making 256 prisoners. This unfortunate circumstance contributed to the desperation, with which the Creeks afterwards fought. They had asked for peace on the general's own terms. Finding themselves attacked under such circumstances, it produced among them the false conviction, that no submission would avail them, and they considered it, as a war of extermination. There is no instance afterwards of their asking for quarter, or manifesting a disposition to receive it.

We have been thus particular in giving the details of the first difficulties and mutinies, which general Jackson had to encounter, at the commencement of the Creek war, as they serve as accurate samples of all his subsequent difficulties, in bringing this war to a successful termination.

They remind us of the trials, which Washington had to endure, in prosecuting the war of the revolution. His soldiers were little accustomed to any, even the most necessary control. They were full fed, and much accustomed to spend their time at their own discretion at home. Their enlistments were for periods too limited. The arrangements of the contractors for supplies were grossly mismanaged. Some of the officers were no better, than partizans. So formidable were the difficulties in the way of prosecuting the campaign, that even the governor advised its abandonment. The troops were not certain, whether they were to look to the general government, or that of their state for their pay; or whether they might not ultimately fail of being paid by either. On the 12th of December,


general Cocke arrived with 1,500 men; but it was found, that they were not brought into the field under the requisition of the president of the United States; that the term of service of a great part of them would expire in a few days, and of the whole in a few weeks. Mutiny succeeded to mutiny; and such was the general gloom of the prospect, that a man of any other temperament and character, than that of general Jackson, would have yielded to the advice of governor Blount, and wearied, and disgusted with quelling mutiny in one form to-day, only to see it renewed in another to-morrow, would have abandoned the enterprise forever.

Not so general Jackson. He harangued his troops. — He appealed to every motive, that can influence the human heart, — their honor, their patriotism, their avarice, and their fears in turn. The more obstacles and impediments arose before him, the more firmly he attached himself to the cause. In one instance he ordered the arrest of a mutinous officer, lieutenant Kearly, and demanded his sword. His reply was, ‘that he was a free man, not subject to the orders of general Jackson, or any other person;’ declaring at the same time, that his sword should protect him on his way to Tennessee. The guards, who were ordered to arrest him, cocked their guns. Lieutenant Kearly and his men did the same. The general hastened to the scene, and demanded Kearly's sword in person, which he persisted to refuse. The general snatched a pistol from his holster, and was levelling it at the breast of Kearly, when friends interposed, and he was induced to surrender his sword. During the crisis, both parties were prepared fire, and a scene of bloodshed was narrowly escaped. — Under these discouragements, and the departure of the troops from East Tennessee for their homes, and the scattering away of his forces, he was far from being induced


to despond, and he was determined to prosecute the campaign with the feeble force, still remaining with him.

On the 2d of January, 1814, colonel Carroll and Mr. Blackburn arrived at head quarters, reporting the approach of 850 volunteers. These men had scarcely arrived, and chosen colonels Perkins and Higgins to command them, when these officers refused to march their regiments to head quarters under command of general Coffee. There was no small difficulty in quelling this mutiny, and it was not until the 13th of the month, that these officers arrived at head quarters with their regiments. The whole effective force at this time consisted, according to the report, of only 900 men, and was in reality short of that number.

Battle of Emuckfaw.

On the 15th, the troops commenced their march, and moved to Wehogee creek, three miles from fort Strother. At Talladega he was joined by 200 friendly Indians, badly armed, and discouraged at the weakness of the united force. A thousand men under such circumstances were led into the heart of an enemy's country, with no possible hope of escape, but from victory. To march seemed now the only alternative, although it was a course so full of peril. To march was necessary, to afford a diversion favorable to general Floyd, who was advancing from Georgia with an army against the Creeks. Another reason rendered this course indispensable. The officer, commanding at fort Armstrong, had received intelligence, on which the utmost reliance was placed, that the warriors from fourteen or fifteen towns on the Tallapoosa were about to combine their forces, and attack that place. For the want of a sufficient garrison, it was in a defenceless condition. On reaching Talladega, the general received a letter from the commander at fort Armstrong, confirming the report, that this depot was about to be attacked. He


was also informed by an express from general Pinckney, that general Floyd was moving on the Creek country, and would shortly be at Tuckabatcha. The express desired him, for various reasons, to advance upon such of the Creek towns, as might be within striking distance from him.

Had he hesitated before, these advices would have decided him. It was understood, that the hostile force was collected in a bend of the Tallapoosa, near the mouth of a creek, called Emuckfaw. On that point he marched by the shortest route. As he advanced, he became more and more sensible of the ignorance of his guides, and the inexperience and insubordination both of his officers and troops. But they were in high spirits, and anxious to meet the enemy. On the 21st, the general encamped his small force on the eminences, that overlooked Emuckfaw, and made every preparation against an attack. At midnight, spies reported, that they had discovered a large encampment of Indians at three miles distance, yelling, and dancing in a manner, to indicate, that they were apprized of his arrival. At dawn of the next morning, the alarm guns of the sentinels, succeeded by shrieks and savage yells, announced the attack of the enemy. Their first assault was on the left flank, commanded by colonel Higgins. It was met, and opposed with great firmness. General Coffee and colonels Carroll and Sitler instantly repaired to the point of attack, and by example and exhortation encouraged the men to their duty. The action raged for half an hour. The brunt of it being against the left wing, it had become considerably weakened. The first part of the action had taken place, during the dimness twilight. The clear light of the morning, showing position of the enemy, and captain Ferril's company having reinforced the left wing, general Coffee directed a


charge and a rout immediately ensued. The enemy were pursued two miles.

The general immediately detached general Coffee, with the friendly Indians and 400 men, to storm the enemy's encampment, unless it should be found too strongly fortified, in which case he proposed to bring up the artillery. Coffee, having reconnoitered the position, and found it too strongly fortified to be assailed with his force, returned to camp. He had not returned more than half an hour, when a fire was opened on the piquets on the right, accompanied with the usual savage yells. General Coffee volunteered his services to move upon the left flank of the assailants. His detachment was taken from different corps. He placed himself at their head, and moved rapidly upon the foe. While he was thus occupied, the rear of his force had an opportunity to slip away unperceived, until the whole number did not exceed fifty men. He found the enemy occupying a ridge of open pine timber, covered with low underbrush, which afforded them every opportunity for concealment. To drive them from their lurking places, general Coffee ordered his men to dismount, and charge them. In carrying this order into execution, the general was wounded through the body, and his aid, major Donelson, killed.

This was followed by a violent onset on the line of the left. General Jackson repaired in person to the point of attack. The battle was maintained by the assailants, by quick and irregular firing from behind logs, trees, shrubbery, and whatever could afford concealment. Behind these they prostrated themselves, after firing, to reload, and rise, and fire again. After sustaining this fire for some time, a brilliant and steady charge, under colonel Carroll, broke their array, threw them into confusion, and caused


them to fly. Their loss, though it was certainly considerable was not exactly known.

On the right general Coffee had not been able to drive them from their fastnesses to his wish; and with a view to draw them from their retreat, he affected to retire towards the place, where he had first dismounted. This stratagem had the desired effect. They forsook their hiding places and advanced rapidly upon him. The fight was renewed again on equal terms. A severe contest ensued, which lasted almost an hour, with nearly the same loss on each side. At this crisis, when several of the detachment had been killed, many wounded, and the whole was exhausted with fatigue, a timely reinforcement from general Jackson made its appearance on the enemy's left flank, and put an end, to the contest. General Coffee, although severely wounded, instantly ordered a charge, from which the enemy fled hi consternation and were pursued with great slaughter. At this place few, if any, escaped. It was a day of almost continual hard fighting.

The night, that drew on after such a day, amid the gloom of a forest, would naturally be dispiriting to troops, most of whom had never before seen an enemy, or formed a distinct idea of the horrors of a battle. The spirits of the men were observed visibly to flag, as the darkness increased. During the night, at every the least noise, the sentinels would fire their alarm guns, and retreat upon the main body. General Jackson, having accomplished the main objects of the expedition — a diversion in favor of general Floyd, and the relief of fort Armstrong, began to think of returning to his former station at the Ten Islands The impossibility of subsistence for men and horses, where they were, rendered this measure indispensable. The appearance of a retreat, too, would probably draw the savages from their strong holds, where they could no


attacked, with his present force, with any prospect of success. Every arrangement for the comfort and conveyance of his wounded being made, he began his retreat, at ten the next morning. He marched without interruption, until nearly night, and encamped on the south side of Enotichopco creek.

The next day, various circumstances instructed the general, that he was pursued. The delay of an attack led him to fear, that he was marching into an ambuscade. The necessary crossing of a deep ravine between two hills, sheltered with thick shrubbery and brown sedge, affording a most favorable concealment for savage attack, exposed him to an ambuscade. A few pioneers were despatched to find another crossing place. At this place the front guards and part of the columns had passed, and the artillery was crossing. The company of captain Russell, who marched in the rear, was suddenly attacked by greatly superior numbers. The general had made all possible arrangements for the emergency of an attack in this place, and calculated on a certain victory. Great was his astonishment, when he beheld the right and left columns of the rear guard, after a feeble resistance, giving way, carrying confusion and dismay with them, and obstructing the passage, over which the principal strength of the army was to be recrossed. This timid deportment was well nigh being followed with the most fatal consequences, which were only prevented by the determined bravery of a few men. Nearly the whole of the centre column had followed the example of the other two. Not more than twenty men remained, to oppose the torrent of assault. The artillery company, commanded by lieutenant Armstrong, and composed of young men of the first families, who had volunteed their services at the commencement of the campaign formed with their musquets before their piece of


ordnance, and hastily dragged it from the creek to an eminence, whence they could discharge it on the enemy to advantage. This piece they defended with the most desperate bravery against an enemy five times their number and checked the advance of a foe, already animated from beholding the consternation, which his first shock had produced. The brave Armstrong fell beside his piece, exclaiming as he fell, ‘Some of you must perish; but do not abandon the gun.’ By his side fell, mortally wounded, his associate and friend, Bird Evans, and the gallant captain Hamilton. In the meantime, general Jackson and his staff, by the greatest exertions, were enabled to restore something like order. The enemy, perceiving a strong force advancing upon them, and being warmly assailed on their left flank by captain Gordon at the head of his spies, in their turn were stricken with alarm, and fled, throwing away whatever retarded their flight. They were pursued two miles; many were destroyed, and the remainder wholly dispersed.

The highest praise was due, and was given to general Coffee. In consequence of the wound he had received at Emuckfaw, he was carried only the day before on a litter. He was this day on horseback, and commanded with his usual calm and deliberate firmness. On this crisis all etiquette was thrown aside, and officers and men each fought in the place, where his services seemed to be necessary. The hospital surgeon, Dr. Shelby, rendered important services in the battle. Captain Gordon, by his opportune sally on the left flank of the savages, essentially contributed to restore the fight. The adjutant general, Sitler, displayed the greatest firmness. Of general Jackson, it is but justice to remark, that but for him, rout and ruin must have ensued. Firm, energetic and self-possessed he was alike the rallying point for the timid and the brave.


Amidst showers of balls, he calmly performed the duties of subordinate officers, rallying the wavering, arresting their flight, restoring order to his columns, and inspiriting them by his example. An army retreating in dismay was thus rescued from the inevitable destruction, that must have ensued from a rout. The American loss was twenty killed and seventy-five wounded, some of whom afterwards died. The loss of the enemy could not be accurately ascertained. Scattered on the heights and hollows, many of the wounded escaped, and many of the killed were not found. Their prisoners estimated their loss at considerable over 200, although they endeavored to conceal the extent of it among themselves, by representing, that many of the slain were gone on an expedition, that they might thus account for their absence.

The army returned without accident to fort Strother. Fort Armstrong was relieved, and such a diversion had been made in favor of general Floyd, from Georgia, that he had been enabled to gain a victory over the savages at Autossee, where, but for this movement, he would have been outnumbered by the enemy, and would, probably, have experienced a defeat. The army returned triumphant, and experience has proved how easily the ranks of a victorious army are filled.

This army, whose term of service had nearly expired, was discharged. The spirit of the people was roused, and a new army was speedily collected, with a longer period of enlistment. A renewal of the difficulties of supplies and of insubordination was experienced, though in a less degree, than at the commencement of the former campaign. These evils, in a greater or less degree, are inevitably incidental to the calling into service inexperienced militia, whose submission and duties are not settled by prescription, who are subjected to conflicting authorities,


the limits of which are not well defined, and who constantly experience in the camp the most earnest longings to return home.

The severe example of the execution of a mutinous private, John Woods, had a most salutary effect in checking the incipient spirit of mutiny, and probably prevented a second edition of the original difficulties from that quarter But there remained anxieties enough, to leave little repose or quietness to the general. The East Tennessee brigade, under the command of general Doherty, manifested, also, symptoms of disaffection, and was hardly restrained from returning immediately home. One hundred and eighty men deserted in a body. To put an end to this order of things, general Jackson issued an order to general Doherty, to arrest, and send to fort Strother under guard, any officer, of whatever rank he might be, who should be found in his camp, attempting to incite the soldiers to mutiny.

About this time, colonel Dyer was detached with 600 men to the head of the Black Warrior, to ascertain, if there were any Indians embodied in that quarter, and if there were, to disperse them, and prevent their coming on the rear of the army. This detachment marched eight days along the ridges of the Cahaba, and fell in with a trail of the enemy passing eastwardly; but being able to gain no certain information of them, they desisted from the pursuit, and returned to camp.

On the 14th of March, 1814, general Jackson had made such arrangements, and obtained such supplies, as enabled him to commence his march for the enemy. At the mouth of Cedar creek he established fort Williams. On the 24th, leaving a sufficient force for the protection of the fort, under brigadier general Johnston, he set out for the Tallapoosa, by the way of Emuckfaw. His whole effective force was something less than 3,000 men. At ten in the morning of


the 27th, after a march of fifty-two miles, he reached the village of Tohopeka. The enemy had collected here in considerable numbers, to give him battle. The warriors from Oakfusky, Hillabee, Eufalee and New Youcka, amounting to nearly 1,200, were at this place waiting his approach. They had selected an admirable place for defence. Situated in a bend of the river, which almost surrounded it, it was accessible only by a narrow neck of land. This they had used great exertions to render impregnable, by placing large timbers and trunks of trees horizontally on each other, leaving but a single place for entrance. From a double row of port holes, they were enabled to fire in perfect security behind it. General Coffee, with mounted infantry and friendly Indians, had been despatched early in the morning, to encircle the bend, and manoeuvre in such a way, as to divert the savages from the real point of attack. He was particularly directed to prevent their escape to the opposite shore in their canoes, with which, it was represented, the whole shore was lined. The general posted the rest of his army in front of the breastwork. He began to batter their breastworks with his cannon. Musquets and rifles were used, as the Indians occasionally showed themselves. The signals, which were to announce, that general Coffee had gained his destination, were given. The soldiers hailed it with acclamations, and advanced with the intrepidity of veterans. The 39th regiment, led on by their skilful commander, colonel Williams, and the brave, but ill-fated major Montgomery, and the militia, amidst a sheet of fire, that poured upon them, rushed forward to the rampart. Here an obstinate and destructive conflict ensued. In firing through the port holes on either side, many of the enemy's balls were welded between the musquets and bayonets of our soldiers At this moment, major Montgomery, leaping on the rampark,


called to his men to follow him. Scarcely had he spoken, when he was shot through the head, and fell. Our troops had now scaled the ramparts, and the savages fled before them, concealing themselves under the brush and timber, which abounded in the peninsula, whence they still continued a galling fire. Here they were charged, and dislodged. Their next alternative was their canoes; but they perceived, that a part of the army lined the opposite shore, and precluded escape on that quarter. They, that still survived the conflict, leaped down the banks, and took shelter behind the trees, which had been felled from their margin. A flag with an interpreter was here sent them, to propose a surrender. They fired upon the party, and wounded one of them. Ascertaining their desperation, orders were given to dislodge them. The brush and trees about them were set on fire by lighted torches, sent down among them, and the blaze drove them from their hiding places, and brought them to view. The slaughter continued, until night concealed the combatants from each other. A few of the misguided savages, who had avoided the havoc of the day, made their escape under the covert of the darkness. The friendly Indians contributed not a little to the completeness of this victory. Several of the Cherokees and Russell's spies in the heat of the action swam across the river, and fired the Indian town in the rear of the foe. Thus they found themselves assailed on every side, and vulnerable on a quarter, from which they had not expected an attack.

This battle gave a death blow to their hopes, nor did they afterwards venture to make any decided stand. Here they had strongly fortified themselves. Here their prophets had led them to believe, that they were secure of the aid of the ‘Great Spirit,’ and invincible. They had never met with so severe a loss, in any previous engagement.


Their best and their bravest warriors fell. Few escaped carnage. Many were thrown into the river, while the battle raged. Many were destroyed by Coffee's brigade in endeavoring to cross it; and 557 were found dead on the field. Among the slain were three of the prophets. These miserable impostors, with the fantastic and magic finery of ‘medicine men,’ danced, and howled, and prophesied, and kept up the delusive confidence of the savages to the last. Monohoe, one of the chief of them, fell with a cannon shot in the mouth, at the very moment, when uttering his incantations and urging them to stand to the fight. Four men only, and 300 women and children, were taken prisoners. The small number of men, who surrendered, give an impressive view of the desperation, with which they fought. The assault by the troops from East Tennessee upon the Hillabee clans, after they had sued for peace on our own terms, had caused them to relinquish all confidence in our humanity, and to trust to nothing, but bravery and despair. Our loss, including the friendly Indians, was 55 killed, and 146 wounded. — Among the former was major Montgomery, a brave and promising young officer of the 39th regiment, and lieutenants Moulton and Somerville, who fell early in the action.

The general sunk his dead in the river; for he had found by experience, that when they were buried, the savages raised the bodies, stripped, and scalped them, presenting the scalps among their own people, as trophies of victory, and thus tending to inspirit them with these horrid badges of triumph, to prolong the war. Having made the necessary arrangements for carrying off his wounded, he returned safely to fort Williams.

Affair of Hoithlewalle.

On the 2d day of April, the general issued a very spirited address, in the form of congratulation to his soldiers.


Understanding, that the enemy were embodied in considerable numbers at Hoithlewalee, a town not far from the Hickory Ground, he was desirous to recommence operations, as soon as possible. Too much weakened by sickness and the loss of the late battle, and some soldiers discharged, to open the campaign, as efficiently, as he could choose, with his own forces, he wished to form a junction with the army from Georgie. The North Carolina troops, under the command of general Graham, an experienced revolutionary officer, and those of Georgia, under colonel Milton, were announced to be somewhere not far south of Tallapoosa, and could not be very distant.

On the 7th, with all his disposable force, he commenced his march with the double view of effecting this union, and of attacking on his route the enemy's force collected at Hoithlewalee. Could the enemy at the point, they now occupied be brought to fight, and a decisive advantage obtained over them, they might be induced to submit to terms, and the war be ended. But if suffered to escape, they might again collect, and give battle at some fortunate moment, and protract the war. This could in no way be so effectually prevented, as for the Tennessee troops to advance upon them from the north, and the Carolinians and Georgians from the south, making such a disposition, as would prevent their escape by crossing the river, and passing off by the Escanabia to Pensacola.

It was some time, before he could procure confidential messengers, to convey the information of his intended movements to the southern army. He wrote by expresses, sent on two different routes, that on the 7th, he should march with eight days' provisions for Hoithlewalee, which he expected to attack on the 11th; and he urged the necessity of proper concert on their part, to meet this movement. High waters prevented his reaching his destination,


until the 13th, before which the enemy had been sufficiently apprized of his approach, to flee. The rear only of the retreating savages was overtaken and 25 of them made prisoners. The next day, part of the town of Hoithlewalee was destroyed by a detachment of the army; but the inhabitants and warriors had fled.

The next day, the long desired junction with the southern army was effected. The Tennessee army was in a state of famina. Colonel Milton, who commanded the southern troops, proposed to lend general Jackson a temporary supply, but felt himself under no obligation to furnish any. To this courteous proffer, the general answered by ordering him immediately to send him 5,000 rations, and to join him by ten the next day at Hoithlewalee. The junction was accordingly effected. The necessary steps were taken to bring down provisions from fort Decatur, and no further inconvenience was felt for want of supplies.

The principal chiefs of the Hickory Ground tribes, and the Creek chiefs generally, came in with protestations of friendship, and applied for peace. The answer was, that those of the war party, who wished to put an end to the contest, and become friendly, must manifest it, by retiring in the rear of the army, and settling themselves to the north of fort Williams. Fourteen chiefs were willing to furnish still further evidence of their desire for peace. — They assured the general, that their aged king, Tous-hat-chee, would have come with them in person, but was on his way with his followers, to settle north of fort Williams, according to the information, which he had received from the general by a flag.

It was expected, that the Indians would make a final stand at the Hickory Grounds, in the forks near where the Coosa and Tallapoosa unite. The army continued its march for this place, without hearing of any embodied


enemy. At the old Toulossee fort on the Coosa, not far from the confluence, and where the two rivers approach within 100 poles of each other, a fort was directed to be raised, to be named after the commanding general. Here the hostile chiefs arrived daily, with assurances of friendship and proffers of submission. They concurred to state, that those of the hostile chiefs, who were still opposed to peace, had fled to the gulf coast and Pensacola. To these applications an answer was returned similar to the former.

To test the sincerity of their professions, they were directed to bring the notorious chief, Weatherford, bound to the camp. He was one of the most influential chiefs of the nation, and had been the principal actor in the butchery at fort Mimms. Soon after, the general was surprised by a personal visit from that chief, who had come voluntarily, and without being known, had been admitted to the general's quarters. He entered with a calm front, and said, ‘that he had come to ask peace for himself and his people.’ The general expressed his astonishment, that he, whose conduct at fort Mimms had been so well known, and who must be conscious, that he deserved to die, should venture to appear in his presence. ‘I had directed,’ he continued, ‘that you should be brought to me confined. Had you appeared in this way, I should have known how to have treated you.’ Weatherford replied, ‘I am in your power. Do with me, as you please. I am a soldier, have done the white people all the harm, I could. I have fought them, and fought them bravely. If I had an army I would yet fight, and contend to the last. But I have none. My people are all gone. I can now do no more than weep over the misfortunes of my nation.’

This man had probably penetrated the character of general Jackson so far, as to be aware, that this was the


only mode of address, in which to please that intrepid soldier. Somewhat softened, the general informed him, how his nation could be saved, and peace restored to it; and that there was but that alternative; informing him, however, that if the alternative was not acceptable, no advantage should be taken of his voluntary surrender, and that he was at liberty to depart, and unite himself to the war party, when he pleased; but that, if taken, his life would pay the forfeit of his crimes. Otherwise, he was assured, if he chose to remain, that he should be protected.

Weatherford answered, ‘that he desired peace, that his nation might be relieved from their sufferings; that, independent of other sufferings, consequences of the war, their cattle were destroyed, and their women and children destitute of provisions. But,’ he continued, ‘I may well be addressed in such language now. There was a time, when I had a choice, and could have answered you. I have none now. Even hope has ended. Once I could animate my warriors to battle. But I can not animate the dead. My warriors can no longer hear my voice. Their bones are at Talladega, Tallashatchee, Emuckfaw and Tohopeka. I have surrendered myself deliberately. While there were chances of success, I never left my post, or supplicated peace. My people are now gone, and I ask peace for my nation and myself. On the miseries and misfortunes, brought upon my country, I look back with the deepest sorrow, and wish to avert still greater calamities. If I had been left to contend with the Georgia army, I would have raised my corn on one bank of the river, and fought them on the other. Your people have destroyed my nation. You are a brave man. I rely upon your generosity. You will exact no terms of a conquered people, but those, to which they are willing to accede. Whatever


they may be, it would now be madness and folly to oppose them. If they are opposed, you shall find me among the sternest enforcers of obedience. Those, who would hold out, can only be influenced by a mean spirit of revenge; and to this they must not, and shall not sacrifice the last remnant of their country. You have told us, where we may go, and be safe. This is a good talk, and my nation ought to listen to it, and they shall listen to it.’

Such was the oration of Weatherford. The earnestness and bold independence of his after conduct, left no doubt of the sincerity of his intentions.

The necessary blow had been struck, and the war in effect was closed. The spirits of the Creeks were broken down. All, who were disposed still to fight, had taken protection with the Spanish on the coast. Little remained for general Jackson to accomplish, but to give stability and perpetuity to the results already obtained. The Creek country was scoured by his troops, to find any gatherings of hostile Indians, or lurking adherents to them. Knowing the natural perfidy of these people, and that no guarantee for their future fidelity, but their fears, could be expected, he was stern, in adhering to the original purpose, to consider all the Indians, who did not remove to the north effort Williams, as enemies. By the establishment of fort Jackson, a line of posts was formed from Tennesse and Georgia to the Alabama. The required remove of the Indians interposed this line between them and their communications with the Spanish at Pensacola, and placed them properly within the control of the United States.

On the 20th, general Pinckney arrived in camp, and assumed the command of the army in person. The measures, that had been adopted by general Jackson, in regard to the future fidelity of the Indians, met his entire approbation. The Indians were retiring with their families,


where they were directed. Much of the property, plundered at fort Mimms, and along the frontier, was restored, and every thing indicated on their part sincere desires of peace. A sufficient force was retained for garrisoning the posts already occupied, and orders were issued, on the 21st, for the troops from Tennessee to be marched home, and discharged. It was a cheering reflection to them, that having seen, inflicted, and suffered so much misery, they were now retiring to their homes, carrying with them the sweetest consolation to the mind of a citizen soldier, that in the trying situations, in which they had been placed, they had acted with honor, had done their duty, and were returning to their retired and peaceful dwellings, covered with glory.

It is matter of regret, that even while these arrangements were making, the friendly Creeks were engaged in pursuing, and destroying their fugitive countrymen, with the most unrelenting rigor. To have been at fort Mimms, was a ground of accusation against a warrior, that at once placed him out of the pale of mercy. They viewed, or affected to view this unprovoked outrage with more vindictive feelings, than did even our own troops. A Creek party was on its way to our camp, for the purpose of making their submission. The friendly Creeks, understanding, that they had accompanied Weatherford in his attack upon fort Mimms, met them on their way, and put them all to death.

All necessary arrangements having been made for garrisoning the posts, and for the future security of the country and the proper reports made to general Pinckney, the commanding officer, after an impressive parting address to the troops, general Jackson despatched them to their homes. The freshness of the laurels, which he had gathered in this war, will never fade. He had every thing to


encounter, and he overcame every difficulty. He was the only one of the army, that never despaired of the cause Such was the promptitude and celerity of his movememts, that he was often upon the savages, before they had any intelligence of his approach. He was one of the few men who inspire universal confidence, and have the secret to command victory.

Humanity will naturally recoil from the contemplation of the misery and ruin, inflicted upon these deluded savages. We may surely take to ourselves the consolation, that our country had exhausted forbearance, before she inflicted vengeance. For more than twenty years the Creeks had been perpetrating cruelties and murders along our frontiers. Many a parent still lives, whose sad remembrance treasures a child, that had bled beneath their murderous hands. Cold Water, on Tennessee river, had long been a den, whence they issued to prowl, and murder. As early as 1787, general Robertson collected a force of volunteers, and destroyed this settlement. Those, who escaped from this place, retired upon the Black Warrior, harboring revenge, and seeking every favorable opportunity for murder, until the winter of 1813, when their towns on that river were assailed, and destroyed.

In the war, that ensued between our country and Great Britain, the prowess of that nation was prodigiously magnified in their eyes. Their prophets contributed to the illusion. They were led to think, that the ‘Great Spirit’ had taken cause with them, that they were allied with an invincible power, in the British, and that they should ultimately drive away the Americans from the country. The tomahawk and scalping knife were used with unrelenting and unsparing vengeance. A more horrid massacre, than that of fort Minims, never occurred in the annals of savage barbarity. The Indians were acquainted with the difficulties,


which general Jackson had to encounter, and drew encouragement from them. They soon found what kind of character, they had to deal with in him. Instead of confining his plans to the guarding our own frontiers, as under all his trials would have been as much, as another man would have contemplated, general Jackson with his troops burst into the centre of their country, and swept over it, as with a storm. One fatal battle after another convinced them, that their prophets were impostors, and that neither the British nor the ‘Great Spirit’ protected them from our just vengeance. Their courage was broken down, along with their power, and such results obtained, that we may confidently hope, they will never again, as a nation, raise the tomahawk against us, within the limits of our country.

On the 22d of May, 1814, general Jackson was appointed major general by the general government. He was also associated with the commissioners, for forming a treaty of peace and of limits with the Creek Indians. The usual rules of war, and even of justice, might have authorized the United States to have taken possession of their lands, as a conquered country. But such were not the intentions of the government. In settling the boundaries, and defining the extent of territory, to be secured to the Creeks, there was no inconsiderable difficulty. It was increased by the intrigues of the Cherokee nation, who seemed to expect, as the price of their friendship, during the war, a considerable portion of country, never before attached to their claim. The humane and generous policy of our government demanded of them only such a portion of their country, as should bar every avenue to foreign intrigue, and give additional strength to those sections of the Union, which, from, their limited extent of territory,


and consequently of population, were unable to afford supplies for the subsistence of an array, or to give a partial check to the inroads of an invading enemy. The lines defined by the treaty were so arranged, as fully to meet these objects. Sufficient territory was acquired on the south, to give security to the Mobile settlements, and western borders of Georgia, which had so often suffered from savage inroads; while there was effected at the same time the more important purpose of separating them from the Seminole tribes and the hostile savages of East Florida, The frontiers of Tennessee were secured by the cessions along Tennessee river, and the compact settlements, that would be formed there. The extent of the cession west of the Coosa would cut off all communication between them and the Chickasaws and Chactaws, and prevent the recurrence of the passage of emissaries from the north-western tribes, who had been in this war so industrious, in stirring up the hostility of the Creeks. To curtail their country, may wear the aspect of cruelty, and is also so regarded by them. But, that they can no longer subsist east of the Mississippi by hunting, is certain. The sooner their limited extent of territory compels them to forsake their vagrant habits and to become an agricultural people, the happier and the better for them. They have still lands beyond all their needs for the purposes of agriculture. It was, however, a hard struggle with the Creek warriors to give up their lands.

The demands of our government were distinctly and firmly stated by general Jackson. They were canvassed by the Creeks in council, and the nation decided against them. The Big Warrior, one of their leading orators, had been friendly to us during the war. He replied to general Jackson. The firm and dignified eloquence this untutored orator evinced much of that nerve and force


of expression, of which so much has been said, in describing savage declamation. It evidenced both art and order of arrangement, and concluded in the following terms. ‘I made this war, which has proved so fatal to my country, that the treaty, entered into a long time ago with father Washington, might not be broken. To his friendly arm I hold fast I will never break that chain of friendship, which we made together, and which bound us to stand to the United States. He was a father to the Muscogee people, — and not only to them, but to all the people beneath the sun. His talk I now hold in my hand. There sits the agent, he sent among us. Never has he broken the treaty. He has lived with us a long time. He has seen our children born, who now have children. By his direction cloth was woven, and clothes were made, and spread through our country. But the Red Sticks came, and destroyed all. We have none now. Our situation is hard, and you ought to consider it. I state, what all the nation knows. I will keep nothing secret. There is the Little Warrior, whom colonel Hawkins knows. — While we were giving satisfaction for the murders committed, he proved a mischief maker. He went to the British on the lakes, and brought a package to the frontiers, which increased the murders here.

I talk thus, knowing that father Washington advised us, never to interfere in wars. He told us, that those in peace were the happiest people. He told us, that if an enemy attacked him, he had warriors enough, and did not wish his red children to help him. If the British advise us to any thing, I will tell you, and not keep it from you. If they say we ought to fight, I will tell them, no!’

A principal pretext for avoiding compliance with our terms was the declaration, that the war party was not yet subdued, leaving the inference, that we were demanding


compensation, before the services, which it was to compensate, were rendered. The real object was to obtain delay. Shelocta was one of their chiefs, who, by his services and his character during the war, in which, from the beginning, he had taken part with us, had strongly ingratiated himself with general Jackson. He now addressed the general. He was averse to a cession of the extent, which the general demanded. He reminded him of the regard, which he had always shown to his white brethren; that to manifest his friendship, he had fought against his own people; that he was now willing to cede the lands on the Alabama, which would cut off their intercourse with the Spaniards, but was averse to ceding the country west of the Coosa. To soften the general to relax from this point, he appealed to his feelings, reminded him of the dangers they had passed together, and of his constant fidelity in all the trying scenes, which they had witnessed.

If any one could have softened the inflexible purpose of general Jackson, it would have been this man; for he vaunted no fidelity, or services, which he had not rendered. But the policy and justice, on which our demands were predicated, were too clearly defined, to be abandoned from any considerations of this sort. He replied, ‘What you desire to retain, is the country, through which the mischief makers from the lakes reached you. Through it leads the path, Tecumthe trod. That path must be stopped.

Those, who are disposed to give effect to the treaty, will sign it. They will be within our territory; will be protected, and fed; and no enemy shall molest them. — Those, who are opposed to it, shall have leave to retire to Pensacola. Here is the paper. Take it, and read it, and show the president, who are his friends. Consult, and


let me know this evening, who will sign it, and who will not. I do not wish, nor will I attempt to force any of you, Act, as you think proper.’

The Indians deliberated, and finally signed the treaty. The line of cession began, where the Cherokee boundary crossed the Coosa, to run down that river to the Big Falls, and thence eastwardly to Georgia. East and north of this line, the country remained to the Indians. The country left them, contained 150,000 square miles. The country, west and south of these limits, was ceded to the United States. It included a large and valuable body of lands, known in the West by the name of ‘Jackson's purchase.’ It immediately began to settle with great rapidity. But directly on the signing the treaty, the Chickasaws, Chactaws and Cherokees set up claims, each to their particular parts of the ceded lands. The government, in the indulgence of that spirit, which has always been magnanimous, and forbearing towards the Indians, though it considered the Creeks, on Indian maxims, to have the best claim, rather than leave ground for the shadow of a charge of injustice, purchased the title of these people, at the expense at least of 350,000 dollars.

General Jackson had now leisure, to extend his thoughts to Florida. His wish had always been, in closing the Creek war, to push through their country to the last den of retreat, and destroy the source of the evils there. He had found it sufficiently difficult, as we have seen, to manage the Creek war, without attempting to carry it further. It was clearly understood, that the Spanish governor of the Floridas had forfeited all claim to his professed neutral character, by the supplies of munitions and aid, so liberally furnished to the hostile Indians. On his way to Alabama, general Jackson received certain information, that about 300 British troops had landed, and were fortifying


themselves at the mouth of Apalachicola, and were endeavoring to excite the Indians to war. He immediately notified our government of the fact, and requested permission to make a descent upon Pensacola, and reduce it. No answer was received to this request, until after it was too late to act upon it, — that is to say, not until long after he had acted on his own responsibility in the case.

General Jackson next wrote to the Spanish governor. The tenor of his letter was stern, and decided, and the answer would uncloak the policy of the governor. The principal demand in the letter was, the giving up the hostile Indians in his country. The reply did not come speedily; and when it did come, it denied some of the charges, and palliated others, by bringing equal charges against our government, particularly that of having harbored malecontents and traitors from the Mexican provinces, and of giving an asylum in our harbors to pirates, that plundered Spanish commerce. To this the general answered by another letter, replying to the charges contained in his, and towards the close, instructing him, that he had been informed, that a British flag had been seen flying on one of his forts; and that he could not be surprised, if he, the general, should think fit to make him a visit also, and that he expected, that the governor would find a fort in his town for him and his Indians. It concluded in these words: ‘In future, I beg you to withhold your insulting calumnies against my government for one, more inclined to listen to slander, than I am; nor consider me any more, as a diplomatic character, unless so proclaimed to you from the mouths of my cannon.’

Meantime, captain Gordon, who had been charged with the mission to Pensacola, reported on his return, ‘that he saw from 150 to 200 British officers and soldiers, a park of artillery, and about 500 Indians, armed with new


musquets, and dressed in British uniforms, under drill at pensacola.’ The general again addressed our government with this information, and again urged his favorite scheme, the reduction of Pensacola. He remarked, that had he been permitted to do this, he would, before that dates have planted the American eagle there.

In order to have every thing ready for action as soon as this permission should be given, he ordered the friendly Indians to be marshalled and taken into the pay of the government. He addressed the governors of Tennessee, Louisiana and the Mississippi territory, informing them of the dangers, that menaced the country, and exhorting them to vigilance, energy and preparation.

The day after completing his business at fort Jackson, he departed for Mobile, to put the country in a state of defence. He despatched colonel Butler to Tennessee, to raise volunteers, and have them in readiness to march, whenever they should be required. Every day's intelligence confirmed the persuasion, that the British were about to make a descent somewhere on the gulf shore, most probably against New Orleans. He wrote to colonel Butler, to hasten to him with all the volunteers he could procure. He applied to general Coffee. An address was issued for volunteers. The appeal was not ineffectual, although the campaign was to be in a sickly climate and so remote from home. Two thousand fine soldiers, well armed and equipped, appeared at the place appointed, to follow the brave general Coffee, who had so often led his troops to honor and victory. Colonel Butler pushed forward with the militia under colonel Lowery, while captains Baker and Butler, with the regular troops lately enlisted, arrived at Mobile in fourteen days. By such exertions, all things were in readiness in a few days, and the troops set out for the point to which their country called them.


General Jackson had not as yet received permission from the government, to march against Pensacola; and the point against which he intended to act with this force, was a secret, as yet locked up in his own bosom. Events soon transpired, which left him in no doubt, respecting the course, which he ought to pursue. Colonel Nicholls, with a small squadron of British ships, arrived at Pensacola and took up his quarters with governor Manriquez. His proclamation to the southern and western people was a most extraordinary production. It addressed those people, as if they were bound with chains by their government and as if he had come to aid them to break those chains. He denounced us, as in alliance with the French emperor of whom he drew a very dark picture. He stated, that he was at the head of a force, amply sufficient to reinstate the people in the possession of those rights and liberties, of which they had been bereaved ‘by a contemptible foe.’ In security for all the assurances made, and pledges given, he tendered the ‘sacred honor of a British officer.’

Attack of Fort Bowyer.

He waited two weeks, to give time to this proclamation to take effect, when, aided by his Indian and Spanish allies, he set out to ascertain how far it had opened the hearts of the people towards him. His first visit was to fort Bowyer, commanding the entrance of Mobile bay and eighteen miles below the head of it. In an attack upon this fort, he lost an eye and one of his ships; and learned, that he had been addressing his eloquent periods to an incorrigible race, who could not be made to know their friends from their enemies.

Fort Bowyer had been abandoned, and when general Jackson arrived at Mobile, was in a poor state of defence He instantly perceived its importance, as commanding the ship passes into the bay, and immediately directed it to be placed in the best possible state of defence. Major Lawrence


had the honor to command this spot, to which his gallant defence has given such just celebrity. His whole force was but 130 men. But it was a Spartan band, which would allow no stain of disgrace to fix upon its flag, even if they were defeated.

On the 13th of September, the sentinels brought intelligence to the fort, that a considerable force, in marines, Indians and Spaniards, had landed near it. The same day, two brigs and sloops hove in sight, and anchored not far distant.

There was no fighting of importance, until the 15th. At half after four in the evening of that day, the Hermes, Charon, Sophia and Anaconda, vessels of war, mounting in all 90 guns, anchored at proper distances for firing upon the fort. Colonel Nicholls and captain Woodbine commenced a simultaneous attack by land, with a large howitzer at point blank distance. The latter were soon driven from their sand fortifications. But the action between the fort and the ships was continued and severe. The Hermes, shot through the cable, drifted into such a position, as to receive a raking fire. She ran on shore, was abandoned by her commander, was set on fire, and soon blew up. The Charon was so injured, as with difficulty to be got to sea.

While the battle raged, the flag of the British van-ship was carried away. It was supposed in the fort, that she had surrendered. Captain Lawrence, with the characteristic generosity of American officers, ordered the firing upon her to cease. A new flag was raised, and a broadside convinced the captain of his mistake. A few minutes after, the flag staff of the fort, also, was carried away. So far from imitating the generous forbearance, which they had witnessed, the British redoubled their fire upon the fort. Woodbine and Nicholls, perceiving the ‘star


spangled banner’ down, pushed their forces toward foe, that they deemed vanquished. A well directed fire taught them their error, and drove them back with a celerity, surpassing their advance.

The attack from sea was urged by 600 men, and 90 heavy guns. The attack from the rear was with a force of 400 Indians and other troops. Captain Lawrence had not more than a tenth part of the enemy's force, and of 20 badly mounted guns in the fort, but a few were capable of effecting any essential injury. Their gallant conduct, in the defence, gained them imperishable honors. The enemy retired with the loss of their best ship, and 230 men killed and wounded. That of the Americans did not exceed ten men.

Such preparations had been made for this attack, that scarcely a doubt had been entertained of its success. Incalculable advantages would have resulted to them from the capture of this fort. Mobile must have fallen of course. All intercourse with New Orleans from this section of the country would have been cut off. Having obtained their expected reinforcements, the British would have crossed the Mississippi, and have completely separated the lower from the upper states. It would have impressed the inhabitants with an idea of their prowess, commensurate with that, set forth in their proclamation. In proportion to their expectations from this assault was the humiliation and bitterness of their disappointment.

General Jackson had been instructed of the intended attack upon fort Bowyer. He despatched from Mobile a brig with 80 men, under the command of captain Laval to sail with reinforcements for the fort. Captain Laval found every path of access guarded in such a manner that he saw no hope of effecting his purpose, but by running his brig on shore, and marching to the relief of the


Hearing the explosion of the enemy's ship, Hermes, as she blew up, he concluded, that the fort was captured, and that all the men had perished in the explosion. He returned to Mobile with his vessel, and reported his impression. The general, too, had heard the explosion, but rightly judged, that been on the water, and not on the shore. It was no time for hesitancy. It was probable the whole, that the fort had fallen, and he determined at all hazards, that it should be retaken. Every thing was prepared for an expedition with that purpose, when a despatch from the gallant Lawrence announced, that the enemy was vanquished, and the fort safe.

The British retired to Pensacola, to refit, and prepare for a descent on some less guarded point. Every thing concurred to strengthen the original impression of the general, respecting the necessity of the capture of Pensacola. He now determined to undertake it on his own responsibility. The reasoning, that determined him, was generous. If the result were unfortunate, or the act disavowed by the government, the sacrifice and punishment of the individual, who planned and executed it, would be as much atonement and reparation for the outrage, as Spain could demand. He resolved, therefore, to reduce Pensacola and the Barrancas, and hold them, until Spain was able, and disposed to cause her neutrality to be respected. This measure he determined to execute, as soon as general Coffee should arrive with volunteers from Tennessee.

Those rumors, that ordinarily precede great events, began to announce, that a great British force, under lord Hill, would shortly sail against some point of the United States. Public opinion fixed upon New Orleans, as the point. It was the key to all the western country, and a place of immense importance, in every point of view. It seems to have been ridiculously, though confidently believed,


that the French inhabitants of Louisiana were generally adherents to the ancient regime, and would hail the English, as the restorers of the legitimate French monarchy. They calculated, too, on the numerous black population, as a source at once of weakness to the country, and an engine of terror, to be employed against the masters. Mercy entered little into the plans of the British campaigns in America, during the last war.

Capture of Pensacola.

General Coffee arrived with the expected reinforcements; and on the 2d of November, the line of march wag taken up for Pensacola. On the 6th, the American force consisting of about 3,000 men, arrived there. The British and Spanish had made every preparation for resistance. Batteries were erected in the principal streets, and British vessels were so moored in the bay, as to command the main entrance to the town.

It was determined, once more to request an explanation of the governor. Major Pierre, of the 44th regiment, was accordingly despatched with a flag, explaining the objects of the visit, and requiring, that the town and the principal forts should be given up to the United States, until Spain should be able to vindicate her neutral character. An explicit answer was required. On approaching fort St. Michael's, the flag was fired upon, and compelled to return. The Spanish flag waved over the fort when this outrage was committed. It was true, also, that the British flag had waved there, until the day before. — This outrage upon all the usages of civilized nations did not deter the general from making another attempt to negotiate with the governor, before proceeding to extremities. A Spanish corporal had been taken on the route the day before. He could send him with a letter to the governor, without any fear of outrage. By this message an answer was received from the governor, confirming


the previous opinion, entertained in the American camp, that the outrage in question was not chargeable on him, but on the English, — and he declared himself ready to receive whatever overtures the American general might make. The general hoped to obtain the surrender of Pensacola, in season to cut off the escape of the British ships from the harbor; and he despatched Major Pierre with his overtures at a late hour in the night. The amount of them was, that if the Spanish governor would surrender the town and fortresses, every thing should be receipted for, and become the subject of future arrangement between the two governments; and that persons, property, laws and religion should be respected. The general closed by admitting, that he could not answer for his soldiers, if the place should be taken by the fury of assault. He demanded an answer in an hour.

These propositions were rejected, and the army marched for the accomplishment of their object. To raise the impression, that the army intended to enter the town by the great road, 500 men were sent forward, to amuse, and deceive the enemy in that direction, while the strength of the army approached the town from a different and unexpected point. The stratagem succeeded. The British brought their guns to bear upon the detachment, approaching by the road, and had no intimation of the opposite movement, until our troops were descried on the east side of the town, and out of the reach of the annoyance of the flotilla. The troops pushed on, and were presently in the streets, and sheltered by the houses. The brave captain Laval, with two field pieces, led the advance. He fell at the head of his command, severely wounded, while charging a Spanish battery formed in the street. The several divisions and columns of the army moved rapidly upon the town. Captain Laval's force, although deprived of


their leader, took the battery at the point of the bayonet. The Spanish had been able to make but three fires, before they were obliged to abandon it. They still discharged volleys of musquetry from houses, and behind fences, until the regulars arrived, and drove them away. The governor, remembering the declaration of general Jackson that he could not answer for his troops, if the place was taken by assault, hastened, panic struck, with a flag to the commander. He was met by colonels Williamson and Smith at the head of dismounted troops. He entreated, that mercy might be extended to the city, and promised to consent to whatever might be demanded.

General Jackson hastened to the government house, and obtained a promise of an immediate surrender of the town, the arsenals and munitions of war. No time was lost, in procuring what was considered of vital importance, the surrender of the forts dependent upon the town. Barrancas, the most important, was fourteen miles west of Pensacola. The possession of that was deemed of the first importance. Some difficulty was made about the surrender of fort St. Michael; nor was it until a battery was raised against it, that the commandant, colonel Sotto, ordered its flag to be taken down. Previously to striking his colors, he asked permission to fire his guns. It was granted. They were loaded with grape, and discharged upon a party of American dragoons and friendly Indians. By the discharge, three horses were killed and two men wounded. Such base and cowardly conduct might have warranted a different treatment of the garrison from that, which they received.

Every thing was in readiness the next morning to march and take possession of Barrancas, according to the agreement of the governor. Our troops heard on the way a tremendous explosion. Information was soon received


that the fort was blown up, and that the British shipping had retired from the bay. These strong holds, which had so long given protection to the southern hostile savages, were thus reduced; and the savages and Spaniards received a salutary lesson of respect, in the assurance, that even here they could not find shelter from the justice of our government. This impression was heightened by the exemplary forbearance and good conduct of our troops. General Jackson having thus effectuated his first objects, and not having the means or the inclination to rebuild the demolished fortifications, concluded to retire to fort Montgomery.

Two days after entering Pensacola, he abandoned it. Previous to his departure, he wrote to governor Manriquez, that as the Spanish forts had been blown up by the British, contrary to his promise, the general was no longer able to protect the Spanish neutrality, as in possession of the forts he should have been. The letter concluded thus: ‘The enemy have retreated. The hostile Creeks have fled for safety to the forest. I now retire from your town, leaving you to re-occupy your forts, and protect the rights of your citizens.’

The whole conduct and deportment of the American troops, both as regards their gallantry and intrepidity in their advance against the formidable array in the town and in the harbor, and their forbearance and decorum towards the people, whose conduct had furnished but too strong a pretext for revenge, and the use of the rights of the sword, merit all praise. So exemplary was the behaviour of the officers and soldiers, as to extort praise even from the Spaniards, and draw from them the declaration, that our Indians behaved with more decency and propriety, than their friends, that had just left them. They had, in fact, but too much occasion to contrast our conduct with


that of the British, to whom they had rendered every service, and by espousing whose quarrel, they had brought themselves into difficulty. On their retreat from pensacola, the British carried off with them three or four hundred slaves, against all the claims and remonstrances of the owners. Our loss in the expedition was so trifling as scarcely to deserve record. None were killed. About 20 were wounded, among whom was captain Laval, whose wound was too severe, to allow of his being moved and who was recommended to the humanity of the governor, which he amply received; and lieutenant Flournoy, a promising young man, who lost his leg by a cannon shot.

The savages, who had taken shelter in Pensacola, finding themselves abandoned by their allies, sought safety on the Appalachicola. Many of them took shelter on board the British shipping. The general determined, that they should have no rest, nor respite from danger, as long as they preserved their hostile attitude. Understanding, that those, who had embarked on board the British ships, had been landed, so as to join with those, that had fled to Appalachicola, on the 16th he despatched major Blue, at the head of a thousand mounted men, to co-operate with general M'Intosh, of the Georgia militia, in assailing and dispersing these savages, before they could attack our frontiers.

The most important object with general Jackson now was to depart for New Orleans. General Coffee, and colonels Hayne and Hinds were despatched to the Mississippi, to arrange at different points the defence of the country. General Winchester remaining on the Alabama, to take command in his absence of the Mobile district general Jackson left Mobile, on the 22d day of November, and established his head quarters at New Orleans, the 1st day of December.


A scene entirely new now opened before general Jackson. He was extremely worn by exhaustion and difficulties of every sort. His health had long been feeble and declining. Washington had been captured, and he was sufficiently instructed by what had happened there, what Louisiana might expect from the capture of New Orleans. It was now with a numerous and well appointed foe, with ‘Wellington's invincibles,’ that he expected to have to deal. Louisiana, however patriotic in general, was ill supplied with arms; and was settled with a mixed population, speaking different languages, and scarcely yet amalgamated with the people, to whom they were politically bound. His only reliance for defence was on such troops, as this state could raise, the few regulars, which he had with him, and general Coffee's volunteers. His principal fear was, that Mobile might fall, and the enemy advance across the country, upon the left bank of the Mississippi, and all communication with the western country be cut off. No troops or munitions had yet descended from Kentucky or Tennessee. His own apprehensions must have been gloomy; nor was it a pleasant necessity to be obliged to lock up all fears and forebodings in his bosom, and to wear meanwhile a countenance of confidence and hope.

While at Mobile, he had still kept up a correspondence with the governor of Louisiana, urging him to abandon every thing like a temporizing policy, and pursue a steady and unwavering course. The requisition of men in that state had been badly filled, and many, after being drafted, had refused to enter the ranks. The numerous English, Spanish and foreigners in the state could not be counted, as adding much to its strength; for they were either disaffected to the cause, or despaired of it.

Said general Jackson, in his letter to governor Claiborne ‘I regret to hear of the discontents of your people.


They must not exist. Whoever is not for us is against us. Those, who are drafted must be compelled to the ranks, or punished. With union on our side, we shall be able to drive our invaders back to the ocean. Summon all your energy, and guard every avenue with confidential patroles, for spies and traitors are swarming around. We have more to dread from intestine, than open and avowed enemies. Remember our watch word is victory, or death. Our country must, and shall be defended. We will enjoy our liberty, or die in the last ditch.’

At the same time he published an animated address to the people of Louisiana. The secretary of war had sent pressing orders to the governors of the adjoining states, to hasten forward their quotas of men and supplies. Tennessee had shown herself in earnest. The venerable Shelby, of Kentucky, had manifested a youthful promptitude and ardor through the war. He now developed the ample resources of his state, and aroused its slumbering energies by manly appeals to the people, and by the inspiriting influence of his example. The troops from his state were immediately organized, placed under the command of major general Thomas, and despatched down the Ohio. Major general William Carroll commanded the requisition from Tennessee. On the 19th of December, the day appointed for their rendezvous, 2,500 of the yeomanry of the state assembled at Nashville, and in eight days were embarked, and on their way to New Orleans.

The legislature of Louisiana had been some weeks in session. Their measures had seemed wavering and undecided, until general Jackson arrived among them. His peculiar talent to infuse his own confidence and decision into all about him, and his high fame for bravery and skill, produced confidence and energy in the public mind. — The volunteer corps of New Orleans and vicinity were


reviewed, and the different forts visited, to ascertain their strength; and the passes of probable approach of the foe the city scrutinized. The old fort at the Balize was abandoned, as incapable of commanding the river, and fort St. Philip occupied, as the lowest point on the river below New Orleans, where the erection of works was thought advisable. This was directed to be put in the best possible state of defence. On the site of old fort Bourbon was to be thrown up a strong work, defended by five 24 pounders, which with the fort above, from the crookedness of the river, would expose an enemy to a cross fire for half a mile. A mile above St. Philip was to be established a work, which, in conjunction with the others, would defend the river for two miles. Measures were also to be taken for defence at Terre au Boeuf and the English Turn, twelve miles below the city. It was believed, that these defences would so concentrate their fires, as that either an enemy could not pass, or would be so shattered, as to fall an easy prey to the fortifications above. The great difficulty was to bring about the completion of these laborious works. Negroes were the only laborers, that in this swampy and insalubrious clime, could be expected to accomplish these objects. A strong appeal was made to the planters, to furnish their servants. ‘Not a moment,’ said he, ‘is to be lost. With energy and expedition, all is safe. Delay, and all is lost.’

The legislature acted with promptitude and zeal. Commodore Patterson, who commanded the naval forces on takes Borgne and Ponchartrain, possessed his entire confidence. He had despatched lieutenant Jones with his gun boats, to defend the passes, and every reliance was placed on his vigilance and capacity. The communication between the two lakes was defended by Petite Coquillee fort, a strong work, under captain Newman. Every


small bayou and creek, leading out of the lakes, through which boats and barges could pass, was obstructed by fallen treess, and large frames filled with earth, and sunk in their beds. Guards and videttes were out to watch every thing that passed. The great objects of fear with the general were the traitors, who infested the city. In despite of all his precautionary measures, treachery finally pointed out to the enemy a narrow and unobserved pass, through which they reached the banks of the Mississippi, without being discovered.

Both traitors and friends, the former from their hopes the latter from their fears, blazoned from all quarters the information, that a great and overwhelming force would soon be on our coast. Certain intelligence arrived soon after, that an English fleet had arrived off Cat-and-Ship island, within a short distance of the American lines, where their strength and numbers were daily increasing. Lieutenant Jones, in the command of the gun boats, was directed to reconnoitre their position and force; and if they should attempt the route by the lakes, to retire to the Rigolets, and there make the most obstinate resistance possible. This pass and Chef Menteur, which unite at the entrance to the lake, form a very narrow channel, constituting the only pass into lake Ponchartrain. By inspecting the map of the country, it may be seen what an admirable position it afforded for the defence of gun boats. They might here defy almost any force, that could be brought against them to gain the city by that route.

Attack of American Gun Boats, at Pass Christian.

On the 13th, lieutenant Jones discovered the enemy moving off in his barges, and directing his way towards pass Christian. He had explicit orders, only to fight the enemy at the Rigolets. He made every effort to get there; but every effort was ineffectual, and his destruction seemed inevitable. At the extreme moment of peril and danger, the tide,


which is altogether irregular there, came suddenly in, and lifting them off the shoal, bore them away from the attack. At the bay of St. Louis was a small depot of public stores, which lieutenant Jones had been ordered to bring away. Mr. Johnson, on board the Sea Horse, proceeded to execute this order. The enemy, on the retreat of lieutenant Jones, despatched three barges to capture him. They were driven back. An additional force was sent against him, when a smart action commenced, and the assailants were again compelled to retire with loss. But, aware that it was out of his power to defend himself against so large a force, as the British could bring against him, he blew up his vessel, burned the stores, and effected a retreat by land.

Early on the morning of the 14th, the enemy's barges, lying nine miles to the east, suddenly weighed their anchors, proceeding westwardly towards the point, where our gun boats lay. They experienced the same difficulty, as before. There was a dead calm, while a current, setting towards the gulf, rendered every effort to retire unavailing. No alternative remained, but to meet, and fight the enemy. The contest, in so unfavorable a situation, and with a force so much superior, promised, indeed, to be a very unequal one. But when there was no other choice, the well known character of American sailors left no doubt, that the resistance would be desperate, and that their flag would experience no stain.

The enemy's force consisted of forty-three boats, mounting as many cannon, and 1,200 chosen men. At half after eleven the action commenced. A strong current drifted two of our boats an hundred yards in advance of the line. This was a misfortune; for small as the chances were, they would still have been better, could the line have been Preserved. The enemy bore down on the gun boats in


advance, and attempted to board them. They were pulsed with great slaughter, and two of their boats were sunk. One of them, with 180 men, went down immediately under the stern of one of the two gun boats. A second desperate attempt to board them with a superior force was again repelled. Lieutenant Jones received a severe wound, and was obliged to yield the command to George Parker He defended the flag with the same valor, as the other until he was obliged to retire from a wound. The victory was yielded to superior numbers, after a conflict of forty minutes, in which every thing had been done, that skill and gallantry could accomplish. Lieutenants Spedder and M'Ever, and sailing masters Ulrick and Deferris, were mentioned, as having yielded essential services to the commander. The two former were wounded, — M'Ever so severely, as to be obliged to have his arm amputated. The bravery of this Spartan band will remain in the remembrance of their country. The disparity of force between the combatants was increased, by the peculiar construction of the enemy's boats, which enabled them to take any position, which they chose; while ours, from circumstances mentioned above, lay in the water wholly unmanageable. The difference of loss presents a strange result. — The American loss was six killed and thirty-five wounded. That of the assailants could not have been less than three hundred.

The enemy withdrew their shipping to Cat island, carrying with them the conviction, that the people were as little disposed to receive them, as they expected, with open arms in this quarter, as they had been at fort Bowyer. The loss of our gun boats affected general Jackson with deep concern, and imposed the necessity of resorting to different measures of defence in this quarter. Increased vigilance and exertions were required, to guard the different


routes, through which the enemy might reach New Orleans. Major Lacoste, commanding a battalion of colored troops, with two pieces of cannon, and a sufficient force, was ordered to defend the Chef Menteur road, that leads from the head of lake Borgne to New Orleans. Every little pass was inspected, and guarded. The Rigolets presented the most probable route for the advance of the enemy. Through it they could pass into lake Ponchartrain, and thence could land above, or below the city. They would, most probably, come by the way of the bayou St. John. This important point was confided to captain Newman, of the artillery. It was reinforced by several heavy pieces of cannon, and an additional number of men. He was instructed, not to retreat from any other consideration, than to avoid the certain loss of his force.

On the 15th, the general reviewed the militia at New Orleans. Their first despondence had been dispelled. To prevent its return, he delivered them an address, which breathed, as usual, his ardent and intrepid character, and was well calculated to infuse into others the ardor of his own feelings. ‘You are contending,’ he says, ‘for all that could render life desirable, for your property and lives; for that, which is dearer than all, your wives and children; for liberty, without which country, life and property are not worth possessing.’

It concludes — ‘Your enemy is near. His sails already cover the lakes. But the brave are united; and if he find to contending, it will be for the prize of valor, and fame, its noblest reward.’

The day after the contest on the lakes, a flag was despatched to the enemy, accompanied by a physician, to negotiate, for the wounded, and procure, if possible, their liberation on parole. The bearer of the flag was detained a Prisoner. The enemy, probably, resorted to this harsh


procedure, to prevent our receiving intelligence by his return. This dishonorable act gave sufficient evidence, that the hour of attack was drawing near. Early on the 16th, expresses were sent in quest of general Coffee, who, it was hoped, was not far distant with the divisions descending from Tennessee. They had experienced extreme fatigue and exposure from the coldness of the season, excessive rains, and the necessity of crossing the numerous creeks and bayous swollen with the rains. The express met general Coffee at Sandy creek, a little above Baton Rouge, where he was halted, with 300 men on his sick list. He immediately ordered all his men, who were well mounted, to advance with him, leaving the rest to follow, as the exhausted condition of their horses would permit. By this arrangement his force was reduced to 800 men. Having marched 80 miles the last day, he arrived on the 19th within fifteen miles of New Orleans, having made 150 miles in two days. These brave men had now traversed 800 miles, enduring without murmuring trials and privations, which can only be fully understood by those, who remember the season, and are acquainted with the country, through which they marched. The advance of colonel Hinds from Woodville, with the Mississippi dragoons, was no less prompt. This active and brave officer, having received his orders, effected in four days a march of 230 miles. On the 16th colonel Hynes, aid-de-camp to general Carroll, brought information, that he had been detained in his progress down the river by high winds. A steam boat was immediately despatched to expedite his arrival with his forces. He had overtaken on his passage a boat from Pittsburg, laden with arms, for the use of the forces at New Orleans. This boat, from the negligence, of the men, who had stipulated to deliver the arms, would probably,but for this circumstance, not have reached its destination,


in time to be of service. One of the greatest difficulties in the American camp was the want of arms.

These arms were hurried on with the advancing division, and proved a most seasonable supply. This division left Nashville on the 19th of the preceding month. It scarcely ever happens, that the Cumberland admits a passage for boats at that season. Unusual torrents of rain swelled the stream, and wafted the troops rapidly down to the Mississippi. These two coincidences in our favor may well be considered, as providential. But for them, the campaign might have had a very different termination. It is obvious to remark, on what slight causes great events depend.

General Jackson was constantly occupied, in arranging additional means of defence. Patroles and videttes were sent out to scour the country for intelligence. The militia of Louisiana were called out en masse, and the legislature declared an embargo, to procure recruits for the navy. General Villery, an inhabitant of the country, and well understanding all the passes from the lakes, was ordered, with the Louisiana militia, to defend all the points, where a landing might be effected. A detachment was sent to Pearl river, to prevent the landing of the British, to obtain supplies, and to drive away all the cattle from the vicinity. So well concerted were these measures, that not only were the British disappointed in obtaining supplies, but even the Spanish at Pensacola visited with famine. They applied to general Jackson for relief. Although this application might be a stratagem, to aid the enemy, the general determined on the side of mercy, and directed general Winchester, at Mobile, to furnish them moderate supplies, and by sea, that if captured, they might know how to appreciate the kindness of their British allies.


Increasing apprehensions from enemies in the camp the evidence of prevailing disaffection, and that the try was filled with spies, with various other considerations not necessary to these details, induced general Jackson to declare the city and environs of New Orleans under martial law. It is not necessary at this day to investigate the wisdom, or necessity of this strong measure, which at the time excited so much feeling, and was so much questioned. These annals know nothing of party views. Against appearances and probabilities, and the desponding anticipations of the people, the country was saved. There has seldom occurred an emergency, which would seem to justify stronger measures. To explain the necessity of the case, and alleviate the irritated feelings, supposed to be occasioned by this measure, general Jackson circulated an address to the people.

All the forces had arrived, which were expected, except the Kentucky troops. The officers were busily engaged, in drilling, manoeuvring, and organizing the troops, and in preparing every thing for action. Notwithstanding all the vigilance constantly exercised, the enemy succeeded in landing a very large force, without discovery. They were first seen by accident, emerging from the swamp, about seven miles below the town. It is generally supposed, that a party of Spanish fishermen, who inhabited the shores of the lakes, and were perfectly acquainted with the country, were their guides. They led the enemy by a passage, which had been neglected. On the 22d, indeed general Villery had placed a handful of men at this very spot. The British succeeded in capturing all the party but two, who fled into the swamp, and endeavored to reach the city. But owing to the impervious tangle of vines and briars, they did not reach the city, until after the


British had arrived at the Mississippi, and had been discovered,

The pass, by which they arrived, is called bayou Bienvenu, a name of sufficiently auspicious omen to the British, which, however, it did not fulfil. It is an arm of lake Borgne, fifteen miles southeast of New Orleans. Majors Tatum and Latour, topographical engineers, had been sent in that direction, to ascertain the correctness of a report, that several sail of vessels had been descried off Terre an Boeuf. Approaching general Villery's plantation, they perceived soldiers and other persons fleeing hastily away. They soon ascertained, that the British had landed in considerable force, and had reached the house of general Villery unobserved, and had made prisoners of a company of militia posted there. The discovery was announced by major Tatum. The signal guns were fired. General Jackson concentrated his forces, resolving to meet the foe, and try the firmness of the combatants, before the parties slept.

First Attack of the British Forces Invading New Orleans.

The approach of the enemy, flushed with the hope of an easy victory, was announced to him after one in the afternoon. He considered, that the greater part of his own troops were inured to marching and fatigue, while those of the enemy were just landed from a long voyage, and were as yet unfitted for bodily exertion. Probably but a part of their forces had been landed. He resolved to march, and give them battle that night Generals Coffee and Carroll were ordered to join him from their camp. Although it was four miles above the city, they arrived there in less than two hours. These forces, with the 7th and 44th regiments, the Louisiana troops, and colonel Hinds' dragoons, constituted the strength of his army. — That of the enemy could only be matter of conjecture. He deemed it advisable to leave general Carroll and his


division behind, for fear, that the movement, against which he was marching, might be only a feint to divert his attention, while a more numerous body might have landed higher, and might be advancing on his rear. General Carroll, therefore, at the head of his division, and governor Claiborne with the state militia, were directed to take post on the Gentilly road, leading from Chef Menteur to New Orleans, which they were directed to defend to the last extremity.

History has often presented to us cities placed in a position, like that of New Orleans at this moment. But the apprehensions, the rumors, the terrors, the distress of mothers, and wives, and children, and pusillanimous citizens, in the view of such an approaching contest, can only be imagined by being seen. As the troops of the general were marching through the city to meet the foe, his ears were assailed on every side by the cries of multitudes of females, who seemed to apprehend the worst consequences. He directed Mr. Livingston to address them in the French language. ‘Say to them,’ said he, ‘not to be alarmed. The enemy shall never reach the city.’ It operated like a charm, in restoring confidence and hope.

He arrived in view of the enemy a little before dark. Colonel Hayne, who had been sent to reconnoitre, estimated their numbers at 2,000 men. It has been since ascertained, that they exceeded 3,000. Commodore Patterson, commanding the naval forces, with captain Hemly, on board the Caroline, had been directed to drop down, anchor in front of their line, and open upon them from the guns of the schooner, which was to be the signal for a simultaneous attack from the troops. Their position was clearly designated by the fires of their camp. General Coffee with his brigade, colonel Hinds' dragoons, and captain Beal's company of riflemen, were directed to


make a circuit, and endeavor to turn the enemy's right wing. The rest of the troops, consisting of the regulars, Plauche's city volunteers, Daquin's colored troops, the artillery, supported by a company of marines, commanded by colonel M'Kee, advanced along the bank of the Mississippi, and were commanded by general Jackson in person.

General Coffee had nearly reached the point, to which he was ordered, when a broadside of the Caroline gave the signal, that the battle was begun. Commodore Patterson had proceeded slowly to his destination, to give time for the corresponding arrangements on shore. So confident had the British been of a kind reception, that the Caroline was allowed slowly to float by their sentinels in front of their camp without molestation. The front picquet hailed her, as she passed, in a low tone of voice, and receiving no answer, made no further question. It is supposed, that the British considered her a vessel sent out of New Orleans, laden with provisions for them. Their fires indicated the centre of their camp. She cast her anchors opposite their centre, and announced her object from her guns. They recovered from the first confusion of so unexpected a fire, to answer it by a discharge of musquetry, and a flight of Congreve rockets, which did her no injury, while her grape and canister poured destruction upon them. To remove the certainty of her aim, they immediately extinguished the light of their fires, and retired two or three hundred yards into the open field. Here the darkness, if not the distance, protected them.

General Coffee had dismounted his men, and gained, as he believed, the centre of the enemy's line, when he heard the signal from the Caroline. He wheeled his columns, extended his line parallel with the river, and moved towards their camp. He had not advanced more


than one hundred yards, when he received a heavy fire from a line formed in his front The circumstance his meeting the enemy so soon, was owing to the severe attack of the schooner, which had compelled them to abandon their camp, and form out of her reach. The moon shone; but the light was too feeble to discover objects at a distance. The riflemen were ordered not to make random fires, but to be sure of their object, before they discharged. With this single caution, they were led upon the foe. As soon as they were near enough to distinguish, they gave a general fire. It was severe and destructive. The enemy retreated, rallied, were charged, and retreated again. They were driven from every position. The Americans were gallant men, led by a gallant commander, cool and fearless in the midst of battle; and it was scarcely necessary, that he should remind them, that they had often said that they could fight, and that now was the time to prove it. The enemy, driven back by the ardor of the assailants, reached a grove of orange trees, with a ditch protected by a fence on the margin. General Coffee led his brave yeomanry against them. They had every advantage. A fire from behind this defence showed their advantage, and gave a momentary check to the assailants. But resuming their ardor, they charged the enemy across the ditch, gave him a destructive fire, and forced him to retire. The British took another similar position, and were driven also from that.

Thus the battle raged on the left wins, until the British reached the bank of the river. The conflict here was severe on both sides, for half an hour. Neither force could be made to yield their ground. But at length the British, having suffered greatly, took refuge behind the levee, which afforded a breastwork adequate to shield them from the fatal fire of our riflemen. General Coffee, unacquainted


from the increasing darkness with the strength of their position, proposed to charge them again. But major Moulton aware of their protection, and that they would, from the shelter of the levee and the bank, have great advantages in a charge with the bayonet, dissuaded him from such a hazardous experiment. They lay in a position to secure them from the broadsides of the Caroline, that still kept up her fire, while in moving on the bank to charge them, general Coffee would expose his men to the destruction of our own fire from that vessel. These circumstances induced general Coffee to retire, and await the orders of his general.

The right wing, under general Jackson, had been, meanwhile, equally prompt and active. A detachment of artillery, under lieutenant Spotts, supported by sixty marines, formed the advance, and moved down the road next the levee. On their left was the 7th regiment, led by major Pierre. The 44th, commanded by major Baker, was formed on the extreme left, while Plauche's and Daquin's battalion of city guards were directed to be posted in the centre, between the 7th and 44th. The general had ordered colonel Ross, who during the night acted as brigadier general, on hearing the signal from the Caroline, to move off his force by companies, and having reached the enemy's line, to deploy, and attempt to unite the left wing with the right of general Coffee's. This order was not executed, and the consequence was an early introduction of confusion into the ranks, which prevented the important object of the union of the two divisions.

Instead of marching in column from the first position, the troops were wheeled into an extended line, and moved off in that order, except the 7th regiment, next the person of the general, which advanced according to its instructions. The consequence of derangement in one point was


derangement of the whole line, and Plauche's and Daquin's battalions were thrown out of the line. This might have been remedied, but for the briskness of the advance and the darkness of the night. A heavy fire from behind a fence, immediately before them, brought the enemy to view. According to their orders, not to spend random shots, bur troops pressed forward against the opposition in front, and thereby threw those battalions in the rear. A fog rising from the river, added to the smoke from the guns, which was covering the plain, gradually diminished the feeble light of the moon, and left scarcely a clue to indicate where the enemy was situated. The only guide to them was the direction of their fire, which subjected the assailants to material disadvantages. The British, driven from their first position, had retired to another, behind a deep ditch, on the top of which was a high fence. Here reinforced, they opposed the advance of our troops, and opened their fire on them, as they drew near. Our battery was instantly formed, and returned them a most destructive fire. The infantry came up, and aided the conflict. At this moment a brisk sally was made upon our advance, when the marines, unequal to the assault, were giving way. The adjutant general, and colonels Piatt and Chotard, with a part of the 7th, hastening to their support, drove the enemy, and saved the artillery from capture. General Jackson, perceiving the advantages, which they derived from their position, ordered their line to be charged. The order was promptly and cheerfully obeyed. Our troops pressed on the ditch, and poured across it a well aimed fire, and compelled the enemy to abandon their entrenchment. The battle plain was intersected by races, cut to let water from the river. Beaten from one defence of this sort, they were thus enabled soon to support themselves behind another. Here they gallantly


maintained themselves for some time, but were at length forced to retreat from that also.

Finding themselves so firmly and obstinately assailed by the right of the American army, and inferring that our chief force was there, they formed the sudden determination to oblique, and by a violent attack turn our left. At this moment Daquin's and the battalion of the city guards were marched up, and forming on the left of the 44th, they met, and repulsed them. The circumstances of the contest prevented the advantages, that might otherwise have been derived from our artillery. The blaze of their musquetry was the only clue to their position. Yet whenever it could be brought to bear, it greatly annoyed them, Lieutenant Spotts, who directed it, was a vigilant and skilful officer, and his men, looking only to a gallant discharge of their duty, rendered the most essential services.

The enemy had been thrice assailed, and beaten, and made to retreat nearly a mile. They had now retired, and if assailed again, must be sought in the dark. The general could not doubt, from the brisk firing on the other wing, that general Coffee had been warmly engaged. The Caroline had almost ceased firing, from not being able longer to annoy the enemy. The darkness of the night, the confusion, into which his own division had been thrown, and the similar one of general Coffee, all pointed to the wisdom of resting contented with the advantages already gained. He had indulged for a moment other hopes, that looked to the overthrow and capture of the British army; but learning from general Coffee the strong position, to which the enemy had retired, he was directed to withdraw to the point where his line had first been formed, and thither the troops on the right were also directed to be marched.


Colonels Dyer and Gibson with 200 men, and captain Beal's company of riflemen, in the evolutions of the last charge had been separated from the right wing of our army. Advancing in a direction, as they supposed to rejoin general Coffee, they soon discovered a force in front of them. They were hailed, and ordered to report to whom they belonged. They answered, to Coffee's brigade. Perceiving that they were not understood, they began to be apprehensive, that it was the enemy. Wheeling to return, they were fired upon, and pursued. Colonel Gibson had scarcely started, when he fell. Before he could arise, a soldier from the enemy sprang upon him, and transfixed him to the ground with his bayonet. Fortunately the stab had wounded him but slightly, and only pinioned him by his clothes. Making a violent exertion, he threw his assailant to the ground, sprang on his feet, and made good his retreat. Colonel Dyer had retreated fifty yards, when his horse was shot dead, and he was wounded in the thigh. The enemy were advancing upon him, and there seemed no prospect of escape. Fortunately at this moment his men were at hand. He ordered a fire upon the advancing foe, which checked him. Uncertain where general Coffee was, he determined to seek him on the right. He charged with his little band, through the enemy's line, and cut a passage of escape, with a loss of 63 killed and taken. Captain Beal, with equal bravery, cut a passage through the enemy, losing several of his men, and bringing away some prisoners. It seems they had met a reinforcement of the British, that had arrived from bayou Bienvenu after night. From the innumerable ditches, with which the plain was cut in every direction, it had been impossible for the cavalry to act. Colonel Hinds, with 180 dragoons, had been able to take no part in the fight They were now formed in advance of our


troops, to watch the movements of the enemy through the night.

The result of the whole experiment fostered the original hopes of the general, that he might yet capture all the British forces, that had landed. Directing governor Claiborne to continue his defence of the Gentilly road with the Louisiana militia, he ordered general Carroll to join him, in case there had been no appearance of an enemy, during the night, in the direction of the Chef Menteur road. These orders were executed by one in the morning. His object was to renew the attack. But from prisoners and deserters it was ascertained, that the enemy was now not much short of 6,000 strong. It greatly exceeded any force, which he could bring against them. — Taking into view the inexperience of his undisciplined soldiers, in comparison with their veteran antagonists, and that the battle must be in an open plain, and by the light of day, he decided to forbear all further efforts, until he should discover the ultimate views of the enemy, and be reinforced by the Kentucky troops, that were expected.

His purpose was immediately fixed. He ordered colonel Hinds to occupy their present ground in advance, and there closely watch the enemy, while he fell back and formed his line behind a deep ditch, that run at right angles from the river. There were two circumstances, that strongly recommended this as a place of defence. The swamp that skirts the river, and is generally almost impervious, here approaches within 400 yards of the Mississippi, and from the narrowness of the interval between the river and the swamp, was easily defensible. Added to this, a deep canal was already dug, and the earth of the excavation already formed a tolerable breastwork. Proper measures were adopted to strengthen this defence. — Bales of cotton in vast numbers were drawn from the city,


and where placed, formed an impenetrable bulwark. Behind these defences the soldiers were placed, with a full determination, that they should never be abandoned.

History is full of the instruction, that great events often flow from apparently trifling causes. The British had reached the Mississippi without firing a gun, and had encamped on its banks as tranquilly, as if they were resting on their natal soil. This strengthened their original impressions, that either the people hailed their approach or were afraid to attack them. Nothing could exceed the contempt, that had been fostered among the ‘invincibles,’ for the upper backwoods men. They had a song, the burden of which was, that, they were only fit to fight the ‘Chickasaws, Chactaws and old squaws.’ General Jackson felt, that it was equally important to convince his hardy woods men, that the foe was not ‘invincible,’ and to dispel their dreams of our imbecility and cowardice, by an immediate and vigorous attack. Thus thinking, he broke into their camp with an inferior force of undisciplined yeomanry, and drove before him troops, that had so recently been the pride of Britain, and the terror of Europe. The enemy were at once undeceived. They were convinced, that they had not to contend with such men, as they expected to meet. Their subsequent caution bears ample testimony to the salutary lesson of respect, which they had learned from their first greeting from us. The American troops actually engaged in this battle were short of 3,000. The force opposed was four or five thousand. Our loss was 24 killed, 115 wounded, and 74 prisoners. The killed, wounded and prisoners of the enemy were not less than 400.

Fresh as they were from their woods, never did men more generously and bravely discharge their duty. Every charge of Coffee's brigade was successful. Had the British


known, they were only riflemen without bayonets, a firm charge on their part with that weapon would have been their destruction. But these brave men seem never to have thought of the inequality of the contest, and rushed on the British with as much confidence, as if they too had been armed with bayonets. Lieutenant colonel Lauderdale, of Coffee's brigade, an amiable and promising young officer, who had gained great fame in the Creek campaign, fell in this battle, greatly lamented, and universally esteemed. Lieutenant M'Lelland, a valuable young officer of the 7th, was also among the slain. Ensign Leach, of the 7th, though wounded through the body, remained at his post, discharging his duty. Colonel Reuben Kemper, amidst the confusion of the left wing, which has been mentioned, found himself with a handful of men in the midst of a party of the enemy. With perfect coolness and self-possession, he availed himself of a successful stratagem. Calling to a group of British soldiers near him, he demanded, where their regiment was. They were lost themselves, and could not answer; but taking him for one of their own officers, they followed him, as they were ordered, to his own line, and were made prisoners. The 7th regiment, commanded by major Pierre, and the 44th, under major Baker, aided by major Butler, fought with great gallantry, and drove the enemy from position to position, a mile from the commencement of the attack. Emulating the inspiring ardor of their general, they only desisted from the contest, when the prudence of their commander directed them to retire.

The winter of this campaign was unusually severe for the climate. Most of the men were poorly supplied with clothing. Many of them had lost their blankets in the late engagement, having left them, where they were taken by the enemy. They were exposed on the open field to


the severity of the weather, the rains, and the hardships of a camp, generally covered with water. No complaints or murmurs were heard. Their patient endurance produced the proper sympathy. The legislature appropriated a sum for their relief, which was increased by private subscription. Ladies, with the feminine tenderness and Christian charity, characteristic of their sex, united their industry to prepare the articles of clothing, that had been purchased for use. Such kindnesses, so conferred, not only nerved the new clad soldier for the tug of battle, but on their return to their distant homes, in recounting the story of their hardships and their honors, these touching marks of benevolence and patriotism are never forgotten.

To train our troops, to keep up a show of resistance, and to prevent their spirits from sinking, the light troops were directed frequently to assail and harrass the advanced posts of the enemy. Our works, meanwhile, were hourly increasing in strength. The militia of the state were every day arriving, and our prospects were evidently brightening. The canal, that covered our line, was dug wider and deeper, and a strong mud wall formed by the earth of excavation. To retard the approaches of the enemy, until our defences should be complete, the levee was ordered to be cut about 100 yards below the line. The river being high, a broad sheet of water, 30 or 40 inches in depth, was spread over the plain. Two pieces of artillery, under the command of lieutenant Spotts, were placed in a position to rake the road leading up the levee.

General Morgan, who commanded the fort at the English Turn, on the east bank of the river, was directed to proceed as near the camp of the enemy, as safety would admit, and by cutting the levee, to let the waters of the Mississippi in between them. The execution of this order and a similar one below the line of defence had insulated


the enemy, and prevented his march against either place. The general, fearing for the safety of general Morgan, who was separated by the British from his camp, ordered him on the 26th to abandon his camp, throw his cannon the river, whence at low water they could be recovered, and, leaving an adequate force for the protection of fort Leon, retire to the other bank of the river, and fortify a position there.

It was expected, that the British were about to make an effort to bring their fleet up the river, to co-operate with their troops on land. To prevent this, if possible, in addition to the defences of St. Philip, Bourbon and St. Leon, major Reynolds was ordered to proceed to Barataria, to place the bayous emptying through this pass in the best possible state of defence, to occupy and strengthen the island, and draw a chain across the pass. The celebrated Lafite, who was courted both by the Americans and British, from his possessing a more accurate knowledge of every inlet from the gulf, than any other man, was promised a pardon for his piratical outrages, — accepted it, and was associated with major Reynolds in this commission. He entered into the interests of his adopted country with great zeal.

Blowing Up of the Caroline.

On the other hand, the British were not idle. Their exertions to prepare for their ulterior objects were unremitting. A complete command of the lakes, and the bayou leading to their camp, presented an uninterrupted ingress and egress, that afforded them an easy opportunity of conveying whatever they wanted with perfect safety to the camp. They deepened the canal, through which they first debarked, so as to enable them to bring their boats much nearer the camp, and to transport with greater convenience all their heavy munitions. Early on the morning of the 27th, a battery was discovered on the bank of


the river, which had been thrown up the preceding night. On it were mounted several pieces of heavy ordnance, from which a fire was opened on the Caroline, lying on the opposite shore. Every effort had already been made to float her up stream in vain. Bombs and red hot shot were thrown on her from the battery, which were constantly taking effect, firing her in several places; while her fire in return was in a measure ineffectual, from her having but one 12 pounder, which would reach the battery. The second fire lodged a shot in her mainhold under the cables, whence it could not be removed. The flames burst out on every side, and were fast increasing. It was feared, that she would blow up, and destroy every thing. There being not the least glimmering of hope, that she could be saved, and one of the crew being killed, and six wounded, she was abandoned, and in a short time she blew up.

One essential mean of annoyance on our part being lost, and the enemy gathering confidence from this success, early on the 28th their columns advanced on our works, apparently with the purpose to storm them. Sir Edward Packenham commanded in person. At the distance of half a mile, they opened their heavy artillery upon us. — Quantities of bombs, balls and Congreve rockets were discharged. The panic, which these new and formidable weapons were expected to produce upon raw troops, did not take place. They soon ascertained, that our troops knew how to face danger and death, as well as theirs. These desolating instruments of destruction excited little other sensation, than that of novelty. Instead of flying from the terrific crash, and these insignia of terror, as was probably expected, our batteries opened upon them, and immediately halted their advance.


In addition to the two pieces, already mounted on our works, three more heavy pieces, obtained from the navy department, were placed on the line. The officers and crew of the Caroline volunteered, and rendered important services, maintaining at their guns the skill and firmness, for which they had been so highly distinguished. They were selected to this service on account of their superior experience in gunnery, and they supported their reputation. The enemy received the greatest injury from the river. Lieutenant Thompson, who commanded the Louisiana sloop of war, which lay nearly opposite the line of defence, no sooner discovered the enemy's columns approaching, than warping her around, he brought her starboard guns to bear upon them, and forced them to retreat. The enemy discharged their heavy artillery, bombs and rockets upon us for seven hours, without either making a breach, or silencing the sloop, and abandoned a contest, which seemed to yield no advantage. The crew of the Louisiana was composed of new recruits of the most discordant materials, soldiers, citizens, and seamen of different countries, and speaking different languages. By the activity of their accomplished commander, they were soon so well disciplined to their duty, that they already managed their guns with the greatest precision, — and with the aid of the land batteries, silenced, and drove back the enemy. Hoping to be as successful in the destruction of this vessel, as they had been of the Caroline, they threw hot shot upon her for seven hours. She had but a single man wounded. Our entire loss from all this pomp and circumstance of war was only nine men killed, and eight or ten wounded.

Among those, who fell, deeply lamented, was colonel James Henderson, of the Tennessee militia. In an attack upon a British force, that annoyed us, his detachment, by


a misunderstanding of his orders, was led into a position of exposure, in which he was slain, and in which his detachment on their retreat, suffered some loss.

Nothing was more annoying to the feelings of general Jackson, than the general impression, that there existed disaffection in the city. It is a fact, which was afterwards disclosed by British prisoners, that every movement on our part was constantly, directly, and faithfully reported to them. An indirect application was made to him from influential sources, desiring to know, if the report in circulation was true, ‘that if he should be compelled to retreat up the coast, and leave the city to its fate his determination was to lay the city waste?’ At the same time he was instructed, that men of influence were occupied, in considering the propriety of making terms with the enemy in case of emergencies. It is well known, that the general adopted very decided measures in the case, which appeared to him justified by circumstances. Nothing could have had a more direct tendency to produce despondency in the public mind, than the disclosure of any such purpose on the part of the legislature. Some honored names of members of that body appear, as of persons, who repaired to the camp, and bravely and honorably discharged the duties of soldiers there.

British Attack on the American Lines.

To try the fidelity and vigilance of the watch of every thing, that passed up and down the river, the general ordered, on a dark night, that a couple of flat bottommed boats should be set adrift, to see if there was any chance of passing in safety down the river to the British lines. The alarm was given. A fire was opened upon them from the batteries, the Louisiana sloop, and every thing that could fire, and the harmless flat boats were sunk. Yet in some way, probably through the deep and hidden paths


of the swamp, a constant intercourse was kept up between the enemy, and their friends in the city.

One of the most severe inconveniences of this campaign has been already mentioned — the want of good and sufficient arms for the soldiers. Many of the troops were only supplied with poor common guns. The Kentucky troops, who were expected, were understood to be partially and badly supplied with arms. The city was ransacked for a supply; and every man under the age of fifty, who was able to bear arms, was drafted into the service. Frequent light skirmishes took place, in one of which colonel Hinds was greatly exposed. He and his corps were distinguished by their collected and gallant deportment, and came off from the skirmish with a small loss.

Battle of the 8th of January.

The British commenced the new year with an attack upon our line. At nine in the morning, a heavy fog dispersed, and showed us formidable batteries mounted with very heavy ordnance, at the distance of 600 yards from our line. They opened with a tremendous burst of artillery, accompanied with Congreve rockets, which filled the air in all directions. The house, which was the supposed head quarters of the general, was battered to a mere wreck. But he, for whom the compliment was intended, was at the head of his lines, in the midst of the danger, animating every body by his presence, and directing every operation. The fire, which our batteries returned, was tremendous. Two of their batteries, formed on our right, were prostrated, and most of their guns dismounted. The British had all along labored under the illusion, that our raw woods men could make no use of cannon. They knew that we had competent batteries, but still flattered themselves, that artillery would be of little service to people, who knew not how to use it. The battle of the 8th


was soon to cure them of this folly. So confident were they, that their cannonading would drive our men from their guns, that soldiers were arranged along the ditches at the beginning of the assault, to take advantage of such a circumstance, and march upon us, the moment a breach in our works should be made. Perceiving, that their cannon and rockets had very little effect, they retired leaving their batteries a heap of ruins. Our loss in this affair was 11 killed, and 23 wounded. That of the enemy was never exactly known. It was probably about 100.

No adequate picture has ever been given of the privations and endurances in our camp. The climate, ordinarily a mild one, was this winter uncommonly severe. — From the frequent and heavy rains of the country, unsheltered troops were much exposed. General Coffee's brigade literally tented in the swamp, and on brush and logs, which alone raised them above the water. Never was there more exposure, or less murmuring.

On the 4th, arrived the long expected reinforcement from Kentucky, amounting to 2,250, under major general Thomas, — but, as was foreseen, so poorly supplied with arms, as to be of but little service. That so many brave men, at such a moment of peril, should stand with folded arms, unable, however disposed, to help the cause, was among the most vexing of the numberless trials, which the general encountered at this time.

On the 6th, a soldier deserted from our line, and disclosed the state of our camp to the enemy. General Lambert had joined the enemy with a considerable reinforcement. During the 7th there was much stir, apparently of great preparation, in the British camp. It was conjectured, that an assault was intended on general Morgan. The second regiment of Louisiana militia, and 400 Kentucky troops, were directed to be crossed over, as a reinforcement


to him. Only 180 of the latter reached their destination. His position was defended by strong batteries, which were directed by the science and experience of commodore Patterson. It was feared, if the Louisiana were dropped down to the defence, she might share the fate of the Caroline. It was hoped, that with their force of 800 men, they might be able to defend their position.

On the left, where the general commanded in person, every thing was prepared for the reception of the enemy. The redoubt on the levee was commanded by a company of the 7thr under lieutenant Ross. The regular troops occupied that part of the entrenchment, next the river. — General Carroll's division was in the centre, supported by the Kentucky troops under general Adair. The extreme left, extending a considerable distance into the swamp, was protected by the brigade of general Coffee. Unremitting in exertion and vigilance, his precaution kept pace with the zeal and preparation of the enemy. He slept but little, and was always at his post. His sentinels were doubled, and extended, as far as possible, in the direction of the enemy's camp, — while a considerable portion of the troops were always on the line, with their arms in their hands. Thus lay the two armies for eight days in sight of each other. The heroes of the Peninsula, the pride of England, and the boasted conquerors of the conquerors of Europe, were there with their veteran troops, so trained to victory, as to have assumed the proud name of ‘invincibles.’ On the other hand were the hardy sons of the forest, who, before the Creek campaign, had only read of battles, and who, as their enemies used to say, and sing, had never been in at any thing more than the killing of a deer.

The 8th of January dawned, and with the dawn the enemy's signals for movement were descried. They were


two sky-rockets, the one thrown up on the left, and soon after, the other on the right of the enemy's camp. The charge that followed was so rapid, that the troops at the outposts fled in with difficulty. Their batteries, which had been demolished the 1st of the month, had been re-established during the night. Showers of bombs and balls were poured upon our line, while the air blazed with Congreve rockets. The two divisions, commanded by Sir Edward Packenham in person, and supported by generals Keane and Gibbs, pressed forward, the right against the centre of general Carroll's command, — the left against our redoubt on the levee. A thick fog enabled them to approach near our entrenchment, before they were discovered. They advanced, with firm, quick and steady pace in column, with a front between 60 and 70 deep. Our troops, who had been waiting for them, at length descried them, gave three cheers, and poured upon them from the whole line a sheet of fire. It was accompanied by a burst of artillery, which mowed down their front. From the musquetry there was a continued volley, without a moment's intermission. Battery No. 7, served by lieutenant Spotts, galled them with a destructive fire. Batteries 6 and 8 followed up the work of death. The bravery of the foe, that came upon us, merited a better fate, had it animated a better cause. Some of these brave men moved through this murderous fire, and gained the ditch in front of our works, where they remained during the action, and were afterwards made prisoners. But they were no more than men, and nothing human could resist the horror of the scene before them. These trained veterans were seen first to waver, and then retire. Sir Edward Packenham hastened to their front, and endeavored to rally them. — He fell mortally wounded, in the arms of his aid-de-camp not far from our line. Generals Gibbs and Keane fell


also, dangerously wounded, and were conveyed from the line. General Lambert, advancing with the reserve, met the columns retreating in the greatest confusion. His efforts to halt them were unavailing, until they reached a ditch, 400 yards distant.

The field, over which they had advanced, was strewed with the dead and dying. Even here they were constantly falling. Their officers urged, and animated them once more to the charge. They advanced so near, as to begin to deploy. The same unremitting fire of musquetry and batteries was poured upon them. The discharges of grape and canister swept away the front of their columns, as fast as they could be formed. Feeling that certain destruction awaited their advance, they fled in disorder from a field, which was covered with their dead and wounded. In vain their officers endeavored to goad them to renewed resistance. In vain they resorted to coercion. They saw the plain covered with the innumerable bodies of their countrymen. The same power of destruction was prepared to operate upon them. The panic was without remedy, and the flight not to be controlled.

Two or three regiments, led by colonel Rennie, advanced against our redoubt on the right, and urging forward, arrived at the ditch. They suffered severely from commodore Patterson's battery on the left bank, and the cannon of the redoubt. But, reaching our works, and passing the ditch, sword in hand, colonel Rennie bravely leaped on the wall, and called his troops to follow him. Had he called, when he fell by the fatal aim of our riflemen. Pressed by the impetuosity of superior numbers, who were mounting the wall, or entering the embrasures, our troops retired to the rear of the redoubt. A momentary pause ensued, but only to be interrupted with increased horrors. Captain Beal, with the city riflemen,


perceiving the enemy in front, with perfect coolness self-possession, opened a deadly fire upon them, every discharge of which brought the object to the ground. To advance, or maintain their ground, was equally impracticable for the enemy. They saw their division on the right broken, and flying from the field, and to retreat, or surrender, seemed their only alternative.

General Jackson, having been informed, that the enemy had gained the redoubt, pressed forward a reinforcement to regain it. They were retreating, when it arrived. They were severely galled from different points on their retreat. Numbers found a grave in the ditch before our line; and of those, who gained the redoubt, not one, it is believed, escaped. They were shot down, as fast as they entered. The route, along which they had advanced, and retired, was strewed with bodies. Affrightened at the carnage, they moved hastily and in confusion from the scene. Our batteries were still cutting them down at every step. They were too much galled, and fatigued, to march beyond the reach of our shot, and they found shelter from its fatal execution in a ditch, where the right division had retreated, and there they remained, until night permitted them to retire. Had our troops been completely armed, it could not escape coming over the mind of such a person as general Jackson, that now was the time to have followed up the blow, and have captured the British army. Not only the animation of victory suggested such thoughts, but the panic struck retreat of the enemy. But better counsels prevailed. Enough had been done for security and glory. The rest, even if it had not been doubtful, would have been only for triumph. He preferred, therefore, to adopt the safer course to sustain a position, which now assured safety to the city, rather than by endeavoring to obtain too much, to endanger the loss of every thing.


Meanwhile, a simultaneous attack by colonel Thornton, with 800 chosen men, upon general Morgan's position on the left bank of the river had been made. By the time he had effected a landing, the day had dawned, and the flashes of the guns announced the battle begun. Supported by three gun boats, he hastened with his command in the direction of general Morgan's entrenchment. Some troops, that were stationed in advance, to act as spies, heard the noise and bustle of the enemy's landing, and as soon as they had ascertained, that it was effected, moved off. The Kentucky troops reached general Morgan at five in the morning, and were immediately ordered to co-operate with this force, which they met hastily retreating. From them general Morgan learned, that the enemy had landed, and was moving rapidly up the levee.

The two detachments, now acting together, formed behind a saw mill race, the plank and scantling of which formed a tolerable breastwork. A warm and spirited resistance was maintained with the advancing foe for some time, and he was for a moment checked. He rallied, advanced, and again received a heavy fire. The general's aid, perceiving the steady advance of the enemy, and fearing for the safety of his troops, ordered a retreat. The consequence was, that the whole force fled in haste, creating confusion in general Morgan's line. Here they were halted, and formed in a line, that reached quite to the swamp. Colonel Thornton, having arrived in an orange grove, 700 yards distant from our line, halted, and surveyed it. He immediately advanced to attack it in two divisions. It was defended by about 1,500 men. A severe discharge from the ordnance along our works caused their right division to oblique, and to unite with their left.

They pressed upon the point occupied by the Kentucky troops. From some inexplicable cause, the whole force


became panic struck, and fled. By great exertions of the officers, a momentary halt was effected. A burst of Congreve rockets falling about them, and firing the stubble the cane field, renewed their flight Commodore Patterson had been firing on the enemy on the opposite shore. He ceased it, and turned his pieces to enfilade the enemy next the swamp. But seeing the confusion of our retreat, he was at once aware, that fee could not maintain his ground, and he spiked his guns, destroyed his ammunition, and retired from a post, where he had rendered the most important services.

It is not necessary to suppose cowardice in these troops, to account for their retreat. General Thornton's greatly superior force advanced upon the weakest part of our line, defended by only 180 men, and these stretched along a front of 300 yards, and unsupported by artillery. General Morgan, in reporting the misfortune and defeat, attributed it to the example of the advance, that in flying, carried the rest of his forces along with them. Various circumstances gave the vantage ground entirely to the enemy. He was even superior in numerical strength. A report to the secretary of war, predicated upon first impressions, which were afterwards proved to be erroneous, occasioned much feeling in Kentucky. It must have been obvious, that the gallant commander in chief could not have practised intentional injustice.

General Jackson hastened to throw detachments across the river, with orders to regain the position at every hazard. He forwarded an address to the troops, to animate them to daring, and inspirit them to exertions, that should wipe away the stigma, which might attach to their defeat. A stratagem enabled him to obtain his object, without the effusion of blood.


General Lambert, at the close of the fatal battle, proposed a suspension of hostilities for a day, under the pretext of administering to the relief of his wounded. General Jackson, in reply, drew up the plan of an armistice, with directions to return it immediately, if approved. It contained a stipulation, that hostilities should cease on the left bank, but not en the right, and that in the interim no reinforcements were to be sent across the river by either party. General Lambert at once drew the inference, that general Jackson had already sent over sufficient forces, to retake the position, and possibly to capture colonel Thornton's force, which, by the total route of the forces on the left bank, was left in a situation evidently isolated and exposed. The effect with general Lambert was such, as had been anticipated and desired. He neglected to sign the armistice, until the next day. Under cover of the night, colonel Thornton was ordered to recross the river with his force, and the position was thus peaceably restored to its original holders. Early the next morning, the armistice was signed, and returned to general Jackson, with the apology for having omitted to sign it sooner, that in the press of business, that part, which required an immediate signature, had been overlooked. It is amusing to discover these mutual attempts at deception. General Jackson's was certainly the most successful.

The armistice was concluded on the morning of the 9th. The remaining dead and wounded were removed from the field, which, for 300 yards in front of our line, they literally covered. The loss of the British in the main attack on the left has been variously stated. The killed, wounded and prisoners, as ascertained by colonel Hayne, our inspector general, the day after the battle, amounted to 2,600. General Lambert's report to lord Bathurst makes it less. It has been clearly proved since, that it was


much greater than that reported by either. Among the slain was their commander in chief, and major general Gibbs, who died next day of his wounds. The American loss in killed and wounded was but thirteen. Our effective force on the line was short of 4,000. That of the enemy engaged was at least 9,000.

One circumstance ought not to be omitted. The gallantry of the British soldier, so worthy of admiration in a good cause, brought many of them even in this cause to be wounded, and to die under our ramparts. The firing had ceased, and our troops, with the instinctive humanity of Americans, advanced over the lines, to bring in, and assist the wounded. The enemy from the distant ditch, which they occupied, opened a fire upon them, and several were wounded. Our soldiers had been instructed in the history of the scenes of Hampton and Havre de Grace. It has been a thousand times asserted, and we know not, that it has ever been disproved, that the watchword of the British army in the battle of the 8th was ‘booty and beauty.’ We have always associated the ideas of cruelty and cowardice. We can hardly conceive, that a general, so gallant, and so deeply lamented by his country, as Sir Edward Packenham, could have given out such a watchword, or could have promised his soldiers, than whom braver never fought, the brutal licentiousness and the lawless indulgence, which such a watchword would promise, as incitements to their valor. To continue to practise humanity to an enemy that met it with such a return, is the highest praise that can possibly be given to our troops.

Great numbers of British officers, besides the generals above named, here fought their last battle. In the pocket of captain Wilkinson, who fell, was a letter to a friend at home, who belonged to the war department. With the true spirit of a British officer, he seems to have had no


doubt of the success of the attack, and to have looked to it with an assurance, that it would bring a successful termination to their trials and labors. The annals of warfare have seldom disclosed a more bitter and cruel disappointment, and severely did they atone for their confidence. They had deemed, that the appearance of the orderly, gay and rapid movements of veteran troops, would induce our militia to forsake the contest, and fly. Accordingly, against that part of our force, they directed their chief attack. But they could have assailed no part of our entrenchment, where they would have met a warmer reception. The Kentucky and Tennessee troops, under generals Carroll and Adair, were here. They had already won a reputation, that they were not disposed now to relinquish. These divisions, alternately charging their pieces, and mounting the platform, poured a constant stream of fire upon the advancing columns, which drove them from the field with prodigious slaughter.

It has been mentioned, that a deserter from our camp imparted to them information of the state of things there. In the rage and bitterness of their disappointment, they believed, that the deserter had given them false information; and they brought him to a severe account for the mischief, which this information had caused. It was in vain, that he protested to the last, that he had stated every thing as it was. Without further ceremony, they hung the poor fellow on a tree in view of the camp. He thus expiated, not his own falsehood, for he had stated the truth, but their own rash folly, in not having learned from the many lessons, we had already given them, a little more respect for us.

The issue of this battle settled the scale of the war in this quarter. The character of the campaign was fixed, and little occurred of sufficient interest for relation afterwards.


A powerful effort was made to bring their fleet up the river, to give, if possible, a different color to the close of the campaign. A long and violent attack was made on fort St. Philip, by two bomb vessels, a brig, sloop and schooner. The assault was continued, until the night of the 17th, during which time an immense quantity of bombs and balls were thrown upon the fort by the enemy. It was commanded by major Overton, in whose bravery and skill general Jackson reposed entire confidence. The defence was managed with great activity and vigilance; and for the nine days, that the bombardment lasted, sleep was almost a stranger in the fort. As soon as they came within reach of the guns of our fort, a severe and effectual fire was opened upon them. After many fruitless efforts, and an immense waste of labor and ammunition, they retired from the fort. Our loss in the defence was nine killed, or wounded. Soon after, the British finally forsook their camp, and took refuge on board their shipping.

Thus ended in entire discomfiture and disgrace an invasion, which had fostered such hopes on the part of the enemy. The uncertainty of human things seldom exhibits a more altered aspect, than the condition and hopes of the British army at that time, compared with that of the same force twenty-six days before. They were then confident, that ten days would give them possession of the important and rich city of New Orleans. Now vanquished, and broken in spirits, abandoning many of their wounded to our care, and leaving multitudes of the bodies of their most gallant troops in a foreign soil, under cover of the darkness, they are silently flying from their camp, and breaking to pieces their artillery. They are beginning to understand the character of the enemy, with whom they have had to deal. They now well understood, that it the Americans did not know how to form columns or deploy


into lines, they knew the value of liberty, and of their far homes, — knew how to suffer privations without repining, to fight, and when need was, to die. It was the contest of 4,000 yeomanry of the West with 14,000 of the bravest and best, that England could furnish.

These brave men might well return proudly to their homes; for they were covered with glory, and they had an animating story to cheer the evening fire of their homes after their return. That story will go down to posterity in history and in song. Of the few anniversaries, beside that of the natal day of our nation, commemorated in the West, the 8th of January is one of our proudest. It has already been blazoned by the orator, the poet and the painter, and will continue to be recited, in proof of what the free owners of the sacred soil can do, when that soil is trampled by the feet of invaders.

General Jackson's Triumphal Return to New Orleans.

General Jackson returned triumphant to New Orleans. The French are naturally enthusiastic. The Americans of this region are more so, than those of the north. It would be useless to attempt any thing like a picture of the scene of his return to the city. Fathers, sons, husbands, people of all ages and conditions, by the urgent necessity of the time and the case, had been drawn out for the combat. There was scarce a family in the city, that had not members in the camp. It had not been the policy of the time to lessen the natural apprehensions and dislikes, which the French entertain towards the British. Every cannon from the British line, was perhaps, the signal of death to some member of a family, or of the approach of the indescribable horrors, inflicted by an infuriated soldiery, in the unbridled licentiousness of a captured city. It must have been a proud moment for general Jackson, when he traversed the streets of the city. The windows and the streets were crowded to view the man, who, by his unceasing


energy, gallantry and decision, had saved the city and the country. Wives and mothers embraced their husbands or children, as they returned from battle. Kisses and embraces were liberally interchanged, and the appearance of the returned soldier must be very repulsive, not to obtain this proof of gratulation and welcome. What must have been peculiarly delightful to his feelings was, that among all these joyful groups, there were to be seen few whom the late battle had made widows. Public opinion had done full justice to the intrepidity and daring valor of his character. But it was only those, who were intimately familiar with all the events of the campaign, who believed, contrary to a wide spread impression, that he deserved still more for the cool, benevolent and careful providence, by which he spared the lives of the defenders of their country.

On the 23d, a day of solemn thanksgiving was kept with religious rites. The general repaired to the cathedral, which was filled to overflowing. Children, dressed in white, strewed the path before him with flowers. An ode of gratulation was recited, as he passed. The services of the Catholic church were performed. A Te Deum was sung, and bishop Dubourg delivered an address, which he concluded by presenting the general with a wreath of laurel.

The only subsequent success, that tended in any degree to mitigate the mortification of the British, was the reduction of fort Bowyer. After two or three unavailing a tempts upon the fortification, by colonels Woodbine and Nicholls, major Lawrence, yielding to the necessity, imposed by the presence of an overwhelming force, agreed on a capitulation, and surrendered the fort.

The brevity of our limits, as well as our inclination exclude from this work any details, touching the re-action


of public feeling among the enemies of general Jackson, and of the stern measures for defence, which he had adopted. His conduct, in proclaiming martial law, suspending the privilege of habeas corpus, and the removing some disaffected citizens from the city, and punishing some deserters with the last rigor of martial law, underwent a severe investigation. These transactions excited much interest and discussion at the time, and have undergone a bitter ordeal since. At this day, whatever may be the different estimates of the political character of general Jackson, no one can fail to do justice to his wisdom, bravery and good conduct in the prosecution of this campaign. No one can fail to see, that the emergencies of the case called for such a general, and that weak and vacillating measures, would scarcely have failed to have lost the country. On the 13th of the month, peace was officially announced in the camp. On the 24th, general Jackson was prosecuted for contempt of court in the case of judge Hall, and was cast in a fine of a thousand dollars. General feeling in view of the sentence was manifested by the citizens. It was proposed to give publicity to that feeling by paying the fine by voluntary contribution. It was no sooner meditated, that it was done. So numerous were the citizens, who desired to contribute, that the entire sum was raised in a few minutes. The general, understanding what was agitated, sought the marshal, paid the fine and avoided an obligation, which his feelings would not allow him to incur. Previously to breaking up his camp, he issued an impressive and affectionate address to his brave companions in arms, and was soon on his way to his home. Grateful and affectionate honors awaited him every where, and most of all at home, where he was welcomed by a reception from his fellow citizens, that must have been more delightful, than any other honors.


The close of the war, as might be expected, produced a general pacification of the savages, on our whole frontier. It was obvious to intellects less vigorous than theirs, that if they had the worst of the contest, when aided by the power of Britain, and the countenance of the Spanish they could have little hope, in continuing the contest with us, single handed. Profound peace was soon restored to all our borders, from the northeast to the southwest frontier. The tide of immigration, which had been arrested, during the war, set more strongly towards the western country for having been so long kept back. Shoals of immigrants were seen on all the great roads leading in that direction. Oleanne, Pittsburg, Brownsville, Wheeling, Nashville, Cincinnati, and St. Louis, overflowed with them. Ohio and Indiana beheld thousands of new cabins spring up in their forests. On the borders of the solitary prairies of Illinois and Missouri, smokes were seen streaming aloft from the dwellings of recent settlers. The settlements, which had been broken up during the war, were re-peopled, and many immigrants returned again to the very cabins, which they had occupied before the war. Boon's-lick and Salt river, in Missouri, were the grand points of immigration, as were the Sangamo and the upper courses of the Kaskaskias, in Illinois. In the south, Alabama filled with new habitations, and the current, not arrested by the Mississippi, set over its banks, to White river, Arkansas, and Louisiana, west of that river. The wandering propensity of the American people carried hundreds even beyond our territorial limits into the Spanish country. — Wagons, servants, cattle, sheep, swine, horses, and dogs were seen passing with the settlers, bound to immense distances up the long rivers. To fix an hundred miles from another settler was deemed no inconvenience.


This flood of immigrants of course increased the amount of transport gave a new impulse to enterprize of every sort. Lands rose above their value, and speculation in them became a raging epidemic. Money, put in circulation by the sale of lands, abounded in the country. Town making steam boat building, — in short, every species of speculation, was carried to a ruinous excess. Mercantile importations filled the country with foreign goods. There were no reasonable foundations to the schemes, and no limits to the extravagance of the people. To give a more fatal extension and efficacy to the mania of speculation, banks were multiplied in all the little towns and villages of the West, whose spurious paper, not predicated on banking principles, nor based upon capital, answered the turn of speculation, as long as the excitement of confidence lasted. The consequence of all this was, that lands rose to double and triple their natural value, and were bought up by speculators. One good effect resulted from the general mischief. Improvements, which would never have been contemplated, in another state of things, multiplied. Towns were built up with good and permanent houses. In three years from the close of the war, things had received a new face along the great water courses, and in all the favorable points of the interior.

New states and territories grew out of this order of things, like the prophet's gourd. In building up legislation and municipal order, the scramble of strangers, recently brought in contiguity, for the new offices, introduced much bustle and quarrelling. All the legislators were not Solons. A great many forward and plunging young men, whose only qualifications for their great work, were vanity and confidence, composed the legislatures. Of course a thousand monstrous projects were hatched. The teaching of the past, history and experience, were not the


guides of these confident legislators. The evils, that soon resulted from such legislation, gradually worked their own cure. The people were slow to learn; but in most of the states and territories, after taking lessons for two or three years, they did learn, and returned to the safe and ancient track of history, example and experience. One or two states, and those among the most influential in the western country, have hardly regained sound discretion upon these points even yet.

Meanwhile, this unnatural state of things could not last long. The tide began to ebb, and things to settle to their natural level. The first indication of this change was, that the banks began to fail, at first as rare occurrences; but these failures soon became so numerous and common, that the paper, except of the banks of Louisiana, Mississippi, and a very few of the interior banks, became as useless as any other wrapping paper. We have not the data for calculating the amount of loss in the western country, and patience and moderation of feeling would fail us in contemplating these enormous mischiefs of legislative swindling. An inconceivable quantity of paper perished not in the hands of the speculators, and those, who had been efficient in generating it; for they foresaw the approaching ruin, and they passed the spurious paper away before the bubble of confidence, on which it was predicated, burst. It finally rested, and perished in the hands of fanners and mechanics, — the honest and the useful members of the community, who had fairly earned the value of the money. May it be a perpetual warning to the legislatures of the West, not to allow demagogues to trifle with their interests, in the introduction of banking schemes based upon any other foundation, than solid capital A more enormous engine of mischief and dishonesty never was introduced into a community.


Lands experienced almost a perpendicular fall. Immigration was suspended. Money ceased to flow into the country from that source. The depreciated paper of the country banks ceased to be received in payment. The merchants had sold out on credit the immense amounts of goods, which they had brought into the country, and the debtors had no means of payment left to enable them to make remittances. All the specie of the country made its way to the Atlantic country, to pay for the goods, imported thence. Credit was at an end, and universal distress prevailed. In some of the states, after slight experiments of quackery, the legislatures began to consult experience, and desisted from violent political remedies, which in the end are sure to aggravate the disease. In other legislatures, where they had not yet learned, that bills made by an engraver, and signed by a president and cashier of a bank with a name, are not necessarily money, they passed laws, whimsically called ‘relief laws,’ and there was a new deluge of bank paper in a new form, to remedy the distress, occasioned by the failure of the old. In Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri, the legislatures plunged deepest into the abyss of relief laws. Loan offices emitted money on the faith of the state, pledged for its redemption. It was soon in the hands of speculators, purchased at a fourth of its nominal value. It was directly ascertained, that the remedy was worse than the disease. This evil was longest persisted in, where it would have been supposed, it would be relinquished first, in Kentucky, the common mother of the western states, opulent, enlightened, and teeming with men of education and intelligence. So it will ever be, when the rash and presuming legislate, and predicate their schemes on wild theory, and not on the sure teaching of age tried wisdom, experience, and the analogy of the past.


In the greater part of the western country, things slowly returned to their natural level. The circulation became sound, and was either specie, or paper based on capital. History can not pretend to give an idea of the aggregate of the distress, which these evils had occasioned. They were spread along a course of two thousand miles; were experienced in cabins and lonely habitations, as well as towns and villages. They were concealed from the public eye and ear; and though of an efficacy to create immense and nameless misery, were not of a character to create much commiseration or sympathy. It will be well, if they have furnished salutary lessons for the future, that will not soon be forgotten.

From that time to the present, there have occurred in the western country few events to find a place in annals, like these. Were we to descend to the details of state events, and the character of state legislation, volumes would be necessary to such a narrative. Mercantile, and mineral, and fur associations were formed at different periods, and have been pursued with spirit. Different exploring expeditions, ordered by the government, have added to the general and topographical knowledge of the country. An hundred new towns have grown to consequence, and the catalogue of proper names has been ransacked to find names for them. Steam boats have been increased to such numbers, that there are now more than one hundred and fifty on our waters. Our militia is gradually acquiring efficiency and organization. It is, probably, as numerous, in proportion to our population, as that of the Atlantic states. In some of the states, the system is lax, or the laws are badly enforced; for the militia is neither regularly organized, trained, or armed. A levy en masse, would probably in the state of Ohio bring the field more fighting men, in proportion to the population,


than any where else in the United States. Owing to its recent settlement, few of the inhabitants are past the age for bearing arms. The males immigrate in greater numbers, than females; and from these circumstances, the proportion of men capable of bearing arms is great.

For the rest, the details of local history, enterprize and improvement in this valley, will best be given under the heads of the states and territories, which are now to be described. Tables, which present the best synopsis, that we can procure, of the historical events, which we have been relating, in chronological order, and of the population, military strength, navigation and exports of the Missippi valley, will be given in the Appendix.




LENGTH 550 miles. Mean breadth 120 miles. Between 25 and 31° N. latitude, and 80 and 92° W. longitude from London. Under its former owners, it was separated into two political divisions, whose geographical limits were strongly marked by nature; to wit, East and West Florida. At the southern extremity of East Florida, there is a long and narrow peninsula, running nearly 100 leagues into the sea, and marking the eastern boundary of the gulf of Mexico. It extends northwardly to Alabama and Georgia. East to Georgia. South to the gulf of Mexico; and west to the river Appalachicola, between 80 and 85° W. longitude from London, and 25 and 31° N. latitude. West Florida extends from the limits of East Florida, with the same northern boundaries to the river Perdido, which divides it on the west from Alabama. — This division will soon cease to exist, and the two Floridas will constitute one government. By the treaty of cession from Spain, it has become an integral part of the American republic, and will, probably, soon have a sufficient population to claim admission into the union of the states.


This may be considered in some respects a tropical climate. The northern belt, indeed, which lies along the southern limits of Georgia and Alabama, par takes of the cooler temperature of those states, and seems to be beyond the range of the proper cultivation of the


Otaheite and African sugar cane. The ribband cane will, probably, flourish in this division. The regular range of the thermometer throughout the Floridas, from June to the autumnal equinox, is between 81 and 88° Fahrenheit It sometimes, as elsewhere, rises above 100°; but this range occurs as seldom, as in the adjoining states. The mercury probably, ranges lower through the summer, than in the interior of Alabama and Georgia. Even in winter, the influence of the unclouded and vertical sun is always uncomfortable. In the peninsular parts, there are sometimes slight frosts, but water never freezes. The most delicate orange trees bear fruit in full perfection, and the fruit is reputed remarkably delicious. There is generally a sky of mild azure, southern breezes, and an air of great purity. But, as happens in most southern countries, which are level, timbered, full of lakes, and near the sea, the evening air is particularly humid, and the dews excessive. Early in winter, the rainy season commences. In February and March, there are thunder storms by night, followed by clear and beautiful days. In June, the sultry season commences, and terminates with the autumnal equinox. But, take the climate altogether, there is not, perhaps, on the globe a more delightful one, than this is between the months of October and June. The peninsular parts, being near the tropics, have of course a higher temperature, than West Florida, which is occasionally fanned by Canadian breezes, that sweep the Mississippi valley. — The peninsula is subject to tornadoes, like the West Indies. On the Atlantic side of Florida prevail the eastern, a in West Florida the western trade winds. But in West Florida, after severe thunder storms, northern breezes alternate through the summer. About the time of the autumnal equinox, there sometimes occur hurricanes and destructive gales. In the northern parts the influent of


the cold breezes from the northern regions, which are covered with snow, are sensibly felt; and then ice forms on the northern exposures of buildings. There are, at particular seasons, indications of considerable humidity over all the country. Though there are never heats and humidity to cause sugar and salt to melt, as some fanciful writers have imagined, and asserted. Perhaps there is no point in the Floridas, where humidity is more manifest, than about St. Augustine; and yet, in Spanish times, the citizens of Havanna used to resort, during the sickly months, to St. Augustine for health, as a kind of Montpelier, and perhaps no place at present is found more congenial to the constitution of the people of the United States. The same sudden variations of temperature are felt here, especially in the winter, that constitute so distinct a feature in the climate of all the south-western parts of the United States. The thermometer sometimes ranges 30° in a single winter day. — Northern people would never conceive, except by inspection, how long fires are comfortable, and how great a portion of the year requires them, in a climate, where rivers never skim with ice. From June to October, the frequent rains, and the unremitting heat are apt to generate the fevers of southern climates, especially in the vicinity of ponds and marshes. Where fields are flooded for rice, and where indigo plantations are made, it is invariably sickly. On the other hand, it may be safely asserted, that the regions of Florida, that are remote from marshes, swamps, and stagnant waters, are healthy. The ever verdant pine forests cover a great extent of this country, and these in the mind of an inhabitant of the south are ever associated with the idea of health. At least two-thirds of the country are covered with this timber.


The vegetable kingdom in Florida has a greater variety, than in any other part of the United States.


In the comparatively richer soils, in the hammock lands on the river courses, and the richer swamps nothing can exceed the luxuriance and grandeur of the shrubs and tree The pine forest is almost boundless and inexhaustible; and the pines are of an extraordinary height and beauty. What is called white cedar, and cypress, abound in the vast swamps, and this timber grows of great size. Laurel Magnolias are common, and though not exactly what they have been described to be, are beautiful trees. Live oaks are frequent, and the tree here developes itself in its full perfection. A large, detached live oak, seen at a distance, on the verge of a savanna, or on the shores of a river, spreading itself, like an immense umbrella, its head of such perfect verdure, and so beautifully rounded, is a splendid object on the landscape. The cabbage palm, choemarops palmetto, is common. The deep swamps present the customary spectacle of innumerable cypress columns, rising from immense buttresses, with interlaced arms, at their summits, presenting the aspect of a canopy of verdure reared upon pillars. On the hammock lands, the beautiful dog wood trees spread their horizontal branches, and interweaving them with each other, form a fine, deep shade, which completely excludes the sun, and suppresses the growth of all kinds of vegetation under them; presenting, in some places for miles together a smooth shaven lawn, and an impervious shade. Here is the beautiful carica Papaya, or pawpaw, with a stem perfectly straight, smooth and silver colored, and with a conical top of splendid foliage always green, and fruit of the richest appearance. Five or six species of pine are found here.

There are many traces of ruined towers, desolated Indian villages, and indications of former habitancy, and much more cultivation, than is now seen in the country. Wherever these traces of former population are seen, are seen


also, those groves of lime, orange, peach and fig trees, that are spoken of by travellers, as having been found here indiginous to the soil. Wild grape vines abound. Myrica odorata, or candle berry laurel is common. From the berries of this shrub is prepared an excellent kind of wax for candles. It is not unlike the bay berry of the north, except that the shrub is taller, and the berries larger. Among the flowers is the magnificent Hybiscus, which, though an herbaceous and annual plant, grows to the height of ten feet, branching regularly in the form of a sharp cone, and is covered with large, expanded and crimson flowers, which unfold in succession during all the summer months. Tillandsia usneoides, long moss, or Spanish beard is as common here, and has the same appearance as will be hereafter described in Louisiana. It hangs down in festoons, sometimes ten or fifteen feet in length, like the pendent stems of the weeping willow. Waved by the wind, it catches from branch to branch, and sometimes fills the interval between the trees, as a curtain. It has a long trumpet shaped flower, and seeds so fine, as to be hardly visible. These seeds undoubtedly fix in the bark of the trees; and this parasitic plant there finds its appropriate soil. It will not grow on a dead tree. Cattle, deer and horses feed on it, while it is fresh. When properly rotted, and prepared, which is done much after the manner, in which hemp is prepared, it is an admirable article for mattresses, and stuffing for cushions, saddles, coach seats, and the like. The fibre when properly prepared, is elastic and incorruptible, and in many respects resembles horse hair, both in appearance and use. The Spanish and natives also use it for horse collars, coarse harnessing and ropes.

The low savannas are covered, like the prairies of the upper country, with a prodigious growth of grass and flowers. In the swamps, the cane brakes are of great height


and thickness, and the rushes, and other meadow plants grow to an uncommon size. Some of the reed canes are seen from thirty to forty feet in height. The lakes and creeping bayous, especially in summer, are covered with a most curious growth of aquatic plants, called by botanists, pistia stratiotes. They somewhat resemble the vegetable, commonly called house leek, and have a beautiful elliptical leaf. It is commonly, but not correctly reported to vegetate on the surface of the water. When the roots of thousands of these plants have twined together, so as to form a large and compact surface, the moss is often divided by the wind, or current, to a considerable distance. This is the appearance, no doubt, which has given origin to the story of floating islands, which has been so often repeated about the waters of this country. We have remarked with admiration this singular and beautiful vegetation, spreading a verdant plain over the waters, for a great extent. — The water has often a great depth below it. Under it the fishes dart, and the alligators pursue their unwieldly gambols, and in the proper season, multitudes of water fowls are seen pattering their bills among the leaves. The herbarium, though exceedingly rich, and diversified, is not materially different from that, to be described hereafter.

The cultivated vegetables are maize, beans, potatoes, especially sweet potatoes, it being an admirable country for that fine vegetable, pumpkins, melons, rice, and a variety of esculent roots, particularly a species of arum, which is much cultivated in the maratime parts, and has a large turnip shaped root, resembling, when roasted, or boiled, a yam in taste. Tobacco, cotton, indigo, rice and the sugar cane will be the principal articles of culture. The African and Otaheite cane flourish remarkably well in the southern parts, on the hammock and richer lands, and planters are beginning to turn their attention very much to the cultivation of


that article. The coffee tree has been tried on the peninsula; and coffee can unquestionably be raised there; but whether of a kind, or in quantities to justify cultivation, has not yet been sufficiently experimented. The olive has been sufficiently tried to prove, that it flourishes, and bears well. A species of Cactus is common, on which the Cochineal fly feeds; and this will probably become an important article of manufature. A species of cabinet wood of great beauty grows here, which they call bastard mahogony. It is probably the Laurus Borbonia.


The country is not rich in this department, although it is affirmed, that several kinds of precious stones have been found here, as amethysts, turquoises, and lapis lazali. Ochres of different colors, pit coal and iron ore are abundant. We have seen beautiful aggregations of little circular nodules of marine petrifactions, and splendid specimens of coral and marine shells found on the shores of the gulf. On Musquito river, there is a warm mineral spring, pouring out, as do many of the springs of the country, a vast volume of water sufficiently large to fill a basin, in which large boats may float. The water is sulphureous, and is esteemed efficacious in rheumatic, and other affections. It is remarkably pellucid, and is filled with fishes, that are seen sporting about in the transparent depths.


There are prairie and common wolves, wild cats, panthers, foxes, rabbits, many beautiful kinds of squirrels, raccoons, oppossums and woodchucks. The common brown bear is yet seen in the swamps. In short, there are all the wild animals that are seen in the south-western parts of the United States, with a few, that are peculiar to this climate. It is a fine grazing country, and grass abounds in the open pine woods and savannas, and the swamps furnish inexhaustible supplies of winter range. Thus it is an admirable country for raising stock. The rearing of cattle


and horses, in times past, has been the chief employment of the small planters. They number their cattle by hundreds, and sometimes by thousands. There are immense droves of deer, and this is the paradise of hunters, though in many places the Indians complain of the scarcity of game. Wolves sometimes assemble in great numbers, and when united or single, are always formidable enemies to the folds and vacheries of the planters. Bears have been killed here of 600 pounds weight. The inhabitants esteem their flesh a great luxury.


The ornithology of Florida is probably the richest in North America. There are here immense numbers and varieties of water fowls, especially in the winter, in the sleeping inlets on the shores of the gulf, on the bayous and creeks. In the woods and stationary through the winter are vultures, hawks, rooks, jays, parroquets, woodpeckers, pigeons, turkeys, herons, cranes, curlews, cormorants, pelicans, plovers, blue birds, mocking birds, red birds, and a great variety of the sparrow tribe. The dog wood groves are the resort of vast numbers of the small and singing birds. Among the remarkable birds, are the snake birds, a species of cormorant of great beauty, which delight to sit in peaceable communities on the dry limbs of trees, hanging over the lakes, with their wings and tail expanded, as if cooling themselves in the air. When alarmed, they drop, as if dead, in the water, re-appearing, perhaps, at a great distance from the place, where they sunk, shewing only their long, slender head and neck above the water, which gives them much the appearance of a snake. The crying bird is a curiosity. It is a species of pelican, about the size of a large domestic hen, and of a speckled color, with a short tail, having the longest feather in the middle, and the two outermost perfectly white, which the bird, whenever he is disturbed, is accustomed to flirt with the rapidity of lightning,


uttering at the same time a sharp and harsh shriek. — The wood pelican is a large bird, nearly three feet high. — He stands erect, feeds on frogs, serpents and other reptiles, and is generally seen stalking alone on the banks of marshes, and rivers, with his neck drawn in upon his shoulders, and his long crooked beak, resting, like a scythe, upon his breast. The painted vulture is of a white, or cream color, except the quill feathers of the wings, and the tip of the large tail feathers, which are of a dark brown, or black. This bird is seldom seen, unless when the woods, or savannas are set on fire by lightning, or the savages to rouse the game; and then they gather from every quarter towards the burning plains, and alighting among the smoking embers, gorge their immense craws with roasted serpents, frogs and lizzards. — The Creek Indians form their national standard from the tail feathers of this bird, preserving them in their natural white color, when they are marching on peaceable negotiations; but painting a zone of red beneath the brown tips, when they are going to battle. The great savanna crane, a very stately bird, about six feet in length from the toes to the extremity of the beak, is nearly five fee tin height, when standing erect, and eight or nine feet between the extremities of the expanded wings. They fly in squadrons, all rising, or falling, as one bird, and while they move their wings in flight, with slow and regular strokes, the shafts and webs of their quill feathers may be heard at a considerable distance in the air.


The coasts, sounds and inlets abound in excellent fish; and the inland lakes and rivers are stored with such multitudes of them, as can not be adequately conceived, except by those, who have seen them. They are generally of the same kinds, that we have named under this head, in our previous remarks upon the Mississippi Valley.

We may observe in general, that the fish of this region, especially on the sea coast, are fine. The fish, here called


the sun-fish, is the same with the trout of Louisiana. It is an excellent fish, and no angling can exceed it. It takes the bait with a spring. There is no doubt, but the accounts of the multitudes of fish here have been somewhat exaggerated. The most moderate and just representations would seem like exaggeration. They are taken through the year What is a matter of curiosity, to all the recent settlers in the country, is the multitudes of fish, that are seen at the mouths of the immense springs, that burst forth from the ground, of a size at once to form considerable rivers. When the channel of these subterranean streams is struck, by perforating the earth at any distance from the fountain, the hook, thrown in at the perforation, is eagerly taken by the fish, and fine angling may be had, as if fishing in a well. The most common kinds are the sun fish, cat fish, silver, or white bream, and the black, or blue bream, stingray, scale flounders, spotted bass, sheep's head, drum, shad, &c. Oysters, and other shell fish are excellent and abundant. Alligators and alligatorgars are the common enemies of the finny tribes, and they here feed, and fatten on the fish. — The swamps, lakes and inlets here, so abundantly stored with fish, frogs, insects, and every kind of small animals, that constitute the natural food of alligators, would lead us to expect, to find this animal in great numbers. There are all the varieties of lizzards, that we have enumerated, as belonging to the western country in general. The lakes and rivers abound in tortoises. The great, soft shelled fresh water tortoise, when of a large size, has been found weighing fifty pounds, and is esteemed by epicures, delicious food The gopher is a curious kind of land tortoise, and is by many considered prized for the table. There are vast numbers and varieties of frogs, and the music of the Rana boans, or bull frog is heard in concert with the cry of the Spanish whip-poor-will, the croaking of tortoises, and the


innumerable peepings and gruntings of the amphibious animals and reptiles of the lakes and marshes.


They are for the most part the same as have been described already under this head. Here is seen the ribband snake, of a clear vermilion color, variegated with transverse zones of dark brown. It is found about old buildings and is harmless. Here, also, is the chicken snake, swift, slender, long and harmless. Its prey is chickens. — The bull snake is common on the savannas. It is a large, fierce and venomous looking snake, uttering, when irritated, a loud hissing noise; but its bite is harmless. The coach whip snake is common. It is an animal of beautiful colors, six feet long, and as slender, as a walking stick. — The glass snake which we have described elsewhere, is seen here.


Incredible numbers of the small insects, called ephemerae, cover the surfaces of the lakes and rivers, supplying abundant food for the birds, frogs and fishes. Clouds of the gaudiest butterflies hover among the shrubs and flowers. Gnats and musquitos, as might be expected in such a country, are extremely frequent and annoying, especially about the rice and indigo plantations, being ordinarily found in greatest numbers, where it is most unhealthy. On the open, dry savannas they are neither so frequent, nor troublesome; and they decrease in numbers, as cultivation advances. The jigger, red bug and musquitoe are most annoying.

Bays, Inlets and Sounds.

From the uncommon levelness of the country on the sea shore, and from the numerous rivers, that intersect the country, there is no part of the world, that for the same extent has so many inlets, sounds, narrow passes of water between islands, and communications of one point of the shore with another, by an inland channel. The whole coast is almost a continued line of


these sounds; and it is beyond a doubt, that at a comparatively small expense, a canal communicating with the sea, in an hundred places, might be made from New Orleans to the river St. Marys. From this river to the Sabine, and we may add, through Texas, almost every river, that enter the gulf just before its entrance, spreads into a broad lake, communicating with the sea, and the water is partially salt. From one of these lakes to another, there is often a large natural canal, with from four to six feet water. Those on the shores of Florida are too numerous to mention with particularity in this work. The principal are the passes of St. Rosa, St. Andrews, and St. Georges. Estimates of the expense, and a survey of the ground for a canal through the peninsula of Cape Florida have been made. If such a canal were effected, the tedious, dangerous and circuitous doubling of Cape Florida would be avoided by all vessels, bound from the Louisiana and Florida shore, to the Atlantic. The passage by sea from New Orleans and Mobile, to the north would be shortened by one half, and the annual saving of life and property from ship wreck would be incalculable. The apprehended difficulty of the canal seems to be the shallowness of the water of the gulf, near the point, where the canal must commence and terminate. In West Florida are Perdido, Pensacola, St. Andrew's, St. Joseph's, Appalachicola, and Ochlockney bays.


The rivers, that have courses of considerable length rise in the high lands of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. St. Marys is a very considerable stream, that falls into the Atlantic, by a broad mouth. It is for a long way the separating line between Florida and Georgia.

St. Johns, a very considerable river, rises in the centre of the peninsula, and flowing with a gentle current northwardly, broadens to a wide channel, and passes through several lakes, the largest of which is St. George, twenty


miles long, and twelve broad, and falls into the sea forty miles south of St. George. Indian river has a course from north to south, and empties into the gulf. Most of the rivers that fall into the gulf, have their sources in Georgia. — The most important of these is Appalachicola, which divides East from West Florida. It is formed by the junction of two considerable rivers, that rise in the subsiding Appalachian ridges in Georgia, the Flint and the Chattahochy. It is the longest, largest and most important river in Florida, and falls into Appalachy bay. The small river, St. Marks, empties into the same bay. Escambia is a considerable river, and empties into Pensacola bay. Perdido, which forms the boundary between Florida and Alabama, falls into the gulf four leagues west of Pensacola bay. There are, also, the Nassau, St. Nicholas, Ochlockney, Corelia, St. Pedro, Charlotte, Hilisborough, Suwaney, Asilla and Vilchees, which rise in Florida, and at different points fall into the gulf. There are a great number of rivers, not here enumerated, that rise in the pine forests, have considerable courses, and fall into arms and inlets of the gulf. The country is as yet scarcely susceptible of accurate topographical information. The almost numberless rivers and inlets have not yet all received names, and of those that have been named, having been traversed successively by the Spanish, French, English and Americans, as owners, and each having warned the rivers, according to their own fancy, the same river has not always borne the same name. The country is so intersected with rivers, and accommodated with inlets, and the soil is so level, and the communications from one point to another so easy by water, that there is no place in the territory at any considerable distance from water communication. The entrances to most of the rivers have a bar, that unfits them for the navigation of vessels drawing much water. Most of these rivers are susceptible


of considerable reaches of schooner navigation, and they are generally capable of steam boat navigation.


The sea islands on the Florida shore are not of much importance. St. Rosa island is a long and narrow slip parallel to the coast, between St. Rosa bay and Pensacola. The Tortugas are a group of islands, opposite the southern-most point of East Florida. They are covered with Mangrove bushes, and extend from north-east to south-west. Anastatia is opposite to St. Augustine, and divided from the main land by a narrow channel, and is twenty-five miles in length. They are covered with pine trees and sand banks, and have a sterile soil. On the West Florida shore are Hammock, Crooked, St. Vincent's, St. George's, Dog, and James' islands.

Fountains and Springs.

There seems to be over all this country, a substratum of soft stone, at unequal depths, which is cavernous, and admits numberless subterranean brooks and streams to have their courses far under the ground. In places they burst out in the form of those vast boiling springs, which form rivers at a short distance from their outlets, and by their frequency, their singular forms, the transparency of their waters, and the multitude of their fishes, constitute one of the most striking curiosities of the country. Among an hundred, which might be named, and which have created the vulgar impression, that there is every where a prodigious cavern beneath the surface of the whole country, the most remarkable is that, twelve miles from Tallahassee, which is the source of Wakulla river. — It is of a size to be boatable immediately below the fountain. A mile below its source the channel becomes so impeded with flags, rushes and river weeds, that a boat can scarcely be propelled through them. Suddenly this immense spring breaks upon the eye, of a circular form, and in extent, like a little lake. The water is almost as pellcid,


as air. It has been sounded with a line of 250 fathoms, before bottom was found. From its almost unfathomable depth, from the aereal transparency of its waters, and perhaps also from the admixture of sulphuret of lime, which it holds in solution, it has a cerulean tinge, like that, which every voyager has admired in the waters of the gulf. To a person placed in a skiff, in the centre of this splendid fountain basin, the appearance of the mild azure vault above, and the transparent depth below, on which the floating clouds and the blue concave above are painted, and repeated with an indescribable softness, create a kind of pleasing dizziness, and a novel train of sensations, among which the most distinguishable is a feeling, as if suspended between two firmaments. The impression only ceases, when the boat approaches the edge of the basin near enough, to enable you to perceive the outlines of the neighboring trees pictured on the margin of the basin. It has been asserted, that lime stone water in its utmost purity has less refractive powers for light, than free stone water. The water of this vast spring, even in this sultry climate, has a coldness almost like ice water. The water, probably, from the presence of the sulphuret of lime, is slightly nauseous to the taste. Beautiful hammock lands rise from the northern acclivity of this basin. It was the site of the English factory in former days. Here resided the famous Ambrister. The force, which throws up this vast mass of waters from its subterranean fountains, may be imagined, when we see this pellucid water swelling up from the depths, as though it were a cauldron of boiling water. It is twelve miles from St. Marks, and twenty from the ocean.


These have been sufficiently designated in our general views of the savages, and in our annals of general Jackson's campaigns. The Seminoles were once a numerous and powerful tribe, as were also the Baton Rouges, or


Red Sticks. Their numbers were much reduced by the terrible but deserved chastisement which they received during the late war. Numerous small tribes, and divisions of tribes, and congregated bodies of refugees from different foreign tribes are dispersed in the forests and savannas of this country. They used to find in the spontaneous production of the soil, and in the abundance of fish and gamp a superfluity of subsistence. At present, they complain of being in a state of starvation, and they have recently committed many murders. In consequence, a general requisition was made upon the militia, living in the counties contiguous to the points, where the murders were committed and apprehensions were entertained of an Indian war. — The murderers have since been surrendered to justice, and these apprehensions have subsided.

The Indians of this region are an alert, active and athletic people, fond of war, of gay, volatile, and joyous dispositions, and the merriest of savages. They have the common propensity for intoxication and gambling. They are active and expert hunters; and, by the sale of bear, deer, panther and wolf skins, horses and cattle, bees wax, honey, venison, and such articles generally, as are the fruit of the chase, they procure their clothing, and such things as are called for by their habits of life.

Civil Divisions.

Since the cession of this country to the United States, the immigration to the country has been very considerable. The country has been divided into counties, judicial and military districts; and all the benefits of American institutions are peaceably diffused over its whole surface. The present number of inhabitants in both Floridas may probably exceed 20,000. They are as thoroughly mixed, as any community in the United States, comprising emigrants from all foreign countries, and from every American state; and among the creoles, there are all possible,


admixtures of African and Indian blood. The greater proportion of the inhabitants are very poor, and too great a part of the recent immigrants are mere adventurers.

The greater number of the ancient inhabitants lead a kind of pastoral life, and subsist by rearing cattle. A few of the planters are opulent, and have good houses with piazzas, and every addition, that can easily be devised to court the breeze. They live a solitary life, in remote forests, or savannas. But abounding in fish, cattle and game, they have all the necessaries of life without labor or difficulty; and the unbounded hospitality which they practise, is at once an easy and delightful virtue. Nothing can be more grateful to the summer traveller, oppressed with hunger, thirst and heat, and wearied with the sad uniformity of the wide pine forests, and savannas, than the cordial, though rude welcome, the patriarchal simplicity, the frank hospitality, and the surrender of time, slaves, and every thing that the house affords, to his comfort, than he receives here. Some portions of this region have interest with the thinking traveller, from another circumstance. The many mounds, that are memorials of ages and races forever lost to tradition and history, are here mixed with the melancholy ruins of considerable villages, that rise among the orange groves, and manifest, that there was once, even here, a numerous population of civilized beings.

The amusements of the people are a compound of Spanish, French and American manners. What is called in Louisiana, ‘King ball,’ is here called Patgo. There is an imitation bird. The young marksmen shoot at it. The most adroit is made king of the ball by the ladies; and for this distinguished honor, has to pay the expenses of the ball. The Cherrivarees, so well known in all the French settlements, are kept up here. When a widow, or widower is married, the people of the younger and gayer class assemble


in all manner of disguises and fantastic dresses, and with instruments to make every kind of discordant noise, rioting, and tormenting the new married couple, until, they are bought off, generally with wine, or spirits.

West Florida is divided into Walton, Escambia, Washington, Jackson, Gadsden and Leon counties.

Comparative Advantages of Immigration to Florida.

This country was in some points of view ah invaluable acquisition to the United States. It was necessary to the rounding, and completing the area of our surface, that no foreign power should possess a territory surrounded by our own. It was necessary for the possession of its harbors, and its immense line of coast. It was invaluable for its inexhaustible supplies of ship timber. As an agricultural country, it must be confessed, a great part of it is sterile. The level pine forest lands will bring one or two crops of corn without manure; and will, probably be cultivated to a certain extent with indigo. The drier lands of this sort are admirable for sweet potatoes, and on the whole better, with the requisite cultivation, and manuring, for gardens, than soils, naturally more fertile. There are considerable bodies of excellent land, distributed at wide intervals over all the country. But a small proportion of these are, what are denominated first rate. Some parts, probably, offer equal advantages for the cultivation of sugar with the sugar lands of Louisiana. Cochineal, it is supposed, will be made to advantage, and it may be, coffee. It offers superior maratime advantages of every sort; abounds in the materials of ship building; and in its rich and inexhaustible fisheries and its supply of oysters, and sea fowl has its own peculiar advantages. The immigrant, who sought to enrich himself by cultivation alone, would, probably, make his way the richer soils, west of the Mississippi. But, if taken as a whole, it is more sterile than the country along the Mississippi,


it feels the refreshing coolness of the sea breeze, and the trade winds, and, it is beyond doubt, more healthy. — Nature has her own way of balancing advantages and disadvantages, over the globe; and a Florida planter finds sufficient reasons, on comparing his country with others, to be satisfied with his lot.

Chief Towns.

St. Augustine is the chief town of East Florida, and the most populous in the country. It is situated on the Atlantic coast, thirty miles below the mouth of St. Johns, about two miles within the bar, opposite the inlet, and at the neck of a peninsula, in north latitude 29° 45'. — The bars at the entrance of the inlet have from eight to twelve feet water. The town is built of an oblong form, divided by four streets, that cut each other at right angles. It is fortified by bastions, and surrounded by a ditch, and is defended by a castle, called Fort St. John. The river St. Marks, flows through the harbor, and divides the town from the island. The streets are generally so narrow, as scarcely to permit two carriages to pass each other. To make up for this inconvenience, the houses have a terrace foundation, which, being shaded, renders the walking in the sultry days agreeable. The houses are generally built of a free stone, peculiar to the country. This rock is obtained from the adjacent island, and is formed of concrete sea shells. The external walls are plastered, and have a handsome and durable appearance. They are not more than two stories high, with thick walls, spacious entries, large doors, windows and balconies, and commonly a large and beautiful garden attached to them.

On entering this ancient looking town from the sea, the castle of fort St. Mark has an imposing effect upon the eye, It is a fort forty feet high, and in the modern style of military architecture. It commands the entrance of the harbor. It is of a regular quadrangular form with four bastions


a wide ditch, and sixty heavy cannon, and is capable of containing 1,000 men. It is on a point of land between the conflux of Matanzas creek, and St. Sebastian's, and forms a landscape of great picturesque beauty, with its interspersed groves of orange trees, and flower and kitchen gardens. Although the soil about St. Augustine is so sandy, as to give it the appearance of being sterile, yet it is far from being unproductive. It brings two crops of maize in a year; and garden vegetables grow in great perfection. — The orange and lemon grow, as if they were indiginous, and of a greater size, it is affirmed, than in Spain, or Portugal The harbor would be one of the best, if it were not for the bar at its entrance, which prevents the approach of large vessels. There is a light house on the island, and some gardens, and orange and date trees. From this island are taken the stones, of which the town is built, and here commences the northern limit of that remarkable quarry of stone, that skirts the southern shore of Florida. The population of St. Augustine is now supposed to consist of between four and five thousand inhabitants. Near this town grows the palm, or date tree. Its branches attract notice from their singular beauty, and constant rustling, like aspen leaves, as well, as from the peculiarity of the under branches, which resemble, and serve for ladders, by which to ascend the tree The fruit in form resembles the largest acorn, and is covered with a thin, transparent, yellowish membrane, containing a soft saccharine pulp, of a somewhat vinous flavor, in which is enclosed an oblong, hard kernel. When ripe, it affords an agreeable nourishment. The olive has already become naturalized to the soil. Some have asserted, that cocoa trees would succeed in the southern parts of the peninsula.

Pensacola, fifty miles from Mobile, is the capital of West Florida. It is situated on a bay of the same name, in north latitude 32° 32' and in longitude 10° 18' from


Washington. The shore is low and sandy; but the town is built on a gentle ascent. It is, like St. Augustine, built in an oblong form, and is nearly a mile in length. Small vessels only can come quite to the town. But the bay affords one of the most safe and capacious harbors in all the gulf of Mexico. It has been selected by our government, as a naval station and depot, for which its harbor, and the advantage of fine ship timber in the neighborhood, and its relative position admirably fit it. A stream of fresh water runs through the town, and its market is well supplied with beef, garden vegetables and fish. Oysters, turtles and gophers are important items in their supplies of food, and especially sea fowls. It was an old and decaying town, when it came under the American government. At that period it received that impulse of increase and prosperity, which has uniformly been the result of coming under the American government. A number of new and handsome brick houses were built. Numerous adventurers flocked to the place, drawn thither by its natural advantages, and its reputation for uncommon salubrity. In the fatal autumn of 1822, the yellow fever visited this place, in common with many other towns on the gulf. Extreme negligence in the police of the town is supposed to have caused it. Confidence in its fancied exemption from that terrible malady was destroyed; and it again declined. It is, unquestionably, a salubrious position for that climate, and it is hoped and believed, that its natural advantages, added to those, which result from its being a naval position, will restore to it its proper degree of estimation and importance. Its supplies are now in a considerable degree from New Orleans. Of course it is a place something more expensive than that city. One of its inconveniences is a very sandy position; and the inhabitants are said to acquire a general gait, as if continually walking in a sand, that gave way under their


feet. At present it contains a very respectable society, though the aspect of the town is rather unpleasant. It is supposed to contain about 2,000 inhabitants.

St. Marks is an inconsiderable sea port, not far from Tallahassee, and is the nearest navigable point to that place.

Tallahassee has been selected, as the seat of government for the territory of Florida. The reasons, which determined the governor and commissioners to fix on this place, as the metropolis, were its central position, its fertility of soil, and the reputation, it had acquired among the Spanish and Indians, as being uncommonly salubrious. The position was fixed upon for the seat of government in 1824. It was divided into lots, and sold in 1825. Five squares have been reserved for the purpose of public buildings. The precincts of the town encircle a beautifully undulating country. It was immediately incorporated, as a city. In two years from the first building, the number of whites and blacks were supposed to amount to 800. Some respectable houses were built, but the principal part of the habitations are temporary log buildings. The forest is falling on all sides, and it is daily acquiring more and more the appearance of a town. The amount of the sales of the lots was 24,000 dollars. That sum was appropriated for the erection of a territorial capitol. The materials for building are good and abundant. There are already eight stores, two taverns, and shops of all the customary mechanics, with a full proportion of lawyers and doctors, and 120 houses. A printing press has been established, from which issues the ‘Florida Intelligencer.’ The Florida mahogony, that grows in the vicinity, is scarcely inferior to that brought from Honduras. There are fine situations for mill seats in the vicinity, and great scope for industry and enterprize of every sort. Post roads have been opened to Georgia, St. Marks, St. Augustine and Pensacola: and


bridges and ferries so established, that travelling is comparatively safe and easy. Immigrants may now arrive at this place from any direction, without being obliged to sleep out of a house. In consequence of the sudden influx, articles at first were very high. Yet the neighborhood abounds in game, fish and water fowl. Venison and wild turkeys are constantly offered for sale, by the Indians. Trout and sun fish are taken in the immediate vicinity. At St. Marks, in the neighboring tide waters, sheep's head, and other sea fish, and oysters abound. The country around is high and rolling. This place is only three miles north of the elevated chain of rolling hills, which, for a great distance, bound the shores of the Mexican gulf. Thence to the sea, the land is low and level, and abounds in the long leaved pine. There are many lakes not far distant. The most important among them are Bradford's and Jackson's. The latter is a clear and beautiful sheet of water, fifteen miles long, and one and a half wide. This lake has risen, within the last year, six or seven feet. It must have had a subterranean outlet, which seems now partially stopped. It was but a small and shallow pond, in the time of general Jackson's campaign. The soil about this town is a mixture of loam, sand and clay. The growth in the dry grounds is oak, hickory and pine. But wild cherry, gum, ash, dog wood, mahogony and magnolia abound. The climate, as far as experience goes, is very healthy. The common summer elevation of the mercury is not high. The range is between 88° in summer and 24° in winter. The heat is moderated by a sea breeze. The dews are heavy. Where the soil is sufficiently rich, the climate is adapted to the sugar cane, and it will be a country for the growing of sugar. Vessels come from New Orleans to St. Marks, in three or four days. The remarkable ‘big spring’ of the river Wakulla is twelve miles distant.


When the contemplated canal shall have been completed, and the resources of the country developed, few places present more attractions to immigrants. Quincy, in Gadsden county, is a thriving village.


The most material events in the early history of the Floridas, have already been given under the general history of the country. The English aver, that it was discovered, in 1497, by Sebastian Cabot. In 1524, the first effectual settlement was made in the country. In 1528, an expedition was undertaken to the country, by Pamphilo de Narvaez, with 400 men, from the island of Cuba. He attempted to penetrate the interior of the country, and was never heard of more. In 1539, the country was entirely subdued by Ferdinand de Soto, one of the bravest officers in the Spanish service. But the savages were numerous, fierce and brave; and it cost the Spanish a long and bloody struggle, before they were able to establish themselves in the country. In 1564, the French began to establish themselves, and to form little settlements along the shore, and from the facility, with which they have always gained the good will of the savages, began to be at once powerful and troublesome to the Spaniards. Their settlements were seldom of an agricultural character. They generally took part with the natives, and addicted themselves to hunting The Spanish sent a fleet against them, and destroyed their settlements. In 1597, the French made severe reprisals demolishing all the forts, erected by the Spaniards, and murdering all the colonists, whom they found in the country. From this time the French neglected their establishments in this part of the country, and the Spanish continued, from time to time, to make petty establishments here. In 1586, St. Augustine was attacked, and pillaged by Sir Francis Drake. In 1665, it was entered, and plundered by captain Davis at the head of a body of buccanneers. 1702, colonel


More, at the head of 500 English and 700 Indians, marched from Carolina to the walls of St. Augustine, and laid close seige to it for three months. The Spaniards, having sent a squadron to the relief of the garrison, he raised the siege, and made a precipitate retreat. When the British established the first colony in Georgia, in 1733, the Spaniards became apprehensive of a new attack upon Florida, and not without reason; for in 1740, an expedition was fitted out against St. Augustine by general Oglethorpe. But the Spanish commander, having received timely notice of the intended attack, made such additions to the strength of the garrison, and used such other artificial defences, as that the English were compelled after sustaining considerable loss, to abandon the siege. In 1763, Florida was ceded to Great Britain, in exchange for Havanna. She received Florida, as an equivalent for that very important acquisition. By the encouragement, which the government gave to agriculture, numbers of colonists poured in from every part of the British island, and from all the countries in Europe; and this may be considered, as the most prosperous period of the country, as regarded its future prospects. — In the year 1781, while Great Britain was exerting all her powers to reduce her revolted colonies, a well concerted attack by the Spaniards, re-conquered the country, and brought it under its ancient regime, and it was guaranteed to them by the peace of 1783. It remained in their possession, forming one of the three governments, which composed the captain-general ship of the island of Cuba. In 1810, the inhabitants of that part of West Florida, which now composes part of the states of Alabama and Louisiana, in concert with the American authorities, removed the government of Spain, and attached themselves to the United States. The revolution was effected without blood shed. It is said, that they hesitated about the propriety of


setting up an independent government, and that they delegates to our government to treat respecting the terms of reception. We know not, if these assertions are founded; but we know that our government insisted, that the territorial jurisdiction of that district belonged to them, and that it was included in the limits of Louisiana, as our government had purchased that country from France. The country, so seceding, came peaceably under our government, and has so remained ever since.

We know little of the interior history of this country, while under the Spanish regime. St. Augustine, Pensacola and St. Marks were the only places of much importance. The country supplied Havanna with cattle and horses; and furnished an occasional retreat to the inhabitants of that city during the sickly season. They had the customary Spanish engines of government, a priest, a calaboza, a commandant and a file of soldiers. History redeems but little from the silence of such a government, as it respects knowledge of the character and deportment of the officers, or the condition of the people. The materials for such annals, if any exist, are in the archives at Havanna. Meantime our government had heavy and well grounded claims on the Spanish government for spoliations commited on our commerce. These claims, as also the settling definitively the territorial line of jurisdiction between the United States and New Mexico, made the basis of a treaty, by which the Spanish ceded to us the entire country. The treaty was made a law in 1820; and it then became a territory of the United States, and has since advanced with that steady progress in population and prosperity, which has marked every country, that has thus been added to our government.




LENGTH, 280 miles. Breadth, 160 miles; containing 16,000 square miles. Between 30° 12' and 35° N. latitude; and between 8° and 10° W. longitude from Washington. Bounded North by Tennessee; East by Georgia; South by Florida, and West by the state of Mississippi.

Civil Divisions.

Civil Divisions.
Countries. Whites. Free Blacks. Slaves. Total.
Autauga, 2203 3 1647 3853
Baldwin, 651 61 1001 1713
Blount, 2239 1 175 2415
Bibb, 2930 0 746 3676
Butler, 835 1 569 1405
Clarke, 3778 26 2035 5839
Conecuh, 3769 13 1931 5713
Dallas, 3324 2 2677 6003
Franklin, 3308 13 1667 4988
Greene, 2861 2 1691 4554
Henry, 2011 1 626 2638
Jackson, 8129 83 539 8751
Lauderdale, 3556 29 1378 4963
Milestone, 6922 30 2919 9871
Madison, 8813 46 8622 17,481
Marengo, 2052 15 866 2933

Those counties marked thus (*) are not included in the last census.


Mobile, 1673 183 816 2672
Monroe, 5014 30 3794 8838
Morgan, 4394 11 858 5263
Montgomery, 3941 8 2655 6604
Shelby, 2011 0 405 2416
St. Clair, 3607 6 553 4166
Tuscaloosa, 5894 0 2335 8229
Wilcox, 1556 7 1354 2917
Total, 85,471 571 41,859 127,901


No part of the western country has had a more rapid increase of population, than this state. In 1800, that portion of the present state of Mississippi, which is now Alabama, had only 2,000 inhabitants, In 1810, it contained 10,000. In 1820, it numbered 127,000. In 1830, it will probably exceed 200,000. This state rises by regular belts, or terraces from the gulf of Mexico. The lower belt is low, level, and has many swamps and savannas, and the prevailing timber is pine. The northern belt is pleasantly undulating. Tennessee valley, though a deep alluvial country, is in fact high table ground, and there ate fi countries, which excel this part of the state in fertility, mildness of climate, and pleasantness of position. This valley is separated from that of the Alabama by hills of such lofty and precipitous character, as generally to merit the name of mountains. Some of these peaks tower 3,000 feet above the level of the gulf. One chain runs from Ross, on Tennessee river, between the Coosa and Black Warrior, giving rise to the head waters of Cahawba. Another Separates the streams of the gulf from those, that fall into the


Tennessee. Another range divides between the waters of the Black Warrior, and Tombeckbee.


The Chatahoochee separates this state from Georgia, and not far below the limits of that state, unites with Flint river, to form the Appalachicola of Florida. — The Tennessee curves from the north-east to the north-west corner of the state near its northern line, and these pass into the state of Tennessee. A line of hills with a curve, corresponding with that of the Tennessee, runs at a distance of between fifty and eighty miles from that river, giving rise to numerous streams, that flow from one declivity north, to the Tennessee, and from the other south, to the waters of the Alabama and Tombeckbee. Into Tennessee flow Watts' river, Turkey creek, Poplar creek, Occochapa and many smaller streams. These rivers reach the Tennessee either at the Muscle Shoals, or near them. It is proposed to unite the waters of the Tennessee with the upper waters of the Tombeckbee by a canal, which shall cross Bear creek of the Tennessee, and the line of hills, that separates the waters of that river from those of Tombeckbee, and unite the canal with an upper and beatable branch of that river.

Mobile river is formed by the junction of Alabama and Tombeckbee, and is so called up to the point, where these rivers unite at fort Minims. It enters Mobile bay by two mouths. The Alabama is the eastern branch of the Mobile, and is itself formed from the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers. The Tallapoosa rises in the Alleghany ridges in Georgia, where it is called Occafusky, and receives a number of tributaries in the Indian country. It passes over considerable falls, before it gives its waters to the Alabama. — The Tallapoosa rises in the same ridges, and pursues a somewhat longer course to the south west. Both are rapid streams, run through the Creek country, and are not boatable to any considerable distance above their junction.


From this junction the Alabama receives a number of small streams from the east, bends towards the west, and receives the Cahawba. It is navigable by sea vessels to fort Claiborne. The Tombeckbee rises in the ridges, that separate between its waters and those of the Tennessee, in the northern parts of the state; and receives some of its western branches from a range, that diverges from the Tennessee hills, and runs south along the middle of the state of Mississippi. It receives, in its progress, many considerable streams from the state of Mississippi on the west. It meanders through the Indian country, and a tract purchased by French immigrants. Eighty miles above St. Stephen's it is swelled by the accession of the Black Warrior, to which place small sea vessels ascend. In moderate stages of the water, it affords steam boat navigation to Tuscaloosa. — Both these rivers are extremely favorable to boat navigation; and during the higher stages of water, a number of steam boats are constantly moving through the dark forests and rich alluvions of these fine rivers. Yellow, Chactaw and Pea rivers rise in this state, and pass into Florida, as does also the Conecuh, a considerable river, that rises in its interior, and finds its way to the sea through that country. The Tensa is a branch, or enlargement of Mobile river, before it enters Mobile bay. The Perdido separates this state from Florida, as the Pascagoula on the west does from the state of Mississippi. Escambia rises near fort Claiborne, and running a southwardly course, it forms a junction with the Conecuh, and forms Escambia bay above Pensacola.

Face of the Country, Soil, &c.

The following was considered by the purchasing immigrants a very accurate and faithful general delineation of the qualities of the soil. It is chiefly extracted from the published accounts of the United States' surveyor in that district; and has the advantage


of having been the result of actual inspection. The general shape of the state is that of a well defined parallelogram. The only undefined line is the southern one. From this line another parallelogram is formed, extending between Florida and the state of Mississippi. It includes Mobile bay. This was once part of West Florida, and was necessary to this state, to enable it to communicate with the gulf of Mexico. Except the alluvions on Mobile river, the soil is generally a pine barren. In Mobile bay are the islands Dauphin, Massacre and Petit Bois. Mobile bay is a deep and commodious entrance into the interior. Dauphin island is of a triangular shape, and five miles in length. The ship channel is between Dauphin island, and Mobile point. There is another pass, called Pass au Heron, which has but six feet water over its bar. Taking the state, as a whole, the northern parts, near Tennessee, are generally hilly and precipitous. At the Northern commencement of this belt, it is mountainous, and a continuation of the Alleghany hills. The central interior region is generally waving hills. As we approach within fifty or sixty miles of Florida, the swamps are, for the most part, timbered with cypress and gum trees, with some loblolly pines; and the uplands with long leafed pine. These pine swells and levels have a very thin soil; but generally having a substratum of clay, contain within themselves a principle of fertility, which, when cultivation shall be advanced, and population sufficiently compact, will not fail to be called forth. At present, they bear, without manuring, two or three crops of maize, and perhaps one or two of small cotton. But in the present order of things, while there are sufficient extents of rich lands, the pine barrens will be held in little estimation; and they probably, include more than one half the surface of the state. Among the pine woods grows rank grass, furnishing fine and inexhaustible summer range. The alluvions


on the Alabama and Tombeckbee are generally wide, and for the most part first rate lands. Some affirm, that they are equal to the lands on the Mississippi. When the lands came into the market in the land office, the rash and grasping spirit of land speculation raised them to an inordinate price, which proved, in many instances, ruinous to the purchasers. In some cases, these lands in a state of nature, sold as high as fifty dollars an acre. The alluvial soils on the margins of the streams generally are fertile and productive. The hammock lands rank at the head of the second rate lands, and their fertility is of long duration. — They constitute an intermediate belt between the bottoms and pine ridges. They generally have a slope, like a glacis. In the first rate lands no pines are to be seen. In second rate lands pines are intermixed with dog wood, hickory and oak. Wherever the high table grounds are seen covered with oaks, dog wood trees, and the pawpaw intermixed, the soil is sure to be fine. The French immigrants are sanguine in the belief, that the slopes and hammocks of this state would afford eligible soils and situations for vineyards. It will be an omen for good for the country in general, and for this state in particular, if they prosper in attempting to rear the vine and the olive. Experience has abundantly demonstrated, that the great bulk of American farmers are little disposed to speculative agriculture. — They much prefer to fix their attention, upon what is called in the language of the country, ‘the main stay,’ corn, cotton, tobacco, beef and pork. Along the southern limits of the state the soil is thin, and the unvarying verdure of the pine, beautiful as it is in itself, tires by its uniformity On the head waters of the Escambia and Conecuh, it is affirmed, the soil and climate are favorable to the sugarcane; and here are seen those groves of orange trees, which travellers have spoken with so much delight, affirming


them to be indiginous. They were, beyond question, the growth of seeds scattered from orange groves, originally cultivated by Spaniards in Florida.

In the lower parts of the state, as we approach Florida, the swamps become more and more extensive. Cypress lands are abundant. On the alluvial grounds, which are not inundated, is large and rank cane. Below the Tombeckbee, the river is apt to inundate the bottoms and swamps and where this is the case, it is well known, that in southern regions the musquitos are excessively annoying. As we ascend into the central parts of the state, the lands become high and broken, and pine is less frequent. Oak, hickory and poplar become the prevailing growth.

The most extensive bodies of good lands and those, which are at present most populous, are between the Alabama and Tombeckbee, the bottoms of the Tallapoosa and the Black Warrior. Passing over the ridge, that separates the waters of the Conecuh from those of the Alabama, there is an extensive body of rich land. On the head waters of Lime Stone creek, there is also a fine body of land. A considerable distance above the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa, there is a country of fine swells of land, watered with frequent springs of pure water. The land is heavily timbered with those kinds of trees, that indicate a rich soil. — It is inhabited by the Creek Indians.

Character of the Population.

This state was originally a part of the Mississippi territory. It has acquired population with great rapidity, and already far exceeds in numbers the state, from which it was taken. Few states have had so great an increase. This was owing in part to its contiguity to Georgia, and its proximity to the Carolinas; and its having fresh and very fertile lands, and yet being in other respects, as regards soil, climate, situation, &c., very similar to those states. Immigrants from the land of pine


and cypress forests, love to see these trees in the new regions, to which they transplant themselves. Public opinion had estimated this country, as more than common] healthy, for its climate. That part of it, lying south of the Tennessee ridge, has great facilities of communication with the sea. The southern planters ordinarily do not covet a country, which admits a very dense population. They love space, in which to move themselves. They prefer those extensive pine barrens, in which there is such inexhaustible range for cattle, and which will not, for a long time admit a dense population. At the same time, they desire at intervals rich alluvial soils of thick cane brake, the proper soil for cotton. Alabama furnished them, in these respects, all that they could wish. It was much healthier, than the maratime parts of the Carolinas; and at the same time had a soil better adapted to cotton. This may account for the great immigration from the Carolinas and Georgia, and for that surprising increase in the population, which we have already noted in the table of civil divisions.

The people in this state have a general character for order, quietness, a regard for religion, schools, and social and moral institutions; more decided than could have been expected, taking into view the recent origin of the state. — They speak, and think of themselves, in reference to the states further south and west, with no small degree of assumption in the comparison. There are many opulent planters with large numbers of slaves; and they posses the characteristic hospitality of these people every where. They have not formed a character, as a state. They have few religious, literary or other institutions. But we may safely affirm, that they are developing a character, which will lead to respectable and numerous foundations of that kind. Travellers, who have penetrated the country, have been favorably impressed with the general characteristics


of hospitality, quietness and good order, which they generally witnessed. The people begin to be alive to the vital interests of schools and education. The usual appropriations of lands for colleges and schools have been made by congress for this state. From the comparatively high price of lands in this state, these appropriations must ultimately constitute a respectable fund.

Climate. The climate of this state, taken together, is favorable to health, compared with the southern country generally in the same parallels. The lower part of it is constantly fanned, during the summer heats, by the trade wind breezes. There can hardly be said to be such a season, as winter, and yet the summers are not hotter, than they are many degrees more to the north. The duration of the summer heats is indeed debilitating, and the direct rays of the summer's sun oppressive. But strangers from the north are heard to say, that in the shade, and in the current of air, they seldom suffer from the heat, In the northern parts of the state still waters often freeze. In the southern parts they seldom see much snow or ice. Cattle require no shelter during the winter. Maize is planted early in March. In the 31st degree of latitude the thermometer stands in spring water at 69° which is nearly the mean temperature of the year. A series of thermometrical operations for a year give the following result. The warmest part of the warmest day in April gave 82°. — Mean heat of July of the same year 86°. Coldest day in January 55°. Coldest day in February 43°. Warmest day in March 86°. Same year the trees in the swamps, where vegetation is most tardy, were in full leaf the 2d of April; peach blossoms gone; April 12th peas in pod; peaches of the size of a hazlenut; fig trees in leaf; green peas at table, May 2d: strawberries ripe; May 16th mulberries,


dewberries, and whortleberries ripe; May 15th cucumbers in perfection; June 29th roasting corn at table.


In point of health this climate every where takes it character from situation and local circumstances. The prevailing diseases of the cooler months are those of the class termed cachexy. The diseases of the warm months are generally bilious. Where the powerful southern sun brings the swamp miasmata into action, diseases seem to follow of course, and none but negroes, and those acclimated, can safely reside in the low grounds on the banks of the rivers, and near the inundated swamps. — The yellow fever has seldom been seen, except in Mobile. In the high land regions, far from swamps, creeks and stagnant waters, in the regions of hills and springs, and pine forests, the country may be pronounced salubrious, and the planters from the sickly regions generally retire to such places, to spend the summer.

Employment of the People.

Cotton is the grand staple of Alabama. The growing of this article has increased in this state in a ratio even greater, than that of the population. Among the cotton raising states, this now takes a very high rank. Sugar, rice and tobacco are also cultivated. Many of the people about Mobile are shepherds, and have droves of cattle, numbering from 500 to 1,000. Hogs are raised with great ease, where they can be guarded from their enemies, wolves, panthers and alligators. The small breed of Indian horses, or Spanish tackies, as they are called, are ugly, but hardy and strong, and are better than the handsomer horses for service. The country trade of the lower part of Alabama is to Mobile, Blakely and Pensacola. Considerable amounts of pitch, tar, turpentine and lumber are exported. The cotton used to be carried to New Orleans. Mobile has become a port of great export for cotton. This country, so near Havanna,


great advantages for navigation. Sea vessels proceed up the Alabama to a considerable distance. The northern parts of Alabama, situated in the Tennessee valley, are compelled to send their produce by a very circuitous route, down the Tennessee, the Ohio and Mississippi, where it arrives, after a passage of 1,600 miles. At starting, it can not be more than five hundred miles from the gulf. There is little hazard in asserting, that the intelligent and opulent people, in the beautiful and fertile valley of the Tennessee, will canal the ridges, that rise between them and the waters of the Alabama, and will unite themselves with the gulf by that fine river.

Chief Towns.

Mobile is at present the only town of any great importance in the lower part of the state. It lies on the west side of Mobile bay on an elevated plain, in latitude 30° 40'. It is situated considerably above the overflow of the river, in a dry and pleasant situation. Access to the town is rendered somewhat difficult to vessels by a swampy island opposite the town. But when once they have entered, they are perfectly secure from winds, storms and enemies; and they can come directly to the town. It has, moreover, swampy lands and stagnant waters back of it, and near it is a sterile country of pine woods. From these causes, and perhaps others, though it had been one of the earliest settled towns in the country, it never became, under the Spanish and French regime, more than a military post. Since it came under the government of the United States, in common with other towns similarly situated, it has received a new impulse of prosperity. It is but a few years, since but little cotton was raised in the whole county connected with Mobile; and none was exported directly from that place. It is now a great shipping port for cotton; and a large number of square rigged vessels take their freight from this city. There is no other port, perhaps, in


theUnited States of the same size, that has so large amount of export. After New Orleans and Charleston, it is believed to be the largest cotton port in the country. It is enlivened, too, by the coming and departing of many steam boats, that ply on the noble river above the city. In addition to the great number of packet schooners, that sail between this place and New Orleans, some by the lake, and some by the Mississippi, there is now a steam boat communication between the two cities, by the way of lake Ponchartrain. Of course, except during the sickly months, it is a place of great activity and business.

This city has a great many ancient and decaying houses; but the American part of the town has been recently and handsomely built of brick, and the town is in the form of a parallelogram. There are few public buildings, and the institutions, that spring from social and municipal feeling, are yet in their infancy. It is supposed to contain 5,000 inhabitants. It has been almost destroyed by a destructive fire. The most fatal impediment to the advancement of this town is its acknowledged character for sickliness. Advantage has been taken of this circumstance, to commence the town of Blakely, on the eastern and opposite side of the bay, and at ten miles distance. The site is free from contiguous swamps. It stands on the Tensa, the largest branch of the Mobile, which yields deeper water, and has a harbor of easier access, than Mobile. The situation is open, high and dry, and it has cool and limpid springs of water, and superior advantages of communication with the country by good roads. It has improved considerably and its founders were sanguine, that it would speedily eclipse Mobile. But that ancient town had, what is called in the west country phrase, ‘the start,’ and sustains its preminence, as a commercial depot, notwithstanding its frequent and destructive ravages from yellow fever and fires


St. Stephens is on the Tombeckbee 120 miles from Mobile, and at the head of schooner navigation. It is a considerable village with stone houses; but, notwithstanding a favorable position in the midst of a fine country, wears the aspect of decay.

Cahawba has been, until recently, the political metropolis, and is situated at the junction of the Cahawba with the Alabama. County courts are held here, and an office for the sale of public lands. The circumstance of its having been the metropolis has given it a rapid growth. It has a considerable number of handsome buildings, intermixed, according to the common fashion of these new towns, with a great many temporary log buildings. Florida, Claiborne, Dumfries, Jackson, Coffeeville, Demopolis, and Columbia are incipient, and some of them thriving villages, at different points on the Alabama and Tombeckbee.

Tuscaloosa at the falls of the Black. Warrior is permanently fixed, as the political metropolis, and is a village of rapid growth. It is but a few years, since its foundation, and it has at present the aspect of a considerable town; and to one, who had seen its site, but a short time since an unbroken forest, it has the aspect of having sprung up in a night. Thirty miles higher on the same river is Kelleysvilie, a thriving village. Eagleville is principally inhabited by French emigrants, who calculated to cultivate the olive and the vine. These are all towns situated on the great glacis, that slopes towards the gulf of Mexico, and communicate with Mobile, as their maratime port.

The beautiful and fertile valley of Tennessee has a very different conformation, and its communications, by a long and circuitous route, are with the Mississippi and New Orleans. This valley has a number of large and flourishing villages of its own. The largest of these is Huntsville, a handsome and thriving town, situated ten or fifteen miles


north of the Tennessee, and fifty from the Muscle Shoals. The country about it is extremely fertile. It is principally built of brick, with some spacious, and very handsome buildings, a presbyterian church, a baptist and two methodist places of worship, a handsome court house, and other public buildings. One of those large and beautiful springs that are so common in this region, furnishes the town with water by machinery put in motion by its own current.

Florence is the next town in point of size, and in a commercial view more important, than the other. It is situated on the north side of the Tennessee, at the foot of the Muscle Shoals. When the river is in a good stage of water, steam boats of the largest size can come up to this place. It has in this way a great and increasing intercourse with New Orleans. It has about 1,400 inhabitants, a very handsome court house, and a hotel in city style. It has also a presbyterian church.

Tuscumbia is the next place in size and importance. It is situated on the south side of the river near a mile from its banks, and five miles from Florence. It has several handsome buildings and a thousand inhabitants. Russelville is also a new town of some importance.

A considerable degree of munificence has been manifested by the people of this state, in their appropriations for roads, bridges, canals and other works of public utility. — Five per cent. of the net proceeds of all the sales of public lands in the state has been provided for these objects. — General Jackson's military road, between lake Ponchartrain and Florence in this state, runs almost in a right line 330 miles. If fully completed, and if kept in good repair, would be of the greatest national utility. In this age of canalling, Alabama has caught the spirit, and there are two or three in contemplation. There is no point, where one


seems more to be called for, than between the waters of the Tennessee and Alabama.

Constitution and Laws.

They have the common features of those of the other states. The legislative body is styled ‘the assembly.’ The senators are elected for a triennial, and the representatives for an annual term. The governor serves two years, and is eligible only four years out of six. The judiciary consists of a supreme and circuit court, together with subordinate courts appointed by the legislature. The judges are appointed by the legislature, and hold their offices during good behaviour. All persons over twenty-one years, and citizens of the United States are electors.




THIS state is not far from 300 miles in average length, and 160 in average breadth. Between 30° and 35° N. latitude; and 11° and 14° W. longitude from Washington — It contains 28,000,000 acres. Bounded on the North by Tennessee; East by Alabama; South by the gulf of Mexico and Louisiana; West by Louisiana and the Mississippi.

Face of the Country.

There are a number of distinct ranges of hills, of moderate elevation, in this state, beside a singular succession of eminences, that show themselves conspicuously, in descending the Mississippi. Some of the bases of these hills are washed by this river. They are the Walnut Hills, Grand Gulf, Natchez, White Cliffs, and Loftus' Heights. In other places, they appear near the river, or in the distance, as at Petite Gulf, Villa Gayosa and Pine Ridge. Two of these ranges of hills divide the state nearly in its whole extent, and separate it into sectional divisions. In advancing from the bottoms of the Mississippi, there is every where, at a greater, or less distance from the river, an appearance of bluffs, which, when mounted, spread out into a kind of table surface, waving pleasantly; but in many instances, the richest table lands have precipitous benches, which expose the land, to what is technically called by the agriculturists, ‘washing.’ This is a misfortune, to which the richest lands in this state are most subjected.


Pine Ridge is, from various circumstances, a singular elevation. It approaches within a mile of the Mississippi. It is a high belt of pine land, like an island in the midst of surrounding rich land, timbered with hard woods. We know of no pine so near the Mississippi, except in one place, in the county of cape Girardeau in Missouri, for a distance of 1,700 miles. In the northern section of the state, inhabited by the Cherokees, and Chactaws, the land rises into regular and pleasant undulations. The soil is deep, black, and rich, presenting in a state of nature the singular appearance of hills covered with high cane brake. — From their precipitous character, these fertile and pleasant hills are subject to the general inconvenience of washing. The country, inhabited by the Chickasaws, north-west of the Yazoo, is also of a surface, charmingly variegated with swells, and valleys of great fertility, and abounding in fine springs. Just below the north-east corner of the state, one of the most conspicuous objects on the lower Mississippi is the bluff, which used to be called fort Pickering, now named Memphis. It is a fine, commanding elevation rising more than 100 feet above the level of the river. At the lowest stages of the water, strata of stone coal are disclosed in the bank. On this elevated summit a town is laid out, in a position, which seems favorable to the growth of a town. Opposite, in Arkansas, is the uncommonly high, rich and extensive bottom of Wappanocka. Back of the town is a fertile, rolling country, heavily timbered, and abounding in springs. Many of the former inhabitants of fort Pickering were of mixed blood. The Chickasaws inhabit near the town. The bluff extends between three and four leagues above and below the town, and here is the great road of crossing from Tennessee and Alabama to Arkansas.


The White Cliffs are just below Catharine's creek. — Loftus' Heights are a few miles lower on the river. They are 150 feet high. In the strata of this hill are seen the last stones, that are discovered on descending the Mississippi. They are visible only in low stages of water. They are of the class, commonly called breccia, cemented with pebbles and other matters into a mass, apparently of recent formation. There is, probably, no state in the union, and few countries in the world of a more pleasantly diversified surface, more happily distributed into hills and valleys, than the surface of this state.


The Mississippi washes the western shore of this state for a distance, following its meanders, of nearly 700 miles. The right line of the Mississippi shore is less than half that distance. But the river is here remarkably circuitous, often curving round seven or eight leagues, and almost returning back on its course. The greater part of this long line of river coast, unfortunately, is inundated swamps, very thinly inhabited, except by wood cutters for the steam boats, and seldom seen by any other, than people travelling on the river. There is, here and there, a position so high, as to be capable of being occupied, as a plantation. But these uncommon elevations soon slope back to the cypress swamps.

The Yazoo is the most considerable river, whose course is wholly in this state. It rises in the Chickasaw country, in latitude 34° 28', near the limits of Tennessee, and its head waters almost communicate with those of Tombigbee. From it source it runs a north-west course, receiving the Busha Yalo, the Tallahatchee, Lappataba, Buffalo creek, and a number of less considerable streams, and by a mouth 100 yards wide, falls into the Mississippi, twelve miles above the Walnut hills. Its course is through a high, pleasant and salubrious country, chiefly however, claimed


and inhabited by Indians. They inhabit the country, by the course of the river 150 miles from its mouth. It is generally boatable by large boats fifty miles; and in the higher stages of the water, to the Busha Yalo, the missionary station. There is fine building stone on this river, in positions favorable for conveyance to New Orleans, being the nearest to that city of any on the waters of the Mississippi. It is ‘backed up,’ as the phrase is, by the Mississippi, in high stages of water, or inundated by its own rise, for a number of miles from its mouth. Twelve miles above its mouth are the Yazoo hills, and four miles higher the site effort St. Peter, where was an ancient French settlement, destroyed, in 1729, by the Yazoo Indians, a nation, which, in its turn, has long since been extinct. On this river and the country which it waters, was laid the scene of the famous Yazoo speculation, which will be long and bitterly remembered by certain unfortunate speculators; and forgotten, as soon as may be, by certain corporate bodies, concerned in the sale. Big Black, or Lousa Chitto, forty yards wide at its mouth, enters the Mississippi, just above the Grand Gulf. Measuring its meanders, it has a course of 200 miles. It rises between the head waters of the Yazoo and Pearl rivers, and interlocks with beatable waters of the latter stream. It is navigable, in moderate stages of the water, fifty miles. — The hills of this river approach near the Mississippi. At some distance up this river, where the high lands appear upon both sides, some New England adventurers, headed by general Putnam, selected a place for a town. It was in 1773, when this region was supposed to appertain to West Florida, The soil is fine. The situation is eligible. There is stone for building; and the place seems to have been judiciously selected. Homochitto is a large stream, having half the comparative distance of Big Black. It meanders in a south-west course to the Mississippi. It is formed by


two principal forks. A few miles, before it enters the Mississippi, it passes through a lake. It traverses a fertile and well settled country of opulent planters. Like the Yazoo, it is inundated for a long distance above its mouth.

Bayou Pierre, Cole's creek, Fairchild's creek, and St. Catharine's creek enter the Mississippi in succession below Big Black. They have short courses, but generally a fine soil adjacent to their waters. On Bayou Pierre is the important settlement and village of Gibson Port. Buffalo creek enters the Mississippi a little above the heights effort Adams. Here, at Loftus' Heights, commences a chain of hills, which stretches north-eastwardly from the Mississippi, and separates the waters of Bogue Chitto and Amite from those of Homochitto and Buffalo. On the southern side of these ridges, the waters flow into the Amite and lake Ponchartrain, and on the northern into the Mississippi.

The Amite meanders from its source in these hills to the Ibberville, or Bayou Manshac, an efflux of the Mississippi. The Amite unites with this Bayou, forty miles above lake Maurepas. The Amite traverses a pleasant, productive, and well settled country, generally timbered with hard woods, and having fine springs.

Pearl river is next to the Yazoo, the most important river, that has its whole course in this state. It rises almost in the centre of the state, between the two parallel ranges of hills, that divide it into sections. A number of branches unite to form the main river, which is afterwards increased by the Chuncka, and other streams. It passes by Monticello and Jackson, and through a country generally fertile, healthy and pleasant, until it touches the eastern boundary of Louisiana, after which it receives the Bogue Lousa and the Bogue Chitto, and theuce, running between this state and Louisiana, it enters the rigolets between lake Ponchartrain and lake Borgne. The lands, watered by it, are for the most


part fertile, though it sometimes traverses the sterile regions of pine woods. Some legislative efforts have been made, to improve the navigation of this stream, which derives importance, from its being one of the chief points of communication between this state, and the gulf of Mexico. The Pascagoula rises in latitude 33°, and preserves a course parallel to the Tomabeckbee. It has a course of 250 miles. — Vessels of considerable draught ascend it to Leaf river. It receives in its course a great number of tributary streams, of which Chickasaw, Leaf, Dog and Tacothamba are the principal. It has some fertile alluvions and hammock lands, but traverses, for the most part, a region of pine country, sterile, but well watered, healthy, and affording in its timber, and its conveniences for navigation, a compensation for its want of fertility. At its mouth, it broadens into an open bay, on which, at the town of its own name, is a retreat of resort for the inhabitants of New Orleans, during the sickly months.


Those of the Mississippi are low and inundated. The islands in the gulf, within six leagues of the front of the state, belong to it. They are eight, or nine in number, of which Ship and Horn islands are the chief. — They are generally sterile, and covered with pines and grass.


This state, excepting a small tract, which fronts upon the gulf, constitutes a belt lying between the wheat and the sugar cane regions, in other words the climate appropriate to cotton. This is the region,where,in the humid places, the long moss is seen attaching itself to the trees. The Latanier, or palmetto, in the brightness of its winter verdure, gives tropical features to the landscape. — Alligators are seen in the stagnant waters. The family of laurels begins to be more numerous; and the Laurel Magnolia shows itself among them. Southern shrubs and flowers to one, coming from the north, present the aspect of a


new climate. It is unfortunate for this state, that its western front, bordering on the Mississippi, is so much exposed to inundation; and that from the same circumstance most of the streams, that enter the Mississippi, are uninhabitable for some distance from their mouth. At present, in descending the river, the traveller looks in vain, along this very extended front, for the palpable evidences of the opulence, for which this state is so deservedly celebrated. He sees a few singular bluffs, rising in succession, sometimes at long intervals, from a dreary wilderness of inundated swamp. The river on this front, having much higher inundations, than lower down, it may be long, before the people here will levee the fertile alluvions, as they have done in the state below. But when it is done, an immense body of the most fertile soil will be redeemed from inundation; and the state will gain as much in salubrity, as in opulence. Even as it is, the greater portion of the surface of the state is waving hills, and the whole amount of inundated lands is less, than in either of the other southern divisions of this valley.

Compared with Louisiana, its waters have the same fishes, and in winter and spring the same varieties of water fowls, and birds of beautiful plumage and song; and its forests and prairies, for this state too, has its prairies, the same varieties of trees and flowering shrubs and plants, with very few exceptions, as that state, and they will of course be described under the head of that state. In health it has decidedly the advantage. In that state, most of the planters cultivate the deep river and bayou alluvions, and stagnant waters are more abundant. In this state, where the planters are fixed remote from stagnant waters, which, in such a southern climate, must always be more or less destructive to health, and have access to pure water, there is, perhaps, no part of the United States, where the inhabitants enjoy better health. The summers, indeed, are long, and


the heat sustained, and sometimes intense; and during the last of summer and first of autumn, the people in the healthy districts are subject to bilious attacks, sometimes slight, and sometimes severe. But in return, they are in a great measure free from pulmonary and catarrhal affections, which are so common and fatal in the more northern regions of the United States. From the centre of this state to its southern front, its climate compares pretty accurately with that of south Alabama, Georgia, the northern belt of Florida, and Louisiana. From October to June, no climate can be more delightful. It has, indeed, in winter a marked advantage over that of the regions just mentioned. It is somewhat less subject to the frequent and drenching rains of Florida and Louisiana. The people in general are healthy, and in travelling through the state, we see countenances tanned, and browned by frequent exposure to a southern sun; but at the same time indicating vigorous and cheerful health.


The principal tribes in this state are the Chactaws and Chickasaws. The numbers of the former tribe are rated at 20,000, and the latter at nearly 4,000. They are at present in a semi-savage state, and exhibit the interesting spectacle of a people, intermediate between the hunter's and the civilized state. A curious compound of character results from this order of things. Most of their ancient instincts and habits may still be traced amidst the changes, introduced by agriculture and municipal regulars. Many of them have good houses, slaves, enclosures! and cattle. They have ploughs, looms and blacksmiths' shops in operation, and are beginning to acquaint themselves with the coarser mechanic arts. They are beginning also to adopt our laws and modes of judicature. An Indian, denominated squire and judge, becomes at once an important personage, and these titles answer instead of a


cocked hat, a red coat and a medal. The different religious denominations in the United States have made a great and persevering effort to convey to them the blessings of education and Christianity. The principal missionary station, under the patronage of the American board for foreign missions, in this state is at Elliot, on the Yalo Busha creek, 40 miles above its junction with the Yazoo, and 145 from the Walnut Hills on the Mississippi. There are a number of subordinate stations connected with this principal one. Each station constitutes a kind of religious family within itself, and has its minister, instructors, male and female, its farmer, or agricultural overseer, and its chief artizans. They are all supposed to be religious characters. Schools for the reception of Indian pupils constitute a main part of their plan, and on the wisest premises, they calculate, by showing in their own society an example of the influence of Christian order and discipline, and by sedulous instruction of the children, to communicate education and the rudiments of Christianity at the same time, by precept and example; and by showing in their own well cultivated fields the best modes of agriculture, and by training their youthful pupils in the labors of the field, at once to inspire them with the requisite patience, industry and love of agriculture, to qualify them for commencing a new and an agricultural life. They witness a growing attention of the Indians to the municipal and Christian modes of life in the increased number of their pupils, which, from the last reports, appear to be very considerable. They have large fields, good houses, mechanic shops, regular worship; and the praises of God and the Redeemer, in the sweet and cultivated strains of church music, resound in these ancient forests, instead of the war and death song of the savages. The plan and the whole system are entirely novel in the annals of christian exersion.


It is a kind of protestant monastic establishment, with modifications suited to the more practicable views of that church, and constitutes a most interesting and striking feature in the missionary exertions of the present day. — All good minds must be disposed to wish them every degree of success. They have a fine country of fertile soil, hills. springs, prairies, copses, beautiful scenery, a mild climate, and which has hitherto proved as salubrious, as they could have anticipated; and their prospects for the future are encouraging. They are to a certain degree patronised, and aided by the government of the United States.

Civil Divisions.

Civil Divisions.
Counties. Whites. Free Blacks. Slaves. All others. Total.
Adams, 2557 36 7299 0 9892
Natchez City, 1448 82 654 0 2184
Amite, 4006 14 2833 0 6853
Claiborne, 2840 36 3087 0 5963
Covington, 1824 0 406 0 2330
Franklin, 2277 9 1535 0 3821
Greene, 1063 2 380 0 1445
Hancock, 1142 131 321 0 1594
Jackson, 1300 61 321 0 1682
Jefferson, 3154 33 3635 0 6822
Lawrence, 3919 6 991 0 4916
Marion, 1884 0 1232 0 3116
Monroe, 2192 7 522 0 2721
Perry, 1539 7 491 0 2037
Pike, 3443 1 994 0 4438
Warren, 1401 5 1287 0 2693
Wilkinson, 3937 20 5761 0 8718
Wayne, 2250 8 1065 0 3323
  42,176 453 32,814 0 76,448

Agriculture and pursuits of the people. All the kinds of fruits and vegetables, that can be cultivated in


Alabama, can also be grown here. The sugar cane has hitherto been attempted only on its southern frontier. The sweet orange is raised on the lower waters of Pascagoula and Pearl rivers. The live oak, too, is only seen in this part of the state. In the middle regions, figs, grapes of all sorts, tobacco, maize, sweet potatoes, rice, indigo, squashes melons, plums, peaches and various other vegetables and fruits come to full perfection. The castor bean, or Palma Christi, and the benne plant are sometimes raised. In the high and midland regions, it is affirmed, that apples and pears arrive at tolerable perfection. This state, being on the southern verge of the medial climate, is a country, where a great variety of the articles of the north and the south may be expected to come to maturity.

Cotton is the grand staple, and grows in perfection in all parts of the state. It is, perhaps, too exclusively the object of thought, attention and cultivation. To hear how intimately the thoughts of the people are associated, directly or indirectly, with the culture and growth of cotton, one would suppose, that it was here considered, as almost the only article of much importance in the creation. In the early part of the season the conversation turns upon the point, how the crop stands; that is, whether it has germinated, and remained in a healthy and vigorous state? The next object of anxiety is, whether it takes, as the phrase is, ‘the rot;’ then about the favorableness of the season for picking; then the state of the gins, and the amount bailed. — The last and most interesting of all is the price, it is likely to bear. In the halcyon days, when cotton brought 28 and 30 cents per pound, there were planters, who had thirty and forty thousand dollars a year, as the income of their crop. In those times some of the planters secured independent fortunes, and many of them became affluent. Even at the


present very reduced prices, no planters in the United States have better incomes, in proportion to their capital and hands, than those of this state. The number of working hands on a plantation varies from 20 to 200. It is but recently, that the inhabitants have been much in habits of travelling out of their own state. They are for the most part a plain, simple, industrious, hospitable and respectable people, accustomed to a retired life in the interior of the country. They are generally, and honorably, with some few exceptions, kind and indulgent masters to their slaves. A few, who have acquired fortunes without much previous education, or refinement, and measuring their own knowledge, acquirements and importance only by their intercourse with their slaves, are astonished, when they go abroad to find, that there are other requisites, in order to be sought after, and introduced to the best circles, than the possession of money and slave.

Attention to schools, religion, &c. The same appropriations for public works and for education are made in this state, as are in Alabama. The benefits of a common school education are not so extensively enjoyed in any of the southern states of this valley, as could be wished. The whole business is generally managed by subscription, and voluntary association. Where this is the case, and where there is no direct interference of the legislature, to compel the people to educate their children, many of the reckless and inconsiderate will allow them to grow up without any education. There are ample public funds for the endowment of schools; and there is a growing sense of the importance of schools on the public mind. A seminary, entitled ‘Jefferson college,’ is incorporated at Washington, near Natchez. It ranks with the minor academies of the Atlantic country. Another institution, called a college, is


incorporated at Shieldsborough, and there are flourishing public schools at Natchez, Woodville and Monticello.


In every principal feature the same that of Alabama.

Chief Towns.

We have mentioned Memphis, in the north-east angle of the state, on the site of fort Pickering It has improved to a considerable degree, and from its fine position may ultimately justify the imposing name, which its sanguine founders have given it. Monticello, the capital of Lawrence county, and recently of the state, is a pleasant and flourishing village on the west bank of Pearl river, Gibson Port, at the head of navigation on Bayou Pierre, is situated in the centre of a rich country, and is a village of considerable importance. Greenville, Woodville and Winchester are flourishing villages. Shieldsborough is situated on the west side of the bay of St. Louis. It is swept by the cool breezes of the gulf, and, though it has not always been exempt from the ravages of yellow fever, is a famed resort for the inhabitants of New Orleans, during the sickly months.

Jackson, near the head of Pearl river, and on a site lately acquired from the Chactaw Indians, has been selected, as the permanent seat of government for the state. It is a central, healthy and pleasant position, and the circumstance of its being the political metropolis, will soon cause it to become a place of importance.

Warrenton, below the Walnut Hills, is a considerable village on the banks of the Mississippi, from which are exported large quantities of cotton. Vicksburgh, just below the commencement of the Walnut Hills, is one of the many towns in the western country, which have been the growth of but a few years. It is not more than five, or six years old; and it is now a considerable village, with great numbers


of stores, lawyers and physicians. It has a printing press and a journal. Many boats are always lying in the harbor, and it sends off a great amount of cotton. Steam boats regularly ply between this place and New Orleans. It is a most singular position for a town, on the shelving declivity of high hills, and the houses are scattered in groups on the terraces.

Natchez is by far the largest town in the state, and is incorporated, as a city. It is romantically situated on the east bank of the Mississippi, on a very high bluff, 280 miles above New Orleans. The river business is transacted at the division of the town, which is called ‘under the hill,’ a repulsive place, and unhappily, but too often the resort of all that is vile, from the upper and lower country. Great numbers of boats are always lying here, and the place is filled with boatmen, mulattos, houses of ill fame, and their wretched tenants, in short the refuse of the human race. There are, however, very respectable merchants resident ‘under the hill.’ The upper town is situated on the summit of a bluff, 300 feet above the common level of the river, from which there is a prospect of the cultivated margin of the Mississippi in Concordia, on the opposite shore; and the eye traverses the boundless and level surfaces of the cypress swamps beyond. On the eastern side, the country is waving, rich and beautiful; the eminences presenting open woods covered with grape vines, and here and there neat country houses. The town itself is quiet; the streets broad; some of the public buildings handsome, and the whole has the appearance of comfort and opulence. — It is the principal town in this region for the shipment of cotton, with bales of which, at the proper season of the year, the streets are almost barricaded. Some opulent planters reside, here, and there is a respectable and polished society.


The physicians and lawyers are distinguished in their profession, and there is no inconsiderable attention to literature. A very numerous population from the contiguous country makes its purchases here, and it is of course a place of great trade for its size. The people are noted for opulence and hospitality. From the heights in this city they show you the site of fort Rosalie, the scene of the wild but splendid and affecting romance of Attala. There is a Presbyterian, an Episcopal, a Roman Catholic, a Baptist and Methodist church here, and the people show a great, and for the southern country, an uncommon attention to the ordinances of worship and religion. The court house makes a respectable appearance. Notwithstanding the cleanliness, the elevation, and the apparent purity of the atmosphere of this town, it has been often visited with yellow fever. To this circumstance it is undoubtedly owing, that its population does not advance, as might be expected from its beautiful position. It is supposed not to have much over 3,000 inhabitants. Steam boats are constantly coming to this place, or departing from it, and the arriving and departing gun is heard at all hours of the day and of the night; and as they are seen sweeping along the majestic river, they add greatly to the grandeur and interest of the scenery of this town.


The, more interesting and important circumstances, in the early history of this state, have already been given under the general history of the valley. Near Natchez were the central villages of the interesting nation of the Natchez Indians, now extinct. Question about the territorial right to this region was long the apple of discord between the Spanish and the French, the Spanish and English, and between the government of the former, and that of the United States. Alabama was recently set off from


it, as an independent state. Greater part of the country originally belonged to the Chactaw Indians. Their title has been constantly extinguishing by purchased cessions of lands, so that the title to the greater part of the country has passed to the state. In 1817, Mississippi passed from a territorial government, and was admitted into the union of the states.




LENGTH, 240 miles. Breadth, 210, containing 48,220 square miles. Between 29° and 33° N. latitude, and 12° and 17° 3' W. longitude. Bounded East by Mississippi state. and the gulf of Mexico, and by the river Mississippi from 31° to 33°, and thence by the parallel of 31° to Pearl river; thence by that stream to its mouth; South by the gulf of Mexico; West by the river Sabine, which separates it from the Mexican States, and following that river to the parallel of 32°, thence due north to 33°, thence due east to the Mississippi.

Civil Divisions.

Counties. Whites. F. Blacks. Slaves. All others. Total.
Ascension, (parish,) 1495 104 2129 0 3728
Assumption, (do.) 2409 18 1149 0 3576
Attakapas, (county,) 5862 494 5707 0 12,063
Avoyelles, (parish,) 1438 25 782 0 2245
Baton Rouge, (east,) (do.) 2600 132 2076 412 5220
Baton Rouge, (west,) (do.) 908 124 1303 0 2335
Concordia, (do.) 827 12 1787 0 2626
Ibberville, (do.) 2019 110 2279 0 4414
Lafourche, (interior,)(do.) 2652 128 968 7 3755
Natchitoches, (county,) 4740 415 2326 0 7480
New Feliciana, (parish,) 5434 69 7164 65 12,732
NEW ORLEANS, (city,) 13,584 6237 7355 0 27,176
New Orleans, (parish,) 5660 924 7591 0 14,175
Ocatahoula, (parish,) 1524 12 751 0 2287
Opelousas, (county) 5368 766 3951 0 10,085
Placquemine, (parish,) 637 151 1,566 0 2354


Pojnt Coupee, (county,) 1092 190 3630 0 4912
Rapides. (parish,) 2491 05 3489 0 6065
St. Bernard, (do.) 667 45 1923 0 2635
St. Charles, (do.) 727 148 2987 0 3862
St. Helena, (do.) 2164 32 830 0 3026
St. James, (do.) 2522 52 3086 0 5686
St. John Baptiste, (do.) 1532 113 2209 0 3854
St. Tammany, (do.) 1053 39 631 0 1723
Washington, (do.) 1957 1 559 0 2517
Washita, (do.) 2016 44 836 0 2609
  73,443 10,476 69,064 484 153,407

In 1785, what is now the state of Louisiana, contained under the Spanish government 27,283 inhabitants. In 1810, it being then the territory of Orleans under the American government, it contained 75,556, of which 34,668 were slaves. In 1820, according to the amount given in the table. This shows a very rapid increase in population. It nearly tripled in 17 years, preceding 1810. It more than doubled between 1810 and 1820.

Extraordinary as his ratio of increase is, it is by no means in proportion to that of many other of the western states; nor can we expect a proportionate increase between this and the approaching census of 1839. No state in the union has more fertile land. No state can compare with it in the richness of its agriculture. It can never admit of a very dense population, until the inundation of its rivers shall have been prevented, its swamps drained, and its lands in rich demand, as to have its prairies and pine woods brought to cultivation. It has, however, sugar and cotton lands the best quality, still unoccupied, sufficient to admit a population of triple its present amount.

The question, why the state, which has waste lands, as fertile as any in the western country, an agriculture unquestionably the richest, and unrivalled advantages of access


to the sea, and of internal water communications, does not people faster, may be answered by the assignment of various causes. The country has universally in the per country, and at the north, the reputation of being sickly, by impressions founded in exaggerated reports not at all warranted by facts. New Orleans has been repeatedly desolated, it is true, by the yellow fever; and public opinion abroad has, probably, identified the sickliness of the whole country with that of that city. It can not be denied that there are parts of this state, which are intrinsically sickly; that there is much land, and that of the richest and most productive character, in the immediate vicinity of immense marshes, lakes and stagnant waters, the contiguity of which must necessarily be noxious to health and life. Neither can it be denied, that a country, which has such an undue proportion of slaves is unfavorably situated for advancing in population, from a great variety of causes, which our limits will not allow us to give in detail. Another impediment may be found in the difficulty of adjusting the numerous and conflicting land claims. It has thus happened, that neither the claimants, nor congress could bring them into market for want of adjustment. Large claims to the finest portions of land in the state have not yet been adjudicated by Congress; and purchasers have not felt secure in the titles of the claimants. A country, too, settled by large and opulent planters, is from that cause unfavorably situated for increase in population. It is discouraging to a freeholder, with his naked hands, or a small force, to sit down beside a planter with an hundred working hands. It is very natural, that the ‘petit paysan’ should think, that he sees contempt in the deportment of his wealthy neighbor towards him. But notwithstanding all these adverse circumstances, this state is making, and from the nature of its agriculture, must continue to make steady advances in population.


Face of the Country, Soil, &c.

Three quarters of this state are without an elevation, that can properly be called a bill. The pine woods generally have a surface of a very particular character, rising into fine swells, with table surfaces on the summit, and valleys from thirty to forty feet deep. But they are without any particular range, and like the waves of a high and regular sea. The alluvial soil of course is level, and the swamps, which are only inundated alluvions, are dead flats. The vast prairies which constitute a large portion of the surface of the state, have, in a remarkable degree, all the distinctive marks of prairies. To the eye they seem as level, as the still surface of a lake. They are, for the most part, higher and dryer, than the savannas of Florida. A range of hills commences in gentle elevations in Opelousas, rises gradually, and diverges towards the Sabine. In the vicinity of Natchitoches it preserves a distance, intermediate between the Sabine and Red river, and continues to increase in elevation to the western parts of the state. Seen from the pine hills above Natchitoches, they have in the distance, the blue outline, and the general aspect of a range of mountains. Another line of hills, not far from Alexandria, commences on the north side of Red river, and separating between the waters of that river and Dugdemony, unites with another line of singular shaped mamelle hills, that bound the alluvions of the Washita, as bluffs, gradually diverging from that river, as they pass beyond the western limits of the state. That very remote part of the parish of Natchitohes, called Allen's settlement, is a high and rolling country. There are also considerable hills beyond the Mississippi alluvions, east of that river. But, generally speaking, Lousiana may be considered, as one immense plain, divided, as respects its surface, into pine woods, prairies, alluvions, swamps, and hickory and oak lands.


The pine woods, as we have remarked, are generally rolling; sometimes, but not often level. They have almost invariably a poor soil, sufficiently described in account of Florida and Alabama. They possess the same character here, except, that creeks are more common with more extensive and somewhat richer bottoms; and there is perhaps, a greater proportion of laurels, oaks and hickories among the pines. The greater proportion of the prairies is second rate land. Some of those west of Opelousas, and between Washita and Red river are even sterile. Some parts of the prairies of Opelousas are of great fertility, and those of Attakapas still more so. As a general fact, they are more level, than those of the upper country. A large belt of these prairies near the gulf is low, marshy, and in rainy weather inundated. A very considerable extent of them has a cold clayey soil, with a hard pan near the surface. In other places the soil is of inky blackness, and disposed in the hot and dry season to crack in fissures, of a size to admit a man's arm.

The bottoms are generally rich, but in, very different degrees. Those of the Mississippi and Red river, and the bayous connected with those streams, are more fertile and productive, than the streams west of them, and between them and the Sabine. The fertility of the richer bottoms of the Mississippi and Red river is sufficiently attested by the prodigious growth of the timber, the luxuriance, size and rankness of the cane, and the cotton, the tangle of vines and creepers, the astonishing size of the weeds, and the strength of vegetation in general. We have measured a fig tree, and a sumach, both ordinarily considered as shrubs, which were larger, than a man's body. The richness of the articles of cultivation is sufficiently well known. The cotton on fresh lands of the richest quality, grows to the size of a considerable shrub.


The districts of Louisiana, which have the richest soils, are the following: — 1st. The island of New Orleans. This is so denominated in geography,and correctly; though of the multitudes of people, who have visited New Orleans, not one in a thousand has seen the proofs of its being an island. Not far below Baton Rouge, a bayou, or efflux, called Manshac, or Ibberville makes out from the Mississippi, which, in its course receives other waters, until, swolen to a considerable river, it falls into lake Maurepas. That again is connected by a narrow gorge with lake Ponchartrain, and that by the rigolets with lake Borgne and the gulf The Mississippi insulates it on the other side. Consequently, the island of New Orleans is a narrow strip of land, stretching between this range of lakes and the river. About one third of the average width of this strip is under cultivation. The other two thirds are swamp. Its front is the eastern bank of the Mississippi; and its rear is this bayou and this line of lakes. The bayou Manshac, which completes the insular character of this tract, is narrow, and is seldom seen by persons descending the Mississippi. —

This tract is the finest part of that rich country, which is called the coast. The coast is that part of the bottom of the Mississippi, which commences with the first cultivation above the Balize, that is to say, about forty miles below New Orleans and one hundred and fifty above. This belt on each side of the river is secured by an embankment, called a levee from six to eight feet in height, and sufficiently broad, for the most part, to furnish a fine high way. — The river in ordinary inundations would cover the greater part of this belt from two to six feet in depth. It is from one to two miles in width, and perhaps a richer tract of land of the same extent can not be found on the globe. The levee extends something higher on the west, than on the east side of the river. Above the levee on the east bank of


the river are the parishes of Baton Rouge, and East and West Feliciana. The latter parish received its name from its pleasant surface of fertile hills and valleys, and its union of desirable circumstances for a planting country. This parish presents a spectacle, very uncommon in this country hills, that are covered with laurels, and forest trees, that denote the richest soil, and which are uncommonly fertile. Here are some of the richest planters and best plantations in the state. The mouth of Bayou Sarah, the point of shipment for this region, sends great quantities of cotton to New Orleans. Some of the plantations on this Bayou have from five to eight hundred acres under cultivation, worked by a large number of hands.

West of the Mississippi, the Bayous Lafourche and Placquemine, effluxes, or outlets from the Mississippi, have the same conformation of hanks, and the same qualities of soil with the parent stream; and, where not inundated, are equally f