Pictures and Illustrations
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The Western Pilot.
The City of Pittsburgh stands upon the Delta, or point, formed by the juncture of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers. The Alleghany rises in the northern part of the State of Pennsylvania, passes through a part of the State of New York, and winding it's way back through the western part of Pennsylvania, it receives the waters of several considerable streams; among which are Connewongo, French Creek, Mahoning and Kiskiminitas, and unites with the Monongahela at Pittsburgh. The country on the Alleghany is much of it broken, sterile, and not well calculated for agriculture; but it contains inexhaustible supplies of the finest lumber, from which the immense country below is more or less supplied. It is supposed, that nearly thirty million feet of plank and boards, from the noble pine forests on its head waters, have of late annually descended the Alleghany in rafts. Its current is rapid, and of sufficient depth to be navigated by keel boats. It has been ascended, in times of high water by Steam-boats. It is about 400 yards wide at its mouth.
The Monongahela has its origin near Morgantown in Virginia. Its principal tributary is the Youghiogeny. From the confluence of these two streams, the river becomes broad and navigable, and flows in a north-west course to Pittsburgh where it is 400 yards wide. The country on this river is rich and well settled, and is celebrated for its whiskey, flour, and fruit-orchards. Large quantities of the finest whiskey, cider, and apples, are every year sent down the river for the supply of the country below. It is also noted for its iron and manufactures. In good stages of water the river is boatable 100 miles above Pittsburgh. The banks are often bold, and high bluffs; and the country is rich, picturesque and beautiful. Brownsville, formerly called Red Stone, situated on the East bank of the Monongahela at the mouth of Dunlap's creek, 35 miles above Pittsburgh, contains about 1000 inhabitants. Bridgeport on the opposite side of the creek is connected with Brownsville by a bridge, and contains about 700 inhabitants. The union of these two mighty streams at Pittsburgh forms the majestic Ohio, which is here more than 600 yards wide.
PITTSBURGH, which lies in the form of a triangle between the two rivers above described, occupies the alluvial plain and part of the adjacent hills. A more eligible site for a city could hardly be selected. It is high and healthy, surrounded by verdant and romantic hills, the Alleghany rolling down its stores from the north, and the Monongahela from the South, and the broad Ohio commencing its devious course to the west. It commands a beautiful prospect of hill and dale, neighboring villas, the village of Birmingham on the opposite shore of the Monongahela, and the suburb of Manchester on the opposite shore of the Alleghany. Both of these villages are connected with Pittsburgh by fine bridges.
When the French had possession of the Western waters, they built a strong fort here which they called Fort Du Quesne. It was for a considerable time a depot of French goods for the savages; a place of outfits for the Ohio, and an important point in the chain of posts intended to connect Canada with Louisiana. After the British got possession of it, they called it Fort Pitt, in honor of the Earl of Chatham. As this point was considered the key to the west, which commanded the whole Ohio valley and regulated the trade and intercourse of this immense country, the possession of it became a great object to the contending parties. It was therefore strongly garrisoned, and became the common rendezvous of the Indian tribes, traders, soldiers and adventurers; and the theatre of many brilliant exploits, skirmishes and battles in our border warfare. It was near this place where General Braddock was killed and his army defeated, and where Washington gathered his first military laurels. Colonel Grant with his 800 Caledonians was also defeated on the hill just back of the city which bears his name.
Pittsburgh is admirably situated for trade and manufactures. It may be said to stand at the head of Steam Boat navigation, as the Alleghany and Monongahela can only be ascended in times of high water. It is the mart of the Western part of New York and Virginia, and the whole of Western Pennsylvania, while the Ohio opens to the enterprise of its citizens the whole of the Mississippi valley.
But what gives to this place a pre-eminence over every other in the West, or perhaps in the United States, as a site for manufactures, are the exhaustless banks of good stone coal, of which the neighboring hills are composed, and the excellent mines of iron ore, which are found in great abundance in West Pennsylvania, and in the banks of the Ohio below.
A great, number of large manufacturing establishments, driven by steam power, are successfully and extensively carried on here. Castings, and Ironmongery of every description, — steam engines, cutlery, nails, glass, paper, wire, steam boat building, and many other branches of manufactures wrought by machinery, besides the handicraft trades are carried on here upon a great scale. It has usually been called the Birmingham of America. It contains about 15000 inhabitants, consisting of native Americans, Irish, Germans, English, Scotch, French, Swiss, & c.
The Ohio River.
No river in the world rolls, for the same distance, such an uniform, smooth and placid current. Its banks are generally high and precipitous — rising into bluffs and cliffs, sometimes to the height of three hundred feet: Between these bluffs and the river, there is generally a strip of land of unequal width, called Bottom. These bluffs exhibit a wild and picturesque grandeur, which those who have never viewed nature in her primitive and unspoiled state, can hardly imagine. Dense and interminable forests — trees of the most gigantic size, casting their broad shadows into the placid stream — the luxuriant and mammoth growth of the timber in the bottoms — the meanderings, and frequent bends of the river, and the numberless, beautiful wooded islands, all of which, in rapid succession, shift and vary the scene to the eye, as you float down the endless maze before you, are calculated to fix upon the mind an indelible
7impression. This splendid scenery is much softened by a clear moonlight, when the imagination adds to the reality it's airy fictions, and ‘pictures things unseen.’
In the infancy of the country, every species of water craft was employed in navigating this river — some of which were of the most whimsical and amusing structure. The Barge, the Keel boat, the Kentucky Flat, or Family boat, the Pirogue, Ferry boats, Gondolas, Skiffs, Dug-outs, and many others, formerly floated in great numbers down the current of the Ohio and Mississippi to their points of destination, at distances, sometimes, of three thousand miles.
The following lively and graphic picture of the life of a boatman is taken from Flint's Recollections:
"There is no wonder that the way of life which the boatmen lead, in turn extremely indolent, and extremely laborious; for days together requiring little or no effort, and attended with no danger, and then on a sudden, laborious and hazardous beyond Atlantic navigation; generally plentiful as it respects food, and always so as it regards whiskey, should always have seductions that prove irresistible to the young people that live near the banks of the river. The boats float 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, — all these circumstances harmonize in the excited youthful imagination. The boatmen are dancing to the violin on the deck of their boat. They scatter their wit among the girls on the shore who come down to the water's edge to see the pageant pass. The boat glides on until it disappears behind a 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 I have heard a thousand times repeated, and at all hours, and in all positions, is even to me always new, and always delightful. 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."
The number of small boats have, however, rapidly diminished since the introduction of Steam boats, and the singular race of men
Between Pittsburgh and the mouth of the Ohio, there are one hundred considerable islands, besides a great number of tow-heads and sand-bars. Some of these islands are of exquisite beauty, covered with trees of the most delicate foliage, and afford the most lovely situations for a retired residence.
Tributary rivers and creeks, to the number of seventy-five, empty into the Ohio between Pittsburgh and its mouth. A number of cities and flourishing towns are situated on its banks.
These islands, rivers, creeks, cities, and towns, are all particularly described, with the distances between each, in the following pages of the Pilot — where a chart of the river with directions for navigating it with safety, are particularly given.
Directions for Map No. 1. — Ohio River
FROM the landing at Pittsburgh, on the Monongahela side, keep near the right shore, and (at high water) pull directly out into the Alleghany current, which sets strong over to the left shore. At low water, when nearly up with the point, keep over to the left, towards O'Hara's glass works, which will carry you clear of the bar at the point, and of the Monongahela Bar on the left.
Brunot's Island. (2 1/2) Channel to the right, and near the right shore round the head bar of the island, and then incline towards the island and pass near its foot, to avoid a bar on the right below.
Neville's or Long Island. (5, 7 1/2) Channel to the right. About three fourths of a mile above Neville's island, keep to the right, to avoid the bar at its head, and pass pretty close to Baldwin's mill dam, and, when past it, close in to the right shore below, then turn short across for the island, and keep near the island shore until you approach a small sandy island, when you must keep to the right and pass betwixt the latter and Lowry's rock, which lies on the right, opposite. A quarter of a mile below the small sandy island, keep to the left round the head of Duff's bar, and near to Neville's island shore, until you are within a mile and a quarter of its foot, then turn quick to the right, and approach within fifty yards of the right shore, and when nearly up with Hog island, incline to the left, and keep one third of the river on your right, which will carry you clear of the bar at the foot of the island and the shore bar on the right. After passing Middletown bar, incline to the left.
Dead Man's Island. (9 1/2) Channel to the right. As you approach the island, keep
10well towards the right shore round the large bar at the head of the island, then keep to the left well over to the island, round a bar on the right, opposite to the middle of the island; then turn to the right and run well in with the right shore, and when past the island keep out to the middle of the river. About a mile below Dead Man's island, keep nearest the left shore until you are a mile below Seweekly creek, on the right, to avoid its bar at the mouth. Seweekly creek is about two miles below Dead Man's island. Two miles below Seweekly creek is Logtown bar on the left. Here you must keep over close to the right till you pass the ripple, then incline to the left.
ECONOMY on the right (1, 18)
This settlement has been lately made by the famous George Rapp, a German, who, with a number of his countrymen, of the religious order called Harmonites, first settled on Conaquanessing creek, in Butler county, Penn. From thence they all removed in a body, consisting of about 800 souls, to the Wabash, and there built the village of New-Harmony; which they afterwards sold to the celebrated Robert Owen, and commenced a new settlement in this place. Mr. Rapp has already established here pretty extensive Cotton and Woollen manufactures, and the community is rapidly improving under the severe discipline and industry, which form a part of their religious creed. Mr. Rapp has lately added to the establishment a very respectable museum of natural curiosities.
Crow Islands. (4 1/2, 22 1/2) Channel to the right, near the head of the first island, then incline to the right; when nearly up with the foot of the second island keep to the left, and pass midway between the foot of the island and the right shore, then incline to the left. About three miles below Crow island is Atcheson's bar, near the middle of the river. Channel to the right.
Big Beaver, on the right. (6, 28 1/2)
BIG BEAVER is formed by the Mahoning, Shenango, and Conaquanessing Creeks, which rise, in the eastern part of the State of Ohio. The Mahoning is the main branch. The valley of Big Beaver is nearly circular, and about 70 miles diameter.
After you have passed Atcheson's bar above, keep to the left to avoid a large bar at the mouth of Big Beaver. If you wish to land at Beavertown, keep close to the foot of the bar last mentioned, and pull into an eddy below, and land opposite the warehouse. If you do not intend to land, keep near the left shore for three fourths of a mile below Beaver, then steer over towards the upper part of the town, and keep rather more than half the river on your left, which will carry you through betwixt the two bars opposite the town. The left hand bar extends but a very little below
11the town; that on the right nearly a mile and a half. After passing the former, incline towards the left shore for about a mile, then keep to the right around the lower point of the latter, which here extends more than half across the river. From this the channel is nearly in the middle through the bars at Raccoon creek.
Raccoon Creek, on the left. (3 1/2, 32)
Montgomery's Island. (2 1/2, 34 1/2) Channel to the left, and near the left shore at the head of the island, and incline over towards its foot.
Directions for Map No. 2. — Ohio River.
Phillis's Island. (3, 37 1/2) Channel to the right. Keep close to the right shore round the head bar of the island, then cross over, and pass close to its foot, to avoid a bar on the right.
Grape Island. (3, 40 1/2) Channel to the left. Keep near the middle of the chute, which will carry you clear of the island bar, and the rocks on the left.
Little Beaver Creek on the right. (2 1/2, 43)
LITTLE BEAVER, which runs through Columbiana county, in the state of Ohio, and falls into the Ohio just within the borders of Pennsylvania, is an excellent stream for water power. It affords a vast number of mill seats, many of Which are already improved; among which are two paper mills, several forges and furnaces, and a large wire manufactory lately established by a company in Pittsburgh.
Nearly opposite to Little Beaver is Georgetown, on the left, a small town of Beaver county, Pennsylvania. Rather more than a mile below Georgetown, the state line crosses the Ohio, separating the state of Pennsylvania from Virginia on the one side, and Ohio on the other. Keep a little to the left towards the lower part of Georgetown, to clear the bar at the mouth of Little Beaver.
Mill Creek Island. (14, 44 1/2) Channel to the left, and close to some snags near the left shore; and when round an ugly bar at the head of the island, incline to the right, and along the island shore; when you approach its foot keep to the left.
Custard's Island. Channel to the left, and near to the island at its foot.
FAWCETTSTOWN, on the right, (2 1/2, 47) About half a mile below Custard's island, is a post town of Columbiana county, Ohio. Two and a half miles below Fawcettstown, is a bar in the middle of the river, Channel either side — the left is preferable.
Baker's Islands, (6, 53) Are two very small islands, connected by a large bar. Channel to the right, between the head bar of the island and a shore bar on the right. After passing the latter, run in pretty close to the right shore, near the sycamore trees; when past them, incline to the left, and pass near the foot of the island, to avoid Yellow creek bar on the right.
Great Yellow Creek, on the right.
Kneistly's Cluster. (2 1/2, 55 1/2) Channel to the right, and near the middle, till you approach the centre of the cluster, then turn to the right, leaving the large break on your left; when past it, incline again to the left for three or four hundred yards, then incline more towards the right shore, and pass close to a rock which lies in the lower end of the chute.
Black's or Tomlinson's Island. Channel to the left. Keep near the left shore round the bar at the head of the island, then incline towards the island. After you have passed the bar at the foot of the island, (which has a small towhead on it,) keep towards the right, to avoid a hard break at the mouth of a small creek on the left. Half a mile below this is a small creek on the right, with a bar at its mouth; keep the middle of the river until you approach King's creek on the left, (about two miles above Brown's island,) keep to the right round its bar; and when a mile below, if you intend to go to the left of Brown's island, keep well over to the left shore round the bar at the head of the island, then run towards the island, and keep along its shore till you approach the bar which makes from the island, about half way down it; then steer across for the left shore, which keep near to until nearly up with the foot of the island, then keep to the right towards a small towhead which is on a bar below the island. There has been an artificial channel cut through between the towhead last mentioned, and Brown's island; consequently it is advisable, perhaps, at a very low stage of water, to take to the right of the latter: in which case, after you have passed the bar at the mouth of King's creek, incline still to the right, and keep near the right shore round the head bar of the island, and then incline towards the island, and keep near its shore until you have passed the bar at the mouth of Island creek on the right, opposite the middle of the island, then keep to the right round a bar with a small town
13head on it which makes from the island above its foot; then keep to the left through the artificial channel, between the foot of the island and the small towhead below. From this keep rather more than half the river on your right, until you are past Wills's creek half a mile, then incline a little to the right, to avoid a bar below the left hand point.
STEUBENVILLE, on the right. (14 1/2, 70)
STEUBENVILLE is the seat of Justice for Jefferson County, and is in the centre of a rich and populous country, extending both sides of the Ohio, which exports large quantities of flour, whiskey, grain, &c. It contains, at present, about 3000 inhabitants. It is well situated for manufactures, having inexhaustible beds of stone coal in the neighborhood. There are in the town and neighborhood, three Merchant Flour-mills — a very large and justly celebrated woollen Factory, at which 60,000 pounds of wool are annually manufactured into cloth. Large flocks of sheep of the merino breed are owned by the neighboring farmers, and by the proprietors of the establishment, which has several times obtained the premium for the best specimens of cloth manufactured in the United States. There are besides two cotton factories of 3000 spindles, a large paper mill, belonging to Mr. Holdship of Pittsburgh, which manufactures the finest and best paper made in the Western country — three air foundries, a steam saw mill, two breweries, a court house, five churches, two printing offices, and a land office. A mineral called Copperas Stone, (sulphate of iron) is found more or less in all the coal banks, from which about 159 tons of Copperas are manufactured per year. Steubenville takes its name from Fort Steuben, which in the early settlement of the country was erected here to protect the settlers from the depredations of the Indians.
There is a bar on the right, about three fourths of a mile below Steubenville, at the month of Wells' run; keep to the right after passing round this bar, to avoid a large bar on the left, below; then keep towards the left shore.
Mingo Island. (3 3/4, 72 3/4) Channel to the left; and after you pass the island, incline towards the middle of the river. Rather more than a mile below Mingo island is Virginia Cross creek, on the left, and Indian Cross on the right, nearly opposite. The channel is near the middle of the river past them; then keep to the right, round the bar of Indian Short creek, and near to the right shore, (leaving Cox's bar on the left,) until you approach Wellsburgh; then turn out to the left, and pass pretty close to the town; and when up with the lower part of the town, turn quick to the right, and pass pretty close to the bar on the left, at the mouth of Buffalo creek.
WELLSBURGH on the left.
This place, formerly called Charlestown, is the county seat
14for Brooke County, Virginia. It is handsomely situated on a high bank of the Ohio, 15 miles above Wheeling. It contains about 100 houses, a court-house, jail, academy, several stores, a number of taverns, and two or three large ware houses; — from which large quantities of flour are shipped for New Orleans. There are a number of valuable merchant mills in the vicinity. It is a place of considerable embarkation on the Ohio. Manufactures of earthen and stone ware are carried on here. It contains about 1000 inhabitants and is 55 miles by land from Pittsburgh.
Directions for Map No. 3. — Ohio River.
Beach Bottom Bar,, Is nearly three miles below Wellsburgh. Channel to the right, and then incline over towards the left shore to avoid a baron the right, below.
WARRENTON, on the right, (10, 82 3/4) Is a post town in Jefferson county, Ohio, situated immediately above the mouth of Indian Short creek. Virginia short creek is nearly opposite. There is a large bar at the mouth of Indian Short creek. Channel nearest the left shore until you pass the creek, then keep to the right.
Pike's Island. Channel to the right, (3, 86)
Twin Island's. (1 1/2, 87 1/2) Channel to the right of both. Keep near the right shore round the bar at the head of the first twin, then incline towards the island, to avoid the bar to the right, at the mouth of a small run opposite the middle of the island; then incline towards the right shore. — When nearly up with the foot of the second twin, incline to the left, to clear the bar at the mouth of Glenn's run; keep pretty close to it; and when past it, keep to the right to avoid Burlington bar on the left; when clear of the latter, incline over to the left shore.
WHEELING, on the left. (4 1/2, 92)
WHEELING is the seat of justice for Ohio county, Virginia. It is situated a little above Wheeling creek, a considerable stream, which traverses a fine rich country, and puts into the Ohio just below. The town is surrounded by bold and precipitous hills, which contains exhaustless quantities of coal, and which approach the river so near as to leave rather a small area for the town. The great national road from Baltimore crosses the Ohio at this place. It is already completed as far as Zanesville, and is contemplated to be extended through the States of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois to St. Louis.
The channel of the Ohio becomes deeper below Wheeling, in so much, that Steam boats continue to run as high as this place, when they cannot ascend the river above; and it affords a certain navigation for flats and keel boats in the lowest stages of water, A number of mail stages arrive and depart here; and good public roads connect it with Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and the interior of Ohio and Virginia. These circumstances, united to its very favorable position on the Ohio, give to Wheeling many advantages, and have tended greatly to accelerate its growth. It contains about 2,500 inhabitants, has about 300 dwelling houses, a court house, a jail, a bank, two churches, a book-store, printing office, library, academy, a large number of stores, and commission ware houses, and several inns, some of which are highly respectable — Flat and keel boats are built here; and of late a number of Steam boats. There are many reasons to believe that this place will eventually become one of the most considerable on the Ohio.
Wheeling island is near the middle of the river, directly opposite the town. Channel to the left. Keep well over to the left shore past the head bar of Wheeling island; then keep to the right towards the island, to avoid a rocky bar on the left, opposite the head of the town; after passing it, turn in towards the lower part of the town, where is the best landing. If you do not intend to land, when you approach Wheeling creek turn out to the right round its bar, then incline again to the left, then to the right, and pass betwixt the bar on the right at the foot of the island, and the left hand bar; when past the latter, keep over towards the left hand shore.
Bogg's Island. (2, 94) Channel to the left, near the left shore at its head, then cross over towards the foot.
M'Mahon's Creek, right side. (2 1/4, 96 1/4) There is a large bar at its mouth. Keep well towards the left shore, and when past it incline to the right. About three miles below M'Mahon's creek, is the small town of Pultney, on the right. Channel nearest the left shore. When you approach the left hand point below Pultney, incline over to the right, and keep near the right shore, to avoid a large bar below the point, above Little Grave creek on the left. Continue nearest the right shore until nearly up with the right hand point opposite Big Grave creek.
Big Grave Creek, on the left. (7 3/4, 104)
A short distance up this creek there is the largest Indian mound which has been found perhaps in the United States. It is between 30 and 40 rods in circumference around its base, and about 75 feet in height. Its sides, though very steep, are covered with high and aged trees. On its summit there is a smooth and flat area, which is 60 feet in diameter; in the centre of which is a
16great and regular concavity: A single white oak rises from this concavity like a flag staff. Those who wish to view one of these singular remains of Indian antiquity, and to contemplate the stupendous labor employed in their erection, will do well to visit this mound.
There is a large bar on the left below Big Grave creek. Keep well towards the right hand point above, and then pretty close to Big Grave bar, to avoid the bar below the right hand point. About two miles below Big Grave creek, the Ohio takes a very short turn to the left, and the current forces very strong on to the right shore below Pipe creek, where are some rocks. There is a liar on the left, half a mile below the point.
Captina Island. (6, 110) Channel either side. The right is generally preferable, but at very low water you will be obliged to take the left, and near to the left shore until nearly up with the foot of the island, then turn to the right, and pass near the foot, to avoid a hard bar on the left below.
Captina Creek, right side, (2 1/2, 112 1/2) About a mile below the island: there is a large bar at its mouth; keep well towards the left shore past it, then incline towards the middle.
Fish Creek Island. (2, 114 1/2) Best channel on the left, and close to the island at its foot, to avoid a large bar on the left, at the mouth of Fish Creek: after you have passed Fish creek bar incline to the left. About one and a half miles below Fish creek is a bar on the right, with a small willow island on it, close to the right shore. Channel near the left shore.
Directions for Map No. 4 — Ohio River.
Sunfish Creek, right side. (3 1/2, 118) When you approach Sunfish creek, keep to the left to avoid the bar at its mouth.
Opossom Creek, on the right. (2, 120) Channel near the left shore, then turn short to the right round its bar, and keep two thirds of the river on your left until you pass two large bars, one above and the other below Protetor's Run, on the left.
Fishing Creek, left side. (7 1/2, 127 1/2) There is a large bar below the mouth of fishing creek
17channel to the right, and near the right shore at first, then incline to the left near its foot.
Peden's Island. (4 1/2, 132) Channel right side, after passing Peden island you enter the long reach.
Williamson's Island. (2 1/2, 134 1/2) Channel to the right, and close in with the right shore at its foot, to clear the bar below.
Pursley's Island. (4, 138 1/4) Channel right side, and near the right shore at its head; incline towards its foot, to avoid a bar on the right, opposite.
Wilson's Island. (2 1/2, 141) Channel right side. Incline towards the head of the island when you approach it, to avoid a rocky bar at the mouth of Mill creek, on the right.
Grandview Island. (2, 143) Channel to the right; about three and a half miles below this island is a large bar on the right, here you must keep well over to the left shore, then turn short round the bar towards the right shore, leaving another bar on the left. This is called petticoat ripple. The right hand bar is seldom ever dry.
Grape and Bat Islands. (8 1/2, 151 1/2) Channel right side. Incline towards the foot of the island.
Middle Island. (153 1/2) Channel right side. Keep nearest the right shore, round the head bar of the island, then incline towards the island, to avoid the bar on the right, below French creek.
Directions for Map No. 5. — Ohio River
Three Brother Islands. (5 1/2, 158) Channel to the right of all of them, and close to the right shore at the foot of the 2d Brother. Opposite the 1st Brother is the town of Newport on the right, a post town of Washington county, Ohio: about one and a half miles below the third Brother is a bar on the left, with a small towhead on it, just above a creek.
Bull Creek, on the left. (7, 165) There is a large bar on the right just above Bull creek, and a small baron the left at its mouth. Keep nearest to the left a mile above Bull creek; turn a little out to the right when nearly up with its mouth, and then keep two
18thirds of the river on your right for nearly three miles and a half: this will bring you up with the lower point of the first of Carpenter's bars, on the right: then steer quick over towards the right shore, leaving the large middle bar on your left. Keep near the right shore until nearly up with the little Muskingum, then incline a little to the left, to avoid some logs and snags at its mouth.
Duval's Island. (6 1/2, 177 1/2) Channel right side. Duck creek empties in on the right opposite Duval's island, there is a bar at its mouth, here you must incline toward the island, and when past the bar at its mouth, keep toward the right shore again.
Muskingum River on the right. (2 1/2, 174) MUSKINGUM RIVER which is 250 yards wide at its mouth, rises near the sources of the Cayahoga of Lake Erie in the Southern part of the Connecticut Reserve. In good stages of water, Steam boats run up it as high as Zanesville, and it is boatable as high as Coshocton, 100 miles from its mouth. Small crafts ascend it to portage of one mile from the boatable waters of the Cayahoga.
ZANESVILLE is situated at the falls of the Muskingum on the east bank, about 60 miles from Marietta. It is connected with West Zanesville, and the town of Putnam, on the west bank, by two excellent bridges. The two towns, which may be considered as one village, contain about 400 houses, and above 4000 inhabitants. It is an excellent situation for manufacturing — the falls of the Muskingum affording the advantages of water power to almost any extent. Numerous mill seats are already occupied and in successful operation. Among these are several merchant flour mills, saw mills, an oil mill, a rolling mill, a nail machine, a woollen factory, &c. The Ohio Canal passes within a few miles of this place; to meet which, it is contemplated to cut a feeder from Zanesville. Stone coal is found in great quantities in the neighborhood, and a peculiar kind of clay suitable for crucibles and earthen ware. The grand national road also passes through this place; and all these advantages, united with many more which could be named, seem to point out Zanesville as a peculiarly favorable position for a manufacturing and commercial town; and one destined to a rapid and vigorous growth.
Is situated just above the mouth of the Muskingum river. It contains about 100 houses, and the whole township exceeds 2000 inhabitants. It has two churches, an academy, two printing offices, a court house, a bank, and about 20 stores. It was one of the first settled towns in the state of Ohio, by emigrants principally from New-England. It was laid out by the Ohio Company. Among the founders of this settlement was General Putnam, who was one of the most distinguished citizens of Ohio.
19Marietta was formerly considered the most important and flourishing town in the state. But it has not increased so fast as some other towns, owing, among other causes, to the inundations of the river, which sometimes overflows the town, filling the first story of the buildings with water, and sweeping away horses, cattle, &c. The soil is exceedingly fertile about the town; but the country in the interior is broken and hilly. Within the limits of the town are the remains of an extensive Indian fortification. The inhabitants are noted for their sobriety, industry, and civil deportment, and much attention is paid to education.
From Marietta the channel is almost directly towards the left shore, at low water, between the bar at the foot of Duval's Island, and Muskingum bars on the right; keep to the right round the latter, to avoid a small bar on the left.
Muskingum Island. (3, 177) Channel to the right.
Vienna, or Halt-way Island. (2 3/4, 179 3/4)
Channel to the left, opposite to Vienna Island, is a small creek on the left, with a bridge across it, and just below it i the small village of Vienna.
James Island. (2 3/4, 182 1/2) Channel to the right The channel past James Island is rather difficult at a low stage of water, occasioned by a bar on the right shore, below a small run; keep nearest the island bar. The rich settlement of Vienna extends down to opposite this island.
Little Kenhawa river on the left. (4, 186 1/2) The handsome little town of Parkersburgh is situated immediately above the mouth of Little Kenhawa, and the beautiful settlement of Bellepre on the right, opposite.
Blennerhassett's Island. (1 1/2, 188) This beautiful island is celebrated, as having formerly been the residence of Mr. Blennerhassett, an Irish emigrant of distinction who built a splendid mansion upon this island, the ruins of which are still to be seen. He possessed great wealth, and expended a vast sum of money in decorating his residence, and in laying out his pleasure grounds, with great taste and elegance. His lady was a very accomplished woman, and his house wag the resort of the most literary and polished society. When Aaron Burr was projecting his famous; expedition, he called upon Blennerhassett, and induced him to join in the conspiracy, and to embark wit all his wealth in his schemes. They were detected, arrested, and tried for treason. Blennerhassett was ruined — his splendid mansion was deserted and went to decay — his pleasure grounds were overrun with brush and weeds, and it now presents nothing but a mass of ruins.
Channel right side. Keep well over to the right shore round
20the head bar of the island; this island is nearly three and a half miles in length; when you approach its foot, keep very close in to the right shore, round a bar at its foot, with a small towhead on it, then turn quick out to the left, near to the towhead, to avoid a small bar, on the right, below.
Little Hockhocking, right side. (5, 193) Keep two thirds of the river on your right until you are past the bar at the mouth of Little Hockhocking, then incline to the right, to avoid a bar on the left.
Newbery Bar, and Small Island. (2 1/2, 195 1/2) Channel to the right. Take care to avoid a hard rocky bar from the right shore above Newbery bar.
Mustapha's Island. (1 1/2, 197) Channel to the right at a low stage of water, but the left is preferable at a middling stage.
Big Hockhocking River, right side. (2, 199)
HOCKHOCKING RIVER rises in Fairfield county, Ohio, and after winding about 80 miles through a very hilly country, enters the Ohio at Troy, 25 miles below Marietta. It is only about 50 yards wide, but is deep and boatable for small craft as high as Athens. Near its source, seven miles from Lancaster, the stream falls over a stratum of rock about 40 feet perpendicular height, affording excellent mill seats — on one of which a large flour mill is erected. In a large bend of this river is the town of Athens, where the Ohio University has been founded. This institution is endowed with two townships of land, the annual rent, or revenue, of which amounts to about $2300. It stands on an elevated and healthy situation and commands a fine prospect.
There is a low bar with snags on it at the mouth of big Hockhocking; the middle of the river will clear it, and then incline towards the right. Keep nearest the right for nearly three miles, until you approach the town of Belleville on the left, then keep short across for the upper part of the town, to avoid a large bar on the right. There is a large bar on the left above Belleville.
Directions for Map No. 6 — Ohio River.
Belleville Island. (4 1/2, 203 1/2) Close to the left shore. Channel to the right, and near the right shore at its foot to avoid a bar below it.
Shade River, right side. (5 1/2, 209) Here the Ohio takes a very sudden turn to the left, and the
21current forces very strong on to the right shore, which is very rocky. Keep well toward the left hand point; about a mile below Shade River is a rocky ledge on the right, and a bar on the left; channel between them, and near the middle of the river, and then incline toward the right shore, to avoid two bars on the left about two miles below.
Buffington's Island. (5 1/2, 214 1/2)This island lies close into the right shore, below a right hand point; at low water the channel is to the right, altho' it is narrow and difficult: to take the right, keep in close to the right shore above, opposite the head bar of the island. This chute is full of logs, and snags; particularly at the upper end, and there is a large log in the middle which must be avoided, and require great attention; keep near to the island at its foot, to avoid a hard break or rock on the right opposite, then cross out past its foot, to avoid a bar on the right below. At a moderate stage of water the left side is preferable.
Big Sandy Creek, on the left. (4 1/2, 219) There is a rocky bar on the right, above Sandy Creek: keep nearest the left shore until you are three quarters of a mile below the creek; then keep over to the right, to avoid a rocky bar, or ledge, on the left, extending half across the river, and rather more than two miles along the left shore.
Old Town Bar and small Island. (4 1/2, 223 1/2) Channel at low water on the right: the left is preferable at a middling stage of water. Old Town creek comes in on the right, opposite the foot of the island: half a mile below it there is a rocky ledge on the right. After you have passed old town island, keep near the middle of the river, which will carry you clear of the bar on the right, below the mouth of Banner's creek, and the baron the left opposite.
George's Island, near the left shore. (3 1/2, 227) Channel right side, between the head bar of the island, and a small bar on the right, opposite; after you have passed the head of the island incline to the left, and keep pretty near to the island, to avoid a bar on the right; as you approach the foot of the island, incline to the right, and keep well in to the right shore round the bar at its foot, and then turn out to the left.
Letart's Islands. (5, 232) Channel to the right. Keep pretty close to the right shore round the bar at the foot of the first island, then turn short to the left, and run pretty close to the second island, then incline a little to the right, and keep one third of the river on the right through the ripple: then incline a little to the left. One mile below the ripple there is a bar on the right.
Wolf's Bar. (7, 239) Channel to the right. Keep to the left round the foot of the bar, to avoid an eddy on the right, below. West's creek comes in en the left, opposite the foot of the bar. About a mile below West's creek is a rocky bar on the right, which forms a ripple, called Sureas ripple; channel through, one third from the left shore.
Leading Creek, on the right. (11, 250)
Eight Mile Island. (3 1/2, 253 1/2) Channel right side, and near the right shore round the head bar of the island, then turn out to the left past its foot.
Six Mile Island, close to the left shore. (2 1/2, 256) Channel to the right.
Great Kenhawa River, on the left. (5 1/2, 261 1/4)
GREAT KENHAWA river rises in the Alleghany mountains. One of its branches, the Green Briar, almost interlocks with the head waters of James River. The river is above 400 yards wide at its mouth, and, in common stages of water, is beatable by Keels to the Falls, seventy miles from its mouth. Small steam boats have of late commenced running as high as the Salt works — where, are found the most extensive salines in the Western country. The water is found in many places by perforating the earth and rocks, to the depth of from 100 to 200 feet. It is a remarkable fact, that, when the augar reaches the salt water, it immediately rises above the water of the river, and sometimes spouts up 20 feet into the air. The water is so strongly impregnated with salt, that it takes only from 90 to 130 gallons to make a bushel. This water is evaporated in kettles get in furnaces of which there are a great number. The quantity made at present is from 200,000 to 300,000 bushels annually. It was near the mouth of this river where the family of Logan, the famous Mingo chief resided, and where they were all assassinated by Colonel Cresap. The war which ensued — the revenge he took, and the simple, bold, concise and eloquent speech, which he made to the commissioners appointed to treat of a peace, are familiar to every one.
POINT PLEASANT,Immediately above the mouth of the Great Kenhawa, is the seat of Justice of Mason county, Virginia. From Point Pleasant, incline over towards the right shore.
Galliopolis Island. (2 3/4, 263 3/4) Channel to the left, and near to the head bar of the island at first, and when up with the head of the island, incline to the left, to avoid a small bar near its foot: you may pass to the right of the latter, close to the foot of the island, at
23a middling stage of water; but not advisable, except you wish to land at the town.
Directions for Map No. 7. — Ohio River.
GALLIOPOLIS, on the right. (1, 264 3/4)
GALLIOPOLIS is the county seat for Gallia county. It has a court house, an academy, above 80 houses, and 8 or 10 stores. It was originally settled by a small colony of French, who has been deceived and imposed upon by speculators, and suffered severely by sickness and other calamities. Some left in discouragement, many died, and the remaining number of French settlers is now small. There is a semi-globular mound 18 or 20 rods in circumference, at its base near the academy. The town appeared for some time to be on the decline; but is since improving.
Raccoon Island. (6 1/4, 271) This is a very small island; on the lower extremity of a large bar. Channel to the left, and near the island at its foot. Raccoon Creek comes in on the right, just below the island. This is a considerable creek, rising in the western part of Athens, and eastern part of Hocking county, and is famous for its quarries of stone; from which are manufactured burr mill stones, said to be of a quality equal to the best French burrs.
Meridan, or Sixteen Mile Creek, left side. (9, 280)
Eighteen Mile Creek, right side. (2, 282)
Little Guyandot Creek, left side. (1, 283)
Green Bottom Ripple, in the bend. (3, 286) Channel one third from the left shore at first, then incline a little to the right.
Federal Creek, right side. (3 1/2, 289 1/2)
Nine Mile Creek, left side. (3 1/2, 293)
Big Guyandot River and Town, left side. (7, 300) When you are up with Paddy's run, (about a mile above Guyandot, on the right,) steer quick over for the left shore, leaving a large bar on the right, just above town. When nearly up with the mouth of Big Guyandot, turn short over to thought, to about one third from the right shore above Indian Guyandot; then keep to the left round the bar at the mouth of the latter. Some prefer the right side of the large bar in the middle. To take the right, when nearly up With Paddy's run above, keep a little to the left round a
24small bar at its mouth, then incline towards the right shore, taking care to keep to the left round the bar at the mouth of Indian Guyandot.
Symmes's Creek, on the right. (3, 303)
Buffaloe Creek, left side. (2, 305)
Ten Pole Creek, left side. (1, 306)
Twelve Pole Creek, left side. (1, 307)
Burlington, on the right, Nearly opposite to Twelve Pole creek, is a post town, and seat of justice for Lawrence county, Ohio. It was laid out in the fall of 1817, and so called after Burlington in New Jersey, the native place of Captain Lawrence, for whom the county was named.
Big Sandy River, on the left. (4, 311)
BIG SANDY rises in the Alleghany mountains near the heads of Cumberland and Clinch, and forms the boundary between Virginia and Kentucky for nearly 200 miles. It is 200 yards wide at its entrance into the Ohio, and is navigable for light craft back to the mountains.
There is a bar on each side of the river at Big Sandy: channel in the middle.
Directions for Map No. 8. — Ohio River.
Stoner's Creek, right side. (10, 321)
Ferguson's Bar, Is about three miles below Stoner's creek. Channel nearest the right shore for about two miles, then incline towards the middle.
Little Sandy River, on the left. (9, 330) Channel near the middle of the river.
Pine Creek, on the right. (10, 340)
Little Scioto river, on the right. (2 1/2, 342 1/2) There is an ugly rocky bar on the right, commencing nearly a mile above the Little Scioto, and extending more than a mile below it. Channel one third from the left shore.
Tyger's Creek, right side. (4 1/2, 347)
PORTSMOUTH, right side.
PORTSMOUTH, the chief town of Scioto county, stands on the
25Ohio shore just above the mouth of the Scioto river. The Ohio canal here enters the river. This canal unites the waters of the Ohio with Lake Erie, and by means of the lake, and the grand New York canal, a water communication is opened between the Mississippi and its tributaries, and the city of New York. The waters of the Mississippi, the Ouisconsin, the Illinois, the Missouri, with all its navigable tributaries, the Arkansas, Red River, the Ohio, the Tennessee, the Cumberland, the Wabash, the Kentucky, the Miami, the Scioto, the Kanhawa, the Alleghany, and the Monongahela, all great and. navigable rivers, with many others of less note, may be made to communicate with this canal; forming an inland navigation of above 8000 miles!! The trade and productions of the immense country, watered by these fivers, extending from the Alleghany to the Rocky Mountains, and from the Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico — floating from different directions — and even from different climates, can ail concentrate the mouth of the Ohio canal at Portsmouth. And much of it undoubtedly will. A vast amount of commission business must in consequence be done here. It is also well situated for the internal commerce of the State. Its growth must be rapid to keep pace with the business which must naturally accumulate here. It has now a bank, court house, printing office, and the usual number of public buildings, stores, and mechanic's shops for towns of the size. It probably contains about 1000 inhabitants. It is 45 miles by land south of Chillicothe, and 90 from Columbus.
Scioto River, on the right. (3 1/2, 350 1/2)
THE SCIOTO RIVER rises in the northern part of the State of Ohio. Its general direction is south-east; and its whole course is nearly 200 miles. It is navigable in high stages of water 130 miles, and is 150 yards wide at its mouth.
COLUMBUS, the capital of the State, stands on the east bank of this river, 90 miles by land from its junction with the Ohio. Its site was in 1812 a compact forest. It now contains about 1,500 inhabitants. The state house is a respectable building 75 by 50 feet. The top of the cupola is 106 feet high; around which are railed walks, from which the town and surrounding country are visible, as on a map — It commands a delightful and variegated landscape. The Penitentiary is also located here. The building which contains the public offices is 100 by 25 feet. In a line wit this building and the state house, is a handsome court house for the Federal court. On the opposite bank of the Scioto, is the village of Franklinton. Columbus contains a bank, three printing offices, an academy, several respectable schools, a market lions a number of large stores &c. A feeder, from the Scioto to the Ohio canal, passes through the town, and adds to its commercial advantages.
CHILLICOTHE, the seat of justice for Ross county, is situated on the west bank of the Scioto, 45 miles from its mouth.
It was first laid off and settled in 1796; and was, until recently, the capital of the State. It is washed on the north side by the
26Scioto, and on the South by Paint Creek, a large stream, which falls into the Scioto a short distance below. It contains about 3000 inhabitants. Two newspapers are printed here. It has a bank, a court house, a stone market house, an academy, and about thirty stores. There are in the town and neighborhood four cotton factories, a rope walk, an oil mill, a fulling mill, a paper mill, several saw mills, and a number of flouring mills. It stands nearly in the centre of a very fertile tract of country, called the ‘Scioto Valley.’
Many tumuli, and remains of Indian antiquities, exist in the neighborhood; one of which once stood within the site of the town. In leveling it for the purpose of building, large quantities of human bones were found. A hill rises abruptly on the south west of the town. It commands an extensive, and very delightful prospect of the surrounding country; — which is interspersed with luxuriant fields, green meadows, woods, farm houses, and the meandering of the river.
Turkey Creek, on the right. (4 1/2, 355) There is a large snaggy bar at its mouth. Channel one third from the left shore.
Conoconneque Creek, left side (4 1/2, 359 1/2) Small island, near the right shore, half a mile below, with a large bar at its head. Channel to the left, and near to the head bar of the island, on the right, until you are past the creek bar; then incline towards the left shore, to avoid a large bar below the foot of the island, on the right. After passing the bar at the foot of Conoconneque island, keep near the middle of the river until you approach Twin creeks.
Directions far Map No. 9. — Ohio River.
Twin Creeks, on the right. (3, 367 1/2) These are two small creeks, which empty into the Ohio within a few yards of each other. There is a large bar at their mouths, extending two thirds across the river. Channel near the left shore; then keep to the right past Salt creek, which is about a mile below, on the left.
Wilson's Island. (10, 378) Best channel to the left; the right is rather deepest, but is a snaggy difficult channel, and never ought to be attempted except at very low water. If you take the left, keep to the right after passing the bar at its foot, to avoid a shoal on the left, below. Brush Creek empties into the Ohio opposite to this island on the right. If you take the right of Wilson's,
27(or as some call it, Brush creek Island) incline a little off from the right shore above to avoid a small bar cm the right, then keep to the right, between the latter and the head bar of the island, and pretty close in to the right shore of the mouth of the creek: then keep a little to the left, and pass through a snaggy ugly channel nearest to the foot of the Island.
Manchester Island. (4 1/2, 385 1/2) Channel to the, left; these islands are connected by a large bar at their head at low water; keep well over to the left shore, opposite the head bar of the islands, and cross over passing the foot of the large island towards the right shore. The town of Manchester is on the right just below the islands: this is a post town of Adams county, Ohio.
Cabin Creek, on the left. (5 1/2, 391)
Brook's Run, right side. (3, 394) Below the mouth of Brook's run is a large snaggy bar; channel near the left shore.
Limestone Creek, on the left. (3, 397)
MAYSVILLE, formerly called Limestone, stands en the Kentucky shore just below Limestone creek. It has a fine harbor for boats. It is situated on a narrow bottom between the high hills, which rise just behind it, and the Ohio. It has three streets, running parallel with the river; and four crossing them at right angles. The houses are about 500,and the inhabitants nearly 5000, It is the depot of the goods and merchandize intended to supply the eastern part of the State of Kentucky, which are imported from Philadelphia and the Eastern cities, and which are landed here, and distributed all over the State. The great road, leading from Lexington to Chillicothe, also crosses here. It is a very thriving, active town. Washington, the county town, and a wealthy village are situated 4 mile's South-west from Maysville, and is surrounded by a fertile and populous country.
Eagle Creek, on the right. (6, 403) There is a large bar in the middle of the river immediately above the mouth of Eagle creek, and directly opposite the town of Charleston, Ky. Channel to the left, and when past the bar incline over towards the right shore.
RIPLEY right side, (6, 409)
Is a post town of Brown county, just below the mouth of Red-Oak creek. It contains about 80 houses, 500 inhabitants, and several stores — It is 46 miles above Cincinnati. Lavana, right side, 2 1-2 miles — Straight Creek, right side, 2 miles. There is a bar at the mouth of Straight creek; channel
28near the left shore until you are up with White Oak creek, on the right two miles below; then incline to the right.
Directions for Map No. 10. — Ohio River.
AUGUSTA, on the left. (5, 414)
AUGUSTA, a town beautifully situated on the Kentucky shore. A college has recently been founded at this place, which is fast rising in importance, under the special patronage of the Methodist society. It was organized in 1828, under the auspices of an able and popular faculty, at the head of which is the Rev. Martin Ruter, President of the institution. It has at present in the preparatory department and in the college classes about 200 scholars.
There is a large bar opposite to Augusta: channel to the left, and when you are past the town, keep to the right.
Bullskin Creek, right side. (3 1/2, 417 1/2) A large bar at its mouth; channel near the left shore, and when you are past the bar keep to the right, to avoid the bar at the mouth of Turtle creek, on the left, about two miles below.
MECHANICKSBURGH, on the right. (3, 420 1/2) There is a large bar opposite Mechanicksburgh: channel to the left, and when past it, keep the middle of the river.
NEVILLE, right side. (3, 423 1/2)
MOSCOW, right side. (3, 426 1/2)
POINT PLEASANT, on the right. (4, 430 1/2)
NEW RICHMOND, right side, (4 1/2, 435)
Is a post town in Clermont county. It contains about 50 houses, and 250 inhabitants, and has three or four stores. There is a large bar on the left, above New Richmond which throws the channel pretty close to the right shore, from one and a half miles above until you pass the town, then incline to the left, to avoid a small bar at the mouth of Twelve Mile creek.
Muddy Creek, right side. (5, 440) There is a bar in the middle of the river, opposite to Muddy creek: best channel to the left. Two miles below this is another low bar in the middle of the river: channel either side.
Little Miami, right side. (448)
This stream rises in Madison county, Ohio; — traverses Clark,
29Green, Warren, and Hamilton counties, and enters the Ohio seven miles above Cincinnati. It flows through a very fertile country, and has about 50 mill seats upon its banks, which makes it a river of great utility. About 70 miles from its mouth, and in the neighborhood of the Yellow Springs, are singular falls, where the river in a short, distance falls 200 feet. These falls have cut a narrow channel, to a great depth, through solid rock, or cliff, of limestone, which are covered with ceder, hemlock, and other evergreens. In some places the stream is so contracted that a person can almost leap from one bank to the other. The depth of the water in some places in this channel has never been sounded. — The high, picturesque, and perpendicular walls on each side of the foaming stream — the wild and grotesque appearance of the rocks, and the noise of the falling waters, contrasted with the mild and beautiful aspect of the surrounding country, forms a landscape of exceeding beauty. About three miles from this place, and on some of the highest table land in the State, is the celebrated watering place, called Yellow Springs; which for variety and beauty of natural scenery, purity of atmosphere, and rural attractions, is not surpassed by any spot in the western country, and affords a cool and delightful retreat from the heats of summer.
There is a large bar at the right hand point above the Little Miami, and an ugly snaggy bar below its mouth: channel near the left shore, until you are nearly a mile below the Little Miami, then steer across for the red house at Columbia.
Crawfish Creek, on the right. (3, 461) Keep near the right shore, from Columbia until you approach Crawfish creek, then incline a little to the left until you are half a mile below its mouth, then keep near the right shore to avoid a large bar on the left, commencing a little below Crawfish creek.
Directions for Map No. 11. — Ohio River.
CINCINNATI, on the right. (4 1/2, 455 1/2)
CINCINNATI, the largest city of the West (except New Orleans,) stands upon the bank of the Ohio directly opposite to the mouth of Licking river. It is situated in a valley of about 12 miles in circumference, and surrounded by hills which are seen in the distance both on the Ohio and the Kentucky shore. This valley is divided nearly in the centre by the Ohio. The hills form a fine bold outline of beautiful configuration, having a rich soil, and clothed with heavy timber to their summits. From some of these summits, the city with all its streets, its gardens, its public buildings, its manufactories, the Ohio studded with steam boats — the towns of
30Newport and Covington on the Kentucky shore, and the bustle of life and business, are distinctly seen. The eye takes in the whole grand amphitheatre at once, and few spots command a more beautiful and picturesque panorama view of pleasing and animating objects.
The streets of the city occupy the whole of the first bank, called ’The Bottom,‘ and extend back upon the second bank, called ’The Hill.‘ The second bank is elevated 50 or 60 feet above the first; but the streets have been so graduated as to form a smooth and gentle ascent; and to render the communication between the two parts continuous and easy. In consequence of the descending angle of the streets, all the stagnant waters are carried off, the streets are washed glean by the rains and are rendered dry, clean, and healthy. The city is amply supplied with water from the Ohio by steam power. The water-works, which afford this supply, belong to an incorporated company that convey it to every family, who wish it, for a stipulated sum. The city is advancing with a rapid inarch in population, wealth, and improvements of every description. Within the last year (1828) about 500 new buildings were erected; many of which were large, expensive and elegant. It contains at present above 2000 houses and 20,000 inhabitants. The public buildings are a Court house, 5 Market houses, a Banking house, the Medical College, the Lunatick Asylum, the Cincinnati College, 17 Churches and a Theatre. There is a market every day of the week, and it seems to be the general opinion of strangers, that, for abundance, cheapness, and excellence of the various articles supplied, no market in the world is superior.
In its commercial character, Cincinnati exhibits great activity and enterprise. Steam boats, many of which are owned here, arrive and depart almost every hour in the day. The Miami Canal, which enters the city on the North, opens an extensive trade into the interior. The number of stores, and the amount of capital are continually increasing. There are already a great number of wholesale stores, which supply the merchants of the interior at a small advance upon the eastern prices, and the day is not far distant, when Cincinnati will become a wholesale city, and the: great emporium of the West. The citizens are characterized for great enterprise, and public spirit. They have, at a great expense, constructed one of the finest river landings in the world, being paved with stone from low-water mark to the top of the first bank, and nearly 1000 feet in length. All the principal streets are paved with stone. But what gives to Cincinnati its principal activity, and constitutes its main sources of wealth are its manufactures. Next to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati is the most extensive manufacturing place in the Western country. Besides the handy-craft trades, which are carried on here very extensively, there are 40 or 50 large manufacturing establishments, most of them driven with steam power. Among these are several air foundries — steam engine foundries, a type foundry, two paper mills, several cotton factories, &c. &c.
Education begins to be a subject of much attention. In the winter of 1825 the Legislature passed a law, laying the foundation
31of a system of free schools throughout the State of Ohio, similar to those of New York, and the New England States. In addition to which, a special act was passed during their last session, making more ample provision for Cincinnati. The city authorities have commenced operations under this law, and it is contemplated, that in a short time schools will be established in the different districts, sufficient to accommodate all the children of a proper age, and to continue the year round. These schools are free and open to all classes, without distinction, and are supported by a tax. In addition to these common schools, there are many respectable private schools, and two highly distinguished Female Academies — the one under the care of Dr. Locke, and the other of the Messrs Pickets. There are several circulating libraries, six bookstores; and book printing, especially of school books, is carried on upon an extensive scale. Two daily, and seven weekly papers, are published here, besides the Western Monthly Review by Mr. T. Flint. There are two very respectable Museums, and a Gallery of Paintings; among which are many original subjects, indicating much taste and genius. In short, the rapidity with which this city is marching forward in wealth, enterprise, population, manufactures, taste, literature, and improvements of every description, outstrips the imagination and exceeds belief. She may be truly denominated, what a great orator on a certain occasion called her, ‘The Queen of the West.’
Channel past Cincinnati one third from the right shore until you pass the Brewery, then steer short over towards the left, and pass pretty close to a snag or root, lying about owe quarter from the left shore: after passing it 100 yards, incline gradually to the right, and pass Mill creek about the middle of the river, and then incline still towards the right shore; two miles below Mill creek is a hard gravel bar, at the mouth of the run on the right, above Sedam's house: channel in the middle of the river.
McCullom's bar.Channel close to the right shore. (5 3/4, 461 1/4)
North Bend, right side. (1 1/4, 473)
Great Miami River, right side. (4 1/2, 477 1/2)
This river rises in the north western part of the State of Ohio, and interlocks with the head waters of the Scioto, and the Wabash, which enter into the Ohio, and, with the St. Mary's and Au Glaize, branches of the Miami of the Lakes, and enters the Ohio two miles above Lawrenceburgh, and is, for a short distance, the boundary line between the States of Ohio and Indiana. It flows in a rapid, but generally smooth, and unbroken current — interrupted however, in common stage of water by numerous mill dams. From the west, it receives Leramie's creek, which enters it 100 miles above its mouth; Stillwater fifty miles lower down, and Whitewater, which it receives only seven miles above its mouth. Its principal branch, however, is Mad River, which rises in the large prairies is Logan county, and traversing a fine level, dry, fertile, and populous country, enters the Miami from the east at Dayton, about 70 miles from its month. The Miami valley, or
32the country lying between the two Miamies, is filled with a dense population; and, for a new country, is extremely well cultivated. The traveller meets with a succession of beautiful farms, and good neat dwellings, mostly of brick, throughout the whole extent of this valley. No country can be more fertile, or more luxuriantly beautiful. It yields for exportation large quantities of flour, pork, bacon, whiskey, corn, &c.
The towns following are situated on its banks. PIQUA on the west bank about 30 miles above Dayton. It has a land office a printing office, a number of mercantile stores, and about 500 inhabitants. TROY, also situated on the west bank, 21 miles above Dayton, is the seat of justice for Miami county, and of about the same size as Piqua. DAYTON is situated on the east bank, just below the entrance of Mad River. This town is rapidly improving, and since the opening of the Miami canal, is rising fast in importance. The canal is taken from Mad River just above the town. Large and commodious basins for the accommodation of canal boats, have been dug. It has excellent mill seats, and water power, from the waters of Mad River, and, being at the head of canal navigation, will possess many commercial advantages. It contains about 150 houses; among which are an academy, a court house, two printing offices, a number of large stores, and about 2000 inhabitants. HAMILTON, about 30 miles below Dayton, and 25 from Cincinnati, stands upon the east bank, in the midst of a fine settled country. It has above 100 dwelling houses, a court house, and a number of stores. The Miami canal passes within about a mile of the town, from which a lateral and expensive basin has been dug to the town.
There is a large bar on the right, above and below Miami river. Channel near the left shore until you have passed the mouth nearly half a mile, then incline too the right, and keep nearest the right shore past Lawrenceburgh: there is a large bar on the left, a mile above Lawrenceburgh.
LAWRENCEBURGH, right side. (2, 479 1/2)
This town is the seat of justice for Dearborn county. The town was originally built on the first bottom, which is frequently exposed to inundation. It is not uncommon for the water to rise several feet above the foundation of the houses; in which case the inhabitants move to the upper story, and drive their animals to the hills. They visit each other in skiffs, and all customary pursuits being suspended, they indulge themselves in social recreation. It is said that the floods, instead of creating disease, serve to wash the surface of the earth, and to carry off all vegetable, and animal matter, which would otherwise putrefy, and are supposed to be rather conducive to health than otherwise.
In consequence of these inundations, the inhabitants have of late built upon the second bank near Tanners Creek in a part of the town which they call New Lawrenceburgh, which is rapidly improving. It has a court house, a number of stores, a printing office, some respectable manufactures, and is eligibly situated for the trade of the rich adjacent country.
33After you have passed Lawrenceburgh incline over towards the left shore, to avoid the bar on the right, at the mouth of Tanner's creek, opposite to Petersburg.
AURORA (5, 483 3/4) is a new village situate at the mouth of Hogan Creek, four miles below Lawrenceburgh. It contains between 60 and 70 houses.
Laugherty's Creek, on the right. (1, 484 3/4) There is a large bar on the left, commencing above, and extending down nearly two miles below Laugherty's creek. Channel near the right shore.
Laugherty's Island. (4 1/2, 489) Channel left side.
RISING SUN, right side. (3 1/2, 492 1/2)
RISING SUN, a pleasant little town in Dearborn county, is 13 miles below Lawrenceburgh, and occupies a beautiful position on the Ohio. It contains about 60 houses.
There is a very large bar opposite the town which throws the channel very close into the right shore, and when up with the flower part of the town, keep quick over towards the left, to avoid a large low bar on the right, below.
Arnold Creek, right side, 2 1-2 — Grant Creek, right side, 1 1-2 — Gunpowder Creek, left side, 5 1-2. (9 1/2, 502) Keep well over to the left shore above the mouth of Gunpowder, and when up with its mouth, turn pretty short to the right, to within a third from the right shore, and when three-quarters of a mile below, keep short over to the left again.
Big Bone Lick Creek, left side. (2 1/2, 504 1/2)
About two miles from this place, are the celebrated spring called Big Bone Licks. The waters are strongly impregnated with salts, and send up a vapor of sulphuretted hydrogen gas. It is at this place, where the huge organic remains of the mammoth have been dug up in large quantities; and it was here, where, according to the tradition of the Delaware Indians, as related by Mr. Jefferson, such herds of them came as to destroy the game of the red men; until the Great Spirit took pity upon their condition and seizing his lightning, descended to a rock on a neighboring hill where his seat and the print of his feet are still to be seen, and hurled his bolts among them, until all were slain except the big bull, who presented his forehead to the shafts, and shook them off as they fell; missing one at last, it wounded him, in his side whereupon springing round, he bounded over the Ohio, the Wabash the Illinois, and finally over the Great Lakes, where he is still living. They represent him as having been active, agile and carnivorous. But the Shawanees in the neighborhood of
34St. Marry's, where their remains are also found, represent this extinct animal to have been very clumsy and slow of motion, never moving except in quest of food; that he sought no less object for food than the trees of the forest, that they were particularly fond of soft wood, such as the lynn, which they sometimes used to devour, trunks and all; that he was of a dirty, mouse color, had small eyes, large pendant ears, and looked very much like a hog. An English traveller, who called his name Thomas Ashe, and who carried off to England several wagon loads of the bones, dug out of this Lick, gives it as his opinion that the animal was of the lion kind, called megalonyx, or great lion. He says that "his shoulder blade was of the size of a breakfast table; that he was 60 feet in length, and 25 feet in height; that his figure was magnificent; — his looks determined; his gait stately, and his voice tremendous!" To whatever species the animal may have belonged, in no place have his bones been found in such quantities as at these springs.
There is a large high bar in the middle, opposite to Big Bone; channel to the left, but be careful of a hard rocky break on the left, just below the mouth. Keep a little to the right, round the left hand point below Big Bone bar, then one third from the left shore until within a mile and a half of Fredericksburgh.
Directions for Map No. 12. — Ohio River.
FREDERICKSBURGH, on the left. (10 1/2, 515) About a mile above Fredericksburgh is a small rocky bar, or ledge, rather more than one third from the left shore; channel to the right, and pretty close to it, then incline to the left towards the town. There are three bars below Fredericksburgh; first, a small middle bar opposite the lowermost houses of the town; the shore bar on the right, opposite to it, and Craig's bar on the left, a mile and a half below the town. It is generally safest for those unacquainted with these bars, to keep well over to the left shore, after passing Fredericksburgh, until they approach Craig's bar below, at the mouth of Craig's creek, on the left, and then keep short over towards the right, to clear the latter. At a very low stage of water, however, there is deeper water to the right of the small middle bar, but the channel through is rather crooked.
Nine mile, or Vevay Island. (7 1/2, 522 1/2) Channel to the left; after passing the island, incline towards the right shore.
VEVAY, right side. (2, 524 1/2)
This town, the seat of justice for Switzerland county is situated on the Indiana shore 45 miles below Cincinnati. It contains above 200 houses, a court house, an academy a printing office, and a number of stores. This interesting town was settled in 1804 by a number of Swiss families, to whom Congress made a favourable grant of land for the purpose of commencing the cultivation of the grape. The colony soon received a considerable addition to their numbers from the mountains of Switzerland, and in remembrance of their native country, they called their town Vevay. They immediately made experiments upon a large scale in the cultivation of the grape. This cultivation has been carried on until the present time. The only wine grape, which has been found to succeed well, is called the Cape Grape, from which a considerable quantity of a wine somewhat resembling claret is annually made. The inhabitants are simple, amiable and industrious, and happily unite the gaiety of the French with the industry of the Germans.
Opposite to Vevay is a very large sand bar, which throws the channel very close to the right shore opposite to the town. Be careful of a small bar on the right just above the town, when you have past the town, incline out to the middle of the river. There is a bar in the middle of the river three and a half miles below Vevay; channel to the right.
Kentucky River, left side. (9 1/2, 534)
This beautiful river rises in the Cumberland mountains, and interlocks with the head waters of the Licking, and the Cumberland rivers. Its length is about 200 miles. It is navigable for flat boats and small craft 150 miles, and for steam boats, in good stages of water, as high as Frankfort. It has a rapid current, and very high banks. For a great part of its course, it flows in a deep channel, cut out of perpendicular banks of limestone. ‘Nothing,’ says Mr. Flint in his Geography, ‘can be more singular than the sensation arising from floating down this stream, and looking up this high parapet at the sun and the sky from the dark chasm, down which the waters float the boat.’ Stone coal is found in its banks in several places, and a species of marble, which receives a fine polish. Fort William is situated at its mouth, where it is 160 yards wide.
FRANKFORT, the seat of Government for the State, is situated on the east bank 60 miles above its mouth. It stands in a deep bottom, or valley, surrounded by precipitous hills. It is compactly built, and many of the houses are spacious, and display much taste. It is not as large as Lexington, but receives importance from being the political metropolis of the State. The public buildings are a state house, a court house, a penitentiary, a state bank, an academy, jail, market house, and three houses of public Worship. A chain bridge across the Kentucky, connects the town with the beautiful country on the west bank. It contains about 1800 inhabitants, and is 21 miles from Lexington.
36Little Kentucky, left side three quarters of a mile below. About four and a half miles below Kentucky River, is a large bar on the left, at the mouth of Louis creek. Channel very near the right shore, round this bar, and when nearly up with Indian Kentucky, right side, keep out to the middle of the river round its bar, then incline towards the right shore again: Keep near the right shore for three miles and three quarters, when you will be three miles and one quarter above Madison, and three quarters of a mile above a small run on the right; here you must steer quick out to the middle of the river, to avoid a hard gravel bar on the right above the run, called Marecis bar.
Directions for Map No. 13 — Ohio River.
MADISON, on the right. (7, 546 1/2)
This village is equidistant between Cincinnati and Louisville. It is the seat of justice for Jefferson county, Indiana, and contains a population of about 1600. It has a fertile and flourishing back country, and is one of the most pleasant and thriving towns in the State. It was commenced in 1811, and is well built. The public buildings are a court house, bank, and two or three houses of public worship. A newspaper is also printed here.
Channel past the town rather nearest the left shore.
Cooper's Ferry, left side. (5, 551 1/2) Here is a large bar on the left. Keep well towards the right shore above Cooper's bar, and when nearly up with its outer point, incline a little to the left, between the latter and a small gravel bar near the right shore.
NEW LONDON, right side. (4 1/2, 556)
BETHLEHEM, right side. (6, 561)
WEST POINT, left side. (6, 567) Eighteen mile creek and island, is just below West Point. Keep to the right of the island, and when nearly up with its foot, incline to the left, and cross over near the left shore. About three miles below eighteen mile island is a large low bar in the middle of the river, Called the meadow ground; channel either side; if yon take the left, when you are nearly up with the small run opposite the head of the bar, on the left, keep close to the left shore: if you take the right, when you are about three quarters of a mile above, incline over to the right and keep near the right shore, passing the bar, until you are up with a large rock laying on the right shore, then steer obliquely across toward the left
37hand point below, between the lower point of the meadow ground bar, and a small bar on the right below.
Twelve Mile Island. (9 1/2, 576 1/2) Channel right side, and near the right shore.
Six Mile Island. (4 1/2, 581) Channel between them. Keep well to the left passing the bar at the head of the large island, on the right, then incline to the right.
Directions for Map No. 14 — Ohio River.
JEFFERSONVILLE, right side. (5, 586)
This town is situated just above the Palls in Clark county. Good pilots for the falls reside here, and there is a pretty good landing at the upper end of the town. It commands a fine prospect of the surrounding country, including a view of the falls. It has a land office, a printing office, and a number of stores, and contains about 700 inhabitants.
There is a large bar on the left, opposite to Jeffersorrville. If you intend landing at Beargrass, incline over to the left, from the upper part of Jeffersonville, and land opposite Gray's Warehouse, just below the mouth of the creek.
LOUISVILLE, on the left. (1, 587)
This town is situated just below the mouth of Beargrass creek, and a few yards above the Falls. It stands on a spacious sloping plain, and three principal streets run parallel with the river. Main street is nearly a mile long, and is very compactly built. The town contains probably about 7000 inhabitants. In a commercial point of view, it is far the most important town in the State of Kentucky. The large steam boats, that run between this town and New Orleans, are never able to ascend the falls except in high stages of water. Their cargoes are obliged to be discharged at Shipingport at the foot of the falls, and transported by land to Louisville; from whence they are distributed to their points of destination. The merchants of Louisville are, therefore, from necessity the factors for the important business, which concentrates here. The mouth of Beargrass affords an excellent harbor for the steam boats and river craft. It is the seat of justice for Jefferson County, which is one of the most fertile and best settled in the State. The town was formerly reputed unhealthy, and was subject, in the summer and autumn, to the endemic diseases of the country, owing to the stagnant waters in the neighborhood. The ponds and marshes have been drained, and the health of the town has, in consequence, improved, and is now nearly as healthy as any town on the river.
The Falls may be seen from the town and exhibit a romantic appearance. The river is divided by a fine island which adds to the beauty of the scene. In high stages of water the falls almost entirely disappear; but when the water is low, the whole width of the river, which is here nearly a mile wide, has the appearance of a great many broken rivers of foam, making their way over the falls.
A canal, which is now in successful progress, and which it is expected will be soon finished, will connect Louisville with Shippingport and remove the barrier to navigation, created by the falls. The canal is a work of stupendous labor. It is two miles in length, in some places 40 feet deep, and of sufficient width to pass the largest class of steam boats. The greatest part of this distance is cut out of solid rock, Dry docks will also be constructed for the repairing of steam boats, It will afford an immense water power for the mill seats below its locks. — It belongs to an incorporated company, who have already paid in nearly or quite the full amount of the shares taken.
SHIPPINGPORT, left side. (3, 590)
This place as has already been stated, is at the foot of the falls. The eddy made by the falls forms fine harbors at this place, and at Portland one mile lower down. All the steam boats arriving from New Orleans, St. Louis and all places below, are obliged in low water to stop here and unload. Great numbers are constantly lying here, and at Portland where there are fine harbors, in ordinary, for repair, or preparing for a trip. This is the greatest port for steam boats between Pittsburgh and New Orleans.
At low water you must pass to the left of Sandy island, below Shippingport. Keep close to the head of the island, and when near its foot, incline a little to the left.
PORTLAND, left side, (1, 591) Is about a mile below Shippingport. Keep near the left shore passing it, then steer pretty short over to the right shore at the lower part of New Albany, and above falling run, then steer short across, to one third from the left shore, to avoid an ugly rocky bar below the mouth of the latter.
NEW ALBANY, right side.
This town is four and a half miles below Jeffersonville, and is the seat of justice for Floyd county. It is principally built upon one street, above half a mile in length, parallel to the river, and makes a respectable appearance from the river. Many steam boats, that are unable to pass the falls, are laid up here for repair, where there is a convenient ship-yard. It is a thriving and busy village.
Five miles below Falling Run commences a bar on the left: keep towards the right shore. Five miles further down commences a bar on the right, keep towards the left shore:
39Four miles below the latter, commences a bar on the left again; keep over into the right hand bend, and near to the right, until you are a mile below Mill creek on the left, then keep over towards the left shore again.
Salt River, on the left. (20 1/2, 611 1/2) This is a considerable stream of Kentucky, traversing the counties of Jefferson, Greenup, Washington and Mercer. Keep near the left shore above Salt river, and when within 100 yards of its mouth, incline still more to the left, and into the mouth of the latter; then incline gradually out to the right, to nearly the middle of the river. Three miles below Salt river incline well over to the right to avoid a long bar round the left hand point below. — Musqueto creek on the right in the bend; — 5 miles — keep nearest the right shore until you are a mile below Musqueto creek, then incline towards the left, to avoid a bar below the right hand point, commencing opposite Otter creek:
Otter Creek, left side. (7 1/2, 619) Keep near the left shore for about four miles and a half, or until you are one mile and a half below Doe run on the left: then incline over towards the right shore.
Brandenburgh's Ferry, left side. (9, 628) Keep nearest the right shore for two or three miles above Brandenburgh's, and when nearly opposite the ferry, keep close in to the right shore for nearly half a mile; then incline to the left. About two miles below Brandenburgh's Buck creek comes in on the right.
Three and a half miles below Buck creek, is a bar on the right, and just below it another on the left. Keep nearly two-thirds of the river on your right, until you are up with the head of the former, then incline to the right, and pass near its foot to avoid the latter; then keep nearest the right shore for about a mile, then incline to the left again, and keep nearest to the left shore until you approach,
Indian Creek, right side. (13, 641) Here you must keep over to the right, and near the right shore until within three-fourths of a mile of the first of the Blue river islands, when you must keep over towards the left shore, to avoid the bar at its head, and when you an about half way between the islands, keep to the right betwixt the bars, at the foot of the one, and head of the other.
Blue River, right side, (6, 647) Opposite the foot of the second island. There is a bar in the middle of the river, just below the mouth of Blue river; channel either side of it. The best pilots disagree, however, respecting the channels at this place; this is not to be wondered at, as it is well known that the channel here, as well as of other places on this river, changes after a sudden and heavy rise of water; consequently it would, I think, be a prudent step, in all cases where there is any doubt, to send a skiff ahead and ascertain the right; this precaution may save a great deal of time, labor, and expense. After you have passed the bar at the head of the second island, incline towards the island, to avoid a low bar on the right, above the mouth of Blue river; — If you intend to take the left channel, hug the foot of the island very close as also the bar to the left of it, which is very bluff, and keep close to the left shore until you approach Leavenworth on the right, then incline well over to the right; but beware of a hard break on the right, about half a mile below the town: If you intend to take the right channel, pass pretty near to the foot of the island, then turn short to the right, and pass close to a rocky baron the right, just below the mouth of the river. Keep near the right shore round the great oxbow, and when you approach the right hand point below, keep to the left. At the left hand point between the ox-bows, is a very deep bar; here you must keep close to the right shore, and when past the point, incline, to the left again.
Little Blue River, right side. (17, 664) As you approach Little Blue river incline to the right, and when you have passed the small bar on the right below its mouth, keep pretty close to the right shore round the little ox-bow.
Flint Island, near the left shore. (12, 676) The channel past Flint island is about midway betwixt the island and the right shore, until you are nearly up with the foot of the island; then incline a little to the right, to clear the middle bar which commences near the foot of the island; incline to the left as you approach the foot of this bar, and short round its foot to the left shore, then turn short across towards the right, (to avoid a hard gravel bar round the left point) and when you are rather more than half across the river, turn short to the left again, between the left hand bar at the point, and middle bar in the bend: the channel formerly run close into the bend, at the mouth of Owl creek.
Four and a half miles below Flint island is a large middle bar, nearest the right shore: channel past it pretty close to the left shore for nearly two miles, then shoot over into a short right hand bend below it, to avoid a very deep bar
41at the point on the left ; when past the latter, incline to the left.
Sinking Creek, left side — ROME fight side. (12, 688) About four miles below Sinking creek is an ugly bar round the left hand point: best channel is in the middle of the river; pass out close to a snag on the Lower edge of the bar, leaving it on your left. After you have passed this bar, incline to the left.
Clover Creek, left side. (11, 699) Keep to the right as you pass Clover creek, to avoid a snaggy bar below its mouth, then incline to the left again. Keep near the left shore above the left hand point below Clover creek, to avoid an ugly bar on the right, above Millstone run.
Deer Creek, right side. (6 1/2, 705 1/2) About three-fourths of a mile below Deer creek there is a ugly ledge, or cluster of large high rocks, about one-third from the right shore, generally called Rock island, which ought to be particularly guarded against when the water is high, as the current sets strong on to the right: channel past Rock island about the middle of the river. Incline a little towards the right hand point below Rock island, to avoid a bar in the bend opposite, then keep near the middle of the river for about four miles, then keep near the left shore to avoid the bars on the right, above Troy.
TROY right side — Anderson's river right side. (12 1/2, 718) Anderson's ferry is a mile and a half below Troy. Anderson's bar on the left, commences immediately below the ferry; there is also a low baron the right, opposite, which commences immediately below the mouth of Crooked creek: channel in the middle of the river for about two miles, then close in to the right shore round the outer point of Anderson's bar; and then incline to the left.
Directions for Map No. 16. — Ohio River.
Bayou Creek, right side. (9 1/2, 727) As you approach Bayou creek keep about the middle of the river, then incline to the right to avoid the bar on the left below Blackford's creek.
ROCKPORT, right side. (6 1/2, 734)
So named from its being situated on a rock, which presents a high, bold front on the Ohio, and commands a romantic prospect of the river. When you approach within a mile and a half of Rockport, keep over towards the left
42hand point to avoid a large bar on the right, above Honey creek. About two miles below Rockport is a bar on the right: channel pretty near to the left shore, until you are nearly up with Puppy creek, on the left, then keep well over to the right shore above Yellow Bank islands, and when within half a mile of the first, (a small island pretty close to the right shore) steer pretty short over to the left shore: opposite the head of the second, or large island, is a sunken ledge of rocks, about fifty yards from the left shore; incline a little to the right past them, and then toward the left shore again
OWENSBURGH, left side, (8, 742) Is a pleasant little town in Kentucky, at the Yellow Banks, opposite the foot of the island. About a mile and a half below Owensburgh is a bar in the bend on the left: channel right side.
Little Hurricane Island, near the left shore, (6, 748) below the left hand point: channel to the right. Guard against a ledge on the right, opposite the island, at the mouth of Slate Run.
French Islands: channel to the left. (4 1/2, 752 1/2) Keep pretty near to the right shore above, until within about a mile of French islands, then steer across for the left, and close to the left shore, opposite the bar at their head; there is a very strong ripple at the head of this bar. As you approach the small island, (which is opposite the other, and connected to it by a sand bar) incline to the right, towards the island, and when nearly up with the foot of the largest, keep well over towards the left shore, and when you are three-fourths of a mile below, steer across for the right shore. Keep along down the right shore for about three miles below French islands, then steer across for the left, and keep pretty near the left shore for about two miles, then incline a little to the right, but keep three-quarters of the river on your right until you are opposite Cypress creek on the right; then steer across for the right shore.
Cypress Creek, right side. (8 1/2, 761)
Three Mile Island, (2 1/2, 763 1/2) Near the right shore: channel to the left, and pretty near to the island at its head; then incline a little to the left round a small bar which makes from the island, then keep in close to the island until you approach its foot, then keep to the left round a large bar at its foot; when you are half a mile below the island, steer short across for the right shore.
Directions for Map No. 17. Ohio River.
Green River, left side. (4 1/2, 768) This is a considerable river of Kentucky, taking its rise in Lincoln county, and is navigable about two hundred miles: channel past the mouth of Green river is near the middle, to clear the bar at the head of the islands below, and a hard break on the left just below the mouth; when past the latter, incline over to the left shore.
EVANSVILLE, right side, (8, 776) Above the mouth of Pigeon creek. This is a very thriving town, situated in a bend of the river, fifty-four miles south of Vincennes. It is the seat of justice for Vandeburgh county, Indiana: channel nearest the right shore, round a high bar at the left hand point, opposite Pigeon creek. Two miles below Pigeon creek there is a hard bar on the right: channel near the left shore, and when you approach the left hand point below, Keep over in the bend on the right, to avoid a large bar on the left, round the point; when past the latter, keep well over to the left again, to avoid the large, bar on the right.
HENDERSONVILLE left side.(12, 788) This town is pleasantly situated at the Red Bank. It is the seat of justice for Henderson county, Kentucky. Red Bank island is rather more than a mile below the town: channel to the right: keep pretty short over to the right after you have passed Hendersonville, round the bar at the head of the island, then turn short to the left and pass close to the foot of the island, to near the left shore. Opposite the foot of Red Bank island commences the five mile bar on the right — keep near the left shore until you are past it, then incline over into the right hand bend below, to avoid a large bar round the left hand point, above Diamond island,
Diamond Island, (13, 801) Channel to the right, and close to the right shore, opposite the head bar of the island; when you are past its foot, and the small island on the left below it, keep well over to the left shore for about four miles to avoid the large bars on the right below Diamond island. There is a good channel between the outer bar and the main shore bar; but it is not advisable to take it except you should get down into it.
Straight Island. (9, 810) This island lies very close to the left shore, and scarcely perceptible until you approach its head. Opposite to Straight island, in the middle of the river, is an Ugly bar, called Fayette bar, from the steam boat Frayette laying aground on it in 1819 and 20: channel between the bar and the island, and nearest the island; and when you are half a mile below the island, keep over to the right shore in the
44bend, above Mount Vernon, to avoid a deep bar round the point on the left.
Slim Island. (8, 818) Channel to the right, and close to the right shore past the bar at its head. Three-quarters of a mile below Slim island, cross over to the left shore, to avoid a bar round the right hand point below.
Highland Creek, left side. (7, 825) There is a high ugly ledge in the bend on the right, just above Highland creek. Keep well towards the left hand point above. About a mile below Highland creek is a bar on the right, at the point: and below it on the left, is an ugly rock barer ledge: channel in the middle, between them; hug the right hand bar well, as the current forces pretty strong on the ledge on the left.
Wabash Island, (7, 832) Channel to the right.
Wabash River, on the right.
This beautiful river takes its rise in the north western part of the State of Ohio; and passing in a south western direction through the State of Indiana, bends to the south, and forms the, boundary between the States of Indiana and Illinois. It is navigable for the common river craft about 400 miles; and has been ascended by steam boats to Vincennes and Terre Haute. It receives in its course the waters of many respectable tributaries, among the most important of which, is White river, which passes through the State from east to west, and waters a great extent of a fertile and well settled country. Perhaps no river in the world of its magnitude, drains a more extensive and fertile country than the Wabash and its tributaries. It forms the heart of the state of Indiana; and most of this great body of land has already been purchased, and taken up by actual settlers. It is contemplated to connect the waters of these streams with Lake Erie by means of a canal, the route of which has already been projected, and surveyed by the Legislature of that State, and some incipient measures taken, preparatory to carrying the work into execution.
VINECNNES is situated on the east bank of the Wabash, 150 miles above its mouth. This place, after Kaskaskia, is the oldest settled place in the western world. It was settled by the French in 1835. It is contiguous to a large and beautiful prairie, 5,000 acres of which are cultivated as a common field, after the ancient French customs. It was for a long time the seat of the territorial government, and still has more trade than any other place in the State. The site of the town is level and laid off with much taste. The houses have extensive gardens back of them, filled, after the French fashion, with crowded fruit trees. It has of late rapidly improved, and contains between three and four hundred houses.
NEW HARMONY, 54 miles below Vincenes, is also situated on the east bank of this river, and is 16 miles from the nearest point of the Ohio, though about 100 from the mouth of the Wabash
45following the meanders of the river. It is surrounded by a fine, rich, and heavily timbered country — interspersed with small, rich, prairies. Its situation is high, healthy, and well chosen. It was first settled in 1814 by a religious set of Germans, called Harmonites, under the guidance and control of George Rapp, in whose name all the lands and property were held. They soon erected about 100 large and substantial buildings. They laid their lands off with the most perfect regularity, and were wonderfully success, full in converting a wilderness into a finely cultivated plantation in a short time. They had even the luxury of a botanic garden, and a green house. Their great house of assemblage, with its wings and appendages, was nearly 100 feet square — There they continued to live, and labor in common, until the year 1824, when the celebrated Robert Owen of New Lanark in Scotland came and purchased out the entire possession of the Harmonites, at the sum of 190,000 dollars, for the purpose of establishing a community upon the planning his ‘social system,’ and corresponding with his ‘new views of society.’ He was joined by two of his sons, and by Mr. M'Clure, a wealthy man from Scotland, and in a short time his new community swelled to above 700 persons. But discord soon arose among its members, and one after another left the community, until the ‘social system’ was at length abandoned.
When you are past Wabash Island, keep over to the left shore for upwards of three miles. There is a large bar on the right, with three or four small towheads on it, called Brown's islands; the lowermost of which is near the foot of the bar; when you have passed it, cross over to the right shore, to avoid a large bar on the left — a mile and a half below the towhead keep to the left again.
Directions for Map No. 18. — Ohio River,
SHAWNEETOWN, right side. (10, 842) This village formerly belonged to the Shawnee nation of Indians, from which it takes its name: It is a pleasantly situated town of Gallatin county, Illinois. It contains a post office, a land office, a bank, and a court house. The great United States Salines are situated 12 miles back of this town; but what makes it an important point on the Ohio, is its being the place of debarkation of the emigrants going to the State of Illinois and Missouri.
Keep near the right shore for about four miles below Shawneetown, then cross short over to the left shore, about three-fourths of a mile above two small islands near the left shore; then turn short to the right, leaving the two islands
46on your left, and pass pretty close to the foot of Cincinnati baron the right.
Saline River, right side. (7 1/2, 849 1/2) There is a large bar on the right above Saline river: channel nearest the left shore, then incline over towards the right shore past the foot of the bar, and half a mile below keep well over to the left, to clear Battery Rock bar on the right, and when nearly up with the rock, steer diagonally across for the right shore just below the rock, leaving a large bar on the left, above Trade-water; then keep over to the left again, and pass close to Trade-water island. There is a large bar on the right, below Trade-water: channel near the left shore.
Cave-in-Rock Island, (11, 861) Channel right side. Cave-in-Rock is on the right, just below the island. After you have passed the cave half a mile, keep over to the left shore.
Hurricane Island, (6 1/2, 867 1/2) Channel to the right. When you are about a mile and a half above Hurricane island, and rather more than three-quarters of a mile above Tower Rock, keep over for the right shore, close to the foot of the Half Moon bar on the right, and above the Tower Rock. Keep near the right shore until you approach the creek on the right, opposite the middle of the island, (to clear the bar on the left below the head of the island,) then steer short across for the island, to avoid the; right hand bar below the mouth of the creek, and when, you approach the foot of the island, keep over for the rigid shore again, to avoid the bar at its foot. At the right, hand point, about five miles below Hurricane island}, is a large bar round the point: channel close into the bend on the left; two miles below the latter is a very deep bar on the left: channel round it close into the right, near a willow shore.
Directions for Map No. 19 — Ohio River.
Golconda Island, (14, 881 1/3) Channel right side. Nearly a mile below the island is Lusk s creek on the right, and the town of Golconda, the seat of justice for Pope county, Illinois, just below it. There is a good landing immediately below the mouth of the creek, at the upper part of the town; but take care of the rocks near the right shore, just above the creek. There is a low baron the right, opposite the lower part of the town, which
47throws the channel out to near the middle of the river, and then incline towards the right shore again.
Sister Islands, (4, 885 1/2) Channel to the right, and close to the lower Sister, to avoid a bar on the right, then incline a little to the right, and two miles below turn short into the right shore in the bend, to avoid a small middle bar. There is a small channel to the left of the middle bar, and near to the left hand point.
Stewart's Island, (7 1/2, 883) Channel to the left. Turn out to the right past the foot of Stewart's island, to clear a bar on the left below; then incline to the left again.
Dog Island, (4 1/2, 897 1/2) Channel to the left. Keep well towards the island at Us foot, and when past it, well into the right shore, to avoid the bars at the head of Cumberland island: keep near the right shore past Cumberland island, and half a mile below it, then steer short across for the left shore, to avoid a very large bar on the right below.
Cumberland River, (2 1/2, 900) Empties in on the left, opposite the island. This is one of the largest rivers of Kentucky. It takes its rise from the Cumberland mountains, and interlocks with the head waters of Clinch and Kentucky rivers; flows through the state westwardly more than two hundred miles; enters the state of Tennessee, and meandering one hundred and twenty miles, reaches Nashville nearly in lat. 35 N. — from thence flowing N. W. one hundred and twenty miles, when it joins the Ohio as above slated. It is navigable for steam boats as high as Nashville in ordinary good stages of water; and for flat and keel boats to a much greater distance. Below Nashville the river is deep and narrow, and, for its size, well calculated for navigation. Its banks are but thinly settled.
NASHVILLE the largest town in Tennessee, and the commercial capital of the state, is pleasantly situated on the south shore of the Cumberland. The site of the town consists of one entire rock, covered, in some places, by a thin soil. It is a place of great trade, and is rapidly rising into importance. Its steam boat navigation gives it decided advantages over every other place near it. A number of large, first-rate steam boats are owned by citizens of the place, and give to it a character of enterprise, and activity, possessed by a few towns of the same size. It is much frequented by the people of the lower country during the sultry months. It has a number of handsome private mansions, and respectable public buildings, and contains about 6,500 inhabitants. There is a college here of rising reputation; and Nashville is, after New Orleans, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh, the next largest town in the western country.
48If you wish to stop at the mouth of Cumberland, guard against a low bar on the left, below the foot of Dog island, and then keep in close to the left shore. The channel on the left of Cumberland island (which is good except at very low water) is very close to the foot of the island. About four miles below Cumberland island are two small willow islands, near the left shore, connected by a sand bar: channel to the right, and pretty near the right shore opposite to them, and then keep over for the left shore to avoid a very large bar on the right, upwards of three miles in extent above the mouth of Tennessee river
Tennessee River, left side. (11 1/2, 911 1/2) This is the largest branch of the Ohio, and is navigable for large boats more than six hundred miles. It rises in the north-west part of Virginia, and traverses the whole width of east Tennessee in a south-west direction, and entering the north-east angle of the state of Alabama, the whole width of which it crosses, and turning just at the north-west angle of that state, it pursues a north direction, nearly in a direct line with the western boundary of that state, across the width of Tennessee and a part of Kentucky, to the Ohio river. Its whole course, from its source to the Ohio, is longer than that river from Pittsburgh to its mouth — being, by its meanders, nearly 1200 miles. It has been questioned whether it does not discharge as much water at its entrance into the Ohio, as that river above its entrance. It is susceptible of boat navigation for at least 1000 miles, and steam boots of the largest size ascend it as high as Florence, in the state of Alabama, situated on the north bank, at the foot of Muscle Shoals.
FLORENCE, standing at the head of steamboat navigation, on the Tennessee — possesses, as might well be expected, very decided commercial advantages, and is fast rising in importance — It has a great and increasing intercourse with New Orleans. It contains about 1,500 inhabitants, and has a very handsome court house and hotel in city stile.
There is a large bar at the point, at the mouth of Tennessee river, with two small islands on it. Keep near the left shore until you are within half a mile of the point, then incline over towards the right, and opposite the point incline to the left again, towards the islands; when up with the largest, or lowermost island, incline to the right again. About a mile below this island is a bar in the middle of the river: best channel to the right.
Fort Massac, right side (9 1/2 992).
Directions for Map No. 20. — Ohio River.
About five miles below Fort Massac commences a hard bar in the middle of the river, extending down about three miles: channel to the right. Little Chain is on the right near the foot of the above mentioned bar. Keep to the left past Little Chain, to near the middle of the river, then incline to the right again. Two miles below Little Chain is a large low bar on the right — here you must keep well over to the left shore for nearly two miles, then cross over to the right again, above Wilkinsonville.
Wilkinsonville, right side. (15, 937)
This is no other than two or three farm house's near where fort Wilkinson used to stand, and is mentioned as a distinguishing point, only. The Grand Chain of rocks commences on the right, just below Wilkinsonville, & there is a hard rocky bar in the middle opposite. Keep near the right shore above Wilkinsonville, & abreast of the houses incline a little to the left to avoid the rocks of the grand chain, near the right shore, and when you are three quarters of a mile below the houses, keep short over for the sand bar on the left, which is very bluff; keep close to the left hand bar until you are up with the lowermost group of rocks of the grand chain, then steer directly across for the right shore, where is a single cedar tree standing about two thirds up the bank. Grand chain is about four miles in extent.
New America, right side. (11, 948)
There is an ugly baron the right opposite to New America: when you approach the (own keep over to the left, more than half across the river: when you have past the town incline to the right again, to avoid the bar at the head of Cash island. Cash island is about a mile and a half below the town. Channel right, side. There is a bar on the right opposite the foot of Cash island: half a mile below the island keep pretty short across for the right shore, to avoid a bar in the middle of the river below.
TRINITY, right side. (5 1/2, 953 1/2) This place is situated immediately below the mouth of Cash river. The proprietors (N. Berthoud & Co.) have erected spacious and secure warehouses for the reception of all kinds of goods, and have always in readiness boats adapted to the navigation of the respective rivers at the lowest stages of water.
MOUTH OF THE OHIO, (5 1/2, 959) There is a good landing just above the mouth of the Ohio: if you do not wish to land, keep pretty well over to the left, from half a mile above the mouth, to clear the bar on the right below the point.
Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.
[As the description of these two mighty rivers would interrupt, by their length, the connection of the charts, they are inserted immediately after the last map. The charts and description of the Mississippi commence at the mouth of the Missouri, and extend to the Gulf of Mexico.]
In giving directions for the navigation of the Mississippi river, it has been thought most advisable to begin at the mouth of the Missouri. The charts will, therefore, commence from that point; and will be numbered in their order, beginning with No.1. In descending to the mouth of the Ohio, the Islands will be described by their popular names. Below the Ohio, they are described by their numbers. Those who wish to descend the Mississippi from the mouth of the Ohio, can turn forward to where the maps reach the mouth of the Ohio in descending from St. Louis.
Directions for Map No. 1. — Mississippi River.
Boats descending the Missouri River at a low stage of water, must, when near its mouth, keep near the middle of the river; when you have entered the Mississippi, incline over towards the left shore. Wood river, a small stream of Illinois, empties in on the left about two miles below the mouth of Missouri.
Choteau's Island. (5) Channel to the right and nearest to the island, and to avoid a long string of bars near the right shore, and a small island near the lower extremity of them.
Wood Island. (4 1/2, 9 1/2) Channel to the right; you may pass to the left of Wood island by keeping well toward the left shore until nearly up with its foot, then keep to the right near to its foot to avoid the bar which makes from the island on the left immediately below.
Bloody Island: channel to the right. (7, 16 1/2)
ST. LOUIS, right side.
St. Louis is one of the oldest and first settled towns in the Mississippi valley. It was settled and occupied by the French, until the country wag purchased by the American Government. It is, and always has been, the commercial capital of the country now forming the State of Missouri. In the style of building, the taste and simplicity of the old French settlers are very apparent. Before 1814 but few American houses had been built. The French have. a fashion of annually white-washing their houses, which produces a pleasing appearance when viewed from a distance. There were a number of villages settled by the French in this neighborhood — one at Kaskaskia, one at Vincennes, and several others. They were all characterized as a people of great simplicity and innocence of life — social, disinterested, fond of sport and gaiety; but destitute of that enterprise, energy of character, and aspiring disposition, which the Americans exhibit. Their lands were generally held and cultivated in common, and their little communities constituted, as it were, but one great family.
52meet here, and disperse in pursuit of their various objects, in every direction, some even beyond the remotest points of civilization. From St. Louis the channel runs across towards the left shore, between the bar on the left below the foot of Blood island, and the bar and towheads on right, at the mouth of Choteau's creek. Keep well over to the left below Cahokia creek, and to the left of the island, and then short across toward the right shore below.
Vide Pouche, (or Carandolet as it is now called) right side.
Pear Creek, right side. (7 1/2, 24) When nearly up with Pear creek cross over to the left shore, and keep pretty near to the head bar of Robert's island, and then incline towards the right shore.
Roberts Island:channel right side. (5, 29)
Fine's Island:channel to the left. (3 3/4, 32 3/4)
Directions for Map No. 2. — Mississippi River.
Merrimac River, on the right. (3 3/4, 36 1/2) This is a considerable stream of Missouri state, navigable at high water several miles. Lead is found in abundance in the vicirity of the sources of this river, and there are a number of valuable salt springs on its banks. Opposite the mouth of the Merrimac is a large bar and willow island; channel to the left, but be careful of the bar on the left above. There is a small island close in to the right shore, immediately below the mouth of the Merrimac. After you have passed the Merrimac bar, and towhead, incline over to the right shore, to avoid a large bar on the left, a mile and a half below.
Little Platteen Creek, on the right. (5, 41 1/2) Here commences a high rocky bluff, extending eight or ten miles along the right bank of the river, of various heights, from two to three hundred feet, nearly perpendicular; it has a majestic appearance. One and a half miles below Little Platteen, (or Little Rock, as it is generally called,) is a sand bar with a small towhead near its upper extremity: channel to the right, near the right shore, past the bar, and island below it.
HERCULANEUM, on the right. (6 1/2, 48) This is a flourishing town of Missouri, rising fast in importance, owing principally to its lead mart; there are several shot factories erected in its vicinity. The celebrated mine as Burton is situated nearly 50 miles west of this place.
Platteen Islands, three in number. (3, 51) Channel to the right of the two first, (which are connected
53by a bar,) and to the left of the third, which lies pretty close to the right shore; opposite the latter, Platteen creek enters on the right. After you have passed Platteen islands half a mile, keep well over to the right shore for upwards of three miles, to avoid Wilcock's bars on the left.
Rush Islands, near the right shore. (6 1/2, 57 1/2) Channel to the left, and near to the island, to avoid a large bar on the left opposite. When you are past Rush island, and the one just below it, near the right shore, keep over to the right shore again, to avoid a large bar on the left, below.
Fort Chartres Island, close to the left shore. (9 1/2, 67) Two Islands on the right opposite: channel nearest to the right hand islands, to avoid a bar on the left, opposite to Fort Chartres island, and then incline towards the right shore. Four miles below is another island, near the right shore; at a low stage of water you must pass to the right of it, and when past the bar at its foot, keep to the left towards the island, near the left shore below.
Directions for Map No.3. — Mississippi River.
St. Genevieve Island. (11 1/2, 78 1/2) Channel to the right, and close to the right shore (after you have past Gabbarre creek) until you approach to the lower part of the island; then cross over to the left, near to its foot. Gabbarre creek enters on the right, opposite the head of St. Genevieve island. St. Genevieve town is about a mile up the creek. This town contains about two thousand inhabitants, and is a place of considerable business, particularly in the article of lead.
Simonton's Warehouse on the left; (3 1/2, 82) Rather more than a mile below the foot of St. Genevieve Island. Kaskaskia a flourishing town of Illinois, is situated about two miles north east of Simonton's warehouse, on the Kaskaskia river, about five miles from its mouth. Just below the warehouse a handsome little chute puts out on the left, passable, except at very low stage of water. There is an island in the middle of the river just below this chute; channel to the left, and when past the island incline well over towards the right shore.
Saline Islands, (5, 87). Channel to the left. When you are up with the head of the first island, keep well to the left shore, to avoid Saline bar, run pretty close to the bar on the left, below, then cross over to the right shore above Lora creek, and below Camp Rowdy.
Horse Island. (5 1/2, 92 1/2) Channel to the left. Kaskaskia River empties in on the left, opposite Horse island.
Mary's River Island. (4 1/2, 97) Channel right side, and near to the island at its head, then short across for Allen's island on the right; and when past the bar at the foot of the latter, keep close in to the right shore for nearly a mile, then steer short over for the left shore.
Large Island, above St. Combs. (5, 102) Channel to the right. Keep near the left shore above this island, and when within rather more than a half a mile of its head, steer short across to the right shore; when you are past the outlets, on the right, keep to the left, and pass near the foot of the island, and then short across to the right, near the point: and when past the small island on the left, keep to the left into the bend. The river here makes a pretty short turn to the right, and two miles below, it turns again very short to the left, a large eddy forms in the bend on the right, called the great eddy. Keep pretty well towards the left hand point, and when past the eddy incline towards the right shore.
Lacour's Island. (8 1/2, 110 1/2) Channel to the right. Keep pretty close to the small island on the left, below Lacour's island, and close in to the left shore half a mile below it, to avoid a large middle bar on the right, and then incline towards the right shore again.
Hat Islands. (6 1/2, 117) Channel to the right. Half a mile below Hat islands, keep short in to the left shore in the bend, at low water, round Duncan's bar; at a middling stage of water you may pass to the right of Duncan's bar, by keeping near the middle of the river; round the point on the right.
Obrazo River, right side.(4 1/2, 121 1/2) When you are round Duncan's bar above, incline to the right, and pass pretty near the mouth of Obrazo river, and then incline to the left, to about the middle of the river, to avoid the eddy on the right, below. About one and a half miles below Obrazo river, is a singular rock near the right shore, called the Grand Tower; this rock is about 100 feet in circumference, and 150 feet in height. About half a mile above the Grand Tower, on the left, is a high rock, with a singular excavation, about 100 feet from the surface of the water, called the Devil's bake-oven.
Sandy Island.( 3 1/4, 125) Channel to the left at low water, on account of a chain of rocks stretching across from the right shore to the island, at a good stage of water you may keep to the right, which is nearest.
Hanging Dog Island. (6 1/2, 131 1/2) Channel to the right. Nearly two miles above hanging dog island, is a bar on the right. — Channel past it, about the middle of the river, and then incline well over towards the right shore; when nearly up with the foot of the island, keep to the left, to avoid a bar on the right, opposite the mouth of Indian creek; when past it, incline towards the right shore again.
BAINBRIDGE, on the right. (9, 140 1/2) Channel near the right shore.
Devil's Island. (4, 144 1/2) Channel to the right, and very close to the island about its centre, then quick over towards the right shore, and when nearly up with the foot of the island, steer short to the left and pass near its foot — incline towards the left shore, and when you are about a mile below, keep towards the right shore again.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, right side. (5 1/2, 150) This is a very pleasantly situated town of Missouri, on a high bank of the Mississippi: the country round is very fertile and thickly inhabited for 40 or 50 miles back, to the New Madrid settlements. About a mile below the town is an island: channel to the right.
Cape Le Croix. (5 1/2, 155 1/2) Here the river turns suddenly to the right — there is a rocky island in the bend, on the left, and a rocky bar at the point on the right: channel in the middle. This is called Little Chain. Two and a half miles below cape Le Croix, is what is called the Grand Chain, commencing at a cluster of small towheads near the right shore, and stretching obliquely across, to a small towhead near the left shore: channel in the middle of the river.
Directions for Map No. 5. — Mississippi River.
English Island, near the left shore. (6, 161 1/2) Here the river spreads out each way to the width of nearly four miles, enclosing a group of islands, the largest of which, in the middle, is called Power's Island: channel to the right of English Island, between it and another near the right store. You may pass either side of Power's Island: the
56left is generally considered the main channel. After you have passed Power's Island, and the bar at the foot of the island on the right, opposite its foot, keep well over to the right shore, to avoid a string of bars in the middle of the river, opposite Tyowapite settlement. Two miles above the islands, in the bend below, cross over to the left, and pass pretty close to the left hand point, and then cross over to the foot of sliding island on the right.
Dog Tooth Island, near the left shore. (14, 175 1/2) Below the left hand point: channel to the right.
Two Sister Islands. (5, 180 1/2) Channel to the right, and close to the islands: when you are nearly up with the foot of the Two Sister islands, steer short across for the right shore for about half a mile, then cross over the left again, to avoid the bar above Elk Island.
Elk Island. (3 1/4, 183 3/4) Channel to the left. When up with its head incline to the right, and pass near the foot, and when past it keep over to the left shore again.
Bird's Island. (5 1/4, 189) Channel to the left: keep well over towards the right shore after you have passed Bird's Island, to avoid the bar at the point, below the mouth of Ohio, and then incline towards the left shore again.
MOUTH OF OHIO. (2, 191)
Island No. 1,
Directions for Map No. 6. — Mississippi River.
Islands No. 2, 3, and 4, (6 1/2, 202 3/4) Lie near the left shore. These islands are small, and connected by a large bar which makes round a left hand point: channel to the right, in the bend. There are one or two other small islands on the same bar, not numbered. There is a good landing on the left, below these islands, above the Iron banks.
No. 5, or Wolf Island, (7 3/4, 210 1/2) Channel either side; the left is much shortest, and generally preferred. If you take the left, keep near the left hand point above, and near the left shore until you approach the Chalk banks, then incline a little towards the bar of the island, on the right, (which is here very bluff) to avoid the eddy on the left, below. Keep rather nearest the left shore until you are up with the foot of the island, and then incline towards the right, to avoid a large bar with a small island on it, on the left below.
No. 6, (10 1/2, 221) Channel to the left. There is a good landing opposite No. 6, on the left, below Bayou Du Chein. After you have passed No. 6, incline towards the right shore for about two miles, then keep to the left again, to avoid the bar of No. 7, on the right.
No. 8, (10, 231) Channel to the right. When you are past No. 8, inclined to the left for two or three miles, then keep to the right again, to avoid the bar of No. 9, on the left.
No. 10, (12, 243) Channel to the right. There is a very large bar makes from the right hand point above No. 10, with a small island near the extremity of it: the channel at low water is between this small island and No. 10, — at a middling stage of water you may cross the bar to the right of the small island Keep towards the left shore below No. 10.
NEW MADRID, right side, (12, 255) Immediately below the mouth of Chepousa creek. There is a very large bar round the left hand point, above New Madrid: channel near the right shore for nearly four miles above, and below New Madrid; and when you approach the right hand point, about four miles below, keep to the left, to avoid the bar of No. 11 — when past it, keep to the right again to avoid the bar of No. 12 on the left.
Riddle's Point, right side; (10, 265) There is an ugly bar on the right below the point, and another also in the bend on the left, opposite, with a tow-head on it: channel nearest the left hand bar; after you have past the tow-head on the latter, incline towards the left shore.
Directions for Map No. 7 . . .Mississippi River.
As you approach the left hand point, incline well towards the right shore, near where the cypress trees commence, to avoid the bar of No. 13 on the left, below the point; after you have past the latter, cross over to the left, and keep close to the left shore in the bend below, to avoid two middle bars. There is a channel between the two bars last mentioned, as also between the lowermost of them and the bar of No. 14 on the right; the left of all is preferable at low water. After you have passed the bar of No. 14, incline over into the right hand bend, to avoid the bar of No. 15, round the left hand point.
Little Prairie, right side; (21, 286) There is a good landing at Little Prairie, opposite Wilkin's house, where stores can generally be procured.
Islands No. l6 and 17 Are nearly two miles below Little Prairie, just below a right hand point, and are connected by a large sand bar: channel to the left, and near the left shore until you are past the small island; then incline to the right, and pass pretty close to the foot of No. 16, to avoid a large bar on the left, opposite — when nearly up with the foot of No. 16, keep short across for the left shore, to avoid a bar on the right below. — No. 18 is near the right shore, about a mile below the foot of No. 16; opposite to it, and near the middle of the river, is a large bar, where No. 19 formerly stood: channel either between the bar and No. 18, or to the left of both. No. 20 lies close to the left shore, immediately below No. 18, — Below No. 20 there is a large bar in the middle of the river; channel either side of it, and when past it, incline to the middle again.
No. 21, (21 1/2, 298 1/2) Channel to the right. Four and a half miles below the head of No. 21 is Needham's cut-off. The old bed of the river above the cut-off is entirely dry at low water: channel through the cut-off pretty well to the left, (to avoid the bar formed at the point on the right) and when nearly through, pull hard to the right, to avoid the eddy on the left below. Two miles below the cut-off is a large bar in the middle, opposite the left hand point — keep well towards the right shore.
No. 25, (10 1/2, 309) Channel good on either side. Here you enter the Canadian reach. No. 26 and 27 lie pretty close to the left shore, the one immediately below the other. If you pass to the left of No. 25, keep toward the head of No. 26, to avoid the bar in the middle, opposite; and then steer across for
59the right shore. Keep near the right shore until you are nearly up with the middle of No. 27, then incline to the left, and pass near its foot.
Directions for Map No. 8. . . Mississippi River.
No. 29, (8, 317) Lies near the left shore. Just above No. 29, is a middle bar, nearest the left shore: channel to the right, betwixt it and a hook bar on the right near the head of No. 28; when opposite the head of No. 29, steer short across to the left and pass near its foot. There is a channel to the left of the above middle bar, near to the head of No. 29, but is narrow and full of snags. No. 30 lies near the left shore immediately below No. 29; when up with its head, keep well over to the right, and when past its foot, incline to the left again, and pass pretty close to Plumb point — from this the channel runs straight down into the bend below, between the bars on the right, and the large bar on the left below the point. — This is perhaps one of the most difficult places in the Mississippi at a low stage of water, owing to the numerous snags, and rapidity of the current, and requires great care to steer clear of the snags. Keep near the right shore round the head of the bar below Plumb point, and for three or four miles further down.
No. 33, or Flour Island, (12, 329) Channel to the left. As you approach the right hand point above Flour island, incline over to the left, and when nearly up with its head, keep to the right, towards the head of the island, to avoid a low bar on the left, opposite.
The First Chickasaw Bluffs Is on the left, a little back from the river, opposite to Flour island.
No. 34, (4, 333) Channel to the right, at low water.
Second Chickasaw Bluffs, (8, 341) Channel near the left shore.
No. 35, (5, 346) Channel to the right at low water — at a middling stage of water, you may take the left, which is much nearer.
No. 36, (7 1/2, 353 1/2) Channel to the right. There is a large bar on the left, extending about two miles above No. 36 — when up with the right hand point, opposite, incline towards the island.
The Third Chickasaw Bluffs, On the left, are opposite No. 36.
About three fourths of a mile below No. 36, a handsome little chute puts out on the left, which cuts off five or six miles, and may be taken with safety at a high stage of water. There is a large bar round the left hand point, below: channel nearest the right shore, and then incline to the left again. A good landing at low water can be made either night or day, on a bluff bar, either above or below the mouth of the small chute above mentioned.
No. 38, (15 1/2, 369) Channel to the left. This island lies close to the right shore, in a sharp right hand bend, the river making a very sudden turn to the left. This is called, by boatmen, the Devil's Elbow, There is a large bar round the left hand point, opposite to No. 38, which throws the channel pretty well towards the island. About three miles below No. 38, a number of small chutes put out on the right, just above the right hand point — immediately below them is a large bar, with a two-head on it: channel well over to the left shore round this bar, and when up with No. 39, immediately below it, incline to the right.
No. 40, (11, 380) Channel to the right, and close to the right shore, opposite the middle of the island. The left of No. 40 is much nearest, and may be taken at a middling stage of water. There is a channel through the bar to the right of No. 40, but near the right shore in the bend is safest, and when past the island, incline to the left again.
Directions for Map No. 9 — Mississippi River.
About two miles below No. 40, is island No. 41, close to the right shore: channel to the left. Just below No. 41 are islands Nos. 42, 43, 44 and 45, connected by a large bar these are called Paddy's Hen and Chickens. There is a large middle bar to the right of the Old Hen, with a tow-head on it: channel to the right of all, close into the bend, and when nearly up with Foy's, keep to the left again.
Wolf River, left side, (16, 396) There is a sand bar on the right, opposite the bluffs: channel near the left shore.
MEMPHIS left side. This town is situated on the 4th Chickasaw Bluffs just below the mouth of Wolf river, in the northwest angle of the state of
61Mississippi. It is built upon the site of Old Fort Pickering. It has lately been laid off into regular streets; and under the direction of a few enterprising individuals is fast rising in importance. Its position is healthy, and advantageously situated for trade. Prom the improvements already made, and in progress, it bids fair to became an important place of business.
No. 46, or President's Island, Is about a mile below the fourth Chickasaw Bluffs. This is a large and beautiful island. No. 47 is to the right of No. 46, and connected to it by a bar: channel to the right of both. The left is nearest, and may be taken with safety at a high stage of water. When past No. 46, incline to the left.
Nos. 48 and 49. (11 1/2, 407 1/2)
These islands, together with two or three smaller ones, or tow-heads, are connected by a large bar. The chute to the left of them is small, and makes out at right angles, and is not perceptible till you are nearly opposite: channel to the right of all.
No. 50, near the right shore, Channel to the left, and when past it half a mile, keep to the right, to avoid a large bar on the left below, with two or three small islands on it, near the lower extremity.
No. 51, or Buck Island, (11, 418 1/2) Channel to the left at low water. The right is much nearest, consequently preferable at a tolerable stage of water. — After passing Back island, keep nearest to the right shore until you are up with the right hand point below; then keep over to the left, to avoid the bar of No. 52, on the right.
No.53, or Council Island. (10 1/2, 429) This island lies in a sharp right hand bend, close to the right shore. The chute to the right is nearly grown up with willows: channel to the left; and near to the island at its foot, to avoid a deep bar below the left hand point, opposite; and then incline toward the left shore again.
Directions for Map No. 10. — Mississippi River.
Nos. 54 and 55 (7, 43) Are connected by a large bar from the foot of the one to the head of the other: channel to the right of both. Keep two-thirds of the river on your right, passing No. 54, (to avoid the bars on the right, opposite) until nearly up with its foot; then incline to the right, and when up with the wood-yard
62at the point, on the right, keep to the left towards No. 55, to avoid the bar below the right hand point. There are several large snags in the channel, opposite the head of No. 55. — Three-quarters of a mile below the foot of No. 55, a handsome little chute puts out on the left, which may be taken with safety at high water, and is a cut off of six or seven miles. At the left hand point below, is a large bar: channel near the right shore, and then incline to the left again, to avoid a large bar on the right, below Dunn's wood-yard; when you are past the latter, incline to the right again, and keep well towards the right shore, above the right hand point below, to avoid a bar on the left. There is a good landing on the small tow-head at the lower extremity of the above bar.
Nos. 57 and 58 (18, 454) Lie side by side, just below a right hand point; they are connected by a bar, which makes out considerably to the left of both: channel to the left. At high water the chute between the islands is very safe, and is much nearer.
No. 59, or St. Francis' Island (7, 461) Channel to the right at low water, and close to the island at its foot, leaving a small island on the right, opposite the mouth of St. Francis' river; incline towards the right shore after passing the small island.
Big Prairie, right side, (7, 468) As you approach Big Prairie incline over towards the left shore, round the head of bar No. 60, which makes up nearly a mile above its head. At a middling stage of water you may pass to the right of No. 60. The town of Helena is about one mile and three fourths below the foot of No. 60, on the right — incline towards the right shore below the town. Rather more than four miles below Helena you enter a straight reach, upwards of 8 miles in extent. The middle of the river will carry you clear of all the bars in this reach, and then incline towards the right shore, as you enter the Horse Shoe Bend, below; and when you approach the right hand point, keep nearest the left shore throughout the bend; when you approach the left hand point below, incline toward the right shore, round the bar of No. 61.
Directions for Map No. 11. — Mississippi River.
No. 62 and 63, (30, 498) 62 lies just below a right hand point, 63 lies in a short left hand bend just below, between them is a large bar which
63makes from No. 62, with a tow-head near its outer extremity. Channel at low water is between the tow-head and 63; this is a snaggy ugly channel, and requires great care — at a middling stage of water keep to the right of the tow-head.
No. 64. (7, 505) Lies nearest the right shore, there is a large bar makes up from the head of No. 64 — channel to the left, and near to the left shore until nearly up with its foot, then steer over for the foot of the island, and pretty close to the small island below, (to avoid a bar on the left opposite,) and when past it keep over for the left shore again.
No. 65, (6, 510) Is a small island, pretty close to the right shore: Channel to the left; when up with its head keep over to the right near its foot, to avoid a large bar at the point on the left.
No. 66, (6, 516) With a smaller island along side of it, lies immediately below a right hand point, and connected by a large bar — channel to the left, in the bend.
Nos. 67 and 68, (7, 523) Lie just below a left hand point, and are connected by a large sand bar. Channel to the right of both, in the bend; at a middling stage of water, you may pass between them which is much nearest.
No. 69, (7, 530) Lies just below a right hand point; channel to the left, and when past it, keep over to the right shore again. You may pass to the right of 69 at high water.
No. 71, (6 1/2, 536 1/2) And another island alongside of it, are just below a right hand point, and are connected by a large bar; channel to the left, in the bend, and as you approach the left hand point below, incline to the right again.
Montgomerie's Landing, right side. (10, 546 1/2) This is the principal landing for all who are bound up the Arkansas. The proper mouth of White River, is nearly 4 miles below Montgomeries landing, but it may be entered a little more than two miles at high water, by taking the right of No. 72 or White river island. There is a bayou or gut five miles up the White over, which communicates with the Arkansas about 25 miles from its' mouth, with a current set ting alternately from the one river to the other, as the flood in either may chance to predominate. Keep to the left from Montgomerie's landing, and when up with the left hand point opposite the foot of No. 72, cross over towards the right shore, to avoid a bar below it, on the left, and when past it keep well to the left again, to avoid a very large bar on the right below.
Directions for Map No. 12. — Mississippi River.
The tow-head on the large bar on the right, is about the middle of the river; channel to the left, and when up with the left hand point below, incline over towards the right shore, near a small tow-head on the lower extremity of the bar, to avoid a large bar on the left.
No. 74, (14, 560 1/2) Just below a right hand point. There is a large bar makes up from the head of No. 74, and to the left of it: channel to the left.
River Arkansas, right side. (5 1/2, 566) This river, from which the Arkansas Territory takes its name, is, next to the Missouri, the largest western tributary of the Mississippi. The length of this mighty stream, which is said to meander a long distance in the Rocky Mountains, following its courses, is about 2000 miles. It pours a broad and deep stream from the mountains upon the arid and sandy plains below. The sand and the dry surrounding atmosphere absorb the water to such a degree, that in any seasons, it may be forded many hundred miles below the mountains. Some of its tributaries are so impregnated with salt as to render even the waters of the main stream unpotable. The alluvial earth along the banks contains so much salt that cattle are said sometimes to be killed by eating it. To the distance of about 400 miles from its mouth it has many lakes and bayous. In the spring floods, steam boats can ascend it nearly to the mountains.
LITTLE ROCK, or ACKROPOLIS is situated about 300 miles by the course of the river, and about 120 miles by land, above the mouth of the Arkansas. It is a military post, and the seat of government for the territory. It stands on the south bank, on a very high stone bluff, and has been ironically named Little Rock, from the prodigious size and masses of rock about it. The situation is healthy and pleasant, and being the metropolis, a considerable village has grown up here. It has a court house, jail, and a printing office, from which is issued a weekly newspaper.
No. 75, or Ozark Island Is about two miles below the mouth of Arkansas river; channel to the right.
No. 76, (10, 576) Channel either side: the right is nearest, and the left is probably rather deepest. If you take the right keep well towards the island after you have passed its head, to avoid the shore bar on the right of it. About two miles below the foot of No. 76 is a large middle bar; channel to the left; you may pass to the right at a tolerable stage of water. There is seven feet water to the right when the bar is just bare. — After passing this bar you enter the Cypress bend.
No. 77, close to the left shore, (8 1/2, 584 1/2) Channel to the right.
No. 78, lies pretty close to the right shore, (8 1/2, 593) Immediately below a right hand point. There are large bars to the left of No. 78, with channels through them; but the safest channel is to the left of all, in the bend; and when nearly up with the left hand point below keep well over towards the right shore.
No. 80 and 81, (7 1/2, 600 1/2) Lie just below a right hand point, and are connected by a large bar. Channel to the left in the bend, and when past the islands keep well to the right, to avoid a large bar round the left hand point below.
No. 82, Lies close under a right hand point; channel to the left. You may take the right at a tolerable stage of water, by keeping close to the right hand point above. After passing No. 82, incline towards the right shore; here you enter the Spanish Moss Bend.
Point Chicot settlement on the right. (12 1/2, 621 1/2) Keep near the right shore until you are nearly up with the head of the middle bar above the island, on the left, then keep towards the middle bar, and pass pretty close to the foot of No. 83, to avoid the bar on the right opposite to the island. Keep nearest the left shore below, to avoid the bar on the right.
No. 84, (7 1/2, 629) Channel to the right, and then incline towards the left again.
Directions for Map No. 13 — Mississippi River.
As you approach the left hand point below No. 84, keep towards the right shore — at the right hand point below, keep well over to the left, to avoid the bar of No. 85, at the point, and when past it, keep towards the right shore again.
Nos, 86 and 87 (16, 645) Are connected by a large bar: channel to the left of both. At a good stage of water, you may pass to the right of both, by keeping close to the right hand point, above.
No. 88, Lies close to the left shore: channel to the right. This is Matthews' Bend.
No. 89, (10 1/2, 655 1/2) Lies close under a right hand point: channel to the left. — At high water you may pass to the right, by hugging the right hand point very close. There is a smart little settlement to the right of this island; and a little back is the Grand Lake, an old bed of the river. Keep well to the
66right, round the left hand point below No. 89. At the first right hand point below No. 89 there is a deep ugly bar. — The boatmen call this Hull's Left Leg. At the point above the bar, are a number of large ugly snags, near the right shore. Here the current forces very strong on to the point and boatmen err when they attempt to pull to the left of the snags. Keep close in to the point, to the right of the snags, and then incline to the left, round the bar. Below the point you enter Bundle's bend, which forms almost a circle. It is less than half a mile across from Hull's Left Leg to the lower part of the bend, above No. 92, and nearly fourteen miles round the bend; and as the banks are continually giving way on both sides, we may soon expect to see another cut-off at this place.
No. 91, or Peniston's Island, (12 1/2, 668) Channel to the right.
No. 92, ( 8, 676) Channel, at low water, to the left. When nearly up with the right hand point above 92, steer short across for the left shore, to avoid a very large bar at the head of the island. At a good stage of water, you may take the right, of No. 92, by hugging the right hand point above.
No. 93, (4 1/2, 680 1/2) Channel either side. If you take the right, keep close to the right hand shore opposite the head bar of the island, and past its foot incline to the left again. Here you enter the Nine Mile reach.
No. 94, or Stack Island, (5 1/2, 686) As it was formerly called. The original island disappeared several years ago, and left only a dry sand bar; but it is now again fast growing up to an island: channel to the right. — The lower end of Lake Providence is nearly opposite to Stack island, on the right, about three-quarters of a mile from the river.
Directions for Map No. 14. — Mississippi River.
Nearly three miles below Stack island is a middle bar on the right. Keep well to the left past it, and then incline towards the right shore.
No. 95, (8 1/2, 694 1/2) And a smaller island, connected to it by a large bar, is immediately below a right hand point: channel to the left. — The chute to the right of No. 95, although very narrow, may be taken with safety, by hugging very close to the right hand point above.
Tompkins' Settlement, right side. (7 1/2, 702) There is a middle bar a little above Tompkins' settlement: chancel to the right of it, and to the right of Nos. 96 and 97, just below it. Nos. 96 and 97 are connected by a large bar. There is a small channel to the left of them.
No. 98, (8, 710) Lies in a left hand bend: channel to the right. There is a very deep bar stretches across from the right hand point to within one hundred and fifty yards of the left shore, above the head of No. 98, which, consequently throws the channel close in to the left shore above, at low water; but at a moderate stage of water you may pass through the bar by keeping straight down for the head of 98, from the right shore above. Keep towards the right shore round the left hand point below.
No. 100, (8, 718) Another island, and several small tow-heads, are just below a right hand point, and all connected by a large sand bar: channel to the left of all, in the bend. This bend is very similar in shape to the Horse Shoe bend; it is nearly eleven miles in extent, and only about three hundred yards across from the upper to the lower part, and breaking away fast on both sides; consequently, we may expect soon to have another cut-off at this place.
Nos. 101 and 102, (6, 724) Just below a left hand point. These two islands are in one, (as Paddy might say) and the one above is in two, as we all may perceive: channel to the right of Nos. 101 and 102.
Campbell's Settlement, right side. Just below Nos. 101 and 102. Millikin's settlement, three or four miles further down, on the right.
No. 103, or Paw-paw Island, (11,735) Lies close under a right hand point: channel to the left, in the bend. The right chute to this island, although narrow, is very safe, but requires hard pulling, after hugging the right hand point above, to get into it.
Yazoo River, left side. (4 1/2, 739 1/2) This river rises in the Chickasaw country near the state of Tennessee, and falls into the Mississippi 12 miles above the Walnut Hills. It is 100 yards wide at its mouth. Its course is through a high, pleasant, and healthy country, chiefly claimed and inhabited by Indians. It is generally boatable by large boats 50 miles, and in high stages of water to the Missionary Station. Its banks afford an abundance of fine building stone, which is conveyed to New Orleans, being the nearest to that city of any on the waters of the Mississippi. Twelve miles above its mouth are the Yazoo Hills, and four miles higher, the site of fort St. Peter, an ancient French settlement, destroyed in 1729 by the Yazoo Indians, a nation, which in its turn, has long since been extinct. On this
68river, and the country which it waters, was laid the scene of the famous Yazoo Speculation, which will long be bitterly remembered by the unfortunate victims of it.
Walnut Hills, on the left. (9 1/2, 749) These beautiful hills, about two miles in extent, on the river, rise boldly, though gradually, with alternate swells and gullies, to the height of nearly five hundred feet; and being under the highest state of cultivation, form the most beautiful prospect to be met with on the lower Mississippi.
VICKSBURGH on the left.
This town is situated just below the Walnut Hills, is one of the many towns of the Western country which have been the growth of a few years. Although of late origin, it has already become a large village, with a great number of stores, lawyers, physicians, &c. A newspaper is printed here, and it is a place of much trade and business. A number of boats are always lying in the harbor, and a great quantity of cotton is shipped here. Steam boats regularly ply between this place and New Orleans. The town is singularly situated on the shelving declivity of high hills, and the houses are scattered in groups on the terraces.
About two and a half miles below Vicksburgh is a large bar, on, the left: channel to the right.
Directions for Map No. 15. — Mississippi River.
WARRENTON, on the left. (9 1/2, 758 1/2) This is a smart little town, and a seat of justice for Warren county, Mississippi state. Keep to the left round the right hand point below Warrenton; and at the left hand point, two or three miles further down, keep well over to the right, in the bend, round the bar of No. 104. Three or four miles lower down, keep well over to the left, to avoid the bar at the point on the right.
No. 106, or Palmyra Island, (12 1/2, 771) Channel to the right of No. 106, and of the two next islands below.
Point Pleasant, right side. (12 1/2, 783 1/2)
No. 110, or Big Black Island, Lies in the middle of the river, about a mile below Point Pleasant: channel, at low water, to the left; but the right is preferable at a middling stage of water. There is a large bar makes up from the head of No. 110. If you take the right, keep well towards the island after you have passed the bar at its head. Two and a half miles below the foot of No 110, is a large bar round the left hand point: Keep well to the right, in the bend round the point.
Big Black Creek, left side. (14, 797 1/2) Here the river turns suddenly to the right, occasioned by a
69high bluff point, (rocky at its base) about three-quarters of a mile below the creek. This is called the Grand Gulf. — There is a large eddy just below the bluff, on the left; and another opposite to it, just below the right hand point. It requires some judgment, and often some exertions with the oars, to steer clear of these eddies. At low water the current forces very strong on to the left shore above the bluff; and as you approach the bluff, it forces as strong out towards the middle of the river, and will generally carry you through betwixt the eddies without much pulling at the oars. After you have passed the gulf, keep towards the left shore, to avoid a bar on the right, about two miles below — two miles further, keep to the right again, to avoid the bars on the left.
Bayou Pierre, left side. (9 1/2, 807) Steam boats can ascend this Bayou a great part of the year, as far as Port Gibson, about twenty-eight miles from its mouth. Port Gibson is a very flourishing town of Mississippi state, and is the seat of justice for Claiborne county. — As you approach Bayou Pierre, come no nearer the left shore than mid-river, until you are past its mouth, then steer in towards Bruinsburgh on the left, to avoid the bar, on the right, opposite. There is a deep bar at the left hand point, three and a half miles below Bruinsburgh: channel to the right in the bend.
Pettit Gulf. (9, 816) Here the river makes a short turn again to the right, occasioned by a bluff in the bend, on the left. There is an eddy under the point on the right: channel nearest the left shore.
Directions for Map No. 16. — Mississippi River.
No. 111, (3, 819) Lies close to the right shore: channel to the left, and close to the island, to avoid a hard bar on the left, opposite; and when nearly up with its foot, keep short to the left, to avoid the bar below.
Nos. 112 and 113, (6 1/2, 825 1/2) Lie in a right hand bend, nearest the right shore: channel to the left of both, and near to No. 113, to avoid the bars on the left.
Cole's Creek, on the left. (7 1/2, 833) Here the river takes a short turn again to the right, and a large bar makes below the right hand point: channel to the left.
No. 114, or Fairchild's Island, (5 1/2, 838 1/2) Channel to the right, and close into the bend, round its bars. At a middling stage of water you may pass to the left, by
70hugging the left hand point above pretty close. Keep well to the left round the right hand point below Fairchild's island. There is a very deep bar at the left hand point, nearly six miles below No. 114: channel in the bend, near the right shore.
NATCHEZ, on the left. (13 1/2, 852) This city is romantically situated on a very high bluff of the east bank of the river, and is much like any town in the state of Mississippi. The river business is transacted in that part of the city which is called under the hill, — a repulsive place, being 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 — and too often the scene of drunkenness and debauchery. Some very respectable merchants, however, reside in this part of the city. The upper town is elevated on the summit of the bluff 300 feet above the level of the river, and commands a fine prospect of the surrounding landscape. The country on the eastern bank is waving, rich, and beautiful: the eminences presenting open woods, covered with grape vines, and here and there neat country houses. This part of the town is quiet; the streets broad; some of the public buildings are handsome; and the whole has the appearance of comfort and opulence. Many rich planters live here; and the society is polished and respectable. It is the principal town in this region for the shipment of cotton, with bales of which, at the proper seasons of the year, the streets are almost barricaded; and it is the market for the trade of the numerous population of the contiguous country. Notwithstanding the elevation, and apparent healthiness of the city, it has often been visited by the Yellow fever. It is owing to this circumstance, that the population does not increase so fast as might be expected from its eligible position — It is at present supposed to contain between three and four thousand inhabitants. It has 5 churches, a handsome court house, a bank, 2 book stores, 2 printing offices, and the usual number of mercantile stores.
As you approach the right hand point, above Natchez, incline towards the left shore, to avoid the large bar on the right, above the town. If you do not intend to land at Natchez, incline out towards the middle of the river as you approach the landing, to avoid the eddy.
No. 115, or Natchez Island, (6, 858) Channel, at low water, to the right.
St. Catherine's Creek, left side. (12, 870) Ellis' cliffs, on the left, is nearly a mile below St. Catherine's creek: channel about midway between the cliffs and right hand point.
Directions for Map No. 17. — Mississippi River.
Nos. 116 and 117, (7 1/2, 877 1/2) Channel to the left of both, and near to No. 116. About four miles below No. 116, is Deadman's bar, below a right hand point: channel to the left. Between four and five miles below Deadman's bar, there is a deep bar below the left hand point: channel over towards the right shore.
No. 118 (16, 893 1/2) Lies near the right shore: channel to the left.
Homochitto River, left side. (2, 895 1/2) Channel past Homochitto nearest the right shore, and when up with the right hand point, shoot over into the bend on the left, to avoid a deep bar on the right, below the point.
Loftus's Height and Fort Adams, left side. (9 1/2, 905) Channel near the middle of the river. Between six and seven miles below Fort Adams is a bar on the left; channel to the right, and near the right shore until you are nearly up with the right hand point at the lower end of the reach; then shoot over into the bend on the left, to avoid the bar on the right, below the point. Here the current forces very strong into the bend on the left, where the banks are wearing away continually; it is only two or three hundred yards across to the river two or three miles above the Sister Islands, (or where they once were situated, for the last of them has now disappeared) and will probably be the first place where a breach will be effected; here will be a cut off of at least 18 miles. Query: Would it not be a prudent step for government or individuals, to cause the trees to be cut down at this place, as also at Bunch's bend? A very trifling sum would accomplish this business, and whenever the breach was made, it would enable the trees to float away, instead of fixing their roots in the bed of the river, and thereby adding some thousands to the already too numerous snags and sawyers: — but, a word to the wise. After rounding the point above mentioned, keep nearest the left shore until you approach the left hand point below, then keep over to the right, and near the right shore until nearly up with
Red River, on the right. (18 1/2, 293 1/2) This is one of the most considerable tributaries of the Mississippi; and as little is generally known concerning it, the following accurate and authentic description is extracted from the excellent geography of Mr. Flint, lately published.
It takes its rise in a chain of hills near Sante Fe, in New Mexico, called the Caous mountains. In its upper course, it receives the waters of Blue river, and False Washita. It winds through a region of prairies, on which feed droves of buffalos, cattle, and wild horses. These immense prairies are of a red sail, covered with grass, and with vines, which bear the most delicious grapes.
It receives a great many tributaries, that water an almost boundless region of prairies, forests, bottoms and highlands. Much of this country is exceedingly fertile, and capable of producing cotton, sugar-cane, grapes, indigo, rice, tobacco, Indian corn, and most of the productions of the more northern regions. The width of its channel, for four hundred miles before it enters into the Mississippi, does not correspond with its length, or the immense mass of waters which it collects in its course from the Rocky Mountains. In high waters, when it has arrived within 300 or 400 miles of its mouth, it is often divided into two or three channels, and spreads into a line of bayous and lakes, which take up its super-abundant waters, and are a considerable time in filling, and prevent the river from displaying its breadth and amount of waters, as it does in the high lands 500 miles above. About 90 miles above Nachitoches commences what is called the Raft, which is nothing more than an immense swampy alluvion of the river, to the width of 20 or 30 miles. The river here, spreading into a vast number of channels, frequently shallow of course,, has been for ages clogging up with a compact mass of timber and fallen trees, wafted from the regions above. Between these masses, the river has a channel, sometimes lost in a lake, and found again by following the outlet of that lake back to the parent channel. There is no stage of water, in which a keel boat with an experienced pilot may not make its way through the Raft. The river is blocked up with this immense mass of timber, a distance, by its meanders, of between 60 and 70 miles. There are places where the water can be seen in motion wider the logs. In other places the whole width of the river may be crossed on horse-back. Weeds, flowering shrubs, and small willows, have taken root upon the surface of this timber, and flourish above the waters. It is an impediment of incalculable injury to the navigation of this noble river and the immense extent of country above it. There is probably no part of the United States, where the unoccupied lands have higher claims from soil, climate, intermixture of prairies and timbered lands, position and every inducement to population, than the country above the raft; where the river becomes broad, deep, and navigable for steam boats, in moderate stages of water, for nearly 1000 miles towards the mountains. The state of Louisiana has made an effort to have it removed, and the general government have made an appropriation, and caused an inquiry and survey to be made for the same purpose. The valley of this interesting river has a width of three or four miles as high as Kiamesia, nearly 1000 miles from its mouth. It broadens, as it slopes towards the Mississippi, and has, for a long distance from its mouth, a valley from 6 to 8 miles in width. Of all the broad and fertile alluvions of the Mississippi streams, no one exceeds this. It compares in many more points with the famous Nile, than the Mississippi, to which that river has so often been likened.
ALEXANDRIA is situated on the south bank of Red river half a mile below the falls, at the mouth of Bayou Rapide 70 miles by land, and 150 following the, course of the river, from the Mississippi. It is the seat of justice for the parish, has a bank, a newspaper
73a number of stores, &c. It is central to the rich cotton country of Bayous Rapide, Robert, and Boeuf.
NATCHITOCHES is 80 miles above Alexandria. It is the last town of any size towards the south-western frontiers of the United States. The Spanish trade, for a considerable distance into the interior of the Mexican States, centres here; and it is the great thoroughfare for people going to, and returning from those states. It is a very old town, having been established above 100 years ago. It is considerably larger than Alexandria. The population is a mixture of American, Spanish and French. It is at present a growing place, and will probably one day become the largest town in this country except New Orleans.
After you have passed Red River, keep nearest the right shore for upwards of six miles, to avoid the bat round the point on the left below, and when nearly up with the right hand point, keep short over for the left shore. Bayou Athcafalaya, or Chaffaliar, as it is generally called, is about three miles below Red River, on the right. At high water there is considerable of a draft into the Chaffaliar, which roust be guarded against.
Sister Islands, or No. 119, (14, 937 1/2) Here was formerly three islands; but for a number of years only one has remained, and lately that has disappeared. — Channel about the middle of the river.
Directions for Map No. 18. — Mississippi River.
Four and a half miles below the Sister island bar, keep over towards the right shore, in the bend, and when you app roach the right hand point, above Raccourci, keep to the left again.
Bayou Raccourci, right side. (13 1/2, 951) Here the river takes a very short turn to the left. There is a very large eddy in the bend, on the right — keep well towards the point on the left, then straight across for the right shore, below the eddy. There is a large bar and willow island below the right hand point, about seven miles below Raccourci. Channel to the left.
Bayou Tunica, left side. (15, 966)
No. 122, or Tunica Island, (5, 971) Channel right side. There is a large eddy on the left about a mile below Tunica island; when you are up with the right hand point opposite, keep over for the left shore below the eddy. Keep near the left shore for about two miles, and then nearest the right shore until you enter Point Coupee reach.
Bayou Sara, left side. (19 1/2, 990 1/2)
ST. FRANCISVILLE (19 1/2, 990 1/2) Is a growing village of nearly the same size as Baton Rouge, situated a few miles below. A weekly paper is printed here, and it is a place of considerable trade. Bayou Sara, by which it communicates with the Mississippi, is a noted place for descending boats, and great quantities of cotton are shipped here. The country through which Bayou Sara runs, is rich, thickly settled, and well cultivated. On the opposite shore is POINT COKPEE a wealthy French settlement. Here the Levee commences and extends from hence to New Orleans.
There is a bar and small island in the middle of the river, nearly opposite Bayou Sara. Channel at low water to the left.
Fausse Riviere, right side. (5, 995 1/2) There is a deep bar makes from the left hand point, just below Fausse Riviere, but as the current forces very strong on to the right shore, in the bend below; it requires more precaution to keep clear of the bend, than of the bar below the left hand point.
White Cliffs, left side. (4 1/2, 1000) Channel about the middle of the river.
No. 123, 124, or Prophet's Island. (3 1/2, 1003 1/2) There is a large bar makes up from the head, and to the right of Prophet's island. Channel at low water to the right in the bend. Except at very low water there is a good channel to the left of these islands. Round the point on the right below Prophet's island, keep about the middle, and then incline towards the left shore.
Thomas's Point, left side. (7 1/2, 1011) Channel to the right, in the bend. About four miles below Thomas's point you enter the Baton Rouge reach.
Directions for Map No. 19. — Mississippi River.
BATON ROUGE, left side. (11, 1022) This place is handsomely situated on the last bluff that is seen in descending the river. The site is 30 or 40 feet above the highest overflow of the river. This bluff rises from the river by a gentle and gradual swell. The United States' barracks here are built in a fine style; and are supposed to be among the handsomest and most commodious of that kind of works. From the esplenade, the prospect is delightful, commanding a great extent of the coast with its handsome houses, and rich cultivation below; and an extensive view of the back country at the east. The village is tolerably compact, and has a number of neat houses. The town itself, especially in the months when the greatest verdure prevails, as seen from a boat in the river, rising with such a fine swell from the
75banks, and with its singularly shaped French and Spanish houses, and its green squares, looks like a finely painted landscape. Its population is now estimated at 1,200.
Bayou Manchac, or Iberville, left side. (14, 1036) Channel nearest the left shore, in the bend.
Bayou Placquemine, right side. (7 1/2, 1043 1/2) This bayou affords the best communication to the rich settlements of Attacapas and Opelousas. There is a bar round the left hand point, opposite to Bayou Placquemine. Channel nearest the right shore. There is a bar on the right, rather more than four miles below Placquemine; here keep to the left for about two miles, then incline to the right again.
Church of St. Gabriel, left side, (10, 1053 1/2) (Commonly called Manchac Church.) Keep nearest the left shore until you are two miles below the Church, then incline to the right.
No. 125, (11 1/2, 1065) Is a small island lying nearest the right shore. Channel to the left; two miles above its head, keep well over to the left, and when past the island, incline to the right, and keep nearest the right shore until you are up with the head of a small willow island in the bend below, then cross over to the left.
Bayou La Fourche, right side. (11, 1076) This bayou is well settled on both sides for nearly thirty leagues; it affords another communication to the Attacapas and Opelousas settlements. From La Fourch to New Orleans, there is no obstruction to the navigation; a few eddies in the bends only to be avoided.
DONALDSONVILLE, right side. This place, which has been established by the state of Louisiana as the seat of government, stands immediately below Bayou La Fourche. It is rising fast in importance, and will necessarily increase in wealth and population, and receive all the advantages arising from its being the political metropolis of the state.
The general course of the Mississippi from this to New Orleans, is nearly east. There is a large eddy on the right, about a mile and a half below La Fourche. Keep nearest the point on the left.
Hampton's Plantations; (4, 1080)
Directions for Map No. 20. — Mississippi River.
Bringier's, left side. (6, 1086)
Cantrell Church right side 5 — left side 6, (6, 1092)
76Keep near the point on the left, below Cantrell Church, to avoid a large eddy in the bend, opposite.
Bonnet Quarre Church, right side, (18, 1110)
Detrehan's Point, left side. (8, 11118)
Red Church, left side. (7 1/2, 125 1/2)
Arnaud's Point, left side. (9 1/2, 1135)
Directions for Map No. 21 — Mississippi River.
M'Cartey's Point, left side, (8, 1153)
NEW ORLEANS — Steam-boat Landing, (6, 1149) This city is the great commercial emporium of the West. It is situated in a great bend of the Mississippi, on its eastern bank 105 miles above the Balize. It consists of the old city, properly so called, which is built in the form of a parallelogram and the suburbs of St. Mary's Annunciation, and La Course called Fauxbourgs, above the city; and the suburbs of Marigny, Dounois, and Declouet below the city, and Treme and St. John's in the rear. It is easily accessible at all times to large ships from the sea; and it has probably twice as much boat navigation above it, as any other city on the globe. By means of the basin, the canal, and the bayou St. John, it communicates with Lake Ponchartrain, with the Florida shore, with Mobile, Pensacola, and the whole Gulf shore. It also communicates by means of the bayous Placquemine and La Fourche with the Attakapas country; and has many other communications, by means of the numerous bayous and lakes with the lower parts of Louisiana. The city contains six complete squares of 319 feet front each. The old city and the Fauxburg St. Mary are compactly built. The wooden buildings of which the city was formerly built have given place to buildings of brick. The French and Spanish style of building predominates. The houses are stuccoed with a stucco of white or yellow color, which strikes the eye more pleasantly than the dull and sombre red of brick. The public buildings are the Town House, the Hospital of St. Louis, the Convent of Urseline, the Barracks, the Custom House, the Market House, the Bank of Orleans, the Planters Bank, the Louisiana Bank, the New State Bank, and Branch of the U. S. Bank, the Government House, Court House for the District Court of the United States, the Water Works, the Prison, the Charity Hospital, the two Theatres, the Library, the Presbyterian Church, the Episcopal Church and the Cathedral. This last is a splendid building 90 by 120 feet. It has four towers and its walls are thick and massive. It is ornamented in the Catholic style with niches, containing figures of saints, &c. in their appropriate costumes. There are a number of other charitable institutions of respectable character, and when the yellow fever visits the city in the summer, the manner in which the inhabitants bestow charity.
77and nursing, and shelter, and medical aid to the sick, is worthy of all praise.
Probably no city in the world contains a greater variety of population black and white than New Orleans. Inhabitants from every state in the Union, and from every country in Europe, mixed with the Creoles, and all the shades of the colored population, form an astonishing contrast of manners, languages, and complexion.
The commerce of this city is already very great, and must necessarily greatly increase. There are sometimes from 1000 to 1500 flat boats lying at the wharves at a time. Steam boats are arriving and departing every hour; and a forest of the masts of ships is constantly seen, except in the sultry months, along the Levee. There are often five or six thousand boatmen from the upper country here at a time. No place in the United States has so much activity and bustle crowded into so small a place, as this city in the months of February, March, and April. The amount of domestic exports in 1821 exceeded seven millions of dollars, being greater than that of any other city in the Union except New York, and nearly equaling that. The productions of all climes find their way hither; and for fruits and vegetables few places can exceed it.
The police of the city is at once mild and energetic. Notwithstanding the multifarious character of the people, collected from every country, and every climate; notwithstanding the numbers of sailors and boatmen, and the incongruous crowd which rushes along the streets, there are fewer riots and quarrels here than in almost any other city. The municipal and criminal courts are prompt in administering justice. The city contains between 30,000 and 40,000 inhabitants.
Battle Ground, left side. (6, 1155)
English Turn. (12, 1167)
Poverty Point, left side. (20, 1187)
Wilkinson's, right side. (7, 1194)
Directions for Maps Nos. 22 and 23 — Mississippi River
Johnson's, right side. (7, 1201)
Grand Prairie, left side. (10, 1211)
Fort St. Philip, left side.
Fort Jackson, right side. (10, 1221)
South West Pass, on the right (20, 1221)
Pass au l'Outre, on the left. (3 1/2, 1244 1/2)
Balize, right side. (4 1/2, 1249)
Bar at the S. E. Pass. (4, 1253)
We have reserved for this place the description of the Mississippi, and Missouri Rivers, extracted from Flint's GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY OF THE WESTERN STATES.
The Mississippi 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 tributes of 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 hanks; 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 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 down names, as having more authority than others. The St. Peter's the principal upper branch of the Mississippi, has been scientific
80and faithfully explored by the gentlemen of Long's expedition. — They assign to St. Peter's ten or twelve tributaries, some of them considerable streams, before its junction with the Mississippi.
The following are among the most considerable of its tributaries. Rapid, St. Croix, Cannon river, Buffalo, Bluff, Black, Root, Upper Iaway, Yellow, Bad-axe and Ouisconsin. [This last river comes in from the east near Prairie du Chien. It has a beatable course of more than 200 miles, and interlocks, by a short portage, with Fox river which empties into Green Bay. It is the liquid highway of passage for the Canadian traders, trappers, and savages, from Mackinaw and the lakes to the Mississippi.] Turkey river, La Mine, Fever river, Tete de mort, Wapisipinacon, Little Loutoux, Rock river, Iaway and Des Moines. [This river is one of the largest tributaries above the Missouri, and has a boatable course of about 300 miles.] Waconda, Fabian, Jaustioni, Oahaha or Salt river, Bceuf or Cuivre, Dardenne, Illinois, (a noble, broad, and deep stream, having a course of about 400 miles, and boatable almost the whole distance.) The Missouri (hereafter described.) The Maramec, Kaskaskia, Big Mudddy, the Ohio, Wolf, St. Francis, White river, Arkansas, Yazoo, Red River, and Bayou Sara.
The Mississippi 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 point 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 sand bars, except in 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 sand bars, 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 sand bars; but has a furious and boiling current, a turbid and dangerous mass of sweeping waters, jagged and
81dilapidated 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.
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 sand bar. In these instances, it tears up the islands, removes the sand bars, and sweeps away the tender, alluvial soil of the bends, with all their trees, and deposites 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. Such is its character from Missouri to the Balize; a wild, furious, whirling river, — never navigated safely, except with great caution.
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 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
82us 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 bush.
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 forest, 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.
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
83of 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 reaction of the sea, where this mighty mass of descending waters finds its level.
One of the most striking peculiarities of this river, and of all its 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 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 sand bar, 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.
This is by far the largest tributary of the Mississippi, bringing down, more water, than the upper Mississippi itself. In fact, it is a longer river, than the Mississippi, from its farthest source to the Mexican gulf. — There are many circumstances, which render it one of the most interesting rivers; and it is clearly the longest tributary stream on the globe. Many have thought, that from its length, the amount of its waters, and the circumstance of its communicating its own character, in every respect to; the Mississippi below the junction, that it ought to have been considered the main river, and to have continued to bear its own name to the sea, In opposition to this claim, we remark, that the valley of the Missouri seems, in the grand scale of conformation, to be secondary to that of the Mississippi. The Missouri has not the general direction of that river, which it joins nearly at right angles. The valley of the Mississippi is wider, than that of the Missouri, as is also the river broader than the other. The course of the river, and the direction of the valley are the same, above and below the junction of the Missouri. From these and many other considerations, the ‘Father of waters’ seems fairly entitled to the name, which he has so long borne.
Its prodigious length of course, its uncommon turbidness, its impetuous and wild character, and the singular country, through which it runs, impart to this river a natural grandeur belonging to the sublime. We have never crossed it, without experiencing a feeling of that sort; nor without a stretch, almost laborious in the attempt to trace it in thought, along its immense distances, and through its distant regions and countries to the lonely and stupendous mountains, from which it springs.
It rises in the Rocky mountains, nearly in the same parallel with the Mississippi. The most authentic information we have yet had of the sources of this mighty river, is from its first intrepid American discoverers, Lewis and Clark. What may properly be called the Missouri seems to be formed by three considerable branches, which unite not far from the bases of the principal ranges of the mountains. To the northern they gave the name of Jefferson, to the middle, Gallatin, and to the southern, Madison. Each of these branches fork again into a number of small mountain streams. It is but a short distance from some of these to the head waters of the Columbia, on the other side of the mountains. A person may drink from the spring sources of each, without traveling more than a mile. After this junction, the river continues a considerable distance to be still a foaming mountain torrent. It then spreads into a. broad and comparatively gentle stream full of islands. Precipitous peaks of blackish rock frown above the river, in perpendicular elevations of 1,000 feet. The mountains, whose bases it sweeps, are covered with terebinthines, such as pines, cedars and firs; and mountain sheep are seen bounding on their summits, where if they are apparently inaccessible. In this distance the mountains have an aspect of inexpressible loneliness and grandeur.
The river then becomes almost a continued cataract for a distance of about seventeen miles. In this distance its perpendicular descent is 362 feet. The first fall is ninety eight feet; the second, nineteen; the third, forty-seven; the fourth, twenty-six. It continues rapid for a long distance beyond. Not far below these falls, enters Maria's river, from the north. This is a very considerable stream. Still farther down on the opposite side enter Dearborn and Fancy, each about 150 yards wide. Manoles 100, Big horn, 100, Muscle shell, 100, Big dry, 400, Dry, 100, Porcupine, 112; all these enter from the south side. Below these enters the Roche Juane, or Yellow Stone, probably the largest tributary of the Missouri. It rises in the same range of mountains with the main river, and has many points of resemblance to it. It enters from the south by a mouth 850 yards wide. It is a broad, deep, and sweeping river; and at its junction appears the largest of the two. Its course is commonly calculated at 1,600 miles. But the sizes and lengths of all these tributaries are probably over rated. Its shores, for a long distance above its entrance, are heavily timbered, and its bottoms wide, and of the finest soil. Its entrance is deemed to be 1,880 miles above the mouth of the Missouri; and it was selected by the government, as an eligible situation for a military post, and an extensive settlement. White bears, elk, and mountain sheep, are the principal animals seen along this part of the river.
At the point of junction with the Yellow Stone, the Missouri has wide and fine bottoms. Unfortunately, its banks are for the most part destitute
85of timber, and this for a long series of years will prevent its capacity for hesitancy. White earth river from the north is a small stream. Goose river, 300 yards wide, comes in from the south side. Little Missouri is shallow and rapid, and is about 130 yards wide. Knife river comes in from the south side, just above the Mandan villages. Cannon ball river enters from the south side, and is 140 yards wide. Winnipenhu, south side. Serwarserna, south side. Chienne is represented to be beatable nearly 800 miles; and enters from the south side, by a mouth 400 yards wide. Tyber's river. White river, beatable 600 miles south side, is a very beautiful stream, and has a mouth 300 yards wide. Poncas, south side. Qui-Courre, a fine stream with a short course, south side. Rivierre a Jaque, a noted resort for traders and trappers. White Stone, Big Sioux, Floyd's river. La Platte enters from the south, and has a longer course, than any other river of the Missouri. It rises in the same ranges of mountains with the parent stream, and, measured by its meanders, is supposed to have a course of 2,000 miles before it joins that river. It is nearly a mile in width at its entrance; but is as its name imports, very shallow, and is not beatable except at its highest floods. Nodowa, north side. Little Platte, north side. Kansas, is a very large tributary from the south, and has a course of 1,200 miles; and is beatable for most of the distance. Blue water, and two or three small streams below, come in on the south side. Grand river is a large, long and deep stream, beatable for a great distance, and enters on the north side. The two Charatons, come in on the same side. The La Mine enters on the south side. Bonne Femme, and Manitou, enter on the north side, and Salt river on the south.
The Osage, which enters on the south side, is a large and very important stream of the Missouri, boatable 660 miles and interlocking with the waters of the Arkansas. Three or four inconsiderable streams enter on the opposite side, as Miry, Otter and Cedar rivers. On the south side enters the Gasconade, boatable for 66 miles, and is important for having on its banks extensive pine forests, from which the great supply of plank and timber of that kind is brought to St. Charles and St. Louis. On the south side, below the Gasconade are a number of inconsiderable rivers, as Buffalo, St. John's Wood river, Bonhomme, &c.; and on the other side, the Charette, Femme Osage, and one or two other small branches, before it precipitates itself into the Mississippi.
The bottoms of this river have a character, very distinguishable from those of the upper Mississippi. They are higher, not so wet, more sandy, with trees which are not so large, but taller and straighter. Its alluvions are something narrower; that is to say, having for the first 500 miles a medial width of something more than four miles. Its bluffs, like those of the other river, are generally lime stone, but not so perpendicular; and have more tendency to run into the mamelle form. The bottoms abound with deer, turkeys and small game. The river seldom overflows any part of its banks, in this distance. It is little inclined to be swampy. There are much fewer lakes, bayous, and small ponds, than along the Mississippi. Prairies are scarcely seen on the backs of the river, within the distance of the first 400 miles of its course. It is heavily timbered, and yet from the softness of the wood, easily cleared. The water, though uncommonly turbid with a whitish earth, which it
86holds in suspension, soon and easily settles, and is then remarkably pure, pleasant and healthy water. The river is so rapid and sweeping in its course, and its bed is composed of such masses of sand, that it is continually shifting its sand bars. A chart of the river, as it runs this year, gives little ground for calculation, in navigating it the next. It has numerous islands, and generally near them is the most difficult to be stemmed. Still more than the Mississippi below its mouth, it tears up in one place, and deposits in another; and makes more frequent and powerful changes in its channel, than any other western river.
Its bottoms are considerably settled for a distance of 400 miles above its mouth. That of Charaton is the highest compact settlement. But the largest and most populous settlement in the state is that called Boone's lick. Indeed, there are American settlers, here and there, on the bottoms, above the Platte, and far beyond the limits of the state of Missouri. Above the Platte the open and prairie character of the country begins to develop. The prairies come quite into the banks of the river; and stretch from it indefinitely, in naked grass plains, where the traveler may wander for days, without seeing either wood or water. — The ‘Council Bluffs’ are an important military station, about 600 miles up the Missouri. Beyond this point commences a country of great interest and grandeur in many respects; and denominated, by way of eminence, the Upper Missouri. The country is composed of vast and almost boundless grass plains, through which stretch the Platte, the Yellow Stone, and the other rivers of this ocean of grass. The savages of this region have a peculiar physiognomy and mode of life. It is a country, where commence new tribes of plants. It is the home of buffalos, elk, while bears, antelopes and mountain sheep. Sometimes the river washes the bases of the dark hills of a friable and crumbling soil. — Here are found, as Lewis and Clark, and other respectable travelers relate, large and singular petrifactions, both animal and vegetable. — On the top of one of these hills they found the petrified skeleton of a huge fish, forty-five feet in length. The herds of the gregarious animals, particularly the buffalos, are innumerable. Such is the general character of the country, until we come in contact with the spurs of the Rocky mountains.
As far as the limits of the state, this river is capable of supporting a dense population, for a considerable distance from its banks. Above those limits it is generally too destitute of wood, to become habitable by any other people, than hunters and shepherds. All the great tributaries of this river are copies, more, or less exact, of the parent stream. One general remark applies to the whole country. The rivers have a narrow margin of fertility. The country, as it recedes from the river, becomes more and more sterile, sandy and destitute of water, until it approximates in character towards the sandy deserts of Arabia.
The Osage, as we have mentioned, is one of the principal tributaries of the Missouri in this state. It comes in on the south side of the Missouri, 130 miles above its junction with the Mississippi. At its mouth it is nearly 400 yards wide. Its general course is from south to north; and the best cotton country in the state of Missouri is on the head waters of this river. Its principal branches are Mary's, Big Bone, Yungar, Potatoe, and Grand Fork rivers. Yungar is nearly as large, as the parent
87stream; and is navigable for small crafts, except at its grand cascade, for nearly an hundred miles. The cascade is a great cataract of ninety feet fall. When the river is full, the roar is heard far through the desert. It is a fine country, through which the river runs. The banks are timbered, and abound with game, particularly bears. An interesting missionary station is situated on its waters. This station is under the care of the ‘American board of foreign missions,’ and it has many Indian children in its school; and is in a very nourishing condition. The Maramec is a beautiful river, which runs through the mineral region, and enters the Mississippi eighteen miles below St. Louis. It is between two and three hundred yards wide at its mouth; and is boatable in lime of high waters 200 miles. Big river, Bourbon, and Negro Fork are branches of this river, which in their turn are fed by numerous mountain streams, that wind through the mine country. Bonhomme is an inconsiderable stream, that enters the Missouri twenty-eight miles above its mouth. We have already named the Gasconade, so important to this country from the supplies of pine plank and lumber, with which it furnishes the country below it. There are a great number of considerable streams, which enter the Missouri and the Mississippi from the south, whose names we have already mentioned. The principal of them, are the Swashing, Gabourie, Saline, Apple creek, &c. St. Francis, and White river with their numerous branches rise in this state. Above St. Louis, on the eastern limits of the state, a number of considerable rivers enter the upper Mississippi, as Dardenne, Cuivre, Salt river, Two rivers, &c. Of these, Salt river is the most considerable, having a boatable course of forty or fifty miles. This river waters as fine a tract of country, as any in the state. The lands are also excellent about Two rivers. There are fifty other streams in this state, that, in the winter carry considerable water, and in summer become almost, or quite dry. This circumstance, common to the smaller streams over all the West, is peculiarly so here, where the intense ardor of the summer's sun, the sandy nature of the soil, the unfrequency of summer rains, the dryness of the atmosphere, and the open and untimbered face of the country, all conspire to dry up all streams, but those, that are supplied by perennial springs, or by continued ranges of high hills. As a general fact we should observe, that Missouri has a great many advantages in her soil, climate, and position, counterbalanced in some degree by the disadvantage of not being as well watered, as most of the other western states. From this cause, and from the levelness of the general face of the country, mill seats, commanding a lasting water power are uncommon. It is well known, that western husbandmen almost universally prefer a spring to a well, where they can obtain the one, or the other. Of course, it is considered an essential requisite, in the capability of a tract of land to be settled, that it should have a spring on it. There are, however, large tracts of the richest land is this state so level, as to be incapable of springs; and where the farmers of coarse are obliged to resort to wells.
I embarked a few years since, at Pittsburgh, for Cincinnati, on board of a steam boat — more with a view of realizing the possibility of a speedy return against the current, than in obedience to the call of either business or pleasure. It was a voyage of speculation. I was born on the banks of the Ohio, and the only vessels associated with my early recollections were the canoes of the Indians, which brought to Fort Pitt their annual cargoes of skins and bear's oil. The Flat boat of Kentucky, destined only to float with the current, next appeared; and after many years of interval, the Keel boat of the Ohio, and the Barge of the Mississippi were introduced for the convenience of the infant commerce of the West.
At the period, at which I have dated my trip to Cincinnati, the steam boat had made but few voyages back to Pittsburgh. We were generally skeptics as to its practicability. The mind was not prepared for the change that was about to take place in the West. It is now consummated; and we yet look back with astonishment at the result.
The rudest inhabitant of our forests; — the man whose mind is least of all imbued with a relish for the picturesque — who would gaze with vacant stare at the finest painting — listen with apathy to the softest melody, and turn with indifference from a mete display of ingenious mechanism, is struck with the sublime power and self-moving majesty of a steam boat; — lingers on the shore where it passes — and follows its rapid, and almost magic course with silent admiration. The steam engine in five years has enabled us to anticipate a state of things, which, in the ordinary course of events, it would have required a century to have produced. The art of printing scarcely surpassed it in its beneficial consequences.
In the old world, the places of the greatest interest to the philosophic traveler are ruins, and monuments, that speak of faded splendor, and departed glory. The broken columns of Tadmor — the shapeless ruins of Babylon, are rich in matter for almost endless speculation. Far different is the case in the western regions of America. The stranger views here, with wonder, the rapidity with which cities spring up in forests; and with which barbarism retreats before the approach of art and civilization. The reflection possessing the most intense interest is — not what has been the character of the country, but what shall be her future destiny.
As we coasted along this cheerful scene, one reflection crossed my mind to diminish the pleasure it excited. This was caused by the sight of the ruins of the once splendid mansion of Blennerhassett. I had spent some happy hours here, when it was the favorite residence of taste and hospitality. I had seen it when a lovely and accomplished woman presided — shedding a charm around, which made it as inviting, though not so dangerous, as the island of Calypso; — when its liberal and polished owner made it the resort of every stranger, who had any pretensions to literature or science. I had beheld it again under more inauspicious circumstances: — when its proprietor, in a moment of visionary speculation, had abandoned this earthly paradise to follow an adventurer — himself the dupe of others. A military banditti held possession, acting "by authority." The embellishments of art and taste disappeared beneath the touch of a band of Vandals, and the beautiful domain which presented the imposing appearance of a palace, and which had cost a fortune in the erection, was changed in one night, into a scene of devastation! The chimneys of the house remained for some years — the insulated monument of the folly of their owner, and pointed out to the stranger the place where once stood the temple of hospitality. Drift wood covered the pleasure grounds; and the massive, cut stone, that formed the columns of the gateway, were scattered more widely than the fragments of the Egyptian Memnon.
When we left Pittsburgh, the season was not far advanced in vegetation. But as we proceeded, the change was more rapid than the difference of latitude justified. I had frequently observed this in former voyages: but it never was so striking, as on the present occasion. The old mode of traveling, in the sluggish flat boat seemed to give time for the change of season; but now a few hours carried us into a different climate. We met spring with all her laughing train of flowers and verdure, rapidly advancing from the south. The buck-eye, cotton-wood, and maple, had already assumed, in this region, the rich livery of summer. The thousand varieties of the floral kingdom spread a gay carpet overt, the luxuriant bottoms on each side of the river. The thick woods resounded with the notes of the feathered tribe — each striving to out-do his neighbor in noise, if not in melody. We had not yet reached the region of paroquets; but the clear toned whistle of the cardinal was heard in every bush; and the cat-bird was endeavoring, with its usual zeal, to rival the powers of the more gifted mocking-bird.
A few hours brought us to one of those stopping points, known by the name of "wooding places." It was situated immediately above Letart's Falls. The boat, obedient to the wheel of the pilot, made a graceful sweep towards the island above the chute, and rounding to, approached the wood pile. As the boat drew near the shore, the escape steam reverberated through the forest and hills, like the chafed bellowing of the caged tiger. The root of a tree, concealed beneath the water, prevented the boat from getting sufficiently near the bank, and it became necessary to use the paddles to take a different position.
"Back out! Mannee! and try it again!" exclaimed a voice from the shore. "Throw your pole wide — and brace off — or you'll run against a snag!"
This was a kind of language long familiar to us on the Ohio. It was a sample of the slang of the keel-boatmen.
The speaker was immediately cheered by a dozen of voices from the deck; and I recognized in him the person of an old acquaintance, familiarly known to me from my boyhood. He was leaning carelessly against a large beech; and as his left arm negligently pressed a rifle to his side, presented a figure, that Salvator would have chosen from a million, as a model for his wild and gloomy pencil. His stature was upwards of six feet, his proportions perfectly symmetrical, and exhibiting the evidence of Herculean powers. To a stranger, he would have seemed a complete mulatto. Long exposure to the sun and weather on the lower Ohio and Mississippi had changed his skin; and, but for the tine European cast of his countenance, he might have passed for the principal warrior of some powerful tribe. Although at least fifty years of age, his hair was as black as the wing of the raven. Next to his skin he wore a red flannel shirt, covered by a blue capot, ornamented With white fringe. On his feet were moccasins, and a broad leathern belt, from which hung, suspended in a sheath, a large knife, encircled his waist.
As soon as the steam boat became stationary, the cabin passengers jumped on shore. On ascending the bank, the figure I have just described advanced to offer me his hand.
"How are you, MIKE?" said I.
"How goes it?" replied the boatman — grasping my hand with a squeeze, that I can compare to nothing, but that of a blacksmith's vice.
"I am glad to see you, Mannee !." — continued he in his abrupt manner, "I am going to shoot at the, tin cup for a quart — off hand — and you must be judge."
I understood Mike at once, and on any other occasion, should have remonstrated, and prevented the daring trial of skill. But I was accompanied by a couple of English tourists, who had scarcely ever been beyond the sound of Bow Bells; and who were traveling post over the United States to make up a book of observations, on our manners and customs. There were, also, among the passengers, a few bloods from Philadelphia and Baltimore, who could conceive of nothing equal to Chesnut or Howard streets; and who expressed great disappointment, at not being able to find terrapins and oysters at every village — marvelously lauding the comforts of Rubicurn's. My tramontane pride was aroused; and I resolved to give them an opportunity of seeing a Western Lion — for such Mike undoubtedly was — in all his glory. The philanthropist may start, and accuse me of want of humanity. I deny the charge, and refer for apology to one of the best understood principles of human nature.
Mike, followed by several of his crew, led the way to a beech grove, some little distance from the landing. I invited my fellow passengers to witness the scene. On arriving at the spot, a stout bull-headed boatman, dressed in la hunting shift — but bare-footed — in whom I recognized a younger brother of Mike, drew a line with his toe; and stepping off thirty yards — turned round fronting his brother — took a tin cup, which hung from his belt, and placed it on his head. Although I had seen this feat performed before, I acknowledge, I felt uneasy, whilst this
92silent preparation was going on. But I had not much time for reflection; for this second Albert exclaimed —
"Blaze away, Mike! and let's, have the quart."
My "compagnons de voyage," as soon as they recovered from the first effect of their astonishment, exhibited a disposition to interfere. But Mike, throwing back his left leg, leveled the rifle at the head of his brother. In this horizontal position the weapon remained for some seconds as immoveable, as if the arm which held it, was affected by no pulsation.
"Elevate your piece a little lower, Mike! or you will pay the corn," cried the imperturbable brother.
I know not if the advice was obeyed or not; but the sharp crack of the rifle immediately followed, and the cup flew off thirty or forty yards — rendered unfit for future service. There was a cry of admiration from the strangers, who pressed forward to see, if the fool-hardy boatman was really safe. He remained as immoveable, as if he had been a figure hewn out of stone. He had not even winked, when the ball struck within two inches of his skull.
"Mike has won!" I exclaimed; and my decision was the signal which, according to their rules, permitted him of the target to move from his position. No more sensation was exhibited among the boatmen, than if a common wager had been won. The bet being decided, they hurried back to their boat, giving me and my friends an invitation to partake of "the treat." We declined, and took leave of the thoughtless creatures. In a few minutes afterwards, we observed their "Keel" wheeling into the current, — the gigantic form of Mike, bestriding the large steering oar, and the others arranging themselves in their places in front of the cabin, that extended nearly the whole length of the boat, covering merchandize of immense value. As they left the shore, they gave the Indian yell; and broke out into a sort of unconnected chorus — commencing with —
She moves too slow! —
All the way to Shawneetown,
Long while ago."
In a few moments the boat "took the chute" of Letart's Falls, and disappeared behind the point, with the rapidity of an Arabian courser.
Our travelers returned to the boat, lost in speculation on the scene, and the beings they had just beheld; and, no doubt, the circumstance has been related a thousand times with all the necessary amplifications of finished tourists.
Mike Fink may be viewed, as the correct representative of a class of men now extinct; but who once possessed as marked a character, as that of the Gipsies of England, or the Lazaroni of Naples. The period of their existence was not more than the third of a century. The character was created by the introduction of trade on the Western waters; and ceased with the successful establishment of the steam boat.
There is something inexplicable in the fact, that there could be men found, for ordinary wages, who would abandon the systematic, but not laborious pursuits of agriculture, to follow a life, of all others, except that of the soldier, distinguished by the greatest exposure and privation.
93The occupation of a boatman was more calculated to destroy the constitution, and to shorten life, than any other business. In ascending the river, it was a continued series of toil, rendered more irksome by the snail like rate, at which they moved. The boat was propelled by poles, against which the shoulder was placed; and the whole strength, and skill of the individual were applied in this manner. As the boatmen moved along the running board, with their heads nearly touching the plank on which they walked, the effect produced on the mind of an observer was similar to that, on beholding the ox, rocking before an overloaded cart. Their bodies, naked to their waist for the purpose of moving with greater ease, and of enjoying the breeze of the river, were exposed to the burning suns of summer, and to the rains of autumn. — After a hard day's push, they would take their "fillee," or ration of whiskey, and having swallowed a miserable supper of meat half burnt, and of bread half baked, stretch themselves, without covering, on the deck, and slumber till the steersman's call invited them to the morning "fillee." Notwithstanding this, the boatman's life had charms as irresistible, as those presented by the splendid illusions of the stage. Sons abandoned the comfortable farms of their fathers, and apprentices fled from the service of their masters. There was a captivation in the idea of "going down the river;" and the youthful boatman who had "pushed a keel" from New Orleans, felt all the pride of a young merchant, after his first voyage to an English sea port. From an exclusive association together, they had formed a kind of slang peculiar to themselves; and from the constant exercise of wit, with "the squatters" on shore, and crews of other boats, they acquired a quickness, and smartness of vulgar retort, that was quite amusing. The frequent battles they were engaged in with the boatmen of different parts of the river, and with the less civilized inhabitants of the lower Ohio, and Mississippi, invested them with that ferocious reputation, which has made them spoken of throughout Europe.
On board of the boats thus navigated, our merchants entrusted valuable cargoes, without insurance, and with no other guarantee than the receipt of the steersman, who possessed no property but his boat; and the confidence so reposed was seldom abused.
Among these men, Mike Fink stood an acknowledged leader for many years. Endowed by nature with those qualities of intellect, that give the possessor influence, he would have been a conspicuous member of any society, in which his lot might have been cast. An acute observer of human nature, has said — "Opportunity alone makes the hero. Change but their situations, and Caesar would have been but the best wrestler on the green." With a figure cast in a mould that added much of the symmetry of an Apollo to the limbs of a Hercules, he possessed gigantic strength; and accustomed from an early period of life to brave the dangers of a frontier life, his character was noted for the most daring intrepidity. At the court of Charlemagne, he might have been a Roland; with the Crusaders, he would have been the favorite of the Knight of the Lion-heart; and in our revolution, he would have ranked with the Morgans and Putnams of the day. He was the hero of a hundred fights, and the leader in a thousand daring adventures. From Pittsburgh to St. Louis, and New Orleans, his fame was
94established. Every farmer on the shore kept on good terms with Mike; otherwise, there was no safety for his property. Wherever he was an enemy, like his great prototype, Rob Roy, he levied the contribution of Black Mail for the use of his boat. Often at night, when his tired companions slept, he would take an excursion of five or six miles, and return before morning, rich in spoil. On the Ohio, he was known among his companions by the appellation of the "Snapping Turtle;" and on the Mississippi, he was called "The Snag."
At the early age of seventeen, Mike's character was displayed, by enlisting himself in a corps of Scouts — a body of irregular rangers, which was employed on the North-western frontiers of Pennsylvania, to watch the Indians, and to give notice of any threatened inroad.
At that time, Pittsburgh was on the extreme verge of white population, and the spies, who were constantly employed, generally extended their explorations forty or fifty miles to the west of this post. They went out, singly, lived as did the Indian, and in every respect, became perfectly assimilated in habits, taste, and feeling, with the red men of the desert. A kind of border warfare was kept up, and the scout thought it as praiseworthy to bring in the scalp of a Shawnee, as the skin of a panther. He would remain in the woods for weeks together, using parched corn for bread and depending on his rifle for his meat — and slept at night in perfect comfort, rolled in his blanket.
In this corps, whilst yet a stripling, Mike acquired a reputation for boldness, and cunning, far beyond his companions. A thousand legends illustrate the fearlessness of his character. There was one, which he told, himself, with much pride, and which made an indelible impression on my boyish memory. He had been out on the hills of Mahoning, when, to use his own words, "he saw signs of Indians being about." — He had discovered the recent print of the moccasin on the grass; and found drops of the fresh blood of a deer on the green bush. He became cautious, skulked for some time in the deepest thickets of hazle and briar, and, for several days, did not discharge his rifle. He subsisted patiently on parched corn and jerk, which he had dried on his first coming into the woods. He gave no alarm to the settlements, because he discovered with perfect certainty, that the enemy consisted of a small hunting party, who were receding from the Alleghany.
As he was creeping along one morning, with the stealthy tread of a cat, his eye fell upon a beautiful buck, browsing on the edge of a barren spot, three hundred yards distant. The temptation was too strong for the woodsman, and he resolved to have a shot at every hazard. — Re-priming his gun, and picking his flint, he made his approaches in the usual noiseless manner. At the moment he reached the spot, from which he meant to take his aim, he observed a large savage, intent upon the same object, advancing from a direction a little different from his own. Mike shrunk behind a tree, with the quickness of thought, and keeping his eye fixed on the hunter, waited the result with patience. — In a few moments, the Indian halted within fifty paces, and leveled his piece at the deer. In the meanwhile, Mike presented his rifle at the body of the savage; and at the moment the smoke issued "from the gun of the latter, the bullet of Fink passed through the red man's breast, He uttered a yell, and fell dead at the same instant with the deed.
95Mike reloaded his rifle, and remained in his covert for some minutes, to ascertain whether there were more enemies at hand. He then stepped up to the prostrate savage, and having satisfied himself, that life was extinguished, turned his attention to the buck, and took from the carcase those pieces, suited to the process of jerking.
In the meantime, the country was filling up with a white population: and in a few years the red men, with the exception of a few fractions of tribes, gradually receded to the Lakes and beyond the Mississippi. The corps of Scouts was abolished, after having acquired habits, which unfitted them for the pursuits of civilized society. Some incorporated themselves with the Indians; and others, from a strong attachment to their erratic mode of life, joined the boatmen, then just becoming a distinct class. Among these was our hero, Mink Fink, whose talents were soon developed; and for many years, he was as celebrated on the river of the West, as he had been in the woods.
I gave to my fellow travelers the substance of the foregoing narrative, as we sat on deck by moonlight, and cut swiftly through the magnificent sheet of water between Letart and the Great Kanhawa. It was one of those beautiful nights, which permitted every thing to be seen with sufficient distinctness to avoid danger; — yet created a certain degree of illusion, that gave reins to the imagination. The outline of the river hills lost all its harshness; and the occasional bark of the house dog from the shore, and the distant scream of the solitary loon, gave increased effect to the scene. It was altogether so delightful, that the hours till morning flew swiftly by, whilst our travelers dwelt with rapture on the surrounding scenery, which shifted every moment like the capricious changes of the kaleidoscope — and listening to tales of border warfare, as they were brought to mind, by passing the places where they happened. The celebrated Hunter's Leap,
The afternoon of the next day brought us to the beautiful city of Cincinnati, which, in the course of thirty years, has risen from a village of soldiers' huts to a town, — giving promise of future splendor, equal to any on the sea-board.
Some years after the period, at which I have dated my visit to Cincinnati, business called me to New Orleans. On board of the steam boat, on which I had embarked, at Louisville, I recognized, in the person of the pilot, one of those men, who had formerly been a patron, or keel boat captain. I entered into conversation with him on the subject of his former associates.
"They are scattered in all directions," said he. "A few, who had capacity, have become pilots of steam boats. Many have joined the trading parties that cross the Rocky mountains; and a few have settled down as farmers."
"What has become," I asked, "of my old acquaintance, Mike Fink?"
"Mike was killed in a skrimmage," replied the pilot. "He had
96refused several good offers on steam boats. He said he could not bear the hissing of steam, and he wanted room to throw his pole. He went to the Missouri, and about a year since was shooting the tin cup, when he had corned too heavy. He elevated too low, and shot his companion through the head. A friend of the deceased, who was present, suspecting foul play, shot Mike through the heart, before he had time to reload his rifle."
With Mike Fink expired the spirit of the Boatmen.
On the borders of the Mississippi may be seen the remains of an old French village, which once boasted a numerous population of as happy, and as thoughtless souls, as ever danced to a violin. If content is wealth, as philosophers would fain persuade us, they were opulent; but they would have been reckoned miserably poor by those who estimate worldly riches by the more popular standard. Their houses were scattered in disorder, like the tents of a wandering tribe, along the margin of a deep bayou, and not far from its confluence with the river, between which and the town, was a strip of rich alluvion, covered with a gigantic growth of forest trees. Beyond the bayou was a swamp, — which during the summer heats was nearly dry, but in the rainy season presented a vast lake of several miles in extent. The whole of this morass was thickly set with cypress, whose interwoven branches, and close foilage, excluded the sun, and rendered this as gloomy a spot, as the most melancholy poet ever dreamt of. And yet it was not tenantless — and there were seasons, when its dark recesses were enlivened by notes peculiar to itself. When the mosquitoes came, the monsieurs lighted their pipes, and kept up, not only a brisk fire, but a dense smoke, against the assailants; and when the fever threatened, the priest, who was also the doctor, flourished his lancet, the fiddler flourished his bow, and the happy villagers flourished their heels, and sang, and laughed, and fairly cheated death, disease, and the doctor, of patient and of prey.
Beyond the town, on the other side, was an extensive prairie — a vast unbroken plain of rich green, embellished with innumerable flowers of every tint, and whose beautiful surface presented no other variety than here and there a huge mound — the venerable monument of departed ages, or a solitary tree of stinted growth, shattered by the blast, and pining alone in the gay desert. The prospect was bounded by a range of tall bluffs, which overlooked the prairie, covered at some points with groves of timber, and at others exhibiting their naked sides, or high, bald peaks, to the eye of the beholder. Herds of deer might be seen here at sunrise, slyly retiring to their coverts, after rioting away the night on the rich pasturage. Here the lowing kine lived, if not in clover, at least in something equally nutritious; and here might be seen immense droves of French ponies, roaming untamed, the common stock of the village, ready to be reduced to servitude, by any lady or gentleman, who chose to take the trouble.
With their Indian neighbors, the inhabitants had maintained a cordial intercourse, which had never yet been interrupted by a single act of aggression on either side. It is worthy of remark, that the French have invariably been more successful in securing the confidence and affection of the Indian tribes than any other nation. Others have had leagues with them, which, for a time, have
97been faithfully observed; but the French alone have won them to the familial intercourse of social life, lived with them in the mutual interchange of kindness; and by treating them as friends and equals, gained their entire confidence. This result, which has been attributed to the sagacious policy of their government, is perhaps more owing to the conciliatory manners of that amiable people, and the absence among them of that insatiable avarice, that boundless ambition, that reckless prodigality of human life, that unprincipled disregard of public and solemn leagues, which, in the conquests of the British and the Spaniards, have marked their footsteps with misery, and blood, and desolation.
This little colony was composed partly of emigrants from France, and partly of natives — not Indians — but bona fide French, born in America; but preserving their language, their manners, and their agility in dancing, although several generations had passed away since their first settlement. Here they lived perfectly happy, and well they might, for they enjoyed to the full extent, those three blessings on which our declaration of independence has laid so much stress — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Their lives, it is true, were sometimes threatened by the miasm aforesaid; but this was soon ascertained to be an imaginary danger. For whether it was owing to their temperance, or their cheerfulness, or their activity, or to their being acclimated, or to the want of attraction between French people and fever, or to all these together; certain it is, that they were blessed with a degree of health, only enjoyed by the most favored nations. As to liberty, the wild Indian scarcely possessed more; for although the ‘grand monarque’ had not more loyal subjects in his wide domains, he had never condescended to honor them with a single act of oppression, unless the occasional visits of the Commandant could be so called; who sometimes, when levying supplies, called upon the village for its portion, which they always contributed with many protestations of gratitude for the honor conferred upon them. And as for happiness, they pursued nothing else. Inverting the usual order, to enjoy life was their daily business, to provide for its wants an occasional labor, sweetened by its brief continuance, and its abundant fruit. They had a large tract of land around the village, which was called the "common field," because it belonged to the community. Most of this was allowed to remain in open pasturage; but spots of it were cultivated by any who chose to enclose them; and such enclosure gave a firm title to the individual so long as the occupancy lasted, but no longer. They were not an agricultural people, further than the rearing of a few esculents for the table made them such; relying chiefly on their large herds, and on the produce of the chase for support. — With the Indians they drove an amicable, though not extensive, trade, for furs and peltry; giving them in exchange, merchandize and trinkets, which they procured from their countrymen at St. Louis. To the latter place, they annually carried their skins, bringing back a fresh supply of goods for barter, together with such articles as their own wants required; not forgetting a large portion of finery for the ladies, a plentiful supply of rosin and catgut for the fiddler, and liberal presents for his reverence, the priest.
If this village had no other recommendation, it is endeared to my recollection, as the birth-place and residence, of Monsieur Baptiste Menou, who was one of its principal inhabitants, when I first visited it. He was a bachelor of forty, a tall, lank, hard featured personage, as straight as a ramrod, and almost as thin, with stiff, black hair, sunken cheeks, and a complexion, a tinge darker than that of the aborigines. His person was remarkably erect, his countenance grave, his gait deliberate; and when to all this be added an enormous pair of sable whiskers, it will be admitted that Mons. Baptiste was no insignificant person. He had many estimable qualities of mind and person which endeared him to his friends, whose respect was increased by the fact of his having been a
98soldier and a traveler. In his youth he had followed the French commandant in two campaigns; and not a comrade in the ranks was better dressed, or cleaner shaved on parade than Baptiste, who fought besides with the characteristic bravery of the nation to which he owed his lineage. He acknowledged, however, that war was not as pleasant a business as is generally supposed. Accustomed to a life totally free from constraint, the discipline of the camp ill accorded with his desultory habits. He complained of being obliged to eat, and drink, and sleep, at the call of the drum. Burnishing a gun, and brushing a coat, and polishing shoes, were duties beneath a gentleman, and after all, Baptiste saw but little honor in tracking the wily Indians through endless swamps. Besides he began to have some scruples, as to the propriety of cutting the throats of the respectable gentry whom he had been in the habit of considering as the original and lawful possessors of the soil. He, therefore, proposed to resign, and was surprised when his commander informed him, that he was enlisted for a term, which was not yet expired. He bowed, shrugged his shoulders, and submitted to his fate. He had too much honor to desert, and was too loyal, and too polite, to murmur; but he, forthwith, made a solemn vow to his patron saint, never again to get into a scrape, from which he could not retreat whenever it suited his convenience. It was thought he owed his celibacy in some measure to this vow. He had since accompanied the friendly Indians on several hunting expeditions towards the sources of the Mississippi, and had made a trading voyage to New Orleans. Thus accomplished, he had been more than once called upon by the commandant to act as a guide, or an interpreter; honors which failed not to elicit suitable marks of respect from his fellow villagers; but which had not inflated the honest heart of Baptiste with any unbecoming pride; on the contrary there was not a more modest man in the village.
Honest Baptiste loved a joke, and uttered many, and good ones; but his rigid features refused to smile even at his own wit — a circumstance which I am the more particular in mentioning, as it is not common. He had an orphan niece, whom he had reared from childhood to maturity, — a lovely girl, of whose beautiful complexion, a poet might say, that its roses were cushioned upon ermine. A sweeter flower bloomed not upon the prairie, than Gabrielle Menou. But as she was never afflicted with weak nerves, dyspepsia, or consumption, and had but one avowed lover, whom she treated with uniform kindness, and married with the consent of all parties, she has no claim to be considered as the heroine of this history. That station will be cheerfully awarded by every sensible reader to the more important personage who will be presently introduced.
Across the street, immediately opposite to Mons. Baptiste, lived Mademoiselle Jeanette Duval, a lady who resembled him in some respects, but in many others was his very antipode. Like him, she was cheerful and happy, and single — but unlike him, she was brisk, and fat, and plump. Monsieur was the very pink of gravity; and Mademoiselle was blessed with a goodly portion thereof, but hers was specific gravity. Her hair was dark, but her heart was light, and her eyes, though black, were as brilliant a pair of orbs as ever beamed upon the dreary solitude of a bachelor's heart. Jeanette's heels were as light as her heart, and her tongue as active as her heels, so that notwithstanding her rotundity, she was as brisk a Frenchwoman, as ever frisked through the mazes of a cotillion. To sum her perfections, her complexion was of a darker olive than the genial sun of France confers on her brunettes, and her skin was as smooth and shining, as polished mahogany. Her whole household consisted of herself, and a female negro servant. A spacious garden, which surrounded her house, a pony, and a herd of cattle, constituted, in addition to her personal charms, all the wealth of this amiable spinster. But with these she was rich, as they
99supplied her table without adding much to her cares. Her quadrupeds, according to the example set by their superiors, pursued their own happiness without let or molestation, wherever they could find it — waxing fat or lean, as nature was more or less bountiful in supplying their wants; and when they strayed too far, or when her agricultural labors became too arduous for the feminine strength of herself, and her sable assistant, every monsieur of the village was proud of an occasion to serve Mam'selle. And well they might be, for she was the most notable lady in the village, the life of every party, the soul of every frolic. She participated in every festive meeting, and every sad solemnity. Not a neighbor could get up a dance, or get down a dose of bark, without her assistance. If the ball grew dull, Mam'selle bounced on the floor, and infused new spirit into the weary dancers. If the conversation flagged, Jeanette, who occupied a kind of neutral ground between the young and the old, the married and the single, chatted with all, and loosened all tongues. If the girls wished to stroll in the woods, or romp on the prairie, Mam'selle was taken along to keep off the wolves, and the rude young men; and in respect to the latter, she faithfully performed her office by attracting them around her own person. Then she was the best neighbor, and the kindest soul! She made the richest soup, the clearest coffee, and the neatest pastry in the village; and in virtue of her confectionary was the prime favorite of all the children. Her hospitality was not confined to her own domicile, but found its way in the shape of sundry savory viands, to every table in the vicinity. In the sick chamber she was the most assiduous nurse, her step was the lightest, and her voice the most cheerful — so that the priest must inevitably have become jealous of her skill, had it not been for divers plates of rich soup, and bottles of cordial, with which she conciliated his favor, and purchased absolution for these and other offences.
Baptiste and Jeanette were the best of neighbors. He always rose at the dawn, and after lighting his pipe, sallied forth into the open air, where Jeanette usually made her appearance at the same time; for there was an emulation of long standing between them, which should be the earliest riser.
"Bon jour! Mam'selle Jeanette," was his daily salutation.
"Ah! bon jour! bon jour! Mons. Menou," was her daily reply.
Then as he gradually approximated the little paling, which surrounded her door, he hoped Mam'selle was well this morning, and she reiterated the kind enquiry, but with increased emphasis. Then Monsieur enquired after Mam'selle's pony, and Mam'selle's cow, and her garden, and every thing appertaining to her, real, personal and mixed; and she displayed a corresponding interest in all concerns of her kind neighbor. These discussions were mutually beneficial. If Mamselle's cattle ailed, or if her pony was guilty of any impropriety, who so able to advise her as Mons. Baptiste; and if his plants drooped, or his poultry died, who so skilful in such matters as Mam'selle Jeanette. Sometimes Baptiste forgot his pipe in the superior interest of the "tete a tete," and must needs step in to light it at Jeanett's fire, which caused the gossips of the village to say, that he purposely let his pipe go out, in order that he might himself go in. But he denied this, and indeed, before offering to enter the dwelling of Mam'selle on such occasions, he usually solicited permission to light his pipe at Jeanette's sparkling eyes, a compliment at which, although it had been repeated some scores of times, Mam'selle never failed to laugh and curtesy, with great good humour and good breeding.
It cannot be supposed that a bachelor of so much discernment could long remain insensible to the galaxy of charms which centered in the person of Mam'selle Jeanette; and accordingly, it was currently reported that a courtship of some ten years standing had been slyly conducted on his part, and as cunningly eluded on hers. It was not averred that Baptiste had actually gone the fearful
100length of offering his hand, or that Jeanette had been so imprudent as to discourage, far less reject, a lover of such respectable pretensions. But there was thought to exist a strong hankering on the part of the gentleman, which the lady had managed so skillfully as to keep his mind in a kind of equilibrium, like that of the patient animal between the two bundles of hay — so that he would sometimes halt in the street, midway between the two cottages, and cast furtive glances, first at the one, and then at the other, as if weighing the balance of comfort; while the increasing volumes of smoke which issued from his mouth, seemed to argue that the fire of his love had other fuel than tobacco, and was literally consuming the inward man.
Such was the situation of affairs, when I first visited this village, about the time of the cessation of "Louisiana to the United States. The news of that event had just reached this sequestered spot, and was but indifferently relished. Independently of the national attachment, which all men feel, and the French so justly, the inhabitants of this region had reason to prefer to all others the government, which had afforded them protection without constraining their freedom, or subjecting them to any burdens; and with the kindest feelings towards the Americans, they would willingly have dispensed with any nearer connexion, than that which already existed. They, however, said little on the subject; and that little was expressive of their cheerful acquiescence in the honor done them by the American people, in buying the country, which the Emperor had done them the honor to sell.
It was on the first day of the Carnival, that I arrived in the village, about sunset, seeking shelter only for the night, and intending to proceed on my journey in the morning. The notes of the violin, and the groups of gaily attired people who thronged the street, attracted my attention, and induced me to inquire the occasion of this merriment. My host informed me that a "King ball" was to be given at the house of a neighbor, adding the agreeable intimation, that strangers were always expected to attend without invitation. Young and ardent, little persuasion was required, to induce me to change my dress, and hasten to the scene of festivity. The moment I entered the room, I felt that I was Welcome. Not a single look of surprise, not a glance of more than ordinary attention, denoted me as a stranger, or an unexpected guest. The gentlemen nearest the door, bowed as they opened a passage for me through the crowd, in which for a time I mingled, apparently unnoticed. At length, a young gentleman adorned with a large nosegay approached me, invited me to join the dancers, and after inquiring my name, introduced me to several females, among whom I had no difficulty in selecting a graceful partner. I was passionately fond of dancing, so that readily imbibing the joyous spirit of those around me, I advanced rapidly in their estimation. The native ease and elegance of the females, reared in the wilderness, and unhacknied in the forms of society, surprised and delighted me, as much as the amiable frankness of all classes. By and by, the dancing ceased, and four young ladies of exquisite beauty, who had appeared during the evening to assume more consequence than the others, stood alone on the floor. For a moment their arch glances wandered over the company who stood silently around, when one of them advancing to a young gentleman led him into the circle and taking a large bouquet from her own bosom, pinned it upon the left breast of his coat, and pronounced him "KING!" The gentleman kissed his fair elector, and led her to a seat. Two others were selected almost at the same moment. The fourth lady hesitated for an instant, then advancing to the spot where I stood, presented me her hand, led me forward, and placed the symbol on my breast, before I could recover from the surprise into which the incident had thrown me. I regained my presence of mind, however, in time to salute my lovely consort; and never did king enjoy with
101rnore delight, like the first fruits of his elevation — for the beautiful Gabrielle, with whom I had just danced, and who had so unexpectedly raised me, as it were, to the purple, was the freshest and fairest flower in this gay assemblage.
This ceremony was soon explained to me. On the first day of the Carnival, four self-appointed kings, having selected their queens, give a ball, at their own proper costs, to the whole village. In the course of that evening, the queens select, in the manner described, the kings for the ensuing day, who choose their queens, in turn, by presenting the nosegay and the kiss. This is repeated every evening in the week; — the kings for the time being, giving the ball at their own expense; and all the inhabitants attending without invitation. On the morning after each ball, the kings of the preceding evening make small presents to their late queens, and their temporary alliance is dissolved. Thus commenced my acquaintance with Gabrielle Menou, who, if she cost me a few sleepless nights, amply repaid me in the many happy hours, for which I was indebted to her friendship.
I remained several weeks at this hospitable village. Few evenings passed without a dance, at which all were assembled, young and old; the mothers vying in agility with their daughters, and the old men setting examples of gallantry to the young. I accompanied their young men to the Indian towns, and was hospitably entertained. I followed them to the chace, and witnessed the fall of many a noble buck. In their light canoes, I glided over the turbid waters of the Mississippi, or through the labyrinths of the morass, in pursuit of water fowl. I visited the mounds, where the bones of thousands of warriors were mouldering, overgrown with prairie violets, and thousands of nameless flowers. I saw the mocasin snake basking in the sun, the elk feeding on the prairie; and returned to mingle in the amusements of a circle, where, if there was not Parisian elegance, there was more than Parisian cordiality.
Several years passed away before I again visited this country. The jurisdiction of the American government was now extended over this immense region, and its beneficial effects were beginning to be widely disseminated. The roads were crowded with the teams, and herds, and families of emigrants, hastening to the land of promise. Steam boats navigated every stream, the axe was heard in every forest, and the plough broke the sod whose verdure had covered the prairie for ages.
It was sunset when I reached the margin of the prairie, on which the village is situated. My horse, weaned with along day's travel, sprung forward with new vigor, when his hoof struck the smooth, firm road which led across the plain. It was a narrow path, winding among the tall grass, now tinged with the mellow hues of autumn. I gazed with delight over the beautiful surface. The mounds, and the solitary trees, were there, just as I had left them, and they were familiar to my eye as the objects of yesterday. It was eight miles across the prairie, and I had not passed half the distance, when night set in. I strained my eyes to catch a glimpse of the village, but two large mounds, and a clump of trees, which intervened, defeated my purpose. I thought of Gabrielle, and Jeanette, and Baptiste, and the priest — the fiddles, dances, and French ponies; and fancied every minute an hour, and every foot a mile, which separated me from scenes, and persons, so deeply impressed on my imagination.
At length, I passed the mounds, and beheld the lights twinkling in the village, now about two miles off, like a brilliant constellation in the horizon. The lights seemed very numerous — I thought they moved; and at last discovered, that they were rapidly passing about. "What can be going on m the village?" thought I — then a strain of music met my ear — "they are going to dance," said I, striking my spurs into my jaded nag, "and I shall see all my friends together." — But as I drew near, a volume of sounds burst upon me, such as defied all
102conjecture. Fiddles, flutes and tambourines, drums, cow-horns, tin trumpets, and kettles, mingled their discordant notes with a strange accompaniment of laughter, shouts, and singing. This singular concert proceeded from a mob of men and boys, who paraded through the streets, preceded by one who blew an immense tin horn, and ever and anon shouted, "Cha-ri-va-ry! Charivary!" to which the mob responded "Charivary!" I now recollected to have heard of a custom which prevails among the American French, of serenading at the marriage of a widow or widower, with such a concert as I now witnessed; and I rode towards the crowd, who had halted before a well known door, to ascertain who were the happy parties.
"Charivary!" shouted the leader.
"Pour qui?" said another voice.
"Pour Mons. Baptiste Menou, il est marie!"
"Avec Mam'selle Jeanette Duval — Charivary!"
"Charivary!" shouted the whole company, and a torrent of music poured from the full band — tin kettles, cow-horns and all.
The door of the little cabin, whose hospitable threshold, I had so often crossed, now opened, and Baptiste made his appearance — the identical, lank, sallow, erect personage, with whom I had parted several years before, with the same pipe in his mouth. His visage was as long, and as melancholy as ever; except that there was a slight tinge of triumph in its expression, and a bashful casting down of the eye, reminding one of a conqueror, proud but modest in his glory. He gazed with an embarrassed air at the serenaders, bowed repeatedly, as if conscious that he was the hero of the night — and then exclaimed,
"For what you make this charivaryl"
"Charivary!" shouted the mob; and the tin trumpets gave an exquisite flourish.
"Gentlemen!" expostulated the bridegroom, "for why you make this charivary for me? I have never been marry before — and Mam'selle Jeanette has never been marry before?"
Roll went the drum! — cow-horns, kettles, tin trumpets and fiddles poured forth volumes of sound, and the mob shouted in unison.
"Gentlemen! pardonnez moi — " supplicated the distressed Baptiste. "If I understand dis custom, which have long prevail vid us, it is vat I say — ven a gentilman, who has been marry before, shall marry de second time — or ven a lady have de misfortune to loose her husban, and be so happy to marry some odder gentilman, den we make de charivary — but 'tis not so wid Mam'selle Du-val and me. Upon my honor we have never been marry before dis time!"
"Why Baptiste" said one "you certainly have been married and have a daughter grown."
"Oh, excuse me sir! Madame St. Marie is my niece, I have never been so happy to be marry, until Mam'selle Duval have do me dis honneur."
"Well, well! its all one. If you have not been married, you ought to have been, long ago: — and might have been, if you had said the word."
"Ah, gentilmen, you mistake."
"No, no! there's no mistake about it. Mam'selle Jeanette would have had you ten years ago, if you had asked her."
"You flatter too much" said Baptiste, shrugging his shoulders; — and finding there was no means of avoiding the charivary, he with great good humor accepted the serenade, and according to custom invited the whole party into his house.
I retired to my former quarters, at the house of an old settler — a, little, shriveled, facetious Frenchman, whom I found in his red flannel night cap, smoking his pipe, and seated like Jupiter in the midst of clouds of his own creating.
"Merry doings in the village!" said I, after we had shaken hands.
"Eh, bien! Mons. Baptiste is marry to Mam'selle Jeanette."
"I see the boys are making merry on the occasion."
"Ah Sacre! de dem boy! they have play hell to night."
"Indeed! how so?"
"For make dis charivary — dat is how so, my friend. Dis come for have d'Americain government to rule de countrie. Parbleu! they make charivary for de old rnaid, and de old bachelor!"
I now found, that some of the new settlers, who had witnessed this ludicrous ceremony, without exactly understanding its application, had been foremost in promoting the present irregular exhibition, in conjunction with a few degenerate French, whose love of fun outstripped their veneration for their ancient usages. The old inhabitants, although they joined in the laugh, were nevertheless not a little scandalized at the innovation. Indeed they had good reason to be alarmed; for their ancient customs, like their mud-walled cottages, were crumbling to ruins around them, and every day destroyed some vestige of former years.
Upon enquiry, I found that many causes of discontent had combined to embitter the lot of my simple hearted friends. Their ancient allies, the Indians, had sold their hunting grounds, and their removal deprived the village of its only branch of commerce. Surveyors were busily employed in measuring off the whole country, with the avowed intention on the part of the government, of converting into private property those beautiful regions, which had heretofore been free to all who trod the soil, or breathed the air. Portions of it were already thus occupied. Farms and villages were spreading over the country with alarming rapidity, deforming the face of nature, and scaring the elk and the buffalo from their long frequented ranges. Yankees and Kentuckians were pouring in, bringing with them the selfish distinctions, and destructive spirit of society. Settlements were planted in the immediate vicinity of the village; and the ancient heritage of the ponies, was invaded by the ignoble beasts of the interlopers. Certain pregnant indications of civil degeneration were alive in the land. A county had been established, with a judge, a clerk, and a sheriff; a court-house and jail were about to be built; two lawyers had already made a lodgement at the county-seat; and a number of justices of the peace, and constables, were dispersed throughout a small neighborhood of not more than fifty miles in extent. A brace of physicians had floated in with the stream of population, and several other persons of the same cloth were seen passing about, brandishing their lancets in the most hostile manner. The French argued very reasonably from all these premises, that a people who brought their own doctors expected to be sick, and that those who commenced operations, in a new country, by providing so many engines, and officers of justice, must certainly intend to be very wicked and litigious. Bat when the new comers went the fearful length of enrolling them in the militia, when the sheriff arrayed in all the terrors of his office, rode into the village, and summoned them to attend the court as jurors; when they heard the Judge enumerate to the grand jury the long list of offences, which fell within their cognizance, these good folks shook their heads, and declared that this was no longer a country for them.
From that time the village began to depopulate. Some of its inhabitants followed the footsteps of the Indians, and continue to this day to trade between them and the whites, forming a kind of link between civilized and savage men. A larger portion, headed by the priest, floated down the Mississippi, to seek congenial society among the sugar plantations of their countrymen in the South. They found a pleasant spot, on the margin of a large bayou, whose placid stream was enlivened by droves of alligators, sporting their innocent gambols on its surface. Swamps, extending in every direction, protected them from further
104intrusion. Here a new village arose, and a young generation of French was born, as happy and as careless, as that which is passing away.
Baptiste alone adhered to the soil of his fathers, and Jeanette in obedience to her marriage vow, cleaved to Baptiste. He sometimes talked of following his clan, but when the hour came, he could never summon fortitude to pull up his stakes. He had passed so many happy years of single blessedness in his own cabin and had been so long accustomed to view that of Jeanette, with a wistful eye, that they had become necessary to his happiness. Like other idle bachelors, he had had his day-dreams, pointing to future enjoyment. He had been for years planning the junction of his domains with those of his fair neighbor; had arranged how the fences were to intersect, the fields to be enlarged, and the whole to be managed by the thrifty economy of his partner. All these plans were now about to be realized; and he wisely concluded, that he could smoke his pipe, and talk to Jeanette, as comfortably here as elsewhere; and as he had not danced for many years, and Jeanette was growing rather too corpulent for that exercise, he reasoned that even the deprivation of the fiddles, and king balls, could be borne. Jeanette loved comfort too; but having besides a, sharp eye for the main chance, was governed by a deeper policy. By a prudent appropriation of her own savings, and those of her husband, she purchased from the emigrants, many of the fairest acres in the village, and thus secured an ample property.
A large log house has since been erected in the space between the cottages of Baptiste and Jeanette, which form wings to the main building, and are carefully preserved in remembrance of old times. All the neighboring houses have fallen down; and a few heaps of rubbish surrounded by corn fields shew where they stood. All is changed, except the two proprietors, who live here in ease and plenty, exhibiting in their old age, the same amiable character which in early life, won for them the respect and love of their neighbors, and of each other.