Letters from Alabama
Various Subjects:

To Which is Added,
an Appendix.
Sundry Members of the 20th & 21st Congress,
and other
High Characters, &c. &c.
at the Seat of Government.

In One Volume.

By Anne Royall.
Author of Sketches, &c. in the United States, Tennesseean, Black-Book, &c.

Washington 18301830.


District of Columbia, to wit:

Be it remembered, that on the 1829-12-19nineteenth day of December, in the A rectangle of asterisks (four lines high) with the word “Seal.” centered inside. (The seal in question is not visibly affixed or embossed.)Seal.
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine, and of
the independence of the United States of America, the fifty-fourth
Ann Royall, of the said District, has deposited in the Office of the
Clerk of the District Court for the District of Columbia, the title of a
Book, the right whereof she claims as author, in the words following, to wit:

“Letters from Alabama on various subjects: to which is added, an Appendix, containing
Remarks on sundry Members of the 20th and 21st Congress, and other High
Characters, &c. &c., at the Seat of Government. In one volume.
By Anne Royall,
author or Sketches, &c. in the United States, Tennesseean, Black-Book, &c.”

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled An act
for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books,
to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned.
also to the act, entitled An act supplementary to an act, entitled An act for the
encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to
the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned.
extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical
and other Prints.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed
the public seal of my Office, the day and year aforesaid.

Edm. L. Lee,
Clerk of the District Court for the District of Columbia


To the Public.

The following letters were written some time back, taking
in a period of four to five years, during various tours to the
South. They were to have appeared five years since, but,
unfortunately, were lost, and only recovered a few months
since. They were often mentioned in the Newspapers, and
are doubtless recollected by many who subscribed for the work.
They are brought down to 18221822.

1(2)v 1(3)r

Letters from Alabama, &c.

Letter I.

Dear Matt,

I lament your absence from Charlestown, at the time
my setting out; yet perhaps it is better so, expecially as it was
not in your power to transact the business with S――. On
my arrival here, I sent for Mr. Ladely, who very politely undertook
to execute the business without delay; but how you
are to get the papers in time, Heaven only knows. I must
leave it to chance. You say you are going to Ohio to spend
the winter—for your health, I presume—better go to North
, or any southern climate. Go to bed early, and rise
betimes in the morning. You ruin your health by setting up
late. Hang the cards, they are to be your ruin: I never knew
any good come of them. They will, if you persist in them,
cost you your health, reputation, perhaps your life! Cards
subject you to bad company and bad hours. What is worse?
Oh, M. quit them—pursue something more worthy of yourself.

But I see I must quit writing. Mr. L. and myself are
both sitting at one table, and trying to write; but we shall have
to give it up. The room we are in, which is the family apartment,
was occupied when I came in, by two or three rough looking
men. They had been drinking, and were disputing on politics
when I entered. When Mr. L. and myself sat down to write, I
thought they would take the hint; but no! here they sit. I suspect
they must be some of the consequentials of the neighborhood,
as they are suffered to occupy the sanctum sanctorum 1(3)v 6
of the landlady, to the groast molestation of the guests. They
have begun on the scriptures now, and a fight, I suspect, will
break up the debate. Strange! how the sacred writings are
abused by the misguided vulgar. How absurd! and yet how
common! You will scarcely see two or three persons together
who do not engage in disputes about the scriptures; and yet no
subject is so little calculated to sustain contradiction. One
party always, and often both, fall into a rage. Were the
scriptures given for this? But some will say “it is our privilege
to talk in a free country.”
True—but not to quarrel!
I never knew any good, but on the contrary much harm, flow
from these disputes: neither is this practice confined to drunkards
over their cups: sober, but narrow minded religious
sects are addicted to it; and it is always found to present most
amongst those who practice the duties of the Christian religion
least. As there is no surer mark of an evil disposed female,
or want of virtue, than to hear her defame her own sex; so
there can be no stronger evidence of a hypocrite than to hear
him rail at other sects than that to which he belongs: and I
should want no better proof of his being every thing but a
Christian. The Christian religion does not consist in vain
disputes and idle talk, but in the practice of its precepts. I
have never heard any of these sectarians dispute the privelege
of relieving the distressed. The idea of such a dispute never
entered their heads or hearts.

I find Mr. L. a man of much patience. I confess I must
yield to him the victory. He is certainly a modest as well as
a very pleasant man. Dear M. I must retire to rest. God
bless you! Pray take care of your health.

Yours, truly.

N. B. You shall have the papers by Tuesday, if possible.

Letter II.

Dear Matt,

Here I am, safe and sound, in defiance of wind and weather,
bad roads, and all. To use the common phrase, very little 1(4)r 7
worth your attention has occured since I wrote to you from
Cabell. I had not proceeded a mile on my way the next morning,
before I was met by a gentleman riding on horseback, and
alone. This was the thing I wished, provided he was going
so far as your town; but from the stranger’s appearance, I had
little hope of that. He was without any thing that might indicate
a journey of any distance. He was thinly clad, without
portmanteau or saddle bags, and even without a great coat,
although it had snowed during the night, and the morning was
intensely cold. He addressed me with the easy politeness of a
gentleman, and inquired how far it was to town, meaning Cabell
Court House
, and also how far it was to Charlestown?
My heart leaped for joy on hearing the last interrogatory. After
giving him the desired information on each of his inquiries,
“Are you going to Charlestown, Sir,” said I, drawing forth
my packet from my pocket. He replied in the affirmative.
“Will you be so good then,” I asked, “as to take charge of this
packet and deliver it there?”
He kindly assented, observing
that he would execute my commands with pleasure. All this
was the business of the moment; but no sooner had he disposed
of the packet, and we were about to separate, than I repented
my rashness in confiding so much in a stranger, and thought
it might not be amiss to inquire for his place of residence. But
what was my astonishment, when he told me he lived in Scotland;
but that, at present, he was going to Canada. “At any
rate, Sir,”
said I, “you have the deportment of a gentleman,
and I will venture to trust you.”
“Fear me not,” said he,
“I will not deceive you.” We bowed to each other and separated.
You are in a poor trim, thought I, for a journey to
Canada at this season, as he parted from me shivering with
the cold.

At the distance of a mile from the place of our meeting,
I met three men riding with led horses, heavy laden. They
were muffled up in great coats, cloaks, &c. I concluded they
belonged to the gentleman ahead, probably his suite; which I
found to be the fact. You will have heard, ere this, that this
great personage was Lord Selkirk. On the second night after
parting with his Lordship, we—I say we, for the companions 1(4)v 8
of my journey found me at Big Sandy River—we stopped for
the night at an Inn kept by old Mr. Clack. Here I learned
the name and quality of the Scottish Lord; and I could not but
blame myself for the liberty I had takenwith his Lordship.
Yet what the plague could he be poking about our wild hills
and mountains for? And how was I to know that he was a foreign
dignitary? Indeed, he had more the appearance of an
out-rider, in the way I met him, than any thing else.

Old Mr. Clack informed us, that Lord Selkirk put up at
his house, as he went on—that he was on his return from a tour
of three years, which were spent in exploring the western
country bordering on the Pacific—and that his suite consisted
of his Physician, his Secretary and his servant. These were
the three men I met in the rear of his Lordship. These particulars
Mr. C. collected from the servant, without the knowlege
of his superiors, who maintained the strictest silence on
the subject of their journey. Mr. C. stated, that his Lordship’s
domestics behaved with the greatest humility towards
him, never presuming to sit in his presence, nor to eat until
he had finished his meal—for the rest, he ate a great many eggs,
ten or fourteen at a meal; wrote to a late hour at night; and
slept under a great many blankets between his own sheets.

The fears of Mrs. Clack, on account of the Earl, afforded
us much amusement. She said he must harbor some bad design
against the country—that was certain: “for,” said she,
“he must be a Jew, or a Turk, or a Tory, or some outlandish
animal; for, because, whenever my old man would go out, he
would always be a axin me how many neighbors I had, how
many were in each family, and how far distant the country
was inhabited around us; but, whenever my old man came in,
he would just be as still as a mouse!”
We endeavored to remove
the old lady’s fears, by assuring her that little danger
was to be apprehended from his Lordship. I have since learned
that his motive in visiting the west, was to seek an asylum
for his poorer countrymen.

Yours, &c.

2(1)r 9

Letter III.

Dear Matt,

I intend to spend a few days in this town, or city, whatever
it he called. I have seen but little of it yet. Should I
describe it to you, it would be too much like repeating “a
thrice told tale.”
The country around it is well situated—
beautiful in the extreme, and in a state of high cultivation.
The first three days of my journey, after entering Kentucky,
presented no variety, the soil and face of the country being
nearly the same from Big Sandy River to Mount Sterling,
about ninety miles. The surface is very uneven, covered with
heavy timber, and thinly inhabited; but on approaching Mount
, you are suddenly transported, as it were, into another
world. The face of the country assumes a new appearance,
the soil and its productions differing entirely from the preceding.
It is not in the power of imagination to paint the contrast,
which you behold on emerging from the gloomy, lonesome
woods into open day. The light, which was hitherto excluded
by the lofty timber, rushes upon you in an instant; and
you find yourself in a soil, rich indeed, but the growth of timber,
which principally consists of locust, cherry-tree, and
black-walnut, is low and small, and the trees universally terminate
abruptly from a large base to a diminutive top, although
they have wide spreading branches. The fruit trees on the
Kenhawa equal them in height: they are thinly scattered over
the ground. Such is the face of the country from Mount Sterling
to this place, and it is said to extend to Danville in this
state. The farmers give their attention chiefly to the raising
of Indian corn and tobacco, though other vegetables are produced
in plenty and in great perfection. But with these subjects,
as well as most others, relative to the manufactures and
produce of Kentucky, you are much better acquainted with
than I am.

You have often heard it stated, that a solid rock of limestone
runs beneath the surface of the earth here. This is not
generally the fact; it only exists in what is called old Kentucky,2 2(1)v 10
meaning that part of the state, which extends from Mount
to Danville, and which, I presume, was the first settled.
This rock is said to be at unequal distances from the surface,
from two and a half to four feet. To this circumstance may
be ascribed the diminutive growth of the timber. As I rode
through the country from Mount Sterling to this place, I observed
that the sugar trees were dead. Upon inquiry into the
cause of this novel appearance, I was informed that they were
killed by a worm, which attacks the leaves and boughs with
such avidity, and in such numbers, that they succeed in destroying
the tree; and having despatched the sugar trees, it had
begun the same process on all others, except the walnut, which
it has never yet been known to touch.

Dr. Claud has called to see me, and I must conclude.

Yours, &c.

Letter IV.

Dear Matt,

If you are a rich man, says Goldsmith, you may enter a
room with three loud hems!—march deliberately up to the
chimney—and turn your back to the fire. If you are a poor
man, shrink into the room as fast as possible, and seat yourself,
as usual, on the corner of a chair in a remote part of the
room. I omitted the relation of an anecdote of a poor Irish
traveller, whom we met at Licking: it will cure you of the

It was dark, it was cold, it was raining—when we entered
a tolerable Inn on the bank of Licking river. We had
scarcely seated ourselves by a welcome fire, when some one
batted the house from the opposite shore. The landlord stepped
out, answered the call, and in a few minutes returned,
ushering in a man all dripping with water. We made room
for him to approach the fire; but he declined seating himself
amongst us, and retreating into the chimney corner, seated 2(2)r 11
himself, not on one corner, but on the edge of a chair. All
eyes were turned towards him. How common, and yet how
ungenteel—nay, how uncivil—to embarrass a poor, unfortunate
stranger! How apt we are to do the very thing we would wish
not to have done unto us! It is cruel to stare a poor creature
out of countenance only because he is a stranger, and differing
from outselves only in his outward appearance, while his modest,
downcast look, tacitly disclose his superior manners.

Poor Paddy, for an Irishman he was, replied to the inquires
of the guests, respecting his unpleasant trim, “that his
horse was after trowing him in the wather: by the powers
he niver was witter in his life. And I wish,”
continued he,
“I wasn’t safe at ome, in old Patrick O’Brian’s to night. I
wouldn’t be here, so I wouldn’t. Do, if you plase, landlord,
give us a gill of whiskey.”
By this time, the landlord, of his
own accord, had appeared with a glass of spirits. “Och, long
life to your honor,”
cried Paddy: “here’s wishing you may
live all the days of your life, so I do.”
On being urged to
change his clothes, he replied—“indeed, and I haven’t a clean
rag at all, at all; and so I will just sit here and dry myself by
this good fire, and never mind—and I ought to go and see that
Gin has her meat, poor bayst! She is the swaytest craycher
in the world, for all she trow’d me in the pool; but ’twasn’t her
fault, for the saddle fill in first, and then you know, she couldn’t
help that.”
The landlord begged him to make himself easy,
and he would see that Gin should have a plentiful supper.

One of our party asked him, if he had travelled far: “Och!
indeed, I have then,”
said he; “I’ve been all the way to the
Orleans among the agues, and the fayvers, and the miskeetoes,
where they make sugar out of dare cane, and grind it in dare
mills, wid dare nagurs. It is mesilf that had the ague, tree
long monts and nine days; an all the time I lay flat o’me back,
an the fayver shakin the skin traugt the bones, an not a christian
craycher anigh me to give me a drink, but the doctor, and
an old woman to wait on me. And there I lay spaychless, all
the time talkin all the nonsense; an if I ever live to get home
to Ireland again, it will never be me that will come to this
here country again—if I do, my name isn’t Dennis O’Brian. 2(2)v 12
Many’s the time I’d say to the doctor, doctor, says I, I can’t
stand it much longer, so jist lit me alone, an lit me die in
payce, for the miskeetoes is aytin me up, any way, Says the
doctor to me, ‘Dennis,’ says he, ‘have patience, you’ll be
well by and bye, and so—’”
He would have run on till now,
had he not been interrupted by the entrance of two more travelers;
and in a short time afterwards supper was announced.

We all arose to go to supper. Poor Dennis arose very
slowly, apparently hesitating whether he ought to advance or
not. One of our party tarried behind the company, waiting
for him. Finding he was about to decline the summons, he
asked, if he would not walk in and take supper with us. “Och!
may the blessings attend you for that, for I havn’t broke my
fast on mayt to day, but I hated to be afther aytin wid gentlefolks;
an I have but little money too, for I give the last dollar
I had away to a poor woman that I met in the road a walkin.”

“Come along, sir,” said the gentleman, “You are as good
as we are.”
The kindess of this address made his eyes
sparkle, and he took the precedence, which the gentleman gave
him, in walking before him to the supper room—exclaiming,
“God forbid I should ever be half so good as your honor.”

During supper, and long after, he entertained us with a
history of his travels from New York to Pittsburg, thence to
New Orleans, and last of all from Ireland to America: not,
however without the assistance of another glass of whiskey
and a great number of says I’s and says he’s. Long before he
closed his narrative, I went to bed, and fell asleep; and I know
not how long it was before I was awakened by some one who
was singing. It was our Hibernian, beguiling his sorrows with
a song. Happy man! Is he not to be envied? thought I. In
my opinion, much more than he who possesses thousands.

Yours, &c.

Letter V.

Dear Matt,

I shall leave Lexington after breakfast. In the mean
time, you will expect to hear something of this town. Although 2(3)r 13
I have been here two days, I have learned but little concerning
it, having been confined most of the time. In size and population,
it is such as it has been described: and is the largest
town I ever saw. The first thing that strikes the eye of a
stranger, is its white houses, gates, and posts (which last are
very large) and the great activity in the streets—many people,
carriages, &c. moving in all directions. Here are, also, very
extensive Rope Walks. I have not visited any of the manufacturing
houses in Lexington, but I have been told they are in a
flourishing condition. Of the market, I say nothing, as the
cheapness, variety, and abundance of its supplies have been so
often proclaimed by others.

I am informed that the citizens of Lexington are remarkable
for their benevolence and humanity to the distressed of all
descriptions, particularly to poor emigrants, who pass through
their town. In no part of the United States, perhaps, do the
unfortunate meet with more compassion than in Lexington.
This is a noble trait in their character. I found, however, one
exception in the person of Mr. Keen (I think his name is,) a
vain, impertinent upstart. It contains about 5,000 inhabitants,
who are genteel and hospitable. But my horses are ready,
and I must conclude abruptly.

Yours, &c.

Letter VI.

Dear Matt,

We arrived here without meeting with any accident. This
place is situate in the barrens of Kentucky, and is a handsome
village. These barrens are almost destitute of timber. The
soil, however, is very rich, and produces crops equal to any in
the state: it is of a black color, tinged with red. Black Jack
abounds on these barrens, and serves the inhabitants for fire
wood; but it is not sufficient to defend them against the beams
of the sun in summer, nor shield them from the cold blasts 2(3)v 14
of winter—neither can it furnish rails for fencing; and the inhabitants
are obliged to procure timber for this purpose, and
also for building elsewhere at considerable expense. These
barrens are but poorly watered, being destitute of springs;
and the inhabitants have to supply the deficiency by digging
wells. I am informed that the scenery, in summer, is beautiful,
being varigated with flowers of the richest hue, and clothed
with a coat of most luxuriant grass.

I was considerably amused this evening, in listening to a
conversation which took place in the room where I was sitting.
There were present five persons—I made the sixth: two doctors
of physic, one lawyer, one old farmer, and one of your
dandies. For myself, I sat a silent spectator. The subject
of disputation arose from the circumstance of a burning coal
of fire flying, by accident, into Doctor E’s bosom, as the servant
threw a log of wood with much force on the fire. This
instantly called up the two great properties of all bodies, denominated
by philosophers the power of attraction and repulsion.
After dwelling some time on these points, they glided,
imperceptibly, into the proofs of chymical affinity, At this period chymistry was all the go in the west. by exhibiting
in full array the different experiments—such as exposure of
phosporus to the action of the atmosphere, muriate of ammonia
and carbonate of magnesia, muriate of soda and sulphate of
magnesia, ardent spirits and a solution of salt and water, the
attraction between mercury and oxygen gas upon being exposed
to the common temperature of the atmosphere.

The conversation (which was all Greek to me) was interrupted
by the old farmer who exclaimed, “Oh, d—n your
oxen and grass, Dick; its all nonsense—better come and take
some grog, gentlemen, and let us go to supper. What do you
think your aunt Patty will do to night, Dick; hey!”
“I suppose,
sir, she will guess at the truth, and conclude that you
could not accomplish your business in time to return home.—
I think you may make yourself easy, uncle, and enjoy yourself
with your friends.”
We discovered that one of the young
champions was the old gentleman’s nephew; and that modest
and respectful deportment, which he manifested towards him,
inspired the guests with an exalted opinion of his merit.

2(4)r 15

The old gentleman having drunk his grog and recommended
his example to the other guests, supper was announced,
and we arose and followed the landlord to the supper-room.
After we were seated, the old farmer, who had listened attentively
to the illustrations of chymistry, without attempting to
join in the conversation, was the first person, who spoke, delivering
himself as follows: “I tell you what, Dick, I don’t
understand none of your high flowing words, see, about this
chymistry, nor your paresses and rats, and magnitudes, and
all that are stuff. I don’t see that any of you can get along
any better than I do, with all your larnin, and I never knowed
nothing about ’em.”
The young gentleman’s face colored
with a deep blush, and he replied: “You deserve much credit,
sir, for that success, which has distinguished your industry
and skill as a farmer, which has not only secured to yourself
an easy independence, but has furnished you with the means of
gratifying that liberality and benevolence, for which you are
so justly celebrated.”
“Oh, now hold your tongue about
them things, and let us go on about these chymistries. Why,
d—n it, I don’t understand a word of the confounded stuff at all.
I suppose we shall have the sun, moon, and stars, and Joe
next. What do you think of these thinks, friend,”

said the old man, turning to the dandy?

Mr. Fop, who had evinced his restiveness in a variety of
ways during the learned discussion before supper, in which he
took no part, being now appealed to, delivered himself thus:—
“The rotundity of the earth’s velocity, and the humidity of
hydrolics, and their specific gravity, ar quite ridiculous in the
abstract. I ar astonished to hear some folks purfess to have
larned the infinities of tractions, when that ar a thing that ar
out of the question!”
This rhodomontade was uttered as it
were, in a breath. If you had seen the old man, with his
mouth and eyes wide open, staring at our dandy, while he was
blending the different properties of bodies in a mass, and then
hurling the whole to destruction, you would have stared, I believe,
far more than the old man himself. “D—n your ars
and your finities,”
said the farmer. The company could contain
themselves no longer—a general burst of laughter from 2(4)v 16
all, even from the servants, put an end to further conversation.
The lawyer, who was a pretty clever fellow, I thought would
have gone into fits. He laid down his knife and fork, clapped
his hands on his sides, and continued to repeat the old man’s
ars, and laugh, till I expected he would drop. The gravity of
the nephew was constrained to give way: and, in short, we
were compelled to quit the supper-table. My young fop moved
off, and I have not seen him since. Have I not taken some
pains to amuse you, instead of going to bed? which last I shall
now do, however, in a few minutes. Good night.

Letter VII.

Dear Matt,

At length I have reached the state of Tennessee, the land
of Heroes. I have been in the state about three hours, and
already I seem to tread on sacred ground. At this period the state of Tennessee and its high born sons, attracted universal
admiration, and was the subject of conversation in all companies.
As I rode to the
Inn, where I now am, I was informed, that I was in Tennessee,
and I immediately fell into a train of pleasant musing. The
victory of New Orleans, the battles of Tallushatches, Talladega,
and Emuckfau, all passed, in retrospection before me—
the brave, the intrepid, the invincible Jackson, and his brilliant
achievements engrossed every faculty of my mind. I shall
see him! thought I. I shall now be gratified with a sight of the
brave Tennesseeans, whose valour has secured forever the
honour of their state!

After the necessary attention to ourselves, horses, &c. the
landlord appeared to be at leisure, and I began a desultory
conversation with him on the subject of his state. He informed
me, that he had been only two years an inhabitant of the
state, having removed hither from Kentucky. I found him
disposed to bestow no very favorable encomiums upon the
Tennesseeans: in fact, he endeavored to impress me with an 3(1)r 17
opinion, redounding very little to the honor of their moral character.
He related the story of a robbery, which had lately been
committed at the next house of entertainment, in that direction
in which we were travelling. I am amongst the few that do
not credit evil reports upon slight grounds, and concluded that
in the present instance, rivalry, or something else that the
landlord thought proper to conceal, was the cause of this illnatured
alumny; which I found in the end to be true. I was
however gratified this evening in becoming acquainted with
one of the subaltern officers, who served under General Jackson
as a volunteer. He came to the inn for the purpose of
passing the night there; and finding he had been in the army,
I attached myself to him the residue of the evening. He bestowed
the highest praise on General Jackson, and related
many anecdotes of that great man, among which were the two
following—one of which concerns his deportment whilst he was
a judge.

One day, when he was sitting on the bench at Jonesborough,
the sheriff came into the court and informed him that
the man (charged with the commission of some offence) would
not be taken. Summon every man in the court yard, said the
judge. The sheriff did so, and approached the man a second
time; but the notorious offender placed his back against the
stone wall of a house, and, with arms in his hands, set his
pursuers at defiance. Hereupon the sheriff once more complained
to the judge, that the man would not be taken. Did
you summon all the men in the court yard? asked the judge.—
I did, replied the sheriff; but he is armed, and none of the men
will approach him. But summon every man you see, said the
judge: and the sheriff, taking the hint, answered—“I summon
you, then sir,”
—whereupon the judge arose, came down from
the bench, approached the man, took him, and delivered him
to the sheriff.

The other anecdote relates to his conduct towards Witherford,
the Indian Chief, who commanded at Fort Mims, the
scene of a then recent inhuman butchery by the Indians. After
the battle of the Horse Shoe, the Indians sued for peace; and
Jackson, to prove their sincerity, ordered them to bring 3 3(1)v 18
Witherford, bound, to his camp. Learning what Jackson demanded,
Witherford determined to go and surrender himself
voluntarily. He gained Jackson’s camp without being known,
and desired admittance to the General. Jackson, astonished
at his presumption, asked him how he dared to appear in his
presence, after acting such a part as he did at Fort Mims?
Witherford replied—“I am Witherford: I am in your power.
Do with me what you please. I am a soldier still. I have
done the white people all the harm I could. I have fought
them, and fought them bravely. If I had an army, I would
fight them still. But I have none! My people are no more!!
Nothing is left me but to weep over the misfortunes of my

Jackson, admiring the firmness of his address, told him,
that if he rejected his (Jackson’s) terms, although he (Witherford)
was completely in his power, he (Jackson) would take
no advantage of his situation—that he was at liberty to return
to his own camp. “But if,” said Jackson, “you choose to try the
fate of arms once more, and I take you prisoner, your life
shall pay the forfeit of your crimes. But if you really wish
for peace, stay where you are, and I will protect you.”

“Well may you speak to me in this style, now!” replied
Witherford. “There was a time, when I had a choice. I have
none, now—even hope is ended! Once I could animate my
warriors; but I cannot animate the dead. Their bones are
bleaching on the plains of Tallushatches, Talladega, and
Emuckfau; and I have not surrendered myself without reflection.
While there was the smallest hope. I remained firm at
my post, nor supplicated for peace. But, my warriors are no
more! The miseries of my nation affects me with deepest sorrow!”
—His voice was lost in emotion for some minutes, and
then he added—“But I desire peace for the few that are left.
If I had had none but the Georgia army to contend with, I
would have raised my corn on one bank of the river, and
fought them on the other. But your people are a brave
people—you are a brave man; and I rely on your generosity.
You talk a good talk: my people shall listen to it.”
Here all
the world might stand up and say, “this was a man!” No wonder 3(2)r 19
the magnanimous soul of Jackson felt for him. Does he
not remind you of Logan?

Yours, &c.

Letter VIII.

Dear Matt,

Nashville, like everything else, sounds louder at a distance
than when it draws near. At the distance of a mile
from the town, you see a board, with a hand painted on it as
large as life, and the fore finger pointing with the following
inscription, in large letters, underneath—“Look and see the
Upon looking down the road, you see the town,
sure enough. It has a beautiful appearance, when viewed
from this point. As you approach it, you are so much
engrossed by its lofty looks, from which it is difficult to avert
your eyes, that you would be apt to plunge into the narrow
Cumberland, which flows between you and “the Town.” We,
however, did happen not to do so; but preferred a boat, which
met us in good time.

Nashville is built on a high bluff, and the houses look very
much like tumbling on your head, as you cross the river in a small
boat at what is called the middle ferry. The citizens have, with
much labor and expense, cut a passage through this bluff, large
enough for carriages to pass and repass. This passage, which is
cut through a solid rock, turns abruptly down the river as if to seek
a more commodious place to land the passengers, who receive no
sort of hospitality or attention from the high minded gentleman,
who looks down upon them while crossing the Cumberland. I was
much disappointed in the size of this far famed Cumberland
. Although the large barges on it seem to indicate that
there is much water, yet it is very narrow and steals softly
along, its blue smooth waters making not the least noise.

The soil of West Tennessee, north of Cumberland river,
is very rich and equally as productive as any in Kentucky or 3(2)v 20
on the Kenhawa—it is an open plain of uninterrupted good
land; and the farmers raise corn, tobacco, and pumpkins,
in great abundance. They rear great numbers of hogs and
horses, and have a great many distilleries in operation. In
this way they convert their surplus produce into cash. But
neither their hogs nor horses are so large as those of Kentucky;
nor can their cattle be compared, in size, with those of that

I am afraid my brave Tennesseeans indulge too great a
fondness for whiskey. When I was in Virginia, it was too
much whiskey—in Ohio, too much whiskey—in Tennessee, it
is too, too much whiskey! But I must relate an anecdote of a
blind man, before I take leave of the north side of Cumberland

We slept, last night, about ten miles north of Nashville.
When we stopped at the stile in order to dismount, we observed
a gentleman of middle age and decent dress, standing in the
yard with a cane in his hand, apparently giving direction to
a servant, who was feeding the cattle: as soon as we stopped our
horses, he pointed his cane towards us and told the servant to go
and take those horses. When we had crossed the stile, this
gentleman saluted us very politely, and asked us to walk into
the house. After giving directions relative to our horses, he
also came in, took a seat, and entered into conversation with
us. It was now dark. Some men, whom we found there,
when we stopped, asked “how much is there to pay?” The
landlord, who was no other than the gentleman whom we first
saw in the yard, told them the amount; they gave him some
money, and he walked to his desk, took out the requisite
change, and gave it to them. He then walked out of doors,
was gone sometime, returned, took a chair, sat down by the fire,
and continued to converse with us till bed-time. But guess my
astonishment, upon being informed, that this man was totally
blind! and had not distinguished day from night for ten years.
His wife, who is one of the finest women I have seen, says, that
most travellers who spend the night there, go away without
discovering that he is blind—that he could change specie to
any amount correctly, but in changing notes, or bills, she had
to tell him the amount of the bills.

3(3)r 21

Nashville is principally built of bricks, and is very handsome,
and does much business. In size it is nearly as large as Lexington.
It commands a handsome view, both of the river and of
a beautiful cedar grove, which is rendered more beautiful by
art, being trimmed and cut into cones and pyramids. The
citizens of Nashville in their dress and manners exhibit much
taste and opulence. About ten years ago cotton was raised in
this part of Tennessee in considerable quantities, an acre of
ground yielding from ten to fifteen hundred pounds; but strange
as it may seem, it does not succeed here now. It grows as
high as ever, but will not open. This defect is said to be owing
to the seasons growing colder.

I am sorry I am obliged to leave Nashville so soon; were
it not for this I might write you again from this place. Take
care of your health, and take care of Tray. A favorite dog of the author.

Yours, &c.

Letter IX.

Dear Matt,

After limping along about fourteen miles from Nashville,
I was compelled to stop, my saddle horse being foundered;
and here I am left alone, and more—but no matter! All things
happen for the best. I will try to beguile the time in amusing
myself with “mine host” and hostess, who I dare say, expect
to make their Jack out of me—“Old Feginny begging!” A Virginia phrase. Did
you ever see one of your low-bred Virginians—I mean what we
call Tuckahoe? The Blue Ridge, you know, as well as I do, separates
Virginia into Eastern and Western Virginia, or Tuckahoe
and Cohee. Foreigners often distinguish it by the terms “Old
and “New Virginia”. In Old Virginia the lower class
of citizens are the most ignorant, presumptuous people in the
United States. Well, then, it was one of these bold, arrogant,
ignorant, self-important, purse-proud females that constituted 3(3)v 22
the character of my hostess. The old man had not made his
appearance, being, as she said, out in the field to look after
his hands, (meaning his slaves) for he is rich. My landlady is
not homely: she is about forty, low, corpulent, and has a countenance
that sets one at defiance. She was all bluster, bustle
and anxiety, as if she actually intended to give the lie to the
old proverb, that “Rome was not built in a day.” She would
go out, come in, sit down, get up, and walk to the door and
call as loud as if the house were on fire—“Luke, an’t you done
totin them taters yet?—I ’spose you at the fire again. Sal, you
brush them tables off, you hear; take up them ashes, you hear:
make up a good fire, you hear I am obliged to retain the “r” in hear, fire, &c or not be understood, but she
sounded it not in speaking, nor does any of her sort. “For” they sound like faw or fow,
(light,) and “nor” like naw &c. as naw you, naw or na I, &c. and, what faw,
you hea or he, &c. Also, tha for there, and sharance for assurance, &c. Nev’r
or nev’ for never—stars for stairs—mar for mare, &c.
An’t Rich’d come with some
good water yet? Tha, now, you dun it! What’s that”
servant girl had broken a glass—the landlady runs to see.]“—
Well, my lady, nev’r mind, I’ll pay you fow that—pick um up.”

In the midst of the scrape a lad came in, who, it seems,
was the landlady’s son, and had just returned from one of the
neighbors. “Well! is it true, that—massy upon me. I bin
so hurried I an’t had time to pull off my night-cap to-day!—
Yond’s the old black ho’s come up. Sal, go and put him in the
stable, and give him some con”
[corn.] “Is it true that Billy’s
married shoo nuff?”
[sure enough.] “Yes!” drones out the
boy, no way concerned for his mother’s flurries, nor for the
passion it was about to throw her into. “Well, now, did ever
any body hear the match o’ that. Go and tell your daddy to
come here. I reckon he’ll make him pay the ten dollaars he
borrowed—he shall smack him with a wan’t,”
[warrant] “this
very night! Well, it doesn’t signify, the sharance some people
have. I’ve wocked”
[worked] “hard for my ’state—but yonders
your daddy and Betsy too.”

The landlord entered. He was one of your tall, darkskinned,
smooth tongued, sly-looking fellows, that manage matters
softly; and quite as low-bred as his spouse. “Fine spot
of work! Billy’s married, shoo nuff!”
Betsy, an awkward
lump of mortality, apparently about seventeen, strode across 3(4)r 23
the room to dispose of her bonnet; and finding a stranger in the
house, she frisked back, and began to adjust her Feginny
cloth dress. Not so, the old lady; but before she opened the
flood-gate of her tongue, I made my escape to my chamber.
The apartment, however, being on the same floor, I heard the
whole lecture distinctly, like a torrent, overwhelming the new
married pair. You know how quick those negro-raised Tuckahoes
speak: just so did she, never finishing one sentence before
she began another.

“Well, it’s just as I thought. Wha—t,” says the old man?
“Oh, it’s a fact—John seed’um together.” “I wish,” replied
the wife, “I may never stir, if he oughten to be hanged.
I wish I may die!—a good-for-nothing, stinking, lazy—I
’spose you’ll lend him ten dollars again. I bound ’twas to pay
for his license—well, it don’t signify; you will fool away all
your ’state—I’d put him in jail, this very night, before he
sleeps, that I would. I’ll tell him a piece of my mind. Nev’r
mind! fa’ to have the inshoince to cote”
[court] “my gal! This
comes o’ larnin gals to write! A darter o’ mine shouldn’t lan
to write, to save her life!—Nev’r mind—I ’spose he thought
I was a sich a fool I didn’t know what all them letters was about.
Tha, now—that’s your thanks faw lett’n him eat here! And
so my darter is to be scandalized by sich—.”

On a sudden she stopped; but soon she exclaimed, “No!
you may go some wha, else—I takes no sich trash as you is,
into my house!”
The person, whom she addressed, was a female,
who spoke so low that I could not distinguish her words
clearly. It was a bitter cold evening; the sun was setting; and
I framed an excuse of asking for water, to go into the apartment
to ascertain whether she was such a savage as to turn
the woman out of doors. When I entered the apartment, I
beheld a poor, but decent-looking woman, with a child in her
arms, standing in the door—the wretch had not asked her to
the fire, nor offered her a seat. Poor woman! thought I, you
have happened to fall in here in a bad time. I ventured to
soften the brute of a landlady, and expostulated with her very
mildly upon the cruelty of turning a fellow-creature out of
doors on such a night! The poor woman turned her eyes upon 3(4)v 24
me in grateful silence. It came into my head to try the effect
of money upon this she-imp. I offered to pay her double the
poor woman’s expenses—but no! oceans of grace would not
melt her heart to pity. I might as well have attempted to stop
the mouth of a roaring lion as to soften her more than savage
heart. “Let her go long, wha ever she’s goin—I ’spose she’s
bin with the sojers: how came she by herself? I’m not goin to
have my house scandalized by no sich trash—I got nuff of um
last fall, stopp’n here; and when I come to find out, nothin ’tall
but strumpits come from camp. I ’spose you the same—so you
may clear yourself.”

The poor woman, during this speech, was struggling to
suppress the big tear, which, in spite of her efforts, rolled
down her cheeks—she was alone, on foot, and carrying a child.
I asked her how far she had to travel. She answered that
she believed it was fifteen miles; that she was going to see her
husband, who was lying sick on the road; and that he was returning
home from New Orleans, when he was taken so ill he
could travel no farther. I endeavored to comfort her, giving
her a trifle at the same time. The sun was now in the horizon,
and I told her she had better proceed, lest night should overtake
her, since the landlord said the nearest house was two
miles distant. “It’s not a great distance,” said I; “keep a
good heart—it cannot be possible that there are many such
people as these,”
darting a look of contempt at the landlord at
the same time, who must be a pusillanimous wretch to suffer
his wife to usurp his prerogatives to the great dishonor of
his head and heart. The woman departed. Had my horse
been able to travel, I could willingly have left this house with her,
sought another lodging. I stood in the door looking after her and
for some minutes. To that God, “who tempers the wind to
the shorn lamb”
—even to him, who says to the wicked thus far
shalt thou go, and no farther, did I breathe a supplication in
behalf of this distressed female.


4(1)r 25

Letter X.

Dear Matt,

I had been in my apartment but a short time when I was
called to supper, which was excellent, considering the eternal
clatter of this woman’s tongue. I was silent, all her obsolete politeness
notwithstanding; and, it was “would I be hope to this,
and would I be hope to that?”
During our repast, I showed, by my
looks, as much as possible, my abhorrence of her conduct;
and the moment I had finished my supper, I retreated
once more to my chamber. I called for more wood and
stirred up my fire; and having given orders relative to my
horse and dismissed my servant, I fell into the following train
of reflections on the nature and character of woman! “Yes, I
knew that would come next,”
you will say. Very well; you
guessed right, for once.

It is said that woman is the last—best—gift of the Creator.
She is celebrated by poets—praised by historians—extolled
by travellers—and by all authors, both ancient and modern,
is allowed to excell the other in every virtue that dwells in the
human heart. Woman are renowned for wit, learning, taste,
and talents. Pack, Ledyard, Weld, Liancourt, and many
others, have proclaimed aloud to the world the obligations they
are under to women, who at the hazard of their lives flew to
their assistance in the hour of danger. When abandoned to
despair, afflicted with disease, famine, and in death—woman,
“lovely woman,” stood before them; and, like an angel, dispelled
their fears, relieved their wants, and soothed their sorrows.
The Duke of Liancourt, who narrowly escaped the guillotine
in France, and who owed his life to the friendship of a woman,
has drawn their character with a master’s hand. “Their
he says, “is inviolable, their fidelity unshaken, their
courage invincible. They are intimidated by no difficulty,
and bid defiance to dangers. Amiable woman! When man
desponds, she animates him with new hopes—when he is sick,
she ministers unto him—when in distress, she comforts him,
bids him live, and makes him in love with himself. And well 4 4(1)v 26
can she soothe and comfort him: she is all patience, she is all
fortitude. The endearment of her smiles, the melting accents
of her voice, and her bewitching softness, beguile him of his
sorrows and makes his prison a palace!”
In short, it would
be endless to enumerate examples of that decided superiority
of women over men in acts of benevolence.

But, fair and softly—who are the objects of this divine
excellence?—Man—not woman—not their own helpless, friendless,
cheerless, forlorn sex—but men, who by their nature and
constitutions are every way better calculated to bear misfortunes.
“But this preference, which is manifested towards man,
almost to the exclusion of their own sex in redressing their
grievances, is founded in nature, from which they cannot deviate.”
I admit it—I make every allowance for that immutable
law that pervades the material world. I would not dissolve
it if I could, and particularly that mutual predilection that the
sexes have for each other, independently of moral obligation.
In my judgment it is the basis of all our social happiness.
The result, then, from this view of the case is, that this irrisistable
influence, flowing from necessity, reflects neither praise
nor blame on the female character. But does it follow that
this impulse, which discovers itself in acts of noble generosity
towards men, should dispose them to a contrary course
of conduct towards their own sex? I presume not. At most, it
leaves them free to avoid doing them harm. If they choose
not to relieve their sufferings, they could pass on as the Priest
and the Levite did of old—But no—cruel woman does not
imitate those holy men, and much less the good Samaritan.
When woman is the subject—woman is all hostility, either
directly or indirectly, in public, in private, in adversity, in
prosperity, in the palace, in the cottage; in all alike a deep
rooted malignity seem to prevail! In the most civilized nations,
in the most civilized age, in the most polished circles of society,
history affords us a lamentable evidence that the general tenor
of woman to her own sex, is envious, deceitful, malicious,
haughty, bitter, insolent, revengeful, treacherous, implacable.
However specious they may carry themselves, while in each
other’s presence, no sooner do they turn their backs, than most 4(2)r 27
of them indulge more or less in some species of detraction,
from the sly insidious hint to broad assertion.

I never in my life witnessed an assembly of women, great
or small, but indulged in that most hateful of all vices, slander
against her own sex!

What a picture you will say of a woman—yet my dear sir,
all this your candor will admit!

Were you not present once when the news of the unfortunate
―― ――was announced?—I think you were. It was
then you saw the true character of woman. It is needless to
repeat the peals of artillery discharged from their tongues upon
the unfortunate. I recollected well, and so might you, the whole
posse, with rage (instead of pity for the frailty of the sex) in
their looks; they hunted down their prey, more like blood
hounds than human beings, and the forlorn sufferer was
spurned from society! This is a pretty general case.

Whither was this unfortunate to go?—seduced!—betrayed!
—abandoned!—by whom?—By man—by man who was
designed to protect her. Inhuman villain! He robbed her of
that “which not inriches him, and makes her poor indeed.”
Poor, forlorn, and friendless as thou art, thou needest not go to
thy own sex for shelter. As well might thou apply to the
savage beasts of prey.—What then?—Go to man?—O no.
He is the cause of all thy wo! An outcast must thou roam,
unpitied and forgot.

All this time not a word of reproach is uttered against
the seducer: This is strange, “But he is a wicked profligate,
unworthy of respect, and ought to be banished society.”
such thing!! He is received into company—he is invited to all
our parties—nay, he is a greater favorite than ever with the
ladies. Oh, fie! not for his virtue I presume, but for what all
thinking people will concur in, viz: a similarity of taste—depravity
of heart—and, above all, that secret something which
is paramount to all motives and resists education.

But I deny that this innate principle, which is involuntary,
acts as an incentive to cruelty to their own sex, which is voluntary.
Does it bind them hand and foot? Does it control
the faculties of the mind? Thousands of females come to a 4(2)v 28
miserable end, not by the cruelty of man, but by the savageness
of their own sex. These unhappy sufferers, without house
or home!—without friends!—destitute!—driven out from society!
—doomed to roam through winter’s storms!—perhaps without
clothes to put on or bread to eat! I weep for you!—it is all
I can do! May the God of mercy have mercy on you. Long,
long, heavily will ye have to suffer in a world where repentance
is vain! Your sorrows are without hope!!!

But you will say, what would I have ladies to do? Take
such persons into their houses, associate with them? They
would be thought no better I have conversed seriously with several of my female friends on this subject,
and they tell me “that the fear of being suspected, prevents them from showing compassion
to this unfortunate class of females.”
If I were to hazard an opinion, I would
say, their want of charity to their own sex, ought, by no means to enhance our opinion
of their virtue. I once heard a libertine say, “he wanted no better sign for his
and all men of sense say the same thing. On the other hand, I am astonished
those affected ladies do not spurn the men upon the same grounds. Abominable
“Every one is known by their
Yes—if they repent, I would not only take them
into my house, but into my bosom. I would wipe the tears
from their eyes—I would soothe their sorrows, and support
them in the trying hour; I would divide my last morsel with

For those who would not repent,—if they were hungry I
would feed them; if they were naked, I would clothe them; and
much more, if they were sick, would I minister unto them; I
would admonish them, and I would then have done. What did
our Saviour? I would not revile them; I would not persecute
them. Good night! I beg pardon, once more, for troubling
you with a long letter. I was led on by my feelings.

Letter XI.

Dear Matt,

I found my horse better this morning, and with no other
company than my servant, I bade my entertainers adieu. The 4(3)r 29
family, when I left them, were preparing to attend preaching—
for with all the old lady’s good qualities, she is in the Church!
None attending it but the mother and her daughter! Mighty
good Christians, thought I. Of what denomination, I inquired?
A Methodist. I suspect that one of the same is here
now, a guest, with two others beside myself. The Inn is kept
by Mr. Reynolds, and looks very well.

The parson looks very holy: sighs very often and loud; so
there is no mistake. His dress is a black, sleek, broadcloth
coat, blue pantaloons and vest, with short skirts (domestic:) his
cravat is white, and tied on very closely. He is about the
middle size, young, ignorant, and very important. He scarcely
deigns to cast a look at us, poor sinners; and when he does,
he withdraws his eyes with conscious triumph! The other
guests are a good natured Yankee pedlar, and a gentleman of
genteel appearance. I shall let them rest till after supper.—
I promise myself much amusement with the parson and the

Prepared with my pencil, I waited some time; nothing to
do—all set mute. At length the pedlar, throwing his sparkling
black eyes around upon the company, addressed his holyness
with, “be you travelling Mister?” The parson, turning his
gloomy face towards the speaker, as if his immaculate purity
was now about to be tarnished by this vile pedlar, answered
him with a look of contempt; after an interval of some
seconds, he said, “I am travelling the circuit.” “I guess,
if you travels the circle I bin, you’ll have bad travelin on’t,”

said the pedlar. The third gentleman whose name, I find is
K――, asked, if “the road was worse towards Huntsville?”
“I guess you’l find purty much so The land is so rich, and never or seldom freezing in winter, and the want of
good roads, makes the travelling unspeakably bad.
tarnation swamps and
sedars and mud, take one a’most up to hub sinkin into that
are mire grounds ’tallmost killed my cattle. Yankee phrase for Horses. I guess if I
gets to hum agin I’ll stay there.”
“Have you made good sales,
said the gentleman. “I guess I’ll spend more ’an I
makes—knows no more a tin ware in that are Huntsville than 4(3)v 30
if they had no sense; guess they’ll know more on’t when I tak’t
to ’um.”

While he was speaking, the hostler made his appeareance
to know how much oats each traveller wished to give his
horse. The pedlar was the first to reply. He said, he “won
to have his horses have two gallon a piece.”
“I have fed
yours, sir.”
“You hadn’t ought to fed ’um; I guess you’ll
gi’um too much.”

It appeared the pedlar was direct from Huntsville, and
he had put up for the night long before I arrived. Mr. K. is
travelling that way, and so also is the preacher. The preacher,
I suspect, thought the Yankee below him, (but so thought
not I,) and Mr. K. above him. I made some remarks on the
country, addressed to Mr. K. who is a man of intelligence.
We descanted upon the progress of society, agriculture, &c.

Supper being over, Mr. K. and myself dipped a little into
the sciences, merely from mutual curiosity. Could we have
drawn the pedlar and the preacher in, it would have been
worth repeating; but, as you hate learning (and so do I, between
familiar friends,) I pass it over.

The people generally, through this state, so far, are almost
the middle grade as to information. If you ask how far it is
to the next house?—“Well, I don’t know”—Does such a man
live on the road? “Well he does.” They have the well to
every thing, just as they do with us. There are a great many
Methodists in Tennessee, and in the new settled part of Kentucky.
I have frequently seen them, and heard them, as I
rode through the country. It is strange to observe how their
preachers draw the women after them.

Yours, &c.

Letter XII.

Dear Matt,

In my last, I forgot to inform you we passed the woman
on the road who was turned out of doors. She informed me,
that after walking two miles, she obtained lodging, but with 4(4)r 31
difficulty. She had overtaken a wagon on the road, and was
riding in it when I passed her, yesterday, about twelve o’clock.
The story she related I found was correct, having passed
the house, to day, where her husband was confined. But,
alas! no wife, nor home, nor children, will he ever see more—
He is dead
! I slept last night in a room adjoining to the one
occupied by the preacher mentioned in my last; and, whether
sitting up or in bed, I could not ascertain, but a long dialogue
passed between him and some other person. This person was
a man, I think one of the neighbors, as one came in after
dark, who called the preacher “Brother”,—the person, whoever
it was, was likely to bring disgrace on the church, in violating
some of the rules, by intemperance, and something worse:
the man spoke so low that I could hear but a word now and

Preacher. “But you bring reproach on God’s people, brother;
you ought to be holy and blameless before God; you ought
to take up the cross, brother, and deny yourself the things of
the world, the pleasures of the world, and the sins of the world,
and the e—vils that are in this wicked world; walking in all
holiness before Go—d and his holy angels, and blameless
and ho—ly.”

Neighbor. “But, brother, I am tried.” [A groan.]

Preacher. “Brother, they tell me, that you will drink a little
too much.”

Neighbor. “Brother, I only got a little lively at brother I’s
shucking; and brother W. were there, and brother D. was
there, and brother S. and I thought no harm, and it was a cold
night, an’ we all drank a little—No, what makes um parsecute
me above the rest—I didn’t take but three drams since; and
because I happen to stump my toe against a little bit of a stump
and fell down it was nurated over the whole country.”
see he is a little bit of an Irishman.]

Preacher. “Oh, brother, you have hurt the cause of God.
I hear you have ruined one of the prettiest sisters; that she is
with ―― by you. This is wicked.”

Neighbor. “Oh! brother, it’s all a flam. Do you think I
would offer to go and be guilty of the like—and what if I did 4(4)v 32
talk to her about the state of her precious soul—sure where’s
the harm?”
[The conversation at this part of the story I was
unable to hear, except now and then a groan.]

Preacher. “Brother, you ought to pray to the Lord to
strengthen you, that the d—l may have no power over you
while you are travelling through this vale of sorrow and temptations;

Neighbor. “Now I’ll jist tell you the naked truth, brother,
before God, and I’ve prayed nightly to him—with wrestling,
sare wrestling have I wrestled in prayer, that he would save
me from sin, and forgive me. Now, this here is the truth—I
was jist walking along, not thinking—well, I hope the Lord
will forgive me; but as I was saying, I was going to brother
to see if he had any work for to do; for you know,
brother, that Saint Paul labored with his hands. Well, who
should I meet, right in the road, walking the self-same way
that I was going myself—you may be sure, that auld sarpent,
who is always troubling God’s people, begun for to tempt me.
But, as I was saying, who should I meet, but sister ――.
Good morning sister, sez I; good morning brother, sez she:
and so we fell to talking about the things that God had done
for us, in shedding abroad his love in our hearts—in saving
our immortal souls from sin. I sez to her, sez I, sister, how
is the state of your precious soul, to-day?—O, brother, sez she,
I feel bound for glory: and so—but the devil put it into my
head, I’m sure—.”
[The rest was spoken low for some time.]
“And so, we talked about the things of God, till we got very

Preacher. “O! brother, you ought to pray to God for that
sin, that doth so easily beset you. You have wrought evil in
[The rest past in whispers, and I fell asleep.]

A Preacher here again as I hope to live! The people
must be very pious in this place—and he is going to preach
too. Here is the house filling fast; great many women—few
men—and I shall put this away and join them in worship. I
shall leave my prejudice behind with my pen, ink, and paper.
Be he Jew or Turk, fool or fanatic, I care not. In the firm
belief, that the worship of God is paramount to all other duties, 5(1)r 33
I spurn the narrow mind, which is attached to a sect or party,
to the exclusion of the rest of mankind. Can I not implore
the Divine mercy? Can I not praise that fountain of all excellence,
as sincerely with these people as with others?—You may
laugh, and think I am jesting; but, I assure you, my friend, I
am serious. I am far from being among the number of those,
who set at nought the worship of the Deity, however I may
deplore the abominable prostitution of that religion which is
pure and undefiled. Go thou and do likewise.

Yours, &c.

Letter XIII.

Dear Matt,

I remember when you and I, sitting by my fireside, in
that easy familiar frankness, indulged in our remarks on
Priests—that they are always the same, let them be of what
persuasion they may. I retain that opinion still! Hitherto I
have only learned mankind in theory—but I am now studying
him in practice. One learns more in a day, by mixing with
mankind, than he can in an age shut up in a closet.

But the Priests, I perceive, are precisely the same they
were centuries passed—they all aim at power. Their drift, I
see, is to gain as many proselytes as possible, without regard
to the conduct of their flock—they will not suffer them to possess
any will of their own—perfect despots. No potentate is
more despotic, and no subjects more submissive, whilst in the
presence of their Priests, but the greatest rogues in the world
when out of sight. I perceive, too, they are very jealous in
controversy. They seem to me as though they would fight in
defence of their principles, while they leave the practice of
religion to the sinners who make no fuss at all about religion.—
Between you and I, Matt, this world is most abominably wicked.
I have seen such sights—nothing but preaching and
praying—and not one to relieve the poor. No! not one steps
forward. Can this be Christianity?

5 5(1)v 34

Christ says, if you love me, keep my commandments—and
this is my commandment—that you love one another. This
was our preacher’s text last night. I should like to have this
text indemnified for the depredation committed on it by his
Reverence. His discourse was nothing by a hop, skip, and
jump—from one thing to another. Nothing but “hardened
sinners you will go to hell and be d—d.”
Why, the man
swore outright. “The wickedness of this world; and the
pleasures of this world; and the temptations of this world.”

Mem! thought of the affair of Brother, the Irishman, and
his devout sister.

Now for the righteous: “Press on ye mourners to the
end, and—to that glo—rious”
[loud as a trumpet] “place, prepar
—ed for you.”
&c. &c. He stamped—he roared! Not a
word on the subject of love to our neighbors.

I never but once in my life heard a sermon to please me;
and that was preached by a Mr. Sargent, sometime of Ohio.—
But this preacher (as he is called) poured out a torrent of nonsense.
The men groaned—the young ladies cried—the louder
the preacher bawled, the louder they cried—at last they
screamed!—Did you ever hear wolves howl? It was more like
their howling than any thing else I can name. Is this religion?
These would, like their sister, turn the poor friendless female
from their door. But let facts speak. A gentleman removed
to this country last year. He came on sometime before his
family, in order to engage provisions for their arrival. Through
some oversight, he forgot his money. The neighborhood consisted
chiefly of professors of religion. He went to a man,
who, as he was told, had a large quantity of bacon and corn for
sale, and withal was very religious. He told him his situation:
that he had a large family, both black and white, coming on,
and he wished to purchase provisions sufficient for them till he
could raise a crop; and that, when his family arrived, he would
pay him. No!—He would not trust him. The applicant went
to another and another, and still received the same answer.
Thus discouraged, he at length inquired for the wickedest
man in the neighborhood. He was told where to find him.
He went to him, and related his situation, and what he wanted. 5(2)r 35
“There,” said this wicked man, without any hesitation or
inquiry, “there is my crib, and there is my smoke house; use
them as your own, whilst their contents last.”
Which of all
these was neighbor to him, who fell among――thieves, I might

Yours, &c.

Letter XIV.

Dear Matt,

I am now within a short day’s ride of Huntsville. I have
travelled slow, on account of my horses, the roads being deep
and heavy, such as the pedlar described them. The cane has
made its appearance for some days past, and my servant has
been breaking whole arm’s full of pipe stems, and throwing
them away alternately, as he finds they increase without end.
Having never witnessed the growth of the cane before, I was
much gratified to meet with it. It first appears scattering, very
slender, but tall, from eight to twelve feet high. It has blades
like Indian cord, and some resemblance of a tassel on the top.
It grows every where through the woods; but, as you proceed,
it is larger and higher, and tons of it lie on the ground, on
each side of the road, broken in pieces and rotting; and where
this is the case, the green cane is extinct forever, doubtless.
The cause of this I cannot learn. These stalks are larger
than corn stalks, and must have been twenty feet in height!

The land increases in fertility as we advance; and this
fertility extends a vast distance on each side of us. The land
at this place, and Fayetteville, resembles that north of the
Cumberland, as black as your hat, and level.

I have travelled a south course since I left Nashville, from
which Huntsville is distant 100 miles. Pony, (15 hands high!)
is a horse of great patience and slow to anger, or he would
have testified his displeasure at this same road: but he tugs 5(2)v 36
along without a murmur. We are now to have a change for
the better.

This inn is kept by a bachelor. His mother lives with
him, and attends to the cooking department. The tavern is a
separate building from the one occupied by the old lady, which
is also the kitchen. I was shown into the latter by the landlord,
and was pleased to find the house large, neat, and warm;
but the lady looked old, cold, and crusty. Being very hungry,
(not having dined,) my appetite was no little increased by the
savory smell of bacon and cabbage, which Mrs. W. had sitting
by her, very snug in the corner, for the family dinner.

I knew from her looks, it would be a cross and pile chance
whether she would condescend to set a part of it on the table
for me till she saw her own time. But, setting my wits to work,
I prevailed finally, and made a hearty meal, cunningly, by the

There were two good beds, with curtains, in the room, and
being weary, my next court to Mrs. Wells was, for liberty to
repose on one of the beds: this was also granted. Thus every
wish was gratified. Upon inquiry, I learned that the guests,
should any arrive, dined in the kitchen, or what you choose to
denominate it. Night was drawing on, and I was quite delighted
with a place of concealment, should travellers arrive;
and, drawing the curtains of a princely bed close, I lay still
and snug out of sight.

It was hog killing day at Wells’, and dinner was delayed
till the business was over, and the table was sitting for dinner
as I lay down, when, as I expected, word came “that two
travellers had arrived and wanted supper.”
The lady returned
for answer, “that the table was setting for her own family,
and if they thought proper to accept such fare as she had
ready, they were welcome, but that she would prepare nothing
more tonight.”
The Negro woman, who was charged with
the message, remonstrated with her mistress, and said “coffee,
or tea, ought to be made.”
“No, I will make none to night;
if they don’t eat such as there is, they may go without.”

“Very well!” replied the woman; “you may do as you please,
you know, very well, Massa Tommy won’t like it.”
“Who 5(3)r 37
cares for your Massa Tommy, or you either,”
said Mrs. W.
Accordingly, the bacon and cabbage was placed on the table,
with milk, in tin cups—plenty of corn bread—a small plate of
butter, and all placed upon a table hard by your humble servant.

Highly delighted with my situation, ensconsed behind the
curtains, I awaited the entrance of Mr. Tommy and the travellers.
The candle was lit, and our guests summoned to supper.
I took a sly peep at them as they were sitting down.
One was lame, and a small man, but had a genteel and manly
appearance; the other was still less, with a small sallow face
and a perfect dandy, or fop, who looked over the table with
sovereign contempt.—Mean time the genteel looking man asked
if he should help him? The fop hung back some time, but at
last said, “yes, sah,” [sir,] a Tuckahoe, by the way [a citizen
of Virginia, below the Blue Ridge.] This was two lettersflawed-reproductionts for me.
Tommy, who had likewise taken a seat, paid no attention to
the strangers. He was a good looking man, rather swarthy,
and about forty years of age.

After eating some time, the little Tuckahoe erected himself
on his seat, and observed, without addressing any one in
particular, “I believe you have no tea, no coffee in this country.”
The old lady, with great composure replied, “sometimes.”
“You dosen’t have any flower hea’ neither.” The lady sung
out “sometimes,” again. “I b’lieve you’ all savages in this
“Savage enough.” said the lady quite in a good
humour. Both gentlemen sat in my view, and the face
of the other gentleman colored deep at foppy’s remarks;
who asked, with great spirit, “what country may you call
yours, sir?”
“I ar from Norfolk, Virginny, su’” He pronounced it “sugh,” for Sir. The low raised Virginians have a great
aversion to the r s, except where they ought not.
how do they live there?”
“Why, su’, they live, su’, like
gentlemen, su’; I hasn’t seen a bit of victuals fit to eat since I
left Norfolk, except in Nashville.”
“That is a great pity,
said the other. “But we, of this country, do not rate
ourselves by eating: we rate ourselves by fighting. Would
you like to take a shot?”

Yours, &c.

5(3)v 38

Letter XV.

Dear Matt,

Here I am, landed safe and sound, and in high spirits.
This will go by the same mail with yesterday’s adventures.
I broke off short last night, being sleepy: but, taking up the
subject—The little man dropped his feathers quite low, upon
the departure of his friend, who, immediately arose and walked
out of the house. The Tuckahoe, after asking the girl for
mo’ milk, and mincing awhile, left the table likewise, and
walked into the tavern. Had the latter as much spunk as he
had impudence, they certainly would have fought—but I heard
no more of it. The old lady said, “if my Billy had been at
home he would have slapped his jaws.”

This morning very early, upon sallying forth, I found my
little fop inquiring for his mar, [mare,] and it was laughable
enough to hear him insist upon sending his mar to water, the
very self-same way we were going. “I always has my mar
wartered befo’ I starts.”

They were both going to Huntsville, where the fighting
gentleman lived, as I found in the course of the day. We will
have a merry time of it, thought I; and, taking leave, we all
set out.

Having every prospect of a rainy day, we whipped on
pretty brisk. I found the land high and dry after leaving
Wells’, and another change in the growth, which is very light,
and in many places none at all. The land is of a redish black,
light as ashes, and very rich.

I attached myself to the Tennesseean, (he of Huntsville,)
being pleased with his manners, and, above all, with his spirit.
He related many anecdotes of the recent battles, and was very
communicative on the situation and prospects of the territory. New Alabama.

We had taken up more company, and at length the conversation
turned on the renown of General Jackson. My little
Tuckahoe, not pleased that he was overlooked in the conversation,
would some times be alongside, often before, but never behind. 5(4)r 39
His hat stuck on the top of his head, to the hazard of
falling off. He twisted and turned, his head now on one
shoulder, and now on the other; and again elevated, and next
bending forward to look at his stirrups. Finding all his evolutions
failed to attract attention, after displaying all his fine
parts, and the fine parts of his mar, he could brook the indignation
no longer.—“By G—d, I suppose, you think General
is a G—d almighty about here.”
“By G—d, sir, I
think he is next to him,”
said the Huntsville man; “and none
but a d—d fool would have made the remark.”
Now thought
I, they will fight. “You, nor no other man, Sir, shall speak
disrespectfully of General Jackson, in my presence.”
spirited reply, rather cooled the little gentleman’s ire. He
ventured, however, to draw a comparison in favor of General
. The other said he “was disposed to acknowledge
all possible praise of General Washington, but, at the
same time, Sir, the man who dares to impugn the name of
Jackson in my presence, does it at his peril.”
I begged the
gentleman to resume his good humour, and turn the little gentleman
over to me. Thus he fell out of the pan into the fire.
“That ar a fine mar of yours, Mr. Jones,” said I, that being
his name. “How far have she toted you?” “She have toted
me a thousand miles, and she could a toted me a thousand miles
I then inquired after the lobster family, at Norfolk;
said I understood “they were a numerous and respectable
“Humph!” he replied. “I ar astonished to hear
some folks talk: the lobsters ar a fish.”
A lawyer, in one of the lower counties of Virginia, being in court one day,
arose and observed to the court, “my witnesses is come, and I ar ready for trial.”
The opposite counsel, whom I believe was Mr. Wirt, rose up, and bowing, replied,
“am you, Sir”
Thus I continued to
torment him, to the great amusement of the party. He had the
only umbrella in company, and the Huntsville gentleman, who
could scarcely sit on his horse for laughing, asked “if he
would not compromise with the lady, by giving her the umbrella?”
which I would not accept, though it rained moderately
fast. He had the most scornful lip I ever beheld.

The cotton fields now began to appear. These are astonishingly
large; from four to five hundred acres in a field!— It 5(4)v 40
is without a parallel! Fancy is inadequate to conceive a prospect
more grand! The cotton, as it now stands, has the appearance
of buckwheat when ripe, being divested of the cotton,
(as my friend informed me,) which is picked out. Although
the land is level, you cannot see the end of the fields either
way. To a stranger, coming suddenly amongst these fields,
it has the appearance of magic. He is lost in wonder, and
nothing but the evidence of his senses can persuade him it is
reality. In laboring to do this, I was forced to abandon my
ideas of human industry, which I could not accommodate to this
novel appearance.

We arrived in Huntsville about 2 o’clock, P.M. and met
another wonder at the entrance of the town, which was one of
the great cotton machines.

Yours, &c.

Letter XVI.

Dear Matt,

A merry Christmas to you, in the first place. I was saluted
by a few guns, last evening, which reminded me of old

The face of the country has changed five times in my
tour! From Big Sandy River (the boundary of Kentucky and
Virginia) to Mount Sterling, the soil is black, firm, uneven,
and covered with heavy timber, beach and oak principally.

From Mount Sterling to Danville, called first rate land,
it is generally black as your hat, but in many places, for instance
on the margin of creeks, it has a grayish color, and resembles
calcined stone, and has a light crumbling appearance;
the growth is locust, cherry, and walnut; very low, as I remarked
before. I do not think it produces better than Kenhawa
bottom. It is well watered. Some of the farms are wretchedly
managed. I was told these were the School lands.

6(1)r 41

Upon leaving Danville, a very handsome little town, the
timber gradually diminishes, and you are soon in the barrens,
and the soil changes to a redish, or chocolate color, and very
little water: but the land is rich and level. I forgot to inform
you that I met with Mrs. Madison, the celebrated Patrick
sister. She has removed to the barrens, and has an
excellent farm. I dined at her house. She has two sons who
live with her, both single; also, a grand daughter. She is
quite an active woman, and very little inferior, it is said, to
her brother, in mental powers. Seeing a house on the road,
some distance ahead, I sent my servant forward to bespeak
breakfast, concluding it was a tavern. When I rode up, what
was my surprise to find Mrs. Madison, who formerly lived in
the same county I did. I was invited in; but my companions,
finding it was a private house, road on. But to return:—these
barrens have no timber but black Jack. They continue to
Red river, in Tennessee, one hundred miles. They are not a
dead, or prairie like level, but rather waving.

Next to this comes on the lofty timbered black rich soil,
and large grape vines, and continues to Nashville. Upon
leaving Nashville, the red cedar begins, and though the land is
still rich, it is much interrupted with swamps and stones. This
is well watered. This description continues to Fayetteville,
on Elk river, near the southern boundary of the state. There
again we have the black loam and heavy timber, till, within
eighteen miles of Huntsville, when the chocolate land comes
again, like the barrens; though light, it is not destitute of timber;
but water is very scarce; many have to haul the water
three miles in summer.

All these varieties of land extends from the mountains,
on the left, to the Ohio river on the right.

We forded all the rivers in Kentucky and Tennessee, excepting
the Kentucky river, which is very often forded.

The Kentuckyans are the handsomest people, by far, in
the United States. They are not only stout men, but have
fine features, and very beautiful complexions.

The Tennesseeans are not so stout as the Kentuckyans,
not so fair, but they are well shaped, and more active. There 6 6(1)v 42
is a native bold independence in both, with this difference—
the Kentuckyans are great brags, whilst the Tennesseeans,
equally brave and gallant, are wholly unconscious of those virtues.
The Kentuckyan is rash and hot headed—the Tennesseean
is cool and steady. The Kentuckyan is froward and
assuming—the Tennesseean is modest and retiring. There is
an independence, even in the children, which is neither awed by
fear nor won by love. But what astonished me was their careless
indifference on the subject of their late gallant achievements,
particularly at New Orleans. They spoke of it with perfect
unconcern, and only mentioned it when applied to, and then
with not half the same interest they would on the subject of
hunting or killing a deer. Not so the Kentuckyans: they appreciate
their bravery in its widest extent. Nor are the
Tennesseeans so distinguished as the former for industry, or
the art of acquiring wealth; though both are great jockeys.

The Kentucky ladies are very large, but are fair and well
featured, and much more polished (excepting the ladies of Nashville)
than the ladies of Tennessee: but the latter are better
shaped; are very artless; and the young women have a sweet
simplicity in their looks and countenance. Both men and
women are without disguise, nor have they any of that impertinent
curiosity common to other states; I mean that of teazing
travellers. But the most distinguishing trait of a Tennesseean
is, that he treats all men alike—the Nabob, with his
splendid equipage, receives no more, nor as much attention,
as the pedestrian. They are extremely jealous of wealthy, or
what we call big, men. One of them, as I came on, being
asked rather peremptorily, by one of the big bugs to rub down
his horse, cursed him, and told him to “do it yourself—I am
no man’s servant”
He then offered money and apologized;
but the brave Tennesseean was not to be hired.

Yours, &c.

6(2)r 43

Letter XVII.

Dear Matt,

Now here is the twentieth letter I have written, without
receiving an answer to one of them, until to-day—and that is
no answer I may say. What are you about? Have you got
the blues again, or blacks; or are you in love? I have been
thinking your complaint is altogether a love matter—I am
told it has that effect sometimes. Should that be the case, you
had better apply to Dr. Matrimony at once, as delays are dangerous.
Cupid is a cunning rogue—very likely he has given
you a sly shot in your sleep.

But seriously, I am sorry to hear you mend so slow. I
am convinced this climate would restore you. It is summer
here, compared to our country: the trees, many of them, are
still green.

Huntsville. You will expect something of this
flourishing town. It takes its name from a man called Captain
, who built the first cabin on the spot, where the Court
now stands, in 18021802. In front of this cabin, which was
built on a high bluff, there was a large pond, which is now
nearly filled up by the citizens. Captain Hunt cleared a small
field west of his cabin, the same year. This was between his
cabin and the Huntsville Spring. He spent much of his time
in wageing war with the rattlesnakes, who were very numerous
in his day, and had entire possession of the Bluff at the
Spring. Thousands of them, it appears, were lodged amongst
the rocks, and the Captain would shoot hundreds of a day, by
thrusting long canes filled with powder, into the scissures When they were digging the vault for the Huntsville Bank, they found a vast
number of snake skeletons.
the rocks.

Whether Hunt, or the snakes acquired victory, I have
not heard, as he was compelled to abandon his settlement to a
more successful rival, who purchased the land. This was
Colonel L. Pope, who, in company with Dr. Maning, and
others, purchased the land at a Land Office opened in Nashville; 6(2)v 44
and though this sale did not stand, these gentlemen at
this time own vast bodies of land around Huntsville, and are
the wealthiest men in the Territory. Colonel Pope, it is said,
tried hard to have the name changed, to “Twickenham”, after the
residence of his namesake (and from whom it is said he is
descended) in England. But, places, somehow or other, will
retain their first names. The land around Huntsville, and
the whole of Madison county, of which it is the capital, is rich
and beautiful as you can imagine; and the appearance of wealth
would baffle belief. The town stands on elevated ground, and
enjoys a beautiful prospect. It contains about 260 houses,
principally built of brick; has a bank, a court house., and market
house. There is a large square in the centre of the town,
like the towns in Ohio, and facing this are the stores, twelve
in number. These buildings form a solid wall, though divided
into apartments. The 1 wordflawed-reproductionhad 2 wordsflawed-reproduction Philadelphia, or any town east of the Allegheny. The workmanship is the best I have
seen in all the states; and several of the houses are three stories
high, and very large. There is no church. The people
assemble in the Court House to worship. Huntsville is settled
by people mostly from Georgia and the Carolinas—though
there are a few from almost every part of the world;—and the
town displays much activity. The citizens are gay, polite,
and hospitable, and live in great splendor. Nothing like it in
our country.

Yours, &c.

Letter XVIII.

Dear Matt,

To go on. The Huntsville Spring, is a great natural
curiosity. This you, as well as myself, heard before. But I
had no conception of it. It flows from under the Bluff mentioned,
and forms a stream large enough for the purposes of 6(3)r 45
navigation, and empties into Indian Creek, also navigable.
The head of the spring is about sixty yards wide, but spreads
out to a much greater length, covering about three acres of
ground!!! The Bluff, at its head, forms a perpendicular of 60
or 70 feet in height, perhaps more, and is conical.

Huntsville is situated in latitude 34° 45″, 18 miles from
the line of Tennessee, 100 South from Nashville, and 10 miles
north of Ditto’s Landing on Tennessee river.

General Coffee. Last evening I had the pleasure
of seeing this renowned soldier and companion of General
. This hero, of whom you have heard so much, is
upwards of six feet in height, and proportionally made. Nor
did I ever see so fine a figure. He is 35 or 36 years of age.
His face is round and full, and features handsome. His complexion
is ruddy, though sunburnt. His hair and eyes black,
and a soft serenity diffuses his countenance. His hair is
carelessly thrown one side, in front, and displays one of the
finest foreheads in nature—high, smoothe, and retreating.
His countenance has much animation, while speaking, and his
eyes sparkle; but the moment he ceases to speak, it resumes
its wonted placidness, which is a characteristic of the Tennesseeans.

In General Coffee, I expected to see a stern, haughty,
fierce, warrior. No such thing. You look in vain for that
rapidity with which he marched and defeated the Indians at
Tallashatches: nor could I trace in his countenance the swiftness
of pursuit, and sudden defeat of the Indians again at
Emuckfau; much less his severe conflicts at the head of his
gallant men at New Orleans. He is as mild as the dew drop;
but deep in his soul you see very plain that deliberate, firm,
cool, and manly courage, which has covered him with glory.
He must be a host when he is roused. All these Tennesseeans
are mild and gentle, except they are excited, which is hard to
do; but when they are once raised, it is victory or death.—
General Coffee speaken very slow, and may weigh about 200
weight. Major Rose, another of the heroes, is a Scotch gentleman,
but a Tennessee soldier. You have not to look very
deep for the qualities of his mind. It is plainly depicted in 6(3)v 46
his fine open countenance, and soft blue eye. He is a middle
aged man, of portly size, and acted in the Quartermaster’s
in the late war. This man, from the land of Wallace
and Bruce, was in high favor with General Jackson; and
his labors in procuring supplies for the army were unequalled
by any thing in history. He rode from the seat of war to
Huntsville, very often, without sleep or rest! proceeding night
and day express: when one horse would give out he would
press another. I am called to dinner.

Yours, &c.

Letter XIX.

Dear Matt,

I left off with Major Rose, the merriest soul in the
world. He is nothing but frolic and fun. He and Mrs. Rose
have often called, and nothing pleases me better than his broad
Scotch face. He is a merchant, and generally drops in in the
evening, to take a game of backgammon, with Talbot, the
landlord. It is ludicrous enough to hear their mock quarrels,
cursing each other at every word. “Tell the d—d old b—r
to come in—I’ll be at him, by the Lard will I. Mariah,”
] “set away the chairs, and stir up the fire, and draw up
tables, and hop round—be brisk—you will never get married
while you squeeze yourself up in them d—d coarse setts, and
stuff them pan handles It was said that there was but two panaleft with handles on them in Huntsville
one of these belonged to Mrs. T. which she keeps under lock and key.
down your b—.”
This beats us all
hollow, Matt. They are, however, the most generous of the
human race. Since this the author has been surprised at the difference of the Atlantic people
from these—they do not, it is true, swear, but are as hard hearted as the flinty rock.

General Brahan, Benjamin Patterson, Esq. (the cousin
of our friend,) Messrs. Reed and Cox, the latter Cashier of
the Bank, and Dr. Bradford, are all the citizens I have been 6(4)r 47
introduced to. General Brahan, of the late war, is a prince,
in whatever light he may be viewed. He is polite and affable;
of great size; handsome person; of middle age, and a man of
great wealth. Mr. Reed, a merchant, is also a stout gentlemanly
man, and said to be wealthy. Patterson is quite young,
and one of the finest men in the world. Cox is a crusty old
man, and a bachelor—but the dogs may take him for me.

I tried to see Colonel Pope, one of the first men in Madison
; but he was absent. He lives at the edge of the

Mr. Patton, formerly of Monroe county, whom you knew
well, and who set out poor, is now one of the richest men in
the territory. This fortune he has acquired solely by his own
industry and enterprize. Mr. Patton is much respected in
Huntsville, and is the proprietor of large plantations, stock,
&c. Madison county alone contains more wealth than half
west Virginia! But more of it when I have been longer in the

Yours, &c.

Letter XX.

Dear Matt,

Not willing to break in on the thread of my journey, I
send you a few particulars of Tennessee, of which you anxiously
expressed a wish to be informed. I only stopped one
day at Nashville, to rest, and had no opportunity to learn
much of the state, though I have picked up a few anecdotes
of it in this place.

I learn that, next to General Jackson, General Carroll is
the idol of the people. As I travelled through the state, I
asked the people “what they would do when they lost General
—that I supposed they would hardly fight under any
other man?”
They replied, “that they would almost as soon
fight under General Carroll, or General Coffee.”
Astonishing 6(4)v 48
how these men doat on their officers. It would be a serious
matter to say any thing against them in this country. General
, as well as General Jackson, are worshipped as

When General Carroll was descending the Mississippi
with his troops, to join General Jackson at New Orleans, he
used to exercise his men by moonlight on the decks of the
boats, as they floated down the river, to fit them for the conflict
with the British, which awaited them on their arrival.
General Carroll is said to be a mild good natured man, and
contributed no little to the brilliant victory of New Orleans.
He commanded the centre of the American line.

I understand a work is now in press, written by one of
Jacksons aids, Major Eaton, in which we are to have the
principal incidents of the battles, and a sketch of the principal
officers. For the rest, Judge Kelly, Judge Haywood, Felix
, and Counsellor Whiteside are reckoned the first men
in Tennessee, and rank high at the bench and the bar. Mr.
, whom we knew in Virginia, is tolerable hazy you
know, but is much respected. He lives in Nashville, and
called to see me at the inn. Grundy is said to be the first
orator in Tennessee. He is a pupil of the celebrated Doctor
, once President of Columbia College at Nashville.

Of General Jackson, I shall say nothing till I see him,
which pleasure I expect at Melton’s Bluff, head of the Muscle
, where I shall be in a few days.

Yours, &c.

N. B.—Do not be afraid, I will notice all the big things,
and you may guess at the little ones.

Letter XXI.

Dear Matt,

After packing up last evening for the Bluff, I sat musing
in my parlour, when all at once my ear was saluted with 7(1)r 49
the sound of mirth and jollity below. Eager to learn what
was going on, I descended to the parlour, and there I found
the sweet girl, the grave matron, the sparkling belle, the conceited
fop, the modest young gentleman, vetran soldier, and
a sociable old planter. They were all talking and laughing
about the gas, (all the rage,) planting cotton, courting, philosophy,
biography, &c. Every one expressed themselves with
freedom and good humour; but I perceived great deference
was paid to the old planter, a Virginian by birth, immensely
rich, and a widower.

I had scarcely seated myself when my landlady, a sprightly
black-eyed woman, and no fool either, joked the old planter
about the girls. “Poh, poh.” said the planter, “I don’t care
a cent about the girls: why they won’t let such an old fellow
come within a squirrel’s jump of ’em.”
“But you must persevere
—don’t give up the ship—I’ll engage you will succeed—
many a girl would jump at you.”
“Faith, that’s the greatest fault
I find with them; but instead of jumping at me, they jump away;
and if I offer to lay my hand on one, she runs and squalls, as
though I were a robber, and were tempting her life.”
says the sprightly Mrs. Mosely, “there you are wrong: no
one offers to touch a lady in these days. I am surprised at
you. When you court a girl, you must set off at a distance
and talk to her; and write verses in her praise, and send
them to her; the old time’s fashion, when you and my mother
were young people, will not do now-a-days.”
“The d—l it
won’t; then they may all die old maids for me. I tell you
what, Mrs. M., I think the gals was as virtuous in my young
days, and may be, a little more so, then they are now—and
many an arm have I laid round ’em, see.”
“Oh, fie! don’t
talk so—you will make the ladies faint. These were old times,
the fashions have changed.”
“Faith, I believe so; but it is
from good to bad. I am opposed to all these new kick-ups.
Whenever I see a gal so very coy and prudish, and won’t let
a man come near her, it gives me a bad opinion of her; and
I’ll tell you why—when I was a young man, I happened to be
at a ball—your mother was there too. So, there was one gal
there; a m—i—g—h—t—y precise creature, and would not let me 7 7(1)v 50
touch the tip of her finger. ‘No, Sir, I do n—’t d—a—n—c—e
and primped up and tossed her head, and cried
out to a friend, sitting by her, ‘how odious it was, for men
to be taking hold of ladies’ hands—she was surprised at my
and not long after this, this same nice lady met
with a misfortune ladies, which I leave you to guess. Ever
since that I marks ’em—I has my own opinion of ’em.”
what nonsense,”
said the belle; “such talk ar quite ridiculous.”

While the old planter and the ladies were conversing,
Mr. Fop and the young gentleman were engaged in an analasys
of the gases. “And what is gas?” inquired Mrs.
: “I hear nothing but gas, gas, gas, where I go—
and I know no more about it than a monkey. I have asked
hundreds, and either they, or I, must be fools: Not a soul that
I meet can explain it in terms I can comprehend. They stuff
it with such a number of outrageous hard words, that I could
understand Greek sooner. Now, gentlemen, do if you please,
tell me in plain words what is this gas.”
She looked at Mr.
as she spoke, who being appealed to, cocked his head, spit,
and hemmed; and edging his chair towards the ladies, said:
“Have you never read Accam’s theoretical, practical, chymistry,
“No, I have not,” said Mrs. M., in a pet,
“and I should not understand a word of it if I had. I despise
your theoreticals and practicals. I understand none of your
hard names. If you cannot tell me, in plain English, what
gas is; where it comes from; and what it is made of; or
whether made at all, or not, you need say no more. I am sick
of the gases.”
Now, thought I, I shall hear what these gases
are at last. She will certainly get it out of him. “There
are several sorts of gases”
“Oh, if you have more than
one gas, I am sure I will never understand it, so you may
stop at once—just tell me what is gas!”
“Gas, Madam, is
a combination of certain substances, reduced to a gaseous state,
formed by adding a solvent substance, and by their joint
“Thank you, Sir, I have heard enough of it,”
said the lady, very short and illnatured. She must be one of
the Honourables, as he took it all in good humour.

The old planter, who had listened attentively, said, “faith 7(2)r 51
Mrs. M. this is more of your new fangled fashions, I suppose.
What the d—l it means I don’t know. It is like your new
fashion of wooing. I mean no disparagement to you, ladies
and gentlemen; but I thingk the good old times were the best;
and I never herd a word about Gashes, or what you may call
it. Landlord, times are dry, hand round some wine.”
I was
pleased to hear the order, though I could not join them, as I
wished to hear the old man talk another talk.

A little bustle succeeded, but in a short time all were seated
again; when I asked Mrs. M. if she gave up the gases?—
The other young gentleman blushing deeply, and regarding
Mrs. M. earnestly, at first, faultering, but growing firm as he
proceeded, (being very young) addressing himself to the ladies
expressed himself nearly as follows: “Gas is a fluid substance,
and is similar to air. It is transparent like water; and like
water, elastic, forcing itself to its level. It is heavy, but invisible.
It cannot be affected by cold, but can by heat. Gas
exists throughout nature. There is gas, more or less, in all
substances; and all gases (for as my friend said, there are
several kinds of gas) are a combination of substances, such as
common salt and water; to these add half their weight of sulphuric
acid; heat applied to these, gas is produced, and may
be collected by an instrument suited to the purpose; but to
retain it, it must be placed over mercury. There is gas in all
substances, and of three distinct kinds, viz: Oxygen, hydrogen,
and nitrogen, gas. These are produced by different processes,
and their properties differ: Oxygen gas, for instance, is indispensable
to the respiration of animals—it is the cause of animal
heat. In its artificial state, it will, when brought into
contact with any combustion, burn, and emit a flame. Hydrogen
gas, is what was formerly called inflammable air. Animals
will die in it instantly, as they cannot breathe in it, though
vegetables will grow in it. When brought in contact with
atmospheric air, or what is the same thing, oxygen gas, it
will burn fiercely. Nitrogen gas, in its primitive state, will
not burn on touching combustion. In chymistry it has various
uses. It is a component part of all animal substances, and 7(2)v 52
communicates to them their most distinctive characters.”
concluded by adding, that he “had a very limited knowledge
of the gases, having but just commenced the study of chymistry,
and that it was a science the most difficult of all others to explain
to those who have not a practical knowledge of the
Loud were the plaudits of the ladies; and the old planter
said, “the young man must take a glass of wine with him:
he spoke like a man of sense, though he (the planter) did not
understand his argufication.”
The party ended with a dance,
and I retired shortly after they commenced, as I had to rise

Yours, &c.

At Huntsville I saw crickets to put the feet on, for the first time.

Letter XXII.

Dear Matt,

I was three days on the road to this place. Melton’s
is at the head of Mussel Shoals. But to see more of the
lands shortly to be sold, I went direct to the foot of the Shoals,
70 miles from Huntsville, crossed the river, and came up on
the south side of Tennessee river. We had a soaking rain
the first day, but the road was fine, the country being a level
plain, and the land as rich as any in the world, doubtless, and
well watered. Many houses are already built on the road side,
and good entertainment. The lady, however, where we staid
the first night, said it was very sickly.

The second day, towards evening, as Mr. Beech (my
fellow traveller) and I were at our ease, chatting on different
subjects, my servant, behind us, cried out “Looky! looky!
what a great river!”
We had heard a roaring sometime, and
Mr. B. who was acquainted with the country, observed we
could not be far from the foot of the Shoals. Upon turning
our horses out of the road a few steps, we saw the river—a
most sublime picture it was! That part which first burst on 7(3)r 53
our view, was three miles in width! the largest body of water I
ever saw. It was at this time very high and muddy; and the
noise produced by the water washing over the rocks was

We saw a boat hung on a rock, about the middle of the
stream, and many persons around it on the rocks, endeavoring
to get it off; the waves and white caps were dashing furiously
around them; and unable even to hail them, we proceeded,
being near our destination.

The sun was verging upon the horizon, while I was
musing upon the fall in the river (which was evident.) Having
travelled over level ground from Huntsville, we began to
descend rapidly, almost a precipice, the road making a sudden
bend to the left; and shortly the house, at which we were
to spend the night, stood before us, on the bank of the river.
But it here flowed in a smoothe current; yet, upon looking up
the river, the wide spreading Shoals were seen. The grandeur
of the scene engrossed my attention, until night fall compelled
me to retire into the house.

Upon entering the tavern, I had the pleasure of meeting
with the Reverend Gideon Blackburn, the same who civilized
the Cherokee Indians. I had heard of Mr. Blackburn often.
He is represented as a man of superior talents, both as a
divine and a politician, and rendered his country many signal
benefits in co-operating with General Jackson last war, in
raising the necessary requisites for the army. He is a stout
coarse featured man, of middle age, and very distant in his
manners; but has great expression of countenance, and every
mark of a sensible man. He did not seem pleased with the
house, and crossed the river, late as it was, to seek a lodging
elsewhere. It was a great disappointment to me, as I promised
myself much pleasure in his society. The landlord,
and a number of boatmen had been drinking freely, which, I
suspect, displeased the Parson.—The lady of the house, a very
beautiful and accomplished woman, was no less sorry, adding,
she had known him from her infancy.

Mr. Beech going no farther, I took a guide, one of the
pilots, and crossed the river next morning, in a ferry boat. 7(3)v 54
I should have found it difficult, on account of several creeks
which were backed up by the river, without a guide. The
Tennessee river is wider at the foot of the Shoals than the
Ohio, at any part I have seen, and equally beautiful, perhaps
superior. It has not those high banks which confine the Ohio,
if we except what the people, in this country call Bluffs.
These are steep ledges of rocks which appear at very considerable
intervals, sometimes on one side of the river, and
sometimes on the other—and from appearances I would suppose
it often inundates the bottom lands. These are covered
with cane, as thick as the hairs on your head, and look like
so many fields of green wheat. These, contrasted with the
leafless forest, are singularly beautiful. Not only the islands,
but the bottoms are so thickly covered with cane, that you
could not see a man on horseback five steps from you.

Yours, &c.

Letter XXIII.

Dear Matt,

Upon leaving the ferry, I was pensive and melancholy;
for, being told by my guide I was to pass several Indian
farms, it struck a damp on my spirits, of which he was unconscious.
He speaks of the Indians and their departure with
perfect indifference.

On leaving the river the beauties of this deservedly extolled
country broke on my view by degrees. To compare it
with the Elysian fields of the ancients, would give but a feeble
idea of it. The diminutive vale of Tempe and their thousand
sylvan shades, vanish into nothing, compared with this. As
you are partial to any thing I say or do, I shall throw my
thoughts together for your amusement, and you may arrange
them at your leisure.

7(4)r 55

It is unnecessary to state what you have learned from
the newspapers, that this land was abandoned last fall by the
Indians. The fires were still smoking, when the white people
took possession. Although I had travelled through a beautiful
country, the two preceding days, and my mind had been
raised to the highest pitch of expectation by repeated descriptions
of this land; yet, it far exceeded all I anticipated. On
quitting the impervious river-bottom, I emerged into an open
country, high and dry. The exuberance of cane and timber
subsides. This enables the eye to see a great distance—no
hill nor dale—neither is it a perfect level; but the surface is
gently undulating, or alternately elevated or depressed like
waves. The eye can range without controul in all directions.
This is what charms; and this I was not prepared for.

But what struck me with most wonder was, that I always
appeared to occupy the highest ground; and, all from that
point, seemed to descend; and when I gained the extreme
boundary of view from a given point, it was the same thing
as before—this appeared the highest; that which I had left,
the lowest. A warm hospitality seemed to breathe among the
trees: they have something cheering in their aspect. They
do not terrify by their gigantic looks—they open on all sides,
as if to let you pass, and welcome your approach. The sun
throws a shining lustre over them. How unlike the cold,
dreary, hard frozen hills of Monroe, or in fact any thing in
our country.

About ten o’clock we came in sight of the first Indian
farm—but Indian farm no longer! The smoke was issuing
slowly through the chimney. Why, these Indians have been
like us!—could not be savage—cornfields—apple trees, and
peach trees. Fences like ours, but not so high—trusted to
their neighbor’s honesty—perhaps these being more civilized
had more reason to fear their neighbor. Provoked with my
guide because he could not tell me the original cause of these
enclosures among the Indians—from four to five rails high—
this would not do among us—’twould breed a civil war.—
There were the lusty corn-stalks—looked grayish—some were
standing erect, some were broken off at the middle and hung 7(4)v 56
together still, some were prostrate. The house looked tight
and comfortable; the fruit-trees are large, and show age—
there the Indian sat under their shade, or stood up and plucked
the apples—wonder he did not plant more—suppose he did
not know how to make cider. Blockhead!—better than

My guide says peaches are delightful in this country.

Poor Gourd! That was the Indian’s name; had he still
been there, I would have called to see him: but I felt no desire
to see his successor. Guide says Gourd was very kind; he
knew him for fifteen years. He helped to subdue the Creeks,
and made an excellent soldier. There was a portico over the
door—there Gourd used to sit in the warm summer days. We
rode close to the fence, built by his hands, or perhaps his
wife’s; no matter which it was, it was no less dear!—It was
his home! The sun, at this moment, overcast with clouds,
threw a solemn gloom upon the Indian farm. Nothing moved
but the smoke from the chimney—all was silent and hushed
as death!—Poor Gourd had to leave his home, his cornfield,
and his apple trees.

There could not exist a greater evidence of unbounded
avarice and ambition which distinguished the Christian world,
than the one that lay before me. There was a time when the
owners of this beauteous country flattered themselves that
distance alone would screen them from the intrusion of the
whites. Vain hope!

Absorbed in pensiveness, I heeded not the loquacity of my
servant and guide, who cared for none of these things. My
guide tripped lightly along—a tall keen man. I proposed that
my servant should walk and let him ride; but he refused; said
he would rather walk. “But you will have to swim presently,”
said he. “How so? I would rather not.” “Your horses, I
mean; you cross Town Creek, in a canoe, and swim your
horses; this will cost you one dollar.”
“One dollar!” These
white people I thought are greedy. Shortly after this we
came to the house where the man lived who was to have the
dollar—another Indian house, and I hastened to view the
interior. It was a roomy tight built cabin, similar to many 8(1)r 57
you have seen. The logs are round, very light, and lie
close upon each other. The door was the only singularity:—
It was as high as common doors, but not more than half as

As I sat musing upon the ups and downs of this life, I was
roused by the man who was to put us over, observing, “I
can’t tell what’s to be done about putting you over Town
. Some of my good neighbours, on the other side, has
cut down four or five trees into the crossing; and it is almost
impossible to cut them away, as the Creek is high, and they
have to be cut in such a manner, (the ends of them lying on
the land,) as the water may float them off.”
“But can we
not find another place by going higher up the Creek?”
Impossible! and it will be a hard job, if it can be done at all.
There is no possible way but to stand in the canoe, to the danger
of our lives.”
“Then,” said I, “we will return, and
await the falling of the river.”
I saw through the matter at
once; he wished to have something extra; and had he not been
a sharper, I would have given him something extra. Now see
these white people! These Christians! His Christian neighbours
felled the trees in the stream, and he wanted to filch the
damage out of me! So would not the Indians!—“Oh, we
will go and see what can be done. Shall I help you on your
horse? The Creek is a good step off.”

A few minutes brought us to Town Creek; and there were
the trees, sure enough—cut near the margin—four of them;
and all their tops lying piled on each other, precisely where
our horses were to land. None but a fiend would have
thought of such hellish malice, and such an ingenious piece of
mischief too. I should never have dreamed of it.

Leaving the horses on this side, the ferryman and Rhea,
(my guide’s name,) and my servant, crossed over, and commenced
chopping the trees, at the surface of the stream, some
alternately holding the canoe to the place.

I sat down on a log, and taking a newspaper to pass the
time; behold! a long holding forth upon converting the Indians,
was the first thing that struck my eye! I would have a much 8 8(1)v 58
better opinion of robbers and pirates, than such men: they do
not belie their trade.

In a quarter of an hour the trees were removed, and I,
with my horses, were safely on the other side; and do you
think the fellow had not the impudence to ask seventy-five
cents extra, after drinking between them a bottle of whiskey,
which I gave them as a treat, and Rhea and my servant also
assisting them!! “No, Sir,” said I, “I will advertise you
as a sharper besides!”
Give him seventy-five cents extra! I
was on the rong side of the river for that. Rhea said I had
two more creeks to pass! Big Nance, (called after a woman
by that name, who lived there.) These, however, were easily
forded—and chatting with Rhea, I learned he was from Rockbridge
, Virginia; had piloted boats through the Muscle
, fifteen years; sometimes four at a time, at ten dollars
each. He sails down one day, and walks back the next. He
never met, in all that time, with an accident! There are several
of these pilots.

You cannot imagine a sight so beautiful as this country
exhibits to this place. But the sight of the Bluff at a mile’s
distance, fairly entranced me. It is an even high plain, and
resembles a hanging garden. The sun favored us with his
rays as we drew in sight, and shed a beautiful lustre on the
Bluff.—This land is so clear of undergrowth that you may
drive a wagon any where through the woods; and this body
extends, I am told, twenty miles in width. We passed many
Indian houses in the day, and some beautiful springs.

Yours, &c.

Letter XXIV.

Dear Matt,

Melton’s Bluff is a town, and takes its name from a
person by the name of John Melton, a white man, deceased 8(2)r 59
two years since, at an advanced age. Various stories are
related of this man; but all agree in this: that he was an Irishman
by birth; became displeased with the white people;
attached himself to the Cherokee Indians; married a squaw,
and settled at this place many years ago; that, with the assistance
of the Indians, he used to rob the boats which passed
down the river, and murder the crews. By these means he
became immensely rich; owned a great number of slaves;
most of whom he robbed from these boats. Thus ’t is said he
continued his piracies until the treaty between the United
and the Cherokees.

He had several children by his Indian wife, one of whom
married Rhea, the pilot. After peace was signed with the
Indians, Melton lived quietly at home, and cultivated his
farm; but towards the latter part of his life he became alarmed
from the threats of the Creeks, and removed over the
river, where he also had a large farm, and built a fine house,
(which I have seen,) and died rich in a good old age. Most
of his children married white people.

He used to keep a house of entertainment at Melton’s Bluff,
after his piracies ceased; and kept an excellent house. His
table was furnished with the best of liquors, meat, coffee, and
tea, and all prepared in the best manner. I met with a gentleman
who spent a week at Melton’s house, in company with
six others. He said he never fared better in any part of the
United States: but their bill was excessively high.

I saw and conversed with many of Melton’s slaves;
amongst whom was a cook whom he purchased in Baltimore,
at a very high price, as a first rate cook. She said that Mrs.
would sometimes take it into her head to go into the
kitchen, (particularly when she took a dram,) and kick up a
dust with her about the dinner. Mrs. M. wanted to model the
cooking to her own mind, that is, Indian fashion. She, the
cook, being responsible to her master for the forthcoming of
the dinner would go to her master; upon which the old man
would sally forth, with whip in hand, and if fair words failed,
the horsewhip always restored order.

You recollect Rhea whom I have mentioned: he married 8(2)v 60
one of Melton’s daughters—a most amiable woman, and very
lame. When the Cherokee Indians abandoned this territory
last fall, some of them went up the river to the Cherokee nation,
there to remain, till boats were provided for their removal to
the west, by the government; others went directly down the
river to Arkansas—of whom Rhea’s wife was one. The order
for their departure was sudden and unexpected. Such was the eagerness of the white people to possess these lands, that the fires
were not extinguished when they took possession.
Rhea, at
that time was absent from home, but returned on the same
day, and learning what had happened, was almost frantic—
jumped into a canoe, and soon overtook the boats. He flew to
his wife, and clasped her in his arms. Neither spoke a word,
but both wept bitterly. In a few moments he resumed his
canoe and returned to the Bluff, and she went on. They had
no children.

Whether Rhea was prohibited by the treaty from accompanying
his wife, or whether he was under a prior engagement,
none here are able to inform me—but certain it is, he is
now married to a white woman.

You have heard that this country consists of table and
bottom land, also, of the Bluffs. These Bluffs happen where
there is no bottom land, but the table land running up to the
river forms a high precipice, called a Bluff. This is the case
at Melton’s Bluff, the highest I have seen. Here is a very
large plantation of cotton and maize, worked by about sixty
slaves, and owned by General Jackson, who bought the interest
of old Melton.

No language can convey an idea of the beauties of Melton’s
. It is said to be the handsomest spot in the world, off
the seabord; and rich as it is beautiful. I can sit in my room
and see the whole plantation; the boats gliding down the river,
and the opposite shore, one mile distant. The ducks, geese,
and swans, playing at the same time on the bosom of the stream,
with a full view of the many islands. It is, after all, the great
height of the site that pleases.

I took a walk with some ladies to-day over the plantation,
as we wished to have a nearer view of those snowy fields, which
so sedulously present themselves to our view, together with 8(3)r 61
orchards, gin houses, gardens, Melton’s mansion, and a considerable
negro town.

We approached the mansion, by a broad street, running
up the river bank east of the town. This street seems suspended
between heaven and earth, as the whole premises for two
miles, all in sight, appears to be elevated above the horizon,
and none above the rest. We entered the court yard, fronting
the house, by a stile; and the first thing we met was a large
scaffold overspread with cotton: as it was in the seed, their
must have been many thousands of pounds. Being damp from
dew, and often rain, it must be dried in this manner. The
mansion was large, built with logs, shingled roof, and may
have been built 25 or 30 years since. I recoiled at the sight
of a place once the habitation of such a monster. Some of our
party went in: I did not. General Jackson’s overseer, who
joined us here, said he lived in the lower story, the upper
being filled with cotton. The scaffold was about four feet
from the ground. From this we crossed another fence, and
found ourselves in a cotton field of about one hundred acres,
white with cotton and alive with negroes. The centre of this
field is said to be the rallying point of viewing the scenery; as
it doubtless is. You can see up to Brown’s Ferry, eight miles
distant, with the naked eye—and the same distance down.—
The term “beauty” is applied to any thing which excites pleasant
feelings. Beauty is said to be a uniformity amidst variety;
a proportion of parts adapted to a whole; fitness of things
to an end; quantity and simplicity. All this is realised on
the scenery of Melton’s Bluff. Here is a noble river which
combines in itself all you can conceive of grandeur and utility,
adorned with islands spangled with boats, and enlivened with
wild fowl. Lift your eye from the river, and lo! magnificent
fields, white as snow, orchards, farms, and houses, all in view,
without moving out of the spot. You may thus form some
idea of this farfamed Bluff. Here the green islands look like
floating meadows. Here the boatman wields his massy oar,
and guides his freighted boat along. Here the wild fowl
arrayed in glossy plumes, wantons as she lists. Here the distant
billows breaking o’er the Shoals, echo back in murmuring 8(3)v 62
sounds, and mingling sweetly with the music of the boatman’s
viol, swells upon the ear and softly dies away upon the breeze.
To crown the whole, here the majestic swan, robed in dazzling
white, moves in all her graceful attitudes. These are
beauties which may be felt but cannot be described. This
combination of objects, each beautiful in itself, and so materially
useful, constitutes the beauty of Melton’s Bluff. All
the trade of East Tennessee passes by the Bluff, and halt here
to take in their pilots.

Yours, &c.

Letter XXV.

Dear Matt,

Now comes the cotton field again. As you complain of
long letters, I will please you if it can be done. This is the
first cotton field I have ever been in. It appears an endless business
when we cast our eye over so vast a plain of white with a
production, the gathering of which is to be effected by the
application of the fingers to every individual pod; and those
pods as thick as they can stand one by the side of the other.
It is discouraging indeed. But these negroes have great
patience, and seem to be cut out for the business. Here are
from 40 to 50, who scarcely seem to move out of one place;
nor can you tell which way they are going. They face about
to every point. Some are erect, and others stooping, and all
their hands move very fast. It is very light work; and the
climate is so mild, they work out the whole winter.

It requires practice to be a good picker; an expert hand
will pick about 100 weight per day. It is planted in drills from
three to four feet asunder. The stem sends out branches from
the bottom to the top, so dense, that you think it is sown like
wheat. The branches extend from one row to the other, and
so intermingle. It is worked in the same manner you do
Indian corn until it blooms, and the first frost that comes, 8(4)r 63
and even before some of the pods open, whilst others are
only in bloom. As soon as it opens, the picking begins; but
this requires double the hands it took in the cultivation.
These go regularly over the field, and by that time, a number
of pods which were not open on the first picking, are now
ready, and they return to where they first began, and go over
the same ground, and so on the whole winter. Large quantities
are burnt for want of hands to get it out of the way of
the plow, for the plowing must commence at the usual time;
and they set fire to rid it out of the way. I asked why
they did not give it gratis to the poor? without reflecting that
every man, woman, and child, able to work, were engaged
till the last moment. Children of twelve years of age, and
often under, make 75 cents per day. The land is amazingly
fertile on the Bluff. We measured one of the stalks and found
it 6 feet 6 inches high. From the field we sauntered along to
the cotton-gin. Every one who raises cotton, must have a gin.
As we walked along, thousands of paroquets flew over us
in flocks. They are very handsome, green and yellow. The
squirrels were likewise chattering in the trees, shelling their
nuts, whilst the friendly jay was sporting in the boughs, and
the red bird, in his brilliant scarlet plumage, hopping familiarly
before us, and his kindred songsters, were serenading us
in the adjoining forest. It is like our springs, music and
beauty greet you whichever way you move; and yet I am told
foreigners say we have no scenery in America. I do not envy
them their barren heaths and tottering castles. We have one
here, Melton’s castle; but like their own it only serves to
remind us of the rapine and bloodshed of its former owner.

We found a number of boys and horses at the the cotton
gin, which gave variety to our amusement, particularly a
considerable tree pulled round and round by a horse; this
turned a screw which pressed the bales of cotton—the world
and all the boys seem to be made of cotton here—that is all the
description I can give of the thing. The pressing part of it is
something like pressing cyder; but as to the ginning part of it,
with its thousand wheels and saws 8(4)v 64 It would puzzle ApolloIts whimses to follow.

On our return home, we passed two lines of negro cabins.
There were very few but children in them. We found the
cabins warm and comfortable, and well stored with provisions:
General Jackson, to whom they belong, being one of the best of

As I lingered behind the party, thinking of my own negro
children, the little things flocked round me, and as they were
looking up in my face, eager to be carressed, I discovered the
traces of tears on some of their cheeks. The sight pierced me
to the heart. Oh, slavery, slavery! nothing can soften thee!
thou are slavery still! Is there no hope high heaven?

Yours, &c.

Letter XXVI.

Dear Matt,

I am here for the winter, doubtless, and shall while away
the time between writing to you, viewing the country, and
“chatting with the beaux.” As you are desirous to hear a
particular account of this beautiful region, I shall finish what
I began sometime back.

I said the land was divided into bottom, table land, and
Bluffs. It also contains Bayous Pronounced Bius. and mountains. The bottom
land is held in little estimation; for, though more fertile than
the table land, it is hard to clear, being thickly covered with
heavy timber, and often not only by these bayous, but often
overflowed; this renders it too wet for cotton, which delights
in dry soil. Those bayous are formed by the water of the
river forsaking the channel, and, running off in various
directions, returns to the river and unites with it again.
The cotton, or table land, is separated from the bottom land,
by the Bluffs, and though they are only called Bluffs where 9(1)r 65
they meet the river, they are evidently the same elivation
which divides the bottom land from the table land. The table land
is not a dead level, but waving, and varies from 20 to 25 miles
wide: then comes the mountain, a narrow strip of pine land,
very little higher than the table land generally, and, though stony,
might be tilled. Then comes the table land again; next
mountain. These varieties run parallel with the Tennessee

Then comes the long moss, sixty miles on this side of
Cahawba, running in the same direction; and beyond it the
table land appears again. In the region of this moss it is
sickly, as it also is, on the rivers; but keep off the rivers and
it is as healthy as any climate, or perhaps more so, than any
part of the Union. There is no such thing as consumptions.
Those families subject to it perfectly recover from it in this
climate. Of this I have been an eye witness.

I saw some of the moss just mentioned. It looks like hay
when cured in the sun, though much finer. It has joints like
timothy grass. A gentleman who brought some of it in his
saddle bags to this place, informed me that it hangs loosely
upon the trees, as though it were thrown on by the hand, and
has no connection whatever with the branch upon which it
hangs. This is most singular. He said that trees of all descriptions
were enveloped with it, from the top to the bottom,
hanging down to the ground; and that cattle lived on it. I
ought to have said that a narrow blade branches out from the
joints of the moss. When it is soaked in water, it discharges
a thin coat with which the stem is enveloped; it is then black,
and resembles horse hair, and matrasses are made out of it.

But to return. This land produces upon an average 1000
pounds of cotton in the seed. Sweet potatoes grow very fine,
and are an article of food for the negroes. Corn grows well,
and, also, wheat; though the weavel destroys it almost instantly;
consequently, as they can buy it cheaper, and turn their
labor and land to better account, by raising cotton, wheat is
not raised. Tobacco, also, grows well, but they prefer the
cotton as more profitable.

I have seen no meadows since I left Tennessee; and though 9 9(1)v 66
clover grows well in Madison county, north of the river, the
soil is said to be unfavorable to grass. Vast numbers of cattle
are raised here upon the cane.

Yours, &c.

Letter XXVII.

Dear Matt,

It is now high time to introduce you to the ladies and
gentlemen of this town, city, or what you please to denominate
it. It would be a million of pities not to do so; particularly
a young lady, called the beauty of the Territory. There
are so many pleasing objects here—the climate so mild—and
such a wide and handsome prospect, that I am all delight—like
a bird let out of a cage. But I shall take care not to mount
my hobby, lest I might gallop off to Cahawba, or some other

To begin with my landlord, Colonel Pettis. He is a
young man of handsome appearance, and very good natured—
weighs about 200 weight, though not corpulent. He is a native
of Virginia; lived sometime in Madison, and moved here
about the time I arrived. I was introduced to him in Huntsville,
and knowing he was about to remove her, I was warmly
recommended to him. He is a man of considerable property,
and keeps a house of entertainment for the accommodation of the
innumerable travellers, who, like locusts, cover the land. He
amuses himself in this way, till the land sales approach, when
he designs to purchase and settle himself. His wife, young,
active, genteel, and sprightly, with a sparkling black eye, is a
beautiful woman, and the life and soul of the Bluff, two children,
boys, all they have, and two of his wife’s sisters, a gay young
widow and her child, with the bar-keeper, and myself, compose
the family. But the beauty, Matt, the flower of the
country, is here. She is only fourteen, but her fame extends, 9(2)r 67
and will, doubtless, cause many an aching heart. She is one
of the sisters just mentioned, the handsomest piece of mortality
I ever met with. Her features are without fault; her eyes
are unmatched in expression, as black as shoes; and her cheeks
are like roses. But my pen fails me—her name is Martha
. Another tavern is kept here, by Major Wyatt, one
of the heroes of New Orleans. The Major, his wife, and his
wife’s sister, with his mother, compose this other family. Besides
these, there are several tipling shows, three stores, an
apothecary shop, two doctors, a hatter’s shop, a ware house,
and several mechanics.

Major Wyatt is by far the most interesting man in the
town, as poor as Job, but brave and generous as a prince. At
the battle of New Orleans, he held a captain’s commission,
and was taken prisoner on the night of the 1814-12-2323d December.
After forcing the British from one position to another, and
dealing death wherever he appeared, deceived by the darkness
of the night, he mistook the British for our own men, and was
taken prisoner. The officer into whose hands he fell, immediately
disarmed him; put him under guard, and treated him
very harshly. Next morning he was exchanged. The next
engagement, Wyatt had the good fortune to take the same
officer prisoner. The officer immediately surrendered his
sword, which Wyatt received, but instantly returned it: shook
him by the hand very friendly, led him to his tent, ordered
refreshments, and setting a bottle of wine before him, after
taking a glass, desired him to make himself happy, and that he
should take the first opportunity of effecting his exchange;
saying this, he hastened to take his station at the head of his
men, leaving the Englishman overwhelmed with shame and
astonishment. Would you believe it, the hero of this Godlike
act was master of nothing at the time but his sword and his
honor, and at this moment is an humble boatman, and pilots
boats through the Shoals! His wife is young, handsome, and
industrious, and attends to the tavern. But Mrs. Wyatt, his
mother, one of the nobility of the Ancient Dominion, poor and
proud, is extremely mortified that her son should have married 9(2)v 68
“so much beneath him.” She has a daughter married to Mr. Pope, one of the wealthiest men in Madison. Shocking! She has condescended
to come and spend the winter with Neddy, however,
but she lowers upon her sweet daughter-in-law like a thunder
cloud. This widow of 70, is laced and starched stiff up to the
chin; homely face, but a fine figure, ignorant and proud as
Lucifer, and if I am not much mistaken, would have no objection
to enter into the holy bands of matrimony again. The
young widow of our family, is a daughter of the wealthy Mr.
, of Natchez. She fell in love and married a Major
against her father’s consent, who not only refused
to give her a dollar, but forbid her his house.

Chandler was a handsome, accomplished, man, but poor;
and about one year after his marriage, died, and left his wife
with an infant amongst strangers. Mrs. Chandler was found
in this situation by Colonel Pettis, and taken to his house,
where she is treated with kindness and respect. Her father,
who owns about ninety slaves, has sent for her to return to
him, and upon this condition he promises to divide his fortune
with her, General Castleton, his son-in-law, and a son, his
remaining child. But she, as yet, refuses to return to her
parent. She is a very small woman, but handsome and kind

To go on with the rest. One of the Doctors, Crab, of
Botetourt, Virginia, I knew, as well as the whole family.
They were respectable, and were formerly of Maryland. The
Doctor is a young widower, tall and slender; and pursues his

The other Doctor, Roussean, descended from the famous
writer of that name, is also from Virginia, and near Alexandria.
He is a man of genteel manners, young and handsome,
and very sociable. One of the merchants, Mitchell, with his
wife, is from Nashville, Tennessee, the first people on the
Bluff, and are also very pleasant. If we except a little envy
on the part of Mrs. Widow W. we have a very pleasant society
of our own, independent of the flood of travellers which
delight this country, making choice of such lands as they design 9(3)r 69
to purchase at the sales. The whole country exhibits fair
roads, produced by the people allured from all the States to
settle in this beauteous country. Our house is full every
night. In short, there are ten families, which, with the comers
and goers, and the arrival of the boats from East Tennessee,
we have a merry time of it.

Yours, &c.

N. B. Here is another Jay’s Treaty.

Letter XXVIII.

Dear Matt,

Good news awaits you: read on! Having collected a few
books, I was devouring Phillip’s Speeches (first sight of the
book) in a corner, when a loud cry, “General Jackson,
General Jackson comes!”
and, running to my window, I saw
him walking slowly up the hill, between two gentlemen, his
aids. He was dressed in a blue frock coat, with epaulettes, a
common hat with a black cockade, and a sword by his side.
He is very tall and slender. He walked on by our door to
Major Wyatt’s, his companion in arms, where he put up for the
night, though he called on us that evening and the next morning.
His person is finely shaped, and his features not handsome,
but strikingly bold and determined. He is very easy
and affable in his manners, and loves a jest. He told one of our
party, he was “one of the blue hen’s chickens.” He appears to
be about 50 years of age. There is a great deal of dignity about
him. He related many hardships endured by his men, in the army,
but never breathed a word of his own. His language is pure
and fluent, and he has the appearance of having kept the best

You will recollect he was ordered by the government
against the Seminole Indians. His army is on its march considerably
ahead of him, having crossed at Ditto’s Landing,
up the river, while he came round by this place to see his
plantation and slaves.

9(3)v 70

The hero of the south, as he is called, left us this morning,
at 10 o’clock, and our best wishes went with him. Upon
seeing him, I called to mind the night I was roused from my
sleep in Charlestown, about midnight, by William Quarrier, who
knocked at my door and proclaimed aloud, “General Jackson
has defeated the British at New Orleans; get up, we are going
to illuminate.”
This was the night of the fire-works and rejoicing
upon the news of the victory, which you no doubt well
remember. Many other anecdotes, particularly of his humanity
to the distressed, occured to my mind.

Upon my return once from Ohio, I put up at a Mr. Jones’s,
on Kentucky river. In the course of the conversation, I observed,
“that a new county had been established in Ohio, and
was called Jackson; and not satisfied with this mark of respect,
they called the seat of justice Jackson.”
Mrs. Jones observed
they could not have him too much; and it gave her
great pleasure to hear of his hapiness and success; that he had
been the means once of saving herself and her children from
perishing in the wilderness. Mrs. Jones, was the daughter of
Captain Arbuckle, of Greenbrier City, Va. with whom you
must be acquainted, though you may not be with the history
of his daughter, as you are too young.—Her history contains
a most surprising train of incidents, and superior to any
novel. The story is this: Mr. Arbuckle had several handsome
and sensible daughters. One of these was addressed by
a Mr. Jones, and a mutual and deep rooted affection grew up
between them: but Captain A. opposed their union, and forbid
Jones his house; and finally through persuasion and force compelled
his daughter to marry the son of Captain Robertson, a near
neighbour of mine. Upon this, Jones abandoned the country,
and I never heard of him from that day till the night of which
I am now speaking. As soon as Robertson married the girl,
he removed with her to Natchez, and I heard no more of them.
I did see a publication in the newspapers, of a female travelling
through the Indian nation, without protection, and that she,
and six children, entered the state of Kentucky, nearly famished.
Mrs. Jones was the woman! Her own narrative follows:
“I was forced to marry Mr. Robertson and be miserable, 9(4)r 71
or marry Mr. Jones, and render my father miserable; I
preferred the former. All places being alike to me, after this
sacrifice, I accompanied my husband to Natchez. We had
received a handsome beginning from both our fathers, and
were, for some time prosperous. But my husband, at length,
fell in with bad company, and took to gambling and drinking,
and spent the whole of his property.—Meantime we had seven
children, which I partly maintained by my own labour. Finally,
my husband took sick, and after lingering some time,
died, and every thing I had was seized and sold by his creditors,
with the exception of four horses, which I concealed,
with a view of conveying my children and myself to my father
in Virginia. I hired a man to go with me, and departed early
one night, and never stopped till I got over the boundary line
between the white people and the Indians. I had but 8 dollars
and a bushel of meal for myself and children; but I was so
annxious to get out of the reach of the white people, whom I expected
would pursue me, that I travelled without ceasing, or
rest, till the second day about 10 o’clock, when I turned out
my horses to feed on the pea vine, and began to prepare bread
for my children. Several of them being sick when I left
Natchez, were stretched upon the ground, while I was preparing
food, when, behold, three white men, whom I knew, appeared
in sight, having pursued me. They rode towards the
horses, as if to surround and take them by force, when I flew
between them and the horses, and told them they should not
lay hands on them. I acknowledged I owed money in Natchez,
which I honestly intended to pay when I reached my fathers.
You have deprived me of all but the horses, and without them I
cannot reach my fathers. I am out of your jurisdiction. I
am on Indian ground, and if you levy your process on my
property, you do it at your peril. You know the penalty, and
so do I, and I will prosecute you at every hazard. I had
been particular enough to learn by certain signs on the line,
and I knew I was out of their power. They endeavored to
frighten me out of the horses, but finding it vain they returned.”

“I pursued my journey all that night, and next day, until
evening, when coming to a deep hollow, over which there 9(4)v 72
was a bridge, I drove the horses over, and after taking
a slight supper, I lay down on the bridge, with a view of
guarding the horses. The man who was with me, an old
silly sort of a man, had disappeared sometime before I lay
down. I lay awake, suspecting some treachery. The
moon shone quite bright. The old many had doubtless betrayed
me to the same men whom, as I expected, pursued me. When
I missed the man I concluded I was undone, and gave way to
despair; for, though I saw no possibility of the horses crossing
the gully, except by the bridge, I was apprehensive some
place was known to my guide, or to the men. As I lay watching,
with an aching heart, about midnight I perceived the
horses moving slowly towards the bridge, and the same men,
with the traitor, pursuing them silently. When the horses
drew near the bridge, I jumped up and frightened them back,
and the men disappeared. They, doubtless, expected I was
asleep, and never dreamed of my securing the bridge. I never
saw my men afterwards. I continued my journey, now and
then buying a scanty supply of provisions for ourselves and
horses, from the Indians. These were the Choctaws, and were
very friendly. But it was at a season of the year when provisions
were scarce.”

“I travelled but slow, as my children were all sick, except
one.—One of the children was so ill that I had to carry it
in my lap; and though I expected to lose some of them, I strove
to get to the white settlements if possible.”

“The ninth day, as I was riding slow along, I met a gentleman
and his servant. He stopped and spoke very kindly to
me, and inquired very particularly into the cause of my travelling
in the wilderness; and asked me how much money I had?
I informed him I had but two dollars, and at the same time repeating
the cause of my journey. He approved my undertakking,
and pulling out his purse, gave me forty dollars! He
told me to keep a good heart, and I would surmount my difficulties.
Said he was sorry he was going the opposite way.
He spoke kind to all the children, and went on. It was General

“The day after I left him, as I stopped at an Indian house, 10(1)r 73
I discovered a gentleman, who appeared to be sick. He had
been resting awhile, and finding I was going the same way,
he had his horse prepared, and went on with me. He was very
feeble, and was followed by a mule, which was heavily laden
with specie. He had been taken sick on the road. We travelled
together, very slow, till the third day, when he informed
me he could go no further. As I had some knowledge of
medicine, and not wishing to travel without his company, I
placed him in an Indian cabin, and having medicine with me,
left by the physicians when my husband died, I administered
it to him—in three days, during which I constantly attended
him, he found himself well enough to venture on; and my children,
too, being better, we proceeded with much greater celerity
than before. We did not make as much progress as we could
have wished, owing to the want of grain for our horses. He
was well armed, but was, nevertheless, timorous—nor was I
less so; and the following will prove that our fears were not
groundless: As we were lying down one night, all asleep but
myself, (I never slept at night,) my eyes being fixed upon the
road, watching both ways, I saw a person walking up the road.
I turned to the tent where the gentleman slept. (I always
stretched a blanket over him at night,) and wakened him; but as
I crawled to him, I saw two more men in the other end of the
road, also, walking towards us. Their coming in this manner,
evidently showed their design, which was to rob the gentleman.
He seized a pistol, and called out to the men to stand—upon
this, all three ran, and he fired after them. They never appeared
after this, although we watched for them the whole of
that night.”

“In the course of our conversations, I mentioned the money
given me by General Jackson; and as we were now drawing
near Kentucky, and were soon to part, he said he must
give me something before we separated. Taking a fancy to
one of my horses, he inquired of me if I would dispose of him—
that if I would he would give me the full value, and I could
send him the horse when I arrived home. I agreed to this,
and he paid me the money, and we parted next morning.”

10 10(1)v 74

“I struggled with the sickness and hardships for the sake of
my children, until I arrived in Kentucky, when, having less
cause to exert my fortitude, I sunk upon a sick bed, where I
lay, until writing to my father, he sent for me, and four months
after leaving Natchez, we arrived, all safe, in Greenbrier!”

Yours, &c.

Letter XXIX.

Dear Matt,

The remainder of Mrs. Jones’ story is so interesting that
I must finish it. It amounts to the following:—When she arrived
at home, her father gave her, by way of compensation,
one of those fine tracts of land on the Kenhawa river, below the
Washington Lands. Meantime Jones, who was still unmarried,
wandered about the Western frontier, furing, &c.
and by sundry speculations, had collected a considerable sum
of money; and the British, on their invasion of New Orleans,
sending word to the citizens of Louisville, that they would dine
with them the next day! many of the inhabitants became
panic struck, and sold their possessions for a mere trifle.—
Jones became one of the purchasers, and grew, suddenly, rich.
He was offered, I think, and received, one hundred per cent,
for a part of the property, next day, reserving the best for himself.

When Jones heard of Mrs. Robinson’s return, and death
of her husband, he hastened to seek her; and, still retaining
his partiality for her, and she for him, they were married.—
She had been married about two years when I was at her house,
and was in the act of packing up to remove to Louisville, where
a splendid house and every thing that heart could wish was
ready to receive her. I should have been much pleased to have
seen Jones, but he was absent from home. I however saw a
very handsome child, better than a year old, the fruits of their
union. Let any of your novel writers beat this! Mrs. Jones’
children were very stout, and the oldest was nearly a woman.

10(2)r 75

Many similar acts of kindness, as related above, are told
of General Jackson. He is represented as being particularly
good and kind to his soldiers. One of his men informed me
he would walk through the mud for miles, and let his sick men
ride his horse. He would distribute his biscuit, tea, and
whatever his private stores consisted of, amongst the sick, and
go to the slaughter pen, and he and his suite would broil and
eat the tripe, and other offal, without bread and without salt.
This man, also, stated to me, he was present at the battle of
the Horse Shoe
, and a squaw being killed by accident, her
child was found alive, and at the breast of its dead mother.—
The General was pierced to the heart, and taking the child
in his arms, had it immediately fed and clothed, and hired a
person to take it to Huntsville, to be nursed. He has adopted
the child since, and calls it Leneour Jackson, and both himself
and Mrs. Jackson treats it with the utmost tendernes.

Last fall General Jackson came to the Bluff, when every
family was down with a fever, it being exceedingly sickly.
Many of these were unable to give the others a drink of water.
He had heard of the sickness of which his overseer had died,
and of several of his slaves being confined at the same time.—
Mrs. Mitchell, and her husband, (the merchant before mentioned)
were lying, not able to rise, one in one bed, and the
other opposite in another. She related to me, that the General
and his suite would take the water buckets and go to the
river for water; heat it over the fire, and take the sick in their
arms, and placing their feet in the warm water, would thus
support them, until they were sufficiently bathed, and then
bear them back to their bed again. After this the General
would administer medicine with his own hands. Thus he went
the whole night, and never ceased till he had administered the
necessary wants to all, both black and white, and consoling
them with the most soothing language. Mrs. M. said the General
had handled her as tenderly as though she were a babe;
and when he left the place, he ordered a negro woman of his
own to wait on all those who were without servants. You
could scarcely hear his name mentioned without the repetition of
some generous act. Well may the people adore him as they

Yours, &c.

10(2)v 76

Letter XXX.

Dear Matt,

If I were not the best tempered person in the world, I
should get into a pet and quit this correspondence. If it were
not for some way to pass off the time, I would do so. I have
not received a word from you these three weeks. What are
you about? Are you sick, or sullen; or bemiring yourself and
your horse by riding up and down the river through the mud;
or, taking the opportunity of my absence, gone to your old
tricks again? I shall be likely to hear no good of you, I suspect.
When I return, I mean to make very particular inquiries
about you; and there are not wanting those that will tell
me the truth; and a great deal more!

But I will give you only a piece of letter now, and the
residue of it when I get over the fatigue I experienced in a
late party of pleasure, or rather expedition, not against, but
amongst, the Indians. But such a job, or rather such “a voyage
of discovery,”
as it was made by our party on the river, under
a commander or leader, who was called a good waterman,
but who was more like a land-lubber, unless the character of
a good waterman consists in roundly wetting and worrying all
his passengers, you never witnessed, perhpas never “read
The particulars of it, however, would not be at all interesting,
because, they would be much like ordinary frights,
screams, and “hair-breadth ’scapes” of most large parties,
composed chiefly of females crammed into one poor little canoe
to navigate a great river. A more ill-looking, frightened,
chagrined, fatigued, be-drabbled, and be-drowned set of miserables,
than our party exhibited after being rocked and tossed
about, not in “the Bay of Biscay, O,” but in the broad
Tennessee for a considerable time without making a progress
of 800 yards, you never beheld in decent people, who started in
high spirits and holy-day dresses. All the curls, crimps, and
flourishing of gay gowns, new shoes, silk stockings, pantaloons
and petticoats, shawls and other flaunting finery humbled—not
“to the dust,” but—to the water! But I will now only give
you the “subject of my story,” and the object of this “grand
and proceed to the result of it in my next.

10(3)r 77

To the samein continuation.

Hearing eleven boats had arrived about two miles from
hence, and had haulted up the river, we set off, as I said before,
in a little canoe, to see the Indians, which are on their way
to their destination beyond the Mississippi. Government,
agreeably to their contract, having completed the boats, the
news of the arrival of the Indians had been received with
much interest; but being unable to proceed by water, we quit
the canoe, and proceeded by land in our wet shoes and hose.

We arrived at the Indian camps about eleven o’clock.
There were several encampments at the distance of three hundred
yards from each other, containing three hundred Indians.
The camps were nothing but some forks of wood driven into
the ground, and a stick laid across them, on which hung a pot
in which they were boiling meat; I took it to be venison.
Around these fires were seated, some on the ground, some on
logs, and some on chairs, females of all ages; and all employed,
except the old women. There were some very old gray-haired
women, and several children at each camp. The children
were very pretty; but the grown females were not. I saw
but few men. I asked the interpreter where they were: he
said they had gone to hunt; some of them had returned, and
were skinning and others preparing their game for their journey.
But none of them were near the womens’ department;
they kept at a very respectful distance.

I have heard much of the elegant figures of the Indians; true,
some nations of Indians are elegantly formed, but such is not
the case with the Cherokees. They are low in stature, and
there is nothing majestic or dignified about them. They have
no expression of countenance. They have a dead eye; but
their feet and hands are exceedingly small and beautiful.
This is all the beauty I could distinguish about them. No
lady that ever I saw has a hand so small or so well turned as
these Indian women; and the same may be said of their feet.
But, after all, they are ugly lumps of things. They are thick
and short. Their hair is jet black, and very coarse. It
parts from the crown of the head to its termination on the 10(3)v 78
forehead, as the Dutch women wear theirs, and clubbed up
behind with a blue or red ferret. Their colour is that of dark
mulattoes. They were all well dressed; at least as well as
most white women are, when engaged in their ordinary employment.
Some were engaged in sewing, some in cooking,
and some in nursing their babies, which were the prettiest
little creatures I ever beheld.

Their manner of nursing is singular. They do not hold
their infants in their arms, or on their laps, as our women do;
but on their backs, confined in such a manner that they are
in no danger of falling, or moving in any direction. This is
done by means of a blanket, or a part of one, drawn tight
round the infant, leaving its head and arms out. This blanket
is fastened round the waist of the mother, and the top I
do not know exactly how; but the utmost confidence seems to
be reposed in its tenacity, as the mother never touches the
child with her hands, or is at any more trouble with it whatever.
The little things clasp their arms round the necks of
their mothers, which they never move: no crying, nor fretting,
nor any apprehension of danger disturbed the serenity of these
little philosophers, on our approaching them. I have been
told that the mothers suckle them, where they are, by raising
the breast up to the child’s mouth, which is very probable.

The Indian women appear to sustain no inconvenience
from the incumbrance of their children. They went through
the different vocations of pounding their corn into meal, carrying
wood and water, with the same apparent ease as those
that had no children. Seeing several little girls of from ten to
twelve years old, I asked the women why they did not make
those little girls nurse their little ones. They answered no
other way than by shaking their heads, and smiling at my ignorance,
no doubt. I went up to one of them, who was pounding
corn, took the pestle out of her hand and helped her to
pound: she laughed at my awkwardness, and took it out of my
hand. She had, sitting by her on a washing-tub, a large tray
full of parched corn. This it was that she was pounding into
meal; and as she finished each portion, she emptied it into another
tray. Every thing about her was neat and clean. The 10(4)r 79
Indian corn was parched to a nice light brown, and looked
very interesting. The meal manufactured from this corn,
is not fine, nor do they make it into bread at all, but mix it
with common water and drink it. ’Tis rarely that they
drink water in any other way. No one, who has never tasted
it, would believe what a delicious drink it is.

Having walked about and made a number of inquiries, I
sat myself down and made signs to an old Indian woman that
I wanted to smoke: she very courteously handed me her pipe.
The seat I had chosen was near one of those women, whom I
had observed for some time, sedulously engaged with her needle.
She was engaged making a family dress, in which she
discovered all the skill and industry necessary to accomplish
it. Their dresses were made like our ladies, and were put on.
They had fine cotton shawls on their shoulders, and many of
them had men’s hats on their heads; but no bonnets were seen
amongst them. They all had good shoes or mockasins on
their feet, and some hundreds of beads round their necks; but
their broad faces and coarse hair (as coarse as a horses mane)
were quite disgusting. There is one elegance, however, which
they possess in a superiour degree to any civilized people that
I am acquainted with; and this is not their beautiful hands and
feet, already mentioned, but their walk. No lady, however
skilled in the art of dancing, can walk with so much grace and
dignity as these Indians, both men and women: and this, I am
told, is peculiar to almost all Indians.

Although there were such a number of them, so near together
as to be seen from one camp to the other, yet there was
the greatest ardor imaginable: not the least noise to be heard.
How would so many whites have managed to maintain the good
order evinced by these Indians? Even their dogs were not
permitted to bark at us. The poor dogs! I felt for them: they
were nothing but skin and bone! The same word that we use
to encourage our dogs to seize on any thing, or to bark, the
Indians use to control theirs, which is “hiss”! One of our party
told me that it was hiska! which means be still. The dress
of the men was equally as decent and fashionable as that of the
women. Many of them had on very neat half-boots, broadcloth 10(4)v 80
coats, and good hats; though some prefer tying their
heads up with a handkerchief, as being more convenient to hunt

By all that I have said in regard to these Cherokees, you
may perceive they are far advanced in civilized arts and manners.
This great work was accomplished by the indefatigable
labors of the Reverend Gideon Blackburn! And yet, what an
aversion they manifest toward our language! I was told that
nearly all those that I saw, both understood and could talk
good English; but not one word could I get out of them, of any
sort. Their inter-communications were carried on by signs.
I saw many of the half-breed, as they are called, here; the offspring
of a white and an Indian—but they were as unsociable
as the others. I was thinking that this would be a good plan
to promote their civilization, but the result proves that any
plan would not succeed. It is very probable, that the most
effectual means have been resorted to by our government to
overcome their prejudices. I mean our rifles.

Please to give my best respects to Mrs. Wilson and Mrs.

Yours, &c.

Letter XXXI.

Dear Matt,

You want every-day things, common-life, living-manners,
evening-chat, and have I not done so? Not every thing to be
sure, for I see and hear many things, that, oh heavens! I would
not—what was I going to say?—why, that I hear and see such
things, that would not look very seemingly on paper. But if I
live to see you, I shall let you into the knowledge of some
things you would not dream of.

But as you are fond of stories, here follows one, which I
am pretty certain you never saw. It is the first time I saw it,
and is said to be written by Dr. Franklin himself: “The Doctor 11(1)r 81
left Boston when a boy, and came to Philadelphia, where
he lived till his death. Upon the death of his father, he went
to Boston to comfort and console his mother. He had not
seen her since he left Boston, many years, and was sure she
would not know him. When he drew near her dwelling, as he
was fond of philosophical experiments, it came into his head to
pass himself for a stranger, and by this, ascertain whether
there was such a thing as natural affection. On a cold, chilly
day, in the month of January, in the afternoon, the Doctor
knocked at the door, and asked to see Mrs. Franklin. He
found the old lady knitting, before the parlour fire, and introduced
himself, by observing, that he had been informed she entertained
travellers, and requested a night’s lodging. She eyed
him with that cold look of disapprobation, which most people
assume, when they imagine themselves insulted. She assured
him, that he had been misinformed, that she did not keep
tavern, but that it was true, to oblige some members of the
Legislature, she took a number of them into her family during
the session: that she then had four members of the Council,
and six of the House of Representatives boarding with her;
and that all her beds were full; and then betook herself to her
knitting, with that intense application, which expressed as much
and as forceably as actions could do—if you have done your
business, the sooner you leave the better. But on the Doctor’s
wrapping his coat about him and observing that it was very
chilly weather, she pointed to a chair and gave him permission
to warm himself. The entrance of the boarders precluded all
further conversation. Coffee was soon served, and the Doctor
partook with the rest of the family. To the coffee succeeded
pipes and a paper of McIntire’s best, when the whole family
formed a cheerful smoking semi-circle round the fire.”

“Perhaps no man ever possessed colloquial powers in a
more facinating degree than Doctor Franklin, and never was
there an occasion when he displayed those powers to a greater
advantage than at this time. He drew the attention of the
company by the solidity of his judgment, and the modesty of
his deportment; instructed them by the new and varied lights
in which he placed his subject, and delighted them with apt 11 11(1)v 82
and amusing anecdotes. Thus employed, the hours passed
merrily along, until eight o’clock, when punctual to a moment,
Mrs. Franklin announced supper. Busied with her household
affairs, she fancied the intruding stranger had quitted the house
immediately after coffee, and it was with difficulty she restrained
resentment when she saw him without invitation seat himself
at the table with the freedom of a member of the family.
Immediately after supper, she called an elderly gentleman, a
member of the Council in whom she was accustomed to confide,
to another room, complained bitterly of the rudeness of
the stranger, told the manner of his introduction to the house,
observed that he appeared like an outlandish man, and she
thought he had something very suspicious in his appearance;
concluding by soliciting her friend’s advice with respect to the
way in which she could most easily rid herself of his presence.
The old gentleman assured her that the stranger was a man of
education, and to all appearances a gentleman; that being in
agreeable company, he had paid no attention to the lateness of
the hour, and advised her to call him aside, and repeat to him
her inability to lodge him. She accordingly sent her maid to
him, and then, with as much temper as she could command,
recapitulated the situation of her family, observed that it grew
late, and mildly intimated, that he would do well to seek himself
a lodging. The Doctor said that with her leave he would
smoke one more pipe with her boarders, and then retire. He
returned to the company, filled his pipe, and with the first
whiff his powers of conversation returned with redoubled force.
He recounted the hardships, he extolled the piety and policy
of our ancestors. A gentleman present mentioned the subject
of the day’s debate in the House of Representatives—a bill had
been introduced to extend the prerogatives of the crown. The
Doctor immediately entered upon the subject, separated the
Colonial rights with new and forcible arguments, was familiar
with the names of the influential members of the house, when
Dudly was Governor, recited their speeches, and applauded
the noble defence of the Chamber rights.”

“During a discourse so appropriately interesting to the
company, no wonder the clock struck eleven unperceived by 11(2)r 83
the delighted circle. Nor was it wonderful, that Mrs. Franklin,
by this time, grew exhausted: she now entered the room,
and, before the whole company, with much warmth, addressed
the Doctor, told him plainly she thought herself imposed on,
observed it was true she was a lone woman, but that she had
friends, who would protect her, and concluded by insisting on
his leaving the house. The Doctor made a slight apology and
very deliberately put on his great coat and hat, took a polite
leave of the company, and approached the street door, lighted
by the maid and attended by the mistress. While the Doctor
and his companions had enjoyed themselves within,
a most tremendous snow had fallen without, which had
filled the streets knee-deep; and when the maid lifted
the latch, a roaring northwester forced open the door,
extinguished the light, and almost filled the entry with drifted
snow and hail. As soon as the candle was relighted, the Doctor
cast a woful look towards the door, and thus addressed his
mother: ‘My dear Madam, can you turn me out of doors in
this dreadful storm? I am a stranger in this town, and shall
certainly perish in the street. You look like a charitable old
lady: I don’t think you could turn a dog from your door on this
tempestuous night.’
Don’t tell me about charity, said the offended
matron; charity begins at home. It was your own
fault, that you staid so long: to be plain with you, sir, I don’t
like your conduct; and I fear you have some bad design in thus
intruding yourself on my family. The warmth of the parley
had drawn the company from the parlour, and by their united
interferance the stranger was permitted to lodge in the house,
and as no bed could be had, he consented to repose on an easy
chair before the parlour fire. Although the boarders entertained
no doubt of the stranger’s honesty, it was not so with
Mrs. Franklin. With suspicious caution she collected all her
silver spoons, pepper-box, and porringer, from the closet, and
after securing the parlour-door by sticking a fork over the
latch, carried the plate to her chamber, charged the negro-man
to sleep with his clothes on, to take the clever to bed with him,
and wake and seize the vagrant at the first noise he made in
attempting to rob the house.”

11(2)v 84

“Having thus taken every precaution, she retired to bed
with her maid, whom she compelled to sleep in her room.—
Mrs. Franklin rose before the sun, roused her domestics, unfastened
the parlour door, with timid caution, and was greatly
surprised to find her guest quietly sleeping in the chair. A
sudden transition from mistrust to perfect confidence was natural.
She awakened him with a cheerful good morning, inquiring
how he had rested, and invited him to partake of her
breakfast, which was always served before that of the boarders.
‘And pray, sir,’ said the old lady, as she sipped her
chocolate, ‘as you say you are a stranger here, to what distant
country do you belong?’
‘I, Madam, belong to the city
of Philadelphia.’
The Doctor declared he, for the first time,
perceived any emotion in her. ‘Philadelphia!’ said she,
and all the mother suffused her eyes. ‘If you live in Philadelphia,
perhaps you know our Ben.’
‘Who, Madam!’
‘Why, Ben Franklin, my Ben; Oh, he is the best child that
ever blest a mother!’
‘What—is Ben Franklin, the printer,
your son? Why he is my most intimate friend.’
‘Oh! God
forgive me; and have I suffered a friend of my Benny to sleep
on that hard chair, and I in a good bed?’”

How the Doctor made himself known to his mother, he
has not informed us. But he always said, after that, that there
was no such thing as “natural affection.” How much like
her are all old women! I never found one drop of the milk of
human kindness in one of them.

Yours, &c.

Letter XXXII.

Dear Matt,

The anecdote of Doctor Franklin, in my last, reminds
me of a similar one of my mother.

When I was a child, my parents removed from Maryland
to the frontier of Pennsylvania, and settled in the woods at the 11(3)r 85
mouth of Loyalhanah, now in Westmoreland County. I can
just remember passing through Tanny Town, and seeing a sign
over a tavern door, which represented a boy sitting on a keg
with a bunch of grapes in his hand. I thought they were
actually grapes, and asked for some to eat. This, and seeing
the trees covered with snow, as we rode along, and Isaac
, who travelled with us, is all I recollect of the
journey. But, to the anecdote.

A vast number of sugar trees grew in that region, and
my mother employed herself in the spring of the year in
making sugar. I was about four or five years old, when my
father being on a journey, and my mother, as usual, employed
at the sugar camp, had left my sister (younger than I) and
myself in the house by ourselves. The spring was far advanced,
and as my sister and myself were amusing ourselves
catching butterflies before the cabin door, on a warm sunshine
evening, we were on a sudden surprised by a gentleman on
horseback, who rode up to us, and inquired “if he could stay
all night.”
We stood still, staring at the gentleman, not
knowing what answer to make, till he inquired where our
parents were, and what were thereir names. I was always the
first to speak, and said, “my mama is at the sugar camp, and
her name is Mary; and my papa’s name is William.”
shall stop,”
said he, and alighted from his horse, and taking
off the saddle, laid it down by the door, and asked me “if we
had a stable to put horses in?”
I told him I did not know what
that was—but we put old Bonny in the pen there, pointing it
out to him. “Have you any corn?” said the gentleman. “Yes,
sir, we have corn in the crib.”
“You are a finne girl; come
and show me the crib,”
said he, smiling: and after turning
his horse in the pen, I ran to show him the crib, communicating
every incident within my memory to him, without reserve,
at which he laughed heartily, and chatted with me in turn.—
But a violent dispute succeeded to this. I told him he took
too much corn for his horse; he must not take more than
twelve ears, that was all we gave to Bonny. He gave the best
of reasons why his horse should have more than Bonny; but 11(3)v 86
he argued to the wind. Our parents had laid down certain
rules for us to go by, and these were as firm and steadfast as
the laws of the Medes and Persians. I did not grudge him the
corn, but thought he was a novice in the art of feeding a horse;
and, finally, he was forced to let me have my own way.

Our cabin, or camp rather, was very small—not more
than 8 or 10 feet. This contained one bed, four wooden stools,
with legs stuck in them through augur holes, half a dozen tin
cups, and the like number of pewter plates, knives, forks, and
spoons, though my sister (very mischievous) had lost one of
the knives, (for which I was chastised,) broke one of the spoons,
and seriously damaged one of the plates. Besides these we
had a tray and frying pan, a camp-kettle, and a pot; and our
cabin was considered the best furnished on the frontier. A pewter dish or spoons, in those days, were considered articles of opulence—
two-thirds of the people of the frontiers eat with muscle shells, and I have, had a great
veneration for muscle shells ever since, for my sister soon broke and lost, together, our
half dozen spoons.
this, we had a table made of puncheon, (a tree split in
half,) and like the other furniture, was graced with four substantial
legs of rough hewed white oak. I think we had a
towel, but as for table-cloth, I had never seen one to my knowledge;
and neither trunk nor box incommoded us. There was
a few skins upon which those reposed who thought proper to
share them. Sometimes we had bread, and always a plenty of

The gentleman upon entering the hut, asked “if we had
any thing to eat? I am very hungry; I have eat nothing since
“We have plenty of jerk (dried venison) in the
I replied. He soon had a piece in his hand; and
hearing a hen at the door, he asked if we had any eggs? My
sister upon the inquiry ran out to a nest, hard by, and brought
four eggs in, and gave them to him. He made a hole in the
ashes, and covered up the eggs, and having salt and biscuit
with him, he made a hearty meal. He gave us a cake each.

It was now near night, and after taking a walk to look at
his horse, the gentleman being weary, said he would lie down.
He had travelled that day from Pittsburg. I offered him the
only bed in the house, saying we could sleep on the floor; we 11(4)r 87
had done so many a time. He declined the offer, and throwing
a bear skin, said, “that would do very well. I am used to
camping out; this will be delightful,”
and threw himself on the
floor. I ran and brought two or three more, and seeing I was
hardly able to drag them along, he laughed, and took them
from me. He put his saddle under his head, and I took a
spare quilt and threw it over him. In a very few minutes he
was fast asleep, and still my mother came not, though it was
quite dark; I put my sister to bed, as she grew sleepy, and sat
up alone.

My mother having a fine day for her business, did not arrive
till, perhaps, an hour after dark, and one of the next neighbors,
a female (the only one we had except the Peery’s came
with her, as she frequently did, when my mother was alone:
and, in turn, my mother would take us children, when their
husbands were absent, and spend the night with her. I had
heard their approach, and opening the door, ran to meet them
with the news I had to impart. I expected to receive the applause
of the two; but what was to my astonishment to find they
were not only displeased, but alarmed. It was just at the commencement
of hostilities with the Indians, and several white
men were recently detected as spies. “He is a spy, I’ll wager,”
said aunt Molly, (as we called her.) “I’ll be bound!” said
my mother, “or some robber come to murder us. You ought
not to have let him in the house,”
said she sharply; “never
do the like again.”
Finding I had done wrong in my mother’s
estimation, I sneaked into the house, and set myself down,
leaving the matrons holding a counsel in the yard. At length
they entered, on tiptoe, and lighting a lamp, took a peep at
the stranger, who was snoring aloud. They drew near the
fire, after this, and aunt Molly Carrahan said, “I don’t like
his looks.”
“Nor I neither,” said my mother. “He looks
for all the world,”
said the former, “like Paddy Dunahan,
that was hung in Limerick, for killing of Dennis O’Shaan.”

My mother said she had a great mind to take her children,
and go to Mr. Blane’s to-night. “Not a foot will ye stir,”
said aunt Molly. “I’ll tell you what we’ll do, Mary. I’ll just
put on the camp-kettle and have it boiling in a giffey, and 11(4)v 88
if he offers to stir, I’ll scald his eyes out the first thing. He’s
just one of the them English, I’ll warrant, come to spy out the
land; but if he offers for to go to molest us, I’ll put him past

The camp-kettle was put on, and a brisk fire made under
it; and for my part, in no apprehension from the stranger, I
laid myself down, and soon fell asleep. The first thing I saw
in the morning, was the gentleman pulling on his boots, and
my mother, (who doubtless sat up the whole night,) with a
smile, bid him good morning; and aunt Molly, and Irish woman,
“hoped he had had pleasant dreams.” The gentleman apologized,
said he had been very fortunate in lighting upon a
house; that he had travelled the preceding day through the
wilderness without meeting with one, and praised me no little
for a fine girl; and told the story to my mother about the horse
feed. The two ladies were highly delighted, and breakfast
was prepared for him before he set out; his horse fed; and, at
his departure he gave me a silver dollar, the first I ever saw.
And whom do you think was the gentleman? No less than the
amiable Mr. Findley, long a member of Congress from Pennsylvania,
distinguished for his republican principles, and one
of the ablest men in the state. He used to be called “the
walking library,”
from his knowledge of books; and one of the
finest looking men in the world.

Yours, &c.

Letter XXXIII.

Dear Matt,

Spring has commenced—the trees on the river are green
and the people are begining to plough. They plant cotton
here the first week in March, and, I think, corn too—the plowing
commences the first week in February.

You ask if I have books? Yes; I have read Salmagundi, 12(1)r 89
Philips’ Speeches, and Lady Morgan’s France; all new to me.
I never saw them before. They are very interesting. Standing
in a store one day, I saw a book lying amongst some rubbish, and
requesting the clerk to hand it to me, after brushing the dust
from it, I found it to be Salmagundi, a humorous and well
written work, by Paulding and Irving, of New York, so it is
said. “Oh,” said the boy, “that is not a good book. If you
want a book to read, here is a good book,”
and handed Russell’s
Severi Sermons. He put me in mind of old Mrs. W—,
whom you must have known. She came to our house one
Sunday; (she hardly missed a Sunday:) I was reading Buffon,
and laying the book on a chair to attend to something about
the house, the woman picked it up, and turning the leaves
over, exclaimed, “La, do you read such books to-day?”
“Why! what is the matter with it?” “Why it an’t a good
book. I would not read such a book on the Sabbath.”
this woman would pick whortleberries, and even wash her
clothes on Sunday. The young man was, doubtless, of the
same stamp.

Have you seen Lady Morgan’s France? You will be
pleased with it. For a woman she is a fine writer. This
work will long remain a standing evidence of that towering
genius which knows no sex. Her delineation of men and
manners are well drawn. Her style is classical, nervous,
glowing, and pure, and discovers a perfect knowledge of mankind.
She is the best portrayer I have met with, except Voltaire.
She descends to the bottom, and searches the lowest
depths of society. She re-ascends amongst the nobility and
gentry, and unlocks the cabinets of kings and ministers. She
examines for herself. She bursts the chains of prejudice, and
comes forth arrayed in honors all her own. This female, an
honor to her sex, and the brightest ornament of literature, was
once, it seems, an actress, and on the stage.

I have seen several new novels, which, with the exception
of Walter Scott’s, I do not read. Insipid, frothy, nauseous
stuff, I cannot endure them,—they are so stuffed with unmeaning
words. Now what do you say to “playfulness, fastidious,
how silly in sound and signification; it 12 12(1)v 90
makes one sick, and serves no purpose but to entangle the
subject and obscure the sense. And, by the way, these silly
novel writers must show their learning. Profound philosophers!
deeply read in history! abundance of things irrelevant
to the subject. Simpletons, we suppose every one know these
things. But, as some one has said, “let blockheads read
what blockheads write.”
But I find these novels corrupt the
morals of our females, and engender hardness of heart to real
distress. Those most pleased with fictitious distress, have
hearts as hard as iron. If they are pleased with one who relieves
fictitious distress, the reality ought to please much more,
and every one may be a real hero, or heroine, with less trouble
than writing or reading a romance. Let them just step into
the streets, the highways, or the hovel of the widow or orphan,
heaven knows they may find enough there; they need not look
in books for distress. I have seen pictures of real distress,
which greatly exceeded the pen of any novel writers; and yet
none heeds it. Relieving these would be Godlike, and would
impart a heaven upon earth. But you like short letters.


Letter XXXIV.

Dear Matt,

I am never better pleased, than when seated alone by a
bright fire, a clean swept hearth, a lighted candle, and a pair
of snuffers. I have a snuffer-tray too, but one who was raised
in the woods, you know, can easily dispense with a snuffer-
tray; but I confess, I abominate the practice of snuffing the
candle with your fingers. I was going on, however, to say,
that nothing gives me more pleasure than to seize my pen at
night, sitting comfortably, as I just observed, and talking to
you on paper; and here follows another catalogue of every day
incidents, appalling ones indeed, but you will have them.

It is one hand asserted, that human nature is the same 12(2)r 91
in all ages, and in all countries, on our globe. This is denied
by others, who say “as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined.”
That there is a difference in mankind, is certain, and I am
forced to believe this difference is the effect of education.—
Mankind, say some, are all alike. Alike, in what? This
vague conclusion is a violation of justice and truth. If it be
meant that mankind are alike in shape—true; but that they
are alike in actions, I deny! Else how comes it, that one man
will cooly, wantonly, and deliberately spill the blood of his fellow
man; whilst another affectionately relieves his sufferings?
Whether the cause of this difference lies in nature, or education,
I am unable, or rather unwilling, to say. But I am inclined
to think it the effect of education. We have a conclusive
evidence in the two puppies of Lycurgus. One of these
was purposely trained to the chase, and the other left to pursue
the dictates of nature. Lycurgus, you will recollect, to convince
the Spartans of the power and influence of education on
children, brought the two dogs, both of the same litter, into the
school room, and setting a dish of victuals in the centre of the
room, also a live hare, let loose the two dogs; and what was
the consequence? the dog trained to the chase took after the
hare, and the other ran to the dish of victuals.

It is, however, well known, that the brute, in a state of
nature, is superior to the human race; for instance, dog will
not eat dog; cat will not eat cat; nor will any of the brute creation
feed on its own species. But man will eat man! This
fact cannot be denied; and though we have line upon line, and
precept upon precept; and teachers from A, B, C, to the mathematics
for these 1818 years, yet we have cannibals still.—
This proves that something is wrong in our system of education;
or while it evidently improves our nature in onne place,
why does it not improve the whole—and while it has been able
to cure one vice, why has it not cured all? It is clear, education
improves mankind, and makes them happier, why then
does it progress so slow? The system must be wrong. But
what I was going to remark, we have great encouragement
to press forward in the arts of improvement, and since we have
been able to overcome the shocking practice of feeding upon 12(2)v 92
the flesh of our fellow man, we may in time, perchance 1818
years hence, be able to arrive to such a height of refinement,
as to cease from the practice of killing him; which I think is
a much worse crime than eating him after he is dead. It does
the dead no harm to eat him; and yet what an outcry against
cannibals. It is not the eating a man after he is dead, that constitutes
crime; it is the taking away of his life. A lady told
be once she would kill an hundred men before she would eat
one. She was a christian and not a cannibal. I hope, however,
to see the day that we may cease to kill men, since we have
ceased to eat them. In the one case we have so far overcome
nature, and I hope we will not stop till murder is rooted out
from amongst mankind.

I was led to these reflections, by various incidents of
recent occurrence, in this region; but no matter, wherever I
go, wherever I turn, I see ignorance the most besetting crime,
of the blackest die, and vice the most glaring. Amusing
myself this evening with a spy-glass, viewing the gambols of
a large flock of swans, whilst I had the glass up to my eye, I
saw a boat gliding swiftly down the river. It drew near to
the shore, on the opposite side, and a solitary man leaped out,
and fastening the boat, hastily disappeared in the woods. I
sat musing upon the strange appearance of seeing but one man
in the boat, when I was called to supper, where I found several
strangers, who had just arrived. In the course of the conversation
I mentioned the circumstance; when one of the
strangers, who was from East Tennessee, inquired the dress,
and height of the man, and observed, “that is the man we are
in pursuit of.”
He then added, “that this man had committed
two murders in East Tennessee, one in the summer, and one
in the fall; and that he was so desperate, people were afraid to
risk their lives in apprehending him; and he went at large.”

He has a sister over the river, three miles from here, where I
suspect he has gone to night. His sister lives at Fort Hampton,
and is a very fine looking woman. I breakfasted at her
house on my way from Huntsville. The gentleman endeavored
to collect men to go and take him that night: but no one was
wililing to join in the enterprize, and we heard no more of him. 12(3)r 93
But the following circumstance would seem to confound the
the idea advanced in the commencement of this letter, and
seems to decide in favor of man, in a state of nature; so you
may see, that by giving both sides of the question, I am free
from prejudice at least. About a year since, a widow lady,
who lived in East Tennessee, having received several invitations
to go to reside with a brother who lived in the lower part
of this territory, accordingly, disposing of her property, excepting
two beds, a negro girl, a favorite white cow, and three
horses upon which she and a daughter, (who was a woman
grown,) her beds, &c. were to be conveyed. She took passage
by water, in East Tennessee, with other persons, (who were
removing,) to this place, intending to pursue the residue of
her journey by land. She remained here at the Bluffs, a few
days, endeavoring to procure a man to accompany her, both as
guide and protector, her way lying through the Choctaw
nation. A man, with whom she had been formerly acquainted,
and who had followed the business of navigating the
Tennessee, (or boating down the river, as it is called,) happened
to come to the Bluff; she hired this man, and set forward on
her journey. The first day after leaving the Bluff, they overtook
two Indians who were travelling the same way. They all
proceeded together, until the next night. Some hours, however,
before night, the young lady complained of being sick,
and wanted water. The Indians informed her, that there was
a fine spring, a few miles before them, at which they would
arrive about camp time. The young woman being very thirsty,
asked if there was no water nearer. They replied that
there was a little creek about half way. They travelled on to
this creek, when the white man said he would stop for the
night. The Indians tried to dissuade him from his purpose,
but in vain—he would stay there—the Indians would go on to
the spring.

In the night the negro girl was awakened by the screams
of her young mistress, and beheld her old mistress weltering
in blood, and in the last struggles of death; and the wretch,
their guide, in the act of raising an axe to split out the brains
of the young lady, which he instantly did, although she begged 12(3)v 94
her life of him on her knees! He then ran to the negro girl,
and commanded her to hush instantly, or he would split out her
brains also; but that, if she would be a good girl, and report
(if any inquiries were ever made for the women) that they were
killed by the Indians, she would not be hurt. He then took
the two dead bodies, one at a time, and dragged them by the
heels, as the girl states, and threw them on an island in the
aforesaid creek. The next morning he set out with all the
property, changing his course a little from that which the Indians
had taken. To the first white inhabitant, whose house
he reached, he sold the murdered woman’s beds, her wearing
apparel, and the cow. When questioned about the blood on
the beds, he said his wife was travelling with him; that she
took sick and died; that she had been bled, and in that way accounted
for the blood on the bed. He then proceeded towards
the Spanish dominions, taking the negro girl and horses with
him. In the course of two months, the same two Indians returned,
and happened to call at the same house where the white
man sold the clothing and white cow. Seeing the cow in the
yard, they knew her instantly, and asked what was become of
the two women who owned that cow. The man replied, that
he had bought the cow of a travelling man, not a woman. To
repeated inquiries made by the Indians they discovered it must
be the same man. The horses, the negro girl, &c. corroborated
so exactly, that the Indians immediately suspected the man
of murdering the women. They stated every circumstance of
the young lady’s wanting water, the creek, and the spring;
and proposed that this man should go with them and they
would, probably, find the dead bodies. Accordingly, the man
went with the Indians, and found their camp by the spring,
as they had stated, and the other by the creek, exactly as the
Indians had reported; and upon searching the spot sometime,
they found the dead bodies in the creek, and round the waist of
the young woman, they found specie and bank notes to a large

The man who purchased the property, said he would have
the murderer at the hazard of his life and fortune.—He pursued
him, and in the lower country found him, and, securing 12(4)r 95
him in jail, returned home. The murderer broke jail and returned
to East Tennessee. The man who first took him, hearing
this, proceed to Tennessee, retook him, and placed him in
jail, which he again broke, and has not been heard of since.
The gentleman who had so often interfered, in endeavoring to
bring this murderer to punishment, was heard to say “he would
pursue the murderer to the end of the world, but he would find
This renegade was apprehended three years afterwards, and lodges in Huntsville
jail, where I saw him, and shortly afterwards he broke jail and made his escape with
fifteen others, and was not heard of at the time of writing this note. The murderer,
from the first, laid the murder on the two Indians. They being informed of this, assisted
in taking him the last time, and came on with the guard to Huntsville. They were
much enraged with him, and made him run before them, he on foot, and they on horseback.
They made him wade all the creeks, and now and then gave him a cut with
their whips, saying, “You kill white women, and tell lie on Indian.”

Yours, &c.

Letter XXXV.

Dear Matt,

I laid over the other part of my subject (ignorance) for
another letter. You may remember the little Natchez widow,
our guest; also the proud, haughty, next neighbor. Since
that, another widow has arrived, different from both these.
She is learned, sensible, and gay, though rather satirical. The
little widow is very captious, and pronounces “dis, dat, and
the comon dialect I am told of the country she came
from. She does not want sense, however, but is little skilled
in the affairs of the world. Old Mrs. Starchy and her can
never agree, and the other widow amuses herself at their expense,
and often has them almost by the ears. But I am rambling
again. Several gentlemen, on a visit to this country to
purchase land, spent a few days at the Bluff. They were gentlemen
of intelligence, learning, and politeness. While here,
they had frequent opportunities of conversing with the ladies,
of which they availed themselves with that taste, and good
sense which ever distinguish well bred people. But, alas! then 12(4)v 96
it was I discovered the disadvantage a female labors under,
when destitute of education; and this is still more apparent
when contrasted by one of their own sex. It is well for them
their ignorance effectually screens them from all knowledge of
the ridiculous figure they make. If they were sensible of the
pain they inflict upon those who are so unfortunate as to hear
them blundering from one thing to another; miscalling some
words, and misapplying others; and the no small pains they
take to expose their ignorance, shame and mortification would
drive them mad.

One evening, when all our females were present, (I have
always heard widows were jealous of each other, but this time
I had occular proof of the fact,) our newly arrived widow put
her rivals to shame, and gained a complete victory. This she
was enabled to do, without violating those rules of politeness,
which dispose the well bred modesty to concede their talents,
rather than wound the feelings of the company. The conversation,
at first, general, soon turned upon the victory of New
, and its consequences to the British government; the
accumulation of their national debt; and the expenditures of
their navy in times of peace. This last was stated by a friend
of the lady; in doing which, he inadvertently committed himself.
The lady had paid deep attention to the subject, and
seemed to participate in it like one thoroughly acquainted with
the subject; and the moment the gentleman mistated the amount
of the expenditures, she smiled, and set him right. He bowed
to her, as much as to say, go on, I yield to you. She took up the
subject where he left off, and went into a complete investigation
of the British policy; the measures of their ministers; and their
effects upon the people at large. She introduced many original
remarks of her own, upon their system of finance, with the
probable effects that may result, or grow out of the contemplated
change. Imagine the surprise of the company, who regarded
her with deep attention. The ladies turned their eyes upon
her in astonishment, and stared at her for some time; but, at
length, they began to whisper, and carry on a conversation
amongst themselves, with no friendly aspect. I heard one of
them say, “Some folks ar very fond o’ talkin wiht men—I 13(1)r 97
never liked men.”
“Nor I neither,” said another lady, in a
negro dialect; “it’s a bad sign to see some folks so fond o’
“I never, for my part,” said old Starchy, “liked men
so well.”
When I hear a woman say she does not like men,
I have the same opinion of her that I have of a man who praises
his honesty; or a parson who boasts of his religion. There is
a striking analogy between these three descriptions of people,
and one conclusion may apply to the whole of them.

On the next morning our guests departed, and a friend of
ours took occasion to call on the lady who expressed such a
dislike to men. He carelessly observed, that he felt quite lonesome
upon the departure of the strangers. She bridled up,
and said, “Where is Mrs.――; she is very good company I
“Yes,” said the gentleman, “she is very agreeable;
she has very few equals.”
“I ’spose she’s a great scholar;
and I dare say she’s very rich. For my part, I don’t know
what she is, nur I don’t care, that’s more. She’s a mighty
game-making sort of woman, for one thing, I know. If I was
Mrs――, I would tell her a piece of my mind, I know—that I
would. She’s a mighty comicle sort of a somebody anyhow,
She ended, and shook her head.

A lady asked me one day “What state Virginia was in?”
Another asked “If Canada was not in Kentucky?” and, another
“Supposed Joe Graphy was very hard to learn.”

Hence arises all our mistakes in religion, morals, and politics.
When our reason is cultivated and our minds enlightened
by education, we are enabled to strip off that disguise
which knavery, bigotry, and superstition wears. It rectifies
our judgements, holds the reins of our passions, in short, enables
us to discover whatever tends to promote our present
and eternal welfare. I was reading a newspaper to-day in
which was something respecting Ireland; a genteel, well dressed
looking man was standing by, and asked me if Ireland was
not in South America! He lives in this place; he is worth not
less than twenty thousand dollars; is a candidate for the office
of sheriff, in this county, which is the next wealthiest in the
state; he has eight or nine competitors, and the misfortune is,
that the electors, or a majority of them, and his rivals, are 13 13(1)v 98
equally ignorant! Now, what sort of an administration of public
affairs are we to expect when it is wielded by such men as
these? This is to be the downfall of our country some day!—
All republics have fallen from the same cause. We learn, when
the republic of Rome was overturned, it was done by the ignorant
vulgar. We find that all the men of learning and polite
manners, rallied on the side of liberty, while Cæsar was worshipped
by the common people—as a friend of mine once said,
“all the common people want rope enough.” This ignorance
is not confined to any one part of the Union; it is universal. I
happened to be in court once in a respectable county in Virginia.
The court was just commencing, the judge ordered
the sheriff to “command silence until he gave the charge to
the Grand Jury.”
The sheriff replied, that “he would thank
him (the judge) to do it himself, as he was a new hand at the
This was the high sheriff of the county. Why, a
person who is reputed to know any thing of geography, philosophy,
or astronomy, is looked upon with as much abhorrence
by the great mass of the people, as if he were in league with
the devil. They are jealous of the rich and great. Why then,
do they grovel in the dark? Why don’t they seek to have their
minds enlightened, which is their only security against the
oppression and encroachments of the wealthy? In a country
like this, where the freedom of elections bestows public honors
and public offices on every man alike, how can he discharge
the duties of his office with honor to himself, or benefit to his
country, who is ignorant of the principles of the very foundation
of his government? or how can he tell when the government
is administered correctly by others, when he is destitute
of the knowledge by which he is to ascertain the fact? Ever
since I can remember, this has been the case: the great mass
of the people are just the same; not one step do they advance
in knowledge. Is there not something wrong in our system
of education? If there be, where does the defect lie? I have
seen many evils, much sorrow, much oppression, much wickedness
of all descriptions and degrees, indeed I see nothing else.
I have taken much pains to trace these evils to their source,
and find its origin in ignorance. I have pursued them through 13(2)r 99
all those labyrinths, and they all stop here. But to apply a remedy,
or to dictate one, would exceed, pperhaps, the powers of
any one man or woman. If I were to speak from experience
upon this desultory view of the subject, I would say, in the
first place, that man is a reasonable being, reason is improved
by observation and study, and, as we see, hear, and understand
from the cradle to the grave, we are learning from the
first dawn of understanding. Man’s education, therefore, begins
with his life, and ends at his death. But first impressions
are the most permanent, because they find the mind empty and
prepared to take in a greater share than it is ever able to do
thereafter; and because the mind is soft and blank, as a sheet
of white paper receives the type, so it receives the impression
of images which are never effaced, and although he still is improving
by observation, yet the original impressions are the
strongest and accompanies us to the end of our lives. How
necessary is it then to impress the young mind with justice and
humanity. How necessary to enforce them, both by precept
and example, since these impressions are to influence them all
their lives afterwards. But when parents are ignorant themselves,
deplorable indeed must be the state of their offspring.
Destitute of learning himself, a man sees not the necessity of
cultivating the reason of his child, who, thrown on the world
like a vessel on the ocean, without sail or rudder, no wonder
he is shipwrecked on the rocks of superstition and credulity.—
But here lies the misfortune, and here I fear it is long to rest:
most parents not only being ignorant but are highly prejudiced
against learning. I shall dismiss the subject by a remark on
myself, upon the strength and force of early impressions.

When I was yet a very small child, being a terrible great
scholar, and a cruel good reader, my mother, proud of her first
born, procured scores of little histories for me to read—such as
the Seven Wise Masters, Moll Flanders, Paddy from
&c. and many a weary hour did I pour over these little
. I knew they were stories, that is, falsehoods; and what
was the consequence—when I came to read real history, I had
no more idea that it was reality than I had that Aladdin and his
Lamp, were true. The very name, history, of all others, bore 13(2)v 100
the impression of falsehood, and it was long before I could believe
that history was a narrative of facts; and had I not fortunately
fell in with a person of learning, I should always have
delved at little histories.

Every country have their little histories. Since I have
been here, numbers have asked me to loan them a little history:
all have the little. From not mixing with the common people,
not one in a thousand is aware of this state of society. One
would think that it would be the first and only object with men
of letters, to set on foot some method to enlighten the great
mass of the people, as they must, inevitably, and that before
long, have the management of matters in their own hands!—
And many a one, at this moment, are in office, by the instrumentality
of a vote purchased for half a pint of whiskey! But
says one, “there always have been degrees of knowledge,
and always will be distinctions in society;—nor was it intended
all men should be upon an equality.”
That there has always
existed degrees in knowledge, I admit, but that ignorance
is a necessary consequence, is most false. There is another
Jay’s treaty for you.

Yours, &c.

Letter XXXVI.

Dear Matt,

Now we have it from real life. If this does not cure you
of the blues, nothing that I can give you will. You have heard
of electioneering, and have seen it too. But your elections
bear no comparison to those here.

This country exhibits man in all his varieties, and in all
his gradations, from the country boor, to the most polished
gentleman—There is something truly amusing in contemplating
the progress of society. To see man slowly emerging
from a state of nature, to take his stand in civilized life—to
behold him in defiance of rules and maxims thrusting himself 13(3)r 101
forward, his means small, and at most, precarious—his understanding
limited—his heart ingenuous, exposing him to the
subtleties of his designing neighbor—to consider man in this
point of view, is a luxury to a thinking mind.

This morning, while we were sitting at breakfast, a
stranger stepped in, who proved to be one of the neighbors.
He was rather coarsely dressed, but had a pleasing aspect.
“Well, old fellow,” said the Colonel, “how goes it;” shaking
hands cordially. “How do you do? Come, Sir, sit down,
and take some breakfast with us—[Maria bring a plate, and
knife and fork]—Come, Sir, take a dram first—[Hand a glass
] The stranger took a dram, and then seated himself
at the table; and the Colonel and him carried on a kind of
dialogue, for some time. “How is your family, Sir?” “Why
I’m ’bliged to you, Colonel, the’r all about, but Mary: She’s
got her ager yet. How’s it wi’ yourself?”
“We are all well
thank you, Sir. Let me help you to another piece of steak.
Have some of the gravy, Sir. Well, lets hear the news: who
do the people talk of voting for—[take some butter, Sir]—in
your part? What do they talk about?”
“Why, some on’em
is mighty feard, see, of losin their land; and some on’em agin
is ’mind to stand ’em a pull. I tell you what, Colonel”
put more wood on the fire]—“its hard upon a poor man, after
all, after clearin on himself a smart patch o’ ground, and puttin
it under a good fence.”
—[Pour out some more coffee, Maria]
“see, and buildin on him a snug cabin, and then for a
rich man like you, Colonel, because he rebounds in most money,
to come to buy it from over his head, see t’ll ’e what, it’s little
sort o’ hard. But I reviewed it so from the first. I saw how
it was a goin and sold out. If they fool me they have but one
more to fool.”
“Well, but tell me, old fellow, who do the people
talk of voting for on Flint?”
“Why, to tell the truth,
Colonel, they’r purty much divided. Some on ’em talks a runnin
Doctor Crab—[Maria set that decanter on the table]—
and some on ’em agin talk o’ votin for Lawyer L.”
some whiskey, Sir.]—“But tell me, who do you intend to vote
“Well, I was jist goin to say, I don’t hold with sendin
none of these here doctors, and lawyers, and ’losophers.—I 13(3)v 102
look upon it, see, that these here men of larnin jist lay the’r
heads together, and cologue, and jist make laws to ’press the
poor. I’m for ’sportin a plain farmer, like myself, Colonel,
that will act upon nomical principles—an’t I right?”
“But tell
us, old fellow, A friendly phrase, quite common here. have you any corn to sell up your way?”
it’s purty tol’able sca’ce. I raised a fine chance this year,
and my wife had the finest passel of truck—I da’e say, she had
greens enough to a ’splied the whole neigborhood; but Jim
critters broke in and most ’stroyed the whole affair:
so it is, I shall have to buy. The neighbors told me, if it had
abin them, as it was me, they would a shot the critters. But
that would abin too sneakin. But an’t you comin to the barbacue,
next Friday? Doctor Crab is goin to have a great barbacue,
and goin to make a stump speech; and there’s to be the
greatest doins that ever was heard on. He’s sent up two barrels
of whiskey, and—”
“Where is it to be?”“Why it’s to
be at Ellum’s Mill; and old Molly’s goin to do her best, I dare
say sh’ll make her own out on ’em. She’s one of your most inactive
women folks in all my knowin, and she has plenty to
go upon. Come up, Thursday, to my house, and bring your
gun, and we’ll take the hounds and have a hunt. Thank God,
I have plenty to go upon, enough to eat and drink, and plenty
to feed your critter. We’ll knock up a fat chicken or two, and
my wife is first rate at a cup of coffee. Stay all night, and
we’ll take a hunt in the mornin!”
“Well, Sir, I believe I
“That’s clever: I shall look for you.” “So, some of
your neighbors are a mind to contest the public sales?”
say so. Tom Towns says he has a friend that will help him
out. But you know how it was the first land sales; every poor
fellow as fout for his country, was forgotton, see, and kicked
off, and thought nothin of—Don’t tell me about premptions; oh!
I seed enough! Colonel Donalson said it was a diabolical
Though I was unable to discover the Colonel’s
candidate, I was pleased with the blunt honesty of the countryman,
who was now interrupted by the entrance of another

The ladies withdrew, but I was spell-bound to the spot.— 13(4)r 103
It is the rude state of the species, we are to seek for the
true characteristics of man. When he becomes polished, his
resources enables him to conceal his real character.

The second guest was alike known to the Colonel and the
first guest. “How goes it, how goes it, old fellow?” said the
Colonel, to the second guest. “Why purty well, I’m ’bliged
to you. How’s it wi’ yourself. How goes it”
[to the first guest]
“Mr. Smith?” “Purty well, how’s it wi’ yourself?—And how
is all your consarns?”

First Guest. “All well but my oldest darter; she’s got her
ager yet—How’s all your consarns?”

Colonel. “Maria, set that decanter back, and get some hot
coffee, and set a plate. Come, Sir,”
[to second guest] “help yourself;
that is old Kentucky—come, Sir, take some breakfast;
the girl will soon have you a hot steak.”

First Guest. “Well, what’s for times your way?”

Second Guest. “I tell you what, it’s purty diggin—”[seats
himself at table]“—Corn’s a dollar a bushel, and can’t be got at
that—and some is runin away, and some talkin o’ the ’lection,
and some’s talkin o’ the land sales. This whiskey’s prime.”

First Guest. “Who’s runaway.”

Second Guest. “Bill Cheatum’s cleared out. He sarved
Tom Marchant the slickest as ever you heard on in all the
days o’ your life. We was all settin talkin and takin a dram
in at Merchant’s last Friday, before breakfast, when who
should come along, ridin of a critter, In this country horses are called critters—In West Pennsylvania, and West
, they are called beasts.
but Bill. I seed he
had skins tied behind him; so he hitches his critter, and comes
in, and after talkin awhile, and takin a dram, he axed to look
at some cloth, and told Marchant to cut off four yards, and
takes out a 100 dollar note, and pays for the cloth, and puts
the change in his pocket, and axed Marchant if he didn’t want
to trade for some coonskins. Marchant said he didn’t care if
he did, if they were good. So Bill goes out and brings in the
coonskins. Marchant looks at them—very good skins—counted
the tails, and axed what for trade he’d make? So, Bill said
he’d take same he’d always gave, and would take it in domestic
cotton; and the other agreed to it, and the skins lay on the 13(4)v 104
counter. So, after awhile Bill went off, and I went off home,
too, and never heard any more of it till yesterday; I was at the
store, and Marchant, says to me, says he, ‘do you think that
r—l Cheatum didn’t cheat me that day, give me a counterfeit
note—and didn’t you see how slick he sarved me about the
coonskins. Didn’t you see the coonskins, and didn’t you see
the note?’
‘Yes, says I, I saw the coonskins, and the
note, too.’
‘Nothing in the world but possom skins, coontails
tied to them, and only bare two coonshkins in the whole,
one at top and one at bottom.’
With that he showed me the
skins; and sure enough nothing but possum skins, and the note
not worth one cent. It’s as fair cheatin says I, as ever I seed in
my life; and you can make him smoke for it. Yes, says Marchant,
but catching’s before hanging—the villain’s cleared out.”

Thus the Colonel and his guests talked and laughed at the
coonskins—drank whiskey, electioneered, and finally settled
the affairs of the nation among themselves.

Yours, &c.

N. B. I leave this for Virginia, next week.

Letter XXXVII.

Dear Matt,

A merry Christmas to you; and a merrier one than we
have, you need not. I cannot hold the pen for laughing.
Such another comic farce was never played on any stage as
was played here last night. But first, without meeting or
seeing your brother, I arrived, on my way from Virginia, at the
Bluff, last night. I met with the Colonel at Limestone Court,
and the evening being fine, and our company lively and jovial,
we concluded to proceed all the way to the Bluff, where we
arrived about 10 o’clock, and found the company still up.
For though they had no expectation of seeing me, till I entered
the house, they were looking for the Colonel, who, by promise,
was to be home that night.

14(1)r 105

The Colonel has been appointed to marry people since I
left the Bluff; and, late as the hour was, he had to marry a
couple, who had been waiting for him from an early hour in
the day. The clerk of the county, who boards with the Colonel,
and who had issued the license, came in to apprise him,
and the Colonel forthwith sent for the couple. Imagine our
surprise, at seeing an old man of about sixty, and the bride
little under. The Colonel, being a man of humour, blends sundry
ceremonies with the marriage contract, suited to his fancy
and the persons he marries.

In the first place he told the couple to stand forth, asked
them several ludicrous questions—made them repeat the Lord’s
prayer—and when the ceremony was ended, (being put up to
it by the young men who boarded with him) directed them to a
room of his own house, to spend the night. We then separated,
and retired to rest, and this morning we were thrown into
convulsions with laughter, at the merry dance the lovers were
led after they left us. During my absence from the Bluff, several
young doctors and lawyers have arrived, and have their
residence here. Being young, wild, and frolicksome, they are
always devising some means of amusement, and the old couple
were selected as a subject of sport, upon whom it appeared they
played sundry mischievous pranks, in the course of the night.
For this purpose they laid their plan during the day, selecting
a room for the purpose. They went so far, in the first place,
to persuade a merry old soul of a bar-keeper to marry the couple
during the day; and they were in the act of setting off to
their home, when the bar-keeper told them he “was not the
Colonel; that he was only an apprentice, and married them by
way of getting his hand in.”
But the party contrived to keep
them, knowing the Colonel would certainly be at home.—
Meantime they had removed every thing out of the room which
might serve as weapons of defence, and carefully disposed some
plank in a corner of the room, and was at no small pains to
dress up one of the part like a ghost, and esconsed him behind
the plank.

The houses at the Bluff are nothing but rude cabins built
of logs, with cracks between the logs, so that any one without 14 14(1)v 106
can see what passes within. These mischievous wags, had
fixed the bed upon a lilt, which by pulling a rope fastened to
it, would fall down. This rope they drew through, in the
outside, between the logs. They had also provided themselves
with a number of canes, of different sizes—the cane being
hollow, served as bugles, and make a hollow, doleful sound,
when blown through with the mouth. Some of the canes
were large, and others small, so as to have treble, tenour, bass.
Thus, the bride and bridegroom were no sooner beded, and a
bright fire in the hearth, than the ghost, upwards of six feet in
height, stalked forth with a white sheet round it, and advanced
towards the lovers, with a slow grave step. Those without
began to blow their bugles, at the same time. The bride
shrieked out, and covered her head—not so the bridegroom—
being an old soldier, it would have taken more ghosts than one
to have frightened him. Finding the ghost continued to advance,
he sprang out of bed, and looked about for some weapon
for defence; finding nothing but a box of nails, which from
its weight he was unable to wield, he flew round the room for
something else. Meanwhile the ghost slipped out of doors.—
The hero finding he had fled, exclaimed, “Ah, d—n you, if
you had only waited a moment longer, I’d a tore your long
trappings for you.”
“Oh, my dear,” said the bride, “what
was that? Listen—only hear—Oh, mercy, we’ll be carried
away—we’ll be murdered—help me up—I always heard old
Melton haunted the Bluff.”
“Haunt the d—l; its them fellows,
I tell you, makin their fun—lie still. Oh, blow away
and be d—d,”
said the old man. “But you don’t come in here
and pushed the door too; but finding neither bolt nor
latch, he placed one of the planks against it, and betook himself
to bed again. The imps watching him through the cracks
all the while, he no sooner drew the clothes over him than down
came the bed and all, with a sudden crash! Report says, instead
of praying for his enemies, like a good christian, he uttered
many hard names: and running out of doors, swore vengence
against every shoe-boot gentleman on the Bluff. He flew
round the cabin with the agility of a youth of fifteen; and the
gentlemen took to flight. “Where are you,” cried the enraged 14(2)r 107
lover; “I dare you to show your faces; I’ll whip the best
of you; I’ll take you one by one, and whip the whole of
you. Pretty gentlemen with your high crowned hats, and
shoe-boots, a screaking.”
It was to no purpose he drove his
enemies from one position to another; he would no sooner return
to bed, than his tormentors renewed the music of canes—
sometimes putting them through the cracks of the house, near
to the ear of the bride: the old man losing all patience, left
the place, with his bride, before day, and it is supposed without
sleep!—This was really cruel! In these, as well as all
other cases, we ought to fulfil the golden rule.

This place looks precisely as it did when I arrived last
year, and my absence seems only a dream. The ducks and
geese, and swans, seem to be playing where I left them. There
are great doings going on here. The population has greatly
increased, and the whole country round is one scene of activity.

Yours, &c.


Dear Matt,

Since the weather became mild, I frequently ride out
through this beautiful country, and find no little to admire and
amuse. This town is in the centre of Lawrence county, and
it is supposed will be the county seat of justice. It is 20 miles
south of the Bluff, in a most enchanting situation. Several
very respectable families live here; the town is handsomely laid
off, and the country around it is as rich as heart can wish. I
have formed an acquaintance here with an elderly Tennesseean,
the incidents of whose life is a complete novel.

His father was the first white man that made a permanent
settlement on the waters of the Holston, now in the bounds
of Tennessee. He settled on the Wataga, a creek that empties 14(2)v 108
into the Holston. His name was Burlison, a native of New Jersey,
and moved from thence to North Carolina, and finally to Wataga.
He was allured, in the first place by the prospect of game,
and, in the second place, by good land, and was soon followed by
others; and by their united efforts successfully disputed the
hunting grounds with the Indians. The timid deer, assailed
on all sides by deadly foes, fled before the white man for shelter
amongst the Indians. The adventurous white man pursued
the game, but in doing so, he was fiercely opposed by the
Indians, who disputed every inch of ground with him, at the
mouths of their rifles, until they were fairly compelled to
yield. Thus was Tennessee settled. This settlement was
made about the year 17741774 or 17751775.

Mr. Burlison was so young at this time, that he recollects
nothing of the enterprize. He lost his father at twelve
years of age, and from that day, to the end of the Creek war,
he has been almost constantly with arms in his hands!—He is
a stout man, about 50 years of age—is honest, affable, and generous
as a prince; has experienced every vicissitude of fortune,
and endured every species of suffering! Peace and war, sickness
and health, poverty and plenty, has at different times
been his lot.—He is at this time possessed of an independent
fortune, and yet this man, with the manners of a courtier,
cannot write his own name! though he reads very well.

This gentleman, for such he is, losing his father at the
early age he did, with eight more children, the widow had to
struggle with the Indians on one side, and the tories on the other.
Most of the children were boys, and their father left property
sufficient to educate them, and left strict injunctions to that
amount; but the revolutionary war coming on, the widow,
between the tories and the Indians, was stripped of every thing
she had, excepting a valuable brood mare! In order to save
this last of her property, she was forced to keep it in the
house where she slept every night! But those lawless ruffians,
the tories, gaining intelligence of the fact, proceeded to the
house, and forcing the door, took her off. This was the last
thing she had. Her situation was now at the highest pitch of
human misery. Without a friend, without provision; the 14(3)r 109
Indians in alliance with the British, killing all that fell in
their way, she dared not flee in that direction. The tories,
burning and murdering all before them, on the other side, it
was but death, and she resolved to meet it in the woods where
she was! Meantime her oldest son, not 14, and Joseph, (of
whom I learned the story,) about 12 years old, would sally
forth with gun on shoulder, sometimes alone, but often with
others of their own age, to watch the motions of the Indians;
and whenever they saw them approach, would hasten to apprize
their parents. These little heroes would pass whole
days in the woods, at all seasons, almost naked, and without
tasting food; for though they saw plenty of game, they were
afraid to shoot lest the report of the gun might betray them to
the Indians. The two oldest brothers would sometimes take
their next eldest brother with them. On this occasion they
would wander farther into the forest than usual, and once
became so bewildered they lost their course, and wandered
about till they were quite spent with fatigue and hunger. The
youngest was carrying one of his brother’s guns, having none
of his own, and seeing a deer jump before him, he levelled the piece
at the deer, and killed it; saying, “Indians, or no Indians, he
would have something to eat—he might as well die one way as another.”
The eldest one being alarmed, forced him away, and
they concealed themselves in the brushwood to await the result,
concluding the Indians, if within hearing, would soon appear.
As they lay concealed, the little one who had done the mischief,
would often rise up to take a peep at his meat. At
length he saw a wolf marching up to it, and pointing it out to
his brothers, they bid him be still; but finding he could not
be restrained, they all ran together and frightened off the
wolf. They then skinned the deer, and kindling a fire, broiled
a part of it and swallowed it hastily; and taking what they
could carry, once more sought their way home, entirely ignorant
of the course. At length night overtook them, and, losing
heart, they threw away their venison, and still wandered on,
without seeing a human face, and without knowing whither
they were going. Late in the night they were overtaken by a
hunter, who conducted them home to no small joy of their 14(3)v 110
mother, who concluded they were killed by the Indians. She
had been running through the forest, from the time it grew dark,
in a state of distraction. Thus Mr. Burlison, and his brothers,
spent nine years, guarding the settlements in this perilous
manner, suffering every species of misery. He was three
years of the time without shoes, and no sort of clothing, but a
shirt made of buckskin!

He states that he had become so inured to cold, hunger,
danger, and fatigue, that he was a stranger to their opposites.
Meantime their settlement advanced by degrees. Those who
survived the fire and sword of the British and the tories,
sought their brothers in the wilderness. Their highborn souls
fired by their wrongs, glowing with resentment, and inspired
by the example of their companions in the wilderness, took
courage from despair. Having nothing left but their lives,
and disdaining alike British gold and British chains, united
with their friends for the common safety. Thus they nurtured
a germ, which, in time, hurled destructionn on their proud oppressors.
Many of these lived to overwhelm their imperious
foewith a complete vengeance. Little did the impolitic Briton
think those outcasts, those little victims of his wanton barbarity,
would ever dare to face him, much less that he would teach
him such a lesson in the art of war, as he never learned before.
If it be asked in time to come, how so potent an army
of vetrans came to be slaughtered by an inferior force, it may
be answered, these were the men, and the sons of those men,
who, thirty-three years back, nobly resolved never to submit
to the British yoke. These were the highminded few, who,
in the tender years of childhood, indignant at their wrongs,
rushed into the woods, destitute of every comfort; but in their
youthful breasts they carried a spark which they cherished at
the hazard of their lives; this spark it was, that, bursting into
a flame, at New Orleans, laid their daring foe at their feet!—
The astonished Britons will long remember, too, that it was
his ill judged policy, and inhuman cruelty, that paved the way
to it.

Mr. Burlison related many anecdotes of those enterprizing
men. As they increased in numbers, they extended their 14(4)r 111
settlements, always keeping a party of choice spirits watching
the enemy—of these he was one. In one of their excursions
they discovered the fertile plains on Cumberland river; now
West Tennessee. In one of those exploring expeditions he
made two narrow escapes. Coming suddenly upon the Indians
one day, he instantly threw himself flat on the ground,
in some brush wood, and the Indians passed within a few steps
of him. At another time, he and his companions came near
perishing with cold. They had travelled several days in a
succession of snow and rain; one night, however, when they
went to strike their camp, they found their powder wet, and
they had to remain in their wet clothes all night, wet to the
skin, the snow deep, and the night cold and freezing. Thus
was Tennessee settled; and by such men.

It has been said that Tennessee was an asylum for outlaws
and horse thieves. That Tennessee should be exempt from an
evil, common to the settling of all our States, I should be happy
to know. I would recommend to horse thieves in particular
to choose some other asylum in future, as there is not a state
in the Union in which they receive less hospitality. The crime of horse-stealing is punished with death.

Yours, &c.

Letter XXXIX.

Dear Matt,

I spend much of my time with the Tennesseean. He has
a fund of anecdote, and the most retentive memory of any person
I ever conversed with. As I have nothing better to amuse
you with, I send you more of his history. I was reading this
evening of the treachery of Lord Dunmore. Mr. Burlison
(or Captain, as he is,) listened to me some time, but at last exclaimed,
“Blast him—don’t read any more about him. It
makes my blood boil whenever I hear the name of a Briton.”

See how deep rooted their enmity to the British. They are all 14(4)v 112
so! In the course of the conversation that followed, I asked
him “if he ever felt the effects of fear; that is, did he ever
know what fear was?”
“Never but once,” he replied, “and
that was during the shakes;”
meaning the earthquakes on the
borders of the Ohio and Mississippi, some years back. You
recollect them, though they were nothing with us in comparison
to those further west.

Taking offence at the general government, Mr. Burlison
quit the country, and removed over the Ohio river, not far
from New Madrid, in 18111811. The first shock happened in the
night, when he and his family were all in bed asleep. All on a
sudden, they were alarmed by the shaking of the beds; he
sprung out of bed, between sleep and awake, but from the reeling
of the house he was unable to keep his feet. The hens
croaked, and the dogs barked. He could not conceive what it
could be. He never thought of an earthquake; but concluded
that either the house was haunted, or the end of the world was
at hand. The terror of the family was beyond description.
They all gave themselves up for lost. He thought he ought to
pray, but could not think of any thing proper to say. After
the first shock was over, he determined, if he lived till morning,
to go to his nearest neighbor and ascertain whether it was the
end of the world, or whether the house was haunted. When
the morning came, while he was considering what to do, he was
surprised with another shock, worse than the first. As this
happened in the day time, he thought, within himself, it could
not be spirits, as he never heard of their doing mischief in the
day time, therefore it must be the end of the world! He was
very wicked himself; his children were wicked, and the neighborhood
was very wicked, and he concluded they were about to
receive the chastisement of heaven. He had a very fleet horse
in the stable, but not wishing to leave his family, and being unwell,
he desired his son, a man grown, to gallop over to neighbor
――, and see how it was there, and if it were the same, he
would leave the place instantly. The young man, John, set
off to the stable, while the earth, the trees and stable, were
swinging backwards and forwards, to such a degree, that it was
with difficulty he reached it. He at length brought out the 15(1)r 113
horse, and, mounting him, flew over the rocking plain. But
it was just as bad there, said Mr. Burlison, and I now bethought
myself it must be an earthquake. But let it be what it might,
I saw we were all doomed to destruction; for, upon going to the
door, I saw the earth sinking, and the trees falling. The great
road passed by my door; this road was alive with men, women,
and children, shrieking and crying, and some of them almost
without clothes, as they had escaped from their beds, and
nearly frozen with cold. Some were without hats or shoes—
some running one way, some another, in a state of distraction.

Mr. Burlison had heard of a neighborhood, not far off,
where the people were professors of religion. I thought if I
could live to get there, they would teach me how to prepare for
death. My family, were, many of them, sick. I had a new
wagon, and a fine team of horses, and several good saddle
horses besides. I harnessed up my team without delay, and
put the sick ones in the wagon, and the well ones on horses,
and set off for the religious neighborhood.

My wife had been sick a long time, and had eat nothing
for some days. As we drew near the neigborhood, we espied
a woman sitting in a door, as it were, eating mush and milk.
My wife’s appetite revived at the moment, and she expressed
an eager desire to have some of the mush and milk. We approached
the door and stopped the wagon, and made our business
known to the woman. She had none to spare. She had but
little meal in the house—had a great way to go to mill, and
could not tell when she could get more. But my wife is sick, and
has eat nothing for several days, and as she fancies she can
eat the mush and milk, I will give you any price you may ask.
I took out a silver dollar, at the same time, and held it out to
her. She then handed my wife a tin cup about half full of
mush and milk, for which I paid her half a dollar! I now began
to think I had made a bad exchange, for the people I had
left, though wicked, were kind.

When I arrived at the house I had been directed to, the
man informed me I could have a house, but it was very small,
without a floor, and full of corn: but if I would be at the trouble15 15(1)v 114
of emptying it of the corn, and put it in a crib, I might have
the house, or pen rather, for so much—ten times the worth of
it. I had no choice, and feeble as myself and family were, we
joined too and soon dislodged the corn; and my family, (nine
children,) my wife, and myself, crowded in this miserable hole.
I was little concerned about worldly affairs, however, as I expected
an end of all things; for there was no alteration for the
better in the shakes; indeed they were rather worse; all I wanted,
or cared for, was to be amongst Godly people, that they
might instruct me how to prepare for my doom. In short, I
cared nothing about the things of this world. But such was
not the case with my religious friends. Some admired my fine
wagon; some admired my horses; and others admired my fine
new saddles and bridles; and some one thing, and some another,
and they must have this, and they must have that. I cared
nothing about property provided they would pray for me,
and preach for me! They plied me with enough of both! But
I soon discovered there were wicked people here too, and, inured
to the shakes, they resumed their old practices. Some
horse-raced it; some played cards, and some preached, whilst
others were cheating their neighbors! I saw some running
races, some playing cards, some preaching, and the earth
shaking, all at the same instant. No wonder, I thought, these
people have called down the judgment of heaven. I thought
I had seen all strange sights that were to be seen in the world,
but never saw the equal of this.

By degreses I grew familiar to the shakes myself; but in
the meantime these religious people had cheated me out of all
my property, and I thought it high time to quit the country;
and, from that day to this, I put no faith in religious people.
My fine wagon and team; all my horses and all my money,
1,500 dollars in silver, and a fine drove of cattle, gone. I mustered
up enough to buy a couple of little ponies for my wife
and the two youngest children, to ride, and returned to Tennessee
worse than nothing, and had to begin the world again.
I now left my wife and children to shift for themselves, and
went into the army, and acting as Commissary under General 15(2)r 115
, I soon recovered my losses. So much for getting in
a pot with the government. Having inadvertantly settled on the Indian lands, his house was burnt by order
of government.

As the Germans say, “I suspect” this will please you.

Yours, &c.

Letter XL.

Dear Matt,

I can find nothing better to amuse you than the anecdotes
and history of the old Tennesseean, particularly as I know
you to be partial to them. Mr. Burlison is equal to the best
library; and, in fact, no library contains a greater variety of
amusement. He can commence at the beginning of his life,
and relate every incident, not only of himself, but of the times.
But chiefly I love to hear his anecdotes of General Jackson’s
struggles and difficulties in his various campaigns, and the
incidents of those brave men who suffered with him.

There is now, I am told, in press, a well written book,
which gives a detail of the southern army, and the principal
incidents of General Jackson’s life. Such a book is much
wanted, and must be very gratifying to the friends and admirers
of this great man. The smallest incident of his companions,
and his unequalled courage, is devoured with avidity.
The settlers of this new country love him to idolatry; and my
Tennessee friend is not amongst the least. He was with the
General during the whole of the war—as also two of his sons,
and a son-in-law. The hardships and privations endured
by the General, and his men, are almost incredible. Mr.
, as well as his brother, and a son of each, held a
captain’s commission in the Creek war; and he gives the
clearest description of it I have ever heard. He says the army
suffered almost to starvation for want of provisions; and as
they were principally militia, it required all the General’s 15(2)v 116
skill and address to keep the army together; sometimes, however,
a mutinous spirit would appear, in spite of him, and once
in particular, their sufferings were so great, that all the appeals
of the General to their patriotism, failed; and though, like a
common soldier, he shared all their wants and hardships, it
would not do, they determined to leave him. His appeals were
so pathetic on this occasion as to draw tears from the bystanders.
After he thought they were reconciled, he rode out
alone, one day, and was astonished to find the whole brigade
in the act of marching to Tennessee. He instantly snatched a
gun from one of the men, and his left arm being useless from a
wound, he rested the gun between his horses ears, and placing
himself in front of the column, swore “the first man that
moved one step forward, was a dead man.”
His gun was
cocked, ready to fire, and at this critical moment his friends,
having missed him, flew to his side. Thus each party stood
some minutes; at length the men turned back to camp. “I
thought I had seen courage and boldness before,”
said Mr.
, “but there is not such a man in the world—for one
man with one arm to stop a whole brigade! He is the most
undaunted being in creation.”
Mr. Burlison was one of those
who adhered to General Jackson.

That inimitable writer, Voltaire, observes, “that to convey
a just idea of the characteristics of men, you must strictly
observe the expressions which accompany their actions.”

This was fully illustrated by the expression of General Jackson
as he was steadying the gun between his horses ears. This
act, and the expression that accompanied it, conveys a better
idea of the man than volumes elaborately written.

At another of those mutinies, he threw himself before
them, and told them they should not succeed but by passing
over his dead body. “In opposing you I am only doing my
duty, and I will die where I stand, before I will dishonor my
country. What! will you have it said, you abandoned your

On another occasion, he addressed them in a speech of
some length, and thus concluded: “I know you are anxious to
see your families—and so am I—yet, do stay a little longer!— 15(3)r 117
Go with me—the enemy is near—we will conquer him—and
then go to our homes!”
Again, he told them, “the heart of
your General has been pierced! The first object of his affections,
and the first glory of his life, were the volunteers of
Tennessee. The very name recalls to my mind a thousand
tender recollections. Oh, then, my brothers in arms, do not,
do not leave me.”
You see how much he bore rather than
resort to cruel measures towards those he loved dear as his
own soul. He humoured and carressed his men to such a
degree, Mr. Burlison says, that they were like spoiled children
—the camp exhibited nothing but a scene of uproar—
singing songs, laughing, and loud talking. This laxity of
manners led them to frequent mutinies, till the General was
exhausted, and he was compelled to make an example of one
of the ringleaders, though it wrung his heart with the bitterest
sorrow. After this, he had no trouble with the army. Mr.
, who was present at the execution, said he had seen
many fall in battle—he had seem many wounded—and had
witnessed distress and death in all its shapes, but never saw
any thing so awful, or that shocked him more, than this execution.
The army was drawn out on parade—the criminal
seated in the centre on a stool—his eyes tied with a handkerchief,
and eight men, with never failing rifles, standing round
him. Mr. Burlison’s brother was one, but neither Mr. Burlison,
his brother, nor a single man in the army, least of all,
the criminal, expected he would be shot, till the word fire;
and eight bullets pierced him at once! It was expected he
would be pardoned, as many had been before. That night not
a word was heard in the camp. They were all as silent as death.
What an effect! General Jackson had no more plague with

The men, for want of roads, were compelled to take the
horses from the wagons, and carry them up the mountains
themselves. On these occasions, the General would throw off
his coat and aid the men.

At one time he overtook the baggage wagons at Tennnessee
, and the landing being steep, the men were in the
act of pushing the wheels up the bank; the general, as usual, 15(3)v 118
threw off his coat, and laid hold of the wheels, but seeing one
man idle, “friend,” said the General, “why do you not assist
your companions?”
“I am a corporall, Sir.” “Ah! and what
of that; I am a Generall.”
Some one by this time discovered
who the stranger was, and informed the corporal. It is
hardly necessary to add that the corporal soon put his shoulder
to the wheel.

General Jackson, however true it be, is, nevertheless,
charged with partiality to his friends; and who is not? But it
is said, by those who would lose their lives for him, that he
advances his friends or intimates, in preference to others,
equally capable. How did he know this? He preferred his
friends, because his long acquaintance with their integrity
and honor justified the choice! He is, also, accused of being
arbitrary. Whether the charge be just or unjust, the result
proves he has few equals in the art of war.

To judge accurately of any subject it requires a thorough
knowledge of the thing submitted. War is an art, if it be not
a science, which above all others, requires genius to conceive,
skill to concert, wisdom to conduct, judgment to determine,
promptness to execute, ability to command, fortitude to endure;
patriotism, energy, firmness, decision, perseverance and
courage. That General Jackson, possesses all these, in an
eminent degree, his enemies admit. But, independently of
these, he possesses magnanimity, candour, humanity—a knowledge
of the world—a liberal education. He is just, he is bountiful,
and beyond, far beyond example, compassionate. This
is his character. Now, where will you find a man, at once
competent to judge of all these qualities! Not one in an hundred,
to say the least. He must possess a competent knowledge
of them in the first place; and, in the next place, he must
be divested of prejudice. The first requires a mind highly
improved by observation and study—and, as for prejudice, it
is without remedy, if it be not in education. It requires men
of the first science to judge accurately of a single blade of
grass—but for an illiterate man to judge accurately on the
qualities of a general, is out of the question; because, it
would be to know what he does not, which is impossible! And, 15(4)r 119
because, he does not understand the subject submitted, he has
no idea within himself to correspond with it, and both are
necessary to pass sentence of judgment. A man may be
competent to decide upon the qualities in question; yet, he may
err from prejudice, and all reasoning, founded on error, is false.
Of prejudice there are several—Prejudices arising from things,
from words, from ourselves, from others; but none of these are
so apt to lead us astray, as self. This is beautifully illustrated
by the judge who reversed his own judgment, in the
case of the ox; and envy in a few individuals has, doubtless,
led them to instil it into the minds of others, who are unable
to judge for themselves. In all countries there are not wanting
something to keep envy and malice alive. It is prone in the
human species. General Jackson has fewer enemies, perhaps,
than any man of his notoriety. Yet he has some.

With respect to General Jackson’s conduct at New Orleans,
it reminds one of Columbus and the egg. He had undertaken
to defend his country against fearful odds. It was
an enterprize deep with hazard. It was a desperate case, and
required a desperate remedy. His mind was equal to the enterprize,
and every act of the man’s life proves, that love of
country is his ruling passion. What a curse this passion of
envy is. One would think that an American did not exist
who did not admire General Jackson.

It would seem that the God of Nature has annexed to this
unnatural passion of envy, its own punishment, whilst the objects
of it sustain no injury. Wherever envy prevails, all is
misery. It not only destroys all relish for those things we actually
possess, but sinks us into contemptible wretches.

Wealth is another great cause of envy in the human family;
and while I am on the subject, I will give you an anecdote
of yesterday: Tom Envy came into my parlor, while he was
under the influence of an affront put upon him by his rich neighbor.
“D—n him,” said Tom; “I remember the time when
he had to borrow twenty-five cents from me to pay for his
breakfast; and do you think he had not like to have drove
over me, just now! I saw him, driving along in his carriage.
I was on foot. I knew his waiter. I stood still till he came 15(4)v 120
up to me, and I bowed to him: ‘drive on,’ said he, and went
by me like fury.”
“Well, friend,” said I, “let him do so.—
He only degrades himself, while you are just as you were before.
When he treats you ungratefully, he is guilty of the
blackest crime, while you sustain no injury, except in your
own imagination. But are you sure, friend, you would not act
as he did, were you to change places with him? Wealth, you
say, has had this effect upon him, and the same cause always
produces the same effect. In that case you would act the part
you now condemn.”
Tom was struck by the force of the argument,
and after rolling up a fresh quid of tobacco, and
thrusting it in his mouth, he said I was right, he believed;
“but, for all that, I would like to be rich, if it were only to
mortify that upstart neighbor.”
“There, now, you are wrong
again. If you wish to punish him, only be more wise and virtuous,
and the fame of your good name will mortify him much
more than wealth. But if this does not satisfy you, you
have only to go to work. If you wish to be a rich man, industry
and economy will soon do the business. You have the
example of your rich neighbor before you; tread in his steps.”

Tom scratched his head, and said, he believed it was dinner
time, and departed. Some pray for riches—riches they obtain,And, watched by villains, for their wealth are slain!

Yours, &c.

[Here the Correspondence breaks off for better than a year.

Letter XLI.

Dear Matt,

You say you are pleased with the countryman in my last.
Here is a score of them. Perhaps this may bring another reply.
I am much pleased, in the meantime, to hear your health
is restored, and hope to wish you much joy, on a certain occasion,
ere long.

16(1)r 121

I strolled out with a friend to see a neighbor yesterday,
who lives on the skirts of the town, merely for the sake of
amusement. If you wish to ascertain the dialect of a country,
you must seek for it amongst the common, or in other words, the
lower order of the people, as well bred people speak alike.
But the children of both classes are good specimens of dialect,
as the better sort, in this country, particularly, consign their
children to the care of negroes. You see I am for another
dish of philosophy. But to go on. Those who have black
nurses, and those who have illiterate white nurses to attend
children, are at much pains and cost for teachers to unlearn
them what they need never have learned, had they kept illiterate
people from them at first. This is not the case with the
poorer class of people, as their children are nursed by themselves,
and speak their language.

While we were chatting with our neighbor, a number of
people rode up to the door, and we went out to see what was
the matter. It appeared they were on their return from a barbacue,
and had heard a stump speech. Some of these were
mere children, and some were grown persons. Our neighbor,
who was aware of their business, asked “What news from
the barbacue?”
“Oh there was a proper sight of people—Oh,
my! but there was—You never seed the like! And a heap of
’em had on ruffled shirts, and shoeboots, and was so proud,
stepin about; and there was some monstrous purty gals there,
and some dinged ugly ones, too; and such a powerful chance of
apples and cyder, and ginger cakes. I tell ye what, they were
prime; and they made such a fuss, and covaulted, and was going
to fight; you never saw the like in all the days of your life.
Then these fellows that lives on Flint, had liked to abin whipped,
steppin about. I tell you what, them fellows is monstrous
proud; and old F――, was there, too, and got the maddest, he
fairly snorted. Oh, he was rearin. And them fellows from
Elum’s Mill, turned in with old F――, and snorted and covaulted,
and dared them ruffle-shirt fellows to turn out. Oh,
they got the maddest! And Mr. E―― made a stump speech.
He said if we voted for that there ’tother man, I forgot his 16 16(1)v 122
name, that government would come and take away our land,
and we would have to pay taxes and all that.”
These were
mostly Tennesseeans and North Carolinians.

I saw a piece in the papers not long since, which went to
satirize the Tennessee dialect. I would advise such people to
look at home. Those who live in glass houses, ought not to
throw stones. Let us compare this with the dialect of Virginia.
You remember the bear hunting party from Bedford. I will
stake them against the whole United States. One of them called
at our house on his return, and entertained us with the following
account of his adventures: “You know da is heap of
baw (bear) on da Kenhawa; so I and Bill Prout, Jess Passin,
and Zack Miller, are all goin to Kenhawa to hunt baw—
Kenhawa mighty far—so we walk—we walk—last we come
to da KenhawaKenhawa b—i—g river, for true—Tell
you what, it skears me—well, I goes out into de woods—I hear
noise—I look up tree, and see a baw!—I went to da root o’ da
tree—I bark like any dog—presently da baw come husslin
down—Ah, boy!—I took to my keels, and did book it.”
for the Pennsylvania dialect: “Jim, where are you and Sam;
why but ye’s pit (put) you cow in the pester, (pasture;) ’am
sure a towled ye’s the mornin.—Ye’s cruel bad children—and
there a fine job ye’s done to leave you gears out by.”
Yankee: “Flora you want (ought) to wash them clothes right
away. You hadn’t ought to left ’em so.”
“What say?”

“Covault” is of Tennessee birth, and not unaptly applied in
the sense they use it. It signifies an unruly or ungovernable
man; also an untame horse, or any thing that cannot be controuled.
It is quite a classical word, and I hope to see it
admitted into the English language. It appears to be a compound
of co and vault, which are both very significant. For
the rest I find the Tennesseeans are a very plain people, and
have a very high sense of honor. Their houses and equipage
are void of ostentation: The North Carolinians next; the
South Carolians and Georgians, next: and the Virginians the
the most ostentatious of any. But the preaching; you must
hear that. This country is run mad after preaching.—Here
is a new sect called Cumberland presbyterians; and between 16(2)r 123
these, the baptists, methodists, the woods resound. As they
have no churches they preach out of doors mostly. I have
just returned from preaching, where I remained about two
hours, and the parson, when I left him appeared to be only
about midway through his sermon. He ought to have a patent-
right, for he certainly has the strongest voice in the state.

I have met with several excellent orators since I have
been in the country; the best I ever heard. Parson Burress ,
formerly of Virginia, is, doubtless, the finest public speaker
in the Union. I have seen no parallel for him. The Reverennd
Mr. Butler
and McMahon, the latter of Nashville, Tennessee,
are, also, men of handsome delivery. These are methodists.
I was truly astonished at this, as I never saw one of the
sect, before, hardly worth hearing. The baptists, and the
Cumberland presbyterians, are continually preaching and
covaulting. Mr. Porter, a most amiable man; also a Mr.
, preached in Mr. B’s house since I was here, and
that busybody, Mr. They say, reported Mr. B. was to preach
here to day, that is, out at the stand in the woods. I observed,
“I will go and hear Mr. Porter.” “Oh,” said a bystander,
“it is another preacher than Mr. Porter that preaches today
—there is not such another preacher itn the known world—
he’s a monstrous fine preacher.”
As I had heard some fine
preaching, for the oratory I went to hear this none such.
But never was I so disappointed. I placed myself in front of
the preacher, (a great rough looking man,) and the congregation
sat some on fallen timber, some on benches carried there
for the purpose—some sat flat on the ground, and many stood
up—about 500 in all. His text was, “He that hath ears to
hear, let him hear.”
The people must have been deaf indeed
that could not have heard him. He neither made division nor
subdivision. He is one of the Cumberland presbyterians.
They are Calvinists, it is said, but do not deem education a necessary
qualification to preach the Gospel. But to the sermon:
He began low but soon bawled to deafening. He spit in his hands,
rubbed them against each other, and then would smite them together,
till he made the woods ring. The people now began to covault,
and dance, and shout, till they fairly drowned the speaker. 16(2)v 124
Many of the people, however, burst out into a laugh. Seeing this
the preacher cried out, pointing to them with his finger,
“Now look at them sinners there—You’ll see how they will
come tumbling down presently—I’ll bring them down.”
now redoubled his strength; spit in his hands and smote them
together, till he made the forest resound, and took a fresh
start; and sure enough the sinners came tumbling down. The
scene that succeeded baffles description. Principally confined
to women and children, the young women had carefully taken
out their combs, from their hair, and laid them and their bonnets
in a place of safety, as though they were going to set in
for a fight; and it was much like a battle. After tumbling on
the ground, and kicking sometime, the old women were employed
in keeping their clothes civil, and the young men (never
saw an old man go near them) would help them up, and taking
them by each hand, by their assistance, and their own agility,
they would spring nearly a yard from the ground at every
jump, one jump after another, crying out, glory, glory, as loud
as their strength would admit; others would be singing a lively
tune to which they kept time—hundreds might be seen and
heard going on in this manner at once. Others, again, exhausted
by this jumping, would fall down, and here they lay
cross and pile, heads and points, yelling and screaming like
wild beasts of the forest, rolling on the ground, like hogs in a
mire,—very much like they do at camp meetings in our country,
but more shameless; their clothes were the color of the dirt;
and like those who attend the camp meetings, they were all of
the lower class of the people. I saw no genteel person among
them. Are not people of education answerable for this degradation
of society? It appears to me, since I have had opportunities
of mixing with the world, that there are a certain
class of citizens, whose interest it is to keep their fellow men
in ignorance. I am very sure, half a dozen words of common
sense, well applied, would convince those infatuated young
women that they were acting like fools. In fact a fool is more
rational. Not one of those but would think it a crying sin to

The noise of the preacher was effectually drowned at 16(3)r 125
length, and a universal uproar succeeded louder than ever.—
Whilst this was going on, I observed an old woman near me,
snivelling and turning up the whites of her eyes, (she was a
widow—all the widows, old and young, covaulted,) and often
applying her handkerchief to her eyes, and throwing herself
into contortions, but it would not do, she could not raise the

I pointed to one young woman, with a red scarf, who had
tired down several young men, and was still covaulting, and
seeing she jumped higher than the rest, I asked “who she
might be?”
One of the gentlemen, a Mr. Gallagher, who was
standing near, gave such an account of her (men know these
things) as would shock a modest ear. “D—n her, she gets
converted every meeting she goes to.”
How much better had
she been at a ball, (if they must dance,) where they would be
obliged to behave decent, and where vile characters dare not

Shortly after they began to rear and covault, a daughter
of Mr. B’s began too. He walked up to her, and led her off
some distance, and sat her down at the root of a tree. When
he returned, I inquired “if she was sick?” “No,” he answered,
“but she was beginning to go on as the rest, and I
told her if she wished to worship God, to do it there, and not
to expose herself before faces.”

The preacher having spent all his ammunition, made a
pause, and then called upon all the sinners to approach, and be
prayed for. Numbers went forward, all women and children,
(children of ten years old get religion!) and the priest began to
pray; when a decent looking young man approached the stand, and
took a female by the arm, and led her away. As he walked
along, the preacher pointed to him, and said, “God, strike
that sinner down!”
The man turned around, and in an angry
tone said, “God has more sense than to mind such a d—d fool
as you are!”
and resumed his course. He was one of the brave
Tennesseeans; and the lady was his wife.

Being tired of such an abominable scene, I proposed returning
home, and, taking a near cut through a slip of woodland,
we surprized the red scarf lady in a manner that gave us
no favorable opinion of her piety.

16(3)v 126

Meeting has broke up, and several are coming to our
house to dine. I wish to have some conversation with them,
and shall finish my letter afterwards.

I took my seat at the table, by a stout, jolly looking lady,
who, in replying to some of the party, observed “a great many
had got religion that day.”
Now was my time—“And
pray, Madam,”
said I, “what religion did they get?” “Why,
that is a queer question—there is but one religion, every body
“There you are a little mistaken, Madam; there
are various religions. There is the Christian religion; the
Jewish religion; the Mahometan religion, &c. &c.; which of
those religions was it you spoke of?”
“I never heard of them
and stared at me in astonishment. “And what religion
are you of?”
said the lady. I told her my religion was
piety. “Never heard of it before;” and doubtless she told the
truth. “And what sort of a religion is piety?” “Why, Madam,
it is simply to love God and my neighbor.”
“It is a
queer name, and it’s the first I ever heard of it. Is there many
of the pieties where you come from?”
“Not many.” Mr.
and several at the table could scarcely suppress a laugh.
“And pray, Madam, since we have made up our acquaintance,
may I take the liberty of asking which of these religions you
“Ne’re one,” said the lady; “I’m a Cumberland
The company could no longer retain themselves;
they roared; whilst the subject of it had not the least
idea of the cause.

Now, this woman, take her or any other subject, was a
reasonable and intelligent woman. Thoroughly acquainted
with the ordinary business of life. She was from the interior
of Kentucky; and had attended preaching for twenty years!
and yet is ignorant, not only of the duties, but of the very
name of a christian! Whose fault is this? The fault of the
priest! So they can draw the women (they do not seem partial
to men) after them, they care for nothing else. If there is
a hell, there will be more priests in it than any other description
of people.

Yours, &c.

16(4)r 127

Letter XLII.

Dear Matt,

In answer to yours—This place is growing. The county
seat of justice is fixed here, ever since the state was admitted
in the Union. It contains several genteel families, mostly merchants,
lawyers, and doctors. When I first came here there
were but four cabins: It is now a considerable town. I dare say
you will be pleased with it. It has no navigation, but it is
healthy. This is the richest county, in land, in the state,
and contains many planters of great wealth. But the society is
the best this side of Huntsville, and the flower of it boards at
our house.

In the first place we have two Irish gentlemen, Mr. Gallegher,
and Mr. Maden, and Doctor Baker, the latter of North
. Mr. Gallegher is a man of highly accomplished
manners, very sprightly and gay, and tells a good story. Mr.
is also good company, and sings, and plays well on the
flute. The Doctor is the best singer I ever heard. He sings
the Turban’d Turk, Blithe Sandy, and Poll, and my
partner Joe,
with much taste. These are all young men, and
full of mirth and fun. Mr. B. himself, is not a bad hand at a
story; and Mrs. Burlison is one of the most amiable of her sex.
These, and Miss Burlison, a great beauty, form the society at
Mr. B’s, besides a great number of travellers; of course I spend
my time pleasant enough.

We had had a shower of rain after dinner, and being late,
Mr. G. (who is a merchant) declined going to the store; the
strangers had proceeded to their respective homes, and the air
being cooled by the rain, rendered it necessary to have a fire.
A fire has something cheering and social in its aspect, and always
inspires pleasure and converse.

We all drew our chairs round the hearth, which was
neatly swept, and amused ourselves on the incidents of the day;
and I gained no small credit for my ingenuity in taking the
lady in at dinner. Mr. B. said it was the best preaching he
ever heard—that the woman insisted she was “not a christian.”
Mrs. B. who would do honor to any church, is a baptist, 16(4)v 128
and dislikes this tumbling about, and said she “did not
think there was any good in it.”
All had something to say,
and the whole of it was very justly turned into ridicule. Now,
what astonished me was, that when Mr. Porter preached here,
he did not excite the least noise—but to-day, when this babbler
preached, you could not hear your neighbors speak. You
may judge of his qualifications to teach the ignorant—In speaking
of the children of Israel, he said, “they were conveyed
captive to Babylon by the Romans!”
With such leaders, no
wonder they both fall into the ditch. But I am going to apprise
you of of a singular occurrence which has excited much
interest in the country round. The house being thronged a
few evenings since, onn account of the court which is sitting, I
arose from the table when I had supped, to make roonm for those
who were waiting, and walked to the door. While I was
standing at the door with a glas of water in my hand, it being
now quite dark, a ragged old looking man, with a heavy pack
on his back, followed by a little boy, approached, and asked me
“if he could stay all night,” supposing me to be the woman of
the house. I spoke to Mr. B. who went to the door and told
the man to come in. He came in, and taking his pack from
his back, (which was a skin with the hair on,) laid it down on
the floor, and, seeming weary, sat down. He was all in tatters;
a small man, and about 60 years of age. The son, for it
was his son, was about 12 years, and something better dressed.
When the rest had supped, he and the boy, also sat down to
supper; and while he was eating, some of the party asked him
how far he had travelled, and what course he came. He
said “from toward Tuscaloosy;” and made no other reply.
When he went to bed, which was in another house, he left his
pack where he first laid it down. Next morning he walked
about the town, and was out most of the day: sometimes his
boy was with him, and sometimes he loitered about the door—
the pack still lying in the same place. But when Mrs. B.
went to sweep the dining room, she gave the pack a kick with
her foot, to move it out of her way, thinking it was nothing
but clothing. “Hump!” said she, “you are heavy;” and applying
her hands to it, was not able to lift it, but with difficulty 17(1)r 129
rolled it over out of her way; and no more was said about it.
Towards evening, the man came in, and said he would be going,
and asked Mrs. B. what was to pay? She told him, nothing;
supposing him to be very poor, from his appearance; though
she said she saw him with money in his hand, when he asked
“what was to pay.”

Sometime after dark he returned, and to our astonishment,
said he had been robbed of 1500 dollars in silver! Every
one was amazed, that a man with so much money, should dress
as he did, and walk on foot; he was in his shirt sleeves, and they
were hanging in ribbands. Mrs. B. now repeated the weight
of the pack; and various were the opinions on the subject.
Some thought his story correct, and that he dressed in that
manner to avoid suspicion; and others gave him no credit, as
he was so careless about the pack.

He stated, that drawing near a house about three miles
distant from the town, where he intended to stay all night,
he saw several men standing in the yard drinking. When he
came up to them he did not like their looks, and laying his
pack on the fence, to rest himself, made some inquiry about
the distance to the next house. The men cursed and swore,
and turned him into ridicule, instead of giving him satisfaction;
pressed him to drink with them; which he refused. But while
he was considering what to do, one of the men went to the
pack, and felt it. Finally, he resolved to return; and putting
on his pack, said he would go back to town. As he said this,
one of the men sat off from the house, nearly in the same direction,
but did not keep the road. He left the house and proceeded
back the same road he came; and another man, he
said, followed. When he had proceeded some distance from
the house, the first man jumped out of the bushes, with a large
club, and threatened his life, if he did not immediately stop
and deliver his pack. By this time the other man appeared,
and by them he was robbed of every dollar!

The men he spoke of, were immediately taken, and proved
to be men of bad character, one in particular; but no money
was found with them. As court was sitting, they were immediately
brought to trial, before his Honor, C. C. Clay, and 17 17(1)v 130
Mrs. B. and myself were called on by both parties successively.
The Commonwealth summoned us the first day, and the
prisoners the next, when and where we stated the substance
which has been related. A number of witnesses were summoned,
and the boy was examined apart from his father, and
agreed nearly with him; and always told the same story,
which was not a very probable one; but neither would tell how
they obtained the money, except that they made it by trading
in furs, towards the Rocky Mountains, and were absent seven
years; and were amongst the Pawnee Indians, and at the lead
mines. But his appearance, and his coming such a circuitous
route, induced the most people to think he did not tell truth;
and though a few of the witnesses seemed to corroborate, with
his testimony, as to the weight of the bundle, not one ever saw
the money. The men accused were acquitted. I never was
more staggered in my opinion, as was also the judge, and
almost every one, so much so, that the smallest particle would
have turned the scale one way or the other. Some said it
must have been lead; others said it might have been silver oar,.
For the honor of Judge Clay, he gave the old man every
opportunity to establish the fact; sending off, to a great distance,
for witnesses; protracting the trial, and seemed anxious
to do the old man justice.

The Judge did not put up at our house, but very politely
called several times. Judge Clay is a very young man, of
pleasing manners, handsome person, and said to be a man of
the first talents in the state. Though this is a new country, I
have witnessed very few judges who might rank with Judge
in elegance of manners.

Thus ended the mighty matter, which excited much
interest, and is still a cause of wonder in the neighborhood.
The old man seems quite chop-fallen, and still hangs about the

Another strange occurrence has, for some time, thrown
the whole neighborhood into confusion and surprize. A woman,
a few miles hence, was taken strangely ill, and said she was
bewitched! She threw up knots of pins, and other things
equally unaccountable; was racked with excruciating pains, so 17(2)r 131
that she had no rest night or day. She laid this upon one of
the neighboring women, whom she pointed out by name! Her
neighbors attended her, and was often present when she threw
up the pins, knots of hair, and other unaccountable substances.
The matter ran onn for several weeks, during which she
contrived to inspire a large portion of the neighbors with the
belief that she was actually bewitched. Even respectable
physicians were imposed upon, and were ready, and actually
did testify that she was afflicted with some supernatural disease,
over which medicine had no controul. Finally, they
carried on the farce so far, as to have the supposed witch
apprehended and brought before the magistrate, and hundreds
(likewise bewitched) attended to hear the trial. But the magistrate
happened not to be bewitched, and the woman, producing
proof of a fair character, was acquitted. The patient now
became worse than ever, and the neighbors said it was a shame
that the witch should have been acquitted; and the whole
neighborhood seemed to combine in a dangerous conspiracy,
and the phrenzy of witchcraft at length alarmed the thinking
part of the comunity, and three or four gentlemen took
horses and rode to the house of the bewitched, with a view of
putting an end to the cheat. It appeared that the husband of
the bewitched woman, had traded for a barrel of brandy, to
speculate on, and this barrel was in the house where the woman
lay. The gentlemen having made this discovery, together
with certain symptoms of the afflicted woman, kept a close
watch, and at length discovered the real witch, which was the
brandy barrel, having detected the lady drawing the brandy.
They immediately made this known, and told the husband
(who was deeply concerned for his wife) to send the barrel of
brandy away, and his wife would soon be well. The neighbors
now turned against the woman, and the husband of the
lady who was persecuted, brought an action for slander, and
finally, the bewitched lady, and her worse bewitched husband,
became so obnoxious, they were compelled to leave the country.
So much for ignorance.

Yours, &c.

17(2)v 132

Letter XLIII.

Dear Matt,

I am fertile in anecdotes, and I send you the following,
not quite three days old: Three evenings since, as I stood in
our door, a genteel looking man rode up, and dismounting,
asked “if he could be entertained?” I replied in the affirmative:
he passed by me into the house, as though he felt little
concern for my reply. I still remained in the door, and Mr.
, who had been at his plantation, appeared, walking
slowly towards the door, with his eyes fixed on the stranger’s
horse; and when he came up, slapped his hands on it and said,
“this is my horse; who rode it?” I replied, a stranger. He
stepped in the house, and I turned from the door at the same
time to look at the gentleman, who had taken a seat, and found
him smiling at Mr. Burlison, as he heard him claim the horse.
This was a mere joke, it appeared, got up for amusement, between
the stranger and a nephew of the Captain’s, who had
also arrived from East Tennessee. Mr. Burlison had loaned
the horse to his nephew some time back, to ride home to Tennessee;
and when they arrived in Moulton, the young man
stopped up in town, with the stranger’s horse, and sent the
stranger forward with the borrowed horse. As it turned out,
however, it was quite a flat joke, and is merely referred to as
a preface to something more interesting.

The gentleman, like all those who visit the country, was
endless in his praises, and entertained us until a late hour with
his travels, and the incidents of the journey, which was several
hundred miles, namely, from Salem, Virginia—though he
was now, he said, near the end of his journey—but never
dropped a hint of his business. Thus the evening passed away,
and every one was pleased with the stranger, and all seemed anxious
to know his business in this part of the country; and no one,
for a wonder, asked his name. He was well dressed; by no
means foppish; rather spare, and rode a first rate horse, followed
by another equally valuable. Some of us thought, most
of us, indeed, were certain, he came to purchase land, as nothing 17(3)r 133
else brings people to this country. Not a syllable of purchasing,
or a word, on the object of his journey escaped him.
This was provoking, particularly to us females.

The stranger retired to his bed, and next morning chatted
till after breakfast, and seemed in no hurry to leave the house,
and we concluded he was going to spend the day with us. We
retired to dress and was absent some time; when returning to
the parlor, we found the gentleman still sitting there, familiarly
engaged in conversation, and seemed to win much upon
the respect and esteem of the company. At length, about 10
o’clock, he took out his pocket book, and taking a paper from
thence, asked Mr. Burlison how far it was to a Mr. King’s.
As there are several of that name, the question remained unanswered,
until he, the stranger, named the distance he lived
from a particular Mill, which was down, as the river runs,
about seven miles distant from Moulton. This being ascertained,
the stranger sat musing sometime with the paper in his
hand, and his eyes bent on the floor, absorbed in thought.—
At length, he said, “I have a sister at this Mr. King’s, if she
still be living!”
We women held our breath, and a painful
silence reigned throughout the company. The stranger, after
a pause, during which he labored under strong emotions, proceeded:
“I am full of hopes and fears, respecting my sister.—
She wrote to us six months since, but her letter never reached
us until about a few hours before I sat out on this journey, and
I have not seen her for nearly four years.”
As I lived in the
same county some years, from which he was, though unacquainted
with the family, I became rather more interested than
the company, and inquired, “by what means his sister happened
to be so far from her friends?”
He replied, “it was a
long and rather a melancholy story, but he would relate it as
briefly as possible. About four years ago, a French Doctor,
as he called himself, came to our town and spent several months.
During the time, he called often at my father’s, and before we
were aware, he succeeded in gaining the affections of one of
my sisters, and made proposals of marriage. This was opposed
by all the family, as the man was a total stranger,
and was forbid the house, and my sister forbid his company 17(3)v 134
—here we thought the matter at an end. Meanwhile
my younger brother and him meeting by accident, quarrelled
and fought a duel. During the time, however, he procured
letters from New York, and Philadelphia, from various
persons, whether genuine or forged, I do not know; but
these letters represented him to be a man of the highest respectability,
and a man of fortune, which lay principally in
the Spanish dominions, near Pensacola. He contrived to
have these letters shown to my father; but it had no effect;
and the matter seemed (as we thought) to have died away.
But my sister, whom it appears, kept up a correspondence
with him, declared she would never be happy if she did not
marry Doctor Gennee, and that she would have him if she
were forced to run away with him. Thus she teased us all,
night and day, and finally prevailed, though against the
wishes of every friend she had. The Doctor, after his marriage,
was anxious to go on to his possessions in Florida; and
to induce him to treat my sister well, my father gave him 1000
dollars in cash, and bought a first rate wagon, entirely new,
filled it with every species of best furniture, for house keeping,
put a fine team of horses in it, with a slave to drive it, and
with a saddle horse for my sister. They took leave, and we
heard no more of them, till we received a letter from my sister
dated about six months since, which filled us with astonishment
and distress. I have the letter here now,”
he added, “and
will read it.”
It was a long letter, and the young man was
so overpowered by his feelings, that he was forced to pause
several times, often the tear stealing down his cheek. The
amount of the letter was:—That they arrived in safety in
Florida; but her husband had no property there, and left her often
without money to help herself, and went off she could not tell
where, a long time; that he was very cross and ill natured to
her from the time she left her father’s, and at last he sold every
thing they had, and went off no one knew wither, leaving
her without one cent in the world, or a particle of property.
She was ashamed to apprize her father and brothers, as they
had opposed her marriage; that she struggled to sustain life,
though at the same time she prayed for death. At length, 17(4)r 135
growing calm, she thought of returning to her friends, if she
had to beg her way, which she would certainly have to do.—
Finally, her wrongs and her sufferings excited the compassion
of some humane individuals, who furnished her with a pony,
and a few dollars. She set forward alone, steering towards
Nashville, pursuing Coffee’s Trace. This was an appaling undertaking
for a female, through an uninhabited country of
swamps and cane-breaks. She often lost her way, and wandered
about for days and for nights without food, and often
without water. At length she gave out, and could travel no
farther. She had been for some time aiming to reach a settlement,
she had had in view from the first, and intended to stop
there and write to her friends. This is the settlement (principally
religious people) where she now is. The first house she
called at, the people refused even to let her come in, much
less would they give her food to eat. What are you travelling
alone for? It is a bad sign—you must be a bad woman. She
went to another, and another house, but was turned away from
all, with more than brutal cruelty. She now lost all hope, and
sat down on the road side! While she was sitting there, this
Mr. King was passing by, and telling him her story, he took
her to his house and treated her with great kindness. In a
few days she wrote the letter mentioned, but by some means it
did not reach its destination for six months.

The letter contained a pathetic appeal to her father and
brothers for forgiveness, and if they thought her worthy to be
received into the family again, to send for her; if not, she would
remain with her kind friend.

Shortly after the letter arrived, this young man, who kept
a Latin School in the neighborhood, came home, and his father
requested him to get ready and go for her as quick as

After relating the story, he ordered his horses, and set
out; and this day (the 2d) he passed by here, about one o’clock,
P. M., with his sister, a very fine looking woman; but they
were in a great hurry, and we only saw her on horseback.—
While they were yet in sight, some of the neighbors of Mr.
, who were at the house when the brother called, and 17(4)v 136
who had rode up with them part of the way, stopped at our
house, and related a most pathetic scene between the brother
and sister. They flew into each others arms, and were for
many minutes unable to speak. The sister at length burst into
a flood of tears, and the brother likewise wept. But this was
a trifle to the scene that followed. This lady had never been
taught to work, and by way of amusement, she had induced
Mrs. King to teach her how to work, such as spinning, carding,
&c. She soon became very expert, and by way of remunerating
her friends for their kindness in saving her life, worked
late and early, thinking she could never do enough for them.
But when the people who had turned her out of doors found
she was a decent woman, and was industrious, they had the
effrontry to come to King’s to seduce her away. “His house,
(being a poor man) was not fit for her to stay at; come to our
was their language. The lady refused their invitation
with disdain, and remained with her friends; and so strong
was her attachment to Mrs. King, and Mrs. King for her, that
when they came to take leave, it was difficult to tear them
asunder. Thus ends the story.

What think you, Matt, of the christian religion? Between
you and I, and the bed post, I begin to think it is all a
plot of the priests. I have ever marked those professors,
whenever humanity demanded their attention, the veriest
savages under the sun. Now, this King made no pretensions
to religion, and though this is, as you say, a Jay’s treaty, I
must add another instance of their brutality—it happened when
I was very young, and made an impression on me which I
shall never forget. A presbyterian Elder, (and to this day I
do not know the meaning of the word,) who prayed a long
prayer, night and morning, owned a ferry. A poor woman,
as I supposed then, (as she was on foot,) stopped at his door,
and inquired what the ferryage was, saying she wanted to
cross. She looked tired, hungry, miserable. The wretch
asked her how much money she had? She showed him some
in an old rag, and taking up a bit, I think it was, asked
him “if that was enough?”“No.” She took a half bit A small sum current in those days. 18(1)r 137
up, and holding them in her hand, asked “if that would do?”
He shook his head. She had but one more bit, which she said
was all she had. He would not touch it. She said, “I must
cross; for God’s sake take all, and put me over.”
No; he turned
off and was going into the house. The woman wiped the
tears from her eyes with her sleeve, and pulling off a blue and
white checked handkerchief, which she wore round her neck,
called him back, and told him “she must cross the river if she
had to go without a handkerchief;”
and the wretch took it and
the money too!!! One of these hypocrites told me once “I
ought not to judge all by one.”
No! But I judge all by all, for
they are all the same.

This man lived on North river, Virginia.

Yours, &c.

Letter XLIV.

Dear Matt,

My old acquaintance, the Colonel, has moved from the
Bluff (or Marathon) to this place, which, though now a considerable
town, consisting of fine brick houses, was a cornfield
18 months ago, and the corn furrows are still visible in many
parts of the town. The Colonel, and all the citizens, however,
are much disappointed that they did not obtain the seat of
justice here; and the Colonel particularly takes it much to
heart, as he purchased lots under that view. But he is forced
to submit. “Courtland”, (you see they counted their chickens
before they were hatched) being eight miles from the river,
the boundary of the country, Courtland was too far from the

And the great beauty is married! At a few months over
14 years of age! She married a South Carolinian, by the
name of Daniel Wright, Esq. a very genteel, amiable man,
and clerk of the court. He was a member of the convention 18 18(1)v 138
that framed the Constitution for the state, and is a man of
princely manners. The lady had a considerable fortune, and
they will doubtless do well. So you have missed it again.

This is the region of the Carolina pink and Colomba root.
Wagon loads of the latter may be gathered any where in the
woods; it, and the pink, cover the ground. The pink grows
much like the garden pink, and the flower is similar in size
and figure, but is of a scarlet. I am sure I have seen it in
some part of the Union before, but cannot tell where. The
woods are alive with it here, and a profusion of other beautiful
flowers. It is quite a treat to ride through the woods. The
Colomba root has several broad leaves near the ground, in the
shape like the hound’s tongue, of a yellowish green—the leaf
thick and fuzzy—and a stem runs up from these from one to
two feet in height, without leaves, and has a flower near the
top—but it is not now in bloom.

The greatest curiosity here, is the sensitive brier. It is
in its nature, (but not in shape,) like the sensitive plant, though
with this difference, only that part of the plant shrinks which
you touch. For instance, if you touch one leaf, it draws up
instantly, but this does not affect the other leaves—not so the
brier: It grows like the raspberry brier, long, and still more
slender, with narrow leaves; if you touch the stem at one end,
the leaves instantly pucker themselves up from one end of the
brier to the other, the most astonishing phenomenon I have
witnessed in the vegetable kingdom. The brier grows spontaneously.
Those I saw were from one to five feet high, and
about the thickness of a wheat straw. The leaves are very
small, narrow, and notched, not larger than the smallest pink
leaf. I amused myself sometime in tormenting these little
whimsical rogues.

Since I have began with the curious, we have, another
great curiosity here, viz: the jointed snake, which, if struck
with a stick flies to pieces with a jingling noise. No blood is
emitted from the broken parts, and it is said the pieces unite
again. This I was told was a fact, though I did not see the
snake. The Camelion is also a native of this place. They
are found every where; but the prairies abound with them.— 18(2)r 139
They are called the Green Lizard, by the inhabitants.—
Mrs. Burlison informed me, that its general color was green,
but if provoked, it changed to a grayish color, and the throat,
which swells to a great size, when it is made angry, changes
to a pale crimson. I did not happen to see one, as you may
ride for days through the prairies without being able to distinguish
them from the grass, of which color they are. Speaking
of prairies—these prairies are too damp for cotton, but
corn grows well on them, and in the season for strawberries,
you may gather wagon loads of them; and these are a superior
flavor to any in our part of the country. You cannot
walk through a prairie in strawberry time, they take you up to
the ankle.

Another curiosity—Tobacco grows spontaneously in this
state! It grows in Madison county in the forest, and attains
the same height as when cultivated—but the leaves are thin,
and unfit for use. It is also found in West Tennessee. It was
found in Madison, by the first white people who visited the
country, nor can the oldest Indian account for its origin.—
Some think it is a native, and others, again, suppose it possible
the seed might have been scattered by some adventurous

This, and the adjoining states, on the Mississippi, is beyond
doubt to become the wealthiest part of the United States.
In fact, it is so now. The inhabitants of this state, however,
not contented with the overflowing productions of their thrice
happy soil, have vainly attempted to introduce the sugar
cane—but, doubtless, it will fail. By covering the roots it
lives through the winter, and grows to a considerable height.
Though it is now in perfection of two year’s growth, the winters
are evidently too cold for the plant.

Upland rice grows here with success. It looks like oats,
is sown in drills, and plowed and hoed like corn. It is of a
reddish color when cooked. Every planter rears enough for
his own use.

I fell in with a traveller of intelligence, from whom I gathered
a few particulars of those new Southern States, and
taking the whole together, it is beyond doubt the most desirable 18(2)v 140
country on earth. The gentleman is from the Red River last:
His information amounts to the following:

He has been several years in that country, and assisted in
surveying and running the boundary lines, both of Mississippi
and Louisiana. “The lands (he says) on the Mississippi, on both
sides, far exceeds this in fertility, and producing two thousand
weight of cotton to the acre: whereas fifteen hundred is the most
that is calculated on here. Indigo, tobacco, and rice grow there
in great abundance. Indian corn grows with such rapidity, that
two crops can be raised in one year, below thirty two or thirty
one degrees of North latitude. From one to two hundred
bushels of Indian corn are produced to the acre. Sugar and
oranges grow in the same latitude, but neither will grow to
any degree of perfection above thirty-two. Cotton and sugar
are the staples of Louisiana and Mississippi; and people amass
great wealth there in a short time, from the culture of those
articles. Even poor men, that go there, and attend to large
stocks of cattle that run on great natural meadows, which
abound in Louisiana, for which they get a certain part, soon
become rich. Sugar is cultivated by laying the stalks in furrows
once in three years, and from the joints new stems

“The best cotton grows on Red River. All, who have
visited that country, agree on this point. The stalks grow to
such thickness and strength there, that they are strong enough
to bear a man’s weight.”
[I have heard this asserted by many.]
“Red River falls into the Mississippi from the West side below
Natchez, in about the thirty-first degree of latitude. Beyond
Louisiana, that is, west of it, there is another vast region equally
as productive, and almost without inhabitants: I mean
Texas—though it belongs to the Spanish government.—The
Spaniard offer a considerable bounty in land to all persons,
who will go and settle it. The Southern part of Louisiana
extends from the East side of the Mississippi river, which
bounds it East, to the Saline river, which bounds it on the
West, and divides it from Texas. There is no difference in
the soil or productions of the states of Louisiana and Mississippi;
but the former is more liable to be everflowed by the 18(3)r 141
rivers that flow through the former, and much more of it is
covered with swamps—but there is enough to reward industry
and enterprise, exclusive of the swamps.”

“The Mississippi state extends from the river of the same
name, which bounds it on the West, but I give the boundary.
The boundary commences on the Mississippi river, at the
point where the Southern boundary line of the state of Tennessee
strikes the said river; thence East along the said boundary
line to the Tennessee river; thence up the same to the
mouth of Bear creek; thence, by a direct line to the Northwest
corner of the county of Washington, in Alabama; thence due
South to the Gulf of Mexico; thence Westwardly, including all
the Islands within six leagues of the shore, to the most Eastern
junction of Pearl river with Lake Borgne; thence up said river
to the thirty-first degree of North latitude; thence west along
the said degree of latitude to the Mississippi river; and thence
up the same to the beginning. Mississippi is watered by the
Pascagula, Mississippi, Tennessee, Pearl, Yazoo, and Big
Black rivers
. Although the bottoms are not so wide and extensive
on the east side of Mississippi river, yet they are equally
as fertile, producing cotton, &c. in abundance. There are
three distinct species of land, both in this state and Alabama:
The bottom, the bluff, (or high, dry, rich cotton land,) and
pine land. Take it all in all, it is not exceeded in fertility by
any in the world: Neither is it so sickly as is represented.—
Consumptions, which sweep so many of our Northern people
to the grave, are unknown here. I have seen a gentleman,
that was far gone with that complaint, who tells me that he has
entirely recovered. The moschitoes, however, are troublesome;
but the small expense they are at, to secure themselves
from them, is amply remunerated by the soil’s overflowing productiveness.”

There is a country for you, Matt: and am I not a good
old lady to send you such amusement. I have some notion
of turning author some of these days, for though I know you
are only indulging your irony, (you saucy rogue, is that the
way to treat your betters,) let me tell you I would not make
the worst in the world. You, and Joe Fry, may laugh again; 18(3)v 142
I was never blind to your winks and nods; and if ever I do
take up my pen, I mean to write a book, and I will flay you
two saucy rogues.

I have this moment received your letter of March! If you
are as slow a traveller as your letters, you may find it necessary
to bring a summer-house with you.

The people have elected C. C. Was there ever such fools?
They must have been intoxicated. Can America stand? Can
she preserve her liberty thus? She cannot; she ought not!
They are prodigal of their sovereignty, indeed. It appears to
be painful to them. To elect the greatest fool, by odds the
greatest fool in the country. You know he always has Lord
in his mouth. In my husband’s lifetime, this Lord Hale
came to our house and spent a day. You knew my husband’s
hospitality. He entertained all alike. Court was sitting at
this time, at the Sweet Springs, and this booby, (how he came
to be licensed a lawyer, is strange,) while at the dinner table,
began to repeat part of a defence, it appeared he made for a
criminal; in doing which, he referred to Lord Hale’s Pleas
of the Crown.
Finding we were all silent, he took it for
granted, we were delighted, and launched out in the praise of
Demosthenes and Cicero. My husband, who had remained silent,
and was weary of the fool, at length, asked who this Demosthenes
was, “as I am very ignorant in these things.” “You
don’t know who Demosthenes was? Why he was a great Roman
Emperor; and Cicero was another great Emperor; and
Cato was another. There are very few things come amiss to
Thus he went on till he swept away all the great men of
antiquity; whilst I suffered the ordeal, as being at my own table,
I dare not laugh. My husband never laughed at any
thing; but he did something much better this day. He always
sat sometime after the cloth was removed, and had a
fashion of leaning forward, when displeased, upon his arms,
which were usually crossed, and at the same time biting his
thumb. I always trembled when I saw this; nor dare I rise
from the table till he made a signal; and though our house was
usually full, we happened to have no one this day, but Lord
. At length, my husband, addressing his Lordship, said, 18(4)r 143
“Now, what a d—d fool you are; this is the way you expose
yourself; do you know you are a laughing stock for the
whole country? My dog, Citizen, (a favorite pointer,) has
more sense. Just go home, and go to plow, for if my dog
could speak, he would make a better lawyer.”
He took it in
good part, and said it was the best lesson he ever had heard.
It was lost upon such a fool. Strange, that whatever side he
took at the bar, was sure to be victorious; as, true to their
nature, the people, or rabble, rather always think the greatest
fool the wisest man. They have proved it in this instance, by
their selecting him to make laws for them. Alas, for my
country! all your citizens want is rope.

Good bye; I am going to Florence, foot of the Muscle
; I give Kenhawa joy of her representative.

Yours, &c.

N. B. What a pity this fellow had not chosen the profession
of a preacher. He would have made a Lady Hale of all
the women in the country round. He would have left the
Cumberland preacher, (I mentioned some time back,) far behind,
in causing them “to come tumbling down!” Handsome
language, I confess, for a preacher of the gospel to use. They
ought, at least, to go halves.

Letter XLV.

And here I am, my Dear Matt—foot of the Shoals, once
more. I have been here ten days; and what do you think I
came here for? Of all people you, you, I say, are the most extraordinary
and neglectful of men? Where are my trunks?
What has become of them? Were they not to have been sent
long since? I have just seen Major S. and he tells me a fine
tale of Gardner, and a few more, of whom I was going
to say you must be one. But I would as soon expect to see the 18(4)v 144
sun start from its centre, as that you would countenance such
an infamous transaction. But what were you about, that you
suffered this infamous Yankee tin pedlar, Whitiker, to surrender
my furniture into the hands of the wretch, Gardner? S.
lest he might be charged with what he is innocent of, did not,
and would not tell me, but the gentleman who came with him,
did. It is enough that I know it; I saw by S—’s countenance
that all was not right. But that Mr. Fry would pay over
money of mine, to Gardner, without an order from me, I cannot
believe, until I have better evidence! He doubtless sets a
high value upon his character; but it would seem that honesty
cannot breathe in Kenhawa. It is fatal to the principle. If it
be true that Whitiker has delivered my property into the
hands of Gardner, a curse will pursue him to his grave, nor
will his offspring This was literally fulfilled. He actually delivered the property as stated above;
had his house burnt twice to the ground, with all its contents, and died a wretched
death. Thus the Lord avenges the widows’ wrongs.
ever prosper. But I will endeavor not to
believe that human nature is so depraved. I give you joy on
your marriage, and I hope you may be as happy as I wish.

Florence is one of the new towns of this beautiful and rapid
rising state. It is happily situated for commerce at the
head of steamboat navigation, on the north side of Tennessee
, in the country of Lauderdale, five miles below the port of
the Muscle Shoals, and ten miles from the line of the state of

Florence is to be the great emporium of the northern part
of this state. I do not see why it should not; it has a great capital
and is patronized by the wealthiest gentlemen in the
state. It has a great state at its back; another in front, and a
noble river on all sides, the steamboats pouring every necessary
and every luxury into its lap. Its citizens, bold, enterprising,
and industrious—much more so than any I have seen in
the state.

Many large and elegant brick buildings are already built
here, (although it was sold out, but two years since,) and frame
houses are putting up daily. It is not uncommon to see a
framed building begun in the morning and finished by night.

19(1)r 145

Several respectable mercantile houses are established here,
and much business is done on commission also. The site of
the town is beautifully situated on an eminence, commanding
an extensive view of the surrounding country, and Tennessee
, from which it is three quarters of a mile distant.—It has
two springs of excellent and never failing water. Florence
has communication by water with Mississippi, Missouri, Louisiana,
Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, West Pennsylvania,
West Virginia, and East Tennessee, and very shortly will communicate
with the Eastern States, through the great canal!!!
The great Military road that leads from Nashville to New Orleans,
by way of Lake Ponchartrain, passes through this town,
and the number of people who travel through it, and the numerous
droves of horses for the lower country, for market, are
incredible. Florence contains one printing press, and publishes
a paper weekly called the Florence Gazette; it is ably patronized,
and edited by one of our first men, and said to be the
best paper in the state. Florence is inhabited by people from
almost all parts of Europe and the United States; here are
English, Irish, Welch, Scotch, French, Dutch, Germans, and
Grecians. The first Greek I ever saw was in this town. I
conversed with him on the subject of his country, but found
him grossly ignorant. He butchers for the town, and has
taken to his arms a mullatto woman for a wife. He very often
takes an airing on horseback of a Sunday afternoon, with
his wife riding by his side, and both arrayed in shining costume.

The river at Florence is upwards of five-hundred yards
wide; it is ferried in a large boat worked by four horses, and
crosses in a few minutes.

There are two large and well kept Taverns in Florence,
and several Doggeries. A Doggery is a place where spirituous
liquors are sold; and where men get drunk, quarrel, and fight,
as often as they choose, but where there is nothing to eat for
man or beast. Did you ever hear any thing better named.
“I sware!” said a Yankee pedlar, one day, with both his eyes
banged up, “that are Doggery, be rightly named. Never seed
the like on’t. If I get to ham agin it ’il be a nice man ’il 19 19(1)v 146
catch me in these here parts. Awfullest place one could be
It appeared the inmates of the Doggery enticed him under
pretence of buying his wares, and forced him to drink; and
then forced him to fight; but the poor little Yankee was sadly
beaten. Not content with blacking up his eyes, they overturned
his tin-cart, and scattered his tins to the four winds;
frightened his horse, and tormented his very soul out about
lasses, &c. He was a laughable object—but to hear his dialect
in laying off the law, was a complete farce, particularly when
Pat came to invite him into the same Doggery to drink
friends—“I ben’t a dog to go into that are dog house.”

The people, you see, know a thing or two, here; they call
things by their right names. But to proceed—there may be
about one hundred dwelling houses and stores, a court house,
and several ware houses in Florence. The latter are however
on the river. One of the longest buildings I ever saw, is in
Florence. It was built by a company of gentlemen, and is
said to have cost $90,000, and is not yet finished. The proprietors,
being of this place, are men of immense wealth, and
are pushing their capital with great foresight and activity.
For industry and activity, Florence outstrips all the northern
towns in the state. More people travel this road than all our
western roads put together. I was just going to conclude,
when an old German passing through my room from that of
my landlady’s, made me laugh, in reply to something uttered
by the lady, he said “poverty was no crime, when we came
honestly by it.”

Yours, &c.

Letter XLVI.

Dear Matt,

More of Florence. I observed in my last, the surprizing
wealth of this place. The principal gentlemen of wealth are
General Coffee, James Jackson, Esq., Major McKinley, Now a Senator in Congress for Alabama. and 19(2)r 147
Messrs. Simpson and Gaither. Of these J. Jackson is said to
be not only wealthy, but the wealthiest man in the state.—
There are, however, many others quite easy in their circumstances.
General Coffee, and J. Jackson live out of town. Major
lives in Florence, and is reputed to be the first
lawyer in the three states. He is a stout, fine looking man; of
easy manners, as all gentlemen are; and his dwelling contains
more taste and splendor, by one half, than I ever
saw in my whole life put together. But this is nothing.—
Mrs. McKinley, the elegance of her manners, and the
sweetness of her conversation, joined with her interesting
children, completely disconcerted me. Every thing in the
house had, to me, the appearance of enchantment. I never
was in such a paradise before. Mrs. McKinley looked as
though she had dropped from above. I never was more confounded.
And the children! They are truly a pattern! The
dear little things were in the nursery, and hearing there was
a stranger in the parlour, prevailed on the nurse to open the
door a few inches, that they might see who was there—but they
were instantly upbraided by their mother. Make these a pattern
for your children, if you should have any. I begged admission
for the dear creatures, and they were admitted upon
condition of good behavior. They were the handsomest children
I ever beheld, and I was so completely fascinated by their manners,
I forgot everything else. Mrs. McKinley informed me
she was from Philadelphia, and was acquainted with Mrs.
Doctor Charles Lewis

All the ladies of Florence excel in the domestic virtues.
No gadding abroad. They demean themselves with that modesty
and attention to their domestic affairs, beyond any ladies
I have seen in the state. Mrs. Coffee (a niece of Mrs.
General Jackson
,) comes to preaching in a plain bonnet and
calico dress. General Coffee was here since I arrived, and appears
to be much reduced since I saw him in Huntsville. His
constitution was much injured by the hardships he suffered
in the army. I was never within speaking of James Jackson.
It is said he is a native of Ireland. Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Gibson,
and Mrs. Southworth, the printer’s wife, and several others, 19(2)v 148
are charming women. Captain Gibson, a son of the brave
Colonel Gibson, of Tennessee, is one of the most amiable men
on earth.

It is unaccountable why such a number of physicians
should flock to this country. Every town is flooded with them.
They are strung along the roads like so many blacksmith’s
shops. You can neither walk nor ride, but you have a physician
on each side, one in front, and one in rear. Here are seven
in Florence—seven more went away, for want of room.
There are also, here, six lawyers. I left thirteen doctors in
Courtland, a much smaller place. One hundred passed through
the latter, south, unable to get in. You cannot, as I stated
before, travel a mile on any great road, without meeting with
a Doctor’s shop. But this is not all. Almost every practising
doctor has three or four students. I have known mechanics
quit their trade and commence the study of medicine. This
would lead one to think the country was sickly. No such
thing. It is a much healthier country than ours. It appears
that the first doctors, who came here, made great fortunes,
and every young man studied medicine, so that mankind has,
indeed, given themselves up to the guidance of folly. They
remind one of Erasmus’ drunken man attempting to mount
his horse; if you help him up on one side, he falls over on the
other. Many of these physicians, however, are becoming
planters, by which they will doubtless make their bread. They
add, however, much to society, and help to pass off the time.
They are all life annd gaiety, and are constantly playing pranks
on each other, for want of other employment. A most laughable
scene occurred here the other day, which, for ingenuity
of plot, and fertility of humor, might challenge the author of
Don Quixotte.

The first we heard of it was the voice of a female entering
the town, on foot, in a violent rage, cursing and swearing, (for
it appears ladies do swear, or women I mean, as the word lady
cannot possibly belong to one who would use such vulgar language.)
She smote her fists together violently, and (passing
over about ninety-nine oaths, at least) declared vengeance
against every young man in Florence. Those who were in 19(3)r 149
the secret, began to laugh; others laughed for company; but
the most of the people were astonished. “Twenty-four miles
here I’ve walked, and torn myself to pieces with thorns, and
bruises; look at my arms d—n you; look at my clothes; yes,
laugh, laugh; see mpy shoes and stockings, wading all the
creeks, you sons of b—s. Oh, yes, you’re the ones.”
face was as red as scarlet, from the heat and rage together.—
Briefly—a number of boats are generally lying at the landing,
and it appears that the young men in Florence are no better
than the young men of other towns, or what I would say,
rather, that all young men are alike. This is an undeniable
fact, and has been the case since the world began, if history
be true, and will doubtless continue to the end of it. Whether
this be the effect of preaching, or the want of it, I pretend not to
say. All I have to say, is, that the priests have been preaching
these 1821 years, and yet young men, and young women,
too, are still the same, and may be, a little worse. This may,
however, be a part of the religion they preach, as I always
find most of it where there is most preaching. The sensible
reader will understand me as wishing to check the evil of swearing,
and without any desire to wound the delicacy or any fair
sisters, though, like myself, they never ceased until they unravelled
the mystery; and with no other view than to guard
them against temptations and the cunning of young men. It
was ascertained, that parties of both sexes, for want of house
room, doubtless, had often spent the night in these boats. It is
said that people live in boats in China; probably this gave rise
to the idea in this country. Let this be ats it may, a very decent
and respectable young man was seen leading a lady in the
dusk of the evening into one of these boats; and sometime in the
night, somebody untied the cable of the boat, and down the river
she sailed of her own accord. There are shoals in Tennessee
, about 20 or 24 miles below Florence, and the first intelligence
the inmates of the boat had of being under way, was
the noise of the Shoals, which awakened them from a sound
sleep! The woman waked first, and being alarmed at the noise,
roused the young man, no other person happening to be on
board. Upon looking out, and rubbing his eyes, the truth 19(3)v 150
burst upon him; but there was no remedy, and their fears
were no little, lest the boat might hang or break upon a rock.
Fortunately the boat lodged against an island, fair and softly—
and there the gentleman and his companion had to remain, till
fortune might send a boat for their relief, either up or down
the river, which, by chance, happened sometime the ensuing
day. But it appears the gentleman proved rather ungallant,
in the end, as he left the lady to shift for herself, the moment
he set foot on shore; and turning back to back, he went down
the river, and she came up to Florence. It is supposed he had
two reasons for this: First—he did not wish to be seen walking
side by side with the lady into Florence, which would have
subjected him to the ridicule of his friends. Secondly—within
six or seven miles below Lover’s Landing, as it has since
been called, there was a small town, where he wished to refresh
himself, and procure a horse, to ride back, being clerk
of the court, his absence could not well be dispensed with.

These incidents we learned partly from the woman,
partly from observation, and partly from the contrivers of the
plot. The woman said “it was very unkind,” or in words to
that amount, to go off, and leave her to come home through
the swamps, by herself, without a road. And all the ladies
thought so too: but they spoke differently, for they said she
deserved it all, and a great deal more. They did not in my
hearing cast the smallest reflection upon the young man.
He returned the next day, and in a very ill humour; and without
adverting to his misfortunes, examined the countenance of
every and each of his friends, with a view of detecting the
party concerned. Being a man of spirit, he would have certainly
walked the man or men out; but this part of the farce
will never be known; and he is very silent himself, for obvious
reasons. This incident has afforded much amusement.

I ought to have mentioned Mr. Mayers, This amiable man I lament to hear, is now dead. your old acquaintance.
He lives in Franklin county, over the river from
hence. I dined at his house on my way to Florence. He is
delighted with the country, owns a valuable plantation, and is
up to the eyes rearing cotton. But he lacks one very essential 19(4)r 151
comfort, which is water; having to haul it about two miles.—
He has been at great expense digging for water on his land,
but has failed. Miss Ann, looks as charming as ever, and is
often a visiter at the house of my friend, Judge Ellis, one of
the most interesting families in Alabama. I never, though
long acquainted with Mr. Mayers, and Miss M. saw Mrs.
before. She is one of the finest women I have seen in
this or any other country. They are all highly pleased with
the change; and Mr. Mayers has a number of very promising
children. But he talks of removing to Tuscaloosa, if he can
sell out to advantage.

In noting all the fine things of Florence, I overlooked a
Mr. Fulton, an eminent lawyer, and a gentleman of first rate
talents. He is from Maryland, and one of the ornaments of
society. I was just now called on for a toast, and gave an old
one which is said to have been given extempore by one of my
Irish ancestors, and which follows: Health to the sick,Wealth to the brave,A husband to the widow,And freedom to the slave!

I should have no objection to realize one line of the toast.
You may readily guess which; but that is between ourselves.

Yours, &c.

N. B. Pray give my respects to Mrs. Dunbar.

Letter XLVII.

Dear Matt,

Hearing Colonel Biern, of Monroe, was to be here, I
came up to learn the news from my old neighborhood. But
Colonel B. looked cold and frowning. I cannot account for
this, unless I am to join in the opinion with Tom Envy, mentioned
in a former letter, viz: that wealth changes the manners
of men.

19(4)v 152

“Whatever is, is right!” says Pope. So be it. I concur.
But I should think, my friends would have sent some
message at least. Grant me patience, good heavens!

Huntsville, has greatly increased since my first visit; and
notwithstanding the check it has received, in the great number
of new towns on the river, it will always be a place of wealth
and business. Its capital is considerable, and the proprietors
are thoroughgoing business men. It has now a population of
1300 inhabitants. Two churches have been built since I have
been here; a theatre, (now burnt,) and a number of dwelling
houses. It has now two printing offices—each publish a paper;
sixteen stores; several commission merchants; auctioneer; a
land office; and various other public offices, which draw numbers
of people from the country. They have a very fine fire engine,
and a well regulated company. There are two academies
for young ladies; one for gentlemen, and several
common schools. Great encouragement is given to the encouragement
of learning throughout the state. Every sixteenth
section of land is set apart for the benefit of education, Fine pickings for the blue skins. and
provision is made by law for a university, which is soon to go
into operation. There’s your chance Mr. Black-Coats! They
have a tolerable library; fine taverns; several Doggeries; twenty-one
lawyers! and eight practising physicians!

I mentioned to you the Huntsville Spring. The citizens
of Huntsville are now employed in collecting the water which
flows from it into a canal; this canal is to have five locks, and
to communicate with Indian Creek, which is navigable to the

Few places combine more blessings than Huntsville; and
not a town in the world, perhaps, in proportion to its population,
except Florence, has more wealth, more talent, more
taste, more hospitality, mirth and gaiety, than Huntsville. The
ladies of Huntsville, distance every thing in costliness of
their dress; nor do I like their manners so well as I do the
manners of the Florence ladies. They are always in the streets.
But they are beautiful women, and very familiar. The young
gentlemen are rather better informed; are gay and lively; 20(1)r 153
play and sing well. They often go out serenading, and have
a Thespian society, who entertain the citizens at stated periods;
to these are added balls and cotillion parties. I shall
remain here till I hear from Virginia, and shall then pay a
visit to Blakely, to see Mrs. Biern, formerly Kitty Davis,
whom I partly raised. You recollect her—Mr. Caperton is
dead, and she is married to a Mr. Biern, and doing well.

Respecting your last letter, you say, and very plausibly
too, “No wonder the ignorant are prejudiced against learning,
when they see learned men inflicting every evil, cheating,
defrauding, and oppressing the poor.”
Aware of these objections
made, acted and done, to use your law phrases, I am
ready to enter my rejoinder. The very reason you adduce to
excuse the ignorant, is the reason I would advance against
them. If their minds were improved, they would not become
the dupes and victims of their learned neighbors. They
would then be able to cope with him. If men of the best
learning and parts often fall a sacrifice to the artful disguise
which hypocracy and knavery put on, how then are the ignorant
to escape? If education was better attended to, it would
greatly alleviate the evils of fraud and oppression. If a few,
now and then, emerge from the night and ignorance, the great
mass of the people are still the same. And this ignorance is to
be our downfall. It strikes at the vitals of our liberty. It
affects morally and politically, and the few are soon to rule the
many, instead of the many ruling the few. I would not,
as some one said, have them all philosophers; but I would
have them raised a little above the brute creation. I would
have them know they were endowed with reason. I would
have them know, this reason was bestowed on them as a guide
to enable them to distinguish right from wrong—truth from
falsehood—good from evil. I would have them know, that it is
the cultivation of this reason alone that can secure to them its
advantages. As a fertile field, without cultivation, produces
nothing but noxious weeds, so our reason, without cultivation,
is no more advantage to us in transacting the commom concerns
of life, than if it were destitute of this glory of human 20 20(1)v 154
nature. But I am sleepy, and must bid you good night. Remember
me to Mrs. D.

Yours, &c.

Letter XLVIII.

Dear Matt,

This day, the anniversary of our beloved Washington,
was ushered in with all manner of rejoicing. The star spangled
banner is now waving on the cupola, before my window,
and an elegant ball is to conclude the day.

While I sat in my window, with my eye on the flag, my
mind was thrown back to the Revolutionary War; and whilst
I gazed on this emblem of our liberty, I thought on the day that
I first saw the colors of the then conflicting states: the occasion
nor the date I do not now remember. But I well remember
the brilliant striped flag. I was then a child, and lived in
Hannah’s Town, not far from Pittsburg. I was standing in
the street one morning, with other little children, and happening
to turn my eyes in the direction of Pittsburg, I caught a
view of soldiers marching into the Town, their colours flying,
and drums beating. I remember the order of the march—I remember,
too, that there were several women: but I am sorry
I cannot tell how they came to visit Hannah’s Town, or to pass
through it, which they did. I never saw the United States’
colors since, that it does not recall that day! and the whole repasses
again before me, and with it all the sufferings of those
trying times. I suffered all that human nature could bear,
both with cold and hunger. Oh, ye wealthy of those times,
little idea had ye of what the poor frontier settlers suffered.
Often running for our lives to the forts, the Indians pursuing
and shooting at us. At other times lying concealed in brushwood,
exposed to rain and snakes, for days and nights without
food, and almost without clothes! We were one half of the 20(2)r 155
time without salt or bread! pinned our scanty clothing with
thorns; lived on nuts, bear’s meat, and dried venison! All these
things revive in my mind, and I love to dwell on them.

The company are now marching before me, under arms,
in a handsome uniform; they step light and graceful, and are
tall fine looking men. Their captain, Howard, boards with
me; I mean at the same house. He is just six feet in height,
and one of the finest figures of them all, and has a martial
look. He is a great favorite among the ladies, and is, doubtless,
to open the ball this evening with some of the fairest of
the fair.

I board with Major Rose, the merry old veteran mentioned
some time back. He has met with a dreadful reverse of fortune
since I first saw him. He was then one of the first merchants
in the place, but was overwhelmed in the general wreck,
which prostrated so many of our merchants. But the Major
is as merry as ever; keeps a tavern and boarding house; amuses
himself with a pet crow; and sings “Jerry go Nimble.” Mrs.
, too, bears her misfortunes like a philosopher. She is a
mild, sensible woman, and the most benevolent of her sex.—
Captain Luke Howard, just mentioned, Mr. Tharp, and Mr.
, and two Italians, are the only new acquaintance
I have made. Captain Howard, is an Irish gentleman, highly
polished, and breathes the very soul of philanthropy and feeling.
Nature has showered her bounties on him liberally, and
these are cultivated with great care and taste. He is the soul
of music—performs well on the flute—sings a good song—is
lively and facetious, which, united with a general knowledge
of the world, renders him a most desirable companion. It appears
to me, that all the Irish who visit this country, are very
different from any I ever saw with us. They have none of
those habits of drinking, common to all I knew in other states.
These are perfect gentlemen and men of business. Mr. Tharp
is a neat, pleasant young man, with the sweetest temper in the
world; though he conceives he is mighty ill sometimes, and it
is amusing enough to hear Mr. Howard quizzing, and advising
him to make his will. I sometimes advise him to marry, and
this seems to agree with his malady, better than Howard’s 20(2)v 156
prescription. I think he will take my advice. Mr. Wooldridge
is a lawyer, next door, retiring, learned and modest.—
He is little known in Huntsville. He is a man of reading,
taste and abilities, and one of the most amiable and polite.—
But the Italians—they are brothers, and seem to belong to a
different species of the human race. They have fine full features,
round faces, and dark complexions. Their eyes and
hair are jet black. But such eyes belong to no other nation—
they sparkle like diamonds. Their manners and dispositions,
likewise, differ from those of any people, or nation, I have seen.
They are men of rich imaginations, very gay and lively in conversation,
and philanthropy itself. Their company is courted
by all.

Yours, &c.

Letter XLIX.

Dear Matt,

I have not, as you suppose, forgotten you, though you
are a sad boy. But I will lay the matter over till we meet.
You have heard and read of tornadoes. We had the most
dreadful tornado, last week, that was every known in this
country. The ravages of this dreadful calamity was confined
to a ridge of high poor land, the nearest part of which, is about
three miles from hence, though we had a severe gale here, the
hardest by far I ever witnessed. It prostrated every thing before
it in its career, trees, houses, fences, all raised to the
foundation. Trees were said to be carried fifteen miles, twisted
and split to atoms, and though strange, no lives were lost;
most of the people were bruised and mangled, and lying on the
ground, unable to disengage themselves from the fallen trees
and houses; some with broken legs, some with broken arms,
and all more or less injured, excepting one man and a few
children. There they lay, and the rain pouring on them in
torrents, and as dark as Egypt. It happened a little before 20(3)r 157
midnight. By daylight, next morning, their situation being
discovered, by their nearest neighbors, several expresses on
horseback came into Huntsville, for surgeons, doctors, and
assistance of every sort, as their clothing, and every atom they
had in their houses were blown off, and never seen afterwards.
Numbers jumped on their horses, doctors and all, and fled with
the utmost speed to the sufferers; and amongst the foremost of
these were the Sonano’s, the Italian gentlemen. But in their
haste they did not forget to take clothes, money, wine, biscuit,
coffee, sugar, and tea; and these are Roman Catholics, who
have been stigmatized as worse than the d—l. You will expect
to hear that the christian went, I mean those professing
religion. No such thing. Howard was sick, but he sent them
money and food, and he is another Roman Catholic. But you
have not heard the worst of it yet. Word was soon brought
in, that there were twenty-one persons in all wounded, without
food and clothing, and houseless—many of them widows
and orphans The land where it happened being poor, was settled by poor people generally. a subscription was instantly set on foot, for
their relief, and a paper carried round. Now, you would suppose
that a Turk would not refuse relief in such a case; and
you would suppose right: but do not imagine the professors
subscribed—with the exception of one or two. When the paper
was handed to them, they said “There were so many,
they could not help all; and it was not adviseable to help any
unless they gave all some!!!”
One of these, a wealthy merchant,
was the most abominable iron souled man in the world—
a presbyterian elder, by the name, I think, of Hilton, He was the first man (or woman) I ever saw hand the tracts 5 lettersflawed-reproduction. He was
from Philadelphia.
and used
to make long prayers. What do you think of this sample of
professors, as they are called?

I conversed with one of these sufferers, and inquired what
were her sensations during the storm; and how she felt when
carried away before it. She replied, that the storm was very
sudden, and from the noise of crashing timber, thunder, and
the dreadful roaring, she concluded she was to meet instant
death. She had three children, and covering the two eldest in 20(3)v 158
the bed, as she thought, for the last time, she took her babe in
her arms, and crept under the bed, and resigned herself to the
will of her maker. This is the last thing she remembered.—
Upon regaining her senses, she was over an hundred yards
from the place where the house had stood, with one of the logs
of the house lying on her, and her leg broke. Her babe was
lying near her, with a log across its neck, but did not touch the
child, as it rested on the other timber. Her other two children
were within a few steps of her, unhurt. She heard them talking
to each other, and could see them very plain by the flashes
of lightning. One man, an overseer, was very commodiously
carried off in his bed, bedstead, and all, just as he lay, and
put down about fifty yars off, and the first he knew of it was
the rain pouring on him. He was in an upper story, which
alone was blown off. These tornadoes must be more terrible
than any storm at sea.

I have been told by those who have witnessed them by
daylight, that the sky suddenly becomes black, after a still
clear atmosphere—the winds then follow so quick, it is impossible
to escape. Their ravages are generally confined to a
narrow straight line, of different lengths. The one above described,
was about 50 miles long, and not exceeding one quarter
or one half a mile in breadth. No one can give a clear
description of these sweeping desolations, for the darkness,
dust, &c. they occasion, and, above all, the total absense of
the senses. I did not go to see the one above, but I saw the
effects of one in Kentucky, which must have been moderate, as
it was not more than five or six hundred yards wide; but it
levelled every tree to the earth. Some of these trees were the
largest of the forest, and uniformly lay with their tops one way.
I should suppose the noise alone would stun any one to death,
as it must exceed the united artillery of heaven and earth! And
here follows another of the wonders.

In this county (Madison) there is a stone, called the maddog
stone, which effectually cures the bite of a mad dog, and
all poisonous snakes. It is said to be about the size of a walnut,
and porus, like a honey comb. This stone is applied to
the wound, where it sticks fast, until the pores become full, 20(4)r 159
when it drops off of itself. It is then washed in warm milk and
water, and again applied to the wound, when it sticks, as at
first, and so on, until the poison is extracted, when it will
stick no longer. The man who owns it, lives about twenty
miles from hence, and receives no compensation for the use of
the stone; nor will he sell it. I have not been able to trace its
history, thought I saw several who have been cured by it. I
am told there is one similar to it in East Virginia. I should
think them of more value than the most costly diamonds.

But I have still stranger news for you. I have never
heard a word on the subject of politics, or tea parties, since I
have been in this country! I mean the two great parties, Federal
and Republican—for this good substantial reason—there
are no parties here—they are all Republicans. The country
people, and very few of the city, know the meaning of the word
Federalist! Nor have I heard of a tea party, in the whole country.
No such thing, as “will you come and spend the evening?”
They visit each other without ceremony, morning, noon,
and night, and are invited to await breakfast, dinner, and
supper; but no such thing as that bane of society, a Tea

As some amends for the terrible, (to make a Jay’s treaty
of it,) in the first of this letter, I must relate an amusing anecdote,
at which I have laughed enough. During the Creek
war, (not long since,) some mischievous ill disposed man, reported
that there was a large body of Indians within a day’s
march of Huntsville, coming to take the town. The citizens
of Huntsville, and the whole of Madison county, were instantly
panic struck, and immediately flew towards Nashville. Some
left their calves fastened up in the pens, and some their horses
in the stable, some their horses in the plow; most of them taking
their flight on foot. Others, again, mounted their horses,
without saddles or bridles. Of these were four young ladies
on one horse, riding like gentlemen, without saddle or bridle,
and making good speed by applying their heels to the horses
sides!!! One man took another man’s child, and left his own.
In one place would be seen ladies on foot, running with their
night caps on, and no bonnet; and in another, husbands riding, 20(4)v 160
and wives walking. Some of the women mistook other men
for their husbands, and some husbands mistook other men’s
wives for theirs. One stout fat woman, though she had horses
and slaves in abundance, picked up her youngest child, and
taking it in her arms, on foot outstripped every man and horse
in company! Indeed, it is said a gentleman even left his
sweetheart! He could not have been a Kentuckian or a Tennesseean,
as they never desert the ladies. The fat lady, however,
walked twenty-five miles, without halting, when one of
her slaves overtook her, having outran his fellow servants—
They were now near Fayetteville. The lady inquired “what
“Oh, bad news enough, Missee.” “Are the Indians
“Oh, yes, Missee! When I got ’pon top dat big
hill you see da, Missee, I look back, and see most hundred
comin long, wid da guns.”
The lady gave him the child, and
mended her pace. Not long after this, as she trudged through
the mud, with petticoats tucked up, the negro cried out,
“Yonder da comes now, Missee!” Her face which was scarlet
red, now became deadly pale; but she was afraid to take
time to look at her foes, as she supposed them to be. At
length, five or six of her own neighbors hailed her, and told
her the whole was a false alarm.

About a thousand people were on the road to Nashville,
and were within a day’s journey of that place before they were
undeceived. Only two families remained in Huntsville.—
These barricaded the door of the Court House, which served
them for a fort; and old Captain Wyatt, the father of Major
, of Melton’s Bluff, assumed the command. He had
but two guns, but being well charged with whiskey and courage,
he kept up a constant fire, crying out, “by two’s, fire!”
Spang, spang, went the two guns; and being instantly reloaded,
he would raise his voice to the highest pitch again, and
give the word, “by two’s, fire!” Thus he went on till daylight;
and at the same time there was not an hostile Indian
within an hundred miles.

Yours, &c.

21(1)r 161

Letter L.

Well, Matt, what shall I give you now? It is so long
since I wrote to you, that I forgot what I last said. If I recollect
right, I have, upon the whole, entertained you with a
little of every thing, except love; and I confess I do not know
how to write upon that subject; and yet, how easy it appears to
be to most people. But I can give you a little upon hatred.

I have often mentioned the great wealth of this place.—
Here are Colonel Leroy Pope, General Brayhan, Doctor
, Doctor Chambers, Doctor Manning, Thomas Bibb, Esq.
and a score or two besides, that are rich as princes, and are
stigmatized, by a few of the vicious, by the appellation of nobility!
If by this designation, they mean the performance
of noble actions, which is really the origin of the word, they
could not better apply the term. But I am inclined to think,
in the present instance, it is used by way of contempt. But
let envy alone. Only because these people, by their own foresight
and industry, laid out their money in the right time,
and at the right place, instead of spending it in taverns and
gambling houses, they have drawn down upon them the envy
of little minds, who never did a generous act in their lives.—
But what do you think of Doctor Manning, the greatest planter
in the state, but one—and him I know nothing of: he living
in Laurence county, over the river. Doctor Manning, this
year, has seven hundred and sixty acres in cultivation; and
Doctor Chambers, and a dozen others, very little behind

The merchants, in other states, hold the farmers in vassalage
—but, here, the merchant is held in subjection by the planter.
The planter does not ship his own cotton: this is done
by the merchant, and at his own risk. The planter delivers
it at the gin, and has no more to do with it. The merchant
is glad to get it at the planter’s own price, as he has no other
way to pay for his goods, in New York, where the money of
this country will not pass.

21 21(1)v 162

The merchant goes to market but once a year. The usual
mode of transportation for goods is to wagon them to Pittsburg,
and thence down the Ohio, and up the Cumberland and
Tennessee rivers. Groceries are laid in at New Orleans.

It is in contemplation, I am told, to establish a mercantile
house at New Orleans, or some point in these states, to import
direct from Liverpool.

Through the politeness of Colonel Pope, I obtained the following
intelligence, which I send as I received it in a letter:

I beg leave to apologize to you for not answering your letter
sooner, which I had the pleasure of receiving some days ago.
My absence from home was the cause of this neglect. I regret
much that it is not in my power to furnish you such information,
on all your inquiries, as would be of interest to yourself,
or others. On such of your inquiries as I am able to answer
with any degree of correctness, I will do with pleasure.
Your first question—The quantity of cotton raised in Madison,
the last three years? From the best information that I have
been able to obtain, and which I think is pretty correct, there
has been raised about fourteen thousand bales, annually, the
last three years, being in the total weight, about fourteen millions
two hundred thousand pounds; the average price I conceive
may be fairly said to have been twelve and an half cents
per pound, making the total sum, annually, in this article shipped
from the county of Madison, five hundred and twenty-five
thousand dollars. The quantity of land cultivated in this article
is about sixteen thousand eight hundred acres, which produces
upon an average, one thousand pounds of seed cotton
per acre, and from five to six acres cultivated to the hand.—
The use made of the cotton seed after it is ginned, is various:
some make manure of them, for which they answer a good
purpose; some feed horned cattle, and if properly prepared, it
is excellent food for stock of that description; and sheep will
eat them freely. The carriage from here to Tuscaloosa varies,
it is from two to four dollars per hundred weight. With respect 21(2)r 163
to the temperature of the air, and other particulars, I refer
you to John Boardman, Esq. of this place, who will furnish
you with the information you want.
Respectfully, yours, &c. Pope.”

Since this communication, I have received the receipts of
shipments of cotton for this year, which amounts to upwards
of two millions of dollars, from all the counties bordering on
the Tennessee river!!!

There is a country for you. All, except Madison, was in
woods two years ago. I have known cotton to bring twenty
five cents
; but Colonel Pope gives the average. Would you
believe it? The people are leaving this beautiful country, and
going, some to Texas, some to Missouri, and some to Red
, and others, the plague knows where. But if they find a
handsomer, or richer country, I am much mistaken.

The rapid growth of vegetables would astonish you. Go
into a garden one day, and the next you would scarcely know
the same. I have never been more surprized at this rapid

In the common way we had strawberries and peas the last
week in April. Irish potatoes and snaps, first week in May.
Early York’s, and cucumbers the last day of May; and on the
same day, a summer turnip that measured seven and an half
inches round. This being near the northern boundary, I am
told they are two weeks earlier to the south. But no country
can excel in fruit. You may sit down in one place in the
gardens, and gather half a bushel of strawberries. The wild
fruit, such as plumbs, &c. are as delicious as our tame fruits.
The woods and prairies abound with all sorts of fruit, and
they have, it is said, the true Muscodine grape: I have
seen and eat them. They are larger than our Fox grapes,
and of a greenish color. They grow in profusion on all the
rivers, upon a large vine, which runs to the top of the tallest
trees. Ten bushels at the least might be gathered from one
tree; and were it not for the overflowing abundance of other
good things, I am certain, though I never heard it mentioned,
these grapes would make good wine.

21(2)v 164

You have often heard said, “Oh, that Alabama, is so hot,
I could not live there; and it is so sickly, too.”
What abominable
fools. It is much warmer there (West Virginia) than
here, in summer; and why? Because our days here are much
shorter—Even a goose knows this. Again, we have a pleasant
breeze through summer here, which sets in a little after
sunrise, every fair day, and blows till sundown. Our nights
in summer are long, in proportion as the days are short; it is
therefore cool and pleasant. It is, however, sultry in cloudy
weather, as there is then no breeze. But I have never seen
the Thermometer, in summer, here, as high as it is where you

You recollect your old school mate, Doctor Erskine: he
lives here, and has become wealthy. He married, sometime
since, the beautiful Miss Russel, and has one child. The
Doctor is highly respected in Huntsville, both as a gentleman
and a physician; and has handsome practice. He rides in his
carriage, and ranks with the first men in the place. Almost
every one rides in carriages here—very few are ever seen on

With all these blessings, however, we have a few curses;
and one of them is slavery! Not that the slaves are treated
bad. If we except the total neglect, on the part of their owners,
to enlighten their minds, they live as well as their masters; and
are by no means hard tasked. But they are the most immoral
and cruel brutes in the world. One shrinks with horror at
their barbarity to poor innocent brutes. I never have looked
into the streets, since I have been here, but I see those brutal
negroes torturing and wounding poor innocent cats, dogs,
hogs, or oxen, and no one interferes to prevent it. The white
people do not see it, as they are seasoned to it by habit, and
appear as callous as the brutes themselves. I have (but it is
almost too shocking to relate) seen cats lying with their backs
broke, for two days at a time, in the street, and when I entreated
these ruffians to kill them, to put them out of their misery,
they burst into a laugh in my face. A curse must fall on a land
so lost to feeling. Those innocent creatures were given to us
for our use, and not to glut a worse than savage disposition. 21(3)r 165
And yet, these negroes are very pious. They have two churches,
and prayer meetings every night. There were seven fights
here, between negroes, near the doors of their churches.

We went to hear a Missionary preach the other night,
and he collected a large sum, several hundred dollars, to convert
the Heathen. This was the first Missionary I ever heard; and it was amusing to hear the wommen
next day passing severe reflections on Colonel Pope, because he put only 25 cents
in the hat. “Such a man—a man of his wealth—to give a quarter—Did you ever see
the like! They would have given all they had!”
It was, beyond doubt, the worst laid
out quarter he ever spent.
What a burlesque. Where are greater
Heathens to be found, than these negroes. There is a great
deal of preaching here; and a great many ill natured remarks
pass between the presbyterians and methodists; but whether it
be to determine which shall save most souls, or receive most
money, I am too ignorant to discover. I hope that the one or
the other may take those in hand. They need not go far for
the Heathen.

From what I have heard, it appears the methodists have
braved every danger, and preached to the people gratis, in the
settling of the country; and now that there is no danger, and
the people have become wealthy, those sly fellows, the presbyterians,
are creeping in to reap the harvest. But the methodists
have a great advantage, in point of talent, many of them
being the best orators in the country. But they all draw too
many women after them, in my humble opinion.

Yours, &c.

End of the Letters.

21(3)v 21(4)r


21(4)v 22(1)r


Inauguration of President Jackson.

While I was yet in Pennsylvania, various were the reports
of General Jackson. Some said he was coming this way,
and some that. One paper stated that a splendid carriage and
four white horses, sent by the state of New York, was to meet
him at Wheeling. And, again, that the horses and driver, (as
horses I presume would not go of their own accord,) and fine
carriage, were to be furnished by Philadelphia; and some again
by Baltimore. At length, however, the General arrived in his
own plain carriage, and reached Gadsby’s before any one was
aware of his presence in the District.

It is said that several big guns were stationed on the
heights of George Town, to welcome his arrival; and notwithstanding
they were well manned, by staunch Bladensburg-men,
they suffered him to pass without saluting him. It appears he
came in an hour or two earlier than was expected. As soon
as it was known he had arrived, hundreds flocked to welcome
him, with stout hearts, insted of stout guns; and so great was
the throng, that the passage to his door was completely blocked
up. Excepting the arrival of General La Fayette, perhaps
no occasion ever drew more people together, than the arrival
of General Jackson, at this period. Thus it continued while
he remained at the tavern. It is said he was fatigued nearly
to death, in receiving and returning the salutations of his

I had seen General Jackson in Alabama, and in this
country, and though an admirer and well wisher of his, I did 22 22(1)v 170
not intrude upon him. “Have you not been to see the General,
yet? You ought to go.”
Another would say, “Why, is
it possible, you have not been to see the General?”
Such was
the fever, and thus it continued, old and young, rich and poor,
all crowded round him, leaving him scarcely time for repose
or refreshment.

At length the --03-04Fourth of March arrived: and to grace the
occasion, I purchased a new dress, at the aggregate of two dollars,
and walked to the Capitol, at an early hour, as it was
presumed seats would be scarce.

It being a fair day, to gratify the people who had been
literally pouring into the City for several days, to witness the
Inauguration, the Committee of Arrangements had resolved the
ceremony should take place in the East Portico of the Capitol,
so that the crowd, which no building could hold, might be
gratified. This arrangement was made, that those within the
Capitol, as well as those without, might have an equal chance
to see and hear. This was the calculation. But, doubtless, no
arrangement was more completely defeated. Excepting a parcel
of boys, black people, and those who had the good fortune
to mix with them, and stand up on the square in front of the
Capitol, the Inauguration was a perfect blank.

When I arrived at the Capitol, which was long before
the hour, I stepped out on the platform to see the preparations,
and found my friend, Senator Smith, of Maryland, giving directions
to the men who were spreading carpets, and placing
chairs and settees for the Judges of the Supreme Court. Foreign
Ministers, and other high and mighty characters. As
I considered myself one of the latter, and was taking notes, I
merely asked my friend Smith where the President was to
stand. “Oh, go away Mrs. R.; don’t interrupt us; don’t you
see I have been appointed by the Senate to make the arrangements.”
I saw it, to-be-sure, but I was not prepared to see he
had studied his part so well. But I did not take it ill in my
friend Smith, as he was a friend to me in the hour of need, and
I shall never forget him; and so I put it in my notes.

Looking up, I beheld Colonel Towson at the other end,
directing the men also in placing the seats, he, also, being one 22(2)r 171
of the Committee of Arrangements. The Colonel saluted me
with great gallantry, and took me under his protection, but
a hundred Colonels would have found it impossible to protect
my toes that day against hostile feet, which in the end was

President Adams has called a session of the new Senate,
upon his retiring from office, to enable his successor to appoint
his cabinet, and perform other Executive business. The new
Senate met about 11 o’clock, in the Senate Chamber, to be sworn
in. I had selected a seat convenient to the door, behind the
bar of the Senate, so that I could step at once into the portico.

The lobby round the bar, was exclusively reserved for
the ladies and such Members of Congress as might choose to
attend. The gallery, which has been made entirely new,
during the summer, was also filled with ladies. All this
being understood, I amused myself in conversing with my
friends, awaiting the arrival of General Jackson, the Judges,
and the Foreign Ministers, for all of whom General Smith,
and his colleagues had prepared seats, on the right and left of
the chair. At length, the Foreign Ministers were announced,
and General Smith met them at the door and conducted them
to their seats, to the left of the chair, and very near my Royal
self. Next came the Judges, and took their seats on the right
of the chair; and, lastly, the President elect. The Ministers
were covered with gold lace, I suspect; I never will, or can believe, that mankind can be perfect in civilization, while
they bedaub their exteriors with metal and show. Some of these men, the Danish
Minister, I think, must have had several pounds weight of gold upon him—and there
was but one good looking man in the whole. This show will only attract the vulgar.
the Judges were
dressed in black silk gowns—and General Jackson was
the plainest dressed man in the Chamber. He was dressed in
a suit of black, and with a cane in his hand he entered the
Chamber. After taking off his hat, he bowed respectfully,
and was conducted by General Smith to a seat in front of the
chair, at the foot of the Foreign Ministers. He was thin and
pale, and his hair, which was black when I first saw him, was
now, almost white, and his countenance was melancholy. He
showed no embarrassment, however, but surveyed the company
with a mild and friendly aspect: sometimes resting upon 22(2)v 172
his cane, while every eye was bent upon him. Shortly after
he entered, the new Senators, two or three at a time, stepped
up to the chair, where the usual oath was administered, and
they then resumed their seats. It yet wanted several minutes
of twelve, and every one watched the clock, which is always
kept in the Senate Chamber, with deep attention. Within a
minute or two of the time, I arose and walked out to select an
eligible place to witness the Inauguration. I did reach the
door by hard squeezing; but such another sight baffles description.
Not only every seat, but every inch of the platform was
crowded, by men, women and children. These had forced
the guards, and taken possession. This was bad management,
with all deference to the Honorable Committee of Arrangements.
I was shoved and pushed from one place to another,
squeezed, and betrampled; and at length wedged up, about an
inch from the door: but as for moving backwards or forwards,
it was out of the question. How the President, the Judges,
Foreign Ministers, and Senators, &c. got out of the Senate
, I am at a loss to divine; for I saw nothing of the
President, but the top of his head. The chairs, intended for
the Honorables, were filled with women, standing on them, and
the whole appeared one mass of solid people. One half of
those in the Senate Chamber were unable to get out.

I had been watching an opportunity, and one offering, I
squeezed my way back; nor did I hear one word of the President’s
address; much less did I hear him take the oath.

My only chance now, was to witness the procession on its
return, and Senator Rowan advised me to go to the Library;
but that, and all the rooms were fast locked. After wandering
about, I found a messenger who unlocked a lower room, and
I sat in the window, but was under promise to let no one else
in, and to keep the door locked. The firing of the cannon,
and the shouting of the multitude, soon proclaimed the new
President; and shortly after this the crowd came thundering
down the steps, and President Jackson appeared bare headed,
leaning upon two gentlemen, one on each side, while he was
followed by a dense crowd, who rent the air with shouts. The
earth was literally, covered with people, who maintained 22(3)r 173
neither order nor regularity. Some ran, some walked, and
some jumped the walls. The square, the Avenue, all was now
all motion; and to have a better view, I ran up stairs to look
out of some of the upper windows; and here I found a colored
man in a violent passion. It appears he had been locked up.
“I was always for Jackson,” said Sambo, “but if this is the
way, I wish Adams was President again. It’s a great deal
worser than when Adams was President. Here I have been
locked up, and can neither see nor hear the naugaration. Ah!
I am done with the Jackson people. It’s fair tyranny—no
freedom in this!”
Being in nearly the same situation, I could
not help feeling for Blackey; and after viewing the crowd some
minutes, I stepped into the Senate Chamber, where Judge
was reading the Inauguration Speech, which, I having
listened to, I sought my way home, which was but a few steps
distant; and if ever I am caught in such another crowd, while
I live, it will be an accident.

It would have been infinitely better to have had it in Congress
, for though it could not have contained the multitude;
those who could have attended would have met with some
satisfaction. As it was, there was none. So ended the Inauguration.

Not wishing to interrupt the narrative, I observed that the
lobby around the bar was reserved for none but the ladies, and
such Members of Congress as might find room. Whilst leaning
over the bar, talking with some of the Senators, I happened
to look behind me, and who should have placed himself exactly
in front of my seat, but Boss Brown. “Boss”, in the Atlantic states, is a word applied to an overseer or manager. Though the
Members of Congress had the privilege of setting below, they
generously resigned the seats round the bar to the ladies.—
What then was my astonishment to find this insolent Scotch
stone-cutter in possession of my seat!!! I ordered him away!
I complained to the Senators in his hearing, upon which he
condescended to move one side, with an insolent grin! And
who is Boss Brown? Neither more nor less than a low, insolent,
Scotch presbyterian stone-cutter, placed over the workmen,
at the Capitol, by the Prince Regent, Elgar, and who 22(3)v 174
turns away every poor American, and employs insolent drunken
foreigners; a rabble of insolent tories like himself, whilst
the honest American is discarded. Thus Mr. Elgar rewards
his country, for paying him 2,000 dollars per annum, and for
lying down on his soft hair sofa, from day to day. I cannot
tell how many sofas he has worn out, as they, with the chairs
in ever part of the Capitol, all disappear when a little worn. I have just understood, this Mr. Boss Brown, a good Adams-man, has been appointed
to some lucrative place by President Jackson. So much for the idle tales of
rewarding his friends. This is rewarding them with a vengeance!

Thus these foreign traitors are nurtured by our own traitors.
Can America stand long upon such a foundation? Certainly


This subject, in order of time, ought to have preceeded
the Inauguration; but I shall be pardoned for paying that respect
to the instalment of the President, which it deserves.—
A slave to the public, as I am, it is impossible to do justice to
any one subject, where the public are anticipating a little of
every thing: nor will it give me time to look up from my pen,
or partake of those amusements which are enjoyed by the
meanest slave.

One of the greatest sacrifices I am compelled to make, is
the pleasure of attending the Debates of Congress, as no subject
on earth has afforded me more pleasure than public speaking.

I snatched a few minutes, however, to look at the Members,
having recovered from my lameness. I visited the gallery
of the Senate first.

The old gallery has been torn down, and replaced by another,
more beautiful, and infinitely more convenient. I found
the gallery much crowded by ladies and gentlemen—the latter,
with most of the ladies, however, gave way, and finally departed
—but others were coming and going all the while.

22(4)r 175

It is astonishing to witness the variety of character who
crowd the Capitol, during the sessions. It is laughable to see
awkward scrubs, running breathless into the Capitol, with as
much anxiety painted on their countenances, as if their lives
were at stake, or kingdoms to be won. Our ingenuous poet,
(I am sorry I do not know him,) who has so often amused us
with his inimitable pen, on the subject of Jonathan’s visits,
might inquire, “Did you ever go into the gallery?” They
are always in a hurry. Come running into the Rotundo, with
their muddy club shoes, first this way, and then that way, as
though they were chaced by a bear. They salute the first one
they meet, with “Mister, which is the gallery where people
comes to hear the ’bates?”
After obtaining an answer, off
they run, up the stairs, puffing and blowing: and after looking
down a minute or two, and tramping upon ladies fine dresses,
and overthrowing their fine feathers, off they run, down the
stairs, and through the Rotundo. “Where’s that ’tother place,
whar people comes? Oh, see them there pictures; an’t they
very queer, Jim? See, if there an’t horses, and swords, and
people. My stars! Mister, show us ’tother place;”
the gallery of the House of Representatives. One would think
they would be satisfied by running a dozen times from one gallery
to the other, in as many minutes, as though they were
looking for something they had lost. But they keep it up, and
go away, as it were, sadly disappointed. This is the case every
day in the session; and Jock always carries his wagon whip
in his hand, doubtless as capable of receiving amusement as
himself. What a pity he could not drive his team and horses
in too.

But to return. The first thing that met my eye, was Mrs.
Senator Woodbury
, and her sister, both sisters of William Clap,
Esquire, of Portland, Maine. Much gratified to see them, I
took a seat by their side, to observe the Members, some of
whom I noted in the Third volume of the Black Book.
They were by no means so much appaled as upon my first visit;
as they viewed me from their seats as though I were a human
being, instead of having seven heads and ten horns—and
to convince them of the fact, I began to handle my pencil.

22(4)v 176

The first countenance I caught, was Senator Foot, of Connecticut
—a handsome middle sized, black pop-eyed Yankee.
He rolled his black eyes up at me, with a significant cast of
countenance, as much as to say “there is no escaping you.” I told him, the saucy rogue, the other day day, “I had him down,” meaning in
my book. “Ah,” said he, “I have been down many a time.”

Honorable S. A. Foot, is quite a agreeable looking
man, with a sharp full eye, round fair full face, and rather
sensible countenance.

Senator R. Kane, of Illinois, is a very young man for a
Senator. Senator Kane is of a middle height, and light make,
a good figure, with round handsome features, intelligent blue
eye, and a sweet bending countenance. His manners are very
easy, mild and genteel.

Senator Benjamin Ruggles, of Ohio, is a tall, straight,
slender, middle aged man. His face is thin and oval; his eye
blue, and his countenance mild and steady. He is pleasant in
his manners, and loses nothing by comparison with any member
of the Senate. I was much pleased with the conversation
of Mr. Ruggles—a pleasure I rarely have an opportunity to
indulge with Members of Congress.

Senator William Marks, of Pennsylvania, is a young looking
man, tall and well made. His face is oval, and complexion
fair, with a soft blue eye. Mr. Marks is a very friendly
familiar man, of sprightly, insinuating manners. He lives in
the city of Pittsburg.

Senator James Iredell, of North Carolina, is a young looking,
heavy made man, with a full fair round face, and gray eyes;
and upon the whole, handsome and genteel—though I was too
far off to notice him distinctly.

Senator Burnet, is a small keen looking man, from Ohio,
of middle age, and very dark visage. He is said to be a man
of talents and education. He certainly has a very sensible,
cool, steady, countenance, but rather austere. I had the pleasure,
or the honor, I should have said, of travelling with Judge
, as he came on to take his seat in Congress; and taking
him for a missionary or presbyterian, which is the same
thing, I am apprehensive I expressed myself rather free to his 23(1)r 177
honor. He met me at Washington, very friendly, however,
and is, doubtless, an agreeable man.

Senator Chase, of Vermont, is a stout middle aged man,
of very pleasing manners, though I had formed an unfavorable
opinion of him from his state. He has a large full face, a good
set of features, and blue eyes. He is free and easy in his conversation,
and clear of the blues, so prevalent in Vermont.

Senator Horatio Seymour, also of Vermont, is a small man,
likewise of middle age, round face, and dark complexion. His
countenance is open and benevolent, and his manners friendly
and pleasing. He is an uncle of my friend Captain Seymour,
of Vergennes, Vermont. I should say Vermont was respectably
represented in the Senate.

Senator John Rowan, of Kentucky, stands high in the esteem
of his country, not only as a statesman, but as a lawyer
and a gentleman. I was long familiar with the celebrity of
Judge Rowan, and am proud to number him amongst my own
countrymen of the West, though I never had the pleasure of
seeing him before. The Judge is rather advanced in years,
but has the remains of a fine manly person. He is a stout figure,
and must have been, indeed is now, one of the finest
looking men of his day. His features, and countenance, at
this day, are magnificently fine. His large full eye is shaded
by a strong arched brow, and his manners are distinguished
by an easy affability alike graceful and dignified. I am told
(for I was intimate with his friends) he has the most amiable
family of children in the western country. I once knew a
daughter of Judge Rowan’s, the pride of the western states;
this was Mrs. Steel, whom I lament to learn is no more.

Senator Samuel Bell, of New Hampshire, like Judge Rowan,
though a younger man, is one of the best looking men in
the Senate—has a fine showy person, and a perfect Chester
in his manners and dress. He is a tall and majestic figure,
with a Grecian fair face, a bright gray eye, and keen countenance.
I was truly astonished to find so affable a man from
such a blue skin state as New Hampshire.

Senator David Barton, of Missouri, is under middle age,
stout make, and middling height, with a high square forehead, 2323(1)v178
and intelligent blue eye. His face is fair, and countenance
open, mild and benevolent; his manners affable and genteel.

Senator O. Prince, of Georgia, rightly named, is one of
the most pleasing generous men in the world,—correctly is he
named Prince!

Senator Henry H. Ridgely, of Delaware, is also a man of
princely manners, and elegant appearance. He is of middle
age and a little gray. His face is fair and full, with a noble
black eye, and great expression of countenance. I regret to
find this gentleman is not in the Twenty-first Congress. I
trust they have not sent a missionary in his stead. Mr. Ridgleely
was accompanied by his daughter, when I had the pleasure
to see him. She is at once beautiful and accomplished—and
the most exquisite figure in female form. Honorable H. H. Ridgely, lives in Dover, which I am sorry I could not visit
when I called at Newcastle and Wilmington: particularly as it is the only place worth
visiting in the state—being a place of taste and refinement, if I were to judge from
report, and the several specimens I have seen of the place.

Senator Chambers, likewise from Maryland—my countryman
—I am sorry I cannot praise him. He is as gloomy as a
Monk, or a missionary. And now I think of it, he is, doubtless,
a missionary. But I will try to keep out of his reach. I
do not like his “solemncholly” countenance, as the girl said.
He has a slim person, a slim face, a slim nose, and if I were to
spend my opinion on him, I should pronounce him to have a
slim soul. Shocking! What a country I sprang from. I am
ashamed of it. I rejoice I was carried out of it when I was
young, or I should have had “a slim chance,” too.

Senator Bouligny, of Louisiana, was rather far off to distinguish
him minutely. I saw enough, however, to warrant
the assertion, that Mr. Bouligny is beyond doubt one of the
most noble and majestic looking men in Congress. His visage
and countenance, for intelligence and manly appearance, is
certainly unrivalled.

Senator Tyler, of Virginia, is a fine looking man. He is
very fair, with a high retreating forehead, Roman nose, and
features of the best Grecian model. His eye is pearly blue,
and his countenance is one of incomparable sweetness. If I
was pleased with the appearance of Mr. Tyler, I was charmed 23(2)r179
with that of Mrs. and Miss Tyler, particularly the latter. The
little sylph, she stood behind me, when taking notes, the last
day of the session, and in her own smoothe fascinating way,
fairly beguiled me of my senses. Besides her, and Mrs. Tyler,
there were one or two other ladies in the party, all of whom,
for beauty of persons, and elegance of manners, greatly exceed
any females I met with in Washington.

Senator Tazewell, of Virginia, I have mentioned in First
volume of Black Book. He is denominated a great statesman,
and one of the ablest members of the Senate. He certainly
has a countenance indicative of wisdom and deep thinking.
He is staid and sturdy, and has the most profound look of any
member present.

When I first went to the Senate Chamber, I laid a few copies
of the Third volume of the Black Book, on the desks
of some of my friends. Mr. Secretary Lowrie picked up one,
and slunk behind one of the columns. He opened the book very
eagerly, but casting an eye towards me, he instantly laid it
down—his soul not being equal to seventy-five cents.

I had nearly forgot a rencounter with some upstart Fop,
as I walked through the small Rotundo, fronting the Senate
. Mr. Cravat was accompanied by a few Miss Ostrich
; and although they saw I was old and lame,
they kept the way; and the consequence was, that I ran against
one of their Featherships. “Take care, Mam,” said Mr.
, “Do you know these are ladies?” “I should think
not; and I never give the way to Fops,”
I replied. He looked
back on me with great astonishment. It is lamentable to
see the vast number of gaudy dressed women, who crowd the
galleries, and even intrude upon the Members. It is enough
to derange the ideas of the sedate white headed Tazewell.—
Well might my friend John express his unwillingness to be
under petticoat government. It is very evident these women
only come to show themselves, or show their finery rather, as
no woman of sense or taste would dress as they do. I find they
are very unpopular with men of sense. They are a great hindrance
to public business too. Not satisfied with the galleries,
they take possession of the floors, and are constantly getting 23(2)v 180
up and sitting down; going out, and returning; and disturb
the proceedings exceedingly. It is surprizing the Senate particularly,
do not resort to some measures to secure their quiet.
With all their sense and wisdom, the Senate is often perplexed
with deep and intricate discussions, and it is cruel to molest
them. As for the House of Representatives as they are younger
men, they must be excused for a little gallantry towards the
ladies—and were it any were else but a Legislative Hall, I
would excuse them myself. Of all places, except Baltimore
and Richmond, the females of Washington dress the most
abominable; the effect of tracts and preaching, doubtless, as
there is an overflowing of both: And their gaudiness is only
equalled by their ignorance.

House of Representatives.

Ah! here I am again! But, excepting the blue skins, some
of whom pulled their hats over their faces, and others ran out,
they are a fine looking set of men, and hailed me with pleasure.
I had just published the Third volume of the Black Book;
and as they were to rise in a few days, I laid the books on a
few of their desks. Most of them took them, One gentleman sent me a quarter of an Eagle, in gold, but carefully concealed
his name. The manner greatly exceeded the action. May he meet his reward.
and the balance
were pilfered by the rabble, which infest the Hall, as messengers,
&c. I have at various times noticed several of the Members,
but now, as always, I labored under great disadvantage,
from distance and want of light.

The first who caught my eye, was the Honorable Charles
A. Wickliffe
, of Kentucky, quite a young man, with a stout
goodly person. His face is fair and handsome, with a fine gray
eye, and easy elegant manners. He is a good speaker, and
said to be an industrious attentive member.

23(3)r 181

Governor Clark, likewise a representative from Kentucky,
is a pretty fine figure, large face, and manly generous countenance.
This is the gentleman, who, with Captain Meriwether
, explored the Western Country. I was much gratified
to see Mr. Clark, having been familiar with his character, and
was likewise acquainted with his wife. Mrs. Clark was the
daughter of Colonel Hancock, of Botetourt county, Virginia,
who was long a Member of Congress, and amongst the most
amiable of men. I was acquainted with Colonel Hancock thirty
years. Mrs. Clark was also unequalled in mind and manners;
but is long since deceased. Her death almost drove Governor
beside himself. Peace to her shade; she has left
few equals behind her. I have never understood whether the
governor married a second time.

Honorable Innis Green, of Pennsylvania, is of middle size
and age, with round comely features. He is rather dark complected,
but his countenance is bright, with great expression.
I could not distinguish him minutely from the great distance
between us.

Honorable Daniel L. Barringer, of North Carolina, is a
young looking man, of good height and manly figure, neither
spare nor robust; his complexion is fair, with fine features, and
an insinuating blue eye. His countenance is diffused alike
with smiles and genius; and his manners are frank, gay and
genteel. He partakes largely of that warm-hearted benevolence,
without the hauteur of the South.

Honorable Mr. Williams. I find this gentleman described
as follows; but as I find there were two of the name, in Congress,
I cannot tell, from my note, whether he is from Mississippi
or North Carolina. He appears to be a strong featured
man, with an oval face, full dark eye, and easy manners.

Honorable Joseph Richardson, of Massachusetts, is a gentleman
of very striking appearance: His face is round, full,
and handsome, with a fine intelligent eye, and much expression
of countenance. His manners are very engaging and refined.
But his colleague, one John Locke, I think is the most savage
looking man, of all the representatives. A gloomy blood-spilling
missionary, doubtless. Strange how this abominable 23(3)v 182
sect can change their countenance into an appearance so horrible.

The Honorable Chittenden Lyon, of Kentucky, I find next.
He is rightly named. He, and one Mr. Ellis, of New Haven,
Connecticut, who was in the City, resembled so nearly, that
the one was usually taken for the other. It was amusing to
hear persons addressing the former, with “how do you do, Mr.
and presently meeting Mr. Ellis, “how do you do,
Mr. Lyon?”
Some distinguished them by the names of the
Lyon and the Elephant, both being very large men. The
Honorable Chittenden Lyon, is a tall and very heavy made man,
but not very fierce. His face is round and well featured, with
a pleasing black eye, and dark complexion. His countenance
and manners are open, gay and good natured. He is the gentlest
Lyon I ever met with. But, doubtless, like all his countrymen,
it will be dangerous to rouse him. All these Kentuckyans,
or rather all these Western Members have a very determined,
but very noble look.

Honorable Joel Fancey, also of Kentucky, is of middle
size, and age, with an oval, thin, dark visage, and steady
grave countenance. He has every mark of a sensible man,
and polite, though distant, in his manners.

Honorable Henry Daniel, likewise of Kentucky, is a stout
man, of young appearance, fair and well featured, with a staid
mild countenance, and wends his way through the debates with
an easy untiring perseverance.

Honorable Joseph Lecompte, of Kentucky: I lost the note I
took of him, but recollect him as an amiable looking man.

Honorable Robert McHattan, also of Kentucky, is a gentleman
of singular fine appearance, and handsome address.
His aspect is mild and insinuating: his eye and countenance
has great expression, but I was too far to distinguish him

Honorable James KR. Polk, of Tennessee, is of middling
size and height, with a fair good face, high smoothe square
forehead, and light lively gray eye. His countenance is open
gay, and independent, and his manners affable and genteel.

23(4)r 183

Honorable Selah R. Hobbie, of New York, is altogether a
Chesterfield. He is a rather small man, with a most engaging
person. His features are remarkably handsome, adorned
with a beautiful black eye. His countenance has much expression,
and, take him altogether, a very pleasant man. He
is the youngest looking man in Congress. His face is tinged
with a modest blush.

Honorable Thomas R. Mitchell, of South Carolina, has
also made an inroad upon the graces. His appearance is singularly
striking. Mr. Mitchell is young looking, and rather
low of stature, handsome features, dark complexion, and the
blackest and keenest eye of the human race. His glossy jet
black hair hangs in profusion over his face and neck. His
face is diffused with smiles, and good nature revels in his

Honorable Starling Tucker, is another prince of good fellows.
I am just finding these southern people out. Mr.
is certainly one of the most captivating men, in manners,
in the House, and is good natured, and generosity itself.
He is tall and rather stout, of middle age, with a round dark
visage, soft blue eye, and the milk of human kindness adorns
his countenance.

Honorable William T. Nuckolls, also from the land of
warm hearts, South Carolina, is quite a young looking man,
tall, stout, and finely made. He is very fair, with bright auburn
hair, and mild intelligent blue eye. His countenance is
firm and steady, indicative of deep penetration. His manners
are dignified and polite.

Honorable William D. Martin, likewise of South Carolina,
and the Honorable Mr. Hamilton, are the only and last I was
able to distinguish from that state. Mr. Martin I mentioned
before, but very imperfectly. He is a most interesting man
in manners and appearance. I cannot here note their speeches
if I were even qualified to judge, which I am not.

Honorable James Hamilton, Jr. is a young fair looking man
with very fine features and gentlemanly appearance. I dare
not say more, as I had but a glimpse of his person.

23(4)v 184

The Honorable Representatives of Georgia, either kept
out of my way, or I happened not to fall in with them.

The Honorable Mr. Barringer, of North Carolina, I have
mentioned before.

Honorable Samuel P. Carson, of North Carolina, is a
light figure with a thin keen face, very fine full dark gray eye,
and a countenance of uncommon expression, wide at the top and
tapering to the chin. I was now interrupted by some ladies
who were peeping over my shoulder, but in mercy to them I
let it pass. But to say the least of it, it is very rude, ladies,
so take warning and learn better behavior.

Honorable Gabriel Holmes, of same state, is an honor to
his constituents, with a noble mien, and fine portly frame. Mr.
unites every embellishment of mind, and every kindred
virtue of the heart. He is advanced in years, and has the remains
of much personal elegance. I lament to hear this amiable man is no more, and the House of Representatives
is in mourning for him.

But oh, what a contrast! The Honorable Pepperbox, the
wildest beast I ever saw. He outdoes me, nor have I a similie
for his face in human shape. Is it not lamentable that the
people disgrace themselves, and their state, by such a choice?
This man, is the scorn and butt of the House, and beheld with
horror—and a parson, too! it is said. I suppose religion made
him what he is. Shocking!

Honorable Mr. Turner, (I think,) of North Carolina, is a
good sized man, and genteel appearance. NHis face is round
and fair, with a sensible gay open countenance; but I had not
the pleasure of being near him.

Honorable Willis Alston, is as stern as the Peaks of Otter,
or Nicolls’ Knobs. He looks rather hostile to war with.

Honorable Joseph M. White, of Florida, I mentioned in the
Third Volume of Black Book. He is still a very pleasing
genteel man.

Honorable John Blair, of Tennessee, is a tall keen made
man, and very young, for a member. Like all the Tennesseeans,
he has great dignity and independence of countenance.
He has an oval thin face, and dark gray eyes, with a steady 24(1)r185
countenance of much expression. His manners are frank and
gentlemanly, and I would suppose he was a man of talents and
information, in whatever light he may be considered.

Honorable General Robert Desha, in personal appearance
has few equals; and the same may be said of his mind and
manners. He is a tall neat formed figure, with very handsome
features; a complexion of clear white and red, and a
speaking black eye.

Honorable Prior Lea, is a tall, thin, young looking man,
with an oval studious fasce. His countenance is grave and very
dignified. He is quite a gentleman in appearance. All these
Tennesseeans resemble in make and appearance.

Honorable John Bell, from the same state, is likewise a
young, tall, spare, elegant figure; very fair, with handsome
features, and great dignity and intelligence of countenance.
I have often observed the Tennesseeans differ from the people
of every other state. There is a native silent, manly, and
commanding dignity in their manner, peculiarly their own.
They neither smile nor frown, but are always steady and collected;
and no state is more ably represented.

Honorable Oliver H. Smith, of Indiana, is a stout, portly
young man, with rather good features, oval face, and middling
complexion. His visage is full and ruddy; his hair profuse, and
very black; with a strong full blue eye. The lineaments of his
face are strongly marked, and indicate study. His countenance
is serene, and his manners free and polite.

Honorable Joseph Duncan, from Illinois, is a man of handsome
size, and a fine large bright black eye. He is extremely
affable and pleasant in his manners.

Honorable Delegate Ambrose H. Sevier, from Arkansas,
is a perfect Adonis. Young, genteel, handsome, and sprightly.
He is of fine size and shape, and has an easy dignity
about him.

Honorable Thomas H. Blake, of Indiana, is also a man of
good personal appearance. He is tall and comely, with very
fine handsome features, and an eye and countenance of great
brilliancy and meaning. His manners are very pleasing.

Honorable Richard H. Wilde, of Georgia, is one of the 2424(1)v186
most noble looking men in the House. A tall manly figure,
and very black hair. I could distinguish no more.

Honorable Edward Bates, of Missouri, is also a very interesting
man in appearance. He is of middling age; thin
round fair face, and fine hazle eyes, though they are rather
weak. His manners are genteel and friendly.

Honorable Mr. Mitchell, of Tennessee, I did not see. He
was sick.

Honorable William Haile, of Mississippi, has an agreeable
figure, handsome features, and blue eye of much expression.
He is a very pleasant and deserving man.

Honorable L. Brent, of Louisiana, like all the Brents, is
a man of great size and affable gentlemanly manners. He is
of middle age, and rather handsome in appearance, and possessed
of uncommon ease and ability.

Honorable Joseph Vance, was all I was able to see of the
Ohio delegation. This was their fault, not mine. Mr. Vance
is a stout fine looking man, with a pleasing countenance, good
face, and very gentlemanly manners.

Honorable William C. Rives, of Virginia, is a most
charming man. His manners are showy and genteel; his
figure light, and his countenance has great expression. Genius
is stamped on every feature in his face, and he is entirely
void of that ridiculous pride common to his state. He is
one of our first men. This gentleman seems to have confirmed the remarks. He is now our minister
in France.

Honorable Thomas Newton, likewise of Virginia, is said
to be the oldest member in the House of Representatives. He
is, however, not an old looking man, and appears not to be
over fifty years of age, though he has been in Congress since
18011801. Mr. Newton is a keen, rather light, active man, with
a thin, fair sensible face, soft blue eye, and bright lively
countenance. His manners have great ease and dignity, and
he is said to be an able and experienced statesman.

Honorable A. Smyth, I have noticed before. He is also an
old member, and a consummate statesman. He is advanced in 24(2)r187
years, but is still a man of handsome appearance, and most
pleasing address.

Honorable John Randolph, has been in Congress since
18091809, and is deservedly reckoned the finest orator in the
House. His voice is loud, shrill, and melodious, and his gestures
pertinent and graceful: never at a loss, his language is
flowing, refined, and classical, and his remarks brief and cutting.
He seems to be of no party, though severe against the
Yankees. Mr. Randolph is rather tall, but straight and very
slender. His face is like no other man’s, if we except the
Lords of the Forest, from whom he he is descended. It inclines
to oval, with a high square jutting forehead—his complexion
is sallow, and his features are neither handsome, nor
the contrary. But such an eye does not exist, if we except the
piercing eye of Red Jacket. His eye is terrible in debate, and
gives tone to his words and gestures. It is black, without
scarcely any white. It is not jet black, but rather a shade
removed—large and piercing, and when excited, glistens with
a never-to-be-forgotten fierceness. His countenance is stern
and immoveable. I never saw him smile—and his manners
are distant and lofty, unlike the pomposity, however, of his
fellow Virginians, but are nevertheless, gentlemanly. In size,
he is tall enough, but very light. He is said to be immensely
rich, but not charitable. A fig for wealth and genius, when
the possessor has no heart. The plodding ploughman, or the
rattling tar, who puts a coat on the shivering limbs of his fellow
creature; who gives a piece of bread to the hungry, and
wipes the tear from the widow’s eye, is a prince, compared to
the man whose heart is steeled against the sufferings of his
fellow man.

In justice to Mr. Randolph, though he never put his hand
to his purse to relieve me, when I first entered the City of
, without the means of procuring a single meal’s
victuals, he attended to me with more condescension, perhaps,
than he ever did before or since, and wrote me a very polite
note; which note proved of infinite more service to me than if
he had given me an hundred dollar bank note. I kept the note 24(2)v 188
carefully for two or three years, as a treasure; It was either lost or stolen from me on a voyage on the Grand Canal.
and notwithstanding
I had a letter from General La Fayette, Mr. Randolph’s
letter was sought after, and read with much more eagerness.
It was almost worn out. He never did, however,
patronise my writings; and I would suppose he is not only unfriendly
to literature, but no friend to genius, or the encouragement
of the arts and sciences. Many ludicrous stories are
told of Mr. Randolph, which are evidently false. I shall instance
but one only. Every one recollects a piece in the papers,
when Mr. Randolph was a Senator in Congress, representing
him as addressing the doorkeeper every other word,
while speaking, for porter. “Tims give me some porter—
Tims give me some porter.”
I thought it very extraordinary,
as I never heard of Mr. Randolph’s drinking any thing—and
upon inquiry, found it to be untrue. This was fabricated by
the Yankees. No wonder Mr. Randolph will not let his horse
eat hay raised North of the Potomac.

Honorable John Floyd, though like myself, from the backwoods,
I never saw before. Every one is aware that Mr.
is a man of gigantic talents, and has much weight in
Congress. He is a stout man advanced in life, with a splendid
set of features, and the keenest eye in nature, next to Mr.
. It is fearless as the eye of the Lyon. His complexion
is very dark, so much so, that he might easily be taken
for an Indian, which he strongly resembles. He is about
the color of a Spaniard. I knew Mrs. Floyd when she was a
girl. She was a Miss Preston, and one of the most sensible
women in Virginia. She was one of many brothers and sisters
of the great Preston family. The women were all remarkable
for good sense; and the men, it was said, were very silly.
General Floyd has some of the finest children, beyond doubt,
in the Union.

Whilst speaking of the Virginia Members, or Virginians
generally, the Eastern and Western population differ as widely,
as though they occupied different states. The Western,
are steady, mild, independent, and natural in their manners. 24(3)r 189
They are kind, frank, and familiar, entirely void of ostentation;
whilst, with the exception of one, perhaps, in a thousand,
the Eastern Virginian swells himself up and looks big; is very
lofty and pompous; all of which no one cares for, as “that
very ridiculous.

Honorable Mark Alexander, was all of the Virginia Members
I was able to distinguish, with the exception of those I
have mentioned. He is a man of fine appearance at a distance;
and said to be a man of talents, and a good speaker. He does
not carry quite as much sail as many of his brethren.

We must now, as heretofore, (oh, fie!) step over Maryland,
(cold hearted mother—unnnatural parent,) to Pennsylvania,
noble generous state! They are princes compared to the
Members of the former. I have already mentioned most of
them in the Third volume of the Black Book. I have
since seen the following of the Twentieth Congress, viz:

Honorable Robert Orr, Jr. a tall, well looking, rather under
aged, man. He is delicate and slender, with tolerable features,
weak eyes, and pleasant open countenance. He is genteel,
though rather distant in his manners. This is, however,
no evidence that he is so; as Major Noah says the most people
are afraid of me. Mr. Orr is, however, a very pleasant man,
and descended from one of the first families of the state.

Honorable James Wilson, is a stout tall man, and rather
rough featured. He is of middle age, fair face, and of pleasing,
friendly, but very plain manners.

Honorable Samuel McKean, is a man of very handsome
appearance; of fine size, and courtly manners. He is a very
engaging man on every account, which is all I recollect, having
lost my notes of him.

Honorable Andrew Stewart, is a man of good size and appearance;
dark regular features, with an undaunted black eye.
He has much expression, but I was not near him.

Honorable Joseph Laurence, of the blue stocking county,
Washington, Pennsylvania, is a tall good figure; but thin face,
and swarthy complexion. His countenance is close and forbidding,
though he is lively and gay in his manners. I bore
rather hard upon him for presenting a petition to stop the mail 24(3)v 190
on Sundays: but he got out of the scrape with much pleasantry.
Mr. Laurence is quite a young man.

Honorable Mr. Mitchell, is a poor chance, as we say in the
West. He had a letter for me, and after keeping it a long
time, refused to see me, and carefully kept his back towards
me. I see he is left out. I hope Pennsylvania will not send
him again.

Honorable Stephen Barlow, is a stout, tall, amiable looking
man, and of very plain address. Whoever has seen his
mild black eye once, can never forget it.

Honorable George Kremer, is “little and auld,” as the
Irishman said of his horse. His face is round, and looks as
though it were tanned, and is considerably wrinckled. His
hair is of a handsome golden hue, and is the best part about
him, if he were to keep it combed. But from its appearance,
I would suppose it not to have been combed for six months, not
even with a three legged stool. He is very small; very plainly
dressed; and wears a big brimmed hat. He is continually
poking about in every hole and corner, and from one part of
the Hall to the other, lying down on the sofas, behind the bar,
getting up, and strolling every where. He is not deficient,
however, and is said to be a great admirer of the ladies. When
he speaks, he sets the House in a roar, which seems to be his
sole aim. His dialect is between English and German; but
he always puts on plenty of German to draw attention. I was
in the gallery when he got up to reply to Mr. Wright, of Ohio.
He said that Mr. Wright reminded him of an old hen in his
(Kremer’s) barn yard; “she was always cackling, and cackling,
and cackling, and never laid an egg!”
These expressions,
so appropriate, has immortalized the name of Kremer.
It was in vain for the Speaker to maintain order, as he was
himself convulsed with laughter. Mr. Kremer’s gestures are
inimitably comic.

Honorable Samuel D. Ingham, is a thin, middle aged man,
with a round, very thin furrowed face, and mild countenance.
His manners are distant and unsocial. He is said to be a man
of talents, but his countenance by no means confirms the report.

24(4)r 191

Honorable Joseph Fry, Jr., also of Pennsylvania, is rather
a small man of middle age, and round pleasing German face,
somewhat fair. He is a plain farmer looking man. His black
hair hangs round his neck and face, in thick clusters, and his
countenance is remarkably placid and innocent.

In the whole state of New Jersey, with the exception of
the Honorables Mr. Dickerson and Mr. Tucker, mentioned
before, I find none but the Honorable Samuel Swan, who drew
near me. Mr. Swan is a modest, unassuming man, of very
pleasing, steady manners, and rather young looking, with a
handsome fair face, fair hair, and soft blue eyes. He is quite
a handsome man.

Honorable John De Graff, of New York, is a princely
looking man, of delightful manners. He is a large middle
aged man, rather gray for his years. His face is round, and
handsomely featured, with a soft mild steady blue eye.

Honorable Speaker Taylor, is a thick headed, broad-faced
man, with a blue eye, bald head, and vacant countenance. From what I saw once, I guess he goes the whole for Clay.

Honorable P. Tracy, is another mean looking man. I
find there is no middle ground in New York, whether public
or private; they, the people, are either all dross, or pure metal.
One part seems to be the chaff, and the other the wheat.—
There is, certainly, some of the most awkward, rough-hewn,
thick-headed, simple men, in the New York delegation, that
ever formed a representation of any people—and some, again,
are amongst the best looking. What can the people mean by
sending such boobies to Congress, only to be laughed and
pointed at. It would seem they looked for the worst, instead
of the best men. I have travelled through the whole state, and
found good looking men every where, barring the blacklegs.
If they cannot find better men at home, I would advise them to
import some; for I can assure them as a friend, their Members,
at least many of them, cut a very shabby figure in Congress
, even by the side of the remotest West.

Honorable Aaron Ward, from New York, is a fine looking
man, (I shall pick out the best,) rather of young appearance, 24(4)v192
and middling height. His face is oval, with a handsome set of
features, and adorned with a most beautiful dark gray eye.
His manners are affable and genteel.

Honorable Jeromus Johnson I mentioned before, but did
him injustice. He is much taller than I thought. His face
has much expression, with a deep black piercing eye. He is a
most pleasant man.

Honorable S. Hobbie, is mentioned further back. They
keep such a scouting about, I have to take them on the wing.

Honorable Samuel Chace, of New York, is a young looking
man, of good appearance, with a very pale face, and large
fine eye.

Honorable John C. Clarke, of same state, has a striking
appearance; of good height; very handsome features, and fine
countenance. He has an affable easy manner, though I was
some distance from him.

Honorable C. C. Cambreling, is one of the most distinguished
Members in the House. He is from the city of New
, and one of her most shining men. He is a handsome
engaging figure, with fine features, and a most alluring softness
of countenance. He appears to most advantage when
speaking. His voice is smoothe and his actions manly and

Honorable Mr. Hoffman, is a good looking man, and a
very handsome speaker—but he smells very strong of the sauer
kraut, and his hand wears the P—s.

I see none in Connecticut worth naming, with the exception
of those mentioned before, Honorables Mr. Baldwin and
Ingersoll—I see a Whelp, and a Plant, and a Barber, to shave
them, I suspect. If there be any good agoing, old mother Blue-Law will find it. She is always
shifting. They turned out one of the finest men in the world, Senator Edwards, an
honor to the state. I expect M. Ingersoll will go next. Give them more rope.

Steppinng into the Island of Rodes, we have not Tristriam
, but the Honorable Tristrim Burgess. He is rather an
elderly man, gray for his years, and bald; very stout; with a
large face, and open fair countenance. He has a very cunning
blue eye. All these Rhode Islanders have cunning eyes. Mr.
is denominated a good debater.

25(1)r 193

So we pass on to Massachusetts. Honorable Joseph
. I have noticed him before. Honorable John
, is “as the appletree amongst the trees of the woods;”
and though Massachusetts, like her sister, Connecticut, is often
changing, and neither remarkable for great men, yet Mr.
holds the first rank, and particularly so, in personal
appearance. He is a tall majestic figure, of striking elegance,
and his face is one of the finest modles. He is decidedly one
of the most gentlemanly looking men in the United States.

Honorable Henry Dwight, of Massachusetts, also has a
very manly and free appearance. He is of good size and has
an easy softness of countenance, which, however, indicates
learning and good sense. He has a careless dignity about him,
similar to the Tennesseeans.

Honorable John Reed, also of Massachusetts, is a stout
manly figure; but I was not able to distinguish him further.

Honorable John Bailey, of the same state, is a tall genteel
man; young looking, with a pale handsome face.

Honorable Mr. Bartlett, and Mr. Healey, was all I recollect
to have seen of New Hampshire. Mr. HBartlett, so far as I discovered,
is a young man, and a good figure, with a round intelligent
face, and blue eye.

Vermont, or the land of snags, comes next. I only saw
the Honorable Jonathan Hunt, with the exception of those in
the Third volume of the Black Book. Mr. Hunt is a well
looking man, but rather sallow; with a thin sensible face.

Maine is by a long way the best represented state of New
. I have mentioned the most of them heretofore.
Honorable Mr. McIntire, is a most noble figure; tall and well
made, with a soft mild countenance, and the finest black eye in
mortal head.

I overlooked the Honorable William Armstrong, from
Virginia, though I merely had a side glance of his person.
He is a middle aged man, with a good fair face, and gentlemanly

While I was in the gallery, I saw a clownish man setting
some distance from me, with his hand over that side of his face
next to me. He looked meanness itself. I saw he strove to 25 25(1)v 194
avoid me, which made me only the more anxious to find him
out. And whom should it prove to be but Captain Patridge.
He wants more money. I hope Congress has more sense than
to be gulled by every sharper. Thank fortune, Captain Patridge’s
fine American Literary, Scientific, and Military
Academy at Middletown,
is at an end, and the people have got
well of the Patridge fever. I hope they will continue the bark
to prevent a relapse. Here I also became acquainted with Mr.
, of the United States’ Gazette; a most interesting man.
Mr. Smith is tall and finely shaped, with a fair interesting
face and eye. He is easy and very graceful in his manners.

I was teased to death here, by an impertinent little fop,
who kept company with my friend Norton, of Hartford. His
brass led him in company with every one. He was very
young, and very impudent, and had the halter painted in his
countenance. He had either stole a coat from somebody, or the
money to purchase one, and was screwed in the middle, to bring
himself within the limits of a scanty vest, which he had outgrown.
He reminded me of a wasp. He certainly had the
most hateful and suspicious look of his species. Norton refused
to tell me his name and residence, which, and his intimacy
with the fellow, gave me, for the first, a bad opinion of him,
though once a decent and friendly man.

Of all schemes or plans, of hairbrained man, the Capitol
of the United States is the greatest humbug. Here is a Hall
that has cost the people thousands of dollars, where you can
neither see nor hear; and I am pretty certain it is mere guess
work with the reporters. The windows are about as large as
the barn windows in Pennsylvania. The dome is too small
to give sufficient light—and from the misguided plan of
the building, there is windows only on the segment. The
whole is a dark labyrinth of useless cut up passages, which
would disgrace a common court house; in fact, no court house
is so illy contrived, if we except the Library and the Rotundo.
Nor is there a place in this pile of stone, for it is nothing else,
for those to sit in who have business with Congress. They
have to stand up in a dark, narrow dirty passage, amongst negroes
and other rubbish; more like a hogs-sty than any thing else 25(2)r 195
—dirt knee deep. It has a fair outside, to-be-sure; but a more
gloomy, dismal, filthy place, does not exist, than the inside of
this costly building. One would think a small parlor, or carpeted
sitting room, at least, might be offered, for those who
paid for it, to sit in when they come to Washington on business,
where they would be secure from the rabble and pickpockets,
which infest the building. Why there are not seats in the
Rotundo, where the weary might rest themselves. I cannot
conceive: so, that after paying such vast sums, those who come
hundreds of miles, on important business, have not a comfortable
place to sit or stand in. Truly, we are “the most
enlightened nation on earth.”
I wish the national representatives
would condescend to dispense a little of their light in
the dark rooms of the Capitol. If tracts constitute this superlative
eminence, then, I confess, we are the most enlightened
nation on earth.

I mention the situation of Congress Hall, by way of apology
for the imperfect portraits of the Members. A few of
them very politely came up and saluted me, and those who did
not, have only themselves to blame, should I have misrepresented

I amused myself no little in chasing the Missionaries out
of the gallery. One in particular, when I drove him off, returned
after a while, and stole (not the first time I dare say)
softly into the further end of the gallery. The moment he seated
himself, I laid down my pencil and paper, and walked round
to him. Upon asking his long-facedship what business he had
there, he got up, without speaking, and walked further on. I
followed him up, and finding I pursued him, he darted through
the end door, and away he went—and I returned in triumph.
Strange how well these missionaries are acquainted with holes
and corners. Now, I have been in the Capitol, off and on, for
five years, and never knew there was an outlet at the end of
the gallery, till this Blue Beard opened the door.

Upon returning to my seat, a gentleman, who had been
amusing himself at the terror of Captain Patridge, and the
missionaries, showed me a newspaper, containing an advertisement,
purporting that Captain Patridge would deliver Lectures 25(2)v 196
(somewhere) upon Grecian and Roman tactics, and some other
ticks, and a long string of high sounding names. I should
think he had fingered enough of the peoples’ cash for nothing.
He holds to it. He is like a bull-dog.

Supreme Court.

“Why do you not call to see us, Mrs. Royall?” inquired
Mr. Peters, when I saw him in Philadelphia. “What is the
reason you never come into the Supreme Court, at Washington?
I always attend there to report. I never had the pleasure
to see you there, yet. We set under the Senate Chamber,
at Washington City, during the Winter—Why do you not
come down; you will find something for your pen?”
enough, I never thought of the Supreme Court, and moreover,
never have had time. When relieved from examining proof
sheets, however, I stole one day, and went to the Court Room,
which, like the rest of the Capitol, is dark, damp, and gloomy,
and almost chilled me to death. It is equal to going out into
a shower of rain. This place is worse than the Hall, as respects
a view of the Judges. They sit in a line with their
backs to the only windows there are, and this throws their
faces in the shade, and visiters sitting opposite, the light coming
in contact with their eyes, completely blinds them. By
moving a little to the left, however, though you have not a
better view of the Judges, you have a very good view of the
Attorneys, or Counsellors I should say.

The Court was just going in Session, and several of the
Counsellors were in the Court Room, (the Judges not having
arrived.) Amongst these were Counsellor Jones of the City
of Washington
, whom I have noticed somewhere else; and
Counsellor Ogden, of New York, and one or two gentleman, 25(3)r 197
came up, and saluted me very politely, but Counsellor Ogden
slunk off to the other end of the lobby, carefully turning his
back. I followed him up to get a better view off him, but he,
and a brother clown of his, picked up a newspaper, and holding
it before theisr faces, fell to reading intensely. They were
both great overgrown awkward men, with as little of the gentleman
about them as any other two I have ever seen.

Meantime the Judges arrived, and taking their seats,
Court was proclaimed open, by the cryer, and I walked round
to take my seat in front of the Judges.

It was laughable enough to see the panic and dismay of
those who had taken their seats in the lobby, not to attend to
the pleadings, but to show their long feathers, silk pelisses, &c.
“Mrs. Royall, Mrs. Royall, my G—d! I’ll not stay here!”
The whisper ran from one end of the bench to the other, in a
truce. The women wrapped their veils round their faces, and
the men held their hats up to theirs, and off they scampered.
If the plague, a mad dog, or any ferocious wild beast had been
let loose, in the Court Room, their flight could not have been
more precipitate. Now, if these fools had sat still, I should
have had a much better opinion of them; as it was, the reverse
was the effect. They always commit themselves by taking to
flight. In a very short time another drove entered the Court
Room—the ladies with flaming bonnets and ribbands—but,
oh, tortures! these, like the first, began to whisper and hide
their faces, and they decamped: and so they continued while
I staid there. Towards the last, three very genteel women
came in, in plain black bonnets. I was told one was Mrs.
Edward Livingston
—One was a very beautiful young lady.—
These, of course, were ladies. They were attended also, by
gentlemen. “Mrs. Royall,” said a gentleman, who sat near
me, “how can you distinguish people so quick?” Any one
might distinguish, when they see women dressed so gaudy,
and attended by shabby scrubs and bits of boys. Seeing the
intensity with which I viewed one of these Miss Ostrich feathers,
her beau, (she had three,) who happened to know me,
and guessing my thoughts, plucked up courage enough to draw
near, and said, “that young lady is not what you take her to 25(3)v 198
be, she is one of the first ladies in the City”
—in his opinion,
he meant. All I have to say, her beau was a long way from
being the first gentleman in the City.

It could create nothing but a smile to see those who remained
in the Court Room, studiously keeping their backs towards
me. Amongst the visiters, however, there were sundry
country people, who were very interesting. These were distinguished
by their plainness and modesty, and drew the eyes
of every one present. There were, likewise, a few genteel men;
but these were, probably, attorneys. The young woman—lady
I mean—the “most respectable in the City!” sat it out, in defiance
of pens and pencil, and laughed herself almost into the
hysterics, whilst her beau, one on each side, and one at her
blue bonnet back, were continually billing and cooing to her.
I could not commend her taste in the choice of her beaux, one
in particular: he looked as though he had been under the effect
of a strong cathartic.

Besides these there were a number of pick-pockets to top
off with. Such was the Supreme Court. I fondly hoped, however,
to be indemnified by the fine pleadings; but here I was
unfortunate again—I ought to have went the preceding day,
when I should have heard the great Webster. Instead of this,
I was bored with Counsellor Ogden. Ogden looks well enough
in a newspaper, but you ought to see him when he is pleading.
If you can imagine an ox standing on his hinder legs, you may
form an apt opinion of Counsellor Ogden, though I was told
the latter was without horns. For my part I cannot vouch for
his front, as his back was turned towards me, and was sufficiently
amusing. He is tall and lusty; leans forward, and
never moves his hand or his body—and his voice!—His pleading
was nothing but one sing song monotony. It was dot and
go one, the whole time. He kept one hand behind his back,
as carefully as though it were held by a neuse. He griped his
spectacles in the hand behind his back; and I was naughty
enough to propose to some of my friends to slip them out, that
the opposite Counsel might gain victory; for doubtless,
his pleading would have been at an end, had the spectacles
been overruled. Such another pair of paws is at issue with 25(4)r 199
bench and bar; and though he kept his body stiff as a stake, his
body was continually bobbing up and down, like Diggory in
the play.

There sat my friend Wirt, the Attorney General, and
looked as smiling as a May morning. Who but he. The
Honorables E. Livingston and A. Smyth, were likewise in Court;
but I had not the pleasure of hearing them speak.

The Judges were so much in the shade, it was impossible
to distinguish them with any accuracy, and I merely had a
glance at them when they adjourned. But all of them, except
Judge Thompson, and Judge Story, departed with such expedition
that it was impossible to venture a description of them.
They looked very solemn the whole time—not a smile marked
their countenances. Judge Duvall has the most singular face
in the world, every line of which is marked with wisdom.
His face is of great length, with an uncommon high square forehead.
Judge Washington has a face of uncommon placidness.
He is quite a small man, with a round small face, and very
delicate features. He, and Judge Marshall, mentioned before,
and Judge Duvall, are about the same age. Judges Story,
Thompson, (I did not see Trimble,) and Johnson, are much
younger looking men. Judge Thompson and Story very
politely dropped behind, and chatted with me sometime. I
had often seen Judge Story before: he is from Massachusetts,
and a most amiable and worthy man.—And Judge Thompson
is one of your stout, jolly, sensible men. He paid me some
compliments upon my writings against the missionaries.

William Thomas Carroll, Clerk of the Court. I have
long been acquainted with him. He is a nephew of Daniel
, Esq. and a near relation of the remaining signer of
the Declaration of Independence. Mr. Carroll is a stout,
handsome figure, and one of the best men in the City. I was
again happy to meet with Mr. Peters, author of the Reports of
the Supreme Court. He is a very pleasant familiar man, but I
find I was mistaken in the color of his hair, which is a bright
auburn, instead of red.

25(4)v 200

Mr. Middleton. I owe much to this young man. When I
first visited Washington, Colonel Brent kindly furnished me
with a room in the old Capitol. This young man plays well
on the flute, and his store being opposite to my room, he used
to serenade me every afternoon, and very often came under
my window at night; though at that time neither of us knew
each other even by name. The softness of the music beguiled
me of my cares, as I sat alone, friendless and pennyless, and
wrote the Sketches; and from the time I left Washington,
for the North, till this day, five years, though I anxiously
inquired for him, I never saw or knew who he was. His mild
engaging looks reminded me of the soft strains which kept
me alive.


The first business of the new President, was to arrange
his Cabinet. The choice was at the time, popular; and though
they baegan the work of “reform” with much spirit, they stopped
all at once, no one knew for what. This was a serious
disappointment to many a poor fellow who had staked his all in
the election of General Jackson. These poor fellows, in the
joy of their hearts came to Washington, to witness the Inauguration,
and receive some of the bounty due them for their losses.
But after looking on with aching hearts at the overgrown
gluttons, who had long riotted on the good things of Uncle
, they turned their heartless steps from whence they came.
Many of them were unable to pay their bills. This was
shameful! When we look upon the lists, and still find the
same unthankful insolent men in the same place, it is much to
be deplored.

26(1)r 201

Department of State.

Only four or five were “reformed” out of the Department
of State
, where there are sixteen clerks; and two out of the
Patent Office. But McIntire, the vilest man in the world, remains.
As for the chief clerk, a Dr. Craig, had the Secretary
appointed a panther, or any other wild beast, it would
have been full as agreeable to the people. Many a poor man
spends his last cent, before he can have an interview with him,
whilst his ferocious aspect puts them in terror of their lives.
After snarling sometime, he finds fault with this, and with
that—“the writings are not well done—he can’t receive them.”
The big mouthed Irishman. These are pretexts to throw money
into the hands of another catchpenny foreigner, whilst the
heart-worn stranger, perhaps, after spending his last cent in
travelling hundreds of miles to reach Washington, has either
to borrow five dollars, to pay these rapacious monsters, or return
without his patent right. This is an evil that calls loudly
for a remedy, and a clerk ought to be furnished by the Department,
to do the writing, if necessary. In many instances,
however, I am satisfied, this is a fraud. It is worse than fraud
to keep McIntire in. The new clerk, Mr. Temple, is a very
decent looking man.

Mr. Van Buren, however, deserves much credit for a few
removals, and the choice he has made in successors, particularly
two gentlemen from New York, William Coventry and
H. Waddell, a very amiable man. I should be pleased to see
a few more New Yorkers in all the Departments. Mr. Waddell
is a tall, keen, intelligent, handsome man, and a foe to
priestcraft—no little recommendation. Doctor Jones, removed
from the Patent Office (heaven knows for what) is a prince.—
Mr. N. P. Trist and Mr. Hunter, also, are very amiable men,
the former especially; and so is Mr. Tyler. The chief clerk,
D. Brent and Josiah King, Esqs. are still in office, and deserve
to be; likewise A. Vail and E. Stubbs —but the others ought to
go out.

26 26(1)v 202

Treasury Department.

Excepting the chief clerk, Asbury Dickens, I should
say, Secretary, and all, are unworthy the confidence of the people.
No more need be said, to justify the allegation, against
Secretary Ingham, than his keeping old Coyle and his son
in office, after their conduct in the infamous trial at Washington.
It would seem, that Mr. Ingham rewarded them for the
foul deed. Will the people of the United States patronize such
infamous men? I fancy not. Not a more worthless set of men
under heaven than the whole of the clerks in his office. It is
said that Samuel D. Ingham takes pleasure in inflicting pain
upon those who may apply to him for an office. He is warm
in his situation, and he feels not for the wants of others. If he
received his just merits, as to worth and talent, he would never
have obtained the appointment, or else long since been displaced.
He has learned his taunts doubtless from Mr. St.
C. Clarke
, upon whom alone he condescends to smile . In fact,
the whole of the Cabinet, with the exception of the Postmaster
General, Mr. Barry, and, perhaps, Secretary, Branch, reminds
one of the rich lady in the Fable. Being out one cold day she
met a poor beggar man in the street, and suffering from the
cold herself, she felt for the poor beggar, and told him to come
to her house and she would give him something. She arrived
at the house sometime before the beggar, and ordering a bowl
of rich soup, was comfortably regaling herself upon it, by the
fire, when the beggar came in: “Oh,” said she, “the day has
moderated very much, you may go about your business.”
it is with the Cabinet; they have tasted the sweets of office,
and are no longer mindful of those friends who helped them to
these offices, and good things. But the time may come round
again, when they may need the assistance of the people, whom,
to a great measure, they have disappointed.

26(2)r 203

War Department.

Secretary Eaton, as well as Mr. Van Buren, has made
some very judicious removals: but he has retained the worst,
as also the most unpopular one, which is James L. Edwards.
It appears that they take pleasure in fostering those religious
hypocrites. There was not a better man than this Edwards,
till he “got religion,” as the phrase is.

His new chief clerk, Doctor Randolph, does him much
honor. A better man does not exist. The Doctor is a man
of towering height, six feet four inches, and symmetry itself,
with fine features, and of the most captivating and easy manners.
But L. S. Van Kleeck, in room of old Edwards, is na
great things.

Navy Department.

Secretary Branch. He raised a woful hue and cry, too,
and acquired much honor in his spirited removals. He swept
the whole, excepting one. Mr. Clark, his chief clerk, is a
most amiable man.

Honorable Isaac Hill puts it to them. If all were like
him, and Kendall, every glutton, and every pauper would, ere
this, have been reduced to work, like other people; and what
is worse, every blue skin of them, is still in office. Amos Kendall,
with a keenness which few men possess, has ferreted out
many a knave; and to his indefatigable perseverance, the
people are much indebted. I am proud to find that he has discovered
the knavery and swindling of the Navy Corps, which
I foretold. I was convinced from the conduct of the Navy
, that these naval heroes were engaged in some clandestine
practices and fraud. They ought, every one, to be dismissed;
and I am gratified to see the President has advised
Congress to put the Board down. I hope they will compell
them to leave the Navy.

26(2)v 204

The prince of the new appointments is Auditor Lewis.
Without the searching keenness, perhaps, of Amos Kendall,
he certainly is one of the best men in the government. Generous,
open, and candid, he is, at the same time cool and firm
as a rock. Mr. Lewis is a stout young looking man, of plain
dignified manners. His face is fair and round; his eye a
soft gray; his countenance firm and tranquil; yet, all the
rival graces revel in his manly face; and while his tongue
says nothing, his looks say every thing. I would suppose,
from the little I have witnessed of Mr. Auditor Lewis, it would
be as easy to overturn the Andes, as to shake his integrity.
He is lively, facetious, and witty, and one of the most pleasant
companions in the world. At the sound of distress, humanity
springs to his eye. I have seen but very few men like him.
I am much pleased with this pride of Tennessee, and that he
still retains Mr. Eakin in office; a most worthy man. Besides
Mr. Eakin, he has twelve clerks, at salaries, amounting in the
gross, to 13,200 dollars, per annum. Had Auditor Lewis
conferred this sum upon his friends, instead of still retaining
his enemies in office, which he has, he would have rendered
his name dear to the American people, by complying with
their wishes. What right have these people to monopolize places
of profit, to the exclusion of others? What rights have they
that others have not? Upon what grounds do these men claim,
and still usurp, emoluments, equally the right of other men?
This is the case—nearly the case in all the offices at Washington.
“They abuse us so in the papers,” says one man.
And what of that? Better bear the discontent of the unjust,
than the displeasure of an indignant, disappointed, and injured
people. What is it that they say in the papers? What can they
say, compared with the just displeasure of the people. They
only pervert truth. Hear what they say.

“Reform—Nothing can be more disgraceful to the American
character, than the scenes which have been lately exhibited
at Washington. By all accounts from that City, it appears
that the number of applicants for office was large, and
very troublesome to President Jackson. We are sorry to witness 26(3)r 205
such an occurrence in this country. It evinces a disregard
for independence and manly pride, and presents to view,
minds lost to patriotic feelings. We are indeed sorry for this
occurrence. It proves to us that the vices of the old world,
have began to take root in the new.”

Doubtless this must have been Uncle Toby. He is so
sorry for the American character. What is this but a perversion
of truth. Again, same article:

“One year hence we shall know whether they are really
more deserving of public confidence than their predecessors;
and whether Messrs Hill and Kendall, who, it seems take the
lead, for a radical reform, are more honest, disinterested, and
patriotic, than Messrs. Cutts and Watkins.”

This is fine stuff to frighten honest men from fulfilling
their engagements with the people; and proves that their pusalanimity
alone drew it upon them. And again: “Mr. Sweeny,
a very honest man, has been in the Post Office twenty years.”

Then it was time for Mr. Somebody else, who had been out of
the Post Office twenty years, to take his place. So, of all these
twenty years’ men, our people, so far as they have failed in
turning out these old incumbents, have proved themselves unworthy
of the trust reposed in them—and though they are all
my particular friends, (except Mr. Ingham,) and from my own
country, I am by no means disposed to connive at, or hide their
faults. I must say that Mr. Hill and Mr. Kendall, have acted
more like true Americans, than any men in the four great
Departments. And, by the way, there is something like an
unmanly compromise in the matter, which I do not understand.
It is said by outcriers, that the President, and his friends,
turn out “all who were opposed to his election.” This is not
true by a great deal. But no wonder this slander. Men naturally
become insolent, in proportion as those they have to
deal with become cowardly. But to go on.

The Third Auditor, Peter Hagner—How many have been
turned out here? Only one I believe: and excepting Mr. James
, the chief clerk, every one, fourteen in all, ought to
go out, with Peter Hagner himself. If I had any vote I would
make James Thompson Auditor in his place. Let Hagner’s 26(3)v 206
papers be overhauled; he is rather intimate with the Navy

In Comptroller Anderson’s office, out of fifteen clerks, only
one was turned out! Excepting Webster, not a man of them
ought to be left. Likewise Auditor Harrison’s office is filled
with paupers and blue skins.

Fourth Auditor, Kendall. Here we find the removals have
been judicious. Mr. Gillis, the chief clerk, has been retained,
and doubtless will be, so long as he continues upright. The
new clerks here are fine young men. Mr. Kendall did not
hunt up the paupers and copper heads of Washington, and
cheat the people, as the rest are doing, by keeping paupers in
office. The new clerks are, Major B. Buckner, of Virginia,
H. C. Williams and William Garrett, of Tennessee, and one
or two others. For the sake of modest merit, I should like to
see Mr. H. C. Williams promoted from the pittiful sum of 800
dollars, to something more worthy his inestimable character;
he being, beyond doubt, one of the most amiable in the government.
I hope Mr. Kendall will bestow particular attention to
this young man, whose worth is beyond price; and the more so,
as he still has a few of the old clerks in. Mr. Kendall, however,
deserves eternal praise for driving off the blue skin Macdaniels.

Fifth Auditor, Stephen Pleasonton. We are pleased he is
retained. He is an amiable man. In his office are ten clerks,
and, with the exception of Messrs. Barry and Houston, the
whole ought to be “reformed out”. There is Thaw and Mustin,
two of the rankest copperheads in Washington—twenty years’
men. It is downright conspiracy to keep men in the bosom of
our government, who have openly avowed themselves hostile
to our liberties, as these men both have done, in their unwearied
efforts under a pretext to keep the Sabbath. The President
of the United States either knows this, or he does not
know it; if the former, he is not true to the people—if the latter,
he is unfit for the trust. “But he is the President of the people,”
say, some, viz: the blue skins, alias, Sunday mail men.
The felon, at the gallows, may, with as much justice, claim
him as their President.

26(4)r 207

The Treasurer, Mr. Campbell. Here again I disagree
with our government for turning out Mr. Clark. It seems
this was done at the instance of Pennsylvania. This sounds
well, coming from men who voted for M. St. C. Clarke; and
proves what sound politicians they are. A ruffian, one Moore,
a copperhead, (missionary,) in this office, hired, doubtless, by
his brother chips, presbyterians, came very near laying violent
hands on me in the public passage of the Treasury Department,
in the presence of several witnesses. This is their
religion. What would it be if they possessed power? The
ruffian, not content with this, pursued me into the street, and
threatened to put me “where I ought to be;” meaning, doubtless,
the grave. Are these men to be retained in the government?
A foreigner too! I trust Mr. Campbell, will, for the
sake of appearance, at least, turn the ruffian out, or I shall begin
to think he is a church and state man.

I am gratified, however, to find that other people have
seen, what I long since discovered, that is, the growing merit of
Peter G. Washington, Esqr.; and I could almost forgive Mr.
, for this one good act in promoting Mr. Washington.

Mr. Asbury Dickens, another of my protoges, has also been

The Register, Thomas L. Smith, of New York, is one of the
best appointments that have been made. He ought to be a life
subscriber for my works; and the people of the United States
ought to give me a pension for dragging old Nourse out of
office. He, and old Auditor Lee, are under particular obligations
to me, of which I hope they retain a proper sense. An
anecdote of old Mrs. Nourse, her silks, her tracts, and her hypocracy,
the sick sailor, and all, will be found in the First
Volume of my Pennsylvania. Not long after this, she was
forced to lay by her silks, and live on tracts herself. Good!—
She will now know what it is to feed on tracts. One of the
Nourses, however, is still in office. Is it not strange, that our
people, have stooped so far below that unshrinking honor,
which alone brought them into office? And what have they
gained by it? Ill will from the people, and contempt from the
men they retain. The retaining the brother of old long prayer 26(4)v 208
Nourse, is a secret, it is presumed, from the people: but it is
one I am not disposed to keep. Now, this man a great Clay
, would annihilate the present administration for its kindness.
So, also, would the traitor, Edwards. Mr. Smith, the
Register, is a stout young looking man, of very engaging manners,
and handsome appearance. He has the gentleman stamped
on every feature of his face, and appears every way zealous
to fulfill his trust. He is as different from the old Englishman,
as day is from night. In his office are sixteen clerks, the very
refuse of the earth, excepting Messrs. Mountz and Evans.—
Not one turn out here! One of these ruffians said he was glad
when Mrs. J—n died.

Mr. Joseph Mountz is a thin, dark eyed, middle aged, very
genteel man, with much expression of countenance. Mr.
French S. Evans
(both fire proof room) is a very fine young
man, with a handsome fair round face, rather small, very lively
and facetious. They are both ingenuous deserving men,
and ought to be retained.

The General Land Office, under Mr. Graham, has always
been well filled, with the exception of Lord Hanson, who, very
little to the credit of Mr. Graham, was taken in contrary to
law, because his father, an old pauper, was in; and General
, another pauper, his father in law, was in the service of
the Senate, and had six children, and was akin to Secretary
. If Mr. Graham has so much sympathy for paupers,
let him put his hands in his own pocket, and not in the pockets
of the people. Hanson is a mean man, and Mr. Graham ought
to lose his place for this very act. There is something wrong
with him of late, for his countenance bears guilt upon it. Mr.
, his chief clerk, likewise, has a guilty look. Mr. Sinn,
the only new clerk in the General Land Office, is one of the
most amiable and promising young men in the Departments,
and, because he is so, he has (agreeably to the practice of our
government) the least salary.

The Pension Office, under James L. Edwards, stands as it
did, except Doctor Cutting, one of the best of men, has been
turned out, to make room for a blue skin friend of Mr. Edwards.
And who should I find stuck up there, the other day, but old 27(1)r 209
Judge Belt. O, said one of the clerks, in a whisper, Mr. Hill
turned him out, Mrs. Royall, and the President gave him a
place here for a few days. As Belt was a pauper, it was certainly
kind in the President to relieve him; but it would have
been just as well to have put his hand in his own pocket, as in
that of the people’s. Never was charity worse bestowed. This
old palavering sycophant, would not give one cent to save the
whole world from perishing. Had the President thrown as
much in the fire, it would have been as well. I know this old
Belt, well; an old long faced miser. He is not so poor; and he
had better Belt himself off before I return to Washington.

Bounty Land Office. I do not know who has the credit,
but the appointment of William Gordon, chief clerk, is no small
one. I think he is of Virginia; a very gentleman—alike honorable
to his country and the office he holds.

Indian Office, has escaped reform, because it needed none.
In this office I, for the first time, found two worthy clerks,
Messrs. Hamilton and Kurtz.

Ordnance Office, the same.

Engineer Department. Here we have General Charles
, in place of General Macomb, promoted. General
is one of the most gentlemanly officers in the army.—
He certainly is the most accomplished man I have met with in
the corps. He is young and stout, with handsome features,
dark complexion, and open manly countenance. His eye is
a soft gray, with every indication of a man of talents. He
combines more ease, grace, and dignity, in his manners, than
any man I have met with in the government. He has the appearance
of a well bred foreigner. His hair is jet black, profuse
and glossy.

Lieutenant Colonel Abert has been appointed to the Topographical
, in place of Colonel Roberdeau, deceased.
This, also, is a judicious appointment. The soft, easy, and
modest dignity of Colonel Abert’s manners, is truly inviting.—
He is in the prime of life, of fine appearance, handsome pale
features, and a mild benevolent aspect.

Subsistence Department. We have no less, here, than
Brigadier General Gibson, to the life. He bristled up wonderfully27 27(1)v 210
at the hits against his aunt Colonel Cely, of Carlisle. As
the presbyterians seem to be taking care of themselves, he had
better attend to his own fortifications. And Major Hook! I
ruined him by my last puff. I repent this: He was a fine man
till I praised him. Some people it appears cannot be praised.
The gracious Navy Board were pleased to send a ruffian to decoy
me into Captain Gardner’s room, with a view, doubtless,
of trying our metal, which proved too hard for the chivalrous
Captain. I sought the boy who decoyed me into the room, and
my polite Major Hook screened the boy, and was privy to the
plan no doubt. It is laughable to see the Major’s swells and
side grins, with his servant riding behind him, since I puffed

Quartermaster General’s Department. General Jessup is
beyond the reach of flattery or corruption. Study and serene,
he is always at his bureau, and always the same industrious
accomplished gentleman. Neither awed by fear, nor won by
love. He is one of the most amiable men belonging to the army.
Major Cross is another man of worth and weight. These
are the men who deserve the people’s confidence and patronage.

The General-in-Chief, Macomb, and the Paymaster General,
Colonel Towson, are, I believe, doing well. The latter
withdrew from the religious party in politics, upon showing
him old mother Dickinson and the old maid, Miss C. disbed
up in a Comedy. May all the blue skin Colleges be dished in
like manner, and may General Gibson preside at the board.—
Mr. Frye remains in the Pay Department, as he ought; and
Major T. P. Andrews, a very worthy young man, is Paymaster,
under the Colonel.

The Surgeon General, Doctor Lovell, and Adjutant General
, have suspicious appearances. I wish they may have
no concern with the Navy Board and Uncle Toby.

The Attorney General, Mr. Berrien, has redeemed the
office he holds from ――. It will doubtless be discharged with
honor to himself and to his country while it is honored by his

In the Adjutant General’s Office, I met, for the first time, 27(2)r 211
(18191819) Brooke Williams and Lieutenant Wm. B. Davidson, very
amiable and gentlemanly men. Mr. Williams is a stout manly
figure; full dark face, and profuse glossy black hair. He has
a firm noble manly countenance, and every way pleasant.—
Equally so, is Mr. W. B. Davidson.

Whilst I was in the above office, I had the pleasure of seeing
the celebrated hero, General E. W. Ripley. The pleasure
was, doubtless, mutual. The General is a tall, spare, erect
figure; about middle age, and the finest looking Yankee I have
lately seen. His face is oval, wan, and keen, and his countenance
severe and dignified. He lives in New Orleans, where
I expect the pleasure once more of beholding this highly gifted

Amongst the clerks, heretofore overlooked, who deserved,
and still deserve, the praise and patronage of their country,
are, Colonel C. Andrews, S. Greshem and John Boyle. I see S.
F. Chapman
has been reformed out of office. I am sorry for
this as they have retained much worse in.

Amongst the new clerks I find, besides those already named,
C. A. Harrison, of Tennessee, Thomas Rankin, and John
, of New Hampshire, very deserving men.

Commodore Patterson, the naval hero of New Orleans, is
added to the Navy Board, and however I might be gratified to
see this hero of the West, I was sorry to find him in such company.
He is a man of very distant, but genteel easy manners.
Wishing to hand him in a book, the other day, for which he
subscribed, I was stopped in the passage by a vagabond, in the
service of the Board. I stepped into Mr. Hill’s office, to
solicit his protection. Mr. Hill would scarcely believe me;
and stepping down from his seat walked out, as though he
were going to guard me to the door, when, seeing the ruffian,
as I had stated, he stopped suddenly, and I went forward, as
before, when the ruffian again breasted me, and prevented my
passing. I was glad, however, that Mr. Hill saw it. Thus, the
Navy has become formidable to the safety of our citizens.—
This proves, incontestibly, that the Navy Board are engaged
in something they do not wish to be seen; though I had no intention
of going further than the door. When those men, who 27(2)v 212
are paid to defend us, turn their forces against us, the prospects
of the American people are gloomy indeed. If these people
were about good, what had they to fear? What had they,
any how, from an old woman!

The President.

But the President, Mrs. Royall, we wish to hear what
you say about the President, and the East Room, and the ladies,
and Andrew Jackson, Jr. This was the cry. Well, then,
here it is.

President Jackson, is a tall, erect, gray headed man, with
a thin oval face, mild benevolent countenance, and great courtesy
of manners. His aspect and features have more mildness
than the paintings I have seen of him. He grants an interview
with high and low, rich and poor. I was jealous, however,
to hear of his intimacy with Doctor Ely, the avowed advocate
of Church and State, and an enemy of course to Republicanism.
Knowing the firm republican principles of General
, I was astonished to see, see I did not, but hear that
this insidious traitor was countenanced by him; particularly
as the General was hostile to the Hartford Convention, the essence
of Church and State. But in this, as in every other instance,
they succeeded through the women, the fatal stumbling
block of all our men, great and small.

I observed to Mrs. Donaldson, I understood that Doctor
was a favorite with her—“indeed she thought Dr. Ely
was a very fine man.”
This was a proof of her ignorance, to-
be-sure; but at the same time it is another proof of a thousand,
of the treachery of this wily priest. Some of my Adams
friends quizzed me about Ely’s coming to Washington to become
a good sound Secretary of the Treasury. It is not quite
so bad, but next thing to it.

27(3)r 213

Mr. Donaldson, the President’s Private Secretary, is a
young diffident man, and though not yet a member of the
church, his wife will, doubtless, bring him to the yoke. Mrs.
is a beautiful woman, but a great bigot.

The flower of the flock, is Andrew Jackson, Jr. Esq. He
is a cousin of Mrs. Donaldson: about 20 years of age, common
height, and light make, with dark, delicate features. His eye
is black, and as soft as the dew-drop. His countenance is
sweetness and innocence itself; whilst his face is diffused with
a modest blush. He is every way a promising young man,
and will, I have no doubt, shine in the annals of his country.
He is the most diffident young man I have met with. I asked
him how he would like to be President? He replied, “not at
all, Madam; I would deprecate it above all things.”
Both his
parents are dead, and he has lived with the President since he
was a child.

The East Room is neatly, but plainly furnished. Not a
particle of Alabaster in it.

Post-Office Department.

Judge Barry, the Postmaster General. I thought I
never would like any one equal to Judge McLean, and lamented
his removal, from my heart. But I am delighted with Judge
. He has done himself immortal honor by turning out
Coyle, the greatest wild beast in human shape. A few days
after his removal, by accident I stepped in his (Coyle’s) store;
when the ruffian picked up a stick and would doubtless have
struck me, if I had not outran him. This wretch is in the
presbyterian church. His whole kindred are a specimen of
Dr. Ely’s Church and State men. The people of the Union,
and even the Members of Congress, so little do they know, 27(3)v 214
think he was the only Coyle in office. But his brother, my
prosecutor, and his son, are in Mr. Ingham’s office still. The
brother-in-law is in the General Post office. I hope Judge
will give him his walking papers.

Judge Barry has pleased the people better than any of the
cabinet; and though I was sorry to part with the Bradleys, it
appears they were not the clean thing. But I shall always feel
grateful to them, for, like Uncle Toby, they fed me when I
was hungry.

Mr. Hobbie, the successor of Dr. Bradley, is well qualified
for the place, though I wanted him for another purpose. Mr.
is a small, handsome black-eyed man, of great personal
endowments, and very graceful manners.

I am rather doubtful of Colonel Gardner, as he is one of the
hen peck’d tribe. He is not a presbyterian himself, but his
wife, sister (an old maid) and mother, all in the same house, attend
the Engine-house regularly; so that if the Postmaster General
was to die, these missionary Madams would have the management
of the General Post Office! A fine thing indeed!!!

The Rev. O. B. Brown, the only honest parson I have met
with. One of your right down good men. He has been promoted.
Success to him.

Messrs. William G. Elliot and M. T. Simpson, (the latter
agent) are still in, and deserve to be; also, Messrs. L. W. Ruggles,
M. D. Jackson, G. D. Hanson, and Addison and Waggoman.
The new clerks are, also, fine men. I should like to see John
M. Overton
, Esq. in place of Colonel Gardner. He is a keen
business man and gentleman, and in no danger of the copperheads.
I was pleased to see Samuel Gwynn, one of the brave
Tennesseeans, was remembered, in distributing the loaves and
fishes; and am only sorry we have not a few more of them rewarded
for their bravery and hardships in defending our country.

I am also pleased to see Mr. Taylor, of Carlisle, in the
Post Office. Amongst the new appointments, too, I see the
poet, author of the Freedoniad, the Rev. Mr. Emmons, one
of the most singular looking men in Washington. He seems
to be nothing but eyes. He is spare, rather tall, with a thin 27(4)r 215
bony face, and large mouth and eyes; which last has much expression.
His manners are plain.

I was much gratified to become acquainted with a very
interesting man, a relation, I think, of Judge McLean’s, Mr.
William Blair
, a very amiable man, whom I have often seen,
but never spoke to before.

It is quite probable there may be some copperheads in the
office, but they take care to hide.

Dr. Jones, of the City Post Office, raised the wind, too,
and the pale-faced Dyer went, as I said he would. Dr. Jones
does not leave the letters open for every street walker to step
in and finger, and should he permit it, he may expect to hear
of it quite as soon as Mr. Munroe. The Doctor seems to fill the
situation with dignity and trust.

Of Judge Barry, of the General Post Office, I have only to
say, that, so far as I know, he has done well. He is a gentleman
of very agreeable and friendly manners; of middle age and
height, and light figure. His features are fair and delicate; his
eye a mild blue, and lively benevolent countenance, which also
depictures great depth of thought. His voice is smoothe and
soft, and his manners winning and engaging. I did hope he
would have retained the Messrs. Bradleys in office, and was never
more surprized than when I heard they were turned out;
for, after what he stated to me himself, in their favor, I was
certain he did not act without good reasons—and so it has proved.
There was a great outcry about their dismissal. The age
and poverty of A. Bradley was urged in his favor. As to this
I cannot say; but certain it is, a number of fine houses have
recently started up in Washington, belonging to the Bradleys.
Also, several lines of splendid coaches; and William A. Bradley,
of the Patriotic Bank, rides in a fine carriage. Whatever
may be my obligations to the father, which are certainly considerable,
it is doing the father no injustice, to say I am under
very little to his son. He is charged with asserting, that
“the prosecution against me, in Washington, was nothing
more than I deserved.”
Such a man does not deserve the
countenance of any one.

It has been fully ascertained, that this William A. Bradley, 27(4)v 216
and others, by treachery, falsehood and cunning, contrived
to displace the former very worthy and highminded honorable
president of the Patriotic Bank; and this same W. A. Bradley
wormed himself in his seat. Pishey Thompson and the
Bradleys, who had the entire controul of the General Post
funds have been playing a capital game out of one hand
into the other. No wonder then, that W. A. Bradley could
set up a splendid equippage; and a fine line of coaches, now running
between Washington and Baltimore. They took good care,
however, to leave the counterfeit notes and other bad money in
the Iron Chest!!! Gales, too, now and thenn, could come round
his countryman, Pishey Thompson, for a small slice of the
spoil. He shrunk from the bad money, though. No wonder
he was the great friend of Pishey, to his face. The riddle has
come out. What a pity it was to break up the precious partnership
of Bradleys, Thompson and Gales. I wonder not at
the out cry of the Intelligencer. It was a death blow indeed,
to turn out the Bradleys. If the Bradleys are poor, as is asserted,
it is their own fault, as they must have speculated too
. Largely have they speculated on the Post Office funds.
Their refusing to produce the books, when called on, was sufficient
evidence something was wrong. I am, however, not
so much displeased with the Bradleys as I am with Pishey
, the Henglishman, to have the fingering of the government
funds. No wonder he fled to John Bull for refuge.
The Bradleys and Uncle Toby, if they did make free with
the cash always divided with their friends, vide Gales, &c.—
But that renegade, old Nourse, never did. Pishey threw my
Sketches under the counter!!!

I have understood, the late President of the Patriotic
, brought a suit of slander against Bradley and Company,
and the bumpkin judge retarded its progress. He acts
differently in this case to what he did in mine. Oh, the bumpkin.
Shame on Congress to retain such unworthy officers.
He, and old Greenleaf would starve then or have to go to hard
work. Many a poor man is ruined by the dexterity of the
bumpkin and the Leaf playing into each other’s hands, and
shifting property from one to the other. If Congress does 28(1)r 217
not reorganize this court upon some other plan, I hope their
constituents may reform them out. What the District of
is to become under our present enlightened
Congress, heaven only knows. At present, it appears to be
a sink of oppression; a receptacle for negroes, missionaries,
thieves, recreant judges, swindlers, blacklegs, old maids, and
sharpers. It has been whispered among themselves, so high-
toned have they got, that one of these negroes is to be nominated
for the next Presidency. Whether this be true or not, certain
it is that they are electioneering for Poor’s An Auctioneer on Pennsylvania Avenue. big mulatto
for Congress; and Poor, (not half so genteel,) is to succeed
Tobias, another negro, in the Senate. And preacher Thunder
is to succeed Post, as Chaplain to Congress, when it is hoped
he will roar down these long winded speeches.


I find D. Saunders, George L. Douglass, and Nicholas TasletEsqs.
of the General Post Office, in my notes, but nothing
more, excepting the second being a new clerk—and the last,
black eyes. I expect they are all bad boys together. Lipscomb
was eating crackers for his dinner, only by way of sham,
that he might have his salary raised.

As principles try men, so men try principles. During
my prosecution by the blue skins, in Washington, several of
the citizens, of both sexes, whom I never saw before, called
to know, whether I did not want their assistance; and my fraternity
particularly. “Mrs. R. don’t be backward; we are
your friends; our purses, our hearts, and our lives are yours;
command us when you please.”
Where were the Sunday mail
men all this time? Which were the christians? Amongst those
who tendered assistance, and who is never to be forgotten,
was Captain Thomas Wilson, one of the most benevolent men
living. One of your all-soul-men: who does good by stealth. 28 28(1)v 218
His countenance, like his heart, is the temple of charity and
goodness. He is about middle age, of good height, and one of
nature’s peculiar favorites. Blessed man, how much I owe
thee! May the smiles of heaven, and the kindness of men cheer
thee through life.

Mr. Dove, a master carpenter, is another of the heaven
born race, and amongst the number who hears the widow’s
sigh, and drys the orphan’s tear.

Mr. Brooke, wine merchant, is another new acquaintance
of desert. Mr. Brooke is a youthful looking man, of genteel
appearance, and worthy the patronage of the public. His mild
eye, and benign countenance, speak volumes in his praise.—
Nor less so is Mr. Holmead, the younger. He is a most amiable

Messrs. H. S. Green, Meehan, and Hume, are likewise to
be added to the list. Mr. Green, the brother of the General,
is a tall handsome man, of very engaging manners. Mr. Meehan,
the present Librarian of Congress, is one of the most
amiable men living; and the only appointment of the administration
who pleases all parties. He is a small young looking
man, with a countenance and manners of much sweetness and
modesty. But Mr. Hume, his assistant, from Tennessee, is a
perfect Adonis; and such is the charms of his person and manners,
that the Library is a perfect levee of ladies. The messenger,
too, deserves notice. Thus the change in the Library
does the President much honor.

The Messrs. De Kraffts. It is extraordinary I never met
with these gentlemen before. One is Surveyor of the City of
, and the other is proprietor of a Printing Establishment;
and both are men of worth. They are of German
descent and German honesty. Mr. E. de Krafft deserves much
honor for his manly and spirited exposure of the swindling,
and other dishonorable proceedings of the Bradleys, relative
to the General Post Office, and the Patriotic Bank, which recent
investigations have confirmed.

Another German acquaintance, my favorite nation, is
Mr. Appler, of the Fountain Inn, Pennsylvania Avenue, who
keeps a pleasant agreeable house.

28(2)r 219

Since the first to the last work I have published, I have
overlooked Charles H. W. Wharton, Esq. a worthy, and the only
worthy magistrate in Washington City. This amiable man
has remained my friend and patron since I first visited Washington,
through good and evil report. He is of middle age and
manly appearance, and the best of his species.

I am in arrears with Messrs. Neale and Hewitt, at the
City Hall, my oldest acquaintances in Washington, and both
worthy and respectable men.

Mr. William Benning and lady, whom I have often mentioned,
clung to me in the hour of trial. May they find their
reward. Mr. Benning is a man of wealth and enterprize, and
has aided much in improving the City. He is now engaged
in building a bridge over the Eastern Branch, which will,
doubtless, perpetuate his name.

Nor must I forget Mr. Duncanson, who it is said was robbed
by that old swindler, G――. He now pursues the calling
of an humble printer.

Amongst the respectable strangers who honored me the
last year with calls, I am proud to mention two gentlemen, E.
and Robert Reynolds, Esqs. from Kent, England: likewise Count
, of Montpelier, France.

But I have been no less pleased with Colonel Jose Tuly, of
Frederick City, Virginia, the noblest of Nature’s works. The
Colonel is a tall gigantic man, of perfect symmetry. His face
is round and ruddy, with a bright black eye. He is manly
and dignified in every moment.

Captain Weed, of Philadelphia, and General McNeale, the
latter six feet seven inches in height, and stout in proportion.
As a gentleman said of my inkstand, “he is almighty for size.”
Likewise I. E. Norvall, I had the pleasure of seeing this gentleman since; also, Mr. Fitch. of Lynchburg, Virginia, and C. W.
, of Boston, Messrs. H. Thomson, of South Carolina, and
J. M. Buchanan, of Maryland, I have seen somewhere, as I
find respectable notice of them. Also, Mr. Bard, of Buffalo,
New York
, a very clever man.

I was, however, most pleased with the Honorable Judge 28(2)v 220
John Dean
, of Alabama, a most gentlemanly man: but coming
from the same state, perhaps, with myself, might enhance the
Judge in my opinion. About the same time I met with a party
at Williamson’s Tavern, from the South, Captain Carter,
from Charleston, South Carolina, Captain Taylor and Colonel
, the latter Deputies from the Cherokee Nation. They
are noble looking men, of great courtesy. Amongst them, also,
was a gentleman from Kentucky and one from Arkansas,
whose names I lament I have disremembered. They were
pleasant high minded men, and were at Washington on public

I had almost overlooked Mr. Glenn, of the firm of Glenn &
a Druggist and Fancy Store, on Pennsylvania Avenue, an
amiable deserving man. Likewise Mr. Anthony Herman, of
Maryland, a promising young man, the inventor of a new machine
for propelling steam boats. For the rest, I am continually
harrassed with “reform” and “turning out”. “He is a clever
man (a 20 years’ man!) Mrs. Royall, we will keep him in.”

We might as well say, that is a clever man, we will keep him

Missionaries and Schools.

These are one and the same thing in Washington. The
Orphan Asylum, once the pride of the place, has been seized
upon by those ravenous wolves. So goes on the people of America.
When the fine building was finished, I stopped over to
see it, and imagine my surprize, to find a haggard, vengeance-
looking missionary old maid, at the head of those little innocents;
and by her stood a poor little girl, with her hair standing
an end, and pale pinched cheek. Both were down stairs,
and after scowling at me like Richard the Third, in the play, 28(3)r 221
she passed through another room, and up stairs she went, without
answering a single inquiry, or asking me to sit down.—
This monster was standing over this poor little creature, ordering
her how to cook; and it is said the poor things are pinched
for food, unknown to the Directresses, and dare not complain.
Whether this be true or not, I cannot say, though I saw cold
victuals carrying to the Asylum. It is said the old maid gave
50 dollars to help to build Danforth’s church, though her own
relations were then suffering of want. The dear creature!—
She missed the figure sadly: for Danforth married another and
younger missionary. It is said the old maid took to her bed
upon hearing the news. Danforth has been a faithful missionary,
and continues to draw the women from Post’s church,
though not so many since he has been married. He has established
an Infant School, too, in Washington—another presbyterian
school. It may be called the golden age with them,
truly. No one opposes them. They carry every thing before
them. The Register is dead, but they have appeared under
another Godly leader, the Chronicle. The citizens of Washington,
and Congress, no doubt will become hopeful converts
under the influence of such an enlightened paper: and if we
never were before, we are in a fair way now, to become the
most enlightened nation on earth.

Upon looking over the signers of the petitions for stopping
the Sunday mails, I find the name of S. Hickok, of Burlington,
the ruffian who attempted my life, and left me for
dead. Now, one would suppose that we were the most enlightened
nation on earth, after this. His name is in a printed
pamphlet, dated New York, 18291829. The drift of the pamphlet
is to impress the belief that the people, that is, any portion of
them, have the right, at any time, to petition Congress to pass
a law to place the power of the United States in the hands of
the presbyterians for safe keeping. A modest request indeed!
It would be exercised with great mercy and lenity in the
hands of such men as Hickok, who broke my ancle; and old
Coyle who took the pious oath! I suppose they would be
hangmen general; and Dewitt of the Hartford Convention,
would pray for the souls of the condemned.

28(3)v 222

Whilst speaking of schools in Washington, one of the
most heavenly sights on earth, is the school of the Sisters of
, under the direction of the Reverend Priest Matthews.
Here are about 200 little girls, many of them orphans,
educated gratis, by these angelic looking women, whose elegance
of manners would grace a levee. These Sisters of
, are a class of females, of the Roman Catholic religion,
who devote their lives to acts of charity. Like the
Nuns they are unmarried, but do not, like them, seclude themselves
from the world; and are free to quit the society when
they please. These females are the most interesting human
beings on earth, and have a sweetness of conversation, and
affability of manners, unlike any of the human race. When
they join the society they adopt a new name.

Navy Yard.

Commodore Hull is commandant at the Navy Yard , the
Henglishman being deceased. The Commodore is a jolly,
well fed, looking man, and quite the gentleman. He has the
handsomest wife in Washington. She would make no inconsiderable
commander herself, being a lady of talents. Her
sister is the pride of the whole. But Shoebrick has no business
in the Navy Yard, or in any office under the government.
He is unworthy of trust, and an indignity to the nation.

George Town.

George Town begins to loook up since the commencement
of the Canal, and presents a lively appearance, though I have
my doubts as to the ability and skill of the people of the District 28(4)r 223
to carry the design into full effect, particularly on the part
of the District. There is old Frederick May, as he is called,
famous for pulling teeth, and the two-penny barber, Ingle, at
the head of the Canal on the part of Washington!!! So much
for the honor of the nation. Good men, it will be seen are
scarce in the City of Washington. I wonder they did not appoint
Pishey Thompson.

Amongst the contractors on the part of George Town, Captain
W. W. Fenlon
, deserves to be mentioned with respect; also,
my friend, of Pennsylvania canal, Dr. Beaumont. I found
Captain Fenlon by accident, at the house of Mrs. Hilton, in
Water Street, George Town, a very affable lady, who richly deserves
a place in the history of her country.

Doctor Litle, mentioned in my Sketches, was truly
amusing. He bought a book very good humoredly, and said
“I must not call him a hog, next time.”

Mr. Kurtz, once so polite to me, a German, and misnamed
in the Black Book, proves, as I said, to be one of the
finest men in George Town. He certainly has the finest eye,
and most manly face of any man in the District.

Messrs. Hayman, Boon, Shoemaker and Adams, are still my
kind friends, and are happy and prosperous. I saw the runaways!
they seemed rather genteel, and kept their places.—
There used to be a few Yankees along Water Street, but, excepting
Crittenden and E. E. Mix, not one worth naming is to
be found—having supplied George Town with horn flints, &c.
they have taken to flight. A.C. Hicky, a very decent man, I
believe is a native of the place.

Up Town, (as the Yankees say) there is little Thomas,
rather missionary touched; Cruikshank, the Book-binder, a
good fellow, a good binder, and a good man, though the presbyterians
have actually taken his wife from him! Infamous!

Messrs. Mackall, I. S. Nicholls, and D. English, are also,
worthy men. But one Osborn, a great quack, mixed with the
negro, stood in the door, and gaped at me with his mouth

28(4)v 224


Alexandria is gone to the dogs. Missionaries, and old
Lee, commands the pack. Messrs. Bryant and Claggett, are all
that deserve the name of men. While speaking of the Navy
of Washington, I overlooked Doctor Mc Williams, a most
amiable man. The Doctor has the greatest collection of
plants and flowers I have met with in the United States. His
green house is a complete museum. Here, for the first time,
I saw the Night-blooming Ceres. This rare plant blooms in
the night, and by morning not a vestige of it is to be seen!!!
The Doctor’s green house contains every rare plant and flower
on the globe, and yet it is almost unknown in Washington!!!

Twenty-First Congress.


Many of these are mentioned in the first of this Appendix.

Senator Grundy, of Tennessee. With Mr. Grundy’s
fame I was long acquainted, and sought him out with great
pleasure, upon his arrival in Washington. He is a stout middle
aged man, with a fair expressive face, pale gray eye, and
auburn hair, but eloquence, greatness and goodness is marked
in every line of his countenance.

Senator John McLean, from Illinois, is a majestic figure,
and of most engaging manners. He is said to be a man of
much worth and talents.

Senator Clayton, of Delaware is certainly one of the most
striking exteriors in the Senate. He is a man of towering
height, and very handsomely featured. His face is very fair,
rather oval, and uncommonly beautiful, with a full lively eye.
His address is lofty and genteel.

29(1)r 225

Senator Brown, of North Carolina, is a tall neat figure,
rather slender, and quite a young looking man. His face is
thin, oval, and intelligent, with handsome black eye and dark
visage. His manners are easy, gay, and familiar.

Senator Charles E. Dudley, of New York, is a stout noble
figure, about middle age, round full face, large dark eye, and
arched brow. He is gray for his years, and has a countenance
of much sweetness and expression. His manners are
mild, modest, and unaffected.

Senator Iredell, of North Carolina, succeeded the Honorable
John Branch, Secretary of the Navy. Mr. Iredell is a
heavy made athletic man, of middle age. His face is as round
as a trencher; very fair, full, and smoothe. His eye is light
blue, and his countenance (mild and humane) is neither sensible,
nor the contrary. He is uniformly steady in all respects—
easy and genteel in his manners. He, as well as Mr. Branch,
has been governor of North Carolina.

Senator Bibb is a low blue skin, not worth naming.

House of Representatives.

I ought to remember these!!! But I will have patience.
They know my allusions, and know they have grieved my
very soul out; and if they ――. You understand me gentlemen:
To be plain, if you do not turn out St. Clair Clarke,
and all his den, I hope not one of you will be elected again.

The first, south, (I go contrary to Seth Elliot,) is the
Honorable Henry G. Lamar, of Georgia. I am too partial to
Georgia, perhaps, and still more to the Members from that
state, to give a fair delineation of them. Mr. Lamar, I should
say, in personal appearance is the flower. I was so unfortunate as not to see the Senators of this state, and but two of the
He is a tall elegant29 29(1)v 226
figure, with handsome features and a countenance unrivalled
for modesty and benevolence. Every virtue is blended
in his manners, and every grace shines in his countenance.

Honorable James M. Wayne, I have mentioned in Second
Volume of the Black Book, under the head of Northampton,
Massachusetts. He is no way behind his colleague for
elegance of person or manners. These are both young men. I hope Judge W. may never again board at old Coyle’s.

Honorable Charles E. Haynes. I never was near enough
to this gentleman to have an accurate view of him. He seems
to be a man of genteel appearance, with a thin fair face, and
steady countenance.

Honorable W. Thompson. I was too far from him to risk
a description. I hope he will pay his respects a little nearer
next time.

Honorable Dixon H. Lewis, of Alabama, is the largest
man in Congress, and as good as he is great. He weighs upwards
of 300. It is said Mr. Lewis is a young man, and has
one of the finest faces in the world. His countenance is intelligent
and gay, and his manners dignified and manly. He is a
handsome, bold, energetic speaker.

Honorable C. C. Clay, I have mentioned in my Letters
from Alabama.
He is a man of talents and learning, and of
very imposing appearance. His features are handsome and
striking, and his manners alluring. He is tall and slender,
and his hair black, profuse, and glossy. His election to Congress
reflects much honor upon those who selected him. No
state in the Union is more ably represented than Alabama.

Honorable Robert Emmet B. Baylor, likewise from Alabama,
is also a man of respectable and dignified appearance,
and commanding appearance. He is a fine spare figure.

Honorable Thomas Hinds, of Mississippi, is about middle
age, and stout make. His face is round, full, and rather dark,
with a lively keen black eye. His countenance is mild, steady,
and winning, and his manners very engaging.

We will now step over to South Carolina. Honorable
General James Blair
, a new Member, is certainly one of the
best men in the House. General Blair is a wealthy planter 29(2)r 227
from Camden District, and though not so heavy is still taller
than Mr. Lewis. He is about six feet four inches. He is a
young active man, with much ease and elegance of manners.
His face is fair; his eyes a mild gray; and his countenance
noble and manly. He is, also, a bold speaker, and has a soul
as large as his body.

I had an introduction at last to Mr. McDuffie, mentioned
before. I said he had a clownish look; nor was I mistaken.
He is, with all, proud and haughty, and said to be of the lower
order of the people.

Honorable Jesse Speight, of North Carolina, is a young
man, of towering height, six feet four inches, at least. His
features are fine, and visage dark, and countenance noble and
commanding. I was too far from him to notice him particularly.

Honorable E. B. Dudley, is a prince in whatever light he
may be taken. Whether as to manners, fortune, virtue, or
enterprize, he stands unrivalled. It would be criminal to add
more, though if any man deserves more, it is General Dudley.
He and General Van Ransselear resemble in character, though
General Dudley is much the youngest man. He succeeded my
lamented friend Holmes.

Virginia is blank. I saw not one of the new Members;
and the old ones ran from me, except the Speaker, Honorable
Mr. Stevenson. And a few others.
He certainly is the most finished gentleman,
the best figure, and the best orator I ever saw or heard. His
voice, his features, and his fine manly face, is one of the greatest
treats. And more astonishing than all, Mr. Mercer, and I
have made up!!! Major Noah will like to hear this.

My own state, Maryland, begins to be ashamed of her conduct
towards me; and I am much gratified to find a redeeming
quality in her. As for the broken fife, Dorsey, he is still the
same; and Howard is no better. I was, however, honorably
recognized by the Honorable Messrs. Spencer, Mithcchell, and

Honorable Richard Spencer is a young man, of very handsome
appearance, of good size, and elevated manners. His 29(2)v 228
face is fair and handsome, and all the kindred virtues float in
his fine blue eye. He is an honor to his state.

Honorable Silas Brown, is a tall majestic figure; also
young, with a dark round face and black eye. His countenance
is rather cold and distant, but his manners are dignified
and manly.

Honorable George Mitchell, is a very stout man, of middle
age, fine person, and very accomplished manners. Excepting
the Honorable Mr. Barney, Maryland has gained by the new

From Tennessee we have two Members. Honorable
Cave Johnson
, is a tall noble figure, quite young, with handsome
dark features, and lofty manners. He possesses all the
high minded independence of his state. He did not vote for

Honorable James Standifer, is certainly one of the best
men in the Union: liberal, humane and good natured, with a
highly improved mind and polished manners. He is a true
specimen of the Tennesseeans. He is about middle age, dark
features, and soft blue eye.

Honorable Judge Isaacs picked a crow with me, doubtless
in jest. He said, “Mrs. Isaacs would pull my hair, for the
liberty I took with his person.”
I see little to alter in Judge
. He is certainly a handsome speaker. Steady, mild,
and elevated. His action, when in debate, has a peculiar grace,
and his pauses are eloquence itself.

Pennsylvania. Her delegation has forever disgraced
itself, for being cajoled by St. Clair Clarke; and that proves
the danger of the man. And that smoothe tongued Mr. Everett,
too. “You are too late with the hand-bill, Clarke is elected.”
But I will be revenged on that traitor, Ramsey, the
first rainy day. He, I understood, headed the conspiracy.

Honorable John Gilmore, is a stout, fine farmer-like appearance;
of middle age, and engaging countenance. His eye
is black and piercing; his complexion dark, and manners

Honorable John Scott, is also a plain farmer looking man,
which he is. He is a middle aged, tall, slender man, with black 29(3)r229
hair and eyes; round dark thin face, and mild gay countenance.

Honorable Peter Ihre, who comes in place of Governor
, is a young man of common height, with handsome features
and a very keen black eye. He is also a gentleman of
plain German manners.

Honorable Thomas H. Crawford, I have noted in the
Pennsylvania. He is the most amiable of his species, and
much beloved.

Honorable Mr. Hemphill is said to be a man of talents;
but is a clown, compared with Mr. Seargeant, and one of those
who have no soul.

Honorable Adam King, from the same state, is of young
appearance, a stout figure, fair round face, blue eyes, and of
plain unaffected manners.

Honorable William McCreery is a middle aged man; very
stout and heavily made. I Ssee my gentleman has come out in favor of Church and State. Oh, fie. His countenance is open and
manly, and his manners are sprightly, generous, and sincere.
His face is round and handsome, with a soft blue eye. It is a
shame this man was forced to vote against his conscience.

Honorable General Smith, of Pennsylvania, is a young
man of good height, and slender make. His face is oval, fair,
and thin, with a mild, intelligent blue eye, and great sweetness
of manners.

Honorable George C. Leiper, is quite a little Chesterfield.

Honorable Mr. Muhtenburg. I have mentioned him in another
place. “I did not vote for Clarke, Mrs. Royall.” But
you took tea with him afterwards!!! But I ought not to blame
him, when my own people, the Tennesseeans, did the same
thing. I hope the people will turn out the whole of them, thus
to countenance a man who is true to no party.

Honorable Mr. Sill, a new Member from Pennsylvania, is
a very plain man, but I have lost the note I took of him.

New Jersey. From this state I find two new Members,
Messrs. Cooper and Hughes. I saw but one. Honorable T. H.
, elected by the Sunday-stop-the-mail-men. They could 29(3)v 230
not have done a better thing to expose their designs: he being
one of the most ignorant men in Congress. I inquired of him
“whom did it hurt for the mail to run on Sundays?” “Why
every one—you might as well work on Sunday!”
Now, had
the dolt-head said it hurt, every one to kill, steal, or bear false
witness, as Holy Willy did; or violate any other of the commandments,
he would have showed some sense; and Mr. Swann
goes with him. So much for Doctor Miller, and the Theological
School of New Jersey
. But they are doing their own

From New York we have several fine men. Honorable
A. Spencer
is a first rate man. I have mentioned him in my
Sketches. He has filled almost every office of honor or
trust in his state. He is a stout middle aged man, rather stern,
but a man of learning and talents.

Honorable Robert Monell, is not so old, so stout, or, perhaps,
so learned; but he makes it up in affability and firmness.
He is a stout, middle aged man, of pleasant, gay manners,
with handsome intelligent features, and a quick discerning
black eye. His election does much honor to those who placed
him in Congress.

Honorable P. L. Borst, of New York, is a young man, and
a neat light figure; common height, handsome oval face, and
lively black eye. His countenance is steady and severe, indicative
of great good nature and benevolence, with the ease and
grace of a gentleman. This choice, also, reflects much credit
on New York.

Honorable J. H. Halsey, of New York, is a good figure,
rather thin visaged, fair complexion, with a mild gray eye,
and bright countenance. His manners are peculiarly engaging.

Honorable Colonel Isaac Finch, of the same state, served
under my friend General Macomb, the last war. He is quite
the Chesterfield of the House. I hope he did not vote for
Clarke. He is hardly middle aged; tall and spare, with a thin
fair face, of great expression; with a penetrating blue eye; to
which he joins the easy grace of a gentleman.

Honorable Messrs. Powers and Rose. The first is anti- 29(4)r 231
Sunday mail, and the other anti-masonic. Powers is a
long, showey looking man, with a blood-spilling countenance,
from Auburn, the blue skin den, and would terrify Satan himself.
It is said he is to have the hanging of all the heretics.
He certainly has the most detestable look in the world, whilst,
on the other hand, Mr. Rose, is one of the best looking, and one
of the best men in Congress. As for Messrs. Martindale, Tracy,
and Norton, the people of New York need not send them to
Washington to expose their ignorance. We are perfectly
aware of it without this sample. If they wish to put down masonry,
they must send wiser men. The whole of these antimasonic
men, are a laughing stock for Congress. The fools
are not aware, that it is to masonry they owe the blessings of
civil and religious liberty.

The Connecticut Members, cap the climax, and are still
more ridiculous, with the exception of Mr. Ingersall, whom
it is said will not serve any longer with such ignoramuses.—
All for stopping the Sunday mail. May their breaths be stopped

Massachusetts holds her own.

Vermont is like Connecticut, gone to the dogs, excepting
Honorable Jonathan Hunt. Mr. H. is a keen sensible man, of
high attainments, and a perfect gentleman in his manners.—
But the good, the gentle, and once polite E. H. has been bribed
either by the Sunday mail or the anti-masonic men. It apappears
they knew their man, for no gallows criminal looked
more guilty.

New Hampshire and Maine are well represented. They
swept the whole in New Hampshire, except Mr. Harvey. I
saw, however, none but the Honorable John W. Weeks, one of
the finest men in the House. He is a stout, lofty figure, middle
age, and round full face; rather dark, with a noble black
eye, and most engaging countenance and manners.

From Ohio, we have the honorable William Kennon with
a blushing face, and intelligent countenance.

Honorable William Creighton, from same state, is likewise
a high minded man.

Honorable William Armstrong, of Virginia, overlooked before, 29(4)v 232
is an amiable man. This gentleman is enough to redeem
the character and conduct of the Virginia delegation. And
the Honorable J. S. Barbour, too,—I met with him at the President’s,
and was struck with the elegance of his person, and his
fascinating manners. We parted with the most cordial friendship.

From Kentucky there are three new Members. I only saw
the Honorable Dr. N. Gaither. He is a tall, majestic figure,
quite young; with an intelligent oval face, fine blue eye, and
dignified manners. He is said to be a man of general information
and amiable character.

Honorable General John Thomson, of Ohio, overlooked
in his place, is now a Major General. He is a fine, tall, manly
figure, rather young looking, with an oval thin face, and keen
blue eye. His countenance is firm, cool, and dignified; and
displays a highly cultivated mind. His manners are stately,
and rather distant.

Honorable John Test, of Indiana, in place of my friend
Smith, is a middle aged sallow looking man, with a keen sensible
look, and reflects much honor on this young and rising

Honorable Edward D. White, of Louisiana, like his namesakes
from Tennessee and Florida, is a respectable Member,
of plain, but dignified manners; and his countenance is intelligent
and pleasing.

Honorable John Biddle, of Michigan Territory, completes
all I was able to see of the new Members. Mr. Biddle is a
young, sensible man, rather distant. His person is very engaging,
and his manners gentlemanly and polite.

Many important matters are postponed, for no other cause
than want of room. It is impossible to put the whole world in
one book. I am confidant my friends will rely upon me for the
faithfulness of my engagements—nor shall my friends of the
Bulletin, of Boston, Colonel Watson , of Washington City, the
Postmaster, of Bladensburg, &c. &c. &c. be forgotten.

30(1)r 30(3)v 6