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“Ye see him false whom once ye thought
The mirror of a holy state,
His teachings as himself to hate.
“Behold this lute which in my hand
I hold, and strike its tuneful strings, The music rises sweet and grand,
And soaring as if on wings
“Of some melodious spirit borne,
Who seeks his home in Paradise, Leaving behind the lands that mourn
For those whose sunshine never dies.
“But whence this spirit-moving power ?
In what divine home does it rest? Deep in the heart of some bright flower
Grown by the rivers of the blest?
“ Nay! from this piece of man's own skill,
This mass of twisted cord and bone, Of wood and metal, comes the thrill
And echo of its glorious tone.
“Nay! if I dash it to the ground,
And shattered at your feet it lie, The memory of its vanished sound
And former sweetness does not die.
“ The music issues from its strings,
But not untouched --'tis not its own. What then inspires the song it sings ?
It is the Master's hand alone!
“Read ye this lesson and be wise
This warning was not vainly sentThe man whom now ye so despise
Was but God's tool, his instrument;
“The wisdom was not of his own
With which he taught you pure desires : Let this be also to you known,
"Truth is not overcome of liars.'"
COLONEL BYRD'S JOURNAL.
N Appletons' for November 4, 1871, Mr. John Esten Cooke devoted
the greater part of an article on “Some Old Virginia Houses, ” to the mansion and estate of Westover, and specially to their owner, Colonel William Byrd. Laying the Fournal aside after perusal, i turned to my copy of the “ History of the Line," and re enjoyed the Colonel's racy recount of the haps and mishaps consequent on the running of the dividing line between Virginia and North Carolina. Part of the work under notice was printed at Petersburg, Va., in the year 1841, under the title of the “Westover MSS.,” but in 1866 the entire manuscript was printed at the instance of Hon. Thos. H. Wynne, of Richmond ; it being found that besides the non-publication of articles contained in the volume with the History of the Line, the text of that history had been altered either by accident or design in the reprint of 1841. The present edition, of which only two hundred copies were printed, is a beautiful quarto, printed on toned waterlined paper; was issued from the press of Joel Munsell, “ Aldi discipulus Albaniensis,” and contaivs, besides the “ History of the Line,'' and its appendices, " A Journey to the Land of Eden," "A Progress to the Mines," " The Proceedings of the Commissioners appointed to Lay out the Bounds of the Northern Neck,” etc., “An Essay on Bulk Tobacco,” and “Miscellaneous Papers.”
The History of the Line opens with a sketch of the settlement of the country, "shewing how the other British Colonies have, one after another, been carved out of Virginia ;” and in relation to the difficulties which led to the organisation of a Royal Commission to survey the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina, says: “Both the French and Spaniards had, in the Name of their Respective Monarchs, long ago taken Possession of that Part of the Northern Continent that now goes by the Name of North Carolina ; but finding it Produced neither Gold nor Silver, as they greedily expected, and meeting such returns from the Indians as their own Cruelıy and Treachery deserved, they totally abandoned it. In this deserted Condition that country lay for the Space of 90 Years, till King Charles the 2ů, finding it a DERELICT, granted it a way to the Earl of Clarendon and others, by His Royal Charter, dated March the 24th, 1663. The Boundary of that Grant towards Virginia was a due West Line from Luck-Island, (the same as Colleton Island,) lying in 36 degrees N. Latitude, quite to the South Sea.”
This, however, lest a strip of land about thirty miles wide between the inhabited parts of Virginia and Carolina, for which Lord Clarendon obtained a patent, dated June 30, 1665, wherein the boundary was said "To run from the North End of Corotuck-Inlet, due West to Weyanoke Creek, lying within or about the Degree of Thirty Six and Thirty Minutes of Northern Latitude, and from thence West, in a direct Line, as far as the South-Sea.”
After the lapse of a half a century the situation of the line again became a matter of dispute. Weyanoke Creek had lost its name, and its position was not known. “Some Ancient Persons in Virginia affirm'd it was the same with Wicocon, and others again in Carolina were as Positive it was Nottoway River.” But as there was a difference of fifteen miles between these streams, it was agreed between the governments of the two colonies, that until the matter was settled no lands should be granted in the territory in controversy. The Colonel claims that “ Virginia observed this Agreement punctually, but I am sorry I cant say the Same of North-Carolina. The great Officers of that Province were loath to lose the Fees accrueing from the Grants of Land, and so private Interest got the better of Public Spirit; and I wish that were the only Place in the World where such politicks are fashionable.”
Commissioners were appointed to determine the dividing line, but no settlement was accomplished. According to the report of the Virginia Commissioners, their Carolina colleagues raised objections to every movement, and found fault with everything, from the date on which the survey was to commence to the quadrant to be used in the work. The Virginia side of the matter is stated in a report submitted to Her Majesty Queen Anne on the ist of March, 1710. For sixteen years thereafter no action seems to have been taken ; but in 1726 a proposition for the settlement of the dispute, signed by Governor Eden, of Carolina, and Colonel Spotswood, Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia, was laid before King George I. It provided " That from the mouth of Corotuck River or Inlet, & setting the Compass on the North Shoar, thereof a due West Line be run and fairly mark'd, & if it happen to cut Chowan River, between the mouths of Nottoway River and Wicocon Creek, then shall the same direct Course be continued towards the Mountains, and be ever deem'd the Sole divideing line between Virginia & Carolina.
“ That if the said West Line cuts Chowan River to the Southward of Wicocon Creek, then from point of Intersection the Bounds shall be allow'd to continue up the middle of the said Chowan River to the middle of the Enterance into the said Wicocon Creek, and from thence a due West Line shall divide the said two Governments.
“That if a due West Line shall be found to pass through Islands or to cut out small Slips of Land, which might much more conveniently be included in one Province or the other by Natural Water Bounds, In such Cases the Persons appointed for runing the Line shall have power to settle Natural Bounds, provided the Commissioners of both Sides agree thereto, and that all such Variations from the West Line, be particularly Noted in the Maps or Plats, which they shall return, to be put upon the Records of both Governments.”
This proposition was approved by His Majesty on March 28, 1727, and in accordance therewith Lieutenant-Governor Gooch, of Virginia appointed William Byrd, Richard Fitzwilliam, and William Dandridge to represent that colony, whilst the Governor of North CaroJina commissioned Christopher Gate, the Chief Justice, John Lovick, the Secretary, Edward Mosely, Surveyor-General, and William Little, the Attorney-General of the colony, to represent the Lords Proprietors of that province.* With the appointment of these Commissioners the Journal fairly opens. They agreed to meet at Corotuck on the 5th of March, 1728, and after providing the necessary equipments and provisions for the Virginia party, which numbered twenty, on the 27th of February Colonel Byrd and the company started for the rendezvous. The second night they stopped at the house of “Widdow Allen," whom the Colonel compliments with having "copied Solomon's complete housewife exactly." Messrs. Dandridge and Fitzwilliam joined them at Norfolk, and the party was complete. The Journal here notes the situation of the town, its advantages and disadvantages, and its trade, which being chiefly with the West Indies, the Colonel denounces as contributing “much towards debauching the Country by importing abundance of Rum, which, like Ginn in Great Britain, breaks the Constitution, Vitiates the Morals, and ruins the Industry of most of the Poor people of this Country.”
At Norfolk they spent three days endeavoring to get guides, but failed; and provided only with a rough map of the route, drawn by a " borderer," they started on the morning of the 4th of March. At noon they arrived at Prescot Landing, on the Northwest River, where "we hardly allowed ourselves leisure to eat, which in truth we had the less Stomach to, by reason the dinner was served up by the Landlord, whose Nose stood on such Ticklish Terms that it was in Danger of falling into the Dish.” Taking " 2 Periaugas," they proceeded
“ down the river, and the next morning shaped their course for Corotuck Inlet, passing on their way a New England sloop, the sight of which draws forth the remark that “The Trade hither is engrosst by the Saints of New England, who carry off a great deal of Tobacco, without troubling themselves with paying that Impertinent Duty of a Penny a Pound.” At noon they arrived at the rendezvous, and shortly after were joined by two of the Carolina Commissioners, the remainder “paying too much regard to a Proverb — fashionable in ther Country — not to make more hast than good Speed.”
Whilst waiting the arrival of their brother Commissioners they proceeded to take the bearings of the coast, and the Colonel's quick eye notes everything ; shrubs and shells even attract his attention. Nor is he oblivious of the capacity both for business and enjoyment of the Carolinians, for before retiring for the night behind a pile of cedar-brush, he has observed that “The Commissioners of the Neighbouring Colony came better provided for the Belly than the Business. They brought not above to men along with them that would put their Hands to anything but the Kettle and the FryingPan. These spent so much of their Industry that way, that they had as little Spirit as Inclination for Work.”
* Two days after their appointment the Virginia Commissioners despatched a long communication to their Carolina colleagues, informing them ihat they thought it “very proper to acquaint you in what manner we intend to come provided, that so you being appointed in the same station, may if you please, do the same honour to your Country. We shall bring with us about twenty men furnished with provisions for thirty days; we shall have with us a tent and marquees for the convenience of ourselves and our servants. We bring as much wine and rum as will enable us and our men to drink every night to the good success of the following day; and because we understand there are gentiles on the frontiers, who never had an opportunity of being baptized, we shall have a chaplain with us to make them christians. For this purpose we intend to rest in our camp every Sunday that there may be leisure for so good a work. And whoever in that neighborhood is desirous of novelty may come and hear a good sermon. Of this you will please to give notice, that the charitable intentions of this government may meet with the happier success.
But they got a Roland for their Oliver. In their reply the Carolina Commissioners observe, "We are at a loss gentlemen whether to thank you for the particulars you give of your tent stores and the manner you de.ign to meet us. Had you been silent about it we had not wanted an excuse for not meeting you in the same manner; but now you force us to expose the nakedness of our country, and to tell you we cannot possibly meet you in th: manner our great respect to you would make us glad to do, whom we are not emulous of outdoing unless in care and diligence in the affair we come to meet you about. So all we answer to that article is, that we will endeavor to provide as well as the circumstances of things will admit us; and what we may want in necessaries will we hope be made up in the spiritual comfort we expect from your chaplain, of whom we shall give notice as you desire to all lovers of novelty, and doubt not of a great many boundary christians."
The next day the laggards made their appearance. Upon reading the commissions, that of the Virginians was excepted to by the Carolinians. Its language was, they thought, too strong, in commanding the Virginia Commissioners to run the line whether accompanied by the Carolina Commissioners or not. After that squabble was over, they entered into a dispute as to the proper place of commencement. Finally this point was settled, and on the morning of the 7th the surveyors began to run the line, but on taking to the boats found that owing to the difficult navigation of the Sound it was almost as hard to keep the channel as 10 keep their tempers.
By the 12th they arrived at the Noribwest River, on the border of the Dismal Swamp, and the next day a portion of the party which had been left behind came up; preparations were then made for traversing that "terra incognita," of which those living on its borders knew nothing either as regards its size or the route of crossing.
Colonel Byrd and two of the Commissioners accompanied ihe surveying party half-a-mile into the swamp, and then “Recommending Vigor and Constancy to their Fellow-Travellers,” returned to Mr. Wilson's and spent the night, entertained by that worthy man with wondrous stories of the dangers of the Great Disinal, one of which is embalmed in the Journal. A poor fellow wandered into the swamp and was speedily lost. For days he endeavored to extricate himself, but without avail
. At last, when nearly famished, he bethought him of “a Secrett his Countrymen make use of to Pilot themselves in a Dark day.
“He took a fat Louse out of his Collar, and expos’d it to the open day on a Piece of White Paper, which he brought along with him for his Journal. The poor Insect having no Eye-lids turn'd himself about till he found the Darkest Part of the Heavens, and so made the best of his way towards the North. By this Direction he Steer'd himself Safe out, and gave such a frighiful account of the Monsters he saw, and the Distresses he underwent, that no mortall Since has been hardy enough to go upon the like dangerous Discovery."
With much concern for the safety of the surveying party, the Commissioners started to skirt the swamp and meet them when they emerged; passing in their way a Quaker meeting-house which had on it an attempt at a steeple, of which the Journalist remarks: “I must own I expected no such Piece of Foppery from a Sect of so much outside Simplicity.”
On the 22d, after a nine days' sojourn in the swamp, the surveyors and party made their appearance, looking “very thin, and as ragged as the Gibeonite Ambassadors did in the days of Yore.” They had surveyed about ten miles, when their provisions having given out, they made the best of their way toward dry land. On the 25th, having