Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

iostead of finding him an old bache- demy to which her daughter went lor, I should see bim with a merry when cotton was thirty cents per family of twelve or fifteen young pound; that she paid three hunpeople about him.

Scenes like dred dollars per annum simply for ihese have greatly impressed my board, and fifty more for learning mind with the equitable character the pi-ā.no! but that, as cotton of the arraugements of Divine Pro- had fallen to fifteen cents she could vidence as respects soil, climate, not afford to buy an instrument, and similar allotments, in which and supposed her daugbter must good and bad, convenience and in- forget her music. I could not convenience, are usually blended; help thinking of the farmer Mrs. and also to reconcile me to the at- Hanuah More mentions in her last mosperical vicissitudes of Old Eng- work, who said he had “Frenched land, where, if we have not the his daughter, and musicked her, bright sky and luscious fruits of and was now sending ber to Paris.” some of the south-western parts of We set off at six o'clock the the United States, neither bave we next morning, and went twelve pine barreas and jungle exhalations miles to breakfast. Here, as usual, winged with fever, and putrescency, I found several books on ihe chima and death.

ney-piece ; among which were a After purchasing a couple of Bible, a Testament, a Hymn-book, horses for myself and my servant, a book of Geography, Kett's Ele, I left Augusta on the 17th, with ments, Lord Byron's Poems, and the intention of proceeding over- the Life of Harriet Newell,—the last land to, Mobile or New Orleans. of which I found, from a note in a We were a little disconcerled, on blank page, was a gift from the rising early that morning, to find minister of the neighbourhood to the rain falling in torrents. As it the landlord's wife. I mention cleared up, however, about twelve these books, as they form a sort of o'clock, we delermined to set out; average of those which you geneand with our loog-tailed greys, our rally tind lying about in ihe counsaddle-bags, our blankets, and our try inns, and which are frequently pistols, we made, I assure you, no merely stragglers from no despicadespicable appearance. After tra- ble library in the landlord's beda velling about twenty-eight miles, room. A pleasing young woman, we stopped for the night at Mrs. the innkeeper's wife, sate down Harris's tavern, a small country inn to make breakfast for me; and I by the way side. Two female Ne- greatly enjoyed this quiet téte-d-téle groes were hand-picking cotton by in the country, after the promiscuthe kitchep fire, where I took my ous assemblage of sixty or seventy seat, till I was unexpectedly in- persons at the taverns in the towns. vited to another room, where a In stopping to breakfast, however, fire had been nade for me. The in the Southern States, you must first question my landlady asked never calculate on a detention of me was the price of cotton at Au- less than two hours, as your entergusta; a question which was eagerly tainers will prepare dishes of meat repeated wherever I stopped. In- or poultry for you, and both make deed, the Auctuations in this article and bake the bread after your came home to “ the business and arrival. bosoms" of the poorest family, In the evening, about five o'clock, since every one is concerned more after travelling thirty-three miles, or less in its cultivation. While we arrived at Mr. Sbirens's, a neat my hostess poured out my coffee, I quiet house, on the Ogechee river. asked her if there were any schools Mr. Shirens is a cotton planter, a in the neighbourhood. She said, miller, a farmer, and an inukeeper. Qb, yes; That there was an aca- I took a letter of introduction ta

him, which secured me a good vernor --, who has a good house reception. As the following day a few miles distant. We found with was Sunday, I remained with this him two travellers, quite exhausted, good John Anderson and his help- who told us that for many days meet, and their two generations of they had to swim their horses over children, till Monday, but was dis- most of the flooded creeks on the appointed to find there would be road which we were going. The po service at their cburch. The Governor said that the freshes had minister preaches three Saturdays not been so great since the celeand Sundays at three churches a few. brated Yayoo freshet, more than miles distant; but, on the fourth; twenty years ago. From my winwhich was unfortunately the case dow at the inn at Milledgeville I when I was there, he is beyond saw the remains of a bridge which their limits. I found out, however, broke down a fortnight since with a Negro congregation, who were to a waggon and six horses upon it, assemble in the woods, of which I all of wbich were lost. The Ocohave already sent an account. In Dee is here nearly twice as broad as returning from the spot where we the Lune uuder Lancaster Bridge. bad assembled, I passed the church, At Milledgeville there is a very where, as is usual on those Sundays handsome prison or penitentiary, on which there is no service, there which would do credit even to was a meeting of the young persons Gloucester ; but the critical situain the neighbourhood, for the pur- tion of the flooded creeks rendered pose of singing psalms. I did not it imprudent to stay to inspect it. join them, but counted ninety-five Aud here I recollect that I omitted horses under the trees, nearly one- to mention, that in the Charleston half of them with side-saddles; and and Savannah jails, besides numeyet the country, in passing through rous pirates, there were many slaves it, seemed by no means thickly in confinement for not giving their settled, our road being on a pine masters the wages they had earned. ridge ; but the Americans, although In order that you may understand enterprising and migratory, have a this, it is necessary to tell you, that great aversion to walking.

wben a person has more Negroes In the evening three rough back than he can employ, he frequently woodsmen arrived from the Missis- either lets them out on hire, or sends sippi with a wretched account of the them to seek employment, bringing roads; the bridges over the creeks him a proportion of what they earn. having been almost all wasbed Sometimes he will set them to obtain away, and the swamps being nearly for him a certain sum per week, impassable. Their horses were and allow them to keep the requite exhausted; and they strongly mainder. You will be surprised urged me not to attempt the expe- to learn, that children who are thus dition. Had I seen them before I situated, generally prefer chimney set out, I should probably have sweeping, as they can earn more by been discouraged, as they appeared this than by any other employment; to be hardy, resolute, and expe- at least so I was informed at Mr. rienced foresters; but I was now -'s plantation, while reading to determined that, nothing but very the ladies after supper the miseries formidable obstacles should induce of climbing boys in England, in the us to return. Heavy rains pre- last Edinburgh Review,-not invented our proceeding till eigbt deed to reconcile them to the mio'clock the following morning; but series of slavery, but partly to shew we arrived at Milledgeville, the them that we do not expend all our capital of Georgia, at half past five critical castigation on their side of o'clock, thirty-six miles, after the Atlantic. This choice of the spending half an hour will Go- children does not speak much for

som.

slavery, in which chimney-sweep- few acres of peach trees in full blosing is an object of competition, in The cleared land, however, order, perhaps, to avoid the stripes seldom extended into the forest which would ensue if the required above a few hundred yards from the sum was not earned and paid in to road, and occurred but at distant inthe master. Still the system of tervals. Towards evening we passed allowing the Slaves to select their six waggons conveying ninety Slaves own work, and to look out for em- belonging to General -, from bis ployment for themselves, notwith- plantation in Georgia, to his settlestanding the frequent hardship and ment on the Cabawba in Alabama. I injustice attending it, is a great mention these little occurrences to step toward emancipation, and an put you more familiarly in possession admirable preparative for it; and of the habits of the country. may we not regard it as one of the Fort Hawkins is a small quaavenues through which the African drangle of wooden buildings, supwill ultimately emerge from his posed, during the late war, to be of degraded condition, and arrive at some importance in intimidating the full enjoyment of his violated the Lower Creek Indians, some of rights. Surely the warmest and whom took part with the British. most prejudiced advocates of per. The whole tract cleared for the petual slavery will not contend that fort and a house of entertainment a man who is capable of taking care for travellers, is perhaps half a of his family while compelled to pay mile square; aud from the fort the his owner a premium for permission eye looks down on an unbroken to do so, will become less compe- mass of pine woods which lose tent to manage his concerns when themselves on every side in the exonerated from the tax, or that he horizon about twenty miles distant. will relax in his efforts to improve

We left Fort Hawkins at seven his condition, because a stranger no

o'clock on the 22d, having taken longer divides with him the fruit care to secure our breakfast, as we of his toil. Experience will doubt. knew that we should not see a ha. less prove that slavery is a state bitation till we arrived at our evenwhich cannot very long consisting quarters. About a mile from with a general diffusion of that Fort Hawkins we crossed the Oakconsciousness of their own strength mulgee, and entered the Indian with which the habit of self-depen- nation of the Creeks. The Oakdence will inspire the Negroes, and mulgee in conjunction with the which, when combined with a large Oconee, forms the Altamaha, and pumerical superiority, must ensure is the last river we crossed which ultimate success to their struggles empties itself into the Atlantic. In for freedom. Earnestly is it to be the course of the day we passed hoped, that long before the arrival some Indians with their guns and of such a crisis, the humanity and blankets, and several waggons of justice, or, if not, the self-interest, of emigrants from Georgia and Cathe master will spare all parties the rolina to Alabama. We also saw horrors usually attendant on such many gangs of Slaves whom their struggles, by laying the foundation masters were transporting to Alafor a safe and beneficial emanci- bama and Mississippi, and met one pation.

party returning from New Orleans We left Milledgeville at eight to Georgia. We were astonished o'clock on the 2181, and arrived to meet this solitary party going at Fort llawkins, 32 miles dis- against the stream. Their driver tant, at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. told me that their master had reIn the course of the day, we passed moved them to New Orleans, where several settlements, and occasion- they arrived three days before ally our eyes were regaled with a Christmas. lo less than a fortnight he found he did not like the place, exciting the Indian warrior and Neand ordered them back again to gro king to precipitate their nations Georgia. They set out on the 1st into the borrors of war; but I en: January, and on the 22d Marchdeavoured to dispel these melanwere only thus far on their way. choly feelings by the recollection In the course of the day we did not of our Bible and Missionary Sociepass a single house or settlement; ties, and of that faithful band of but our pine avenue was literally veterans who, through evil report without interruption for thirty miles. and good report, amid occasional We stopped at night on the banks success and accumulated disapof the Flint River, which with the pointment, still continue the undiswaters of the Chetahouche, forms mayed, uncompromising advocates the Apalachicola, which falls into of injured Africa. the Gulph of Mexico.-Ofour very We bade adieu to the Indian interesting route from this place nation on the evening of the 28th, through the Indian nation to the crossing Lime Creek, the western white settlements in Alabama, I boundary, in a boat. We had trahave sent you a long account in velled that day about 40 miles, and other letters. I forgot, however, had passed as usual many large to mention, that our host at Fort parties of emigrants, from South Bainbridge told me that he was Carolina and Georgia, and many living with his Indian wife among gangs of slaves. Indeed, at the edges the Indians when the celebrated of the creeks and on the banks of the Indian warrior, Jecumseh, came rivers, we usually found a curious more than 1000 miles, from the collection of sans soucis, sulkies, borders of Canada, to induce the carts, Jersey waggons, heavy wagLower Creeks to promise to take gons, little planters, Indians, Negro up the hatchet, in bebalf of the horses, mules, and oxen; the women British, against the Americans and and little children sitting down frethe Upper Creeks, whenever he quently for one, two, or three, and should require it; that he was sometimes for five or six hours, to present at the midnight convoca- work or play, while the men were ention of the chiefs which was held gaged in the almost hopeless task of on the occasion, and which termi. dragging or swimming their vehicles nated, after a most impressive and baggage to the opposite side. speech from Jecumseh, with an Often a light carriage with a sallow unanimous determination to take planter and his lady would bring up the hatchet whenever he should up the rear of a long cavalcade, and call upon them; that this was at indicate the removal of a family of least a year before the declaration some wealth, who allured by the of the last war: That when war rich lands of Alabama or the sugar was declared, Jecumseh came again plantations on the Mississippi, had in great agitation, and induced them biddeo adieu to the scenes of their to muster their warriors and rush youth, and undertaken a long and upon the American troops. It was painful pilgrimage through the wilto quell these internal and insidious derness. foes, that the campaign was under, We left Lime Creek early on the taken, during which the small stoc- 29th, and, after riding a few miles, kaded mounds wbich I have men- arrived at Point Comfort ; a fine tioned, were thrown up in the In- cotton plantation, whose populous dian country by the Americans. neighbourhood, and highly cultiIt was with mingled sentiments of vated fields, reminded us that we shame and regret that I reflected on were no longer travelling through a the miseries which we have at dif- nation of hunters. Indeed, the apferent periods introduced into the pearance of oaks in the place of our very centre of America and Africa, by pine woods, was indicative of a material change in the soil; and we breakfast for us. She could not soon opened on some of the beau- refrain the expression of her surtiful prairies which you have fre. prize at the sight of a White servant, quently seen described, and which, having never seen one before, and as they were not large reminded me was much more astonished when I of our meadows in the well wooded told her that the White and Black parts of England. As travellers, Servants in my couotry eat at the however, we paid dearly for the same table. advantages offered to the landhold- We arrived in the evening at a ers by the rich soil over which we few palings which bave dignified the were passing. Our road, which

Our road, which place with the appellation of Fort had hitherto been generally ex- Dale, where travellers are accomcellent for travelling on horseback, modated tolerably on a flourishing became as wretchedly bad ; and we plantation. Our landlord was an passed through three swamps, which intelligent man; and among bis I feared would ruin our horses. books I saw the Bible, the koran, a They were about a mile long each; hymn book, Nicholson's Encyclopebut we estimated, the fatigue of dia, Sterne, Burns, Cowper,Celebs, crossing any of them as equivalent Camilla,and the Acts of the Alabama to at least 15 or 20 miles of common Legislature, of which he was a memtravelling. They were overshadow- ber. The next morning we breaked with beautiful but entangling fasted at a retired house 20 miles trees, without any regular tract distant, kept by one of three families through the verdure which covered who came out of Georgia two years the thick clay in which our horses since to settle and to protect each frequently stuck, as much at a loss other. The husband of one of the where to take the next step, as how party bas since been sbot by the Into extricate themselves from the diaos in the woods. He died in three last. Sometimes they had to scram- hours after he was found weltering in ble out of the deep mire upon the his blood, and was attended by the trunk of a fallen tree, from which woman who gave me the account. they could not descend without The wife of another of the party again siuking ou the other side. was murdered by the Indians a few Sometimes we were so completely days afterward when on a visit to entangled in the vines, that we were some friends fifteen miles distant, compelled to dismount to cut our where five women and four children way out of the vegetable mesbes in were butchered and scalped ; and which we seemed to be entrapped. the house of the narrator was soon These swamps are ten times more afterwards burnt to the ground bythe formidable than even the flooded same enemy, provoked probably by creeks, over two of which, in less some injury or insult offered by trathan three miles, we had this day to vellers through their nation, which have our horses swum by Indians, they would retaliate on the Whites whose agility in the water is beau- whenever they had an opportunity. tiful. The traveller himself is either We passed in the afternoon by conveyed over in a boat, or, if the “ Indian Path;" and about twilight creek is very narrow, crosses it on a arrived at Murder Creek, a deep large tree, which has been so dexte. glen, where we took up our abode rously felled as to fall across and for the night. The name sounded form a tolerable bridge. We slept rather terrific, after the dismal that night at a poor cabin just erect stories we had heard in the day; but ed, and setting off early on the 30th, as the man and his wife, my servant, and passing by Pine Barren Spring, two travellers in a bed, and three in and two very bad swamps, stopped their blankets on the floor, all slept to breakfast at a solitary house, where in the same room as myself, a single our host's talkative daughter made glance in any direction was suffi

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »