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country. Her father, Colonel Laurens, was President of the Congress during the revolutionary war; and it is delightful to read the liberal and pacific sentiments which his letters to his daughter breathe at the very moment when his plantations were overrun by the British soldiery, and the lives of himself and his family were in imminent danger. Surely it would tend greatly to increase our detestation of war and all its outrages, if we allowed our imagination to dwell more on the friendly sentiments which the liberal and Christian part of hostile nations often feel towards each other, at the very moment when public animosity and fury rage the loudest. In 1776, Colonel Laurens writes from Charleston, to his daughter, then in England—
"Act your part well, my dear: love God, and all things will work together for your good. It is melancholy to see the abuse of many good houses in this town, which are now made barracks for the country militia, who strip the paper-hangings, chop wood upon parlour floors, and do a thousand improper acts. The men of war at Georgia have swept Mr. Arthur Middleton's plantation, upon Savannah river, of about sixty-five Negroes.Wright's savannah is within three or four miles of it; probably some solitary escaping man may come within two or three days to inform me of like mischiefs done there, and at Altamaha, by those Sabeans and Chaldeans. Be it so, I will say, Blessed be the name of the Lord. We must expect a visit from the British very soon. In these circumstances every man here holds his
life by the most precarious tenure, and our friends abroad should prepare themselves for learning that we are numbered with the dead. You will in silence submit the future progress and final determination of events to the wise order of that superintending Being who holds the scales of justice in his hand. Your part will be to join with the sons and daughters of piety, and pray incessantly for peace: peace to all the world, especially the country in which you reside, (England,) and that to which you more particularly belong; and you will lament that it is your father's unhappy lot to be engaged in war, in civil war, God's severest scourge upon mankind."
These sentiments are worthy a Christian father when addressing his Christian child; and cold and base must be that heart which could feel hostile to an enemy who could breathe them at such a moment of suffering and irritation.
We set out from Charleston on the 28th February, and arrived at Savannah on the afternoon of the 29th, travelling all night, and completing in the mail-stage 110 miles in twenty-seven hours. On mounting our sorry vehicle, we found our equipage reduced to a peace establishment of two horses, and our stages were occasionally thirty miles long. We saw nothing particularly interesting in our route except the cotton plantations, where the Negroes were hard at work under a broiling sun and a driver's lash. Experience had taught us not to trust to this deceitful climate; and we found all our sea coats insufficient to protect us against the excessive cold of the night. In
passing through the swamps, we were enveloped in a thick mist, which, in summer, must be highly dangerous. Indeed our driver told us that on two stages on this road last autumn, they lost five drivers, who fell a sacrifice to fever. In the middle of the night I heard the howling of wolves, and when walking before the stage, as we approached Savannah, I started an alligator about six yards from me, which plunged off the road into some water. It was then as intensely hot as it had been cold a few nights before.
Savannah is situated on a river of the same name, and is laid out in long and very broad streets, which meet at right angles, and are lined with trees called "The Pride of India." These trees are great favourites with the inhabitants; but they are too strongly associated in my mind with yellow fever, to be agreeable. The streets are unpaved and except in the middle path, which is a heavy disagreeable sand, they are covered with grass. The horses, as in most of the towns in the south, are unshod.
The late fire has given the town a most desolate appearance, yet the inhabitants are most unwittingly running up wooden houses again with great rapidity. Fires are continually occurring in this country. A large one happened while I was at Savannah; another at Charleston; and we had a serious alarm at Washington. Brick houses, however, are daily becoming more common. In Charleston a person is stationed every night on the steeple of one of the churches, to watch and give the alarm in case of fire, as the inhabitants
are never free from the apprehension of an insurrection of the Slaves in the confusion of a premeditated or accidental conflagration. The late fire in Savannah produced many instances of individual generosity, as well as proofs of general liberality in the other States. A letter of the Mayor, returning the NewYork contribution, of nearly 3000l. because it was accompanied with a request that it might be impartially distributed among the Black and White sufferers, a request which implied a reflection which the southerners resented, was not generally approved. It shows, however, very strongly the sensitive state of feeling on the subject of slavery between the Northern and Southern States.
Of the society at Savannah I saw little, except of the merchants in their counting-houses; and, after spending a short time at an extensive rice plantation in the neighbourhood, I set off in the stage for Augusta on the 11th. My servant had gone forward the preceding day, when the stage was filled with gamblers returning in ill humour from Savannah, where the inhabitants, in consequence of their recent calamity, had decided that there should be no races.
In proceeding from the coast to Augusta, 200 miles in the interior, we pass for forty or fifty miles along a level plain; the greater part of which is covered with lofty forests of pine, oak, elm, tulip, plane, and walnut. About one third of this plain consists of immense swamps, which, interlocking with each other, form part of a long chain which stretches for several hundred miles along the coast of Georgia and the Carolinas, penetrating
from ten to thirty miles into the interior. In these swamps, in addition to the trees above mentioned, you meet with cypress trees of an enormous growth, beech, maple, the magnolia grandiflora, azaleas, andromedas, stalmins, and a variety of flowering shrubs, whose names I would send you if I were a botanist. Soon after leaving the plain, you reach what are called the Sandhills, 200 to 300 feet above the level of the sea, when extensive forest plains and green savannahs, and occasional ascents of more or less abrupt elevation, succeed each other, until you approach Augusta. There you find yourself surrounded by immense cotton plantations, and all 'the pomp and circumstance" of commerce; carts coming in from the country with cotton, and crowding the streets, or rather avenues, of this rural town; tradesmen and agents bustling about in different directions; wharves loaded with bales; and steam-boats darkening the air with their black exhalations. At the hotel where I lodged, there were seventy persons daily at table; but General who was there with his lady and staff, gave me a polite invitation to join his party, of which I occasionally availed myself. On the 13th, I went to visit a very extensive and opulent cotton planter, a few miles from Augusta. I found him quite alone, having come from Charleston to superintend his plantation for two or three weeks. He was a mile or two from home when I arrived, and a little Slave was sent to help me to find him in the woods. As the little fellow walked by the side of my horse, I asked him if there was any church that the Slaves attended on Sunday. He