« PreviousContinue »
Upper and Lower Canada, and traversed the United States from their northern to their southern extremity, comprehending in my route the States of Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode-Island, Connecticut, New-York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. I have crossed the Alleghany in Tennessee, the Blue Ridge in Virginia, and the Green Mountains in Vermont. I have sailed on those inland seas, and traversed those boundless forests, which are associated with our earliest conceptions of this Western world. I have seen the St. Lawrence precipitate its mighty torrent down the Falls of Niagara, reflect from its calm expanse the frowning battlements of Quebec, and then flow majestically to the wintry shores of Labrador; and the Mississippi, rising in the same table land as the St. Lawrence, rolling its turbid waters for three thousand miles to the orange groves of Louisiana, and, at last, falling into the Gulf of Mexico, under nearly the same latitude as the Nile. I have conversed with the polished circles of the Atlantic cities; the forlorn emigrant in the wilderness; the Negro on the plantation; and the Indian in his native forest. In successive intervals of space I have traced society through those various stages which in most countries are exhibited only in successive periods of time: I have seen the roving hunter acquiring the habit of the herdsman; the pastoral state merging into the agricultural, and the agricultural into the manufacturing and commercial. I am now on the eve of embarking for the old world.
Need I add that I shall return, if I am spared, with undiminished affection for the friends I left behind; with unshaken fidelity and attachment to the land of my nativity; and, if possible, with a deeper sense than ever of the glory and privilege of having been born "a British," as the interpreter of my Indian hunters would say? Indeed, you need never fear that my country will have too few attractions for me, while she produces so many male and female worthies. Who would renounce the honour of being compatriots of her living ornaments, to say nothing of her long line of illustrious dead? But even her woods, her rivers, and her mountains have not lost one charm by comparison. Our woods and rivers will appear more diminutive, perhaps, than before, but not less picturesque; and Ingleborough and Lunesdale, Coniston Fells, and our Lake scenery, are surpassed by nothing which I have seen. You must not be surprised, bowever, if I feel a strong emotion on bidding a last adieu to these western shores; to a country where I have passed many happy hours: where I have found so much to stimulate and gratify curiosity; and where I have experienced a degree of attention which I never can forget. In the interest which I must ever feel in the destinies of this favoured land, in her European, her African, and her Aboriginal population, I seem as if I were endowed with a new sense. I see in the Americans, a nation who are to show to generations yet unborn, what British energy can accomplish when unfettered by the artificial arrangements of less enlightened times, and the clumsy machinery of
the old complicated system of commercial policy; when combining with the elastic vigour of renovated youth the experience of a long and spirited career of prosperity and glory; and when bringing to the boundless regions of a new world, fair and fresh from the hand of its Creator, the intellectual treasures which have been accumulating for centuries in the old.
It is in this light that I wish to regard America; as a scion from the old British oak-not as a rival, whose growing greatness is to excite jealousy and apprehension, but as the vigorous child of an illustrious parent, whose future glory may reflect lustre on the distinguished family from which she sprang, and who should be solicitous to prove herself worthy of her high descent. May her future career evince both her title and her sensibility to her hereditary honours! May the child forget the supposed severity of the parent, and the parent the alleged obstinacy of the child; and while, as two independent nations, they emulate each other in glorious deeds, may they combine their commanding influence to promote the lasting interest of the human race!
Krom the London Missionary Register for Nov. and Dec. 1821.
Journey among the Creeks, Chocktaws, Chickasaws,
In our last survey under the head of North American Indians, we mentioned a journey which had been taken by a friend, among these Indians. This Gentleman (Adam Hodgson, Esq. of Liverpool, Treasurer of the West-Lancashire Association of the Church Missionary Society) favoured us, a considerable time since, with a Narrative of his journey; and we regret that our limits, which we find increasingly inadequate to the important matter that presses on us from all quarters, have obliged us to defer so long an account of his tour. We have taken the liberty of giving that authenticity to his interesting narrative, which will attach to it from the insertion of his name.
Mr. Hodgson set out on this visit to the Indians on the 17th of March, 1820, from Augusta, in the north-east part of Georgia, bordering on South Carolina. He travelled on horseback accompanied only by a servant; and reached Mobile in East Florida, on the 15th day; having crossed the state of Georgia in a south-west direction, a distance of 450 miles. Taking his passage at Mobile on board a schooner for New-Orleans, he arrived at that city on the 7th of April; and proceeded thence up the Mississippi, in a steam-boat to Natchez. On the 10th of May, he left Natchez, on horseback, accompanied by his servant, with the intention of proceeding through the Wilderness, as it is termed that is, the western and northern parts of Georgia
and the state of Tennessee-to Richmond, in Virginia, a distance of about 1240 miles. In this route he passed through the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Cherokee Nations; and visited the Missionary Settlement of Elliot among the Choctaws, and that of Brainerd among the Cherokees. Soon after leaving Brainerd, Mr. Hodgson crossed the Tennessee, which there forms the boundary of the Cherokee Nation: quitting here the Indian Territory, he crossed the Alleghany Mountains, and reached Monticello, the seat of Mr. Jefferson, late President of the United States. On the 20th of June he arrived at Richmond, the horses having accomplished the 1240 miles from Natchez, in six weeks, without difficulty.
We extract Mr. Hodgson's account of his reception at Monticello, and the reflections there made by him on the journey which he had just accomplished :-
Monticello, the well-known seat of Mr. Jefferson, is finely situated on an eminence which commands a magnificent prospect. Here I experienced a very polite and hospitable reception, from this retired and philosophic Statesman; whose urbanity and intelligence can scarcely fail to make a favourable impression on a stranger. While conversing with him in a handsome saloon, surrounded by instruments of science, valuable specimens of the fine arts, and literary treasures of every nation and every age, I could not help contrasting my situation with some of those which I had occupied a few weeks before, when taking my cup of coffee with a Chickasaw or Choctaw host, or dandling on my knee a little Indian Chieftain in his national costume.
In less than five weeks, I had passed from the recesses of thick forests, whose silence had never been broken by the woodman's axe, to a richly cultivated country, where cattle were grazing in extensive meadows, and corn-fields waving in the wind; where Commerce was planting her Towns, Science founding her Universities, and Religion rearing her Heaven-directed Spires. In the same space, I had traced man through every stage of society; from the hunter, whose ideas were bounded by the narrow circle of his daily wants, to the philosophic statesman, who had learned to grasp the complicated interests of society, and penetrate the mysterious system of the universe.