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ville, took possession of the country under the name of Louisiana, and kept it, though with wretched prospects of success, for eighteen or twenty years, when a charter of exclusive privileges was obtained by the Mississippi Company projected by the celebrated John Law, and numerous recruits were sent out from France, Switzerland and Germany. They first formed a settlement in the island of Orleans, in the district of Biloxi, (so named after an Indian tribe) where they dragged out a comfortless existence. In the year 1731, the company sold their interest in the colony to the King of France. From this period the colony gradually improved, and they found the cultivation of commerce with the Indians profitable, in spite of their numerous and sanguinary contests with them. The population was increased by adventurers from Canada and elsewhere, and settlements were extended up the river. The country was afterwards ceded to Spain, who obtained possession in 1769, and held it till the treaty of St. Ildefonso, in 1800, by which it was again restored to France. Its boundaries extended west of the river Mississippi, to the Sabine or Red River and the Arkansas; and northwardly, to the river Des Moines, including the present states of Louisiana and Missouri, with their territories; to the north-east, its boundary was unsettled, and to the west, it stretched in some places to the Pacific. It was purchased from France by the United States for fifteen millions of dollars in 1803. During its possession by Spain, it gradually increased in population, but it was not till it became incorporated with this free government of the United States, that it became the land of promise to the poor and the discontented, not only of the Union, but in a great measure of Europe. A country like this, containing climates of almost every kind; land of exhaustless fertility, now teeming, though far from being filled with inhabitants of every description and character; abounding, though still in the infancy of its settlement, with a population already outnumbering most of the old States; and destined to rule the Union by the power of a majority, or to form by itself one or more great empires, is not in the history of mankind, a subject of ordinary contemplation. Every day adds to its thousands by births and emigration, and brings into cultivation as many additional acres. The sound of the axe is never still, and new farms are hourly marked out on the praires. In this perpetual change, in which the present is obliterating the past, we are indebted to him who records the fleeting, yet important passing events, which will form a subject of deep curiosity to those who shall come hereafter. This has been, in some measure, underVOL. II. NO. 3.
taken by the work to which our attention is directed. It is from the pen of a Presbyterian Minister of New-England, who was induced about the year 1815, to visit the western country as a missionary, and who resided, during ten years, at various points on the Mississippi and its tributary streams. He is, evidently, a man of sound observation, of liberal principles, of engaging simplicity, pure benevolence, and unaffected piety. A sweet and plaintive strain of melancholy, tempered with resignation to the decrees of Providence, breathes through the volume, exciting our sympathy whilst it commands our respect, and improves our hearts. He gives us no regular journal of his travels, but, as his title page announces, merely recollections of events, written long after they occurred, from a memory upon which they had become indelibly impressed. This unavoidably produces some confusion of dates and place, and although it detracts a little from the clearness of the narrative, it by no means lessens its interest. Though a man of education, he does not appear to be one of science; or if so, he has carefully avoided displaying it. His views were confined to those objects which first open on the eye and impress themselves on the mind of all mankind, namely, the soil and its productions, the facilities of living, the condition of the people as it respects health, manners, literature, religion and society; the peculiarities of western scenery, &c. He is silent on statistics and philosophy; supports no theories in geology, and imparts no discoveries in botany, chemistry or mineralogy. His views of nature, are those of the man of sensibility and taste, and his book, though written "under the pressure of disease with a trembling hand and a sinking heart," is remarkable for the ease of its style; being equally devoid of affectation and guiltless of pretension. His qualifications for the task will be seen in his work.
It may not be unamusing to follow him through part of his route for his personal adventures in a country, which at that period was not to be explored by any one, without great privations, difficulties and perils, will, probably, have the charm of novelty to most of our readers; particularly when it is known that he was unaccustomed to hardships, and was accompanied with a helpless family. With them, and many "campagnons de voyage," he left the sweet fields of Massachusetts about the end of autumn, in the year 1815, and took the road to Philadelphia and thence to Pittsburg. Upon looking back on the level country to the east, from the summit of the Alleghany mountains, and bidding, perhaps, an eternal adieu to the land of their forefathers, they dropped some natural tears, and felt that heaviness of heart which the exiled feel, when they exclaim, "happy are
they who have not seen the smoke of the stranger's fire." Nor were the persons they daily met, at all calculated to remove their apprehensions or conciliate their affections. The drivers of the teams on the road, seemed to them a new and horrible species of men. They were distinguished by rudeness, drunkenness, selfishness and profanity. But they were told there were some exceptions, who had formed associations under oath to assist each other. To our travellers, the very appearance of the cattle and hog-drivers from Mad river, portentous name! in the interior of Ohio, to Philadelphia, had an unnatural shagginess and roughness like wolves; but when, after a toilsome journey, they aproached Pittsburg, they were both astonished and delighted at the size and populousness of the very handsome villages, on the slopes of the hills. At Pittsburg
"The first thing that strikes a stranger from the Atlantic, arrived at the boat-landing, is the singular, whimsical and amusing spectacle, of the varieties of water craft of all shapes and structures. There is the stately barge of the size of a large Atlantic schooner, with its raised and outlandish looking deck. This kind of craft, however, which required twenty-five hands to work it up stream, is almost gone into disuse, and, though so common ten years ago, is now scarcely seen. Next there is the keel boat, of a long, slender and elegant form, and generally carrying from 15 to 30 tons. This boat is formed to be easily propelled over shallow waters in the summer season, and in low stages of the water is still much used, and runs on waters not yet frequented by steam-boats. Next in order are the Kentucky flats, or in the vernacular phrase, "broad-horns," a species of ark, very near resembling a New-England pig-stye. They are fifteen feet wide, and from forty to one hundred feet in length, and carry from twenty to seventy tons. Some of them that are called family boats, and used by families in descending the river, are very large and roomy, and have comfortable and separate apartments, fitted up with chairs, beds, tables and stoves. It is no uncommon spectacle to see a large family, old and young, servants, cattle, hogs, horses, sheep, fowls, and animals of all kinds, bringing to recollection the cargo of the ancient ark, all embarked and floating down on the same bottom. Then there are what the people call "covered slids," or ferry flats and Alleghany skiffs, carrying from eight to twelve tons. In another place, are pirogues of from two to four tons burthen, hellowed sometimes from one prodigious tree, or from the trunks of two trees united, and a plank rim fitted to the upper part. There are common skiffs and other small craft named, from the manner of making them, "dug-outs," and canoes hollowed from smaller trees. These boats are in great numbers, and these names are specific, and clearly define the boats to which they belong. But besides these, in this land of freedom and invention, with a little aid, perhaps, from the influence of the moon, there are monstrous anomalies reducible to no specific class of boats, and only illustrating the whimsical archetypes of things that have
previously existed in the brain of inventive man, who reject the slavery of being obliged to build in any received form."—p. 14.
Many of these boats perform voyages of 3000 miles under difficulties and dangers that would make the stoutest heart quail till habit rendered them familiar. The life of a sailor on the ocean, is comparably easier than that of these boatmen. But the race is now gradually passing away since the introduction of steam-boats-above one hundred of which are daily passing to and fro on these great water-courses, bringing together the ends of the earth. The common boats accomplish with difficulty against the current, ten miles a day, whilst these, laughing to scorn the puny opposition of the adverse current, dash with ease through ten times that distance. Our traveller says
"It imparts a feeling of energy and power to the beholder, to see the large and beautiful steam-boats scudding up the eddies, as though on the wing, and when they have run out the eddy, strike the current. The foam bursts in a sheet quite over the deck. She quivers for a moment with the concussion, and then, as if she had collected her energy, and vanquished her enemy, she resumes her stately march, and mounts against the current."—p. 107.
The introduction of these boats has, with other circumstances, by facilitating the intercourse between the western country and the Atlantic, not only destroyed in a great degree the old boat navigation, but diminished the prosperity of Pittsburg, and transferred its business and wealth to Cincinnati, Louisville, and other places on the Ohio. This, our author remarks, is not much to be regretted, for Pittsburg used "to fatten on the spoils of the poor emigrants that swarmed to that place, and hardened in the pursuits of manufactures, she had been brought to think all men rogues, and every way of getting money fair." If this be the effect of the manufacturing system, which we fear it is, we have an additional reason to deprecate it, and to render thanks to a kind Providence, who has so ordered it, that this system can never permanently strike its baneful roots into our southern soil. We are not intended for it-our climate is adverse to it, and the nature of our labourers can never be so changed, as to be taught to cultivate it successfully. Fortunately for Pittsburg, the decay of her business is said to have improved her morals, and humanized her manners.
At Pittsburg, our travellers with no experience, and full of flattering hopes of a placid voyage down the gentle stream, embarked in a small flat boat laden with factory cottons and cutlery, owned by a Massachusetts trader. They anticipated, like
youth launching on the current of life, not only safety but continual pleasure, and were doomed to meet with similar disappointments. But the inception of the voyage is so well told, that we will give it in the author's words :
"About one o'clock in the afternoon, we began to float down the Alleghany, and in a few moments we were moving on the broad bosom of the Ohio, at the point of junction nearly a mile in width. The autumns of every part of our country are beautiful, but those of the western country are pre-eminently so. Nothing resulting from beauty of sky, temperature of air, and charm of scenery, can surpass what was now above us and around us. The bright sun, the mild blue sky, a bland feeling of the atmosphere, the variegated foliage of the huge sycamores, which line the banks of the Ohio, their leaves turning red and yellow, and, finally contrasting with the brilliant white of their branches, the unruffled stream, which reflected in its bosom the beautiful surrounding nature-all things conspired to give us very high anticipations from being wafted down "la belle riviere." We were congratulating each other, that this was indeed worth all the toils and privations we had endured in arriving at the Ohio. But, alas, for human calculations! While we were noticing every object on the banks with such intense interest, whilst the owner was seated amidst his goods and wares, indulging, probably, in golden dreams of easy, certain and great profits, while one of the company that you know of, was completely given up to reverie, at which you have so often smiled- —on a sudden, the roar of the river admonished us that we were near a ripple. We had with us that famous book, "The Navigator," as it is called. The boat began to change its gentle and imperceptible advance for a furious progress. Soon after it gave a violent bounce against a rock on one side, which threatened to capsize it. On recovering her level, she immediately bounced on the opposite side, and that in its turn was keeled up. Instead of running to the oar, we ran to look in the "Navigator." The owner was pale. The children shrieked. The hardware came tumbling upon us from the shelves, and Mrs. F. was almost literally buried amidst locks, latches, knives, and pieces of domestic cotton. The gentle river had not intended, in this first alarm, to swallow us up, but only to give us timely warning, that too much tranquillity and enjoyment are not to be expected here. We floated off from this ripple, which bore the ominous name of "Dead Man's," into the smooth water, with no other injury than the chaotic state of our lading. But from that moment, adieu to our poetic dreams of floating down the beautiful river in such perfect safety. We were continually running to the "Navigator," astonished to find how full the river was of chutes and ripples."-p. 20.
Thus they proceeded, surrounded by dangers from rocks, chutes, and sand-bars, constantly on the look-out for perils, and enjoying but little repose, and no tranquillity. Sometimes striking on rocks which threatened instant destruction, and sometimes, at night, stuck fast on a sandbank in the midst of the