Imágenes de páginas

parts not accessible to the plough. Buildings are most commonly erected on rising grounds. Such situations are believed to be most salubrious, and abound most in good springs.



Farming establishments are small. Most cultivators do every thing for themselves, even to the fabrication of their agricultural implements. Few hire others permanently, it being difficult and expensive to keep labourers for any great length of time. They are not servants, all are hired hands: Females are averse to dairy, or menial employments. The daughters of the most numerous families continue with their parents. There is only one way of removing them. This disposition is said to prevail over almost the whole of the United States. A manufacturer at Philadelphia told me, that he had no difficulty in finding females to be employed in his work-shop; but a girl for housework he could not procure for less than twice the manufacturing wages. Some of the children of the more necessitous families are bound out to labour for other people. The Scotch family, recently mentioned, have a boy and a girl living with them in this way. The indenture of the boy expires when he is twenty-one years of age; that of the girl at eighteen. They are clothed and educated at the expense of the employer. The boy, at the expiry of his contract, is to have a horse and saddle, of value at least 100 dollars; and the girl at the end of her engagement, is to have a bedding of clothes. It is said, that a law of the State of Ohio, forbids females to live in the houses of unmarried men.


The utensils used in agriculture are not numeThe plough is short, clumsy, and not calculated to make either deep or neat furrows. The harrow is triangular; and is yoked with one of its angles forward, that it may be less apt to take hold

of the stumps of trees in the way. Light articles are carried on horseback, heavy ones by a coarse sledge, by a cart, or by a waggon. The smaller implements are the axe, the pick-axe, and the cradle-scythe; by far the most commendable of back wood apparatus.

The figure is descriptive of the cradle scythe. AEGB is the shaft. In working, it is held by the left hand with the thumb upward, near A; while the right hand holds the cross handle at H. BD is a post, making an angle of about 78 degrees with the straight line AB. Into this post the five wooden ribs, or fingers, MN, OP, QR, ST, and UV, are fixed. These are round pieces of tough wood, of a curvature resembling that of the back of the blade, as nearly as possible. They are upwards of half an inch in diameter; and are pointed at the extremities MOQSU. FG is another post, fixed in the shaft, parallel to BD, and about seven inches distant from it. ED is a thin piece of wood, let into the shaft at E, for retaining the posts BD, FG, in their positions. IK is a small round post that passes through the fingers at the distance of ten inches from the post BD. This small post passes through broad parts of the fingers, which are left so for the sake of strength, and its lower end stands on the blade at K. The blade is such as is used in cutting hay; but the point is allowed to stand about nine inches farther out from the handle than the grass scythe. At L is a small iron bolt, rivetted into the blade, near its back; the top of this bolt passes through the lower finger, and is furnished with a hand-screw, which holds the finger down, so that its point shall remain within about half an inch of the blade. The points of the fingers MOQSU are in a straight line, but recline backward, so that the upper finger is about five inches shorter than the under one. Between

the posts IK, and FG, are five small connecting stays of iron. Figure 2. is a separate plan of one of the iron stays, shewing the manner in which it is fixed to the upright bars or posts. AB is a part of the finger; C the hole through which the small post (IK of the former figure) passes; and D is the post FG of the former figure. EF is the iron stay; it is about one-sixth of an inch in diameter; and it is thin and crooked near the end E, where it is fastened to the finger by two small nails. From G to F the stay is a small screw, At K, is a female hand-screw that bears against D. At H, is a nut, also bearing against the post D. By this screw the finger is firmly kept in its proper place. The fingers are five inches apart, measuring from the centre of the one to that of the other. The shaft of the scythe is five feet long, and the whole of the parts are as light as is consistent with strength.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

November 22. About a mile distant from the house where I lodged, the woods were on fire. It was supposed that the conflagration had been begun by some mischievous person, who had kindled the dry leaves, now strewed over the ground. In the evening, the glare of light extending along a ridge for a mile and a half, was astonishingly grand. Large decayed trees were converted into luminous columns of fire; when these fell the crashing noise was heard within doors. Fires in the woods usually excite alarm in their neighbourhood.People watch them by night, their rail fences and wooden habitations being in danger.

Some parts of this neighbourhood were purchased twelve or fourteen years ago. Their proximity to Chillicothe was little regarded. The increased population and trade of the town has now made it the market of almost every disposable product. The lands near that place are consequent. ly much increased in value, and town lots sell at high prices.

November 23. I again resumed my way for Limestone. By the road side are many conical mounds of earth, called Indian graves. About a mile east of Bainbridge is a large camp. The ditch is in every part visible. One side is inclosed by a bend of Paint Creek, where the opposite bank forms high and strong ground. I conjectured that the fort contained nearly one hundred acres. It is not understood that the aborigines have constructed any such works since Europeans became acquainted with them. It is therefore a natural inference, that the country must have been antecedently inhabited by a more civilized and more powerful people.

From Bainbridge to Middletown the land is hilly; a small portion of it is cleared, and it is much less

fertile than the grounds by the river Sciota, and Paint Creek.

November 24. The ground west of Middletown is of clay, with a mixture of siliceous particles, and the oxide of iron. Wheat is the most prevalent crop. The health enjoyed on these high lands, is an ample compensation for the lack of a few bushels. Wheat sells at a dollar per bushel; Indian corn at thirty-three one-third cents; beef and pork at four cents a-pound; labourer's wages, fifty cents; joiners, a dollar, with provisions.

25th. At ten miles from Limestone, the soil is good, but broken with irregularities of surface. There was a little frost in the morning, but the forenoon was warm. I observed several insects of the genus Vanessa, (painted butterflies,) flying about in full vigour. The autumn is said to be fine, almost beyond former example.

Near the river Ohio the soil is light, but much broken on the surface by funnel-shaped hollows, not unlike those where the sides of coal-pits have fallen in. These inverted cones are evidently excavated by the infiltration of water, and indicate that the strata abounds with large fissures or ca


In travelling over the last forty miles, limestone is the only stratified mineral that I have seen. It lies in a position nearly horizontal, and is literally conglomerated with organic remains. Amongst these, the most remarkable is a species of terebratula, which is very abundant, and varies from the size of a walnut to that of a pin's head. In addition to the concentric striated character, so frequent amongst bivalve shells, it has large radiated grooves; the grooves on one valve opposite to ridges on the other. The superior margin is, of course, a zig-zag line, resembling the base of po

« AnteriorContinuar »