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boat lying ashore to-day, a man was busy in making shingles. He has brought with him pine tim. ber from Allegany river. Shingles give a good price here, where pine trees do not grow, and they furnish him with employment at intervals. This is a good specimen of the provident habits and the industry of New Englanders, a people admirably adapted for taking possession of the woods.
March 1. To-day the people of Jeffersonville elected a Squire, (Justice of the Peace.) Two young men disagreed, and fought a furious battle. In justice to the election, it is admitted that the fight was in consequence of an old quarrel.
I have met with no less than eight Scotsmen to day. We are said to be the most national of all Europeans in America, and the most loyal to old monarchy.
The weather is mild and clear, with the aspect of spring. Birds begin to chirp in the woods; their plumage is fine, but they are not songsters.
Jeffersonville contains about sixty-five houses, thirteen stores (shops,) and two taverns; the land office for a large district of Indiana, and a printing office that publishes a weekly newspaper, and where the American copy of the most celebrated of all reviews is sold. A steam-boat is on the stocks, measuring 180 feet long, and forty broad; estimated to carry 700 tons. There are now thirty-one steam-boats on the Mississippi and Ohio. Twenty-nine more are building, and in a forward state.
At present, a passage from New Orleans to the falls of Ohio costs 100 dollars, including provisions. Goods are carried at 6 cents per pound weight. This high rate, with the danger of passing through a most unhealthy climate, in case of arriving after the beginning of July,
or before the end of October, gives Baltimore, Philadelphia, or New York, a decided preference to Europeans who would settle in the lower parts of the Ohio country, or on the Missouri. It is, indeed, conjectured, that the increase of steamboats will soon occasion a competition, and a great fall in the freight; but, it is only after a great deduction taking place, that New Orleans need be compared with Baltimore, as the port for landing emigrants.
May 19. The steam-boat Western Engineer, and a number of keel boats, descended the falls to-day, with a considerable body of troops, accompanied by a mineralogist, a botanist, a geographer, and a painter. Their object is to explore the Missouri country, and to form a garrison at the mouth of Yellow Stone river, about 1800 miles up the Missouri river. Five other steam-boats, besides other craft, are expected to join the expedition. The Western Engineer has on the bow, a large sculpture of the head of a snake, through which the waste steam escapes; a device, independently of the general aspect of the equipment, that might be enough to strike terror amongst the savage tribes.
I shall conclude this, with mentioning two singular occurrences. The passage of a steam-boat from Pittsburg to Louisville, seven hundred miles in fifty hours; and the marriage of a girl in this place, at the age of eleven years and three months.
Morals and Manners of the People-Defects in Education Generosity-The President of the United States.
My residence at this place for some time past, prevents me from noting down such occurrences as travellers usually meet with. This letter must therefore be composed of other materials. Some remarks therefore on the people will form the subject; premising that it is not the American character in general that I treat of. My opinions and assertions are founded on my own limited observation, and on what I conceive to be authentic facts.
The European, on his first arrival in the United States, may perhaps expect to find sound republican principles, and good morals, pervading nearly the whole population. He has probably heard that capital punishments are rare, and from that circumstance, may have inferred that there are few crimes to punish. For some time this ideal character may be entertained. Newspapers will naturally be looked to, as the current records of delinquency; in these, multitudes of cases regarding the proceedings against criminals are entirely omitted. After some correspondence with the people, and after some observation of incidents, a sojourner from the old world will be apt to modify his original opinion.
Last winter, a committee of inquiry into the state of the prison at Baltimore, stated in strong terms the inadequacy of the present modes of punishment, and the deplorable increase of offenders, who by their numbers threaten to overwhelm every lenient corrective. The confinement not being solitary, and the young being mixed with older and more experienced desperadoes, the institution intended for reformation is literally converted into a school of vice, where plans for future depredations are regularly concerted. The speech of Governor Clinton, at the opening of the last session of the legislature of New York State, is another authority on this subject. That gentleman feelingly deplored the growth of depravity, and affirmed that magistrates are unable to inflict deserved punishments on all, and that, from the numbers committed, there is a necessity for extending pardon to an undue extent, or of granting absolute impunity. He stated farther, that the prisoner released is sometimes recommitted for a new crime on the same day.
The river Ohio is considered the greatest thoroughfare of banditti in the Union. Here the thief, in addition to the cause of his flight, has only to steal a skiff, and sail down the river in the night. Horse stealing is notorious in the western country, as are also escapes from prison. Jails are constructed of thin brick walls or of logs, fit only to detain the prisoner while he is satisfied with the treatment he receives, or while he is not apprehensive of ultimate danger. Runaway apprentices, slaves, and wives, are frequently advertised. I have heard several tavern-keepers complain of young men going off without paying for their board. This is not to be wondered at, where so many are continually moving in this extensive country, without property, without acquaintances,
without introductory letters, and without the necessity of supporting moral character.
Swearing, as I have repeatedly mentioned, is a most lamentable vice. If I am not mistaken, I have already heard more of it in America than twice the aggregate heard during the whole of my former life.
A high degree of nationality is frequently to be observed, and encomiums on American bravery and intelligence poured forth by men who are not remarkable for the latter quality, and who, by their ostentation, raise a doubt as to their possessing the former. Their conduct seems to be more disgusting to cultivated Americans, than to Europeans.
Here are multitudes of persons who have no accurate notions of decorous behaviour. This, no doubt, may arise partly from their ideas of the equality of men, without making due allowances for morals, manners, intellect, and education. Accustomed to mix with a diversity of company at taverns, elections, and other places of public resort, they do not well brook to be excluded from private conversation. On such occasions they exclaim, "This is a free country," or a "land of liberty," adding a profane oath. They do not keep in view that one man has a natural right to hear, only what another is willing to tell him. Of late I have several times found, that when I had business to transact, a third party drew near to overhear it. Hired people, mixing with families and their visitors, have ample means of gaining a knowledge. of other people's affairs. I shall relate a story which I have on good authority. A gentleman, in a State where slaves are kept, engaged some carpenters from a neighbouring free State to erect a barn. On the day of their first arrival they eat