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tavern on the height is good. The top of this range of mountains is a table land, swelled with irregularities, and in some parts strewed with large detached blocks of sandstone; the same kind of mineral of which the horizontal strata of the mountain is composed. Were it not for the recollection of the steep ascended, we should never have surmised that we were here on the " spine of the United States."
Met with two young men going eastward. One of my companions saluted them, "You are going the wrong way." "No," replied one of the others, "You are going the wrong way. I have been at Pittsburg, and in the State of Ohio, and I declare it is the most detestable country in the world.
Stotler's tavern was full of people; we had no sooner entered the door than we were in a crowd. We could not remain for the night.
We set out for the next tavern, and at dusk came into a track so wet and miry, that it would be considered impassable in some parts of the world. We groped our way along the side of it, over logs, and occasionally through the wood, to avoid the horrid bog. Two young men of the neighbourhood came forward, told us that we had just entered upon the worst part of the road, and, as they were going in the same direction, offered to conduct us.
The next tavern was one where whisky is sold, but the occupiers of it could not be troubled with lodging travellers. They told us that there is another tavern a mile forward. The road still bad; but as our conductors were going farther, we accompanied them.
The other tavern was so completely thronged with movers, that a multitude of them had taken up their lodgings in a barn. We were permitted
to stop, on condition of all three sleeping in one bed, which was said to be a large and a good one. Two-thirds of the bar-room floor was covered by the beds of weary travellers, lying closely side by side, and the remaining part occupied by people engaged in drinking, and noisy conversation. The room in which supper was taken, was too small to admit any large proportion of the company at once, of consequence we had to wait the alternation of a supper party and a cooking, before we got to the table.
This accumulation of travellers is chiefly occasioned by people in the eastern States having reaped and disposed of their crops at this season, and on that account finding it a convenient time for removing to the western country.
September 25. At half past five all were in bustle, preparing for the road: Some settling bill with the hostess, others waiting to settle: Some round a long wooden trough at the pump, washing, or drying themselves with their pocket-handkerchiefs: Some Americans drinking their morning's bitters, (spirits with rice, wormwood, or other vegetable infusion :) Some women catching children who had escaped naked from bed, others packing up bed clothes, or putting them into waggons: Waggoners harnessing their horses, &c.
The little piece of ground cleared here is very rich, the best pasture I have seen in America; but the winter in this high region must be severe.
Two miles onward there are fine fields and orchards. The interval land is meadow. No Indian corn is to be seen. By the road side, what miners call the rise of a bed of coal is perceptible.
Stoystown is delightfully situated on the north bank of a deep vale. The neighbouring grounds are but recently cleared. If we may judge from
the appearance of the houses, tavern-keepers are the principal men of the place; one of these is dubbed Major.
The land on this side of the Allegany ridge is much better than immediately on the eastern side of it. At present travellers and horses consume a great part of the produce, but as cultivation proceeds, the distance from market must become more sensibly felt.
The ridge, Laurel Hill, is about seven miles broad from one side of the base to the other. We observed a rattlesnake that had been recently killed on the road; it was about three and a half feet long, and about an inch and a half in diameThe people say, that only two species of serpents are poisonous here; but there are probably more, as no less than thirty species have been enumerated in the United States.
Laurel Hill being broad, and considerably steep, must be of prominent height. Of its elevation relatively to the Allegany ridge, I could not even venture an opinion. To be continually enveloped in woods, without seeing to any great distance, must be a condition disagreeable to the inquisitive traveller, and to the geologist.
We lodged at Lauchlin's Town; near this place is a small furnace. Malleable iron is sold at ten cents a-pound.
September 26. On this day there was a heavy shower of rain, the first since our leaving Philadelphia. Passed Chesnut ridge, near Somerset. At a tavern here, some men were drinking and swearing most hideously. It is much to be regretted that this vice is so prevalent in a country where so many other things are to be commended.
Greensburg, the county town of Westmoreland, is a considerable place, built on rising ground.
Here, and westward of this place, the land is fine, but hilly. Stopped at Adamsburg, six miles from Greensburg.
September 28. Yesterday my companions set out for Pittsburg. These young gentlemen have conducted themselves in the style which distinguishes the well-bred from the uncultivated and obtrusive man. They put no such questions as, "Where are you going?—What are you to do there?" &c. so common in this land of liberty. Of my companions I only knew their names, the State they came from, and that they are going to the western country.
Yesterday morning the hoar-frost was faintly visible on the newly mown grass, the first that has been observed this season. No danger is now to be apprehended from the cold, as Indian corn, (the latest of the crops,) is ripe. The woods and orchards have their young shoots well matured, and will soon be coloured with their autumnal tinge.
A majority of the people in the neighbourhood of Adamsburg are Germans, or their descendants. Although most of them can speak in English, their conversation with one another is in German, and a clergyman in the neighbourhood preaches in that language.
Resumed my journey; called at L-r's tavern, eleven miles from Greensburg. The hostess, after promising to give me breakfast, shewed me into a front room. After waiting about twenty-five minutes, two ladies on horseback, apparently turned of forty, alighted before the window; the hostess ran forward, embraced and kissed them. Her salute was the loudest articulation of the kind that I have heard. She came into the room, and told
me, she had got so much engaged, that she could not be troubled with my breakfast, and that there is a tavern only half a mile forward where I would be attended to. The good lady will be freed from every imputation of unkindness, since I have related how cordially she welcomed her female friends who engrossed all her attention.
Met with a man who asked me if I knew of “ 'any traveller who would rest himself and thrash for a few days?" To-day I begin to find the estimate formed of foot travellers in this country of equality. It is an undoubted truth that the rider is two steps higher than the footman.
Saw a drove of large cattle on their way from the State of Ohio for Philadelphia. Their condition is good, the length of the journey taken into consideration. In size and even fat, they are much superior to the Pennsylvanian stock by the sides of the road. Indeed, it is somewhat surprising to see such bad cattle on the rich lands of this State. The causes merit the strictest inquiry.
Every where the wheat stubble is so much overgrown with annual weeds, that the verdure at a distance is apt to be mistaken for pasture. growth is occasioned by the long course of hot weather, which succeeds an early harvest. It would be advantageous if clover, or some other useful herbage, were sown amongst the crops, that the farmer might not only avail himself of the propensity to vegetation, but check the dissemination of weeds so hurtful to adjoining fields, and to the succeeding pasture.
The potato crops are better than those I have seen on the coast, the plants are more vigorous, and the tubers much larger.
Land partly cleared, and with some rude build