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November 13. Passed the mouth of Kanhaway river. Here stands a small town called Point Pleasant. The name is appropriate, and descriptive of the site. From the springs of Kanhaway river, a great supply of salt is procured for the western country.
We landed at Galliopolis in Ohio State. The town stands on a high bank above the reach of the river. The name was given by a colony of a hundred French families, which settled here twenty-five years ago. They purchased from a Company, whose original charter stipulated, that the tract should be inhabited by a certain number of settlers, within a specified period of time. The condition was not fulfilled; the land reverted to the government, and the colony was dispossessed of its new establishment,
14. The wind was violent, obliging us to remain on shore for three hours. We moved again, and stopped after dark, about a mile above the mouth of Big Guyandat river, where some ripples com
15. (Sunday.) A strong contrary wind blew. No boat could move downward. But we saw several keel boats carrying sail, that enabled them to stem the ripples without manual labour. It is the wind, and not the day, that is reverenced here.
On the morning of the 16th, we moved downward. We saw a man fire a shot at a flock of wild turkeys. These fowls were so far from being coy, that they flew only a little way, and alighted again, on the trees.
Passed Big Sandy river, which comes in on the left hand side, and forms part of the boundary line between Virginia and Kentucky. In the evening we stopped below Fergusson's Bar, having sailed
thirty-one miles in the course of the day,-a great space, considering the lowness of the water.
On the 17th, we arrived at Portsmouth, a well built town. It has a county court house, a newspaper office, a woollen manufactory, a number of stores, (shops,) and several good taverns. Having resolved on travelling a little way inland from the river, I immediately put my baggage on board a boat for Limestone, in Kentucky, addressed to a commission merchant there. Limestone is fiftyone miles from this place, and four hundred and forty-one miles from Pittsburg, by the river.
It gives me much pleasure to be relieved from the company of boatmen, I have seen nothing in human form so profligate as they are. Accomplished in depravity, their habits and education seem to comprehend every vice. They make few pretensions to moral character; and their swearing is excessive, and perfectly disgusting. Although earning good wages, they are in the most abject poverty; many of them being without any thing like clean or comfortable clothing. I have seen several whose trousers formed the whole of their wardrobe, and whose bodies were scorched to a brown colour by the rays of the sun. They are extremely addicted to drinking. Indeed I have frequently seen them bor. rowing of one another a few cents to quench their insatiable thirst, and in several instances refusing to repay them. The Scotsman recently alluded to missed a knife. On his accusing them of the theft, a degraded wretch offered to buy the fork.
My next letter will contain the particulars of a journey in the States of Ohio and Kentucky.
Leave Portsmouth Digression on economical Travelling -Salt-springs-Piketon-Chillicothe Progress of a Scotch Family-GameForest Trees and Shrubs-Rolled pieces of Primitive Rocks dispersed over a Country of the Secondary Formation Agricultural Implements -Antiquities-Bainbridge-Middletown-Organic Remains-Town of Limestone-Washington-Mayé Lick -Licking River-Millersburg-Paris-Notice of the Missouri and Illinois Countries-Paper Currency—Cut Coin-Remarks interspersed.
Lexington, Kentucky, Nov. 29, 1818.
On the 18th current I left Portsmouth, on the north bank of the Ohio, for Chillicothe, which is situated on the Great Sciota river, forty-five miles from Portsmouth by land, and about seventy by following the meanders of the Sciota.
The Scotsman twice alluded to in my last letter, was also bound for Chillicothe, and we set out together. He gave me the following account of his economy in travelling. The owner of the boat which we had just left, engaged him to work his passage from Pittsburg to Portsmouth without wages, except having his trunk carried to the latter place, artfully telling, that the passage would be completed in nine days. It turned out that twentyone days elapsed, before the boat reached her destination. Had he, in the first place, hired himself as a boatman, he might have got seventy-five cents per day, and might have had his trunk carried for a dollar; and thus a profit of fourteen dollars and
seventy-five cents would have been made. On his journey from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, he managed better. He travelled along with the waggon that carried his trunk; the waggon also carrying his provisions. In this way he was never obliged to enter a tavern except at night, when he slept in his own bed-clothes. His bed was a low one, but he had always the satisfaction of knowing that it was clean, and that he was exempted from having a bedfellow intruded upon him. It is true that by travelling alone, he might have reached Pittsburg about a week sooner; but he would have arrived there without clean clothes, and incurred the payment of a week's board, while waiting the arrival of his trunk.
Having made a digression on economical travelling, I am led to make some further remarks on it. The subject is highly interesting to emigrants whose funds are scanty, as every dollar parted with may be, in effect, giving up half an acre of uncultivated land. A steerage passenger pays only about half the freight that is charged for a passage in the cabin of a ship; and, when he lays in his own provisions, he has it in his power to be nearly as comfortable as a sea voyage can permit. In the American port, the cabin passenger is sometimes subjected to delay in entering his baggage at the custom-house, and getting the taxable part valued, whereas the steerage passenger has his goods entered by the captain, and is allowed to proceed on his journey without loss of time. Baltimore being the most convenient landing place for Europeans who intend to settle in the western country, those who arrive at New York, Boston, or other northern ports, will have a saving by re-shipping for the Chesapeake. Strangers ought to be care ful in ascertaining what sloop is to sail first. By putting goods aboard of a wrong vessel, a delay for a
week or so may be occasioned. Having sent my own baggage round the Capes, from New York to Philadelphia, I had an opportunity of observing that several skippers, at the same time, affirmed, that his own vessel would sail first. Liverpool is the principal resort, in Britain, of ships for Baltimore. I conceive that it is unimportant to the emigrant, whether he reaches the latter place in an American coasting vessel, or by sailing an equal distance to Liverpool, along the coast of Britain.
We stopped at a tavern, four miles from Portsmouth, and had breakfast. The landlord told us, that bears and wolves are still numerous in the uncleared hills; that they devour many hogs and sheep; and that he heard wolves howling within a few yards of his house, on the preceding night. His sheep had run off, and he did not know in which direction to search for them.
About nine miles from Portsmouth, the saline nature of a spring is indicated by the ground being much trodden by the feet of cattle. The water is slightly brackish, and is not worth the expense of evaporation. Salt is manufactured, in considerable quantity, a few miles to the eastward.
Salt springs are called licks, from cattle and deer resorting to them to drink of the water, or to lick the concrete salt deposited on the rocks or stones, by the evaporation of the atmosphere. Riflemen also resort to the licks, in the night, to shoot the deer, which are so numerous in this neighbourhood, that they are sold at a dollar each,
The lower and richer lands are all entered, (appropriated by individuals,) but the higher and poorer, a considerable portion of which is too steep for the plough, remains as public property in the market. The time for cultivating them is not yet come. must remark that the hilly, or what is here called