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9. Vegetable Productions. It is in these States, that the productions of nature exhibit the greatest luxuriance and variety. Here may be seen the magnificence of the primitive forests, and the exuberant vegetation of the marshy alluvion. The shores of Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, offer to the eye a succession of groves, which seem to float upon the waters.

The forests of yellow pine have already been noticed. The cypress swamps are gloomy, inaccessible regions. The cypress tree has a trunk formed of 4 or 5 enormous buttresses, which, rising from the water, unite at the height of 7 or 8 feet, and produce a straight, tapering shaft, 60 or 80 feet in height. At the top, it throws out horizontal branches, which interlace with the adjoining trees, and are covered with a foliage of the deepest green. A cypress forest at a distance, looks like a scaffolding of verdure in the air.

The palmetto is a beautiful tree, and may stand for the personification of grace, as the live oak may for that of strength. The trunk often rises to the height of 50 feet, and it hardly decreases in size even at the top. This is a pendent and thick cluster of glossy, fan-like leaves, more than 4 feet long, and nearly as wide. A few of the upper ones are upright, but the rest hang down like the twigs of a willow, and wave gracefully like long hair in a gentle wind. A close cluster of these palmettos, of an uniform height, resemble, at a distance, the pillars and entablature of a dilapidated temple.

The live oak is a fit emblem of strength. The leaves are very small, but the moss gives an appearance of double foliage. This moss is of a venerable gray, and hangs from the branches

, many feet. The trunk of the live oak is seldom straight or tall, and the tree seems rather to run into horizontal branches, which cover a great space.

The knees of this tree make the best timber for ship-building. The live oak is altogether a tree so singular in its shape and robe of moss, that a stranger will pause long to examine it.

The big laurel, or magnolia, has been much admired for beauty, but it has not been too much praised. It rises in a tall and smooth stem to a great height, but it is the leaves and flowers which give it all its beauty. The leaves are of a deep and glossy green, 6 or 8 inches in length, and 3 inches broad. There is no leaf in the New England forest, that will compare with that

3 of the laurel. The rich white flowers are scattered over the tree, in profusion. They are of a dazzling white, several inches in diameter, and have a resemblance to the pond-lily. To this flower, succeeds a crimson cone, which, in opening, exhibits rounded seeds of the finest coral red, suspended by delicate threads. The tree is often more than 100 feet in height.

The red bay, with its aromatic leaves, is a noble tree, attaining the height of 70 or 80 feet. The

mangrove is peculiar to this part of the country. The white mangrove grows in swamps, to the height of 60 or 70 feet, and the black is found along the coasts and on the keys, where its branches, shooting downward, and taking root in the mud, form new trees, impenetrably interlaced with each other. The lignumvitæ, mahogany, and some other tropical trees, are found only in the southern parts of Florida.

The dogwood is a large shrub, covered in spring with a profusion of brilliant white flowers, and in autumn, with berries of a fine scarlet. It is found from Pittsburg to the Gulf of Mexico. The persimon is another large shrub, with a fruit of remarkable astringency, when green. The cotton-wood is a sort of poplar, with a trunk sometimes 12 feet in diameter. It bears in its blossoms a downy substance like cotton. The catalpa is indigenous to Louisiana. paw, or Indian fig, the Chickasaw plum, prairie plums of various species, and grapes of many sorts, are found native in these States. The Cherokee rose (rosa multiflora) twines itself around the tallest trees, and adorns their foliage with festoons of its beautiful flowers. The lakes and rivers produce an aquatic vegetation, which has given rise to the fiction of floating islands. The leaves and delicate white flowers of the pistia float upon the surface, and are attached to the bottom by a twiny stem many yards in length. The bow of a vessel makes a furrow through fields of this floating vegetation, while fishes are darting, and alligators gamboling, in the depths beneath. The nymphæa nelumbo is the prince of the flowering, aquatic plants. It rises from a root resembling the large stump of a cabbage, and grows sometimes in 10 feet depth of water. It has a smooth, elliptical leaf, often as large as a parasol. The flowers are a foot in diameter, and have all the brilliant white and yellow of the New England pond-lily, but are devoid of its fragrance.

The cane-brakes are another remarkable feature in the vegetation of this region. The cane grows upon the low grounds, and in a rich soil

. It sometimes almost equals the bamboo in size. Its seed is farinaceous, and often used for bread. Its leaves are long and dagger-shaped, and a thick cane-brake forms an impervious roof of verdure in the air, which has the appearance of a solid layer. A cane-brake is almost impenetrable by man, but is a favorite resort of bears

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and cougars. When the canes are cut and dried, the negroes enjoy a high amusement in setting fire to them; the rarified air in the hollow compartments of the cane, bursts them with a report like a discharge of musketry, and the burning of a cane-brake sounds like the roar of a battle. The land thus burned, is in excellent preparation for maize. 10. Animals. The Virginia deer is common in the wooded parts of all the Southern States, and

is particularly abundant in Louisiana. The American elk is sometimes, though rarely, met with in the southwestern portion. The bear, wolf, and cougar are occasionally found. Red and gray foxes are abundant. Besides these, the following quadrupeds are found in the Southern States : the raccoon, opossum, Maryland marmot, skunk, hare, otter, mink, fox-squirrels, together with the other species of squirrels, already mentioned. The bison does not extend its migrations as far south as Louisiana, and is not found east of the Mississippi. The pouched rat is to be seen in

great numbers in Florida and Georgia. Opossum

Their burrows are numerous in various places. The cotton rat is found in East Florida, where its burrows are frequent in deserted plantations and gardens. It makes its nest of cotton. The wood rat is also found in Florida.

The alligator is common in the rivers, lakes, and swamps of the more southern regions, and there is a small and harmless species of lizard, called the striped lizard, which often intrudes into houses, feeding on flies. The swift, another species of lizard, and the Florida chameleon are pe

culiar to this region. The peculiar birds Skunk.

are the Carolina parrot, the turkey buzzard, the carrion crow or black vulture, the pelican, flamingo, gallinule, ibis, several herons, and the darter or snake-bird, which have been before described, under North America. The mocking-bird is abundant in the more southern States, and Audubon states, that it is often obliged to defend its nest from the attacks of serpents, which it does with spirit and effect. Most of the other birds of N. America frequent these States in winter, but migrate to the north in summer. Several species of sea-turtle are found on the extreme southern coast, much prized as articles of luxury or economical use; such are the famous green-turtle, so greedily sought by gourmands, and the hawk-bill, whose shell is much valued for combs ; the snapping


turtle of the lagoons, and the soft-shell Mocking-birds defending their Nest.

turtle of the lakes, also make very good

food. The collection of the turtle eggs on the Florida keys and shores furnishes profitable employment to many hands ; they are used for making oil. Indeed, turtling forms so important a branch of southern industry, that a turtle-crawl is considered an essential appendage to a house, as much so as a barn to a northern farmer. The crawl is a pen, made where the water is about 2 feet deep at low tide, by driving mangrove poles into the ground; the tide flows freely about the turtles, and they are fed with purslain or sea-grass.


11. Inhabitants, Races, Classes, fc. The population is mixed, though it is principally of English descent. There are, however, not only descendants of the French, Spanish, Germans, &c., but separate settlements of the original foreigners. There are inhabitants also, of every European people who ever migrate to America. The negroes not only form a considerable portion of the population, but

a separate class ; for the most of them are held in slavery. They are principally natives of the country, though there are many imported Africans. The Indians are a few Nottaways and Catawbas, in Virginia and South Carolina ; some Chickasaws in Mississippi and Alabama ; the Seminoles and others, in Florida ; and various small tribes, chiefly the Appalachies, Alabamas, Pascagoulas, &c. in Louisiana.

12. Dress. The modes of dress are generally the same that prevail in the other sections, though at the South, the materials are lighter, and the hats of broader brim.

13. Language. The English is not the universal language ; German, French, and Spanish are used in several settlements ; and in Louisiana, the laws and newspapers are printed in both English and French.

14. Mode of Building. The manner of building is less substantial than in the Middle or Northern States. Few country houses are of brick, and the low country is without stones. What was said by Jefferson, of Virginia, may have a wider application, — “ that the genius of architecture seems to have shed its malediction over the land.” In Virginia the public buildings are chiefly churches, and court-houses ; but they are without pretensions to elegance. The old churches, built under the colonial government, of imported bricks, are generally neglected and dilapidated. Throughout the Southern States, the houses of the planters have much uniformity. They are of one or two stories, and have a veranda in front, and chimneys at the end, on the outside. The kitchen, and other offices are in separate buildings, in the rear. The negro houses have chimneys, and two rooms, and the poorest of them are better than the cabins in Ireland, or the Highlands of Scotland. There are also, in some parts, many log-houses, which are common with both whites and blacks. There are numbers of country houses, capacious, and in good taste, but the most of them are without elegance. In passing rapidly in a steamboat, the buildings on a plantation have the appearance of a village. They are often whitewashed or painted. In front is the proprietor's house ; on either side, and in the rear, are the hospital, the carriage house, the kitchen, and the store houses, and in the rear, a double line of negro dwellings.

Captain Hall had, at Columbus, in Georgia, an opportunity of seeing the architectual embryo of a village in the woods, where the inhabitants had collected before the lots were sold for the buildings, and where but few dwellings were actually raised. The houses were, some of them, on low wheels, to be the more easily removed. Sixty frames, built by carpenters, on speculation, were lying on the ground, ready to be put up as soon as the sale of the land was completed. Stagecoaches, wagons, carts, and gigs were there in numbers, and many people who came in them, were encamped in the forest. Nine hundred were there, and by the day of sale, several thousand.

15. Food and Drinks. There is a considerable difference between the food in the Southern States, and that in the Northern. In the former, there are few of the garden vegetables, and the Irish potatoe is not generally raised. Rice is much used, chiefly boiled, and it is often eaten as bread. Hominy is a preparation of Indian corn, which is coarsely broken, and boiled ; it is found at all tables. Yams, or sweet potatoes, tomatos, and okra, are favorite vegetables. Hoe-cake, which is the johnny-cake of New England, and ash-pone, a coarse cake, baked under the ashes, are in common use, as bread. Ham is a general article of food, and the traveler will often find it set before him three times a day. In Virginia, it is, at dinner, a standing dish, accompanied by greens. In Louisiana, gumbo, a compound soup, is much used, and at New Orleans, it is sold in the streets.


Whisky is more used than any other intoxicating liquor, and there is much of it consumed. The poorer class of the whites are less temperate than the same grade in New England and the Middle States. Peach brandy, and apple brandy are common, and in many parts, cider, beer, and porter ; imported spirits are used in the cities, and the rich bestow much care and expense upon their wines, which are chiefly sherry and madeira, except in Louisiana, where claret is more used. In the Southern States, where the ague is so common and troublesome a malady, where fogs are frequent, and dews heavy, it has grown into a custom to fortify the body from the attacks of the disease, by means of juleps, or what are called antifogmatics. A fogmatic, is a dram of any ardent spirit; but the julep is made by breaking into the raw liquor a sprig of tansey, or several kinds of mint. In the cities, the custom is, perhaps, “more

. honored in the breach, than the observance ;” but in the country, under certain local modifications, it is a general and daily practice to indulge in these drams. At the hotels of New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, mint juleps, which were first introduced from the South and West, are now regularly furnished to all who call for them. They consist of spirits, sugar, and mint, with small pieces of ice. They are mixed by being poured rapidly, and for a considerable time, from one tumbler to another.

16. Diseases. The most general diseases, are the bilious and intermittent fevers. They are the scourge of all the low countries, from the Potomac which flows into the Atlantic, to the Sabine which enters the Gulf of Mexico. From many districts, all the white inhabitants who have the means, remove at the approach of summer, and return not till after a frost. Those who remain, are sallow, slender, and feeble. The yellow fever is a desolating pesti

, lence at New Orleans, but it is seldom very destructive in other cities. The negroes are not sickly in summer, except on the rice plantations, where they work much in the water ; but in winter many of them die of pulmonary complaints.

17. Traveling. Persons who travel in the Southern States, go chiefly for business o health, for few would travel for pleasure. The three great requisites for agreeable traveling are wanting ; — good roads, good vehicles, and good inns. The roads are often alternations of sand and swamp; and in a swamp, where a good road could not be made but at vast expense, trunks of trees are laid across, over which the vehicle bounces without ceasing. These are called corduroy roads, and they are often under water. The public vehicles are not often easy or comfortable, and the better way of traveling is on horseback.

The inns are of very humble pretensions, and slender accommodations. In several States, the charges are regulated by law. The country is thinly inhabited, and the traveler seldom fares better than upon the usual food of the common people ; and this, in its best form, is bacon, eggs, hominy, and yams. In many districts, inhabited by wealthy planters, the hospitality is such that there is little need of inns. Any decent traveller is received, and generally, as if he were conferring upon his host a favor. In districts less wealthy, almost every house receives the traveler, at a moderate compensation. An Englishman, (and not the most gracious even among his class,) who has passed over the Southern States, and partly by an unfrequented route, writes thus, "hospitality we were sure to meet with in every corner, no matter how remote. On the rivers there are steamboats, and the South has many noble streams, but these are generally too low in summer. The charges in them and in stagecoaches, are higher than in the other sections; but generally the boats are less commodious, as they carry merchandise and produce, as well as passengers.

13. Character, Manners, &c. In the southern section there are some traits that run through all the States, though these are somewhat modified by various causes. The most obvious and general-modification of character, is that which is made by the system of domestic slavery. All intercourse between unequal parties must have, to say the least, authority on the one side, and submission on the other. These are correlative; and if the authority should be carried to despotism, the submission must end in an entire surrender of will, and prostration of conscience. The soul will sink to its condition : and to be a slave, is not only to toil without reward, but to deceive, to lie, and to steal without shame.

But the more odious characteristics of a state of slavery are not often found in the Southern States; for the system has there almost every mitigation that is consistent with security. The slaves are, for the most part, contented and cheerful ; their greatest evils are

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those which they do not feel; that is, the moral ones, which condemn their whole race to ignorance and degradation.

In describing the character of the people, we refer principally to the planters, who have the most influence in forming the state of society. The inferior cultivators, or those who have no slaves, are in some parts of a grade hardly above that of the slaves themselves; but in the upper country, or in the northern portion of the section, and some other districts, they are a more respectable class. All are agricultural, for they have little commerce, and few manufactures. In different States these are called foresters, or crackers, from an imputed custom of cracking their whips when they arrive in their wagons at a town or inn. They are ignorant, but they can generally read, though their houses contain little to be read, except newspapers and Methodist tracts. They live within themselves, and

, consume luue ...ut they do not raise or manufacture, except sugar. They are not unsocial ; they grow up with more individuality of character, than men have who live in towns, where the particular character is sometimes merged in the general one. They are sallow, and though it would be unjust to call them ugly, they are certainly not distinguished for beauty. What the French call the devil's beauty, or youth and health, even this they seem to have not. The young look old, and the old are not lightly marked with the trace of years.

Perhaps the character of Virginia and South Carolina is in some respects superior to that of the other Southern States ; yet the principal traits are common to all. In Virginia, many of the old English habits of life are retained, and the domains of the landed proprietors have the extent of English baronies. The country residences have particular names, as Hunter's Hill, Mount Pleasant, Monticello, and Mount Vernon. The people seldom travel beyond the few places of resort within the Commonwealth ; they are therefore more attached to their home, and to all the things which make up the complex idea of home. They are, of course, strongly marked in character, but not unfavorably. They are hospitable, to a degree unknown in New England, generous, and honorable.

The people of Carolina, who dwell in the lower country, are annually compelled to leave their homes, however attached to them. None can travel without gaining knowledge, and losing prejudices, and the Carolinians are to a great degree, liberal and intelligent. To remain in summer on the plantations, is at the risk of life ; and they are therefore found at that season, in the Northern and Eastern States, and in Europe. They are social, and in general closely united. In New England, gentlemen of neighboring towns are often unacquainted with each other ; but in Carolina, the acquaintance extends over the State. This arises from the intercourse of the capital, where all are found in spring, and from the fellowships that are formed in packets, or while residing or traveling in other States.

It may be thought, that the life of a southern agriculturist is one of indolence and ease. It is the very reverse; it is one of far greater activity than is led by gentlemen of wealth elsewhere. The cares of a plantation are sufficient to consume the day, and the planter is often on horseback in his fields till evening. His notions of space are so liberal, that he will readily ride a dozen miles to dine, and he engages in the chase with his characteristic ardor. No men ride so fearlessly ; and the game is followed at full speed in thick woods, among holes, horizontal branches, and prostrate trunks. The social relations are admirable. The season for visiting is never over, and as the social is as much increased as any other principle, by cultivation, here it attains to its best growth. There is, among relatives, great kindliness of feeling, and the circle it embraces is wider than in New England. Any one may, as far as affinity can be traced,

6 Claim kindred there, and have his claim allowed." Gentlemen meet at frequent intervals in club houses, often built in the woods, where the entertainment is furnished by each one in turn.

The people of the South have more haughtiness, courtesy, and a higher estimation of personal dignity, than those of the North. Pride is the natural consequence of superiority of station, though it is generally incompatible with meanness. A planter would be more apt to do what he would be sorry for, than what he would be ashamed of. A slight wound of pride is more strictly avenged, than a greater injury to property ; and a lack of courtesy is, perhaps, as much reprobated as a breach in morals. Duelling is the natural growth of such a state, and though it is not frequent, it is but too well established by custom. The challenged is held to fight, even if he feel no resentment, or has done no injustice ; and he sometimes perils his life for mere expediency; as he would put it to some risk to preserve his property, he is led to believe that he must do it also to save his character.


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