« AnteriorContinuar »
ing, or traffic with the Indians. * In the distant settlements, where society is hardly organized, offences against it are sometimes punished in a summary manner by the regulators, or associations made for that purpose. †
As the character of Kentucky seems to be the pervading one of the West, it is proper to describe its prominent points. It is a branch of that of Virginia, modified by a more adventurous, but secluded lise. The Kentuckian is bold in his bearing, and losty in his port; but
* The following is a description of one of the frontier myself obliged to cross cne of the wide prairies, which, in men, taken from the Western Monthly Review.
that portion of the United States, vary the appearance of the “ Michael Shuckwell, or, as he has been more familiar. country. The weather was fine, all around me was as ly denominated, Mike Shuck, may be presented as a sam- fresh and blooming as if it had just issued from the bosom ple of those voluntary barbarians. Amongst the earliest of nature. My knapsack, my gun, and my dog, were all settlers of Kentucky, Mike Shuck was known a white- I had for baggage and company. But, although well mocheaded, hardy urchin, whom nobody claimed kin to, and cassined, I moved slowly along, attracted by the brilliancy who disclaimed connexion with all mankind. He was in- of the flowers, and the gambols of the fawns around their ured to danger in the course of the Indian wars of that dams, to all appearance as thoughtless of danger as I felt period; and when the celebrated Colonel Boone migrated myself. My march was of long duration. I saw the sun to this country, Mike was one of his numerous followers. sinking into the horizon long before I could perceive any Advancing as the settlement progressed, for the conven- appearance of woodland, and nothing in the shape of man ience of hunting, he has at last found himself pushed be. had I met that day. The track, which I followed was only yond the boundary of that tract of country to which the an old Indian trace, and, as darkness overshaded the Indian title has been extinguished. At present Mike prairie, I felt some desire to reach at least a copse, in which Shuck claims a portable citizenship, or a floating title to a I might lie down to rest. The night-hawks were skimresidence that he locates for the time being, whenever he ming over and around me, attracted by the buzzing wings may chance to lay himself down for the night. His rusty of the beetles, which form their food, and the distant howl. ritle has been his constant companion since his first cam- ing of wolves, gave me some hope that I should soon arpaign under General George Rogers Clark. He possess. rive at the skirts of some woodland. I did so, and almost es, in an eminent degree, a knowledge of all the minutiæ at the same instant a fire-light attracting my eye, I moved of trapping, and he appropriates his autumns, the proper towards it, full of confidence that it proceeded from the season for this branch of his business, in exploring the camp of some wandering Indians. I was mistaken:- 1 small creeks that put into the Missouri above the settle. discovered from its glare that it was from the hearth of a ments. He is frequently discovered ' at the peep of dawn,' small log cabin, and that a tall figure passed and repassed bare-headed and bare-footed, pursuing the meandering of between it and me, as if busily engaged in household arthese water-courses, bending under a load of traps, to rangements. I reached the spot, and presenting myself at learn whether or not his bait has attracted the cautious the door, asked the tall figure, which proved to be a wovictim ; or for the purpose of locating his traps more ad- man, if I might take shelter under her roof for the night. vantageously. Such is the accuracy of his skill, that Mike Her voice was gruff, and her attire negligently thrown Shuck can make up a pack of beavers, where an Indian, about her. She answered in the affirmative. I walked in, with all his rude knowledge of natural history, would es- took a wooden stool, and quietly seated myself by the fire. teem the prospect hopeless. A gentleman who was in The next object that attracted my notice was a finely formthe pursuit of elk, about the middle of November last, dis- ed young Indian, resting his head between his hands, with covered this modern Crusoe at evening, laden with his his elbows on his knees. A long bow rested against a log effects, that by great good fortune at this time amounted wall near him, while a quantity of arrows and two or three to about a pack-horse load. He proposed to encamp with raccoon skins lay at his feet. He moved not; he apparenthim for the night. Mike muttered a kind of grumbling ly breathed not. Accustomed to the habits of the Indians, assent, and led the way, first through an extensive hazle and knowing that they pay little attention to the approach thicket, thence descending into a ravine, he proceeded by of civilized strangers (a circumstance which in some couna devious route through a compact grove of swamp-ash, tries is considered as evincing the apathy of their characand at length arrived at a cheerful fire that had previously ter), I addressed him in French, a language not unfrebeen lighted up by our hero, but for which the place would quently partially known to the people of the neighborhood. have been as dreary as purgatory. The owls ihemselves, He raised his head, pointed to one of his eyes with his finhowever pressing their necessities, could scarcely have ger, and gave me significant glance with the other. His face flapped their way into this dismal labyrinth. But Mike was covered with blood. The fact was, that an hour beand his plunder, as he very properly termed it in the in- fore this, as he was in the act of discharging an arrow at a stance, (for it was the legitimate property of the Indians,) raccoon in the top of a tree, the arrow had struck upon a was safe. Mike Shuck threw down his burden, and turn- cord, and sprung back with such violence into his right ed to his follower with a malicious smile, or rather a hys. eye as to destroy it for ever. Feeling hungry, I inquired teric grin, and desired him to be seated. The hospitality what sort of fare I might expect. Such a thing as a bed of his board, if a bear skin spread on the ground deserves was not to be seen, but many large untanned bear and the name, was tendered with little ceremony, and consist- buffalo hides lay piled in a corner. I drew a fine time-piece ed of a beaver-tail and an elk marrow-bone, both of which from my breast, and told the woman it was late, and that I were prepared on the coals by mine host in his proper per- was fatigued. She had espied my watch, the richness of son. Mike, as I have before remarked, claims no family which seemed to operate upon her feelings with electric connexions; and if he ever had any, he has outlived them; quickness. She told me there was plenty of venison and he is, therefore, making no provisions for legacy hunters. jerked buffalo meat, and that on removing the ashes I But he is always, when he deigns to make use of his should find a cake. But my watch had struck her fancy, tongue, grumbling about his arrangements for an easy, in- and her curiosity had to be gratified by an immediate sight dependent old age, and speaks of it as if it was very far of it. I took the gold chain that secured it from around my distant, although he has attained almost fourscore. When neck, and presented it to her. She was all ecstasy, spoke the trapping season is over, he betakes himself to his craft, of its beauty, asked me its value, and put the chain around as he is pleased to rm a cotton-wood canoe, and proceeds her brawny neck, saying how happy the possession of to market with his usual indifference towards the ele- such a watch would make her. Thoughtless, and, as I ments'
fancied myself, in so retired a spot, secure, I paid little at
tention to her talk or her movements. I helped my dog 1 In the following case, related by Audubon, regulating to a good supper of venison, and was not long in satisfyseems defensible.
ing the demands of my own appetite. The Indian rose “On our return from the Upper Mississippi, I found from his seat, as if in extreme suffering. He passed
his dignity is dashed with humor and gayety. He has a degree of modest assurance, that belongs to men who are satisfied with their own qualifications. He deems himself equal to any man, and the abstract conception of a superior, never occurred to him. He never mars his fortunes by an idle distrust of himself; he believes himself capable of accomplishing anything, and the belief renders him so. Hospitality and generosity, which are virtues in common men, are none in the Kentuckian ; they are the effect of his impulses, a part of his instinct. He is not given to falsehood, for he is not accessible to fear. He is courteous with the civil, and with the ungentle he is also froward. He will fight for any cause or for no cause, but he will not commence the quarrel. His pride is a part of his life, and he defends it; his honor is the best of his possessions, and he suffers no encroachment. In one respect he is unfortunate ; he has not enough to do ; there are no Indians to be hunted, or forests to be cleared ; the country is a garden, the proprietor rich, and his restless spirit is sometimes urged by ennui into the borders of dissipation.
17. Amusements. The rifle furnishes part of the amusements of the West. It is used universally, and with unerring skill. The smallest visible mark within its range is hit, and the comparative excellence of the piece is a frequent subject for wagers.* To kill a squirrel with and repassed me several times, and once pinched me on ing, and that night might have been my last in this world, the side so violently, that the pain nearly brought forth an had not Providence made preparations for my rescue. All exclamation of anger. I looked at him. His eye met was ready. The infernal hag was advancing slowly, mine ; but his look was so forbidding, that it struck a probably contemplating the best way of despatching me, chill into the more nervous part of my system. He again whilst her sons should be engaged with the Indian. I was seated himself, drew his butcher knife from its greasy several times on the eve of rising and shooting her on the scabbard, examined its edge, as I would that of a razor spot : — but she was not to be punished thus. The door suspected dull, replaced it, and again taking his toma- was suddenly opened, and there entered two stout travel. hawk from his back, filled the pipe of it with tobacco, and ers, each with a long rifle on his shoulder. I bounced up sent ine expressive glances whenever our hostess chanced on my feet, and making them most heartily welcome, to have her back towards us. Never until this moment told them how well it was for me that they should arrive had my senses been awakened to the danger which I now at that moment. The tale was told in a minute. The suspected to be about me. I returned glance for glance to drunken sons were secured, and the woman, in spite of my companion, and rested well assured that, whatever en. her defence and vociferations, shared the same fate. The emies I might have, he was not of their number. I asked Indian fairly danced with joy, and gave us to understand the woman for my watch, wound it up, and under pre- that, as he could not sleep for pain, he would watch tence of wishing to see how the weather might probably
You may suppose we slept much less than be on the morrow, took up my gun, and walked out of the we talked. The two strangers gave me an account cabin. I slipped a ball into each barrel, scraped the edges of their once having been themselves in a somewhat of my flints, renewed the primings, and returning to the similar situation. Day came, fair and rosy, and with it hut, gave a favorable account of my observations. I took the punishment of our captives. They were now quite a few bear skins, made a pallet of them, and calling my sobered. Their feet were unbound, but their arms were faithful dog to my side, lay down, with my gun close to securely tied. We marched them into the woods off my body, and in a few minutes was to all appearances the road, and having used them as Regulators were fast asleep. A short time had elapsed, when some voices wont to use such delinquents, we set fire to the cabin, were heard, and from the corner of my eyes I saw two gave all the skins and implements to the young Indian athletic youths making their entrance, bearing a dead stag warrior, and proceeded, well pleased, towards the settleon a pole. They disposed of their burden, and asking for whisky, helped themselves freely to it. Observing me Having resided some years in Kentucky, and havand the wounded Indian, they asked who I was, and why ing more than once been witness of rifle sports, I will the devil that rascal (meaning the Indian, who, they present you with the results of my observation, how far knew, understood not a word of English) was in the rifle shooting is understood in that State. Several indihouse. The mother, - for so she proved to be, bade them viduals who conceive themselves expert in the manage. speak less loudly, made mention of my watch, and took ment of a gun, are often seen to meet for the purpose of them to a corner, where a conversation took place, the displaying their skill ; and betting a trifling sum, put up purport of which required little shrewdness in me to a target, in the centre of which a common sized nail is guess. I tapped my dog gently, – he moved his tail, and hammered for about two thirds of its length. The markswith indescribable pleasure I saw his fine eyes alternately men make choice of what they consider a proper distance, fixed on me and raised towards the trio in ihe corner. I which may be 40 paces. Each man cleans the interior of felt that he perceived danger in my situation. The Indian his tube, which is called wiping it, places a ball in the exchanged a last glance with me. The lads had eaten palm of his hand, pouring as much powder from his horn and drunk themselves into such condition, that I already upon it as will cover it. This quantity is supposed to be looked upon them as hors du combat ; and the frequent sufficient for any distance within a hundred yards. A visits of the whisky bottle to the ugly mouth of their dam shot which comes very close to the nail is considered as I hoped would soon reduce her to a like state. Judge of that of an indifferent marksman; the bending of the nail my astonishment, reader, when I saw this incarnate fiend is somewhat better, but nothing less than hitting it right take a large carving knife, and go to the grind-stone to on the head is satisfactory. One out of three shots genewhet its edge. I saw her pour the water on the turning rally hits the nail, and should the shooters amount to half machine, and watched her working every way with the a dozen, two nails are frequently needed before each can dangerous instrument, until the sweat covered every part have a shot. Those who drive the nail have a further of my body, in despite of my determination to defend trial amongst themselves, and the two best shots out of myself to the last. Her task finished, she walked to her these generally settle the affair, when all the sportsmen reeling sons, and said, 'there, that 'll soon settle him! adjourn to some house, and spend an hour or two in Boys, kill him, - and then for the watch.' I turned, friendly intercourse, appointing, before they part, a day cocked my gun locks silently, touched my faithful com- for another trial. This is technically termed driving the panion, and lay ready to start up and shoot the first who nail.' Barking off squirrels is delightful sport, and in iny might attempt my life. The moment was fast approach- opinion requires a greater degree of accuracy than ang
shot, would subject a sportsman to derision. “Luck is like a shot-gun mighty uncertain," is a proverb in general circulation. Various kinds of hunting and athletic sports, form a part of the amusements ; which are, however, substantially the same in all parts of the United States.
18. Education. All that is practicable is done for education in the Western States. The importance of the subject is properly estimated by every legislator, and the number of native inhabitants who cannot read or write, is not large. A common education is within the reach of all.
19. Religion. In none of the Western States do the laws provide for the support of any form of worship. Religion receives little other aid from legislation, than the granting of incorporations; and by most of the constitutions clergymen are incapable of holding offices of honor or trust, in the gist of the people. There are, however, stationary clergymen in the towns, especially in Ohio, and there are so many missionaries and traveling preachers, that there is generally no want of religious instruction. The court-house is the general place of meeting, and there is no lack of the rude eloquence, that is most effectual among a new people. The principal sects are Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Catholics. In Arkansas, and in fact in some other Western States, billiards are played, and races performed, on Sunday, in the vicinity of the places of worship, and persons will sometimes step across
from one to the other. This, however, is chiefly in districts where the population is thin. The camp meetings are numerously attended and impressive.*
other. I first witnessed this manner of procuring squir- was only fifty yards from the spot on which we stood. rels whilst near to the town of Frankfort. The performer One man was within a few yards of it, to watch the efwas the celebrated Daniel Boone. We walked out to. fects of the shots, as well as to light the candle should it gether, and followed the rocky margins of the Kentucky chance to go out, or replace it should the shot cut it across. River, until we reached a piece of flat land thickly cov- Each marksman shot in his turn. Some never hit either ered with black walnuts, oaks, and hickories. As the the snuff or the candle, and were congratulated with a general mast was a good one that year, squirrels were seen loud laugh; while others actually snuffed the candle gambolling on every tree around us. My companion, a without putting it out, and were recompensed for their slout, hale, and athletic man, dressed in a homespun dexterity by numerous hurrahs. One of them who was hunting shirt, bare legged and moccassined, carried a long particularly expert, was very fortunate, and snuffed the and heavy rifle, which, as he was loading it, he said had candle 3 times out of 7, whilst all the other shots either proved efficient in all his former undertakings, and which put out the candle, or cut it immediately under the he hoped would not fail on this occasion, as he felt proud light." — Audubon. to show me his skill. The gun was wiped, the powder ** « None but one who has seen, can imagine the intermeasured, the ball patched with 600 thread linen, and the est excited in a district of country perhaps 50 miles in excharge sent home with a hickory rod. We moved not a tent, by the awaited approach of the time for a camp step from the place, for the squirrels were so numerous meeting; and none but one who has seen, can imagine that it was unnecessary to go after them. Boone pointed how profoundly the preachers have understood what proto one of these animals which had observed us, and was duces effect, and how well they have practised upon it. crouched on a branch about 50 paces distant, and bade me Suppose the scene to be, where the most extensive excitemark well wbere the ball should hit. He raised his piece ments and most frequent camp meetings have been, dur. gradually, until the head (that being the name given by ing the two past years, in one of the beautiful and fertile the Kentuckians to the sight) of the barrel was brought valleys among the mountains of Tennessee. The notice to a line with the spot he intended to hit. The whip-like has been circulated 2 or 3 months. On the appointed day, report resounded through the woods, and along the hill in coaches, chaises, wagons, carts, people on horseback, and repeated echoes. Judge of my surprise, when I perceiv. multitudes traveling from a distance on foot, wagons with ed that the ball had hit the piece of the bark immediately provisions, mattresses, tents, and arrangements for the teneath the squirrel, and shivered it into splinters, the stay of a week, are seen hurrying from every point tocɔncussion produced by which had killed the animal, and wards the central spot. It is in the midst of a grove of sent it whirling through the air, as if it had been blown those beautiful and lofty trees, natural to the valleys of up by the explosion of a powder magazine: Boone kept Tennessee, in its deepest verdure, and beside a spring up his firing, and before many hours had elapsed, we had branch, for the requisite supply of water. procurred as many squirrels as we wished; for you must “ The ambitious and wealthy are there, because in this know, that to load å rifle only requires a moment, and region opinion is all-powerful, and they are there, either that if it is wiped after each shot, it will do duty for hours. to extend their influence, or that their absence may not Since that adventure with our veteran Boone, I have seen be noted, to diminish it. Aspirants for office are there, to many other individuals perform the same feat. The electioneer, and gain popularity. Vast numbers are there snuffing of a candle with a ball, I first had an opportunity from simple curiosity, and merely to enjoy a spectacle. of seeing near the banks of Green River, not far from a The young and beautiful are there, with mixed motives, large pigeon roost, to which I had previously made a visit. which it were best not severely to scrutinize. Children I heard many reports of guns during the early part of a are there, their young eyes glistening with the intense indark night, and knowing them to be those of rifles, I terest of eager curiosity. The middle aged fathers and went towards the spot to ascertain the cause. On reach- mothers of families are there, with the sober views of ing the place, I was welcomed by a dozen tall, stout men, 'people, whose plans in life are fixed, and waiting calmly who told me they were exercising, for the purpose of en- to hear. Men and women of hoary hairs are there, with abling them to shoot by night at the reflected light from such thoughts, it may be hoped, as their years invite. the eyes of a deer or wolf, by torch light, of which I shall Such is the congregation, consisting of thousands. give you an account somewhere else. A fire was blazing “A host of preachers of different denominations, are near, the smoke of which rose curling among the thick there, some in the earnest vigor and aspiring desires of foliage of the trees. At a distance that rendered it.scarce- youth, waiting an opportunity for display; others, who ly distinguishable, stood a burning candle, as if intended have proclaimed the Gospel, as pilgrims of the cross, from is an offering to the goddess of night, but which in fact the remotest north of our vast country to the shores of
20. Antiquities. There are many remains of remote antiquity, such as might have been raised by a rather numerous but rude people, who would carry to the work more labor than art. They consist in part of mounds, varying in height from 10 or 20 to 50 and even 70 feet, and commonly of a regular conical form, sometimes truncated and sometimes complete cones , sometimes solitary and sometimes clustered together in great numbers ; and in part of spacious enclosures, oval, circular, square, or polygonal, often connected with each other by long parallel lines of embankments, and in some instances comprising an extent of from 20 to 30 acres. In general the walls of circumvallation are composed wholly of earth, but sometimes consist partly of stones loosely thrown together, and traces of bricks and cement are said, though perhaps without foundation, to have been met with in some places. The mounds appear to have been used as places of burial, even if they were not constructed for this purpose ; the enclosures for purposes of defence. The question as to the origin, authors, and objects of these works, has, however, given rise to much speculation, and while some look upon them as proofs of the former existence of a more civilized population in this part of the world, others see in them nothing beyond what might have been executed by the naked savages, who have possessed these regions ever since they have been known to Europeans, and others have denied that the mounds were artificial works. The Indian tribes, who have been known to the whites, have had no traditions relative to this curious subject. The works are found all over the Mississippi valley, from the St. Peter's on the north to the delta of the Mississippi, and from the western parts of New York and Virginia to the plains of the Missouri, and are almost, if not quite, always situated on the alluvial Hats or bottoms of the rivers.
There is a group of remarkable mounds not far from Natchez, in the village of Seltzertown, from which pipes, weapons, utensils, &c. have been obtained. The principal mound is 35 feet in height, with a flat summit of 4 acres in extent, surrounded by a low rampart or bank 2 or 3 feet high ; upon this area rise 6 other mounds, one of which is 30 feet in height, or 65 feet above the level of the plain, and a collection of smaller hillocks are scattered around. There is another and similar group of 12 or 15 mounds nearer to Natchez. The American bottom in Illinois is remarkable for the number and size of the mounds, which are scattered, “like gigantic hay-cocks," over its surface ; 20 of them may be counted near Cahokia, and the largest, which is surrounded by a group of 16 or 18 smaller ones, is 90 feet in height, with a base 600 yards in circumference. Among the fortifications, those of Chillicothe, of Circleville, which gave its name to the town, and Newark, in Ohio, deserve notice. The first mentioned consists of a square enclosure, surrounded by a rampart of earth 12 feet high, and 20 feet thick at the base, and covering more than 100 acres. That of Circleville was a similar enclosure of a circular shape, but it has been mostly destroyed, although numerous burrows or mounds still stand in the vicinity. At Newark there is also a circular rampart with lines
the Mexican gulf, and ready to utter the words, the feel. deem poorly of the heart, that would not thrill, as the song ings, and the experience, which they have treasured up is heard, like the sound of many waters,' echoing among in a traveling ministry of 50 years, and whose accents, the hills and mountains. Such are the scenes, the assotrembling with age, still more impressively than their ciations, and such the influence of external things upon words, announce that they will soon travel, and preach the nature so 'fearfully and wonderfully.' constituted, as no more on the earth, are there. Such are the preachers. ours, that little effort is necessary, on such a theme as re
“ The line of tents is pitched; and the religious city ligion, urged at such a place, under such circumstances, grows up in a few hours under the trees, beside the to fill the heart and the eyes. The hoary orator talks of stream. Lamps are hung in lines among the branches; God, of eternity, a judgment to come, and all that is imand the effect of their glare upon the surrounding forest pressive beyond. He speaks of his experiences,' his is as of magic. The scenery of the most brilliant theatre toils and travels, his persecutions and welcomes, and how in the world is a painting only for children, compared many he has seen in hope, in peace, and triumph, gatherwith it. Meantime the multitudes, with the highest ex- ed to their fathers; and when he speaks of the short space citement of social feeling added to the general enthusiasm that remains to him, his only regret is, that he can no of expectation, pass from tent to tent, and interchange more proclaim, in the silence of death, the mercies of his apostolic greetings and embraces, and talk of the coming crucified Redeemer. solemnities. Their coffee and tea are prepared, and their “ There is no need of the studied trick of oratory, to supper is finished. By this time the moon, (for they take produce in such a place the deepest movements of the thought, to appoint the meeting at the proper time of the heart. No wonder, as the speaker pauses to dash the moon) begins to show its disk above the dark summits of gathering moisture from his own eye, that his audience the mountains; and a few stars are seen glimmering are dissolved in tears, or uttering the exclamations of penthrough the intervals of the branches. The whole con- itence. Nor is it cause for admiration, that many, who stitutes a temple worthy of the grandeur of God. An old poised themselves on an estimation of higher intellect man, in a dress of the quaintest simplicity, ascends a and a nobler insensibility, than the crowd, catch the inplatform, wipes the dust from his spectacles, and in a fectious feeling, and become women and children in their voice of suppressed emotion, gives out the hymn, of which turn; and though they came to mock, remain to pray.'”the whole assembled multitude can recite the words, - Flint's Geography. and an air, in which every voice can join. We should
diverging in different directions. In the western part of New York, there are three circular forts about 8 miles distant from each other, which have been thought to have enclosed and defended an ancient city. The American traveler, Captain Carver, describes an extensive work in the northern part of Wisconsin, about a mile in circuit, and requiring for its defence 5,000
CHAPTER XXVIII. TENNESSEE.
1. Boundaries and Extent. Tennessee is bounded N. by Kentucky ; E. by North Carolina ; S. by Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi ; and W. by the river Mississippi, separating it from Missouri and Arkansas. Its length is about 430 miles ; its breadth 104. It lies between 35° and 36° 36' N. lat., and between 81° 30' and 90° 10' W. long., and contains 45,000 square miles.
2. Mountains. The Cumberland Mountains, extend through the State from northeast to southwest, dividing it into two sections, which geographers distinguish as East and West Ten
In East Tennessee are many parallel ridges, the most lofty of which are the Laurel, Stone, Yellow, Iron, Bald, and Unaka Mountains. All these are peaks of a continued chain, Walden's and Copper Ridge, and Church, Powell's, and Bay's Mountains, are in the northeast. The summits of some of these mountains exhibit plateaus of considerable extent, which admit of good roads, and are inhabited and cultivated. The mountains and hills subside as they approach the Mississippi and Ohio.
3. Valleys. The valleys of the small rivers are extremely beautiful, and rich beyond any of the same description in the Western States. The valleys of the great streams of the Tennessee and Cumberland, differ little from the alluvions of the other great rivers of the West. On the small valleys are many fine plantations, and yet so lonely that they seem lost among the mountains.
4. Rivers. The Tennessee rises in the Alleghany Mountains, traverses East Tennessee, and the northern section of Alabama, re-enters Tennessee, crosses its whole width into Kentucky, and passes into the Ohio, 57 miles above its junction with the Mississippi. It is near 1,200 miles in length, and is the largest tributary of the Ohio. It has numerous branches, and is navigable for boats for 1,000 miles ; most of the branches rise among the mountains, and are too shallow for navigation, except during the floods which take place occasionally, at all seasons of the year, and admit flat boats to be floated down to the main stream. The principal branches are the Holston and Clinch, from the southwestern part of Virginia, and the French Broad and Hiwassee, from North Carolina. The current of the Tennessee is in general rapid, and is favorable only to downward navigation. At Muscle Shoals, the river expands to a width of several miles, and is very shallow. The principal tributaries of the Tennessee are the Elk and Duck. The River Cumberland rises in the Cumberland mountains in Kentucky, and after a course of nearly 200 miles in that State, passes into Tennessee, through which it makes a circuit of 250 miles, when it re-enters Kentucky and falls into the Ohio. In Tennessee it has several branches; it is a broad, deep, and beautiful stream ; steamboats of the largest size ascend this river to Nashville, and keel-boats, in moderate stages of the water, 300 miles further. The Obion, Forked Deer, Big Hatchy, and Wolf rivers, in the western part of this State, flow into the Mississippi ; these are all navigable for boats. No part of the western country is better watered than Tennessee.
5. Climate. The climate is delightful, being milder than in Kentucky, and free from the intense heat which prevails in the southern portion of the Mississippi valley. Snows of some depth are frequent in the winter, but the summers, especially in the higher regions, are mild. In these parts the salubrity of the climate is thought to equal that of any part of the United States ; but the low valleys, where stagnant waters abound, and the alluvions of the great rivers, are unhealthy.
6. Soil. The soil in East Tennessee is remarkably fertile, containing great proportions of lime. In West Tennessee, the soil is various, and the strata descend from the mountains in the following order ; first, loamy soil, or mixtures of clay and sand; next, yellow clay; thirdly, a mixture of red sand and red clay ; lastly, white sand. In the southern parts, are immense beds of oyster shells, on high table land, at a distance from any stream ; some of these shells are of an enormous size. The soil of the valleys and alluvions is extremely fertile.