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A Year's Residence in the United States of America Vol 3
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872. PITTSBURGH, June 3. Arrived here with a friend as travelling companion, by the mail stage from Philadelphia, after a journey of six days; having set out on the 28th May. We were much pleased with the face of the country, the greatest part of which was new to me. The route, as far as Lancaster, lay through a rich and fertile country, well cultivated by good, settled proprietors; the road excellent: smooth as the smoothest in England, and hard as, those made by the cruel corvιes in France. The Country finer, but the road not always so good, all the way from Lancaster, by Little York, to Chambersburgh; after which it changes for mountains and poverty, except in timber. Chambersburgh is situated on the North West side of that fine valley which lies between the South and North Mountains, and which extends from beyond the North East boundary of Pennsylvania to nearly the South West extremity of North Carolina, and which has limestone for its bottom and rich and fertile soil, and beauty upon the face of it, from one end to the other. The ridges of mountains called the Allegany, and forming the highest land in North America between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, begin here and extend across our route nearly 100 miles, or, rather, three days, for it was no less than half the journey to travel over them; they rise one above the other as we proceed Westward, till we reach the Allegany, the last and most lofty of all, from which we have a view to the West farther than the eye can carry. I can say nothing in commendation of the road over these mountains, but I must admire the drivers, and their excellent horses. The road is every thing that is bad, but the skill of the drivers, and the well constructed vehicles, and the capital old English horses, overcome every thing. We were rather singularly fortunate in not breaking down or upsetting; I certainly should not have been surprized if the whole thing, horses and all, had gone off the road and been dashed to pieces. A new road is making, however, and when that is completed, the journey will be shorter in point of time, just one half. A fine even country we get into immediately on descending the Allegany, with very little appearance of unevenness or of barrenness all the way to Pittsburgh; the evidence of good land in the crops, and the country beautified by a various mixture of woods and fields.
873. Very good accommodations for travellers the whole of the way. The stage stops to breakfast and to dine, and sleeps where it sups. They literally feasted us every where, at every meal, with venison and good meat of all sorts: every thing in profusion. In one point, how ever, I must make an exception, with regard to some houses: at night I was surprized, in taverns so well kept in other respects, to find bugs in the beds! I am sorry to say I observed (or, rather, felt,) this too often. Always good eating and drinking, but not always good sleeping.
874. June 4th and 5th. Took a view of Pittsburgh. It is situated between the mouths of the rivers Allegany and Monongahela, at the point where they meet and begin the Ohio, and is laid out in a triangular form, so that two sides of it lie contiguous to the water. Called upon Mr. Bake well, to whom we were introduced by letter, and who very obligingly satisfied our curiosity to see every thing of importance. After showing us through his extensive and well conducted glass works, he rowed us across the Monongahela to see the mines from which the fine coals we had seen burning were brought. These coals are taken out from the side of a steep hill, very near to the river, and brought from thence and laid down in any part of the town for 7 cents the bushel, weighing, perhaps, 80 Ibs. Better coals I never saw. A bridge is now building over the river, by which they will most probably be brought still cheaper.
875. This place surpasses even my expectations, both in natural resources and in extent of manufactures. Here are the materials for every species of manufacture, nearly, and of excellent quality and in profusion; and these means have been taken advantage of by skilful and industrious artizans and mechanics from all parts of the world. There is scarcely a denomination of manufacture or manual profession that is not carried on to a great extent, and, as far as I have been able to examine, in the best manner. The manufacture of iron in all the different branches, and the mills of all sorts, which I examined with the most attention, are admirable.
876. Price of flour, from 4 to 5 dollars a barrel; butter, 14 cents per Ib.; other provisions in proportion and mechanic's and good labourer's wages I dollar, arid ship-builder's I dollar and a half, a day.
877. June 6th. Leave Pittsburgh, and set out in a thing called an ark, which we buy for the purpose, down the Ohio. We have, besides, a small skiff, to tow the ark and go ashore occasionally. This ark, which would stow away eight persons, close packed, is a thing by no means pleasant to travel in, especially at night. It is strong at bottom, but may be compared to an orange-box, bowed over at top, and so badly made as to admit a boy's hand to steal the oranges: it is proof against the river, but not against the rain.
878. Just on going to push off the wharf, an English officer stepped on board of us, with all the curiosity imaginable. I at once took him for a spy hired to way-lay travellers. He began a talk about the Western countries, anxiously assuring us that we need not hope to meet with such a thing as a respectable person, travel where we would. I told him I hoped in God I should see no spy or informer, whether in plain clothes or regimentals, and that of one thing I was certain, at any rate: that I should find no Sinecure placeman or pensioner in the Western country.
879. The Ohio, at its commencement, is about 600 yards broad, and continues running with nearly parallel sides, taking two or three different directions in its course, for about 200 miles. There is a curious contrast between the waters which form this river: that of the Allegany is clear and transparent, that of the Monongahela thick and muddy, and it is not for a considerable distance that they entirely mingle. The sides of the river are beautiful; there are always rich bottom lands upon the banks, which are steep and pretty high, varying in width from a few yards to a mile, and skirted with steep hills varying also in height, over hanging with fine timber.
880. June 7th. Floating down the Ohio, at the rate of four miles an hour. Lightning, thunder, rain and hail pelting in upon us. The hail-stones as large as English hazle-nuts. Stop at Steubenville all night. A nice place; has more stores than taverns, which is a good sign.
881. June 8th. Came to Wheeling at about 12 o'clock. It is a handsome place, and of considerable note. Stopped about an hour. Found flour to be about 4 to 5 dollars a barrel; fresh beef 4 to 6 cents per lb., and other things (the produce of the country) about the same proportion. Labourers' wages, I dollar a day. Fine coals here, and at Steubenville.
882. June 9th. Two fine young men join us, one a carpenter and the other a saddler, from Washington, in a skiff that they have bought at Pittsburgh, and in which they are taking a journey of about 700 miles down the river. We allow them to tie their skiff to our ark, for which they very cheerfully assist us. Much diverted to see the nimbleness with which they go on shore sometimes with their rifles to shoot pigeons and squirrels. The whole expences of these two young men in floating the 700 miles, will be but 7 dollars each, including skiff and every thing else.
883. This day pass Marietta, a good looking town at the mouth of the Muskingham River. It is, however, like many other towns on the Ohio, built on too low ground, and is subject to inundations. Here I observe a contrivance of great ingenuity. There is a strong rope put across the mouth of the river, opposite the town, fastened to trees or large posts on each side; upon this rope runs a pulley or block, to which is attached a rope, and to the rope a ferry-boat, which, by moving the helm first one way and then the other, is propelled by the force of the water across the river backwards or forwards.
884. June 10th. Pass several fine coal mines, which, like those at Pittsburgh, Steubenville, Wheeling and other places, are not above 50 yards from the river and are upwards of 10 yards above high water. The river now becomes more winding than we have hitherto found it. It is sometimes so serpentine that it appears before and behind like a continuation of lakes, and the hills on its banks seem to be the separations. Altogether, nothing can be more beautiful.
885. June 11th. A very hot day, but I could not discover the degree of heat. On going along we bought two Perch, weighing about 8 Ibs. each, for 25 cents, of a boy who was fishing. Fish of this sort will sometimes weigh 30 Ibs. each. a pa
886. June 12th. Pass Portsmouth, at the mouth of the Scioto River. A sort of village, containing a hundred or two of houses. Not worthy of any particular remark.
887. June 13th. Arrived at Cincinnati about midnight. Tied our ark to a large log at the side of the river, and went to sleep. Before morning, however, the fastening broke, and, if it had not been for a watchful back-woods-man whom we had taken on board some distance up the river, we might have floated ten or fifteen miles without knowing it. This back-woods man, besides being of much service to us, has been a very entertaining companion. He says he has been in this country forty years, but that he is an Englishman, and was bred in Sherwood Forest (he could not have come from a better nursery). All his adventures he detailed to us very minutely, but dwelt with particular warmth upon one he had had with a priest, lately, who, to spite him for preaching, brought an action against him, but was cast and had to pay costs.
888. June 14th and 15th. Called upon Doctor Drake and upon a Mr. Bosson, to whom we had letters. These gentlemen shewed us the greatest civility, and treated us with a sort of kindness which must have changed the opinion even of the English officer whom we saw at Pittsburgh, had he been with us. I could tell that dirty hireling scout, that even in this short space of time, I have had the pleasure to meet many gentlemen, very well informed, and possessing great knowledge as to their own country, evincing public spirit in all their actions, and hospitality and kindness in all their demeanor; but, if they be pensioners, male or female, or sinecure place lords or ladies, I have yet come across, thank God, no respectable people.
889. Cincinnati is a very fine town, and elegantly (not only in the American acceptation of the word) situated on the banks of the river, nearly opposite to Licking Creek, which runs out of Kentucky, and is a stream of considerable importance. The country round the town is beautiful, and the soil rich; the fields in its immediate vicinity bear principally grass, and clover of different sorts, the fragrant smell of which perfumes the air. The town itself ranks next to Pittsburgh, of the towns on the Ohio, in point of manufactures.
890. We sold our ark, and its produce formed a deduction from our expences, which, with that deduction, amounted to 14 dollars each, including every thing, for the journey from Pittsburgh to this place, which is upwards of 500 miles. I could not but remark the price of fuel here; 2 dollars a cord for Hickory; a cord is 8 feet by 4, and 4 deep, and the wood, the best in the world; it burns much like green Ash, but gives more heat. This, which is of course the highest price for fuel in this part of the country, is only about a fifth of what it is at Philadelphia.
891. June 16th. Left Cincinnati for Louis ville with seven other persons, in a skiff about 20 feet long and 5 feet wide.
892. June 17th. Stopped at VEVAY, a very neat and beautiful place, about 70 miles above the falls of the Ohio. Our visit here was principally to see the mode used, as well as what progress was made, in the cultivation of the vine, and I had a double curiosity, never having as yet seen a vineyard. These vineyards are cultivated entirely by a small settlement of Swiss, of about a dozen families, who have been here about ten years. They first settled on the Kentucky river, but did not succeed there. They plant the vines in rows, attached to stakes like espaliers, and they plough between with a one-horse plough. The grapes, which are of the sorts of claret and madeira, look very fine and luxuriant, and will be ripe in about the middle of September. The soil and climate both appear to be quite congenial to the growth of the vine: the former rich and the latter warm. The north west wind, when it blows, is very cold, but the south, south east and south west winds, which are always warm, are prevalent. The heat, in the middle of the summer, I understand, is very great, being generally above 85 degrees, and sometimes above 100 degrees. Each of these families has a farm as well as a vineyard, so that they supply themselves with almost every necessary and have their wine all clear profit. Their produce will this year be probably not less than 5000 gallons; we bought 2 gallons of it at a dollar each, as good as I would wish to drink. Thus it is that the tyrants of Europe create vineyards in this new country!
893. June 18th. Arrived at Louisville, Kentucky. The town is situated at the commencement of the falls, or rapids, of the Ohio. The river, at this place, is little less than a mile wide, and the falls continue from a ledge of rocks which runs across the river in a sloping direction at this part, to Shippingport, about 2 miles lower down. Perceiving stagnant waters about the town, and an appearance of the house that we stopped at being infested with bugs, we resolved not to make any stay at Louisville, but got into our skiff and floated down the falls to Shippingport. We found it very rough floating, not to say dangerous. The river of very unequal widths and full of islands and rocks along this short distance, and the current very rapid, though the descent is not more than 22 feet. At certain times of the year the water rises so that there is no fall; large boats can then pass.
894. At Shippingport, stopped at the house of Mr. Berthoud, a very respectable French gentleman, from whom we received the greatest civility during our stay, which was two nights and the day intervening.
895. Shippingport is situated at a place of very great importance, being the upper extremity of that part of the river which is navigable for heavy steam-boats. All the goods coming from the country are re-shipped, and every thing going to it is un-shipped, here. Mr. Berthoud has the store in which the articles exporting or importing are lodged; and is, indeed, a great shipper, though at a thousand miles from the sea.
896. June 20th. Left the good and comfortable house of Mr. Berthoud, very much pleased with him and his amiable wife and family, though I differed with him a little in politics. Having been taught at church, when a boy, that the Pope was the whore of Babylon, that the Bourbons were tyrants, and that the Priests and privileged orders of France were impostors and petty tyrants under them, I could not agree with him in applauding the Boroughmongers of England for re-subjugating the people of France, and restoring the Bourbons, the Pope, and the Inquisition.
897. Stop at New Albany, 2 miles below Shippingport, till the evening. A Mr. Paxton, I am told, is the proprietor of a great part of the town, and has the grist and saw-mills, which are worked by steam, and the ferry across the river. Leave this place in company with a couple of young men from the western part of the state of New York, who are on their way to Tennessee in a small ferry-boat. Their whole journey will, probably, be about 1,500 miles.
898. June 21st. Floating down the river, without any thing in particular occurring.
899. June 22nd. Saw a Mr. Johnstone and his wife reaping wheat on the side of the river. They told us they had come to this spot last year, direct from Manchester, Old England, and had bought their little farm of 55 acres of a back-woods-man who had cleared it, and was glad to move further westward, for 3 dollars an acre. They had a fine flock of little children, and pigs and poultry, and were cheerful and happy, being confident that their industry and economy would not be frustrated by visits for tithes or taxes.
900. June 23rd. See great quantities of turkey-buzzards and thousands of pigeons. Came to Pigeon Creek, about 230 miles below the Falls, and stopped for the night at Evansville, a town of nine months old, near the mouth of it. We are now frequently met and passed by large, fine steam-boats, plying up and down the river. One went by us as we arrived here which had left Shippingport only the evening before. They go down the river at the rate of 10 miles an hour, and charge passengers 6 cents a mile, boarding and lodging included. The price is great, but the time is short.
901. June 24th. Left Evansville. This little place is rapidly increasing, and promises to be a town of considerable trade. It is situated at a spot which seems likely to become a port for shipping to Princeton and a pretty large district of Indiana. I find that the land speculators have made entry of the most eligible tracts of land, which will impede the partial, though not the final, progress of population and improvement in this part of the state.
902. On our way to Princeton, we see large flocks of fine wild turkeys, and whole herds of pigs, apparently very fat. The pigs are wild also, but have become so from neglect. Some of the inhabitants, who prefer sport to work, live by shooting these wild turkeys and pigs, and, indeed, sometimes, I understand, they shoot and carry off those of their neighbours before they are wild.
903. June 25th. Arrived at Princeton, Indiana, about 20 miles from the river. I was sorry to see very little doing in this town. They cannot all keep stores and taverns! One of the store-keepers told me he does not sell more than ten thousand dollars value per annum: he ought, then, to manufacture something and not spend nine tenths of his time in lolling with a segar in his mouth.
904. June 26th. At Princeton, endeavouring to purchase horses, as w e had now gone far enough down the Ohio. While waiting in our tavern, two men called in armed with rifles, and made enquiries for some horses they suspected to be stolen. They told us they had been almost all the way from Albany, to Shawnee town after them, a distance of about 150 miles. I asked them how they would be able to secure the thieves, if they overtook them, in these wild woods; "O" said they, "shoot them off the horses." This is a summary mode of executing justice, thought I, though probably the most effectual, and, indeed, only one in this state of society. A thief very rarely escapes here; not nearly so often as in more populous districts. The fact was, in this case, however, we discovered afterwards, that the horses had strayed away, and had returned home by this time. But, if they had been stolen, the stealers would not have escaped. When the loser is tired, another will take up the pursuit, and the whole country is up in arms till he is found.
905. June 27th. Still at Princeton. At last we get suited with horses. Mine costs me only 135 dollars with the bridle and saddle, and that I am told is 18 dollars too much.
906. June 28th. Left Princeton, and set out to see Mr. Birkbeck's settlement, in Illinois, about 35 miles from Princeton. Before we got to the Wabash we had to cross a swamp of half a mile wide; we were obliged to lead our horses, and walk up to the knees in mud and water. Before we got half across we began to think of going back; but, there is a sound bottom under it all, and we waded through it as well as we could. It is, in fact, nothing but a bed of very soft and rich land, and only wants draining to be made productive. We soon after came to the banks of the great Wabash, which is here about half a mile broad, and as the ferry boat was crossing over with us I amused myself by washing my dirty boots. Before we mounted again we happened to meet with a neighbour of Mr. Birkbeck's, who was returning home; we accompanied him, and soon entered into the prairie lands, up to our horses' bellies in fine grass. These prairies, which are surrounded with lofty woods, put me in mind of immense noblemen's parks in England. Some of those we passed over are called wet prairies, but, they are dry at this time of the year; and, as they are none of them flat, they need but very simple draining to carry off the water all the year round. Our horses were very much tormented with flies, some as large as the English horse-fly and some as large as the wasp; these flies infest the prairies that are unimproved about three months in the year, but go away altogether as soon as cultivation begins.
907. Mr. Birkbeck's settlement is situated between the two Wabashes, and is about ten miles from the nearest navigable water; we arrived there about sun-set, and met with a welcome which amply repaid us for our day's toil. We found that gentleman with his two sons perfectly healthy and in high spirits: his daughters were at Henderson (a town in Kentucky, on the Ohio) on a visit. At present his habitation is a cabin, the building of which cost only 20 dollars; this little hutch is near the spot where he is about to build his house, which he intends to have in the most eligible situation in the prairie for convenience to fuel and for shelter in winter, as well as for breezes in summer, and will, when that is completed, make one of its appurtenances. I like this plan of keeping the old log-house; it reminds the grandchildren and their children's children of what their ancestor has done for their sake.
908. Few settlers had as yet joined Mr. Birkbeck; that is to say, settlers likely to become "society;" he has labourers enough near him, either in his own houses or on land of their own joining his estate. He was in daily expectation of his friends Mr. Flower's family, however, with a large party besides; they had just landed at Shawnee Town, about 20 miles distant. Mr. Birkbeck informs me he has made entry of a large tract of land, lying, part of it, all the way from his residence to the great Wabash; this he will re-sell again in lots to any of his friends, they taking as much of it and wherever they choose (provided it be no more than they can cultivate), at an advance which I think very fair and liberal.
909. The whole of his operations had been directed hitherto (and wisely in my opinion) to building, fencing, and other important preparations. He had done nothing in the cultivating way but make a good garden, which supplies him with the only things that he cannot purchase, and, at present, perhaps, with more economy than he could grow them. He is within twenty miles of Harmony, in Indiana, where he gets his flour and all other necessaries (the produce of the country), and therefore employs himself much better in making barns and houses and mills for the reception and disposal of his crops, and fences to preserve them while grow ing, before he grows them, than to get the crops first. I have heard it observed that any American settler, even without a dollar in his pocket, would have had something growing by this time. Very true! I do not question that at all; for, the very first care of a. settler without a dollar in his, pocket is to get something to eat, and, he would consequently set to work scratching up the earth, fully confident that after a long summering upon wild flesh (without salt, perhaps) his own belly would stand him for barn, if his jaws would not for mill But the case is very different with Mr. Birkbeck, and at present he has need for no other provision for winter but about a three hundredth part of his fine grass turned into hay, which will keep his necessary horses and cows; besides which he has nothing that eats but such pigs as live upon the waste, and a couple of fine young deer (which would weigh, they say when full grown, 200 Ibs. dead weight), that his youngest son is rearing up as pets.
910. I very much admire Mr. Birkbeck's mode of fencing. He makes a ditch 4 feet wide at top, sloping to I foot wide at bottom, and 4 feet deep. With the earth that comes out of the ditch he makes a bank on one side, which is turfed towards the ditch. Then a long pole is put up from the bottom of the ditch to 2 feet above the bank; this is crossed by a short pole from the other side, and then a rail is laid along between the forks. The banks were growing beautifully, and looked altogether very neat as well as formidable; though a live hedge (which he intends to have) instead of dead poles and rails, upon top, would make the fence far more effectual as well as handsomer. I am always surprized, until I reflect how universally and to what a degree, farming is neglected in this country, that this mode of fencing is not adopted in cultivated districts, especially where the land is wet, or lies low; for, there it answer a double purpose, being as effectual a drain as it is a fence.
911. I was rather disappointed, or sorry, at any rate, not to find near Mr. Birkbeck's any of the means for machinery or of the materials for manufactures, such as the water-falls, and the minerals and mines, which are possessed in such abundance by the states of Ohio and Kentucky, and by some parts of Pennsylvania. Some of these, however, he may yet find. Good wa ter he has, at any rate. He showed me a well 25 feet deep, bored partly through hard sub stances near the bottom, that was nearly over flowing with water of excellent quality.
912. July 1st. Left Mr. Birkbeck's for Harmony, Indiana. The distance by the direct way, is about 18 miles, but there is no road, as yet; indeed, it was often with much difficulty that we could discover the way at all. After we had crossed the Wabash, which we did at a place called Davis's Ferry, we hired a man to con duct us some part of the way through the woods. In about a mile he brought us to a track, which was marked out by slips of bark being stripped off the trees, once in about 40 yards; he then left us, and told us we could not mis take if we followed that track. We soon lost all appearance of the track, however, and of the "blazing" of the trees, as they call it; but, as it was useless to go back again for another guide, our only way was to keep straight on in the same direction, bring us where it would. Having no compass, this nearly cost us our sight, for it was just mid-day, and we had to gaze at the sun a long time before we discovered what was our course. After this we soon, to our great joy, found ourselves in a large com field; rode round it, and came to Johnson's Ferry, a place where a Bayou (Boyau) of the Wabash is crossed. This Bayou is a run out of the main river, round a flat portion of land, which is sometimes overflowed: it is part of the same river, and the land encompassed by it, an island. Crossed this ferry in a canoe, and got a ferry-man to swim our horses after us. Mounted again and followed a track which brought us to Black River, which we forded without getting wet, by holding our feet up. After crossing the river we found a man who was kind enough to shew us about half a mile through the woods, by which our journey was shortened five or six miles. He put us into a direct track to Harmony, through lands as rich as a dung-hill, and covered with immense timber; we thanked him, and pushed on our horses with eager curiosity to see this far-famed Harmonist Society.
913. On coming within the precincts of the Harmonites we found ourselves at the side of the Wabash again; the river on our right hand, and their lands on our left. Our road now lay across a field of Indian corn, of, at the very least, a mile in width, and bordering the town on the side we entered; I wanted nothing more than to behold this immense field of most beautiful corn to be at once convinced of all I had heard of the industry of this society of Germans, and I found, on proceeding a little farther, that the progress they had made exceeded all my idea of it.
914. The town is methodically laid out in a situation well chosen in all respects; the houses are good and clean, and have, each one, a nice garden well stocked with all vegetables and tastily ornamented with flowers. I observe that these people are very fond of flowers, by the bye; the cultivation of them, and musick, are their chief amusements. I am sorry to see this, as it is to me a strong symptom of simplicity and ignorance, if not a badge of their German slavery. Perhaps the pains they take with them is the cause of their flowers being finer than any I have hitherto seen in America, but, most probably, the climate here is more favourable. Having refreshed ourselves at the Tavern, where we found every thing we wanted for ourselves and our horses, and all very clean and nice, besides many good things we did not expect, such as beer, porter, and even wine, all made within the Society, and very good indeed, we then went out to see the people at their harvest, which was just begun. There were 150 men and women all reaping in the same field of wheat. A beautiful sight! The crop was very fine, and the field, extending to about two miles in length, and from half a mile to a mile in width, was all open to one view, the sun shining on it from the West, and the reapers advancing regularly over it.
915. At sun-set all the people came in, from the fields, work-shops, mills, manufactories, and from all their labours. This being their evening for prayer during the week, the Church bell called them out again, in about 15 minutes, to attend a lecture from their High Priest and Law-giver, Mr. George Rapp. We went to hear the lecture, or, rather, to see the performance, for, it being all performed in German, we could understand not a word. The people were all collected in a twinkling, the men at one end of the Church and the women at the other; it looked something like a Quaker Meeting, except that there was not a single little child in the place. Here they were kept by their Pastor a couple of hours, after which they returned home to bed. This is the quantum of Church-service they perform during the week; but on Sundays they are in Church nearly the whole of the time from getting up to going to bed. When it happens that Mr. Rapp cannot attend, either by indisposition or other accident, the Society still meet as usual, and the elders (certain of the most trusty arid discreet, whom the Pastor selects as a sort of assistants in his divine commission) converse on religious subjects.
916. Return to the Tavern to sleep; a good comfortable house, well kept by decent people, and the master himself, who is very intelligent and obliging, is one of the very few at Harmony who can speak English. Our beds were as good as those stretched upon by the most highly pensioned and placed Boroughmongers, and our sleep, I hope, much better than the tyrants ever get, in spite of all their dungeons and gags.
917. July 2nd. Early in the morning, took a look at the manufacturing establishment, accompanied by our Tavern-keeper. I find great attention is paid to this branch of their affairs. Their principle is, not to be content with the profit upon the manual labour of raising the article, but also to have the benefit of the machine in preparing it for use. I agree with them perfectly, and only wish the subject was as well understood all over the United States as it is at Harmony. It is to their skill in this way that they owe their great prosperity; if they had been nothing but farmers, they would be now at Harmony in Pennsylvania, poor cultivators, getting a bare subsistence, instead of having doubled their property two or three times over, by which they have been able to move here and select one of the choicest spots in the country.
918. But, in noting down the state of this Society, as it now is, its origin should not be forgotten; the curious history of it serves as an explanation to the jumble of sense and absurdity in the association. I will therefore trace the Harmonist Society from its outset in Germany to this place.
919. The Sect had its origin at Wurtemberg in Germany, about 40 years ago, in the person of its present Pastor and Master, George Rapp, who, by his own account, "having long seen and felt the decline of the Church, found himself impelled to bear testimony to the fundamental principles of the Christian Religion; and, finding no toleration for his inspired doctrines, or for those who adopted them, he determined with his followers to go to that part of the earth where they were free to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience." In other words (I suppose), he had long-beheld and experienced the slavery and misery of his country, and, feeling in his conscience that he was born more for a ruler than for a slave, found himself imperiously called upon to collect together a body of his poor countrymen and to lead them into a land of liberty and abundance. However, allowing him to have had no other than his professed views, he, after he had got a considerable number of proselytes, amounting to seven or eight hundred persons, among whom were a sufficiency of good labourers and artizans in all the essential branches of workmanship and trade, besides farmers, he embodied them into a Society, and then came himself to America (not trusting to Providence to lead the way) to seek out the land destined for these chosen children. Having done so, and laid the plan for his route to the land of peace and Christian love, with a foresight which shows him to have been by no means unmindful to the temporal prosperity of the Society, he then landed his followers in separate bodies, and prudently led them in that order to a resting place within Pennsylvania, choosing rather to retard their progress through the wilderness than to hazard the discontent that might arise from want and fatigue in traversing it at once. When they were all arrived, Rapp constituted them into one body, having every thing in common, and called the settlement Harmony. This constitution he found authorized by the passage in Acts, iv, 32. "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart, and of one soul: neither said any of them that aught of the things he possessed was his own, but that they had all things common." Being thus associated, the Society went to work, early in 1805, building houses and clearing lands, according to the order and regulations of their leader; but, the community of stock, or the regular discipline, or the restraints which he had reduced them to, and which were essential to his project, soon began to thin his followers, and principally, too, those of them who had brought most substance into the society; they demanded back their original portions and set out to seek the Lord by themselves. This falling off of the society, though it was but small, comparatively, in point of numbers, was a great reduction from their means; they had calculated what they should want to consume, and had laid the rest out in land; so that the remaining part were subjected to great hardships and difficulties for the first year or two of their settling, which was during the time of their greatest labours. However, it was not long before they began to reap the fruits of their toil, and in the space of six or seven years their settlement became a most flourishing colony. During that short space of time they brought into cultivation 3,000 acres of land (a third of their whole estate), reared a flock of nearly 2,000 sheep, and planted hop gardens, orchards, and vineyards; built barns and stables to house their crops and their live stock, granaries to keep one year's produce of grain always in advance, houses to make their cyder, beer, and wine in, and good brick or stone warehouses for their several species of goods; constructed distilleries, mills for grinding, sawing, making oil, and, indeed, for every purpose, and machines for manufacturing their various materials for clothing and other uses; they had, besides, a store for retailing Philadelphia goods to the country, and nearly 100 good dwelling-houses of wood, a large stone-built tavern, and, as a proof of superabundance, a dwelling-house and a meeting-house (alias the parsonage and church) which they had neatly built of brick. And, besides all these improvements within the society, they did a great deal of business, principally in the. way of manufacturing, for the people of the country. They worked for them with their mills and machines, some of which did nothing else, and their blacksmiths, tailors, shoe-makers, &c. when not employed by themselves, were constantly at work for their neighbours. Thus this ever-lastingly-at-work band of emigrants increased their stock before they quitted their first colony, to upwards of two hundred thousand dollars, from, probably, not one fifth of that sum. What will not unceasing perseverance accomplish? But, with judgment and order to direct it, what in the world can stand against it!1
920. In comparing the state of this society as it now is with what it was in Pennsylvania, it is just the same as to plan; the temporal and spiritual affairs are managed in the same way, and upon the same principles, only both are more flourishing. Rapp has here brought his disciples into richer land, and into a situation better in every respect, both for carrying on their trade, and for keeping to their faith; their vast extent of land is, they say, four feet deep of rich mould, nearly the whole of it, and it lies along the banks of a fine navigable river on one side, while the possibility of much interruption from other classes of Christians is effectually guarded against by an endless barricado of woods on the other side. Bringing the means and experience acquired at their first establish ment, they have of course gone on improving and increasing (not in population) at a much greater rate. One of their greatest improvements, they tell me, is the working of their mills and manufacturing machines by steam; they feel the advantage of this more and more every year. They are now preparing to build a steam-boat; this is to be employed in their traffick with New Orleans, carrying their own surplus produce and returning with tea, coffee, and other commodities for their own consumption, and to retail to the people of the country. I believe they advance, too, in the way of ornaments and superfluities, for the dwelling-house they have now built their pastor, more resembles a Bishop's Palace than what I should figure to myself as the humble abode of a teacher of the "fundamental principles of the Christian Religion."
921. The government of this society is by bands, each consisting of a distinct trade or calling. They have a foreman to each band, who rules it under the general direction of the society, the law-giving power of which is in the High Priest. He cannot, however make laws without the consent of the parties. The manufacturing establishment, and the mercantile affairs and public accounts are all managed by one person; he, I believe, is one of the sons of Rapp. They have a bank, where a separate account is kept for each person; if any one puts in money, or has put in money, he may, on certain conditions as to time, take it out again. They labour and possess in common; that is to say, except where it is not practicable or is immaterial, as with their houses, gardens, cows and poultry, which they have to themselves, each family. They also retain what property each may bring on joining the concern, and he may demand it in case of leaving the society, but without interest.
922. Here is certainly a wonderful example of the effects of skill, industry, and force combined: this congregation of far-seeing, ingenious, crafty, and bold, and of ignorant, simple, superstitious, and obedient, Germans, has shown what may be done. But, their example, I believe, will generally only tend to confirm this free people in their suspicion that labour is concomitant to slavery or ignorance. Instead of their improvements, and their success and prosperity altogether, producing admiration, if not envy, they have a social discipline, the thought of which reduces these feelings to ridicule and contempt: that is to say, with regard to the mass; with respect to their leaders, one's feelings are apt to be stronger. A fundamental of their religious creed ("restraining clause" a Chancery Lawyer would call it) requires restrictions on the propagation of the species; it orders such regulations as are necessary to prevent children coming but once in a certain number of years; and this matter is so arranged that, when they come, they come in little flocks, all within the same month, perhaps, like a farmer's lambs. The Law giver here made a famously "restraining statute" upon the law of nature! This way of expounding law seems to be a main point of his policy; he by this means keeps his associates from increasing to an unruly number within, while more are sure not to come in from without; and, I really am afraid he will go a good way towards securing a monopoly of many great improvements in agriculture, both as to principle and method. People see the fine fields of the Harmonites, but, the prospect comes damped with the idea of bondage and celibacy. It is a curious society: was ever one heard of before that did not wish to increase! This smells strong of policy; some distinct view in the leaders, no doubt. Who would be surprized if we were to see a still more curious society by and bye? A Society Sole! very far from improbable, if the sons of Rapp (for he has children, nevertheless, as well as Parson Malthus) and the Elders were to die, it not being likely that they will renounce or forfeit their right to the common stock. We should then have societies as well as corporations vested in one person! That would be quite a novel kind of benefice! but, not the less fat. I question whether the associated person of Mr. Rapp would not be in possession of as fine a domain and as many good things as the incorporated person of an Archbishop: nay, he would rival the Pope! But, to my journal.
923. Arrive at Princeton in the evening; a good part of our road lay over the fine lands of the Harmonites. I understand, by the bye, that the title deeds to these lands are taken in the name of Rapp and of his associates. Poor associates: if they do but rebel! Find the same store-keepers and tavern-keepers in the same attitudes that we left them in the other day. Their legs only a little higher than their heads, and segars in their mouths; a fine position for business! It puts my friend in mind of the Roman posture in dining.
924. July 3rd. At Princeton all day. This is a pretty considerable place; very good as to buildings; but, is too much inland to be a town of any consequence until the inhabitants do that at home which they employ merchants and foreign manufactures to do for them. Pay 1 dollar for a set of old shoes to my horse, half the price of new ones.
925. July 4th. Leave Princeton; in the evening, reach a place very appropriately called Mud-holes, after riding 46 miles over lands in general very good but very little cultivated, and that little very badly; the latter part of the journey in company with a Mr. Jones from Kentucky. Nature is the agriculturist here; speculation, instead of cultivation, is the order of the day amongst men. We feel the ill effects of this in the difficulty of getting oats for our horses. However, the evil is unavoidable, if it really can be called an evil. As well might I grumble that farmers have not taken pos session as complain that men of capital have. Labour is the thing wanted, but, to have that, money must come first. This Mud-holes was a sort of fort, not 4 years ago, for guarding against the Indians, who then committed great depredations, killing whole families often, men, women and children. How changeable are the affairs of this world! I have not met with a single Indian in the whole course of my route.
926. July 5th. Come to Judge Chambers', a good tavern; 35 miles. On our way, pass French Lick, a strong spring of water impregnated with salt and sulphur, and called Lick from its being resorted to by cattle for the salt; close by this spring is another still larger, of fine clear lime-stone water, running fast enough to turn a mill. Some of the trees near the Judge's exhibit a curious spectacle; a large piece of wood appears totally dead, all the leaves brown and the branches broken, from bein roosted upon lately by an enormous multitude of pigeons. A novel sight for us, unaccustomed to the abundance of the back-woods! No tavern but this, nor house of any description, within many miles.
927. July 6th. Leave the Judge's, still in company with Mr. Jones. Ride 25 miles to breakfast, not sooner finding feed for our horses; this was at the dirty log-house of Mr. who has a large farm with a grist-mill on it, and keeps his yard and stables ancle deep in mud and water. If this were not one of the healthiest climates in the world, he and his family must have died in all this filth. About 13 miles further, come to New Albany, where we stop at Mr Jenkins's, the best tavern we have found in Indiana, that at Harmony excepted.
928. July 7th. Resting at New Albany. We were amused by hearing a Quaker-lady preach to the natives. Her first words were "all the nations of the earth are of one blood." "So," said I to myself, "this question, which has so long perplexed philosophers, divines and physicians, is now set at rest!" She proceeded to vent her rage with great vehemence against hireling priests and the trade of preaching in general, and closed with dealing out large portions of brimstone to the drunkard and still larger and hotter to those who give the bottle to drink. This part of her discourse pleased me very much, and may be a saving to me into the bargain; for, the dread of everlasting roasting added to my love of economy will (I think) prevent me making my friends tipsy. A very efficacious sermon!
929. July 8th. Jenkins's is a good tavern, but it entertains at a high price. Our bill was 6 dollars each for a day and two nights; a shameful charge. Leave New Albany, cross the Ohio, and pass through Louisville in Kentucky again, on our way to Lexington, the capital. Stop for the night at Mr. Netherton's, a good tavern. The land hitherto is good, and the country altogether healthy, if I may judge from the people, who appear more cheerful and happy than in Indiana, always excepting Harmony. Our landlord is the picture of health and strength: 6 feet 4 inches high, weighs 300 Ibs., and not fat.
930. July 9th. Dine at Mr. Overton's tavern, on our way to Frankfort; pay half a dollar each for an excellent dinner, with as much brandy and butter-milk as we chose to drink, and good feed for our horses. In the afternoon we have the pleasure to be overtaken by two ladies on horse-back, and have their agreeable company for a mile or two. On their turning off from our road we were very reluctantly obliged to refuse an obliging invitation to drink tea at their house, and myself the more so, as one of the ladies informed me she had married a Mr. Constantine, a gentleman from my own native town of Bolton, in Lancashire. But, we had yet so far to go, and it was getting dark. This most healthful mode of travelling is universal in the Western States, and it gives me great pleasure to see it; though, perhaps, I have to thank the badness of the roads as the cause. Arrive at Frankfort, apparently a thriving town, on the side of the rough Kentucky river. The houses are built chiefly of brick, and the streets, I understand, paved with limestone. Limestone abounds in this state, and yet the roads are not good, though better than in Indiana and Ohio, for, there, there are none. I wonder the governments of these states do not set about making good roads and bridges, and even canals. I pledge myself to be able to shew them how the money might be raised, and, moreover, to prove that the expence would be paid over and over again in almost no time. Such improvements would be income to the governments instead of expence, besides being such an incalculable benefit to the states. But, at any rate, why not roads, and in this state, too, which is so .remarkable for its quality of having good road materials and rich land together, generally, all over it?
931. July 10th. Leave Frankfort, and come through a district of fine land, very well watered, to Lexington; stop at Mr. Keen's tavern. Had the good fortune to meet Mr. Clay, who carried us to his house, about a mile in the country. It is a beautiful residence, situated near the centre of a very fine farm, which is just cleared and is coming into excellent cultivation. I approve of Mr. Clay's method very much, especially in laying down pasture. He clears away all the brush or underwood, leaving timber enough to afford a sufficiency of shade to the grass, which does not thrive here exposed to the sun, as in England and other such climates. By this means he has as fine grass and clover as can possibly grow. I could not but admire to see this gentleman, possessing so much knowledge and of so much weight in his country's affairs, so attentively promoting her not less important though more silent interests by improving her agriculture. What pleased me still more, however, because I less expected it, was, to hear Mrs. Clay, in priding herself on the state of society, and the rising prosperity of the country, citing as a proof the decency and affluence of the trades-people and mechanics at Lexington, many of whom ride about in their own carriages. What a contrast, both in sense and in sentiment, between this lady and the wives of Legislators (as they are called), in the land of the Boroughmongers! God grant that no privileged batch ever rise up in America, for then down come the mechanics, are harnessed themselves, and half ridden to death.
932. July 11th. This is the hottest day we have had yet. Thermometer at 90 degrees, in shade. Met a Mr. Whittemore, from Boston, loud in the praise of this climate. He informed me he had lately lost his wife and five children near Boston, and that he should have lost his only remaining child, too, a son now stout and healthy, had he not resolved instantly to try the air of the west. He is confident that if he had taken this step in time he might have saved the lives of all his family. This might be, however, and yet this climate not better than that of Boston. Spent the evening with Colonel Morrison, one of the first settlers in this state; a fine looking old gentleman, with colour in his face equal to a London Alderman. The people here are pretty generally like that portion of the people of England who get porridge enough to eat; stout, fat, and ruddy,
933. July 12th. Hotter than yesterday; thermometer at 91 degrees.
934. July 13th. Leave Lexington; stop at Paris, 22 miles. A fine country all the way; good soil, plenty of limestone and no musquitoes. Paris is a healthy town, with a good deal of stir; woollen and cotton manufactures are carried on here, but upon a small scale. They are not near enough to good coal mines to do much in that way. What they do, how ever, is well paid for. A spinner told me he gets 83 cents per Ib. for his twist, which is 33 cents more than it would fetch at New York. Stop at Mr. Timber-lake's, a good house. The bar-keeper, who comes from England tells me that he sailed to Canada, but he is glad he had the means to leave Canada and come to Kentucky; he has 300 dollars a year, and board and lodging. Made enquiry after young Watson, but find he has left this place and is gone to Lexington.
935. The following is a list of the wages and prices of the most essential branches of workmanship and articles of consumption, as they are here at present.
936. July 14th. Hot again; 90 degrees. Arrive at Blue Licks, close by the fine Licking Creek, 22 miles from Paris. Here is a sulphur and salt spring like that at French Lick in Indiana, which makes this a place of great resort in summer for the fashionable swallowers of mineral waters; the three or four taverns are at this time completely crowded. Salt was made till latterly at this spring, by an old Scots man; he now attends the ferry across the Creek. Not much to be said for the country round here; it is stony and barren, what I have not seen before in Kentucky.
937. July 15th. To Maysville, or Lime stone, 24 miles. This is a place on the banks of the Ohio, and is a sort of port for shipping down the river to a great part of that district of the state for which Louisville is the shipping port to and from New Orleans. Still hot; 90 degrees again. This is the fifth day; rather unusual, this continuance of heat. The hot spells as well as the cold spells, seldom last more than three days, pretty generally in America.
938. July 16th. Hot still, but a fine breeze blowing up the river. Not a bit too hot for me, but the natives say it is the hottest weather they recollect in this country; a proof to me that this is a mild climate, as to heat, at any rate. Saw a cat-fish in the market, just caught out of the river by a hook and line, 4 feet long and eighty pounds weight, offered for 2 dollars. Price of flour, 6 dollars a barrel; fresh beef, 6 1/2 cents, and butter 20 cents per Ib.
939. July 17th. Set out again, crossing the Ohio into the state of that name, and take the road to Chillicothe, 74 miles from Maysville. Stop about mid-way for the night, travelling over a country generally hilly, and not of good soil, and passing through West Union, a place situated as a town ought to be, upon high and unlevel lands; the inhabitants have fine air to breathe, and plenty of food to eat and drink, and, if they keep their houses and streets and themselves clean, I will ensure them long lives. Some pretty good farms in view of the road, but many abandoned for the richer lands of Indiana and Illinois. Travelling expences much less, hitherto, than in Indiana and some parts of Kentucky; we had plenty of good butter-milk at the farm houses all along the road, free of expence, and the tavern-keepers do not set before us bread made of Indian corn, which we have not yet learned to like very cordially.
940. July 18th. Come to Chillicothe, the country improving and more even as we proceed. See some very rich lands on passing Paint Creek, and on approaching the Scioto river; these, like all the bottom lands, having a coat of sediment from their river in addition to the original soil, are by far the richest. Chillicothe is a handsome town, regularly laid out, but, stands upon a flat. I hate the very sight of a level street, unless there be every thing necessary to carry off all filth and water. The air is very fine, so far as it is not contaminated by the pools of water which stand about the town as green as grass. Main sewers, like those at Philadelphia, are much wanted.
941. July 19th. Called upon Mr. Bond, being introduced by letter, and spent a very pleasant evening with him and a large party of his agreeable friends. Left them, much pleased with the society of Chillicothe.
942. July 20th. We were introduced to Governor Worthington, who lives about 2 miles from the town. He took us to his house, and showed us part of his fine estate, which is 800 acres in extent, and all of it elevated table land, commanding an immense view over the flat country in the direction of Lake Erie. The soil is very rich indeed; so rich, that the Governor pointed out a dung heap which was bigger than the barn it surrounded and had grown out of, as a nuisance. The labour of dragging the dung out of the way, would be more than the cost of removing the barn, so that he is actually going to pull the barn down, and build it up again in another place. This is not a peculiarity of this particular spot of land, for manure has no value here at all. All the stable-dung made at Chillicothe is flung into the river. I dare say, that the Inn we put up at does not tumble into the water less than 300 good loads of horse-dung every year.
943. I had some conversation with Governor Worthington on the subject of domestic manufactures, and was glad to find he is well convinced of the necessity of, or at least of the great benefit that would result from, the general establishment of them in the United States. He has frequently recommended it in his public capacity, he informed me, and I hope he will advocate it with effect. He is a true lover of his country, and no man that I have met with has a more thorough knowledge of the detestable villainy of the odious Boroughmongering government of England, and, of course, it has his full share of hatred.
944. July 21st. Leave Chillicothe. A fine, healthy country and very rich land all the way to New Lancaster, 34 miles from Chillicothe, and 38 from Zanesville. Stop at the house of a German, where we slept, but not in bed, preferring a soft board and something clean for a pillow to a bed of down accompanied with bugs.
945. Nothing remarkable, that I can see, as to the locality of this town of New Lancaster; but, the name, alas! it brought to my recollection the horrid deeds done at Old Lancaster, the county town of my native county! I thought of Colonel Fr, and his conduct towards my poor, unfortunate townsman, Gallant! I thought of the poor, miserable creatures, men, women, and children, who, in the bloody year of 1812, were first instigated by spies to commit arson, and then pursued into death by the dealers in human blood. Amongst the sufferers, upon this particular occasion, there was a boy, who was silly, and who would, at any time, have jumped into a pit for a half penny: he was not fourteen years old; and when he was about to be hanged, actually called out for his "mammy" to come and save him! Who, that has a heart in his bosom, can help feeling indignation against the cruel monsters! Who can help feeling a desire to see their dreadful power destroyed! The day must come, when the whole of the bloody tragedies of Lancashire will be exposed. In the mean while, here I am in safety from the fangs of the monsters, who oppress and grind my country men. The thought of these oppressions, how-ever, I carry about with me; and I cannot help its sometimes bursting forth into words.
946. July 22nd. Arrive at Zanesville,3 a place finely situated for manufactures, in a nook of the Muskingham, just opposite to the mouth of Licking Creek. It has almost every advantage for manufacturing of all sorts, both as to local situation and as to materials; it excels Wheeling and Steubenville, in many respects, and, in some, even Pittsburgh. The river gives very fine falls near the town, one of them of 12 feet, where it is 600 feet wide; the creek, too, falls in by a fine cascade. What a power for machinery! I should think that as much effect might be produced by the power here afforded as by the united manual labour of all the inhabitants of the state. The navigation is very good all the way up to the town, and is now continued round the falls by a canal with locks, so that boats can go nearly close up to Lake Erie. The bowels of the earth afford coal, iron ore, stone, free stone, lime-stone, and clays: all of the best, I believe, and the last, the very best yet discovered in this country, and, perhaps, as good as is to be found in any country. All these materials are found in inexhaustible quantities in the hills and little ridges on the sides of the river and creek, arranged as if placed by the hand of man for his own use. In short, this place has the four elements in the greatest perfection that I have any where yet seen in America. As to manufactures, it is, like Wheeling and Steubenville, nothing in comparison to Pittsburgh.
947. Nature has done her part; nothing is left wanting but machines to enable the people of Ohio to keep their flour at home, instead of exporting it, at their own expence, to sup port those abroad who are industrious enough to send them back coats, knives, and cups and saucers.
948. July 23rd. All day at Zanesville. Spent part of it very agreeably with Mr. Adams the post-master, and old Mr. Dillon who has a large iron foundery near this.
949. July 24th. Go with Mr. Dillon about 3 miles up the Creek, to see his mills and iron-factory establishment. He has here a very fine water-fall, of 18 feet, giving immense power, by which he works a large iron-forge and foundery, and mills for sawing, grinding, and other purposes.
950. I will here subjoin a list of the prices at Zanesville, of provisions, stock, stores, labour, &c., just as I have it from a resident, whom I can rely upon.
Apples and Pears proportionably cheaper; some times given away, in the country.
951. Prices are much about the same at Steubenville; if any difference, rather lower. If bought in a quantity, some of the articles enumerated might be had a good deal lower. Labour, no doubt, if a job of some length were offered, might be got somewhat cheaper, here.
952. July 25th. Leave Zanesville for Pittsburg, keeping to the United States road; stop at Cambridge, 25 miles. During the first eight miles we met 10 waggons, loaded with emigrants.
953. July 26th. Stop at Mr. Broadshaw's, a very good house on the road, 25 miles from Cam bridge. This general government road is by no means well laid out; it goes straight over the tops of the numerous little hills, up and down, up and down. It would have been a great deal nearer in point of time, if not in distance (though I think it would that, too), if a view had been had to the labour of travelling over these everlasting unevennesses.
954. July 27th. To Wheeling in Virginia, 31 miles. They have had tremendous rains in these parts, we hear as we pass along, lately; one of the creeks we came over has overflown so as to carry down a man's house with himself and his whole family. A dreadful catastrophe, but, certainly, one not out of the man's power to have foreseen and prevented; it surprizes me that the people will stick up their houses so near the water's edge. Cross Wheeling Creek several times to-day; it is a rapid stream, and I hope it will not be long before it turns many water-wheels. See much good land, and some pretty good farming.
955. July 28th. Went with a Mr. Graham, a Quaker of this place, who treated us in the most friendly and hospitable manner, to see the new national road from Washington city to this town. It is covered with a very thick layer of nicely broken stones, or stone, rather, laid on with great exactness both as to depth and width, and then rolled down with an iron roller, which reduces all to one solid mass. This is a road made for ever; not like the flint roads in England, rough, nor soft or dirty, like the gravel roads; but, smooth and hard. When a road is made in America it is well made. An American always plots against labour, and, in this instance, he takes the most effectual course to circumvent it. Mr. Graham took us like wise to see the fine coal mines near this place and the beds of limestone and freestone, none of which I had time to examine as we passed Wheeling in our ark. All these treasures lie very convenient to the river. The coals are principally in one long ridge, about 10 feet wide; much the same as they are at Pittsburgh, in point of quality and situation. They cost 3 cents per bushel to be got out from the mine. This price, as nearly as I can calculate, enables the American collier to earn, upon an average, double the number of cents for the same labour that the collier in England can earn; so that, as the American collier can, upon an average, buy his flour for one third of the price that the English collier pays for his flour, he receives six times the quantity of flour for the same labour. Here is a country for the ingenious paupers of England to come to! They find food and materials, and nothing wanting but their mouths and hands to consume and work them. I should like to see the old toast of the Boroughmongers brought out again; when they were in the height of their impudence their myrmidons used to din in our ears, "Old England for ever, and those that do not like her let them leave her." Let them renew this swaggering toast, and I would very willingly for my part, give another to the same effect for the United States of America. But, no, no! they know better now. They know that they would be taken at their word; and, like the tyrants of Egypt, having got their slaves fast, will (if they can) keep them so. Let them beware, lest something worse than the Red Sea overwhelm them! Like Pharaoh and his Boroughmongers they will not yield to the voice of the people, and, surely, something like, or worse than, their fate shall befall them!
956. They are building a steam-boat at Wheeling, which is to go, they say, 1800 miles up the Missouri river. The wheels are made to work in the stern of the boat, so as not to come in contact with the floating trees, snaggs, planters,4 &c., obstructions most likely very numerous in that river. But, the placing the wheels behind only saves them; it is no protection against the boat's sinking in case of being pierced by a planter or sawyer.5 Observing this, I will suggest a plan which has occurred to me, arid which, I think, would provide against sinking, effectually; but, at any rate, it is one which can be tried very easily and with very little expence. I would make a partition of strong plank; put it in the broadest fore-part of the boat, right across, and put good iron bolts under the bottom of the boat, through these planks, and screw them on the top of the deck. Then put an upright post in the inside of the boat against the middle of the plank partition, and put a spur to the upright post. The partition should be water-tight. I would then load the fore part of the boat, thus partitioned off, with lumber or such loading as is least liable to injury, and best calculated to stop the progress of a sawyer after it has gone through the boat. By thus appropriating the fore-part of the boat to the reception of planters and sawyers, it appears to me that the other part would be se cured against all intrusion.
957. July 29th. From Wheeling, through Charlston, changing sides of the river again to Steubenville. My eyes were delighted at Charlston to see the smoke of the coals ascending from the glass-works they have here. This smoke it is that must enrich America; she might save almost all her dollars if she would but bring her invaluable black diamonds into service. Talk of independence, indeed, without coats to wear or knives or plates to eat with!
958. At Steubenville, became acquainted with Messrs. Wills, Ross, and company, who have an excellent and well-conducted woollen manufactory here. They make very good cloths, and at reasonable prices; I am sorry they do not retail them at Philadelphia; I, for one, should be customer to them for all that my family wanted in the woollen-way. Here are likewise a Cotton-mill, a Grist-mill, a Paper- mill, an Iron-foundery and Tan-yards and Breweries. Had the pleasure to see Mr. Wilson, the editor of the Steubenville Gazette, a very public-spirited man, and, I believe, very serviceable to this part of the country. If the policy he so powerfully advocates were adopted, the effects would be grand for America; it would save her dollars while it would help to draw the nails of the vile Boroughmongers. But, he has to labour against the inveterate effects of the thing the most difficult of all others to move habit.
959. By what I have been able to observe of this part of the country, those who expect to find what is generally understood by society, pretty much the same that they have been accustomed to it on the Atlantic side, or in England, will not be totally disappointed. It is here upon the basis of the same manners and customs as in the oldest settled districts, and it there differs from what it is in England, and here from what it is there, only according to circumstances. Few of the social amusements that are practicable at present, are scarce; dancing, the most rational for every reason, is the most common; and, in an assemblage for this purpose, composed of the farmers' daughters and sons from 20 miles round, an English man (particularly if a young one) might very well think his travels to be all a dream, and that he was still in a Boroughmonger country. Almost always the same tunes and dances, same manners, same dress. Ah, it is that same dress which is the great evil! It may be a very pretty sight, but, to see the dollars thus danced out of the country into the hands of the Boroughmongers, to the tune of national airs, is a thing which, if it do not warrant ridicule, will, if America do not, by one unanimous voice, soon put a stop to it.
960. July 30th. From Steubenville, crossing the Ohio for the last time, and travelling through a slip of Virginia and a handsome part of Pennsylvania, to Pittsburgh.
961. August 1st. Sold my horse for 75 dollars, 60 dollars less than I gave for him. A horse changes masters no where so often as in this Western country, and no where so often rises and falls in value. Met a Mr. Gibbs, a native of Scotland, and an old neighbour of mine, having superintended some oil of vitriol works near to my bleach-works on Great Lever, near Bolton, in Lancashire. He now makes oil of vitriol, aquafortis, salts, soap, &c. at this place, and is, I believe, getting rich. Spent a pleasant evening with him.
962. August 2nd. Spent most part of the day with Mr. Gibbs, and dined with him; as the feast was his, f recommended him to observe the latter part of the good Quaker Lady's sermon which we heard at New Albany.
963. August 3rd. Leave Pittsburgh, not without some regret at bidding adieu to so much activity and smoke, for I expect not to see it elsewhere. I like to contemplate the operation by which the greatest effect is produced in a country. Take the same route and the same stage as on setting out from Philadelphia.
964. August 4th, 5th, and 6th. These three days traversing the romantic Allegany Mountains; got overturned (a common accident here) only once, and then received very little damage: myself none, some of my fellow travellers a few scratches. We scrambled out, and, with the help of some waggoners, set the vehicle on its wheels again, adjusted our "plunder" (as some of the Western people call it), and drove on again without being detained more than five minutes. The fourth night slept at Chambersburgh, the beginning of a fine country.
965. August 7th. Travelled over the fine limestone valley before mentioned, and through a very good country all the way, by Little York to Lancaster. Here I met with a person from Philadelphia, who told me a long story about a Mr. Hulme, an Englishman, who had brought a large family and considerable property to America. His property, he told me, the said Mr. Hulme had got from the English Government, for the invention of some machine, and that now, having got rich under their patronage, he was going about this country doing the said Government all the mischief he could, and endeavouring to promote the interests of this country. After letting him go on till I was quite satisfied that he depends mainly for his bread and butter upon the English Treasury, I said, "Well, do you know this Mr. Hulme?" "No, he had only heard of him." "Then I do, and I know that he never had any patent, nor ever asked for one, from the English government; all he has got he has gained by his own industry and economy, and, so far from receiving a fortune from that vile government, he had nothing to do with it but to pay and obey, without being allowed to give a vote for a Member of Parliament or for any Government Officer. He is now, thank God, in a country where he cannot be taxed but by his own consent, and, if he should succeed in contributing in any degree to the downfall of the English Government, and to the improvement of this country, he will only succeed in doing his duty." This man could be no other than a dependent of that boroughmongering system which has its feelers probing every quarter and corner of the earth.
966. August 8th. Return to Philadelphia, after a journey of 72 days. My expences for this journey, including every thing, not excepting the loss sustained by the purchase and sale of my horse, amount to 270 dollars and 70 cents.
967. As it is now about a twelvemonth since I have been settled in Philadelphia, or set fool in it, rather, with my family, I will take a look at my books, and add to this Journal what have been the expences of my family for this one year, from the time of landing to this day, inclusive.
"What! nothing to the Parson!" some of my old neighbours
will exclaim. No: not a single sliver. The Quakers manage their
affairs without Parsons, and I believe they are as good and as happy
a people as any religious denomination who are aided and assisted by
a Priest. I do not suppose that the Quakers will admit me into their
Society; but, in this free country I can form a new society, if I
choose, and, if I do, it certainly shall be a Society having a
Chairman in place of a Parson, and the assemblage shall discuss the
subject of their meeting themselves. Why should there not be as much
knowledge and wisdom and common sense, in the heads of a whole
congregation, as in the head of a Parson? Ah, but then there are the
profits arising from the trade! Some of this holy Order in England
receive upwards of 40,000 dollars per annum for preaching probably
not more than five or six sermons during the whole year. Well may the
Cossack Priests represent Old England as the bulwark of religion!
This is the sort of religion they so much dreaded the loss of during
the French Revolution; and this is the sort of religion they so
zealously expected to establish in America, when they received the
glad tidings of the restoration of the Bourbons and the Pope.
1 A more detailed account of this society, up to the year 1811, will be found in Mi;. Mellish's Travels, vol. 2.
2 Or, 5s 7 1/2d. to 11s 3d. sterling. At the present rate of exchange, a dollar is equivalent to 4s. 6d. sterling, and a cent is the hundredth part of a dollar.
3 For a more particular account of this place, as well, indeed, as of most of the other towns I have visited, see Mr. Mellish's Travels, vol. ii.
4 Trees tumbled head-long and fixed in the river.
5 The same as a planter, only waving up and down.