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just emerging from an inundation. Jere they made their arrangements for ascending the Mississippi, and engaged nine hands as a competent crew for the boat. Below this place, the beauty of the banks of the Ohio disappears, the bluffs sink, cultivation almost ceases, and the country, in the spring, exhibits the aspect of inundation.
of inundation. Vast forests on each side rise out of the water, and the only dwellings visible are the cabins of the wood-cutters, raised on piles. About the end of April, they hailed, with emotion, the majestic Mississippi, and had now to experience the novel labour of propelling a boat against the current of one of the most rapid rivers of the world. The Ohio and Mississippi are separated by a point of land on which it was once attempted to erect a great city, but the floods came and the winds blew, and the city of speculation was swept away, leaving but one house to render the solitude more striking. The contrast between these mingling waters is great; the Ohio's being limpid and green, and the other's turbid and white. The characters of the two rivers are equally in opposition, for whilst the Ohio is flowing majestically tranquil, the Mississippi, turbulent and furious, and full of overboiling eddies of great extent, rushes down with a hissing noise. The water, the plants, the trees, seemed to our travellers to be different from the same things elsewhere. The grandeur of the vegetable empire is indescribable; even the small willows in the water's edge bore a flower, which, when crushed, yielded a fragrance like the aroma of burning coffee, and “other aromatics raised the ideas of nectar and ambrosia.” Multitudes of water fowl, of different forms and plumage, were pattering in the water among the grass, and as many were procured as were wanted, for no sooner were they roused by the gun than they alighted again after a short flight.
They now commenced working their way up the stream by a process technically called by the boatmen “bush-whacking, that is, pulling the boat along by the branches of the overhanging trees and bushes, for the depth too often prevents the use of the pole. Whenever they reached a point round which the current proved too strong, they crossed the river with their oars and recommenced bush-whacking. When this failed they had recourse to the.“ cordelle,” which is a rope, fastened ahead to the shore, by which the crew warp the boat up. The rope sometimes gets entangled in snags; and has frequently to be thrown over small trees or carried round large ones. This service requires great experience and dexterity, the leader being often obliged to swim ashore with the rope between his teeth-the French boatmen are said to excel in it. When the impediments on one shore cannot be got over, they cross; and when they
meet with similar obstacles there, which not unfrequently happens, they procure additional hands, if possible, on shore, or lie bye for a strong wind up the river, and thus stem the current. Besides the dangers from sawyers and snags, they have to dread being crushed by the falling in of a bank, or of a tree loosed by the wind in the crumbling soil; for such accidents too often occur.
“Sometimes you are obliged to make your way among the trunks of trees, and the water boiling round your boat like that of a mill race. Then if the boat “ swings," as the phrase is, that is, loses her direction, and exposes her side to the current, you are instantly carried back, and perhaps strike the snags below you, and your boat is snagged or staved. We were more than one half a day struggling with all our own force, and all that we could raise on the banks to force the boat through a si ngle rapid, or by one difficult place. We were once in imminent peril, not only of our boat, but, such was the situation of the place, if we had been wrecked there, of our lives, severer fatigue, or harder struggling to carry a point I never saw endured than in this case. The danger and fatigue of this kind of boating are, undoubtedly, greater than those of sea navigation. I do not remember to have traversed this river in any considerable trip without having heard of some fatal disaster to a boat, or having seen a dead body of some boatman, recognized by the red flannel-shirt which they generally wear. The multitudes of carcasses of boats lying at the points, or thrown up high and dry on the wreckheaps, demonstrate, most palpably, how many boats are lost on this wild, and as the boatmen always denominate it “wicked river.”—pp. 92, 93.
In this manner they passed on the right bank of the river the large French village of St. Genevieve, which they found to contain many amiable persons of polished manners.
of polished manners. Their houses are unlike those of the Americans—they have mud walls, whitewashed, which produce a gay effect at a distance. The prevailing language is French, and the religion is Catholic. 'On the shore opposite St. Genevieve, below Kaskaskias, is a very rich piece of low land, called the “ American Bottom,” and further on, a fertile and beautiful prairie, interspersed with heavy timber land. On reaching Carondelet, they observed two small villages on the opposite shore, and also the ancient French village of Cahokia. On the 24th of May, they reached St. Louis.
The immense internal trade carried on in the west on these water courses, may be partially conceived from the following animated picture of the fleets of boats which often halt for the night at New Madrid, on the Mississippi :
"You can name no point from the numerous rivers of the Ohio and the Mississippi, from which some of these boats have not come. In one place, there are boats loaded with planks from the pine forests of the
south-west of New-York. In another quarter, there are the Yankee notions of Ohio. From Kentucky, pork, four, whiskey, hemp, tobacco, bagging and bale rope. From Tennessee, there are the same articles, together with great quantities of cotton. From Missouri and Illinois, cattle and horses, the same articles, generally, as from Ohio, together with peltry and lead from Missouri. Some boats are loaded with corn in the ear and in bulk; others with barrels of apples and potatoes. Some have loads of cider, and what they call “cider royal," or cider that has been strengthened by boiling or freezing. There are dried fruits, every kind of spirits manufactured in these regions, and, in short, the products of the ingenuity, and ayriculture of the whole upper country of the west. They have come from regions thousands of miles apart. They have floated to a common point of union. The surfaces of the boats cover some acres. Dunghill fowls are fluttering over the roofs as an invariable appendage. The chanticleer raises his piercing note. The swine utter their cries. The cattle low. The horses trample as in their stables. There are boats fitted on purpose, and loaded entirely with turkeys, that having little else to do, gobble most furiously. The hands travel about from boat to boat, make inquiries and acquaintances, and form alliances to yield mutual assistance to each other on their descent to New Orleans. After an hour or two passed in this way, they spring on shore to raise the wind in town. It is well for the people of the village if they do not become riotous in the course of the evening; in which case I have often seen the most summary and strong measures taken. About midnight the uproar is all hushed. The fleet unites once more at Natchez or New-Orleans, and although they live on the same river, they may, perhaps, never meet each other again on this earth. Next morning, at the first dawn, the bugles sound. Every thing in and about the boats that has life, is in motion. The boats, in half an hour, are all under way. In a little while they have all disappeared, and nothing is seen, as before they came, but the regular current of the river." p. 104,
St. Louis, like all other French towns, with its white-washed, mud walls, looked beautiful at a distance, and mean when you approached. It had, however, many very handsome buildings, and the country about it was open, undulating and interspersed
flourishing farms. Some old Spanish stone forts in the vicinity had a picturesque appearance; and the gradual elevation of the town, rising from the shore to the top of the bluff, added much to its beauty. Such was it when our traveller first saw it: but it was in a progressive stage of improvement. The old French quietism, which hated change, had been invaded by American activity. Lines of buildings, containing spacious and handsome city-houses, arose. Steam mills, ox mills and others, were erected in the vicinity, and the town rapidly changing its ancient, foreign physiognomy, has already assumed one more modern, and more familiar to our eyes. This is the central point of the great valley of the Mississippi, from which outfits
are dispatched to the distant military posts, the hunting stations and the lead-mine districts of the upper part of the river. Our limits, however, prevent our saying more on this place.
Our traveller having here divided his missionary labours with an associate, it was deemed expedient that he should fix himself at St. Charles, on the Missouri, eighteen miles north-west of St. Louis. He proceeded there by land, but his family were sent on in their boat; and, on the 10th of September, they first saw the mouth of the mighty Missouri, the largest tributary stream in the known world, for it flows between three and four thousand miles before it is lost in the Mississippi. Its stream is deep, rapid, and of a turbid, clayey white. Its navigation is more difficult than that of the Mississippi, for the violence of its current is so great as often to remove islands and sweep large tracts of ground from one spot to bank them on another. The boat experienced great difficulty and hazard in ascending. They found the water near Belle Fontaine, an “almost continued ripple pouring furiously against the numerous sawyers, which gave the river the appearance of a field of dead trees." They arrived on the 5th day at St. Charles, a distance, by the course of the river, of forty miles.
Between the Missouri and the Upper Mississippi, there is an extensive prairie of a rich, black soil, capable of producing seventy bushels of corn to the acre. It lies at the foot of the Mamelles, which are a succession of beautiful, cone-shaped hills, and is skirted by a noble wood; it extends in length seventy miles. It presents a perfect sea of verdure, perfumed with flowers of every hue and fragrance. The surface is so smooth, that houses, eight miles off, seem to repose at your feet. Large herds are seen grazing together at intervals, and flocks of various birds, enliven the joyous scene. The farms are laid off in parallelograms, and produce abundance of every thing :
“When I first saw this charming scene, here, said I, to my compan. ion who guided me, here shall be my farm, and here I will end my days! In effect, take it all in all, I have not seen, before nor since, a landscape which united, in an equal degree, the grand, the beautiful and fertile. It is not necessary, in seeing it, to be very young or very romantic, in order to have dreams steal over the mind, of spending an Arcadian life in these remote plains, which just begin to be vexed with the plough, far removed from the haunts of wealth and fashion, in the midst of rustic plenty, and of this beautiful nature," p. 123.
On a part of this Arcadia, he cultivated a small farm, and resided there, at different periods, for nearly five years. The fame of the beautiful prairie drew visiters even from Virginia
and the Carolinas, whose imaginations were warmed with the appearance of a country so beautiful, and yet so unlike what they were accustomed to. “Longer and more practical acquaintance with this Land of Promise, remarks our traveller, has taught these amiable and opulent people, that evils of all sorts can exist in the most beautiful countries, and that physical advantages are but a poor compensation for the loss of moral ones." From his residence in St. Charles, he made different excursions on professional business. At one time, he visited the Mine district; at another, he went up the river Illinois, and saw something of several tribes of Indians. In August, among the swamps of the Illinois, he imbibed the Malaria, and on his return home, was attacked with a bilious fever. This was in the third year of his residence in the west. His illness was long and severe, and on his recovery, having received an invitation to the State of Mississippi, and being determined to try a more southern climate, and being perhaps influenced, without being aware of it, by the same love of change which governed all
around him, in the spring of 1819, he removed from his paradise at St. Charles', where he had often thought to finish his course, and hoped his ashes would rest, and once more embarked on the Mississippi for the territory of Arkansas. He had now passed out of the upper, and, comparatively, healthy country, and taken up his abode in one that was sickly. One summer there rendered every member of his family ill but himself. They became disheartened, and, yielding to their wishes, in the fall he carried them up the Mississippi to New Madrid.
This is the southern boundary of the State of Missouri. It embraces a fine, rich alluvial district, and the country on all sides, except the Great Prairie, is covered with noble forests.General Morgan, of New-Jersey, formerly attempted to found a colony here, and form a great city under the Spanish government. He induced many respectable families to join him,whose adventures partake of the nature of romance. They, ultimately, were involved in ruin, though a few still survive to recount their miserable fate. The settlement of the district has been impeded by its sickly character, and the awful visitations of earthquakes in 1812. Our traveller's account of these, collected on
spot, is exceedingly interesting. We can only give a brief abstract of it. Whole tracts of land were swallowed up by the river. The grave-yard and its sleepless tenants at New-Madrid, were washed away. Most of the houses were thrown down.Lakes of twenty miles, in extent, were made in an hour, and others drained. For three hundred miles along the river, the whole country was convulsed. Trees were split in the centre,