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should not neglect such an opportunity, particularly as you will be at little or no expense. I will introduce you to the commander, who I am sure will be glad of your company.” I could not help smiling at the coolness with which this advice was given, as if it were a journey of two or three days only. Nothing, to be sure, would have been so agreeable to me, as to have gone with this party to the Mexican frontier, where I could have left them, and visited at my ease that region of wonders; but I knew that so long an absence would occasion no little uneasiness to my family and my friends in England.
I would strongly recommend any of my enterprising countrymen, who are lovers of natural history to join one of these parties; for whether as a botanist, zoologist, or mineralogist, he might make the most interesting discoveries in the most agreeable manner.
The party being so numerous, stands in little danger from the Indian tribes, who besides, are almost all upon friendly terms with the Hunters. Moreover, the Backwoodsmen, who are uncommonly intelligent, are very willing at all times to assist the traveller, in collecting subjects of natural history; and the information they can obtain, by learning the name or use of any animal, plant, or mineral, will often tempt them to bring him specimens from a considerable distance. As the furs and skins collected by the party are sent in canoes down the different rivers which join the Missouri or the Mississippi, the naturalist would have the finest possible opportunities of transmitting his collections to St. Louis, New Orleans, &c., from whence they might be carried by sea to any part of the globe. The expense of attending such an expedition is extremely small; for after a horse, rifle, blanket, and a few other necessaries are provided, there are no possible means of spending money. Indeed it is my opinion that an Englishman might go to America, make this most interesting journey, and return home, for 3001.
The country round St. Louis is chiefly Prairie, and the soil in general fertile. With the exception of the junction of the Missouri and the Mississippi, there is nothing very interesting to be seen.
I did not visit the lead-mines, though a ride of a day or two along the right bank of the Mississippi would have taken me there. But indeed they are quite eclipsed by the great mines lately discovered on the Upper Mississippi, where the veins of ore actually make their appearance at the surface of the earth. The mineral dug out has as yet yielded an average of 85 per cent., and such is the abundance of lead that they will soon supply all the new, and probably part of the old world. Besides, there is little doubt, but that all that part of the territory of the United States which extends towards the Rocky Mountains and Mexico, will,
when properly examined, disclose mineral treasures of the greatest value.
It was my intention to have ascended the Mississippi, and to have returned to New York by the great Lakes ; but, unfortunately, I had no .companion, and could not even hear of any one wishing to make the same journey. I had already felt that travelling by oneself in these vast solitudes, is but a very melancholy pleasure; and I was confident that I should not be able to endure being alone, in so great a tract of uninhabited country, as I should have to pass through between St. Louis and Canada. I therefore made up my mind to return, by the lower, or Shawnee-town road, to Kentucky, and to proceed from thence to the Eastern States, in any way that chance might point out.
THE United States permitted the Territory of Missouri to become a slave State, when it was admitted into the Union in 1821. It
appears to me very extraordinary, that in the present enlightened age, a nation professing democratic principles, and advocating the rights of man, should allow personal Slavery at all. With respect to this subject, the inhabitants of the United States may
be considered as divided into two parts, the slave-holding and the non-slave-holding States. The free, or non-slave-holding states are, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, (all which are included under the name of the New England States,) and New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. The slave-holding States are, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Missouri.
It must be recollected, that at the time when the United States declared themselves independent, every State held slaves. But immediately after the termination of the first American war, the New England and Northern States passed wholesome laws for the gradual abolition of Slavery ; and as they now surpass all the others in wealth, population, and intelligence, they have practically demonstrated the truth of Mr. Fox's noble sentiment,-“ that what is morally wrong, cannot be politically right.”
Slavery is a complete check to the building of towns and villages, because it almost entirely prevents any demand for labour or merchandize. Say a man possesses forty slaves. All these unhappy beings are clothed and fed in the coarsest and cheapest manner, generally on a little salt-fish and Indiancorn. They live in huts on the estate of their master, and having nothing to sell, can buy nothing. Each proprietor has his shoemaker, tailor, carpenter, &c. on his own estate-all slaves. These are either taught by other slaves, or are, when young, sent by their masters as apprentices to a white artisan at some large town.
If, therefore, a white settler should go to one of the slave States, what could he do? He could not, if an artisan, find any employment; for there is no demand for it. If he should buy land he could not cultivate it without becoming a slave-holder, and this would require considerable capital. Hence in the slave States, the towns, as they are called, consist of little more than a tavern, a small store, and a blacksmith's shop. I speak, of course, of the towns in the interior, where there is no foreign commerce. The truth of this statement is fully proved by examining the census.