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DUELLING IN THE WESTERN STATES. 33

thirty-six miles in length only, from the head of the navigation of the Chagres River to Panama. Four hundred thousand dollars is the estimated expense, and the shares two hundred dollars each. The last scheme for passing the Isthmus with merchandize before this one, was through Lake Nicaragua.

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Are duels still common in the Western country?" I enquired of a respectable gentleman I met one day at dinner. Yes, they are," answered he: "and originate most frequently in electioneering squabbles, and people libelling one another in the papers, which are sometimes filled with little else than personal abuse and advertisements. Though now rencontres in which a number are engaged at once, are less frequent, yet one took place not long ago, after a hotly-contested election in a Western State. There were six combatants on each side, and they attacked one another with swords, pistols, and daggers with the most savage fury; three were left dead on the field, and almost all the rest were wounded: the weaker party fled. Duels or rencontres are bad enough; but what is worse, downright assassination not unfrequently takes place to the West of the Mississippi, and goes unpunished. Our country is still in a lawless state in that quarter; thus there is now living a man, Mr. J., in easy circumstances, with whom I was at school in Georgia, who is well known to have killed (not in fair fight) at least ten men. We were all afraid of him at

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A MONSTER AT LARGE.

school, he had so infernal a temper and so diabolical a disposition. As he was leaving school, being strong and grown up, he whipped (thrashed) the poor master, and threatened to kill him; and one day he was playing with a negro boy, at a ball game, the boy was winning the game, and J. split his skull with a paddle. He is now sixty years of age, and walks about continually with a rifle on his shoulder, and a belt stuck full of pistols, and a dagger round his waist. These he carries for fear of the relatives of the people he has murdered; and if any one were to dispute with him, he would not hesitate to shoot him down' on the spot."

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Why is such a monster as this allowed to go at large ?" I asked. "What are the magistrates about, that they do not convict him?"-" Why, sir, he fees lawyers handsomely, and manages to keep himself clear from trial; besides, even if he were confined, his relatives are powerful, and as ferocious as himself, and they would fire the prison and raise the country if he were to be incarcerated. I remember that one young man, a good shot, boasted that he was not afraid of this hoary villain. J. heard of this, and one day followed him into his room; the door was shut, a shot was heard, and the murderer walked coolly out of the house, with his arms about him, after having basely shot the boaster. J. opposed Jackson in politics; and once when the General was proceeding to Congress, J., with some other des

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peradoes, lay in wait to murder him, but Jackson's friends surrounded him, and the miscreants could not effect their purpose. But the crimes of J. must make earth a hell to him; for he sleeps every night with half a dozen first-rate pistols by his bed-side, the locks oiled, and primed with the finest powder. He who has assassinated so many, is in constant dread of a violent end himself."

As to duels and deeds of violence, the Eastern States present a remarkable contrast to the above. The New-Englanders have too much shrewd sense, and are too sober and industrious to lead them to quarrel. Idleness, gambling, and drinking, are fruitful sources of crime, and these still prevail in the Western territory to a great extent; whereas temperance societies in the East have worked miracles, the health of the citizens improves, their morals are bettered, and misdemeanors are of rare occurrence from these admirable checks on evil propensities. Where the societies err is in insisting on immediate and total abstinence from spirituous liquors; temperance is limitation to a small quantity. Thousands would join the societies, who now keep aloof from them, if they were allowed a moderate share of "John Barleycorn," and by degrees they might entirely wean themselves.

Day after day passed in the same manner at New Orleans. Melancholy reigned over the city and its deserted streets, and I was continually reminded of "the pestilence which walketh in

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RIVAL UNDERTAKERS.

darkness, and the destruction which wasteth at noon day," if I looked from my window into the street, where hearses were seen moving towards the grave-yards at all hours.

I was amused with the advertisements of rival undertakers in the papers; this was their season of harvest. I insert a part of two notices. The first under the heading of a withered tree, a gravestone, a skull, and the sun setting over a distant hill, thus announces himself :

"The undersigned, at No. 61, Camp Street, respectfully announces to the to the public and his friends generally, that he has just completed a new hearse, which for taste and beauty is surpassed by none in this city. Coffins, mahogany, ebony, poplar, stained or covered to order, are constantly kept on hand. He will also undertake to furnish tombs, carriages, scarfs, gloves, &c. All orders will be thankfully received and attended to with despatch at any hour, day or night, and reasonable charges made. Next door to the American Theatre. Thomas P. Willard.

"To Cabinet Makers.--Two good workmen will receive regular employment; good jobs, and cash payments. Apply as above. 1st. Septr."

The next claimant to public patronage states as follows:

"Juan Fernandez has the honour of informing the public, that he continues to keep his establishment at No. 84, St. Anne, between Royal (!) and Bourbon Streets, for his sole account, and without

STORES OF READY-MADE COFFINS.

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partnership with any one. There will be constantly found at his store, COFFINS of all qualities and proportions, as well as all sorts of funeral decorations; and from this day forward his prices will be reduced as follows:-First, for a simple coffin, lined with black cotton, with ribbands, and the small two-wheeled hearse, No. 1, ten dollars. Second, for a coffin, lined with velvet, with two-wheeled hearse, No. 2, decently ornamented with plumes, fourteen dollars. Third, for mahogany coffin, lined with white satin, with the four-wheeled hearse, and necessary plumes, thirty dollars. Other charges in proportion.

"Mr. Fernandez will also undertake the furnishing of coaches, and the erection of tombs and monuments of all descriptions. He will have tombs opened and closed again when applied to. He will furnish all sorts of funeral marbles and tombstones, engraved, carved, and gilt; and finally will undertake the composition of inscriptions and epitaphs, which will be made by an able person. Persons who will apply to him for every thing they may want, will obtain tapers at the rate of ten bits to a dollar; and if they are desired to be lined with paper, no more will be charged than for those without lining. He will also furnish stuff for mourning dresses, and those who may not be able to pay in cash, will be allowed a reasonable credit, and they will obtain gratis the use of the necessary chandeliers and plate.

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