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moral certainty, that in progress of time, the fairest cotton, the richest canes, and every species of grapes, will garnish its annual supplies;" and, I may add, that the Mexicans are anxious to have British settlers, to counteract the American influence; and since Mexico owes seventy millions of dollars to British subjects, it may not be difficult to attach to England such a desirable location for emigrants, and one of such easy access, though, of course, the Americans would not relish this arrangement.
Leave New Orleans.-An Escape.-Passengers in the Union. -Our Fare.-The Bar.-A Steamer.-Wooding Places on the Mississippi.-The Forest.-A Sugar Estate described. Difference of Canes.-Annual Expenditure on a Sugar Estate.-Plough Husbandry.-American Enterprize.-" Nuts" for the Abolitionists.-The last Parroquett.-The Deck Passengers fond of "Corn."-The Encroachments of the Sea. The old Mouth of the Great River.-Yankee cunning. The Clock Pedlar.-The Mississippi and Irrawaddy compared. The Squatters; their Betterments.-The Alligators.-River Robbers.-Natchez.-The Upper and Lower Towns.-Passengers plundered.-The Voyage continued.— Navigation of the River.-The Wooden Fork.-Dislikes of Backwoodsmen. River The Author gets a Lesson. Corpses. Vixburgh.-Distress of a Hotel Keeper.-Three Snapping Turtles.-A Skirmish.-The Prize-ring defended. -Broad Horns.-The Cut-off at Red River.-The Inundation.-The Union is snagged and sinks.—Accidents on the Mississippi.
AFTER a tedious delay of a fortnight in the Wet Grave, an opportunity presented itself for leaving, the Union, steamer, proceeding up the river; I accordingly secured a berth in her, and conveyed my baggage on board. The bell was ringing, announcing the departure of the vessel, and I was jumping on the plank with a light heart at leaving the city of death, and again find
ing the telaria on my feet, when a rough fellow addressed me :-" Halloo! Mister; you've not got the yellow fever yet, I see."-" No, nor likely either to get it, thank God. Did you expect I should get it?"-" To be sure I did; why, I saw you land here, and I says to a partner o' mine, There's one will never go alive out of this place.” "I'm not so easily killed, my friend; we're off, so good b'ye!"
I was in high spirits at being again on the move, and with the prospect of seeing the interior of such an interesting country; and, though we had the risk of bursting boilers, snags, sawyers, and other evils before us, yet I felt grateful at the escapes I had already made, and looked forward with confidence to be yet preserved a little longer in this fair world, which affords wellsprings of happiness in almost every situation, if we would only look about for them.
"Where'er we turn, enjoyment and delight,
We had only two ladies on board, some half dozen gentlemen in the cabin, and a dozen and a half of deck passengers. There was abundance of substantial food three times a-day; plates of steaks, chops, grilled fowls, sausages, maize-bread and wheaten-bread, &c. &c. were placed on the table. First the cabin-passengers cleared off part of the viands; then the engineers and pilots suc
THE BARA STEAMER.
ceeded us, in their shirt-sleeves; and lastly, the servants (helps), all calling one another gentlemen, sirring one another, chewing tobacco and spitting - "mere trifles when one's accustomed to them." All day long the bar at one end of the saloon was occupied by thirsty souls. Mint julep and apple toddy were the favourite liquors of the refined; cocktail and gin-sling were relished by the Dii minorum gentium.
The Union was, as usual, a high-pressure vessel, and burnt nothing but wood, which was piled up round the furnaces in the fore part of the vessel, where were the two chimneys, the awning and wheel; where also stood the pilot, and behind him the short tube for the escape-steam, which, like a small white cloud, puffed violently out every instant, and mingled with the atmosphere, for we drew no long train of smoke behind us like our vessels in the old country.
We stopped two or three times a-day at the wooding-places on the banks of the river, and saw there the piles neatly arranged, with a squatter sitting beside them to dispose of his cuttings. Wood in America is sold by the cord, or one hundred and twenty-eight cubic feet, which makes a pile eight feet in length, four high, and four thick. At first the Captain paid four dollars a cord, and as we got higher up, two, and I think we consumed about half a cord an hour. We were occupied from half an hour to an hour at each of the wooding places, for there were few
SUGAR ESTATE DESCRIBED.
deck passengers to assist. I had thus an excellent opportunity for visiting the plantations and settlements on the banks; but after we had accomplished one hundred and sixty miles above New Orleans, the sugar-estates ceased, and the animated appearance of the river banks given by the white houses, sugar-mills, negro villages, and cultivation, was changed for the gloom of the forest descending to the water's edge, and here and there the hut of a solitary squatter.
From an intelligent planter, who had been forty years in Louisiana, I got a good deal of information regarding the value of estates on the Mississippi. "We are now," said he, "about one hundred and fifty miles above New Orleans, and here is an estate of forty acres front, and eighty in depth, backed by the forest; it has one hundred negroes and stock upon it, and has just been sold for fifty thousand dollars cash; if credit had been given, perhaps seventy thousand would have been the price. Near New Orleans it would have fetched double the money, for there the canes don't suffer from frost as they do here sometimes, though we stack them, and do what we can to preserve them.
"In the district of Opoulousas, to the left of us, estates are much cheaper. The canes are on the ground only from March to October, when they are cut. The West Indian canes remain a year in the ground, consequently are much larger than ours. These Mississippi canes are not so