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CHAPTER IV.

Memphis, in Tenessee.-The Hotel.-Discovery of an Emissary. -A Negro Preacher.-A Sleeping Apartment.-The Indians. -Compulsory Emigration.-Destruction to the Red Hunters. -Chateaubriand.-A of Chickasaws.-Their encampgroup ment.-Indian Manners.-Seemingly, but not really indifferent to their Wives.-The worshippers of the Sun. --The Coronach, or lament for their Dead.-Intercourse between the Pioneers and Indians.-Anecdote.-Leave Memphis for the interior. The Waggon.-The Forest.-A Stand or Stage.Corn Bread.-Black Jacks.-Excitement.-The Music of the Woods. A cure for affectation and self-conceit.-The story of the Boot-jack.-Inquisitive Pioneer.-Strange ideas. -Snakes.-The Prairies.-Indian Mounds.-Barrows.-The unknown Dead.-The Grave of a Scottish-chief.-The Mammoth Cave.-Real Aborigines of America long ago exterminated.-Paintings on Rocks.-Salt Licks.-The Big Hatchet River. A Lawyer. -A Duel. - Hunting Parties.-Rifle Practice.-Barrens.-A Hurricane.-An Adulterer detected. -A Backwoods Sheriff.-Paddling a Negro.- Migratory Farmers.-Arrive at Nashville.

I WAS much pleased with the site and appearance of Memphis, in Tenessee; it is pleasantly situated on a high bluff, on the east bank of the Mississippi, and commands an extensive view up and down the river, and across the Arkansas territory, an unbroken forest to the base of the rocky mountains.

The town now contains a thousand inhabitants.

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The frame-houses had a clean look about them; and the hotel where I put up was a respectable establishment, kept by a colonel of militia, with the effigy of the great Washington swinging before the door. The charges were extremely reasonable; one dollar for a most abundant supper, at seven o'clock, bed, and breakfast, and no waiters, chambermaids, or boots to pay. For my passage in the steam-vessel, for eight days, I had paid twenty-five dollars, which included every thing; those who chose to patronize the bar, of course paid for what they drank.

At the public table I overheard a conversation which afforded me some amusement. A lank New-Englander said to a burly-looking Kentuckian," I guess they have not such good food in England as we have."-" No, damn them, they 've no corn." (maize.) "Did you hear of the ⚫ Britainer that abused us pretty considerable the other day in a book ?"-" No," says Kentuck; "what did he say?"-"Why I forget what he said exactly, but he thought himself a very smart man, I reckon. At New Orleans the people there soon found him out; why he was a spy of his Government, and came over here to try and persuade the Southern States to separate from the Northern, but it was of no use, oh, no!"

Did the gallant Captain (Basil Hall) ever suspect that he was looked on as an emissary? Something must have happened to displease him at New Orleans, for he says very little about that

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singular city in his travels. He has had his revenge, for the inhabitants are annoyed at being passed over with such slight notice as he condescends to take of them.

I strolled out in the evening to enjoy the cool breeze and moonlight on the verge of the forest. In a lone house, in a lane, I heard the sound of psalm-singing, about eleven o'clock at night, and stopped to listen to a tune which the Covenanters in the days of their adversity had often uplifted on the hill side, when prepared to contend for their religion to the death. The psalm ceased, and a negro slave delivered a long extempore prayer like those of the Presbyterians, and using excellent language. The prayer was followed by a sermon, in which the fall of our first parents was described, and its consequences to the human race; "born in sin, and conceived in iniquity," but regenerate through the instrumentality of a Redeemer. The audience consisted of a few negro men and women, sitting on forms in a loft, lighted by a solitary candle. The preacher could neither read nor write; yet he expressed himself clearly, eloquently, and energetically. I went away pleased and astonished at what I had seen and heard; and thought that though it is a penal offence to instruct slaves in these Southern States, yet with all their enactments, the spread of the Gospel could not be controlled, and that the negro still found means to gain access to the fountain of living

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A SLEEPING APARTMENT.

"Though our masters bought and sold us,
Paid our price in paltry gold;

Yet though slaves they have enrolled us,
Minds are never to be sold."

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I returned to the inn, and asked where I was to sleep, and was shown into a room like the ward of an hospital with a dozen beds in it, all doubly occupied save one, from which a voice asked me to bundle." I declined the invitation, and lay down in my clothes. I remarked that the beds were composed of feathers, and had blankets and sheets as usual; but in the backwoods I understood that the sheets are not often changed, and as all classes occupied the beds, from the wealthy merchant and planter to the boatmen and shoe-blacks, I slept in my clothes invariably, sometimes on a bed, and sometimes on the floor, and saw from what others suffered, that I escaped certain cutaneous disorders and nocturnal interrupters of repose. "A plaid and bag of oatmeal ought to suffice for the rough living Gaël."

I now heard a good deal of the Indians migrating from the eastern to the western bank of the Mississippi; they were melancholy enough, poor people, at being obliged to leave their familiar hunting-grounds, and the graves of their fathers, with the prospect, too, of having to fight their way among hostile tribes. Many Americans regret to see the course pursued by their Government towards the red men, driving them toward

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the west, with the excuse, that since they will not become agriculturists, and require such a large space for hunting and fishing, they must be got rid of, "coûte qu'il coûte." But let us inquire, has the American Government taken pains or trouble to instruct this unfortunate race in the arts of civilized life? It has not. And though it is a harsh judgment to pronounce, yet improvement has hitherto meant, among other things, exterminating the Indians, or driving them with the red deer and buffalo to the recesses of the rocky mountains; and eventually the waves of the Pacific will wash the bones of the last of the red hunters.

Neither are the English to be praised for their conduct on all occasions towards their coppercoloured brethren. We have parcelled out territory which did not belong to us, and have too often shown an indifference to the fate of those who court the shade, and shun the trammels of civilization. Some will say, that it is impossible to reclaim the Indians from their savage state; to this I answer, look at the labours of the Jesuits in South America, view the condition of the Indians of the Spanish missions, quiet, industrious, temperate, cultivating the soil, skilled in several mechanical arts, with religion shedding its benign influence over their lives. In what manner this happy state of things was brought about, is detailed in the writings of the Count de Chateaubriand.

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