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tion is directed towards America, au- of the settlement. The last date, the thentic accounts of the state of that notes being written in the form of a country cannot fail to be interesting journal, is August 31, so that Mr to more than one class of our people. Birkbeck had been altogether three Mr Birkbeck, the author of the little months in the western states, from work with which we are now going the time of his leaving Pittsburg, and to make our readers acquainted, als for a few days only at any one place, ready known to the public by his when he completed his work for pubNotes on a recent Tour in France, lication. has traversed a considerable part of Mr Birkbeck, we believe, deserves the United States, and at last settled credit, when he tells us what he saw there very much to his satistaction. and heard during this comparatively His- book seems chiefly intended for limited range and rather rapid jourthe use of such men as himself, an ney; but it is evident that his own English farmer of capital, ambitious experience is yet too recent and imto secure independence for himself perfect to determine whether it would and his family; but it contains a good be prudent for such men as himself to many notices of more general interest, follow his example ; and he is, thereand introduces us to a country and a fore, soinewhat too sanguine in repeople about which we have had little commending it to his countryinen. recent information. The accounts of His political sentiments, too, may be Michaux and Ashe have already be- suspected to have exerted some income obsolete, as every one must soon fluence on his estimate of the people become which treats of a country in and country of America. He is libewhich a few years produce changes ral in his praise of both on most occaso striking and important, as to be the sions; and, when he must blame, the work only of centuries in Europe. censure is usually accompanied with
Mr Birkbeck entered America by an apology. A disposition somewhat James River in Virginia early in last the reverse of this is but too apparent May. After a short stay at Rich- when he speaks of the land of his mond, he proceeded north by Frede- birth, of the country in which he proricksburg and Washington the capi- bably acquired the mcans of indepental, and, crossing the Alleghany dence, and laid the foundation of those ridge, reached Pittsburg on the 29th. brilliant prospects in which he now This town, which has been called the exults. His feeling on either side, Birmingham of America, is situated however, is seldom very strongly exat the confluence of the Alleghany pressed; he scarcely ever indulges in and Monongahela, which form by a passionate and déclandatory style ; their union the Ohio, near which he and his speculations are neither fan, had from the first resolved to settle. ciful nor altogether improbable. It is to this large tract, including the Soon after our traveller landed in states of Ohio and Indiana, and the America, he was the witness of scenes Illinois territory, that the greater part which presented a striking contrast to of the book relates. The months of even the worst features of the society June and July were employed in tra- he had left behind him. The praises velling westward near the banks of of a people and a government who the Ohio, and in occasionally explor- can tolerate them ought to be bestowa ing the unoccupied lanıls, in short ex- ed sparingly. cursions from the towns in which the
" I saw two female slaves and their party made some stay in their pro- children sold by auction in the streetgress. In the beginning of August, an incident of common occurrence here, Mr Birkbeck and his fellow-traveller, though horrifying to myself and many Mr Flower, purchased 1410 acres other strangers. I could hardly bear to see each of what is called a rich and beau- them handled and examined like cattle, tiful prairie, at the government price and when I heard their sobs, and saw the of two dollars an acre, (half a dollar big tears roll down their cheeks at the per acre paid down, and the remain- thought of being separated, I could not reder payable by instalments, in five these unhappy beings little regard is had
frain from weeping with them. In selling years,) in the south-east district of to the parting of the nearest relations. the Illinois, 45 miles from the Ohio, “ Virginia prides itself on the compafrom which there is a communication rative mildness of its treatment of the slaves; by the Wabash, a river in the vicinity and in fact they increase in numbers, many
being annually supplied from this state to can liken this affectation of splendour, exthose farther south, where the treatment is cept the painted face and gaudy headsaid to be much more severe. There are
dress of a half-naked Indian. regular dealers, who buy them up and “ This embryo metropolis, with its fodrive them in gangs, chained together, to reign decorations, should have set a better a southern market. I am informed that example to the young republic, by sur. few weeks pass without some of them being rounding itself first with good roads and marched through this place. A traveller substantial bridges, in lieu of those incontold me that he saw, two weeks ago, one venient wooden structures and dangerous hundred and twenty sold by auction, in the roads, over which the legislators must now streets of Richmond ; and that they filled pass to their duty. I think too, that good the air with their lamentations.
taste would have preferred native decora" A few weeks ago, in the streets of tion for the seat of the legislature." Richmond, a friend of mine saw a white boy wantonly throw quick-lime in the face Of the eastern states, the notices of a negro-man. The man shook the lime are few and short. Artizans and lafrom his jacket, and some of it accidentally bourers, according to Mr Birkbeck, reached the eyes of the young brute. This will succeed in any part of America ; casual retaliation excited the resentment bui to emigrants of other classes, he of the brother of the boy, who complained does not think the prospect in the eastto the slave's owner, and actually had him ern states is encouraging. In fact, punished with thirty lashes. This would the emigration to the west from these not have happened to an English peasant. “ All America is now suffering in mo
very states, is greater than from all rals through the baneful influence of negro his journey across the mountains, le
parts of Europe. In the beginning of slavery, partially tolerated ; corrupting justice at the very source.”
says, With such instances as these, it is “ We have now fairly turned our backs difficult to admit both parts of Mr on the old world, and find ourselves in the Birkbeck's conclusion, which seem very stream of emigration. Old America besides not to be very consistent with
seems to be brcaking up, and moving west
ward. each other.
We are seldom out of sight, as
we travel on this grand track towards the " On taking leave of Virginia, I must Ohio, of family groups, behind and before observe, that I found more misery in the us, some with a view to a particular spot, condition of the negroes, and a much higher close to a brother perhaps, or a friend, who tone of moral feeling in their owners than has gone before, and reported well of the I had anticipated ; and I depart confirmed country. Many like ourselves, when they in my detestation of slavery, in principle arrive in the wilderness, will iind no lodge and practice; but with esteem for the gene- prepared for them. Tal character of the Virginians.”
" A small waggon, (so light that you
might almost carry it, yet strong enough The taste of our transatlantic brc
to bear a good load of bedding, utensils thren appears not to be much supe- and provisions, and a swarm of young cirior to the moral feeling, be its tone tizens,--and to sustain marvellous shocks high or low, of the Virginian planter. in its passage over these rocky heighits,)
with two small horses--sometimes a cow " The Federal City contains, including or two, comprises thcir all; excepting a George Town, which is only separated from little store of hard-carned cash for the land it by the river, about 20,000 inhabitants, office of the district, where they may obscattered over a vast spare, like a number of tain a title for as many acres as they pospetty hamlets in a populous country. The sess half dollars, being one-fourth of the intended streets, radiating from the capital purchase-money. The waggon has a tilt, in right lines, are, for the most part, only or cover, made of a sheet, or perhaps a distinguishable from the rugged waste by blanket. The family are seen before, bea slin't trace, like that of a newly-formed hind, or within the vehicle, according to road, or in some instances, by rows of the road or the weather, or perhaps the Lombardy poplars, affording neither orna spirits of the party. ment nor shade, but evincing the exotic - The New Englanders, they say, may taste of the designer.
be known by the cheerful air of the wo“ The Capitol and the President's house men advancing in front of the vehicle; the are under repair from the damage sustain- Jersey people, by their being fixed steadily ed in the war. Ninety marble capitals within it; whilst the Pensylvanians creep have been imported at vast cost from Italy, lingering behind, as though regretting the to crown the columns of the Capitol, and homes they have left. A cart and single sluw low an-American is the whole plan. horse frequently affords the means of transThere is nothing in America to which I fer, sometimes a horse and pack-saddle.
Often the back of the poor pilgrim bears to eat a hurried meal, composed of almost all his effects, and his wife follows, naked
as many dishes.
At breakfast you have footed, bending under the hopes of the fa- fish, flesh, and fowl; bread of every shape mily.
and kind, butter, eggs, coffee, tea-every To give an idea of the internal move. thing, and more than you can think of. ments of this vast hive, about 12,000 wag. Dinner is much like the breakfast, omit. gons passed between Baltimore and Phila- ting the tea and coffee; and supper is the delphia, in the last year, with from four to breakfast repeated. Soon after this meal, six horses, carrying from thirty-five to for you assembled once more, in roonis crowdty cwt. The cost of carriage is about seven ed with beds, something like the wards of dollars per cwt., from Philadelphia to Pitts an hospital, where, after undressing in pubburg, and the money paid for the convey- lic, you are fortunate if you escape a partance of goods on this road exceeds ner in your bed, in addition to the myJ.. 300,000 Sterling. Add to these the riads of bugs, which you need not hope to numerous stages loaded to the utmost, and escape. the innumerable travellers on horseback, “But the horrors of the kitchen, from on foot, and in light waggons, and you whence issue these shoals of dishes, how have before you a scene of bustle and bu- shall I describe, though I have witnessed siness, extending over a space of three hun. them.--It is a dark and sooty hole, where dred miles, which is truly wonderful." the idea of cleanliness never entered, Of Mr Birkbeck's disposition to re
swarming with negroes of all sexes and present his new countrymen in a fa
ages, who seem as though they were bred
there : without floor, except the rude stones vourable light, the following is one of that support a raging tire of pine logs, a great many similar instances. But extending across the entire place; which whether his view of American society, forbids your approach, and which no being even of the society in what he calls but a negro could face." Old America, can be reconciled with the scenes which he immediately af
The picture which Mr Birkbeck ter describes,—his speculation with presents of the condition of the workhis facts, we must leave the reader ing classes, and of the rapidity with to decide. In our own country, or
which a little capital laid out on land rather judging by our own habits and accumulates in the hands of an inexperience, we might venture to draw dustrious and frugal labourer, is more a different conclusion from his pre- taithful, than some of those we have
pleasing, and probably also more mises.
just noticed. The difficulties which 66 But what is most at variance with
a poor settler has to encounter at the English notions of the American people, outset are, however, sufficient to deis the urbanity and civilization that pre- ter all but men of strong resolution vails in situations remote from large cities. and iron frames. In our journey from Norfolk, on the coast of Virginia, to this place, in the heart of 66 The settlers in a country, entirely the Alleghany mountains, we have not for new, are generally of the poorer class, and a moment lost sight of the manners of po are exposed to difficulties, independent of lished life. Retinement is unquestionably unhealthy situations, which may account far more rare, than in our mature and for the mortality that sometimes prevails ahighly cultivated state of society ; but so mong them. The land, when intended for is extreme vulgarity: In every department sale, is laid out in the government surveys of common life, we here see employed per in quarter sections of 100 acres, being one sons superior in habits and education to the fourth of a square mile. The whole is fame class in England.”
then offered to the public by auction, and “ The taverns in the great towns, east that which remains unsold, which is geneof the mountains, which lay in our route, rally a very large proportion, may be purafford nothing in the least corresponding chased at the land office of the district, at with our habits and notions of convenient two dollars per acre, one-fourth to be paid accommodation : the only similarity is in down, and the remaining three-fourths at the expence.
several instalments, to be completed in five " At these places all is performed on the years. gregarious plan: every thing is public by “ The poor emigrant, having collected day and by night ;-for even night in an the eighty dollars, repairs to the land ofAmerican inn affords no privacy. What- tice, and enters his quarter section, then ever may be the number of guests, they works his way without another cent in must receive their entertainments en mosl', his procket, to the solitary spot, which is to and they must sleep on musst.
Three be his future abode, in a two-horse waggon, times a-day the great bell rings, and a containing his family, and his little all, hundred persons collect froin all quarters, consisting of a few blankets, a skillet, his
rifle, and his axe. Suppose him arrived in we succeeded in finding water; we also the spring: after putting up a little log collected plenty of dry wood. • Camping cabin, he proceeds to clear, with intense out' when the tents are pitched by daylabour, a plot of ground for Indian corn, light, and the party is ready furnished with which is to be their next year's support; the articles which we were obliged to supbut, for the present, being without means ply by expedients, is quite pleasant in fine of obtaining a supply of flour, he depends weather My companion was exceedingly on his gun for subsistence. In pursuit of ill, which was, in fact, the cause of our bethe game, he is compelled, after his day's ing benighted ; and never was the night's work, to wade through the evening dews, charge of a sick friend undertaken with up to the waist, in long grass, or bushes, more dismal forebodings, especially during and returning, finds nothing to lie on but our inettectual efforts to obtain fire ; the a bear's skin on the cold ground, exposed first blaze of which was unspeakably deto every blast through the sides, and every lightful. After this the rain ceased, and shower through the open rouf of his the invalid passed the night in safety; so wretched dwelling, which he does not even that the morning found us more comfortaattempt to close, till the approach of wiri- ble than we could have anticipated.” ter, and often not then. Under these distresses of extreme toil and exposure, de
Our traveller had now nearly reachbarred from every comfort, many valuable ed the extreme limits of civilized life. lives have sunk, which have been charged Still he pressed onward with admirable to the climate.”
confidence and intrepidity. His views Mr Birkbeck himself did not escape ther than to a settlement for him.
seem all along to have extended fara little of this seasoning.
self and his fellow travellers ; though “Our rear party, consisting of one of they are not disclosed till near the 'the ladies, a servant boy, and myself, were end of the book. The habits and conbenighted, in consequence of accidental de- dition of the hunter in these remote tention, at the foot of one of these rugged regions afford a view of that link hills ; and, without being well provided, which connects the savage and untuwere compelled to make our first experi- tored Indian with civilized man. Yet, ment of camping ont.' “ Our party having separated, the im
the intermediate state of the backportant articles of tinder and matches were
woodsman seems to approach nearer in the baggage of the division which had
to the former, than to the lowest proceeded, and as the night was rainy and grade of European society. excessively dark, we were for some time Mr Birkbeck at last terminates his under some anxiety lest we should have peregrination, and purchases an esbeen deprived of the comfort and security tate, which proinises to reward him of a fire. Fortunately, my powder-fiask for all his toils. was in my saddle-bags, and we succeeded in supplying the place of tinder, by mois “ That our friends in England, who tening a piece of paper, and rubbing it may read these notes, may have an idea of with gunpowder. We placed our touch our real position, let them consider our paper on an old cambric handkerchief, as two families, viz. that of my friend Mr the most ready combustible article in our George Flower, late of Marden in Eng.
On this we scattered gunpowder land, and my own, about to be fixed upon pretty copiously, and our flint and steel eligible sites on our two adjoining estates, soon enabled us to raise a flame, and col. of fifteen hundred acres each, which we lecting dry wood, we made a noble fire. have carved for ourselves from a beautiful There was a mattress for the lady, a bear prairie and the adjoining woods. skin for myself, and the load of the pack “ Here we are preparing to raise buildhorse as a pallet for the boy. Thus, by ings : carpenters and builders have offered means of great coats, and blankets, and themselves; estimates are made and mateour umbrellas spread over our heads, we rials are at band. We are also providing made our quarters comfortable, and place for gardens and orchards, that we may liing ourselves to the leeward of the fire, terally sit under our own vines and our with our feet towards it, we lay more at own fig trees.' We might now mow many ease than in the generality of taverns. Our hundred acres of valuable grass, if we bad horses fared rather worse, but we took care a stock of cattle to require it. to tie them where they could browse lit " The fee-simple of each of these estates tle, and occasionally shifted their quarters.
amounts to three thousand dollars, togeWe had a few biscuits, a small bottle of ther L. 1350 Sterling; they are liable to spirits, and a phial of oil: with the latter a land tax of thirty dollars a-year to the we contrived, by twisting some twine very general government, and about the same hard, and dipping it in the oil, to make to the county, together something more torches ; and after several fruitless attempts than one penny per acre.
“ We shall have a certain and good less territory, more difficult and demarket for produce from the growing po- vious than the wilderness he had trapulation; or by export down the Ohio. versed. He is not sparing, however,
“ Cattle and hogs thrive well, and even fatten, especially the latter, to a great size ture destinies of the new region in
in predicting and anticipating the fuon the food they find; and there is no bound to the number that may be raised, Such is the rate at which population
which he has now fixed his abode. but in the ability of the breeder. They increases in these western states, he require little care, except to protect them from bears and wolves_keeping them says, that the produce of the new tame, by giving them salt frequently.
lands is hardly sufficient to supply its “ On these estates we hope to live much
Already the communication as we have been accustomed to live in Eng- with New Orleans, at the mouth of land ; but this is not the country for fine the Mississippi, is carried on by gentlemen or fine ladies of any class or de- steam-boats, which ascend that river scription, especially for those who love and the Ohio at the rate of sixty miles state, and require abundance of atten a day; whereas, formerly, the voyage dants."
to New Orleans was made on rafts, The health of our travellers had which were disposed of there along never been affected by the climate; with the produce they carried, and nor had they felt the heat of the the traders had to return by land, warmest months so great as to occa- many of them upwards of a thousand sion them any serious inconvenience. miles. If the Mississippi should hereOn this point, a very natural anxiety after become the principal channel of prevailed when they approached the intercourse between Europe and the almost unknown region, where they United States, as Mr Birkbeck prehave now taken up their residence. dicts, this country, enjoying many
Mr Birkbeck and Mr Flower in- natural advantages, must at some futend to purchase from the govern- ture, and perhaps no distant period, ment one or more entire townships exhibit scenes of industry and wealth, in the Illinois territory, where the which will form an extraordinary country is partly prairie and partly contrast with its present condition. woodland. A township comprises thirty-six square miles, or 23,040
These lands they propose to A View of the Constitution of the offer (on terms proportionally favour Church of Scotland. By GEORGE able) to Englishmen, whose views may Hill, D. D. Principal of St Mary's so far accord with their own as to College, St Andrews. 8vo. 1818. Tender proximity of settlement de sirable.
There are few respects in which Though it has been our wish to Scotland can be considered as more make our readers acquainted with fortunate than in her ecclesiastical what is most interesting in this little establishment. The moderate inbook, yet there are many curious and comes, equally removed from luxuseful notices to which our limits do ury and indigence, which are enjoy not permit us to advert, and whiched by her clergy, and the beneficial cannot be abridged. Indolence, ge- relation which subsists between them nerated by the high wages of labour, and their flocks, has been long a subin contrast with a spirit of enterprise, ject of observation. But, perhaps, -and filthy houses, and disgusting ta- due attention has not been paid to the verns, with alleged urbanity and ci- benefits derived from the free constivilization; the amalgamation of the tution of her church courts, and parsettlers from every nation, the French ticularly of the General Assembly. and Germans excepted, with the na- We do not allude merely to ecclesia tive Americans; the pride of indepen- astical benefits. This great court dence and political power among the forms now the only theatre of public lower classes,—these and other fea- business and public speaking which tures which differ so much from any exists in Scotland, and as laymen are thing we see in the old world, might largely admitted, it affords an ample furnish matter for much interesting scope for the oratorical talents of this speculation. But Mr Birkbeck is too metropolis. It has thus a tendency much a practical man to wander from to preserve in the nation that manly his own steady pursuits into this pathe and energetic character which the