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common labourers earning six and thirty shillings a week. And for all this they have to thank the Revolution'!
Our two expatriated farmers first land in Hampton Roads, and proceed to Norfolk in Virginia; a large town, with spacious streets, well paved causeways, and clean and good-looking houses. Here Mr. Birkbeck went into the market-house, where, says he, I observed the negroes selling for their masters
'the worst meat I ever saw, and dearer than the best in England; veal, such as never was exposed in an English market, at 10 d. per lb.; lamb of similar quality and price. Most wretched horses waiting, without food or shelter, to drag home the carts which had brought in the provisions-but, worst of all, the multitudes of negroes, many of them miserable creatures, others cheerful enough; but on the whole, this first glimpse of a slave population is extremely distressing-and is it, thought I, to be a member of such a society that I have quitted England!'
Friend Morris, in spite of the determination with which he set out, to be pleased with every thing in America, cannot reconcile his feelings towards the negroes, whether in a state of slavery or freedom. In proceeding up James's river he passes Little Guinea, a tract of land given by a planter to his negroes, whom he had liberated; their inclosures were but indifferently cultivated, and the negroes had a character for thieving-deservedly, I dare say,' he subjoins, for slavery is a school of depravity, and their equivocal or degraded station among whites is unfavourable to their moral improvement.'
He arrives at Petersburgh at the time of the races, and is introduced to a large assemblage of planters.
A Virginian tavern resembles a French one with its table d'hôte, (though not in the excellence of the cookery) but somewhat exceeds it in filth, as it does an English one in charges. The usual number of guests at the ordinary in this tavern (and there are several large taverns in Petersburgh) is fifty, consisting of travellers, store-keepers, lawyers,
A Virginian planter is a republican in politics, and exhibits the high-spirited independence of that character. But he is a slave-master, irascible, and too often lax in morals. A dirk is said to be a common appendage to the dress of a planter in this part of Virginia.
I never saw in England an assemblage of countrymen who would average so well as to dress and manners, none of them reached any thing like style; and very few descended to the shabby.
'As it rained heavily, every body was confined the whole day to the tavern, after the race, which took place in the forenoon. The conversation which this afforded me an opportunity of hearing, gave me a high opinion of the intellectual cultivation of these Virginian farmers.
Negro slavery was the prevailing topic-the middle and the endan evil uppermost in every man's thoughts; which all deplored, many were anxious to fly, but for which no man can devise a remedy. One gentleman,
gentleman, in a poor state of health, dared not encounter the rain, but was wretched at the thought of his famliy being for one night without his protection from his own slaves! He was suffering under the effects of a poisonous potion, administered by a negro, who was his personal servant, to whom he had given indulgences and privileges unknown to the most favoured valet of an English gentleman. This happened in consequence of some slight unintentional affront on the part of the indulgent master. It is stated as a melancholy fact, that severe masters seldom suffer from their slaves' resentment.'-pp. 11, 12.
At Petersburgh our travellers embark on board the steam-boat which plies between Norfolk and Richmond, and which is thus described:
'The steam-boat is a floating hotel, fitted up with much taste and neatness, with accommodations for both board and lodging. The ladies have their separate apartments and a female to attend them. Here we found ourselves at once in the society of about thirty persons, who appeared to be as polite, well dressed, and well instructed as if they had been repairing to the capital of Great Britain, instead of the capital of Virginia. We had a delightful passage, and reached Richmond about seven o'clock in the evening.'-p. 13.
Richmond is said to contain 13,000 inhabitants, nearly half of whom are negroes: the market is badly supplied; and the common necessaries of life are exceedingly dear, with the exception of bread of bad quality; for instance, eggs are 2d. each; butter 3s. 6d. a pound; meat of the worst description 1s. a pound; milk 44d. a pint, &c. house-rent high beyond example-that which Mr. Birkbeck lodged in, situated in a back street, lets, he says, at 300 guineas a year; a common warehouse or store at 2001. a year; ground on building speculation sells currently at 10,000 dollars per acre; and in some of the streets near the river at 200 dollars per foot in front.
Our traveller, it is evident, is by no means satisfied with the appearance of things hitherto in the land of promise.' He seems to have had a considerable struggle with himself in making up his mind as to the preference which he ought to assign to the condition of the English labourer or that of the Virginian slave-to the most wretched of our paupers, or to the happy negro; and, wonderful to relate, finally decides in favour of the former.
He is also somewhat disturbed at Richmond by a grand stir about a monument to the memory of General Washington, as if Washington,' he exclaims, 'could be forgotten whilst America retains her independence! Let republicans leave bones and relics, and costly monuments, to monks and kings; free America is the mausoleum of its deliverers, who may say to posterity, "Si quæris monumentum, circumspice!"' He thinks, however, such is the consistency of republicanism, that the patriots of Richmond would do well to repair the mutilated bust of La Fayette, in their Capitol, which now, he says, 'stands an object of horror and derision,'-the horrific feel
ing, we suppose, arises from the loss of his nose; the ridicule, from what remains.
'On taking leave of Virginia, (he says,) I must observe, that I found more misery in the condition of the negroes, and a much higher tone of moral feeling in their owners than I had anticipated; and I depart confirmed in my detestation of slavery, in principle and practice; but with esteem for the general character of the Virginians.'-p. 22.
Here we find our traveller quite delighted with the lofty tone of morality' of the Virginian planter; though he had described this same planter just before as lax in morals, irascible, and commonly provided with a dirk,'-for no peaceable purpose, we presume:-But the reader of Mr. Birkbeck must be prepared for these contradictions. His natural shrewdness and turn for observation unconsciously counteract his prejudices, and his facts and his opinions are therefore continually at issue.
Proceeding to the Potowmack, our emigrant and his companions (for besides Mr. Flower, he had several women and children in his train) embark in the steam-boat for, Washington. This federal city, including George Town, is said to contain 20,000 inhabitants, scattered over an immense space like a number of petty hamlets in a populous country. Here again our Friend is sore troubled in spirit at the thought that ninety marble capitals should have been imported at vast cost from Italy to crown the columns of the Capitol, and shew how un-American is the whole plan.' There is nothing in America,' he adds, to which I can liken this affectation of splendor, except the painted face and gaudy head-dress of a half-naked Indian.'
At M'Connel's Town the road joins the great turnpike from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, and the line of stages from George Town terminates; so here we are,' he says, 'nine in number, one hundred and thirty miles of mountain-country between us and Pittsburgh!'-No vehicles were to be procured, and the only alternative was that of staying where they were or making the journey on foot: they preferred the latter, and, each taking his little bundle, they set out on their pilgrimage, over the Alleghany ridge. 'We have now,' he repeats for the third or fourth time, fairly turned our backs on the old world, and find ourselves in the very stream of emigration. Old America* seems to be breaking up and moving westward.' This accords with an observation in a letter now before us from a very intelligent native of Cambridge near Boston. 'Our towns and cities,' he says, 'on the salt sea shores
* Strange as it may appear, the south-western part of the New World has already begun to consider the north-eastern as having passed the meridian of life, and accordingly given it the name of Old America. The line of the Alleghany mountains forms the phy sical, as in no great length of time it will probably do the political, barrier, or line of de marcation between the two countries.
are not improving so fast as our interior. Indeed people are emigrating daily and hourly from the Atlantic shores, especially from the coast of New England to the interior of Kentucky and Ohio, carrying with them the characteristic enterprize of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode island.' During the revolutionary war,' adds our Cambridge correspondent, the physical and intellectual. power of these colonies might be compared to a wedge, the broadest end of which was here in New England, and the thinnest in Georgia, but now, alas! the wedge is turned end forward, and the thickest end is in the south-west.'
The following is the picture which Friend Morris gives of family groups deserting poor old worn out America, and travelling to seek new homes amidst the freshness of the back settlements.
A small waggon (so light that you might almost carry it, yet strong enough to bear a good load of bedding, utensils and provisions, and a swarm of young citizens,-and to sustain marvellous shocks in its passage over these rocky heights) with two small horses; sometimes a cow or two, comprises their all; excepting a little store of hard-earned cash for the land office of the district; where they may obtain a title for as many acres as they possess half-dollars, being one fourth of the purchase-money. The waggon has a tilt, or cover, made of a sheet, or perhaps a blanket. The family are seen before, behind, or within the vehicle, according to the road or the weather, or perhaps the spirits of the party.
The New Englanders, they say, may be known by the cheerful air of the women advancing in front of the vehicle; the Jersey people, by their being fixed steadily within it; whilst the Pennsylvanians creep lingering behind, as though regretting the homes they have left. A cart and single horse frequently affords the means of transfer, sometimes a horse and pack-saddle. Often the back of the poor pilgrim bears all his effects, and his wife follows, naked-footed, bending under the hopes of the family.'
The mountainous district is pronounced to be a land of plenty,' and that to which they are proceeding a land of abundance;' an earnest of which is given by the noble droves of oxen met on the road from the western country, in their way to the city of Philadelphia. But though the cattle were good and plentiful, and the horses excellent, the sheep were few and miserable. Twenty or thirty half-starved creatures are seen now and then straggling about in much wretchedness,'-a comfortable sight for the flower of Merino farmers!
The Americans, it seems, are fond of journeying; they are, in fact, a migrating people; they have few or none of those local at tachments and fixed habits, which make it in Europe so painful a task to separate from those objects which time and memory have endeared, We are told, that not fewer than 12,000 waggons
passed between Baltimore and Philadelphia in the preceding year, besides stage-coaches, carts, and innumerable travellers on horseback and on foot, presenting a scene of bustle and business, which our author assures us is truly wonderful. He is now, for the first time, happy and at home-All is urbanity, politeness and civilization; even in the remotest districts, he tells us, a vast superiority, in every department of common life, both in habits and education, prevails, when compared with the same class in England; nay, the very pilot whom they took on board off Cape Henry was a well informed and agreeable man; and the Custom House officer a perfect Chesterfield- a gentlemanly youth, without a shade of the disagreeable character which prevails among his European brethren.' The taverns too-but these shall be described in the author's own words.
At these places all is performed on the gregarious plan: every thing is public by day and by night;-for even night in an American inn affords no privacy. Whatever may be the number of guests, they must receive their entertainments en masse, and they must sleep en masse. Three times a-day the great bell rings, and a hundred persons collect from all quarters, to eat a hurried meal, composed of almost as many dishes. At breakfast you have fish, flesh and fowl; bread of every shape and kind, butter, eggs, coffee, tea-every thing, and more than you can think of. Dinner is much like the breakfast, omitting the tea and coffee; and supper is the breakfast repeated. Soon after this meal, you assemble once more, in rooms crowded with beds, something like the wards of an hospital; where, after undressing in public, you are fortunate if you escape a partner in your bed, in addition to the myriads of bugs, which you need not hope to escape.
But the horrors of the kitchen, from whence issue these shoals of dishes, how shall I describe, though I have witnessed them.-It is a dark and sooty hole, where the idea of cleanliness never entered, swarming with negroes of all sexes and ages, who seem as though they were bred there: without floor, except the rude stones that support a raging fire of pine logs, extending across the entire place; which forbids your approach, and which no being but a negro could face.
In your reception at a western Pennsylvania tavern there is something of hospitality combined with the mercantile feelings of your host. He is generally a man of property, the head man of the village perhaps, with the title of Colonel, and feels that he confers, rather than receives a favour by the accommodation he affords; and rude as his establishment may be, he does not perceive that you have a right to complain : what he has you partake of, but he makes no apologies; and if you shew symptoms of dissatisfaction or disgust, you will fare the worse; whilst a disposition to be pleased and satisfied will be met by a wish to make you so.'
The next stage was the city of Pittsburgh, the Birmingham of America,' where Mr. Birkbeck expected to have been enveloped