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is fifty yards across, and continues full nearly to the verge, without once since overflowing its banks. The water is clear and well tasted, and crowded with fish, which satisfy the voracious appetite of a large alligator, who reigns lord of the place.
The Siminoles are a division of the Creek na. tion. They are scattered through an extensive range of country in East and West Florida, which is generally a fertile, well-watered level, being naturally divided into thousands of islets, knolls, and gentle eminences, by innumerable rivers, lakes, swamps, and ponds, which afford them secure retreats from the sudden attacks of an enemy, and supply them with fish and wild game in great abundance.
Hunting is the principal occupation of the men. With the hides of deer, bears, tygers, and wolves, they purchasc clothes and domestic utensils from the traders. Their wants and desires are few, and easily satisfied, as appears from the cheerfulness of their countenances. The happiness that flows from the enjoyment of the natural affections be.. tween husband and wife, parent and child, is to be seen in their cabins: nor are they insensible to the pleasures of society, dancing being a favourite amusement, accompanied with a simple sort of music.
On some occasions they love to decorate their persons. A party of young warriors saluted us
one day, as we were halting under a little grove of oranges and magnolias. They were all dressed and painted very smartly, and wore silver chains and ornaments; their crests adorned, after the Siminole mode, with waving plumes of feathers.
After we had taken our departure from Tasko. wila, we visited the town of Talahasockte, on the banks of St. Juan, which is a remarkably clear stream, said to take its source in a great swamp, one hundred miles north of this town. Here we were entertained at the trading house; and our companions unloaded their pack-horses, and exchanged · their goods for deer-skins, furs, dry fish, honey,' bees' wax, bears' oil, and some other natural pro. ductions.
These Indians have large, handsome canoes, which they form out of the trunks of cypress trees. Some of them conveniently accommodate from twenty to thirty persons. They descend the river in these canoes, on trading and hunting expeditions on the sea coasts, and sometimes extend their voyage even as far as Cuba. A crew of these adventurers arrived, whilst we were there, loaded with a cargo of coffee, sugar, tobacco, and spiritu. ous liquors, which cause the destruction of many of the Indian tribes; for having once tasted rum, they have no longer the resolution to restrain themselves. A drinking bout followed the opening of this baneful treasure; quarrels ensued; and the peace.
ful scene was changed to drunkenness, brawls, and confusion.
Our friend, the trader, had concluded his bargains, and we were glad to withdraw from such a disgusting picture of human nature in a state of debasement.
In our way to the town of Apalachuela, near a creek of excellent water, we found an encampment of Indians. The men were out a hunting. The women, willing to have a peep at strangers, came to the door of their tents, veiled in their mantle ; but when we paid our respects to them, showed their faces with great modesty of behaviour.
Apalachuela is esteemed the capital of the Creek confederacy, and sacred to peace, no captives be. ing ever put to death here.
When a general peace is proposed, the deputies from the towns that form the union, meet here to deliberate on the accomplishment of the treaty.
The great Coweta town, twelve miles higher up the river, on the contrary, is called the bloody town, because the Micas chiefs and warriors assem. ble there when a general war is proposed ; and captives taken in war are put to death at that place.
Three days' journey brought us to Talassee, a town on the Tallaposse river, which is the north. eastern branch of the Alabama or Mobile river. Having passed over a vast extent of level country, varied by savannahs; groves, where the squirrel and cameleon sport amongst the trees; lone swamps; and open pine forests, watered by innu. merable rivulets and brooks ; we altered our course towards the south, and approached the banks of the river, where Indian town's and plantations enlivened our road. Talassee stands in a fruitful plain, sheltered by a ridge of swelling hills. The houses consist of a wooden frame, with plaistered walls, and roofs of cypress bark: four of them compose one habitation and enclose an oblong square.
Having taken a fresh store of provisions, and procured a guide to set us in the great trading path for West Florida, we proceeded, for eighteen miles, through a grand forest, frequently affording us a view of Indian towns, and at night pitched our tent under the shelter of a venerable oak. The first part of our next day's journey lay across extensive grassy plains, enamelled with a profusion of strawberries, which allayed our thirst, and refreshed us inexpressibly. To this open country succeeded a forest, which in some parts bordered the Alabama river.
For nine miles we rode through a continued grove of dog-wood trees, which being in bloom was really beautiful. Wild forest scenes, varied at times by flowing rivulets and gentle hills, conducted us to the borders of the Schambe, which we forded, and pitching our tents on the opposite bank, enjoyed a refreshing night's rest. Low swampy cane mcadows presented a less agreeable
landscape than the day before. As we approached the bay of Mobile, we passed high rocky cliffs, that indicated beds of rich iron ore. We lodged at Taensa, which is a pretty high bluff, or bank of sand. The evening was sultry hot. About midnight we were disturbed by a tremendous thunderstorm. The air and earth were refreshed by the rain, and we had a pleasant ride to the city of Mo. bile, though it scarcely deserves that name. A few Europeans, of different nations, reside there, who carry on a trade with the Indians. From this place we proceeded directly for Pensacola, which is de. lightfully situated on gentle rising ascents, surrounding a spacious harbour, capable of containing a multitude of ships. Several rivers run into this bay, but none of them are navigable for large vessels. The governor's residence is a stone building, Cornamented with a tower built by the Spaniards. The tower is defended by a fortress; and many of the inhabitants have handsome, convenient houses. After our long rambles, amongst savage tribes and a wild country, we enjoy a few days' repose, amongst people of our own colour and habits, who treat us with the most friendly hospitality. Such a favourable opportunity for writing I would not neglect, believing you will be pleased to hear from your affectionate brother,