Retrospect of Western Travel, Volume II (of 2)
Free download. Book file PDF easily for everyone and every device. You can download and read online Retrospect of Western Travel, Volume II (of 2) file PDF Book only if you are registered here. And also you can download or read online all Book PDF file that related with Retrospect of Western Travel, Volume II (of 2) book. Happy reading Retrospect of Western Travel, Volume II (of 2) Bookeveryone. Download file Free Book PDF Retrospect of Western Travel, Volume II (of 2) at Complete PDF Library. This Book have some digital formats such us :paperbook, ebook, kindle, epub, fb2 and another formats. Here is The CompletePDF Book Library. It's free to register here to get Book file PDF Retrospect of Western Travel, Volume II (of 2) Pocket Guide. Having said all that so many tongues could, in an hour's time, about the Theory of Rent, Colonel Thompson, and Mr. Malthus; the value of public censure and eulogy; Mrs. Somerville again, Philadelphia ale, American politics, and a hundred other things, we were obliged to go. Keepsakes of the ladies' work were put into our hands, and packets of sandwiches into the carriage; and a party escorted us to our inn, bad as the weather was.

Letters of introduction were hastily prepared, and sent after us; and during our whole visit nothing was omitted which could concern our comfort, or enhance our pleasure. As I cast my last look from the window of the stage towards the University, it was with less regret than pleasurable astonishment at my own experience of the speed with which it is possible for foreign minds to communicate, and lasting regard to be established. With natural advantages more bountiful than were ever dispensed by a kind Providence to any other people upon the face of the globe, there is, from the mountains to the sea-coast, cay.

There was no end to the kind cautions given me against travelling through the Southern States; not only on account of my opinions on -slavery, but because of the badness of the roads, and the poverty of the wayside accommodations. There was so much of this, that my companion and I held a consultation one day, in our room at Washington, spreading out the map, and surveying the vast extent of country we proposed to traverse before meeting my relatives at New Orleans. We found that neither was afraid; and afterwards that there was no cause for fear, except to persons who are annoyed Edition: current; Page: [ 37 ] by irregularity and the absence of comfort.

The evil prognostications went on multiplying as we advanced: but we learned to consider them as mere voices on the mountain of our enterprise, which must not deter us from accomplishing it. At Richmond we were cautioned about the journey into South Carolina: at Charleston we met with dreadful reports of travelling in Georgia: in Georgia people spoke of the horrors of Alabama, and so on: and, after all, nothing could well be easier than the whole undertaking.

I do not remember a single difficulty that occurred, all the way. There was much fatigue, of course. In going down from Richmond to Charleston, with a party of friends, we were nine days on the road, and had only three nights rest.

Throughout the journey, we were obliged to accommodate ourselves to the stage hours, setting off sometimes in the evening, sometimes at midnight; or, of all uncomfortable seasons, at two or three in the morning. On a journey of many days, we had to inform ourselves of the longest time that the stage would stop at a supping or breakfasting place, so that we might manage to snatch an hour's sleep. While the meal was preparing, it was my wont to lie down and doze, in spite of hunger: if I could find a bed Edition: current; Page: [ 38 ] or sofa, it was well: if not, I could wrap myself in my cloak, and make a pillow on the floor of my carpet-bag.

I found that a sleep somewhat louder than this, when I could go to bed for two hours, was more fatiguing than refreshing. The being waked up at two, when I had lain down at midnight, was the greatest discomfort I experienced. But little sleep can be obtained in the stage, from the badness of the roads. It was only when quite wearied out that I could forget myself for an hour or two, amidst the joltings and rollings of the vehicle. In Alabama, some of the passengers in the stage were Southern gentlemen, coming from New York, in comparison with whose fatigues ours were nothing.

I think they had then travelled eleven days and nights, with very short intervals of rest; and the badness of the roads at the end of a severe winter had obliged them to walk a good deal. They looked dreadfully haggard and nervous; and we heard afterwards that one of them had become incessantly convulsed in the face, after we had left them. It is not necessary, of course, to proceed without stopping, in such a way as this; but it is necessary to be patient of fatigue to travel in the South at all.

Yet I was very fond of these long journeys. The traveller if he be not an abolitionist is perfectly secure of good treatment; and fatigue and indifferent Edition: current; Page: [ 39 ] fare are the only evils which need be anticipated.

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The toils of society in the cities were so great to me that I generally felt my spirits rise when our packing began; and, the sorrow of parting with kind hosts once over, the prospect of a journey of many days was a very cheerful one. The novelty and the beauty of the scenery seemed inexhaustible; and the delightful American stages, open or closed all round at the will of the traveller, allow of everything being seen.

The American can conceive of nothing more dismal than a pine-barren, on a rainy day: but the profound tranquillity made it beautiful to me, whose rainy days have been almost all passed in cities, amidst the rumbling of hackney-coaches, the clink of pattens, the gurgle of spouts, and the flitting by of umbrellas. It is very different in the pine-barrens.

The sandy soil absorbs the rain, so that there is no mud: the pines stand meekly drooping, as if waiting to be fed: the drip is noiseless: and the brooks and pools are seen bubbling clear, or quietly filling, while not a wing cleaves the-air, each bird nestling in the covert of its domestic tree. When the rain ceases, towards evening, the whole region undergoes a change. If a parting ray from the west pierces the woods, the stems look lilac in the moist light; the vines glitter before they shake off their last drops; the red-bird startles the eye; the Edition: current; Page: [ 40 ] butterflies come abroad in clouds; the frogs grow noisy, and all nature wakens up fresh as from her siesta.

The planter may be seen on his pacing while horse, in a glade of the wood; or superintending the negroes who are repairing the fence of his estate. One black holds the large dibble, with which the holes for the stakes are made; others are warming their bands at the fire which blazes on the ground:—many hands to do slovenly work. While any light is left, the driver is apt to shorten his road by cutting across a knoll, instead of winding round it: and then the wheels are noiseless on the turf; the branches crash as the vehicle is forced between the trees; and the wood-pigeons, frightened from their roost, flutter abroad.

When the sun has gone down, all is still within the stage: the passengers grow drowsy, unless hunger keeps them awake. Each one nods upon his neighbour's shoulder, till a red light, gradually illuminating all the faces, and every moment growing brighter, rouses the dullest. Each tells somebody else that we are coming to a fire in the woods. First there are lines of little yellow flames on each side the path:—the blazing up of twigs too dry to have been made incombustible by the morning's rain. Then there is a pond of red fire on either hand; and pillars of light rising from it.

The succeeding darkness is intense. The horses seem to feel it; for they slacken to a foot-pace, and the grazing of a wheel against a pine-stem, or the zigzag motion of the vehicle, intimates that the driver's eyes have been dazzled. Presently the horses set off again; and the passengers sink once more into silence. They are next roused by the discordant horn of the driver, sending out as many distinct blasts as there are passengers; each blast more of a screech than the last; and the final flourish causing a shout of laughter in the coach; laughter animated a little, perhaps, by the prospect of supper.

Right or left, soon appears the log-house, its open shutters and door giving token that a large fire is blazing within. The gentlemen hand out the ladies at the door, and then stand yawning and stretching, or draw to the fire while they can. The hostess, who is busy cooking, points to a lamp, with which the ladies light themselves to her chamber, to put up their hair under their bonnets for the night.

Little impish blacks peep and grin from behind the stove, or shine in the heat of the chimney-earner. If any one of them has ever received a compliment on his dexterity, he serves with most ostentations bustle, his eyes wide open, his row of white teeth all in sight, and Edition: current; Page: [ 42 ] his little body twisting about; with every affectation of activity.

An observer may see some fun going on behind the mistress's back; a whisk of the carrying knife across a companion's throat; or a flourish of two plates like cymbals over the head. At last, supper is ready:—the broiled venison, the ham collops and eggs, and apple sauce; the infusion which is called tea or coffee; and the reeking corn-bread. Before the clatter of knives had ceases, the stage, with its fresh horses, is at the door; the ladies snatch a final warming, while the driver finishes his protracted meal, their eyes, being now at liberty to study the apartment, looking round for some other object than the old story.

If we wanted to consult a map in a hurry, in such places as these, we never had to hunt out our present situation. There was always the worn spot, to serve as the center to our investigations. The passengers, however wearily they might have descended from the stage, are pretty sure to enter it again with a spring. The sleep seldom lasts long. You are Edition: current; Page: [ 43 ] sure to come to a creek, where nobody has ever erected a bridge, or where a freshet has carried one away, and no measure have been taken to rebuild it. With drowsy groans, the passengers rouse themselves, and get out at the driver's bidding, under the cold stars, or the drifting clouds.

The ladies slip on their India-rubber shoes; for their first step may be into soft mud. They stand upon a bank, if there be one, in order not to be run over in the dark; while the scow shows by the reflection of the light at her bow where the river is. When she touches the bank, the driver calls to everybody to keep out of the way, cracks his whip, and drives his lumbering carriage down the bank, and into the scow: the passengers follow; the scow is unchained, and the whole load is pushed across the stream, or pulled, if it happens to be a rope-ferry.

When the expected shock tells you that have arrived at the other side, the driver again cracks his whip, and the horses scramble. If, they should refuse to mount the steep bank, and back a step upon the passengers instead, every one would infallibly be driven into the river. A delicate coaxing is therefore employed; and I imagine the animals must be aware what a ticklish thing any freak of theirs would be in such a situation; for I never know them decline mounting the bank, without a single back step.

If the team bolt, or other fastening of equal consequence Edition: current; Page: [ 44 ] should happen to break, there is a chance of two hours rest, or so. Something snaps; the vehicle stops; the gentlemen get out; the ladies gaze from the windows, while somebody half-dressed comes out with a lantern from any dwelling that may be in sight, and goes back again for hammer and nail, or, at worst, a piece of cord: and you proceed at a slow foot-pace, to the nearest hotel.

There, the slaves, roused from the floor, where they are lying like dogs, go winking about, putting fresh logs on the smoldering fire, and lighting a lamp or two.

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After repeated inquiries on the part of the ladies, who feel the first miuntes of their two hours slipping away without any promise of rest, a female slave at last appears, staring as if she had never seen any body before. The ladies have already taken out nightcap, soap and towel from their carpet-bags. They motion the woman up-stairs, and follow her. They find the water-jug, if there be one, empty, of course. With coaxing, they get the attendant to fill it. If there are no sheets, or yellow ones, the ladies spread their dressing-gowns over the bed, and use their cloaks for a covering. As soon as they have lain down, a draught begins to blow in the strangest way on the top of their heads.

They examine, and find a broken window behind the bed. Edition: current; Page: [ 45 ] They wrap up their heads, and lie down again. AS soon as they are fairly dreaming that they are at home, and need not get up till they please, the horn startles them, they raise their, heads, see a light under the door, and the black woman looks in to drawl out that they must please to make haste. It seems like a week since they down; but they are not rested, turn away sick and dizzy from the flickering light.

In the morning, you wonder where your fatigue is gone, As the day steals through the forest, kindling up beauty as it goes, the traveller's whole being is refreshed. The young aloes under the fallen trunks glitter with dew; the grey moss, dangling from the trees, waves in the breath of the morning. The busy little chameleons run along the fences, and the squirrel erects his brush as you pass.

While the crescent moon and the morning star glittered low down in the sky, you had longed to stay the sun beneath the horizon; but now that he is come, fresh vigour and enjoyment seem to be shed down with his rays. I never had the pleasure of camping out: but I know exactly what it must be like: for I have seen establishments of this sort in every stage of the process,—from the searching out Edition: current; Page: [ 46 ] a spot blessed with a running stream, a shelter to windward, a dry soil, and plenty of fuel,—to the pilling the wagon with the pots, pans, and children, previous to starting at dawn.

There is a striking air of cheer about the family when beginning their new day; leaving behind the desolation they have made; the scorched turf, the scattered brushwood, chips and meat bones, and setting forth in renewed strength in the fresh morning. I owe to these people many a picture such as will never meet my eye in the galleries of art. Our stationary rural life in the South was various and pleasant enough: all shaded with the presence of slavery; but without any other drawback.

There is something in the make-shift irregular mode of life which exists where there are slaves that is amusing when the cause is forgotten. The waking in the morning is accomplished by two or three black women staring at you from the bed-posts. Then it is five minutes' work to get them out of the room.

Perhaps before you are half dressed, you are summoned to breakfast. You look at your watch, and listen whether it has stopped; for it seems not to be seven o'clock yet. You hasten, however, and find your hostess making the coffee. The young people drop in when the meal is half done, and then it is discovered the breakfast has been served an hour too early, because the clock Edition: current; Page: [ 47 ] has stopped, and cook has ordered affairs according to her own conjectures.

Every body laughs, and nothing ensues. After breakfast, a farmer in homespun,—blue trowsers and an orange-brown coat. A drunken white has shot one of his Negroes, and he fears no punishment can be obtained, because there were no witnesses of the deed but blacks. A consultation is held whether the affair shall go into court: and before the farmer departs, he is offered cake and liqueur.

Your hostess, meantime, has given her orders, and is now engaged in a back room, or out the piazza behind the house, cutting out clothes for her slaves;—very laborious work in warm weather. There may be a pretence of lessons among the young people; and something more than pretence, if they happen to have a tutor or governess: but the probability is that their occupations are as various as their tempers.

Rosa cannot be found: she is lying on the bed in her own room, reading a novel: Clara is weeping for her canary, which has flown away while she was playing with it: Alfred is trying to ascertain how soon we may all go out to ride; and the little ones are lounging about the court, with their arms round the necks of blacks, of their own size. You sit down to the piano, or to read and one slave or another enters every half hour to ask what is o'clock. She has not been seated many minutes when she is called away, and returns saying how babyish these people are, that they will not take medicine unless she gives it to them; and how careless of each other, so that she has been obliged to stand by and see Diana put clean linen upon her infant, and to compel Bet to get her sick husband some breakfast.

Morning visitors next arrive. It may be the clergyman, with some new book that you want to look at; and inquiries whether your host sees any prospect of getting the requisite number of professors for the new college; or whether the present head of the insitution is to continue to fill all the chairs. It may be a lank judge from some raw district, with a quid in his cheek, a sword cane in his hand, and a legal doubt in his mind, which he wants your host to resolve. It may be a sensible woman, with courtesy in her countenance, and decision in her air, who is accustomed really to rule her household, and to make the host of such human Edition: current; Page: [ 49 ] material and such a human lot as are pressing around and upon her.

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If so, the conversation between her and your hostess becomes rapid and interesting,—full of tales of perplexity and trouble, of droll anecdotes, and serious and benevolent plans. Or it may be a lady of a different cast, who is delighted at the prospect of seeing you soon again. You look perplexed, and mention that you fear you shall be unable to return this way, O, but you will come and live here.

You plead family, friends, and occupation in England,—to say nothing of England being your home. O, but you can bring your family and friends with you. You laughingly ask why.

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Meantime, Clara has dried her tears, for some one has recovered her canary, and the door of the cage is shut. The carriage and saddle-horses are scrambling on the gravel before the door, and the children run in to know if they may ride with you. Cake, fruit and liqueurs, or perhaps tea, are brought in; and then the ladies depart. The clergyman thinks he will ride round with your party, hearing that you are going to inspect Mr.

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You admire the horsemanship of your host on Edition: current; Page: [ 50 ] his white horse, and the boys on their black ponies. The carriage goes at good speed, and yet the fast pace of the saddle-horses enables the party to keep together. While you are looking out upon a picturesque loghouse, peeping forth from a blossomy thicket, or admiring a splendid hedge of the Cherokee rose, in straggling bloom. Rosa rouses herself from a reverie, and asks you to tell her all about Victoria.

A Unitarian, I suppose, like you. I wish I knew! When will she be queen? When she is eighteen, won't she? How long will she be a queen? Rosa has no idea of rulers not being changed every four or eight years. Even her imagination is almost overpowered at the idea of being set above every body else for life. The carriage stops, and you are invited to step Edition: current; Page: [ 51 ] out, and view the ravages of a tornado, a season or two ago; you see how clear a path it made for itself in the forest; and how it swept across the river, tearing down an answering gap through the tall cane-brake on the opposite bank.

The prostrated trees lie sunk in swamp, half hidden by flowering reeds and bright mosses; while their stumps, twice as tall as yourself, are all cropped off, whatever may be their thickness, precisely at the same height; and so wrenched and twisted as to convince you that you never before conceived of the power of the winds. The boys show you a dry path down to the river side, that you may see the fish traps that arc laid in the stream, and watch the couples of shad fishers—dark figures amidst the flashing waters,—who are pursuing their occupation in the glare of noon.

The girls tell you how father remembers the time when there were bears in that cane-brake, and there was great trouble in getting them to come out of their thick covert to be killed. When father first came here, this side of the river was all cane-brake too. Is not a cane-brake very ugly? You proceed, and point out with admiration a beautifully situated dwelling, which you declare takes your fancy more than any you have seen. Edition: current; Page: [ 52 ] The children are amused that you should suppose any one lives there, overshadowed with trees as it is, so that its inhabitants would be devoured by mosquitoes.

Your hostess tells you that it is called Mr. He spent a good deal of money, and much taste upon it; but it is uninhabitable from being rather too near the river. The fever appeared so immediately and decisively that the family had to leave it in three months; and there it stands, to be called B. Your host paces up to the carriage window, to tell you that you arc now on A. You are overtaking a long train of negroes going to their work from dinner. They look all over the colour of the soil they are walking on: dusky in clothing, dusky in complexion.

An old man, blacker than the rest, is indicated to you as a native African; and you point out a child so light as to make you doubt whether he be a slave. A glance at the long heel settles the matter. You feel that it would be a relief to be assured that this was a troop of monkeys dressed up for sport, rather than that these dull, shuffling animals should be human.

There is something inexpressibly disgusting in the sight of a, slave woman in the field. I do not share in the horror of the Americans at the idea of women being employed in out-door labour. It did Edition: current; Page: [ 53 ] not particularly gratify me to sec the cows always milked by men where there were no slaves ; and the hay and harvest fields would have looked brighter in my eyes if women had been there to share the wholesome and cheerful toil; But a negro woman behind the plough presents a very different object from the English mother with her children in the turnip field, or the Scotch lassie among the reapers.

In her pre-eminently ugly costume, the long, scanty, dirty woollen garment, with the shabby large bonnet at the back of her head, the perspiration streaming down her dull face, the heavy tread of the splay foot, the slovenly air with which she guides her plough,—a more hideous object cannot well be conceived; unless it be the same woman at home, in the negro quarter, as the cluster of slave dwellings is called. You are now taken to the cotton-gin, the building to your left, where you are shown how the cotton, as picked from the pods, is drawn between cylinders, so as to leave the seeds behind; and how it is afterwards packed, by hard pressure, into bales.

The neighbouring creek is dammed up to supply the water-wheel by which this gin is worked. You afterwards sec the cotton-seed laid in handfuls round the stalks of the young springing corn, and used in the cotton field as manure. Meantime, you attempt to talk with the slaves. Edition: current; Page: [ 54 ] You ask how old that very aged man is, or that boy; they will give you no intelligible answer. Slaves never know, or never will tell, their ages; and this is the reason why the census presents such extraordinary reports on this point; declaring a great number to be above a hundred rears old.

If they have a kind master, they will boast to you of how much he gave for each of them, and what sums he has refused for them.

If they have a hard master, they will tell you that they would have more to eat, and be less flogged, but that massa is busy, and has no time to come down, and see that they have enough to cat. Your hostess is well known on this plantation, and her kind face has been recognized from a distance; and already a negro woman has come to her with seven or eight eggs, for which she knows she shall receive a quarter dollar You follow her to the negro quarter, where yon see a tidy woman knitting, while the little children who are left in her charge are basking in the sun, or playing all kinds of anties in the road; little shining, plump, clear-eyed children, whose mirth makes you sad, when yon look round upon their parents, and see what these bright creatures arc to come to.

You enter one of the dwellings, where every thing seems to be of the same dusky hue: the crib against the wall, the walls themselves, and the floor, all look one yellow. More children are crouched Edition: current; Page: [ 55 ] round the wood fire, lying almost in the embers. You see a woman pressing up against the wall, like an idiot, with her shoulder turned towards you, and her apron held up to her face. You ask what is the matter with her, and are told that she is shy.

You see a woman rolling herself about in a crib, with her head tied up, You ask if she is ill, and are to told that she has not a good temper; that she struck at a girl she was jealous of with an axe; and the weapon being taken from her, she threw herself into the well, and was nearly drowned before she was taken out, with her head much hurt. The overseer has, meantime, been telling your host about the fever having been more or less severe last season, and how well off he shall think himself if he has no more than so many days' illness this summer: how the vegetation has suffered from the late frosts, pointing out how many of the oranges have been cut off, but that the great magnolia in the centre of the court is safe.

You admire the lofty, cool rooms, with their green blinds, and the width of the piazzas on both sides the house, built to compensate for the want of shade from trees, which cannot be allowed near the dwelling, for fear of mosquitoes. You visit the ice-house, and find it pretty full, the Edition: current; Page: [ 56 ] last winter having been a severe one.

You learn that for three or four seasons after this ice-house was built, there was not a spike of ice in the State; and a cargo had to be imported from Massachusetts. When you have walked in the field as long as the heat will allow, you step into the overseer's bare dwelling, within its bare enclosure, where fowls are strutting about, and refresh yourself with a small tumbler of milk,—a great luxury, which has been ordered for the party. The overseer's fishing tackle and rifle are on the wall: and there is a medicine chest, and a shelf of books.

He is tall, sallow, and nonchalant , dropping nothing more about himself and his situation than that he does not know that he has had more than his share of sickness and trouble in his vocation, and so he is pretty well satisfied. Your hostess reminds the party that they are going out to dinner, and that it is quite time to be returning to dress. So you go straight home by a shorter road, stopping no more, but looking out, now at a glorious trumpet honeysuckle dangling from a branch; now at a lefty, spreading green tree, red hot close to the ground, while a sheet of flames is spreading all about its roots, the flames looking orange and blue in the bright sunshine.

You are glad to find, on arriving at home, that you have half an hour to lie down before you dress, Edition: current; Page: [ 57 ] and are surprised, on rising, to feel how you are refreshed. You have not very far to go to dinner,—only to Mr. The E. If you find the accommodations poor, you must excuse it, in consideration of their recent removal, The E. The cottage is half way up a gentle ascent, with a deep, sandy road leading to the wooden steps of the front piazza, and pine forests in the rear. The entertainment to-day is not solely on your account: it is a parting dinner to young Mr.

They are leaving their parents and friends, and the family estate, and are to live in a loghouse, till a proper dwelling can be built. As for Mrs. You ask whether such a charge be not too much for her. Certainly; but there is no use in complaining, for it cannot be helped. She never had a nurse that was not more plague than use. It is not only that the servants tell the children improper things, and teach them falsehood, but it is impossible to get the little boys' faces washed without seeing it done; and the infant may, as likely as not, be dropped into the fire or out of the window.

Ladies must make the best of their lot, for they cannot help themselves. The dinner is plentiful, including, of course, turkey, ham, and sweet potatoes; excellent claret, and large blocks of ice-cream. A slave makes gentle war against the flies with the enormous bunch of peacocks' feathers: and the agitation of the air is pleasant, while the ladies are engaged in eating, so that they cannot use their own fans, which are hung by loops on the backs of their chairs. The afternoon is spent in the piazza, where coffee is served.

There the ladies sit, whisking their feather fans, jesting with the children, and talking over the last English poem, or American novel; or complaining bitterly of the dreadful incendiary publications which Mr. You go in to tea, and find the table strewed with prints, and the piano open; and Mrs.

The gentlemen have done discussing the French war and the currency, and are praising the conduct of the Committee of Vigilance; frankly informing you, as a stranger, of the reasons of its formation, and the modes of its operation in deterring abolitionists from coming into the neighbourhood, in arresting them oil any suspicion of tampering with the negroes, and in punishing them summarily, if any facts are established against them. While you are endeavouring to learn the nature of the crime and its evidence, you are summoned. There is going to be a storm, and your party must get home, if possible, before it comes on.

In such a case, Mrs. She would not be the means of exposing you to the storm. You hasten away, and reach home during the first explosion of thunder. You find there a bouquet, sent to you with Miss G. It is not nearly bed-time yet; and you sit on the sofa, fanning yourself, with the table-lamp, dimmed by the momentary glare of blue Edition: current; Page: [ 60 ] lightning. Your hostess learns from the servants that poor Miss Clara went to bed in great grief; the cat having killed her canary in the afternoon. It has been a sad day for poor Clara, from the adventures of her bird: but she is now fast asleep.

Your host amuses you with anecdotes of South country life. He asks you how you were struck with Mrs. You reply that she seems a cheerful, hearty personage, who makes the best of a poor lot; and you relate how pleased you were at the frankness with which she owned, pointing to the stocking she was darning, that she knew little of books now-a-days, or of music, as she was making shirts and darning stockings for her sons, all the year round. You were sorry to see such evidences of poverty: chairs with broken backs, and a piano with three legs, and a cracked flute: but glad that Mrs.

Your host throws himself back, and laughs for three minutes: and when he recovers, informs you that Mrs. You protest that you looked upon her with respect as a meritorious widow, doing her best for a large family. Your host repeats that she is the richest widow in the State; and that she and all her family are odd about money. She has a sister in a neighbouring State, Mrs.

Edition: current; Page: [ 61 ] Last year Mrs. The sisters went out in Mrs. You should not be seen in town with a girl behind your carriage. The next day, a spruce mulatto lad was in waiting, of whom Mrs. When she looked in his face, however, as he was letting down the steps at the entrance of a store, she was struck by his remarkable like-ness to the girl of yesterday, and observed upon it.

Many such a story does your host amuse you with; observing that, though America has fewer humourists than England, they may be met with in abundance in rare settlements and retired districts, where they can indulge their fancies without much suffering from public opinion. The storm abates. You dismiss Edition: current; Page: [ 62 ] your dusky attendants, and throw yourself on your sample sofa for half an hour, to recal what yon have seen and heard this day, and meditate on the scope and tendencies of Country Life in the Southern States.

The disasters of our railroad journey to Charleston have been described elsewhere. As it was, we reached the railroad station at ten minutes past four the next morning. There was much delay in obtaining our luggage, and getting away from the station. We could not think of disturbing the slumbers of the friends whose hospitality we were about to enjoy; and we therefore proceeded in the omnibus which was in waiting, to the Planters' Hotel. We were all hungry, having scarcely tasted food since noon the day before; and very weary, having travelled the whole of two nights, and enjoyed Edition: current; Page: [ 64 ] no sufficient rest since we left Richmond, nine days before.

Every little event became a great one to persons so exhausted. The omnibus jolted and stopped, and we were told that an accident had happened. The gentlemen got out, but the darkness was total. A light was brought from a private house, and it appeared that a wheel had touched the kirbstone!

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It seemed as if horses were never backed in Charleston, so long were we in proceeding. When I afterwards saw what the streets of Charleston are like. I did not wonder at any extreme of caution in a driver. The soil is a fine sand, which after rain turns into a most deceptive mud; and there is very little pavement yet.

The deficiency of stone is, however, becoming supplied by importation, and the inhabitants hope soon to be able to walk about the city in all weathers, without danger of being lost in crossing the streets. They told me, as an on dit , that a horse was drowned, last winter, in a mud-hole, in a principal street. At the hotel, all was dark and comfortless. We made a stir among the servants: the gentlemen got two men to light a fire, and fetch us wine and biscuits; and we persuaded two women to make up beds, and warm some water. We were foolish enough to be tempted to take wine and water, as we could have neither tea nor coffee; and when we lose from our unrefreshing sleep, an hour after noon, Edition: current; Page: [ 65 ] we formed such a dismal group of aching heads us could hardly be matched out of an hospital.

Two of us proceeded, in a light pretty buck-carriage, to the friend's house where we were expected. Nothing could be more considerate than our reception. A pile of English and American letters and newspapers awaited us; and our hostess know that we must be fatigued: a fire was therefore immediately lighted in my chamber, and we were told that the day was our own; that our dinner would be sent up to us, and that we should not be expected in the drawing-room till we chose to join the family.

I shall not soon forget the refreshment of lingering over family letters and London newspapers; of feeling that we were not liable to be called up in the dark for a fortnight at least; and of seeing my clothes laid in drawers, for the first time, I think, since I landed. A chest of drawers is seldom to be seen in the chambers,—or, at least, in the guest-chambers of American houses. We were favoured in the article of closets, with rows of pegs; but I believe I had the use of a chest of drawers only two or three times during my travels.

A circumstance happened this day, which, as being illustrative of manners, may be worth relating. The day before I left Richmond, Virginia, two companions and myself had employed a hack-carriage, driven by a black, for some hours; and on Edition: current; Page: [ 66 ] dismissing had paid the fare, which we thought reasonable. The proprietor of the carriage, and master of the driver, had by some means heard who it was that had been his customer. Finding that I had left Richmond, he took the trouble to send the two dollars and a half down to Charleston.

I had soon reason to perceive that Charleston deserves its renown for hospitality. A lecturer on phrenology sent us tickets for his course: six carriages were immediately placed at my disposal, and the servants came every morning for orders for the day. The difficulty was to use them all and equally: but, by employing one for the morning drive, and another for the evening visiting, we contrived to show our friends that we were willing to avail ourselves of their kindness. I believe there was scarcely a morning during our stay when some pretty present did not arrive before I rose: sometimes it was a bouquet of hyacinths, which were extremely rare that year, from the lateness and severity of the frosts: sometimes it was a dish of preserve or marmalade; sometimes a feather fan.

Edition: current; Page: [ 67 ] One morning, I found on my window-seat a copy of the Southern Review, and a bonquet of hyacinths from General Hayne; and the next, a basket of wafers from Mrs. In the midst of all this, there was no little watchfulness among a totally different set of persons, about my proceedings with regard to the negroes, I had not been in the city twenty-four hours before we were amused with ridiculous reports of my championship on behalf of the blacks; and long after I had left the place, reported speeches of mine were in circulation which were remarkably striking to me when I at length heard them.

This circumstance shows how irritable the minds of the people are upon this topic. I met with no difficulty, however, among my associates. I made it a rule to allow others to introduce the subject of slavery, knowing that they would not fail to do so, and that I might learn as much from their method of approaching the topic as from any thing they could say upon it.

Before half an hour had passed, every man, woman or child I might be conversing with had entered upon the question. As it was likewise a rule with me never to conceal or soften my own opinions, and never to allow mvself to be irritated by what I heard, for it is too serious a subject to indulge frailtics Edition: current; Page: [ 68 ] with. We never quarrelled; while I believe we never failed to perceive the extent of the difference of opinion and feeling between us.

I met with much more cause for admiration in their frankness than reason to complain of illiberality. The following may serve as a specimen of this part of our intercourse:—. The first time I met an eminent Southern gentleman, a defender of slavery, he said to me within the half hour —. I wish you would stay a year in this city. I wish you would stay ten years; and then you would change your opinions. Nothing, that I have seen shows me that I have anything to qualify of what is said there. So now you do know my opinions. I don't want to know anything more of your opinions.

I want you to know mine. When will you let me have them? We had engaged to dine with this gentleman the next week: it was now arranged that our party should go two hours earlier than the other guests, in order to hear this gentleman's exposition of slavery. He was well prepared; and his statement of facts and reasons was clear, ready, and entertaining. The fault was in the narrowness of his premises; for his whole argument was grounded on the supposition that human rights consist in sufficient subsistence in return for labour.

Before he began I told him that I fully understood his wish not to argue the question, and that I came to hear his statement, not to controvert it; but that I must warn liim not to take my silence for assent. Upon this understanding we proceeded; with some little irritability on his part when I asked questions, but with no danger of any quarrel. I never found the slightest difficulty in establishing a similar clear understanding with every slave-holder I met.

In the drawing-room of the boarding-house at Richmond, Virginia, three gentlemen, two of whom were entire strangers, attacked me in the presence of a pretty large company, one afternoon. This was a direct challenge, which I did not think fit to decline, and we had it all out. They were irritable at first, but softened as they went on; and when, at Edition: current; Page: [ 70 ] the end of three hours, we had exhausted the subject, we were better friends than when we began.

Some of the reports of my championship of the negroes arose from a circumstance which occurred the day after my arrival at Charleston. Our host proposed to take us up a church steeple, to obtain a view of the city and its environs. The key of the church was at the Guard House opposite; and our host said we might as well go for it ourselves, and thus get a sight of the Guard House. One of the city authorities showed us over it; and we staid a few moments in a room where a lady was preferring a complaint against two negro boys for robbing a hen-roost.

They were proved guilty, and sentenced to be flogged at the place of punishment at the other end of the city. The view from the church steeple was very fine; and the whole, steeped in spring sunshine, had an oriental air which took me by surprise. The city was spread out beneath us in a fan-like form, its streets converging towards the harbour. The heat and moisture of the climate give to the buildings the hue of age so as to leave nothing of the American air of spruceness in the aspect of the place.

The sandy streets, the groups of mulattoes, the women with turbaned heads, surmounted with water-pots and baskets of fruit; the small panes of Edition: current; Page: [ 71 ] the house windows; the yucca bristling in the gardens below us, and the hot haze through which we saw the blue main and its islands, all looked so oriental, as to strike us with wonder. We saw Ashley and Cooper rivers, bringing down produce to the main, and were taught the principal buildings,—the churches, and the Custom-house, built just before the Revolution,—and the leading streets,—Broad and Meeting Streets intersecting, and affording access to all that we were to see.

It would be wise in travellers to make it their first business in a foreign city to climb the loftiest point they can reach, so as to have the scene they are to explore laid out as in a living map beneath them. It is scarcely credible how much time is saved, and confusion of ideas obviated by these means. I gained much by mounting the State House at Boston, Pennsylvania Hospital at Philadelphia; the new hotel at Baltimore; the Capitol at Washington; the high hills about Cincinnati; the college at Lexington; the hill where the State House is to be at Nashville; the Cotton-press at New Orleans; and this church steeple at Charleston.

Another care of the traveller should be to glance at the local newspapers. This first morning I found a short newspaper article which told volumes. It was an Ordinance for raising ways and means for the city. Charitable and religious institutions were Edition: current; Page: [ 72 ] left free from taxation; as were the salaries of the clergy and schoolmasters. There was a direct levy on real property, on slaves, and on carriages, and a special tax on free people of colour: a class who, being precluded from obtaining taxable property and luxuries, were yet made to pay by means of a poll-tax.

Our mornings were divided between receiving callers, and drives about the city, and in the country. The country is flat and sandy; and the only objects arc planters' mansions, surrounded with evergreen woods; the gardens exhibiting the tropical yucca, and fenced with hedges of the Cherokee rose. From the lower part of the city, glimpses of the main may be had; but the intervening space is very ugly, except at high tide; an expanse of reeking slime, over which large flocks of buzzards are incessantly hovering.

On the top of each of the long row of stakes discovered at low water sits a buzzard. A fine is imposed for killing one of these birds,—the unsalaricd scavengers of the moister districts of the city. The houses which we visited in returning calls were generally handsome; with capacious piazzas, rich plants and bouquets, and good furniture.

The political bias of the inhabitant was often discoverable from the books on the table, or the prints and casts on the walls. In no society in the world Edition: current; Page: [ 73 ] could the division of parties be more distinct, and their alienation more threatening than in Charleston, at the time I was there. They asked one another's opinion whether there was not some mysterious stir among the Nullifiers; whether they were not concerting measures for a new defiance of the General Government.

This anxious watchfulness contrasted strangely with the arrogant bearing of the leading Nullifiers. During my stay, Mr. Calhoun and his family arrived from Congress; and there was something very striking in the welcome he received, like that of a chief returned to the bosom of his clan. He stalked about like a monarch of the little domain; and there was certainly an air of mysterious understanding between him and his followers; whether there was really any great secret under it or not.

One lady who had contributed ample amounts of money to the Nullification funds, and a catechism to Nullification lore, amused while she grieved me by the strength of her political feelings. While calling on her, one morning, the conversation turned on prints, and I asked an explanation of a strange-looking one which hung opposite my eye; the portrait of a Edition: current; Page: [ 74 ] gentleman, the top of the head and the dress visible, but the face obliterated or covered over. She was only too ready to explain. It was a portrait of President Jackson, which she had hung up in days when he enjoyed her favour.

Since Nullification she had covered over the face, to show how she hated him. A stranger hardly knows what to think of a cause whose leaders will flatter and cherish the perpetrators of a piece of petty spite like this: yet this lady is treated as if she were a main pillar of the Nullification party. Some of our mornings were spent in going with the Hayne and Calhoun families to the public library, to a panorama, and to the arsenal. The library is supported by private subscriptions, and is very creditable to the city, whose zeal about its books might well have been exhausted by the repeated destruction of the library by fire, and in the war.

We amused ourselves with files of newspapers, which have survived all disasters,—old London Gazettes and colonial papers extending as far back as We visited the arsenal twice; the second time with Mr. There were two bombs brought Edition: current; Page: [ 75 ] in by Governor Hayne; and all the warlike apparatus which was made ready during the Nullification struggle.

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Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Harriet Martineau () authored Society in Buy Retrospect of Western Travel, Volume II (of 2): Read Books Reviews - Harriet Martineau, Retrospect of Western Travel, vol. 2 [] . at the rate of two or three cargoes a year, complained of it because he believed it was the fault of.

It is difficult to believe that Mr. Calhoun seriously meant to go to war with such means as his impoverished State could furnish; but there is no doubt that he did intend it. The ladies were very animated in their accounts of their State Rights Ball, held in the area of the arsenal; and of their subscriptions of jewels to the war fund. They were certainly in earnest.

The soldiers were paraded in our presence, some eleven or twelve recruits, I believe: and then Mr. Calhoun first, and Governor Hayne afterwards, uncovered and addressed them with us much gravity and effusion of patriotic sentiment, as if we had been standing on the verge of a battle-field. Some of our party were of Union politics; and they looked exceedingly arch during the speechifying. It will be too sad if this child's play should be turned into bloodshed after all, for the gratification of any man's restless ambition, or in the guilty hope of protracting slavery under the reprobation of the whole of society, except a small band of mercenaries.

My chief interest in these expeditions was in the personages who accompanied me. Governor Hayne's name is well known in England, from his having furnished the provocation to Webster's renowed Edition: current; Page: [ 76 ] speech, exhibiting the constitutional argument against Nullification: and from his being afterwards the leader of the struggle in South Carolina, while Mr.

Retrospect of Western Travel Volume II of II

Calhoun fulfilled the same function in Congress. He is descended from the Haynes whose cruel sufferings in the Revolutionary War are notorious, to the disgrace of the British: one of the two brothers having perished through the miseries of a British prison-ship, and the other having been hanged by Lord Rawdon and Colonel Balfour, under circumstances which, I believe, justify the horror and reprobation with which the act is viewed by all who have heard the story.

It is one of the most dreadful tales of the Revolutionary War; and the English have not been behind the Americans in their feeling with regard to the case. The circumstances are briefly these:—. Colonel Isaac Hayne was a peaceful planter at the time of the breaking out of the war. He lived upon his estate all the year round, and was remarkably quiet and domestic in his temper and habits. He served in the American army during the siege of Charleston; and on the fall of the city returned to his plantation, under the guarantee of security to person and property, shared by all who had capitulated at Charleston.

The small-pox broke out in his family; all his children had it; one was dead, and his wife dying, when Colonel Hayne Edition: current; Page: [ 77 ] received peremptory orders to repair to the British standard, to take up arms as a British subject, or to surrender himself prisoner at Charleston. He declared that no force should separate him from his dying wife and children, and asserted his inviolability under the capitulation of Charleston.

He was, however, detained, and offered the alternative of lasting imprisonment, or of signing an unconditional promise to obey orders as a British subject. He declared that he never would bear arms against his country, and was assured that this act would never be r equired of him.

There were several witnesses to his having signed under this protest and assurance. Please note that some countries may charge the recipient duties on the 'import' of parcels from time-to-time. As these charges are the responsibility of the recipient, please check the customs service in your destination country to see if charges are applicable. Remote areas: Please note that there may be a surcharge if shipping international orders to a remote area.

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Book of the Month. Authors Tim Winton Sarah J. Top Pick. Finally available, a high quality book of the original classic edition of Retrospect of Western Travel, Volume II of 2. It was previously published by other bona fide publishers, and is now, after many years, back in print. This is a new and freshly published edition of this culturally important work by Harriet Martineau, which is now, at last, again available to you.

Enjoy this classic work today. These selected paragraphs distill the contents and give you a quick look inside Retrospect of Western Travel, Volume II of 2 :Look inside the book: A multitude of Kentuckians and other western men had almost forced their way on board as deck-passengers; men who had come down the river in flatboats with produce, who were to work their way up again by carrying wood at the wooding-places, morning and evening, to supply the engine fire.

When the heat began to decline, we went to the hurricane deck to watch the beauty of evening stealing on; and, as no one but ourselves and our most esteemed acquaintance seemed to care for the wider view we here obtained, we had the place to ourselves, except that some giddy boys pursued their romps here, and kept us in a perpetual panic, lest, in their racing, they should run overboard. It was impossible to preserve a footing for an instant on the top; and the poor passengers who lay there had attempted to come down, bruised with the tremendous hail which caused the noise we could not account for , and seeing, with the pilot, no other probability than that the hurricane deck would be blown completely away; but there was actually no standing room for these men, and they had to remain above and take their chance.

About Harriet Martineau, the Author: Charles noted that his father was upset by a piece read in the Westminster Review calling for the radicals to break with the Whigs and give working men the vote 'before he knew it was not hers Martineau's, and wasted a good deal of indignation, and even now can hardly believe it is not hers.

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