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navigation of the Ohio, the Missouri, and the Mississippi, opens a ready communication with every part of the extensive country behind those mountains, and establishes an intercourse with the shores of Europe within two months, and with the West India islands in the course of two weeks. To every other part of the world they have a nearer as well as less dangerous navigation than from Old America.' They have already steam-vessels of four hundred tons burden plying on those rivers, and their average rate, when deeply laden and against the stream, is about sixty miles a-day.-(p. 133.)-Their products are precisely the same as those of the eastern and northern states, which can neither supply what they require, nor take off what they produce;-what possible bond of union then can long subsist between Old and New America? With no great desire to indulge a spirit of prophesy, we cannot help surmizing that the late Navigation Act, drawn up, as it would seem, more in a spirit of political hostility towards England, than with a view to any commercial advantages that could be hoped to result from it to America, is well calculated to hasten the event. Can the Congress hope to throw an impassable barrier across the Mississippi, and thus prevent a supply of provisions and lumber for the West India islands whenever such supply shall be demanded? The back settlements are already too strong, and they know it, to submit to navigation laws that shall operate so detrimentally to their interests. We consider all apprehension of the West India islands being starved in time of war with America, to be now removed, and that in war, as well as in peace, the steam-boats of the Mississippi will bring down the produce of the New provinces into the Atlantic; unless indeed, which is as little to be apprehended, Old America shall be able to blockade its own river with a superior squadron.

It is but common justice to say, that whatever countenance the President of the United States may find it expedient to give to measures offensive to Great Britain, neither his public nor private conduct, nor his speeches partake of those coarse and splenetic invectives which some the members of the government seem to think it necessary to adopt. If any soreness might be expected to remain in consequence of the war, we should rather look for it on the part of the people of England than of America,-but both would do well to bear in mind the noble example of forbearance set by our venerable sovereign, at the close of the former contest, on the occasion of the first audience of Mr. Adams. I perceive, Mr. Adams,' said the King, that you are a little agitated; I am not surprised at it; I am agitated myself; but let me make one observation-As I was the last man in this country to accede to the



acknowledgment of the independence of my American dominions, depend upon it, I shall likewise be, now that the act is ratified, the last to infringe it.'

The settlers of the Indiana territory are not, Mr. Birkbeck says, that set of lawless, semi-barbarous vagabonds, which he had been taught to believe; but a remarkably good sort of people, kind and gentle to each other and to strangers. There are, however, among them many abandoned characters, but they retire to the depth of the woods with the wolves, and live by the rifle :-With respect to the inhabitants of towns, the Americans, from Norfolk on the eastern coast, to the town of Madison in Indiana, are all alike; and this is their portrait.


The same good-looking, well-dressed (not what we call gentlemanly) men appear every where. Nine out of ten, native Americans, are tall and long-limbed, approaching, or even exceeding six feet; in pantaloons and Wellington boots, either marching up and down with their hands in their pockets, or seated on chairs poised on the hind-feet, and the backs rested against the walls. If a hundred Americans of any class were to seat themselves, ninety-nine would shuffle their chairs to the true distance, and then throw themselves back against the nearest prop. The women exhibit a great similarity of tall relaxed forms with consistent dress and demeanour; and are not remarkable for sprightliness of manners. Intellectual culture has not yet made much progress among the generality of either sex where I have travelled; but the men have greatly the advantage in the means of acquiring information, from their habits of travelling, and intercourse with strangers:-sources of improvement from which the other sex is unhappily too much secluded.' -p. 80, 81.

"We have remarked,' (our traveller says,) en passant, that people generally speak favourably of their own country.' p. 115. He has the courage, however, to become a striking exception to this general practice. Abuse of England appears to be, with Mr. Morris Birkbeck, a kind of travelling ticket, a sort of conventional money, which he offers at every house, and which, we regret to add, seems to pass tolerably current.



On the way to Vincennes our Friend loses himself, and is obliged, in the phraseology of the country, to camp out,' that is, to sleep in the woods. The night, as Mrs. Wilkins says in Tom Jones, happened to be very fine, only a little windy and rainy,' and our travellers contrived by dint of oil and brandy, and gunpowder and cambric handkerchiefs, to kindle a fire, and pass it as they could. This agreeable adventure, which would sicken an English gipsy of 'camping out,' leads quite naturally to a lofty panegyric on the superior advantages of travelling 'in that vast western wilderness' compared with those to be found in this country. Let,' says Mr. Birkbeck a stranger

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'a stranger make his way through England-let him keep at a distance from every public road,' (made for his accommodation,)' avoid all the inns,' (established expressly for his convenience and comfort,) and perversely scramble over hedge and ditch in quest of such entertainment only as the hovel of the labourer can supply, and he would have more cause to complain of the rudeness of the inhabitants' than of the weir-wolves of the wilds of Indiana! If we could conceive a traveller to be guilty of such gratuitous folly, we should then say, that as his application to the day-labourer for 'entertainment' could only be looked upon as a deliberate insult on his poverty, he would deserve whatever rudeness he might chance to experience. In somewhat of a similar spirit, Mr. Birkbeck adds - when we have been so unfortunate as to pitch our tent near a swamp, and have mismanaged our fire, we have been teased by musquitoes; but so might we, perhaps, in the fens of Cambridgeshire.' The traveller must have a strong predilection for the teasing of musquitoes who would sleep in the fens of Cambridgeshire, when by turning a few yards to the right or left he might obtain shelter under a roof-and this, too, without the hazard of being, like Mr. Birkbeck and his party, driven out again by the innumerable tormentors which (says he) assail you in every dwelling, till at length you are glad to avoid the abodes of man, and spread your pallet under the trees.' p. 167. Certainly these are pleasant proofs of the inferiority of England to America.


Mr. Birkbeck now visited the banks of the Ohio, to see if any thing offered to satisfy his views.

'We lodged last night in a cabin at a very new town, called Mount Vernon, on the banks of the Ohio. Here we found the people of a cast confirming my aversion to a settlement in the immediate vicinity of a large navigable river. Every hamlet is demoralized, and every plantation is liable to outrage, within a short distance of such a thoroughfare.


Yet, the view of that noble expanse was like the opening of bright day upon the gloom of night, to us who had been so long buried in deep forests. It is a feeling of confinement, which begins to damp the spirits, from this complete exclusion of distant objects. To travel day after day, among trees of a hundred feet high, without a glimpse of the surrounding country, is oppressive to a degree which those cannot conceive who have not experienced it; and it must depress the spirits of the solitary settler to pass years in this state. His visible horizon extends no farther than the tops of the trees which bound his plantation, perhaps, five hundred yards. Upwards he sees the sun, and sky, and stars, but around him an eternal forest, from which he can never hope to emerge:- -not so in a thickly settled district; he cannot there enjoy any freedom of prospect, yet there is variety, and some scope for the imprisoned vision. In a hilly country a little more range of view may occasionally be obtained; and a river is a stream of light as well as of


water, which feasts the eye with a delight inconceivable to the inhabitants of open countries.'-pp. 102, 103.

He next tried the Big-Prairie beyond the Wabash, but it was marshy and feverish; thirty miles farther, prairies of a higher site were more promising; the people were healthy, but they were in a wretched state of civilization, about half Indian in their mode of life. Besides, they shew little cordiality towards a 'land-hunter,' as they contemptuously call the stranger in search of a home; they consider such a person as an invader of their privileges, which give them the whole range of the forests for themselves and their cattle. Beyond the little Wabash, every mark of civilization was lost; and it was necessary to engage a hunter as their guide. Having wan dered some time without any beaten track, they came at length to the cabin of a brother-hunter, where they took up their lodging.

This man and his family are remarkable instances of the effect on the complexion, produced by the perpetual incarceration of a thorough woodland life. Incarceration may seem to be a term less applicable to the condition of a roving back-woodsman than to any other, and especially unsuitable to the habits of this individual and his family; for the cabin in which he entertained us is the third dwelling he has built within the last twelve months; and a very slender motive would place him in a fourth before the ensuing winter. In his general habits the hunter ranges as freely as the beasts he pursues; labouring under no restraint, his activity is only bounded by his own physical powers: still he is incarcerated-" Shut from the common air." Buried in the depth of a boundless forest, the breeze of health never reaches these poor wanderers; the bright prospect of distant hills fading away into the semblance of clouds, never cheered their sight. They are tall and pale, like vegetables that grow in a vault, pining for light.

The man, his pregnant wife, his eldest son, a tall half-naked youth, just initiated in the hunters' arts, his three daughters, growing up into great rude girls, and a squalling tribe of dirty brats of both sexes, are of one pale yellow, without the slightest tint of healthful bloom.'—p. 107.

"The cabin, which may serve as a specimen of these rudiments of houses, was formed of round logs, with apertures of three or four inches between. No chimney, but large intervals between the "clap-boards," for the escape of the smoke. The roof was, however, a more effectual covering than we have generally experienced, as it protected us very tolerably from a drenching night. Two bedsteads of unhewn logs, and cleft boards laid across;-two chairs, one of them without a bottom, and a low stool, were all the furniture required by this numerous family. A string of buffalo hide, stretched across the hovel, was a wardrobe for their rags; and their utensils, consisting of a large iron pot, some baskets, the effective rifle and two that were superannuated, stood about in corners, and the fiddle, which was only silent when we were asleep, hung by them.'-p. 109.


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'Is this the region, this the soil, the clime!
Said then the lost Archangel-

And is this then the state of happiness; is this the land of promise,' for which such multitudes cross the Atlantic?—are these the blessings which are to greet the wearied traveller after a painful journey of many thousand miles into the back woods of the Americau paradise, thus sketched out by the flattering pencil of one who leaves his native country with an avowed predetermination to find every thing pleasant and agreeable in America? Such a life, however, is not without its enjoyments. Man returns here to that state of nature in which he is accountable to no earthly tribunal for his actions, which are as free and unrestrained as his thoughts; he may shoot a bear or an Indian without any other fear than the tomahawk of the one and the paw of the other. And experience has unfortunately proved that when once he has thrown off the restraints which a state of civilization and a sense of religion impose, he feels little inclination to reassume them: as population advances, the back-woodsmen retire; for strangers appear among them as invaders of their privileges, as they have intruded on the better founded exclusive privileges of their Indian predecessors.'


These men, it would seem, though persevering as savages in the pursuit of their game, are as indolent too. This indolence, Mr. Birkbeck says, they cultivate as a privilege,' and he repeats over and over again, that indolence is the easily besetting sin of the Americans.' The supreme felicity of a true born American is described to be inaction of body and inanity of mind. If the picture be overcharged, it is not we, but our Friend Morris, who has painted it.

We have a sketch of a somewhat more pleasing nature in the dreary, flat, and swampy region between the Little and the Big Wabash, where, Mr. Birkbeck tells us, 'here and there, at ten miles distance perhaps, the very solitude tempts some one of the family of Esau to pitch his tent for a season.'


At one of these lone dwellings we found a neat, respectable-looking female, spinning under the little piazza at one side of the cabin, which shaded her from the sun. Her husband was absent on business, which would detain him some weeks. She had no family, and no companion but her husband's faithful dog, which usually attended him in his bear hunting in the winter. She was quite overcome with "lone," she said, and hoped we would tie our horses in the wood, and sit awhile with her, during the heat of the day. We did so, and she rewarded us with a basin of coffee. Her husband was kind and good to her, and never left her without necessity, but a true lover of bear hunting, which he pursued alone, taking only his dog with him, though it is common for hunters to go in parties to attack this dangerous animal. He had killed a great

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