« ForrigeFortsæt »
good ?” Sir, it will nauseate you, or any other New-England maó.
I am told the streams are boatable to their very source is it so ?” In freshet time, every valley is a river; and in drought, every river is a dry ditch. “ Then what secures the bridges in foods, and supplies the mills in drought ?" Nothing. “They say crops are liable to few casualties there ?" If foods, and droughts, and hurricanes, are érased from their chapter of casualties, it reads like yours. “ Hurricanes ?" The tops of all their hills are bared with them, and the cornfields so frequently ruined, that the planter considers an escape two years in three, better than the common run. “ Hills ?-'tis represented all a plain, a dead level!" I know they say so, but I who have been familiar with Vermont and New-Hampshire from my youth, never have seen such hills as those of the Obio. “ What have they then ?" Plenty of wild hogs, hominy, hoe-cakes, and fever" and maladie du pays,”a adds a gentleman opposite, who had also a travelling garb pot a little worn. “ Have you, sir, been there too ?” “ I have,” says the traveller.-“What do you bring us of that country ?" “ Nothing in addition to what you have heard, but the filling up of the outline so honestly sketched by the gentleman in chervalles.". - How is it posşible then to keep up the delusion ?” “Why, sir,” says the traveller, “ when I first went over the mountains, two years since, every emigrant I fell in with, was preaching up the country as the pinnacle of perfection. I soon learned the dialect of the backwoodsmen, and could effectually keep from my countrymen that I was a yankee. In this way I traversed most of the western regions, stopping with the eastern
emigrants, and feigning myself a Kentuckian : for I could say I had come all the way from Rocky River;' that I was a real horse ;' that “I had seen a steam-boat-and whoever rides me rides a d-d stiff colt;' that • I'd the best shooting rifle, the fastest trotting mare, and the handsomest sister in all Kentuck, by G—!' And although I could act the backwoodsman to the life, yet I did it no fartber than to serve my purpose. As often as an opportunity offered, I entered the cabins of my countrymen, and questioned them of their country. An instance I will particularize ; the man had gone for some beer, which he kindly proffered me. In his absence, Madam,' said I, don't you think you'd been as happy had you staid in your own country? O sir, it was a delightsome land to dwell in, and over near Boston.So soon as the man came in, I said again— Old gentleman, are you more happy than if you had staid below ? "O sir, that is a delightsome land to dwell in that Boston state ;' and the tears filled both their eyes. I pursued my route, and every day found yankees; and never found any, but upon questioning of their old homes, would immediately fall into a strain of repinings, and in the most plaintive tone describe the enjoyments of their former situation, which, compared with their tale of suffering since they left them, added to the despair of ever again visiting their native soil, or making their adopted country seem like home-was enough to wring the hard heart of a land-jobber him
a Home sickness.
self. I shall for ever hold in utter abhorrence those men who bait my countrymen to exile.
“All this I have seen, and 'tis too much ; the delusion practised upon the people of New England is beyond all human endurance. The conscriptions of Bonaparte were fair dealing, compared with the arts and practices of land speculators in this country. In Europe, the imperial ravisher of villages in time became the patron of his victims : If he despoiled their bosoms of the sacred love of home, in its stead be infused the love of glory ; if he placed them in a new sphere, bimself was there ; he shared their toils and privations, and held within their reach the star of honour. Not so with the evil Genius which hauats New-England ; like the mean archer, he is ever where he cannot be hit, and his victim carries a poisoned wound for ever in his bosom--the remembrance of better days, and a better home than the lone land of exile."
Thus we have, as was proposed, selected from the notes, mentioned in the beginning of this book, such pieces of history as would best exhibit the effects of emigration on the bappiness of those, who leave their homes for a wilderness. Whether the picture drawn is true or false must be decided by those who have visited western bottoms, yet have no interest there. Hitberto the world has been inundated with "tales” and “tours,” and histories of a country beyond the bills, which escaped the curse of “ Cain's unresting doom ;" but facts are rising up, and wrecks are drifting eastward,
(From the Monthly Review.—Lond. March, 1820.] Art. X.-The Emigrant's Directory to the Western States of
North America; including a Voyage out from Liverpool; the Geography and Topography of the whole Western Country, according to its latest Improvements; with Instructions for descending the Rivers Obio and Mississippi ; also, a brief Account of a new British Settlement on the Head-Waters of the Susquebanna, in Philadelphia [Pensylvania). By William AmPHLETT, formerly of London, and late of the County of Salop, now Resident on the Banks of the Ohio River. Crown 8vo.
London. 1819. The present small volume appears on perusal to contain the most impartial account of the Western States of North America that we have yet seen. The author, disclaiming all intention of offering advice on the subject of emigration to the American continent, confines himself to a description of the country; and he does not appear to be one of those speculators who have land to sell, and are therefore interested in recommending any one particular state. The first fifty-seven pages are occupied with a description of the voyage from Liverpool to Philadelphia.
[This voyage, we suppose, is intended to form a part of the objections to the Western world :-like the objections of the writer in the
preceding article, to the country “t'other side of the Ohio," from the height and breadth of the mountains this side of it. Our supposition is founded upon these passages on the voyage :
• What man, who has a family of helpless children in such a situation, but must feel most sensibly alive to every distant idea of danger ; to behold them, unconscious of any danger, sleeping soundly in their
hammocks, while the gaping waters are dashing in hideous sport around their frail coverings ? What man but must then severely
question himself whether he has done right, without their consent, 'to expose them to such bazard of a dreadful and untimely deatb, and “must feel doubtful whether any circumstances, short of absolute and dire necessity, can justify him in such a perilous undertaking ?
* Probably no man ever brought a family of young children across the Atlantic without repenting of his undertaking during some part or • other of the voyage.')
All those persons who may be inclined to transport themselves and families across the Atlantic, and are unacquainted with the difficulties and inconveniences of the passage, would do well to peruse this diary.
[This volume, containing the most impartial account of the Western States, that the reviewer has seen,' bas the following passage upon the State of Philadelphia,'—as it appears to be called in the title-page:
• As soon as the traveller leaves Philadelphia, he enters the woods, and they continue all the way, right and left. The cultivated spots
are mere specks here and there upon the road, even in this old State of Pennsylvania. Whether on the plains, or the mountains ; by the ‘rivers and creeks; or by the rocks and ravines ;-all is hidden and surrounded by wood ! wood ! wood ! “ Above, around, and underneath.” The traveller pushes on, hoping when he shall reach the mountain, to emerge from this peopled wilderness. Alas! he only arrives at more impervious forests and impenetrable thickets; be ' looks in vain for a landscape. If any prospect presents itself of a 'valley, only a few small spots appear clothed with grass, or covered ' with corn ; a few more of girdled trees, spreading their naked brawny 'arms, as though scathed with the fire of heaven, sublime in their ruins, sterility, and decay,-a most impressive contrast to the waving oceans of luxuriant foliage surrounding them. There yet are many counties in the State of Pennsylvania, where a traveller may ride twenty, thirty, or even forty miles through continued forests, without 'the sight of a house! This is not the case in the great thoroughfares (for 'they do not deserve the name of roads :) even the turnpike-road, in 'many places, after rain, is nearly impassable : it is seldom you cau go more than three or four miles upon either of the three great thoroughfares, without meeting with a tavern ; but almost every house by the road side, at a long distance from the town, is a tavern. There are not many towns on either of the routes, that will much 'gratify curiosity.'
But how should the reviewer know better. Mr. Amphlett is far superior, in truth and impartiality, to the most of the journalists who have preceded him.)
On the road, a little beyond the secluded and romantic village of Loudon, is to be seen perhaps as fine a mountain-valley as
Switzerland can exhibit. The road is here good turnpike, being hatte “recently formed; and, as it winds up the mountain-forest, gives dan
“an ever-changing view of this expansive, silent, unpeopled valley, melip JE "where nothing is seen but the undulating foliage of the variousDERES coloured trees, here flourishing in majestic pride and undisturbed
solitude, amidst the innumerable prostrate trunks of those whose
strength, and verdure, and loveliness, belonged to the ages past. about
Among these living hills, many similar scenes appear, and one 'striking melancholy feature obtrudes itself at every step we take:
'it is the incredible quantity of fallen timber in every stage of deop cay; the surface of the earth is literally covered with it, so as
from that cause alone to make the woods impassable where there t there is no thicket or underwood. The trunks are many of them of so
enormous a size, that it is an Englishman's constant lamentation d do ei that they lie here rotting and useless, while such a value is set
"upon them in his native land. The variety of the species that the Te 'grow upon every kind of soil, it is a pleasing recreation to disTé una 'cover and enumerate: many of them quite unknown, except to elkere the traveller of science and taste, few of whom ever peretrate
these trackless forests. The oak alone, the Englishman's pride iturae and boast, he recognises at every step; and the varieties of this this site 'noble tree, the chief of which are readily discernible, give a
stranger some idea of what infinite varieties the whole forest'families are composed. A very great proportion of the land, in the mountainous district of this State, never can produce any thing in perfection but timber; and it is wonderful how these towering trees can find nourishment upon barren precipices of loose crumbling schistus, where neither blades of grass nor humble moss can
thrive. Upon his whole journey in this Ştate, the English emihedin 'grant-farmer will not see much first-rate land; nor will he behold
16 'a mode of agriculture pursued that will excite his envy or admithe ha ration. The appearance of the farm-house and yard, the imple
'ments of husbandry, and methods of using them, with the neglectred state of the live-stock and the corn-fields, will excite in him 'much wonder and disgust; more indeed than he will have any "right to indulge in, after a farther acquaintance. But he will see
at once how much industry may accomplish in this country, when 'carelesness and inattention thrive so well.'
Though the climate is nearer (he says) to that of the northern parts of Great Britain than any of the Western States, and more likely to agree with persons advanced in life, yet few English farmers settle in Pennsylvania.
The most instructive part of this volume to the western emigrant is that which furnishes an account of the river-navigation from
Pittsburgh to New-Orleans : in which the towns on the banks, and the islands and shoals in the river, are described, with directions for avoiding the difficult or dangerous parts; and a particular statement is added of the distances, and of the objects which serve as guides to the voyager. Mr. A. then proceeds to give a separate detail of each of the Western States, and informs us that he has himself fixed in the State of Ohio. He takes the following brief but comprehensive view of the whole western territory before he descends to each State : The two great valleys of the Ohio and the • Illinois rivers, are the great centre of attraction to European emi'grants. The commercial advantages of this fine region vie with
its soil and natural productions in recommending it to civilized 'man: the surface of this delightful country is estimated at 226,000 square miles : the greatest length of this natural division of the Western States is 720 miles; its breadth, 550 : this is, without
question, the best and least broken surface of productive soil in • North America: it includes—part of New York State; part of
Pennsylvania; part of Virginia; part of North Carolina; part of • Tennessee; the whole of Kentucky; part of Alabama; part of the • Mississippi; part of Ohio; part of Indiana; part of Illinois.
• This favoured country is pretty equally divided by the Ohio, and the greater part of it may be visited by means of that river and its tributaries. The geology of this immense tract of land is * but little known. Science has not yet explored its hidden riches, like nor human industry yet discovered half its resources. Not a tithe of the land is yet occupied or improved ; and centuries must roll on upon centuries, even at the present ratio of increasing population, before the country can be said to be well settled or amply populous; in America there is such a disposition to occupy new countries, and to go on to the verge of civilized life, that the finest 'portions of the soil are passed by and neglected for the doubtful advantages of some unknown distant country. As soon as the 'emigrant has traversed the mountains, let him consider himself at
home, and be looking out at all places for a settlement. Enough • has been said by numerous authors to convince the most sanguine
speculatist, that the backwoods in any State are not desirable for a European agriculturist.'
[From the British Critic.—Lond. April, 1820.] Art. XI.-An appeal from the judgments of Great Britain re
specting the United States of America: Part first, containing an historical outline of their merits and wrongs as Colonies; and Strictures upon the calumnies of British writers. By ROBERT WALSH, Esq. London. 1819.
Tuis volume is written throughout upon the principle of the lex talionis, the author being determined to have an eye for an eye,