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where the mail had to be opened, such was the press and clamour of the crowd, (court was sitting,) that the mail was not opened at all! The driver (though a good hand at the bottle himself,), was so overawed by the crowd, which really had a formidable appearance, that he was glad to be off, and so was I. It is much to be lamented that the blessings of liberty should arrive at such a pass, that it is dangerous to open the mail at the seats of justice! Alas for my country, has it come to this! The swords of your enemies were unable to conquer you, but like Alexander, you are vanquished by your vices! No longer, it appears, can sober men be found to transact public business-even in transporting the mail, a business which demands the highest trust: from Nashville to this place, I have seen but one driver who would not drink! My present driver is bold in it; he carries his bottle in the box; this is soon emptied, but grog shops abound on the road, to these he has recourse. Several times to-night, has he left the stage in the road, without any one to attend it, and went, God knows where, to buy whiskey; absent sometimes thirty minutes. It was well the horses were sober! The risk is not only in the mismanagement of the stage, and horses, by these drunken drivers, but in matters of much greater consequence. Although I am not much of a coward, I must confess, I felt rather uneasy in the stage, while this fellow was absent, particularly in a country where mail robbery was not unknown. A little before ten o'clock, I arrived in Alexandria, the first town I ever set foot in, in the eastern country.

Alexandria. Having been whirled here in the night, I had no opportunity of seeing the city. Upon going to the window next morning, which faces the street, and market-square, I was shocked at a sight entirely new to me. The street and market-square presented groups of men, women, and children, combining every shade of colour, from the fairest white, down to the deepest black. White and black people I had been accustomed to see, and a few mulattoes, but such a multifarious mixture, bursting upon the sight at once, was as novel,

as it was unexpected. Some of these were about half white, some almost white, leaving it difficult to distinguish where the one ends, and the other begins. To one unaccustomed to see human nature in this guise, it excites feelings of horror and disgust. It has something in it so contrary to nature, something which seems never to have entered into her scheme, to see a man neither black nor white, with blue eyes, and a woolly head, has something in it at which the mind recoils. It appears that these people, instead of abolishing slavery, are gradually not only becoming slaves themselves, but changing color. Strange that a nation who extol so much, who praise themselves in such unqualified terms, as possessing in the highest degree, both moral and political virtue, should afford no better proof of it than this before me! Without criticising upon that degree of credit attached to self-praise, or calling into question their moral and political virtues, we would remark, generally, that those who boast most of virtue, have the least of it. But the fact before one speaks for itself, and naturally leads to the conclusion, that the man who can entail slavery upon his offspring, a free-born American, who has tasted the sweets of liberty, who can abandon his flesh and blood to the most ignominious slavery, ought truly to sound his own trumpet. There is measure even in crime. There is a point, beyond which the most daring will not venture. History affords us many examples, amongst the most barbarous nations, in the most barbarous ages, where the most lawless ruffians became softened at the sight of human distress,* to which they were impelled by no law, but that of common humanity. But for man in this free, and (as they say) enlightened country, to doom his own children, to a state (to say the least of it,) fraught with every species of human misery, we want no better evidence to prove, that such men must not only be void of virtue, but guilty of the most indignant crime.

* Every one remembers the humanity of the robbers to Margaret, of Aragon, Queen of Henry the sixth, of England. But we have many more instances.

The Market. I turned from this spectacle, to ob serve the appearance of the citizens, who were passing to and fro, engaged in marketing, which is not, by great odds, so crowded as ours are in the western country, in proportion to the size of the town. The first object that attracted my attention, was a gentlemen of middle age and good size, walking with a slow, but dignified step, his eyes bent on the ground in thoughtful mood, his mind evidently revolving some good intent, while his mein bespeaks the benevolence of his heart. Next steps a man of portly size, declining from the centre each way, arrayed in shining black, contrasted with an elevated face of scarlet red. His hands locked behind his back, keeping his coat in rear, the better to display his graceful front, and a massy seal, which he surveys with great seeming approbation. Turning his back upon the market-house, where, perhaps his royal highness found nothing to his taste, with an important step, he seeks his way whence he came. After him steps out a dignified personage, with evident signs of displeasure, followed by a black boy, with an empty basket on his arm, whilst he can hardly keep pace with the hasty step of his master. I should like to know what has turned up with him; probably some presuming mechanic, has had the assurance to set his fancy upon some delicate morsel, which he of domineering look, designed for his own breakfast. Approaching slow, with modest step, a graceful matron, with a round-crown bonnet, and a long whitish colored cloak, appears next, and with a basket in her hand, enters the market-house, whilst by her rushes a pert black boy with a basket likewise. And now we have a country man, who has sacrificed his morning nap to pecuniary views, with dusty hat, and friend of thread-bare drab, buttoned round him, unlading his sturdy cart, Sunday morning, notwithstanding. And hence steps, with deepened front and bold independence, a group of negro men, with erect impudence; you might perceive by their forward looks that it was Sunday. Next appears forlorn, with timid step, a female whose wo-worn mien bespeaks her friendless-may God befriend you then, I thought. To these succeeded a troop

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of coloured females, (as they are termed here,) in neat attire, with heads swathed in handkerchiefs, resembling sugar-loaves, horizontally usurping the place of the head, with the base in front. With these are mingled others of the same sex and colour, with bushy neither wool nor hair, tied in a vast round knot, and looking like another head. Anon, a doudy drab, with soiled clothes, rivalling her African hue, walks on as cheery as a lark, whilst a poor old man, limping upon crutches, comes meeting her. An inquisitive old woman comes next, I know her by the shape of her bonnet, and "what's this and what's that." I have always fancied that the bonnet or hat took the tone of the wearer, and gave some indication of the predominant disposition or quality of the mind: I have thought I could perceive cunning, pride, prodigality, wisdom, folly, taste and refinement, by the turn of the bonnet or the hat, and have been displeased with my friends when they put on a new one which made them appear not themselves. There goes a little boy whose mother has proclaimed her folly by tying a flaming red "comfort" round his neck; it crosses and ties behind, hanging down to his heels; he is equipt throughout with corresponding foolery, and struts with all the importance of man grown, with his broad white collar. What thorns his mother is planting against her old age! how she is sowing the seeds of pride and folly, and preparing a fund of sorrow for the evening of her life, if God in his mercy does not disappoint her by taking this idol to himself. Hard by, on the step of a neighbouring door, sits a little girl with matronly attention, arrayed in her Sunday frock-no doubt the idol of her mother's heart, as I was once of mine.

My attention was now attracted by a party in the street. Two young ladies, in full dress, tripped along the pavement with mincing step and uulocked arms, as though they would make room for a little light fop, who walked neither exactly behind nor yet between them; (he has a faint heart, that is evident.) In his hand he carries a cane of neat device, which his well turned arm advances at every step, with studied grace, in the van



of the ladies, sticking its brazen point into the interstices of the brick, as if to let the fair ones know "I am here." In conscious triumph he often looks to one side, and often behind, with design, no doubt, to say to those who see him, am I not a happy man?" Yes, you are a happy man," says the downcast look of a brother dandy, who walks with a slow melancholy air, some distance behind, while the life-cheering smiles and brilliant eyes of the ladies, are often bestowed upon his happy rival. A little dabbling girl, with health in her face and plenty in her hand, goes next, and after her a black woman, with her apron thrown over her shoulder and a string of fish in her hand.

The slaves of this place bear every mark of good treatment; they look happy and are comfortably clothed, though not half so fine or richly dressed: indeed the white people of this place lack a great deal of being dressed equal to the blacks of Huntsville, or Lexington. Those of the mixed breed, some have a beautiful bloom in their face, while others again have a sickly squalid hue, very disgusting. Having satisfied my curiosity, at least for that morning, I partook of a fine breakfast alone in my parlour, and spent the day in rest and reading.

History. The land where Alexandria now stands was formerly owned by the Alexander family, and the first building erected on the site, was built by one of the Alexanders.

Alexandria was erected into a town by act of assembly, in the year 1749, at Hunting Creek ware-house, on the lands of John and Philip Alexander, and Hugh West, in Fairfax county, on the south side of Potomac river, 120 miles from Chesapeake, 70 miles from Winchester, 8 from Washington. Beginning at the mouth of Hunting Creek up the river, sixty acres of land were laid out into half acre lots and streets. The Rt. Hon. Thomas Lord Fairfax, the Hon. Wm. Fairfax, George Fairfax, Lawrence Washington, Wm. Ramsay, John Carlisle, John Rogers, Richard Osborn, Hugh West, Gerard Alexander, and Philip Alexander, were appointed trustees of the town, which by act of assembly was

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