« PředchozíPokračovat »
Mr. D.-(who had likewise been looking on,) withbeld me, saying I might as well attempt to control the wind. Tho young man finding himself in danger, (though afraid to look behind him) screwed himself up in a heap, and holding fast to the pummel of the saddlo, resigned himself to his falc ; meanwhile his fair focs advanced in unbroken rank, with resolution and firmness, apparently without pity or remorse for his situation, when fortune rclicved him by an unes. pected movement of his bossc to one side. I asked bir. D--" where that female troop intended to go that night," as ! perceived they were bound for the country somewhere. He replied, " home, to be sure." “ They cannot live far theil," said I, “ as they have delayed their departure so late, the eun must be down." What was my astonishment when he informed me that two of them lived nineteen miles at least, and the others ninc or too. " These are ladics for you,” no attendance of any sort. "But,” said I, “I should be afraid of the wild beasts ; I should be afraid that a woll, a bear, a raccoon, or somo such terrible animal would light on my head, out of a trce, as I rode under it : I should think they ought to be armed, at lennt, in n country infonteil an this in with wild bount. * And if mothers ride at this rate," said I," at what rule inust the daughter's ride ? they do not thus brave danger, unattended by the niher sex.” He surprised me still nore when he replica " that it was quite common to see young women of that country, jump on a horse barilly broke to the bridle, and gallop len or fifteen miles by themselves, and sometimes attended only by another of their own age and sex ! So much for the ladies of Monroe.
This is a poor little villago, remarkable for nothing but a very clegant brick court-house, and the residence of the renowned A. B. and his famous rival C-Exq. both of whom have amassed great wealth in the line of their business, which is that of merchants and speculators. The former, however, it appears, as longer engaged, is by far the wealthi
withol the nger, imself of the Ic his lution ce for unex. asked
est. He was carrying every thing before him with a high hand, when he met with a formidable rival in person
of Mr. C. who commences the business in the same town: B. flies to the country, and plants other stores; C. does the same; all advantages are sought on both sides, and every measure is resorted to, to 'Aleece the people and increase their own coffers. The latter, however, yields greatly to the former in point of wealth and mercantile talents, while he has the advantage of B. in speculative arts. Both set out poor, and from small beginnings have succeeded without a parallel, taking into view the nature of the country in which they have so eminently distinguished their talents. B. is an emigrant from Ireland, from whence he arrived twenty-four or twenty-five years since. They used to call him the greasy pedlar, it is said ; they may now call him the greasy merchant. He commenced his career in these back countries when ginseng was in grcat demand, and these mountains abound in it. He took it from the people's doors, whereas they, before that, had to take it to Staunton. He did the business of several counties, bringing in goods from Philadelphia in waggons, and taking eve, ry thing in exchange from the people. The whole of this country teeming with cattle, ginseng, and peltry, this enterprising man wrested these articles of commerce from the lower country merchants. He possessed every qualification of a great merchant; he was well educated, of pleasing manners, possessed all the warm hearted generosity of his country, and was long distinguished as an open and fair dealer. With no competitor to oppose him, no wonder then, such as I have described him, that he outstripped the wind; nor is it known at this time how much he is worth ;--it is supposed to amount to millions.
He has, however, lost the confidence of the people, who begin to awake from that state of vassalage in which they bave been held by him and his rival. Report says that he has lost, too, the charater of an upright and fair dealer. I have more than once observed this of the Irish, that when they bave remained long in America. particularly
great hat of rever, -althi
if they become rich, they lose those cbaracteristics for which alone they are estimable ; I mean that frankness and generosity which so eminently distinguish their na. tion; perbaps those are plants that will not thrive in our climate. C is an American, a Kentuckian (I think.) He is descended from a respectable family; and having lost his father, was reared, educated, and protected by an uncle ; but his talents, at an early age, soon rendered him independent of friends; and shocking, (if it be true) the first object of his speculation was the destruction of this uncle ; I mean as respects his fortune. I have just seen him ; he is a great contrast to his rival, in appearance; he is one of your finest looking men, of elegant address, and very handsome. Whereas B- goes with his head down, more like a criminal going to execution than any thing else. But, however they may differ in other respects, it seems they agree in one, which is to grind the poor. Those who are so unfortunate as to fall in their debt, receive no mercy at their hands, while they have insensibly beguiled the people of almost every thing they possessed--the natural result of competition. This perhaps is right-agreeably to Pope it is so. The taste those people have for foreign finery, and foreign luxuries, rouscd them to industry; their labor, it is truc, has gone into other hands, but it is losing nothing, it is in safe keeping. Meantime their children are springing up, already practising the arts of cunning and speculation, inured to shift for themselves, while those of the sovereigns of the soil are reared in indolence, easc ard luxury ; it is quite probable that in time these will fall an easy prey io those whose fathers were fleeced by theirs. This has already been the case in all countries, but more particularly in the United States; this refluent quality is co-existent with wealth, and right it should be so. By this means every one has his share in time, Not a doubt in my mind but that this young fry here, (I can see it in them, actuated by a spirit of revenge, ambition, and that insuperable envy, resulting from disparity of wealth, will in time possess themselves of the hard earnings of their fathers, and
I hare picked up several anecdotes and historical sketches of this part of Virginia, and shall throw them together in order at my leisure hours. As this is to become the channel of communication between the eastern and western states, it on that account deserves some notice; but as I am going to take a trip to the Ohio river perhaps, at least to the Kenhawa, I shall begin with that country,
Accordingly, after spending a few days at the springs, which did not answer my expectation, I set out with with my friend D. to the wesi. I shall pass over Greenbriar, and the celebrated Grayson county, through which we passed, until I return, if ever. Our course lies a little north of west ; the ground rises gradually higher, and the waters, instead of running westerly, come meeting us, repelled by the mountains, to seek a more favourable passage to Greenbriar river, which lies behind us. As we advance, the land is more sterile, and the climate much colder. Much of the country consists of savannahs, covered with luxurious grass, which feeds large numbers of, cattle. On these savannahs no trees grow; they are, however, covered with a small shrub, which shelters the grass, no doubt, both from the drying heat of the sun in summer, and the freezing cold in winter. Farms appear in many places, which produce wheat, rye, oats, flax, and the best Irish potatocs.
At length this savannah land totally disappears and you are on a mountain named Suel. This mountain takes its name from a man by the name of Suel, who first discovered Grocnurlar river, and was killed by the Indians on this mountain. It is much like Cumberland mountain, in Tennessee, and is in fact the same, being a continuation of it, but not so high. Like Cumber. land, it is settled, and produces fine wheat, oats, rye, and potatoes. The people who have settled here for the purpose of living by travellers, afford good accommodation, are well informed, and keep very neat beds and chambers, at which I was much astonished. This mounlain is covered principally with chestnut timber of prodigions size. Where you find chestaut you find inhabi
eir la. mpy losing
hildren the unning
whilc o indohat in Fathers 1e case United vealth, ne bas hat this a spir
tants, but in some places you find neither : such parts display nothing to the eye but a dreary waste, with here and there a stunted pine tree, script of its foilage by some dreadful convulsion, where the little bird of winter sits and chimes his solitary notes, and sometimes perches on the holly, which is abundant. You often de. scend into deep vallies, shaded to fearful darkness with lofty spruce and laurel. One of them is very justly called the shades of death”-I thought it might aptly be applied to more than one. Through these deep recesses, streams of the purest water roll in beadlong lor
The whole of this mountain, however, looks like winter although it is now the last of August; we were quite chilly, at least, I was. Mr. D. informed that the cold is so intense on this ever-reigning winter mountain, as to freeze people who have the hardihood to attempt crossing it in the winter season. He related two indstances within his own knowledge. “A Mr. Mayers, a lawyer, travelling from Kenhawa to Lewisburg, in Greenbriar, became so benumbed with cold, that he was unable to speak, or guide his horse, which turned of his own accord to a house, were he was taken from thc horse and restored by proper applications." The other instance was, of a man who was returning to Kenhawa (where he lived) to Richmond, in the winter, and in crossing this mountain he had both his ears bitten off
' by the frost: when he arrived at home he had the circumstance recorded in court, lest some doubts might at a future day be suggested. This did not, however, screen him froni the sarcasm or a lady, who told him that “the Almighty did that which the laws ought to have donc long before.” This happened some years ago.
At length, from the summit of a frightful chasm, formed by the passage of New river through this mountain, you behold that foaming river rolling far beneath your feet, while with shivering fear and dizzy head, you wind your way down to it. This is the second instance I have witnessed of this daring river forcing its way through mountains. Some huge rocks, I see, however, have set it at defiance, over which it rushes with mad
den clei ren and ed sua whi on unti tha thai wbi abo cro: isbi in f wa Hil Cui scel scri sina to said stre the wb tes spe wh sma luc flor of сір aga the gar ler of 50