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water is thrown into cisterns, from which it is committed
to the boilers. This water is so strong that they make
it into salt twice in twenty four hours! All their wood
being consumed, they are now boiling with coal, which
abounds in their mountains.

These salt-works have very recently been establish-
ed. Some few years since, in the latter part of a very
dry summer, the river being lower than it was ever
known since it was settled by white people, the top of
an old gum was discovered at the edge of low water, and
salt water issuing out of it. In many places, where the
fresh water had left it, it was incrusted into salt by the
heat of the sun. It is supposed that the Indians, when
they were in possession of the country, sunk the gum,
and perhaps made some attempts at making salt. Col.
David Ruffner, a very enterprising man, was the first
that established salt-works in Kenhawa, at the place
just mentioned; after him several others; but the old
well, as it is called, that is, where the gum was discov.
ered, is by far the strongest water, and it is weaker in
proportion as it is distant from it, either up or down the
river. Col. Ruffner invented a machine which forces
the water up hill, to the distance of three miles, for
which I understand he obtained a patent. The salt
made here is not so fair as that made at King's works,
in Washington county, but it is much stronger, and bet-
ter for preserving meat. I saw this proved in Alaba-
ma; the meat (that is, bacon,) that was cured with the
salt from King's works, spoiled, while that which was
salted with the Kenhawa salt, did not. Great quantities
of it is consumed in Alabama; they take it in boats
down the Ohio and up the Tennessee river. A great
quantity is likewise takon up the Cuinberland to Nash-
ville. But what astonishes me, is, that they have to
bore double the depth now to what they did at first;
even at the old well, the water sunk, and they were
compelled to pursue it by boring; this is the case with
all of them.

These salt-works are dismal looking places; the sameness of the long low sheds; smoking boilers; men, the roughest that can be seen, half naked; hundreds of

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boat-men; horses and oxen, ill-used and beat by their
drivers; the mournful screaking of the machinery, day
and night; the bare, rugged, inhospitable looking moun-
tain, from which all the timber has been cut, give to it
a gloomy appearance.* Add to this the character of
the inhabitants, which, from what I have seen myself,
and heard from others, lack nothing to render them any
thing but a respectable people. Here have settled peo-
ple from the north, the east, and the west of the United
States, and some from the nether end of the world.-
However refined, however upright, however enlighten-
ed, crafty and wicked they might have been previous to
their emigration, they have become assimilated, and mu-
tually stand by each other, no matter what the case is,
and wo be to the unwary stranger who happens to fall
into their hands. I never saw or heard of any peo-
ple but these, who gloried in a total disregard of
shame, honour and justice, and an open avowal of
their superlative skill in petty fraud; and yet they are
hospitable to a fault, and many of them are genteel. I
see men here whose manners and abilities would do
honour to any community, and whilst I admired, I was
equally surprised that people of their appearance should
be content to live in a place which has become a by-
word. But their females in a great measure extenuate
this hasty sketch. As nature compensates us in many
respects for those advantages she denies us in others,
and in all her works ha mingled good with evil, you
have a striking instance of this in the female part of the
society of this place. In no part of the United States,
at least where I have visited, are to be found females
who surpass them in those virtues that adorn the sex.
They possess the domestic virtues in an exemplary de-
gree; they are modest, discreet, industrious and benev-
olent, and with all, they are fair and beautiful; albeit, I
would be sorry to see one of those amiable females be-
come a widow in this iron country, in which, however,
for the honour of human nature be it remembered, there
are a few noble exceptions amongst the other sex, which

*The river, which is extremely beautiful, is the only relief to the scenery.

may justly be compared to diamonds shining in the dark.

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As this famous county is to be a link in the chain which is to connect that part of Virginia east of the mountains with the whole of the western country, I have been at some pains to pick up every thing respecting it. As curiosity leads one to trace things to their origin, such as the history of countries, and remarkable events, I have traced this part of Virginia as far back as the year seventeen hundred and seventy-four, to the memorable battle of the Point, fought between the whites and the Indians, at the mouth of this river. I have seen several men who were in that bloody and hard tought battle, and have just returned from viewing the ground on which it was fought. I have seen that part occupied by the "Augusta militia," commanded by Gen. Lewis, and that by the Indians. I have seen the bones of the latter sticking in the bank of the Ohio river; part of the bank having fallen in where the battle was fought discloses their bones sticking out in a horizontal position the engagement lasted from sunrise till dark; the victory was claimed by the whites. From this bank, which is a hundred feet, or thereabouts, in height, I had a view of the beautiful river Ohio: at this place it is said to be five hundred yards wide.

This river, which is justly celebrated for its beauty and utility, flows in a smooth current as silent as night; not the least noise can be heard from it; not the smallest ripple is seen. This, and its limpid appearance, the rich foliage which decorates its banks and looks as though it were growing in the water, by reason of its luxuriance, completely conceals the earth, and constitutes its beauty. If the reader can imagine a vast mirror of endless dimension, he will have an idea of this beautiful river. It is so transparent that you may see pebbles at the bottom; not a rock or stone of any size, has a place in the Ohio. Kenhawa is a very handsome river, being generally as smooth as the Ohio, but by no means so limpid; it has a greenish appearance; you cannot see the bottom, except at the shoals. And more than all this, I have seen the celebrated heroine, Ann Bailey, who




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This female is a Welch woman, and is now very old. At the time Gen. Lewis's army lay at the Point, a station on Kenhawa river, Ann would shoulder her rifle, hang her shot-pouch over her shoulder, and lead a horse Jaden with ammunition to the army, two hundred miles distant, when not a man could be found to undertake the perilous task-the way thither being a perfect wilderness, and infested with Indians. I asked her if she was not afraid-she replied, "No, she was not; she trusted in the Almighty-she knew she could only be killed, and she had to die some time." I asked her if she never met with the Indians in her various journies, (for she went several times.) Yes, she once met with two, and one of them said to the other let us kill her, (as she supposed, from the answer of the other,) no, said his companion, God dam, too good a soger, and let her pass:" but how, said I, did you find the way," Steered by the trace of Lewis's army, and I had a pocket compass too." "Well, but how did you get over the water courses?"_ Some she forded, and some she swam, on others she made a raft: she "halways carried a hax and a hauger, and she could chop as well has hany man;" such was her dialect. This is a fact that hundreds can attest. A gentleman informed, that while the army was stationed near the mouth of Elk, he walked down that river to where it intersects with Kenhawa, for the purpose of fishing; he had not remained long there before he heard a plunge in the water, and upon looking up, he discovered Ann on horseback swimming toward him; when the horse gained the landing, she observed, "cod, I'd like to a swum." She was quite a low woman in height, but very strongly made, and had the most pleasing countenance I ever saw, and for her, very affable. "And what would the General say to you, when you used to get safe to camp with your ammuni tion." "Why he'd say, you're a brave soldier, Ann, and tell some of the men to give me a dran..” She was fond of a dram. When I saw the poor creature, she was almost naked; she begged a dram, which I gave to


her, and also some other trifle. I never shall forget Ann Bailey. The people here repeat many sayings of hers, such as "the howl upon the helm on the bank of the helk"-that is, an owl on an elm upon the bank of

Elk river.

History-Kenhawa county consists of two strings of inhabitants, upon Kenhawa and Elk rivers. It was reclaimed from the Indians and the buffaloes, by degrces, with the loss of many lives by the former, until Gen. Wayne subdued them. The buffalocs were so numerous on this river, that they made large roads through the bottoms. Elks, deer and bears were likewise numerous. None of the buffaloes are to be seen now, but bear and deer are still numerous, and elks are often seen on the head of Elk river, which empties into Kenhawa river at a little town called Charleston, the seat of justice for this county.* It is navigable its whole length, two hundred miles. In this town are four stores, two taverns, a court-house, a jail, and an academy; the three last are of brick; and a post-office, n printing press, and some very handsome buildings. The hrst permanent settlement was made in 1786, though they had to defend themselves with forts, or at least one, which was built near where a Mr. Jones now lives, called Jones's ferry. Mr. Morrice, a Mr. Cea, this Jones, and Col. Donnally, the hero of Donnally's fort, wero the first; others soon followed, but M. was the head man; he had a boat-yard, built boats, and sold them to people who emigrated to the west. He had money at interest, and was the successful rival of Col. D. They never agreed; M. carried every point, he was looked up to by the people, and what he said was the law, let that be what it might. Courts of justice were established, magistrates appointed, and all as this lord of the land dictated. Some person, however, who had a bond on M., had the audacity to sue him. The court sat in an old house, or cabin rather, as the story goes. Some

* I saw one which was caught when it was young on Elk river. It was quite gentle, and went at large, though nearly grown; it belonged to Col. Ruffner.

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