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suits were disposed of, before M.'s suit was called. At length the suit was called, and one of the magistrates came down, or rather got up, went out behind the house, and awaked a brother chip, who was lying on the ground drunk, saying "get up! M.'s suit is coming on." Another magistrate was lying drunk on the floor; he was roused by the sheriff; at length they have a court, and proceed to business. The case was argued on both sides by their respective attornies, and the jury was sent out to a blacksmith's shop. You have seen these shops; they generally have a log cut out of some length, on the opposite side from the door; at least they have in the western country, but what the use of it is, I never learned, unless it be to hang their work on; or, perhaps, let in the air in warm weather; but to the purpose. After the Jury were fastened in, M. gets a three gallon keg full of whisky, and thrusts it in through this window, saying to the Jury, "now do your best." They were not long, we may suppose, in agreeing; when they came into the court, their verdict was, "we, the jury, find for the defendant!!" The lawyer for the plaintiff was thunderstruck; nothing was clearer, a plain bond! He grated his teeth, and cursed them all to him self; returned the plaintiff (which was equally extraor dinary,) his fee, jumped on his horse, and was never seen there afterwards. Thus was Kenhawa settled, and thus was justice administered, and with little variation continues the same. Many suits have been eight, ten, and some fifteen years on the docket. The new modelling of the judiciary, has, however, of late, measureably relieved the people.
Climate. The climate on Kenhawa river is very hot in summer; the thermometer rising from ninety to a hundred; not a breeze relieves you from suffocating heat; when it does, it uniformly brows up the river from the north west; these breezes, however, seldom prevail except in the fall and winter months. This great difference between the climate and that of Greenbriar and Mouroe, of which it is several miles north, must be attributed to that of its being much lower, and hemmed in
on each side by perpendicular mountains. This climate
Here are three great high ways, contiguous to each other, viz: one on the north side of the river, leading from Ohio, Indiana and Missouri, to the eastern states. Another on the south bank, leading from Kentucky and Illinois, likewise to the eastern states; and the river itself. The river is covered with boats, some going up, . and some going down. The roads are likewise much travelled, particularly in the fall of the year; that on the south side of the river, is alive from morning till night, with people, horses, cattle, but principally hogs; myriads of hogs are driven by this way annually, to the east. They commence driving in September, and from that till Christmas, you can look out no time in the day without seeing a line of hogs. This road is one of the most unpleasant in the world to travel at that time; the river on one side, the mountain on the other, and both so near, that it confines the traveller to one narrow space; which, from the yielding quality of the soil, added to the absence of the sun, the rays of which are totally interrupted by the mountain, is a perfect quagmire. This circumstance has given rise to many ludicrous stories, of people being buried alive; and others travelling on the backs of cattle, hogs, &c. that have sunk into it. From what I have seen myself of this road, even at this season of the year, I am inclined to credit its ill fame.
On our way from Ohio, we travelled on that side of the
After spending two weeks at Kenhawa, I returned easterly, taking a circuit through Nicholas and Pocahontas. At length I find myself in Lewisburg.
Lewisburg-Lewisburg is four miles west of the Alleghany Mountain; contains a handsome stone courthouse and jail, two clerks offices, two churches, one for presbyterians and one for methodists, one academy for young men, and one for young ladies, two taverns, four retail stores, a post-office, a printing office, and forty dwelling-houses, chiefly of wood. In this small town four different courts hold their sessions, to wit: a Superior Court of Chancery twice a year, the Superior Court twice a year, the United States Court twice a year, and the inferior courts for the county. These courts, and the number of travellers who pass through
this place, from the west to the east, and from east to west, and the vast numbers of hogs, horses, and cattle, that are drove through it from all parts of the western country, gives it an air of liveliness, for about ten months in the year.
The state of Virginia is now engaged in making a road from the head of navigation, that is, the nearest point of intersection with James river. It is, when completed, to come in at the falls of Kenhawa. This road passes through Lewisburg. The intention of this undertaking, I am told, is to draw the trade of the western states. It appears to be the design of Virginia, to come in for a share of that commercial interest, hitherto engrossed by the states north of her. She contemplates transporting merchandise by water to Covington, a small town on Jackson's river, at the point of intersection with this road, and from thence by waggons, to the falls of Kenhawa, where a line of steam boats is to convey it to different parts of the western country. The merchandize is to be exchanged for the produce of the west. I have not been able to trace the scheme further than this. But in my humble opinion, it will be long cre Virginia will be able to furnish the western states, upon this or any other plan, as low as they will be furnished by the northern. She has clear evidence of this, in the universal practice of the merchants of West Virginia, and Tennessec, who lay in their goods at Philadelphia, which is nearly double the distance to Richmond; and besides, Virginia commands navigation for nearly two hundred miles in that direction by James' river. Why she has not realized this advantage I am not able to say. It appears, that from the little I have been able to learn of Virginia, though she by no means wants genius or public spirit, yet, she wants that genius necessary to promote commerce. They say here that it is designed to connect the waters of James river and Kenhawa, by cutting a canal through the Alleghany mountain, from Dunlap's Creek, on the east, to Howard's Creek, on the west of it. As the Alleghany presents but a slight elevation at this place, and these streams are but a few miles asunder, this might easily be done
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But then another obstacle presents itself; these streams
The Alleghany mountain, as already observed, is se low that if it were not for the streams flowing in opposite directions it would not be perceivable. But although low, it spreads out to an immense width; it is nothing less than this mountain that extends to Kenhawa river, 90 miles, although called by other names. Those ridges are much higher than the Alleghany; Greenbriar river rises near the main ridge, on the west of which it runs at a hurrying rate for 200 miles, being hemmed in by the vast bed of mountains just mentioned. It discharges itself into New river, several miles above the junction of that river, with Gauly. On the bosom of this vast mass of mountains are the six counties of Virginia, known by the names of Greenbriar, Monroe, Nicolas, Pocahontas, Giles, and Tazewell, elevated to the clouds, resembling each other in every thing: Greenbrier, however, as she is the mother of the whole, commands most wealth, having the advantage in good land. But with respect to the appearance of the inhabitants, their pursuits and manners, they are alike, and to these we may add Alleghany, also clipped from the wings of Greenbriar. These counties have been erroneously confounded with the western country, whereas there is as much difference between the people of the western states and those, as there are between any two people in the union. The inhabitants of the western states are an enterprising, systematical, industrious people, to which they are stim