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ulated by the fertility of their soil, and numerous navi-
Appearance. The young people, of both sexes, are very fair and beautiful, and many of them well formed: the men are stout, active, and amongst the best marksmen in America. They are, both male and female, extravagantly fond of dress; this, and their beauty, only serves to expose their unpolished manners, and want of education. They have no expression of countenance, nor do they appear to possess much mind. One great proof of this, is, that all places of honor, profit, or trust, are monopolized by strangers: even here, in Lewisburg, where Rev. M, (who is also a foreigner,) has been daily employed as the principal of an academy, the only one in the republic, for fifteen years, several for eigners have stepped in and have made great fortunes: and, by the way, too, here are the Messrs. B. and C. the two great mercantile heroes already mentioned. They are taking in the people of Greenbriar with admirable skill. Having rendered Monroe insolvent, they have come to try the range, (to use one of their expressions,) of Greenbriar, and bid fair to strip her as bare as they have her danghter. But this is the fault of the people; that taste they have for dress, foreign manufactures, coffee, tea, &c. will prove their ruin. 1 passed through this county about thirty years since, when the people hardly knew what tea or coffee was; in fact, resu of them did not; and now there is no family but many what uses coffee and tea, and in no country under heav en have they more delicious milk, or more abundank
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Since I have been here, I have been astonished to see loads of crockery ware, tea cups, and such things, purchased by people who lived twenty, thirty, and in one instance fifty miles off, put them in the saddle-bags or tie them up in a kerchief: and a woman will think nothing of setting them in her lovely lap, holding them with one hand and the rein of an unruly horse in the other, and set out for home in a round trot, at sunset, which, perchance, may be fifteen or twenty miles disThe pernicious effect of this growth of foreign luxuries already begins to show itself; twenty, perhaps forty, for one, die now to what was known when they lived on their own wholesome viands, and dressed in their own coarse but warm and substantial domestic cloths, which are still made, indeed, but brought to the stores and exchanged for frippery, which is not suffi cient to defend them against the cold of this region. Consumptions are now common, whereas, thirty years ago, sickness of any sort was almost wholly unknown. The climate is also fatal to black peole. But the most astonishing circumstance which distinguishes this country, and one that has often been remarked, is, that it never has produced one tolerable smart man. From Montgomery to Harrison, there never has been reared one man of abilities of any sort, while Kenhawa, inferior as it may be, has produced one of the brighest stars of American genius, I mean Henry Ruffner, L.L. D. a man of profound erudition, who would do honor to any country; he is the son of Col. Ruffner, mentioned in these sketches. I am told he is professor of Greek, in Washinton college, Va. This cannot be the effect of climate; if it be, how do we account for the opposite result in Switzerland, and other cold countries, which has produced some of the greatest geniuses in the world; nor can it be the effect of education, as genius exists without it. Indeed, West Virginia has dealt out genius
• Hon. William Smith.
with a sparing hand: with the exception of John Breckenridge, I am told she has never produced one man that might be called great.
But, to return to my Grison republic; their dialect sets orthography at defiance, and is with difficulty understood; for instance, the words by, my, rye, they pronounce as you would ay. Some words they have imported, some they have made out and out, some they have swapped for others, and nearly the whole of the English language is so mangled and mutilated by them, that it is hardly known to be such. When they would say pretence, they say lettinon, which is a word of very extensive use amongst them. It signifies a jest, and is used to express disapprobation and disguise; "you are just lettinon to rub them spoons-Polly is not mad, she is only lettinon." Blaze they pronounce bleez, one they call waun, sugar shugger; “and is this all it ye got?" handkerchief hancorchy, (emphasis on the second syllable ;) and "the two ens of it comed loose;" for get out of the way, they say get out of the road: Road is universally used for way; put them cheers, (chairs) out of the road." But their favorite word of all, is hate, by which they mean the word thing; for instance, nothing, "not a hate-not wann hate will ye's do:" What did you buy at the stores, ladies? "Not a hate-well you hav 'nt a hate here to eat." They have the hickups, and corp, (corps,) and are a cute people. Like Shakspear, they make a word when at a loss: scawm'd is one of them, which means spotted. They have rock houses and rock chimneys, &c. &c.
It would cure any one of the spleen to take a day or two in the country near the border of this republic.Billy, tell Johnny he must bring Sammy home;" if you were to tell them there were no such words, they would put you down as a fool. Their houses are adorn. ed throughout with netting and fringe of coarse cotton, and the han'tawel: This last puzzled me much; I thought it meant one exclusively for the hands, but it is distinguished from a spacious one that sticks by the four corners to the wall, near the door or window, (if there be one in the house.) Thus disposed, a looking-glaes,
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while their faces and noses are enough to set you against eating, forever; and as for the meat, you might as well try to insert your knife into a brick-bat. The coffee, however, and butter are fine, and nothing would affront them more than to offer them pay; meanwhile if you happen to lay any of your clothing where they can get hold of it, if to soil it sends it to perdition it must go there; they take it in their dirty hands again and again, turn it over and over, and when one has besoiled it another one must satisfy his curiosity. If you tell them the most interesting anecdote, they pay no more attention to you than if you were muttering Greek; take up the most amusing book and read to them, it is the same thing, and two-thirds of them would be afraid it was not a good book.
History -Greenbriar river, which gives name to the county of that name, was discovered in the year 1749, by two enterprising hunters, by the name of Suel and CarThese two men crossed the river and selected a save, on a creek, which has, since that time, been called Carver's, after the latter, as the former gave name to the mountain, on which, he was, long after this, however, killed by the Indians. These two men, it appears, lived in a cave for several years, but at length they disagreed on the score of religion, and occupied different camps. They took care, how. ever, not to stray far from each other, their camps being in sight. Suel used to relate that he and his friend would sit all night without sleep, with their guns cocked ready to fire at each other: "And what could that be for ?? said one to him, "Why because we could 'nt agree." "Only two of you, and could you not agree? what did you quarrel about ?" "Why about rela-gin."* One of them, it seems, was a presbyterian, and the other, of the church of England. Greenbriar county, from which, all those I have mentioned, were taken, was settled by emigrants from Augusta county, Va. The first settlers were by the names of "Yokum, Cea, Lawrence, and Clendening." Cea settled on a place not far distant from Lewisburg, called Keeny's Knobs. Clendening settled where Mr. Ballard Smith now lives, They were 80 miles from any inhabitants.