Obrázky stránek

of then also afMs, sore

5. One

sis, the for old

perfect health, so far as was recollected. Many instances of these sudden deaths occur in this country, which is confined to old people, and to those amongst them who live near the Alleghany mountain. I have no doubt, « but this sudden extinction of life is the effect of the climate. I should like to hear the opinion of the learned walking on this subject.* Although the winters are so cold, and nstances long, yet the snow does not fall deep, though it is almost Peebles perpetually spitting snow; for a few years back, it rarely snows much till March. It rarely rains in winter; but in the spring, they have heavy, cold, and almost continual rains. The seasons are very irregular; some part of the summer they are deluged; the remainder, perhaps, every stream will be dry; and vegetation


to stop


d. She en, who

ntertainsprings cond of es sitting no other

son and

ady had was to ly ever

e room.



This part of Virginia exports cattle, horses, sheep, whiskey, bacon, sugar, tobacco, cheese, wool, beeswax, feathers, tallow, poultry, hemp, ginseng. Of these articles ginseng, cattle and butter, greatly exceed the others. Greenbriar breeds great numbers of horses and cattle. These horses are remarkable both for beauty and size; they deserve much credit for the improvement they have made within a few years past in the breed of horses. I remember when there were not a dozen horses that could be called handsome in the ore she whole bounds. They likewise take great pains in the or, and art of rearing cattle, to which their soil is favorable, it breath being better adapted to grass than grain. They furnish er,) the the Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington markets les from with beef. Their land is fertile, and, though unfavoraong be-ble to the growth of some things, produces from thirty to vise was forty bushels of wheat to the acre; the best wheat grows derable on the top of the Alleghany mountain. The inhabitants isburg,) do not take their produce to market; they barter it to coffee, the merchants, who (except the live stock) waggon it diately to Philadelphia principally. They have, however, deready rived little advantage from commerce; compelled to take man's just what the merchants please to give them. ee what peltry trade heretofore has been valuable, and ought to dead in *The thermometer has been as high in summer as 93, and as low in town in winter as 5 below zero.


have yielded an immense profit; but from their want of commercial knowledge, they always have been and still continue the dupes of the merchants.

From every thing I have seen of this people, they lack every requisite essential for commercial purposes. They are without capital, system, or enterprise, nor do they seem ambitious of either. If their sons can get a fine horse and saddle, a fine broadcloth coat, and their daughters a fine dress and bonnet, to show out at preaching on Sunday, (which is probably attended with no bet ter consequence,) it is the heighth of their ambition. If their wives can succeed in converting their butter,

[blocks in formation]

cheese, wool, and feathers (their exclusive perquisite,) try is into as much coffee, tea, sugar, and other frippery, as will serve them the year, the farmer is content. The most of them make sugar enough from the maple, or sugar tree, (as it is called here,) for their own consumption, and many of them make it for market.

The numerous mineral springs in these counties afford the people a good market for produce; thousands of visitors attend these springs during the summer months. This would be a great advantage to the inhabitants, were it not for the pernicious consequences which result from it. Those who visit those watering places, are people of the first rank in the United States; they are people of fashion and taste, as well as great wealth; they are mostly from the sea-ports, and great towns, who escape to this pure region during the sickly season. Would these yeomanry be contented with their money, and have no more to do with them, they would still be happy, and realize the advantage. But they, forsooth, must adopt their fashions; the young men must have just such coats, hats, and vests, they must have fine ruffled shirts, two or three per week; the ruffle must be an eighth of a yard deep, of the finest linen cambric, because the gentlemen at the Springs have them so. They must have a fine horse and saddle, with deep plated stirrups; they must have fine boots and spurs, whip and gloves; though, perhaps, their father never had a glove on in his life. And what must our young fop do now? He is too fine to work, to be sure; what would

serva sists t what fine! whose seats

they a tion.

ple ar

mann which ignora

the va


But th





does tent, i



kind a

are th mestic lies, h

want of and still

e, they rposes. nor do

n get a nd their preachno bet

on. If

butter, uisite,) as will

e most

r sugar nption,

s afford ands of months. bitants,

ich re

es, are ey are

ealth ;



money, -till be

rsooth, re just ruffled

be an ic, be

m so.

p plawhip had a fop do would

[ocr errors]

he do, but get on his fine horse and ride about, and smoke cigars. And as for Miss, she must have a fine crape dress; it must be in the fashion; it must be tucked and corded, it must be trimmed with some twelve or fourteen yards of satin ribbon; she must have a fine ruff, of the very finest stuff that was ever seen; she must have a flat, trimmed in bon ton style; she must have the "nicest, nicest" sort of shoes, they must be prunella ;" silk hose, and silk gloves; horse and saddle, a whip too, and now behold her dashing off with brother Tim. With all this display, they have no fine carriage, it is true, but then the uneveness of their country is a sufficient apology for this. They have no fine servants, but they are fine themselves, and in that consists the essence of the thing: what would fine equipage, what would education avail, if they were not dressed fine! It never comes into their heads, that those people, whose exterior they so sedulously imitate, are from the seats of refinement, and highly polished manners, that they are people of education, information and reflection. They never reflect that so many fine dressed people are only so many fine fools, without corresponding manners. Such eternally is the effect of ignorance, which always chooses the worst and rejects the best: the ignorant always choose the tinsel, it is the bait that takes the vacant mind. Such are the advantages, if it be good sense, that result from the great concourse at the springs. But this is sport for the merchants, who find their account in it, whilst they laugh in their sleeve, at these willing sacrifices to the empire of fashion.

General Character. The people of these counties are remarkable for moral and inoffensive manners: there does not exist a country, which embraces an equal extent, in which fewer crimes are committed. Murder is almost unknown; but two instances of murder are recollected, and so of every other crime. They are very kind and hospitable to strangers, and of all people they are the least suspicious. Their females are very domestic, particularly the married ladies. The young ladies, however, are very affected-I mean the fashiona7

cents it wi nego Fina

set a

Fu The:



grass. of g

on the

the t and

with from some

ble ones. Some of the old men, and a few of the young ones, (if I am not mistaken,) love to drink whiskey; this to be sure is a growing evil, and a very serious one.The following anecdote may serve to illustrate the character of these people.-" Three gentlemen from East Virginia, travelling to the springs, missed their way and were lost in the mountains. The name of a mountain, which neither had ever seen, made the hair rise on their heads; but to be lost on one was dreadful. After rid. ing a few miles, they heard the sound of an axe. They gedo therefore made up to the sound, and soon discovered the wood-cutter to be a white man, which they had expected to find black. They told him their business and their misfortune, and asked the favour of him to give the necessary directions for regaining the road. He looked at them for a minute, and laying down his axe, without speaking a word, beckoned them to follow him. His readiness in quitting his work without a stipulated re ward, alarmed them very much, for now they are to be robbed undoubtedly-cach one concluding that he could intend no other than to betray them. They thanked him, and said they would not trouble him so far-they would take directions. He insisted, and set off cheerfully as was natural to expect, he walked before, which gave to their fears considerable relief, as they would have the better opportunity of defending themselves, in case of an attack from robbers, which they expected to see jump out of the bushes every moment. They were well armed, each having a brace of pistols, besides a dirk. They drew out their pistols, primed them afresh, examined the flints, and awaited their fate-when at length they found themselves safe in the road! But what was their astonishment, when, upon offering him a dollar, he refused it with disdain. Thus were these sous of courage put to the blush for their mean suspicion, by this generous mountaineer. This trait may be applied to the whole community: you could not offer them a greater insult than to attempt to reward them for any trifling service. These men related this anecdote to me, and added, that nothing surprised them more than his refusing their bounty that had they offered fifty




easily it imp how

viz.Sult D Moun called Caldw mount


near: Those Blues

and ( of the

comp. specu lions

for co

young y; this


e charn East 3y and

untain, n their er rid.


red the

pected their

he nelooked vithout .. His

ed re e to be e could anked -they cheer.which would ves, in

cted to

V were

ides afresh, hen at ! But

: him a se sons

on, by pplied

:hem a

or any lote to -e than

d fifty

cents to one of their peasants, he would have received it with demonstrations of joy, and that he would have negotiated for his fee before he performed the service. Finally, they are people of moderate talents, but they set a great value upon those they have."

Face of the Country and spontaneous Productions.The face of the country, as heretofore observed, is very uneven. Great part of it is covered with high and rugged mountains, some of which are nothing but barren rocks, and others are clothed with timber and luxuriant grass. On the north side of these mountains, some spots of good land are found; but this is rare. The timber on the north side differs from that on the south; that on the north being mostly stunted black oak. poplar, birch, and dog-wood, while that on the south is pitch-pine, with scarcely an exception. Their general course is from north-east to south-west, but it is difficult to tell, in some places, what course they run, as they represent a cross and pile figure, as though it were not only one, but various mountains piled on each other. This being the most mountainous part of the United States, (which may easily be distinguished on the maps,) they have found it impossible to give names to the whole. Most of them, however, are comprehended under the following names, viz. the Alleghany, (which is by far the lowest,) the Salt Pond Mountain, the Cove Mountain, Herbert's Mountain, the Great or Middle Mountain, (by some called Price's Mountain,) the Sweet Spring Mountain, Caldwell's Mountain, and Catawba Mountain. These mountains take different names, in each direction, as they recede from a given point. All this groupe lie near to each other, and are east of the Alleghany.Those which lie west of it are Muddy Creek Mountain, Bluestone Mountain, Meadow Mountain, Suel Mountain, and Gauley Mountain. The mountains which lie east of the Alleghany were taken up sometime since by a company, surveyed, and sold to another company of speculators, who disposed of them to Europeans. Millions of acres were sold to these unsuspecting people, for considerable sums, which are not worth one cent.

« PředchozíPokračovat »