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pute the heat; but for the light,-if we are to judge of it from the various instances of incredible, unimaginable stupidity which Mr. Fearon witnessed during his short residence at Pittsburgh, we cannot avoid saying, that the darkness of the poor savages of Baffin's Bay was noon-day radiance to it.
• Understanding,' Mr. Fearon says, 'that mechanics in every occupation met at “ Carey's Porter-house,” I went there several times for the purpose of obtaining information. I found them chiefly English, and all discontented with America.' In this porter-house his attention was directed to a mean looking wretch, sitting like a sot in a corner, who turned out to be that offspring of folly and sedition--the assassin Watson, little known and less regarded. "Americans,' Mr. Fearon adds, who have heard of him, either care nothing about him, or despise him for the political part which he has taken. Not so our traveller; and it is curious to observe the tenor of his language on the occasion. The crimes for which this villain Aed his country were of the most atrocious nature; yet they appear to have impressed a very favourable ide of the perpetrator on Mr. Fearon's mind. • I had,' he
says, imagined young Watson to be a daring, bold, enthusiastic indiscreet young man.' 212. Now as he could have no criterion whatever to judge of young Watson but the enormities of which he had been guilty, namely sedition, robbery, and murder, we can desire no better proof of Mr. Fearon's mode of thinking, and that of those to whom he is not afraid or ashamed to address such language, than the passage before us. •Enthusiasm! indiscretion!". And Mr. Fearon is evidently disappointed when he finds his martyr of liberty--what all the world knows him to be-a drunkard and a driveller. Yet he cannot quite give him up. The at-, tempt to forward the good cause, however unsuccessful, claims, at least, the kind remembrance of the party; and Mr. Fearon therefore makes over to him again the enthusiasm of which he had deprived him, in a preceding paragraph, and insists that it was
called into action' (very justifiably no doubt)' by an order of things which deprives a great part of the population of England of the actual necessaries of life.
From Pittsburgh our traveller proceeds into the State of Oh over an uninterrupted level, composed chiefly of close timbered forests, and prairies of eight or ten miles square without a shrub upon them. It is not to him however that we are indebted for the information that this American prairie is not that pretty French word which means green grass bespangled with daisies and cowslips,'—he does not tell us that it is a wide expanse covered with rank coarse rush-like grass, sometimes flooded middle deep,' and wearing the appearance of an inland sea;' but such is the
fact; and the dry prairies are little better. Mr. Fearon, however, does venture to say that the dreary monotony of limited views of such endless uniformity produces sensations of the most depressing melancholy;' and (with a compliment to his own country) that "head-aches and intermittent fevers are so general, that a man's being sick is as common in this country, as being in distress is in England. He notices also another circumstance, which he could not illustrate by a disadvantageous comparison with his country. “The first article of the constitution is, All men are born equally free and independent, yet the people of Ohio have coloured people which they call their property; negro slaves, in short. The mode in which they effect this perpetuation of slavery, in violation of the constitution, is to purchase blacks and have them apprenticed to them. Some are so base as to take these negroes down the river at the approach of the expiration of their apprenticeship, and sell them at Natchez, for life!—p. 227. Mr. Fearon affects surprise at this; why, we cannot pretend to say. The people are here more · lengthy and sallow,' if possible, than in other parts of the United States; and, if we are right in our interpretation of Mr. Fearon's vaulty aspect, they are generally of a cadaverous appearance.
The circulating medium through the Western country is chiefly paper, generally small notes from 3 d. to 2s.6d. The very trifling quantity of specie consists of Spanish dollars cut into halves, quarters, and eighths ; nay they divide the small notes into parts, which pass current, even in the capital, where Mr. Fearon purchased a pair of worsted gloves of the commonest kind for half a dollar, such as cost 8d. or 9d. in London, and the store-keeper, having no change, took half of a dollar-note on a Baltimore bank:-he afterwards found that demi-notes were a common currency. The notes are generally at a discount, which differs, in different towns, from 5 to 40 per cent.: had he sufficiently understood this trade, he says he could nearly have paid his expenses by merely buying, in one town, the notes of that to which he was going. We recommend this account of the currency of the United States to any gentleman who may have occasion to undermine the national credit, or to extol that of America at the expense of England.
On entering Kentucky, Mr. Fearon tells his friends that a variation of character in the people was evident.' At the first tavern at which he put up, six gentlemen were seated at the diningroom fire, drinking wine, and engaged in varied and rational conversation ! an instance of sociality, which, (says he) common as it may appear to you, I had not witnessed in my previous western
It is certainly somewhat different from the general practice of each person taking his solitary eye openers,' and 'phlegm
dispersers,' and swallowing them down at the bar,' the keeper of which is in full employ from sunrise to bed-time. Another instance of a propensity to sociality, in these 'frank and affable Kentuckians,' appears to have made less impression on our traveler than it will perhaps on many of his readers. Among the
Rules to be observed by all gentlemen who choose to dine at the hotel is this : '5. No gentleman shall take the saddle, bridle or harness of another gentleman without his consent.' p. 242.-We have seldom seen a more delicate periphrasis.-—Just before Mr. Fearon sat down to table, a kind of interlude was performed, a common mode, it appears, of giving zest to a Kentucky dinner.
My attention was excited by the piteous cries of a human voice, accompanied with the loud cracking of a whip. Following the sound, I found that it issued from a log barn, the door of which was fastened. Peeping through the logs, I perceived the bar-keeper, together with a stout man, more than six feet high, who was called Colonel (Mr. Fearon tenderly suppresses the name) and a negro-boy about fourteen years of age, stript naked, receiving the lashes of these monsters, who relieved each other in the use of a horse-whip: the poor boy fell down upon his knees several times, begging and praying that they would not kill him, and that he would do any thing they liked: this produced no cessation in their exercise. At length Mr. Lawes arrived, told the valiant Colonel and his humane employer, the bar-keeper, to desist, and that the boy's refusal to cut wood was in obedience to his (Mr. Les) directions. Colonel said, that “ he did not know what the niggar had done, but that the bar-keeper requested his assistance to whip Cæsar ; of course he lent him a hand, being no more than he should expect Mr. Lawes to do for, him under similar circumstances." At table Mr. Lawes said, “ that he had not been so vexed for seven years.' pression gave me pleasure, and also afforded me, as I thought, an opportunity to reprobate the general system of slavery; but not one voice joined with mine; each gave vent in the following language to the super-abundant quantity of the milk of human kindness, with which their breasts were overflowing. “1 guess
he deserved all he got.” “It would have been of small account if the niggar had been whipt to death."
“ I always serve my blasted niggars that way; there is nothing else so good for them."
It appeared that this boy was the property of a regular slave-dealer, who was then absent at Natchez with a cargo. Mr. Lawes's humanity fell lamentably in my estimation when he stated, “ that whipping nig. gars, if they were his own, was perfectly right, and they always deserved it; but what made him mad was, that the boy was left under his care by a friend, and he did not like to have a friend's property injured."* As it appears that · Mr. and Mr.
of Liverpool, together with Dr. B. and Colonel B.,' were present at this edifying scene, it may be hoped that they will furnish Mr. Roscoe with some important matter for his next panegyric on the free and happy condition of all ranks in North America.
There is in this iystance of the treatment of a negro, nothing that in this State is at all singular; and much as I condemned New York, Penusylvania, and Ohio, when in those sections, I must now give them the character of enlightened humanity, compared with this State, in which such conduct as that I have described is tolerated and approved, and where such public notices as the following, extracted from a newspaper, are of every day occurrence:
6« 20 DOLLARS REWARD. ““RAN AWAY on the 27th instant, a NEGRO MAN named JACK, about 5 feet 6 or 7 inches high, very stout made, of a dark complexion, and has several of his fore teeth rotten or out, about 25 years of age. He was brought from Lexington, Kentucky, by Messrs. Jacoby and Stone, negro traders, where I think it is likely he will try to get to. The above reward will be paid on his being apprehended and lodged in any jail, so that I may get him, together with all reasonable expenses, if brought to the subscriber.
Notwithstanding all this, and a great deal more to the same purpose, Mr. Fearon does not feel himself competent (he says) to confirm or deny the general claim of the people of Kentucky to generosity and warmth of character, though he admits that
they drink a great deal, swear a great deal, and gamble a great deal.'. He has reason also to believe, (he adds) that the bar, barous practice of gouging still exists among them,' as well as another practice, nearly akin' to the former, called gander-pulling.' The consanguinity is not very apparent to us ;- but the diversion' (as it is called) consists in tying a live gander to a tree or pole, greasing its neck, riding past it at full gallop, and he who succeeds in pulling off the head of the victim, receives the laurel crown.'* p. 247. There is another species of diversion which Mr. Fearon seems to have overlooked, in which these genteeler sort' of Americans are even more adroit than in gouging and gan+ der-pulling-namely, scalping Indians, whose territory no Kentuckian who has the least turn for economy ever dreams of арт proaching without a tomahawk and a scalping knife. During the late war, in an affair near the Raisin River, a Kentuckian regiment, after scalping the Indian prisoners, proceeded, with a dexterity peculiar to themselves, to cut razor-strops from
their backs.t Mr. Fearon, perhaps, saw nothing of all this. Tears for the
murder of the American prisoners at Dartmoor,' the disgraceful conduct of Admiral Cockburn at Havre de Grace,' and the buc
This diversion appears to have been overlooked by · Inchiquin the Jesuit.'. We cannot pass the opportunity of paying our tribute of respect to the name of this intelligent and accurate observer. He has been accused of exaggerating the defects of the American character (and we, who followed him, have been involved in the censure); but every publication on the subject, which has since come to hand, refutes the charge, and bears honourable testimony to the fairness and truth of his observations. , The Federaliste Answer to the Olive-branch.
caneering 'expedition against Washington,' appear to have effectually blinded his eyes to objects of this kind. • This is the smallest part of the disgusting scenes which Mr. Fearon witnesses in his excursion through this plague-spotted State, which—and it is a fearful consideration (though Mr. Fearon introduces it without being aware of its tendency as the strongest member must of necessity influence the growth and healthfulness of the whole western body, where men in theory proclaim the principles of equal liberty, and in practice continue, nay, boast of the most demoralizing habits, treat their fellow creatures worse than brute beasts, and sell human beings like cattle at a fair.' (p. 254.)
We are glad to escape from such “sociality,' and shall therefore take leave of the Kentuckians with the following Advertisement from a Lexington newspaper, which, after the horrors through which our readers have just waded, may serve to aniuse them.
“TAKE NOTICE, “ And beware of the swindler JESSE DOUGHERTY, who married me in November last, and some time after marriage informed me that he had another wife alive, and before I recovered, the villain left me, and took one of my best horses-one of my neighbours was so good as to follow him and take the horse from him, and bring him back. The said Dougherty is about forty years of age, five feet ten inches high, round shouldered, thick lips, complexion and hair dark, grey eyes, remarkably ugly and ill natured, and very fond of ardent spirits, and by profession a notorious liar. This is therefore to warn all widows to beware of the swindler, as all he wants is their property, and they may go to the devil for him after he gets that. Also, all persons are forewarned from trading with the said Dougherty, with the expectation of receiving pay from my property, as I consider the marriage contract null and void agreeably to law; you will therefore pay no attention to any lies he may tell you of his property in this county. The said Dougherty has a number of wives living, perhaps eight or, ten, (the number not positively known,) and will no doubt, if he can get them, have eight I believe that is the way he makes his living.
MARY DODD. Sept. 5, 1817."
We deem it unnecessary to follow. Mr. Fearon through his general observations on the Illinois territory, which are in fact merely what he has gathered from the reports of others. The inhabitants of these back woods, as we already knew, consist of a medley group of Indian hunters, squatters, land jobbers, lawyers, doctors, and farmers occupying lands on speculation. The surface is almost one unbounded fat of swamps and forests, and when our traveller says the wildness of the country implies an unformed climate,' he might have added an unformed society,' .
or ten more.