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THE YEARS I795, I796, AND 1797* 

By ISAAC WELD, Junior, 









Leave Quebec. — Convenience of travelling betwee?i 
that City and Montreal. — Pojl Houfes. — Ca~ 
lajloes. — Drivers. — Canadian Horfes very Ser- 
viceable. — Salutations on arriving at different 
Pojl Houfes. — Beautiful Profpectsfrom the Road 
on the Top of the Banks of the St. Lawrence. 
—Female Pea/ants. — Style of Farming in Ca- 
nada. — Confiderably improved of late. — Inacti- 
vity of Canadians in not clearing more Land.— 
Their Character contrafted with that of the Peo- 
ple of the States. — Arrival at Trois Rivieres. — 
Defcription of that Town and its Vicinity. — 
Vifit to the Convent of St. Urfule. — Manufac- 
tures of Birch -Bark. — Birch Canoes, how 
formed. — Leave Trois Rivieres, and reach 
Montreal ----- page i 

A 2 LET- 



The Party make the nfual Preparations for afce?id<* 
ing the St. Lawrence. — Buffalo Skins. — How 
uj'ed by Traveller s.-r Difficulty of proceeding to 
Lake Ontario otherw'fe than by Water. — Ra- 
pids above Montreal. — Village of La Chine. — 
Kings Stores there. — Indian Village on the oppo- 
fite Side of the River. — Similitude between 
French Canadians and Indians in P erf on and 
Difpojition of Mind. — Owing to this the Power 
of the Trench over the Indians. — Summary 
View of the Indians in Lower Canada, — The 
Party embark in a Bateau at La Chine. — Mode 
of conducting Bateaux againjl a frong Current. 
— -Great Exertion requi/ite — Canadians addicted 
to fmoking. — How they meafure Diftances. — 
Defcription of Lake St. Louis. — Clouds of In- 
fers over Peed Banks. — Party encamps on life 
Perot. — Paffage of Rapids called Les Caf cades — 
Their tremendous u4ppeara?ice. — Defcription oj 
the Village of the Hill of Cedars. — Rapids du 
Coteau duLac. — Wonderful Rapidity of the Cur-' 
rent. — Party encamps. — Lake St. Francis. — 
Point au Baudet. — L'Ifle aux Raifns. — I/land 
in the River fill the Property of the Indians.-— 
/j. Not 


Not determined yet whether in the Britifh Terri- 
tory or that of the States. — Party encamps. — 
Storm. — XJnpleafant Situation of the Party. — 
Relieved. — Continue the Voyage. — Account of 
more Rapids. — Canals and Locks at different 
Places on the River St. Lawrence. — Immenfe 
Flights of Pigeons. — Emigration of Squirrels and 
Bears. — Ofwegatchee River and Fort la Ga- 
Ictte defcribed. — Advantageous Pofition of the 
latter. — Current above this gentle. — Bateaux 
fail on all Night. — Songs of the Canadians. — » 
Good Ear for Mufit. — Lake of a Thoufand IJles, 
— Arrival at King/Ion on Lake Ontario. — 
Qbfervaiions on the Navigation of the St. Law- 
rence. — The St. Lawrence compared with the 
Mifpffippi. — A View of the a\ Rivers 

which open a Water Communication between the 
Great Lakes and the Atlantic. — Great Su- 
periority of the St. Lawrence over all the refl. 
■ — Of the Lake Trade. - - page 1 9 


Defcription of the Town of King f on. — Formerly 
called Fort Cadaraqua. — Extenfive Trade car- 
ried on here. — Nature of it. — Inhabitants very 
A 3 hofpitable m 


hofpitable. — Harbours on hake Ontario. — Ships* 
of War on that hake. — Merchant Vefels. — - 
Naval Officers. — Exp e nee of building and keep- 
ing up Veffels very great. — Why. — No Iron 
Mines yet opened in the Country. — Copper may 
be more eajily procured than Iron. — Found in 
great Quantities on the Borders of hake Supe- 
rior. — Embark in a Trading Vejjel on hake On-> 
tario. — Defcription of that hake. — A Septen- 
nial Change in the Height of the Waters f aid to 
be obfervaole — aljo a Tide that ebbs a?id flows 
every two Hours. — Obfervations on thefe Phe- 
nomena. — Voyage acrofs the hake Jimilar to a 
Sea Voyage. —Come in Sight of Niagara Fort. 
< — hand at Mijjifjdguis Point. — Mifjifjaguis In- 
dians. — One of their Cliefs killed in an Affray. 
— How treated by the Britijlo Government. — 
Their revengeful Di/j:fn'on.—rAIiffiffdguis good 
Hunters. — Hw they kill Salmon. — Variety of 
Fijh in the hakes and Rivers of Canada. — Sea 
Wolves. — Sea Cows. — Defcription of the Town 
of Niagara or Newark.-^— The prefent Seat cf 
Government, — Scheme of removing it elfewhere. 
— UuL.di inefs of the Town of Niagara and 
adjacent Country'. — Navy Hall. — Fort ofNia- 
ga? iifp -emiered purfuant to Treaty. — JOefcrip- 
3 tion 


tion of it. — Defcription of the other Forts fur- 
rendered to the People of the United States. — 
Shewn not to be f) advantageous to them as was 
expected. — Superior P of tion of the new Britijh 
Pojis pointed out - page 64 


Defcription of the River and palls of Niagara and 
the Country bordering upon the navigable Part 
of the River below the Palls - page 108 


Defcription of Fort Chippeway. — Plan in medita- 
tion to cut a Canal to avoid the Portage at the 
Falls of Niagara. — Departure from Chippe- 
way. — Intenfe Heat of the V/eather. — Defcrip- 
tion of the Country bordering on Niagara River 
above the Falls. — Obfervations on the Climate 
of Upper Canada. — Rattlefnakes common in Up- 
per Canada. — Fort Erie. — Miferable Accom- 
modation there. — Squirrel hunting. — Senega In- 
dians. — Their Expertnefs at the Ufe of the Blow* 
gun. — Defcription of the Blow-gun. — Excurjion 
to the Village of the Scnekas.-^-Wbok Nation 



abfent. — Paffage of a dangerous Sand Bar at the 
Mouth of Buffalo Creek. — Sail from Fort Erie. 
■ — Driven back by a Storm. — Anchor under 
"Point Abineau, — Defer iption of the Point. — 
Curious Sand Hills there. — Bear hunting. — 
Hoiv carried on. — Dogs, 'what Sort of, ifed.-— 
Wind changes.— 1l he Veffel fuffers from the 
Stonn Tjhilji at Anchor, — Departure from Point 
Abineau. — General Defer iption of Lake Erie. — 
Anecdote. — Reach the I/lands at the Wejlern 
End of the Lake. — Anchor there. — Defcription 
of the I/lands. — Serpents of various Kinds found 
there. — Rattlefnakes. — Medicinal Ufcs made of 
them. — Fabulous Accounts of Serpents. — De- 
parture from the If and s. — Arrival at Maiden. 
—Detroit River - - page 135 


Defcrip:. . he Diftriel of Maiden. — Efablijh- 

tnent of a new Britijh Pojl there. — IJland of Bois 
Blanc. — Difference between the B?~itijh and 
Americans ref peeling the RJght of Pojfeffwn. — 
Block Houfes, kow confrucled. — Captain E — 's 
Farm. — Indians. — Defer iption of Detroit Ri- 


*ver, and the Country bordering upon it. — Town 
of Detroit. — Head Quarters of the American 
Array. -^Officers of the Wejiern Army. — Un- 
fuccefsful Attempt of the Americans to imprefs 
upon tloe Minds of the Indians an Idea of their 
Corfequence.—Of the Country round Detroit. — 
Doubts concerning our Route back to Philadel- 
phia. — Determine to go by Prefqu Ijle* — De- 
parture from Detroit - - page jjo 


Prefents delivered to the Indians on the Part of 
the Britifo Government. — Mode of diflributing 
them.- — Reafons why given.— What is the Sijt 
Method of conciliating the good Will of the In- 
dians. — Little Pains taken by the Americans to 
keep up a good Underfianding with the Indians, 
— Confluences thereof. — War between the Ame- 
ricans and Indians. — A brief Account of it. — 
Peace concluded by General Wayne. — Not likely 
to remain permanent. — Why. — Indian Manner 
of 'making Peace defer ibea 1 - - page 192 




A brief Account of the Per/ens, Manners, Cha- 
racter, Qualifications, n$ntal and corporeal, of 
the Luiians > ini erfp erf d with Anecdotes page 2 24 


Departure from Maiden. — Storm on Lake Erie. — 
Driven back among/l the I/lands. — Shipwreck 
narrowly avoided. — Voyage acrofs the Lake. — 
Land at Fort Erie. — Proceed to Buffalo Creek. 
— Engage Indians to go through the Woods. — 
Set out on Foot. — Journey through the Woods. 
— Defcription of the Country beyojid Buffalo 
Creek. — Vajl Plains. — Grand Appearance of 
the Threes here. — Indian Dogs. — Arrival at the 
Settlements on Genefee River. — Firjl Settlers. — 
Their general Character. — Defcription of the. 
Country bordering on Genefee River. — Fevers 
common in Autumn. — Proceed on Foot to Bath 
----- page 296 




Account of Bath. — Of the Neighbourhood. — Sin- 
gular Method taken to improve it. — Specula- 
tors. — Defcription of one, in a Letter from an 
American Farmer. — Conhorton Creek. — View 
of the Navigation from Bath downwards. — 
Leave Bath for Newtown. — Embark in Ca* 
noes. — Stranded in the Night. — Seek for Shelter 
in a neighbouring Houf. — Difficulty of procur- 
ing Provifions. — Rejumeour Voyage. — Lochartf- 
burgh. — Defcription of the eajlern Branch of the 
Sufquehannch River. — French Town. — French 
and Americans ill Jutted to each other.' — Wilkef- 
barre. — */i r >untains in the Neighbourhood.— 
Country thinly fettled towards Philadelphia.— 
Dejcripfion of the Wind-Gap in the Blue Moun- 
tains. — Summary Account of the Moravian Set- 
tlement at Bethlehem.— Return to Philadelphia 
page 332 


Leave Philadelphia. — Arrive at New Tork.~- 
Vifit Long Ijland.— Dreadful Havoc by the Tel- 



low Fever. — Dutch Inhabitants fufpicious -of 
Strangers.' — Excellent Fanners, — Number of 
Inhabitants. — Culture of Corn. — Immenfe Quan- 
tities of Groufe and Deer. — Laws to protect 
them. — Increafe of the fame. — Decreafe of Bea- 
vers. — New York agreeable to Strangers. — 
Conclufion - - - - - 367 


T R A V E L S, &c. 


Leave Quebec. — Convenience of Travelling be- 
tween that City and Montreal. — Pojl Houfes. 
—Calajhes. — Drivers. — Canadian Horfes 
very Jerviceable. — Salutations on arriving at 
different Pojl Houfes. — Beautiful Pro] peels 
from the Road on the Top of the Banks of the 
St, Lawrence. — Female Pcafants. — Style of 
Farming in Canada.-— Confder ably improved 
of late. — Inactivity of Canadians in not clear- 
ing more Land. — Their Characler contracted 
with that of the People of the States. — Ar- 
rival at Trois Rivieres. — Defer iption of that 
Town and its Vicinity, — Vifit to the Convent 
of St. Urfule. — Ma?iufa5lures of Birch-Bark, 
• — Birch Canoes, how formed. — Leave Trois 
Rivieres, and reach Montreal, 

Montreal, Auguft. 

TTAVING remained in Quebec and the 
neighbourhood as long as we could, con- 
fidently with the plan which we had formed 
Vol. II. B of 


of vifiting the Falls of Niagara, and returning 
again into the States before the commence- 
ment of winter, we fet out for Montreal by 

In no part of North America can a traveller 
proceed fo commodioufly as along this road 
between Quebec and Montreal ; a regular line 
of poft houfes, at convenient difcances from 
each other, being eftablifhed upon it, where 
calaihes or carioles, according to the feafon, 
are always kept in readinefs. Each poft- 
mailer is obliged to have four calafhes, and the 
fame number of carioles ; and befides thefe, 
as many more are generally kept at each llage 
by perfons called aids-de-pofte, for which the 
poit-mafter calls when his own happen to be 
engaged. The poftmaftcr has the exclufive 
privilege of furnifhing thefe carriages at every 
ftage, and, under a penalty, he mufl have 
them ready in a quarter of an hour after they 
are demanded by a traveller, if it be day-light, 
and in half an hour ihoulu it be in the night. 
The drivers are bound to take you on at the 
rate of two leagues an hour. The charge for 
a calafli with a fingie horfe is one milling 
Halifax * currency per league ; no gratuity is 
expected by the driver. 


* According to Halifax currency, which is the efiabliflied, 
punency of Lower Canada, the dollar pafles for five {hillings. 


The poft calaihes are very clumfily built, 
but upon the whole we found them eafy and 
agreeable carriages ; they are certainly far fu- 
perior to the American ilage waggons, in 
which, if perfons wim to travel with comfort, 
they ought always to fet out provided with 
cufhions for their hips and elbows, otherwife 
they cannot expect but to receive numberlefs 
contuiions before they get to the end of their 

The horfes in Canada are moftly fmall and 
heavy, but extremely ferviceable, as is evident 
from thofe employed for the port carriages 
being in general fat and very briik on the road, 
notwithstanding the poor fare and ill ufage 
they receive. They are feldom rubbed down; 
but as foon as they have performed their 
journey are turned into a field, and there left 
until the next traveller arrives, or till they are 
wanted to perform the work ,of the farm.. 
This is contrary to the regulations of the poft, 
according to which the horfes mould be kept 
in the ftable, in perfect readinefs for travellers; 
however, I do not recollect that we were at 

The filvercoir.s current in Canada are dollars, halves, quar- 
ters, eighths, and flxteenths of dollars, piftareens, Spanilh coins 
fomevvhat lefs valuable than quarter dollars, and French and 
Englifh crowns and half crowns. Gold coins pafs only as 
bullion by weight. Britifh and Portugal gold coins are deemed 
the bcft ; next to them thofe of Spain, then thofe of France.. 

B 2 any 


any place detained much beyond the quarter 
of an hour prefcribed, notwithstanding that 
the people had frequently to fend for their 
horfe*, more than a mile, to the fields where 
they were employed. When the horfes hap- 
pened to be at a diftance, they were always 
brought home m a full gallop, in order to 
avoid complaints ; they were yoked in an in- 
itant, and the driver fet off at the rate of nine 
or ten miles an hour; a little money, indeed, 
generally induces them to exceed the eftablifh- 
ed rate ; this, however, does not always an- 
fwer, but play upon their vanity and ycu may 
make them go on at what rate you pleafe, for 
they are the vaineft people, perhaps, in the 
world. Commend their great dexterity in 
driving, and the excellence of the Canadian 
horfes, and it feldom fails to quicken your 
pace at leaft two or three miles an hour ; but 
if you wifh to go in a gallop, you need only 
obferve to your companion, fo as to be over- 
heard by the driver, that the Canadian calafhes 
are the vileft carriages on earth, and fo heavy 
that you believe the people are afraid the 
horfes would fall down and break their necks 
if they attempted to make them go as fail as 
in other countries; above all, praife the car- 
riages and drivers of the United States. A few 
remarks of this fort at once difcompofe the 



tempers of the drivers, and their paffion is 
conftantly vented in lafhes on their horfes. 

To haflen the fpeed of their horfes they 
have three exDreffions, rifins: above each other 
in a regular climax. The firft, " Marche," 
is pronounced in the ufual tone of voice $ 
" Marche-donc," the fecond, is pronounced 
more haftilv and louder ; if the horfe is dull 
enough not to comprehend this, then the 
" Marc he -done," accompanied with one of 
Sterne's magical words, comes out, in the 
third place, in a mriil piercing key, and a 
fmart lafh of the whip follows. From the 
frequent ufe made by the drivers of thefe 
words, the calames have received the nick- 
name of " marche-doncs." 

The firft port houfe is nine miles from 
Quebec, which our drivers, of their own ac- 
cord, managed to reach in one hour. No 
fooner were we in fight of it, than the poft- 
mafter, his wife in her clofe French cap, and 
all the family, came running out to receive 
us. The foremoft driver, a thin fellow of 
about fix feet high, with a queue bound with 
eel fkins that reached the whole way down 
his back, immediately cracked his whip, and 
having brought his calafh to the door, with 
a great air he leapt out, bowed refpecifully at 
a diftance to the hoftefs, then advancing with 
his hat off, paid her a few compliments, and 

B 3 kiffed 


killed both her cheeks in turn, which fhe pre- 
ferred to him with no fmall condefcenfion. 
Some minutes are generally fpent thus at 
ever)'' poll houfe in mutual congratulations on 
meeting, before the people ever think of get- 
ting a frefh carriage ready. 

The road between Quebec and Montreal 
runs, for the moft part, clofe upon the banks 
of the River St. Lawrence, through thcfe 
beautiful little towns and villages feen to (o 
much advantage from the water ; and as the 
traveller paiTes along, he is entertained with 
profpe&s, if poffible, fuperior to thofe which 
ftrike the attention in failing down the river. 

For the firft thirty or forty miles in the way 
from Quebec, the views are in particular ex- 
tremely grand. The immenfe River St. Law- 
rence, more like a lake confined between 
ranges of mountains than a river, appears at 
one fide rolling under your feet, and as you 
look down upon it from the top of the lofty 
banks, the large!! merchant veffels fcarcely 
feem bigger than fifhing boats ; on the other 
fide, fteep mountains, fkirted with forefts, 
prefent themfelves to the view at a diltance, 
whilft, in the intermediate fpace, is feen a rich 
country, beautifully diverfified with whitened 
cottages and glittering fpires, with groves of 
trees and cultivated fields, watered by innu- 
merable little itreams : groups of the peafan- 



try, bulled as we pa/Ted along in getting in 
the harveft, which was not quite over, dif- 
fufed an air of cheerfu]nefs and gaiety over the 
fcene, and heightened all its charms. 

The female French peafants are in general* 
whilft young, very pretty, and the neat fimpli- 
city of their drefs in fummer, which ccnfifts 
moftly of a blue or fcarlet bodice without 
fleeves, a petticoat of a different colour, and 
a ftraw hat, makes them appear extremely in- 
terefting ; like the Indians, however, they lofe 
their beauty very prematurely, and it is to be 
attributed much to the fame caufe, namely, 
their laborious life, and being fo much ex- 
pofed to the air. the indolent men fuffering 
them to take a very active part in the ma- 
nagement of the farms. 

The fryle of farming amongft the generality 
of the French Canadians has hitherto been 
very flovenlyj manure has been but rarely 
ufed; the earth juft lightly turned up with a 
plough, and without any other preparation the 
grain lbwn ; more than one half of the fields 
alfo have been left without any fences what- 
foever, expofed to the ravages of cattle. The 
people are beginning now, however, to be 
more induftrious, and better farmers, owing 
to the increafed demand for grain for expor- 
tation, and to the advice and encouragement 
given to them by the Englifh merchants 
B 4 at 


at Quebec and Montreal, who fend agents 
through the country to the farmers to buy up 
all the corn they can fpare. The farmers are 
bound to have their corn ready by a certain 
day on the banks of the St. Lawrence, and 
bateaux are then fent by the merchants to re- 
ceive and convey it to the port where it is to 
be mipped, 

All the fettle me nts in Lower Canada lie 
contiguous to the River St. Lawrence : m no 
place perhaps do they extend farther back 
than twelve miles from it, except along the 
banks of the River St. Jean, the River des 
Prairies, and fome other navigable rtreama 
falling into the St. Lawrence. This is owing 
to the difpofition of the French Canadians,, 
who, like the Germans,are fond of living near 
each other ; nay more, as long as the farm of 
the father will admit of a divifion, a fhare of 
it is given to the fons when they are grown 
up, and it is only when the farm is exceed- 
ingly fmall, or the family numerous, that they 
ever think of taking up a piece of frem land 
from the feignior. In this refpect a wonder- 
ful difference appears between their conduct 
and that of the young people of the United 
States, particularly of thofe of New England, 
who, as foon as they are grown up, immedi- 
ately emigrate, and bury themfelves in the 
woods, where, perhaps, they are five or fix 
2 hundred 


hundred mies diftant from every relation upon 
earth : yet a fpirit of enterprize is not want- 
ing amongfl the Canadians ; they eagerly come 
forward, when called upon, to traverfe the 
immenle lakes in the weftern regions ; they 
laugh at the dreadful dorms on thofe prodigi- 
ous bodies of water -, they work with indefa- 
tigable perfeverance at the oar and the pole in 
ftemming the rapid currents of the rivers ; 
nor do they complain, when, on thefe expedi- 
tions, they happen to be expofed to the incle- 
mency of the feafons, or to the fevereft pangs 
of hunger. The fpirit of the Canadian is 
excited by vanity; he delights in talking to 
his friends and relatives of the excurfions he 
has made to thofe diftant regions -, and he 
glories in the perils which he has encountered: 
his vanity would not be gratified by chopping 
down trees and tilling the earth ; he deems 
this therefore merely a fecondary purfuit, and 
he fets about it with reluctance: felf in te reft, 
on the contrary, it is that roufes the citizen of 
the ftates into action, and accordingly he 
haftily emigrates to a diftant part of the coun- 
try, where he thinks land is in the moft riling 
ftate, and where he hopes to be able the 
fooneft to gratify-a paffion to which he would 
readily make a facrifice of every focial tie, and 
of ail that another man would hold dear. 



On the fecond day of our journey front 
Quebec to Montreal we reached Trois Ri- 
vieres, lying nearly midway between the two 
places. This town is fituated on the banks 
of the St. Lawrence, clofe to the mouth of 
the River St. Maurice, the largeft of upwards 
of thirty that fall into the St. Lawrence, on 
the north-weft fide alone, between Quebec 
and Montreal. This river, before it unites 
with the St. Lawrence, is divided into three 
ft reams by two large iflands, fo that to a per-' 
fon failing paft its mouth it appears as if three 
diftincl rivers difembogued at the one fpotj 
from hence it is that the town of Trois Ri- 
vieres receives its name. 

The St. Maurice is not navigable for large 
veffeis, neither is it foriloops more than a few 
miles above its mouth. In bateaus and canoes, 
however, it may be afeended nearly to its 
fcurce* from whence, if credit is to be given 
to the accounts of the Indians, the diftance is 
not very great to the head of navigable rivers 
that fall into Hudfon's Bay ; at a future day, 
therefore, if ever the dreary and inhofpitable 
wafte through which it paftes fhall put on a 
different afpeet from what it now wears, and 
become the abode of human beings inftead of 
wild beads, the St. Maurice may be efteemed 
a river of the flrft importance in a commercial 
point of view -, at prefent there are a few 



fcattered fettlements on each Tide of it, from 
its mouth as far as the iron works, which are 
about nine miles diftant from Trois Rivieres; 
beyond that the country is but little known 
except to Indians. 

Trois Rivieres contains about two hundred 
and fifty or three hundred houfes, and ranks 
as the third town, in point of fize, in the pro- 
vinces. It is one of the oldefr. fettlements in 
the country, and its founder, it is faid, calcu- 
lated upon its becoming in a fhort time a city 
of great extent. It has hitherto, however, in- 
creafed but very {lowly in fize, and there is no 
reafon to imagine that it will increafe more 
rapidly in future, at lean: until the country bor- 
dering upon the St. Maurice becomes fettled, 
a period that may be very diftant. The bank. 
of iron ore in the neighbourhood, by the ma- 
nufacture of which it was expected that the 
town would fuddenly become opulent, is now 
nearly exhaufted -, nor do we find that this 
bank has ever furnilhed more ore than was 
fufficient to keep one fmall forge and one 
fmall foundry employed at intervals. The 
fur trade alio, from which fo much benefit 
was expected, is now almoft wholly centered 
at Quebec and Montreal - 3 it is merely the 
fmall quantity of furs brought down the St. 
Maurice, and fome of the northern rivers that 
fall into the St. Lawrence, nearer to the town 



of Trois Rivieres than to Quebec or Montreal, 
that is (hipped there. Thefe furs are laden on 
board the Montreal {hips, which flop oppolite 
to the town as they go down the river. 

The country in the vicinity of Trois Ri- 
vieres has been reprefented by fome French 
travellers as wonderfully fertile, and as one of 
the mofc agreeable parts of Canada ; but it is 
totally the reverfe. It is a level barren tract, 
and i& fandy, that in walking along many of 
the ftreets of the town, and the roads in the 
neighbourhood, you fink into the fand at 
every ftep above the ankles. The fand is of a 
whitiih colour, and very loofe. The air alio 
fwarms with mufquitoes, a certain proof of the 
low damp fituation of the place. In none of 
the other inhabited parts of Canada, except in 
the neighbourhood of Lake St. Charles, were 
we ever annoyed with thefe troublefome in- 
fects. In Quebec, indeed, and Montreal, they 
are fcarcely ever fecn. 

The flreets in Trois Rivieres are narrow, 
and the houfes in general fmall and indifferent; 
many of them are built of wood. There arc 
two churches in the town, the one an Eng- 
lish episcopalian, the other a large Roman 
catholic pari (li church, formerly ferved by the 
Recollets, or Francifcan friars, but the order 
is now extinct in Trois Rivieres. The old 
monaftery of the order, a large flone building, 



•it prefent lies quite deierted ; and many of 
the houles in the neighbourhood being alio 
uninhabited, that part of the town wherein it 
is iituated has a very dull gloomy afpect. The 
college or monaftery of the Jefuits, alio a large 
old building of (tone in the fame neighbour- 
hood, has been converted into a gaol. 

The only religious order at prefent exifung 
in the town is that of St. Urfule, the filter- 
hcod of which is as numerous as the convent 
will well permit. It was founded by M. de 
St. Vallier, bifhop of Quebec, in the year 
j 677. It is a fpacious building, iituated near 
that formerly belonging to the Recollets; and 
annexed to it, under the fame roof, there is 
an hofpital attended by the nuns. We were 
introduced to the chaplain of the order, a 
poor French emigrant cure, an interesting and 
apparently a molt, amiable man, and under his 
guidance we received permiffion to viiit the 

The firfr, part we entered was the chapel, 
the doors of which open to the itreet under 
a porch. It is very lofty, but the area of it 
is fmall. The altar, which is grand, and 
richly ornamented, itands nearly oppofite to 
the entrance, and on each fide of it is a lattice, 
the one communicating with an apartment 
allotted for fick nuns, the other with the occur 
of the chapel. On ringing a fmall bell, a 



curtain at the infide of this laft lattice was 
withdrawn, and an apartment difcovered, 
fomewhat larger than the chapel, furrounded 
with pews, and furniflied with an altar, at 
the foot of which fat two of the fiflerhood, 
with books in their hands, at their medita- 
tions. The fair Urfuline, who came to the 
lattice, feemed to be one of thofe unfortunate 
females that had at lail begun to feel all tho 
horrors of confinement, and to lament the 
rafhnefs of that vow which had fecluded her 
for ever from the world, and from the par- 
ticipation of thofe innocent pleafures, which, 
for the befl: and wifefl of purpofes, the bene- 
ikent Ruler of the univerfe meant that his 
creatures mould enjoy. As fhe withdrew the 
curtain, fhe cafl a momentary glance through 
the grating, that imparted more than could be 
cxpreffed by the moil eloquent words; then 
retiring in hlence, feated herfelf on a bench 
in a diifcnt part of the cceur. The melan- 
choly and forrow pourtrayed in the features of 
her lovely countenance interefled the heart in 
her behalf, and it v/as impoilible to behold her 
without partaking of that dejection which 
hung over her foul, and without deprecating 
at the fame time the cruelty of the cuflom 
which allows, and the miftaken zeal of a re- 
ligion that encourages, an artlefs and inexperi- 
enced young creature to renounce a work!, of 



Hvhich fhe was deflined, perhaps, to be a 
happy and ufeful member, for an unprofitable 
life of folitude, and unremitted penance for 
iins never committed ! 

The hofpital, which lies contiguous to the 
chapel, confifts of two large apartments, 
wherein are about twelve or fourteen beds, 
The apartments are airy, and the beds neat 
and well appointed. Each bed is dedicated 
to a particular faint, and over the foot of it is 
an invocation to the tutelary faint, in large 
characters, as, " St. Jaques priez pour moi." 
** St. Jean priez pour moi," &c. The patients 
are attended by a certain number of the filler- 
hood appointed for that purpofe. An old 
prieft, who appeared to be near his death, was 
the only perfon in the hofpital when we palled 
through it -, he was feated in an eafy chair by 
the bed-fide, and furrounded by a number of 
the fillers, who paid him the moft afilduous 

The drefs of the Urfulines confifts of a 
black fluff gown ^ a handkerchief of white 
linen tied by a running firing clofe round the 
throat, and hanging down over the bread and 
moulders, being rounded at the corners ; a 
head-piece of white linen, which covers half 
the forehead, the temples, and ears, and is 
fattened to the handkerchief; a black gauze 
yeil, which conceals half the face only when 



down, and flows loofely over the moulders 5 
and a large plain filver crofs fufpended from 
the breaft. The drefs is very unbecoming, 
the hair being totally concealed, and the fhape 
of the face completely difguifed by the clofe 
white head- piece. 

From the hofpital we were conducted 
through a long pailage to an agreeable light 
parlour, the windows of which opened into 
the gardens of the convent. This was the 
apartment of the " Superieure," who foon 
made her appearance, accompanied by a num- 
ber of the lay lifters. The converfation of 
the old lady and her protegees was lively and 
agreeable -, a thoufand queftions were alked 
us refpedting the former part of our tour, and 
our future deftination ; and they feemed by 
no means difpleafed at having a few ftrangers 
of a different fex from their own within the 
walls of the convent. Many apologies were 
made, becaufe they could not take us through 
the " interieure," as there w r as an ordinance 
againft admitting any vifiters into it without 
leave from the bimop ; they regretted exceeds 

;ly that we had not obtained this leave 
before we left Quebec. After fome time was 
fpent in converfation, a great variety of fancy 
works, the fabrication of the fifterhood, was 
brought down for our infpection, fome of 
which it is always expected that ftrangers 

w r ill 


will purchafe, for the order is but poor. We 
ielected a few of the articles which appeared 
moft curious, and having received them packed 
up in the neateft manner in little boxes kept 
for the purpofe, and promifed topreferve them 
in memory of the fair Urfulines, that handed 
them to us, we bade adieu to the fuperieure, 
and returned to our lodgings. 

It is for their very curious bark work that 
the filters of this convent are particularly dif- 
tinguimed. The bark of the birch tree is 
what they ufe, and with it they make pocket- 
books, work-bafkets, dremng-boxes, &c. &c. 
which they embroider with elk hair died of 
the moll brilliant colours. They alfo make 
models of the Indian canoes, and various war- 
like implements ufed by the Indians. 

Nearly all the birch bark canoes in ufe pa 
the St. Lawrence and Utawa Rivers, and on 
the nearer lakes, are manufactured at Three 
Rivers, and in the neighbourhood, by Indians. 
The birch tree is found in great plenty near 
the town ; but it is from the more northern 
part of the country, where the tree attains a 
very large fize, that the principal part of the 
bark is procured that canoes are made with. 
The bark refembles in fome degree that of 
the cork tree, but it is of a clofer grain, and 
alfo much more pliable, for it admits of being 
rolled up the fame as a piece of cloth. The 

Vol. II. C Indians 


Indians of this part of the country always carry 
large rolls of it in their canoes when they go 
on a hunting party, for the purpofe of making 
temporary huts. The bark is fpread on fmall 
poles over their heads, and fattened with 
ftrips of elm bark, which is remarkably tough, 
to flakes, fo as to form walls on the fides. 

The cances are made with birch bark, as 
follows: The libs, confilling of thick tough 
rods, are firft bound together -, then the birch 
bark is fowed on in as large pieces as poffible, 
and a thick coat of pitch is laid over the feams 
between the different pieces. To prevent the 
bark being injured by the cargo, and to make 
the canoe ftronger, its infide is lined with two 
layers of thin pieces of pine, laid in a contrary 
direction to each other. A canoe made in this 
manner is fo light that two men could eafily 
carry one on their fhoulders capable of con- 
taining fix people. 

The birch canoes made at Three Rivers 
are put together with the utmoil neatnefs, 
and on the water they appear very beautiful. 
They are made from a fize fufficient to hold 
one man only, to a fize large enough for up- 
wards of twentv. It is wonderful to fee with 
what velocity a few fkilful men with paddles 
can take one of thefe canoes of a fize fuitable 
to their number. In a few minutes they would 
leave the belt moulded keel boat, conducted 
8 by 


by a iimikr number of men with oars, far be- 
hind. None bat experienced perfons ought 
ever to attempt to navigate birch canoes, 
for they are fo light that they are apt to be 
overfet by the leaft improper movement of the 
perfons in them. 

The day after that on which we quitted 
Trois Rivieres, we* reached Montreal once 
more. The villages between the two places 
are very numerous, and the face of the coun- 
try around them is pleafing, fo that the eye of 
the traveller is constantly entertained as he 
paries on ; but there is nothing in this part of 
the country particularly defer ving of mention. 


The Party make the nfual Preparations for af 
cending the St, Lawrence. — Buffalo Skins.—* 
How ufed by 'Travellers. — Difficulty of pro- 
ceeding to Lake Ontario other wife than by 
Water. — Rapids above Montreal. — Village of 
La Qhine. — King's Stores there. — Indian 
Village on the oppofitefide of the River. — Si* 
mihtude between French Canadians and Indians 
in Perfon and Difpoftion of Mind. — Owing 
to this the Power of the French over the In- 
C 2 dians. 


dlans. — Summary View of the Indians in 
Lower Canada. — The Party embark in a Ba- 
teau at La Chine. .—=-Mode of conducing Ba- 
teaux againji ajlrong Current,— Great Ex- 
ertion requi/ite — Canadians addicted to fmoking. 
— How they meafure Di/lances. — Defcrip- 
tion of Lake St. Louis, — Clouds of Infecls 
over Reed Banks. — Party encamps on I'ljle 
Perot. — Pqflligc of Rapids called Les Caf cades 
' — Their tremendous appearance. — Defcrip- 
tion of the Village of the Hill of Cedars. — - 
Rapids du' Coteau du Lac — Wonderful Ra- 
pidity of the Current. — Party encamps. — 
Lake St. Francis. — Point auBaudet .—& Ijle 
aux Raifins. — IJlands in the River fill the 
Property of the Indians. — Not determined yet 
whether in the Britijh Territory or that of the 
Slates. — Party encamps. — Storm. — Unplea- 
fant Situation of the Party. — Relieved. — 
Continue the Voyage. — Account of ?nore Ra- 
pids. — Canals and Locks at dijferent Places on 
the River St. Lawrence. — Immenfe Flights of 
Pigeons. — Emigration of Squirrels and Bears. 
~—Ofwegatchee River and Fort la G alette 
defer ibed. — Advantageous Pojiiion of the lat- 
ter. — Current above this gentle. — Bateaux 
fail on all Night. — Songs of the Canadians. 
— Good Ear for Mufz. — Lake of a Thou- 
fand I/les. — Arrival at Kingston on Lake 
Ontario. — Obfervatio?is on the Navigation of 



the St. Lawrence. — 'The St. Lawrence com- 
pared with the MiJJifJipi. — A View of the 
different Rivers which open a IVater Commu- 
nication between the Great Lakes and the 
Atlantic. — Great Superiority of the St. Law- 
rence over all the reji. — Of the Lake 'Trade. 

Kingfton, September. 

/^N arriving at Montreal, our fir0 concern 
was to provide a large travelling tent, and 
fome camp equipage, buffalo fkins *, a frore 
of dried provilions, kegs of brandy and wine, 
&c. &c. and, in fhort, to make every ufual and 
necerTary preparation for proceeding up the 
River St. Lawrence. A few days afterwards, 
we took our paffage for Kingfton, on board a 
bateau, which, together with twelve others, 
the commifiary was fending thither for the 
purpofe of bringing down to Quebec the can- 

* In the weftern parts of Lower Canada, and throughout 
Upper Canada, where it is cuilomary for travellers to carry 
their own bedding with them, thefe (kins are very generally 
made ufe of for the purpofe of fleeping upon. For upwards of 
two months we fcarcely ever had any other bed than one of the 
fkins fpread on the floor and a blanket to each perfon. The 
/kins are dreffed by the Indians with the hair on, and they are 
rendered by a certain procefs as pliable as cloth. When the 
buffalo is killed in the beginning of the winter, at which time 
be is fenced againil the cold, the hair refembles very much that 
of a black bear ; it is then long, flraight, and of a blackifh co- 
lour; but when the animal is killed in the fummer, the hair is 
fhort and curly, and of a light brown colour, owing to its being, 
fcorched by the rays of the fun. 

C 3 non 


non and ordnance ftores that had been taken 
from the different military pofts on the lakes, 
preparatory to their being delivered up to the 
United States. 

On the north-weft fide of the St. Law- 
rence, except for about fifty miles or there- 
abouts, are reads, and alfo fcattered fettle- 
ments, at no great diftance from each other, 
the whole way between Montreal and King- 
ilon, which is fituated at the eaitern extremity 
of Lake Ontario -, but no one ever thinks of 
going thither by land, on account of the num- 
berlefs inconveniencies fuch a journey would 
be attended with ; indeed, the difficulty of get- 
ting horfes acrofs the many deep and rapid 
rivers falling into the St. Lawrence, would in 
itfelf be fufficient to deter travellers from pro- 
ceeding by land to Kingflon, fuppoilng even 
that there were none other to encounter. A 
water conveyance is by far the moft eligible, 
and except only between Quebec and Mon- 
treal, it is the conveyance univerfally made life 
of in every part of the country, that is, when 
people wiih merely to follow the courfe of the 
rivers, in the neighbourhood of which alone 
there are any fettiements. 

The rapids in the St. Lawrence are fo very 
ftrong juft above Montreal, that the bateaux 
are never laden at the town, but fuffercd to 
proceed empty as far as the village of La 


L A C H I N E. 23 

Chine, which ftands on the iHand of Mon- 
treal, about nine miles higher up. The goods 
are fent, from Montreal, thither in carts. 

La Chine is built on a fine gravelly beach, 
at the head of a little bay at the lower end of 
Lake St. Louis, which is a broad part of the 
river St. Lawrence. A fmart current fets 
down the lake, and owing to it there is ge- 
nerally a confiderable curl on the furface of 
the water, even clofe to the more, which, with 
the appearance of the boats and canoes upon 
it in motion, gives the place a very lively air. 
The fituation of the village is indeed ex- 
tremely agreeable, and from fome of the houfes 
there are moll: charming views of the lake, 
and of the country at the oppoilte fide of it. 
There are very extenfive ftorehoufes belonging 
to the King, and alfo to the merchants of 
Montreal. In the former the prefents for the 
Indians are depofited as foon as they arrive 
from England , and prior to their being fent 
up the country they are infpected by the com- 
manding officer of the garrifon of Montreal and 
a committee of merchants, who are bound to 
make a faithful report to government, whether 
the prefents are agreeable to the contract, and 
as good as could be obtained for the price that 
is paid for them. 

In fight of La Chine, on the oppofite fide 
of the St. Lawrence, flands the village of the 

C 4 Cache- 


Cachenonaga Indians, whom I have already 
had occaiion to mention. The village contains 
about fifty log houfes and a Roman catholic 
church, built in the Canadian ftyle, and orna- 
mented within with pictures, lamps, &c. in 
fuch a manner as to attract the eye as forcibly 
as pollible. The outward fhew, and numer- 
ous ceremonies of the R.oman catholic religion, 
are particularly fuited to the capacities of the 
Indians, and as bat very little reftraint is im- 
pofed upon them by the miflionaries, more of 
them become converts to that religion than to 
any other. The worfhip of the Holy Virgin 
meets in a very peculiar manner with the ap- 
probation of the iquaws, and they fmg her 
praifes with the moll: profound devotion. 

In this and all the other Indian villages fi- 
tuated in the improved pnrts of Lower Canada, 
a great mixture of the blood of whites with 
that of the aborigines is obfervable in the per- 
fons of the inhabitants j there are alio confl- 
derable numbers of the French Canadians 
living in thefe villages, who have married In- 
dian wives, and have been adopted into the 
different nations with whom they reilde. Many 
of the French Canadians bear fuch a clofe re- 
fembiance to the Indians, owing to their dark 
complexions, black eyes, and long black hair, 
that when attired in the fame habits it is only 
a perfon intimately acquainted with the features 



of the Indians that could diftinguifh the one 
race of men from the other. The difpoiitions 
of the two people alfo accord together in a very 
Striking manner; both are averfe to a fettled 
life, and to regular habits of induflry ; both arfc 
fond of roving about, and procuring fufte- 
nance by hunting rather than by cultivating 
the earth ; nature feems to have implanted in 
their hearts a reciprocal affection for each other; 
they alTociate together, and live on the mod 
amicable terms ; and to this one circumftance 
more than to anv other caufe is to be attri- 
buted that wonderful afcendancy which the 
French were ever known to have over the In- 
dians, whilft they had poiTeflion of Canada. It 
'is very remarkable indeed, that in the upper 
country, notwithstanding that prefents to fuch 
a very large amount are distributed amongft 
the Indians through the hands of the Englifh 
inhabitants, and that their natural rights are as 
much refpecled by them as they pofiibly can 
be, yet an Indian, even at this day, will always 
go to the houfe of a poor French farmer in 
preference to that of an Englishman. 

The numbers of the Cachenona^a nation, in 
the village near La Chine, are eftimated at one 
hundred and fifty perfons. The other Indian 
villages, in the civilized parts of Lower Ca- 
nada, are, one of the Canafadogas, fituated near 
the mouth of the Utawas River; one of the 



Little Algonquins, near Trois Rivieres; one of 
the Aberachies, near Trois Rivieres, at the op- 
pofite fide of the river ; and one of the Hu- 
rons, near Quebec ; but none of thefe villages 
are as large as that of the Cachenonagas. The 
numbers of the Indians in the lower province 
have diminished very fail of late years, as they 
have done in every other part of the continent, 
where thofc of the white inhabitants have in- 
creafed ; in the whole lower province, at pre- 
fent, it is thought that there are not more than 
twelve hundred of them. Many of thefe In- 
dians are continually loitering about the large 
towns, in expectation of getting fpirits or bread, 
which they are extremely fond of, from the 
inhabitants. No lefs than two hundred, that 
had come a great didance in canoes, from the 
lower parts of the river St. Lawrence, were 
encamped on Point Levi when we vifited 
Quebec. Thefe Indians, fqualid and filthy in 
the extreme, and going about the ftreets every 
day in large parties, begging, prefented a mod 
melancholy picture of human nature -, and in- 
deed, if a traveller never fawany of the North 
American Indians, but the moll decent of 
thofe who are in the habit of frequenting the 
large towns of Lower Canada, he would not be 
led to entertain an opinion greatly in their fa- 
vour. The farther you afcend up the coun- 
try, and confequently the nearer you fee the 



Indians to what they were in their original 
ftate, before their manners were corrupted by 
intercourfe with the whites, the more do you 
find in their character and conduct deferving 
of admiration. 

It was on the 28th day of Auguft that we 
reached La Chine; the next day the " brigade," 
as it was called, of bateaux was ready, and in 
the afternoon we fet out on our voyage. Three 
men are found fufficient to conduct an empty 
bateau of about two tons burthen up the St. 
Lawrence, but if the bateau be laden more 
are generally allowed. They afcend the ftream 
by means of poles, oars, and fails. Where the 
current is very ftrong, they make ufe of the 
former, keeping as clofe as poffible to the more, 
in order to avoid the current, and to have the 
advantage of fhallow water to pole in. The 
men fet their poles altogether at the fame 
moment, and all work at the feme fide of the 
bateau ; the fteerfman, however, ihifts his pole 
occafionally from fide to fide, in order to keep 
the vefTel in an even direction. The poles 
commonly ufed are about eight feet in length, 
extremely light, and headed with iron. On 
coming to a deep bay or inlet, the men aban- 
don the poles, take to their oars, and ftxike if 
poffible directly acrofs the mouth of the bay ; 
but in many places the current proves fo flrong 
that it is abfolutely im poffible to item it by 



means of oars, and they are obliged to pole 
entirely round the bays. Whenever the wind 
is favourable they fet their fail ; but it is only 
at the upper end of the river, beyond the ra- 
pids, or on the lakes or broad parts of it, where 
the current is not fwift, that the fail by itfelf 
is fuhicient to impel them forward. 

The exertion it requires to counteract the 
force of the fiream by means of poles and oars 
is fo great, that the men are obliged to flop 
very frequently to take breath. The places 
at which they flop are regularly afcertained; 
fome of them, where the current is very ra- 
pid, are not more than half a mile dillant one 
from the other ; others one or two, but none 
of them more than four miles apart. Each 
of thefe pkces the boatmen, who are almoft 
all French Canadians, denominate " une pipe," 
becaufe they are allowed to flop at it and fill 
their pipes. A French Canadian is fcarcely 
ever without a pipe in his mouth, whether 
working at the oar or plough ; whether on 
foot, or on horiebackj indeed, fo much ad-> 
dieted are the people to fmoking, that by the 
burning of the tobacco in their pipes they 
commonly afcertain the diflance from one place 
to another. Such a place, they fay, is three 
pipes off, that is, it is fo far off that you may 
fmoke three pipes full of tobacco whilft you 
go thither. A pipe, in the mod general ac- 


ccptation of the word, feemed to be about three 
quarters of an Englifh mile. 

Lake St. Louis, commencing, or rather ter- 
minating, at La Chine, for that village Hands 
at the lower end of it, is about twelve miles 
in length and four in breadth. At its upper- 
most, extremity it receives a large branch of the 
Utawas River, and alfo the fouth-welt branch 
of the River St. Lawrence, which by fome 
geographers is called the River Cadaraqui, 
and by others the River Iroquois ; but in the 
country, generally fpeaking, the whole of that 
river, running from Lake Ontario to the 
Gulph of St. Lawrence, goes limply under the 
name of the St. Lawrence. 

At the upper end of Lake St. Louis the 
water is very (hallow, owing to the banks of 
mud and fand warned up by the two rivers. 
Thefe very extenfive banks, arc entirely co- 
vered with reeds, fo that when a vefTel fails 
over them me appears at a little diftance to be 
abfolutely failing over dry land. As we pafled, 
along this part of the lake we were enveloped 
with clouds of little infecls, different from 
any I ever faw before or afterwards in the 
country ; but they are common, it is laid, on 
various parts of the River St. Lawrence. Their 
fize was fomewhat larger than that of the 
gnat ; their colour a pure white ; and fo deli- 
cately were they formed, that by the flighted 



touch they were deflxoyed and reduced to 
powder. They were particularly attracted by 
any white . object, and having once alighted 
were not to be driven away but by force. 
The leaves of a book, which I happened to 
have in my hand, were in a few feconds fo 
thickly covered by them that it was impof- 
fible to difcern a Jingle letter, and no fooner 
was one fwarm of them brufhed off than afrefh 
one immediately alighted. Thefe infects have 
very broad wings in proportion to their iize> 
and fly heavily, fo that it is only when the 
air is remarkably calm that they can venture 
to make their appearance. 

About funfet on this, the firit evening o£ 
our voyage, we reached the ifland of Perot, 
fituated at the mouth of the Utawas Rivetf. 
This ifland is about fourteen miles in circum- 
ference -, its foil is fertile, and it is well cul- 
tivated. There are two confiderable villages 
near its center, but towards Point St. Claire, 
at its lower extremity, the fettlements are but 
very few. We landed at the point, and pitched 
our tent in a meadow which flood bordering 
upo.i the water. Here the bateaux were drawn 
up, and having been properly fecured, the 
different crews, amounting in all to upwards 
of fifty men, divided themfelves into fmall 
parties, and kindled fires along the Ihore, in 
order to cook their provisions for the fuc- 



ceeding day, and to keep themfelves warm 
during the ni^ht. Thefe men, who are en- 
gaged in conducting bateaux in Canada, are, as 
I have before obferved, a very hardy race : 
when the weather is fair, they fleep on the 
grafs at night, without any other covering 
than a fhort blanket, fcarcely reaching down 
to their knees ; during wet weather a fail or 
a blanket to the weather fide, fpread on poles 
ftuck into the ground in an inclined direction, 
is all the melter they deem necefiary. On fet- 
ting out each man is furniflied with a certain 
allowance of falted pork, bifcuit, peafe, and 
brandy ; the peafe and bifcuit they boil with 
fome of the pork into porridge, and a large 
ve/Tel full of it, is generally kept at the head 
of the bateau, for the ufe of the crew when 
they ftop in the courfe of the day. This por- 
ridge, or elfe cold fat falted pork, with cu- 
cumbers, conftitutes the principal part of their 
food. The cucumber is a fruit that the lower 
claries of the French Canadians are extremely 
fond of; they ufe it however in a very in- 
different ftate, as they never pull it until it has 
attained a large fize, and is become yellow 
and feedy. Cucumbers thus mellow, chopped 
into fmall pieces without being peeled, and 
afterwards mixed with four cream, is one of 
their favourite dimes. 



At day break on the fecond morning of our 
voyage, we quitted the ifland of Perot, and 
crofTed the Utawas River, in order to gain the 
mouth of the fouth-weh; branch of the St. 
Lawrence. A tremendous fcene is here pre- 
fented to the view ; each river comes rufhing 
down into the lake, overimmenfe rocks, with 
an impetuofity which, feemingly, nothing can 
refift. The waves are as high as what are 
commonly met with in the Britifh Channel 
during a fmart breeze, and the breakers fo 
numerous and dangerous, that one would 
imagine a bateau could not poffibly live in the 
midft of them ; and indeed, unlefs it were na- 
vigated by men intimately acquainted with the 
place, and very expert at the fame time, there 
would be evident danger of its beinp- filled 
with water. Several times, as we parTed through 
the breakers, the water dallied over the fides 
of our bateau. Tremendous and (dangerous, 
however, as the rapids are at this fpot, they 
are much lefs fo than fome of thofe met with 
higher up the River St. Lawrence. 

The water of the Utawas River is remark- 
ably clear, and of a bright greenifh colour; 
that of the St. Lawrence, on the contrary, is 
muddy, owing to its palling over deep beds of 
marl for fome miles before it enters into Lake 
St. Louis. For a confiderable way down the 



lake the waters of the two rivers may be plainly 
diMinguihhed from each other. 

The Rapids immediately at the mouth of the 
fouth-weft branch of the St. Lawrence are 
called " Les Caicades," or, " Le Saut de 
u Trou." In laden bateaux it is no arduous 
talk to fhoot down them, but it is impoffibie 
to mount againfr. the ftream even in fuch as 
are empty. In order to avoid the laborious 
talk therefore of carrying them along the more 
pall the rapids., as ufed formerly to be done, a 
canal with a double lock has been made here 
at a great expence. This canal extends but a 
very little way, not more than fifty yards per- 
haps. Beyond this there is a fucceilion of 
ether rapids, the firft of which, called " Le 
Saut de EuirTon' on account of the clofenefs 
of the woods along the mores en each fide, 
is fo flrong, that in order to pafs it, it is ne- 
ceffary to lighten the bateaux very con imerabty. 
If the cargoes are large, they are wholly taken 
out at once, and fent forward in carts to the 
diftance of a mile and a half, pair, all the rapid s. 
The men are always obliged here to get cut 
of the bateaux, and haul them along with 
ropes, it being wholly impracticable to coun- 
teract the force of the current by means of 
poles alone. 

The paiTage of thefe rapids is fo very tedious, 
that we here quitted the bateaux, took our 

Vol. II. D guns 


guns in hand, and proceeded on foot to " Lc 
Coteau des Cedres," the Hill of Cedars, about 
nine miles higher up the river. In going thither 
you foon lofe fight of the few ftraggling houfes 
at the cafcades, and enter the recefies of a re- 
markably thick wood, whofe folemn gloom, 
together with the loud roaring of the waters 
at a diftance, and the wild appearance of every 
object around you, infpire the mind with a fort 
of pleafing horror. As you approach " Le 
Coteau des Cedres," the country arTumes a 
fofter alpect -, cultivated fields and neat cottages 
once more appear in view, and the river, in- 
stead of being agitated by tremendous rapids, 
is here feen gliding on with an even current 
between its lofty banks. 

The village of the Hill of Cedars contains 
about thirty houfes, amongft which we were 
agreeably furprifed to find a remarkably neat 
and excellent tavern, kept by an Engliih 
woman. We remained here until three in 
the afternoon, when we again fet off on foot, 
partly for the pieafure of beholding, from the 
top of the fleep banks, the many noble and 
beautiful profpects laid open before us, and 
partly for the pieafure of flopping occafionally 
to chat with the lively French girls, that, dur- 
ing this delicious feafon of the year, fat fpin- 
ning in groups at' the doors of the cottages. 
About five o'clock the bateaux overtook us; 
9 but 


but after proceeding in them for about two 
miles, we again landed to efcape the tedious 
procefs of alcending frefh rapids. Thefe are 
called the rapids " du Coteau du Lac St. 
Francois " they are feveral miles in length, 
and though not the mofl dangerous, are yet the 
molt, tremendous to appearance of any in the 
whole river, the white breakers being diftincHy 
vifible at the difhnce of four miles; fome tra^ 
vellers have gone fo far as to reprefent them as 
even more terrible to the beholder than the 
falls of Niagara, but this is a very exaggerated 
account. Boats are here carried down with 
the ftream at the rate of fourteen or fifteen 
miles an hour, according to the befr. infor- 
mation I could procure on the fubject, though 
the Canadian boatmen and others declare that 
they are carried down at the rate of twenty 
miles in the hour. At fome of the rapids, 
higher up the river, the current is confiderably 
fvvifter than at this place. 

In defcending thefe rapids they pafs through 
the breakers in the middle of the river, but in 
going up they keep clofe in to the more, on 
the north-weft fide, and being here flickered 
by a numerous clutter of iflands, which break 
the force of the current, and having the be- 
nefit of a fhort canal and locks, they get paft 
the rapids with lefs difficulty even than they 
pafs the cafcades. One of the iflands here, 

D 2 farther 


farther removed from the more than the reft, 
is called Prifoners Ifland, having been allotted 
for the reiideiice of fame of the American 
priioners during the laft. war. There were 
forne buildings on the ifland at that time, but 
it has been quite deferted fince, on account of 
the great difficulty of getting to it through 
the ftrong rapids. During the war, an orhcer, 
who had compelled fome of the Canadians, 
notwithstanding their remonstrances, to make 
an attempt to reach the ifland at an improper 
feafon, perimed, with a great number of men, 
in going thither. Of the whole party one 
alone efcaped with his life. The St. Lawrence 
is here about two miles wide. 

This evening, the fecond of our voyage* 
the bateaux were drawn up for the night at 
the bottom of " Le Coteau du Lac," the Hill 
of the Lake, and we pitched our tent on the 
margin of a wood, at a little di/tance from the 
river. The next morning we proceeded again 
on foot for about two miles, when we came 
to a tavern, where we waited the arrival of the 
bateaux. The people of thio houfe were 
Engliih. From hence upwards there are but 
' few French to be met with. 

We were detained here nearly half the day 
in endeavouring to procure a frefli man, one 
of the conductor's crew having been feized 
with an intermittent fever. At laft a man 



from a neighbouring fettlement made his 
appearance, and we proceeded on our voyage. 
We now entered Lake St. Francois, which 
is about twenty-five miles in length, and rive 
in breadth; but the wind being unfavourable, 
we were prevented from proceeding farther 
upon it than Point au Baudet, at which place 
the boundary line commences, that feparates 
the upper from the lower province. When 
the wind comes from the fouth-weft, the im- 
menfe bodv of water in the lake is impelled 
direclly towards this point, and a furge breaks 
in upon the beach, as tremendous as is feen on 
the fea-iliore. There was one iolitary houfe 
here, which proved to be a tavern, and afforded 
us a well-dreft fupper of venifbn, and decent 
accommodation for the night. 

The next day the wind was not more fa- 
vourable; but as it was considerably abated, 
we were enabled to profecute our voyage, 
coaftins: alon^ the ihores of the lake. This 

o o 

was a mod: laborious and tedious buiinefr, on 
account of the numerous bays and inlets, which 
the wind was not fufficiently abated to fuffer 
us to crofs at their mouths : notwithllandino: 
all the difficulties, however, we had to contend 
with, we advanced nearly twenty-five miles in. 
the courfe of the day. 

At the head of Lake St. Francois, we landed 
oia a fmall iiland, called " Ifle aux Pvaiiins," 

D 3 on 


on account of the number of wild vines grow- 
ing upon it. The bateaux men gathered great 
quantities of the grapes, wherewith the trees 
were loaded, and alfo an abundance of plumbs, 
which they devoured with great avidity. 
Neither of the fruits, however, were very 
tempting to perfons whofe palates had been 
accuflomed to the tafte of garden fruits. The 
grapes were four, and not larger than peas -, and 
as for the plumbs, though much larger in fize, 
yet their tafte did not differ materially from 
that of floes. 

Beyond L'lfle aux Raifins, in the narrow 
part of the river, there are feveral other 
iflands, the largefl of which called L'ifle St. 
Regis, is near ten miles in length. All thefe 
iflands ftill continue in the pofleffion of the 
Indians, and many cf them, being fituated as 
nearly as poilible in the middle of the river, 
which here divides the Britifh territory from 
that 01 the United States, it vet remains to be 
determined of what territory they form a part. 
It is fincerely to be defired that this matter 
may be adjufted amicably in due time. A 
ferious altercation has already taken place about 
an ifland firnilarly fituated in Detroit River, 
that will be more particularly mentioned here- 
after. The Indians not only retain pofleffion 
of thefe different iflands, but likewife of the 
whole of the fouth-eafl ihore, of the St. 



Lawrence, fituated within the bounds of the 
United States ; they iikewife have coniiderable 
jftrips of land on the oppofite more, within 
the Britim dominions, bordering upon the 
river; thefe they have referved to themfelves 
for hunting. The Iroquois Indians have a 
village upon the Ifle of St. Pvegis, and another 
alfo upon the main land, on the fouth-eafr. 
/hore ; as we parled it,feveral of the inhabitants 
put off in canoes, and exchanged unripe heads* 
of Indian corn with the men for bread ± they 
alfo brought with them fome very fine wild 
ducks and fifh, which they difpofed of to us 
on very moderate terms. 

On the fourth night of our voyage we en- 
camped, as ufual, on the main land oppofite 
the ifland of St. Regis; and the excellent 
viands we had procured from the Indians hav- 
ing been cooked, we fet down to iupper be- 
fore a large fire, materials for which are never 
wanting in this woody country. The night 
was uncommonly ferene, and we were in- 
duced to remain until a late hour in front of 
our tent, talking of the various occurrences in 
the courfe of the day; but we had fcarcely 
retired to reft, when the iky became overcafr, 

* The heads of Indian corn, before they become hard, are 
efteemed a great delicacy; the raoft approved method of 
dreffing, is to parboil, and afterwards roaft them. 

D 4 a dread- 


a dreadful ftorm arofe, and by day-break the 
next morning we found ourfelves, and every 
thing belonging to us, drenched with rain. 
Our fituation now was by no means agreeable ; 
torrents fail came pouring down ; neither our 
tent nor the woods afforded us any fhelter, and 
the wind being very flrong, and as adverfe as 
it could blow, there was no profpedt of our 
being enabled fpeedily to get into better quar- 
ters. In this ftate we had remained for a con- 
fiderable time, when one of the party, who had 
been rambling about in order to difcover what 
fort of a neighbourhood we were in, returned 
with the pleafing intelligence that there was a 
, houfe at no great diftance, and that the owner 
had politely invited us to it. It was the houfe 
of an old provincial officer, who had received 
a grant of land in this part of the country for 
his pari: fervices. We glad]y proceeded to it, 
and met with a mod cordial welcome from the 
captain and his fair daughters, who had pro- 
vided a plenteous breakfaft, and fpared no 
pains to make their habitation, during our flay, 
as pleafing to us as poffible. We felt great 
fatisfaction at the idea, that it would be in our 
power to fpend the remainder of the day with 
thefe worthy and hofpitable people ; but alas, 
we had all formed an erroneous opinion of the 
weather j the wind fuddenly veered about; the 
fun broke through the thick clouds ; the con- 


ductor rave the parting order; and in a few 
minutes we found ourfelves once more feated 
in our bateau. 

From hence upwards, for the diftance of 
forty miles, the current of the river is extremely 
ftrong, and number lefs rapids are to be en- 
countered, which, though not fo tremendous 
to appearance as thofe at the Cafcades, and " Le 
" Coteau du Lac," are yet both more danger- 
ous and more difficult to pafs. The great 
danger, however, confiits in going down them; 
it arifes from the fhallownefs of the water and 
the great number of fliarp rocks, in the midfr. 
of which the veifels are hurried along with 
fuch impetuoiity, that if they unfortunately get 
into a wrong channel, nothing can fave them 
from being dafhed to pieces ; but fo intimately 
are the people ufually employed on this river 
acquainted with the different channels, that an 
accident of the fort is fcarcely ever heard of. 
" Le Long Saut," the Long Fall or Rapid, 
fituated about thirty miles above Lake St. 
Francis, is the moil dangerous of any one in 
the river, and fo difficult a matter is it to pafs 
it, that it requires no lefs than fix men on more 
to haul a lingle bateau again ft the current. 
There is a third canal with locks at this place, 
in order to avoid a point, which it would be 
wholly impracticable to weather in the ordi- 
nary way. Thefe different canals and locks 



have been made at theexpence of government, 
and the profits arifing from the tolls paid by 
every bateau that paries through them are 
placed in the public treafury. At theie ra- 
pids, and at feveral of the others, there are very 
extennve flour and faw mills. 

On the hfth night we arrived at a fmall farm 
houfe, at the top of the " Long Saut," wet 
from head to foot, in coniequence of our hav- 
ing been obliged to walk pail the rapids 
through woods and bufhes ftill dripping after 
the heavy rain that had fallen in the morning. 
The woods in this neighbourhood are far more 
majeftic than on any other part of the St. 
Lawrence; the pines in particular are uncom- 
monly tall, and feem to wave their tops in the 
very clouds. In Canada, pines grow on the 
richeft foils ; but in the United States they 
grow moil ly on poor ground: a tracl of land 
covered folely with pines is there generally de- 
nominated " a pine barren," on account of its 
great poverty. 

During a considerable part of the next day, 
we alio proceeded on foot, in order to efcape 
the tedious paiTage up the " Rapide Plat," 
and fome of the other dangerous rapids in this 
part of the river. As we palled along, we had 
excellent diverfion in fhootins: pigeons, feveral 
large flights of which we met with in the 
woods. The wild pigeons of Canada are noc 



unlike the common Engliih wood pigeons, 
except that they are of a much fmaller iize : 
their fleih is very well flavoured. During 
particular years, thefe birds come down from 
the northern regions in flights that it is mar- 
vellous to tell of. A gentleman of the town 
of Niagara arTured me, that once as he was 
embarking there on board mip for Toranto, a 
flight of them was obferved coming from that 
quarter; that as he failed over Lake Ontario 
to Toronto, forty miles diflant from Niagara, 
pigeons were feen flying over head the whole 
way in a contrary direction to that in which 
the fhip proceeded ; and that on arriving at 
the place of his deftination, the birds were (till 
obferved coming down from the north in as 
large bodies as had been noticed at any one 
time during the whole voyage; fuppoilng^ 
therefore, that the pigeons moved no fafter than 
the veiTel, the flight, according to this gentle- 
man's account, mult at leal! have extended 
eighty miles. Many perfons may think this 
ftory furpafling belief; for my own part, how- 
ever, I -do not hefitate to give credit to it, 
knowing, as I do, the refpeclability of the 
gentleman who related it, and the accuracy of 
his obfervation. When thefe birds appear in 
fuch great numbers, they often light on the 
borders of rivers and lakes, and in the neigh- 
bourhood of farm houfes, at which time they 



are £o unwary that a man with a fhort ilick 
might eafily knock them down by hundreds. 
It is not oftener than once in feven or eight 
years, perhaps, that fuch large flocks ofthefe 
birds are feen in the country. The years in 
which they appear are denominated " pigeon 
" years. 

There are alfo " bear years" and " fquirrel 
* years." This was both a bear and a fquirrel 
year. The former, like the pigeons, came down 
from the northern regions, and were molt nu- 
merous in the neighbourhood of lakes Ontario 
and Erie, and along the upper parts of the 
River St. Lawrence. On arriving at the borders 
^ofthefe lakes, or of the river, if the oppofite 
more was in fight, they generally took to the 
water, and endeavoured to reach it by fwim- 
ming. Prodigious numbers of them were 
killed in croffing the St. Lawrence by the 
Indians, who had hunting encampments, at 
fhort diftances from each other, the whole 
way along the banks of the river, from the 
ifland of St. Regis to Lake Ontario. One 
bear, of a very large fize, boldly entered the 
river in the face of our bateaux, and was killed 
by fome of our men whilft fwimming from the 
main land to one of the iflands. In the woods 
it is very rare that bears will venture to attack 
a man; but feveral inftances that had recently 
occurred were mentioned to us, where they 



had attacked a Tingle man in a canoe whilfl 
lwimming, and fo very ftrong are they in the 
water, that the men thus fet upon, being un- 
armed, efcape narrowly with their lives. 

The fquirrels,thi3 year, contrary to the bears, 
migrated from the fouth, from the territory of 
the United States. Lilie the bears, they took 
to the water on arriving at it, but as if confcious- 
of their inability to crofs a very wide piece of 
water, they bent their courfe towards Nia- 
gara River, above the falls, and at its narrower!: 
and mofr. tranquil part crolied over into the 
Britiih territory. It was calculated, that up- 
wards of fifty thoufand of them croiTed the 
river in the courfe of two or three days, and 
iuch great depredations did they commit on 
arriving at the fettlements on the oppoiite fide, 
that in one part of the country the farmers 
deemed themfelves very fortunate where they 
got in as much as one third of their crops of 
corn. Thefe fquirrels were all of the black 
kind, faid to be peculiar to the continent of 
America; they are in fhape iirnilar to the com- 
mon grey fquirrel, and weigh from about one 
to two pounds and a half each. Some writers 
have alTerted, that thefe animals cannot fwim, 
but that when they come to a river, in migrat- 
ing, each one provides itfelf with a piece ot 
wood or bark, upon which, when a favourable 
wind offers, they embark, fpread their bufhy 



tails to catch the wind, and are thus wafted 
over to the oppofite iide. Whether thefe 
animals do or do not crofs in this manner fome- 
times, I cannot take upon me to fay ; but I 
can (afdy affirm, that they do not always 
crofs fo, as I have frequently fhot them in the 
water whilit fwimming : no animals fwim 
better, and when purfued, I have feen them 
eagerly take to the water. Whilft fwimming, 
their tail is ufeful to them by way of rudder, 
and they ufe it with great dexterity j owing to 
its being fo light and buihy, the greater part of 
it floats upon the water, and thus helps to fup- 
port the animal. The migration of any of 
thefe animals in fuch large numbers is faid to 
be an infallible fign of a fevere winter*. 

On the fixth evening of our voyage we 
flopped nearly oppofite to Point aux Iroquois, 
fo named from a French family having been 
'cruelly mafTacred there by the Iroquois Indians 
in the early ages of the colony. The ground 
being ftill extremely wet here, in confequence 
of the Heavy rain of the preceding day, we did 
not much relim the thoughts of paffing the 
night in our tent; yet there feemed to be no 
alternative, as the only houfe in light was 
crowded with people, and not capable of afTord- 

* In the prefent inftance it certainly was (o, for the enfuing 
winter proved to be the fevered that had been known in North 
America for feveral years. 


ing us any accommodations. Luckily, how- 
ever, as we were fearching about for the driefl 
fpot to pitch our tent upon, one of the party 
efpied a barn at a little diftance, belonging to 
the man of the adjoining houie, of whom we 
procured the key ; it was well 'ftored with 
ftraw, and having mounted to the top of the 
mow, we laid ourfelves down to reft, and flept 
foundry there till awakened in the morning by 
the crowing of fome cocks, that were perched 
on the beams above our head. 

At an early hour we purfued our voyage, 
and before noon palled the laft rapid, about 
three miles below the mouth of Ofvvegatchee 
River, the moft conliderable of thofe within 
the territory of the United States, which fall 
into the St. Lawrence. It confifts of three 
branches, that unite together about fifteen 
miles above its mouth, the mod weilern of 
which ifTues from a lake twenty miles in length 
and eight in breadth. Another of the branches 
ifTues from a fmall lake or pond, only about 
four miles diftant from the weflern branch 
of Hudfon's River, that flows paft N^w York. 
Both the Hudfon and Ofwegatchee are faid 
to be capable of being made navigable for 
light bateaux as far as this fpot, where they 
approach within fo fliort a diftance of each 
other, except only at a few places, fo that the 
portages will be but very trifling. This how- 


ever is a mere conjecture, for Ofwegatches 
River is but very imperfectly known, the 
country it paifes through being quite unin- 
habited ; but mould it be found, at a future 
period, that thefe rivers are indeed capable of 
being rendered navigable fo far up the country, 
it will probably be through this channel that 
the chief part of the trade that there may 
happen to be between New York and the 
country bordering upon Lake Ontario will 
be carried on. It is at pre fen t carried on 
between that city and the lake by means of 
Kudfon River, as far as Albany, and from 
thence by means of the Mohawks River, 
Wood Creek, Lake Oneida, Lnd Ofwego 
River, which falls into Lake Ontario. The 
harbour at the mouth of Ofwego River is 
very bad on account of the fand banks; none, 
but flat bottomed vefTcls can approach with 
fafety nearer to it than two miles; nor is there 
any good harbour on the fcuth fide of Lake 
Ontario in the neighbourhood of any large 
rivers. Sharp built veflels, however, of a 
confiderable fize, can approach with fafety to 
the mouth of Ofwegatchee River. The Se- 
neca, a Britim vefTel of war of twenty-fix 
guns, ufed formerly to ply constantly between 
Fort de la Galette, fituated at the mouth of 
that river, and the fort at Niagara; and the 
Britim fur mips on the lakes u(ed alio, at that 



time, to difcharge the cargoes there, brought 
down from the upper country. As therefore 
the harbour at the mouth of Ofwegatchee is 
fo much better than that at the mouth of 
Ofwego River, and as they are nearly an equal 
diftance from New York, there is reafon to 
fuppofe, that if the river navigation mould 
prove equally good, the trade between the 
lakes and New York will be for the mod 
part, if not wholly, carried on by means of 
Ofwegatchee rather than of Ofwego River. 
With a fair wind, the paflage from Ofwe- 
gatchee River to Niagara is accomplifhed in 
two days ; a voyage only one day longer than 
that from Ofwego to Niagara with a fair 

Fort de la Galette was erected by the 
French, and though not built till long after 
Fort Cataraguis or Frontignac, now Kingfton, 
yet they efleemed it by far the mod important 
military poft on the St. Lawrence, in the upper 
country, as it was impofiible for any boat or 
vefTel to pafs up or down that river without 
being obferved, whereas they might eafily 
efcape unfeen behind the many iilands op- 
pofite to Kingfton. Since the clofe of the 
American war, Fort de la Galette has been 
difmantled, as it was within the territory of the 
United States : nor would any advantage have 
arifen from its retention ; for it was never 

Vol. II. E of 


of any importance to us but as a trading 
poll:, and as fuch Kingflon, which is within 
our own territory, is far more eligibly fituated 
in every point of view ; it has a more fafe and 
commodious harbour, and the fur (hips coming 
down from Niagara, by flopping there, are 
fived a voyage offixty miles up and down the 
St. Lawrence, which was oftentimes found to 
be more tedious than the vovage from Niagara 
to Kingfton. 

In the neighbourhood of La Galette, on 
the Ofwegatchee River, there is a village of 
the Ofwegatchee Indians, whofe numbers are 
eftimated at one hundred warriors. 

The current of the St. Lawrence, from 
Ofwegatchee upwards, is much more gentle 
than in any other part between Montreal and 
Lake Ontario, except only where the river is 
ccnfiderably dilated, as at lakes St. Louis and 
St. Francois ; however, notwithstanding its 
being fo gentle, we did not advance more than 
twenty-live miles in the courfe of the day, 
owing to the numerous ftops that we made, 
more from motives of pleafure than neceffity. 
The evening was uncommonly fine, and to- 
wards fun-fet a brifk gale fpringing up, the 
conductor judged itadvifable to take advantage 
of it, and to continue the voyage all night, in 
order to make up for the time we had loft 
during the day. We accordingly proceeded, 

3 but 


but towards midnight the wind died away; 
this circumftance, however, did not alter the 
determination of the condu&or. The men 
were ordered to the oars, and notwithstanding 
that they had laboured hard during the pre- 
ceding day, and had had no reft, yet they 
were kept clofely at work until day-break, 
except for one hour, during which they were 
allowed to ftop to cook their provifions. 
Where there is a gentle current, as in this 
part of the river, the Canadians will work at 
the oar for manv hours without intermiffion' : 
they feemed to think it no hardfhip to be 
kept employed in this inftance the whole 
night -, on the contrary, they plied as vigo- 
roully as if they had but jufl fet out, linging 
merrily the whole time. The French Cana- 
dians have in general a good ear for mufic, and 
ling duets with tolerable accuracy. They 
have one very favourite duet amongft them, 
called the " rowing duet," which as they fing 
they mark time to with each flroke of the 
oar ; indeed, when rowing in fmooth water, 
they mark the time of moil of the airs they 
ling in the fame manner. 

About eight o'clock the next, and eighth 
morning of cur voyage, we entered the laft 
lake before you come to that of Ontario, called 
the Lake of a Thoufand Iflands, on account of 
the multiplicity of them which it contains. 

E 2 Manv 


Many cf thefe lilancis are icarceiy larger than 
a bateau, and none of them, except fuch as are 
fituated at the upper and lower extremities of 
the lake, appeared to me to contain more than 
fifteen Englifh acres each. They are all 
covered with wood, even to the very fmalleft. 
The trees on thefe laft are {runted in their 
growth, but the larger iflands produce as fine 
timber as is to be found on the main fhores of 
the lake. Many of thele iflands are fituated 
fo clofely together, that it would be eafy to 
throw a pebble from one to the other, not- 
withstanding which circumftance, the pafTage 
between them is perfectly fafe and commodious 
for bateaux, and between fome of them that 
are even thus clofe to each other, is water 
furHcient for a frigate. The water is uncom- 
monly clear, as it is in every part of the river, 
from Lake St. Francis upwards : between that 
lake and the Utawas River downwards it is 
difcoloured, as I have before obferved, by 
palling over beds of marl. The fhores of all 
thefe iflands under our notice are reeky; 
meft of them rife very boldly, and fome 
exhibit perpendicular mafies of rock towards 
the water upwards of twenty feet high. The 
fcenery prefented to view in failing between 
thefe iflands is beautiful in the higheff degree. 
Sometimes, after pafTing through a narrow 
ftrait, you find yourielf in a bafon, land locked 



on every fide, that appears to have no com- 
munication with the lake, except by the paflage 
through which you entered ; you are looking 
about, perhaps, for an outlet to enable you to 
proceed, thinking at la ft to fee fome little 
channel which will juft admit your bateau, 
when on a fudden an expanded fheet of water 
opens upon you, whofe boundary is the ho- 
rizon alone -, again in a few minutes you find 
yourfelf land locked, and again a fpacious 
parTage as fuddenly prefents itfelf ; at other 
times, when in the middle of one of thefe 
bafons, between a clufter of iflands, a dozen 
different channels, like fo many noble rivers, 
meet the eye, perhaps equally unexpectedly, 
and on each fide the iflands appear regularly 
retiring till they fink from the fight in the 
diftance. Every minute, during the paffags 
of this lake, the profpect varies. The nu- 
merous Indian hunting encampments on the 
different iflands, with the fmoke of their fires 
riling up between the trees/ added confiderably 
to the beauty of the fcenery as we paffed it. 
The Lake of a Tnoufand Iflands is twenty- 
five miles in length, and about fix in breadth. 
From its upper end to Kingfton, at which 
place we arrived early in the evening, the 
diftance is fifteen miles. 

The length of time required to afcend the 

River St. Lawrence, from Montreal to King- 

s E 3 fton, 


ffcon, is commonly found to be about feven 
days. If the wind iLould be ftrong and very 
favourable, the pftflkge may be performed in a 
lefs time; but mould it, on the contrary, be 
adverfe, and blo.v very flrong, the paffage will 
be protracted fomewhat longer ; an adverfe or 
favourable wind, however, feldom makes a 
difference of more than three days in the length 
of the paffage up ivanis, as in each cafe it is 
neceiTary to work the bateaux along by means 
of poles for the greater part of the way* The 
paffage downwards is performed in two or days, according to the wind. The 
current is £o ftrong, that a contrary wind 
feldom 1 igthe-ns the paffage in that direction 
more than a day. 

Tn~ Miiiifrippi is the only river in North 
America, which, for grandeur and commo- 
diouiheffr of navigation, comes in competition 
with the St. Lawrence, or with that river 
which runs from Lake Ontario to the ocean. 
If, however, we confider that immenfe body 
of water that flows from Lake Winnipeg 
through the Lake of the Woods, Lake Su- 
perior, &c. down to the fea, as one entire 
itream, and of courfe as a continuation of the 
St. Lawrence, it muft be allowed to be a very 
fuperior river to the Miffiffippi in every point 
of view; and we may certainly confider it as 
one ftream, with as much reafon as we look 



upon that as one river which flows from Lake 
Ontario to the fea ; for before it meets the 
ocean it paries through four large lakes, not 
indeed to be compared with thofe of Erie or 
Superior, in fize, but they are independent lakes 
notwithstanding, as much as any of the others. 
The Miilifiippi is principally to be admired for 
the evennefs of its current, and the prodi- 
gious length of way it is navigable, without 
any interruption, for bateaux of a very large 
burthen -, but in many refpecls it is a very in- 
ferior river to the St. Lawrence, properly fo 
called. The MiffirTippi at its mouth is not 
twenty miles broad, and the navigation is there 
fo obftrucled by banks or bars, that a vefTel 
drawing more than twelve feet water cannot af- 
cend it without very imminent danger. Thefe 
bars at its mouth or mouths, for it is divided 
by feveral iflands, are formed by large quan- 
tities of trees that come drifting down from the 
upper country, and when once (topped by any 
obftacle, are quickly cemented together by the 
mud, depolited between the branches by the 
waters of the river, which are uncommonly 
foul and muddy. Freih bars are formed, or 
the old bars are enlarged every year, and it is 
faid, that unlefs forne iieps are taken to prevent 
the lodgments of the trees annually brought 
down at the time of the inundation, the navi- 
gation may in a few years be ftiil more ob- 
E 4 ftructed 


fir u<fted than it is at prefent. It is notorious, 
that fince the river was firft difcovered, feveral 
iflands and points have been formed near its 
mouth, and the different channels have under- 
gone very material alterations for the worfe, as 
to their courfes and depths. The River St. 
Lawrence, however, on the contrary, is no lefs 
than ninety miles wide at its mouth, and it is 
navigable for mips of the line as far as Quebec, 
a diftance of four hundred miles from the fea. 
The channel alfo, inftead of having been im- 
paired by time, is found to be confiderably 
better now than when the river v/as firft dif- 
covered ; and there is reafon to imagine that it 
will improve ftill more in procefs of time, as 
the clear water that flows from Lake Ontario 
comes down with fuch impetuofity, during the 
floods in the fpring of the year, as frequently 
to remove banks of gravel and loofe ftones in 
the river, and thus to deepen its bed. The 
channel on the north fide of the iiland of Or- 
leans, immediately below Quebec, which, ac- 
cording to the account of Le P. de Charlevoix, 
was not fuiliciently deep in the year 1720 to 
admit a (hallop of a fmall lize, except at the 
time of high tides, is at prefent found to be 
deep enough for the largeft veffels, and is the 
channel moll: generally ufed. 



The following table (hews for what veffels 
the St. Lawrence is navigable in different 
places ; and alio points out the various breadths 
of the river from its mouth upwards : 

Piflances Breadth in 

Names of Places. in miles 



At its mouth ----- _ _ q q 

At Cape Cat - - - -140- - 30 

At Saguenay River - -120- - 18 

At the lower extremity of 

the Ifle of Orleans - - no - - 15* 

At the bafon between the 
Ifle of Orleans and Que- 
bec ---„-_ 30-- $\ 

From Quebec to Lake St. 
Pierre - 

Lake St. Pierre - - • 

To La Valterie 

To Montreal - - - . 

* This iiland is 25 miles in length and 6 in 
breadth, the river on each fide is about 2 
miles wide. 

•j" Thus far, 400 miles from its mouth, it is 
navigable for mips of the line with fafety. 

% To this place, 560 miles, it is navigable with 
perfect fafety for mips drawing 14 feet 
water. Veffels of a much larger draught 
have proceeded many miles above Quebec, 
but the channel is very intricate and 













to 4 J 



Names of Places. 

in miles 

Breadth in 

To Lake St. Louis - - 
Lake St. Louis - 
To Lake St. Francis - 
Lake St. Francis - - - 
To the Lake of a Thoufand 


Lake of a Thoufand IuVs 
To Kingfton, on Lake On- 
tario - r - - 



2 5 

20 - - 

- - 4 

- i to 2 


2 5 

- I to 1 

- - 6 

- 15 - 2 £ to 6 

During the whole of its courfe the St. 
Lawrence is navigable for bateaux of two tons 
burthen, except merely at the rapids above 
Montreal, at the Fall of the Thicket, and at 
the Long Fall, where, as has been already 
pointed out, it is neceffary to lighten the ba- 
teaux, if heavily laden. At each of thefe 
places, however, it is poffible to conftruct 
canals, fo as to prevent the trouble of unlading 
any part of the cargoes of the bateaux, and at 
a future day, when the country becomes rich, 
fuch canals no doubt will be made. 

Although the lakes are not immediately 
connected with the Atlantic Ocean by any 
other river than the St. Lawrence, yet there 



are feveral dreams that fall into the Atlantic, 
fo nearly connected with others flowing into 
the lakes, that by their means trade may be 
carried on between the ocean and the lakes. 
The principal channels for trade between the 
ocean and the lakes are four in number ; the 
£rft, along the MirTiffippi and the Ohio, and 
thence up the Wabafh, Miami, Mulhingun, or 
the Alleghany rivers, from the head of which 
there are portages of from one to eighteen 
miles to rivers that fall into Lake Erie ; 
fecondly, along the Patowmac River, which 
flows pair. Waihington, and from thence along 
Cheat River, the Monongahela and Alleghany 
rivers and French Creek to Prefqu' Iile on 
Lake Erie ; thirdly, along Hudfon's Rjver, 
which falls into the Atlantic at New York, 
and afterwards along the Mohawk River, 
Wood Creek, Lake Oneida, and Ofwego 
River, which lad falls into Lake Ontario ; 
fourthly, along the St. Lawrence. 

The following is a ilatement of the entire 
length of each of thefe channels or routes, and 
of the lengths of the portages in each, reckon- 
ing from the higher!: feaport on each river that 
will receive vefiels of a fuitable fize for eroding 
the Atlantic to Lake Erie, which is the moii 
central of the lakes to the four ports : 



Length of 
Way in 


of the 

From Montreal - - - 

- 440 - 

- 22 

From Wafhington - 

- 45° ■ 

- 80* 

From New York 

500 - 

- 3° 

From New Orleans - 

- 1,800 - 

1 to i8*f- 

* When the navigation is opened, this will be 

reduced, it is faid, to 50 miles. 
•f According to the route followed from the 

Ohio to the Lake. 

From this ftatement it not only appears 
evident that the St. Lawrence opens a fhorter 
pafTage to the lakes than any of the other 
rivers, but alfo that the portages are fhorter 
than in any of the other routes ; the portages 
are alfo fewer, and goods may be tranfported 
in the fame boats the whole way from Mon- 
treal to the lakes ; whereas in conveying goods 
thither either from Waihington or New York, 
it is neceffary to employ different boats and 
men on each different river, or elfe to tranf- 
port the boats themfelves on carriages over the 
portages from one river to another. It is al- 
ways an object of importance to avoid a 
portage, as by every change in the mode of con- 
veyance the expence of carriage is increafed, 
and there is an additional rilk of pillage from 
the goods pafling through the hands of a greater 



number of people. Independent of thefe con- 
fiderations, the St. Lawrence will, on another 
account, be found a more commodious channel 
than any other for the carrying on of trade 
between the ocean and the lakes. Conftantly 
fupplied from that immenfe refervoir of water, 
Lake Ontario, it is never fo low, even in the 
driefl: feafon, as not to be fufficiently deep to 
float laden bateaux. The fmall ftreams, on the 
contrary, which conned: Hudfon's River, the 
Patowmac, and the Miiliffippi with the lakes, 
are frequently fo dried up in fummer time, that 
it is fcarcely poffible to pafs along them in 
canoes. For upwards of four months in the 
fummer of 1796, the Mohawk River was fo 
low, that it was totally impracticable to tranf- 
port merchandize along it during the greater 
part of its courfe, and the traders in the back 
country, after waiting for a length of time for 
the goods they wanted, were under the ne- 
ceflity at laft of having them forwarded by land 
carriage. The navigation of this river, it is 
faid, becomes worfe every year, and unlefs fe- 
veral long canals are cut, there will be an end 
to the water communication between New 
York and Lake Ontario by that route. The 
Alleghany River and French Creek, which 
connect the Patowmac with Lake Erie, are 
equally affected by droughts ; indeed it is only 
during floods, occaiioned by the melting of the 



fnow, or by heavy falls of rain, that goods can 
be tranfported with eafe either by the one route 
or the other. 

By far the greater part of the trade to the 
lakes is at prefent centered at Montreal ; for 
the Britim merchants rot only can convey 
their goods from thence to the lakes for one 
third lefs than what it cods to convey the fame 
goods thither from New York, but they can 
likewife afford tc fell them, in the nrfr. inftance, 
confiderably cheaper ;han the merchants of the 
United States. The duties paid on the im- 
portation into Canada of refined fugar, fpirits, 
wine, and coffee, are confiderably lefs than 
thofe paid on the importation of the fame com- 
modities into the United States ; and all Britifli 
hardware, and dry goods in general, are ad- 
mitted duty free into Canada, whereas, in the 
United States, they are chargeable, on impor- 
tation from Europe, with a duty of fifteen per 
cent, on the value. To attempt to levy duties 
on foreign manufactures fent in:o the ftatcs 
from Canada would be an idle attempt, as 
from the great extent of their frontier, and its 
contiguity to Canada, it would at all times be 
an eafy matter to lend the goods clandeilinely 
into them, in order to avoid the duties. 

The trade carried on from Montreal to the 
lakes is at prefent very considerable, and in- 
creasing every year. Already are there exten- 



five fettlements on the Britifh fide of Lake 
Ontario, at Niagara, at Toronto, at the Bay 
of Canti, and at Kingflon, which contain nearly 
twenty thoufand inhabitants ; and on the op- 
pofite fhore, the people of the ftates are pufh- 
ing forward their fettlements with the utmoft 
vigour. On Lake Erie, and along Detroit 
River alfo, the fettlements are increafing with 
aftoniiliing rapidity, both on the Britifh and 
on the oppofite fide. 

The importance of the back country trade, 
and the trade to the lakes is in fact the back 
country trade, has already been demonftrated ; 
and it has been (hewn, that every fea-port 
town in the United States has increafed in 
lize in proportion to the quantum it enjoyed 
of this trade; and that thofe towns moll con- 
veniently fituated for carrying it on, were 
thofe that had the greatefl (hare of it; as, 
therefore, the mores of the lake increafe in 
population, and of courfe as the demand for 
European manufactures increafes amongft the 
inhabitants, we may expect to fee Montreal, 
which of all the fea-ports in North America 
is the moft conveniently fituated for fupplying 
them with fuch manufactures, increafe pro- 
portionably in fize ; and as the extent of back 
country it is connected with, by means of 
water, is as great, and alfo as fertile as that 
with which any of the large towns of the 



United States are connected, it is not impro- 
bable bat that Montreal at a future day will 
rival in wealth and in iize the greater! of the 
cities on the continent of North America. 


Defcription of the Town of Kingjlon. — For- 
merly called Fort Cadaraqua. — Extenfive 
Trade carried on here, — Nature of it. — 
Inhabitants very hofpitahle y — Harbours on 
hake Ontario.^ — Skips oj War on that Lake. 
— Merchant VefeU. — Naval Oficers. — Ex- 
pence of building and keeping up Vefels very 
great. — Why. — No Iron Mines yet opened in 
the Country. — Copper may be more ea/ily 
procured than Iron. — Found in great Quan- 
tities on the Borders of Lake Superior. — 
Embark in a Trading Vefel on Lake Ontario. 
—Defcription- of that Lake. — A Septennial 
Change in the Height of the Waters faid to 
be obfervable — a /Jo a Tide that ebbs and fows 
every Two Hours. — Olfervations on thefe 
Phenomena. — Voyage acrofs the Lake fimilar 
to a Sea Voyage. — Come in Sight of Niagara 
Fort. — Land at Mififaguis Point. — Miffijfa- 
guis Indians. — One of their Chiefs killed in 


K I N G S T O N.' 6; 

tin dffray. — Horn treated by the Britijh Go- 
vernment. — 'Their revengeful Bifpafitkn. — 
Miffijfaguis good Hunters. — How they kill 
Salmon. — Variety of ' Fijh in the Lakes and 
Rivers of Canada. — Sea Wolves.— Sea Cows. 
< — Dejcriptkn of the Town of Niagara or 
Newark. — The prcfent Seat of Governments 
— Scheme of removing it elfewherc. — Tin- 
he alihinefs of the Town of Niagara and ad- 
jacent Country. — Navy Hats. — Fori of Nia- 
gara furrendered purfuant to Treaty. — De- 
fcriptkn of it. — De/bription of the other Forts i 
furrendered to the People of the United States. 
— Shewn not to be f) advantageous to them 
as was expecled. — Superior Poftion of the 
new Britijh Fofts pointed out* 

Niagara, September. 

THINGS TON is fituated at the mouth of 
a deep bay, at the north eaftern extremity 
of Lake Ontario. It contains a fort and bar- 
racks, an Engliih epifcopalian church, and 
about one hundred houfes, the mod of which 
lafl were built, and are now inhabited by 
perfons who emigrated from the United States 
at the clofe of the American war. Some few 
of the hcufesare built of (lone and brick, but 
by far the greater part of them are of wood. 
The fort is of ftone, and conlids of a fquare 
With four baftions. It was erefled by M. 
Vol. II. F le 


le Comte de Frontinac, as early as. the year 
1672, and was for a time called after him 5 
but infeniibly it loft his name, and received 
inftead of it that of Cadaraqui, the name of a 
creek which falls into the bay. This name 
remained common to the fort and to the town 
until a few years ago, when it was changed 
to that of Kingfton. From iixty to one 
hundred men are ufually quartered in the bar- 

Kingfton is a place of very considerable 
trade, and it is confcquently increafing mcll 
rapidly in fize. All the goods brought up the 
St. Lawrence for the fupply of the upper 
country are here depoiited in ftores, prepara- 
tory to their being (hipped on board vefiels 
fui:able to the navigation of the lake ; and 
the furs from the various ports on the nearer 
lakes are here likewife collected together, in 
order to be laden on board bateaux, and lent 
down the St. Lawrence. Some furs are brought 
in immediately to the town by the Indians, 
who hunt in the neighbouring country, and 
along the upper parts of the St. Lawrence, 
but the quantity is not large. The principal 
merchants resident at Kingfton are partners, 
of old eftabliihed houfes at Montreal and Que- 
bec. A ftranger, efpecially if a Britiih fubjecr, 
is lure to meet with a moft hofpitable and 
friendly reception from them, as he paries 
through the place. 



During the autumn the inhabitants of King- 
ilon fufTer very much from intermittent fevers, 
owing to the town being fituated on a low 
fpot of ground, contiguous to an extenfive 

The bay adjoining to Kingflon affords good 
anchorage, and is the fifeft and mod com- 
modious harbour on all Lake Ontario. The 
bay of Great Sodus, on the fouth fide of the 
lake, and that of Toronto, iituated on the 
north fide of the lake, nearly in the fame meri- 
dian with Niagara, are faid to be the next bed 
to that of Kingflon ; but the entrance into 
each of them is obftructed by fand banks, 
which in rough weather cannot be croffed 
without imminent danger in veffels drawing 
more than five or fix feet water. On the bor- 
ders of the bay at Kingflon there is a King's 
dock yard, and another which is private pro- 
perty. Moil of the Britifh veffeis of burthen 
on Lake Ontario have been built at thefe yardsi 
Belonging to his Majefty there were on Lake 
Ontario, when we croffed it, three veffels of 
about two hundred tons each, carrying from 
eight to twelve guns, befides feveral gun 
boats ; the laft, however, were not in com- 
miffion, but laid up in Niagara River; and in 
eonfequenceof the ratification of the treaty of 
amity and commerce between the United 
States and his Britannic Majefty, orders were 

F 2 iifued 


iflued, fhortly after we left Kingfton, for lay- 
ing up the other vefTels of war, one alone ex- 
cepted *. For one King's fhip there would be 
ample employment on the lake, in conveying 
to the upper country the prefents for the In- 
dians and the flores for the troops, and in 
tranfporting the troops acrofs the lake when 
they changed quarters. Every military officer 
at the outpofls enjoys the privilege of having 
a certain bulk, according to his rank, carried 
for him in the King's vefTels, free of ail charges. 
The naval officers, if their vefTels be not other- 
wife engaged, are allowed to carry a cargo of 
merchandize when they fail from one port to 
another, the freight of which is their per- 
quifite j they likewife have the liberty, and are 
conftantly in the practice, of carrying panen- 
gers acrofs the lake at an eftablifhed price. 
The commodore of the King's vefTels on Lake 
Ontario is a French Canadian, and fo likewife 
are moil of the officers under him. Their uni- 
form is blue and white, with large yellow but- 
tons, flamped with the figure of a beaver, over 
which is infcribed the word, " Canada." The 
naval officers are under the controul of the mi- 
litary officer commandant, at every poft where 

* Subfequent orders, [it was faid, were ifiued, during the 
fummer of 1797, to have one or more of thefe vefTels put again 
in commiflion. 



their vefTels happen to touch ; and they cannot 
leave their vefTels to go up into the country at 
any time without his permiffion. 

Several decked merchant vefTels, fchooner?, 
and (loops, of from fifty to two hundred tons 
each, and alfo numberlefs large failing bateaux, 
are kept employed on Lake Ontario. No 
veflels are deemed proper for the navigation of 
thefe lakes but complete fea boats, or elfe 
flat bottomed vefTels, fuch as canoes and ba- 
teaux, that can fafely run afhore on an emer- 
gency At prefent the people of the United 
States have no other vefTels than bateaux on 
the lake, and whether they will deem it proper 
to have larger veflels, as their harbours are all 
fo indifferent, remains yet to be determined. 
The large Britim veflels ply moftly between 
Kingfton and Niagara, and but very rarely 
touch at any other place. 

The expence of building, and equipping 
veflels on Lake Ontario, is very confiderable; 
and it is flill greater on the more diftant lakes, 
as the larger part of the iron implements, and 
all the cordage wanted for that purpofe, are 
imported from Great Britain, through the 
medium of the lower province. There can be 
no doubc, however, but that when the country 
is become more populous, an ample fupply of 
thefe necelTary articles will be readily procured 
on the fpot ; for the foil of the upper province 

F 3 is 


is well adapted to the growth of hemp, and 
iron ore has been difcovered in many parts of 
the country. Hemp already begins to be 
cultivated in fmall quantities -, but it has 
hitherto been the policy of government to 
direct the attention of the people to agricul- 
ture, rather than to any other purfuit, fo that 
none of the iron mines, which, together with 
all other mines .that are, or that may hereafter 
be difcovered, are the exclufive property of 
the crown, have yet been opened. The 
people of the United States, however, alive 
to every profpedt of gam, have already fent 
perfons to look for iron ore in that part of 
their territory iituated conveniently to the 
lakes. Thefe perfons have been very mccefs- 
ful in their fearches - y and as works will un- 
doubtedly be eilabliihed fpeedily by them in 
this quarter for the manufacture of iron, and 
as they will be able to afford it on much bet- 
ter terms than that which is brought all the 
way from Lower Canada, it is probable that 
government will encourage the opening of 
mines in our own dominions, rather than fuifer 
the people of the States to enjoy fuch a very 
lucrative branch of trade as they muff, neceffarily 
have, if the lame policy is perfifled in which 
has hitherto been purfued. 

Copper, in the more remote parts of Upper 
Canada, is found in much greater abundance 



than iron, and as it may be extracted from the 
earth with confiderably lefs trouble than any of 
the iron ore that has yet been difcovered, there 
is reafon to imagine, that at a future day it 
will be much more ufed than iron for every 
purpofe to which it can be applied. On the 
borders of a river, which falls into the fouth- 
weft fide of Lake Superior, virgin copper is 
found in the greateft. abundance ; and on moft 
of the iflands on the eaftern fide it is alfo 
found. In the porTeflion of a gentleman at 
Niagara I faw a lump of virgin copper of fe- 
veral ounces weight, apparently as pure as if 
it had parTed through fire, which I was in- 
formed had been {truck oil with a chifel from 
a piece equally pure, growing on one of thefe 
iflands, which murr. at leafl have weighed forty 
pounds. Rich veins of copper are viiible in 
almoft. all the rocks on thefe iiiands towards 
the more ; and copper ere, refembling cop- 
peras, is likewife found in deep beds near the 
water : in a few hours bateaux might here be 
filled with ore, and in lefs than three days 
conveyed to the Straits of St. Mary, after 
palling which the ore might be laden on board 
large vefTels, and conveyed by water without 
any further interruption as far as Niagara 
River, The portage at the Straits of St. 
Mary may be parTed in a few hours, and with 
a fair wind large vefTels, proper for travelling 

F 4, Lakes 


Lakes Huron and Erie, may come down to 
the eaftern extremity of the latter lake in fix 

Not only the building and fitting out of 
vefiels on the lakes is attended with conquer- 
able expence, but the cofl of keeping them up 
is like wife found to be very great, for they 
wear out much fooner than veifels employed 
commonly on the ocean ; which circumftance, 
according to the opinion of the naval gentlp-* 
men on the lakes, is owing to the fremnefs of 
the water; added to this, no failors are to be 
hired but at very high wages, and it is found 
neceiTary to retain them at full pay during the 
five months of the year that the veiTels are 
laid up on account of the ice, as men cannot 
be procured at a moment's notice. The failors, 
with a few exceptions only, are procured 
from fea ports, as it is abfoluteiy neceflary 
on thefe lakes, the navigation of which is more 
dangerous than that of the ocean, to have able 
and experienced feamen. Lake Ontario itfelf 
is never frozen out of fight of land, but its 
rivers and harbours are regularly blocked up 
by the ice. 

The day after that on which we reached 
Kingfton, we took our paiTage for Niagara 
on board a fchooner of one hundred and 
eighty tons burthen, which was waiting at the 
merchant's wharf for a fair wind. The efta*. 



bliflied price of the paflage acrofs the lake in 
the cabin is two guineas, and in the fteerage 
one guinea, for each perfon : this is by no 
means dear, confidering that the captain, for 
the money, keeps a table for each refpeclive fet 
of paffengers. The cabin table on board this 
vefTel was really well ferved, and there was 
abundance of port and iherry wine, and of 
every fort of fpirits, for the ufe of the cabin 
paiTengers. The freight of goods acrofs the 
lake is dearer in proportion, being thirty-fix 
millings Britifh per ton, which is nearly as 
much as was paid for the tranfportation of a 
ton of goods acrofs the Atlantic previous to the 
prefent war ; it cannot, however, be deemed 
exorbitant, when the expence of building and 
keeping the veffels in repair, and the high 
wages of the failors, 6cc. are taken into con- 

On the 7th of September, in the after- 
noon, the wind became favourable for croiling 
the lake ; notice was in confequence im- 
mediately fent round to the paiTengers, who 
were difperfed in different parts of the town, 
to get ready 3 all of them hurried on board; 
the veiTel was unmoored, and in a few minutes 
{he was wafted out into the lake by a light 
breeze. For the firft mile and a half, in 
going from Kingflon, the profpecl: is much 
confined, on account of the many large iflands 



on the left hand fide j but on weathering a 
point on one of the iflands, at the end of that 
diftance, an extenfive view of the lake f ud- 
der? iy opens, which on a ftill clear evening, 
v. hen the fun is finking behind the lofty woods 
that adorn the fhores, is extremely grand and 

Lake Ontario is the moft eafterly of the four 
large lakes through which the boundary line 
paffes, that feparates the United States from 
the province of Upper Canada. It is two 
hundred and twenty miles in length, from eaft 
to weft, and feventy miles wide in the broadefl 
part, and, according to calculation, contains 
about 2,390,000 acres. This lake is lefs 
iubject to ftorms than any of the others, and 
its waters in general, coniidering their great ex- 
panfe, are wonderfully tranquil. During the 
iirft evening of our voyage there was not- the 
leafl curl even on their furface, they were 
merely agitated by a gentle fwell ; and during 
the fubfequent part of the voyage, the waves 
were at no time fo high as to occaficn the 
flighted ficknefs amongftany of the paxlengers. 
The depth of the water in the lake is very 
great ; in fome parts it is unfathomable. Oi> 
looking over the fide of a veffel, the water, 
owing to its great depth, appears to be of a 
blackim colour, but it is nevertheless very 
clear, and any white fubftance thrown over- 



fooard may be difcerned at the depth of feveral 
fathoms from the furface $ it is, however, by- 
no means fo clear and transparent as the water 
of fome of the other lakes. Mr. Carver, fpeak- 
ing of Lake Superior, fays, " When it was 
f * calm, and the fun fhone bright, I could (it 
f in my canoe, where the depth was upwards 
* e of lix fathoms, and plainly fee huge piles 
" of ftone at the bottom, of different fhapes, 
" fome of which appeared as if they had been 
*' hewn -j the water was at this time as pure 
" and tranfparent as air, and my canoe feemed 
" as if it hung fufpended in that element. Jfe 
" was impoffible to look attentively through 
t* this limpid medium, at the rocks below, 
" without finding, before many minutes were 
" elapfed, your head fwim, and your eyes no 
" longer able to behold the dazzling fcene." 

The water of Lake Ontario is very well 
tafted, and is that which is conftantly ufed on 
board the veffels that traverfe it. 

It is very confidently afierted, not only by 
the Indians, but alfo by great numbers of the 
white people who live on the mores of Lake 
Ontario, that the waters of this lake rife and 
fall alternately every feventh year -, others, on 
the contrary, deny that fuch a fluctuation does 
take place; and indeed it differs fo materially 
from any that has been obferved in large bodies 
pf water in other parts of the globe, that for 



my own part I am fomewhat tempted to be- 
lieve it is merely an imaginary change , never- 
thelefs, when it is coniidered, that according 
to the belief of the oldeit inhabitants of the 
country, fuch a periodical ebbing and flowing 
of the waters of the lake takes place, and that 
it has never been clearly proved to the con- 
trary, we are bound to fufpend our opinions 
on the fubjeci. A gentleman, whofe habitation 
was fi mated clofe upon the borders of the lake, 
not fin* from Kingfton, and who, from the na- 
ture of his prcfeflion, had more time to attend 
to fuch mbjects than the generality of the 
people of the country, told me, that he had 
obferved the ftate of the lake attentively for 
nearly fourteen years that he had refided on 
the borders of it, and that he was of opinion 
the waters did not ebb and flow periodically ; 
yet he acknowledged this very remarkable 
fact, that feveral of the oldefl white inhabitants 
in his neighbourhood declared, previoufly to 
the rinng of the lake, that the year 1795 would 
be the high year ; and that in the lummer of 
that year, the lake actually did rife to a very 
uncommon height. He laid, however, that 
he had reafon to think the rifing of the lake on 
this occafian was wholly owing to fortuitous 
circumftances, and not to any regular efta- 
blifhed law of nature ; and he conceived, that 
if the lake had not rifen as it had done, yet the 



people would have fancied, neverthelefs, that 
it was in reality higher than ufual, as he flip- 
pofed they had fancied it to be on former oc- 
casions. He was induced to form this opi- 
nion, he faid, from the following circumflance : 
When the lake had rifen to fuch an unufual 
height in the year 1795, he examined feveral 
of the okiefl people on the fubjeft, and quef- 
tioned them particularly as to the comparative 
height .of the waters on this and former occa- 
fions. They all declared that the waters were 
not higher than they ufually were at the time 
cf their periodical riling ; and they affirmed, 
that they had themfelves fecn. them equally 
high before. Now a grove of trees, which 
ftood adjoining to this gentleman's garden, and 
muft at leafl have been of thirty years growth, 
was entirely deflroyed this year by the waters 
of the lake, that flowed amongft the trees; 
had the lake, therefore, ever rifen fo high 
before, this grove would have been then 
deflroyed. This circumftance certainly mili- 
tated ftrongly again ft the evidence which the 
people gave as to the height of the waters - 7 
but it only proved that the waters had rifen 
on this occafion higher than they had done for 
thirty years preceding; it did not prove that 
they had not, during that term, rifen periodi- 
cally above their ordinary level. 



What Mr. Carver relates concerning this 
fubjecl:, rather tends to confirm the opinion 
that the waters of the lake do rife. " I had 

* like," he fays, " to have omitted a very ex- 
' traordinary eircumftance relative to thefe 
' ftraits j" the Straits of Michillimakinac, be- 
tween lakes Michigan and Huron. " Accord- 

■ ing to obfervations made by the French, 
1 whilft they were in pofifefiion of the fort 
' there, although there is no diurnal flood or 

* ebb to be perceived in thefe waters, yet from 

* an exadl: attention to their ftate, a periodical 
' alteration in them has been difcovered. It 
4 was obferved, that they arofe by gradual but 
' almoft imperceptible degrees, till they had 

* reached the height of three feet ; this was 
1 accomplifhed in feven years and a half; and 

* in the fame fpace of time they as gently de- 

* created, till they had reached their former 
1 fituation ; fo that in fifteen years they had 
' completed this inexplicable revolution. At 

* the time I was there, the truth of thefe ob- 
£ fervations could not be confirmed by the 
' Englifh, as they had then been only a few 
' years in poffefiion of the fort ; but they all 

■ agreed that fome alterations in the limits 
e of the ftraits was apparent." It is to be 

lamented that fucceeding years have not thrown: 
more light on the fubject. ; for fince the fort 
has been in our pofTerlion, perfons competent 

Lake Ontario. $ 

to determine the truth of obfervations of fuch 
a nature, have never ftaid a furhcient length of 
time there to have had it in their power to 
do fo. 

A lone feries of minute obfervations are ne- 
cellary to determine pofitively whether the 
waters of the lake do or do not rife and fall 
periodically. It is well known, for inftance, 
that in wet feafons the waters rife much above 
their ordinary level, and that in very dry fea- 
fons they fink conliderably below it ; a clofe 
attention, therefore, ought to be paid to the 
quantity of rain that falls, and to evaporation 5 
and it ought to be afcertained in what degree 
the height of the lake is altered thereby ; other-* 
wife, if the lake happened to be higher or 
lower than ufual on the feventh year, it would 
be impoffible to fay with accuracy whether it 
were owing to the ftate of the weather, or to 
certain laws of nature that we are yet unac- 
quainted with. At the fame time, great at- 
tention ought to be paid to the irate of the 
winds, as w 7 ell in refpect to their direction as 
to their velocity, for the height of the waters 
of all the lakes is materially affected thereby. 
At Fort Erie, fituated at the eaitern extre- 
mity of the lake of the fame name, I once ob- 
ferved the waters to fall full three feet in the 
courfe of a few hours, upon a fudden change 
of the wind from the weftward, in which di- 


rection it had blown for many days, to the ea{t- 
ward. Moreover, thefe obfervatipns ought not 
only to be made at one place on the borders of 
anyone of the lakes, but they ought to be made 
at feveral different places at the fame time -, for 
the waters have encroached, owing to fome un- 
known caufes, considerably and gradually upon 
the mores in fome places, and receded in 
others. Between the fione houfe, in the fort 
at Niagara, and the lake, for inftance, there is 
not at prefent a greater fpace than ten yards, 
or thereabouts -, though when firfr. built there 
was an extensive garden between them. A 
water battery alfo, erected fince the commence- 
ment of the prefent war, at the bottom of the 
bank, beyond the walls of the fort, was fapped 
away by the water in the courfe of two fea- 
fons, and now fcarcely any veftige of it remains. 
At a future day, when the country becomes 
more populous and more wealthy, perfons 
will no doubt be found who will have leifure 
for making the obfervations necefTary for de- 
termining whether the lakes do or do not un- 
dergo a periodical change, but at prefent the 
inhabitants on the borders of them are too 
much engaged in commercial and agricultural 
purfuits to attend to matters of mere fpecula- 
tion, which, however they might amufe the 
philofopher, could be productive of no folid 
advantages to the generality of the inhabitants 
of the country. 



It is believed by many perfons that the wa- 
ters of Lake Ontario not only rife and fall pe- 
riodically every feventh year, but that they are 
likewife influenced by a tide, which ebbs and 
flows frequently in the courfe of twenty-four 
hours. On board the verTel in which I crofled 
the lake there were feveral gentlemen of the 
country, who confidently afTured me, that a 
regular tide was obfervable at the Bay of 
Canti ; that in order to fatisfy themfelves on 
the fubject, they had flood for feveral hours 
together, on more than one occafion, at a mill 
at the head of the bay, and that they had ob- 
ferved the waters to ebb and flow regularly 
every four hours, tiling to the height of four- 
teen inches. There can be no doubt, how- 
ever, but that the frequent ebbing and flowing 
of the water at this place mull: be caufed by 
the wind ; for no fuch regular fluctuation is 
obfervable at Niagara, at Kingfton, or on the 
open Ihores of the lake ; and owing to the 
formation of the Bay of Canti, the height of 
the water mu ft neceffarily vary there with, 
every flight change of the wind. The Bay of 
Canti is a long crooked inlet, that grows nar- 
rower at the upper end, like a funnel; not 
onlv, therefore, a change of wind ud or down 
the bay would make a difference in the height 
of the water at the uppermoft extremity of it ; 
but owing to the waters being concentrated 

Vol. II. G there 


there at one point, they would be feen to rife 
or fall, if impelled even in the fame direction, 
whether up or down the bay, more or lefs for- 
cibly at one time of the day than at another. 
Now it is very feldom that the wind, at any 
part of the day" or night, would be found to 
blow precifely with the fame force, for a given 
fpace of two hours, that it had blown for the 
preceding fpace of two hours ; an appearance 
like a tide muft therefore be feen almofl con- 
ftantly at the head of this bay whenever there 
was a breeze. I could not learn that the fluc- 
tuation had ever been obferved during a per- 
fect calm : were the waters, however, in- 
fluenced by a regular tide, during a calm the 
tide would be moft readily feen. 

To return to the voyage. A few hours after 
we quitted Kingfton, on the 7th of September, 
the wind died away, and during the whole 
night the vefTel made but little way j early on 
the morning of the 8th, however, a freili 
breeze fprang up, and before noon we loft 
fight cf the land. Our voyage now differed in 
no wife from one acrofs the ocean ; the vefTel 
was (leered by the cempafs, the log regularly 
heaved, the way marked down in the log book, 
and an exact account kept of the procedures 
on board. We continued failing, out of light 
of land, until the evening of the 9th, when 
we had a view of the blue hills in the neigh- 
4 ' bourhood 


bourhood of Toronto, on the northern fide of 
the lake, but they foon difappeared. Except at 
this place, the mores of the lake are flat and 
fandy, owing to which circumftance it is, that 
in traverfing the hike ycu are generally carried 
out of light of land in a very few hours. 

At day break on the 10th the fort and town 
of Niagara appeared under the lee bow, and 
the wind being favourable, we had every pro- 
fpect before us of getting up to the town in a 
few hours j but fcarcely had we reached the 
bar, at the mouth of Niagara River, when the 
wind fuddenly lhifted, and after endeavouring 
in vain to crofs it by means of tacking, we 
were under the neceffity of cafting anchor at 
the diitance of about two miles from the fort. 
The fort is fcen to great advantage from the 
water ; but the town being built parallel to 
the river, and no part pf it viiible to a fpec- 
tator on the lake, except the few mabby 
houfes at the neareft end, it makes but a very 
poor appearance. Having breakfafted, and ex- 
changed our habits de voyage, for fuch as it was 
proper to appear in at the capital of Upper 
Canada, and at the center of the beau monde 
of the province, the ichooner's yawl was 
launched, and we were landed, together with 
iuch of the paffengers as were difpofed to go 
on more, at MiiiiiTaguis Point, from whence 
there is an agreeable walk of one mile, partly 
through woods, to the town of Niagara. 

G 2 This 


This point takes its name from the Miffif- 
faguis Indians, great numbers of whom are ge- 
nerally encamped upon it. The MiffirTaguis 
tribe inhabits the mores of Lake Ontario, and 
it is one of the mod numerous of this part 
of the country. The men are in general 
Very flout, and they are efteemed moft ex- 
cellent hunters and rimers ; but lefs warlike, 
it is laid, than any of the neighbouring nations 
They are of a much darker complexion than 
any other Indians I ever *iet with j fome of 
them being nearly as black as negroes. They 
are extremely dirty and flovenly in their ap- 
pearance, and the women are null more fo than 
the men* fuch indeed is the odour exhaled in 
a warm day from the rancid greafe and fifh 
oil with which the latter daub their hair, 
necks, and faces profufely, that it is offensive 
in the highcil degree to approach within fome 
yards of them. On arriving at Niagara, w© 
found great numbers of thefe Indians difperfed 
in knots, in different parts of the town, in great 
concern for the lofs of a favourite and ex- 
perienced chief, This- man, whofe name was 
Wompakanon, had been killed, it appeared, 
bv a white man, in a fray which happened at 
Toronto, near to which place is the principal 
village of the Miffiflaguis nation. The re- 
maining chiefs immediately aflembled their 
warriors, and marched down to Niagara, to 



make a formal complaint to the Britifh go- 
vernment. To appeafe their refentment, the 
commanding officer of the garrifon diftributed 
prefents amongft them to a large amount, and 
amongft other things they were allowed no 
fmall portion of rum and provifions, upon which 
the tribe feafted, according to cuftom, the day 
before we reached the town 3 but the rum be- 
ing all coniumed, they feemed to feel feverely 
for the lofs of poor Wompakanon. Fear of 
exciting the anger of the Britifh government 
would prevent them from taking revenge 
openly on this occafion; but I was informed by 
a gentleman in the Indian department, in- 
timately acquainted with the difpofitions of the 
Indians, that as nothing but blood is deemed 
fufficient in their opinion to atone for the death 
of a favourite chief, they would certainly kill 
fome white man, perhaps one perfectly in- 
nocent, when a favourable and fecret oppor- 
tunity offered for fo doing, though it mould 
be twenty years afterwards. 

The Miffiflaguis keep the inhabitants of 
Kingfton, of Niagara, and of the different 
towns on the lake, well fupplied with fi(h and 
game, the value of which is eflimated by 
bottles of rum and loaves of bread. A gentle- 
man, with whom we dined at Kingfton, en- 
tertained us with a moft excellent haunch of 
venifon of a very large fize, and a falmon 

G 3 weighing 


weighing at lead fifteen pounds, which he had 
purchaled from one of thefe Indians for a 
bottle of rum and a loaf of bread *, and upon 
enquiry I found that the Indian thought him- 
felf extremely well paid, and was highly pleafed 
with having made fuch a good bargain. 

Thelndians catch falmon and other large nfh. 
in the following manner. Two men go together 
in a canoe at night; the one fits in the ftern 
and paddles, and the other ftands with a fpear 
over a flambeau placed in the head of the canoe. 
The nfh, attracted by the light, come in num- 
bers around the canoe, and the fpearfman then 
takes the opportunity of ftriking them. They 
are very expert at this.buiinefs, feldom miifing 
their aim. 

Lake Ontario, and all the rivers which fall 
into it, abound with excellent falmon, and 
many different kinds of lea-nth, which come 
up the River St. Lawrence; it alfo abounds 
with fuch a great variety of frefh water fifh, 
that it is fuppofed there are many forts in it 
which have never yet been named. In almoft 
every part of the River St. Lawrence, nfh is 
found in the greater! abundance; and it is the 
opinion of many perfons, that if the fifheries 
were properly attended to, particularly the 

* Both together probably not worth more than half a. 



falmon fiihery, the country would be even 
more enriched thereby than by the fur trade. 
Sea wolves and fea cows, amphibious animals, 
weighing from one to two thoufand pounds 
each, are faid to have been found in Lake 
Ontario: of the truth of this, however, there 
is fome doubt ; but certain it is, that in failing 
acrofs that lake animals of an immenfe iize are 
frequently {etn. playing on the furface of the 
water. Of the large fillies, the fturgeon is 
the one moft commonly met with, and it is 
not only found in Lake Ontario, but alfo in 
the other lakes that have no immediate com- 
munication with the fea. The fturgeon caught 
in the lakes is valuable for its oil, but it is not 
a well flavoured fifth; indeed, the fturgeon 
found north of James River in Virginia is in 
general very indifferent, and feldom or never 

Niagara River runs nearly in a due fouth 
direction, and fills into Lake Ontario on the 
fouthern fhore, about thirty miles to the eaft- 
ward of the weftern extremity of the lake. It 
is about three hundred yards wide at its mouth, 
and is by far the largeft body of water flowing 
into Lake Ontario. On the eaftern lideofthe 
river is ft tuated the fort, now in the pofteftion 
of the people of the States, and on the op- 
pofite or Britifti fide the town, moft generally 
known by the name of Niagara, notwith- 
G 4 /landing 


{landing that it has been named Newark by the 
legiflature. The original name of the town 
was Niagara, it was afterwards called Lenox, 
then Naflau, and afterwards Newark. It is 
to be lamented that the Indian names, lb 
grand and fonorous, fhould ever have been 
changed for others. Newark, Kingfton, York, 
are poor fubftitutes for the original names of 
thefe refpective places, Niagara, Cadaragui, 
Toronto. The town of Niagara hitherto has 
been, and is ftill the capital of the province of 
Upper Canada -, orders, however, had been 
iffued, before our arrival there, for the removal 
of the feat of government from thence to To- 
ronto, which was deemed a more eligible fpot 
for the meeting of the legiflative bodies, as 
being farther removed from the frontiers of the 
United States. This projected change is by 
no means reiimed by the people at large, as 
Niagara is a much more convenient place of 
refort to mod of them than Toronto ; and 
as the governor who propofed the meafure has 
been removed, it is imagined that it will not 
be put in execution. The removal of the feat 
of government from Niagara to Toronto, ac- 
o ding to the plan laid down, was only to 
have been a preparatory ftep to another altera- 
tion : a new city, to have been named London, 
was to have been built on the river formerly 
called La Trenche, but fince called the Thames, 

a river 

N I A G A R A T O W N. 3 9 

a river running into Lake St. Clair; and here 
the feat of government was ultimately to have 
been fixed. The fpot marked out for the fcite 
of the city porTe'fTes many local advantages. 
It is fituated in a healthy fertile country, on a 
fine navigable river, in a central part of the 
province, from whence the water communica- 
tion is extenfive in every direction. A few 
fettlements have already been made on the 
banks of the river, and the tide of emigration 
is fetting in ftrongly towards that quarter ; at 
a future day, therefore, it is by no means im- 
probable but that this fpot may be deemed an 
eligible one for the capital of the country ; but 
to remove the feat of government immediately 
to a place little better than a wildemefs, and 
fo far from the populous parts of the province, 
would be a meafure fraught with numberlefs 
inconveniencies to the public, and productive 
apparently of no eifential advantages whatso- 

The town of Niagara contains about 
feventy houfes, a court houfe, gaol, and a build- 
ing intended for the accommodation of the 
legiflative bodies. The houfes, with a few 
exceptions, are built of wood ; thofe next the 
lake are rather poor, but at the upper end of 
the town there are feveral very excellent 
dwellings, inhabited by the principal officers of 
government. Moil of the gentlemen in offi- 


cial Nations in Upper Canada are Englishmen 
of education, a circumltance which mult render 
the fociety of the capital agreeable, let it be 
fixed where it will. Few places in North 
America can boaft of a more rapid rife than 
the little town of Niagara, nearly every one 
of its houfes having been built within the latfc 
five years: it is itill advancing moft rapidly in 
fize, owing to the increafe of the back country 
trade along the m'ores of the upper lakes, which 
is all carried on through the place, and alio 
owing to the wonderful emigrations, into the 
neighbourhood, of people from the States. 
The motives which lead the citizens of the 
United States to emigrate to the Britifh domi- 
nions have already been explained. So fudden 
and fo great has the influx of people, into the 
town of Niagara and its vicinity, been, that 
town lots, horfes, p* r ovifions, and cv^ry necef- 
fary of life have rifen, within the lafl three 
years, nearly fifty per cent, in value. 

The banks of the River Niagara are fteep 
and lofty, and on the top, at each fide of the 
river, are exteniive plains. The town fcands 
on the fummit of the we item bank, about 
fifty yards from the water's edge* It com- 
mands a fine view of the lake and difiant 
fhores, and its fituation is in every refpecl 
pleafing to the eye. From its fianding on a 
(pot of ground fo much elevated above the 



level of the water, one would imagine that it 
muft alio be a remarkably healthy place, but 
it is, in fact, lamentably the reverie. On 
arriving at the town, we were obliged to call 
at no lefs than four different taverns, before 
we could procure accommodations, the people 
at the firfr. places we flopped at being fo 
feverely afflicted with the ague, that they 
could not receive us ; and on enquiring, it ap- 
peared that there was not a tingle houfe in the 
whole town but where one or more of the 
inhabitants were labouring under his perplex- 
ing diforderj in fome ofthehoufes entire fa- 
milies were laid up, and at the fort on the op- 
pofite fide of the river, the whole of the new 
garrifon, except a corporal and nine men, 
was difqualified for doing duty. Each indi- 
vidual of our party could not but entertain 
very ferious apprehenfions for his own health, 
on arriving at a place where lickne*fs was fo 
general, but we were affured that the danger 
of catching the diforder was now over ; that all 
thofe who were ill at prefent, had been con- 
fined manv weeks before : and that for a fort- 
night paft not a fingle perfon had been at- 
tacked, who had not been ill in the preced- 
ing part of the feafon. As a precaution, how- 
ever, each one of the party took falling, in the 
morning, a glafs of brandy, in which was 
infufed a teafpoonfull of Peruvian bark. This 



mixture is deemed, in the country, one of the 
mon: certain preventatives againit the diforder, 
and few that take it, in time, regularly, and 
avoid the evening dews, fuffer from it. 

Not only the town of Niagara and its vici- 
nity are unhealthy places, but almoft every 
part of Upper Canada, and of the territory of 
the States bordering upon the lakes, is likewife 
unhealthy. The fickly feafon commences 
about the middle of July, and terminates about 
the firft week of September, as foon as the . 
nights become cold. Intermittent fevers are 
the raoft common diforders ; but in fome parts 
of the country the inhabitants fuffer from con- 
tinual fevers, of which there are different 
kinds, peculiar to certain districts. In the 
country, for inftance, bordering upon the 
Genefee River, which falls into Lake Ontario 
on the fouthern fide, a fever is common 
amongft the inhabitants of a malignant nature, 
vulgarly called the Genefee fever, of which 
many die annually : and in that bordering 
upon the Miami River, which falls into 
Lake Erie, within the north-weftern territory 
of the United States, a fever of a different 
kind, again, is common. It does not appear 
that the exact nature of thefe different fevers 
has ever been accurately afcertained. In the 
back parts of North America, in general, 
medical men are rarely to be met with, and 



indeed if they were, the fettlements are fo far 
removed from each other, that they could be 
of little fervice. 

It is very remarkable, that notwithflanding 
that medical affiftance is fo rarely to be had in 
cafe of ficknefs in the back country, yet the 
Americans, when they are about to change 
their place of abode, feldom or ever confider 
whether the part of the country to which they 
are going is healthy or otherwife, at leafr. they 
are fcarcely ever influenced in their choice of 
a place of reiidence either by its healthinefs or 
unhealthinefs. If the lands in one part of the 
country are fuperior to thole in another in 
fertility ; if they are in the neighbourhood of 
a navigable river, or fituated conveniently to 
a good market ; if they are cheap, and riling 
in value, thither the American will gladly 
emigrate, let the climate be ever fo un- 
friendly to the human fyitem. Not a year, 
paries over, but what numbers of people leave 
the beautiful and healthy banks of the Sufque- 
hannah River for the Genefee country, where, 
nine out of every ten of the inhabitants are re- 
gularly feized, during the autumn, with ma- 
lignant fevers; but the lands bordering upon 
the Sufquehannah are in general poor, whereas 
thofe in the Genefee country are in many 
places fo rich, that until reduced by iuccef- 
iave crops cf Indian corn, wheat, to ufe the 



common phrafe, " will run wholly to ftraw." 
where it has been fown in the firft inftance, 
the ftalks have frequently been found fourteen 
cr fifteer '"eet in length, two thirds of them 
lying on the ground. 

On the margin of Niagara River; about three 
quarters of a mile from the town, {lands a 
building called Navy Hall, erected for the ac- 
commodation of the naval officers on the lake 
during the winter feafon, when their vefTels are 
laid up. Oppoflte to it there is a fpaciousr 
wharf to protect the veiiels from the ice during 
the winter, and alfo to facilitate the landing 
of merchandize when the navigation is open. 
All cargoes brought up the lake, that are de- 
{lined for Niagara, are landed here. Ad- 
joining the wharf are very extenlive {tores 
belonging to the crown, and alio to private, 
perfons. Navy Hall is now occupied by the 
troops -, the fort en the oppoiite fide of the 
river, where they were formerly Rationed, hav- 
ing been delivered up purrfu'ant to the late 
treaty between his Majefty and the United 
States. The troops, however, are only to re- 
main at the hall until a blockhoufe is erected 
on the top of the banks for their accommo- 
dation ; this building is in a ftate of forward- 
nefs, and the engineer hopes to have it finifhed 
in a few months. 

The fort of Niagara Hands immediately at 



the mouth of the river, on a point of land, one 
fide of which is warned by the river and the 
other by the lake. Towards the water it is 
ftockaded -, and behind the ftockade, on the 
river iide, a large mound of earth rifes up, at 
the top of which are embrafures for guns •, on 
the land fide it is fecured by feveral batteries 
and redoubts, and by parallel lines of fafcines. 
At the gates, and in various different parts, 
there are ftrong blockhoufes ; and facing the 
lake, within the flockade, ftands a large forti- 
fied ftone houfe. The fort and outworks oc- 
cupy about five acres of ground ; and a gar- 
rilon of five hundred men, and at leafl from 
thirty to forty pieces of ordnance, would be 
neceffary to defend it properly. The federal 
garrifon, however, confifts only of fifty men $ 
and the whole of the cannon in the place 
amounts merely to four fmall field pieces, 
planted at the four corners of the fort. This 
fort was founded by the French, and confti- 
tuted one link of that extenfive chain of polls 
which they eftaMifhed along the lakes and the 
weitern waters, it was begun by the build- 
ing of the ftone houfe, after a iolemn promife 
had been obtained from the Indians that the 
artificers mould not be interrupted whiiif. 
they were going on with the work. The 
Indians readily made this promife, as, accord- 
ing to their notion, it would have been in-* 



hofpitable and unfriendly in the extreme not 
to have permitted a few traders to btiild a 
houfe within their territory to protect them 
againil: the inclemency of the feafons : but they 
were greatly aftonifhed when one fo totally 
different from any that they had ever ken. 
before, and from any that they had an idea 
of, was completed ; they began to fufpect that 
the ftrangers had plans in meditation unfa- 
vourable to their interefts, and they wifhed to 
difpoffefs them of their new maniion, but it 
was too late. In the hall of the houfe a well 
had been funk to keep it fupplied with water ; 
the houfe was plentifully ftored with provi- 
iions in cafe of a fiege; and the doors being 
once clofed, the tenants remained perfectly 
indifferent about every hoftile attack the In- 
dians could make againil: it. Fortifications to 
ftrengthen the houfe were gradually erected ; 
and by the year 1759 the place was fo ftrong 
as to refifr, for fome time, the forces under 
the command of Sir William Johnfton. Great 
additions were made to the works after the 
fort fell into the hands of the Britifh. The 
ftone houfe is a very fpacious building, and 
is now, as it was formerly, appropriated for the 
accommodation of the principal officers of the 
garrifon. In the rear of the houfe is a large 
apartment, commanding a magnificent view 
of the lake and of the diftant hills at Toronto, 



which formerly was the officers mefs room, 
and a pattern of neatnefs. The officers of the 
federal garrifon, however, confider it more 
convenient to mefs in one of the kitchens, and 
this beautiful room has been fufFered to po to 


ruin j indeed every part of the fort now ex- 
hibits a picture of flovenlinefs and neglect; 
and the appearance of the foldiers is equally 
devoid of neatnefs with that of their quarters. 
Though it was on Sunday morning that we 
vifited the fort, on which day it is ufual even 
for the men of the garrifons in the States to 
appear better dreffed than on other days, yet 
the greater part of the men were as dirty as if 
they had been at work in the trenches for a 
week without intermiffion : their grifly beards 
demonstrated that a razor had not approached 
their chins for many days ; their hair, to ap- 
pearance, had not been combed for the fame 
length of time ; their linen was filthy, their 
guns rufty, and their clothes ragged. That 
the clothes and accoutrements of the men 
mould not be better is not to be wondered at, 
confidering how very badly the weflern army 
of the States is appointed in every refpect; but 
it is -trance that the officers mould not attend 
more than they do to the cleanlbefs of their 
men. Their garrifons on the frontiers have 
uniformly fuffered more from ficknefs than 
thofe of the British 5 and it is to be attributed, 
Vol. II. H I mould 


I mould imagine, in a great meafure to their, 
filthinefs; for the men are as flout and hardy, 
apparently, as any in the world. The weftem 
army of the States has been moil fhamefully 
appointed from the very outfet. I heard Ge- 
neral Wayne, then the commander in chief, 
declare at Philadelphia, that a fhort time after 
they had begun their march, more than one 
third of his men were attacked in the woods, 
at the fame period, with a dyfentery ; that the 
furgeons had not even been furnifhed with a 
medicine chefr. ; and that nothing could have 
faved the greater part of the troops from death, 
had not one of the young furgeons fortu- 
nately difcovered, after many different things 
had been tried in vain, that the bark of the 
root of a particular fort of yellow poplar tree 
was a powerful antidote to the diforder. Many 
times alfo, he faid, his army had been on the 
point of fuffering from famine in their own 
country, owing to the careleffnefs of their 
commiflaries. So badly indeed had the army 
been fupplied, even latterly* with provifions, 
that when notice was fent to the federal ge- 
neral by the Britifh officers, that they had re- 
ceived orders to deliver up their refpedtive 
ports purfuant to the treaty, and that they were 
prepared to do fo whenever he was ready to 
take poffeffion of them,, an anfwer was re- 
turned, that unlefs the Britifh officers could 


F E D E R A L A R M Y; 99 

fupply his army with a confiderable quantity 
of provifions on arriving at the lakes, he could 
not attempt to march for many weeks. The 
federal army was generoufly fupplied with fifty 
barrels of pork, as much as the Britilh could 
pofiibly fpare ; notwithstanding which, it did 
not make its appearance till a confiderable time 
after the day appointed for the delivery of the 
ports. The federal army is compofed almofl 
wholly of Irimmen and Germans, that were 
brought over as redemptioners, and enlifted as 
foon as they landed, before they had an op- 
portunity of learning what great wages were 
given to labourers in the States. The natives 
of the country are too fond of making money 
to reft fatisfied with the pay of a common 

The American prints, until the late treaty of 
amity was ratified, teemed with the moft grofs 
abufe of the Britifh government, for retaining 
pofTeffion of Niagara Fort, and the other 
military pofts on the lakes, after the inde- 
pendence of the States had been acknowledged, 
and peace concluded. It was never taken into 
confideration, that if the Britiih government 
had thought proper to have withdrawn its 
troops from the pofts at once, immediately 
after the definitive treaty was figned, the 
works would in all probability have been 
deilroyed by the Indians, within whofe terri- 
H 2 lories 


tories they were fituated, long before the peo- 
ple of the States could have taken pofTeiHon of 
them; for no part of their army was within 
hundreds of miles of the pods, and the country 
through which they mult have pail in getting 
to them was a mere wildernefs j but if the 
army had gained the pofts, the ftates were in 
no condition, immediately after the war, to 
have kept in them fuch large bodies of the 
military as would have been abfolutely necef- 
fary for their defence whilft at enmity with the 
Indians, and it is by no means improbable, but 
that the polls might have been foon abandon- 
ed. The retention of them, therefore, to the 
prefent day, was, in fadt, a circumflance highly 
beneficial to the interefts of the States, not- 
withftanding that fuch an outcry was raifed 
againft the Britifh on that account, inafmuch 
as the Americans now find themfelves poilefled 
of extenfive fortifications on the frontiers, in 
perfect repair, without having been at the 
expence of building them, or maintaining 
troops in them for the fpace of ten years, 
during which period no equivalent advantages 
could have been derived from their pofieiTion. 
It is not to be fuppofed, however, that the 
Britifh government meant to confer a favour 
on her late colonies by retaining the po-fts - y it 
was well known that the people of the new 
ftates would be eager, fooner or later, to get 
§ poiTefiion 

REMARK? iai 

pofTeffion of forts fituated within their boun- 
dary line, and occupied by ftrangers -, and as 
there were particular parts of the definitive^ 
treaty which fome of the ftates did not feem 
very ready to comply with, the pofts were 
detained as a fecurity for its due ratification 
on the part of the States. In the late treaty 
of amity and commerce, thefe differences were 
finally accommodated to the fatisfaction of 
Great Britain, and the polls were confequently 
delivered up. On the furrender of them very 
handfome compliments were paid, in the pub- 
lic papers throughout the States, to the Britifh 
officers, for the polite and friendly manner in 
which they gave them up. The gardens of 
the officers were all left in full bearing, and 
high prefervation -, and all the little conve- 
niences were fpared, which could contribute 
to the comforts of the federal troops. 

The generality of the people of the States 
were big with the idea, that the poiferTion of 
thefe places would be attended with the mofr. 
important and immediate advantages ; and in 
particular they were fully periuaded, that they 
would thereby at once become matters of the 
trade tp the lakes, and of three-fourths at lean: 
of the fur trade, which, they faid, had hitherto 
been fo unjuilly monopolized by the Britifh 
merchants, to their great prejudice. They 
have now got pofleifion of them, and perceive 
the futility of all thefe notions. 

H 3 The 


The potts furrendered are four in number ; 
namely, Fort Ofwego, at the mouth of Ofwego 
River, which falls into Lake Ontario, on the 
fouth fide; Fort Niagara, at the mouth of 
Niagara River ; Fort Detroit, on the weftern 
bank of Detroit River j and Fort Michillima- 
chinack, at the ftraits of the fame name, 
between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. 
From Ofwego, the firft of thefe, we derived 
no benefit whatever. The neighbouring 
country, for miles round, was a mere foreft ; 
it was inhabited by but few Indians, and thefe 
few carried their furs to Cadaragui orKingfton, 
where they got a better price for them than 
at Ofwego, as there were many traders there, 
and of courfe fome competition amongft thems 
at the fame time, the river, at the mouth of 
which this fort ftands, was always open to the 
people of the States, and along it a fmall trade 
was carried on by them between New York 
and Lake Ontario, which was in no wife ever 
interrupted by the troops at the fort. By the 
furrender of this place, therefore, they have 
gained nothing but what they enjoyed before 
and the Britifh government is faved the ex- 
pence of keeping up a ufelefs garrifon of fifty 

The quantity of furs collected at Niagara is 
considerable, and the neighbourhood being 
populous, it is a place of no fmall trade $ but 



the town, in which this trade is carried on, 
being on the Britifh fide o' the line, the few 
merchants that lived within the limits of the 
fort immediately croiled over to the other fide, 
as foon as it was rumoured that the fort was 
to be giv r, up. By the porTeffion of a folitary 
fort, therefore, the people of the States have 
not gained the fmallefr, portion of this part of 
the lake trade; nor is it probable that any 
of them will find it their interefl to fettle as 
merchants near the fort ; for the Britifh mer- 
chants, on the oppofite fide, as has already 
been fhewn, can afford to fell their goods, 
brought- up the St. Lawrence, on much lower 
terms than what goods brought from New 
York can be fold at ; and as for the collecting 
of furs, it is not to be imagined that the Indians, 
who bear fuch a rooted hatred to the people of 
the States, who are attached to the Britifh, and 
who are not a people ready to forfake their 
old friends, will carry their furs over to their 
enemies, and give up their connections with 
the men with whom they have been in the 
habit of dealing, and who can afford to pay 
them fo much better than the traders on the 
oppofite fide of the water. 

i Detroit, of all the places which have been 
given up, is the mofl important; for it is a 
town, containing at leaft twelve hundred in* 
habitants. Since its furrender, however, a 

H 4 new 


new town has been laid out on the oppofitc 
bank of the river, eighteen miles lower down, 
and hither many of the traders have removed. 
The majority of them flay at Detroit ; but 
few or none have become citizens of the State6 
in confequence, nor is it likely that they will, 
at leaft for fome time. In the late treaty, a 
particular provifion for them was made ; they 
were to be allowed to remain there for one 
year, without being called on to declare their 
fentiments, and if at the end of that period 
they chofe to remain Britilh fubjecls, they 
were not to be molefled * in any manner, but 
furTered to carry on their trade as formerly in 
the fulled extent; the portion of the fur trade, 
which we lhall lofe by the furrender of this 
place, will therefore be very inconfiderable. 

The fourth poft, Miehillimachinack, is a 
fmall flockaded fort, fituated on an ifland. 

* This part of the late treaty has by no means been ftri&ly 
obferved on the part of the States. The officers of the federal 
army, without afking permiffion, and contrary to the defire of 
feveral of the remaining Britifh inhabitants, appropriated to 
their own ufe feveral of the houfes and {lores of thofe who had 
removed to the new town, and declared their determination of 
not becoming citizens of the States; and many of the inhabitants 
had been called on to ferve in the militia, and to perform 
duties, from which, as Britifh Objects, they were exempted by 
the articles in the treaty in their favour. When we were at 
Detroit, the Britifh inhabitants met together, and drew up a 
memorialon the fubjeJt, reciting their grievances, which was 
committed to our care, and accordingly prefented to the Britifh 
ininifter ac Philadelphia. 



The agents of the North-weft Company of 
merchants at Montreal, and a few independent 
traders, refided within the limits of the fort, 
and bartered goods there for furs brought in by 
different tribes of Indians, who are the fole 
inhabitants of the neighbouring country. On 
evacuating this place, another poft was imme- 
diately eftablifhed, at no great diftance, on the 
Ifland of St. Jofeph, in the Straits of St. Mary, 
between lakes Superior and Huron, and a frnall 
garrifon left there, which has fince been aug- 
mented to upwards of fifty men. Several 
traders, citizens of the States, have eftablifhed 
themfelves at Michillimakinac ; but as the 
Britiih traders have fixed their new poft fo 
clofe to the old one, it is nearly certain that 
the Indians will continue to trade with their 
old friends in preference, for the reafons before 

From this ftatement it appears evident, that 
the- people of the States can only acquire 
by their new pofTeftion a fmall part of one 
branch of the fur trade, namely, of that 
which is carried on on one of the nearer lakes. 
The furs brought down from the diftant re- 
gions in the north-weft to the grand portage, 
and from thence in canoes to Montreal along 
the Utawa River, are what conftitute by far 
the principal part, both as to quantity and va- 
lue, of thofe exported from Montreal ; to talk, 
therefore, of their acquiring poffeffion of three- 


fourths of the fur trade by the furrender of the 
pofts on the lakes is abfurd in the extreme ; 
neither is it likely that they will acquire any 
confiderable fhare of the lake trade in general, 
which, as I have already pointed out, can be 
carried on by the Britifli merchants from 
Montreal and Quebec, by means of the St. 
Lawrence, with fuch fuperior advantage. 

It is worthy of remark, that as military pofis, 
all thofe lately eftablimed by the Britifli are far 
fuperior, in point of fituation, to thofe deli- 
vered up. The ground on which the new 
block houfe is building, on the Britifli fide of 
Niagara River, is nine feet higher than the top 
of the ftone houfe in the American fort, and 
it commands every part of the fort. The 
chief frrength of the old fort is on the land 
fide ; towards the water the works are very 
weak, and the whole might be battered down 
by a fingle twelve pounder judicioufly planted 
on the Britifh fide of the river. At prefent it 
is not propofed to erect any other works on 
the Britifli fide of the river than the block 
houfe ; but fhould a fort be conftructed here- 
after, it will be placed on Mifliffaguis Point, a 
Hill more advantageous fituation than that on 
which the block houfe flands, as it completely 
commands the entrance into the river. 

The new port, on Detroit River commands 
the channel much- more effectually than the 



old fort in the town of Detroit ; veffels cannot 
go up or down the river without pairing within 
a very few yards of it. It is remarkable, in- 
deed, that the French, when they firft pene- 
trated into this part of the country, fixed upon 
the fpot chofen for this new fort, in preference 
to that where Detroit ftande. an( j they had ab- 
folutely begun their fort and town, when the 
whole party was unhappily cut off by the In- 

The ifland of St, Jofeph, in the third place, 
is a more eligible fituation for a Britifh mi- 
litary poll- than Michillimakinac, inafmuch as 
it commands the entrance of Lake Superior, 
whereas Michillimakinac only commands the 
entrance into Lake Michigan, which is wholly 
within the territory of the United States. 
It is fincerely to be hoped, however, that 

• Great Britain and the United States may con- 
tinue friends, and that we never may have oc- 
cafion to view thofe pofts on the frontiers in 

' any other light than as convenient places for 

' carrying on commerce. 



Defcnption of the River and Falls of Niagara 
and the Country bordering upon the Navigable 

Part of the River below the Falls. 

. - 

Fort Chippeway, September. 

A T the distance of eighteen miles from the 
* town of Niagara or Newark, are thofe 
remarkable Falls in Niagara River, which may 
juftly be ranked amongfr the greateft natural 
curiofities in the known world. The road 
leading from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie runs 
within a few hundred yards of them. This 
road, which is within the Britiih dominions, is 
carried along the top of the lofty fteep banks 
of the river; for a confiderable way it runs 
.clofe to their very edge, and in paffing along it 
the eye of the traveller is entertained with a 
Variety of the moil grand and beautiful pro- 
fpe&s. The river, inftead of growing narrow 
as you proceed upwards, widens confiderably : 
at the end of nine or ten miles it expands to 
the breadth of a mile, and here it arTumes 
much the appearance of a lake -, it is enclofed, 
feemingly on all fides, by high hills, and the 
current, owing to the great depth of the water, 
is fo gentle as to be fcarcely perceptible from 
the top of the banks. It continues thus broad 



for a mile or two, when on a fudden the 
waters are contracted between the high hills 
on each fide. From hence up to the falls the 
current is exceedingly irregular and rapid. At 
the upper end of this broad part of the river, 
and nearly at the foot of the banks, is fituated 
a fmall village, that has been called Queenf- 
town, but which, in the adjacent country, is 
beft known by the name of " The Landing." 
The lake merchant vefTels can proceed up to 
this village with perfect fafety, and they com- 
monly do fo, to depofit, in the ftores there, 
fuch goods as are intended to be fent higher 
up the country, and to receive in return the 
furs, &c. that have been collected at the various 
polls on lakes Huron and Erie, and fent thither 
to be conveyed down to Kingfton, acrofs Lake 
Ontario. The portage from this place to the 
nearer! navigable part of Niagara River, above 
the Falls, is nine miles in length. 

About halfway up the banks, at the diftance 
of a few hundred yards from Queendown, 
there is a very extenfive range of wooden bar- 
racks, which, when viewed a little way off, 
appears to great advantage ; thefe barracks are 
now quite unoccupied, and it is not probable 
that they will ever be ufed until the climate 
improves : the firft troops that were lodged in 
them fickened in a very few days after their 
arrival j many of the men died, and had not 



thofe that remained alive been removed, pur- 
suant to the advice of the phyficians, to other 
quarters, the whole regiment might pofiibly 
have perimed. 

From the town of Niagara to Queenftown, 
the country in the neighbourhood of the river 
is very level , but here it puts on a different 
afpect , a. confufed range of hills, covered with 
oaks of an immenfe fize, fuddenly rifes up 
before you, and the road that winds up the 
fide of them is fo fleep and rugged that it is 
abfolutely neceffary for the traveller to leave 
his carriage, if he mould be in one, and pro- 
ceed to the top on foot. Beyond thefe hills 
you again come to an unbroken level country; 
but the foil here differs materially from that on 
the oppofite fide; it confifts of a rich dark earth 
intermixed with clay, and abounding with 
itones ; whereas, on the fide next Lake Onta- 
rio, the foil is of a yellowifh caft, in fome 
places inclining to gravel and in others to 

From the brow of one of the hills in this 
ridge, which overhangs the little village of 
Queenftown, the eye of the traveller is grati- 
fied with one of the fineit profpedts that can be 
imagined in nature : you itand amidft a clump 
of large oaks, a little to the left of the road, 
and looking downwards, perceive, through the 
branches of the trees with which the hill is 



clothed from the fummit to the bafe, the tops 
of the houfes of Queen flown, and in front 
of the village, the {hips moored in the river j 
the fhips are at leaf! two hundred feet below 
you, and their mails appear like flender reeds 
peeping up amidfl the thick foliage of the 
trees. Carrying your eye forward, you may 
trace the river in all its windings, and finally 
fee it diiembogue into Lake Ontario, between 
the town and the fort : the lake itfelf termi- 
nates your view in this direction, except 
merely at one part of the horizon, where you 
juffc get a glimpfe of the blue hills of Toronto. 
The iTiore of the river, on the right hand, 
remains in its natural ftate, covered with one 
continued forefl ; but on the oppofite fide the 
country is interfperfed with cultivated fields 
and neat farm houfes down to the water's edge. 
The country beyond the hills is much lefs 
cleared than that which lies towards the town 
of Niagara, on the navigable part of the 

From the fudden change of the face of the 
country in the neighbourhood of Queenflown, 
and the equally fudden change in the river 
with refpect to its breadth, depth, and current, 
conjectures have been formed, that the great 
falls of the river mufl originally have been 
fituated at the fpot where the waters are fo 
abruptly contracted between the hills j and 



indeed it is highly probable that this was the 
cafe, for it is a fact well afcertained, that the 
falls have receded very confiderably fince they 
were firft vifited by Europeans, and that they 
are frill receding every year ; but of this I mall 
have occaiion to fpeak more particularly pre- 

It was at an early hour of the day that we 
left the town of Niagara or Newark, accom- 
panied by the attorney general and an officer 
of the Britifh engineers, in order to vilit thefe 
ftupendous Falls. Every ftep that we advanced 
toward them, our expectations rofe to a higher 
pitch ; our eyes were continually on the look 
out for the column of white mift. which hovers 
over them -, and an hundred times, I believe, 
did we flop our carriage in hopes of hearing 
their thundering found : neither, however, was 
the mift to be {cqii, nor the found to be heard, 
when we came to the foot of the hills -, nor 
after having croiTed over them, were our eyes 
or ears more "ratified. This occasioned no 
inconfidcrable diiapooifttment, and we could 
not but exprefs our doubts to each other, 
that the wondrous accounts we had fo fre- 
quently heard of the Falls were without foun- 
dation, and calculated merely to impofe on 
the minds of credulous people that inhabited 
a diftant part of the world. Thefe doubts were 
nearly confirmed, when we found that, after 



having approached within half a mile of the 
place, the mill was but juft difcernible, and 
that the found even then was not to be heard ; 
yet it is neverthelefs ftricYiy true, that the 
tremendous noife of the Falls may be diftin&ly 
heard, at times, at the diftance of forty miles ; 
and the cloud formed from the fpray may be 
even feen ftill farther off*; but it is only when 
the air is very clear, and there is a fine blue 
fky, which however are very common occur- 
rences in this country, that the cloud can be 
feen at fuch a great diftance. The hearing of 
the found of the falls afar off alfo depends 
upon the ftate of the atmofphere ; it is ob- 
ferved, that the found can be heard at the 
greateft diftance, juft before a heavy fall of rain, 
and when the wind is in a favourable point to 

* We ourfelves, fome time afterwards, beheld the cloud with 
the naked eye, at no lei's a diftance than fifty-four miles, when 
failing on Lake Erie, on board one of the king's fhips. The 
day on which we faw it was uncommonly clear and calm, and 
-tye were feated on the poop of the velfel, admiring the bold 
fcenery of the fouthern fnore of the lake, when the commander, 
who had been aloft to make fome obfervations, came to us, and 
pointing to a fma!l white cloud in the horizon, told us, that 
that was the cloud overhanging Niagara. At firft it appeared 
to us that this mull have been a mere conjecture, but on mi- 
nute cbfervation it was evident that the commander's informa- 
tion was juft. All the other light clouds in a few minutes, flit- 
ted away to another part of the horizon, whereas this one re- 
mained fteadily fixed in the fame fpot ; and on looking at it 
through a glafs, it was plain to fee that the ftiape of the cloud 
varied every inftant, owing to the continued nfing of the mift; 
from the cataraft beneath. 

Vol. II. I convey 


convey the found toward the liftener : the day 
on which we firil approached the fails was 
thick and cloudy. 

On that part of the road leading to Lake 
Erie which draws nearer! to the falls, there is 
a fmall village, confiiting of about half a clozen 
ftraggling houfes : here we alighted, and hav- 
ing difpofed of our horfes, and made a flight 
repaft, in order to prepare us for the fatigue 
we had to go through, we crofTed over fome 
fields towards a deep hollow place furrounded 
with large trees, from the bottom of which 
iflued thick volumes of whitim milt, that had 
much the appearance of fmoke rifmg from 
large heaps of burning weeds. Having come 
to the edge of this hollow place, we defcended 
a fteep bank of about fifty yards, and then 
walking for fome diftance over a wet marihy 
piece of ground, covered with thick buihes, 
at lait. came to the Table Rock, fo called 
from the remarkable flatnefs of its furface, 
and its bearing fome iimilitude to a table. 
This rock is fituated a little to the front of the 
great fall, above the top of which it is elevat- 
ed about forty feet. The view from it is 
truly fublime ; but before I attempt to give 
any idea of the nature of this view, it will 
be necerTary to take a more general furvey of 
the river and falls. 

Niagara River iiTues from the eaftern ex- 


t'remity of Lake Erie, and after a courfe of 
thirty-fix miles difcharges itfeif into Lake On- 
tario, as has already been mentioned. For 
the firfl few miles from Lake Erie, the breadth 
of the river is about three hundred yards, 
and it is deep enough for veilels drawing nine 
or ten feet water ; but the current is fo ex- 
tremely rapid and irregular, and the channel fo 
intricate, on account of the numberlefs large 
rocks in different places, that no other veilels 
than bateaux ever attempt to pafs along it. 
As you proceed downward the river widens, no 
rocks are to be feen either along the mores 
or in the channel, and the waters glide 
fmoothly along, though the current continues 
very flrong. The river runs thus evenly, and 
is navigable with fafety for bateaux as far as 
Fort Chippeway, which is about three miles 
above the falls -, but here the bed of it again 
becomes rocky, and the waters are violently 
agitated by pafiing down fuccefiive rapids, fo 
much fo indeed, that were a boat by any 
chance to be carried but a little way beyond 
Chippeway, where people ufually flop, no- 
thing could fave it from being dallied to pieces 
long before it came to the falls. With fuch 
aftoniming impetuofity do the waves break on 
the rocks in thefe rapids, that the mere fight 
of them from the top of the banks is fufficient 
to make you fhudder. I muft in this place, 

1 2 however, 


however, obferve, that it is only on each fide 
of the river that the waters are fo much 
troubled; in the middle of it, though the cur- 
rent is alio there uncommonly fwift, yet the 
breakers are not fo dangerous but boats may 
pafs down, if dexteroufly managed, to an 
ifland which divides the river at the very falls. 
To go down to this ifland it is necetTary to fet 
off at fome diflance above Chippeway, where 
the current is even, and to keep exactly in the 
middle of the river the whole way thither ; if 
the boats were furfered to get out of their 
courfe ever fo little, either to the right or 
left, it would be impoflible to item the cur- 
rent, arid bring them again into it ; they would 
be irrefiftibly carried towards the falls, and 
deftruciion mud: inevitably follow. In return- 
ing from the ifland there is ftill more diffi- 
culty and danger than in going to it. Not- 
withstanding thefe circumftances, numbers of 
perfons have the foolhardinefs to proceed to 
this ifland, merely for the fake of beholding 
the falls from the oppolite fide of it, or for 
the fake of having in their power to fay that 
they had been upon it. 

The river forces its way amidfl the rocks 
with redoubled impetuofity, as it approaches 
towards the falls ; at lafl coming to the brink 
of the tremendous precipice, it tumbles head- 
long to the bottom, without meeting with 



any interruption from rocks in its defcent. 
Jurr. at the precipice the river takes a con- 
fiderable bend to the ri^ht, and the line of the 
falls, inflead of extending from bank to bank 
in the lhorteft direction, runs obliquely acrofs. 
The width of the falls is considerably greater 
than the width of the river, admeafured fome 
way below the precipice ; but the annexed 
plan will enable you to form a better idea of 
their pofition than any written deicription 
whatfoever. For its great accuracy I cannot 
vouch, as it was done merely from the eye ; 
fuch as it is, however, I have fent it to you, 
conceiving it better that you mould have a 
plan fomewhat imperfect than no plan at all. 
On looking it over you will fee that the river 
does not rufh down the precipice in one un- 
broken meet, but that it is divided by iilands 
into three diilinct collateral falls. The moll: 
ftupendous of thefe is that on the north 
weflern or Britifh fide of the river, com- 
monly called the Great, or Horfe-fhoe Fall, 
from its bearing feme refemblance to the 
fhape of a horfe flioe. The height of this, 
is only one hundred and forty-two feet, where- 
as the others are each one hundred and fixty 
feet high ; but to its inferior height it is in- 
' debted principally for its grandeur ; the pre- 
cipice, and of courle the bed of the river 
above it, being lb much lower at the one 

I 3 fide 


fide than at the other, by far the greater part 
of the water of the river finds its way to the 
low fide, and ruihes down with greater velo- 
city at that fide than it does at the other, as 
the rapids above the precipice are flrongeft 
there. It is from the center of the Horfe- 
fhoe Fall that arifes that prodigious cloud of 
mifr. which may be feen fo far off. The ex- 
tent of the Horie-fhoe Fall can only be afcer- 
tained by the eye ; the general opinion of 
thofe who have moil frequently viewed it is, 
that it is not lefs than fix hundred yards in 
circumference. The ifland which feparates it 
from the next fall is fuppofed to be about 
three hundred and fifty yards wide; the 
fecond fall is about five yards wide ; the next 
ifland about thirty yards j and the third, com- 
monly called the Fort Schlopcr Fall, from 
being fituated towards the fide of the river on 
which that fort ftands, is judged to admeafure 
at lead as much as the large ifland. The 
whole extent of the precipice, therefore, in- 
cluding the ifknds, is, according to this com- 
putation, thirteen hundred and thirty-live 
yards. This is certainly not an exaggerated 
flatement. Some have fuppofed, that the line 
of the falls altogether exceeds an EngliiJi 
mile. The quantity of water carried down the 
falls is prodigious. It will be found to amount 
to 670,255 tons per minute, though calculated 


SVeefo sculp* 


.', lijfty KM. I. .; N | VK.VK A 


fimply from the following data, which ought 
to be correct, as coming from an experienced 
commander of one of the King's mips on Lake 
Erie, well acquainted in every refpecT: with that 
body of water, viz. that where Lake Erie, to- 
wards its eafcern extremity, is two miles and a 
half wide, the water is fix feet deep, and ths 
current runs at the rate of two knots in an 
hour ; but Niagara River, between this part of 
Lake Erie and the falls, receives the waters of 
feveral large creeks, the quantity carried dewn 
the falls muh: therefore be ^greater than the 
foregoing computation makes it to be; if we 
fay that fix hun dredand feventy-two thoufand 
tons of water are precipitated down the falls 
every minute, the quantity will not probably 
be much overrated. 

To return now to the Table Rock, fituated 
on the Britifh fide of the river, and on the verge 
of the Horfe-fttoe Fall. Here the fpeclator 
has an unobflructed view of the tremendous 
rapids above the falls, and of the circumjacent 
mores, covered with thick woods ; of the 
Horfe-fhoe Fall, fome yards below him; of 
the Fort Schloper Fall, at a di (lance to the 
left ; and of the frightful gulph beneath, into 
which, if he has but courage to approach to 
the expofed edge of the rock, he may look 
down perpendicularly. The aftonimment ex- 
cited in the mind of the fpectator by the vaft- 

1 4 nefs 


nefs of the different objects which he contem- 
plates from hence is great indeed, and few per- 
fons, on coming here for the firft time, can for 
fome minutes colled: themfelves fufficiently to 
be able to form any tolerable conception of the 
ftupendous fcene before them. It is impoilible 
for the eye to embrace the whole of it at once ; 
it muff gradually make itfelf acquainted, in the 
firft place, with the component parts of the 
fcene, each one of which is in itfelf an object 
of wonder; and fuch a length of time does 
this operation require, that many of thofe who 
have had an opportunity of contemplating the 
fcene at their leifure, for years together, have 
thought that every time they have beheld it, 
each part has appeared more wonderful and 
more fublime, and that it has only been at the 
time of their laft vifit that they have been 
able to dilcover all the grandeur of the ca- 
Having fpent a confiderable time on the 
Table Rock, we returned to the fields the fame 
way by which we had defcended, purfuant to 
the direction of the officer of engineers ac- 
companying us, who was intimately acquaint- 
ed with every part of the cataract, and of the 
adjoining ground, and was, perhaps, the beif 
guide that could be procured in the whole 
country. It would be poffible to purfue your 
way along the edge of the cliffy from the Tablu 



Rock, a confiderable way downwards ; but the 
bufhes are fo exceedingly thick, and the ground 
fo rugged, that the talk would be arduous in 
the extreme. 

The next fpot from which we furveyed 
the falls, was from the part of the cliff nearly 
oppofite to that end of the Fort Schlo- 
per Fall, which lies next to the iiland. You 
ftand here, on the edge of the cliff, behind fome 
bufhes, the tops of which have been cut down 
in order to open the view. From hence you 
have a better picfpect of the whole cataract, 
and are enabled to form a more correct idea 
of the pofition of the precipice, than from any 
one other place. The profpect from hence 
is more beautiful, but I think lefs grand than 
from any other fpot. The officer who fo po- 
litely directed our movements on this occafion 
was fo ftruck with the view from this fpot, 
that he once had a wooden houfe confiructed, 
and drawn down here by oxen, in which he 
lived until he had finifhed feveral different 
drawings of the cataract : one of thefe we were 
gratified with the fight of, which exhibited a 
view of the cataract in the depth of winter, 
when in a moil curious and wonderful ftate. 
The ice at this feafon of the year accumu- 
lates at the bottom of the cataract in immenfe 
mounds, and huge icicles, like the pillars of a 
maffy building, hang pendent in many places 
from the top of the precipice, reaching nearly 
to the bottom. 



Having left this place, we returned once 
more through the woods bordering upon the 
precipice to the open fields, and then directed 
our courfe by a circuitous path, about one mile 
in length, to a part of the cliff where it is 
poflible to defcend to the bottom of the cata- 
ract. The river, for many miles below the- 
precipice, is bounded on each fide by fteep, 
and in raoft parts perpendicular, cliffs, formed 
of earth and rocks, and it is impofiible to de- 
fcend to the bottom of them, except at two 
places, where large mafies of earth and rocks 
have crumbled down, and ladders have been 
placed from one break to another, for the ac- 
commodation of paifengers. The firft ofthefe 
places which you comg to in walking along 
the river, from the Horfe-(hoe Fall down- 
wards, is called the " Indian Ladder," the lad- 
ders having been conftrucled there by the In- 
dians. Thefe ladders, as they are called, of 
which there are feveral, one below the other, 
confift limply of long pine trees, with notches 
cut in their fides, for the parlenger to reft his 
feet on. The trees, even when firft placed 
there, would vibrate as you ftepped upon them, 
owing to their being fo long and ilender ; age 
has rendered them ftill lefs firm, and they now 
certainly cannot be deemed fafe, though many 
perfons are ftill in the habit of defcending by 
their means. We did not attempt to get to 
* the 


the bottom of the cliff by this route, but pro- 
- ceeded to the other place, which is lower down 
the river, called Mrs. Simcoe's Ladder, the lad- 
ders having been originally placed there for 
the accommodation of the lady of the late go- 
vernor. This route is much more frequented 
than the other -„ the ladders, properly fo called, 
are ftrong, and firmly placed, and none of them, 
owing to the frequent breaks in the cliff, 
are required to be of fuch a great length 
but what even a lady might pafs up or down 
them without fear of danger. To defcend over 
the rugged rocks, however, the whole way 
down to the bottom of the cliff, is certainly 
no trifling undertaking, and few ladies, I be- 
lieve, could be found of iurficient ftrength of 
body to encounter the fatigue cf fuch an ex- 

On arriving at the bottom of the cliff, you 
find yourfelf in the midlt of huge piles of 
milhapen rocks, with great maffes of earth and 
rocks projecting irom the fide of the cliff, and 
overgrown with pines and cedars hanging over 
your head, apparently ready to crumble down 
and crulli you to atoms. Many of the large 
trees grow with their heads downwards, being 
fufpended by their roots, which had taken 
fuch a firm hold in the ground at the top of 
the cliff, that when part of it gave way the 
frees did not fall altogether. The river before 



vou here is fomewhat more than a quarter of 
a mile wide ; and on the oppofite fide of it, a 
little to the right, the Fort Schloper Fall is (ecn 
to great advantage ; what you fee of the Horfe- 
moe Fall alfo appears in a very favourable 
point, of view ; the projecting cliff conceals 
nearly one half of it. The Fort Schloper Fall 
is fkirtcd at bottom by milk white foam, 
which afcends in thick volumes from the rocks; 
but it is not feen to rife above the fall like a 
cloud cf fmoke, as is the cafe at the Horfe-fhoe 
Fail; neverthelefs the fpray is fo confiderable, 
that it defcends on the oppofite fide of the 
river, at the foot of Simcoe's Ladder^ like 

Having reached the margin of the river, 
we proceeded towards the Great Fall, along 
the ftrand, which for a confiderable part of the 
way thither confifts of horizontal beds of 
limeftone rock, covered with gravel, except, 
indeed, where great piles of ftones have fallen 
from the fides of the cliff. Thefe horizontal 
beds of rock, in fome places, extend very far 
into the river, forming points which break 
the force of the current, and occafion ilrong 
eddies along particular parts of the more. 
Here great numbers of the bodies of fifties, 
fquirrels, foxes, and. various other animals, 
that, unable to item the current of the river 
above the falls, have been carried down them, 



r.nd confequently killed, are warned up. The 
more is likewife found II re wed with trees, and 
large pieces of timber, that have been fwept 
away from the faw mills above the falls, and 
carried down the precipice. The timber is 
generally terribly mattered, and the carcafes 
of all the large animals, particularly of the 
large rimes, are found very much bruiied. A 
dreadful flench arifes from the quantity of 
putrid matter lying on the more, and number- 
lefs birds of prey, attracted by it, are always 
feen hovering about the place. 

Amongft the numerous ilories current in the 
country, relating to this wonderful cataract, there 
is one that records the haplefsface of a poor In- 
dian, which I felect, as the truth of it is unquef- 
tionable. The unfortunate hero of this tale, 
intoxicated, it feems, with fpirits, had laid 
himfelf down to deep in the bottom of his 
canoe, which was fattened to the beach at 
the diftance of fome miles above the falls. 
His fquaw fat on the more to watch him. 
Whilft they were in this fituation, a failor from 
one of the mips of war on the neighbouring 
lakes happened to pafs by; he was {truck with 
the charms of the fquaw, and inftantly de- 
termined upon enjoying them. The faithful 
creature, however, unwilling to gratify his 
defires, haftened to the canoe to aroufe her 
hufband ; but before me could effect her pur- 



pofe, the lailor cut the cord by which the 
canoe was fattened, and fet it adrift. It quickly 
floated away with the dream from the fatal 
fpot, and ere many minutes elapfed, was carried 
down into the midft of the rapids. Here it 
was diffinctly feen by feveral perfons that were 
ftandingon the adjacent more, whofe attention 
had been caught by the Angularity of the ap- 
pearance of a canoe in mch a part of the river. 
The violent motion of the waves foon awoke 
the Indian ; he darted up, looked wildly 
around, and perceiving his danger, inflantly 
feized his paddle, and made the moil furprifing 
exertions to five himfelf * x but finding in a 
little time that all his efforts would be of no 
avail in {lemming the impetuoiity of the 
current, he with great compofure put afide his 
paddle, wrapt himfelf up in his blanket, and 
again laid himfelf down in the bottom of the 
canoe. In a few feconds he was hurried down 
the precipice; but neither he nor his canoe 
were ever feen more. It is fuppofed that not 
more than one third of the different things 
that happen to be carried down the falls re- 
appear at bottom. 

From the foot of Simcoe's Ladder you may 
walk along the it rand for fome diffance with- 
out inconvenience ; but as you approach the 
Horfe-moe Fall, the way becomes more and 
more rugged. In fome places, where the cliff 



has crumbled down, huge mounds of earth, 
rocks, and trees, reaching to the water's edge, 
oppofe your courfe ; it feems impoffible to 
pafs them ; and, indeed, without a guide, a 
itranger would never find his way to the op- 
polite fide ; for to get there it is necefiary to 
mount nearly to their top, and then to crawl 
on your hands and knees through long dark 
holes, where paflages are left open between 
the torn up rocks and trees. After palling 
thefe mounds, vou have to climb from rock 
to rock clofe under the cliff, for there is but 
little fpace here between the cliff and the 
river, and thefe rocks are fo flippery, owing 
to the continual mcifture from the fpray, 
which defcends very heavily, that without the 
utmoft precaution it is fcarcely poflible to 
efcape a fall. At the diftance of a quarter of 
a mile from the Great Fall we were as wet, 
owing to the fpray, as if each of us had been 
thrown into the river. 

There is nothing whatfoever to prevent you 
from palling to the very foot of the Great Fall; 
and you might even proceed behind the prodi- 
gious meet of water that comes pouring down 
from the top of the precipice, for the water 
falls from the edge of a projecting rock; and, 
moreover, caverns of a very conliderable fize 
have been hollowed out of the rocks at the 
bottom of the precipice, owing to the violent 



ebullition of the water, which extend fome way 
underneath the bed of the upper part of the 
river. I advanced within about fix yards of 
the edge of the meet of water* juft far enough 
to peep into the caverns behind it; but here 
my breath was nearly taken away by the violent 
whirlwind that always rages at the bottom of 
the cataract, occafioned by the concuffion of 
fuch a vaft body of water againft the rocks. I 
confefs I had no inclination at the time to go 
farther; ncr, indeed, any of us afterwards at- 
tempted to explore the dreary confines of thefe 
caverns, where death feemed to await him that 
mould be daring enough to enter their threat- 
ening jaws. No words can convey an ade- 
quate idea of the awful grandeur of the fcene 
at this place. Your fenfes are appalled by the 
fight of the immenfe body of water that comes 
pouring down fo clofely to you from the top of 
the ftupendous precipice, and by the thunder- 
ing found of the billows dafhing againft. the 
rocky fides of the caverns below ; you trem- 
ble with reverential fear, when you con fider 
that a biait of the whirlwind might fvveep you 
from off the flippery rocks on which you 
iland, and precipitate you into the dreadful 
gulph beneath, from whence all the power of 
man could not extricate you -, you feel what an 
infignificant being you are in the creation, and 
your mind is forcibly imprefied with an awful 



idea of the power of that mighty Being who 
commanded the waters to flow. 

Since the Falls of Niagara were firft dis- 
covered they have receded very confiderably, 
owing to the difrupture of the rocks which 
form the precipice. The rocks at bottom 
are firft loofened by the conftant action of 
the water upon them; they are afterwards 
carried away, and thofe at top being thus un- 
dermined, are foon broken by the weight of 
the water ruiliing over them : even within 
the memory of many of the prefent inhabi- 
tants of the country, the falls have receded 
feveral yards. The commodore of the King's 
verTels on Lake Erie, who had been employed 
on that lake for upwards of thirty years, in- 
formed me, that when he firft came into the 
country it was a common practice for young 
men to go to the iiland in the middle of the 
falls ; that after dining there, they ufed fre- 
quently to dare each other to walk into the 
river towards certain large rocks in the midft 
of the rapids, not far from the edge of the 
falls ; and fometimes to proceed through the 
water, even beyond thefe rocks. No fuch 
rocks are to be feen at prefent ; and were 
a man to advance two yards into the river 
from the iiland, he would be inevitably fwept 
away by the torrent. It has been conjectured, 
as I before mentioned, that the Falls of Nia- 
Voj,. II. K gara 


gara were originally fituated at Queenftown $ 
and indeed the more pains you take to exa- 
mine the courfe of the river from the prefent 
falls downward, the more reafon is there to 
imagine that fuch a conjecture is well found- 
ed. From the precipice nearly down to 
Queenftown, the bed of the river is ftrewed 
with large rocks, and the banks are broken 
and rugged ; circumftances which plainly de- 
note that fome great difruption has taken 
place along this part of the river; and we 
need be at no lofs to account for it, as 
there are evident marks of the action of wa- 
ter upon the fides of the banks, and confi- 
derably above their prefent bafes. Now the 
river has never been known to rife near thefe 
marks during the greater! floods ; it is plain, 
therefore, that its bed muft have been once 
much more elevated than it is at prefent. 
Below Queenftown, however, there are no 
traces on the banks to lead us to imagine that 
the level of the water was ever much higher 
there than it is now. The fudden increafe 
of the depth of the river juft below the hills 
at Queenftown, and its fudden expannon there 
at the fame time, feem to indicate that the 
waters mull for a great length of time have 
fallen from the top of the hills, and thus have 
formed that extenfive deep bafin below the 
village. In the river, a mile or two above 



Queenftown, there is a tremendous whirlpool, 
owing to a deep hole in the bed ; this hole 
was probably alio formed by the waters falling 
for a great length of time on the fame fpot, in 
confequence of the rocks which compofed the 
then precipice having remained firmer than 
thofe at any other place did. Tradition tells us, 
that the great fall, inftead of having been in 
the form of a horfe fhoe, once projected in the 
middle. For a century paft, however, it has 
remained nearly in the prefent form ; and as 
the ebullition of the water at the bottom of 
the cataract is fo much greater at the center 
of this fail than in any other part, and as the 
water confequently a&s with more force there 
in undermining the precipice than at any other 
part, it is not unlikely that it may remain nearly 
in the fame form for ages to come. 

At the bottom of the Horfe-£hoe Fall is 
found a kind of white concrete fubftance, by 
the people of the country, called fpray. 
Some perfons have fuppofed that it is formed 
from the earthy particles of the water, which 
defcending, owing to their great fpecific gra- 
vity, quicker than the other particles, adhere 
to the rocks, and are there formed into a mafs. 
This concrete fubftance has precifely the ap- 
pearance of petrified froth -, and it is remark- 
able, that it is found adhering to thofe rocks 
againft which the greateft quantities of the 

K 2 froth 


froth, that floats upon the water, is warned 
by the eddies. 

We did not think ofafcending the cliff till 
the evening was far advanced, and had it been 
poflible to have found our way up in the dark, 
I verily believe we mould have remained at the 
bottom of it until midnight. Juft as we left 
the foot of the great fall the fun broke through 
the clouds, and one of the moff. beautiful and 
perfect rainbows that ever I beheld was ex- 
hibited in the fpray that arofe from the fall. 
It is only at evening and morning that the 
rainbow is feen in perfection ; for the banks 
of the river, and the deep precipice, made the 
fun from the fpray at the bottom of the fall in 
the middle of the day. 

At a great diftance from the foot of the ladder 
we halted, and one of the party was difoatched 
to fetch a bottle of brandy and a pair of goblets, 
which had been depofited under fome flones on 
the margin or the river, in our way to the great 
fail, whither it would have been highly incon- 
venient to have carried them. Wet from head 
to foot, and greatly fatigued, there certainly 
was not one amongtl us that appeared, at the 
moment, defirous of getting the brandy, in 
order to pour out a libation to the tutelary 
deities of the cataract ; nor indeed was there 
much reafon to apprehend that our piety would 
have ihone forth more confpicuoufly after- 

' wards : 


wards j however it was not put to the teft ; 
for "the meffenger returned in a few minutes 
with the woeful intelligence that the brandy 
and goblets had been ftolen. We were at no 
great lofs in gueffing who the thieves were. 
Perched on the rocks, at a little diftance from 
us, fat a pair of the river nymphs, not 
" nymphs with fedged crowns and ever 
" harmlefs looks ;" not " temperate nymphs," 
but a pair of fquat Sturdy old wenches, that 
with clofe bonnets and tucked up petticoats 
had crawled down the cliff, and were bufied 
with long rods in angling for fifli. Their noify 
clack plainly indicated that they had been 
well pleafed with the brandy, and that we 
ought not to entertain any hopes of recover- 
ing the fpoil ; we e'en flaked our thirft, there- 
fore, with a draught from the whole forne flood, 
and having done fo, boldly pufhed forward, 
and before it was quite dark regained the ha- 
bitations from whence we had Started. 

On returning we found a well-fpread table 
laid out for us in the porch of the houfe, and 
having gratified the keen appetite which the 
fatigue we had encountered had excited, our 
friendly guides, having previously given us 
inltrucf ions for examining the falls more par- 
ticularly, fet off by moonlight for Niagara, and 
we repaired to Fort Chippeway, three miles 
above the falls, which place we made our 

K, 3 head- 


head- quarters while we remained in the 
neighbourhood, becaufe there was a tolerable 
tavern, and no houfe in the village near the 
falls, where ficknefs was not prevalent. 

The Falls of Niagara are muchlefs difficult 
of accefs now than they were fome years ago, 
Charlevoix, who vifited them in the year 1720,. 
tells us, that they were only to be viewed from 
one fpot; and that from thence the fpectator 
had only a fide profpect of them. Had he been 
able to have defcended to the bottom, he 
would have had ocular demon ftration of the 
exiftence of caverns underneath the precipice, 
which he fuppofed to be the cafe from the 
hollow found of the falling of the waters; from 
the number of carcafes warned up there on 
different parts of the ftrand, and would alfo 
have been convinced of the truth of a circum- 
ftance which he totally dilbelieved, namely, 
that fiih were oftentimes unable to item the 
rapid current above the falls, and were con- 
fequently carried down the precipice. 

The moil favourable i'eaion for vifiting the 
falls is about the middle of September, the 
time when we faw them ; for then the woods 
are feen in all their glory, beautifully variegat- 
ed with the rich tints of autumn ; and the 
fpectator is not then annoyed with vermin. 
In the fummer feafon you meet with rattle- 
fnakes at every flep, and mufquitoes i warm fo 



thickly in the air, that to ufe a common phrafe 
of the country, " you might cut them with 
*' a knife." The cold nights in the begin- 
ning of September effectually baniih. thefe 
noxious animals. 


Defcription of Fort Chippeway. — Plan in me- 
ditation to cut a Canal to avoid the Portage at 
the Falls of Niagara. — Departure from Chip- 
peway. — Intenfe Heat of the Weather. — De*> 
fcription of the Country bordering on Niagara 
River above the Falls. — Obfervations on the 
Climate of Upper Canada. — Ratilefnakes co?n- 
mon in Upper Canada. — Fort Erie. — Mifer- 
able Accommodation there. — Squirrel hunting. 
— Seneka Indians. — Their Expertnefs at the 
Ufe of the Blow-gun.-— Defcription of the 
Blow -gun. — Excurfon to the Village of the 
Senekas. — Whole Nation abfent. — Pafage of 
a dangerous Sand Bar at the Mouth of Buf- 
falo Creek. — Sail from Fort Erie. — Driven 
back by a Storm. — Anchor under Point Abi- 
?ieau. — Defcription of the Point. — Curious. 
Sand Hills there. — Bear hunting. — How car- 
ried on. — Dogs t what Sort of ufed. — Wind 
K 4 changes. 


changes. — The Veffel fuffers from the Storm 
whilfl at Anchor. — Departure from Point 
Abineau. — General Defcript ion of Lake Erie. 
■ — Anecdote. — Reach the IJlands at the Weftern 
'End of the Lake. — Anchor there. — Defer ip- 
tion of the IJlands. — Serpents of various Kinds 
found there. — Rattlfnakes. — Medicinal TJJes 
made of them. — Fabulous Accounts of Ser- 
pents.- — Departure from the IJlands. — Arri- 
val at Maiden. — Detroit River. 

Maiden, O&ober. 

T^ort chippeway, from whence my 
-*■ laft letter was dated, is a fmall itockaded 
fort, iituated on the borders of a creek of the 
fame name, about two hundred yards diffont 
from Niagara River. Had it been built imme- 
diately on the latter dream, its iituation would 
have been much more convenient ; for the 
water of the creek is fo bad that it cannot be 
drank, and the garrifon is obliged to draw wa- 
ter daily from the river. The fort, which oc- 
cupies about one rood of ground only, confifls 
of a fmall block houfe, inclofed bv a ftockade 
of cedar polls about twelve feet high, which is 
merely fufficient to defend the garrifon againft 
mufquet mot. Adjoining to the fort there are 
about feven or eight farm houfes, and fome 
large ftcne houfes, where goods are depo- 
fited preparatory to their being conveyed up 


PORT C H I P P E W A Y. 137 

the river in bateaux, or acrofs the portage in 
carts, to Queenftown. It is faid that it would 
be practicable to cut a canal from hence to 
Queenftown, by means of which the trouble- 
fome and expenfive procefs of unlading the ba- 
teaux a'nd tranfportlng the goods in carts along 
the portage would be avoided. Such a canal 
will in all probability be undertaken one day or 
other j bat whenever that (hail be the cafe, 
there is reafon to think that it will be cut on 
the New York fide of the river for two reafons^ 
fir ft, becaufe the ground on that fide is much 
more favourable for fuch an undertaking ; and, 
fecondly, becaufe the ftate of New York is 
much more populous, and far better enabled to 
advance the large fums of money that would be- 
requifite for cutting a canal through fuch rug- 
ged ground as borders upon the river, than 
the province of Upper Canada either is at 
prefent, or appears likely "to be-. 

About fifteen men, under the command of 
a lieutenant, are uilially quartered' at Fort 
Chippeway, who are moftly employed in con- 
ducting, in bateaux from thence to Fort Erie, 
the ftores for the troops in the upper country, 
and the prefents for the Indians. 

After we had gratified our curiofity in re- 
gard to the wonderous objects in the neigh- 
bourhood, at leal! as far as our time would 
permit, we were obligingly furnifhed with a 



bateau by the officer at Fort Chippeway, to 
whom we carried letters, to convey us to Fort 
Erie. My companions embarked in it with 
our baggage, when the morning appointed for 
our departure arrived ; but deiirous of taking 
one more look at the Falls, I ftaid behind, de-» 
termining to follow them on foot in the courfe 
of the day j I accordingly walked down to the 
falls from Fort Chippeway after breakfafr, fpent 
an hour or two there, returned to the fort, and 
having flopped ^ a mort time to reft myfelf 
after the fatigues of climbing the fteeps about 
the falls, I fet but for Fort Erie, fifteen miles 
diftant from Chippeway, accompanied by my 
faithful fervant Edward, who has indeed been 
a treafure to me iince I have been in America. 
The day was by no means favourable for a pe- 
deflrian expedition ; it was intenfely hot, and 
we had not proceeded far before we found the 
neceffity of taking off our jackets, waiftcoats, 
and cravats, and carrying them in a bundle on 
our backs. Several parties of Indians that \ 
met going down the river in canoes were flark 

The banks of Niagara River, between 
Chippeway and Fort Erie, are very low, and 
covered, for the moft part, with fhrubs, under 
whole made, upon the gravelly beach of the 
river, the weary traveller finds an agreeable 
refting place. For the firfl few miles from 



Chippeway there are fcarcely any houfes to 
be feen ; but about half way between that 
place and Fort Erie they are thickly fcattered 
along the banks of the river. The houfes 
in this neighbourhood were remarkably well 
built, and appeared to be kept in a iiate of 
great neatnefs j mod of them were fheathed 
with boards, and painted white. The lands 
adjoining them are rich, and were well cul- 
tivated. The crops of Indian corn were ftill 
flanding here, which had a mod luxuriant 
afpect; in many of the fields there did not 
appear to be a ftcm lefs than eight feet in 
height. Between the rows they fow gourds, 
fquafhes, and melons, of which laft. every fort 
attains to a ftate of great perfection in the 
open air throughout the inhabited parts of the 
two provinces. Peaches in this part of the 
country likewife come to perfection in the 
open air, but in Lower Canada, the fummers 
are too lhort to permit them to ripen fuf- 
ficiently. The winters here are very fevers 
whilft they lait, but it is feldom that the mow 
lies longer than three months on the ground. 
The fummers are intenfely hot, Fahrenheit's 
thermometer often riling to o6°, and fome- 
times above ioo". 

As I palled along to Fort Erie I killed a 

great many large fnakes of different forts that 

J found baiking in the fun. Amongfl them 

* 1 did 


I did not find any rattlefnakes : thefe reptile?, 
however, are very commonly met wi:h here; 
and at the diitance of twenty or thirty miles 
from the river, up the country, it is faid that 
they are fo numerous as to render the furvey- 
ing of land a matter of very great danger. It 
is a circumfhnce ftrongly in favour of Lower 
Canada, that the rattleihake is not found 
there ; it is feldom found, indeed, to the norths 
ward of the forty-fifth parallel of north lati^ 

Fort Erie (lands at the eaftern extremity of 
Lake Erie ; it is a fmall flockaded fort, fome- 
what fimilar to that at Chippeway; and ad- 
joining it are extenfive (lores as at Chip- 
peway, and about half a dozen miferable little 
dwellings. On arriving there I had no dif- 
ficulty in difcoveringmy companions; I found 
them lodged in a fmall log-houfe, which con- 
tained but the one room, and juft fitting down 
to a fupper, they had procured through the 
aiTiil;ance of a gentleman in the Indian depart- 
ment, who accompanied them from Chippe- 
way. This habitation was the property of an 
old woman, who in her younger days had fol- 
lowed the drum, and now gained her liveli- 
hood by accommodating, to the bed: of her 
power, fuch travellers as palled by Fort Erie. 
A forry habitation it was ; the crazy door was 
ready to drop oft the hinges, and in all the 


F O R T E R I E. 141 

three windows of it not one pane of glafs was 
there, a young gentleman from Detroit having 
amufcdhimfelf, whilfl detained in the place by 
contrary winds, fome little time before our ar- 
rival, with fhooting arrows through them. It 
was not likely that thefe windows would be 
fpeedily repaired, for no glazier was to be met 
with nearer than Newark, thirty-fix miles 
diftant. Here, as we lay folded in our Ikins 
on the floor, the rain beat in upon us, and the 
wind whittled about our ears ; but this was 
not the word. In the morning we found it a 
difficult matter to get wherewith to fatisfy our 
hunger; dinner was more difficult to be had 
than breakfaft, fupper than dinner; there 
feemed to be a greater fcarcity of provifions 
alfo the fecond day than there was on the firft. 
At laft, fearing that we mould be famifhed 
if we remained longer under the care of old 
mother Palmer, we embarked at once on board 
the vefTel of war in which we intended to crofs 
the lake, where although fometimes toifed 
about by the raging contrary winds, yet we had 
comfortable births, and fared plenteoufly every 

Ships lie oppofite to Fort Erie, at the diftance 
of about one hundred yards from the more; 
they are there expofed to all the violence of the 
weflerly winds, but the anchorage is excellent, 
and they ride in perfect iafety. Three veffels 



of war, of about two hundred tons, and car- 
rying from eight to twelve guns each, beiides 
two or three merchant vetfels, lay wind bound 
whilil we remained here. The little fort, with 
the fu rrounding houfes built on the rocky 
there, the veifels lying at anchor before it, the 
rich woods, the diftant hills on the oppolite 
iide of the lake, and the vaft lake itfelf, ex- 
tending to the fartheft part of the horizon, al- 
together formed an intereiting and beautiful 

Whilft we were detained here by contrary 
winds, we regularly went on more after break- 
fall: to take a ramble in the woods ; oftentimes 
alfo we amufed ourfelves with the diverlion 
of hunting fquirrels with dogs, amongh: the 
fhrubs and voumr trees on the borders of the 
lake, thcuiands of which animals we found in 
the neighbourhood of the fort. The fquirrels, 
alarmed by the barking of the dogs, leap from 
tree to tree with wonderful fwiftnefs ; you 
follow them cloiely, making the trees, and 
linking a Jamil the branches with poles. Some- 
times they will lead you a chace of a quarter 
of a mile and more -, but fooner or later, terri- 
fied by your attentive purfuit, make a falfe 
leap, and come to the ground ; the dogs, ever 
on the watch, then leize the opportunity to 
lay hold of them ; frequently, however, the 
fquirrels will elude their repeated fnaps, and 



mount another tree before you can look round 
you. I have feldom known them to be hurt 
by their fall, notwithstanding that I have many 
times feen them tumble from branches of trees 
upwards of twenty feet from the ground. 

In our rambles we ufed frequently to fall in 
with parties of the Seneka Indians, from the 
oppofite fide of the lake, that were amufing 
themfelves with hunting and mooting theie 
animals. They mot them principally with 
bows and blow-guns, at the ufe of which lafl 
the Senekas are wonderfully expert. The 
blow-gun is a narrow tube, commonly about 
fix feet in length, made of a cane reed, or of 
fome pithy wood, through which they drive 
fhort ilender arrows by the force of the breath. 
The arrows are not much thicker than the 
lower firing of a violin j they are headed gene- 
rally with little triangular bits of tin, and round 
the oppofite ends, for the length of two. inches, 
a quantity of the down of thiftles, or fome- 
thing very like it, is bound, fo as to leave the 
arrows at this part of fuch a thicknefs that they 
may but barely pafs into the tube. The ar- 
rows are put in at the end of the tube that is 
held next to the mouth, the down catches the 
breath, and with a fmart puff they will fly to 
the difrance of fifty yards. I have followed 
young Seneka Indians, whilfl mooting with 
blow-guns, for hours together, during which 



time I have never known them once to mils 
their aim, at the diftance often or fifteen yards* 
although they fhot at the little red fquirrels, 
which are not half the fize of a rat; and with 
fnch wonderful force ufed they to blow forth 
the arrows, that they frequently drove them 
up to the very thiftle-down through the heads 
of the largeft black fquirrels. The erTecl of 
thefe guns appears at fir ft like magic. The 
tube is put to the mouth, and in the twinkling 
of an eye you fee the fquirrel that is aimed at 
fall lifelefs to the ground; no report, net the 
fmalieft noife even, is to be heard, nor is it 
poffible to fee the arrow, fo quickly does it fly, 
until it appears faftened in the body of the 

The Seneka is one of the fix nations which 
formerly bore the general name of the Iroquois 
Indians. Their principal village is fituated on 
Buffalo Creek, which falls into the eaftern 
(extremity of Lake Erie, on the New York 
more. We took the (hip's boat one morning, 
and went over to vifit it, but all the Indians, 
men, women, and children, amounting in all 
to upwards of fix hundred perfons, had, at an 
early hour, gone down to Fort Niagara, to 
partake of a feaft which was there prepared for 
them. We walked about in the neighbour- 
hood of the village, dined on the grafs on fome 
cold provifions that we. had taken with us, and 
in die evening, returned. 



Oppofite to the mouth of Buffalo Creek 
there is a very dangerous land bar, which at 
times it is totally impoffible to pafsin any other 
veffels than bateaux ; we found it no eafy 
matter to get over it in the (hip's long boat 
with four oars on going into the creek ; and in 
returning the palTage was really tremendous. 
The wind, which was wefterly, and of courfe 
impelled the vaft body of water in the lake 
towards the mouth of the creek, had increafed 
confiderably whilft we had been on fhore, and 
the waves had begun to break with fuch fury 
over the bar, that it Was not without a con- 
siderable mare of terror that we contemplated 
the profpect of paffing through them : the 
commodore of the King's mips on the lake, 
who was at the helm, was determined, how- 
ever, to crofs the bar that night, and accord- 
ingly, a ftricl: filence having been enjoined, that 
the crew might hear his orders, we boldly 
entered into the midft of the breakers : the 
boat now rolled about in a moft alarming 
manner ; fometimes it mounted into the air on 
the top of the mighty billows, at other times it 
came thumping down with prodigious force 
on the bar ; at laft it ftuck quite fait in the 
fand , neither oars nor rudder were any longer 
of ufe, and for a moment we gave ourfelves 
over for loft ; the waves that rolled towards 
us broke on all fides with a noife like that ot 
Vol. II. L thunder, 


thunder, and we were expe&ing that the boat 
would be overwhelmed by forne one or other 
of them every inftant, when luckily a large 
wave, that rolled on a little farther than the 
reft without breaking into foam, fet us again 
afloat, and the oarfmen making at that moment 
the moil vigorous exertions, we once more got 
intg deep water -, it was net, however, until 
after many minutes that we were fafely out of 
the tremendous furf. A boat, with a pair of 
oars only, that attempted to follow us, was 
overwhelmed in an inftant by a wave which 
broke over her : it was in vain to think of 
attempting to give any afliftance to her crew, 
and we were obliged for a time to endure the 
painful thought that they might be ftruggling 
with death within a few yards of us; but be- 
fore we loft, fight of the ihore we had the 
fatisfaction of beholding them all ftanding in 
fafety on the beach, which they had reached 
by fwimming. 

After having been detained about feven days 
at Fort Erie,, the wind veered about in our fa- 
vour, the lignal gun was fired, the paffengers 
repaired on board, and at half an hour before 
fun-fe't we launched forth into the lake. It 
was much fach another evening as that 0:1 
which we left Kingfton ; the vaft lake, bound- 
ed only by the horizon, glowed with the rich 
warm tints that were reflected in its unruffled 



furface from the weflern fky ; and the top 
of the tall foreft., adorning the mores, appeared 
fringed with gold, as the fun funk down be- 
hind it. There was but little wind during 
the nrfl part of the night ; but afterwards a 
frefh breeze fprang up, and by t;n o'clock the 
next morning we found ourieives forty miles 
diftant from the fort : the profperous gale, 
however, did not long continue, the iky became 
overcaft, the waves began to roll with fury, 
and the captain judging it advifable to feek a 
place of fhelter againit the impending ftorm, 
the fhip was put about, and with all poiiible 
expedition meafured back the way which we 
had jufr. made with fo much pleafure. We 
did net return, however, the whole way to 
Fort Erie, but run into a frnali bay on the fame 
fide of the lake, about ten miles diftant,. 
Sheltered bv Point Abineau : by three o'clock 
in the afternoon the vefiel was fafely moored, 
and this bulinefs having been accompiiihed, we 
proceeded in the long boat to the more, which 
was about two miles off. 

Point Abineau is a long narrow neck of land, 
which projects into the lake nearly in a due 
fouth direction ; on each fide of it there is an 
extenfive bay, which affords good anchorage ; 
the extremity of the point is covered with 
rocks, lying horizontally in beds, and ex- 
tending a considerable way into the lake, nearly 
L 2 even 


even with the furface of the water, fo that 
it is only in a few places that boats can ap- 
proach the more. The rocks are of a flate 
colour, but fpotted and ftreaked in various 
directions with a dirty yellow ; in many places 
thev are perforated with fmall holes, as if they 
had been expofed to the action of fire. The 
fhores of the bays, on the contrary, are covered 
with fand j on digging to the depth of a few 
feet, however, I mould imagine that in molt 
parts of the more the fame fort of rocks would 
be found as thofe feen on the extremitv of the 
point; for where the fandy part of the more 
commences, it is evident that the rocks have 
been covered by the fand which has been 
warned up by the waves of the lake : the 
northern more of the lake abounds very gene- 
rally with rocks of the fame defcription. 

On the weftern fide of Point Abineau the 
ftrand differs in no wife, to appearance, from 
that of the ocean : it is fire wed with a variety 
of (hells of a large fizej quantities of gulls are 
continually feen hovering over it ; and during a 
gale of wind from the weft, a furge breaks in 
upon it, as tremendous as is to be feen on any 
part of the coaft of England. The mounds 
of 'fand accumulated on Point Abineau are 
truly aftonifhing ; thofe next to the lake, that 
- have been warned by the ftorms of late years, 
are totally devoid of verdure; but others, 
9 fituated 


fituatcd behind them, towards the center of 
the point, feem coeval with the world itfelf, 
and are covered with oaks of the larger! fize 
from top to bottom. In general thefe mounds 
are of an irregular form; but in fome places, 
of the greater!: height, they are fo even and 
ftraight that it appears as if they had been 
thrown up by the hand of art, and you may 
almofl fancy them to be the old works of fome 
vail fortification. Thefe regular mounds ex- - 
tend in all directions, but chiefly from north 
to fouth, which demonflrates that weflerly 
winds were as prevalent formerly in this part of 
the country as they are at the prefent day. I 
fhould fuppofe that fome of thefe mounds are 
upwards of one hundred feet above the level 
of the lake. 

The ground on the eaflern fide of the point 
is neither fo much broken nor fo fandy as that 
on the oppofite cne, and there we found two 
farm houies, adjoining to each of which were 
about thirty acres of cleared land. At one of 
thefe we procured a couple of lheep, fome 
fowls, and a quantity of potatoes, to add to our 
{lore of provifions, as there was reafon to ap- 
prehend that our voyage would not be fpeedily 
terminated: whilfl the men were digging for 
the latter, the old woman of the houie fpread 
her little table, and prepared for us the bed 
viands which her habitation afforded, namely, 

L 3 coarfe 


coarfe cake bread, roafted potatoes, and bear's 
flefh falted, which lafl we found by no means 
unpalatable. The haunch of a young cub is a 
difh much elleemed, and we frequently met 
with it at table in the upper country; it is ex- 
tremely rich and oily, neverthelefs they fay 
it never cloys the flomach. 

Towards evening we returned to the vefTel, 
and the florin being much abated, paffed, not 
an, uncomfortable night. 

At day break the next morning I took the 
boat, and went en fhore to join a party that, 
as I had been informed the preceding even- 
ing, was going a bear-hunting. On landing, 
I found the men and dogs ready, and having 
loaded our guns we advanced into the woods. 
The people here, as in the back parts of the 
United States, devote a very great part of 
their time to hunting, and they are well fkilled 
in the puriuit of game of every defcription. 
They moot almoft univerfally with the rifle 
gun, and are as dextrous at the uie of it 
as any men can be. The guns ufed by them 
are all imported from England. Thofe in 
moft eftimation carry balls of the fize of 
thirty to the pound ; in the States the hunters 
very commonly lLoot with balls of a much 
fmaUer iize, fixty of them not weighing more 
than one pound ; but the people in Canada are 
of opinion that it is better to ufe the large 



balls, although more troublefome to carry- 
through the woods, as they inflict much more 
deftrudtive wounds than the others, and ?ame 
feldom efcapes after being wounded by them. 
Dogs of a large fize are chofen for bear hunt- 
ing : thofe moll generally preferred feem to 
be of a breed between the blood hound and 
mailing they will follow the fcent of the 
bear, as indeed mcft field dcgs will, but 
their chief ufe is to keep the bear at bay when 
wounded, or to follow him if he attemot to 
make offwhiifl the hunter is reloading his gun. 
Bears will never attempt to attack a man or a 
dog while they can make their efcape, but 
once wounded or clofely hemmed in they will 
light molt furioully. The young ones, at 
light of a dog, generally take to a tree ; but 
the old ones, as if confcious of their ability to 
fight a dog, and at the fame time that they 
cannot fail of becoming the prey of the hun- 
ter if they afcend a tree, never do fo, unlefs 
indeed they fee a hunter coming towards them 
on horfeback, a fight which terrifies them 

The Indians generally go in large parties to 
hunt bears, and on coming to the place where 
they fuppofe thefe animals are lurking, they 
form themfelves into a large circle, and as 
they advance endeavour to roufe them. It is 
feldom that the white hunters mufler to- 

L 4 gether 


gether in fufficient numbers to purfue their 
game in this manner; but whenever they 
have men enough to divide themfelves fo, 
they always do it. We proceeded in this 
manner at P.jint Abineau, where three or four 
men are amply fufricient to hem in a bear be- 
tween the water and the main land. The 
point was a very favourable place for hunt- 
ing this year, for the bears, intent, as I be- 
fore mentioned, upon emigrating to the fouth, 
ufed, on coming down from the upper country, 
to advance to the extreme end of the point, as 
if defirous of getting as near as poffible by 
land to the oppofite fide of the lake, and 
fcarcely a morning came but what one or two 
of them were found upon it. An experienced 
hunter can at once difcern the track of a bear, 
deer, or any other large animal, in the woods, 
and can tell with no fmall degree of preci- 
sion how long a time before, it was, that the 
animal paffed that way. On coming to a 
long valley, between two of the fand hills on 
the point, a place through which the bears ge- 
nerally palled in going towards the water, the 
hunters whom I accompanied at once told how 
many bears had come down from the upper 
country the preceding night, and alio how 
many of them were cubs. To the eye of a 
common obferver the track of thefe animals 
amongft the leaves is wholly imperceptible ; 



indeed, in many inftances, even after the hun- 
ters had pointed them out to me, I could but 
barely perceive the prints of their feet on the 
clofeft infpeition; yet the hunters, on com- 
ing up to the place, faw thefe marks with 
a glance of the eye. 

After killing a bear, the firft care of the 
hunters is to /trip him of his {kin. This bu- 
finefs is performed by them in a very few 
minutes, as they always carry knives about 
them particularly fuited for the pnrpofe ; af- 
terwards the carcafe is cut up, an operation in 
which the tomahawk, an inftrument that they, 
moftly, carry with them alio, is particularly 
ufeful. The choiceft parts of the animal are 
then felected and carried home, and the reft 
left in the woods. 'The Indians hold the 
paws of the bear in great eitimation ; fie wed 
with young puppies, they are ferved up at all 
their principal feafts. On killing the ani- 
mal, the paws are gained with a knife, and, 
afterwards, hung over a fire, amid ft the fmoke, 
to dry. The fkins of the bears are applied to 
numberlefsufes, in the country, by the farmers, 
who fet no fmall value upon them. They 
are commonly cured by being fpread upon a 
wall or between two trees, before the fun, 
and in that polition fcraped with a knife, or 
piece of iron, daily, which brings out the 
greafe or oil, a very ccnfiderable quantity of 



which oozes from them. Racoon and deer 
fkins, &c. are cured in a fimilar manner. 
The Indians have a method of drefiing thefe 
different fkins with the hair on, and of render- 
ing them at the fame time as pliable as a piece 
of cloth -, this is principally effected by rub- 
bing the fkins, with the hand, in the fmokeof 
a wood fire. 

Towards the middle of the day, the hunt 
being over, the party returned to the habi- 
tation on the point. On arriving there I 
found my companions, who had juft come on 
more, and after having ftrolled about the 
woods for a time, we all went on board the 
lhip to dine. 

The iky had been very gloomy the whole 
of this day; it became more and more fo as 
the evening approached, and the feamen 
foretold that before morning there would be a 
dreadful ftorm. At no time a friend to the 
watery element, I immediately formed the 
refolution of parting the night on more ; ac- 
cordingly having got the boat manned after 
dinner, I took with me my fervant, and 
landed at the head of the bay on the eaftern 
fide of the point. Here being left to our- 
felves, we pitched our tent by moonlight, un- 
der the fhelter of one of the, fteep fand hills; 
and having kindled a large fire in the front 
of it, laid down, and were foon lulled to re- 


BIRDS. 155 

pole by the hollow roar of the wind aniidft 
the tall trees of the fafroundirig fdreft. Not 
fo my companions, who viiited me at an 
early hour the next morning, and lamented 
forely that they had not accompanied me on 
fhore. There had been a tremendous lea run- 
ning in the lake all night; the wind had 
fhifted fomewhat to the fouthward, and Point 
Abineau, in confequence, affording but little 
protection to the vefiel, me had rolled about 
in a mod: alarming manner : one of the 
ftancheons at her bow ftarted by her violent 
working; the water came pouring in as from a 
pump; a fcene of corifufion enfued, and the 
failors were kept bufily employed the greater 
part of the night in flopping the leak. The 
vefTel being old, crazy, and on her la ft voy- 
age, ferious apprehenfions were entertained left 
fome worfe accident mould befal her before 
morning, and neither the crew nor the paf- 
fengers felt themfelves at all eafy until day- 
light appeared, when the gale abated. We 
amufed ourfelves this morning in rambling 
through the woods, and along the mores of 
the lake, with our fowling pieces. On the 
ftrand we found great numbers of gulls, and 
different birds of prey, fuch as hawks, kites, 
See. ; here alio we met with large flocks of 
fand larks, as they are called by the people of 
the country, in colour fomewhat relembling 



the grey lapwing ; their walk and manner alfo 
are fo very fimilar, that, when on the ground, 
they might be taken for the fame bird were 
they but of a larger fize; they are not much 
bigger than a fparrow. In the woods we fell 
in for the flrft time with a large covey or flock 
of ipruce partridges or pheafants, as the peo- 
ple call them in this neighbourhood. In co- 
lour, they are not much unlike the EngliiTi 
partridge, but of a larger fize, and their flefTi 
differs in flavour little from that of the 
EngliiTi pheafant. They are different in many 
refpe&s both from the partridge and pheafant 
found in Maryland and in the middle ftates, 
but in none more fo than in their wonderful 
tamenefs, or rather ftupidity. Before the 
flock took to flight I mot three birds lingly 
from off one tree, and had I but been ac- 
quainted with the proper method of proceed- 
ing at the time, it is poffible I might have 
fhot them all in turn. It feems you muff al- 
ways begin by mooting the bird that fits 
lowed on the tree, and fo proceed upwards, 
in which cafe the furvivors are not at, all 
alarmed. Ignorant, however, of this fecret, 
I fhot at one of the uppermoft bird?, and the 
difturbance that he made in falling through 
the branches on which the others were 
perched put the flock to flight immediately. 


LAKE ERIE. i 5 ; 

On returning from our ramble in the woods 
to the margin of the lake, we were agreeably 
furprifed to find the wind quite favourable for 
profecuting our voyage, and in a few minutes 
afterwards heard the fignal gun, and faw the 
ihip's boat coming for the purpofe of taking 
us from fhore. We got on board in time for 
dinner, but did not proceed on our voyage 
until midnight -, fo high a fea ftill continued 
running in the lake, that the captain thought 
it imprudent to venture out of the bay before 
that time. In the morning we found ourfelves 
under the rich bold lands on the fouthern fide 
of the lake^ the water was fmooth, the fky 
ferene, and every one felt pleafed with the 
voyage. It was on this day that we beheld 
the cloud over the Falls of Niagara, as I before 
mentioned, at the great diftance of fifty-four 

Lake Erie is of an elliptical form ; in length 
about three hundred miles, and in breadth, at 
the wideft part, about ninety. The depth 
of water in this lake is not more than twenty 
fathoms, and in calm weather vefTels may fe- 
curely ride at anchor in any part of it j but 
when flormy, the anchorage in an open part 
of the lake is not fafe, the fands at bottom not 
being firm, and the anchors apt therefore to 
lofe their hold. Whenever there is a gale of 
wind the waters immediately become turbid, 



owing to the quantity of yellow fand that is 
warned up from the bottom of the lake ; in 
calm weather the water is clear, and of a deep 
greenim colour. The northern more of the 
lake is very rocky, as like wife are the fhores 
cf the iflands, of which there are feveral clus- 
ters towards the weftern extremity of the lake ; 
but along- moft parts of the fouthern more is 
a fine gravelly beach. The height of the land 
bordering on the lake is very unequal ; in fome 
places long ranges of fteep mountains rife from 
the very edge of the water; in others the mores 
are ib flat and fo low, that when the lake 'is 
raifed a little above its ulual level, in confe- 
quence of a ftrong gale of wind fetting in to- 
wards the iliore, the country is deluged for 
in iJes. 

A young gentleman, who w T as fent in a 
bateau with difpatches acrofs the lake, not 
Jong" before we parTed through the country, 
perimed, with feveral of his party, owing to 
8ti inundation of this fort that took place on a 
low part of the ihore. I muft here obferve, 
that when yon navigate the lake in a bateau* 
it is cuftomary to keep as clofe as poffible to 
the land ; and whenever there is any danger of 
a {form, you run the veffel on more, which 
may be done with fafety, as the bottom of it 
is per fed!/ flat. I before mentioned the pe- 
culiar advantage of a bateau over a keel boat 
in this refpecT. The young gentleman alluded 



to was coafling along in this manner, when a 
violent ftorm fuddeniy arofe. The bateau was 
inftantaneoufly turned towards the ihore ; un- 
fortunately, however, in running her upon 
the beach ibmemifmanagement took place,and 
fhe overfet. The waves had already begun to 
break in on the more with prodigious impe- 
tuofity ; each one of them rolled farther in than 
the preceding one ; the party took alarm, and 
inftead of making as ftrenuous exertions as it 
was fuppofed they might have made, to right 
the bateau, they took a few necefTaries out of 
her, and attempted to fa ve themfelvesby flight; 
but fo rapidly did the water flow after them, 
in confequsnce of the increafing ftorm, that 
before they could proceed far enough up the 
country to gain a place of fafety, they were all 
overwhelmed by it, two alone excepted, who 
had the prefence of mind and ability to climb 
a lofty tree. To the very great irregularity of 
the height of the lands on both fides of it, is 
attributed the frequency of florins on Lake 
Erie. The mores of Lake Ontario are lower 
and more uniform than thofe of any of the 
other lakes - y and that lake is the moil tranquil 
of any, as has already been noticed. 

There is a great deficiency of good har- 
bours along the mores of this Lake. On its 
northern fide there are but two places which 
afford fhelter to vefTels drawing more than 



feven feet water, namely, Long Point and Point 
Abineau \ and thefe only afford a partial fhel- 
ter. If the wind fhould fhift to the fouthvvard 
whilft vefTels happen to be lying under them, 
they are thereby expofed to all the dangers of 
a rocky lee (here. On the fouthern more, the 
firft harbour you come to m going from Fort 
Erie, is tbat of Prefqu' Ifle. VefTels drawing 
eight feet Water may there ride in perfect 
fafety; but it is a matter of no fmall difficulty 
to get into the harbour, owing to a long fand 
bar which extends acrofs the mouth of it. 
Prefqu' Ifle is fituated at the difrance of about 
fixty miles from Fort Erie. Beyond this, 
nearly midway between the eaftern and weftern 
extremities of the lake, there is another har- 
bour, capable of containing fmall veffels, at the 
mouth of Cayahega River, and another at the 
mouth of Sandufky River, which falls into the 
lake within the north weflern territory of the 
States. It is very feldcm that any of thefe 
harbours arc made ufe of by the Britifh fhips; 
they, indeed, trade almofl folely between Fort 
Erie and Detroit River ; and when in profe- 
cuting their voyages they chance to meet with 
contrary winds, againfl which they cannot 
make head, they for the moft part return to 
Fort Erie, if bound to Detroit River ; or to 
fome of the bavs amidft the clufters of iflands 
fituated towards the weflern extremity of the 



lake, if bound to Fort Erie. In going up the 
lake, it very often happens that vefTels, even 
after they have got clofe under thefe iflands, 
the nearer!: of which is not lefs than two hun- 
dred and forty miles from Fort Erie, are driven 
back by florins the whole way to that fort. 
Jud as we were preparing to cafb anchor under 
Middle Iiland, one of the nearer!: of them, a 
fquall fuddenly arofe, and it was not without 
very great difficulty that we could keep our 
ftation : the captain told us afterwards, that he 
really feared at one time, that we mould have 
been driven back to our old quarters. 

It was about two o'clock on the third day 
from that of our quitting Point Abineau, that 
we reached Middle Iiland. We lay at anchor 
until the next morning, when the wind fhifted 
a few points in our favour, and enabled us to 
proceed fome miles farther on, to a place of 
greater fafety, fheltered by iflands on all fides ; 
but beyond this the wind did not permit us to 
advance for three days. It is very feldom that 
veflels bound from Fort Erie to any place on 
Detroit River accomplifh their voyage without 
flopping amongfr. thefe iflands ; for the fame 
wind favourable for carrying them from the 
eaftern to the weftern extremity of the lake 
will not waft them up the river. The river 
runs nearly in a fouth-weft direction; its cur- 
rent is very ftrong j and unlefs the wind blows 

Vol. II. M frcfli, 


freili, and nearly in an oppolite direction to it, 
you cannot proceed. The navigation of Lake 
Erie, in general, is very uncertain ; and pafTen- 
gers that crofs it in any of the King's, or prin- 
cipal merchant veiTels, are not only called upon 
to pay double the fum for their paflage, de- 
manded for that acrofs Lake Ontario, but an- 
chorage money beiides, that is, a certain fum 
per diem as long as the veiTel remains wind 
bound at anchor in any harbour. The an- 
chorage money is about three dollars per day 
for each cabin palTenger. 

The iilands at the weftern end of the lake, 
which are of various fizes, lie very clofe to each 
other, and the fcenery amongft them is very 
pleafing. The largeft of them are not more 
than fourteen miles in circumference, and many 
would fcarcely be found to admeafure as many 
yards round. They are all covered with wood 
of fome kind or other, even to the very fmal- 
left. The larger iilands produce a variety of 
fine timber, amongft which are found oaks, 
hiccory trees, and red cedars ; the latter grow 
to a much larger fize than in any part of the 
neighbouring country, and they are lent for 
even from the Britim fettlements on Detroit 
River, forty miles diftant. None of thefe 
iilands are much elevated above the lake, nor 
are they diverfified with any rifing grounds ; 
moft of them, indeed, are as flat as if they had 



been overflowed with water, and in the interior 
parts of fome of the larger!: of them there are 
extenfive ponds and marmes. The fine timber, 
which thefe iflands produce, indicates that the 
foil muft be uncommonly fertile. Here are 
found in great numbers, amongft the wood?, 
racoons, and fquirrels ; bears are alfo at times 
found upon fome of the iflands during the win- 
ter feafon, when the lake is frozen between 
the main land and the iflands ; but they do not 
remain continually, as the other animals do. 
All the iflands are dreadfully infefted with fer- 
pents, and on fome of them rattlefnakes are fo 
numerous, that in the height of furrirrier it is 
really dangerous to land : it was now late in 
September ; yet we had not been three minutes 
on ihore on Bafs Ifland, before feveral of thefe 
noxious reptiles were feen amongft the bufries, 
and a couple of them, of a large lize, were 
killed by the feamen. 

Two kinds of rattlefnakes are found in this 
part of the country; the one is of a deep brown 
colour, clouded with yellow, and is feldom 
met with more than thirty inches in length. 
It ufually frequents marmes and low meadows, 
where it does great mifchief amongft cattle, 
which it bites moftly in the lips as they are 
grazing. The other fort is of a greenifli yellow 
colour, clouded with brown, and attains nearly 
twice the lize of the other. It is mofl com- 
M 2 monly 


monly found between three and four feet in 
length, and as thick as the wriftof a large man. 
The rattlefnake is much thicker in propor- 
tion to its length than any other make, and it 
is thicker! in the middle of the body, which 
approaches fomewhat to a triangular form, 
the belly being flat, and the back bone riling 
higher than any other part of the animal. The 
rattle, with which this ferpent is provided, is 
at the end of the tail ; it is ufually about half 
an inch in breadth, one quarter of an inch 
in thicknefs, and each joint about half an inch 
long. The joint confifts of a number of little 
cafes of a dry horny fubftance, inclofed one 
within another, and not only the outermoft of 
thefe little cafes articulates with the outermoft 
cafe of the contiguous joint, but each cafe, even 
to the fmalleft one of all, at the infide, is con- 
nected by a fort of joint with the correfpond- 
ing cafe in the next joint of the rattle. The 
little cafes or fhells lie very loofely within 
one another, and the noife proceeds from their 
dry and hard coats ftriking one againft the 
other. It is faid that the animal gains a frefh 
joint to its rattle every year ; of this, however, 
I have great doubts, for the largeft fnakes are 
frequently found to have the fewer! joints to 
their rattles. A medical gentleman in the 
neighbourhood of Newmarket, behind the 
Blue Mountains, in Virginia, had a rattle in his 



poffemon, which contained no lefs than thirty- 
two joints ; yet the fnake from which it was 
taken fcarcely admeafured five feet] rattle- 
fnakes, however, of the fame kind, and in the 
fame part of the country, have been found of 
a greater length with not more than ten rattles. 
One of the makes, which we faw killed on Bafs 
Ifland, in Lake Erie, had no more than four 
joints in its rattle, and yet it was nearly four 
feet long. 

The fkin of the rattlefnake,when the animal 
is wounded, or otherwiie enraged, exhibits a 
variety of beautiful tints, never feen at any 
other time. It is not with the teeth which 
the rattlefnake ufes for ordinary purpofes that 
it ftrikes its enemy, but with two long crooked 
fangs in the upper jaw, which point down the 
throat. When about to ufe thefe fangs, it 
rears itfelf up as much as poffible, throws back 
its head, drops its under jaw, and fpringing 
forward upon its tail, endeavours to hook itfelf 
as it were upon its enemy. In order to raife 
itfelf on its tail it coils itfelf up previoully in a 
fpiral line, with the head in the middle. It 
cannot fpring farther forward than about half 
its own length. 

The flefh of the rattlefnake is as white as 
the moil delicate fifh, and is much efteemed 
by thofe who are not prevented from tatting 
it by prejudice. The foup made from it is 
faid to be delicious, and very ncurifTiing. 

M 3 In 


In my rambles about the iflands under 
which we lay at anchor, I found many fpeci- 
mens of the exuviae of thefe fnakes, which, in 
the opinion of the country people of Upper 
Canada, are very efficacious in the cure of the 
rheumatifm, when laid over the part afrhcled, 
and fattened down with a bandage. The body 
of the rattlefnake dried to a cinder over the 
fire, and then finely pulverifed, and infufed 
in a certain portion of brandy, is alfo faid to be 
a never failing remedy againft that diibrder. I 
converfed with many people who had made ufe 
of this medicine, and they were firmly perfuad- 
ed that they were indebted to it for a fpcedy 
cure. The liquor is taken inwardly, in the 
quantity of a wine glafs fail at once, about three 
times a day. No erTecl, more than from tak- 
ing plain brandy, is perceived from taking this 
medicine on the rirft day ; but at the end of 
the fecond day the body of the patient becomes 
fufrufed with a cold fweat, every one of his 
joints grow painful, and his limbs become 
feeble, and fcarcely able to fupport him ; he 
grows worfe and worfe for a day or two ; but 
perfeyering in the ufe of the. medicine for a 
few days, he gradually lofes his pains, and re- 
covers his wonted itrehgth of body. 

Many different kinds of ferpents befides 
rattlefnakes are found on thefe iflands in Lake 
Erie. I killed feveral totally different from 



any that I had ever met with in any other part 
of the country ; amongft the number was one 
which I was informed was venomous in the 
higheft degree : it was fomewhat more than 
three feet in length ; its back was perfectly 
black; its belly a vivid orange. I found it 
amongft the rocks on Middle Illand, and on 
being wounded in the tail, it turned about 
to defend itfelf with inconceivable fury. Mr. 
Carver tells of a ferpent that is peculiar to thefe 
iflands, called the hlfiing fnake : " It is," fays 
he, " of the fmall fpeckled kind, and about 
" eighteen inches long. When any thing ap- 
" proaches it, it flattens itfelf in a moment, 
" and its fpots, which are of various dyes, 
M become vifibly brighter through rage; at the 
" fame time it blows from its mouth with 
" great force a fubtile wind that is reported to 
" be ofanaufeous fmell, and if drawn in with 
" the breath of the unwary traveller will in- 
" fallibly bring on a decline, that in a few 
" months muff prove mortal, there being no 
" remedy yet difcovered which can counteract 
" its baneful influence." Mr. Carver does not 
inform us of his having himfelf feen this fnake; 
I am tempted, therefore, to imagine, that he 
has been impofed upon, and that the whole 
account he has given of it is fabulous. I made 
very particular enquiries reflecting the ex- 
igence of fuch a fnake, from thofe perfons who 

M 4 were 


were in the habit of touching at thefe iflands, 
and neither they nor any other perfon I met 
with in the country had ever feen or heard of 
fuch a fnake, except in Mr. Carver's Travels. 
Were a traveller to believe all the ftories re- 
fpecting fnakes that are current in the country, 
he mufl believe that there is fuch a fnake as 
the whip fnake, which, as it is faid, purfues 
cattle through the woods and meadows, laih- 
ing them with its tail, till overcome with the 
fatigue of running they drop breathlefs to the 
ground, when it preys upon their flefh ; he 
muftalfo believe that there is fuch a fnake as 
the hoop fnake, which has the power of fix- 
ing its tail firmly in a certain cavity iniide of 
its mouth, and then of rolling itfelf forward 
like a hoop or wheel with fuch wonderful ve- 
locity that neither man nor beafl can poflibly 
efcape from its devouring jaws. 

The ponds and marfhes in the interior parts 
of thefe iflands abound with ducks and other 
wild fowl, and the fhores fwarm with gulls. A 
few fmall birds are found in the woods ; but 
I faw none amongft them that were re- 
markable either for their fong or plumage. 

At fun-fet, on the lafl day of September, we 
left the iflands, and the next morning entered 
Detroit River. The river, at its mouth, is 
about five miles wide, and continues nearly the 
fame breadth for a confiderable diftance. The 



jfhores are of a moderate height, and thickly 
wooded; but there was nothing particularly 
interefting in the profpedt till we arrived within 
four or five miles of the new Britifh poft. 
Here the banks appeared diverfified with Indian 
encampments and villages, and beyond them 
the. Britifh fettlements were feen to great ad- 
vantage. The river was crowded with Indian 
canoes and bateaux, and feveral pleafure boats 
belonging to the officers of the garrifon, and to 
the traders, that had come out in expectation 
of meeting us, were feen cruizing about back- 
wards and forwards. The two other veffels of 
v/ar, which we had left behind us at Fort 
Erie, as well as the trading veffels, had over- 
taken us juft as we entered the river, and we all 
failed up together with every bit of canvafs, 
that we could mufter, full fpread. The day 
was uncommonly clear, and the fcene alto- 
gether was pleafing and interefting. 

The other veffels proceeded up the river to 
the Britifh poll; but ours, which was laden 
with prefents for the Indians, caft anchor op- 
pofite to the habitation of the gentleman in 
the Indian department, whom I before men- 
tioned, which was fituated in the diftricl: of 
Maiden. He gave us a mofl cordial invita- 
tion to flay at his houfe whilfl we mould re- 
main in this part of the country -, we gladly 
accepted of it, and accordingly went with him 
on fhore. 



Defcripiion of the Diftritt of Maiden, — EJla- 
bliffment of a new Britijh Pcfi there. — I/land 
ofBois Blanc, — Difference between the Brit iff 
and Americans refpeSlingtbe Right of Pofff- 
fion. — Block Houfes, how conJlruUled. — Cap- ' 
tain E — *s Farm. — Indians. — ~Defcription of 
Detroit River, and the Country bordering 
upon it. — Town of Detroit. — Head Quarters 
of the Amerian Army. — Officers of the 
Wejlern Army. — Unfuccfffful Attempt of the 
Americans to imprefs upon the Minds of the 
Indians an Idea of their Confequence. — Of 
the Country round Detroit. — Doubts con- 
cerning our Route back to Philadelphia. — 
Determine to go by Prefqu Ifle. — Depar- 
ture from Detroit. 

Maiden, Oftober. 

A L D E N is a diflrict of coniiderable ex- 
tent, iituated on the eaflern fide of De- 
troit River, about eighteen miles below the 
town of Detroit. At the lower end of the 
dittricT: there are but few houfes, and thefe 
ftand very widely afunder ; but at the upper 
end, bordering upon the river, and adjoining 
to the new Britifh poft that has been efta- 
blifhed fince the evacuation of Detroit, a little 



town has been laid out, which already contains 
more than twenty houfes, and is rapidly in- 
creafing.' Hither feveral of the traders have 
removed who formerly reiided at Detroit. 
This little town has as yet received no par- 
ticular name, neither has the new poft, but they 
merely go under the name of the new Britifli 
poft and town near the ifland of Bois-Blanc, 
an iflancl in the river near two miles in length, 
and half a mile in breadth, that lies oppofite 
to Maiden. 

When the evacuation of Detroit was firft 
talked of, the ifland was looked to as an eli- 
gible fituation for the new poft, and orders 
were fent to purchafe it from the Indians, and 
to take pofTeffion of it in the name of his 
Britannic Majefty. Accordingly a party of 
troops went down for that purpofe from De- 
troit; they erected a fmall block houfe on the 
northern extremity of it, and left a ferjeant's 
guard there for its defence. Preparations 
were afterwards making- for building a fort on 
it; but in the mean time a warm remon- 
ftrance againft fuch proceedings came from 
the government of the United States *, who 


* Notwithftanding that the government of the United States 
has thought it incumbent upon itfelf to remonftrate againft 
our taking pofteflion of this ifland, and thus to difpute every 
inch of ground refpe&ing the right to which there could not be 
$he fmalleil dcubt, yet the generality of the people of the 



infifted upon it that the iiland was not within 
the limits of the British dominions. The 


States affeft to talk of every fuch ftep as idle and unnecef- 
fary, inafmuch as they are fully perfuaded, in their own minds, 
that all the Britifh dominions in North America mull, fooner or 
later, become a part of their empire. Thus Mr. Imlay, in his 
account of the north weftern territory : " It is certain, that as 
" the country has been more opened in America, and thereby 
" the rays of the fun have acled more powerfully upon the 
" earth, thefe benefits have tended greatly to foften the winter 
" feafon ; fo that peopling Canada, for which we are much 
" obliged to you, is a double advantage to us. Firft, it is fet- 
" tling and populating a country that muft, fooner or later, 
" from the natural order of things, become a- part of our em- 
** pire ; and fecondly, it is immediately meliorating the cli- 
" mate of the northern Hates," &c. 

The greateft empires that have ever appeared on the face of 
the globe have difiblved in the courfe of time, and no one ac- 
quainted with hiitory will, I take it for granted, prefume to 
fay that the extended empire of Britain, all powerful as it is at 
prefent, is fo much more clofely knit together than any other 
empire ever was before it, that it can never fall alunder; Ca- 
nada, I therefore fuppofe, may, with revolving years, be dis- 
jointed from the mother country, as well as her other colonies ; 
but whenever that period (hall arrive, which I trull is far diftant, 
I am humbly of opinion that it will not form an additional 
knot in that extenfive union of ftates which at prefent fubiiit 
on the continent of North America ; indeed, were the Bri- 
tifh dominions in North America to be diftevered from the 
other members of the empire the enfuing year, I am ftill tempted 
to imagine that they would not become linked with the pre- 
fent federal American ftates, and for the following reafons : 

Firft, becaufe the conftitution of the federal ftates, which is 
the bond that holds them together, is not calculated for fuch a 
large territory as that which the prefent ftates, together with 
fuch an addition, would conftitute. 

The conftitution of the ftates is that of the people, who, 
through their refpeclive reprefentatives affembled together at 



point, it was found, would admit of fome dif- 
pute, and as it could not be determined imme- 

fome one place, muft decide upon every meafure that is to be 
taken for the public weal. This place, it is evident, ought 
in juftice to be as central as poffible to every ftate ; the ne- 
ceffity, indeed, of having the place fo fituatcd has been mani- 
fefted in the building of the new federal city. Were it not 
for this ftep, many of the moft enlightened characters in the 
ftates have given it as their opinion, that the union could not 
have remained many years entire, for the ftates fo far removed 
from the feat of the legiflature, before the new city was founded, 
had complained grievoufly of the diftance which their delegates 
had to travel to meet congrefs, and had begun to talk of the 
neceffity of a feparation of the ftates : and now, on the other 
hand, that a central fpothas been fixed upon, thofe ftates to the 
northward, conveniently fituated to Philadelphia, the prefent 
feat of the federal government, fxy that the new city will be (o 
fat removed from them, that the fending of delegates thither 
will be highly inconvenient to them, and fo much fo, as to 
call for a feparation of the union on their part. In a former 
letter I ftated the various opinions that were entertained by the 
people of the United States on this fubjedt, and I endeavoured 
to (hew that the feat of congrefs would be removed to the new 
federal city without endangering a partition of the ftates ; but 
I am fully perfuaded, that were Canada to become an indepen- 
dent ftate, and a : place were to be fixed on central to all the 
ftates, fuppofing her to be one, that neither Ihe, nor the ftate at 
the remote oppoftte end, would long continue, if they ever did 
fubmit, to fend their delegates to a place fo far removed, that 
it would require more than a fourth part of the year for them 
(the delegates) to travel, even with the utmoft poffible ex- 
pedition, backward and forward, between the diftrict which 
they reprefented and the feat of congrefs. 

Secondly, I think the two Canadas will never become con- 

qe&ed with the prefent ftates, becaufe the people of thefe 

provinces, and thofe of the adjoining ftates, are not formed for 

a clofe intimacy with each other. 

The bulk of the people of Upper Canada are refugees, who 



diately, the plan of building the fort was re- 
linquished for the time. The block houfe on 


were driven from the ftates by the perfecution of the re- 
publican party ; and though the thirteen years which have 
paffed over have nearly extinguished every fpark of refent- 
ment againft the Americans in the breads of the people of 
England, yet this is by no means the cafe in Upper Canada; 
it is there common to hear, even from the children of the re- 
fugees, the molt grofs invectives poured out againft the people 
of the itates ; and tne people ct the frontier ftates, in their 
turn, are as violent againft the refugees and their poflerityj 
and, indeed, whilft Canada forms a part of the Britiih empire, 
1 am inclined, from what I have feen and heard in travelling 
through the country, to think that this fpirit will not die away. 
In Lower Canada the fame acrimonious temper of mind is not 
obfervable amongft the people, excepting indeed in thofe few 
pares of the country whereMhe inhabited parts of the ftates 
approach clofcly to thefe of the province ; but here appears 
to be a general difinciination amongft the inhabitants to have 
any political connection with the people of the ftates, and the 
French Canadians affect to hold them in the greateft con- 
tempt. Added to this, the prevalent language cf the lower 
province, which has remained the fame for almoft forty years, 
notwithftanding the great pains that have been taken to 
change it, and which is therefore likely to remain fo ftill, is an- 
other obftacle in the way of any clofe connection between the 
people of the lower province and thofe of the ftates. Even 
in conducting the affairs of the provincial legifiative affembly, 
notwithitanding that moft of the Englifh inhabitant* are well 
acquainted with the French language, yet a contiderable de- 
gree of difficulty is experienced from the generality of the 
French delegates being totally ignorant of the Englifh lan- 
guage, which, as I have aiready mentioned, they have an un- 
conquerable averfion againft learning. 

Thirdly, I think the Britiih dominions in North America 
will never be annexed to thofe of the ftates, becaufe they are 
by nature formed for conftituting a feparate independent terri- 



the ifland, however, (till remains guarded, and 
pofTeflion will be kept of it until the matter in 


At pre&nt the boundary line between the Britifh domi- 
nions and the States rons along the river St. Croix, thence 
along the high lands bordering upon New England till it meets 
the forty-fifth parallel of north latitude, and afterwards along 
the faid parallel until it ftrikes the River St. Lawrence, or Ca- 
taragui, or Iroquois. Now the dominions fouth of the St. Law- 
rence are evidently not feparated from the United States by 
any bold determinate boundary line; I therefore fuppofe that 
they may, in fome manner, be connected with them; but the 
country to the northward, bounded on the north by Hudfon's 
Bay, on the eaft by the ocean, on the fouth and weft by the St. 
Lawrence, and that vaft chain of lakes which extends to the 
weftward, is feparated from the United States by one of the 
molt remarkable boundary lines that is to be found on the face 
of the globe between any two countries on the fame conti- 
nent ; and from being bounded in fuch a remarkable man- 
ner, and thus detached as it were by nature from the other 
parts of the continent, it appears to me that it is calculated 
for forming a diftincc. feparate fiate, or diftindt union of ftates, 
From the prefent American federal ftates ; that is, fuppofing, 
with the revolutions of time, that this arm of the Britifh em- 
pire ihould be fome time or other lopped off. I confefs it ap- 
pears ftrange to me, that any perfon fhould fuppofe, after- 
looking attentively over a map of North America, that the 
Britifh dominions, fo extenfive and fo unconnected with them, 
could ever become joined in a political union with the prefent 
federal ftates on the continent. There is more reafon to 
imagine that the Floridas, and the Spanifh pofTeffions to the 
eaft of the Miffiffippi, will be united therewith; for as the 
rivers which flow through the Spanifh dominions are the only 
channels whereby the people of fome of the weftern ftates 
can convey the produce of their own country to the ocean 
with convenience, it is natural to fuppofe that the people of 
thefe ftates will be anxious to gain pofTeffion of thefe rivers, 
for which purpofe they muft poflefs themfelves of the country 
through which they pafs. But there are certain bounds, be- 


difpute be adjudged by the commiflioners ap- 
pointed, purfuant to the late treaty, for the 
purpofe of determining the exact boundaries 
of the Britifh dominions in this part of the 
continent, which were by no means clearly as- 
certained by the definitive treaty of peace 
between the States and Great Britain. 

In this particular inflance the difpute arifes 
refpecting the true meaning of certain words 
of the treaty. " The boundary line," it fays, 
*' is to run through the middle of Lake Erie 
" until it arrive at the water communication 
" between that lake and Lake Huron; thence 
** along the middle of the faid water commu- 
* nication." The people of the States con- 
ftrue the middle of the water communication 
to be the middle of the moft approved and 
moft frequented channel of the river; we, on 
the contrary, conftrue it to be the middle of 
the river, provided there is a tolerable channel 
on each fide. Now the ifland of Bois Blanc 
clearly lies between the middle of the river 
and the Britifh main; but then the deeper! 
and moft approved channel for mips of burthen 
is between the ifland and the Britifh fhore. In 

yond which a reprefentative government cannot extend, and 
the ocean on the eafl and fouth, the St. Lawrence and the lake* 
on the north, and the Mifliffippi on the weft, certainly appear 
to fet bounds to the jurifdi&ion of the government of the 
•United States, if indeed it can extend even fo far. 

8 our 


our acceptation of the word, therefore, the 
illand unquestionably belongs to us; in that 
of the people of the States, to them. It 
appears to me, that our claim in this inftance 
is certainly the moffc juft; for although the 
belt, and mod commodious channel be on 
our ltde, yet the channel on the oppofite fide 
of the illand is fufficiently deep to admit 
through it, with perfect fafety, the largefl of 
the velfels at prefent on the lakes, and in- 
deed as large velfels as are deemed fuitable for 
this navigation. 

Plans for a fort on the main land, and for one 
on the illand of Bois Blanc, have been drawn; 
but as only the one fort will be erected,, the 
building of it is poftponed until it is deter- 
mined to whom the ifland belongs : if within 
the Britiih dominions, the fort will be erected 
on the iiland, as there is a itill more advan- 
tageous pofition for one there than on the main 
land ; in the mean time a large block houfe, 
capable of accommodating, in every refpect 
comfortably, one hundred men and officers, 
has been erected on the main land, around 
which about four acres or more of ground 
have been referved for his Majefty's ufe, in 
cafe the fort mould not be built on the 

A block houfe, which I have fo frequently 
mentioned, is a building, vvhofe walls are 

Vol. II. N formed 


formed of thick fquare pieces of timber. 
It is ufually built two ftories high, in which 
cafe the upper (lory is made to project about 
two or three feet beyond the walls of the 
lower one, and loop holes are left in the 
floor round the edge of it, fo that if an at- 
tempt were made to ftorm the houfe, the gar- 
rifon could fire directly down upon the heads 
of the aiTailants. Loop holes are left alio in 
various parts of the walls, fome of which are 
formed, as is the cafe at this new block houfe 
at Maiden, of a fize fufficient to admit a fmall 
cannon to be fired through them. The loop 
holes are furniihed with large wooden ftop- 
pers or wedges, which in the winter feafon, 
when there is no danger of an attack, are put 
in, and the interfaces clofely caulked, to guard 
againft the cold ; and indeed, to render the 
houfe w T arm, they are obliged to take no fmali 
pains in caulking the feams between the tim- 
ber in every part. A block houfe, built on 
the mo ft approved plan, is fo conftru&ed, that 
if one half of it were fhot away, the other 
half would ftand firm. Each piece of tim- 
ber in the roof and walls is jointed in fuch 
a manner as to be rendered independent of 
the next piece to it; one wall is independent 
of the next wall, and the roof is in a great 
meafure independent of all of them, fo that if 
a piece of artillery were played upon the houfe, 


farms; 179 

that bit of timber alone againft which the 
ball ftruck would be displaced, and every 
other one would remain uninjured. A block 
houfe is proof againft the heavieft. fire of muf- 
quetry. As thefe houfes may be erecled in a 
very fhort time, and as there is fuch an abun- 
dance of timber in every part of the country, 
wherewith to build them, they are met with 
in North America at almolr. every military 
out-pott, and indeed in almoft every fortrefs 
throughout the country. There are feveral in 
the upper town of Quebec. 

Amongft the fcattered houfes at the lower 
end of the diftric~t of Maiden, there are feve- 
ral of a refpeclable appearance, and the farms 
adjoining to them are very confiderable. The 

farm belonging to our friend, Captain E , 

under whofe roof we tarry, contains no lefs 
than two thoufand acres. A very large part 
of it is cleared, and it is cultivated in a ftvle 
which would not be thought meanly of even 
in England. His houfe, which is the befh in 
the whole diftrict, is agreeably fituated, at the 
diftance of about two hundred yards from 
the river 5 there is a full view of the river, 
and of the iiland of Bois Blanc, from the 
parlour windows, and the fcene is continually 
enlivened by the number of Indian canoes 
that pafs and repafs before it. In front of 
the houfe there is a neat little lawn, paled in, 

N 2 and 


and ornamented with clumps of trees, at the 
bottom of which, not far from the water, 
itands a large Indian wigwam, called the 
council houfe, in which the Indians are aiTem- 
bled whenever there are any affairs of impor- 
tance to be tranfacted between them and the 
officers in the Indian department. Great 
numbers of thefe people come from the ifland 
of Eois Blanc, where no lefs than five hundred 
families of them are encamped, to vifit us 
daily; and we in our turn go frequently to 
the ifland, to have an opportunity of ob- 
ferving their native manners and cuftoms. 

Our friend has told them, that we have 
crofTed the big lake, the Atlantic, on purpofe 
to come and fee them. This circumftance has 
given them a very favourable opinion of usj 
they approve highly of the undertaking, and 
fay that we have employed our time to a good 
purpofe. No people on earth have a higher 
opinion of their own confequence ; indeed, 
they efteem themfelves fuperior to every other 
race of men. 

We remained for a fhort time in Maiden, 
and then fet oif for Detroit in a neat little 
pleafure boat, which one of the traders oblig- 
ingly lent to us. The river between the two 
places varies in breadth from two miles to half 
a mile. The banks are moftly very low, and 
in fome places large marines extend along the 


FRUITS. 181 

fhores, and far up into the country. The 
fhores are adorned with rich timber of various 
kinds, and bordering upon the marines, where 
the trees have full fcope to extend their 
branches, the woodland icenery is very fine. 
Amidft the marines, the river takes fome very 
confiderable bends, and it is diverfified at the 
fame time with feveral large iflands, which oc- 
cafion a great diverfity of profpeel:. 

Bevond Maiden no houfes are to be feen on 


either fide of the river, except indeed the few 
miferable little huts in the Indian villages, until 
you come within four miles or thereabouts of 
Detroit. Here the fettlements are very nume- 
rous on both fides, but particularly on that be- 
longing to the Britifh. The country abounds 
with peach, apple, and cherry orchards, the 
rich eft I ever beheld ; in many of them the 
trees, loaded with large apples of various dyes, 
appeared bent down into the very water. They 
have many different forts of excellent apples 
in this part of the country, but there is one far 
fuperior to all the reft, and which is held in 
great eftimation, called the pomme caille. I 
do not recollect, to have feen it in any other 
part of the world, though doubtlefs it is not 
peculiar to this neighbourhood. It is of 
an extraordinary large fize, and deep red 
colour ; not confined merely to the fkin, but 
extending to the very core of the apple : if the 

N 3 fkin 


fkin be taken off delicately, the fruit appears 
nearly as red as when entire. We could not 
refill: the temptation of flopping at the firfl of 
thefe orchards we came to, and for a few pence 
we were allowed to lade our boat with as 
much fruit as we could well carry away. The 
peaches were nearly out of feafon now, but 
from the few I tailed, I mould fuppofe that 
they were of a good kind, far fuperior in 
flavour, fize, and juicinefs to thofe commonly 
met with in the orchards of the middle ftates. 

The houfes in this part of the country are 
all built in a fimilar ftyle to thofe in Lower 
Canada j the lands are laid out and cultivated 
alfo fimilarly to thofe in the lower province ; 
the manners and perfons of the inhabitants are 
the fame; French is the predominant language, 
and the traveller may fancy for a moment, if 
he pleafes,that he has been wafted by enchant- 
ment back again into the neighbourhood of 
Montreal or Three Rivers. All the principal 
pofts throughout the weftern country, along 
the lakes, the Ohio, the Illinois, Sec. were 
eftabliihed by the French ; but, except at 
Detroit and in the neighbourhood, and in the 
Illinois country, the French fettlers have 
become fo blended with the greater number 
who fpoke Engliih, that their language has 
every where died away. 


DETROIT. i8 3 

Detroit contains about three hundred houfes, 
and is the largeft town in the weftern country. 
It ftands contiguous to the river, on the top of 
the banks, which are here about twenty feet 
high. At the bottom of them there are very 
extenfive wharfs for the accommodation of the 
ihipping, built of wood, fimilar to thofe in the 
Atlantic fea-ports. The town coniiils of fe- 
veral ftreets that run parallel to the river, 
which are interfered by others at right angles. 
They are all very narrow, and not being paved, 
dirty in the extreme whenever it happens to 
rain : for the accommodation of paffengers, 
however, there are footways in mod of them, 
formed of fquare logs, laid tranfverfely clofe 
to each other. The town is furrounded by 
a ftrong ftockade, through which there are 
four gates ; two of them open to the wharfs, 
and the two others to the north and fouth fide 
of the town refpedtively. The gates are de- 
fended by ftrong block houfes, and on the weft: 
fide of the town is a fmall fort in form of a 
fquare, with baftions at the angles. At each 
of the corners of this fort is planted a fmall 
field-piece ; and thefe conftitute the whole of 
the ordnance at prefent in the place. The 
Britim kept a confiderable train of artillery 
here, but the place was never capable of hold- 
ing out for any length of time againft a regular 
force : the fortifications, indeed, were con- 

N 4 ftrufted 


ftrucled chiefly as a defence againfl the In- 

Detroit is at prefent the head-quarters of the 
weftern army of the States 5 the garrifon con- 
firms of three hundred men, who are quartered 
in barracks. Very little attention is paid by 
the officers to the minutiae of difcipline, fo 
that however well the men may have acquitted 
themfelves in the field, they make but a poor 
appearance on parade. The belles of the town 
are quite au defefpoir at the late departure 
of the Britiih troops ; though the American 
officers tell them they have no reafon to be 
fo, as they will find them much more fenfible 
agreeable men than the Britifh officers when 
they know them ; a ftyle of converfation, 
which, fcrange as it may appear to us, is yet 
not at all uncommon amonglt them. Three 
months, however, have not altered the firfl 
opinion of the ladies. I cannot better give you 
an idea of the unpoliihed, coarfe, difcordant 
manners of the generality of the officers of the 
weflern army of the States, than by telling 
you, that they cannot agree fufficiently amongft 
themfelves to form a regimental mefs ; re- 
peated attempts have been made fince their 
arrival at Detroit to eilabliih one, but their 
frequent quarrels would never fuiFer it to re- 
main permanent. A duellift and an officer of 
the weflern army were nearly fynonimous 
4 terms 


terms, at one period, in the United States, 
owing to the very great number of duels that 
took place amongft them when cantoned at 

About two thirds of the inhabitants of De- 
troit are of French extraction, and the greater 
part of the inhabitants of the fettlements on 
the river, both above and below the. town, arc 
of the fame defcription. The former are 
mofhly engaged in trade, and they all appear 
to be much on an equality. Detroit is a 
place of very confiderable trade ; there are no 
lefs than twelve trading velTels belonging to it, 
brigs, {loops, and fchooners, of from fifty to 
one hundred tons burthen each. The inland 
navigation in this quarter is indeed very ex- 
tenfive, Lake Erie, three hundred miles in 
length, being open to veflels belonging to the 
port, on the one fide; and lakes Michigan 
and Huron, the firft upwards of two hundred 
miles in length, and fixty in breadth, and the 
fecond, no lefs than one thoufand miles in cir- 
cumference, on the oppoiite fide ; not to fpeak 
of Lake St. Clair and Detroit River, which 
connect thefe former lakes together, or of the 
many large rivers which fail into them. The 
ilores and {hops in the town are well furnifhed, 
and you may buy fine cloth, linen, &c. and 
every article of wearing apparel, as good in 
their kind, and nearly on as reafonable terms, 



as you can purchase them at New York or 

The inhabitants are well fupplied with pro- 
visions of every defcription; the filh in par- 
ticular, caught in the river and neighbouring 
lakes, are of a very fuperior quality. The fifri 
held in rnoft: ertimation is a fort of large trout, 
called the Michillimakinac white fiili, from 
its being caught moftly in the ftraits of that 
name. The inhabitants of Detroit and the 
neighbouring country, however, though they 
have provisions in plenty, are frequently much 
difcrefTed for one very neceilary concomitant, 
namely, fait. Until within a fhort time pan: 
they had no fait but what was brought from 
Europe -, but fait fprings have been difcovered 
in various parts of the country, from which 
they are now beginning to manufacture that 
article for themfelves. The beff. and moil 
profitable of the fprings are retained in the 
hands of government, and the profits arifing 
from the fale of the fait are to be paid into the 
treafury of the province. Throughout the 
weftern country they procure their fait from 
fprings, fome of which throw up fufficient 
water to yield feveral hundred bufhels in the 
courfe of one week. 

There is a large Roman catholic church in 
the town of Detroit, and another on the op- 
pofite fide, called the Huron church, from its 



having been devoted to the ufe of the Huron 
Indians. The ftreets of Detroit are generally 
crowded with Indians cf one tribe or other, 
and amongft them you fee numberlefs old 
fquaws leading about their daughters, ever 
ready to difpoie of them, pro tempore, to the 
higheft bidder. At night all the Indians, ex- 
cept fuch as get admittance into private houfes, 
and remain there quietly, are turned out of the 
town, and the gates {hut upon them. 

The American officers here have endeavour- 
ed to their utmoit. to imprefs upon the minds 
of the Indians an idea of their own fuperiority 
over the Britilh ; but as they are very tardy in 
giving thefe people any prefents, they do not 
pay much attention to their words. General 
Wayne, from continually promifing them 
prefents, but at the fame time always poft- 
poning the delivery when they come to afk for 
them, has fignificantly been nicknamed by 
them, General Wabang, that is General To- 

The country around Detroit is very much 
cleared, and lb likewife is that on the Britilh 
fide of the river for a confiderable way above 
the town. The fettlements extend nearly as 
far as Lake Huron; but beyond the River La 
Trenche, which falls into Lake St. Clair, they 
are fcattered very thinly along the mores. The 
banks of the River La Trenche, or Thames, 



as it is now called, are increafing very fail 
in population, as I before mentioned, owing to 
the great emigration thither of peortle from 
the neighbourhood of Niagara, and of Detroit 
alfo fince it has been evacuated by the Britim. 
We made an excuriion, one morning, in our 
little boat as far as Lake St. Clair, but met 
with nothing, either amongft the inhabitants, 
or in the face of the country, particularly de- 
ferving of mention. The country round De- 
troit is uncommonly flat, and in none of the 
rivers is there a fall fufficient to turn even a 
grift mill. The current of Detroit River it- 
felf is ftronger than that of any others, and 
a floating mill was once invented by a French- 
man, which was chained in the middle of that 
river, where it was thought the ftream would 
be fufficiently fwift to turn the water wheel : 
the building of it was attended with conflder- 
able expence to the inhabitants, but after it 
was finifhed it by no means anfwered their 
expectations. They grind their corn at pre- 
fent by wind mills, which I do. not remem- 
ber to have feen in any other part of North 

The foil of the country bordering upon De- 
troit River is rich though light, and it pro- 
duces good "crops both of Indian corn and 
wheat. The climate is much more healthy 
than that of the country in the neighbourhood 


REMARKS. \% 9 

of Niagara River; intermittent fevers how- 
ever are by no means uncommon diforders. 
The fummers are intenfely hot, Fahrenheit's 
thermometer often riling above 100; yet a 
winter feldpm paries over but what fnow re- 
mains on the ground for two or three months. 

Whilfi: we remained at Detroit, we had to 
determine upon a point of fome moment to us 
travellers, namely, upon the route by which to 
return back towards the Atlantic. None of us 
felt much inclined to crofs the lake again to 
Fort Erie, we at once therefore laid aiide all 
thoughts of returning that way. Two other 
routes then preiented themfelves for our con- 
fideration ; the one was to proceed by land 
from Detroit, through the north weitern ter- 
ritory of the United States, as far as the head 
waters of fome one of the rivers which fall 
into the Ohio, having reached which, we might 
afterwards have proceeded upwards or down- 
wards, as we found mod expedient : the other 
was to crofs by water to Prefqu' Ifle, on the 
fouth fide of Lake Erie, and thence go down 
French Creek and the Alleghany River, as far 
as Pittfburgh on the Ohio, where being ar- 
rived we mould likewii'e have had the choice 
of defcending the Ohio and Miffiflippi, or of 
going on to Philadelphia, through Pennfyl- 
vania, according as we mould find circum- 
stances moil convenient. The firfl of thefe 



routes was moft fuited to our inclination, but 
we foon found that we muff, give over all 
thoughts of proceeding by it. The way to 
have proceeded would have been to fet out on 
horfeback, taking with us fuificient provifions 
to laft for a journey through a foreft of up- 
wards of two hundred miles in length, and 
trufting our horfes to the food which they 
could pick up for themfelves amongft the 
bufhes. There was no poffibility of procuring 
horfes, however, for hire at Detroit or in the 
neighbourhood, and hag! we purchafed them, 
which could not have been done but at a moil: 
exorbitant price, we mould have found it a 
difficult matter perhaps to have got rid of them 
when we had ended our land journey, unlefs 
indeed we chofe to turn them adrift in the 
woods, which would not have been perfectly 
fuitable to our finances. But independent of 
this confideration there was another obitacle in 
our way, and that was the difficulty of procur- 
ing guides. The Indians were all preparing 
to fet out on their hunting excurfions, and had 
we even been able to have procured a party 
of them for an efcort, there would have been 
fome rifk, we were told, of their deferting 
us before we reached our journey's end. If 
they fell in on their journey with a hunting 
party that had been very fuccefsful j if they 
came to a place where there was great abund- 


ance of game ; or, in fliort, if we did not pro- 
ceed jufh according to their fancy, impatient 
of every reftraint, and without caring in the 
lead for the hire we had promifed them, they 
would, perhaps, leave us in the whim of mo- 
ment to fhift for ourfelves in the woods, a fitua- 
tion we had no defire to fee ourfelves reduced 
to : we determined therefore to proceed by 
Prefqu' Ifle. But now another difficulty arofe, 
namely, how we were to get there : a fmall 
veffel, a very unufual circumftance indeed, was 
juft about to fail, but it was fo crowded with 
paffengers, that there was not a lingle birth 
vacant, and moreover, if there had been, we 
did not wifli to depart fo abruptly from this 
part of the country. One of the principal 
traders, however, at Detroit, to whom we had 
carried letters, foon accommodated matters to 
our fatisfaction, by promiiing to give orders to 
the mailer of one of the lake veffels, of which 
he was in part owner, to land us at that place. 
The veffel was to fail in a fortnight ; we im- 
mediately therefore fecured a pafiage in her, 
and having fettled with the mafter that he 
mould call for us at Maiden, we fet off once 
more for that place in our little boat, and in a 
few hours, from the time we quitted Detroit, 
arrived there. 



Prefents delivered to the Indians on the Part of 
the BritiJJj Government. — Mode of diftribut- 
ing them.- — Reafons why given.*— What is the 
be ft Method of conciliating the good Wilt of the 
Indians. — Little pains taken by the Americans 
to keep up a good Vndetjlanding wkh the In- 
dians. — Confequences thereof. — War between 
the Americans and Indians. — A brief Account 
of it. — Peace concluded by General Wayne. — 
Not likely to remain permanent. — Why. — In- 
dian Manner of making Peace defcribed. 

Maiden, O&ober. 

AD JOINING to our friend's houfe at 
Maiden ftands an exteniive range of ftore- 
houfes, for the reception of the prefents yearly 
made by government to the Indians in this part 
of the country, in which feveral clerks are 
kept constantly employed. Before we had 
been long at Maiden we had an opportunity of 
feeing fome of the prefents delivered out. A 
number of chiefs of different tribes had pre- 
vioufly come to our friend, who is at the head 
of the department in this quarter, and had 
given to him, each, a bundle of little bits of 
cedar wood, about the thicknefs of a fmall 
pocket book pencil, to remind him of the exact 



number of individuals in each tribe that ex- 
pected to (hare the bounty of their great fa- 
ther. The fticks in thefe bundles were of 
different lengths, the longeft denoted the num- 
ber of warriors in the tribe, the next in fize 
the number of women, and the fmallefl: the 
number of children. Our friend on receiving 
them handed them over to his clerks, who 
made a memorandum in their books of the 
contents of each bundle, and of the perfons 
that gave them, in order to prepare the pre- 
fents accordingly. The day fixed upon for the 
delivery of the prefents was bright and fair, 
and being in every refpecl: favourable for the 
purpofe, the clerks began to make the neceffary 
arrangements accordingly. 

A number of large flakes were firft fixed 
down in different parts of the iawn, to each 
of which was attached a label, with the name 
of the tribe, and the number of perfons in it, 
who were to be provided for ; then were 
brought out from the ftores feveral bales of 
thick blankets, of blue, fcarlet, and brown 
cloth, and of coarie figured cottons, together 
with large rolls of tobacco, guns, flints, pow- 
der, balls, mot, cafe- knives, ivory and horn 
combs, looking-glaffes, pipe-tomahawks, hat- 
chets, fciffars, needles, vermilion in bags, cop- 
per and iron pots and kettles, the whole valued ■ 
at about jT. 5oofterling. The bales of goods 

Vol, II, O being 


being opened, the blankets, cloths, and cottons- 
were cut up into frnall pieces, each fufficient 
to make for one perfon a wrapper, a fhirt, a 
pair of leggings, or whatever el fe it was in- 
tended for; and the portions of the different 
articles intended for each tribe were thrown 
together in a heap, at the bottom of the (take 
which bore its name. This buiinefs took up 
feveral hours, as there were no lefs than four 
hundred and twenty Indians to be ferved. No 
liquor, nor any filver ornaments, except to 
favourite chiefs in private, are ever given on 
the part of government to the Indians, not- 
withstanding they are fo fond of both ; and a 
trader who attempts to give thefe articles to 
them in exchange for the prefents they 
have received from government, or, indeed, 
who takes from them on any conditions, their 
prefents, is liable to a very heavy penalty for 
every fuch act, by the laws of the province. 

The prefents having been all prepared, the 
chiefs were ordered to aflemhie their warriors, 
who were loitering about the grounds at the 
cutfide of the lawn. In a few minutes they 
all came, and having been drawn up in a large 
circle, our friend delivered a fpeech on the oo 
cafion, without which ceremony no bufmefs, 
according to Indian cuftom, is ever tranfacled. 
In this they were told, " That their great and 
good Father, who lived on the oppcfitc fide of 



the big lake (meaning thereby the king) was 
ever attentive to the happinefs of all his faith- 
ful people - y and that, with his accuflcmed 
bounty, he had fent the prefents which now 
lay before them to his good children the In- 
dians; that he had fent the guns, the hatchets* 
and the ammunition for the young men, and 
the clothing for the aged, women, and children j 
that he hoped the young men would have no 
occalion to employ their weapons in fighting 
againft enemies, but merely in hunting ; and 
that he recommended it to them to be atten- 
tive to the old, and to fhare bountifully with 
them what they gained by the chace ; that he 
trufted the great fpirit would give them bright 
funs and clear fkies, and a favourable feafon for 
huntings and that when another year fhould 
pafs over, if he ftill continued to find them 
good children, he would not fail to renew his 
bounties, by fending them more prefents from 
acrofs the big lake. 

This fpeech was delivered in Englifh, but 
interpreters attended, who repeated it to the dif- 
ferent tribes in their refpeclive languages, pa- 
ragraph by paragraph, at the end of every one of 
which the Indians fignified their fatisfaction by 
a loud coarfe exclamation of " Hoah ! Hoah!" 
The fpeech ended, the chiefs were called for- 
ward, and their feveral heaps were {hewn td 
them, and committed to their care, Theyreceiv- 
O % ed 


ed them with thanks ; and beckoning to their 
warriors, a number of young men quickly darted 
frcm the crowd, and in lefs than three minutes 
the prefents were conveyed from the lawn, 
and laden on board the canoes, in waiting to 
convey them to the ifland and adjacent villages. 
The utmoft regularity and propriety was ma- 
nifested on this occaiion in the behaviour of 
every Indian ; there was not the fmalleft 
wrangling amongfl them about their prefents ; 
nor was the leafl fpark of jealoufy obfervable 
in any one tribe about what the other had re- 
ceived ; each one took up the heap allotted to 
it, and departed without fpeaking a word. 

Befides the prefents, fuch as I have de- 
fcribed, others of a different nature again, 
namely, provifions, were dealt out this year 
amongfl: certain tribes of the Indians that were 
encamped on the ifland of Bois Blanc. Thefe 
were fome of the tribes that had been at war 
with the people of the United States, whofe 
villages, fields of corn, and ftores of provifions 
had been totally deftroyed during the conteft 
by General Wayne, and who having been 
thereby bereft of every means of fupport, had 
come, as foon as peace was concluded, to beg 
for fubfiftence from their good friends the 
Britifh. " Our enemies," faid they, have de- 
" fhroyed our villages and ftores of provifions ; 
i( our women and children are left without 
9 " food; 


" food ; do you then, who call yourfelves our 
" friends, mew us now that you really are fo, 
" and give them food to eat till the fun ripens 
*' our corn, and the great fpirit gives another 
" profperous feafon for hunting." Their re- 
quefl was at once complied with ; a large 
fborehoufe was erected on the ifland, and rilled 
with provifions at the expence of government 
for their ufe, and regularly twice a week the 
clerks in the Indian department went over to 
distribute them. About three barrels of falted 
pork or beef, as many of flour, beans or peas, 
Indian corn, and about two carcafes of freih 
beef, were generally given out each time. 
Thefe articles of proviiion the Indians re- 
ceived, not in the thankful manner in which 
they did the other prefents, but feemingly as 
if they were due to them of right. One na- 
tion they think ought never to helitate about 
giving relief to another in diftrefs, provided it 
was not at enmity with ic; and indeed, were 
their white brethren, the Britim, to be reduced 
by any calamity to a fimilar flate of diftrefs, 
the Indians would with the utmoft cheerfulnefs 
fhare with them their provifions to the very 

The prefents delivered to the Indians, to- 
gether with the falaries of the officers in the 
Indian department, are computed to cofl the 
crown, as I before mentioned, about f. 1 00,000 

O 3 ilerling, 


fterling, on an average, per annum. When we 
firft gained pofleffion of Canada, the expence 
of the prefents was much greater, as the In- 
dians were then more numerous, and as it was 
alio found necerTary to beftow upon them, in- 
dividually, much larger prefents than are now 
given^ in order to overcome the violent pre- 
judices again ft us which had been in Hilled 
into their minds by the French. Thefe pre- 
judices having happily been removed, and 
the utmoft harmony having been eftablifhed 
between them and the people on our frontiers, 
prefents of a lefs value even than what are 
now uiftributed amongft them would perhaps 
be found fufficient to keep up that good un- 
demanding which now iubfiits between us j it 
could not, however, be deemed a very advif- 
able meafure to curtail them, as long as a 
po.. remained that the lofs of their friend- 

fhip might be incurred thereby : and, indeed, 
when we confider what a happy and numerous 
people the Indians were before Europeans in- 
truded themfelves into the territories allotted 
to them by nature ; when we confider how 
many thoufands have perifhed in battle, em- 
broiled in our contefts for power and dominion, 
and how many thoufands more have perifhed 
by the ufe of the pononous beverages which, 
we have introduced amongft them j when we 
Qonfider how many artificial wants have been 



raifed in the minds of the few nations of them 
that yet remain, and how fadly the morals of 
thefe nations have been corrupted by their 
inrercourfe with the whites » t when we confi- 
der, finally, that in the courfe of fifty years 
more no veftige even of thefe once viriuous 
and amiable people will probably be found in 
the whole of that extenfive territory which lies 
between the Mifliflippi and the Atlantic, and 
was formerly inhabited folely by them ; in- 
stead of wifhing to leifen the value or the num- 
ber of the few trifles that we find are accept- 
able to them in their prefent ftate, we ought 
rather to be defirous of contributing dill more 
largely to their comfort and happinefs. 

Acceptable prefents are generally found very 
efficacious in conciliating the affeclions of any- 
uncivilized nation : they have very great in- 
fluence over the minds of the Indians ; but to 
conciliate their affections to the utmoit, pre- 
fents alone are not fufficient j you mull appear 
to have their intereft at heart in every refpect ; 
you mufl affociate with them ; you mufl treat 
them as men that are your equals, and, in 
feme meafure, even adopt their native man- 
ners. It was by fuch fteps as thefe that the 
French, when they had poflefiion of Canada, 
gained their favour in fuch a very eminent 
manner, and acquired fo wonderful an afcen- 
tfency over them. The old Indians ftill fay, 

O 4 that 


that they never were fo happy as when the? 
French had porTeflion cf the country j and, 
indeed, it is a very remarkable fact, which I 
before mentioned, that the Indians, if they are 
lick, if they are hungry, if they want fhelter 
from a florin, or the like, will always go to the 
houfes of the old French fettlers in preference 
to thcfe of the Britiih inhabitants. The ne- 
ceffity of treating the Indians with refpect. and 
attention is ftrongly inculcated on the minds 
of the Englhh ftttlers, and they endeavour to 
act accordingly -, but frill they cannot banifh 
wholly fiom their minds, as the French do, the 
idea that the Indians are an inferior race of 
people to them, to which circurnftance is to 
be attributed the predilection of the Indians 
for the French rather than them ; they all live 
together, however, on very amicable terms, 
and many of the Engiifh on the frontiers have 
indeed told me, that if they were but half as 
honeft, and half as well conducted towards one 
another, as the Indians are towards them, the 
Hate of iociety in the country would be truly 

On the frontiers of the United States little 
pains have hitherto been taken by the govern- 
ment, and no pains by the people, to gain the 
good will of the Indians ; and the latter, in- 
deed, inftead of refpecting the Indians as an 
independent neighbouring nation^ have in too 



many in fiances violated their rights as men 
in the mofl: flagrant manner. The confequence 
has been, that the people on the frontiers have 
been involved in all the calamities that they 
could have iurFered from an avengeful and 
cruel enemy. Nightly murders, robberies, 
maffacres, and conflagrations have been com- 
mon. They have hardly ventured to fcir, at 
times, beyond the walls of their little habita- 
tions ; and for whole nights together have they 
been kept on the watch, in arms, to refill the 
onfet of the Indians. They have never dared 
to vilit their neighbours unarmed, nor to pro- 
ceed aione, in open day, on a journey of a few 
miles. The gazettes of the United States have 
daily teemed With the mocking accounts of the 
barbarities committed by the Indians, and 
volumes would fcarcely fumce to tell the 
whole of the dreadful tales. 

It has been laid by perfons of the States, 
that the Indians were countenanced in com- 
mitting thefe enormities by people on the 
Britifh frontiers, and liberal abufe has been 
beflowed on the government for having aided, 
by distributing amongfl them guns, toma- 
hawks, and other ho/tile weapons. That the 
Jndians were incited by prefents, and other 
means, to act againfl the people of the co- 
lonies, during the American war, mufl be ad- 
mitted 5 but that, after peace was concluded, 



the fame line of conduct was purfued towards 
them, is an afperiion equally falfe and mali- 
cious. To the conduct of the people of the 
States themfelves alone, and to no other caufe, 
is unquestionably to be attributed the conti- 
nuance of the warfare between them and the 
Indians, after the definitive treaty of peace 
was figned. Inilead of then taking the op- 
portunity to reconcile the Indians, as they 
might eafily have done by prefents, and by 
treating them with kindnefs, they {till con- 
tinued hoftile towards them; they looked 
upon them, as indeed they fliil do, merely as 
wild hearts, that ought to be baniihed from the 
face of the earth; and actuated by that infa- 
tiable fpirit of avarice, and that refrlefs and 
diffatisned turn of mind, which I have fo fre- 
quently noticed, inftead of keeping within 
their territories, where millions of acres re*- 
mained unoccupied, but no part, however, of 
Avhich could be had without being paid for, 
they croffed their boundary lines, and fixed 
themfelves in the territory of the Indians, 
without ever previoufly gaining the confent 
of thefe people. The Indians, nice about 
their boundary line beyond any other nations, 
perhaps, in the world, that have fuch extenfive 
dominions in proportion to their numbers, 
made no fcruple to attack, to plunder, and 
even to murder thefe intruders, when a fit 



opportunity offered. The whites endeavoured 
to repel their attacks, and mot them with as 
much unconcern as they would either a wolf 
or a bear. In their expeditions againh: the 
white fettlers, the Indians frequently were 
driven back with lofs ; but their ill fuccefs 
only urged them to return with redoubled fury, 
and their well-known revengeful difpofition 
leading them on all occafibns to feek blood for 
blood, they were not merely fatisfted with mur- 
dering the whole families of the fettlers who 
had wounded or killed their chiefs or warriors, 
but oftentimes, in order to appeafe the manes 
of their comrades, they eroded their boundary 
line in turn, and committed mod dreadful de~ 
predations amongfl the peaceable white inha- 
bitants in the States, who were in no manner 
implicated in the ill conduct, of the men who 
had encroached upon the Indian territories. 
Here alfo, if they happened to be repulfed, or 
to lofe a friend, they returned to feek freih 
revenge j and as it feldom happened that they 
did efcape without lofs, their excerTes and bar- 
barities* inftead of diminiming, were becom- 
ing greater every year. The attention of the 
government was at laffc directed towards the 
melancholy fituation of the fettlers on the 
frontiers, and the refult was, that congrefs 
determined that an army mould be raifed, at 
the expence of the States, to repel the foe. 



•An army was accordingly raifed fome time 
about the year 1790, which was put under the 
command of General St. Clair. It confuted 
of about fifteen hundred men ; but thefe were 
not men that had been accuftomed to contend 
againft. Indians, nor was the General, although 
an experienced officer, and well able to con- 
duct an army againft a regular force, at all qua- 
lified, as many perfons had forefeen, and the 
event proved, to command on an expedition of 
fuch a nature as he was now about to be en- 
gaged in. 

St. Clair advanced with his army into the 
Indian territory; occafional fkirmifhes took 
place, but the Indians frill kept retreating be- 
fore him, as if incapable of making any re- 
finance againft. fuch a powerful force. For- 
getful of the ftratagems of the artful enemy 
he had to contend with, he boldly followed, 
till at laft, having been drawn far into their 
territory, and to a fpot fui table to their pur- 
pofe, the Indians attacked him on all fides ; 
his men were thrown into confufion ; in vain 
he attempted to rally them. The Indians, 
emboldened by the diforder they faw in his 
ranks, came ru tiling down with their toma- 
hawks and fcalping knives. A dreadful havoc 
enfued. The greater part of the army was 
left dead on the fatal field ; and of thofe that 
efcaped the knife, the moll were taken pri - 



foners. All the cannon, ammunition, baggage, 
and horfes of St. Clair's army fell into the 
hands of the Indians on this occafion. 

A great many young Canadians, and in par- 
ticular many that were born of Indian women, 
fought on the fide of the Indians in this action, 
a circumftance which confirmed the people of 
the States in the opinion they had previouily 
formed, that the Indians were encouraged and 
abetted in their attacks upon them by the Bri- 
tifh. I can fafely affirm, however, from hav- 
ing converfed with many of thefe young men 
who fought againft St. Clair, that it was with 
the utmofl: fecrecy they left their homes to 
join the Indians, fearful left the government 
mould cenfure their conduct -, and that in ef- 
poufing the quarrel of the Indians, they were 
actuated by a defire to aflifl a people whom 
they conceived to be injured, more than by an 
unextinguished fpirit of refentment againft 
men, whom they had formerly viewed in the 
light of rebels. 

As the revenge of the Indians was completely 
glutted by this victory over St. Clair, it is not 
improbable, but that if pains had been taken 
immediately to negociate a peace with them, 
it might have been obtained on eafy terms; 
and had the boundary line then determinately 
agreed upon been faithfully obferved after- 
wards by the people of the States, there is 



great reafon to imagine that the peace would 
have been a permanent one. As this, how- 
ever, was a questionable meafure, and the 
general opinion was, that a peace could be' 
made on better terms if preceded by a victory 
on the part of the States, it was determined to 
raife another army. Liberal fupplies for that 
purpofe were granted by congrefs, and three 
thoufand men were foon collected together. 

Great pains were taken to enlifr. for this 
new army men from Kentucky, and other 
parts of the frontiers, who had been ac- 
cuflomed to the Indian mode of fighting ; and 
a fufficient number of rifle-men from the fron- 
tier were collected, to form a very large re- 
giment. The command of the new army was 
given to the late General Wayne. Upon being 
appointed to it, his firft. care was to introduce 
ftrict difcipline amongft his troops; he after- 
wards kept the army in motion on the fron- 
tier, but he did not attempt to penetrate far 
into the Indian country, nor to take any offen- 
iive meafures againfr. the enemy for fome time. 
This delay the General conceived would be at- 
tended with two great advantages; firft, it 
would ferve to banifh from the minds of his 
men all recollection of the defeat of the late 
army; and fecondly, it would afford him an 
opportunity of training perfectly to the Indian 
mode of fighting fuch of his men as were ig- 


tiorant of it; for he faw no hopes of fuccefs 
but in fighting the Indians in their own wav. 

When the men were fufficiently trained he 
advanced, but it was with. the utmoii caution. 
He feldom proceeded farther than twelve miles 
in one day; the march was always ended by 
noon, and the afternoon was regularly em- 
ployed in throwing up ftrong intrenchments 
round the camp, in order to fee ure the army 
from any fudden attack ; and the fpot that had 
been thus fortified on one day was never totally 
abandoned until a new encampment had been 
made on the enfuing one. Moreover, ftrong 
ports were eftablimed at the diftance of forty 
miles, or thereabouts, from each other, in which 
guards were left, in order to enfure a fafe re- 
treat to the army in cafe it mould not be fuc- 
cefsful. As he advanced, General Wayne 
fent detachments of his army to deftroy all the 
Indian villages that were near him, and on 
thefe occafions the deepeft ftratagems were 
made ufe of. In fome inftances his men threw 
off their clothes, and by painting their bodies, 
difguifed themfelves fo as to refemble Indians 
in every refpect, then approaching as friends, 
they committed dreadful havoc. Skirmifhes 
alfo frequently took place, on the march, with 
the Indians who hovered round the army. 
Thefe terminated with various fuccefs, but 
mouly in favour of the Americans; as in their 

con duel, 


conduct, the knowledge and difcipline of re* 
gular troops were combined with all the cun- 
ning and ftratagem of their antagonists. 

All this time the Indians kept retreating, as 
they had done formerly before St. Clair ; and 
without being able to bring on a decifive en- 
gagement, General Wayne proceeded even to 
the Miami of the Lakes, fo called in contra- 
diftinction to another River Miami, which 
empties itfelf into the Ohio. Here it was that 
that curious correfpondence in refpecl to Fort 
Miami took place, the fubflance of which was 
related in moil: of the Engliili and American 
prints, and by which General Wayne expofed 
himfelf to the cenfure of many of his country- 
men, and General, then Colonel Campbell, 
who commanded in the fort, gained the public 
thanks of the traders in London. 

The Miami Fort, fituated on the river of 
the fame name, was built by the Englifh in 
the year 1793, at which time there was fome 
reafon to imagine that the difputes exifting be- 
tween Great Britain and the United States 
would not have been quite fo amicably fettled, 
perhaps, as they have been j at leafl that doubt- 
lefs muft have been the opinion of govern- 
ment, otherwife they would not have given 
orders for the conftructionof a fort within the 
boundary line of the United States, a circum- 
ftance which could not fail to excite the indig- 


nation of the people thereof. General Wayne, 
it would appear, had received no pofitive or- 
ders from his government to make himfelf 
matter of it : could he have gained porTemon of 
it, however, by a coup-de-main, without in- 
curring any lofs, he thought that it could not 

- but have been deemed an acceptable piece of 
fervice by the public, from whom he mould 
have received unbounded applauie. Vanity 
was his ruling paffion, and actuated by it on 
this occafion, he refolved to try what he could 
do to obtain pofleffion of the fort. Colonel 
Campbell, however, by his fpirited and manly 
anfwer to the fummons that was fent him, to 
iurrender the fort on account of its being 
iituated within the boundary line of the States, 
foon convinced the American general that he 
was not to be fhaken by his remonftrances or 
intimidated by his menaces, and that his two 

, hundred men, who compofed the garrifon, had 
fufrkient refolution to refift the attacks of his 
army of three thoufand, whenever he thought 
proper to march againft the fort. The main 
divifion of the American army, at this time, 
lay at the diftance of about four miles from 
the fort ; a fmall detachment from it, however, 
was concealed in the woods at a very little 
diftance from the fort, to be ready at the call 
of General Wayne, who, itrange to tell, when 
he found he was not likely to get poifemon of 
Vol. II. P it 


it in confequence of the fummonshe fent, was 
fo imprudent, and departed fo much from the 
dignity of the general and the character of the 
foldier, as to ride up to the fort, and to ufe 
the mod grofs and illiberal language to the 
Britifh foldiers on duty in it. His object in 
doing fo was, I mould fuppofe, to provoke the 
garrifon to fire upon him, in which cafe he 
would have had a pretext for ftorming the 

Owing to the great prudence, however, of 
Colonel Campbell, who had illued the ftricteft 
orders to his men and officers to remain iilent, 
notwithstanding any infults that were offered 
to them, and not to attempt to fire, unlefs in- 
deed an actual attack were made on the place, 
Wayne's plan was frustrated, much bloodfhed 
certainly faved, and a fecond war between 
Great Britain and America perhaps averted. 

General Wayne gained no great perfonal 
honour by his conduit on this occafion; but the 
circumftance of his having appeared before 
the Britifh fort in the manner he did operated 
ftrongly in his favour in refpecl to his pro- 
ceedings againfr. the Indians. Thefe people 
had been taught to believe by the young Ca- 
nadians that were amongft them, that if any 
part of the American army appeared before 
the fort, it would certainly be fired upon -, for 
they had no idea that the Americans would 



have come in fight of it without taking offen- 
sive meafures, in which cafe refinance would 
certainly have been made. When, therefore, 
it was heard that General Wayne had not been 
fired upon, the Indians complained grievouily 
of their having been deceived, and were greatly 
dilheartened on finding that they were to re- 
ceive no affiftance, from the Britifh. Their 
native courage, however, did not altogether 
forfake them ; they refolved fpeedily to make 
a ftand, and accordingly having chofen their 
ground, awaited the arrival of General Wayne, 
who followed them clofely. 

Preparatory to the day on which they ex- 
pected a general engagement, the Indians, con- 
trary to the ufages of mod; nations, obferve a 
ftricT: faft ; nor does this abflinence from all 
forts of food diminiih their exertions in the 
field, as from their early infancy they accuftom 
themfelves to failing for long periods together. 
The day before General Wayne was expect- 
ed, this ceremony was ftri&lv attended to, and 
afterwards, having placed themfelves in ambufh. 
in the Woods, they waited for his arrival. He 
did not, however, come to the ground on the 
day that they had imagined, from the reports 
given them by their fcouts of his motions, he 
would have done; but having reafon to think 
he would come on the fubfequent day, they 
did not move from their ambufh. The 
• P 2 fecond 


fecond day pafled over without his drawing 
nearer to them; but fully perfuaded that he 
would come up with them on the next, they 
frill lay concealed in the fame place. The 
third day proved to be extremely rainy and 
tempeftuous ; and the fcouts having brought 
word, that from the movements General 
Wayne had made there was no likelihood of 
his marching towards them that day, the In- 
dians, now hungry after having farted for three 
entire days, determined to rife from their am- 
bufh in order to take fome refreshment. They 
accordingly did io, and having no fufpicion of 
an attack, began to eat their food in fecurity. 

Before they began to eat, the Indians had 
divided themfelves, I mult obferve, into three 
divifions, in order to march to another quarter, 
where they hoped to furprife the army of the 
States. In this fituation, however, they were 
themfelves furprifed by General Wayne. He 
had received intelligence from his fcouts, now 
equally cunning with thofe of the Indians, of 
their proceedings, and having made fome mo- 
tions as if he intended to move to another part 
of the country, in order to put them off their 
guard, he fuddenly turned, and fent his light 
horfe pouring down on them when they leaft 
expected it. The Indians were thrown into 
confufion, a circumstance which with them 
never fails to occafion a defeat ; they made but 

a faint 


a faint refiftance, and then fled with precipi- 

On his arrival at Philadelphia, in the be- 
ginning of the year 1796, 1 was introduced to 
General Wayne, and I had then an opportu- 
nity of feeing the plan of all his Indian cam- 
paigns. A moil pompous account was given 
of this victory, and the plan of it excited, as 
indeed it well might, the wonder and admira- 
tion of all the old officers who faw it. The 
Indians were reprefented as drawn up in three 
lines, one behind the other, and after receiving 
with firmnefs the charge of the American 
army, as endeavouring with great fkill and 
adroitnefs to turn its flanks, when, by the fud- 
den appearance of the Kentucky riflemen and 
the light cavalry, they were put to flight. 
From the regularity with which the Indians 
fought on this occaflon, it was argued that 
they muft doubtlefs have been conducted by 
Britifh officers of fkill and experience. How 
abfurd this whole plan was, however, was 
plainly to be deduced from the following cir- 
cumjftance, allowed both by the general and 
his aides de camp, namely, that during the 
whole action the American army did not fee 
fifty Indians; and indeed every perfon who 
has read an account of the Indians muft. know 
that they never come into the field in fuch re- 
gular array, but always fight under cpvert, 

P 3 behind 


behind trees or bufhes, in the moft irregular 
manner. Notwithstanding the great pair^ that 
were taken formerly, both by the French and 
Englifh, they never could be brought to fight 
in any other manner. It was in this manner, 
and no other, as I heard from feveral men who 
were in the action with them, that they fought 
again ft General Wayne; each one, as foon as 
the American troops were defcried, inftantly 
fheltered himfelf, and in retreating they ftill 
kept under covert. It was by fighting them 
alfo in their own way, and by fending parties 
of his light troops and cavalry to rout them 
from their lurking places, that General Wayne 
defeated them ; had he attempted to have 
drawn up his army in the regular order de- 
fcribed in the plan, he could not but have met 
with the fame fate as St. Clair, and general 
Braddock did on a former occafion. 

Between thirty and forty Indians, who had 
been fhot or bayoneted as they attempted to 
run from one tree to another, were found dead 
on the field by the American army. It is fup- 
pofed that many more were killed, but the 
fact of the matter could never be afcertained 
by them : a profound filence was obferved on 
the fu 1 ject by the Indians, fo that I never 
could learn accurately how many of them had 
fallen; that however is an immaterial circum- 
flance ; fuffice it to fay that the engagement 


I N D I A N P E A C E. 215 

foon induced the Indians to fue for a peace. 
CommitTioners were deputed by the govern- 
ment of the United States to meet their chiefs; 
the preliminaries were foon arranged, and a 
treaty was concluded, by which the Indians re- 
linquished a very confiderable part of their 
territory, bordering upon that of the United 

, The laft and principal ceremony obferved 
by the Indians in concluding a peace, is that 
of burying the hatchet. When this ceremony 
came to be performed, one of the chiefs arofe, 
and lamenting that the laft peace concluded 
between them and the people of the States 
had remained unbroken for fo fhort a time, 
and exprefling his defire that this one mould 
be more lafting, he propofed the tearing up of 
a large oak that grew before them, and the 
burying of the hatchet under it, where it would 
for ever remain at reft. Another chief faid, 
that trees were liable to be levelled by the 
ftormsj that at any rate they would decay; 
and that as they were defirous that a perpe- 
tual peace mould be eftablifhed between them 
and their late enemies, he conceived it would be 
better to bury the hatchet under the tall moun- 
tain which arofe behind the wood. A third 
chief in turn addreiled the affembly: " As 
" for me," faid he, " I am but a man, and I 
" have not the ftrength of the great fpirit to 
P 4 " tea: 


" tear up the trees of the foreft by the roots, 
** or to remove mountains, under which to 
" bury the hatchet; but I propofe that the 
u hatchet may be thrown into the deep lake, 
" where no mortal can ever find it, and where 
" it will remain buried for ever." This pro- 
pofal was joyfully accepted by the afTembly, 
and the hatchet was in confequence cart with 
great folemnity into the water. The Indians 
now tell you, in their figurative language, that 
there muff be peace for ever. " On former 
« times," fay they, " when the hatchet was 
" buried, it was only flightly covered with a 
* little earth and a few leaves, and being 
" always a very troublefome reftlefs creature, 
" it loon contrived to find its way aboveground, 
(l where it never failed to occafion great con- 
" fulion between us and our white brethren, 
" and to knock a great many good people on 
cc the head; but now that it has been thrown 
f* into the deep lake, it can never do any more 
" mifchief amongft us; for it cannot rife of 
" itfelf to the furface of the lake, and no one 
" can go to the bottom to look for it." And 
that there would be a permanent peace be- 
tween them I have no doubt, provided that 
the people of the States would obferve the ar- 
ticles of the treaty as punctually as the Indians; 
but it requires little predict that 
this will not be the cafe, and that ere long the 



hatchet will be again refumed. Indeed, a little 
time before we reached Maiden, meflengers 
from the ibuthern Indians had arrived to found 
the difpofition of thofe who lived near the 
lake, and try if they were ready and willing to 
enter into a frefh war. Nor is this cagernefs 
for war to be wondered at, when from the re- 
port of the commillioners, who were fent down 
by the federal government to the new ftate of 
TenafTee, in order to put the treaty into effect, 
and to mark out the boundaries of that ftate 
in particular, it appeared that upwards of five 
thoufand people, contrary to the ftipulation of 
the treaty lately entered into with the Indians, 
had encroached upon, and fettled themfelves 
down in Indian territory, which people, the 
commiffioners faid, could not be perfuaded to 
return, and in their opinion could not be forced 
back again into the States without very great 
difficulty *. 

A large portion of the back fettlers, living 
upon the Indian frontiers, are, according to 
the ben: of my information, far greater favages 
than the Indians themfelves. It is nothing 
uncommon, I am told, to fee hung up in their 
chimney corners, or nailed againfl the door of 

• The fubftance of this report appeared in an extract of a 
letter from Lexington, in Kentucky, which I myfelf faw, and 
which was publiihed in many of the newfpapers in the United 



their habitations, fimilarlv to the ears or bruifr 
of a fox, the fcalps which they have them- 
felves torn from the heads of the Indians 
whom they have (hot ; and in numberlefs pub- 
lications in the United States I have read ac- 
counts of their having flayed the Indians, and 
employed their fkins as they would have done 
thofe of a wild beaft, for whatever purpofe 
they could be applied to. An Indian is con- 
fidered by them as nothing better than a de- 
flrucfive ravenous wild beaft, without reafon, 
without a foul, thatonght to be hunted down 
like a wolf wherever it makes its appearance ; 
and indeed, even amongft the bettermoft fort 
of the inhabitants of the weftern country, the 
moil illiberal notions are entertained refpe&ing 
thefe unfortunate people, and arguments for 
their banifhment, or rather extirpation, are 
adopted, equally contrary to jurtice and to hu- 
manity. " The Indian," fay they, " who has 
" no idea, or at kaft is unwilling to apply him- 
" felf to agriculture, requires a thoufand acres 
" of land for the fupport of his family; an hun- 
" dred acres will be enough for one of us and 
" our children; why then mould thefe hea- 
" thens, who have no notion of arts and ma- 
" nu failures, who never have made any im- 
" provement in fcience, and have never been 
" the inventors of any thing new or ufeful to 
" the human fpecies, be fuffered to encumber 

" thQ 


" the foil ?" '* The fettlements making in the 
*' upper parts of Georgia, upon the fine lands 
" of the Oconee and Okemulgee rivers, will," 
fays Mr. Imlay, fpeaking of the probable de- 
tonation of the Indians of the fouth weftern 
territory, " bid defiance to them in that quar- 
<( ter. The fettlements of French Broad, aided 
" by Holfton, have nothing to fear from them; 
" and the Cumberland is too puiffant to appre- 
" hend any danger. The Spaniards are in 
• c porTeffion of the Floridas (how long they 
*' will remain fo mufl depend upon their mo- 
" deration and good manners) and of the fet- 
" dements at the Natchez and above, which 
" will foon extend to the fouthern bounda- 
" ries of Cumberland, fo that they (the In- 
" dians) will be completely enveloped in a few 
" years. Our people (alluding to thole of the 
" United States) will continue to encroach upon 
" them on three fides, and compel them to live 
" more domestic lives, and affimilate them to 
" our mode of living, or crofs to the weflern 
« fide of the Miffiffippi." 

O Americans! (hall we praife your juftice 
and your love of liberty, when thus you talk 
of encroachments and compuliion ? Shall we 
commend your moderation, when we fee ye 
eager to gain frefh poifeffions, whilft ye have 
yet mibions of acres within your own territo- 
ries unoccupied ? Shall we reverence your re- 


gard for the rights of human nature, when 
we fee ye bent upon banifhing the poor In- 
dian from the land where reft the bones of his 
anceftors, to him more precious than your cold 
hearts can imagine, and when we fee ye ty- 
rannizing over the haplefs African, becaufe na- 
ture has ftamped upon him a complexion dif- 
ferent from your own ? 

The conduct of the people of the States to- 
wards the Indians appears the more unreafon- 
able and the more iniquitous, when it is con- 
fidered that they are dwindling faft away of 
themfelves ; and that in the natural order of 
things there will not probably be a lingle tribe 
of them found in existence in the weftern ter- 
ritory by the time that the numbers of the 
white inhabitants of the country become fo 
numerous as to render land one half as valu- 
able there as it is at prefent within ten miles 
of Philadelphia or New York. Even in Ca- 
nada, where the Indians are treated with fo 
much kindnefs, they are difappearing fafter, 
perhaps, than any people were ever known to 
do before them, and are making room every 
year for the whites; and it is by no means uiw 
probable, but that at the end of fifty years there 
will not be a lingle Indian to be met with be- 
tween Quebec and Detroit, except the few 
perhaps that may be induced to lead quiet do- 
meftic lives, as a fmall number now does in 
8 the 


the village of Lorette near Quebec, and at fome 
other places in the lower province. 

It is well known, that before Europeans got 
any footing in North America, the increafe of 
population amongft the Indian nations was very 
flow, as it is at this day amongft thofe who re- 
main ftill unconnected with the whites. Va- 
rious reafons have been affigned for this. It 
has been aflerted, in the firft place, that the 
Indian is of a much cooler temperament than 
the white man, has lefs ardour in purfuit of 
the female, and is furnifhed with lefs noble 
organs of generation. This arTertion is per- 
haps true in part : they are chafte to a proverb 
when they come to Philadelphia, or any other 
of the large towns, though they have a predi- 
lection in general for white women, and might 
there readily indulge their inclination; and 
there has never been an inftance that I can 
recollect, of their offering violence to a female 
prifoner, though oftentimes they have carried 
off from the fettlements very beautiful wo- 
men; that, however, they mould not have been 
gifted by the Creator with ample powers to 
propagate their fpecies would be contrary to 
every thing we fee either in the animal or the 
vegetable world ; it feems to be with more juf- 
tice that their flow increafe is afcribed to the 
conduct of the women. The dreadful practice 
amongft them, of proftituting themfelves at a 



very early age, cannot fail, I mould imagine, 
to vitiate the humours, and mull: have a ten- 
dency to occafion fterility. Added to this, 
they fuckle the few children they have for fe- 
veral years, during which time, at lead amongft 
many of the tribes, they avoid all connection 
with their hufbands; moreover, finding ereat 
inconveniency attendant upon a ftate of preg- 
nancy, when they are following their hufbands, 
in the hunting feafon, from one camp to an- 
other, they have been accufed of making life of 
certain herbs, the fpecific virtues of which 
they are well acquainted with, in order to pro- 
cure abortion. 

If one or more of thefe caufes operated 
againft. the rapid increafe of their numbers be- 
fore the arrival of Europeans on the continent, 
the fubfequent introduction of fpirituous li- 
quors amongfl: them, of which both men and 
Avomen drink to the greater!; excefs whenever 
an opportunity offers, was furhcient in itfelf not 
only to retard this flow increafe, but even to 
occafion a diminution of their numbers. In- 
termittent fevers and various other diibrders, 
whether arifing from an alteration in the cli- 
mate, owing to the clearing of the woods, or 
from the ufe of the poifonous beverages in- 
troduced amongft them by the whites, it is 
hard to fay, have like wife contributed much 
of late years to diminiih their numbers. The 



Shawnefe, one of the rnofr. warlike tribes, has 
been leffened nearly one half by ficknefs. 
Many other reafons could be adduced for their 
decreafe, but it is needlefs to enumerate them. 
That their numbers have gradually leffened, as 
thofe of the whites" have increafed, for two 
centuries paft, is incontrovertible; and they 
are too much attached to old habits to leave 
any room to imagine that they will vary their 
line of conduct, in any material degree, during 
years to come, fo that they muff, of confe- 
quence ftill continue to decreafe. 

In my next letter I intend to communicate 
to you a few obfervations that I have made 
upon the character, manners, cuftoms, and 
perfonal and mental qualifications, &c. of the 
Indians. So much has already been written 
on thefe fubje&s, that I fear I mail have little 
to offer to your perufal but what you may 
have read before. I am induced to think, 
however, that it will not be wholly unpleafing 
to you to hear the obfervations of others con- 
firmed by me, and if you mould meet with 
any thing new in what I have to fay, it will 
have the charm of novelty at leaft to recom- 
mend it to your notice. I am not going to 
give you a regular detail of Indian manners, 
&c.; it would be abfurd in me, who have only 
been with them for a few weeks, to attempt 
to do fo. If you wifh to have an account of 



Indian affairs at large, you mud read Le P. 
Charlevoix, Le P. Hennipin, Le Hontan, 
Carver, &c. &c. who have each written vo- 
lumes on the fubjecl:. 


A brief Account of the Perfons, Manners, Cha- 
rafter, Qualifications, mental and corporeal, of 
the Indians -, interfperfcd with Anecdotes, 


TI7HAT I (hall nril take notice of in the 
* ^ perfons of the Indians, is the colour of 
their fkins, which, in fact, conflitutes the moil 
ftriking diilincfion between their perfons and 
ours. In general their fkin is of a copper 
cafi ; but a moil wonderful difference of co- 
lour is obfervable amongil them; fome, in 
whofe veins there is no reafon to think that 
any other than Indian blood flows, not having 
darker complexions than natives of the fouth 
of France or of Spain, whilil others, on the 
contrary, are nearly as black as negroes. Many 
perfons, and particularly fome of the moil re- 
fpeclable of the French miifionaries, whofe 
long refidence amongil the Indians ought to 


O F T H E I tt JD I A N S. ' 225 

have made them competent judges of the . 
matter, have been of opinion, that their natural 
colour does not vary from ours 5 and that the 
darknefs of their complexion arifes wholly 
from their anointing themfelves fo frequently 
with unctuous fubftances, and from their ex- 
poiing themfelves fo much to the fmoke of 
wood fires, and to the burning rays of the fun* 
But although it is certain that they think a 
dark complexion very becoming; that they 
take great pains from their earlieft age to ac- 
quire fuch an one 5 and that many of them 
do, in procefs of time, contrive to vary their 
original colour very confiderably ; although it 
is certain likewife, that when firft born their 
colour differs but little from ours ; yet it ap- 
pears evident to me, that the greater part of 
them are indebted for their different hues to 
nature alone. I have been induced to form 
this opinion from the following confideration, 
namely ; that thofe children which are born 
of parents of a dark colour are almofl uni- 
verfally of the fame dark caft as thofe from 
whom they fprang. Nekig, that is, The Lit- 
tle Otter, an Ottoway chief of great notoriety, 
whofe village is on Detroit River, "and with 
whom we have become intimately acquainted, 
has a complexion that differs but little from 
that of an African ; and his little boys, who 
are the very image of the father, are juft as 
Vol. II. Q^ black, 


black as himfelf. With regard to Indian chil- 
dren being white on their firfl coming into the- 
world, it ought by no means to be concluded 
from thence,, that they would remain fo if their 
mothers did not bedaub them with greafe, 
herbs, &c. as it is well known that negro- 
children are not perfectly black when born,, 
nor indeed for many months afterwards, but 
that they acquire their jetty hue gradually, on 
being expofed to the air and fun, j aft as in the 
vegetable world the tender blade, on fir ft peep- 
ing above ground, turns from white to a pale 
greenifh colour, and afterwards to a deeper 

Though I remarked to you in a former let- 
ter, that the MiffifTaguis, who live about Lake. 
Ontario,, were of a much darker caft than any 
other tribe of Indians I met with, yet I do not 
think that the different {hades of complexion 
obfervable amongft the Indians are fo much* 
confined to particular tribes as to particular fa- 
milies; for even amongft the Miflillaguis I 
few feveralrnen that were comparatively of a, 
very light colour. Judging of the Creeks,, 
Cherokees, and other fouthern Indians, from 
what I have fcen of them at Philadelphia, and 
at other towns in the States, whither they often 
come in large parties, led either by bufmefs cr 
curiofity, it appears to me that their ikin has 
a redder tinge, and more warmth of ebloufing 



in it, if I may ufe the expreffion, than that of 
the Indians in the neighbourhood of the lakes j 
it appears to me alfo, that there is lefs differ- 
ence of colour amongft them than amongft 
thofe laft mentioned. 

Amongft the female Indians alfo, in general, 
there is a much greater famenefs of colour than 
amongft the men. I do not recoiled: to have 
{ecn any of a deeper complexion than what 
might be termed a dirty copper colour. 

The Indians univerfally have long, ftraight, 
black, coarfe hair, and black eyes, rather fmall 
than full fized ; fhey have, in general, alfo, 
high prominent cheek bones, and fharp fmali 
nofes, rather inclining to an aquiline fhape ; 
they have good teeth, and their breath, in 
general, is as fweet as that of a human being 
can be. The men are for the mod part very 
well made 5 it is a moft rare circumftance to 
meet with a deformed perfon amongft them : 
they are remarkably ftraight -, have full open 
chefts ; their walk is firm and^erect, and many 
amongft them have really a dignified deport- 
ment. Very few of them are under the mid- 
dle ftature, and none of them ever become very 
fat or corpulent. You may occafionally fee 
amongft them ftout robuft men, clofely put 
together, but in general they are but llightly 
made. Their legs, arms, and hands, are for 
the moft part extremely well fhaped -, and very 
0^2 many 


many amongft them would be deemed hand- 
fome men in any country in the world. 

The women, on the contrary, are moftly 
under the middle fize ; and have higher cheek 
bones, and rounder faces than the men. They 
have very ungraceful carriages; walk with 
their toes turned confiderably inwards, and 
with a muffling gait; and as they advance in 
years they grow remarkably fat and coarfe. I 
never faw an Indian woman of the age of 
thirty, but what her eyes were funk, her fore- 
head wrinkled, her fkin loofe and fhrivelled, 
and her whole perfon,in fhoft, forbidding; yet y 
when young, their faces and perfons are really 
pleafing, not to fay fometimes very captivating. 
One could hardly imagine, without witnefiing 
it, that a few years could poffibly make fuch an 
alteration as it does in their perfons This fud- 
den change is chiefly owing to the drudgery 
impofed on them by the men after a certain 
age ; to their expofing themfelves fo much to 
the burning rays of the fun ; fitting fo conti- 
nually in the fmoke of wood fires ; and, above 
all, to the general cuftora of proflituting them- 
felves at a very early age. 

Though the Indians are profufely furnifhed 
with hair on their heads, yet on none of the 
other parts of the body, ufually covered with, 
it amongft us, is the fmalleft fign of hair vifible r 
except, indeed, on the chins of old men, where 

a few 


a few flender flraggling hairs are fometimes 
feen, not different from what may be occaficn- 
ally feen on women of a certain age in Europe. 
Many perfons have fuppofed that the Indians 
have been created without hair on thofe parts 
of the body where it appears wanting ; others, 
on the contrary, are of opinion, that nature has 
not been lefs bountiful to them than to us ; 
and that this apparent deficiency of hair is 
wholly owing to their plucking it out them- 
felves by the roots, as foon as it appears above 
the ikin. It is well known, indeed, that the 
Indians have a great diflike to hiir, and that 
fuch of the men as are ambitious of appearing 
gayer than the reft, pluck it not only from their 
eye-brows and eye-lames, but alfo from every 
part of the head, except one fpot on the back 
part of the crown, where they leave a long 
lock. For my own part, from every thing I 
have feen and heard, I am fully perf jaded, that 
if an Indian were to lay aiide this cuflom of 
plucking out the hair, he would not only have 
a beard, but like wife hair on the fame parts 
of the body as white people have ; I think, 
however, at the fame time, that this hair would 
be much finer, and not grow as thickly as upon 
our bodies, notwithstanding that the hair of 
their heads is fo much thicker than ours. The 
few hairs that are feen on the faces of old men 
are to be attributed to the careleflhefs of old 
people about their external appearance. 

Q.3 To 


To pluck out their hair, all fuch as have any 
connexion with the traders make ufe of a pli- 
able worm, formed of flattened brafs wire. 
This inftrument is clofely applied, in its open 
ftate, to the furface of the body where the hair 
grows ; it is then comprefTed by the finger and 
thumb ; a great number of hairs are caught at 
once between the fpiral evolutions of the wire, 
and by a fudden twitch they are all drawn out 
by the roots. An old fquaw, with one of thefe 
iiiftruments, would deprive you of your beard 
in a very few minutes, and a flight application 
of the worm two or three times in the year 
would be fufficient to keep your chin fmooth 
ever afterwards. A very great number of the 
white people, in the neighbourhood of Mai- 
den and Detroit, from having fubmitted to this 
operation, appear at firffc light as little indebted 
to nature for beards as the Indians. The ope- 
ration is very painful, but it is foon over, and 
when one confiders how much time and trou- 
ble is faved and eafe gained by it in the end, 
it is only furprifing that more people do not 
fummon up refolution, and patiently fubmit 
to it. 

The long lock of hair on the top of the head, 
with the fkin on which it grows, conftitutes 
the true fcalp ; and in fcalping a perfon that 
has a full head of hair, an experienced warrior 
never thinkr ^ taking off more of the fkin 



than a bit of about tbe fize of a crown piece, 
from the part of the head where this lock is 
ufually left. They ornament this folitary 
lock of hair with beads, filver trinkets, &c. and 
on grand occaiions with feathers. The wo- 
men do not pluck any of the hair from off their 
heads, and pride themfelves upon having it as 
long as pomble. They commonly wear it 
neatly platted up behind, and divided in front 
on the middle of the forehead. When they 
wifh to appear finer than ufual, they paint the 
fmall part of the fkin, which appears on the 
feparation of the hair, with a llreak of ver- 
milion -, when neatly done, it looks extremely 
well, and forms a pleafing contraft to the jetty 
black of their hair. 

The Indians, who have any dealings with 
the Englifh or American traders, and all of 
them have that live in the neighbourhood, and 
to the eaft of the Mifiiffippi, and in the neigh- 
bourhood of the great lakes to the north-weft, 
have now totally laid afide the ufe of furs .and 
ficins in their drefs, except for their fhoes or 
moccafins, and fometimes for their leggings, 
as they find they can exchange them to advan- 
tage for blankets and woollen cloths, &c. which 
they confider like wife as much more agree- 
able and commodious materials for wearing 
apparel. The moccalin is made of the fkin of 
the deer, elk, or buffalo, which is commonly 

0^4 drefled 


drefTed without the hair, and rendered of a deep 
brown colour by being expofed to the fmoke 
of a wood fire. It is formed of a fingle piece 
of leather, with a feam from the toe to the in- 
Rtp, and another behind, fimilar to that in a 
common moe -, by means of a thong, it is fas- 
tened round the inftep, juft under the ankle- 
bone, and is thus made to fit very clofe to the 
foot. Round that part where the foot is put 
in, a flap of the depth of an inch or two is left, 
which hangs loofely down over the firing by 
which the moccafm is fattened; and this flap, 
as alfo the feam, are taftefully ornamented with 
porcupine quills and beads: the flap is edged 
with tin or copper tags filled with fcarlet hair, 
if the moccafin be intended for a man, and 
with riband j if for a woman. An ornamented 
moccafin of this fort is only worn in drefs, as 
the ornaments are expenfive, and the leather 
foon wears out ; one of plain leather anfwers 
for ordinary ufe. Many of the white people 
on the Indian frontiers wear this kind of moe; 
but a perfon not accuflomed to walk in it, or 
to walk barefoot, cannot wear it abroad, on a 
rough road, without great inconvenience, as 
every unevennefs of furface is felt through the 
leather, which is foft and pliable : in a houfe 
it is the moft agreeable fort of fhoe that can be 
imagined ; the Indians wear it univerfally. 



Above the moccafin all the Indians wear 
what are called leggings, which reach from the 
inttep to the middle of the thigh. They are 
commonly made of blue or fcarlet cloth, and 
are formed fo as to lit clofe to the limbs, like 
the modern pantaloons ; but the edges of the 
cloth annexed to the feam, inttead of being 
turned in, are left en the outiide, and are or- 
namented with beads, ribands, &c. when the 
leggings are intended for drefs. Many of the 
young warriors are fo defirous that their leg- 
gings ihould fit them neatly, that they make 
the fquaws, who are the tailors, and really very 
good ones, fow them tight on their limbs, fo 
that they cannot be taken off, and they con- 
tinue to wear them conttantly till they are re- 
duced to rags. The leggings are kept up by 
means of two firings, one on the outfide of each 
thigh, which are fattened to a third, that is tied 
round the waift. 

They alfo wear round the waift another 
firing, from which are fufpended two little 
aprons, fomewhat more than a foot fquare, one 
hanging down before and the other behind, and 
under thefe a piece of cloth, drawn clofe up to 
the body between the legs, forming a fort of 
trufs. The aprons and this piece of cloth, 
which are all fattened together, are called the 
breech cloth. The utmoft ingenuity of the 
fquaws is exerted in adorning the little aprons 
with beads, ribands, &c. 



The moccafins, leggings, and breech cloth 
conftitute the whole of the drefs which they 
wear when they enter upon a campaign, except 
indeed it be a girdle, from which hangs their 
tobacco pouch and fcalping knife, &c. ; nor 
do they wear any thing more when the wea- 
ther is very warm; but when it is cool, orwhen 
they drefs themfelves to viiit their friends, they 
put on a fhort fhirt, loofe at the neck and 
wrifls, generally made of coarfe figured cotton 
or callico of fome gaudy pattern, not unlike 
what would be ufed for window or bed cur- 
tains at a common inn in England. Over 
the fhirt they wear either a blanket, large 
piece of broad cloth, or elfe a loofe coat made 
fome what fimilarly to a common riding frock ; 
a blanket is more commonly worn than any 
thing elfe. They tie one end of it round their 
waift with a girdle, and then drawing it over 
their moulders, either fatten it acrofs their 
breads with a fkewer, or hold the corners of 
it together in the left hand. One would ima- 
gine that this lafl mode of wearing it could 
not but be highly inconvenient to them, as it 
muft deprive them in a great meafure of the 
ufe of one hand -, yet it is the mode in which 
it is commonly worn, even when they are 
mooting in the woods ; they generally, how- 
ever, keep the right arm difengaged when they 
carry a gun, and draw the blanket over the left 



The drefs of the women differs but very 
little from that of the men. They wear moc- 
cafins, leggings, and loofe fhort fhirts, and like 
them they throw over their moulders, occa- 
fionally, a blanket or piece of broad cloth, but 
moft generally the latter; they do not tie it 
round their waifl, however, but fuifer it to 
hang down fo as to hide their legs ; inftead 
alfo of the breech cloth, they wear a piece of 
cloth folded clofely round their middle, which 
reaches from the waift to the knees. Dark 
blue or green cloths in general are preferred 
to thofe of any other colour; a few of the men 
are fond of wearing fcarlet. 

The women in warm weather appear in the 
villages without any other covering above 
their waifts than thefe fliirts, or fhifts if you. 
pleafe fo to call them, though they differ in 
no refpect from the fliirts of the men -, they 
ufually, however, faften them with a broach. 
round the neck. In full drefs they alfo ap- 
pear in thefe fhirts, but then they are covered 
entirely over with filver broaches, about the 
fize of a fixpenny piece. In full drefs they 
likewife faflen pieces of ribands of various 
colours to their hair behind, which are fuffered 
to hang down to their very heels. I have 
feen a young fquaw, that has been a favourite 
with the men, come forth at a dance with 
upwards of five guineas worth of ribands 

ftreaming from her hair. 



On their wrifts the women wear filver 
bracelets when they can procure them; they 
alfo wear filver ear-rings ; the latter are in 
general of a very fmali fize; but it is not 
merely one pair which they wear, but feveral. 
To admit them, they bore a number of holes 
in their ears, fometimes entirely round the 
edges. The men v/ear ear-rings likewife, 
but of a fort totally different from thofe worn 
by the women; they moftly confifb of round 
flat thin pieces of filver, about the fize of 
a dollar, perforated with holes in different 
patterns ; others, however, equally large, are 
made in a triangular form. Some of the tribes 
are very felecl in the choice of the pattern, 
and will not v/ear any but the one fort of 
pendants. Inflead of boring their ears, the 
men flit them along the outward edge from 
top to bottom, and as foon as the gafh is 
healed hang heavy weights to them in order 
to ftretch the rim thus feparated as low down 
as poiiible; Some of them are fo fuccefsful 
in this operation, that they contrive to draw 
the rims of the ear in form of a bow, down 
to their very moulders, and their large ear- 
rings hang dangling on their breads. To 
prevent the rim thus extended from breaking, 
they bind it with brafs wire; however, I ob- 
ferved that there was not one in fix that had 
his ears perfect; the leaft touch, indeed, is 



fufiicient to break the fkin, and it would be 
mofl wonderful if they were able to prefer ve 
it entire, engaged fo often as they are in 
drunken quarrels, and fo often liable to be 
entangled in thickets whilft. purfuing their 


Some of the men wear pendants in their 
nofes, but thefe are not fo common as ear- 
rings. The chiefs and principal warriors 
wear breafr. plates, confirming of large pieces of 
filver, fea fhells, or the like. Silver gorgets, 
fuch as are ufually worn by officers, pleafe 
them extremely, and to favourite chiefs they 
are given out, amongft other prefents, on the 
part of government. Another fort of orna- 
ment is likewife worn by the men, confirming of 
a large filver clafp or bracelet, to which is at- 
tached a bunch of hair dyed of a fcarlet colour, 
ufually taken from the knee of the buffalo. 
This is worn on the narrow part of the arm 
above the elbow, and it is deemed very orna- 
mental, and alfo a badge of honour, for no per- 
fon wears it that has not diftinguifhed himfelf 
in the field. Silver ornaments are univerfally 
preferred to thofe of any other metal. 

The Indians not only paint themfelves when 
they go to war, but likewife when they wifh 
to appear full dreffed. Red and black are 
their favourite colours, and they daub them- 
felves in the mofc fantaftic manner. I have 
9 {qqti 


feen fome with their faces entirely covered! 
with black, except a round fpot in the center, 
which included the upper lip and end of the- 
nofe, which was painted red ; others again 
I have feen with their heads entirely black, 
except a large red round fpot on each ear; 
others with one eye black and the other red, 
&c.; but the mod common ftyle of painting 
I obferved, was to black their faces entirely 
over with charcoal, and then wetting their 
nails, to draw parallel undulating lines on 
their cheeks. They generally carry a little 
looking glafs about them to enable them to 
difpofe of their colours judicioufly. When they 
go to war they rub in the paint with greafe, 
and are much more particular about their ap- 
pearance, which they ftudy to render as hor- 
rible as poflible ; they then cover their whole 
body with red, white, and black paint, and 
feem more like devils than human beings. 
Different tribes have different methods of 
painting themfelves. 

Though the Indians fpend fo much of their 
time in adorning their perfons, yet they take 
no pains to ornament their habitations, which 
for the moft part are wretched indeed. Some 
of them are formed oflogs,in a ftyle fome what 
fimilar to the common houfes in the United 
States; but the greater part of them are of a 
moveable nature, and formed of bark. The 



bark of the birch tree is deemed preferable 
to every other fort, and where it is to be had 
is always made ufe of; but in this part of the 
country not being often met with, the bark 
of the elm tree is ufed in its ftead. The 
Indians are very expert in Gripping it from a 
tree ; and frequently take the entire bark from 
oif the trunk in one piece. The fkeletons of 
their huts confift of flender poles, and on them 
the bark is fattened with ftrips of the tough 
rind of fome young tree : this, if found, proves 
a very effectual defence againft the weather. 
The huts are built in various forms : fome of 
them have walls on every fide, doors, and alfo 
a chimney in the middle of the roof; Others 
are open on one fide, and are nothing better 
than fheds. When built in this laft ftyle, four 
of them are commonly placed together, fo as 
to form a quadrangle, with the open parts 
towards the infide, and a fire common to them 
all is kindled in the middle. In fine weather 
thefe huts are agreeable dwellings ; but in the 
depth of winter they muft be dreadfully un- 
comfortable. Others of their huts are built 
in a conical mape. The Nandoweilies, Mr. 
Carver tells us, live entirely in tents formed of 
ikins. A great many of the families that were 
encamped on the illand of Bois Blanc, I ob- 
ferved, lived in the canvas tents which they 
had taken from St. Clair's army. Many of 



the Indian nations have no permanent place 
of refidence, but move about from one fpot to 
another, and in the hunting feafon they all 
have moveable encampments, which lail are 
in general very rude, and inefficient to give 
them even tolerable fhelter from a fall of rain 
or fnow. The hunting feafon commences on 
the fall of the leaf, and continues till the fnow 

In the depth of winter, when the fnow is 
frozen on the ground, they form their hunting 
fheds of the fnow itfelf -, a few twigs platted 
together being limply placed overhead to pre- 
vent the fnow which forms the roof ~ from 
falling down. Thefe fnowy habitations are 
much more comfortable, and warmer in winter 
time than any others that can be erected, 
as they effectually fcreen you from the keen 
piercing blafts of the wind, and a bed ofcfnow 
is far from being uncomfortable. Toaccuftom 
the troops to encamp in this ftyle, in cafe of a 
winter campaign, a party of them, headed by 
ibme of the young officers, ufed regularly to 
be fent from Quebec by the late governor, 
into the woods, there to fhift for themfelves 
during the month of February. Care was 
always taken, however, to fend with them 
two or three experienced perfons, to mew 
them how to build the huts, otherwife death 
might have been the conference to many. 



In thefe encampments they always fleep with 
their feet to the fire ; and indeed in the Indian 
encampments in general, during cold weather* 
they ileep on the ground with their feet to 
the fire ; during mild weather, many of them 
fleep on benches of bark in their huts, which 
are raifed from two to four feet from the 

The uteniils in an Indian hut are very few; 
one or two brafs or iron kettles procured from 
the traders, or, if they live removed from them, 
pots formed of ftone, together with a few 
wooden fpoons and dimes made by themfelves 
conftitute in general the whole of them. A 
ilone of a very foft texture, called the foap 
Jione, is very commonly found in the back 
parts of North America, particularly fuited 
for Indian workmanfhip. It receives its name 
from appearing to the touch as foft and fmooth 
as a bit of foap j and indeed it may be cut with 
a knife almofl: equally eafily. In Virginia they 
ufe it powdered for the boxes of their wheels 
inftead of greafe. Soft, however, as is this 
ftone, it will refift fire equally with iron. 
The foap ftone is of a dove colour ; others 
nearly of the fame quality, are found in the 
country, of a black and red colour, which are 
ftili commonly ufed by the Indians for the 
bowls of their pipes. 

Vol. II. R The 


The bark canoes, which the Indians ufe in 
this part of the country, are by no means fo 
neatly formed as thofe made in the country 
upon, and to the north of, the River St. 
Lawrence : they are commonly formed of one 
entire piece of elm bark, taken from the trunk 
of the tree, which is bound on ribs formed of 
flender rods of tough wood. There are no 
ribs, however, at the ends of thefe canoes* 
but merely at the middle part, where alone 
it is that paffengers ever fit. It is only the 
center, indeed, which refts upon the water $ 
the ends are generally raifed fome feet above 
the furface, the canoes being of a curved 
form. They bring them into this fhape by 
cutting, nearly midway between the ftera and 
ftern, two deep flits, one on each fide, in the 
back, and by lapping the disjointed edges one 
over the other. No pains are taken to make 
the ends of the canoes water tight, fince they 
never touch the water. 

On firfl infpeclion you would imagine, from 
its miferable appearance, that an elm bark 
canoe, thus conftructed, were not calculated to 
carry even a fingle perlbn fafely acrofs a fmooth 
piece of water; it is neverthelefs a remarkably 
fafe fort of boat, and the Indians will refolutely 
embark in one of them during very rough 
weather. They are fo light that they ride 
iecurely over every wave, and the only pre- 


taution necefiary in navigating them is to fit 
rteady. I have feen a dozen people go fecurely 
in one, which might be eafily carried by a 
fingle able-bodied man- When an Indian 
ta&es his family to anydiflance in a canoe, the 
women, the girls^ and boys, are furnifhed each 
with a paddle, and are kept bufily at work ; 
the father of the family gives himfelf no 
trouble but in fleering the vefleh 

The Indians that are connected with the 
traders have now, very generally, laid afide 
bows and arrows, and feldom take them into 
their hands, except it be to amuie themfelves 
for a few hours, when they have expended 
their powder and mot : their boys, however, 
jftill ufe them univerfaliy, and fome of them 
.ihoot with wonderful dexterity. I faw a young 
Shawnefe chief, apparently not more than tea 
years old, fix three arrows running in the body 
of a fmall black fquirrel, on the top of a very 
tall tree, and during an hour or two that I fol- 
lowed him through the woods, he fcarcely 
miffed his mark half a dozen times. It is 
aftonifhing- to fee with what accuracy, and at 
the fame time with what readinefs, they mark 
the fpot where their arrows fall. They will 
moot away a dozen arrows or more, feemingly 
quite carelefs about what becomes of them, and 
as inattentive to the fpot where they fall as if 
they never expe&ed to find them again, yet 
R 2 afterwards 


afterwards they will run and pick them every 
one up without hefitation. The fouthern In- 
dians are much more expert at the ufe of the 
bow than thofe near the lakes, as they make 
much greater ufe of it. 

With the gun, it feems to be generally 
allowed, that the Indians are by no means fo 
good markfmen as the white people. I have 
often taken them out mooting with me, and 
I always found them very flow in taking aim ; 
and though they generally hit an object that 
was ftill, yet they fcarcelyever touched a bird 
on the wing, or a fquirrel that was leaping 
about from tree to tree. 

The expertnefs of the Indians in throwing 
the tomahawk is well known. At the diftance 
of ten yards they will fix the fharp edge of it 
in an object nearly to a certainty. I have been 
told, however, that they are not fond of letting 
it out of their hands in action, and that they 
never attempt to throw it but when they are 
on the point of overtaking a flying foe, or are 
certain of recovering it. Some of them will 
fatten a firing of the length of a few feet to the 
handle of the tomahawk, and will launch it 
J forth, and draw it back again into their hand 
with great dexterity; they will alfo parry the 
thrufl or cuts of a fword with the tomahawk 
very dexteroufly. 

The common tomahawk is nothing more 



than a light hatchet, but the moft approved 
fort has on the back part of the hatchet, and 
connected with it in one piece, the bowl of a 
pipe, {o that when the handle is perforated, 
the tomahawk anfwers every purpofe of a 
pipe : the Indians, indeed, are fonder of fmok- 
ing out of a tomahawk than out of any other 
fort of pipe. That formerly given to the In- 
dians by the French traders, inftead of a pipe, 
had a large fpike on the back part of the hat- 
chet j very few of thefe inftruments are now 
to be found amongft them ; I never faw but 
one. The tomahawk is commonly worn by 
the left fide, ftuck in a belt. 

For the favourite chiefs, very elegant pipe 
tomahawks, inlaid with filver, are manufac- 
tured by the armourers in the Indian depart- 
ment. Captain E — has given me one of 
this kind, which he had made for himfelf ; it 
is fo much admired by the Indians, that when 
they have feen it with me, they have frequently 
afked me to lend it to them for an hour or fo 
to fmoke out of, jufl as children would aik 
for a pretty plaything; they have never failed 
to return it very punctually. 

The armourers here alluded to are perfons 
kept at the expence of government to repair 
the arms of the Indians when they happen to 
break, which is very commonly the cafe. 

An Indian child, foon after it is born, is 
R 3 fwathed 


fwathed with cloths or fkins, and being then 
laid on its back, is bound down on a piece of 
thick board, fprcad over with foft mofs. The 
board is left fomewhat longer and broader than 
the child, and bent pieces of wood, like pieces 
of hoops, are placed over its face to protect it, 
fo that if the machine were fufrered to fall the 
child would not probably be injured. The 
women, when they go abroad, carry their 
children thus tied down on their backs, the 
board being fufpended by abroad band, which 
they wear round their foreheads. When they 
have anybuMnefs toiranfact at home, they hang 
the board on a tree, if there be. one at hand, 
and fet them a fvvinging from fide to tide, like 
a pendulum, in order to cxcrcife the children; 
fometimes alio, I obferved, they unloofened the 
children from the boards, and putting them 
each into a fort of little hammock, fattened 
them between two trees, and there mfTered 
them to fwing about. As foon as they are 
ftrong enough to crawl about on their hands 
and feet they are liberated from all confine- 
ment, and fufrered, like young puppies, to run 
about, ilark naked, into water, into mud, into 
fnow, and, in fliort, to go wherefcever their 
choice leads them ; hence they derive that 
vigour of conftitution which enables them to 
fupport the greater!: fatigue, and that indif- 
ference to the changes of the weather which 




they poffefs in common with the brute crea- 
tion. The girls are covered with a loofe gar- 
ment as ibon as they have attained four or five 
years of age, but t^e boys go naked till they 
are considerably older. 

The Indians, as 1 have already remarked, 
are for the rnofr part very flightly made,' and 
from a furvey of their perlbns one would 
imagine that they were much better qualified 
for any purfuits that required great agility than 
great bodily ftrength. This has been the ge- 
neral opinion of moft of thofe who have writ- 
ten on this iubjecl. I am induced, however, 
from what I have myfelf been witnefs to, and 
from what I have collected from others, to 
think that the Indians are much more re- 
markable for their mufcular ftrength than for 
their agility. At different military ports on 
the frontiers, where this fubject has been 
agitated, races, for the fake of experiment, 
have frequently been made between foldiers 
and Indians, and provided the diftance was not 
great, the Indians have almoft always been 
beaten ; but in a long race,, where ftrength 
of mufcle was required, they have without ex- 
ception been victorious ; in leaping alio the 
Indians have been infallibly beaten by fuch of 
the foldiers as poffefled common activity : but 
the ftrength of the Indians is moft confpicuous 
in the carrying of burthens on their backs,; 

R 4 tjiey 


they efteem it nothing to walk thirty miles a 
clay for feveral days together under a load of 
eight ftone, and they will walk an entire day 
under a load without taking any refremment. 
In carrying burdens they make uie of a fort of 
frame, fomewhat fimilar to what is commonly 
ufed by a glazier to carry glafs -, this is fattened 
by cords, or ftrips of tough bark or leather, 
round their moulders, and when the load is 
fixed upon the broad ledge at the bottom of 
the frame; two bands are thrown round the 
whole, one of which is -brought aero fs the fore- 
head, and the other acrofs the breaft, and thus 
the load is fupported. The length of way 
an Indian will travel in the courfe of the 
day, when unencumbered with a load, is afio- 
niihing. A young Wyandot, who, when peace 
was about to be made between the Indians and 
General Wayne, was employed to carry a 
meilage from his nation to the American offi- 
cer, travelled but little fhort of eighty miles 
on foot in one day ; and I was informed by one 
of the general's aids-de-camp, who law him 
when he arrived at the camp, that he did not 
appear in the leaft degree fatigued. 

Le P. Charlevoix obferves, that the Indians 
feem to him to poiTefs many perfonal advan- 
tages over us ; their fenfes, in particular, he 
thinks much finer than ours ; their light is* 
indeed, quick and penetrating, and it does not 



fail them till they are far advanced in years, 
notwithftanding that their eyes are expofed fo 
many months each winter to the dazzling 
whitenefs of the fnovv, and to the {harp irri- 
tating fmoke of wood fires. Diforders in the 
•~eyes arealmoft wholly unknown to them; nor 
is the flighted blemifh ever feen in their eyes, 
excepting it be a refult from fome accident. 
Their hearing is very acute, and their fenfe of 
fmeliing fo nice, that they can tell when they 
are approaching a fire long before it is in 

The Indians have moft retentive memories ; 
they will preferve to their deaths a recollection 
of any place they have once paffed through ; 
they never forget a face that they have atten- 
tively obferved but for a few feconds ; at the 
end of many years they will repeat every fen- 
tence of the fpeeches that have been delivered 
by different individuals in a public aflembly ; 
and has any fpeech been made in the council 
houfe of the nation, particularly deferving of 
remembrance, it will be handed down with the 
utmoft accuracy from one generation to an- 
other, though perfectly ignorant of the ufe of 
hieroglyphicks and letters ; the only memorials 
of which they avail themfelves are fmall pieces 
of wood, fuch as I told you were brought by 

them to Captain E , preparatory to the 

delivery of the prefents, and belts of wampum; 



the former are only ufed on trifling occafions, 
the latter never but on very grand and folemm 
ones. Whenever a conference, or a talk as 
they term it, is about to be held with any 
neighbouring tribe, or whenever any treaty or 
national compact is about to be made, one of 
thefe belts, differing in fome refpect from every 
other that has been made before, is immedi- 
ately constructed ; each perfon in the affembly 
holds this belt in his hand whilfl he delivers 
his fpeech, and when he has ended, he pre- 
fents it to the next perfon that rifes, by which 
ceremony each individual is reminded, that it 
behoves him to be cautious in his difcourfe, as 
ail he fays will be faithfully recorded by the 
belt. The talk being over, the belt is depofited 
in the hands of the principal chief. 

On the ratification of a treaty, very broad 
fplendid belts are reciprocally given by the 
contracting parties, which are depoiited amongft: 
the other belts belonging to the nation. At 
ftated intervals they are all produced to the 
nation, and the occafions upon which they 
were made are mentioned ; if they relate to a 
talk, one of the chiefs repeats the fubftance 
of what was faid over them; if to a treaty, the 
terms of it are recapitulated. Certain of the 
lquaws, alio, are entruiled with the belts, 
whofe bufmefs it is to relate the hiftory of 
each one of them to the younger branches of 


WAMPUM. 251 

$he tribe ; this they do with great accuracy, 
and thus it is that the remembrance of every 
important tranfaction is kept up. 

The wampum is formed of the infide of the 
clam mell, a large fea fhell bearing fome fimi- 
litude to that of a fcallop, which is found on the 
coafts of New England and Virginia. The 
(hell is fent in its onginal rough ftate to Eng^ 
land, and there cut into fmall pieces, exaclly 
Similar in fhape and fize ro the modern glafs 
bugles worn by ladies, which little bits of fhell 
conftitute wampum, There are two forts of 
wampum, the white and the purple; the latter 
is moft efteemed by the Indians, who think a 
pound weight of it equally valuable with a 
pound of filver. The wampum is ftrung upon 
bits of leather, and the belt is compofed of ten, 
twelve, or more firings, according to the im?- 
portance of the occafion on which it is made ; 
ibme times alfo the wampum is fowed in dif- 
ferent patterns on broad belts of leather. 

The ufe of wampum appears to be very 
general amongft the Indian nations, but how 
it became fo, is-a queftion that would require 
difcuffion, for it is well known that they are 
a people obftinately attached to old cuftoms, 
and that would not therefore be apt to adopt, 
on the moft grand and folemn occafion, the ufe 
of an article that they had never feen until 
brought to them by ftrangers; at the fame 



time it feems wholly impoffible that they 
ihouid ever have been able to have made 
wampum from the clam mell for themielves.; 
they fafhion the bowls of tobacco pipes, in- 
deed, from ftone, in a very curious manner, and 
with aftonifbing accuracy, considering that they 
ufe no other inftrument than a common knife, 
but then the ftone which they commonly carve 
thus is of a very foft kind; the clam (hell, how- 
ever, is exceedingly hard, and to bore and cut 
it into fuch fmall pieces as are neceffary to 
form wampum, very fine tools would be want- 
ing. Probably they made fome ufe of the 
clam {hell, and endeavoured to reduce it to as 
fmall bits as they could with their rude in- 
ftruments before we came amongft them, but 
on rinding that we could cut it fo much more 
neatly than they could, laid afide the wampum 
before in u(e for that of our manufacture. Mr. 
-Carver tells us, that he found fea (hells very 
generally worn by the Indians who refided in 
the moil interior parts of the continent, who 
never could have viiited a fea fhore themielves, 
and could only have procured them at the ex- 
pence of much trouble from other nations. 

The Indians are exceedingly fagacious and 
cbfervant, and by dint of minute attention, ac-* 
quire many qualifications to which we are 
wholly Grangers. They will traverfe a tracks 
Jefs foreft, hundreds of miles in extent, with- 
§ out 


out deviating from the ftraight courfe, and will 
reach to a certainty the fpot whither they in- 
tended to 20 on fetting out: with equal fkiii 
they will crofs one of the large lakes, and 
though out of light of the fhores for days, will 
to a certainty make the land at once, at the 
very place they delired. Some of the French 
rniffionaries have fuppofed that the Indians are 
guided by inftindr, and have pretended that 
Indian children can find their way through a 
foreft as eafily as a perfon of maturer years; but 
this is a mod abfurd notion. It is unqueftion- 
ably by a clofe attention to the growth of the 
trees, and pofition of the fun, that they find 
their way. On the northern fide of a tree, 
there is generally the moft mofs, and the bark 
on that fide in general differs from that on the 
oppofite one. The branches towards the 
fouth are for the moft part more luxuriant 
than thofe on the other fides of trees, and fe- 
veral other diftinclions alfo fubfift between the 
northern and fouthern fides, confpicuous to 
Indians, who are taught from their infancy to 
attend to them, which a common obferver 
would perhaps never notice. Being accuftom- 
ed from their childhood, likewife, to pay great 
attention to the pofition of the fun, they lean; 
to make the moft accurate allowance for its 
apparent motion from one part of the heavens 
to another, and in any part of the day they will 



point to the part of the heavens where it is, al- 
though the l"ky be obfcured by clouds or mifts^ 
An inftance of their dexterity in finding 
their way through an unknown country came 
under my obfervation when I was at Staunton, 
fituated behind the Blue Mountains, Virginia. 
A number of the Creek nation had arrived at 
that town in their way to Philadelphia, whither 
they were going upon fome affairs of im- 
portance, and had flopped there for the night. 
In the morning fome circumftance or another, 
what could not be learned, induced one half of 
the Indians to fet off without their companions, 
who did not follow until fome hours after- 
wards. When thefe lad: were ready to purfue 
their journey, feveral of the towns-people 
mounted their horfes to efcort them part of the 
way. They proceeded along the high road 
for fome miles, but all at once, haftily turn- 
ing afide into the woods, though there was no 
path, the Indians advanced confidently for- 
ward -, the people who accompanied them, 
furprifed at this movement, informed them 
that they were quitting the road to Philadel- 
phia, and expreffed their fears left they mould 
mifs their companions, who had gone on be- 
fore. They anfwered, that they knew better -, 
that the way through the woods was the 
mortefr. to Philadelphia ; and that- they knew 
very well that their companions had entered 



the woods at the very place they did. Curio- 
fity led forae of the horfemen to go on, and to 
their aftonifhment, for there was apparently 
no track, they overtook the other Indians mi 
the thickeft part of the wood -, but what ap- 
peared moll lingular was, that the route which 
they took was found, on examining a map, to 
be as direct for Philadelphia as if they had 
taken the bearings by a mariner's compafs. 
From others of their nation, who had been at 
Philadelphia at a former period, they had pro- 
bably learned the exact direction of that city 
from their village, and had never loll light of 
it, although they had already travelled three 
hundred miles through woods, and had up- 
wards of four hundred miles more to go before 
they could reach the place of their defoliation. 

Of the exactnefs with which they can rind 
out a ftrange place that they have been once 
directed to by their own people, a Itriking ex- 
ample is furnimed us, I think, by Mr. JefFer- 
fon, in his account of the Indian graves in 
Virginia. Thefe graves are nothing more than 
large mounds of earth in the woods, which, 
on being opened, are found to contain (kele- 
tons in an erect pciture: the Indian mode of 
fepulture has been too often dele ri bed to re- 
main unknown to you. But to come to my 
ftory. A party of Indians that were palling 
on to fome of the lea ports en the Atlantic, 



juft as the Creeks above mentioned were go- 
ing to Philadelphia, were obferved, all on a 
fudden, to quit the ftraight road by which 
tfriey were proceeding, and without afking any 
quellions, to ftrike through the woods in a 
direct line to one of thefe graves, which lay 
at the diftance of fome miles from the road. 
Now very near a century mufr. have paffed 
over fince the part of Virginia, in which this 
grave was fituated, had been inhabited by In- 
dians ; and thefe Indian travellers, who went 
to viiit it by themfelves, had, unqueftionably, 
never been in that part of the country before ; 
they muft have found their way to it fnnply 
from the defcription of its fituation that had 
been handed down to them by tradition. 

The Indians, for the molt part, are admi- 
rably well acquainted with the geography of 
their own countiy. Afk them any queilions 
relative to the iituation of a particular place 
in it, and if there be a convenient fpot at hand, 
they will, with the utmoft facility, trace upon 
the ground with a (tick a map, by no means 
inaccurate, cf the place in queftion, and the 
furrounding country ; they will point out the 
courfe of the rivers, and by directing your at- 
tention to the fun, make you acquainted with 
the different bearings. I happened once to be 
lifting in a houfe at the weltern extremity of 
Lake Erie, whiift we were detained there by 




contrary winds, and was employed in looking 
over a pocket map of the ftate of New York,. 
when a young Seneka warrior entered. His 
attention was attracted by the fight of the 
map, and he feemed at once to comprehend 
the meaning of it ; but never having before 
feen a general map of the ftate of New York, 
and being wholly ignorant of the ufe of let- 
ters, he could not difcover to what part of the 
country it had a reference ; limply, however, 
by laying my ringer upon the fpot where we 
then were, and by fhewing to him the line that 
denoted Buffalo Creek, on which his village 
was lituated, I gave him the clue to the whole, 
and having done fo, he quickly ran over the 
map, and with the utmoft accuracy pointed 
out by name, every lake and river for upwards 
of two hundred miles diftant from his village. 
All the lakes and rivers in this part of the 
country ftill retain the Indian names, fo that 
had he named them wrong, I could have at 
once detected him. His pleafure was fo great 
on beholding fuch a perfect map of the coun- 
try, that he could not refrain from calling fome 
of his companions, who were loitering at the 
door, to come and look at it. They made iigns 
to me to lend it to them; I did lb, and hav- 
ing laid it on a table, they fat over it for 
more than half an hour, during which time I 
obferved they frequently terrified their plea- 
Vor.. FT, ' S fure 


lure to one another on finding particular places 
accurately laid down, which they had been 
acquainted with. The older men alfo feemed 
to have many ftories to tell the others, pro- 
bably refpecting the adventures they had met 
with at diiiant parts of the country,- and which 
they were now glad of having an opportunity 
of elucidating by the map before them. 

Whenever a track of ground is about to be 
purchafed by government from the Indians, , 
for no private individuals can purchafe lands 
from them by the laws of the province, a map 
of the country is drawn, and the part about to 
be contracted for, is particularly marked out. 
If there be any miftakes in thefe maps, the 
Indians will at once point them out; and after 
the bargain is made, they will, from the maps, 
mark out the boundaries of the lands they have 
ceded with the greateft. accuracy, notching 
the trees, if there be any, along the boundary 
line, and if not y placing flakes or ftones in the 
ground to denote where it runs. On thefe 
occasions regular deeds of fale are drawn, with 
accurate maps of the lands which have been 
purchafed attached to them, and thefe deeds 
are fignsd in form by the contracting parties. 
I favy feveral of them in poffemon of our 

friend Captain E , which were extremely 

curious on account of the Indian fignatures. 
The Indians, for the moll: part, take upon them 



the name of fome animal, as, The Blue Snake; 
'The Little Turkey; The Big Bear; The Mad 
Dog, &c. and their fignatures confift of the 
outline, drawn with a pen, of the different 
animals whofe names they bear. Some of the 
fignatures at the bottom of thefe deeds were 
really well executed, and were lively represen- 
tations of the animals they were intended for. 
The Indians in general pofTefs no fmall 
/hare of ingenuity. Their domeftic wooden 
utenfils, bows and arrows, and other weapons, 
&c. are made with the utmofi neatnefs; and 
indeed the workmanihip of them is frequent- 
ly fuch as to excite aftonifhment, when it is 
confidered that a knife and a hatchet are the 
only initruments they make ufe of. On the 
handles of their tomahawks, on their powder 
horns, on the bowls of their pipes, Sec. you 
oftentimes meet with figures extremely well 
defigned, and with fpecimens of carving far 
from contemptible. The embroidery upon 
their moccafins and other garments mews that 
the females are not lefs ingenious in their way 
than the men. Their porcupine quill work 
would command admiration in any country 
in Europe. The foft young quills of the por- 
cupine are thofe which they ufe, and they dye 
them of the mod beautiful and brilliant colours 
imaginable. Some of their dyes have been 
difcovered, but many of them yet remain un- 

S 2 known, 


known, as do alio many of the medicines with 
which they perform fometimes moft miracu- 
lous cures. Their dyes and medicines are all 
procured from the vegetable world. 

But though the Indians prove by their pec* 
formances, that they have fome reliih for the 
works of art, yet they are by no means ready 
to beftow commendations on every thing cu- 
rious for its workman fhip that is fhewn to 
them. Trinkets or ornaments for drefs, though 
ever fo gaudy, or ever fo neatly manufactured, 
they defpife, unlefs fomewhat fimilar in their 
kind to what they themfelves are accuflomed 
to w r ear, and fafhioned exactly to their own 
tafte, which has remained nearly the fame 
fince Europeans firft came amongft them ; 
nor will they praife any curious or wonderful 
piece of mechanifm, unlefs they can fee that 
it is intended to anfwer fome ufeful purpofe. 
Nothing that I could fhew them attracted their 
attention, I obferved^ fo much as a light 
double-barrelled gun, which I commonly car-, 
ried in my hand when walking about their 
encampments. This was fomething in their 
own way> they at once perceived the benefit 
that mufl accrue to the fportfman from having 
two barrels on the one flock, and the contriv- 
ance pleafed them; well acquainted alio with 
the qualities ©f good locks, and the advantages 
attending them, they exprefled great fatisfac- 
# tioa 


don at finding thofe upon my piece fo fuperior 
to what they perhaps had before feen. 

It is not every new fcene either, which to 
diem, one would imagine, could not fail to 
appear wonderful, that will excite their admi- 

A French writer, I forget who, tells us of 
fome Iroquois Indians that walked through 
feveral of the flneft ffrecfs of Paris, but with- 
out expreffing the lean: pleafure at any thing 
they faw, until they at lad came to a cook's 
fhop; this called forth their warmeil praife.j 
a fhop where a man was always fure of getting 
fomething to fatisfy his hunger, without the 
trouble and fatigue of hunting and filhing, was 
in their opinion one of the moil admirable 
inflitutions poffible : had they been told, how- 
ever, that they mutt have paid for what they 
eat, they would have exprefTed equal indigna- 
tion perhaps at what they faw. In their own 
villages they have no idea of refilling food to 
any perfon that enters their habitation in qua- 
lity of a friend. 

The Indians, whom curiofity or bufinefs 
leads to Philadelphia, or to any other of the 
large towns in the States, find, in general, as 
little deferving of notice in the ftreets and 
houfes there as thefe Iroquois at Paris ; and 
there is not one of them but what would prefer 
his own wigwam to the mofl fplendid habita- 

S 3 tions 


pons they fee in any of thefe places. The 
{hipping, however, at Philadelphia and the 
other fea-ports, feldom fails to excite their ad- 
miration, becaufe zhcy at once fee the utility 
and advantage of lar^e veffels over canoes, 
which are the only yeffels they have. The 
young Wyandot, whom I before mentioned, as 
having made fuch a wonderful day's journey 
on foot, happened to be at Philadelphia when 
I was there, and he appeared highly delighted 
with the river, and the great number of fhips 
of all fizes upon it ; but the tide attracted his 
attention more than any thing elfe whatfoever. 
On coming to the river the firft day, he looked 
up at the fun, and* made certain obfervations 
upon the courfe of the flream, and general 
fituation of the place, as the Indians never 
fail to do on coming to any new or remarkable 
fpct. The fecond time, however, he went 
down to the water, he found to his furprife 
that the river was running with equal rapidity 
in a contrary direction to what he had feen 
it run the dav before. For a moment he ima- 


gined that by fome miitake he mull have got 
to the oppofite fide of it ; but foon recollecting 
himfelf, and being perfuaded that he flood on 
the very fame fpot from whence he had viewed 
it the day before, his arTonifhment became great 
indeed. To obtain information upon fuch an 
interesting point, he immediately fought out 


R E M A R K S. 263 

^n aid-de-camp of General Wayne, who had 
brought him to town. This gentleman, how- 
ever, only rendered the appearance ftill more 
myfterious to him, by telling him, that the 
great fpirit, for the convenience of the white 
men, who were his particular favourites, had 
made the rivers in their country to run two 
ways ; but the poor Wyandot was fatisfied 
with the anfwer, and replied, " Ah, my friend, 
" if the great fpirit would make the Ohio to 
" run two ways for us, we fhould very often 
" pay you a vifit at Pittiburgh *." During 
his ftay at Philadelphia he never failed to 
vifit the river every day. 

Amongft the public exhibitions at Phila- 
delphia, the performances of the horfe riders 
and tumblers at the amphitheatre appear to 
afford them the greateil pleafure; they enter- 
tain the higheft opinion of thefe people who 
are fo diftinguifhed for their feats of activity, 
and rank them amongft the ableft men in the 
nation. Nothing, indeed, gives more delight 
to the Indians than to fee a man that excels 
in any bodily exercife ; and tell them even of 
a perfon that is diftinguilhed for his great 
ftrength, for his fwiftnefs in running, for .his 
dexterous management of the bow or the gun, 
ibr his cunning in hunting, for his intreoid 

* A town fituated at the very head of the Ohio. 

S 4 and 


and firm conduct in war, or the like, they will 
liften to you with the greateft pleafure, and 
readily join in praifes of the hero. 

The Indians appear, on the firft view, to be 
of a very cold and phlegmatic difpofition, and 
you mult know them for fome time before you 
can be perfuaded to the contrary. If you mew 
them any artificial production which pleafes 
them, they limply tell you, with feeming indif- 
ference, " that it is pretty j" " that they like 
" to look at it ;" " that it is a clever inven- 
** tion :" nor do they teftify their fatisfaction 
and pleafure by emotions feemingly much 
warmer in their nature, on beholding any new or 
furprifing fpectacle, or on hearing any happy 
piece of intelligence. The performances at the 
amphitheatre at Philadelphia, though unquef- 
tionably highly interefting to them, never drew 
forth from them, I obfcrved, more than a 
fmile or a gentle laugh, followed by a remark 
in a low voice to their friend fitting next to 
them. With equal indifference do they be- 
hold any thing terrible, or liften to the accounts 
of any; dreadful catafirophe that has befallen 
their families or their nation. This apathy* 
however, is only afTumed, and certainly does 
not proceed from a real want of feeling : no 
people on earth are more alive to the calls of 
friendlhip ; no people have a greater affection 
for their offspring in their tender years ; no 


REMARKS. 2 6- 

people are more fenfible of an injury : a word 
in the flighteft degree infulting will kindle a 
flame in their breails, that can only be ex- 
tinguished by the blood of the offending party ; 
and they will traverfe forefts for hundreds of 
miles, expofed to the inclemency of the fe-r 
vereft weather, and to the pangs of hunger, to 
gratify their revenge ; they will not ceafe for 
years daily to vifit, and filently to mourn over 
the grave of a departed child ; and they will 
rifk their lives, and facrifice every thing they 
polled, to affifl a friend in didrefs ; but at the 
fame time, in their opinion, no man can be 
efteemed a good warrior or a dignified charac- 
ter that openly betrays any extravagant emo- 
tions of furprife, of joy, of forrow, or of fear, 
on any occafion whatsoever. The excellence 
of appearing thus indifferent to what would 
excite the ftrongeft emotions in the minds of 
any other people, is forcibly inculcated on 
them from their earliefl youth ; and fuch an 
aftonifhing command do they acquire over 
themfelves, that even at the (take, when fuf- 
fering the fevereff tortures that can be inflicted 
on the human body by the flames and the knife, 
they appear unmoved, and laugh, as it is well- 
known, at their tormentors. 

This affected apathy on the part of the In- 
dians makes them appear uncommonly grave 
and referved in the prefence of Grangers ; in 



their own private circles, however, they fre- 
quently keep up gay and fprightly conven- 
tions ; and they are poffefied, it is faid, of a 
lively and ready turn of wit. When at fuch a 
place as Philadelphia, notwithstanding their 
appearing fo indifferent to every thing before 
them whilit. ftrangers are prefent, yet, after 
having retired by themfelves to an apartment 
for the night, they will frequently fit up for 
hours together, laughing and talking of what 
they have feen in the courfe of the day, I 
have been told by perfons acquainted with 
their language, that have overheard their dif- 
courfe on fuch occafions, that their remarks 
are mod pertinent, and that they fometimes 
turn what has paffed before them into fuch 
ludicrous points of view, that it is fcarcely pof- 
fible to refrain from laughter. 

But though the Indians, in general, appear 
fo referved in the prefence of ft rangers, yet 
the firmnefs of their difpofitions forbids them 
from ever appearing embarraffed, and they 
would fit down to table in a palace, before 
the firft crowned head on the face of the earth, 
with as much unconcern as they would fit 
down to a frugal meal jn one of their own ca- 
bins. They deem it highly becoming in a 
warrior, to accommodate his manners to thofe 
of the people with whom he may happen to 
Jbe, and as tj>ey are wonderfully obfervant, 



you will feldom perceive any thing of awk- 
wardnefs or vulgarity in their behaviour in the 
company of Grangers. I have ken an Indian, 
that had lived in the woods from his infancy, 
enter a drawing room in Philadelphia, full of 
ladies, with as much eafe and as much gentility 
as if he had always lived in the city, and 
merely from having been told, preparatory 
to his entering, the form ufuaily obferved on. 
fuch occasions. But the following anecdote 
will put this matter in a ftronger point of 

Our friend Nekig, the Little Otter, had 
been 'invited to dine with us at the houfe of 
a gentleman at Detroit, and he came accord- 
ingly, accompanied by his fon, a little boy of 
about nine or ten years of age. After dinner 
a variety of fruits were ferved up, and amongft 
the reft fome peaches, a difh of which was 
handed to the young Indian. He helped him- 
felf to one with becoming propriety ; but im- 
mediately afterwards he put the fruit to his 
mouth, and bit a piece out of it. The 
father eyed him with indignation, and fpoke 
fome words to him in a low voice, which I 
could not underftand, but which, on being 
interpreted by one of the company, proved 
to be a warm reprimand for his having been 
fo deficient in obfervation as not to peel his 
peach, as he faw the gentleman oppofite to 



him had done. The little fellow was ex- 
tremely afhamed of himfelf ; but he quickly 
retrieved his error, by drawing a plate towards 
him, and pealing the fruit with the greatefl 

Some port wine, which he was afterwards 
helped to, not being by any means agreeable 
to his palate, the little fellow made a wry 
•face, as a child might naturally do, after drink- 
ing it. This called forth another reprimand 
from the father, who told him, that he de- 
fpaired of ever feeing him a great man or a 
good warrior if he appeared then to diUike 
what his hoft had kindly helped him to. The 
boy drank the reft of his wine with feeming 

The Indians fcarcely ever lift their hands 
agairift their children j but if they are unmind- 
ful of what is faid to them, they fometimes, 
throw a little water in their faces, a fpecies of 
reprimand of which the children have the 
greatefl: dread, and which produces an in- 
flantaneous good effect. One of the French 
miffionaries tells us of his having feen a girl 
of an advanced age fo vexed at having fome 
water thrown in her face by her mother, as if 
the was ftill a child, that me infiantly retired, 
and put an end to her exiftence. As long as 
they remain children, the young Indians are 
attentive in the extreme to the advice of their 

parents ; 


parents; but arrived at the age of puberty, 
and able to provide for themfelves, they no 
longer have any refpect for them, and they 
will follow their own will and pleafure in fpitq 
of all their remonftrances, unlefs, indeed, 
their parents be of an advanced age. Old age 
never fails to command their moft profound 

No people are pofTefTed of a greater (hare 
of natural politenefs than the Indians : they 
will never interrupt you whilft you are fpeak- 
ing; nor, if you have told them any thing 
which they think to be falfe, will they bluntly 
contradict you; (< We dare fay brother," they 
will anfwer, «* that you yourfelf believe what 

* you tell us to be true ; but it appears to us 
" fo improbable that we cannot give our affent 

* to it." 

In their conduct towards one another nought 
but gentlenefs and harmony is obfervable. 
You are never witnefs, amongft them, to ruchi 
noify broils and clamorous contentions as are 
common amongft the lower claiies of people 
in Europe; nor do you perceive amongft them 
any traces of the coarfe vulgar manners of 
thefe latter people; they behave on all occa- 
sions like gentlemen, and could not (o many 
glaring proofs be adduced to the contrary, you. 
never could imagine that they were that fe- 
rocious favage people in war which they are 



faid to be. It muft be underflood, however^ 
that I only fpeak now of the Indians in their 
fober ftate; when intoxicated with fpirits,' 
which is but too often the cafe, a very dif- 
ferent picture is prefented to our view, and 
they appear more like devils incarnate than 
human beings ; they roar, they fight, they cut 
each other, and commit every fort of outrage; 
indeed fo fenfible are they of their own infir- 
mities in this itate, that when a number of 
them are about to get drunk, they give up 
their knives and tomahawks. Sec. to one of 
the party, who is on honour to remain fober, 
and to prevent mifchief, and who generally 
does behave according to this promife. If 
they happen to get drunk without having taken 
this precaution, their fquaws take the earliefl 
opportunity to deprive them of their weapons. 
The Indians prefer whifkey and rum to all 
other fpirituous liquors; but they do not feem 
eager to obtain thefe liquors fo much for the- 
pleafure of gratifying their palates as for the 
fake of intoxication. There is not one in a. 
hundred that can refrain from drinking to ex- 
cefs if he have it in his power; and the ge- 
ne raiity of them having once got a tafte of 
any intoxicating liquor, will ufe every means 
to gain more ; and to do fo they at once be- 
come mean, fervile, deceitful, and depraved, in 
every fenfe of the word. Nothing can make 



amends to thefe unfortunate people for the in- 
troduction of fpirituous liquors amongft them. 
Before their acquaintance with them, they 
were diftinguifhed beyond all other nations 
for their temperance in eating and drinking > 
for their temperance in eating, indeed, they 
are flill remarkable; they efteem it indecorous 
in the higheft degree even to appear hungry ; 
and on arriving at their villages, after having 
fafted, perhaps, for feveral days preceding, 
they will lit down quietly, and not afk for any 
food for a connderable time -, and having got 
wherewith to fatisfy their appetite, they will 
eat with moderation, as though the calls of 
hunger were not more preffing than if they 
had feafted the hour before. They never eat 
on any occafion in a hurry. 

The Indians are by nature of a very hof- 
pitable generous difpofition, where no parti- 
cular circumftances operate to the contrary; 
and, indeed, even when revenge would fain 
perfuade them to behave differently, yet hav- 
ing once profeffed a friendfhip for a ftranger, 
and pledged themfelves for his fafety, nothing 
can induce them to deviate from their word. 
Of their generality I had numberlefs proofs in 
the prefents which they gave me ; and though 
it mufl be allowed, that when they make pre- 
fents they generally expect others in return, 
yet I am convinced, from the manner in which 



they prefented different trifles to me, that it 
was not with an expectation of gaining more 
valuable prefents in return that they gave them 
to me, but merely through friendihip. It is 
notorious, that towards one another they are 
liberal in the extreme, and for ever ready to 
fupply the deficiencies of their neighbours with 
any fuperfluities of their own. They have no 
idea of amaffing wealth for themfelves indi- 
vidually; and they wonder that perfons can 
be found in any fcciety, fo deftitute of every 
generous fentiment, as to enrich themfelves at 
the expence of others, and to live in eafe and 
affluence, regardlefs of the mifery and wretch- 
ednefs of members of the fame community to 
which they themfelves belong. Their drefies, 
domeftic uteniils, and weapons, are the only 
articles of property to which they lay an ex- 
clufive claim; everything elfe is the common 
property of the tribe, in promoting the general 
welfare in which every individual feels himfelf 
deeply interested. The chiefs are actuated by 
the fame laudable fpirit, and in (lead of being 
the richefl, arc, in many inftances, the pooreil 
perfons in the community; for whilfr, others 
have leifure to hunt, &c. it frequently hap- 
pens that the whole of their time is occupied 
in fettling the public affairs of the nation. 

The generality of the Indian nations appear 
to have two forts of chiefs; council chiefs and 

wa r 


ivai chiefs. The former are hereditary, and 
are employed principally in the management 
of their civil affairs ; but they may be war 
chiefs at the lame time : the latter are chcfen 
from amongft thole- who have diftinguithed 
themfelves the moll in battle, and are folely 
employed in leading the warriors in the field* 
The chiefs have no power of enforcing obe- 
dience to their commands, nor do they ever 


attempt to give their orders in an imperious 
manner; they limply adviie. Each private 
individual conceives that he is horn in a ftate 
of perfect liberty, and he dTdains all controul, 
but that which his own reafon fubjects him 
to. As they all have one intereil, however, 
at heart, which is the general welfare of the 
nation, and as it is well known that the chiefs 
are actuated by no other motives, whatever 
meafures they recommend are generally at- 
tended to, and at once adopted. Savages as 
they are, yet in no civilized community, I 
fear, on earth, mall we find the fame public 
fpirit, the fame dilintereflednefs, and the lame 
regard to order, where order is not enforced 
by the feverity of laws, as amongft the In- 

The Indians have the mod fovereign con- 
tempt for any fet of people that have tamely 
relinquished their liberty ; and they confider 
fuch as have loft it, even after a hard ftrttggle, 

Vol, II. T as 


as unworthy any rank in ibciety above that of 
old women : to this caufe, and not to the dif- 
ference that fubiiits between their perfons, is 
to be attributed, I conceive, the rooted aver- 
fion which the Indians univerfally have for 
negroes. You could not pollibly affront an 
Indian more readily, than by telling him that 
you think he bears ibme refemblance to a ne- 
gro; or that he has negro blood in his veins : 
they look upon them as animals inferior to the 
human fpccies, and will kill them with as 
much unconcern as a dog or a cat. 

An American officer, who, during the war 
with Great Britain, had been lent to one of 
the Indian nations refident on the weftern- 
frontier of the States, to perfuade them to re- 
main neuter in the conteft, informed me, that 
whilft he remained amongft them fome agents 
arrived in their village to negociate, if poffible, 
for the releafe of ibme negro flaves whom they 
had carried off from the American fettlements. 
One of thefe negroes, a remarkably tall hand- 
fome fellow, had been given to an Indian wo- 
man of fome confeqnence in the nation, in 
the manner in which prifoners are ufually dif- 
pofed of amongft them. Application was 
made to her for his ranfom. She liftened 
quietly to what was faid; refolved at the fame 
time, however, that the fellow mould not have 
his liberty, me ftepped afide into her cabin, 



Ihd Having brought out a large knife, walked 
up to her Have, and without mere ado plunged 
it into his bowels : " Now," fays me, ad- 
dreffing herfelf coolly to the agents ; " now 
" I give you leave to take away your negro." 
The poor creature that had been ftabbed fell 
to the ground, and lay writhing about in the 
greateft agonies, until one of the warriors took 
companion on him, and put an end to his mi- 
fery by a blow of a tomahawk* 

At Detroit, Niagara, and fome other places 
in Upper Canada, a few negroes are ftill held 
in bondage. Two of thefe haplefs people 
contrived, whilfl we remained at Maiden, to 
make their efcape from Detroit, by flealing a 
boat, and proceeding in the night down the 
river. As the wind would not permit them 
to crofs the lake, it was conjectured that they 
would be induced to coaft along the fhore 
until they reached a place of fafetyj in hopes, 
therefore, of being able to recover them, the 
proprietor came down to Maiden, and there 
procured two trufty Indians to go in queft of 
them. The Indians, having received a de- 
fcription of their perfons, fet out; but had 
lcarcely proceeded an hundred yards, when one 
of them, who could fpeak a few words of Eng- 
lish, returned, to afk the proprietor if he would 
give him permillion to fcalp the negroes if 
they were at all refractory, or refufed coming. 

T 2 His 


His requeff. was peremptorily refufed, for it 
was well known that, had it been granted, he 
would have at once killed them to avoid the 
trouble of bringing them back. •' Well," 
fays he, " if you will not let me fcalp both, 
" you won't be angry with me, I hope, if I 
" fcalp one." He was told in anfwer, that he 
muft bring them both back alive. This cir- 
cumftance appeared to mortify him extremely, 
and he was beginning to heiitate about going, 
when, forry am I to fay, the proprietor, fearful 
left the fellows mould efcape from him, gave 
his affent to the Indian's requeft, but at the 
lame time he begged that he would not de- 
ftroy them if he could poffibly avoid it. What 
the refult was I never learned; but from the 
apparent fatisfaclion with which the Indian fet 
out after he had obtained his dreadful permif- 
lion, there was every reafon to imagine that 
one of the negroes at lead would be facrificed. 
This indifference in the mind of the Indians 
about taking away the life of a fellow creature, 
makes them appear, it muft be confeffed, in 
a very unamiable point of view. I fear alfo, 
that in the opinion of many people, all the 
good qualities which they poffefs, would but 
ill atone for their revengeful difpofition, and 
for the cruelties which, it is well known, they 
fome times inflict upon the prifoners who have 
fallen into their power in battle. Great pains 
* have 


have been taken, both by the French and 
Englifh miffionaries, to reprefent to them the 
infamy of torturing their prifoners j nor have 
thefe pains been beftowed in vain j for though 
in fome recent instances it has appeared that 
they ftill retain a fondnefs for this horrid 
practice, yet I will venture, from what I have 
heard, to aflert, that of late years not one pri- 
foner has been put to the torture, where 
twenty would have been a hundred years ago. 
Of the prifoners that fell into their hands on 
St. Clair's defeat, I could not learn, although 
I made ftrict enquiries on the fubject, that a 
fingle man had been fattened to the flake. 
As foon as the defeat was known, rewards 
were held out by the Britiih officers, and 
others that had influence over them, to bring 
in their prifoners alive, and the greater part 
of them were delivered up unhurt ; but to 
irradicate wholly from their breads the fpirit 
of revenge has been found impoffible. You 
will be enabled to form a tolerable idea of 
the little good effect which education has over 
their minds in this refpect, from the following 
anecdotes of Captain Jofeph Brandt, a war 
chief of the Mohawk nation. 

This Brandt, at a very early age, was fent 
to a college in New England, where, being 
porfeiTed of a good capacity, he foon made 
very confiderable progrefs in the Greek and 

T 3 Latin 


Latin languages. Uncommon pains were 
taken to inifil into his mind the truths of the 
gofpel. He profefled himfelf to be a warm 
admirer of the principles of chriftianity, and 
in hopes of being able to convert his nation 
on returning to them, he abfolutely tranflated 
the gofpel of St. Matthew into the Mohawk 
language ; he alfo tranllated the eftabliihed 
form of prayer of the church of England. 
Before Brandt, however, had finifhed his courfe 
of ftudies, the American war broke out, and 
fired with that fpirit of glory which feems to 
have been implanted by nature in the bread 
of the Indian, he immediately quitted the col- 
lege, repaired to his native village, and mortly 
afterwards, with a confiderable body of his 
nation, joined fome BritiiTi troops under the 
command of Sir John Johnfton. Here he 
diftinguifhed himfelf by his valour in many 
different engagements, and was foon raifed, 
not only to the rank of a war chief, but alfo 
to that of a captain in his Majefly's fervice. 

It was not long, however, before Brandt 
fullied his reputation in the Britiih army. A 
fkirmifh took place with a body of x^meriean 
troops ; the action was warm, and Brandt was 
mot by a mufquet-ball in the heel -, but the 
Americans in the end were defeated, and an 
officer with about iixty men taken prifoners. 
The officer, after having delivered up his 


BRANDT. 279 

fword, had entered into converfation with Co- 
lonel Johnfton, who commanded the Britilli 
troops, and they were talking together in the 
Tnoft friendly manner, when Brandt, having 
ftolen ilily behind them, laid the American 
-officer lifelefs on the ground with a blow of 
his tomahawk. The indignation of Sir John 
Johnfton, as may readily be fuppofed, was 
roufed by fuch an a& of treachery, and he 
refented it in the warmeft language. Brandt 
liftened to him unconcernedly, and when he 
had finifhed, told him, that he was forry what 
•he had done had caufed his difpleafure, but 
that indeed his heel was extremely painful at 
the moment, and he could not help revenging 
himfelfon the only chief of the party that he 
iaw taken. Since he had killed the officer, 
liis heel, he added, was much lefs painful to 
him than it had been before. 

When the war broke out, the Mohawks 
refided on the Mohawk River, in the ftate 
.of New York, but on peace being made, they 
emigrated into Upper Canada, and their prin- 
cipal village is now fituated on the Grand Ri- 
ver, which falls into Lake Erie on the norrfi 
fide, about fixty miles from the town of Newark 
or Niagara ; there Brandt at prefent reiides. 
He has built a comfortable habitation for him- 
felf, and any ftranger that virus him may reft 
allured of being well received, and of finding 

T 4 a plen- 

a pkntifu] tabk well ferved every day. He 
has . , than thirty or forty negroes, who 

Bits d to his horfes, cultivate his grounds, &c. 
Thefe poor creatures are kept in the greatefl 
fubjection, and they dare not attempt to make 
their efcape, for he has affured them, that if 
they did fo he would follow them himfelf, 
though it were to the confines of Georgia, and 
would tomahawk them wherever he met them. 
They know his difpofition too well not to 
think that he would adhere ftriclly to his 

Brandt receives from government half pay 
as a captain, befides annual preients,6c.c. which 
in all amount, it ii feid, to £.500 per annum. 
We had no fmall curiolity, as you may well 
imagine, to fee this Brandt, and we procured 
letters of introduction to him from the go- 
vernor's -fecretarv,. and from different officers 
and gentlemen of his acquaintance, with an in- 
tention of proceeding from Newark to his vil- 
lage. Moil unluckily, however, on the day 
before that of our reaching the town of New- 
ark or Niagara, he had embarked on board a 
veliel for Kingilon, at the oppoiite end of the 
lake. You may judge of Brandt's confequence, 
when I tell you, that a lawyer of Niagara, who 
croifed Lake Ontario in the fame vefTel with 
us, from Kingfton, where he had been detained 
for iome time by contrary winds, informed us, 


BRANDT. 20; - 

the day after our arrival at Niagara, that by his 
not having reached that place in time to tran- 
facl: fome law bufinefs for Brandt, and which 
had confequently been given to, another per- 
fon, he mould be a lofer of one hundred 
pounds at lean:. 

Brandt's fagacity led him, early in life, to 
difcover that the Indians had been made the 
dupe of every foreign power that had got foot- 
ing in America -> and, indeed, could he have 
had any doubts on the fubjecl, they would 
have been removed when he faw the Britifh, 
after having demanded and received the arlift- 
ance of the Indians in the American. war, fo 
ungeneroufly and unjuflly yield up the whole 
of the Indian territories, eait of the Miffiffippi 
and fouth of the lakes, to the people of the 
United States ; to the very enemies, in lhort, 
they had made to themfelves at the requeft of 
the Britifh. He perceived with regret that 
the Indians, by efpouilng the quarrels of the 
whites, and by efpouiing different interefks, 
were weakening themfelves j whereas, if they 
remained aloof, and were guided by the one po- 
licy, they would foon become formidable, and 
be treated with more refpedt ; he formed the 
bold fcheme, therefore, of uniting tbe Indians 
together in one grand confederacy, and for this 
purpofe fent meffengers to different chiefs, 
proposing that a general meeting .fhould be 



held of the heads of every tribe, to take the 
fubject into confideration ; bat certain cf the 
tribes, fufpicious of Brandt's defigns, and fear- 
ful that he was bent upon acquiring power for 
himfelf by this meafure, oppofed it with all 
their might. Brandt has in confequence be- 
come extremely obnoxious to many of the molt 
warlike, and with fuch a jealous eye do they 
now regard hi in, that it would not be per- 
fectly fafe for him to venture to the upper 

He has managed the affairs of his own peo- 
ple with great ability, and leafed out their fu- 
perfluous lands for them, for long terms of 
years, by which meafure a certain annual re- 
venue is enfured to the nation, probably as 
long as it will remain a nation. He wifely 
judged, that it was much better to do fo than 
to fuffer the Mohawks, as many other tribes 
had done, to fell their poffeffions by piecemeal, 
the fums of money they received for which, 
however great, would foon be diffipated if paid 
to them at once. 

Whenever the affairs of his nation fhall per- 
mit him to do fo, Brandt declares it to be his 
intention to fit down to the further ffudy of 
the Greek language, of which he profefies him- 
felf to be a great admirer, and to tranflate from 
the original, into the Mohawk language, more 
of the New Teftament; yet this fame man, 


BRANDT. 3 ?3 

shortly before we arrived at Niagara, killed his 
only ion with his own hand. The ion, it 
feems, was a drunken good for nothing fellow, 
who had often avowed his intention of de r 
lfroying his father. One evening he abfo- 
lutely entered the apartment of his father, and 
Jiad begun to grapple with him, perhaps with 
a view to put his unnatural threats into ex- 
ecution, when Brandt drew a fhort fword, and 
felled him to the ground. Brandt fpeaks of 
this affair with regret, but at the fame time 
without any of that emotion which another 
perfon than an Indian might be fuppofed 
to feel. He confoles bimfelf for the act, by 
thinking that he has benefitted the nation, by 
ridding them of a rafcal. 

Brandt wears his hair in the Indian llylc, 
and alfo the Indian drefs j imlead of the wrap- 
per, or blanket, he wears a fhort coat, fucli as 
I have defcribed, limilar to a hunting frock. 

Though infinite pains have been taken bv 
the French Reman Catholics, and other mif- 
fionaries, to propagate the gofpel amongft the 
Indians, and though many different tribes have 
been induced thereby to fubmit to baptifm, 
yet it does not appear, except in very few in- 
ifances, that any material advantages have re- 
fulted from the introduction of the Ghriftian 
religion amongft them. They have learned 
to repeat certain forms of prayer j they have 



learned to attend to certain outward ceremo- 
nies; but they ftill continue to be fwayed by 
the fame violent paffions as before, and have 
imbibed nothing of the genuine fpirit of 

The Moravian miflionaries have wrought a 
greater change in the minds of the Indians than 
any others, and have fucceeded fo far as to in- 
duce fome of them to abandon their favage 
mode of life, to renounce war, and to culti- 
vate the earth. It is with the Muniies, a 
fmall tribe refident on the eafl fide of Lake 
St. Clair, that they have had the moft fuccefs; 
but the number that have been fo converted 
is fmall indeed. The Roman Catholics have 
the moft adherents, as the outward forms and 
parade cf their religion are particularly cal- 
culated to ftrike the attention of the Indians, 
and as but little reftraint is laid on them by 
the miilionaries of that perfuafion, in confe- 
quence of their profefiion of the new faith. 
The Quakers, of all people, have had the lead 
fuccefs amongft them ; the doclrine of non- 
reftftance, which they fet out with preaching, 
but ill accords with the opinion of the In- 
dian; and amongft fome tribes, where they 
have attempted to inculcate it, particularly 
amongft the Shawnefe, one of the moft war- 
like tribes to the north of the Ohio, they 



have been expofed to very imminent dan- 

The Indians, who yet remain ignorant of 
divine revelation, feem almoft univerfally to 
believe in the exiftence of one fupreme, be- 
neficent, all wife, and all powerful fpirit, and 
likewife in the exiftence of fubordinate fpirits, 
both good and bad. The former, having the 
good of mankind at heart, they think it need- 
lefs to pay homage to them, and it is only to 
the evil ones, of whom they have an innate 
dread, that they pay their devotions, in order to 
avert their ill intentions. Some diftant tribes, 
it is laid, have priefls amongft them, but it 
does not appear that they have any regular 

* The great difficulty of converting the Indians to chrif- 
tianity does not arife from their attachment to their own re- 
ligion, where they have any, fo much as from certain habits 
which they feem to have imbibed with the very milk of their 

A French mifiionary relates, that he was once endeavouring 
to convert an Indian, by describing to him the rewards that 
would attend the good, and the dreadful punifhrnent which muft 
inevitably await the wicked, in a future world, when the Indian, 
who had fome time before loft his deareft friend, fuddenly in- 
terrupted him, by alking him, whether he thought his departed 
friend was gone to heaven or to hell. I fincerely truft, anfwered 
the miffionary, that he is in heaven. Then I will do as you 
bid me, added the Indian, and lead a fober life, for I fhould 
like to go to the place where my friend is. Had he, on the 
contrary, been told that his friend was in hell, all that the re- 
verend father could have faid to him of fire and brimftone would 
have been of little avail in perfuading him to have led any 
other than the mod difiblute life, in hopes of meeting with 
his friend to fympathife with him under his fufferings. 



forms of worfhip. Each individual repeats a 
prayer, or makes an offering to the evil fpirit, 
when his fear and apprehenfions fuggeft the 
neceflity of his fo doing. 

The belief of a future State, in which they 
are to enjoy the f?.me pleafures as they do in 
this world, but to be exempted from pain, and 
from the trouble of procuring food, feems to 
be very general amongft them. Some of the 
tribes have much lefs devotion than others; 
the Shawnefe, a warlike daring nation, have 
but very little fear of evil fpirits, and confe- 
quently have fcarcely any religion amongft 
them. None of this nation, that I could learn, 
have ever been converted to Christianity. 

It is a very lingular and remarkable cir- 
cumstance, that notwithstanding the Striking 
limilarity which we find in the perfons, man- 
ners, cuftoms, difpolitions, and religion of the 
different tribes of Indians from one end of the 
continent of North America to the other, a 
limilarity fo great as hardly to leave a doubt 
on the mind but that they muft all have had 
the fame origin, the languages of the different 
tribes Should yet be fo materially different. 
No two tribes fpeak exaclly the fame lan-^ 
guage j and the languages of many of thofe, 
who live at no great diftance afunder, vary fo 
much, that they cannot make themfelves at all 
ur.derftcod to each other. I was informed 



that the Chippeway language was by far the 
moft general, and that a perfon intimately ac- 
quainted with it would foon be able to acquire 
a tolerable knowledge of any other language 
fpoken between the Ohio and Lake Superior. 
Some perfons, who have made the Indian lan- 
guages their ftudy, affert, that all the different 
languages fpoken by thofe tribes, with which 
we have any connection, are but dialects of 
three primitive tongues, viz. the Huron, the 
Algonquin, and the Sioux j the two former of 
which, being well underftood, will enable a 
perfon to converfe, at leaft (lightly, with the 
Indians of any tribe in Canada or the United 
States. All the nations that fpeak a language 
derived from the Sioux, have, it is faid, a hif- 
fing pronunciation ; thofe who fpeak one de- 
rived from the Huron, have a guttural pro- 
nunciation; and fuch as fpeak any one derived 
from the Algonquin, pronounce their words 
with greater foftnefs and eafe than any of the 
others. Whether this be a jufc distinction or 
not I cannot pretend to determine ; I fhall 
only obferve, that all the Indian men I ever 
met with, as well thofe whofe language is faid 
to be derived from the Huron, as thofe whofe 
language is derived from the Algonquin, ap- 
pear to me to have very few labial founds in 
their language, and to pronounce the words 
from the throat, but not fo much from the 



upper as the lower part of the throat .towards 
the breaft. A flight degree of heutation is 
obfervahle in their fpeech, and they articulate 
feemingly with difficulty, and in a manner 
ibmewhat flmilar to what a pcribn, I ihould 
luppofe, woLiici be apt to do if he had a great 
weight laid en his cheil, or had received a 
blow on his breaft or back lb violent as to 
affect his breath. The women, on the con- 
trary, fpeak with the utmoit eafc, and the lan- 
guage, as pronounced by them, appears as foft 
as the Italian. They have, without exception, 
the moll: delicate harmonious voices I ever 
heard, and the moft pleating gentle laugh that 
it is poflible to conceive. I have oftentimes 
fat amongft a group of them for an hour or 
two together, merely for the pleafure of liften- 
in& to their converfation, on account of its 
wonderful foftnefs and delicacy. 

The Indians, both men and women, fpeak 
with great deliberation, and never appear to be 
at a lots for words to exprefs their fenti- 

The native mulic of the Indians is very 
rude and indifferent, and equally devoid of 
mclodv and variety. Their famous war long 
is nothing better than an inlipid recitative. 
Singing and dancing with them go hand in 
hand; and when a large number of them, col- 
lected together, join ki the one fong, the few 



wild notes of which it confifts, mingled with 
the found of their pipes and drums, fometimes 
produce, when heard at a diftance, a pleafing 
effect on the ear; but it is then and then only 
that their mufic is tolerable. 

The firft night of cur arrival at Maiden, 
juft as we were retiring to reft, near midnight, 
we were moil agreeably entertained in this 
manner with the found of their mufic on the 
iiland of Bois Blanc. Eagrer to hear more of 
it, and to be witnefs to their dancing, we pro- 
cured a boat, and immediately crorfed the river 
to the fpot where they were affembled. Three 
elderly men, feated under a tree, were the prin- 
cipal muficians. One of thefe beat a fmall 
drum, formed of a piece of a hollow tree co- 
vered with a {kin, and the two others marked 
time equally with the drum, with rattles form- 
ed of dried fquaihes or gourds filled with 
peafe. At the fame time thefe men fung, in- 
deed they were the leaders of the fong, which 
the dancers joined in. The dancers confided 
folely of a party of fquaws, to the number of 
twenty or thereabouts, who, ftanding in a cir- 
cle, with their faces inwards and their hands 
folded round each other's necks, moved, thus 
linked together, fideways, with clofe fhort 
fteps, round a fmall fire. The men and wo- 
men never dance together, unlefs indeed a 
pretty fquaw be introduced by fome young 
Vol. II. U fellow 


fellow into one of the men's dances, which is 
confidered as a very great mark of favour. 
This is of a piece with the general conduct of 
the Indians, who look upon the women in a 
totally different light from what we do in 
Europe, and condemn them as flaves to do all 
the drudgery. I have feen a young chief with 
no lei's than three women attendant on him to 
run after his arrows, when he was amufing 
himfelf with mooting fquirrels ; I have alfo 
feen Indians, when moving for a few miles 
from one place to another, mount their horfc9 
and canter away at their eafe, whilffc their wo- 
men were left not only to walk, but to carry 
very heavy loads on their backs after them. 

After the women had danced for a time, 
a larger tire was kindled, and the men af- 
fembled from different parts of the iiland, to 
the number of fifty or fixty, to amufe them- 
felves ,in their turn. There was little more 
variety in their dancing than in that of the 
women. They firfl walked round the fire in a 
large circle, clofely, one after another, marking 
time with fliort fteps to the mulic; the bcffc 
dancer was put at their head, and gave the 
flep ; he was alio the principal finger in the 
circle. After having made one round, the 
ftep was altered to a wider one, and they began 
to ftamp with great vehemence upon the 
ground; and every third or fourth round, 
_ 8 making 


making little leaps off the ground with both 
feet, they turned their faces to the fire and 
bowed their heads, at the fame time ^oins: on 
fideways. At laft, having made a dozen or 
two rounds, towards the end of which each 
one of them had begun to ftamp on the 
ground with inconceivable fury, but "more 
particularly the principal dancer, they all gave 
a loud fhout at once, and the dance ended. 

In two or three minutes another dance was 
begun, which ended as focn, and nearly in the 
fame way as the other. There was but little 
difference in the figures of any of them, ajid 
the onlv material difference in the longs was, 
that in fome of them the dancers, inftead of 
finging the whole of the air, came in fimply 
with refponies to the airs lung by the old men. 
They beckoned to us to join them in their 
dance, which we immediately did, as it was 
likely to pleafe them, and we remained on the 
iOand with them till two or three o'clock in 
the morning. There is fomething inconceiv- 
ably terrible in the fight of a number of Indians 
dancing thus round a fire in the depths of thick 
woods, and the loud fhrie'ks at the end of 
every dance adds greatly to the horror which 
their firft appearance infpires. 

Scarcely a night pafied over but what there 
were dances, fimilar to thofe I have defcribed, 
on the ifland. They never think of dancing 

U 2 till 


till the night is confiderably advanced, and they 
keep it up till daybreak. In the day time 
they lie ileeping in the fun, or lit fmoking to- 
bacco, that is, when they have nothing par- 
ticular to engage them. Though the mod 
diligent perfevering people in the world when 
roufed into action, yet when at peace with 
their neighbours, and having got wherewith 
to fatisfy the calls of hunger, they are the moil 
llothful and indolent poflible. 

The dances mentioned are fuch as the In- 
dians amufe themfelves with in common. On 
grand occaiions they have a variety of others 
much more interesting to a fpedtator. The 
dances which you fee in common amongft the 
Shawnefe, and certain other tribes, are alfo, it 
is laid, much more entertaining than thofe I 
have defcribed. There were feveral families 
of the Shawnefe encamped on the iiland of 
Bois Blanc when we were there; but as there 
was not a furficient number to form a dance 
by themfelves, we were never gratified with a 
light of their performances. 

Of their grand dances the war dance mull 
undoubtedly, from every account I have re- 
ceived of it, for I never had any opportunity 
of feeing it myfelf,-be the one molt worthy the 
attention of a ftranger. It is performed both 
on fetting out and returning from their war 
parties, and likewife at other times, but never 



except on fome very particular and folemn oc- 
cafion. The chiefs and warriors who are about 
to join in this dance drefs and paint themfelves 
as if actually out on a warlike expedition, and 
they carry in their hands their warlike wea- 
pons. Being affembled, they feat themfelves 
down on their hams, in a circle, round a great 
fire, near to which is placed a large poft; after 
remaining a fhort time in this poiition, one of 
the principal chieis rifes, and placing himfelf 
in the center, begins to rehearfe, in a fort of 
recitative; all the gallant actions which he has 
ever performed ; he dwells particularly on the 
nuniuerof enemies he has killed, and defcribes 
the manner in which he fcalped them, making 
geftures all the time, and brandishing his wea- 
pons, as if actually engaged in performing the 
horrid operation. At the end of every re- 
markable flory he ftnkes his war club on the 
pod with great fury. Every chief and war- 
rior tells of his deeds in turn. The fong of 
one warrior often occupies feveral hours, and 
the dance itfelf fometimes lafts for three or 
four entire days and nights. During this pe- 
riod no one is allowed to fleep, a perfon who 
Hands at the outiide of the circle being ap- 
pointed (whofe bufinefs it is) to roufe any 
warrior that appears in the lead drowfy. A 
deer, a bear, or fome other large animal is put 
to roaft at the fire as foon as the dance begins, 

U 3 and 


and while it lafts each warrior rifes at will to 
help himfelf to a piece of it. After each per- 
fon in the circle has in turn told of his exploits, 
they all rife, and join in a dance truly terrify- 
ing ; they throw themfelves into a variety of 
poftures, and leaping about in the moft fran- 
tic manner, brandifh their knives and other 
weapons; at the fame time they fet up the 
war hoop, and utter the moft dreadful yells 
imaginable. In this manner the dance ter- 

The Indian flute or pipe is formed of a thick 
cane, ftmilar to what is found on the banks of 
the Miiliilippi, and in the fouthern parts of the 
United States. It is about two feet or more 
in length, and has eight or nine holes in it, in 
one row. It is held in the fame manner as the 
oboe or clarinet, and the found is produced by 
means of a mouth piece not unlike that of a 
common whittle. The tones of the inftrument 
are by no means unharmonious, and they would 
admit of a pleafing modulation, but I never 
met with an Indian that was able to play a re- 
gular air upon it, not even any one of the airs 
which they commonly fing, although I faw 
feveral that were extremely fond of am u ring 
themfelves with the inftrument, and that would 
fit for hours together over the embers of their 
cabin fires, playing over a few wild melancholy 
notes. Every Indian that can bring a found 



out of the inftrument, and flop the holes, 
which any one may do, thinks himfelf matter 
of it ; and the notes which they commonly 
produce are as unconnected and unmeaning as 
thole which a child would bring forth from a 
halfpenny whittle. 

In addition to what I have faid on the fubject 
of the Indians, I (hall only obferve, that not- 
withstanding they are fuch a very friendly hof- 
pitable people, yet few perfons, who had ever 
tatted of the pleafures and comforts of civi- 
lized life, would feel any inclination to relide 
amongft them, on becoming acquainted with 
their manner of living. The filthinefs and 
wretchednefs of their fmoky habitations, the 
nauleoufnefs of their common food to a perfon 
not even of a delicate palate, and their general 
uncleanlinefs, would be fufficient, I think, to 
deter any one from going to live amongft them 
from choice, fuppciing even that no other 
reafons operated againft his doing fo. For my 
own part, I had fully determined in my own 
mind, when I firft came to America, not to 
leave the continent without fpending a confi- 
derable time amongft them, in the interior parts 
of the country, in order to have an opportunity 
of obferving their native manners and cuftams 
in their utmoft purity -, but the famples I have 
feen of them during my ftay in this part of the 
country, although it has given me a moft fa- 

U 4 vourable 


vourable opinion of the Indians themfel ves, has 
indaced me to relinquim my purpofe. Con- 
tent therefore with what I have feen myfelf, 
and with what I have heard from others, if 
chance mould not bring me again into their 
way in profecuting my journey into the fettled 
parts of the States, I mall take no further pains 
to cultivate a more intimate acquaintance with 


Departure from Maiden. — Storm on Lfi^e Erie. 
— Driven back am rag ft the Ijlands. — Ship- 
wreck narrowly avoided. — Voyage acrojs the 
Lake. — hand at Fort Erie. — Proceed to 
Buffalo Creek. — Engage Indians to go through 
the Woods. — Set out on Foot. — Journey 
through the Woods. — Deft rip t ion of the Coun- 
try beyond Buffalo Creek. — Vaft Plains. — 
Grand Appearance oft the Trees here. — Indian 
Dogs. — Arrival at the Settlements on Geneftee 
River. — Firft Settlers. — Their general Cha- 
racter. — Defer ipt ion of the Country bordering 
on Geneftee River. — Fevers common in Au- 
tumn. — Proceed on Foot to Bath. 

Bath, November. 

>TpO WARDS the latter end of the month 

of October, the fchooner in which we 

had engaged a pafTage to Prefqu' Me made 



her appearance before Maiden, where (he was 
obliged to lay at anchor for three days, the 
wind not being favourable for going farther 
down the river; at the end of that time, how- 
ever, it veered about, and we repaired on board, 
after having; taken a Ions; farewel of our friend 

Captain E -, whofe kindnefs to us had been 

unbounded, and was doubiy grateful, inafmuch 
as it was totally unexpected by us voung 
ftxangers, who had not the flighteft acquaint- 
ance with him previous to our coming into the 
country, and had not been introduced to him 
even by letter. 

The wind, though favourable, was very 
light on the morning of our embarkation, but 
the current beincr ftronu; we were foon carried 
down to the lake. In the afternoon we paiied 
the iflands, which had the mod: beautiful ap- 
pearance imaginable. The rich woods with 
which the mores were adorned, now tinged 
with the hues of autumn, afforded in their 
decline a ffill more pleafing variety to the eye 
than when they were clothed in their fuller! 
verdure; and their gaudy colours, intermingled 
with the fhadows of the rocks, were feen fan- 
cifully reflected in the unruffled furface of the 
furrounding lake. At day- break the next 
morning we found ourfelves entirely clear of 
the land ; but inftead of the azure ilsy and 
gentle breezes which had favoured us the pre- 


ceding day, we had thick hazy weather, and 
every appearance in the heavens indicated that 
before many hours were over we mould have 
to contend with fome of thofe dangerous 
florins that are fo frequent on Lake Erie. It 
was not long indeed ere the winds began to 
blow, and the waves to rife in a tremendous 
manner, and we foon became fpectators of a 
number of thofe confufed and dilgufting fcenes 
which a gale of wind never fails to occafion in 
a fmall vefTel crowded with paflengers. A 
number of old French ladies, who were going 
to fee their grandchildren in Lower Canada, 
and who now for the nril time in their lives 
found themfelves on the water, occupied the 
cabin. The hold of the vtffd, boarded from 
end to end, and divided limply by a fail fuf- 
pended from one .of the beams, was filled on 
one fide with fleerage palfengers, amongfl 
which were feveral women and children ; and 
on the cppofite one with pallengers who had 
paid cabin price, but were unable to get any 
better accommodation, amongfl: which num- 
ber was our party. Not including either the 
old ladies in the cabin, or the fteerage paifen- 
gers, we fat down to dinner each day twenty- 
fix in number, which circumftance, when I 
inform you that the velTel was only feventy 
tons Ifcirthen, will ben: enable you to conceive 
how much we mufl have been crowded. The 


A S T O R M. 299 

greater part of the pafTengers, drooping under 
lea- ficknefs, begged for heaven's fake that the 
captain would put back; but bent upon per- 
forming his voyage with expedition, which 
was a matter of the utmoft confequence in- 
deed, now that the feafon was fo far advanced, 
and there was a poflibility that he might be 
bloc ked up by the ice on his return, he was 
deaf to their entreaties. What the earneft en- 
treaties, however, of the pafTengers could not 
effect, the ftorm foon compelled him to. It 
was found abfolutely neceffary to feek for a 
place of fkelter to avoid its fury ; and accord- 
ingly the helm having been ordered up, we 
made the heft of our way back again to the 
iflands, in a bay between two of which we 
caft anchor. This bay, fituated between the 
Bafs Iflands, which are among the larger!: in 
the clutter, is called, from its being fo fre- 
quently reibrted to by vefTels that meet with 
contrary winds in going down the lake, Put- 
in-Bay, vulgarly termed by the failors Pudding 

Here we lay fecurely flickered by the land 
until four o'clock the next morning, when 
the watch upon deck gave the alarm that the 
vefTel was driving from her anchor, and going 
faft towards the more. The captain karted 
up, and perceiving that the wind had ffiifted, 
and the land no longer afforded any protection 

* to 


to the veffel, he immediately gave orders to 
flip the cable, and hoiil the jib, in order to wear 
the velTel round, and thus get free, if poflible, 
of the more. In the hurry and confufion of 
the moment, however, the mainfail was hoifted 
at the fame time with the jib, the veffel was 
put aback, and nothing could have faved her 
from going at once on more but the letting 
fall of another anchor inltantaneoufly. I can 
only account for this unfortunate miftake by 
fuppoiing that the men were not fufficiently 
roufed from their {lumbers, on coming upon 
deck, to hear diftinctly the word of com- 
mand. Only one man had been left to keep 
the watch, as it was thought that the veffel 
was riding in perfect fafety, and from the time 
that the alarm was firft given until the an- 
chor was dropped fcarcely four minutes 

The dawn of day only enabled us to fee all 
the danger of our fituation. We were within 
one hundred yards of a rocky lee more, and 
depending upon one anchor, which, if the gale 
increafed, the captain feared very much would 
not hold. The day was wet and fqually, and 
the appearance of the fky gave us every rea- 
fon to imagine that the weather, inftead of 
growing moderate, would become ftill more 
tempAluous than it either was or had been ; 
neverthelefs, buoyed up by hope, and by a 


A S T O R M. 301 

good (hare of animal fpirits, we eat our break* 
fads re'gardiefs of the impending danger, and 
afterwards fat down to a game of cards; but 
fcarcely had we played for one hour when the 
difmal cry was heard of, " All hands aloft," 
as the vefTel was again drifting towards the 
ihore. The day being very cold, I had thrown 
a blanket over my moulders, and had fattened 
it round my waifr. with a girdle, in the Indian 
fafhion ; but being incapable of managing it 
like an Indian, I flopped to difencumber my- 
felf of it before I went on deck, fo that, as it 
happened, I was the laif man below. The 
readier!: way of going up was through the 
hatchway, and I had juft got my foot upon 
the ladder, in order to afcend, when the vef- 
iel (truck with great force upon the rocks. 
The women flirieking now flocked round me, 
begging for God's fake that I would ftay by 
them j at the fame time my companions urged 
me from above to come up with all poffible 
fpeed. To my lateft hour I (hall never for- 
get the emotions which I felt at that moment; 
to have (laid below would have been ufelefs; 
I endeavoured, therefore, to comfort the poor 
creatures that clung to me, and then difen- 
gaging myfelf from them, forced my way 
upon deck, where I was no fooner arrived than 
the hatches were inftantly fhut down upon 
the wretched females, whofe ihrieks refound- 



ed through the vefTel, notwithstanding all the 
buttle of the feamen, and the tremendous 
roaring of the breakers amongft the adjacent 

Before two minutes had pafTed over, the 
vefTel ftruck a fecond time, but with a fall 
greater mock ; and at the end of a quarter of 
an hour, during which period (lie had gra- 
dually approached nearer towards the more, 
me began to flrike with the fall of every 

The general opinion now feemed to be in 
favour of cutting away the mafts, in order to 
lighten the vefTel -, and the axes were actually 
upraifed for that purpofe, when one of my 
companions, who pofleffed a confiderable (hare 
of nautical knowledge from having been in 
the navy, oppofed the meafure. It appeared 
to him, that as the pumps were dill free, and 
as the vefTel had not yet made more water 
than could be eafily got under, the cutting 
away of the mails would only be to deprive 
ourfelves of the means of getting off the rock 
if the wind mould veer about ; but he advifed 
the captain to have the yards and topmafls cut 
away. The mails were fpared, and his advic.e 
was in every other refpect attended to. The 
wind unfortunately, however, ftiil continued 
to blow from the fame point, and the only 
alteration obfervable in it was its blowing 
with ftill greater force than ever. 


A S T O R M. 303 

As the ftorm increafed, the waves began to 
roll with greater turbulence than before ; and 
with fuch impetuofity did. they break over the 
bows of the veffel, that it was with the very 
utmoft difficulty that I, and half a dozen more 
who had taken our ftation on the forecaftle, 
could hold by our hands faff, enough to fave 
ourfelves from being carried overboard. For 
upwards of four hours did we remain in this 
fituation, expecting every inflant that the vefTel 
would go to pieces, and expofed every three 
or four minutes to the fhock of one of the 
tremendous breakers which came rolling to- 
wards us. Many of the billows appeared to 
be half as high as the foretop, and fometimes, 
when they burft over us, our breath was 
nearly taken away by the violence of the 
fhock. At laft, finding ourfelves fo benumbed 
with cold that it would be impoffible for us 
to make any exertions in the water to fave 
ourfelves if the velTel was wrecked, we de- 
termined to go below, there to remain until 
we mould be again forced up by the wayes. 

Some of the paiTengers now began to write 
their wills on fcraps of paper, and to inclofe 
them in what they imagined would be moll 
likely to preferve them from the water; others 
had begun to take from their trunks what they 
deemed moft valuable -, and one unfortunate 
thoughtlefs man, who was moving with his 



family from the upper country, we difcovered 
in the very act of loading himfelf with dollars 
from head to foot, fo that had he fallen into 
the water in the Ttate we found him, he muft 
inevitably have been carried to the bottom. 

Words can convey no idea of the wildnefs 
that reigned in the countenance of almoft every 
perfon as the night approached; and many, 
terrified with the appreheniions of a nightly 
fhipwreck, began to lament that the cable had 
not been at once cut, fo as to have let the 
verTel go on more whilit day-light remained : 
this indeed had been propofed a few hours 
after the veiTel began to ftrike ; but it was 
over-ruled by the captain, who very properly 
refuied to. adopt a meafure tending to the im- 
mediate and certain deitxuction of his veffel, 
whilit a pofiibility remained that me might 

Till nine o'clock at night the verTel kept 
(hiking every minute, during which time we 
were kept in a liate of the mod: dreadful fuf- 
pence about our fate ; but then happily the 
wind fhifted one or two points in our favour, 
which occafioned the veiTel to roll inlfead of 
finking. At midnight the gale grew fome- 
what more moderate ; and at three in the 
morning it was fo far abated, that the men 
were enabled to haul on the anchor, and in a 
fhort time to bring the vefTel once more into 



deep water, and out of all danger. Great was 
the joy, as may well be. imagined, which this 
circumftance difFufed amongft the paflengers ; 
and well pleafed was each one, after the fa- 
tigue and anxiety o f the preceding day, to 
think he might fecurely lay himfelf down to 

The next mornin? the fun arofe in all his 
majeftyfrom behind one of the diftant iilands. 
The azure fky was unobfcured by a fingle 
cloud, the air felt ferenely mild, and the birds, 
as if equally delighted with man that the ftorni 
was over, fweetly warbled forth their fongs in 
the adjacent woods j in fhort, had it not been 
for the difordered condition in which we faw 
our veflel, and every thing belonging to us, the 
perils we had gone through would have ap- 
peared like a dream. 

The firft object of examination was the rud- 
der. The tiller was broken to atoms ; and the 
failors who went over the (tern reported, that 
of the four gudgeons or hooks on which the 
rudder was fufpended, only one was left entire, 
and that one was much bent. On being un- 
(hipped, the bottom of it was found to be fo 
much fhivered that it actually refembled the 
end of a broom. The keel, there was every 
reafon to fuppofe, was in the fame mattered 
condition ', neverthelefs the veiTel, to the great 
aftonifhment of every perfon on board, did not 
Vol. II. X make 


make much W2ter. Plad (he been half as crazy 
as the King's vefTel in which we went up the 
lake, nothing could have faved her from de- 

A consultation was now held upon what was 
bell to be done. To proceed on the voyage 
appeared totally out of the queftion ; and it 
only remained to determine which way was the 
eafieil and readied to get back to Maiden. All 
was at a ftand, when an officer in the American 
fervice propofed the beating out of an iron 
crow bar, and the manufacturing of new gud- 
geons. This was thought to be impracticable ; 
but neceflity, the mother of invention, having 
fet all our heads to work, an anvil was formed 
of a number of axes laid upon a block of wood ; 
a large fire was kindled, and a party of us act- 
ing as fmiths in turns, by the end of three 
hours contrived to hammer out one very re- 
fpedtable gudgeon. 

In the mean time others of the paiTengers 
were employed in making a new tiller, and 
others undertook to fifli for the cable and an- 
chor that had been flipped, whilll the failors 
were kept buiily employed at the rigging. By 
nightfall the veifel was fo far refitted that no 
apprehenlions were any longer entertained 
about our being able to reach Maiden in {zfety, 
and fome began to think there would be no 
danger in profecuting the voyage down the 
8 lake. 


lake. The captain faid that his conduct muft 
be regulated entirely by the appearance of the 
weather on the following day. 

Early the next morning, whilfr. we yet re- 
mained ftretched in our births, our party was 
much furprifed at hearing the found of flrange 
voices upon deck; but our furprife was frill 
greater, when on a nearer approach we re- 
cognized them to be the voices of two young 
friends of ours, who, like ourfelves, had crofled 
the Atlantic to make a tour of the continent 
of North America, and whom, but a few days 
before we had quitted Philadelphia, we had 
accompanied fome miles from that city on 
their way towards the fcuth. They had tra- 
velled, it feemed, from Philadelphia to Virgi- 
nia, afterwards to Kentucky, and had found 
their way from the Ohio to Detroit on horfe- 
back, after encountering numberlefs inconve- 
niences. There they had engaged a paiTage 
in a little floop bound to Fort Erie, the laft 
velTcl which watf to quit that port during the 
prefent feafon. They had embarked the pre- 
ceding day, and in the night had run in to 
Put-in-Bay, as the wind was not favourable 
for going down the lake. The commander 
of the floop offered to ftay by our veiTel, and 
to give her every affiftance in his power, if our 
captain chofe to proceed down the lake with 
him. The offer was gladly accepted, and it 

X 2 was 


was agreed that the two veifels mould fail to- 
gether as foon as the wind was favourable. 

After having breakfa(ted,we proceeded with 
our young friends, in the (hip's boat, to that 
part of the ifland off which we had been ex- 
pofed to fo much danger. Here we found the 
more ftrewed with the oars, fpars, 6cc. which 
had been warned overboard, and from the 
dreadful manner in which they were matter- 
ed, no doubt remained on our minds, but that 
if the velTel had been wrecked, two thirds of 
the paflengers at leaft mull: have perifhed 
amidft the rocks and breakers. We fpent the 
day rambling about the woods, and recounting 
to each other our adventures fince the laft fe- 
paration, and in the evening returned to our 
refpeclive mips. About midnight the wind 
became fair, and whilft we lay wrapt in fleep 
the veifels put to fea. 

Ail hopes of being able to get on more at 
Prefqu' Ifle were now over, for the captain, as 
our veflel was in fuch aticklim condition, was 
fearful of venturing in there, left he might lofe 
fight of the floop ; we made up our minds, 
therefore, for being carried once more to our 
old quarters, Fort Erie ; and after a mod dif- 
agreeable paflage of four days, during which we 
encountered feveral fqualls not a little alarming, 
landed there in fafety. 

Our friends immediately fet out for Newark, 



from whence, if the feafon would admit of it, 
and a favourable opportunity offered, they pro- 
poied to fail to Kingfton, and proceed after- 
wards to Lower Canada j we, on the contrary, 
defirous of returning by a different route from 
that by which we had come up the country, 
croffed over to Buffalo Creek, in hopes of being 
able to procure horfes at the Indian village 
there, to carry us through the Genefee country. 
To our difappointment we found, that all the 
Indians of the village who had horfes had al- 
ready fet out with them on their hunting expe- 
dition j but the interpreters told us, that if we 
would confent to walk through the woods, as 
far as the fettlements of the white people, the 
neareft of which was ninety miles from Buffalo 
Creek, he did net doubt but that he could find 
Indians in the village who would undertake to 
carry our baggage for us; and that once ar- 
rived at the back fettlements, we mould find 
it no difficult matter to hire horfes. We 
readily agreed to his propofals, and he in con- 
fequence foon picked cut from the Indians five 
men, amongft which was a war chief, on whom 
he told us we might place every reliance, as 
he was a man of an excellent character. The 
Indians, it was fettled, were to have five dol- 
lars apiece for their fervices, and we were to 
furnim them with provifions and liquor. The 
interpreter, who was a white man, put us on 

X 3 our 


our guard again ft giving them too much of the 
latter; but he advifed us always to give them 
fome whenever we took any ourfelves, and 
advifed us alfo to eat with them, and to be- 
have towards them in every refpect as if they . 
\vere our equals. We had already {een enough 
of the Indians, to know that this advice was 
good, and indeed to have adopted of ourfelves 
the line of conduct which he recommended, 
even if he had faid nothing on the fubject. 

Having arranged every thing to our fatis- 
faction, we returned to Fort Erie ; there we 
difpofed of all our fuperfluous baggage, and 
having made fome addition to the (lores of dried 
provifions and bifcuits which our kind friend 

Captain E had furnifhed us with on 

leaving his hofpitable roof, we embarked, with 
all belonging to us, in the {hip's boat, for the 
village on BufFilo Creek, where we had fettled 
to pafs the night, in order to be ready to ftart 
early the next morning. 

The Indians were with us according to ap- 
pointment at day break; they divided the bag- 
gage, fattened their loads each on their carrying 
frames, and appeared perfectly ready to depart, 
when their chief requeued, through the in- 
terpreter, " that we would give them before 
*' they fet out a little of that precious water 
" we polTefTed, to warn their eyes with, which 
«' would difpel the milts of fleep thatftill hung 

*' over 


" over them, and thus enable them to find out 
" with certainty the intricate path through 
u the thick foreft we were about to traverfej" 
in other w r ords, that we would give them fome 
brandy. It is always in figurative language of 
this kind that the Indians afk for fpirits. We 
difpenfed a glafs full of the precious liquor, 
according to their defire, to each of them, as 
well as to their fquaws and children, whom 
they brought along with them to fhare our 
bounty, and then, the Indians having taken up 
their loads, we penetrated into the woods, 
along a narrow path fcarcely difcernible, owing 
to the quantities of withered leaves with which 
it was flrewed. 

After proceeding a few miles, we flopped 
by the fide of a little ltream of clear water to 
breakfafr ; on the banks of another ftream we 
eat our dinner ; and at a third we flopped for 
the night. Having laid down their loads, the 
Indians immediately began to erect poles, and 
cover them with pieces of bark, which they 
found lying on the ground, and which had 
evidently been left there by fome travellers who 
had taken up their quarters for the night at this 
fame place fome time before; but we put a 
flop to their work, by making out from the 
bag in which it was depofited, our travelling 
tent. They perceived now that they muft 
employ themfelves in a different manner, and 

X 4 knowing 


, knowing perfectly well what was to be done, 
they at once let to work with their tomahawks 
in catting poles and pegs. In lefs than five 
minutes, as we all bore a part, the poles and 
pegs were cut, and the tent pitched. 

One of the Indians now made figns to us to 
lend him a bag, having received which he ran 
into the woods, and was foon out of fight. 
We were at a lofs to guefs what he was in pur- 
fuit of; but in a little time he returned with 
the bag full of the fineft cranberries I ever 
beheld. In the mean time another of them, 
of his own accord, bufied himfelf in carrying 
heaps of dried leaves into the tent, which, 
with our buffalo fkins, afforded luxurious beds 
to men like us, that had flept on nothing bet- 
ter than a board for upwards of a month paft. 
In the upper country it is {o cuflomary for 
travellers to carry their own bedding, that even 

at our friend Captain E 's houfe we hnd 

no other accommodation at night than the floor 
of f an empty room, on which we fpread our 
fkins. As for themfelves, the Indians thought 
of no covering whatfoever, but (imply ftretched 
themfelves on the ground befide the fire, where 
they lay like dogs or cats till morning. At 
day-break we itarted, and flopped as on the 
preceding day befide ftreams of water to eat 
our breakfafts and dinners. 

From Buffalo Creek to the place where we 



encamped on the firft night, diftant about 
twenty-five miles, the country being very flat, 
and the trees growing fo clofely together that 
it was impoffible to fee farther forward in any 
direction than fifty yards, our journey after a 
fhort time became very uninterefting. No- 
thing in its kind, however, could exceed the 
beauty of the fcenery that we met with during 
our fecond day's journey. We found the 
country, as we palled along, interfperfed with 
open plains of great magnitude, fome of them 
not lefs, I mould fuppofe, than fifteen or 
twenty miles in circumference. The trees on 
the borders of thefe having ample room to 
fpread, were luxuriant beyond defcription, and 
fhot forth their branches with all the grandeur 
and variety which characterizes the English 
timber, particularly the oak. The woods 
round the plains were indented in every di- 
rection with bays and promontories, as Mr. 
Gilpin terms it, whilft rich clumps of trees, 
interfperfed here and there, appeared like fo 
many duffers of beautiful iflands. The va- 
ried hues of the woods at this feafon of the 
year, in America, can hardly be imagined by 
thofe who never have had an opportunity of 
obferving them; and indeed, as others have 
often remarked before, were a painter to at- 
tempt to colour a picture from them, it would 
be condemned in Europe as totally different 
from any thing that ever exifled in nature. 



Thefe plains are covered with long coarfe 
grafs, which, at a future day, will probably 
afford feeding to numerous herds of cattle; 
at prefent they are totally unfrequented. 
Throughout the north -weffern territory of the 
States, and even beyond the head waters of the 
Miffiffippi, the country is interfperfed with 
fimilar plains ; and the farther you proceed 
to the weflward, the more extenfive in general 
are they. Amidit. thofe to the weftward are 
found numerous herds of buffaloes, elks, and 
other wild graminivorous animals; and for- 
merly animals of the fame defcription were 
found on thefe plains in the ffate of New 
York, but they have all difappeared long fince, 
owing to their having been io conflantly pur- 
fued both by the Indians and white people. 

Very different opinions have been enter- 
tained refpec"ting the deficiency of trees on 
thefe extended tracts of land, in the midil of a 
country that abounds fo generally with wood. 
Some have attributed it to the poverty of the 
foil; whilif. others have maintained, that the 
plains were formerly covered with trees, as 
well as other parts of the country, but that the 
trees have either been deftroyed by fire, or by 
buffaloes, beaver; , and other animals. 

It is well known that buffaloes, in all thofe 
parts of the country where they are found wild, 
commit great depredations amongft the trees, 



by gnawing off the bark -, they are alfo very 
fond of feeding upon the young trees that 
fpring up from feed, as well as upon the 
fuckers of the old ones; it may readily be 
imagined, therefore, that the entire of the trees, 
on very extended tracts of land, might be thus 
killed by them ; and as the American timber, 
when left expofed to the weather, foon decays, 
at the end of a few years no veftige of the 
woods would be found on thefe tracts, any 
more than if they had been confumed by fire. 

It appears to me, however, that there is 
more weight in the opinion of thofe, who 
afcribe the deficiency of trees on the plains to 
the unfriendiinefs of the foil; for the earth 
towards the furface is univerfally very light, 
and of a deep black colour, and on digging 
but a few .inches downwards you come to a 
cold ftiff clay. On Long Iiland, in the ftate 
of New York, plains are met with nearly 
fimiiar to thefe in the back country, and the 
Dutch farmers j who have made repeated trials 
of the foil, find that it will not produce wheat 
or any other grain, and, in fhort, nothing that 
is at all- profitable except coarfe grafs. I make 
no doubt but that whenever a fimiiar trial 
comes to be made of the foil of the plains to 
the weflward, it will be found equally in- 
capable of producing any thing but what it 
does at prefent. 



After having patted over a great number of 
thefe plains of different ilzes, we entered once 
more into the thick woods; but the country 
here appeared much more diversified with 
riling grounds than it was in any part we had 
already traverled. As we were afcending to 
the top of a fmall eminence in the thickeft 
part of thefe woods, towards the clofe of our 
fecond day's journey, our Indian chief, China- 
breajl-plate, who received thai name in confe- 
quence of his having worn in the American 
war a thick china difh as an ornament on his 
bread, made a fign to us to follow him to the 
left of the path. We did io, and having pro- 
ceeded for a few yards, fuddenly found our- 
felves on the margin of a deep extenfive pit, 
not unlike an exhaufted quarry, that had lain 
neglected for many years. The area of it con- 
tained about two acres, and it approached to a 
circular form ; the fides were extremely iteep, 
and feemed in no place to be lefs than forty 
feet high ; in fome parts they were confider- 
ably higher. Near the center of the place 
' was a large pond, and round the edges of it, as 
well as round the bottom of the precipice, 
grew feveral very lofty pines. The walls of 
the precipice confirmed of a whitifli fubftance 
not unlike lime-ftone half calcined, and round 
the margin of the pit, at top, lay feveral heaps 
of loofe matter refembling lime-rubbifh. 



China- bre aft -plate, {landing on the brink of the 
precipice, began to tell us a long flory, and 
pointing to a diflant place beyond it, fre- 
quently mentioned the word Niagara. Whe- 
ther, however, the flory related to the pit, or 
whether it related to the Falls of Niagara, the 
fmoke arifing from which it is by no means 
improbable might be feen, at times, from the 
elevated fpot where we flood, or whether the 
flory related to both, we could in no way learn, 
as we were totally unacquainted with the Se- 
neka language, and he was nearly equally ig- 
norant of the Englifh. I never met with any 
perfon afterwards who had feen this place, 
or who knew any thing relating to it. Though 
we made repeated figns to China-breafl-plate 
that we did not underfland his flory, he ftill 
went on with it for near a quarter of an hour; 
the other Indians liflened to it with great at- 
tention, and feemed to take no fmall intereil 
in what he faid. 

I ihould have mentioned to you before, that 
both the Indians and the white Americans 
pronounce the word Niagara differently from 
what we do. The former lay the accent on 
the fecond fyllable, and pronounce the word 
full and broad as if written Nee-awg-ara. 
The Americans likewife lay the accent on the 
fecond fyllable ; but pronounce it fhort, and 
give the fame found to the letters I and A as 



we do. Niagara, in the language of the neigh- 
bouring Indians, lignifies a mighty ruihing or 
fall of water. 

On the fecond evening of our expedition we 
encamped on a fmall hill, from whofe top there 
was a moif, pleaiing romantic view, along a 
ftreamof considerable fize which wound round 
its bale, and as far as our eyes could reach, ap- 
peared tumbling in fmall fails over ledges of 
rocks. A fire being kindled, and the tent 
pitched as ufual, the Indians fat down to cook 
fome fquirrels which we had killed on the 
borders of the plains. Thefe animals the In- 
dians had obferved, as we came along, on the 
top of a large hollow tree; they immediately 
laid down their loads, and each taking out his 
tomahawk, and letting to work at a different 
part of the tree, it was felled down in lefs 
than five minutes, and fuch of the fquirrels as 
efcaped their dogs we readily mot for them. 

The Indian dogs, in general, have fhort legs, 
long backs, large pricked up ears, and long 
curly tails ; they differ from the common 
Englifh cur dogs in no refpect fo much as in 
their barking but very feldom. They are ex- 
tremely fagacious, and feem to underftand 
even what their mailers fay to them in a low 
voice, without making any figns, either with 
the hand or head. 



. Whilit. the fquirrels were roafting on a 
forked Hick flack in the ground, and bent over 
the fire, one of the Indians went into the 
woods, and brought out feveral fmall boughs 
of a tree, apparently of the willow tribe. Hav- 
ing carefully fcraped the bark off from thefe, 
he made a fort of frame with the twigs, in 
fhape fomewhat like a gridiron, and heaping 
upon it the fcraped bark, placed it over the 
fire to dry. When it was tolerably crifp he 
rubbed it between his hands, and put it up in 
his pouch for the purpofe of fmoking. 

The Indians fmoke the bark of many dif- 
ferent trees, and a great variety of herbs and 
leaves beiides tobacco. The moil agreeable of 
any of the tubflances which they fmoke are the 
leaves of the fumach tree, rhus- toxicodendron. 
This is a graceful (hrub, which bears leaves 
fomewhat iimilar to thofe of the am. To- 
wards the latter end of autumn they turn of a 
bright red colour, and when wanted for fmok- 
ing are plucked off and dried in the fun. 
Whilfr. burning they afford a very agreeable 
perfume. Thefe icaves are very commonly 
fmoked, mixed with tobacco, bv the white 
people of the country \ the fmoke. of them by 
themfelves alone d is faid to be prejudicial to the 
lun^s. The fumach tree bears tufted bunches 
of crimfon flowers. One of thefe bunches 
dipped lightly, for a few times, into a bowl of 



punch, gives the liquor a very agreeable acid, 
and in the fouthern ftates it is common to ufe 
them for that purpofe, but it is a dangerous 
cuftom, as the acid, though extremely agree- 
able to the palate, is of a poifonous quality, and 
never fails to produce a mod alarming effect 
on the bowels if ufed too freely. 

A marp froft fet in this night, and on the 
following morning, at day-break, we recom- 
menced our journey with croffing the river al- 
ready mentioned up to our waifts in water, no 
very pleafing talk. Both on this and the fub- 
fequent day we had to wade through feveral 
other confiderable ilreams. 

A few fquirrels were the only wild animals 
which we met with in our journey through the 
woods, and the mod folemn filence imaginable 
reigned throughout, except where a wood- 
pecker was heard now and then tapping with 
its bill againfr. a hollow tree. The birds in 
general flock towards the fettlements, and it is 
a very rare circumitance to meet with them 
in the depth of the foreft. 

The third evening we encamped as ufual. 
No fooner had we come to our refting place, 
than the Indians threw off their clothes, and 
rolled themfelves on the grafs juft as horfes 
would do, to refrem themfelves, the day hav- 
ing proved very hot, notwithstanding the froft 
the preceding night. We were joined this 



evening by another party of the Seneka In- 
dians, who were going to a village fituated on 
the Genefee River, and in the morning we all 
fet out together. Early in the day we came 
to feveral plains fimilar to thofe we had before 
met with, but not fo extended, on the borders 
of one of which we faw, for the firft. time, a 
bark hut apparently inhabited. On goings up 
to it, our furprife was not a little to find two 
men, whofe appearance and manners at once 
befpoke them not to be Americans. After 
fome converfation we difcovered them to be 
two Engliihmen, who had formerly lived in 
London as valets de chambre, and having 
fcraped together a little money, had fet out for 
New York, where they expected at once to be- 
come great men ; however they foon found to 
their coft, that the expence of living in that 
city was not fuited to their pockets, and they 
determined to go and fettle in the back coun- 
try. They were at no lofs to find perfons who 
had land to difpofe of, and happening to fall 
in with a jobber who owned fome of thefe 
plains, and who painted to them in lively co- 
lours the advantage they would derive from 
fettling on good land already cleared to their 
hand, they immediately purchafed a confider- 
able track of this barren ground at a round 
price, and fet out to fix themfelves upon it. 
From the neighbouring fettlements, which 
Vol. II. Y were 


were about ten miles off, they procured the 
affiftance of two men, who after having built 
for them the bark hut in which we found them 
left them with a promife of returning in a fhort 
time to erect a log houfe. They had not, 
however, been punctual to their word, and un- 
able to wield an axe, or to do any one thing 
for themfelves, thefe unfortunate wretches fat 
moping in their hut, fupporting themfelves on 
fome fait pro virions they had brought with 
them, but which were now nearly exhaufted. 
The people in the fettlements, whom, on ar- 
riving there, we alked fome few queftions re- 
flecting thefe poor creatures, turned them into 
the greateft ridicule imaginable for being fo 
helplefs; and indeed they did prefent a mofr. 
finking picture of the folly of any man's at- 
tempting to fettle in America without being 
well acquainted with the country previoufly, 
and competent to do every fort of country 
work for himfelf. 

It was not without very great vexation that 
we perceived, fliortly after leaving this hut, 
• evident fymptoms of drunkennefs in one of the 
Indians, and on examining our brandy cafk it 
was but too plain that it had been pillaged. 
During the preceding part of cur journey we 
had kept a watchful eye upon it, but drawing 
towards the end of our expedition, and having 
had every reafon to be Satisfied with the con- 


duct of the Indians, we had not paid fufficient 
attention to it this day -, and though it could 
not have been much more than five minutes 
out of our fight, yet in that mort fpace of time 
the fcrew had been forced, and the cafk drain- 
ed to the laft drop. The Indian, whom we 
difcovered to be drunk, was advanced a little 
before the others. He went on for fome time 
daggering about from fide to iide, but at la ft, 
flopping and laying hold of his fcalping knife, 
which they always carry with them by their 
fides, he began to brandifh it with a threaten- 
ing air. There is but one line of conduct to 
be purfued when you have to deal with Indians 
in fuch a iituation, and that is, to act wiih the 
moft determined refolution. If you betray the 
fmallefr. fymptoms of fear, or appear at all 
wavering in your conduct, it only ferves to ren- 
der them more ungovernable and furious. I 
accordingly took him by the fhoulder, pumed 
him forward, and prefenting my piece, gave 
him to understand that I would moot him if 
he did not behave himfelf properly. My com- 
panions, whjlft I was taking care of him, went 
back to fee in what ftate the other Indians 
were. Luckily the liquor, though there was 
reafon to apprehend they had all had a fhare 
of it, had not made the fame imprefiion 
upon them. One of them, indeed, was be- 
ginning to be refractory, and abfolutely threw 

Y a down 


down his load, and refufed to go farther -, but a 
few words from Cbina-brea/l -plate induced him 
to refume it, and to go on. On coming up 
to the firft Indian, and feeing the fad itate he 
was in, they fhook their heads, and crying, 
" No good Indian," " No good Indian," en- 
deavoured by figns to inform us that it was 
he who had pillaged the cafk, and drank all 
the brandy ; but as it was another Indian who 
carried the cafk, no doubt remained but that 
they muft all have had a mare of the plunder; 
that the firft fellow, however, had drank more 
than the reft was apparent ; for in a few mi- 
nutes he dropped down fpeechlefs under his 
load ; the others haftened to take it off from 
his back, and having divided it amongft them- 
felves, they drew him alide from the path, 
and threw him under fome bufhes, where he 
was left to fleep till he mould come again to 
his fenfes. 

About noon we reached the Genefee River, 
at the oppoiite iide of which was fituated the 
village where we expected to procure hories. 
We eroded the river in canoes, and took up 
our quarters at a houfe at the uppermoft end 
of the village, where we were very glad to 
find our Indian friends could get no accom- 
modation, for we knew well that the firft ufe 
they would make of the money we were go- 
ing to give them would be to buy liquor, and 



intoxicate themfelves, in which ftate they 
would not fail of becoming very troublefome 
companions ; it was fcarcely dark indeed when 
news was brought us from a houfe near the 
river, that they went to after we had dif- 
charged them, that they were grown quite 
outrageous with the quantity of fpirits they 
had drank, and were fighting and cutting each 
other in a moil; dreadful manner. They never 
refent the injuries they receive from any per- 
fon that is evidently intoxicated, but attribute 
their wounds entirely to the liquor, on which, 
they vent their execrations for all the mifchief 
it has committed. 

Before I difmifs the fubject entirely, I murl 
obferve to you, that the Indians did not feem 
to think the carrying of our baggage was in 
any manner degrading to them -, and after hav- 
ing received their due, they (hook hands with 
us, and parted from us, not as from employers 
who had hired them, but as from friends 
whom they had been affifting, and were now 
forry to leave. 

The village where we flopped confifted of 
about eight or nine ftraggling houfes ; the 
bell: built one among them was that in which 
we lodged. It belonged to a family from 
New England, who about fix years before had 
penetrated to this fpot, then covered with 
woods, and one hundred and fifty miles diftant 

¥ 3 from 


from any other fettlement. Settlements arc 
now feattered over the whole of the country 
which they had to pafs through in coming to 
it. The houfe was commodious and well 
built, and the people decent, civil, and reput- 
able. It is a very rare circumflance. to meet 
with fuch people amongft the rjrfr. fettlers on 
the frontiers ; in general they are men of a 
morofe and favage difpofition, and the very 
outcaits of fociety, who bury themfelves in the 
woods, as if defirous to fhun the face of their 
fellow creatures -, there they build a rude ha- 
bitation, and clear perhaps three or four acres 
of land, juft as much as they find fufficient to 
provide their families with corn : for the 
greater part of their food they depend on their 
rifle guns. Thefe people, as the fettlements 
advance, are fucceeded in general by a fecond 
fet of men, lefs favage than the firft, who clear 
more land, and do not depend fo much upon 
hunting as upon agriculture for their fubfift- 
ance. A third fet fucceed thefe in turn, who 
build good houies, and bring the land into a 
more improved ftate. The firfl fettlers, as 
foon as chey have difpofed of their miferable 
dwellings to advantage, immediately penetrate 
farther back into the woods, in order to gain a 
place of abode fuited to their rude mode of 
liie. Thefe are the lawlefs people who en- 
croach, as I have before mentioned, on the 



Indian territory, and are the occafion of the 
bitter animoiities between the whites and the 
Indians. The fecond fettlers, likewife, when 
displaced, feek for iimilar places to what thofe 
that they have left were when they firil took 
them. I found, as I proceeded through this 
part of the country, that there was fcarcely a 
man who had not changed his place of abode 
ieven or eight different times. 
- ^A.s none but very miferable horfes were to 
be procured at this village on the Genefee 
River, and as our expedition through the woods 
had given us a relim for walking, we deter- 
mined to proceed on foot, and merely to hire 
horfes to carry our baggage ; accordingly, 
having engaged a pair, and a boy to conduct 
them, we fet off early on the fecond morning 
from that of our arrival at the village, for the 
town of Bath. 

The country between thefe two places is 
moil agreeably diveriined with hill and dale, 
and as the traveller paries over the hills which 
overlook the Genefee River and the flats bor- 
dering upon it, he is entertained with a variety 
of noble and picturefque views. We were 
particularly ftruck with the profpecl: from a 
large, and indeed very handlbme houfe in its 
kind, belonging to a Major Wadfworth, built 
on one of thefe hills. The Genefee River, 
bordered with the richeft. woods imaginable, 

Y 4 might 


might be feen from it for many miles, mean- 
dering through a fertile country ; and beyond 
the flats, on each fide of the river, appeared 
feveral ranges of blue hills rifing up one be- 
hind another in a mod fanciful manner, the 
whole together forming a moil: beautiful land- 
fcape. Here, however, in the true American 
tafte, the greater! pains were taking to dimi- 
nish, and, indeed, to fhut out all the beauties 
of the profpect -, every tree in the neighbour- 
hood of the houfe was felled to the ground j 
inftead of a neat lawn, for which the ground 
feemed to be Angularly well difpofed, a wheat 
field was laid down in front of it ; and at the 
bottom of the flope, at the diftance of two 
hundred yards from the houfe, a town was 
building by the major, which, when completed, 
would effectually fcreen from the dwelling 
houfe every fight of the river and mountains. 
The Americans, as I before obferved, feem 
to be totally dead to the beauties of nature, 
and only to admire a fpot of ground as it ap- 
pears to be more or lefs calculated to enrich 
the occupier by its produce. 

The Genefee River takes its name from a 
lofty hill in the Indian territory, near to which 
it pafles, called by the Indians Genefee, a word 
fignifying, in their language, a grand extenfive 



The flats bordering upon the Genefee River 
are amongft the richer! lands that are to be 
met with in North America, to the eaft of the 
Ohio. Wheat, as I told you in a former let- 
ter, will not grow upon them ; and it is not 
found that the foil is impoverished by the fuc- 
ceflive crops of Indian corn and hemp that are 
railed upon them year after year. The great 
fertility of thefe flats is to be afcribed to the 
regular annual overflowing of the Genefee 
River, whofe waters are extremely muddy, and 
leave no fmall quantity of flime behind them 
before they return to their natural channel. 
That river empties itfelf into Lake Ontario: 
it is fomewhat more than one hundred miles 
in length, but only navigable for the laft forty 
miles of its courfe, except at the time of the 
inundations ; and even then the navigation is 
not uninterrupted the whole way down to the 
lake, there being three confiderable falls in the 
river about ten miles above its mouth : the 
greateft of thefe falls is faid to be ninety feet in 
perpendicular height. The high lands in the 
neighbourhood of the Genefee River are ftony, 
and are not diftinguifhed for their fertility, but 
the valleys are all extremely fruitful, and 
abound with rich timber. 

The fummers in this part of the country are 
by no means fo hot as towards the Atlantic, 
and the winters are moderate 3 it is feldom, 



indeed, that the fnow lies pn the ground much 
longer than fix or feven weeks ; but notwith- 
ftanding this circumftance, and that the face of 
the country is fo much diverfified with riling 
grounds, yet the whole of it is dreadfully un- 
healthy; fcarcely a family efcapes the bane- 
ful effects of the fevers that rage here during 
the autumn feafon. I was informed by the 
inhabitants, that much fewer perfons had been 
attacked by the fever the laft feafon than dur- 
ing former years, and of thefe few a very fmall 
number died, the fever having proved much 
lefs malignant than it was ever known to be 
before. This circumftance led the inhabitants 
to hope, that as the country became more 
cleared it would become much more healthy. 
It is well known, indeed, that many parts of 
the country, which were extremely healthy 
while they remained covered with wood, and 
which alfo proved healthy after they had been 
generally cleared and fettled, were very much 
otherwife when the trees were fir ft cut down : 
this has been imputed to the vapours ariiing 
from the newly cleared lands on their being 
firft expofed to the burning rays of the fun, and 
which, whilft the newly cleared fpots remain 
furrounded by woods, there is not a fufficient 
circulation of air to difpeh The unhealthi- 
nefs of the country at prefent does not deter 
numbers of people from coming to fettle here 
9 every 


every year, and few parts of North America can 
boaft of a more rapid improvement than the 
Genefee country during the lad: four years. 

In our way to Bath we paiTed through feveral 
fmall towns that had been lately begun, and 
in thefe the houfes were comfortable and 
neatly built; but the greater part of thofe of 
the farmers were wretched indeed ; , one at 
which we flopped for the night, in the courfe 
of our journey, had not even a chimney or 
window to it j a large hole at the end of the 
roof fupplied the deficiency of both j the door 
was of fuch a nature, alio, as to make up in 
fome meafure for the want of a window, as it 
admitted light on all fides. A heavy fall of 
fnow happened to take place whilfr. we were 
at this houfe, and as we lay ftretched on our 
fkins belide the fire, at night, the fnow was 
blown, in no fmall quantities, through the 
crevices of the door, under our very ears. 

At fome of thefe houfes we got plenty of 
venifon, and good butter, milk, and bread ; but 
at others we could get nothing whatfoever to 
eat. At one little village, confirming of three 
or four houfes, the people told us, that they 
had not even fufHcient bread and milk for 
themfelves j and, indeed, the fcantjnefs of the 
jneal'to which we faw them fitting down con- 
firmed the truth of what they faid. We were 
under the neceffity of walking on for nine 



miles beyond this village before we could get 
any thing to fatisfy our appetites. 

The fall of fnow, which I have mentioned, 
interrupted our progrefs through the woods 
very confiderably the fubfequent morning ; it 
all difappeared, however, before the next night, 
and in the courfe of the third day from that on 
which we left the banks of the Genefee River 
we reached the place of our deflination. 


Account of Bath. — Of the Neighbourhood.—* 
Singular Method taken to improve it. — Spe- 
culators. — Defcription of one* in a Letter 
from an America?! Farmer. — Conhorton 
Creek. — View of the Navigation from Bath 
downwards. — Leave Bath for Newtown. — 
Embark in Canoes. — Stranded in the Night. 
— Seek for Shelter in a neighbouring Houfe. 
— Difficulty of procuring Vrovifions. — Refwne 
c u r Voyage . — Loch art Jb urgh.—- D efcription 
of the eajlern Branch of the Sufquehannah 
River. — French Town. — French and Ame^ 
ricans illfuited to each other. — Wilkejbarre. 
— Mountains in the Neighbourhood. — Coun- 
try thinly fettled towards Philadelphia. — De- 


BAT H. m 

fcription of the Wind-Gap in the Blue Moun- 
tains. — Summary Account of the Moravian 
Settlement at Bethlehem. — Return to Phi- 

Philadelphia, November. 

T> AT H is a poft # town, and the principal 
town in the weftern parts of the flate of 
New York. Though laid out only three years 
ago, yet it already contains about thirty houfes, 
and is increafing very faft. Amongft the 
houfes are feveral ftores or (hops well furnifhed 
with goods, and a tavern that would not be 
thought meanly of in any part of America. 
This town was founded by a gentleman who 
formerly bore the rank of captain in his Ma- 
jefty's fervice ; he has likewife been the 
founder of Williamfburgh and Falkner's Town; 
and indeed to his exertions, joined to thofe of 
a few other individuals, may be afcribed the 
improvement of the whole of this part of the 
country, belt known in America by the name 
of the Genefee Country, or the County of the 
Lakes, from its being watered by that river, and 
a great number of fmall lakes. 

The landed property of which this gentle- 
man, who founded Bath, &c. has had the 
active management, is faid to have amounted 
originally to no lefs than fix millions of acres, 
the greater part of which belonged to an in- 


dividual in England. The method he has 
taken to improve this property has been, by 
granting land in fmall portions and on long 
credits to individuals who would immediately 
improve it, and in larger portions and on a 
Shorter credit to others who purchafed on fpe- 
culation, the lands in both cafes being mort- 
gaged for the payment of the purchafe money j 
thus, ihould the money not be paid at the ap- 
pointed time, he could not be a lofer, as the 
lands were to be returned to him, and mould 
they happen to be at all improved, as was moft 
likely to be the cafe,he would be a confiderable 
gainer even by having them returned on his 
hands; moreover, if a poor man, willing to 
fettle on his land, had not money fufficient to 
build a houfe and to go on with the neceffary 
improvements, he has at once fupplied him, 
having had a large capital himfelf, with what 
money he wanted for that purpofe, or fent 
his own workmen, of whom he keeps a pro- 
digious number employed, to build a houfe for 
him, at the fame time taking the man's note at 
three, four, or five years, for the coit. of the 
houfe, 6cc. with intereil. If the man mould 
be unable to pay at the appointed time, the 
houfe, mortgaged like the lands, muft revert 
to the. original proprietor, and the money 
arifing from its fale, and that of the farm ad- 
joining, partly improved, will in all probability 



be found to amount to more than what the 
poor man had promifed to pay for it : but a 
man taking up land in America in this man- 
ner, at a moderate price, cannot fail, if in- 
duftrious, of making money fufficient to pay 
for it, as well as for a houfe, at the appointed 

The numbers that have been induced by 
thefe temptations, not to be met with elfe- 
where in the States, to fettle in the Genefee 
County, is aftonifhing ; and numbers are Hill 
flocking to it every year, as not one third of 
the lands are yet difpofed of. It was currently 
reported in the county, as I palled through it, 
that this gentleman, of whom I have been 
fpeaking, had, in the notes of the people to 
whom he had fold land payable at the end of 
three, or four, or five years, the immenfe fum 
of two millions of dollars. The original coffc 
of the land was not more than a few pence per 
acre ; what therefore muft be the profits ! 

It may readily be imagined, that the grant- 
ing of land on fuch very eafy terms could not 
fail to draw crowds of fpeculators (a fort of 
gentry with which America abounds in every 
quarter) to this part of the country; and in- 
deed we found, as we paffed along, that every 
little town and village throughout the country 
abounded with them, and each place, in con- 
fequence, exhibited a picture of idlenefs and 



diffipation. The following letter, fuppofed to 
come from a farmer, though fomewhat ludi- 
crous, does not give an inaccurate defcription 
of one of thefe young fpeculators, and of what 
is going on in this neighbourhood. It appeared 
in a news-paper publifhed at Wilkefbarre, on 
the Sufquehannah, and I give it to you ver- 
batim, becaufe, being written by an Ameri- 
can, it will perhaps carry more weight with 
it than any thing I could fay on the fame 

" To the Printers of the Wilkefbarre Gazette, 

" Gentlemen, 

" It is painful to reflect, that fpeculation has 
" raged to fuch a degree of late, that honefl 
" induftry, and all the humble virtues that 
" walk in her train, are difcouraged and ren- 
" dered unfafhionable. 

" It is to be lamented too, that diffipation 
" is fooner introduced in new fettlements than 
" induftry and economy. 

" I have been led to thefe reflections by 
" converfing with my fon, who has jufl re- 
" turned from the Lakes or Genefee, though 
" he has neither been to the one or the other; 
" — in fhort, he has been to Bath, the ce- 
" lebrated Bath, and has returned both a fpe- 
" culator and a gentleman * having fpent his 
" money, fwopped away my horfe, caught the 

« fever 

cc fever and ague, and, what is infinitely worfe, 
" that horrid diforder which fome call the 
" terra-phobia"*. 

" We can hear nothing from the poor crea- 
" ture now (in his ravings) but of the captain 
" and Billy — of ranges — townfhips — num- 
" bers — thoufands — hundreds — acres — Bath 
" — fairs — races — heats — bets — purfes— • 
" filk ftockings — fortunes — fevers — agues, &c. 
" &c. &c. My fon has part of a townfhip for 
" fale, and it is diverting enough to hear him 
" narrate its pedigree, qualities, and fituation. 
" In fine, it lies near Bath, and the captain 
" himfelf once owned, and for a long time re- 
" ferved it. It cofl my fon but five dollars 
" per acre j he was offered fix in half a minute 
" after his purchafe ; but he is pofitively de- 
" terminedto have eight, befides fome precious 
" referves. One thing is very much in my 
" boy'sfavour — he has fix years credit. Another 
" thing is flill more fo — he is not worth a 
u fous, nor ever will be at this rate. Previous 
" to his late excurfion the lad worked well, 
cc and was contented at home on my farm ; but 
"now work is out of the queftion with him. 
" There is no managing my boy at home ; 
<( thefe golden dreams ftill beckon him back 
" to Bath, where, as he fays, no one need 

• Our farmer does not feem to have well underftood the 
import of this word, but we may readily guefs at his meaning. 

Vol. II. Z "either 


tc either work or ftarve ; where, though a man 
" may have the ague nine months in the year, 
" he may confole himfelf in fpending the other 
" three falhionably at the races. 

" A Farmery 

'* Hanover, October 25th, 1796, 

The town of Bath ftands on a plain, fur- 
rounded on three fides by hills of a moderate 
height. The plain is almoft wholly diverted 
of its trees; but the hills are ftill uncleared, 
and have a very pleafing appearance from the 
town. At the foot of the hills runs a ftream 
of pure water, over a bed of gravel, which is 
called Conhocton Creek. There is a very con- 
liderable fall in this creek juft above the town, 
which affords one of the fined: feats for mills- 
poilible. Extenfive faw and flour mills have 
already been erected upon it, the principal faw 
in the former of which gave, when we vilited 
the mill, one hundred and twenty ftrokes in a 
minute, fufficient to cut, in the fame fpace of 
time, feven fquare feet, fuperficial meafure, of 
oak timber; yet the miller informed us, that 
when the water was hi.^h it would cut much- 

Conhocton Creek, about twenty miles below 
Bath, falls into Tyoga River, which, after a 
courfe of about thirty miles, empties itfelf into 
the eaflern branch of the River Sufcnaehannah. 



During floods you may go down in light ba- 
teaux along the creek, Tyoga and Sufquehan- 
nah rivers, the whole way from Bath to the 
Chefapeak Bay, without interruption ; and in 
the fall of the year there is generally water 
fufficient for canoes from Bath downwards; 
but owing to the great drought that prevailed 
through every part of the country this year, 
the depth of water in the creek was found 
infufficient to float even a canoe of the fmalleft 
fize. Had it been practicable, it was our in- 
tention to have proceeded from Bath by water; 
but finding that it was not, we once more fet 
off on foot, and purfued our way along the 
banks of the river till we came to a fmall vil- 
lage of eight or ten houfes, called Newtown, 
about thirty miles diftant from Bath. Here 
we found the ftream tolerably deep, and the 
people informed us, that excepting at one or 
two narrow fhoals, they were certain that in 
every part of it, lower down, there was fuf- 
ficient water for canoes ; accordingly, deter- 
mined to be our own watermen, being five 
in number including our fervants, we pur- 
chafed a couple of canoes from two farmers, 
who lived on the banks of the river, and hav- 
ing lafhed them together, in order to render 
them more fteady and fafe, we put our bag- 
gage on board, and boldly embarked. 

It was about three o'clock on a remarkably 
Z 2 clear 


clear though cold afternoon that we left the 
village, and the current being flrong, we 
hoped to be able to reach before night a ta- 
vern, fituated/ as we were told, on the banks 
of the river, about fix miles below Newtown. 
For the firit. two miles we got on extremely 
well; but beyond this the river proving to be 
much Shallower than we had been led to be- 
lieve, we found it a matter of the utmoft diffi- 
culty to proceed. Our canoes repeatedly 
ftruck upon the fhoals, and fo much time was 
confumed in fetting them again free, that be- 
fore we had accomplifhed more than two 
thirds of our voyage the day clofed. As night 
advanced a very fenfible change was obfervable 
in the weather ; a heavy mower of hail came 
pouring down, and, involved in thick dark- 
nefs, whilft the moon was obfeured by a cloud, 
our canoes were drifted by the current, to 
which, being unable to fee our way, we had 
configned them, on a bank in the middle of 
the river. In endeavouring to extricate our- 
felves we unfortunately, owing to the darknefs, 
took a wrong direction, and at the end of a few 
minutes found our canoes fo firmly wedged in 
the gravel that it was impoflible to move 
them. Nothing now remained to be done but 
for every one of us to jump into the water, 
and to put his moulder to the canoes. This 
we accordingly did, and having previoufly un- 



lamed, in order to render them more manage- 
able, we in a Ihort time contrived to haul one 
of them into deep water ; here, however, the 
rapidity of the current was fo great, that not- 
withstanding all our endeavours to the contrary, 
the canoe <was forcibly fwept away from us, 
and in the attempt to' hold it faft we had the 
misfortune to fee it nearly filled with water. 

Deprived thus of one of our canoes, and of 
a great part of our baggage in it, which, for 
ought we knew, was irrecoverably loft, we de- 
termined to proceed more cautioufly with the 
remaining one ; having returned, therefore, to 
the bank, we carried every thing that was in 
the canoe on our moulders to the more, which 
was about forty yards diftant; no very eafy or 
agreeable taik, as the water reached up to our 
waifts, and the current was fo ftrong that it 
was with the utmoft difficulty we could keep 
our feet. The canoe being emptied, we 
brought it, as nearly as we could guefs, to the 
fpot where the other one had been fwept away 
from us, and one of the party then getting 
into it with a paddle, we committed it, pur- 
fuant to his defire, to the ftream, hoping that 
it would be carried down after the other, and 
that thus we mould be able to recover both it 
and the things which it contained. In a few 
feconds the ftream carried the canoe out of our 
fight, for the moon (hone but faintly through 
Z 3 the 


the clouds, and being all of us totally unac- 
quainted with the river, we could not but feel 
fome concern for the perfonal fafety of our 
companion. Before many minutes, however, 
were elapfed, we had the fatisfaclion of hear- 
ing his voice at a diftance, and having made 
the beffc of our way along the more to the fpot 
from whence the found proceeded, we had the 
fatisfaction to find that he had been carried in 
fafety clofe belide the canoe which had been 
loft y we were not a little pleafed alfo at find- 
ing our portmanteaus at the bottom of the ca- 
noe, though well foaked in water j but fuch of 
our clothes as we had taken off preparatory to 
going into the water, together with feveral 
light articles, were all loft. 

It froze fo very hard now, that in a few 
minutes our portmanteaus, and fuch of our 
garments as had been wetted, were covered 
with a coat of ice, and our limbs were quite 
benumbed, in confequence of our having wad- 
ed fo often through the river. Defirous, how- 
ever, as we were to get to a houfe, we deter- 
mined, in the firft inftance, to difpofe of our 
baggage in a fafe place, left it might be pil- 
laged. A deep hollow that appeared under 
fome fallen trees feemed well adapted for the 
purpofe, and having flowed it there, and co- 
vered it with leaves, we advanced forward. 
There vvere no traces whatfoever of a path in 



the woods where we landed, and for upwards 
of a mile we had to force our way through 
the bufhes along the banks of the river ; but 
at the end of that diftance, we hit upon one, 
which in a fhort time brought us to a mifer- 
able little log houfe. At this houfe no accom- 
modation whatibever was to be had, but we 
were told, that if we followed the path through 
the woods for about a mile farther, we fhould 
come to a waggon road, upon which We fhould 
find another houfe, where probably we might 
gain admittance. We reached this houfe ac- 
cording to the directions we had received ; we 
readily gained admittance into it, and the blaze 
of an immenfe wood fire, piled half way up 
the chimney, foon made us amends for what 
we had fuffered from the inclemency of the 
weather. The coldnefs of the air, together 
with the fatigue which we had gone through 
in the courfe of the day, had by this time given 
a keen edge to our appetites ; no fooner there- 
fore had we warmed ourfelves than we began 
to make enquiries about what we could get to 
fatisfy the calls of hunger ; but had we afked 
for a fheep or an ox for fupper at an inn in Eng- 
land, the man of the houfe could not, I verily 
believe, have been more amazed than was out 
American landlord at thefe enquiries : " The 
women were in bed" — " He knew not where 
" to find the keys" — " He did not believe there 

Z 4 " was 


" was any thing in the pantry" — " Provifions 
" were very fcarce in the country" — " If he 
" gave us any there would not be enough for 
w the family in the morning" — Such were his 
anfwers to us. However we plied him lb 
clofely, and gave him fuch a pitiable defcrip- 
tion of our fufferings, that at length he was 
moved ; the keys were found, the pantry open- 
ed, and to fatisfy the hunger of five hungry 
young men, two little flour cakes, icarcely as 
big as a man's hand each, and about a pint and 
a half of milk, were brought forth. He vowed 
he could give us nothing more -, his wife would 
never pardon him if he did not leave enough 
for their breakfafts in the morning -, obliged 
theretore to remain fatisfled, we eat our little 
pittance, and then laid ourfelves down to reft 
on our (kins, which we had brought with us 
on our moulders. 

In the morning we found that the man had 
really made an accurate report of the ftate of 
his pantry. There was barely enough in it for 
the family, and unable to get a {ingle morfel to 
eat, we let out for the little houfe where we 
had firft flopped the preceding night, which 
was the only one within two or three miles, 
there hoping to find the inhabitants better 
provided for : not a bit of bread however was 
to be had here; but the woman of the houfe 
told us, that flie had fome Indian corn meal, 



and that if we could wait for an hour or two 
ihe would bake a loaf for us. This was mod 
grateful intelligence : we only begged of her 
to make it large enough, and then fet off to 
fearch in the interim for our canoes and bag- 
gage. At feveral other places, in going down 
the Sufquehannah, we afterwards found an 
equal fcarcity of provifions with what we did 
in this neighbourhood. One morning in par- 
ticular, after having proceeded for about four 
or five miles in our canoe, we flopped to 
breakfaft; but nothing eatable was there to be 
had at the firft houfe we went to, except a few 
potatoes that were roafting before the fire. 
The people very cheerfully gave us two or 
three, and told us at the fame time, that if we 
went to fome houfes at the oppofite fide of the 
river we fhold moft probably find better fare : 
we did fo; but here the inhabitants were ftill 
more defKtute. On afking them where we 
mould be likely to get any thing to eat, an old 
woman anfwered, that if we went to a village 
about four miles lower down the river, we 
fhould find a houfe, fhe believed, where " they 
" did keep viclua/s," an expreflion fo remark- 
able that I could not help noting it down im- 
mediately. We reached this houfe, and find- 
ing it well ftocked with provifions of every 
kind, took care to provide ourfelves, not only 
with what we wanted for immediate ufe, but 



alfo with what we might want on a future oc- 
cafion, in cafe we came to any place equally 
deftitute of provifions as thofe which we had 
before flopped at; a precaution that was far 
from proving unneceffary. 

But to return. We found our canoes and 
baggage jure, as we had left them, and having 
embarked once more, we made the beft of our 
way down to the houfe where we had befpoke 
breakfaft, which flood on the banks of the 
river. The people here were extremely civil ; 
they aflifted us in making frefh paddles in lieu 
of thofe which we had loft the night before; 
and for the trifle which we gave them above 
what they aiked us for our breakfafts they were 
very thankful, a moil unufual circumftance in 
the United States. 

After breakfaft we purfued our way for 
about feven miles down the river, but in the 
courfe of this diflance we were obliged to get 
into the water more than a dozen different 
times, I believe, to drag the canoes over the 
fhoals; in fhort, by the time we arrived at a 
houfe in the afternoon, we were fo completely 
difgufted with our water conveyance, that had 
we not been able to procure two men, as we 
did in the neighbourhood, to con duel our ca- 
noes to the mouth of Tyoga River, where 
there was reafon to imagine that the water 
would be found deeper, we mould certainly 



have left them behind us. The men fet out 
at an early hour in the morning, and we pro- 
ceeded fome time afterwards on foot along the 
banks, but fo difficult was the navigation, that 
we reached Tyoga Point or Lochartzburg, a 
fmall town built at the mouth of the river, 
feveral hours before them. 

On arriving at this place, we heard to our 
difappointment, that the Sufquehannah, al- 
though generally at this feafon of the year 
navigable for boats drawing four feet water, 
was now nearly as low as the Tyoga River, 
fo that in many places, particularly at the ra- 
pids, there was fcarcely fufficient water to float 
a canoe over the fharp rocks with which the 
bed of the river abounds ; in fine, we were in- 
formed that the channel was now intricate and 
dangerous, and that no perfon unacquainted 
with the river could attempt to proceed down 
it without great rifle -, we found no difficulty, 
however, in hiring from amongfc the watermen 
accuftomed to ply on the river, a man that was 
perfectly well acquainted with it ; and having 
exchanged our two canoes, purfuant to his ad- 
vice, for one of a very large lize, capable of 
holding us all conveniently, we renewed our 

From Lochartzburgh to Wilkefbarre, or 
Wyoming, fituated on the fouth-eaft fide of 
the Sufquehannah, the diflance is about ninety 



miles, and when the river is full, and the cur- 
rent of courfe ftrong, as is ufually the cafe in 
the fall and fpring of the year, you may go 
down the whole of this diftance in one dav ; 
but owing to the lownefs of the water we 
were no lefs than four days performing the 
voyage, though we made the utmoft expedi- 
tion poffible. In many parts of the river, in- 
deed, we found the current very rapid -, at the 
Falls of Wyalufing, for inftance, we were car- 
ried down three or four miles in about a quar- 
ter of an hour; but in other places, where the 
river was deep, fcarcely any current was per- 
ceptible in it, and we were obliged to work 
our way with paddles. The bed of the river 
abounds with rock and gravel, and the water 
is fo tranfparent, that in many parts, where it 
muit have been at leaft twenty feet deep, the 
fmalleft pebble was diftinguimable at the bot- 
tom. The width of the river varies from fifty 
to three hundred yards, and fcarcely any ftream 
in America has a more irregular courfe; in 
fome places it runs in a direction diametrically 
oppofite to what it does in others. The coun- 
try through which this (the eaftern) branch 
of the Sufquehannah paffes, is extremely un- 
even and rugged ; indeed, from Lochartzburgh 
till within a fhort diftance of Wilkefbarre, it 
is bounded the entire way by fteep mountains 
either on the one fide or the other. The 



mountains are never to be met with at both 
iides of the fame part of the river, except it be 
at places where the river takes a very fudden 
bend -, but wherever you perceive a range of 
mountains on one fide, you are fure to find an 
extenfive plain on the oppofite one ; fcarcely in 
any part do the mountains extend for more 
than one mile together on the fame fide of the 
river, and in many inftances, during the courfe 
of one mile, you will perceive more than ^a 
dozen different changes of the mountains from 
one fide to the other. It may readily be 
imagined, from this defcription of the eaftern 
branch of the Sufquehannah, that the fcenery 
along it muft be very fine ; and, indeed, I think 
there is no river in America that abounds with 
fijch a variety and number of picturefque views. 
At every bend the profpect varies, and there 
is fcarcely a fpot between Lochartzburg and 
Wilkefbarre where the painter would not find 
a fubjectwell worthy of his pencil. The moun- 
tains, covered with bold rocks and woods, 
afford the fineft foreground imaginable; the 
plains, adorned with cultivated fields and 
patches of wood, and watered by the noble 
river, of which you catch a glimpfe here and 
there, fill up the middle part of the landfcape; 
and the blue hills, peeping up at a diffcance, 
terminate the view in the mofl pleafing man- 



The country bordering upon the Sufque- 
hannah abounds with deer, and as we parTed 
down we met with numberlefs parties of the 
country people engaged in driving thefe ani- 
mals. The deer, on being purfued in the 
neighbouring country, immediately make for 
the river, where men being concealed in bumes 
placed on the ftrand, at the part to which it is 
expected they will come down, take the oppor- 
tunity of mooting them as foon as they enter 
the water. Should the deer not happen to 
come near thefe ambumes, the hunters then 
follow them in canoes : it feldom happens that 
they eicape after having once taken to the 

Very fine fifli are found in every part of the 
Sufquehannah, and the river is much frequent- 
ed by wild fowl, particularly by the canvafs 
back duck. 

The whole way between Lochartzburg and 
Wilkefbarre are fettlements on each fide of 
the river, at no great diftance from each other; 
there are alio feveral fmall towns on the banks 
of the river. The principal one is French 
Town, iituated within a fhort diftance of the 
Falls of Wyalufing, on the weftern fide of the 
river. This town was laid out at the expence 
of feveral philanthropic perfons in Pennfyl- 
vania, who entered into a fubfcription for the 
purpofe, as a place of retreat for the unfortu- 

WILKE SB AR R E'. 451 

nate French emigrants who fled to America. 
The town contains about fifty log houfes ; 
and for the ufe of the inhabitants a confider- 
able track of land has been purchafed adjoin- 
ing to it, which has been divided into farms. 
The French fettled here feem, however, to 
have no great inclination or ability to cultivate 
the earth, and the greater part of them have 
let their lands at a fmall yearly rent to Ame- 
ricans, and am ufe themfelves with driving 
deer, fifhing, and fowling ; they live entirely to 
themfelves ; they hate the Americans, and 
the Americans in the neighbourhood hate, and 
accufe them of being an idle diffipated fet. 
The manners of the two people are fo very dif- 
ferent that it is impoflible they mould ever 

Wilkefbarre, formerly Wyoming, is the chief 
town of Luzerne county. It is fituated on a 
plain, bounded on one fide by the Sufquehan- 
nah, and on the other by a range of moun- 
tains, and contains about one hundred and 
fifty wooden dwelling houfes, a church, court 
houfe, and gaol. It was here that the dread- 
ful maffacre was committed, during the Ame- 
rican war, by the Indians under the command 
of colonel Butler, which is recorded in' mod 
of the hiftories of the war, and which will for 
ever remain a blot on the Englifh annals. Se- 
veral of the houfes in which the unfortunate 
2 victims 


victims retired to defend themfelves, on being 
refufed all quarter, are ftill {banding, perforated 
in every part with balls -, the remains of others 
that were fet on fire are alfo ftill to be feen, and 
the inhabitants will on no account fuffer them 
to be repaired. The Americans are equally 
tenacious of the ruins in the neighbourhood of 

It was our intention at firft to have pro- 
ceeded down the river from hence as far as 
Sunburg, or Harrifburghj but the weather 
being now fo cold as to render a water con- 
veyance, efpecially a canoe, where you are al- 
ways obliged to fit very ftill, extremely dif- 
agreeable, we determined to crofs the Blue 
Mountains to Bethlehem in Pennfylvania, 
fituated about fixty-five miles to the fouth-eaft 
of Wilkefbarre ; we accordingly hired horfes, 
as we had done on a former occafion, to carry 
our baggage, and proceeded ourfelves on foot. 
"We fet out in the afternoon, the day after that 
on which we terminated our voyage, and before 
evening crofted the ridge of mountains which 
bounds the plain of Wilkefbarre. Thefe 
mountains, which are extremely rugged and 
ftony, abound with iron ore and coal ; for the 
manufacture of the former feveral forges have 
been eftabliihed, but no ufe is made of the coal, 
there being plenty of wood as yet in the coun- 
try, which is efteemed much more agreeable 


W O O D S. 353 

fuel. From the top of them you have a very 
grand view of the plain below, on which (lands 
the town of Wilkefbarre, and of the river Suf- 
quehannah, which may be traced above the 
'town, winding amidft the hills for a great num- 
ber of miles. 

The country beyond the mountains is ex- 
tremely rough, and but very thinly fettled, of 
courfe ftill much wooded. The people, at the 
-few houfes fcattered through it, appeared to 
live much better than the inhabitants of any 
other part of the States which I before paffed 
through. At every houfe where we flopped 
we found abundance of good bread, butter, tea, 
coffee, chocolate, and venifon; and indeed we 
fared fumptuoufly here, in comparifon to what 
we had done for many weeks preceding. 

The woods in many parts of this country 
confifted almofl wholly of hemlock trees, 
which are of the pine fpecies, and grow only 
on poor ground. Many of them were of an 
unufually large fize, and their tops fo clofely 
iiiatted together, that after having entered into 
the depth of the woods you could fee the iky 
in but very few places. The brum wood un- 
der thefe trees, different from what I ever faw 
clfewhere, conlifted for the mcft part of the 
oleander and of the kalmia laurel, whofe deep 
green ferved to render the gloom of the woods 
flill more folemn -, indeed they feemed corn- 

Vol. II. A a pletely 


pletely to anfwer the defcription given by the 
poets of the facred groves ; and it were im- 
pomble to enter them without being ftruck 
with awe. 

About twenty miles before you come to 
Bethlehem, in going thither from Wilkelbarre, 
you crofs the ridge of Blue Mountains at what 
is called the Wind Gap ; how it received that 
name I never could learn. This gap is nearly 
a mile wide, and it exhibits a tremendouily wild 
and rugged fcene. The road does not run at 
the bottom of the gap* but along the -edge of 
the fouth mountain, about two thirds of the 
way up. Above you on the right, nothing is to 
be feen but broken rocks and trees, and on the 
left you look down a fteep precipice. The 
rocks at the bottom of the precipice have every 
appearance, it is faid (for we did not defcend 
into it) of having been warned by water fof 
ages ; and from hence it has been conjectured 
that this muft have been the original channel 
of the River Delaware, which now paries 
through the ridge, at a place about fifteen 
miles to the north weft. Whether this were 
the cafe or not it is impoffible to determine at 
this day j but it is certain, from the appearance 
of the country on each fide of the Delaware* 
that a great change has taken place in this 
quarter, in conference of fome vafl inun- 


1 EKEM „ .u,-r.„;.,„ 

rrr,,,,// seitt/smenf. 


On the Atlantic fide of the mountains the 
country is much lefs rugged than on the op- 
pose one, and it is more cleared and much 
more thickly fettled : the inhabitants are for 
the moft part of German extraction. 

Bethlehem is the principal fettlement, in 
North America, of the Moravians, or United 
Brethren. It is moft agreeably fituated on a 
rifing ground, bounded on one fide by the river 
Leheigh, which falls into the Delaware, and 
on the other by a creek, which has a very rapid 
current, and affords excellent feats for a great 
number of mills. The town is regularly laid 
out, and contains about eighty flrong built 
ftone dwelling houfes and a large church. 
Three of the dwelling houfes are very fpacious 
buildings, and are appropriated refpectively 
to the accommodation of the unmarried young 
men of the fociety, of the unmarried females, 
and of the widows. In thefe houfes different 
manufactures are carried on, and the inmates 
of each are fubject to a difcipline approaching 
fomewhat to that of a monaftic inftitution. 
They eat together in a refectory ; they fleep in 
dormitories 5 they attend morning and evening 
prayers in the chapel of the houfe; they work 
for a certain number of hours in the day; and 
they have ftated intervals allotted to them for 
recreation. They are not fubjected, by the 
rules of the fociety, to perpetual confinement ; 

A a z but 


but they feldom, notwithstanding, go beyond 
the bounds of their walks and gardens, except 
it be occafionaily to vifit their friends in the 

The Moravians, though they do not enjoin 
celibacy, yet think it highly meritorious, and 
the young perfons of different fexes have but 
very little intercourfe with each other 5 they 
never enter each other's houfes, and at church 
they are obliged to fit feparate ; it is only in 
confequence of his having feen her at a diftance, 
perhaps, that a batchelor is induced to propofe 
for a young woman in marriage, and he is not 
permitted to offer his propofals in perfon to the 
object of his choice, but merely through the 
medium of the fuperintendant of the female 
houfe. If from the report of the elders and 
wardens of the fociety it appears to the fuper- 
intendant that he is able to maintain a wife, 
me then acquaints her protegee with the offer, 
and fbould me confent, they are married im- 
mediately, but if me do not, the fuperintendant 
felefts another female from the houfe, whom 
fhe imagines would be fuitable to the young 
man, and on his approval of her they are as 
quickly married. Hafty as thefe marriages are, 
they are never known to be attended with un- 
happmefs ; for being taught from their earlieft 
infancy to keep thole paiiions under controul, 
which occafion fo n\uch mifchief amon^ft the 



tnafs of mankind; being inured to regular ha- 
bits of induftry, and to a quiet fober life ,• and 
being in their peaceable and retired fettlements 
out of the reach of thofe temptations which 
perfons are expofed to who launch forth into 
the bufy world, and who mingle with the mul- 
titude, the parties meet with nought through 
life to interrupt their domestic repofe. 

Attached to the young men's and to the 
young women's houfes there are boarding 
fchools for boys and girls, under the direction 
of proper teachers, which are alio infpected by 
the elders and wardens of the fociety. Thefe 
fchools are in great repute, and not only the 
children of Moravians are fent to them, but 
alfo thofe of many genteel perfons of a different 
perfuaiion, refident in Philadelphia, New York, 
and other towns in the neighbouring States, 
The boys are inftructed in the Latin, Ger- 
man, French, and Englifh languages; arith- 
metic, mufic, drawing, &c: the girls are like- 
wife inftructed in thefe different languages and 
fciences, and, in fhort, in every thing that is 
ufually taught at a female boarding fchool, ex- 
cept dancing. When of a fufficient age to pro- 
vide for themfelves, the young women of the 
fociety are admitted into the houfe defined for 
their accommodation, where embroidery, fine 
needle- work, carding, fpinning, knitting, &c. 
&c, and other works fuitable to females, are 
A a 3 carried 


carried on. A feparate'room is allotted for 
every different bufinefs,and a female, fomewhat 
older than the reft, prefides in it, to inipect 
the work, and preferve regularity. Perfons 
are appointed to difpofe of the feveral articles 
manufactured in the houfe, and the money 
which they produce is diftributed amongft the 
individuals engaged in manufacturing them, 
who, after paying a certain fum towards the 
maintenance of the houfe, and a certain fum 
befides into the public fund of the fociety, are 
allowed to keep the remainder for themfelves. 

After the boys have finifhed their fchool 
education, they are apprenticed to the bufinefs 
which accords moll with their inclination. 
Should this be a buiinefs or trade that is car- 
ried on in the young men's houfe, they at once 
go there to learn it, but if at the houfe of an 
individual in the town, they only board and lodge 
at the young men's houfe. If they are in- 
clined to agricultural purfuits, they are then 
put under the care of one of the farmers of the 
fociety. The young men fubfcribe to the fup- 
port of their houfe, and to the public fund, jufl 
as the young women do; the widows do the 
fame ; and every individual in the town like- 
wife contributes a fmall fum weekly to the 
general fund of the fociety. 

Situated upon the creek, which fkirts the 
town, there is a flour mill, a faw mill, an oil 



mill, a fulling mill, a mill for grinding bark and 
dye ftuif, a tan yard, a currier's yard ; and on 
the Leleigh River an exteniive brewery, at 
which very good malt liquor is manufactured, 
Thefe mills, &c. belong to the fociety at large 2 
and the profits arifing from them, the perfcns 
feverally employed in conducting them being 
firft handfomely rewarded for their fervices, are 
paid into the public fund. The lands for fome 
miles round the town, which are highly im- 
proved, likewife belong to the fociety, as does 
alfo the tavern, and the profits arifing from 
them are difpofed of in the fame manner as 
thofe arifing from the mills, the perfons em- 
ployed in managing the farms, and attending to 
the tavern, being nothing more than fte wards 
or agents of the focietv. The fund thus railed 
is employed in relieving the diftrerfed brethren, 
of the fociety in other parts of the world, in 
forming new fettlements, and in defraying the 
expence of the millions for the purpofe of pro- 
pagating the gofpel amongft the heathens. 

The tavern at Bethlehem is very commodi- 
ous, and it is the neater! and befl: conducted 
one, without exception, that I ever met with 
in any part of America. Having communi- 
cated to the landlord, on arriving at it, our wifh. 
to fee the town and public buildings, he im- 
mediately difpatched a melTenger for one of the 
elders, and in lefs than a quarter of an hour, 

A a 4 brother 


brother Thomas, a lively frefri coloured little 
man, of about fifty years of age, entered • the 
room : he wasdreffed in a plain blue coat and 
waiftcoat, brown corderoy breeches, and a large 
round hat ; there was goodnefs and innocence 
in his looks, and his manners were fo open 
and unconrlrained, that it was impoffible not 
to become familiar with him at once. When 
we were ready to fally forth, he placed himfelf 
between two of us, and leaning on our arms, 
and chatting without ceremony, he conducted 
us firft to the young women's houfe. Here we 
were (hewn into a neat parlour, whilft brother 
Thomas went to afk permifiion for us to fee the 
houfe. In a few minutes the fuperintendant 
herfelf came ; brother Thomas introduced her 
to us, and accompanied by them both we vi- 
fited the different apartments. 

The houfe is extenfive, and the parTages and 
flair-cafes are commodious and airy, but the 
work rooms are fmall, and to fuch a pitch 
were they heated by ftoves, that on entering 
into them at firft we could fcarcely breathe. 
The ftoves, which they ufe, are built in the 
German fry le. The fire is inclofed in a large 
box or cafe formed of glazed tiles, and the 
warm air is thence conducted, through flues, 
into fimilar large cafes placed in different parts 
of the room, by which means every part is 
rendered equally warm. About a dozen fe- 


males or mere, nearly of the fame age, were 
feated at work in each apartment. The en- 
trance of Grangers did not interrupt them in 
the leaft; they went on with their work, and 
except the infpettrefs, who never failed politely 
to rife and fpeak to us, they did not even feem 
to take any notice of our being in the room. 

The drefs of the Gfterhood, though not 
quite uniform, is very nearly fo. They wear 
plain calico, linen, or (tuff gowns, with aprons, 
and clofe tight linen caps, made with a peak in 
front, and tied under the chin with a piece of 
riband. Pink ribands are faid to be worn as a 
badge by thofe who are inclined to marry; 
however, I ob/erved that all the unmarried 
women wore them, not excepting thefe whofe 
age and features feeroed to have excluded chctn 
from every chance cf becoming the votaries of 

The dormitory of the female houfe is a very 
fpacicus apartment in the upper flory, which 
is aired by a large ventilator in the ceiling. 
It contains about fifty boarded beds without 
tellers, each calculated to hold one perfon. 
They fleep here during winter time in the Ger- 
man flyle, between two feather beds, to which 
the meets and blankets are Pitched faft ; in 
fummer time the heat is too great here to ad- 
mit even of a finde blanket, 


1«« t: a EU B fed states 



to a fort of lh;-, 

Bt tittle ; fancy 

mr -.erhccd, are hid 

lo I ath intage*. It is always expected 

will I 
am here; and thi: the ~nly 
reward which ex- 

■ - 
thr : of the tov 

TTk ^d exbil dic- 

ture of the utmotl neatnefs and reguk 
do likewife the ) 

: lame may be laid of 
::e hou:\ 

. Sec. '..:': are bail! _ the 

mo": i:r::ved plans, are 

r r a 

Brc: 7 

and w 
lie the hmdes of £ . : I ::" 

re mo:: [(bed for 

c L ' : the he .'.- :: a cabinet we 

:ained with i 

.-: maker brought 
k cf Indian bed dra 

a c : irt 

M O R A V I k N 563 

The manufactures in general _-i on at 

Bethlehem conmt of woollen and linen cloths, 
hats, cotton and woffled caps and ftoc 
gloves, thoes, 

turners work, clocks, and a few other artk 
of hardware, Sec. ece. 

The c is a pi -^ing °f ftone, 

adorned with iicred hittory. It 

is furnifhed with a tc ?rgan, as Kkewife 

are the chapels of the young men's and young 
l ■•■ : me n ' s hou I c Q ns, 

bei: ith violoncellos, violins, flutes, 6cc. 

The whole : trends the church on a 

Sunday, and when any one of the ft 
all the remaining member , : ral, 

which is conducted with great folemni: , 
though with little pomp: the - g : into 

mourning for their departed friends. 

Every houie in the towi cd with 

an abundance cf excellent water from afpring, 
which is forced through pipes by means of an 
hydraulic machine worked by water, and 
which is fituated on the banks of the cree-:. 
Some of the houfes are fupplied with w 
every room. The machine cry ample, 

and would eaiily raiie the water of the fpring, 
if necelTann I hundred ft 

The lpring from whence the houfes are fup- 
plied with water ftands neari k center of 
the town, and over it, a 1. fe with 



very thick walls, is erected. Houfes like this 
are very common in America ; they are called 
fpring houfes. and are built for the purpofe of 
preferving meat, milk, butter, &c. during the 
heats of fummer. This fpring houfe in Beth- 
lehem is common to the whole town ; a fhelf 
or board in it is allotted to each family, and 
though there is no watch placed over it, and 
the door be only fecured by a latch, yet every 
perfon is certain of finding, when he comes 
for it, his plate of butter or bowl of milk, 
Sec. exactly in the fame ftate as when he put 
it in. 

The Moravians ftudy to render their con- 
duct Itrictly conformable to the principles of 
the Chriftian religion ; but very different no- 
tions, notwithftanding, are, and, no doubt, will 
be entertained refpecting fome of their tenets., 
Every unprejudiced perfon, however, that has 
vifited their fettlements mufr. acknowledge* 
that their moral conduct is truly excellent, and 
is fuch as would, if generally adopted, make 
men happy in the extreme. They live toge-. 
ther like members of one large family ; the 
molt, perfect harmony fubfifts between them, 
and they feem to have but one wifh at heart, 
the propagation of the gofpel, and the good of 
mankind. They are in general of a grave turn 
of mind ; but nothing of that fliffhefs, or of 
that affected Angularity, or pride, as I will call 



It, prevalent amongft the Quakers, is obferv- 
able in their manners. Wherever their fo- 
ciety has extended itfelf in America, the mod 
happy confequences have refulted from it ; 
good order and regularity have become con- 
fpicuous in the behaviour of the people of the 
neighbourhood, and arts and manufactures have 
been introduced into the country. 

As the whole of the plot of ground, on 
which Bethlehem (lands ; belongs to the fo- 
ciety, as well as the lands for a confiderable 
way round the town, the Moravians here are 
not liable to be troubled by intruders, bur any 
perfon that will conform to their line of con- 
duel: will be received into their fociety with 
readinefs and cordiality. They appeared to 
take the greater!: delight in (hewing us their 
town, and every thing belonging to it, and at 
parting lamented much that we could not flay 
longer with them, to fee (till more of the man- 
ners and habits of the fociety. 

They do not feem defirous of adding to the 
number of houfes in Bethlehem; but when- 
ever there is an increafe of people, they fend 
them oft to another part of the country, there 
ta form a new fettlement. Since Bethlehem 
was founded, they have eftablifhed two other 
towns in Pennfylvania, Nazareth and Letitz. 
The former of thefe Hands at the diftance of 
about ten miles from Bethlehem, and in com- 


ing down from the Blue Mountains you pafs 
through it ; it is about half the fize of Beth- 
lehem, and built much on the fame plan. 
Letitz is iituated at a diftance of about ten 
miles from Lancafler. 

The country for many miles round Beth- 
lehem is moil pleafingly diverfified with rifing 
grounds ; the foil is rich, and better cultivated 
than any part of America I before faw. Until 
within a few years paft this neighbourhood has 
been diftinguifhed for the falubrity of its cli- 
mate, but fevers, chiefly bilious and inter- 
mittent, have increafed to a very great degree 
of late, and, indeed, not only here, but in many 
other parts of Pennfylvania, which have been 
long fettled. During the laft autumn, more 
people fuffered from ficknefs in the well cul- 
tivated parts of" the country than had ever 
been remembered. Various reafons have been 
affigned for this increafe of fevers in Pennfyl- 
vania, but it appears mofl probably to be ow- 
ing to the unequal quantities of rain that have 
fallen of late years^ and to the unprecedented 
mildnefs of the winters. 

Bethlehem is vifited during fummer time 
by great numbers of people from the neigh- 
bouring large towns, who are led thither by 
curiofity or pleafure ; and regularly, twice a 
week throughout the year, a public ftage wag- 
gon runs between it and Philadelphia. We 



fengaged this carriage to ourfelves, and early 
on the fecond day from that on which we 
quitted Bethlehem, reached the capital, after 
an abfence of, fomewhat more than, five 



Jutavc Philadelphia. — Arrive at New York, — - 
Vifit Long IJland-. — Dreadful havoc by the 
dTettow Fever. — Dutch Inhabitants fufpicious 
cf Strangers.* — Excellent Farmers. — Number 
of Inhabitants. — Culture of Corn. — Immenfe 
Quantities of Groufe and Deer. — Laws to 
protecl them. — Incrcafe of the fame. — De- 
creafe of Beavers. — A r ew York agreeable to 
Strangers. — Conclufon. 

MY DEAR SIR, New York, January 1797, 

AFTER having remained a few days at 
Philadelphia, in order to arrange fame 
matters preparatory to my taking a final leave 
of that city* I fet out once more for New 
York. The month of December had now ar- 
rived ; confiderable quantities of fnow had 
fallen ; and the keen winds from the north- 
tveft had already fpread a thick crufl of ice 



over the Delaware, whofe majefftc ftream ii 
always the lift in this part of the country to 
feel the chilly touch of the hand of winter. 
The ice however, was not yet frrong enough 
to fuftain the weight of a ilage carriages neither 
was it very readily to be broken ; fo that when 
we" reached the falls of the river, where it is 
ufual to crofs in going from Philadelphia to 
New York, we had to remain for upwards of 
two hours, fhivering before the bitter blafts, 
until a pafTage was opened for the boat, which 
was to convey us and our vehicle to theoppo* 
fite fide. The eroding of the Delaware at this 
place with a wheel carriage, even when the 
river is frozen over and the ice fufficiently 
thick to bear, is generally a matter of con- 
iiderable inconvenience and trouble to travel- 
lers, owing to the large irregular mafTes of ice 
formed there, when the froft firft lets in, by 
the impetuofity of the current, which break- 
ing awav the (lender flakes of ice from the 
edges of the banks, gradually drifts them up 
in layers over each ether ; it is only at this 
rugged part, that a wheel carriage can fafely 
pafs down the banks of the river. 

When the ground is covered with fnow, a 
ileigh or fledge is by far the moft commodious 
fort of carriage to travel in, as neither it not 
the paiTengers it contains are liable to receive 
any injury whatfoever from an overturn, and 



as, added to this, you may proceed much fafler 
and ealier in it than in a carriage on wheels ; 
having faid then that there was fnow on the 
ground, it will perhaps be a fubject of wonder 
to you, that we had not one of thefe fafe and 
agreeable carriages to take us to New York; 
if fo, I muft inform you, that no experienced 
traveller in the middle Hates fets out on a 
long journey in a fleigh at the commencement 
of winter, as unexpected thaws at this period 
now take place very commonly, and fo rapid 
are they, that in the courfe of one morning the 
fnow fometimes entirely difappears ; a ferious 
object of confideration in this country, where, 
if you happen to be left in the lurch with 
your fleigh, other carriages are not to be had 
at a moment's warning. In the prefent in- 
ftance, notwithstanding the intenfe feverity of 
the cold, and the appearances there were of its 
long continuance, yet I had not been eight 
and forty hours at New York when every 
veftige of froft was gone, and the air became 
as mild as in the month of September. 

This fudden change in the weather afforded 
me an opportunity of feeing, to much greater 
advantage than might have been expected at 
this feafon of the year, parts of New York and 
Long Iflands, which the mortnefs of my flay 
in this neighbourhood had not permitted me 
to vilit in the fummer. After leaving the im- 

Vol. II. Eb mediate 


mediate vicinage of the city, which (lands at 
the fouthern extremity of the former of thefe 
two iflands, but little is to be met with that 
deferves attention; the foil, indeed, is fertile, 
and the face of the country is not unpleafingly 
diverfified with riling grounds ; but there is 
nothing grand in any of the views which it 
affords, nor did I obferve one of the numerous 
feats, with which it is overfpread, that was 
diftinguifhed either for its elegant neatnefs or 
the delightfulnefs of its fituation ; none of 
them will bear any comparifon with the charm- 
ing little villas which adorn the banks of the 
Schuylkill near Philadelphia. 

On Long Illand much more will be found, 
in a picturefque point of view, to intereft the 
traveller. On the wefrern fide, in particular 
■bordering upon the Narrows, or that con- 
tracted channel between the iflands, through 
which vellels pafs in failing to New York 
from the Atlantic, the country is really ro- 
mantic. The ground here is very much 
broken, and numberlefs large mafTes of wood 
ftill remain {landing, through the viflas in 
which you occafionally catch the mod delight- 
ful profpects of the diflant hills on Staten 
Ifland and the New Jerfey more, and of the 
water, which isconftantly enlivened by vefTels 
failing to and fro. 

To an inhabitant of one of the large towns 



on the coafr. of America, a country houfe is 
not merely defirable as a place of retirement 
from noife and buftle, where the owner may 
indulge his fancy in the contemplation of rural 
fcenes, at a feafon when nature is attired in 
her moil: pleafing garb, but alfo as a fafe re- 
treat from the dreadful maladies which of late 
years have never failed to rage with more or 
lefs virulence in thefe places during certain 
months. When at Philadelphia the yellow 
fever committed fuch dreadful havoc, fparing 
neither the rich nor the poor, the young nor 
the aged, who had the confidence to remain 
in the city, or were unable to quit it, fcarcely 
a fingle inftance occurred of any one of thofe 
falling a victim to its baneful influence, who 
lived but one mile removed from town, where 
was a free circulation of air, and who at the 
fame time ftudioufly avoided all communication 
with the lick, or with thofe who had vifited 
them ; every perfon therefore at Philadelphia, 
New York, Baltimore, &c. who is fufficiently 
wealthy to afford it, has his country habita- 
tion in the neighbourhood of thefe refpeclive 
places, to which he may retire in the hot un- 
healthy feafon of the year ; but this delightful 
part of Long Ifland, of which I have been 
fpeaking, though it affords fuch a number of 
charming fituations for little villas, is unfor- 
tunately too far removed from New York to 


be a convenient place of retreat to men fo 
deeply engaged in commercial purfuits as are 
the greater number of the inhabitants of that 
city, and it remains almoft deititute of houfes -, 
whilft another part of the ifland, more conve- 
niently fituated, is crowded with them, al- 
though the face of the country is here flat 
and fandy, devoid of trees, and wholly unin- 

The permanent refidents on Long Ifland 
are chiefly of Dutch extraction, and they feem 
to have inherited all the coldnefs, referve, and 
covetoufnefs of their anceflors. It is a com- 
mon faying in New York, that a Long Ifland 
man will conceal himfelf in his houfe on the 
approach of a ftranger; and really the num- 
berlefs inftances of fhynefs I met with in the 
inhabitants feemed to argue, that there was 
fome truth in the remark. ■ If you do but afk 
any fimple queition relative to the neighbour- 
ing country, they will eye you with fufpicion, 
and evidently ftrive to difengage themfelves 
from you; widely different from the Anglo- 
Americans, whofe inquifitivenefs in fimilar 
circumflances would lead them to a thoufand 
impertinent and troublefome enquiries, in order 
to difcover what your bufinefs was in that 
place, and how they could poffibly take any 
advantage of it. Thefe Dutchmen are in ge- 
neral very excellent farmers j and feveral of 
4 - them 


them have very extenfive tracks of land under 
cultivation, for the produce of which there 
is a convenient and ready market at New 
York. Amongft them are to be found many 
very wealthy men j but except a few indivi- 
duals, they live in a mean, penurious, and moil 
uncomfortable manner. The population of 
the' ifland is eftimated at about thirty-feven 
thoufand fouls, of which number near five 
thoufand are flaves. It is the weftern part of 
the ifland which is the beft inhabited ; a cir- 
cumftance tc be afcribed, not fo much to the 
fertility of the foil as its contiguity to the city 
of New York. Here are feveral considerable 
towns, as, Flatbufh, Jamaica, Brooklynn, 
Flufhing, Utrecht ; the three firft-mentioned 
of which contain each upwards of one hundred 
houies. Brooklynn, the larger!; of them, is 
fituated jufl oppofite to New York, on the 
bank of the Eaft River, and forms an agreeable 
object from the city. 

The foil of Long Ifland is well adapted to 
the culture of fmall grain and Indian corn; 
and the northern part, which is hilly, is faid to 
be peculiarly favourable to the production of 
fruit. The celebrated Newtown pippin, though 
now to be met with in almoft every part of the 
ftate of New York, and good in its kind, is yet 
fuppofed by many perfons to attain a higher 
flavour here than in any other part of Ame- 



Of the peculiar foil of the plains that arc 
fituated towards the center of this ifland, I have 
before had occafion to fpeak, when defcribing 
thofe in the weftern parts of the ftate of New 
York. One plain here, fomewhat different 
from the reft, is profufely covered with ftunted 
oaks and pines j but no grain will grow upon 
it, though it has been cleared, and experiments 
have been made for that purpofe in many dif- 
ferent places. This one goes under the ap- 
pellation of Brufhy Plain. Immenfe quanti- 
ties of groufe and deer are found amidft the 
brufhwood, with which it is covered, and which 
is fo well calculated to afford fhelter to thefe 
animals. Laws have been paffed, not long 
fince, to prevent the wanton deftruclion of the 
deer ; in confequence of which they are be- 
ginning to increafe mofl rapidly, notwith- 
standing fuch great numbers are annually kil- 
led, as well for the New York market, as for 
the fupport of the inhabitants of the ifland ; 
indeed it is found that they are now increafing 
in moft of the fettled parts of the flates of 
New York, where there is fufficient wood to 
harbour them; whereas in the Indian terri- 
tories, the deer, as well as mofl other wild 
animals, are becoming fcarcer every year, not- 
withstanding that the number of Indian hun- 
ters is alfo decreafing; but thefe people pur- 
fue the fame deftru&ive fyftem of hunting, 



formerly practifed on Long Ifland, killing 
•every animal they meet, whether young or full 
grown. Notwithstanding the ftrong injunc- 
tions laid upon them by the Canadian traders, 
to fpare fome few beavers at each dam, in. 
order to perpetuate the breed, they flill con- 
tinue to kill thefe animals wherever they find 
them, fo that thev are now entirely banifhed 
from places which ufed to abound with, and 
which are flill in a ftate to harbour them, 
being far removed from the cultivated parts of 
the country. An annual deficiency of fifteen 
thoufand has been obferved in the number of 
beaver fkins brought down to Montreal, for 
the laft few years. 

From Long Ifland I returned to this city; 
which the hofpitality and friendly civilities I 
have experienced, in common with other 
flrangers, from its inhabitants, induce me to 
rank as the moft agreeable place I have vifited 
in the United States : nor am I fingular in this 
opinion, there being fcarcely any traveller I 
have converfed with, but what gives it the 
fame preference. Whilif, I continue in Ame- 
rica it mail be my place of refidence : but my 
thoughts are folely bent upon returning to my 
native land, now dearer to me than ever; and 
provided that the ice, which threatens at pre- 
fent to block up the harbour, does not cut off 
our communication with the Atlantic, I mail 



fpeedily take my departure from this Conti- 
nent, well pleafed at having feen as much of it 
as I have done ; but I fhall leave it without a 
figh, and without entertaining the flighted 
wifh to revifit it.