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theless, since his return, he had apply'd himself to rectify his Steward's Mistakes, and bring his Business again into Order. That now he contriv'd to do every thing with his own People, except raising the Mine and running the Iron, by which he had contracted his Expence very much. Nay, he believ'd that by his directions he cou'd bring sensible Negroes to perform those parts of the work tolerably well.
Our Conversation on this Subject continued till Dinner, which was both elegant and plentifull.
The afternoon was devoted to the ladys, who shew'd me one of their most beautiful Walks. They conducted me thro' a Shady Lane to the Landing, and by the way made me drink some very fine Water that issued from a Marble Fountain, and ran incessantly. Just behind it was a cover'd Bench, where Miss Theky often sat and bewail'd her Virginity. Then we proceeded to the River, which is the South Branch of Rappahannock, about 50 Yards wide, and so rapid that the Ferry Bnat is drawn over by a Chain, and therefore called the Rapidan. At night we drank prosperity to all the Colonel's Projects in a Bowl of Rack Punch, and then retired to our Devotions.
(From The Dividing Line.) 1728, March.—Tis hardly credible how little the Bordering inhabitants were acquainted with this mighty Swamp notwithstanding they had liv'd their whole lives within Smell of it. Yet, as great Strangers as they were to it, they pretended to be very exact in their Account of its Demensions, and were positive it could not be above 7 or 8 Miles wide, but knew no more of the Matter than Star-gazers know of the Distance of the Fixt Stars. At the Same time, they were Simple enough to amuse our Men with Idle Stories of
the Lyons, Panthers, and Alligators, they were like to encounter in that dreadful Place.
In short, we saw plainly there was no Intelligence of this Terra Incognita to be got, but from our own Experience. For that Reason it was resolv'd to make the requisite Disposition to enter it next Morning. We alloted every one of the Surveyors for this painful Enterprise, with 12 Men to attend them.
Besides this Luggage at their Backs, they were oblig'd to measure the distance, mark the Trees, and clear the way for the Surveyors every step they went. It was really a Pleasure to see with how much Cheerfulness they undertook, and with how much Spirit they went thro' all this Drudgery
Altho' there was no need of Example to inflame Persons already so cheerful, yet to enter the People with the better grace, the Author and two more of the Commissioners accompanied them half a Mile into the Dismal. The Skirts of it were thinly Planted with Dwarf Reeds and GallBushes, but when we got into the Dismal itself, we found the Reeds grew there much taller and closer, and, to mend the matter, was so interlac'd with bamboe-briars, that there was no scuffling thro’ them without the help of Pioneers. At the same time, we found the Ground moist and trembling under our feet like a Quagmire, insomuch that it was an easy Matter to run a Ten-Foot-Pole up to the Head in it, without exerting any uncommon Strength to do it.
Two of the Men, whose Burthens were the least cumbersome, had orders to march before, with their Tomahawks, and clear the way, in order to make an Opening for the Surveyors. By their Assistance we made a Shift to push the Line half a Mile in 3 Hours, and then reacht a small piece of firm Land, about 100 Yards wide, Standing up above the
rest like an Island. Here the people were glad to lay down their Loads and take a little refreshment, while the happy man, whose lot it was to carry the Jugg of Rum, began already, like Æsop's Bread-Carriers, to find it grow a good deal lighter.
Since the Surveyors had enter'd the Dismal, they had laid Eyes on no living Creature : neither Bird nor Beast, Insect nor Reptile came in View. Doubtless, the Eternal Shade that broods over this mighty Bog, and hinders the sun-beams from blessing the Ground, makes it an uncomfortable Habitation for any thing that has life. Not so much as a Zealand Frog cou'd endure so Aguish a Situation.
It had one Beauty, however, that delighted the Eye, tho' at the Expense of all the other Senses; the Moisture of the Soil preserves a continual Verdure, and makes
Plantan Evergreen, but at the same time the foul Damps ascend without ceasing, corrupt the Air, and render it unfit for Respira. tion. Not even a Turkey-Buzzard will venture to fly over it, no more than the Italian Vultures will over the filthy Lake Avernus, or the Birds in the Holy Land over the Salt Sea, where Sodom and Gomorrah formerly stood.
How they Slept in the Dismal Swamp.-They first cover'd the Ground with Squarc Pieces of Cypress bark, which now, in the Spring, they cou'd casily Slip off the Tree for that purpose. On this they Spread their Bedding; but unhappily the Weight and Warmth of their Bodies made the Water rise up betwixt the Joints of the Bark, to their great Inconvenience. Thus they lay not only moist, but also exceedingly cold, because their Fires were continually going out.
We could get no Tidings yet of our Brave Adventurers, notwithstanding we despacht men to the likeliest Stations
to enquire after them. They were still Scuffleing in the Mire, and could not possibly forward the Line this whole day more than one Mile and 64 Chains. Every Step of this Day's Work was thro' a cedar Bog, where the Trees were somewhat Smaller and grew more into a Thicket. now a great Misfortune to the Men to find their Provisions grow less as their Labour grew greater.
Tho' this was very severe upon English Stomachs, yet the People were so far from being discomfited at it, that they still kept up their good Humour, and merrily told a young Fellow in the Company, who lookt very Plump and Wholesome, that he must expect to go first to Pot, if matters shou'd come to Extremity.
This was only said by way of Jest, yet it made Him thoughtful in earnest. However, for the present he return'd them a very civil answer, letting them know that, dead or alive, he shou'd be glad to be useful to such worthy good friends. But, after all, this Humourous Saying had one very good effect; for that younker, who before was a little enclin’d by his Constitution to be lazy, grew on a Sudden Extreamly Industrious, that so there might be less Occasion to carbonade him for the good of his Fellow-Travellers.
THE TUSCARORA INDIANS AND THEIR LEGEND OF A CHRIST.
(From History of the Dividing Line.) 1729, November.—By the Strength of our Beef, we made a shift to walk about 12 Miles, crossing Blewing and Tewaw-homini Creeks. And because this last Stream receiv'd its Appellation from the Disaster of a Tuscarora Indian, it will not be Straggling much out of the way to say something of that Particular Nation.
These Indians were heretofore very numerous and powerful, making, within time of Memory, at least a Thousand