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speaker in the present administration. You are surprised, perhaps, at my denying eloquence to Mr. Erskine: I heard him speak for one hour in the House of Commons, and I found it impossible, I would have defied any body else to tell on what side of the great question, peace or war, he intended to vote, unless, indeed, it be always proper to judge from the place where a member seats himself, of what party he is. Mr. Pitt's great speech followed Mr. Erskine's, and contained, as
nearly as I can recollect, the following words: “In reply to the honourable member who has just spoken, I shall not consider what he has uttered as either a very systematic or a very clear view of the subject which he proposed to investigate, nor can I suppose that he himself considers his remarks in that light." I have also heard Mr. Erskine at the bar, and been almost as much disappointed as in the house. In both places he is, in my opinion at least, far surpassed by Mr. D
For the Literary Magazine.
A View of South Carolina, as respects her natural and civil concerns... by John Drayton. Charleston, W. P. Young, 1802,8vo.boards. pp. 255. WE have great pleasure in meeting with a work of this kind. At present, the geographical and statistical condition of the United States is very little known; and it can only be known by the compilation of works like the present. The District of Maine, the States of Vermont and New-Hampshire are the only portions of our country, which have been made the subjects of particular histories or descriptions, before the present undertaking; and we now add the name of Drayton to those of Williams and Belknap, as the literary benefactors of their country.
We are first presented with a general account of the discovery and settlement of this state. Then follows a description of the face of the country, its mineral and vegetable productions, and its climate. The delineation of the face of the country is accurate and scientifical. The climate is illustrated by thermometrical tables, by tables of diseases compiled by a medical society at Charleston, and by other valuable documents and observations.
The following account of a whirl. wind deserves to be extracted:
"About ten o'clock in the morning, on the 4th of May, 1764, a dreadful whirlwind was said to be observed in the Indian country, above three hundred miles to the westward of Charleston; which,
between one and two in the afternoon of the same day, was seen approaching us very fast in a direct line, and not three miles from the town. But when it had advanced to the distance of about half a mile from us, it was providentially opposed by another whirlwind, which came from the north-east; and crossing the point of land on which Charleston stands, the shock of their junction was so great as to alter the direction of the former somewhat more towards the south, whereby great part of this place was preserved from inevitable destruction. It then passed down Ashley river with such rapidity and violence, that in a few minutes it reached Rebellion Road, where a large fleet of loaded vessels with one of his majesty's ships, their convoy, lay, about four or five miles below the town, ready to sail for England; three of which were overset and sunk so suddenly, that some people who happened to be in one of their cabins had not time to come on deck; and many of the other ships, which, luckily, did not lie so immediately exposed to the greatest fury of the tempest, would have shared the same fate, had not their masts .given way; for all those it passed over, were laid down on their sides: and the mizen-mast of the king's ship was carried off close to the quarter-deck, as smoothly as if it had been cut with a saw.
"As people sat at dinner that day, they were alarmed with an unusual sort of stunning noise, as of the ruffling of many drums, intermixed with such a roaring, thundering, churning or dashing sound, as the sea makes, in breaking on a hollow rocky shore, during a violent storm; when, on running out of doors, the tremendous cloud was seen advancing at a great rate, with a quick circular motion, its contents seeming in a violent agitation, from the great tumult that appeared, not only in the body of the column itself, but, likewise from the contiguous clouds which drove rapidly towards it from all directions, as if the whole contents of the atmosphere flowed thither, and were instantly absorbed by it. Hence it was, that this meteor every moment appeared so differently; some parts of it being black and dark at times; others of a flame colour; and again, as if vast waves of the sea had risen into the air. But such was the perturbation in the cloud, that these phenomena varied continually; all parts of it rolling over each other in the most confused and rapid manner: and every now and then, large branches or trees might be seen hurled about in it. Its diameter was thought to be about three hundred yards, and the height thirty degrees; a thick vapour emitted from it rising much higher. In passing along, it carried the waters of the river before it, in the form of a mountainous wave; so that the bottom was seen in many places. Such floods of water fell on those parts over which it passed, as if a whole sea had been discharged on them at once; and for a mile or two on each side of it, abundance of rain fell. As the wind ceased presently after the whirlwind passed, the branches and leaves of various sorts of trees, which had been carried into the air, continued to fall for half an hour; and in their descent, appeared like flocks of birds of different sizes. A gentleman, over whose plantation the skirt of this storm passed, not more than two miles from Charleston,
assured me, that had a thousand negroes been employed for a whole day in cutting down his trees, they could not have made such a waste of them, as this whirlwind did in less than half a minute. Such trees as were young and pliant, stooped to its violence, and afterwards reccvered themselves. But all those, which were more inflexible, and firmly rooted, were broken off, and hurled away: so that no part of many of them could afterwards be found; amongst which were some live oaks of near two feet diameter, the wood of which is known to be almost as ponderous and hard as lignum vita; so that some of these trees, must have weighed, perhaps more than two tons. Yet heavy as they were, no remains of them could afterwards be found any where, except the roots, which were fixed in the earth. These whirlwinds more often proceed through the upper country, sometimes in a width of half a mile, tearing up the largest oaks and other trees in their way; or twisting and shivering them to pieces."
The following statement of the nature and extent of estates is valuable:
"The incomes of the planters, and farmers, are various; ranging from eighty to forty thousand dollars. Very few, however, receive incomes of the above magnitude. Many receive from twelve to twenty thousand dollars per annum; and the greatest part of the planters are only in the annual receipt of from three to six thousand dollars. The estates of these latter may be worth from 20 to 40,000 dollars. farmers are on a smaller scale; and their incomes may be said to range between two thousand, and forty dollars. The best lands in this state, which are tide swamps, if cultivated, have sold for one hundred and seventy dollars an acre. In general, however, they sell from seventy to ninety dollars an acre; on a credit of one or two years. Uncultivated tide land sells proportionably lower. Inland swamps, if cultivated, sell at prices betwixt
twenty and fifty dollars each acre. Good cotton land has sold in Beaufort district, as high as sixty dollars per acre. In general, however, its value, in different parts of the state, is from six to forty dollars; the same depending much on its situation; as that nearest the sea is considered the most valuable, and produces the finest cotton. Other high lands sell from one to six dollars an acre; according to their respective situations, and conveniences to navigation. Hence, men possessing any capital whatever, may settle themselves independently; upon lands which descend to their posterity; together with every improvement made thereon, by their industrious labour.
"The buildings are also as various, as the values of estates; ran ging in value between thirty thousand and twenty dollars. They are commonly built of wood; some, however, are constructed of brick; principally those in cities and towns. And of late years, buildings have been carried on with spirit throughout the state; and houses of brick and wood erected, suitable to the improvement of manners, and comforts of society. The houses are, for the most part, built of one or two stories, according to the taste and abilities of the owner. One particularity, however, may be remarked respecting them, which is, that piazzas are generally attached to their southern front, as well for the convenience of walking therein, during the day, as for preventing the sun's too great influence on the interior part of the house; and the out-offices are rarely connected with the principal dwelling, being placed at a distance from it, of thirty or forty yards. The houses of the poorest sort of people, are made of logs, let into each other at the ends, their interstices being filled up with moss, straw, and clay; and are covered with clap-boards. Their plans are simple, as they consist only of one cr two rooms: and the manners of their tenants are equally plain.
But, it is here, that health and independence dwell. And a crop of an hogshead of tobacco, or a bag or two of cotton, forms an income which pays the taxes and expenses of the farm, and makes a family happy and contented."
The most valuable part of this performance, is the detail it contains of the agriculture and rural economy of this state. We have here a more clear and satisfactory account of the culture of those important articles, rice and cotton, than is elsewhere to be found. A distinct view is given in an happily conceived table, of the comparative modes of cultivating rice in South Carolina, Spain, Egypt, Sumatra, and China.
As cotton is growing very rapidly into esteem, and its cultivation begins to be attended to in the middle districts of the United States, we shall extract our author's account of the Carolinian culture:
"Cotton is noticed as an article of export in South Carolina, as early as the year 1754; and from that time to this, it has been grown in the state; but, without any particular attention, until of late years. During the American war with Great Britain, it was raised through necessity; and with a mixture of wool, or sometimes by itself, was woven into negro cloths: but, it ceased with the cause which excited its culture; and again sunk to its former level. As an article of export from the United States of Ame rica, it originated in Georgia, since the peace of 1783; and yielding extraordinary profits to the planter, soon recommended itself to those of this state. And hence that beginning, which has now surpassed in value the greatest crops of rice or indigo, which have ever been made in South Carolina.
"The cotton which is grown in this state, may be ranged in three classes: viz. nankeen, green secd, and black seed, cotton.
"Nankeen cotton is principally grown in the middle and upper country, for family use. It is so
called from the wool, resembling the colour of nankeen or Namking cloth; which it retains as long as it is worn. It is not in much demand, the white cotton having engrossed the public attention. Were it encouraged however, cloths might be manufactured from it, perhaps not inferior to those imported from the East Indies, it being probable the cotton is of the same kind; as from experiments which have been made, nankeens have been manufactured in this state, of good colour and of very strong texture.
"Green seed cotton, produces a good white wool, adhering much to the seed; and, of course, with difficulty ginned. Its produce is greater, and its maturity is sooner than the black seed; for which reason it is principally cultivated in the middle and upper country; as the seasons of those districts are shorter, by several weeks, than those of the lower country; and the frosts are
"Black seed cotton is that which is grown in the lower country, and on the sea islands; producing a fine white cotton, of silky appearance; very strong, and of good staple. The mode of culture is the same with all these species; and rich high land, is the soil, on which they are generally planted. In the middle country, however, the high swamp lands produce the green seed in great abundance; and some tide lands and salt water marshes (after being reclaimed) in the lower country, have also made excellent crops of this valuable article.
"This plant is raised from the seed, and is managed in nearly the following manner: About the latter end of March, or beginning of April, commences the season for planting cotton. In strong soils the land is broken up with ploughs, and the cotton is sown in drills, about five feet from each other, and at the rate of nearly a bushel of seed to the acre; after which, when the cotton is a few leaves high, the dirt is thrown up in a ridge to the cot`ton, on each side, by a plough, with
a mould board adapted to that purpose. Or, in the first instance, beds are made rather low and flat, and the cotton is sown therein. By some they are sown in holes, at about ten inches distance; but the more general practice is to sow the cotton in a drill, along the length of the bed; after which it may be thinned at leisure according to its growth. In rich high land soils, not more than fifteen of these beds are made in a quarter of an acre; but in inferior lands, twenty-one beds are made in the same space of ground. When the plants are about four or six leaves high, they require a thinning; at which time, only a very few plants are left at each distance, where it is intended the cotton is to grow: and from time to time these plants are thinned, until at length two plants, or only one, are left at each distance. Where the land is not rich, the plants remain within ten or twelve inches of each other; but when a luxuriant growth is induced, they are thinned to eighteen inches, and two feet; and in rich swamp lands, to four feet distance in the rows. At the time of thinning also, the first hoeing is generally given; and the rule is, not to draw the earth down, but constantly to draw up a little earth, at each hoeing, to the plant; and to give the fields a hoeing every two or three weeks. With some planters, the practice of topping the main stalk has been used, when the plants are too luxuriant; but the plant throwing out consequently an abundance of suckers, and thereby increasing the toil of the negroes to pull them away, has induced its discontinuance. Towards the middle of September, however, it may be advantageous to top the cotton to the lowest blossoms; as from that time no blossoms will produce cotton. By this treatment, also, the sun has a greater influence on the plant, the pods sooner open, and the strength of the plant is not drawn unnecessarily from those pods, which are likely to come to maturity.
A VIEW OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
"At the first hoeing, the grass is carefully picked from amongst the plants, and a little earth is drawn around them. The second hoeing is also done in the same manner, and those succeeding; with this addition, that at every hoeing, the beds are drawn up more and more into an angular ridge, for the purpose of better throwing off the autumnal rains from the roots of the cotton. Some cotton-planters plant Indian corn at the intersections of every twenty-four feet, throughout the cotton field; and by this mode nearly make their provisions. But whether both the cotton and the corn would not do better by themselves, is for experience to determine. Towards the middle of June, the plants begin to put forth their beautiful blossoms; and continue blossoming and forming the pods, until the frosts set in; at which time all the pods that are not well grown, are injured and destroyed. Early in August, the harvest of cotton begins on the sea islands; and in September, it is general throughout the state, continuing until December. The cotton wool is contained in the pod in three or four different compartments; which, bursting, when ripe, presents the cotton full blown to the sight, surrounding its seeds. In small bags of oznaburgs, which are slung over the negroes' shoulders for the purpose, the cotton is then picked from the pods, and is carried home to the cotton house. From whence, for one or two days thereafter, it is taken out and spread to dry on a platform adjacent to the house, for that purpose; after which it is ready for ginning. For this purpose, a suitable house is necessary, sufficiently large to receive both the cured cotton and that which has been lately brought in. To the upper part of this house the scaffold is generally connected, for the greater convenience of taking the cotton from the upper part of the house to dry, and of returning it therein. When the cotton is well opened, a negro will gather sixty
or seventy pounds of cotton in the seed in a day. The produce of cotton is various, according to its different situations and kinds. In the lower country, the black seed ranges between one hundred and three hundred pounds weight, of clean cotton, to the acre. In the middle and upper country, indifferent lands, only from sixty to green seed does the like. Upon one hundred weight of clean cotton is made to the acre; on better lands, from one hundred to two hundred pounds weight are produced; and on the best lands, with happy seasons, weight of clean black seed cotton three hundred has been made in Beaufort district to the acre. rarely done; and the planter is saThis, however, is tisfied with from one hundred and fifty to two hundred pounds of clean black seed cotton to the acre. The green seed planter expects somewhat more.
brought in, is next to be ginned; "The cotton, thus picked and for which purpose a suitable house is necessary. gins are used for extricating this And various kinds of valuable staple from its seed. Those at present in use, are foot gins, Evees's gins, barrel gins, and saw gins.
cranks, by a foot board, or treadle, "Foot gins are worked with almost resembling a turner's lathe. They are composed of two small rollers, about three-fourths of an inch diameter, which by pullies are made to turn contrary ways. To each of these gins a negro is placed, with cotton for ginning; this he constantly applies to the rollers on the side next to him, which, by their motion, draw the cotton from the seed. It then falls into a bag, and the seed is discharged on the ground. With one of these gins, a negro will gin from twenty to twenty-five pounds of clean black seed cotton in a day; and can clean out about 1000lbs of clean cotton during the season.
with additional mechanism; con-