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River with the Mississippi before dark, but found that we were not to see the Red River at all; a channel having been partly found and partly made between an island and the eastern shore, which saves a circuit of many miles. In this narrow channel the current ran strong against us ; and as we laboured through it in the evening light, we had opportunity to observe every green meadow, every solitary dwelling which presented itself in the intervals of the forest. We grew more and more silent as the shades fell, till we emerged from the dark channel into the great expanse of the main river, glittering in the moonlight. It was like putting out to sea.

Just before bedtime we stopped at Sarah Bayou to take in still more passengers. The steward complained that he was coming to an end of his mattresses, and that there was very little more room for gentlemen to lie down, as they were already ranged along the tables, as well as all over the floor. So much for the reputation of the “ Henry Clay.”

The next morning, the 8th, I was up in time to see the scramble for milk that was going on at the wooding-place. The moment we drew to the land and the plank was put out, the steward leaped on shore, and ran to the woodcutters' dwelling, pitcher in hand. The servants of the gentry on board followed, hoping to get milk for breakfast; but none succeeded except the servant of an exclusive. This family had better have been without milk to their coffee than have been tempted by it to such bad manners as they displayed at the breakfast-table. Two young ladies who had come on board the night before, who suspected nothing of private luxuries at à public table, and were not aware of the scarcity of milk, asked a waiter to hand them a pitcher which happened to belong to the exclusives. The exclusives' servant was instantly sent round to take it from them, and not a word of explanation was offered.

The woodcutters' dwelling before us was very different from the one we had seen the night before. It was a good. sized dwelling, with a cottonwood tree before it, casting a flickering shadow upon the porch, and behind it was a wellcleared field. The children were decently dressed, and several slaves peeped out from the places where they were pursuing their avocations. A passenger brought me a beautiful bunch of dwarf-roses which he had gathered over the garden paling. The piles of wood prepared for the steamboats were enormous, betokening that there were many stout arms in the household.

This morning we seemed to be lost among islands in a waste of waters. The vastness of the river now began to bear upon our imaginations. The flatboats we met looked as if they were at the mercy of the floods, their long oars bending like straws in the current. They are so picturesque, however, and there is something so fanciful in the canopy of green boughs under which the floating voyagers repose during the heat of the day, that some of us proposed building a flatboat on the Ohio, and floating down to NewOrleans at our leisure.

Adams Fort, in the state of Mississippi, afforded the most beautiful view we had yet seen on the river. The swelling hills, dropped with wood, closed in a reach of the waters, and gave them the appearance of a lake. White houses nestled in the clumps ; goats, black and white, browsed on the points of the many hills; and a perfect harmony of colouring dissolved the whole into something like a dream. This last charm is as striking to us as any in the vast wilderness through which the "Father of Waters” takes his way. Even the turbid floods, varying their hues with the changes of light and shadow, are a fit element of the picture, and no one wishes them other than they are.

In the asternoon we ran over a log; the vessel trembled to her centre; the ladies raised their heads from their work; the gentlemen looked overboard ; and I saw our yawl snagged as she was careering at the stern. The sharp end of the log pricked through her bottom as if she had been made of brown paper. She was dragged after us, full of water, till we stopped at the evening wooding-place, when I ran to the hurricane deck to see her pulled up on shore and mend. ed. There I found the wind so high that it appeared to me equally impossible to keep my seat and to get down ; my feather-fan blew away, and I expected to follow it myself 80 strangling was the gust--one of the puffs which take the voyaget by surprise amid the windings of this forest-banked river. The yawl was patched up in a surprisingly short time. The deck passengers clustered round io lend a hand, and the blows of the mallet resounded fitfully along the shore as the gust came and passed over.

Every one wished to reach and leave Natchez before dark, and this was accomplished. As soon as we came in sight of the bluff on which the city is built, we received a hint from the steward to lock our staterooms and leave nothing about, as there was no preventing the townspeople from coming on board. We went on shore.

No place can be more beautifully situated ; on a bend of the Mississippi, with a low platform on which all the ugly traffic of the place can be transacted ; bluffs on each side ; a steep

1 road up to the town; and a noble prospect from thence. The streets are sloping, and the drains are remarkably well built ; but the place is far from healthy, being subject to the yellow fever. It is one of the oldest of the southern cities, though with a new, that is, a perpetually-shifting population. It has handsome buildings, especially the Agricultural Bank, the Courthouse, and two or three private dwellings. Mainstreet commands a fine view from the ascent, and is lined with Pride-of-India trees. I believe the landing-place at Natchez has not improved its reputation since the descriptions which have been given of it by former travellers. When we returned to the boat after an hour's walk, we found the captain very anxious to clear his vessel of the townspeople and get away. The cabin was half full of the intruders, and the heated, wearied appearance of our company at tea bore testimony to the fatigues of the afternoon.

In the evening only one firefly was visible; the moon was misty, and faint lightning flashed incessantly. Before morning the weather was so cold that we shut our windows, and the next day there was a fire in the ladies' cabin. Such are the changes of temperature in this region.

The quantity of driftwood that we encountered above Natchez was amazing. Some of it was whirling slowly down with the current, but much more was entangled in the bays of the islands, and detained in incessant accumulation. It can scarcely be any longer necessary to explain that it is a mistake to suppose this driftwood to be the foundation of the islands of the Mississippi. Having itself no foundation, it could not serve any such purpose. The islands are formed by deposites of soil brought down from above by the strong force of the waters. The accumulation proceeds till it reaches the surface, when the seeds contained in the soil, or borne to it by the winds, sprout, and bind the soft earth by a network of roots, thus providing a basis for a stronger vegetation every year. It is no wonder that superficial observers have fallen into this error respecting the origin of

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the new lands of the Mississippi, the rafts of driftwood look 80 like incipient islands; and when one is fixed in a picturesque situation, the gazer longs to heap earth upon it, and clothe it with shrubbery.

When we came in sight of Vicksburg the little H.'s made a clamour for some new toys. Their mother told them how very silly they were ; what a waste of money it would be to buy such toys as they would get at Vicksburg; that they would suck the paint, &c. Strange to say, none of these considerations availed anything. Somebody had told the children that toys were to be bought at Vicksburg, and all argument was to them worth less than the fact. The contention went on till the boat stopped, when the mother yielded, with the worst possible grace, and sent a slave nurse on shore to buy toys. An hour after we were again on our way, the lady showed me, in the presence of the children, the wrecks of she toys; horses' legs, dogs' heads, the broken body of a wagon, &c., all, whether green, scarlet, or yellow, sucked into an abominable daub. She com

, plained bitterly of the children for their folly, and particularly for their waste of her money, as if the money were not her concern, and the fun theirs !

We walked through three or four streets of Vicksburg, but the captain could not allow us time to mount the hill. It is a raw-looking, straggling place, on the side of a steep ascent, the steeple of the Courthouse magnificently overlooking a huge expanse of wood and a deep bend of the river. It was three months after this time that the tremendous Vicksburg massacre took place; a deed at which the whole country shuddered, and much of the world beyond. In these disorders upward of twenty persons were executed, without trial by jury or pretence of justice. Some of the sufferers were gamblers, and men of bad character otherwise; some were wholly innocent of any offence whatever; and I believe it is now generally admitted that the plot for rousing the slaves to insurrection, which was the pretext for the whole proceeding, never had any real existence. It was the product of that peculiar faculty of imagination which is now monopolized by the slaveholder, as of old by imperial tyrants. Among the sufferers in this disturbance was a young farmer of Ohio, I think, who was proceeding to NewOrleans on business, and was merely resting on the eastern bank of the river on his way. I have seldom seen anything

VOL. II.-C.

and saw

more touching than his brief letter to his parents, informing them that he was to be executed the next morning. Nothing could be quieter in its tone than this letter; and in it he desired that his family would not grieve too much for his sudden death, for he did not know that he could ever feel more ready for the event than then. His old father wrote an affecting appeal to the Governor of Mississippi, desiring, not vengeance, for that could be of no avail to a bereaved parent, but investigation, for the sake of his son's memory and the future sécurity of innocent citizens. The governor did not recognise the appeal. The excuse made for him was that he could not ; that if the citizens of the state preferred Lynch law to regular justice, the governor could do nothing against the will of the majority. The effect of barbarism like this is not to justify the imputation of its excesses to the country at large, but to doom the region in which it prevails to be peopled by barbarians. The lovers of justice and order will avoid the places where they are set at naught.

Every day reminded us of the superiority of our vessel, for we passed every boat going the same way, some so delayed by accidents that we wondered what was to become of the passengers ; at least, of their patienee. A disabled boat was seen on the morning of this day, the 9th, crowded with Kentuckians, some of whom tried to win their way on board the “Henry Clay" by witticisms; but our captain was inexorable, declaring that we could hold no more. Then we passed the Ohio steamboat, which left NewOrleans three days before us, but was making her way very slowly, with cholera on board.

The 10th was Sunday. The children roared as usual ; but the black damsels were dressed ; there was no laundrywork going on, nor fancy-work in the cabin ; and there was something of a Sunday look about the place. As I was sitting by my stateroom window, sometimes reading and sometimes looking out upon the sunny river, green woods, and flatboats that keep no Sabbath, a black servant entered to say that Mr. E. desired me "to come to the preachin'." I thought it unlikely that Mr. E. should be concerned in the affair, and knew too well what the service was likely to be in such a company, and conducted by such a clergyman as was to officiate, to wish to attend. I found afterward that the service had been held against the wishes of the captain, Mr. E., and many others; and that it had better, on all ac

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