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navigation of the Ohio, the Missouri, and the Mississippi, opens a ready communication with every part of the extensive country behind those mountains, and establishes an intercourse with the shores of Europe within two months, and with the West India islands in the course of two weeks. To every other part of the world they have a nearer as well as less dangerous navigation than from Old America.' They have already steam-vessels of four hundred tons burden plying on those rivers, and their average rate, when deeply laden and against the stream, is about sixty miles a-day.-(p. 133.)-Their products are precisely the same as those of the eastern and northern states, which can neither supply what they require, nor take off what they produce;-what possible bond of union then can long subsist between Old and New America? With no great desire to indulge a spirit of prophesy, we cannot help surmizing that the late Navigation Act, drawn up, as it would seem, more in a spirit of political hostility towards England, than with a view to any commercial advantages that could be hoped to result from it to America, is well calculated to hasten the event. Can the Congress hope to throw an impassable barrier across the Mississippi, and thus prevent a supply of provisions and lumber for the West India islands whenever such supply shall be demanded? The back settlements are already too strong, and they know it, to submit to navigation laws that shall operate so detrimentally to their interests. We consider all apprehension of the West India islands being starved in time of war with America, to be now removed, and that in war, as well as in peace, the steam-boats of the Mississippi will bring down the produce of the New provinces into the Atlantic; unless indeed, which is as little to be apprehended, Old America shall be able to blockade its own river with a superior squadron.
It is but common justice to say, that whatever countenance the President of the United States may find it expedient to give to measures offensive to Great Britain, neither his public nor private conduct, nor his speeches partake of those coarse and splenetic invectives which some of the members of the government seem to think it necessary to adopt. If any soreness might be expected to remain in consequence of the war, we should rather look for it on the part of the people of England than of America,--but both would do well to bear in mind the noble example of forbearance set by our venerable sovereign, at the close of the former contest, on the occasion of the first audience of Mr. Adams. I perceive, Mr. Adams,' said the King, that you are a little agitated; I am not surprised at it; I am agitated myself; but let me make one observation-As I was the last man in this country to accede to the acknowledgment
acknowledgment of the independence of my American dominions, depend upon it, I shall likewise be, now that the act is ratified, the last to infringe it.'
The settlers of the Indiana territory are not, Mr. Birkbeck says, that set of lawless, semi-barbarous vagabonds, which he had been taught to believe; but a remarkably good sort of people, kind and gentle to each other and to strangers. There are, however, among them many abandoned characters, but they retire to the depth of the woods with the wolves, and live by the rifle :-With respect to the inhabitants of towns, the Americans, from Norfolk on the eastern coast, to the town of Madison in Indiana, are all alike; and this is their portrait.
The same good-looking, well-dressed (not what we call gentlemanly) men appear every where. Nine out of ten, native Americans, are tall and long-limbed, approaching, or even exceeding six feet; in pantaloons and Wellington boots, either marching up and down with their hands in their pockets, or seated on chairs poised on the hind-feet, and the backs rested against the walls. If a hundred Americans of any class were to seat themselves, ninety-nine would shuffle their chairs to the true distance, and then throw themselves back against the nearest prop. The women exhibit a great similarity of tall relaxed forms with consistent dress and demeanour; and are not remarkable for sprightliness of manners. Intellectual culture has not yet made much progress among the generality of either sex where I have travelled; but the men have greatly the advantage in the means of acquiring information, from their habits of travelling, and intercourse with strangers:-sources of improvement from which the other sex is unhappily too much secluded.' -p. 80, 81.
We have remarked,' (our traveller says,) en passant, that people generally speak favourably of their own country.' p. 115. He has the courage, however, to become a striking exception to this general practice. Abuse of England appears to be, with Mr. Morris Birkbeck, a kind of travelling ticket, a sort of conventional money, which he offers at every house, and which, we regret to add, seems to pass tolerably current.
On the way to Vincennes our Friend loses himself, and is obliged, in the phraseology of the country, to camp out,' that is, to sleep in the woods. The night, as Mrs. Wilkins says in Tom Jones, happened to be very fine, only a little windy and rainy,' and our travellers contrived by dint of oil and brandy, and gunpowder and cambric handkerchiefs, to kindle a fire, and pass it as they could. This agreeable adventure, which would sicken an English gipsy of 'camping out,' leads quite naturally to a lofty panegyric on the superior advantages of travelling in that vast western wilderness' compared with those to be found in this country. Let,' says Mr. Birkbeck E 2 ' a stranger
ing, we suppose, arises from the loss of his nose; the ridicule, from what remains.
'On taking leave of Virginia, (he says,) I must observe, that I found more misery in the condition of the negroes, and a much higher tone of moral feeling in their owners than I had anticipated; and I depart confirmed in my detestation of slavery, in principle and practice; but with esteem for the general character of the Virginians.'-p. 22. Here we find our traveller quite delighted with the lofty tone of morality' of the Virginian planter; though he had described this same planter just before as lax in morals, irascible, and commonly provided with a dirk,'-for no peaceable purpose, we presume:- -But the reader of Mr. Birkbeck must be prepared for these contradictions. His natural shrewdness and turn for observation unconsciously counteract his prejudices, and his facts and his opinions are therefore continually at issue.
Proceeding to the Potowmack, our emigrant and his companions (for besides Mr. Flower, he had several women and children in his This federal train) embark in the steam-boat for, Washington. city, including George Town, is said to contain 20,000 inhabitants, scattered over an immense space like a number of petty hamlets in a populous country. Here again our Friend is sore troubled in spirit at the thought that ninety marble capitals should have been imported at vast cost from Italy to crown the columns of the Capitol, and shew how un-American is the whole plan.' There is nothing in America,' he adds, to which I can liken this affectation of splendor, except the painted face and gaudy head-dress of a half-naked Indian.'
At McConnel's Town the road joins the great turnpike from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, and the line of stages from George Town terminates; so here we are,' he says, ‘nine in number, one hundred and thirty miles of mountain-country between us and Pittsburgh!-No vehicles were to be procured, and the only alternative was that of staying where they were or making the journey on foot: they preferred the latter, and, each taking his little bundle, they set out on their pilgrimage, over the Alleghany ridge. 'We have now,' he repeats for the third or fourth time, fairly turned our backs on the old world, and find ourselves in the very stream of emigration. Old America* seems to be breaking up and moving westward.' This accords with an observation in a letter now before us from a very intelligent native of Cambridge near Boston. Our towns and cities,' he says, on the salt sea shores Strange as it may appear, the south-western part of the New World bus cife gun to consider the north-eastern as having passed the meridians of life, rest given it the name of Old America. The line of the Alleghany Cou sical, as in no great length of time it will probably de
marcation between the two countries.
are not improving so fast as our interior. Indeed people are emigrating daily and hourly from the Atlantic shores, especially from the coast of New England to the interior of Kentucky and Ohio, carrying with them the characteristic enterprize of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode island.' During the revolutionary war,' adds our Cambridge correspondent, the physical and intellectual. power of these colonies might be compared to a wedge, the broadest end of which was here in New England, and the thinnest in Georgia, but now, alas! the wedge is turned end forward, and the thickest end is in the south-west.'
The following is the picture which Friend Morris gives of family groups deserting poor old worn out America, and travelling to seek new homes amidst the freshness of the back settlements.
A small waggon (so light that you might almost carry it, yet strong enough to bear a good load of bedding, utensils and provisions, and a swarm of young citizens,-and to sustain marvellous shocks in its passage over these rocky heights) with two small horses; sometimes a cow or two, comprises their all; excepting a little store of hard-earned cash for the land office of the district; where they may obtain a title for as many acres as they possess half-dollars, being one fourth of the purchase-money. The waggon has a tilt, or cover, made of a sheet, or perhaps a blanket. The family are seen before, behind, or within the vehicle, according to the road or the weather, or perhaps the spirits of the party.
The New Englanders, they say, may be known by the cheerful air of the women advancing in front of the vehicle; the Jersey people, by their being fixed steadily within it; whilst the Pennsylvanians creep lingering behind, as though regretting the homes they have left. A cart and single horse frequently affords the means of transfer, sometimes a horse and pack-saddle. Often the back of the poor pilgrim bears all his effects, and his wife follows, naked-footed, bending under the hopes of the family.'
The mountainous district is pronounced to be a land of plenty,' and that to which they are proceeding a land of abundance;' an earnest of which is given by the noble droves of oxen met on the road from the western country, in their way to the city of Philadelphia. But though the cattle were good and plentiful, and the horses excellent, the sheep were few and miserable. Twenty or thirty half-starved creatures are seen now and then straggling about in much wretchedness,'-a comfortable sight for the flower of Merino farmers!
seems, are fond of journeying; they are, in they have few or none of those local at ts, which make it in Europe so painful a swhich time and memory have
fewer than 12,000 waggous
a stranger make his way through England-let him keep at a distance from every public road,' (made for his accommodation,)' avoid all the inns,' (established expressly for his convenience and comfort,) and perversely scramble over hedge and ditch in quest of such entertainment only as the hovel of the labourer can supply, and he would have more cause to complain of the rudeness of the inhabitants' than of the weir-wolves of the wilds of Indiana! If we could conceive a traveller to be guilty of such gratuitous folly, we should then say, that as his application to the day-labourer for 'entertainment' could only be looked upon as a deliberate insult on his poverty, he would deserve whatever rudeness he might chance to experience. In somewhat of a similar spirit, Mr. Birkbeck adds -' when we have been so unfortunate as to pitch our tent near a swamp, and have mismanaged our fire, we have been teased by musquitoes; but so might we, perhaps, in the fens of Cambridgeshire. The traveller must have a strong predilection for the teasing of musquitoes who would sleep in the fens of Cambridgeshire, when by turning a few yards to the right or left he might obtain shelter under a roof and this, too, without the hazard of being, like Mr. Birkbeck and his party, driven out again by the innumerable tormentors which (says he) assail you in every dwelling, till at length you are glad to avoid the abodes of man, and spread your pallet under the trees.' p. 167. Certainly these are pleasant proofs of the inferiority of England to America.
Mr. Birkbeck now visited the banks of the Ohio, to see if any thing offered to satisfy his views.
'We lodged last night in a cabin at a very new town, called Mount Vernon, on the banks of the Ohio. Here we found the people of a cast confirming my aversion to a settlement in the immediate vicinity of a large navigable river. Every hamlet is demoralized, and every plantation is liable to outrage, within a short distance of such a thoroughfare.
Yet, the view of that noble expanse was like the opening of bright day upon the gloom of night, to us who had been so long buried in deep forests. It is a feeling of confinement, which begins to damp the spirits, from this complete exclusion of distant objects. To travel day after day, among trees of a hundred feet high, without a glimpse of the surrounding country, is oppressive to a degree which those cannot conceive who have not experienced it; and it must depress the spirits of the solitary settler to pass years in this state. His visible horizon extends no farther than the tops of the trees which bound his plantation, perhaps, five hundred yards. Upwards he sees the sun, and sky, and stars, but around him an eternal forest, from which he can never hope to emerge:-not so in a thickly settled district; he cannot there enjoy any freedom of prospect, yet there is variety, and some scope for the imprisoned vision. In a hilly country a little more range of view may occasionally be obtained; and a river is a stream of light as well as of