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themselves for the purpose of sleeping, they were hunted up, paraded on the floor, and the fiddler ordered to play "hang out till morning."

About nine or ten o'clock a deputation of young ladies stole off the bride and put her to bed. In doing this it frequently happened that they had to ascend a ladder instead of a pair of stairs, leading from the dining and ball room to the loft, the floor of which was made of clapboards lying loose and without nails. This ascent one might think would put the bride and her attendants to the blush; but as the foot of the ladder was commonly behind the door, which was purposely open for the occasion, and its rounds at the inner ends were well hung with hunting shirts, petticoats and other articles of clothing, the candles being on the opposite side of the house, the exit of the bride was noticed but by a few. This done, a deputation of young men in like manner stole off the groom and placed him snugly by the side of his bride. The dance still continued, and if seats happened to be scarce, which was often the case, every young man when not engaged in the dance was obliged to offer his lap as a seat for one of the girls, and the offer was sure to be accepted. In the midst of this hilarity the bride and groom were not forgotten. Pretty late in the night some one would remind the company that the new couple must stand in need of some refreshment; Black Betty, which was the name of the bottle, was called for and sent up the ladder. But sometimes Black Betty did not go alone. I have many times seen as much bread, beef, pork and cabbage, sent along with her, as would afford a good meal for half a dozen of hungry men. The young couple were compelled to eat more or less of whatever was offered them.

In the course of the festivity, if any wanted to help himself to a dram and the young couple to a toast, he would call out, "Where is BlackBetty? I want to kiss her sweet lips." Black Betty was soon handed to him, when, holding her up in his right hand, he would say, "Here's health to the groom, not forgetting myself, and here's to the bride, thumping luck and big children!" This, so far from being taken amiss, was considered as an expression of a very proper and friendly wish; for big children, especially sons, were of great importance, as we were few in number and engaged in perpetual hostility with the Indians, the end of which no one could foresee. Indeed many of them seemed to suppose that war was the natural state of man, and therefore did not anticipate any conclusion of it; every big son was therefore considered as a young soldier.

But to return. It often happened that some neighbors or relations, not being asked to the wedding, took offense; and the mode of revenge adopted by them on such occasions, was that of cutting off the manes, foretops, and tails of the horses of the wedding company.

Another method of revenge which was adopted when the chastity of the bride was a little suspected, was that of setting up a pair of horns on poles or trees, on the route of the wedding company. This was a hint to the groom that he might expect to be complimented with a pair of horns himself.

On returning to the infare, the order of procession and the race for Black Betty was the same as before. The feasting and dancing oftem

lasted several days, at the end of which the whole company were so ex hausted with loss of sleep, that several days' rest were requisite to fit them to return to their ordinary labors.

Should I be asked why I have presented this unpleasant portrait of the rude manners of our forefathers? I in my turn would ask my reader, why are you pleased with the histories of the blood and carnage of battles? Why are you delighted with the fictions of poetry, the novel and romance? I have related truth, and only truth, strange as it may seem. I have depicted a state of society and manners which are fast vanishing from the memory of man, with a view to give the youth of our country a knowledge of the advantage of civilization, and to give contentment to the aged by preventing them from saying, "that former times were better than the present."




I will proceed to state the usual manner of settling a young couple in the world.

A spot was selected on a piece of land of one of the parents for their habitation. A day was appointed shortly after their marriage for com mencing the work of building their cabin. The fatigue party consisted of choppers, whose business it was to fall the trees and eut them off at proper lengths-a man with his team for hauling them to the place, and arranging them, properly assorted, at the sides and ends of the building

and a carpenter, if such he might be called, whose business it was to search the woods for a proper tree for making clapboards for the roof. The tree for this purpose must be straight-grained, and from three to four feet in diameter. The boards were split four feet long, with a large frow, and as wide as the timber would allow. They were used without planing or shaving. Another division were employed in getting puncheons for the floor of the cabin; this was done by splitting trees about eighteen inches in diameter, and hewing the faces of them with a broad-axe. They were half the length of the floor they were intended to make.

The materials for the cabin were mostly prepared on the first day, and sometimes the foundation laid in the evening; the second day was allotted for the raising.

In the morning of the next day the neighbors collected for the raising. The first thing to be done was the election of four corner-men, whose business it was to notch and place the logs, the rest of the company furnishing them with the timbers. In the mean time the boards and pun

cheons were collecting for the floor and roof, so that by the time the cabin was a few rounds high, the sleepers and floor began to be laid. The door was made by cutting or sawing the logs in one side so as to make an opening about three feet wide; this opening was secured by upright pieces of timber about three inches thick, through which holes were bored into the ends of the logs for the purpose of pinning them fast. A similar opening, but wider, was made at the end for the chimney. This was built of logs, and made large, to admit of a back and jambs of stone. At the square two end logs projected a foot or eighteen inches beyond the wall, to receive the butting poles as they were called, against which the ends of the first row of clapboards was supported. The roof was formed by making the end logs shorter until a single log formed the comb of the roof. On these logs the clapboards were placed, the ranges of them lapping some distance over those next below them, and kept in their places by logs placed at proper distances upon them.

The roof and sometimes the floor were finished on the same day of the raising; a third day was commonly spent by a few carpenters in leveling off the floor, making a clapboard door, and a table. This last was made of a split slab, and supported by four round legs set in auger holes; some three-legged stools were made in the same manner. Some pins, stuck in the logs at the back of the house, supported some clapboards which served for shelves for the table furniture. A single fork, placed with its lower end in a hole in the floor, and the upper end fastened to a joist, served for a bedstead, by placing a pole in the fork with one end through a crack between the logs in the wall. This front pole was crossed by a shorter one within the fork, with its outer end through another crack. From the front pole, through a crack between the logs of the end of the house, the boards were put on which formed the bottom of the bed. Sometimes other poles were pinned to the fork a little distance between these, for the purpose of supporting the front and foot of the bed, while the walls were the support of its back and head. A few pegs around the walls, for the display of the coats of the women and hunting shirts of the men, and two small forks or buck's horns to a joist for the rifle and shot pouch, completed the carpenter work.

In the mean time masons were at work. With the heart pieces of the timber of which the clapboards were made, they made billets for chunking up the cracks between the logs of the cabin and chimney. A large bed of mortar was made for daubing up these cracks; and a few stones formed the back and jambs of the chimney.

The cabin being finished, the ceremony of house warming took place, before the young couple were permitted to move into it. This was a dance of the whole night's continuance, made up of the relations of the bride and groom and their neighbors. On the day following, the young couple took possession of their new mansion.

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THE necessary labors of the farms along the frontiers were performed with every danger and difficulty imaginable. The whole population of the frontiers, huddled together in their little forts, left the country with every appearance of a deserted region; and such would have been the opinion of a traveler concerning it, if he had not seen here and there some small fields of corn or other grain in a growing state.

It is easy to imagine what losses must have been sustained by our first settlers owing to this deserted state of their farms. It was not the full measure of their trouble that they risked their lives, and often lost them, in subduing the forest and turning it into fruitful fields; but compelled to leave them in a deserted state during the summer season, a great part of the fruits of their labors was lost by this untoward circumstance. The sheep and hogs were devoured by the wolves, panthers and bears. Horses and cattle were often let into their fields, through breaches made in their fences by the falling of trees, and frequently almost the whole of a little crop of corn was destroyed by squirrels and raccoons, so that many families, even after an hazardous and laborious spring and summer, had but little left for the comfort of the dreary winter.

The early settlers on the frontiers of this country were like Arabs of the desert of Africa, in at least two respects. Every man was a soldier, and from early in the spring till late in the fall was almost continually in arms. Their work was often carried on by parties, each one of whom had his rifle and every thing else belonging to his war dress. These were deposited in some central place in the field. A sentinel was stationed on the outside of the fence, so that on the least alarm the whole company repaired to their arms, and were ready for combat in a moment. Here again the rashness of some families proved a source of difficulty. instead of joining the working parties, they went out and attended their farms by themselves, and in case of alarm, an express was sent for them, and sometimes a party of men to guard them to the fort. These families, in some instances, could boast that they had better crops, and were every way better provided for in the winter than their neighbors: in other instances their temerity cost them their lives.

In military affairs, when every one concerned is left to his own will, matters were sure to be badly managed. The whole frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia presented a succession of military camps or forts. We had military officers, that is to say, captains and colonels; but they in many respects were only nominally such. They could advise, but not

command. Those who chose to follow their advice did so, to such an extent as suited their fancy or interest. Others were refractory and thereby gave much trouble. These officers would leave a scout or campaign, while those who thought proper to accompany them did so, and those who did not remained at home. Public odium was the only punishment for their laziness or cowardice. There was no compulsion to the perfor mance of military duties, and no pecuniary reward when they were performed.

It is but doing justice to the first settlers of this country to say, that instances of disobedience of families and individuals to the advice of our officers, were by no means numerous. The greater number cheerfully submitted to their directions with a prompt and faithful obedience.




IN giving a history of the state of the mechanic arts, as they were exercised at an early period of the settlement of this country, I shall present a people, driven by necessity to perform works of mechanical skill, far beyond what a person enjoying all the advantages of civilization, would expect from a population placed in such destitute circumstances.

My reader will naturally ask where were their mills for grinding grain -where their tanners for making leather-where their smith shops for making and repairing their farming utensils? Who were their carpenters, tailors, cabinet workmen, shoemakers and weavers? The answer is, those manufacturers did not exist, nor had they any tradesmen who were professedly such. Every family were under the necessity of doing every thing for themselves as well as they could.

The hommony blocks and hand mills were in use in most of our houses. The first was made of a large block of wood about three feet long, with an excavation burned in one end, wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, so that the action of the pestle on the bottom threw the corn up to the sides towards the top of it, from whence it continually fell down into the centre. In consequence of this movement, the whole mass of the grain was pretty equally subjected to the strokes of the pestle. In the fall of the year, whilst the Indian corn was soft, the block and pestle did very well for making meal for journeycake and mush, but were rather

slow when the corn became hard.

The sweep was sometimes used to lessen the toil of pounding grain inte meal. This was a pole of some springy elastic wood, thirty feet long

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