Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

448

COME BACK TO ME-MISSISSIPPI.

CONCLUDED.

[ocr errors]

seized him on each side, and he was dismounted

From the Saturday Evening Post. in a trice. The staff rushed in to the relief of VIEWS OF THE WEST. their commander, with a kind of howl which was gradually heightened into a shriek, and which sent the word Claymore," loud on air. It was

MISSISSIPPI. a moment of frightful confusion. They threw Very little is known of the interior of this themselves on the guards. Fresh guards, con- State from the reports of travellers, compared sisting of students, poured themselves in upon with what we learn of our Eastern States, from them. And in their turn the forty men in the the same source. Descending the Mississippi rear fell upon those. A fresh supply of towns- river to New Orleans, the passenger is shown the men and students rushed in upon them. The State which takes its name from the magnificent swords clashed. Poignards glanced in the air. stream on which he is floating; but he sees a They screamed: they cursed: they fought. The succession of bluffs and receding bills with very women and childred shrieked, and tumbled few inhabitants, and from so superficial a view down in beaps ; while others ran pell mell upon would be led to conclude there was no populathem, as they lay groaning, and sprachlin, and tion. Such a conclusion, however, would be banning those who had broken their limbs, and very erroneous, the cultivated lands being situapeeled their shins. Meantime the kettle drum, ted more in the interior, and the planters themin the rear, kept up a constant roll, which effec- selves little given to travel. tually drowned the noise of the tumult, so that Mississippi is bounded on the north by Tenthe main body neither saw their officers, nor, for nessee; east by Alabama; south by the gulf of this reason, heard them.

Mexico and Louisiana; west by Louisiana and The result was, that they were all disarmed, the Mississippi, and contains according to Darand the officers deprived of their horses. by 32,640,900 acres, but Mr. Flint is probably

nearer the fact when he states it at twenty-eight Written for the Casket.

millions. It is 300 miles in average length, and

from 150 to 160 miles in average breadth. The COME BACK TO ME.

soil may be divided into three distinct positions, When the light upon the mountains

thus : the alluvial borders of the rivers, the bluffs Shall have lost its ruddy glow,

adjacent to the Mississippi alluvion, and the pine And the music of the fountains

forest land. There are several distinct ranges In untroubled murmurs flow;

of hills and eminences, some of which are wasbWhen the evening birds are singing,

ed by the river; two of them divide the State Their mild notes from the tree,

much as in Pennsylvania into sectional divisions, And echo's voice is ringing.

and a considerable portion of the table lands

have precipitous sides which expose them to the Wilt thou come back to me?

misfortune of washing. Pine Ridge is a singular When the tired sun is sinking,

elevation, seen from the river and resembling an More glorious in its leave,

island. The bluff zone of Mississippi is supposed And the thirsty flowers are drinking

to equal in intrinsic value any other tract of Distilments of the eve;

similar extent in the Union. In its natural state When the veil that gently trembles

this region was covered with a dense, heavy forOver land and over sea,

est, consisting of oak, hickory, laurel, magnolia,

sweet gum, ash, maple, the tulip tree or AmeriSoft evening shade resembles,

can poplar, and pine, with a great variety of Wilt thou come back to me?

vines and underwood, and so, much of it still conWhen softened winds are stealing,

tinues. The soil is rich, black and deep, and Like spirit forms in chase,

presents the singular appearance in some places Their mystic charms concealing

of bills covered with cane brake. The part inIn some far off favour'd place;

habited by the Chickasaw Indians abounds in When the weary world is sleeping,

vallies of great fertility. Loftus Heights, 150 Like moonlight on the sea,

feet high, contain the last stones that have buen

discovered in descending the river, which washAnd the stars their watch are keeping,

es the shores of the State, including all its meanWilt thou come back to me?

ders, for a distance of pearly seven hundred Oh! wilt thou view the mountains

miles! The right line of the shore is less than By that dim and shadowy light,

half that distance, but the river here is reAnd the gently flowing fountains,

markably circuitous, often curving round seven And the murmuring birds of night ;

or eight leagues and almost returning back on And the brightly glittering shower,

its course. Much of this long line of river coast On the tow'ret and the tree;

is inundated swamp, inhabited only by woodThen, in the evening hour,

cutters for the steamboats, whose residences are Thou wilt come back to me. C. H. W.

peculiarly inconvenient and unwholesome. An occupied elevation occasionally peeps up, where

a solitary settler has fixed upon a farm, and lives It matters not whether our good humor be a life like Robinson Crusoe, except that for a construed by others into insensibility, or even servant Friday, he counts two or three for each idiotism; it is happiness to ourselves, and none day of the week. but a fool would measure his satisfaction, by The Yazoo river is the most considerable river what the world thinks of it.-Goldsmith. having its whole course in the State. There are

[blocks in formation]

some of our readers who will remember the exhibit a vigour which approaches to that of the speculation in Yazoo stock with the unenviable New England States. feelings of lame ducks on the stock exchange.- The principal bodies of Indians belong to the The first broker who offered the scrip for sale Choctaw and Chickasaw nations, amounting in was laughed at, but those who boughi low and all to about 24,000, in a semi-savage state, exhiheld it, ultimately realised a large profit. This biting a curious compound of character. Many river rises near Tennessee, runs a north-west of them hold slaves, have good houses, enclosures course, receiving many tributary streams, and and cattle-ploughs, looms, and black-smith by a mouth 300 feet wide falls into the Missis- shops, but their ancient instincts and changes sippi twelve miles below the Walnut Hil.s, hav- may be traced even through the changes ining its course through a high, salubrious, and troduced by the missionaries, and municipal pleasant district, mostly inhabited by Indians, regulations. They have an Indian judge, who who live along its banks for a distance of 150 endeavors to irnitate our mode of judicature. miles from its mouth. The Yazoo is boatable They keep good houses of entertainment for tra. for large boats fifty miles, and in high stages of vellers, and many white men hare married into the water much further. Building stone is their families, and seem quite contented to adopt brought down it for the New Orleans market, some of their customs. A rich squaw is quite being the nearest point where the article is met a belle with the whites, and may be seen riding with. Twelve miles above its mouth are situated on borseback behind her husband going to the Yazoo Hills, and four miles higher is the church, dressed in all her finery, ear bobs, turscite of the old Fort S.. Peter, where an old ban, &c. like an Eastern princess. French settlement was destroyed a hundred The missionaries have established boarding years ago by the Yazoo Indians, who in turn are schools, where the young. Indian ladies really now extinct. On the Big Black, or Lousa Chitto sometimes acquire much information, and are river which has a course of 200 miles, some trained to habits of domestic economy like our New England settlers, headed by General Put- own, which they retain after going home. We nam, selected a place for a town in 1773. On have taken tea with a family thus educated Bayou Pierre is the important settlement of Port whose manners would have graced a PhiladelGibson, in the centre of a rich country, and ra- phia drawing room. The tea service was neat pidly becoming populous and wealthy. Pearl and in good taste, and the politeness of the fair river is next to the Yazoo the most important, entertainers was extremely fascinating, though and has its whole course in this State, through a they evidently had not many ideas they were country generally fertile, though it sometimes willing to communicate, and probably very few traverses the sterile region of pine woods. Some in common with our party. The missionaries efforts have been made to impruve its paviga- continue to witness a growing partiality for our tion, which is of great importance, as it is one of modes of life, and their late reports respecting the chief points of communication between the the schools are encouraging. Christianity makes State and the Gulf of Mexico. The Pascagoula certain progess, and instead of the savage war river has a course of 250 miles, and at its mouth song and dance, the praises of God resound in broadens into an open bay, where is a town of these ancient forests. These benevolent indivithe same name, resorted to by the inhabitants of duals are patronised and countenanced in some New Orleans in the sickly season.

degree by our government. There are several islands on the coast, but As much excellent land exists along the they are low and inundated, sterile and covered | streams of the whole State, all the kinds of with pine.

grains, fruits and vegetables suited to the cliThe climate may be said to be between the mate are grown here. The sugar cane has been wheat and sugar cane regions, or in other words, attempted near the southern frontier; the sweet the climate adapted to the growth of cotton. The orange is found to succeed in places, and in the long moss as in most cotton regions is abundant, middle regions, figs, grapes of all sorts, tobacco, and the palmeto in the brightness of its winter Indian corn, sweet potatoes, rice, melons, plums, verdure gives a tropical aspect to the landscape, peaches, &c. &c.come to perfection. Castor oil and the traveller feels himself in a new region beans are cultivated, and on high and middle refor botanical research. Compared with Louisi- gions, the apple and pear may be found, but ana, its waters are inhabited by the same fish, cotton is the great staple, growing in great perand covered with the same water fowls, and fection all over the State. Cotton is the grand birds of beautiful plumage and song. In health topic of conversati in every where, and a man it is acknowledged to have decidedly the advan- who can't talk the cotton language, calculate a tage, and those planters remote from stagnant crop, or tell its price in every market of the waters, with access to spring water, enjoy as world might as well talk Spanish or Portuguese, good constitutions as any where in the Union.-for he would be quite as much listened to. Many The summers it is true are lɔng and warm, when planters realised immense fortunes when cotton bilious attacks more or less prevail, but pulmo- bore a high price, and some of them visit us in nary consumption is almost unheard of, and they the summer months to spend their large revelook upon that disease which kills its thousands nues, but in general Mississippians are a home on our Atlantic coast as much the worse evil of people, who have their own habits, and perhaps the two, wondering how any body will risk his know less of those of other States than is common life in a climate where the bills of mortality ex- in America. They are plain, simple, honest and bibit their hundreds of victims of that disease in industrious, and withal very hospitable. Many every city. From October to June no climate have 200 slaves and even a larger number is can be mure delightful; many of the inhabitants commoo, who are treated humanely. A few,

[ocr errors]

450

MISSISSIPPI-ALEXANDER SCOTT. says Mr. Flint, who have acquired fortunes

ALEXANDER SCOTT. without much previous education or refinement, The following little circumstance, the particu. and measuring their own knowledge, acquire- lars of which I received from one of the parties ments and importance, by their intercourse with engaged, will possibly amuse for the moment, their slaves, are astonished to find, when they and at the same time illustrate the humanity and go abroad, that there are other requisites, in or- noble disinterestedness of our late lamented bero der to be sought after and received into the best Decatur, and form an interesting and true incicircles, than the possession of money and slaves. dent of one of the scenes during the late war.

Monticello is a pleasant and flourishing town It was when the English Fleet lay off New on the Pearl river. Port Gibson we have already London, among which were

the Ramilies, Majesalluded to. Greenville, Woodville, and Win- tic, La Hogue, Bulwark, &c. &c. that a boat's chester, are flourishing villages. Shieldsborough crew belonging to the first ship, formed the resois on the west side of Bayou St. Louis, and a lute determination of freeing themselves from resort from New Orleans during the ravages of that oppressive yoke which galled so many noble yellow fever.

necks, and forced them to raise their arms Jackson near the head of Pearl river has been against those, whom their hearts readily acknow. recently selected as the permanent seat of gov- ledged as brothers and friends, but which a cruel ernment. Being central and healthy, it will pro- and unjust policy forced them to oppose as bably become an important place. Warrenton enemies. on the banks of the Mississippi is a considerable Amongst those who were most obnoxious to village. Vicksburgh which has rapidly sprung this boat's crew, for his tyranny and cruelty, was up, is rising very fast in importance. It is a a Master's Mate, by the name of Briley, and it so great point for the shipment of cotton, and happened that this officer was ordered to take steamboats regularly ply to New Orleans. It is charge of the boat to row guard, the day formed on a shelving declivity of hills on the bank of the by these men to effect their emancipation. They great river of the West, with the houses scat- had previous to this circumstance settled every tered on the terraces.

thing, and strange as it may appear, depended Natchez is incorporated as a city, and by tar upon a boy of fifteen years of age, to conquer the largest place in the State. Romantically this formidable tyrant. Their hearts dilated situated on the east bank of the river, about 280 with hope and anticipations of the most sanguine miles above New Orleans, with a free navigation nature when they reflected, that a few short for vessels of great burden. Natchez is an im- hours would place them upon the land of liberty. portant city: So many boats are always lying For to go, says my informant, we were resolved, here, it may be supposed the population partakes be the consequence what it might-aye, even of the character of its interior visitors, and ac- to the death itself. cess may readily be bad in the lower town to all There were six rowers belonging to the boat, kinds of dissipation and gambling. The upper and the lad Alexander Scott, who acted as cox town is on a bluff 300 feet above the level of the swain. It was settled that the man who pulled river, from which a most romantic view is pre- the after oar, by name Benjamin Baker, (since sented. The public buildings are bandsome, the a gunner's mate in our service) was to give the streets broad, and the whole place wears the as- signal when little Scott was to show his mettle pect of a capital, where the people of the State and free himself and boatmates from the Britisha resort for society and amusement. Being the yoke. great cotton mart of the vicinity, the streets in At length the hour arrived. The Boatswain's the fall months are barricaded with cotton, and Mate's shrill pipe and "array there, black cutif you arrive there from New Orleans you must ter's array,"sounded through the atmosphere of a be sure to carry accurate accounts of prices and clear October evening, and each man belonging quantities. The opulent planters who reside to the boat again felicitated themselves upon their here, and many distinguished lawyers and phy- pear approach to liberty, at the same time watchsicians, give a tone and polish to the society, noting the boy's movements, to observe if he met with in other sections. From this place betrayed signs of reluctance or dismay at this may be seen the site of Fort Rosalie, the scene critical juncture, but nothing of the kind was of Chateaubriand's wild romance of Atala. The seen. They tossed their oars. Little Alexanchurches are well attended. It has occasionally der with a silver star in the front of his bat to been visited by yellow fever, which circum- denote his station-jumped nimbly into the stera stance bas retarded its advance in population; sheets—their victim and tyrant muffiled in a it numbers now from 3 to 4000 inhabitants. cloak, seated himself—the word was given—“let

The smoking steamers, as they ascend and fall, give way," and immediately the boat began descend the river mostly round to here, and from to leave the Ramilies astern. They pulled on the upper town add greatly to the picturesque for some time in utter silence, the lad's eye fixed appearance of the scene.

upon Baker, and the men “giving way smartly," Mississippi was admitted into the Union in that the distance between them and the ship 1817. Near the city of Natchez, was situated might be the greater, and the chance of escape the villages of the Natchez tribe of Indians now in their favor. At length the moment arrived, extinct, about whom so much interesting tradi- the sign was given, the boy gently drew the tiller tion remains in the histories of the Catholic mis- from the rudder head, and as he sat immediately sions. The first actual settlement was made at behind the officer, held it over his head _“shall this point by the French about 1716, but the co- I!” exclaimed Alexander (in his anxiety, prolony consisting of 500 persons was massacred by bably, too, some feelings of remorse touched his the patives in 1729.

heart at the thoughts of the officers' death.) The

ALEXANDER SCOTT PRINCESS S.

451

[ocr errors]

a

signal was repeated and with all the force he “Give you up no-no-you are a brave little could collect, he struck Briley over the head,- fellow." Then turning to the rest of the men, he who being in a dose had not attended to the boy's added,“my lads, so long as that flag waves o'er exclamation,-he started instantly from his seat my head, you shall receive its protection. You -staggered— Baker closed with and threw him should have retained the boal-common hu-and another blow from the tiller left them manity would have dictated this—but I hope masters of the boat. They resumed their stations I trust the unfortunate man yet lives. No more and made for the land and in a very little time at present (observing one of the men about to were all safe on shore at Gales' Ferry-having speak.) I know how to make allowances for first secured their arms, a cutlass and pistol your feelings, placed in the situation you were each, they turned the boat adrift, in which still -go forward, I will see you again to-morrow." remained the

dead body, or apparently so, of the He now called the boy aside, interrogated him unfortunate Master's Mate.

respecting the situation of the fleet--the size of They made for the first house they discovered, their guns—their method of watching, &c. and which proved to be Gale's Tavern, and were finding his answers to correspond with his own met at the door by an American Middy, who, notes, put such implicit confidence in his relaseeing the men armed, and having paid his re- tions, that three nights after, in a heavy snow spects too ardently at the shrine of Bacchus, storm, the U. S. Sloop, of war Hornet run the retired in disorder, exclaiming gentlemen-gen- gauntlet, and passed clear through the enemy's tlemen, New London is taken, the British are at Aeet. the door! Upon the gentlemen appearing (who The day after the event occurred, a flag of proved to be a party of officers at dinner)an ex- truce was received from Commodore Hardy to planation took place without bloodshed, and our Decatur. He demanded the men and offered heroes were regaled with a plentiful repast, re- an exchange of 5 to 1 for the black cutter's ceived the congratulations of their new friends, crew, but Decatur told the officer, that to give and retired to rest half seas over.

up men who claimed the protection of the AmerOn the following morning an officer conducted ican flag, was more than his commission was the black cutter's crew on board the Frigate worth, and in short, as he believed the greater United States, Commodore Stephen Decatur. part were Americans, he would protect, but My informer states, that although now in the he would not exchange them, were they to offer place they had risked so much for, they felt some- 50 for 1. what aback, surrounded by strangers requiring It is only necessary to state, that Decatur furexplanations which the men did not think proper nished these men with money and a passport for to give. Nine o'clock arrived—the Guard was New York, using them with great humanity, turned out, the side piped, and the Commodore They wished to enter on board the United advanced towards the capstan-where he re- States. This he would not permit on their own mained in conversation with the officers. The account. Alexander he attempted to keep by cutter's crew feeling diffident in their new situa-bim, but the boy insisted upou following his shiption and likewise knowing the necessity of an mates—and he did so. interview and explanation, were at a stand how From this time I lost sight of the boy, but no to act, when little Scott stepped forward and doubt he acted a pretty conspicuous part during said he would speak to the Commodore. the war, as he entered the service.

The boy advanced to the maipmast, where The present year, I accidentally learned that uncovered he remained standing: at length the Alexander Scott was the Boatswain of one of Commodore turned, looked at him, spoke to an our finest Sloops of war, upon the West India officer, who bowed and with that placid expres- Station. sion of countenance for which he was so celebrated, beckoned the boy to advance. Making A travelling correspondent of the New York his best bow, he obeyed.

Mirror, now in Europe, gives the following “ What's your name, my lad?" “ Alexander Scott, sir."

overwrought description of two rare beauties "What induced you to desert your country's whom he met at Florence. The pictures are flag?"

evidently drawn by an enthusiast:"Ill usage, Sir,-besides, it is not my coun- “The Princes S- may be twenty-four try's flag. I am a Scotchran.'

years of age. She is of the middle height, with The commodore eyed him for a moment, then a slight stoop in her shoulders, which is rather a added, "did you kill your officer?"

grace than a fault. Her bust is exquisitely “Not quite killed him, Sir, although Johnson turned, her neck slender but full, her arms, there would have done so, (pointing to one of the hands, and feet, those of a Psyche. Her face is men, all of whom, had by this time advanced)—the abstraction of highborn Italian beautybut I begged for him, Sir."

calm, almost to indifference, of an indescribably “ Then he was not dead?"

glowing paleness-a complexion that would be “Oh! no, Sir, his head is too hard for a few alabaster, if it were not for the richness of the blows, like those we gave, to kill him." blood beneath, betrayed in lips whose depth of “How so?

color and fineness of curve seem only too cu“ Because the men said he was a blockhead." riously beautiful to be the work of nature. Her

You are a wag I see and a young one too,” eyes are dark and large, and must have had an insaid the Commodore laughing

dolent expression in her childhood, but are now Alexander seized this moment of saying, "you the seat and soul of feeling. She dresses her hair will not give us up, sir."

with a kind of characteristic departure from the

[blocks in formation]

a

mode, parting its glossy flakes on her brow with dome, spires and pinnacles, and every sublime, nymph-like simplicity, a peculiarity which one grotesque, or fantastic shape which the genius regrets not to see in the too Parisian dress of her of architecture ever invented. These cliffs are person. In her manners she is strikingly elegant, an unbroken mass of rocks, rising to an eleva, but without being absent; she seems to give an tion of 300 feet above the level of the lake, and unconscious attention to what is about her, and stretching along the coast for fifteen miles. The to be gracious and winning without knowing or voyagers never pass this coast except in the intending it, merely because she cculd not listen most profound calm; and the Indians, before or speak otherwise. Her voice is sweet, and in they make the attempt, offer their accustomed her own Italian, mellow and soft to a degree in oblations, to propitiate the favour of their Moni. conceivable by those who have not heard this tas. The eye instinctively searches along this delicious language spoken in its native land. eternal rampart for a single place of security; With all these advantages, and a look of pride but the search is vain. With an impassable that nothing could insult, there is an expression barrier of rocks on one side, and an interminain her beautiful face that reminds you of her sex ble expanse of water on the other, a sudden and its temptations, and prepares you fully for storm upon the lake would as inevitably insure the history which you may hear from the first destruction of the passenger in his frail canoe, woman that stands at your elbow.

as if he were on the brink of the cataract of Nia. The other is an English girl of seventeen, gara. The rock itself is a sandstone, which is shrinking timidly from the crowd, and leaning disentegrated by the continual action of the wawith her hands clasped over her father's arm, ter with comparative facility. There are no apparently listening only to the waltz, and un- broken masses upon which the eye can rest and conscious that every eye is fixed on her in admi- find relief. The lake is so deep, that these ration. She has lived all her life in Italy but masses, as they are torn from the precipice, are has been bred by an English mother, in a re- concealed beneath its waves until they are re tired villa of the Val d'Arno-her character and duced to sand. The action of the waves has unfeelings are those of her race, and nothing of dermined every projecting point: and there the Italy about her, but the glow of its sunny clime immense precipíce rests upon arches, and the in the else spotless snow of her complexion, and foundation is intersected with caverns in every an enthusiasm in her downcast eye, that you direction. may account for as you will—it is not English. When we passed this immense fabric of paHer form has just ripened into womanhood. The ture, the wind was still, and the lake was calm. bust still wants fulness, and the step confidence. But even the slightest motion of the waves, Her forehead is rather too intellectual to be mai- which, in the most profound calm, agitates these denly; but the droop of her singularly long eye- internal seas, swept through the deep caverns lashes, over eyes that elude the most guarded with the noise of distant thunder, and died away glance of your own, and the modest expression of upon the ear as it rolled forward in the dark re her lips, closed but not pressed together, redeem cesses, inaccessible to human observation. No her from any look of conscious superiority, and sound more melancholy or more awful ever viconvince you that she only seeks to be unobserv- brated upon human nerves. It has left an imed. A single ringlet of golden brown hair falls pression which neither time nor distance can nearly to her shoulder, catching the light upon its ever efface. Resting in a frail bark canoe upon glossy curves with an effect that would enchant a the limpid waters of the lake, we seemed almost painier. Lillies of the valley, the first of the sea- suspended in air, so pellucid is the element opon son, are in her bosom and her bair, and she might which we floated. In gazing upon the towering be the personification of the flower of delicacy and battlements which impended over us, and from beauty. You are only disappointed in talking which the smallest fragment would have destroy. with her. She expresses herself with a nerve ed us, we felt, intensely, our own insignificance. and self command which, from a slight glance, No situation can be imagined, more appalling to you did not anticipate. She shrinks from the the courage, or more humbling to the pride of general eye, but in conversation she is the high- man. We appeared like a speck upon the face minded woman more than the timid child, for of creation. Our whole party, Indians and voyawhich her manner seems to mark her. In either gers, and soldiers, officers, and servants, conlight, she is the very presence of purity: She templated in mute astonishment the awful display stands by the side of her not less beautiful rival, of creative power, at whose base we hung; and like a Madonna by a Magilalen-both seem not no sound broke upon the ear to interrupt the at home in the world, but only one could have ceaseless roaring of the waters. No splendid dropped from heaven.”

cathedral, no temple built with human hands,

no pomp of worship could ever impress the specRocks of Lake Superior. tator with such humility, and so strong a convice

tion of the immense distance between him and Upon the southern coast of Lake Superior, the Almighty Architect. about fifty miles from the falls of St. Mary, are the immense precipitous cliffs, called by the voyagers, Le Pottrail and the Pictured Rocks. In the pure heart of a girl loving for the first This name has been given them in consequence time, love is far more ecstatic than in man, inasof the different appearance which they present much as it is unfevered by desire--love then and to the traveller, as he passes their base in his ca- there makes the only state of human existence noe. It requires little aid from the imagination to which is at once capable of calmness and trang discern in them the castellated tower and lofty port!

a

BY GOVERNOR CASS.

« ПредишнаНапред »