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their social joys. If treason matured its dark designs in her mansion, here also the the song, the dance, and the revel displayed their fascinations. The order of arrest was the signal of dispersion to this ill-fated band; and it is said, that the lovely mistress of this fairy scene, the Calypso of this enchanted isle, was seen at midnight, “ shivering on the winter banks of the Ohio,” mingling her tears with its waters, eluding by stratagem the ministers of justice, and destitute of the comforts of life, and the solace of that hospitality which she had once dispensed with such graceful liberality.
I believe it is not doubted, that Burr intended to have attempted the conquest of Mexico. A large portion of the people of that country, were supposed to be waiting only for a favorable opportunity to throw off the Spanish yoke. The Americans, as their neighbors, and as republicans, would, it was thought, be received without suspicion; nor would Burr have unfolded his ultimate design, until it should be too late to preventits accomplishment. He would then have established a monarchy, at the head of which would have been King Aaron the First. I am told, that the young gentlemen who were proceeding to join him, often amused themselves on this subject; talking, half in jest and half in earnest, of the offices and honors which awaited them. Titles and places were already lavishly distributed in anticipation; and Mrs. Blannerhasset, who was an accomplished and sprightly woman, had arranged the dresses and ceremonies of the court. When the alarm was given, and orders were issued for the arrest of Burr
and his adherents, they were obliged to resort to a variety of expedients to escape detection. At Fort Massac, and other places, all boats descending the river were compelled to stop and undergo strict examination, to the great vexation of boatmen and peaceable voyagers, who were often obliged to land at unseasonable hours. Very diligent inquiry was made for the lady just mentioned, who several times narrowly escaped detection, through her own ingenuity and that of her companions.
THE CHARACTER OF THE PIONEERS.
Passing in rapid review the period over which we have passed, we find that the district of Kentucky was settled by several distinct classes of people, differing much from each other, and each having a marked peculiarity of character. It is from not knowing, or not adverting to this circumstance, that erroneous impressions have been received of the genius and disposition of the western people; to the manners of all of whom, the Kentuckians have given a decided tone.
Those who came first — the Boones, the Kentons, the Whitleys- were rough, uneducated men; the enterprising, fearless, hardy pioneers. They were literally backwoodsmen, who had always resided on the frontiers, forming the connecting link between civilized and savage men; and who did not, in their emigration to the west, form any new acquaintance with the perils of the wilderness. They had been inhabitants of the long line of frontier lying east of the Alleghany mountains; were the descendants of men, whose lives had been spent in fierce contests with the Indians; and were themselves accustomed from infancy, to the vicissitudes of hunting and border warfare. A few of them came from Pennsylvania and Maryland, but the great body from Virginia and North Carolina. Strictly speaking, they were not farmers; for, although they engaged in
agriculture, they depended chiefly on their guns for subsistence; and were allured to the west, rather by the glories of the boundless forest and the abundance of game, than by the fertility of the new lands and the ample resources of the country. They came singly or in small parties, careless of protection and fearless of consequences. Their first residence was a camp; a frail shelter formed of poles and bark, carefully concealed in some retired spot, in which they hid the spoils of the chase, and to which they sometimes crept for repose at night, or slept away the long inclement days, when the hunter and his prey were alike driven by the storm to seek the shelter of their coverts. At other times, they roamed abroad, either engaged in hunting, or in making long journies of exploration; sleeping in the open air, and feeding upon the fruits of the forest and the flesh of wild animals, without bread or condiment. Between them and the Indians, there seems to have existed, from the beginning, a mutual dislike and distrust; and except when there happened to be a great superiority of numbers on one side, or a recent provocation, they rather avoided than sought each other. But they seldom met without shedding blood.
The stratagems of this border warfare, were ingenious, and often highly amusing. The pioneer, as well as the Indian warrior, felt as much triumph in deceiving his enemy by a successful device, as in conquering him in battle; and usually acquired more lasting fame among his comrades, from the former than from the latter exploit; for in the circumstances under which they were mutually placed, cunning was
a more valuable quality than courage. The bravest man might be overpowered by numbers, or slain by a bullet from the rifle of an unseen foe; but the wily hunter, who was always watchful, self-possessed, and fertile of expedients, seemed to bear a charmed life, and to be proof, as well against secret hostility as open violence. We read with an admiration bordering upon incredulity, of the adventures of such men as Boone and Kenton-of their fights, their retreats, their captivity, their escapes, their recovery from dreadful wounds, their wanderings without arms and provisions, and their surviving through all, to die of old age in their beds; almost realizing the description of the apostle, “in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness."
The pioneers were often captured; and while on the march towards the Indian towns, were rescued by their friends, or succeeded in making their escape, although bound and closely watched. Sometimes they were carried to the villages of the captors; endured with heroic calmness all the tortures which savage cruelty could invent; and at last escaped by some ingenious stratagem, or were forcibly rescued, even at the stake, by their daring comrades. Often did a single individual, escaping from captivity, unarmed and lacerated with wounds and stripes, retreat for hundreds of miles before a pursuing party of en