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will of his master's shop, and had, when Mr Birkbeck saw him, a well stocked shop and very lucrative business. • this town,' says Mr Birkbeck, I heard delightful musick • from a pianoforte made here !—a few years ago it was a fort,
from which a white man durst not stir without a military
guard, for the Indians.' A small remnant of this race still resides, it seems, at no great distance, having adopted the habits of their civilized neighbours. But the rise of a man's fortune, and the general progress of the country, is better illustrated by the history of a few individuals whom Mr Birkbeck judiciously selects as examples. One whom he conversed with
- is about thirty; has a wife and three fine healthy children : His father is a farmer; that is to say, a proprietor, living five miles distant. From him he received five hundred dollars, and “ began the world” in true style of American enterprise, by taking a cargo of flour to New Orleans, about two thousand miles, gaining a little more than his expenses, and a stock of knowledge. Two years ago, he had increased his property to nine hundred dollars ; purchased this place ; a house, stable, &c. and two hundred and fifty acres of land (sixty-five of which are cleared and laid down to grass), for three thousand five hundred dollars, of which he has already paid three thousand, and will pay the remaining five hundred next year. He is now building a good stable, and going to improve his house. His property is at present worth seven thousand dollars ; having gained, or rather grown,
five thousand five hundred dollars in two years, with prospects of future accumulation to his utmost wishes. Thus it is that people here grow wealthy, without extraordinary exertion, and without any anxiety.' p. 51.
Of another, an Irishman, he tells us, that, fourteen years ago, he came to his present estate, before an axe had ever been lifted on it, and with only his axe in his hand; and that he now discusses the interests of the country like one concerned in its prosperity--being possessed of 118 acres of excellent land, well cultivated; the father of twenty descendants; and paying eight dollars a year in taxes, five to the federal treasury, and three to his own country, in all about fourpence an acre. About the same time, there came also another poor emigrant, who é unloaded his family under a tree,' on the land where he now possesses two hundred acres of fine land, in excellent culture, producing from 80 to 100 bushels of Indian corn an acre. Incited by such prospects, the emigrants pour along this tract in countless swarms. Fourteen waggons of them passed in one day; thirteen the next. Three of these contained forty-two young children. The inhabitants of the wilderness are driven back: And Mr Birkbeck relates the singular case of a General Boon, one of the first settlers of Kentucky, who, smit with the love of solitude, plunged into the western territory, beyond the Missouri, at what was then thought an inapproachable distance from civilized footsteps. There he lived alone; and, while solely occupied with the chase, about two years ago, he was overtaken, in his turn, by the restless foot of civilization,' and compelled to go back two hundred miles further; where, having attained the age of seventy, he may hope that his fellow creatures will not reach him before he terminates his days.
Our party having purchased horses at Pittsburg, proceeded on their journey westward; and, crossing the Ohio, began to search for a spot where they might fix their abode. Every step of the way afforded evidence of the rapid progress of this wonderful country. They had travelled seventy miles, in company with a gentleman who, twelve years before, had gone the same journey, and recollected it as an Indian footpath through the wilderness. It was now a string of plantations, scarcely interrupted by an uncleared tract. The price of land in this district, has, during that period, risen to twenty or thirty dollars an acre; and, at first, it cost only 320 dollars for 160 acres, the sum to be paid in five years;—so that the settler, who at the beginning had little more than a hundred dollars, now finds himself worth 3000 or 4000, besides supporting his family during the whole time. The whole taxes do not exceed forty shillings upon a square mile of territory, however highly cultivated. An observation occurs almost as soon as Mr Birkbeck enters upon his journey, and is constantly repeated in all parts of the country, that the unhealthy character of most of the settlements is entirely owing to their having been founded in low grounds, on the banks of rivers, and in marshy land. The love of gain—the desire of saving a little trouble, or a little moneydictated this selection; and, wherever it has been adepted, the consequence has been fatal to health-wherever a more elevated position has been chosen, the climate has been found salubrious.
One of the most striking features in the great western wilderness, is the magnificent growth of the vegetable kingdom. In one place our travellers measured a fine walnut tree, about seven feet in diameter, or twenty-one in girth. Two sycamores of equal dimensions were decaying in its neighbourhood. But the white oak, he says, is the glory of the upland forest. As they generally grow in thick groups, their stems are by no means as large as they would be if they stood single; but they are lofty and straight in an extraordinary degree-sometimes eighty or ninety feet without a branch. Mr Birkbeck measured one which was six feet in diameter at four feet from the ground; and three feet in diameter at seventy from the ground. This is a gigantick growth, altogether tuiknown in our hemisphere. In one spot he found some hills covered with the same grand trees, For miles together, within view of the road, were thousands of them, whose stems were fourteen or fifteen feet round, and rising straight, and without a branch, for seventy or eighty feet, where they were crowned with luxuriant tops. An accident had befallen this woody tract, which is well described.
· For the space of a mile in breadth, a hurricane, which traversed the entire western country in a north-east direction,
about seven years ago, had opened itself a passage through this • region of giants, and has left a scene of extraordinary desola
tior. We pass immediately on, after viewing those massive • trunks, the emblems of strength and durability, to where they « lie tumbled over each other like scattered stubble, some torn
up by the roots, others broken off at different heights, or splin• tered only, and their tops bent over, and touching the ground:
-such is the irresistible force of these impetuous airy torrents. · These hurricane tracts afford strong holds for game, and all • animals of savage kind. There is a panther, the only one re• maining, it is said, in this country, which makes this spot its • haunt, and eludes the hunters.' pp. 77, 78.
While traversing these vast forests, our travellers sometimes met with adventures little known to those who journey in more frequented paths. The following passage gives a simple, but a lively account of one of these.
• Our rear party, consisting of one of the ladies, a servant boy, and myself, were benighted, in consequence of accidental detention, at the foot of one of these rugged hills; and, without being well provided, were compelled to make our first experiment of " camping out." A traveller in the woods should always carry flint, steel, tinder, and matches,-a few biscuits, a half-pint phial of spirits, and a tin cup—a large knife or tomahawk; then with his two blankets, and his great coat and umbrella, he need not be uneasy, should
any unforeseen delay require his sleeping under a tree. Our party having separated, the important articles of tinder and matches were in the baggage of the division which had proceeded; and as the night was rainy and excessively dark, we were for some time under some anxiety lest we should have been deprived of the comfort and security of a fire. Fortunately, my powder-flask was in my saddle-bags, and we succeeded in supplying the place of tinder, by moistening a piece of paper, and rubbing it with gunpowder. We placed our touchpaper on an old cambric handkerchief, as the most readily combustible article in our stores. On this we scattered gunpowder pretty copiously, and our flint and steel soon enabled us to raise a Aame, and, collecting dry wood, we made a noble fire. There was a mattress for the lady, a bearskin for myself, and the load of the pack. horse as a pallet for the boy. Thus, by means of great coats and blankets, and our umbrellas spread over our heads, we made our quarters comfortable ; and placing ourselves to the leeward of the fire, with our feet towards it, we lay more at ease than in the generaliiy of taverns. Our horses fared rather worse ; but we took care to tie them where they could browse a litde, and occasionally shifted their quarters. We had a few biscuits, a small bottle of spirits, and a phial of oil: with the latter we contrived, by twisting some twine very hard, and dipping it in the oil, to make torches ; and after several fruitless attempts we succeeded in finding water ; we also coldected plenty of dry wood. Camping out " when the tents are pitched by daylight, and the party is ready furnished with the articles which we were obliged to supply by expedients, is quite pleasant in fine weather. My companion was exceedingly ill, which was, in fact, the cause of our being benighted ; and never was the night's charge of a sick friend undertaken with more dismal forebodings, especially during our ineffectual efforts to obtain fire, the first blaze of which was unspeakably delightful: After this, the rain ceased, and the invalid passed the nigkt in safety; 80 that the morning found us more comfortable than we could have anticipated.'
pp. 95-97. Mr Birkbeck, almost from the moment of his entering the Ohio country, was surrounded by temptations to stop and settle. He found cleared lands, at a moderate price; comforts in the neighbourhood; pleasant society :- But he was resolved to push on till he came to a station where the lowest Government price of two dollars an acre might suffice; aware that a crowd of neighbouring settlers would soon follow, to give the land a higher value, and to bring along with them the comforts and pleasures of social life. At length, in the south-east district of the Illinois territory, this judicious person fixed upon an allotment of 1440 acres, by advancing one-fourth of the price, or 720 dollars; and Mr Flower, his friend and the companion of his fortunes, made an equal and similar purchase adjoining to his own. These allotments form part of a rich and beautiful prairie, six miles from the Big Wabash, and as far from the Little Wabash rivers, both of which are navigable. The reader may naturally be desirous of learning how these land sales are carried on by the American government, and how the vast tracts of territory at its disposal are parcelled out to new settlers. Mr Birkbeck has given this information in the following passage, with his accustomed accuracy and conciseness.
· The tract of country, which is to be disposed of, is surveyed, and laid out in sections of a mile square, containing six hundred and forty acres, and these are subdivided into quarters, and, in particular situations, half-quarters. The country is also laid out in counties of about twenty miles square, and townships of six miles square in some instances, and in others eight. The townships are numbered in ratig-s, from north to south, and the ranges are numbered from west to east; and lastly, the sections in each township are marked nume. rically. All these lines are well-defined in the woods, by marks on the trees.
This done at a period, of which public notice is given, the lands in question are put up to auction, excepting the sixteenth section in every township, which is reserved for the support of schools, and the maintenance of the poor. There are also sundry reserves of entire townships, as funds for the support of seminaries on a more extensive scale; and sometimes for other purposes of general interest. No government lands are sold under two dollars per acre ; and I believe they are put up at this price in quarter sections, at the auction ; and if there be no bidding, they pass on. The best lands and most favourable situations are sometimes run up to ten or twelve dollars, and in some late instances much higher. The lots which remain unsold are, from that time, open to the public, at the price of two dollars per acre; one fourth to be paid down, and the remaining threefourths to be paid by instalments in five years ; at which time, if the payments are not completed, the lands revert to the State, and the prior advances are forfeited.
• When a purchaser has made his election of one, or any number. of vacant quarters, he repairs to the land office, pays eighty dollars, or as many times that sum as he purchases quarters, and receives a certificate, which is the basis of the complete title, which will be given him when he pays all : this he may do immediately, and receive eight per cent. interest for prompt payment. The sections thus sold are marked immediately on the general plan, which is always open at the land office to public inspection, with the letters A. P. “ advance paid." There is a receiver and a register at each land office, who are checks on each other, and are remunerated by a per-centage on the receipts.' p. 70, 71.
When a person has, in this manner, obtained possession of part a prairie, it only wants fencing, and water for the livestock, to make at once rich pasture land; and from this to arable land the transition is easy, expeditious, and profitable as it proceeds. The whole cost of purchase, fencing and watering, that is, of buying the land, and then making it begin to yield a protit, is only eighteen shillings an acre. The cost of buildings and stocking is of course inore difficult to estimate; but Mr Birkbeck calculates that 20001. would suffice for 640 acres ; so that for 30001. an English farmer, who was but indifferently off on a farm of 6001. or 7001. a year rent, may find himself owner of a fine estate of 600 or 700 acres in America, capable of almost unlimited improvement, and in the neighbourhood of rich, cheap land, in which he may invest his surplus profits.
This is unquestionably one of the most tempting points of view