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History of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina
An Electronic Edition

William Byrd II of Westover 1674-1744

Original Source: The Westover manuscripts containing the history of the dividing line betwixt Virginia and North Carolina, a journey to the land of Eden, A.D. 1733, and a progress to the mines written from 1728 to 1736. Petersburg [Va.]: Printed by Edmund and Julian C. Ruffin, 1841.

Copyright 2003. This text is freely available provided the text is distributed with the header information provided.

Full Colophon Information

History of the Dividing Line: Run in the Year 1728

Before I enter upon the journal of the line between Virginia and North Carolina, it will be necessary to clear the way to it, by showing how the other British colonies on the Main have, one after another, been carved out of Virginia, by grants from his majesty's royal predecessors. All that part of the northern American continent now under the dominion of the king of Great Britain, and stretching quite as far as the cape of Florida, went at first under the general name of Virginia.1.

The only distinction, in those early days, was, that all the coast to the southward of Chesapeake bay was called South Virginia, and all to the northward of it, North Virginia.2.

The first settlement of this fine country was owing to that great ornament of the British nation, sir Walter Raleigh, who obtained a grant thereof from queen Elizabeth of ever-glorious memory, by letters patent, dated March the 25th, 1584.3.

But whether that gentleman ever made a voyage thither himself is uncertain; because those who have favoured the public with an account of his life mention nothing of it. However, thus much may be depended on, that sir Walter invited sundry persons of distinction to share in his charter, and join their purses with his in the laudable project of fitting out a colony to Virginia.4.

Accordingly, two ships were sent away that very year, under the command of his good friends Amidas and Barlow, to take possession of the country in the name of his royal mistress, the queen of England.5.

These worthy commanders, for the advantage of the trade winds, shaped their course first to the Charibbe islands, thence stretching away by the gulf of Florida, dropped anchor not far from Roanoke inlet. They ventured ashore near that place upon an island now called Colleton island, where they set up the arms of England, and claimed the adjacent country in right of their sovereign lady, the queen; and this ceremony being duly performed, they kindly invited the neighbouring Indian to traffick with them.6.

These poor people at first approached the English with great caution, having heard much of the treachery of the Spaniards, and not knowing but these strangers might be as treacherous as they. But, at length, discovering a kind of good nature in their looks, they ventured to draw near, and barter their skins and furs for the bawbles and trinkets of the English.7.

These first adventurers made a very profitable voyage, raising at least a thousand per cent. upon their cargo. Amongst other Indian commodities, they brought over some of that bewitching vegetable, tobacco. And this being the first that ever came to England, sir Walter thought he could do no less than make a present of some of the brightest of it to his royal mistress, for her own smoking. The queen graciously accepted of it, but finding her stomach sicken after two or three whiffs, it was presently whispered by the earl of Leicester's faction, that sir Walter had certainly poisoned her. But her majesty soon recovering her disorder, obliged the countess of Nottingham and all her maids to smoke a whole pipe out amongst them.8.

As it happened some ages before to be the fashion to saunter to the Holy Land, and go upon other Quixote adventures, so it was now grown the humour to take a trip to America. The Spaniards had lately discovered rich mines in their part of the West Indies, which made their maritime neighbours eager to do so too. This modish frenzy being still more inflamed by the charming account given of Virginia, by the first adventurers, made many fond of removing to such a paradise.9.

Happy was he, and still happier she, that could get themselves transported, fondly expecting their coarsest utensils, in that happy place, would be of massy silver.10.

This made it easy for the company to procure as many volunteers as they wanted for their new colony; but, like most other undertakers who have no assistance from the public, they starved the design by too much frugality; for, unwilling to launch out at first into too much expense, they shipped off but few people at a time, and those but scantily provided. The adventurers were, besides, idle and extravagant, and expected they might live without work in so plentiful a country.11.

These wretches were set ashore not far from Roanoke inlet, but by some fatal disagreement, or laziness, were either starved or cut to pieces by the Indians.12.

Several repeated misadventures of this kind did, for some time, allay the itch of sailing to this new world; but the distemper broke out again about the year 1606. Then it happened that the earl of Southampton and several other persons, eminent for their quality and estates, were invited into the company, who applied themselves once more to people the then almost abandoned colony. For this purpose they embarked about a hundred men, most of them reprobates of good families, and related to some of the company, who were men of quality and fortune.13.

The ships that carried them made a shift to find a more direct way to Virginia, and ventured through the capes into the bay of Chesapeake. The same night they came to an anchor at the mouth of Powhatan, the same as James river, where they built a small fort at a place called Point Comfort.14.

This settlement stood its ground from that time forward in spite of all the blunders and disagreement of the first adventurers, and the many calamities that befel the colony afterwards. * The six gentlemen who were first named of the company by the crown, and who were empowered to choose an annual president from among themselves, were always engaged in factions and quarrels, while the rest detested work more than famine. At this rate the colony must have come to nothing, had it not been for the vigilance and bravery of captain Smith, who struck a terror into all the Indians round about. This gentleman took some pains to persuade the men to plant Indian corn, but they looked upon all labour as a curse. They chose rather to depend upon the musty provisions that were sent from England: and when they failed they were forced to take more pains to seek for wild fruits in the woods, than they would have taken in tilling the ground. Besides, this exposed them to be knocked on the head by the Indians, and gave them fluxes into the bargain, which thinned the plantation very much. To supply this mortality, they were reinforced the year following with a greater number of people, amongst which were fewer gentlemen and more labourers, who, however, took care not to kill themselves with work.15.

These found the first adventurers in a very starving condition, but relieved their wants with the fresh supply they brought with them. From Kiquotan they extended themselves as far as James-town, where, like true Englishmen, they built a church that cost no more than fifty pounds, and a tavern that cost five hundred.16.

They had now made peace with the Indians, but there was one thing wanting to make that peace lasting. The natives could, by no means, persuade themselves that the English were heartily their friends, so long as they disdained to intermarry with them. And, in earnest, had the English consulted their own security and the good of the colony–had they intended either to civilize or convert these gentiles, they would have brought their stomachs to embrace this prudent alliance.17.

The Indians are generally tall and well-proportioned, which may make full amends for the darkness of their complexions. Add to this, that they are healthy and strong, with constitutions untainted by lewdness, and not enfeebled by luxury. Besides, morals and all considered, I cannot think the Indians were much greater heathens than the first adventurers, who, had they been good Christians, would have had the charity to take this only method of converting the natives to Christianity. For, after all that can be said, a sprightly lover is the most prevailing missionary that can be sent amongst these, or any other infidels.18.

Besides, the poor Indians would have had less reason to complain that the English took away their land, if they had received it by way of portion with their daughters. Had such affinities been contracted in the beginning, how much bloodshed had been prevented, and how populous would the country have been, and, consequently, how considerable? Nor would the shade of the skin have been any reproach at this day; for if a Moor may be washed white in three generations, surely an Indian might have been blanched in two.19.

The French, for their parts, have not been so squeamish in Canada, who upon trial find abundance of attraction in the Indians. Their late grand monarch thought it not below even the dignity of a Frenchman to become one flesh with this people, and therefore ordered 100 livres for any of his subjects, man or woman, that would intermarry with a native.20.

By this piece of policy we find the French interest very much strengthened amongst the savages, and their religion, such as it is, propagated just as far as their love. And I heartily wish this well-concerted scheme does not hereafter give the French an advantage over his majesty's good subjects on the northern continent of America.21.

About the same time New England was pared off from Virginia by letters patent, bearing date April the 10th, 1608. Several gentlemen of the town and neighborhood of Plymouth obtained this grant, with the lord chief justice Popham at their head.22.

Their bounds were specified to extend from 38 to 45 degrees of northern latitude, with a breadth of one hundred miles from the sea shore. The first fourteen years, this company encountered many difficulties, and lost many men, though far from being discouraged, they sent over numerous recruits of presbyterians, every year, who for all that, had much ado to stand their ground, with all their fighting and praying.23.

But about the year 1620, a large swarm of dissenters fled thither from the severities of their stepmother, the church. These saints conceiving the same aversion to the copper complexion of the natives, with that of the first adventurers to Virginia, would, on no terms, contract alliances with them, afraid perhaps, like the Jews of old, lest they might be drawn into idolatry by those strange women.24.

Whatever disgusted them I cannot say, but this false delicacy creating in the Indians a jealousy that the English were ill affected towards them, was the cause that many of them were cut off, and the rest exposed to various distresses.25.

This reinforcement was landed not far from cape Cod, where, for their greater security, they built a fort, and near it a small town, which, in honour of the proprietors, was called New Plymouth. But they still had many discouragements to struggle with, though, by being well supported from home, they by degrees triumphed over them all.26.

Their brethren, after this, flocked over so fast, that in a few years they extended the settlement one hundred miles along the coast, including Rhode Island and Martha's Vineyard.27.

Thus the colony throve apace, and was thronged with large detachments of independents and presbyterians, who thought themselves persecuted at home.28.

Though these people may be ridiculed for some pharisaical particularities in their worship and behaviour, yet they were very useful subjects, as being frugal and industrious, giving no scandal or bad example, at least by any open and public vices. By which excellent qualities they had much the advantage of the southern colony, who thought their being members of the established church sufficient to sanctify very loose and profligate morals. For this reason New England improved much faster than Virginia, and in seven or eight years New Plymouth, like Switzerland, seemed too narrow a territory for its inhabitants.29.

For this reason, several gentlemen of fortune purchased of the company that canton of New England now called Massachusetts colony. And king James confirmed the purchase by his royal charter, dated March the 4th, 1628. In less than two years after, above one thousand of the puritanical sect removed thither with considerable effects, and these were followed by such crowds, that a proclamation was issued in England, forbidding any more of his majesty's subjects to be shipped off. But this had the usual effect of things forbidden, and served only to make the wilful independents flock over the faster. And about this time it was that Messrs. Hampden and Pym, and (some say) Oliver Cromwell, to show how little they valued the king's authority, took a trip to New England.30.

In the year 1630, the famous city of Boston was built, in a commodious situation for trade and navigation, the same being on a peninsula at the bottom of Massachusetts bay.31.

This town is now the most considerable of any on the British continent, containing at least 8,000 houses and 40,000 inhabitants. The trade it drives, is very great to Europe, and to every part of the West Indies, having near 1,000 ships and lesser vessels belonging to it.32.

Although the extent of the Massachusetts colony reached near one hundred and ten miles in length, and half as much in breadth, yet many of its inhabitants, thinking they wanted elbow room, quitted their old seats in the year 1636, and formed two new colonies: that of Connecticut and New Haven. These king Charles II. erected into one government in 1664, and gave them many valuable privileges, and among the rest, that of choosing their own governors. The extent of these united colonies may be about seventy miles long and fifty broad.33.

Besides these several settlements, there sprang up still another, a little more northerly, called New Hampshire. But that consisting of no more than two counties, and not being in condition to support the charge of a distinct government, was glad to be incorporated with that of Massachusetts, but upon condition, however, of being named in all public acts, for fear of being quite lost and forgotten in the coalition.34.

In like manner New Plymouth joined itself to Massachusetts, except only Rhode Island, which, though of small extent, got itself erected into a separate government by a charter from king Charles II., soon after the restoration, and continues so to this day.35.

These governments all continued in possession of their respective rights and privileges till the year 1683, when that of Massachusetts was made void in England by a quo warranto.36.

In consequence of which the king was pleased to name sir Edmund Andros his first governor of that colony. This gentleman, it seems, ruled them with a rod of iron till the revolution, when they laid unhallowed hands upon him, and sent him prisoner to England.37.

This undutiful proceeding met with an easy forgiveness at that happy juncture. King William and his royal consort were not only pleased to overlook this indignity offered to their governor, but being made sensible how unfairly their charter had been taken away, most graciously granted them a new one.38.

By this some new franchises were given them, as an equivalent for those of coining money and electing a governor, which were taken away. However, the other colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island had the luck to remain in possession of their original charters, which to this day have never been called in question.39.

The next country dismembered from Virginia was New Scotland, claimed by the crown of England in virtue of the first discovery by Sebastian Cabot. By colour of this title, king James I. granted it to sir William Alexander by patent, dated September the 10th, 1621.40.

But this patentee never sending any colony thither, and the French believing it very convenient for them, obtained a surrender of it from their good friend and ally, king Charles II., by the treaty of Breda. And, to show their gratitude, they stirred up the Indians soon after to annoy their neighbours of New England. Murders happened continually to his majesty's subjects by their means, till sir William Phipps took their town of Port Royal, in the year 1690. But as the English are better at taking than keeping strong places, the French retook it soon, and remained masters of it till 1710, when general Nicholson wrested it, once more, out of their hands.41.

Afterwards the queen of Great Britain's right to it was recognized and confirmed by the treaty of Utrecht.42.

Another limb lopped off from Virginia was New York, which the Dutch seized very unfairly, on pretence of having purchased it from captain Hudson, the first discoverer. Nor was their way of taking possession of it a whit more justifiable than their pretended title. Their West India company tampered with some worthy English skippers (who had contracted with a swarm of English dissenters to transport them to Hudson river) by no means to land them there, but to carry them some leagues more northerly.43.

This Dutch finesse took exactly, and gave the company time soon after to seize Hudson river for themselves. But sir Samuel Argall, then governor of Virginia, understanding how the king's subjects had been abused by these republicans, marched thither with a good force, and obliged them to renounce all pretensions to that country. The worst of it was, the knight depended on their parole to ship themselves for Brazil, but took no measures to make this slippery people as good as their word.44.

No sooner was the good governor retired, but the honest Dutch began to build forts and strengthen themselves in their ill-gotten possessions; nor did any of the king's liege people take the trouble to drive these intruders thence. The civil war in England, and the confusions it brought forth, allowed no leisure for such distant considerations. Though it is strange that the protector, who neglected no occasion to mortify the Dutch, did not afterwards call them to account for this breach of faith. However, after the restoration, the king sent a squadron of his ships of war, under the command of sir Robert Carr, and reduced that province to his obedience.45.

Some time after, his majesty was pleased to grant that country to his royal highness, the duke of York, by letters patent, dated March the 12th, 1664. But to show the modesty of the Dutch to the life, though they had no shadow of right to New York, yet they demanded Surinam, a more valuable country, as an equivalent for it, and our able ministers at that time had the generosity to give it them.46.

But what wounded Virginia deepest was the cutting off Maryland from it, by charter from king Charles I. to sir George Calvert, afterwards lord Baltimore, bearing date the 20th of June, 1632. The truth of it is, it begat much speculation in those days, how it came about that a good protestant king should bestow so bountiful a grant upon a zealous Roman catholic. But it is probable it was one fatal instance amongst many other of his majesty's complaisance to the queen.47.

However that happened, it is certain this province afterwards proved a commodious retreat for persons of that communion. The memory of the gunpowder treason-plot was still fresh in every body's mind, and made England too hot for papists to live in, without danger of being burnt with the pope, every 5th of November; for which reason legions of them transplanted themselves to Maryland in order to be safe, as well from the insolence of the populace as the rigour of the government.48.

Not only the gunpowder treason, but every other plot, both pretended and real, that has been trumped up in England ever since, has helped to people his lordship's propriety. But what has proved most serviceable to it was the grand rebellion against king Charles I., when every thing that bore the least tokens of popery was sure to be demolished, and every man that professed it was in jeopardy of suffering the same kind of martyrdom the Romish priests do in Sweden.49.

Soon after the reduction of New York, the duke was pleased to grant out of it all that tract of land included between Hudson and Delaware rivers, to the lord Berkley and sir George Carteret, by deed dated June the 24th, 1664. And when these grantees came to make partition of this territory, his lordship's moiety was called West Jersey, and that to sir George, East Jersey.50.

But before the date of this grant, the Swedes began to gain footing in part of that country; though, after they saw the fate of New York, they were glad to submit to the king of England, on the easy terms of remaining in their possessions, and rendering a moderate quit-rent. Their posterity continue there to this day, and think their lot cast in a much fairer land than Dalicarlia.51.

The proprietors of New Jersey, finding more trouble than profit in their new dominions, made over their right to several other persons, who obtained a fresh grant from his royal highness, dated March the 14th, 1682.52.

Several of the grantees, being quakers and anabaptists, failed not to encourage many of their own persuasion to remove to this peaceful region. Amongst them were a swarm of Scots quakers, who were not tolerated to exercise the gifts of the spirit in their own country.53.

Besides the hopes of being safe from persecution in this retreat, the new proprietors inveigled many over by this tempting account of the country: that it was a place free from those three great scourges of mankind, priests, lawyers, and physicians. Nor did they tell them a word of a lie, for the people were yet too poor to maintain these learned gentlemen, who, every where, love to be well paid for what they do; and, like the Jews, cannot breathe in a climate where nothing is to be gotten.54.

The Jerseys continued under the government of these proprietors till the year 1702, when they made a formal surrender of the dominion to the queen, reserving however the property of the soil to themselves. So soon as the bounds of New Jersey came to be distinctly laid off, it appeared there was still a narrow slip of land, lying betwixt that colony and Maryland. Of this, William Penn, a man of much worldly wisdom, and some eminence among the quakers, got early notice, and, by the credit he had with the duke of York, obtained a patent for it, dated March the 4th, 1680.55.

It was a little surprising to some people how a quaker should be so much in the good graces of a popish prince; though, after all, it may be pretty well accounted for. This ingenious person had not been bred a quaker; but, in his earlier days, had been a man of pleasure about the town. He had a beautiful form and very taking address, which made him successful with the ladies, and particularly with a mistress of the duke of Monmouth. By this gentlewoman he had a daughter, who had beauty enough to raise her to be a dutchess, and continued to be a toast full 30 years. But this amour had like to have brought our fine gentleman in danger of a duel, had he not discreetly sheltered himself under this peaceable persuasion. Besides, his father having been a flag-officer in the navy, while the duke of York was lord high admiral, might recommend the son to his favour. This piece of secret history I thought proper to mention, to wipe off the suspicion of his having been popishly inclined.56.

This gentleman's first grant confined him within pretty narrow bounds, giving him only that portion of land which contains Buckingham, Philadelphia and Chester counties. But to get these bounds a little extended, he pushed his interest still further with his royal highness, and obtained a fresh grant of the three lower counties, called Newcastle, Kent and Sussex, which still remained within the New York patent, and had been luckily left out of the grant of New Jersey. The six counties being thus incorporated, the proprietor dignified the whole with the name of Pennsylvania.57.

The quakers flocked over to this country in shoals, being averse to go to heaven the same way with the bishops. Amongst them were not a few of good substance, who went vigorously upon every kind of improvement; and thus much I may truly say in their praise, that by diligence and frugality, for which this harmless sect is remarkable, and by having no vices but such as are private, they have in a few years made Pennsylvania a very fine country. The truth is, they have observed exact justice with all the natives that border upon them; they have purchased all their lands from the Indians; and though they paid but a trifle for them, it has procured them the credit of being more righteous than their neighbours. They have likewise had the prudence to treat them kindly upon all occasions, which has saved them from many wars and massacres wherein the other colonies have been indiscreetly involved. The truth of it is, a people whose principles forbid them to draw the carnal sword, were in the right to give no provocation.58.

Both the French and Spaniards had, in the name of their respective monarchs, long ago taken possession of that part of the northern continent that now goes by the name of Carolina; but finding it produced neither gold nor silver, as they greedily expected, and meeting such returns from the Indians as their own cruelty and treachery deserved, they totally abandoned it. In this deserted condition that country lay for the space of ninety years, till king Charles II., finding it a derelict, granted it away to the earl of Clarendon and others, by his royal charter, dated March the 24th, 1663. The boundary of that grant towards Virginia was a due west line from Luck island, (the same as Colleton island,) lying in 36 degrees of north latitude, quite to the South sea.59.

But afterwards sir William Berkley, who was one of the grantees and at that time governor of Virginia, finding a territory of 31 miles in breadth between the inhabited part of Virginia and the above-mentioned boundary of Carolina, advised the lord Clarendon of it. And his lordship had interest enough with the king to obtain a second patent to include it, dated June the 30th, 1665.60.

This last grant describes the bounds between Virginia and Carolina in these words: •To run from the north end of Coratuck inlet, due west to Weyanoke creek, lying within or about the degree of thirty-six and thirty minutes of northern latitude, and from thence west, in a direct line, as far as the South sea.• Without question, this boundary was well known at the time the charter was granted, but in a long course of years Weyanoke creek lost its name, so that it became a controversy where it lay. Some ancient persons in Virginia affirmed it was the same with Wicocon, and others again in Carolina were as positive it was Nottoway river.61.

In the mean time, the people on the frontiers entered for land, and took out patents by guess, either from the king or the lords proprietors. But the crown was like to be the loser by this uncertainty, because the terms both of taking up and seating land were easier much in Carolina. The yearly taxes to the public were likewise there less burthensome, which laid Virginia under a plain disadvantage.62.

This consideration put that government upon entering into measures with North Carolina, to terminate the dispute, and settle a certain boundary between the two colonies. All the difficulty was, to find out which was truly Weyanoke creek. The difference was too considerable to be given up by either side, there being a territory of fifteen miles betwixt the two streams in controversy.63.

However, till that matter could be adjusted, it was agreed on both sides, that no lands at all should be granted within the disputed bounds. Virginia observed this agreement punctually, but I am sorry I cannot say the same of North Carolina. The great officers of that province were loath to lose the fees accruing from the grants of land, and so private interest got the better of public spirit; and I wish that were the only place in the world where such politics are fashionable.64.

All the steps that were taken afterwards in that affair, will best appear by the report of the Virginia commissioners, recited in the order of council given at St. James', March the 1st, 1710, set down in the appendix.65.

It must be owned, the report of those gentlemen was severe upon the then commissioners of North Carolina, and particularly upon Mr. Moseley. I will not take it upon me to say with how much justice they said so many hard things, though it had been fairer play to have given the parties accused a copy of such representation, that they might have answered what they could for themselves.66.

But since that was not done, I must beg leave to say thus much in behalf of Mr. Moseley, that he was not much in the wrong to find fault with the quadrant produced by the surveyors of Virginia, because that instrument placed the mouth of Nottoway river in the latitude of 37 degrees; whereas, by an accurate observation made since, it appears to lie in 36 and deg; 30' 30'', so that there was an error of near 30 minutes, either in the instrument or in those who made use of it.67.

Besides, it is evident the mouth of Nottoway river agrees much better with the latitude, wherein the Carolina charter supposed Weyanoke creek, (namely, in or about 36anddeg; 30',) than it does with Wicocon creek, which is about fifteen miles more southerly.68.

This being manifest, the intention of the king's grant will be pretty exactly answered, by a due west line drawn from Coratuck inlet to the mouth of Nottoway river, for which reason it is probable that was formerly called Weyanoke creek, and might change its name when the Nottoway Indians came to live upon it, which was since the date of the last Carolina charter.69.

The lieutenant governor of Virginia, at that time colonel Spotswood, searching into the bottom of this affair, made very equitable proposals to Mr. Eden, at that time governor of North Carolina, in order to put an end to this controversy. These, being formed into preliminaries, were signed by both governors, and transmitted to England, where they had the honour to be ratified by his late majesty and assented to by the lords proprietors of Carolina.70.

Accordingly an order was sent by the late king to Mr. Gooch, afterwards lieutenant governor of Virginia, to pursue those preliminaries exactly. In obedience thereunto, he was pleased to appoint three of the council of that colony to be commissioners on the part of Virginia, who, in conjunction with others to be named by the governor of North Carolina, were to settle the boundary between the two governments, upon the plan of the above-mentioned articles.71.

February, 1728. Two experienced surveyors were at the same time directed to wait upon the commissioners, Mr. Mayo, who made the accurate map of Barbadoes, and Mr. Irvin, the mathematic professor of William and Mary College. And because a good number of men were to go upon this expedition, a chaplain was appointed to attend them, and the rather because the people on the frontiers of North Carolina, who have no minister near them, might have an opportunity to get themselves and their children baptized.72.

Of these proceedings on our part, immediate notice was sent to sir Richard Everard, governor of North Carolina, who was desired to name commissioners for that province, to meet those of Virginia at Coratuck inlet the spring following. Accordingly he appointed four members of the council of that province to take care of the interests of the lords proprietors. Of these, Mr. Moseley was to serve in a double capacity, both as commissioner and surveyor. For that reason there was but one other surveyor from thence, Mr. Swan. All the persons being thus agreed upon, they settled the time of meeting to be at Coratuck, March the 5th, 1728.73.

In the mean time, the requisite preparations were made for so long and tiresome a journey; and because there was much work to be done and some danger from the Indians, in the uninhabited part of the country, it was necessary to provide a competent number of men. Accordingly, seventeen able hands were listed on the part of Virginia, who were most of them Indian traders and expert woodsmen.74.

Feb. 27th. These good men were ordered to come armed with a musket and a tomahawk, or large hatchet, and provided with a sufficient quantity of ammunition. They likewise brought provisions of their own for ten days, after which time they were to be furnished by the government. Their march was appointed to be on the 27th of February, on which day one of the commissioners met them at their rendezvous, and proceeded with them as far as colonel Allen's. This gentleman is a great economist, and skilled in all the arts of living well at an easy expense.75.

28th. They proceeded in good order through Surry county, as far as the widow Allen's, who had copied Solomon's complete housewife exactly. At this gentlewoman's house, the other two commissioners had appointed to join them, but were detained by some accident at Williamsburg, longer than their appointment.76.

29th. They pursued their march through the Isle of Wight, and observed a most dreadful havoc made by a late hurricane, which happened in August, 1726. The violence of it had not reached above a quarter of a mile in breadth, but within that compass had levelled all before it. Both trees and houses were laid flat on the ground, and several things hurled to an incredible distance. It is happy such violent gusts are confined to so narrow a channel, because they carry desolation wherever they go. In the evening they reached Mr. Godwin's, on the south branch of Nansemond river, where they were treated with abundance of primitive hospitality.77.

March 1st. This gentleman was so kind as to shorten their journey, by setting them over the river. They coasted the north-east side of the Dismal for several miles together, and found all the grounds bordering upon it very full of sloughs. The trees that grew near it looked very reverend, with the long moss that hung dangling from their branches. Both cattle and horses eat this moss greedily in winter when other provender is scarce, though it is apt to scour them at first. In that moist soil too grew abundance of that kind of myrtle which bears the candle-berries. There was likewise, here and there, a gall bush, which is a beautiful evergreen, and may be cut into any shape. It derives its name from its berries turning water black, like the galls of an oak. When this shrub is transplanted into gardens, it will not thrive without frequent watering.78.

The two other commissioners came up with them just at their journey's end, and that evening they arrived all together at Mr. Craford's, who lives on the south branch of Elizabeth river, over against Norfolk. Here the commissioners left the men with all the horses and heavy baggage, and crossed the river with their servants only, for fear of making a famine in the town.79.

Norfolk has most the air of a town of any in Virginia. There were then near 20 brigantines and sloops riding at the wharves, and oftentimes they have more. It has all the advantages of situation requisite for trade and navigation. There is a secure harbour for a good number of ships of any burthen. Their river divides itself into three several branches, which are all navigable. The town is so near the sea, that its vessels may sail in and out in a few hours. Their trade is chiefly to the West Indies, whither they export abundance of beef, pork, flour and lumber. The worst of it is, they contribute much towards debauching the country by importing abundance of rum, which, like gin in Great Britain, breaks the constitutions, vitiates the morals, and ruins the industry of most of the poor people of this country. This place is the mart for most of the commodities produced in the adjacent parts of North Carolina. They have a pretty deal of lumber from the borderers on the Dismal, who make bold with the king's land thereabouts, without the least ceremony. They not only maintain their stocks upon it, but get boards, shingles and other lumber out of it in great abundance.80.

The town is built on a level spot of ground upon Elizabeth river, the banks whereof are neither so high as to make the landing of goods troublesome, or so low as to be in danger of overflowing. The streets are straight, and adorned with several good houses, which increase every day. It is not a town of ordinaries and public houses, like most others in this country, but the inhabitants consist of merchants, ship-carpenters and other useful artisans, with sailors enough to manage their navigation. With all these conveniences, it lies under the two great disadvantages that most of the towns in Holland do, by having neither good air nor good water. The two cardinal virtues that make a place thrive, industry and frugality, are seen here in perfection; and so long as they can banish luxury and idleness, the town will remain in a happy and flourishing condition.81.

The method of building wharves here is after the following manner. They lay down long pine logs, that reach from the shore to the edge of the channel. These are bound fast together by cross pieces notched into them, according to the architecture of the log-houses in North Carolina. A wharf built thus will stand several years, in spite of the worm, which bites here very much, but may be soon repaired in a place where so many pines grow in the neighbourhood.82.

The commissioners endeavoured, in this town, to list three more men to serve as guides in that dirty part of the country, but found that these people knew just enough of that frightful place to avoid it. They had been told that those Netherlands were full of bogs, of marshes and swamps, not fit for human creatures to engage in, and this was reason enough for them not to hazard their persons. So they told us, flat and plain, that we might even daggle through the mire by ourselves for them.83.

The worst of it was, we could not learn from any body in this town, what route to take to Coratuck inlet; till at last we had the fortune to meet with a borderer upon North Carolina, who made us a rough sketch of that part of the country. Thus, upon seeing how the land lay, we determined to march directly to Prescot landing upon North-west river, and proceed thence by water to the place where our line was to begin.84.

4th. In pursuance of this resolution we crossed the river this morning to Powder point, where we all took horse; and the grandees of the town, with great courtesy, conducted us ten miles on our way, as far as the long bridge built over the south branch of the river. The parson of the parish, Mr. Marston, a painful apostle from the society, made one in this ceremonious cavalcade.85.

At the bridge, these gentlemen, wishing us a good deliverance, returned, and then a troop of light horse escorted us as far as Prescot landing, upon North-west river. Care had been taken beforehand to provide two periaugas to lie ready at that place to transport us to Coratuck inlet. Our zeal was so great to get thither at the time appointed, that we hardly allowed ourselves leisure to eat, which in truth we had the less stomach to, by reason the dinner was served up by the landlord, whose nose stood on such ticklish terms, that it was in danger of falling into the dish. We therefore made our repast very short, and then embarked with only the surveyors and nine chosen men, leaving the rest at Mr. W–-n's to take care of the horses and baggage. There we also left our chaplain, with the charitable intent, that the gentiles round about might have time and opportunity, if they pleased, of getting themselves and their children baptized.86.

We rowed down North-west river about 18 miles, as far as the mouth of it, where it empties itself into Albemarle sound. It was really a delightful sight, all the way, to see the banks of the river adorned with myrtle, laurel and bay trees, which preserve their verdure the year round, though it must be owned that these beautiful plants, sacred to Venus and Apollo, grow commonly in a very dirty soil. The river is, in most places, fifty or sixty yards wide, without spreading much wider at the mouth. It is remarkable it was never known to ebb and flow till the year 1713, when a violent storm opened a new inlet, about five miles south of the old one; since which convulsion, the old inlet is almost choked up by the shifting of the sand, and grows both narrower and shoaler every day.87.

It was dark before we could reach the mouth of the river, where our wayward stars directed us to a miserable cottage. The landlord was lately removed, bag and baggage, from Maryland, through a strong antipathy he had to work and paying his debts. For want of our tent, we were obliged to shelter ourselves in this wretched hovel, where we were almost devoured by vermin of various kinds. However, we were above complaining, being all philosophers enough to improve such slender distresses into mirth and good humour.88.

5th. The day being now come, on which we had agreed to meet the commissioners of North Carolina, we embarked very early, which we could the easier do, having no temptation to stay where we were. We shaped our course along the south end of Knot's island, there being no passage open on the north. Further still to the southward of us, we discovered two smaller islands, that go by the names of Bell's and Church's isles. We also saw a small New England sloop riding in the sound, a little to the south of our course. She had come in at the new inlet, as all other vessels have done since the opening of it. This navigation is a little difficult, and fit only for vessels that draw no more than ten feet water. The trade hither is engrossed by the saints of New England, who carry off a great deal of tobacco, without troubling themselves with paying that impertinent duty of a penny a pound.89.

It was just noon before we arrived at Coratuck inlet, which is now so shallow that the breakers fly over it with a horrible sound, and at the same time afford a very wild prospect. On the north side of the inlet, the high land terminated in a bluff point, from which a spit of land extended itself towards the south-east, full half a mile. The inlet lies between that spit and another on the south of it, leaving an opening of not quite a mile, which at this day is not practicable for any vessel whatsoever. And as shallow as it now is, it continues to fill up more and more, both the wind and waves rolling in the sands from the eastern shoals.90.

About two o'clock in the afternoon we were joined by two of the Carolina commissioners, attended by Mr. Swan, their surveyor. The other two were not quite so punctual, which was the more unlucky for us, because there could be no sport till they came. These gentlemen, it seems, had the Carolina commission in their keeping, not withstanding which, they could not forbear paying too much regard to a proverb–fashionable in their country–not to make more haste than good speed.91.

However, that we who were punctual might not spend our precious time unprofitably, we took the several bearings of the coast. We also surveyed part of the adjacent high land, which had scarcely any trees growing upon it, but cedars. Among the shrubs, we were showed here and there a bush of Carolina tea called Japon, which is one species of the Phylarrea. This is an evergreen, the leaves whereof have some resemblance to tea, but differ very widely both in taste and flavour. We also found some few plants of the spired leaf silk grass, which is likewise an evergreen, bearing on a lofty stem a large cluster of flowers of a pale yellow. Of the leaves of this plant the people thereabouts twist very strong cordage.92.

A virtuoso might divert himself here very well, in picking up shells of various hue and figure, and amongst the rest, that species of conch shell which the Indian peak is made of. The extremities of these shells are blue and the rest white, so that peak of both these colours are drilled out of one and the same shell, serving the natives both for ornament and money, and are esteemed by them far beyond gold and silver.93.

The cedars were of singular use to us in the absence of our tent, which we had left with the rest of the baggage for fear of overloading the periaugas. We made a circular hedge of the branches of this tree, wrought so close together as to fence us against the cold winds. We then kindled a rousing fire in the centre of it, and lay round it, like so many knights templars. But, as comfortable as this lodging was, the surveyors turned out about two in the morning to try the variation by a meridian taken from the north star, and found it to be somewhat less than three degrees west.94.

The commissioners of the neighbouring colony came better provided for the belly than the business. They brought not above two men along with them that would put their hands to any thing but the kettle and the fryingpan. These spent so much of their industry that way, that they had as little spirit as inclination for work.95.

6th. At noon, having a perfect observation, we found the latitude of Coratuck inlet to be 36 degrees and 31 minutes.96.

Whilst we were busied about these necessary matters, our skipper rowed to an oyster bank just by, and loaded his periauga with oysters as savoury and well-tasted as those from Colchester or Walfleet, and had the advantage of them, too, by being much larger and fatter.97.

About three in the afternoon the two lag commissioners arrived, and after a few decent excuses for making us wait, told us they were ready to enter upon business as soon as we pleased. The first step was to produce our respective powers, and the commission from each governor was distinctly read, and copies of them interchangeably delivered.98.

It was observed by our Carolina friends, that the latter part of the Virginia commission had something in it a little too lordly and positive. In answer to which we told them it was necessary to make it thus peremptory, lest the present commissioners might go upon as fruitless an errand as their predecessors. The former commissioners were tied down to act in exact conjunction with those of Carolina, and so could not advance one step farther, or one jot faster, than they were pleased to permit them. The memory of that disappointment, therefore, induced the government of Virginia to give fuller powers to the present commissioners, by authorizing them to go on with the work by themselves, in case those of Carolina should prove unreasonable, and refuse to join with them in carrying the business to execution. And all this was done lest his majesty's gracious intention should be frustrated a second time.99.

After both commissions were considered, the first question was, where the dividing line was to begin. This begat a warm debate; the Virginia commissioners contending, with a great deal of reason, to begin at the end of the spit of sand; which was undoubtedly the north shore of Coratuck inlet. But those of Carolina insisted strenuously, that the point of high land ought rather to be the place of beginning, because that was fixed and certain, whereas the spit of sand was ever shifting, and did actually run out farther now than formerly. The contest lasted some hours, with great vehemence, neither party receding from their opinion that night. But next morning, Mr. Moseley, to convince us he was not that obstinate person he had been represented, yielded to our reasons, and found means to bring over his colleagues.100.

Here we began already to reap the benefit of those peremptory words in our commission, which in truth added some weight to our reasons. Nevertheless, because positive proof was made by the oaths of two credible witnesses, that the spit of sand had advanced 200 yards towards the inlet since the controversy first began, we were willing for peace' sake to make them that allowance. Accordingly we fixed our beginning about that distance north of the inlet, and there ordered a cedar post to be driven deep into the sand for our beginning. While we continued here, we were told that on the south shore, not far from the inlet, dwelt a marooner, that modestly called himself a hermit, though he forfeited that name by suffering a wanton female to cohabit with him. His habitation was a bower, covered with bark after the Indian fashion, which in that mild situation protected him pretty well from the weather. Like the ravens, he neither ploughed nor sowed, but subsisted chiefly upon oysters, which his handmaid made a shift to gather from the adjacent rocks. Sometimes, too, for change of diet, he sent her to drive up the neighbour's cows, to moisten their mouths with a little milk. But as for raiment, he depended mostly upon his length of beard, and she upon her length of hair, part of which she brought decently forward, and the rest dangled behind quite down to her rump, like one of Herodotus' East Indian pigmies. Thus did these wretches live in a dirty state of nature, and were mere Adamites, innocence only excepted.101.

7th. This morning the surveyors began to run the dividing line from the cedar post we had driven into the sand, allowing near three degrees for the variation. Without making this just allowance, we should not have obeyed his majesty's order in running a due west line. It seems the former commissioners had not been so exact, which gave our friends of Carolina but too just an exception to their proceedings. The line cut Dosier's island, consisting only of a flat sand, with here and there an humble shrub growing upon it. From thence it crossed over a narrow arm of the sound into Knot's island, and there split a plantation belonging to William Harding.102.

The day being far spent, we encamped in this man's pasture, though it lay very low, and the season now inclined people to aguish distempers. He suffered us to cut cedar branches for our enclosure, and other wood for firing, to correct the moist air and drive away the damps. Our landlady, in the days of her youth, it seems, had been a laundress in the Temple, and talked over her adventures in that station, with as much pleasure as an old soldier talks over his battles and distempers, and I believe with as many additions to the truth. The soil is good in many places of this island, and the extent of it pretty large. It lies in the form of a wedge: the south end of it is several miles over, but towards the north it sharpens into a point. It is a plentiful place for stock, by reason of the wide marshes adjacent to it, and because of its warm situation. But the inhabitants pay a little dear for this convenience, by losing as much blood in the summer season by the infinite number of mosquitoes, as all their beef and pork can recruit in the winter.103.

The sheep are as large as in Lincolnshire, because they are never pinched by cold or hunger. The whole island was hitherto reckoned to lie in Virginia, but now our line has given the greater part of it to Carolina. The principal freeholder here is Mr. White, who keeps open house for all travellers, that either debt or shipwreck happens to cast in his way.104.

8th. By break of day we sent away our largest periauga, with the baggage, round the south end of Knot's island, with orders to the men to wait for us in the mouth of North river. Soon after, we embarked ourselves on board the smaller vessel, with intent, if possible, to find a passage round the north end of the island.105.

We found this navigation very difficult, by reason of the continued shoals, and often stuck fast aground; for though the sound spreads many miles, yet it is in most places extremely shallow, and requires a skilful pilot to steer even a canoe safe over it. It was almost as hard to keep our temper, as to keep the channel, in this provoking situation. But the most impatient amongst us stroked down their choler, and swallowed their curses, lest, if they suffered them to break out, they might sound like complaining, which was expressly forbidden, as the first step to sedition.106.

At a distance we described several islands to the northward of us, the largest of which goes by the name of Cedar island. Our periadga stuck so often that we had a fair chance to be benighted in this wide water, which must certainly have been our fate, had we not luckily spied a canoe that was giving a fortune-teller a cast from Princess Anne county over to North Carolina. But, as conjurers are sometimes mistaken, the man mistrusted we were officers of justice in pursuit of a young wench he had carried off along with him. We gave the canoe chase for more than an hour, and when we came up with her, threatened to make them all prisoners unless they would direct us into the right channel. By the pilotage of these people we rowed up an arm of the sound, called the Back bay, till we came to the head of it. There we were stopped by a miry pocoson full half a mile in breadth, through which we were obliged to daggle on foot, plunging now and then, though we picked our way, up to the knees in mud. At the end of this charming walk we gained the terra firma of Princess Anne county. In that dirty condition we were afterwards obliged to foot it two miles, as far as John Heath's plantation, where we expected to meet the surveyors and the men who waited upon them.107.

While we were performing this tedious voyage, they had carried the line through the firm land of Knot's island, where it was no more than half a mile wide. After that they traversed a large marsh, that was exceedingly miry, and extended to an arm of the Back bay. They crossed that water in a canoe, which we had ordered round for that purpose, and then waded over another marsh, that reached quite to the high land of Princess Anne. Both these marshes together make a breadth of five miles, in which the men frequently sank up to the middle, without muttering the least complaint. On the contrary, they turned all these disasters into merriment.108.

It was discovered, by this day's work, that Knot's island was improperly so called, being in truth no more than a peninsula. The north-west side of it is only divided from the main by the great marsh above-mentioned, which is seldom totally overflowed. Instead of that, it might, by the labour of a few trenches, be drained into firm meadow, capable of grazing as many cattle as Job, in his best estate, was master of. In the miry condition in which it now lies, it feeds great numbers in the winter, though, when the weather grows warm, they are driven thence by the mighty armies of mosquitoes, which are the plague of the lower part of Carolina, as much as the flies were formerly of Egypt, and some rabbins think those flies were no other than mosquitoes.109.

All the people in the neighbourhood flocked to John Heath's, to behold such rarities as they fancied us to be. The men left their beloved chimney corners, the good women their spinning wheels, and some, of more curiosity than ordinary, rose out of their sick beds, to come and stare at us. They looked upon us as a troop of knights errant, who were running this great risk of our lives, as they imagined, for the public weal; and some of the gravest of them questioned much whether we were not all criminals, condemned to this dirty work for offences against the state. What puzzled them most was, what could make our men so very light-hearted under such intolerable drudgery. "Ye have little reason to be merry, my masters," said one of them, with a very solemn face, "I fancy the pocoson you must struggle with to-morrow will make you change your note, and try what metal you are made of. Ye are, to be sure, the first of human race that ever had the boldness to attempt it, and I dare say will be the last. If, therefore, you have any worldly goods to dispose of, my advice is that you make your wills this very night, for fear you die intestate to-morrow." But, alas! these frightful tales were so far from disheartening the men, that they served only to whet their resolution.110.

9th. The surveyors entered early upon their business this morning, and ran the line through Mr. Eyland's plantation, as far as the banks of North river. They passed over it in the periauga, and landed in Gibbs' marsh, which was a mile in breadth, and tolerably firm. They trudged through this marsh without much difficulty as far as the high land, which promised more fertility than any they had seen in these lower parts. But this firm land lasted not long before they came upon the dreadful pocoson they had been threatened with. Nor did they find it one jot better than it had been painted to them. The beavers and otters had rendered it quite impassable for any creature but themselves.111.

Our poor fellows had much ado to drag their legs after them in this quagmire, but disdaining to be balked, they could hardly be persuaded from pressing forward by the surveyors, who found it absolutely necessary to make a traverse in the deepest place, to prevent their sticking fast in the mire, and becoming a certain prey to the turkey buzzards.112.

This horrible day's work ended two miles to the northward of Mr. Merchant's plantation, divided from North-west river by a narrow swamp, which is causewayed over. We took up our quarters in the open field, not far from the house, correcting, by a fire as large as a Roman funeral pile, the aguish exhalations arising from the sunken grounds that surrounded us.113.

The neck of land included betwixt North river and North-west river, with the adjacent marsh, belonged formerly to Governor Gibbs, but since his decease to Colonel Bladen, in right of his first lady, who was Mr. Gibbs' daughter. It would be a valuable tract of land in any country but North Carolina, where, for want of navigation and commerce, the best estate affords little more than a coarse subsistence.114.

10th. The sabbath happened very opportunely to give some ease to our jaded people, who rested religiously from every work, but that of cooking the kettle. We observed very few corn-fields in our walks, and those very small, which seemed the stranger to us, because we could see no other tokens of husbandry or improvement. But, upon further inquiry, we were given to understand people only made corn for themselves and not for their stocks, which know very well how to get their own living. Both cattle and hogs ramble into the neighbouring marshes and swamps, where they maintain themselves the whole winter long, and are not fetched home till the spring. Thus these indolent wretches, during one half of the year, lose the advantage of the milk of their cattle, as well as their dung, and many of the poor creatures perish in the mire, into the bargain, by this ill management. Some, who pique themselves more upon industry than their neighbours, will, now and then, in compliment to their cattle, cut down a tree whose limbs are loaded with the moss afore-mentioned. The trouble would be too great to climb the tree in order to gather this provender, but the shortest way (which in this country is always counted the best) is to fell it, just like the lazy Indians, who do the same by such trees as bear fruit, and so make one harvest for all. By this bad husbandry milk is so scarce, in the winter season, that were a big-bellied woman to long for it, she would lose her longing. And, in truth, I believe this is often the case, and at the same time a very good reason why so many people in this province are marked with a custard complexion.115.

The only business here is raising of hogs, which is managed with the least trouble, and affords the diet they are most fond of. The truth of it is, the inhabitants of North Carolina devour so much swine's flesh, that it fills them full of gross humours. For want too of a constant supply of salt, they are commonly obliged to eat it fresh, and that begets the highest taint of scurvy. Thus, whenever a severe cold happens to constitutions thus vitiated, it is apt to improve into the yaws, called there very justly the country distemper. This has all the symptoms of syphilis, with this aggravation, that no preparation of mercury will touch it. First it seizes the throat, next the palate, and lastly shows its spite to the poor nose, of which it is apt in a small time treacherously to undermine the foundation. This calamity is so common and familiar here, that it ceases to be a scandal, and in the disputes that happen about beauty, the noses have in some companies much ado to carry it. Nay, it is said that once, after three good pork years, a motion had like to have been made in the house of burgesses, that a man with a nose should be incapable of holding any place of profit in the province; which extraordinary motion could never have been intended without some hopes of a majority.116.

Thus, considering the foul and pernicious effects of eating swine's flesh in a hot country, it was wisely forbidden and made an abomination to the Jews, who lived much in the same latitude with Carolina.117.

11th. We ordered the surveyors early to their business, who were blessed with pretty dry grounds for three miles together. But they paid dear for it in the next two, consisting of one continued frightful pocoson, which no creatures but those of the amphibious kind ever had ventured into before. This filthy quagmire did in earnest put the men's courage to a trial, and though I cannot say it made them lose their patience, yet they lost their humour for joking. They kept their gravity like so many Spaniards, so that a man might then have taken his opportunity to plunge up to the chin, without danger of being laughed at. However, this unusual composure of countenance could not fairly be called complaining. Their day's work ended at the mouth of Northern's creek, which empties itself into North-west river; though we chose to quarter a little higher up the river, near Mossy point. This we did for the convenience of an old house to shelter our persons and baggage from the rain, which threatened us hard. We judged the thing right, for there fell a heavy shower in the night, that drove the most hardy of us into the house. Though, indeed, our case was not much mended by retreating thither, because that tenement having not long before been used as a pork store, the moisture of the air dissolved the salt that lay scattered on the floor, and made it as wet within doors as without. However, the swamps and marshes we were lately accustomed to had made such beavers and otters of us that nobody caught the least cold. We had encamped so early, that we found time in the evening to walk near half a mile into the woods. There we came upon a family of mulattoes that called themselves free, though by the shyness of the master of the house, who took care to keep least in sight, their freedom seemed a little doubtful. It is certain many slaves shelter themselves in this obscure part of the world, nor will any of their righteous neighbours discover them. On the contrary, they find their account in settling such fugitives on some out-of-the-way corner of their land, to raise stocks for a mean and inconsiderable share, well knowing their condition makes it necessary for them to submit to any terms. Nor were these worthy borderers content to shelter runaway slaves, but debtors and criminals have often met with the like indulgence. But if the government of North Carolina has encouraged this unneighbourly policy in order to increase their people, it is no more than what ancient Rome did before them, which was made a city of refuge for all debtors and fugitives, and from that wretched beginning grew up in time to be mistress of a great part of the world. And, considering how fortune delights in bringing great things out of small, who knows but Carolina may, one time or other, come to be the seat of some other great empire?118.

12th. Every thing had been so soaked with the rain, that we were obliged to lie by a good part of the morning and dry them. However, that time was not lost, because it gave the surveyors an opportunity of platting off their work and taking the course of the river. It likewise helped to recruit the spirits of the men, who had been a little harassed with yesterday's march. Notwithstanding all this, we crossed the river before noon, and advanced our line three miles. It was not possible to make more of it, by reason good part of the way was either marsh or pocoson. The line cut two or three plantations, leaving part of them in Virginia, and part of them in Carolina. This was a case that happened frequently, to the great inconvenience of the owners, who were therefore obliged to take out two patents and pay for a new survey in each government. In the evening, we took up our quarters in Mr. Ballance's pasture, a little above the bridge built over North-west river. There we discharged the two periaugas, which in truth had been very serviceable in transporting us over the many waters in that dirty and difficult part of our business. Our landlord had a tolerable good house and clean furniture, and yet we could not be tempted to lodge in it. We chose rather to lie in the open field, for fear of growing too tender. A clear sky, spangled with stars, was our canopy, which being the last thing we saw before we fell asleep, gave us magnificent dreams. The truth of it is, we took so much pleasure in that natural kind of lodging, that I think at the foot of the account mankind are great losers by the luxury of feather beds and warm apartments.119.

The curiosity of beholding so new and withal so sweet a method of encamping, brought one of the senators of North Carolina to make us a midnight visit. But he was so very clamorous in his commendations of it, that the sentinel, not seeing his quality, either through his habit or behaviour, had like to have treated him roughly. After excusing the unseasonableness of his visit, and letting us know he was a parliament man, he swore he was so taken with our lodging, that he would set fire to his house as soon as he got home, and teach his wife and children to lie, like us, in the open field.120.

13th. Early this morning our chaplain repaired to us with the men we had left at Mr. Wilson's. We had sent for them the evening before to relieve those who had the labour-oar from Coratuck inlet. But to our great surprise, they petitioned not to be relieved, hoping to gain immortal reputation by being the first of mankind that ventured through the great Dismal. But the rest being equally ambitious of the same honour, it was but fair to decide their pretensions by lot. After fortune had declared herself, those which she had excluded offered money to the happy persons to go in their stead. But Hercules would have as soon sold the glory of cleansing the Augean stables, which was pretty near the same sort of work. No sooner was the controversy at an end, but we sent those unfortunate fellows back to their quarters, whom chance had condemned to remain upon firm land and sleep in a whole skin. In the mean while the surveyors carried the line three miles, which was no contemptible day's work, considering how cruelly they were entangled with briers and gall bushes. The leaf of this last shrub bespeaks it to be of the alaternus family.121.

Our work ended within a quarter of a mile of the Dismal above-mentioned, where the ground began to be already full of sunken holes and slashes, which had, here and there, some few reeds growing in them. It is hardly credible how little the bordering inhabitants were acquainted with this mighty swamp, notwithstanding they had lived their whole lives within smell of it. Yet, as great strangers as they were to it, they pretended to be very exact in their account of its dimensions, and were positive it could not be above seven or eight miles wide, but knew no more of the matter than star-gazers know of the distance of the fixed stars. At the same time, they were simple enough to amuse our men with idle stories of the lions, panthers and alligators, they were like to encounter in that dreadful place. In short, we saw plainly there was no intelligence of this terra incognita to be got, but from our own experience. For that reason it was resolved to make the requisite dispositions to enter it next morning. We allotted every one of the surveyors for this painful enterprise, with twelve men to attend them. Fewer than that could not be employed in clearing the way, carrying the chain, marking the trees, and bearing the necessary bedding and provisions. Nor would the commissioners themselves have spared their persons on this occasion, but for fear of adding to the poor men's burthen, while they were certain they could add nothing to their resolution.122.

We quartered with our friend and fellow traveller, William Wilkins, who had been our faithful pilot to Coratuck, and lived about a mile from the place where the line ended. Every thing looked so very clean, and the furniture so neat, that we were tempted to lodge within doors. But the novelty of being shut up so close quite spoiled our rest, nor did we breathe so free by abundance, as when we lay in the open air.123.

14th. Before nine of the clock this morning, the provisions, bedding and other necessaries were made up into packs for the men to carry on their shoulders into the Dismal. They were victualled for eight days at full allowance, nobody doubting but that would be abundantly sufficient to carry them through that inhospitable place; nor indeed was it possible for the poor fellows to stagger under more. As it was, their loads weighed from 60 to 70 pounds, in just proportion to the strength of those who were to bear them. It would have been unconscionable to have saddled them with burthens heavier than that, when they were to lug them through a filthy bog, which was hardly practicable with no burthen at all. Besides this luggage at their backs, they were obliged to measure the distance, mark the trees, and clear the way for the surveyors every step they went. It was really a pleasure to see with how much cheerfulness they undertook, and with how much spirit they went through all this drudgery. For their greater safety, the commissioners took care to furnish them with Peruvian bark, rhubarb and hipocoacanah, in case they might happen, in that wet journey, to be taken with fevers or fluxes. Although there was no need of example to inflame persons already so cheerful, yet to enter the people with the better grace, the author and two more of the commissioners accompanied them half a mile into the Dismal. The skirts of it were thinly planted with dwarf reeds and gall bushes, but when we got into the Dismal itself, we found the reeds grew there much taller and closer, and, to mend the matter, were so interlaced with bamboo-briers, that there was no scuffling through them without the help of pioneers. At the same time, we found the ground moist and trembling under our feet like a quagmire, insomuch that it was an easy matter to run a tenfoot pole up to the head in it, without exerting any uncommon strength to do it. Two of the men, whose burthens were the least cumbersome, had orders to march before, with their tomahawks, and clear the way, in order to make an opening for the surveyors. By their assistance we made a shift to push the line half a mile in three hours, and then reached a small piece of firm land, about 100 yards wide, standing up above the rest like an island. Here the people were glad to lay down their loads and take a little refreshment, while the happy man, whose lot it was to carry the jug of rum, began already like andAElig;sop's bread-carriers, to find it grow a good deal lighter.124.

After reposing about an hour, the commissioners recommended vigour and constancy to their fellow-travellers, by whom they were answered with three cheerful huzzas, in token of obedience. This ceremony was no sooner over but they took up their burthens and attended the motion of the surveyors, who, though they worked with all their might, could reach but one mile farther, the same obstacles still attending them which they had met with in the morning. However small this distance may seem to such as are used to travel at their ease, yet our poor men, who were obliged to work with an unwieldy load at their backs, had reason to think it a long way; especially in a bog where they had no firm footing, but every step made a deep impression, which was instantly filled with water. At the same time they were labouring with their hands to cut down the reeds, which were ten feet high, their legs were hampered with the briers. Besides, the weather happened to be warm, and the tallness of the reeds kept off every friendly breeze from coming to refresh them. And, indeed, it was a little provoking to hear the wind whistling among the branches of the white cedars, which grew here and there amongst the reeds, and at the same time not to have the comfort to feel the least breath of it.125.

In the mean time the three commissioners returned out of the Dismal the same way they went in, and, having joined their brethren, proceeded that night as far as Mr. Wilson's. This worthy person lives within sight of the Dismal, in the skirts whereof his stocks range and maintain themselves all the winter, and yet he knew as little of it as he did of Terra Australis Incognita. He told us a Canterbury tale of a North Briton, whose curiosity spurred him a long way into this great desert, as he called it, near twenty years ago, but he having no compass, nor seeing the sun for several days together, wandered about till he was almost famished; but at last he bethought himself of a secret his countrymen make use of to pilot themselves in a dark day. He took a fat louse out of his collar, and exposed it to the open day on a piece of white paper, which he brought along with him for his journal. The poor insect, having no eye-lids, turned himself about till he found the darkest part of the heavens, and so made the best of his way towards the north. By this direction he steered himself safe out, and gave such a frightful account of the monsters he saw, and the distresses he underwent, that no mortal since has been hardy enough to go upon the like dangerous discovery.126.

15th. The surveyors pursued their work with all diligence, but still found the soil of the Dismal so spongy that the water oozed up into every footstep they took. To their sorrow, too, they found the reeds and briers more firmly interwoven than they did the day before. But the greatest grievance was from large cypresses, which the wind had blown down and heaped upon one another. On the limbs of most of them grew sharp snags, pointing every way like so many pikes, that required much pains and caution to avoid. These trees being evergreens, and shooting their large tops very high, are easily overset by every gust of wind, because there is no firm earth to steady their roots. Thus many of them were laid prostrate, to the great encumbrance of the way. Such variety of difficulties made the business go on heavily, insomuch that, from morning till night, the line could advance no farther than one mile and thirty-one poles. Never was rum, that cordial of life, found more necessary than it was in this dirty place. It did not only recruit the people's spirits, now almost jaded with fatigue, but served to correct the badness of the water, and at the same time to resist the malignity of the air. Whenever the men wanted to drink, which was very often, they had nothing more to do but to make a hole, and the water bubbled up in a moment. But it was far from being either clear or well tasted, and had besides a physical effect, from the tincture it received from the roots of the shrubs and trees that grew in the neighbourhood.127.

While the surveyors were thus painfully employed, the commissioners discharged the long score they had with Mr. Wilson, for the men and horses which had been quartered upon him during our expedition to Coratuck. From thence we marched in good order along the east side of the Dismal, and passed the long bridge that lies over the south branch of Elizabeth river. At the end of 18 miles we reached Timothy Ivy's plantation, where we pitched our tent for the first time, and were furnished with every thing the place afforded. We perceived the happy effects of industry in this family, in which every one looked tidy and clean, and carried in their countenances the cheerful marks of plenty. We saw no drones there, which are but too common, alas, in that part of the world. Though, in truth, the distemper of laziness seizes the men oftener much than the women. These last spin, weave and knit, all with their own hands, while their husbands, depending on the bounty of the climate, are slothful in every thing but getting of children, and in that only instance make themselves useful members of an infant colony.128.

There is but little wool in that province, though cotton grows very kindly, and, so far south, is seldom nipped by the frost. The good women mix this with their wool for their outer garments; though, for want of fulling, that kind of manufacture is open and sleazy. Flax likewise thrives there extremely, being perhaps as fine as any in the world, and I question not might, with a little care, be brought to rival that of Egypt; and yet the men are here so intolerably lazy, they seldom take the trouble to propagate it.129.

16th. The line was this day carried one mile and a half and sixteen poles. The soil continued soft and miry, but fuller of trees, especially white cedars. Many of these too were thrown down and piled in heaps, high enough for a good Muscovite fortification. The worst of it was, the poor fellows began now to be troubled with fluxes, occasioned by bad water and moist lodging: but chewing of rhubarb kept that malady within bounds.130.

In the mean time the commissioners decamped early in the morning, and made a march of twenty-five miles, as far as Mr. Andrew Mead's, who lives upon Nansemond river. They were no sooner got under the shelter of that hospitable roof, but it began to rain hard, and continued so to do great part of the night. This gave them much pain for their friends in the Dismal, whose sufferings spoiled their taste for the good cheer, wherewith they were entertained themselves. However, late that evening, these poor men had the fortune to come upon another terra firma, which was the luckier for them, because the lower ground, by the rain that fell, was made a fitter lodging for tadpoles than men. In our journey we remarked that the north side of this great swamp lies higher than either the east or the west, nor were the approaches to it so full of sunken grounds. We passed by no less than two quaker meeting houses, one of which had an awkward ornament on the west end of it, that seemed to ape a steeple. I must own I expected no such piece of foppery from a sect of so much outside simplicity. That persuasion prevails much in the lower end of Nansemond county, for want of ministers to pilot the people a decenter way to heaven. The ill reputation of tobacco planted in those lower parishes makes the clergy unwilling to accept of them, unless it be such whose abilities are as mean as their pay. Thus, whether the churches be quite void or but indifferently filled, the quakers will have an opportunity of gaining proselytes. It is a wonder no popish missionaries are sent from Maryland to labour in this neglected vineyard, who we know have zeal enough to traverse sea and land on the meritorious errand of making converts. Nor is it less strange that some wolf in sheep's clothing arrives not from New England to lead astray a flock that has no shepherd. People uninstructed in any religion are ready to embrace the first that offers. It is natural for helpless man to adore his Maker in some form or other, and were there any exception to this rule, I should suspect it to be among the Hottentots of the cape of Good Hope and of North Carolina.131.

There fell a great deal of rain in the night, accompanied with a strong wind. The fellow-feeling we had for the poor Dismalites, on account of this unkind weather, rendered the down we laid upon uneasy. We fancied them half-drowned in their wet lodging, with the trees blowing down about their ears. These were the gloomy images our fears suggested; though it was so much uneasiness clear gain. They happened to come off much better, by being luckily encamped on the dry piece of ground afore-mentioned.132.

17th. They were, however, forced to keep the sabbath in spite of their teeth, contrary to the dispensation our good chaplain had given them. Indeed, their short allowance of provision would have justified their making the best of their way, without distinction of days. It was certainly a work both of necessity and self-preservation, to save themselves from starving. Nevertheless, the hard rain had made every thing so thoroughly wet, that it was quite impossible to do any business. They therefore made a virtue of what they could not help, and contentedly rested in their dry situation.133.

Since the surveyors had entered the Dismal, they had laid eyes on no living creature: neither bird nor beast, insect nor reptile came in view. Doubtless, the eternal shade that broods over this mighty bog, and hinders the sunbeams from blessing the ground, makes it an uncomfortable habitation for any thing that has life. Not so much as a Zealand frog could endure so aguish a situation. It had one beauty, however, that delighted the eye, though at the expense of all the other senses: the moisture of the soil preserves a continual verdure, and makes every plant an evergreen but at the same time the foul damps ascend without ceasing, corrupt the air, and render it unfit for respiration. Not even a turkey buzzard will venture to fly over it, no more than the Italian vultures will over the filthy lake Avernus, or the birds in the Holy Land, over the Salt sea, where Sodom and Gomorrah formerly stood.134.

In these sad circumstances, the kindest thing we could do for our suffering friends was to give them a place in the Litany. Our chaplain, for his part, did his office, and rubbed us up with a seasonable sermon. This was quite a new thing to our brethren of North Carolina, who live in a climate where no clergyman can breathe, any more than spiders in Ireland.135.

For want of men in holy orders, both the members of the council and justices of the peace are empowered by the laws of that country to marry all those who will not take one another's word; but for the ceremony of christening their children, they trust that to chance. If a parson come in their way, they will crave a cast of his office, as they call it, else they are content their offspring should remain as arrant pagans as themselves. They account it among their greatest advantages that they are not priest-ridden, not remembering that the clergy is rarely guilty of bestriding such as have the misfortune to be poor. One thing may be said for the inhabitants of that province, that they are not troubled with any religious fumes, and have the least superstition of any people living. They do not know Sunday from any other day, any more than Robinson Crusoe did, which would give them a great advantage were they given to be industrious. But they keep so many sabbaths every week, that their disregard of the seventh day has no manner of cruelty in it, either to servants or cattle. It was with some difficulty we could make our people quit the good cheer they met with at this house, so it was late before we took our departure; but to make us amends, our landlord was so good as to conduct us ten miles on our way, as far as the Cypress swamp, which drains itself into the Dismal. Eight miles beyond that we forded the waters of the Coropeak, which tend the same way as do many others on that side. In six miles more we reached the plantation of Mr. Thomas Spight, a grandee of North Carolina. We found the good man upon his crutches, being crippled with the gout in both his knees. Here we flattered ourselves we should by this time meet with good tidings of the surveyors, but had reckoned, alas! without our host: on the contrary, we were told the Dismal was at least thirty miles wide in that place. However, as nobody could say this on his own knowledge, we ordered guns to be fired and a drum to be beaten, but received no answer, unless it was from that prating nymph Echo, who, like a loquacious wife, will always have the last word, and sometimes return three for one. It was indeed no wonder our signal was not heard at that time, by the people in the Dismal, because, in truth, they had not then penetrated one third of their way. They had that morning fallen to work with great vigour; and, finding the ground better than ordinary, drove on the line two miles and thirty-eight poles. This was reckoned an Herculean day's work, and yet they would not have stopped there, had not an impenetrable cedar thicket checked their industry. Our landlord had seated himself on the borders of this Dismal, for the advantage of the green food his cattle find there all winter, and for the rooting that supports his hogs. This, I own, is some convenience to his purse, for which his whole family pay dear in their persons, for they are devoured by mosquitoes all the summer, and have agues every spring and fall, which corrupt all the juices of their bodies, give them a cadaverous complexion, and besides a lazy, creeping habit, which they never get rid of.136.

We ordered several men to patrol on the edge of the Dismal, both towards the north and towards the south, and to fire guns at proper distances. This they performed very punctually, but could hear nothing in return, nor gain any sort of intelligence. In the mean time whole flocks of women and children flew hither to stare at us, with as much curiosity as if we had lately landed from Bantam or Morocco. Some borderers, too, had a great mind to know where the line would come out, being for the most part apprehensive lest their lands should be taken into Virginia. In that case they must have submitted to some sort of order and government; whereas, in North Carolina, every one does what seems best in his own eyes. There were some good women that brought their children to be baptized, but brought no capons along with them to make the solemnity cheerful. In the mean time it was strange that none came to be married in such a multitude, if it had only been for the novelty of having their hands joined by one in holy orders. Yet so it was, that though our chaplain christened above a hundred, he did not marry so much as one couple during the whole expedition. But marriage is reckoned a lay contract in Carolina, as I said before, and a country justice can tie the fatal knot there, as fast as an archbishop. None of our visiters could, however, tell us any news of the surveyors, nor indeed was it possible any of them should at that time, they being still laboring in the midst of the Dismal. It seems they were able to carry the link this day no further than one mile and sixty-one poles, and that whole distance was through a miry cedar bog, where the ground trembled under their feet most frightfully. In many places too their passage was retarded by a great number of fallen trees, that lay horsing upon one another. Though many circumstances concurred to make this an unwholesome situation, yet the poor men had no time to be sick, nor can one conceive a more calamitous case than it would have been to be laid up in that uncomfortable quagmire. Never were patients more tractable, or willing to take physic, than these honest fellows; but it was from a dread of laying their bones in a bog that would soon spew them up again. That consideration also put them upon more caution about their lodging. They first covered the ground with square pieces of cypress bark, which now, in the spring, they could easily slip off the tree for that purpose. On this they spread their bedding; but unhappily the weight and warmth of their bodies made the water rise up betwixt the joints of the bark, to their great inconvenience. Thus they lay not only moist, but also exceedingly cold, because their fires were continually going out. For no sooner was the trash upon the surface burnt away, but immediately the fire was extinguished by the moisture of the soil, insomuch that it was great part of the sentinel's business to rekindle it again in a fresh place, every quarter of an hour. Nor could they indeed do their duty better, because cold was the only enemy they had to guard against in a miserable morass, where nothing can inhabit.137.

20th. We could get no tidings yet of our brave adventurers, notwithstanding we despatched men to the likeliest stations to inquire after them. They were still scuffling in the mire, and could not possibly forward the line this whole day more than one mile and sixty-four chains. Every step of this day's work was through a cedar bog, where the trees were somewhat smaller and grew more into a thicket. It was now a great misfortune to the men to find their provisions grow less as their labour grew greater; they were all forced to come to short allowance, and consequently to work hard without filling their bellies. Though this was very severe upon English stomachs, yet the people were so far from being discomfited at it, that they still kept up their good humour, and merrily told a young fellow in the company, who looked very plump and wholesome, that he must expect to go first to pot, if matters should come to extremity. This was only said by way of jest, yet it made him thoughtful in earnest. However, for the present he returned them a very civil answer, letting them know that, dead or alive, he should be glad to be useful to such worthy good friends. But, after all, this humorous saying had one very good effect, for that younker, who before was a little inclined by his constitution to be lazy, grew on a sudden extremely industrious, that so there might be less occasion to carbonade him for the good of his fellow travellers. While our friends were thus embarrassed in the Dismal, the commissioners began to lie under great uneasiness for them. They knew very well their provisions must by this time begin to fall short, nor could they conceive any likely means of a supply. At this time of the year both the cattle and hogs had forsaken the skirts of the Dismal, invited by the springing grass on the firm land. All our hopes were that Providence would cause some wild game to fall in their way, or else direct them to a wholesome vegetable for their subsistence. In short they were haunted with so many frights on this occasion, that they were in truth more uneasy than the persons whose case they lamented. We had several visiters from Edenton, in the afternoon, that came with Mr. Gale, who had prudently left us at Coratuck, to scuffle through that dirty country by ourselves. These gentlemen, having good noses, had smelled out, at thirty miles' distance, the precious liquor with which the liberality of our good friend Mr. Mead had just before supplied us. That generous person had judged very right, that we were now got out of the latitude of drink proper for men in affliction, and therefore was so good as to send his cart loaded with all sorts of refreshments, for which the commissioners returned him their thanks, and the chaplain his blessing.138.

21st. The surveyors and their attendants began now in good earnest to be alarmed with apprehensions of famine, nor could they forbear looking with some sort of appetite upon a dog which had been the faithful companion of their travels. Their provisions were now near exhausted. They had this morning made the last distribution, that so each might husband his small pittance as he pleased. Now it was that the fresh coloured young man began to tremble every joint of him, having dreamed, the night before, that the Indians were about to barbacue him over live coals. The prospect of famine determined the people, at last, with one consent, to abandon the line for the present, which advanced but slowly, and make the best of their way to firm land. Accordingly they set off very early, and, by the help of the compass which they carried along with them, steered a direct westwardly course. They marched from morning till night, and computed their journey to amount to about four miles, which was a great way, considering the difficulties of the ground. It was all along a cedar swamp, so dirty and perplexed, that if they had not travelled for their lives, they could not have reached so far. On their way they espied a turkey buzzard, that flew prodigiously high to get above the noisome exhalations that ascend from that filthy place. This they were willing to understand as a good omen, according to the superstition of the ancients, who had great faith in the flight of vultures. However, after all this tedious journey, they could yet discover no end of their toil, which made them very pensive, especially after they had eaten the last morsel of their provisions. But to their unspeakable comfort, when all was hushed in the evening, they heard the cattle low, and the dogs bark, very distinctly, which, to men in that distress, was more delightful music than Faustina or Farinelli could have made. In the mean time the commissioners could get no news of them from any of their visiters, who assembled from every point of the compass. But the good landlord had visiters of another kind while we were there, that is to say, some industrious masters of ships, that lay in Nansemond river. These worthy commanders came to bespeak tobacco from these parts to make up their loadings, in contempt of the Virginia law, which positively forbade their taking in any made in North Carolina. Nor was this restraint at all unreasonable; because they have no law in Carolina, either to mend the quality or lessen the quantity of tobacco, or so much as to prevent the turning out of seconds, all which cases have been provided against by the laws of Virginia. Wherefore, there can be no reason why the inhabitants of that province should have the same advantage of shipping their tobacco in our parts, when they will by no means submit to the same restrictions that we do.139.

22d. Our patrol happened not to go far enough to the northward this morning, if they had, the people in the Dismal might have heard the report of their guns. For this reason they returned without any tidings, which threw us into a great though unnecessary perplexity. This was now the ninth day since they entered into that inhospitable swamp, and consequently we had reason to believe their provisions were quite spent. We knew they worked hard, and therefore would eat heartily, so long as they had wherewithal to recruit their spirits, not imagining the swamp so wide as they found it. Had we been able to guess where the line would come out, we would have sent men to meet them with a fresh supply; but as we could know nothing of that, and as we had neither compass nor surveyor to guide a messenger on such an errand, we were unwilling to expose him to no purpose; therefore, all we were able to do for them, in so great an extremity, was to recommend them to a merciful Providence. However long we might think the time, yet we were cautious of showing our uneasiness, for fear of mortifying our landlord. He had done his best for us, and therefore we were unwilling he should think us dissatisfied with our entertainment. In the midst of our concern, we were most agreeably surprised, just after dinner, with the news that the Dismalites were all safe. These blessed tidings were brought to us by Mr. Swan, the Carolina surveyor, who came to us in a very tattered condition. After very short salutations, we got about him as if he had been a Hottentot, and began to inquire into his adventures. He gave us a detail of their uncomfortable voyage through the Dismal, and told us, particularly, they had pursued their journey early that morning, encouraged by the good omen of seeing the crows fly over their heads; that, after an hour's march over very rotten ground, they, on a sudden, began to find themselves among tall pines, that grew in the water, which in many places was knee deep. This pine swamp, into which that of Coropeak drained itself, extended near a mile in breadth; and though it was exceedingly wet, yet it was much harder at bottom than the rest of the swamp; that about ten in the morning they recovered firm land, which they embraced with as much pleasure as shipwrecked wretches do the shore. After these honest adventurers had congratulated each other's deliverance, their first inquiry was for a good house, where they might satisfy the importunity of their stomachs. Their good genius directed them to Mr. Brinkley's, who dwells a little to the southward of the line. This man began immediately to be very inquisitive, but they declared they had no spirits to answer questions, till after dinner. "But pray, gentlemen," said he, "answer me one question at least: what shall we get for your dinner?" To which they replied, "No matter what, so it be but enough." He kindly supplied their wants as soon as possible, and by the strength of that refreshment they made a shift to come to us in the evening, to tell their own story. They all looked very thin, and as ragged as the Gibeonite ambassadors did in the days of yore.140.

Our surveyors told us they had measured ten miles in the Dismal, and computed the distance they had marched since to amount to about five more, so they made the whole breadth to be fifteen miles in all.141.

23d. It was very reasonable that the surveyors, and the men who had been sharers in their fatigue, should now have a little rest. They were all, except one, in good health and good heart, blessed be God! notwithstanding the dreadful hardships they had gone through. It was really a pleasure to see the cheerfulness wherewith they received the order to prepare to re-enter the Dismal on the Monday following, in order to continue the line from the place where they had left off measuring, that so we might have the exact breadth of that dirty place. There were no more than two of them that could be persuaded to be relieved on this occasion, or suffer the other men to share the credit of that bold undertaking, neither would these have suffered it had not one of them been very lame, and the other much indisposed. By the description the surveyors gave of the Dismal, we were convinced that nothing but the exceeding dry season we had been blessed with could have made the passing of it practicable. It is the source of no less than five several rivers which discharge themselves southwest into Albemarle sound, and of two that run northerly into Virginia. From thence it is easy to imagine that the soil must be thoroughly soaked with water, or else there must be plentiful stores of it under ground; to supply so many rivers; especially since there is no lake, or any considerable body of that element to be seen on the surface. The rivers that head in it from Virginia are the south branch of Nansemond, and the west branch of Elizabeth; and those from Carolina are North-west river, North river, Pasquotank, Little river, and Pequimons.142.

There is one remarkable part of the Dismal, lying to the south of the line, that has few or no trees growing on it, but contains a large tract of tall reeds. These being green all the year round, and wavering with every wind, have procured it the name of the Green sea. We are not yet acquainted with the precise extent of the Dismal, the whole having never been surveyed; but it may be computed at a medium to be about thirty miles long and ten miles broad, though where the line crossed it, it was completely fifteen miles wide. But it seems to grow narrower towards the north, or at least does so in many places. The exhalations that continually rise from this vast body of mire and nastiness infect the air for many miles round, and render it very unwholesome for the bordering inhabitants. It makes them liable to agues, pleurisies, and many other distempers, that kill abundance of people, and make the rest look no better than ghosts. It would require a great sum of money to drain it, but the public treasure could not be better bestowed, than to preserve the lives of his majesty's liege people, and at the same time render so great a tract of swamp very profitable, besides the advantage of making a channel to transport by water carriage goods from Albemarle sound into Nansemond and Elizabeth rivers, in Virginia.143.

24th. This being Sunday, we had a numerous congregation, which flocked to our quarters from all the adjacent country. The news that our surveyors were come out of the Dismal, increased the number very much, because it would give them an opportunity of guessing, at least, whereabouts the line would cut, whereby they might form some judgment whether they belonged to Virginia or Carolina. Those who had taken up land within the disputed bounds were in great pain lest it should be found to lie in Virginia; because this being done contrary to an express order of that government, the patentees had great reason to fear they should in that case have lost their land. But their apprehensions were now at an end, when they understood that all the territory which had been controverted was like to be left in Carolina. In the afternoon, those who were to re-enter the Dismal were furnished with the necessary provisions, and ordered to repair the over-night to their landlord, Peter Brinkley's, that they might be ready to begin their business early on Monday morning. Mr. Irvin was excused from the fatigue, in compliment to his lungs; but Mr. Mayo and Mr. Swan were robust enough to return upon that painful service, and, to do them justice, they went with great alacrity. The truth was, they now knew the worst of it; and could guess pretty near at the time when they might hope to return to land again.144.

25th. The air was chilled this morning with a smart north-west wind, which favoured the Dismalites in their dirty march. They returned by the path they had made in coming out, and with great industry arrived in the evening at the spot where the line had been discontinued. After so long and laborious a journey, they were glad to repose themselves on their couches of cypress-bark, where their sleep was as sweet as it would have been on a bed of Finland down. In the mean time, we who stayed behind had nothing to do, but to make the best observations we could upon that part of the country. The soil of our landlord's plantation, though none of the best, seemed more fertile than any thereabouts, where the ground is near as sandy as the deserts of Africa, and consequently barren. The road leading from thence to Edenton, being in distance about twenty-seven miles, lies upon a ridge called Sandy ridge, which is so wretchedly poor that it will not bring potatoes. The pines in this part of the country are of a different species from those that grow in Virginia: their bearded leaves are much longer and their cones much larger. Each cell contains a seed of the size and figure of a black-eye pea, which, shedding in November, is very good mast for hogs, and fattens them in a short time. The smallest of these pines are full of cones, which are eight or nine inches long, and each affords commonly sixty or seventy seeds. This kind of mast has the advantage of all other, by being more constant, and less liable to be nipped by the frost, or eaten by the caterpillars. The trees also abound more with turpentine, and consequently yield more tar, than either the yellow or the white pine; and for the same reason make more durable timber for building. The inhabitants hereabouts pick up knots of lightwood in abundance, which they burn into tar, and then carry it to Norfolk or Nansemond for a market. The tar made in this method is the less valuable, because it is said to burn the cordage, though it is full as good for all other uses, as that made in Sweden and Muscovy. Surely there is no place in the world where the inhabitants live with less labour than in North Carolina. It approaches nearer to the description of Lubberland than any other, by the great felicity of the climate, the easiness of raising provisions, and the slothfulness of the people. Indian corn is of so great increase, that a little pains will subsist a very large family with bread, and then they may have meat without any pains at all, by the help of the low grounds, and the great variety of mast that grows on the high land. The men, for their parts, just like the Indians, impose all the work upon the poor women. They make their wives rise out of their beds early in the morning, at the same time that they lie and snore, till the sun has risen one third of his course, and dispersed all the unwholesome damps. Then, after stretching and yawning for half an hour, they light their pipes, and, under the protection of a cloud of smoke, venture out into the open air; though, if it happens to be never so little cold, they quickly return shivering into the chimney corner. When the weather is mild, they stand leaning with both their arms upon the corn-field fence, and gravely consider whether they had best go and take a small heat at the hoe: but generally find reasons to put it off till another time. Thus they loiter away their lives, like Solomon's sluggard, with their arms across, and at the winding up of the year scarcely have bread to eat. To speak the truth, it is a thorough aversion to labor that makes people file off to North Carolina, where plenty and a warm sun confirm them in their disposition to laziness for their whole lives.145.

26th. Since we were like to be confined to this place, till the people returned out of the Dismal, it was agreed that our chaplain might safely take a turn to Edenton, to preach the Gospel to the infidels there, and christen their children. He was accompanied thither by Mr. Little, one of the Carolina commissioners, who, to show his regard for the church, offered to treat him on the road with a fricassee of rum. They fried half a dozen rashers of very fat bacon in a pint of rum, both which being dished up together, served the company at once both for meat and drink. Most of the rum they get in this country comes from New England, and is so bad and unwholesome, that it is not improperly called "kill-devil." It is distilled there from foreign molasses, which, if skilfully managed, yields near gallon for gallon. Their molasses comes from the same country, and has the name of "long sugar" in Carolina, I suppose from the ropiness of it, and serves all the purposes of sugar, both in their eating and drinking. When they entertain their friends bountifully, they fail not to set before them a capacious bowl of Bombo, so called from the admiral of that name. This is a compound of rum and water in equal parts, made palatable with the said long sugar. As good humour begins to flow, and the bowl to ebb, they take care to replenish it with sheer rum, of which there always is a reserve under the table. But such generous doings happen only when that balsam of life is plenty; for they have often such melancholy times, that neither landgraves nor cassiques can procure one drop for their wives, when they lie in, or are troubled with the colic or vapours. Very few in this country have the industry to plant orchards, which, in a dearth of rum, might supply them with much better liquor. The truth is, there is one inconvenience that easily discourages lazy people from making this improvement: very often, in autumn, when the apples begin to ripen, they are visited with numerous flights of paroquets, that bite all the fruit to pieces in a moment, for the sake of the kernels. The havoc they make is sometimes so great, that whole orchards are laid waste in spite of all the noises that can be made, or mawkins that can be dressed up, to fright them away. These ravenous birds visit North Carolina only during the warm season, and so soon as the cold begins to come on, retire back towards the sun. They rarely venture so far north as Virginia, except in a very hot summer, when they visit the most southern parts of it. They are very beautiful; but like some other pretty creatures; are apt to be loud and mischievous.146.

27th. Betwixt this and Edenton there are many whortleberry slashes, which afford a convenient harbour for wolves and foxes. The first of these wild beasts is not so large and fierce as they are in other countries more northerly. He will not attack a man in the keenest of his hunger, but run away from him, as from an animal more mischievous than himself. The foxes are much bolder, and will sometimes not only make a stand, but likewise assault any one that would balk them of their prey. The inhabitants hereabouts take the trouble to dig abundance of wolf-pits, so deep and perpendicular, that when a wolf is once tempted into them, he can no more scramble out again, than a husband who has taken the leap can scramble out of matrimony. Most of the houses in this part of the country are log-houses, covered with pine or cypress shingles, three feet long, and one broad. They are hung upon laths with pegs, and their doors too turn upon wooden hinges, and have wooden locks to secure them, so that the building is finished without nails or other iron work. They also set up their pales without any nails at all, and indeed more securely than those that are nailed. There are three rails mortised into the posts, the lowest of which serves as a sill with a groove in the middle, big enough to receive the end of the pales: the middle part of the pale rests against the inside of the next rail, and the top of it is brought forward to the outside of the uppermost. Such wreathing of the pales in and out makes them stand firm, and much harder to unfix than when nailed in the ordinary way.147.

Within three or four miles of Edenton, the soil appears to be a little more fertile, though it is much cut with slashes, which seem all to have a tendency towards the Dismal. This town is situated on the north side of Albemarle sound, which is there about five miles over. A dirty slash runs all along the back of it, which in the summer is a foul annoyance, and furnishes abundance of that Carolina plague, mosquitoes. There may be forty or fifty houses, most of them small, and built without expense. A citizen here is counted extravagant, if he has ambition enough to aspire to a brick chimney. Justice herself is but indifferently lodged, the court-house having much the air of a common tobacco-house. I believe this is the only metropolis in the Christian or Mahometan world, where there is neither church, chapel, mosque, synagogue, or any other place of public worship of any sect or religion whatsoever. What little devotion there may happen to be is much more private than their vices. The people seem easy without a minister, as long as they are exempted from paying him. Sometimes the Society for propagating the Gospel has had the charity to send over missionaries to this country; but unfortunately the priest has been too lewd for the people, or, which oftener happens, they too lewd for the priest. For these reasons these reverend gentlemen have always left their flocks as arrant heathen as they found them. Thus much however may be said for the inhabitants of Edenton, that not a soul has the least taint of hyprocrisy, or superstition, acting very frankly and above-board in all their excesses.148.

Provisions here are extremely cheap, and extremely good, so that people may live plentifully at a trifling expense. Nothing is dear but law, physic, and strong drink, which are all bad in their kind, and the last they get with so much difficulty, that they are never guilty of the sin of suffering it to sour upon their hands. Their vanity generally lies not so much in having a handsome dining-room, as a handsome house of office: in this kind of structure they are really extravagant. They are rarely guilty of flattering or making any court to their governors, but treat them with all the excesses of freedom and familiarity. They are of opinion their rulers would be apt to grow insolent, if they grew rich, and for that reason take care to keep them poorer, and more dependent, if possible, than the saints in New England used to do their governors. They have very little corn, so they are forced to carry on their home traffic with paper money. This is the only cash that will tarry in the country, and for that reason the discount goes on increasing between that and real money, and will do so to the end of the chapter.149.

28th. Our time passed heavily in our quarters, where we were quite cloyed with the Carolina felicity of having nothing to do. It was really more insupportable than the greatest fatigue, and made us even envy the drudgery of our friends in the Dismal. Besides, though the men we had with us were kept in exact discipline, and behaved without reproach, yet our landlord began to be tired of them, fearing they would breed a famine in his family. Indeed, so many keen stomachs made great havoc amongst the beef and bacon which he had laid in for his summer provision, nor could he easily purchase more, at that time of the year, with the money we paid him, because people having no certain market seldom provide any more of these commodities than will barely supply their own occasions. Besides the weather was now grown too warm to lay in a fresh stock so late in the spring. These considerations abated somewhat of that cheerfulness with which he bade us welcome in the beginning, and made him think the time quite as long as we did until the surveyors returned. While we were thus all hands uneasy, we were comforted with the news that this afternoon the line was finished through the Dismal. The messenger told us it had been the hard work of three days to measure the length of only five miles, and mark the trees as they passed along, and by the most exact survey they found the breadth of the Dismal in this place to be completely fifteen miles. How wide it may be in other parts, we can give no account, but believe it grows narrower towards the north; possibly towards Albemarle sound it may be something broader, where so many rivers issue out of it. All we know for certain is, that from the place where the line entered the Dismal, to where it came out, we found the road round that portion of it which belonged to Virginia to be about sixty-five miles. How great the distance may be from each of those points, round that part that falls within the bounds of Carolina, we had no certain information: though it is conjectured it cannot be so little as thirty miles. At which rate the whole circuit must be about a hundred. What a mass of mud and dirt is treasured up within this filthy circumference, and what a quantity of water must perpetually drain into it from the rising ground that surrounds it on every side? Without taking the exact level of the Dismal, we may be sure that it declines towards the places where the several rivers take their rise, in order to carrying off the constant supplies of water. Were it not for such discharges, the whole swamp would long since have been converted into a lake. On the other side this declension must be very gentle, else it would be laid perfectly dry by so many continual drains; whereas, on the contrary, the ground seems every where to be thoroughly drenched even in the driest season of the year. The surveyors concluded this day's work with running twenty-five chains up into the firm land, where they waited further orders from the commissioners.150.

29th. This day the surveyors proceeded with the line no more than one mile and fifteen chains, being interrupted by a mill swamp, through which they made no difficulty of wading, in order to make their work more exact. Thus, like Norway mice, these worthy gentlemen went right forward, without suffering themselves to be turned out of the way by any obstacle whatever. We are told by some travellers, that those mice march in mighty armies, destroying all the fruits of the earth as they go along. But something peculiar to those obstinate little animals is, that nothing stops them in their career, and if a house happen to stand in their way, disdaining to go an inch about, they crawl up one side of it, and down the other: or if they meet with any river, or other body of water, they are so determined, that they swim directly over it, without varying one point from their course for the sake of any safety or convenience. The surveyors were also hindered some time by setting up posts in the great road, to show the bounds between the two colonies.151.

Our chaplain returned to us in the evening from Edenton, in company with the Carolina commissioners. He had preached there in the court-house, for want of a consecrated place, and made no less than nineteen of father Hennepin's Christians.152.

By the permission of the Carolina commissioners, Mr. Swan was allowed to go home, as soon as the survey of the Dismal was finished; he met with this indulgence for a reason that might very well have excused his coming at all; namely, that he was lately married. What remained of the drudgery for this season was left to Mr. Mosely, who had hitherto acted only in the capacity of a commissioner. They offered to employ Mr. Joseph Mayo as their surveyor in Mr. Swan's stead, but he thought it not proper to accept of it, because he had hitherto acted as a volunteer in behalf of Virginia, and did not care to change sides, though it might have been to his advantage.153.

30th. The line was advanced this day six miles and thirty-five chains, the woods being pretty clear, and interrupted with no swamp, or other wet ground. The land hereabout had all the marks of poverty, being for the most part sandy and full of pines. This kind of ground, though unfit for ordinary tillage, will however bring cotton and pototoes in plenty, and consequently food and raiment to such as are easily contented, and, like the wild Irish, find more pleasure in laziness than luxury. It also makes a shift to produce Indian corn, rather by the felicity of the climate than by the fertility of the soil. They who are more industrious than their neighbours may make what quantity of tar they please, though indeed they are not always sure of a market for it. The method of burning tar in Sweden and Muscovy succeeds not well in this warmer part of the world. It seems they kill the pine trees, by barking them quite round at a certain height, which in those cold countries brings down the turpentine into the stump in a year's time. But experience has taught us that in warm climates the turpentine will not so easily descend, but is either fixed in the upper parts of the tree, or fried out by the intense heat of the sun.154.

Care was taken to erect a post in every road that our line ran through, with Virginia carved on the north side of it, and Carolina on the south, that the bounds might every where appear. In the evening the surveyors took up their quarters at the house of one Mr. Parker, who, by the advantage of a better spot of land than ordinary, and a more industrious wife, lives comfortably, and has a very neat plantation.155.

31st. It rained a little this morning, but this, happening again upon a Sunday, did not interrupt our business. However the surveyors made no scruple of protracting and plotting off their work upon that good day, because it was rather an amusement than a drudgery. Here the men feasted on the fat of the land, and believing the dirtiest part of their work was over, had a more than ordinary gaiety of heart. We christened two of our landlord's children, which might have remained infidels all their lives, had not we carried Christianity home to his own door. The truth of it is, our neighbours of North Carolina are not so zealous as to go much out of their way to procure this benefit for their children: otherwise, being so near Virginia, they might, without exceeding much trouble, make a journey to the next clergyman, upon so good an errand. And indeed should the neighbouring ministers, once in two or three years, vouchsafe to take a turn among these gentiles, to baptize them and their children, it would look a little apostolical, and they might hope to be requited for at hereafter, if that be not thought too long to tarry for their reward.156.

April 1st. The surveyors getting now upon better ground, quite disengaged from underwoods, pushed on the line almost twelve miles. They left Sommerton chapel near two miles to the northwards, so that there was now no place of public worship left in the whole province of North Carolina.157.

The high land of North Carolina was barren, and covered with a deep sand; and the low grounds were wet and boggy, insomuch that several of our horses were mired, and gave us frequent opportunities to show our horsemanship.158.

The line cut William Spight's plantation in two, leaving little more than his dwelling house and orchard in Virginia. Sundry other plantations were split in the same unlucky manner, which made the owners accountable to both governments. Wherever we passed we constantly found the borderers laid it to heart if their land was taken into Virginia: they chose much rather to belong to Carolina, where they pay no tribute, either to God or to Candaelig;sar. Another reason was, that the government there is so loose, and the laws are so feebly executed, that, like those in the neighbourhood of Sidon formerly, every one does just what seems good in his own eyes. If the governor's hands have been weak in that province, under the authority of the lords proprietors, much weaker then were the hands of the magistrate, who, though he might have had virtue enough to endeavour to punish offenders, which very rarely happened, yet that virtue had been quite impotent, for want of ability to put it in execution. Besides, there might have been some danger, perhaps, in venturing to be so rigorous, for fear of undergoing the fate of an honest justice in Coratuck precinct. This bold magistrate, it seems, taking upon him to order a fellow to the stocks, for being disorderly in his drink, was, for his intemperate zeal, carried thither himself, and narrowly escaped being whipped by the rabble into the bargain.159.

This easy day's work carried the line to the banks of Somerton creek, that runs out of Chowan river, a little below the mouth of Nottoway.160.

2d. In less than a mile from Somerton creek the line was carried to Blackwater, which is the name of the upper part of Chowan, running some miles above the mouth of Nottoway. It must be observed that Chowan, after taking a compass round the most beautiful part of North Carolina, empties itself into Albemarle sound, a few miles above Edenton. The tide flows seven or eight miles higher than where the river changes its name, and is navigable thus high for any small vessel. Our line intersected it exactly half a mile to the northward of Nottoway. However, in obedience to his majesty's command, we directed the surveyors to come down the river as far as the mouth of Nottoway, in order to continue our true west line from thence. Thus we found the mouth of Nottoway to lie no more than half a minute farther to the northward than Mr. Lawson had formerly done. That gentleman's observation, it seems, placed it in 36anddeg; 30', and our working made it out to be 36anddeg; 30andfrac12; '–a very inconsiderable variance. 161.

The surveyors crossed the river over against the middle of the mouth of Nottoway, where it was about eighty yards wide. From thence they ran the line about half a mile through a dirty pocoson, as far as an Indian field. Here we took up our lodging in a moist situation, having the pocoson above mentioned on one side of us, and a swamp on the other.162.

In this camp three of the Meherrin Indians made us a visit. They told us that the small remains of their nation had deserted their ancient town, situated near the mouth of the Meherrin river, for fear of the Catawbas, who had killed fourteen of their people the year before; and the few that survived that calamity, had taken refuge amongst the English, on the east side of Chowan. Though, if the complaint of these Indians were true, they are hardly used by our Carolina friends. But they are the less to be pitied, because they have ever been reputed the most false and treacherous to the English of all the Indians in the neighbourhood.163.

Not far from the place where we lay, I observed a large oak which had been blown up by the roots, the body of which was shivered into perfect strings, and was, in truth, the most violent effects of lightning I ever saw.164.

But the most curious instance of that dreadful meteor happened at York, where a man was killed near a pine tree in which the lightning made a hole before it struck the man, and left an exact figure of the tree upon his breast, with all its branches, to the wonder of all that beheld it, in which I shall be more particular hereafter.165.

We made another trial of the variation in this place, and found it some minutes less than we had done at Coratuck inlet; but so small a difference might easily happen through some defect in one or other of the observations, and, therefore, we altered not our compass for the matter.166.

3d. By the advantage of clear woods, the line was extended twelve miles and three quarters, as far as the banks of Meherrin. Though the mouth of this river lies fifteen miles below the mouth of Nottoway, yet it winds so much to the northward, that we came upon it, after running this small distance.167.

During the first seven miles, we observed the soil to be poor and sandy; but as we approached Meherrin it grew better, though there it was cut to pieces by sundry miry branches, which discharge themselves into that river, Several of our horses plunged up to the saddle skirts, and were not disengaged without difficulty.168.

The latter part of our day's work was pretty laborious, because of the unevenness of the way, and because the low ground of the river was full of cypress snags, as sharp and dangerous to our horses as so many chevaux-defrise. We found the whole distance from the mouth of Nottoway to Meherrin river, where our line intersected it, thirteen miles and a quarter.169.

It was hardly possible to find a level large enough on the banks of the river whereupon to pitch our tent. But though the situation was, on that account, not very convenient for us, yet it was for our poor horses, by reason of the plenty of small reeds on which they fed voraciously. These reeds are green here all the year round, and will keep cattle in tolerable good plight during the winter. But whenever the hogs come where they are, they destroy them in a short time, by ploughing up their roots, of which, unluckily, they are very fond.170.

The river was in this place about as wide as the river Jordan, that is, forty yards, and would be navigable very high for flat bottom boats and canoes, if it were not choked up with large trees, brought down by every fresh. Though the banks were full twenty feet high from the surface of the water, yet we saw certain marks of their having been overflowed.171.

These narrow rivers that run high up into the country are subject to frequent inundations, when the waters are rolled down with such violence as to carry all before them. The logs that are then floated, are very fatal to the bridges built over these rivers, which can hardly be contrived strong enough to stand against so much weight and violence joined together.172.

The Isle of Wight county begins about three miles to the east of Meherrin river, being divided from that of Nansemond only by a line of marked trees.173.

4th. The river was here hardly fordable, though the season had been very dry. The banks too were so steep that our horses were forced to climb like mules to get up them. Nevertheless we had the luck to recover the opposite shore without damage.174.

We halted for half an hour at Charles Anderson's, who lives on the western bank of the river, in order to christen one of his children. In the mean time, the surveyors extended the line two miles and thirty-nine chains, in which small distance Meherrin river was so serpentine, that they crossed it three times. Then we went on to Mr. Kinchin's, a man of figure and authority in North Carolina, who lives about a mile to the southward of the place where the surveyors left off. By the benefit of a little pains, and good management, this worthy magistrate lives in much affluence. Amongst other instances of his industry, he had planted a good orchard, which is not common in that indolent climate; nor is it at all strange, that such improvident people, who take no thought for the morrow, should save themselves the trouble to make improvements that will not pay them for several years to come. Though, if they could trust futurity for any thing, they certainly would for cider, which they are so fond of, that they generally drink it before it has done working, lest the fermentation might unluckily turn it sour.175.

It is an observation, which rarely fails of being true, both in Virginia and Carolina, that those who take care to plant good orchards are, in their general characters, industrious people. This held good in our landlord, who had many houses built on his plantation, and every one kept in decent repair. His wife, too, was tidy, his furniture clean, his pewter bright, and nothing seemed to be wanting to make his home comfortable.176.

Mr. Kinchin made us the compliment of his house, but because we were willing to be as little troublesome as possible, we ordered the tent to be pitched in his orchard, where the blossoms of the apple trees contributed not a little to the sweetness of our lodging.177.

5th. Because the spring was now pretty forward, and the rattlesnakes began to crawl out of their winter quarters, and might grow dangerous, both to the men and their horses, it was determined to proceed no farther with the line till the fall. Besides, the uncommon fatigue the people had undergone for near six weeks together, and the inclination they all had to visit their respective families, made a recess highly reasonable.178.

The surveyors were employed great part of the day, in forming a correct and elegant map of the line, from Coratuck inlet to the place where they left off. On casting up the account in the most accurate manner, they found the whole distance we had run to amount to seventy three miles and thirteen chains. Of the map they made two fair copies, which agreeing exactly, were subscribed by the commissioners of both colonies, and one of them was delivered to those on the part of Virginia, and the other to those on the part of North Carolina.179.

6th. Thus we finished our spring campaign, and having taken leave of our Carolina friends, and agreed to meet them again the tenth of September following, at the same Mr. Kinchin's, in order to continue the line, we crossed Meherrin river near a quarter of a mile from the house. About ten miles from that we halted at Mr. Kindred's plantation, where we christened two children.180.

It happened that some of Isle of Wight militia were exercising in the adjoining pasture, and there were females enough attending that martial appearance to form a more invincible corps. Ten miles farther we passed Nottoway river at Bolton's ferry, and took up our lodgings about three miles from thence, at the house of Richard Parker, an honest planter, whose labours were rewarded with plenty, which, in this country, is the constant portion of the industrious.181.

7th. The next day being Sunday, we ordered notice to be sent to all the neighbourhood that there would be a sermon at this place, and an opportunity of christening their children. But the likelihood of rain got the better of their devotion, and what, perhaps, might still be a stronger motive of their curiosity. In the morning we despatched a runner to the Nottoway town, to let the Indians know we intended them a visit that evening, and our honest landlord was so kind as to be our pilot thither, being about four miles from his house. Accordingly in the afternoon we marched in good order to the town, where the female scouts, stationed on an eminence for that purpose, had no sooner spied us, but they gave notice of our approach to their fellow citizens by continual whoops and cries, which could not possibly have been more dismal at the sight of their most implacable enemies. This signal assembled all their great men, who received us in a body, and conducted us into the fort. This fort was a square piece of ground, inclosed with substantial puncheons, or strong palisades, about ten feet high, and leaning a little outwards, to make a scalade more difficult. Each side of the square might be about a hundred yards long, with loop-holes at proper distances, through which they may fire upon the enemy. Within this inclosure we found bark cabins sufficient to lodge all their people, in case they should be obliged to retire thither. These cabins are no other but close arbours made of saplings, arched at the top, and covered so well with bark as to be proof against all weather. The fire is made in the middle, according to the Hibernian fashion, the smoke whereof finds no other vent but at the door, and so keeps the whole family warm, at the expense both of their eyes and complexion. The Indians have no standing furniture in their cabins but hurdles to repose their persons upon, which they cover with mats and deer-skins. We were conducted to the best apartments in the fort, which just before had been made ready for our reception, and adorned with new mats, that were very sweet and clean. The young men had painted themselves in a hideous manner, not so much for ornament as terror. In that frightful equipage they entertained us with sundry war dances, wherein they endeavoured to look as formidable as possible. The instrument they danced to was an Indian drum, that is, a large gourd with a skin braced tight over the mouth of it. The dancers all sang to the music, keeping exact time with their feet, while their heads and arms were screwed into a thousand menacing postures. Upon this occasion the ladies had arrayed themselves in all their finery. They were wrapped in their red and blue match coats, thrown so negligently about them, that their mahogany skins appeared in several parts, like the Lacedandaelig;monian damsels of old. Their hair was braided with white and blue peak, and hung gracefully in a large roll upon their shoulders.182.

This peak consists of small cylinders cut out of a conch shell, drilled through and strung like beads. It serves them both for money and jewels, the blue being of much greater value than the white, for the same reason that Ethiopian mistresses in France are dearer than French, because they are more scarce. The women wear necklaces and bracelets of these precious materials, when they have a mind to appear lovely. Though their complexions be a little sad-coloured, yet their shapes are very strait and well proportioned. Their faces are seldom handsome, yet they have an air of innocence and bashfulness, that with a little less dirt would not fail to make them desirable. Such charms might have had their full effect upon men who had been so long deprived of female conversation, but that the whole winter's soil was so crusted on the skins of those dark angels, that it required a very strong appetite to approach them. The bear's oil, with which they anoint their persons all over, makes their skins soft, and at the same time protects them from every species of vermin that use to be troublesome to other uncleanly people. We were unluckily so many, that they could not well make us the compliment of bed-fellows, according to the Indian rules of hospitality, though a grave matron whispered one of the commissioners very civilly in the ear, that if her daughter had been but one year older, she should have been at his devotion.183.

It is by no means a loss of reputation among the Indians, for damsels that are single to have intrigues with the men; on the contrary, they account it an argument of superior merit to be liked by a great number of gallants. However, like the ladies that game, they are a little mercenary in their amours, and seldom bestow their favours out of stark love and kindness. But after these women have once appropriated their charms by marriage, they are from thenceforth faithful to their vows, and will hardly ever be tempted by an agreeable gallant, or be provoked by a brutal or even by a careless husband to go astray. The little work that is done among the Indians is done by the poor women, while the men are quite idle, or at most employed only in the gentlemanly diversions of hunting and fishing. In this, as well as in their wars, they use nothing but fire-arms, which they purchase of the English for skins. Bows and arrows are grown into disuse, except only amongst their boys. Nor is it ill policy, but on the contrary very prudent, thus to furnish the Indians with fire-arms, because it makes them depend entirely upon the English, not only for their trade, but even for their subsistence. Besides, they were really able to do more mischief, while they made use of arrows, of which they would let silently fly several in a minute with wonderful dexterity, whereas now they hardly ever discharge their fire-locks more than once, which they insidiously do from behind a tree, and then retire as nimbly as the Dutch horse used to do now and then formerly in Flanders. We put the Indians to no expense, but only of a little corn for our horses, for which in gratitude we cheered their hearts with what rum we had left, which they love better than they do their wives and children. Though these Indians dwell among the English, and see in what plenty a little industry enables them to live, yet they choose to continue in their stupid idleness, and to suffer all the inconveniences of dirt, cold and want, rather than to disturb their heads with care, or defile their hands with labour.184.

The whole number of people belonging to the Nottoway town, if you include women and children, amount to about two hundred. These are the only Indians of any consequence now remaining within the limits of Virginia. The rest are either removed, or dwindled to a very inconsiderable number, either by destroying one another, or else by the small-pox and other diseases. Though nothing has been so fatal to them as their ungovernable passion for rum, with which, I am sorry to say it, they have been but too liberally supplied by the English that live near them. And here I must lament the bad success Mr. Boyle's charity has hitherto had towards converting any of these poor heathens to Christianity. Many children of our neighbouring Indians have been brought up in the college of William and Mary. They have been taught to read and write, and have been carefully instructed in the principles of the Christian religion, till they came to be men. Yet after they returned home, instead of civilizing and converting the rest, they have immediately relapsed into infidelity and barbarism themselves.185.

And some of them too have made the worst use of the knowledge they acquired among the English, by employing it against their benefactors. Besides, as they unhappily forget all the good they learn, and remember the ill, they are apt to be more vicious and disorderly than the rest of their countrymen. I ought not to quit this subject without doing justice to the great prudence of colonel Spotswood in this affair. That gentleman was lieutenant governor of Virginia when Carolina was engaged in a bloody war with the Indians. At that critical time it was thought expedient to keep a watchful eye upon our tributary savages, who we knew had nothing to keep them to their duty but their fears. Then it was that he demanded of each nation a competent number of their great men's children to be sent to the college, where they served as so many hostages for the good behaviour of the rest, and at the same time were themselves principled in the Christian religion. He also placed a school master among the Saponi Indians, at the salary of fifty pounds per annum, to instruct their children. The person that undertook that charitable work was Mr. Charles Griffin, a man of a good family, who, by the innocence of his life, and the sweetness of his temper, was perfectly well qualified for that pious undertaking. Besides, he had so much the secret of mixing pleasure with instruction, that he had not a scholar who did not love him affectionately. Such talents must needs have been blest with a proportionable success, had he not been unluckily removed to the college, by which he left the good work he had begun unfinished. In short, all the pains he had taken among the infidels had no other effect but to make them something cleanlier than other Indians are. The care colonel Spotswood took to tincture the Indian children with Christianity produced the following epigram, which was not published during his administration, for fear it might then have looked like flattery.186.

Long has the furious priest assayed in vain,      
With sword and faggot, infidels to gain,      
But now the milder soldier wisely tries      
By gentler methods to unveil their eyes.      
Wonders apart, he knew 'twere vain t'engage5.
The fix'd preventions of misguided age.      
With fairer hopes he forms the Indian youth      
To early manners, probity and truth.      
The lion's whelp thus, on the Lybian shore,      
Is tamed and gentled by the artful Moor,10.
Not the grim sire, inured to blood before.      

I am sorry I cannot give a better account of the state of the poor Indians with respect to Christianity, although a great deal of pains has been and still continues to be taken with them. For my part, I must be of opinion, as I hinted before, that there is but one way of converting these poor infidels, and reclaiming them from barbarity, and that is, charitably to intermarry with them, according to the modern policy of the most Christian king in Canada and Louisiana. Had the English done this at the first settlement of the colony, the infidelity of the Indians had been worn out at this day, with their dark complexions, and the country had swarmed with people more than it does with insects. It was certainly an unreasonable nicety, that prevented their entering into so good-natured an alliance. All nations of men have the same natural dignity, and we all know that very bright talents may be lodged under a very dark skin. The principal difference between one people and another proceeds only from the different opportunities of improvement. The Indians by no means want understanding, and are in their figure tall and well-proportioned. Even their copper-coloured complexion would admit of blanching, if not in the first, at the farthest in the second generation. I may safely venture to say, the Indian women would have made altogether as honest wives for the first planters, as the damsels they used to purchase from aboard the ships. It is strange, therefore, that any good Christian should have refused a wholesome, straight bed-fellow, when he might have had so fair a portion with her, as the merit of saving her soul.187.

8th. We rested on our clean mats very comfortably, though alone, and the next morning went to the toilet of some of the Indian ladies, where, what with the charms of their persons and the smoke of their apartments, we were almost blinded. They offered to give us silk-grass baskets of their own making, which we modestly refused, knowing that an Indian present, like that of a nun, is a liberality put out to interest, and a bribe placed to the greatest advantage. Our chaplain observed with concern, that the ruffles of some of our fellow travellers were a little discoloured with pochoon, wherewith the good man had been told those ladies used to improve their invisible charms.188.

About 10 o'clock we marched out of town in good order, and the war captains saluted us with a volley of small arms. From thence we proceeded over Black-water bridge to colonel Henry Harrison's, where we congratulated each other upon our return into Christendom.189.

Thus ended our progress for this season, which we may justly say was attended with all the success that could be expected. Besides the punctual performance of what was committed to us, we had the pleasure to bring back every one of our company in perfect health. And this we must acknowledge to be a singular blessing, considering the difficulties and dangers to which they had been exposed. We had reason to fear the many waters and sunken grounds, through which we were obliged to wade, might have thrown the men into sundry acute distempers; especially the Dismal, where the soil was so full of water, and the air so full of damps, that nothing but a Dutchman could live in them. Indeed the foundation of all our success was the exceeding dry season. It rained during the whole journey but rarely, and then, as when Herod built his temple, only in the night or upon the sabbath, when it was no hinderance at all to our progress.190.

September. The tenth of September being thought a little too soon for the commissioners to meet, in order to proceed on the line, on account of snakes, it was agreed to put it off to the twentieth of the same month, of which due notice was sent to the Carolina commissioners.191.

Sept. 19. We, on the part of Virginia, that we might be sure to be punctual, arrived at Mr. Kinchin's, the place appointed, on the nineteenth, after a journey of three days, in which nothing remarkable happened. We found three of the Carolina commissioners had taken possession of the house, having come thither by water from Edenton. By the great quantity of provisions these gentlemen brought, and the few men they had to eat them, we were afraid they intended to carry the line to the South sea. They had five hundred pounds of bacon and dried beef, and five hundred pounds of biscuit, and not above three or four men. The misfortune was, they forgot to provide horses to carry their good things, or else trusted to the uncertainty of hiring them here, which, considering the place, was leaving too much to that jilt, hazard. On our part we had taken better care, being completely furnished with every thing necessary for transporting our baggage and provisions. Indeed we brought no other provisions out with us but a thousand pounds of bread, and had faith enough to depend on Providence for our meat, being desirous to husband the public money as much as possible. We had no less than twenty men, besides the chaplain, the surveyors and all the servants, to be subsisted upon this bread. However, that it might hold out the better, our men had been ordered to provide themselves at home with provision for ten days, in which time we judged we should get beyond the inhabitants, where forest game of all sorts was like to be plenty at that time of the year.192.

20th. This being the day appointed for our rendezvous, great part of it was spent in the careful fixing our baggage and assembling our men, who were ordered to meet us here. We took care to examine their arms, and made proof of the powder provided for the expedition. Our provision-horses had been hindered by the rain from coming up exactly at the day; but this delay was the less disappointment, by reason of the ten days' subsistence the men had been directed to provide for themselves. Mr. Moseley did not join us till the afternoon, nor Mr. Swan till several days after.193.

Mr. Kinchin had unadvisedly sold the men a little brandy of his own making, which produced much disorder, causing some to be too choleric, and others too loving; insomuch that a damsel, who assisted in the kitchen, had certainly suffered what the nuns call martyrdom, had she not capitulated a little too soon. This outrage would have called for some severe discipline, had she not bashfully withdrawn herself early in the morning, and so carried off the evidence.194.

21st. We despatched away the surveyors without loss of time, who, with all their diligence, could carry the line no farther than three miles and a hundred and seventy-six poles, by reason the low ground was one entire thicket. In that distance they crossed Meherrin river the fourth time. In the mean while the Virginia commissioners thought proper to conduct their baggage a farther way about, for the convenience of a clearer road.195.

The Carolina gentlemen did at length, more by fortune than forecast, hire a clumsy vehicle, something like a cart, to transport their effects as far as Roanoke. This wretched machine, at first setting out, met with a very rude choque, that broke a case-bottle of cherry brandy in so unlucky a manner that not one precious drop was saved. This melancholy beginning foreboded an unprosperous journey, and too quick a return, to the persons most immediately concerned.196.

In our way we crossed Fountain creek, which runs into Meherrin river, so called from the disaster of an unfortunate Indian trader who had formerly been drowned in it, and, like Icarus, left his name to that fatal stream. We took up our quarters on the plantation of John Hill, where we pitched our tent, with design to tarry till such time as the surveyors could work their way to us.197.

22d. This being Sunday, we had an opportunity of resting from our labours. The expectation of such a novelty as a sermon in these parts brought together a numerous congregation. When the sermon was over, our chaplain did his part towards making eleven of them Christians.198.

Several of our men had intermitting fevers, but were soon restored to their health again by proper remedies. Our chief medicine was dogwood bark, which we used, instead of that of Peru, with good success. Indeed, it was given in larger quantity, but then, to make the patients amends, they swallowed much fewer doses.199.

In the afternoon our provision horses arrived safe in the camp. They had met with very heavy rains, but, thank God, not a single biscuit received the least damage thereby. We were furnished by the neighbours with very lean cheese and very fat mutton, upon which occasion it will not be improper to draw one conclusion, from the evidence of North Carolina, that sheep would thrive much better in the woods than in pasture land, provided a careful shepherd were employed to keep them from straying, and, by the help of dogs, to protect them also from the wolves.200.

23d. The surveyors came to us at night, though they had not brought the line so far as our camp, for which reason we thought it needless to go forward till they came up with us. They could run no more than four miles and five poles, because the ground was every where grown up with thick bushes. The soil here appeared to be very good, though much broken betwixt Fountain creek and Roanoke river. The line crossed Meherrin river the fifth and last time, nor were our people sorry to part with a stream the meanders of which had given them so much trouble.201.

Our hunters brought us four wild turkeys, which at that season began to be fat and very delicious, especially the hens. These birds seem to be of the bustard kind, and fly heavily. Some of them are exceedingly large, and weigh upwards of forty pounds; nay, some bold historians venture to say, upwards of fifty pounds. They run very fast, stretching forth their wings all the time, like the ostrich, by way of sails to quicken their speed. They roost commonly upon very high trees, standing near some river or creek, and are so stupified at the sight of fire, that if you make a blaze in the night near the place where they roost, you may fire upon them several times successively, before they will dare to fly away. Their spurs are so sharp and strong, that the Indians used formerly to point their arrows with them, though now they point them with a sharp white stone. In the spring the turkey-cocks begin to gobble, which is the language wherein they make love.202.

It rained very hard in the night, with a violent storm of thunder and lightning, which obliged us to trench in our tent all round, to carry off the water that fell upon it.203.

24th. So soon as the men could dry their blankets, we sent out the surveyors, who now meeting with more favourable grounds, advanced the line seven miles and eighty-two poles. However, the commissioners did not think proper to decamp that day, believing they might easily overtake the surveyors the next. In the mean time they sent out some of their most expert gunners, who brought in four more wild turkeys.204.

This part of the country being very proper for raising cattle and hogs, we observed the inhabitants lived in great plenty without killing themselves with labour. I found near our camp some plants of that kind of rattle-snake root, called star-grass. The leaves shoot out circularly, and grow horizontally and near the ground. The root is in shape not unlike the rattle of that serpent, and is a strong antidote against the bite of it. It is very bitter, and where it meets with any poison, works by violent sweats, but where it meets with none, has no sensible operation but that of putting the spirits into a great hurry, and so of promoting perspiration. The rattle-snake has an utter antipathy to this plant, insomuch that if you smear your hands with the juice of it, you may handle the viper safely. Thus much I can say on my own experience, that once in July, when these snakes are in their greatest vigour, I besmeared a dog's nose with the powder of this root, and made him trample on a large snake several times, which, however, was so far from biting him, that it perfectly sickened at the dog's approach, and turned its head from him with the utmost aversion.205.

Our chaplain, to show his zeal, made an excursion of six miles to christen two children, but without the least regard to the good cheer at these solemnities.206.

25th. The surveyors, taking the advantage of clear woods, pushed on the line seven miles and forty poles. In the mean time the commissioners marched with the baggage about twelve miles, and took up their quarters near the banks of the Beaver pond, (which is one branch of Fountain creek,) just by the place where the surveyors were to finish their day's work. In our march one of the men killed a small rattle-snake, which had no more than two rattles. Those vipers remain in vigour generally till towards the end of September, or sometimes later, if the weather continue a little warm. On this consideration we had provided three several sorts of rattle-snake root, made up into proper doses, and ready for immediate use, in case any one of the men or their horses had been bitten. We crossed Fountain creek once more in our journey this day, and found the grounds very rich, not withstanding they were broken and stony. Near the place where we encamped the county of Brunswick is divided from the Isle of Wight. These counties run quite on the back of Surry and Prince George, and are laid out in very irregular figures. As a proof the land mended hereabouts, we found the plantations began to grow thicker by much than we had found them lower down.207.

26th. We hurried away the surveyors without loss of time, who extended the line ten miles and a hundred and sixty poles, the grounds proving dry and free from under-woods. By the way the chain-carriers killed two more rattle-snakes, which I own was a little ungrateful, because two or three of the men had strided over them without receiving any hurt; though one of these vipers had made bold to strike at one of the baggage horses, as he went along, but by good luck his teeth only grazed on the hoof, without doing him any damage. However, these accidents were, I think, so many arguments that we had very good reason to defer our coming out till the 20th of September. We observed abundance of St. Andrew's cross in all the woods we passed through, which is the common remedy used by the Indian traders to cure their horses when they are bitten by rattle-snakes. It grows on a straight stem, about eighteen inches high, and bears a yellow flower on the top, that has an eye of black in the middle, with several pairs of narrow leaves shooting out at right angles from the stock over against one another. This antidote grows providentially all over the woods, and upon all sorts of soil, that it may be every where at hand in case a disaster should happen, and may be had all the hot months while the snakes are dangerous.208.

About four o'clock in the afternoon we took up our quarters upon Caban branch, which also discharges itself into Fountain creek. On our way we observed several meadows clothed with very rank grass, and branches full of tall reeds, in which cattle keep themselves fat good part of the winter. But hogs are as injurious to both as goats are said to be to vines, and for that reason it was not lawful to sacrifice them to Bacchus. We halted by the way to christen two children at a spring, where their mothers waylaid us for that good purpose.209.

27th. It was ten o'clock before the surveyors got to work, because some of the horses had straggled a great distance from the camp. Nevertheless, meeting with practicable woods, they advanced the line nine miles and a hundred and four poles. We crossed over Pea creek about four miles from our quarters, and, three miles farther, Lizard creek, both which empty their waters into Roanoke river. Between these two creeks a poor man waited for us with five children to be baptized and we halted till the ceremony was ended. The land seemed to be very good, by the largeness of the trees, though very stony. We proceeded as far as Pigeon-roost creek, which also runs into Roanoke, and there quartered. We had not the pleasure of the company of any of the Carolina commissioners in this day's march, except Mr. Moseley's, the rest tarrying behind to wait the coming up of their baggage cart, which they had now not seen nor heard (though the wheels made a dismal noise) for several days past. Indeed it was a very difficult undertaking to conduct a cart through such pathless and perplexed woods, and no wonder if its motion was a little planetary. We would have paid them the compliment of waiting for them, could we have done it at any other expense but that of the public.210.

In the stony grounds we rode over we found great quantity of the true ipocoacanna, which in this part of the world is called Indian physic. This has several stalks growing up from the same root about a foot high, bearing a leaf resembling that of a strawberry. It is not so strong as that from Brazil, but has the same happy effects, if taken in somewhat a larger dose. It is an excellent vomit, and generally cures intermitting fevers and bloody fluxes at once or twice taking. There is abundunce of it in the upper part of the country, where it delights most in a stony soil intermixed with black mould.211.

28th. Our surveyors got early to work, yet could forward the line but six miles and a hundred and twenty-one poles, because of the uneven grounds in the neighbourhood of Roanoke, which they crossed in this day's work. In that place the river is forty-nine poles wide, and rolls down a crystal stream of very sweet water, insomuch that when there comes to be a great monarch in this part of the world, he will cause all the water for his own table to be brought from Roanoke, as the great kings of Persia did theirs from the Nile, and Choaspis, because the waters of those rivers were light, and not apt to corrupt. * The same humour prevails at this day in the kings of Denmark, who order all the East India ships of that nation to call at the cape of Good Hope, and take in a but of water from a spring on the Table Hill, and bring it to Copenhagen, for their majesties' own drinking.212.

The great falls of Roanoke lie about twenty miles lower, to which a sloop of moderate burthen may come up. There are, besides these, many smaller falls above, though none that entirely intercept the passage of the river, as the great ones do, by a chain of rocks for eight miles together. The river forks about thirty-six miles higher, and both branches are pretty equal in breadth where they divide, though the southern, now called the Dan, runs up the farthest. That to the north runs away near north-west, and is called the Staunton, and heads not far from the source of Appomattox river, while the Dan stretches away pretty near west, and runs clear through the great mountains.213.

We did not follow the surveyors till towards noon, being detained in our camp to christen several more children. We were conducted a nearer way, by a famous woodsman, called Epaphroditus Bamton. This forester spends all his time in ranging the woods, and is said to make great havoc among the deer, and other inhabitants of the forest, not much wilder than himself.214.

We proceeded to the canoe landing on Roanoke, where we passed the river with the baggage. But the horses were directed to a ford about a mile higher, called by the Indians Moni-seep, which signifies, in their jargon, shallow water. This is the ford where the Indian traders used to cross with their horses, in their way to the Catawba nation. There are many rocks in the river thereabouts, on which grows a kind of water grass, which the wild geese are fond of, and resort to it in great numbers. We landed on the south side of Roanoke, at a plantation of Col. Mumford's, where, by that gentleman's special directions, we met with sundry refreshments. Here we pitched our tent, for the benefit of the prospect, upon an eminence that overlooked a broad piece of low ground, very rich, though liable to be overflowed. By the way, one of our men killed another rattle-snake, with eleven rattles, having a large gray squirrel in his maw, the head of which was already digested, while the body remained still entire. The way these snakes catch their prey is thus: They ogle the poor little animal, till by force of the charm he falls down stupified and senseless on the ground. In that condition the snake approaches, and moistens first one ear and then the other with his spawl, and after that the other parts of the head, to make all slippery. When that is done, he draws this member into his mouth, and after it, by slow degrees, all the rest of the body.215.

29th. This being Sunday, we had divine service and a sermon, at which several of the borderers assisted, and we concluded the duties of the day by christening five children. Our devotion being performed in the open field, like that of Mr. Whitfield's flocks, an unfortunate shower of rain had almost dispersed our congregation. About four in the afternoon the Carolina commissioners made a shift to come up with us, whom we had left at Pigeon-roost creek the Friday before, waiting for their provisions. When their cart came up they prudently discharged it, and rather chose to hire two men to carry some part of their baggage. The rest they had been obliged to leave behind, in the crotch of an old tree, for want of proper conveniences to transport it any farther.216.

We found in the low ground several plants of the fern root, which is said to be much the strongest antidote yet discovered against the poison of the rattle-snake. The leaves of it resemble those of fern, from whence it obtained its name. Several stalks shoot from the same root, about six inches long, that lie mostly on the ground. It grows in a very rich soil, under the protection of some tall tree, that shades it from the meridian beams of the sun. The root has a faint spicy taste, and is preferred by the southern Indians to all other counter-poisons in this country. But there is another sort preferred by the northern Indians, that they call Seneca rattle-snake root, to which wonderful virtues are ascribed in the cure of pleurisies, fevers, rheumatisms, and dropsies; besides it being a powerful antidote against the venom of the rattlesnake.217.

In the evening the messenger we had sent to Christiana returned with five Saponi Indians. We could not entirely rely on the dexterity of our own men, which induced us to send for some of the Indians. We agreed with two of the most expert of them, upon reasonable terms, to hunt for us the remaining part of our expedition. But one of them falling sick soon after, we were content to take only the other, whose hunting name was Bear-skin. This Indian, either by his skill or good luck, supplied us plentifully all the way with meat, seldom discharging his piece in vain. By his assistance, therefore, we were able to keep our men to their business, without suffering them to straggle about the woods, on pretence of furnishing us with necessary food.218.

30th. It had rained all night, and made every thing so wet, that our surveyors could not get to their work before noon. They could therefore measure no more than four miles and two hundred and twenty poles, which, according to the best information we could get, was near as high as the uppermost inhabitant at that time. We crossed the Indian trading path above-mentioned about a mile from our camp, and a mile beyond that forded Haw-tree creek. The woods we passed through had all the tokens of sterility, except a small poisoned field, on which grew no tree bigger than a slender sapling. The larger trees had been destroyed, either by fire or caterpillars, which is often the case in the upland woods, and the places where such desolation happens are called poisoned fields. We took up our quarters upon a branch of Great creek, where there was tolerable good grass for the poor horses. These poor animals having now got beyond the latitude of corn, were obliged to shift as well as they could for themselves.219.

On our way the men roused a bear, which being the first we had seen since we came out, the poor beast had many pursuers. Several persons contended for the credit of killing him: though he was so poor he was not worth the powder. This was some disappointment to our woodsmen, who commonly prefer the flesh of bears to every kind of venison. There is something indeed peculiar to this animal, namely, that its fat is very firm, and may be eaten plentifully without rising in the stomach. The paw (which, when stripped of the hair, looks like a human foot,) is accounted a delicious morsel by all who are not shocked at the ungracious resemblance it bears to a human foot.220.

October 1st. There was a white frost this morning on the ground, occasioned by a north-west wind, which stood our friend in dispersing all aguish damps, and making the air wholesome at the same time that it made it cold. Encouraged therefore by the weather, our surveyors got to work early, and by the benefit of clear woods, and level ground, drove the line twelve miles and twelve poles.221.

At a small distance from our camp we crossed Great creek, and about seven miles further Nut-bush creek, so called from the many hazel-trees growing upon it. By good luck many branches of these creeks were full of reeds, to the great comfort of our horses. Near five miles from thence we encamped on a branch that runs into Nut-bush creek, where those reeds flourished more than ordinary. The land we marched over was for the most part broken and stony, and in some places covered over with thickets almost impenetrable. At night the surveyors, taking advantage of a clear sky, made a third trial of the variation, and found it still something less than three degrees, so that it did not diminish by advancing towards the west, or by approaching the mountains, nor yet by increasing our distance from the sea; but remained much the same we had found it at Coratuck inlet. One of our Indians killed a large fawn, which was very welcome, though, like Hudibras' horse, it had hardly flesh enough to cover its bones. In the low grounds the Carolina gentlemen showed us another plant, which they said was used in their country to cure the bite of the rattle-snake. It put forth several leaves in figure like a heart, and was clouded so like the common Assa-rabacca, that I conceived it to be of that family.222.

2d. So soon as the horses could be found, we hurried away the surveyors, who advanced the line nine miles and two hundred and fifty-four poles. About three miles from the camp they crossed a large creek, which the Indians called Massamoni, signifying, in their language, Paint creek, because of the great quantity of red ochre found in its banks. This in every fresh tinges the water just as the same mineral did formerly, and to this day continues to tinge, the famous river Adonis, in Phoenicia, by which there hangs a celebrated fable. Three miles beyond that we passed another water with difficulty, called Yapatsco, or Beaver creek. Those industrious animals had dammed up the water so high, that we had much ado to get over. It is hardly credible how much work of this kind they will do in the space of one night. They bite young saplings into proper lengths with their fore-teeth, which are exceeding strong and sharp, and afterwards drag them to the place where they intend to stop the water. Then they know how to join timber and earth together with so much skill, that their work is able to resist the most violent flood that can happen. In this they are qualified to instruct their betters, it being certain their dams will stand firm when the strongest that are made by men will be carried down the stream. We observed very broad low grounds upon this creek, with a growth of large trees, and all the other signs of fertility, but seemed subject to be every where overflowed in a fresh. The certain way to catch these sagacious animals is this: Squeeze all the juice out of the large pride of the beaver, and six drops out of the small pride. Powder the inward bark of sassafras, and mix it with this juice, then bait therewith a steel trap, and they will eagerly come to it, and be taken.223.

About three miles and a half further we came to the banks of another creek, called, in the Saponi language, Ohimpa-moni, signifying Jumping creek, from the frequent jumping of fish during the spring season.224.

Here we encamped, and by the time the horses were hobbled, our hunters brought us no less than a brace and a half of deer, which made great plenty, and consequently great content in our quarters. Some of our people had shot a great wild cat, which was that fatal moment making a comfortable meal upon a fox-squirrel, and an ambitious sportsman of our company claimed the merit of killing this monster after it was dead. The wild cat is as big again as any household cat, and much the fiercest inhabitant of the woods. Whenever it is disabled, it will tear its own flesh for madness. Although a panther will run away from a man, a wild cat will only make a surly retreat, and now and then facing about, if he be too closely pursued; and will even pursue in his turn, if he observe the least sign of fear or even of caution in those that pretend to follow him. The flesh of this beast, as well as of the panther, is as white as veal, and altogether as sweet and delicious.225.

3d. We got to work early this morning, and carried the line eight miles and a hundred and sixty poles. We forded several runs of excellent water, and afterwards traversed a large level of high land full of lofty walnut, poplar, and white oak trees, which are certain proofs of a fruitful soil. This level was near two miles in length, and of an unknown breadth, quite out of danger of being overflowed, which is a misfortune most of the low grounds are liable to in those parts. As we marched along we saw many buffalo tracks, and abundance of their dung very fresh, but could not have the pleasure of seeing them. They either smelt us out, having that sense very quick, or else were alarmed at the noise that so many people must necessarily make in marching along. At the sight of a man they will snort and grunt, cock up their ridiculous short tails, and tear up the ground with a sort of timorous fury. These wild cattle hardly ever range alone, but herd together like those that are tame. They are seldom seen so far north as forty degrees of latitude, delighting much in canes and reeds, which grow generally more southerly.226.

We quartered on the banks of a creek that the inhabitants call Tewahominy, or Tuskarooda creek, because one of that nation had been killed there-abouts, and his body thrown into the creek.227.

Our people had the fortune to kill a brace of does, one of which we presented to the Carolina gentlemen, who were glad to partake of the bounty of Providence, at the same time that they sneered at us for depending upon it.228.

4th. We hurried away the surveyors about nine this morning, who extended the line seven miles and a hundred and sixty poles, notwithstanding the ground was exceedingly uneven. At the distance of five miles we forded a stream to which we gave the name of Bluewing creek, because of the great number of those fowls that then frequented it. About two and a half miles beyond that, we came upon Sugar-tree creek, so called from the many trees of that kind that grow upon it. By tapping this tree, in the first warm weather in February, one may get from twenty to forty gallons of liquor, very sweet to the taste and agreeable to the stomach. This may be boiled into molasses first, and afterwards into very good sugar, allowing about ten gallons of the liquor to make a pound. There is no doubt, too, that a very fine spirit may be distilled from the molasses, at least as good as rum. The sugar tree delights only in rich ground, where it grows very tall, and by the softness and sponginess of the wood should be a quick grower. Near this creek we discovered likewise several spice trees, the leaves of which are fragrant, and the berries they bear are black when dry, and of a hot taste, not much unlike pepper. The low grounds upon the creek are very wide, sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other; though most commonly upon the opposite shore the high land advances close to the bank, only on the north side of the line it spreads itself into a great breadth of rich low ground on both sides the creek for four miles together, as far as this stream runs into Hico river, whereof I shall presently make mention. One of our men spied three buffaloes, but his piece being loaded only with goose-shot, he was able to make no effectual impression on their thick hides; however, this disappointment was made up by a brace of bucks, and as many wild turkeys, killed by the rest of the company. Thus Providence was very bountiful to our endeavours, never disappointing those that faithfully rely upon it, and pray heartily for their daily bread.229.

5th. This day we met with such uneven grounds, and thick underwoods, that with all our industry we were able to advance the line but four miles and three hundred and twelve poles. In this small distance it intersected a large stream four times, which our Indian at first mistook for the south branch of Roanoke river; but, discovering his error soon after, he assured us it was a river called Hicootomony, or Turkey-buzzard river, from the great number of those unsavoury birds that roost on the tall trees growing near its banks.230.

Early in the afternoon, to our very great surprise, the commissioners of Carolina acquainted us with their resolution to return home. This declaration of theirs seemed the more abrupt, because they had not been so kind as to prepare us, by the least hint, of their intention to desert us. We therefore let them understand they appeared to us to abandon the business they came about with too much precipitation, this being but the fifteenth day since we came out the last time. But, although we were to be so unhappy as to lose the assistance of their great abilities, yet we, who were concerned for Virginia, determined, by the grace of God, not to do our work by halves, but, all deserted as we were like to be, should think it our duty to push the line quite to the mountains; and if their government should refuse to be bound by so much of the line as was run without their commissioners, yet at least it would bind Virginia, and stand as a direction how far his majesty's lands extend to the southward. In short, these gentlemen were positive, and the most we could agree upon was to subscribe plots of our work as far as we had acted together; though at the same time we insisted these plots should be gotten ready by Monday noon at farthest, when we on the part of Virginia intended, if we were alive, to move forward without farther loss of time, the season being then too far advanced to admit of any unnecessary or complaisant delays.231.

6th. We lay still this day, being Sunday, on the bank of Hico river, and had only prayers, our chaplain not having spirits enough to preach. The gentlemen of Carolina assisted not at our public devotions, because they were taken up all the morning in making a formidable protest against our proceeding on the line without them. When the divine service was over, the surveyors set about making the plots of so much of the line as we had run this last campaign. Our pious friends of Carolina assisted in this work with some seeming scruple, pretending it was a violation of the sabbath, which we were the more surprised at, because it happened to be the first qualm of conscience they had ever been troubled with during the whole journey. They had made no bones of staying from prayers to hammer out an unnecessary protest, though divine service was no sooner over, but an unusual fit of godliness made them fancy that finishing the plots, which was now matter of necessity, was a profanation of the day. However, the expediency of losing no time, for us who thought it our duty to finish what we had undertaken, made such a labour pardonable.232.

In the afternoon, Mr. Fitzwilliam, one of the commissioners for Virginia, acquainted his colleagues it was his opinion, that by his majesty's order they could not proceed farther on the line, but in conjunction with the commissioners of Carolina; for which reason he intended to retire, the next morning, with those gentlemen. This looked a little odd in our brother commissioner; though, in justice to him, as well as to our Carolina friends, they stuck by us as long as our good liquor lasted, and were so kind to us as to drink our good journey to the mountains in the last bottle we had left.233.

7th. The duplicates of the plots could not be drawn fair this day before noon, when they were countersigned by the commissioners of each government. Then those of Carolina delivered their protest, which was by this time licked into form, and signed by them all. And we have been so just to them as to set it down at full length in the Appendix, that their reasons for leaving us may appear in their full strength. After having thus adjusted all our affairs with the Carolina commissioners, and kindly supplied them with bread to carry them back, which they hardly deserved at our hands, we took leave both of them and our colleague, Mr. Fitzwilliam. This gentleman had still a stronger reason for hurrying him back to Williamsburg, which was, that neither the general court might lose an able judge, nor himself a double salary, not despairing in the least but he should have the whole pay of commissioner into the bargain, though he did not half the work. This, to be sure, was relying more on the interest of his friends than on the justice of his cause; in which, however, he had the misfortune to miscarry, when it came to be fairly considered.234.

It was two o'clock in the afternoon before these arduous affairs could be despatched, and then, all forsaken as we were, we held on our course towards the west. But it was our misfortune to meet with so many thickets in this afternoon's work, that we could advance no further than two miles and two hundred and sixty poles. In this small distance we crossed the Hico the fifth time, and quartered near Buffalo creek, so named from the frequent tokens we discovered of that American behemoth. Here the bushes were so intolerably thick, that we were obliged to cover the bread bags with our deer skins, otherwise the joke of one of the Indians must have happened to us in good earnest, that in a few days we must cut up our house to make bags for our bread, and so be forced to expose our backs in compliment to our bellies. We computed we had then biscuit enough left to last us, with good management, seven weeks longer; and this being our chief dependence, it imported us to be very careful both in the carriage and the distribution of it.235.

We had now no other drink but what Adam drank in Paradise, though to our comfort we found the water excellent, by the help of which we perceived our appetites to mend, our slumbers to sweeten, the stream of life to run cool and peaceably in our veins, and if ever we dreamed of women, they were kind. Our men killed a very fat buck and several turkeys. These two kinds of meat boiled together, with the addition of a little rice or French barley, made excellent soup, and, what happens rarely in other good things, it never cloyed, no more than an engaging wife would do, by being a constant dish. Our Indian was very superstitious in this matter, and told us, with a face full of concern, that if we continued to boil venison and turkey together, we should for the future kill nothing, because the spirit that presided over the woods would drive all the game out of our sight. But we had the happiness to find this an idle superstition, and though his argument could not convince us, yet our repeated experience at last, with much ado, convinced him. We observed abundance of colt's foot and maiden-hair in many places, and no where a larger quantity than here. They are both excellent pectoral plants, and seem to have greater virtues much in this part of the world than in more northern climates; and I believe it may pass for a rule in botanics, that where any vegetable is planted by the hand of nature, it has more virtue than in places whereto it is transplanted by the curiosity of man.236.

8th. Notwithstanding we hurried away the surveyors very early, yet the underwoods embarrassed them so much that they could with difficulty advance the line four miles and twenty poles. Our clothes suffered extremely by the bushes, and it was really as much as both our hands could do to preserve our eyes in our heads. Our poor horses, too, could hardly drag their loads through the saplings, which stood so close together that it was necessary for them to draw and carry at the same time. We quartered near a spring of very fine water, as soft as oil and as cold as ice, to make us amends for the want of wine. And our Indian knocked down a very fat doe, just time enough to hinder us from going supperless to bed. The heavy baggage could not come up with us, because of the excessive badness of the ways. This gave us no small uneasiness, but it went worse with the poor men that guarded it. They had nothing in the world with them but dry bread, nor durst they eat any of that, for fear of inflaming their thirst, in a place where they could find no water to quench it. This was, however, the better to be endured, because it was the first fast any one had kept during the whole journey, and then, thanks to the gracious Guardian of the woods! there was no more than a single meal lost to a few of the company. We were entertained this night with the yell of a whole family of wolves, in which we could distinguish the treble, tenor and bass, very clearly. These beasts of prey kept pretty much upon our track, being tempted by the garbage of the creatures we killed every day; for which we were serenaded with their shrill pipes almost every night. This beast is not so untameable as the panther, but the Indians know how to gentle their whelps, and use them about their cabins instead of dogs.237.

9th. The thickets were hereabouts so impenetrable, that we were obliged, at first setting off this morning, to order four pioneers to clear the way before the surveyors. But, after about two miles of these rough woods, we had the pleasure to meet with open grounds and not very uneven, by the help of which we were enabled to push the line about six miles. The baggage that lay short of our camp last night came up about noon, and the men made heavy complaints, that they had been half starved, like Tantalus, in the midst of plenty, for the reason above mentioned.238.

The soil we past over this day was generally very good, being clothed with large trees, of poplar, hickory and oak. But another certain token of its fertility was, that wild angelica grew plentifully upon it. The root of this plant, being very warm and aromatic, is coveted by woodsmen extremely as a dry dram, that is, when rum, that cordial for all distresses, is wanting. Several deer came into our view as we marched along, but none into the pot, which made it necessary for us to sup on the fragments we had been so provident as to carry along with us. This being but a temperate repast, made some of our hungry fellows call the place we lodged at that night, Bread and Water Camp.239.

A great flock of cranes flew over our quarters, that were exceeding clamorous in their flight. They seem to steer their course towards the south (being birds of passage) in quest of warmer weather. They only took this country in their way, being as rarely met with, in this part of the world, as a highwayman or a beggar. These birds travel generally in flocks, and when they roost they place sentinels upon some of the highest trees, which constantly stand upon one leg to keep themselves waking. * Nor are these birds the only animals that appoint scouts to keep the main body from being surprised. For the baboons, whenever they go upon any mischievous expedition, such as robbing an orchard, place sentinels to look out towards every point of the compass, and give notice of any danger. Then ranking themselves in one file, that reaches from the mountain where they harbour, to the orchard they intend to rob, some of them toss the fruits from the trees to those that stand nearest, these throw them to the next, and so from one to the other, till the fruit is all secured in a few minutes out of harm's way. In the mean time, if any of the scouts should be careless at their posts, and suffer any surprise, they are torn to pieces without mercy. In case of danger these sentinels set up a fearful cry, upon which the rest take the alarm, and scour away to the mountains as fast as they can.240.

Our Indian killed nothing all day but a mountain partridge, which a little resembled the common partridge in the plumage, but was near as large as a dunghill hen. These are very frequent towards the mountains, though we had the fortune to meet with very few. They are apt to be shy, and consequently the noise of so great a number of people might easily scare them away from our sight. We found what we conceived to be good limestone in several places, and a great quantity of blue slate.241.

10th. The day began very fortunately by killing a fat doe, and two brace of wild turkeys; so the plenty of the morning made amends for the short commons over night. One of the new men we brought out with us the last time was unfortunately heard to wish himself at home, and for that show of impatience was publicly reprimanded at the head of the men, who were all drawn up to witness his disgrace. He was asked how he came so soon to be tired of the company of so many brave fellows, and whether it was the danger or the fatigue of the journey that disheartened him? This public re-proof from thenceforward put an effectual stop to all complaints, and not a man amongst us after that pretended so much as to wish himself in Paradise. A small distance from our camp we crossed a pleasant stream of water called Cocquade creek, and something more than a mile from thence our line intersected the south branch of Roanoke river the first time, which we called the Dan. It was about two hundred yards wide where we forded it, and when we came over to the west side, we found the banks lined with a forest of tall canes, that grew more than a furlong in depth. So that it cost us abundance of time and labour to cut a passage through them wide enough for our baggage. In the mean time we had leisure to take a full view of this charming river. The stream, which was perfectly clear, ran down about two knots, or two miles, an hour, when the water was at the lowest. The bottom was covered with a coarse gravel, spangled very thick with a shining substance, that almost dazzled the eye, and the sand upon either shore sparkled with the same splendid particles. At first sight, the sunbeams giving a yellow cast to these spangles made us fancy them to be gold dust, and consequently that all our fortunes were made. Such hopes as these were the less extravagant, because several rivers lying much about the same latitude with this have formerly abounded with fragments of that tempting metal. Witness the Tagus in Portugal, the Heber in Thrace, and the Pactolus in Lesser Asia; not to mention the rivers on the Gold Coast in Africa, which lie in a more southern climate. But we soon found ourselves mistaken, and our gold dust dwindled into small flakes of isinglass. However, though this did not make the river so rich as we could wish, yet it made it exceedingly beautiful. We marched about two miles and a half beyond this river, as far as Cane creek, so called from a prodigious quantity of tall canes that fringed the banks of it. On the west side of this creek we marked out our quarters, and were glad to find our horses fond of the canes, though they scoured them smartly at first, and discoloured their dung. This beautiful vegetable grows commonly from twelve to sixteen feet high, and some of them as thick as a man's wrist. Though these appeared large to us, yet they are no more than spires of grass, if compared to those which some curious travellers tell us grow in the East Indies, one joint of which will make a brace of canoes, if sawed in two in the middle. Ours continue green through all the seasons during the space of six years, and the seventh shed their seed, wither away and die. The spring following they begin to shoot again, and reach their former stature the second or third year after. They grow so thick, and their roots lace together so firmly, that they are the best guard that can be of the river bank, which would otherwise be washed away by the frequent inundations that happen in this part of the world. They would also serve excellently well to plant on the borders of fish-ponds and canals, to secure their sides from falling in; though I fear they would not grow kindly in a cold country, being seldom seen here so northerly as thirty-eight degrees of latitude.242.

11th. At the distance of four miles and sixty poles from the place where we encamped, we came upon the river Dan a second time; though it was not so wide in this place as where we crossed it first, being not above a hundred and fifty yards over. The west shore continued to be covered with the canes above mentioned, but not to so great a breadth as before, and it is remarkable that these canes are much more frequent on the west side of the river than on the east, where they grow generally very scattering. It was still a beautiful stream, rolling down its limpid and murmuring waters among the rocks, which lay scattered here and there, to make up the variety of the prospect. It was about two miles from this river to the end of our day's work, which led us mostly over broken grounds and troublesome underwoods. Hereabout, from one of the highest hills, we made the first discovery of the mountains, on the north-west of our course. They seemed to lie off at a vast distance, and looked like ranges of blue clouds rising one above another. We encamped about two miles beyond the river, where we made good cheer upon a very fat buck, that luckily fell in our way. The Indian likewise shot a wild turkey, but confessed he would not bring it us, lest we should continue to provoke the guardian of the forest, by cooking the beasts of the field and the birds of the air together in one vessel. This instance of Indian superstition, I confess, is countenanced in some measure by the Levitical law, which forbade the mixing things of a different nature together in the same field, or in the same garment, and why not then in the same kettle? But, after all, if the jumbling of two sorts of flesh together be a sin, how intolerable an offence must it be to make a Spanish olla, that is, a hotchpotch of every kind of thing that is eatable? And the good people of England would have a great deal to answer for, for beating up so many different ingredients into a pudding.243.

12th. We were so cruelly entangled with bushes and grape-vines all day, that we could advance the line no farther than five miles and twenty-eight poles. The vines grow very thick in these woods, twining lovingly round the trees almost every where, especially to the saplings. This makes it evident how natural both the soil and climate of this country are to vines, though I believe most to our own vines. The grapes we commonly met with were black, though there be two or three kinds of white grapes that grow wild. The black are very sweet, but small, because the strength of the vine spends itself in wood; though without question a proper culture would make the same grapes both larger and sweeter. But, with all these disadvantages, I have drunk tolerable good wine pressed from them, though made without skill. There is then good reason to believe it might admit of great improvement, if rightly managed. Our Indian killed a bear, two years old, that was feasting on these grapes. He was very fat, as they generally are in that season of the year. In the fall, the flesh of this animal has a high relish, different from that of other creatures, though inclining nearest to that of pork, or rather of wild boar. A true woodsman prefers this sort of meat to that of the fattest venison, not only for the haut gout, but also because the fat of it is well tasted, and never rises in the stomach. Another proof of the goodness of this meat is, that it is less apt to corrupt than any other with which we are acquainted. As agreeable as such rich diet was to the men, yet we who were not accustomed to it, tasted it at first with some sort of squeamishness, that animal being of the dog kind; though a little use soon reconciled us to this American venison. And that its being of the dog kind might give us the less disgust, we had the example of that ancient and polite people, the Chinese, who reckon dog's flesh too good for any under the quality of a mandarin. This beast is in truth a very clean feeder, living, while the season lasts, upon acorns, chestnuts and chinquapins, wild honey and wild grapes. They are naturally not carnivorous, unless hunger constrain them to it, after the mast is all gone, and the product of the woods quite exhausted. They are not provident enough to lay up any hoard, like the squirrels, nor can they, after all, live very long upon licking their paws, as sir John Mandevil and some other travellers tell us, but are forced in the winter months to quit the mountains, and visit the inhabitants. Their errand is then to surprise a poor hog at a pinch to keep them from starving. And to show that they are not flesh-eaters by trade, they devour their prey very awkwardly. They do not kill it right out, and feast upon its blood and entrails, like other ravenous beasts, but having, after a fair pursuit, seized it with their paws, they begin first upon the rump, and so devour one collop after another, till they come to the vitals, the poor animal crying all the while, for several minutes together. However, in so doing, Bruin acts a little imprudently, because the dismal outcry of the hog alarms the neighbourhood, and it is odds but he pays the forfeit with his life, before he can secure his retreat. But bears soon grow weary of this unnatural diet, and about January, when there is nothing to be gotten in the woods, they retire into some cave or hollow tree, where they sleep away two or three months very comfortably. But then they quit their holes in March, when the fish begin to run up the rivers, on which they are forced to keep Lent, till some fruit or berry comes in season. But bears are fondest of chestnuts, which grow plentifully towards the mountains, upon very large trees, where the soil happens to be rich. We were curious to know how it happened that many of the outward branches of those trees came to be broken off in that solitary place, and were informed that the bears are so discreet as not to trust their unwieldy bodies on the smaller limbs of the tree, that would not bear their weight; but after venturing as far as is safe, which they can judge to an inch, they bite off the end of the branch, which falling down, they are content to finish their repast upon the ground. In the same cautious manner they secure the acorns that grow on the weaker limbs of the oak. And it must be allowed that, in these instances, a bear carries instinct a great way, and acts more reasonably than many of his betters, who indiscreetly venture upon frail projects that will not bear them.244.

13th. This being Sunday, we rested from our fatigue, and had leisure to reflect on the signal mercies of Providence.245.

The great plenty of meat wherewith Bearskin furnished us in these lonely woods made us once more shorten the men's allowance of bread, from five to four pounds of biscuit a week. This was the more necessary, because we knew not yet how long our business might require us to be out.246.

In the afternoon our hunters went forth, and returned triumphantly with three brace of wild turkeys. They told us they could see the mountains distinctly from every eminence, though the atmosphere was so thick with smoke that they appeared at a greater distance than they really were.247.

In the evening we examined our friend Bearskin, concerning the religion of his country, and he explained it to us, without any of that reserve to which his nation is subject. He told us he believed there was one supreme God, who had several subaltern deities under him. And that this master God made the world a long time ago. That he told the sun, the moon, and stars, their business in the beginning, which they, with good looking after, have faithfully performed ever since. That the same Power that made all things at first has taken care to keep them in the same method and motion ever since. He believed that God had formed many worlds before he formed this, but that those worlds either grew old and ruinous, or were destroyed for the dishonesty of the inhabitants. That God is very just and very good–ever well pleased with those men who possess those god-like qualities. That he takes good people into his safe protection, makes them very rich, fills their bellies plentifully, preserves them from sickness, and from being surprised or overcome by their enemies. But all such as tell lies, and cheat those they have dealings with, he never fails to punish with sickness, poverty and hunger, and, after all that, suffers them to be knocked on the head and scalped by those that fight against them. He believed that after death both good and bad people are conducted by a strong guard into a great road, in which departed souls travel together for some time, till at a certain distance this road forks into two paths, the one extremely level, and the other stony and mountainous. Here the good are parted from the bad by a flash of lightning, the first being hurried away to the right, the other to the left. The right hand road leads to a charming warm country, where the spring is everlasting, and every month is May; and as the year is always in its youth, so are the people, and particularly the women are bright as stars, and never scold. That in this happy climate there are deer, turkeys, elks, and buffaloes innumerable, perpetually fat and gentle, while the trees are loaded with delicious fruit quite throughout the four seasons. That the soil brings forth corn spontaneously, without the curse of labour, and so very wholesome, that none who have the happiness to eat of it are ever sick, grow old, or die. Near the entrance into this blessed land sits a venerable old man on a mat richly woven, who examines strictly all that are brought before him, and if they have behaved well, the guards are ordered to open the crystal gate, and let them enter into the land of delight. The left hand path is very rugged and uneven, leading to a dark and barren country, where it is always winter. The ground is the whole year round covered with snow, and nothing is to be seen upon the trees but icicles. All the people are hungry, yet have not a morsel of any thing to eat, except a bitter kind of potato, that gives them the dry gripes, and fills their whole body with loathsome ulcers, that stink, and are insupportably painful. Here all the women are old and ugly, having claws like a panther, with which they fly upon the men that slight their passion. For it seems these haggard old furies are intolerably fond, and expect a vast deal of cherishing. They talk much, and exceedingly shrill, giving exquisite pain to the drum of the ear, which in that place of torment is so tender, that every sharp note wounds it to the quick. At the end of this path sits a dreadful old woman on a monstrous toad-stool, whose head is covered with rattle-snakes instead of tresses, with glaring white eyes, that strike a terror unspeakable into all that behold her. This hag pronounces sentence of woe upon all the miserable wretches that hold up their hands at her tribunal. After this they are delivered over to huge turkey-buzzards, like harpies, that fly away with them to the place above mentioned. Here, after they have been tormented a certain number of years, according to their several degrees of guilt, they are again driven back into this world, to try if they will mend their manners, and merit a place the next time in the regions of bliss. This was the substance of Bearskin's religion, and was as much to the purpose as could be expected from a mere state of nature, without one glimpse of revelation or philosophy. It contained, however, the three great articles of natural religion: the belief of a God; the moral distinction betwixt good and evil; and the expectation of rewards and punishments in another world. Indeed, the Indian notion of a future happiness is a little gross and sensual, like Mahomet's paradise. But how can it be otherwise, in a people that are contented with Nature as they find her, and have no other lights but what they receive from purblind tradition?248.

14th. There having been great signs of rain yesterday evening, we had taken our precautions in securing the bread, and trenching in our tent. The men had also stretched their blankets upon poles, pent-house fashion, against the weather, so that nobody was taken unprepared. It began to fall heavily about three o'clock in the morning, and held not up till near noon. Every thing was so thoroughly soaked, that we laid aside all thoughts of decamping that day. This gave leisure to the most expert of our gunners to go and try their fortunes, and they succeeded so well, that they returned about noon with three fat deer, and four wild turkeys. Thus Providence took care of us, and however short the men might be in their bread, it is certain they had meat at full allowance. The cookery went on merrily all night long, to keep the damps from entering our pores; and in truth the impressions of the air are much more powerful upon empty stomachs. In such a glut of provisions, a true woodsman, when he has nothing else to do, like our honest countrymen the Indians, keeps eating on, to avoid the imputation of idleness; though, in a scarcity, the Indian will fast with a much better grace than they. They can subsist several days upon a little rockahominy, which is parched Indian corn reduced to powder. This they moisten in the hollow of their hands with a little water, and it is hardly credible how small a quantity of it will support them. It is true they grow a little lank upon it, but to make themselves feel full, they gird up their loins very tight with a belt, taking up a hole every day. With this slender subsistence they are able to travel very long journeys; but then, to make themselves amends, when they do meet with better cheer, they eat without ceasing, till they have ravened themselves into another famine.249.

This was the first time we had ever been detained a whole day in our camp by the rain, and therefore had reason to bear it with the more patience.250.

The few good husbands amongst us took some thought of their backs as well as their bellies, and made use of this opportunity to put their habiliments in repair, which had suffered wofully by the bushes. The horses got some rest, by reason of the bad weather, but very little food, the chief of their forage being a little wild rosemary, which resembles the garden rosemary pretty much in figure, but not at all in taste or smell. This plant grows in small tufts here and there on the barren land in these upper parts, and the horses liked it well, but the misfortune was, they could not get enough of it to fill their bellies.251.

15th. After the clouds broke away in the morning, the people dried their blankets with all diligence. Nevertheless, it was noon before we were in condition to move forward, and then were so puzzled with passing the river twice in a small distance, that we could advance the line in all no further than one single mile and three hundred poles. The first time we passed the Dan this day was two hundred and forty poles from the place where we lay, and the second time was one mile and seven poles beyond that. This was now the fourth time we forded that fine river, which still tended westerly, with many short and returning reaches.252.

The surveyors had much difficulty in getting over the river, finding it deeper than formerly. The breadth of it here did not exceed fifty yards. The banks were about twenty feet high from the water, and beautifully beset with canes. Our baggage horses crossed not the river here at all, but, fetching a compass, went round the bend of it. On our way we forded Sable creek, so called from the dark colour of the water, which happened, I suppose, by its being shaded on both sides with canes.253.

In the evening we quartered in a charming situation near the angle of the river, from whence our eyes were carried down both reaches, which kept a straight course for a great way together. This prospect was so beautiful, that we were perpetually climbing up to a neighbouring eminence, that we might enjoy it in more perfection.254.

Now the weather grew cool, the wild geese began to direct their flight this way from Hudson's bay, and the lakes that lay north-west of us. They are very lean at their first coming, but fatten soon upon a sort of grass that grows on the shores and rocks of this river. The Indians call this fowl cohunks, from the hoarse note it has, and begin the year from the coming of the cohunks, which happens in the beginning of October. These wild geese are guarded from cold by a down, that is exquisitely soft and fine, which makes them much more valuable for their feathers than for their flesh, which is dark and coarse.255.

The men chased a bear into the river that got safe over, notwithstanding the continual fire from the shore upon him. He seemed to swim but heavily, considering it was for his life. Where the water is shallow, it is no uncommon thing to see a bear sitting, in the summer time, on a heap of gravel in the middle of the river, not only to cool himself, but likewise for the advantage of fishing, particularly for a small shell-fish, that is brought down with the stream. In the upper part of James river I have observed this several times, and wondered very much, at first, how so many heaps of small stones came to be piled up in the water, till at last we spied a bear sitting upon one of them, looking with great attention on the stream, and raking up something with his paw, which I take to be the shell-fish above mentioned.256.

16th. It was ten o'clock this morning before the horses could be found, having hidden themselves among the canes, whereof there was great plenty just at hand. Not far from our camp we went over a brook, whose banks were edged on both sides with these canes. But three miles further we forded a larger stream, which we called Lowland creek, by reason of the great breadth of low grounds inclosed between that and the river.257.

The high land we travelled over was very good, and the low grounds promised the greatest fertility of any I had ever seen. At the end of four miles and three hundred and eleven poles from where we lay, the line intersected the Dan the fifth time. We had day enough to carry it farther, but the surveyors could find no safe ford over the river. This obliged us to ride two miles up the river in quest of a ford, and by the way we traversed several small Indian fields, where we conjectured the Sawroes had been used to plant corn, the town where they had lived lying seven or eight miles more southerly, upon the eastern side of the river. These Indian fields produced a sweet kind of grass, almost knee-high, which was excellent forage for the horses. It must be observed, by the way, that Indian towns, like religious houses, are remarkable for a fruitful situation; for being by nature not very industrious, they choose such a situation as will subsist them with the least labour. The trees grew surprisingly large in this low ground, and amongst the rest we observed a tall kind of hickory, peculiar to the upper parts of the country. It is covered with a very rough bark, and produces a nut with a thick shell that is easily broken. The kernel is not so rank as that of the common hickory, but altogether as oily. And now I am upon the subject of these nuts, it may not be improper to remark, that a very great benefit might be made of nut-oil in this colony. The walnuts, the hickory-nuts, and pignuts, contain a vast deal of oil, that might be pressed out in great abundance with proper machines. The trees grow very kindly, and may be easily propagated. They bear plenty of nuts every year, that are now of no other use in the world but to feed hogs. It is certain there is a large consumption of this oil in several of our manufactures, and in some parts of France, as well as in other countries, it is eaten instead of oil-olive, being tolerably sweet and wholesome. The Indian killed a fat buck, and the men brought in four bears and a brace of wild turkeys, so that this was truly a land of plenty, both for man and beast.258.

17th. We detached a party of men this morning early in search of a ford, who after all could find none that was safe; though, dangerous as it was, we determined to make use of it, to avoid all further delay. Accordingly we rode over a narrow ledge of rocks, some of which lay below the surface of the water, and some above it. Those that lay under the water were as slippery as ice; and the current glided over them so swifty, that though it was only water, it made us perfectly drunk. Yet we were all so fortunate as to get safe over to the west shore, with no other damage than the sopping some of our bread by the flouncing of the horses. The tedious time spent in finding out this ford, and in getting all the horses over it, prevented our carrying the line more than two miles and two hundred and fifty poles. This was the last time we crossed the Dan with our line, which now began to run away more southerly, with a very flush and plentiful stream, the description whereof must be left to future discoveries, though we are well assured by the Indians that it runs through the mountains. We conducted the baggage a roundabout way for the benefit of evener grounds, and this carried us over a broad level of exceeding rich land, full of large trees, with vines married to them, if I may be allowed to speak so poetically. We untreed a young cub in our march, that made a brave stand against one of the best of our dogs. This and a fawn were all the game that came in our way. In this day's journey, as in many others before, we saw beautiful marble of several colours, and particularly that of the purple kind with white streaks, and in some places we came across large pieces of pure alabaster. We marked out our quarters on the banks of a purling stream, which we called Cascade creek, by reason of the multitude of water-falls that are in it. But, different from all other falls that ever I met with, the rocks over which the water rolled were soft, and would split easily into broad flakes, very proper for pavement; and some fragments of it seemed soft enough for hones, and the grain fine enough. Near our camp we found a prickly shrub, rising about a foot from the ground, something like that which bears the barberry, though much smaller. The leaves had a fresh, agreeable smell, and I am persuaded the ladies would be apt to fancy a tea made of them, provided they were told how far it came, and at the same time were obliged to buy it very dear. About a mile to the south-west of our camp rose a regular mount, that commanded a full prospect of the mountains, and an extensive view of the flat country. But being, with respect to the high mountains, no more than a pimple, we called it by that name. Presently after sunset we discovered a great light towards the west, too bright for a fire, and more resembling the aurora borealis. This, all our woodsmen told us, was a common appearance in the high lands, and generally foreboded bad weather. Their explanation happened to be exactly true, for in the night we had a violent gale of wind, accompanied with smart hail, that rattled frightfully amongst the trees, though it was not large enough to do us any harm.259.

We crossed Cascade creek over a ledge of smooth rocks, and then scuffled through a mighty thicket, at least three miles long. The whole was one continued tract of rich high land, the woods whereof had been burnt not long before. It was then overgrown with saplings of oak, hickory and locust, interlaced with grape vines. In this fine land, however, we met with no water, till at the end of three miles we luckily came upon a crystal stream, which, like some lovers of conversation, discovered every thing committed to its faithless bosom. Then we came upon a piece of rich low ground, covered with large trees, of the extent of half a mile, which made us fancy ourselves not far from the river; though after that we ascended gently to higher land, with no other trees growing upon it except butter-wood, which is one species of white maple. This being a dead level, without the least declivity to carry off the water, was moist in many places, and produced abundance of grass. All our woodsmen call these flat grounds high land ponds, and in their trading journeys are glad to halt at such places for several days together, to recruit their jaded horses, especially in the winter months, when there is little or no grass to be found in other places. This high land pond extended above two miles, our palfries snatching greedily at the tufts of grass, as they went along. After we got over this level, we descended some stony hills for about half a mile, and then came upon a large branch of the river, which we christened the Irvin, in honour of our learned professor. This river we forded with much difficulty and some danger, by reason of the hollow spaces betwixt the rocks, into which our horses plunged almost every step. The Irvin runs into the Dan about four miles to the southward of the line, and seemed to roll down its waters from the N. N. W. in a very full and limpid stream, and the murmur it made, in tumbling over the rocks, caused the situation to appear very romantic, and had almost made some of the company poetical, though they drank nothing but water. We encamped on a pleasant hill, overlooking the river, which seemed to be deep every where except just where we forded. In the mean time, neither that chain of rocks, nor any other that we could observe in this stream, was so uninterrupted, but that there were several breaks where a canoe, or even a moderate flat-bottomed boat, might shear clear. Nor have we reason to believe there are any other falls (except the great ones, thirty miles below Moniseep ford) that reach quite across, so as to interrupt the navigation for small craft. And I have been informed that, even at those great falls, the blowing up a few rocks would open a passage at least for canoes, which certainly would be an unspeakable convenience to the inhabitants of all that beautiful part of the country. The Indian killed a very fat doe, and came across a bear, which had been put to death and was half devoured by a panther. The last of these brutes reigns absolute monarch of the woods, and in the keenness of his hunger will venture to attack a bear; though then it is ever by surprise, as all beasts of the cat kind use to come upon their prey. Their play is to take the poor bears napping, they being very drowsy animals, and though they be exceedingly strong, yet their strength is heavy, while the panthers are too nimble and cunning to trust themselves within their hug. As formidable as this beast is to his fellow brutes, he never has the confidence to venture upon a man, but retires from him with great respect, if there be a way open for his escape. However, it must be confest, his voice is a little contemptible for a monarch of the forest, being not a great deal louder nor more awful than the mewing of a household cat. * Some authors, who have given an account of the southern continent of America, would make the world believe there are lions; but in all likelihood they were mistaken, imagining these panthers to be lions. What makes this probable is, that the northern and southern parts of America being joined by the Isthmus of Darien, if there were lions in either they would find their way into the other, the latitudes of each being equally proper for that generous animal.260.

In South Carolina they call this beast a tiger, though improperly, and so they do in some parts of the Spanish West Indies. Some of their authors, a little more properly, compliment it with the name of a leopard. But none of these are the growth of America, that we know of.261.

The whole distance the surveyors advanced the line this day amounted to six miles and thirty poles, which was no small journey, considering the grounds we had traversed were exceedingly rough and uneven, and in many places intolerably entangled with bushes. All the hills we ascended were encumbered with stones, many of which seemed to contain a metallic substance, and the valleys we crossed were interrupted with miry branches. From the top of every hill we could discern distinctly, at a great distance to the northward, three or four ledges of mountains, rising one above another; and on the highest of all rose a single mountain, very much resembling a woman's breast.262.

19th. About four miles beyond the river Irvin, we forded Matrimony creek, called so by an unfortunate married man, because it was exceedingly noisy and impetuous. However, though the stream was clamorous, yet, like those women who make themselves plainest heard, it was likewise perfectly clear and unsullied. Still half a mile further we saw a small mountain, about five miles to the north-west of us, which we called the Wart, because it appeared no bigger than a wart, in comparison of the great mountains which hid their haughty heads in the clouds. We were not able to extend the line farther than five miles and one hundred and thirty five poles, not withstanding we began our march early in the morning, and did not encamp till it was almost dark. We made it the later by endeavouring to quarter in some convenient situation, either for grass or canes. But night surprising us, we were obliged to lodge at last upon high and uneven ground, which was so overgrown with shrubs and saplings, that we could hardly see ten yards around us. The most melancholy part of the story was, that our horses had short commons. The poor creatures were now grown so weak that they staggered when we mounted them. Nor would our own fare have been at all more plentiful, had we not been so provident as to carry a load of meat along with us. Indeed, the woods were too thick to show us any sort of game but one wild turkey, which helped to enrich our soup. To make us amends, we found abundance of very sweet grapes, which, with the help of bread, might have furnished out a good Italian repast, in the absence of more savoury food. The men's mouths watered at the sight of a prodigious flight of wild pigeons, which flew high over our heads to the southward. The flocks of these birds of passage are so amazingly great, sometimes, that they darken the sky; nor is it uncommon for them to light in such numbers in the larger limbs of mulberry trees and oaks as to break them down. In their travels they make vast havoc amongst the acorns and berries of all sorts, that they waste whole forests in a short time, and leave a famine behind them for most other creatures; and under some trees where they light, it is no strange thing to find the ground covered three inches thick with their dung. These wild pigeons commonly breed in the uninhabited parts of Canada, and as the cold approaches assemble their armies and bend their course southerly, shifting their quarters, like many of the winged kind, according to the season. But the most remarkable thing in their flight, as we are told, is that they never have been observed to return to the northern countries the same way they came from thence, but take quite another route, I suppose for their better subsistence. In these long flights they are very lean, and their flesh is far from being white or tender, though good enough upon a march, when hunger is the sauce, and makes it go down better than truffles and morels would do.263.

20th. It was now Sunday, which we had like to have spent in fasting as well as prayer; for our men, taking no care for the morrow, like good Christians, but bad travellers, had improvidently devoured all their meat for supper. They were ordered in the morning to drive up their horses, lest they should stray too far from the camp and be lost, in case they were let alone all day. At their return they had the very great comfort to behold a monstrous fat bear, which the Indian had killed very seasonably for their breakfast. We thought it still necessary to make another reduction of our bread, from four to three pounds a week to every man, computing that we had still enough in that proportion to last us three weeks longer. The atmosphere was so smoky all round us, that the mountains were again grown invisible. This happened not from the haziness of the sky, but from the firing of the woods by the Indians, for we were now near the route the the northern savages take when they go out to war against the Catawbas and other southern nations. On their way the fires they make in their camps are left burning, which, catching the dry leaves that lie near, soon put the adjacent woods into a flame. Some of our men in search of their horses discovered one of those Indian camps, where not long before they had been a furring and dressing their skins. And now I mention the northern Indians, it may not be improper to take notice of their implacable hatred to those of the south. Their wars are everlasting, without any peace, enmity being the only inheritance among them that descends from father to son, and either party will march a thousand miles to take their revenge upon such hereditary enemies. These long expeditions are commonly carried on in the following manner; some Indian, remarkable for his prowess, that has raised himself to the reputation of a war captain, declares his intention of paying a visit to some southern nation; hereupon as many of the young fellows as have either a strong thirst of blood or glory, list themselves under his command. With these volunteers he goes from one confederate town to another, listing all the rabble he can, till he has gathered together a competent number for mischief. Their arms are a gun and tomahawk, and all the provisions they carry from home is a pouch of rockahominy. Thus provided and accoutred, they march towards their enemy's country, not in a body, or by a certain path, but straggling in small numbers, for the greater convenience of hunting and passing along undiscovered. So soon as they approach the grounds on which the enemy is used to hunt, they never kindle any fire themselves, for fear of being found out by the smoke, nor will they shoot at any kind of game, though they should be half famished, lest they might alarm their foes, and put them upon their guard. Sometimes indeed, while they are still at some distance, they roast either venison or bear, till it is very dry, and then having strung it on their belts, wear it round their middle, eating very sparingly of it, because they know not when they shall meet with a fresh supply. But coming nearer, they begin to look all round the hemisphere, to watch if any smoke ascends, and listen continually for the report of guns, in order to make some happy discovery for their own advantage. It is amazing to see their sagacity in discerning the track of a human foot, even amongst dry leaves, which to our shorter sight is quite undiscoverable. If by one or more of those signs they be able to find out the camp of any southern Indians, they squat down in some thicket, and keep themselves hush and snug till it is dark; then creeping up softly, they approach near enough to observe all the motions of the enemy. And about two o'clock in the morning, when they conceive them to be in a profound sleep, for they never keep watch and ward, pour in a volley upon them, each singling out his man. The moment they have discharged their pieces, they rush in with their tomahawks, and make sure work of all that are disabled. Sometimes, when they find the enemy asleep round their little fire, they first pelt them with little stones to wake them, and when they get up, fire in upon them, being in that posture a better mark than when prostrate on the ground. Those that are killed of the enemy, or disabled, they scalp, that is, they cut the skin all round the head just below the hair, and then clapping their feet to the poor mortals' shoulders, pull the scalp off clean, and carry it home in triumph, being as proud of those trophies, as the Jews used to be of the foreskins of the Philistines. This way of scalping was practised by the ancient Scythians, who used these hairy scalps as towels at home, and trappings for their horses when they went abroad. They also made cups of their enemies' skulls, in which they drank prosperity to their country, and confusion to all their foes. The prisoners they happen to take alive in these expeditions generally pass their time very scurvily. They put them to all the tortures that ingenious malice and cruelty can invent. And (what shows the baseness of the Indian temper in perfection) they never fail to treat those with greatest inhumanity that have distinguished themselves most by their bravery; and, if he be a war captain, they do him the honour to roast him alive, and distribute a collop to all that had a share in stealing the victory. * Though who can reproach the poor Indians for this, when Homer makes his celebrated hero, Achilles, drag the body of Hector at the tail of his chariot, for having fought gallantly in defence of his country. Nor was Alexander the Great, with all his famed generosity, less inhuman to the brave Tyrians, two thousand of whom he ordered to be crucified in cold blood, for no other fault but for having defended their city most courageously against him, during a siege of seven months. And what was still more brutal, he dragged alive–at the tail of his chariot, through all the streets, for defending the town with so much vigour.264.

They are very cunning in finding out new ways to torment their unhappy captives, though, like those of hell, their usual method is by fire. Sometimes they barbacue them over live coals, taking them off every now and then, to prolong their misery; at other times they will stick sharp pieces of lightwood all over their bodies, and setting them on fire, let them burn down into the flesh to the very bone. And when they take a stout fellow, that they believe able to endure a great deal, they will tear all the flesh off his bones with red hot pincers. While these and such like barbarities are practising, the victors are so far from being touched with tenderness and compassion, that they dance and sing round these wretched mortals, showing all the marks of pleasure and jollity. And if such cruelties happen to be executed in their towns, they employ their children in tormenting the prisoners, in order to extinguish in them betimes all sentiments of humanity. In the mean time, while these poor wretches are under the anguish of all this inhuman treatment, they disdain so much as to groan, sigh, or show the least sign of dismay or concern, so much as in their looks; on the contrary, they make it a point of honour all the time to soften their features, and look as pleased as if they were in the actual enjoyment of some delight; and if they never sang before in their lives, they will be sure to be melodious on this sad and dismal occasion. So prodigious a degree of passive valour in the Indians is the more to be wondered at, because in all articles of danger they are apt to behave like cowards. And what is still more surprising, the very women discover, on such occasions, as great fortitude and contempt, both of pain and death, as the gallantest of their men can do.265.

21st. The apprehensions we had of losing the horses in these copse woods were too well founded, nor were the precautions we used yesterday of driving them up sufficient to prevent their straying away afterwards, not-withstanding they were securely hobbled. We therefore ordered the men out early this morning to look diligently for them, but it was late before any could be found. It seems they had straggled in quest of forage, and, besides all that, the bushes grew thick enough to conceal them from being seen at the smallest distance. One of the people was so bewildered in search of his horse, that he lost himself, being no great forester. However, because we were willing to save time, we left two of our most expert woodsmen behind to beat all the adjacent woods in quest of him.266.

In the mean while the surveyors proceeded vigorously on their business, but were so perplexed with thickets at their first setting off, that their progress was much retarded. They were no sooner over that difficulty, but they were obliged to encounter another. The rest of their day's work lay over very sharp hills, where the dry leaves were so slippery that there was hardly any hold for their feet. Such rubs as these prevented them from measuring more than four miles and two hundred and seventy poles. Upon the sides of these hills the soil was rich, though full of stones, and the trees reasonably large.267.

The smoke continued still to veil the mountains from our sight, which made us long for rain, or a brisk gale of wind, to disperse it. Nor was the loss of this wild prospect all our concern, but we were apprehensive lest the woods should be burnt in the course of our line before us, or happen to take fire behind us, either of which would effectually have starved the horses, and made us all foot soldiers. But we were so happy, thank God! as to escape this misfortune in every part of our progress. We were exceedingly uneasy about our lost man, knowing he had taken no provision of any kind, nor was it much advantage towards his support, that he had taken his gun along with him, because he had rarely been guilty of putting any thing to death. He had unluckily wandered from the camp several miles, and after steering sundry unsuccessful courses, in order to return, either to us or to the line, was at length so tired he could go no farther. In this distress he sat himself down under a tree, to recruit his jaded spirit, and at the same time indulge a few melancholy reflections. Famine was the first phantom that appeared to him, and was the more frightful, because he fancied himself not quite bear enough to subsist long upon licking his paws. In the mean time the two persons we had sent after him hunted diligently great part of the day without coming upon his track. They fired their pieces towards every point of the compass, but could perceive no firing in return. However, advancing a little farther, at last they made a lucky shot, that our straggler had the good fortune to hear, and he returning the salute, they soon found each other with no small satisfaction. But though they lighted on the man, they could by no means light on his horse, and therefore he was obliged to be a foot soldier all the rest of the journey. Our Indian shot a bear so prodigiously fat, that there was no way to kill him but by firing in at his ear. The fore part of the skull of that animal being guarded by a double bone, is hardly penetrable, and when it is very fat, a bullet aimed at his body is apt to lose its force, before it reaches the vitals. This animal is of the dog kind, and our Indians, as well as woodsmen, are as fond of its flesh as the Chinese can be of that of the common hound.268.

22d. Early in the morning we sent back two men to make further search for the horse that was strayed away. We were unwilling the poor man should sustain such a damage as would eat out a large part of his pay, or that the public should be at the expense of reimbursing him for it. These foresters hunted all over the neighbouring woods, and took as much pains as if the horse had been their own property, but all their diligence was to no purpose. The surveyors, in the mean time, being fearful of leaving these men too far behind, advanced the line no farther than one mile and two hundred and thirty poles. As we rode along we found no less than three bears and a fat doe, that our Indian, who went out before us, had thrown in our course, and we were very glad to pick them up. About a mile from the camp we crossed Miry creek, so called because several of the horses were mired in its branches. About two hundred and thirty poles beyond that, the line intersected another river, that seemed to be a branch of the Irvin, to which we gave the name of the Mayo, in complement to the other of our surveyors. It was about fifty yards wide where we forded it, being just below a ledge of rocks, which reached across the river, and made a natural cascade. Our horses could hardly keep their feet over these slippery rocks, which gave some of their riders no small palpitation. This river forks about a quarter of a mile below the ford, and has some scattering canes growing near the mouth of it. We pitched our tent on the western banks of the Mayo, for the pleasure of being lulled to sleep by the cascade. Here our hunters had leisure to go out and try their fortunes, and returned loaded with spoil. They brought in no less than six bears, exceedingly fat, so that the frying pan had no rest all night. We had now the opportunity of trying the speed of this lumpish animal by a fair course it had with the nimblest of our surveyors. A cub of a year old will run very fast, because, being upon his growth, he is never encumbered with too much fat; but the old ones are more sluggish and unwieldy, especially when mast is plenty. Then their nimblest gait is only a heavy gallop, and their motion is still slower down hill, where they are obliged to sidle along very awkwardly, to keep their lights from rising up into their throat. These beasts always endeavour to avoid a man, except they are wounded, or happen to be engaged in the protection of their cubs. By the force of these instincts and that of self-preservation, they will now and then throw off all reverence for their Maker's image. For that reason, excess of hunger will provoke them to the same desperate attack, for the support of their being. A memorable instance of the last case is said to have happened not long ago in New England, where a bear assaulted a man just by his own door, and rearing himself upon his haunches, offered to take him lovingly into his hug. But the man's wife observing the danger her husband was in, had the courage to run behind the bear, and thrust her two thumbs into his eyes. This made Bruin quit the man, and turn short upon the woman to take his revenge, but she had the presence of mind to spring back with more than female agility, and so both their lives were preserved.269.

23d. At the distance of sixty-two poles from where we lay, we crossed the south branch of what we took for the Irvin, nor was it without difficulty we got over, though it happened to be without damage. Great part of the way after that was mountainous, so that we were no sooner got down one hill, but we were obliged to climb up another. Only for the last mile of our stage, we encountered a locust thicket that was level, but interlaced terribly with briers and grape vines. We forded a large creek, no less than five times, the banks of which were so steep that we were forced to cut them down with a hoe. We gave it the name of Crooked creek, because of its meanders. The sides of it were planted with shrub-canes, extremely inviting to the horses, which were now quite jaded with clambering up so many precipices, and tugging through so many dismal thickets, notwithstanding which we pushed the line this day four miles sixty-nine poles. The men were so unthrifty this morning as to bring but a small portion of their abundance along with them. This was the more unlucky, because we could discover no sort of game the whole livelong day. Woodsmen are certainly good Christians in one respect, at least, that they always leave the morrow to care for itself; though for that very reason they ought to pray more fervently for their daily bread than most of them remember to do.270.

The mountains were still concealed from our eyes by a cloud of smoke. As we went along we were alarmed at the sight of a great fire, which showed itself to the northward. This made our small corps march in closer order than we used to do, lest perchance we might be waylaid by Indians. It made us look out sharp to see if we could discover any track or other token of these insidious foresters, but found none. In the mean time we came often upon the track of bears, which cannot without some skill be distinguished from that of human creatures, made with naked feet. And indeed a young woodsman would be puzzled to find out the difference, which consists principally in a bear's paws being something smaller than a man's foot, and in its leaving sometimes the mark of its claws in the impression made upon the ground.271.

The soil, where the locust thicket grew, was exceedingly rich, as it constantly is, where that kind of tree is naturally and largely produced. But the desolation made there lately, either by fire or caterpillars, had been so general, that we could not see a tree of any bigness standing within our prospect. And the reason why a fire makes such a havoc in these lonely parts is this. The woods are not there burnt every year, as they generally are amongst the inhabitants. But the dead leaves and trash of many years are heaped up together, which being at length kindled by the Indians that happen to pass that way, furnish fuel for a conflagration that carries all before it. There is a beautiful range of hills, as level as a terrace-walk, that overlooks the valley through which Crooked creek conveys its spiral stream. This terrace runs pretty near east and west, about two miles south of the line, and is almost parallel with it. The horses had been too much harassed to permit us to ride at all out of our way, for the pleasure of any prospect, or the gratification of any curiosity. This confined us to the narrow sphere of our business, and is at the same time a just excuse for not animating our story with greater variety.272.

24th. The surveyors went out the sooner this morning, by reason the men lost very little time in cooking their breakfast. They had made but a spare meal over night, leaving nothing but the hide of a bear for the morrow. Some of the keenest of them got up at midnight to cook that nice morsel after the Indian manner. They first singed the hair clean off, that none of it might stick in their throats; then they boiled the pelt into soup, which had a stratum of grease swimming upon, it full half an inch thick. However, they commended this dish extremely; though I believe the praises they gave it were more owing to their good stomach than to their good taste. The line was extended six miles and three hundred poles, and in that distance crossed Crooked creek at least eight times more. We were forced to scuffle through a thicket about two miles in breadth, planted with locusts and hickory saplings, as close as they could stand together. Amongst these there was hardly a tree of tolerable growth within view. It was a dead plane of several miles extent, and very fertile soil. Beyond that the woods were open for about three miles, but mountainous. All the rest of our day's journey was pestered with bushes and grape vines, in the thickest of which we were obliged to take up our quarters, near one of the branches of Crooked creek. This night it was the men's good fortune to fare very sumptuously. The Indian had killed two large bears, the fattest of which he had taken napping. One of the people too shot a rackoon, which is also of the dog kind, and as big as a small fox, though its legs are shorter, and when fat has a much higher relish than either mutton or kid. It is naturally not carnivorous, but very fond of Indian corn and persimmons. The fat of this animal is reckoned very good to assuage swellings and inflammations. Some old maids are at the trouble of breeding them up tame, for the pleasure of seeing them play over as many humorous tricks as a monkey. It climbs up small trees, like a bear, by embracing the bodies of them. Till this night we had accustomed ourselves to go to bed in our night-gowns, believing we should thereby be better secured from the cold: but upon trial found we lay much warmer by stripping to our shirts, and spreading our gowns over us. A true woodsman, if he have no more than a single blanket, constantly pulls all off, and, lying on one part of it, draws the other over him, believing it much more refreshing to lie so, than in his clothes; and if he find himself not warm enough, shifts his lodging to leeward of the fire, in which situation the smoke will drive over him, and effectually correct the cold dews, that would otherwise descend upon his person, perhaps to his great damage.273.

25th. The air clearing up this morning, we were again agreeably surprised with a full prospect of the mountains. They discovered themselves both to the north and south of us, on either side, not distant above ten miles, according to our best computation. We could now see those to the north rise in four distinct ledges, one above another, but those to the south formed only a single ledge, and that broken and interrupted in many places; or rather they were only single mountains detached from each other. One of the southern mountains was so vastly high, it seemed to hide its head in the clouds, and the west end of it terminated in a horrible precipice, that we called the Despairing Lover's Leap. The next to it, towards the east, was lower, except at one end, where it heaved itself up in the form of a vast stack of chimneys. The course of the northern mountains seemed to tend west-south-west, and those to the southward very near west. We could descry other mountains ahead of us, exactly in the course of the line, though at a much greater distance. In this point of view, the ledges on the right and left both seemed to close, and form a natural amphitheatre. Thus it was our fortune to be wedged in betwixt these two ranges of mountains, insomuch that if our line had run ten miles on either side, it had butted before this day either upon one or the other, both of them now stretching away plainly to the eastward of us. It had rained a little in the night, which dispersed the smoke and opened this romantic scene to us all at once, though it was again hid from our eyes as we moved forwards, by the rough woods we had the misfortune to be engaged with. The bushes were so thick for near four miles together, that they tore the deer skins to pieces that guarded the bread bags. Though, as rough as the woods were, the soil was extremely good all the way, being washed down from the neighbouring hills into the plain country. Notwithstanding all these difficulties, the surveyors drove on the line four miles and two hundred and five poles.274.

In the mean time we were so unlucky as to meet with no sort of game the whole day, so that the men were obliged to make a frugal distribution of what little they left in the morning. We encamped upon a small rill, where the horses came off as temperately as their masters. They were by this time grown so thin, by hard travel and spare feeding, that henceforth, in pure compassion, we chose to perform the greater part of the journey on foot. And as our baggage was by this time grown much lighter, we divided it, after the best manner, so that every horse's load might be proportioned to the strength he had left. Though, after all the prudent measures we could take, we perceived the hills began to rise upon us so fast in our front, that it would be impossible for us to proceed much farther.275.

We saw very few squirrels in the upper parts, because the wild cats devour them unmercifully. Of these there are four kinds: the fox squirrel, the gray, the flying, and the ground squirrel. These last resemble a rat in every thing but the tail, and the black and russet streaks that run down the length of their little bodies.276.

26th. We found our way grow still more mountainous, after extending the line three hundred poles farther. We came then to a rivulet that ran with a swift current towards the south. This we fancied to be another branch of the Irvin, though some of the men, who had been Indian traders, judged it rather to be the head of Deep river, that discharges its stream into that of Pee Dee; but this seemed a wild conjecture. The hills beyond that river were exceedingly lofty, and not to be attempted by our jaded palfreys, which could now hardly drag their legs after them upon level ground. Besides, the bread began to grow scanty, and the winter season to advance apace upon us. We had likewise reason to apprehend the consequences of being intercepted by deep snows, and the swelling of the many waters between us and home. The first of these misfortunes would starve all our horses, and the other ourselves, by cutting off our retreat, and obliging us to winter in those desolate woods. These considerations determined us to stop short here, and push our adventures no farther. The last tree we marked was a red oak, growing on the bank of the river; and to make the place more remarkable, we blazed all the trees around it.277.

We found the whole distance, from Coratuck inlet to the rivulet where we left off, to be, in a straight line, two hundred and forty-one miles and two hundred and thirty poles. And from the place where the Carolina commissioners deserted us, seventy-two miles and three hundred and two poles. This last part of the journey was generally very hilly, or else grown up with troublesome thickets and underwoods, all which our Carolina friends had the discretion to avoid. We encamped in a dirty valley near the rivulet above-mentioned, for the advantage of the canes, and so sacrificed our own convenience to that of our horses. There was a small mountain half a mile to the northward of us, which we had the curiosity to climb up in the afternoon, in order to enlarge our prospect. From thence we were able to discover where the two ledges of mountains closed, as near as we could guess, about thirty miles to the west of us, and lamented that our present circumstances would not permit us to advance the line to that place, which the hand of Nature had made so very remarkable.278.

Not far from our quarters one of the men picked up a pair of elk's horns, not very large, and discovered the track of the elk that had shed them. It was rare to find any tokens of those animals so far to the south, because they keep commonly to the northward of thirty-seven degrees, as the buffaloes, for the most part, confine themselves to the southward of that latitude. The elk is full as big as a horse, and of the deer kind. The stags only have horns, and those exceedingly large and spreading. Their colour is something lighter than that of the red deer, and their flesh tougher. Their swiftest speed is a large trot, and in that motion they turn their horns back upon their necks, and cock their noses aloft in the air. Nature has taught them this attitude to save their antlers from being entangled in the thickets, which they always retire to. They are very shy, and have the sense of smelling so exquisite that they wind a man at a great distance. For this reason they are seldom seen but when the air is moist, in which case their smell is not so nice. They commonly herd together, and the Indians say, if one of the drove happen by some wound to be disabled from making his escape, the rest will forsake their fears to defend their friend, which they will do with great obstinacy, till they are killed upon the spot. Though, otherwise, they are so alarmed at the sight of a man, that to avoid him they will sometimes throw themselves down very high precipices into the river.279.

A misadventure happened here, which gave us no small perplexity. One of the commissioners was so unlucky as to bruise his foot against a stump, which brought on a formal fit of the gout. It must be owned there could not be a more unseasonable time, nor a more improper situation, for any one to be attacked by that cruel distemper. The joint was so inflamed that he could neither draw shoe nor boot upon it; and to ride without either would have exposed him to so many rude knocks and bruises, in those rough woods, as to be intolerable even to a stoic. It was happy, indeed, that we were to rest here the next day, being Sunday, that there might be leisure for trying some speedy remedy. Accordingly he was persuaded to bathe his foot in cold water, in order to repel the humour and assuage the inflammation. This made it less painful, and gave us hopes, too, of reducing the swelling in a short time.280.

Our men had the fortune to kill a brace of bears, a fat buck, and a wild turkey, all which paid them with interest for yesterday's abstinence. This constant and seasonable supply of our daily wants made us reflect thankfully on the bounty of Providence. And that we might not be unmindful of being all along fed by Heaven in this great and solitary wilderness, we agreed to wear in our hats the maosti, which is, in Indian, the beard of a wild turkey-cock, and on our breasts the figure of that fowl with its wings extended, and holding in its claws a scroll, with this motto, "Vice coturnicum," meaning that we had been supported by them in the wilderness in the room of quails.281.

27th. This being Sunday we were not wanting in our thanks to Heaven for the constant support and protection we had been favoured with. Nor did our chaplain fail to put us in mind of our duty by a sermon proper for the occasion. We ordered a strict inquiry to be made into the quantity of bread we had left, and found no more than would subsist us a fortnight at short allowance. We made a fair distribution of our whole stock, and at the same time recommended to the men to manage this, their last stake, to the best advantage, not knowing how long they would be obliged to live upon it. We likewise directed them to keep a watchful eye upon their horses, that none of them might be missing the next morning, to hinder our return. There fell some rain before noon, which made our camp more a bog than it was before. This moist situation began to infect some of the men with fevers, and some with fluxes, which however we soon removed with Peruvian bark and ipocoacanah. In the afternoon we marched up again to the top of the hill to entertain our eyes a second time with the view of the mountains, but a perverse fog arose that hid them from our sight. In the evening we deliberated which way it might be most proper to return. We had at first intended to cross over at the foot of the mountains to the head of James river, that we might be able to describe that natural boundary so far. But, on second thoughts, we found many good reasons against that laudable design, such as the weakness of our horses, the scantiness of our bread, and the near approach of winter. We had cause to believe the way might be full of hills, and the farther we went towards the north, the more danger there would be of snow. Such considerations as these determined us at last to make the best of our way back upon the line, which was the straightest, and consequently the shortest way to the inhabitants. We knew the worst of our course, and were sure of a beaten path all the way, while we were totally ignorant what difficulties and dangers the other course might be attended with. So prudence got the better for once of curiosity, and the itch for new discoveries gave place to self-preservation. Our inclination was the stronger to cross over according to the course of the mountains, that we might find out whether James river and Appomattox river head there, or run quite through them. It is certain that Potomac passes in a large stream through the main ledge, and then divides itself into two considerable rivers. That which stretches away to the northward is called Cohungaroota, * Which by a late survey has been found to extend above two hundred miles before it reaches its source, in a mountain, from whence Allegany, one of the branches of Mississippi, takes its rise, and runs south-west, as this river does south-east. and that which flows to the south-west, hath the name of Sharantow. The course of this last stream is near parrallel to the Blue Ridge of mountains, at the distance only of about three or four miles. Though how far it may continue that course has not yet been sufficiently discovered, but some woodsmen pretend to say it runs as far as the source of Roanoke; nay, they are so very particular as to tell us that Roanoke, Sharantow, and another wide branch of Mississippi, all head in one and the same mountain. What dependence there may be upon this conjectural geography, I will not pretend to say, though it is certain that Sharantow keeps close to the mountains, as far as we are acquainted with its tendency. We are likewise assured that the south branch of James river, within less than twenty miles east of the main ledge, makes an elbow, and runs due south-west, which is parallel with the mountains on this side. But how far it stretches that way, before it returns, is not yet certainly known, no more than where it takes its rise.282.

In the mean time it is strange that our woodsmen have not had curiosity enough to inform themselves more exactly of these particulars, and it is stranger still that the government has never thought it worth the expense of making an accurate survey of the mountains, that we might be masters of that natural fortification before the French, who in some places have settlements not very distant from it. It therefore concerns his majesty's service very nearly, and the safety of his subjects in this part of the world, to take possession of so important a barrier in time, lest our good friends, the French, and the Indians, through their means, prove a perpetual annoyance to these colonies. Another reason to invite us to secure this great ledge of mountains is, the probability that very valuable mines may be discovered there. Nor would it be at all extravagant to hope for silver mines, among the rest, because part of these mountains lie exactly in the same parallel, as well as upon the same continent with New Mexico, and the mines of St. Barb.283.

28th. We had given orders for the horses to be brought up early, but the likelihood of more rain prevented our being over-hasty in decamping. Nor were we out in our conjectures, for about ten o'clock it began to fall very plentifully. Our commissioner's pain began now to abate, as the swelling increased. He made an excellent figure for a mountaineer, with one boot of leather and the other of flannel. Thus accoutred, he intended to mount, if the rain had not happened opportunely to prevent him. Though, in truth, it was hardly possible for him to ride with so slender a defence, without exposing his foot to be bruised and tormented by the saplings, that stood thick on either side of the path. It was therefore a most seasonable rain for him, as it gave more time for his distemper to abate. Though it may be very difficult to find a certain cure for the gout, yet it is not improbable but some things may ease the pain, and shorten the fits of it. And those medicines are most likely to do this, that supple the parts, and clear the passage through the narrow vessels, that are the seat of this cruel disease. Nothing will do this more suddenly than rattle-snake's oil, which will even penetrate the pores of glass when warmed in the sun. It was unfortunate, therefore, that we had not taken out the fat of those snakes we had killed some time before, for the benefit of so useful an experiment, as well as for the relief of our fellow-traveller. But lately the Seneca rattle-snake root has been discovered in this country, which being infused in wine, and drunk morning and evening, has in several instances had a very happy effect upon the gout, and enabled cripples to throw away their crutches and walk several miles, and, what is stranger still, it takes away the pain in half an hour. Nor was the gout the only disease amongst us that was hard to cure. We had a man in our company who had too voracious a stomach for a woodsman. He ate as much as any other two, but all he swallowed stuck by him till it was carried off by a strong purge. Without this assistance, often repeated, his belly and bowels would swell to so enormous a bulk that he could hardly breathe, especially when he lay down, just as if he had had an asthma; though, notwithstanding this oddness of constitution, he was a very strong, lively fellow, and used abundance of violent exercise, by which it was wonderful the peristaltic motion was not more vigorously promoted. We gave this poor man several purges, which only eased him for the present, and the next day he would grow as burly as ever. At last we gave him a moderate dose of ipocoacanah, in broth made very salt, which turned all its operation downwards. This had so happy an effect that, from that day forward to the end of our journey, all his complaints ceased, and the passages continued unobstructed.284.

The rain continued most of the day and some part of the night, which incommoded us much in our dirty camp, and made the men think of nothing but eating, even at the time when nobody could stir out to make provision for it.285.

29th. Though we were flattered in the morning with the usual tokens of a fair day, yet they all blew over, and it rained hard before we could make ready for our departure. This was still in favour of our podagrous friend, whose lameness was now grown better, and the inflammation fallen. Nor did it seem to need above one day more to reduce it to its natural proportion, and make it fit for the boot; and effectually the rain procured this benefit for him, and gave him particular reason to believe his stars propitious. Notwithstanding the falling weather, our hunters sallied out in the afternoon, and drove the woods in a ring, which was thus performed. From the circumference of a large circle they all marched inwards and drove the game towards the centre. By this means they shot a brace of fat bears, which came very seasonably, because we had made clean work in the morning and were in danger of dining with St. Anthony, or his grace Duke Humphry. But in this expedition the unhappy man who had lost himself once before, straggled again so far in pursuit of a deer, that he was hurried a second time quite out of his knowledge; and night coming on before he could recover the camp, he was obliged to lie down, without any of the comforts of fire, food or covering; nor would his fears suffer him to sleep very sound, because, to his great disturbance, the wolves howled all that night, and the panthers screamed most frightfully. In the evening a brisk north-wester swept all the clouds from the sky, and exposed the mountains as well as the stars to our prospect. That which was the most lofty to the southward, and which we called the Lover's Leap, some of our Indian traders fondly fancied was the Kiawan mountain, which they had formerly seen from the country of the Cherokees. They were the more positive by reason of the prodigious precipice that remarkably distinguished the west end of it. We seemed however not to be far enough south for that, though it is not improbable but a few miles farther the course of our line might carry us to the most northerly towns of the Cherokees. What makes this the more credible, is the north-west course, that our traders take from the Catawbas for some hundred miles together, when they carry goods that round-about way to the Cherokees. It was a great pity that the want of bread, and the weakness of our horses, hindered us from making the discovery. Though the great service such an excursion might have been to the country would certainly have made the attempt not only pardonable, but much to be commended. Our traders are now at the vast charge and fatigue of travelling above five hundred miles for the benefit of that traffic which hardly quits cost. Would it not then be worth the assembly's while to be at some charge to find a shorter cut to carry on so profitable a trade, with more advantage, and less hazard and trouble, than they do at present? For I am persuaded it will not then be half the distance that our traders make it now, nor half so far as Georgia lies from the northern clans of that nation. Such a discovery would certainly prove an unspeakable advantage to this colony, by facilitating a trade with so considerable a nation of Indians, which have sixty-two towns, and more than four thousand fighting men. Our traders at that rate would be able to undersell those sent from the other colonies so much, that the Indians must have reason to deal with them preferable to all others. Of late the new colony of Georgia has made an act obliging us to go four hundred miles to take out a license to traffic with these Cherokees, though many of their towns lie out of their bounds, and we had carried on this trade eighty years before that colony was thought of.286.

30th. In the morning early the man who had gone astray the day before found his way to the camp, by the sound of the bells that were upon the horses' necks. At nine o'clock we began our march back towards the rising sun; for though we had finished the line, yet we had not yet near finished our fatigue. We had after all two hundred good miles at least to our several habitations, and the horses were brought so low, that we were obliged to travel on foot great part of the way, and that in our boots, too, to save our legs from being torn to pieces by the bushes and briers. Had we not done this, we must have left all our horses behind, which could now hardly drag their legs after them, and with all the favour we could show the poor animals, we were forced to set seven of them free, not far from the foot of the mountains. Four men were despatched early to clear the road, that our lame commissioner's leg might be in less danger of being bruised, and that the baggage horses might travel with less difficulty and more expedition. As we passed along, by favour of a serene sky, we had still, from every eminence, a perfect view of the mountains, as well to the north as to the south. We could not forbear now and then facing about to survey them, as if unwilling to part with a prospect, which at the same time, like some rake's, was very wild and very agreeable. We encouraged the horses to exert the little strength they had, and being light, they made a shift to jog on about eleven miles. We encamped on Crooked creek, near a thicket of canes. In the front of our camp rose a very beautiful hill, that bounded our view at about a mile's distance, and all the intermediate space was covered with green canes. Though, to our sorrow, fire-wood was scarce, which was now the harder upon us, because a north-wester blew very cold from the mountains.287.

The Indian killed a stately, fat buck, and we picked his bones as clean as a score of turkey-buzzards could have done. By the advantage of a clear night, we made trial once more of the variation, and found it much the same as formerly. This being his majesty's birthday, we drank all the loyal healths in excellent water, not for the sake of the drink, (like many of our fellow subjects,) but purely for the sake of the toast. And because all public mirth should be a little noisy, we fired several volleys of canes, instead of guns, which gave a loud report. We threw them into the fire, where the air enclosed betwixt the joints of the canes, being expanded by the violent heat, burst its narrow bounds with a considerable explosion!288.

In the evening one of the men knocked down an opossum, which is a harmless little beast, that will seldom go out of your way, and if you take hold of it, will only grin, and hardly ever bite. The flesh was well tasted and tender, approaching nearest to pig, which it also resembles in bigness. The colour of its fur was a goose gray, with a swine's snout, and a tail like a rat's, but at least a foot long. By twisting this tail about the arm of a tree, it will hang with all its weight, and swing to any thing it wants to take hold of. It has five claws on the fore feet of equal length, but the hinder feet have only four claws, and a sort of thumb standing off at a proper distance. Their feet being thus formed, qualify them for climbing up trees to catch little birds, which they are very fond of. But the greatest particularity of this creature, and which distinguishes it from most others that we are acquainted with, is the false belly of the female, into which her young retreat in time of danger. She can draw the slit, which is the inlet into this pouch, so close, that you must look narrowly to find it, especially if she happen to be a virgin. Within the false belly may be seen seven or eight teats, on which the young ones grow from their first formation till they are big enough to fall off, like ripe fruit from a tree. This is so odd a method of generation, that I should not have believed it without the testimony of mine own eyes. Besides a knowing and credible person has assured me he has more than once observed the embryo opossums growing to the teat before they were completely shaped, and afterwards watched their daily growth till they were big enough for birth. And all this he could the more easily pry into, because the dam was so perfectly gentle and harmless, that he could handle her just as he pleased. I could hardly persuade myself to publish a thing so contrary to the course that nature takes in the production of other animals, unless it were a matter commonly believed in all countries where that creature is produced, and has been often observed by persons of undoubted credit and understanding. They say that the leather-winged bats produce their young in the same uncommon manner. And that young sharks at sea, and young vipers ashore, run down the throats of their dams when they are closely pursued.289.

The frequent crossing of Crooked creek, and mounting the steep banks of it, gave the finishing stroke to the foundering our horses: and no less than two of them made a full stop here, and would not advance a foot father, either by fair means or foul. We had a dreamer of dreams amongst us, who warned me in the morning to take care of myself, or I should infallibly fall into the creek; I thanked him kindly, and used what caution I could, but was not able it seems to avoid my destiny, for my horse made a false step and laid me down at my full length in the water. This was enough to bring dreaming into credit, and I think it much for the honour of our expedition, that it was graced not only with a priest but also with a prophet. We were so perplexed with this serpentine creek, as well as in passing the branches of the Irvin, (which were swelled since we saw them before,) that we could reach but five miles this whole day. In the evening we pitched our tent near Miry creek, (though an uncomfortable place to lodge in) purely for the advantage of the canes. Our hunters killed a large doe and two bears, which made all other misfortunes easy. Certainly no Tartar ever loved horse-flesh, nor Hottentot guts and garbage, better than woodsmen do bear. The truth of it is, it may be proper food perhaps for such as work or ride it off, but, with our chaplain's leave, who loved it much, I think it not a very proper diet for saints, who do not mortify the flesh by toil. And now, for the good of mankind, and for the better peopling an infant colony, which has no want but that of inhabitants, I will venture to publish a secret of importance, which our Indian disclosed to me. I asked him the reason why few or none of his country women were barren? To which curious question he answered, with a broad grin upon his face, they had an infallible secret for that. Upon my being importunate to know what the secret might be, he informed me that, if any Indian woman did not prove with child at a decent time after marriage, the husband, to save his reputation with the women, forthwith entered into a bear-diet for six weeks, which in that time produces such healthy effect, that it is great odds but his wife becomes a mother in nine months. And thus much. I am able to say, besides, for the reputation of the bear diet, that all the married men of our company were joyful fathers within forty weeks after they got home, and most of the single men had children sworn to them within the same time, our chaplain always excepted, who, with much ado, made a shift to cast out that importunate kind of devil, by dint of fasting and prayer.290.

November 1st. By the negligence of one of the men in not hobbling his horse, he straggled so far that he could not be found. This stopped us all the morning long; yet, because our time should not be entirely lost, we endeavoured to observe the latitude at twelve o'clock. Though our observation was not perfect, by reason the wind blew a little too fresh, however, by such a one as we could make, we found ourselves in thirty-six degrees twenty minutes only. Notwithstanding our being thus delayed, and the uneveness of the ground, over which we were obliged to walk, (for most of us served now in the infantry,) we travelled no less than six miles, though as merciful as we were to our poor beasts, another of them tired by the way, and was left behind for the wolves and panthers to feast upon.291.

As we marched along, we had the fortune to kill a brace of bucks, as many bears, and one wild turkey. But this was carrying our sport to wantonness, because we butchered more than we were able to transport. We ordered the deer to be quartered and divided among the horses for the lighter carriage, and recommended the bears to our daily attendants, the turkey-buzzards. We always chose to carry venison along with us rather than bear, not only because it was less cumbersome, but likewise because the people could eat it without bread, which was now almost spent. Whereas the other, being richer food, lay too heavy upon the stomach, unless it were lightened by something farinaceous. This is what I thought proper to remark, for the service of all those whose business or diversion shall oblige them to live any time in the woods. And because I am persuaded that very useful matters may be found out by searching this great wilderness, especially the upper parts of it, about the mountains, I conceive it will help to engage able men in that good work, if I recommend a wholesome kind of food, of very small weight and very great nourishment, that will secure them from starving, in case they should be so unlucky as to meet with no game. The chief discouragement at present from penetrating far into the woods is the trouble of carrying a load of provisions. I must own famine is a frightful monster, and for that reason to be guarded against as well as we can. But the common precautions against it, are so burthensome, that people cannot tarry long out, and go far enough from home, to make any effectual discovery. The portable provisions I would furnish our foresters withal are glue-broth and rockahominy: one contains the essence of bread, the other of meat. The best way of making the glue-broth is after the following method: Take a leg of beef, veal, venison, or any other young meat, because old meat will not so easily jelly. Pare off all the fat, in which there is no nutriment, and of the lean make a very strong broth, after the usual manner, by boiling the meat to rags till all the goodness be out. After skimming off what fat remains, pour the broth into a wide stew-pan, well tinned, and let it simmer over a gentle even fire, till it come to a thick jelly. Then take it off and set it over boiling water, which is an evener heat, and not so apt to burn the broth to the vessel. Over that let it evaporate, stirring it very often till it be reduced, when cold, into a solid substance like glue. Then cut it into small pieces, laying them single in the cold, that they may dry the sooner. When the pieces are perfectly dry, put them into a canister, and they will be good, if kept dry, a whole East India voyage. This glue is so strong, that two or three drachms, dissolved in boiling water with a little salt, will make half a pint of good broth, and if you should be faint with fasting or fatigue, let a small piece of this glue melt in your mouth, and you will find yourself surprisingly refreshed. One pound of this cookery would keep a man in good heart above a month, and is not only nourishing, but likewise very wholesome. Particularly it is good against fluxes, which woodsmen are very liable to, by lying too near the moist ground, and guzzling too much cold water. But as it will be only used now and then, in times of scarcity, when game is wanting, two pounds of it will be enough for a journey of six months. But this broth will be still more heartening, if you thicken every mess with half a spoonful of rockahominy, which is nothing but Indian corn parched without burning, and reduced to powder. The fire drives out all the watery parts of the corn, leaving the strength of it behind, and this being very dry, becomes much lighter for carriage and less liable to be spoiled by the moist air. Thus half a dozen pounds of this sprightful bread will sustain a man for as many months, provided he husband it well, and always spare it when he meets with venison, which, as I said before, may be very safely eaten without any bread at all. By what I have said, a man need not encumber himself with more than eight or ten pounds of provisions, though he continue half a year in the woods. These and his gun will support him very well during that time, without the least danger of keeping one single fast. And though some of his days may be what the French call jours maigres, yet there will happen no more of those than will be necessary for his health, and to carry off the excesses of the days of plenty, when our travellers will be apt to indulge their lawless appetites too much.292.

2d. The heavens frowned this morning, and threatened abundance of rain, but our zeal for returning made us defy the weather, and decamp a little before noon. Yet we had not advanced two miles, before a soaking shower made us glad to pitch our tent as fast as we could. We chose for that purpose a rising ground, half a mile to the east of Matrimony creek. This was the first and only time we were caught in the rain, during the whole expedition. It used before to be so civil as to fall in the night, after we were safe in our quarters, and had trenched ourselves in; or else it came upon us on Sundays, when it was no interruption to our progress, nor any inconvenience to our persons. We had, however, been so lucky in this particular before, that we had abundant reason to take our present soaking patiently, and the misfortune was the less, because we had taken precaution to keep all our baggage and bedding perfectly dry. This rain was enlivened with very loud thunder, which was echoed back by the hills in the neighbourhood in a frightful manner. There is something in the woods that makes the sound of this meteor more awful, and the violence of the lightning more visible. The trees are frequently shivered quite down to the root, and sometimes perfectly twisted. But of all the effects of lightning that ever I heard of, the most amazing happened in this country, in the year 1736. In the summer of that year a surgeon of a ship, whose name was Davis, came ashore at York to visit a patient. He was no sooner got into the house, but it began to rain with many terrible claps of thunder. When it was almost dark there came a dreadful flash of lightning, which struck the surgeon dead as he was walking about the room, but hurt no other person, though several were near him. At the same time it made a large hole in the trunk of a pine tree, which grew about ten feet from the window. But what was most surprising in this disaster was, that on the breast of the unfortunate man that was killed was the figure of a pine tree, as exactly delineated as any limner in the world could draw it, nay, the resemblance went so far as to represent the colour of the pine, as well as the figure. The lightning must probably have passed through the tree first before it struck the man, and by that means have printed the icon of it on his breast. But whatever may have been the cause, the effect was certain, and can be attested by a cloud of witnesses who had the curiosity to go and see this wonderful phenomenon. The worst of it was, we were forced to encamp in a barren place, where there was hardly a blade of grass to be seen, even the wild rosemary failed us here, which gave us but too just apprehensions that we should not only be obliged to trudge all the way home on foot, but also to lug our baggage at our backs into the bargain. Thus we learned by our own experience, that horses are very improper animals to use in a long ramble into the woods, and the better they have been used to be fed, they are still the worse. Such will fall away a great deal faster, and fail much sooner, than those which are wont to be at their own keeping. Besides, horses that have been accustomed to a plain and champaign country will founder presently, when they come to clamber up hills, and batter their hoofs against continual rocks. We need Welsh runts, and Highland Galloways to climb our mountains withal; they are used to precipices, and will bite as close as Banstead Down sheep. But I should much rather recommend mules, if we had them, for these long and painful expeditions; though, till they can be bred, certainly asses are the fittest beasts of burthen for the mountains. They are sure-footed, patient under the heaviest fatigue, and will subsist upon moss, or browsing on shrubs all the winter. One of them will carry the necessary luggage of four men, without any difficulty, and upon a pinch will take a quarter of bear or venison upon their backs into the bargain. Thus, when the men are light and disengaged from every thing but their guns, they may go the whole journey on foot with pleasure. And though my dear countrymen have so great a passion for riding, that they will often walk two miles to catch a horse, in order to ride one, yet, if they will please to take my word for it, when they go into the woods upon discovery, I would advise them by all means to march a-foot, for they will then be delivered from the great care and concern for their horses, which takes up too large a portion of their time. Over night we are now at the trouble of hobbling them out, and often of leading them a mile or two to a convenient place for forage, and then in the morning we are some hours in finding them again, because they are apt to stray a great way from the place where they were turned out. Now and then, too, they are lost for a whole day together, and are frequently so weak and jaded, that the company must lie still several days, near some meadow, or highland pond, to recruit them. All these delays retard their progress intolerably; whereas, if they had only a few asses, they would abide close to the camp, and find sufficient food every where, and in all seasons of the year. Men would then be able to travel safely over hills and dales, nor would the steepest mountains obstruct their progress. They might also search more narrowly for mines and other productions of nature, without being confined to level grounds, in compliment to the jades they ride on. And one may foretell, without the spirit of divination, that so long as woodsmen continue to range on horse-back, we shall be strangers to our own country, and few or no valuable discoveries will ever be made! The French couriers de bois, who have run from one end of the continent to the other, have performed it all on foot, or else in all probability must have continued full as ignorant as we are. Our country has now been inhabited more than one hundred and thirty years by the English, and still we hardly know any thing of the Appallachian mountains, that are no where above two hundred and fifty miles from the sea. Whereas the French, who are later comers, have ranged from Quebec southward as far as the mouth of Mississippi, in the bay of Mexico, and to the west almost as far as California, which is either way above two thousand miles.293.

3d. A north-west wind having cleared the sky, we were now tempted to travel on a Sunday, for the first time, for want of more plentiful forage, though some of the more scrupulous amongst us were unwilling to do evil, that good might come of it, and make our cattle work a good part of the day in order to fill their bellies at night. However, the chaplain put on his casuistical face, and offered to take the sin upon himself. We therefore consented to move a Sabbath day's journey of three or four miles, it appearing to be a matter of some necessity. On the way our unmerciful Indian killed no less than two brace of deer and a large bear. We only primed the deer, being unwilling to be encumbered with their whole carcasses. The rest we consigned to the wolves, which in return serenaded us great part of the night. They are very clamorous in their banquets, which we know is the way some other brutes have, in the extravagance of their jollity and sprightliness, of expressing their thanks to Providence.294.

We came to our old camp, in sight of the river Irvin, whose stream was swelled now near four feet with the rain that fell the day before. This made it impracticable for us to ford it, nor could we guess when the water would fall enough to let us go over. This put our mathematical professor, who should have set a better example, into the vapours, fearing he should be obliged to take up his winter quarters in that doleful wilderness. But the rest were not infected with his want of faith, but preserved a firmness of mind superior to such little adverse accidents. They trusted that the same good Providence which had most remarkably prospered them hitherto, would continue his goodness and conduct them safe to the end of their journey. However, we found plainly that travelling on the Sunday, contrary to our constant rule, had not thriven with us in the least. We were not gainers of any distance by it, because the river made us pay two days for violating one. Nevertheless, by making this reflection, I would not be thought so rigid an observer of the sabbath as to allow of no work at all to be done, or journeys to be taken upon it. I should not care to lie still and be knocked on the head, as the Jews were heretofore by Antiochus, because I believed it unlawful to stand upon my defence on this good day. Nor would I care, like a certain New England magistrate, to order a man to the whipping post, for daring to ride for a midwife on the Lord's day. On the contrary, I am for doing all acts of necessity, charity, and self-preservation, upon a Sunday as well as other days of the week. But, as I think our present march could not strictly be justified by any of these rules, it was but just we should suffer a little for it. I never could learn that the Indians set apart any day of the week or the year for the service of God. They pray, as philosophers eat, only when they have a stomach, without having any set time for it. Indeed these idle people have very little occasion for a sabbath to refresh themselves after hard labour, because very few of them ever labour at all. Like the wild Irish, they would rather want than work, and are all men of pleasure, to whom every day is a day of rest. Indeed, in their hunting, they will take a little pains; but this being only a diversion, their spirits are rather raised than depressed by it, and therefore need at most but a night's sleep to recruit them.295.

4th. By some stakes we had driven into the river yesterday, we perceived the water began to fall, but fell so slowly that we found we must have patience a day or two longer. And because we were unwilling to lie altogether idle, we sent back some of the men to bring up the two horses that tired the Saturday before. They were found near the place where we had left them, but seemed too sensible of their liberty to come to us. They were found standing indeed, but as motionless as the equestrian statue at Charing-Cross. We had great reason to apprehend more rain by the clouds that drove over our heads. The boldest amongst us were not without some pangs of uneasiness at so very sullen a prospect. However, God be praised! it all blew over in a few hours. If much rain had fallen, we resolved to make a raft and bind it together with grape vines, to ferry ourselves and baggage over the river. Though, in that case, we expected the swiftness of the stream would have carried down our raft a long way before we could have tugged it to the opposite shore.296.

One of the young fellows we had sent to bring up the tired horses entertained us in the evening with a remarkable adventure he had met with that day. He had straggled, it seems, from his company in a mist, and made a cub of a year old betake itself to a tree. While he was new-priming his piece, with intent to fetch it down, the old gentlewoman appeared, and perceiving her heir apparent in distress, advanced open-mouthed to his relief. The man was so intent upon his game, that she had approached very near him before he perceived her. But finding his danger, he faced about upon the enemy, which immediately reared upon her posteriors, and put herself in battle array. The man, admiring at the bear's assurance, endeavoured to fire upon her, but by the dampness of the priming, his gun did not go off. He cocked it a second time, and had the same misfortune. After missing fire twice, he had the folly to punch the beast with the muzzle of his piece; but mother Bruin, being upon her guard, seized the weapon with her paws, and by main strength wrenched it out of the fellow's hands. The man being thus fairly disarmed, thought himself no longer a match for the enemy, and therefore retreated as fast as his legs could carry him. The brute naturally grew bolder upon the flight of her adversary, and pursued him with all her heavy speed. For some time it was doubtful whether fear made one run faster, or fury the other. But after an even course of about fifty yards, the man had the mishap to stumble over a stump, and fell down at his full length. He now wouldhave sold his life a penny-worth; but the bear, apprehending there might be some trick in the fall, instantly halted, and looked with much attention on her prostrate foe. In the mean while, the man had with great presence of mind resolved to make the bear believe he was dead, by lying breathless on the ground, in hopes that the beast would be too generous to kill him over again. To carry on the farce, he acted the corpse for some time without daring to raise his head, to see how near the monster was to him. But in about two minutes, to his unspeakable comfort, he was raised from the dead by the barking of a dog, belonging to one of his companions, who came seasonably to his rescue, and drove the bear from pursuing the man to take care of her cub, which she feared might now fall into a second distress.297.

5th. We judged the waters were assuaged this morning to make the river fordable. Therefore about ten we tried the experiment, and every body got over safe, except one man, whose horse slipped from a rock as he forded over, and threw him into the river. But being able to swim, he was not carried down the stream very far before he recovered the north shore. At the distance of about six miles we passed Cascade creek, and three miles farther we came upon the banks of the Dan, which we crossed with much difficulty, by reason the water was risen much higher than when we forded it before. Here the same unlucky person happened to be ducked a second time, and was a second time saved by swimming. My own horse too plunged in such a manner that his head was more than once under water, but with much ado recovered his feet, though he made so low an obeisance, that the water ran fairly over my saddle.298.

We continued our march as far as Lowland creek, where we took up our lodging, for the benefit of the canes and winter grass that grew upon the rich grounds thereabouts. On our way thither we had the misfortune to drop another horse, though he carried nothing the whole day but his saddle. We showed the same favour to most of our horses, for fear, if we did not do it, we should in a little time be turned into beasts of burthen ourselves. Custom had now made travelling on foot so familiar, that we were able to walk ten miles with pleasure. This we could do in our boots, notwithstanding our way lay over rough woods and uneven grounds. Our learning to walk in heavy boots was the same advantage to us that learning to dance high dances in wooden shoes is to the French, it made us most exceedingly nimble without them. The Indians, who have no way of travelling but on the hoof, make nothing of going twenty-five miles a day, and carrying their little necessaries at their backs, and sometimes a stout pack of skins into the bargain. And very often they laugh at the English, who cannot stir to a next neighbour without a horse, and say that two legs are too much for such lazy people, who cannot visit their next neighbour without six. For their parts, they were utter strangers to all our beasts of burthen or carriage, before the slothful Europeans came amongst them. They had on no part of the American continent, or in any of the islands, either horses or asses, camels, dromedaries or elephants, to ease the legs of the original inhabitants, or to lighten their labour. Indeed, in South America, and particularly in Chili, they have a useful animal called "paco." This creature resembles a sheep pretty much; only in the length of the neck, and figure of the head, it is more like a camel. It is very near as high as the ass, and the Indians there make use of it for carrying moderate burthens. The fleece that grows upon it is very valuable for the fineness, length and glossiness of the wool. It has one remarkable singularity, that the hoofs of its fore-feet have three clefts, and those behind no more than one. The flesh of this animal is something drier than our mutton, but altogether as well tasted. When it is angry, it has no way of resenting its wrongs, but by spitting in the face of those that provoke it: and if the spawl happen to light on the bare skin of any person, it first creates an itching, and afterwards a scab, if no remedy be applied. The way to manage these pacos, and make them tractable, is, to bore a hole in their ears, through which they put a rope, and then guide them just as they please. In Chili, they wear a beautiful kind of stuff, with thread made of this creature's wool, which has a gloss superior to any camlet, and is sold very dear in that country.299.

6th. The difficulty of finding the horses among the tall canes made it late before we decamped. We traversed very hilly grounds, but to make amends it was pretty clear of underwood. We avoided crossing the Dan twice by taking a compass round the bend of it. There was no passing by the angle of the river without halting a moment to entertain our eyes again with that charming prospect. When that pleasure was over we proceeded to Sable creek, and encamped a little to the east of it. The river thereabouts had a charming effect, its banks being adorned with green canes, sixteen feet high, which make a spring all the year, as well as plenty of forage all the winter. One of the men wounded an old buck, that was gray with years, and seemed by the reverend marks he bore upon him, to confirm the current opinion of that animal's longevity. The smart of his wounds made him not only turn upon the dogs, but likewise pursue them to some distance with great fury. However he got away at last, though by the blood that issued from his wound he could not run far before he fell, and without doubt made a comfortable repast for the wolves. However the Indian had better fortune, and supplied us with a fat doe, and a young bear two years old. At that age they are in their prime, and, if they be fat withal, they are a morsel for a cardinal.300.

All the land we travelled over this day, and the day before, that is to say from the river Irvin to Sable creek, is exceedingly rich, both on the Virginia side of the line, and that of Carolina. Besides whole forests of canes, that adorn the banks of the river and creeks threabouts, the fertility of the soil throws out such a quantity of winter grass, that horses and cattle might keep themselves in heart all the cold season without the help of any fodder. Nor have the low grounds only this advantage, but likewise the higher land, and particularly that which we call the Highland Pond, which is two miles broad, and of a length unknown.301.

I question not but there are thirty thousand acres at least, lying altogether, as fertile as the lands were said to be about Babylon, which yielded, if Herodotus tells us right, an increase of no less than two or three hundred for one. But this hath the advantage of being a higher, and consequently a much healthier, situation than that. So that a colony of one thousand families might, with the help of moderate industry, pass their time very happily there. Besides grazing and tillage, which would abundantly compensate their labour, they might plant vineyards upon the hills, in which situation the richest wines are always produced. They might also propagate white mulberry trees, which thrive exceedingly in this climate, in order to the feeding of silk-worms, and making of raw silk. They might too produce hemp, flax and cotton, in what quantity they pleased, not only for their own use, but likewise for sale. Then they might raise very plentiful orchards, of both peaches and apples, which contribute as much as any fruit to the luxury of life. There is no soil or climate will yield better rice than this, which is a grain of prodigious increase, and of very wholesome nourishment. In short every thing will grow plentifully here to supply either the wants or wantonness of man. Nor can I so much as wish that the more tender vegetables might grow here, such as orange, lemon, and olive trees, because then we should lose the much greater benefit of the brisk north-west winds, which purge the air, and sweep away all the malignant fevers, which hover over countries that are always warm. The soil would also want the advantages of frost, and snow, which by their nitrous particles contribute not a little to its fertility. Besides the inhabitants would be deprived of the variety and sweet vicissitude of the season, which is much more delightful than one dull and constant succession of warm weather, diversified only by rain and sunshine. There is also another convenience, that happens to this country by cold weather–it destroys a great number of snakes, and other venomous reptiles, and troublesome insects, or at least lays them to sleep for several months, which otherwise would annoy us the whole year round, and multiply beyond all enduring. Though oranges and lemons are desirable fruits, and useful enough in many cases, yet, when the want of them is supplied by others more useful, we have no cause to complain. There is no climate that produces every thing, since the deluge wrenched the poles of the world out of their place, nor is it fit it should be so, because it is the mutual supply one country receives from another, which creates a mutual traffic and intercourse amongst men. And in truth, were it not for the correspondence, in order to make up each other's wants, the wars betwixt bordering nations, like those of the Indians and other barbarous people, would be perpetual and irreconcileable. As to olive trees, I know by experience they will never stand the sharpness of our winters, but their place may be supplied by the plant called sessamun, which yields an infinite quantity of large seed, from whence a sweet oil is pressed, that is very wholesome and in use amongst the people of Lesser Asia. Likewise it is used in Egypt, preferably to oil olive, being not so apt to make those that eat it constantly break out into scabs, as they do in many parts of Italy. This would grow very kindly here, and has already been planted with good success in North Carolina, by way of experiment.302.

7th. After crossing the Dan, we made a march of eight miles, over hills and dales as far as the next ford of that river. And now we were by practice become such very able footmen, that we easily outwalked our horses, and could have marched much farther, had it not been in pity to their weakness. Besides here was plenty of canes, which was reason enough to make us shorten our journey. Our gunners did great execution as they went along, killing no less than two brace of deer, and as many wild turkeys. Though practice will soon make a man of tolerable vigour an able footman, yet, as a help to bear fatigue I used to chew a root of ginseng as I walked along. This kept up my spirits, and made me trip away as nimbly in my half jack-boots as younger men could do in their shoes. This plant is in high esteem in China, where it sells for its weight in silver. Indeed it does not grow there, but in the mountains of Tartary, to which place the emperor of China sends ten thousand men every year on purpose to gather it. But it grows so scattering there, that even so many hands can bring home no great quantity. Indeed it is a vegetable of so many virtues, that Providence has planted it very thin in every country that has the happiness to produce it. Nor indeed is mankind worthy of so great a blessing, since health and long life are commonly abused to ill purposes. This noble plant grows likewise at the cape of Good Hope, where it is called kanna, and is in wonderful esteem among the Hottentots. It grows also on the northern continent of America, near the mountains, but as sparingly as truth and public spirit. It answers exactly both to the figure and virtues of that which grows in Tartary, so that there can be no doubt of its being the same. Its virtues are, that it gives an uncommon warmth and vigour to the blood, and frisks the spirits, beyond any other cordial. It cheers the heart even of a man that has a bad wife, and makes him look down with great composure on the crosses of the world. It promotes insensible perspiration, dissolves all phlegmatic and viscous humours, that are apt to obstruct the narrow channels of the nerves. It helps the memory, and would quicken even Helvetian dulness. It is friendly to the lungs, much more than scolding itself. It comforts the stomach, and strengthens the bowels, preventing all colics and fluxes. In one word, it will make a man live a great while, and very well while he does live. And what is more, it will even make old age amiable, by rendering it lively, cheerful, and good-humoured. However it is of little use in the feats of love, as a great prince once found, who hearing of its invigorating quality, sent as far as China for some of it, though his ladies could not boast of any advantage thereby.303.

We gave the Indian the skins of all the deer that he shot himself, and the men the skins of what they killed. And every evening after the fires were made, they stretched them very tight upon sticks, and dried them. This, by a nocturnal fire, appeared at first a very odd spectacle, every thing being dark and gloomy round about. After they are dried in this manner they may be folded up without damage, till they come to be dressed according to art. The Indians dress them with deer's brains, and so do the English here by their example. For expedition's sake they often stretch their skins over smoke in order to dry them, which makes them smell so disagreeably that a rat must have a good stomach to gnaw them in that condition; nay, it is said, while that perfume continues in a pair of leather breeches, the person that wears them will be in no danger of that villanous little insect the French call morpion. And now I am upon the subject of insects, it may not be improper to mention some few remedies against those that are most vexatious in this climate. There are two sorts without doors, that are great nuisances, the ticks, and the horse flies. The ticks are either deer-ticks, or those that annoy the cattle. The first kind are long, and take a very strong gripe, being most in remote woods, above the inhabitants. The other are round, and more gently insinuate themselves into the flesh, being in all places where cattle are frequent. Both these sorts are apt to be troublesome during the warm season, but have such an aversion to pennyroyal, that they will attack no part that is rubbed with the juice of that fragrant vegetable. And a strong decoction of this is likewise the most effectual remedy against seed-ticks, which bury themselves in your legs, when they are so small you can hardly discern them without a microscope.304.

The horse flies are not only a great grievance to horses, but likewise to those that ride them. These little vixens confine themselves chiefly to the woods, and are most in moist places. Though this insect be no bigger than an ordinary fly, it bites very smartly, darting its little proboscis into the skin the instant it lights upon it. These are offensive only in the hot months, and in the day time, when they are a great nuisance to travellers; insomuch that it is no wonder they were formerly employed for one of the plagues of Egypt. But dittany, which is to be had in the woods all the while those insects remain in vigor, is a sure defence against them. For this purpose, if you stick a bunch of it on the head-stall of your bridle, they will be sure to keep a respectful distance. Thus, in what part of the woods soever any thing mischievous or troublesome is found, kind Providence is sure to provide a remedy. And it is probably one great reason why God was pleased to create these, and many other vexatious animals, that men should exercise their wits and industry, to guard themselves against them. Bears' oil is used by the Indians as a general defence against every species of vermin. Among the rest, they say it keeps both bugs and mosquitoes from assaulting their persons, which would otherwise devour such uncleanly people. Yet bears' grease has no strong smell, as that plant had which the Egyptians formerly used against mosquitoes, resembling our palma Christi, the juice of which smelled so disagreeably, that the remedy was worse than the disease. Against mosquitoes, in Egypt, the richer sort used to build lofty towers, with bed-chambers in the tops of them, that they might rest undisturbed. It is certain that these insects are no high fliers, because their wings are weak and their bodies so light, that if they mount never so little, the wind blows them quite away from their course, and they become an easy prey to the martins, East India bats, and other birds that fly about in continual quest of them.305.

8th. As we had twice more to cross the Dan over two fords, that lay no more than seven miles from each other, we judged the distance would not be much greater to go round the bend of it. Accordingly we sent the Indian and two white men that way, who came up with us in the evening, after fetching a compass of about twelve miles. They told us that, about a mile from our last camp, they passed a creek fortified with steep cliffs, which therefore gained the name of Cliff creek. Near three miles beyond that they forded a second creek, on the margin of which grew abundance of tall canes and this was called Hix's creek, from one of the discoverers. Between these two creeks lies a level of exceeding rich land, full of large trees, and covered with black mould, as fruitful, if we believe them, as that which is yearly overflowed by the Nile. We who marched the nearest way upon the line found the ground rising and falling between the two fords of the Dan, which almost broke our own wind, and the hearts of our jaded palfreys. When we had passed the last ford, it was a sensible joy to find ourselves safe over all the waters that might cut off our retreat. And we had the greater reason to be thankful, because so late in the year it was very unusual to find the rivers so fordable. We caught a large terrapin in the river, which is one kind of turtle. The flesh of it is wholesome, and good for consumptive people. It lays a great number of eggs, not larger but rounder than those of pigeons. These are soft, but withal so tough that it is difficult to break them, yet are very sweet and invigorating, so that some wives recommend them earnestly to their husbands. One of the men, by an overstrain, had unhappily got a running of the reins, for which I gave him every morning a little sweet gum dissolved in water, with good success. This gum distils from a large tree, called the sweet-gum tree, very common in Virginia, and is as healing in its virtue as balm of Gilead, or the balsams of Tolu and of Peru. It is likewise a most agreeable perfume, very little inferior to ambergris. And now I have mentioned ambergris, I hope it will not be thought an unprofitable digression, to give a faithful account how it is produced, in order to reconcile the various opinions concerning it. It is now certainly found to be the dung of the spermaceti whale, which is at first very black and unsavoury. But after having been washed for some months in the sea, and blanched in the sun, it comes at length to be of a gray colour, and from a most offensive smell, contracts the finest fragrancy in the world. Besides the fragrancy of this animal substance, it is a very rich and innocent cordial, which raises the spirits without stupifying them afterwards, like opium, or intoxicating them like wine. The animal spirits are amazingly refreshed by this cordial, without the danger of any ill consequence, and if husbands were now and then to dissolve a little of it in their broth, their consorts might be the better for it, as well as themselves. In the Bahama islands (where a great quantity is found, by reason the spermaceti whales resort thither continually,) it is used as an antidote against the venomous fish which abound thereabouts, wherewith the people are apt to poison themselves. We are not only obliged to that whale for this rich perfume, but also for the spermaceti itself, which is the fat of that fish's head boiled and purged from all its impurities. What remains is of a balsamic and detersive quality, very friendly to the lungs, and useful in many other cases.306.

The Indian had killed a fat doe in the compass he took round the elbow of the river, but was content to prime it only, by reason it was too far off to lug the whole carcass upon his back. This, and a brace of wild turkeys which our men had shot, made up all our bill of fare this evening, but could only afford a philosophical meal to so many craving stomachs. The horses were now so lean that any thing would gall those that carried the least burthen; no wonder then if several of them had sore backs, especially now the pads of the saddles and packs were pressed flat with long and constant use. This would have been another misfortune, had we not been provided with an easy remedy for it. One of the commissioners, believing that such accidents might happen in a far journey, had furnished himself with plasters of strong glue spread pretty thick. We laid on these, after making them running hot, which, sticking fast, never fell off till the sore was perfectly healed. In the mean time it defended the part so well, that the saddle might bear upon it without danger of further injury.307.

9th. We reckoned ourselves now pretty well out of the latitude of bears, to the great grief of most of the company. There was still mast enough left in the woods to keep the bears from drawing so near to the inhabitants. They like not the neighbourhood of merciless man, till famine compels them to it. They are all black in this part of the world, and so is their dung, but it will make linen white, being tolerably good soap, without any preparation but only drying. These bears are of a moderate size, whereas within the polar circles they are white, and much larger. Those of the southern parts of Muscovy are of a russet colour, but among the Samoeids, as well as in Greenland and Nova-Zembla, they are as white as the snow they converse with, and by some accounts are as large as a moderate ox. The excessive cold of that climate sets their appetites so sharp, that they will attack a man without ceremony, and even climb up a ship's side to come at him. They range about and are very mischievous all the time the sun is above the horizon, which is something more than five months; but after the sun is set for the rest of the year, they retire into holes, or bury themselves under the snow, and sleep away the dark season without any sustenance at all. It is pity our beggars and pick-pockets could not do the same.308.

Our journey this day was above twelve miles, and more than half the way terribly hampered with bushes. We tired another horse, which we were obliged to leave two miles short of where we encamped, and indeed several others were upon the careen almost every step. Now we wanted one of those celebrated musicians of antiquity, who, they tell us, among many other wonders of their art, could play an air which, by its animating briskness, would make a jaded horse caper and curyet much better than any whip, spur, or even than swearing. Though I fear our poor beasts were so harassed that it would have been beyond the skill of Orpheus himself so much as to make them prick up their ears. For proof of the marvellous power of music among the ancients, some historians say, that one of those skilful masters took upon him to make the great Alexander start up from his seat, and handle his javelin, whether he would or not, by the force of a sprightly tune, which he knew how to play to him. The king ordered the man to bring his instrument, and then fixing himself firmly in his chair, and determining not to stir, he bade him strike up as soon as he pleased. The musician obeyed, and presently roused the hero's spirits with such warlike notes, that he was constrained, in spite of all his resolution, to spring up and fly to his javelin with great martial fury. We can the easier credit these profane stories by what we find recorded in the oracles of truth, where we are told the wonders David performed by sweetly touching his harp. He made nothing of driving the evil spirit out of Saul, though a certain rabbi assures us he could not do so much by his wife, Michal, when she happened to be in her airs. The greatest instance we have of the power of modern music is that which cures those who in Italy are bitten by the little spider called the tarantula. The whole method of which is performed in the following manner. In Apulia it is a common misfortune for people to be bitten by the tarantula, and most about Taranto and Gallipoli. This is a gray spider, not very large, with a narrow streak of white along the back. It is no wonder there are many of these villanous insects, because, by a ridiculous superstition it is accounted great inhumanity to kill them. They believe, it seems, that if the spider come to a violent death, all those who had been bitten by it will certainly have a return of their frenzy every year as long as they live. But if it die a natural death, the patient will have a chance to recover in two or three years. The bite of the tarantula gives no more pain than the bite of a mosquito, and makes little or no inflammation on the part, especially when the disaster happens in April or May; but, its venom increasing with the heat of the season, has more fatal consequences in July and August. The persons who are so unhappy as to be bitten in those warm months, fall down on the place in a few minutes, and lie senseless for a considerable time, and when they come to themselves feel horrible pains, are very sick at their stomachs, and in a short time break out into foul sores; but those who are bitten in the milder months have much gentler symptoms. They are longer before the distemper shows itself, and then they have a small disorder in their senses, are a little sick, and perhaps have some moderate breakings-out. However, in both cases, the patient keeps upon the bed, not caring to stir, till he is roused by a tune, proper for his particular case. Therefore, as soon as the symptoms discover themselves, a tarantula doctor is sent for, who, after viewing carefully the condition of the person, first tries one tune and then another, until he is so fortunate as to hit the phrenetic turn of the patient. No sooner does this happen but he begins to wag a finger, then a hand, and afterwards a foot, till at last he springs up and dances round the room, with a surprising agility, rolling his eyes and looking wild the whole time. This dancing-fit lasts commonly about twenty-five minutes, by which time he will be all in a lather. Then he sits down, falls a laughing, and returns to his senses. So plentiful a perspiration discharges so much of the venom as will keep off the return of the distemper for a whole year. Then it will visit him again, and must be removed in the same merry manner. But three dancing bouts will do the business, unless, peradventure, the spider, according to the vulgar notion, has been put to a violent death. The tunes played to expel this whimsical disorder, are of the jig kind, and exceed not fifteen in number. The Apulians are frequently dancing off the effects of this poison, and no remedy is more commonly applied to any other distemper elsewhere, than those sprightly tunes are to the bite of the tarantula in that part of Italy. It is remarkable that these spiders have a greater spite to the natives of the place than they have to strangers, and women are oftener bitten than men. Though there may be a reason for the last, because women are more confined to the house, where these spiders keep, and their coats make them liable to attacks unseen, whereas the men can more easily discover, and brush them off their legs. Nevertheless, both sexes are cured the same way, and thereby show the wonderful effects of music.309.

Considering how far we had walked, and consequently how hungry we were, we found but short commons when we came to our quarters. One brace of turkeys was all the game we could meet with, which almost needed a miracle to enable them to suffice so many voracious appetites. However, they just made a shift to keep famine, and consequently mutiny, out of the camp. At night we lodged upon the banks of Buffalo creek, where none of us could complain of loss of rest, for having eaten too heavy and luxurious a supper.310.

10th. In a dearth of provisions our chaplain pronounced it lawful to make bold with the sabbath, and send a party out a-hunting. They fired the dry leaves in a ring of five miles' circumference, which, burning inwards, drove all the game to the centre, where they were easily killed. It is really a pitiful sight to see the extreme distress the poor deer are in, when they find themselves surrounded with this circle of fire; they weep and groan like a human creature, yet cannot move the compassion of those hard-hearted people, who are about to murder them. This unmerciful sport is called fire hunting, and is much practised by the Indians and frontier inhabitants, who sometimes, in the eagerness of their diversion, are punished for their cruelty, and are hurt by one another when they shoot across at the deer which are in the middle. What the Indians do now by a circle of fire, the ancient Persians performed formerly by a circle of men: and the same is practised at this day in Germany upon extraordinary occasions, when any of the princes of the empire have a mind to make a general hunt, as they call it. At such times they order a vast number of people to surround a whole territory. Then marching inwards in close order, they at last force all the wild beasts into a narrow compass, that the prince and his company may have the diversion of slaughtering as many as they please with their own hands. Our hunters massacred two brace of deer after this unfair way, of which they brought us one brace whole, and only the primings of the rest.311.

So many were absent on this occasion, that we who remained excused the chaplain from the trouble of spending his spirits by preaching to so thin a congregation. One of the men, who had been an old Indian trader, brought me a stem of silk grass, which was about as big as my little finger. But, being so late in the year that the leaf was fallen off, I am not able to describe the plant. The Indians use it in all their little manufactures, twisting a thread of it that is prodigiously strong. Of this they make their baskets and the aprons which their women wear about their middles, for decency's sake. These are long enough to wrap quite round them and reach down to their knees, with a fringe on the under part by way of ornament. They put on this modest covering with so much art, that the most impertinent curiosity cannot in the negligentest of their motions or postures make the least discovery. As this species of silk grass is much stronger than hemp, I make no doubt but sail cloth and cordage might be made of it with considerable improvement.312.

11th. We had all been so refreshed by our day of rest, that we decamped earlier than ordinary, and passed the several fords of Hico river. The woods were thick great part of this day's journey, so that we were forced to scuffle hard to advance seven miles, being equal in fatigue to double that distance of clear and open grounds. We took up our quarters upon Sugar-tree creek, in the same camp we had lain in when we came up, and happened to be entertained at supper with a rarity we had never had the fortune to meet with before, during the whole expedition. A little wide of this creek, one of the men had the luck to meet with a young buffalo of two years old. It was a bull, which, notwithstanding he was no older, was as big as an ordinary ox. His legs were very thick and very short, and his hoofs exceeding broad. His back rose into a kind of bunch a little above the shoulders, which I believe contributes not a little to that creature's enormous strength. His body is vastly deep from the shoulders to the brisket, sometimes six feet in those that are full grown. The portly figure of this animal is disgraced by a shabby little tail, not above twelve inches long. This he cocks up on end whenever he is in a passion, and, instead of lowing or bellowing, grunts with no better grace than a hog. The hair growing on his head and neck is long and shagged, and so soft that it will spin into thread not unlike mohair, which might be wove into a sort of camlet. Some people have stockings knit of it, that would have served an Israelite during his forty years' march through the wilderness. Its horns are short and strong, of which the Indians make large spoons, which they say will split and fall to pieces whenever poison is put into them. Its colour is a dirty brown, and its hide so thick that it is scarce penetrable. However, it makes very spongy sole leather by the ordinary method of tanning, though this fault might by good contrivance be mended. As thick as this poor beast's hide was, a bullet made shift to enter it and fetch him down. It was found all alone, though buffaloes seldom are. They usually range about in herds, like other cattle, and, though they differ something in figure, are certainly of the same species. There are two reasons for this opinion: the flesh of both has exactly the same taste, and the mixed breed betwixt both, they say, will generate. All the difference I could perceive between the flesh of buffalo and common beef was, that the flesh of the first was much yellower than that of the other, and the lean something tougher. The men were so delighted with this new diet, that the gridiron and frying-pan had no more rest all night, than a poor husband subject to curtain lectures. Buffaloes may be easily tamed when they are taken young. The best way to catch them is to carry a milch mare into the woods, and when you find a cow and calf, to kill the cow, and then having caught the calf, to suckle it upon the mare. After once or twice sucking her, it will follow her home, and become as gentle as another calf. If we could get into a breed of them, they might be made very useful, not only for the dairy, by giving an ocean of milk, but also for drawing vast and cumbersome weights by their prodigious strength. These, with the other advantages I mentioned before, would make this sort of cattle more profitable to the owner, than any other we are acquainted with, though they would need a world of provender.313.

12th. Before we marched this morning, every man took care to pack up some buffalo steaks in his wallet, besides what he crammed into his belly. When provisions were plenty, we always found it difficult to get out early, being too much embarrassed with a long-winded breakfast. However, by the strength of our beef, we made a shift to walk about twelve miles, crossing Blue-wing and Tewaw-homini creeks. And because this last stream received its appellation from the disaster of a Tuscarora Indian, it will not be straggling much out of the way to say something of that particular nation.314.

These Indians were heretofore very numerous and powerful, making, within time of memory, at least a thousand fighting men. Their habitation, before the war with Carolina, was on the north branch of Neuse river, commonly called Connecta creek, in a pleasant and fruitful country. But now the few that are left of that nation live on the north side of Moratuck, which is all that part of Roanoke below the great falls, towards Albemarle sound. Formerly there were seven towns of these savages, lying not far from each other, but now their number is greatly reduced. The trade they have had the misfortune to drive with the English has furnished them constantly with rum, which they have used so immoderately, that, what with the distempers, and what with the quarrels it begat amongst them, it has proved a double destruction. But the greatest consumption of these savages happened by the war about twenty-five years ago, on account of some injustice the inhabitants of that province had done them about their lands. It was on that provocation they resented their wrongs a little too severely upon Mr. Lawson, who, under colour of being surveyor general, had encroached too much upon their territories, at which they were so enraged, that they waylaid him, and cut his throat from ear to ear, but at the same time released the baron de Graffenried, whom they had seized for company, because it appeared plainly he had done them no wrong. This blow was followed by some other bloody actions on the part of the Indians, which brought on the war, wherein many of them were cut off, and many were obliged to flee for refuge to the Senecas, so that now there remain so few, that they are in danger of being quite exterminated by the Catawbas, their mortal enemies. These Indians have a very odd tradition amongst them, that many years ago, their nation was grown so dishonest, that no man could keep any of his goods, or so much as his loving wife to himself. That, however, their God, being unwilling to root them out for their crimes, did them the honour to send a messenger from heaven to instruct them, and set them a perfect example of integrity and kind behavior towards one another. But this holy person, with all his eloquence and sanctity of life, was able to make very little reformation amongst them. Some few old men did listen a little to his wholesome advice, but all the young fellows were quite incorrigible. They not only neglected his precepts, but derided and evil entreated his person. At last, taking upon him to reprove some young rakes of the Conechta clan very sharply for their impiety, they were so provoked at the freedom of his rebukes, that they tied him to a tree, and shot him with arrows through the heart. But their God took instant vengeance on all who had a hand in that monstrous act, by lightning from heaven, and has ever since visited their nation with a continued train of calamities, nor will he ever leave off punishing, and wasting their people, till he shall have blotted every living soul of them out of the world.315.

Our hunters shot nothing this whole day but a straggling bear, which happened to fall by the hand of the very person who had been lately disarmed and put to flight, for which he declared war against the whole species.316.

13th. We pursued our journey with all diligence, and forded Ohimpamony creek about noon, and from thence proceeded to Yapatsco, which we could not cross without difficulty. The beavers had dammed up the water much higher than we found it at our going up, so that we were obliged to lay a bridge over a part that was shallower than the rest, to facilitate our passage. Beavers have more of instinct, that half-brother of reason, than any other animal, especially in matters of self-preservation. In their houses they always contrive a sally-port, both towards the land and towards the water, that so they may escape by one, if their retreat should happen to be cut off at the other. They perform all their works in the dead of night, to avoid discovery, and are kept diligently to it by the master beaver, which by his age or strength has gained to himself an authority over the rest. If any of the gang happen to be lazy, or will not exert himself to the utmost in felling of trees, or dragging them to the place where they are made use of, this superintendent will not fail to chastise him with the flat of the tail, wherewith he is able to give unmerciful strokes. They lie snug in their houses all day, unless some unneighbourly miller chance to disturb their repose, by demolishing their dams for supplying his mill with water. It is rare to see one of them, and the Indians for that reason have hardly any way to take them, but by laying snares near the place where they dam up the water. But the English hunters have found out a more effectual method, by using the following receipt. Take the large pride of the beaver, squeeze all the juice out of it, then take the small pride, and squeeze out about five or six drops. Take the inside of sassafras bark, powder it, and mix it with the liquor, and place this bait conveniently for your steel trap. The story of their biting off their testicles to compound for their lives, when they are pursued, is a story taken upon trust by Pliny, like many others. Nor is it the beavers' testicles that carry the perfume, but they have a pair of glands just within the fundamental, as sweet as musk, that perfume their dung, and communicate a strong scent to their testicles, by being placed near them. It is true several creatures have strange instincts for their preservation, as the Egyptian frog, we are told by Elian, will carry a whole joint of a reed across its mouth, that it may not be swallowed by the ibis. And this long-necked fowl will give itself a clyster with its beak, whenever it finds itself too costive or feverish. The dogs of that country lap the water of the Nile in a full trot, that they may not be snapped by the crocodiles. Both beavers and wolves, we know, when one of their legs is caught in a steel trap, will bite it off, that they may escape with the rest. The flesh of the beavers is tough and dry, all but the tail, which, like the parrot's tongue, was one of the far-fetched rarities with which Heliogabalus used to furnish his luxurious table. The fur of these creatures is very valuable, especially in the more northern countries, where it is longer and finer. This the Dutch have lately contrived to mix with their wool, and weave into a sort of drugget, that is not only warm, but wonderfully light and soft. They also make gloves and stockings of it, that keep out the cold almost as well as the fur itself, and do not look quite so savage.317.

There is a deal of rich low ground on Yapatsco creek, but I believe liable to be overflowed in a fresh. However, it might be proper enough for rice, which receives but little injury from water. We encamped on the banks of Massamony creek, after a journey of more than eleven miles. By the way we shot a fat doe and a wild turkey, which fed us all plentifully. And we have reason to say, by our own happy experience, that no man need to despair of his daily bread in the woods, whose faith is but half so large as his stomach.318.

14th. Being at length happily arrived within twenty miles of the upper-most inhabitants, we despatched two men who had the ablest horses to go before, and get a beef killed and some bread baked to refresh their fellow travellers, upon their arrival. They had likewise orders to hire an express to carry a letter to the governor, giving an account that we were all returned in safety. This was the more necessary, because we had been so long absent that many now began to fear we were, by this time, scalped and barbacued by the Indians. We decamped with the rest of the people about ten o'clock, and marched near twelve miles. In our way we crossed Nutbush creek, and four miles farther we came upon a beautiful branch of Great creek, where we took up our quarters. The tent was pitched upon an eminence, which overlooked a wide piece of low grounds, covered with reeds and watered by a crystal stream, gliding through the middle of it. On the other side of this delightful valley, which was about half a mile wide, rose a hill that terminated the view, and in the figure of a semicircle closed in upon the opposite side of the valley. This had a most agreeable effect upon the eye, and wanted nothing but cattle grazing in the meadow, and sheep and goats feeding on the hill, to make it a complete rural landscape.319.

The Indian killed a fawn, which, being upon its growth, was not fat, but made some amends by being tender. He also shot an otter, but our people were now better fed than to eat such coarse food. The truth of it is, the flesh of this creature has a rank fishy taste, and for that reason might be a proper regale for the Samoeids, who drink the czar of Muscovy's health and toast their mistresses in a bumper of train oil. The Carthusians, to save their vow of eating no flesh, pronounce this amphibious animal to be a fish, and feed upon it as such, without wounding their consciences. The skin of the otter is very soft, and the Swedes make caps and socks of it, not only for warmth, but also because they fancy it strengthens the nerves, and is good against all distempers of the brain. The otter is a great devourer of fish, which are its natural food, and whenever it betakes itself to a vegetable diet, it is as some high-spirited wives obey their husbands, by pure necessity. They dive after their prey, though they cannot continue long under water, but thrust their noses up to the surface now and then for breath. They are great enemies to weirs set up in the rivers to catch fish, devouring or biting to pieces all they find there. Nor is it either easy to fright them from this kind of robbery, or to destroy them. The best way I could ever find was to float an old wheel just by the weir, and so soon as the otter has taken a large fish, he will get upon the wheel to eat it more at his ease, which may give you an opportunity of firing upon him from the shore. One of our people shot a large gray squirrel with a very bushy tail, a singular use of which our merry Indian discovered to us. He said whenever this little animal has occasion to cross a run of water, he launches a chip or piece of bark into the water, on which he embarks, and, holding up his tail to the wind, sails over very safely. If this be true, it is probable men learned at first the use of sails from these ingenious little animals, as the Hottentots learned the physical use of most of their plants from the baboons.320.

15th. About three miles from our camp we passed Great creek, and then, after traversing very barren grounds for five miles together, we crossed the Trading Path, and soon after had the pleasure of reaching the uppermost inhabitant. This was a plantation belonging to colonel Mumford, where our men almost burst themselves with potatoes and milk. Yet as great a curiosity as a house was to us foresters, still we chose to lie in the tent, as being much the cleanlier and sweeter lodging.321.

The Trading Path above-mentioned receives its name from being the route the traders take with their caravans, when they go to traffic with the Catawbas and other southern Indians. The Catawbas live about two hundred and fifty miles beyond Roanoke river, and yet our traders find their account in transporting goods from Virginia to trade with them at their own town. The common method of carrying on this Indian commerce is as follows: Gentlemen send for goods proper for such a trade from England, and then either venture them out at their own risk to the Indian towns, or else credit some traders with them of substance and reputation, to be paid in skins at a certain price agreed betwixt them. The goods for the Indian trade consist chiefly in guns, powder, shot, hatchets, (which the Indians call tomahawks,) kettles, red and blue planes, Duffields, Stroudwater blankets, and some cutlery wares, brass rings and other trinkets. These wares are made up into packs and carried upon horses, each load being from one hundred and fifty to two hundred pounds, with which they are able to travel about twenty miles a day, if forage happen to be plentiful. Formerly a hundred horses have been employed in one of these Indian caravans, under the conduct of fifteen or sixteen persons only, but now the trade is much impaired, insomuch that they seldom go with half that number. The course from Roanoke to the Catawbas is laid down nearest south-west, and lies through a fine country, that is watered by several beautiful rivers. Those of the greatest note are, first, Tar river, which is the upper part of Pamptico, Flat river, Little river and Eno river, all three branches of Neuse. Between Eno and Saxapahaw rivers are the Haw old fields, which have the reputation of containing the most fertile high land in this part of the world, lying in a body of about fifty thousand acres. This Saxapahaw is the upper part of Cape Fair river, the falls of which lie many miles below the Trading Path. Some mountains overlook this rich spot of land, from whence all the soil washes down into the plain, and is the cause of its exceeding fertility. Not far from thence the path crosses Aramanchy river, a branch of Saxapahaw, and about forty miles beyond that, Deep river, which is the north branch of Peedee. Then forty miles beyond that, the path intersects the Yadkin, which is there half a mile over, and is supposed to be the south branch of the same Peedee. The soil is exceedingly rich on both sides the Yadkin, abounding in rank grass and prodigiously large trees; and for plenty of fish, fowl and venison, is inferior to no part of the northern continent. There the traders commonly lie still for some days, to recruit their horses' flesh as well as to recover their own spirits. Six miles further is Crane creek, so named from its being the rendezvous of great armies of cranes, which wage a more cruel war at this day, with the frogs and the fish, than they used to do with the pigmies in the days of Homer. About three-score miles more bring you to the first town of the Catawbas, called Nauvasa, situated on the banks of Santee river. Besides this town there are five others belonging to the same nation, lying all on the same stream, within the distance of twenty miles. These Indians were all called formerly by the general name of the Usherees, and were a very numerous and powerful people. But the frequent slaughters made upon them by the northern Indians, and, what has been still more destructive by far, the intemperance and foul distempers introduced amongst them by the Carolina traders, have now reduced their numbers to little more than four hundred fighting men, besides women and children. It is a charming place where they live, the air very wholesome, the soil fertile, and the winters ever mild and serene.322.

In Santee river, as in several others of Carolina, a small kind of alligator is frequently seen, which perfumes the water with a musky smell. They seldom exceed eight feet in length in these parts, whereas, near the equinoctial, they come up to twelve or fourteen. And the heat of the climate does not only make them bigger, but more fierce and voracious. They watch the cattle there when they come to drink and cool themselves in the river; and because they are not able to drag them into the deep water, they make up by stratagem what they want in force. They swallow great stones, the weight of which being added to their strength, enables them to tug a moderate cow under water, and as soon as they have drowned her, they discharge the stones out of their maw and then feast upon the carcass. However, as fierce and as strong as these monsters are, the Indians will surprise them napping as they float upon the surface, get astride upon their necks, then whip a short piece of wood like a truncheon into their jaws, and holding the ends with their two hands, hinder them from diving by keeping their mouths open, and when they are almost spent, they will make to the shore, where their riders knock them on the head and eat them. This amphibious animal is a smaller kind of crocodile, having the same shape exactly, only the crocodile of the Nile is twice as long, being when full grown from twenty to thirty feet. This enormous length is the more to be wondered at, because the crocodile is hatched from an egg very little larger than that of a goose. It has a long head, which it can open very wide, with very sharp and strong teeth. Their eyes are small, their legs short, with claws upon their feet. Their tail makes half the length of their body, and the whole is guarded with hard impenetrable scales, except the belly, which is much softer and smoother. They keep much upon the land in the day time, but towards the evening retire into the water to avoid the cold dews of the night. They run pretty fast right forward, but are very awkward and slow in turning, by reason of their unwieldy length. It is an error that they have no tongue, without which they could hardly swallow their food; but in eating they move the upper jaw only, contrary to all other animals. The way of catching them in Egypt is, with a strong hook fixed to the end of a chain and baited with a joint of pork, which they are very fond of. But a live hog is generally tied near, the cry of which allures them to the hook. This account of the crocodile will agree in most particulars with the alligator, only the bigness of the last cannot entitle it to the name of "leviathan," which Job gave formerly to the crocodile, and not to the whale, as some interpreters would make us believe.323.

So soon as the Catawba Indians are informed of the approach of the Virginia caravans, they send a detachment of their warriors to bid them welcome, and escort them safe to their town, where they are received with great marks of distinction. And their courtesies to the Virginia traders, I dare say, are very sincere, because they sell them better goods and better pennyworths than the traders of Carolina. They commonly reside among the Indians till they have bartered their goods away for skins, with which they load their horses and come back by the same path they went. There are generally some Carolina traders that constantly live among the Catawbas, and pretend to exercise a dictatorial authority over them. These petty rulers do not only teach the honester savages all sorts of debauchery, but are unfair in their dealings, and use them with all kinds of oppression. Nor has their behaviour been at all better to the rest of the Indian nations, among whom they reside, by abusing their women and evil-entreating their men; and, by the way, this was the true reason of the fatal war which the nations round-about made upon Carolina in the year 1713. Then it was that all the neighbouring Indians, grown weary of the tyranny and injustice with which they had been abused for many years, resolved to endure their bondage no longer, but entered into a general confederacy against their oppressors of Carolina. The Indians opened the war by knocking most of those little tyrants on the head that dwelt amongst them, under pretence of regulating their commerce, and from thence carried their resentment so far as to endanger both North and South Carolina.324.

16th. We gave orders that the horses should pass Roanoke river at Monisep ford, while most of the baggage was transported in a canoe. We landed at the plantation of Cornelius Keith, where I beheld the wretchedest scene of poverty I had ever met with in this happy part of the world. The man, his wife and six small children, lived in a pen, like so many cattle, without any roof over their heads but that of heaven. And this was their airy residence in the day time, but then there was a fodder stack not far from this inclosure, in which the whole family sheltered themselves at night and in bad weather. However, it was almost worth while to be as poor as this man was, to be as perfectly contented. All his wants proceeded from indolence, and not from misfortune. He had good land, as well as good health and good limbs to work it, and, besides, had a trade very useful to all the inhabitants round about. He could make and set up quern stones very well, and had proper materials for that purpose just at hand, if he could have taken the pains to fetch them. There is no other kind of mills in those remote parts, and, therefore, if the man would have worked at his trade, he might have lived very comfortably. The poor woman had a little more industry, and spun cotton enough to make a thin covering for her own and her children's nakedness. I am sorry to say it, but idleness is the general character of the men in the southern parts of this colony as well as in North Carolina. The air is so mild, and the soil so fruitful, that very little labour is required to fill their bellies, especially where the woods afford such plenty of game. These advantages discharge the men from the necessity of killing themselves with work, and then for the other article of raiment, a very little of that will suffice in so temperate a climate. But so much as is absolutely necessary falls to the good women's share to provide. They all spin, weave and knit, whereby they make a good shift to clothe the whole family; and to their credit be it recorded, many of them do it very completely, and thereby reproach their husbands' laziness in the most inoffensive way, that is to say, by discovering a better spirit of industry in themselves.325.

From hence we moved forward to colonel Mumford's other plantation, under the care of Miles Riley, where, by that gentleman's directions, we were again supplied with many good things. Here it was we discharged our worthy friend and fellow traveller, Mr. Bearskin, who had so plentifully supplied us with provisions during our long expedition. We rewarded him to his heart's content, so that he returned to his town loaded with riches and the reputation of having been a great discoverer.326.

17th. This being Sunday, we were seasonably put in mind how much we were obliged to be thankful for our happy return to the inhabitants. Indeed, we had great reason to reflect with gratitude on the signal mercies we had received. First, that we had, day by day, been fed by the bountiful hand of Providence in the desolate wilderness, insomuch that if any of our people wanted one single meal during the whole expedition, it was entirely owing to their own imprudent management. Secondly, that not one man of our whole company had any violent distemper or bad accident befall him, from one end of the line to the other. The very worst that happened was, that one of them gave himself a smart cut on the pan of his knee with a tomahawk, which we had the good fortune to cure in a short time, without the help of a surgeon. As for the misadventures of sticking in the mire and falling into rivers and creeks, they were rather subjects of mirth than complaint, and served only to diversify our travels with a little farcical variety. And, lastly, that many uncommon incidents have concurred to prosper our undertaking. We had not only a dry spring before we went out, but the preceding winter, and even a year or two before, had been much drier than ordinary. This made not only the Dismal, but likewise most of the sunken grounds near the sea-side, just hard enough to bear us, which otherwise had been quite impassable. And the whole time we were upon the business, which was in all about sixteen weeks, we were never caught in the rain except once, nor was our progress interrupted by bad weather above three or four days at most. Besides all this, we were surprised by no Indian enemy, but all of us brought our scalps back safe upon our heads. This cruel method of scalping of enemies is practised by all the savages in America, and perhaps is not the least proof of their original from the northern inhabitants of Asia. Among the ancient Scythians it was constantly used, who carried about these hairy scalps as trophies of victory. They served them too as towels at home, and trappings for their horses abroad. But these were not content with the skin of their enemies' heads, but also made use of their sculls for cups to drink out of upon high festival days, and made greater ostentation of them than if they had been made of gold or the purest crystal.327.

Besides the duties of the day, we christened one of our men who had been bred a quaker. The man desired this of his own mere motion, without being tampered with by the parson, who was willing every one should go to heaven his own way. But whether he did it by the conviction of his own reason, or to get rid of some troublesome forms and restraints, to which the saints of that persuasion are subject, I cannot positively say.328.

18th. We proceeded over a level road twelve miles, as far as George Hixe's plantation, on the south side of Meherrin river, our course being for the most part north-east. By the way we hired a cart to transport our baggage, that we might the better befriend our jaded horses. Within two miles of our journey's end this day, we met the express we had sent the Saturday before to give notice of our arrival. He had been almost as expeditious as a carrier pigeon, riding in two days no less than two hundred miles.329.

All the grandees of the Sapponi nation did us the honour to repair hither to meet us, and our worthy friend and fellow traveller, Bearskin, appeared among the gravest of them in his robes of ceremony. Four young ladies of the first quality came with them, who had more the air of cleanliness than any copper-coloured beauties I had ever seen; yet we resisted all their charms, notwithstanding the long fast we had kept from the sex, and the bear diet we had been so long engaged in. Nor can I say the price they set upon their charms was at all exorbitant. A princess for a pair of red stockings cannot, surely, be thought buying repentance much too dear. The men had something great and venerable in their countenances, beyond the common mien of savages; and indeed they ever had the reputation of being the honestest, as well as the bravest Indians we have ever been acquainted with. This people is now made up of the remnants of several other nations, of which the most considerable are the Sapponies, the Occaneches, and Stoukenhocks, who not finding themselves separately numerous enough for their defence, have agreed to unite into one body, and all of them now go under the name of the Sapponies. Each of these was formerly a distinct nation, or rather a several clan or canton of the same nation, speaking the same language, and using the same customs. But their perpetual wars against all other Indians, in time, reduced them so low as to make it necessary to join their forces together. They dwelt formerly not far below the mountains, upon Yadkin river, about two hundred miles west and by south from the falls of Roanoke. But about twenty-five years ago they took refuge in Virginia, being no longer in condition to make head not only against the northern Indians, who are their implacable enemies, but also against most of those to the south. All the nations round about, bearing in mind the havoc these Indians used formerly to make among their ancestors in the insolence of their power, did at length avenge it home upon them, and made them glad to apply to this government for protection. Colonel Spotswood, our then lieutenant governor, having a good opinion of their fidelity and courage, settled them at Christanna, ten miles north of Roanoke, upon the belief that they would be a good barrier, on that side of the country, against the incursion of all foreign Indians. And in earnest they would have served well enough for that purpose, if the white people in the neighbourhood had not debauched their morals, and ruined their health with rum, which was the cause of many disorders, and ended at last in a barbarous murder committed by one of these Indians when he was drunk, for which the poor wretch was executed when he was sober. It was matter of great concern to them, however, that one of their grandees should be put to so ignominious a death. All Indians have as great an aversion to hanging as the Muscovites, though perhaps not for the same cleanly reason: these last believing that the soul of one that dies in this manner, being forced to sally out of the body at the postern, must needs be defiled. The Sapponies took this execution so much to heart, that they soon after quitted their settlement and removed in a body to the Catawbas. The daughter of the Tetero king went away with the Sapponies, but being the last of her nation, and fearing she should not be treated according to her rank, poisoned herself, like an old Roman, with the root of the trumpet plant. Her father died two years before, who was the most intrepid Indian we have been acquainted with. He had made himself terrible to all other Indians by his exploits, and had escaped so many dangers that he was esteemed invulnerable. But at last he died of a pleurisy, the last man of his race and nation, leaving only that unhappy daughter behind him, who would not long survive him.330.

The most uncommon circumstance in this Indian visit was, that they all came on horse-back, which was certainly intended for a piece of state, because the distance was but three miles, and it is likely they had walked on foot twice as far to catch their horses. The men rode more awkwardly than any Dutch sailor, and the ladies bestrode their palfreys a la mode de France, but were so bashful about it, that there was no persuading them to mount till they were quite out of our sight. The French women used to ride a-straddle, not so much to make them sit firmer in the saddle, as from the hopes the same thing might peradventure befall them that once happened to the nun of Orleans, who, escaping out of a nunnery, took post en cavalier, and in ten miles' hard riding had the good fortune to have all the tokens of a man break out upon her. This piece of history ought to be the more credible, because it leans upon much the same degree of proof as the tale of bishop Burnet's two Italian nuns, who, according to his lordship's account, underwent the same happy metamorphosis, probably by some other violent exercise.331.

19th. From hence we despatched the cart with our baggage under a guard, and crossed Meherrin river, which was not thirty yards wide at that place. By the help of fresh horses, that had been sent us, we now began to mend our pace, which was also quickened by the strong inclinations we had to get home. In the distance of five miles we forded Meherrin creek, which was very near as broad as the river. About eight miles farther we came to Sturgeon creek, so called from the dexterity an Occanechy Indian showed there in catching one of those royal fish, which was performed after the following manner. In the summer time it is no unusual thing for sturgeons to sleep on the surface of the water, and one of them having wandered up into this creek in the spring, was floating in that drowsy condition. The Indian, above-mentioned, ran up to the neck into the creek a little below the place where he discovered the fish, expecting the stream would soon bring his game down to him. He judged the matter right, and as soon as it came within his reach, he whipped a running noose over his jole. This waked the sturgeon, which being strong in its own element darted immediately under water and dragged the Indian after him. The man made it a point of honour to keep his hold, which he did to the apparent danger of being drowned. Sometimes both the Indian and the fish disappeared for a quarter of a minute, and then rose at some distance from where they dived. At this rate they continued flouncing about, sometimes above and sometimes under water, for a considerable time, till at last the hero suffocated his adversary, and hauled his body ashore in triumph.332.

About six miles beyond that, we passed over Wicco-quoi creek, named so from the multitude of rocks over which the water tumbles, in a fresh, with a bellowing noise. Not far from where we went over, is a rock much higher than the rest, that strikes the eye with agreeable horror, and near it a very talkative echo, that, like a fluent help-mate, will return her good man seven words for one, and after all be sure to have the last. It speaks not only the language of men, but also of birds and beasts, and often a single wild goose is cheated into the belief that some of his company are not far off, by hearing his own cry multiplied; and it is pleasant to see in what a flutter the poor bird is, when he finds himself disappointed. On the banks of this creek are very broad low-grounds in many places, and abundance of good high-land, though a little subject to floods.333.

We had but two miles more to captain Embry's, where we found the housekeeping much better than the house. Our bountiful landlady had set her oven and all her spits, pots, gridirons and saucepans to work, to diversify our entertainment, though after all it proved but a Mahometan feast, there being nothing to drink but water. The worst of it was, we had unluckily outrode the baggage, and for that reason were obliged to lodge very sociably in the same apartment with the family, where, reckoning women and children, we mustered in all no less than nine persons, who all pigged lovingly together.334.

20th. In the morning colonel Bolling, who had been surveying in the neighbourhood, and Mr. Walker, who dwelt not far off, came to visit us; and the last of these worthy gentlemen, fearing that our drinking so much water might incline us to pleurisies, brought us a kind supply both of wine and cider. It was noon before we could disengage ourselves from the courtesies of this place, and then the two gentlemen above-mentioned were so good as to accompany us that day's journey, though they could by no means approve of our Lithuanian fashion of dismounting now and then, in order to walk part of the way on foot. We crossed Nottoway river not far from our landlord's house, where it seemed to be about twenty-five yards over. This river divides the county of Prince George from that of Brunswick. We had not gone eight miles farther before our eyes were blessed with the sight of Sapponi chapel, which was the first house of prayer we had seen for more than two calendar months. About three miles beyond that, we passed over Stony creek, where one of those that guarded the baggage killed a polecat, upon which he made a comfortable repast. Those of his company were so squeamish they could not be persuaded at first to taste, as they said, of so unsavoury an animal; but seeing the man smack his lips with more pleasure than usual, they ventured at last to be of his mess, and instead of finding the flesh rank and high-tasted, they owned it to be the sweetest morsel they had ever eaten in their lives. The ill savour of this little beast lies altogether in its urine, which nature has made so detestably ill-scented on purpose to furnish a helpless creature with something to defend itself. For as some brutes have horns and hoofs, and others are armed with claws, teeth and tusks for their defence; and as some spit a sort of poison at their adversaries, like the paco; and others dart quills at their pursuers, like the porcupine; and as some have no weapons to help themselves but their tongues, and others none but their tails; so the poor polecat's safety lies altogether in the irresistible stench of its water; insomuch that when it finds itself in danger from an enemy, it moistens its bushy tail plentifully with this liquid ammunition, and then, with great fury, sprinkles it like a shower of rain full into the eyes of its assailant, by which it gains time to make its escape. Nor is the polecat the only animal that defends itself by a stink. At the cape of Good Hope is a little beast, called a stinker, as big as a fox, and shaped like a ferret, which being pursued has no way to save itself but by ejecting its wind and excrements, and then such a stench ensues that none of its pursuers can possibly stand it.335.

At the end of thirty good miles, we arrived in the evening at colonel Bolling's, where first, from a primitive course of life, we began to relapse into luxury. This gentleman lives within hearing of the falls of Appomattox river, which are very noisy whenever a flood happens to roll a greater stream than ordinary over the rocks. The river is navigable for small craft as high as the falls, and at some distance from thence fetches a compass, and runs nearly parallel with James river almost as high as the mountains. While the commissioners fared sumptuously here, the poor chaplain and two surveyors; having stopped ten miles short at a poor planter's house, in pity to their horses, made a St. Anthony's meal, that is, they supped upon the pickings of what stuck in their teeth ever since breakfast. But to make them amends, the good man laid them in his own bed, where they all three nestled together in one cotton sheet and one of brown oznaburgs, made still something browner by two months' copious perspiration. But those worthy gentlemen were so alert in the morning after their light supper, that they came up with us before breakfast, and honestly paid their stomachs all they owed them.336.

21st. We made no more than a Sabbath day's journey from this to the next hospitable house, namely, that of our great benefactor, colonel Mumford. We had already been much befriended by this gentleman, who, besides sending orders to his overseers at Roanoke to let us want for nothing, had, in the beginning of our business, been so kind as to recommend most of the men to us who were the faithful partners of our fatigue. Although in most other achievements those who command are apt take all the honour to themselves of what perhaps was more owing to the vigour of those who were under them, yet I must be more just, and allow these brave fellows their full share of credit for the service we performed, and must declare, that it was in a great measure owing to their spirit and indefatigable industry that we overcame many obstacles in the course of our line, which till then had been esteemed insurmountable. Nor must I at the same time omit to do justice to the surveyors, and particularly to Mr. Mayo, who, besides an eminent degree of skill, encountered the same hardships and underwent the same fatigue that the forwardest of the men did, and that with as much cheerfulness as if pain had been his pleasure, and difficulty his real diversion. Here we discharged the few men we had left, who were all as ragged as the Gibeonite ambassadors, though, at the same time, their rags were very honourable, by the service they had so vigorously performed in making them so.337.

22d. A little before noon we all took leave and dispersed to our several habitations, where we were so happy as to find all our families well. This crowned all our other blessings, and made our journey as prosperous as it had been painful. Thus ended our second expedition, in which we extended the line within the shadow of the Chariky mountains, where we were obliged to set up our pillars, like Hercules, and return home. We had now, upon the whole, been out about sixteen weeks, including going and returning, and had travelled at least six hundred miles, and no small part of that distance on foot. Below, towards the seaside, our course lay through marshes, swamps, and great waters; and above, over steep hills, craggy rocks, and thickets, hardly penetrable. Notwithstanding this variety of hardships, we may say, without vanity, that we faithfully obeyed the king's orders, and performed the business effectually, in which we had the honour to be employed. Nor can we by any means reproach ourselves of having put the crown to any exorbitant expense in this difficult affair, the whole charge, from beginning to end, amounting to no more that one thousand pounds. But let no one concerned in this painful expedition complain of the scantiness of his pay, so long as his majesty has been graciously pleased to add to our reward the honour of his royal approbation, and to declare, notwithstanding the desertion of the Carolina commissioners, that the line by us run shall hereafter stand as the true boundary betwixt the governments of Virginia and North Carolina.338.

Names of the Men employed on the part of Virginia to run the Line between that Colony and North Carolina.
    1. Peter Jones,
    2. Thomas Jones,
    3. Thomas Short,
    4. Robert Hix,
    5. John Evans,
    6. Stephen Evans,
    7. John Ellis,
    8. John Ellis, Jr.
    9. Thomas Wilson,
    10. George Tilman,
    11. Charles Kimbal,
    12. George Hamilton,
    13. Robert Allen,
    14. Thomas Jones, Jr.
    15. James Petillo,
    16. Richard Smith,
    17. John Rice.
    Peter Jones,
    Thomas Jones,
    Thomas Short,
    Robert Hix,
    John Evans,
    Stephen Evans,
    John Ellis,
    John Ellis, Jr.
    Thomas Wilson,
    George Tilman,
    Charles Kimbal,
    George Hamilton,
    Thomas Jones, Jr.
    James Petillo,
    Richard Smith,
    Abraham Jones,
    Edward Powell,
    William Pool,
    William Calvert,
    James Whitlock,
    Thomas Page.
Account of the Expense of running the Line between Virginia and North Carolina.
    To the men's wages in current money £277 10 0
    To sundry disbursements for provisions, and c. 174 01 6
    To paid the men for seven horses lost 44 0 0
    £495 11 6
    The sum of £495 11 6 current money reduced at 15 per cent. sterling amounts to £430 8 10
    To paid to colonel Byrd 142 5 7
    To paid to colonel Dandridge 142 5 7
    To paid Mr. Fitz-william 94 0 0
    To paid to the chaplain, Mr. Fountain 20 0 0
    To paid to Mr. William Mayo 75 0 0
    To paid to Mr. Alexander Irvin 75 0 0
    To paid for a tent and marquis 20 0 0
    £1000 0 0

This sum was discharged by a warrant out of his majesty's quitrents from the lands in Virginia. .


To the foregoing journal, containing the second charter to the proprietors of Carolina, confirming and enlarging the first, and also several other acts to which it refers. These are placed by themselves at the end of the book, that they may not interrupt the thread of the story, and the reader will be more at liberty whether he will please to read them or not, being something dry and unpleasant.1.

The second Charter granted by King Charles II. to the Proprietors of Carolina. * As this charter is very long, and but a small portion of it has any relation to the subject of dispute between the two colonies, no more will be inserted here than so much as precedes and embraces the matter in controversy.–EDITOR.

CHARLES, by the grace of God, and c.:; Whereas, by our letters patent, bearing date the four and twentieth day of March, in the fifteenth year of our reign, we were graciously pleased to grant unto our right trusty and right well beloved cousin and counsellor, Edward, earl of Clarendon, our high chancellor of England, our right trusty and right entirely beloved cousin and counsellor, George, duke of Albemarle, master of our horse, our right trusty and well beloved William, now earl of Craven, our right trusty and well beloved counsellor, Anthony, lord Ashley, chancellor of our exchequer, our right trusty and well beloved counsellor, sir George Carterett, knight and baronet, vice chamberlain of our household, our right trusty and well beloved, sir John Colleton, knight and baronet, and sir William Berkley, knight, all that province, territory, or tract of ground, called Carolina, situate, lying and being within our dominions of America, extending from the north end of the island called Luke island, which lies in the southern Virginia seas, and within six and thirty degrees of the northern latitude; and to the west as far as the South seas; and so respectively as far as the river of Mathias, which bordereth upon the coast of Florida, and within one and thirty degrees of the northern latitude, and so west in a direct line as far as the South seas aforesaid. Now know ye, that, at the humble request of the said grantees in the aforesaid letters patent named, and as a further mark of our especial favour towards them, we are graciously pleased to enlarge our said grant unto them according to the bounds and limits hereafter specified, and in favour to the pious and noble purpose of the said Edward, earl of Clarendon, George, duke of Albemarle, William, earl of Craven, John, lord Berkley, Anthony, lord Ashley, sir George Carterett, sir John Colleton and sir William Berkley, we do give and grant to them, their heirs and assigns, all that province, territory, or tract of ground, situate, lying and being within our dominions of America aforesaid, extending north and eastward as far as the north end of Coratuck river or inlet, upon a straight westerly line to Wyanoke creek, which lies within or about the degrees of thirty-six and thirty minutes northern latitude, and so west in a direct line as far as the South seas; and south and westward as far as the degrees of twenty-nine inclusive northern latitude, and so west in a direct line as far as the South seas; together with all and singular ports, harbours, bays, rivers and inlets belonging unto the province or territory aforesaid. And also, all the soil, lands, fields, woods, mountains, ferms, lakes, rivers, bays and inlets, situate, or being within the bounds or limits last before mentioned: with the fishing of all sorts of fish, whales, sturgeons, and all other royal fishes in the sea, bays, inlets, and rivers, within the premises, and the fish therein taken; together with the royalty of the sea, upon the coast within the limits aforesaid. And moreover, all veins, mines and quarries, as well discovered as not discovered, of gold, silver, gems and precious stones, and all other whatsoever; be it of stones, metals or any other thing found or to be found within the province, territory, inlets and limits aforesaid. * * * * 2.

At the Court of St. James, the 1st day of March, 1710.–Present, the Queen's most excellent majesty in Council.

Upon reading this day at the board a representation from the right honourable the lords commissioners for trade and plantations, in the words following: In pursuance of your majesty's pleasure, commissioners have been appointed on the part of your majesty's colony of Virginia, as likewise on the part of the province of Carolina, for the settling the bounds between those governments; and they have met several times for that purpose, but have not agreed upon any one point thereof, by reason of the trifling delays of the Carolina commissioners, and of the many difficulties by them raised in relation to the proper observations and survey they were to make. However, the commissioners for Virginia have delivered to your majesty's lieutenant governor of that colony an account of their proceedings, which account has been under the consideration of your majesty's council of Virginia, and they have made a report thereon to the said lieutenant governor, who having lately transmitted unto us a copy of that report, we take leave humbly to lay the substance thereof before your majesty, which is as follows:3.

That the commissioners of Carolina are both of them persons engaged in interest to obstruct the settling the boundaries between that province and the colony of Virginia; for one of them has for several years been surveyor general of Carolina, has acquired to himself great profit by surveying lands within the controverted bounds, and has taken up several tracts of land in his own name, and sold the same to others, for which he stands still obliged to obtain patents from the government of Carolina. The other of them is at this time surveyor general, and hath the same prospect of advantage by making future surveys within the said bounds. That the behavior of the Carolina commissioners has tended visibly to no other end than to protract and defeat the settling this affair: and particularly Mr. Moseley has used so many shifts and excuses to disappoint all conferences with the commissioners of Virginia, as plainly show his aversion to proceed in a business that tends so manifestly to his disadvantage. His prevaricating on this occasion has been so indiscreet and so unguarded, as to be discovered in the presence of the lieutenant governor of Virginia. He started so many objections to the powers granted to the commissioners of that colony, with design to render their conferences ineffectual, that his joint commissioner could hardly find an excuse for him. And when the lieutenant governor had with much ado prevailed with the said Mr. Moseley to appoint a time for meeting the commissioners of Virginia, and for bringing the necessary instruments to take the latitude of the bounds in dispute, which instruments he owned were ready in Carolina, he not only failed to comply with his own appointment, but after the commissioners of Virginia had made a journey to his house, and had attended him to the places proper for observing the latitude, he would not take the trouble of carrying his own instrument, but contented himself to find fault with the quadrant produced by the Virginia commissioners, though that instrument had been approved by the best mathematicians, and is of universal use. From all which it is evident how little hopes there are of settling the boundaries above-mentioned, in concert with the present commissioners for Carolina. That though the bounds of the Carolina charter are in express words limited to Weyanoke creek, lying in or about 36° 30' of northern latitude, yet the commissioners for Carolina have not by any of their evidences pretended to prove any such place as Weyanoke creek, the amount of their evidence reaching no further than to prove which is Weyanoke river, and even that is contradicted by affidavit taken on the part of Virginia; by which affidavits it appears that, before the date of the Carolina charter to this day, the place they pretend to be Weyanoke river was, and is still, called Nottoway river. But supposing the same had been called Weyanoke river, it can be nothing to their purpose, there being a great difference between a river and a creek. Besides, in that country there are divers rivers and creeks of the same name, as Potomac river, and Potomac creek, Rappahannock river, and Rappahannock creek, and several others, though there are many miles' distance between the mouths of these rivers and the mouths of these creeks. It is also observable, that the witnesses on the part of Carolina are all very ignorant persons, and most of them of ill fame and reputation, on which account they had been forced to remove from Virginia to Carolina. Further, there appeared to be many contradictions in their testimonies, whereas, on the other hand, the witnesses to prove that the right to those lands is in the government of Virginia are persons of good credit, their knowledge of the lands in question is more ancient than any of the witnesses for Carolina, and their evidence fully corroborated by the concurrent testimony of the tributary Indians. And that right is farther confirmed by the observations lately taken of the latitude in those parts, by which it is plain, that the creek proved to be Weyanoke creek by the Virginia evidences, and sometimes called Wicocon, answers best to the latitude described in the Carolina charter, for it lies in thirty-six degrees, forty minutes, which is ten minutes to the northward of the limits described in the Carolina grant, whereas Nottoway river, lies exactly in the latitude of thirty-seven degrees, and can by no construction be supposed to be the boundary described in their charter; so that upon the whole matter, if the commissioners of Carolina had no other view than to clear the just right of the proprietors, such undeniable demonstrations would be sufficient to convince them; but the said commissioners give too much cause to suspect that they mix their own private interest with the claim of the proprietors, and for that reason endeavour to gain time in order to obtain grants for the land already taken up, and also to secure the rest on this occasion, we take notice, that they proceed to survey the land in dispute, notwithstanding the assurance given by the government of Carolina to the contrary by their letter of the 17th of June, 1707, to the government of Virginia, by which letter they promised that no lands should be taken up within the controverted bounds till the same were settled.4.

Whereupon we humbly propose, that the lords proprietors be acquainted with the foregoing complaint of the trifling delays of their commissioners, which delays it is reasonable to believe have proceeded from the self-interest of those commissioners, and that therefore your majesty's pleasure be signified to the said lords proprietors, that by the first opportunity they send orders to their governor or commander in chief of Carolina for the time being, to issue forth a new commission, to the purport of that lately issued, thereby constituting two other persons, not having any personal interest in, or claim to, any of the land lying within the boundary, in the room of Edward Moseley and John Lawson. The Carolina commissioners to be appointed being strictly required to finish their survey, and to make a return thereof in conjunction with the Virginia commissioners, within six months, to be computed from the time, that due notice shall be given by your majesty's lieutenant governor of Virginia to the governor or commander in chief of Carolina, of the time and place, which your majesty's said lieutenant governor shall appoint for the first meeting of the commissioners on one part and the other. In order whereunto we humbly offer, that directions be sent to the said lieutenant governor, to give such notice accordingly; and if after notice so given, the Carolina commissioners shall refuse or neglect to join with those on the part of Virginia, in making such survey, as likewise a return thereof within the time before mentioned; that then and in such case the commissioners on the part of Virginia be directed to draw up an account of the proper observations and survey which they shall have made for ascertaining the bounds between Virginia and Carolina, and to deliver the same in writing under their hands and seals to the lieutenant governor and council of Virginia, to the end the same may be laid before your majesty, for your majesty's final determination therein, within, with regard to the settling of those boundaries; the lords proprietors having, by an instrument under their hands, submitted the same to your majesty's royal determination, which instrument, dated in March, 1708, is lying in this office.5.

And lastly, we humbly propose, that your majesty's further pleasure be signified to the said lords proprietors, and in like manner to the lieutenant governor of Virginia, that no grants be passed by either of those governments of any of the lands lying within the controverted bounds, until such bounds shall be ascertained and settled as aforesaid, whereby it may appear whether those lands do of right belong to your majesty, or to the lords proprietors of Carolina. 6.

Her majesty in council, approving of the said representation, is pleased to order, as it is hereby ordered, that the right honourable the lords commissioners for trade and plantations do signify her majesty's pleasure herein to her majesty's lieutenant governor or commander in chief of Virginia for the time being, and to all persons to whom it may belong, as is proposed by their lordships in the said representation, and the right honourable the lords proprietors of Carolina are to do what on their part does appertain. 7.

Proposals for determining the Controversy relating to the bounds between the governments of Virginia and North Carolina, most humbly offered for his Majesty's royal approbation, and for the consent of the right honourable the Lords Proprietors of Carolina.

Forasmuch as the dispute between the said two governments about their true limits continues still, notwithstanding the several meetings of the commissioners, and all the proceedings of many years past, in order to adjust that affair, and seeing no speedy determination is likely to ensue, unless some medium be found out, in which both parties may incline to acquiesce, wherefore both the underwritten governors having met, and considered the prejudice both to the king and the lords proprietors' interest, by the continuance of this contest, and truly endeavouring a decision, which they judge comes nearest the intention of royal charter granted to the lords proprietors, do, with the advice and consent of their respective councils, propose as follows. 8.

That from the mouth of Coratuck river or inlet, and setting the compass on the north shore, thereof a due west line be run and fairly marked, and if it happen to cut Chowan river, between the mouths of Nottoway river and Wicocon creek, then shall the same direct course be continued towards the mountains, and be ever deemed the sole dividing line between Virginia and Carolina.9.

That if the said west line cuts Chowan river to the southward of Wicocon creek, then from point of intersection the bounds shall be allowed to continue up the middle of the said Chowan river to the middle of the entrance into the said Wicocon creek, and from thence a due west line shall divide the said two governments.10.

That if a due west line shall be found to pass through islands or to cut out small slips of land, which might much more conveniently be included in one province or the other by natural water bounds, in such cases the persons appointed for running the line shall have power to settle natural bounds, provided the commissioners of both sides agree thereto, and that all such variations from the west line, be particularly noted in the maps or plats, which they shall return, to be put upon the records of both governments, all which is humbly submitted by11.

Order of the King and Council upon the foregoing proposals, at the Court of St. James, the 26th day of March, 1729. Present, the King's most excel- lent majesty in Council.

Whereas it has been represented to his majesty at the board, that for adjusting the disputes, which have subsisted for many years past, between the colonies of Virginia and North Carolina, concerning their true boundaries, the late governors of the said colonies did some time since agree upon certain proposals for regulating the said boundaries for the future, to which proposals the lords proprietors of Carolina have given their assent; and whereas the said proposals were this day presented to his majesty as proper for his royal approbation,12.

His majesty is thereupon pleased, with the advice of his privy council, to approve of the said proposals, a copy whereof is hereunto annexed, and to order, as it is hereby ordered, that the governor or commander in chief of the colony of Virginia, do settle the said boundaries, in conjunction with the governor of North Carolina, agreeably to the said proposals. 13.

The Lieutenant Governor of Virginia's Commission in obedience to his Majesty's Order.

George the Second, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland king, defender of the faith, to our trusty and well beloved William Byrd, Richard Fitz-william, and William Dandridge, Esqrs., members of our council of the colony and dominion of Virginia, greeting: Whereas our late royal father of blessed memory was graciously pleased, by order in his privy council, bearing date the 28th day of March 1727, to approve of certain proposals agreed upon by Alexander Spotswood, Esq. late lieutenant governor of Virginia, on the one part, and Charles Eden, Esq. late governor of the province of North Carolina, for determining the controversy relating to the bounds between the said two governments, and was farther pleased to direct and order, that the said boundaries should be laid out and settled agreeably to the said proposals. Know ye, therefore, that reposing special trust and confidence in your ability and provident circumspection, have assigned, constituted and appointed, and by these presents do assign, constitute and appoint you and every of you jointly and severally, our commissioners for and on behalf of our colony and dominion of Virginia, to meet the commissioners appointed or to be appointed on the part of the province of North Carolina, and in conjunction with them to cause a line or lines of division to be run and marked, to divide the said two governments according to the proposals above-mentioned, and the order of our late royal father, copies of both which you will herewith receive. And we do further give and grant unto you, and in case of the death or absence of any of you, such of you as shall be present, full power and authority to treat and agree with the said commissioners of the province of North Carolina on such rules and methods as you shall judge most expedient for the adjusting and finally determining all disputes or controversies which may arise, touching any islands or other small slips of land which may happen to be intersected or cut off by the dividing line aforesaid, and which may with more conveniency be included in the one province or the other by natural water bounds, agreeably to the proposals aforementioned, and generally to do and perform all matters and things requisite for the final determination and settlement of the said boundaries, according to the said proposals. And to the end our service herein may not be disappointed through the refusal or delay of the commissioners for the province of North Carolina, to act in conjunction with you in settling the boundaries aforesaid, we do hereby give and grant unto you, or such of you as shall be present at the time and place appointed for running the dividing line aforesaid, full power and authority to cause the said line to be run and marked out, conformable to the said proposals, having due regard to the doing equal justice to us, and to the lords proprietors of Carolina, any refusal, disagreement, or opposition of the said commissioners of North Carolina notwithstanding. And in that case we do hereby require you to make a true report of your proceedings to our lieutenant governor, or commander in chief of Virginia, in order to be laid before us for our approbation, and final determination herein. And in case any person or persons whatsoever shall presume to disturb, molest or resist you, or any of the officers or persons by your direction, in running the said line, and executing the powers herein given you, we do by these presents give and grant unto you, or such of you as shall be attending the service aforesaid, full power and authority by warrant under your or any of your hands and seals, to order and command all and every the militia officers in our counties of Princess Anne, Norfolk, Nansemond, and Isle of Wight, or other the adjacent counties, together with the sheriff of each of the said counties, or either of them, to raise the militia and posse of the said several counties, for the removing all force and opposition, which shall or may be made to you in the due execution of this our commission, and we do hereby will and require, as well the officers of the militia, as all other our officers and loving subjects within the said counties, and all others whom it may concern, to be obedient, aiding and assisting unto you in all and singular the premises. And we do in like manner command and require you, to cause fair maps and descriptions of the said dividing line, and the remarkable places through which it shall pass, to be made and returned to our lieutenant governor or commander in chief of our said colony for the time being, in order to be entered on record in the proper offices within our said colony. Provided that you do not, by colour of this our commission, take upon you or determine any private man's property, in or to the lands which shall by the said dividing line be included within the limits of Virginia, nor of any other matter or thing that doth not relate immediately to the adjusting, settling, and final determination of the boundary aforesaid, conformable to the proposals hereinbefore mentioned, and not otherwise. In witness whereof we have caused these presents to be made. Witness our trusty and well beloved William Gooch, Esq. our lieutenant governor and commander in chief of our colony and dominion of Virginia, under the seal of our said colony, at Williamsburg, the 14th day of December, 1727, in the first year of our reign. 14.

The Governor of North Carolina's Commission in obedience to his Majesty's Order.

Sir Richard Everard, baronet, governor, captain general, admiral, and commander in chief of the said province: To Christopher Gale, Esq. chief justice, John Lovick, Esq., secretary, Edward Moseley, Esq., surveyor general and William Little, Esq., attorney general, greeting: Whereas many disputes and differences have formerly been between the inhabitants of this province and those of his majesty's colony of Virginia, concerning the boundaries and limits between the said two governments, which having been duly considered by Charles Eden, Esq., late governor of this province, and Alexander Spotswood, Esq., late governor of Virginia, they agreed to certain proposals for determining the said controversy, and humbly offered the same for his majesty's royal approbation, and the consent of the true and absolute lords proprietors of Carolina. And his majesty having been pleased to signify his royal approbation of those proposals (consented unto by the true and absolute lords proprietors of Carolina) and given directions for adjusting and settling the boundaries as near as may be to the said proposals:15.

I, therefore, reposing especial trust and confidence in you, the said Christopher Gale, John Lovick, Edward Moseley and William Little, to be commissioners, on the part of the true and absolute lords proprietors, and that you in conjunction with such commissioners as shall be nominated for Virginia, use your utmost endeavours, and take all necessary care in adjusting and settling the said boundaries, by drawing such a distinct line or lines of division between the said two provinces, as near as reasonable you can to the proposals made by the two former governors, and the instructions herewith given you. Given at the council chamber in Edenton, under my hand, and the seal of the colony, the 21st day of February, anno Domini 1727, and in the first year of the reign of our sovereign lord, king George the Second.16.

The Protest of the Carolina Commissioners, against our proceeding on the Line without them.

We the underwritten commissioners for the government of North Carolina, in conjunction with the commissioners on the part of Virginia, having run the line for the division of the two colonies from Coratuck inlet, to the south branch of Roanoke river; being in the whole about one hundred and seventy miles, and near fifty miles without the inhabitants, being of opinion we had run the line as far as would be requisite for a long time, judged the carrying it farther would be a needless charge and trouble. And the grand debate which had so long subsisted between the two governments, about Weyanoke river or creek, being settled at our former meeting in the spring, when we were ready on our parts to have gone with the line to the utmost inhabitants, which if it had been done, the line at any time after might have been continued at an easy expense by a surveyor on each side; and if at any time hereafter there should be occasion to carry the line on further than we have now run it, which we think will not be in an age or two, it may be done in the same easy manner, without the great expense that now attends it. And on a conference of all the commissioners, we have communicated our sentiments thereon, and declared our opinion, that we had gone as far as the service required, and thought proper to proceed no farther; to which it was answered by the commissioners for Virginia, that they should not regard what we did, but if we desisted, they would proceed without us. But we, conceiving by his majesty's order in council they were directed to act in conjunction with the commissioners appointed for Carolina, and having accordingly run the line jointly so far, and exchanged plans, thought they could not carry on the bounds singly; but that their proceedings without us would be irregular and invalid, and that it would be no boundary, and thought proper to enter our dissent thereto. Wherefore, for the reasons aforesaid, in the name of his excellency the lord palatine, and the rest of the true and absolute lords proprietors of Carolina, we do hereby dissent and disallow of any farther proceeding with the bounds without our concurrence, and pursuant to our instructions do give this our dissent in writing. 17.

J. LOVICK. October 7th, 1728.
The Answer of the Virginia Commissioners to the foregoing Protest.

Whereas, on the 7th of October last, a paper was delivered to us by the commissioners of North Carolina, in the style of a protest, against our carrying any farther, without them, the dividing line between the two governments, we, the underwritten commissioners on the part of Virginia, having maturely considered the reasons offered in the said protest, why those gentlemen retired so soon from that service, beg leave to return the following answer:18.

They are pleased in the first place to allege, by way of reason, that having run the line near fifty miles beyond the inhabitants, it was sufficient for a long time, in their opinion for an age or two. To this we answer that, by breaking off so soon, they did but imperfectly obey his majesty's order, assented to by the lords proprietors. The plain meaning of that order was, to ascertain the bounds betwixt the two governments as far towards the mountains as we could, that neither the king's grants may hereafter encroach on the lords proprietors', nor theirs on the rights of his majesty. And though the distance towards the great mountains be not precisely determined, yet surely the west line should be carried as near them as may be, that both the king's lands and those of their lordships, may be taken up the faster, and that his majesty's subjects may as soon as possible extend themselves to that natural barrier. This they will certainly do in a few years, when they know distinctly in which government they may enter for the land, as they have already done in the more northern parts of Virginia. So that it is strange the Carolina commissioners should affirm, that the distance only of fifty miles above the inhabitants would be sufficient to carry the line for an age or two, especially considering that, two or three days before the date of their protest, Mr. Mayo had entered with them for two thousand acres of land, within five miles of the place where they left off. Besides, if we reflect on the richness of the soil in those parts, and the convenience for stock, we may foretell, without the spirit of divination, that there will be many settlements higher than those gentlemen went, in less than ten years, and perhaps in half that time.19.

Another reason mentioned in the protest for their retiring so soon from the service is, that their going farther would be a needless charge and trouble. And they allege that the rest may be done by one surveyor on a side, in an easy manner, whenever it shall be thought necessary. 20.

To this we answer, that frugality for the public is a rare virtue, but when the public service must suffer by it, it degenerates into a vice. And this will ever be the case when gentlemen execute the orders of their superiors by halves. But had the Carolina commissioners been sincerely frugal for their government, why did they carry out provisions sufficient to support them and their men for ten weeks, when they intended not to tarry half that time? This they must own to be true, since they brought one thousand pounds of provisions along with them. Now, after so great an expense in their preparations, it had been no mighty addition to their charge, had they endured the fatigue five or six weeks longer. It would at most have been no more than they must be at, whenever they finish their work, even though they should fancy it proper to trust a matter of that consequence to the management of one surveyor. Such a one must have a number of men along with him, both for his assistance and defence, and those men must have provisions to support them.21.

These are all the reasons these gentlemen think fit to mention in their protest, though they had in truth a more powerful argument for retiring so abruptly, which, because they forgot, it will be neighbourly to help them out. The provisions they intended to bring along with them, for want of horses to carry them, were partly dropped by the way, and what they could bring was husbanded so ill, that after eighteen days, (which was the whole time we had them in our company,) they had no more left, by their own confession, than two pounds of biscuit for each man, to carry them home. However, though this was an unanswerable reason for gentlemen for leaving the business unfinished, it was none at all for us, who had at that time bread sufficient for seven weeks longer. Therefore, lest their want of management might put a stop to his majesty's service, and frustrate his royal intentions, we judged it our duty to proceed without them, and have extended the dividing line so far west as to leave the great mountains on each hand to the eastward of us. And this we have done with the same fidelity and exactness as if the gentlemen had continued with us. Our surveyors (whose integrity I am persuaded they will not call in question) continued to act under the same oath, which they had done from the beginning. Yet, notwithstanding all this, if the government of North Carolina should not hold itself bound by that part of the line which we made without the assistance of its commissioners, yet we shall have this benefit in it at least, that his majesty will know how far his lands reach towards the south, and consequently where his subjects may take it up, and how far they may be granted without injustice to the lords proprietors. To this we may also add, that having the authority of our commission, to act without the commissioners of Carolina, in case of their disagreement or refusal, we thought ourselves bound upon their retreat to finish the line without them, lest his majesty's service might suffer by any honour or neglect on their part. 22.