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vi JOURNEY FROM

100 miles below New Orleans. The wind being adverse, we
cast anchor on those muddy banks covered with reeds, which
here commence the great swamp, or wilderness, that composes
this part of the United States, and which, though extremely
fertile, and under a fine climate, is a most dangerous district
for the residence of strangers, at the close of the summer,
and during the autumn, the miasma, or insalubrity of the air
at those periods, generating a disease, similar to that so pre-
valent, and so fatal at Vera Cruz. The next morning a fine
steam tow-boat of 300 tons, that we had passed the evening
before, outside the bar, whilst taking out the cargo of a
stranded vessel, came up, and took us, and another schooner in
tow, and proceeded up the river against wind and current to
New Orleans, where we arrived the following morning.

The woody flats that confined, or rather marked, the river
on both sides, as far as the eye could trace, were overgrown
with reeds, and other aquatic plants, which appeared springing
up amidst millions of whole trees, with their roots and
branches, which had been brought down with the floods, from
the sides of the rivers of the interior, 1000 miles above, and
deposited here, on the shallow mud-banks. In some instances
young trees were springing from these old trunks, and thus,
with the alluvial deposit surrounding them, were increasing
the territory of the United States in the Gulf of Mexico.

As we advanced farther up the river, we observed places
where some of the choicest of these dead trees had been
pulled on shore and negroes were employed in splitting them
for firewood, or sawing them into boards. The recollection
of the sufferings of the poor in many parts of Europe, from the
want of fuel, cannot but excite regret, at the sight of such
abundance of timber, wasting here in decay. For many miles
the ground does not admit of cultivation or settlement, but,
travelling onward, about noon we observed trees which began
to increase in size, and to assume the appearance of low
woods, which, however, seemed to spring from the water ; not
a spot of dry land being visible across these vast marshes, even
from the lofty and ample deck of the steam-boat.

About twelve leagues above the entrance from the sea, we cam
in sight of Fort Jackson, now erecting on the left side of the
river, on the first solid ground we had yet observed ; and on the
other side Fort Philip, on which the American flag was flying.

The ground from hence began to improve ; we passed several
houses, and, as we came opposite the site of the battle in which

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