Sketch of a journey through the western states of North America, 1827

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xvi JOURNEY FROM

not unfrequently seen alligators, but now they entirely disappeared. We now found the cottages comfortably furnished, and surrounded by small gardens ; the inhabitants possess numerous hogs and cattle. We passed serveral respectable dwellings, with luxuriant orchards and vineyards, that announced our approach to a more cultivated and richer population than we had before seen. When within a mile of Cincinnati; the elegant house and extensive estate, called Elmwood, the residence of Thomas D. Carneal, Esq. was pointed out to me, by a gentleman of the country, as one of the finest residences in that part of America. Passing the powder-works, and the bridge over the Deer creek, a few minuted brought us opposite the city, where we saw the glass-houses, paper-mills, foundries, and other demonstrations of a flourishing, and rising commercial and manufacturing city. It was Easter Sunday, and the landing was crowded with respectable, well-dressed people. We had only a minute to view the front of this part of the city, with the steamboat landing, and the villages of Newport and Cavington on the opposite side, befor we were landed, and introduced to Col. Mack, proprietor of the principal hotel ; an establishment of order, regularity, and comfort, that would do credit to any city of Europe. The number and respectability of its guests, proved at once, the estimation in which it was held in the country. The dinner-bell summoned us at two o'clock, and we found an assemblage of about seventy ladies and gentlemen ; the former at the head of the table, with Mrs. Mack, while the colonel was on his feet, attending to the wants of his guests, and seeing that the waiters were attending to their duty. The dinner was such, that an epicure, from whatever part of the world he might have arrived, would have had little cause to complain, as in no part of my travels have I seen a table spread with more profusion, or better served ; the only occasion of complaint with an Englishman would arise from the wnat of warm plates, and a little more time to have enjoyed the repast, twenty minutes only being allowed by the industrious habits of this part of America, for their principal meal. Little wine is used at the dinnertable ; the guests, being principally merchants, who prefer this mode of living, to housekeeping, return immediately to their stores, or counting-houses, with a better relish for business than is usually found after the enjoyment of the bottle. I should have stated, that, befor dinner, we underweent the un-

Last edit 26 days ago by Karen03
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deviating ceremony of introduction to the principal guests, who were assembled in the drawing-room. In no part of the old Continent that I have visited, are strangers treated with more attention, politeness, and respect, than in Cincinnati ; and where, indeed, can an Englishman forget that he is not at home, except in the United States? In most other regions, he must forego many early habits, prejudices, and propensities, and accommodate himself to others, perhaps, diametrically opposite ; he must disguise or conceal his religious or political opinions ; must forget his native language, and acquire fluency in another, before he can make even his wants known, or his wishes understood ; but here the same language and fashion, as in his own, prevail in every state ; indeed it is necessary for him to declare himself a foreigner, to be known as such ; and I have always found this declaration a passport to increased attention and kindness, for every man in this land of freedom enjoys his opinions unmolested. Not having the slightest intention of stopping at any town on my way to New York, I was without any introductions ; but this deficiency, by no means prevented my receiving the usual benefit of the hospitality of the inhabitants, which was such, as to induce us, at first, to remain a few days, and ultimately, probably, to end our lives with them. My first ramble on the morning after my arrival was to the market, at an early hour, where a novel and interesting sight presented itself. Several hundred waggons, tilted with white canvass, and each drawn by three or four horses, with a pole, in a similar manner to our coaches, were backed against the pavement, or footway, of the market-place, the tailboard, or flap of the waggon, turned down, so as to form a kind of counter, and convert the body of the carringe into a portable shop, in which were seated the owners, amidst the displayed produce of their farms ; the whole having something of the appearance of an extensive encampment, arranged in perfect order. It was the first time I had seen an American market, and if I was surprised at the arrangement, I was much more so, at the prices of the articles, as well as at their superior quality. For a hind quarter of mutton, thirteen-pence was demanded ; a turkey, that would have borne a comparison with the best Christmas bird from Norfolk, the same price ; fowls, three-pence to four-pence each ; a fine roasting pig, ready for the spit, one shilling and three-pence ; beef, threehalfpence per pound ; pork, one penny per pound ; butter,

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advantages of its local situation, and the introduction of steam power. To these may be added, its extremely healthy site, and salubrity of climate (not an instance of fever, or ague, being there known) ; the richness of its soil, the overflowing plenty, and unparalleled cheapness of the necessaries, as well as the luxuries of life ; the industry, the kindness and urbanity of its inhabitants to strangers ; the benefits derived from its public institutions, and the excellent society it affords, from the liberty and freedom of opinion being enjoyed under its mild government ; from the empolyment given to industry and labour ; and from the interest derived from capital, which is here increased to treble what it is in Europe, whilst the expense of living is not one-third of what it is there, and taxes are scarcely felt. All these advantages considered, I know of no place that bears comparison with Cincinnati. Impressed by so many inviting circumstances, all conspiring to the favourite object of my pursuit, I determined to collect my family together, and make this rising city my permanent abode. A few days afterwards we were invited to spend a day at Elmwood, the house of Thomas D. Carneal, Esq., a member of the Kentucky legislature, whose residence I mentioned, on our arrival at Cincinati. The estate, or farm, as it is here called, consists of about 1000 acres, part of which is as fine arable land as ever was ploughed, and part rich pasture land. It commences nearly opposite the town, on the Kentucky side, stretches about two miles and a half along the banks of the Ohio, and is about eight miles in circumference. It is scarcely possible to find a more beacutiful, fertile, or healthy spot. A ride round its boundaries, embraces every variety of landscape. Its general feature is level, gently rising from the river into undulatory hill and valley, resembling the finest part of the county of Devon, excepting, that the portion farthest from the river is clothed with woods, to which, from the size of the trees, their beauty, and variety, nothing in Europe can compare. The prospect from the hill and house, over this part ofthe valley of Ohio, the noble reiver winding through it, enlivened by the passing steam-boats, with colours waving, and signal guns echoing from the surrounding hills ; its floating arks, laden with stores for the settlers on the shores, besides the sailing and fishing boats ; on one side of the river, the beautiful rising city, with domes, pinnacles, public buildings and manufactories, and on the other bank, the villages of Newport and Cavington ; together form

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such a view, as would require a much able pen than mine to do justice to. Mr. Carneal, who is a considerable landholder, selected this desirable spot for his abode, and, at considerable expense, about six years since, erected the elegant mansionhe now resides in. It is considered the completest residence in the country, and built of stone and brick, after his own designs, with three handsome fronts. The lofty apartments, which it contains, in point of beauty of convenience, are surpassed by few, even in the Atlantic cities, as no expense was spared for its completion. It is surrounded by every requisite for a gentleman's country-house, domestics' houses, barns, stables, coach-house, ice-house, dairy, &c. &c. I have not, since I left England, seen a house so completely furnished with all the elegancies and refinements of society, nor a more hospitable and abundant board, which is wholly supplied from his own grounds. Better beef and mutton could not be desired. Game is so plentiful, that it is easily and abundantly procured within half a mile of the house. Fish of the finest kinds, in great variety, are taken in the Ohio, within a still shorter distance, and kept alive in pens on the banks, and a well-stored kitchen-garden, orchard, and vineyard, of twenty-five acres, planted with all the best vegetables, and fruit of the United States, contribute to the general stock ; in short, every necessary and luxury of life, excepting tea and coffee, is produced on the estate. The house is situated on a gentle acclivity, about 150 yards from the river, with beautiful pleasure grounds in front, laid out with taste, and decorated with varieties of magnificent plants, and flowers, to which we are yet strangers ; it commands a full view of the river, and all that passes on it. A more desirable spot for a family residence, perhaps, is scarcely to be found. The great variety of beautiful birds that are found here, much enliven the scene. The first night I passed in this elegant retreat, the mocking-bird, with its lucid, ever-varying notes, continuing until dawn, kept me awake for some time with its melody ; and in the morning, ere sunrise, the redbird, or Virginian nightingale, was chanting his morning hymn, close to my bed-room window. It continued so long, that I suspected, what proved to be the case, its nest and young were concealed in the honeysuckle on which he was singing. Another variety of honeysuckle in front of the house, within ten feet of the door, was the constant resort of the ruby-

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throated humming birds, one of the smallest of that diminutive family, whose various evolutions, performed with the quickness of light, the eye finds it difficult to follow. The beautiful blue jay is so common, as to be troublesome. The orange and black oriole, that makes the remarkable pendant nest, is here by no means scarce ; its note is charming. Several varieties of woodpecker are seen close to the house, and wild ducks were hourly of the horse-pond, whilst the farm-yard abounds with wild pigeon, as tame as our domestic ones ; and the quail, nearly as large as our partridge, swarmed in the gardens, orchards, and pleasure grounds. The children of the family had their pet tame deer ; and a pair of the gigantic eik, or wappetti (nearly the size of horses), ranged through the meadows, and returned to the house, at milking-hours, with the cows. A few weeks before, Mr. Carneal had parted with a pair of American buffaloes, or Bonassus, which he had kept for some time, for the purpose of improving his breed of draft cattle. Shortly after my return from Elmwood, I was informed that Mr. Carneal was on the point of changing his residence, and that the whole would be sold. I could not resist the temptation of knowing the price, and, after a few days consideration, I became the purchaser. I now went to reside as a visitor with Mr. C., and remained a fortnight in examining the property, and every day became more satisfied with my acquisition. I found on it, every requisite for building; the finest timber, abundance of stone and lime, with gravel, sand, clay, &c. It appeared to me, that a finer site for building a small town of retirement, in the vicinity of a populous mannfacturing city, could scarcely exist. I made a little model of the land, and determined to have it laid out to the best possible advantage,with professional assistance, on my arrival in England, and prepared to return home to collect my family, and those of my friends, whose limited incomes made such a removal as I contemplated convenient, and, on June 2, took my departure in a stage, that had just commenced running on a new road to Sandusky, on Lake Erie. The distance is 200 miles ; but in consequence of the rain, which had been considerable, the road naturally bad and new, was worse than usual, and it took us four days to perform it. This was the only part of the journey through American (2400 miles) that we travelled by land. We passed, in many places, through fine cul-

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