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some part or other of the voyage.' (P.49.) All those persons who may be inclined to transport themselves and families across the Atlantic, and are unacquainted with the difficulties and inconveniences of the passage, would do well to peruse this diary.
The author's short description of Philadelphia, and of the route from that city to Pittsburg, is well written, and presents to the imagination of the reader a striking view of the country. Europeans will be greatly surprized to learn that very extensive districts in the old settled state of Pennsylvania are still perfect solitudes, untenanted by a single human being, though the land is good, and much nearer to a market for the produce than most of the new settlements westward. Mr. Amphlett advises families proceeding from Philadelphia to Pittsburg to travel in the stage, and to send their goods by the common waggon, taking from the carrier a certificate of their delivery.
The objections to an emigrant family travelling in their own vehicle are stated with some minuteness; and we are informed that, nearly half the distance being over successive ridges of the Alleghany Mountains, it is impossible to effect much progress :
for in the winter the snows make them impassable for one-horse-carriages; and in the summer the heats are so oppressive that it is dangerous to attempt much, and the emigrant, in the most desirable weather, will be nearly three weeks in accomplishing the journey, if he have any considerable weight of luggage. (P. 77.)
• With respect to objects of interest or curiosity upon the road, it is only the lover of nature in all her unbounded varieties of matter, living and inert, that will meet with much gratification. As soon as the traveller leaves Philadelphia, he enters the woods, and they continue all the way, right and left. The cultivated spots are mere specks here and there upon the road, even in this old State of Pennsylvania. Whether on the plains, or the mountains ; by the rivers and creeks, or by the rocks and ravines; all is hidden and surrounded by wood! wood! wood ! “ Above, around, and underneath.” The traveller pushes on, hoping when he shall reach the mountain, to emerge from this peopled wilder
Alas! he only arrives at more impervious forests and impenetrable thickets; he looks in vain for a landscape. If any prospect presents itself of a valley, only a few small spots appear clothed with grass, or covered with corn; a few more of girdled trees, spreading their naked brawny arms, as though scathed with the fire of heaven, sublime in their ruins, sterility, and decay,a most impressive contrast to the waving oceans of luxuriant foliage surrounding them. There yet are many counties in the State of Pennsylvania, where a traveller may ride twenty, thirty, or even forty miles through continued forests, without the sight of a house! This is not the case in the great thoroughfares (for
they do not deserve the name of roads): even the turnpike-road, in many places, after rain, is nearly impassable : it is seldom you can go more than three or four miles upon either of the three great thoroughfares, without meeting with a tavern ; but almost every house by the road side, at a long distance from the town, is a tavern. There are not many towns in either of the routes, that will much gratify curiosity. Lancaster is a neat town, and pleasantly situated ; and the most populous, next to Philadelphia, in the State: it contains several good inns, and the best wheat-lands in the State are in its vicinity. Chambersburg, Harrisburg, and Greensburg, will be found good resting places. Harrisburg is the seat of justice, where the State Assembly meets.
• The greatest curiosity upon the roads to Pittsburg are the bridges over the Susquehana ; that on the road between Lancaster and Chambersburg, near the new town of Columbia, is perhaps the longest bridge in the world, being a mile and a quarter in length, built of wood, and roofed the whole length. The one on the road that leads through Harrisburg is about a mile in length. The Susquehana is a shallow stream in the summer months, or the undertaking would have been impracticable. There are four principal ridges of the mountains upon the main road: they are crossed in the following order :- the Southern mountain, the Cove mountain, the Dry Ridge, and the Alleghany: there is a considerable distance between them, and many smaller elevations, the extent being about 100 miles over the whole of them: the first and the last only give any comprehensive views of the surrounding country. On the road, a little beyond the secluded and romantic village of Loudon, is to be seen perhaps as fine a mountain-valley as Switzerland can exhibit. The road is here good turnpike, being recently formed; and, as it winds up the mountain-forest, gives an ever-changing view of this expansive, silent, unpeopled valley, where nothing is seen but the undulating foliage of the variouscoloured trees, here flourishing in majestic pride and undisturbed solitude, amidst the innumerable prostrate trunks of those whose strength, and verdure, and loveliness, belonged to the ages past. Among these living hills, many similar scenes appear, and one striking melancholy feature obtrudes itself at every step we take: it is the incredible quantity of fallen timber in every stage of decay; the surface of the earth is literally covered with it, so as from that cause alone to make the woods impassable where there is no thicket or underwood. The trunks are many of them of so enormous a size, that it is an Englishman's constant lamentation that they lie here rotting and useless, while such a value is set upon them in his native land. The variety of the species that grow upon every kind of soil, it is a pleasing recreation to discover and enumerate; many of them quite unknown, except to the traveller of science and taste, few of whom ever penetrate these trackless forests. The oak alone, the Englishman's pride and boast, he recognizes at every step ; and the varieties of this noble tree, the chief of which are readily discernible, give a stranger some idea of what infinite varieties the whole forestfamilies are composed. A very great proportion of the land, in the mountainous district of this State, never can produce any thing in perfection but timber ; and it is wonderful how these towering trees can find nourishment upon barren precipices of loose crumbling schistus, where neither blades of grass nor humble moss can thrive. Upon his whole journey in this State, the English emigrant-farmer will not see much first-rate land ; nor will he behold a mode of agriculture pursued that will excite his envy or admiration. The appearance of the farm-house and yard, the implements of husbandry, and methods of using them, with the neglected state of the live-stock and the corn-fields, will excite in him much wonder and disgust; more indeed than he will have any right to indulge in, after a farther acquaintance. But he will see at once how much industry may accomplish in this country, when carelessness and inattention thrive so well.'
Mr. Amphlett seems much disgusted with the inns on the route, and with the general appearance of disregard to cleanliness and comfort which the houses or cabins of the farmers present. Many farmers, he says, who have several hundred acres of land of their own, and are rich enough to be perfectly independent for every purpose of human happiness, reside in hovels that an English peasant would be ashamed to dwell in : they seem to take no pride whatever in embellishments of any kind, either in their persons, their houses, or estates.' (P. 84.)
The intellectual attainments of the agriculturist in the mountainous part of this state, through which he passed, are restricted principally to political knowlege: “they all know their rights, and will maintain them.'
The most striking characteristic in the country-born farmers, as they are here called, is their general taciturnity: shut up in their woods, isolated in their thinly-scattered settlements, habi. tuated to solitude and reflection, they appear never to have learned the delightful art of conversation. After they have asked you the usual routine questions in their usual rude unceremonious way, of your name, where you come from, and whither you are going, you must expect but little more from them, unless you come to be quite an acquaintance. But
must not hence conclude that it is ignorance that keeps them silent. A real or fancied superiority, which might keep John Bull's tongue a-going by the hour, might operate to seal the American's lips, or only open them to extract something from you. The rudeness and the sulkiness of children of all ages is a reproof to their parents and teachers; the latter of whom are not allowed that authority which is necessary to keep good discipline in their schools, or teach good manners to their pupils.'
Though the climate is nearer (he says) to that of the northern parts of Great Britain than any of the Western
States, and more likely to agree with persons advanced in life, yet few English farmers settle in Pennsylvania.
The most instructive part of this volume to the western emigrant is that which furnishes an account of the rivernavigation from Pittsburg to New Orleans: in which the towns on the banks, and the islands and shoals in the river, are described, with directions for avoiding the difficult or dangerous parts; and a particular statement is added of the distances, and of the objects which serve as guides to the voyager. Mr. A. then proceeds to give a separate detail of each of the Western States, and informs us that he has himself fixed in the State of Ohio. He takes the following brief but comprehensive view of the whole western territory before he descends to each State:
· The two great valleys of the Ohio and the Illinois rivers, are the great centre of attraction to European emigrants. The commercial advantages of this fine region vie with its soil and patural productions in recommending it to civilised man: the surface of this delightful country is estimated at 226,000 square miles : the greatest length of this natural division of the Western States is 720 miles; its breadth, 550 : this is, without question, the best and least broken surface of productive soil in North America : it includes — part of New York State ; part of Pennsylvania ; part of Virginia ; part of North Carolina ; part of Tennessee; the whole of Kentucky; part of Alabama; part of the Mississippi ; part of Ohio; part of Indiana ; part of Illinois.
This favoured country is pretty equally divided by the Ohio, and the greater part of it may be visited by means of that river and its tributaries. The geology of this immense tract of land is but little known. Science has not yet explored its hidden riches, nor human industry yet discovered half its resources. Not a tithe of the land is yet occupied or improved ; and centuries must roll on upon centuries, even at the present ratio of increasing population, before the country can be said to be well settled or amply populous ; in America there is such a disposition to occupy new countries, and to go on to the verge of civilised life, that the finest portions of the soil are passed by and neglected for the doubtful advantages of some unknown distant country. As soon as the emigrant has traversed the mountains, let him consider himself at home, and be looking out at all places for a settlement. Enough has been said by numerous authors to convince the most sanguine speculatist, that the back-woods in any State are not desirable for an European agriculturist ; " far from the blest abodes of men,” he will pine for society and a near market; he will look in vain for a near social neighbour, a cheerful companion, or a disin. terested friend : he must seek all his comforts in the circle of his own family, and if he has attained the middle age of life before his change, the strong contrast of his situation will for a long time press upon his memory the regrets that ever must follow the separation from all old friends and connections; and the total change of habits, of diet, of seasons, and in a great measure of occupation, will for many years prevent a perfect reconciliation to his change, or let him see with impartial eyes the advantages he may possess.'
Though Mr. A. has fixed his own residence in the State of Ohio, he does not present us with any flourishing and exaggerated accounts of its superior advantages. Mr. Birkbeck had before told us that this state possessed “ every thing necessary to the comfort of man.” It is considerably advanced in civilization: slavery is not tolerated; and the white inhabitants amounted in 1815 to 322,790. “The emigrant (Mr. A. says) who chooses to fix himself in the state of Ohio will find himself much more at home in many respects than if he went farther on. The lands are more cleared, the country has more hill and dale, the climate is more temperate than the States to the west of him, and the air is esteemed more pure than any where south of the Ohio.' Good improved land may be bought in favourable situations for twenty dollars per acre.
We do not know whether Mr. Amphlett's previous habits of life qualify him to judge respecting the agriculture of the Western States: but we think that the present volume is characterized by good sense, correct feeling, and impartiality; and that it will be read with considerable interest by those persons who are directing their attention to the United States of America.
M O N T H LY CATALOGUE,
For MARCH, 1820.
tine,' " Traits of Nature,” &c. Vols. II. and III., containing