Presented to the
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
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THE LAND WE LIVE IN.
A DELINEATION BY PEN AND PENCIL
THE MOUNTAINS, RIVERS, LAKES, FORESTS, WATER-FALLS, SHORES,
CANONS, VALLEYS, CITIES, AND OTHER PICTURESQUE
FEATURES OF OUR COUNTRY.
^\\\ fUtt^tvatiw an 3\tA mi Mni, fey ^mm^nt gimman
EDITED BY WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
NEW YORK :
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY,
549 & 551 BROADWAY.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872,
By D. APPLETON & CO.,
the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
T T is the design of the pubHcation entitled " PICTURESQUE AMERICA " to present full descriptions and
^ elaborate pictorial delineations of the scenery characteristic of all the different parts of our country.
The wealth of material for this purpose is almost boundless.
It will be admitted that our country abounds with scenery new to the artist's pencil, of a varied char-
acter, whether beautiful or grand, or formed of those sharper but no less striking combinations of outline
which belong to neither of these classes. In the Old World every spot remarkable in these respects has
been visited by the artist ; studied and sketched again and again ; observed in sunshine and in the shade
of clouds, and regarded from every point of view that may give variety to the delineation. Both those
who see in a landscape only what it shows to common eyes, and those whose imagination, like that of
Turner, transfigures and glorifies whatever they look at, have made of these places, for the most part, all
that could be made of them, until a desire is felt for the elements of natural beauty in new combinations,
and for regions not yet rifled of all that they can yield to the pencil. Art sighs to carry her conquests
into new realms. On our continent, and within the limits of our Republic, she finds them — primitive
forests, in which the huge trunks of a past generation of trees lie mouldering in the shade of their aged
descendants ; mountains and valleys, gorges and rivers, and tracts of sea-coast, which the foot of the
artist has never trod ; and glens murmuring with water-falls which his ear has never heard. Thousands
of charming nooks are waiting to yield their beauty to the pencil of the first comer. On the two great
oceans which border our league of States, and in the vast space between them, we find a variety of sce-
nery which no other single country can boast of. In other parts of the globe are a few mountains which
attain a greater altitude than any within our hmits, but the mere difference in height adds nothing to the
impression made on the spectator. Among our White Mountains, our Catskills, our Alleghanies, our
Rocky Mountains, and our Sierra Nevada, we have some of the wildest and most beautiful scenery in the
world. On our majestic rivers — among the largest on either continent — and on our lakes — the largest
and noblest in the world — the country often wears an aspect in which beauty is blended with majesty ;
and on our prairies and savannas the spectator, surprised at the vastness of their features, finds himself,
notwithstanding the soft and gentle sweep of their outlines, 'overpowered with a sense of sublimity.
By means of the overland communications lately opened between the Atlantic coast and that of the
Pacific, we have now easy access to scenery of a most remarkable character. For those who would see
Nature in her grandest forms of snow-clad mountain, deep valley, rocky pinnacle, precipice, and chasm,
there is no longer any occasion to cross the ocean. A rapid journey by railway over the plains that
stretch westward from the Mississippi, brings the tourist into a region of the Rocky Mountains rivalling
Switzerland in its scenery of rock piled on rock, up to the region of the clouds. But Switzerland has no
such groves on its mountain-sides, nor has even Libanus, with its ancient cedars, as those which raise the
astonishment of the visitor to that Western region — trees of such prodigious height and enormous dimen -
mensions that, to attain their present bulk, we might imagine them to have sprouted from the seed at the
time of the Trojan War. Another feature of that region is so remarkable as to have enriched our lan-
guage with a new word ; and caiioii, as the Spaniards write it, or canyon, as it is often spelled by our people.
signifies one of those cliasms between perpendicular walls ot rock — chasms of fearful depth and of length
like that of a river, reporting of some mighty convulsion of Nature in ages that have left no record save
in these displacements of the crust of our globe. Nor should we overlook in this enumeration the scenery
of the desert, as it is seen in all its dreariness, not without offering subjects for the pencil, in those tracts
of our Western possessions where rains never fall nor springs gush to moisten the soil.
When we speak of the scenery in our country rivalling that of Switzerland, we do not mean to
imply that it has not a distinct and peculiar aspect. In mountain-scenery Nature does not repeat her-
self any more than in the human countenance. The traveller among the Pyrenees sees at a glance that
he is not among the Alps. There is something in the forms and tints by which he is surrounded, and
even in the lights which fall upon them, that impresses him with the idea of an essential difference. So,
when he journeys among the steeps, and gorges, and fountains of Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon, he well
perceives that he is neither among the Alps nor the Pyrenees. The precipices wear outlines of their
own, the soil has its peculiar vegetation, the clouds and the sky have their distinct physiognomy.
Here, then, is a field for the artist almost without limits. It is no wonder that, with such an abun-
dance and diversity of subjects for the pencil of the landscape-painter, his art should flourish in our
country, and that some of those by whom it is practised should have made themselves illustrious by their
works. Amid this great variety, however, and in a territory of such great extent, parts of which are
but newly explored and other parts yet unvisited by sketchers, it is certain that no country has within its
borders so many beautiful spots altogether unfamiliar to its own people. It is quite safe to assert that a
book of American scenery, like " PICTURESQUE AMERICA," will lay before American readers more
scenes entirely new to them than a similar book on Europe. Paintings, engravings, and photographs,
have made us all, even those who have never seen them, well acquainted with the banks of the Hudson,
with Niagara, and with the wonderful valley of the Yosemite ; but there are innumerable places which
lie out of the usual path of our artists and tourists ; and many strange, picturesque, and charming scenes,
sought out in these secluded spots, will, for the first time, become familiar to the general public through
these pages. It is the purpose of the work to illustrate with greater fulness, and with superior excel-
lence, so far as art is concerned, the places which attract curiosity by their interesting associations, and,
at the same time, to challenge the admiration of the public for many of the glorious scenes which lie in
the by-ways of travel.
Nor is the plan of the work confined to the natural beauties of our country. It includes, moreover,
the various aspects impressed on it by civilization. It will give views of our cities and towns, character-
istic scenes of human activity on our rivers and lakes, and will often associate, with the places delineated,
whatever of American life and habits may possess the picturesque element.
The descriptions which form the letter-press of this work are necessarily from different pens, since
they were to be obtained from those who had personally some knowledge of the places described. As
for the illustrations, they were made in almost every instance by artists sent by the publishers for the
purpose. Photographs, however accurate, lack the spirit and personal quality which the accomplished
painter or draughtsman infuses into his work. The engravings here presented may with reason claim
for "Picturesque America," in addition to the fidelity of the delineations, that they possess spirit,
animation, and beauty, which give to the work of the artist a value higher than could be derived from
mere topographical accuracy.
The letter-press has passed under my revision, but to the zeal and diligence of Mr. Oliver B. Bunce,
who has made the getting up of this work a labor of love, the credit of obtaining the descriptions from
different quarters is due. To his well-instructed taste also the public will owe what constitutes the prin-
cipal value of the work, the selection of subjects, the employment of skilful artists, and the general ar-
rangement of the contents.
William Cullen Bryant
Castle Head, Mount Desert.
' ON THE COAST OF MAINE.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY HARRY FENN.
" I "HE island of Mount Desert, on the coast of Maine, unites a striking group of pictu-
resque features. It is surrounded by seas, crowned with mountains, and embosomed
with lakes. Its shores are bold and rocky cliffs, upon which the breakers for countless cen-
turies have wrought their ceaseless attrition. It affords the only instance along our Atlantic
coast where mountains stand in close neighborhood to the sea; here in one picture are
PIC TURESQ UE A ME RICA .
beetling cliffs with the roar of restless breakers, far stretches of bay dotted with green islands,
placid mountain-lakes mirroring the mountain-precipices that tower above them, rugged
gorges clothed with primitive forests, and sheltered coves where the sea-waves ripple on the
shelly beach. Upon the shores are masses of cyclopean rocks heaped one upon another
in titanic disorder, and strange caverns of marvellous beauty ; on the mountains are
frightful precipices, wonderful prospects of far-extending sea, and mazes of land and water,
and magnificent forests of fir and spruce. It is a union of all these supreme fascinations
of scenery, such as Nature, munificent as she is, rarely affords.
Mount Desert is situated one hundred and ten miles east of Portland, in Frenchman's
Bay, which stretches on the eastern and western sides of the island in a wide expanse, but
narrows at the upper or northern end, where a bridge establishes permanent connection with
the main-land. The greatest length of the island is fourteen miles, and its extreme width
eight, the area being a hundred square miles. Nearly midway it is pierced by an inlet of the
sea known as Somes's Sound, which is seven miles in length. It includes three townships,
Tremont, Mount Desert, and Eden, and possesses several harbors, the best known of which
are Southwest, Northeast, and Bar Harbor. The latter is on the eastern shore, opposite the
Porcupine Islands, and derives its name from a sandy bar, visible only at low water, which
connects Mount Desert with the largest and northernmost of the Porcupine group. The
village at this harbor is known by the name of East Eden, and here tourists and summer
visitors principally abide. The mountains are upon the southern half of the island, and lie
in seven ridges, running nearly north and south. There are thirteen distinct peaks, the
highest of which is known as Green Mountain ; and the next, which is separated from
Green Mountain by a deep, narrow gorge, is called Newport. The western sides of the
range slope gradually upward to the summits, but on the east all of them descend by
steep precipices, four of them into lakes and one into Somes's Sound.
The best view of the mountains is from the sea. The steamer from Portland, which
lands at Bar Harbor twice a week, approaches the island at noonday, when the landscape,
under the direct rays of the sun, possesses the least charm. But no other situation affords
so fine a command of the range, although, from this view, the rocks and cliffs of the shore,
lying under the shadows of the mountains, appear to have but little magnitude or picturesque
, value. If it so chance, as it did with the writer, that delays bring the steamer along the coast
when the sun is sinking behind the hills, a picture of singular beauty is presented. The
mountains then lift in gloomy grandeur against the light of the western sky, and, with the
movement of the steamer, break every moment into new combinations of rare beauty. Now
they lie massed, one against another, in long, undulating lines, now open into distinct groups ;
now Green Mountain fronts the sea with all its stern majesty, now Newport rises apparently
from the very water's edge in one abrupt cliff a thousand feet in height. It is a dissolving
view that for an hour or more presents a superb succession of scenic effects, which the
spectator watches with entrancing interest, until he discovers the steamer gliding by green
ON THE COAST OF MAINE.
islands and amid fleets of gayly-bannered
yachts on its_ approach to the shore. The
village of East Eden, while possessing a
charming lookout over the bay, is without
one feature of beauty. It is built upon a
treeless plain, and consists for the most part
of a group of small white houses, rapidly
extemporized for the accommodation of
summer boarders. Every structure, with
the exception of a few cottages erected by
wealthy gentlemen of Boston, stands with-
out trees, garden, or other pleasant sur-
roundings. The place is as conspicuously
inexact in its cognomen as the island it-
self is ; one wonders whether the notion
of naming places by their contraries is a
legitimate Down-East institution. In re-
gard to the name of the island, an attempt
is made to escape the inconsistency of the
appellation by shifting the accent from the
first to the last syllable. The primary mean-
ing of the designation, however, requires the
accentuation on the first syllable. It was
named by the French, who were the dis-
coverers of this coast, " Mont Desert," as
expressive of the wild and savage aspects
of the mountains and cliffs that front the .
Two purposes of special interest fill
the mind of the visitor as soon as he
finds himself satisfactorily domiciled at East
Eden. One is, to explore the long series
of rocks and cliffs on the shore ; the oth-
er, to ascend Green Mpuntain, and enjoy
the superb view from its " thunder-smitten
brow." These respects to the scenery of the
island having been paid, his subsequent pur-
pose is likely to be fishing and boating.
He will be anxious to try his hand at the
4 PICTURESQUE AMERICA.
splendid trout with which the lakes are said to abound, and to go far down the bay
for catches of cod and haddock, which here are of large dimensions and in great abun-
dance. The bays, inlets, and sounds of the coast of Maine afford superb resources for
the yachtman. The coast seems to have crumbled off from the main-land in innumer-
able islands, large and small, so that there is a vast area of inland-sea navigation, which,
with infinite variety of scene, gives ample space for boating. A yachting-party might
spend a summer delightfully in threading the mazes of this " hundred-harbored Maine,"
as Whittier describes it. Abandoning the pleasant vision of such a summer, let us for
the present remember that our special object is to visit and depict the scenery of Mount
The several points along the coast to which the visitor's attention is directed are the
cliffs known as "The Ovens," which lie some six or seven miles up the bay ;, and " Schooner
View of Mount-Desert Mountains from Saulsbury-Cove Road.
Head," " Great Head," and " Otter-Creek Cliffs," lying on the seaward shores of the island.
It will fall more duly in order to proceed first to " The Ovens," which may be reached by
boat or by a pleasant drive of seven or eight miles.
With a one-armed veteran for an escort, Mr. Fenn and the writer set forth for a
scene where we were promised many charming characteristics for pen and pencil. It was
necessary to time our visit to " The Ovens " — the nomenclature of Mount Desert is pain-
fully out of harmony with the scenes it verbally libels — so as to reach the beach at low
tide. The cliffs can be approached only by boat at high tide, and the picture at this
juncture loses some of its pleasing features.
The Mount-Desert roads for the most part are in good condition, and have many at-
tractions. The forests are crowded with evergreens, and the firs and the spruce-trees mar-
shal in such array pn the hill-sides that, with their slender, spear-like tops, they look like
armies of lancers. The landscape borrows from these evergreens an Alpine tone, which
THE CLIFFS NEAR ''THE OVENS."
6 PICTURESQUE AMERICA.
groups of pedestrians for the mountains, armed witii alpenstocks, notably enhance. The
fir, spruce, pine, and arbor-vitas, attain splendid proportions ; the slender larch is in places
also abundant, and a few sturdy hemlocks now and then vary the picture. The forest-
scenes are, many of them, of singular beauty, and in our long drives about the island
we discovered many a strongly-marked forest-group.
At one point on our drive to " The Ovens," the road, as it ascends a hill near Sauls-
bury Cove, commands a fine, distant view of the mountains, which Mr. Fenn rapidly
sketched. Clouds of fog were drifting along their tops, now obscuring and now reveal-
ing them, and adding often a vagueness and mystery to their forms which lent them an
The cliffs at " The Ovens " contrast happily with the rocks on the sea-front of the
island in possessing a delicious quiet and repose. The waters ripple calmly at their feet,
and only when winds are high do the waves chafe and fret at the rocks. Here the perpen-
dicular pile of rock is crowned by growths of trees that ascend in exact line with the wall,
casting their shadows on the beach below. Grass and flowers overhang the edge ; at
points in the wall of rock, tufts of grass and nodding harebells grow, forming pleasant
pictures in contrast with the many-tinted rocks, in the crevices of which their roots have
found nourishment. The whole effect of the scene here is one of delicious charm. The
wide and sunny bay, the boats that glide softly and swiftly upon its surface, the peaceful
shores, the cliff crowned with its green forest, make up a picture of great sweetness and
beauty. "The Ovens" are cavities worn by the tides in the rock. Some are only slight
excavations, such as those shown in Mr. Fenn's drawing, but a little northward of the spot
are caves of a magnitude sufficient to hold thirty or forty people. The rocks are mainly of
pink feldspar, but within the caves the sea has painted them in various tints of rare beauty,
such as would delight the eye and tax the skill and patience of a painter to reproduce. The
shores here, indeed, supply almost exhaustless material for the sketch-book of the artist.
To this spot, at hours when the tide permits, pleasure-seekers come in great numbers. It
is a favorite picnic-ground for the summer residents at East Eden, whose graceful pleasure-
boats give animation to the picture. The visitors picnic in the caves, pass through the arch-
way of a projecting cliff, which some designate as " Via Mala," wander through the forests
that crown the cliffs, pluck the wild-roses and harebells that overhang the precipice, and roam
up and down the beach in search of the strange creatures of the sea that on these rocky
shores abound. Star-fishes, anemones, sea-urchins, and other strange and beautiful forms of
marine life, make grand aquaria of the caves all along the coast, and add a marked relish to
the enjoyment of the explorer.
From the quiet beauty of " The Ovens " to the turbulence of the seaward shore there is
a notable change. Our next point visited was " Schooner Head," which lies four or five miles
southward from East Eden, and looks out on the wide Atlantic. " Schooner Head " is so
named from the fancy that a mass of white rock on its sea-face, viewed at a proper distance,
ON THE COAST OF MAINE.
has the appearance of a small schooner. There is a tradition that, in the War of 1812, a
British frigate sailing by ran in and fired upon it, under the impression that it was an Ameri-
can vessel hugging the shore. " Schooner Head " derives its principal interest from the
" Spouting Horn," a wide chasm in the cliff, which extends down to the water and opens to
the sea through a small archway below high-water mark. At low water the arch may be
reached over the slippery, weed-covered rocks, and the chasm within ascended by means of
uncertain footholds in the sides of the rocky wall. A few adventurous tourists have accom-
plished this feat, but it is a very dangerous one. If the foot should slip on the smooth, briny
rock, and the adventurer glide into the water, escape would be almost impossible. The waves
would suck -him down into their depths — now toss him upon rocks, whose shppery surface
would resist every attempt to grasp, then drag him back into their foaming embrace. When
the tide comes in, the breakers dash with great violence through the archway described, and
hurl themselves with resounding thunder against the wall beyond, sending their spray far up
the sides of the chasm. But, when a storm prevails, then the scene is one of extreme gran-
deur. The breakers hurl themselves with such wild fury through the cavernous opening
against the walls of rock, that their spray is hurled a hundred feet above the opening at the
top of the cliff, as if a vast geyser were extemporized on the shore. The scene is inspiriting
and terrible. Visitors to Mount Desert but half understand or appreciate its wonders if they
do not visit the cliffs in a storm. On the softest summer day the angry but subdued roar
with which the breakers ceaselessly assault the rocks gives a vague intimation of what their
fury is when the gale lashes them into tumult. At such times they hurl themselves against
the cliffs with a violence that threatens to beat down the rocky barriers and submerge the
land ; their spray deluges the abutments to their very tops, and the thunder of their angry
crash against the rock may be heard for miles. But at other times the ceaseless war they
make upon the shore seems to be one of defeat. The waves come in full, sweeping charge
upon the rocks, but hastily fall back, broken and discomfited, giving place to fresh and
hopeful levies, who repeat the first assault, and, like their predecessors, are hurled back de-
feated. The war is endless, and yet by slow degrees the sea gains upon its grim and silent
enemy. It undermines, it makes channels, it gnaws caverns, it eats out chasms, it wears
away little by little the surface of the stone, it summons the aid of frost and of heat to dis-
lodge and pull down great fragments of the masoniy, it grinds into sand, it gashes with
scars, and it will never rest until it has dragged down the opposing walls into its depths.
" Great Head," two miles southward of " Schooner Head," is considered the highest head-
land on the island. It is a bold, projecting mass, with at its base deep gashes worn by the
waves. A view of its grim, massive front is obtained by descending a broken mass of Cyclo-
pean rocks a little below the cliff", where at low tide, on the sea-washed bowlders, the cliff" tow-
ers above you in a majestic mass.
People in search of the picturesque should understand the importance of selecting suit-
able points of view. The beauty or impressiveness of a picture sometimes greatly depends
on this. It is often a matter of search to discover the point from which an object has its
best expression ; and probably only those of intuitive artistic tastes are enabled to see all
the beauties of a landscape, which others lose in ignorance of how to select the most ad-
vantageous standing-place. To the cold and indiff"erent. Nature has no charms ; she reveals
herself only to those who surrender their hearts to her influence, and who patiently study
her aspects. The beauty of any object lies partly in the capacity of the spectator to see it,
and partly in his ability to put himself where the form and color impress the senses most
eff"ectively. Not one man in ten discerns half the beauty of a tree or of a pile of rocks, and
hence those who fail to discover in a landscape the charm others describe in it, should
question their own power of appreciation rather than the accuracy of' the delineation. The
shores of Mount Desert must be studied with this appreciation and taste, if their beauties
THE "SPOUTING HORN" IN A STORM,
are to be understood. No indifferent half glance will suffice. Go to the edge of the cliffs
and look down ; go below, where they lift in tall escarpments above you ; sit in the shadows
of their massive presence ; study the infinite variety of form, texture, and color, and learn to
read all the different phases of sentiment their scarred fronts have to express. When all
this is done, be assured you will discover that " sermons in stones " was not a mere fancy
of the poet.
One of the characteristics of Mount Desert is the abundance of fog. In July and
August especially it seriously interferes with the pleasure of the tourist. It often happens
that, for several days in succession, mountain, headland, and sea, are wrapped in an impene-
trable mist, and all the charms of the landscape obscured. But the fog has frequently a
grace and charm of its own. There are days when it lies in impenetrable banks far out
at sea, with occasional incursions upon the shore that are full of interest. At one hour
the sun is shining, when all at once the mist may be discerned creeping in over the sur-
face of the water, ascending in rapid drifts the sides of the mountains, enveloping one by
one the islands of the bay, until the whole landscape is blotted from view. In another
hour it is broken ; the mountains pierce the shadowy veil, the islands reappear in the bay,
and the landscape glows once more in the sunshine. It is a rare pleasure to sit on the
rocky headlands, on the seaward side of the island, on a day when the fog and sun con-
tend for supremacy, and watch the pictures that the fog makes and unmakes. Sometimes
the fog skirts along the base of the islands in the bay, leaving a long, slender line of
tree-tops painted against the blue ether, looking like forests hung in the sky. Then a ves-
sel may be seen sailing through a fog-bank, now looking like a shadowy ghost floating
through the mist, when suddenly its topsails flash in the light, like the white wings of a
huge bird. In another moment the fog shifts, and the under edge of the mainsail may
be traced in a line of silver, while all the rest of the vessel is in the deepest shadow.
Now one sail glitters a brilliant white, and the fog envelops all the rest of the vessel.
The pictures thus formed vary like a succession of dissolving views, and often produce the
most striking and unique effects. Sometimes there is the marvellous exhibition of a
mirage, when fleets appear sailing through the air, and, as described by Whittier —
" Sometimes, in calms of closing day,
They watched the spectral mirage play ;
Saw low, far islands, looming tall and high,
And ships, with upturned keels, sail like a sea the sky."
The fog-pictures at Mount Desert are by no means the least interesting feature of this
Near a small stream, known as " Otter Creek," deriving its name from the otter which
once abounded there, are a succession of cliffs, which possess characteristics quite distinct
from ■ those already described. They are more remote from the village than " Schooner
ON THE COAST OF MAINE.
Head" or "Great Head," but the drive to them derives great interest from the wild and
narrow notch between Green and Newport Mountains, through which the road Ues for a
mile or two. The sides of the mountains are high, precipitous, and savagely rugged. The
lower base of each is covered with a thick and tangled forest-growth ; half-way up, a fevv
gnarled and fantastic growths struggle for place amid the scarred and frowning rocks,
while the upper heights show only the bare, seamed, and riven escarpments. It is a wild
picture, inferior, no doubt, to the famous Notch of the White Mountains, but possessing,
notwithstanding, very strong and impressive features.
At " Otter-Creek Cliifs " we set out in search of what is known as " Thunder Cave.'"
After leaving our vehicle, we had a long but superb forest-walk to reach it. There are
numerous fine birches on Mount Desert, and more than once we saw groups of these trees
that would have filled any artist with delight, and especially the painter Whittredge, whose
birch-forests are so famous. Near Great Head are numerous splendid specimens of this
tree, whose bark, of yellow, Indian red, and gray, afforded delicious contrasts of color. On
the path to Thunder Cave we noted one forest-picture that comes vividly back to mem-
ory. The trees were mostly evergreen, and the surface of the ground covered with out-
cropping rocks and tangled roots, all richly covered with mosses. The broken light
through the dark branches, the tint of the fallen pine-leaves, the many-colored mosses
which painted every rock in infinite variety of hue, the low, green branches of the fir and
the spruce, all made up a picture of
ripe and singular beauty.
Thunder Cave proved to be a
long, low gallery, running inward
amid a great mass of wild, tumbled,
and distorted rocks. Up through the
gallery the waves rushed with eager
impetuosity, and dashed against the
hollow cavity within with a crash
which, as it reverberated among the
overhanging rocks, closely resembled
thunder. In fair weather the sound
is apparent only when near, but we
were assured that in great storms it
had been heard distinctly for the dis-
tance ol seven miles. The sound,
which might well be mistaken for thun-
der, has all the greater resemblance on
account of a pe-
Mr. Fenn detect-
ed while making
his sketch. Piled
up within the „-
cave at the end
of the gallery are
a great number
of large stones,
varying from one
to probably three ..tgj ■ ,
feet in length, xhe obelisk.
ON THE COAST OF MAINE.
and of corresponding thickness. Every time the waves dash into the cave, they dislodge
some of these stones, sometimes dragging them back, sometimes Hfting them up and toss-
ing them against the sides of the cavity, and, as these bowlders thus roll and grind to-
gether, they produce in the hollow of the cavern almost the exact mutterings and rever-
berations of thunder. The crash of the breakers against the wall is the clap of thunder;
the rolling stones carry off the sound in its successive reverberations, making the resem-
Near Thunder Cave we discovered a natural obelisk. The woodland path at one
point reaches the edge of a wide, precipitous break in the cliff. Forcing our way through
tangled wood-growth to obtain a view of the cliff, we saw, situated directly under the
bank, where the tourist ordinarily would not detect it, a tall, pointed column, with an
apparently artificial base of steps, bearing a close semblance to a monument of stone.
This singular freak of Nature the reader will find illustrated by Mr. Fenn's pencil.
Returning to our point of departure, we proceeded westward in search of other cliffs,
where we made another discovery. The path lay along the top of the cliff, but, coming
to a dislodgement of the perpendicular wall, where some convulsion had thrown down the
cliff" into a wild mass of rocks, we with no little difficulty clambered down the broken
and jagged pile, with the purpose of getting from below a view of the cliffs. Fortu-
nately, the tide was low ; and this, the tourist should remember, is necessary, when he
arranges his visits to the shores of Mount Desert. There is more animation when the
tide is coming in, but high water cuts off" access to many interesting points. Reaching
a wet, barnacle-covered, projecting line of rocks, a picture presented itself that filled both
artist and penman with surprise. " Why, this is an old Norman castle ! " was our excla-
mation. The cliff, a little distant from our point of view, stood up in perpendicular
lines of rock that assumed almost exactly the form of battlements. The upper line
closely resembled the parapet of a castle-wall ; there were in the sides deep embrasures ;
and the whole front had the aspect of a dark, broken, time-stained wall reared by the
hand of man. It stood in grim and gloomy grandeur, fronting the sea in stern defiance
of the world beyond. The waves chafed at its feet ; wild sea-birds hovered about its
crest ; there was an air of neglect and desolation, as if it were an old ruin, and we
found it impossible .to dissociate the grim and frowning walls from the historic piles that
look darkly down upon so many European landscapes. Finding afterward that the cliff"
was known by no name, we called it " Castle Head." The path followed by the cus-
tomary visitor extends along the cliff" above this strange pile, and hence its peculiarities
escape the notice of all except those who boldly clamber down the broken wall just
before it is reached, and survey it from the water's edge. The illustration of this striking
scene is at the beginning of our article.
The interest of Mount Desert, as we have already said, is divided between its sea-
cliffs and its mountain-views. It is customary for pedestrian parties to form at East
Eden and walk to the mountain-top, and there remain overnight, in order to view the
sunrise from this altitude. A cottage, originally built by the United States Coast Survey,
stands on the extreme top of the mountain, and affords satisfactory accommodation for
the tourists. A rude mountain-road, constructed by the Survey, enables vehicles to ascend
to the cottage ; but pleasure-parties commonly prefer the ascent on foot. The distance
from the village is four miles. The height of the mountain is seventeen hundred and
The sunrise is a magnificent picture, but the prevalence of fogs is a continual cause
of disappointment to people, who travel far and rise early often only to behold a sea
of impenetrable mist. The prospect, however, whenever the fog permits it, is a splendid
one at all hours, and possesses a variety and character quite distinct from the views
usually obtained from mountain-heights. Here there is not only a superb panorama of
hills and vales, but a grand stretch of sea, and intricate net-works of bay and islands
which make up a picture marvellously varied both in form and color.
One of the most delightful features of the scene thus presented are the mountain-
lakes that hang like superb mirrors midway in the scene. " Eagle Lake," so named by
Church the artist, is visible at intervals during the entire ascent of the mountain, and at
every point of view is beautiful. Half-way up, a short detour from the road will bring
the tourist to its pebbly shore, where he may spend an hour or more watching its clear,
mountain-encircled waters, or devote his entire day in pursuit of the trout with which it
abounds. The largest lake in the island is on the western side of Somes's Sound, and is
about four miles in length. There is a group of three lakes on each side of this sound,
although to some of them the more prosaic designation of pond is applied.
Somes's Sound, which divides the lower portion of the island into two distinct por-
tions, possesses many attractions for those who admire bold headlands. It bears a resem-
ON THE COAST OF MAINE.
blance both to the shores of the Hudson and the Delaware Water-Gap. It is usual to
ascend the sound in boats from Southwest Harbor; but explorers from East Eden some-
times drive to Somesville, at the head of the sound, a distance of nine miles, and there
take boats for a sail down' the stream. The sound cuts through the centre of the moun-
tain-range at right angles, between Dog Mountain and an elevation on the eastern side,
to which the appellation of " Mount Mansell " has been given, in honor of Sir Robert
Eagle Cliff, Somes's Sound.
Mansell, after whom the island was at one time named by the English. Dog Mountain
rises abruptly from the water's edge, and one of its cliffs, which is some eight hundred or
a thousand feet in height, is called " Eagle Chfif." At the moment Mr. Fenn was sketch-
ing, a splendid bald-headed eagle was saihng in wide circles around the head of the cliff,
thus giving, to the imagination of the artist, ample justification for the title.
We have now enumerated the principal features of this beautiful island. But there
are hundreds of places that almost equally as well deserve the attention of pen and pen-
cil. The shore varies in character and form at nearly every step, affording almost
innumerable delightful pictures; while the lakes, the mountains, the forests, are endless in
their long catalogue of rare and beautiful scenes. And in addition to scenes upon the
island itself are the picturesque and rocky Porcupine Islands, the rugged shores of Iron-
bound Island, on the Eastern side of Frenchman's Bay, and Mount- Desert Rock, fifteen
miles down at sea, upon whose narrow base stands a light-house. Artist and writer have
been limited to giving mere indications of a locality that is almost exhaustless in its va-
riety of scenery.
Mount Desert was discovered by the French, under Champlain, in the early part of
the seventeenth century, who gave it the name by which it is now known. In i6ig,
the French formed a settlement, which was named " Saint-Sauveur," but in a few years it
came to a cruel end. The Virginian settlers were accustomed to fish upon the New-
England coast, and the captain of an armed vessel, hearing from the Indians of the
settlement, sailed down upon it, and with a single broadside made himself its master.
Some of the settlers were killed, and others carried away into captivity. The first per-
manent settlement was made by Abraham Somes, who in 1761 built a house at the head
of the sound which now bears his name.
View from Via Mala, at The Ovens.
Mouth of the St. John's River— Looking in.
ST. JOHN'S AND OCKLAWAHA RIVERS, FLORIDA.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY HARRY FENN.
1 .^LORIDA is a strange land, both in its traditions and its natural features. It was
the first settled of the States, and has the most genial climate of all of them ; and
yet the greater part of it is still a wilderness. Its early history was one long romance
of battle and massacre, and its later annals are almost equally interesting. The Span-
iards, who were the first Christian people to visit it, were much impressed with its mys-
tery and its scenery, and, as they discovered it on Easter Sunday, which in their language
is called " Pascua Florida," they commemorated the event by giving the new territory its
The time was when Florida was an immense sand-bar, stretching into the Gulf of
Mexico, and probably as barren as can be conceived. But in the semi-tropical climate
under which it exists, in the course of ages the seeds carried to its shores by the sea and
the winds and the myriads of birds which find it a resting-place, have clothed it with
luxuriant vegetation, interspersed with tracts of apparently barren sands. It is a land of
peculiar scenery, which the pencil of the artist has heretofore scarcely touched. Its main
features illustrate the absurdity of the common notion that the landscapes of tropical and
semi-tropical latitudes are superior in luxuriance of vegetable production to those of the
temperate zones. The truth is, that in the hot regions it is only where there is constant
moisture that there is a strong and rank growth of plants. Generally, aridity prevails, the
hill-sides are bereft of vegetation, and an air of parched-up and suffering Nature charac-
terizes all that is seen. It is only when we come North that our landscapes glow with
universal vegetable profusion ; that the forests stand out in bold relief on the hill-sides ;
that the earth is carpeted with vernal green, and prodigality of vegetation reigns supreme.
In the tropical landscape, the abundance of flowers, which are supposed to be peculiar to
warm climates, are exceptional
phases. They exist, but it is in
the recesses of the swamp, where
the burning sun is checked in its
effulgency. In these recesses, and
favored by springs of water, we
have in Florida the wildest ef-
fects. We have flowers, and
vines, and strange leafings, and
gigantic trees, as nowhere else to
be seen ; but they are always in
hidden places ; the open tropical
landscape, we repeat, is arid and
Originally starting out for
the avowed purpose of hunting
the picturesque, we sailed for the
mouth of the St. John's — a river
that reaches into the very heart
of the peninsula, and from the
ill-defined shores of which you
can branch off into the very
wildest of this, in one sense, des-
olate region. The approach of
the mouth of the harbor, as is
the case with all our Southern
rivers, is interrupted by a bar,
over which the surf beats always
more or less wildly. Extra facil-
ities being afforded us, we safely
passed the "rough places," and
with impatience sought a look-
out from Pelican Bank, situated
at the mouth of the harbor. Our
sudden intrusion startled myriads
of sea-fowl, which went screaming
away, yet in such close contact
to our persons that we could
have caught many of them in
PIC TURESQ UE A ME RICA .
our hands. The scene had a strange look, for, as far as the eye could reach, a long, low
reef of burning sand presented itself; the only vegetation visible was a jungle of sun-
burnt, wind-blasted palmettos. A little north was Fort St. George Island, the most
southern of the cultivated sea-islands. Once fairly launched on the waters of the St.
John's, after making a sketch of the harbor looking toward the sea, we impatiently passed
all intervening places until we arrived at Pilatka, a central point, from which we could
easily reach the Black River, and the more famous Ocklawaha, and other small streams,
only navigable for boats of miniature size.
But, before we enter upon the business of our journey, let us, by way of parenthesis,
say that this section of country has always been remarkable for its recuperative effects
upon invalids, who, living farther north, suffer from the borean blasts of. our long and
dreary winters. Jacksonville, a popular winter resort, is the most important of these
hygienic towns, and boasts a population of over five thousand persons. There are also
Hibernia, at the mouth of Black Creek, Magnolia, something over fifty miles from the
mouth of the river, and Picolata, ten miles still farther up. If the time comes when
these famous places for a winter residence for invalids can furnish abundantly the neces-
saries and comforts of life, there is no reason why they should not be annually crowded,
for nothing can be better than their balmy air for those upon whom the Northern win-
ters bear too heavily. But it is inconsiderate for those who are past recovery with pul-
monary complaints to wander to the wilds of Florida in pursuit of health, for, whatever
may be the advantages of climate, the lack of the comforts the sick require more
than counterbalances the effect of the balmy air. Among the especial resorts for invalids
is Green Cove Springs, near Magnolia, famous for curing rheumatism and a hundred
complaints, and composed of a series of warm sulphurous pools, in some places twenty-
five feet deep. The water is very transparent, and of a pale-bluish tint. It was perhaps
some rumor of the virtues of these springs that gave origin to the notion, current among
the early Spanish explorers, that there was in Florida a fountain, to bathe in which would
insure perpetual youth and health.
At Pilatka, by the aid of influential letters and previously-made arrangements, we
secured the good-will of the captain of the steamer we named the " Flying Swan," a craft
which, from its simplicity of construction and rude machinery, might have been the first
model constructed by Fulton when he was putting into practical shape the use of steam
in propelling boats. Its general outline was that of an ill-shaped omnibus, with the pro-
pelHng-wheel let into its rear, and, on further examination, we found the smoke-pipe, the
engine, pilot-house, and all other of the usual gear of steamers, were housed, for the ex-
cellent reason of protecting them from being torn away by the overhanging limbs or
protruding stumps everywhere to be met with in the narrow and difficult navigation of
A sail of twenty miles along the St. John's brought us, a little before sunrise, to the
BAR LIGHT-HOUSE, MOUTH OF ST. JOHN'S RIVER.
ST. JOHN'S AND OCKLAVVAHA RIVERS, FLORIDA.
mouth of the Ocklawaha River, looking scarcely wide enough to admit a skiff, much less
a steamboat As daylight increased, we found that we were passing through a dense
cypress-swamp, and that the channel selected had no banks, but was indicated by
" blazed " marks on the trunks of the towering trees. There was plenty of water, how-
ever, to float our craft, but it was a queer kind of navigation, for the hull of the steamer
went bumping against one cypress-butt, then another, suggesting to the tyro in this kind
of aquatic adventure that possibly he might be wrecked, and subjected, even if he escaped
Green Cove Springs.
a watery grave, to a miserable death, through the agency of mosquitoes, buzzards, and
As we wound along through the dense vegetation, a picture of novel interest pre-
sented itself at every turn. We came occasionally to a spot a little elevated above the
dead-water level, covered with a rank growth of lofty palmetto, the very opposite, in every
respect, to those stunted, storm-blown specimens v/hich greeted us at the mouth of the
St. John's River. Here they shot up tall and slender, bearing aloft innumerable parasites.
A Florida Swamp.
often surprising the eye with patches, of a half-mile in length, of the convolvulus, in a
solid mass of beautiful blossoms.
Another sharp turn, and the wreck of an old dead cypress is discovered, its
huge limbs covered with innumerable turkey-buzzards, which are waiting patiently for
JOHN'S AND OCKLAWAHA RIVERS, FLORIDA.
Wailing for Decomposition.
the decomposition of an alligator that some successful sportsman has shot, and left
for the prey of these useful but disgusting birds. The sunshine sparkles in the spray
which our awkward yet efficient craft drives from its prow, and then we enter what
seems to be a cavern, where the sun never penetrates. The tree-tops interlace
and the tangled vines and innumerable parasites have made an impenetrable mass over-
The swamps of Florida are as rich in birds as in vegetation. It is no wonder that
Audubon here found one of the finest fields from which to enrich his great works of
natural history. A minute list of the varieties we sometimes saw in a single day would
fill a page. One of the most attractive was the water-turkey, or snake-bird, which was
Ascending the Ocklawaha River at Night.
everywhere to be met with, sitting upon some projecting limb overlooking the water, the
body as carefully as possible concealed from view, its head and long neck projecting out,
and moving constantly like a black snake in search of its prey. Your curiosity is ex-
cited ; you would examine the creature more critically, and you fire, at what seems a
short, point-blank shot. The bird falls, apparently helpless, in the water ; you row rap-
idly to secure your prize, when, a hundred yards ahead, you suddenly see the snaky head
ST. JOHN'S AND OCKLAWAHA RIVERS, FLORIDA.
of the " darter " just protruding above the surface of the water. In an instant its lungs
are filled with air, and, disappearing again, it reaches a place of safety.
Another conspicuous bird is the large white crane. It is a very effective object in
the deep shadows of the cypress, as it proudly stalks about, eying with fantastic look the
finny tribes it hunts for prey. Especially is it of service in seizing upon the young of
the innumerable water-snakes which everywhere abound. With commendable taste, it
seems to pay especial attention to the disgusting, slimy, juvenile moccasins, which have a
taste for sunning themselves on harsh dried leaves of the stunted palmetto.
But the prominent living object to the stranger in these out-of-the way places is the
alligator, whose paradise is in the swamps of Florida. Here he finds a climate that
almost the year round suits his delicate constitution ; and, while his kindred in the Loui-
siana swamps find it necessary to retire into the mud to escape the cold of winter, the
Florida representative of the tribe is happy in the enjoyment of the upper world the year
round. It was a comical and a provoking sight to see these creatures, when indisposed
to get out of our way, turn up their piggish eyes in speculative mood at the sudden in-
terruption of a rifle-ball against their mailed sides, but all the while seemingly uncon-
scious that any harm against their persons was intended. Like Achilles, however, they
possess a vulnerable point, which is just in front of the spot where the huge head works
upon the spinal column. There is of necessity at this place a joint in the armor, and a
successful hunter, after much experience, seldom lets one of the reptiles escape. If any
philanthropist has ever objected to the slaughter, the circumstance is not remembered in
the swamps and everglades of Florida. On one occasion we fired into a herd of alli-
gators, and the noise of two or three shots caused all but one to finally disappear. For
some reason it seemed difficult to get the remaining one to move, the creature lying with
its head exposed to our gaze, looking as demoniac as possible. A bullet, which struck
somewhere in the vicinity of its jaws, touched its feelings, and then, with a grunt not
unhke that of a hog, it buried itself in the muddy water. This unwillingness to move
was then explained by the appearance of a large number of young alligators, which, in
the confusion, came to the surface like so many chips. We had, without being aware of
it, attacked the mother while she was protecting her nest.
In the vicinity of the alligator's nest we came upon a primitive post-office, consist-
ing of a cigar-box, bearing the magic letters " U. S. M.," nailed upon the face of an old
cypress-tree. It was a sort of central point for the swampers, where they left their
soiled notes and crooked writing to be conveyed to the places of destination by "whom-
ever came along." We, desiring to act the part of a volunteer mail-carrier for the neigh-
borhood, peeped into the post-office, but there were no signs of letters ; so our good
intentions were of no practical effect.
Our little craft bumps along from one cypress-stump to another, and fetches up
against a cypress-knee, as it is termed — sharp-pointed lances which grow up from the roots
of the trees, seemingly to protect the
trunk from too much outside concus-
sion ; glancing off, it runs into a roost-
ing-place of innumerable cranes, or scat-
ters the wild-ducks and huge snakes over
the surface of the water. A clear patch
of the sky is seen, and the bright light
of a summer evening is tossing the
feathery crowns of the old cypress-trees
into a nimbus of glory, while innumer-
able paroquets, alarmed at our intrusion,
scream out their fierce indignation, and
then, flying away, flash upon our admir-
ing eyes their green and golden plu-
mage. It now begins to grow dark in earnest, and we become curious to know how our
attentive pilot will safely navigate this mysterious channel in what is literally Egyptian
darkness. While thus speculating, there flashes across the landscape a bright, clear light.
From the most intense blackness we have a fierce, lurid glare, presenting the most ex-
travagantly-picturesque groups of overhanging palmettos, draped with parasites and vines
of all descriptions ; prominent . among
the latter is the scarlet trumpet-creeper,
overburdened with wreaths of blossoms,
and intertwined again with chaplets of
purple and white convolvulus, the most
minute details of the objects near be-
ing brought out in a sharp red light
against the deep tone of the forest's
depths. But no imagination can con-
ceive the grotesque and weird forms
which constantly force themselves on
your notice as the light partially illu-
minates the limbs of wrecked or half-
destroyed trees, which, covered with
moss, or wrapped in decayed vegeta-
tion as a winding-sheet, seem huge
unburied monsters, which, though dead,
still throw about their arms in agony,
and gaze through unmeaning eyes upon
the intrusions of active, living men. a Post-office on the Ockkwaha.
6-7: JOHN'S AND OCKLAWAHA RIVERS, FLORIDA, 27
Another run of a half-mile brings us into the cypress again, the firelight giving
new ideas of the picturesque. The tall shafts, more than ever shrouded in the hanging
moss, looked as if they had been draped in sad habiliments, while the wind sighed
through the limbs ; and when the sonorous sounds of the alligators were heard, groaning
and complaining, the sad, dismal picture of desolation was complete.
A sharp contact with a palmetto -knee throws around the head of our nondescript
steamer, and we enter what appears to be an endless colonnade of beautifully - propor-
tioned shafts, running upward a hundred feet, roofed by pendent ornaments, suggesting
the highest possible effect of Gothic architecture. The delusion was increased by the
A Slight Obstruction in the Ocklawaha.
waving streamers of the Spanish moss, which here and there, in great festoons of fifty
feet in length, hung down like tattered but gigantic banners, worm-eaten and mouldy,
sad evidences of the hopes and passions of the distant past. So absorbing were these
wonderful effects of a brilliant light upon the vegetable productions of these Florida
swamps, that we had forgotten to look for the cause of this artificial glare, but, when
we did, we found a faithful negro had suspended from cranes two iron cages, one on
each side of the boat, into which he constantly placed unctuous pine-knots, that blazed
and crackled, and turned what would otherwise have been unmeaning darkness into the
most novel and exciting views of Nature that ever met our experienced eyes.
The morning came, and the theatrical display of the swamp by torchlight ended,
when we were destined to be introduced to a new feature of this singular navigation.
A huge water-oak, seemingly in the very pride of its matured existence, had fallen di-
rectly across the channel. Its wood was only a little less hard than iron, and the labor to
be performed to get this obstruction out of the way was contemplated with anger by the
captain of our craft, and in sadness by the " hands," to whose lot fell the labor of clear-
ing the obstruction away. However, the order was given, and no inhabitant of the
swamp is inexperienced in the use of the axe. The sturdy blows fell thick and fast, as
one limb after another broke loose from the parent trunk and floated slowly away. The
great butt was then assailed, and, by a judicious choice in the assault, the weight of the
huge structure was made to assist in breaking it in twain. While this work was going
on, which consumed some hours, we waded — we won't say ashore — but from one preca-
rious foothold to another, until, after various unpleasant experiences — the least of which
was getting wet to our waist in the black water of the swamp — we reached land, which
was a few inches above the surface of the prevailing flood.
We were, however, rewarded for our enterprise by suddenly coming upon two " Flor-
ST. JOHN'S AND OCKLAWAHA RIVERS, FLORIDA,
ida crackers," who had established a camp in a grove of the finest cypress-trees we ever
saw, and were appropriating the valuable timber to the manufacture of shingles, which
shingles, we were informed, are almost as indestructible as slate. These men were civil,
full of character, and in their way not wanting in intelligence. How they manage to
survive the discomforts of their situation is difficult to imagine, but they do exist, the
mosquitoes drawing from their bodies every useless drop of blood, the low swamp ma-
laria making the accumulation of fat an impossibility, while the dull surroundings of
their life, to them most monotonous, cramp the intellect until they are almost as taci-
turn as the trees with which they are associated. But their hut was a very model of
the picturesque, and the smouldering fire, over which their dinner-pot was cooking, sent
up a wreath of blue smoke against the dark openings of the deep forest that gave a
A Sudden Turn in the Ocklawaha.
quiet charm, and a contrast of colors, difficult to sufficiently admire, and impossible to
be conceived of in the mere speculations of studio-life.
One of our strangest experiences in these mysterious regions was forced upon us
one morning, when, thrusting our head through the hole that gave air to our "sleeping-
shelf," we saw a sight which caused us to rub our eyes, and gather up our senses, to be
certain we were positively awake. Our rude craft was in a basin, possibly a quarter of a
mile in diameter, entirely surrounded by gigantic forest-trees, which repeated themselves
with the most minute fidelity in the perfectly translucent water. For sixty feet down-
ward we could look, and at this great depth see duplicated the scene of the upper
world, the clearness of the water assisting rather than interfering with the vision. The
bottom of this basin was silver sand, studded with eccentric formations of lime-crvstals
of a pale emerald tint. This we soon learned was the wonderful silver spring of which
we had heard so much, which eveiy moment throws out its thousands of gallons of water
without making a bubble on the surface. The transparency of the water was marvellous.
A little pearly-white shell, dropped from our hand, worked its zigzag way downward,
deepening in its descent from a pale green to a rich emerald, until, finding the bottom,
it seemed a gem destined forever to glisten in its silver setting. Procuring a " dug-out,"
we proceeded to inform ourself of the mysteries of the spot. Noticing the faintest pos-
sible movement on the surface of the basin at a certain point, we concluded that it
must be over the place where the great body of the water entered the spring. So,
paddling to the spot, we dropped a stone, wrapped in a piece of white paper, into the
water at the place where the movement was visible. The stone went down for some
twenty-five feet, until it reached a slight projection of limestone rock, when it was sud-
denly, as if a feather in weight, forced upward in a curving line some fifteen feet, show-
ing the tremendous power of the water that rushes out from the rock. The most novel
and startling feature was when our craft came from the shade into the sunshine, for then
it seemed as if we were, by some miraculous power, suspended seventy feet or more in
the mid air, while down on the sanded bottom was a sharp, clear silhouette of man, boat,
and paddle. A deep river a hundred feet wide is created by the water of this spring,
which in the course of seven miles forms a junction with the Ocklawaha.
Mount Ranier, from the Columbia River.
UP AND DOWN THE COLUMBIA.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY R. SWAIN GIFFORD.
A /r APS are so unexpectedly made over nowadays, what with the Old World pas-
-^^ sion of conquest, and the New World instinct of truck and dicker, that even we
young people, who are rather proud of not yet having forgotten our multiplication-
table and syntax, are not a little put to it to bound American America, or United Ger-
many, or dismembered France. There was a happy time when a " pent-up Utica " judi-
ciously contracted our powers, and when we were limited toward the pole by undiscov-
ered countries which we were taught to call respectively Russian Possessions and Upper
and Lower Canada — which was which of the twins last mentioned the infant mind never
clearly apprehending. In those days our national Northwestern estate was represented on
the atlas by a green and a brown patch of uncertain outlines, severally labelled " Indian
Territory " and " Oregon." Lewis and Clark were popularly believed to be the only civ-
ilized men who had ocular proof of their existence. In the common mind they stood
only as irregular polygons on the map, and not as so many acres of soil, stones, forests,
lakes, rivers, habitable places, over which familiar heavens arched, and where rains fell on
just and unjust, the former class being represented by wild animals and the latter by
wild men. Even the wise geographers skated nimbly over the thin ice of their igno-
rance, lingering only long enough for a single observation, to the effect that this vast,
unexplored country was chiefly trackless desert and unexplored forest. And even Con-
UP AND DOWN THE COLUMBIA.
gressional orators, who spoke for " Buncombe," and went in, on all occasions, for river
and harbor improvements, never could get beyond the third line of the sonorous —
". . . . the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound
Save its own dashings."
Alas for the infant-schools ! Out of that dull, green patch has broken a wealth of
offshoots, as out of the scrimp and ugly cactus burst its superb blossoms. A list of
States and Territories that dizzies the arithmetic of memory insists on place and nomen-
clature, and blessed be Providence which ordained that we should not be our own grand-
children, to encounter a tale of three hundred and sixty-five political divisions by them
doubtless to be comprehended in the description of their dear, their native land ! As the
shoots increased the parent -stem dwindled, and now Oregon, pinched and shrivelled, is
only a fourth larger than all New England, or rather less than twice New York in ex-
tent. And as for the vast Indian Territory, that would seem to exist variably wherever
the Noble Savage is upon the war-path, and to comprise so much land as his blanket
In those better days we children used to have delightful thrills of horror at thought
of the Great American Desert and far Pacific coast, peopled, as we believed, with lions,
alligators, dragons, polar bears, anacondas, the " anthropophagi, and men whose heads do
grow beneath their shoulders " — creatures all the more terrible by reason of the utter
vagueness of their outlines and conditions. And we used to play at being Captain
Cook, who, to our apprehension, was the very symbol and archetype of discoverers ; and,
as he and his heroic band, used to do much execution among the heaped-up sticks
in the wood-shed, which alternately, or rather indiscriminately, represented the Rocky
Mountains, hosts of savage foes, or such a menagerie of beasts as has not been seen
since the creation. By-and-by one of us repeated the fable of " Rasselas," which is the
apologue of Time, left behind him the Happy Valley of a delighted childhood, and went
forth to explore the world. I do not remember that any wise Imlac began that long
journey in his company, nor that he came to any Cairo where he spent two years in
learning the Universal Language, and where every man was happy. On the contrary, I
am afraid that Imlac, who stands for the lessons of experience, joined him only after long
years and innumerable scrapes had cost him dear ; and that the Cairo where all men are
happy is not set down on any chart by which he took his way. At least it was not
built between Boston and San Francisco, nor yet between that golden capital and Puget
Sound, nor did any spire or minaret thereof glitter against the perfect skies of Oregon,
whither the wanderings of the new Rasselas led him. But, to drop metaphor, which, like
Malvolio's cross-garterings, " obstructs the blood," it was I who made the journey to Ore-
gon, and I find that I cannot tell a comfortable story without saying so in the begin-
UP AND DOWN THE COLUMBIA. 35
ning, with a heart-felt regret that I am not Wallace, or that most charming traveller,
Mr. John Hay, instead of myself
Perhaps oceans change their habits with time, like climates and individuals. It is
easier to believe that in 1520 the Pacific lapsed on purple islands a summer sea, than
to discredit the incorruptible Magalhaens, of Portuguese truth and directness, with wit-
tingly bewraying the trust of unborn generations. In 1869, however, it had become the
most deceitful of waters, with a horrible swell and pitch peculiar to itself, and caves full
of head-winds, like Atlantic gales grown up, out on their travels, and equal to any mis-
chief Nor is the Pacific content to have its grim way with you only while you are
its lawful prey. For it has set a bar at the mouth of the Columbia, which for nine days
defied the best seamanship of Captain Robert Gray, of the good bark Columbia Rediviva,
who named the beautiful river in 1792. And it is only by seizing the unwilling tide in
the narrowest nick of time that the pilot compels it to float you beyond the dangerous
shoal and into the safety of the stream. Once within the bar, the ship seems to relax
every tense nerve and fibre, and to drift on the current like a spent deer which has
escaped the hounds. And so, lazily, you come to Astoria.
Astoria, founded by the Northwestern Fur Company, was, I believe, our first white
settlement in the Northwest, and it was named in honor of John Jacob Astor, who was
the energetic spirit of the company. Astoria is a nice name enough, as names go, and
certainly better than Astors Corner, or Astorville, or New Astor. But to be a mighty
trapper, or only to hire the skill of mighty trappers, hardly entitles a man to build him-
self a monument of imperishable earth, and wood, and water. The Astor Library com-
memorates in its name a noble benefaction. Astoria preserves the recollection of a sharp
and lucky instinct of trade. However, for that matter, there are hardly ten men in a
generation for whom a town should be named. Unless Astor, or Lansing, or Lawrence,
be many-sided, hospitable, capable of large results and endless activities — unless there be
broad avenues leading to temples in his soul, and straight ways to libraries, museums,
gymnasiums, schools, in his brain — he has no business to impress his image and super-
scription on the possible germ of all this completeness. And, if he have this right and
title, he will have modesty besides, and never claim it. Alexandria and Rome sound
stately, and embalm the pagan virtues of hardiness, courage, force, invincibility. For the
men who overran the younger world at least brought blood, brawn, and brains out of
their tussle with Nature and man. But our century pretends to a different civilization,
and condemns without hope the Anglo-Saxon idiots who, in this age and in this republic,
have blasted nineteen post-towns with the name of Rome, and doomed sixteen to stag-
ger under the weight of Alexandria, with the occasional suffix of Centre, Four Corners,
and Switch. Alexandria Switch ! Perhaps we all privately sympathize with the senti-
ment of Horace Walpole, who declared that he should be very fond of his country if it
were not for his countrymen ! In the name of grace and fitness, let us keep the sweet
36 PICTURESQUE AMERICA.
Indian appellatives bequeathed our pleasant places by a vanishing race; and, for whatever
other nomenclature we need, let us remember only the " high souls, like some far stars,
that come in sight once in a century."
Well, we came to Astoria (which should have been Chetco) in the late afternoon
of a perfect summer Sunday. The river, twelve miles wide, lay all aglow with color
under the low sun, and out to the west the color deepened and deepened till it seemed
to be no longer atmosphere, but substance, like some supernal gem. Astoria is such a
tiny place to have set up in the world for itself, so far from civilization ! The great river
Stretches like a sea to the north ; the great ocean creeps close on the west ; and on the
south and east the forests crowd up to the very thresholds — such forests as only the cun-
ning wolf and wild-cat can find their way in. Yet, as the twilight fell, the little church-
bell rang with a sound of cheerful confidence in a responsive congregation, and men and
women went churchward, and lights glanced in the windows, and a little, soft baby-cry
trembled a moment in the air. So I suppose that the world goes on there just as it
does in New York or Nova Zembla, with births and deaths and givings in marriage, and
envies and heartaches and sweet charities. But to this hour I cannot think of that atom
UP AND DOWN THE COLUMBIA.
of civilization, made so pathetically small by the vastness of sea and river and woods,
without a little pang of pity for what seems its unutterable loneliness ; and yet I dare
say it sits by the fire in supreme satisfaction, finds the keenest zest in the excitement of
the semi-weekly stopping of the steamer, and, if it condescended to make comparisons,
would consider New York at a disadvantage as to situation. That beautiful and blessed
quality of self-conceit, without whose protection the contusions of every day would keep
us morally black and blue from head to foot, not only saves ourselves from the buffet-
ings of the unworthy, but saves also our kin, our neighborhood, our township, even our
select-man, unless he happen to belong to the opposite political party.
Very late the long twilight faded, and the darkness grew alive with sound. The soft
slipping of the tide and the murmur of the great woods were the ever-recurring lovely
air, as it were, with which unnumbered variations blended. The myriad creatures which,
every summer-night, seem to be just born, and to try vainly to utter their joy in stridu-
lous voices, piped the whole chromatic scale with infinite self-satisfaction. Innumerable
crickets addressed us in cadence with cheery felicitations on our safe arrival among them;
a colony of tree-toads interrupted everybody to ask, in the key of F sharp major, after
their relatives in the East, and to make totally irrelevant observations, without ever wait-
ing for a reply ; and the swelling bass of the bull-frogs seemed to be thanking Heaven
that they were not as these impertinents. This inarticulate welcome, this well-known
iteration, made the Pacific seem no longer strange, but familiar as the shores of New-
York Bay, and it would not greatly have surprised us to open our eyes, next morning,
on the barrenness of Sandy Hook or the fair Heights of Brooklyn.
What they really saw, however, when daybreak found us far up the Columbia, was
better than city or crowded anchorage. The great river, still lake-like in breadth and
quietness, lay rosy in the dawn. The wonderful forests, whose magnificence our tame and
civil imagination could not have conceived, came down from farthest distance to the
very margin of the stream. Pines and firs two hundred feet high were the sombre
background against which a tropical splendor of color flickered or flamed out, for,
even in this early September, beeches and oaks and ash-trees were clothed with autumn
pomp ; and on the north, far above the silence of the river and the splendid shores, four
snow-crowned, rose-flushed, stately mountains lifted themselves to heaven. For miles and
miles and miles. Mount Adams, Mount Jefferson, Mount Rainier, and Mount St. Helen's,
make glad the way. Adams and Jefferson have an unvarying grandeur of form, a mas-
sive strength and nobility, as it becomes them to inherit with their names. Mount St.
Helen's rises in lines so vague and soft as to seem like a cloud-mountain. Rainier, whose
vastness you comprehend only when you see it from Puget Sound, looks, even from the
river, immeasurable, lying snow-covered from base to peak.
Portland, one hundred and ten miles up the river, is the point of debarkation for
the San-Francisco steamers, and there is much to be said about that busy and thrifty
UP AND DOWN THE COLUMBIA.
little clucking hen of a city. But, as Portland is not on the Columbia at all, but on the
Willamette, twelve miles from its mouth, it may not now be told what golden eggs she
has laid. The little steamer which plies up and down the river leaves her dock at the
uncomfortable hour of three o'clock in the morning or thereabouts ; and that must be very
fine scenery, indeed, which reconciles one to being dragged out of bed in the middle of
the night, and dumped, hungry, sleepy, and cross, in the chilly cabin of a day-boa l, bare
of state-rooms or sofas. The view which daylight brought us was a prospect of the boat's
paddle-boxes. A gray mist swallowed up every thing beyond. But when it lifted, three
hours later, it was worth while to have been chilled to the bone with its cold, and
alarmed by its threat of showing; us nothing, to see what it really had to show. For,
as it slowly crept back to the shores and up the banks, and so away to the north-
pole, which it must have come from, river and shores and mountains and sky, and the
sun itself, came out upon us with such intensity of light and color that it seemed as
if we or they were absolutely new that morning, and had never seen each other before.
Where the mists lifted, the stream flowed clear and smooth between mountain-shores
a mile and a half apart, and rising sharp and bold thousands of feet in air. Forests
covered their rocky sides, sometimes rising to the very top, sometimes dwindling into
groups and thickets as they climbed. And on the very crest, standing alone and suck-
ing their lusty life from the inhospitable stone, lone pines shot out of the crevices of
rock, looking, so far above us, like the queer and graceless toy-trees in the shilling boxes
of wooden soldiers, dear to the heart of boyhood. These mountains are a solid wall along
the river for miles on miles. Sometimes there is neither rift, nor gorge, nor scar, in their
huge sides. Then a canyon opens, and you see beyond and beyond other mountains
coming down to link themselves in an unending chain, and glimpses of far-off levels or
gray fields of rock bounding the vision. Sometimes a water-fall dazzles and dances out
of the sky, a little, fluttering, quivering cobweb at first ; then a floating ribbon ; then a
wind-blown veil of spray ; then a cascade, leaping from rock to rock, forty, sixty, a hun-
dred, three hundred feet ; then a swift, resistless, triumphant rush of water, swirling and
whirling toward the river of its love.*
Yet, if shores and water-falls were beautiful, the forests were the crowning glory of
the place. First in rank, again, stood the pines and firs — if they zvere pines and firs.
They looked to me like some celestial sort of grown-up, feathery ground-evergreen. And
who could expect a pine to rise, straight and fair, three hundred feet, a ghmpse of red-
brown bolls warm through the foliage of the lesser trees, and a glory of spreading, plumy,
dark-green boughs, so purely outlined that every Httle tuft of them looked as if it, and it
alone, had been finished specially to show how perfect a thing a tree-branch may be
made for the enjoyment of the woodpeckers and the slugs ? Seeing these pines, one
* See Multanomah Falls.
40 PICTURESQUE AMERICA,
understands the Northern myth of the tree Yggdrasill, at whose feet flowed sacred foun-
tains and whose branches upheld the world.
Then came the cotton-woods, and the cotton-wood is to the Western settler the
symbol of intermeddling and knavish incapacity. He considers it the "dead beat" of
the vegetable kingdom, usurping ground that belongs to honester growths, making great
pretensions to an early and useful maturity, and no better than a pipe-stem in value
when the axe claims it. Yet there crowded these plausible cotton-woods, standing so
idly gracious and welcoming all along the shores in such gorgeousness of golden splen-
dor, and in such royal ease and grace of attitude, that one forgets their good-for-nothing-
ness and their general bad name among the virtuous and useful trees, and takes them to
his heart at once. A tree whose poUshed, brilliant leaf looked like our maple, and
whose scarlet, pendent swinging boughs looked like darting orioles, we were forbidden to
consider a familiar friend, a very learned pundit assuring us that there were no maples
on the river. That was the only vegetation with which we were bold enough to set up
the plea of acquaintance, every thing else being quite too splendid to countenance any
claim of kinship with the paler and punier growths of our ascetic climate.
Sometimes, so far above our heads that they looked like pigmies at play, we saw the
lumbermen getting out logs which came tearing down the rugged sluice-ways to the river.
More seldom, even, did a single logger's hut appear, like a hang-bird's nest, far up among
the rocks, making the place look wilder than the wilderness, because this little struggle
toward civilization and domesticity was so overborne by the savagery of Nature. These
half-cleared places had a certain repulsiveness, too. Nature carefully hides unsightly spots
with shrubs and bushes, and, when her dead trees fall, she tenderly adorns the wreck they
make with vines and mosses. But, when man comes in with rude and indiscriminate
rapine, she is profaned, and will long leave the place to his clumsy keeping, throwing
neither vine nor moss, nor veiling shadow even, across the scars of his occupation. So
that those half-clearings looked rough and coarse as the lives of the inhabitants.
Sometimes the liver flowed straight and untroubled. Sometimes the mountains swept
round into its path, and the stream bent and parted on rocky mounds or islands, and ran
shallow, disturbed, and dangerous. Straightway it quieted into chains of narrow lakes
without visible outlet, whereon we sailed close up to lofty, impassable shores, like the
walls of Sinbad's valley, but, turning suddenly on our track, found unexpected deliver-
ance. Then, looking back, the way was lost by which we had come. Here, in the solitary
mountains, we were alone. No world behind — no world before. The sense of solitude
was too vast to be painful. But we felt as escaping prisoners feel when we threaded
our way through a narrow rift of stone into the wonderful stream that grew more won-
derful as we sailed. For, just there, walls of basalt in vast ledges, rising sheer and straight
from the shore, overtopped the farther mountains. Rifted bowlders, like Castle Rock,
stood alone, their base washed by the river, their heads upholding the sky. Majestic ram-
parts, like Cape Horn, rose, a vast, columnar wall, sometimes seven hundred feet in
height. Columns, and obelisks, and shafts, lifted themselves with a mightier strength and
a more majestic grace than architecture has been able to achieve. And through these
stately gate-ways we came to the Cascades.
The Cascades are the fierce and whirling rapids wherein the river falls forty feet,
twenty feet of it being taken almost at a leap. But for five miles the river is a seeth-
ing whirlpool, and a queer little railroad on the Washington side affords the portage.
The track runs so near the water's edge that one has a view of these rapids for the
whole way, from the Middle Block-house, relic of not unremote Indian wars, to the
drowned forest above the upper landing. The whole river-bed is gigantic rocks, some-
times hidden by the water, sometimes tearing through the water to make sharp and
naked islands, between which the current rushes down, white with foam and with a roar
UP AND DOWN THE COLUMBIA.
like the sea. Round the rocks and between the rocks and over the rocks, and almost
burrowing under the rocks in its force, in those five miles the river takes on every pos-
sible form of cascade. Yet where we take steamer again, a moment before the river
makes its first plunge, it is as quiet as the Connecticut, and washes along over sub-
merged stumps like any slow bayou.
Being born under a lucky star, Imlac and I were invited to ride on the engine, nay,
Middle Block-house, Cascades.
on the very cow-catcher. It is impossible to imagine a madder excitement. With the
whole tremendous motive-power behind you forgotten, you seem to be flying, without
even the drawback of having to flap your wings. The wild river to the right of you,
the wild mountains close on your left hand ; your flight through rifts and chasms of stone
which seem ever crowding forward with an evil-minded will to shut you in ; just a glimpse
of blue sky far above, such as miners see from the bottom of the black shaft; a fierce
rush and roar of wind that strikes down your very eyelids — this is nding on the cow-
catcher in the canyon of the Columbia. Half blinded as we were, we saw, as we passed
it, the great sides of Rooster Rock and a little log-house beneath. This was the scene
of Lieutenant Philip H. Sheridan's first battle. Here, in 1856, a small party of white
men was for two days besieged by a strong force of Indians; and here the irrepressible
lieutenant, tired of his wise and masterly inactivity, determined to attack in his turn, and
totally routed the enemy in a very whirlwind of a charge.
Now you are in the heart of the mountains. Soon the rock walls approach each
other, and the stream flows narrower and fiercer. The wind roars through the gorges
Peak of Red Rock
and in the spring, when the banks are full, beats up such waves that a boat cannot
live in them, though these straits are two hundred miles from the sea. The walls are
basaltic, columnar, rising in distinct, rudely-modelled pillars from four hundred feet to
twelve hundred. Now and then, a bold rampart measures two thousand five hundred
feet or even more. The receding or advancing clififs break the river into a chain of tiny
lakes. Wherever the mountains fall back on the south. Mount Hood fills the horizon,
snow-covered, shining, vast. Mount Hood is fourteen thousand feet in height, and it is
mortifying to admit that Mont Blanc is almost sixteen thousand. But, with this fore-
ground of river and forest, with all this blaze of color set against the cold splendor of
the icy peak, and with the blue intensity of the warm sky above, Mount Hood is more
UP AND DOWN THE COLUMBIA.
magnificent than words can tell or brush can paint. And, if any " vagrom " man, having
seen the two, pretends to think Mont Blanc the finer, let us, as Americans, laugh him
Where the mountains recede before Mount Hood, the forest again encroaches, but it
leaves bare a desolate peak called Coffin Rock, which was a place of Indian sepulture,
Cairns of gray stones cover it, and rude monuments of rock. One is not near enough
to see the vileness of the human taint upon it — for your true Indian in his death is little
better than in his life, and bequeaths himself, a foul legacy, to the pure elements — and its
gray melancholy is pathetic.
The Dalles is the second town of Oregon. The Idaho miners make it their base
of supplies. The gold comes down there for shipment, and this babe in the woods even
dreams of a mint. But its interest to the traveller is neither in grocery nor in ore, but
in its wonderful outlook on river and mountain. For ten miles up the stream the dalles,
or flag-stones, choke the way, and there you must take to the cars again. Here the
strange, weather-beaten, weary-looking, old red rock reappeared, after a long absence,
looking, amid the harder and bolder cliffs, like a poor relation, pathetic, but very seedy.
The queer, battered, time-worn peak on the opposite page is of it.
The cliffs disappear above Dalles City, and lo, the sand-region ! The endless wonder
of the Pacific-coast journeys is the suddenness of their changes, as if supernatural scene-
shifters were kept constantly busy in whipping off" the old scenes, and setting new and
unexpected ones for the next act. From forests of tropic splendor to mountains of
northern bareness and grandeur, from still pond to roaring cataract, from verdure and
cultivation into Sahara, you pass without the least hint from Nature of what she means
to do five minutes hence. Possibly Science gets the better of her, and finds out her
whimsical intentions; but to the unlearned she seems to have gotten a little tipsy on
that wonderful air — which would intoxicate the soberest — and not to be quite sure of her
own mind. Her desert on the Columbia is a lively suggestion of her greater works of
the same order in Egypt or elsewhere. It looks a limitless plain of hot white sand.
Passage of the Dalles.
The wind is a hurricane, and seems to blow from every point at once, so that the
heavens rain a sandy shower. The shifting, sifting sand covers the track. Men in sand-
white garments, with sand-white beards and hair, blindly delve along the rails to clear
them, and limp aside with sand-stiff joints that seem to creak, as we go by. The sky is
a pale-blue vault, faded out by this torrid plain. The sun is veiled, intense, and colorless.
The earth is like a place of graves, as if millions of men, whole peoples, whole races,
had been buried there and forgotten. But, if Nature had ever set any race there, it must
have been of the lowest — in mind vacant, in body vile, in worship regarding stones and
UP AND DOWN THE COLUMBIA.
wild animals, its only symbols of steadfastness and power. And when on the flat-
shore rocks we saw the bark lodges of the Trascopin Indians, vile children and viler
men and vilest women swarming within and without, we felt that they were accounted
for — stupidity, dishonesty, beastliness, and all — and had no disposition to cast a stone
The fifteen miles of portage show superb river scenery wherever the sand will let
you see it. It is a succession of rapids, falls, and sucking currents, where the dalles, or
dales — rough troughs or flag-stones, which have given their name to the place — make
crooked and narrow channels for the stream. Every form which water may put on, every
tint with which it can be beautiful, every caprice of motion with which it can move,
finds illustration in this Columbia. Below the great fall, the whole volume of the stream
— whose branches stretch north through British Columbia, east through Idaho and Mon-
tana, south and west into Nevada, and, reaching down, gather in the icy rivulets of the
Rocky Mountains — pours through a gate-way not fifty yards in width, whose sides are
perpendicular precipices, hewn as with implements. Smooth and green and glassy, it
slides under brown shadows but to be torn again into a hundred ribbons by rocks
below, as it has just been torn by rocks above. At the falls it is a mile wide, and
plunges over a rocky wall twenty feet high and stretching from shore to shore.
Here are the famous Salmon Falls, up which the salmon go to the quiet reaches
of the river to spawn, shooting the rapids with incredible agility. If you can keep your
footing on the slippery ledges of rock, you watch them, fascinated. Up they come through
the fierce and sucking rapids, gleaming white against the black stones that here and
there tear the water ; first come a few together ; then a multitude swirls along ; then
the whole river from side to side is light with their innumerable host. And they mind
that precipice and torrent no more than if it were a summer pool within its reedy mar-
gent. They swim swift and stately to the very foot, where you lose them in the seeth-
ing, white whirlpool. Something flashes in the air, elastic, strong, light. Something
glides up the stream above the fall. The daring, determined, wonderful thing has made
that leap, defied rock and torrent, and found its safe shelter in the quiet pool beyond.
Or, there is the flash, and then a struggle, and the poor bruised creature, wounded to
death against the sharp-edged stones, drops back upon the current, and floats down a
bloody track, dying after a little while. So they come, and come, and come — such myri-
ads of them — and leap, and win, or lose, for all the hours of the day and for half the
days of the year.
All over the rocks at the foot of the fall flutter the very scanty and disreputable
rags in which the noble savage invests minute and accidental portions of his body. We
nowhere saw the forest-god whom Cooper believed in, nor yet the statuesque and noble
hunter whom Ward has found. It is not possible to imagine human creatures more
unromantic, more indecent, more loathsome, more inhuman, than the visible Indian who
appears along every line of travel from the Kansas border to the northwestern boundary
That typical warrior who should be capable of declaring —
"Blaze with your serried columns!
I will not bend the knee ;
The shackles ne'er again shall bind
The arm which now is free ! " —
lives in the mountain-fastnesses, if he live at all, and does not corrupt his good manners
with the evil communications of pale-faces. The red man of the plains, of the rivers,
of the railroad and stage-coach neighborhoods, belongs to the universal genus loafer. He
is a mighty hunter only of other men's corn and eggs. Savage virtues, if there be any,
have departed from him, and civilized vices clothe him as with a garment. These Tras-
copins along the Columbia live chiefly on the salmon, and, when they have dried, twice
over, all that even their gluttony can desire, they still go to the falls, day after day, and
for mere wantonness of cruelty spear the beautiful fish and throw them out on the stones
to die there horribly, and rot and infect the air. The ledges were slimy with decaying
salmon, and abounded with a horrid parasitic life. Sight and smell drove us quickly away ;
but the noble savage evidently enjoyed it all. You do not care for their thieving, per-
haps ; for, besides that you own neither cornfields nor hen-roost within three thousand
miles, you leflect that our worthy ancestors set them a large example in that way, to
UP AND DOWN THE COLUMBIA.
begin with. Moreover, thieving rises into a notable industry, when the alternative of idle
hands is this sickening barbarity. But you do care for all their ignorance and dirt, and
foulness and disease ; and you are pricked for weeks afterward with a sense of personal
responsibility in the matter, that clings like the shirt of Nessus.
And, with whatever contemptuous pity you regard these step-children of Nature, it
is impossible not to believe that the sum of the united Trascopins and Arapahoes, and
Shoshones, and Pahutes, and Crows, and of all other ill-conditioned tribes there be, does
not equal in value to humanity the single unit of young Loring's life. Therefore, it
would seem that there must be a proper Indian policy somewhere between the indiscrimi-
nate wiping out which the frontiersman insists on and the peppermint-candy wiles of
Mr. Colyer. The Howard who shall devise it will bring peace to the tender consciences
of all travellers who have seen the Indian at home, a.id have carried the consciousness
of him as a nightmare ever since.
I feel that I should ask pardon of the polite reader for this most unhandsome epi-
sode, and of the sentimentalist for the callousness of these observations. But the Indian
is just what I have drawn him, and it seems as if we might sooner settle the perplexing
problem of what to do with him if our chameleon policy, whether of peace or war, con-
templated the actual creature, and not a figment of the brain of the philanthropist on
the one hand, and of the border-settler on the other. For my own part, I believe that
not only are not all the aborigines of the West worth one high-hearted young Loring,
but that Darwin himself, on seeing them, would be constrained to accord them slow and
multiplied centuries to " mount through the various spires of form " before they should
reach the negative and harmless excellence of the poor fish they slaughter.
And, if this phase is the very worst of savage life, and an unfair exhibition of their
tendencies, why, I have seen the very best phase as well, and I found it very disappoint-
ing. I spent some time once at a CathoHc mission among the Potawatamies, and I
carefully botanized among the transplanted wild shoots. The school was a triumph of
drill. The young barbarians, in formal jackets and trousers, inexpressibly uglier than their
native rags or their yet more native dull-red skins, were frowned down by big black-
boards, and confronted by verbs and definitions and the multiplication-table, and in every
way dreadfully put upon by star-eyed Science. They were letter-perfect. I do not re-
member that they blundered in an answer. They even divided fractions, and their be-
havior struck me into amazement and admiration, as Hamlet's affected the queen ; for it
is a thing / can't do. But they were only as so many puppets pulled by a string. The
lessons meant absolutely nothing to them ; they had not an idea. Why you should
divide a fraction, they had no more notion than the wooden rosaries they all wore,
whereas / see a possible propriety in the impossible achievement, which shows a superior
mental endowment. All the individuality was ground out of the poor little puppets.
After the geography-lesson was written on them, it was rubbed out, as it were, and a
grammar-lesson was set down in its place ; and then the sponge of the next text-book
erased every trace of noun and verb, and the surface was blank for the catechism or
hymn, or whatever came next. When school was dismissed, the little martyrs did not fly
to play, as lusty white boys fly. They moped away by themselves, holding no commerce
with each other, too broken-spirited even to stare at the visitors or to show any eager-
ness as to the appropriation of pennies very liberally bestowed. Some of them lay on
their backs and looked at the sky, and the rest mooned about so vacantly that it was
impossible for any thing else to be so slow and indifferent except a snail. When they
grow up, it looked as if they would either go back to the wild life or settle down on
Indians on the Columbia.
the debatable border with the most scampish of the white squatters, and poison their
dull blood with the coarse but necessary excitement of bad whiskey. No, it is useless ;
education does not agree with the Indian blood, and, when you try to make this red-
handed Ishmael put on oiir ways, he merely loses his own, and is more lazy and not less
Above the Dafles the forests disappear ; nay, every leaf vanishes, and for miles on
miles the banks are covered with thick brown grass, wherein not even a mullein-stalk
springs. The scenery is tame, and the most eager tourist seldom ventures above Wright's
Harbor, two hundred and fifty miles from the sea. Steamers ply, however, for four
hundred miles, and then, after a portage along impassable rapids, an odd little boat
UP AND DOWN THE COLUMBIA.
runs up the Snake River, in Idaho. When the great railroad shall connect the
head-waters of the Missouri with the head-waters of the Columbia, the six hundred
miles of track will open an incalculable wealth to trade, and the most magnificent
wilderness of the world to travel. But at present, what with ubiquitous savages, and
perils of cold and hunger, and lost trails, it is as well to pause at Celilo, not far above
the falls. There, having inspected " the largest warehouse in the United States, being
over eleven hundred feet in length, and built to receive the Idaho freights," as the sta-
tion-master informs you in a solemn recitative, and there being nothing else in or of
Celilo that unanointed eyes can behold, you are speedily ready for your train. And
so back you go, leaving the falls and salmon and savage, leaving desert and whirl-
pool and whirlwind, at your back, and not reluctantly returning to the common-sense
and conventions of decent and sober Dalles. All the Dallesese, I remember, were
" assisting " at a Sabbath-school festival when we arrived, and, going to bed on the boat,
we seemed consequently to have inhaled a whiff of New-England air, and to sleep the
better for it.
To come down the river in the early morning, with the clear eastern light be-
hind you, is almost finer than to sail eastward, v/ith the glow of the sunset over moun-
tain and stream. Certainly Mount Hood lay more stately calm and fair, quite apart,
rising lonely from a far, upward-going plain, white, glittering, perfect. Mount Adams
and Mount Jefferson, also, seemed to win a charm from the presence of the pure morn-
ing ; and we had not in the least understood Mount Rainier until this second coming
before it. Under the blue heavens it rose in soft and tender hftings, till its triple crown
overtopped Mount Hood itself From Puget Sound, the view of it is grander, but not
so lovely ; and, as we watched it, it seemed even more worthy to be remembered than
sweet St. Helen's.
There are actually many hundreds of persons, no better than ourselves, who are
allowed to live all their years in the presence of these five mountains ; but we did not
see the human likeness of the Great Stone Face anywhere, and we observed that worries,
and sorrows, and sickness, and even death, came to them as to us. So, when it seemed
best, we were content to leave the enchanted river behind us, and to come back to the
familiar East, where, if work and care and pain awaited us, duty as surely waited for
us, too. And, as we reluctantly sailed away from the friendliness we had found, and
from the majestic forests and the gracious mountains, we seemed to hear in the ripple
of the waves these words of a most sweet philosopher : " Let us remember within what
walls we lie, and understand that this level life, too, has its summit, and why from the
mountain-top the deepest valley has its tinge of blue ; that there is elevation in every
hour, as no part of the earth is so low that the heavens may not be seen from it,
and we have only to stand on the summit of our hour to command an uninterrupted
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN AND THE TENNESSEE.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY HARRY FENN.
IT rained the first day we were
at Chattanooga. It rained the
second day. The waters came
down in ceaseless floods, and Lookout Moun-
tain, with its head buried in the mist,
seemed, as seen from our hotel - window,
lumpish and uninteresting enough. " After
all," thought I, watching the spiritless mass
through the thick lances of rain, " Leigh
Hunt was right. A great mountain is a
great humbug. Look at this ! A huge,
formless hump, a colorless, dead protuber-
ance, that obstructs rather than supplies a
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN AND THE TENNESSEE.
prospect ! What is there about it, or of it, or in it, that men should come long dis-
tances to see it, and risk their necks by climbing it ? " These ejaculations were ut-
tered half aloud, and the mountain-loving artist, overhearing them, quickly uttered his in-
stinctive remonstrance. " Wait," he wisely suggested to his companion's impatience, " until
the rain ceases. Sunshine will change your mood and your conclusions."
There was nothing, indeed, to do but wait, although Chattanooga is dreary enough
in a rain-storm. The town was denuded during the war of all its trees, a large part of
it was burned, and once it was buried up to its second-stoiy windows under the Ten-
nessee. These things have not served to beautify it. The streets are unpaved, and ap-
parently unworked; in wet weather they are of unspeakable mud, in dry weather of in-
describable dust, and at all times they present a surface of ridges and chasms that make
travelling upon them a penance which one's bones long feelingly remember. The princi-
pal business-avenue consists of little better than rudely-constructed barracks ; so, what with
the bare and rude streets and the roughly-constructed buildings, the place seems more
like an extemporized mining-town of the far West than an old settlement of the East.
But there is exhibited all the activity of a new colony ; better buildings are rapidly going
up ; a fine new hotel has been opened ; there are signs everywhere of prosperity and
growth ; and hence, if the Tennessee can only be persuaded to respect its legitimate
boundaries, we shall find the town in good time a prosperous and agreeable place. It is
a very active town. There are several railroads, and many trains come and go ; it is an
extensive cattle-depot, and droves of horses and bovines ceaselessly fill the streets. The
citizens are rather proud of their big new hotel, and they look upon Lookout Mountain
with feelings of friendly interest ; but I do not know that any thing delights them so
much as reminiscences of the big flood that occurred about five years ago. They will
show you the high-water marks with unsuppressed enthusiasm, and dwell upon the ap-
pearance of steamboats in their main street with an exhibition of pride that is very
When the sun came out on the third day we set forth with all expedition for the
mountain. During the regular season, which we had anticipated by a few weeks, coaches
run at fixed intervals to the mountain-top, where two hotels give entertainment to all
As we were to remain on the mountain several days, our carriage was packed with
all our effects, and we sallied forth with eagerness to scenes which the war brought into
such prominent notice. After a drive of about two miles, we began the long, sloping
ascent of the mountain-road, and half an hour later found us midway up the " formless
hump," very much disposed, indeed, to beg the mountain's pardon for our depreciating
criticism at the hotel-window ; for now forms of the njfest varied and striking character
revealed themselves in the cliffs and ravines of the mountain, and already superb pros-
pects of the far valley and the winding Tennessee showed through glimpses of the trees.
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN.— VIEW FROM THE "POINT."
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN AND THE TENNESSEE.
Above us hung beetling cliffs, which Mr. Fenn's pencil vividly delineates in one of the
larger illustrations, while below us were precipitous reaches, here and there picturesquely
marked by gigantic bowlders. I do not know but the best charm of mountain-views is
in these half glimpses that you catch in the ascent. If they do not possess the sublimity
of the scene from the supreme altitude, they gain many beauties in the nicer articulation
of the different objects below. The picturesque, moreover, is a little coy, and reveals it-
self more pleasingly in the half glances through broken vistas than at the open stare.
Our journey up the sides of Lookout was continually arrested by the charming pictures
of this character that the winding road brought to view.
The first sensation of the prospect from the top is simply of immensity. The eye
sweeps the vast spaces that are bounded only by the haze of distance. On three sides
no obstacles intervene between your altitude and the utmost reaches of the vision. To
your right, stretch successive ranges of hills and mountains that seem to rise one above
another until they dispute form^ and character with the clouds. Your vision extends, you
are told, to the great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, which lie nearly a hundred
miles distant. The whole vast space between is packed with huge undulations of hills,
which seem to come rolling in upon your mountain-shore, like giant waves. It is, indeed,
a very sea of space, and your stand of rocks and cliffs juts up in strange isolation amid
the gray waste of blending hills. Directly before you the undulations are repeated, fading
away in the far distance where the Cumberland Hills of Kentucky hide their tops in the
mists of- the horizon. Your eye covers the entire width of Tennessee; it reaches, so it is
said, even to Virginia, and embraces within its scope territory of seven States. These
are Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia, Kentucky, North and South Carolina. If the
view does in truth extend to Virginia, then it reaches to a point fully one hundred and
fifty miles distant. To your left, the picture gains a delicious charm in the windings of
the Tennessee, which makes a sharp curve directly at the base of the mountain, and then
sweeps away, soon disappearing among its hills, but at intervals reappearing, glancing
white and silvery in the distance, like great mirrors let into the landscape.
Lookout Mountain presents an abrupt precipice to the plain it overlooks. Its cliffs
are, for half-way down the mountain, splendid palisades, or escarpments, the character of
which can be altogether better conceived by the study of Mr. Fenn's drawings than by
the most skilful description. The mountain-top is almost a plateau, and one may wander
at his ease for hours along the rugged, broken, seamed, tree-crowned cliffs, surveying the
superb panorama stretched out before him in all its different aspects. The favorite post
of view is called the " Point," a plateau on a projecting angle of the cliff, being almost
directly above the Tennessee, and commanding to the right and left a breadth of view
which no other situation enjoys. Beneath the cHff, the rock-strewed slope that stretches
to the valley was once heavily wooded, but during the war the Confederates denuded it
of its trees, in order that the approaches to their encampment might be watched. It was
under cover of a dense mist that Hooker's men on the day of the famous battle skirted
this open space and reached the cover of the rocks beyond, up which they were to climb.
The " battle above the clouds " is picturesque and poetical in the vivid descriptions of our
historians, but the survey of the ground from the grand escarpments of the mountain
thrills one with admiration. It is not surprising that Bragg believed himself secure in his
rocky eyrie, and the wonder must always remain that these towering palisades did not
prove an impregnable barrier to the approach of his enemy.
On the summit of Lookout Mountain the northwest comer of Georgia and the
northeast extremity of Alabama meet on the southern boundary of Tennessee. The
mountain lifts abruptly from the valley to a height of fifteen hundred feet. It is the
summit overhanging the plain of Chattanooga that is usually connected in the popular
imagination with the title of Lookout, but the mountain really extends for fifty miles in
a southwesterly direction into Alabama. The surface of the mountain is well wooded, it
has numerous springs, and is susceptible of cultivation. In time, no doubt, extensive
farms will occupy the space now filled by the wilderness. There is a small settlement on
the crest of the mountain, consisting of two summer hotels, several cottages and cabins,
and a college. It is a grand place for study, and the young people of this sky-aspiring
academy have certainly superb stimulants in the exhilarating air and glorious scenes of
their mountain alma mater. ,
Only one of the public-houses was open at the time of our early visit to the moun-
tain, but already the daily throng of visitors was large. People only came, however,
for an hour or two ; the regular summer crowds, who during the hot season sojourn
among these lofty rocks, had given as yet no signs of their coming, and the principal
hotel was closed and silent. The Summit House, however, proved a pleasant little box.
We were the only guests, and hence had choice of rooms, and first place in our land-
lord's affections. The sunshine that seduced us from Chattanooga only kept our company
until we reached the mountain-top, when clouds began to obscure the scene, and winds to
chill the air. Although nearly three days on the mountain, Mr. Fenn got his sketches
with difficulty. There were glimpses of sunshine, and the clouds would lift and give us
superb vanishing pictures of the valley and distant hills, touched in spots with sunlight ;
but the cold winds and the ever-recurring showers made sketching out-of-doors cold and
dismal work. At the hotel we kept warm by means of blazing piles of logs, which a
little negro lass of about twelve years kept continually piling upon the waiting andirons.
To this diminutive daughter of Ethiopia we owe a world of thanks. The little creature
was full of work, zeal, and affection ; her big eyes had a melancholy contemplation, and
her manner exhibited a motherly solicitude that was exceedingly amusing. We chris-
tened her after the immortal Marchioness of Dickens. She seemed maid and master of
all work. She waited on table, polished the boots, made the fires, helped cook the meals,
as her regular duties, and then seemed never tired of watching over our comforts. At
the first show of the sun in the morning, she entered our rooms and built up fires for
us, and the last thing at night was to heap the andirons with wood. The wind pierced
through the thin timber frame of the house as if it had been pasteboard, and rendered
fires at all hours necessary. The black Marchioness's especial ambition was to polish our
boots. She promised each day they should be more brilliantly executed the next. " Won't
have no more boots to black," was her mournful comment when we came to depart.
" Why not 1 " was our reply ; " there will be plenty of boots to black — in fact, too many,
we should say." " No," was the inconsolable rejoinder, " people only come here to dinner.
Nobody stays here all night. There will be no more boots to black," and with this la-
ment upon her lips we left her. The spirits of Day & Martin will doubtless discover
this polishing zeal, and shower benedictions upon her.
The majority of visitors go to Lookout only for an hour or two, and hence miss
some very striking characteristics of the mountain. There are a lake and a cascade of
uncommon beauty about six miles distant from the " Point," and a singular grouping of
rocks, known by the name of " Rock City." The City of Rocks would be a somewhat
more correct appellation. This is a very odd phenomenon. Vast rocks of the most
varied and fantastic shape are arranged into avenues almost as regular as the streets of
a city. Names, indeed, have been given to some of the main thoroughfares, through
which one may travel between great masses of the oddest architecture conceivable.
Sometimes these structures are nearly square, and front the avenue with all the imposing
dignity of a Fifth - Avenue mansion. But others exhibit a perfect license in capri-
cious variety of form. Some are scooped out at the lower portion, and overhang their
base in ponderous balconies of rock. Others stand balanced on small pivots of rock, and
apparently defy the law of gravitation. I know of nothing more quaint and strange
than the aspects of this mock city — silent, shadowy, deserted, and suggestive, some way,
of a strange life once within its borders. One expects to hear a foot-fall, to see the pon-
derous rocks open and give forth life, and awaken the sleep that hushes the dumb city
in a repose so profound.
Lookout Mountain is remarkable generally for its quaint and fantastic rocks. Near
the " Point " are two eccentric specimens that are pointed out to every visitor. The
" Devil's Pulpit " — did one ever visit a mountain that had not borrowed Satanic phraseol-
ogy for characterizing some of its features 1 — the " Devil's Pulpit," almost at the extreme
end of the " Point," consists of a number of large slabs of rocks, piled in strange form
one upon the other, and apparently in immediate danger of toppling over. The reader
will readily discover this queer pile if he consults Mr. Fenn's drawing showing the view
from the " Point." Another odd mass is called " Saddle Rock," from a fancied resem-
blance to a saddle. It consists of a great pile of limestone, that has crumbled and
broken away in small particles, like scales, until in texture one may discover a likeness to
an oyster-shell, and in form something of the contour of a saddle-tree. With queer rock-
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN AND THE TENNESSEE,
forms, Lookout Mountain is certainly abundantly supplied. It is supposed that these
rocks, jutting so far above the level of the Palisades, are remains of a higher escarpment,
which, during uncounted centuries, has gradually worn away.
The lake and cascade to which I have referred are known as " Lulu Lake " and
" Lulu Falls," Lttlit being a corruption of the Indian name of TuUulah. The cascade is
Rock City, Lookout Mountain.
one of uncommon beauty. It is nearly as high as Niagara, and far more picturesque in
its setting. This lake and cascade can only be reached on foot or horseback ; no vehicle
can traverse the very rough road which leads to them. But their singular beauty, and
the strange, quaint features of the City of Rocks, would reward unusual exertions on the
part of the visitor. Lookout Mountain, indeed, is very imperfectly seen by those who
make a hurried jaunt to its Palisades, glance at the prospect so superbly spread out before
them, and then hurry back again. There is no mountain and no landscape that does not
require its acquaintance to be cultivated somewhat, just as we must meet our friends in
many intercourses before we can come to fully understand them. A mountain no more
carries its beauty within the ready ken of everybody than a wise man " wears his heart on
his sleeve for daws to peck at." The supreme beauty, the varied features, the changing
aspects, the subtle sentiments of the " rock-ribbed hills," enter the soul by many doors,
and only after a complete surrender on our part to their influences. One can comfort-
ably house himself on the great plateau of Lookout, and there give many days to wan-
dering along its Palisades, or in search of the thousand picturesque charms that pertain
to its wooded and rocky retreats.
Our views on the Tennessee are only for a dozen miles of its eight hundred, but
Rock-Forms on Lookout Mountain.
at a point where it outdoes the Hudson in the loftiness of its banks, and gives us its
best picturesque features.
The Tennessee comes sweeping down upon Lookout Mountain as if it confidently
expected to break through this rocky barrier and reach the Gulf by an easy course
through the pleasant lowlands of Alabama. The flood reaches the base of Lookout's
tall abutments, and, finding them impenetrable, sweeps abruptly to the right, breaking
through the barrier of hills that lie in its course, and, as if with a new purpose at heart,
abandons its hope of the Gulf, to eventually reach it, however, after a double marriage
with the Ohio and the Mississippi.
The Tennessee is formed by the union of the Clinch and the Holston Rivers, at
Kingston, and, together with its principal affluent, attains a length of eleven hundred
miles. Steamers navigate different portions, but a succession of shallows and rapids ' in
Alabama, known as " Muscle Shoals," bar vessels from its lower waters to the upper ; and
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN AND THE TENNESSEE, 6i
below Chattanooga exist serious obstacles to navigation, known as the " Suck " and the
The " Pot " lies some twenty miles below Chattanooga ; it is a maelstrom which, at
certain depths of water, is wild and beautiful. The swift current is impinged sharply
upon a high bluff, and turns to escape, at an angle so acute, that a perfect whirl of wa-
Rocks, Rock City.
ters ensues. Vast trees have been seen caught in its fierce turmoil and swept out of
sight ; and, in the time of freshets, houses, carried off by the flood, have plunged into
the gulf, to reappear none knew where or how. The " Suck "■ is thirteen miles from
Chattanooga. This phenomenon is caused by a fierce little mountain-current, called
" Suck Creek," which, in times of high water, brings from its rocky fastnesses such masses
of ddbris that the river-bed is strewed with bowlders, and a bar formed, which com-
presses the channel into a narrow, swift, and dangerous current. Thirty years ago the
Government erected a wall some forty feet distant from the left bank, and, through the
narrow passage thus formed, boats ascending the river are warped up by means of a wind-
lass on the shore. Under the intelligent direction of Lieutenant Adams, of the United
States Army, Government is now endeavoring to remove the obstructions and widen the
channel, which at this point is narrowed from the average of six hundred feet to two hun-
dred and fifty ; and hence the novel and picturesque sight of a steamer struggling up
against an adverse current by means of a windlass on the bank, with the songs and
shouts of the laboring deck-hands, will soon be, even if it is not now, a thing of the past.
To visit this famous " Suck," and get a sketch or two of the shore, was the pur-
pose of our journey along the Tennessee. The three days of wintry airs on Look-
out Mountain had made out-of-door sketching chilling work, but now a soft and balmy
April day invited us upon the jaunt ; so Mr. Fenn packed his sketching-traps ; a vehicle
stout in spring, and equal to the vicissitudes of a rough and rocky road, was procured,
and we sallied forth.
There was once a fine bridge across the Tennessee, at Chattanooga, but it fell a
victim to a great flood a few years ago. The Chattanoogians have been so busy since
erecting new warehouses, new railroad-depots, and new hotels, that they have forgotten
the piers of masonry in the river-bed, which in grim solitude seem to utter a protest
against their neglect. Not that we, searchers for the picturesque, would have had it
otherwise — for a bridge would have deprived Mr. Fenn's sketch-book of one of the
quaintest ferries in the country. The illustration, which the reader will readily find,
probably needs a little explanation, which let me endeavor to give. It is a rope-ferry,
having for motive-power the river-current, which it masters for its purpose by a very
simple application of a law in physics. A long rope from the ferry-boat, supported at
regular intervals on poles resting on small flat-boats, is attached, several hundred feet
up-stream, to an island in mid-water. The boat thus secured is pushed from the shore,
when it begins to catch the force of the current, a greater surface of pressure being se-
cured by a board, like the centre-board of a sail-boat, which is dropped down deep into
the water on the upper side. The current sweeping against the boat would carry it down-
stream, but the attached rope retains the vessel in place, and we have, as a result of
the sum of the forces, the boat swiftly propelled on the arc of a circle across the
stream. Thus, by a very simple contrivance, a motor is secured which requires neither
fuel nor canvas, which is uniformly available, and which is obtained entirely without cost,
A very odd effect in the scene is the fleet of small flat-boats, upholding the long and
heavy rope, which start in company with the large vessel in the order and with the pre-
cision of a column of cavalry. Moving in obedience to no visible sign or force, they
impress one as being the intelligent directors of the movement, and are watched
when first seen, with lively interest.
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN AND THE TENNESSEE.
The method adopted at this ferry is occasionally found in the South, but, ordinarily,
ferry-boats are carried from one side of the stream to the other by means of a suspended
rope from shore to shore. The Chattanooga ferry is very picturesque, apart from the
method of progression. In busy times a sort of tender accompanies the larger boat,
and upon this our carriage, with some difficulty, was driven. Boat and tender were rude
in construction, old, and dilapidated. The main vessel had a small enclosure, of a hen-
coop suggestiveness, which was called a cabin, and which, at a pinch, might give shelter
to three or four people. The groups upon its decks were striking. There were sports-
men with a great following of dogs, horsemen with their Texan saddles and wide som-
breros, vehicles, and groups of cattle, all mingled with the most happy contrast of color
and form. On the opposite shore, as we drew near, were visible great numbers of waiting
horsemen and cattle, giving evidence of the active business of the ferry, and emphasizing
the wonder that the bridge has not been restored.
If any mortal hereafter essays a visit to the " Suck," let him go by saddle. If he
ventures by vehicle, sore, very sore indeed, will be his trials. Our road, one of the most
picturesque and charming we had ever travelled, certainly outdid in roughness of surface
any previous experience. It led through superb woods ; under high banks ; over rocks
and bowlders ; into swift-running streams ; up steep hills, and down declivities. We were
pitched into the bottom of the wagon one moment, tossed against the top at another,
now precipitated affectionately into each other's arms, now hurled discordantly apart
against the wagon-sides — all of which, however, while trying to one's bones, added to the
relish of the journey, or rather, it may be safer to say, to the relish of our recollections
The Tennessee, as already said, runs between high hills, mountains even, being the
continuation of the Cumberland range. Spreads of table-land, v^ith intervening dips
of the forest, mark one side of the river, while on the other the rocky hills rise abruptly
from the water's edge. The river is very winding, and the road sometimes runs along its
course, sometimes loses sight of its silvery waters altogether; but the appearing and
reappearing surface of the stream affords contmual changes to the picture. Between the
bluff and the river are narrow strips of arable bottom-land ; and these, which sometimes
are only narrow ribbons bordering the stream, and at others wide fields, are very rich in
soil and carefully cultivated. But the owners, almost without exception, live in rude log-
cabins. We saw but two or three houses above this condition. The occupants are
sometimes negroes, but the majority are whites, who, however, as a rule, are not of the
class known as "poor whites." The cabins are rude, the grounds limited, the means
scanty, but the residents are a proud, intelligent set, who should be classed as hunters
and woodsmen rather than as husbandmen. Their delight is the woods and the moun-
tains, and they almost live on horseback. Their needs are a gun, a dog, a horse, a
cottage, a wife, and a cow — and pretty much in the order enumerated. They are semi-
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN AND THE TENNESSEE
sportsmen, accomplished in woodcraft,
who delight in all kinds of hunting,
but exhibit very little energy in devel-
oping the resources of the country. It
would be a mistake to accuse them of
a lack of intelligence. We met many
people on the road that day whose faces
were refined and handsome. With their
sloping sombreros, their gray shawls or
army coats, their picturesque saddles, and
their general air of graceful dilapidation,
they looked like so many brigands. We noted specially two or three ; and one who
drove a herd of cattle along the road possessed a face that for intellectual refinement
would be difficult to match.
At noon v/e reached our destination, and were shown a somewhat picturesquely-
situated log-cabin, where we were assured dinner could be obtained. Our apprehensions
may be imagined. But as soon as we drove up to it, and noticed the long array of
polished tins and glistening buckets, we felt assured that at least cleanliness would char-
acterize our repast. A very neat, pleasant-faced woman came forward at our appearance,
and with quiet self-possession promised us a rural meal of ham, eggs, and hot rolls.
The house was neat as a pin, and the woman refined and intelligent. But it contained
one room only, and this without a window. Air and light penetrated the apertures
between every layer of logs ; and in winter, when through the mountain-gully fierce winds
must sometimes sweep, the comfort of this cottage by the river may be estimated. Rude
as it was, the situation in summer-time was charming, which the reader may discover by
consulting the initial drawing by Mr. Fenn.
At this place we desired to cross the river, but no means could be obtained to do
so. No boats were to be found along the shore excepting the primitive " dug-out," which
every one said would not be safe on account of the swiftness and turbulence of the
current. This was a little exasperating. The rudest savage tribes of the Pacific build
canoes that can sail far oiit at sea in high winds and roughs water, but the boats of the
Tennessee can only be employed in the smoothest of water. They cannot be trusted in
Steamer on the Tennessee warped through the "Suck."
a ripple ; and yet the very simple contrivance of an outrigger, such as used by the Pa-
cific natives, would render them safe even in a high sea. The skill of our Tennessee
men is equal, no doubt, to many emergencies of the mountains, but their resources for the
water are certainly very limited. As we could not get on the other side of the river,
we started in search of the most eligible points on this side. In order to reach the
shore, we had a wild and picturesque walk, reaching in due time the romantic stream
which ignobly rests under the title of " Suck Creek." This stream is a mountain-tor-
rent ; it comes tumbling through rocky crevices above with all the flash and splendor
of the " waters of Lodore," and pours with turbulent energy into the Tennessee. In
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN AND THE TENNESSEE.
freshets it comes from its mountain-home with tremendous volume and force, burying
far under water even the high rocks deHneated in the illustration, and sweeping into the
river a score or so of smaller impediments. We crossed this torrent on a round and
very small tree-trunk, and, not having the skill of the natives, ignominiously crept along
it on our hands and knees. But, shortly after, seeing one to the manner born, with a
pack on his back, and a load in each hand, quietly and confidently walk the shaking
and unsteadfast bridge, we on our return plucked up courage and performed the feat in
an upright position. The picture here was very charming — mountains closing us in all
around, a canopy of noble forest-trees, and the music of the mountain-stream as it
plunged over its bed of rocks.
Securing the sketches necessary, we wended our way back. Under easier travelling,
the drive would be one of great enjoyment. It was interesting to note the pains that
are taken along the shore to cultivate every portion of the alluvial bottom-land, and in
some instances we saw desperate endeavors to plough steep acclivities on which foothold
could be obtained only with difficulty. The river annually overflows these bits of bottom-
land, and leaves its valuable deposits. But, while these freshets thus enrich the land,
they exact their compensation in fevers ; and occasionally the river disregards all limita-
tions, and seems to aim at the very submerging of the mountains. All along the road
signs were evident of the great freshet a few years before ; the high-water marks indicat-
ing a rise of at least twenty feet above the line of the road, while the road itself was
twenty or thirty above the river-bed. Far up, in crotches of trees, could be seen heaps
of brushwood and debris left by the flood as it withdrew. The people were compelled,
on that occasion, to rapidly withdraw to the mountains, many of them returning to find
their rude but valued homesteads swept away by the stream.
If the morning drive was charming, the return was enhanced by the beauty of the
setting sun. The river, the trees, the hills, gained new beauties from the rays of the
level light ; and Lookout Mountain, whose high top would occasionally reveal itself, tow-
ered superbly, purpling in the evening air. Arriving at the ferry near sunset, we expe-
rienced some amusing incidents in getting across the stream. It is one feature of this
method of crossing a river that the exact place of landing cannot be controlled, the rise
or fall of the stream varying it considerably. On our return we found the nose of the
boat thrust into a bank, and some apprehensions prevailing as to how the waiting cargo
was to be got on board. Our horses were unharnessed, and the vehicle, by the strenuous
effort of half a dozen negroes, lifted on board. Then the horses, our own and several
others, without much difficulty, jumped the space ; but the cattle struggled, and backed,
and plunged, with the most incorrigible perversity. Some charged back, and tried to
escape up the hill ; others plunged into the water ; and one fine heifer was with diffi-
culty saved from drowning. At last, after a great effort, much shouting, and woful con-
fusion, cattle, horses, carriage, and pedestrians, were successfully shipped, but crowded to-
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN AND THE TENNESSEE.
gether on the narrow flat with promiscuous disregard of class or species. Immense num-
bers of Hve-stock constantly traverse the road along the Tennessee, and cross by the
ferry described into Chattanooga. All day long the cry is, " Still they come ! " Chatta-
nooga is an extensive cattle-market, being the source of supply for a large portion of
the cotton States.
The Tennessee road is of historic interest, as being the principal avenue during the
recent war by which supplies were sent for the army in East Tennessee. Ceaseless
trains of army-wagons wound over the rough, devious, and picturesque road. The Con-
federate sharp-shooters hung along the southern bank, and it was not uncommon for a
sudden fusillade from the opposite hills to send death and consternation among the
draught-animals and their drivers.
There is one feature of the Tennessee at Chattanooga that remains to be described.
Under a high cliff near the ferry-landing may, at suitable season, be seen a number of
flat-boats unloading their cargoes of grain or other produce from the upper waters of
the Tennessee. Here is often a very stirring picture. Crowds of vehicles are receiving
grain ; there is the bustle of loading and unloading, the clamor of many voices, the
noisy vociferation of the negro drivers, altogether making up a scene of great animation.
These flat-boats come mainly far up through the Clinch or the Powell River, from the
northern border of Tennessee, and the southern counties of Virginia, bringing corn,
wheat, and bacon. A striking characteristic of their construction is their ponderous
stern-oars, which often reach a hundred feet in length. Floating with the current, these
oars are only needed as rudders, and the necessity of their great length is not obvious.
The flat-boatmen of the Tennessee are not, like those of the Mississippi, notorious as "hard
characters." They do not pursue the vocation as a business, but are mostly farmers, who,
once a year possibly, bring down their harvests, and perhaps those of their neighbors, to
market. We found them, while rustic in manner, polite, affable, and intelligent. One
notable feature of this busy scene was the apparently friendly manner in which whites
and blacks labored together. There was some little merry chaffing of each other, and
that was all. As each boat included both colors in the composition of its crew, and
among the teamsters was every shade of hue, there was abundant opportunity for the
display of class hatreds if they had existed.
There would seem to be favorable occasion for the employment of capital and labor
in this section of country. Chattanooga is a great railroad centre ; it is on the main
line of travel between the North and the South ; and it must, in the nature of things,
develop into an important place. Capital is needed, which, with fresh energy and a more
varied industry, would soon give a marked impulse in the development of a section rich
in natural resources.
RICHMOND, SCENIC AND HISTORIC.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY HARRY FENN.
T N one of the drawing-rooms of the Century Club, New York, there may be seen
a painting of a quaint old mansion of red brick, architecturally of the reign of
Queen Anne, one wing of which stands only in its charred timbers and blackened
walls. This mansion is situated on the left bank of the James River, and, a century
and a half ago, was the stately dwelling of the " Hon. William Byrd, of Westover,
Esquire." It was occupied for some time during the late civil war by the Federal troops
(when the painting in possession of the Century Club was executed), and the name,
Westover, will be freshly recalled in connection with the operations in Virginia during
There were three William Byrds, of Westover, grandfather, father, and son, each one
of whom makes a figure in the colonial history of Virginia, but it was the second of
the name and title to whom reference is made above — a man of many shining traits of
character and of imposing personal appearance, as we know from contemporary records
and from the full-length portrait of him, in flowing periwig and lace ruffles, after the
manner of Vandyck, which is still preserved at Lower Brandon. He had an immense
RICHMOND, SCENIC AND HISTORIC
estate, and lived profusely on its revenue for many years in England ; he was the friend,
as the inscription on his tomb at Westover tells us, of the learned and illustrious Charles
Boyle, Earl of Orrery, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society ; he contributed
a paper to the Philosophical Transactions, and he left behind him a considerable mass
of papers, known as the Westover Manuscripts, one of which is a delightful history of
the dividing-line between Virginia and North Carolina. From this narrative we learn — a
fact not mentioned in his epitaph — that he was the founder of Richmond.
On the 19th day of September, in the year 1733, he says, on their return from the
boundary expedition, one Peter Jones and himself laid out two towns or cities, one on
the Appomattox and the other on the James River, twenty-two miles apart. The one
they called Petersburg, from the baptismal name of the Jones of the period, and not in
compliment to Peter the Great ; and the other they called Richmond, from a resem-
blance, real or fancied, in its site with soft hills, and far-stretching meadows, and curving
sweep of river, lost to view at last behind ghmmering woods, to the beautiful Enghsh
town in Surrey. Whatever hopes they may have indulged of the future greatness of
these Virginian towns, hopes as yet unfulfilled, it probably did not occur to Colonel the
Hon. William Byrd or to Peter Jones, his companion, that around these sites military
engagements were to be fought as memorable as Pultowa or Malplaquet, and that Peters-
burg and Richmond would become as famous in the history, of sieges as Saragossa or
Colonel Byrd did not live to see Richmond attain unto any considerable size, for the
town was not estabHshed by law until 1742, and he died only two years later. A few
warehouses for the storage and shipment of tobacco were built first of all ; then an
irregular and scattering collection of houses for trade grew up around them ; and on the
hills overlooking the settlement arose the dwellings of a few rich planters and the thriv-
ing Scotch and English merchants who had established themselves at the place. But
the fine town-house of Madame Rachel Esmond Warrington was fixed there by Mr-
Thackeray several decades too soon. Richmond, indeed, had no importance until it sup-
planted Williamsburg as the seat of the State government in 1779, and so little prepared
was it for defence in war that it was given up to the British troops, in Arnold's descent
upon Virginia, without the firing of a gun, and Lieutenant-Colonel Simcoe, of the Queen's
Rangers, rode into it with barely a show of opposition.
Immediately after the War of the Revolution, sanguine expectations were entertained
that Richmond would soon become, not only the seat of a large trade, but a centre
of learning and science. Commercial relations were established with London, and vessels
of small tonnage made passages of sixty days from the wharves of Richmond to the
pool of the Thames. Before many years an India-house was built, with the vague idea
that the fabrics and spices of the East would be brought from Bombay and Calcutta
direct to the capital of Virginia. But polite learning was to keep pace with material
RICHMOND, SCENIC AND HISTORIC
growth, and accordingly we read in the annals of the town that the Chevalier Alexandre
Marie Quesnay de Beaurepaire did, "in the year of our Lord 1786, the loth of the Re-
public, viii calends of July, Patrick Henry being Governor of Virginia," lay the corner-
stone of an Academy of Arts and Sciences, which was designed to be the American
sister of the famous Royal (National, Imperial, and Republican) Academy of Sciences
of Paris, an enterprise which failed, however, long before the dreams of commercial great-
ness had been rehnquished.
The point from which the most commanding and comprehensive view of Richmond
is visible, bears the name of Hollywood Cemetery, a picturesque elevation in the north-
western suburbs, where rest the remains of many illustrious men, and of thousands who
in the recent struggle
" Went down to their graves in bloody shrouds."
Far away from the noises of city-life, curtained by Nature with the luxuriant foliage of
tree and flower, and presenting at every turn of hill and dell patches of beauty which
art cannot improve, there is perhaps no spot in America more suggestive of the solemn
associations that attach to the sacred circle of the dead. At the southern extremity may
be seen the monument erected to the memory of President Monroe, whose remains were
removed hither from New York under the escort of the Seventh Regiment of that city
several years before the war ; and all around the spacious grounds shafts and cenotaphs
are reared to pay the tribute of the living to those who have "gone before."
The scene from President's Hill, in Hollywood, is one that never tires the eye, be-
cause it embraces a picture which somewhere among its lights and shadows presents
features that constantly appeal to imagination and refined taste. In the great perspective
which bounds the horizon the distant hills and forests take new color from the changing
clouds ; while nearer — almost at your feet — the James River, brawling over the rocks, and
chanting its perpetual requiem to the dead who lie around, catches from the sunshine
playing on its ruffled breast kaleidoscopic hues. Hundreds of willowy islets impede its
flow, diversifying the picture with patches of green, and the brown-backed rocks and
ledges peeping out are marked by silvery trains of foam.
Intermediate in elevation between the river and the summit of President's Hill
winds, in a ^graceful curve, the canal, seeking its basin at the town ; and not far away
are the forges of the Tredegar Iron-works, the fiery chimneys of which at night belch
forth flames that send their sparkle into a thousand windows, and make pictures in the
rippling waters. Still beyond these, in the sketch, are visible the gigantic flour-mills for
which Richmond is justly famous, it being claimed that these buildings are the largest
of the kind in the world. The curious fact may be stated in this connection that the
flour manufactured here is said to be the only brand which is capable of resisting the
heat of the tropics,
That, however, which attracts the attention of the
visitor above all other objects as he views the broad
prospect, is the city itself, with its bold yet broken out-
line of roofs and spires.
The ground on which Richmond is built is a succession of
hills and valleys. Indeed, it is sometimes called, like Rome, " the
seven-hilled city," and, in approaching from almost any direction, it produces upon the
stranger the imposing effect of a large and populous capital. Nor will he be disap-
pointed by his subsequent experience, for he will still find the city a place of interest
as the social and political centre of Virginia.
From the period of the Revolution down to the present time the flower of the
country-people have been in the habit of spending here a considerable portion of the
year, while the sessions of the Legislature and the courts drew together many of the
most brilliant intellects of the land. In 1861 still greater prominence was given to Rich-
mond by its selection as the capital of the Southern Confederacy. It became the home
of the Southern leaders and the resort of the officers of its armies, while the net-work
of intrenchments that almost encircled the city and the battles fought in the neighbor-
hood tell of the obstinacy with which it was defended as the key-stone of the cause.
In April, 1865, when the Confederate forces evacuated their positions, .nearly one thou-
RICHMOND, SCENIC AND HISTORIC.
sand houses, including property to the value of eight million dollars, were destroyed by
fire. Since then, however, Richmond has nearly recovered from her misfortune, and there
are now visible but few traces of the great conflagration.
Chief among the public buildings, and one that may be said to belong to the post-
Revolutionary period, is the Capitol, a structure which lifts itself above all other buildings
as from an Acropolis, and has, indeed, an imposing effect, which is not wholly lost when
one gets near enough to see the meanness of its architectural details and the poverty of
its materials. The Maison Carree at Nismes, in France, was selected by Mr. Jefferson as
the model for the structure, but so many alterations were made in this model that the
Capitol resembles the Maison Carree about as much as the Hall of Records in New-
York City resembles the Temple of Wingless Victory. For all the purposes of the
picturesque, however, the Capitol serves as well in the prospect from Hollywood as if it
were the Parthenon restored. At the distance of two miles the stucco of its exterior
glitters in the sunlight, like marble, and there is a symmetry in its proportions which Mr.
Ruskin himself would acknowledge, harrowing as the building might be to his aesthetic
soul when he came to examine it.
It stands on the brow of what is known as Shockoe Hill, in the centre of a public
square of about eight acres, which, being beautifully laid out, is a favorite place of resort
for both citizens and strangers, who find in its shady recesses and the music of its foun-
tains a grateful contrast to the dust and bustle of the streets. The building is of the
Graeco-composite order, adorned with a portico of Ionic columns, and the view from it
is extensive, varied, and beautiful. The entrances are on the two longer sides, and lead
to a square hall in the centre of the building, surmounted by a dome. In the centre
of this hall is the famous marble statue of Washington, bearing this inscription :
" Fait par Hotidon, Citoyen Franfais, 1 788."
On the pedestal is the honest and affectionate inscription which follows :
" The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia have caused this statue
to be erected as a monument of affection and gratitude to
who, uniting to the endowments of the Hero the virtues of the Patriot, and exerting
both in Establishing the Liberties of his Country, has rendered his name dear to his
Fellow Citizens, and given the World an immortal example of true Glory. Done in the
One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Eight and in the year of the Commonwealth
The statue is clothed in the uniform of an American general during the Revolution,
and is of the size of life. In one of the niches of the wall is a marble bust of La-
fayette. Among other objects of interest here, is an antique English stove covered with
ornamental castings and inscriptions, and dating far back beyond the Revolution. It was
used to warm the old Virginia House of Burgesses at Williamsburg, in colonial times,
and still holds its place in the present hall as the centre of legislative discussion and
gossip, as it no doubt v/as more than a hundred years ago. The library contains many
historic relics and valuable old pictures, and indeed the entire building is rich in associa-
tions which make the place seem almost sacred. Here Aaron Burr was tried for treason
before John Marshall; here Lafayette was received by his old companions in the cabinet
and the field ; here the memorable Convention of 1829-30 held its sessions, among
whose members were Madison, Monroe, Marshall, John Randolph, Leigh, and many other
The James, above Richmond
RICHMOND, SCENIC AND HISTORIC
The Jamef, from Mayo's Bridge.
men of national fame ; and here, at a
later period, Stonewall Jackson lay in
his coffin, with the new flag of the Con-
federate States (then first used) for his
A few rods distant from the Capi-
tol stands the celebrated equestrian statue
of Washington, by Crawford. It con-
sists of a bronze horse and rider of
gigantic size, artistically poised upon a
pedestal of granite, and surrounded by immense bronze figures of Patrick Henry, Thomas
Jefferson, John Marshall, George Mason, Thomas Nelson, and Andrew Lewis. Each
of these statues is a study in itself, as a specimen of the sculptor's genius, and as an
almost "speaking likeness" of the original. Henry is represented in the act of delivering
an impassioned address; Jefferson, with pen in hand, and thoughtful brow, appears the
statesman ; Marshall wears the dignity and firmness of the great judge ; while the noble
form of General Andrew Lewis, arrayed in the hunting-costume of the pioneer, recalls
the romance and daring of early days. On smaller pedestals are civic and mihtary alle-
gorical illustrations, also in bronze ; and, altogether, the monument is perhaps the most
imposing in America.
In another portion of the Capitol grounds is a marble statue of Henry Clay, of
life-size, which well deserves the attention of the tourist as a faithful work of art.
• The prominent public buildings of Richmond are substantial, and in most instances
handsome specimens of architecture. The City Hall, Custom-House, Governor's Mansion,
Penitentiary, Medical College, and State Armory, are severally worthy of a visit ; while.
among the many churches, that which occupies the site of the ill-fated theatre destroyed
by fire in 1811, when the Governor of the State and sixty others perished in the flames,
is the most notable. The " Old Stone House " is cherished in the affections of the
citizens of Richmond as the first dwelling erected within the city limits. " It was
occupied, when I visited it," says Lossing, in his " Field-Book of the Revolution," " by
Mrs. Elizabeth Welsh, whose great-grandfather, Jacob Ege, from Germany, built it before
Byrd's warehouse was erected. It was owned by Mrs. Welsh's father, Samuel Ege, who
was a commissary in the American army during the War of the Revolution. Wash-
ington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, have all been beneath its roof Mrs. Welsh
informed me that she well remembers the fact that Monroe boarded with her mother
while attending the Virginia Convention in 1788."
At the remotest point of the landscape in the drawing of " Richmond from Holly-
wood " may be seen a white spire on the summit of a hill. This is the old parish-church
' of St. John's, Henrico, probably the first building of note that was erected within what
are now the limits of the city, then standing solitary in the midst of the native forest
which overlooked the small warehouses and tobacco-sheds at the head of navigation.
At what exact period St. John's Church was built, the local historians do not inform
us; but there are tombs in the burial-ground bearing date 1751, and probably no inter-
ment was made there until after parish services were regularly performed in the building
itself Mr. Fenn's beautiful sketch presents it exactly as it now appears, and gives that
side which is oldest in construction. Originally, it was without architectural pretensions
of any kind ; but, thirty years or more ago, it was modernized by the erection of a
tower, and enlarged by an addition joining the ancient part at right angles. During the
late civil war the tower fell in a high wind, and has been replaced by the spire which is
seen in the drawing. The old church was far less imposing, without and within, than
Trinity at Newport, which it resembled in the general arrangement of its pews, and in
an old sounding-board that once stood above the pulpit, but yielded at last to the prog-
ress of decay. The associations of the building are of the most stirring and interesting
character. Here assembled, on the 20th of March, 1775, the Second Convention of Vir-
ginia, which was called to determine the question of peace or war between the colony and
the crown, and which gave to the Old Dominion the honor of organizing the first plan
of resistance to British tyranny. The dehberations of this convention form a striking
chapter in the history of the American Revolution, and are familiar to all educated
persons in the United States. The body contained a large number of men who were
destmed to become illustrious in the annals of the Commonwealth and the country.
Among them were Peyton Randolph and Richard Bland, George Wythe and Richard
Henry Lee. The delegate from Albemarle was Thomas Jefferson, and the delegate from
Fairfax was George Washington. But the leading spirit of the convention was Patrick
Henry, and the walls of this old church gave back the animating strains of his eloquence.
RICHMOND, SCENIC AND HISTORIC.
as, rising to the full height of his
argument, he uttered the war-cry of
the Revolution : " Is life so dear or
peace so sweet as to be purchased at
the price of chains and slavery ? For-
bid it. Almighty God ! I know not
what course others may take, but, as
for me, give me liberty or give me
death ! "
The populous graveyard around
the church has long since been dis-
used for interments, and the tombs
themselves are crumbling into ruin,
which the deep grasses and running
ivy of the spot half conceal. On
some the inscriptions are almost ille-
gible, and it is plain, from the neglect
of all, that few descendants of the dead
that repose beneath them now remain
among the inhabitants of Richmond.
None of the great historic names of
the Commonwealth are to be found
among these tombs, and the thoughts
they suggest are such as were excited
in the mind of Gray at Stoke Pogis,
which the "Elegy" so beautifully and
effectively embodies in verse. The
sleepers were the undistinguished fore-
fathers of the hamlet mostly, of
various races and nationalities, and,
though three generations are repre-
sented in this city of silence and
forgetfulness, quite as many lie here
who prayed for King George in
the church near by as for the Presi-
dent of the United States in later
From the hill on which the church
stands, and indeed from most of the
hills about Richmond, the James River is in view for several miles of its course, and lends
much to the attractiveness of the prospect. Above the city, in the rapids which for six
miles tumble over a rocky bed, we see whence is derived the water-power that animates the
mills, and how art has overcome the obstructions of Nature by means of a canal which
opens the navigation of the river above the falls. Below the bridge, the scene is more
Scene on the Canal.
peaceful, and the tranquil surface of the water reflects the steadily-increasing commerce
of the capital. Barks and steamers ply regularly between its sister-ports, and the white
gleam of their sails and the dark smoke of their furnaces, though far from fulfilHng the
visions of the builders of the India-house of which we have spoken, give a charm to
picturesque surroundings that will always be worthy of the pencil of the artist. The
RICHMOND, SCENIC AND HISTORIC
accompanying illustrations correctly present various aspects of the river; but it is among
the rapids, or just below them, that Mr. Fenn has happily embraced the upward and
the downward view. The covered bridge, which a train of cars is about entering, seen
in the drawing of the rapids, is that of the Richmond and Danville Railroad, and the
frames which appear above the water are the fish-traps which are rebuilt every spring to
catch the shad as they come over the falls. The unwary fish swims with the swift
current right into the trap, and is carried by its force out of his native element, high
and dry upon the strips of planking, there to remain until the owner of the trap re-
moves it, unless stolen at night by the prowling human shad-thief, or the predatory
raccoon which inhabits the islands in the stream. Once in the trap, the shad cannot
possibly go back, and, in seasons when a good run of this fish ascends the river, large
numbers are thus caught for the Richmond market. It may be supposed that the navi-
gation of a river so rapid and so rocky as the James at this point, is difficult, but the
negro boatmen have great dexterity in poling and paddling their little skiffs across
from island to island ; and the small steam-yacht, which lies under the island's bank
in the picture, does no more than shoot the torrent into the deeper and smoother
water lower down.
The canal, which is seen .in the last of Mr. Fenn's collection of drawings, is con-
nected with tide-water by a series of locks, with an aggregate lift of ninety-six feet.
Two of these locks on the highest level constitute the central part of a sketch which,
at first glance, looks as if it were designed to set before us a quaint, old, tumble-
down nook or corner of some European city. Upon examination, however, one sees the
African element of the population in such force, tending the lock, feeding the poultry,
and driving the team across the bridge, as to determine the locality in a Southern
town of the United States. One cannot help recognizing in this sketch how much
more effective in the hands of the artist is dilapidation than tidiness, and a ruin than
a perfect structure. The ramshackle porches of the negro tenements here have a
higher effect than would a neat row of white-painted houses with green blinds, in a
well-kept New-England village, and the broken walls of the warehouse (destroyed by
the fire of April, 1865, and never rebuilt) are more picturesque than would be the
smooth front of a factory that might give occupation to five hundred operatives.
Richmond retains yet, in the marks of her great conflagration, much of that un-
desirable picturesqueness that belongs to ruins. But such is the beauty of its site, and
the charm of its landscape, that, when not one ragged wall or cruel chasm shall be left
to suggest the ravage it has undergone — when the whole river-margin along the rapids
shall have been made vulgar and noisy (and profitable) by lines of factories, and Rich-
mond shall become the great manufacturing city of the South — even then it will tempt
the wandering artist to take out his portfolio and sketch the outlines of its hills, and
the tumult of its leaping waters.
THE NATURAL BRIDGE, VIRGINIA.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY HARRY FENN.
^HE Falls of Niaga-
ra and the Natural
Bridge ai'e justly esteemed
1 the most remarkable curi-
. osities in North America,
So exceptional is the beauty, min-
gled with sublimity, of these fa-
mous scenes, that thoughtless per-
sons have characterized them as
"freaks of Nature." But in Na-
ture — great, beneficent, and doing
all things in order — there are no freaks.
She shows her power in the grand
THE NATURAL BRIDGE, VIRGINIA.
cataract, spanned with its rainbow, and in the dizzy arch of the Natural Bridge, as in
the daisy and the violet she shows her grace and beauty.
The Natural Bridge, the character and formation of whose upper portion are dis-
played in the first of the accompanying sketches, has been, from about the middle
of the eighteenth century, an object of curiosity and admiration in Europe as well as
in America. Whatever traveller came to the Western World, to compare its natural
grandeur with the grandeur of art and architecture in the countries he had left, went
first, in the North, to the Falls of Niagara, and, in the South, to the world-famous
bridge. Among these may be mentioned the courtly and distinguished Marquis de
Chastellux, major-general in the French Army and member of the Institute, who in
1 781 visited the place, and from whose rare volumes we present a few paragraphs which
may interest the reader.
" Having thus travelled for two hours," writes the marquis, " we at last descended
a steep declivity, and then mounted another At last my guide said to me : ' You
desire to see the Natural Bridge — don't you, sir 1 You are now upon it ; alight and
go twenty steps either to the right or left, and you will see this prodigy.' I had per-
ceived that there was on each side a considerable deep hollow, but the trees had pre-
vented me from forming any judgment or paying much attention to it. Approaching
the precipice, I saw, at first, two great masses or chains of rocks, which formed the
bottom of a ravine, or, rather, of an immense abyss. But, placing myself, not without
precaution, upon the brink of the precipice, I saw that these two buttresses were joined
under my feet, forming a vault of which I could yet form no idea but of its height.
After enjoying this magnificently-tremendous spectacle, which many persons could not
bear to look at, I went to the western side, the aspect of which was not less imposing,
but more picturesque. This Thebais, these ancient pines, these enormous masses of
rocks, so much the more astonishing as they appear to possess a wild symmetry, and
rudely to concur, as it were, in forming a certain design — all this apparatus of rude and
shapeless Nature, which art attempts in vain, attacks at once the senses and the thoughts,
and excites a gloomy and melancholy admiration."
Such are the terms in which the gallant marquis describes his first sensations, when,
as yet, the view from the summit was all he had seen. He goes on to say :
" But it is at the foot of these rocks, on the edge of a little stream which flows
under this immense arch, that we must judge of its astonishing structure. There we
discover its immense spurs, its back-bendings, and those profiles which architecture might
have given it. The arch is not complete ; the eastern part of it not being so large as
the western, because the mountain is more elevated on this than on the opposite side.
It is very extraordinary that at the bottom of the stream there appear no considerable
ruins, no trace of any violent laceration which could have destroyed the kernel of the
rock and have left the upper part alone subsisting ; for that is the only hypothesis that
can account for such a prodigy. We can have no possible recourse either to a volcano
or a deluge, no trace of a sudden conflagration or of a slow and tedious undermining by
The point here touched upon is one of the most interesting, in a scientific view,
connected with this famous curiosity. The marquis, it will be seen, declares his convic-
tion that the " prodigy " was neither caused by a volcanic upheaval, a conflagration burn-
The Natural Bridge and its Surroundings.
ing in the heart of the rock-ribbed mountain, nor by the attrition of water slowly wear-
ing away the stubborn Hmestone. These views are supported by men of science, as the
following paragraphs will show. They are taken from the memoir of the Baron de Tur-
pin, an engineer of ability, sent by the Comte de Rochambeau to measure the great
"The mass of rock and stone which loads this arch," says the baron, "is- forty-
nine feet solid on the key of the great centre, and thirty-seven on that of the small
THE NATURAL BRIDGE, VIRGINIA.
one; and, as we find about the same difference in taking the level of the hill, it may
be supposed that the roof is on a level the whole length of the key. It is proper to ob-
serve that the live rock continues also the whole thickness of the arch, and that on the
opposite side it is only twenty-five feet wide in its greatest breadth, and becomes gradu-
ally narrower. The whole arch seems to be formed of one and the same stone ; for the
joints which one remarks are the effect of lightning, which struck this part in 1779.
The other head has not the smallest vein, and the intrados is so smooth that the mar-
tins, which fly around it in great numbers, cannot fasten on it. The abutments, which
have a gentle slope, are entire, and, without being absolute planes, have all the polish
which a current of water would give to unhewn stone in a certain time. The four
rocks adjacent to the abutments seem to be perfectly homogeneous, and to have a very
trifling slope. The two rocks on the right bank of the rivulet are two hundred feet
high above the surface of the water, the intrados of the arch a hundred and fifty, and
the two rocks on the left bank a hundred and eighty."
The baron then proceeds, as though weary of his " great centres," " intrados," and
other technicalities, to burst forth with :
" If we consider this bridge simply as a picturesque object, we are struck with the
majesty with which it towers in the valley. The white-oaks which grow upon it seem
to rear their lofty summits to the clouds, while the same trees which border on the
rivulet appear like shrubs."
This exhibition of sentiment, however, appears to exhaust the baron's stock, and he
returns to his better-loved science, adding :
" We see that these rocks, being of a calcareous nature, exclude every idea of a vol-
cano, which, besides, cannot be reconciled with the form of the bridge and its adjacent
parts. If it be supposed that this astonishing arch is the effect of a current of water,
we must suppose, likewise, that this current has had the force to break down and carry
to a great distance a mass of five thousand cubic fathoms, for there remains not the
slightest trace of such an operation."
What, then, was the mystery of the origin of this celebrated structure ? Science is
powerless in face of the wonder, and perhaps, after all, the conclusion of De Chastellux
is the only one attainable — that "it is to the labor only of the Creator that we owe the
magnificent construction of the Natural Bridge "—to which he adds : " The opinion of the
Comte de Buffon, whom I have since consulted, has left me no doubt upon the subject."
From this strictly scientific, but, we think, suggestive and interesting, view of the
great curiosity, we pass to details and circumstances connected with it, calculated, per-
haps, to interest in a larger degree the general reader.
Mr. Fenn's second drawing furnishes a distant view of the bridge, the suiTounding
country, and objects in its vicinity. It wiH recall, doubtless, to many persons, agreeable
recollections of the landscape which saluted their eyes as they first drew near the place
— and the names of such are legion, for the spot has been, for more than half a cen-
tury, the resort of parties led by a desire to explore the beauties of the romantic scene.
Of the daring of some of these visitors, in climbing, or venturing to the brink of the
precipice, we shall give one or two instances, kept alive by tradition. Among these tra-
ditions, the most thrilling is that of the unshrinking nerve displayed by Miss Randolph,
a young Virginienne, a great belle of her time, which was the early portion of the pres-
ent century. The young lady had ridden, with a gay party of youthful maidens and gal-
lant cavaliers, to the bridge, and reached it on a beautiful evening of summer. Miss
Randolph is said, by those who knew and remember her, to have been a young lady of
surpassing loveliness — tall, slender, with sparkling eyes, cheeks all roses, and noted for her
gayety and mirthful abandon. Reaching the summit of the bridge, the party dismounted,
cautiously approached the brink, fringed with trees growing among the rocks, and gazed
into the gulf beneath. Of the terrifying character of the spectacle. President Jefferson's
words will give some idea :
" Though the sides of the bridge are provided, in some parts, with a parapet of
rocks," he says, " yet few men have resolution to walk to them and look over into the
abyss. You involuntarily fall on your hands and feet, creep to the parapet, and look
over it. Looking down from this height about a minute gave me a violent headache ;
the view is painful and intolerable."
Reaching this dizzy brink, the party of young ladies and gentlemen gazed below,
when one of the gallants, pointing to the broken stump of a huge cedar which had
once towered aloft upon a jagged abutment, separated by an intervening cleft from the
main structure, expressed his conviction that no human being lived sufficiently daring to
stand erect upon it. A gay laugh echoed the words, ^ silken scarf brushed by him, and
the whole party uttered a cry of terror — Miss Randolph, at one bound, had reached and
now stood erect upon the dizzy pinnacle. Tradition relates that her companions looked
at her, white and speechless, as so many corpses.. Her death seemed certain. A wild
spirit of bravado had given her courage for this terrible proceeding ; but, perched thus
on her slight footing above the frightful abyss, she must lose her nerve, grow dizzy, and
be hurled upon the rocks beneath — the beautiful being of a moment since — a mass of
mangled and unrecognizable flesh and bones. For an instant, the daring young lady
stood erect, riding-whip in hand, her scarf floating, her eyes sparkling with triumph ;
then, at a single bound, she regained her former position, and, with a gay laugh, asked
if any gentleman could do as much. Tradition declares that, despite their gallantry, the
youthful cavaliers exhibited their good judgment by declining.
The most striking view of the Natural Bridge is that from below, and no better
hour could be selected than that fixed upon by Mr. Fenn. As the sun rises and flashes
its splendors through the gigantic arch, the scene becomes one of extraordinary beauty
and sublimity — beauty from the exquisite flush which spreads itself over rocky mass and
THE NATURAL BRIDGE, VIRGINIA.
stately fir, over pendent shrub, and the fringe of evergreen ; and sublimity from the well-
nigh overpowering sentiment which impresses the mind in presence of the mighty arch
of rock, towering far above, and thrown as by the hand of some Titan of old days
across the blue sky, appearing both above and beneath. It has been well said that no
one who has witnessed this extraordinary spectacle has ever forgotten it.
With the brilliant drawing of Mr, Fenn before his eyes, the reader would only be
wearied by any desci-iption of the exquisite scene which it represents. The grandeur and
serene loveliness of the spectacle are sufficiently indicated — the gentle stream which
passes with a m.urmur from its hiding-place in the bosom of the hills — the lengthening
vistas, cool and soft, and bathed in dawn — the silent mountains — and, in the midst of all
this exquisite beauty, the great soaring arch, with its jutting buttresses and fringes of the
evergreen pine, the shaggy eyebrows of the giant. They dwindle these heavy-headed
evergreens into little fringes only — even that picturesque monarch, represented in the
second drawing of Mr. Fenn, on the summit of the bridge, shows scarce so large as the
spray of ferns and cedar held in the hand of a girl ! There is excellent reason, indeed,
why the loftiest forest-trees, proudly raising their heads to heaven, and affording a resting-
place for the eagle, should thus shrink in dimensions. From the summit to the surface
of the stream below is two hundred and fifteen feet ; and thus the Natural Bridge is
fifty-five feet higher than Niagara.
It remains only, before terminating our brief sketch of this celebrated curiosity, to
speak of the hazardous attempts, made by more than one person, to climb the rocky
sides of the great arch and reach the summit. This has never yet been done, but a
considerable distance has been attained by venturesome climbers, who have recorded their
prowess by cutting their names on the surface, at the highest point reached by them.
High up among these, it is commonly reported, may be found the name of no less
a personage than George Washington, who, strong, adventurous, and fond of manly
sports, was seized, hke many others before and after him, with the ambition to ascend
the precipice and inscribe his name upon the face of the rock.
The highest point ever reached by any one of these adventurous explorers is said to
have been attained by Mr. James Piper, at the time a student of Washington College,
and subsequently a State senator. It v/as about the year 1818, when, with some of his
fellow-students, Mr. Piper visited the bridge, descended to the foot of the precipice, and
determined to ascertain to what height it was possible for a human being to ascend by
means of inequalities on the surface, the assistance of shrubs, or otherwise. He accord-
ingly commenced climbing the precipice, and, taking advantage of every ledge, cleft, and
protuberance, finally reached a point which, to his companions far beneath, seemed directly
under the great arch. He was far above the names cut on the stone — fully fifty feet
above that of Washington — ^and, standing upon a ledge, which appeared to his terrified
fellow-students but a few inches in width, shouted aloud, waving one hand in triumph,
UNDER THE NATURAL BRIDGE.
PIC TURESQ UE A ME RICA .
while with the other he clung to the face of the precipice. They shouted back to him,
begging him for God's sake to descend, but he only replied by laughter. They then saw
him continue the ascent, clinging to every object at hand, until he reached a cleft almost
directly beneath the cedar-stump which we have mentioned as the scene of Miss Ran-
dolph's perilous adventure. His ambition was not yet satisfied, however. He had not
ascended the rock to inscribe his name upon it, but with the daring design of immor-
talizing himself by mounting from the bottom to the top of the Natural Bridge. He
accordingly continued his way, working his toilsome and dangerous passage through
clefts in the huge mass of rock. These were just sufficient, in many places, to permit
his body to pass ; and huge roots from the trees above, protruding through splits in the
mass, curled to and fro, and half obstructed the openings. With unfaltering resolution,
and not daring to look into the hideous gulf beneath him, the young man fought his
way on, piercing by main force the dark clefts, crawling along narrow ledges, springing
from abutment to abutment, until finally he stopped at an elevation of one hundred
and seventy feet from the earth below. Here he was seen to look upward, but he did
not move. His heart had failed him. Instead of designing any further ascent, his only
ambition now was plainly to descend in safety, if possible, from his frightful perch. To
look beneath would have been certain death. His head would have turned at the first
glance, and, losing his footing on the narrow ledge, vs^hich he just clung to, his body
would have been dashed to pieces on the rocks.
Under these circumstances the young gentleman acted with a nerve and presence
of mind highly honorable to the force of his character. He slowly and cautiously
divested himself first of one of his shoes, and then the other, next drew off his coat,
and these articles he threw from him into the gulf beneath, without daring to look in
the direction in which they fell. Then, clinging close to the face of the precipice, and
balancing his body carefully as he placed each foot down, and raised each one up, he
tottered along inch by inch, hanging between life and death until he reached a friendly
cleft. Here pausing for a moment to brace his nerves, he continued his way in the same
cautious manner, followed by the eyes of his pale and terrified friends ; when, disappearing
in a cleft, he reappeared no more. A cry rose from beneath ; he was lost, it seemed —
must have fallen into one of the huge fissures and been dashed to pieces. His friends
had given him up, and agony had succeeded the long suspense, when suddenly, from
behind a clump of evergreens, extending like a screen across the narrow opening between
two towering rocks, appeared the young student — safe, sound, and smiling, after his perilous
feat, during which he had stood face to face with the most terrible of deaths.
The Natural Bridge is in the southeastern corner of Rockbridge County, in the midst
of the wild scenery of the Blue-Ridge region, and almost under its shadow upon its
western side. It is reached from Lexington, fourteen miles distant, by stage, and from
Lynchburg, by canal-boat, thirty-six miles.
THE DELAWARE WATER-GAP.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY GRANVILLE PERKINS.
'HE Indians called the Kitta-
tinny the Endless Mountain ;
and, disregarding all the discussions
of modern science, we may still say
that the . great range stretching from
Maine to Georgia was the strong
backbone of the thirteen colonies,
that made them stand erect among the nations. In such union, indeed, there is strength ;
and grandeur and beauty invest the whole — whether, as the Green Mountains, giving its
euphonic name to Vermont, or when the snow-capped peaks become the White Moun-
tains of New Hampshire; whether Dutched into Kaatskill, or when, in Pennsylvania
and the more Southern States, the even tinting of the forest-clad sides renames them, as,
melting softly into the atmosphere, they are as blue as the circumambient air.
In Pennsylvania the range is peculiarly symmetrical, and the richly-wooded sides and
regular outline well entitle it to the name of ' Blue Ridge, given to it, in popular par-
lance, by the early settlers. The uniformity of character is still further illustrated in this
State by the almost equal intervals at which the barrier is broken by the waters of the
Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill, Swatara, and Susquehanna.
Pretty streams rise on the western declivity of the Catskills, and, quitting their
mountain birthplace, wander toward the southwest until near the line of Pennsylvania
they unite, and thence, as the mighty Delaware, move on in constantly-increasing vol-
ume, the fitting boundary of majestic commonwealths.
Near the junction of the three States of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania,
the river again approaches the mountains, and follows their western side through a
succession of magnificent scenes, which, gradually increasing in grandeur, find a sub-
lime culmination where the river turns abruptly into the mountain, which opens to
give it passage into a defile, or caiion, called, in our prosaic vernacular, the Delaware
Water-Gap. Thence forward the forms gradually soften from grandeur into grace, and
the river, escaping from bluff, precipice, and rock, pursues its way through picturesque
rolling lands toward the level of the seaboard.
The country north of the Blue Ridge and above the Gap bore the Indian name
of Minisink, or " Whence the Waters are gone." Here a vast lake once probably
extended ; and, whether the great body of water wore its way through the mountain
by a fall like Niagara, or burst through a gorge, or whether the mountains uprose
in convulsion upon its margin, it is certain that the Minisink country bears the mark of
aqueous action in its diluvial soil, and in its rounded hills, built of pebbles and bowlders.
Whether by upheaval or down-dropping, by slow friction or sudden disruption, the
wound was made, rarely is seventeen hundred feet of Mother Earth's anatomy so laid
bare to the eye, and the Gap furnishes especial temptations for geological speculation.
To the first settlers the mountains proved a troublesome barrier, and all intercourse
to the southward necessarily passed through the natural gate-ways of the gaps ; but the
Delaware writhed its way through its cavernous passage with contortions too like
those of the rattlesnakes that thronged upon the banks, and the dangerous pass was
long avoided for the easier road through the Lehigh Gap, where the water-course of
a pretty stream led to the head-waters of Cherry Creek, and a pleasant road followed its
bank through the beautiful Cherry Valley, full of dimpling hills and fine orchards, among
which stalwart men lived to a ripe old age upon the purest apple-whiskey. This Cherry
Creek, running toward the north along the western side of the mountain, to join the
Delaware just above the Gap, formed a natural road to Philadelphia, which by reason of
its pleasantness long maintained its popularity. Nearly midway between the two rivers.
Nature had also provided another gate-way in the Wind Gap, called, by the early Dutch
settlers, " Die Wind Kaft," a sharp notch, which, descending almost to the base of the
94 ■ PICTURESQUE AMERICA.
mountain, but not low enough for a water-passage, was only a pass for the winds. This
route, early used, was the well-known road cut by General Sullivan and his array in
1779. These better routes caused the Gap of the Delaware to be left to the rattlesnakes
for a long period, and it was not until the year 1800 that a serviceable road was made
through it, by the exertions of the people of the neighboring country, for their own
The earliest history of the region is involved in obscurity; but, shortly after Hen-
drick Hudson, in his little Half-Moon, passed up the river that was thenceforth to bear
his name, his enterprising countrymen founded settlements at Orange, afterward to be
known as Albany, and at Esopus, since the historic city of Kingston. The pretty val-
leys leading to the southwest wooed these colonists to travel, and the Dutch, certainly
at an early day, traversed the valleys of the Mamakating and Neversink to the land of
the Minisink. Near the Gap were found mines of copper and iron, and " the mine-
road" was soon opened, proving so available that, even as late as the year 1800, it was
chosen by John Adams as the best route from Boston to Philadelphia.
Of these earliest Dutch immigrants little is positively known, and it is believed
that some of those farthest advanced into the wilderness returned to safer and more
friendly regions when the country, in 1664, fell into the hands of the English.
The religious persecutions in France, which compelled the Protestants to escape into
Holland, were the remote cause of the introduction of French settlers into these forest-
wildernesses. Among them, Nicholas Depuy, coming with the Dutch to Esopus, finally
established himself a few miles above the Delaware Water-Gap. Two fertile islands in
the river furnished him farming-ground, and he soon built upon the main-land a stone
edifice, which, well known as a frontier fort during the long period of the Indian wars,
is now a charming residence. Seated in the broad, spacious hall, a forward view leads
through a lovely lane of greenery to the base of a high mountain; and then, glancing
backward, a flowery path carries the vision down to the gleaming waters of the river,
thence' over the fertile island to the towering mountains beyond, whose tops seem to
touch the very clouds.
The pioneer Frenchman, vigorously and bravely erecting his home in the wilder-
ness, had never heard of the peaceful settlement of Quakers away down the stream,
and both parties seem to have been equally astonished when the envoys of the Penn
government, after toilsomely leading their horses through the unknown terrors of the'
cavernous Gap, entered the fertile country beyond, and found a firmly-established settle-
ment. The Huguenot told them of his crops, and how he carried his wheat along a
good road to 'Sopus, and proudly showed his little fort and his cultivated islands, while
the envoys especially .marvelled at his fine apple-trees, and told him how a town was
being planted down the river.
The love of adventure that marks the true frontiersman is well illustrated in the
THE DELAWARE WATER-GAP.
story of the La Barres. Three brothers, who had also fled from France to find religious
liberty in a new country, landed first at Philadelphia, and, anxious to found a home in
the wilderness, pursued their course up the Delaware. Believing that the remotest fron-
tier was at the Forks, where Easton now stands, they wandered on still farther, until,
assured that they had safely passed the very utmost verge of civilization, they built
themselves a cabin on a hill-side near the Delaware, a little below the Gap. Expert
marksmen, they supplied themselves with game, while, with the adaptability of their
nation, they were speedily in friendly relations with the Indians, who willingly supplied
them with corn. Congratulating themselves on having reached the longed-for tdtima
Thtde of savage solitude, they lived for some months in blissful ignorance of the fact
that Depuy was already firmly established on the other side of the mountain ; and there
is something ludicrous in the description of their first annoyance and disgust at the
discovery of a neighbor. They, however, submitted heroically to the misfortune, and
allowed themselves white bread on Sundays, as a compensation for Hving so near
Depuy's mill that it took only one entire day to toil with a bag of wheat over the
mountain-road, wait till it was ground, and then return.
The stalwart brothers married Dutch wives, and founded families near the Gap,
where they remained until the country, in 1808, became too crowded for one of the
descendants, who in that year, at the age of eighty-five, emigrated to Ohio to find more
room. On that new frontier, when he was ninety-eight, his first wife died, and the
widower, at the ripe age of one hundred, was married again, and lived to reach one
hundred and five. A son remained at the Gap, where he was living a couple of years
ago, at the age of one hundred and seven, and was still frequently employed in the
forests in cutting wood. His brother, aged ninety-eight, and two sisters, above eighty-
six, were all strong and hearty; and, as an instance of a prosperous early marriage, it
may be mentioned that his son, who at twenty-one had chosen a bride of thirteen, was
still hale and hearty at seventy-nine, his wife being only seventy-one.
The curious conglomeration of American society is well exemphfied by the history
of the Gap ; for another leading family was founded by Daniel Brodhead, a Yorkshire-
man, captain of grenadiers to Charles 11., who assisted in the capture of the New
Netherlands from the Dutch. His son Daniel, colloquially Dan, invited the Moravians
to found a mission at his settlement, which he plainly called Dansbury, a name which it
retained until it was rechristened into Stroudsburg, in honor of Colonel Stroud, another
The two grand mountains which form the mighty chasm of the Gap have been
fittingly named. The one on the Pennsylvania side is Minsi, in memory of the Indians,
who made the Minisink their hunting-ground. The opposing more rugged and rocky
cliff in New Jersey bears the name of Tammany, the chief of chiefs, who clasped hands
in solemn covenant with William Penn under the elm-tree of Shackamaxon.
The ruggedness of the narrow defile is seen in the sketch of the entrance. The
bold face of Tammany exhibits vast, frowning masses of naked rock, while the densely-
wooded Minsi displays a thicket of evergreen, with the railway-track skirting it down
by the water's edge. Mount Tammany defies ascent except by a vigorous climber, but
the bold and distinct stratification shown in the great rocky mass called the Indian
Ladder adds to the grand abruptness of the outlines, and from the narrow mountain-
top is best beheld the wide, extended view of the magnificent scenery above the Gap.
Mount Minsi owes its sweeter beauty to the lovely streams of water that descend
Distant View of the Gap.
its sides beneath a dense foliage, which veils the mossy pools and fern-draped cascades
from the sunlight into the cool twilight that enraptures the summer tourist.
Successive ledges, or geological steps, mark the face of Minsi, and upon the lowest
of these, at nearly two hundred feet above the river, stands the old and well-known
" Kittatinny House, that on a rock is founded,
So, when fioods come, tlie follcs won't be drownded."
The stream that issues beneath the hotel, to fall in a cascade into the river, has
come down the mountain-side through a dark ravine. The densest bordering of rhododen-
drons fringes its sides with dark foliage and lovely blossoms, while tall trees complete
THE DELAWARE WATER-GAP.
the shade. Far up the ascent it takes its rise in the Hunter's Spring, whose cool mar-
gin has long been known as a welcome resting-place to the sportsmen that sought deer
along the range. Under the name of Caldeno Creek, it continues its downward course
by cascade and water-fall, and, to those who have once followed its devious way through
the shaded ravine, the lovely glens and fairy grottos must return in dreams, for to
dream-land does their witching, twilight beauty seem to belong.
Along the face of Minsi, about five hundred feet above the river, runs a grand
horizontal plateau of red shale. Extending for several miles along the mountain, it
makes one of its most remarkable features, and is known as the Table Rock. Over
the slope of this ledge, at an angle of forty-five degrees, the lovely Caldeno flows in a
charming succession of miniature falls or rapids. The rocky strata beneath are densely
covered with moss, which, kept ever verdant by the passing streamlet, is still further fos-
tered in its growth by the thick shade of towering trees, and gives the spot its claim to
the name of Moss Cataract.
Lower down, Caldeno, stilling its wavelets into temporary repose, rests a while in
the cool confines of a rocky basin. Shade even more dense makes a twilight at mid-
day, and, dark, silent, and secure, a happy fancy has made it Diana's Bath.
At a still lower range, or ledge, the stream dashes at Caldeno Falls over a ragged,
rocky precipice, in which the singular regularity of the formation is exposed in the
broken surface of the falling water.
One of the loveliest aspects of the varied beauties of the Gap is under the early
morning light, v/hen —
" The mountain-mists uprolling let the waiting sunlight down — "
dense clouds of vapor break the contours of the peaks, causing uncertainty of vision, in-
creasing or diminishing the apparent height, at times making the tops suddenly appear
to bend forward as if threatening to fall, or as suddenly recede into vast distance, while
softly-tinted masses of veiling vapor are wafted hither and thither by the wind at its
own sweet will to catch the morning splendors, and wreathe in many-colored scarfs around
rock, and crag, and lofty pine.
Poetry and romance have familiarized us with the legend that, as a forerunner of
storm, Pontius Pilate still appears above the mountain that bears his name, and, bend-
ing in cloudy presence, wrings his hands in remorse for his evil deed. A cloud-phenom-
enon somewhat similar occurs upon these heights. A narrow space between two jutting
peaks foretells by clearness or cloud the fortunes of the morrow, but no legend lingers
around the summits, and prosaic Americans call it the Rain-Hole.
The mysterious ravines and wooded fastnesses of Minsi ever stimulate a thirst for
exploration, and many years ago some visitors in pleasant frolic organized the Honor-
able Company of Sappers and Miners. With a merry assumption of business, officers
were appointed and rules prescribed ; half in work and half in play, the company from
year to year continued its explorations, opening new paths, bridging streamlets, strength-
ening frail foot-ways, and gaining from their exertions all the pleasurable enjoyments of
a mimic frontier-life, with the additional zest of knowing that, notwithstanding all their
civilizing efforts, it was still possible to be lost upon Mount Minsi. The annual festival
of the Sappers and Miners was always commemorated by the ascent of Minsi to unfurl
the national banner from the highest tree-top, and, as the flag caught the mountain-
breeze, an answering shout rose from valley and hill-side from the less valorous or less
But, wild and wonderful as is the interior of the Gap, it is outside its limits that
the grand scenery of the region must be sought. From the mountain-peaks on every
hand open magnificent vistas, and from the river, both below and above the chasm, the
views are of marvellous extent. Spurs jutting out from the main range give endless
variety to the landscape, while hollows, gaps, and ravines, add their countless beauties.
Several miles above the Gap, the Delaware is joined by the mountain-stream called
the Bushkill. This creek was long regarded as the extreme limit of civilization in this di-
rection, all beyond being a howling wilderness too often full of howling savages. In this
neighborhood were the copper-mines which at an early date attracted the Dutch settlers
THE DELAWARE WATER-GAP.
from the Hudson, and induced them to open the famous Mine Road, which became the
thoroughfare from Albany to Philadelphia, following the Esopus and Neversink Creeks
to the Delaware, crossing that river to reach the western side of the Blue Ridge, and
passing near the Gap of the Delaware to find a passage at the Lehigh Gap, and thence
a southerly course to Philadelphia.
Delaware Water-Gap, from the South.
Upon the Bushkill is one of the most beautiful water-falls of the district. A chasm
one hundred feet in height is surrounded upon three sides by an almost perpendicular
wall of rock, over which the water falls. From a point below, the scene is grand in its
sombre magnificence, as the swift torrent, striking midway upon a projecting ledge in the
rock, rebounds in snowy foam-flakes, which, after the momentaiy interruption, continue to
fall into the dark chamber of rock below. On the walls of the chasm, at a level with
the summit of the water-fall, there is still another scene of equal beauty, as the rapid
stream emerges from the dark shades of the forest to make the sudden plunge from
Another small mountain-torrent near by frets its way through a tortuous channel of
dark fossiliferous limestone, until, in a sheet of foam, it leaps over a precipice in a
shower of dazzling whiteness, which some unpoetic beholder compared to — buttermilk.
Submissively has the uncouth misnomer been accepted, and the singularly beautiful
cascade still bears the name of Buttermilk Falls. Upon the same stream the Mar-
shall Falls deserve special note for their picturesqueness. The dark surrounding rock is
crowded with fossil impressions, which fill the stone with irregular fissures ; through this
ledge the waters have torn and gnawed their way down a chasm fifty feet in depth, leav-
ing a veil of overhanging rock in front, through which the spectator gazes at the gloomy
cataract as through a curtained casement.
That the Minisink was a favorite abode of the red-men is proved at almost every
step. The plough turns up innumerable quantities of spear-heads and arrow-points, as
well as hammers, axes, and tomahawks of stone, and rude cutting instruments fashioned
out of flint ; stone mortars and pestles have also been found, with bowls and jars of
Upon commanding elevations, where small plateaus permit at once a kind of seclu-
sion as well as an extensive outlook over the mountains and the river, there are many
Indian burial-grounds, always chosen for the beauty of the position. In the graves al-
most invariably are found articles of personal adornment, with warlike weapons, and fre-
quently vessels of clay. Glass beads, bells, and trinkets of metal, are supposed to prove
some intercourse with the white race, but beads of bone, bowls of baked earthenware
composed of pounded shell and clay, and the ruder instruments made out of stone, mark
Indian workmanship, and may belong to more remote generations.
As one of the wonders of the Gap, must be counted the marvellous lake upon
Tammany — a lake so singular that popular superstition has been tempted to add a final
touch to its surpassing strangeness, and declare that it has no bottom. As if in quaint
climax to her wild work. Nature, after riving the mountain to its very base, here places
beside the rude chasm, on the very apex of the lofty peak, a peaceful lake. Masses of
bare gray sandstone stand about its margin, and within the stern encirclement the pure
water reflects alone the swift-darting birds or the slowly-moving clouds, for naught else
comes between it and the sky. In this unbroken solitude, beside the lonely lake, is a
single Indian grave in a narrow cleft of rock. On a lower level, near at hand, many
graves were gathered into one place of sepulture, as if to make the loneliness of this
solitary tomb even more marvellous ; and fanciful conjecture can but gather round the
grave to ascribe to its tenant some strange history, and imagine him to be a king who
disdained companionship in death with those he had ruled when living ; or a poet who
sought a resting-place beneath the clouds, or a prophet entombed by his devout follow-
ers beneath the skies in which he had beheld visions.
Throughout the whole Minisink single bodies are occasionally exhumed by the
plough, or washed out from the river-banks, but it has been conjectured that these
have been enemies, or those whose fate was unknown or not regarded, for the numerous
burial-grounds attest that even the wild wanderer of the forest craved to find his last
resting-place in companionship with his kind. In these ancient cities of the dead each
tenement is a low mound surrounded by a clearly-marked trench, and frequently several
mounds are connected into a single group by a ditch encircling the whole, as if to ex-
hibit some bond of clan or kindred. In the graves that have been examined in the pla-
teaus consisting of coarse gravel and clay, the bodies are found embedded in the river-
sand, which must necessarily have been carried a considerable distance expressly for the
Little but their graves remains of the original people that once congregated into
the valleys of the Minisink, and hunted upon its hills, and little legendary lore has been
preserved. The peaceful relations between the earlier colonists and the Indians were in-
terrupted, and a long, bitter, and bloody war for the possession of the land soon swept
away every friendly recollection, and the settlers learned to blot out the very memory of
their antagonists, and erase every trace of that occupation which had been so fiercely
The last lingerer of the primitive people was Tatamy, veritably the last of the Mo-
hicans. He had long served as interpreter to the travelling Moravian ministers, and his
sympathies bound him so closely to the region of the Minisink that he voluntarily re-
mained behind when his tribe moved to the West. An iconoclastic generation has de-
graded the name of his lonely home into the wretched diminutive of Tat's Gap. In this
wild spot he remained, and a touching picture is drawn of the solitary man sitting alone
at the door of his wigwam, hunting alone upon the mountain, singing in the forest
v/ilds the songs of his departed nation, and striving feebly to preserve the habits of his
old life amid the encroachments of civilization. At the commencement of the Revolu-
tionary War bands of hostile Indians frequently made inroads into the frontier settle-
ments, and poor Tatamy became a special object of their hatred. Fears for his safety
were felt by the white friends to whom he had adhered with such singular faithfulness,
and he was induced to abandon his dangerous solitude. Land was provided for him in
a safer region near Depuy's, and there he continued until his death.
The story of the relations between the aboriginal races of America and their Euro-
pean conquerors has always been a sad one, and it is especially so in the land of the
Minisink. Here a singularly mild and cultivated tribe, the Lenni - Lenape, welcomed the
early settlers with unusual kindness, a feeling which seems to have been quite heartily
THE DELAWARE WATER-GAP.
reciprocated by the French and Dutch. This friendly intercourse was preserved unbroken
for a long period, and promised to remain so, when it was utterly destroyed by the inci-
dents of the disastrous "Walk" of the year 1737.
The Indians had apparently been perfectly satisfied with the terms of the purchases
made by William Penn. According to the native custom, the territory sold was always
measured by distances to be walked within specified times. In the first walk, William
Penn had taken part in person, and the affair had been conducted in true Indian fashion,
the walkers loitering, resting, or smoking, by the way. But the successors of Penn had
determined upon a different policy, and prepared a scheme for driving a sharp bargain.
The boundaries of the territory were to be determined by the point reached by
walking for a day and a half from a certain chestnut-tree at Wrightstown Meeting-
house, and the proprietors were undoubtedly determined to make, what in modern phrase
is termed, a "good thing of it."
Of the incidents of the famous " Walk " many accounts have been given, differing
slightly in details, but agreeing in the important facts. Offers were published in the
public papers, promising five hundred acres of land anywhere within the territory to be
measured, with five pounds in money, to the person who would walk the farthest in the
By the terms of the agreement, the governor was to select three persons for the task,
and the Indians to furnish a like number from their own nation. The men engaged, as
particularly fitted for the purpose on the part of the province, were Edward Marshall,
James Yates, and Solomon Jennings.
Also, according to Indian usage, the measurement was to be decided when the
days and nights were equal, marking precisely twelve hours between sunrise and sunset.
Therefore, attended by a large number of curious spectators, belonging to both of the
interested parties, the six walkers met before sunrise on the 20th of September.
They stood together, each resting one hand upon the tree awaiting the signal, and
then, just as the sun appeared upon the horizon, started upon the unfortunate trial of
By established custom, a day's walk was, with the Indians, a well-ascertained dis-
tance, and the day and a half from Wrightstown was expected by them to end at the
Blue Ridge, the savages never intending, or even supposing, that the boundaries of the
purchase could by any possibility intrude into, much less include, their favorite huntinp--
grounds of the Minisink.
The previous arrangements had, however, been made with care ; the direction of the
route had been distinctly marked, and a line run to the greatest advantage of the pur-
chasers. That no time should be lost, relays of horsemen attended the walkers with
liquors, and refreshments awaited them at suitable places along the route.
Marshall fulfilled his part of the contract, walking with great rapidity and without
pause. This infringement, at least of
the spirit of the bargain, provoked in-
cessant complaints and protests from all
the Indians, not only those who
longed to the party, but those who
were assembled as spectators, the sav-
ages exclaiming again and again, in an-
gry expostulation : " No sit down to
smoke — no shoot squirrel ; but bm, lun,
hin, all day ! "
Before the first day ended, one of
the white men and two of the Indians
had given out ; and when, before sunset,
Marshall and Yates reached the Blue
Ridge, they met there assembled a great
number of the savages gathered to wit-
ness the expected ratification of the
boundary. When it was discovered that
not even the first day's walk was yet accomplished, the manifestation of anger became
general ; the Indians loudly proclaiming the whole affair a cheat, by which all the good
land would be taken from them, indignantly refusing their assent to the purchase, and
even proposing that, if necessary, every
Indian would come in the spring-time
with a buckskin in his hand and buy
the land back again.
By sunset Marshall and Yates had
passed the mountains, and started afresh
at sunrise the next day ; but Yates soon
turned faint and fell from exhaustion,
while Marshall pursued his course, and
at noon reached the Pocono Mountain,
having walked about eighty -six miles,
accordinof to the estimation made at
The indignant Indians immediately
inaugurated a systematic retaliation, and
the purchasers, who began to move upon
the land in considerable numbers, found
Diana's Bath, the savages arrayed in armed hostility.
THE DELAWARE WATER-GAP.
The warfare in this case did not consist of the
usual occasional skirmishing and depredations from
small bands of drunken savages accidentally
aroused to open enmity, but was much more for-
midable, as being a part of a determined attempt
of the Indians to regain the lost territory, which
they believed had been taken by fraud, and which
they never relinquished until the year 1764.
The condition of the district may be inferred
from the fact that, in 1740, the settlers near the
Gap demanded armed assistance from the provin-
cial government, and again in 1763 presented a
petition, signed by the prominent residents, pray-
ing for help, as " we lie entirely open to the mercy
of those barbarous, savage Indians." The effect of
the continuous conflict upon the agriculture of the
region may be gathered from the order given in
1740, by Nicholas Depuy, upon the treasurer of
Bucks County, for the payment of the bounty
upon sixteen wolves, all killed by the same man.
The struggle was at the fiercest from 1752
to 1759, the war-front being considered as extend-
ing from Bethlehem to Bushkill, and the danger
being so imminent that in many cases the farmers
abandoned their homes and their unharvested
crops, to be burnt by the Indians ; while those
residing below the Blue Ridge demanded with
importunity that the mountains should be made
the frontier, and all the region beyond abandoned
without any attempt either at defence or occu-
Depuy's house, which had always been re-
garded as a stronghold, seems to have been
strengthened into a sort of fortress, surrounded
by a stockade, with a swivel-gun mounted at each
corner. When times of special danger required a
call for government assistance, Depuy furnished
the supplies for the men sent to him; and in an officer's report, in 1758, the garrison
is described as consisting of twenty-two men, with eight months' provisions.
In the year 1756 the condition of affairs had become so terrible that a large
number of farmers were thoroughly panic-stricken, and threatened to abandon the dis-
trict entirely to the Indians. In this emergency, Benjamin Franklin was sent by Gov-
ernor Morgan to Bethlehem, and succeeded in forming a line of defence from the Lehigh
to Bushkill. At his instance, Governor Morgan soon afterward visited the distressed
district in person, and established a line of block-houses from Shamokin, on the Susque-
hanna, to the ever-uttermost Bushkill.
These primitive fortifications consisted merely of a wall of defence, made of stakes
driven into the ground and banked up with earth ; while within the enclosure a log-hut
was usually erected in each corner, to serve as barracks, and also as shelter for neigh-
boring families, when driven to seek protection from the savage enemy.
The condition of society produced by these years of warfare was, of course, peculiar.
While many of the men, who daily lived in fear of attack, were educated into all the
virtue, strength, and independence, that spring from such experience, others became,
under the same influences, mere outlaws ; and it is not extraordinary that, when a
bounty upon scalps was raised, there were men who sought the scalps of the savages
in precisely the same spirit that they had sought those of the wolves, and who, with
the trained eye of the sportsman, detected the thread of smoke rising from the wigwam
by day, or the firehght by night, in order to crush the inmates as if they were but
The Indian hero of this war was the celebrated Delaware chieftain, variously called
Tadeuskund or Teedyuscung. He had long been favorably known among the whites as
Honest John, and had even been baptized by the Moravians as Gideon ; but. his apolo-
gists were fain to urge that a certain Christian "walk" and conversation was enough
to make him forget his baptism, and render him a ready listener to the French, or any
other enemies of the settlements.
It was this chief who, in 1756, at Easton, as the representative of four Indian na-
tions, boldly declared, as he stamped his foot upon the earth : " My people have not far to
go for the reasons for war. The very ground upon which I stamp was my land and my
inheritance, and has been taken from me by fraud— yes, for it is fraud when one man
buys lands of us, and takes a deed of it, and dies — and then his children make a false
deed like the true one, and put our Indian names to it, and take from us what we
never sold. This is fraud ! It is fraud, too, when one king has land beyond the river,
and another king has land on this side, both bounded by rivers, mountains, and springs,
that cannot be moved, and those greedy for lands buy of one king what belongs to the
other. This, too, is fraud ! "
Teedyuscung, at another time, announcing himself as the king of ten nations, pre-
sented to Governor Morris four strings of wampum, each delivered with a separate
speech : " One, to brush the thorns from the Governor's Legs ; another, to Rub the Dust
THE DELAWARE WATER-GAP.
out of the Governor's Eyes, to help him
to see clearly ; another, to Open the
Governor's Ears, that he might listen
Patiently ; and the fourth, to clear the
Governor's Throat, that he might speak
The Delaware Water-Gap itself was
long a forbidding chasm, dreaded and
avoided by travellers, unless chance or
necessity compelled them to thread the
defile by the Indian trail, which found
a devious and dangerous way among
huge rocks piled up in Nature's ma-
sonry ; but the pass at last found an
Antoine Dutot, a wealthy planter of
Santo Domingo, had been compelled to
flee for his life during the insurrection
in that island. He escaped to Philadelphia, where he renewed his old acquaintance
with Stephen Girard, and by his advice visited the upper portion of the Delaware
River. The beauty of the scenery of the Gap excited him to the utmost enthusiasm,
and he became the eager purchaser of
lands hitherto despised as barren and
valueless, upon part of which the Kit-
tatinny House now stands. He firmly
believed that the Gap was destined to
become the seat of a great city, as a
principal depot of the immense future
commerce of the river. To meet this
coming want, he built a village, called
Dutotsville, from which even his name
has now departed, and which contains,
as the only vestige of his hope-inspired
labors, the market-square devoted by him
to public use. The wagon-road, through
the Gap, which was constructed in the
year 1800, passed by his property, and
he soon after obtained a charter for a
Bushkiii Falls. toll-road upon the track now occupied
by the railway. This road was never remunerative, and the toll-gate was a mere vexa-
tion, where he would stand with courteous smile and polite bow, saying, in very broken
speech, " Von leetle toll," which the mischievous youth of the neighborhood delighted
in pretending to understand as a mere polite salutation, to which, they responded with
a deep bow and polite " Good-day," as they continued on their way.
Despite all misfortunes, the hopeful Frenchman maintained his faith in the future of
the home of his adoption. A gentleman of education and refinement, animated, romantic,
and polite, he, in his gay old age, seemed oddly at variance with his rugged surround-
ings, as, in broadcloth, silk stockings, ruffles, and silver knee-buckles, he preserved the
courteous deportment of the days when he presided over his wealthy West-Indian plan-
tation. Some years before his death, he purchased a cannon and a great bell, which
were ordered in his will to be used to mark the fulfilment of his long-reiterated
prophecies. The bell, hung in a belfry upon his house, was to ring a triumphant
peal, and the cannon, from his prescribed grave upon Sunset Hill, was to answer in
response of glorification at the moment that the first steamboat should touch the land-
ing, or the first locomotive pass through the Gap. But the Frenchman had been lying
in his solitary grave for fifteen years before the locomotive steamed through the chasm
beneath him, his cannon had exploded long before in commemorating a Fourth of July,
and his bell had been put to service over a school-house in Stroudsburg, where it sum-
moned the youth who were to reap the benefits of the future that had beamed so
brightly upon his imagination.
IV /TAUCH CHUNK, doubt-
■^^ less the most truly pict-
uresque town in the Union, is
situated in the very heart of
the Pennsylvania coal-region. Its
name, in the original Indian lan-
guage from which it is derived,
means " Bear Mountain." It lies
in a narrow gorge between and
among high hills, its foot, as it
were, resting on the picturesque
little Lehigh River, and its body
stretching up the clefts of the
mountains. It is so compacted
among the hills that its houses im-
pinge upon its one narrow street,
and stand backed up against the
rising ground, with no space for
gardens except what the owners
can manage to snatch from the hill-sidc
above their heads. As proof of what
can be done in a narrow space, this
quaint and really Swiss-like village affords a capital example. In one portion, just where
the turbulent Lehigh sweeps around, as if^to give the town a salute, and then rushes
merrily off again, one sees the river, a canal, two railways, a road, and a street, packed
in a space scarcely more than a stone's-throw wide — all of which the reader can note,
without stirring from his easy-chair, by a glance at Mr. Fenn's larger drawings.
There is a great deal in knowing how to find the picturesque, and Mr. Fenn, in his
large drawings, has selected points of view that present the hills and the town in their
best aspect. The first of these views is taken from the road that runs along the side of
the high hill just below the town. In the second illustration, one can discern the road,
faintly marked, ascending obliquely the distant hill. From this road the picture gives just
a glimpse of the receding town to the left ; shows in the distance Mount Pisgah, which
is not a volcano, notwithstanding the smoke that seems to issue from its apex ; and
gathers at the feet of the spectator hurrying river, busy canal, railways, and highway, as
they lie crowded between the steep hills. Here there is always the stir of a great
traffic. Ceaselessly day and night the long, black coal-trains come winding round the
base of the hills, like so many huge anacondas, often with both head and tail lost to
the eye, the locomotive reaching out of sight before the last car comes swinging round
the curve. These trains are of marvellous length, sometimes, when returning empty,
numbering over two hundred cars. So continuous is their coming and going, sweeping
now around the foot of the hill opposite, and now around the base of the hill on which
we stand, that usually several trains are visible at the same time ; and rarely at any mo-
ment is the whistle or the puff of the locomotive silent. The writer's curiosity prompted
him to keep a record of passing trains for an hour, and he found they averaged one in
every two minutes. These trains are almost exclusively employed in freighting coal ; and
this immense traffic in black diamonds becomes still more surprising when it is remem-
bered that, in addition to the trains, canal-boats similarly freighted ceaselessly pass the
town with the regularity, order, and succession of a procession. It is a relief to have re-
course to figures, and to learn that one of the railways alone carries eighteen thousand
tons of coal weekly. Treble this, and the aggregate sent from or passing this place is
probably approximated. Up here on the hill-side the scene before us is certainly novel
and picturesque. We may watch the stirring traffic, the quiet canal, the swift Lehigh —
sometimes only the small thread of a river barely covering its rocky bed, but occasion-
ally a roaring flood bringing ruins upon its surface and carrying ruin before it — or we
may study the tints and forms of the receding hills, or note a singular locomotion far
up on the sides of the distant Mount Pisgah.
On the highest part of this mountain are two tall chimneys, ascending to which is
the line of a railway. The chimneys and the building thereto give note of a stationary
engine at this crowning apex of the height, and the Hne up the mountain-side shows us
where the famous Mount-Pisgah inclined plane ascends to its top. The line crossing
1 1 1
the hill half-way down, and just below Upper Mauch Chunk, marks the course ot the
Gravity Railway, one of the marvels of the place. If the reader pleases, we will de-
scend our mountain-highway, picturesque and beautiful every step of it, with beetling
cliffs above and precipitous reaches below, and prepare for an odd sort of journey to the
top of Mount Pisgah, and, by the Gravity Road, to the coal-mines beyond. But, before
we proceed, let us understand where we are going and what we shall see a little better
by consulting a brief page of history and a few facts of description.
The mines which supply the principal traffic of Mauch Chunk are situated nine
miles back from the river, on Sharp and Black Mountains, and in Panther-Creek Val-
ley, lying between. The first anthracite coal was discovered on Sharp Mountain, some-
times known as Summit Hill, by a hunter named Ginter, in 1791. The hard anthra-
cite, however, was at first called " black-stone," and its combustible quality denied. Ex-
periments with it were made in Philadelphia, and it was gravely asserted that this hard,
rocky substance, which resembled coal, only served to put the fire out ! Experiments,
however, at a later date, must have satisfied those concerned that anthracite coal, if
slower to ignite than bituminous, yet possesses decided combustible qualities, for com-
panies were formed to work the mines on Sharp Mountain. It was not, however, until
1820 that shipments became at all regular or noteworthy. Coal was brought from the
mines, slowly and wearisomely, by wagons, until 1827, when a track was constructed,
with a falling grade, from Summit Hill to the Lehigh, by which cars were run down by
their own gravity — hence the name Gravity Road. The cars were drawn back by mules,
which, of course, had to be sent down on cars with each train. This method continued
for a long time ; but the traffic at last so increased that a more expeditious return of
the cars to the mines was needed, and in 1844 the plan of a back-track was arranged.
An inclined plane was laid to the top of Mount Pisgah, up which the empty cars
were elevated by means of a stationary engine ; the track, then, by a downward grade,
the cars moving by force of their own weight, reached the foot of Mount Jefferson,
up which they ascended by another plane — the power a stationary engine — and then,
by another downward grade, reached summit Hill. From Summit Hill the cars de-
scended to the m.ines in the valley, by what was called the Switch-back, a term now
often given to the entire road, but which at present has no correct application to any
part of it. The Switch-back was a means of descending the side of the mountain by
lines such as we familiarly call zigzag. The car ran swiftly along the side of the hill
on a falling grade until reaching the terminus of the track, where its momentum car-
ried it up an artificial hillock until its speed was arrested. Here it was switched upon
another track, and it rushed back again along the side of the hill upon a falling grade
until, reaching another terminus, it was once more switched back upon a third track, and
so on by a series of inclined planes the valley was reached. Great speed was attained
on the Switch-back, the rate often reaching sixty miles an hour, and a pleasure-car was
MAUCH CHUNK AND MOUNT PISGAH.
attached at certain hours for visitors. This is all changed now, the cars reaching the
valley by a longer but circuitous route. The cars are returned to Summit Hill by
means of inclined planes and stationary engines ; and from the Summit to the Lehigh,
a distance of nine miles, the gravity-impelled cars dash at a rapid rate with their spoils
from the heart of the mountain.
In the first of our larger illustrations, the Mount-Pisgah inclined plane and a por-
tion of the Gravity Road, as already mentioned, may be seen. The cars which we ob-
serve on the grade may be discovered at their terminus in the engraving given below.
Here they rattle down into huge coal-boxes, into which their contents are dumped
Canal-boats receiving Coal.
and shot into the waiting canal-boats, which are always gathered here by hundreds in pict-
After this brief glance at the origin and use of this singular road, we may under-
take with greater satisfaction a jaunt over its long circuit of twenty-five miles.
An omnibus, at stated hours, conveys the curious passengers from the Mansion
House to the foot of the inclined plane. It rattles through the town's single street,
diverges into the road that ascends the hill, and, after a journey that the impatient trav-
eller imagines must have already gotten him to the top, draws up at the foot of the fa-
mous plane, which, if our description has not adequately depicted to the mind's-eye of
the reader, the initial illustration will bring before him accurately and clearly. It
may be mentioned here that the length
of this plane is twenty - three hundred
and twenty-two feet, and its elevation six
hundred and sixty-four feet. At its foot
we find a very small passenger-car— a di-
minutive, undergrown little vehicle, de-
signed to hold ten passengers — in which
we may enter. The plane appears, when
standing at its foot, to reach almost per-
pendicularly up into the air; and when
at last the ascent begins, one feels as if
he were drawn up into the clouds, and
naturally commences to speculate with
what terrible swiftness the car would
shoot down the plane if it should get
loose. The little hand-book for travel-
lers, however, which every inquiring and
right-minded passenger is sure to possess,
gives assurance that this is impossible.
Behind the miniature carriage is what is
called a safety-car. From this car ex-
tends an arm over a ratchet-rail, laid be-
tween the tracks. Should an accident
occur either to the car or to the gear-
ing, this arm, the moment a downward
movement begins, inevitably falls into the
notch of the ratchet-rail, and, being too
strong to break, the train is at once
brought to a stand-still. It is frightful-
looking, notwithstanding this assurance
and one discovers that his imagination
takes a strange pleasure in depicting the
terrible whirl through space and the hor-
rible splintering upon the rocks, should it
please Fate to give the pleasure-trip a tragical turn. As the car ascends, the view
enlarges ; and, when the height is reached, a splendid prospect opens to the delighted
What follows may now easily be conceived, by means of the description of the
road already given. The car runs easily and swiftly along, without other force than its
A Mauch-Chunk Highway.
own weight, the road being through beautiful woodland-scenery. As we draw near the
mines, large villages appear, occupied principally by the miners, and at Summit Hill is a
hotel, church, and other evidences of civilization. The huge structures, called coal-break-
ers, at the mouths of the mines, form new, striking, and picturesque objects, and im-
mense piles of debris, accumulated in excavating for the black wealth below, look like
small mountains. Near abandoned mines, these vast heaps give indications of a new
soil gathering on their surface. Bushes and small evergreen trees have already managed
to find sufficient nurture amid the slate and coal-dust for their roots. The leaves from
these growths will add soil to the surface, and in time there can be no doubt that,
what are now unsightly masses of d(^bins, will be covered with grass and trees, affording
possibly a new puzzle for the geologist of a thousand years hence.
The circuit completed, we leave the car well up Mount Pisgah, and descend the
mountain-road to the village. The roofs show far down below us among the trees, and
the houses, hugged in close by the hills, are grouped in most picturesque form. It is
the most novel and striking approach to a town that can be imagined. As we near
the houses they seem so directly beneath that we wonder if a slip would not precipi-
tate us down a chimney, or impale us on a steeple. The second of our larger illustra-
tions shows the scene as we near the town from this approach. There is a church-roof
below the point of view, and a row of houses in the middle ground on the hill-side,
and a new, picturesque church, set up by the architect just where it would add most to
the beauty and effectiveness of the picture.
A tunnel is now constructing through the mountain, which will bring the mines
in direct communication with canal and river, v/ithout plane or grades. This will sim-
plify the business of the mines, no doubt, but the Mount-Pisgah plane and the Gravity
Road have always been among the most novel and interesting features of the place,
and their loss will be deplored by tourists.
The street-scenes in Mauch Chunk are quaint enough. They are literally highways.
As there is no room for gardens or out-buildings back of the houses, they are built
up above them, and are reached by ladders. It is not uncommon, in the ruder parts of
the town, to see a pigsty, up above the house-top, reached by a ladder; another ladder
extending above this to a potato or cabbage patch, and another leading to the family
oven, presiding over the strange group with suitable honor and dignity.
A visit to Mauch Chunk makes a pleasant summer-trip; but in October, when all
the superb hills that encircle the quaint town are in the full glow of their autumn
tints, the innumerable mountain-excursions that then may be taken, which, in summer,
would be too fatiguing, enhance greatly the pleasure of the visit.
ON THE v
THE CITIES OF SAVANNAH AND AUGUSTA
^HE SAVANNAH, the largest
river of Georgia, and forming the boundary between
this State and South Carohna, rises by two head-streams, the
Tugaloo and Kiowee, in the Appalachian chain, and near the sources
of the Tennessee and Hiawassee on the one side, and the Chatta-
hoochee on the other. From the junction of these confluents at
Andersonville the river has a course of four hundred and fifty miles to the sea. Sa-
vannah and Augusta, two of the largest cities in the State, are situated upon its banks,
the former seventeen miles from where it empties into
the Atlantic, the latter at the head of navigation, two
hundred and thirty miles from its mouth. The river
between these points glides between richly - wooded
banks, with occasional glimpses of cotton-plantations in
the upper portion and of rice-plantations below. , The
wild swamp-wastes that mark its lower shores are full
of a strange, weird beauty, and the groves of massive
live-oaks, hung with their mossy banners, that shadow
and conceal the mansions of the planters, have a noble
grace that is very captivating.
The site for the city of Savannah was selected by
General Oglethorpe, the founder of the colony of Geor-
gia, who made his first settlement at this point in Feb-
5 ruary, 1733. The city occupies a promontory of land,
I rising in a bold bluff, about forty feet in height, close
> to the river, extending along its south bank for about
% a mile, and backward, widening as it recedes, about six
3 miles. The river making a gentle curve around Hutch-
g inson's Island, the water-front of the city is in the form
of an elongated crescent, about two and a half miles in
length. The present corporate limits extend back on
the elevated plateau, with lowlands on its eastern and
western flanks, a distance of about one and a half miles ;
the area of the municipal limits, at present almost en-
tirely occupied with buildings, being three and one-third
miles square. Beyond the city limits, to the south,
suburban settlements are fast growing up ; and, at the
present ratio of expansion, the city proper will soon
comprise double its present area, the adjacent grounds
being both eligible and available to an unlimited extent.
In its general plan. Savannah is universally conceded
to be one of the handsomest of the American cities ;
and in view of its antiquity, and the fact that its found-
ers were for the most part poor refugees, seeking a home in the wilderness among hos-
tile savages, it is a matter of surprise that they should have adopted a system at once
so unique, practical, and tasteful. The streets — running nearly east and west, and north
ON THE SAVANNAH.
and south, and crossing at right angles — are of various widths ; the very wide streets,
which run east and west, being alternated with parallel narrower streets, and each block
intersected with lanes twenty-two and a half feet in width. The streets running north
and south are of nearly uniform width, every alternate street passing on either side of
small public squares, or plazas, varying from one and a half to three acres in extent,
which are bounded on the north and south by the narrower streets, and intersected in
the centre also by a wide street.
These plazas — twenty-four in number, located at equal distances through the city,
handsomely enclosed, laid out in walks, and planted with the evergreen and ornamental
trees of the South — are among the distinguishing features of Savannah, and in the spring
and summer months, when they are carpeted with grass, and the trees and shrubbery
are in full flower and foliage, afford delightful, shady walks and play-grounds for the ju-
veniles, while they are not only ornamental, but conducive to the general health by the
free ventilation which they afford. They have well been called the lungs of the city.
Upon the large " trust-lots," four of which front on each of these squares — two on
the east and two on the west — many of the public edifices and palatial private resi-
dences of Savannah are built. It is a little singular that the Savannaheans are in-
debted for this beautiful and unique feature of their city to the sagacious precaution of
the first settlers against the dreaded attacks of the Indians. We are told by Mr. Fran-
cis Moore, who wrote in 1736, that "the use of this is, in case a war should happen,
the villages without may have places in town to bring their catties and families into for
refuge, and for that purpose there is a square left in every ward,-big enough for the
outwards to encamp in."
In addition to these old camping-grounds — many of which were occupied for the
same purpose by General Sherman's troops during his occupation of the city — a public
park, comprising some ten acres (since increased to thirty acres), called Forsyth Place,
was, a few years since, laid out, a considerable distance south of the city limits. It is,
however, now being rapidly enclosed by buildings, and will in a short term be the centre
of one of the finest and most populous portions of the city. Many of the original
pine-trees were left standing on the grounds, which are laid out in serpentine walks, and
ornamented with evergreen and flowering trees and shrubbery. In the centre is a hand-
some fountain, after the model of that in the Place de Concorde in Paris, and which is
supplied with water from the city water-works. The lofty pines still standing, with the
ornamental trees, afford a grateful shade ; while the beautiful shelled walks, the luxuriant
grass, the fragrant flowers, and the plashing fountain, make Forsyth Place a delightful
retreat from the noise, bustle, dust, and heat of the city.
Among the peculiar features of Savannah which command the admiration of stran-
gers are the wideness of its principal streets, abounding with shade-trees, and the flower-
gardens which, in the portions of the city allotted to private residences, are attached to
almost every house. Ornamental
trees of various species, mostly
evergreens, occupy the public
squares, and stud the sidewalks in
all the principal thoroughfares ;
while the gardens abound with or-
namental shrubbery and flowers of
every variety. Conspicuous among
the former are the orange -tree,
with its fragrant blossoms and
golden fruit in their season, the
banana, which also bears its fruit,
the magnolia, the bay, the cape-
myrtle, the stately palmetto, the
olive, the arbor-vitce, the flowering
oleander, and the pomegranate.
Flowers are cultivated in the open
air, many choice varieties — queen
among them all, the beautiful ca-
mellia yaponica, which flourishes
here in greatest perfection, the
shrub growing to a height of
twelve to fifteen feet — blooming in
mid-winter. At all seasons, Savan-
nah is literally embowered in
shrubbeiy, and in the early spring
months, when the annuals resume
their foliage, and the evergreens
shed their darker winter dress for
the delicate green of the new
growth, the aspect of the city is
truly novel and beautiful, justly
entitling it to the appropriate so-
briqttet by which it has long been
known, far and wide, of the "For-
The old city of Oglethorpe's
time was located on the brow of
the bluff", about midway between
ON THE SAVANNAH.
its boundaries are still defined by the Bay
and East, West, and South Broad Streets. Upon the river-front, a wide esplanade, about
two hundred feet in width, extending back from the brink of the bluff, was preserved
for public purposes. This is called the Bay, and is now the great commercial mart of
Savannah. As commerce grew up, warehouses and shipping-offices were built by the
first settlers, under the bluff between it and the river. In time these were replaced by
substantial brick and stone structures, rising four and five stories high on the river-front,
with one or two stories on the front facing the Bay, connecting with the top of the
bluff by wooden platforms, which spanned the narrow road-way beneath, passing between
the buildings and the hill-side. Some of these buildings, spared by the great fire of
1820, which consumed the larger portion of the old town, are interesting for their an-
tique and quaint architecture. A range of them, opposite the foot of Bull Street — the
fashionable thoroughfare of the city — is made the subject of a sketch by our artist.
These relics of old Savannah, and a few others, hold their place in the line of stately
modem buildings, which now extend along the larger portion of the city-front under
the bluff. PLtforms still connect the upper stories of the stores under the bluff with
the Bay ; and at the foot of the principal cross-streets walled road-ways lead to the
quay, which is wide, and occupied at intervals with large sheds for the protection of
goods in the process of shipping and discharging. Along the quay, in close proximity
to the wharves, are also located the cotton-presses and rice-mills.
While Savannah makes no special pretensions to architectural beauty, nevertheless
the city contains many fine public and private buildings, and the good taste which char-
acterizes her modern improvements evinces a progressive spirit and liberality worthy of
Monument to General Greene. Church, Bull Street.
her rapidly-increasing wealth and commercial importance. Some of her church edifices
are models of architectural beauty ; and among the new buildings, many of which have
been erected within the past two years, are some substantial and imposing structures.
In Monument Square there is a fine marble obelisk, erected to the memory of General
Greene, of Revolutionary fame, the corner-stone of which was laid by Lafayette, during
his visit to America in 1825. The shaft is fifty-three feet in height. Another and very
elegant structure was erected in 1853, to the memoiy of General Pulaski, who fell, it
will be remembered, during an attack upon the city by the British, in the year 1779.
Owing to the crescent form of the city-front, its elevation, and the absence of any
eligible point of observation on the opposite side of the river, it is difficult to obtain a
view that will convey a correct impression of its size and appearance. This difficulty
our artist experienced, as the best position which he could obtain, on Fig Island, pre-
ON THE SAVANNAH.
seated but a meagre profile of the city-front and its eastern environs. He has, how-
ever, given us a sketch of the city as seen from that point, that will be readily
recognized by the citizens of Savannah. The view takes in the line of Hutchinson's
Island, on the opposite side of the river, which extends the entire length of the city.
The view of the mouth of the Savannah River conveys a very correct idea of
the appearance of the entrance to the harbor, which is capacious and well protected,
Tybee Island being the head-land on the left, and the extreme southern point of
Dawfuskie Island defining the entrance to the river on the right. The steamer seen
nearly opposite Fort Pulaski, which is situated on Cockspur Island, has passed the bar,
upon which there is a depth of twenty-six feet of water, and, following the wide chan-
nel marked by the buoys, is proceeding on her way to the city, which may be reached
at full tide, with a depth of eighteen and a half feet of water. When the dredging is
completed in what is called " The Wrecks," an obstruction which has existed in the river
opposite the eastern end of Fig Island since the old Revolutionary War, a much greater
depth of water can be carried up to the city. Passing up the river, the stranger is
struck with the peculiar aspect of the wide expanse of grass-clad salt-marsh througn
which it meanders, forming many islands, but preserving at all times ample width for
the navigation of vessels of the largest class.
The population of Savannah, in 1870, was twenty-eight thousand, showing a large
increase over the census of i860; while her exports, during that decade, rose from seven-
teen million to fifty-eight million— facts affording a striking illustration of her growing
importance as a commercial centre. Until the construction of the Central Railroad, thirty
years since, Savannah was comparatively isolated from the internal commercial world, her
only communication with the interior of the State being by the Savannah River to
Augusta, the head of steamboat-navigation — the wilderness and the great swamps of the
Altamaha interposing an impassable barrier to the vast and fertile regions of the South-
west. By her great trunk-roads — the Central, and the Atlantic and Gulf, and their connec-
ON THE SAVANNAH.
tions — she now offers an outlet for the products of the entire State of Georgia, Middle
and West Florida, and portions of Alabama and Tennessee, and is in unbroken railroad
connection with Memphis, Mobile, Vicksburg, Louis-
ville, Cincinnati, and the principal commercial cen-
tres of the West. When it is considered that this
system of railroad communication, which has already
accomplished so much, is constantly radiating and
extending ; that the harbor is one of the best,
safest, and most accessible on the South - Atlantic
coast, and that it is almost on an air-line by the
shortest route with San Diego on the Pacific, the
impulse which must be given to the commerce of
Savannah by the completion of the South-Pacific
Railroad cannot be over-estimated.
The benevolent, literary, and educational insti-
tutions of Savannah are numerous and liberally sus-
tained, some of them being among the oldest in
the country ; the Union Society, for the support
and education of orphan boys, and the Female
Asylum, for the care and education of orphan girls,
having been founded in 1750. The St. Andrew's
Society, St. George's Society, Hibernian Society,
Irish Union Society, Hebrew Benevolent Society,
Ladies' German Benevolent Society, the Abram's
Home for Poor Widows, the Home for Old and
Indigent Colored People, the Savannah Poor-House
and Hospital, and the Marine Hospital, are all high-
ly-respectable, prosperous, and beneficent institutions.
There are also the Georgia Historical Society, the
Georgia Medical Society, Young Men's Library So-
ciety, and Young Men's Christian Association, be-
sides other fraternal and social associations.
The subject of popular education has com-
manded the attention of the best and most in-
fluential citizens of Savannah, through whose exer-
tions, sustained by the liberal provision of the mu-
nicipal government, a public-school system has been
inaugurated, which is justly pronounced equal to that of any city in the Union. The
Rev. Barnas Sears, D, D., agent of the Peabody Fund, while on a recent visit to Savan-
Old Houses in Savannah.
fe; ' nah, after investigation, in a pub-
-Ia" j^^^^ addiess, highly comphmentcd
s.u v^K^'"'^ ' the Board of Education on their
'^t^^nC^ ' admirable school system. At the
public schools, which are classi-
fied, progressmg from the primary to the
grammar and high schools, two thou-
( sand children are in regular attendance.
Being in latitude thirty -three de-
grees and some minutes, and so near
the Gulf Stream as to be within the influence
^•ip^MT.^ of its atmospheric current, the temperature of
„ "^^/fe Savannah has all the mildness of the tropics in
winter, without the intense heat in summer, the mean
ON THE SAVANNAH.
temperature being sixty-six degrees, veiy nearly the same as that of Bermuda. The
sultriness of the " heated term " in Savannah is less oppressive than in New York
or Boston, mitigated as it is by a soft, humid atmosphere, and the never-failing
breath of the trade-winds, so grateful at that season. In point of health, the mortuary
statistics of Savannah will compare favorably with those of any other city of the same
population in the United States, the locality being comparatively free from the fevers of
the lower latitudes, and almost entirely exempt from the pulmonary affections so preva-
lent farther North. For Northern invalids the climate of Savannah, with the conven-
iences and comforts of the metropolis, is considered preferable to that of the sanitary
retreats on the coast farther South.
Savannah is not without suburban attractions, there being several places in its vi-
cinity of historical interest, whose sylvan character and picturesque beauty are in keeping
with the " Forest City " itself. Thunderbolt, White Bluff, Isle of Hope, and Vernon, are
all rural retreats on "the salts," within short drives of the city, where, in the summer
months, the bracing sea-breeze and salt-water bathing are enjoyed. At each of these
places, which are reached in a few minutes by an extension of the city railroad, are
small settlements and good accommodations for visitors. Bethesda, about ten miles from
the city, where the Union Farm School is located, was the site of the Orphan House
established \)j Whitefield in 1740.
Our artist presents a sketch of Bonaventure, which is located on Warsaw River, a
branch of the Savannah, about four miles from the city. The scenery of Bonaventure
has long been renowned for its Arcadian beauty. A hundred years ago, the seat of a
wealthy English gentleman, the grounds around the mansion, of which only a dim out-
line of its foundations remain, were laid out in wide avenues, and flanked with native
live-oaks. These trees, long since fully grown, stand like massive columns on either side,
while their far-reaching branches, interlacing overhead like the fretted roof of some vast
cathedral, the deep shade of their evergreen foliage shutting out the sky above, and the
long, gray moss-drapery depending from the leafy canopy, silent and still, or gently mov-
ing in the breeze, give to the scene a weird and strangely-sombre aspect at once pictu-
resque and grandly solemn. Many years ago Bonaventure was devoted to the purpose
for which it is so peculiarly fitted by Nature, and became the burial-place of many of
the prominent families of Savannah, whose memorial monuments add to its solemn
beauty. Recently the place has been purchased by a company, by whom it has been
enclosed, the trees trimmed, the grounds cleared of their rank growth, laid out in lots,
and opened to the public as a cemetery. In this operation much of the wild beauty
of Bonaventure has been literally trimmed away, thus demonstrating the fact that, in
the picturesque at least, it is not always in the power of art to improve upon
Though constantly threatened from the commencement of the war till its evacua-
ON THE SAVANNAH.
tion at its close, Savannah was so fortunate as to escape attack. Since the war her
citizens have been equally fortunate in being able to preserve her municipal govern-
ment in the hands of her own people. A wise and prudent administration of her
affairs, together with the business enterprise and energy of her citizens in reopening and
extending the old channels of commerce, and in inviting and providing employment to
capital and enterprise from abroad, has given an extraordinary impetus to the growth
and commercial prosperity of the city, which, with the great natural advantages of her
position and the accomplishment of the great enterprises of internal improvement with
which her interests are identified, afford the most encouraging assurance of a prosperous
Augusta, which lies at the other extreme of the navigable waters of the Savannah,
was settled only two years later than its seaward rival. Like Savannah, it was laid out
under the personal supervision of General Oglethorpe, to whom it is indebted for its
name, given in honor of one of the English princesses. It is situated on a broad plain.
The wooded and winding Savannah waters one of its sides ; handsome villa-crowned hills
environ it on others. The taste which has made Savannah one of the handsomest of
cities is apparent here also in its broad avenues richly shaded with antique trees. The
recent war laid no devastating hand on its handsome streets or its embowered villas ;
unlike so many of the Southern cities, it stands with the beauty and grace that the
years have given it, unimpaired by misfortune and uninjured by firebrand or assault.
But it has not always been so fortunate in escaping the horrors of war; for, during
the Revolution, it was of so much importance as a military post as to lead to sev-
eral desperate battles for its possession. The vindictiveness that characterized the war
of the Revolution all through the South was exhibited here. In 1780, the city was
in the hands of the invader, and the patriots made a gallant effort to retake it. But
they failed, and the British commander was so exasperated at the attempt that he
ordered the immediate execution of a number of prisoners in his possession.
The most beautiful of its avenues is Greene Street, which is lined with fine man-
sions. Tall, spreading trees not only grace the sidewalks, but a double row, with grassy
spaces between, run down the centre of the ample roadway. This sets beautiful park-
grounds before every man's door ; and the children playing under the trees, and the
roaming cattle that are allowed to gather in the grateful shade, give the scene a domestic
peace that is very charming. Here stands the City Hall, a really fine building of ven-
erable age, set in an ample green amid tall trees, and having about it an air of dignity
and repose. The building and grounds are kept with scrupulous care, and the scene has
more of the rich, quiet charm that pertains to an English university-town than is usually
found in our rude, new-made American cities. A tall granite column standing before the
hall in the green of the roadway, commemorating the signers of the Declaration of In-
dependence from Georgia, adds dignity and finish to the picture. The main business-
ON THE SAVANNAH.
street is also wide ; it is lined with handsome shops, in which may be noted abundant
signs of activity ; and it is thronged with great crowds of vehicles from the country,
Augusta is an important cotton-market, its situation at the head of navigation on
the Savannah giving it good facilities for shipping. Hence cotton centres here from all
the surrounding country; it comes in the shipping-season in vast abundance,^ both by rail
and by wagons. At this period every road is crowded with huge vehicles drawn by four
and six mules, and piled high with the precious merchandise, wending their way toward
the river, while the streets of Augusta are thronged with these vehicles in picturesque
confusion. Active scenes are witnessed on the banks of the river, where small stern-
wheel steamers come up and bury themselves to their smoke-pipes in cotton-bales. The
groups of boats shown in the engraving illustrating this scene are just below the long
and handsome bridge which connects Augusta with the town of Hamburg, on the
South-Carolina side of the river. The Savannah, although at the head of navigation, is
wide at this point, and its shores are picturesque. Along the high banks upon which
Augusta is situated are rows of old mulberry-trees, the trunks of which are covered
with warts and knobs, and their gnarled, fantastic roots exposed by the washings of many
freshets. Facing these trees are many pleasantly-situated cottages and villas, w^ith very
charming prospects of the river and the green slopes of the opposite shore.
We give a view of Augusta from Summerville, a suburban town of handsome villas,
situated on high hills two or three miles from the city. A line of horse-cars runs from
the town to the summit of the range. Here are situated many villas and cottages, em-
bowered in trees, with broad verandas, handsome gardens, and many signs of wealth
and culture. The scene is more Northern in its general features than Southern ; the
houses are like the Northern suburban villas, and the gardens not essentially different,
although the Spanish bayonet — that queer horticultural caprice, with its bristling head of
pikes — shows a proximity to tropical vegetation. These heights form a part of the fa-
mous red sand-hills of Georgia, and a characteristic feature are the rich red tints of the
Augusta has been quietly solving the problem whether cotton fabrics can be manu-
factured profitably in cotton-growing sections, by establishing and successfully working a
large factory, which now employs over five hundred operatives. A canal, which brings
the upper floods of the Savannah to the city at an elevation of forty feet, supplies ample
water-power for factories, and is encouraging an extensive embarkation into manufactures.
It is nine miles long. The United States have an arsenal at Augusta, on the Summer-
ville hills. Here, during the war, the Confederates built extensive workshops and pow-
der-mills, which now have a curious interest to the visitor. The population of this city,
according to the census of 1870, was over fifteen thousand.
THE FRENCH BROAD.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY HARRY FENN.
NATURE seldom repeats herself. In all of her wild vagaries, on river, plain, and
mountain, there is observable the same diversity of outline and expression that is
to be seen in the highest type of creation — man. The scenery which springs forth
with such marvellous variety at her magic touch— now rugged, now grand, now full of
grace and beauty, now calm as the ethereal blue, never palling upon the eye — the
music of her water-falls, the solemnity of her forests, the reverberations of her mountain-
heads, the wild fury of her oceans — all these manifesta-
tions of power and beneficence serve to link the creat-
ure with his Maker, and teach him to look with love
and reverence from " Nature up to Nature's God."
The denizen of the city, who has been walled
around with brick and marble, goes forth to worship
at these shrines, and find in peaceful haunts the noble
kinship that stirs within him holiest of
aspirations. Wherever Nature has laid her
master-hand and evoked the picturesque,
'■I thither she has drawn these votaries, until,
' from the region of icebergs to the jungles
, of the equator, there is scarcely a spot
Faint Rock, on the French Broad.
THE FRENCH BROAD,
replete with attraction that has not at some time been the abiding-place of the tourist
Such is eminently true of our own America ; and yet, in the vastness of the con-
tinent, new beauties are being continually discovered, and points of interest are becoming
places of resort, which, but a few years ago, were known only to the explorer or the
local inhabitant. The Adirondacks, the Yosemite Valley, the canons of the Western
mountains, the wilds of Maine — these, and other localities, are becoming as familiar to the
summer traveller as are the fashionable neighborhoods of Niagara, Memphremagog, or
the White Mountains.
Still another section of the country which seems destined at no distant day to
become a place of recreation, and to attract the artist and lover of Nature, is that
portion of Western North Carolina through which course the beautiful waters of the
French Broad River and other mountain-streams, and which may be described in general
terms as the table-land of the Blue Ridge.
The fame of the beauty and the sublimity of the scenery is extensive, and the
realization does not belie the report. Tall, grim, old rocks lift their bald heads far, far
toward the heavens, in all the sublimity of solemn grandeur; while in the vision of the
distant lowlands, that may be enjoyed from this summit or that, is a soft, sweet delicacy
which breathes almost of the celestial, and makes one feel unconscious of aught save the
panorama of loveliness before him.
Indeed, it would seem as if Nature had selected this region for the display of her
fantastic power in uplifting the earth, and giving to it strange shapes and startling con-
trasts — in imparting curious physiognomies to the mountains and evoking melody from
The locality comprises about eight thousand square miles of territory, and, though
settled more than a hundred years ago, and a great pass-way from the West to the East
and South, has not yet seen a single railway penetrate the solid walls that form its
border. The old-fashioned stage-coach still lumbers along the mountain-turnpikes, and
holds undisputed sway on the flower-lined road that follows the course of the river; and
the locomotive lingers at each portal, as if it were sacrilege to break the silence of the
spot. Perhaps it is best that it is so, for there is certainly a shadow of romance in
travelling through these solitudes in the good old style of our forefathers, and there
is often a keen relish in experiencing the primitive customs and semi-aboriginal com-
forts of this wild region.
In journeying to this " land of the sky," the traveller from either North or West
will find it convenient to approach from East Tennessee, and leave the cars at Green-
ville, the home of ex-President Andrew Johnson. Here a stage may be taken, which
carries him along under the brows of hills and mountains, crowned with the Canada
balsam, the Norway spruce, the hemlock, and white-pine. On the one hand he will catch
glimpses of distant valleys, rich to repletion, in which clusters of farm-houses dot the
prospect ; and on the other tower tall peaks, that have no rivals this side of the Rocky
Mountains. A drive of a few miles brings him to a range known as the Iron or
Great Smoky Mountains, and here he passes under the shadow of that curious forma-
tion known to the tourist as Paint Rock. The French Broad, likewise, bursts upon
his view in all its wild beauty ; and from this point to Asheville, in North Carolina,
and beyond, the scene is one of mingled loveliness and grandeur.
We linger briefly, however, before pursuing the journey, to describe the river, of
which it may be said that, in all this gallery of Nature's strange fantasies, none possess
A Scene on the French Broad.
so many characteristics at once peculiar in themselves and attractive to the tourist and
scientist as the French Broad.
In the Indian vernacular, it was originally known as Tselica ; but the Cherokees
now call it Tockyeste, signifying, and not untruthfully, " The Little Roarer," or, as trans-
lated by some, "The Racer." Its present name is said to be derived as follows: "In
the early settlement of the country, a party of hunters left what was then Mecklen-
burg, North Carolina, for the mountains. Crossing Broad River in Rutherford County
they so named it ; the next they called the Second Broad, and the third Main Broad.
Then, crossing the Blue Ridge at Hickory-Nut Gap, they came to a stream which
"THE LOVERS' LEAP "-APPROACH BY NIGHT,
138 PICTURESQUE AMERICA.
they called Cane Creek, from the abundance of cane growing on its banks — a singular
thing in the mountains. Following this branch, the hunters came to a larger and
broader river, into which it emptied, and named it the French Broad, because all of
the country west of the Blue Ridge was then held by that nation."
It rises in the Blue Ridge, on the South-Carolina line, but a few feet from the head-
waters of the Congaree, on the south side of the divide. Thence it flows northward
to Tennessee, the first forty miles of its journey being through a broad, fertile valley,
famed for its beauty of scenery and fertility of soil. The route from this direction is
perhaps the most comfortable by which one can approach Asheville.
These upper waters of the French Broad are now a favorite place of resort, and
the traveller will find at Fiat Rock numerous summer residences of wealthy Carolinians,
where art and Nature have combined to make one of the loveliest localities in that sec-
tion of the country. Caesar's Head, near by, is a lofty mountain, one side of which is
a perpendicular precipice of great height, from which may be had an extensive view of
the upper portion of South Carolina. An hotel is erected within a few rods of the preci-
pice, and, as may be imagined, it is a cool and delightful spot in which to spend a
In approaching Asheville, the scene changes; the hills press close in upon the river,
and the rapids grow more and more furious, until they make their final plunge at Moun-
tain Island. This singular formation is caused by the river forcing its way through the
ridge on each side of a knob, from fifty to seventy-five feet in height. The fall, at this
point, is about forty-five feet, and the road, which above runs almost into the river,
below skirts a dark and solemn abyss. The view by our artist is taken just above the
falls ; yet, beautiful as is the picture, neither pen nor pencil can do justice to the real
grandeur of this mountain-scene.
The geographical centre of this French-Broad region is Asheville, a delightful town,
located on a hill above the river, two thousand two hundred and twelve feet above the
level of the sea. The view here embraces, on the one side, seemingly interminable
ranges of mountains, from which at least a hundred peaks rise to hold communion with
the clouds ; and, on the other, a beautiful valley, where courses the river, not, as yet,
pent up within its rocky walls and foaming on in its mad career.
"The soil of this region is singularly fertile. This is due in the valleys to the
wash from the mountains, but many of the mountains of this interior basin present the
strange anomaly of being fertile to their very tops. It is a singular fact respecting this
country that the sharp-peaked mountains are all poor land, while those which are
rounded, and come up rather rolling and gently, are almost invariably rich. There are
no lakes in this region ; yet, from the peculiar formation of certain sections, it would
seem that there once had been. The soil is generally a decomposition of granite, gneiss,
and limestone. It is rich in potash, and contains undissolved particles of mica; its color
"THE LOVERS' LEAP"— AT EARLY SUNRISE
is dark, and to the touch has a soapy feel. The tree-growth is chestnut, oaks, hickory,
black and white walnuts, cucumber-tree, ash, linden, and sugar-maple. Dr. Curtis, a
distinguished geologist, once said that he found every shrub and flower near Niagara
Falls duplicated in Buncombe County, North Carolina."
The journey from Asheville down the French Broad to the Warm Springs, and
onward for several miles, is one of the most picturesque that can be conceived; for at
every turn new beauties are presented to the eye, that linger in memory long after the
scene has faded from view. Our artist, in his several sketches of the route, has as faith-
fully represented its general character as a mere copy will permit. The road is a
kind of terrace, resembling a shelf, dark woods and steep rocks overhanging it on one
side, and, on the other, the river rushing, tumbling, and roaring over ledges of rock in
its frantic haste. Occasionally, at a sudden bend, you will see the sweetest little dells in
the world, canopied by the spruce and hemlock, by laurel and running vines, where the
sunshine never intrudes, and the shade is a perpetual invitation to rest. Here and there
a stream of water gushes from the mountain, and, trickling down the brown face of the
rocks like crystal tears, hurries across the road in a little streamlet to join the grander
flow that is coursing to the sea.
By moonlight the scene is singularly impressive. The old-fashioned stage-coach,
creaking and swaying at every jolt ; the driver, with his quaint speech ; the notes of
his horn, cheerily ringing out in the midnight air, and losing themselves in the distant
echoes bounding from hill to hill ; the opposite shores of the river, looking in the dim
light like great black clouds that reach from earth heavenward ; the curling billows at
your feet, wallowing one after another upon the shore, and catching rainbow hues from
the lamps upon your coach ; the long, feathery lines of foam that have broken loose
from the dark ledges in the river; the great rocks, like Lovers' Leap, that rise over-
head, spectre-like, and sublime in their massiveness — all these are incidents of a
midnight journey along the French Broad that the tourist will recognize as among
the most charming of a lifetime.
The view by day is thus described in the Southern Quarterly Review: "Our road,
an excellent one for the mountains, is cut out along the very margin of the river. Occa-
sionally there is no ledge to protect you from the steep. The track does not often
admit of two carriages abreast, and huge immovable bowlders sometimes contract to
the narrowest measures the pathway for the single one. You wind along the precipice
with a perpetual sense of danger, which increases the sublimity of the scene. The river,
meanwhile, boils, bounds, and rages at your feet, tossing in strange writhings over the
fractured masses of the rock, and plunging headlong with a groan into great cavities
between, now leaping with a surging hiss down sudden steeps, which it approaches
unprepared. Beyond you note the perpendicular heights, stern, dark, jagged, suspending
a thousand feet in air
A FARM ON THE FRENCH BROAD.
" You find yourself suddenly in a cavernous avenue. Look up and behold an enor-
mous bowlder thrust out from the mountain-side, hanging completely over you like an
Atlantean roof, but such a roof as threatens momently to topple down in storm and
thunder on your head. And thus, with a sense keenly alive to the startling aspects in
the forms around you — the superior grandeur of the heights, the proof which they
everywhere present that the volcano and the torrent have but recently done their work
of convulsion and revolution — you hurry on for miles, relieved occasionally by scenes of
strangely-sweet beauty in the valleys, where the waters are calm, where they no longer hiss
and boil and rage and roar in conflict with the masses whose bonds they have broken,
and where, leaping away into an even and unruffled flow, they seem to sleep in lakes
whose edges bear fringes of flowery vines and the loveliest floral tangles, from which
you may pluck at seasons the purplest berries drooping to the very lips of the waters.
" Sometimes these seeming lakes gather about the prettiest islets, that prompt you
to fancy abodes such as the fairies delighted to explore, and where, indeed, the Chero-
kee has placed a class of spirits with strange, mysterious powers, who are acknowledged
to maintain a singular influence over the red-man's destinies. A landscape-painter of
real talent would find, along the two great stems of the French Broad, a thousand
pictures far superior to any thing ever yet gathered on the banks of the Hudson or
the groups of the Catskill."
Near the Tennessee boundary, and close by the Warm Springs, the road lies in
the shadow of the bold mountain-precipices known as the Paint Rocks. These have a
perpendicular elevation of between two and three hundred feet. Their name is derived
from the Indian pictures yet to be seen upon them. In a poem entitled " Tselica," the
late William Gilmore Simms has woven into beautiful verse a charming legend of the
spot. "The tradition of the Cherokees," he says, "asserts the existence of a siren in the
French Broad, who allures the hunter to the stream and strangles him in her embrace,
or so infects him with some mortal disease that he invariably perishes." The locality at
this point is strangely beautiful, and it is not a matter of wonder that the Warm Springs
in the immediate neighborhood should be the summer resort of hundreds who seek
health and the keen enjoyment which Nature here contributes to every sense.
These springs are among the natural curiosities of the Atlantic States ; and in their
curative properties, especially when employed in rheumatic and cutaneous affections, they
are said to rival the famous Hot Springs of Arkansas. The temperature of the water
varies from eighty to one hundred and ten degrees, the location of the various outlets
apparently determining its grade. Analysis has demonstrated that it gives off" free sul-
phuretted hydrogen and carbonic acid, and holds in solution carbonate and sulphate of
lime, with a trace of magnesia. Baths of various kinds are arranged for the con-
venience of the visitors; and the fare, the trout-fishing, and hunting, are all that can
be desired at a country watering-place.
OLD MILL.-REEMS'S CREEK.
The artist has graphically portrayed, in an accompanying picture, one of the many
striking scenes upon the French Broad — a farm on a hill-side. The mountain lifts its
lofty peak to mingle with the clouds ; and its rough escarpment, taking new expression
from every point of view, overhangs the famous Buncombe Turnpike, which winds along
the base, skirting the river's edge. This road was built by the State, about forty years
ago, and is the great route for hogs and cattle driven from East Tennessee to the
cotton-growing section of South Carolina. Originally, it was the old Indian trail. Pre-
vious to i860, as many as sixty thousand head would pass over this route during the
winter; and these animals, with their human tenders, made a market for the surplus
produce of the hill-sides. Still, as may be imagined from the sketch, farming under such
circumstances is rather a precarious business; for, notwithstanding the fact that the soil
is astonishingly rich in potash and vegetable matter — a black, fatty-looking loam — the
A Team on the French Broad.
difficulties that attend its cultivation require from the hardy agriculturist unusual patience
A low-country man, on his way to the Springs, once asked one of these farmers^
who was something of a wag:
" Say, squire, you don't grow corn up yonder, do you } "
"Well, I reckon I do."
"How much do you get to the acre?"
" Nigh on to twenty-five bushel — shelled — thar or tharabouts."
" But how do you manage to plough on those hills ? "
"Why, that's easy enough. Yer see, our animuls is born kinder irreg'lar-like — two
short legs and two long legs — and the long legs allers travel on the down-hill side."
"Just one question more, squire — how in thunder do you plant it when you get
among the rocks ? "
l>n-riTE MOUNTAlTsTS |
Ne-wTork, D, AppletoTi &c Go
" Wall, that's easy too. We jes' load our shot-guns with the kernels, and stan' down
here and shoot 'em right inter the ground, and thar it grows spontanous-like."
Not an unentertaining study of human and animal nature is likewise presented in
the old-fashioned country "schooners," with their teams and drivers, which traverse the
turnpike, carrying the produce of East Tennessee to the upper country of South Caro-
lina. Ethiopia in her rags, and mule-power with all of its obstinacy, here find their
fitting representatives. There is no spectacle more unique, in all the range of Southern
reminiscences, than the mutual sympathy which seems to exist between man and beast
on the road, in the camp, and at the corn-crib. A rope constitutes the sole electric cur-
rent between hand and bit, and half a dozen strange sounds in the vernacular of the
driver, now persuasive and nc.v emphatic, serve to surmount every difficulty likely to
present itself on the mountain-paths.
Another point of interest, but a short distance off the route, which has been de-
picted by the artist, is the old mill on Reem's Creek — one of the landmarks of the days
when it was a struggle between the Indian and the pale-face as to which should hold
the land. The creek rises in the Black Mountains, and empties into the French Broad ;
and the mill is historic as being the oldest building this side of the mountains. It was
built there by the settler from whom its name is derived, as " a sort of fort, something
of a store, and a little of a mill." The old ford of the French Broad is just at the
mouth of the creek, and it is a part of the tradition of the neighborhood that Daniel
Boone here first learned to shoot Indians and bears.
A few miles up the stream are some of the most beautiful valleys in the world, and
on one of the mountain-spurs near by are cornfields, three thousand five hundred feet
higher than the sea, which are said to have yielded fifty bushels shelled to the acre.
Timothy, and other northern grasses, grow luxuriantly in this region ; and within
the last three or four years several cheese-factories have been erected, and are in success-
ful operation, furnishing products which are pronounced to be equal to those of the
North. Enterprising Germans and Americans are likewise engaged in utilizing the vast
water-power of the French Broad, with the view of converting some of the magnificent
chestnuts, oaks, maples, and walnuts, which abound, into implements of industry and
household ornaments; and, doubtless, the time is not far distant when the whistle of the
locomotive, the hum of the woollen spindle and loom, the noisy life of the forge and
trip-hammer, and the whir of the factory, will be heard blending with the melody of the
rushing waters, and adding new strains to those which Nature has sung alone in these
vi^ild scenes since the creation.
Among the Southern institutions which are fast yielding to the march of progress
are the ferries on the public roads. In the olden time the cabin or ferry-house was
the gathering - spot of the neighborhood, where corn-whiskey and river-news divided the
honors of the hour, and frowsy loungers played " seven-up " on the moss-lined rocks.
THE FRENCH BROAD.
The idle Cuffee was always sure to fill a place in the picture, and that place was in-
variably the soft side of a plank, where he slept with his upturned face to the sunshine.
The ferry itself was antique, and innocent of any but the rudest invention. It was
cheap in construction, and the perfection of a simplicity that, so far as any improve-
ment is concerned, might have originated among the antediluvians.
A rope extending to some convenient tree on either bank ; a flat-bottomed boat
and a stout negro — that was the machinery. You drove down, whooped, received an
answering yell, possessed your soul in patience until the return of the crazy craft, and
entered cautiously. The cable passed through a guide-post attached to the gunwale,
.ind the ferryman, seizing it with a peculiar wooden key, gave it a twist, and commenced
the process of pulling his freight to the other side. If any thing gave way, as was not
unfrequently the case during a freshet, you drifted helplessly down the current, with the
chances of being poled ashore in some out-of-the-way spot, or of a cold-bath in the river.
Happily, bridges are taking the places of these antique relics ; the railway is carry-
ing forward its civilizing influences, and in a little while the tourist may be whirled
down the valleys of the French Broad in palace-cars that will make travelling luxurious,
albeit it may rob him of half the pleasures that attach to the good old way.
It would require a volume to describe the many lovely scenes of interest in and
around this picturesque locality — the caves, mountains, water-falls, and natural curiosities,
within a day's travel, always attractive to the artist, poet, and lover of Nature, but
there is one spot, that has been illustrated by Mr. Fenn, which deserves at least a
brief notice. Hickory-Nut Gap is one of the great gate-ways to the French-Broad
Basin. The approach from Charlotte, North Carolina, is by way of the pretty Httle town
of Rutherfordton, from which point the visitor soon reaches the view of and is lost amid
the wild, grand scenery that prevails on every side. His road and the track of the head-
waters of Broad River are cut through massive walls of granite over a thousand feet
high. Far- off, in the distance, he looks in admiration at the beautiful falls of Hickory-
Nut Creek. The sun glistens on the spray-like stream, splintered into showers of dia-
mond-drops by a fall of three hundred and fifty feet, and throwing out a thousand rain-
bow hues. Passing on, he sees a remarkable, weather-worn peak, which is known as the
Chimney Rock, reaching like a huge needle toward the heavens. The entire length
of the Gap is about nine miles, the last five of which are watered by the Rocky-
Broad River. That portion of the gorge, which might be called the gate-way, is at the
eastern extremity, and is not more than half a mile in width. The highest bluff is on
the south side, and it is here, midway up its front, that stands the isolated rock, of
circular form, looming against the sky, and resembling the high turret of some
grand castle. The entire mountain is composed of granite, and a large portion of the
bluff in question hangs over the abyss beneath, and is as smooth as it possibly could be
made by the rains of uncounted centuries. Over one portion of this superb cliff, falling
CHIMNEY ROCK, HICKORY-NUT GAP.
THE FRENCH BROAD.
far down into some undiscovered and apparently unattainable pool, is a stream of water
which seems to be the offspring of the clouds ; and, in a neighboring rock, near the base
of the precipice, are three shooting water-falls, at the foot of which, formed out of solid
stone, are three holes, ten feet in diameter, and from forty to fifty feet in depth. The
water in them has a rotary motion, and, when a stick or branch is thrown into it, it
will disappear for some time, and then rise on the upper side of the pool, to disappear
again in the same manner.
The mineral resources of this French-Broad region, and indeed of Western North
Carolina, are almost boundless. For more than a hundred and twenty miles, the great
Western Turnpike from Asheville crosses mountains of iron-ore, great masses of copper
and lead, veins of silver and gold, and runs for miles upon strata of the finest -grained
marble of every shade, from the purest white, through variegated, delicate, and rich rose
and pink tints, to the sombrest and glossiest black. It traverses a region through which
there are springs of every medicinal character ; water-falls of immense height ; chasms
into whose seemingly bottomless depths one shudders to look ; dark chaparrals of laurel
known only to the wild beast ; and forests in which the foot of the white man has
never trodden. At the same time there are fertile valleys and sloping mountain-sides
that yield the largesse of Nature's bounty. Such is the strange, rich, and picturesque
country of the French Broad.
THE WHITE MOUNTAINS,
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY HARRY FENN.
The White Mountains, from the Conway Meadows.
TIS TE suppose that all our readers know that the White Mountains are in New
' ' Hampshire, and that they are the highest elevations in New England, and,
with the exception of the Black Mountains of North Carolina, the highest in the
United States, east of the Mississippi.
The mountains rise from a plateau about forty-five miles in length by thirty in
THE WHITE MOUNTAINS.
breadth, and about sixteen hundred feet above the sea. This plateau, from which rise
nearly twenty peaks of various elevations, and which is traversed by several deep, nar-
row valleys, forms the region known to tourists as the White Mountains. The peaks
cluster in two groups, the eastern of which is known locally as the White Mountains,
and the western as the Franconia Group. They are separated by a table-land varying
from ten to twenty miles in breadth.
The principal summits of the eastern group are Mounts Washington, Adams, Jef-
ferson, Madison, Monroe, Webster, Clinton, Pleasant, Franklin, and Clay. Of . these,
Mount Washington is the highest, being 6,285 f^^t above the level of the sea. The
height of some of the other peaks is as follows: Adams, 5,759 feet; Jefferson, 5,657;
Madison, 5,415; Monroe, 5,349; Franklin, 4,850; Pleasant, 4,712. The principal sum-
mits of the Franconia Group are Mounts Pleasant, Lafayette (5,500 feet). Liberty,
Cherry Mountain, and Moosehillock (4,636). Near the southern border of the pla-
teau rise Whiteface Mountain, Chocorua Peak (3,358 feet). Red Hill, and Mount Os-
sipee ; and, in the southeast. Mount Kearsage (2,461 feet).
The rivers in the four great valleys that lead to the White Mountains — in the
branches of the Connecticut Valley; in the Androscoggin Valley, that passes beyond
these hills, commencing at a lake in Canada ; in the Saco Valley, which begins here ;
and the Pemigewasset Valley, an off-shoot of the valley of the Merrimac — are fed by
multitudes of little streams that force their way down steep glens from springs in the
mountain-side, and flow through narrow valleys among the hills.
The course of these little rivulets, that break in water-falls, or whose amber flood
runs over mossy beds among the forests, furnishes irregular but certain pathways for the
rough roads that have been cut beside them, and by which the traveller gains access
to these wild mountain-retreats.
Choosing among the valleys the one whose picturesque beauty soonest begins, the
valley of the Saco, the tourist to the mountains finds himself at the northern end of
Lake Winnipiseogee, surrounded by the Sandwich and Ossipee Hills, of which White-
face and Chocorua are the loftiest peaks. Starting from Centre Harbor, a summer re-
sort of considerable celebrity at the head of the lake, the regular stage-coach for Con-
way and the mountains is soon among high hills, the ruggedness of which begins at
once to develop itself. Winding in and out among them, the stage passes now under
the dark, frowning brow of a chfif, and afterward by some deep ravine, and then comes
upon a lofty plateau which overlooks the amphitheatre of hills, till at Eaton the summit
of Mount Washington is often distinctly seen, its base being concealed by objects nearer.
The most interesting feature of the ride, however, is Chocorua, and, to those unac-
quainted with mountain-scenery, the first impression of this peak is very striking. Driv-
ing over the mountain-road in a hot summer afternoon, one watches the great hill-tops
come up, like billows, one after another, from the sea of mountains round about, as the
THE WHITE MOUNTAINS.
coach winds and twists among them. The soft afternoon light and atmosphere rest
over the land, which, as the sun sinks lower, becomes streaked with pale bars of light
when the sides and shoulders of the hills are developed by the failing day. All at
once, over their sides, bands of a still softer blue appear, which, after interlacing the
mountains for a while, are succeeded by a cool purple that steals up these hill-sides,
and chases in its path the sunny haze ; and this in its turn gives place to a pinkish
gray of almost rosy hue, each tint changing from minute to minute, till they are all
Elephant's Head, Gate of Crawford Notch.
finally merged in a dark-purple tone, over which rests a tint as soft as the bloom on a
plum, enwrapping each mountain-peak clear cut against the evening sky.
No one who has been much in a forest-region can have failed to perceive and en-
joy the delicious fragrance that emanates from the resinous woods when the cool air of
evening develops the exhalations from their still and warm foliage. Descending into the
damp, fresh valley, and making your way through the woods, the aromatic odor of a
hundred different growing things greets your nostrils. A turn in the road, and a bit of
open meadow, and a gust of air as warm as mid-day envelops you. So the ride goes on
till the great stars quiver in the dark vault of the heavens, that seem the deeper and
more mysterious from their framework of mountain-peaks. The hill-sides, fringed with
trees that border the road, rise black and ghostly in the gloom, and only the tramp of
the horses' hoofs on the hard ground, and the occasional remark of your fellow-pas-
sengers when they rouse up a little from their abstracted silence, break the intense still-
ness of the hour. One may not know the names of many of the mountains, but the
peak of Chocorua, sharp and proud, crowns the view whenever the stage comes upon
a bluff of height sufficient to overlook the landscape ; and, after passing through a wood,
it is always that lonely summit that rises first to the view when the stage emerges
again under the open light of the stars.
It is after this ride that the tourist strikes the valley of the Saco at Conway, and
awakens the following morning to take the stage for North Conway and the mountains.
After half a dozen miles' ride, leaving the peaks of Chocorua and Whiteface behind him
over his left shoulder. Mote Mountain, with its long sweep, and the more broken out-
line of the Rattlesnake range, take the principal positions in the panorama, while the
Ossipee Hills retire and retire toward the southern horizon. It is nine o'clock or there-
abouts when the stage turns into the road on the edge of the level bank that rises
about thirty feet above the intervales of the Saco, and, extending some three or four
miles in length to the foot of Bartlett Mountain, reaches back two or three miles to
the base of the Rattlesnake range and to Mount Kearsarge, and forms the little plain
where the township of North Conway nestles against the mountain-side. No one who
has ever visited this valley can fail to remember the exquisite view from this road when
it first opened before them, and, varied slightly along the whole length of the ridge
till arriving at the farther end of the village, the low hills at Bartlett shut off the chief
features of the scene.
At the foot of the bank, and bathed in the morning sunshine, extends, far up the
valley, a flat, velvety meadow of the freshest green, and dotted over it, in lines or little
groups, rises the very ideal of elm-trees, as pure in form as a fountain or a vase. The
Saco glimmers here and there in the morning light, its course nearly hidden by bands
of dark-hued maples. Above these bands of trees are the purple slopes of Mote Moun-
tain, which descends abruptly to the plain, when the steep face of the Conway ledges
makes a sheer descent of from six to eight hundred feet to the valley of the Saco.
At the northern end of the vafley. Mote Mountain bends down till it becomes
a low ridge in what is called the " Devil's Arm-chair," and Bartlett slopes gently away
to give place to a broad opening, across which, extending its entire length, lies Mount
Washington and the other peaks of the White-Mountain range, each one being well
separated from the other, and the outline of Mount Washington itself one of the best
afforded from any position. The lower flanks of these mountains reach to the plain of
the Saco, and, if one has watched this scene - when the purple shades of evening gather
on the mountain-sides long after the valley and the lovver hills are wrapped in gloom, he
THE WHITE MOUNTAINS.
may have seen the pink hues of the evening sky still lingering on those mountain-peaks
till they melt from the dome-shaped summit of Washington, and, with a little quiver
of the light, its huge side joins the purple mass of the valley and the hills that lie
Every view of the mountains has its own peculiar type of expression ; and each
aspect on the north side is more or less bold and abrupt, and the lines of the hills,
though they are fine, grand, and impressive, are not graceful. But the character of the
The Willey Slide.
scenery at Conway is peculiar for its loveliness. Ruskin speaks of the curves of a snow-
drift and the curl of a sea-wave being as beautiful lines as are to be found in Nature ;
and every one of these mountains, whatever the geological cause, certainly has its soft
and hard side. In Conway you see the curves of the hills on their long swell, rising
slowly from valley to summit ; and, on the northern slope, the mountain-wave appears to
have broken and rushed abruptly to the plain. Such is the general aspect of the land-
scape, and one can easily picture to himself a beauty of the scenery that is almost femi-
nine, as it appears at Conway. Not only the hills, but the village itself, and the gentle
meadows of the Saco, add to the soft charm of this very Arcadia of the White Hills.
GATE OF THE CRAWFORD NOTCH.
THE WHITE MOUNTAINS.
Here Nature seems for once to have thrown aside her harsh and severe character in
this granite heart of New England, and to have abandoned herself to a genial and
happy repose. . . . ^
Mount Kearsarge, at the northern end of the Rattlesnake range, is the highest
peak this side of the White Mountains, and rises in an almost perfect cone from the
ridge on which Conway stands. The mountain is so near the town that the trees on
its sides are distinctly seen, and partake of the greenish-purple hue of all near moun-
tains. An excursion to the summit of Mount Kearsarge is the most important one
in this neighborhood, and is easily accomplished on horseback, though for a strong
and energetic person a climb is not very formidable, and is most pleasantly made in
the afternoon, when, if there is moonlight, the beauty of a night on the summit and a
return to the village in time for breakfast afford a delightful series of pictures for the
mind to dwell upon in after-times.
A very pleasant day may be spent at the Conway ledges, which are perhaps the
finest cliffs in the whole White-Mountain region. A broken rock, six hundred feet
high, is colored with the most delicate shades of buff, purple, and gray, with small
birches growing out from the clefts in the fractured surface of the stone here and
there, where a little earth and moisture have collected. To the rear of the lower
ledge, Thompson's Falls break over a spur of Mote Mountain, where the broken
rock is thrown about in the wildest confusion. The highest of the ledges rises
more than nine hundred feet above the bed of the Saco. A little scramble of a
hundred feet or so through herbage and over rocks brings you into a shallow cave
below the cliff, whence the rocks have been split away for nearly a hundred feet
high, and the wide front of the recess is almost choked with trees. This spot, a
favorite resort for picnickers, is named the Cathedral, and shares with Diana's Bath
the interest of the visitor as a place of rest. Diana's Bath, a little farther up the
valley, is formed from a succession of water-falls that, striking upon several tiers of
rock, have worn wells into its substance, with perfectly smooth walls. The largest of
these wells is about ten feet across, and as many deep. Looking into the clear depths
of the water, one sees at the bottom small, round rocks, the cause of the excavation,
which the water has used as pestles with which to scrape, and grind, and polish out
these natural basins. Echo Lake, directly at the foot of Mote Mountain, has the char-
acter of numberless of these still mountain-ponds, hidden among the forests, deep and
Recrossing the river, on the slope toward the Rattlesnakes, one of the most charm-
ing spots from which to view Chocorua and Mote Mountain is Artists' Falls. This is
one of those sylvan scenes of mossy rocks, babbling water, and beautifully-grouped trees,
which artists delight to study in " bits," or to portray in its entireness, either looking up
toward the brook, or off down the declivity to the mountains, across the valley.
Starting in the morning from North Conway on the. mountain-road, you wind along
the ridge of land that forms the town, till the valley becomes narrow and broken, and
the hills abrupt. Brooks cross the road at several points, and the way winds round the
lone flank of Bartlett Mountain, wooded from base to summit ; the stage passes the
beautiful falls at Jackson, and Goodrich's Falls, near where the Ellis River joins the
The Descent from Mount Washington.
Saco, and by that time is fairly among the high mountains, whose walls close down
nearer and nearer upon the road which winds along the channel cut by the Saco.
In the middle of the afternoon the abrupt sides of Mount Crawford bound the road
on one side, and, by the time the stage has reached the little house that stands
under Willey Mountain, the sunbeams have already stolen far up the mountain. A
bugle blown at this spot starts the echoes, repeating them back and forth heavier
THE WHITE MOUNTAINS.
and louder than the first blast ; one almost fancies it the music of a band of giants
hidden among the trees on the mountain-slope. From the Willey House to the
gate of the Notch the path becomes constantly narrower and sterner, though the com-
mon idea of the awfulness and almost horror of the passage of this portion of the
journey is a somewhat erroneous one. The slope of the mountain -sides, here two
thousand feet high, is very abrupt, and the narrow ravine is nearly unbroken for three or
four miles, till one has passed the gate of the Notch ; but, comparing this point with
many others, its picturesque and romantic charm is the predominant impression. The
river boils and plunges over broken rocks, and the narrow passage for the stage twists
and winds, crossing the torrent at intervals over slender bridges, till, at the gate of
the Notch, an opening, hardly wide enough to allow the passage of a team of
horses, and the raging river, is bounded on each side by a sheer wall of rock, on the
projections of which harebells and maiden's-hair are waving, and down whose steep sides
leap the tiny waters of the silver cascade, whose course can be detected several hun-
dred feet up the side of Mount Webster, sparkling in the sunlight.
Passing the gate of the Notch, you come out upon a little plateau of a few
hundred acres, surrounded by hills, except at its upper and lower ends, which form
the pass of the mountains, in the midst of which stands the Notch House.
The ascent of Mount Washington — the great point of interest, of course — is in
many respects more satisfactory from this plateau than by any other route, as it gives
a person really fond of mountain-scenery and romantic adventure as much experience
of the kind as is agreeable, without becoming wearisome. To one unacquainted with
mountain-scenery, the ascent by the bridle-path from the Crawford Notch affords more
new sensations than can, perhaps, be gained anywhere else in this region in so few
After breakfast on a sunny morning, fresh with an exhilaration one can scarcely
conceive of who has not experienced the renovating effect of mountain-air, the tourist —
equipped, if he be a prudent person, with a thick corduroy jacket, procured from the
hotel ; a large, coarse hat tied firmly under the chin by a strong cord ; long, thick gloves,
covering hands and wrists, and heavy underclothing — finds upon the piazza of the hotel
a party accoutred like himself, mingled with girls in fresh morning-dresses, young men
sauntering about with cigars, and elderly people sitting on benches and rustic seats,
watching the party set off for the mountain. Interested glances are cast up the hill-
sides, and the guides and old stagers are interrogated as to what may be the chances
of the weather. Some persons tell stories of their adventures on the mountain the pre-
vious day, of mists that have caught them, winds that have nearly blown them from
their horses, and they show their sunburnt wrists, and freely give advice about the way
to manage or let one's horse manage himself, while the party is getting ready to de-
part. A couple of dozen horses and three or four guides are waiting below, among
whom anxious papas and nervous ladies are wandering, engaging a particular horse that
is small or large, and a guide who seems particularly good-natured and knowing, to have
an especial eye to them. Some of the tourists are already on horseback, walking
around and trying their saddles; and, when every thing is in readiness, the cavalcade sets
off up through the trees with which Mount Clinton is covered from its base at the foot
of the Crawford House — looking, in their motley costumes of red, white, and blue, like
a party of gypsies winding along the shady wood-path, which ascends two thousand feet
during the first two or three miles, through a boggy, corduroy path so steep that often
Tuckerman's Ravine, from Hermit's Lake.
those members of the party who have got a httle in advance of the others, appear to
be almost overhead when they are seen emerging upon some open rock which breaks
the forest. Here and there are springs of most delicious cool mountain-water, where
the heated horses and riders stop for a moment to drink.
In the ascent the kind of trees changes constantly, turning from the yellow-birches,
the beeches, with mossy trunks, and sugar-maples, in the valley, where are also moun-
tain-ash trees, aspen-poplars, and striped maples, to white-pine and hemlock, white-birch
and spruce, and balsam-fir, hung with a fine gray moss, much like that which drapes
THE WHITE MOUNTAINS.
the trees of the Southern forests, till you reach the upland with an arctic vegetation
and a sort of dwarf-fir, so intertangled with moss that you can often walk over the tops
of these trees as if over thick moss. On the ground is an undergrowth of ferns,
brakes, and mountain-vines, and near the summit of Mount Clinton you com'e upon a
region of dead trees, their branches and trunks bleached and white as ghosts, until you
emerge on the barren summit of the mountain.
The path is rather to the north of the top of Mount Clinton, and we wind around
it over bare rocks, when the first noble mountain-prospect opens before us. In front is
the conical peak of Kearsarge, and seemingly quite near it are some small, shining lakes
amid their hazy setting of mountains ; behind rises Mount Willard and the group that
surrounds the Notch, the clouds chasing wild shadows over their deep-blue sides. As
we begin to descend to the narrow ridge which unites this mountain to the one next it,
we catch a glimpse of a valley two thousand feet below, through which flows the
Mount- Washington River at the base of a vast forest. On the left, at an equal depth,
runs the Ammonoosuc, and you gain your first experience of mountain peril when the
horses, planting their four feet close together on some rock in the narrow pathway,
jump from this rough elevation three or four feet to the rocks beneath, where a slip
or false leap would precipitate horse and rider down many hundreds of feet over the
side of the mountain to sure destruction. The mountain on its almost perpendicular
eastern slope is deeply seamed by a slide which happened during a severe storm in
1857. Passing around the side of Mount Monroe, which is little inferior to Mount
Washington, one gazes into a frightful abyss, known as Bates's Gulf. Clouds and masses
of vapor hang against its precipitous sides, and gigantic rocks strew the bottom of the
From Monroe is the first near view of Mount Washington, which rises in a vast
cone, and shines with bare, gray stones fifteen hundred feet above, and across a wide
plateau strewed with great numbers of bowlders. This elevated plain is about a mile
above the sea. Patches of grass and hardy wild-flowers appear in the crevices of the
rocks, and one comes upon small " tarns," or mountain-ponds, here and there, formed
from springs or by the frequent storms that pass over these high regions. The " Lake
of the Clouds," the head-waters of the Ammonoosuc, is the most beautiful of them.
If you turn aside from the path a little way, the most wonderful gorge on the moun-
tains, Tuckerman's Ravine, lies at your feet. Having crossed the plateau, the last four
or five hundred feet are best climbed on foot, for the stones are so loose, and the ascent
so steep, that it is best not to trust to horse-flesh. The rocks are clean cut and glisten-
ing, as if fresh from the quarry, among which scarcely a living thing can be discovered ;
but, by-and-by, as one emerges upon the summit, the delicate Alpine plant and little
white flowers appear among the rocks. On the top of the mountain one can easily guard
against the violence of the blast by crouching beneath the immense rocks which are
grouped upon its surface. Sitting on the leeward side of these protections, you can have
a view more extended and exciting than any this side of the Rocky Mountains. A sea
of mountains stretches on every hand ; the near peaks, bald and scarred, are clothed with
forests black and purple, and sloping to valleys so remote as to be very insignificant.
Beyond the near peaks, grand
and solemn, the more distant
mountains fall away rapidly
into every tint of blue and
purple, glittering with lakes,
till the eye reaches the sea-
line ninety miles away.
The summit of Mount
Washington, from the plateau
at the Notch House, is five
thousand feet high, and this
plateau in its turn is fourteen
or fifteen hundred feet above
the sea. The traveller, to fully
enjoy the view, should have a
clear day, without too much
^flrrjCT.T^ rr a a g^ ' ■ < ^ wind; but, as no weather is
^W^'^'^^SBm ^M^^<'-^ so uncertam as the weather on
Mount Washington, one may
be pretty sure, in the course
of a twelve - hours' stay, to
have fog and sunshine, rain
and . storm.
Tuckerman's Ravine lies
a few hundred feet down the
side of the mountain, and the
ridges in its rough, craggy
wall form the faint, pink-gray
lines that scar the summit of
Mount Washington as seen
at North Conway. If there is
time, one can visit this ravine from the top of Mount Washington, and by a steep
climb reach the summit again before night from the Snow Arch.
The ravine is an immense gully in the side of Mount Washington, the steep sides
of which storms and frost are constantly changing, so that no vegetation has a chance
THE WHITE MOUNTAINS.
to take root, except the little yearly plant whose seeds may be scattered here, for the
next winter's storms are sure to wash away the scanty growth. Against the head of
the ravine, where it abuts against the summit of Mount Washington, the lofty wall
sparkles with a thousand streams that filter through its crevices or run over its sum-
mit. The Snow Arch is formed at first from the immense snow-drifts blown over the
top of the mountain, which settle against this wall of the ravine in piles sometimes a
hundred feet deep, and in the short summer of this great altitude scarcely have time
to melt from year to year.
The tourist to the summit of Mount Washington may descend, if he chooses, by
the carriage-road to the glen, which is approached from Conway through the Pink-
ham Notch, that runs nearly parallel with the Willey Notch, north and south, and is
separated from it on the west by two ranges of mountains. Mount Crawford being
one of the peaks ; and, on the other side, it is bounded by Carter Mountain and the
range of Mount Moriah. The stage follows the course of the Ellis River, which con-
nects this narrow valley with the broad intervals where the Ellis joins the Saco, till
a little plateau is reached, from which rise the whole group of the White Mountains,
without any intervening peak to conceal any portion of them, from their base to the
summit — a sheer ascent from the valley of more than five thousand feet.
Here, by the road-side, not very remotely set in the forest, is the Crystal Cascade,
whose waters fall in an unbroken sheet from the summit to the base of the rock.
It is a wonderful view which opens before the tourist when he enters the glen,
either from Gorham, by the course of the Peabody River, or, coming from Conway and
the Saco Valley, through the wild Pinkham Notch, by the rushing ElHs, with its Glen-
Ellis Falls, one of the famous cascades of the mountains. The five highest mountains
of New England lie before him, dense forest clothing their lower flanks, the ravines,
landsHdes, and windfalls, clearly defined, and above all tower their desolate peaks.
These little plateaus, scattered here and there — at the Notch House, at Franconia, and
at the glen — seem to be darker than ordinary places, for the sky is cut off many
angles above the horizon on every hand, and the sun has a shorter transit across the
diminished heavens, leaving a long period of twilight both at morning and evening,
even during fair weather ; but, when the heavy fog-banks collect on these lonely moun-
tain-sides, and the storm-clouds muster over every peak, the impression of solitary gloom
is most impressive.
There is no spot in the mountains where one feels more keenly than here the
changes in the moods of Nature. Watching the bright streams on the heights so far
removed from man on the silent peaks, with
" Narrowing curves that end in air,"
the imagination wanders, till one scarcely knows what part of the impression is due to
its excited picturings, and what is derived from the visible vi^orld. In this valley lies
the Emerald Pool, a sunny basin, bright and still.
Leaving Gorham, and following the stage-road to the west, you soon emerge on
a hill-side, leaving the Androscoggin Valley behind ; and, when about a mile up this
Mount Washington, from top of Thompson's Falls, Pinkham Pass.
little valley, at a turn in the road, you suddenly find yourself gazing up at the steep
side of Mount Madison, which rises with a clear sweep from its base, washed by the
rocky Moose River, and its flanks clothed with huge forest-trees to its gray and rocky
summit. Now we see one slope of the mountain, and now another, as the road winds
along, till at length the twin peak of Mount Adams, very like in form to Madison,
THE WHITE MOUNTAINS. 165
peeps over one of the immense shoulders of Adams, and soon its sides rise to view.
Mount Jefferson, in its turn, comes in sight, and the deep gulHes in its sides and its
rocky flanks present the same unbroken and satisfactory slopes which had made Madison
at first seem quite the ideal mountain of one's imagination. From the moment this
journey is commenced at the hill-top in Gorham, it is interesting, but, to be fully en-
joyed, it should be taken with the afternoon light purpling the mountain-sides, and when
the large, picturesque trees, twisted and bent, stand, like sentinels, profiled against the
broad, soft light of the hills. Driving along, one flank after another comes into view,
shutting off the previous one, filling one with an ever-new surprise at the number and
variety of these mountains, which yet are always immense in their sweep and grand in
curve. The mountains from this side are much more abrupt than when seen on their
western declivity, and the rocky structure of their formation is more conspicuous. At the
Glen, flanks and ravines cut up the sweep of the hills, but here they rise in an unbroken
view to a height greater than the walls of the mountains at the Willey Notch, and far
more impressive. Emerging upon the road at Martin's, where now stands the Mount-
Adams House, you see the whole great chain of the chief peaks, their forests speckled
with light, and apparently so near that one almost feels like putting his hand upon
their flickering sides across the densely -wooded ravine which winds up and up till it is
lost in the gray distance of the heights of Mount Washington.
Following the borders of the Moose River, and striking across the Cherry-Moun-
tain road to the White-Mountain House, a distance of thirty -two miles from Gorham,
and leaving Jefferson behind, with the Israel River that conducts to the Connecticut
Valley and to Lancaster, the traveller finds himself about seven miles beyond the
Willey Notch, on the road to Franconia.
From the Crawford House, on its little plateau, turning northward, the road, pass-
ing through dense woods, after a short space enters the little valle}^ through which
the infant stream of the Ammonoosuc issues from near the base of Mount Monroe.
Nothing can be more charming than the trickle of waters by the side of these moun-
tain-roads — " noises as if hidden brooks in the leafy month of June " — when the stage
toils and creaks slowly over the rocky hills. W^e do not know the origin of the val-
leys, though they are probably volcanic, and the roads are apparently much more im-
portant than the little streams that rush along beside them, seeming like mere orna-
ments to the landscape ; but, whatever their apparent uselessness, these mountain-tor-
rents have carved out the natural roads through the hills, and it is by the ridges that
bound them that nearly every person is made familiar with the glories and beauties
of this region.
Following along the Ammonoosuc, the forest, opens here and there, disclosing the
White Mountains in all their beauty, until at the White-Mountain House, beyond the
Ammonoosuc, the range of hills that connects the White Mountains with the Franco-
Ilia range, rises before you. This stream, which is often named the wildest in New
Hampshire, on account of the rapid flow of its waters, that descend more than a mile
between its source and where it joins the Connecticut, is broken by many water-falls,
that gleam among the trees along the stage-road. The first town or even village that
Emerald Pool, Peabody-River Glen.
one passes after leaving Jackson is the little hamlet of Bethlehem, crouched close
against a high, broad plateau, with great ranges of hills bounding it on every side.
Along the valley toward the eastward rise the White Mountains and their attendant
ranges ; on the south, the range of the Franconia Mountains and Mount Lafayette,
towering majestically above the rest, shut in the plain : while to the north appear the
THE WHITE MOUNTAINS.
mountains of Vermont. At one's feet on every side lie the valleys, and above this
plain rise the mountain-peaks. Removed from the solemn gloom of the ravines, and
from the exciting impressiveness of the mountain-tops, it would seem that dwellers in
these elevated homes among the hills might have a healthier and serener life than any-
Leaving Bethlehem, the road winds over a hill-top, and then descends into the val-
ley of the Ammonoosuc, through which it winds its way till it reaches the narrow gorge,
through which a branch of this river forces itself down ; and the steep, difficult ascent
begins into the Franconia Notch.
The Franconia range, though of the same group of hills as the rest, has a charac-
ter as distinct from the austere forms of the White-Mountain range as from the soft
swells of the Green Mountains of Vermont, and is eminently charming and picturesque.
A little way from the Profile House the traveller finds himself beside the Echo
Lake, surrounded by hills, with Mount Lafayette, the highest peak of any in that re-
gion, overlooking it :
" Mountains that like giants stand,
To sentinel enchanted land."
In a fresh, cool morning, after a good night's rest under the comfortable roof
of the Profile House, you wander down to the little pebbly beach that edges the
lake-shore. Green woods tangled over your head protect you from the heat of the sum-
mer sun, and before you lies this little lake, each mountain clearly reflected in its pure
depths as if in a mirror. While you sit enjoying the quiet beauty of the scene, and
watching one or two eagles circling about the near hills, a note from a bugle sounds from
the little boat that takes passengers to the middle of the lake. Immediately the echo
repeats itself against the mountain-side, and, jumping from point to point, almost in-
stantly the woods seem filled with a band of musicians till the echoes fade off and off:
"Oh, hark! Oh, hear! How thin and clear,
And thinner, clearer, farther going ;
Oh, sweet and far from cliff and scaur
The horns of elf-land faintly blowing !
Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying,
Blow, bugle ; answer, echoes dying, dying, dying ! "
Leaving the lake, and following the path that leads back to the Profile House,
you come to the broken, scarred wall of Eagle Cliff, that rises directly in front of the
hotel. Eagles build their nests here, whence its name, and there are various traditions
of children and lambs being snatched away and borne up to their lofty eyries. At Fran-
conia there seems to be a natural impulse to quote poetry, and echoes of measured strains
beat time to the pulses of light
in the stirring tree-tops or to
the rippling rivulets. If you love
Scott, you can hardly fail to have
different bits of his verse run-
ning through your head when
you see —
" Crags, knolls, and mounds, confusedly
The fragments of an earlier world,
A wildering forest feathered o'er
His ruined side and summit hoar."
Nearly opposite Eagle Cliff,
Profile Mountain rises abruptly
from the margin of a little lake
familiarly known as the " Old
Man's Wash-basin," covered with
forest-trees far up its side, over
which, looking down the val-
ley from its lofty position, near-
ly two thousand feet up the
mountain, appears the wonder
of this region, the " Old Stone
Face," as firmly defined as if
chiselled by a sculptor. Haw-
thorne has thrown over this
natural object a charm as much
greater than others have felt, as
his genius was more subtle and
penetrating than that of the rude
dwellers of these regions, to
whom yet the " Face " appears
always to have suggested an idea
of something mysterious. The
rocks of which it is formed are
three blocks of granite so set
together as to form an over-
lianging brow, a powerful, clear-
THE WHITE MOUNTAINS.
ly-defined nose, and a chin sharp and decisive. Many of the pictures made on rocks by
fissures and discolorations require an effort of the imagination to make out any mean-
ing from the tangle of involved lines. Such are the figures on the ledge at Conway,
and the Indian Chief on one of the mountains in the Notch. " Arm-chairs," " Graves,"
and " Seats," are always being pointed
out, and give little satisfaction to eye
or mind ; but this view of the old
man's profile is startling, and requires
no description or suggestions to make
Following the course of the Pemi-
gewassett, whose source is in the
"Old Man's Wash-basin," as that of
its sister-stream the Ammonoosuc is
in Echo Lake, with only the rise of a
little mound between them to turn
the waters north or south, one comes
upon beautiful cascades, where the lit-
tle stream rushes over its rocky bed,
fashioning itself as it moves along
through green moss, wet at noonday
with the spray from the falling water,
till you come to the Flume House,
where the narrow gorge of the Pemi-
gewassett River widens out to the
long, flowing sweep of the open valley
that closes no more, but sweeps down
amid constantly lower hills till it reach-
es the sea, and the wild woods with
their beauty are left behind in the
mountains. Leaving the main stage-
road at the Flume House, you strike
into a rough wagon-path, following it
where the sound of falling water at-
tracts you not in vain.
Here you come upon smooth, flat rocks, over which flows the pure, colorless
sheet of the mountain-water. Above this rocky stairway the water dashes over a green,
mossy bed, the rich hues of which are seen in the sparkling sunshine that penetrates
below the flood, revealing the golden and amber tints on sand and pebbly floor.
CLIFFS ABOVE DISMAL POOL.
Above this mossy bed we reach
a fissure in the hill, with steep,
rocky sides fifty feet or more in
elevation and hundreds of feet
long, narrowing at its upper
end till it is only ten or twelve
feet wide. Stepping from one
stone to another, and then
threading the narrow footpath,
crossing and recrossing the ra-
vine, alternately climbing rocks
and traversing rude tree-trunks
thrown across for bridges, at
length a little point is gained
in the nan'owest part of the
ravine. The rocky walls are
dark, and the little stream
bounds along between them.
Emerald mosses hang from the
sharp angles of the ledge or
from the tree -trunks on its
side. Just above the place
where you are standing, a huge
bowlder is wedged, seemingly
just ready to slip from its un-
certain resting-place, and this is
the famous Flume.
The cliffs above Dismal
Pool, near the Crawford House
and the Willey Notch, are
among the loftiest and steepest
to be found in the mountains.
Our illustration gives a very
good impression of these stu-
The White Mountains are
even yet not fully explored,
and every year adds some new
mountain-pond, another cascade
THE WHITE MOUNTAINS.
or a glen, unseen till now, to the multitude of charming spots, which, with their com-
posite associations, make this region delightful. Among these places, new in comparison
with the Willey Pass or Mount Washington, is the Dixville Notch.
This remarkable pass, which has only recently attracted much attention, is in a group
of hills some sixty miles to the north of the White Mountains ; and, though as yet
but imperfectly explored, the region is known to abound in scenery of the finest kind.
Even the White Mountains, it is said, do not surpass it in sublimity and desolate and
Following the track of the Grand Trunk Railroad by its course along the Andros-
coggin, at length the train turns into the more cheerful valley of the Connecticut
River till you come to North Stratford. Here a stage conveys you to Colebrook, a
flourishing village on the New-Hampshire side of the Connecticut, from which you can
easily reach the Dixville range of hills, which are only ten miles from the village. The
road lies through the best farming region of New Hampshire, and a person would
never imagine there could be mountain-scenery of any degree of impressiveness near at
hand. Suddenly the heavy walls of the Dixville Mountains show themselves, rising
like thunder-clouds above the tree-tops of the forest. While you are admiring the
gloomy sides of these hills, covered by dark woods, a turn in the road brings you in
front of the savage opening of the Notch at its west end — a region of vast and mys-
terious desolation. The pass is narrower than either one of the great Notches of the
White Hills, and the scenery is much bolder and sublimer.
Nothing can give an adequate impression of these bare and decaying cliffs, which
shoot out into fantastic and angular projections on every side. The side-walls of this
narrow ravine — for it can scarcely be called a pass — are strewed with ddbris. The only
plant that appears to have maintained itself is the raspberry-vine. The great distinctive
feature of this Notch is barrenness ; and very great is, therefore, the transition of
feeling from desolation and gloom, when you ride out from its slaty teeth into a
most lovely plain called the Clear-Spring Meadows, embosomed in mountains, wooded
luxuriantly from base to crown. It is in this Notch that you come upon one of the
most characteristic formations of this region — Column Rock.
The glories, the beauties, the delights of this wild region might be dwelt upon for
months and fill volumes, but little suggestions and slight hints are all that our space
will allow us to give. We shall close, therefore, with repeating the advice of Stan-
King, the great authority about the White Mountains,'"" who declares that the right time
to visit them is in the early summer : " From the middle of June to the middle of July,
foliage is more fresh ; the cloud-scenery is nobler ; the meadow-grass has a more golden
color ; the streams are usually more full and musical ; and there is a larger proportion
* "The V^^hite Hills." By Thomas Starr King.
172 PICTURESQUE AMERICA.
of the 'long light' of the afternoon, which kindles the landscape into the richest loveli-
ness. The mass of visitors to the White Mountains go during the dog-days, and leave
when the finer September weather sets in with its prelude touches of the October
splendor. In August there are fewer clear skies ; there is more fog ; the meadows are
apparelled in more sober green ; the highest rocky crests may be wrapped in mists for
days in succession ; and a traveller has fewer chances of making acquaintance with a
bracing mountain-breeze. The latter half of June is the blossom-season of beauty in the
mountain-districts ; the first half of October is the time of its full-hued fruitage."
Column Rock, Dixville Notch.
THE NEVERSINK HIGHLANDS.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY GRANVILLE PERKINS.
Mouth of the Shrewsbury River.
''TT^HE Neversink Highlands have the post of honor among the American hills. They
stand near the principal portal of the continent — the first land to greet the
curious eyes of the stranger, and to cheer the heart of the returning wanderer. The
beauty of these wooded heights, the charming villas that stud their sides, the grace of
their undulating lines, give to the traveller prompt assurance that the country he visits
is not only blessed with rare natural beauty, but that art and culture have suitably
adorned it. The delight with which the wearied ocean-voyager greets the shores that
first rise upon the horizon has often been described ; but, when these shores have a rare
sylvan beauty that opens hour by hour to view as the vessel draws near — when, instead
of frowning rocks or barren sands, he beholds noble hills clothed to their brows with
green forests, fields and meadows basking with summer beauty in the sun, cottages nes-
tling amid shrubbery, and spires lifting above clustering tree-tops — the picture possesses
a charm which only he who first beholds it can fully realize. It is such a green para-
THE NEVERSINK HIGHLANDS.
disc that the Neversink Hills offer to the gaze of every ocean-wanderer vi^ho enters the
harbor of New York.
These highlands are situated in New Jersey, extending several miles along the coast
in a southerly direction. At their feet flows the Shrewsbury River ; beyond the river
stretches a narrow strip of sand, upon which the surf of the Atlantic ceaselessly beats.
This strip or tongue of sand extends northerly into the sea, somewhat beyond the reach
of the hills, which, suddenly trending westward, form, in connection with the Hook, what
is known as Sandy-Hook Bay. The ship entering from the sea stretches past this point
View from the Highlands.
of sand, leaving the hills to the left ; but from their receding forms the voyager soon
turns to greet the rising shores of Staten Island. There are two distinct bays to the
harbor of New York. Staten Island and Long Island approach each other closely, and
between them runs a small strait, known as the Narrows, which affords entrance to the
inner bay ; the outer bay, or Lower Bay, as it is commonly called, has upon its left
the low, sandy shores of Long Island, upon its right a deep estuary, between the
New-Jersey and Staten-Island shores, known as Raritan Bay. Shrewsbury River, which
is probably more an estuary than a river, enters the sea between Raritan Bay and
the Hook. Travellers proceeding by the Southern Railroad of New Jersey, or the
pleasure-party visiting the famous watering-place of Long Branch, land from the steam=
boat at Sandy Hook. The railroad runs along the narrow strip of sand, already men=
tioned, that separates the river from the
ocean, giving the passengers charming views
of the hills, such as that delineated in the
steel-plate engraving accompanying this ar-
ticle. But the visitor who explores the
river by boat enters its pleasant waters with
beautiful, villa-adorned hills to the right, as
illustrated in our initial engraving, and
courses along at their feet, admiring the
highlands as they lift above him on one
side, and the superb stretch of sea on the
other, the view of which the intervening
strip of sand scarcely obstructs. Entering
the river thus, we soon reach " Beacon Hill,"
crowned by a double-towered light-house fur-
nished with " Fresnel " lights of remarkable
capacity. The square tower has the most
powerful light on the coast, the rays of
which reach a distance of thirty-five miles,
or as far as the altitude of the tower lifts
the horizon. This light gives the mariner
the first intimation of his nearness to our
shores, just as the green slopes of the hill
it surmounts greet him with the first show
of land. This magnificent light is of French
construction, was exhibited and secured the
prize at the great French Exposition, and
was purchased by our government at a cost
of thirty thousand dollars. The light in
the corresponding tower was manufactured
in imitation of it, and, although upon the
same principle, is scarcely so powerful. A
visit to this light-house will repay us ; the
view from the tower is superb, and the
magnificent lenses of the lamp are well
worth our curious attention. The obliging iight-house keeper will draw the curtain, and
show, reflected upon the convex central crystal, an exquisite miniature of all the expanse
On the Highlands.
178 PICTURESQUE AMERICA.
of land and sea and sky — such a landscape as the most gifted painter would despair of
being able to imitate.
Just beyond Beacon Hill is the little town of Highlands, where the hotels most
do congregate. Here there is every charm to seduce the town-lorn citizen from his
weary streets. He may wander amid the leafy retreats of the hill, once peopled by deer
and other creatures of the woods, and now such a forest as that of Arden could scarcely
excel : or he may sail on the smooth waters of the river, and cast his line for the bass
Calking on the Neversink.
and the blue-fish ; or, crossing to the sandy beach where the surf of the wide ocean rolls
in upon him, plunge into the breakers until his heart and his muscles gather freshness
and strength from the brief battle with Old Ocean. It is a dehcious and sometimes a
stirring picture that may be seen from these hills. One may sit, fanned by great trees,
inhaling the odors of grass and woods, and watch the far expanse of sea, on the surface
of which ships ceaselessly come and go ; and then at times rises the storm, and the
fierce breakers come tumbling in upon the beach with a wild roar, bursting high into
THE NEVERSINK HIGHLANDS.
the air in spray, while the ships go rushing by with furled sails like great, fright-
Our course lies along under these hills, the river continuing narrow ; but soon it
widens, and presently we find two forks — one that keeps close along the sea, another
that trends a little way inland. These forks are known locally as South and West
Shrewsbury Rivers, but the geographies set down the southern fork as Shrewsbury
River, and the western one as Neversink River. The latter is the most picturesque and
Mending Nets on the Neversink.
attractive, and it is the one our artist has followed. On both sides of the river we now
have wooded shores, while the river broadens frequently into bays that are as handsome
and nearly as wide as those of the Hudson. All along there are pleasant cottages, and
on the distant, sloping hills cultivated farms. There are picturesque landings at little
wharves thrust out from high, wooded banks ; there are quaint little houses close to
the river-shore, hiding away among trees ; there is a club-house, with its array of boats ;
and presently we come to the busy centre of the great oyster-breeding region. The pleas-
THE NEVERSINK HIGHLANDS.
ant village of Fairhaven is an outgrowth of the oyster business. The river here is
broad and shallow ; the oyster-beds abound in great numbers, and at the proper season
whole fleets of boats are engaged, at one time in planting, at another in gathering the
wealth of the river-bed. The oysters planted here are mostly brought from Virginia ;
and, as the Virginia oysters are notoriously among the finest in the world, this fact may
account for the favor which the Shrewsbury product — we never hear of Neversink oys-
ters — enjoys in our market. Not only oystermen, but fishermen, are numerous here,
for this estuary affords rare fishing-grounds ; and everywhere are evidences that the river
yields rich rewards to those who depend upon it. The houses, if rarely splendid, are in
no instances poor or squalid, while the greater number are charming cottages surrounded
by many evidences of thrift and taste. The shores here are interestingly varied by scenes
of picturesque industry connected with the pursuits of the people ; here may be seen a
group of fishermen, mending their extended nets; there, a boat turned up on the beach,
undergoing repairs ; and these little insights into the occupations pursued amid these
sylvan scenes are not without their charm.
We soon reach the most important town on the river. Red Bank lies at the head
of navigation, and yet is situated on a water-course of wide expanse. It is probably the
termination of the estuary, while the little stream that flows through narrow gorges
and shadowy forests beyond, is all that may strictly be called a river. Red Bank is, in
every sense, a pretty village, and, what perhaps is better, a thriving one. Without lifting
so high as near the mouth of the river, the hills here are very charming, spreading away
in flowing, undulating lines, and dipping to the water with many a sylvan grace. It is
a town built up in the interests that pertain to a great metropolis, being a sort of
entrepot for a large agricultural country, the products of which centre here for transpor-
tation to the city. In 1830, only two houses stood upon its present site; and now its
avenues of cottages and villages extend for miles, while whole fleets of vessels are occu-
pied in its commerce. It is a village without " slums," or unpleasant quarters ; poverty
would seem to be unknown within its borders. Its streets are shaded with arching trees,
and lined with neat cottages; and all the prospects from the place are full of pleasant-
ness. Handsome villas front the main avenues, the rear windows of which overlook the
river and the green shores of its opposite boundary. Rarely do we find, in an American
town, this union of thrift and beauty ; for usually, where enterprise consents to inspire a
people, its energy leaves rude gashes upon the landscape.
This section has little legendary or historical interest. It is included in Monmouth
County, and hence it is near the scene of the famous battle of Monmouth, of the Revo-
lution ; and it was infested, during that momentous struggle, with predatory bands, who
made general warfare upon the people. Its best legendary interest is derived from the
pages of Fenimore Cooper's " Water Witch," many of the scenes of which were laid in
Sandy-Hook Bay and upon the adjacent Neversink Hills. The reader of this delightful
romance — the most truly imaginative that came from the pen of Cooper — will recall the
strangely-named villa " Lust in Rust," built by the smuggling Dutch alderman upon one
of these elevations, and the strange adventures of the Water-witch, guided by the mys
terious sea-green lady, which glided in and out of a secret inlet then existing near the
Hook, to the vast mystification of its pursuers. We learn that several times the sea
has broken through the sandy stretch of land, making the Hook an island ; such an
inlet existed in 1798, which closed in 1800, and opened again in 1830.
In regard to the designation of these hills, there exists a fearful orthographical
confusion. The word is sometimes spelled Navasmk, sometimes Navisink, then again
as Nevisink, and lastly as Neversink. The correct method can be determined only by a
knowledge of its origin, and of this there appears to be some doubt. Navasink is
supposed to be an Indian word, meaning " fishing-place," and, of course, applied to the
river; but others claim that this is simply a common instance of a natural desire to
find an aboriginal root for our nomenclature, and that the term is really Neversink, hav-
ing been bestowed by the sailors, as expressive of the long time which these hills
remain in view to the outward voyager. There is more romance and originality in
the Indian term, but, so far, the weight of authority does not appear to be in its favor.
Old Bridge, near Red Bank.
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY HARRY FENN.
^ I ^HE quaint little city of St. Augustine,
Florida, the oldest European settlement
in the United States, is situated on the At-
lantic coast, in a narrow peninsula formed by
the Sebastian and Matanzas Rivers, on the
west side of a harbor which is separated from
the ocean by the low and narrow island of
Anastasia. It lies about forty miles south of
the mouth of the great river St. John's, and about one hundred and sixty miles south
from Savannah, in Georgia.
St. Augustine was founded by the Spaniards in 1565, more than half a century
before the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, and was from the start a place of note,
and the scene of interesting historical events. Its founder, Don Pedro Menendez, was
one of the most eminent men of Spain, and a famous commander during the reign of
Philip II., by whom he was sent to Florida at the head of an expedition comprising
thirty-four vessels and two thousand six hundred persons, to colonize the country and
suppress a Huguenot settlement made in 1564 near the mouth of the St. John's. He
landed at St. Augustine on August 28, 1565, established his colony, and then marched
to exterminate the Huguenots, which he effected with great vigor and cruelty, putting
to death all his prisoners, "not because they are Frenchmen, but because they are
heretics and enemies of God." Two years later, this massacre was avenged by a French
adventurer, Dominique de Gourgues, who, with a small force of volunteers, attacked and
captured the Spanish forts on the St. John's, and hanged his prisoners, " not because they
are Spaniards, but because they are traitors, robbers, and murderers." De Gourgues,
however, made no attempt to retain his conquest, but, after his deed of retribution was
accomplished, sailed back to France.
Menendez was absent in Spain during this attack by De Gourgues, and did not
return until the affair was over. He continued for some years longer to rule the colony,
but finally returned to Spain, where his reputation for ability was so high that he was
made captain-general of the navy, soon after which he died, at the age of fifty-five. His
career in Florida, though stained with cruelty, was distinguished for energy and perse-
verance, and to him, undoubtedly, is due the credit of establishing the first permanent
settlement in the United States. His selection of St. Augustine as a site for his chief
town showed his good judgment. The situation was peculiarly favorable. The harbor,
while affording ample accommodation for vessels bringing in supplies for the garrison,
was inaccessible to those of a larger class, and was thus tolerably protected from the
attack of a hostile fleet ; while landward the estuaries and marshes defended it from the
Indians. A still more favorable feature in the location of Menendez's garrison was its
great healthiness. Surrounded by salt marshes, free from miasmatic exhalations, the pure
and balmy sea-air preserved the colonists from those fevers so fatal to the first settlers
on our Southern coasts.
In 1586, Sir Francis Drake, the famous English filHbuster, returning from an expe-
dition against the Spanish West Indies, appeared off St. Augustine, and so terrified the
Spaniards that they abandoned the fort and the town to him without any attempt at
resistance, and fled to the shelter of the forts on the St. John's. Drake took possession,
and pillaged and burnt the town, carrying away considerable booty. The principal
public buildings of the place at that time were a court-house, a church, and a monas-
tery. After the departure of Drake, the Spaniards returned and rebuilt the town,
which, however, grew so slowly that in 1647 there were within its walls only three
hundred families, or fifteen hundred inhabitants, including fifty monks of the order of
In 1665, a party of English buccaneers, commanded by Captain John Davis, made
a descent upon St. Augustine with seven small vessels, and pillaged the town. The
garrison, though consisting of two hundred men, do not appear to have resisted the
attack, which, it is probable, was made from the south by boats.
In 1702, Spain and England being at war, an expedition against St. Augustine was
organized in South Carolina, by Governor Moore, of that colony. It consisted of six
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA.
hundred whites, and as many Indian allies, and its plan of operations comprised a march
by land of one portion of the force, and an attack by sea of the other. The land
force was commanded by Colonel Daniel, the naval force by Governor Moore himself
The forces under Colonel Daniel reached St. Augustine before the naval part of the
expedition appeared, and easily captured the town, the governor, Don Joseph Cuniga,
and the inhabitants, taking refuge in the castle, which was well supplied with provisions,
and contained a considerable garrison. Governor Moore, with the fleet, soon after
arrived, and invested the fortifications, but, not having siege-guns of sufficient calibre,
St. Francis Street, St. Augustine.
could make no impression on the v/alls of the fort. Colonel Daniel was sent to
Jamaica to procure heavier guns. While he was yet absent, two Spanish vessels
appeared off the harbor. Governor Moore, fearing that he was about to be attacked by
a superior force and his retreat cut off, hastily raised the siege, destroying such of his
munitions as he could not remove, and barbarously burning the town. He retreated by
land, abandoning his vessels from fear of the Spanish squadron, whose appearance had
alarmed him. Shortly afterward. Colonel Daniel returned from Jamaica with mortars and
heavy guns, but found Moore gone, and was himself nearly captured. The expedition
returned to Carolina in disgrace, but without the loss of a man. It cost the colony of
South Carolina six thousand pounds, and led
to the issue of the first paper money ever
circulated in America.
In 1727, Colonel Palmer, an energetic
officer, made a raid into Florida with about
three hundred Carolina militia, and carried
destruction by fire and sword to the very
gates of St. Augustine, which, however, he
dared not attack, though he sacked a Yem-
assee village about a mile north of the
In 1 740, war again existing between
Spain and England, an expedition against St.
Augustine was organized by the famous Gen-
eral Oglethorpe, then Governor of Georgia.
He obtained assistance from South Carolina,
and from England a naval force of six ships.
About the first of June his forces reached
St. Augustine Cathedral.
St. Augustine, which was defended by a
not very numerous garrison commanded
by Don Manuel de Monteano, the Gov-
ernor of Florida, a man of energy and
resolution. After a siege of five or six
weeks, carried on chiefly by bombardment
from Anastasia Island, Oglethorpe became
satisfied that he could not take the place,
especially as his fleet had withdrawn in
apprehension of bad weather, and he ac-
cordingly embarked his troops and sailed
away on July 9th.
Two years later, the Spanish Gov-
ernor of Florida, the energetic Monteano,
having received reenforcements from Cu-
ba, sailed from St. Augustine with thirty-
six vessels and three thousand men to
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA.
attack the English settlements in Georgia, He met with some success at first, but was
finally baffled, partly by the force and partly by the finesse of Oglethorpe, and returned
to Florida. In the following year, 1743, Oglethorpe made a raid into the Spanish
dominions to the gates of St. Augustine, advancing with such celerity and secrecy that
A Street in St. Augustine.
the Indians attached to his force captured and scalped forty of the Spanish troops under
the very walls of Fort St. Mark's, the chief defence of the city.
By the Treaty of 1763, which estabhshed peace between Spain and England, Florida
was ceded to the English in exchange for Havana, which had been taken by an English
fleet during the war. This cession was very distasteful to the Floridians, and nearly all
of them removed at once to Mexico and the West Indies. To offset this depopulation,
great efforts were made in England to promote emigration to the newly-acquired terri-
tory, the fertility and salubrity of which were highly lauded in pamphlets, books, and
newspaper articles. An association was formed in London, at the head of Vi^'hich was
Dr. Andrew Turnbull, a Scotch gentleman, having in view the settlement of the large
and very valuable body of land lying near Mosquito Inlet. They proposed to accom-
plish this purpose by procuring settlers from the south of Europe and the Mediter-
ranean islands, especially from Minorca, who, living in a similar cHmate, might
successfully transplant and cultivate the productions of that region on the rich lands
of Florida. Accordingly, in 1767, fifteen hundred Greeks, Itahans, and Minorcans, were
brought over and settled at New Smyrna, on the Mosquito Inlet, ninety miles south
of St. Augustine. There they remained till 1776, when their number was reduced by
sickness to about six hundred, and this remnant, complaining of ill-usage on the part
of the proprietors of the colony, abandoned New Smyrna in a body and made their
way to St. Augustine, where lots were assigned to them in the northern part of the
city, where their descendants still reside, and constitute an important and very interest-
ing part of the population.
The British kept possession of Florida about twenty years, and then, in 1783,
receded it to Spain in exchange for the Bahama Islands. St. Augustine, at that time,
contained three thousand inhabitants, a description of which we copy from a " History
of Florida," by Mr. Geo. R. Fairbanks — ^the latest and the best work on this section of
our country :
" All the gardens in the town were well stocked with fruit-trees, such as figs, guavas,
plantains, pomegranates, lemons, Hmes, citrons, shaddocks, bergamot, China and Seville
oranges. The city was three-quarters of a mile in length, and about a quarter of a mile
in width. It had four churches, ornamentally built of stone (coquina 1) in the Spanish
style. One was pulled down during the English occupation, the steeple of which was
preserved as an ornament to the town. One of the churches was attached to the Convent
of St. Francis. Their houses were all built of stone, their entrances shaded by piazzas
supported by Tuscan pillars or pilasters. Upon the east the windows projected eighteen
inches into the street, and were very wide and proportionably high. On the west side
the windows were commonly very small, and there was no opening of any kind to the
north, upon which side they had double walls, six or eight feet asunder, forming a kind
of hall for cellars and pantries. Before most of the entrances, which were from an inner
court, were arbors of vines, producing fine and luscious grapes. None of the houses
were supplied with chimneys or fireplaces. For the purposes of warmth, stone urns were
filled with coals, and placed in the rooms in the afternoon to moderate the temperature
in weather sufficiently cool to require it. The governor's residence had piazzas on both
sides, also a belvedere and grand portico, decorated with Doric pillars and entablatures.
At the north end of the town was the castle, a casemated fort, with four bastions, a
ravelin counterscarp, and a glacis, built with quarried stone, and constructed according to
SCENE IN ST. AUGUSTINE.— THE DATE PALM.
PIC TURESQ UE AMERICA .
the system of Vauban. Flalf a mile to the north was a hne, with a broad ditch and
bastions, running from the Sebastian Creek to St. Mark's River; a mile from that was
another fortified line, with some redoubts, forming a second line of communication be-
tween a staccata fort upon St. Sebastian River, and Fort Moosa, upon the St. Mark's
River. Within the first line, near the town, was a small settlement of Germans, who
had a church of their own. Upon the St. Mark's River, within the second line, was
also an Indian town, with a stone church built by the Indians themselves, and in very
good taste. These lines may be still distinctly traced. The churches spoken of, outside
The City Gate.
the city, as well as Forts Moosa and Staccata, have long since disappeared, but their
sites are known.
" During the English occupation, large buildings were erected for barracks, oi suffi-
cient extent to quarter five regiments of troops. The brick of which they were built
was brought from New York, although the island opposite the city afforded a much
better building-material in the coquina stone. The lower story only of the British bar-
racks was built of brick, the upper story being of wood. These barracks stood at the
southern extremity of the town, to the south of the present barracks, and the length
and great extent of the buildings fronting on the bay added greatly to the appearance
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA.
of the city as viewed from the harbor. The city, in English times, contained many gen-
tlemen of distinction, among whom were Sir Charles Burdett, Chief-Justice Drayton, Rev.
John Forbes, the Admiralty Judge, General James Grant, Lieutenant-Governor Moultrie,
William Stark, Esq., the historian, Rev. N. Frazer, Dr. Andrew Turnbull, Bernard Ro-
mans, Esq., civil-engineer, James Moultrie, Esq., and William Bartram, the naturalist,
" Some few English families remained after the evacuation by the British in 1 784,
and the entire settlement of Greeks and Minorcans, who had come up from Mosquito
from Dr. Turnbull's colony. As they were all Roman Catholics, and were accustomed
to a language resembling the Spanish, they were not affected to any great degree by the
change of rulers.
" It is a sad thing for an entire people to be forced to give up their homes and
seek an asylum in some foreign land ; and melancholy was the spectacle presented on all
the routes leading to the harbor designated for the embarkation of the English inhabi-
tants of Florida — families separating perhaps forever, long adieus between neighbors and
friends who had together shared the privations and pleasures of the past, leaving behind
them places endeared by the most sacred associations, and containing, perchance, the pre-
cious dust of the departed. Homes embowered among the orange-groves, and made
pleasant by the fragrant blossoms of the honeysuckle, the rose, and the acacia ; a land
where Nature had lavished her choicest beauties, and created a perpetual summer — such
was the land upon which the unfortunate residents of Florida were obliged to turn their
In 1 82 1 Florida passed by treaty from the dominion of Spain to that of the United
States, and since then there is little in the history of St. Augustine that demands par-
The most conspicuous feature in the town is the old fort of St. Mark's, or San
Marco, which is built of coquina, a unique conglomerate of fine shells and sand, found
in large quantities on Anastasia Island, at the entrance of the harbor, and quarried with
great ease, though it becomes hard by exposure to the air. It is quarried in large
blocks, and forms a wall well calculated to resist cannon-shot, because it does not
splinter when struck.
The fort stands on the sea-front at one end of the town. It was a hundred years
in building, and was completed in 1756, as is attested by the following inscription, which
may still be seen over the gateway, together with the arms of Spain, handsomely carved
in stone : " Don Fernando being King of Spain, and the Field-Marshal Don Alonzo
Fernando Herida being governor and captain-general of this place, St. Augustine of
Florida and its provinces, this fort was finished in the year 1756. The works were
directed by the Captain-Engineer Don Pedro de Brazos y Gareny."
While owned by the British, this was said to be the prettiest fort in the king's
dominions. Its castellated battlements; its formidable bastions, with their frowning guns
Watch-Tower, St. Mar
its lofty and imposing
sally - port, surrounded
by the royal Spanish
arms ; its portcullis,
moat, draw-bridge; its
circular and ornate
sentry - boxes at each
principal parapet - an-
gle ; its commanding
lookout tower ; and
its stained and moss-
grown massive walls —
impress the external
observer as a relic of
the distant past : while
a ramble through its
heavy casemates — its crumbling Romish
chapel, with elaborate portico and inner
altar and holy-water niches ; its dark pas-
sages, gloomy vaults, and more recently-
discovered dungeons — brings you to ready
credence of its many traditions of inquisitorial tor-
tures ; of decaying skeletons, found in the latest-
opened chambers, chained to the rusty ring-bolts,
and of alleged subterranean passages to the neigh-
boring convent. We give, in addition to a general
view of this fort, at the head of our article, an
illustration of the quaint old watch-tower, overlooking the sea, and a glimpse of the
interior, showing a stairway crumbled away out of almost all resemblance to its original
form, and beneath an elliptical arch the entrance to the dungeons we have referred to.
Here only a few years since, in a cavity revealed by the sinking of the parapet above,
were found two skeletons hermetically walled in. The traveller curious in these old for-
tifications will be disposed to visit the ruins of a fort about twenty miles south of St.
Augustine, on Matanzas Inlet. Of the history of this structure nothing is known. It is
entirely different in form of construction from St. Mark's, and was probably erected about
the same time.
Several other buildings in the town are worthy of notice for their quaintness or
antiquity. The cathedral is unique, with its belfry in the form of a section of a bell-
shaped pyramid, its chime of four bells in separate niches, and its clock, together form-
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA.
ing a cross. The oldest of these bells is marked 1682. The old Convent of St. Mary's
is a suggestive relic of the days of papal rule. The new convent is a tasteful building
of the ancient coquina. The United-States barracks, recently remodelled and improved,
are said to have been built as a convent, or monastery. The old government-house, or
palace, is now in use as the post-office and United-States court-rooms. At its rear is a
well-preserved relic of what seems to have been a fortification to protect the town from
an over-the-river or inland attack. An older house than this, formerly occupied by the
attorney-general, was pulled down a few years ago. Its ruins are still a curiosity, and
are called (though incorrectly) the governor's house.
Interior of St. Mark's Castle.
The " Plaza de la Constitucion " is a fine public square in the centre of the town,
on which stand the ancient markets, and which is faced by the cathedral, the old palace,
the convent, a modern Episcopal church, and other fine structures. In the centre of the
plaza stands a monument erected in honor of the Spanish Liberal Constitution.
The old Huguenot burying-ground is a spot of much interest ; so is the military
burying-ground, where rest the remains of those who fell near here during the prolonged
Seminole War. Under three pyramids of coquina, stuccoed and whitened, are the ashes
of Major Dade and one hundred and seven men of his command, who were massacred
by Osceola and his band. A fine sea-wall of nearly a mile in length, built of coquina,
with a coping- of granite, protects the entire ocean-front of the city, and furnishes a
dehghtful promenade of a moonhght evening. In full view of this is the old light-house
on Anastasia Island, built more than a century ago, and now surmounted with a fine
The appearance of St. Augustine to the visitor from other parts of the country is
as quaint and peculiar as its history is bloody and varied. Nothing at all like it is to
be seen in any part of the United States. It resembles some of the old towns of Spain
and Italy. The streets are quite narrow ; one, which is nearly a mile long, being but
fifteen feet wide, and that on which a principal hotel stands being but twelve feet, while
Ruins 01 a Spanish Fort at Matanzas Inlet.
the widest of all is but twenty-five feet. An advantage of these narrow streets in this
warm climate is that they give shade, and increase the draught of air through them as
through a flue. Indeed, some of the streets seem almost like a flue rather than an open
way ; for many of the houses, with high roof and dormer-windows, have hanging balco-
nies along their second story, which seem almost to touch each other over the narrow
street; and the families sitting in these of a warm evening can chat confidentially, or
even shake hands with their over-the-way neighbors.
The street-walls of the houses are frequently extended in front of the side-garden —
the house-roof, and perhaps a side-balcony, covering this extension — or the houses are
6-7: AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA.
built around uncovered courts, so that, passing through the main door of a building, you
find yourself still in the open air, instead of within the dwelling. These high and solid
garden-walls are quite common along the principal streets ; and an occa.sional latticed
door gives you a peep into the attractive area beyond the massive structure, with per-
haps a show of huge stone arches, or of a winding staircase between heavy stone col-
umns, or of a profusion of tropical vegetation in the winter-garden, bringing to mind the
stories in poem and romance of the loves of Spanish damsels, and of stolen interviews
at the garden-gate, or elopements by means of the false key or the bribed porter. The
Coquina Quarry, Anastasia Island.
pnncipal streets were formerly well paved or floored with shell-concrete, portions of
which are still to be seen above the shifting sand; and this flooring was so carefully
swept that the dark-eyed maidens of Old Castile, who then led in society here, could
pass and repass without soiling their satin slippers. No rumbling wheels were per-
mitted to crush the firm road-bed, or to whirl the dust into the airy verandas, where
in undisturbed repose sat the Spanish dons and dames.
There are two convents in St. Augustine, whose nuns are mainly occupied in the
education of young girls. There are among them a number of nuns brought over from
France a few years since, who teach, besides their own language, the art of making lace,
A GARDEN IN FLORIDA.
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA.
and have also introduced the manufacture of hats from the palmetto and from the wire-
grass, which is very strong and durable.
It must not be supposed, however, that St. Augustine is built wholly of coquina and
in the Spanish style. There are many fine residences there in the American style. A
profusion of tropical plants, and shrubs, and trees, ornament their grounds. Here the
orange flourishes, and is abundant and delicious ; several fine groves invite the visitor's
inspection. The fig, and date, and palm, and banana, are all seen here, as also the lime
and lemon, which grow to a great size, and the sweet and the wild olive ; the citron, the
guava, and the pomegranate, are all indigenous. The grape, and the peach, and the
water-melon, also grow here with great luxuriance.
Among our illustrations the reader will find a garden-scene (see page 189), which,
eminently characteristic of St. Augustine in many of its features, is specially noticeable
on account of a splendid specimen of a date-palm, flanked on one side by a fig and on
the other by a lemon tree. To Northern eyes the picture is rendered amusing by the
Liliputian proportions of a Florida hay-stack, which, being too weak to stand alone, is
wound around a stout bludgeon. The peculiarity of the trunk of the palm is, that it has
the same diameter at the top as it has at the base. Its long shaft is ornamented with a
capital about six feet high, clothed with branches some fifteen feet long, the leaves of
which are arranged like the feather part of a quill. These palms, so essentially tropical
in their character and appearance, vary from the vegetation of northern climates in every
intrinsic quality as well as shape. The heart of the palm is pith ; the heart of the
northern tree is its most solid part. The age of the palm is legibly written upon its
exterior surface ; the age of the northern tree is concealed under a protecting bark.
The northern tree, though native of a cold, inhospitable climate, is adapted to give
shade ; the palm, with its straight, unadorned trunk and meagre tuft of leafy limbs, gives
no protection to the earth or to man from the burning tropical sun.
In "A Florida Garden" we have, with surroundings of a more refined character, other
specimens of Southern vegetation. The cactus on the right of the picture is an excep-
tional development of this singular plant, which is usually a humble occupier of the soil.
Its habit is to push a few leaves upward, and then shed them one after another, some-
thing after the fashion crabs dispose of an offending claw. Each discarded leaf, however,
sets up growing for itself, and thus the cactus, in a modest way, usurps large tracts of
favorable soil, forming an undergrowth more impenetrable to man and beast than walls
of wood or iron. But our cactus in the garden has been led by the skilful hand of
the cultivator upward, and, by removing every exuberant bud, developed into proportions
quite foreign to its customary experience. At the left of the picture we have, in the
banana, another phase of tropical horticulture, with its broad leaves, that unfold in a
single night from a long, slender stem, and its pendent clusters of fruit.
CHARLESTON AND ITS SUBURBS.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY HARRY FENN.
A Garden in Charleston.
T F one go to Charleston from the North, let him go in the spring-time. The almost
sudden change from wintry landscape and bleak winds to summer suns and summer
foliage is a delightful surprise. If it chance with the traveller, as it chanced with Mr.
Fenn and the writer, that the steamer sail away from the New-York wharf amid the
rain and wind of a Northern March, that all the way southward cloud and storm sur-
round and beset the vessel, and then at once come with the longed-for sun the wished-
CHARLESTON AND ITS SUBURBS.
for harbor, the sudden sweetness and beauty of the scene will seem to him a transition
to a terrestrial paradise.
Because Charleston lies low, and seems to rise up out of the waters as one sails up
to it, it has been called the American Venice. It may be doubted if one would think of
this comparison if the guide-books did not suggest it. There are charms enough in the
American city to please even an experienced traveller, but one would scarcely find his
appreciation of them enhanced by recalling the wonders of the Bride of the Adriatic.
If in no true sense a Venice, Charleston yet rises with charming effect from the sea.
The long, palm-studded shores of the bay, the islands and forts that dot its surface, the
mansions that front the waters, and the spires that lift to the skies, all make up a very
The first impression the streets of Charleston give is that of retiring respectability.
There are no splendid avenues, no imposing public structures ; but a few fine old
churches, and many noble private mansions standing in a sort of dingy stateliness amid
their embowering magnolias, command your attention. Our New-York custom, derived
from our Dutch ancestors, of painting our brick fronts, is not in vogue here, where the
houses have the sombre but rich toning that age alone can give when its slow pencil-
lings are never disturbed by the rude intrusion of the painter's brush. The Charleston
mansions are nearly always built with gable-end to the street. At one side rises a tier
of open verandas, into the lower of which the main entrance to the building is placed.
Usually, after the English fashion, a high brick wall encloses the grounds of the house,
and it is only through an open gate-way that one catches a glimpse of flowers, and
shrubs, and vines, that bloom and expand within the enclosure. But the rich dark green
of the magnolia half screens the unsmoothed brick walls far above, and seems to hold
the ancient structure in the hush of venerable repose.
It is quite possible the somewhat rude surface and antique color of the brick houses
in Charleston would fail to please the taste of Northerners reared amid the supreme
newness of our always reconstructing cities. But every one ought to travel in the com-
pany of an artist. It is only when associated with one of this instructed class that a
man discovers the use of his eyes, and begins to understand fully the beauties, and har-
monies, and rich effects that pertain to many things neglected by ordinary observers.
These time-tinted mansions of Charleston, to the eye of an artist, have many charms.
In the writer's own case he found it a good training to hear enthusiastic Mr. Fenn
dilate upon this bit of color, that glimpse of rich toning, this new and surprising effect.
It was even a revelation sometimes to see him extract a picture out of apparently the
most unfavorable material. Nothing, indeed, seemed foreign to him but the merely
pretty. Sweet, new houses of a respectable primness have no attraction for his artistic
longings. Fresh paint is his abomination. The glare of the new enters like iron into
his soul. But a fine bit of dilapidation, a ruin with a vine clambering over it, a hut all
awry, with a group of negroes
in their flaring turbans set
against the gaping walls, old
chimneys and old roofs, the
dark grays and browns that
form into such , rich pictures in
an old town, these things would
be sure to catch his eye and
delight his fancy. In these
semi-tropical places there are a
hundred bits that would be ad-
mirable for a sketch in oil or
water colors, that would lose
their value in black and white.
It is a pity that divine color
cannot enter into engraving.
The search for the pictu-
resque that would meet the
necessities of our purpose was
not expeditious. It is only
after walking around a place,
and surveying it from different
situations, that an artist can set-
tle upon his point of view. We
were three days in Charleston
ere Mr. Fenn discovered the
prospect from St. Michael's bel-
fry, and to this the reader's
attention is solicited. If he
does not think it very good,
we shall be tempted to de-
nounce his artistic appreciation.
Note the far stretch of sea and
the long, low shores ; there is
Fort Sumter far down the
bay, and nearer the famous
Castle Pinckney, a fortress that
stands guard in the direct ap-
proach to the town. The por-
tion of the city which this view commands is its most ancient quarter. Many of the
buildings were erected in colonial times, and up to the period of the Revolution this
comprised nearly the entire city. The chimneys are of a quaint fashion, and the roofs are
mostly of grooved red tiles. The wide street to the left of the picture is the Charleston
Wall Street, where congregate all the banks and banking-houses, brokers' offices, and
law-offices. Here assemble the merchants and brokers ; here are effected those trans-
actions in commerce and finance so dear to the heart of the money-making world. The
building at the foot of the street is the ancient custom-house, which, during the recent
war, was rudely hustled by many an irreverent shell, unceremoniously battered by ball
and petard, and now stands a broken and shattered reminiscence of by-gone belligerency.
This structure, which dates back before the independence of the colony, is dear to the
Charlestonians. It has always excited their patriotic sympathies, for here during the
Revolution the patriot prisoners were confined, and from its portals the heroic martyr
Hayne was led to execution.
The old buildings that the church looks down upon are not more ancient than the
church itself St. Michael's was built in 1752 — it is said from designs by a pupil of Sir
Christopher Wren. The tower is considered very fine, and the situation of the church
makes the' spire a conspicuous object far out at sea. During the siege of Charleston in
the late war, it was a mark for the Federal artillerymen ; but, though persistently shelled,
it was struck but a few times, and then only with slight injury.
Another of the ancient churches in Charleston is St. Philip's. This was the first
church establishment in Charleston ; but the present structure, which is the third erected
by the parish, although of venerable age, is yet not quite so old as St. Michael's. The
view from the spire is fine ; but there is a keener interest in the graveyard than even in
the old church itself, for here are met with at every turn those family names that have
so long been associated in honor, not only vv'ith Charleston, but with the whole country
— Gadsden, Rutledge, and Pinckney. In the portion of the graveyard that lies across
the roadway is the tomb of Calhoun. It consists of a plain granite slab, supported by
walls of brick, and for inscription has simply the name of " Calhoun." The remains of
the statesman were removed during the war, when Charleston was threatened with cap-
ture, under a most misjudged apprehension that the Union soldiers would disturb them.
They were replaced in the spring of 1871. St. Philip's, with its embowering trees, its
ancient gravestones, its scarred and broken walls, its marks of hostile shells, its surround-
ings of old buildings, the tiled roofs of which show quaintly through the green of the
trees, affords a picture that is picturesque and pleasing.
Charleston has been accused of not having a public park ; but the promenade
known as the Battery is an enclosure which, if small, has some advantages that very few
parks can supply. Like the New-York Battery, it is on the water's edge ; it commands
a view of the extensive bay, and is fanned by winds that come laden with the salt
CHARLESTON AND ITS SUBURBS.
odors of the ocean. It is surrounded by fine private mansions, and at early morning, at
twilight, or on moonlit nights, is thronged with people seeking rest and recreation.
After one, in Charleston, has promenaded on the Battery ; has visited the churches ;
has seen all the ruins effected by war and by fire ; has examined the handsome new cus-
tom-house, now erecting ; has admired all the stately old residences ; has visited the fine
A Road-side Scene near Charleston.
military academy ; has watched the various aspects of negro character, which in these
Southern cities is an endless source of amusement — he must sail down the bay, and he
must visit the rich lowland scenery of the suburbs.
Down the bay are many points of historic interest ; but Fort Sumter crowns them
all. On Sullivan's Island, at the sea-line, is the famous Fort Moultrie of Revolutionary
fame. Here, before the war, was the Moultrie House, a watering-place resort for the
Charlestonians. On another island is, or was, the Mount Pleasant Hotel, where there is
good bathing, and also forests that afford fine drives and pleasant rambles. Our own
expedition down the bay terminated at Fort Sumter.
To this place there is a daily ferry, consisting of a
capacious yacht, the commander of which is an Athe-
nian Greek. There was to our minds something of
the Mediterranean in the whole aspect of the vessel,
crew, and passengers, which a lateen-sail would have
rendered complete. The passengers, that came in little
groups to the vessel, were motley and picturesque : the
buxom and turbaned negro "aunties," the solemn but
ragged negro " uncles," the gay and chattering negro
young folk, the varied complexions and costumes of
poor whites and rich whites — these elements seemed
well fitted for the presiding genius of a mariner from
The wind was brisk, and so we ran down to the
fort swiftly. Sumter is a ruin, as all the world knows;
but possibly all the world does not know that on the
highest point of its walls a light-house has been erected,
thus utilizing the historic ground. One experiences
something of a sensation, as he picks his way over
the broken bricks and stones of this fort, and, if alone,
would be apt to drift away into far reaches of medita-
tion. On the piled-up rocks without the walls, amid
the ddbris of masonry, surrounded by remains of can-
non, shell, and round shot, we picnicked — a party, one
moiety of which represented those who assailed, and
the other moiety those who defended, the walls.
After clambering over the ruins, penetrating the
dark underground passages, visiting the casemates that
still remain, we returned, a high wind giving animation
and expedition to the sail.
Perhaps the greatest charm to the Charleston vis-
itor is the lowland scenery of its suburbs. The city is
situated at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper
Rivers, and the banks of these streams have all the characteristics of Southern land-
scapes. Oaks, magnolias, myrtles, and jasmines, give splendor and profusion to the pict-
ure, while rice-fields and cotton-fields vary and enrich the scene. Here once resided,
CHARLESTON AND ITS SUBURBS.
during a part of the year, a wealthy aristocracy ; but, alas ! nearly every mansion is in
ruins. The destructive arm of War fell upon this paradise with all its force, nearly
every one of the fine old houses having been fired (so it is here reported) by Federal soldiers,
Our expedition to the Ashley we shall long remember. It was by the invitation of
Charleston friends, whose hospitahty justified the social reputation of the city. The po-
litical elements composing the party were as antagonistic as possible ; but, regardless of
North or South, the Ku-klux, or the fifteenth amendment, we gathered in peace. There
were in our small company a Northerner, who had fought under the Union flag, a
descendant of one of the proudest names of Revolutionary fame ; a Virginian, also of a
family of renown, whose love of daring and danger had led him into many a strange ad-
venture under Mosby ; an Englishman, whose enthusiasm for the Confederate cause had
brought him all the way from London to do battle under Lee ; another Englishman,
whose sympathies for the Federal cause had been marked all during the war; a son of a
distinguished journalist of New York, whose name has been notably identified with the
Republican party ; and, lastly, the writer, of whose political complexion it is not neces-
sary to speak. But, in the face of all these elements of difference, the company was
supremely harmonious ; and the day, in the estimation of at least some of us, must be
marked with a white stone.
The main road from Charleston into the country has been frequently highly praised,
and, although some of the fine trees that bordered it have been destroyed, it is still an
avenue of singular beauty. The road emerges from Charleston almost immediately into
a green wilderness, and for a long distance it is canopied by the boughs of pines, and
oaks, and magnolias, with rich effect. There are no signs along the road, as would be
the case in our Northern section, of the proximity of a great city. No houses or
villas line the way ; you seem a hundred miles from a town. You meet occasionally a
queer, slight cart, drawn by an ox or a donkey ; you pass a group of sportsmen ; you
encounter now and then on the road-side a group of negroes. An illustration, by Mr.
Fenn, catches the spirit of the scene with great fidelity. The extemporized covering of
boughs shelters a " sweet -tater " woman, one who dispenses to hungry wayfarers of
African hue the edible baked potato of the South.
We reached Ashley River by a sort of by-road. Here a bridge once spanned the
stream, but it was destroyed during the war, and now there is a boat propelled by the
lusty arms of negro ferrymen. A rope would aid the passage greatly; but our South-
ern Africans take usually the most troublesome means possible to accomplish their ends.
They are proficient in the art of how not to do a thing. When we reached the bank,
the boat was on the opposite shore. The current was swift ; it took fully half an hour
to get the boat over to us, and then the vessel could only accommodate one of our two
vehicles. We were nearly two hours getting our forces to the opposite side of the
Once on the opposite side, we were driven through a striking scene — a narrow road
winding through a superb Southern forest, where the mammoth live-oak, and the tall
pine, and the princely magnolia (^Magnolia grandiflord) unite to form vistas of rare
The live-oak of the Southern lowlands is the most picturesque of trees. The fa-
mous California trees are of interest solely on account of their magnitude. Their gi-
gantic proportions impose upon the imagination, it is true ; but they lack altogether the
quaint, fantastic, and picturesque form of the live-oak. An artist could make a series
of studies of these trees in which every one would be essentially peculiar in form. In
the illustration of the banks of the Ashley, Mr. Fenn has shown two of these trees,
comparatively small in size, whose trunks stretch out for a distance almost horizontally ;
elsewhere the reader will find an illustration of a monstrous trunk standing near the
Ashley, which in diameter almost rivals the " big trees " of the Pacific, and which in
form has far more novelty and beauty. We saw one of these trees, of magnificent pro-
portions and nearly symmetrical in form. We lifted the low branches, that nearly swept
the ground, and entered what seemed a vast forest cathedral. The quaint trunk was
covered with knobbed protuberances, and scarred and seamed as if with the marks of
many centuries. Its branches, mammoth trees of themselves, shot out at a low elevation
CHARLESTON AND ITS SUBURBS.
in a nearly horizontal line, ex-
tending probably a hundred
feet, dipping at their extremi-
ties to the ground. The pen-
dent moss from every bough
hung in long, sweeping lines,
and the sun flickered through
the upper branches, touching
up moss, bough, and trunk,
and relieving the gloom of the
interior with bright flashes of
light. We were shown an
avenue of live-oaks, standing
in the very heart of the forest,
that would make a superb ap-
proach to the finest palace in
Europe. But, alas ! here it
leads only to a ruined waste.
A romantic story is connected
with this avenue, which some
poet should put in verse. The
young owner of the estate — -
this was many years ago — had
brought a fair bride from for-
eign lands. A bridal cavalcade
swept out of Charleston to es-
cort groom and bride to the
manorial mansion on the Ash-
ley. The proud and eager
groom, anxious to show his
young wife the charms of her
new home, urged her steed
ahead of the rest, and, when
they reached the avenue of
oaks, called upon her to look
and admire. Almost as they
spoke, a cloud of smoke ap-
peared at the other end of the
avenue, and instantly flames
of fire shot up among the tree-tops. The old manor was in a blaze, and the bride
arrived only in time to see the destruction of her promised paradise. The young hus-
band was so cast down by this calamity that he carried his wife abroad, and never re-
turned to his American estate. . Trees and bushes have grown up around the old oaks,
but the avenue retains all its distinct majesty amid the encroaching growths of the
Of all the planters' houses that stood along the Ashley, but one remains, and this
is abandoned. "Drayton Hall" is a large brick mansion, standing in the centre of
grounds of a park-like character. The rooms are wainscoted from floor to ceiling, the
fireplaces are lined with old-fashioned colored tiles, and the mantels are richly carved,
but the building was never entirely fiinished. The story goes that it was erected in
exact copy of an English mansion, in order to gratify the taste of the lady to whom
the owner was betrothed. The wainscot, the tiles, the carved mantels, and marble col-
umns, were all imported from England ; but, ere the chivalrous lover had reproduced on
the Ashley a full copy of the house which had charmed his betrothed on the Thames,
the lady died ; and, since then, the unfinished manor, like a broken monumental column,
stands in its incompleteness a memorial of his loss.
Our destination was the estate known by the name of " Magnolia," on the grounds
of which we were to lunch. This place is almost a paradise, but a paradise in ruins.
The abundance of magnolias gives it its name, but these are interspersed with im-
mense oaks, and, at the time we were there, under the trees a splendid display of ole-
anders and azaleas filled the spaces with an array of color such as we had never seen
approached. These low-country plantations were not usually occupied by their owners
in midsummer ; then fevers, heat, and insects, made them far from safe or agreeable, and
so the white members of the family went into town or northward, to upland habitations.
This accounts for the special culture of spring blossoms which we noticed at " Mag-
nolia." The planter had given devoted attention to azaleas, grouping the different
shades of color from white to deep scarlet in delicate contrasts ; and this flower, bloom-
ing on bushes from three to a dozen feet in height, lined all the winding avenues, and
flashed under the shadows of the magnolias a tropical splendor of bloom that filled us
all with admiration. And all this in the midst of desolation and neglect, with over-
grown pathways, unweeded beds, and the blackened walls of the homestead looking
down upon the scene ! A few negroes were in possession, and one tall, melancholy,
gray-haired mulatto, with all the dignity and deportment of the old school, lifted his
hat, and said : " Welcome, gentlemen, to Magnolia ! " On the border of a small lake
within the grounds, shadowed by the moss-hung boughs of the oak, we lunched, and
then bade adieu to the place. A pathetic story is told of the ruined proprietor, who
comes often to his old favorite grounds, and wanders about them with profound melan-
choly, or sits for hours with his face in his hands, brooding over his desolated home.
CHARLESTON AND ITS SUBURBS.
The day after our visit to Ashley River we drove to a very old church on Goose
Creek, near Cooper River, and about seventeen miles from Charleston. This church was
built in 1 71 1. It is situated in the very heart of a forest, is approached by a road
scarcely better than a bridle-path, and is entirely isolated from habitations of any sort
A deep ditch surrounds the building, dug as a means of protecting the graves within
St. James's Church, Goose Creek.
it from wild animals. The church was saved from destruction by the Tories durino- the
Revolutionary War on account of the British arms that are emblazoned on the wall
just above the pulpit. The interior is very odd. Seventeen square pews fill up the
ground-floor, which, like all old English churches, is of stone. A gallery at one end has
three or four rows of benches, and under this gallery are a few more benches designed
for the negro servants. The altar, the reading-desk, and the pulpit, are so small, and
crowded in a space so narrow, that they seem almost miniatures of those church fix-
tures. The monumental tablets on the side of the altar are very oddly ornamented in
form, and, what is still more singular, are highly emblazoned in color. Although these
tablets have been in their places over one hundred and fifty years, the colors retain ap-
parently all their original brilliancy. The lion and the unicorn over the pulpit also
preserve their original tints. These specimens of old-time fresco gave us unexpected
proof of the duration of this method of color-painting ; and the whole chancel in its
gay tints and ornamental carving seemed queerly out of place in the otherwise plain
and rude structure. This church was once the centre of flourishing settlements, but, with
the decadence that has come over the old Commonwealth, the plantations are forsaken,
and this historical vestige stands, in the midst of a wilderness, neglected and almost
unknown. Trees and bushes have overgrown and hid the gravestones, and the native
forest threatens in time to obscure the very foundations of the building.
Magnolia Cemetery is one of the places in Charleston to which strangers are di-
rected. It is a new cemetery, and its name is rather derived from what is expected of
it than what it exhibits. So far, very few magnolias adorn it, but there are some live-
oaks exceptionally fantastic and queer in form. In this cemetery is a monument to
Colonel William Washington, whose exploits in the Revolution are well known ; to
Hugh Swinton Legar^, one of the ripest scholars South Carolina has produced ; and in
a vault repose the remains of Commodore Vanderhorst, whose coffin, shrouded with the
Union Jack, may be seen through the latticed door of the tomb.
We may here, before closing our article, give a brief glance at the historical record
of the city. It was originally settled about 1679 — over fifty years before the city of Sa-
vannah on the same coast — by an English colony under William Sayle, who became
first governor. Its name was obviously given in honor of Charles II., who then was
King of England. Its early history was one of conflicts with Indians, devastations by
storm and fire, and civil commotions with the lords proprietors, whose authority was
eventually deposed in favor of the crown. It was one of the first of the chief places
of the South to extend its sympathy to the Northern colonies in their struggle with the
mother-country, and led the way in asserting its own independence. Its history during
the Revolution was of struggle and misfortune. It was three times assaulted by the
enemy : first, in the memorable attack on the palmetto fort at Sullivan's Island, when
the British fleet and army were beaten off" ; next, by the attempted coup de main of
General Prevost ; and, thirdly, by Sir Henry Clintoij, when it stood a siege of six
weeks, and succumbed at last to famine. Of its strange and often brilliant history since
the formation of the Union, of its position as the leader of Southern sentiment and
politics, we need not speak ; nor is it necessary to recount the severe vicissitudes
through which it passed in the late unhappy struggle. We must recall, however, the
CHARLESTON AND ITS SUBURBS.
days when it was at the height of its glory — when it was the centre of a far-extending
circle of brilliant homes, and its old mansions echoed to the tread of famous statesmen
and renowned women. We recollect the report of the noted Elkanah Watson, who, just
after the Revolution, travelled from Providence to Charleston in a buggy, and whose de-
scriptions of the towns and cities he visited are usually accepted as trustworthy. The
wealth and luxury of Charleston surprised the Rhode-Islander, and he speaks of the al-
most "Asiatic splendor" in which the citizens lived. Charleston was the centre of a
somewhat peculiar civilization, and one highly favorable to the cultivation of the few. It
was resorted to in summer as a watering-place by the people of the country. The
planters brought with them wealth and leisure, and these naturally led to luxurious tastes
and habits. We doubt if any community of the same number has produced so many
men of distinguished merit. Pinckney, Rutledge, Gadsden, Legare, are but the leading
names of a host of worthies who shed bright lustre on the place. We may hope yet to
see the old plantations on the Cooper and the Ashley attain a prosperity under the new
dispensation as brilliant as that they enjoyed under the old ; we may trust that the old
mansions within the city shall renew the social triumphs of their brilliant past ; and we
may believe that statesmen and men of letters will not fail to perpetuate that renown
the famous city once so fairly won and so fully enjoyed.
WEYER'S CAVE, VIRGINIA.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY HARRY FENN.
BEYER'S CAVE, which has
' * been not inappropriately
termed the Antiparos of Virginia, is situ-
ated in the northwestern part of Augusta
County, about seventeen miles north of
Staunton, and a few miles west of the
Blue-Ridge Mountains. It is located in a large hill, or rather a spur of a range of
small mountains, branching out southwesterly from this spine of the Atlantic water-
shed, and for many miles overhanging its uppermost tributaries.
This cavern derives its name from one Bernard Weyer, a dweller in the neighbor-
hood, who discovered it while hunting an opossum, ferreting out the little animal to its
retreat within the mouth. It is approached from the rustic inn, half a mile distant, by a
broad carriage-road to the foot of the hill, and thence by a zigzag, precipitous foot-path
to the opening near the crest of the summit.
WEYER'S CAVE, VIRGINIA.
The entrance, when discovered, was scarcely large enough for Mr. Weyer to enter
on his hands and knees; and his astonishment and terror may be imagined when on and
on he groped in the darkness, without finding the cunning little quadruped which had
secured such commodious and gorgeous quarters. Since then the entrance has been
enlarged, so as to be about seven feet in height, and is covered over by a rustic shed,
to which is affixed a strong wooden gate, secured by a heavy lock.
A chill creeps over one upon entering, and he feels an intensity of awe as he looks
forward, beyond the dim, flickering lights in the sconces, to the profound darkness which
spreads its impenetrable gloom in the distance. But the guide is master of his business ;
he is cheerful, facetious, loquacious; and, winding a yarn of some adventurous explorer
before his visitor (perhaps some illustrious personage — the Duke of Buckingham, who
sadly offended a liege lord of America; Frederika Bremer, who, in her geological re-
searches here, was taken by a neighboring husbandman to be an escaped unfortunate
from the Staunton Lunatic Asylum), or cracking some wily joke, leads on until dusky,
indefinable figures loom up in the midnight, when by a skilful shifting of his lights are
discovered all around grim, grotesque stalagmites, and opening out is a long gallery, at
the nether end of which a single mute, stark-white figure gives to this apartment its sig-
nificant title, the Ghost-Chamber.
From this the Hall of Statuary is entered, when imagination readily conjures up the
galleries of the Vatican by moonlight, or rather by torchlight. Above, in the ceiling,
is a circular opening, about fifteen feet in diameter, fringed around with white, spar-
kling stalactites. Through this opening is seen the interior of a dome many feet
higher, draped and columned as by the deft hand of some fantastic architect. Upon
one side of this hall is the similitude of an altar, with curtains and candlesticks on the
top ; and, on the other, fancy brings out a cathedral-organ, with its rows of pipes and
A few paces forward, and down a rude flight of some twenty steps, we reach the
Cataract, seemingly a water-fall petrified in its leap, affording one of the finest spectacles
in the cave. The sullen stillness of this hushed Niagara is very impressive, and instinc-
tively leads the imagination to the roaring and rushing green waters of the true cataract
after which it is named.
A little farther on is the Senate-Chamber, v/ith the speaker's chair at one end, in
front of which are rude representations of the desks of the honorable members ; and
above, at one side, is an unmistakable gallery, fenced around by a fanciful balustrade,
over which seemingly peer the heads of waiting visitors.
Next in order comes the Cathedral, from the centre of which hangs the fancied
resemblance to a chandelier; and beyond it rises the pulpit, an elevated circular desk,
covered with the most graceful folds of white drapery. On the opposite side is a bal-
dachin fringed with glittering crystals, the whole ceiling being hung with stalactites,
CLEOPATRA'S NEEDLE AND ANTHONY'S PILLAR,
WEYER'S CAVE, VIRGINIA.
dropping in long points and broad, wavy sheets, some of milky whiteness, others of a
muddy red bordered with white, or with the darker cornelian shades of the Piedmont
brown. This apartment has also been vulgarly termed the Tan-Yard, the broad sheets
of yellow spar suggesting a striking resemblance to hides hung to dry. These stone
draperies are translucent, faintly emitting the rays of light when a candle is held behind
them ; and also sonorous, yielding soft musical tones, like the gently-touched keys of an
organ, on being struck, while all the notes of the gamut may be produced by skilful
blows, the side-walls responding to blows of the hand or foot with the echoing notes
of " deep-toned bells."
In this vicinity a huge pyramidal heap of cornelian-tinted stalagmite, veined and
spotted with white, as is the Swiss stone, sustains on one side a tall, slender, towering
column, which has received the name of Cleopatra's Needle ; and on the right a more
massive and taller shaft, bearing the appellation of Anthony's Pillar, rears its pointed
head until it touches the sparkling stalactites that stud the dark ceiling ; and all around
are formations more or less resembling objects in Nature, or as wild and weird as the
most imaginative brain could conjure out for fiction.
From this section of the cavern, a natural stairway, with natural supports on the
left hand, is descended, called Jacob's Ladder ; and, beyond, a square rock covered with
a white incrustation, resembling a table-cloth, is called Jacob's Tea-Table ; and near by
is an ominous-looking cavity, bearing the name of Jacob's Ice-House, or the Bottomless
Pit. Whether bottomless or not, has never yet been fully ascertained ; but, it is cer-
tain, a torch dropped in seems to twinkle away into infinite nothingness, and a stone
let fall returns no sound to the waiting listener.
In this part of Weyer's Cave is what, lor want of a more appropriate term, must
be called the Geyser, an immense stalagmitic accretion, with streaks and sparkles of
white, lighting the waves of the cumuli as the play of sunlight the turbulent volumes
of one of Nature's boiling springs.
Farther on is Washington's Hall, otherwise called the Gnome-King's Palace, rising
into a vaulted roof, upward of nmety feet in height and tzvo Imndred and fifty in
length. An intelligent traveller, who once visited Weyer's Cave at an annual illumi-
nation, has thus finely described this magnificent apartment :
" There is a fine sheet of rock-work running up the centre of this room, and giving
it the aspect of two separate and noble galleries, till you look above, where you ob-
serve the partition rises only about twenty feet toward the roof, and leaves the fine
arch expanding over your head. There is a beautiful concretion here, standing out in
the room, which certainly has the form and drapery of a gigantic statue. It bears
the name of the nation's hero ; and the whole place is filled with these projections
— appearances which excite the imagination by suggesting resemblances and leaving
them unfinished. The general effect, too, was perhaps indescribable. The fine per-
WEYERS CAVE, VIRGINIA.
spective of this room, four times the length of an ordinary church ; the numerous tapers,
when near you so encumbered by deep shadows as to give only a dim, religious light,
and, when at a distance, appearing in their various attitudes like twinkling stars on a
deep-dark heaven ; the amazing vaulted roof spread over you, with its carved and knotted
surface, to which the streaming lights below in vain endeavored to convey their ra-
diance ; together with the impression that you had made so deep an entrance, and were
so entirely cut off from the living world and ordinary things — produce an effect which,
perhaps, the mind can conceive but once, and will retain forever."
It is a trick of the guide to extinguish the tapers when in this hall, and leave the
visitors for a few moments to experience the Cimmerian darkness — darkness which can
almost be felt — the utter abstraction of what gives life and beauty to the outer
Near this apartment is Lady Washington's Bedchamber, on one side of which is
a rude resemblance to a couch, with a milk-white canopy, richly fluted around ; while
on the other side of the beautiful little room is a toilet-table, with snowy drapery, over-
hung by an imaginary mirror, and scattered over with the usual paraphernalia of a lady's
In this vicinity is the Bridal Veil, a splendid sheet of white, glittering, translucent
spar, which seems thrown over a hat, or, as has been suggested by others, the shelving
back of an immense Spanish comb, and hangs in full, classic folds or heavy volutes
almost to the clay-red flooring of the little chamber.
And, on and on, one is conducted, through narrow passages and more commodious
arches ; up and down precipices ; among tumbling heaps of pilasters, columns, and friezes,
divided by strata at regular or irregular intervals, and pillared with the skill of the
architect and mathematician, like the ruins of some vast Old-World temple ; before the
Diamond Mountain, flashing with its buried gems, and stalked over by the gigantic and
ghostly Crane, which looks inquiringly toward the Rising Moon that throws its silvery
light out in the voiceless midnight ; and on and on, until we arrive at the end of the
cavern, and are refreshed by a glass of as sparkling water as ever gushed from upper-
world fountain and made merry music in the glad sunlight.
• This subterranean spring is perfectly incrusted with stalactites and stalagmites ; and
an earthen jar kept in this part of the grotto, where the water is constantly dripping
from the ceiling, is incrusted with younger but similar concretions..
The egress is somewhat varied from the ingress ; and, in returning, the visitor is
conducted to the Tower of Babel, or Magic Tower, a huge, columnar accretion, rising
to the height of thirty feet or more, irregularly divided by strata at distances of ten
or twelve inches, and fluted around by pillars an inch or more in diameter.
The Tower of Babel is perhaps the most regular and symmetrical formation in all
this wonderful grotto, and most readily suggests the title it bears. It occupies the
WEYERS CAVE, VIRGINIA.
centre of an apartment filled with indefinable figures, which may suggest statues, ghosts,
goblins, or whatever will best please the fancy.
Near this is the Oyster-Shell, consisting of two huge, shelving pieces of spar, of a
peculiar grayish white, and absurdly resembling the late home of a defunct monster bi-
valve. And Nature, to vindicate her providence, in close proximity to this fanciful
concretion, has placed Solomon's Meat-House, from the fretted and groined roof of
which is suspended a Leg of Mutton — a single instance of the old king's gastronomic
propensities. In prudent nearness to the Meat-House is Solomon's Temple, or, as it is
better known, the Shell-Room. In the centre of this apartment rises a massive column
of dazzling white, as rich with grooves and flutings as if chiselled out to fill an artistic
design ; and this reaches the ceiling, which is thickly studded with sparkling stalactites,
reflecting, as the tapers are held underneath them, the hue and lustre of eveiy gem
that holds light imprisoned. The Shell-Room, from the radish-like shape of the stalac-
tites that hang from ' the ceiling, has also been called the Radish-Room ; while almost
every intelligent visitor finds some suggestive title to this magnificent hall.
And this, with the 'Possum-up-the-Gum-Tree — doubtless, Weyer's opossum, upon the
final capture of which tradition is silent — completes a list of the most noticeable of the
many noticeable freaks in which Nature indulges in these subterranean retreats.
Out of the usual route of exploration, but to be visited by special request, is a
most beautiful pond, over which is the shelving sheet of spar from which the specimens
usually sold are obtained. As a visit to this lake is very fatiguing and somewhat dan-
gerous, it is not generally attempted, but well repays all fatigue or danger incurred.
A few moments after leaving the Shell-Room, the visitor grows sensible that the
dim candles emit a dimmer light ; if in summer, a warmer, and, if in winter, a colder,
atmosphere greets one ; and, climbing a slight ascent, he is once more in the face of day,
and listening to other sounds than that of the human voice alone.
"Weyer's Cave," says the writer quoted, "is, in my judgment, one of the great natu-
ral wonders of the New World, and, for its eminence in its own class, deserves to be
ranked with the Natural Bridge and Niagara, while it is far less known than either.
Its dimensions, by the most direct course, are more than sixteen hundred feet, and, by
the more winding paths, twice that length ; and its objects are remarkable for their
variety, formation, and beauty. In both respects, it will, I think, compare without injury
to itself with the celebrated grotto of Antiparos."
Within a few hundred yards of Weyer's Cave is Madison's Cave, described by Mr. •
Jefferson ; but it is less interesting than the former. Indeed, it is supposed that the
entire mountain is a cavern, and, it is hoped, in time will be fully explored.
SCENES ON THE BRANDYWINE.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY GRANVILLE PERKINS.
IV T O minor stream in our country enjoys a wider reputation than the Brandy wine.
^ Its identification with our early history renders its queer title familiar to students
in all parts of the land, while its rare beauties have been delineated by painters, praised
by poets, and described by tourists, until few of us have not some pleasant recollection
or anticipation connected with its wooded shores. It possesses attractions for the lover
of the picturesque that are distinctively its own. Other streams are perhaps as beauti-
ful as the Brandywine, but no other unites the beauty of wooded heights and tumbling
water-falls with structures of art that give rare charm and even quaintness to the picture.
What is there in an old mill by a brook that fascinates so quickly the eye of an artist
* and the heart of a poet ? Long before Rogers told us of his earnest wish —
" Mine be a cot beside the hill ;
A beehive's hum shall soothe my ear ;
A willowy brook that turns a mill,
With many a fall, shall linger near" —
all lovers of the picturesque delighted in brook-side mills. Probably no object in Na-
ture or art has been so often drawn and painted. And yet, familiar as we are with old
mills nestling quaintly amid summer foliage, we always discover a fresh fascination in
each new example. Was there ever an artist who could resist the desire to add a new
sketch of a subject of this kind to his portfolio .? Whether the mill be one quaint and
fantastic by virtue of its decay and ruin, or one that lifts its walls from the river-edge
in large pretension, there is always a strange pleasure in this combination of the beau-
tiful and the useful. The brook-side mill aflTords us almost the only instance of labor
that is graceful, picturesque, and seductive. We can imagine a life of labor under the
sweet and inspiring conditions of musical water-falls, shadowy forests, soft airs ladened
with the perfume of wild - flowers, that would possess a certain rich and munificent
poetic calm. Too often labor mars the landscape it enters, but the mill seems to par-
take of the spirit of its surroundings, to gain a charm from woods and waters, and to
give one. This is peculiarly true of the factories along the Brandywine. They are of
sufficient age to have mellowness and tone ; glaring red brick does not enter into their
composition ; and they greatly vary and brighten the beauty of each woodland picture.
The Brandywine was called by the first settlers, who were Swedes, " Fish-kiln," a
prosaic designation that fortunately did not cling to it. Its present title, while eupho-
nious and distinctive, is somewhat difficult to explain. It is ascribed by tradition to the
loss of a Dutch vessel laden with brandy, or brand-wijn. The wreck occurred in 1665,
in the river just above its junction with the Christiana, and the shattered remains lay
long in the waters, serving as a memento to keep alive in the heart of the community
ceaseless regret for the loss of such good* liquor, until the mourning Dutch sought to
soothe their sorrow by naming the stream in inemoriam, hoping, like Dogberry, to draw
comfort from their losses. Many a greater river has been named for a smaller cause, as
is sadly witnessed by the Big Horns and Little Horns, the Snakes and the Otter-tails ;
and the alleged reason may well be accepted ; yet a few dissatisfied historians have
sought to ascribe the name to the supposition that a slough on the East Branch, above
the present borough of Downingtown, formerly discharged into the current a muddy
stream that tinted it into the color of brandy-and-water. Such a libel upon the clear
complexion of the creek must be instantly disavowed.
The Brandywine finds its head in the brooks issuing from the eastern declivity of
the line of hills that form part of the boundary between the counties of Chester and
Lancaster, in Pennsylvania. These hills are fairly entitled to their name of the Welsh
Mountain, as their height makes them the water-shed from which streamlets tend east-
ward to the Schuylkill, and westward to the Susquehanna. The summit, possessing all
the characteristics of a true mountain-top in its stunted growths and cool breezes, re-
veals an extended view of the adjacent country, while the range marks the climatic
limit which makes Chester County display the green banners of approaching summer in
advance of her fertile but more tardy sister of Lancaster.
SCENES ON THE BRANDYWINE.
Although rising in close proximity, the two branches of the Brandywine immediately
diverge — the East Branch to flow eastwardly and then south ; the West Branch to flow
south and then east, until they meet again, after a very winding course of about twenty
miles. Thence, as the Brandywine proper, the creek flows in a southeasterly direction
through Chester County, forming part of the line of division between it and Delaware
County, in Pennsylvania, and afterward passing through the State of Delaware until it
unites with Christiana Creek, a little above its entrance into the Delaware River.
An endless series of pictures marks the course of the stream, and all its affluent
brooklets partake of the same romantic grace as they flow among the verdant hills
Bridge over the Brandywine.
through the flower-decked plains and rocky dells that distinguish the region which it ir-
rigates. Rock, woods, and water, mingle in scores of scenes of varied beauty, which,
although differing in the lavish prodigality of Nature's handiwork, yet resemble in gen-
eral characteristics the scenery shown in our initial illustration.
The channel is frequently narrowed by rocky and precipitous banks until the creek
— as the Brandywine is often ignominiously termed — becomes a rippling rapid, and its
force and value are proved by the innumerable mills that are built upon it. The rapid
descent of the stream for a few miles above its mouth furnishes the power to the miUs
for which the city of Wilmington is so famous, and the multitude of smaller ones erected
on the upper waters of the creek bear witness to the fertiUty of Chester County, to
which Wilham Penn gave a plough as an armorial bearing.
Yet, to those famiHar with its wandering course, the Brandywine must ever seem in
memory — .,.,,.,,„
"A silver thread with sunsets strung upon it thick, hke pearls.
Despite its services in the gigantic flouring-mills, or even its dark deeds in the
manufacture of gunpowder, it is throughout a great part of its course a peaceful wood-
land-rivulet, softly washing verdant banks, or lapsing gently around mossy rocks. Being
" Rising Sun.'
navigable for only a short distance above the mouth, its very uselessness to the voyager
has screened it from many of the injuries of " improvements," and the great rocks stand
untouched, while fern and laurel nestle about them, softening their ruggedness into
beauty ; and mosses, the growth of centuries, steal the echo from intrusive feet, Even
the tributary streams that wander through the more open valleys are usually fringed
with foliage, and the green, waving plumes of the cultivated weeping-willow and the
silvery-gray wands of the water -willow mingle in the wind with the white, feathery
branches of the blossoming chestnut-trees, which grow to such rare beauty in this region.
Having its source in high lands, the creek is remarkably subject to changes, the
water sometimes creeping sluggishly as a narrowing thread amid exposed rocks, and anon
with terrifying rapidity rising eight, ten, or even twenty feet above its usual height.
Green meadows, embroidered with the delicate, faint blossoms of the Quaker -lady, the
lovely wind-flower, and the sweet violet, and laced with a broad band of silvery water
rippling gently over the stones, will be changed in a few hours into a tempest-tossed
Upper Powder- Works.
lake, upon which wrecked bridges and floating timbers are dashing frantically together,
while the grunts of a protesting pig, pleading for rescue from an involuntary voyage,
mingle with the clamor from an eddying hen-coop, whose clucking inmates are clinging
to their own roof-tree in horror at the havoc.
The Brandywine, which, flowing through meadow and mead as it nears the Dela-
SCENES ON THE BRANDYWINE.
ware, forms, with the Christiana, two outstretched arms, between which hes the city of
Wilmington, exhibits some of its greatest charms in the hill-region just behind the
city. Its banks are a great natural park for the denizens of the busy town, who are
never tired of resorting to them for rest and recreation. The shores are steep on either
side ; the trees are of splendid growth, often interlocking above the stream in fraternal
embrace, letting the sunshine in upon the swift current in shimmers of glancing light.
There is a superb drive along the stream, dense with shadow at the very height of
noon, and affording, through the ever-fresh verdure, delightful glimpses of the river. But
the charms of the stream are best appreciated by the foot-path along the edge of the
water, over which the lofty trees hang superbly, while the swift current now flashes and
gurgles over a shallow bed, now deepens and widens into calm and lovely lakes, now
leaps, a miniature Niagara, over a rocky declivity. Pedestrians clamber the precipitous
rocks, under rich forest-shades, to pluck fern, sweet-brier, and honeysuckle; while the ro-
mance of the adventure is heightened by the proximity of powder-mills, built expressly
to burst out upon the water.
Some very old and picturesque flour-mills stand not far from the mouth of the river,
where it is crossed by a bridge near the city, and. close by is the ruin of a grist-mill,
which, tradition declares, was in operation at the time of the Revolution, and rendered
immediate service to the patriotic cause by grinding corn for the use of Washington's
army when at Valley Forge. This is an object of no little interest, whether considered
historically or with a view to the picturesque, and our artist has given a view of it. A
very little way up the stream, in the heart of its sylvan beauties, at a location known as
Ridele's bank, are cotton-mills of large extent and eminently picturesque setting. The
scene here is dehcious. One lingers in the dense shadows of the forest-covered bank with
delight, and discovers, in the mingled sounds of rushing water and buzzing wheels, a
strange charm. Repose and activity, the hush of shadowy woods, and the hum of labor,
seem to blend in delicious harmony ; while the gray walls of the buildings have no harsh
contrast with the magnificent masses of verdure in which they are placed.
For miles the river continues, with unbroken beauties of forest, until a beautiful
hamlet is reached, which rejoices in the queer name of " Rising Sun." We cross
the river, just before reaching this village, by an ancient bridge, drive through the
hamlet of low stone cottages, and presently come to the famous Dupont powder-
yards, where the beauties of Nature and the toils and dangers of industry strangely
mingle. Long avenues of greenest willow-shade, and turf, soft as velvet and spangled
with flowers, give to this enclosure an almost park-like appearance. Here grow the bluest
violets of the spring-time, and, from the opposite woody shore, Autumn's gay banners
droop glowing to the water's edge. Ferns, rivalling the choicest pets of the conserva-
tory, are found in the mossy ravines, and the scarlet flame of the cardinal-flower lights
up many a shady retreat. But, as a suggestive contrast to the surrounding beauty,
SCENES ON THE BRANDYWINE.
throughout the length of this Eden run the iron Hnes of a horse-railroad, and here and
there, crouching back against the hill-sides, like grim giants bracing themselves for a
spring, stand structures of heaviest masonry — the powder-mills. These mills are erected
close to the water's edge, and are scattered along the river-side for a distance of three
miles. They are not so picturesque as the cotton- and grist-mills, but they obtrude very
little upon the landscape ; while the terrors of an explosion which they threaten add
thrilling zest to the interest of the spectator. Scarcely a year passes that one of these
mills does not startle the silent hills with the thunders of an explosion ; but the grim
Old Grist-Mill of the Revolution.
horror thus imported by man into the scene is compensated for, so far as the attractions
of the spot are considered, by animating pictures of the willow-peelers — the acid from
willow-branches entering extensively into the manufacture of gunpowder. "The month
of May," writes one describing the scene, "is the harvest of the willows, Coming from
all directions toward the powder-works, wagons may then be seen piled high with wil-
low-branches, some in their natural green state, and tufted here and there with leaves;
others peeled, and looking at a little distance like huge masses of yellowish ivory. There
is scarcely a farmer for miles around but has a group of willows shading his spring-
house, or a line of their green boughs fringing the brook in his meadow-pasture. Every
three or four years the faithful trees are deprived of their branches, and left standing, like
dejected Samsons, shorn of their locks. But it is not for long. Before the wild-roses of
June have vanished from the hedges,
the ugly scars of the hatchet are hid-
den by a growth of fresh young twigs,
which, when another summer comes
round, will be well on their way tow-
ard a second harvest. Few crops are
more remunerative — six dollars per cord
being the price given for green branches,
or eight dollars if the bark is removed.
The greater part of the peeling, how-
ever, is done in the immediate vicinity
of the works. Here and there along
the river-side, scattered about in the
glad May sunshine, are seen busy groups
— old men whose white locks float in
the gentle breeze, brisk matrons, and
deft-handed children. It makes a pretty
picture, especially when the little ones,
grown tired of the monotonous task,
run away for a chase after butterflies
or to gather the golden dandelions by
the margin of the stream.
" Two dollars per cord is the price
given for peeling. When the branches
are large, this pays excellently, but a
load of slender boughs is a sore vexa-
tion. The bark is also the property of
the peeler, and, throughout the summer,
this aromatic fuel keeps the pot boiling
in many a cottage-home. In the even-
ing, when the bright sunshine has van^
ished, and the songs of the birds are
stilled, when the glow of a lantern hung
upon a tree above each band of work-
ers reveals their whereabouts, and adds
to the festal appearance, the force is largely increased. Young men from the powder-
yards, maidens from the factories, and servants from the neighboring farms, gather there
Moonlight on the Brardywine.
SCENES ON THE BRANDYWINE.
then for pastime and company. It is their casino. When Kate brushes the lint of her
loom from her dark curls, she ties a bright ribbon around them ; and Molly, hurrying
through her dairy-work, dons a fresh, white apron. For who knows whom they may
meet among the willows .? —
" ' Mony lads' and lassies' fates
Are there o' nights decided.'
" It is now that popuFar peelers prosper. An old man with a large fund of anec=
dote, or a shrewd woman who will promise the young folks a party when the season is
over, gains much help from these merry amateurs, and the lagging cords of glistening
branches are soon piled high by their dexterous fingers. Until a late hour their laughter
echoes over the quiet river, and the lonely night-hand, going to 'change his mill' far
down the yard, is cheered by the gay songs borne to him along the water."
Above the powder-yard stretch the same scenes of beauty. At Rockland are ex-
tensive paper-mills, which, like all other factories on the Brandywine, form a pleasing
feature in the landscape, and stand, with their gray tints, in harmonious relief against
the background of verdure.
There is danger that the beauties of the Brandywine, near Wilmington, may in time
be sacrificed to the greed of " enterprising " citizens, unless measures are taken to perma-
nently secure them, by the conversion of the shores into a pubHc park. The people of
Wilmington have the example of their sister city of Philadelphia, and the banks of the
Brandywine, like those of the Wissahickon, should, by timely public interposition, be set
apart as things of beauty and loveliness forever.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY HARRY FENN,
'"^j^HE tourist may be familiar with the fast-
nesses of Alpine scenery, the heights of
Mont Blanc, the cone of Vesuvius, the bald
summit of Washington, or the gigantic outhnes
of the Western canons, and yet, memories and
associations attached to all of these localities
will be recalled by a visit to that region of
America in which the Cumberland Mountains trend obliquely across the States of Ken-
tucky and Tennessee ; because, somewhere in the four thousand four hundred miles of
territory occupied by these " everlasting hills," they present to the eye almost every
variety of picturesque expression that elsewhere has excited wonder or admiration.
Great ridges — now roofed over with thickets of evergreen, now padded with moss
and ferns, or, again, crowned with huge bowlders that seem to have been tumbled about
in wild disorder by some convulsive spasm of the monster beneath — shoot suddenly
upward, from two thousand to six thousand feet, and become, as it were, landmarks in
the skies, that are visible at such distances as to appear like a part of the clouds. Here
and there, a broad table-land, on which a city might be built, terminates abruptly in
sharp escarpments and vertical sheets of rock, seamed and ragged, like the front of a
stupendous fortress that has been raised by giant hands to protect the men of the moun-
tains from the encroachments of the lowlanders. There are other rocks full of grand
physiognomies ; caves that might be the hiding-places of the winds ; water-falls where
the melody of the rills is never silent ; glens and chasms ; and forests so dense that a
man might live and die in their recesses —
" The world forgetting, by the world forgot."
And so, in every conceivable shape that can appeal to the eye of poet, artist, or geolo-
gist. Nature has here piled up her changeless masonry of creation. The name Cumber-
land, let us here say, was given to these mountains by the first discoverers, a party of
hunters from North Carolina, in honor of the Duke of Cumberland, at that time (1748)
prime-minister of England.
The "ridges" referred to are among the curiosities of the Cumberland region. Aside
from the fact that they observe a species of parallelism to each other, they contain nu-
merous " breaks," or depressions, which, in the peculiar configuration of the country,
appear to the traveller who is at the foot of the mountain to be distant only a few
hundred rods ; yet he must frequently ride for miles through a labyrinth of hills, blind
roads, and winding paths, before he can reach the entrance and pursue his journey.
The chief and most celebrated of these great fissures, or hall-ways, through the
range, is known as " Cumberland Gap." This gap is situated in East Tennessee, near the
Kentucky border, about one hundred and fifty miles southeast from Lexington, and may
be regarded as the only practical opening, for a distance of eighty miles, that deserves
the name of a " gap." There are other places which are so called, but it is only for
the reason that they are more easy of access than because of any actual depression in
the mountain. At a place called " Rogers's Gap," for example, which is eighteen miles
distant from Cumberland , Gap, there is no gap whatever; but the road, taking advantage
of a series of ridges on the northern side, and running diagonally on the southern side,
is rendered, with great exertion, passable by man and beast.
The gap depicted by our artist is about six miles in length, but so narrow in
many places that there is scarcely room for the roadway. It is five hundred feet in
depth. The mountains on either side rise to an altitude of twelve hundred feet ; and,
when their precipitous faces have been scaled by the tourist, and he stands upon the
summit, the view, beneath a cloudless sky, is one of the most beautiful in America.
Southward, there stretch away the lovely valleys of Tennessee, carpeted in summer with
every shade of green, and in autumn with every rainbow tint — the rolling surface resem-
CUMBERLAND GAP, FROM THE EAST,
bling in the distance a vast plain, written all over with the handiwork of human enter-
prise ; while, looking to the north, the vision is lost among a series of billowy-backed
mountains, rising barrier-like to hide the luxuriant fields of Kentucky. " Across the
country," is here a significant phrase ; for the luckless traveller whose route lies in that
direction must be prepared to encounter —
"Wave on wave succeeding."
The gap delineated in the accompanying sketches is a great highway between South-
western Virginia and her sister States adjoining. Hence, during the late war, the posi-
tion was early deemed important, and was occupied and strongly fortified by the
Confederate Government, Cannon bristled from the neighboring heights, and a com-
paratively small force held the pass for many months, defending in that secluded
mountain-recess the railroad connections between Richmond, North Alabama, Mississippi,
Nashville, and Memphis, on the integrity of which so much depended.
The approach to the range from the northeast side, after leaving Abingdon, Vir-
ginia, is over a rough, broken country ; and the only compensation to the traveller, as
he saunters along on horseback, is in the enjoyment of bits of scenery wherein rocks
and running streams, mountain-ferries, quaint old-fashioned mills, farm-houses and cabins
perched like birds among the clefts of hills, lovely perspectives, wild-flowers and waving
grain, and a homely but hospitable people, combine in charming confusion to keep the
attention ever on the alert.
The road through the gap, winding like a huge ribbon, to take advantage of every
foot of rugged soil, up, down, and around the mountains, is but the enlarged war-trail
of the ancient Cherokees and other tribes, who made incursions from one State to the
other. You are following the path pursued by Boone and the early settlers of the
West. Passing through the scenes of bloody ambuscades, legends, and traditions, it
would seem almost a part of the romance of the place if now an Indian should sud-
denly break the reigning silence with a warwhoop, and its dying echoes be answered
by the rifle-shot of a pioneer. In short, it is an old, old region, covered with the rime
of centuries, and but slightly changed by the progress of events.
Of residents in the gap, there are but few. One of these has been enterprising
enough to establish, near an old bridge, which is shown in the picture, a grocery-store,
and obtains his livelihood by trading in a small way with the teamsters of the passing
trains, and exchanging whiskey, clothing, etc., for the produce of his neighbors. Similar
establishments will be found at intervals of five, ten, or fifteen miles ; sometimes they
are half hidden from view in the coves, or " pockets," of the mountains. But they ab-
sorb much of the small ■" truck " that finds its way to market from this section. The
commodities thus purchased and shipped in the mountain-wagons through the gap, en
CUMBERLA.ND CtAP, FROM EAGLE CLIFF.
route to Baltimore and elsewhere, consist of dried apples, peaches, chestnuts, butter, lard,
flaxseed, bacon, etc. Horse and mule trading is likewise carried on to a considerable
extent ; and sharp-witted, indeed, must be that man who can buy or sell more shrewdly
than these self-same mountaineers, whose lives have been hammered out on the anvil in
Nature's own workshop.
As a class, they are a large-bodied, large-hearted, large-handed people, rude in speech,
brave in act, and honest in their friendships. They may know nothing of the conven-
tionalities of society, but they will exhibit the " small, sweet courtesies of life " — as they
understand them — with a readiness of generosity that makes one " feel at home." They
may have but a single room in their cabin, yet you will be invited to enjoy the night's
hospitality like one of the family, and may go to bed with "he, she, and it," on the
family floor, with the manifestation of no more curiosity or concern, on the part of the
individual members thereof, than if they had been born without eyes. And in the morn-
ing, after a " pull " at the " peach-and-honey " and a breakfast of hog and hominy, a long
stride by your horse's side for three or four miles will tell you that the mountaineer
knows how to " speed the parting guest," in his simple fashion, with a grace and hospi-
tality that come straight from the heart.
The road through a portion of the gap, and one of the caravans which are fre-
quently passing, may be seen in one of the accompanying pictures ; while in another
sketch is a view of a primitive old mill, now almost in ruins, where grain is ground for
the neighbors ; but it is situated in a spot so picturesque that, if money could buy the
beauty of Nature, long ago it would have been transplanted to become the site of a
Whatever may be the peculiarities of the region, social or otherwise, the time
cannot be far distant when the whole of this wild tract must yield to the march
of improvement, and pour forth the treasures of mineralogical wealth now latent in its
soil. Already, a railroad is in process of construction, that is destined to cut the back-
bone of Kentucky and Tennessee in twain, and open a new avenue of communication
between the East and West ; while geologists and engineers are " prospecting " among
Iron exists in abundance — a common variety being the red iron-ore, which soils the
fingers, and is generally composed of small round and flat bodies, for which reason it is
called "lenticular ore." Not unfrequently, fossils, shells, and a species of coral, are found
in the mass, showing that at some period in the misty past the sea or its tributaries
have swept through the heart of the continent. At some points in Cumberland Gap
the iron is hard enough to be quarried out in blocks, and this vein of metal has been
traced one hundred and fifty miles. It is from twenty-four to thirty inches thick, and is
of excellent quality. Coal is likewise found in this region, and, as far back as 1854,
many thousands of bushels were transported through the gap.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY HARRY FENN.
" I ^HE town of Watkins nestles
in a narrow valley, amid a
profusion of shrubbery, at the head
of Seneca Lake, New York, and
within the shadow of Buck Moun-
tain. Passing up the main street,
parallel with the mountain-slope, a walk
of a quarter of a mile brings one to a
W ATKINS GLEN.
bridge which spans a shallow stream. This stream has cut its way through the lower
slope of the mountain-range, and formed for itself a short pass, or cul-de-sac, which ter-
minates abruptly, at a distance of a few hundred yards, in a lofty wall, that stretches
across the pass and bars all further progress.
The wall is not, however, continuous on the same line, but falls back in the centre,
and forms a cavernous recess, from one angle of which the stream issues. Behind this
solemn gate-way of natural masonry, broken and abraded in places by time and the
action of the elements, lie the gloomy ravines, and the infinite variety of water-falls, and
foaming rapids, and deep and silent pools, which have become famous, within recent
years, under the designation of Watkins Glen.
The mode of ingress for visitors to the glen is by rude stairways, running diago-
nally along the face of the wall, braced strongly to it, and propped, also, firmly from
beneath. Landing-places are provided at intervals, from which other stairways spring ;
and thus the ascent is made until the angle of the northern portal is turned and a
footway gained, when the first difficulty — the entrance to the gorge — is surmounted.
We are now in Glen Alpha, as it has been somewhat fantastically styled. Inside
the great rock barrier, which we have just succeeded .in passing, a narrow but secure
bridge crosses the chasm ; and from this bridge a fine view is had of the first cascade,
as it pours swirling through a rift in the rocks, and falls, roaring and foaming, into a
deep basin, scooped out of the solid rock-bed by the constant fret and chafe and tur-
moil of the waters. Quitting the bridge, and clambering up a series of steps, we gain
presently a narrow foot-path, cut out of the face of the cHfF, and follow its fantastic
windings until all further progress is barred by a transverse wall, over which the waters
of the long cascade fall from a great height into the dark pool below. At this point
the rugged and lofty walls of the gorge draw closer together. Where the foot-path
ends, a long staircase, wet with the mist and spray of the cascade, is flung, at an angle
of ninety degrees, across the tremendous chasm, and at its upper end connects with
another foot-path, some fifty feet above the one which has just been abandoned. After
traversing this new path a little space, we come upon a series of cascades, dropping
from one low ledge to another, with deep pools and broad shallows intervening.
Pursuing our onward and upward course, the aspect of the place grows weird and
ghastly. The world, and the things of the world, are utterly shut out, and we seem to
be struggling among the ruins of some older creation. The rocks take on more gro-
tesque forms. The air is cold and moist. The path — a mere ledge in the face of the
cliff — overhangs a deep chasm, at the bottom of which the waters chafe and struggle and
brawl. Overhead, the gray walls rise, tier upon tier, inclining gradually toward each
other, until finally, far upward, only a narrow slip of sky can be seen, with the light
struggling dimly through a fringe of hemlocks.
Beyond this gloomy pass, with its strange, unearthly aspect, the ledge we are
Entrance to the Glen.
traversing ends abruptly, and
the obstacles to a farther ad-
vance have to be overcome by
a succession of stairways, now-
crossing to one side, now chan-
ging to the other, until, by an
ever - ascending grade, another
pathway is reached. Here the
rock walls recede, and sufficient
soil has accumulated over them
to admit of the growth of
shrubs and large evergreen-
trees. The path, too, is easier.
Following it for a short dis-
tance, we come to a stairway
placed against the bank, and,
on ascending it, reach a shelf
of the mountain on the north
side of the ravine. On this
shelf is perched the Mountain
House, built somewhat after
the style of a Swiss chalet, but
comfortably furnished, and well
supplied with essentials and
non-essentials, and affording an
excellent resting-place for those
who have become fatigued with
their rough but exciting jour-
ney, thus far, through the mar-
Leaving the Mountain
House, the path dips steadily
downward, almost to the bed
of the stream ; and, after pass-
ing another series of small cas-
cades and rapids, we cross a
bridge to the opposite side of
the gorge, where the cliffs, rent
and torn into every conceivable
W ATKINS GLEN.
shape, first contract,
and then expand in-
to an enormous am-
phitheatre, to which
has been given the
name of Glen Ca-
thedral. The area is
vast. The immense
walls, nearly circular
in form, rise to a
great height, and,
where they termi-
nate skyward, are
crowned with the
fresh, green, pendu-
lous foliage of the
hemlock. The floor
of this amphitheatre
is almost as level as
if it had been paved
by human hands ;
and over the great
slabs of rock, laid
regularly and close-
jointed, the stream
spreads out, but an
inch or two in
depth, flowing easi-
ly and quietly, with
scarcely a ripple to
break the smooth-
ness of its surface.
a break in the great
circular wall, by a
path still broad, but
more broken and
water-worn, the tall
cliffs recede upward
from their base ; and
on the slopes thus
formed, and shelving
outward, some hem-
locks and deciduous
trees find sustenance.
Suddenly, the tall
cliffs, as if spurning
these picturesque ac-
cessories, close in
again, and in the
cavernous gloom of
the remote distance
another cascade is
seen flowing in a
white sheet over its
rocky ledge, and
pouring its waters
into the gorge.
On nearing this
fine cascade, anoth-
er stairway, thrown
across the gorge to
a higher shelf pro-
jecting from the
face of the cliff",
gives access to a
Before us is what is
called the Glen of
Pools, from the va-
riety and extent of
its water-worn ba-
sins. Standing on
the bridge, and look-
ing up the gorge,
the eye falls upon
a series of cascades
and rapids, low and
Cavern Cascade, below Mountain House.
broad, but very beautiful. The enclosing walls are again sufficiently broken to allow of
the growth of trees in some places, and to let the light in freely. Beyond these, again,
cascades of greater breadth drop from one rocky ledge to another, foaming and seething;
W ATKINS GLEN.
while over the southern wall, and the pathway that clings to it, a thin stream, falling-
from a great height, spreads itself out like a veil of silver mist, and mingles its waters
with those in the rock-bound channel far below. At certain seasons of the year the sun
Clifls, Glen Cathedral.
is at an angle which sends
glancing lights through the
gorge, which break in prismat-
ic colors on this thin fringe of
a water-fall, and hence give it
the name of Rainbow Falls.
But the nomenclature of the
glen is hopelessly free and con-
fusing, each season giving a
new series of designations to
its various falls and aspects.
" Glen Cathedral " is a term
that seems to have adhered
with some tenacity, but the
other water - falls and pools
have almost as many terms
as there are different tastes
and fancies among the visit-
ors ; and names, at best, apply
to one feature only of the
scene they describe, whereas
in each picture there are usu-
ally a hundred phases that
rival each other in beauty and
interest. In this strange rift
in the rocks the eye shifts
from beauty to beauty, from
marvel to marvel, with rest-
less delight. The tumbling
water - falls ; the dark, silent
pools ; the light above reflect-
ing from cliff to cliff, and
glancing with rich beauty on
rock and cascade ; the fantas-
tic growths of trees at every
"point of Vantage," and the
interlacing branches above ;
the picturesque bridges and
stairways ; the profound si-
W ATKINS GLEN.
lence, broken only by the
sound of waters — all these
conditions make up a fasci-
nating charm that each suc-
ceeding picture varies in de-
tail, but which pertain with
almost equal force to every
part of the entire glen.
Among the strange beauties
of the place are the dark
pools that lie at the foot of
the cascades. The water in
this strange gorge is of a
brilliant green, and beautifully
transparent. In shallow places
it is of an almost perfect em-
erald hue, and in deep pools
becomes the darkest sea-
green. There is one pool
which no one has ever been
able to fathom. A pole thir-
ty feet long, thrust into it,
totally disappeared, never re-
turning to the surface. It is
assumed that a channel ex-
ists far down under the
rock, the subterranean cur-
rent thus created sweeping
objects let down in the pool
out of reach or of power to
The very picturesque
Mountain House, built di-
rectly on the side of the
rift, affords one of the few
instances where, in this coun-
try, man has worked in har-
mony with Nature. This
chalet is, in its own way, al-
most as attractive as the glen itself. Its balconies overhang the gorge, with trees jut-
ting up through them from ledges in the rocks below ; and the visitor looks down
from his advantageous position into depths of the glen that remain inaccessible. Large
hotels are now promised, in view of the yearly increase of visitors ; but it is to be hoped
the chalet will never be disturbed.
Bridal Veil, Havana (jlen.
It is remarkable that this freak of Nature has only recently become known. None
of the old New -York gazetteers make mention of it. The entrance to the glen was
long familiar to the people of the neighborhood ; but, until bridges and stairways
were made, it was impossible to explore it, and hence nothing further was known of it
beyond that which was revealed by a hasty glance into its dark mysteries. The extreme
length of the glen is about three miles, and the cliffs, at the deepest part of the gorge,
have an altitude of probably three hundred feet.
Three miles south of Watkins is Havana Glen. It is very picturesque, more airy,
and is quite easy of access, but is wanting in those elements of gloom, and vastness, and
solemn grandeur, which are the peculiar characteristics of Watkins Glen. Nevertheless,
there is a class of tourists who admire Havana Glen even more than its great rival.
The cascades of which illustrations are furnished are but two of many which the
tourist will meet with, in rapid succession, as he ascends it. The same system of
stairways and ladders prevails as at Watkins ; but these aids to progress are fewer
in the former, and the paths broader. The glen, moreover, is short, as compared
with Watkins, while the height, from the level of the valley to the table-land above, is
much less. In the early summer months the volume of water is greater than that at
Watkins ; but it is said to shrink almost to a thread during the heats of July and
August, while that of Watkins, being fed from bold springs far up the mountain, is
much more permanent, though subject to the influence of the seasons.
Gothic Arch, Watkins Glen.
EASTERN LONG ISLAND.
HE eastern end of Long Island is pene-
trated by a wide bay, extending inland a
distance of thirty miles. A large island divides
the bay into two distinct parts, the outer division
being known as Gardiner's Bay, and the inner,
which is subdivided by promontories, as Great
Peconic and Little Peconic Bays. This large
estuary gives to Long Island the shape of a
two-pronged fork. The prongs are of unequal
length, that upon the southern side exceeding
the northern branch full twenty miles. The
southern branch is distinguished as Montauk
Point ; the northern, until recently, as Oyster-
Pond Point, but now is sometimes called Orient
Point, deriving this name from the village of
Orient, situated within its limits. Although Ori-
ent Point is shorter than Montauk Point, yet a
succession of islands carries the line of this fork
a long distance northeasterly into the sound —
all of the islands, it is generally believed, once
forming a portion of the northern peninsula.
The most noted of them is Plumb Island — this
name is popularly spelled Plum, and in Thomp-
son's "History of Long Island" we find it indis-
criminately given both Phimb and Phun — upon
which is a light-house, well known to mariners.
The channel between this island and the Point,
known as Plumb Gut, has been rendered fa-
mous by the well-known exploit of Mr. Ben-
nett's yacht. It is a common tradition at the
Point that, in the last century, the passage to
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY HARRY FENN.
EASTERN LONG ISLAND,
the island could easily be
crossed, at low tide, on
Gardiner's Bay is part-
ly sheltered from the sea
by a long, narrow, and low
stretch of land, extending,
on a line southerly with
Plumb Island, across the
open space that lies be-
tween the two points.
Westerly, the bay is sepa-
rated from the inner di-
vision of this inland sea
by what is appropriately
known as Shelter Island,
which extends from op-
posite Greenport on the
north branch to near .Sag
Harbor on the south
branch. This island is high
and beautifully wooded,
and possesses so many at-
tractions as a summer re-
sort that large hotels are
now erecting upon it. It
has also been selected by
the Methodists as a ground
for their annual camp-
meetings. A more beauti-
ful place could scarcely be
found for the purpose.
Unlike all this portion of
Long Island, it is crowned
by noble hills, from the
summits of which superb
views can be obtained of
the entire width of Long
Island, the sound, and long
stretches of the open sea. From White Hill, opposite Greenport, Orient Point is
visible its entire length, charmingly dotted with villages, while beyond lies the sound,
always white with many sails. From Prospect Hill, close at hand, Sag Harbor, and, far
oflF, the open ocean, can be discerned. The Indian name of this island is Manhansack-
aha-qusha-wamock, which we hope the reader will find no difficulty in pronouncing or
remembering. The translation is rendered as "an island sheltered by islands," which is
as poetical and pleasing as it is geographically accurate.
Eastern Long Island is famous for its fisheries. Its vast bays and adjacent seas
abound with blue-fish, mackerel, and a small fish, valuable only for the oil extracted
from it, called moss-bunker. This fish has built up in all this region an extensive
and profitable industry. Numerous oil-factories recently lined the shores of the main isl-
and, and greatly marred the beauty of Shelter Island; but the horrible odor perennially
escaping from them at last aroused a popular crusade, which resulted in their being
legally declared public nuisances, and their remxOval ordered. But the industry was too
profitable to readily surrender; hence it devised large floating oil-mills, and now, here
and there over the surface of Gardiner's Bay, may be seen huge, black, uncouth, and yet
picturesque-looking objects, always surrounded by waiting vessels, and ever vomiting into
the blue air volumes of black smoke. But they scarcely mar the picture, and the odor
of decayed bunkers never reaches the shore. The moss-bunker, menhaden, or bony-fish,
is a little creature of something near a pound only in weight — to the great whale what
a fly is to an ox. But it is caught in prodigious numbers, as many as one million
having been taken at a single haul of a draw-seine from shore, enough to yield fifteen
hundred gallons of oil. The fisheries in this section, whether considered as an industry
or as a means of sport, give it its peculiar interest. The huge reels for winding the
immense nets, seen all along the shores, are striking and picturesque incidents in the
Greenport, on the northern branch, is the terminus of the Long Island Railroad.
It is comparatively a new settlement, dating only from 1827; while East Hampton and
Southampton, on the southerly fork, are nearly two centuries older. There were settlers
on Oyster Point, however, as far back as 1646, one Mr, Hallock having, in that year,
purchased the district from the Indians. But no towns were built up until long after.
The settlers on the southern fork, notwithstanding they came from the neighboring
shores of New England, passed Orient Point, inviting as it must have been with its
rich soil and varied greenery, to the pine-barrens and grassy downs of Montauk. Green-
port is a very pretty town — as green, neat, and quiet, as the ideal New-England
village. The cottages that line the well-shaded streets are hid among trees, and no-
where is decay or unwholesome poverty apparent. The drive from Greenport to the
extreme of Orient Point is very charming. Near the town are many handsome villas
and cottages, while flourishing farms and neat farm-houses enliven the road during the
EASTERN LONG ISLAND SCENES.
252 PICTURESQUE AMERICA.
entire journey. The village of Orient, through which we pass, has a prosperous and
pleasing aspect ; and all along the drive the scene is varied by frequent glimpses of the
sound on one side and the bay on the other. At Orient Point there is a sunamer hotel,
where in July and August great numbers come to enjoy the sea-air and the fishing.
There is animation always in the picture presented here. On the sound, steamers and
coasting-vessels come and go incessantly ; while, in the bay, fleets of fishing-boats ever
hover on the horizon, and yachts and smaller pleasure-boats give life and animation to
the nearer scene.
Returning to Greenport, the traveller who explores this region will next desire to
reach Sag Harbor. A steamer from New York touches at Orient and Greenport, and
makes Sag Harbor the terminus of its route ; but a pleasanter way to make the journey
from Greenport is by sail-boat. The course lies around Shelter Island, and, if winds are
fair, the voyage can be accompHshed in two hours. Sag Harbor was settled in 1730;
nearly one hundred years before Greenport. It is an ancient whaling-place. When
Long Island was first settled, whales were common visitors to its shores, and boats
were always ready for the pursuit of those welcome strangers. The whales, when
caught, were drawn upon the shore, cut in pieces, and sent to primitive boiling-estab-
lishments near at hand. When the land of this region was purchased of the In-
dians, the sachems were allowed, by the terms of purchase, to fish in all the creeks
and ponds, hunt in the woods, and to have the " fynnes and tayles " of all whales cast
upon the coast. From the pursuit of whales on the coast there naturally arose expe-
ditions of a more ambitious character, and in the early part of the present century we
find the people of this town largely interested in the Pacific and Indian Ocean whale-
fishing. But eventually Nantucket and New Bedford obtained the monopoly of this
business, and, long before whaling began to decline in these towns, it had known its best
days for the people of Sag Harbor. The fisheries of the bay are now the principal
dependence of its citizens, although a cotton-mill indicates the development of other in-
dustries. Sag Harbor is old, quaint, and fish-like ; it must remain a matter of taste
whether the traveller should prefer its semi-decayed antiquity to the orderly and trimmed
newness of Greenport.
But Sag Harbor has a measure of newness by the side of East Hampton, on the
southern branch, and the most easterly town of Long Island. This township was settled
in 1649, by thirty famihes from Lynn and adjacent towns of Massachusetts. The land
was purchased of the famous Montauk tribe, remnants of which are still found about
Montauk Point. This part of our country does not seem to have the bloody Indian
record that distinguishes so many sections. The early settlers, for the most part, lived
harmoniously with the original occupants of the soil. Instead of making the red-man
their determined, enemy, measures seem to have been taken to secure his kindly coopera-
tion ; and the remains of the ancient tribe now upon the island, fishing in the same seas
FROM THE CHURCH
and hunting upon the same ground their fathers did, bear witness to the humanity and
forethought of the first settlers of this region.
East Hampton consists simply of one wide street, nearly three hundred feet wide.
There are no hotels, no shops, no manufactories. The residences are principally farmers'
houses, congregated in a village after the French method, with their farms stretching to
the ocean-shore on one side, and to the pine-plains that lie between the town and the
bay on the other. Its wide street is lined with old trees, and a narrow roadway
wanders through a sea of green grass on either side. Perhaps no town in America re-
Home of John Howard Payne.
tains so nearly the primitive habits, tastes, and ideas of our forefathers as East Hampton.
It is rapidly becoming a favorite place of summer resort, visitors at present finding no
accommodation save that offered by private families ; but its growing popularity renders
the erection of, hotels almost certain, and then good-by to its old-fashioned simplicity !
Our illustrations include a view of this primitive village from the belfry of its
old church, which the people, since Mr. Fenn m.ade his sketch, have inexcusably
destroyed — the only instance in the town's history of a disregard for its time-honored
memorials. The antiquity of this building gave it interest, but it possessed special anti-
quarian value to the visitor on account of its identification with one of the most famous
EASTERN LONG ISLAND.
divines in our history. Here the Rev. Lyman Beecher ofificiated as minister during a
period of twelve years, from 1798 to 18 10; and during his residence in the town two of
his distinguished children, Catharine and Edward, were born. The view from the belfry
of the church is pleasing, the distant glimpse of the sea contrasting charmingly with the
embowered cottages in the foreground. The old wind-mill gives quaintness to the pict-
ure. Two of these queer piles stand at the east of the village. They are very
picturesque, reminding one forcibly of the quaint old mills in Holland which artists
Interior ot Payne's "Home, Sweet Home."
have always delighted to paint. They form a distinctive feature of this part of the
island, inasmuch as there are few similar structures existing anywhere in our country.
But East Hampton is not only renowned as the residence of Lyman Beecher, but
of one peculiarly associated with our best impulses and feelings. It was here that John
Howard Payne, author of " Home, Sweet Home," passed his boyhood. It is commonly
asserted that he was born in the very old, shingled cottage pointed out as his residence ;
but of this there is some doubt. That his father resided here during the tender infancy
of the lad is the better-supported story ; but here, at least, the precocious lad spent
several years of his early boyhood. His father was principal of Clinton Academy, one of
the first institutions of the kind established in Long Island. The old house is held very
sacred by the villagers, and the ancient kitchen, with its antique fireplace, stands to-day
just as it did when Payne left it for his homeless wanderings over the world. It is truly
a homely home ; but, no doubt, many a happy hour was passed in the family circle around
the bright blaze on the hearth, the simple joys of which were well calculated to inspire
one of the best-known and best-loved lyrics in our language. Let no sacrilegious hand
touch the old timbers of this precious relic ! In a land where memorials of the past are
so few, and one, also, where simple, happy homes are so abundant, it is specially fit that
we should preserve the roof which sheltered one who has expressed the memories that
cHng around the hearthstone in words that thrill the hearts of millions.
From East Hampton to the easterly extremity of Montauk Point, the peninsula
possesses a peculiar charm. The road follows the sea-shore over a succession of undu-
lating, grass-covered hills. It has been pronounced, by some admirers, the finest sea-drive
in America. There is at all times and in all places a fascination in the sea-shore,
whether we explore the rocky precipices of Mount Desert, or follow the sandy clififs of
Long Island. But a summer jaunt along the cliffs of Montauk Point has a charm diffi-
cult to match. The hills are like the open downs of England, and their rich grasses
afford such excellent grazing that great numbers of cattle and sheep are every year
driven there for pasturage. The peaceful herds upon the grassy slopes of the hills ; the
broken, sea-washed cliffs ; the beach, with the ever-tumbling surf ; the wrecks that strew
the shore in pitiful reminder of terrible tragedies passed ; the crisp, delicious air from the
sea; the long, superb stretch of blue waters — all these make up a picture that is full
both of exhilaration and of repose. The heart expands and the blood glows under the
sweet, subtile stimulant of the scene, even while delicious calm and contentment fill the
chambers of the mind. The interest of the scene continually varies, even while its gen-
eral features are almost monotonously the same. A boat on the beach, half buried in
encroaching sand ; a mass of remains of wrecked vessels, such as . Mr. Fenn graphically
calls " The Graveyard ; " a gnarled, wind-beaten tree on the hills ; changing groups of
cattle, among which occasionally appear drovers or herdsmen on horseback ; vessels
appearing and disappearing in the horizon of the sea — these make up the changes of the
picture, and, simple as they are, give abundant pleasure to the wayfarer.
At last, Montauk Point is reached. This is a bold, solitary point of land, composed
of sand, bowlders, and pebbles, with far stretches of sea on three of its sides. The
storms here are grand, the wide Atlantic rolling in with unbroken force upon the shores.
On the extreme point stands a tall, white light-house, erected in 1795, and one of the
best-known lights of the coast. Mrs. Sigourney, while on a visit to the Point, in 1837,
wrote the following lines :
"'Ultima Thule' of this ancient isle,
Against whose heart the everlasting surge,
Long travelling on, and ominous of wrath,
Forever beats ! Thou lift'st an eye of light
Unto the vexed and storm-tossed mariner.
Guiding him safely to his home again.
So teach us, 'mid our sorest ills, to wear
The crown of mercy, and, with changeless eye,
Look up to heaven."
Eastern Long Island is undergoing many physical changes. In reports made to the
State Legislature by W. W. Mather, more than thirty years ago, we find a full and in-
Moonlight on Shore.
tei'esting description of the action of the sea on this peninsula, and also upon Orient
Point. " The coast of Long Island," he says, " on the south side, from Montauk Point
to Nepeague Beach, a distance of three miles, is constantly washing away by the action
of the heavy surf beyond the base of the cliffs, protected only by narrow shingle beaches
of a few yards or rods in width. The pebbles and bowlders of the beaches serve as a
partial protection to the cHffs during ordinary tides in calm weather; but even then, by
the action of the surf as it tumbles upon the shore, they are continually grinding into
sand and finer materials, and swept far away by the tidal currents. During storms and
high tides, the surf breaks directly against the base of the cliffs ; and as they are formed
EASTERN LONG ISLAND.
only of loose materials, as sand and clay, with a substratum of bowlders, pebbles, gravel,
and loam, we can easily appreciate the destructive agency of the heavy waves, rolling in
unbroken from the broad Atlantic. The destruction of land from this cause is less than
one would be led to suppose, but still it is considerable. The road from Nepeague
Beach to Montauk Point, which originally was some distance from the shore, has dis-
appeared in several places by the falling of the cliffs. There are no data by which to
estimate the inroads of the sea on this coast as this part of the island is held in com-
mon by an association of individuals who use it for pasturage, and it is inhabited by
three herdsmen only, who are frequently changed, and who live several miles distant
from each other.
" From Nepeague Beach to two miles west of Southampton, the coast is protected
by a broad and slightly-inclined sand-beach, which breaks the force of the surf as it
rolls in from the ocean. From Southampton westward, the coast of the island is pro-
tected by long, narrow islands, from one to five or six miles distant from the main
"The eastern parts of
Gardiner's and Plumb Isl-
ands, which are composed
of loose materials, are wash-
ing away in consequence of
the very strong tidal cur-
rents, and the heavy sea
rolling in upon their shores
from the open ocean. The
action upon these coasts is
so rapid as to attract the
attention of the inhabitants,
and calculations even have
been made as to the time
that will probably elapse be-
fore they will have disap-
peared. Rocks that have
formed a part of Plumb
Island may now be ob-
served, at low water, a mile
or more from the present
shore. Little Gull Island
(to the east of Plumb Isl-
and), on which a light-house
is located, was disappearing
so rapidly, a few years since,
that it became necessary to
protect it from the further
inroads of the ocean by en-
circling it with a strong
" Oyster-Pond Point is
wearing away rapidly, by
the combined action of the
waves during heavy north-
east storms, and the strong
tidal current which flows
with great velocity through
Plumb Gut. During a
EASTERN LONG ISLAND.
heavy storm, in 1836, the sea made a clean break over about one-quarter of a mile of
the eastern part of the Point, washed away all the lighter materials, and cut a shallow
channel, through which the tide now flows.
"Another effect of the sea is the formation of marine alluvion. Northeast storms
bring in a heavy sea from the ocean, which, rolling obliquely along the shore, aided by
powerful tidal currents, sweep the alluvia along in a westerly direction. Northwest
winds do not bring in an ocean-swell, and the waves which they raise fall upon the
shore in a line nearly perpendicular to the trend of the coast ; so that their effect is
to grind the pebbles and sand to gravel by the action of the surf, rather than to trans-
port them coastwise. In this way outlets of small bays are frequently obstructed by
bars, shoals, and spits, formed by the tidal currents sweeping past their mouths, and de-
positing the materials in the eddy formed by the meeting of the currents. Almost
every bay and inlet, when not protected from the sea by sandy islands, have their out-
lets blocked up entirely by the materials deposited, or so nearly as to leave only narrow
THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY ALFRED R. WAUD.
A Bayou of the Mississippi.
JUST fifty years after Columbus discovered
the islands of the Bahamas, De Soto, an
equal of Pizarro and Cortez in courage and " =^^3I^>— — ^
spirit, but not in fortune, accompanied by a
broken-down and dispirited remnant of a once-powerful expedition, reached the banks
of the Mississippi a thousand miles or more from its mouth. The discovery gave him
a lasting fame, and furnished him a fitting grave. This river, ever-changing and yet
ever the same, after more than three centuries still answers to the original description
of the adventurous Spaniards, for their chief chronicler writes that "the river was so
broad that if a man stood still on the other side, it could not be told whether he was a
THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI.
man or no. The channel," he continues, " was very deep, the current strong, the water
muddy, and filled with floating trees." Luis de Moscoso, who took command of De
Soto's expedition upon the decease of the great captain, gave up all ambition except to
escape with his distressed followers from a country where they had met with so much
misfortune, and for this purpose he finally embarked in a few rudely-built brigantines,
which, left to the current, Moscoso felt assured would reach the ocean. On the route
the discomfited Europeans passed what are now known as the hills of Vicksburg, the
broken lands about Fort Adams, and Baton Rouge. All else on the voyage was a
monotonous swamp ; the banks of the river were nearly covered with water, and lined
with tall cypresses, draped as if in mourning, with pendent moss. Even the low banks
finally sank out of sight ; the current, however, continued to flow, and Moscoso's antici-
pations were realized, for the brigantines finally floated in the clear green waters of the
More than a century elapsed after the discovery of the river before its solitude was
again disturbed by the presence of the white man. During this time its mouth became
involved in popular mystery. Tales were circulated that the flood of water, where the
great outlet should be, was precipitated into the earth ; that the story of Moscoso and his
companions was a fiction ; that great dragons and sullen mists guarded the vicinity from
man's approach : and these tales, so harmonious with the spirit of the age, found confir-
mation in the traditions of the Indians, who lived thousands of miles away, on the banks
of the Fox and the Illinois.
In the year 1673 Marquette, a French monk, left Quebec, traversed the great north-
ern lakes, and reached the "Upper Mississippi" by way of the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers.
Having accomplished what was then supposed to be an heroic task, he returned to
Quebec, and announced that, from what he saw, he was certain the Gulf of Mexico
could be reached by uninterrupted navigation. Great rejoicings ensued ; the Te Deum
was sung in all the churches ; the military fired salutes, and the great " western valley,"
by the right of discovery, was declared to belong to France. La SaUe followed, and,
from the Falls of St. Anthony, made the first continuous voyage of the whole length
of the river. He entered the Gulf of Mexico April 9, 1682, founded the fort of St.
Louis, and gave to the adjacent lands the name of Louisiana. Returning home, he fitted
out an expedition to find the mouth of the river from the sea. After coasting many
weary months and establishing two forts in the vicinity, his men, incensed by his severe
discipline, and hopeless from his many failures, assassinated him at the mouth of Trinity
River, Galveston Bay, which he had reached in his long and fruitless search.
The mouth of the river, which thus eluded search, was discovered by Iberville eigh-
teen years later. Instead of one vast current pouring into the Gulf, it was found to
consist of numerous arms, or passes, through low swamps and islands formed by the
sediment brought down by the river. This net-work of creeks, bayous, and passes, is
known as the Delta of the Mississippi. It covers an area estimated at fourteen thou-
sand square miles, and is slowly advancing into the Gulf by the shoaling caused by the
deposition of fresh sediment brought down by the river. Three of the main passes bear
the practical names of Southwest, South, Northeast, and the fourth is called a I'Outre.
The ragged and unformed arms of the "passes" are involved in what appears, even
after careful examination, to be an interminable marsh. It is no wonder that La Salle
consumed years in the difficult search, for there is not a place on all the extensive line
of the gulf-coast that is not more suggestive of the proper mouth of a grand river
THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI.
than the point where it finds an outlet. With his European experience, he naturally con-
ceived that a stream on which he had floated more than a thousand miles, would sweep
grandly into a magnificent bay. For miles before you reach the passes, you observe
the muddy Mississippi water in great masses, rolling and tumbling unmingled with the
briny blue sea. Gradually the dull hue assumes supremacy, and at last you are greeted
by a simple object of beauty and practical interest, which has been erected by human
hands. Rising up from the interminable level is a solitary light-house, built at the
entrance of the Southwest Pass. This structure is the sentinel on guard— an immovable
point, from the bearings of which the pilot is enabled to bring his ship to safe harbor.
Just inside the Northeast Pass is a huge mud-bank, known as the Balize. Long years
ago people, mostly of Spanish origin, who found it irksome to live under the restraints
of settled communities, made a home at the Balize, tempted by the isolation, the abun-
A Bayou of the Mississippi.
dance of game, and the occasional reward for acting as pilots or wreckers. Within a
half century the growing demands of commerce have changed the rude huts of the set-
tlement into pleasant residences. The once-solitary homes of these waste places are enli-
vened by good wives and bright children. The pilots are personally inferior to none
of their class; and, with beautifully-modelled boats, are ever welcome visitors to the in-
coming ships, which they often board far out at sea, and, if leisure permits, will not only
give the news of the day, but spin a thrilling yarn of the terrible times when Lafitte,
the pirate, held high revels at the Balize.
The channels of the passes, for a long time after their entrance, are only discernible
to the practised eye of the pilot by what appears a regular current flowing on in the
universal waste. As you ascend, if on board of a swiftly-moving steamer, you perceive
that coarse grass finally appears in consecutive lines, and then crop out here and there
great lumps of mud, around which seethes and boils what now has become a rushing cur^
rent. It is apparent that the sediment of the river has obtained a foothold. Steadily
moving onward, the shore at last becomes defined, and water-soaked shrubs are noticeable,
ever moving and fretting from the lashings of the deflecting waves. When some fifteen
or twenty miles have been made, you ask, possibly, with some surprise, " Is this, indeed,
the great Mississippi ? when you learn that you are in one of the four entrances of
the river; anon, you reach the "head of the passes," and the broad -flowing stream, in
its full volume, opens to your gaze. If the day is bright and the sun well toward the
Sunset in the Mississippi Swamp.
horizon, as the swelling tide moves grandly onward, its surface glistens with the hues of
brass and bronze.
Vegetation now rapidly asserts its supremacy ; the low banks are covered with
ferns, and here and there is an ill-shapen tree; while, landward, a dark line indicates
the perfectly-developed forest.
Naught but the sameness and monotony of the river now impresses you, save the
consciousness that you are borne upon a mighty, sweeping flood. Mile after mile, and
still the same. The bittern screams, the wild-fowl start in upward flight ; and, if night
sets in, you seem to be moving through an unvaried waste. The low and scarcely-
THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI.
perceptible walls of Forts Jackson and St. Philip are just discernible, when lights dancing
ahead give the first signs of intelligible settlement. The " quarantine " is reached, the
official visit is made, and again you commence your monotonous upward trip.
If the morning sun greets you within fifty miles of New Orleans, you find the banks
of the river above the flood-tide, and evidences of permanent cultivation and happy home-
steads attract the eye. Along the " coast," as the river-banks are denominated, are the
"gardens," upon which the city depends for vegetable food. Then come large sugar-
plantations, the dwelling-houses made imposing by their verandas, and picturesque by
being half hidden in an untold variety of magnificent trees.
Thus is displayed, in the upward trip from the Balize to within twoscore miles of
New Orleans, the gradual development of the banks of the Mississippi. The constant
creation goes on seemingly under your own eye. From water to ooze, to mud, to soil ;
from grass to shrubs, to ferns, to forest-trees.
The first grand tree-development of the " swamps " is the tall and ghostly cypress.
It flourishes in our semi-tropical climate of the South, being nourished by warmth, water,
and the richest possible soil. The Louisiana product finds a rival in Florida ; and in
both places this remarkable tree is perfect in growth, often reaching the height of one
hundred and thirty feet. The base of the trunk, generally covered with ooze and mud,
conceals the formidable " spikes," called " knees," which spring up from the roots. These
excrescences, when young, are sharp and formidable weapons, and, young or old, are
nearly as hard as steel. To travel in safety through a flooded cypress-swamp on horse-
back, the greatest care must be taken to avoid the concealed cypress-knees ; for, if your
generous steed, while floundering in the soft mud, settles down upon one of them, he
may never recover from the injury. The bark of the tree is spongy and fibrous ; and the
trunk of the tree often attains fifty or sixty feet without a branch. The foliage, as seen
from below, is as soft as green silken fringe, and strangely beautiful and delicate, when
contrasted with the tree itself and the gloomy, repulsive place of its nativity. The wood,
though light and soft, is of extraordinary durability. It has been asserted, that cypress-
trees which have been buried a thousand years under the solid but always damp earth,
now retain every quality of the most perfect wood. At the root of the cypress the
palmetto flourishes in vigor; and its intensely green, spear-like foliage adds to the variety
of the vegetable productions in the forest solitudes.
Coming to the unsubmerged lands, which, like islands, are everywhere interspersed in
this immense swamp, you meet with broad expanses on which grow the renowned "cane-
brakes;" and, leaving them, you possibly come upon vistas of prairie, which, open to the
constant influence of sunshine and sea-air, are dotted over with the magnificent " live-
oak," the most picturesque tree of our continent. Fifty years ago the government took
care of these monarchs of vegetation, depending upon their strong arms to bear our flag
successfully in foreign seas ; but iron and steam have combined to make more formidable
Cy pres s - Swamp.
defences, and the live-oak, as a necessity for naval architecture, is a thing of the
In contrast to the oak is the wonderful magnolia, a flowering giant, often reaching
an altitude of ninety feet. Its form is attractive, and each particular bough has character-
THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI.
istics of its own. Its leaves are large and crisp ; the surface, exposed to the sun, is of
a polished, dark green ; while underneath it is almost as gray and velvety as the mullein.
When the ever-green foliage of the live-oaks is trembling and whispering in the slightest
breeze, or waving in great swaths in the rushing wind, the magnolia stands firm and un-
moved — a beauty too "full of starch to bend. But it makes amends. Its large imperial
blossoms of pure white look like great ivory eggs, enveloped in green and brown. When
the petals finally open, you have that bridal gift, the orange-blossom, enlarged to a span
in diameter, and so fragrant that it oppresses the senses. The magnolia-tree, in full blos-
som, with the Spanish moss enshrouding it in a gray, neutral haze, makes a superb
The scenery of the undisturbed forests of the Lower Mississippi is of a mysterious
interest. Destitute though it be of the charms of mountains and water-falls, with no
distant views, no great comprehensive exhibitions, it nevertheless inspires a sort of awe
which it is difficult to define or account for. All objects are upon a water-level ; and,
when you look aloft through the gloom of the towering trees, you feel as if you were
in a well, and below the usual surface of the earth, and that the place is born of the
The grape-vines which festoon the trees curl round their supports with the force of
cordage, and their trunks, slimy and grim, spring from the ground, and, writhing up-
ward, like great pythons, grasp a supporting limb sixty feet in the air. The shimmer of
distant lagoons greets you in the distance, and there are water-marks on the trees twenty
feet above your head. If you look into the standing pools, you will find the surround-
ing earth as black as tar, and free from grass. The water is yellow with the sap of de-
caying vegetation, and the effluvia chill the heart.
If some passing storm has made a "window" and let in the sunshine, the under-
growth, heretofore stunted or entirely repressed by the shade, now starts into life, and
seems to rejoice in new-born luxuriance. The bright colors are metallic in intensity. The
flower of the scarlet lobelia trembles and flashes as if a living coal of fire. The hydran-
gea, a modest shrub in the North, becomes a tree, a very mound of delicate blue flowers.
A deep and lasting impression was made upon the early discoverers of the Missis-
sippi by the drapery which festooned the trees, and which is generally known as Spanish
moss. It is probable that Moscoso and his companions, when floating disconsolate and
heart-broken toward the Gulf, looked upon this strange vegetable production as mourn-
ing drapery for the losses and disappointments of the expedition, and in sorrow for the
death of their departed chieftain. This moss is a parasite that lives by inserting its
delicate suckers under the bark, and draws its sustenance from the flowing sap. It is
repelled by trees in perfect vigor, but in one enfeebled by age or accident the moss
gains foothold, and goes on with its quiet work of destruction until, vampire-like, it
consumes the heartis-blood of its helpless victim, and then enwraps it in a weird wind-
ing-sheet. Except from practical observation, it is difficult to comprehend the quantity
of this parasite which will sometimes gather on even one tree ; and, startling as may be
the assertion, we have seen great streamers, sixty feet in length, gracefully descending
from the topmost branches to the ground. We have known many trees apparently
stricken with age, which, artificially relieved of this burden, have revived and assumed
almost their natural vigor. In the great order of Nature, the moss has its purposes. It
consumes the hard and iron-hke woods which would otherwise for long years, a century
perhaps, be a vegetable wreck, and thus quietly and surely makes way for a new growth
THE LOWER. MISSISSIPPI.
This Spanish moss has been, with some truth, Hkened to the shattered sails of a ship
torn into shreds by the storm, but still hanging to the rigging. To Chateaubriand it
suggested ghosts, but no perfect idea can be obtained by comparison ; it is essentially
peculiar in its aspect.
Comparatively within a few years, the Spanish moss has become important as an
article of commerce, for, when plucked from the trees, from which it is easily separated,
and then thoroughly " cured " and threshed of its delicate integuments of bark and
leaves, it is found that through the long, thready moss is a delicate fibre as black as jet,
and almost as thick as horsehair, which it strikingly resembles. For the stuffing of
mattresses and cushions it is valuable, and the increasing demand for it has already
opened a new field of enterprise among the denizens of the swamps.
Bienville, the first governor of Louisiana, is represented as laying the foundation of
New Orleans on the first available high land he met with in ascending the river. Below
the city there are now, along the banks, nearly fifty miles of continuous cultivation,
and this arable land is the result of the accretions of the hundred and fifty years which
have passed since the city was founded. As you ascend the river, evidences multiply
that you are approaching the great Southern metropolis. A hundred columns of smoke
are seen when you look across the land known as the " English turn." Large fleets of
saihng-vessels in tow pass on their way to the ocean. Nondescript craft of all kinds
line the shores ; at last the " Crescent City " appears, stretching miles away along the
coast, and opening wide its enfolding arms as a welcome to the arriving stranger.
The river opposite the city is more than a mile and a half in width, and, notwith-
standing the velocity of its movement, and the distance from the sea (one hundred and
eight miles), the tide regularly ebbs and flows, modifying somewhat the sweep of the
downward current. Here we have a magnificent bay, grand in dimensions as any
arm of the sea. The city extends along the eastern- bank as far as the eye can reach;
the western side is dotted over with villages, highly-cultivated farms, and great work-
shops. A consecutive mile or more of steamers is in sight, including the magnificent
" floating palaces," which " carry " between the " great cities of the West," down through
every conceivable representative graduation to the absurd " stern-wheeler," which works
its way up the shallower streams and " damp places," tributary to the Arkansas and
Red Rivers. Ships of stately proportions from every land lie side by side, their masts
and cordage revealing in rich confusion a leafless forest. The ferry-boats are constantly
in motion, while the great steam -tugs, bringing up with ease a fleet of saihng-ves-
sels from the mouth of the river, make the .lowlands echo with their high-pressure puff"-
ing, and send great clouds of bituminous smoke from their chimneys, which, borne away
to the upper current of the air, extend along the low horizon in miles of serpentine
Reaching the shore, you find that the " Levee," which below was a narrow embank-
THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI.
ment, is now a wide, artificial plateau, extending miles each way, and crowded with the
teeming productions of the counties and States which lie on the tributary streams of
the great river. A Babel of tongues is heard among the human toilers, who with the
keenest industry pursue their different avocations. You realize that you are in a great
city, and at the foot of a vast and surpassable inland navigation.
To float down the Western rivers was as easy as healthy respiration ; to stem the
swift current on the upward trip was a task of almost superhuman labor. If artificial
means had not come to the rescue, much of the great West which to-day is enriched
by cities and towns, and teeming with intelligent populations, would have remained a
primitive wilderness. Before the application of steam for the propulsion of water-craft,
commerce was carried on by means of " broad-horns " and " keel-boats." The broad-horn
accomplished its purpose when, floating down the current, it arrived at its place of
destination and delivered its cargo. The keel-boat not only brought down a cargo, but,
loaded with foreign products, was "cordelled" by months of hard work up the river to
its original starting-point. The keel-boatmen of the Mississippi were a remarkable race
of men. In strength they were absolute giants ; in power of sustaining fatigue, without *
rivals in any age. If they had been classical in the expressions of their exultation of
physical power, they would confidently have challenged Hercules to combat, and, in our
opinion, would have conquered that old Greek. The keel-boatmen are gone ; the strong
arms of iron, impelled by fire and steam, now more perfectly do what was once their
gigantic work. But the broad-horn still exists in the cumbrous flat-boat, the only craft
Mike Fink and his companions would recognize. And they will be seen probably for
all time in the harbor of New Orleans, bearing to the great distributing markets of the
world the agricultural products of our Western States. These huge edifices are really
built upon large scows, sometimes a hundred feet or more in length, the superstructure a
great, oblong, square building. A good specimen flat-boat, with a full load, is literally a
whole block of country-stores afloat. Intended only for the temporary purpose of float-
ing down the current with the spring-tide, they need no architectural adornments, no
quality of beauty, nothing but the virtue of strength. To keep them off the "snags"
and " sawyers," they are furnished with four immense " sweeps," which are sometimes, in
moments of danger, worked with a power by the flat-boatmen that shows somewhat of
the spirit of the mighty men they so imperfectly represent. The flat having reached its
place of destination, and been safely discharged of its valuable cargo, its mission as an
argosy is ended. Now, by transmutation, to meet the further demands of commerce, it
is consigned to the tender mercies of the saw and axe, and converted into cord-wood.
A favorably-situated series of plantations, with land more than ordinarily high, and
therefore comparatively free from overflow, in the course of long years of cultivation
becomes the centre of charming landscape scenery, which combines the novelty of many
exotics growing side by side with the best-preserved specimens of the original forest.
THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI.
On these old plantations, modified by climate, are developed in the greatest perfection
some of the choicest tropical plants. Orange-trees may be met with which are three-
quarters of a century old, with great, gnarled trunks and strong arms, still bearing in
perfection their delicious fruit. The sugar-cane, usually a tender, sensitive plant, has be-
come acclimated, and, though still a biennial, repays most liberally for its cultivation.
The magnificent banana, with its great, sweeping leaves of emerald green waving in the
breeze with the dignity of a banner, has within a comparatively few years almost over-
come its susceptibility to cold, and is now successfully cultivated.
In the rear of the garden you find the elm-shaped pecan, of immense height and
beautiful proportions, bearing abundantly an oval-shaped, thin-shelled fruit, possessing all
the sweetness of the hickory-nut and almond combined. As you go farther south, below
the Louisiana coast, these trees form forests, and yield to their possessors princely in-
comes. Hedges of jasmine lead up to the door-ways of the planters' residences, and vie
in fragrance with the flowing pomegranate and night-blooming cereus, and an endless
variety of the queenly family of the rose. And just where the cultivated line disappears,
and the natural swamp begins, will often be found the yellow jasmine climbing up some
blasted tree, and usurping its dead branches for its own uses, and covering it over with
a canopy of blossoms which shed a fragrance that, in descending, is palpable to the
touch and oppressive to the nostrils. Here the honey-bee revels, and the humming-bird,
glancing in the sunlight as if made of living sapphires, dashes to and fro with light-
ning rapidity, shaking from its tiny, quivering wings the golden pollen.
At nightfall, when the warm spring-day has disappeared, to be followed by the cool
sea-breeze, and the atmosphere predisposes to lassitude and dreamy repose, the minstrel
of the Southern landscape, the wonderful mocking-bird, will find a commanding perch
near the house, where he can enjoy the fragrance of flowers in the sea-cooled air, and
know that his human admirers are listening, and he will then carol forth songs of praise
and admiration, of joy and humor, of sweet strains and discords, like a very " Puck of
the woods," a marvel of music and song.
The settlers who first gained foothold were of French origin, and the original im-
press is still maintained. Up to within a very few years communities existed in Louisi-
ana of the most charming rural population : the little chapel, with its social French
priest ; the men temperate and of good bearing, because the genial climate called for
moderate labor; the women bright, fond of home, and inheriting a natural taste for
dress worthy of the mother-country. Unprovided with the theatre and opera, these rural
populations were content in matters of display with the imposing ceremonies of their
church, and for amusement with the weekly enjoyment of their extemporized balls.
Among this population originally were many scions of the best families of France, whose
historic names are still preserved, who shed over their simple settlements in the far-off"
wilds of the Mississippi something of the style pertaining to the villa and chateau. In
course of time many of these old mansions along the river have disappeared, or, falling
into the possession of the irreverent Anglo-Saxon, have had their outward faces buried
under broadly-constructed verandas and galleries — nice places for shade and promenade,
but sadly incongruous, and painfully expressive of a " sudden growth."
The Mississippi, left to itself for hundreds of miles above its mouth in the spring-
floods, would overflow its banks from two to three feet. To obviate such a catas-
trophe, there has been built by the enterprising planters a continuous line of levee, or
earth-intrenchments, upon which slight barrier depends the material wealth of the people.
The alluvium, or sediment, of the river, which is deposited most abundantly upon its
Market-Garden on the Coast.
banks, makes the frontage the highest surface, and, as you go inland, you unconsciously but
steadily descend, at least four feet to the mile, until you often find the water-level marked
on the trees at times of overflow far above your head. When the spring-flood is at
its height, a person standing inside of the levee has the water running above him, and,
if he glances at the houses in the rear, the level of the flood will possibly reach the
height of the second-story windows.
For nine months of the year the Louisiana planter pays but little attention to the
levee, but, when the spring comes, and the melted snows, which fall even as far off" as
the foot of the Rocky Mountains, find their way past his residence to the sea, he is
suddenly awakened to the most intense anxiety ; and when, at last, the great flood of
THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 277
water — the drainage, in fact, of two-thirds of the lands of the centre of the continent — •
dashes over the frail embankment, of the levee— he realizes what a slender hold he
has upon his young crop and the earthy improvements of a large estate. The rains
at these times assist in making the water-soaked barrier unstable ; rats, mice, and bee-
tles, have their burrows, and thousands of crawfish, with their claws as hard and sharp as
a chisel of iron, riddle the levee with holes. Under these critical conditions, even a light
wind may invite the impending catastrophe. In an unexpected moment the alarm is
given that a " crevasse " is threatened ! All is confusion and consternation. The cry of
Planter's House on the Mississippi.
fire at midnight in a crowded city is not more terrible. The plantation-bells are rung,
the news is carried to out-of-the-way places by fleet horsemen, the laboring population
assemble, and, armed with such implements as are at command, the attempt is made to
stay the threatening waves. The levee at the point of assault, in spite of all action to
the contrary, moves from its foundation and crumbles away, and the river, raised to an
artificial height, now finds relief in a current that roars like a cataract. If the break is
of formidable proportions, the passing flat-boat is drawn into the vortex, and sent like
a chip high and dry into the distant fields. Even the great Western steamer that
breasts so grandly the downward current of the river, in the newly-formed rapids trem-
bles and swerves from its course. Occasionally a crevasse is arrested by the erection
of cofifer-dams, by piles driven in the earth, which make the support for branches of
trees or the broadside of a flat-boat; but, as a rule, these ill-directed labors are fruitless,
and the sweeping current is left to take its course. The lowlands in the rear of the
river-front are soon filled, and the current, at last finding a level with the river itself,
converts the surrounding country for miles into a waste of waters.
Added to the danger of overflow is that of caving banks. By a natural law in
the formation of the banks of the Mississippi, the alluvium is rapidly deposited upon
A "Crevasse" on the Mississippi.
the " points," and dissolves away from the " bends." It is not an extraordinary sight to
see a grandly-constructed and ancient house hanging outside the levee and over the
edge of the river-bank, destined sooner or later to drop into the river. You will find
these things occur where the mighty current, sweeping round a bend, has worn away
the soft earth, often dissolving it by acres. If this occurs in front of a plantation, the
house and improvements, perhaps originally a mile from the river, will be gradually
brought to the edge of the bank, to be finally engulfed. The point directly opposite
the bend, however, makes, in accretions, exactly what is taken away from the opposite
side of the river.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY J. DOUGLAS WOODWARD.
over the j^reat lakes, we
constantly encounter begin-
nings. The newness of the
new world is conspicuous,
pleasantly or obtrusively, ac-
cording to our tastes, but con-
spicuous always. The cities
on the shores are vouna: and
precocious, the villages are young
and awkward, and the lumber-sta-
tions are young and green with the freshly-cut verdure of the forest. The universal
boast on the fresh-water seas is, " See how young we are ! "
You enter a city of one hundred thousand inhabitants. "Twenty years ago, sir, this
was an unbroken wilderness," observes the citizen, as he takes you through the busy
streets in his luxurious carriage. The steamer stops at a thriving town of ten thousand
people. " Five years ago there wasn't so much as a shanty here," says the hotel-
keeper, with a flourishing wave of his hand toward the clustering houses and his four-
story frame caravansary, decked out in shining green and white. Early, some bright
morning, a landing is made at a wood-station ; a long wharf, a group of unpainted
View of Fort and Town.
houses, a store, and several saw-mills, compose a promising settlement. "Six months
ago, mister, there war'n't even a chip on this yer spot," says a bearded giant, sitting on
a wood-pile, watching the passengers as they come ashore.
Coming from the east and striking the lakes at Buffalo, the elderly traveller begins
to breathe this juvenile atmosphere of the fresh water; and, as he advances westward, he
is obliged to abandon, one by one, his cherished beliefs and interests. History there is
none, relics there are none, and the oldest inhabitant seems to him but a boy. At first
he wonders and admires, with a strange, new scorn for the quiet ocean-village where his
home is fixed, but gradually he grows weary of the hurry, weary of the paint, weary of
unfinished cities and just-begun villages, weary of ambitious words and daring hopes
Arched Rock by Moonlight.
weary, in short, of the soaring American eagle. In this mood, after gloomily surveying
Duncan and Sheboygan, on the Michigan shore, the elderly traveller, still weary with the
new, is suddenly brought face to face with the old ; for in the straits between Lakes
Huron and Michigan, round the corner of Bois-Blanc and past the shoals of Round
Point, lies the ancient home of the Giant Fairies, the little picturesque island of Macki-
nac, venerable with the memories of more than two centuries.
There is nothing young about Mackinac, nothing new. The village, at the foot of
the cliff, is decayed and antiquated; the fort, on the height above, is white and crum-
bling with age ; the very flag is tattered ; and, once beyond this fringe of habitations
around the port, there is no trace of the white man on the island save one farm-house
of the last century, and a ruin on the western shore. There is no commercial activity at
Mackinac ; the business life of the village died out with the fur-trade ; and so diflferent is
its aspect from that of the other lake-towns, no matter how small, that the traveller feels
as though he was walking through the streets of a New-World Pompeii.
There is no excitement in Mackinac, no news. In summer, if Huron is wilHng, the
Sarnia boats bring the mails three times a week ; but Saginaw Bay is often surly ; blus-
tering head-winds lie in wait behind Thunder-Bay Islands, and days pass without a letter
or paper. In winter the mails are carried over the ice on dog-trains, travelling north-
ward along the shores of Lake Huron, and striking across the straits-^pictures of arctic
life as real as any in the polar regions. But even this means of communication is neces-
sarily precarious, and spy-glasses from the fort often sweep the horizon for weeks, search-
ing in vain for the welcome black speck in the white distance. Thus isolated in the
northern waters, the island does not enjoy that vivid interest in passing events which
this age of steam and electricity has evoked ; neither politics, epidemics, improvem,ents,
nor religion, disturb its lethargy. Religion has lain dormant where the first missionaries
left it ; the air is so pure that no one dies under the extreme limit of the term allotted
to man ; no improvements have been made in a hundred years ; and, as to politics, if the
islanders do not persist, like the Pennsylvania Dutchmen, in voting for General Jackson,
it is simply because they have only got as far down the list as Madison.
The history of Mackinac (Mackinac, or Mackinaw, is an abbreviation of the full title
of Michilimackinac, which, according to Lippincott's "Gazetteer," should be pronounced
Mish-il-e-mak' e-naw) inay be divided into three periods — the explorer's, the military, and
the fur-trading. The first period embraces the early voyages of Father Marquette ; his
college for the education of Indian youths, established on the straits in 1671 ; the death
of the explorer, and the remarkable funeral procession of canoes, which, two years after-
ward, brought back his body, from its first burial-place on Lake Michigan, to the little
mission on the Straits of Mackinac, which in life he loved so well. Here, in 1677, his
grave was made by his Indian converts ; its exact site was lost during the warfare that
followed, but it was in the neighborhood of the little church whose foundation remains
still visible, and here it is proposed to erect a monument to his memory.
In 1679 the daring explorer, Robert Cavalier de la Salle, sailed through the straits
on his way to the Mississippi, in a vessel pf sixty tons, called the Grifhn, built by him-
self, on Lake Erie, during the previous spring. He stopped at old Mackinac, on the
main-land ; and Hennepin, the historian of the expedition, describes the astonishment of
the Indians on seeing the Griffin, the first vessel that passed through the beautiful
In 1688 a French officer. Baron la Houtan, visited the straits, and in his journal
makes the first mention of the fur-trade : " The coiirriers de bois have a settlement here,
this being the depot for the goods obtained from the south and west savages, for they
cannot avoid passing this way when they go to the seats of the lUinese and the Ouma-
mis, and to the river of Mississippi."
In 1695 the military period begins. At that date M. de la Motte Cadillac, who
afterward founded the present city of Detroit, established a small fort on the straits.
Then came contests and skirmishes, not unmingled with massacres (for the Indians were
enlisted on both sides), and finally the post of Mackinac, together with all the French
strongholds on the lakes, was surrendered to the English, in September, 1761.
In 1763 began the conspiracy of Pontiac, wonderful for the sagacity with which it
was planned and the vigor with which it was executed. Pontiac, the most remarkable
Indian of all the lake-tribes, lived on Peche Island, near Lake St.- Clair. He was a firm
friend of the French, and, to aid their cause, he arranged a simultaneous attack upon all
the English forts in the lake-country, nine out of twelve being taken by surprise and
destroyed, and among them the little post on the Straits of Mackinac. For a year after
the massacre no soldiers were seen in these regions ; but, a treaty of peace having been
made with the Indians, troops were again sent west to raise the English flag in its old
During the War for Independence the fort was established in its present site on
Mackinac Island ; and the- stars and stripes, superseding the cross of St. George and the
hlies of the Bourbons, waved for a time peacefully over the heights; but the War of
18 1 2 began, and the small American garrison was surprised and captured by the British,
under Captain Robarts, who, having landed at the point still known as the " British
Landing," marched across the island to the gate of the fort and forced a surrender.
After the victory of Commodore Perry, on Lake Erie, in 18 13, it was determined to
recapture Fort Mackinac from the British, and a little fleet was sent from Detroit for
that purpose. After wandering in the persistent fogs of Lake Huron, the vessels reached
the straits, and a brisk engagement began in the channel, between Round Island and
Mackinac. At length the American commander decided to try a land attack, and forces
were sent on shore, under command of Colonel Croghan and Major Holmes. They
landed at the " British Landing," and had begun to cross the island when the British
and Indians met them, and a desperate battle ensued in the clearing near the Dousman
farm-house. The enemy had the advantage of position and numbers, and, aided by their
innumerable Indian allies, they succeeded in defeating the gallant little band, who retreated
to the " Landing," leaving a number killed on the field, among them Major Holmes.
The American fleet cruised around the island for some time, but "the stars in their
courses fought against Sisera."
As far back as 1671, Marquette had noticed and described the currents of air that
disturb the navigation of the straits, in the following quaint terms: "The winds: for this
is the central point between the three great lakes which surround it, and which seem
incessantly tossing ball at each other. For no sooner has the wind ceased blowing from
Lake Michigan, than Lake Huron hurls back the gale it has received; and Lake Supe-
rior, in its turn, sends forth its blasts from another quarter; and thus the game is con-
stantly played from one to the other." The clumsy vessels could do nothing against the
winds and waves; and not until the conclusion of peace, in 18 14, was the American flag
again hoisted over the Gibraltar of the lakes.
Points on the Straits of Mackinac began to be stations for the fur-trade as early as
1688, but the constant warfare of the mihtary period interfered with the business. In
1809 John Jacob Astor bought out the existing associations, and organized the American
Fur Company, with a capital of two milHons. For forty years this company monopolized
the fur-trade, and Mackinac was the gayest and busiest post in the chain — the great cen-
tral mart. Here were the supply-stores for the outgoing and incoming voyageurs, and
the warehouses for the goods brought from New York, as well as for the furs from the
interior. From here started the bateaux on their long journey to the Northwest, and
here, once or twice a year, came the returned voyageurs, spending their gains in a day,
with the gay prodigality of their race, laughing, singing, and dancing with the pretty
half-breed girls, and then away into the wilderness again. The old buildings of the Fur
Company form a large portion of the present village of Mackinac. The warehouses are
Sugar-Loaf Rock— (East Side).
MA CKINA a
Sugar-Loaf Rock — (West Side).
for .the most part, unused, although portions of some of them are occupied as stores.
The present McLeod House, an hotel on the north street, was originally erected as a
boarding-house for the company's clerks, in 1809. These were Mackinac's palmy days;
her two little streets were crowded with people, and her warehouses filled with merchan-
dise. All the traffic of the company centred here, and its demands necessitated the
presence of men of energy and enterprise, some of the oldest and best business-men of
the Eastern cities having served an apprenticeship in the little French village under the
cliff. Here, also, were made the annual Indian payments, when the neighboring tribes
assembled by thousands on the island to receive their stipend.
The natural scenery of Mackinac is charming. The geologist finds mysteries in the
masses of calcareous rock dipping at unexpected angles ; the antiquarian feasts his eyes
on the Druidical circles of ancient stones ; the invahd sits on the cHff's edge, in the vivid
sunshine, and breathes in the buoyant air with dehght, or rides slowly over the old mili-
tary roads, with the spicery of cedars and juniper alternating with the fresh forest-odors
of young maples and beeches. The haunted birches abound, and on the crags grow the
weird larches, beckoning with their long fingers — the most human tree of all. Bluebells,
on their hair-like stems, swing from the rocks, fading at a touch, and in the deep woods
are the Indian pipes, but the ordinary wild-flowers are not to be found. Over toward
the British Landing stand the Gothic spires of the blue-green spruces, and now and then
an Indian trail crosses the road, worn deep by the feet of the red-men, when the Fairy
Island was their favorite and sacred resort.
The Arch Rock, one of the curiosities of Mackinac, is a natural bridge, one hun-
dred and forty-five feet high by less than three feet wide, spanning the chasm with airy
grace. This arch has been excavated by the action of the weather on a projecting angle